[MOVIE] Ender’s Game.

enders_game_ver20_xlgThis is not exactly a new movie but I remember a friend of mine saying that this was a pretty good movie. Again, I had no idea about the background of the movie so I had low expectatons.

The movie is about a boy named Ender who goes to a special school for children whom the government(?) feels would be the mankind’s future hope in defeating this alien fleet if ever they come back (for revenge, perhaps). Years ago, an alien invasion occurred and humanity was almost wiped out… that is, until a “hero” saved the day by defeating a mothership which rendered all the other alien life forms immobile. Humans: 1 Aliens: 0

The people believe that the children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they… oh wait, I’m digressing. Anywho, they teach children that show potential and train them to become fighters so they would be ready whenever the aliens come back. One young man that shows much promise is Ender Wiggins. They believe he has tactical and strategic abilities that would greatly help them defeat the alien invaders.

I wasn’t expecting much from this movie since I thought it was a movie for children but I am quite surprised that I enjoyed watching it. The visual effects were satisfying enough to keep me entertained throughout the duration of the movie. I also really like the battle training scenes because zero gravity battle is oh so cool.. I would’ve liked more battle scenes with awesome strategy techniques though. It’s kind of frustrating that kids in this movie are extremely smart. Makes me feel old and useless, pretty much. haha..

Also, according to my friend who has read the book, there were a bunch of details that were changed in the movie. I am not entirely sure how this would affect the sequels (if they are going to release them).

Would I want to see a sequel? Hmm.. Sure, I don’t mind. But even if they don’t, I don’t think I would be truly disappointed or sad about it. I heard it did not do that well in the box office so it might be difficult to say if a sequel would be released. I guess I’ll just read the book if I really end up wanting to know more about what happens next. Apparently, the next book takes place some 3,000 years after the first book but due to some relativistic space travel, Ender is only in his 30s in this sequel.

NinthMelody rating: 3/5

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[MOVIE] If I Stay.

new-if-i-stay-movie-posterI had wanted to read the book first before watching the movie but I gave in and decided to watch it first. Not knowing much about the story is a much better way of watching a movie. It tends to be full of surprises and it’s just much more exciting that way.

I also had no idea this movie would be very musical. No, not like High School Musical where they would randomly burst into a song number. Just a normal drama, romance movie revolving around characters who are very musically inclined. I tend to like such kind of movies – August Rush, Once, Begin Again, Pitch Perfect – just to name a few.

Having come from parents who are very much into rock music, Mia feels like the odd one out in the family as she is more into classical music. Ever since she was small, she had already fallen in love with the cello and decided she wanted to play it. In her high school, she meets Adam, a rising local rockstar, who takes her on many of her “FIRSTs.” Their relationship was shortlived due to their fear of enduring a long-distance relationship with the possibility of Mia getting into Juilliard and with Adam’s music career in full gear. On the day Mia was expecting to get her letter from Juilliard, it is declared a SNOW DAY and her whole family decides to go for a drive. They get into a vehicular accident and Mia wakes up to a chaotic scene of medical professionals running about looking to save accident victims which turns out to be her whole family. While looking on at the scene, Mia spots herself from across the road being carried to an ambulance. She’s a walking spirit.

“If I Stay” is a movie that initially springs on you a situation that would require you to think and put yourself in the shoes of the protagonist. If I were Mia, would I stay? If I Stay, then what? The accident happens a few minutes after the movie starts. You know that this could either end with Mia fighting to stay or giving up and “going into the light.” Flashbacks give the audience a better grasp of the whole situation and little by little you understand why she would choose to stay or choose to let go. It would be a hard decision for me had I been in her shoes, considering if I had that power to choose.

NinthMelody rating: 3.25 – 3.5/5

[MOVIE] Begin Again.

begin_again_xlgThis movie gave me the feels and it’s the same kind of motivation I felt after watching the movie, ONCE. I guess it had something to do with John Carey, who was the director of ONCE. (I did not know this fact until I actually read and saw the movie poster.)

