This year is a special year. Not because of our stupendous failings to supply a decent healthcare website for the people. No. This year is special because it marks the release of Sony’s newest gaming system. You can tell the staff here at ReviewSTL have our priorities straight.
The PlayStation 4 is Sony’s hunter towards Microsoft’s Xbox One. And like any good hunter, you need weapons, tools and a strategy. Sony has offered a somewhat lackluster lineup for its release titles to go alongside the PS4. Titles like Knack did little to instil confidence in the Japanese behemoth’s plans.
Markuz Zusak, an Australia native and author of award-winning books such as I Am the Messenger and The Book Thief, got to see one of his stories come to life on screen for the first time a couple weeks ago.
The Book Thief is a story of the orphaned Liesel Memminger (Sophie Nélisse) who grows up in Nazi Germany after being adopted by the animated Rosa (Emily Watson) and fatherly Hans Hubermann (Geoffrey Rush). Liesel’s younger years are narrated eloquently by a personified version of Death Himself (Roger Allam). Throughout the years, Liesel learns about the unfairness of life and the measures she is willing to take in order to rob life back.
Many fans of the book may have been skeptical upon hearing about a film adaptation, as the arguably best part of the book is the poignant yet beautiful diction, but their fears can be put to rest. Directed by Emmy-award winner Brian Percival, the elements that made the written story so captivating were not left out of the on-screen edition. Through the friendships Liesel makes and the secrets she must keep, the viewers get an outstanding adaptation that leaves them with a feeling of hope. The most lovable character in Liesel’s story is easily the boy with lemon colored hair, Rudy Steiner.
After a less-than-stellar 2013 campaign and post-season, the Cardinals have sent David Freese to keep Albert Pujols company in Anaheim. In addition, they’re sending reliever Fernando Salas, who played a vital part in the Cardinals’ s011 championship season but has been used sparingly the last two years.
In exchange, the Cardinals get outfielder Peter Bourjos and 22-year-old outfield prospect Randal Grichuk.
If there was ever a faster turnaround from hero to goat, I don’t think I’ve seen it in Freese’s case. After setting the post-season record for RBI (21) in 2011, Freese was an All-Star in 2012, a finalist for the Gold Glove at third base, and posted a healthy OPS of .839 while hitting 20 home runs. This last season, Freese initially struggled with a back issue in April, and it seems he never really recovered. His OPS was a career low .721, and in the playoffs he hit just .178 with four RBI, all of them in the NLDS. Cardinals fans took the opportunity to rip Freese’s game apart and clamored for a trade. Freese is cost-controlled for the next two seasons, a plus for the Angels. On the downside, he’s also going to be 31 in April and thus, is at the end of most players’ statistical peaks for his career.
Tired of remakes, rehashes, and sequels? Well, you’ll need to look elsewhere if you want original content. Delivery Man is a remake of a 2011 French-Canadian film by the name of Starbuck. Writer/Director Ken Scott has teamed up with Vince Vaughn to bring his story to American audiences. It’s also noteworthy that the film is also being remade for Bollywood and a French version of the film titled Fonzy was released this year as well. If nothing else, it has studio appeal.
David Wozniak (Vince Vaughn) is a loveable screwup. Sure, he puts his family in danger with his shady debts, and is quite possibly the world’s worst delivery driver, but he makes up for it with his shining charm. David’s case of arrested development comes screeching to a halt when the fertility clinic he donated sperm to years ago in exchange for cash, informs him that due to a mix up, he is the father of 533 children. In addition, these children are now trying to sue for the legal identity of their father. The shocking revelation doesn’t send David into a spiral of self-destruction, instead it gives him the motivation to turn his life around, and prove to his girlfriend he can be a father to their future child. David slowly starts to take an active role in his children’s lives, and his actions cause trouble for his eventual court case. David’s eventual struggle between keeping his identity and allowing his children to know who he is, is the focal point of the film.
As a Hunger Games fan since the first book was released in 2008, you can imagine my excitement upon learning of the film adaptation of the first book. While I’ve always had a philosophy on such adaptations that books will always be better, I still hoped the movie would be just as good, if not better.
Alas, with all of the necessary background information put into the first movie, it left me wishing for more aspects and quotes from the book. I still looked forward to the movie Catching Fire, but this time was more reserved as to not get my hopes up. My efforts were met with satisfaction, and I was impressed. The beginning of the movie set the background starting just where the last movie left off, which was nice to see as not to confuse the viewer. Throughout the film, I could clearly see the incorporation of the smaller aspects of the book as well as point out direct quotes from the book. (At the end I left wishing I had actually brought my copy and followed the quotes, but it would have only distracted me from the beauty of the film.)