Sunday, April 4, 2010

Clash of the Titans

This film is set in a world of Greek mythology and is a remake of another film of the same name made in the early 80's (if I am wrong please correct me). I found the movie very much worth my ticket.

Basic Plot: "The Clash of the Titans" is set in the Greek city of Argos where a war is about to explode between man and the gods. Perseus (Sam Worthington) raised as a fisherman, but is actually a demi-god. Perseus is the son of Zeus (Liam Neeson) who is about to take on the gods after the death of his family. Zeus' brother Hades (Ralph Fiennes) was the one who kill his family, and Perseus wants to kill him. However, it is Perseus's destiny to rescue the city of Argos from the ruthless rage of Hades and his Kraken monster. With nothing to lose, Perseus leads a band of soldiers on a quest to defeat the Kraken. In doing this, Perseus will prevent Hades from overthrowing Zeus and in turn destroying mankind."

My Thoughts on the Plot: I found the basic idea interesting. What if Greek gods were real? What if man rebelled against them? It was a good idea from a strictly story standpoint, especially when you get into the details. The writing at the beginning was very well done, quite a bit of intrigue and mystery. Another point worth mentioning is that the story seemed to move very quickly. At the beginning, I just assumed this was because it was trying to move quickly into the action. But as the movie progressed it became clear they were trying to include bits from the old movie and add new things as well (I've never seen the original so I wouldn't know. That's just the feeling I got from it). Also, every so often the dialogue turned into dumping sessions on occasion and cheesy remarks. But overall the screen writing and plot was good.

Characters: I loved the main character, Perseus. He was witty, intelligent, good with a sword, and just overall very interesting. But he was really the only strong character in the story. The romantic relationship of the movie didn't make too much sense either. I understood the characters' goal and the reasons behind it, but I didn't agree with their motives or their purpose. While many characters carried intrigue, it was very plot driven and had little character.

Blocking/Camera Play/Acting: I thought this was very well done. The fighting sequences were very good, the camera play was cool, and even in the slower sections the way people moved was neat. I didn't notice any bad acting, exempting a very minor character at the beginning and he wasn't terrible.

Costumes: The main characters and people of earth had good costumes. But the gods were dressed like British knights, which didn't make much sense to me. Liam Neeson, as Zeus, kinda looked funny with his hair too ;) lol
Graphics: Amazing. 'nough said. Well sorta, the writers created a few creatures that were very interesting. And the mythological beings were very well created. All in all, it looked better than real.

Theme/Moral: There really wasn't one. That was the most disappointing thing about the movie. If there was a moral, it was that everyone is selfish and the only way to escape tyranny is to be more selfish. It seemed to have an anti-authority message...I don't know. I'm trying to force a message out of the story. But I honestly walked away with no deeper meaning.

Conclusion: Despite the review, I really liked the movie. Definitely worth going to see, and I'd buy it on DVD. It was very plot driven, but the plot was interesting. And the graphics and fighting sequences were very cool as well. If you're looking for an emotional story, I wouldn't look here. I didn't feel any emotion though I could tell the writers were trying to. I understood the characters, they were real, but I didn't agree with them and I wouldn't feel bad if they all died.

Go see the movie. You'll enjoy it.

Oh! And apparently there was something about an owl statue or the like in the old movie. They discarded the owl as a joke in this movie.

So yeah, you'll like the movie. But don't expect to be amazed.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Starlighter - Bryan Davis

So if you follow Christian Fantasy, especially teen Christian Fantasy, the name Bryan Davis ought not be a new one to you. Author of fifteen or so books including bestselling series Dragons in Our Midst, Oracles of Fire, and Echoes from the Edge, Mr. Davis has made quite the name for himself.

Recently he has started a new series entitled Dragons of Starlight. In this story world there will be, I believe, four books for teens and two books for adults. The adult series is to be published with AMG Publishers beginning with Masters and Slayers. The teen series begins with Starlighter, to be released next month.

