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Monday, June 19, 2017

Movie Review: Dirty Dancing 2017 Remake



When I was in high school I used to watch a lot of movies, but out of all of the movies I saw then, only one was my favorite: Dirty Dancing. I used to watch it every day, sometimes more than once, that's how much I loved it. I knew all the lines by heart, and if I know anything ever remotely close to dancing, it's because of this movie. 

So it wasn't easy to hear that the movie was getting a reboot. There's no way anyone could be able to play Johnny and not make me cringe. Here's the thing with me and dancers: there is Patrick Swayze and then there's the rest. So in my head there was no way anyone could be as good as him. Then I heard that the movie was going to have 3 hours. 3 hours of dancing? With Johnny and Baby? Sign me up! I was ready for the expanded version of their story, kind of like the collector's edition sort of, but instead I didn't get that. I got a musical...

It would be easier to start with what I liked. Before I go on though, let me tell you that there are going to be MAJOR SPOILERS ahead. So be warned. 

I liked the fact that we get more time focused on Penny and Baby. We see them having a "just girls" dance, and I liked that. Nicole can really dance, and it was fun watching her. I also liked that Baby's father, Jake, tells her the repercussions of what she did by helping Penny were. Harsh maybe, but he was right. There's one dance sequence that I loved, which is the famous watermelon/"Do You Love Me" dance. I mostly liked the fact that they did their own thing, instead of copying Patrick and Cynthia's routine for that dance. And I also liked the cover they did for that song. I love the original, but their version has something fun about it, and I don't know what exactly, between the singer's growls and the piano and guitar solos. 

I also liked that at one point Johnny teases Baby, telling her to imagine to have rhythm, which, when you think about it, is a terribly sad truth about the actress. I'm so sorry for Abigail, but she's just one of those people who cannot dance.

While Colt, the guy who played Johnny, didn't seem like such a great actor in this movie, he sure knows how to dance. Remember when I said there's Patrick and then there's the rest of the male dancers? Well, Colt is definitely one dancer that I enjoyed watching perform.

*deep breath*

What I didn't like. Man, this is a long list. The lift, the unnecessary background drama, the fact that it seemed to me that Johnny had more chemistry with Penny than with Baby, the last dance, which should have been spectacular, instead it wasn't, and the ending. That ending is what made me so mad, enough to want to watch the original version immediately. Here's the thing. I'm a romantic at heart, and Johnny and Baby have been my ultimate OTP since before I knew what OTP meant. Which means that in my head, after that last dance, they ride off into the sunset. The movie definitely seems to point to that, otherwise WHY WOULD HER DAD APOLOGIZE TO JOHNNY???? I always saw that scene between Johnny, Baby and Baby's dad as a sort of "welcome to the family" scene, a scene in which Jake accepts that Johnny is the one for his little girl. So to me, they are good. It's been 30 years since the movie came out and probably 20 years since I first saw it, and I still believe the same thing: they make it, get married, live happily ever after. The remake, however, shoots my dreams right in the pachanga, because they do not do that. No, they crush all of my romantic ideas, by making Johnny look like a soccer dad with a bad hair day, and Baby look like what I imagine Lisa should have looked like. It makes no sense. None whatsoever. Also, why a musical? Just...why? 

VERDICT: It's possible that someone who has never seen the original will enjoy this movie, although they'd have to be living all alone, with no friends, no internet, no family, basically no human soul near them, in order to not be introduced to the greatness that was the original Dirty Dancing. I also feel like 3 hours was a little too much for this movie. I'm not sorry for losing those 3 hours, because I watched it after a very stressful day, but I am definitely sorry Hollywood felt the need to remake a classic.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Book Review: The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

Author: Elise Kova
Series: Loom Saga #1
Audience: +16
Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy
Publisher: Keymaster Press
Release Date: January 10th 2017
My Rating: 4 Cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
Her vengeance. His vision.

Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.

Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.

When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.

He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.

*Disclaimer: I received an eARC of this copy in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my rating or the content of this review in any way.


