The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane [2006]

10322664_871100446237480_2498033517098188260_nAuthor: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline
Publisher: Candlewick Press (2006)

About (Goodreads):

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.

And then, one day, he was lost.

Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle โ€” that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

I Say..

The real reason for acquiring a copy of this book has something to do with my obsession for You Who Came From The Stars. This book, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, mirrored all of Do Min Joon’s feelings throughout his stay here on earth. Both Edward Tulane and Do Min Joon dared to know love…something they both refuse to acknowledge.

It appears like a child’s book up front and inside yet the emotions seem all so grown-up to me. Pellegrina’s little spell on the cold hearted China rabbit for not giving back Abiline Tulane’s love haunted him everywhere he went. Then again, it was love which ended the miraculous journey and dragged him where it all began.

Kate DiCamillo is one of the best storytellers I have encountered. This book held my heart for quite a while. The ending was such a nice surprise I almost cried ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks a lot, Do Min Joon for introducing a book so unforgettable.

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Young Adult [2011]

YADirected by: Jason Reitman
Written by: Diablo Cody

Cast:

Charlize Theron as Mavis Gary
Patrick Wilson as Buddy Slade
Patton Oswalt as Matt Freehauf

Plot (IMDb):
Soon after her divorce, a fiction writer returns to her home in small-town Minnesota, looking to rekindle a romance with her ex-boyfriend, who is now happily married and has a newborn daughter.

I Say…

This. Is. One. Crazy. Movie. It is. Totally. In aย  push of a button, Mavis Gary will self destruct. Well, I’m relieved she is more than that. In the middle of it all she still knows how to spell S-E-N-S-E. She’s the easy to judge type of girl. Call her a bitch if you might. But can’t bitches get hurt or feel pain? Pity surged so suddenly in me, as I watch her try to save her crumbling sanity.

This movie is just so real. We can all be Mavis Gary. I’m sure that 99.9% of the adult population experienced failure and heartbreak at some point. Life’s not perfect, and we make mistakes, we dwell on it for some time. Maybe even drown ourselves in it for quite a while… but like all mammals do… we always go back to the surface to breathe. Depression is also like an ocean that can try to drown you. But, if you know how to swim you can survive. Or if someone comes to the rescue, even when you don’t know how to swim, you can still survive that ocean. I liked how the movie ended so positively, with Mavis going back to Minneapolis, perhaps to finish her last book and get a life?

Some effective acting right there, Charlize Theron. You are a classic.

Review: Never Been Kissed [1999]

Never-Been-Kissed-1999-movie-posterDirected by: Raja Gosnell
Genre: 
Comedy
Released: 
April 9, 1999
Execuetive Producer: 
Drew Barrymore
Screenplay:
Abby Kohn, Jenny Bicks, Mark Silverstein
Runtime: 
107 mins
Cast: Drew Barrymore as
Josie Geller
          David Arquette as
Rob
          Michael Vartan as Sam Coulson

Plot: (foxmovies)

Josie Geller (Drew Barrymore) wants more out of life. As a bright twenty-five-year-old copy editor at Chicagoโ€™s revered newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times, she yearns to be a reporter. Josie is skilled at her profession, but completely clueless in her personal life. She was a brainy nerd in high school, a geek to the core โ€” kids called her “Josie Grossie” โ€” and she has never had a serious relationship with a man.

Josie has never, she laments, been really kissed.

But things are about to change for Josie โ€” in ways she could never have imagined โ€” when her dream to become a reporter becomes a reality. But her first assignment couldnโ€™t be more nightmarish: she must go undercover at a local high school to report on todayโ€™s teenagers. Now, eight years senior to the oldest pupil in the class, Josie must figure out her story โ€” and a potential new love โ€” while reliving her horrific adolescence and negotiating high schoolโ€™s social and emotional land mines.

I Say…

never-been-kissed-1We all have thing or two that happened in high school that we would want to forget about or wish to erase… but what if you get the chance to go back and try to correct them?

This is such a funny story and there wouldn’t be a better actress than Drew Barrymore to play the role of Josie Geller. Maybe I was just too young when I have seen the movie eight years ago to have missed on how it’s supposed to make me feel. Now I get it,and it’s so true. As you grow up, it gets more confusing, just when you think you’ve had figured it out.

Never Been Kissed is another romantic comedy about finding love and letting it find you! Too cliche, yet it’s worth your time. The punch lines are hard hitting and it has actually given me a whole lot to think about after re-watching the movie. This is actually one of Drew Barrymore’s less recognizable movies but it’s really nice… and again worth watching.

