The Hunger Games (Harry Potter Edition Part 1)

The Hunger Games simulators are so much fun. In the last post we had an anime duo edition of the hunger games, this time around I bring to you the Harry Potter edition. To keep thing interesting, I’m going to present the results from the simulator a little differently. This time I’ve taken the results and turned them into 2 little stories, both from the perspective of a tribute. The first which is shared in this post is about Ginny Weasley and the second, which I’ll share in the next post is about Dobby (I had so much fun writing that one). Hope you enjoy the story, but before we get started let’s have a quick look at this round’s tributes.
(Warning: These simulators can be very violent and dark at times and may trigger those of a sensitive nature)

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Ginny Weasley and the Great Betrayal

My brother Ron and I have been chosen in the reaping to become tributes in this year’s hunger games. I am finding it hard to come to terms with this horrible fate, so have decided to keep a diary to help cope with my turmoil. My brother Ron and I have both trained very hard for the games and tomorrow the dreaded games begin. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t mind splittingly nervous. The fact that the use of magic is prohibited in the games, is not helping to put my mind at ease. I must rely on my own wit and strength to survive the games. My only comfort is having my big brother Ron by my side, during this awful time. I do not expect to last long in the games, but I take great comfort in knowing I’ll spend my last few moments with my beloved big brother Ron.

Day 1
Just as I thought the beginning of the games was a complete bloodbath. When the horn sounded, I quickly glanced towards the cornucopia and saw your close family friend Remus Lupin grabbing a sword. It was then that my eyes fell upon the terrifying sight of Sirius Black strangling Aberforth Dumbledore with a rope. Feeling fear and panic come over me, my eyes searched the cornucopia for my brother Ron. I caught sight of him running away from the Cornucopia with his friends Hermione and Harry. I tried to move to join them, when I felt the strong rough hand of Alastor Moody grab me by the arm. Scared for my life and not knowing his intentions, I used all my strength to break free from Moody’s grasp, but in my panic, I sprinted in the opposite direction than Ron, away from the cornucopia.

Now separated from my brother, I spent the day exploring the arena in search of Ron. It was to my horror that while exploring, I stumbled upon that creep Peter Pettigrew attacking Professor Albus Dumbledore. Luckily Dumbledore escaped, but this sight has shaken me. What if this is how I’ll meet my end in this game? Shortly after, the sound of 5 cannon shots could be heard in the distance. In the sky I could see the images of the first of the fallen tributes. Part of me was happy that I made it through the first day, but other part of me is terrified for the night ahead.IMG_0148

My first night alone in this god forsaking games. I could hear the sad sound of Dolores Umbridge singing herself to sleep, somewhere close by. Frightened to my very bones, I timidly walked in complete darkness trying to find a safe place to rest. Seeing a tiny glow of light in the distance and cautiously went to investigate, hoping the light might belong to my brother Ron. Hugging the cover of the trees and bushes, I got close enough to make out two figures, belonging to Hermione Granger and Alastor Moody. I held back remaining hidden in the bushes, listening intently. It was then I realised Hermione Granger was begging Moody to kill her. Thankfully Moody refused, keeping Hermione Granger alive.

Still wary of Moody, I retreated back into the darkness of the woods, only to be attacked by the dark lord himself, Lord Voldemort. He grabbed me from behind and threw me to the ground. With a sickle in his other hand, he raised it up high in the air and brought it plummeting towards my head. Out of reflex I quickly moved out of the way of the curved blade. The blade hit the forest floor and dug deep into the soil, getting stuck in the process. Lord Voldemort struggled to free the blade and seizing my only opportunity to overpower him and survive this ordeal. I shoved Voldemort with all of my might, sending him flying. I grabbed the sickle from the ground to prevent Voldemort rearming himself. I turned to run, but the fast-moving Voldemort was already back on his feet and quickly knocked me to the ground once more. He tried to pull the sickle from my hands, but I hung on tightly, refusing to let go. I desperately tried to kick Voldemort away, to break free of him. I kicked as hard as I could, landing a kick to Voldemort’s right leg, knocking him of balance. Voldemort fell forward, landing on the blade. I felt it go through something soft and Voldemort stopped struggling. I pushed him off me and realised the horror of the situation. Voldemort was bleeding to death from a wound I had inflicted. I walked away and left him to die, I fear this game has turned me into a monster.

