Marvelous Mondays: The Fantastic Four by The Review Club

Hi There! Today’s Marvelous Monday post is about the Fantastic Four, done by Troy of the Review Club. Thanks for participating Troy!! (If you are interested in taking part, see the updated movies list here)

FANTASTIC 4 (2005)

fantastic 4

Wow, this feels like a trip down memory lane. I remember going to see this film when it came out, I would have been 14 and superhero films were big, but I guess not as big as they are now what with Marvel creating its own branded universe and yearly layout and DC now getting onto that same planning bandwagon with untitled films scheduled for the next few years. Seeing this now almost ten years later loses the young wonder I saw it with before, it has some fun elements but on the whole it lacks a punch and that’s sad considering the four powerful characters it has to play with.

On getting his idea agreed to, Reed Richards (Ioan Gruffudd) takes his friend Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis) to Victor Von Doom’s (Julian McMahon) space station where they’re joined by Von D himself, Reed’s old flame Susan Storm (Jessica Alba) and future flame figure Johnny Storm (Chris Evans). Up there they’re all struck by a freak radiation storm cloud and soon they discover they have powers which they need to understand, control and use to fight a power mad Doom.

all4

There’s fun and slight enjoyment to be had in certain places, the space station cosmic disaster is good enough to shed light on how they all come to gain their gifts, the last showdown with the masked Dr. Doom has some shiny glimmers if not feeling disappointingly short for a final act battle. The best sequence I thought was the bridge which gave time for Ben/The Thing to become a hero and be seen as not some weird orange rock monster. The destruction comes thick and fast with fire engines wreaking havoc, vehicles flipping and flying and all four of them use their powers openly for the first time giving them the public attention to make them the heroes of the movie. There may be some few poor green screen moments or CGI weaknesses amongst this sequence but on the whole it’s the best thing in the movie…I feel.

The issue this film has it never feels fast or exciting; it takes more time with them and their problems which in turn becomes the plots problem. It has an opening that jumps straight into Reed’s plan leaving the exposition light wildly flashing. The majority of the film is about Reed attempting to use his science know how to get them back to the way they were, which isn’t at all interesting to watch. Now with films such as Iron Man or The Avengers letting the heroes revel in the way they are it feels a touch boring having this as the main driving story, the motive is never serious as you want them to stay the way they are so the whole time they’re trying to revert their powers you’re growing tired of it. Siding with the smooth yet cocky Johnny proves to be the right choice.

Chris Evans brings comedy and a twinkle eyed performance as The Human Torch and without falling back on a pun he does burn away the others with his character, a smouldering fiery performance even! Sorry. Ioan Gruffudd does what is needed as the straight laced smart guy but he’s a bit dull and as the group leader Mr Fantastic he’s not that fantastic. Jessica Alba is gorgeous and gets under the skin of the preppy and romantic seeking Invisible Woman with enough believability even if at times you feel she’s acting. I’ll forgive her. Michael Chiklis gets the raw deal being caked in stupid prosthetics that make him look like a reject Pokémon with his only trait really being that he can clobber and smash. McMahon has flashes of evil in his path to becoming the big bad but he like the story never comes across as exciting as he could be considering he’s the only villain.

It’s not a greatly made movie by any account but at least it had time to set up all the characters which is perhaps the reason why ‘Rise of the Silver Surfer’ is a much better movie and actually proves that sequels can be done well. A hit and mostly miss movie with some enjoyable moments here and there, but a movie that Marvel must feel glad it never became part of their new universe.

5/10

Series Review: Mentalist (Season 6)

The-Mentalist-Season-6 - Copy

Highlights of the season:

Patrick Jane finally catches Red John

some suspects

*Some suspects *

After years of hide and seek, Red John, the killer of Patrick’s family and countless others, are finally revealed. After narrowing it down to six candidates, Patrick (Simon Baker) realizes that the corruption of law enforcement runs deep and that is how Red John has been getting away with what he does every time. Patrick’s final confrontation with Red John plays out in such a spectacular fashion I was ready to start chewing nails.

