Double Feature: Chasing the Dragon (2017) & Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Welcome back to the next double feature! Its been a while, right? I’ll try to be better…I guess I was more burnt out from writing reviews that even I could imagine. Overall, I’m just feeling mostly burned out and not in the mood for writing lately but I’m slowly getting back on track.

With that said, no specific reason when I first chose these two together but the banners are looking like there is a versus vibe to it. 😉 This double feature is 2017 Hong Kong film Chasing the Dragon starring Donnie Yen and Andy Lau, which had its wave of popularity when it was announced and released in Hong Kong (judging from Facebook activity) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, a DC film that I honestly didn’t care too much about to begin with but it was going to leave Netflix and I just went for it, hoping that low expectations might make it a little more entertaining. One high hopes and one low expectations, lets see how they truly fare, right?

Chasing the Dragon (2017)

Chasing the Dragon

Director: Jason Kwan, Jing Wong, Aman Chang

Cast: Donnie Yen, Andy Lau, Philip Keung, Wilfred Lau, Kang Yu, Kent Cheng, Bryan Larkin, Ben Ng, Ken Tong, Dongdong Xu

An illegal immigrant from Mainland China sneaks into corrupt British-colonized Hong Kong in 1963, transforming himself into a ruthless and emerging drug lord. – IMDB

Chasing the Dragon is said to be based on a true story of real life gangster, Ng Sek-ho and also a remake of the 1991 film, To Be Number One. I don’t know much about the history and I don’t think I’ve seen that movie before so I have no idea how it compares. However, Chasing the Dragon is a good one. Its a bit different from how you would normally perceive in a movie solely focused in Donnie Yen’s fighting abilties.

In this one, he plays the gangster Crippled Ho who while has one or two really good fight scenes, he spends most of it being a triad leader. For audience who don’t speak Chinese, it is a pity because the achievement here is how Donnie Yen takes over the character and nails this really fantastic accent while not making it sound goofy but still manage to feel threatening especially since the movie is set in characters sitting in grey areas. On one hand, there’s a lot of bad that has happened and it feels like Crippled Ho was pushed into the situation and we can’t help but to fight for his escape and Andy Lau (the awesome actor that he is) plays Lee Rock, a corrupted cop who will do anything to be number one and finds his support with Lee Rock. You can see where his grey area is because he becomes fairly ruthless. Their appearances are aided a lot by an even more evil cast by Bryan Larkin as Hunt, an arrogant and even more ruthless British cop who is the top dog and feels threatened by Lee Rock’s promotion. This guy is scripted in such a  way that makes him so hard to like, and it was the intent.

Chasing the Dragon is very much a Hong Kong film and rather meant for a Chinese speaking audience. Be it the way the movie is and how the language, especially the slang nature of Cantonese can get lost in translation easy. The successes of the film also rely on various elements that rely on understanding why Donnie Yen is so convincing in his role. I’m not sure that if I was just reading subtitles and not totally understanding some of the history (the little bit that I know), how it would changed my enjoyment for it. There are some pacing issues and some rather forced bits possibly over-dramatized. While its a pretty good film, its definitely not the best. It met my expectations but I have to say that might have to do with my respect for both of these actors as well as the great supporting cast that was on screen.

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Batman v Superman Dawn of Justice

Director: Zack Snyder

Cast: Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Jesse Eisenberg, Diane Lane, Laurence Fishburne, Jeremy Irons, Holly Hunter, Gal Gadot

Fearing that the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the Man of Steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. – IMDB

Let’s make it really clear that I haven’t seen Man of Steel so I don’t know what happened to make Batman so angry except for the little recap snippet in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. As I said before, my expectations for this one wasn’t high. My difference here is just that I  didn’t feel convinced about this film from the trailer. I have no issue with Ben Affleck as Batman, maybe a tiny issue with Henry Cavill as Superman, mostly because I haven’t seen a movie he has done that I like. The issue with the film might not exactly be the cast because they are all great actors and do a pretty good job. Where this film falls apart is its length which made the pacing so horrible. The story itself falls apart and is flat out boring. It never feels like much happens. There’s some stealthy useless stealing scene, Wonder Woman gets in the way, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor does his crazy act and then takes them down a notch from their high superhero ways and they put aside from issues and team up to fight him. Not exactly a riveting story in my mind but some basic stuff with a lot of padding in between. I wonder if its because I haven’t seen Man of Steel that I don’t have that connection with Superman so I don’t have any stake in how much I care about his making it out of this or not. But the movie itself just wasn’t good because it was boring and at times, felt so pointless.

