Books to Big Screen: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey

So I’ve seen both the 3D HFR (High Frame Rate) and 2D version of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and I’m currently re-reading the book by J.R.R Tolkein, so I thought I would share my thoughts on both the film and the first third of the book corresponding to it.

So firstly, let’s discuss the book.

The film corresponds to the first six chapters of the book. My thoughts on the book are that the length of the content was just right. My favourite parts of the book was the part with Gollum. I love that scene in the film as well. The Hobbit has a much lighter feel that The Lord of the Rings and as a result is open to more humour and I found it more fun to read, where as LOTR was more intense and I wanted to know what was going to happen next. With The Hobbit, I felt like I was going along for the adventure.

Overall, I feel that the plot moves at a nice pace and no corner relating to the integral plot is lacking. I love the songs that are interpreted into the book and my hope is that the films with continue to do so. The characters where all likable and I felt that the dwarves interacted well with each other. No one was really left without any development which isn’t as present in the first film.

Now moving on to the film.

Firstly, I want to talk about the acting and the actors who played various roles. I want to congratulate Martin Freeman on a brilliant depiction of Bilbo Baggins. I was worried that because another actor had already played the role they may bring different feels of who the character is, but hats off to Freeman who really capture the feel of the character and also was able to convince me that he and the previous actor were the same character.

Of the dwarves my favourite were Balin, Bofur and Thorin. James Nesbit as Bofur plays a very light hearted and witty character. His accent also stands out from the rest of the dwarves so his character is particularly memorable. Thorin, played by Richard Armitage, was more stern in the film than the book I felt, though this may change in the two yet to come. Balin was exactly as I imagined he would be and this is one of the reasons I loved his character so much. He was cheerful and wise and looked like he would be the kind of dwarf who would look after you in any situation.

Moving on from the acting and to the changes from the book. There are a couple of key differences to the plot that don’t take away too much from the overall quest, but I feel give the film a bit less of a constant motion. The scene in Rivendell, where we see cameos from Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Christopher Lee as Saruman was a particularly unexpected scene but I felt changed the pace of the film and prevented most of the clips to be of Thorin and Company running through the East Road and the Misty Mountains.

I had two favourite scenes throughout and they are the scenes with Gollum and Radagast. Simply because I love both of these characters. I think Andy Serkis does a brilliant job as Gollum, yet again, and this scene was just as tense and amusing as I anticipated. I really felt that Serkis and Freeman worked well together in creating this intense atmosphere.

Lastly, I wanted to comment about the 3D HFR vs 2D. Personally, I loved both versions. Normally, I hate going to see a film in 3D because the glasses are a pain (because they don’t fit very well over the ones I wear on a day to day basis) and most of the time the 3D isn’t necessary. However, the glasses in my cinema had changed so I didn’t have to sit pushing them back onto my nose the whole film and could enjoy the detail the went into the movements. The HFR was definitely noticable and made the picture gained an enhanced clarity and was visibly smoother. Not only that but the 3D wasn’t just bits of the film flying towards you, I could see actual depth to the scene and this really impressed me. Definitely my best experience with 3D so far.

Also seen on Brit Writers Blog

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New Year’s Resolutions of 2013

Happy New Year everybody! Here are my new years resolutions:

Misc:
  • Take more pictures
  • Learn more technical information about photography

Reading:

  • Read 50 Books (5 classics, 5 debuts, 5 of a genre I wouldn’t normally read)
  • Review Every Book I Read  (Blog or Video)

Writing:

  • Write one blog a week
  • Finish my novel
  • Write 5 short stories

Misc:

  • Lose another Stone
  • Draw More
  • Learn to play the guitar

 

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Christmas Giveaway!

 

So everyone,
I’ve decided to spread the Christmas spirit by holding my first giveaway! It will be international as long as the Book Depository ships to your country!
The Giveaway will run until the 25th December and I will contact the winner on Boxing Day and give them until the 1st to contact me back before picking someone else.
The prize is a book of your choice up to the value of £10 (or your respective currency equivalent) from the Book Depository.
To be eligible to enter you must do one of the following (if you’d like to do all three then I would much appreciate it):

 

To enter please comment on this blog post saying which of the 3 places you follow me on, your username and what book you would like to win (please check The Book Depository before you do) and i will count the comments and use random.org.

