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Tiger Eyes

The Book (by Judy Blume): Seventeen year old Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead—shot in a holdup—and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover.  Climbing in the Los Alamos canyon, Davey meets the mysterious Wolf, who is the only person who seems to understand the rage and fear Davey feels. Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life.

The Movie:  The key word above is "slowly" and that sums up the film too.  I devoured all of Judy Blume's books when I was a tween and Tiger Eyes was actually one of my favorites.  But when I saw that this movie skipped theaters and went directly to Lifetime, I suspected it wasn't going to be that great...and I was right.  The actress who plays Davey (Willa Holland) was good at conveying the range of emotions one would feel in those circumstances, but she didn't have any chemistry with the actor who played Wolf (who looked like he was a good fifteen years older than her even though he is actually only six years older).  If you are looking for a coming of age story and/or recently lost a parent, you might find it tolerable.  Honestly, I only made it half way through the movie before I turned the channel.

My final verdict: Read the book.  Skip the movie.

Ender's Game

The Book (by Orson Scott Card): In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, is drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training. Ender's skills make him a leader in school yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. Is Ender the general Earth needs?

The Movie: Asa Butterfield expertly plays Ender; he makes the character watchable and you are definitely rooting for him.  Harrison Ford kind of phoned it in, but he was adequate.  The theme of the story is about strategy and ethics and what makes a great leader.  I thought the movie spent too much time on the strategy game at the Battle School and also maybe fell a bit short as to showing how Ender (a 12 year old) could command the entire fleet in a battle against an alien race, but the rest of the movie was interesting and the final battle was riveting.  Also, the ending throws out a few twists.

My final verdict: Orson Scott Card has made anti-gay remarks, therefore I will not read the book nor will I recommend it, but if you like space and/or aliens then enjoy the movie

Vampire Academy

The Book (by Richelle Mead): St. Vladimir’s Academy isn’t just any boarding school—it’s a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir, a bodyguard for her best friend Lissa, a Moroi Vampire Princess. They’ve been on the run, but now they’re being dragged back to St. Vladimir’s—the very place where they’re most in danger. . . .

The Movie:  I have not read the book. After watching twenty seconds of the trailer, I figured I would rather watch twelve football games in a row than see the movie (for those of you who don't know, I can't stand watching sports...except for MMA).  Anyway, Mandy Wan over at wrote an extremely entertaining (and scathing) review which I'm guessing is fifty times more enjoyable than the movie.  Check it out:


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