I did not expect to like Keira Knightley’s voice but it is very likeable, I gotta say. She’s not the best singer out there, but hey, it grows on you since it’s a very mellow, sweet voice that sounds good on the ear. I don’t know how much of her voice is real and tweaked but I really like what they did with the soundtrack.

Before watching the movie, I obviously assumed from the poster that Keira Knightley’s and Mark Ruffalo’s characters would eventually end up together. SPOILER ALERT: They don’t. This is also similar to how ONCE ended. Maybe whoever made these movies just didn’t want to end up with a typical romance movie. Both movies focused on the music the main characters were making without letting romantic side stories break the concentration.

In this movie, I respected their decision to not let the two main characters end up together as that would have caused a bigger issue of broken families. Seeing as Dan (Mark Ruffalo) was already in a troubled marriage, one would expect he would find a new love interest in the character of Keira Knightley, Gretta. Thank heavens, that was not the road taken. There is hope in this world for “FOREVER.” Another SPOILER: Dan and his wife rekindle their love and try to make their marriage work.

So, Gretta and Dave (Adam Levine) are songwriter/lovers who go to New York, with Dave having recently been discovered/signed with a major recording label. Gretta has always been with Dave from the very beginning of his career so it’s only expected that she be with him especially in his success. Dave, however, falls in love with someone else while he was apart from Gretta and so they break up. Gretta seeks help from his musician friend who takes him to a bar on an OPEN MIC NIGHT where she was encouraged/forced to sing. She hesitantly goes up on stage and sings a very heartbreaking song, which Dan hears and falls in love with. He makes it his mission to woo her into signing a contract with his record label and they end up recording the record with random musicians whom they find on the streets.

I love how the movie starts in the middle with just bits and pieces of the backstory being fed as flashbacks or just shown as the classic, “12 HOURS AGO” scenario. It gives the movie a more interesting storytelling technique rather than the typical straightforward, linear scenes.

NinthMelody rating: 4/5

[TV] SELFIE.

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As I have said in my previous post, I found out about the TV series, SELFIE, after Googling about Karen Gillan. I just started watching it a couple of days ago and only then did I find out that the series was cancelled after the 6th episode. They are still, however, continuing to release the remaining episodes every week via hulu.

I must admit I was hooked starting from the first episode. The shallowness made it likable for me. It didn’t need much overthinking and analysis. The show just is what it is. It was simple and easy to accept. Also probably why other people didn’t like it.

It’s sad that this series got cancelled just as it was starting to get better and show promise. It did not even get the chance to gain the following it deserves. Why ABC, WHY?? The show has a typical storyline, that’s for sure. What makes it different though is that it’s not your typical couple match, race-wise. It’s refreshing to see an Asian leading man which is not typical in Hollywood TV shows.

Karen Gillan and John Cho show pretty good chemistry onscreen. They have a cute, awkward friendship that slowly turns into something more. RomCom recipe at its finest. Pardon me but I’m a sucker for those kinds of love stories.

I would’ve been a follower of this show. If only it weren’t cancelled. 😦 How can reality shows extend for so many seasons yet shows like this get cut after just a few episodes? Argh.

[MOVIE] Not Another Happy Ending.

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The only reason I watched this movie was because of Karen Gillan. Being a Doctor Who fan, I recently Googled this actress and found out she was in this movie.. oh and a TV series called Selfie. This post is about the movie, NOT ANOTHER HAPPY ENDING, though. I’ll talk about Selfie on some other post.

The story is about a novelist named Jane Lockhart who successfully releases a best-selling novel after her book was published by a publishing company owned by Tom Duval. You don’t need to know the whole story but you know this guy would be her love interest.

Jane and Tom became close while they were editing her first book. Everything was going well – they were getting along, they had fun together, enjoyed each other’s company up until she found out that Tom decided to change the title of her book to “HAPPY ENDING.” This was such a big issue for her since although it was a work of fiction, the story was mostly based on her life story, which was focused on the troubles and pain she suffered after her father abandoned her and her mother.

Jane was so offended by what Tom did to her that she decides to change publishers as soon as she finishes her 2nd book which she is required to do as agreed upon in the contract. In the process of writing her novel, when she reaches the final stages, with just one chapter left to write, she suffers from a writer’s block.

