Colleen Houck


“Chapped rats and bats' wings, brandied worms and adders' stings, Goat's wool and owl's hoot, fish's tongue and dog's foot. Into the potion, all you go, add clockwork hearts, positioned so…" The Lantern's Ember

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  • Movie Review Double Feature: Maleficent & X-Men: Days of Future Past

    June 5, 2014


    Movie Review: Maleficent

    I always give spoilers so consider yourself warned.

    Colleen’s Movie Review Romance: There were two couples in this film. One was Prince Phillip and Aurora. I liked them okay but wow they are young. Too young for me to feel any romancy kinds of flutters. I mostly wanted to scold and separate them.

    The other couple was Maleficent and Aurora’s daddy, Stefan. They were a much cuter couple when young than when they grew up. I didn’t really feel much in the way of chemistry between the adult actors.

    Now there was a lot of chemistry between Maleficent and her raven boy. Loved the two of them together though I’m not sure that’s technically a possibility.

     

    Special Effects: Saw the movie in 3-D and it was really pretty. Especially the scenes in the beginning. The costumes were amazing. The magic was cool. The only thing I thought was cheesy were the happy CGI creatures who lived in Maleficent’s kingdom. They reminded me of old school Star Wars puppets or even Captain E-O creations. Love the tree creatures though and her awesome wings.

     

    What I Liked: Angelina. She was amazing in this film. I was utterly transfixed by her and her story. The twist on Sleeping Beauty was well developed, interesting, and lots of fun. To date this is my absolute favorite Angelina film by far. She did such a great job! Oh and LOVED the Once Upon a Dream song she did. Fantastic!

     

    What I’d Change: The ending. It was a little predictable for me. I knew she would be the one to break the curse. What would have made it more interesting and emotional would have been if Maleficent hadn’t been able to break the curse and then had to sacrifice herself by allowing Phillip to kill her. I get that they wanted to change it up but it wrapped up with happily ever afters and because of that I was a touch unsatisfied. There needed to be a heroic act of some kind in there somewhere.

     

    The Tagline: There were two.

    1) Evil has a beginning.

    2) Don’t believe the fairy tale

    I like them both.

     

    Hunky Hero: Whew. Not really much going on in this department. I’d have to say the raven, Diaval.

     

    The Villain: Stefan was the villain. He did a pretty good job at making me hate him but the character was a bit one dimensional. I like a meaty villain.

     

    Best Line:

    Princess Aurora: I know who you are.

    Maleficent: Do you?

    Princess Aurora: You’re my Fairy-Godmother!

    Maleficent: What?

     

    Best Scene: The curse when Aurora is presented to the kingdom.

     

    Recommended for YA fans: Umm…yes! Go see this movie. It’s awesome!


     

    Trailer


     

    Grandma’s Review

    2014-01-19 15.04.07

    Grandma’s Bio: My name is Kathleen and I’m Colleen’s mom. I’m a mother of seven and grandmother of seventeen with one bun in the oven (not my oven). They’re all great. None of my kids are duds-you know, like the popcorn kernels that don’t pop. My father taught me to love science fiction and mysteries. I’m a dreamer whose secret wish was to be an actress and sing and dance on stage. I have lots of things I still want to do. A few of my favorite things include-discovering new restaurants, going to movies, traveling, seeing plays, children, my dogs, Elvis, reading books, The Beach Boys, and Rhett Butler because he doesn’t give a damn AND he can carry Scarlett up the stairs.

    Definition of Kicky-providing a kick or thrill, exciting

    Review: Maleficent the historical villain wasn’t evil after all. Having been hurt and betrayed by someone she loved, she overcame her bitter feelings and became a true hero. The weak, cowardly, greedy friend who became King via his treachery was the true villain. The story was a breath of fresh air and had fun twists through out. The fairly land was magical. I was happily surprised and entertained by this new soon to be classic remake fairy tale. I give this movie 10 out of 10 kicks.

