CITY BOY GEEKINESS

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LET'S CONNECT
This next post might be surprising to some. There are certain types of movies that I write reviews about. Granted, I tend to focus on the horror, action, comedy and fantasy genres. When I take a chance on different types of films, I’m sometimes proven wrong with my preconceived notion (and I love when it happens!). Usually, I’m not a fan of time pieces set in a specific time era – though, some have been enjoyable. The next film to be reviewed is the early 60’s inspired flick: The Help!

The Premise: Set in the quaint town of Jackson, Mississippi, the film focuses on the intertwining lives of rich suburban families and the maids whom work for them. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) plans to become a writer and journalist, but without much experience, her career isn’t really going nowhere – much to the delight of her mother and friends. Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) are maids dealing with racism and unfair treatment from their employers. Wanting to explore the thoughts and prejudices felt from Aibileen, Minny and the other maids, Skeeter plans to write a book to expose the secrets and lives of being a maid in Jackson.

The Results: 3.5/5!
The Help was surprisingly funny. There are a couple of moments throughout the film where you will be laughing hysterically, especially with scenes featuring Minny. Without spoiling the movie, at one point, there is a scene which will define the film and will offer the most memorable moment of the movie. Historical accuracy may be questioned, some accents were unbelievable and it definitely was a “tamed” piece when explaining the issue of racism. However, The Help was heartwarming, hilarious and I love Emma Stone in this role. It’s great to not just see her in the “goofy girl” role but as a lead who argues with the antagonists throughout the film.
Hey Bloggers,

It's finally Tuesday and after a long awaited break, it's time to debut the next post for Tuesday Tunes. For those of you unfamiliar with this feature, on Tuesdays, I highlight three videos I find online. These videos feature music as part of a video, performance or portrayed as the underlining theme. In the previous installments, I've picked a selection of videos ranging from parodies to music videos. Remember: if you have any suggestions for the following Tuesday Tunes, then please let me know - I love your suggestions and comments!

The three videos that I've chosen to highlight this week are:

1. "Natural" by S Club 7
2. "I'm An Angry Bird" by The Key of Awesome (Parody of Adele`s Rolling in the deep)
3. "You Make Me Feel" by Cobra Starship ft. Sabi










I have two more movies to write reviews about; however, since it has been a week when these movies have been released in theatres, I will only be writing a small mini review for both of them. For the first review, I’ll be assessing the 3-D teen horror flick: Final Destination 5!

The Premise: Sam (Nicholas D'Agosto) is traveling on an overnight team-building excursion with his co-workers. After recently breaking up with his girlfriend (whom is also on the trip), Sam expects the next two days to be a living hell until he experiences a vision while waiting on a bus. His premonition shows the bridge they’re on collapsing and all of his co-workers, including himself, dying in the accident except for his ex. He quickly warns them off his vision and luckily, most of the co-workers escape the bridge before it collapses but Death doesn’t like to be cheated. One-by-one, the survivors of the bridge collapse start to mysteriously die one-by-one according to when they should have died during the accident. Will the survivors be able to cheat Death twice? Can they find a way to get off Death’s list? Can the latest sequel bring life back to this horror franchise?

The Results: 3.75/5!
Let’s face it, it’s a horror movie. I’m not expecting Oscar-worthy material but a good popcorn film that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I was somewhat let down from the previous sequel (The Final Destination) as it didn’t follow the rules that the series created but surprisingly, I liked this sequel. A highlight is that nothing was overdone. Every 3-D sequence, character and death scene was properly chosen for the film. The acting wasn’t trite or laughable; which is a plus in a horror movie. The characters were realistic and you did end up rooting for most of the survivors to live; only a couple of people could be annoying at times. My favourite thing was the twist at the end; I love a shocking twist and it left you thinking when you put the entire series in retrospect.

