MatthewSean Reviews

Book reviews, movie reviews, and other writing

Movie Review – How to Tame your Dragon 2 (2014) — July 14, 2014

Movie Review – How to Tame your Dragon 2 (2014)

Movie Review – How to Tame your Dragon 2 (2014)

Movie Synopsis:

This animated movie from Dreamworks SKG continues the story of Hiccup and Toothless, several years after the events that took place in the first movie.  In this story, Hiccup is exploring new lands, looking for new islands and dragons, and filling out his map.  Back at home, his father has built a successful community with dragons integrated with his viking people.  However, he is looking to pass the torch of leadership onto his son Hiccup.  The challenge is that Hiccup wants nothing to do with the administration of leading.  However, when a dangerous villain from his father’s past returns to the picture, Hiccup must join forces with his father and a mysterious dragon rider from Hiccup’s past to save their way of life.

Movie Review:

This movie was an incredible journey from an animation standpoint. The movie was delivered to audiences in 3D in theatres, and there were many shots of incredible dragon flying sequences which were breathtaking to behold.  Scenes of Hiccup and his friends and family flying through clouds, along the ocean, and with the sunshine in the background were spectacular.

The storyline was also well crafted by the film’s writers, who delivered a number of excellent themes into this movie, which was accessible and enjoyable for kids, teens, and adults.  The story included elements of wanting your parents to be proud of you, wanting to grow up and be free to make your own life choices, and trying to make a difference to make the world a better place.

The movie was filled with creativity, both in the design and look of the film, but also in the fresh and appealing characters.  There was a good amount of humour thrown in, but not too much that it cheapened the excitement and pacing of this fantasy adventure.

Overall, this was an enjoyable and fun animated feature.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.

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Book Review – Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch —

Book Review – Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch

Book Review – Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch

Facts:

▪   Book: Broken Homes

▪   Author: Ben Aaronovitch

▪   Genre: Fantasy / Mystery

▪   Year of Release: 2013

▪   Read 326-page paperback edition in June 2014.

Book Description:

In this fourth book of the Rivers of London series, Constable Peter Grant is continuing to hone his magical abilities with Chief Inspector Nightingale, of the small magical branch of the London police forces.  However, the mysterious and highly dangerous Faceless Man makes another appearance, and begins a serial killing spree that involves several victims.  Grant works to try and uncover the linkages between the victims, and also the larger motive behind the Faceless Man’s attacks, which may be something extremely dangerous for Grant, Nightingale, and the entire city of London.

Book Review:

This novel continues the fun fantastical intrigue that has begun with prior books, and takes us into more detail into different areas of London, both urban and rural, while at the same time continuing to develop recurring and new characters.  The joy of this series is that Aaronovitch is able to weave fantasy/sci-fi elements with mystery and also with a strong dose of comedy, to bring us a unique take on a variety of concepts.  Character development continues with our usual cast from prior books, but it also involves new characters, some of which appear to be sticking around for future novels.  Aaronovitch isn’t afraid to play with the characters, and introduce new characters into the mix, which keeps each successive novel fresh and exciting.  And in fact, just as I was thinking this book wasn’t quite as original and intriguing as prior novels, Aaronovitch threw in a major curve ball at the end, which was an exceptional end to the novel, and makes us long for the next one in the series.  When that is the feeling upon closing a quick read like this, you know the author has been successful.

Overall: 4 stars out of 5 stars.