Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Deadly Cool #2: Social Suicide (2012)

Social Suicide

Hartley decided to join the school's homepage, a team of writer led by editor Chase, whom Hartley happened to crack the murder mystery with last semester. she received her first story, regarding Sydney's cheating in a test, got busted thus suspended from both school and the chance to run for homecoming queen. however, Hartley found her dead in the pool right before their interview session. Sam called it a Twittercide, because minutes before she was found, Sydney was twitting.

like Deadly Cool (2011), Hartley continued to find dead bodies. i was more than pleased to find her absolutely lovable, there was an innocence about her the had me rooted for her completely. there were plenty of humorous as well as intense moments that came crashing in fast pace. the book was so entertaining that it made reading enjoyable and absolutely effortless. its awkward romance surprisingly outshone a typical lust-filled novel. i haven't had so much fun flipping through a mystery in quite a while.

Monday, July 30, 2012

It Could Happen to You (1994)

It Could Happen to You (1994)

Charlie was a policeman, his wife Muriel a hairdresser. Charlie was kind and generous, while Muriel was greedy and materialistic. Yvonne was a waitress, bankrupted because her husband Eddie emptied their joint account without her permission. Charlie met with Yvonne at the diner she worked. he didn't have enough money to pay for her tip, therefore promising to give her a doubled tip or half of his lottery winnings the next day. miraculously, he won the lottery and gave half of it to Yvonne despite the protest from Muriel. they spent a lot of time together, which soon led to his divorce with Muriel.

we watched the movie knowing Nicholas Cage was in it. unfortunately, it revealed how small a star he was back then, with a character that failed to capture our heart nor interest. the plot was absurd and flat. as "bad" as a character Muriel was, Charlie wasn't exactly fit for being the "good" guy either. on the surface, the film was a romance, of a rare encounter between 2 persons of the same mind; but unfortunately in real life, it was just another disloyalty towards marriage. how beautiful can that be?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Season 2 (2009)

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Season 2

after giving birth to John, Amy struggled between motherhood and high school. despite being divorced, Amy's mother, Anne was pregnant with her divorced husband, George's son, Robbie. Adrian gave up trying to tie Ricky down with commitment and went after Ben instead. Grace finally had sex with Jack, which she later blamed herself for her father's plane crash.

this season focused slightly less on Amy and more on the people around her. i enjoyed especially the relationship between her divorced parents, whose combination turned out to be somewhat awkward yet absolutely heartwarming. there were growth with some of the characters, though some remained frustratingly selfish and self-centered. the mystery of who would end up with who was a little tiring to follow at this point that it was also no longer interesting.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tamayura - Hitotose (2011)
たまゆら - Hitotose

Tamayura - Hitotose

Fu moved back to a small town called Takehara for high school. she enjoyed photography and used to take photograph with her father's camera. now that her father passed away, she decided to continue taking photographs, while getting to know Maon and Norie, introduced by her childhood friend, Kaoru.

the first episode started out frustrating with a character like Chihiho that cried over every little thing. fortunately Fu moved back to Takehara from episode 2 onwards. her interaction with Kaoru, Maon and Norie was somewhat heartwarming to watch, even though when there were moments we hoped to skip through when Norie was in the spotlight, who was obsessed with Fu's younger brother, Kou.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Revenants #2: Until I Die (2012)

Until I Die

while their romance got heated, Kate struggled with Vincent's repetitive need as a Revenant, to die sacrificing himself for the humans, which he will later reanimate after going through the dormant stage. Vincent promised to do whatever it took to live a normal life with Kate, she soon realized that her selfish decision not only effect theirs, but many innocent lives in the process.

despite the interesting plot and captivating introduction in Die for Me (2011), it was somewhat tiring and frustrating when every mystery, every investigation had to end with Kate and Vincent making out. being so overly dosed with it made them seemed so lame and cheesy, instead of having me felt all tingling or goosebumps like i usually would. the ending however, surprised me with its twist. finally the making out could end.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Just Like Heaven (2005)