My problem with this series in general is the death scenes. The scenes from the later films are becoming more anti-climatic and a ploy to save time. Having 3-D objects fly out and kill someone, an item falling from a shelf or the sky onto a survivor is a lackluster end to the scene. Before, they were more shocking but now, audiences are more desensitized to the modern ability of the horror movie and filmmakers are throwing humour into the mix. In actuality, filmmakers should take the scenes more seriously to add suspense instead of shock value or “surprise” scenes to possibly incite an audience.
We all have our own favourite television shows. There are those that we follow religiously week to week and there are those we casually tune in just to get caught up on the latest drama.

I think I’m a bit of both.

You can’t live your life in front of a television screen so when I get the chance, I make the effort for certain shows to watch more often than others. Recently, I did a search to get caught up on the newest line-up for the U.S. networks and there were clearly some standouts. While I picked out 17 shows that I could possible follow or be interested in, five stood out above the others.


Revenge (ABC)
I love a show about the drama. Being captivated in the inner workings of an elite society where one person is planning to exact retribution against those who’ve wronged them. Let’s be real, it’s the modernized somewhat teen version that’s got me hooked to catch the premiere of this show. I love when they take a classic story/concept and adapt it to a more modernized setting (i.e. Cruel Intentions rings a bell for me). Hopefully this show is renewed because on top of all the drama and secrets that will be revealed, it will be nice to know if the main character gets her revenge against every single person who has helped to ruin her family.


Charlie's Angels (ABC)
Let’s not call this show remake fluff. There is going to be a wave of television remakes in the works spanning across the networks and I hope that this one will be successful. I was interested in the concept of this show based from the movies; granted, I’ve possibly only see one episode of the television series. It would be great to see how a crop of new Angels will survive with every new mission that Charlie sends their way.


The Lying Game (ABC Family)
This program is based from a new emerging book series from the same author of Pretty Little Liars. I’ve read the first contribution to the series and can I saw…wow! The idea of another big mystery where a character goes missing and their twin taking over the life to figure out who would be responsible for killing her long-lost sister is something that needs to be explored. I get it…tad redundant and soap opera-ish. However, putting it all aside and looking at it from a story perspective and character development, it’s most likely going to be a new talked about teen show; most likely falling on the heels of its predecessor as a new must-watch program for the network.





Ringer (The CW)
If The Lying Game grew up and changed almost every character involved in the mystery to adults, then it would become the Ringer. A huge factor for watching the show is that Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to television to star in the lead role of a missing twin and the sister who takes on her life to escape her troubled past. The idea (also a tad redundant and soap opera-ish) is something I would love to see especially to find out what happened to the missing sister and see how the main character is portrayed throughout the series. The problem that the show may face is that The CW is more focused on the teen genre so it may not attract as many viewers as expected but if Nikita is doing well then the Ringer may live to see another season.



The Secret Circle (The CW)
This is the second series to be directly adapted from a novel series. The Secret Circle comes from the same author as The Vampire Diaries so I have really high hopes for the series. In all honesty, I wasn’t particularly drawn towards the Vampire Diaries novels but I do like the television series. On the opposite side, I loved The Secret Circle books so I’m hoping that television show just adds upon that feeling. Hopefully it’s going to be a dark and gritty show that explores the dark side of magic and a coven. The vampire fad has become a tad worn out and tired so maybe having a new supernatural element/show in the mix will help deviate from the fandom to give people more variety on television.


These five are not the only ones that need to be highlighted. Shows like Once Upon A Time, 2 Broke Girls, and New Girl all have elements to be great programs but time will tell to see which ones will make it to the Spring/Summer line-up.


Already have your fave new shows to look out for? Share your comments below and let us know what programs you’ll be tuning in this season!
Hey Bloggers,

I know that it's been a while since the last Book Club review but I just needed a break to not write about James Bond for awhile. Sometimes it's nice to take a healthy break between features and now I'm ready to submit the latest review in the collection. Today's review will be on the diamond smuggling adventure: Diamonds Are Forever!


