Movie Review: Runaway Bride (1999)

rbj

Plot: A reporter is assigned to write a story about a woman who has left a string of fiances at the altar.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’ve been making a point to watch as many films lately that I’ve been meaning to see, but never able to. It’s like the unofficial blindspot list, well, because I have an official one as well (that I continuously run out of time for!)

Runaway Bride is the second venture between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the first being the truly excellent Pretty Woman. Gere is grayer than he was, but the chemistry between the two actors are as strong as ever. It also marks a return for Hector Elizondo, also involved in Pretty Woman, and I have always enjoyed him in any role.

rbjj

I had fun with this. It is obviously a romantic comedy, but it is really well written with acerbic bantering and well thought out dialogues. There are a few moments where I laughed out loud – especially Richard Gere’s hair being made an assortment of different colors. I also really liked the bits of character development in Maggie Carpenter – she obviously had to find herself before she found her man. I thought that the friendly relationship between Ike and his ex-wife and her husband was quite silly (I mean, have you MET divorced people and their ex-spouses? #awkward)

Julia Roberts – I hate that people can easily discuss a woman aging but not a man. It isn’t cool! I personally still find Roberts really beautiful, and for that reason alone I am avoiding that Mother’s Day film that has her typecast and it pisses me off. But how fresh and gorgeous was she as a young woman? It is astounding. She perfects the girl next door look and personality, and every girl wants to be her and every man wants her.

Then there is the delicious Gere – he’s a bit older here, but I get why the ladies thought he was so attractive. He did the 90’s man so well, and the ladies were probably fanning themselves every time he got on screen!

If I had to choose between Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride I’d go for Pretty Woman. I think most people would – it is a standout film can be viewed as a defining moment in Roberts’ career. However, this is a great staple to your movie diet regardless of your appreciation of the rom-com genre – I hope most people would love it!

rbjjj

Book review: All Together Dead (Charlaine Harris)

all-together-dead

Book #7 in the Southern Vampire Mysteries Chronicles

What I liked:

Quinn. I’m still rooting for this guy, but it is quickly becoming clear that Sookie is not going to end up with him because she’s a judgmental cow. He’s still all manly and I love that, and felt a bit sorry that he wasn’t all that present in this book.

Sookie and Barry saving people after the terrorist attack – for once Sookie’s powers were actually helpful to the world and she didn’t use it to gather pity for herself.

What I didn’t like:

The summit. The major event of the seventh book grated on me. For creatures that have been living for thousands of years the vampires can be quite stupid. Having a summit is obviously a stupid idea.

Sophie Anne’s trial was marketed through the entire book and ended up being a few pages.

How many things want to happen in one book? Was the author bored and decided now’s the time to have an attack every five to ten pages? The bomb, the massive attack, the fact that Sookie is made the heroine every time she enters a building and finally Sookie and Barry saving everyone with their magnificent abilities piled up page after page and I think the book should have been called “A book of events more improbable than Vampires existing”

Sookie judging Quinn for his past was a bit high handed for someone who is in her position. I’m still very for team Quinn, but I acknowledge now that Sookie has enough suitors to start with.

Rating: 6.5/10

I think this was the book where I stopped reading the last time around and I realize why – there is nothing strong about this book and one of the worst in the entire series. The Vampire Summit was ridiculous to the extreme and was just – ugh. That said, I really find these novels so much fun. They are adulty without being Mills and Boon, the vampires aren’t wimps and they have a huge appeal while remaining true to a lot of the lore that has always surrounded them, and the characters end up being wildly entertaining most of the time – especially Pam and Eric, my two favorites. I read on quite a bit after this, because these books are excellent when you just want something basic to read.