Either way, not one that I’ll go visit. So far, the top DC film out of the two (and a tenth of Man of Steel) that I’ve seen is definitely  Wonder Woman (review). Not in a hurry to catch up with the DC films just yet. I had low expectations and this one possibly even went a bit lower than that.

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Restaurant: Les Enfants Terribles – Place Ville Marie (Montreal, Canada)

Last weekend, we went out to celebrate my in-laws marriage anniversary – 45 years! #marriagegoals right? Anyways, I’m no good at hashtagging so that might be all wrong. My sister in-law suggested that we head out to a restaurant in downtown Montreal located at the summit of the Place Ville Marie building called Les Enfants Terribles. If you look at their site, they have a few other locations. However, the summit on gets a terrace view of Montreal at its 44th floor height above the city. We were a decent sized group and had a 9:30pm reservation. I can’t say that works as dinner but we tried to work that out as best we could since you know, the point of this is family time! And we did have fun hanging out, especially since my mom went out with the group.

Do note that I took pictures only of my husband and my own dishes and drinks because it was a fairly big group and walking around in the bustling restaurant would have been almost impossible. To be fair, mostly everyone got similar dishes. I’ll talk about it in the main meals section.

Les Enfants Terribles – Place Ville Marie

Les Enfants Terribles

Les Enfants Terribles

I didn’t take much of the interior design but the outside did have a pretty lovely view. There is a plastic wall fencing off the entire surrounding so its more for observation than pictures particularly at night. They also have a beautiful vegetable garden planted right in the middle of the terrace which I thought was a great addition.

Cocktails

Les Enfants Terribles

Left: Rye Lemonade – Right: Collins

There was a pretty nice selection in terms of cocktails to choose from. We arrived a little earlier than the reservation so we had a little wait time where they arranged a table and seats for us on the rooftop terrace and gave us time to order some drinks. My husband and my mom both ordered the Rye Lemonade. Their only thing was that it was sour, excuse me, tart is the accurate word. Which I took a sip and it absolutely was. I ended up choosing Collins, mostly because there was something I didn’t know in it and also, it had a vodka base which I’m a fan of. It was alright after I remembered to stir it. Amateur mistake perhaps. It was okay. Cocktails, especially trying out new ones, is usually a hit and miss based on preference so I can’t say it wasn’t executed well, more that this wasn’t exactly my preference. They did look good, although a tad pricey for the size, but every restaurant with a view does boost up its prices.

Main Meals

Seared Salmon

Seared Salmon with Red Quinoa, Kale, Cucumber, Grapefruit and Edamame

Not surprisingly that my mom and I have the same sort of dining schedule. However, after long debate, we ended up not getting an appetizer but went for sharing a full meal. My mom likes to eat healthy and be healthy. Her ability to stay persistent to her healthy lifestyle is one that I look up to. With that said, as we debated fish and chips or seared salmon, it was obvious which one she would prefer although this seared salmon was one that yielded a very homely lady response of how she could probably make this at home for so much less. You know, moms, right? However, as healthy as this dish looked, it was also very good. Everything was cooked well. I was a little skeptical about the whole grapefruits being part of the meal but it works surprisingly well as a balance for the flavors here. Its also not overly salty either and flavored in a well-balanced way. It was pretty delicious especially since the cook of the salmon was also right on.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

My husband got the fish and chips. Total coincidence that he ended up with this one and it also being a choice for me and my mom. I had a small taste of the fish and the batter and its honestly pretty nice. There’s a nice crunch to the batter and a nice flavor and the fish is cooked in such a tender way that it just falls apart. Its delicious. My husband also enjoyed it.

As for everyone else, a lot of us chose either fish and chips or the seared salmon. My mother in-law got a Ceasar Salad as an appetizer and had a pasta dish to follow. There was a pasta gratin that someone else took, I believe. My brother in law took the beef burger, which was a choice my husband was thinking about. The niece and nephew took each a kids meal, one of which was pasta and the other, I can’t remember right now.

