Review of Skyrim’s DLC: Dawnguard

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim was released last November and is one of the most amazing games I’ve ever played.  Many gamers can back me on that I’m sure since it won game of the year.  It’s a role-playing game, filled with action and many interesting enemies to kill.  It takes place out of this world with archery, swords, battle axes, and a lot of magic.  When you turn on your XBOX or other gaming console and dive into Skyrim, you may forget that you have a real life.  Everything you could ever need in life is in Skyrim.  You go out into the world and explore, do whatever you want, and at your own pace.

Skyrim is the fifth of a series of games.  I have only played this and the game before this, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.  Oblivion’s story line was about defeating the gates of oblivion that were taking over the land.  Skyrim is a distant land from Oblivion’s Cyrodiil, and has two story lines that intertwine at times involving a war between people and another one with dragons.  I never thought I would enjoy a story line with dragons as much as I do in Skyrim, but Bethesda did a very good job with it. They always impress me with their work in making video games.  These games make you feel like you have chores. You feel you have accomplished something, and you have a huge purpose in life!  Everyone is relying on you to save the land, even if they don’t know it!

Skyrim

Skyrim Dawnguard Castle Volkihar

Bethesda’s newest excitement in Skyrim is the first DLC expansion called Dawnguard.  You have to make a choice of who you are going to fight for, and depending on that choice you will be given quests to help the side you choose.  This story line includes vampires, which also proves that I am a nerd because it makes me giddy.   Just like most expansions, you’ll be introduced to new characters and new places.  I loved the new adventures.  Very creative and explorative.  Even a dragon makes an appearance.  Not too many puzzles or traps that are overly difficult either.  You may want to play this expansion twice in order to experience the quests you will miss out on the first time.  It would be interesting to see how the game plays differently when playing the alternate route.  Some people have experienced some problems with the expansion. By that I mean glitches and bugs.  Be sure to save often!  Sometimes random things happen in the game that are not supposed to happen.  I play this game on the XBOX, so I don’t know about any glitches on other consoles.  My game has frozen once or twice since I started playing the expansion.  Unfortunately, every game and game expansion comes to an end.  The ending means everything about the story.  So was it a good ending?  For the route I took in the game, I was satisfied with the story’s ending.  You have to make a decision about something and I am usually trying to find a way to keep a peace but some characters just don’t want that.  You won’t end the expansion without gaining some new weapons and perks.  It was a fun expansion, and I didn’t want it to end.  I would say this expansion was definitely worth the download.  Hope you check it out if you’re a gamer, and if you haven’t played Skyrim at all, you should highly consider it!

 

Dragon Tattoo Review

I went into this movie without having read the book or seen the original movie.  The only reason I even knew of its existence is because my husband has seen the original and I’ve noticed the movie sitting in the instant queue on Netflix. I was looking forward to seeing this movie because I like Daniel Craig, and it looked interesting enough.  I’d have to say that I did enjoy it, but watch out if you’re not one for too much sexually graphic content.  I honestly can appreciate a movie from time to time that is willing to show the good, bad, and ugly.  A good movie is hard to forget and I have found myself still thinking about the two and a half hour long adventure days later.

The movie stars Daniel Craig who is an investigator and he is asked to look over an old unsolved mystery case of the murder of a girl. Christopher Plummer invites him to stay in a house on his island in which most of the family resides where he can do his research. Whether he finds anything new or not he’ll be paid, so why not try.  Unfortunately during his investigation, Plummer’s character becomes ill and is in the hospital unable to communicate.  As Craig’s character works to find answers, he finds a helping hand from Lisbeth, a socially awkward young girl who’s lived a hard life. How they come together is explained.  Before they meet, the first part of the movie shows who she is and the type of life she lives.  Not a pleasant first half of the movie at times, but regardless still an exciting and suspenseful film.  Being that I have not read the book, I can only hope that fans of this story were pleased by this new film.

