Tag Archives: drama

A Generic Fantasy Film | Review of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’


By Cynthia Ayala

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starring Charlie Hunnam, Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey, Djimon Hounsou, Aidan Gillen, Jude Law & Eric Bana Warner Bros. Pictures Image Credit: Goodreads

“Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.”

—IMDB

Another film about King Arthur. Tales of his majesty and the realm of magic and swordsmanship have been adapted in many ways, from the big screen to the small screen. There hasn’t been an accurate adaptation of the tale since Excalibur and the Merlin miniseries, but pivotal characters weren’t left behind, weren’t forgotten in the telling of the stories. This film seems to have forgotten all about Merlin, Morgan Le Fay and Mordred and the pivotal parts they played in shaping up the Arthurian legend.

Continue reading A Generic Fantasy Film | Review of ‘King Arthur: Legend of the Sword’

The Perfect Wolverine Film | Review of ‘Logan’


By Cynthia Ayala

Logan starring Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart & Dafne Keen
Marvel Entertainment
Image Credit: IMDB

“In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X somewhere on the Mexican border. However, Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are upended when a young mutant arrives, pursued by dark forces.”

—IMDB

There’s simply no limit to the beauty this film has wrapped in all the swearing and gritty glory that defines Wolverine’s character and this film. Wolverine has not had an easy life, he has gone through so much and the writers knew just how to capitalize on the character, the Wolverine, and evolve the story for him. They took a risk, and they ended the story properly, they ended it in such a way that they gave closure to the character and his legacy in the X-Men.
Continue reading The Perfect Wolverine Film | Review of ‘Logan’

A Remarkable Piece of History | Review of ‘Hidden Figures’


By Cynthia Ayala

Hidden Figures starring Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer & Janelle Monáe
20th Century Fox
Image Credit: IMDB

“Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.”

  • IMDB

Such a remarkable film that brings to life the history not only about NASA and the space race but also about three amazing women who were instrumental in the space race and the war on racism.

Taraji P. Henson plays Katherine Goble, African-American physicist and mathematician in the aeronautics space program. She plays this incredible woman who had to face not only racism but sexism in the space department as she fights to prove her worth to the program and that her smarts go beyond her gender and race. It was a remarkable performance that is important for the present because it is a film that fights and pushes against those boundaries.
Continue reading A Remarkable Piece of History | Review of ‘Hidden Figures’

19-Years-Later & Still Magical | Review of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ (Harry Potter #8)


By Cynthia Ayala

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany
Arthur A. Levine Books

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

With Voldemort dead and gone, Harry Potter’s life hasn’t gotten any easier. As an overworked employee of the Ministry and a father of three, his life is as hard as ever. But not only for him. The past is creeping on the Potter’s, especially on his son Albus, and on their journeys, they must each come face to face with the darkness around them.

Published on July 31, 2016, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a work compiled by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. It is a special version of the story written by J.K. Rowling and adapted for the stage continues the story in a beautiful way that shows the challenges of parenthood and living up to your parents.
Continue reading 19-Years-Later & Still Magical | Review of ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ (Harry Potter #8)

Strong Cast, Weak Characters | Review of ‘The Girl on the Train’ (Film)


By Cynthia Ayala

The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett & Rebecca Ferguson Universal Pictures
The Girl on the Train starring Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett & Rebecca Ferguson
Universal Pictures

A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.

­—IMDB

Based on the New York Times bestseller of the same name, this film captures a high-intensity struggle of an alcoholic woman who is struggling to remember what happened the day she came home bruised and bloody on the same night someone goes missing.

I heard much about the novel, both good and bad, and as for the bad, I’m beginning to understand why those people I know felt the way they did. But I went into this film thinking it looked good, and when you add Emily Blunt in the film, I thought “now there’s a lot of potential to save a story.” Continue reading Strong Cast, Weak Characters | Review of ‘The Girl on the Train’ (Film)

Weekly Reading List #62


By Cynthia Ayala

Hey there avid readers! My fiancé is leaving back to Florida in a few days. Sad panda. We’ve been having such a great time lately and tomorrow, the goal is Salem! We weren’t able to go last year because I got horribly sick but rain or shine I am going to Salem for Halloween! Anyway, I hope everyone has some wonderful plans for Halloween, don’t let the fact that it’s on a Monday bum you out. Anyway, check out this week’s reading list. Happy reading! Continue reading Weekly Reading List #62

Flawed Yet Still Very Enjoyable | Review of ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children’ (film)


By Cynthia Ayala

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children starring Eva Green, Asa Butterfield & Samuel L. Jackson
20th Century Fox
Image Credit: IMDB

When Jacob discovers clues to a mystery that stretches across time, he finds Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But the danger deepens after he gets to know the residents and learns about their special powers.

—IMDB

Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children brings to life what it means to be peculiar in a world where being different doesn’t exactly work well.

