The 5th Wave vs The 5th Wave

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey – Book Review


So there has been an alien attack which has happened in four waves, devastating the world’s population. There are now few people left, and Cassie is one of them, but the aliens no look like people. She is fighting to stay alive, living on her wits. Should she try to find other survivors? Who can she trust?

As far as dystopian future stories are concerned, this is a good one. I like that it is an alien attack, and that no-one knows who to trust. Some parts seem overly familiar, perhaps because they are extremely similar to other books. But overall, it’s a fast, action-packed read and I enjoyed it.


The 5th Wave (2016) Film Review

Usually when a book is interpreted into a film, much has to be left behind or it will end up being a very long film – it usually captures the feel of the original text, but not the full thing. Yet somehow, this is an extremely close rendition of the book, and it is great. The book is written almost as a screenplay in that it is all action, so fast and it works so extremely well. It is very much a film for the youth – I can’t imagine it was very popular with many adults.

Carrie (2013) Film Review


Based on the Stephen King novel, Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a girl only recently taken from being home schooled by her mother (Julianne Moore) and put into school where she is relentlessly bullied, but with her newly found powers, she is able to extract bloody revenge.

The book Carrie was fabulous, the first film was wonderful, even the stage musical was pretty interesting, so why make a new one? I had heard that this was pretty average, but I quite liked it. The addition of some internet posting and the like was cool, Julianne Moore was amazing as usual, and I also love Chloe Grace Moretz, but essentially, it captured the awful bullying really well, and the explosions at the end were heaps of fun. Still, I’d probably go the old one over the new, but hey. Still worth watching.


Kick-Ass 2 (2013) Film Review


It is some time after the first Kick-Ass. Dave (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has given up his Kick-Ass activities for his girlfriend, but they break up fairly quickly. Mindy (Chloe Grace Moretz) is living with her dad, Detective Marcus Williams (Morris Chestnut) and, after being sprung training with Dave, vows to give up the superhero life. Then a bunch of popular kids shame her and she vows vengeance. Meanwhile, Dave has hooked up with a group of other folks playing at superhero, and Chris D’Amico (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) after accidentally killing his mother in a most magnificent manner, decides that he wants to be the most evil supervillain.

It’s as violent, gory, gross and magnificent, still funny, not quite the charm of the first film, but still worth a look.

Kick-Ass (2010) Film Review


Dave Lizewski (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) was a really normal, somewhat geeky guy, loving comic books and wondering about the state of the world. So, he becomes Kick-Ass – a real life comic hero. But when things get real, he needs to be saved by some real superheroes: Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and his eleven-year-old daughter Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz). But they have an ultimate goal – to get the king pin who ruined their life, Frank D’Amico (Mark Strong). D’Amico’s son, Chris (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) offers to help, but things get out of control. And then they must… Kick Ass.

The film got a lot of flack from many sides for having an eleven-year-old killing people left right and centre and using very foul language, but dammit – it’s great. Very violent and gruesome, but very, very funny and ace.


Dark Shadows (2012) Film Review


Barnabas Collins (Johnny Depp) was part of a powerful family back two hundred years ago, only then a witch, Angelique Bouchard (Eva Green) killed his parents, caused his true love to walk of a cliff and turned him into a vampire, burying him deep in the forest. Present day, Barnabas has been dug up accidentally and discovers his relatives living in the house his father built, but they are on the down and down. It is up to Barnabus to bring their fortunes back.

This is yet another film that I’ve avoided for a long time because I’d heard so many poor things about it. About Tim Burton having lost his touch, making stranger and stranger films with his wife, Helena Bonham Carter and actor favourite Johnny Depp. I really enjoyed it. It was fun, it was stylish and it had an excellent cast of top actors doing good stuff.

