The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 Soundtrack (2014)

The third movie adapted from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series Mockingjay Part 1 reaps attention and so as its soundtrack listing.

Produced by Lorde, the soundtrack confirms very much to her aesthetics right in the same vein as her big hit Royals in 2013.

The songs in this soundtrack album have raw, thematic lyrics in conformance to the novel. Most of the songs talk about strength, vulnerability and the dark world depicted in the story. The songs are set mostly through house beats and melodies, with some featuring rap verses. The songs are generally pop with hints of experimental and grunge. Heavy use of synthesizers make it sound heavily influenced of the 80s.

Meltdown [by Stromae featuring Lorde, Pusha T, Q-Tip & HAIM]. The hip-hop song is somewhat a commentary of the political climate in the Hunger Games series. It features house beats and rap verses.

Dead Air [by CHVRCHES].  The song is reflective of the struggle of a person in war – efforts going down to nothing and the person ends up as “dead air”. It makes use of house beats and synthesizers.

Scream My Name [by Tove Lo]. The song is somewhat a soliloquy of a person going to war – “will I be remembered?”

Kingdom [by Charli XCX featuring Simon Le Bon]. This seems to be Lorde’s version of a hymnal. Charli XCX ethereally croons over house beats and distortion effects. The song is about how their world is a “kingdom” and it is worth fighting for.

All My Love [by Major Lazer featuring Ariana Grande]. This dance track features Ariana’s great vocals. There’s something in the song that says about giving love while somebody leaves to the mountain top. The risk of dying makes one profess love.

Lost Souls [by Raury]. This experimental song has sleek beats.

Yellow Flicker Beat [by Lorde]. If The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug has Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire, this is Lorde’s answer to a folk song.

The Leap [Tinashe]. This song features sleek, silent beats.

Plan the Escape [Son Lux Cover, by Bat for Lashes]. This has strong, silent industrial, techno beats.

Original Beast [by Grace Jones]. This is an instrumental song featuring percussions as timpani and some tribal vocal verses. This must have been used to score a scene in the forest.

Flicker [Kanye West rework, by Lorde]. Kanye West does a darker, sleeker version of Yellow Flicker Beat.

Animal [by XOV]. This song features synthesizers and techno beats. The lyrics are about fighting – fighting valiantly as an animal.

This is Not a Game [by The Chemical Brothers featuring Miguel]. This hip-hop song has strong rap verses.

Ladder Song [by Lorde]. Lorde croons with her signature bedroom voice.

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Movies Seen 2: A Little Princess, Being Flynn, For Ellen, God’s Not Dead

A Little Princess, Being Flynn, For Ellen, God's Not Dead

A Little Princess, Being Flynn, For Ellen, God’s Not Dead

*Images used are properties of their respective owners – the movies’ production companies and distributors.

A Little Princess (1995). This is Alfonso Cuaron’s adaptation of the classic children’s book about a girl named Sara and her experience in a boarding school.

This movie speaks to me a lot because I grew up watching the anime version of A Little Princess.

Now I see how Director Cuaron managed to improve the landscape of the whole Harry Potter movie franchise. It was he who drove the visuals of the whole thing to a darker, whimsical tone. The Prisoner of Azkaban was my favorite Harry Potter movie after all.

I see the semblance of Azkaban and Princess:

  • Hogwarts was a better version of the boarding school.
  • Hogsmeade was a better version of the market where Sara buys.
  • There were images of ginormous clocks in both films.

Indeed, Cuaron was a perfect choice for the Potter franchise.

Being Flynn (2010). Robert DeNiro stars as a homeless man in Boston and a father to Paul Dano’s character – a social worker and writer.

For Ellen (2012). Paul Dano stars as a hard rock band vocalist trying to settle matters regarding his divorce.

Paul Dano and the kid’s silent exchanges were so subtle. Seeing them moments together, perhaps for the first and the last time, was heart-breaking.

God’s Not Dead (2014). A Christian drama film of intertwined subplots commemorating to a rock concert.

There were way too many subplots.

Movies Seen 1: At Any Price, Chloe, Frank, Miracle in Cell No. 7

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*Images used are properties of their respective owners – the movies’ production companies and distributors. 

