Category Archives: Rave Reviews

I Dreamed a Dream….within a dream

I saw the best movie of the summer last night. And yes, you are hearing it from me, it trumps Eclipse and kicks it all the way back to Vancouver and beyond. Inception, directed by Christopher Nolan, who you may know as the director of The Dark Knight, is by far the best movie I have seen in a long time It’s completely mind-blowing, the effects are superb, the cast is amazing, and the plot is incredible. Wow, how many more adjectives can I fit in here? Well let’s keep going and we’ll see.

I have always been interested in dream studies, especially lucid dreams: ones in which you realize you are dreaming whilst in the dream and decide to control your surroundings. So basically, this movie was made for me. I lie to you not, I had a dream within a dream last night after seeing this movie and woke up trying to analyze it. This movie has completely changed the way I will dream and even think about dreams. The story line is completely original and is something that has never been done before. I have a feeling a lot of low budget films will attempt to follow in its footsteps and turn into a Gigli situation. But the simple fact that this team of people can create dream situations in which they gather confidential information is just insane.

Like I said earlier, the cast is amazing. And they each have their own title on the team. Leonardo DiCaprio – The Extractor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt – The Point Man, Ellen Page – The Architect, Marion Cotillard – The Shade, Ken Watanabe – The Tourist, Tom Hardy – The Forger, and Cillian Murphy – The Mark. Michael Caine is also in the movie which takes Nolan back to his Batman roots. DiCaprio’s character, Cobb, is my favorite. His personal story controls the movie and has the ability to pull you in until you realize you have gone as deep inside his mind as he has into yours. This movie should be labeled a psychological thriller because it gets inside your mind and the story is told in such a way that you are left hanging from beginning to end. Oh and that ending. One of the best endings I’ve seen in all my years on this earth. I won’t give it away, but I will say everyone in the theatre with me screamed in unison when the credits began to roll. It really takes a lot for me to make comments out loud in a theatre, especially since that’s the factor I hate most when seeing a film. But I gasped, I cheered, and there were about a million “NO WAY!’s” that escaped this mouth. It was that compelling.

The special effects are also superb. While I have read that Nolan really does not like to incorporate CGI into his movies, that really couldn’t be avoided in this film. And he should be thankful. I have never seen effects such as those, such action, One of my favorite scenes is the one in which Joseph Gordon-Levitt is floating through a hotel hallway kicking total ass with no gravity. I mean COME ON!

I don’t like to give a lot of plot away in my movie reviews simply because I don’t want to spoil anything for aonyone and I want people to gain their own perspective and have the chance to watch the movie themselves with a fresh eye. I truly hope that you will see this movie because it is more than excellent. It gives a WHOLE new meaning to the term “cinematic adventure” and I promise you will come out of there talking about it with your friends and wanting to go back for more. You’ll probably even dream about it.

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RIP Nate Henn: A True Peacekeeper

For those who don’t know, for a few years now, I have been passionate about helping the children in Uganda who are suffering because of the civil war that is tearing through the Congo. While I am unable to actually fly there and participate in the Roadie Internship sponsored by Invisible Children, I have been able to do my part here in South Carolina by becoming involved in an on-campus organization and even sponsoring a benefit concert to raise money to build schools for the children. But a man named Nate Henn was doing what I could not do by dedicating his time and his life to those kids and by spending years in Uganda serving them. Sadly, Nate lost his life on Sunday doing a selfless act that many of us could never bring ourselves to do. 

Nate was killed after a terrorist attack sent explosions raging through a rugby field in Uganda. A field in which hundred were gathered to watch the World Cup Final. Even though he died amongst utter chaos and amidst anger, Nate died for peace. And he gave his life for Uganda.

What he has done for Uganda and the children has been completely selfless and downright respectable. He sacrficed a life of luxury and comfort to live in less than humble conditions for no pay in order to protect the rights of these children and to protect them from harm. I only wish I could have the same motivation and the same humility.

While he was not a glory-seeker in the least, I will continue to honor him and his passion for peace. Nate, thank you for what you have done for the Invisible Children, for Uganda, and for the American people. You are truly a hero in my eyes and your legacy will carry on inside my passion for helping these kids and bringing peace to Uganda.

