Jun 7, 2010

Now that I've been to Harry Potter World my life is complete

I and I am sure you ahve noticed that my reviews tend to lean towards the cinematic fashion, but this past week I had the distinct pleasure of going to Harry Potter World in Orlando before the June 18th grand opening. I'll give you a moment to gasp in envy. ... you good? moving on.
First off let me say this, no reviews, no pictures, no videos will ever do this park justice. They need to just chop it off and make it its own park. It is so perfectly secluded in the park that you really feel like you're entering a different continent. There are no clues as you make your way closer, you just round a corner and BAM Hogsmeade. Don't be ashamed if you pee yourself a little. I know I did. It met all my expectations and then some.
When you enter you are greeted by the Hogwarts express and a row of shops. The stores are made like the books so its very cramped but still very cool. All the shops are colorful and true to the books. The workers are committed to their roles and extremely friendly. The sweets are all delicious, from the chocolaty overload of the cauldron cakes to the surprisingly delicious pumpkin juice, Universal made few errors.
Then of course there is the butterbeer. Oh my giddy God's trousers it was delicious. Imagine someone flattened out a cream soda, squeezed in butterscotch and topped it off with the most delicious whip cream ever created. Bottle that crap up cuz I'm addicted. You have the option of getting cold or frozen but I highly recommend the cold.
As you walk down the lanes of Hogsmeade, workers treat you to shows of harmonizing frogs and acrobatic Beauxbatons and Durmstrangs. Pause for entertainment, because they truly were a treat and then continue on to the piece de resistance, the forbidden journey ride housed in a life size Hogwarts castle. No ride could ever possibly compare to this one. First of all you get to tour the castle and see all the wonders in the book like the mirror or erisad, the Griffindor common room, Dumbledore's office, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. On top of that is some truly great holographics and special effects throughout. Than of course is the ride. It's hard to explain but I'll do my best. You sit in a chair four seats wide and make your way through the castle on an enchanted flying seat. You battle a dragon, play some quidditch, and fight off some giant spiders. All the while, you move between video and real life seemlessly.
The park was incredible. To describe everything in it would take years but it is truly a magical experience for muggles and Harry Potter nerds alike.

May 20, 2010

Robin Hood a boring, confusing mess

Very rarely is it that a movie bores as badly as Robin Hood did. I'm usually able to find something in the film that validates it in some way, such is not the case for Robin Hood. It is not the story of the Robin Hood we all know and love, though Ridley Scott thinks it is since he fails to explain anything. Instead, this 2 1/2 hour snooze fest is the prologue of Robin, how he came to be. I applaud Scott for taking a different and historically accurate approach to a story that has seen its share of remakes, but if you're going to do a new story, don't assume that everyone knows it. The plot line was confusing and the writing was meager at best. Storyline jumped from one event to the next with no transition or reason. Why is Robin fed up with his king? Why is France upset with England? Why are they so freaked out to return to England when it was their idea to return? Why is the French chick talking like Miss Cleo? I was able to piece facts together because I passed history in high school but don't assume everyone is as brilliant as me Scott. Dialog was painfully absent from this film and the dialog that was present was laced with badly performed accents. The English sounded Irish, the French sounded Russian, and everyone else sounded American. This film was a poor excuse for a movie and on top of that it was so long. Usually when films are tedious like this, they make up for it with really awesome action but such was not the case. There was 2 sad fight scenes, both lacking in good stuff. Save yourself the 8 bucks and rent Robin Hood: Men in Tights instead. At least that one has dance numbers.

Apr 7, 2010

Child Thief puts dark twist on old classic

Alright, I know I've been lazy and haven't posted in a month, but I'm pretty sure the only people that read this are my mom and my boyfriend so until someone proves me wrong I'm gonna be lazy. Now that that's out there

I recently read The Child Thief by Brom. One word, he's an artist, nuff said. It was recommended by a friend. The book is based upon the Peter Pan story but in this Peter Pan, Peter is an outsider shunned by both man and myth. Through a course of events he ends up in Avalon (Neverland) where he befriends the river queen or some such. Unfortunately he makes enemies with some bratty prince and is once again shunned. He is forced to live outside the queen's forest, blah blah blah. Somehow in all this mess, men enter Avalon and begin war with the creatures. Peter takes it upon himself to fight back, he travels to and from the real world rescuing runaways and the abused so as they can fight his war.
The plot is complicated at best. There are multiple story lines, including Peter, the prince he made enemies with, and Nick: a runaway he brought in. The book is violent at parts, profane where it isn't needed, and confusing all the way through.
Luckily my brain works quick and I was able to for the most part enjoy the book. I would most certainly not recommend this book to any ADD kids or those easily offended. However, if you are neither of the above and can handle multiple story lines and some things being not really explained you'll probably like this book.
It gives a great new perspective of Peter Pan and the imagery is great. Also, it has some beautiful illustrations as the author is an artist as well.
Read it if you like Peter Pan and in depth story lines.
Don;t read it if you get distracted easily or you really like the Disney Peter Pan.

