Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-man 2

We are super behind on movies that are in the theater thanks to how much time finding a new house is taking.  But this weekend, we were able to get out and see The Amazing Spider-man 2 finally!

I thought this movie was pretty good.  I was really worried that there were going to be 3 villains in it – the last time the Spider-man franchise took that on, the movie was terrible (think Toby Maguire’s Spider-man 3). So I was pretty apprehensive at their decision to do this.  But they actually handled it pretty well.  There was really one main bad guy, the development into a bad guy, and then the third one just kind of popped in.  The third one could have been cut completely in my opinion, but I suppose it served a purpose at the very end, which I’m not sure they could have achieved without it.  But perhaps they could have started out the third movie with that scene instead?  By the time you hit the third bad guy, the movie feels long.  That’s the problem with having multiple villains.  You have to set up a plot, and then you have a conclusion of beating that guy…but JUST KIDDING, the hero has to defeat someone else now. And when you add a third, people get tired of it – and no matter how long the movie really is, it makes it feel long and dragged out.
I had been expecting Mary Jane to make an appearance the entire time.  I had seen her billed on the cast on IMDB.  However, the movie ended and I never saw her.  So I had to do a little research and found out that they cut her from the script due to the “already sizable cast and variety of themes” (refer to this website for a lot more info on this movie  This actually made a lot of sense to me, because honestly, if they had thrown ANOTHER new character in to the mix, I would have gotten very overwhelmed.  I think it was a good decision to cut her for now.  I expect her to make her appearance in the next movie.
What I liked about this movie was that it really focused on Spiderman and Peter Parker.  A lot of time was spent on his relationship with Gwen.  It also focused on his relationship with Harry – who we didn’t even know existed until this movie.  They did a pretty good job of explaining where Harry has been and setting up that they had been really good friends before Harry was shipped off to boarding school.  Okay – a big contention for me was the actor they chose to play Harry Osborn, Dane DeHaan!  He was a totally girly, emo version of Harry.  Seriously??  It was weird.  The guy was actually a pretty good actor, and once his personality started changing, he actually made a believable bad guy.  I thought his story was pretty good. I liked that it was different than the Toby Maguire version.  In that version, Harry thinks that Spiderman let his dad die – but you as the audience know that Spiderman didn’t murder him – it was an accident and his dad had tried to kill him.  I liked what happened in this version better.   It was more emotionally and morally difficult – you could see both sides and you really watched Harry’s transformation.
Gwen. What can I say about Gwen’s story.  I don’t want to say too much and spoil the ending, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who predicted the ending – especially with the focus at the beginning of the movie.  I really like Gwen’s character and I love Emma Stone. I like that she’s smart and not willing to be bossed around by Peter.  I really liked watching what developed emotionally for she and Peter in this movie.  I’ll have to stop here so that I don’t ruin the ending – but while I expected it, I was very upset that they did it – but it might make the third movie easier on everyone.
I’m not a comic book reader, so I wasn’t sure who Electro was going to be going in to this movie.  I had no idea how Jaime Foxx would do as this villain.  I thought it was actually a unique bad guy. I like watching people who are really not bad people inside turn evil.  Although you have to dispend belief for some of these comic book heroes and villains, it was still entertaining.  I have never seen Jaime Foxx in a role like that before, so I enjoyed it.
Has anyone been to Universal Studios in Florida and ridden the Spiderman 3D ride there?  I was just there in October of last year and LOVED that ride.  This movie actually reminded me a lot of the ride. The action scenes really just immersed you and every time you turned around, there was another bad guy.  I think whenever they are ready, Universal will be able to update that ride to coincide with this movie.  It was great.
Last note: there is a scene about midway through the credits.  But be warned: it is not Spiderman related!  It’s a scene advertising X-men. You might think I’m crazy or that they showed us the wrong credits…but nope. They had an X-men scene at the end of Spiderman. Very strange. To me, it wasn’t worth staying for…and once you see it, you can leave; there are no other scenes.  Again, I had to do some research.  Apparently, the Spiderman related credit scene was cut.  If you go to this website, it explains what the deleted scene was and has some commentary and speculation about why it was deleted: .  I feel like they should have just left the scene in. Even if what was being hinted at might be a few movies away, at least it was Spiderman related. To add a scene that is not even related to the Spiderman universe was way worse. I would have even preferred to just NOT have a credit scene!  That was just silly.  Or if they really are not planning that character for a few more movies, why not film a different scene to hint at what is planned for the next installment of Spiderman?  What is everyone else’s views on this?
In conclusion, I enjoyed this very much.  They did a really good job with the relationships, action, and pace.  My only complaint is that perhaps they should have left the third bad guy out of this film and moved that part to the beginning of the next film – and not had an X-men scene in the credits of a Spiderman movie!  Otherwise it’s a great movie that I highly recommend!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Movie Reivew: Divergent