    Karate Girl Sticker Car Window Decal Fight Woman Kick Neat Gift Vinyl Black Belt


     

    A Guy’s Perspective

    2014-02-01 22.54.02

    Bio: I’m Colleen’s husband, Brad. I’m the youngest of four kids. I’ve been Deaf since I was five so I watch every movie with caption glasses. I love sports and reading (I’ll admit I’ve read Twilight but prefer thrillers like Jack Reacher). My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. I’ll never turn down a taco. I write poetry. My man credentials include: a high school career in wrestling, watching sports every time my wife is too busy to notice, a receding hairline, two repaired ACL’s, and a stockpile of Axe body wash.

    Review:

    Deliciously Cruel Maleficent Lacks Story Punch

    I watched Maleficent with no pre-conceived ideas of what to expect. I love to be completely surprised by a film for which I have no expectations, and in some regards it was surprising. But I have to say that overall it could have been so much better. It was good, but not great. With a $200 million budget, the CGI and special effects were outstanding. Unfortunately, a substantial budget won’t buy you a great story.

    Make no mistake, Angelina Jolie was phenomenal—that girl has serious acting chops. She wanted that role, she got it, and she delivered on Maleficent with delicious cruelty. Ellie Fanning played the role of Aurora to perfection as well. No spoilers here, but her winning smile and ebullient innocence was so infectious, exactly what the director wanted, in order for the story to progress the way it did. The two actresses alone along with the CGI—especially that dragon!—certainly were the movie’s saving graces, and made it well worth seeing.

    With the exception of the Prince and Maleficent’s crow/servant, all the other males were baddies. The three fairies—adult women in little girl bodies—guarding Aurora were intended to be comic relief but they came across as annoying flies you wanted to shoo away. For a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, I felt the story was not as creative or as challenging as it could have been. The ending was somewhat anticlimatic for me. Thus, I would give it 7.5 Hulk Smash Fists out of 10.

    Brad

    hulk fist

    Movie Review: X-Men: Days of Future PastI always give spoilers so consider yourself warned.

    X-Men: Days of Future Past Poster

    Colleen’s Movie Review

    Romance: There was a little bit of steamy action between young Magneto and young Raven but it never progressed past steam.

     

    Special Effects: The sentinels and the future world were amazing as were all the effects of the super powers the mutants had. Overall a stellar job on special effects. Everything felt real and believable.

     

    What I Liked: The story. Trask. The 70’s. Hugh Jackman. Both version of Professor Xavier. Both versions of Magneto. All the mutants. The teaser at the end. And everything else I didn’t list.

     

    What I’d Change: Huh. The only think that would make it a touch more interesting would have been to develop a relationship between either Magneto and Raven or Charles and Raven. Not complaining about Hugh Jackman’s anything but I was a little surprised at the nudity which seemed to be added just because Hugh Jackman is nice to look at.

     

    The Tagline: There were three.

    1) His past. Our future.

    2) Every hero, every power will unite.

    3) The future begins.

    I’m not sure who ‘his past’ is referring to. I would assume it’s Professor Xavier but it could just as easily be other people. The second is okay but nothing exciting or even terribly accurate. The third doesn’t blow me over either. Don’t think they gave much thought to the taglines.

     

    Hunky Hero: Umm Hugh Jackman anyone? There really isn’t enough I can say about this actor. He is amazing and gorgeous and talented and a good husband and a better father. He’s really the whole package…which is kinda what the movie wanted to put on display I think. I even liked him with the grey in his hair.

    I also have a soft spot for young Magneto, young Charles, and the older version of Bobby. Lots of good looking men to feast your eyes on.

     

    The Villain: Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask was amazing. His character was well defined, interesting, and he commanded the screen every time he was on it. Fantastic villain and he should be in a lot more. He’s an incredible actor.

    X-Men Days of Future Past character bio - Peter Dinklage as Bolivar Trask

     

    Best Line: I can’t find the line I’m looking for. It happened when old and young Charles are having a conversation. This line is good but it’s not the one I’m thinking of. I need to bring a notebook to write these down.

     

    Charles Xavier: Charles. Professor X: Charles. Charles Xavier: Erik was right. Humanity does this to us. Professor X: Just because someone stumbles and loses their path, doesn’t mean they can’t be saved.

     

    Best Scene: Hmm I think the scene when Wolverine wakes up in the 70’s is fun and I also like the fight between the future mutants and the sentinels.

     

    Recommended for YA Fans: Absolutely. Go see this movie!


