Saturday, March 22, 2014

GadjetJax reviews Despicable Me 2

Round 3, FIGHT!!
In 2010, the world witnessed Despicable Me, which ended up being one of the highest-grossing movies of the year, and the movie's main characters, the Minions, have become almost as recognizable as the likes of Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, and Super Mario. 
And last year, Illumination Entertainment released a sequel, which single-handedly won over the rest of the competition by being the best-selling movie of that summer, next to Iron Man 3.
But by quality, how good is it?
Well, the story picks up right where the original left it. Gru, the main protagonist(or is it 'antagonist'?) has quit his hobby as a villain and now has been recruited as a member of the 'Anti-Villain League'. As a whole, I found the story to be quite enjoyable. All the original voice talents have been brought back, like Steve Carell, and new characters have equally good voice acting. Also, the music is great, as there is use of fan-favorite tracks like 'YMCA by The Village People', and 'Happy by Pharrell Williams'. The jokes are also quite funny, even though they are clearly intended for young children.
That being said though, Despicable Me 2 is not perfect. The movie tries to confuse viewers into believing things that contradict with things the audience already knows. Also, many jokes are put in the just in hopes of getting cheap toilet laughs out of little kids.
But the most glaring issue of all is that a lot of major characters from the original did not appear. I can understand shifting focus to a new cast to keep the audience entertained, but because of this, a lot of potential jokes that could have been really funny had to be omitted. I could never look past that.
However, issues aside, Despicable Me 2 is a worthy sequel, and is surely worth your time. Just see the original first, okay? With an excellent soundtrack, hilarious animation, and original voice acting, Despicable Me 2 earns the recommendable score of...
7.6 ENTERTAINING
+ Voice Talents and OST
+ For all ages
- Contradictory plot twists
- lack of returning characters
Until Next Time: Toy Story!
This is GadgetJax, signing out. *click*

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Short book reviews from Lily

The Diary of a Young GirlAnne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl, is a vivid description of World War II in the eyes of … well… a young girl. While I read this book I couldn’t help but feel guilty over the fact that I was reading her very own diary. But overlooking that fact, the book’s unique format was intriguing and had very vivid descriptions of her life. I am glad I read this book.


And now to conclude this entry I will also suggest the following titles and which I know I have mentioned before:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, by Rick Riordan, has five books and also a second series called The Heroes of Olympus also five books long, with the fifth premiering October 7th this year.

The Cane Chronicles Trilogy also by Rick Riordan.
The Thirty-Nine Clues a collection of books written by several separate authors, there are also two other connected series called The Thirty-Nine Clues Cahill’s versus Vespers, and also The Thirty-Nine Clues Unstoppable.

Between the Lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer.
And some new ones:
It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.
The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Teen Tech Week

Join us at the Highland Library for Teen Tech Week!  

March 10 through March 15, 2014.  Tonight, March 10 we're making catapults, structures, and targets as well as designing them.
 
And besides that......we have a week long drawing for a $10 gift card.  Just tell us what your favorite technology and/or social media is.  If we draw your name...well....you're the winner!!!!

 

GadjetJax Reviews TANGLED



Part 2 of my look at 3D animated movies!
FIGHT!

We all know the story of Rapunzel, right? Princess with long hair, locked in a tower, all that jazz? So, how could Disney turn something that could be told in 1 paragraph into an award-winning, feature-film? We all hold Disney dear to our hearts, and, goodness me, I can't believe they didn't think of this sooner.     



The reason Tangled is so good is because it didn't NEED to copy the source material(*cough cough* unlike: http://www.highlandteens.blogspot.com/2014/03/gadjetjax-reviews-how-to-train-your.html cough). As long as the movie featured a long-haired princess in a tower, then it was faithful. Tangled's strength comes from it's ability to make a story that's appealing to ALL audiences, not just the demographic of 5-year-old girls. Darn it, I'm a male Teenager, and I still was able to smile more than once. Another thing that makes this such a good movie is that it has emphasis on both the male and female lead roles, Rapunzel and Flynn. Flynn stole a satchel, Rapunzel finds that satchel, and tells Flynn she'll give it back if he promises to help her leave her tower. There are lots of nice references to pop culture and quite a lot of comedy scenes to keep all ages entertained.
 