Those who pre-ordered/won copies of the book received the book early and, as I was one of those people, I have decided to a review of the book.

In Starlighter, by bestselling author Bryan Davis, dragons have kidnapped humans from their planet and taken them to theirs, enslaved them, tortured them, and worked them to their deaths. Years have passed since that date, and both worlds have forgotten. Darksphere, the human world, contains an organization that remembers the Lost Ones, those stolen from their world, and seeks the gateway to the dragon planet. But these people are mocked and scorned. On Starlight, the dragon world, those who remember and hold to the belief that they are not meant for slavery are similarly mocked.

But the lost will be found.

Bryan Davis again pens a beautiful, fast passed, epic tale of four teens’ determination to do that which they know to be right. The plot was exhilarating, the characters were very clearly defined, and the writing was excellent as usual. Mr. Davis did what is every writer’s goal—he created an adrenaline laced plot with believable characters. Given any line of dialogue I could recite the character that would have said it, each one was that real, and the story kept me thinking late into the night.

Also, this book is clearly a story filled with Christian themes. The basic plot line is a beautiful tale and challenge of reaching out to the lost. While the themes are clearly there I do believe the story can be enjoyed without noticing or understanding the allegory.

I’d recommend this book to any young adult, 10 and up. An excellent read for teens and adults.

And a cliffhanger to boot.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Vertical Self - by Mark Sayers

Our culture has driven us insane. So much so, we haven't even noticed it. We were created in God's very own image. And in Mark Sayer's book, The Vertical Self, he not only proclaims this drastic identity crisis, he provides an accessible solution through Christ Jesus. Find your identity in Christ, and you will never be in crisis.

The book begins defining where our culture is at, and what "the vertical self" means. The idea is simple really, those with a vertical sense of self find their identity vertically. At the top is God and eternal reward, the middle is yourself and earth, and the bottom is eternal punishment and Hell. Such people identify who they are as the image of God.

The second sense of self is horizontal. The horizontal self has no standard to hold itself to save other peers, who also have a horizontal sense of self.

Sayers challenges those saved and unsaved to come back to who we were meant to be. Find out who were truly are. To stop changing our identity to please others and become, once again, the image bearers of God. And that this doesn't require otherworldly saintness, giving up our desires, etc. All that is needed is subjecting our desires and person under the Lordship of Christ. Holiness. And to be holy is to be whole.

I loved this book. It's changed the way I think and look at things in a more godly manner I believe. The way Sayers spoke encouraged me and made things clear and simple. This is something every Christian needs to be reminded of. We are the IMAGE OF CHRIST. So we need to start living like it.

Read this book and prepare to be changed. God worked in big ways with this book, for me at least. I trust He can do the same for you.

Live life to the fullest. Become who you were made to be.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Swords of the Six

Swords of the Six is the first book of what will be a seven book epic series entitled "The Sword of the Dragon". Having met the author, as well as what I've gleaned from the tale, the story seems to play a prequel kind of role in the story of the series. And it is all the more entertaining for it.

The story follows six sisters and more specifically the youngest, Dantress. These sisters are given six ancient swords that were misused by their former masters to slay the innocent. The dragon father of the sisters tells them that the swords must be redeemed with the blood of the traitors, and the world must be purged of their evil. To start, the six young girls are to hunt down the one of the traitors and offer him a pardon. Should he not accept the offer, he must be killed.

The fantasy elements in this story, Scott Appleton's world building skills, and simply the writing are marvelous. Rusted swords, a righteous dragon, a fiery blade, a fallen dragon, an orphaned boy, and six sisters bound by prophecy. This is the tale of Swords of the Six, and it is only the doorstep of the epic series to come. I foresee these books outdoing Harry Potter, and rivaling the effect that The Lord of the Rings had on many a generation. It certainly has the potential.

Scott Appleton can write a world that makes you forget the one you live in, and then when you return to normal life leaves you asking questions. If you like a story that makes you think, a story that submerges you into a real world, you will love The Sword of the Dragon series.