Patrick’s life after Red John.

abott

I’ve always wondered what Patrick would do after he caught the man that had ruined his life and taken away his family in such a brutal fashion. Seeing Patrick walking on the beach and just being at peace with who he is was unbelievably sweet.

Patrick, Teresa and Cho’s careers in the FBI

Theresa took the hardest hit for Patrick’s shenanigans, and when Patrick returns to the USA and requests her presence on the FBI team, it is such a sweet gesture from him. Cho (Tim Kang) is so focused on fixing himself and getting somewhere within law enforcement. I really like how he will always give credit to the right person and how hard working he is.

Teresa and Patrick finally address their relationship

This is probably the thing after Red John that interested me the most. Teresa (Robin Tunney) and Patrick have the oddest relationship, and she is more often than not exasperated with him, but she is also the only person that gets why he is the way he is and can fully cope with his mannerisms. It is good that they waited for Red John to be out of the picture – Patrick could not start a relationship if he hadn’t apprehended the monster in his life first.

Rating: 7/10

patrick in hidey hole

Although its usual length, The Mentalist season 6 felt like it took ages to get done. There were a lot of different things happening, so the feeling of being stretched wide is actually understandable.

The first 6 episodes are truly nail-biting and I would have rated those 8 had it been a separate season. Red John’s capture the extent of his power, the madness of the man and that final chase was scream worthy. I am really happy they didn’t spend the entire season on it; it would have been ridiculous to do that in the show’s sixth run. The man who played Red John (I don’t want to give too much away) was so frightening in the end. That voice flip still freaks me out to this day. A huge shout out to the show for finally revealing and ending the serial killer that has been tormenting Patrick for so long – I really don’t think that a seventh season of searching would have worked out at all.

The next couple of episodes deal with Jane’s hideout location, and how the FBI tracks him down to come work for them. I found it highly enjoyable because Patrick really did deserve a holiday after he put all that work in.

The majority of the last episodes are all cases with the FBI. The show evolves into purely procedural crime drama, and it works fine.  I really find Abbott amusing – he doesn’tmind at all to remind Jane who is in charge.

I loved Rigsby (Owain Yeoman) and Van Pelt’s (Amanda Righetti) relationship and how they made something for themselves outside the CBI and law-enforcement. One of the most intense scenes to me was with Rigsby hiding with their baby in the closet. I am a major fan of Rigsby and he is so cute as a father/husband/businessman. I am still a major fan of Cho and he should get some more screen time. He is so serious about his job and dedicated and momentarily hilarious most of the time.

The last few episodes slipped for me. It was without the jaw dropping emotion that had me hooked on this show from its first episode, and it just really felt tired. Simon Baker is still amazing as Patrick Jane. He is a great actor capable of projecting intense emotions. I mean, the whole human trafficking story could have been so much more if the writers were completely dedicated. That last episode could have been a lot more intense with the right aims. I did love Pedro Pascal as FBI agent Marcus Pike in here as well. When I realized that Oberyn Martell had crossed worlds to become an FBI agent I was really touched. His character was such a nice guy and you felt sorry for him even though he was messing with the plans of the show.

Have you seen this? What did you think?

Movie Review: The Other Woman (2014)

the-other-woman

What happens? (The short version)

Carly (Cameron Diaz) has what seems like the perfect relationship with Mark (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau). When he cancels meeting her father for the first time, she is angry, but her father Frank (Don Johnson), convinces her that she overreacted and should surprise Mark at his house in Connecticut.

cameron and nikolaj THE OTHER WOMAN

Carly is the one who gets the surprise when she finds Mark’s wife Kate (Leslie Mann) at the door. Embarrassed, she leaves, but Kate realizes something is amiss. Kate visits Carly the next day and when the truth comes out, Kate freaks but realizes that Carly never knew about Mark’s relationship.

