The Great Gatsby -impressions and maybe spoilers-

Today’s post will be rather short and sweet. And will also lack pictures.

I believe it was last year or 2 years ago that we watched The Great Gatsby movie. It was some time after its release, but the hype was still there among its fans. After watching it, I decided to read the book as well – since they say the book is better than the movie.

I liked the movie quite a bit. I liked it because of the fashions and the opulence of the yesteryears. I also like how in the past people cared more about their image and reputation.

The book however – the book! Don’t get the wrong idea: I disliked the book! The author needed more lessons on how to write! Thankfully it is an easy read, but if you suffer from OCD, you’ll most likely feel the way I did towards the book.

If you ask me, all the copies of this short novel can be burned on a big fire.

I can understand how many people feel they can relate to the main character especially since the events are narrated in a first person manner, helping the reader “get lost in the book.” BUT… not me.

I got irritated because the time in this book has no laws – or works by different laws, like I mentioned in my previous book review. The author uses some phrases that make me think several weeks have passed, only to later reveal that only some 2 or 3 days passed. WHY? HOW?

When writing, you can’t do this. This method is much more fitting in a movie where the passing of time can be represented in more ways or is not always relevant.

There’s an accident happening towards the end of the story. The way the events around it are described in the book  … makes one think the novel was written or taking place at the end of the 20th century not at its beginning. The movie represented the scenes in a much better way.

RATINGS: no stars for the book [can I give -10 stars though?] and 1.5 stars for the movie, maybe even 2 stars because of Leonardo DiCaprio. He seems to be making all the movies a bit better. If you want to read it, better pick any other book. Even the first Twilight book is better than this one.


This post was a mostly a rant because I simply can’t understand why others praised this novel so much. I don’t get it. If you read it and liked it, please tell me why: I want to see your point of view, I really do.


©2013 – present. The Owner Travels To. All rights reserved.

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I saw IT (2017) – movie review and spoilers

Last Friday night we went to the theater to see the remake of the movie IT, an adaptation of the book by the same name written by Steven King. We went to the 7:30 pm viewing and we were surprised by the number of people showing up to also see it: 4, not including the two of us.

Our seats were right next to one of the couples, and the other couple was sitting more towards the middle rows. Our seats were on the very last row – one of the best places to watch a movie at the theater.

At this point, I should warn you that the spoilers and impressions will begin, so if you don’t want to know, you must click away. DISCLAIMER: I have yet to read the book, so my opinions are based simply on the 1990 mini series and the new movie.

We all know what the story is about:   a clown called Pennywise terrorizes the kids in a town in Maine. Because what’s more scary than a clown offering you balloons, right?

This version is of course a little different than the original, and the differences are more or less subtle. For starters, Pennywise has a more pointy hair-do and a deeper shade or red as hair color than the original. The makeup is also changed a bit, and I think the costume’s color too.

His eyes stood out the most though: very vibrant and golden/orange in color. However, Tim Curry – the original IT, gave his approval to the new Pennywise.

We also notice that the action takes place at the end of the eighties and not in the sixties like in the book. This can only mean the we’ll see these kids defeat the monster in a 2016/2017 setting.We also notice some scenes are missing -one of them being that of Pennywise coming out of the shower drain.

These are just some observations, and not a critique to the movie. The actors did a good job, but sadly I couldn’t shake off just how the two actors portrayed Pennywise.  It wasn’t just the appearance, but the whole vibe, demeanor. Tim Curry’s interpretation was just pure evil, he didn’t have time to waste chatting with Georgie. What he wanted was just just scare the living shit out of the kids and viewers.

Bill Skarsgard shows us a sad, lonely clown, eager to make friends in a way. His gray somewhat fitted outfit makes him look more like a puppet than a monster. Maybe this was the whole idea after all. His vibrant eyes were unsettling. A+ for the eyes though.

I also have the feeling that less balloons were used in this remake than in the original.