The Story (novel): Set months after the events of Moonraker, agent 007 James Bond is informed by M of a new smuggling ring that spans from Africa to the United States. His adventures take him deep undercover as a diamond smuggler Peter Franks to uncover the head of the conspiracy and to see how far this operation truly goes with The Spangled Mob. At Bond's side is ex-CIA operative Felix Leiter, Bond's superior M and the alluring yet witty diamond smuggler Tiffany Case.

The Story (movie): James Bond continues on his search for revenge against the nefarious Blofeld for murdering Bond's wife in the previous film. Believing Blofeld to have met his end in the opening film sequence, Bond is brought to Las Vegas to go undercover in a diamond smuggling operation. Taking the identity of smuggler Peter Franks, Bond meets his contact Tiffany Case and is soon brought into the smuggling operation but all is not what it seems. The diamonds are merely a ruse to an even more calculating plot that involves a satellite, lasers and the return of a familiar foe. Aiding Bond in his adventure in Sin City is Bond's superior M, the intellectual Q, quick-witted Moneypenny, CIA agent Felix Leiter, Sultry Plenty O'Toole and the unconventional yet sarcastic diamond smuggler Tiffany Case.


THE COMPARISON
When looking at the plotlines for both the film and the novel, they more-or-less follow the same story arc. Bond takes on a fake identity to deceive Tiffany and be brought into the fold of the smuggling ring. While the novel has a stand-alone plot with new foes that are affiliated with SMERSH, the premise is its own motivation with a different end goal. The movie, however, is still associated with the Blofeld storyline as the premise weaves itself with a conclusion relating to a Bond vs. Blofeld confrontation. They both sound good in comparison but I'll explain my thoughts on this later on in the review.

The character of Tiffany Case is one of the biggest contrasts between both pieces. In the movie, Tiffany is more confrontational and outspoken in her dialogue with Bond. She takes no prisoners and expresses her thoughts with assertion and sarcasm making her easily a fan favourite. In the novel, she still is outspoken and witty but her demeanor exudes seduction and sultriness with each retort. It all depends on your point-of-view: Tiffany is more sultry in the novel depicting a blonde bombshell but in the movie, she's sarcastic and assertive as a fiery red-head.

Another comparison is the difference in the dynamics of how the story is set up. What I mean by this is, in actuality, this story is the fourth Bond adventure to have taken place according the Fleming timeline but it's completely different in the film series. This film story is now a Blofeld addition when, in retrospect, Blofeld doesn't appear till MUCH later on in the novels so it was interesting to see how drastic the change can be by adding one character to the conception of the story.




My Favourite: The movie! (...barely)
I don't ever want to leave the final decision as a tie even if I wasn't particularly fond of either pieces. Before I had read the book, I liked the movie and there were some interesting portions such as the characters (i.e., Tiffany, Plenty O'Toole, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd), the action and it being a good end to Sean Connery's tenure as James Bond. My biggest problem with these two pieces is that (with the exception of the diamond smuggling aspect) I had no idea what was going on. The pages didn't come alive for me this time around and I just wanted to finish the novel. The storyline took a lot of turns to a conclusion that was anticlimactic and the same could somewhat be said for the movie as well. The diamonds I understood but the portion with the laser came from left-field as an add-on to Blofeld's tactic; the entire "villain plot" reminded me so much of Die Another Day. Without having read the novelization for that movie yet (I'll respond back to this point once I've completed that review), I think that Die Another Day used the plot device and laser better. 

Final scores:

Diamonds Are Forever (the book) - 3/10
Diamonds Are Forever (the movie) - 6/10


NEXT: The next book on the list has been regarded by fans as one of the favourite stories in the series. It's going to be the espionage-filled tale: "From Russia, With Love!" Truthfully, I have actually finished reading the story and have currently moved on to a separate book outside from the series to give people time to catch up or to give me some time to draft the next review.