Now Carly has to deal with her new best friend Kate and the knowledge that she was a mistress and she didn’t even know that. After meeting Kate’s Brother Phil (Taylor Kinney), Carly gets to know and like him. Phil is outraged that Mark cheated on his sister and warns Carly that Kate will eventually a breakdown when she the knowledge sinks in.

nikolaj and leslie mann THE OTHER WOMAN

Mark King: I wouldn’t even be me without you. I might not always get it right, but I’m right where I want to be.

Carly and Kate visit Phil’s beach house to spy on Mark and yet another mistress, Amber (Kate Upton). Amber is devastated when she hears Mark’s wife is nothing like the evil, cheating bitch Mark had described to her.

The three ladies band together in their solid dislike of Mark, and devise plans to get back at him. But can their friendship survive after Mark falls? How will Kate handle the demise of her marriage? Is there a real future for Carly and Phil, who met under dubious circumstances at best?

Rating: 6/10

I actually enjoyed this one. It suited well as some light-hearted Sunday night viewing, something to chase away the thought that we would all be working in a few hours.

The plot line was pretty obvious from the start – anyone who thought Jamie Lannister was capable of a normal, functioning relationship should have their heads checked. I had some sympathy with Carly, because what happened to her was disgusting and unfair – how often do men (probably women too) lie about their relationship status?

I thought all was lost when Nicki Minaj entered the scene, and really wondered if Kim K would rock up and like, like everything. However, Minaj didn’t really get a lot of screen time, and what she was given she did semi-okay with. Her performance was still the most questionable, but not tearing-out-hair bad.

I will admit that I am not overly fond of Cameron Diaz. I don’t understand the hype around her and she really seems so mediocre.  I would give her performance here credit by saying it is not as irritating as usual.

How hot is Taylor Kinney?!?! I saw him recently in my rerun of Vampire Diaries, and man, that guy is fine. His acting is also good, it has improved and the role really suited him. I was wondering if Lady Gaga called Nicki and was like “hey girl, my boo needs work” and then they worked together, or if Minaj called Gaga and was like “girrrl, I need work”, and then Taylor said it is cool she can work on his new movie. Anyhow, I am glad Kinney was in here because he is one of the things that worked in this movie. PS: Is he still dating Gaga? If not, I am definitely available!

leslie mann & taylor kinney THE OTHER WOMAN

A serious plus in the movie is Taylor Kinney’s face!

Ugh, Kate Upton. Can she be any more perfect/gorgeous? Her acting chops equaled that of Christina Aguilera in Burlesque – not bad but you can see it is not their field of expertise.

What I loved about this movie is the connection these ladies made with each other. They were all screwed (quite literally) by the same man, but didn’t turn on each other as is the norm. In the end they worked together to destroy him and bonded and became friends. I would love if that happened more often, because hey, blaming just one person of the adulterous relationship is incredibly unfair.

This chick-flick gets points for being more realistic than the tons of other shit that floats around, especially Ghosts of Girlfriend’s Past. Friendship between a wife and a mistress isn’t really plausible, but it is more plausible than travelling back in time to witness your mistakes, if you know what I mean.

Have you seen this? What did you think?

Movie Review: Lucy (2014)

lucy poster

Lucy (Scarlett Johansson) is twenty five and lives in Taipei as a student. Her new boyfriend asks her to deliver a case to a Mr. Jang (Choi Min-Sik), and she refuses multiple times, but he cuffs the case to her arm and she is forced to enter the hotel and deliver the package.

Her boyfriend is shot before her eyes and Mr. Jang’s henchmen drags her to a suite, where she is forced to open the case. The case contains a new synthetic drug CPH4, and before she knows it, the drug is implanted in Lucy’s abdomen, and she must deliver within 24 hours or die when the plastic bag inside her disintegrates. Lucy is kept captive while waiting for the flight, but one of her captors kicks her and the bag breaks, opening it and pushing all those drugs into her system.