At Any Price (2012). A family drama about infidelity, business and dreams. Zac Efron stars as an aspiring race car driver, and Dennis Quaid as his father who tries to make their agricultural business work.

Chloe (2009). A psycho-thriller about a doctor conniving with her husband’s alleged mistress. Julianne Moore stars as the wife; Amanda Seyfried as a bisexual prostitute; and Liam Neeson as the husband.

Frank (2014). A comedy-drama about a pianist-songwriter’s experience joining an eccentric rock band. Michael Fassbender stars as Frank, who does not take off a cartoonish helmet; Domnhall Neeson as  the pianist-songwriter; and Maggie Gyllenhaal as Frank’s girlfriend and fellow band member.

On a personal note, at first I did not like how the movie went, especially the first hour. It was too eccentric and weird for my taste. But towards the end, there was a change in mood and tone, and sense just came through.

Sometimes we see other people’s craziness and eccentricities as going nowhere, but they somehow know better where to go than we do.

Miracle in Cell No. 7 (20133). A Korean crime family-drama about a prisoner wrongfully incarcerated for a crime he did not do.

This had a good plot and good acting, except for the corny bit towards the end.

The Fault in Our Stars (2014): The Ultimate Soundtrack Placements!

So how do the songs in the Fault in Our Stars soundtrack match with the film?

Here’s how they’re done:

All of the Stars by Ed Sheeran: First song in the credits.

Call or SMS, please. Scene is scored with Simple As This by Jake Bugg. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Call or SMS, please. Scene is scored with Simple As This by Jake Bugg. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Simple as This by Jake Bugg: in which Hazel waits for a call or text from Augustus. It appears that Augustus keeps his word that he shall not communicate with Hazel until he finishes An Imperial Affliction.

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Green Light. Scene scored with Let Me In by Grouplove. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Let Me In by Grouplove: in which Hazel decides and confirms to Gus that their trip to Amsterdam will push through.

Tee Shirt by Birdy: second song in the credits.

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Throwing Fit. Scene scored with All I Want by Kodaline. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

All I Want by Kodaline: in which Isaac, Augustus and Hazel throw eggs at Monica’s residence.

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Swing. Scene is scored with Long Way Down by Tom Odell. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Long Way Down by Tom Odell: in which Hazel is at home, freshly out of confinement in the hospital, and tries to keep her distance from Gus. She sits in front of the swing and slide set at their backyard.

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Amsterdam. Scene scored with Boom Clap by Charli XCX. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boom Clap by Charli XCX: in which Hazel, Augustus and Hazel’s mother arrive at an airport in Amsterdam.

Car Ride. Scene is scored with While I'm Alive by STRFKR. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Car Ride. Scene is scored with While I’m Alive by STRFKR. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

While I’m Alive by STRFKR: in which Hazel and Gus share a car ride together for the first time with Gus driving.

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Boat ride. Scene scored with Oblivion by Indians. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Oblivion by Indians: in which Hazel and Gus share a boat ride along the canals of Amsterdam.

Towards Van Houten. Scene scored with Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Towards Van Houten. Scene scored with Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Strange Things Will Happen by The Radio Dept.: in which Hazel and Gus ride a bus and walk en route to Van Houten’s residence.

Dutch Hip-Hop. Scene scored with Bomfalleralla by Afasi and Filthy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Dutch Hip-Hop. Scene scored with Bomfalleralla by Afasi and Filthy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Bomfalleralla by Afasi and Filthy: in which Van Houten plays the song for a reason only intelligible to himself, to the annoyance of Gus and Hazel.

On the way home. Scene scored with Without Words by Ray LaMontagne. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

On the way home. Scene scored with Without Words by Ray LaMontagne. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Without Words by Ray LaMontagne: in which they ride an airplane back to Indianapolis.

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Gone. Scene scored with Not About Angels by Birdy. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Not About Angels by Birdy: in which Hazel feels melancholic after Gus’ funeral and Van Houten slips in the car.

 No One Ever Loved by Lykke Li: third song in the credits.

