Mini Reviews: Three for the Price of One.

This week, due to the high number of films out at the moment that I want to see, I went to three films at the cinema. I know, bit excessive but needs must and all that jazz.

So I though I would do three mini reviews for them, for a bit of a change. Probably spoiler free, no promises though.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Francis Lawrence (dir.)

Certificate: 12A (PG-13)

Rating: 9/10

So, as you probably know, Catching Fire is the sequel to The Hunger Games, and to all intents and purposes is almost a scene for scene rehash of the first. Obviously some of the plot points are different, but Katniss (and Peeta) is chosen again as Tribute in the Hunger Games. Except this time the stakes are even higher. Not only does Katniss have to try and survive the games, she has to convince President Snow that she loves Peeta. And he's not exactly buying it...

I loved this film. I've read the books and could remember the main points, but didn't remember everything but I feel like they nailed it. The action and tension is non-stop. Donald Sutherland's President Snow really makes you know that he will stop at nothing to prevent a rebellion. There's a bit of Umbridge about him. Jennifer Lawrence, in my eyes, can do no wrong and Josh Hutcherson makes me fall for Peeta again and again. Perhaps my favourite new character was Johanna Mason who is so completely badass, you can't not love her boldness.

Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Cast: Matt Smith, David Tennant, John Hurt, Billie Piper

Rating: 8/10

Yep, I went to see this at the cinema when it was simulcast on telly. Definitely worth seeing it in the cinema. The atmosphere was buzzing as we waited, and everyone laughed or gasped at all the right points.

I would try to summarise the plot, but being Doctor Who, I'm not sure I can. But suffice to say, there was plenty of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff, and things that went ding. It was definitely a fitting tribute to 50 years of the Doctor, and I loved how they managed to include all the Doctors, even if it was just a small way. The banter between Ten and Eleven was perfect. I think I could sit and listen to them chatter away for hours. John Hurt only had this episode to establish his Doctor - Eight Point Five - and did it admirably ("Oh! For God's sake!").

I still a bit bemused about what happened with the Zygons. Did they sort themselves out? Also, I'm slightly disappointed that I didn't cry, but I imagine the Christmas special will make up for that.

Fingers crossed for more future multi-Doctor outings, because they are always fun!


Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Alfonso Cuoron (dir.)

Certificate: 15

Rating: 10/10

I don't think I've ever felt so tense watching a film as I did watching Gravity. Holy crap. Dr. Ryan Stone (Bullock) and Commander Kalowsky (Clooney) are on a space walk when disaster strikes and they are set adrift in space, with no communication with Earth. The story follows them as they desperately try to find a way home in an impossible situation.

Gravity is a visually stunning film. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. Earth makes a phenomenal and peaceful backdrop to the action happening miles about its surface. The cinematography, however they managed to do it, is also brilliant. The shot from looking at Dr. Ryan Stone to looking out from her helmet was seamless. I should note that I didn't see it in 3D, but apparently it is every more stunning with that extra dimension. Let me know if you think so!

As the cast is literally made up of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, they have to carry the film, and they do so very well. In particular, Bullock's reluctant Ryan has you rooting for her so hard. I almost wanted to cheer for her at many points.

The way the story manages to seem strangely plausible is amazing. Each solution to a problem seems to cause another, which keeps you on the edge of your seat from the first minute to the last. The very idea of being adrift in space is utterly terrifying but it makes a cracking film. I will be extremely surprised if Gravity does not win any Oscars this year.

There we have it. My week of cinema overload. I'd love to know your own opinions about any of these three, so drop me a comment below. Until next time!

Book Review: Allegiant by Veronica Roth

Synopsis: One choice will define you.

What if your whole world was a lie?
What if a single revelation—like a single choice—changed everything?
What if love and loyalty made you do things you never expected?

The faction-based society that Tris Prior once believed in is shattered—fractured by violence and power struggles and scarred by loss and betrayal. So when offered a chance to explore the world past the limits she’s known, Tris is ready. Perhaps beyond the fence, she and Tobias will find a simple new life together, free from complicated lies, tangled loyalties, and painful memories.

But Tris’s new reality is even more alarming than the one she left behind. Old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless. Explosive new truths change the hearts of those she loves. And once again, Tris must battle to comprehend the complexities of human nature—and of herself—while facing impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice, and love.

Pages: 526

Rating: 8/10

Overall: A thrilling, heartbreaking and fitting conclusion to this best-selling series. The action is non-stop, as are the lies and the deceit that Tris and Tobias must try to deal with. I really enjoyed this final chapter, which was unrelentingly exciting. Despite the surprising (and sad) ending, it was still hopeful.
Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

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