Jurassic Park 3D mini review

Welcome to Jurassic Park! 😀

When an older movie that was always good without 3D is converted to 3D, most people are apprehensive about paying to see it in theaters, when you can rent it on DVD. Especially a classic movie like Jurassic Park that most have seen at least once. (If you haven’t rent it ASAP! It’s a modern classic.)

Thankfully, this remaster doesn’t detract from the film but instead adds to it. The dinosaurs, especially the meat eating ones, look more frightening in 3D than they did in the original. Surprisingly, they didn’t have to retouch very much of the special effects. This 20 year-old film had held up incredibly well.

The other great thing about this version of JP, is the sound. Maybe it was just because I was in the IMAX, I don’t know, but the sound seemed like it was much better. The roar of the T.Rex was louder than I remember, and the sounds of dinos moving through the forest was thrilling and I almost wet my pants a few times.

Overall

I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars! You won’t regret paying extra for this movie in 3D.

Prometheus REVIEW

When a director makes a prequel to a Sci-fi or a Fantasy movie the film doesn’t always garner good reactions from fans of the franchise. (Like with the Star Wars prequel trilogy.) Prometheus is a prequel to the Alien series of movies.

Like Star Wars, Alien is a franchise that has had hits and misses. The first Alien film, called Alien was directed by Ridley Scott and was excellent. (Alien was successful due to making old monster Sci-fi new again.) The second film, Aliens, was directed by James Cameron, and had similar success.

As for the other two, well, they were horrible. They suffered from bad script writing and bad directing (Scott and Cameron skipped out on making these sequels). A part of me thought the series was finished.

Well, then Ridley Scott announced he was making a movie in the same universe as the Alien movies. But this time, there would be other aliens rather than the trademark Xenomorph from the other films. I was rather excited Scott was directing again.

But would Scott mess up this great opportunity? Keep reading to find out! : )

Cinematography

The first Alien came out in 1979. In Scott’s 33 year absence from the franchise, he has grown considerably in skill. I felt like I was walking with the characters among the rocky surface of the alien moon.

Also, the creature and sound effects are some of the greatest I’ve seen in a long time. Scott again has helped set a new standard in Sci-fi films.

Script

The script by John Spaihts (Wrote the film The Darkest Hour.) & Damon Lindelof (Yes Lost fans, he wrote many Lost episodes.) was well put together. The film reminded me a lot of Michael Crichton’s techno thriller novels like Jurassic Park, The Sphere, and Timeline.

You could call Prometheus a Horror movie, but unlike most new Horror movies this film doesn’t have mindless violence. Yes, there is blood, gore, and shocking twists but the movie tackles questions like “Did a creator and/or aliens create mankind or did evolution? If so, why?”, “What is right or wrong to do in the name of science?”, the age old question “Is it possible to cheat death?’, among others.

These questions make the movie a Sci-fi one rather than a Horror flick.

Acting

The cast is pretty strong. You have Noomi Rapace (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), Logan Marshall-Green (Devil), Michael Fassbender (X-Men: First Class), Idris Elba (Thor), Charlize Theron (Snow White & The Huntsman), and Guy Pearce (Lockout).

The actor who really steals the show is Michael Fassbender. His portrayal of an android is one of the best portrayals of a robot I’ve seen in modern Sci-fi films. And his character is one of my favorite Sci-fi Film Robots of all time.

If you don’t really like Sci-fi and love Dramas, at least see the film for Fassbender.

Overall I give the movie 5 out of 5 stars! Scott has done it again! Prometheus is a great Sci-fi movie for adults. (Keep children far away, since its R-rated.)

*NOTE: Before you see the film I would watch Alien and Aliens first.  There are tons of Easter Eggs.

Ray Bradbury: My farewell.

Photo from Wikipedia.

Have you ever read an author where you can read his books over and over again without getting tired? Well, Ray Bradbury was one of the few writers I never tired of reading. Sadly, he died Tuesday night. On June 5th, 2012.

When I read Farenheit 451 the first time I was amazed. It was back in Jr. High. I noticed the book on the bottom shelf at the school library, and picked it up out of curiosity. I saw an armored  firefighter in his black suit and beetle like helmet, spraying books with a hose that spat orange flames of blazing heat.

I checked out the book immediately.