Just Like Heaven

Elizabeth was a young successful doctor who worked very hard her whole life. right after getting a promotion, she got into a serious car accident that comatose her. 3 months later, David moved into her apartment. soon Elizabeth started to appear and disappear, clearly unaware of her situation. with no one else being able to see Elizabeth, David had to help her find out the reason why she got stuck in between with the assumption that she was dead.

having watched the movie for numerous times, we were still able to enjoy it over and over again. Elizabeth was a funny character, outspoken and righteous; where David was a couch potato, wasting his life away after his wife's death 2 years ago. yet they had great chemistry together! the film had some very unexpected turns, which made the experience even more exciting and engaging. it also had some great laughs in it, even drawing some tears into my eyes.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

America's Next Top Model #16 (2011)

America's Next Top Model

the 16th cycle of ANTM took 14 girls, age between 18-26, to compete against each other to become the winner. like usual, there were weekly challenges and photoshoot to eliminate 1 girl among the group. for the final few weeks, the girls traveled to Morocco, where they also visited Cape Town, South Africa.

weekly challenges and photoshoot aside, the attitude that resided within one particular contestant made the cycle interesting, if not frustrating to watch. it was a huge relief to see her leave, even though it was almost the end. the rest of the remaining girls were unique, but fortunately far more likable.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Natsuiro Kiseki (2012)

Natsuiro Kiseki

Natsumi, Saki, Yuka, and Ringo were best friends, they grew up in an old town called Shimoda. at the Shinto shrine, there was a large rock. it was said that if 4 friends gathered around the rock, wishing for the same thing, that wish will come true. the girls found out that the rock can indeed grant wishes. with little time left before Saki transfer school, they spent the summer together, which was filled with magic.

the anime started out by telling the story of 4 friends and how they tested the rock's magic. Saki didn't started out being likable, hiding and avoiding the truth of her moving away by being mean to the remaining girls. but eventually it got better with the help of magic, the story turned heartwarming and engaging instantly. despite being seemingly ordinary, the anime was definitely interesting and beautiful in many ways.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Revenants #1: Die for Me (2011)

Die for Me

after Kate's parents died in a car accident, she and her sister Georgia went to live with her grandparents in Paris. to escape from the pain, Kate buried herself in books and the arts of Paris. then she met the mysterious and charming Vincent, who was a revenant - an undead being that had to sacrifice oneself to save the lives of others over and over again. as much as she wanted to get to know Vincent, she wasn't sure if she was ready to handle the truth.

even though i dislike books with too many characters in it, i was glad to find that in the end the spotlight was still on Kate and Vincent. the Revenants concept was freshly new, but Kate having so much time to read in Cafes and museums made high school felt disconnected from her life. i had yet feel attached to Kate, but her fear made her relatable and her experiences imaginable.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Smart People (2008)

Smart People (2008)

Lawrence was an English professor. being a widower, he was bitter and arrogant, uninterested in his students and children. his brother Chuck arrived one day to borrow money from him, which led him to stay while keeping Lawrence's daughter, Vanessa company. Vanessa was a brilliant child, overachieving yet remained unnoticed by her father. one day Lawrence suffered a seizure after falling off the fence, he was treated by one of his ex-students Janet and was not allowed to drive for 6 months. Chuck offered to drive, but when he failed to turn up one day, Janet drove Lawrence home where Vanessa highly disapproved.

looking uninteresting on the surface, Smart People (2008) was very bit funny and smart! the film was so in depth that it remained engaging until the very end. the combination of 3 awesome stars: Dennis Quaid, Ellen Page, and Sarah Jessica Parker, was simply wonderful! despite having almost no action scenes, the film was anything but dull. it had more than a few great laughs and moments so heartwarming, which made it stood out easily from the rest.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Legend of Wu Ze Tian (2011)

The Legend of Wu Ze Tian

the story followed Empress Wu, revealing the secret behind her complicated life, before and after she received the title of Empress. Wu Zetian was the only woman in Chinese history to have the title of an Empress, taking over the job of the Emperor, leading her people towards a better future.

it was an overwhelming insight to know how far Zetian would go to get what she wanted. lying, killing, torturing were never an absence in her life. as she gradually crawled her way into becoming part of the royalty, many had became her stepping stone. despite being a distasteful woman, once she was entitled the Empress, she became a much respectable person, leading the country way better than the man before her time.

