Five Things I Love About The Huntsman: Winter’s War

“Once upon a time, there was a beautiful queen whose heart was broken in two…”

 

  1. Nothing Is As It Seems

The trailer we’ve all seen flittering around Youtube ads and television commercials is no more than smoke and mirrors my friends. For some of the characters, specifically one character, appeared in the advertisement as a valiant protagonist, hell-bent on revenge. In the end, the individual ended up being a jaded and deceived antagonist, hell-bent on destroying the power of love. I will leave it up to the brainpower of my readers to discover which character is portrayed inaccurately.

This film makes it difficult to become uninterested. Plot twists are hiding around every corner so do not be fooled. Everything you thought you knew about this movie walking into the theater will probably leave your head spinning.

 

“The game is not finished.”

 

  1. Praise To The Cast

Let us take a moment to admire two of the cast members, Jessica Chastain (Sara) and Chris Hemsworth (The Huntsman aka Eric). Each of them portrayed their characters so well how could you not feel swept up in their powerful romance? The superstar cast did everything in their power to move the audience and tug at our heartstrings. Watching Queen Freya (Emily Blunt) scream for her dead child would break many a heart. A chill ran down my spine every time the wicked Ravenna (Charlize Theron) graced the screen. Bravo. Just bravo.

 

“I don’t need you too believe what I believe.”

 

  1. The Audience Is Constantly On Edge

The anticipation can kill. I was dying to know what would happen next and how it would all end. Is the power of two lovers with polished skills, deadly sharp weapons, and a butt load of bravery enough to end a tyrant? You can only hope so as you silently cheer them on from your seat. Will they stand or fall together?

 

If you die, die for something that is yours.”

 

  1. Sassy And Humorous Dwarves

Accompanying the main cast is a band of dwarves who live their lives on the funny side. It begins with two he dwarves, and then grows to four with the addition of two she dwarves looking for riches to steal from travelers. Along with Eric they manage keep the story light even in the midst of a few foolish plans that almost get them killed. I mean, what isn’t there to love about dwarves?

 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall.”

 

  1. A Roller Coaster Of A Romance

Sara and Eric sure take the audience on a bumpy ride. The couple is torn apart and sewn back together so often it’s difficult to keep track. Their rivalry flourished as children while training for be soldiers in Freya’s army, The Huntsman. The sexual tension came shortly after. Evolving into love as they grew older. Sadly, only one thing stands in their way. Queen Freya has outlawed love. Love is sinful and punishable by the Queen whose heart froze many years ago in a castle tower. Both must fight to stay alive and to keep their relationship.

 

What does the mirror show you?”

 

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The Force Awakens

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a huge fan of Star Wars. I’m steeped deep down into the fandom and I’ve been keeping up on all the new canon for about a year now.  That of course includes the most recent box office hit The Force Awakens, which takes place thirty years after Return of the Jedi and now depicts a battle between the Resistance and the First Order.  Seeing this movie was such a momentous occasion for me and many other Star Wars fans. But there was something else that served to increase that excitement: the novel based on the cinema.

As someone who has loved this fandom for years, I was so eager for the opportunity to read this book.  I knew it was going to have so many different and interesting things to show me. Let’s get started.

First off, the most exhilarating part for me was the opportunity to get inside the mind of each character. It was great to finally speculate on what they were thinking.  Anyone whose seen a film made from a book or a book of a film knows for a fact that being able to read the thoughts of the characters adds so much more to their personalities.  I was able to see how complicated and confused Kylo Ren is, balanced on the edge of light and dark. I was able to see how the unforgiving dessert planet of Jakku hardened Rey into a untrusting loner.  I was able to see how dedicated to the Resistance Poe was and how he wanted to end injustice across the galaxy. And I saw that despite the conditioning he endured since birth that Finn was able to overcome everything he was ever taught by the evil First Order and gain a true sense of right and wrong.

Another great thing about this book was the extra dialogue. We all wish that the movies could include every single scene that the book entails but to no avail. Reading the extra little details allowed an influx of insight into the stories plot.  I found out that Han Solo’s friend, Maz, was over a thousand years old.  I knew the reason for Han Solo and Chewbacca smuggling rathtars. I found out why Supreme Leader Snoke chose Kylo Ren as his apprentice. I have to say though, I feel that many of the minor details I read were things that definitely should have been included in the film. Regardless, I was happy to have them in some form or another.

I think my only problem with this book is that it seems to change from the points of view of each major character without warning. No page breaks or signals.  It just goes right from Kylo to Rey to Finn to whoever else the writer deemed worthy.  

All in all,  I’ve concluded that whether you’re a die hard Star Wars fanatic, the way I am, or you simply just liked the movie, The Force Awakens novel is definitely a read that will be more than worth your time!  

Search your feelings; you know it to be true.

 

Written by Dante

Love, Rosie

No matter where you are, or what you’re doing or who you’re with. I will always honestly, truly, completely love you.

A realistic romance that will make you defecate yourself from excessive laughter. You can practically feel the raw emotion radiating through your TV screen. Will Rosie and Alex get together? Will life keep pulling them apart because they’re to pig headed to admit their love?

A person can only yell at the movie for so long before it gets weird.

You love him he loves you. What is there to consider? I suppose if the main characters had admitted their love outright there would be no story to tell. Well, what keeps the characters miserable is entertainment on our end. So the fans should consider themselves lucky the characters are a hot mess.

The film was adapted from the novel Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern published in 2004. Rosie Dunne, acted by Lily Collins, and Alex Stewart are best friends, meeting in their elementary school days. And may I say that Alex grows up to be a real looker, played by the attractive and brilliant English actor Sam Claflin. Also, I would like a round of applause for Lily’s fantastic English accent. I was so convinced it was real that I was flabbergasted to learn that she grew up in California. After this discovery I watched a few interviews to confirm. Alas, her English accent was false.