Day 2
After the events of yesterday and last night, I couldn’t sleep a wink. At dawn, I heard Hagrid screaming out in pain. I thought he might have fallen and be in need of help, so I went to investigate. I located the source of the screams and seen the reason for Hagrid anguish. Hagrid was being attacked by that terrifying snake Nagini. Just as I was about to jump in and save Hagrid, he managed to escape and ran deeper into the forest.

Later that day I thought I had finally found my salvation, when I spotted my brother Ron in the distance. I ran as fast as I could towards Ron, only to have my moment of hope shatter right before my eyes. There in front of me, my brother had beaten Hermione to the ground and was about to deliver the final blow, when I instinctively cried out for him to stop. Ron ceased his attack, sparing Hermione’s life. Ron raised to his feet and turned to face me. He called out to me with open arms, but the look in his eyes and red stains on his clothes. I could not stand to look at him in that state, it both scared and disgusted me, so I turned and ran. It appears the games have done terrible things to my brother as well.

Before I got far, I crashed into Harry somehow managing not to knock him off his feet. Harry caught me in his arms and held me tightly. “At last a friend”, I thought to myself as I returned Harry’s embrace, but when I looked up at Harry’s face, I seen the same cold crazed eyes as my brother’s, glaring down at me. Getting a horrible feeling from those eyes and sensing danger, I pushed Harry away and ran away as fast as I could.

Out of breath, I decided to rest at the foot of a huge oak tree. Enjoying the shade of the tree, I was sat there for about an hour when I looked up and spotted something on one of its branches. A rather scruffy looking squirrel was perched high up in the tree. It first I thought nothing of it, but as I sat staring up at the squirrel, I noticed something was very wrong with this squirrel. Foam was spilling from the corners of its mouth and its limbs seemed to twitch on their own. Thinking the squirrel was rabid, I quietly stood up and prepared to sneak away unnoticed, when out of nowhere other rabid looking squirrel appeared on a neighbouring branch. Then as if in unison, several more appeared in the surrounding trees and more again, until rabid squirrel covered the treetops. A cold shiver ran down my spine, I did not get a good feeling about this.

Suddenly, I heard screams in the distance and out of instinct I started running in the opposite direction of the screams. I glimpsed over my shoulder to behind me and to my horror, those rabid squirrels were chasing me. Catching a closer look of their disturbingly large teeth and glassy blood thirsty eyes, I quickened my pace. Ahead of me, I seen Peter Pettigrew and Seamus Finnigan brawling, oblivious to the horrifying danger that was about to come racing towards them. Not wanting anymore blood on my hands I yelled “RUN”. Peter Pettigrew and Seamus Finnigan looked my way and seeing the huge scurry of rabid squirrels pursuing me, they began running. I quickly over took them, then glanced behind me. From the corner of my eye, I seen Peter Pettigrew shoving Seamus Finnigan into the squirrels. Not wanting to see the dreadful sight of Seamus being torn in pieces by squirrels, I looked away and focused on the path in front of me. Even after traveling some distance, I could still hear Seamus’s desperate cries of pain and anguish.

Still running for my life, I looked ahead and seen my brother Ron, also trying to escape from the blood thirsty squirrels. Noticing me behind him, he slightly slowed his pace to match mine. Confused by this, I turned my head to look at him and seen him wearing a troubling sinister smile upon his face. Before I could react, I felt him shove me in the directions of the squirrels. I fell backwards hitting my head on a rock. Immediately after, I was engulfed by a sea of squirrels covering me from head to toe. Being badly bitten and scratched, I tried to fight back and throw the squirrels of me. But it was in vain, the blow I took to my head was too great and the pain the squirrels inflicted was so intense, that I quickly lost consciousness. My eyelids closed never to open again.

