10 Cloverfield Lane – Movie Review

Hello everyone!

Happy Tuesday! I only have one more day of work until my mini vacation with the hubby for his Birthday. I am excited! Not only will I be spending quality time with Paul, I will also be writing and finishing up some of the goals I set for myself.

Today’s blog is going to be a review of 10 Cloverfield Lane which I re-watched last night in preparation. I saw this movie in theaters back when it was released, but I haven’t written a review. Time to change that.

As always, watch the movie before you read the review. I won’t deliberately try to spoil anything, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Enjoy 🙂

10 Cloverfield Lane

Synopsis:

Following a car accident, Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), awakens in the basement of a fallout shelter of a conspiracy-crazed man, Howard (John Goodman), who claims to have saved her from the crash and informs her that a chemical attack has devastated the surrounding area, rendering the outside world uninhabitable. Emmett (John Gallager Jr.), is also in the shelter, and corroborates this version of events.

Review:

This is a semi-sequel to Cloverfield, which I will be reviewing soon (possibly tomorrow). It’s presented in third-person unlike Cloverfield, which was a found-footage style movie. Now, when I say “semi-sequel,” I really mean it. It would be a mistake to think you’re going into to watch a sequel to Cloverfield. This is very different. It’s much more confined and claustrophobic, with some incredible character development. It will constantly have you questioning everything.

What makes this film so interesting is how plausible the entire situation is. The acting has you feeling like this could really happen. It’s tense. Just when you think you’ve figured it out, you start doubting again. The directing of this film is pretty incredible. It’s paced just right – it lets you get a little comfortable, just to throw another curve ball at you.

Crazy is building your ark after the flood has already come.

Let’s talk about the actors for a little bit. John Goodman. I can pretty much leave it at that. He is INCREDIBLE. In one scene, he’ll leave you feeling uncomfortable and in the next scene, he will appear rational and friendly. This movie toys with you the entire way through. Is he crazy or is he the only one who knows what is up? I’ve said this before, if I had to pick a favorite actor, he would be it.

How do you know that this is real?

Mary Elizabeth Winstead is also very, very good in this film. She is constantly on edge and her performance is so incredibly believable. Her character isn’t stupid. She’s constantly questioning, constantly paying attention, and even when you think she is getting complacent, she surprises you with new bravery. She is always thinking a couple moves ahead. I’d give Winstead’s performance an A+ in this movie for sure.

Howard’s like a black-belt in conspiracy theory. Plus, how often do you get to build a doomsday bunker?

John Gallager Jr. gave a pretty good performance as well. The fact that Emmett isn’t a very fleshed out character isn’t really Gallager’s fault. The movie is mainly about Howard and Michelle. Emmett is unfortunately just a filler character needed for some of the plot.

The visuals of this move are pretty fantastic. You never feel like you’re getting the same shot twice, which is pretty impressive given the tight quarters the majority of the movie is shot in. The angles and different shots really help that claustrophobic/paranoid feel it wants you to get while watching.

People are strange creatures. You can’t always convince them that safety is in their best interest.

The one con to this movie that I have heard and read is the name Cloverfield giving an unrealistic idea that this movie is going to feature the same things the original movie featured. Here’s the deal, as I said earlier, if you go into this movie expecting an action packed, monster attacking a city movie – you’re going to be disappointed. This is a semi-sequel, not a direct sequel. I’m interested to see where this franchise goes.

Wrap Up:

Overall, this is in my top favorite movies. I can’t get over how fantastic it is, and I could re-watch it again tonight without being bored. If you haven’t seen it – go watch it. It’s definitely worth your time.

RATING: 5/5 ☆

Let me know what you thought of 10 Cloverfield Lane in the comments below. Stay tuned for my review of Cloverfield, coming soon!

You can still read Chapter One of Alter Reach here.

As always, if you want to stay up to date with me, you can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @JessicaInspired, and like my facebook page.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Kong: Skull Island Review with my husband on YouTube!

Until next time –
Jessica

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The Intergalactic Book Tag 

Hello everyone! Sorry for such a late blog post, but it’s been a busy weekend already. Today, I’m doing a book tag I saw done by Katytastic on YouTube…she’s pretty great, check her video out here.

The Intergalactic Book Tag

1. Space: Name a book that is out of this world – that takes place in a world different from our own.

I think I will use my current obsession, Illuminae. It starts out on a completely different planet, but the main action takes place on a couple of ships that are definitely different from how we live.