Friday, July 20, 2012

K-On! Movie (2011)
映画 けいおん!

K-On! Movie

now the final exam ended, graduation was just around the corner for third year students - Yui, Ritsu, Mio, and Mugi. Azusa was the only second year student that joined their K-On Music club. gathering in the club room, they decided to go to London for their graduation trip, pulling Azusa along for a trip filled with explorations and excitements.

the movie reminded me how much fun it was watching the K-On! (2009-2011) series. it delivered promising expectation and of course, being absolutely fun and hilarious from its very beginning until the end. like its original series, K-On! never disappoints. Yui being the heart of comedy, while level-headed Azusa kept everyone in line, along with scarey-cat Mio, noisy Ritsu, and teatime obsessive Mugi. their signature stayed with them so naturally that it would be odd otherwise. the story was so lighthearted, and somewhat heartbreaking when it came to an end. we absolutely look forward to a Season 3 in the future!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Darkness Rising #2: The Calling (2012)

The Calling

Maya and a group of friends fled the forest fire that they suspected was set deliberately. they were on a helicopter with the Mayor and an unknown pilot. they crashed and were pursued with tranquilizer darts, one after another they were caught and held captive. Maya and Daniel had to lead the remaining group to safety, where everyone had in common was having supernatural powers, most possibly the reason these men were after them.

having read The Gathering (2011) half a year ago, the story started out a blur for me. but i remembered the fire, with Rafe and Maya searching desperately for his sister, Annie. this book was mostly about them running through the forests and escaping the men. it was good enough to get me through the first half of the book, especially the part where Maya transformed into a cougar. but it got a little tiring after that, when all the running led to no satisfactory ending.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

Ice Age: Continental Drift

while Manny and Ellie had to deal with their teenage daughter Peaches' crush on Ethan, the land separated. Manny was stuck on a piece of floating ice with Diego, Sid, and Granny. the rest of the animals were led by Ellie, heading towards the land bridge where they hope to reunite with Manny. in the meanwhile, Manny and his friends were washed into the ocean, where they were captured by a pirate gang led by Gutt. Gutt attempt to persuade Manny to leave his family behind and join the pirates. but Manny's refusal insulted Gutt. in return Gutt chased down Manny's gang, with the intention of drowning them.

the trio had indeed grew with its viewers. we watched since its very first sequel: Ice Age (2002) and had been in love with them ever since. it was so comfortable watching them together that it was almost impossible to imagine them ever be separated. as annoying as the pirates can be, there were also a few charming characters in it. not forgetting the hilarious scenes that came one after another, had us laughing so hard. while we thought we would have gotten used to its story development, we were surprised with the twist at the very end. it was both heartwarming and utterly satisfying ending.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

America's Next Top Model #17: All-Star (2011)

America's Next Top Model

the 17th cycle of ANTM was named All-Star, featuring 14 returning contestants from the previous cycles, giving them a second chance to win the title. other than the usual weekly photoshoot, there were also challenges for the contestants to win extra prices or earn immunity during elimination.

there were some shocking elimination that was unforeseen. some contestants seemed to just push their way through the weeks by sheer luck. while others that seemed unlikely to stand out, took stunning photographs that surprised everyone as well as the judges. it was definitely interesting to watch, as some girls had melt down, others panic attacks, etc. in the end, there will only be one winner after all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Mirai Nikki (2011)

Mirai Nikki

Yuki was a loner who rarely interact with others, he kept a diary on his call phone, constantly recording the happenings around him. soon he learned that he wasn't the only one doing so, there were 13 participants for the Diary Game, where they were given diaries to predict the future with. each of the diary was unique, giving them both advantages and disadvantages as the remaining 12 participants would kill to win.