White Lies. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

White Lies. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Letter. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Letter. Scene scored with Wait by M83. (Temple Hill Entertainment, 20th Century Fox)

Wait by M83: in which (1) Hazel and Augustus share their experience with Van Houten to Hazel’s mother over cups of tea, setting aside the matter of them having sex; and (2) Hazel reads a letter written by Gus to her.

Here are recurring queries about the soundtrack placements:

  1. “the fault in our stars sex scene track”: A non-lyrical/instrumental score, the title of which undetermined as of this writing, and not included in the soundtrack album.

  2. “songs per scene in the fault in our stars”: Here it is.

  3. “what scen is in tfios is while im alive playing”: The car ride. For more, read above.

  4. “song in the scene of the fault in our stars when they are egging the car”: All I Want by Kodaline.

  5. “tfios song when hazel drives away from gus’ funeral”: Not About Angels by Birdy.

  6. “what song is playing when gus and hazel walk through amsterdam”: Technically, there are several. That would involve Oblivion by Indians, Let Me In by Grouplove, Strange This Will Happen by The Radio Dept., and Boom Clap by Charli XCX, among others.

  7. “what song plays after the egging scene in tfios”: All I Want by Kodaline, but technically, a non-lyrical score.

  8. “what song plays in the boat scene in the fault in our stars”: Oblivion by Indians.

  9. “tfios dutch song”: Bom Falle Ralla by Afasi and Filthy.

  10. “hazel grace waiting for call”: Simple As This by Jake Bugg.

  11. “the fault in ours stars soundtrack predication”: You are in the right post.

  12. “soundtrack in the faults in our stars when they are throwing eggs at the car”: All I Want by Kodaline.

  13. “tfios soundtrack with scenes that were played”: You have found the right post.

  14. “soundtracks that goes with specific scenes in tfios”: You are welcome.

  15. “tfios song placement”: My pleasure.

  16. “whats the song in the fault in our stars when hazel and gus have sex”: Not in the soundtrack album.

  17. “what song plays in tfios when on boat”: Oblivion by Indians.

You may also view my previous TFIOS related posts – one in which I review and predict how the songs in the soundtrack shall be used, and another in which I do a recap and review of The Fault in Our Stars movie. Thank you and don’t forget to be awesome!

The Fault in Our Stars (2014): My Ultimate Movie Review (sort of just a recap actually)!

There is so much I could tell about this whole TFIOS movie experience! I may look unlikely of the targeted demographic (read: teenage girls) the studios want for the movie, I still so wanted to watch it because: (1) the book is my second favorite John Green book; (2) I love the book; (3) I intend to watch all Shailene Woodley movies post-The-Descendants; and (4) I just got carried away by the whole marketing mechanism the studios did for this movie. (Yeah, I know, I sound Van Houten cynical on that last bit.) But yes, the point is I loved waiting and waiting and waiting for months to watch the movie, so here I am now – writing a blog about the movie! – just after a ride home from the theatre!

 

PLOT! PLOT! PLOT! SPOILER ALERT!

 

I intend to write this thing via stream of consciousness so I am not Googling any detail I’m going to write nor will I edit things out later. For more reliable telling of the plot and everything, I will let the studios and other bloggers do it, but I assure you I am pretty much reliable.

 

I will tell my piece; here it goes:

 

###

 

Hazel is depressed, or so says her doctor, and she is advised to attend support group. On the kitchen countertop, she argues with her parents that if she wants them to experience life, why don’t she be granted of a fake ID so she could purchase liquor, and take pot, instead of attending support group. She accepts defeat by faking a stab on her torso with an imaginary dagger.

 

Hazel attends her support group meeting for the first time and dislikes it. She appeals for her parents to reconsider her quitting attendance; but once again, in defeat, she goes to the support group meeting the second time around.

 

She arrives at the church, goes to the comfort room, and exits from it clumsily. At the door, she bumps into someone – a tall boy in a green leather jacket, jeans and a pair of Nike high-cut sneakers reminiscent of Justin Bieber circa 2009.

 

She goes to the support group meeting area where she sees the boy again. They are in the middle of a room, sit in a circle with a carpet in the middle signifying the Heart of Jesus, facing each other, with a guy named Patrick facilitating. Patrick speaks, sings songs, and let his participants speak.