Atmosphere/Experience/Service

Probably the biggest critique that I have of this outing was the atmosphere itself. I’ve been to rooftop terrace restaurants before. While the terrace area was pretty sane and comfortable to just enjoy the view and get some lovely air, the inside atmosphere is relatable to most modern lounges where its very loud with a lot of people talking over each other and talking over what I think was music since it was so loud that I barely could hear myself think. I spent a lot of time talking to my mom since she sat close to me and still talking very loud for her to hear me. At the same time, a little frustrated with having to repeat everything that I said. I feel like when I say that, it kind of makes me old. However, its a choice of how they choose to angle their restaurants. Its just a pity in my mind at least that such an upscale looking brasserie (which should have tipped me off on the noise level) would choose to be this sort of loud affair. However, I believe that is more of a personal preference.

The second critique of the night did go to service. I’ve heard of the service here being a tad below par. However, it was surprising to see it happen to ourselves as we chased over a few drinks that didn’t make it to the table for an extended time. However, after we canceled one of the last drinks that didn’t make it there at all, they gave it to us anyways for free as an apology. Its a nice gesture but in a spot like this, the drinks should be the bread and butter and especially for the price we pay for the experience, it definitely warrants better attention and efficiency. I was going to say quality of service but the waiters were friendly so that is a plus.

Overall…

Food is delicious, drinks were good, service is lackluster, loud atmosphere and great rooftop view
Not exactly sure that I’ll go back unless we have another family event there but it was an experience I can cross off my list now

Blog Tour: Just by Jenny Morton Potts [Review/Excerpt/Giveaway]

Blog Tour Just

Just
By Jenny Motion Potts

Just novel

Publication Date: June 14, 2018
Genre: Romantic Thriller

SYNOPSIS

On golden Mediterranean sands, maverick doctor Scott Langbrook falls recklessly in love with his team leader, Fiyori Maziq. If only that was the extent of his falling, but Scott descends into the hellish clutches of someone much more sinister.

‘Just’ is a story of love and loss, of terror and triumph. Set in idyllic Cambridge and on the shores of the Med and Cornwall, our characters fight for their very lives on land and at sea.

An unforgettable novel which goes to the heart of our catastrophic times, and seeks salvation.

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Purchase links
Amazon UK
Amazon

EXCERPT

Chapter 1

The Elephant

At Westside Dental Practice in Cambridge, it was quitting time.

“Oh, nearly forgot.” Finlay Duff pulled an envelope from his jacket pocket and thrust it roughly towards Lucienne Langbrook. “This came for you. Hand delivered.”

Luci thought her Practice Partner looked a little out of sorts. “What’s wrong?”

“What is wrong is that your root canal patient left without paying. A full apicoectomy. That’s the best part of a grand, that is.”

“Ah. I see. Blimey, he was a gruff sort. Even before the pain and general torture.” Luci tore the letter out of the envelope with her fingers which annoyed her Partner further. Finlay always used a letter opener, the handle of which was monogrammed with his initials. She’d given him that as a birthday present, from the website What Do You Give The Smug Git Who Has Everything?

“Come to think of it, Finlay, my patient didn’t even thank me.”

“It’s not funny. May I remind you that we have spent a fortune doing this surgery up. And every penny of interest that we—”

“Oh my God.” Lucienne’s fingers flew to her mouth.

“What? What?”

The letter shook in her hand as she read it quickly again, then held it out at the end of a stiff arm. Finlay took the letter and began to murmur his way through.

Dear Lucienne

It is with enormous regret that I have to inform you of Eddie’s death. As you may know, he was in Botswana on a contract with Lucara Diamonds, and one evening on his way back to the hotel, his car ran into an elephant.

The letter shook a little in Finlay’s hand.

“Oh my sainted aunt, you cannot be laughing. Fin, tell me you’re not laughing at this.”

“I’m not! Of course, I’m not.” Finlay’s Glaswegian accent always amplified in moments of vehemence. “It’s just a nerve thing. I’m like this at funerals. I am.”

Luci grabbed the letter from him. “Well, there’s not going to be a funeral. And if there was, you certainly wouldn’t be invited. Look! She’s going out there. Her. To cremate Edward.”