2. Black Hole: Name a book that completely sucked you in.

The Hunger Games. I read each book in one day. I was obsessed. Still am obsessed. Haha.

3. Lightspeed: Name a book you are anticipating so much that you wish you could travel at Lightspeed to get to it.

Is it cheating to say my book, Alter Reach? If so, oh well. I’m cheating. 😉

4. Nebula: Name a book with a beautiful cover.

I think Six of Crows has a fantastic cover.

5. Multiverse: Name a companion set or spinoff series you love.

I really don’t have an answer for this because some of the spin-off series I want to read are on hold until I finish the main series.

6. Gravity: Name your favorite romantic pairing that seems to have gravitational pull to each other.

Eve and Jason ❤ from Eve: The Awakening by Jenna Moreci, which I reviewed here if you are interested in learning more.

7. The Big Bang: Name the book that got you started on reading.

Twilight. I know, I know…I always liked reading, but Twilight was the first book to come along and make me want to find more books to read.

8. Asteroid: Name a short story or novella that you love. 

Daemon Academy by Danielle Rose. I reviewed it here. Danielle Rose is awesome and you should definitely check out her books. Anyway, this short story has everything a horror lover would want in very few words.

9. Galaxy: Name a book with multiple POVs.

The 5th Wave…I know this book has polarizing opinions but I fricken loved it, with its multiple POVs.

10. Spaceship: Name a book title that would be a great name for a spaceship.

Hmm. This is kind of hard. I looked at my bookshelf for a few minutes trying to decide…I think I will go with Red Queen because it sounds fun.

 

Let me know what book title you think would be a great name for a spaceship in the comments below. Also, if you’d like to do the tag, I tag you. 😊

Tomorrow will be another “Jessica’s Weekly Poetry Post,” so stay tuned for that.

You can still read Chapter One of Alter Reach here.

As always, if you want to stay up to date with me, you can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @JessicaInspired, and like my facebook page.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Kong: Skull Island Review with my husband on YouTube!

Until next time –
Jessica

Split – Movie Review

Hello! I have been waiting to see this movie since the trailer was dropped. I’m a huge fan of most of Shyamalan’s movies, and thriller movies like this are right up my alley.

Before we get into it, please note that I will do my best not to spoil this film, but I think it’s best if you watch it before you read anything on it. I went in completely blind because I knew there would be twist and turns I wouldn’t have wanted to know before watching. I think that worked out in my favor. You’ve been warned.

Synopsis:

Three girls are kidnapped by a man with a diagnosed 23 distinct personalities, they must try to escape before the apparent emergence of a frightful new 24th.  – Written & directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

Review:

Alright, so Split has some fricken incredible actors who portray some very believable characters, and I’m going to do a brief overview of some of them.

The human brain is the most complex object in the universe.

Betty Buckly plays a psychologist named Dr. Karen Fletcher who is desperately trying to understand and communicate with Kevin (played by James McAvoy). Kevin has 23 distinct personalities and Fletcher is attempting to figure out how his brain works and how to help him. She is very convincing and plays an incredibly important part in this movie. As she attempts to learn about Kevin’s condition, some mysteries begin to unravel and it’s just compelling to watch her.

There’s a flower on the pillows, a flower in the bathroom, like we’re important.

Anya Taylor-Joy plays Casey, one of the three girls abducted. She is a very interesting and intricate character. She is not a person you will understand right away – she’s more of a puzzle and the farther you get into this movie, the more you understand why she is the way she is.

Are you trying to trick me? I’ll tell on you.

James McAvoy plays Kevin, a man with 23 distinct personalities. He was incredible. I can’t give this guy enough credit for the role he played. Each personality is so unique, and distinguishable that I never questioned who he was when he walked on screen. McAvoy truly gave his all in this performance, and it pays off. I can imagine attempting to portray one person in a movie is difficult, and McAvoy pulls this off over and over again with very unique characters.

This movie looks incredible. The camera work is amazing – some of the unique angles and shots make for a very interesting ride for the viewer. The tones are dark and dank, and when we are watching the girls or McAvoy’s character, you really feel like you’re in a dangerous area. The score of this movie is also interesting. It is so subtle at times, you barely notice it’s there. It just adds to the dark, claustrophobic feel the lighting and camera work gives you.

This movie knows when to make you laugh and when to make you nervous. I won’t go into much detail here, for fear of spoiling, but the film does a really good job of letting you know what emotions you should be feeling. It also does a fantastic job leaving you on the edge of your seat. You are given just enough information to push the plot forward, but it keeps you waiting until the very end to give you the answers you seek. This is what, I think, makes a thriller a good thriller. The ability to hold back enough to keep you sitting there for the entire two hours.