    Trailer 


    Grandma’s Review

    2014-01-19 15.04.07

    Grandma’s Bio: My name is Kathleen and I’m Colleen’s mom. I’m a mother of seven and grandmother of seventeen with one bun in the oven (not my oven). They’re all great. None of my kids are duds-you know, like the popcorn kernels that don’t pop. My father taught me to love science fiction and mysteries. I’m a dreamer whose secret wish was to be an actress and sing and dance on stage. I have lots of things I still want to do. A few of my favorite things include-discovering new restaurants, going to movies, traveling, seeing plays, children, my dogs, Elvis, reading books, The Beach Boys, and Rhett Butler because he doesn’t give a damn AND he can carry Scarlett up the stairs.

    Definition of Kicky-providing a kick or thrill, exciting

    Review: X-men, Days of Future Past, a super hero action film in 3-D, was a pretty good flick. Any time I get to see Patrick Stewart and Hugh Jackman in anything I’m excited. They are two of my favorite actors. There are many things I loved about the movie such as: great visual effects, likeable characters, a fairly good story, etc. But, there were things I did not particularly like also such as: the little mad scientist who developed the Sentinels (not very believable) and the magneto character (he was pretty weak & didn’t have much of a personality). The movie was entertaining however and worth seeing. I give this movie 8 out of 10 kicks.

    Karate Girl Sticker Car Window Decal Fight Woman Kick Neat Gift Vinyl Black Belt


    A Guy’s Perspective

    2014-02-01 22.54.02

    Bio: I’m Colleen’s husband, Brad. I’m the youngest of four kids. I’ve been Deaf since I was five so I watch every movie with caption glasses. I love sports and reading (I’ll admit I’ve read Twilight but prefer thrillers like Jack Reacher). My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. I’ll never turn down a taco. I write poetry. My man credentials include: a high school career in wrestling, watching sports every time my wife is too busy to notice, a receding hairline, two repaired ACL’s, and a stockpile of Axe body wash.

    Review:

    X-cellent and X-citing X-Men

    Anytime you gather Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, and Ian McKellan together on screen, that means you have a guaranteed blockbuster film in the making. Director Bryan Singer makes the most of a star-studded cast with smart writing and action all rolled into a mesmerizing flick that kept me relishing and regaling the full experience.

    While there were new Mutants, they were hardly the focus nor were they noticeable because I wanted to watch Wolverine whose look remain unchanged over time, and both the young and old Professor X (Stewart and James McAvoy) and Magneto (McKellan and Michael Fassbender) in the years 1973 and 2023. And yet, the entire outcome of the movie focuses on Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) and she does get significantly more screen and action time. Though she doesn’t have as many lines, she does manage to steal some of the boys’ thunder (a role that literally belongs to Storm, but she appeared for maybe two minutes).

    Peter Dinklage (Dr. Trask) was an unexpected pleasure to watch. He portrayed a chilling and evil efficiency in his objective to wipe out the Mutant race, and he absolutely commanded attention with ruthless, underhanded subtlety.

    Yet another $200 million budget, the film delivered on CGI and visual effects to perfection. Though I wasn’t crazy about the Sentinels, they were well designed and convincing in their invincibility—a worthy adversary for the collective Mutants, bringing them near the brink of X-tinction. This is one of those rare films I would pay full price to see again. I give it 9 smash Fists out of 10.

    Brad

    hulk fist

    This entry was posted in A Guy's Perspective, Grandma's Review, Movie Review.

    2 Responses to Movie Review Double Feature: Maleficent & X-Men: Days of Future Past


    1. Mackenzie Kohler says:

      Colleen, this is not a reply more of a question. Im helping with fundraising for the Boys and Girls Aid in the Salem area. The Boys and Girls Aid gives services to kids that are homeless, runaways or are in need of help. We put on a Gala Of Trees fundraiser every year. This year the tree im decorating is in honor of my daughters love of books. The trees theme is the book worm tree. I was wondering if you are in a position where you could donate a book or a entire series of books for the auction? I would be happy to send you a receipt with the tax ID no if you are able to donate. thank you for your time and consideration. Mackenzie Kohler (my daughter and I love the Tiger series)

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    Colleen Houck
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.