“Where? Who?”

“Susan. Mrs Langbrook Mark Two. She’s going to Botswana.” Lucienne flicked her hand away from her own body and towards a far-off continent, like Susan was an imaginary fly to be propelled. “It is the incumbent, you see, the present wife, who buries the husband.”

“Whit? They’re not bringing the body back? How’s Ed going to feel about that?” Finlay tried to arrange his amusement into a frown.

“Oh you’re concerned, are you, about Ed’s wishes? Come off it. You always loathed him. Anyway, it’s what he wanted. Not to be repatriated, in such a… circumstance. Apparently. You know Edward, every administrative eventuality will have been planned for.”

“Give me back the letter, I didn’t finish.”

Lucienne looked at her watch. “It’s just gone six thirty. I’m going to lock up. My God.” She pushed her hand through her blonde streaks and held it there for a moment, at the temple, where the grey crept to the fray once more. Then she left the letter on the luxurious orange leather of the Aston treatment chair – Finlay’s personal favourite – and he reclined on it now to finish Susan Langbrook’s letter.

…accidents are actually the most common cause of death in that country. Not all animal related, obviously, but elephants are a constant hazard. The temperature drops rapidly in the evening and the tarmac is the warmest place for the beasts. Eddie wasn’t driving particularly quickly, the Botswana Police Service said (from the tyre marks) but all the same, an object of that size…

Lucienne Langbrook checked that the drug cabinets were closed properly and set the new alarm with her son Scott’s birth date. The letter said that Scott had been told about his father’s accident, but Luci had not heard from her son since he first arrived in Libya. She’d had a text, saying “Landed” and that was it. Was he in touch with Susan though? Oh dear God, was he? A little hook of pain hitched onto Lucienne’s heart. Both her loves in Africa, one dead love – Edward – who was now actually dead, and the other, her son, who was both missing and being missed terribly. Had Susan Langbrook heard from Scott though?

Lucienne could hear Finlay’s regulation brogues on the newly fitted engineered oak. She wanted to fall down, simply, on the floor and wait for something better. Finlay gestured at her torso. “C’mon Luci. Rip that Velcro.”

She took off her crisp, pale blue dental tunic. It had arrived just that morning and her Partner had wanted to tell her how much better that choice than the bottle green she’d considered. Finlay wanted to tell her how much she suited this tunic, the short sleeves showing off her perfect arms, the unnecessary but charming penny collar for the lady dentist. He cramped his toes up inside his shoes to banish his inappropriate responses. Anyway, Lucienne Langbrook wouldn’t stand for a compliment. Finlay knew that he ought to be ashamed of his skin-deep assessments, when she’d just that moment got news of her ex-husband’s brutal passing. Ought to be ashamed, but wasn’t. “Hey, not a mark on it. Your shirt, Luci. Must have been a good day. At some point.”

He threw her tunic into the laundry and got their coats. “I’m sorry about Ed. I am really. Sincerely. I do struggle with certain aspects of being a grown up but I—”

“You hated him from the very first.”

“Lucienne, please.”

“It’s alright, I did too, in the end. I hated Edward. Hated him and loved him. An elephant for fuck’s sake.” She looked up at her best friend and Practice Partner, eyes ashine with coping. “Now it really is, the end.”

REVIEW

Just is somewhat of a hard novel to review, probably the one where I’m having the most conflicted feelings about in a while. I’m always a little cautious when going into romantic thrillers. Romance itself has some blurred lines in the modern novel sense and thrillers are just tough to nail down. I’m not sure that Just nails down both of these areas or creates a good balance per se. However, despite a slow start to the novel which frankly did begin a little confusing as it jumps a little timeline (unless I missed something and just lost track), as the ideas of the thriller solidifies and the pieces slide together by around the middle, the second half takes a nice turn that almost does make up for the slow beginning.

On one hand, I think that the thriller elements does truly come together in the second half effectively. The pacing definitely could be better. But the setting it uses and the whole idea when we see the whole picture does work out. However, the romance element here is also not completely convincing. On many levels, this book reminded me a little of reading The Casual Vacancy. The characters are quite flawed so they don’t quite have you connecting or backing with any of them in particular. However, their flaws for some of the characters particularly the mother Lucienne and her associate/best friend, Finlay is the ones I thought worked the best here. Their flaws made them feel genuine.

