Movie Review #4: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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Film Synopsis

Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI’s training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case and that Starling, as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to draw him out.

Watch the trailer H E R E

DETAILS [Wikipedia]

Directed by Jonathan Demme

Produced by Kenneth Utt, Edward Saxon, Ron Bozman

Screenplay by Ted Tally

Based on The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Music by Howard Shore

Cinematography by Tak Fujimoto

Edited by Craig McKay

Production Company: Strong Heart/Demme Production

Distributed by Orion Pictures

Release Date: February 14, 1991

CAST

Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling

Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter

Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford

Ted Levine as “Buffalo Bill”

MY PERSONAL THOUGHTS

Okay, so I personally picked this movie during a random sleepover/pyjama party because of the reviews and high ratings on the internet (I love reading Rotten Tomatoes reviews). Dr. Hannibal Lecter is actually one of my favourite psychopath fictional characters of all time, aside from Norman Bates (of Psycho). I remember watching the TV series a couple of years ago. Moving on, this was aired 1991 so I did not really expect that much. Surprisingly, given the kind of technology that the world of entertainment has during that time, this movie still managed to give me goose bumps and left me in deep awe! I was also able to read one book about Dr. Lecter a few years ago, so I already have an idea as to how the story will evolve. I love and adore Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkin’s acting! It was superb! Hannibal Lecter made me cringe all throughout the story! He portrayed the character in a dignified and perfect way. I am so impressed! Watching this movie made me realise that I really want to pursue a career in Mental Health Nursing, I have always been fascinated with the human brain and people’s behaviour. I love reading and watching psychological thriller books and movies, not because I am MAD, but because it is always amazing and entertaining to know how troubled people behave and what are the reasons behind their personality disorders. This is undeniably a classic movie that deserves all positive feedback and praises from viewers!  The plot twist and turn out of events are all good and gripping! The characters are all perfect and fit for their roles. I can say that the effects are still not that left behind compared to the ones that film producers have today. Given the fact that it was more than two decades ago, this movie still and will always deserve the hype and a standing ovation! I have no plans of watching the sequels because according to my research, they are “no match” compared to this and I want to leave it that way, plus the fact that Jodie Foster did not play the lead role of Clarice Starling in the succeeding films. Overall, I only have one rant, maybe the sensitive topic about homophobia, transphobia, and sexism, other than the above-mentioned stuff, this movie definitely NAILED it. IT WAS JUST TOO AWESOME and I LOVE EVERY PART OF IT.

Watch full movie on N E T F L I X

~JaNnA

Book Review #74: Adulthood is a Myth (Sarah’s Scribbles #1) by Sarah Andersen

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Title: Adulthood is a Myth
Author: Sarah Andersen
Pages: 109
Genre: Graphic Novel, Comics
Format: Digital Copy
Date Published: March 08, 2016
Publishing House: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Goodreads Rating: 4.14
Personal Rating: 5/5
Synopsis

Are you a special snowflake?

Do you enjoy networking to advance your career?

Is adulthood an exciting new challenge for which you feel fully prepared?

Ugh. Please go away.

This book is for the rest of us. These comics document the wasting of entire beautiful weekends on the internet, the unbearable agony of holding hands on the street with a gorgeous guy, dreaming all day of getting home and back into pajamas, and wondering when, exactly, this adulthood thing begins. In other words, the horrors and awkwardnesses of young modern life. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts
This comic compilation is HIGHLY ENTERTAINING and a real JAW_DROPPER! LOL.Why?
Why? Because it basically sums up all my feelings and beliefs in career, love, and life! All in ONE. Haha! OMG! I can’t believe that a comic strip collection as clever as this one exists and I am so thankful that I decided to pick it up and give it a shot. I am so impressed with the author for coming up with the perfect concept to show the people what are the dos and don’ts of adulthood. It is so awesome! I read it in 30 minutes, it’s so funny and bubbly and very relatable. The drawings are all so simple but I find them cute. The cover is striking as well, at first it will give you an impression that it is solely for kids but surprisingly, it is for grown-ups as well. I highly recommend it to readers of all ages, especially to those people who can mostly relate to the scenarios and facts included (maybe ages 20 and up?).
I gave it a 5-star rating for being realistic and an eye-opener. Kudos! More, please!
~JaNnA💜