The effects are remarkable; something Professor Samuel Norman (Morgan Freeman) has hypothesised about but never had a hope to witness. Lucy contacts him and tells him what is happening to her and agrees to meet with him in twelve hours.

lucy and prof

Lucy: We’ve codified our existence to bring it down to human size, to make it comprehensible, we’ve created a scale so we can forget its unfathomable scale

Meanwhile, there are still men with CPH4 in their bellies on the way to different countries. Lucy contacts Police Captain Pierre Del Rio (Amr Waked) in France to tell him what is happening, and he is convinced to take action. All three men are taken by the police and rushed to hospital, but the Taiwanese drug cartel takes also arrives to take the drug. Chaos ensues, but Lucy is able to get all three packets of CPH4 from the now dead drug mules.

As Lucy’s access to her brain capacity increases, she becomes telekinetic and able to manipulate people and matter. With these mind-blowing powers comes the knowledge that her body cannot bear the drugs infinitely and that she isn’t infinitely strong enough to survive all the mental capacity she is now subjected to. As she races to Professor Norman, Mr. Jang is still on his pursuit to get his drugs back. Can Lucy share her knowledge before her face off with Jang or her meeting with her own death?

Rating: 8/10

lucy and friend

I saw this movie over this weekend thinking that we were actually going to watch Sex-tape because some of my friends claimed they were too scared to watch Lucy. I am so happy that I got to see this instead because yet another Jason Segal and Cameron Diaz movie is not at the top of my to-do list.

Lucy is a movie that is actually worth the hype. I get why people would want to see it. Gripping story plus good action usually wields excellent results.

I really enjoyed Scarlett Johansson, and Analeigh Tipton wasn’t enough on screen to irritate me. The story had an excellent pace and I really thought that even though the hypothesis was far-fetched, the story did what it could to remain believable. As Michael said in this blog post, we need more female leads in action movies that don’t constantly send out sexual innuendos and need a man to save her. Lucy did everything herself, she kicked ass, her tale didn’t revolve how tight her clothes was (ahem, Black Widow, Scarlett) and the men ended up awed by her powers.

Thoughts while watching:

Firstly, don’t trust the Taiwanese. I did not spot any Taiwanese in Lucy that had a smidgen of dignity.

Can Morgan Freeman please, please do the voice over for my life?

I need Lucy’s super skills for traffic every Monday morning.

Don’t date guys you meet in a drunken adventure in a club at night, and more importantly, leave the first time when he asks you to do something questionable outside a high powered hotel.

Spanish/French/Whatever cops with crooked noses are surprisingly hot. Maybe it is the accent?

Even though there are some questionable scientific discoveries, I really had fun watching this. Morgan Freeman looks and sounds like the highly qualified professor that he portrays, and then the man dumbstruck with the fact that what he has hypothesised has happened.

Reasons why I really liked it:

Female kicks ass – there are not nearly enough action movies, or any genre of movies for that sake, that hosts a female lead who seriously kicks everybody’s ass, finds a way to save herself and not need a man to do it.

Oh, science. I enjoyed Morgan Freeman as the Professor and I just enjoy movies where science is celebrated and explored.

Good acting, lady. My usual range of comments about Scarlett Johansson is not always flattering, but she deserves accolades for Lucy. I thought she coped exceptionally well with having an unimaginable amount of life threatening drugs in her system. SJ was a superhero at the end of the day, and I didn’t even feel sorry for anyone she took out of her way – they truly deserved that.

Good recipe of drugs, drama, action and sadness. What do you do when you realise that you have unimaginable knowledge for a short time and then you will die? You contact the leading academic in the field, lure the madman out who is responsible for your upcoming death, give the police of France a day they will never forget and kick serious but. I wasn’t bored even once, I didn’t wonder when it would end and the action scenes weren’t boringly drawn out till I wanted to cry.

