Florida Memories 2 #ThrowBackThursday

ISLANDS OF

ADVENTURE

 

Following on from last weeks post here is a quick throwback to our time at Universal Studios – Islands of Adventure.

Personally I enjoyed the Islands of Adventure more than the Universal Studios. This may just have been due to the amount of Marvel Characters that were wandering around. My daughters favourite Marvel Character is Captain America and she really enjoyed meeting him.

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However, instead of meeting Superheros I was more interested in meeting a dinosaur. At Islands of Adventure in the Jurassic Park area there is an opportunity to meet a Velociraptor. I queued up twice to do this. The first time we queued for about 5 minutes and they got notification there was going to be a storm. The Velociraptors are not allowed out when there is a storm. However, the second time was more successful.

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It was a very strange experience. My daughter refused to meet the Raptor so it was just me.

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As well as the Raptor experience there is also a Jurassic Park River Boat ride, be warned you do get very wet. There is also the Jurassic Park Discovery Centre as well as a Jeep and Dinosaur decorations for photo opportunities.

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We also got to go on Kong: Skull Island which was quite new. I think it was opened a month before we went. Like most of the rides around Universal Studios it was a 3D experience but the queue was fun. If you haven’t been on the ride be careful of the holes in the walls, there is a surprise in them.

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One of the biggest rides there is Incredible Hulk Coaster, though we never rode on it, we both chickened out.

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View of Hulk Coaster from Mythos Restaurant 

As well as the rides it is worth mentioning Mythos Restaurant. We decided we were going to try it as loads of people were on about how popular it was. We had to wait about 20 minutes for a table maybe, not too long. Though most people make a reservation. The services was great and we had a wonderful times

What I enjoyed most was the attention to detail around the Island. There are lots of nice surprises you just have to look carefully to see them

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Mythos 

I hope you enjoyed my quick tour of Islands of Adventure, there is a lot more to see and do than I have mentioned. These were just my highlights.

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Second Time Galaxy Savers

G U A R D I A N S   O F   T H E   G A L A X Y  –  V O L U M E   2

Guardians 2

Cast : Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Michael Rooker, Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel

Director : James Gunn

My Rating : 4/5

The Blurb: 

Set to the backdrop of Awesome Mixtape #2, ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’ continues the team’s adventures as they unravel the mystery of Peter Quill’s true parentage.

My Review :

I have had a few difficulties putting my thoughts and feelings for this movie into words. In short: Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 is a hoot and a half.

Star-Lord a.k.a Peter Quill, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and Groot are back along with some old and new friends. Like the first Guardians of the Galaxy movie this is a fun super hero movie, with lots of enjoyable moments and amusing gags. There was a nice mixture of both humour and sentiment which in terms of the storytelling flowed well.

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One of the best things about the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the casting and this movie is no exception. The main cast interacted so well together that you immediately forgot that two of them were CGI. There appeared to be no awkwardness or weird moments where they are talking above the CGI characters head or to their crotch. Whoever was in charge of the pointing did a good job. The supporting cast were also good and interesting to watch. Baby Groot with his adorable behaviour undoubtedly stole the show, he was just so cute.

Surprisingly one of my favourite characters in this movie turned out to be Yondu (Michael Rooker). I loved his interaction with Rocket and Baby Groot (Twig).

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There were however a few inconsistencies with this movie. The CGI effects in places were excellent and really drew you into the movie. The scenery in places was amazing however some of it especially while they were on Ego’s planet looked computerised and blocky. It was not enough to be bothered about really just made me a little sad after everything else was so good. I took a really big dislike to the gold people. I found their virtual fleet irritating.  The pacing was also a bit… well… different. There is not a lot of action but the movie itself did not drag.

The soundtrack Awesome Mixtape #2 was excellent and all the music worked really well. In fact any movie which begins with Mr Blue Sky gets my immediate attention.

Overall I loved this movie. I enjoyed the fact that they did not feel the need to pump it full of unnecessary action but concentrated on characterisation of the team. I felt as though the storytelling was good and the humour did not divert from that. It is laugh-out-loud funny and just as enjoyable as the first movie if not more so. I even liked Sylvester Stallone.

I think I have covered everything I can say without providing you with a multitude of spoilers. If you love Marvel and enjoyed the first Guardians movie then you will love this.

Baby Groot

I Have Been Called Many Things…

X – M E N : A P O C A L Y P S E 

Cast : James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult

My Rating : 3.5/5

Synopsis : With the emergence of the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse, the X-Men must unite to defeat his extinction level plan.

My Review :

This heavily CGI, action packed addition of the X-Men franchise is bold and ambitious in it’s characterization and story telling. Its mixture of mythology, social commentary and recent history makes the visual as entertaining as the dialogue.

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Set in the 1980’s, several years after “Day’s of Future Past” we find Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) continuing his dream of developing the School for Gifted Youngsters. Along side him is Hank “Beast” McCoy (Nicholas Hoult) aiding his efforts in helping the young Jean Gray, Cyclops etc… come to terms with their powers. Raven/Mystique (Jenifer Lawrence) is seeking other mutants in a world where they are still treated like freaks and Magneto (Michael Fassbender) has created a new life for himself in Poland, along with a wife and child. Things on the surface appear to be moving smoothly. Until Apocalypse (Oscar Issac) rises from a centuries long sleep and shakes the fragile foundations the mutants have established.

Apocalypse awakes, unimpressed by the weak world leaders and seeks to cleanse the world that lies before him. However, before he sets about wiping the earth of humans, he seeks out his Four Horseman. He gathers together Storm (Alexandra Shipp), Psylocke (Olivia Munn), Archangel (Ben Hardy) and Magneto, using their anger and fears to persuade them that humanity’s time is up.

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A welcome introduction to this movie is Nightcrawler portrayed by Kodi Smit-McPhee. He provides some much needed comedic moments during the movie. Alexandra Shipp’s interpretation of Storm is fantastic, however I was a little disappointed we did not get to see her in action more. The introduction of the new cast, along with the established older cast works well. The only person for me who really let the movie down was Jennifer Lawrence. Usually I love her, she can do very little wrong, however I felt at times I was watching “Katniss Everdeen” face of the rebellion instead of Mystique anti-hero mutant. One of the best moments of the movie is Quicksilver’s timely appearance at The School for the Gifted.

Admittedly the storytelling did fall down in places, as it often does with heavily action based movies, but makes up for this in some rather endearing and tragic moments throughout. It has a nice pace, with some well judged action scenes, however it does lack some suspense.

I have to admit that this was not a movie I had planned on seeing when I saw the trailer, but I am glad I did. If you have followed the X-Men franchise then this is not a movie to miss. There are some outstanding performances by both the old and the new cast which I enjoyed, as I mentioned before Nightcrawler is dream. The soundtrack also deserves a special mention along with the costuming. Some of those outfits are very impressive, Nightcrawlers “thiller” jacket is very reminiscent of the 80’s. There are also some well judged cameos which you cannot fail to see.

Yes, this movie has received some bad reviews by the critics but don’t listen to them, go and see it for yourselves. You might just be pleasantly surprised.