The rest of the movie is about Tom’s attempts to make Jane’s life more miserable as he believes that she is suffering from writer’s block since she is currently happy and satisfied with her love life, her relationship with her father and her life in general. Tom believes that she draws inspiration from her painful memories/experiences and is only able to write during times of sadness.

Little does he know (Jane also does not realize this at first) that she is not able to finish the novel as subconsciously, she is reluctant to finish her contract with Tom’s company as this would mean they would no longer have any reason to see each other. Jane is visited throughout the movie by the character of her new book to constantly be a reminder or be the conscience of why she is not able to finish her book.

No need to tell you that this movie ends in a Happy Ending. It’s a typical rom-com movie that satisfies to some extent but sort of comes short in convincing how they end up falling in love with each other. I was expecting something deeper than just a few scenes of them together working on the book. They did look happy and seemed to get along but I did not buy that they fell in love with each other with just that.

I don’t get why the poster of this movie includes the characters of Roddy and Nicola (I had to look them up). They obviously were the minor characters that ended up together but their story was not really focused upon that I don’t see why they would be sharing the poster space with the main characters.

NinthMelody rating: 2.5 – 3/5

[MOVIE] Guardians of the Galaxy.

18b149286ca6f2920e017bd5d2ffcbf5Watched it, finally! I can now relate to people when they say, “I AM GROOT!

It was a pretty badass movie. I like how Zoe Saldana always has such badass characters, in this movie as Gamora. That’s awesome! AVATAR, The Losers, Star Trek and Guardians of the Galaxy… *google search* Ok, I looked her up and I did not realize she was in CROSSROADS, the Britney Spears movie that everyone criticized. I don’t remember hating that movie, oddly enough. Probably because I watched it during the Britney Spears era and she was a role model to me.

Moving on, Guardians of the Galaxy is a fun movie to watch. It has action, comedy, drama and a bit of romance. I like how a bunch of unlikely friends eventually come together to save the galaxy. Hesitant at first and with much friction among them, yet they managed to pull it off.

One of the things I first noticed about the opening was the name Karen Gillan. AMY POND! Yes, I watch Doctor Who. I have recently become a fan… I’m still watching the 6th series but I’m slowly getting there! Anyway, I was curious to see what Karen Gillan’s character would be in this movie but I could not find her. Until I heard this very familiar, Scottish accent. BAM! AMY POND! I mean, Nebula. It’s cool how they made her unrecognizable with her character makeup and getup.

Peter Quill is such a quirky character and Chris Pratt really portrayed it well. He turned out to be quite a charmer after losing that beer belly of his. Dancing his way through problems, not a bad idea for a human.

GROOT and ROCKET. A weird but adorable combo. I want a dancing, baby Groot! I also did not expect them to be Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper respectively. Cute.

Drax, a bulky, badass criminal eventually becoming soft-hearted and endearing to his “friends,” aww… He merely became a criminal after seeking revenge on Ronan who killed his wife and daughter. After he found out how sticking to Peter Quill and the gang could lead him to Ronan, he was all aboard.

Guardians of the Galaxy is definitely one of the most recommended movies of the year. It’s a shame I did not get to watch it in the cinema. I bet it would’ve been epic.

NinthMelody rating: 3.5 – 4/5

Literature.

You know how back in school, when you are asked to read a certain work of literature by an author and then they expect you to analyze the words used, the imagery shown, specific choice of language, etc. and you are just left stumped. “I’m not the author. How am I supposed to know why he thought of it like that?” 

After reading 4 books of John Green, I realized something. He does have a certain writing style and recurring themes which I wouldn’t have noticed had I only read one. This led to another realization: Why did they make us read just one book of an author when they expected us to comment on and analyze his writing style.  It is extremely difficult to have a sense of the author’s style and techniques if you simply read just one of his works without any basis of comparison. That’s like having a dish you’ve never tasted before and expecting you to gauge whether it’s good or not.

Given the opportunity to go back in time (in a TARDIS, maybe), I would’ve probably read more of the works of the author we were studying to have a better idea of what messages the author was trying to send out through his body of work.