Book Review #73: Bitter Sweet Love by Michael Faudet

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Title: Bitter Sweet Love
Author: Michael Faudet
Pages: 208
Genre: Poetry, Erotica
Format: Digital Copy
Date Published: October 25, 2016
Publishing House: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Goodreads Rating: 3.69
Personal Rating: 4/5
​Synopsis
Bitter Sweet Love is the much-anticipated second collection of internationally best-selling poet Michael Faudet, author of “Dirty Pretty Things,” a finalist in the 2015 Goodreads Readers Choice Awards. Michael Faudet’s whimsical and often erotic writing has captured the hearts and minds of literally thousands of readers from around the world. He paints vivid pictures with intricate words and explores the compelling themes of love, loss, relationships, and sex. All beautifully captured in poetry, prose, quotes, and little short stories. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

Michael Faudet’s second book is better than his first (Dirty Pretty Things). He was known for his erotica poems and that’s what makes him unique and sort of impressive in a way. I am not really a huge fan of poems but I do enjoy reading them since high school. I remember having a classmate way back 15-ish years ago who also writes his own poems but in our native language in the Philippines which is Filipino and in our local dialect (Tagalog). He was so good at it and since then I’ve been enjoying poems and haikus as well. I tried to write one before but it was an epic fail, of course. Haha! Moving on, I’ve mentioned earlier that I like this book better because in the first poetry book, it was just full of lust and sensual scenarios which for me is just disgusting and unconventional. I have nothing against his style, it is on point and beautiful, the way he was able to incorporate sex and love together in a piece while still making it classy and deep. Maybe I was just surprised with his first book that’s why I found it porn-ish. This time, I enjoyed it. I finished it in a couple of hours and I even highlighted some of my favourites. He talked about a variety of stuff but I love how he included some female names here which made the book more personal and realistic. It was a fun and enjoyable reading experience and plenty of love and life lessons can be extracted from this compilation. I highly recommend this for mature poetry lovers or even non poetry readers who want to try something out of the ordinary. This is awesome and for me it deserves time and more attention. I am looking forward to read more of Michael Faudet’s creations and I think he has a 3rd book coming out soon. So yeah, I am excited! ^_^

~JaNnA

Movie Review #3: Baywatch (2017)

imagesFilm Synopsis

Matt Brody is a former Olympic swimmer who wants to join an elite team of lifeguards led by the hulking Mitch Buchannon. Brody thinks he’s a shoo-in, but his casual attitude starts to instantly rub Mitch the wrong way. When drugs and a shady resort owner pose a threat to the bay, Mitch and Matt must put their differences aside to spring into action and save the day. [Wikipedia]

Release date: 1 June 2017 (Australia)
Director: Seth Gordon
Box office: 137.9 million USD
Producers: Dwayne Johnson, Ivan Reitman, Beau Flynn, more
Production companies: Paramount Pictures, The Montecito Picture Company, Contra Film, Cold Spring Pictures 

Cast

Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchannon
Zac Efron as Matt Brody
Priyanka Chopra as Victoria Leeds
Alexandra Daddario as Summer Quinn
Kelly Rohrbach as C. J. Parker
Jon Bass as Ronnie

 

Watch the Trailer HERE ^_^

 

My Personal Thoughts

This movie is sexy, hilarious, and highly entertaining! There was never a dull moment! All throughout, I was laughing my ass out and I was constantly giggling. I even consumed all the popcorn halfway through the story. The characters are all perfect, Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron undeniably nailed it! They are a perfect match for a fun-filled story. I was impressed with how the movie progresses, at first, I thought it would just be another piece of American Pie-ish movie which is just funny but nonsense. I was wrong! It all made sense and there’s a legit flow and major plot twists. My husband and I decided to watch this because aside from the fact that it’s Tuesday and there is a massive discount at Hoyts, I also happened to be a member so I get an additional discount for the movie of the week. All in all, we only scored our tickets for $11 aud/person and that is freaking awesome! It’s definitely one of the perks of being a premium member! Yay! I personally did not watch the Baywatch TV series aired in 1999 so I have no idea how the story goes. But it is about a group of people (about 6 of them to be exact) who watches over Emerald Bay and the people who are relaxing and having the time of their lives for a vacation. Some of them fell for each other, some are trying to win the heart of another crew, and some are just doing the best they can out of their chosen job. There were love interests present so I am expecting a sequel which most probably will include the appearance of some crew members of the original TV series. Pamela Anderson’s appearance here is quite short but I find it cool and appealing. Zac Efron is funny AF! OMG! I can’t believe that he can still act after High School Musical ( no offense for fans) but he exceeded my expectations and he is just so good at it. The producers obviously selected the best bombshells here, all three ladies are sexy and very bubbly. It is the perfect movie if you are looking for something to make you laugh, sit back, and enjoy. Lastly, the plot twist is common (honestly) but I loved and enjoyed every second of it nonetheless; it is definitely an action-packed movie with a dash of sexiness.

