A Tale as Old as Time | Review of “Beauty and the Beast”


By Cynthia Ayala

Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline & Josh Gad
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Disney’s animated classic takes on a new form, with a widened mythology and an all-star cast. A young prince, imprisoned in the form of a beast, can be freed only by true love. What may be his only opportunity arrives when he meets Belle, the only human girl to ever visit the castle since it was enchanted.”

—IMDB

A magical live action remake of the classic tale following Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the cursed prince. Needless to say—but it has to be said—this film had exceptional casting. Emma Watson has become an exceptional actress, taking on the part of Belle and molding her into something new. She was able to capture the essence of Belle from the original, the stubborn opinionated girl with dreams as vast as the eye could see. And her performance was breathtakingly amazing. She is Belle, there is no question about it. Then there is Luke Evans. God, what a wonderful Gaston he made. Much like Watson, he was the perfect person to take on this role, to sing the songs, the be the perfect narcissist.
Continue reading A Tale as Old as Time | Review of “Beauty and the Beast”

Racially Empowering…and Thrilling | Review of ‘Get Out’


By Cynthia Ayala

Get Out starring Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams & Bradley Whitford
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A young African-American man visits his Caucasian girlfriend’s mysterious family estate.”

    —IMDB

An amazing film that really looks at society and racism, taking it to another extreme that isn’t all that unbelievable. This is one of those films that’s just incredible because it works so well and builds so well. The beginning is so stark, it’s amazing how it works to create this atmosphere of eerie suburbia that everyone sees and no one talks about. But it also tackles society and racism in a remarkable way. It’s a fresh new take on racism and how it functions and can mutate in society taking on several forms, all of which are harmful to any individual. Acting like you’re not racist doesn’t make it true and this film addresses that.
Continue reading Racially Empowering…and Thrilling | Review of ‘Get Out’

The Horror Here is the Flat Ending | Review of ‘Asylum’ (Asylum #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Dan

Asylum by Madeleine Roux
HarperTeen
Image Credit: Goodreads

Crawford, a sixteen-year-old, has taken off to the New Hampshire College Prep program for the summer. It’s exciting, but for Dan, he has discovered that his dorm used to be a sanatorium that housed the criminally insane, some of which were tortured in barbaric experiments. With his newfound friends, Abby and Jordan, they explore the dark depths of the sanatorium, they discover that some secrets were better left unburied.

Published August 20, 2013, by HarperTeen, Asylum
by Madeleine Roux is the first in her Asylum series, a young adult horror that brings the past and present into a twisted collision course.
Continue reading The Horror Here is the Flat Ending | Review of ‘Asylum’ (Asylum #1)

High Tension Riveting YA Sci-Fi | Review of ‘Wandering Star’ (Zodiac #2)


By Cynthia Ayala

Wandering Star by Romina Russell
Razorbill
Image Credit: Goodreads

Stripped of her titles, disgraced, Rho is ready to set her sights on working quietly at the Cancrian refugee camp on House Capricorn. Unfortunately, Ochus has other plans for her. Ochus gives her insight into the Marad, a terrorist group of unbalanced persons, those constantly shifting between houses, and their plans. Now Rho must decide whether to trust the man who destroyed her home and name, of face a threat much larger than Ochus.

Published December 8, 2015, by Razorbill, Wandering Star by Romina Russell is the second in her young adult science fiction series, Zodiac, that takes astrology to a new level of cool.
Continue reading High Tension Riveting YA Sci-Fi | Review of ‘Wandering Star’ (Zodiac #2)

Weekly Reading List #79


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. Not much time for reading lately. Or writing. It’s so hard to find time. I’ve set aside time in my calendar for writing and editing and all my files FINALLY seemed to have synced up so I can FINALLY continue editing my book and preview the first five chapters up for readers to read. So much to do before my August 30th pub date. Here’s hoping I won’t have to move it back. Wish me luck!

