Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2.

Hey, everyone! I hope you're doing well. I have read SO many books lately that I have a big list of book reviews to do, haha. So let's begin with one which is being completely hyped up right now (without spoilers)!

This is, of course, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. This is what everyone is talking about right now - the hype is real! I know I've put 'book review' but this isn't a book. It is a two part West End stage play written by Jack Thorne based on an original new story by Thorne, John Tiffany and J.K. Rowling. It is a rehearsal script, not a novelisation of the play, but it is the eighth story set in the Harry Potter universe.

The Background
Set 19 years after Voldemort's defeat, the script picks up where the seventh book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, ended. Harry Potter is now the Head of Magical Law Enforcement and has three children with his wife Ginny Weasley: James Sirius, Albus Severus and Lily Luna. Hermione Granger is now Minister of Magic and also has two children with Ron Weasley: Rose and Hugo. This story follows Harry's son Albus' journey as he struggles to cope with being put in Slytherin and being different to his father. He becomes close friends with Draco Malfoy's son, Scorpius, on this new adventure.

My Thoughts
I don't know if anyone else felt like this but when the story picked up from where the last book/film ended, it made me feel all nostalgic and like a kid again. I have really missed waiting for a new Harry Potter book or film to come out every single year since the last film came out in 2011.

In the beginning, the script really made you feel like you were picking up from where we last saw Harry. The story overall was pretty good, I enjoyed reading it. It was great seeing where Harry, Ron and Hermione were like as adults and how they have grown to become who they are. 

It was also refreshing to see that Harry still suffers from his past (morbid, I know) because he went through ALOT as a kid if you think about it. So it's good that his traumatic past isn't just glossed over. Nobody would be 100% fine with everything  that he went through! His dreams and feelings of resentment are expertly described and played out perfectly. 

It was lovely seeing Ron and Hermione still being completely in love with each other all these years. Their relationship is subtly explored more throughout the script and their endless flirting and bickering is just too much for my heart to take! Especially Ron's suggestion of renewing their vows, omg!

The story itself is smart and good. I enjoyed reading how Albus and Scorpius became friends and I love their friendship despite the legendary fact that Potters and Malfoys have notoriously never gotten on with each other. They both struggle with their fathers' legacies and worry about how to live up to them with disastrous consequences.

But, as always, there's a few cons. First of all, it's a script. I knew it was a script when I was buying it but I am so disappointed they chose to do this. The entire concept and story had so much to it. It really should have been a fully fleshed out book rather than a script. Some scenes and moments were very rushed for me and I would've loved them to have been more detailed and slowed down.

Albus and Scorpius' friendship has been heavily criticised. Personally, I loved their friendship but like others I have to agree that there seems to be something more than friendship between them. Some of the dialogue between them seemed to be more romantically-inclined rather than a friendship angle. Example:

At the end of the book, I was half expecting them to get together! And that actually would've been nice to see rather than the usual heterosexual relationship ending like always.

Also, we hardly hear from Harry's other children or Hermione and Ron's. I know the story is mainly about Albus and Scorpius but it would've been nice to have seen more input from the others. I mean, particularly Rose, who seemed to have only been there to be a reminder why Albus and Scorpius can't be together as you see towards the end.

There is alot more I could criticise but I can't without spoiling the book so I will leave you to read it and make up your own minds. On the whole, I did enjoy reading a new Harry Potter book but it is far from perfect.

Have you read this? Let me know what you think!
Thankyou for reading.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Film Review: Finding Dory (2016).

Hey everyone. Sorry I've been so AWOL, I've been busy celebrating my graduation and I haven't felt the motivation to blog recently. Anyone felt like this lately? Any tips to get me back into blogging?

While I wait for answers, I have a film review for you! And it's for Finding Dory, of course. I cannot even tell you how long I have waited for a sequel to Finding Nemo and it's paid off.. after 13 years (OMG WHAT), the blue fish is back and making me cry with laughter once again. So, let's get into the background and the review (without spoilers)!

The Background
Finding Dory is the sequel to Finding Nemo and follows Dory's new adventure, a blue tang fish who suffers from short-term memory loss. The only thing she can remember is that she somehow got separated from her parents when she was a child. With the help of her old friends, Marlin and Nemo, as well as some new friends, she sets off on a new adventure to find them again. Her journey takes her to the Marine Life Institute, a conservatory that saves and looks after different species of animals from the sea.. and somewhere her parents are trapped in there.

My Thoughts
13 years is a long, long time to wait for a sequel especially for a very popular film such as Finding Nemo. But Finding Dory was absolutely fantastic! But 10 minutes in and I was already emotional, sending me some flashbacks to the first film! Goddamnit, Pixar you know how to pull on my heartstrings.

Baby Dory is possibly the cutest thing I have ever seen! Oh my god, throughout the film you get flashbacks to her and she just made my heart melt every single time. She was absolutely adorable and her story is heartbreaking.
Older Dory is just funny as always with her one liners and just her personality in general. It was great hearing Ellen Degeneres voicing the fish once more. Her journey took her to a marine conservatory which had Sigourney Weaver's voice over the intercom, telling guests about the sanctuary which added SO many laughs to this film!

The film is basically like the first one with Dory trying to find her parents just like Marlin did with Nemo. But this story really holds its own with old favourite characters coming back but also with some new hilarious additions to the cast. 

Hank the octopus... oops, the septopus, according to Dory, because he's missing one tentacle! He was a grumpy but hilarious character, helping Dory navigate her way throughout the sanctuary. Destiny the whale shark (who is short sighted) and Bailey the belgua whale (who has a brain injury) are absolutely fantastic. It's revealed that they're Dory's childhood friends which helps her remember more of her past life with hilarious consequences. 

Besides all the witty one liners and recurring jokes, the story has a wonderful message alongside it. Sure, Dory is very forgetful! Sure, Destiny can't see very far and Bailey's echo location doesn't work anymore but they're still helpful in their own way. The film teaches us that no matter what your limitations are, if you believe in yourself enough, you can do anything which is proven by Dory herself. It is a beautiful message and one I hope that children understand and apply to their own lives. It really is a great family film and a positive, good enough sequel to the first film. 

Ooh, there is also a short film called Piper before the film which was just adorable!

Have you seen this film yet? What did you think of it?
Let me know!
Thankyou for reading.