You can also enter for a second chance to win on my Youtube Video about this giveaway:

Please remember I will need to ask for your address so if you are under 16 please get permission from your parents/guardians.
I wish you all the best of luck and hope you have a very merry Christmas!
P.S I reserve the right to change or cancel the giveaway at any point.
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Review: The World’s Wife by Carol Ann Duffy

The Worlds Wife Carol Ann Duffy

It’s not often that I find a full collection of poetry by a poet to intrigue me. I normally find two or three that catch my eye, but I find I prefer to read a breadth of poets. However, every so often I come across a collection that is so well collated and has a brilliant meaning that I can’t help but get excited by reading it.

Carol Ann Duffy’s The World’s Wife does just that. The collection takes figures from factual, fictional, mythical and fairy tale history, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Dr. Faustus and Freud, and creates a feminist viewpoint. The poems are written from the view of these figures (if they are already female), their wife’s or have been portrayed as female themselves (The Kray Sisters). The poems can be sinister like Mrs Faust or romantic like Anne Hathaway and are chosen for the topic of discussion of many academic curriculum because of their feminist approach.

My favourite of the collection has to be Anne Hathaway. Shakespeare’s romances have wooed us all for just under 400 years. Whether they end tragically or romantically, we remember them because of his lyrical writing skill and I think Duffy attempts to imitate this with her extended metaphor for Shakespeare’s work and their sex life. He bequeathed his wife their second best bed and the poem stems from this one line of his will; this is one of the reasons I love this poem so much.

Anyone that knows me personally is aware that my favourite Disney film is The Beauty and the Beast. So naturally, I was very intrigued by Duffy’s take on the tale, in the form of Mrs Beast. This poem was quite a refreshing surpise for me with cameos from The Little Mermaid and Goldilocks etc. It takes the Prince and Princess ‘lifestyle’ and bears all its hidden animosity. Claiming that sex with the Beast is better, Duffy uses fairytales to bring to light the truth about love and how you should see all the sides to a person before you get into a complex relationship with them.

These are just a couple of the poems that I found stuck out for me in the collection, but there are plenty more brilliant pieces, such as Little Red Cap and Mrs Midas, that I also really enjoyed and suggest you check out.

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A Community of Writers

Howling Reviews Emma PetfieldLast weekend I experienced something very surreal for me. I never thought at the age of nineteen I would be attending The Brit Writer’s Awards 2012. I would like to start this blog by saying thank you to everyone involved in the organisation of the event because I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I feel so much gratitude to those that invited me and worked to make the event a success.
I was lucky enough to be granted a behind the scenes look at the event arriving slightly earlier than other guests. I filmed some of the preparation from sound checks to last minute dance practices. It was very fun to see everyone rushing around making sure all the last minute details were fixed and, after a slight reception panic, I found myself meeting all of the guests in turn.
This was a pleasant way to start the event because it eased my nerves and everyone was very lovely to meet.
After this, we were all lead into the dining area and I loved the table settings they were simple with a three piece candle set in the centre that reminded my fondly of Lumière from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Everything was pristine and beautifully set out. I was actually sat with Maia Walczak another blogger from this site and you can see her account of the night here.
The event began and people from all ages, cultures and continents joined together in celebrating the craft of writing and what it means to write. The development of writers is key and I discovered just how enabling Brit Writers are as a company but also as a community. Everyone was supportive of the winners. I was just upset that I couldn’t hearany of their work. I’m sure i twill be available at some point.
Winners were presented with opportunities as well as recognition, but in my eyes all of the finalists were winners.
This event was mostly a chance for me to connect with other writers and network because it was the first exposure I’ve had to writing as a profession rather than a hobby. I must say that I was thrilled with the diversity of people I had the opportunity to speak to and I look forward to speaking to again.
Writers are often portrayed as solitary souls in previous centuries and I think that writing has become a tighter community in the past few decades. Especially with the innovation of the internet enabling writers to communicate easily across countries.
I also attended my first creative writing workshop today. I was so nervous because I had never had my writing critiqued in front of strangers before. It’s different when you read a comment on a screen, but I’m so glad I did. The nausea subsided when people started discussing my work in a constructive way and I feel that I came away from the workshop feeling confident and inspired to edit and review my work.
That is something that Brit Writers has created for me. A community.

