Nowhere To Go · Poems and Stories · Random Thoughts · Reviews

Vita Et Morte – Finally Published

So… 👀 I finally did it 🙈 I finally was able to publish one of my short stories/novellas onto Amazon KDP.

I didn’t know I would be able to do this, but I did. And I’m grateful for those who believed that I could. 😌 You know who you all are. 💛

Please give it a try! Search for “Vita Et Morte” over at Amazon. It’s only $0.99 or free via Kindle Unlimited. 😁

I would also appreciate it if you would also leave a review over at Amazon. It would help boost my book.

Currently working on getting that paperback for this story done, too! Will update you all once I have it printed and ready for release. Thank you all!! 😘💛🤗

P.S. if you want to get a free copy in exchange for an honest review that you must post on your blog or socmed accounts, kindly comment below or email me at


The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2

the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-2016-calendar-01-600x350Let’s see if I still have it in me to review films.  Lol.  It’s been a while since I’ve written anything close to a review for a movie that I watched.  I mean – you could definitely check my previous posts and what?  The last review I did was… 5 or 6 years ago?  Maybe even more?  LOL.

Anyway – I’ve recently watch this at home (I know, I know.  I couldn’t watch this in the big screen – because, you know – well, kids.  And life.  And adulting.  So sue me.) late at night when everybody was already sound asleep and in bed.  Which was a good thing since I was saying things (mainly cussing *blushes*) while watching this which shouldn’t be heard by little ears.

So anyway (again) – I’ve been a fan of this book series ever since.  When it became a movie, I became a fan of it even more.  Of course, I didn’t raise my expectations for the movies given that I was already disappointed time and again with the way books are turned into movies – how the writers or producers and even directors of these books-turned-movie films have to cut certain aspects of the book or change a lot in them to fit the story plot that they did for the film.

I was surprised however with how Mockingjay turned out.  Sure, they cut a lot of stuffs that weren’t in the books but it was all right.  The execution of the story line fit perfectly with how they told the story from the first movie all the way to the end.

And of course – Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen was GOLD.

Casting for this series was always LOVE for me.  At first I had my reservations when the first THG movie came out but as it progressed – I was pleasantly surprised with how the acting of these actors as their characters pushed through.  They were all golden.  They were able to manifest exactly what their characters called for.

Donald Sutherland as President Snow always gave me the chills as well.  He was magnificent and very believable.  It was sad though that Phillip Seymour Hoffman had to say goodbye to this world without seeing how he was golden in this film as Plutarch Heavensbee.  I was honestly surprised with how he portrayed Plutarch because he wasn’t exactly how Plutarch was portrayed in the book.  Nonetheless, he actually played him better.  I loved it.

The rest of the cast was also golden.  I couldn’t ask for a better roster of actors and actresses for this film series.

Technical wise – I have nothing against how the photography and editing went for this film.  The grittiness of the Districts as well as the magnificence (in the beginning and towards the end still, in all honesty despite the ruins and such) of The Capitol was well lit and captured on camera.  You can feel the unnecessary opulence of The Capitol (especially at President Snow’s mansion) through the way the production design staged everything.  As well as the hardships of the Districts with their ruins and war-ridden population.

I give it a 4 and a half out of 5 stars.  I may be bias – so sue me.  But it was a great film from start to finish. I highly recommend it even without reading the books.  That’s how well they told the story in this series.

Nowhere To Go · Reviews

Twilight by Catherine Hardwicke

When you can live forever, what do you live for?

Me – I suppose I would live for my family – the loves of my life. And that was how this movie was supposed to be all about as well.

Anyway – Twilight was so hyped up that it was basically being described as the “move over Harry Potter” film. A lot of fans and readers of the books (Twilight series) were looking forward to this movie. It was said that it will be one of the top box-office hitters for the month.

However, that was not the case.

The books were so hyped up that a lot of people were hoping that the movie would keep to it. The trailer sure did. For a moment there – we all thought that the film was really based on how the books was written and described.

But like most films that were derived from books – the film proved to be a lot different than the book. Always the case, anyway.

