Film Review: Beauty and the Beast

The original animated Beauty and the Beast film gets redone as a live action movie. It was amazing! Disney did a really good job with this movie.

The story is pretty much the same as the original Beauty and the Beast that we all know and love. There were some differences from the original and I wished some scenes from the animated version were brought over for the live action film. Some of the differences, however, gave some cool twists regarding the world the characters live in that you wouldn’t have known from watching the original.

One of the best parts of the movie was definitely the music. The new film had many of the original songs and they were just done perfectly. Emma Watson, who played Belle, also sang many of the songs – knowing it was her singing gave the movie a cool factor. She also has a beautiful voice and it just worked with the songs perfectly. On top of it, Disney added some new songs which as always, were amazing.

Emma Watson, was also perfect as Belle. The image that she gives Belle, is just the was you would imagine her as a real life person .She is also a great actor, and did a really good job of bringing Belle to life. Overall, it was a great family friendly movie. It is a great to watch especially, for something like a family movie night.

Film Review: A Dog’s Purpose

When I heard out that this book had been made into a movie, I knew I had to read it. So there I was, checking the book out of the library and I was completely hooked the second I started. I have always loved dogs and the way the author, W. Bruce Cameron, wrote this story is just fabulous. I have no idea how he could write this heart-warming tale from a dog’s point of view so well and accurately! It amazes me, and sometimes I wonder that maybe he is part dog!

“All dogs go to heaven, unless they have unfinished business here on Earth.”

The main character is a dog that has been reincarnated four times! The dog comes back each time because he is trying to fulfill his purpose. Basically, he is seeking “a dog’s purpose in life” in his different reincarnations.

In the dog’s first life, he is born as a stray mutt named Toby. His mother has warned him to beware strangers, that man is not to be trusted. However, after getting severely bitten by a malicious dog, Toby lives a tragically short life. But the story doesn’t end there. In his second reincarnation, he is a Golden Retriever named Bailey, a purebred retriever. He is sold, and finds a loving home with a boy named Ethan and his parents. Bailey loves his boy Ethan, and they spend almost every moment together, their bond inseparable. They also love to play the game Rescue Me, where Bailey jumps into the lake to save Ethan.

In his third life…he’s a girl. He’s a German Shepherd named Ellie, ready to save and to Find people and rescue them. She realizes that this is similar to rescuing Ethan, and does her job and saves many lives until her own ebbs away. And in his final life, he’s a male again, this time a black Lab named Buddy. Ethan is now an old man, and Buddy is determined to be with his boy once more. He treks a long way, and he finally finds Ethan in the town that he once knew, and he realizes nothing changed much. Buddy also finds an emptiness inside of Ethan, and decides to bring him his old girlfriend, Hannah, hoping that will fill up the void of emptiness. The two get married, and Buddy realizes that he has truly fulfilled a dog’s purpose.

Mission Viejo Library’s Teen Anime Club

Can’t find the right club for you because you’re a huge otaku (someone obsessed with all things anime and manga) like me and wish there was a club to watch anime, socialize with people and try fun new Japaneses snacks? Well the Mission Viejo Library’s Anime Club is for you!

On the second Saturday of each month the club gathers and spends two hours watching anime. The anime consists of older and recently released shows covering genres like sci-fi, action, and so on. While watching anime you can try an array of different Japanese snacks with different but unique tastes, which are spread out on a table. My personal favorites would have to be the “fake” ice cream cones, Hello Panda, and Pocky. I enjoy any type of sweet Japanese treats and this club fulfills my wishes. Furthermore, socializing with other people is easy in the club because they have a lot in common with you. If you prefer not to socialize with those not yet your friends, you can always bring a friend and share your fun experiences with them – like I did. I brought my best friend Emma and she enjoyed her first time as much as I did. We have attended the club meetings and together, we try to gain an ‘Anime Trivia’ streak. I also enjoy bring the ‘Bring a manga-take a manga’ shelf, although I have not contributed any yet. Next time I go I certainly will. I enjoy the club so much – it has opened me up to so many more anime genres and I have developed a new love for Dragon Ball Z.

Overall, the library’s Teen Anime Club is a great place to meet new friends, watch amazing anime and eat yummy snacks, share and review different opinions on  anime and so much more. I enjoy this club so much and definitely will keep coming back.

-Brenya B.

The Mission Viejo Library Anime Club meets on the second Saturday of every month from 12pm to 2pm in the Friend’s Storytime Room. Permission slips are required and can be downloaded online

TV Review: Gotham

Gotham is a crime drama series that is inside the Batman Universe. The plot takes place when Bruce Wayne was just a kid, growing up in the wake of his parent’s death. Jim Gordon, who will later be Commissioner Gordon, is the main character. Most of the drama centers around him. The villains are younger versions of Penguin, Mad Hatter, Victor ZsasZ, The Riddler, and Mr. Freeze to name a few. My personal favorite villain is the Penguin because he is very complex, and tricky too.

The storyline is very intense, and always leaves you with a cliffhanger. I feel like it has the perfect balance between drama and action. This is the only TV series that I watch weekly and am really pumped for the next episode to come out. I feel like Gotham is like a darker version of the series The Flash or Supergirl. The storyline is very well-written, however because this takes place in Batman’s past they can’t be very creative with it. For example, we know that Jim Gordon will become the commissioner, and that Bruce Wayne will become Batman.

A big con that happens is that we know certain characters can’t die or that they will come back somehow, because they are inside the movie. However even though they have to follow a set in stone storyline, they did an excellent job with it. They create a lot of suspense in almost every episode and the winter break they took was torturous to us fans. I really would recommend this series to any Batman fan, although it has its cons it still the does an excellent job with what it has and is a great series overall.