In my final moments, I had been betrayed and died at the hands of my beloved big brother. However, I cannot hold this against him. The games do strange things to a person and can turn the most caring of us into complete monsters. My first act as a ghost was to record my final few hours in this diary, so that others may know of the horrors we were forced to go through in the Hunger Games.IMG_0147 (2)

Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this little story I’ve written. I’m giving my shoulder another week to heal, but plan on getting back to my usual post next week. The next part of this story is about the house elf Dobby. I’ve used the same set results to create Dobby’s story and you’ll be happy to hear that the winner of this simulation is revealed in that story. If things go to plan it should be posted soon.

As always thanks for reading.

The Great Gatsby

thumbnail_7e6362e9-ffd8-4438-85f6-d1c02ea56c15Have you ever watched a movie so unusual and captivating, that you really don’t know where to start in explaining it? Well, that’s exactly how I feel about The Great Gatsby. But before the irony in that statement kills us all, let me give you a little taste of the insane tale, that is The Great Gatsby.

Set in the 1920’s, The Great Gatsby begins with an aspiring writer (Nick) moving to New York, across the bay from his extremely wealthy cousin, Daisy. This leads to Nick being sucked into the world of the super-rich, where you party all the time and cheating on your significant other is only unacceptable if you get caught (Wow, this movie really makes New York in the 20’s, look wild and unruly).

Nick’s new next-door neighbour is a mysterious millionaire, that no one seems to know anything about. Except, for a bunch of wild rumours and that he throws the best parties. Soon after moving in, Nick is personally invited to one of Gatsby’s parties. Something that has never happened to anyone before (apparently Gatsby’s parties are just one big gate-crashing event). This eventually leads to Nick discovering who the mysterious Gatsby is and from here, the real mystery begins.

I really can’t say much more about the plot of this film, without completely spoiling it. But what I will say, is that it certainly kept me guessing. From who Gatsby was and how he made his millions, to how the story would end. I was constantly guessing and re-guessing. It was by far one of the best stories I’ve experienced in a while. The plot twists and delivery were just excellent and I really can’t find much wrong with The Great Gatsby.

thumbnail_3c8a774d-6393-4204-a024-2694c8aeea0aAnother very impressive factor in this film is its backgrounds and scenes. They are just so attention grabbing and so well done, making The Great Gatsby a real feast for the eyes. Especially, when the backgrounds are used to reflect the characters thoughts and emotions. Which also added a really nice feel to the movie, that completely sucks you in and has you very much amazed.

My only criticisms of this film, is that it’s a little slow and slightly boring at the start. However, once the film finally gets going, it turns out to be very exciting and enjoyable. Also, although I thoroughly enjoyed this films unique and quirky style, I don’t think it would be to everyone’s taste and some may find it a little too much and a little too strange for their liking.

Overall, The Great Gatsby was an amazing film and the best film I’ve seen in a while. From its endless plot twists and the mystery that is its storyline, to its dazzling and breathtaking scenes, I loved every bit of it. This film may be a slow starter, but from the second you lay eyes on the Great Jay Gatsby, this movie will hold you captive until the very end (in a good way though. Not in a scary hostage situation way). For this reason, I would highly recommend watching The Great Gatsby. It would make a great addition to any movie night.

Rating: 5/5

Hope you like my new shorter style of review. I plan on trying this style out for a while, as it should allow me to post more regularly. Reviews will still be the same quality, but just more compact and to the point and of course, I’ll still include some digital art.

Thanks for reading and hope you enjoy this new style

Don’t Knock Twice

thumbnail_68373002-a7bf-43ac-9889-3eb624f4b931I really don’t know what I was thinking, when I decided to watch Don’t Knock Twice. There are so many other horrors, I could have watched instead. But I suppose, by watching extremely bad horror, you learn to appreciate good horror. So, I’ll try to refrain from ripping into “Don’t Knock Twice” too much, in this review.