With this being a very dramatic and serious film, the actors did a great job portraying their roles. There were some very difficult scenes that left me thinking, I don’t know how they did it.  I usually enjoy watching Daniel Craig and that was no exception in this movie.  He’s good at what he does and nice to look at as well.  Rooney Mara played Lisbeth, who had a very challenging role and played it superbly. She must have had to step outside of her comfort zone quite a bit and got the job done well.

Don’t want to say too much more about the movie.  I think it is a must see in theatres if you’re into this type of movie.  I am unable to compare the movie with the original or the book, so its difficult for me to know of any flaws or things that could have been better.  If you’re looking for a better comparison in this regard I would recommend listening to the podcast where “Q” and “Square” talk about their thoughts on the film. Thanks for reading!

Apes Will Rise, Hold My Drink…

PlanetoftheApes

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I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie, and my expectations were not high, but I found that the movie delivered more than I anticipated.  I was never really into the Planet of the Apes remake movie, or the original, but this movie made me feel completely different because of the story, although it is ultimately the same thing.  This prequel makes me wish for yet another remake of the Planet of the Apes, just because I got so involved in the characters lives and would love to see a sequel with them involved.

The movie was as realistic as you can get when it comes to testing medicine on apes that causes them to be way more intelligent than anyone ever imagined.  Not sure if having professional intelligent scientists create a medicine that ultimately will kill humans without them realizing it is realistic, but then there wouldn’t have been much of a movie otherwise.  With a movie like this, you pretty much know what you’re getting yourself into before it even begins.  What I didn’t realize is how much I would enjoy Caesar, played by Andy Serkis, the main character chimpanzee, who forms a strong bond with the scientist Will Rodman played by James Franco.  I felt bad for the poor ape  when he is left at the ape facility and ends up with feelings of abandonment.  I wish the story had been done a little differently with the scientist having to give him up, because its not realistic that with him knowing how intelligent Caesar was that he would have let them keep him locked up like an animal.  He gave him up too willingly, and although he eventually realizes he made a huge mistake, not many people would have been able to do that.  Some people wouldn’t give up their dog that easily not to mention an ape that has been in your life since it was born and even knows sign language!  I think they could have done other things with that part of the story, because it was hard to accept.  Otherwise it was a realistic understanding of how it all began.  When you inevitably hear Caesar speak for the first time, I couldn’t help but feel like it was a bit off, even though it has to go into the movie.  It’s just hard to wrap your mind around an ape being able to talk.

RiseoftheApes

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I also enjoyed the father with alzheimers played by John Lithgow. His role was an emotional one in a way, and many people can surely relate to a situation like that with a family member.  That whole situation certainly made the realism come to life because its what motivated Will so much to finding a cure.  David Hewlett played the arrogant neighbor, who in a way, is a big part of the movie. I like this actor and it was hard to watch him play this type of role.  Although his character is self centered, rude, and obnoxious, he brought much to the movie and it was played well.  I didn’t care too much for Freida Pinto’s character, Caroline, who played Will’s girlfriend.  Her role in the movie was too small and insignificant.  She added a small touch to the movie itself, but I was annoyed by how unnecessary it was.  And of course every movie needs a dumb naive kid who in this case, ends up being the caretaker for the apes at the facility.  You kind of wonder how he ended up with that job, but he certainly got what was coming to him.  The role was played by Tom Felton.  Another very important factor in the movie was the special effects, which I thought were done very well.  The apes were realistic and it definitely helped bring the movie to life.

The director, Rupert Wyatt, did a good job with this movie as far as keeping it along the story line of the original Planet of the Apes movie, and you really get a feel for that at the end, right after the credits begin.  Overall the movie was presented well with a decent story and good entertainment.  Still thinking about the movie a day later, wishing for more.  I give Rise of the Planet of the Apes 3.5 beat downs by one smart ape.

Cowboys, Aliens, and Other Fun Stuff…

If you like cowboys and you like aliens, then you might just love the two put together in this clever piece done by Jon Favreau.  The movie is based on a graphic novel which I have not read, but I found the movie to be very good.  With lots of action and excitement, you will keep wondering what is coming next throughout the whole film.  You may have seen a cowboy movie or two, and plenty of alien movies, but when combined in one movie, the result is a very interesting and unique story that you may have never seen before.

