The Good Dinosaur – 2015

Title: The Good Dinosaurmovie_poster_thegooddinosaur_136d87d0
Year: 2015
Director: Peter Sohn
Genre: Family
Date Watched: January 14, 2017
Category: Animated movie for children

I’ve been pretty excited about this since I heard about it at least a year ago and now, lucky for me, it’s on Netflix.

Let me start by saying I really did love this movie and it was very cute and touching. Perhaps I didn’t cry quite as much as I did watching Inside Out but there were a few tears.

However, if you’re someone who gets annoyed by total inaccuracies even in kids movies, this might not be the one for you. Right from the start I was a little annoyed at just how ridiculous the basic plot was. A bunch of dinosaurs who have a farm where they grow corn and tend prehistoric chickens. Okay sure.

Arlo is the child of these farming dinosaurs but he’s much smaller than his brother and sister and terrified of everything. At least until he gets washed away by a stream while fighting with the little neanderthal boy who keeps stealing their corn.

The rest of the film is all about Arlo’s journey home and burgeoning friendship with the little neanderthal boy he calls Spot. Who oddly enough acts very much like a little dog.

I would say the film is a little on the scary side for younger children so maybe watch through first and decide for yourselves. It’s also a little bit too formulaic for my liking, particularly when there have been so many great Disney/Pixar movies in recent years with fantastic fresh storylines. It’s yet another Disney movie where a child’s parent dies, another film about the main character revising an initial assessment of a character.

While I did like the movie I actually expected more from it than what I got. Don’t get me wrong there’s some great moments in it and it’s definitely worth a watch but I think it got a lot more hype than it deserved and didn’t offer a particularly new or fresh experience.

Rating: 3.5/5

A Vision of Fire – Gillian Anderson

Title: A Vision of Fire41gwghh5gll-_sy344_bo1204203200_
Author: Gillian Anderson
Genre: Drama/Thriller/Mystery
Pages: 304
Category: 29. Read a book about Politics and/or Religion
Format: Paper

Date Started: January 5th 2017
Date Finished: January 7th 2017

Ever since I found out that Gillian Anderson had written a book I knew I needed to read it. I’ve loved X-Files since I was 6 and trying to sneak peeks at what my parents were watching in a hotel in Tasmania. They told me I was too young, I was at uni before I got to watch the whole series from start to finish. Nevertheless, I bought and gifted the book to my mother who was also an X-Files fan, she seemed less enthused than I was.  Eventually I proceeded to borrow it back from her to read myself. That was probably six months ago and it’s been sitting on my bookshelf ever since.

I think I was a little scared it would turn out to be awful, that I’d make it a chapter in and decide it wasn’t for me. I almost did. But for once I stuck it out and bit longer and I was drawn in. I wanted to know what would happen. It’s possible you might see the other books in the series on the blog before the end of 2017.

Every time I’ve tried to describe this book to someone the first thing I’ve said is ‘it’s weird’. It’s true, there’s a lot about this book that was weird for me. First, it was halfway through the book before I could shake the feeling that something was wrong, reading a  book written by Dana Scully (okay, not by her but the actress who played her) a skeptic by all accounts, but here’s Dr. O’Hara who cautiously embraces these slightly supernatural occurrences. Secondly, the main character shares my first name, something I’ve never encountered before. Third, there’s a lot going on and for most of the book I was right there with my namesake thinking maybe I knew what was happening but it was too strange to be true. Fourth, it’s a hard plot to explain without giving too much away, my favourite parts about it are the ones I won’t share here for fear of spoiling those of you who haven’t read the book.

What I will tell you is that the book centers around a psychiatrist named Dr. Caitlin O’Hara who is drawn into the mystery of the Indian ambassador’s daughter’s illness. The daughter is Maanik who begins acting strange after an assassination attempt on her father, Caitlin is called by the Ambassador’s translator who happens to be her close friend. Unfortunately for Maanik the Ambassador is amidst difficult negotiations with Pakistan and India over a place called Kashmir and does not want to jeopardise them by sending Maanik to a hospital.

In Haiti another woman experiences a similar episode, and a young man in Iran. Caitlin is sure that the three fit together somehow. And what about the viral video of the rats swarming the monument, maybe that’s connected too. And what about that strange artifact that was mentioned in the prologue and the man who was trying to steal it, surely that’s important somehow?

You might be wondering why politics and religion when this book could clearly fit in one of many categories. While not the major character in the book the Ambassador’s negotiations are a major theme within the book, as are the spiritual threads that Caitlin begins to uncover Hindu and Buddhist mostly but there are also links to Vodou.

This isn’t the type of book I would normally read in the sense that I rarely get pulled in by either politics or religion but what I do love is a good mystery. Would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes mystery or paranormal or even history. And I’m definitely looking forward to the next books.

Rating: 4/5