Overall, kudos to the whole team, and sequel please!

~JaNnA 💜

 

References:

http://www.youtube.com

http://www.wikipedia.com

Book Review #72: Berlin Syndrome by Melanie Joosten (Advance Reader Copy from Scribe Publications)

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Title: Berlin Syndrome
Author: Melanie Joosten
Pages: 256
Genre: Mystery, Psychological Thriller
Format: Paperback, Film Tie-In edition
Date Published: January 12, 2017
Publishing House: Scribe Publications
Goodreads Rating: 3.42
Personal Rating: 4/5
Synopsis
2006, Berlin. The once-divided city still holds its share of secrets.

One afternoon, near the tourist trap of Checkpoint Charlie, Clare meets Andi. He’s a native Berliner and English teacher; she’s an architectural photographer who has taken leave from her job in Australia to travel through Eastern Europe. There is an instant attraction, and when Andi invites her to stay, Clare thinks she may finally have found somewhere to call home.

But as the days pass and the walls of Andi’s apartment close in, Clare begins to wonder if it’s really love that Andi is after … or something more sinister.

This closely observed and gripping psychological thriller shifts between Andi’s and Clare’s perspectives, revealing the power of obsession, the fluidity of truth, and the kaleidoscopic nature of human relationships. Berlin Syndrome is a startling debut from a talented new writer. [Goodreads]

My Personal Thoughts

WHOA! This story made me cringe a couple of times!I’ve heard and read mixed reviews about it especially from people who compared the story with the movie adaptation last February 2017. They said that the movie was boring, some said it was intense and gripping, while a majority said it was different from the book. I have no idea, honestly, I requested for a copy because of its synopsis. It is so intriguing, I remembered the time when I finished reading Stolen by Lucy Christopher. It was kind of similar to this story because both have victims slash prisoners and they both sort of fell in love with their captor although in this story the prisoner is also messed up and a little fucked up. This was so INTENSE. I must admit that there were moments of boredom but as the story progresses, the author made me like the flow even more! I thought it will just be another case of stockholm syndrome where the victim felt attached to the captor. I was wrong, the main character named Clare is also twisted and sick. She is as crazy as the antagonist and it made the story way better compared to previous novels published with the same plot twist. I admire the author for creating a masterpiece that talked about the effect when someone leaves a person during his vulnerable age  and what might happen to his interaction with other people and his way of life as well. I was in deep awe because the female character became accustomed to being trapped in an apartment far away from anyone who can hear or notice her absence. The male antagonist on the other hand is just so freaking crazy but every move and decision that he made sort of convinced me that he was doing the right thing. I can’t believe that I even felt sorry for him.  Frankly, the cover is not stunning because it is a movie tie-in edition and it looks boring. Probably I will give the movie a chance and find it out for myself how it goes.

Overall, the story is a must read for readers who enjoy dark and twisted stories. I liked it! It may be slow-paced during the first part but it definitely caught my interest! Kudos! I am giving it a four out of five for a beautiful setting (Berlin), for messy characters, for an impressive writing style, and for mind-boggling life lessons that it wants to convey to its readers. I really do appreciate novels like this one and I am definitely recommending it.

~JaNnA

Book Review #71: Frostblood (Frostblood Saga #1) by Elly Blake (Advance Reader Copy from Hachette Australia)

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Title: Frostblood
Author: Elly Blake
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Date Published: January 12, 2017
Publishing House: Hodder and Stoughton
Goodreads Rating: 3.86
Personal Rating: 3/5
Synopsis

The frost king will burn.

Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.

Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.