Don’t knock twice, is about a woman trying to regain custody of her daughter. However, before this can happen, her daughter knocks on a dead witch’s door twice. This somehow summons a demon, that’s hell-bent (King of Cheese strikes again) on capturing her daughter and devouring her completely. The mother must now do everything she can to save her daughter from the demon’s grasp.

The storyline of this film is incredibly messy, making the whole movie one big confusing jumble of nowhere sub-plots, that make no sense and have nothing to do with the outcome of the film. This film literally has no direction. It’s just all over the place. It drifts from one nowhere sub-plot to another and in the end, returns to its first one. All while making a poor attempt at a twist in the main plot, which was so obvious a one-eyed mole wearing a blindfold, could have seen it coming.

To add to this messy storyline, there was extreme badly Frankensteined scenes (a big pet peeve of mine). With the amount of teleporting the 2 main characters did, in the biggest scene of the film. I was starting to think, they themselves were witches and not just Ginger. It was just awful. The 2 characters actually swapped places, at one point. Leaving me to wonder, how on earth no one noticed that, before the film was released.

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 A flaming flower. Some of my abstract art, to brighten up this review.

I think the most annoying thing about this film, was its psychic impulsive characters. Characters just magically knew things, without any sort of research or logical thought. At one point, the mother randomly decided to burn all the doors in the house, without having any sort of reason for doing so. Like nowhere in this movie did it say or suggest, that the demon needed a door to manifest. It had literally just appeared behind people numerous times, by this point. So, what on earth was this woman at. The demon clearly didn’t need a door. There was a lot of this sort of thing in Don’t knock twice, which was very annoying.

As I can’t let myself be completely negative, I had to find something good about this film (which was extremely hard). I suppose the witch aspect was interesting, even though it didn’t make for good horror. I only wish, they had gone into a bit more detail on witches and gave Ginger (the witch) a stronger backstory. They essentially just said she was a witch, even though she never really done anything witchy and was pretty much, just a demon’s slave.

I’ve watched a lot of bad horror films and have always been able to enjoy them, on some level. Whether that be, finding humour in its cheesiness or the irony of how not scary and fake/forced everything is. But with Don’t knock twice, I found it hard to enjoy anything about it. The whole witch thing, just didn’t work well and them trying to throw a demon into mix, just reflects this. They should have really stuck with one and maybe this film would have had some sense of direction. For this reason, I would suggest not wasting your time with this film. I personally wish, I had watched something better instead.
Rating: 1/5 (and I’m being incredibly generous)

The Road

thumbnail_3f6f5b16-3f0d-4e40-8bc1-44048e211565I love recommendations. I’m always so happy when I get them, especially if it’s really good ones. The Road was recommended to me by another blogger, Alternate Dimension and I’d like to say thanks. Post-apocalypse movies are a favourite of mine and The Road was a really interesting one. I liked it a lot. Thanks for a great recommendation, I really appreciate it.

 

The Road is about, a father and a son wandering in post-apocalyptic waste land, where no animal or plant has survived. They dream of reaching the south coast and finding a better way of life. On their journey they face starvation, sickness, bandits and cannibals. Along the way, the tragic tale of what happened the boy’s mother in this twisted world, unravels bit by bit.

The Road deals with some very serious issues, that some may find upsetting. It’s a lot heavier than the usual movies, I review. For this reason, I’ll try to remain sensitive in this review and I would like to point out, that anything I say is not aimed to upset or annoy. If it does, I am truly sorry, it was not my intention.

I think a good place to start is with the two main characters. The boy is very cute. Somehow in just a horrible situation, he still remains sweet, kind, innocent and very naïve. Your heart really goes out for that little boy, in just an unforgiving world. He’s like Bambi, which is what makes the ending so much more tragic. In saying that, he did have a far better eye for danger and judge of character than his father. If the father had of paid attention to him, it could have saved them from getting into a lot of dangerous situations.

