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March 10 2015 @ 01:52 pm
The Best of Me & Dracula Untold  
So I was able to get a couple free movies from Redbox. Seriously, sign up for their emails, texts, and like them on Facebook. I get free movies constantly. And if you have more than one email use a different email for a different credit card because then it is like you have two accounts and you can get more free movies.

Based on the bestselling novel by acclaimed author Nicholas Sparks, The Best of Me tells the story of Dawson and Amanda, two former high school sweethearts who find themselves reunited after 20 years apart, when they return to their small town for the funeral of a beloved friend. Their bittersweet reunion reignites the love they've never forgotten, but soon they discover the forces that drove them apart twenty years ago live on, posing even more serious threats today. Spanning decades, this epic love story captures the enduring power of our first true love, and the wrenching choices we face when confronted with elusive second chances.

Okay I'm always skeptical about Nicholas Spark stories but I've liked several (The Notebook & Safe Haven, to name two). So I tried this one out and while there were things I didn't like about the story in general... I actually really liked the movie.

I liked the flashing between then and now. This story goes over the lives of Dawson and Amanda in high school and 20 years later. So we get to see the original development of their lovestory and what tore them apart while in the present they are dealing with the death of a loved one and the love they still feel for one another.

What I didn't appreciate is that while Amanda is considering being with Dawson again in the present, she's married. Her husband isn't really a good husband but she's not even really considering divorcing him and wasn't before Dawson came into her life again. Instead, she's just cheating on him. And while we don't get to see much of her husband, what we do see makes me dislike him but not to the extent that she should be cheating on him.

Overall I did like the story and while it wasn't as good as the other two movies I mentioned it was still a good love story if a bit cheesy at times.

As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.

Okay so this might not be something some of you would want to see but I love a good vampire story and I like seeing most of the variations of Dracula. Most of the time I don't enjoy them. I really liked Dracula 2000 but that was because no matter how horrible Dracula was in the movie Gerard Butler made him sexy. I actually own that movie despite the B Horror of it.

Dracula Untold seemed more realistic to me. It seemed a little more like the telling of history with a bit of that 300 feel to it... but just a bit. At it's heart, Dracula Untold is a romance between Vlad and his wife. He's deeply in love with her and wants to protect his family and the children of his kingdom from the Turks. To me he has a noble cause but is backed into a corner because he has no official army for Transylvania nor can he seem to do anything about what the Sultan requests.

What I didn't really like is that we are told repeatedly about Vlad's own time with the Sultan. He'd been foster with the current Sultan's father and becomes Vlad the Impaler. But he's renounced all that to run his own kingdom only to be at the whims of the current Sultan. And now the current Sultan wants not only a thousand boys to train as his warriors but Vlad's own son. Vlad really considers it because he has no way to fight the sultan. And yet his kingdom has 1000 sons? Where are these children coming from? And when you see the shots later of "the people" fleeing they aren't nearly a thousand strong anyway. So either the explaintion that it clearly isn't possible is cut from the movie or wow this was a huge oversight. And while the Sultan's army is huge, if you had that many people to have that many sons then you should have someone to fight?

But the thing that got me the most was that after coming home from his own fostering to rule his people, he apparently didn't think ahead enough to train men to fight??? Worst ruler ever? I'm pretty sure the actual Vlad wasn't that in-ept even if he wasn't as good as the one in the movie.

There are a few moments later that really annoy me too but that would give far too much away. Still Luke Evans does a fantastic job in the role and despite all the failures in the movie I acutally enjoyed it. And I enjoyed Luke Evans. My goodness that man is hot and perfect for Dracula because when he turns on the charm in the movie... you are willing to let him bite you!
wings128: Film!popcornwings128 on March 10th, 2015 08:58 pm (UTC)
I liked Best of Me too, despite having the same issue as you did.
Other NS novel/films I've enjoyed are: The Notebook, The Lucky One, and yes, Safe Haven too - though I wasn't all that sure in the beginning.

I'm really looking forward to "The Longest Ride"

If you want something a little different and truly awesome, you might try "In Your Eyes"

Edited at 2015-03-10 08:59 pm (UTC)
Jill aka Josireesanwar on March 10th, 2015 09:08 pm (UTC)
I did like The Lucky One but not as much as the others.

I do want to see The Longest Ride but I don't know when I'll see it.

Just wanted the trailer for In Your Eyes and I want to see it now. Wow that sounds interesting. Thanks. Next free movie! LOL
wings128: Film!popcornwings128 on March 10th, 2015 10:08 pm (UTC)
Seriously, it's the best movie I've seen in ages - screen-written by Joss Whedon of Buffy and Angel fame.
It's available on dvd from Amazon, and there's a site where you can rent/buy it *finds link*

I love the military aspects of The Lucky One, it's lit beautifully, and that shower scene!! ;P

Not sure when The Longest Ride is out, but I'm keen to see it.
Jill aka Josireesanwar on March 16th, 2015 05:53 pm (UTC)
I was hoping it would be in Redbox because that is where I have a free movie. I don't think it is though. I'll have to keep looking for it.

That vimeo rental place is so cool. Might have to go through there.
KSena: Vampire bite by pixiegrl_11@wickpixgraphkseenaa on March 11th, 2015 07:41 am (UTC)
Never did like romance stories, so skipping on the first one.