the anime was all about survival and twisted relationships. some characters sort of appeared for comedic purpose, which most of the time messed up the darkness and tension of the series. fortunately, there were often more disturbing scenes following closely behind, making it engaging as well as refreshing to catch. there was never a dull moment for the anime, being extremely fast paced and completely unpredictable.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Clann #1: Crave (2011)


Savannah was always an outcast among the children of the witch Clann. she and Tristan were forced apart during childhood. Tristan was the descendant of the most powerful witch, making his father the leader of the Clann. when Savannah recovered from a strange illness, she discovered that she was a dhampire - half vampire and half witch. despite being forbid to be anywhere near Savannah, Tristan felt the attraction grew, drawing him to her with the urge to protect her.

once i started the book, it was impossible to put down. Savannah was a lovable character, struggling with school and friends while being bullied by the children of the Clann. Tristan started out being just a random player, swimming his ways through girls, but his commitment to Savannah made him a far better person, a beautiful character like how Savannah would see it. while they craved for each other, i felt the pull in my heart. the story engaged me with their desperate romance. everything that pulled them apart only made them want each other even more.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Letters to Juliet (2010)

Letters to Juliet

Sophie decided to go to Italy with her fiancé Victor for a pre-honeymoon. however Victor was a workaholic, unmoved by the romance of Italy, fully utilizing his time to research for his restaurant. wandering in the city, Sophie discovered an unanswered letter among many letters written to Juliet, it was from Claire, written in 1957. she was determined to find Juliet to reply to that letter. she found out that these letters were answered by a group of ladies who called themselves the "secretaries of Juliet". she was asked to send a reply for that letter, which soon led to her meeting with the elderly Claire, together with her grandson Charlie. despite Charlie's unwillingness to go about searching for Claire's long lost love Lorenzo, they tracked down all possible Lorenzoes to fulfill Claire's final request.

the film was unexpectedly good! we assumed watching a typical romance, pleasantly surprised that there were actually a plot behind it. Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) was intelligent and charming, leading and bringing out all the feelings for the film. we were so connected that i can't help shedding a tear or two when the feeling just simply overwhelmed me. it was so emotional yet entertaining watching Sophie and Charlie fighting among themselves, which like Claire, we were more than convinced that they were absolutely meant for each other.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan (2011)

Legend of Concubine Zhen Huan

the drama followed the story of Zhen Huan, one of the Emporer's concubines. she was selected together with her sister to join the palace. she started out being innocent, but gradually learnt through the hard way to fend for herself when she got caught up in the schemes between the Empress and the rest of the concubines. through deceit she finally became the new Empress, but drew suspicions to her loyalty.

despite the vast amount of characters, they each managed to stand out and make us hate or love them individually. and other than the stunning costumes and visuals, the twists and turns of the story was absolutely engaging! it had a serious and historical feel to it, and still came out as an addictive romance. the drama was one highly enjoyable show that focused on the Emperor's concubines like it was cursed.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Persona 4: The Animation (2011)

Persona 4

Narukami moved to a small town called Inaba to stay with his uncle. after the first murder occurred, he and his newly made friends discovered that the Midnight Channel was able to forecast its next victim. he had the mysterious ability to enter TVs, which led to their repetitive returns between the virtual and real world in order to save more of their friends.

Persona 4 was originally released in 2008, as a role-playing game for PS2, being the 4th in its series. the very first episode of the anime successfully held our attention, which had us proceed with the remaining episodes easily. the cycle of the plot was having the group of friends watched the Midnight Channel, then traveled into the virtual world in order to save that particular person. the interaction and bond between the characters were what made the anime enjoyable to watch.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Unearthly #2: Hallowed (2012)


just when Clara thought she had gone through with her purpose as part-angel, she found out that it wasn't the end. another vision appeared, where she found herself at a cemetery ground, struggling to uncover whose funeral it was. at the same time, her feelings for her human boyfriend, Tucker and part-angel, Christian confused her. the more she revealed herself to Tucker, the more danger she placed him in; while Christian always stubbornly stayed within her radar.

