Mel’s 5 Second First Impression: The Shannara Chronicles

The Shannara Chronicles (2016-present)
(Season 1 cast) Austin Butler, Poppy Drayton, Ivana Baquero, Manu Bennett, John Rhys-Davies, Aaron Jakubenko, Daniel MacPherson, Marcus Vanco, Emilia Burns, Brooke Williams, James Remar, Jed Brophy

the-shannara-chronicles

I read about half of the first book in the series more than 12 years ago. I don’t remember much about it, nor do I know why I stopped reading it, since I was really enjoying it. I do remember enough, however, to know that this series takes place in the second generation of books. Wil, our hero, is the son of Shea, the youngster in the first books (of which there are 3, I think). I’ve recently re-bought The Sword of Shannara, and plan to read it soon, which has me wondering how much more of this show I want to watch before I do so. But for now, let’s talk about the first episode, the two-hour pilot, called Chosen.

They certainly packed a lot of info into that 2 hours (or hour and a half, once commercials are removed). There are no less than 5 characters that seem like they’re going to be important, although with already one unexpected death under their belts, it may be that this show is going to be more surprising than anticipated. Which is good. The acting is pretty good all round, if a little melodramatic at times. The effects look pretty stellar so far, the makeups on the demons are great. The only thing I’d have to say about it is that it seems to be the same old story again. There wasn’t much that happened in the show that wasn’t in The Lord of the Rings and other such titles. But, this was only the first episode. I’ll definitely continue watching, and hopefully it’ll grow it’s own two legs to stand on.

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Spiderwick Chronicles

The Spiderwick Chronicles
(2008) Freddie Highmore, Sarah Bolger, Mary-Louise Parker, Martin Short, Seth Rogan, Nick Nolte, Joan Plowright, David Strathairn, and Andrew McCarthy

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Greatly under-rated, this film should be at the top with the other great fantasy films. But, and I’m not sure why, it was mostly overlooked when it came out. Most of the time if I mention it, I get a response of “The what? What’s that?” And that shouldn’t be. It’s a wonderful story with family ties at its core, but it doesn’t come off as preachy or saccharine. The acting is all wonderful and the creatures are all fun, with only Martin Short over-doing the voice work, which he always does anyways. If you like fantasy films, I highly reccomend this one. I give it a wonderful 9/10.

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, nor did I find a full version on YouTube, but it’s more than worth the price of a rental or buy. Enjoy! 🙂

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Frankenweenie

Frankenweenie
(2012) Charlie Tahan, Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Winona Ryder, Atticus Shaffer, Robert Capron, James Hiroyuki Liao, and Conchata Ferrell

?????????????

So I finally saw this film. It’s been months now that I hardly watch movies anymore. I used to watch a few a week, now I’m lucky to watch one a month. But I digress… This film is a breath of fresh air coming from Tim Burton. His films have just been so tired lately, all style and no substance, so despite how cute the trailers for this film looked, I was reluctant to watch. But I’m glad I finally did, because it was quite fun. It’s a touching story of a boy and his dog… his undead dog, hehe. There are winks to classic horror films all over the film, from the obvious main plot and character names, to smaller things, like the way the science teacher looks and sounds like Vincent Price. Like the Asian kid making a giant reptile who stomps on cars. Like the poodle with Bride of Frankenstein fur. And etc, and etc. It had a few really sad scenes, and I actually laughed out loud a few times, they got some good gags in there. All in all, a fun little film, I reccomend it if you like weird stuff. And if you don’t, well, I reccomend it anyways. Who knows, you may be surprised! I give it a solid 8/10.

This film is not currently on Netflix, nor did I find it on YouTube. But if you’ve got Video on Demand, it’s playing there. Enjoy! 🙂

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Warm Bodies

Warm Bodies
(2013) Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer, Analeigh Tipton, Rob Corddry, Dave Franco, and John Malkovich

warm-bodies

So, I’m not the biggest fan of zombie movies. I’ve seen the original Night of the Living Dead, and while I enjoyed it, it’s definitely not my favorite anything. I just find the whole genre a little dumb. It has to be really good, and contain a lot more than just shambling dead folks to keep my attention. When I saw the trailers for Warm Bodies, I almost peed myself. A zombie comedy that also has a love story? I definitely had to see this. It was way funnier than I had even expected, while still managing to have some good, tense moments, and the romance, while really being the whole point of the “humanizing” that’s happening to the shufflers, is not shoved in your face. Anyone saying that this is just Twilight with zombies needs to shut up and actually go see the movie. It was well written, well acted, and well filmed. And it was really awesome to be able to pick out Montreal landmarks! Had I known it was being filmed in my home town, I may have enjoyed hanging around to catch a glimpse of the zombies in action. All in all, it’s a very entertaining film, and I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up! (And 10/10, hehe.)

