Posted in Miscellaneous Media

Mockingjay Part 1

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The night before last, I went to the premier of Mockingjay Part 1. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited for it. Mockingjay was my least favorite book out of the trilogy. Now, as I share my thoughts on the movie, keep in mind that it has been years since I’ve read the book, so I can’t really comment on just how accurate the movie was in comparison to the novel.  Continue reading “Mockingjay Part 1”

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District 9

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District 9 is a sci-fi actiony-thrillery type film that plays a bit like a documentary. It’s about an alien ship that lands over Johannesburg. Inside the ship awaits a large group of malnourished aliens which later are called prawns by some of the humans. The human population brings the aliens to a temporary housing facility with humanitarian intentions. The temp. housing quickly becomes a permanent ghetto. The majority of the film takes place twenty years after the aliens’ arrival. There’s a lot of tension between prawns and humans. A group called the MNU is trying to evict the aliens and move them to a new facility, but the group is kinda corrupt. I won’t go too much more into the plot, but I found it to be interesting. Continue reading “District 9”

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The Battle of Algiers

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Wow. Okay. I watched this movie for my postcolonial lit. class. Wow. Let me say, it was a difficult movie to sit through. The Battle of Algiers is about none other than the Battle of Algiers. I went into it not really knowing anything about the struggle between France and Algeria, and while I still don’t have a ton of historical information, I certainly got a bit of a feel for what the violence looked like. It was gruesome. The torture scenes were horrific to watch even if they were brief. Scenes of taking bodies out of the rubble after an explosion were heartbreaking.

The film itself was very well produced, but the content was just too difficult for me. That’s not to say I don’t think I should have watched it. Watching this movie gave me more context to help me understand the books we are reading in my class, again, it was just incredibly difficult to get through. Because of this, I wouldn’t exactly say I reccomend this movie, but none the less, I do believe it’s important.

I know this post was really brief, but I’ve gotten behind on writing about the movies and books I’ve completed, so things are getting fuzzy.

Posted in Miscellaneous Media

The Giver (Film)

 

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Since I’ve seen this movie twice in theaters now, I figured it was about time I put my thoughts on it out there for you all to read at your leisure. The Giver is yet another dystopian society story. As with many of the movies that come out nowadays, The Giver is based upon a book. I happened to read this book in junior high about six or seven years ago. The novel entranced me. It was right about the time that I became really interested in reading, so after completing this novel for class I quickly picked up the sequels. I know this review is for the movie, but seriously, I highly recommend these books.

Alrighty. Due to the fact that it has been such a long time since I read this book, I cannot give a decent comparison between the book and the movie. I did recognize several of the changes, but I know I didn’t catch all of them. Yes they did make the characters older. I was okay with this change because I understand that if this movie was about twelve year olds, not nearly as many people would go out to see it. They also slipped in a bit of romance, which for cinematic purposes, I was fine with, but that wasn’t there in the books and it wasn’t necessary. I also heard that the only stipulation the author had was that this movie was not to become a teen-romance, which is what sorta-kinda happened. If you care about the rest of the changes, I recommend going somewhere else, because I’m not going to list them out and I wouldn’t know how to talk about them without giving away spoilers.

As a movie, I did enjoy it. It may not have been the fastest paced plot line, but it was almost as entrancing as when I first read the book.

Visually, The Giver is attractive even without a bunch of flashy costumes or explosions. The cast’s attire is what you would expect from a dystopian society that focuses on sameness and equality-plain and without distinction. The sameness is also represented in anything the characters own-the houses, bikes, schedules-it’s all perfectly equal. (Which makes me want to write about my opinion of equality vs. fairness, but I’ll save that for another time.) Anywho, the matter in which the makers of the film chose to present the world and everything in it allows for the community’s ideals to shine without having to get into any kind of lengthy explanation.  I also loved the use of black and white in the beginning which is in-line with the book. It is incredibly important to fully understand the plot and was executed well.

As far as characters go, Jonas is easy to care about. He struggles with many of the same things that real people his age struggle with, such as the exploration his emotions, feeling as if he doesn’t have a place, and his relationship with the world around him, whether that be with his close friends and families or his role in the community. While the events that allow him to explore these difficulties are very different from the ones that you or I would face, the root of each issue is something that many people must face. I felt for him because even though he was technically privileged with power in his society, he was also burdened with alienation, for no one could understand his training or job even if he was allowed to talk about it. His attitude towards Gabe also increases my affection for Jonas as a character. I won’t tell you what happens, but I feel there is quite a bit of love shown between not only Jonas and his pseudo love interest, but between Jonas and Gabe. It mirrors the love between Jonas and the Giver as well. This love is something that is absent in the communities. Even though they are unaware of those emotions, it’s sad to see a world with only surface affection and not an ounce of deep love.

To sum it up, I would recommend this movie whether or not you have read the book. (and if you haven’t read the book-jump on it, it’s a great series) I’ve seen it twice now. Once because I knew I needed to see this movie as soon as I was aware they were making one of my most beloved books into a movie, and the second time with my friends for my roommate Gina’s birthday. All of us enjoyed it. For those of us who were familiar with the story, it was a nice trip back to a tale we read when we were younger, but for those who were completely unaware of the plot, it was a wonderful immersion into an unknown world with well-written characters and struggles.

Feel free to leave your thoughts on the movie or the book in the comments below.

 

Posted in Books, Miscellaneous Media

Harry Potter: My History

Practically everyone knows the story of Harry Potter. In fact, it wasn’t until I got to college that I met people my own age who had never read a single Harry Potter book or watched any of the movies. For me and my childhood peers, Harry Potter was a constant presence. It had just never crossed my mind that there would be people growing up in the Harry Potter era that wouldn’t partake in a world as magical as the one J.K. Rowling had created.

Recently I have decided to reread the series due in part to my lackluster attempts at being a good little English major who spends her whole summer working her way through a long list of novels, but also because the series simply means so much to me. But before I look closer at each book and movie, I thought it would be a good idea to delve into just why Harry Potter is as important to me as it is. In a sense, I have decided to document and share my Harry Potter History.

My first introduction to the series was infact the movies, not the books. I went to see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in theaters when I was in first grade. Of course I was enthralled. I can’t think of a movie that has ever excited me as much as The Sorcerer’s Stone excited six-year-old-me.

I continued to watch the movies as they came out, but never read the books. My sister was an avid reader, but young Katie had quite a bit of difficulty in that area. In all honesty, I had to be taken out of the regular reading and language arts classes that my peers took in order to receive extra help and catch up when I was in elementary school.

By the time I entered junior high, I was all caught up and perfectly proficient when it came to reading comprehension. And as the Harry Potter movies fan that I was, I decided that it was time that I finally read the series. Oh boy. I devoured those babies. In no longer than two weeks, I had read all seven novels. They were simply magical.

From that point on, Harry Potter was not just a series of movies that I made sure I saw in theaters. They were my favorite books, my companions, and my catalyst. Harry Potter had awakened in me a thirst for stories that I do not believe will ever be fully quenched. I think that’s the real magic that Rowling created, not the spells she imagined for her characters to use, but the love of reading that she instilled in a generation. Had I never picked up Harry Potter, I may never have learned to love reading to the degree that I do. Without my love of reading, there is no way I would seriously be considering a major in English. In fact, I would probably be going to a different college, therefore having completely different experiences than those I am having now. My whole life would be different and probably not as good.

So thank you J. K. Rowling. Your books have meant the world to me.