I found the movie to have more gore scenes than scary scenes. Just one scene really scared me – when IT grabbed Beverly. I actually jumped out of my seat at that point. This should say something, LOL. Another more scary scene was when some of the kids entered the abandoned house and they got separated.

What I liked and disliked at the same time was that I didn’t get as scared as I expected to. Tim Curry did manage to scare me a lot in the mini series. The bullying parts was something triggering for me, and very disturbing – most likely because this is something that happens in real life anyways.

I will give this remake 4 stars out of 5 because I simply expected a bit more. It was somehow flat, emotionless. Maybe if more creepy music was played throughout, it would have managed to scare us more.


©2013 – present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

Sand Storm – movie review and spoilers

You probably noticed already I have nothing against watching movies that are not spoken in English – I often times like them more. They present the life of the people in a very unique way, and possibly they stay quite true to the life of the common people [of the represented country].

I had to search to learn where was this movie made – in Israel, in a Bedouin remote village.  The spoken language is Arabic, the shown community is Muslim, and the credits are both in Arabic and Hebrew. Most likely this movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you should know it did win a few awards and it was pretty close to being nominated for the 89th Academy Awards [2016 Oscars].

On with my review! and the spoilers, marked as usual in orange.

We get  a small glimpse into the lives of a Muslim family, and especially into the lives of the women in the family. Their village seems forsaken in the middle of nowhere – some people might feel lost in those living conditions.

The family has 4 daughters, no sons, and all of them attend school, despite the fact that the eldest daughter [Layla] is of a marrying age. We also see a scene in which the men in the village question why is she allowed to study, instead of being married. At this point, we can understand the father really loves his daughters, and as a result lets them do whatever they want, despite their mother disapproving.

The parents don’t have the best relationship, but both love their children and show their love in different ways. When a 2nd wife is brought home, the differences between the parents become even more obvious. The 2nd wife even got a better looking and more modern house as well.Her house is bright, has a big modern fridge that is also filled with food.

The mother discovers her eldest talks to a boy at school and this is the point when the tensions also intensify. While there is a moment when Layla considers eloping with the guy she likes. In the end she reconsiders her actions and chooses her family instead.

The movie ends with Layla marrying a guy her father chose, despite both she and her mother opposed it at some point.

I still have some thoughts on this movie, and I’m not sure I had things I liked or disliked about it. This was more of a slice of life movie, one that is meant to make you think about some stuff.

One of the things you can think about is: what matters more? Family you’re born into or your love interest?  Clearly there is no easy and universally true answer here – it all depends on the environment, but many people will treasure the family they’re born into more than a lover or partner.

We also see that growing up is not easy, especially in places where old traditions are still deeply rooted in people’s minds. Having to chose between your parents and your spouse is probably one of the most difficult decisions you could be faced with.

Whatever the choice may be,  person can still be happy – in fact, many people manage to be happier if they make a conscious choice about something, versus going with the flow. [Though there are folks who are happier when they go with the flow instead of stressing over things.]

The plot of the movie seems to be missing, but if you consider that here we actually see Layla and her journey to mental maturity, we can easily see a plot. Mental maturity sometimes means that we have to compromise if we want a peaceful life – and this is not always the most horrible thing we can possibly do.

I’ll rate this movie 3.5 stars, if not almost 4 stars. I think older teens can also watch it and possibly learn something as well. Prepare a cup of hot cocoa or tea, a blanket, and possibly some tissues – I didn’t cry, but this is not the most cheerful movie either.


©2013-present the owner travels to. All rights reserved.

The House of the Disappeared – movie review and spoilers

Do you know I like to watch horror movies? at least I used to. The last one I saw was The House of the Disappeared, a South Korean mystery thriller, released earlier this year. The main actress is Kim Yun-jin who you might have seen in the TV series Lost.

Apparently, the original title translates to House Above Time, and I personally think it would have been a better choice as English title as well. Both translations give indications to what the movie is about, though the original tells exactly why things happened.

I guess I spoiled you enough, so see you next time!