Recommendation: You won’t be ruining your day by watching this, but if you are scared easily I won’t recommend it. Go give it a try!

Marvelous Mondays: The Avengers (2012)

Firstly, happy Monday my devoted readers! After Rob brought us the Fantastic Four (which he didn’t enjoy all that much), I am putting up a post about one of my favorite movies EVAR, the Avengers, and I really hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I am planning to.

 Avengers

A challenge in reviewing a lot of Marvel movies is that I’ve seen most of the latest ones, and most likely have reviewed all of them. SO, to keep it all fresh, I will be attempting to go off the tracks and be original with the ones I have already posted. PS (A lot of these were blogged about in the beginning phases of my blog so they are highly likely to be crap. I am doing myself an honor to rectify these previous little posts.)

timely-logo

Facts about Marvel

Marvel Comics originated in 1939 as Timely Comics by Martin Goodman

The company was known as Atlas Comics during the 1950’s

The finally and ultimately renamed itself as Marvel Comics in 1961

I actually tried to trace in how many Marvel movies Stan Lee appears in. That lead me to read up about Lee, and while I still don’t have a definite number of his appearances I can truthfully state that what he did for comics is the equivalent of what Pascal and Newton did for science. (Naturally, please feel free to tell me in the comments section in how many movies he appeared in). I’ve always thought Stan is pretty damn cool (who doesn’t) but what I didn’t get is that he is essentially Marvel, and this guy is a symbol for what hard work and determination can do to people if they are willing to work their asses off.

Plot (via IMDb): Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

(That may or may not be the lamest plot synopsis I have ever read)

The Avengers (2012)was this insanely successful film that had the expected categories: people loved or hated it. Either way, the film was everything Marvel had hoped it would be: funny, sarcastic, and intense and the perfect conclusion to the Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America that had their releases as a build-up to this.

Why it works:

Well, it is fun. It has a story everyone at least has some partial knowledge of but steps were taken to keep a few suspenseful surprises up the sleeves of Josh Whedon.

There is most likely a character in there you will love. The Avengers has a massive, famous cast with Robert Downey Jnr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Buffalo, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner all have their say, and that is just to name a few of the insanely charismatic cast.

Earth gets attacked: NOTHING fascinates a cinema of people more than the mere thought that the extinction of the human race is nigh. Aliens have always been a fun yet scary occurrence to contemplate, and if you add in some gods with Thor and Loki, the movie becomes a potent hot bed for success.

loki

Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation! The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled! In the end, you will always kneel.

Oh, Villainy villain:I am not one of those sad fools who think Loki is the hotter brother, but that man sure has stuff going for him. Tom Hiddleston brings depth to the character which may or may not have failed otherwise. Loki has a lot of issues, his brother is not only the legitimate child of Odin but also stronger, more charming and courageous. Loki makes you understand that although he is rotten, he is also complicated, and that the knowledge of his true parentage sent his already dubious ethics straight into the ground.

Damn funny stuff: This is a movie full of wise-cracks, sarcasm and chirp. A lot comes from Robert Downey Junior’s character, Tony Stark. Iron Man was obviously a great pull for everyone to go watch Avengers, and he delivered by being his usual uncontrollable self. I love and perve about Chris Hemsworth on every level, but I think he should leave the funny stuff to Iron Man. I mean, Thor is beautiful to look at, but he doesn’t come across as having a lot of funny bones in him.

The special effects made the movie that much more entertaining. I really do think it was well done.

There isn’t something I dislike about it the movie, but if I had to choose I would say that female superheroes shouldn’t have to wear tight black suits to save the day. If this is the case, please let Chris Hemsworth walk around bare chested the whole time in his next movie so he can be subjected to being objectified every five seconds.

