Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Movie Review: 6 Souls

Julianne Moore: Cara Harding
Jonathan Rhys Meyers: David/Adam/Wesley
Jeffrey DeMunn: Dr. Harding
Frances Conroy: Mrs. Bernburg

Runtime: 112 min
Rating: R
Plot:  A female forensic psychiatrist discovers that all of one of her patient's multiple personalities are murder victims. She will have to find out what's happening before her time is finished.

In My Opinion: This is one of those I was excited about when I saw the trailer, then somehow missed the DVD release and forgot all about it until perusing through Netflix. In the beginning, Julianne Moore's character is portrayed as an awkward and nerdy psychiatrist who doesn't believe in multiple personalities. She testifies that a man who is about to be executed most certainly did not have the disorder, then watches the announcement of his execution on TV while doing multiple shots of tequila  Her father, another psychiatrist played by Jeffrey DeMunn, sends one of his cases her way to see if she will change her stance on multiple personalities. At first we think we're seeing an extremely disturbed man, until Julianne's character does the whole "investigate creepy things and places all on her own" thing.

It's Rating Time

The Story: 4.5 out of 5 stars: This movie scared the crap out of me, and was pretty unique. The plot twist came out of nowhere, pleasantly surprising the pants off of me. While there were some minor plot holes, the only complaint I really have is the ending—but only because I totally predicted it, and it was a bit disturbing.

The Acting: 5 out of 5 stars: Insanely awesome cast, especially Jonathan Rhys Meyers playing multiple roles. And Julianne didn't do her ugly cry in this one!

The Scare Factor: 5 out of 5 stars: I don't remember the last time I could feel the hair on my arms raise while watching a movie!

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bottom line: Recommended for anyone who likes horror/scary movies


Monday, June 24, 2013

Movie Review: World War Z

Brad Pitt: Gerry Lane
Mireille Enos: Karin Lane
Daniella Kertesz: Segen
Fana Mokoena: Thierry Umutoni

Runtime: 116 min
Rating: PG-13
Plot:  United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

In My Opinion: Anyone who knows me is quite aware that I've been incredibly psyched up for the release of this movie. I've tried many times to read the book, but simply can't get into it. The movie, however, was freaking fantastic. As you see in the trailers, the story starts out with Brad and his family waiting in traffic when the zombie invasion first hits their part of the country. They're forced to run through the streets among total chaos of fleeing citizens and crazy fast zombies  (check out my blog for more on this). When the family hits a Walgreens-type pharmacy, we get a glimpse of how people may act in desperate times. We discover that Brad's character recently retired from the UN as one of their best investigators, and is in high demand. After his family is flown via helicopter to a battle ship on the ocean filled with other highbrow personnel, Brad is asked to help find the origin of the virus. From that point on, the film is packed with intense scenes that kept me on edge.

It's Rating Time

The Story: 4.5 out of 5 stars: Although I extremely enjoyed just about every aspect of this story, there were a few very unrealistic parts that had me shaking my head, such as the plane crash, and I totally predicted the ending early on. But the climax to the ending was well done, and the plot was actually believable.

The Acting: 5 out of 5 stars: Everyone did a stellar job in playing out their roles. While I have a hard time looking at Mireille Enos as anything other than a cowardly polygamist's wife from 'Big Love', she made a rather pleasant leading lady—brave, but not too tough. Brad Pitt makes an exceptional leading man who can pull at your heart strings when he's playing daddy, and make you believe that he's a tough guy when he's punching zombies. Plus it's BRAD PITT. He is pretty easy on the eyes, and has a voice that most probably makes angels cry.

The Scare Factor: 4 out of 5 stars: While it's not horror-scary, the anxiety level is pretty intense. Because of that, this movie could've easily have been rated R, and don't plan on letting my 11-year-old watch this for a while for that very reason.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Bottom line: Must see for zombie fans, Brad Pitt groupies, and thrill seekers!