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

fb1

Plot: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Rating: 6/10

If I could rate this movie purely on how pretty it all looked I would have rated it at an 8/10  – it looks pretty and the magic is impressive. I have a great love for the magically conjured umbrellas, it looked simply beautiful. Humour is readily available by the movie clown Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), an unfortunate human caught in a magical mess. I enjoyed seeing Colin Farrell in a film again, I feel that he has completely slipped off the radar in later years and hope this beckons a return for him. However, I am not supportive of the move of magic to America – talk about people needing a pat on the head to feel included. I really hated the No-Maj term – just NO – it lacks originality and sounds and looks stupid. Eddie Redmayne generally impresses me when I see him in something, but I was not a major fan of his work as Newt Scamander. He was twitchy and strange and lacked confidence completely. Ezra Miller was CREEPY – that is an achievement of the film as that would probably stay with me forever.

fb2

The biggest flaw was the lack of story – Newt lands in America by BOAT – since when are we not apparating, folks? And somehow is careless enough to set loose some beasts which he tries to capture in. Throw in a female magical president (and a thorough dose of shade to the current American political landscape), Gellert Grindelwald, a badly plotted love story and some new magic terms, and you end up with a queasy mess that isn’t even close to what Potter originally was. As for the two major plot twists? The one is obvious from the very start and the second surprised me – I won’t go into detail for those people who still wish to watch it.

fb3

Sadly, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wasn’t that fantastic. I think I love Potter too much and notice anything that doesn’t jibe with the original works. However, it looked pretty and is well acted out, which should not be ignored.

Have you seen this film? What did you think?

Movie Review: The Choice (2016)

thechoice

Plot: Travis and Gabby first meet as neighbors in a small coastal town and wind up in a relationship that is tested by life’s most defining event

Rating: 6.5/10

What I liked:

There is actual chemistry between the two main characters. Teresa Palmer and Benjamin Parker actually looked like they would actually go for each other, not some randoms who were stuck on screen together because they are both good looking. I liked Teresa’s independence and attitude, but honestly, some of the fights they had was quite demented. I also liked seeing Tom Welling again (seriously, this guy basically disappeared after Smallville). Why isn’t he in his Superman suit? That said, he does looks pretty good in the doctor ensemble. Yummy

I really liked Travis with his sunglasses on. It was delicious. As for the character, it really was one of those empty shell ones but it wouldn’t have been a more complex character if we begged for it – this is Nicholas Sparks after all.

The story improves over the course of the movie. It starts off with a voice over and some unconvincing acting, and eventually becomes a moderately engrossing film. It is most definitely better than the awful Best of Me, where the characters had no chemistry and the acting sucked.

What I didn’t like:

Cheating is taken very lightly in this film. Like, super lightly.

Lots of romantic slush running around here – you can spot every single bit of drama that is going to unfold. It was a bit high and the director was obviously desperately chopping onions so that we could all cry.

So this guy is saying that he’s a Southern boy that she toyed with and now she’s marrying a doctor – this Southern boy is a vetenarian, so let’s not start with your passive aggressive attitude boy.

The Choice is obviously again one of those films that aren’t really offensive and is a bit forgettable, but mostly okay. It has some obviously designed moves to make people weep, but it isn’t criminal and the acting isn’t that bad.

thechoice3_MG_0992.CR2

 

Book review: I am Number Four (Pittacus Lore)

i_am_number_four_cover

Plot: Nine of us came here. We look like you. We talk like you. We live among you. But we are not you. We can do things you dream of doing. We have powers you dream of having. We are stronger and faster than anything you have ever seen. We are the superheroes you worship in movies and comic books–but we are real.

Our plan was to grow, and train, and become strong, and become one, and fight them. But they found us and started hunting us first. Now all of us are running. Spending our lives in shadows, in places where no one would look, blending in. We have lived among you without you knowing.

But they know.

They caught Number One in Malaysia.
Number Two in England.
And Number Three in Kenya.
They killed them all.

I am Number Four.

I am next

Rating: 8/10

This book was part of my #BookShopDisaster last month, where I lost my head completely and just piled in the books. I didn’t really know what the book was about when I bought it, and the most I knew was that it was 1) Dystopian and that 2) a movie had been made and everyone hated it. Neither of those were good signs, but I lacked reason and bought the book anyway.