Most fans and avid readers were “disappointed” with how the movie turned out. Sure, it is still Twilight. But if you’re going to watch it without any knowledge about the book – you wouldn’t really understand any part of it. Well, maybe some parts – especially the romance part between Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), our vampire, and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), the clumsy girl who fell for the vampire.

I, for one, am a huge fan of all vampire themed things. From books – to movies and to anything in between. I’ve read all Anne Rice books, watched most vampire movies and of course – finished the Twilight series as well. And like most avid fans of vampire-dom – was quite disappointed with how the film adaptation was. It’s so sad given that I even watched this film on the opening weekend.

The special effects were not as astounding as it was featured in the trailers. I could almost see where the “invisible” cords strapped to the actors were. The make-up – well, let’s just say that it’s not up to par. Hello, Carlisle?! What’s up with all the white junk in the face? It was so unnatural – so un-vampire-ic. Even the dialogues and the way they interacted were not as vampire as we want them to be.

Sure, you would probably say – hey, cut them some slack – but having watched a lot of vampire movies – I could say that – hey, director Catherine Hardwicke barely knows what she’s doing with regards to vampires. You need to watch and read more vampire themed films and books, girl!

The chemistry between Bella and Edward though was realistic. And the only thing that I could say was marvelous. And the only thing that kept me glued to my seat as well. Well, since they were the main actors – they should have that. But the others were so down-played that you don’t even see what were their sense and fulfillment in the movie.

Technical wise – it was so-so. Like I said earlier – the special effects were off as well as the almost fight scene in the meadow (where they were playing baseball) and the real fight scene in the ballet room. Color grading – it was good, sure, since they kept to the “gloomy” look and feel of the book, pertaining to the always rainy side of Forks. Editing – is quite funny. There were other scenes in there where the actors were opening their mouths for a dialogue but no words can be heard. Just check out where that could be. 🙂

I just hope that when they do decide to shoot then release the second movie – it would not be like this. I know it’s hard to compile a thick book into a two-hour movie but – let’s face it, Lord of the Rings trilogy was able to do it. The first two films of Harry Potter were able to do it too. Who goes to say that this movie couldn’t do it as well?


The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan

** WARNING: Spoilers galore! **

I’ve been out of the loop for sooooo long here in my review section when in fact I’ve watched tons and tons of movies since Live Free or Die Hard (which was last year’s, dang). It’s just that since there are gazillions of great movies out there, I have not enough time to review each one of them. Yeah, right wuthie. Excuses, excuses.

But this particular latest film that I was able to catch with my hubby – is simply phenomenal that I just have to write something about it.

Yep, you got that right – The Dark Knight by Christopher Nolan starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Morgan Freeman, Gary Oldman and of course, our beloved Heath Ledger (may he rest in peace).

This film is a piece of art. Something amazing, something boombastic, something phenomenal, something that would keep you at the edge of your seat, something that would make your eyes pop, something that would drop your jaw. Have I exaggerated enough? 🙂 But seriously, it’s something that you shouldn’t miss.

Christian Bale outdid himself as Bruce Wayne in this film. The way he portrayed our hero with a flawed perception of justice showed how precariously he was balancing himself between righteousness and simply insanity. Whether he was a billionaire tycoon with an eccentric view of life or a man in a bat suit beating criminals to a pulp at night, Bale was simply astounding. His interactions with everybody in the film was well thought out. His dialogues were for real like someone of his stature would really speak out loud.

The rest of the characters were all magnificent as well. Aaron Eckhart’s character as Harvey Dent, the hero of Gotham City with a face – simply the best. Especially when he had a change of heart towards the end of the movie as Two Face. The betrayal, the twistedness of it all especially when The Joker was cajolling him into doing what was really in the deep recesses of his heart.

Maggie Gyllenhaal replacing Katie Holmes’ character as Rachel Dawes was a brilliant decision if just for a fact that Gyllenhaal delivered Dawes’ character with more emotion and clarity. She was perfect as Rachel Dawes. Michael Caine as the ever loyal butler of Bruce, Alfred – never ceased to amaze me with his – well, loyalty to his Master Bruce. How he stood up with him all the way, how he understood every single thing his master was going through and how emotional his character was as well in the film. Another outstanding performance.

Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon was exquisite. He was great during Batman Begins and of course, we all loved him as Sirius in the Harry Potter films, but his character deliverance in this movie, I could say, was one that gave him 6 out of 5 stars. Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises – as always, delivered his character like magic. He acts so natural that characters like these are always so perfect for him. The same is true when we saw him as a detective as early as the movie Seven or in the recent Wanted with Angelina Jolie. He weaves his magic and captivates his audience.

Lastly, and of course – I saved him for the last – was Heath Ledger. He was the man of the hour in that film. The Joker. If people didn’t tell you that that was what Heath Ledger was playing – The Joker – you wouldn’t recognize him at all. He delivered his part with such grace and valor that you are almost mesmerized, enthralled with the way he acted. At the beginning of the film, when you see him remove his mask and show everybody that he still has another mask on (his face full of clown-like make-up), you knew right away, that this was going to be his best performance as of yet. Knowing he did great already at Brokeback Mountain, yet this surpassed that – surely tells people what a great actor he was. His voice took on a new quality in this film, his insane laugh and psychotic antics as well, his eccentricities and the way he thought of things, his little tics and mannerisms, that was just really accustomed to his character as The Joker – well, nothing more can ever described it except that he was the best Joker we’ve ever seen so far in the Batman world. Not even Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor’s eccentric performance at Superman Returns can outdo Ledger’s performance here.

The rest of the cast did well of course. Kudos to everybody who played a part in this masterpiece. What can I say – everybody just did great and just by being a part of this great film means something. They should be proud by just being in this film alone.

Not let’s move on to the crew. Director Nolan with his brother Jonathan did well in writing the script for this movie. The dialogue was so real, it gave me a sense of creepiness since they knew exactly how to go about the characters – it was dark, magnetic, psychotic, there was chaos, anarchy, justice, and insanity all rolled into one. It was not comic-like like most of the films that are adapted from comicbooks but there is a sense of reality from it. There was some hint of humor though injected every now and then which made the film not at all dark all the way. Intellectual humor at its best. 🙂

Cinematography by Wally Pfister is something to applaud. Again, Gotham City looked like how we all envisioned it while reading the comicbook. Dark and shadowy. High contrast and the color was maintained all throughout the film. It totally achieved what the other Batman movies didn’t have (excluding Begins, of course).

Music and score goes to James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer. Kudos to them. Every single aspect of the movie were all co-related and all worked magnanimously and in harmony. Everybody did great. Everything was a masterpiece.

I think I’ve said quite a lot regarding this movie. And if you’re still not convinced – then I suggest you take a trip to the moviehouse and see how long the Dark Knight line is still is. Watch it. I assure you, you’re not going to regret it.


THE JOKER (to Batman): You just couldn’t let me go could you? This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You truly are incorruptible aren’t you? You won’t kill me out of some misplaced sense of self-righteousness, and I won’t kill you, because you’re just too much fun. I think you and I are destined to do this forever.

HARVEY DENT: You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become a villain.

LUCIUS FOX: Let me get this straight. You think that your employer, one of the richest men in the world, is spending his nights running around the city beating criminals to a pulp with his bare hands? And your plan is to blackmail him? Good luck.

BATMAN: Why do you want to kill me?
THE JOKER: [laughs] Kill you? I don’t want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, you… you complete me.

ALFRED: I suppose they’ll take me in as well, as your accomplice.
BRUCE WAYNE: Accomplice? I’m going to say the whole thing was your idea.

BRUCE WAYNE: More copycats today, Alfred, with guns.
ALFRED: Why don’t you hire them and take the weekend off?

Nowhere To Go · Reviews

Live Free or Die Hard by Len Wiseman

I know this is a long review in the making since this movie came out almost a month ago. It being the 4th of July movie. But hey – better late than never, right? 🙂

I was actually apprehensive in watching this film. Given that it’s already the 4th movie and I kind of felt that the 3rd movie was already the last. And let’s be real – it has been what? 12 or 15 years since the last Die Hard movie came out? During the middle of the film though, I was already hooked to the movie. I was totally blown away and what I was expecting were not what I saw. It was more than that. Totally unbelievable.