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A big reason why I was looking so forward to the movie is because I enjoy Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford.  Jake Lonergan, who is played by Daniel Craig, is lost and confused as he does not remember anything about his life.  As the story unfolds, he slowly remembers and realizes what he needs to do in order to help the town of Absolution.  The mysterious and sexy Olivia Wilde who plays Ella continuously attempts to tag along to help him as well as get his help so they can find their people who have been taken by the aliens.  There are some unexpected turns to the movie that keep it entertaining and exciting.  Harrison Ford’s character, WoodrowDolarhyde, starts off as the head honcho, demanding what he wants with a crude attitude, only to be faced with the unfortunate situation with the aliens, eventually causing him and many others to learn to coexist with people.  His son, Percy Dolarhyde, played by Paul Dano, is probably the least liked among many in the town, and its because he thinks he can get away with anything because of his father.  The dog was a nice touch to the movie, because everyone likes animals.  Noah Ringer played the young boy and his character was a good piece to the movie.  Lonergan and Dolarhyde strive to settle their differences for the sake of the town, as they discover the truth about the reason behind the aliens’ presence on the planet.

I thought the depiction of how cowboys live their lives in a small town was very realistic, and even spotting UFO’s in the desert can be considered realistic.  The rest is just fun movie watching.  What I love about stories like these is that we don’t know what’s out there in the universe and if we’re alone or not, so the imagination can go many places with the notion that anything is possible.  And although there were parts of the movie you may have found yourself chuckling when it wasn’t necessarily a funny scene, you really don’t know how far off a fictional tale might be from the truth.

Cowboys and Aliens leaves you with a good feeling, even though there was much sadness during the film as not everyone is as lucky.  You get a happy ending at the expense of several sacrifices, which is more probable and better story telling anyway than a happy ending with no sacrifices.  Great movie to go and see, I enjoyed it very much.  Entertaining and different.  I think I’d give it a four out of five alien spaceships.

 

Review for Captain America…

 

Captain America was very well done.  I am not big into the comic books, so I didn’t know a lot of the history behind this comic, however, as someone going into it without much prior knowledge, I thought this movie to be entertaining and fantastic for anyone.  These types of movies are typically done right in that regard. If you think you are not one for movies based on comic books, you should give it a try if you haven’t already.  At the same time from what I understand, you are not let down as a fan of the comics either.  I have been loving all of the movies done by Marvel and they sure know how to find some hot guys to play these superheroes!

This movie was one of my favorites by Marvel.  There was good action, story, humor, patriotism, and a pinch of romance that I love.   Captain America’s story is so different and fun.  Taking place in a realistic setting during WWII, I loved the idea of a skinny kid becoming a strong and sexy superhero.  Steve Rogers played by Chris Evans, wanted to help people and fight off bullies, but he, like many superheroes, had no desire to kill anyone yet had unlimited amounts of compassion.  You find yourself feeling that same compassion for him throughout the movie.  You might even get a little teary eyed.  It was exciting to slowly watch him move himself up in the world until people began to notice him for his bravery and heroic behavior.  When you finally see him in uniform fighting for the first time, it gives you that giddy happy feeling.

Red Skull

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The cast did a great job bringing the movie to life. Hugo Weaving was one of my favorite actors in the movie who played Schmidt aka Red Skull.  He had just the right type of evil in him and played the role very well.  There was a perfect touch of comedy to the film which is what you need in a movie like this.  Colonel Chester Phillips brought up much of the humor with some clever dialogue pieces.  The role was played by another favorite of mine, Tommy Lee Jones, who I’ve always enjoyed watching and never lets you down with his witty remarks.  Also looking forward to seeing more of Samuel L. Jackson in the Avengers.

Captain America is up there in the top movies so far this summer.  It’s fun and entertaining for all ages.  The only other thing you need to know is that you must see it while it is in theaters.  Not a big fan of 3D, but I know it can be enjoyed just the same either way.  Can’t wait for The Avengers movie to top it all off.  Make sure you stay for the end of the credits!  This movie was five stars.. or how about five shields!!