Friday, March 30, 2012

The Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack - A Music Review

I think the FOTN soundtrack is my favourite. It begins on a mysterious note with The Prophecy, then moves on to the cheerful Concerning Hobbits. Then things get serious again with The Shadow of the Past, as the movie progresses with the history of the Ring. The lovely Enya has one and a half tracks on this CD.

Below are some comments on each track of this CD. There are some SPOILERS so I have selected my comments in red so that you can skip them if you want.

1. The Prophecy - It is a mysterious beginning piece...
2. Concerning Hobbits - The first time the hobbit theme appears.
3. The Shadow of the Past - When Gandalf is telling Frodo about the Ring, how could things not get spooky? First appearance of the Mordor theme (or was that in The Prophecy?).
4. The Treason of Isengard - This one starts off at a soft note as Frodo and Sam start off (more Hobbit theme music). Then the music gets more "epic" as Gandalf rides to Isengard.
5. The Black Rider - Dare I to say that this track starts on an almost silly note? Well, it's Pippin and Merry out-of-the-blue appearance time! You can definitely hear the rolling-down-the-hill part in the music. Of course, the title suggest a Black Rider - so of course the music is not silly and happy for long.
6. At the Sign of the Prancing Pony - I can just imagine the hobbits gazing fearfully into the faces of strange, tall men.
7. A Knife in the Dark - Yes, it's dark. Hint: It has something to do with a Nazgul sword.
8. Flight to the Ford - Arwen to the rescue!
9. Many Meetings - Things are happy again and the Hobbit theme prevails in Rivendell.
10. The Council of Elrond - This lovely track starts with Enya's beautiful "Aniron" ("I Desire" in Elvish). Here, the Hobbit theme changes into the Fellowship theme.
11. The Ring Goes South - As the Fellowship start on their quest, the Fellowship theme comes along with them.
12. A Journey In the Dark - This is one of the great masterpieces of this soundtrack. End of story.
13. The Bridge of Khazad Dum - The famous dun DUN dun dundundun...
14. Lothlorien - I like this track because it's so unique from all the others on this CD.
15. The Great River - I sometimes confuse this track with Amon Hem (amazing, right?) because I haven't listened to either track all that much.
16. Amon Hem
17. The Breaking of the Fellowship - This is my favourite LOTR track of all time, from every soundtrack album. It's so beautiful...
18. May It Be - My all-time favourite Enya song, and second favourite LOTR track after The Breaking of the Fellowship. It makes me feel better when I'm depressed, and if you close your eyes and just listen to its beautiful can see a night sky full of stars. And it speaks to me...

Alyianna's rating: 11/10
I had to give this an extra number because I love this CD so much. I have played it the most of all my LOTR CDs.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hunger Games - Re-review

I know I did a review of The Hunger Games before, but I need to do it again because I found out some more information about this series through the research I have been doing the past few weeks.

I knew the series was bad, but I did not know how bad it really was until last night. But let me back up to the very beginning when I heard of this series first.

When I first saw people posting on their blogs about this series, etc. etc. I thought, "Mainstream media. No way am I allowed to read this series." But then one of my friends posted about the series on her blog and said she loved it. Then I thought, "She must know what books are bad and which aren't. Hey, this may one of the first mainstream book series that might actually be appropriate!"

So I decided to research into these books. But what I found out made me go back to my first opinion - "No way am I reading this." My dad agreed. And that was that.

Then there was a whole debate about these books in the Student Lounge in my online school - me against everyone else with my little knowledge. And the people, who loved these books admitted to me that the main character Katniss and this guy (I think his name is Peeta) slept together in the same sleeping bag. I was shocked. This is not pure at all, and gives people a bad example!

But then my mom found this review last night. My mom and I were horrified when we read it (I encourage and ask you to read this review), and we think that this series sounds even worse than Twilight and Harry Potter.

So even though I agree that Taylor Swift's two songs for The Hunger Games movies are very good (I have literally been playing and re-playing the preview for "Eyes Open" all day), I ask you - no, beg, implore, AND plead you - if you have planned on reading and/or watching this series (the movie is coming out very soon), DO NOT!!! This series is straight from Hell and is evil garbage. Protect your soul by staying away from it, and protect others by spreading the word! I already have three friends, who heard about this series and were shocked when they heard about it.

Alyianna's rating: 0 out 10

Saturday, March 10, 2012

This Time (Megan and Liz) Music Review

Genre: pop
My comments: This album is very good as a whole. Megan and Liz are definitely the best YouTube artists and I hope they go far with their music. I think "World's Gunna End" and "Princess Charming" should have been replaced with their songs "Maybe, Possibly", "Here I Go", and/or "Rest of You." Perhaps if I buy this album I'll just get these songs as well and add them in. The awesome thing about this album is that it is really cheap - only $3.99 on Itunes for for 7 songs!!!