I am obviously incredibly excited about Age of Ultron, the second Avengers movie. I have hopes that they can improve on this, if it is possible, by taking the story to a whole new level and exploring the characters a bit more. I think Mark Ruffalo is a decent hulk and he needs a movie of his own. He manages to show what bottled rage really means.

Thoughts 9.1

wine_a_bit_funny_sign

Firstly, this post was initially incredibly whiney, (sadly not WINE-y). I edited a lot to make it not seem like an incessant moan session, so if you are reading this, know that I love you (in a purely unfreaky way) enough to change a post to positive. It started off one night as I forced myself off the internet (you freaking addictive thing).

It is September, which means Spring. I am so happy it is warmer. To the Northerners reading this, Winter is coming. You all at least get some snow while all we do in SA is get cold. I can’t wait for November, I am going to the coast (major dancing, partying and loafing will be involved, all on the beach)

What is happening quite soon:

I am doing the Colour Run in Johannesburg. It is my first time doing this and I really can’t wait.

I am up for a two week practical Chemistry class. That means two weeks of not dealing with work which is the best thing to happen since sliced cheese.

Speaking of South-Africa, here is a cute article about slang words South-Africans use.

Can people just not be such asshats?

I have this huge confession that I LOVE Kate and William. They are so sweet, and I don’t care if feminists think that she should do more with her life than pop out babies. Some women want that, just FYI, and it is their free choice to make. Anyway, I am super excited that they are having their next baby! So everyone who is moaning about the British money being wasted or whatever bug you have up your ass, just be happy for once that a couple is happy.

Another case of sever ass-ism are the people who left two Labrador puppies in a dustbin. My sister will now adopt one and the brother will go to another safe place. This is not the place to mention what I will do to the people that did that, but let’s just say for now I hope they end up in a dustbin without food or water. Would seem like justice.

Movies watched recently

Not a whole lot, but I saw One for the Money Friday night while drinking wine with my sister (the wine couldn’t even save that plot) and I saw Lucy in cinema Saturday. I also saw THAT was epic and I had such a good time with it, so keep an eye out for the post!

I am busy reviewing some Marvel films for my Marvellous Monday Blogathon. The table with available movies to watch is updated every Monday as the instalment post is posted, so hop over and takes a look.

Reading List:

To finish:

A Faint, Cold Fear – Karin Slaughter

Dead to the World – Charlaine Harris

Angel’s Fall – Nora Roberts. Yep, I am actually re-reading this for the gazillionth time.

To begin:

Dead as a Doornail – Charlaine Harris

A Game of Thrones – George R.R Martin

Series

After finishing the glorious Sherlock, I haven’t watched anything new. I was playing around with Vampire Diaries season three as part of my plan to catch up with all of it, but I am still not finished. I am going to start True Blood soon, with some light-hearted New Girl in-between because I just love that ridiculous show.

A hot guy, because I can

Taylor-Kinney-37

And this one that Zoë sent me. Because we understand that so well

unnamed

Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

 grand budapest poster

A condensed version of what happens:

The Author of the book The Grand Budapest Hotel has a statue in a cemetery where admirers can leave souvenirs. The statue is visited by a young lady one day, book in hand. As she starts to read the tale in the book, the tale begins to unfold how the Author got this particular story.

The Author (Jude Law) is still a young man travelling the world. He visits the Republic of Zubrowka, where he chooses to stay in Grand Budapest Hotel. Although still incredibly beautiful, the expansive building has begun falling into disrepair, and there are a few clients. The Author quickly establishes that most guests there want to be left in peace, and he makes friends with the Lobby Boy.

One day, while chatting, lobby boy points out that the owner of the Hotel, Zero Moustafa (F. Murray Abraham), is sitting in the reception area. The Author is rather interested in Zero when he hears that the owner of the hotel visits only once a year for a few weeks and then even more peculiarly sleeps in the smallest room in the hotel. No one really knows why, that is just the way it is.