There are some good ideas here and the setting here works overall. It starts off slow and the pacing is a tad slow but give it time and the second half does deliver on the thrills.

Goodreads: 3 out of 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JENNY MORTON POTTS

Jenny is a novelist, screenplay writer, and playwright. After a series of ‘proper jobs’, she realized she was living someone else’s life and escaped to Gascony to make gîtes. Knee deep in cement and pregnant, Jenny was happy. Then autism and a distracted spine surgeon wiped out the order. Returned to wonderful England, to write her socks off.

Jenny would like to see the Northern Lights but worries that’s the best bit and should be saved till last. Very happily, and gratefully, settled with the family. She tries not to take herself too seriously.

Author Links

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GIVEAWAY

Jenny is giving away 5 digital copies of Just in your preferred format, so be sure to enter the giveaway!

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Murder on the Mind (Jeff Resnick Mystery #1) by L.L. Bartlett

Murder on the Mind
(Jess Resnick Mystery #1)
by: L.L. Bartlett

murder on the mind

Jeff Resnick hardly knew his well-heeled half-brother. But after suffering a fractured skull in a vicious mugging, he reluctantly accepts the fact that he has a long and brutal recovery to face—and his closest of kin can provide him with the time and place to do it.

Now, Jeff is haunted by unexplained visions of a heinous crime—a banker, stalked, killed, and eviscerated like a ten-point buck. When Matt Sumner’s murder is discovered, a still-recovering Jeff realizes this was what he had seen. Jeff must not only convince himself of his new-found psychic ability, but also his skeptical brother Richard Alpert. Since Sumner was Richard’s banker, both brothers have a stake in finding out what happened. With Richard’s reluctant help, Jeff’s investigation leads him to Sumner’s belligerent family and hard-nosed business associates, none of whom want him snooping around. – Goodreads

I’m pretty sure that I picked up Murder on the Mind, the first book in what is a seven book mystery series, for free on Amazon. It might be in the free books or something or another a few years back. As I clear out the backlog, I finally got around to it. Mystery and suspense novels are my thing. I truly do enjoy ones that get me at the edge of my seat and keep me guessing and wondering the whole time through. Its quite the mixed bag when it comes to Murder on the Mind. On one hand, there is a nice twist to learning about this Jeff Resnick and how he believes he’s gotten these special powers that help him have this sense of when there’s something suspicious about a location or a person or whatnot. Its nice to let the readers learn as he learns so it really starts from zero.

At the same time, Jeff Resnick is somewhat of an odd and extreme character. Perhaps a tad reckless but then he also earns a bit of sympathy for all the unlucky things that has lead him to this point in time. At least in the beginning. We soon realize as we head to the end that the slower paced mystery here works not so much as a page turner for the mystery but rather it was a look at his life and it doubles as a way that this has tied up some loose ends in his life that has been dangling for too long, like mending the relationship with his brother or being okay with asking for help. Its gives someone the chance to reevaluate the change that he could take with the mugging that got him this point in time to have some other opportunity open up using the skills he had in his previous job as an insurance investigator. The past insurance investigator angle is good and the learning about these new paranormal/instinctive abilities are also an intriguing twist.

My main issue with Murder on the Mind is that this like most first book in series feels a lot like a book to set up. There’s a lot of filler things and its fairly slow. There is some investigation and if it did follow the path of keeping a lot more mystery apparent in its pacing, it would have been more effective. Except the set up here gives you (like what I mentioned before), development of Jeff Resnick. his weaknesses and his unpredictable and abstract feelings when something is wrong. We see that he can be calm and collected and has great deductive skills. The one thing Jeff Resnick has for himself is that he feels real because he gets pain (quite frequently) but he also is clever and daring so it makes it technically an entertaining read. But for one reason or another, it took a while to get really absorbed into the book. Maybe its just some parts felt unnecessary and the pacing was what made it not so engaging.

Don’t get me wrong. Murder on the Mind is not a bad book, in fact its pretty average and has some cool ideas and some entertaining suspenseful moments. Even the mystery itself seems rather twisty and the end game is nice to see it unveiled. Its the process of getting there that causes most of the lackluster moments but at least the stage is set now and it looks like this could be a fun one to keep checking out. I’m not sure if I will personally, maybe eventually but not right away.