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Movie Review: The Purge

Ethan Hawke: James Sandin
Lena Headey: Mary Sandin
Max Burkholder: Charlie Sandin
Rhys Wakefield: Polite Stranger

Runtime: 85 min
Rating: R

Plot:  A family is held hostage for harboring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized.
In My Opinion: This was yet another one on my must see list ever since I first saw the trailer. The concept of this movie is that in the future, the United States allows for a 12-hour period of crime to be legal, including murder (with a class 4 weapon or below), so that people may cleanse themselves of hatred and violence. As a result, the country sees a decline in poverty and crime. The story begins with James Sandin (Hawke) returning home from work just hours before The Purge is to commence. He's a salesman for an elaborate security system, and just scored the number one position in sales. He sits down in his mansion for dinner with his stay-at-home wife, disturbed son, and rebellious daughter, and we get the feeling no one is overly fond of dear old Dad. Mom has to deal with snarky neighbors who are jealous of the family's recent addition, the son is maybe suffering from some kind of mental disorder and likes to spy on people with a creepy baby doll robot, and the daughter is hiding a much older boyfriend in her bedroom who Mom and Dad don't approve of. But dear old Dad's security system is top notch, and the metal doors keep them secure for The Purge. Until, as seen in the trailers, the son decides to save a man yelling for help in the streets. Turns out the man (wearing dog tags) is running from a pack of creepy whack jobs, and these whack jobs tell the Sandins either they hand the man over to them, or they're going to break in and kill them all (enter the creepy MF in the picture above). But the family can't find the man as something else goes completely wrong inside their supposedly secure home. And that's when all hell breaks loose.

It Rating Time

The Story: 4.5 out of 5 stars: I'm not going to lie, this one scared the shit out of me. I held my hands over my mouth for a majority of the movie for an endless string of "holy crap" moments. The ending was unique and unexpected. Although there weren't any paranormal elements, the story was actually pretty disturbing as there are so many moral boundaries tested and broken.

The Acting: 4.5 out of 5 stars: This was one of those movies where I forgot everyone was acting, and got extremely wrapped up in the story. I almost cried for the mom at one point. Rhys Wakefield was brilliant, and played one of the creepiest parts I've seen since Heath Ledger's role as The Joker.

The Scare Factor: 5 out of 5 stars: It's not necessarily horror-scary, but it will keep you on the edge of your seat, and make you jump, plus the concept is just freaky.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bottom line: If you like original thrillers with disturbing plots, you'll definitely like this one!


(Check out Jen's post on why this movie is so disturbing on her website)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Movie Review: Dark Skies

Keri Russell: Lacy Barrett
Josh Hamilton: Daniel Barrett
Dakota Goyo: Jesse Barrett
Kadan Rockett: Sam Barrett

Runtime: 1 h 37 min
Rating: PG-13

Plot: As the Barrett family's peaceful suburban life is rocked by an escalating series of disturbing events, they come to learn that a terrifying and deadly force is after them.

In My Opinion:
 This was another movie on my must see list ever since I first saw the trailer. The story starts out with the family of four having strange things happen inside their home while they're sleeping and later their behaviors all begin to change. It takes the parents some time to realize and accept what is happening to them. Although I started watching this already knowing it was about aliens from the trailers, I was on edge wondering when and how the bug-eyed visitors were going to make their first appearance. I felt frustrated for the parents and kept trying to think of ways they could get help or even stop things from happening. The way the aliens invade all of their lives was terrifying in itself. As a big fan of The X-Files series, I was really pleased with almost everything about this movie. The only thing I can honestly say I didn't like was the ending. The new formula in Hollywood seems to be trending toward the shock factor, and in this one I definitely didn't like it (and I already suspected the twist way before it was revealed). I realize not everything happens with a happy ending, but with this one it would've been nice to see an exception to the rule.

It Rating Time

The Story:  4 out of 5 stars: It was awesome but the ending left me frustrated.

The Acting: 5 out of 5 stars: Keri Russell delivers as the star of the show and the rest of the ensamble did well—especially the oldest boy.

The Scare Factor: 5 out of 5 stars: Although it's (thankfully) not your typical horror film and is better described as a thriller, it scared the tar out of me in many places.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bottom line: If you like thrillers and alien movies, you'll definitely like this one!


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Movie Review: Mama

Jessica Chastain: Annabel
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau: Lucas/Jeffrey
Megan Charpentier: Victoria
Isabelle Nelisse: Lilly

Runtime: 100 mins
Rating: PG-13

Plot: Annabel and Lucas are faced with the challenge of raising his young nieces that were left alone in the forest for 5 years.... but how alone were they?