The Author meets Zero in the bathhouse, and after their initial acquaintance they agree to have dinner together, where the Author will here Zero’s story and by default the Hotel’s as well.

Zero’s begins his story where he arrived at the story at the hotel begins in 1932, where starts working as a lobby boy. He is taken under the training of Gustave H. (Ralph Fiennes), the Hotel’s concierge, a man loved and respected by all the guests and workers in the Hotel. One of these guests is Madame Céline Villeneuve Desgoffe und Taxis (Tilda Swinton) who is elderly, very rich and very attracted to the Gustave. When Celine dies, she leaves Gustave a valuable painting, and her family is in uproar. Gustave is soon arrested for her murder, and thrown into prison. Celine’s son, Dmitri (Adrien Brody), is determined to have everything in his mother’s estate and uses his henchman J. G. Jopling (William Dafoe) to sort out the people who stand in his way.

Will Gustave ever become free? Can they apprehend the real murderer? What will happen to young Zero if his master is in prison? Can they evade Jopling, who delights in killing innocent people?

gbh 1

 I must say, I find that girl utterly delightful. Flat as a board, enormous birthmark the shape of Mexico over half her face, sweating for hours on end in that sweltering kitchen, while Mendl, genius though he is, looms over her like a hulking gorilla. Yet without question, without fail, always and invariably, she’s exceedingly lovely.

Rating: 7.5/10

Hmm, I really liked this. It is definitely one of the better movies that came out in 2014. Plenty of people found it very weird, and it is certainly eccentric, but it is also arty and comedic, and The Grand Budapest Hotel hit showed a movie didn’t need to be complete drama to get a message across. The message I took away from this is that people who understands what other people need will always be remembered and helped out of a tight spot.

The star studded cast was extremely charming, and didn’t have very annoying people in so it worked out well. I have always adored Ralph Fiennes. He has such a daring, flamboyant way of acting and he is as entertaining as ever in here as Gustave H. Tilda Swinton still freaks me out so much (perhaps she always will?). I did enjoy Jude Law and it was nice because he is often slightly irritating, but his role in here was small enough so he could divide his limited charm when needed and not make me wonder why he is a celebrated actor. I always enjoy Adrien Brody and he was good in here too. I loved the theatrical sounds every time he entered the room and his obvious villainous character! I also liked Dafoe in here – his character was scary and a bit ridiculous at the same time. I loved those short pants!

I definitely have a liking in these artsy type films. I find it beautiful, uplifting and funny. I really also liked that it was only an hour and 40 minutes. I hate wasting too much time on a film if it is not needed, and GBH fit into its timeslot so well.

Recommendation: If you like artsy films, give it a try!

Book Review: The Collector (Nora Roberts)

collector

Plot:

Lila Emerson moves into an apartment in New York City temporarily because of her job. In addition to being a YA writer, Lila is also a successful house sitter. She doesn’t have a place of her own and lives with her best friend when she needs a few weeks between jobs.

Her current job brings her great satisfaction and gives Lila the opportunity to spy a little on her neighbours. She regularly looks at an attractive young couple in the flat across from her, and although there isn’t any violence, they do quarrel a lot. Lila is thus horrified when she witnesses the murder of the beautiful blonde woman. After calling the police and giving her information, Lila learns that the male inhabitant of the flat, Oliver Archer, was found dead in an apparent overdose.

Establishing that life really does suck, she moves on, and after a final visit to the police she plans to put it behind her. That is until she meets Ashton Archer, brother of the deceased and famous artist. Ashton is grieving for his brother and unable to reconcile either death of the doomed flatmates. After meeting for coffee, Ashton asks to see the flat his brother lived in from Lila’s flat, and although initially suspicious, Ashton later gets the go-ahead from Lila.

In the flat Ashton gets Lila to see what he is saying: that his brother’s deceased girlfriend would have been dwarfed by Oliver’s size, even in heels, and that means the killer was shorter and that rules Oliver out. The police also later establish that the drugs didn’t kill Oliver, and Ashton starts searching for answers.