For a PG-13 rate, this movie sure had a lot of action and violence infused with it. Not to mention, some colorful language from our dear old John McClane (Bruce WIllis). At 52, Willis did some of the most amazing moves in this movie. What I like most about this film is that majority of the explosions and action stunts were done in the most natural possible way and not through CGIs which we are more adept at using at this film age.

Every essential thing in a Die Hard movie is in this one. If I may quote Marc Schoenherr of IMdb: “John McClane beats up on supposedly superior-armed terrorists: check. Sidekick that adds comic relief and keeps the story going: check. Well-played "bad guy” that pushes McClane to his limits: check. John McClane soaked in blood by the end of the movie: check. Tons of explosions, deaths, and “yippie kay aye motherf***er”: check, check and check.“ Of course, the main point in here is that – it wouldn’t be a Die Hard movie if John McClane (Bruce Willis) doesn’t come out bloody by the end of the movie. 🙂

All of the cast were marvelous. Timothy Olyphant as Thomas Gabriel and the main villain in this film was really mesmerizing especially during the part wherein he was taunting McClane regarding his daughter. Justin Long as Matt Farrell, the college kid hacker who was a vital part of the "firesale” that Gabriel was planning on doing to get revenge on the government, was also marvelous in his being the nervous nerdy kid at the beginning, coming out with witty remarks himself and ends up being one of the heroes in the end.

All in all, I could say that Live Free or Die Hard is the best action movie so far for this summer of 2007. 🙂

Nowhere To Go · Reviews

La Vie En Rose by Olivier Dahan

Lovely performance by Marion Cottilard as Edith Piaf in the inspirational and melodramatic film telling the life of Edith Piaf from her childhood till her death that deserves numerous best actress awards from different award-giving bodies.

My only critique on this film is that the melodrama went overboard a bit. Sure, Olivier Dahan probably just wanted to focus on the life of Edith, but not every single aspect of her life was just all tragedy laced with pain and suffering. Yes, we do have our painful moments probably like that of Edith’s but I don’t believe that that was the only thing in Edith’s life worth telling.

With the director focusing only on Edith, the other characters who played a major role in Edith’s life were overshadowed and weren’t portrayed well. We hardly knew who they were and how they became vital into making Edith Piaf who she was.

One thing that struck me most in this film was its editing. It has a music-video feel to it when it comes to that, switching from her past life to her present and finally ending when she was old and singing her last song, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regrets). That made me stay for the duration of the film aside from wanting to know what really happened to “The Sparrow.”

Making a film out of a biography of a person is really a tedious task but this biopic is marvelous in a lot of other aspects. It is a wonderfully made melodrama, one that I would recommend for people to watch.

Lastly, I would definitely recommend it for the music and the songs. 🙂

Nowhere To Go · Reviews

Evan Almighty by Tom Shadyac

Funny, clever but not extremely almighty.

Steve Carrell makes a comeback as the witty Evan Baxter who takes on a new job as a US Congressman with a slogan about him wanting to change the world. With this in mind, God (Morgan Freeman) commissions him to build an ark and get all the animals in pairs much like Noah did in the old testament telling him that since he prayed to change the world, then this was his chance to do just that.

It was funny in a way since Steve Carrell was really funny. The animals following him all around was funny too. And the way he starts changing physically and God’s idea of him wearing togas and sacks for clothes was definitely hilarious.

However, if you are expecting adult humor like that of Bruce Almighty then this supposed sequel to it is not the one you want. Evan Almighty has more family humor than adult humor. Most of the audience that were with me while watching this movie were families and kids. There were a few adult humor inserted here and there especially from Rita (Wanda Sykes), Baxter’s executive assistant but it was not as blatant as that from Bruce Almighty.

And if you know the story of Noah and the Ark, then you definitely would know what would happen next in the film although it was already modernized. Still most of the scenes were predictable and a bit cliche-ic but still funny all the same.

