Tag Archives: review

The Host

I wrote a little while back about how I was conflicted about seeing the movie The Host, based on the novel of the same name by Stephenie Meyer.  The reason I was conflicted is because I actually liked reading The Host, but I don’t particularly want to support Stephenie Meyer.

I ended up seeing the movie anyway.

It was not as bad as you might think.  It followed the book really, really closely, which amazed me.  Especially since one of the previews before the movie was for the sequel to Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief.  Did anyone else see that movie?  I mean, it sucked by anyone’s standards, but it was even worse if you read and enjoyed the books.  That movie was nothing like the books.  It was a rip-off of the books written by someone who had read the back cover.  Or maybe just the title.  Who asked for a sequel to that incredibly bad movie?

Anyway.

The Host was a good book.  It had strong, female characters, it had a pretty interesting plot that was only marginally stolen from Animorphs.  It had two love interests, one for the female protagonist, and another for the alien inhabiting the female protagonist.  I found this to be pretty cool, and really well done.

The biggest problem I found I had with the movie was that the girl who plays Melanie (female protagonist who gets inhabited by peaceful, mind-controlling, probably communist alien) was only good at playing one half of her dual personality.  See, in the story, Melanie is this strong woman who refuses to give her mind over to the little alien slug in her brain.  As a result, the alien and Melanie end up sharing a brain and a body.  Melanie is not in control of her actions, but she’s still there in her head, yelling at the alien.  The alien, meanwhile, is more soft spoken and gentle.  So while the actress – Saoirse Ronan – was really good at playing the gentle alien bit, her portrayal of Melanie was unconvincing.  She didn’t sound strong or confident at all, and all her lines as Melanie felt forced.

A lot of lines were delivered poorly by the younger actors, in my opinion.  The older, more experienced actors were fine.  And, randomly, so was the kid who played Jamie – Melanie’s younger brother.  He was pretty decent.

Would I recommend seeing The Host in theaters?  No.  It only made 11 million dollars at the box office on its opening weekend for a reason.  It just wasn’t executed very well, despite staying true to the book.  Would I recommend seeing it at all?  Sure.  If you read and liked the book, you’d probably get a kick out of this movie.  It just doesn’t seem extremely necessary to go see it in theaters like I did.

That was a lot of words with very few pictures.  Have a hula hooping Mini Bex:

Hula-Hooping

And a comic:

Writer's-Block-Strip-22

And a Word of the Day:

Word of the Day: Bastion (n) –  1. A fortified place.  2. Anything seen as preserving or protection some quality or condition.

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Fifty Shades of WTF

*DISCLAIMER* This blog post will contain mild spoilers and sexual content (written, not visual).  *END DISCLAIMER*

So a couple days ago, I heard about this trashy romance novel that was sweeping the nation called Fifty Shades of Grey.  It just suddenly popped up everywhere I went.  My relatives talked about it, one of my favorite comic strips, Girls With Slingshots, did a bit on it, etc.  Then yesterday, I was in Barnes & Noble buying books I actually care about – the next Sookie Stackhouse novel, the next Alpha and Omega novel by Patricia Briggs – when I see this book on the shelf.  My curiosity got to me.  I bought it.  I have not made it through the entire book.  I am only at chapter nine.  But here are some things I’ve observed about it.

1. It is uncomfortably close to Twilight in many ways.  Here is the list.  If you haven’t read Twilight, take my word for it that these things are contained within it:

  • The male love interest is described as an “Adonis.”
  • The main character, Anastasia, has a harebrained mother who has recently remarried.
  • Anastasia sees herself as awkward and ugly when apparently everyone else sees her as beautiful.
  • Anastasia has multiple male suitors (two so far) that are interested in her, attractive, and friendly, but she is not interested in them.  The only one who catches her eye is the perfectly handsome Christian Grey.
  • Anastasia blushes a lot, and her biggest flaw seems to be that she is clumsy.  Worse, it seems her klutziness is supposed to be endearing.  Why oh why is this a thing all of a sudden?  I get that the female is supposed to be all meek and need Mr. Sculpted McChiseledJaw to keep her safe, but this is getting kind of ridiculous.

50Shades

The list goes on.  Anastasia doesn’t believe she is worthy of Mr. Perfect-Ass WashboardAbs because he is so much better looking than she is.  She dreams about him every night after meeting him, yadda yadda.

Here are some other things.

2. Anastasia’s last name is Steele.  And the male love interest’s last name is not WashboardAbs, it’s Grey.  So we have Steele and Grey.  Steel Grey.  This is too perfectly constructed to have been an accident.  (Just like it was no accident that the main character of Twilight was named “Beautiful Swan.”) On top of that, Christian Grey has gray eyes, and his hair is supposedly “copper,” though to be fair, Edward’s was “bronze.”

3. The author, E L James, is English.  I knew this after reading the second sentence in the novel (“…damn Katherine Kavanagh for being ill…”), and then I checked the About the Author to see if I was right.  I was.  I knew because she kept saying things like “My roommate is ill,” and “I must not do this,” and “I looked smart” (As in she was dressed well).  I have nothing against the English, but it took me until she mentioned driving from Oregon to Washington to realize that the narrator is, in fact, supposed to be American.  The problem is, no editor stopped Ms. James for a moment and said, “I’m sorry, but American people don’t talk like this.  We might need to change a few things.”  It takes me out of the book entirely every time she says an Englishism, and I’m afraid I just can’t suspend my disbelief enough.

4. I haven’t even gotten to the sex.  (Here’s where the spoiler comes in) Mr. Christian Grey tries to stay away from Bella, er, Anastasia as much as he can, but he just can’t because he is so in love with her clumsiness.  So he gives in and takes her back to his place and shows her his big, dark secret: He’s a vampire.  No just kidding.  It’s worse.  He’s really into kink.  He has an entire room dedicated to the most extreme forms of S&M.  He tells Anastasia that if she wants to be with him, she will have to be his Sub while he is the Dom.  And she’s like, “Well, you’re hot, and I really want to have sex with you, so okie dokie!”  Or rather, “Well, you’re a fine-looking fellow, and I must say I cannot resist you any further.”  Something like that.

So obviously I don’t really like this book so far.  This post was long, and I’m sorry.  I’ll probably give a full review of the book once I finish it.

Word of the Day: Sadomasochism (n) – interaction, especially sexual activity, in which one person enjoys inflicting physical or mental suffering on another person, who derives pleasure from experiencing pain.

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