The BFG film review

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I’m a big Roald Dahl fan so I was super excited to see this film. The BFG wasn’t my favorite book, though. I needed to see this movie for me to fall in love with it. And fall in love I did.

The critics were kinda harsh on Steven Spielberg’s storytelling so I wanted to see it myself. I didn’t find it tough to follow, and I immediately got swept away into fantasy land, like Sophie. The moment Sophie started complaining and arguing with the big friendly giant, I thought, “There it is.” Ruby Barnhill, who played the heroine, had the perfect cuteness with the spunk of British little girls.

She was “kidnapped” and brought to Giant Country where the slimy snozzcumbers were featured and are typical Dahl level of grossness. As the BFG and Sophie got comfortable with each other, so did I in their adventures.

My favorite scenes, which happens to also be the most magical parts, are related to the colorful bottled dreams and best of all, the tree where it all came from.

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I wanted to cry happy tears as I witnessed a beautiful friendship blossom enhanced by beautiful visuals. It was magical. I haven’t felt that wonderful magical feeling in quite a while. Since it was the legendary John Williams who provided the music, you’re in for a wonderful ride.

Mark Rylance’s CGI face as the BFG is very expressive, and his voice makes such a delightful play on Dahl’s invented words that’s confusing at first but believe me, you’ll manage to catch up.

The supporting cast is also good, and I was happy to see some funny moments when Sophie and the BFG managed to get an appointment with the Queen. I recognized the actress who played the Queen because she also played a strong female leader in Doctor Who! Penelope Wilton, the Queen in this film, played Harriet Jones in my fave British sci-fi TV series so it was fun.

On a more serious note, the film was able to perfectly capture the sad reality of bullying because the BFG had to deal with bigger, uglier, and nastier giants. It champions the bond of friendship, for even as the two led separate lives in the end, each person cherishes and remembers fondly the love that transcends two worlds.

It’s a family film. Go see it!

Photo source: Facebook | The BFG Movie

 

Doctor Who: The Celestial Toymaker

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I stumbled upon this novel of my fave fantasy TV series in a pop-up stall of an online bookstore in Eastwood, but the name of the bookstore escapes me at the moment. I think I got this for only 100 pesos because it’s yellow and old but I didn’t care because it’s a rare find. At first, I thought since I have not seen any classic Who episodes that I’d be having a bit of difficulty reading this thin novella, but it turned out to be a fun and a rather quick read!

According to the Tardis.wikia.com, this 1986 novelization is based on the (1966) 6th episode of the first Doctor with his companions, Dodo and Steven. Here’s the publisher’s summary of the story:

Somewhere outside space and time there waits the Celestial Toymaker, an enigmatic being who ensnares unwary travellers in his domain to play out his dark and deadly games.

Separated from the security of the TARDIS, the First Doctor is forced to play the complex trilogic game with the evil magician. Meanwhile, Dodo and Steven must enter into a series of tests with, among others, the schoolboy Cyril and theKing and Queen of Hearts.

If they lose, they are condemned to become the Toymaker’s playthings for all eternity. For in the malevolent wonderland that is the Celestial Toyroom, nothing is just for fun…

From the book cover and the synopsis, the publisher might as well have labeled this book in the horror section because of the creepy clowns and its stuck-in-a-dollhouse slash carnival horror house theme that made the reading experience quite chilling. The Doctor and his companions all had to play the games or get stuck in this universe forever. The catch though is they have to end and win AT THE SAME TIME. How crazy is that, right? The Doctor and the Toymaker are in a separate room for a numerical pyramid computation thingymajig with a one-way mirror where they both could monitor Dodo and Steven doing obstacle courses and Amazing Race-ish mental challenges against clowns and mannequins that came to life and the King and Queen of Hearts. Yes, they won against the Toymaker (there won’t be 12 more Doctors if he didn’t), but it definitely wasn’t an easy journey!

