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Tuesday, November 12

Blu-ray Review: The Swan Princess: 25th Anniversary

 *This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

For a very long time, it seemed Disney was the only studio releasing animated films. However, that changed in the '90s, many thanks to direct-to-video releases, as well as a few theatrical releases from other studios. One of these films happens to be The Swan Princess, which is an adaptation of the Swan Lake ballet.

Directed by Richard Rich, the film was originally released to theatres in 1994, featuring the voice cast of Michelle Nicastro, Howard McGillin, Jack Palance, John Cleese, Steven Wright, Steve Vinovich, and Sandy Duncan.

Sony Home Entertainment recently released The Swan Princess on Blu-ray (G; 89 minutes)  to celebrate its 25th Anniversary, featuring a brand-new featurette and archival features. The film is also available on in 4K HDR on digital.

The Swan Princess centers around Odette, a beautiful princess who's turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer, Lord Rothbart. She can only turn back into a human when the moonlight touches the swan lake, which is when Rothbart tries to persuade her to marry him. Of course, she rejects him every time, thus, she becomes a swan again. Her only friends are Jean-Bob the frog, Speed the turtle and Puffin the bird, who are determined to protect her. Then there's also Prince Derek, who's in love with Odette and will also do anything to protect her.

Special Features include:
  • Looking Back at 25 Years of the Swan Princess
  • The Swan Princess: The Original Making of
  • 5 Sing-Alongs 

Final Thoughts

Monday, November 11

Monday Morning Madness: Decaf for the Dead and Paperbacks From Hell


Good Afternoon, Everyone!

Yes, I'm well aware it's way past noon. Originally, I wanted to have this post published earlier but I got distracted by several other things. Once again, I'm combining this week's Sunday Post (hosted by Caffeinated Reviewer) with today's It's Monday! What Are You Reading (hosted by The Book Date). 

What Am I Currently Reading?

Tomorrow, I'll be reading Decaf for the Dead by Sandy Lo, who nicely sent me a review copy. I posted an interview with Sandy Lo on Saturday, which you can read right here!

Last week, was  a reread week for me with The Shining and Doctor Sleep. I'll probably be writing reviews for them sometime later in the week. I never got around to reading Rise of the Gorgon by Galen Surlak-Ramsey so it'll probably be next read after Decaf for the Dead. Then I'm going to start reading the books I have lined up for this year's Holiday Gift Guide.

Recent Reviews

(Midnight Horror Review)

by Stephen King
(Fall Reads

by R.L. Stine
(Fall Reads) 

(Midnight Horror Review)

What's in the Mail?

Midnight Horror Review: The Thing (2011) Blu-ray

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Mill Creek Ent.; Amazon
For those of you who don't already know, The Thing was re-released to Blu-ray on Oct. 29th by Mill Creek Entertainment.

No, I'm not referring to the John Carpenter's 1982 classic scifi-horror flick, which is a remake of the 1951 classic The Thing from Another World and an adaptation of the 1938 novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell, Jr., but instead I'm referring to the 2011 prequel film of the same name. Confused yet?

Directed by Matthijs Heijningen, the prequel was originally going to be titled The Thing: Begins. However, due to producers and behind-the-scenes drama (more on that later), the film was released as The Thing, which made moviegoers believe it was a remake of a remake.

Set in the winter 1982, the prequel centers around Kate Lloyd (played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead), a paleontologist who is sent to an isolated Norwegian research station in Antarctica to investigate a possible buried alien spacecraft. The expedition is lead by Dr. Sander Halvorson (played by Ulrich Thomsen) and his assistant, Adam Finch (played by Eric Christian Olsen). After excavating a body frozen in the ground, they accidentally release a lifeform that takes control and mutilates its victims. The movie also stars Joel Edgerton, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, and Kristofer Hivju.

The director shot the prequel in 35mm film so it would have the same look as the 1982 film.  Animatronic special effects were used for the creatures to match the 1982 effects. However, studio politics interfered and all of the traditional effects were replaced CGI. Add in additional reshoots, which changed many scenes (especially the ending), as well as the title change, the movie ended up flopping at the box office.

Blu-ray Bonus Features include:
  • Feature Commentary with Director Matthiijs van Heijningen and Producer Eric Newman
  • The Thing Involves
  • Fire & Ice
  • Deleted/Extended Scenes
  • Trailer

Final Thoughts

Sunday, November 10

Midnight Horror Review: 47 Meters Down: Uncaged

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

Once upon a time ago, there was only one big shark movie - Jaws, minus the unneeded sequel (though Jaws 2 was pretty good). Fast forward to the present day, there are tons of shark flicks and almost of all them are horrible.

In 2017, Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures released the low-budget horror shark film 47 Meters Down, which wasn't half bad. Due to its success, naturally there was going to be sequel. 47 Meters Down: Uncaged was released to theatres in August 2019 and took in $38.9 million against a $12 million budget.

47 Meters Down: Uncaged is arriving on Blu-ray (+DVD + Digital) on Nov. 12th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment. Co-written and directed by Johannes Roberts, the film stars Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Stallone, Brec Bassinger, and John Corbett.