Review: A Walk To Remember [2002]

Directed by: Adam Shankman
Produced by: Denise Di Novi & Hunt Lowry
Written by: Nicholas Sparks (novel)
Screenplay by: Karen Janszen
Music by: Mervyn Warren
Cinematography: Julio Macat
Running time: 101 mins

Cast:
Shane West as Landon Carter
Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan
Peter Coyote as Reverend Sullivan
Daryl Hannah as Cynthia Carter

 

Nomination:

Film – Choice Actress, Drama/Action Adventure, Teen Choice Awards (2002)

Awards:

Breakthrough Female Performance, MTV Movie Awards (2002);   
Film – Choice Breakout Performance, Actress, Teen Choice Awards (2002) &;
Film – Choice Chemistry (Moore/West) ,Teen Choice Awards (2002)

Love is like the wind. You can’t see it but you can feel it.

 

Plot: [Warner Bros.]

Each Spring in the little port town of Beaufort, North Carolina, when the wind smells of pine and salt and the sea, Landon Carter remembers his senior year at Beaufort High and Jamie Sullivan, the girl who changed his life.

Jamie was the last person Landon was likely to fall for. Serious and conservative, she was as far from cool as she could possibly be, and didnโ€™t care. The daughter of the townโ€™s Baptist minister, Jamie was not afraid of letting people know that her faith was the most important part of her life, even if it cost her some friends. Landon hung with the in-crowd — an aimless, moody, reckless guy who breezed through school on looks and bravado. He had no plans, no future and no faith in himself.

One night a prank that he and his buddies set up goes terribly wrong and lands a kid in the hospital. As punishment, Landon must tutor a young student at a poor school and participate in the Drama Clubโ€™s Spring play ­ two activities the principal hopes will teach him some humility. They also happen to throw him into close contact with Jamie. Clearly in over his head, Landon is forced to ask her for help.

Soon, against his own expectations, Landon finds himself falling in love with this outwardly plain girl who possesses a passion for life he never imagined possible. But it isnโ€™t easy. For reasons of her own, Jamie does everything she can to run away from romance until it becomes impossible to deny.

Being together will test everything that they believe in. Most of all, it will test the power of love and faith to transform a life into something worth living.

I Say…

It took me five times to watch the movie before even thinking about writing a review. Then I guess by now it’ll be a whole lot easier to express myself.

This being an adaptation of a best selling novel, we could easily spot differences between them. Well, that is if you’ve read the book. And there are a lot of differences. I can say the book is more dramatic and heart felt compared to what we saw from the movie version. It was made more teen oriented and contained more unforgettable quotes than you could’ve read from the original. It’s a whole lot cheesier, but not terrible. I hope everyone agrees when I say that the most awaited scene was the wedding march… sadly it was too happy compared to what really happened, that made it a walk to remember.

I also would like to comment on Mandy Moore’s acting. Shane West was justifiable, but it seems that Mandy Moore just can’t act conservative. They were successful into making her look like one, but not very successful with making her act like one. I don’t hate Mandy Moore…she’s my favorite. Let’s just say that she was not very convincing, acting as a conservative girl. Other than that, she’s great.

It’s not like any other movie. Although it turned out very different from what most of us expected, A Walk to Remember made it through. It’s still one of those movies you’ll want to see from time to time, just to remember how you felt when you first saw it. Even after five years, I still think it’s a recommendable movie.

Review: Spiderman III [2007]

Running time: 139 mins
Release date(s): May 1, 2007
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Produced by: Avi Arad, Stan Lee, Laura Ziskin, Grant Curtis
Cinematography: Bill Pope
Written by: Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Comic book) Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Alvin Sargent (Screenplay)
Music by: Christopher Young

Cast:
Tobey Maguire as Spiderman/Peter Parker
Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson
James Franco as Harry Osbourne/The New Goblin
Thomas Haden Church as Flint Marko / Sandman
Topher Grace as Eddie Brock, Jr. / Venom

I Say…

Spiderman has always been emotional. Peter Parker is such a lucky man from the beginning. He got nice people around him, becoming his weakness. I want to believe that out of all the super hero created for movie, he’s got the most colorful story. The 2nd Spidey movie focused on the Peter Parker person, and didn’t highlight the alter ego in red suit, while in the 3rd Spidey movie it told us more of Peter’s alter ego, the drama and his human vs. alter ego reasoning.

Although on the 2nd movie, he really had no choice but to reveal his other identity to the girl o his dreams, MJ and it became one of the main issues in the story line. As their love story continues in the 3rd movie, well, it became more complicated and there goes the drama I was talking about.