It paid off – my venture into Pittacus Lore’s world was successful and I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It is really well written, the characters are likable, and if I have to hazard a guess I’d say that the book was published at the beginning of the Dystopian craze – the ideas are original, the mythology have actual names (not just a Capital Something) and we get to enjoy a well thought out plot line. The author obviously spent active time developing his characters and building their existence, something that really doesn’t happen all that often with Dystopian novels.

The characters are all likeable – Henry and John and Sam and even the love interest Sarah. I really, really appreciated that there wasn’t some really drawn out, grinding love triangle. I also liked Sarah, she’s shockingly stable and tolerable for a teenage female book-character. We can laugh a little at Sam and Sarah’s meek acceptance that aliens exist, but it was all good fun and would have sucked anyway if they had run away screaming in terror. I really loved little Bernie Kosar, he’s the sweetest and the author obviously had an appreciation for animals. I also liked everything about Lorien and the Legacies, and the war with the Mogodorians.

There is quite a bit that happens in one book – information is constantly supplied. It could have been draining and frustrating, but it was more enjoyable and seemed like a natural progression. I thought the final fight at the school was way too drawn out – it kept running and running and running. I must also say that that was about the only thing that didn’t work out 100% in the entire novel, which makes it as a crime not so severe.

I will definitely be looking at the rest of the series and might for interest sake watch the movie just to grasp everyone’s outrage. Recommended for people that still have time for Dystopia – it really was quite good.

Blindspot review: Aliens (1986)

aliens-poster

Plot: The moon from Alien (1979) has been colonized, but contact is lost. This time, the rescue team has impressive firepower, but will it be enough?

Rating: 8.5/10

Ellen Ripley has been floating through space for 57 years after fighting off the Alien and destroying the USCSS Nostromo. When she awakes she is interrogated, the Corporation being as sceptic about her claims about the monstrous alien as they are angry that she destroyed their ship. She is released of her duties, and starts to do some menial tasks around the spaceship (I assume until she can return home as a really young looking grandma). However, when contact is lost with the exomoon where the Alien so nicely attacked Riply, the Corporation quickly forget that they mistreated her and want her to travel to the moon with a bunch of super strong marines and go see what is cracking. Ripley knows exactly what they are about to face – but can she convince her crew and get out alive again?

What I loved about this film:

Ellen Ripley – eeek!! She’s so badass and ready to deal with an Alien once again. She’s capable and smart and knows how to handle herself, despite being a bit shaken up by her previous trip. She’s the ultimate girl power and Sigourney Weaver couldn’t help but rock the hell out of that role.

The cat stayed at home – I was way too worried about that damn cat in the first film.

Burke (Paul Reiser) was such an ass. He seemed WAY too nice at the start of the film, way too friendly and accommodating, and I suspected his sorry ass from the start. What he did to Newt and Ripley was terrible, and eventually revealed himself to be a power hungry fool.

I really liked Bishop (Lance Henriksen) – I understand why Ripley didn’t trust him one bit after her encounter with Ash but he at least seemed capable of dealing with drama and proving Ripley wrong.

aliens3

Replacing the cat as the-thing-Ripley-needs-to-save is Newt (Carrie Henn), the young little girl who managed to keep herself alive while the aliens killed her entire colony. I liked Newt, she was sweet and not nearly as annoying as I thought she would turn out.

aliens2

Hicks (Michael Biehn) was a great character. He had sense and leadership and a dash of badass and it was appealing. I was glad that he also got off the moon – thank GOODNESS.

The pace of the movie is relentless. So much intensity passes in the (astronomically long, TBH), running time. It’s attack after attack and similarly to Alien, just when you think the Aliens are GONE, there is yet another one that pitches. It would have been annoying if it wasn’t so well directed and the aliens weren’t so imposing, and the final fight between Ripley and the Alien queen was great. I loved Ripley’s line and her subsequent killing of the queen – it reminds me SO MUCH of what Molly yells at Bellatrix before she kills her in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Is there something I didn’t like? Well, I really thought the running time was way too long – it is a James Cameron film, and we all know he can go on and on if you let him. I rarely have the patience to sit down for so long – I’m fully convinced that I have adult-developed ADHD (as improbable as it sounds). I managed to get through this because it is good – but my goodness, it was long.