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, nor did I find a version on YouTube, but it’s more than worth the price of a rental, or even to buy. The novel it’s based on, by Isaac Marion, is also worth your time. Enjoy!

 

M.

Mel’s (Slightly Longer Than) 5 Second(s) Review: Epic

Epic
(2013) Amanda Seyfried, Josh Hutcherson, Colin Farrell, Christoph Waltz, Aziz Ansari, Chris O’Dowd, Steven Tyler, Jason Sudeikis, Pitbull, and Beyoncé Knowles

Epic

First off, let me just say that I watched this film with my son at the in-law’s place, so I saw it in the Québec french version, which means the cast looks a little less like the names I wrote above, and a little more like this: Stéfanie Dolan, Xavier Dolan, Martin Watier, Denis Gravereaux, Sébastien Reding, Alexis Lefebvre, Garou, and Geneviève Désilets. Also, as is very often the case with translated movies, a lot of the jokes and subtleties are lost in translation, so much so that translated films lose much of their original charm, which is why I always prefer to watch films in their original language. Not to mention the fact that the voices never quite seem to fit with the character’s look and lip movement, and that drives me insane. It’s a bit less distracting in an animated film, but I do prefer hearing the original version, even if it’s in a language that I don’t know. I can read, and that’s what subtitles are for. I speak and understand almost perfectly in french, but sometimes they talk too fast, or use slang that I’m unfamiliar with, and I’m apt to lose bits and pieces here and there.

Alright, now that that’s out of the way, on to the review! The story reminds me a lot of Arthur and the Invisibles, which is not a bad thing at all, since I loved that film. Epic isn’t quite as good as that one, but it’s not far behind. The animation is lovely, in a slightly different style than we’re used to seeing, and the voice-acting, in the french version anyways, is good. It’s a wonderful tale of fighting to preserve nature, kinda reminiscent of Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, which is also not a bad thing. My son loved it (he’s the reason I sat down to watch it in the first place, he absolutely wanted mommy snuggles while watching the film, so I put aside my dislike of translated films to please him, hehe), and I enjoyed it enough that I’m going to go ahead and watch the original version, to catch all the things I may have missed in the translation. The characters are all likable, and there were a few laugh out loud scenes that had both my son and I guffawing. I was a little disappointed at the end of the film, (SPOILER ALERT!!) because I really wanted MK to stay with the little people. Actually, what I was hoping for was that she and her father would be welcomed into their world. The new queen didn’t even ask if she wanted to stay or not, and so MK and Nod had to say their goodbyes super fast, and only got a single kiss because of it. The romantic in me felt gypped, hehe. But all in all, it was a very entertaining film, and I give it a solid 7.5/10. And who knows, maybe once I see it in english, the rating will go up a bit 🙂

The film is currently streaming on Netflix. Enjoy!

 

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Lost Boys

The Lost Boys
(1987) Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Keifer Sutherland, Jami Gertz, Corey Feldman, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Jamison Newlander, Alex Winter, Billy Wirth, Brooke McCarter, Chance Michael Corbitt, Folsom the Dog, and Cody the Dog

the-lost-boys

This is one of my top 10 movies of all time. Actually, it’s probably my number 1 favorite of all time. It was the first vampire movie I ever saw, and was the beginning of a life-long love affair with all things that go bump in the night. I was 6 years old when this film came out, and when my mom brought it home on VHS, she hid it saying it was too scary for me. So of course I had to see it. I probably saw it a dozen times already by the time she caught me, and since I hadn’t had any of the nightmares she promised I would have if I saw scary movies, she just sighed and let me watch whatever I wanted from that point on. The story isn’t really anything new (I’m not even sure there’s any original ideas left anywhere), but the ride is so fun that it doesn’t matter. Their vampires are the “real” deal; they’re strong, fast, sexy and oh so evil, just the way vamps aught to be, hehe. If for some strange reason you haven’t seen this little classic gem yet, go do it now!! I obviously give it 10/10 😀