As for the fight scenes, there are some really interesting routines they’ve shown. My favorite was the New Goblin vs. Peter Parker, the 1st fight scene they had. I love the flying Harry so much…the gadget is so cool, way cooler than the time Green Goblin was using it. On the other had, I didn’t like the final fight scene, the one when the new Goblin arrived to help Spiderman. It was just too long, and it’s as if the only person in trouble is MJ. She is such a weakling. Is it because she’s the person so special to Spiderman? Seriously, I expected more out of her character, being Spiderman’s special girl.

Tobey Maguire was really funny in the dance routine as well.

For Venom to have such brief appearance, I think there would be another Spiderman movie…even though Tobey Maguire mentioned that it will happen only if he thinks they can be able to come up with another good script for a 4th movie.

Review: Little Miss Sunshine [2006]

Little Miss SunshineRunning Time: 1 hr. 41 min.
Release Date: July 26th, 2006 (limited)
U.S. Box Office:$59,856,872
Filming Locations: Los Angeles, California, USA
Produced in: United States
Directed by: Valerie Faris, Jonathan Dayton

Cast:
Abigail Breslin …. Olive Hoover
Greg Kinnear …. Richard Hoover
Paul Dano …. Dwayne Hoover
Alan Arkin …. Grandpa
Toni Collette …. Sheryl Hoover
Steve Carell …. Frank Ginsberg

Wins

* Academy Awards โ€” Best Original Screenplay;
* Academy Awards โ€” Best Supporting Actor- Alan Arkin;
* AFI Awards โ€” Movie of the Year – Official Selection;
* Producers Guild of America Awards โ€” Theatrical Motion Pictures;
* Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Screenplay – Michael Arndt;
* Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Young Actor – Paul Dano;
* Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Young Actress – Abigail Breslin;
* Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin;
* BAFTA Awards โ€” Best Screenplay, Original – Michael Arndt;
* BAFTA Awards โ€” Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Alan Arkin;
* 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards โ€” Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture – Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin;
* Writers Guild of America Awards โ€” Original Screenplay – Michael Arndt;
* Independent Spirit Awards โ€” Best Feature – Marc Turtletaub, David T. Friendly, Peter Saraf, Albert Berger, Ron Yerxa;
* Independent Spirit Awards โ€” Best Director – Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris;
* Independent Spirit Awards โ€” Best First Screenplay – Michael Arndt;
* Independent Spirit Awards โ€” Best Supporting Male – Alan Arkin;
* Deauville Film Festival โ€” Grand Special Prize;
* Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Screenplay – Michael Arndt;
* Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards โ€” New Generation Award – Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris and Michael Arndt;
* Donostia-San Sebastiรกn International Film Festival โ€” Audience Award;
* Southeastern Film Critics Association โ€” Best Screenplay, Original – Michael Arndt;
* Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association โ€” Best Screenplay, Original – Michael Arndt;
* Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association โ€” Best Ensemble Cast – Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin;
* Vancouver Film Critics Circle โ€” Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Alan Arkin;
* Tokyo International Film Festival โ€” Best Director – Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris;
* Tokyo International Film Festival โ€” Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Abigail Breslin;
* Tokyo International Film Festival โ€” Audience Award;
* Cรฉsar Award โ€” Best Foreign Film;
* Palm Springs International Film Fest โ€” Chairman’s Vanguard Award;
* Online Film Critics Awards โ€” Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Abigail Breslin;
* Online Film Critics Awards โ€” Breakthrough Filmmaker – Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris;
* St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Awards โ€” Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy;
* Iowa Film Critics Awards โ€” Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Abigail Breslin;
* The Stephen Colbert Life Time Achievement Award for best Indie Film

Nominations

* Academy Awards โ€” Best Picture
* Academy Awards โ€” Best Supporting Actress- Abigail Breslin;
* Golden Globe โ€” Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy;
* Golden Globe โ€” Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy – Toni Collette;
* Directors Guild of America Awards โ€” Oustanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures – Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris;
* BAFTA Awards โ€” Best Picture;
* BAFTA Awards โ€” Best Director – Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris;
* BAFTA Awards โ€” Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Abigail Breslin;
* BAFTA Awards โ€” Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Toni Collette;
* Independent Spirit Awards โ€” Best Supporting Male – Paul Dano;
* Grammy Awards โ€” Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media – Various Artists;
* Gotham Awards โ€” Best Ensemble Cast – Greg Kinnear, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Paul Dano, Abigail Breslin and Alan Arkin;
* Gotham Awards โ€” Breakthrough Award – Abigail Breslin;
* Satellite Awards โ€” Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy;
* Satellite Awards โ€” Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy – Toni Collette;
* Satellite Awards โ€” Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Alan Arkin;
* Satellite Awards โ€” Best Actress in a Supporting Role – Abigail Breslin;
* Satellite Awards โ€” Best Original Song – Devotchka for the song “Till the End of Time”;
* 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards โ€” Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Alan Arkin;
* 2006 Screen Actors Guild Awards โ€” Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role – Abigail Breslin;
* Costume Designers Guild Awards โ€” Excellence in Costume Design for Film Contemporary – Nancy Steiner;
* Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Picture;
* Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Comedy Movie;
* Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role – Alan Arkin;
* Chicago Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Picture;
* Chicago Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Screenplay, Original – Michael Arndt;
* Chicago Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Supporting Actress – Abigail Breslin;
* Chicago Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Best Supporting Actress – Toni Collette;
* Chicago Film Critics Association Awards โ€” Most Promising Director – Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris;
* GLAAD Media Awards: Outstanding Film – Wide Release;
* Vancouver Film Critics Circle โ€” Best Actor in a Supporting Role – Steve Carell;
* American Cinema Editors โ€” Best Edited Feature Film – Comedy or Musical – Pamela Martin;
* Frat Pack Earmuff Award for Best Picture, 2006

