“You’re being sent to the ground, all one hundred of you”

The first three episodes of TV show The 100 have been shown on E4 over the past few weeks. I didn’t want to post about the show just after the first episode because with TV shows I think it takes several episodes to get into it a little bit. And, after recently watching the third episode of The 100, I think it’s shaping up to be a really exciting and intriguing show.

I think the plot is very interesting; being sent back to Planet Earth ninety seven years after a nuclear war wiped out all of civilisation. And these teenagers who are being sent back are not only convicted criminals, but have also never set foot on Earth before. So, I think this was already a very intriguing premise, we watch to see how they will interact with each other, work out how to live together and survive, and we want to see what relationships will form and what dangers they will face. Then, there’s the ticking clock narrative from the perspective of the human’s remaining in space and the political tensions between how they run their community. All in all, it’s a very thought-provoking and captivating storyline.

I love the characters in this show. I have always thought that with any work of fiction, be it a TV show, film, book, whatever, the characters HAVE to be good. It seems that The 100 will not have any problems; the characters are only becoming more developed and more interesting as time goes on. If there was a list for success this show definitely has the characters checked. There are lots of different characters to get to know and I have a feeling that some of them may have hidden agendas (I mean the end of episode three was an absolute shocker). I love the characters so far and I think they have been well developed, my favourites so far being Jasper (Devon Bostick) and Bellamy (Bob Morley).

I am excited to see where this show will go next. It has begun to spin a web of questions; Who are the grounders? Will they attack? Will the human’s left in space join Earth? Can each of the hundred be trusted? Can’t wait for Monday!


Weekly Trailer Breakdown: Annabelle

It’s Tuesday! This, of course, means it’s time for another trailer breakdown. This time just a few days after the late edition of last week’s breakdown. We shall be looking at the trailer for new horror Annabelle, a spin-off to 2013’s The Conjuring.

Okay, close your eyes” – with a stereotypically cheerfully sounding start which juxtaposes the soon to be viewed horror, we see a young couple who have a seemingly happy life together, pleasant music plays in the background and everything appears to be happy. But, this part never lasts long. As soon as the guy reveals a strange looking doll as a gift for who is assumed to be his wife, the audience know the couple are in danger. If that doll is anything like the doll from The Conjuring, and what do you know, this is apparently a spin-off and that doll does look a bit familiar…

I like your dolls” – another horror stereotype, a whispering voice, yet still very scary. The very night the woman gets her new doll strange and terrifying things begin to happen, starting with screaming in the neighbour’s house and then what seem to be supernatural appearances. And these supernatural beings are not exactly dropping in to politely introduce themselves. Well, they never are. Of course, they must be out for some kind of revenge or to fulfil a goal which will undoubtedly involve lots of pain and horror. Or is this all happening because of Annabelle? Yep, you guessed it, Annabelle is that creepy doll which no human in their right mind would actually want to own and have sitting on their bedroom shelf staring at them all night.

Well, this is a rather short breakdown but this is all that can really be said from the trailer that has been released. This is probably a good thing; maybe they won’t give away all the scary bits in the trailer for once.

Annabelle is set for release on the 10th of October this year.

Film Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes directed by Matt Reeves (2014)

Caesar is back. This time it is the year 2018 and the ALZ-113 virus has spread across Planet Earth, wiping out most of the human population. Caesar rules the apes, who have now made their own home and finally feel safe. However, when a small group of humans wander into their territory in search of a new power source for the destructing city, well you can only guess that they weren’t too pleased about it.

One of the most impressive things about this second instalment of what will clearly become a franchise of at least three films is the way it develops the animal characters. The audience get to know these characters; Caesar, Koba, Maurice etc, just as much as if they were human characters. That’s the brilliance of motion capture. Andy Serkis performs the character of Caesar as the strong and brave leader, but also as a father who fears for his family and as a creature who is trusting of a race which is assumed to be dangerous. We get to know Koba, played by Toby Kebbell, (who was strikingly terrifying with his scars, dark eyes and war paint) as a villain who is truly menacing. We do not lose the actors behind the technology, they are very much still present on screen and their performances are captivating.

This is a very different film to Rise of the Planet of the Apes (Rupert Wyatt), a completely different world. Planet Earth has faced much pain and terror, leaving it an almost empty shell of ruin. However, immune human’s still survive and the Apes have built their own homes. The storyline was just as eventful as the first film and, perhaps, more exciting. The subtle connections between the two films were effective.