Private Vasquez  (Jenette Goldstein) was embarrassingly stereotyped – she was so butch and overly foreign (I don’t even know what they were aiming for). It could have been a more subtler approach, but hey, it was 1986, so I guess I shouldn’t expect too much. It was nice to have another ass kicking female on board though, not some screechy pain in the ass like in the first film.

Aliens was obviously a fantastic film and avoided being a failure of a sequel. Despite sitting away two and a half hours of your life on this, you will probably really end up enjoying it as I did.

Movie Review: Spotlight (2015)

spotlight

Plot: The true story of how the Boston Globe uncovered the massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese, shaking the entire Catholic Church to its core.

Rating: 8/10

I was so in the mood to watch this at one point, and it paid off. Spotlight deserved its nomination and victory in the Best Picture category at the Oscars. It is combined as a solid film with packed performances and a thrilling plot. Liev Schreiber was particularly good – I’ve always considered him an accomplished actor, but this is some of his finest work. I was initially convinced that this man had to have had a motive – he was so clear on where he was heading to reveal how underhanded and terrible the Catholic Church was with dealing with the rampant child molestation in the Church. He also immediately requested that the project be started as soon as he walked in. However, truth was his only motive – he wanted the story out there. No secret vendettas or dramas, just the truth.

It is quite amusing how desperate they were to have Rachel McAdams appear ordinary. You can’t hide that level of beauty. She is an actress that can convey so much with her eyes. Her sympathy and anger and compassion towards the victims came through without her touching the people she was interviewing at the most once. I loved her role;she was equal to her male colleagues and treated as such.

Mark Ruffalo gives another outstanding performance, but I’ve come to accept and expect that from him. He’s quite the celebrated actor, but I feel he deserves more accolades – I can’t really name one movie where I thought he did a bad job.

Michael Keaton delivers another important and noteworthy performance. He’s in a class of his own, and I must say, even though he’s quite old now there is a virility and energy to him that remains appealing after all this time.

I can actually list the entire cast here – it is outstanding work and I cannot praise that enough. It made the movie so much better.

As for the storyline – it is harrowing and even more disturbing when you acknowledge that this is the truth. I was raised Catholic as a child and although we left when the clergy couldn’t answer religious questions from my father properly, it is still upsetting to think that at least a percentage of these priests are child molesters. Spotlight isn’t even the brainchild of some gifted writer; it is based on true events. The Catholic Church is one of the most controversial bodies that have ever existed. I loved that line from sasf that the Catholic Church thinks in centuries. I see that the Catholic Church had some issues with the depiction but it is obvious that they would have done so however the movie turned out. I personally thought it was a clear minded approach to the horrors that these children had suffered under the hands of those who were meant to protect them. The movie could have gone on a witch hunt against the Catholics and it didn’t a great achievement by the script writers and directors.

I liked the anger these journalists developed. Professionalism only goes that far and if they continued through without getting angry or upset it would have been too cold. Mark Ruffalo’s outburst was raw and powerful and completely justified.

sl1

Spotlight is a slow burn – don’t expect quick bursts of drama with this one. It is intelligent and thought provoking. It will make you feel outraged and sickened. I think it does exactly what it is supposed to do. I enjoyed it, not in a happy way but in a understanding more of the sick human race way, and would recommend that you give it a try. Definitely worth the watch.