The first thing you notice about the father, is the actor’s (Viggo Mortensen) eyes. I wasn’t even watching in HD and they looked so haunting and soul piercing. If you’re anything like me, you’ll find yourself staring at them, because they’re so captivating and strangely beautiful, but also kind of unnerving. However sadly, I think this was some type of lens or effect. Viggo Mortensen eyes aren’t as pale or grey, as in the film.

thumbnail_dda6ce0a-ac42-467d-903b-cb0148b1f218The father is pretty much the opposite of the boy. He distrusts everyone, takes a lot of risks, is kind of violent and thinks the worse. His only reason for living, is to protect the boy and ensure he doesn’t suffer too much. This leads to him being a bit twisted and to some very dark conversations between the father and son. But given the circumstance, you can’t really blame him for being like that.

Overall the storyline was very interesting. It addresses a very serious and dark subject, that won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Personally, I rather enjoyed this view-point of a post-apocalypse worlds. It was very realistic and thought-provoking. It really gets you questioning, how much post-apocalypse suffering and starvation, would you endure or let your loved one endure, before considering the unthinkable. And also, who could you trust, at the end of the world. Some very dark thoughts, but it’s this that pulls you into the storyline and has you wishing, things get better for the father and son.

The constant threat from gangs of cannibals, added a nice amount of excitement and horror to a film, that would otherwise be a psychological thriller. Towards the end of the movie, it gets more psychological, as we see the boy’s character, go from scared little boy, to a kind-hearted humanitarian and then to a fearful reflection of his father. You go on quite the emotion filled journey with the boy, making for a very emotive watch.

One down side to this film, is its pace. It’s very slow and at times you wonder about the direction of the film. Given that the characters are wandering around a dead waste land by foot, you can forgive this. Quickening the films pace, would have made it seem over dramatized and unrealistic. In the end, the story unravels quite nicely and the slow pace, gives you the chance to get to know the 2 main characters and observe the sweetness and love of their relationship.

In all, The Road was different from any other post-apocalypse film, I have watched. The combination of cannibalism, the nature of its apocalyptic disaster and relationship development between characters, is not something I’ve seen often in this type of film. I think this gives The Road an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic world.

The Road is also a very thought-provoking film, that has you constantly questioning, who is saving who. Is the father saving his son or is the son saving the father? In a way, they are each other keepers, which makes the story very beautiful, but also heart-breaking. If you enjoy post-apocalypse films or films with cannibals, The Road is definitely worth checking out.
Rating: 3.5/5

Cat Soup

thumbnail_b10903e2-5c9c-49fb-8df2-8ac93baa5a9aIt’s been a while, since I’ve properly reviewed anime. Truth is, I fell out with anime and needed a break (more about that another time). Now that I’ve finished, having a wee sulk at anime, I’m ready to jump right back into it. No better way to rekindle my love of anime, than exploring its more unusual side. Honestly, I was spoiled for choice of strange anime. Picking one was quite the challenge, so I decided to select one at random. I ended up with a cute looking, short film called Cat Soup. It definitely did not fail to please, in the unusual department. So many WTF moments and questioning my own sanity.

Having no proper dialog and being extremely random, it’s hard to describe Cat Soup’s story. But I’ll give it a shot and say what I seen. To make this description easier, I’ll also give the cats names (I don’t think they had names, in the film).

Cat Soup, starts with a little white cat (Katze) playing in a pool of water. Suddenly Katze falls into the pool and looks to be drowning. However, he manages to pull himself out of the water and looks no worse for wear.