Let Me In (2010) Film Review


A man is taken to a hospital after a car accident and is suspected to be responsible for a recent series of murders. However, he is unable to be identified as he has poured acid across his head and shoulders, causing serious burns. Two weeks previously, we meet, Owen (Kodi Smit-McPhee), a 12-year-old boy. He is bullied at school and struggling to come to terms with the divorce of his religious mother and absent father. At night, he sneaks out to play in the courtyard of his building, and one night, there is a girl his own age there. Despite her warning that they cannot be friends, a friendship is formed. What Owen is unaware of is that Abby (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a vampire and her guardian is the man who appeared in the hospital, who has been killing to provide her with blood.

This is how horror is done. Slow, intense music (often during scenes that prove to be benign) that had me twisting with anxious anticipating. What’s more, it’s not a cheesy shlock horror – in fact, the horrible bullying scenes were far more difficult to watch than the violent attacks. Let Me In is a remake of Let The Right One In, a Swedish film. It’s always a bit of a risk watching Hollywood remakes. Not that they are necessarily worse (although The Vanishing, the Hollywood version of Dutch film Spoorloos, had an awful Hollywood ending), but they may just be identical, as I recently discovered with The Departed (adaptation of Infernal Affairs). I don’t think that I could get through Let The Right One In if it is anywhere near as intense as this flick. Incidentally, how good is Chloe Grace Moretz? She seems to be making a lot of awesome films at the moment. I’m hoping her career continues as strongly in the future.

Hugo (2011) Film Review


Hugo (Asa Butterfield) is an orphan who lives about the Paris train station, hiding from the evil Station Inspector (Sacha Baron Cohen), watching and stealing small parts from toy booth owner Georges Melies (Ben Kingsley) and rebuilding the automaton his father (Jude Law) was fixing before he died. Before long, Hugo befriends the god-daughter of Georges Melies, Isabelle (Chloe Grace Moretz) and they embark on the adventure of finding what the world hold, and what place they have within it.

It’s a sweet little story, tying in with some of the real history of cinema, but it just didn’t win me over. Why, I wonder? The story and characters were strong, and it was certainly beautiful. Perhaps it was the acting.  I felt that the young lead was doing far too much eyebrow and mouth acting, like Daniel Radcliffe throughout the Harry Potter films. I think when you see films with amazing child actors, you know that there is better than this. I really had very little interest in what happened to Hugo, and I guess that is pretty important to the film. I think there was also the element of brushing over the ugly side of life; yes, the orphans were captured by the evil Station Inspector, but I didn’t feel the fear that they were trying to portray here.

Hugo won Oscars for Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Sound Mixing, Best Achievement in Sound Editing, Best Achievement in Visual Effects and Best Achievement in Art Direction. It was nominated for Oscars for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Martin Scorsese) Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay (John Logan), Best Achievement in Film Editing, Best Achievement in Costume Design and Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score.

500 Days of Summer (2009) Film Review



Ah, a hipster romance. How delightful. I know there are a lot of people who hate hipsters, with their skinny jeans, vests, pretty frocks and quirky habits. But I want to be hip enough to be a hipster. I just don’t have the commitment, but if I could move to Brooklyn seven years ago, there would have been no stopping me.

Tom (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is trained as an architect but working in a greeting card company. He believes in true love, and then along comes Summer (Zooey Deschanel). She doesn’t believe in love. They have a relationship.

The story is fragmented and told through scenes scattered across the 500 days from their meeting. We have scenes after a fight, with his sassy younger sister counseling him through the break-up, to their first romantic visit to Ikea. I really liked the way the story was told, even with the kooky dance sequence. I’ve admitted to being a fan of both of the main actors (The New Girl, Looper, The Dark Knight Rises), so I guess it is hardly a surprise that I enjoyed this film. Plus, it has a fantastic soundtrack that I regularly listen to on longs drives.

It’s not for everyone. If you hate hipsters, you’ll hate this film. Summer is one of the characters considered by many to be a manic pixie dream girl (I think she needs a quirky hobby or habit to truly fall into this category for me), so that may put people off.