The plot centers around teenage stepsisters, Mia and Sasha (played by Sophie Nelisse and Corinne Foxx) and Sasha's two friends, Alexa and Nicole (played by Brianne Tju and Sistine Stallone), cut classes and travel to a secret saloon that holds the entrance to a submerged Mayan city, which was discovered by Mia's father, Grant (played by John Corbett). The girls put on their diving gear and dive into the saloon to explore the Mayan city. They were just wanting to see the sunken ruins but what they find is pure terror!

Living in the submerged Mayan city are blind great white sharks with an appetite for anything living. Low on air, the girls are trapped in the underwater labyrinths of caves and claustrophobic tunnels with no way to escape.

Special Effects include:
  • Diving Deeper: Uncaging 47 Meters Down
  • Audio Commentary with Writer-Director Johannes Roberts, Producer James Harris, and Writer Ernest Riera

 Final Thoughts

Saturday, November 9

Saturday Takeover! with Sandy Lo, Author of "Decaf For the Dead"

Good Morning, Bookworms!

Welcome to the first ever Saturday Takeover!, where I'll be featuring guest posts and interviews with authors.

Today, I'm sharing an interview with author Sandy Lo, who recently published the novella Decaf For the Dead, which is a really fun title; though, personally, I prefer caffeinated or decaf!

FYI: That's my attempt at a joke! Remember, I'm a coffee lover!

I'll be reading the novella soon so keep an eye out for my review.

When did you become interested in storytelling?

I had a big imagination as a kid and would create elaborate plots during playtime with my Barbie dolls. I was thirteen when I first started putting stories down on paper. Writing became a fun hobby and turned into a serious ambition during my late teens.

What was you first book/story published?

The first book I published was “Lost In You”, a boy band romance novel inspired by my love of the Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees. I often think about re-releasing it since my writing has changed and I still love the story, but want to fine tune it.

What inspired you to write Decaf For the Dead? 

Throughout my life I’ve worked as a barista to supplement my career in writing, marketing, and journalism. While working as a barista, I’ve met so many real life characters and experienced a lot of hauntings as well – in and outside of coffee shops. I would often Google the relationship between caffeine and the supernatural. Since I was always highly caffeinated working at these cafés, I felt I was drawing certain spiritual encounters into my life. The title actually came from the fact that random decaf coffee orders would pop up on the drive-thru screen at one café. No one would even be in the drive-thru line when it would happen sometimes. I joked that the ghosts are ordering decaf because they’re dead and don’t need caffeine.

What character in Decaf For the Dead is the most/least like you and in what ways? 

This is tough. As a writer, you tend to put pieces of yourself in each character. I’m probably most like Dilly, the main character. While we certainly have plenty of differences, Dilly is creative with his artwork and he enjoys sitting in cafés and connecting with people. He’s a romantic and devoted, and that’s certainly me. As for the character I’m least like … I’ll pick the obvious and say Gabe, who is basically the villain of the story. I didn’t explore his character too much in this first book in the Haunted Café Series. We’ll probably see more of him in book 2 of the series. Gabe’s very dark, motivated by a possessiveness over his estranged wife, Jocelyn.

What is your favorite part in Decaf For the Dead?

Fall Reads: The Institute by Stephen King

*This is a sponsored review. All opinions are 100% mine.

There are many book bloggers who'll crank out a review as soon as they finished reading the final pages of whatever they're reading. Well, that's not me! I tend to reflect on what I've just read. If I'm not emotionally connected to the story, then I'll write my review within a few days. However, if I am emotionally connected, it takes me a bit longer to gather up my final thoughts.

I finished reading The Institute by Stephen King nearly a month ago and it's one of those reads I needed to sit on before talking about.

The Institute is a mix of Carrie and Firestarter, and centers around Luke Ellis, a bright young boy who's taken from his suburban Minneapolis home in the middle of night and wakes up at the Institute in a room that closely resembles his own. It seems a government organization is experimenting on children with telekinesis and telepathy and Luke happens to be one of them.

Along with the other kids, Kalisha, Nick, George, Iris and Avery, in the Front Half, Luke tries his best to play by the rules which are set by the sinister Institution's director, Mrs. Sigsby. However, one by one, each kid is moved to the Black Half and are never seen again. To save himself, as well as Avery, the youngest of the group, Luke must find away to escape this hell.

Final Thoughts

Friday, November 8

Book Blogger Hop: November 8th - 14th

Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML

Welcome to the Book Blogger Hop! 

If you want to schedule next week's post, click here to find the next prompt question. To submit a question, fill out this form.

The Book Blogger Hop now has its own Facebook Group! Please join the group to get all the newest Book Blogger Hop updates. Also, you can communicate with your fellow book bloggers in the group.

What To Do

1. Post on your blog answering this question:

This week's question is submitted by Elizabeth @ Silver's Review.

2. Enter the link to your post in the linky list below. Please enter your Name/Nickname @ Blog Name and the direct link to your post answering this week’s question. Here's an example: Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer

3. Visit other blogs in the list and comment on their posts. Try to spend some time on the blogs reading a few posts and possible become a new follower. The purpose of the hop is to give bloggers a chance to follow other blogs, learn about new books, befriend other bloggers, and receive new followers to your own blog.