Currents

square-quote-3-export

Location: Potchefstroom NWU University for my Microbiology practicals. I always like it here but it also always feels like I am living someone else’s life – the full time students with nothing but time. It feels so weird.

Reading: Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This is where Tris is the most annoying, so it is a slow process.

Vikings poster

Watching: Trying get into the swing of Vikings. Everyone keeps raving about it so I am willing to give a few episodes a try.

Recently watched: Heathers, Insurgent and the Longest Ride on the movie side of things. Heathers was by far the best movie of the three, and I am going to gush about it if I ever get to writing a review for it. I reviewed the Longest Ride here, and I am first finishing the book Insurgent before I properly bitch about the movie – a girl needs her priorities straight.

Heathers

Thinking about:

Grief: About how it doesn’t really change you, but it shows you who you really are. I finally feel like all the bullshit has been scraped away from my eyes because for the first time in a long time I know what really matters. I am not ready to word yet what has been going on in my life, but I’ve realized that your heart can keep on breaking every single day and you can still have the power to keep moving through life.

Savings: Like, I really need to start. I have to be able to live in Potch next year for six weeks and I have no idea how I am going to carry myself financially through 2016. I just love ADDITIONAL stress, you know.

Health: It will fully incorporate into the whole GRIEF post eventually, but I’ve just realized again what a life of bad eating habits does to a person. Healthy eating and regular exercise is also a way to combat depression, so I need to start doing both because I think that depression is not that far from where I am at this point. I am seriously considering Banting – I’ve heard great testimonials from people I know and they all look and feel great. I plan to start next week when I am back in Johannesburg, but will obviously only keep you updated if it works for me.

Excited about: Honestly, not much. I am really happy it is getting warmer here – I HATED THIS WINTER, and I am both happy and sad that Downton Season 6 is on its way.

How about you? What is going on in your life?

Movie Review: The Longest Ride (2015)

LONGEST-RIDE-QUAD

Plot: The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love

Rating: 6.5/10

I have this big embarrassing weakness for any movie that comes from a Nicholas Sparks novel. It is so bad. The movies are so bad and you know exactly what is going to happen. Latter day Sparks is not as poweful as The Notebook or as heart wrenching as A Walk to Remember. Those are movies everyone can agree that while they are formulaic and predictable they have things going for them.

So, I HAD to watch the Longest Ride. It’s Sparks, Scott Eastwood was there and I really enjoyed Brit Robertson in The First Time.

It’s not bad. I enjoyed it much more than Best of Me, the offering Nicholas Sparks delivered before this one.

This is the same pic as above basically... but still good :D

This is the same pic as below basically… but still good :D

I really, really enjoyed Scott Eastwood. Yeah, he sure looks like his daddy but the difference is that Scott is HOTCAKES. Like, WOWZER. I think he has some charm in his role as Luke Collins, the country boy with the dangerous profession of jumping on angry cattle.

Brit Robertson was semi enjoyable as Sophia Danko – preppy, pretty and totally deep art student at college who meets Luke on a wild night that she was totally not in the mood for but got forced – MOST ORIGINAL PLOT LINE EVAR. What really irritated me was that giggle. Sheesh, it was giggling everywhere. Look, if Scott Eastwood was around me and I did not pass out from hyperventilating I would probably also be giggling, but at least I don’t have an annoying giggle.

heeeeyyyy

heeeeyyyy

The camera work is highly suspect and really focused on Eastwood’s face. A LOT. Not that I’m complaining, but he his beauty was so over captured that I sometimes felt I would have to get my binoculars just to see the other cast members.

longest-ride

The flashback storyline of Ira Levinson’s relationship with his wife Ira (Oona Chaplin) was something that could have been really beautiful. Jack Huston made a good young Ira and Oona Chaplin would have been much more effective if she hadn’t employed that absolutely terrible attempt at an accent. The story was poorly incorporated and used as an entrance to a predictably ridiculous end, but there were moments that worked out decent enough.

The Longest Ride is definitely not for everyone – if you generally dislike love stories, give this one a skip because it is not going to convince you to love the genre. However, if you are looking for an easy way to spend two hours, this is something you should explore!

Book Review: Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Divergent

Plot: In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Rating: 8/10

The Divergent series has been giving me the eye for a while now. You know, that WHY AREN’T YOU RE-READING ME look. Zoë got me the entire set for Christmas (was it last year or the year before, bestie? #oldage #quarterchickens) and I’ve been itching for a while now.