YouTube has audio episodes and still images of this, so if you’d like to look and listen, here it is:

 

 

For other Doctor Who related posts, here’s a list of links to the DW 50th anniversary books I’ve read and made reviews of:

https://tabbedbooks.wordpress.com/2013/05/25/doctor-who-50th-anniv-books/

https://tabbedbooks.wordpress.com/2013/06/28/ten-little-aliens-by-stephen-cole/

https://tabbedbooks.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/the-silent-stars-gone-by/

https://tabbedbooks.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/only-human-by-gareth-roberts/

https://tabbedbooks.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/earthworld-by-jacqueline-rayner/

 

The Best Plot Twist in Fiction So Far

One seemingly insignificant character for six seasons turns out to be the hero of the millennia. The geniuses behind this idea (Weiss, Benioff, & Martin) clearly deserve a medal, a trophy or a lifetime achievement probably for making HODOR already a pop culture icon. That really escalated things quickly. I dunno how long the Hodor puns will survive but am sure it will live on for quite a while, for even non-GoT fans will be compelled to know what’s behind all the smirks, maybe sad faces every time someone has to “hold the door.”

It’s just bloody brilliant. Never has death been so memorable in the world of fantasy and fiction until now. Well, yeah, Dumbledore died, but he didn’t live on to have a cultural significance in everyday lives. I don’t recall anything as impactful as this, as him. He’s coming to Manila soon and I’ll try to catch him at the Toy Con! I’m sure there’s going to be a stampede in a rush to hug this big fella.

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Beauty and the Beast trailer

What do you think, Disney fans? Are you excited about all the animated classics suddenly turned to live-action one by one? For the most part, I’m curious, though am not sure if Disney’s tired of thinking of new material. I guess for entertainment’s sake, younger generations will be up to speed on what we loved when we were younger. It will have brand new songs from Alan Menken and Tim Rice, and a stellar cast aside from Emma Watson. Here’s the cast list from the official press release:

Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.

Fortunately, the Milk

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My fondness for Neil Gaiman’s works gravitates towards his children’s literature. I recently grabbed this thin and affordable book for just Php 199 (I think) because I forgot about Chu’s Day. So what is it about?

 

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Excerpt from http://www.mousecircus.com

It is about a dad who went out to buy milk from the grocery for his children’s cereal and came back with fantastic adventures on a time machine that involved aliens, dinosaurs, a talking volcano, among others. His adventures were, apparently, the cause of the delay of the precious milk.

Yup, that’s basically it!🙂

Filled with wonderful illustrations by Skottie Young, this can probably be a fun substitute as a bedtime story for kids (as long as they don’t ask you to explain what the space-time continuum is).

 

Demigods & Magicians Review

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I’ve read these three short stories online before I bought it in novel form, but I gladly re-read it again and enjoyed it immensely. The crossover stories are expectedly exciting because it intertwines the Egyptian and Greek mythology and magic together in two sets of contrasting (teen) warriors of the modern age. The Kanes were definitely counterparts of Percy and Annabeth in terms of personality so the conflicts in their encounters are always interesting.

Is Uncle Rick preparing us for a consolidated heroes universe? That’s a far-fetched idea though because am not sure if there is a unifying thread among the different mythologies of the world, but Riordan does prep us in this particular set of stories of commonalities we don’t know of in our histories. He amazingly knows history well enough to find a convergence in facts to spin understandable snippets of history with elements of fantasy. In this trilogy of stories, Riordan spun a tale about Ptolemy, the Egyptian astronomer, mathematician, and geographer of Greek descent. See what he did there?

To defeat a villain who wanted to fuse the dark magic of Egyptians and the Greeks will need the assembly of heroes who’ll naturally have to combine their strengths and save the world. Percy and Sadie are the kick-ass warriors, Carter and Annabeth are the strategists. Their initial meetings were hilarious because they met their opposites and thankfully were able to trust each other before anyone killed each other off. FYI, in the Riordan universe, the Greek territory/Mount Olympus is in Manhattan while the Egyptian descendants reside in Brooklyn. Setne, a magician who’s the descendant of Rameses, comes back from the dead to fuse the crown of Upper and Lower Egypt by mixing Greek and Egyptian magic to become a god and rule over Governor’s Island (still in New York).

It’s a short but exciting read for Riordan followers. I can only imagine what it feels like to control elements of the Earth like water and it must be terrifying to “host” a god inside of you (especially a carnivorous one). These teens’ lives were changed for good once they’ve experienced (literally) going through hell, and Setne was just another day of fighting an evil entity. Heroes don’t ever get to rest. Or study in peace. Or have a normal, quiet love life.

Thank the gods I’m not one. I’d rather just read about their adventures!