having roughly seen where the book was going after Unearthly (2011), the first half of this book became a drag for me. the story continued to circle their love triangle, which made Clara less likable by minutes. however, the angelic moments she shared with her angel father, was absolutely beautiful. together they went through her mother's death and it forced her to grow even for a little. fortunately, this book had a better and much clearer ending compare to Unearthly (2011), which was a huge relief while we wait for the next installment.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012)

The Amazing Spider-Man

in school, Peter was bullied by Flash and fell for Gwen. one day, he found the documents his father, Richard left behind before missing. it stated that Richard once worked with Dr. Connors at Oscorp. he sneaked into Oscorp and impressed Connors with his inside knowledge of the "decay rate algorithm". after being pressured by his superior, Connors experimented the algorithm on himself by using lizard's DNA. at the same time, Peter had spider-like abilities manifesting inside him.

while director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (2002-2007) film series starred Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst; Marc Webb's starred Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone. even though we tried not to compare the 2 spider-men, we found it difficult to like Andrew Garfield's Peter as much as we love Tobey Maguire's. Tobey had an innocence in his character, while Andrew's had an insanity. the plot however, was undoubtedly an improvement as the storyline became more realistic, which made it even easier to experience Peter's pain and his obsessiveness when he attained the new power. Connors reminded me of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, where his Lizard form would distort his noble intention when he was a human.

Monday, July 09, 2012

America's Next Top Model #18: British Invasion (2012)

America's Next Top Model

unlike its previous cycle, the 18th cycle of ANTM that was also named the "British Invasion" featured 7 new American models, together with 7 British models who had competed in previous cycles of Britain's Next Top Model. there were team challenges, having the Americans versus the British; there were also individual photo shooting sessions that determined which among the remaining models shall be sent home for each episode.

ANTM managed to stay interesting for most of its cycles. it was definitely fascinating to watch how different the British behaved compared to the Americans. either built up from past experience or they do originally behaved in such a way, the British seemed much more elegant, except for a few. as for the Americans, they had as much issues as any previous cycles, which was no surprise but still very interesting to watch.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Un-Go: Inga-ron (2011)
アンゴ: 因果論

Un-Go: Inga-ron

Inga-ron (2011) was a prequel of Un-Go (2011), elaborating for 1 longer episode of what brought Shinjuurou and Inga together. it involved other main characters, such as Bettenou and Kaishou, while adding some new characters to form Shinjurou's past.

it was slightly frustrating to be constantly thrown back and forth between the past and present, but it became rewarding as the different pieces of the story soon fell into place, forming its conclusion. the depths in Un-Go (2011) was brought into Inga-ron (2011) as well, which made its style somewhat nostalgic as well as comfortably familiar.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Unearthly #1: Unearthly (2011)


Clara recently learned that she was part angel. the blood made her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans. being an angel also meant she had a purpose, something that she must accomplish on earth. before she knew it, visions of raging forest fires started appearing before her. her mother moved them to a new town, where she met Christian, the boy who also appeared in her visions.

it was a very captivating read. the supposedly cheesy triangle love story between Clara, Christian, and Tucker, turned out to be quite engaging. everything was mysterious and somewhat nerve-wrecking especially when Clara's mother wouldn't just tell her everything from the beginning. but despite the awesome direction the book took, i found the ending disappointing. no end were drawn, while all mysteries continued to remain mysteries.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

Ghost Protocol

after agent Trevor was killed by an assassin working for the Cobalt, Jane and Benji busted Ethan from the prison in order to hunt down Cobalt. later they found out that Cobalt intended to detonate a nuclear bomb. due to a setup, Ethan and his team was hunted by a Russian agent, suspected for the detonation. with both the Cobalt and Russian on their tail, Ethan and his team was forced to take action into their own hand by intruding the enemy's headquarters.

the conspiracy thing always tend to be confusing. we finally caught up with it after halfway through the film, having identified the good and bad guys. like past Mission Impossibles, the film was about Tom Cruise and his stunts, with some high tech gadgets to his aid. fortunately, there were enough twists to make Ethan's life difficult, which also made it more believable other than entertaining.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

The Secret Circle (2011)