He’s done awful things to people and he’ll do awful things to you.

Another upside to this movie was its lack of gore. I think I’ll be making a more in depth blog post about today’s movie’s use of gore and sex rather than characterization and plot to sell movies, but this isn’t the time or place to get into it. I enjoyed the fact that there was very little gore. There were cringe-worthy scenes, but nothing so over the top. I enjoy movies that have the ability to shock you without sickening you.

The downsides to this movie are more of my own personal downsides that I can’t get into without spoiling everything. I might make a spoiler review in the future where I discuss it, but for now, I will just say that there was some info I wish I had known going in.

Wrap Up:

This movie is fantastic. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for a movie that makes you work for the answers rather than making it easy.

RATING: 5/5 ☆

Let me know what you thought of Split in the comments below.

You can still read Chapter One of Alter Reach here.

As always, if you want to stay up to date with me, you can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @JessicaInspired, and like my facebook page.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Kong: Skull Island Review with my husband on YouTube!

Until next time –

Jessica

13 Reasons Why – TV Show Review

Hey everyone! Happy Good Friday!

Today’s post is a review of the Netflix original and emotional roller coaster, 13 Reasons Why. I distinctly remember watching the trailer a couple days before this show was released and thinking, “I definitely need to watch that.” And I’m glad I did.

As always, this is intended to be a spoiler free review but I would suggest watching the show before reading this review.

Synopsis (Taken from IMDB)

Clay Jensen (Dylan Minnette) returns home from school one day to find a box with his name on it, lying on the porch. Upon investigation, he finds cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker (Katherine Langford), his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier.

13 Reasons Why is based on the novel by Jay Asher (which I have not  read, but intend to at some point).

Hello boys and girls. Hannah baker here. Live and in stereo. No return engagements, no encore, and this time absolutely no requests. I hope you’re ready, because I’m about to tell you the story of my life. More specifically, why it ended. And if you’re listening to these tapes, you’re one of the reasons why.

Review

I watched this show shortly after it was released on Netflix. I wasn’t feeling well and decided I needed a show to binge watch. What a show to pick. Emotional roller-coaster doesn’t really explain this show. I’m going to start this review off by saying that this show is very hard to swallow. The first few episodes are sad, because you know you’re listening to a recording of a girl’s suicide note…but as the episodes continue, things get harder and harder to watch.

The cast of characters are fantastic. Every single actor nailed their parts with such precision, I sometimes forgot I was watching a TV show. Clay is an interesting character. His character is a picture-perfect representation of a kid who sees bullying but doesn’t do much to help or change the situation. Hannah Baker is also a very dynamic character. She’s smart, witty and pretty. Someone you wouldn’t think would have a difficult time in school, but it goes to show you, you don’t know what’s going on in someone’s life.

It has to get better. The way we treat each other and look out for each other. It has to get better somehow.

The emotional turmoil I felt watching this show was unlike anything I’ve watched before. This isn’t the first TV show/movie to showcase a character who is relentlessly bullied at school to the point of self-harm, but this is a very unique take on it. Hannah’s decision to create cassette tapes to speak on 13 reasons for her suicide is heartbreaking. As I said earlier…her first few reasons were sad, but nothing close to what is later revealed.

This show also does something else that is pretty interesting. Some of things that Hannah says compared to what the characters that are still around say differ in certain situations. It causes you as a viewer to question who is lying. You don’t want the thought that a girl who committed suicide made this all up, but you’re also left wondering – is it possible she did?

Why would a dead girl lie?

This show left some very interesting questions. There is speculation of a second season, but I am not sure if it has been confirmed. I hope there is.

Final thoughts

I think this show is fantastic, disturbing, beautiful, and heart wrenching. It is a show that will stay with you for a long time and make you think about the way you treat others. I think it has some very important lessons that are good for anyone, of any age – although, with the graphic nature of some of the later episodes, I wouldn’t recommend if for every age.

RATING: 5/5 ☆

Let me know what you thought of the show. Also, let me know what your plans are for Easter. Quick announcement, since Sunday is Easter and I will be spending my day in Church and with family, “Jessica’s Weekly Poetry Post” will be posted Saturday afternoon instead of Sunday.

You can read Chapter One of Alter Reach here.