-Max G.

Creative Writing: Adventures in Ilvermorny Part 2

This is part two of a short story about some kids that attend llvermorny School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (US version of Hogwarts). These characters are entirely made up by me, and my descriptions of Ilvermorny are no doubt very different from what J.K. Rowling’s are. Enjoy!

Cyrus shook her hand, “Well then Jane….?

“-Ingram, Jane Ingram”, Jane affirmed.

“Jane Ingram, are you a first year too?”, Cyrus questioned, “Because I’m stressed beyond belief.”

Jane nodded. “Yea, but I bet you have more of an idea of what’s about to happen. My mom’s a Muggle-born and so she thought it would be best if I was raised without magic until Ilvermorny, like her. Supposedly it will make me appreciate magic more, but I just feel like I’m ten steps behind everyone else.”

Cyrus waved a hand. “Nah there will be plenty of Muggle-borns who just found out about magic weeks ago. That’s not even the issue, its not like Eyla and I get our wands any sooner than everyone else. What’s nerve wracking is the sorting. Eyla is set to be a Wampus, but I’m not really sure where I’d fit”. Cyrus shrugged, looking a little embarrassed to have just shared this with a stranger.

Jane smiled sympathetically, “My mom says the carvings never lie. They know you better than you know yourself.” Jane’s smile slowly turned into a quizzical expression. “Wait did you say that Eyla is a first year too? She’s as tall as many of the 7th years!”, Jane exclaimed a little too loudly.

Eyla, in hearing her name, turned to face Jane again. “Yea, and that’s what’s going to get me to be the first female admitted onto the Quidditch team as a first year”, Eyla announced proudly. “Although, I do wish Ilvermorny had basketball, the one thing I will miss from living so close to muggle cities”, she stated mostly to herself, while sighing.

A smooth woman’s voice on the crackling intercom abruptly interjected the conversation.

“Ladies and gentlemen we are now boarding flight 934 from Miami to Massachusetts, repeat, we are now boarding flight 934 from Miami to Massachusetts”

 

TV Review: Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

maxresdefaultA Series of Unfortunate Events, released on Netflix, is taken from the book series A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I watched the show, and, personally, I really liked it. I had read the books a few years ago, so I don’t remember exactly how similar the series and the books are, but the way that the Netflix series is set up was intriguing. The narrator (Lemony Snicket), is played by Patrick Warburton, and repeatedly breaks the fourth wall as he explains what is going on with the Baudelaire orphans. The children lose their parents, as they did in the books, and have an incompetent adult looking after them, something viewers will quickly realize after watching the children’s first meeting with them. Also similar to the books, Count Olaf is constantly trying to get the children’s’ fortune. The end of the show (if I remember correctly, it’s only eight episodes) ends on a cliffhanger, since it doesn’t finish the whole book series, but ends somewhere in the middle of the series.

Throughout the series, there were moments where I was face-palming myself or getting mad at the characters (mostly the adults), but overall I really liked the acting and the plot. Again, I don’t exactly remember how things went in the original series, but I thought that a lot of the acting personified the book characters. I would definitely recommend this show to anyone interested, especially if they’ve already read the books.

-Aliya A.

TV Review: Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

seriesofunfortunateevents_netflixThe first season of the new Netflix show, “Series of Unfortunate Events” was released! I will be reviewing the season as well as comparing it to the books, however I will let you know when I will delve into the spoiler sections.

Firstly, I would like to say that when I first heard that Neil Patrick Harris was going to play Count Olaf, I was a little nervous. Excitingly however, I think he did a great job portraying him, as he and the character are theatrical. Of the Baudelaire children I believe that Louis Hynes (the boy who plays Klaus) best portrays the character as it is in the book series, however I do like them all. The sets of Count Olaf’s house, Uncle Monty’s House, and Aunt Josephine’s house were all exactly how I had pictured them. Count Olaf’s troop characters including the Hook Handed Man and the Powder Face sisters were all there, as well as a few new characters that have added a more diverse dynamic. The format of doing two episodes to encompass each book worked out quite well. The base plot of the novels was consistent with the series, although there were minor changes and perspectives from other characters which was interesting to see. And as a fan of the books, I was delighted to see that Lemony Snicket’s narration of the series and character was included, as he has monologues directed towards the audience. I am happy to see that the creators did not shy away from the woeful darkness the story has, and embraced it instead.

This next section will be a SPOILER for the season, so if you haven’t watched it yet please go watch!

The biggest plot twist of the season, book fans didn’t expect this either, was the long running subplot of the Baudelaire parents trying to get home to their children. At first I was upset that the creators had the parents remain alive, but then came to terms with the notion that perhaps the creators would kill off the parents before the children ever knew they survived the fire. This concept was actually a theory of the book fans, in which the Baudelaire parents actually survived, but the children never knew, and they did not get reunited. However, as we know from the twist in the finale, the “parents” that were shown were not Baudelaires after all, but Quagmires. I loved that the creators made us believe they were the children’s parents, and in the end show us that they had never specified they were Baudelaires. This creates a smart introduction to the Quagmire twins/triplets, as we already know their backstory. It is a great use of the omniscient perspective that book readers didn’t get to see, creating exciting new details for book readers, without changing the plot. And lets not forget that ending musical scene! If someone had told me beforehand that they would be singing at the end, I would not be happy about it, but it really flowed in an odd and mystical sort of way.

So what did you guys think about the adaptation? Let me know!

-Ava K., 12th grade