We have been spending so much time looking at new houses lately that we have been neglecting our duty to see movies in the theater! Now that it is summer time, the big blockbusters are starting to release. 
Last weekend we saw Divergent. I completely forgot to write a review for it. This movie has been out for a while and is on it’s way out of theaters. If you haven’t seen it yet, you might have to wait for it to come to Blu-Ray now. I’m sorry!
Divergent was a very good movie. I thought they did the book justice.  Before going in to this movie, I did not think Shailene Woodley would make a good Tris. I didn’t picture her like that at all, and I’m not a fan of the actress.  But she actually pulled it off fairly well.  I loved Theo James as Four.  He was perfect for the part and I think he played him really well.
I thought they did an amazing job setting up the relationship between Tris and Four. It didn’t feel forced. It felt like that spent enough time around each other getting to know each other, that when they finally realized they liked each other, it wasn’t forced.  This is usually lacking in book movies. Heck, lately, it even seems lacking in the books themselves.  I think they did a great job on it.
However, with that said, I feel like some of the other relationships were glossed over.  For instance, you didn’t really see Tris’s relationship with Christina form.  They talked a little and then were friends.  Several of the other initiates were introduced, but their relationships being transfers weren’t really explored.  A big thing that I think should have had more emphasis was the fact that Christina started dating Will.  This is a huge plot point that plays a big part in tensions in the next installment. If you paid really close attention, you would have guessed they were dating, but there was not much emphasis on it. Nor was the fact that Tris was actually friends with Will, which is important at the end of the story.  I also thought the scenes with Al went by a little fast – so I felt like since I read the book, I knew what had happened, but I felt like someone who hadn’t read the book might not get the effect that should have happened.
The action scenes were great in the movie.  Even the scenery was really good.  Veronica Roth must have done a very good job describing her world, because seeing it on screen was almost exactly what I pictured.
Though I will admit: it was hard to watch this movie knowing how the series ends.  While I will still go see subsequent movies, I will go see them when they are cheap, because I absolutely hated the ending to the series that comes with Allegiant.  However, Divergent was still a very good book, especially for a middle book.  I will just choose to give a different ending to Allegiant.  One that Veronica Roth should have given it, instead of the crappy ending she choose.
But reviewing this movie, it is definitely worth seeing, even if you haven’t read the books. And it just might inspire you to read them (just give it a different ending!)

Monday, May 5, 2014

20 weeks pregnant after miscarriage!

We hit a milestone this weekend.  On Friday, we officially hit the halfway point for this pregnancy.  Of course it is a bittersweet moment.  We are very excited that we are halfway to meeting our baby girl.  But all of these milestones also remind me of what we were robbed of in our last pregnancy.

Making it to 20 weeks is a huge milestone.  The halfway point.  I can’t believe it’s been this long already. We’ve had so much going on that the time has just flown by.  I’ve noticed that I’m not even checking my calendar for when our next doctor appointment is.  Those 4 weeks fly by before I even know it.  But she reminds me she’s there when I feel the flutters and movement in my belly.  It’s not super often (though some days are more active than others), but enough that I know she’s okay and still there.

But making it this far reminds me of being robbed of feeling our baby boy kick and move and seeing his face on an ultrasound.  We lost him way too early.

But we are very excited to welcome our baby girl to the world, and we know that she will have a wonderful big brother watching her from Heaven.  And though that is a comfort, it is still hard to think about what we lost with him.  But this baby is bringing us so much joy.  I can’t wait until we decide on a name for her, so we can start calling her by it, instead of Baby Girl Ray.