 

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NaNoWriMo: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

I have only participated in National Novel Writing Month once (which was 2 years ago now) and I did
thoroughly enjoy taking the time to do so. There was a feeling of elation as I hit 50,000 words that
cannot be compared to any other achievement.

For those unaware, NaNoWriMo is a challenge set to people, who may or may not consider
themselves to be writers, to write a novel in 30 day. For the purpose of the challenge, a novel is
distinguished as 50,000 words, which works out at around 1667 words a day.

NaNoWriMo is a good way to break the barriers of writer’s block, not having time or not being
focused enough and I learnt from it that if I really focus on something that I could actually write a
novel if I wanted to. And I do want to.

On the other hand, I do find that NaNoWriMo can give people a sense of false hope, insofar as they
believe having written a novel in 30 days they are publishable. This is highly unlikely. I’ll be the first
to admit that even though NaNoWriMo was a milestone for me and I’m proud to have completed it,
I wouldn’t dare show anyone the novel that I’d written.

I chose to go over my novel a few months ago to see if it was something that I could pick back up,
because I loved the idea and did think that I could produce some good work with it, if I started from
scratch and really worked through the plot. What I didn’t realise was that I had walked into a 17
year old mind with a somewhat dubious grip of complex grammar and even the odd spelling mistake
(even though I’m an English student, I’m far from excellent and I’ll never be a grammarian). It was
quite an experience.

What I can say is that, looking back on my NaNoWriMo novel has helped me to realise how far I have
progressed as a writer in that period of time and that I now have the ability to go over my work and
edit it to a degree that makes me happy. I also wonder if 21 year old me will go back to the novel
again and wonder what on earth the present me was writing, but I’ll have to wait to find out.

I do advise that you try out NaNoWriMo, they run a ‘camp’ all year round if you can’t participate
in November. I think it is a useful for understanding yourself as a writer. It helps you find out what
makes you tick and motivates you to keep going, because having the motivation to write can be just
as important as the words themselves.

‘This post can also be read at Brit Writers

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Read for RNIB Day

Yesterday was Read for RNIB Day and, as a way of helping to raise awareness for the cause, a few other Youtubers and I have read the whole of Alice in Wonderland Chapter by Chapter. The videos are currently being recorded and posted over the next few weeks but if you’re interested in watching them I’ll list the participants below. I’m thinking of taking this further and having people read the sequel too so if you’re interested in participating then please email KyraWolf0289@gmail.com.

  1. KyraWolf289
  2. BooksandQuills
  3. eLizzie Books
  4. PadfootandOccasionallyProngs
  5. missxrojas
  6. Marion Honey
  7. JessetheReader
  8. AlienDoodles
  9. Booksbythedozen
  10. DelilahReede
  11. TurningPages90
  12. Little Book Owl
RNIB (Royal National Institute for Blind People) hugely support braille, large print and audio recorded books for those who are blind and partially-sighted and they hold events to fundraise and raise awareness for their cause. This is a great charity and they deserve all the support they can! So get involved by challenging yourself or holding an event!
Kyra x
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Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone By Laini Taylor

Daughter of smoke and bone laini taylor


Find the book here!

Looking for a wish? Then this book is the exact place to find one.

