Colleen Houck

“I took hold of that scourge -filled ship and crushed it between my limbs, hurtling it into the second sun, the red one that gave me strength. But I was too late." Terraformer

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  • Movie Review: Pompeii

    February 22, 2014

    Movie Review: Pompeii

    Pompeii (2014) Movie Poster

    Colleen’s Movie Review

    Romance: Oh boy. So here’s the development of the romance.

    • Slave/Gladiator steps up to kill her maimed horse
    • She likes horses
    • He’s a sort of horse whisperer
    • They’re in love

    Come on Hollywood. A girl needs just a little bit more reason than that. Still somehow even though she’s only seen the guy twice and heard him say maybe a total of 20 words she already knows he’s “everything the Roman senator is not.” I’m not really sure if either character actually had any chemistry with each other since I pretty much felt nothing but disappointment and disbelief regarding the two of them.

    Slave labour of love: Kit's character Milo locks lips with his owner's daughter Cassia, played by Emily Brownng


    Special Effects: The volcano going off was good. Saw it in 3-D so there were a few projectiles in my face.

    What I Liked: I liked Atticus okay. Really liked the horse. In my opinion the horse was the only one that had any common sense. Oh and I liked her lovely villa overlooking the ocean. Pretty fountains. Should have shown us a bit more of that.

    What I’d Change: I don’t even know where to begin. Actually I’d probably scrap the entire gladiator angle which was a sad, sad copy of the Gladiator and instead focus on the, I don’t know, VOLCANO.

    So you already know how I feel about the romance. Adding to that, the character Cassia, was emaciated. Seriously, her lips were thicker than her waist. She also looks like she’s sixteen tops which is entirely too young for Kiefer Sutherland, who by the way didn’t convince me he was a Roman let alone a villain, but I digress.

    Even if I ignored the irritating gladiator rip off, the whole volcano blowing up happened WAY…TOO…SLOW. I’m no vulcanologist but it seems to me when the earthquake starts happening and you see the top blow, its pretty much over in a few minutes. The characters had plenty of time to run miles, stop and assess the situation, still a few kitten coughs with water, have long drawn out fights, recapture the girl, rescue the girl a second time, say goodbye to the dead parents, find a horse, lose the horse, chase a chariot, run to the boats, see the harbor destroyed by a tsunami, dodge flaming rock bombs, evade chunky hail, and, lest we forget, set up the bad guy in such a way as to make sure the death that is coming for them all, gets to him too.

    I thought the whole point of Pompeii was that it happened so fast that the real bodies they discovered were burned or turned to ash in whatever positions they were in. They painstakingly recreated that effect in the movie but it didn’t make sense really since they had so much time to run. The frozen in place thing felt weird. Like posing for death.

    Cassia’s mom was Trinity in the Matrix. I was sort of hoping she’d hijack the movie and do something cool like maybe kick everyone in the face. She did seem like the only one with a brain in the film because while the Senator was knocked out she told her husband to kill him but (spoiler alert) he couldn’t do it quickly enough and ended up dying instead.

    Also where did Atticus who wore no shirt the whole time, suddenly get a fancy tunic thing? And even though we just saw a dirt road littered with debris and bodies and, don’t forget, an entire boat that sailed into town on the tsunami, somehow Kiefer Sutherland with his new fiancee abductee was racing pell-mell down the town street in a four horse drawn chariot with nary a blocked path.

    Then the horse, my favorite character, who threw a rider when he barely sensed an earthquake and was so upset upon his return that the horse whisperer guy had to be called in, had no problem jumping over various holes and steaming fissures whilst a volcano was erupting and bombing things all around. I guessed he sensed his rider whispering comforting thoughts amidst impending death.

    The tagline is incorrect. It says “No Warning. No Escape.” While its true there was no escape for pretty much anyone, there was plenty of warning. I was actually hoping the gladiator promoter who had the sense to try to get out ahead of the crowd would make it. He kind of deserved to get away I thought.

    Hunky Hero: Sigh. Though this fellow has an undeniable six pack the half man bra does nothing for me and really…what is it protecting? Also why so many buckles? Who ripped his man-skirt off in such a way as to leave rough edges? Can he not grow hair on the part of his chin under his lip? Why does he want to protect the girl anyway? He really seems like an every man for himself kind of guy. Falling for a pretty face doesn’t really fit with his character I don’t think. All things considered, I’m still more team Kellan Lutz.

