blo Teens Read and Write: July 2012

Monday, July 30, 2012

Movie Review: The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises

Today is super awesome super hero movie review double whammy! Not one but TWO awesome reviews featuring two of this summers best films, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Dark Knight Rises

The Amazing Spider-Man -Directed by Marc WebbStarring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Ifans
The Amazing Spider-Man is a reboot of the popular franchise and easily my favorite of the series, easily beating out the 2002 Toby Maguire version.

Although we've heard the origin story many times this film portrays it in a more realistic and progressive way. We see how Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) struggles with learning his new powers instead of just suddenly being awesome at them. Some people complained that this Peter is a bit more "hipstery" but I found him easier to relate to and more enjoyable. The story is also lighter and more colorful than the original - more like a comic book, less like a drama. 

Peter and Gwen (Emma Stone) have terrific chemistry which makes their budding romance a treat to watch. (It isn't surprising that they're dating in real life.) And I liked how Gwen is a strong, smart character rather than a helpless ninny. She actually helps solve the problems.

Dr. Curt Conners aka Lizard (Rhys Ifans) also does an excellent job playing a villain with complexity and inner conflict. 

A backstory thread raises many intriguing questions about Peter's father and I can't wait to see where that goes in future movies. 

I also liked how Spider-Man moved - quick, agile, and employing lots of momentum. It was less about strength and more about speed and dexterity which made the action scenes more intense and exciting to watch.

Overall better cast, better story, and tons more fun!

The Dark Knight RisesDirected by Christopher NolanStarring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Michael Cane, Morgan Freeman, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marion Cotillard 
The Dark Knight Rises is the final installment of Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight Trilogy and it does not disappoint. In fact, it was amazingly awesome!

Eight years have passed since The Dark Knight and both Batman and Bruce Wayne have been living in exile, but when a new terrorist leader, Bane emerges, Wayne redons the cape to save Gotham.

I wept tears of joy and awe when the credits started rolling. I have never been so satisfied with a conclusion in my life. This film accounts for every little detail and plot line in all of the previous movies and incorporates them beautifully. This is backed by a fabulous cast including series new comers Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Marion Coutillard. 

While Hardy's Bane is no match for Heath Ledger's Joker, his performance gave me chills and endless quotes. His imposing stature and precise diction made for a villain with both brains and brawn. I was also very skeptical of Hathaway as Selina  Kyle/Catwoman but by the end she was one of my favorite characters. Her sexy, seductive, street smart character was a departure from previous roles but she nailed it.

The twists are shocking yet layered with perfection as you look back over the movie, which makes seeing the film a second time all the more enjoyable as you catch the clues.

I also highly recommend seeing the film in IMAX. After enjoying it in both standard and IMAX I can attest to the later as the superior format. The majority of the movie was shot in 70mm format which makes for some impressive shots and truly immerses you in the story.

If you are looking for powerful drama with tremendous action, suspense, emotion, complexity, and make-you-gasp surprises, as well as a stunning conclusion to one of the greatest trilogies of all time, go see The Dark Knight Rises!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

HUNGER GAMES Trilogy Latest Movie News

The HUNGER GAMES sequel, CATCHING FIRE, isn't out until November 22, 2013, but you can check the Facebook page for updated CATCHING FIRE casting news.

Philip Seymour Hoffman (love him!) is the latest addition as the new Head Gamemaker, Plutarch Heavensbee!

But can he be more fantastic than Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman? 

HUNGER GAMES was so awesome and we can't wait for CATCHING FIRE! 
How about you?
And who are your casting favs?

Oh, and Mockingjay is set to release in two parts - ugh!
Part One- 11/21/14 and Part Two - 11/20/15

And if you're dying for the HUNGER GAMES DVD, you don't have long to wait.
Look for it next month on Aug 18th!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Kelly Oram - SERIAL HOTTIE

Please welcome Kelly Oram, author of the BEING JAMIE BAKER series, and her latest exciting book, SERIAL HOTTIE, available in ebook right now for only 99 cents at Amazon and BN
As part of Kelly's blog tour she's been kind enough to guest post about sibling relationships, and you know how we love those!