As always, if you want to stay up to date with me, you can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @JessicaInspired, and like my facebook page.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Kong: Skull Island Review with my husband on YouTube!

HAPPY EASTER! I hope you enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Until next time –
Jessica

Passengers – Movie Review 

Hi there! 

This blog is going to be a review of the movie Passengers starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. I have to admit, I was so excited to see these two starring in a film together. I’m a big fan of both of their work. 

Per usual, I’m going to try to keep this spoiler free but I’d suggest you watch the movie before reading this. 

Synopsis (Taken from IMDB.com)

A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.
Review

I had high expectations and hopes for this movie. The trailer looked pretty cool, I am a fan of both actors, so I thought it would be pretty great. Unfortunately, I was wrong. Now before I get into it, I’ll start off by saying this wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen but I was left feeling like if I never saw it again, I wouldn’t be depriving myself of anything.

I’ll start with some of the good parts. The movie is very pretty. The CGI and scenes of space are super appealing and for the most part, believable. 

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt do pretty well given the material they had to work with. I don’t blame either actors for the weakness of this movie. 

The outside look of the ship was pretty unique and cool looking. My husband disagrees, but I thought the inside and some of the technology used on the ship was fun as well. 

Alright, on to the bad. 

My biggest issue with this film was that it felt like two different movies that they tried to combine into one. The trailer teased this as a romance, scifi action movie. The movie focused so long on the romance (almost 1.5 hours of the 2 hours mocie), that when things finally started getting interesting, it felt like the writers just threw a bunch of things in at the last minute to make it “exciting.”

I felt like there were moments when the writers added things to cover up plot holes. The ending was rushed and predictable. I barely cared about the characters (again, I don’t think that was Lawrence or Pratt’s fault…the story has to hold your interest as well as the actors). 

The other big issue I had was the over sexualized nature of it. There are two times that I can think of where you see Chris Pratt’s naked behind for no reason..it doesn’t move the plot forward, it just makes the girls in the audience swoon. 

The pace is very slow, like I stated earlier. After an hour of the two main characters (Spoiler alert…kind of) flirting, screwing, and being mad at each other, I felt myself wondering when the movie would actually become interesting. By the time the action started, I was already over the movie. 

Wrap up

Like I said, the movie wasn’t the worst thing I’ve seen…but I definitely won’t be buying the DVD and watching it over again. Which is such a shame given how excited I was to see it. I’m glad I didn’t see it in theaters and waited to rent it. 

RATING: 3/5 ☆
 That is all I have for you today. Let me know what you thought in the comments!

You can read Chapter One of Alter Reach here.

As always, if you want to stay up to date with me, you can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @JessicaInspired, and like my facebook page.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Kong: Skull Island Review with my husband on YouTube!

I hope you have a great rest of your week, I will write to you soon. 😊

Until next time –
Jessica

Jessica’s Monthly Goals 

Hey Everyone!

Happy Friday!!!! I can’t express how happy I am, it has been a long week.

For this blog, I wanted to start something new. My plan is to tell you at the beginning of each month, 10 solid goals I would like to accomplish, and then at the end of the month, tell you if I succeeded or failed. I need a little bit more planning in my life if I ever want to accomplish the things I’ve set out to do. So, without further adieu, here’s my April Monthly Goals.

  1. Complete Camp NaNoWriMo. – I have a rough goal of 25,000 words, but my main goal is to finish Alter Reach.
  2. Post 3 blogs per week (including Jessica’s Weekly Poetry Post).
  3. Clean out/organize under my kitchen cupboards (yes, there will be non-writer goals!)
  4. Start looking into editors (if you have any suggestions, let me know!) and pricing out my options.
  5. Start looking into cover designers (if you have any suggestions, let me know!) and pricing out my options.
  6. Get some “professional” photos of myself taken. (By professional, I mean have my husband take some nice portraits of me.)
  7. Clean out/organize my closet and donate things I don’t need. 
  8. Go to Church every Sunday. 
  9. Update Twitter and Facebook more often. 
  10. Plan a nice Birthday for my hubby (his Birthday is the 27th!)

Okay, I think that’s a pretty solid list of writing and non-writer goals. Wish me luck in completing them!

That is all I have for you today.

You can read Chapter One of Alter Reach here.

As always, if you want to stay up to date with me, you can follow me on Twitter & Instagram @JessicaInspired, and like my facebook page.

Don’t forget to check out my review of Kong: Skull Island Review with my husband on YouTube!

I hope you have a great weekend!

Until next time –
Jessica