Colleen Houck


“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

Colleen's blog


  • Movie Review Double Feature: Transformers: Age of Extinction & Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    July 26, 2014


    Transformers: Age of Extinction

    I always give spoilers so consider yourself warned. =)

    Colleen’s Movie Review

    Romance: Sigh. There was a pathetic, sloppy attempt to have a romance but in the three hours of robot destruction they managed to put in only two vague references to a girl and a boy being in love. I kinda liked the guy. I loathed the girl entirely. And I’m talking about loathing with a level of passion that is hard to rouse from me in a film where I had less than zero expectations. Incidentally, I would have boycotted the film altogether if my nephews had been willing to see something else.

    Transformers 4 Age of Extinction Still Shane and Tessa Kissing

    Special Effects: They were pretty much what I expected. Stuff was destroyed. Robots were messed up. Things transformed.

    What I Liked: (Looks up at the ceiling to try to come up with something) I guess I liked the Transformers okay. I enjoy the cartoon on television but I haven’t seen them do anywhere near justice to the characters, which are the Transformers by the way and not the sad little humans they interact with…but I digress. I liked the dinosaur Transformers. Kelsey Grammar and Stanley Tucci did a good job. I like looking at Mark Wahlberg in pretty much any movie he does.

    What I’d Change: Where do I begin?

    • First, why were all the Transformers except Optimus Prime hot cars? A hot car did not match the voice or look of John Goodman’s transformer. Maybe he was a dump truck but if so, we never got to see him.
    • The move to China was an obvious and sad attempt to gain viewers at the Chinese box office. There was no reason for it at all.
    • I waited 2 1/2 hours to see the dumb dinosaurs and when I did they had all of two minutes of film.
    • Did I say the movie was 3 hours long? It felt like five. Three hours was about 2 hrs and 45 minutes longer than I wanted to be watching Transformers.
    • Like I said before, they use the Transformers to blow up stuff not to develop their unique and interesting culture or characters.
    • The humans in the movie are pitiable and sad. They had to give Mark Wahlberg a super gun, otherwise there wouldn’t be much he could do other than run around and avoid being crushed by stuff.
    • Mark Wahlberg’s daughter. Really? Come on. First, making Mark Wahlberg have a daughter that age is just wrong. He’s far too young to be seen as a fuddy duddy old man kind of dad. Her short shorts (which Mark thankfully made a reference to) were so short I felt wrong looking at the screen. Her character added nothing, accomplished nothing, inspired nothing. She served no purpose other than eye candy for the male audience. It’s insulting and backwards to have a female character like that. I feel offended on many levels.
    • The other women in the movie weren’t much better. The character Darcy was supposed to be a scientist but she didn’t do much more than wring her hands and discover the dinobot in the beginning. Then there was Stanley Tucci’s martial artist bodyguard/employee who saved him by commandeering a motorcycle and kicking the crap out of people following him all while wearing high heels. All the women were shallow, one dimensional, and only there to give the men something to look at between robot destruction.
    • What the heck was the giant magnet thing supposed to do? All it did was suck up stuff in the city and spit it back out. The vacuum thing almost got the Transformers. Oh no! Ridiculous. The only purpose was so the animators could work in some more destruction.
    • Did I mention I hate destruction? Especially when it has no purpose. It’s lazy writing. We don’t want to develop characters so let’s just blow stuff up instead.
    • Oh and at the end when Optimus Prime is giving this long speech answering the question, “Will we ever see you again?” I pretty much dubbed in my own material. “If humans spend all their hard earned dollars on this movie, just as they did all my other movies, then, yes, you’ll see me again. Especially since Gavaltron conveniently got away.”

    The Tagline:

    • Prepare for extinction
    • The rules have changed
    • Stand together or face extinction
    • This is not war, it’s extinction

    I’m fine with these but they indicate that we’re going to see a lot more dinosaurs and they were sadly missing from most of the film.

    Hunky Hero: Mark Wahlberg.

    He’s a dreamy kind of action hero. Don’t think he gets his due really but he’s right up there with the best of them for me. He did the best he could in a sucky movie. He was one of the only reasons I agreed to go. Mark and dinosaurs were the only two things I thought might save it. Still, he was miscast as a brainy single dad who invents stuff. He also happens to have biceps bigger than cantaloupes and he can wield a gun like it’s no big deal. The character was disjointed on so many levels but he is at least nice to look at. Technically Optimus Prime should be the hero of the story but they make him as cold and robotic as his body.

    The Villain: There were three villains in this film. Kelsey Grammar, Stanley Tucci, and Galvatron.

     

    transformers-age-of-extinction-stanley-tucci-li-bingbing

    The villains were the only breath of fresh air. They did an excellent job and made the three hours if not fun then at least bearable.

    Best Line:  “Sweetie, hand me my alien gun!”

    Best Scene: When the dinosaurs finally transform

    Recommended for YA Fans: I’d like to think YA fans are a bit more discriminating.