 

Isaac, a young man with a cancer related to the eyes, speaks up. He shares about his cancer, a bit of his life, his girlfriend Monica, and his friend Augustus. All the time Isaac is speaking, Augustus and Hazel engage in a staring duel. Hazel won.

 

As asked by Patrick, Augustus then speaks to them. He notes that he is an amputee.

 

“What are your fears Augustus,” asked Patrick.

 

“Oblivion” was Augustus’ response. He goes to explain why it is so. Patrick asks who wants to add something. Hazel speaks up.

 

Hazel’s second support group meeting ends; and she stands by the door outside the church. Augustus sees her. They watch Isaac and Monica share a hormone fest composed of kissing and groping.

 

“What’s with ‘Always’?” asked Hazel in reference to what she hears from Isaac and Monica. Augustus tells her that it is somewhat about their promise of forever to each other. A girl from support group greets Augustus passingly; Hazel pretends to be disconcerted. Augustus then flips a cigarette out of his jacket.

 

“Oh my God, you just ruined it!” exclaims Hazel, annoyed that Augustus seemed not to care about the condition of her lungs, the severity of cigarette smoking to human health per se, and their seeming attraction with each other.

 

“You see, this is a metaphor.” Augustus then goes on to tell Hazel that he does not light the cigarette – that he will not let the thing that kills kill.

 

Augustus proposes that they watch a movie. Hazel is reluctant as it is her first time meeting him, and that he may act in bad faith anytime soon. Augustus argues adversely.

 

Hazel’s mother drives by the doorway of the church and asks Hazel to leap in. Hazel refuses; she goes with Augustus instead.

 

Hazel endures a recklessly driven ride courtesy of Augustus. On the way she tells him her cancer story.

 

Augustus’ home is clad with things that have encouraging sayings. His parents are at the kitchen preparing enchaladas. He leads Hazel down to his room.

 

Augustus’ room is spacious and has a nook for his basketball trophies. They sit by the couch where they discuss Hazel’s favorite book An Imperial Infliction by Peter Van Houten. Augustus agrees not to speak with her until he finishes the book as long as she too reads the book A Hound of Insurgents, which is a book adaptation of his favorite videogame.

 

For several days Hazel awaits for Augustus’ call. One day she receives a text message from him asking if An Imperial Affliction has some pages missing. She gets herself excused from the dinner table and calls him.

 

Over the phone she hears howling. It appears that Augustus was in his room with Isaac. Hazel then comes over. Isaac is in despair because Monica broke up with him as she finds the thought of him losing the sense of sight unbearable. He then starts to break physical objects apart. Augustus lets him break his basketball trophies. The Augustus and Hazel flirting ensues.

 

Seemingly Augustus finds himself a notch higher in Hazel’s books as he successfully communicates with Peter Van Houten’s assistant. And until one day, after several correspondences, Hazel gets “an invitation” from Van Houten to come to Amsterdam. By that stage, the prospect does not go well though as the Lancasters’ are unlikely to finance for overseas trips.

 

One day, Augustus, clad in a basketball jersey and hands with a bouquet of tulips, is by the Lancasters’ doorsteps. He proposes that he and Hazel go to have a picnic by a concrete sculpture of a skeleton in a park.

 

Augustus then takes out their food – cheese and tomato sandwiches. He then asks Augustus how his preparations are all connected. His jersey was by an NBA player of Dutch origin. The sculpture was by a Dutch artist. Tulips are very Dutch things to give, and so are Cheese and Tomato sandwiches to eat. Augustus then spills to Hazel that he gets a wish from the Genies – an organization helping cancer patients on wishes of leisure – that they go to Amsterdam to meet Peter Van Houten.

 

Everything seems to go well until Hazel’s cancer spikes up. For several days she is at the hospital, much to the worry of her parents and Augustus. This lessens the probability of their travel abroad.

 

Yet one day, Hazel sees an email from the Genies confirming their travel. Hazel’s mother happily confirms this to her.