I Say…

One heck of a laugh trip movie, but still full of heart. Little Miss Sunshine made a serious entrance wherein family members were introduced one by one, giving viewers an idea of what they’re like. The Hoover Family: Mom, Dad, kids, plus Grandpa and Uncle. Altogether, they form a family on the verge of falling apart.

Every character in the story was unique, and I find them transparent because you can see their strengths and weaknesses and then afterwards come up with a conclusion that they are human through and through. They ride the yellow and white van, traveling 700 Miles from Alberquerque, New Mexico down to Redondo Beach in California, you follow their story and learn from each stop over. Not all can remain focused subjected to the situations they’ve been in. I found it amazing how this family held on and tried working things out. I personally love the mother’s character, because despite the tribulations and disturbances along the way, she was able to keep them whole and was able to enforce the true meaning of “family”

Review: High School Musical [2006]

Directed by: Kenny Ortega
Produced by: Don Schain
Written by: Peter Barsocchini
Starring:
Zac Efron as Troy Bolton
Vanessa Anne Hudgens as Gabriella Montez
Ashley Tisdale as Sharpay Evans
Lucas Grabeel as Ryan Evans
Monique Coleman as Taylor McKessie
Corbin Bleu as Chad Danforth
Olesya Rulin as Kelsi Nielsen
Alyson Reed as Ms. Darbus
Chris Warren Jr. as Zeke Baylor
Bart Johnson as Coach Jack Bolton
Ryne Sanborn as Jason Cross
Kaycee Stroh as Martha Cox
Socorro Herrera as Mrs. Montez
Joey Miyashima as Principal Matsui

Runtime: 93 min / 98 min

Release date: January 20, 2006

Plot (imDB.com):
On New Year’s Eve, Troy Bolton (Zac Efron) and Gabriella Montez (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) meet and discover their mutual love for music. Later, they discover they attend the same high school and Troy is the star of the basketball team while Gabriella is in with the academic team. When Troy and Gabriella win a callback for the school musical, teen drama queen Sharpay Evans (Ashley Tisdale) is pissed. She and her brother Ryan (Lucas Grabeel) have been the lead in 17 school plays. But when the basketball team and the academic group hear of Troy and Gabriella’s callback, they join forces to split them up. When they discover it’s caused far too much upset, they admit their jerkiness to Troy and Gabriella. Then the day of the callbacks, the championship basketball game, and the scholastic decathalon comes (all thanks to Sharpay for demanding a reschedule for the callbacks), Gabriella forgives Troy and they sing “Breaking Free” and win the lead, also to East High winning the championship basketball game.

I Say…
While shifting channels, I passed by Disney Channel and recognized at once the song from the soundtrack. So I said I might as well go on with the movie. Most of the faces were fresh and it looks like we are going to see more of them in the future.

It wasn’t bad at all, it’s a typical Disney feel good movie. Well, except for the exaggerated acting and obviously benchmarked concept from Grease movies, the movie is fine. Maybe I don’t get along too much with it because I’m older than the target audience. The movie’s objective is transparent enough for us viewers to see, and it was also clearly depicted on the main theme song “Breaking Free”.
One unforgettable scene would be Troy Bolton’s confrontation on his “what if I could do both”, pertaining to basketball and music.

In the real world it’s hard to be recognized because of a status quo. Most high school students could really relate to that. It’s hared to gain identity in a world where everyone seems focused on what they couldn’t see.

No wonder the younger audience made High School Musical their favorite movie. I just know they an relate greatly to Troy and Gabriella. I think it’s OK to put a High School Musical DVD in my collection.