In My Opinion: I've wanted to see this movie ever since it was in theaters, but until recently when my daughter told me she wanted to start watching scary movies, I didn't have a friend who would go see them with me. We basically know everything about the story from the trailers. The only real mystery is how Mama came to be, which is revealed later on. After two girls are found living alone in the woods (and the way they end up there is so twisted it almost literally made me sick), they bring a creature back with them. There was a lot of potential in this one for being scary and it had a great storyline overall, but I feel like it missed its mark. 'Mama' was way too cartoonish for my taste. I almost laughed at her each time she made an appearance. And the insane ending really killed it for me. What was most notable in this movie was the performances. At first I didn't even recognize Jessica Chastain (from Zero Dark Thirty and The Help), which in my eyes makes her a brilliant actress. But it was little Lilly (played by Isabelle Nelisse) who really stole the show. Her character was so creepy in so many ways, I kept wondering how they could get a little girl to play such a twisted part.

It Rating Time

The Story:  3 out of 5 stars: It was okay, but could have been so much more.

The Acting: 5 out of 5 stars: The ensemble was brilliant and I'd like to see Isabelle again.

The Scare Factor: 3 out of 5 stars: Each time I was scared it was ruined by crappy effects.

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Bottom line: It was decent. If you're bored and looking for a new flick, it will keep you entertained.


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Unexpected by Faith Sullivan

It's time for another tease to wake up your reading senses. This week I bring you another tease from author Faith Sullivan. This tease comes from her second book Unexpected. After reading her first book Heartbeat I instantly became a fan of Faith. She knows exactly how to tug at your heart strings. Just check out this week's tease:

Synopsis: September 11, 2001.

A day that forever changes the destiny of college overachiever, Michelle Rhodes.

Shattered, confused and alone, no one understands the trauma consuming her until she meets Connor Donnelly.

A native New Yorker, he believes he can aid in getting her life back on track. But what if he's even more broken inside?

Offering her a chance at a fresh start, Connor convinces Michelle to move in with him. Hiring her to waitress at his bar, their mutual attraction only complicates matters.

As more details surrounding Connor's past emerge, Michelle uncovers the full magnitude of the loss he's trying to hide. Refusing to let her feelings for him hinder his recovery, she makes a decision that winds up hurting them both.

By sacrificing her heart, Michelle thinks she is helping Connor come to terms with his grief. Little does she know, Connor is gambling everything for the sake of having a future with her.

What happens is truly unexpected.

Chapter Five

My parents are worried about me. They know I’m damaged, but they don’t know how to fix me. It’s moments like this when being an only child sucks. Their belief in me is what drives them, and I let them down big time. They’ve never seen me fail before, and they don’t know how to handle it. I’ve shaken them to their core, and I didn’t mean to do that. It’s almost cruel. All of the sacrifices they’ve made on my behalf—were they worth it? I’d have to say no.

Tonight, they really want me to go to the New Year’s Eve party my friend, Heather, is throwing at her parents’ house. She’s home on break, and they think it’ll be good for me to get out and socialize with people my own age. I’ve kept myself pretty isolated since I ran home with my tail between my legs. I wasn’t up to rehashing things over and over again. But maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to get out—at least for a little while.

I admit that tending to my appearance is no longer on the top of my priority list. I’ve really let myself go. I never regained the weight I lost, so I appear gaunt instead of thin. I haven’t gotten a hair cut since the summer, and I haven’t even worn makeup in months. I guess I can twist my long brown hair and pin it up, and maybe I’ll wear a simple black sweater with a pair of jeans that I can belt. With some industrial strength under-eye concealer, I might look presentable. But I can’t summon any feeling of excitement. I feel nothing.

The party is already in full swing when I arrive. There’s no way I’ll be able to slip in unnoticed. I’ll be on everyone’s radar as soon as I walk through the door—something I’m not exactly looking forward to. I’m ‘the 9/11 girl,’ the only person from our small town who was there that day. And of course, people can’t wait to hear all about it even if all I have to say is that I was scared shitless in my apartment for three days. But still, their insatiable curiosity doesn’t make me want to talk about it. They weren’t there; they don’t know.