Just kidding! The real spoilers [in orange] are about to begin, so read on at your own risk.

For starters, the story appears confusing, at least until you realize some of the scenes take place in the present [when Kim Yun-jin is old] and in the past [when she’s young]. There is a gap of 25 years between the two timelines.

The basis of the story is that what happened cannot be changed, because history was written and the ink has dried. We see this theme in movies like Harry Potter when Hermione is given a time travel device, as well as in the popular TV show Game of Thrones – for those who didn’t read the books. Surely, this idea must have been at least tackled in other shows and books, but I don’t remember them all.  

In a way, this movie reminded me of the movie The Others starring Nicole Kidman. I suspect this was the inspiration for this Korean movie, given the very similar posters they have, see the image to the right of the screen.

The Korean movie seems more tragic in a way, because not one family was  ‘haunting’ the house, but two as it is revealed towards the end.  These families weren’t even dead, but they were trapped in a parallel universe where time didn’t exist. All the puzzle pieces fall into place at the end, everything making sense for our main character and for us.

What I liked in this movie: the themes of time travel, parallel universes, and that it was less scary than I expected. Though being trapped between 2 worlds can’t be too pleasant.

What I disliked: I actually disliked the main character because she acted very muggle-like. I borrowed the term from Harry Potter and I gave it the meaning of someone who doesn’t (nor wants to) understand supernatural happenings.

Split feelings and opinions: I should mention that many mothers would have probably acted the same way she did, because she thought it was the right and best thing to do for her child. What’s more, who knows what would have happened if she didn’t decide to act the same.

Rating: I give this movie 4.5 stars because it is a really good one, kept me on my toes, and made me think of things. It wasn’t the best movie ever, and I think a cup of tea would have made it better. Go see it if you like supernatural and mysterious movies, with a bit f a scare factor.

I re-saw my dreams in The Dark Tower, the movie -spoilers-

Last week we went to see the movie Dark Tower, an adaptation of a Stephen King book.

I want to say I didn’t read the book, but I thought the movie was amazing! The ending was cheesy, but I suppose if something ends well in a movie or in a series, it will translate into a cheesy ending, right?

All I know is that many of King’s books are inspired by his dreams – or this is what I heard. Well, I think his and my dreams are quite similar, because I dreamt some of the elements in this movie. Its really weird, but true.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

The common elements were eerie landscapes with several moons or planets up on the sky. I also dreamt being chased by people I didn’t know. I was never sure why, but I knew they wanted to force me to do something I didn’t want to do.

This painting is quite old, as you can see, but I still had dreams with a similar view – more than 1 [occasionally 2] celestial bodies on the sky. And quite large at that too. In the movie just 2 were shown, and they looked more like the moon we sometimes see in the daytime, except some 10 times bigger.

The boy in the movie also learns that if the world comes to an end, darkness and fire will consume it. Maybe something like in my next painting? Sadly, unlike the kid in the movie, I’m not very capable at drawing what I dream. 

Of course, now I want to read the books as well. However we discovered they’re hard to come by and they’re rather pricey. But it’s ok, we’ll find a way to get these books. The reason why I want to read them is that I want to see how much more can I recognize my dreams in there.

Since we watch most of the movies at home, we decided to also snap a couple of more pictures from the theatre. I don’t think it’s anything special, but I should mention it was the last viewing of the evening, and a weekday. Despite these 2 coordinates, there were quite many people there. They just came in after the light turned off and they sat behind us.

We went at a pretty far mall, but that area is inhabited. The empty mall after closing time was eerie. Fitting with the feeling I got from the movie itself.

Since this movie review is not like my previous ones, there won’t be stuff I liked/disliked either. I will rate the movie 4.5 stars out of 5.

Quotes can make you look wiser

It is highly possible to have heard your parents or grandparents citing various things to you that became like a mantra. You probably never understood them and felt almost like an idiot – I know I did. However, most people like to recite very famous quotes, and while you should know who said what, it is time you created a little booklet of quotes of your own, to sound smarter and wiser.