 

Hazel, her mother and Augustus travel to Amsterdam. They ride a limousine on the way to the airport. As it is Augustus’ first time to fly, he finds the takeoff very scary and got reprimanded of “the metaphor” in his mouth.

 

On the night of their arrival, Hazel and Augustus got a reservation for a meal in a fancy restaurant. Hazel wears a beautiful blue dress – a gift from her mother. Augustus wears a dandy navy blue suit.

 

They sit inside the restaurant. The concierge regards them as Mr. and Mrs. Waters. They are given a glass of champagne by a chatty waiter – the champagne preferably the very first glass of their lives. Augustus chose for them the chef’s special entrée.

 

Their first dish was a risotto. Augustus remarks that if the risotto was a person, he would want to marry it at Las Vegas. The evening ensues with a wonderful conversation. “I’m in love with you Hazel Grace,” remarks Augustus.

 

In the morning the next day, Hazel and Augustus are to meet Peter Van Houten at his house. Hazel wears a tight shirt with a drawing of pipe and a passage written in Dutch. This intrigues her mother which Hazel wittily explains to her.

 

Hazel and Augustus arrives at Van Houten’s house. The entryway is full of unread fan-mail. Lidewij, Van Houten’s assistant, leads them in.

 

Van Houten is cold and snobbish towards them. He wants them out. He asks Lidewij for scotch. As it happens, Lidewij is the one who arranged the matters of Hazel and Augustus’ visit in an attempt to help Van Houten change his ways.

 

Van Houten asks Lidewij to turn the speakers on with a Dutch hiphop song. This angers Augustus. Hazel then tries to calm him down and just gets on to her point to Van Houten: for Van Houten to tell of what happens to the characters in An Imperial Affliction. He refuses to answer and ultimately wards them out.

 

Lidewij then goes after Hazel and Augustus. She treats them to a tour at the Anne Frank House.

 

Hazel, still feeling distraught, is struggling with the many stairs and ladders at the Anne Frank House. At the topmost room of the site, Hazel seems to have been very overwhelmed of her feelings, she kisses Augustus.

 

They go back to the hotel. They conclude the day on a wonderful note – a first time they share with each other.

 

The next day, Augustus and Hazel have some tea with Hazel’s mother. They tell her of their awful experience with Van Houten, missing out the bit they did at the end of the day.

 

Hazel and Augustus then spend time together sitting on a bench by a canal. Augustus confesses to Hazel that his cancer is peaking again.

 

They go back to their lives in Indianapolis. Isaac is now blind after his surgery. To make his friend cheer up, Augustus gets a plan done.

 

With five dollars from Hazel, they buy eggs to throw at Monica’s car. Monica’s mother catches them doing so, but goes back inside the house after hearing an illuminating explanation from Augustus.

 

On a night, Hazel gets a call from Augustus. As it happens, he is in his car by a convenience store, intending to buy a pack of cigarettes. Hazel drives to him and sees him in an emergency situation. He refuses to get some help but Hazel insists and calls 911.

 

After that night, Augustus’ cancer never got any better. His chemotherapy is discontinued as his body seems not to respond to the medication anymore.

 

Augustus arranges with Hazel and Isaac a pre-funeral at the church. He wants to hear from them their messages for his funeral.

 

On the day of the pre-funeral, Hazel gets into an argument with her parents for not eating. It then becomes clear to Hazel that her mother is getting ready for Hazel’s passing by becoming a social worker.

 

Augustus spent an afternoon at the park with Hazel. Eight days later, Augustus passed away.

 

Peter Van Houten was present at Augustus’ funeral much to Hazel’s annoyance. In the car on her drive home, Van Houten gets in and talks to her. Hazel is angered. He gives her a piece of paper which she crumples. Van Houten gets out of the car.

 

Isaac visits Hazel at her home. He says that Augustus wrote a letter to Van Houten which he must give to Hazel.

 

Hazel then retrieves the crumpled letter in her car. She reads it. It is a eulogy written by Augustus for Hazel’s funeral.

 

And the movie ends with Hazel remembering Augustus – of the love they had, they will forever have.