At the beginning of the film the two are getting ready to graduate high school. Both had plans to move on to bigger and better things in the ever-enticing Boston, Massachusetts. Where Rosie plans to study hotel management and Alex plans to become a doctor at Harvard. Prestigious, I know. Like most stereotypical gender opposite best friend duos they are in love. Only they aren’t honest with each other about their feelings. One misunderstanding leads to another and after graduation their lives lead down two unlike paths. After a very distasteful evening at their last school dance Rosie ends up pregnant. Congratulations it’s a girl!

PS it’s not by Alex.

Unknowing Alex moves away to Boston where he believes Rosie will follow him. Only she never will. The movie moves through about twelve years of their lives where you observe the highs and lows each of them face. One thing that you can take away is the notion that success and money cannot buy you happiness. Having people around that love you with all their heart and are willing to get on the crazy roller coaster that is your life can make a person far happier.

The story is beautiful to the very end. In some parts it’s a real sob fest but in others all you can do is laugh. The scenes are a bit more glamorous than real life but the story is quite realistic and relatable. A film you can watch over and over again without being judged to harshly by family, friends and roommates.

The Best of Man, The Best of Beasts

Blood and Chocolate

This is my world and these are my people.”

Like countless novels before it Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause was used as “inspiration” for the identically named movie released in 2007. The similarities between the novel and cinematic creation are few and far between. Lucky for us some of the changes made weren’t all bad. As long as you keep in mind that the book and movie are nothing alike, viewing of them both as a separate entity that only share a title.

As a young loup-garou living in Romania Vivian lives out her life baking chocolates and running with her pack, though she never seems to be running in the same direction. Similar to that of the written character, Vivian is a symbol of beautiful defiance, disregarding tradition for love, freedom, and a peaceful way of life for her people.

Anything we are not is a thing we are taught to fear.”

Her pack has ruled Romania for five thousand years where their kind is revered as blessed not cursed like many legends state. The pack runs the city in a fashion similar to that of the mob. They like to tie up loose ends and make examples of humans who step out of line by organizing hunts. If the human escapes they will be granted their freedom. The only catch: no one ever escapes. Humans are seen as meat. They’re only viewed as enemies or entertainment but should always be kept at a distance because humans are considered to be corrupt beings.

Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black?

Also, rule number one. No one hunts outside the pack. Ever.

In the center of the hypocrisy stands Gabriel. He teaches the pack to fear others. He’s focused on tradition and rules. Every seven years he’s allowed to take a new mate and this time around he has his eyes on Vivian. He believes that she is the one that will lead them all into a new era of hope and glory. After Vivian’s parents were gunned down in the States by hunters Gabriel brought her home to her Aunt Astrid who then raised her. She remains indebted to him and is never allowed to forget that her parents were murdered due to her adolescent carelessness. She trapped in a life of constant guilt.

As the main antagonist of the story Gabriel can be seen from many different lights. Personally, I didn’t see him as evil only afraid and jaded. He, like the generations before him, was taught to fear mankind. Which is understandable when you imagine what kind of past circumstances the pack has faced and the horrific incident with Vivian’s parents. So he in turn instilled that fear in his own people so that they remain alert and cautious. An empire built entirely on instinct and tradition. The only solution they find reasonable to preserve their lives is to hunt down any loose ends. Literally. Could he have gone about protecting his pack in a less ignorant way? Probably. But we can only hope the younger generations can adapt.

“Would you be at a church at 2 in the morning if you had a boyfriend?”

One dreary night in an empty church she meets Aiden. He is an American who traveled to the city in order to gather information and inspiration for his next graphic novel. The topic is none other than the legend of the loup-garou. Who would have guessed! In the beginning she tries her best to keep him as far away as possible. Knowing that she can only cause trouble for him if he was pulled into her world. Only she can’t control her feelings and falls head first into the clutches of love. After a long time of seeing each other in “secret” Aiden and Vivian are practically writing their wedding vows.

Unlike the book, Aiden is far more equipped for survival against a pack of angry wolves, due to his harsh upbringing, then his novel counterpart. He does whatever it takes to survive while keeping his humanity and reason intact, for the most part.

Word spreads around the pack that Aiden is far to close to Vivian for their secret to be safe. And Gabriel grows jealous that Vivian’s affection is elsewhere. So her cousin, Rafe, is ordered to run him out of town or else he will meet a gruesome fate. The Aiden portrayed in the movie was far more interesting. Because, lets face it, the Aiden of the book was scared of his own shadows.

Lets just say that things go sour and the main characters find themselves scrounging for cover in a shit storm of their own creation. The city is filled to the brim with pack members over tearing through the city in an effort to find them. Their only choice is to fight their way out and earn their freedom to love on another. Only things are far more complicated now as they leave bodies in their wake. It’s a bit of a twisted love story.

“It’s fear.”

He holds out his bloody hand to her. “Of what you’ll do?”

“What you think of me.”

As for their wolfie transformation the director decided to use real life wolves in place of computer animation…probably for the best. The wolves were majestic and beautiful but they didn’t scream loup-garou like in the book. In the novel it describes the change as a slightly painful and a sweet release shifting of bones. In the cinema version the characters leap into the air and are surrounded by a colorful aura for a moment before touching down as a wolf. As you can imagine there are a ridiculous amount of cut scenes. This happened in almost every fight. Not to mention the original design for their second form was suppose to be far larger.

Some things you might love about the movie are the delightful Romanian accents, the suburb acting and the excessive amount of parkour (done by stunt doubles). If you get a kick out of a blossoming romance in the midst of chaos you might enjoy this movie.