However, despite all this, I do have a couple problems with this movie...
the biggest issue with this movie is that...
                       .......there aren't any bad things to say about it! I mean, sure, it's not the best movie ever, but it really does nothing wrong, and saying that, I award Tangled the highly coveted and elusive score of...
 
10 FLAWLESS
+ Full Appeal
+ Really Funny
+ Good portioning between load roles
Next time... Despicable Me 2
 

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Review of Ashfall


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By some chance, the scientific measurement for a super volcano eruption shows it could be overdue. You can find out more in the book, Ashfall written by Mike Mullen.
In Yellowstone National park, Alex was being left alone for the weekend. Alex was so excited, to him it meant freedom and doing what he wanted without getting in trouble from his parents. The climax starts to rise when the super volcano erupts, plunging the world into darkness, filled with ash. Alex is in great danger.

As Alex searches for his family, he finds help in Darla, his traveling partner. As a team they must find the power and the skill to survive, while they encounter other dangerous characters.

I hope you will take the time to read this book and will love the thrill of it as much as I did!!

Miranda

Divergent Cover


What do you think of the new cover for the book?  

Monday, March 3, 2014

Divergent - Don't forget to read the book before the movie comes out!!


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I hope you will want to read Divergent by Veronica Roth. The setting of the story takes place in futuristic Chicago, Ill. It describes and abandoned version of Chicago, the buildings, Navy Pier, streets, and so much more.

Our main character, Beatrice changes her name to Tris. She is 16, short, with long blond hair, and all of her choices are key for one main choice. Tris often finds herself making choices out of courage, knowing that the results can affect the people she cares about most.

I found this book to be thrilling, nerve-racking, angry. The most exciting party is when Tris has to take a test to find out who she is. Being a Divergent is not a good thing, and Tris finds out she is one and is now in danger. At this turning point, it makes the book even more thrilling as secrets are unfolding and you don’t really know the truth.

This book taught me that being brave may not be the easy choice, but it’s the better choice.

Miranda

GadjetJax Reviews How To Train Your Dragon


   My first movie review... wow... actually, this is the first if a 5-post series where I'll be having a look at 3D animated movies. You've already seen the title of the movie I'm reviewing at the top of the page, so an intro is not required. And without further ado...
ROUND 1, FIGHT!
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When I first saw How To Train Your Dragon in the theaters, I was suddenly inspired to read the books that the movie is based on, and they were equally good. Months later, when I heard the movie was coming to DVD, I flipped. Figuratively, of course. And then, when the time came to watch it again, I popped some microwave 'corn, opened a can of 'oca-'ola, and said to myself...
"What, are you serious, Dreamworks?"
I guess I was blinded by my youth state, but after reading the books, I starting liking the movie less and less...
 
Company's are always taking popular books and turning them into blockbuster hits. Most of the time, they're good(Narnia, Hobbit, etc.). Sometimes, they're bad(The Lightning thief, etc), and unfortunately, How to Train Your Dragon (The movie, not the book) falls into this trope- No, not fall, but SKYDIVE FROM THE TOP OF THE SEARS- wait, WILLIS TOWER!

Listen, I can respect a company for taking a beloved story and changing it around in order to make a fresh new experience for the audience, but How to Train Your Dragon takes the names of characters, and that's pretty much it. The story has nothing to do with the superior books at all. In fact, if they didn't have similar names to the characters in the books, you wouldn't be able to tell at all that it was supposed to relate to the books.

Now, for this review, I am going to ignore all source material and focus on the movie. And, to tell the truth, even when you act like it's unrelated to the books, it's not a very good movie. Characters have unnecessary quotes just for the sake of being funny. The movie tries too hard to make you feel attached to the movie, but, aside from Hiccup, the main character, none of the characters are inherently memorable because they are overshadowed by the significance of the protagonist, Hiccup.

I would cut it some slack and respect it for having a great soundtrack, and just as great visuals to match. But, with a lackluster story, unremarkable cast, and poor use of source material, How To Train Your Dragon gets the miserable score of...
 
4.7 POOR
+ Soundtrack and Visuals
- Source Material
- Characters
- Umm... paaannntttss????
 
This is GadgetJax, and coming up next in this 5-post series is TANGLED BY WALT DISNEY. Signing out. *Click*