After Hours #2 – In Your Eyes

Its time for the next Movies and Tea Podcast episode as Elwood and I sit down to look at my After Hours pick: In Your Eyes. Its one of my favorite movies ever so it just made sense to pull in some romance (a good one) into the show. Head over to Movies and Tea to check out the episode! If you’ve seen it, also leave us your comments and thoughts on the film. If you enjoyed, give us a follow and hit the like button. It helps us out a lot.

Movies and Tea

Join us for another After Hours special as this time Kim picks out this Joss Wheldon scripted romance with a twist “In Your Eyes” to discuss in which two strangers Rebecca (Zoe Kazan) and Dylan (Michael Stahl-David) discover they share a psychic connection which enables them to see and experience the world through each others bodies.

Come join us in the booth!!

Further Viewing

Flipped
Before We Go
Ruby Sparks
Chocolate (Masters of Horror)

Music on this episode

Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare

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The Meg (2018)

Wow! Its been quite a while since I went to go see a movie at the theatres. The last one was probably Ocean’s Eight. I mean, aside from Fantasia where I’m still in a semi-break from movies but I love shark films and Jason Statham and The Meg has been one of those films that I’ve been anticipated the moment I knew of its existence so it was a opening weekend must-see for myself. Its taken a little bit to get this review up but better late than never. To be clear, I haven’t read the novel that this movie is based on so this is completely on how I felt about the movie and nothing related to how well the adaptation works.

Let’s check it out!

The Meg (2018)

the meg

Director: Jon Turteltaub

Cast: Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, Rainn Wilson, Cliff Curtis, Winston Chao, Shuya Sophia Cai, Ruby Rose, Page Kennedy, Robert Taylor, Olafur Darri Olafsson, Jessica McNamee

After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible. – IMDB

Being a fan of shark films and Jason Statham, The Meg was one anticipated movie that truly delivered on all my expectations. Its refreshing to be able to say that. Shark films have a special place in my heart and the best comparison that I have for The Meg is something like Deep Blue Sea, which happens to be one of my favorite shark films ever. Featuring a 70 foot Megalodon as its star predator is a tough feat and director Jon Turteltaub does a great job at making sure that it holds the suspense and builds on using the underwater sequences to create the thrills with the unexpected. Sure, there are some parts here because of the Chinese collaboration that makes it build the story with some filler drama and romance that feels unnecessary but the cast here delivers on this simple script. Let’s face it, this is a shark movie and not some award-winning film. Its a popcorn flick meant to be entertaining and it does exactly that. There is some suspension of belief and some far-fetched ideas that they try hard to give us the justifications in the story which mostly works, but the thrills of the Meg is in some of the parallels and nods it gives to the ultimate shark movie, Jaws. For some, that might be issues because this isn’t quite the Spielberg masterpiece but for myself, it never was meant to be that so I appreciated it for being exactly what it was.

The Meg

Looking at the cast, Jason Statham also does a great job at being the leading man. He still is equipped with his one liners and his hardcore tough guy act. It works for him and its what I love about the movies he is in. For that, he fits well into his role as Jonas. His sequences against the shark adds in those comedic touches before heading into the intense sequences against a prehistoric shark. Even tough guys get scared, they just mask it with some humor and it works so well for him. Its not often we see Jason Statham with a lot of romance in his films but as odd and misplaced as this one feels between him and the character played by Bingbing Li, there are some bonding moments here that also work out. It helps that Bingbing Li is not only a pretty face but also a talented actress. However, nothing quite steals the show like the little girl playing the daughter by Shuya Sophia Cai who is not the typical whiny and annoying little girl but one that is smart and knows her stuff around. She’s charming and cute and intelligent and some of the best moments are actually between her and Jason Statham.

The Meg

Aside from these main players, there are a ton of familiar faces here. Playing the sponsor of the research facility is Rainn Wilson who plays this billionaire who goes to visit and has his mind on all the wrong things at times but does add a nice twist of giving the normal do everything to make this work character have a twist. While he isn’t straight and narrow and still makes some dumb decision in the end, it takes on another tangent. On the other hand, a lot of people aren’t a big fan of Ruby Rose but I’ve liked her style since  her role in Orange is the New Black. As one note and as much as she is put in similar roles, I like the addition of that type of character. However, in this one, you end up losing count how many times she draws the short straw and ends up falling into the water.