This book was something I had heard a lot of hype about and was itching to get my hands on so it was only natural that I finished it pretty quickly, because once I picked it up I could hardly put it down. Laini Taylor has created a world where mythical beings take a new perspective and keeping your teeth has never been more important.
So this book follows the life of Karou who was raised by Brimstone a Chimaera and she collects teeth for him in return for wishes. Things become complicated when the Seraphs learn of Brimstone’s existence and before she realises Karou’s life is turned upside down and she has to trust the people she is told to run from. But there are other things that Karou doesn’t know that change her view of the worlds she lives in forever.
I would like to start off my saying that this book was a breath of fresh air because it combined an unusual duo of species that I have never encountered before. Chimaera are beings that have various body parts from several animals. For example, Brimstone has a ram’s head and the legs of a lion. On the other hand Seraphim are similar to angels in so far as that they have wings and they are beings of godly creation. The combination of these characters is really unique and because Karou is of a Chimaera perspective it also challenges the views that people have of angels.
The protagonist Karou is a well-developed character. She has a love of art and languages and, as well as attending art school, she also happens to be an errand girl. With eccentric blue hair, it is easy to tell from the start that she has a unique personality and I would happily spend some time with her at the Poison Kitchen at ‘Pestilence’. She is a dreamer and because of this she is always looking for more from her worlds. She is curious by nature and this leads her into a lot of perilous positions
without realising.
In contrast we are introduced to Akiva a slightly obsessive, stalker Seraph who becomes infatuated with Karou but doesn’t quite know why. The plot thickens significantly when he discovers why she is so important to him and one of my favourite features of the book is the section that introduces us to his past. His character is somewhat dis-likable at the beginning but after this discovery I felt a lot of empathy towards him and genuinely felt sorry for the struggles he faced.

Until next time guys!

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Review: The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire by Abigail Gibbs

the dark heroine abigail gibbs



Find the book here!

Having come home to see my parents for the weekend I was delighted to find that I had a package waiting for me. I couldn’t remember having ordered anything so I was happily surprised to find that I had been chosen to review “The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire” by Abigail Gibbs. I can now say that I have a highly regarded respect for the author of this book because she is living the dream. Only being 18 years of age, she is already a published author with a following of several million both on and offline and is also studying at Oxford University. She shows that age is just a number and true talent can spark at any point in life.

With regards to the publication in question, I started reading it at 7:30pm last night and finished it at 4:30am in the morning. I was truly entranced by the lexical whimsy and sarcasm of Violet Lee and her strong feminine character. It has been a while since I have read a vampire novel that has portrayed women as strong and independent. Despite her compromising situation, she stays headstrong and for those who have checked out “Canse12” on Wattpad (Abigail’s pseudonym) then you will know that both Gibbs and Violet are vegetarian. I thought it was interesting to see the author’s personality come through in such a strong component of life and this was really reflected in the character. I would be interested to meet Abigail Gibbs and discuss if any other characters have quirks that are also personal ones.

I was intrigued by the short and snappy chapters; constantly reminding myself that this book was written with a multitude of exams and other school work that a 15 year old has to deal with and being only a half a year older than the author I can empathise with her busy lifestyle. I thought the short chapters complimented the book’s narrative and the second perspective we gain when Kaspar’s point of view is introduced really locks the readers fascination with the unknown about the protagonists.

The plots all weave together neatly towards the climax of the book and leave us open to a multitude of sequels that I am dying to read. With regards to her treatment of Vampire Lore, I think she has created an interesting twist by having some of the traditional expectations but also extending them with a creative touch.

I think this book feels very much like an introduction of what could be a fantastic series and I’m almost bereft at the thought that “Autumn Rose”, book 2 of the series, will not be published til at least next year. I hope to get the chance to review that book too.

Finally, I would like to congratulate Abigail again on doing what I hope to in the future and being able to study all at the same time!

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Let the Bell Toll

The first poem I’ve written in over four months. I didn’t actually mean for the poem to come out as a concrete/visual poem but I guess luck just was in my side of the court. Anyway, I hope you like it and I will be posting a video soon as a Spoken version so keep an eye out!

Let the Bell Toll

Time.
It’s such an odd thing time.
Ever constant, yet ever changing.
And it makes me wonder, if at the chime
Of every hour, we were to think about time.
The origin of the tick tock, the too and fro.
The rhythm that you unconsciously step to and fro
As you walk down the pavement to your destination.
Be it work, school, or the swimming class where the teacher
Tries to get you to do lengths to a clock that spins with such a
Distinct speed that you find yourself watching it complete
A track of its own. Start to finish. Twelve to twelve. 360 degrees.
No matter how you say it, it still accomplishes the same thing.
And that’s the beauty about time you see. You find with ease
That the clock with tell you the truth about your place in all that is.
The clock that sits above your fire place or your chest of drawers.
The grandfather clock that proudly rings with delight at the coming
Of each new hour and with it new opportunities. Striking awe
Into the grandchildren who run down the corridor,
not yet grasping the magnitude
Of his helping hands.

Ciao for now! x

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