The Secret Circle

the story focused on the life of Cassie, after she moved to Chance Harbor in result of her mother's death. 5 of her classmates attempted to get close to her, revealing that she was a witch and the final member of their coven. her arrival unlocked the full potential of their powers. while Cassie was trying to accept what she was, their powers attracted dangerous attention that brought harm their ways.

the show started out with Cassie being ignorant of her power, pretty much in a believable and understandable situation when she refused to get together with the bunch. Diana was often there to pull her into the light, while Faye did the opposite; Jake and Adam after her like she was the last girl on earth. i was surprised when Cassie turned out to be a half-demon instead of all angelic like what everyone assumed of her, which definitely made the show further more entertaining and mysterious.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

C³ Cube×Cursed×Curious (2011)
C3 シーキューブ


Haruaki was a high school boy and naturally resistant to curses. one day, his father sent him a cursed instrument placed inside a black cube, called Fear-in-Cube. despite Haruaki's attempt to ignore the cube by placing it in the storage, a girl appeared, replacing the black cube in its human form. together they fought together against other cursed instruments by using Fear's 32 mechanisms of torture.

despite Fear taking the appearance of a cute ordinary girl and living with Haruaki, causing Haruaki's childhood friend Konoha to move in, who oppose the idea of them living together, the story soon progressed to a much darker theme. as her past was revealed, Fear started to lose control of herself just by seeing blood, hysterically enjoying killing. nor was Konoha an average childhood friend. these very twists and turns made the anime easy to watch, even slightly captivating at some point. from its all too average first episode, it got progressively action packed, emotionally involved and evolved around sins, guilt and regrets.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Hex Hall #3: Spell Bound (2012)

Spell Bound

after the the Council building was burned down, with every council member including Sophie's dad and the Casnoffs in it, Sophie tele-transported to the Brannicks. the Brannicks and the Eyes were sworn enemies of the Prodigium, whom the Casnoffs claimed would hunt everyone down eventually. it was then Sophie discovered that not only was she part demon, she was also part Brannicks.

the book was absolutely impossible to put down! there were so much actions, romances, and especially humors in Sophie's life. Sophie, since the very first book, was so lovable and easy to get attached with. while the previous 2 books introduced her life in Hex Hall and her holiday with the Council, this book was about gathering every impossible people to save everyone from the Castnoffs. it was brilliant and one crazy ride to get on!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Brave (2012)


Merida, the princess of Clan DunBroch, was presented 3 princes from the other clans, whom she would choose 1 of them for marriage. she was dissatisfied with the arranged marriage and ran away into the forest. she came across wisps that led her to a witch's cottage. the witch promised to grant her wish of changing her mother. but to her horror, instead of changing her mother's mind, her mother was transformed into a bear.

Merida reminded me of Mulan (1998), showing the strength in young girls as well as focusing on the mother-daughter relationship. the darkness of the story made it somewhat frightening if not further more engaging. like a heroine, Merida drew us closely to her heart, she was easily a lovable character and had us rooted for her completely before long, not to mention shedding tears for the pain and fear she endured.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

The Voice: Season 1 (2011)

The Voice

The Voice was separated into 3 phases: Blind Audition, Battle Phase, and Live Performance. the 4 coaches were Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Blake Shelton, and Adam Levine (Maroon 5's lead vocalist). during the Blind Audition, the contestants will be selected based on their voices, with the coaches having their back to the singer. each coach must have 8 contestants in their team. during the Battle Phase, each coach will pick 2 contestants from their team to compete, only 1 among those 2 shall remain. this phase continued until there were 4 contestants in each team. during Live Performance, 2 among the 4 remaining contestants will remained for each team, where the first contestant will be picked by public choice, and the second picked by their own coach. the remaining contestant then will compete among each other to become the winner.

the rules and large number of contestants was slightly confusing at first, not to mention remembering who was under which coach or team. but fortunately, it later became clearer and also not quite important as the flow went. the bickering between coaches, especially Christina and Adam, was refreshing at first, but soon turned childish. despite the downsides, the show was rather entertaining, especially watching shy characters bloomed on the stage and surprised us with their huge voices.