Now, first I would like to address the controversy on this film not being diverse. Yes, Tim Burton’s comments were less than ideal, but I think viewers have to look at everything that went into the movie. The time period is WWII on an Island based out in Wales where the demographic is going to be mostly Caucasian; then you have to look at the photographs that Riggs put into the novel. Of course, there is always room for diversity in any medium but looking at it through those lens people have to wonder if Burton did a grave injustice. Personally, I don’t think so; I believe he played with the area and looking at it historically, in this region the diversity is lacking, that’s just historically speaking. Then if fans look at the novel itself, well it’s not very diverse either. So laying it all on Burton is a bit unfair. Of course, he chose not to take those kinds of liberties with the material, and that’s fine, it’s his choice. We as viewers don’t always have to agree, and we sure as heck don’t have to agree with what he said, but when looking through a lens that incorporates geography, demographic of said local and the book itself, the film lacking diversity is somewhat realistic. Does that make it better? No, but it makes it more understandable and if you disagree with me, that’s fine, not everything is done to please everyone.

As for the film itself the, in the beginning, the acting was stiff. It is painfully obvious that Butterfield was not grounded in the role from the start because his grief, those scenes where the tension is high, they fall flat. There is little connection between the actors within the beginning making for tough viewing. It’s a bit cringe-worthy, the opening, and the narration also comes off as flat. It’s not until Butterfield’s character gets to that island near Wales that he starts to make his character his own. As for the man who plays his father, casting could have done a better job of. The actor felt awkward in the film and he had no chemistry with Butterfield so watching their father-son dynamic was unbelievable and just plain bad.

That being said, the rest of the characters had chemistry with one another and fit their roles perfectly. Eva Green, as always, is a pleasure to watch on the screen and with her hair style, the pipe, and her nifty pocket watch, she made the role her own. She was the perfect person for the role, giving the film so much life with her acting. Green is Miss Peregrine. As for the rest of the characters, here is where I think the book improves on the novel. I know, sacrilege, but it’s true. When one reads the novel they don’t get a sense of the other characters in the novel, they aren’t important when they should be. The film gives them focus allowing the actors and the story to bring them to life and that is what Goldman did so well when writing the screenplay. Also, the switch that Burton made by giving Emma the power of flight, or her peculiarity of air. It brought a freshness to the film that the novel lacked, and it made for a joyful viewing experience.

Let’s also not forget Samuel L. Jackson. Is he ever not a joy to watch on the screen? Answer to that is no. He was brilliant, as always, and the way the film combined various roles to create his was very well done. The writers condensed the roles to him, and it worked out brilliantly for the film.

The writers knew what to do, and they made a smart move with the ending of the film because they were able to create an ending closed enough that if it doesn’t get a sequel that’s okay but open enough for there to be an eventual sequel. It was well made at the end of the day and flowed and for the most part was a fun, imaginative film to watch. (★★★☆☆ | C)

—Film Credits—

Directed by Tim Burton

Screenplay by Jane Goldman

Based on Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Starring: Eva GreenAsa ButterfieldChris O’DowdAllison JanneyRupert EverettTerence StampElla PurnellJudi Dench & Samuel L. Jackson

Rating | Length | Genre: PG-13 | 2 h 7 min | Adventure, Drama, Family

Distributed by 20th Century Fox

Strong & Thoughtful | Review of ‘The Legend of Tarzan’


By Cynthia Ayala

The Legend of Tarzan starring Alexander Skarsgård, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson & Margot Robbie
Warner Bros. Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“Tarzan, having acclimated to life in London, is called back to his former home in the jungle to investigate the activities at a mining encampment.”

—IMDB

I have to say this film touches on some tough subjects regarding racism and slavery. It’s not a terribly unique plot device, but it is one that still matters today. Why? Because the past always matters. Otherwise, no one would learn anything from it.
Continue reading Strong & Thoughtful | Review of ‘The Legend of Tarzan’

Book of the Month – July 2016


The votes are in and (surprise, surprise) the winner of the July Book of the Month Poll is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child! Woo! Now this was my vote because I’m a Harry Potter super fan (proud Slytherin and Thunderbird) and for many of you this was your choice. Now if you didn’t vote for your book or promote it enough, let me know if you still want me to review a particular novel and I’ll add it on my to-read shelf. As for everyone else who voted for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
I will try to have the review up as soon as possible.
Continue reading Book of the Month – July 2016

A Beautiful Heartfelt Film | Review of ‘Me Before You’


By Cynthia Ayala

Me Before You starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin
New Line Cinema
Image Credit: IMDB

A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she’s taking care of.

—IMDB

I know that there is some controversy about the film but what viewers have to understand, or know, is that Jojo Moyes didn’t just make this up, she was inspired by something she read in the news about a man who had this message to give the world: to life to the fullest. That is the message of the film and audiences need to see that beauty in it and need to see that not everything is black or white.
Continue reading A Beautiful Heartfelt Film | Review of ‘Me Before You’