    Up Pompeii: Kit Harrington shows off his fantastic six pack for his role as a slave in the historical love story

    The Villain: Every time I see Kiefer Sutherland, I grin. I can’t help it. I like him. He’s an actor from my generation and he’s just the kind of guy you want to trust. When he was after the pre-teen girl, I was just like, “Ew. Why Kiefer? You’re so much better than that.” Kiefer doesn’t look even remotely Roman.


    The better villain was his sidekick, Proculus. I watch him on Grimm and he is not only a good-looking guy but I can believe he’s got a dark side. Even though he had very few lines, he was much more intimidating.

    Sasha Roiz Picture

    Best Line: Whew. There weren’t many. I guess it would be when Atticus killed Proculus and said something like, “Let’s see if a Roman can die like a gladiator.”

    Best Scene: Probably when the pyroclastic flow destroyed the movie, I mean the town.

    Recommended for YA fans: If you’re gunning for a volcano movie then I’d suggest renting Dante’s Peak.




    Grandma’s Review

    2014-01-19 15.04.07


    Grandma’s Bio: My name is Kathleen and I’m Colleen’s mom. I’m a mother of seven and grandmother of seventeen with one bun in the oven (not my oven). They’re all great. None of my kids are duds-you know, like the popcorn kernels that don’t pop. My father taught me to love science fiction and mysteries. I’m a dreamer whose secret wish was to be an actress and sing and dance on stage. I have lots of things I still want to do. A few of my favorite things include-discovering new restaurants, going to movies, traveling, seeing plays, children, my dogs, Elvis, reading books, The Beach Boys, and Rhett Butler because he doesn’t give a damn AND he can carry Scarlett up the stairs.

    Definition of Kicky-providing a kick or thrill, exciting

    Review: Pompeii, the movie, was very enjoyable. It had beautiful visual effects and a compelling story. The hero and heroin were well suited and believable. I loved the gladiator character, Atticus. It was such a tragic story and made me sad at the end but well worth seeing. I will give it 7 out of 10 kicks.

    Karate Girl Sticker Car Window Decal Fight Woman Kick Neat Gift Vinyl Black Belt


    A Guy’s Perspective

    2014-02-01 22.54.02


    Bio: I’m Colleen’s husband, Brad. I’m the youngest of four kids. I’ve been Deaf since I was five so I watch every movie with caption glasses. I love sports and reading (I’ll admit I’ve read Twilight but prefer thrillers like Jack Reacher). My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip. I’ll never turn down a taco. I write poetry. My man credentials include: a high school career in wrestling, watching sports every time my wife is too busy to notice, a receding hairline, two repaired ACL’s, and a stockpile of Axe body wash.


    I admit I expected Pompeii to be a cinematic disaster, nearly as much as, if not more than, the Legend of Hercules. The comparisons between the two films are virtually inevitable, given the inherent time periods, geography, mythology, and violence. Pompeii, in 3-D, was not all pomp and circumstance, however. Some scenes were too laughable to believe, but then, that was to be expected. At least, there was no awkwardly fake Nicean lion to be had. In fact, I never really noticed I was in a 3-D film—and I’m not sure if that’s a good or a bad thing, though in Hercules the cheesy 3-D lion was glaringly obvious.   The fiery meteors pummeling the city looked pretty realistic, and I felt like I was witnessing a city meeting its demise.

    This was Gladiator meets Dante’s Peak meets Deep Impact. Given the casting, it could also be dubbed Grimm (Roiz) meets 24 (Sutherland) meets Lost (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) which would make a fitting title (“A Grim 24 Hours Until All is Lost” or something like that…). Perhaps because the actors were familiar to me, I found I cared more about the characters and their fates (of course, we all know they end up in a heap of ash). The main character simply known as “Celt” (who probably reminded me of me during my wrestling days—short, gritty, and tough as nails—but I digress…) was likeable and I found the relationship between him and the determined, spit-fire Cassia believable. Even Mt. Vesuvius–a grumbling, rumbling character with fire shooting out of her mouth—loomed prominently in the breathtaking cinematography like a veritable Mt. Doom.

    The concluding scenes brought the movie full circle with corpses wrapped in a fiery, passionate embrace, thus making the opening scenes relevant. Thankfully, the gladiator battle scenes didn’t overtake the movie and I appreciated the brief, yet somewhat compelling, character developments in both major and minor characters. This film earns a well-deserved 7 Hulk Smash Fists out of 10.

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    This entry was posted in A Guy's Perspective, Grandma's Review, Movie Review.

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    Author Bio
    Colleen Houck

    New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she's not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.