Episode Review: Game of Thrones, Season 6, Episode 2

got621

Poor Walda has birthed a baby – I really feel so sorry for her and her new son. Ramsay is obviously destined to be the worst older brother ever, especially when Roose Bolton is dumb enough to mention to the son he knows is deranged that should there be an legitimate heir, Ramsay can forget about getting anything. Ramsay is his deplorable self, kills his dad, threatens everyone around him and then proceeds to feed Walda and the baby to his darling dogs. I hope Ramsay’s death is particularly painful when it arrives, but at this point, he’s Lord Bolton and also the Lord of Winterfell. The death count has now risen again, and even though I never appreciated Roose Bolton, I really liked him more than his son.

got622

A look is given again to the Iron Islands, where it rains and rains and rains. Balon is still a bastard, but he gets killed by a new addition – his brother Euron Greyjoy, who swifly disappears to who-knows-where. Yara’s most prominent emotion is anger and at least seems somewhat upset with her father’s death, vowing to avenge him. I say this having not read the books, so if you disagree on that front I actually don’t care, but the Iron Islands arc is just a waste at this point.

In a return of anonymity, there seems to be some progress in Arya’s life when Jaqen appears and she satisfies him by being no one. I hope things look up slightly for her at this point, she’s had a hard time this season.

got624

Tyrion is still dealing with Dany’s bad leadership when he learns that slavery is thriving again in Astapor and the Yunkai. It’s obvious that he’s a privileged white kid, even though he’s a lovable one, because he doesn’t seem to understand how bad slavery is for the slaves. I get that he’s trying to keep the cities from falling apart, but he’s playing with fire – very literally during a scene with the dragons, because I think they wanted to show everyone the dragons again to remind their watchers the GoT actually has dragons. It’s a touching moment with the dragons, and everyone is reminded why they love Tyrion.

Bran is viewing some interesting Winterfell business – I am enjoying this older and more confident Bran at this stage. What he is viewing is hopefully leading up to the R + L = J theory, and this is finally a new development that I’m truly interested in.

Back in King’s Landing everyone is still against each other while they should all be against the High Sparrow and the Faith Militant. Tommen is as useless as his brother was horrible, and even though he apologizes to Cercei and is forgiven, it seems like the new mad woman is almost at peace with the fact that all her children will die.

got623

Castle Black remains one of my favorite places right now, and the Wildlings return is great because it shows that Jon was respected among them and that while they are generally Wild (duh, name); they show loyalty. Jon awakes, causing everyone around the globe to be really happy.

Rating: 6.5/10

Episode 2 was also quite good, still littered with scenes that are just a waste of time right now. I’m still totally invested in Castle Black at this point, and enjoyed Tyrion’s heroic (if MAD) stunt. Bran also has the potential to be interesting, though we will see where that goes.

Book Review: The Woman Who Stole My Life (Marian Keyes)

TWWSML

Plot: Stella Sweeney is back in Dublin. After living the dream in New York for a year – touring her self-help book, appearing on talk shows all over the USA and living it up in her 10-room duplex on the Upper West Side – she’s back to normality with a bang. And she’s got writer’s block.

Stella wants a clean break as she didn’t exactly leave New York on a high. Why is she back in Ireland so soon? Who is it who keeps calling? Stella wants to get back to being the woman she used to be. But can she? And should she?

Rating: 6.5/10

It took me ages to read TWWSML. I read the first half really quickly, but it was super easy to get bored with the story. I did like that it ran in two different time zones – the present and the past events that lead up to the main character’s current situation. As usual the book contained truly Marian Keyes quirks, but for the most part it was a lot more normal than the previous book of Marian Keyes that I read. The Brightest Star in the Sky was odd to say the least, and this is a return to more moderate work from Keyes, which I enjoyed. It is more in the format of just a normal Irish tale, and I was fine with it.

Including a fascinating autoimmune disease was a great idea. GuillaineBarregot me reading up about the disease, and I patted myself on the back not only for understanding what went down but also learning a bit more about my field of work.

The book was really a big read, and the end was really rushed. It was a bit disconcerting to slosh through five hundred pages to have the ending run away like that. As for characters, I really hated her ex-husband. He was absolutely awful, and I’m not surprised that they ended up being divorced. I could in a way understand her child’s attitude – he’s young and his parents weren’t giving him a stable environment, but a grown ass man acting like that? Inexcusable.