The first film did have a certain simplicity which created intrigue and a focus on important elements such as Caesar’s relationship with humans. The second film is a lot more action packed, more about the fighting that the build up to it, however there are some plot point’s that attempted to make it more complex. The inclusion of Caesar’s family, the birth of his second son, his teachings to his first son and his rivalry against Koba made this character so interesting and even more human-like. The new human characters were also a well thought out addition, although fans will miss James Franco. Jason Clarke as Malcolm, Keri Russell as Ellie and Kodi Smit-Mcphee as Alexander are the main human family in focus, no telling whether they will be back for the third film. Their characters were developed well; they had their own journey of becoming a proper family together. There is also Gary Oldman as Dreyfus and, although some people may say his character was pretty much just Commissioner Gordon who’s finally stopped running around after Batman, he still fitted in with the storyline well.

An exciting storyline, with clever links to the first film, well-worth a watch, even if only to witness the brilliance of motion capture.

Weekly Trailer Breakdown (for the 15th July): Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

I rather late edition of the weekly trailer breakdown, since it should have been posted on Tuesday! This time looking at the trailer for Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, the sequel to 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Since you’ve already waited long enough for the breakdown I won’t ramble on any longer, let’s talk trailers…

APES…DO NOT WANT…WAR” – nothing grabs an audience’s attention like a talking ape wearing war paint. This display of mind-blowingly brilliant motion capture magic is actually pretty terrifying. These apes have evolved and are now more dangerous than ever before, however is it the response from the human race that actually causes the conflict? As you can see the apes don’t want to fight, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t.

We both have families, you want to protect yours, I want to protect mine” – the voice of Jason Clarke who plays Malcolm, a family man who believes there is a chance to reconcile with the apes, in an attempt to gain access to the hydroelectric dam in their territory. It could provide a long-term solution to the issue of supplying power to the city.

Are you aware they are going to turn on you? THEY’RE ANIMALS” – the voice of Gary Oldman, taking on a major role in another huge sci-fi epic, after his brilliant performance as Commissioner Gordon in The Dark Knight trilogy (Christopher Nolan, 2005-2012). He plays Dreyfus, who does not trust the apes and, therefore, is sceptical about negotiating with them. We will have to see how that one pans out.

A good man…like you” – Ahh, we see a brief glimpse of James Franco who played Will Rodmen in the Rise of the Planet of the Apes, who raises Caesar (a chimpanzee) from a very young age, becoming a father-figure to him. If you haven’t seen the first film, which you really should, you should know that Caesar gained human-like intelligence and emotions because of an experimental drug. In this part of the trailer he compares Rodmen’s kindness to that of Clarke’s character, Malcolm.

Caesar love humans…more than apes” – Caesar is accused of being disloyal to his own species, seemingly he has not forgotten about his past.

Oh, you want a drink?” – this part of the trailer portrays a scene that potentially has a small amount of humour. The human’s in the scene laugh at the ape, undermining its power. However, this is something they will bitterly regret once the ape gets hold of the machine gun. I guess they should have been paying more attention, because an angry ape with a machine gun is pretty scary!

Go…where? This my home” – the trailer really makes you sympathise with Caesar, who is caught in a conflict between his own species and the human race. Caesar trusts humans and cares for them, but he also cannot risk his own family. He is a very complex character with astonishing levels of intelligence. There is no way of talking about this film without talking about the amazing Andy Serkis, who plays Caesar. He really is the king of motion capture, he brings the character to life with so much emotion, but we can still believe that he is an ape.

I am sorry my friend…war has begun” – this film is about love, family, friendship, risk, sacrifice, loyalty, war and fear. And it just looks pretty amazing. The brilliant motion capture performances are enough to get me to see it, but I also think the storyline appears to be well thought out and could even leave room for a third film.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was directed by Matt Reeves and was released on the 17th of July 2014.

The Hunger Games – Amazing Advertising!

Does anyone else agree that the most recent advisements for The Hunger Games franchise, for Mockingjay – Part 1, have been amazing! It is really ramping up the excitement surrounding the film’s release, making us, as the audience; sense that there is a real uprising on the way. The Capitol TV set up is such a brilliant concept, with President Snow as the leader who is trying to convince the population to follow his rules.

But, the second broadcast message from the Capitol is intercepted by an outside signal; a message from District 13. This, in itself, symbolises the Capitol’s loss of control, the revolutionaries are finding ways to address the population and make their voices heard. We haven’t seen Katniss as of yet in these teaser trailers, however they have been very intriguing and a strong foundation to support the long awaited theatrical trailer. I have a feeling there may be a few more messages from District 13 to come and I cannot wait to see them!

There have also been several amazing posters for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, features images of people from each different district. These posters are of such high quality and they really give the audience more of an insight into each district. They remind us that these districts will soon combine their skills and knowledge in order to overthrow the Capitol.