Mar 7, 2010

You'd have to be as mad as a hatter to like Alice in Wonderland which luckily, I am

Oh Tim Burton, you know me so well. I have been anxiously awaiting Alice in Wonderland ever since I heard Tim Burton was remaking it. It surprises me it took him this long to do it. And for as long as I've been waiting I would have been incredibly disappointed if it sucked, but Tim Burton knows what I like and delivered.
Unfortunately 75% of the viewing audience did not understand it AT ALL. I was the only one laughing! Seriously. If you are going to see a Tim Burton movie you have to expect that the humor is going to be in the macabre. If you don't understand Tim Burton then don't take up space. Seriously.
Back to the actual movie. The previews do not do it justice at all. Every character was so well portrayed and acted. It was refreshing not to see the same old take on the classic. Helena Bonham Carter was hilarious as the big headed Red Queen and Anne Hathaway while weird looking, was quite amusing as the White Queen. I don't think she once put her arms at her sides. Johnny Depp was of course awesome as the somewhat bipolar Mad Hatter. I have very little negative things to say about this movie.
Except one.
Dear Hollywood:
STOP WITH THE 3D! There was absolutely no need to make any of the movie in 3D. I get that it gives better graphics yada yada. But if you are one of the many visually challenged like me, you will only end up watching this movie cross-eyed! whoever had the idea to bring 3D back needs to be punched in the face. Somebody find that guy and punch him in the face for me. Then take a picture and send it to me.

Feb 19, 2010

Melting Pot melts in your mouth

If you have a chance to go to the Melting Pot, a unique fondue restaurant in Huntsville and other cities, take it. The experience is unlike anything you'll ever have.
First of all was the setting. Located in a secluded section of Bridgestreet Towncenter on the second floor, it's a quest just trying to find it. Make sure you get there early like we did in case you get lost. The setting of the restaurant is almost a maze of tables and walls making it so each table is sectioned off, giving you a feeling a privacy and romance.
The menu is laid out into cheeses, salads, entrees, and deserts. everything except the salad is partially cooked at your table. I will admit, the cheese was funky, but in a good way. We got a platter which ment we were able to select one item from each thing on the menu. We chose a Wisconsin cheese and it was potent. It used a lot of blue cheese which gave it an odd kick. It wasn't bad, but I don't know if it is something I'd try again. Next up was salads, nothing to marvel at there. Salad is salad. The entree was something like an herb and spices broth with a platter of raw meats that you drop in the broth and cook yourself. We had a selection of chicken, lobster, shrimp, steak, ravioli, sausage, and veggies. The food takes about 10 minutes to cook, give or take, but the longer you leave it in the better it tastes. Each meat sucked up all the flavor of the broth making for an awesoem and interesting taste. Along with that, they provide a selection of dipping sauces for your meat.
But, OMG, nothing...nothing compared to the desert. We got the Yin Yang desert which is a mix of dark chocolate and white chocolate prepared to look like its namesake. To dip we had strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, brownies, marshmallows, and rice crispies. The chocolate was just the right balance of sweet and the way it melts in your mouth was unbelievable. It was hands down the best chocolate covered strawberry I have ever had, and I had to restrain from licking the bowl.
On top of wonderful food was great service. The waitresses made sure our glasses were always full but still managed to give us our privacy. It was kind of pricey but definitely worth it for a special occasion. It was the perfect atmosphere for a night you'll never forget.

Feb 3, 2010

Percy and the Olympians fun and easy read

Recently, I've been seeing previews for the new movie Percy and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. The preview looked really good and I remember a friend telling me about the book and being a person who doesn't like to read the book after the fact, I went and picked it up. The first thing you should know is that the reading level is for like 10-15. That didn't really phase me, some of the best books are for young adults. Look at Harry Potter. I found myself proven right. The Lightning Thief was a great read! It didn't feel like I was dumbing myself down to read it. The only young adult theme was that Percy was 12 and there was no sexuality or vulgarity, which is fine by me. Another thing was the the huge elements of Greek mythology. I LOVE Greek mythology so this book was right up my alley. The action sequences were quick but plentiful, and Rick Riordan's twist upon one of my favorite subjects was really interesting. The book was great. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes Greek mythology, a quick read, or just doesn't want to be out of the loop in the movie.

Jan 25, 2010

The Rock Does Not Dissapoint in Tooth Fairy

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson very rarely disappoints me in his movies and such was the case in his most recent kids' comedy The Tooth Fairy. Plot line being a minor league hockey player known as The Tooth Fairy for his ability to knock his opponents teeth out is sentenced ti serve as The Tooth Fairy for his ability to destroy his young fans dreams. The movie starts out slow, I won't lie. It takes about 20 minutes to get its rhythm, but Billy Crystal and Julie Andrews' entrance onto the screen get you laughing until the end. From Andrews' SUPER cheesy entrance where she flutters, wings, harps, and light all, to the lobby of Fairy Land to Billy Crystal and his ridiculously corny jokes you can't help but laugh at the movie keeps you entertained. And of course who can forget the Rock, whether it be his tiny voice as he shrinks down, or his antics with his Tooth Fairy merch, or of course his magical epiphany scene as he learns to fly, he's hilarious. One recommendation, if you are taking your kids to see it, don't be that douche bag that lets them scream and clap. It's freaking annoying.

