Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Buy, Rent, and Watch Movies & TV on Flixster

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them draws on Harry Potter’s rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.

Source: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them – Buy, Rent, and Watch Movies & TV on Flixster

Review: OK, so, I’ve had my doubts about this movie. Although it’s set in the Harry Potter world, this movie beats the pants off the Harry Potter movies by a long shot. And I’m not saying that because I’m a former Harry Potter fan; it’s kind of the truth. It’s also one of the better movies I’ve seen this year… sure to please viewers with the most discerning taste.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Buy, Rent, and Watch Movies & TV on Flixster

Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground — and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.

my rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

my review: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a furiously paced, deftly plotted joy, bursting at the seams with disquieting imagery and carrying a disturbingly dark undercurrent.

Source: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – Buy, Rent, and Watch Movies & TV on Flixster

The Long-Lasting Significance Of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Trilogy | The Huffington Post

Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen and Viggo Mortensen reflect on the 15th anniversary of “Fellowship.”

Source: The Long-Lasting Significance Of ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ Trilogy | The Huffington Post

Believe it or not, it’s been 15 years since “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” made its debut in theaters. At that time, I had recently turned 18 years old and my friends and I drove out to the theaters in Salinas to see it. Well, let’s say my mind was blown away, making me into a Tolkien fan.

(Well, I admit I haven’t read the books until 2002, but that’s a given.)

Anyway, this article talks about how “The Lord of the Rings” managed to transcend time and gain fans, people who would never consider tackling J.R.R. Tolkien’s biggest work. (Plus, there would have been no “Hobbit” movies if  “The Lord of the Rings” was never made, nor became as big as they were.)

But as the comments imply, “The Lord of the Rings” is still the best. In a world full of Harry Potters and dystopias, it’s nice to know that there’s still one movie people can return to again and again.

2015 Entertainment Review

So, in the sense that we have this review blog, I say that we’re going to review some of the things that I have put on the end-of-the-year report…

Best movies:

  1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
  2. The Martian
  3. Inside Out
  4. Jurassic World
  5. The Scorch Trials
  6. Kingsman: the Secret Service
  7. Furious 7
  8. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  9. Mission Impossible: Rouge Nation
  10. Ant-Man
  11. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Worst Movies:

  1. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water
  2. Home
  3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

* * * * *

Best books to read:

  1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  2. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  3. The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
  4. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School by Jeff Kinney
  5. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan
  6. Dangerous Lies by Becca Fitzpatrick
  7. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  8. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  9. The Last Anniversary by Lianne Moriarty
  10. Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson

* * * * *

Pop Culture

Songs of the Year

  1. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars
  2. Take Me to Church – Hozier
  3. FourFiveSeconds – Rhianna, Kanye West, and Paul McCartney
  4. Sugar – Maroon 5
  5. Fight Song – Rachael Platten

—–

Big Events: And some big events for all of us to NEVER forget…

  1. Back to the Future Day 2015
  2. David Letterman’s final show
  3. Zayn Malik quits One Direction
  4. Leonard Nimoy dies
  5. Brian Williams gets in trouble for lying about a helicopter crash
  6. Justin Bieber gets roasted on Comedy Central

—–

Yeah, we never saw this coming…

  1. Jon Snow “dies” on “Game of Thrones” (Still not over it!)
  2. Duran Duran’s new album
  3. John Stewart retires from “The Daily Show with John Stewart
  4. Charlie Sheen has AIDS (screw you, AIDS!!!)
  5. Sharknado 3 (Valar shark-goulis, George R. R. Martin!)

—–

And yes, we have to say goodbye to some notable people who met the Stranger this year:

  1. Leonard Nimoy
  2. Christopher Lee
  3. Terry Prachett
  4. Bobbi Kristina Brown
  5. Cynthia Lennon (first wife of John Lennon)
  6. Ben E. King
  7. B. B. King
  8. Andrew Lesnie (worked on Peter Jackson’s movies)
  9. James Horner
  10. Diana Douglass (mother of Michael Douglass)
  11. Omar Sharif
  12. E. L. Doctorow
  13. Jackie Collins
  14. Maureen O’Hara
  15. Mario Cuomo
  16. Bob Simon of 60 Minutes
  17. Fred Thompson
  18. Beau Biden
  19. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
  20. The victims of needless terror attacks in San Bernandino, California; Paris, France; Charleston, South Carolina;
  21. And as always, the brave soldiers who died defending our country and everything it stood for.

Also, one of my uncles (Granny’s brother) shook hands with the Stranger in September. RIP, Uncle Smokey 😦

* * * * *

2015 is over…bring on 2016! Now that the future is here, the possibilities are endless.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Screen capture from The Avengers: Earth's Migh...

Screen capture from The Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes episode, “Breakout”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

When Tony Stark jumpstarts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as they battle to save the planet from destruction at the hands of the villainous Ultron.