The way Bradbury put his words together was amazing. The descriptive language was the best I had ever seen, and inspired me even more to keep writing, and to get to that point someday. I wanted to know his “secret” to writing. In that search I found his book  Zen in the Art of Writing.

Zen in the Art of Writing is on my shelf by my computer and writing books. To me it’s one of the best books about writing and how to inject life experiences into your writing. That is the exact reason why he succeeded.

He stayed true to himself. And he never gave up on his dreams.

I salute you Mr. Bradbury! When I get to heaven, I am looking forward to talking to you for hours on end.

Starforrgers By Ken McConnell REVIEW

Click image to buy from Amazon.com!

This is the third Ken McConnell book I’ve read and  the second I’ve reviewed for this blog. Here is the link to the Tyrmia review.

Starforgers is the first book in McConnell’s Star Trilogy. Starforgers is not related to Tyrmia in terms of story, but both tales are in the same universe.

The story is an origin story. It takes place many years before Tyrmia, at the beginning  of the Great War between the alien Votainions and Humans. This book is not the first one that was written in the trilogy. The first McConnell wrote was Starstrikers. The author  pulled a George Lucas by starting in the middle. If you read Starforgers first, then read Starstrikers, you’ll learn a lot more about the past in McConnell’s universe.

I’m not going to spoil the book, so let’s focus on the Writing, Characters, and Plot.

The writing was good for the most part. Short, quick and to the point. There were a few misspellings here and there, but not enough to make me stop reading.

The characters were fun to read. I got a clear idea on how they thought, and acted. Most of all, I found out why the characters acted the way they did. The dialogue between characters was realistic and fun to read. Also, like with Tyrmia,  the female characters are never damsels in distress. Rather. they are strong, and fight back. I think in Sci-fi and Fantasy too many women are helpless.  This book also debuted Androids as main characters. I think if C3P0 read this book, he would be proud. 🙂

The plot was probably the most complex the author has attempted. All the characters by the end of the tale cross paths, and the story arcs are wrapped up by the end of the book. The ending made me very excited for the last book in the series.

Overall this book was good. I give it 4 out of 5 stars!

Available only for the Kindle and Kindle Apps.

Nothing new under the sun……..

When I last drove my wheelchair into Borders at the Boise Mall, I immediately went to the Sci-fi & Fantasy aisle. I quickly scanned my eyes across the titles. I picked up a few, flipped through them, and read the backs. There was one thing I noticed. 50% of them reminded me of Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. They just weren’t original enough.
They were clones!!!
Well, not complete clones (no magic rings and no hobbits) but nonetheless I could find characters that were the same but having a different guise. I thought they were complete mimicries until I read an article by author Orson Scott Card (author of the sci-fi cult classic Ender’s Game) on his website. This is part of his opinion he wrote in the article:
“If the only science fiction novel you have read is Starship Troopers and then you read Ender’s Game, you’re going to go ape over the fact that there are insectoid aliens, etc. Card is a thief! But then when you realize (1) Card has never read Starship Troopers and (2) there was a long history of sci-fi stories about combat with insectoid aliens that both Heinlein and Card borrowed from, you relax a little. We weren’t being “derivative,” we were “working within a tradition.”
I was (and still am) convinced that Card was right. Why? Here’s an example. Christopher Paolini, author of the bestselling Eragon series was accused by many critics for mimicking Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Anne McCaffery’s Dragon Riders of Pern series. I read Eragon for the first time in 5th grade. Did I like it? Heck, yes! Why? It combined those three elements of the series I listed, and some new ideas.
It may have had an old mentor, an evil “dark lord”, and a chosen one, but it also has themes of communism, and rebellion against dictatorships. Also the dwarves aren’t grumpy as usual, no goblins, and the elves are vegetarians. Even in the third book it has themes of religion!
So if you write, I wouldn’t be nervous about using old archetypes in certain fiction genres. But, add your own ideas also to avoid plagiarism. But here’s another word of wisdom from Card:
“Still, when you work within a genre utterly dominated – arguably created – by one towering writer, you’re going to run the risk of being called “derivative.”
So even if your writing is called “derivative”, remember that you are “working within a tradition.
Citations:
On Plagiarism, Borrowing, Resemblance, and Influence
By Orson Scott Card
http://www.hatrack.com/cgi-bin/print_friendly.cgi?page=/writingclass/lessons/1999-12-20.shtml