TWWSML really wasn’t bad – it was just way too long. Have you read it? How did you feel about it?

Watched, Read, Loved: October 2016

october

October was by far the slowest month in my year in entertainment. I’m really hopeful that this is the last semester where I will ever have to write a BSc Theoretical exam, so I’ve spent every moment that I wasn’t at work in front of a book. I really hope it will pay off – my heart won’t be able to handle the trauma of failing a subject. So it has been quiet on the entertainment front and even the blog front, but I’ve managed to include see and read some things here and there though, so here is a quick rundown J

Watched:

bourne-supremacy

Bourne Supremacy

I really hope I wrote a proper review on this, because I can barely recall the film now. I know it was fast paced and good and very Bourne, and I guess that is what counts.

10cl

10 Cloverfield Lane

I LOVED this. The review should be up some time this week, and I am totally with the crowd on this one. It was a phenomenal performance from all three main characters, and they were able to create maddening suspense throughout.

nye-movie

New Year’s Eve (2011)

I was quite obsessed with this film (to get to see it), and it was so meh. It was probably one of the last films Gary Marshall ever produced, and I hoped it would be something similar to Valentine’s Day. In all essence it was but lacked the heart.

you-again

You Again (2010)

I enjoyed this on the most basic level. It had a pretty good message that bullying stays with you forever and it was nice to watch such a light movie where romance wasn’t the core of the plot.

the-choice

The Choice (2016)

I have this game with Nicholas Sparks movies where I HAVE to watch it despite knowing it will probably end up being super crap. But The Choice is one of the better ones, certainly better than the awful Best of Me, and I has a somewhat of a decent time with it.

Read:

TWWSML

The Woman Who Stole My Life (Marian Keyes)

I finally finished TWWSTM. It was gigantic, and maybe 50 pages too long and then ended up with a rough ending, but this is the least bizarre book I’ve read from Keyes in a while.

sookie-stackhouse

Definitely Dead / All Together Dead / From Dead to Worse

Exam brain wants me back on books where I need no brain power, and I’ve been reading some of the Southern Vampire Mysteries again. I’ve actually been having a really good time with this non-Pulitzer material.

new-moon

New Moon (Stephanie Meyer)

I’m slowly making my way through these books. Bella is a joy to behold in this particular novel, let me tell you. I always have fun with this – part enjoyment; part scoffing, and it has been the perfect read throughout exam time.

i_am_number_four_cover

I am Number Four (Pittacus Lore)

This book is SO good. It is obviously a book that was written at the beginning of the dystopic craze; because the ideas are original and GOOD, and things are named intelligently (the naming conventions in other dystopian novels are quite ridiculous). I need to finish this still, but it is going well.

On a Life front, those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I got myself a new car. It really wasn’t an option as I was in a car accident that wrote my little Suzuki Alto off. To say I was upset was an understatement, and it was pretty stressful sorting it out. I have to say my insurers were absolutely fantastic, and I will (and have) recommended them to anybody. However, it was the first car I’d ever owned, and I was so heart sore about the entire process.

It feels like a lot of things have happened the last month. I’ve had a dear friend in hospital, I’ve been in an accident, there was a break-in at my sister’s boyfriend’s house and another friend of mine got attacked and robbed at gunpoint.  So it’s been quite hectic. I’m in need of a Bilbo Baggins holiday to say the LEAST. Oh, I also went to a bachelorettes that was quite wild, and let me tell you, I was shocked at some of the actions there. I’ve been to a significant amount of wild parties in my young life, so when I am shocked, I am S.H.O.C.K.E.D. It feels like I need a peaceful December without any drama. I am on leave for two weeks at the end of December (hear me sobbing in gratitude), and I am so happy that I will get to a place where I don’t need to start functioning at 4:30 am. It will be great.

Anyway, what’s news on your side?

PS: Let’s not even talk about my Blindspot progress. It’s worse than the state of the American election right now.

PPS: I can’t wait until Hillary wins JUST so that Donald can shut TF up.