    Compared to the Book: N/A but compared to the cartoon, sadly lacking


    Trailer


    Grandma’s Review

    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: “Transformers, The Age of Extinction” was visually exciting. The special effects were fantastic but there were way too many fight scenes. The movie was too long. My opinion, I believe most of the Transformer movies have had too many fight scenes in them. There can be a thing where more is not better. The fancy cars the transformers turned into were awesome to look at. The poor hero, “Optimus Prime”, became a big truck (kind of a letdown). I loved the character of Optimus Prime. He loved the humans and wanted to protect them even if they did not deserve it, and many humans did not deserve it. Nicola Peltz who played Tessa Yeager was unbelievable because she was all “sexed up” way not necessary and distracting from the plot. Stanley Tucci who played Joshua (the scientist) was just silly. I give this movie 7 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

    Brad did not see this film


    Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

     

    Colleen’s Movie Review

    Romance: There wasn’t really any romance in this film though I suppose you could argue that there was a romantic relationship between Caesar and his mate which was sweet.

    Special Effects: The apes were very well done. Apes riding horseback was a little too silly. The expressions and motion capture of Andy Serkis was outstanding. Loved that. Andy Serkis deserves recognition for the outstanding work he does as an actor.

    What I Liked: I loved the landscape and the world created by Caesar’s tribe. The ape culture was interesting. The expression and feeling I read in Caesar’s face was so cool. He felt real to me. All the apes did, in fact.

    What I’d Change: I don’t think the story was well enough developed. The bomb going off in the building didn’t make sense and didn’t do what the humans intended it to do so they pretty much died for nothing. Where would the apes get horses and why would the horses accept apes as riders? How did they know how to use a gun? Did they have stables somewhere? The number of apes that overran the city did not equal the number in the village. The sign language was not great. Sometimes they used two gestures to convey an entire paragraph. Though they obviously researched ASL somewhat and I gave them bonus points for assuming there would be home signs because the scientist who taught Caesar wasn’t that good to begin with, it was still too far-fetched for the apes to have created an entire language system different than what apes would normally use to communicate. Also when they made speeches in sign language none of the apes sitting in the back would have known what was going on. Speaking would have made more sense.

    The Tagline: One last chance for peace

    Boring. I don’t like it. A better one would have been, “The end is coming” or “The end is here” or something more menacing than peace.

    Hunky Hero: Malcolm was the hero I guess though he was more of a secondary character. I didn’t find him particularly heroic or hunky.

    The Villain: Koba was the villain of the movie and it’s pretty cool to have a CGI villain. I loved that he played the silly monkey and then stole the gun and shot the humans though I found his ability to use the weapon a little too unbelievable.

    Best Line: I’m not sure it was the best but it was certainly memorable.

    Koba: [pointing to his scars] Human… work Human… work
    [screams as he points to his damaged eye]
    Koba: HUMAN WORK!

    Best Scene: The fight between Koba and Caesar

    Recommended for YA Fans: Sure. Planet of the Apes is a classic. Even though this wasn’t my favorite of the films it was a study in CGI mastery.

    Compared to the Book: N/A


    Trailer


     

    Grandma’s Review

     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: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” was not very believable but interesting to see. The apes living situation just did not seem to be very advanced compared to how intelligent they were supposed to be. Question: They were hunting in the beginning of the movie. Does that mean they were meat eaters? I had lots of questions that were unanswered regarding the apes situation. The human population was pretty much what I expected it to be given it was an apocalyptic world. There were good & bad apes and good & bad humans. This was interesting. The apes had become like the humans in that regard. The apes riding on horseback just did not look right, unnatural I think. Apes shooting guns did not seem possible either. All in all, I enjoyed my movie experience but I believe the old Planet of the Apes movies were better in many ways. I give this movie 6 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:

    An Enjoyable Ape Film

    Any Planet of the Apes film is one of those unique movies, that even if it was average, it would be more memorable than most summer films. But I will say this, as movies go Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was actually above average, but it didn’t quite reach the stratosphere of greatness for me. More than anything, the two hours replete with stunningly realistic CGI characters and effects was an unforgettable cinematic experience. It was easy to forget the Apes were merely CGI.

    The Apes have apparently established a colony in the Redwood Forest, just outside the outskirts of San Francisco. A crisis at the Bay area forces a tense encounter between a group citizens and the Apes and they have to work together to avert the crisis or face an all-out war for survival. Along the way, there arises distrust, betrayal, and tragedy.

    I really enjoyed watching Andy Serkis’ performance as Caesar, the highly intelligent and capable leader of the Apes. The Ape community was depicted as a unique culture with language and rules, comparable to any other culture on our planet. A theme reminiscent of Pocahontas, both the Apes and the humans naturally viewed each other as savages. If I didn’t know better, I would have totally bought into the scenes of Apes communicating with one another in sign language, when realistically, it was primarily gestures with a few accurate ASL signs thrown in. The movie progresses and ends somewhat predictably. This film gets 7 Hulk smash fists.

     

     

    hulk fist

     

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

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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.