It is something that the whole family would enjoy watching. Parents with their kids would get their money’s worth from watching this on the big screen but for all others, it’s ok to just wait for the DVD and rent it.

Nowhere To Go · Reviews

1408 by Mikael Hafstrom

Wonderfully done. Not perfect but not that bad to see as well.

Technical-wise, cinematography was consistent. Director Mikael Hafstrom wanted the whole film to be tinged with yellow and it was shown throughout the film. Production design was up to par. Especially the room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel in NYC where almost everything happened.

John Cusack’s (Mike Enslin) acting is commendable as well. He did really well especially since the whole film actually centered on him alone and the room he was battling with. Samuel Jackson (Mr. Olin) just appeared for a few moments but was still crucial to the whole story too. And he and John Cusack had some really clever and witty conversations. Especially when John Cusack’s character Mike Enslin was insisting with Mr. Olin (Jackson) that he really wanted to stay in room 1408 and that none of the stories and reports that Mr. Olin was presenting to him would dissuade him from going into that room.

Plot-wise, it was a masterpiece. It would drive you to the brink of insanity just by thinking of what Mike Enslin was going through while staying in the god-forsaken room. Since it was based on Stephen King’s short story from the collection “Everything’s Eventual”, it was definitely bound to be a success. Though the screenplay writers put a bit of a back story to Mike’s life just to play with it a little, it still worked well and was consistent with the original story.

Go watch it and have the ride of your life in an hour with the well known room 1408 at the Dolphin Hotel. Why just an hour? Go figure it out. 🙂

Nowhere To Go · Reviews

Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix by David Yates

*Warning. Major Spoilers Ahead*

I was such in awe after watching OoTP that I was so dazed and walking like Luna Lovegood (all dreamy and smiling to myself) when I got out of the theaters.

Sure, if you read the book and you’re one of those people that are “by-the-book” then you can get disappointed somewhat by this film rendition of the 5th installment of the HP series. But if you watch it like you’ve never read the book or watch it and see the important plot details instead of counting what was missing, then you’ll definitely have one helluva fun watching it.

Director David Yates outdid himself on this film. Imagine, having an 800-paged book compressed into a 2 and a half hour movie? That was not peanuts, I tell you. And with him and his crew working on the film and maintaining the whole story without making it look like it was just spliced and then stuck together – means that they were doing well on their job and were not lazy. There were a lot of scenes that were deleted from the movie that are quite unimportant (but I was sorely disappointed when they didn’t show Quidditch and Harry’s redeeming interview with The Quibbler) but the major plot lines were all incorporated so one can easily follow the story and flow of the film from there. Although it was a bit fast-paced and if you haven’t read the book, then you might find yourself asking, “Wait, what happened again?” But still it was easily understandable.

Technical wise – the movie was a huge success in that aspect. Cinematography deserves a 10 star and a big applause. OoTP, of course, was darker and eerier than the 4 previous movies and the whole movie looked like that and maintained that feel. Special effects were also marvelously done. The Thestrals were so real and eerily elegant. The battle at the Department of Mysteries was something that would make your eyes pop, especially the battle between Dumbledore and Voldemort towards the end. The way they were shooting magic at each other can put Gandalf vs. Saruman to shame. Set designs were something to behold too. The Ministry of Magic Lobby, the hallway at the Department of Mysteries, the DA meeting place at the Room of Requirement, Grimmauld Place – the best being was the MoM lobby. It looked so real also especially the floo networks and the golden fountain at the middle. It was sad to see them get blasted during the battle at the end. Editing was done really well despite it being fast-paced. The incorporations of scenes from the previous movies also helped and made the whole story clearer to those who haven’t really read the book yet.