I’ve finally started to actually put some weight on. It’s been weird to see my body changing, but not seeing it on the scale.  Although, I feel weird wishing I’d see results on the scale, because I know once I do, it won’t stop until we’ve had her!  Ahh! 

I had to run to the doctor on Friday to get something checked out because a new pregnancy symptom hit and I had to make sure nothing was wrong with the baby.  All is fine and I haven’t experienced that symptom since.  But it was nice to get in to see the doctor as peace of mind.  It also let me go over some travel information with him, and he decided to do an OB check also.  So I was able to hear our little girl’s heartbeat which is still beating strong.  Phew.  But after what we’ve experienced, we don’t want to take anything lightly and assume everything is fine – and my doctor was glad that I came in to get checked – even though it was late on a Friday afternoon.  So we felt much better going in to the weekend.  And we kept our next appointment, so we get to hear baby’s heartbeat after our vacation also!

I wrote this post in order to celebrate what we’re experiencing and looking forward to.  But also to remember our Angel Baby in Heaven with whom we lost so much.  We love both of our babies and know our baby boy will continue looking out for his little sister as each day of the pregnancy progresses and throughout her life.

Book Review: Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth

Belly Laughs: The Naked Truth About Pregnancy and Childbirth
by  Jenny McCarthy
Date Read:  5/2/14
Rating: ★

Well this book wasn’t very funny to me.  It also wasn’t very helpful either.  This entire book is basically just a biography about her own pregnancy, not pregnancy in general.  So if you’re hoping to read this to really find out what to expect, pick up something different that at least shows all the differences.  Every pregnancy is different, but this entire book only focuses on her symptoms, etc.

Things that I hated about this book:

1)      It only focused on her pregnancy.  I’ve never been pregnant before so I would like to know what I should be expecting as the weeks go on.  However, I’m halfway through now and have not experienced half the things she did, and I certainly didn’t react the way she did.  If she’s going to title her book “The naked truth about pregnancy”, then it should run the gambit of what you can expect.  Otherwise, it should be “The naked truth about MY pregnancy”.

2)      The language she used.  She swears a lot.  Using swear words is NOT necessary to get your point across.  I just found that it was tacky and actually jarred me out of whatever annoying story she was telling.  It made me really not care about whatever she was trying to explain to me.  Maybe you talk like that (however I don’t even think you need to swear when you talk), but definitely not in a published book.

3)      Her relationship with her husband.  My husband and I have a caring relationship.  We actually care about each other.  And though we like to tease each other, we do it in an innocent way.  We would never tease each other in a hurtful way.  Though, I do know several couples whose relationships are built that way, and it works for them.  But not for us.  So her stories about how her husband would egg her on when she was in a bad mood, or stopped the car when she had to pee, is not something I would ever experience.  Sure, my husband might tease me about the amount of times I changed my mind on what sounded good for dinner…but he would never make me sit down and eat it just because he thought it’d be funny.  And I would never, ever throw something at my husband (without it being a pillow in a teasing manner).  I would never throw TV remotes at him in a fit of rage.  Just because you’re pregnant and have more emotional fluxes, it doesn’t give you the right to be a raging lunatic.  You still have morals free will.  You can choose to give in to it or not.

4)      Her constant mention of her “celebrity” status.  I could care less.  90% of the world does not deal with those problems.  So why is that included in a pregnancy book?  It was a brag book for her.  I don’t care that she had to watch her weight or hide her pregnancy because she was famous.  How in the heck does that relate to pregnancy?  And then the story about how she was able to get a table at a specific restaurant because she was famous just annoyed me to no end.  That does not help any woman who is not pregnant.  UGH.

5)      The book told you a little about what happened during labor and delivery.  But it’d didn’t go in to detail.  And it certainly didn’t tell you anything about what to expect AFTER delivery. How does a pregnancy book not describe what to expect after delivery?

The only thing I liked about this book was that it was short.  And that I was given this book by a friend and I didn’t spend my own money on it.  I do not plan to read any more of Jenny McCarthy’s books and I certainly do not recommend it to any first time moms.  Perhaps the people who enjoy this are ones who are on their third or fourth kid and just need something to pass the time.  So her story is more entertaining.  But we moms who have never been through this and wanted to be prepared, this book does not help one bit.
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