Anyway, all work and no play is never fun so check out these titles and hand me some reprieve from my workaholic schedule.
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #79

Shyamalan Does it Again | Review of ‘Split’


By Cynthia Ayala

Split starring James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley & Haley Lu Richardson
Universal Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, they must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.”

—IMDB

Shyamalan does it again. Split is such an amazing film that takes the scientific basis of dissociative identity disorder and expands upon it in an extreme way. Enter James McAvoy with a breathtaking performance. McAvoy plays a variety of personas within this film, creating a different identity for each, well, identity. He’s amazing. Not once does he break character, but he creates and moves between the characters, between the personalities so effortless it’s scary. What makes it scary is how good he is at switching between the personas when he brings them to life.
Continue reading Shyamalan Does it Again | Review of ‘Split’

A Bad Romance | Review of ‘Aris Returns’ (Infinity Diaries Trilogy #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Aris Returns by Devin Morgan
Image Credit: Goodreads

Sarah Hagan has been through the ringer. After her divorce and a turn at a self-involved attorney, she has given up on romance and love. That is until Carlos enters her life. But as he’s her patient, he’s untouchable, leaving her with dreams both terrifying and exciting. But there’s more to Carlos. As she regresses him with hypnotherapy, she discovers an unusual presence, an alter ego that claims to be a phantom vampire. Who is Aris and what does he mean to Sarah?

Published October 30, 2012, by BroadLit, Aris Returns by Devin Morgan is the first in her paranormal romance Infinity Diaries Trilogy. Continue reading A Bad Romance | Review of ‘Aris Returns’ (Infinity Diaries Trilogy #1)

Weekly Reading List #78


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey, there avid readers! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week. I’m still trying to catch up on my reading and my writing, but, more importantly, my book which is slated for publication this coming August. It’s approaching fast, especially if I want to send out advanced copies in May-June. Man do I need more time. But all work and no play is never fun and this week I have been enjoying some 10th Kingdom! Woo!

Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Check out these titles and see if they tickle your fancy or should be added to your To-Read list.
Continue reading Weekly Reading List #78

Best Batman Movie Ever | Review of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Lego Batman Movie starring Will Arnett, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson & Ralph Fiennes
Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.”

—IMDB

By far the best Batman movie out there, The Lego Batman Movie is awesome for so many reasons. Focusing on who the character is, in such a playful way, the writers understood what makes Batman such a strong character and a fan favorite character. He’s always had his head up his tushie, and this film uses that element to make the film so funny. But then there are those sadder moments, the moments that reflect on the past and the defining moment that makes Batman who he is. The writers understand Batman better than I’ve seen in such a long time. Then there is that classic dynamic he has with Joker. This film nailed that relationship, that very toxic and twisted relationship, with perfection! Not since The Dark Knight has their relationship been so clearly and wonderfully established to build up this duo that has been the cause of so many iconic comic book moments.
Continue reading Best Batman Movie Ever | Review of ‘The Lego Batman Movie’

Truly Unique and Captivating | Review of ‘Zodiac’ (Zodiac #1)


By Cynthia Ayala

Zodiac by Romina Russell Razorbill Image Credit: Goodreads
Zodiac by Romina Russell
Razorbill
Image Credit: Goodreads

Once upon a time, there were once 13 houses in the Zodiac Galaxy. Now there are only 12. The thirteen house thought to be a legend, the boogeyman. But in a tragic accident that kills millions, Rhoma Grace has discovered that the Thirteenth house has a name and has come back from the darkest depth of the universe to destroy the Houses of the Zodiac.

Published December 9, 2014, by Razorbill, Zodiac by Romina Russell is the first in her sci-fi young adult series that takes astrology to the next intergalactic level.
Continue reading Truly Unique and Captivating | Review of ‘Zodiac’ (Zodiac #1)

Bringing you the latest reviews on films & novels. – Cynthia A.

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