Song List:
1. Are You Happy Now? - This is definitely Megan and Liz's best song ever. This is an anti-bullying song, and I really love mom's favourite of theirs, and maybe mine, too.
2. A Girl's Life - This song is pretty big. It took me a few listens to like it. One thing I don't like is the Twilight reference, but the rest is good...especially if you're a girl. ;)
3. Happy Never After - I think this song is okay, but it is my sister's favourite.
4. Old School Love - This is another song I had to listen to a few times to like. My favourite part is when they sing "I can't keep up. I can't keep u-u-up." I think they almost sounds like Regina Spektor then.
5. World's Gunna End - I don't really like this song.
6. Run Away - This song is very pretty. One of my friend's favourites.
7. Princess Charming - I think this song was a mistake. It's way too feminist and I don't think Megan and Liz should have stooped so long.

Alyianna's rating: 9 out of 10

The Black Cauldron Movie Review

Genre: Disney
Audience: family, kids (Though I would say perhaps older kids, like the age of 9 or 10 because this movie is darker than the typical Disney movie.)
Main characters: Taran, Princess Eilonwy, Fflewddur, and Gurgi
My comments: I really enjoyed this movie. It wasn't too bad for a perversion of the book. (Yes, I call all Disney movies that. :P) One caution...there is this one scene where Fflewddur gets changed into a frog and gets stuck in...well, I won't say what, but I didn't find it exactly appropriate. Other than that, this movie was really good besides the fact my eight-year-old sister found it a little too scary for her at the beginning...but she did get through it fine.

Alyianna's rating: 9 out of 10

Taylor Swift Music Review

Genre: country music
My comments: Taylor Swift is my favourite music artist, so I love this album. However, there are a few cautions. I prefer the music video versions of "Picture to Burn" and "Teardrops on My Guitar" because of one line of lyrics in the album versions of these songs. As it is, "Picture to Burn" is all about revenge to an ex-boyfriend. So maybe just skip this one? "Cold As You" also has a bad word in it.

But other than those few precautions, this album is awesome. So I would check it out. ;)

Song List:
1. Tim McGraw - the lead single of this album
2. Picture to Burn
3. Teardrops on My Guitar
4. A Place In This World
5. Cold As You
6. The Outside
7. Tied Together With A Smile - my favourite song on the album
8. Stay Beautiful - my mom's favourite song on this album
9. Should've Said No - this one is also a sort of revenge (though not quite) on ex-boyfriend song, but it actually isn't too bad. I've heard much worse...and I like this song. 
10. Mary's Song (Oh My My My)
11. Our Song

Bonus Track Edition:
1. I'm Only Me When I'm With You - I really like this one
2. Invisible
3. A Perfectly Good Heart
4. Teardrops On My Guitar (pop version)

Alyianna's rating: 9.8 out of 10 (I took off the little bit for the few cautions)

Friday, March 9, 2012

A Tale of Two Castles Book Review

Genre: fantasy
Written by: Gail Carson Levine
Audience: I would say this would be a children's book. Age level...perhaps around 12?
My comments: I read somewhere that this book is loosely based on Puss and Boots. I never saw it before, but when I read it, I thought, "Hey! That's right!" When I first started this book, I wasn't too impressed with it. Part of it was my reluctance to find any dragon good. :P But when I got farther into the book, I started really liking it. So in the end, this was another great book by Gail Carson Levine!

Just a few things...Elodie (the main character) was sent to this town by her parents to become an apprentice to a weaver (if I remember correctly). But instead, Elodie disobeys her parents and goes off to become apprenticed to a mansioner to become an actress. That is the one problem I found with the book. Elodie also has a habit of interrupting her elders, but she is chided by...I won't tell you, who to ruin the story...about it, so that's all right.

One other thing that my dad pointed out to me that I didn't notice - the dragon and ogre were shown as good people, while the townspeople were shown as bad. This means that evil is being shown as good.

Alyianna's rating:  8.5 if you don't pay attention to the dragon/ogre part, 7 if you do

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Great Mouse Detective - A Disney Movie Review

Genre: Disney
Audience: Family, kids...anyone!
Main character(s): Basil the detective, Dr. Dawson, Olivia and Hiram Flaversham, Ratigan (the villian)
My comments: I have to say that this is definitely one of the best Disney movies I have ever watched. Basil is my favourite character - he is very smart, but he has too much of a high opinion of himself. Dr. Dawson rebukes him for this, so that is okay. Family-friendly.

Alyianna's rating: 10