Steampunk isn't one of my favorite genres, but it might just become one if all books are just like this one. I've heard a lot of great things about Kova's books, and I've decided to give this one a try.

There's something incredibly magical about this book, and it's truly amazing to experience. First of all, the world of Loom is really interesting, with steampunk themes blending perfectly with fantasy, in a way I hadn't quite imagined. There's magic, dragons, and technology that, strangely, work just fine together. The world itself is really complex, with a lot of stuff to understand, and a lot of stuff that I didn't quite understood at first. I kind of felt a lot like Cvareh, being thrown into an unknown world and trying to understand it. At times that proved a bit difficult, especially since there's a lot of stuff that we don't know about what happened in the bast, way before the events in the book started.

I also liked having the book told from different POVs. It helped show a bigger picture than what one side would have shown, and I loved that we got even the villain's side of things.

Ari was a really interesting heroine. She is definitely not an easy person to understand, or even like. She has a lot of secrets, and the more I read about her, the more intrigued I became. I wonder if in the future we'll get to fully know who Ari is, what her motives for hating the dragons are, and if she'll get some kind of closure. But I did respect her, to be really honest, because as cold as she wanted others to see her as, she was truly loyal to her friend, even though that put her in a lot of danger.

Florence was one character that I loved from the very start. She was witty, funny, and kind of impossible to resist. I can understand why Ari wanted to protect her at all costs and why she rescued her when she did. I also liked that even though Florence had a pureness and tenderness that made her seem soft and breakable, she found it in herself to make the hard decisions, even though she was truly scared of the outcome.

Cvareh was the character that, much like Ari, was interesting, but it took me a while to understand. I still feel like there's a lot about him that we don't know, that he's keeping a lot of things about himself hidden, and I'm curious how that will work out in the next book. But as I said, having different POVs in this book made it difficult to decide which side of the war to sympathize with, because contrary to what Ari believes, Cvareh didn't seem so bad.

The more I read, the more I understood why I had so many people urging me to read Kova's works, mainly because she managed to get me to like a story in a genre that I don't normally connect with. The only thing I would have wanted was to have more background information, to maybe understand how to navigate the world of Loom better, but all in all this book was a great series-started, and I'll definitely read the next book in the series.


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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cover Reveal: Love Another Day by Lexi Blake



       

 
A man born to protect

After a major loss, Brody Carter found a home with the London office of McKay-Taggart. A former soldier, he believes his job is to take the bullets and follow orders. He’s happy to take on the job of protecting Dr. Stephanie Gibson while the team uses her clinic in Sierra Leone to bring down an international criminal. What he never expected was that the young doctor would prove to be the woman of his dreams. She’s beautiful, smart, and reckless. Over and over he watches her risk her life to save others. One night of pure passion leads him to realize that he can’t risk his heart again. When the mission ends, Brody walks away, unwilling to lose another person he loves.

A woman driven to heal

Stephanie’s tragic past taught her to live for today. Everything she’s done in the last fifteen years has been to make up for her mistakes. Offering medical care in war-torn regions gives her the purpose she needs to carry on. When she meets her gorgeous Aussie protector, she knows she’s in too deep, but nothing can stop her from falling head over heels in love. But after one amazing night together, Brody walks away and never looks back. Stephanie is left behind…but not alone.

A secret that will change both their lives

A year later, Stephanie runs afoul of an evil mercenary who vows to kill her for failing to save his son. She runs to the only people she trusts, Liam and Avery O’Donnell. She hasn’t come alone and her secret will bring her former lover across the world to protect her. From Liberia to Dallas to Australia’s outback, Brody will do whatever it takes to protect Stephanie from the man who wants to kill her, but it might be her own personal demons that could destroy them both.


     

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NY Times and USA Today bestselling author Lexi Blake lives in North Texas with her husband, three kids, and the laziest rescue dog int eh world. She began writing at a young age, concentrating on plays and journalism. It wasn’t until she started writing romance and urban fantasy that she found the stories of her heart. She likes to find humor in the strangest places and believes in happy endings no matter how odd the couple, threesome, or foursome may seem.

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