Ashton receives intriguing mail from Oliver, sent shortly before his death, and Ashton finds a priceless treasure that is likely the reason his brother is dead. As more bodies turn up and Ashton and Lila becomes the target of a mad assassin, they can only trust each other and try to find the killer. Will they both be able to survive? Can the Faberge egg be kept from the reclusive Collector and his killing employee?

Rating: 7/10

Ah, a new book by Nora Roberts. It is probably the best news someone could give me as she is one of my favourite authors. Her writing and storytelling has increased exponentially over the decades. In her empire of published works, The Collector is a great addition. I wouldn’t classify this even maybe in my top ten favourite reads by her, but it is definitely something I would read again.

I really enjoyed Lila and Ashton, but the love story was completely implausible once again. You have to wonder about the sanity of people who try and catch a killer instead of leaving it to the police, even if they are factionary.

Lila’s gypsy lifestyle is fascinating and I adored her outgoing character (completely the opposite of myself) and a lad that is genuinely interested in other people. I did wonder how she would keep up her housesitting, something she clearly enjoyed, adMaking her an author of teenage books was funny and it somehow made me more forgiving to authors that actually write those books – every author probably puts their heart and soul into their literature, no matter the questionable quality.

The antagonist was once again obvious from the start, having whole sections devoted to it (I am keeping the gender neutral, clever me), and while it takes away the who-did-it? question, it builds suspense and fear as you get to know the ruthless killer behind Oliver’s death. It is NOT the scariest of killers Nora Roberts ever created, but the cold-minded cruelty was freaky in some parts.

Cellphones, laptops and Facebook all worked themselves into the book to make sure you understand that this book was actually released the other day, in the 21st century*. Is it idiotic of me to be slightly bleak about it all? I really like reading books that seem a little old, without the constant social networking presence we already experience.

Recommendation: A definite read for established fans, but don’t try this as your first Nora Roberts book, because it isn’t even close to her best.

*Confession bear: I had to Google what century we are in. I am slightly ashamed.

Marvellous Mondays: The Fantastic Four (1994) – MovieRob

Marvel logo

Happy Monday everyone!

To kickstart this blogathon, please help me in welcoming Rob, the owner of the epic blog Movierob. This guy is the king of movie watching – he is closing in on a 1000 movies reviewed on his blog! (?!?! I am also a bit awed) There are still movies open for reviewing – see the updated post here

fantastic four cover

“What kind of a thing have I turned in to? ” – The Thing

Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Sep 2014)

Brief Synopsis – 4 astronauts get super powers following an accident in space.

My Take on it – Watching the way that Marvel and DC have been making great movies from their comics has made me feel nostalgic for checking out how bad some of the older attempts turned out.

Natasha’s new series has given me the opportunity to check out the first incarnation of the Marvel foursome, The Fantastic Four.

This VERY campy superhero movie from the 90’s makes it perfectly clear as to why it took more than a decade more to move things up a notch in the genre.

The special effects are horrendous!

The acting is very stiff and none of the actors manage to get their lines across in a normal thespian manner and ultimately the story is presented in a very silly way.

I read that this movie was only made in order for the studio to not lose its right to a future franchise.

Not sure why they would want to start a franchise on a crappy note, but hey, lots of crappy movies are made.  Actually when I think about it, there are probably more horrendous movies out there than great ones (if that weren’t true, Eric of the IPC would never have any fodder for his ShitFest series) :)

This movie is not memorable in any way shape or fashion besides the fact that it was somewhat funny how they seem to take themselves so seriously.

Basically, stay away from this unless u wanna laugh at a superhero movie!

Bottom Line - Very Campy 90’s superhero movie that should only be watched knowing that it’s terrible in order to laugh at it.

Rating – Razzie Worthy (2/10)