I can hear ‘I’m Real’ by Ja Rule and J-Lo all the way down the street. It doesn’t get more ghetto than a party in the suburbs. Judging by the familiar cars parked outside, a lot of people I graduated high school with are here. On the landing, I pause with my finger on the doorbell. Do I really want to face these people? Am I ready for this?

“Having second thoughts?” a voice asks out of the darkness.

The front porch swing is moving slightly. At the end of it, I discern the silhouette of a guy. He bends forward to light a cigarette, and I catch a glimpse of his face. He’s not somebody I know. Relief washes over me. Maybe I can stall for time out here.

Taking a step back, I put my hands in my coat pockets and move away from the light emanating from the window. I’m more comfortable hiding in the shadows.

He doesn’t press me for a response, but I can sense him watching me. Hopefully, he’ll keep his distance.

The swing creaks as I sit on the opposite side. My movement interrupts his steady rhythm, but he doesn’t reproach me for the intrusion. Flicks of ash hit the wooden floor as he inhales again.

“Is that weed?” I blurt out before I can stop myself, breaking the silence.

His only response is a chuckle.

The swing remains in motion. The shared responsibility of keeping it going creates a sense of familiarity, even though we’re complete strangers.

He shifts his position to face me, studying my profile. Rising to the challenge, I turn my head.

Our eyes lock. 

I want to look away, but I can’t. 

He doesn’t appear stoned. His gaze is focused, steady. 

Taking one last hit, he tosses what’s left of the cigarette, putting it out with his boot. Placing his hands on his knees, he glances at me over his shoulder. “Michelle, I think it’s time you came back to New York with me.”

{End of Tease}
Find Unexpected at

About the Author

I really hate talking about myself. My goal is to have the shortest author bio imaginable. I would much rather have a conversation with my readers.

Are you able to escape within my pages?
Does my writing make you feel something?
Are there characters that you can't get out of your head?

Let me know! 

Email me at 

Follow me on Twitter at @_FaithSullivan_

Visit Faith Sullivan at her blog:

Friday, April 5, 2013

TV Series Review: Hannibal

Hey, guys! Sorry I've been MIA for a while working on a ton of projects. Thanks to Maria for keeping up with the blogs!
Did you catch the premiere of Hannibal last night? I've been dying to see this show and I'm happy to report that I was not disappointed. First of all, the cast was pretty remarkable. I couldn't remember where I've seen Hugh Dancy before, but after looking him up on IMDb I guess it's Confessions of a Shopaholic. That just goes to show what an amazing actor he is, because his character in Hannibal is a total 180 from that part. And Laurence Fishburne is amazing in everything, so I was pleased to see him among the cast as Dancy's boss. Then there's the Danish dude (Mads Mikkelsen) who makes a fittingly creepy Hannibal—that guy gave me the appropriate amount of the willies.

Dancy plays a "young" (thank you to IMDb for calling him that as he's my age) FBI criminal profiler with a list of mental health problems (Aspergers being among them). Because of them, he can put himself in the killer's shoes, but he also has problems socializing. There's a scene toward the end where he is in the middle of the crime and he kind of wigs out that I thought was brilliant. For a minute I forgot I was watching a show.
Anyway, Fishburne wants a mental health study done on Dancy to make sure he can handle the job, and who does he find for the job? Freaking Hannibal Lecter himself! So now we have this unstable guy investigating a serial killer with none other than the king of serial killers at his side! It was twisted and brilliant, especially when Hannibal gives Dancy breakfast and as a viewer you're screaming at him not to eat anything that whack job offers. Plus I'm not sure I'll be able to eat any red meat for a month or so after this episode.

There are some other scenes that really delivered the story well, but I don't want to mention them here as some of you may have the show waiting for you on your DVR. If that's the case and you're debating whether or not the show is worth watching, I'm here to tell you that it is.

I'm totally looking forward to this new show and anxious to see what else the writers have in store. Did I mention they're going to have Gillian Anderson appear on a future episode? I may have fangirled and freaked out when I saw that. This is definitely one of those spin-offs I'm glad came to life.