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Monday, May 21, 2012

Battleship -- Movie Review by Shelby Patrick

Peter Berg directs this epic action sci fi movie in an all-out battle for earth across land, sea, and air. Stars include Taylor Kitsch (Lt. Alex Hopper), Alexander Skarsgard (Commander Stone Hopper), Brooklyn Decker (Sam Shane), Rihanna (Petty Officer Raikes), and Liam Neeson (Admiral Shane). The movie is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, action and destruction, and brief language.

Battleship: The Movie has been compared to the board game by Hasbro but only has a brief scene in the 2 hour and 11 minute movie that even remotely resembles the game. The story is about a group of scientists who discover a planet very similar to Earth so attempt to send communication through space via a satellite. Eventually, it is picked up by alien technology and five ships are sent to Earth in response. They are not friendly and have no intention of coming in peace. One of the alien ships lands in the sea, near a navy training exercise and this begins the battle for Earth.

The music choice was great for an action flick, using such great songs like Thunderstruck by AC/DC, Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Everybody Wants You by Billy Squier, 25 Lighters by ZZ Top, and Interstate Love Song by Stone Temple Pilots.

Most of the acting was awesome. Taylor Kitsch started off as a funny kid with no aspects for a bright future and then turned into a leader as he helped save the world. Alexander Skarsgard played the loyal older brother who tried desperately to keep his younger sibling in line and out of trouble. Rihanna wasn't too bad, although there were a few scenes in which the dialoge seemed stilted. And of course Liam Neeson was the professional international movie star and well-loved in his role as admiral and Kitsch's and Skarsgard's superior.

Be warned: The first hour of the movie dealt with the personal lives of the Hopper brothers. The real action didn't begin until halfway through when the alien vessels landed for their invasion. Afterwards, it became non-stop, edge of your seat thrills. There were both casualties and shouts of joy that will leave you feeling as if you just rode an emotional rollercoaster. But by the end, you're glad you spent a few bucks to see a good movie.

If you are into the science fiction, alien invasion, action flicks, I would suggest giving Battleship a try. On a scale of 1 to 5, I would rate it a 4. It's a definite must see.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Avengers: Movie Review by Angela Podgorski

The Avengers is an action-packed film that is definitely a must- see. The movie stars some great actors such as Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff (Black Widow), Chris Evans as Steve Rogers (Captain America), Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark (Iron Man), Mark Ruffalo as Bruce Banner (Hulk), and Jeremy Renner as Clint Barton (Hawkeye). All of these characters go into an all out epic battle in New York City against Thor's brother Loki, played by Tom Hiddleston. The Avengers movie made history by making $1 billion worldwide in 19 days.

The Avengers is a sequel and contains all the heroes from the movies Thor, Captain America, Iron Man 1 and 2, and The Incredible Hulk, There is a very interesting plot to this movie. Near the beginning, the evil Loki makes his way to earth through a portal. He immediately starts wreaking havoc on civilization, so via Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D., these heroes are brought together in a last effort to defend the earth against this great and powerful enemy. At first they did not all get along, but later on they put their egos aside and made the world's greatest super team known to man.

The acting and personalities from these actors fit their parts perfectly. Robert Downey Jr.'s Ironman was as witty as usual with his humorous one-liners. It also seemed as though Black Widow and Hawkeye had some history together. Perhaps there will be a movie on those two heroes later on. The humor in this movie also added a great atmosphere to the film. There were a few parts in there that you would not even expect to be funny. One of the people who was not in this movie is Thor's love interest down on earth, Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman). This is may be not that big of a deal to many viewers, but to others it could be.

The special effects in this movie were way too cool, right down to alien armies blasting through buildings and people and creatures coming out of mysterious portals. The fighting scenes were equally as amazing with their special effects. Hawkeye performed some awesome bow and arrow shots. Even the flight of the flying heroes looked very realistic.

This film was just an enjoyable well-rounded movie. It is rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action throughout, and a mild drug reference. I think it is a great movie for the family to watch and enjoy. I also think the quality was amazing with the graphics, acting, and special effects. I give this movie a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Disaster at the Dinner Table!

We all have our favorite fictional characters and dream of popping into their world to meet them some day. What if by some miracle all our fave characters could jump out into the real world for one day to attend a special event? Let's see what might happen.