The Meg

As predictable as The Meg is and as forced as the romance here, The Meg knows what it is and it delivers exactly as expected. A 70 foot shark is a huge presence literally and Jon Turteltaub is masterful as making it scarce and taking his time to reveal this beast completely. There are incredible lighting and cinematography underwater that makes it all work so well. I probably should have mentioned this but I forked out the big bucks (because it was the only way my theatre was showing it) and saw it UltraAVX and 3D. Let me tell you, a lot of parts got me jumping in my seat and genuinely tense. It may be my love for shark films and just how thrilling these films can be but The Meg is a fun popcorn flick. There are some solid moments that are fairly unique to watch. Plus, it achieves a level of making the megalodon be scarce to build up the tense moments and it works out a lot of time. Running a fairly tight run time, it is pretty well-paced. Sure there are some filler material but it never lingers long enough to make it completely in the way of the real purpose we’re there: to see a prehistoric shark. Its a shark film, you’re either on board or you aren’t. Maybe its a simple way to put it but popcorn movies don’t need depth, it needs entertainment and I was thoroughly thrilled and entertained. I get the criticism and I have some of my own as you see, but its still a solid shark film.

I only wish that it does well enough to get a franchise going because I can’t wait to see Jason Statham get back into going against some more prehistoric underwater creatures. Now, that would be so awesome!

Book Review: Something Great (Something Great #1) by M. Clarke

Something Great (Something Great #1)
By: M. Clarke

Something Great

Fresh out of college, life was predictable and comfortable for Jeanella. She had the strength of her friends, the security of her job, and she was dating a reliable man; it was all smooth sailing. That was until one night, when she met someone who made her feel things she’d never felt before—dangerous, heart pounding, breathless heat.

Never imagining she would see him again, Jeanella has no idea what to do when fate steps in and thrusts Maxwell Knight into her life, just as things were beginning to change around her. When she lands her dream job and travels to New York for Fashion Week, can she focus on her career instead of on Maxwell?

Will she ignore all the danger signs and jump straight into his arms; or would she miss out on the chance of finding something great? – Goodreads

As I work through the books (mostly free deals) on my Kindle to work on some saving habits and spending less habits, the next on the list was this one. To be honest, I haven’t been in much of a contemporary romance mood but then they usually are such easy reads that I couldn’t pass it up with the low energy levels I’ve been doing. Ironically, Something Great was not something great. I mean, look at the tagline up there, “She didn’t know what she was missing..until he found her.” Oh and believe me, the main guy here, Max is a pretentious rich guy. There is a difference in being self-confident and being pretentious and while the girl here, Jeanella seems to view him as self-confident, I couldn’t quite buy into it. With that said, half of Something Great already dropped to Something Good as we got to know this Max fellow more.

However, luckily, while I wasn’t a big fan of Jeanella’s choice in Max and how she changed her views so quickly and such, her character did start off rather on the right track. Her character’s heart is in the right place as she holds onto some of her values. But then, she also has some parts of her that are my absolute pet peeves when it comes to these novels. The main thing being that the moment any girl sees a hot guy, she just burns up and forgets everything and just wants to have sex with them. I’m not sure there is any enjoyment in it. I get the nervousness of seeing someone you are attracted in and Jeanella does have those moments but it is quickly masked by her desire to go to bed with him regardless of in the beginning when he is just a sexy stranger or when they get into a relationship and she get mad at him. Wanting to sleep with someone doesn’t measure love, at least not to me. So you can already see where Something Great falls apart for me.

All in all, I think I’m just not the audience for these books anymore. I sometimes find some that work well within my standards and I don’t know, create a man that I find is desirable within what I would think has those characteristics and makes me feel like its romance. Many times, it just feels like there’s a whole lot of lust in the way any scenario is described and that doesn’t link to what love is. If only authors didn’t confuse these two emotions so much, it would make for great contemporary romance. I guess, I’ll just keep hoping for the next one to hit the target better. Something Great was just something okay.