 

###

 

IMPRESSIONS

 

To be quite frank, I got pretty much worried at the first ten minutes or more of the movie. Sure, those minutes had some funny and heart-wrenching times but I think those lacked something. If I am to assess the manner, I find those minutes under-musically-scored. Plus maybe a thing about editing. Those minutes had a slower pace than the rest of the movie. Maybe the intention was to build up the narrative but I think it should have had more scoring and a quicker pace.

 

The plot thickens and gets interesting as the Amsterdam arch is introduced. Everything then looks appealing in a charming Woody Allen cinematic kind of way. There’s Ansel and Shailene enjoying the beautiful views. It all looks visually satisfying.

 

I loved the boat ride sequence and the restaurant sequence. The sex sequence was all very endearing too. It felt very erotic and cutely disturbing at the same time.

 

But my favorite of all was the Anne Frank House sequence. That was one great invention that the production added. I do not remember Hazel struggling with stairs in the book. Shailene’s acting was so mesmerizing. Within the context that Shailene’s character was so distraught of meeting a monster, to physical pain from climbing several steps, to bringing her fondness to a boy to the next level, Shailene delivers her role very well.

 

And of course, Ansel Elgort was very effective as Augustus Waters. Never did I imagine Ansel to do something like he did in here. I do remember him as Caleb in the movie and my Roth readings and as Augustus in my TFIOS re-readings, but I admit his rendition of Augustus was better than I imagined.

 

To tell the truth, my first visions of Hazel and Augustus upon reading TFIOS the first time were Natalie Portman during her V for Vendetta stage and Douglas Booth sans the movie LOL.

 

Nat Wolff as Isaac was a show stealer too. His scenes howling and breaking trophies and throwing eggs were utterly hilarious!

 

The screenwriters did a wonderful job helming this movie. Yes, it may kind of have confused some time elements along the way, but I think they pulled it altogether. They did a pretty good job sifting through the best subplots, linking them together, and choosing the best lines from the book and adapting them to the movie.

 

Overall, I liked the movie very much! It lived up to my expectations! Except for the first few minutes which I found underwhelming, it was utterly great!

 

I give the movie 3.5 stars out of 5.

 

All is fair in love and war and the nerdfighteria! DFTBA.

Maleficent (2014): Angelina Jolie’s cheekbones!

SPOILER ALERT.

 
So there’s a young girl with nice hair, a pair of horns, and black great wings whom they categorize as somewhat a fairy called Maleficent. Now the moment I saw her, I said she is a Harpy. I insisted but my friends/movie pals just won’t believe me. Anyway this girl lives with other magical creatures in a very nice swamp aptly called moor.

One day a young male human being called Stefano emerges from behind the bushes – the entrance being highly reminiscent of The Chronicles of Narnia. Maleficent was talking, seemingly in command of the conversation, to the magical creatures and the young male who had emerged from the bushes. I did not keep track of what they were saying. Then there’s a montage of them growing, looking like they’re in love. Then there’s a conflict that could be remedied by a true love’s kiss. When Maleficent was 16, she and Stefano kissed, but somehow it did not work out, and for some reason Stefano just did not see her anymore. (Yeah, a total dick.)

Then there’s a castle ruled by a king. Again I did not keep track of the conversation but I assume this king wants Maleficent’s land. He sends soldiers to claim the land, but they are utter nuts for not planning how to defeat magical people with wings and cheekbones; so Maleficent-1, Humans-0. I think the King died in war too. The good thing about the war though was somehow knowing what Maleficent’s weakness is – metals. (So she’s somewhat a cross between a harpy and a vampire?)

I didn’t keep track of the conversation again, but I assume the people were pissed. They were undermanned, so the few remaining soldiers made a pact or something that whoever catches Maleficent becomes king. (I’m not sure of this though.)

So Stefano, the treacherous Stefano, went to Maleficent’s land. He said something like getting away, or a precaution, or wrong attack information from the Humans. Now Maleficent, the-ever-loving-never-moved-on Maleficent, somehow chose to trust Stefano, stayed with him for the night cuddling, and drinking from his flask containing some sort of sleeping potion. While Maleficent was asleep he tried to kill her with a dagger, but he got scared, so he opted to take out her wings. And somehow, she lied low and lived miserably. You can feel her misery through a Jolie-patented howl not seen since Girl, Interrupted (only it was better in Girl, Interrupted.) She then tried to live like Voldemort post-Hogwarts – strengthening her powers and getting an ally called Theodore whom she morphs into different kinds of creatures, more prominently being a crow.