Katze is then distracted by the sound of the wind chimes, coming from outside. He runs to see what the commotion is and sees his sibling Pangur Bán, (who was previously in bed sick) being dragged of by a demon. Instinctively, Katze runs after the demon, to save Pangur Bán and ends up playing a game of tug of war with the demon, using Pangur Bán as the rope. This causes Pangur Bán to be rip in half and you then realise it was Pangur Bán’s soul, the demon ran off with. Not Pangur Bán.

Katze quickly returns home, with half of Pangur Bán’s soul. A doctor has come to see Pangur Bán, but Pangur Bán lies lifeless, in bed and the doctor gives up all hope. Katze then places his half of the soul, back into Pangur Bán’s body. Pangur Bán sits up, but sadly appears to have had a stroke.

In order to make Pangur Bán whole again, Katze and Pangur Bán travel to what seems like, the underworld or land of dead, to retrieve the rest of Pangur Bán’s soul. It is here we get to see Katze do a lot of messed up stuff. Including, very creatively murder several creatures and trap a S&M Mickey Mouse in a pot of soup/stew.

It’s a pretty crazy storyline and may be too much for some viewers. It not very clear what’s happening in this film and at first glance, just seems like a bunch of random weird nonsense. But get past that and with a little thought and imagination, you can come up with a theory, that solves the puzzle of this movie.

thumbnail_8a9788b3-8592-4802-aed8-571b1678ac31My own theory being, that Katze drowned at the beginning of the film and is actually dead (based on the fact that water, is a recurring theme in the underworld and plays a big role in retrieving Pangur Bán’s soul. Also based on the fact that, everyone but Katze disappears at the end of the film). As for Pangur Bán, I’m not sure. Pangur Bán could have been astral projecting, had a stroke, been very close to death or could have sold their soul to the demon. Also, Katze dying mind could have dreamt up the whole experience.

Overall, I’m not sure of this film. I really can’t say if I liked it or not. It was so very, very strange. It made me wonder, if I had eaten some extremely expired cheese and was hallucinating from the toxins. It’s kind of hard to pick out the good and bad point, when you’re not 100% sure about, what the hell’s going on. But that won’t stop me given it a go.

Cat Soup best quality, is that it’s very captivating. It’ll capture your full attention and you definitely won’t be bored, while watch it. There just some many bizarre and thought-provoking things happening, that you won’t be able to look way. Granted you may be staring at the screen, tilting your head like a confused puppy. But that’s all in the fun of these types of short films. They’re not meant to be obvious and aim to get you thinking. It’s like a moving puzzle, that really enjoyable to try to solve.

Cat Soup also has huge cute factor. Seeing little kitty cats do strange things, is just adorable. However, this only least until Katze does something twisted (like use a half-eaten pig as a mode of transport), then you start to question, if Katze is evil and if you’re watching a horror, from the villain’s point of view. On this point, the animation is pretty good. It’s really interesting and colourful, with a lot of weird and wonder creatures and sights. It is very trippy and unique, but you’d expect that from something, as strange as Cat soup.

Best of all, Cat soup is quiet and has no dialog. Meaning you can watch and relax, after a stressful day in the noisy world. Providing some much needed quite time, while still being entertained and not bored. You can literally just sit and watch it all unfold and let your brain turn off and wind down. Or, you can watch and take it all in and get your brain cogs turning. Allowing multiple viewing opportunities.

My only criticism of Cat soup is that, it could have toned down the craziness a bit. At times, I was left thinking “what the fudge is happening” and “Jaysus, that got disturbing fast”. It was a little too much at times. It went from rainbows and ponies to fire, death and dragons, in a matter of seconds. However, if it was toned down, the film mightn’t have had the same impact on the view and might have got boring.

To conclude, I would say Cat Soup is a very unique film, filled with wonder and madness. It has an interesting story and will very easily capture your attention. It would suit viewers, who enjoy or are comfortable with confusion and like watching thought-provoking shorts. But, keep in mind Cat soup has its dark, twisted and messed up moments. Being under 35 minutes long, I would recommend giving it a watch. If anything, it’ll give you a unique experience.
Rating: 3/5