“The Mockingjay lives…”

A second teaser trailer has been released for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. At first it appears to be another campaign-style video from ‘Capitol TV,’ featuring President Snow (Donald Sutherland). Snow is, evidently, still trying to convince the nation that he is in control, claiming that “throughout this great nation, never have we been more unified.” He explains how the Capitol and the districts are now “bound together in solidarity” which could not be further from the truth. The creepy, colourless set up of these videos almost suggests the idea that they are trying to brainwash the public. This shows us a glimpse of how twisted this world is, even more so than before, and that’s saying something.

Snow is surrounded by troops of armed guards and he sides are flanked with both Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and Johanna Mason (Jena Malone). However, despite Snow’s attempts to keep retaliation from the districts at bay, this broadcast is not as successful as his first. Beetee (Jeffrey Wright) interrupts with a message broadcast from the newly discovered district 13 (which is an amazing plot twist in itself) to tell the nation that “the Mockingjay lives.” With this message will also come hope, which should inspire quite the opposite of what Snow wishes to happen. It may still be possible to overthrow the Capitol after all. But, where is Katniss?

These teaser trailers are brilliantly enticing and are ramping up a significant amount of anticipation for the release of the film in November this year.

J K Rowling releases a new Harry Potter story on Pottermore

When I first heard this news I assumed that the story would have been an untold section from within the time frame of the book series. However, this new online release will actually give us another glimpse of Harry Potter and co in their 30’s. What little we know about the characters in their older years is from the epilogue of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, so it’s no wonder this new story has got people talking.

J K Rowling writes as newspaper journalist Rita Skeeter, a writer from the Daily Prophet, the famous wizard newspaper. It is an article detailing gossip from the Quidditch World Cup and describes what Potter and his friends look like in their later years. It should come in stark contrast to how we see these characters; engrained in our minds as young, fearless teenagers. However, it should also be interesting and remind us that the story is still alive and fresh in our minds. It is as if the characters have been living their lives, but we just haven’t been able to read their stories for a while. And now Rowling has picked them up in the mid-30’s to see how their getting on. It is brilliant because it is like they are alive, time has aged them, but they are still together and still a major part of the wizarding world.

Look out for a review of this short story release, coming soon!

Summer Reading List Second Update

Okay, so this list is probably going to be the final version. If I have read them and still have some weeks of summer left to spare I will add more. But, for now, I think I will have enough.

Finished reading:

Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (I have posted a review this morning!)

Currently reading:

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner (the second book of The Maze Runner trilogy, continuing from where the first book ended, the mystery isn’t over yet)

Still to come:

The Death Cure by James Dashner (well, I can’t read the first two without reading the last one!)

The Shining by Stephen King (I have always wanted to read a Stephen King book and I love the film of this book, hopefully it won’t scare me too much!)

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (the third and final book of The Hunger Games trilogy, I read the first two and never got around to reading this one, so I think it’s about time)

The Help by Kathryn Stockett (I have recently watched the film adaptation and found it very eye-opening, so I would now like the read the book)

This is likely to last me the rest of the summer, but if anyone has any other recommendations I would love to hear!

Book Review: The Maze Runner by James Dashner (2009)


Plot: Thomas wakes up in a metal elevator, with no memory of this previous life, on his way to the maze. Like many boys before him he arrives to discover the glade and the main goal of its inhabitants; to escape the ever changing maze. Thomas believes he is meant to be a maze runner, one of the boys who records maps of the maze layout in an attempt to solve it. But, what was Thomas’ role in the real world before the maze? Why does he feel that newcomer Teresa is so familiar? Would it really be a good thing to escape the maze after all?

I love the air of mysterious that surrounds this first novel in James Dashers’ dystopian young adult series. You are literally in the centre of a maze for pretty much the whole book, lost along with the characters. Then throw in the question of who Thomas really is, how he knows Teresa and why those who have been through ‘the Changing’ accuse Thomas for things he did in his forgotten past. The book keeps us guessing all the way through and it is very satisfying and exciting when we are finally provided with answers at the end.

There is some very shocking moments that are also chilling – such as when the ‘crazy boy,’ Ben, attacks Thomas in the woods, I actually found this really scary because you assume that this boy is locked up and when you realise he isn’t, you feel as unsafe as Thomas.

There are also some very sad moments – but I won’t give away any details – that are also unexpected. The whole situation of being trapped in the glade is both scary and sad for the characters as they can’t remember anything about their previous lives. They feel so much anger towards ‘the Creators’ and they don’t even know who they are. Some of the consequences and outcomes of incidents within the glade and within the walls of the maze are very gloomy and sad, really making you feel for the characters.