One of my favorite aspects of Serial Hottie is the relationship between Ellie and her older sister Angela. Ellie suffers from what I call The Robin Complex—meaning she lives in her sister’s shadow.

Ellie and Angela are a year apart in school, and where Ellie is the hot-tempered tomboy, her sister Angel is the gorgeous, popular, flirt. At first, Ellie doesn’t get along with her sister. She claims it’s because Angela is evil, but eventually she realizes that it’s more a case of her being jealous and even a bit resentful of Angela. Ellie suffers from a deep-rooted insecurity that she didn’t even know she had.

Well, you know how they always say to write what you know? Apparently I do this on a subconscious level.

When I wrote Serial Hottie my older sister Robin was one of the first people I gave it to. After she read it she came back to me with the biggest frown I’ve ever seen. I freaked out, immediately assuming she hated it. With that one frown I convinced myself in less that five seconds that the book sucked and everyone in the world was going to hate it. Only she didn’t hate it. She actually really liked it. The frown was for something else entirely. Something I’d never even thought of.

When she saw me after she read it, the first words out of her mouth were, “I’m Angela!”

“No, you’re not!” I immediately protested. I meant it too.

Then, from the other room my husband, who’d already read the manuscript, yelled, “Oh, yeah. She’s totally Angela!”

For the record, Robin is not Angela. (And I am not Ellie.) However, the relationship between the two of them is pretty spot-on with how my sister and I treated each other growing up. I suffered from The Robin Complex big time. We were best friends as kids, and then we hit puberty and it became uncool to like your family. We steered as clear of each other as we could all the way through college.

It wasn’t until I got married and moved hundreds of miles away from her that we were finally able to start liking each other again. But, better late than never. Robin is now one of my best friends, lives ten minutes away from me, and hangs out with me two to three times a week. We even had the same due date with our last babies! (Well, her last baby. I’ve had another baby since then because I’m crazy.)

Anyway, I think that how my sister and I turned out, and how much I love and appreciate her now, has a lot to do with there being more depth to Angela’s character. I think that’s why the story has a little bit of heart to it. I couldn’t make Angela a true Mean Girl because I wanted Ellie to like her sister. I wanted her to have the kind of relationship I have with my sister because there’s really nothing quite like having your sister be your best friend. 


Awesome! We're so glad to hear how close you and your sister are! And thanks for stopping by. 

Also, don't forget to check out the synopsis below and remember for the next couple of days you can buy the ebook of SERIAL HOTTIE for only 99 cents at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

And just for fun, how about we giveaway an ebook! Or better yet, how about FOUR! But the contest is a fast one so hurry!

  • Open to those with a Kindle or Nook
  • Ends July 10 (that's tomorrow!) at Noon PST
  • Fill out the Rafflecopter Form Below
  • Extra 2 entries for answering in the comments: "Who is your favorite literary sleuth/detective?"
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ellie’s sweet sixteen is a summer of firsts. First car. First kiss. First boyfriend. First serial-killing stalker?
Hockey-obsessed tomboy Eleanor Westley has never been the object of a guy’s affection before. So when the hottest boy she’s ever seen moves in across the street and starts treating her like she’s the center of his universe, naturally she’s going to be a little skeptical. But everything starts to make sense when girls who look just like Ellie start dying all around the city. Obviously the new guy is the killer, and of course he only likes her because he wants to slice her into tiny pieces. Right?
The more Ellie gets to know Seth the more she’s convinced he’s a psychopathic killer. The problem is he’s the sweetest psychopathic killer she’s ever met. Not to mention he’s brutally hot. No matter how hard she tries, she can’t help but fall for him. Will Ellie find true love, or will her summer of firsts turn out to be a summer of lasts?

About the Author
Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen–a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and loves to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children.

 Follow the SERIAL HOTTIE Blog Tour

We're Back!

We took some time off for some personal family stuff but we're back now and hope you're having a safe and super awesome summer! 

Can't wait to catch up with everyone!

Love you all!

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