This film isn’t currently on Netflix, nor did I manage to find a full copy on YouTube, but it’s definitely worth the 10 bucks or so it costs on DVD. Go ahead, don’t be cheap!! hehe

 

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Rock & Rule

Rock & Rule
(1983) Don Francks, Susan Roman, Paul Le Mat, Dan Hennessey, Greg Duffel, Chris Wiggins, Brent Titcomb, Catherine Gallant, Martin Lavut, Samantha Langevin and Catherine O’Hara

Rock & Rule

One of my very favourite cartoons is the greatly under-rated Rock & Rule. It’s set in a post-apocalyptic future where humans are extinct, but the animals have mutated into human-like beings. Think Goofy and Mickey Mouse, just… sexy :-p . It’s a musical extravaganza about an aging rock star who kidnaps a beautiful young singer when he finds out that her voice is the key to opening a hell-portal, releasing malevolent demons. The music is great, too, performed by some of classic rock’s greatest bands: Blondie’s Deborah Harry, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Earth Wind and Fire, and Cheap Trick. If you haven’t seen it yet, I reccomend it very much! 10/10!

This film is not currently on Netflix. I located a copy on YouTube, but it’s not the best quality. It might be a little hard to find a physical copy of the original, but if you can find one, it’s definitely worth the price. But I’ll be nice and link the YouTube version anyways, hehe. Enjoy!

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Fever Dream audiobook

Fever Dream (2010)
Written by: Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Read by: René Auberjonois

Fever Dream

Would I listen to Fever Dream again? Why?
No, but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it. I very rarely read books more than once, no matter how much I liked it. There are only a small handful of books that I’ve read more than once.

Did the plot keep me on the edge of my seat? How?
Honestly, it’s not really an edge-of-seat kind of book. But it did keep me interested, and that’s the whole point, right?

Additional comments?
This is book 10 in the Pendergast series, and unfortunately, as is the case with a lot of long running series, it’s starting to lose a bit of steam. I still enjoyed it, but compared to their earlier books, from Relic to The Book of the Dead (1 to 7), it’s not in the same league. 1 to 7 were absolutely incredible, but they slowly seem to be running out of juice. There are 2 or 3 more books in the series for me to read still, I just hope the decline isn’t too constant.

Enjoy! 🙂

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: The Demonologist audiobook

The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren
Written by: Gerald Brittle
Read by: Todd Haberkorn

demonologist

Would I recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Yes, definitely! I loved it! Superbly read by Todd Haberkorn. I don’t believe for a moment that everything (or even anything) in the book is actually true, but it was nonetheless a fascinating read. Two enthusiastic thumbs up! 😀

What about Todd Haberkorn’s performance did I like?
He gave each character his own unique voice without sounding silly, which is harder than you might think. Especially for a horror story. His demon voices were especially well done, very creepy.

Was this a book I wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes! And that’s exactly what I did! It was the first time I’d done that, hehe. It was “only” 10 hours though, so it’s not too bad.

Additional comments?
If you like supernatural stuff, and especially if you liked the film The Conjuring, you’ll probably like this as much as I did then.

Enjoy!! 🙂

M.

Mel’s 5 Second Review: Jennifer’s Body

Jennifer’s Body
(2009) Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, Kyle Gallner, Sal Cortez, Ryan Levine, Juan Riedinger, Chris Pratt, JK Simmons and Amy Sedaris

jennifer's body

Looking past Megan Fox’s “acting”, I actually quite enjoyed Jennifer’s Body. No, obviously, it’s not Shakespeare, but really, it wasn’t trying to be. This a story about a teenage girl who gets possessed by an evil spirit and starts eating the high school boys, for heaven’s sake. What on earth were you expecting? Taken as what it is, it’s quite a fun little film. The perfect popcorn flick. With the added bonus of a lot of eye candy. Seriously, where do all these kids come from? There were no Megan Fox’s or Amanda Seyfried’s, or Kyle Gallner’s even, in my high school! But I digress… So yeah, put your brain on pause, make a giant bowl of popcorn and give it a whirl. It’s a fun 7.5/10.

This movie is currently streaming on Netflix. Enjoy! 🙂

 

M.