I think the characters are intriguing since we don’t know much about their lives and who they were before the maze trials. I am excited to see how they will develop in the next book. Thomas is a very likable character; however, I did find that it was a bit strange that after being the daring hero throughout the narrative, he isn’t really involved in the main battle at the end. The other glader’s fight off the Grievers (huge maze monsters/machines) whilst he runs to write in the code that ends the maze trials. I mean, it just seems like he should have fought with them.

I loved the characters of Newt, Chuck and Gally. I think Gally is one of those misunderstood characters, which is my favourite kind of ‘villain.’ Someone that you originally assume should be hated actually ends up being one of the most vulnerable and likable characters. I think ‘the Changing’ affected him more than anyone else, but he never quite explains why. It is unclear what happened to him at the end of the book after being beaten up by Thomas – but, personally, I hope he returns in the next book. Newt was such a kind character and I felt like I really wanted him to be safe. You can tell that all the way through he really cares about the other glader’s; he is a protector. He wants to escape the maze just as badly as he wants to prevent everyone from being too hopeful, protecting them from disappointment. Chuck is the adorable, loveable, hopelessly naive character that you all route for – and he is part of what makes the books conclusion so emotional.

At first I thought the ‘experiment’ plot element was going to be a bit unoriginal, but Dashner makes it more complex and intriguing than I could have hoped for. His writing style is so brilliant because he knows how to add to the long list of questions in the readers mind, subtly as they read each chapter. And then at the end we get the answers – and they are shocking and interesting. The world outside the maze if terrifying and set’s up the second book in the series perfectly; I just had to pick it up as soon as I had finished the last line of the first.

I really recommend this book; it is an exciting read with brilliant characters and I can’t wait to get into The Scorch Trials next!

Weekly Trailer Breakdown: Jupiter Ascending

From writer/directors Andy and Lana Wachowski comes a whole new world. Set for release in early 2015, can a completely new vision shine bright enough in the midst of a world of remakes and re-boots? Films such as Taken 3, Fast and Furious 7 and Insurgent are also set for release in early 2015 which have already proven success. However, the visuals of Jupiter Ascending promise to be stunning, the narrative intriguing, the characters exciting and the atmosphere electric. Let’s see what we can tell from the trailer…

I just need to know what in the hell is going on?” – Mila Kunis plays the role of Jupiter Jones, a seemingly ordinary human girl, who discovers her extraordinary destiny – a destiny that is, quite literally, out of the world. It is obvious that she has no idea who she really is and what she is meant to become. But, surely with the help of daring hero and genetically engineered wolfman, Caine Wise (Channing Tatum), she can find her way.

I think we might have stumbled into a war with one of the most powerful dynasties in the universe” – we glimpse a world where Channing Tatum can float around on glowing blue boots and a world full of spaceships. Apparently supporting cast member Douglas Booth described the films design as a cross between The Matrix and Star Wars. But, it also appears to something entirely different, which is exciting. In particular, I think the characters look very interesting – the films creators have developed a whole new dynasty and it will be fun to see how this dynasty works within this new universe.

I want her found and I want her dead” – well, according the Eddie Redmayne’s character, Balem, it runs as a dictatorship and he is the leader. He appears, from the trailer, to be a relentless villain, which is unexpected compared to his usual roles. However, I think he is looking to be an effective baddy in this movie – but is he going to be the pure evil kind or the misunderstood kind?

Your earth is a very small part of a very large industry” – Tuppence Middleton plays Kalique, another villain, who tries to befriend Jupiter. It is unclear whether she will actually turn out as a true villain or not. She explains to Jupiter that she can claim the title to earth and that the planet will belong to her – quite a bit of responsibility for someone who thought she was completely ordinary and who actually worked as a janitor – but her destiny is set and it seems she will be willing to live it.

We need fire power” – the trailer hints that a big battle will commence; Jupiter Jones and her supporters against the original dynasty, and Balem will do anything to stop her from taking his power. Who will win this war?

Jupiter!” – we see that there will be a romantic side to Jupiter and Caine’s relationship, which may just make them the coolest couple in fantasy outer space. We know that Caine will do anything to save her and Balem will do anything to destroy her, so I’m sensing that these two will not be best of friends. Also part of the cast is Douglas Booth as Titus, brother of Balem and Kalique – but the trailer does not show him so we do not know whose side he will be on. And Sean Bean as Stinger (named so literally because he has the qualities of a bee), who lives a normal life on earth after serving in the military with Caine – they seem to work together to help Jupiter.

So with a killer cast and a whole new visual landscape to explore, Jupiter Ascending is an exciting world that awaits us.