Today’s quotes are by Brandon Lee, son of Bruce Lee. But this is something he didn’t really want to be remembered as. He wanted to be his own person, apart from his famous father. Sadly, somehow this is now a bit impossible to achieve, simply because he died way too soon.

“Because we do not know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And yet everything happens only a certain number of times. And a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive your life without it? Perhaps 4 or 5 times more. Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps 20. And yet it all seems limitless.”

“You only have the burdens on you that you choose to put there.”

“God knows the times I have found myself in absurd situations.”

“The key to immortality is first living a life worth remembering.”

“A fight can express things people might not be able to say with words.”

“Believe me, nothing is trivial.”

“If you’ve ever found yourself pushed to the limits of your tolerance… you find yourself doing some things that, from the outside, can be seen as quite insane.”


Most likely these quotes will mean something different to everyone. But all of them have something to teach us. They make us smarter and wiser. If we pay attention to some of these words, we might even avoid making some huge mistakes later on.

I’ll see you again on Sunday.

Sleeping Beauty – movie impressions and spoilers

We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty, so there isn’t much to spoil you with. Perhaps the only spoilers I could give are related to how did the Evil Witch trick the princess into touching the spindle. But that would take away from the magic of the story, wouldn’t it?

I will spoil you by saying that this movie seems to have been quite poorly received, and you can’t really find a Wikipedia page about it. Wait, what? But everything has a Wiki pag… well, my dear reader, if you find the Wiki page for this particular movie, I will have to come back and change this part – until then…

This movie is about an hour and a half long, and can get quite boring. I even wonder if this movie directed by Casper Van Dien was even released for the big screen? Seriously, the fantasy in it, the costumes, and the acting screamed “TV movie.”

WHAT I LIKED

Sadly, there isn’t much I liked in this movie, but I’ll give it a try.

I liked the Evil Witch  – she was young, beautiful, with blond hair, but evil. In a way it doesn’t really make sense to make a young beautiful woman act the evil part in this specific story. The actress did a good job here, though I see her more in fashion related movies, or other types of drama movies – just not necessarily as the evil-doer.

I liked the dragon in the water. I think all stories with a princess that needs rescuing, should have a dragon somewhere. The dragon doesn’t always have to be big, fight the prince, or try to kill him, but should be there.

The princess was really pretty in my opinion, therefore fit for the part. She retained the blond hair we know from the Disney animation movie, but the natural hue made her easier to relate to – or at least she gave a more realistic ‘appearance goal,’ but I’d advise any young girl not to want to look like any fictional character, or like any other human being for that matter.

Prince Charming – he was smart, kind, and wasn’t really afraid of anything. The actor seemed talented enough for this part too, and his acting was the most natural in my opinion.

WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE

The King and Queen – or better said how did Casper Van Dien and his wife portrait them. Yes, the director of the movie also starred in the production, along his wife. They sounded fake, with little acting talent in my humble opinion. They sounded like snobs with a snob-like attitude. Well, it’s his movie and he can cast whoever he wants  in it, and have them portray the characters however he wants – it just wasn’t my cup of tea.

The prince wasn’t Prince Charming. This was quite obvious since the Prince appeared in the movie. But if I talk too much about it, I might give away key elements and you might not want to check out this movie.

The zombies – well, yes, you read that right. This version of Sleeping Beauty has zombies and I didn’t like them and I think they needed to go back on the sets of The Walking Dead and Resident Evil. Just saying.

CONCLUSION

I think this is a light movie that anyone can watch, even children. Remember that the Grimm Brothers didn’t write all their stories for children, but this one seems appropriate enough. It is also perfect for summer when all you want to do is relax and not really think it the main guy was trapped in a dream or not – like in Inception [a movie I loved and would like to rewatch].

I’ll rate this movie 2.5 stars out of 5. If you’re bored out of your skin and don’t feel like watching anything else, watch this Sleeping Beauty instead.


©2013- present. the owner travels to. All rights reserved.