So I ask you to please take a moment today to remember him and to reflect on what he has so graciously done for others in need. Visit natehenn.com to learn more about him and his mission and if you feel so compelled, to donate in his honor.

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Vampires, Werewolves, and Brooding, OH MY!

You knew it was coming. Don’t pretend like you haven’t been secretly anticipating it. Yes, that’s right kids, it’s my review of Eclipse. Even without having seen it, I knew it was going to be the best of the series so far. The book was by far my favorite. yes, it trumped Breaking Dawn for me, but only by a little bit. My assumption was confirmed about a million times from hearing reviews from my friends. And while I did not get myself involved with the pandamonium that was the midnight premiere, I was more patient than I thought and was able to outlast the hype for a few days. Nonetheless, I was the farthest thing from disappointed. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie and want to, stop reading now so it isn’t spoiled for you. Breaking Dawn was spoiled for me unforunately and I will never forgive the person who ruined it.

First things first, it followed the book very well, which I commend the producers for. The previous two also did a good job of that. While not every single detail can be included without making it an all day venture, these movies do a great job of leaving out the most miniscule details only, so the only people who really notice it are those, like me, who have read the books more than once and very closely. The flashbacks to how Rosalie and Jasper became vampires were dead on (forgive the pun) and were filmed excellently. Alice was not as major a character in this one as she has been in the past but I’m glad that the Cullen family as a whole got their chance to shine. Both of Bella’s parents also had a much larger role in this one and it was great to see her mom’s character back again for an entire scene in the movie. The addition of Xavier Samuel to the cast was a nice one. Although this will be his only film in the series, I loved the way he portrayed the character of Riley Biers. He was a perfect fit for that persona. And he ain’t too bad lookin either.I was not, however, a huge fan of Bryce Dallas Howard as Victoria. While I think she is gorgeous and the daughter of a cinematic genius, she did not fit the part very well. Victoria is meant to have a more intimidating demeanor and a much harsher voice. Howard was just way too sweet for the part. (SPOLIER ALERT) But she didn’t last very long in the movie anyways.

The music was also ten times better in this one. Not just the score, but the choices for the soundtrack as well. The music fit the tone of the movie to a T and was well transitioned throughout the scenes. A lot of the music added to the intensity of a lot of the scenes which made it all the more exciting. Artists like Muse, The Bravery, Sia, Cee-Lo Green, and Metric grace the soundtrack and help to set the tone. Howard Shore conducted the entire score for the movie and may I say sir, you are a musical god. I have never downloaded the score for a movie before until this one. Howard Shore needs a high five. And a beer.

While I am not Team Jacob, Taylor Lautner did have a more serious part in this one and I commend his character and his acting skills. As much as I hate to admit this, there was one scene where I actually thought he was decently deserving of Bella’s love. I have already seen it twice, once with my sister and another time with a guy friend of mine. I dragged my guy friend out there in desperation of wanting to see it and bless him. I knew it wasn’t his favorite thing but at the end, he said he actually enjoyed it. Going into it, he was worried about all the brooding and the emo “Oh I’m going to kill myself if you don’t love me” feel to the movie. He had good things to say about Edward’s character in this movie and said he felt that Edward had a much more mature approach to the love triangle than Jacob did. We both agreed that Bella’s character was quite whore-ish with her “I love Jacob, but I love Edward more” attitude. That may be the one aspect of the series that I dislike the most. I mean you can’t have your cake and eat it too Miss Swan. You can’t just go and kiss someone else while you’re engaged to your “reason for existing.” I’m just sayin.

All in all, this movie gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. The tone of the movie is just right, it’s not as broody and suicidal, the music is amazing, the characters have matured as has their talent, and the intensity was finally fit for a much more mature audience. Even if you aren’t a fan of Twilight, I think you should see this movie. You will walk away with a different perspective of the series other than just a teeny-bopper fantasy and you may even become a member of Team Jacob or Team Edward. But for your sake, it should be the latter.

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