So Stefano the Prick became a king, got a wife and had a daughter. The king’s daughter was named Aurora. Upon knowing this truth, Maleficent obviously got mad, so she set up a revenge.

On a special ceremony for the king’s daughter, three fairies came to the kingdom to give their gifts. Imelda Staunton, formerly Professor Dolores Umbridge of the Harry Potter series, now a pink fairy, gave Aurora beauty. The second fairy gave Aurora charm. The third fairy was about to give her a gift when thunder struck, wind blew hard and Maleficent came in. Guess what, she gave her Aurora a curse.

So there. The king got mad, entrusted Aurora to the goofy fairies until her 16th birthday. All through Aurora’s life, Maleficent was there ensuring she keeps being alive until the curse ensues. But for some reason she grows affection for the child. Aurora becomes 15, and days before her 16th birthday Maleficent takes her. Aurora sees her as her fairy godmother. Maleficent has ultimately put Aurora in her good book, and tries to renounce the curse but failed. Aurora meets a guy, whom Maleficent thought would be the one for her.

One day Aurora thought she liked Maleficent so much already that she went to the fairies to ask their permission to live with Maleficent. Then Aurora knew of the whole truth. She confronted Maleficent and ran away to the kingdom. The king got Aurora locked up in her room, but the curse took its toll. She fell for an indefinite sleep.

Maleficent then got Aurora’s guy. He kissed her, but as far as Disney’s new stance for romantic kisses goes, there is no such a thing as true love, so the guy’s kiss does not work. But then, Disney advocates their new stance on kisses as an act of true love (sisterly love in Frozen, foster motherhood in Maleficent) so Aurora lives with Maleficent’s kiss.

Aurora lives but the king is not content without revenge so he tries to kill Maleficent. First he had a metal trap. Then Maleficent makes Theodore a dragon so she escapes. Then the king becomes a knight clad in metal. Then they fight. Aurora takes Maleficent’s wings out of a glass case. Then Maleficent has wings. Then Maleficent and the king goes straight out of the castle through the stained glass windows, like Severus Snape flying out in Deathly Hallows after McGonagall dueled with him. Then Maleficent and the king swerves down the tall tower, like Harry and Voldemort’s last fight. The king dies; Aurora builds a relationship with her guy; Maleficent makes Aurora queen in a merger between humans and the magical creatures. All is well; the end!

Things I like about the movie:
1. Maleficent’s cheeks!
2. Maleficent’s cheekbones!
3. Maleficent’s horns!
4. Maleficent’s lips!
5. Maleficent’s wings!
6. Maleficent’s body suit!
7. Maleficent calling Aurora “Beastie”!
8. Imelda Staunton as a pink fairy!
9. Theodore!
10. The cute Disney trolls!
11. The moor!

Things I don’t like about the movie:

1. The story.
2. The king!
3. Maleficent being not recognized as a harpy!
4. Everything Harry-Potter-like!

  • 4.1. The castle looking like Hogwarts!
  • 4.2. Flying out of the stained glass windows! (That was a patented Severus Snape move!)
  • 4.3. Enemies swerving down a tower! (That was a patented Harry-Voldemort move!)
  • 4.4. The king falling off! (That was a patented Dumbledore move!)

5. Everything Narnia-like!

  • 5.1. The knights!
  • 5.2. The humans fraternizing with magical creatures!

6. Everything LOTR/The Hobbit-like!

  • 6.1. The magical trees!
  • 6.2. The goofy acting!
  • 6.3. Smaug-like dragon!

 

FINAL VERDICT: Before writing this, I was resolved on not loving it. So I will have to stay with I DID NOT LOVE IT. But thinking about it again, I think I LIKE IT. For me, it’s 2 of 5. It’s a grower for me I guess. Tomorrow it’s going to be 3 of 5!