Acting wise – the Golden Trio grew in their abilities and acting skills in this movie. The way they were interacting with each other showed how far along they had already gone. They grew with the series and they grew with their characters. They were saying a lot of things already without even saying anything verbally and that was saying something. Get what I mean? Especially Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter). His acting was so raw, so real that I was able to feel his rage, his anger, his need for revenge when his godfather died, his determination in leading his classmates in the D.A., his grief and loss towards the end. I’m also glad that this time around, when you really look closely at his eyes, it was vividly green. 🙂 Although I was a bit disappointed since he doesn’t have messy jet black hair anymore in this film due to the fact that he cut it short.

Michael Gambon (Albus Dumbledore) was a lot better in this film than in the previous ones. I was able to see a bit of that Dumbledore we all loved when Richard Harris played that part. Although he still wasn’t the twinkly-eyed Dumbledore we all love, he played the enigmatic and dramatic Dumbledore that suited the film, what with all the drama being portrayed in the whole movie. Overall, his performance was still commendable.

Imelda Staunton as Delores Umbridge was magnificent in this film as well. Her delivery of Umbridge was so precise that you would hate her from the moment you laid your eyes on her exactly as how you felt when reading the book. Her “Hem, hem” and fake smiles towards the Hogwarts students were really something and casting her for this role was the perfect idea.

Evanna Lynch portraying Luna Lovegood was also something to behold. She was perfect as Loony Luna. Her dreamy looks and weird demeanor shone like no other. I wouldn’t have any other actress for this role other than her. She was perfect for the part. It would have been really witty and funnier though had she laughed at all of Ron’s antics. 🙂

Some of the other actors though were not given much screen time due to the time constraint. I think most of the actors were not actually given much screen time. Even Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint). It was sad in a way but hey – the story pulled through even with that constraint. I missed Molly Weasley (Julie Walters), Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), Snape (Alan Rickman), McGonagall (Maggie Smith), Ginny (Bonnie Wright) and Draco (Tom Felton). It was good to see a lot of Sirius (Gary Oldman) though and a bit of Remus (David Thewlis). Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) was of course, still very creepy and eerie looking and his deliverance as the most evil wizard at that time was tremendous. Even if these actors were not much seen, they still gave their best performances and contributed well enough to the story.

Newcomers to the series also were marvelous. Natalia Tena (Nymphadora Tonks) was funny back at Grimmauld Place and she was exactly how I thought she would look like, rocker chick with all the rocker accessories, purple hair and really clumsy. George Harris as Kingsley Shacklebolt was exactly how I imagined as well. I was blown away though by Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham Carter). Even if she was only granted a few minutes on-screen, her chilling laugh chilled me to the bone that I got goosebumps all over me when she was taunting Harry at the MoM lobby and when she was blasted out of Azkaban. Her demeanor was so freaky that you wouldn’t really want to be at the end of her torturous wand. I have no qualms at all with the cast. Everybody delivered, everybody did great.

Scenes to really look forward to while watching the film are – the D.A meetings held in secret with Filch always close at their heels, Fred and George Weasley’s departure from Hogwarts (though I believe that could have been done even more extravagant than what was shown in the film), the appearance of Grimmauld Place when they arrived in London, the “rescuing of Sirius” of the Golden Trio together with Luna, Ginny and Neville over at the Department of Mysteries, the battle at the Veil Room (where the death of Sirius happened. By the way, the effects done here were really magnificent especially the way they battled and how you can easily depict who was light and who was dark), the battle of Dumbledore and Voldemort at the MoM lobby and finally, the possession of Harry by Voldemort. That was the most unnerving part for me when you could see Voldemort residing in Harry’s body through his eyes. I was able to feel his anguish as he was writhing in pain on the floor with glass and debris all around him. Daniel’s acting there was totally superb.

Basically, the whole film is something to look forward to – whether or not you’re a Harry Potter fan. Well, most of you reading this probably know or have figured out that I am definitely a die-hard fan of Harry Potter. I could rave and rave more about this one but I could definitely assure you that this review is not biased because of that. I would know a trashy film when I see one. The fourth film didn’t live up to the HP saga, the first two HP films were marvelously done and most say were “by-the-book” and the third film was as good as this 5th installment. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix has its flaws but hey – overall, you gotta admit, it was really very good.

Watch it and see for yourself. Enter the magical world of Harry Potter. 🙂