It's October 2nd. My favorite holiday, Halloween, is right around the corner. The weather is starting to turn chilly and I'm not in the greatest of moods. Today is, after all, my birthday, and as I get older, birthdays take on a new meaning. They aren't filled with happy moments or wishes I want to come true some day. No, it just means one year closer to losing my mind, failing health, and watching dreams go down in a ball of flame.  However, this year, things are going to be different. You see, my niece is throwing me a spectacular birthday dinner and there are two special guests on the invitation list: Dean Winchester (from Supernatural fame) and Eric Northman (the hottest vampire to exist in today's fictional world).

Everyone is settled in and seated around the table. They have already introduced themselves and from the scathing looks Dean keeps giving Eric, I can tell it's going to be a long night.

"Why did you invite him?" asked Dean, leaning over to whisper in my ear.

"Maybe because I'm more fun," said Eric. He pointed to his ears. "Whispers are for children. I can hear whatever you say perfectly."

Dean straightened his back, looking ready to pounce. I placed a restraining hand on his arm.

"Boys, let's just all get along for one night, okay?"

Dean snarled; Eric growled. I knew this dinner was going to be a disaster the moment my niece opened the door to show off her two surprise guests. Pitting a vampire and a monster hunter in the same room would only result in chaos. Could I have them make peace, if just for the one night?

The kitchen door opened and Emily, my niece, pushed a gigantic cake through the door. "It's time to sing Happy Birthday," she said with a huge grin on her face.

On top of the cake was an image of my latest supernatural novel that had just hit the bookshelves. Emily had written BESTSELLER across the top and underneath "birthday wishes do come true." Today was the day my book made the best seller list, so it was really a double celebration. Unfortunately, the two characters seated next to me were about to make it more interesting.

Eric wished me a happy birthday and then gave me a peck on the cheek. Dean whistled and said in a low voice, "Why don't you just bite her and drink her dry, blood sucker? We all know you want to because that's what monsters like you do."

That was all it took. Eric turned, extending his fangs, and lunged at Dean.

"I'd much rather do away with you, hunter," said Eric, toppling them both to the floor.

They wrestled for a few minutes, looking like school boys fighting over a girl, but I knew it was deadly serious. Emily screamed. The rest of the guests moved away from the table. No one intervened. This was a fight to the death.

Dean pushed Eric off him and got to his feet, pulling a wooden stake out of his coat sleeve. Always prepared, wasn't he?

I tried to step in between the two men but Eric gently pushed me out of the way. The two men went at it again, grappling with each other and falling toward the cake. I heard this loud, "Noooooooo!" behind me and turned to see Emily's horrified face. "Not the cake!" she said.

The birthday cake became a casualty of war as it splattered across the room. I got frosting in my hair; Emily received a few pieces of chocolate in her face. Guess we shouldn't have been standing next to the cake when the boys flattened it. I started giggling then; I just couldn't help it. That was the last straw for poor Emily. Her face screwed up in anger, she approached the boys, grabbing each one by the scruff of their collars. They immediately stopped fighting and looked at her.

"You two ruined everything. Do you know how long I spent on that cake? This dinner was supposed to be the most memorable one ever and well, I'd say it will be but not the way I wanted. I should send you both packing, where you can fight each other to the death outside; however, this place is a horrible mess now and you both need to stop acting like two year olds and take some responsibility. I expect everything cleaned up within the hour, do I make myself clear?"

She shook both of them forcefully, leaving no choice but to obey. When neither man answered, she released them and punched them both in the nose before saying, "Do it!"

Dean and Eric looked at each other, shrugged, and then started laughing. They had come here with the intent of killing each other but just seeing the look on Emily's face now and her ordered command had eased the situation and they no longer feared each other. It was Emily's wrath that kept them on their toes. To disobey her would send her over the edge.

Dean bowed his head and mumbled, "Sorry, Emily."

Eric scowled and said, "Yeah, me too."

Dean picked up a broom and started sweeping the pieces of cake up. Eric grabbed the trash can. Just as Emily and I turned to leave, I saw out of the corner of my eye Dean taking a swing at Eric's head with the broom. I smiled. This had been the best birthday ever. I can't wait until next year!