Jan 22, 2010

I'm the only person on the planet that liked All About Steve

That's right people, I LIKED All About Steve. Let me say one thing to all the critics that slammed it as a horrible movie: it's a comedy, they don't have to be serious, they don't need a stellar plot. Ok, there wasn't much of a plot at all but that just added to its hilarity in my opinion. Come on! Sad sap girl trying to make a man love her by chasing him everywhere turns into a hero by saving deaf kids from a mine shaft! I laughed just typing that! It's funny because it's stupid. Plus, it's got like half the cast of the Hangover in it. It's stupid comedy gold. Yes it screams pathetic stalker and yes it has no plot but you know what, I left the theater happy with my abs hurting so it couldn't have been all that bad. Sometimes it's nice to just go to a movie to watch Sandra Bullock make a fool of herself. So, take that stick out of your bum, turn your mind off for a night, and enjoy a movie that has absolutely no point.

Jan 20, 2010

Blueberry Mango Muffin recipe

Alright, so last night I made some blueberry mango muffins to experiment a little with flavors. I was expecting an explosion of fruity goodness but instead I was met with a very light muffin perfect for breakfast. It was really simple to make and you can experiment with your own flavors. This is what I had in the fridge.
Here's the recipe, it's Betty Crocker
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup veggie oil
1 egg
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 400. mix all the liquids, than add the powders. If you add too much flour the muffins will be dry so make sure you scrape off any excess. You can add a little extra milk if you think it's a little thick. As for he fruit you can pick any you want, I went with blueberries and mangoes. If you are doing mangoes I recommend getting some precut cuz it's a bitch and a half to chop a mango and it's also extremely messy. if you're like me you can puree the fruit so it's not too chunky in the muffins. It also makes for a more even distribution of flavor. If you want something sweet which these aren't really, go with chocolate chips. Stick them in the oven for like 15 minutes or until the tops are golden brown and don't squish too much when you touch them.

Jan 19, 2010

Leap Year pleasant at best

So last week my boyfriend and I went to see Leap Year after hearing numerous good things about it. All I can say is it was pleasant. I didn't hate it; I didn't love it.
Amy Adams was of course wonderful as Anna: a woman flying to Ireland on Leap Day to propose to her boyfriend who is apparently lacking in the balls to do it himself. She can't do much wrong to me and frankly she was probably the only reason I had interest in seeing it. Matthew Goode did a respectable job as the grouchy Irish man trying to save his bar by charging Anna 500 euros to take her to Dublin. He would have been much more enjoyable however clean shaven. All I could think the whole movie was SHAVE YOUR NASTY BEARD! but that's personal preference.
Overall the movie was predictable, as chick flicks are ought to be. The funniest moments were when the old Irish guys were arguing over superstitions.
The soundtrack however, was awesome and I applaud whoever was in charge of that.
Like I said, the movie was pleasant. I'd say rent it. It's not too sappy for the boyfriend to enjoy, mine did.

Jan 17, 2010

It is born

Hello world or friends that actually clicked on the link I posted on facebook,
It was recommended to me by my advisor that if i want to be successful in the journalism world then I should blog, so here I am...blogging. I'm not just blogging about anything though. No, you will not come here everyday to hear that I had fish sticks for dinner or that the customers I deal with are morons- although they are- I am here to give you my humble opinion of, well, everything. If I read something new, see a new movie, hear new music, eat somewhere new, or any other action deemed worthy of an opinion I will post it. And what better to start with than a HORRIBLE book.
The book I am referring to is Marked by P.C. Cast and Kristen Cast. "Gasp!" you say, "It's about vampires, so it therefore must be an award winning work of literature!"
WRONG! May I be the 87,000th person to say I am sick to death of this whole vampire crap. Come on! There are so many better things to write about. It's played out! But back to my critique.
I may have been a little more lenient of my scathing if the books was written for the target audience of which it comes across, but it is not. This book is clearly targeted to a demographic of 17-25 as there are sexual scenes, profanity, and some attempts at disturbing imagery. However it is written like an 11 year old preteen fan girl writing her first piece of fanfic instead of an experienced author and a journalism major daughter. The language is immature. The style is juvenile at best, and the lack of solidity in the writing drives me insane! Every three sentences are interrupted by the inane thoughts if the narrator that have no business being part of the book.
Now I will say the ending was more bearable than the beginning but just barely. The authors seemed to develop more of a rhythm and the text was interrupted far less but I can still not get over the idea that such shoddy material was the work of two grown women.
The only way I would ever recommend this book is if the only choices you had were Huckleberry Finn and this.
If you really want to read something about vampires, check out Dracula by Bram Stoker, The Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon, or Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore.