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Tron: Legacy 3-D

Tron: Legacy

Image via Wikipedia

“Man, I’m all over this!”

Tron: Legacy is one of those movies that you can’t judge by it’s Preview – but if you do, you’ll get something you never expected – unless you typically have dramatically high expectations. It has the critics raving, the audience dazzled,  and it’s box office sales thoroughly secured. Afterall, this is by Walt Disney Pictures.

As for the story – Tron: Legacy is the sequel to Tron (1982), which I had not heard of before now (whoops!).  The movie starts off with it’s focus on Kevin Flynn, a brilliant engineer and CEO of ENCOM International, a company which, since his disappearance, has strayed from it’s founding principals. The events prior to his absence play out before the movie-watching audience, taking a look at his family life and near-obsession with a project called The Grid – the new frontier, in a digital sense.

Kevin leaves behind a son, Sam Flynn, to whom he told stories of The Grid and had, of which, promised him a trip there the day before his disappearance. With a mysterious atmosphere well established, we find Sam, a troubled boy with neither mother nor father – for his mother had died a time long ago, seeking out a life for himself, while fighting mixed emotions about his father. The movie portrays his development from the point where his father disappears, showing him left behind with his grandparents, then making the decision to seek out his father, going out on his bike into the rain – this transitions to Sam Flynn 20-years later, this time on a motorcycle, speeding down a highway in a sort of Tony Stark fashion. He, at once, gains a bad-boy – vigilante perception, evading the police, infiltrating his father’s company (which has since fallen from it’s founding principals, charging for their software, instead of providing it for free), and stealing their latest software which he proceeds to upload to the internet for all to have.

The redesigned Light cycle as featured in the ...

Image via Wikipedia

When he arrives home, Sam discovers ENCOM executive Alan Bradley already there, whom he promptly ignores until grabbing a drink – both for him and his guest. Mr. Bradley, who has already learned of Sam’s night’s activities, tells him he has received a page from his father’s old office – an office which has remained abandoned for years. Sam takes up, though at first hesitant, this new opportunity to find his father. At his father’s arcade, he finds a hidden passage behind an old Tron game, leading him to his father’s hidden workshop where he developed The Grid. After tinkering around with his father’s computer, and finally solving the program, Sam finds himself zapped into the world of The Grid. Here he must fight for his life against Clu, his father’s clone, who has  established a sort of tyrannical leadership over the world – in response to his initial programming of creating a perfect world. Accompanied by Quorra, an apparent female “program” loyal to his father, can Sam find his father, stop Clu, and get back home in time?

Tron: Legacy is filled action-packed with thrilling suspense, a few psychological complexities, human emotion, and an inevitable and complementary touch of romance. While the movie may not explore the depths of the human heart so as to touch it’s audience, and instead focuses a great deal on breath-taking special effects, and beautiful graphics, it is certainly a wonderfully crafted film. If more time were spent focusing on the storyline, a much greater movie would have been the result. It is a thriller that will appeal to action-movie lovers, and to other general movie-watchers. It is fitting for ages around 10+ (for which Common Sense stipulates as well).

As for it’s 3-D aspect, unlike some critics and reviewers, I must insist that it should very well be seen in 3-D. It brings out the graphics tremendously and heightens the entire movie-watching experience. The effects are not too distracting, and rather compliment everything within the film, though if you’ve had bad experiences 3-D, you may wish to stick with 2-D.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recommendation, and other factors…

National Treasure III (Christmas 2011)

Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]

How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II [December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.


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Double Review: National Treasure 1/2/(3)

Cover of "National Treasure (Widescreen E...

Cover of National Treasure (Widescreen Edition)

With a third installment on it’s way next Christmas (see “Recommendations” for details), I thought it’d be a good idea to reflect back on this terrific, action-packed, suspense-filled, adrenaline pumped series. The National Treasure franchise has been distributed by Walt Disney Pictures and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer – starring Nicholas Cage as the main character, Benjamin Franklin Gates.

Benjamin Gates is a sort of modern day Indiana Jones, without the James Bond attitude (with which Indy has become famous) – having a rather more fitting personality for the film’s environment. Gates is a history buff and a treasure hunter, one tying in with the other. His passion for history fuels his desire for discovery, leading him into exciting adventures and precarious situations…

Film poster for National Treasure: Book of Sec...

Image via Wikipedia

In the first movie, Benjamin Gates is seeking The Charlotte, and old colonial ship which is said to contain that “secret” that will either contain or lead to the unimaginable treasure of the Knight’s Templar. He is accompanied by his tech-savvy friend Riley Poole, and a man with a bit of steel to his attitude – Ian Howe. After the discovery of the ship leads to a clue, indicating that there is a “map” at the back of the famous Declaration of Independence, the crew find themselves at a momentary standstill. Ian however, finds a speedy solution – why not “borrow” the Declaration of Independence for a bit? Appalled by Ian’s blunt malice, Gates refuses to take part, leading into a literal firefight between Ian’s gang and Gate’s party. Gates and Poole are left  trapped aboard an ignited Charlotte, filled gunpowder, and escape with their lives by cleverly locating a smuggler’s room beneath the ship.

In order to prevent Ian from stealing the Declaration of Independence and harming it, Benjamin Gates contacts the FBI, Homeland of Security, and eventually a woman by the name of Dr. Abigail Chase, who works for the National Archives, and finding failure in all situations (but not without “romantically” leaving Miss Chase a surprise gift: the last coin to her collection of historical artifacts… coated in a special residue that will make her fingerprints easy to copy from… say, a glass cup to a glove) he at last comes up with a final, desperate plan: to steal the Declaration of Independence.

With the aid of Riley Poole’s expert hacking abilities and the forging of a custodian’s ID, Benjamin Gates manages to enter the building where the Declaration of Independence is being held, taking advantage of a gala taking place that night. Bypassing security, and with the helpful hand of Dr. Abigail Chase’s fingerprints, Gates manages to secure the Declaration of Independence, but not before a firefight between Ian and his men – good thing the DOI’s (No, not DUI, my personal acronym for the Declaration of Independence) casing is bulletproof.

After a run-in with the FBI, a hostage situation with Ian, clever intellectual trickery, car chases, and all that you’d expect out of a action-packed adventure movie, Gates Jr. (Ben Gates), his new girlfriend Abigail Chase (how’d that happen!), Riley Poole, and Gates Sr. locate the treasure of the Knight’s Templar, give the location of Ian’s gang (who they’ve directed to a false clue elsewhere) to the FBI (along with connections with the chief that are briefly used in the sequel), take a humble 10% of the profits, and get of scot-free, living happily ever after! Till’ the sequel… when they kidnap the POTUS (President of the United States).

In the sequel, National Treasure II: Book of Secrets, Benjamin Gates finds his family name challenged by Mitch Wilkinson, a covert black market dealer who wishes to defile the Gates family name in order to motivate Ben to find the treasure hidden with Mount Rushmore (Ed. Comment: it was all a cover-up! The conspirators were right!). However, in order to find the treasure, Ben Gates must first kidnap the President of the United States (which he does by convincing the President of a secret area beneath the White House, and simply asking him a few questions, though not before showing him the exit with all due politeness and chivalry) so that he may locate the elusive presidential “Book of Secrets.” One clue after another, the treasure is located, Mitch Wilkinson, who took to kidnapping and other Ian-like tactics, was left behind in a last and first observed noble attempt to save the others by holding open a door which was the only way out in the flooded cavern within Rushmore. The treasure, which is a city of gold (built in the design of pyramids), is recovered and accredited to Ben & the Gates family, Abigail, Riley, and, as was his dying wish, Mitch Wilkinson.

Both movies are great for the whole family! Breath-taking, heart-race invoking, suspenseful – it’s certainly worth the while, and up there with some of my favorite films. The movie is suitable for kids around 11-12+ years, considering there is a deal of violence.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recommendation, and other factors…

National Treasure III (Christmas 2011)

Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]

Tron: Legacy [In Theaters]

How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II [December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

Gates Family Mystery (Book Series – which I have not read)

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.

Favorite Quote:
Benjamin Gates:
A toast? Yeah. To high treason. That’s what these men were committing when they signed the Declaration. Had we lost the war, they would have been hanged, beheaded, drawn and quartered, and-Oh! Oh, my personal favorite-and had their entrails cut out and burned! [brief pause] So… Here’s to the men who did what was considered wrong, in order to do what they knew was right… [nodding] what they knew was right. (Wiktionary)

How to Train Your Dragon

Como entrenar a tu Dragon - 00132

Image by Daniel Semper via Flickr

How to Train Your Dragon is about a boy named Hiccup, an out-of-sorts viking, who lives in a world that sees strength in line with respectability. But he’s more of the creative type… so while his father, Stoick the Vast, the viking chieftain, is out with his fellow men hunting dragons, Hiccup is putting his imagination to work. His sight is set on catching Night Fury, the most elusive and dangerous of all dragons – to gain the admiration of the viking community, and his crush – a tough viking girl named Astrid.

His plan to catch the most infamous Night Fury? Intense studying! And the creation of ingenious traps! Who would’ve thought that one day he would actually catch something? None other than the prized dragon itself. Yet, as Hiccup’s viking nature would otherwise demand, he does not kill the dragon but instead keeps it as a pet – feeding it fish, and gradually gaining it’s trust. Soon, he learns more about the world of dragons, and becomes a sort of Dragon Rider, (*cough* Cornelia Funke & Christopher Paolini reference *cough*) gaining enough of Night Fury’s trust to finally ride him (though at first somewhat unwillingly). A hero is born!

Amidst these fortunate developments, Hiccup finds himself in a dilemma. First of all, he must constantly keep Night Fury hidden, or risk exposure and his dragon’s capture… and ensuing demise. Next, his father has registered him for dragon-killing lessons – during which, he defeats the dragons by anatomical means, knocking them out without any harm. This fact is, however, unknown to anyone else, and they believe Hiccup to be a skilled warrior, rather than who he really is – a unique viking boy who has, with an acute intelligence, found a benevolent position among dragons.

It is inevitable that an intense competition is to take place – Hiccup vs a fierce breed of dragon – to the death! While Hiccup refuses to kill the dragon, the dragon has other plans – putting Hiccup in a life-and-death situation, in which Night Fury (named Toothless), comes to the rescue!

At first the villagers respond negatively, capturing Toothless and taking him to the home of all dragons, in hopes of a successful crusade against them. When, however, the vikings find themselves overpowered by an enormous Godzilla-size dragon – Hiccup, along with his persuaded friends (and crush), mount upon dragons of their own and come to the rescue! Successfully defeating “Dragonzilla,” Hiccup becomes a true hero and finally gains his long-desired respect. Dragons become incorporated into the community, and everyone lives happily ever after! Or do they? Find out in the sequal, coming out in 2013! (and a threequel coming later)

 

As many of the other movies I’ve reviewed recently – this movie is also a great choice for the family setting. Enjoyed by the young and old – that’s the magic of DreamWorks! (no, not Macy’s) It shares a similar “heroic, adventure, comedic” feel to it, that most DreamWorks movies appear to contain – which provides for a relaxing and most enjoyable movie atmosphere.

Fun-Wikipedia-Fact: “…the writer-directors of Disney’s Lilo & Stitch, took over as co-directors”

No wonder it reminded me of Lilo & Stitch!

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recomendation, and other factors…

Adventure Writer Favorite: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader [In Theaters]

Tron: Legacy [December 17, 2010]

How to Train Your Dragon II [Summer 2013]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II (December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.

 

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Da...

Image via Wikipedia

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the third installment of the TCON (The Chronicles of Narnia) movies released by Disney, Walden Media, & 20th Century Fox. The first movie, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was a hit, making way for it’s sequel, Prince Caspian, which received a fair amount of positive and critical feedback from it’s fans. The latest film, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, seemed to promise much when I first came across the previews – a surge of excitement at finally being able to see the magic brought to life in another blockbuster film. However, was it successful?

Overview & Speculation:

Unlike my opinion with Prince Caspian, I believe The Dawn Treader is well accomplished. Although some areas of the movie differ from the book, I could recall a plethora of scenes that I remembered were in the book (when I read it sometime around 2004). The end even serves to make way for the next two books in the storyline, The Silver Chair and The Final Battle. Though the Final Battle will most likely be the only option, as it appears the Dawn Treader film has already taken many scenes from The Silver Chair.

The movie is filled with amazing effects, beautifully accomplished animation, all-around design, and a fitting cast. It returns with the same feel that was brought about by The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, taking the audience back into the magic, wonder, adventure, and inspired genius that is the world of Narnia.

As for the basic storyline:

It has been a year since the events of Prince Caspian, and Edmond and Lucy find themselves in a terrible situation – as the war persists, they must live with their Aunt and Uncle… along with their cousin, Eustace Scrubb, who takes an immediate disliking to the Pevensie children and their Narnia non-sense, and finds no trouble, in his odious manner, in expressing his aversion. As in most stories as this, the boy is bound to become a believer. But how, one may ask? Why, being sucked into a painting! The room fills with the water, once a mere beauty to admire in the painting, now a torrent which violently tosses them back into a sudden reunion with Narnia, and onto one of their greatest adventures yet. Evil has shrouded the land of Narnia once again and Prince Caspian, accompanied by his royal castaways (Edmund and Lucy), must gather the Seven Swords of the Seven Lords (that’s a mouthful…) and set them on Aslan’s Table, which will vanquish the darkness if they succeed.

Many characters reappear from the previous movies, including one of my personal favorites: Reepicheep (beside my top favorite Aslan.)

It’s a terrific movie fit for the whole family – although there are some elements which may be unsuitable to younger audiences [Rated PG].

Religious Elements:

The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader is rich in Christian elements and theology.

“I am,” said Aslan. “But there [in your world] I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there.”

The name He speaks of is evident and beyond misconception, though some people may bring up controversy to attempt to establish otherwise. In the world of the Pevensie’s, and our world as well, His name is Jesus Christ – Savior of Humanity – The Lion of the Tribe of Judah.

If you liked this movie, be sure to check out…

In order of relevance, recomendation, and other factors…

Tron: Legacy [December 17, 2010]

Disney’s A Christmas Carol [Available on DVD]

Despicable Me [Available on DVD]

Kung Fu Panda 2: The Kaboom of Doom [May 27, 2011]

Kung-Fu Panda [Available on DVD]

How to Train Your Dragon [Available on DVD]

Iron Man II [Available on DVD]

Iron Man III [May 3rd, 2013]

Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World [August 19, 2011]

X-Men: First Class [June 3rd, 2011]

Captain America: The First Avenger [July 22nd, 2011]

Transformers III: The Dark of the Moon [July 1st, 2011]

Green Lantern [June 17th 2011]

Sherlock Holmes II (December 16th, 2011]

Ice Age: Continental Drift [July 13th, 2012]

From Wikipedia: Movie Release Dates.

Join our Free Rice Group!

Long grain rice from the United States

Image via Wikipedia

First of all, what is Free Rice?

Free Rice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Programme. They donate rice to hungry people for free, obtaining the money for such generosity from sponsors via. advertisements on their website.

How can you be involved?

Free Rice is all about a fun, educational game where you can test your knowledge (and learn more in the process) while donating rice (the actual figures are donated). You can choose from a variety of topics – from your knowledge in English Vocabulary, to Foreign Language, or even Famous Paintings. For each question you answer right, you donate 10 grains of rice. Once again, this is accomplished via the money gained from ad’s that are shown while you play.

How is Adventure Writer involved?

FreeRice.com has recently come up with a 2.0 version of their site where you can create groups to accumulate more grains of rice faster. I’ve started a group called Christian Passion, inspired by Louie Giglio‘s Passion Conferences. Create an account on Free Rice, join the Christian Passion Group (and click “PLAY” on the group page), and start earning rice! Your rice will be added to the group total, which is currently at 14850 Grains and counting.

Who would’ve thought giving could be so simple!

A Plethora of Reviews…

Trumpkin, as portrayed by Peter Dinklage in Th...

Image via Wikipedia

…are coming this holiday season!

From The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader, to CD’s, books, and more!

I’ll be sure to throw in a few “filler graphics” (graphics I’ve made in my spare time), some creative writing, “deep thoughts,” and perhaps some additional photography.

It’ll all be jam-packed this December on Adventure Writer!

Artemis Fowl & The Atlantis Complex

Cover of "The Atlantis Complex (Artemis F...

Cover via Amazon

Eoin Colfer [Pronounced OWEN!] has released a new addition to his Artemis Fowl Series. A simply “magical” experience.

Readers may expect the same fast-paced action sequences, memorable character appearances, and moments of peril that have defined this bestselling series thus far. Readers may, once again, enter the world of magic, brilliance, and rollicking mischief of Artemis Fowl. Eoin Colfer’s genius analogies, cultural references, appropriated humor, and emotional conveyances help to make this book an easy and enjoyable read.

Enter Turnball Root, the infamous brother of our deceased friend, Julius Root. Turnball brings a new, maniacal genius feel to the Artemis Fowl series. Enabling even humor, cruelty, and altogether Sherlockian deduction aspects to the usual repertoire of villains. Better yet, an avid hater of Opal Koboi. Turnball promises the thrill of brand-new adventure, an unseen challenge to the LEP… and an “under the weather” Artemis Fowl.

This time around, our favorite child mastermind – Artemis Fowl rather more demented than usual. It seems he has caught a horrible fairy ailment… as a result of his improper meddling in the fairy arts: The Atlantis Complex. With newly found paranoia, split personality, and absolute fascination with the number five, will our hero be able to rise to the challenge?

Read a chapter of this absolutely riveting novel online, and then buy the full version at your local bookstore [or online book outlet.]!