My Personal Thoughts
Elly Blake’s first installment in the Frostblood series is gripping and a real page-turner. I liked the story and the characters, including the plot twists and everything about it, but I just have a few rants. First, while reading the story, I thought I am inside Sarah J. Maas’ Throne of Glass series because it is somewhat similar to having a King’s champion, and where the antagonist sort of fell in love-ish with the badass female protagonist. I dunno, I thought it was Celaena Sardothien or something. Young adult fantasy novels nowadays are all the same, and it’s not cool. There should be a distinction, a wow factor, a genuine thing where your novel will stand out and not be mistaken as a copycat. But I am not saying that this one is, it’s just that some similarities are present with other YA novels today. Second, things just turned out all in favour of Ruby and I find it annoying. Yes, during the first chapters she was belittled and tortured and what happened to her mother was horrible but as the story progresses you will notice that everything seems to be falling into place for her, love interest, allies, savior, it is so trying hard to please the readers which in return is not appealing for me. Third, that’s it? The ending is already a conclusion. You will not look forward to the next book because everything’s already there and the protagonist was defeated without blood and sweat. Oh come on, you can’t expect an evil king to just meet his end that easily. Anyway, despite all my rants I still enjoyed reading this fantasy novel and I was impressed with the idea of ice and fire together in a series. I like the first person narration (which is obviously my personal preference). The twist is surprising, I honestly did not see that one coming although some parts were really predictable like when the Mad King had a thing for Ruby or like when the snobbish Arcus finally gave in and admitted his feelings for Ruby. It’s just all the same and pretty common. But I like Ruby and Arcus’ pair, I ship them. Arcus is swoon-worthy despite his physical appearance, I like how badass his grand entrance was during the last match and when all the secrets were unraveled. Overall, I recommend this series for fantasy readers and I’m giving it a 3/5 rating.
Thank you, Hachette, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

~JaNnA

Book Review #70: Geekerella by Ashley Poston (Advance Reader Copy from Penguin Random House Australia)

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Title: Geekerella
Author: Ashley Poston
Pages: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Fairy Tale Retelling
Format: Paperback
Date Published: April 04, 2017
Publishing House: Quirk Books
GoodReads Rating: 4.13
Personal Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis

Anything can happen once upon a con…

When geek girl Elle Wittimer sees a cosplay contest sponsored by the producers of Starfield, she has to enter. First prize is an invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. Elle’s been scraping together tips from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck behind her stepmother’s back, and winning this contest could be her ticket out once and for all—not to mention a fangirl’s dream come true.

Teen actor Darien Freeman is less than thrilled about this year’s ExcelsiCon. He used to live for conventions, but now they’re nothing but jaw-aching photo sessions and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Federation Prince Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the diehard Starfield fandom has already dismissed him as just another heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, closet nerd Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.

My Personal Thoughts

The story is very predictable but highly entertaining and young adult friendly! I personally requested for a copy of this book because I was so curious about its hype and rating on Goodreads especially its impact on young readers on the bookstagram community. First, I must admit that it is truly adorable and bubbly, and super CUTE. I have nothing against it because what would someone expect from a modern-day Cinderella story? Obviously, it contains the usual ingredients: a young lady who’s deprived of love and attention from her stepmother and two wicked stepsisters; and who also happens to meet a prince charming in a ball with the aid of her fairy godmother-ish bestfriend slash workmate. PRESTO! And I was right, although, in this book, the antagonistic witches aren’t as gruesome compared to the classic fairytale that all of us have read over the years. The stepmother here in the story was still decent in a way and less bitchy-ish. The stepsisters, on the other hand, surprised me because the other twin sister actually has a heart. The so-called prince charming is Darien, and I like his character. He is famous and rich but despite all of the fame and wealth he still felt lonely and abandoned. There’s a lot of amazing stuff here which is different from the original story. I just don’t like the idea of having a fandom! Like seriously? It’s not my cup of tea, it was added to match the novel and for me, it’s not appealing. It seems like the fandom was just added and viola everything should match perfectly! It’s a major turn off. Aside from the fact that it’s weird, it’s also annoying because the story revolved around this sci-fi fandom that the characters were so fond of, without it, I could have given it a higher rating. But I am not complaining, it’s just that it took me ages to finish reading it (one week to be exact) because I find the Starfield thing boring. The main character, Elle, is a sweet and nerdy girl who likes to self-pity most of the time. I just love how Sage (her instant bff) brought out the inner fighter in her and helped her with all her shenanigans. This story is also LGBT friendly which makes it cool but I find the love story of Darien and Elle too good to be true and an insta-love. I believe that we can’t really fall in love with someone that we haven’t met or even talked to yet. Come on! In addition to this, the cover is just so commendable and to giggle for! It is a combination of pink, purple, and glittery font; and for me, it is a cover-buy-book. Anyway, overall I’m giving it a 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is recommended for young readers; it is Young Adult themed but I would also recommend it for much younger readers (even for starters) because of its innocence, simplicity, and life lessons. Kudos to the author for creating such an inspiring light-read and thank you, Penguin Random House, for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest and fair review.

~JaNnA