However, I've always been a HUGE vampire-fan. And Dracula is the original vampire-story, isn't it? ;-) I must say that movie sure sounds awfully interesting... You're not the first one that said it was a good movie despite it's troubles. I'll definitely see if I can get my hands on it. :-)
Jill aka Josireesanwar on March 16th, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
I'm a sucker for them.

I think it is. I'm pretty sure Vlad the Impaler was the origins of the myth so...

It doesn't take much for me to like a vampire movie. Just a little effort on the makers part and they did try to make it more original and less strange (I didn't like the 1992 Dracula with Gary Oldman). It was more about the human. I liked that. I tend to like a good take on the vampire story.

So do you read vamp books too?
KSena: Keep calm and read a book by clumsily@sekseenaa on April 13th, 2015 09:01 pm (UTC)
*late answer is beyond late!*

Yes, I do read vampire-books when I have time. And if I find them interesting enough.

Which means what with being a librarian, nearly never. X-D When I have time to read something for my own pleasure it's usually biographies of some sort. :-)
Jill aka Jo: Books: Girl on bookssireesanwar on April 16th, 2015 12:18 am (UTC)
See right now my fav vamp books are the Black Dagger Brotherhood. They started out more HEA romances and then the author chucked that format and is telling it more like... a saga. I love it.

LOL Well yeah. But that is so sad as a Librarian!
KSena: Book shelves by liighthouse@seastarcovekseenaa on April 16th, 2015 11:18 am (UTC)
Well, that is the problem with being a librarian! X-D You end up in the profession because you love books... and once you got a job you don't have time to read books! *LOL*
Phoenixburned_phoenix on March 11th, 2015 09:37 am (UTC)
I think I'll try them both, when I have time :) Thanks for bringing them to my attention :D
Jill aka Josireesanwar on March 16th, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
No problem. As always, tell me what you think.. or post it to your journal whatever. I like knowing.
Phoenixburned_phoenix on March 17th, 2015 08:59 am (UTC)
I'll try to remember :)
tracyj23: Starstracyj23 on March 11th, 2015 06:48 pm (UTC)
I've never seen a Nicholas Sparks movie. I've read several of the novels - quite a few actually, but a couple of them I really didn't like the endings at all, so I got turned off his stuff. Maybe someday I'll try one of them ...

I'm not a vampire fan so I'll probably never watch this one. :)
Jill aka Jo: Movie: Tarzan and Jane - reminds me of Osireesanwar on March 16th, 2015 05:58 pm (UTC)
See same here and a lot of times I feel like they are the same. Safe Haven stood out to me because of the subject matter and The Notebook was just an out of the park hit. Since then though I can't say any of them were so good I needed to own them but I liked this one enough.

I didn't thinks so but it's my addiction.
tracyj23tracyj23 on March 16th, 2015 07:40 pm (UTC)
Was Safe Haven about the abused wife who leaves her husband and moves into a small town and falls for a sheriff and his two kids? I can't remember. That's one of those story lines that gets used way too much in romance novels. I just don't buy it anymore - it's not unique at all and always promotes the woman as the poor little victim. I mean yes, she leaves the abusive guy, but the story lines of her falling for another guy and being ashamed to tell him, and then the husband finding her and trying to take her back are just so predictable. I like a good unpredictable romance, and I find that after reading a couple of Nicholas Sparks stories, they're pretty much all predictable.
Jill aka Jo: Outlander: Logosireesanwar on March 16th, 2015 07:58 pm (UTC)
Yes. And it is used a lot but I liked the telling of that story because it really focused on how the husband manipulated her and how dangerous he was. I mean I've read other books like that but I felt it more in Safe Haven because of the situations she was in. She couldn't really go to the cops because they were all his friends as her husband was a cop.

See in Safe Haven it wasn't about her feeling ashamed but more about her hiding from him because he is trying to make her life a nightmare. She doesn't want anyone to know just because she's using a false name and she's afraid he will find her. And the saddest thing is that he is checking for her credit cards or her drivers license coming up.

I think I tend to watch or read things like that just because I watched my dad beat up on my mom and I never want to be in such a situation.
Jo Ann: Gerry:  Stripper PSILY GIFyeuxdebleu on April 25th, 2015 07:35 am (UTC)
I have never read any of the Nicholas Sparks books, but I've seen all the movies that have been made from them. He's kind of a one-trick pony in that his stories are so much alike. Enjoyable though.

That Dracula movie looks good. Did you ever see Dracula 2000 with Gerard Butler? It's a good one, too. Kind of campy, but good.

Jill aka Jo: Misc: Gerard Butlersireesanwar on April 28th, 2015 10:14 pm (UTC)
It is true. A lot of Spark's stories are exactly the same.

I love and own Dracula 2000. It was a very different take on the lore and I adore Gerard Butler.
Jo Ann: Gerry:  Stripper PSILY GIFyeuxdebleu on April 30th, 2015 11:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, I think we talked about Dracula 2000 once before because I remember you said how much you like Gerard Butler. My favorite Gerard movie is P. S. I Love You. Have you seen that one?
Jill aka Josireesanwar on May 7th, 2015 07:30 pm (UTC)
We did. I have seen PS I Love You. I think I own it too. I haven't watched it in a while but I also loved the book... probably more than the movie.
Jo Ann: Adam: Tongue out GIFyeuxdebleu on May 11th, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
The book was good, too, but I liked the movie just as much. Gerry wasn't in the book. LOL
Jill aka Josireesanwar on May 12th, 2015 11:20 pm (UTC)
That is true.