There’s an annoying kid, Arthur (Freddie Highmore). He lives with his nan (Mia Farrow) because his parents are in town trying to earn money. Most of his time is spent reading about and recreating his grandfather’s inventions; his grandfather disappeared on an expedition. But when big business threatens to take the house away, Arthur needs to try to find the fortune his grandfather buried in their garden, but discovers a whole different world.
A lot of kids films are made with some consideration to the adults who take the kids to see them, and have a decent story or some good humour. Not this one. I’m sure a lot of kids love the film, but I found the plot weak, the characters tedious and annoying and essentially, I just hated the film from beginning to end.
There are some pretty big things at stake for the vampires (pun totally intended) when a woman is found dead on the lawn of Eric’s house after a gathering with King Felipe de Castro to discuss the disappearance of his representative, Victor. Sookie knows what happened – she was there in the previous book when he was killed. But now she doesn’t know what happened to this girl and she doesn’t know who she can and cannot trust. Plus, she is finding that her love for Eric is waning, and her boss Sam is dating a were that she doesn’t trust. It’s all a bit hard; and that’s without throwing in the fairies.
I feel like this book is really gearing up to the end; raising the stakes, bringing the excitement and the getting all the fans fired up for the last book in the series. Perhaps, the series could have been wrapped up a bit sooner – it certainly lost its mojo for a while. But I’m totally back into it now.
Many of the setups from the previous books are being played out here, hopefully leading us, the readers, to a well deserved wrap up of the series (this is the third last book in the series). There’s the fairy story, with Sookie learning more about her family’s past as well as learning about herself; she is working with vampire boyfriend Eric to find a way to deal with the new king’s representative who is making both their lives quite difficult and on top of this, Sandra Pelt has returned with her blood lust, determined to take Sookie down.
There is certainly enough in this book to keep me interested – ambushes, fights and some romance. But I do feel that I am very much striving for the finish line, hoping that the resolution of the story will be worthwhile.
Harry is a dairy farmer with a keen sense of observation. He watches his animals and his farm, the birds on his land and his neighbour, single mother Betty. Over years, he and Betty develop a quiet relationship, with Harry finding a place in the kitchen for meals and Betty’s son helping Harry with the milking. But as the boy moves in adolescence, Harry feels the need to provide fatherly advice in whatever limited manner that he can.
There is something about awkward relationships that I love in books. When a situation potentially has a simple solution, but the characters are so well drawn and flawed that there is no chance they can get there. It is frustrating, but only because I wanted to step in and fix the problem because I really cared for them. Then there are the other characters who we just get a glimpse of, but that leave a deep impression. And, of course, the character that gently dominates the book – the Australian countryside and the animals that inhabit it. Such beautiful writing that takes me away from the city and into another world and another time.
Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe) is a young, up and coming FBI agent who has been put into a position working on a dodgy senior agent, Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper). It’s based on a true story. I hope loosely, because everything seems dodgy and half-arsed, and surely the FBI are better than that. Surely.
I cannot believe that the young upstart played by Phillippe could possibly so anything the way he does it – from the way he speaks to his superior, played by Laura Linney, to his nervous, wussy demeanor. And surely an agent who has been doing what he has been doing for so long wouldn’t so instantly trust this fool of a kid just because they are of the same religious background. For me, this film was poorly written and not very well executed.
There are terrorist attacks happening across Britain and Europe. Roger Ferris (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a CIA agent working across the Middle East, in regular communication with a guy back in the US, Ed Hoffman (Russell Crowe). And aside from this, I have no idea what was happening during this film. There were plans being laid and I don’t really know what was happening.
Which is a problem. I had no idea what was going on, I had no connection to the characters, I didn’t care who the good or bad guys were. It was tedious and frustrating. I’d love to hear from anyone who enjoyed this film to know why, because I just don’t get it.
Walter Mitty (Ben Stiller) works in the photography department at Life magazine. He has a crush on fellow worker Cheryl Melhoff (Kristen Wiig) but is too shy to talk to her, and drifts off into his own dream world every so often. However when he is informed that the magazine is going to close, led by the nasty pasty Ted Hendricks (Adam Scott), the renowned photographer Sean O’Connell (Sean Penn) sends a role of slides containing the photography he considers to be the best he has ever taken. Only, that slide is missing, and Walter steps out of the security of his safe life to search for the slide… and himself.
I expected to hate this film. I expected that it would be a bit corny and tedious, and predictable. Well, it was kind of all of those things, but it was also beautiful and thoroughly enjoyable. The only real problem I had was Adam Scott’s beard – it was just horrible.