Directed By: Joss Whedon
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 2 hr. 21 min.
Release Date: May 1, 2015

My review: Beautifully crafted and full of genuine suspense

My rating: 4.5/5

Insurgent (2015)

THE DIVERGENT SERIES: INSURGENT raises the stakes for Tris as she searches for allies and answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Tris (Woodley) and Four (James) are now fugitives on the run, hunted by Jeanine (Winslet), the leader of the power-hungry Erudite elite. Racing against time, they must find out what Tris’s family sacrificed their lives to protect, and why the Erudite leaders will do anything to stop them. Haunted by her past choices but desperate to protect the ones she loves, Tris, with Four at her side, faces one impossible challenge after another as they unlock the truth about the past and ultimately the future of their world. (C) Lionsgate

Directed By: Robert Schwentke
Rated: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hr. 59 min.
Release Date: March 20, 2015
My review: Fast-moving and filled with impeccably drawn characters, The Divergent Series: Insurgent is immensely satisfying.
My rating: 4/5

2014 Entertainment Review

So, in the sense that we have this review blog, I say that we’re going to review some of the things that I have put on the end-of-the-year report…

Best movies:

  1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
  3. Interstellar
  4. Big Hero 6
  5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  6. Divergent
  7. Guardians of the Galaxy
  8. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  9. The Maze Runner / The Giver
  10. The Fault in Our Stars

 

Worst Movies:

  1. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  2. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  3. Lucy
  4. Godzilla
  5. Hercules
  6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  7. Into the Storm
  8. Noah
  9. The Muppets: Most Wanted
  10. A Million Ways to Die in The West

* * * * *

Best books to read:

  1. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  2. The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
  3. Lies We Tell Ourselves by Robin Talley
  4. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
  5. City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare
  6. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
  7. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  8. Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
  9. Cress by Marissa Meyer
  10. Silver Shadows by Richelle Mead

* * * * *

Pop Culture

Out of everyone, I say that these people had had a great year. They are as follows:

  1. Peter Jackson (thank you for the Hobbit movies)
  2. Kim Kardashian (thank you for breaking the Internet)
  3. Ellen Degeneres (thank you for the biggest selfie that brokeTwitter)
  4. Taylor Swift
  5. Jennifer Lawrence

 

Honorable mention: Benedict Cumberbatch. (Nuff said)

 

And yet, some of us weren’t so lucky. Those on my Wall of Shame in 2014:

  • Kris Jenner: for being a world-class jerkface towards her entire family.
  • Miley Cyrus: at least she’s cleaning up her act…albeit very slowly.

For 2015, I’d like to see one of them clean up their act.

—–

Songs of the Year

  1. Happy by Pharrell Williams
  2. All About That Bass by Meghan Trainor
  3. Animals by Maroon 5
  4. The Hanging Tree by James Newton Howard Featuring Jennifer Lawrence
  5. Bang Bang by Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj
  6. Stay With Me by Sam Smith
  7. Rude by MAGIC!
  8. Counting Stars – OneRepublic

—–

Big Events: And some big events for all of us to NEVER forget…

  1. 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia
  2. 2014 World Cup
  3. Ebola
  4. Riots in my hometown of St. Louis, MO
  5. MH370 disappears
  6. Comet landing
  7. Hoverboards

And now for a list of things I just didn’t like this year:

  1. “Nae Nae” (dance)
  2. Sharknado 2 (even better than Sharknado)
  3. Submarine the Shark
  4. Bill Cosby gets Shut Down
  5. Unarmed Black Teen Shot/Killed Near St. Louis
  6. Flappy Bird (that stupid game returns)
  7. “Weird Al” returns

—–

Yeah, we never saw this coming…

  1. Grumpy Cat movie
  2. Barbara Walters Retires
  3. Michael Jackson’s hologram performance
  4. Jay Leno, Craig Ferguson, and David Letterman retire from Late Night TV
  5. Ice Water Bucket Challenge
  6. George Clooney Gets Married (FINALLY!!!)
  7. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr reunite at the Grammy’s

—–

And yes, we have to say goodbye to some notable people who decided to leave us in 2014. And some of them are on this list:

  1. Robin Williams
  2. Joan Rivers
  3. James Garner
  4. Ann B. Davis
  5. Casey Kasem
  6. James Avery
  7. Russell Johnson (Professor on “Gilligan’s Island”)
  8. Ariel Sharon
  9. Philip Seymour Hoffman
  10. Mickey Rooney
  11. Maya Angelou
  12. Shirley Temple Black
  13. John Henson (son of Jim Henson)
  14. Harold Ramis (director of Ghostbusters and other films)
  15. Lauren Bacall
  16. Don Pardo (voice of SNL)
  17. Brittany Maynard (fought for right-to-die)
  18. Norman Bridwell (creator of Clifford the Big Red Dog)
  19. And as always, the brave soldiers who died defending our country and everything it stood for.

* * * * *

2014 is over…bring on 2015! (also, be on the lookout for hoverboards, hovercars, automatic lace-up sneakers, and the new Jaws movie. Back to the Future II is now.)

* * * * *

Sources used:

  • Mr. PopCulture
  • Goodreads.com
  • Billboard.com