I really like this book. I have some issues with the second and third books, but it is a good concept, great layout and well written especially if you take into account that this is Roth’s first major book series. I like Tris Prior a lot more than Katniss Everdeen (book version), I won’t even lie. She is much less selfish and brattish. I also really like that this isn’t your average love triangle dilemma. It is Four for Tris from the start and she’s not even looking at someone else. I liked both male and female characters and thought Tris developed quite well from the shy Abnegation girl to the girl who came first in Dauntless initiation. I enjoyed the Faction idea wand how everyone had to choose what quality they wanted to develop in themselves. I really like the buildup of the romance of Tris and Four. It is barely noticeable at first but progresses well and eventually you just want them to kiss and be done with all this sexual tension. Really now! The antagonists were despicable – Eric with his meticulous cruelty, Peter being such an atrocious arse, Al with his weak character, spineless personality. I wish they had spent more time on Will and Christina and developed their characters – they were interesting and could have been integral to the story.

If you haven’t read these yet, and enjoy Dystopian novels, you should definitely give it a try! :)

Movie Review: Constantine (2005)

Constantine poster

Plot: Constantine tells the story of irreverent supernatural detective John Constantine, who has literally been to hell and back.

Rating: 6.5/10

I had so much fun with this movie. It isn’t the best of films and has no surprising plot twists, but it is good cheesy fun. I agree with my bestie that when Keanu Reeves is cast well, it is usually a great performance. I really enjoyed the relationship between Angela (Rachel Weiz’s ) and John (Reeves). They were so bitchy towards each other and he was acting as such a toolbag. Their chemistry was good and John was such a damn tease in the end. I loved how Angela would not believe his story for a second and then only took him seriously after being surrounded by demons she would stopped and listened to him. Weiz really is a good actress and I enjoyed her in here – can someone tell me if she reminds them as well of Kate Winslet? Shia LaBeouf is so much more palatable in from the years before he became a big name and an attention seeking brat. I like him so much in here. I do think that his role could have been more developed – he is this sweet little apprentice that could have been much more implemented into the movie.

Constantine 3

I thoroughly enjoyed John Constantine. He has a fuck all attitude that everyone can appreciate, his love for long cloaks and suits were really appealing, his attitude towards life and his resignation at his fate was entertaining and how he redeems his character was actually touching. Keanu Reeves is awesome – he always comes across as slightly cheesy but he seems to have fun in everything so I can’t help but like the man.

Me, Monday morning

Me, Monday morning

Tilda Swinton has given me nightmares since the time I saw her in Snowpiercer. The woman has the weirdest looks I have ever encountered. I am still a bit afraid of her, and even though I didn’t find her character any more enjoyable in Constantine, I found her much less frightening and a great asset to the film. Pruitt Taylor Vince, my beloved La Roche from the Mentalist, is also in here and I just love the man and everything he works on.

Smoking hot

Smoking hot

The movie has an incredible amount of cheesiness, but hey, it has a huge fun element and works well. The movie is just a lot of fun that should be enjoyed as a not too serious take on Constantine.

Movie Review: Age of Adaline (2015)

Age of Adaline

Plot: A young woman, born at the turn of the 20th century, is rendered ageless after an accident. After many solitary years, she meets a man who complicates the eternal life she has settled into.

Rating: 7.5/10

Age of Adaline Blake and Michiel

Since I don’t have the moral objections against romance movies as many people do, I was quite looking forward to Age of Adaline. I was thoroughly impressed and will definitely recommend it to different people. The biggest thing that counts in this movie’s favour is that it does not solely focus on love and when addressed, it is neither soppy nor icky. It is tastefully done, and the relationship between Adaline and Ellis seems real – it isn’t this ridiculous love at first sight type of thing and they aren’t DESPERATE for each other five minutes after the start of the movie. I also really enjoyed the strength Adaline had. She was nobody’s bimbo and had learnt to adapt to her startling condition quickly. It is easy to see that she is really lonely and deals with it as best she can.  The part with her daughter was really painful – that thing of no parent would see her/his child die, but Adaline’s resignation at that fate is painful to see. I was also impressed and happy to see Blake Lively again in something – it is so easy to hate her with that genetic pool and I mean, she’s married to RYAN REYNOLDS. Anyhow, she was perfectly cast as Adaline. She has an ageless beauty that fit the role and her quiet portrayal of loneliness and desperation was spot on. I also really enjoyed Michiel Huisman as Ellis. I’ve said it way too much that Daario Naharis needs to be in more things and the movie fairies listened. I really liked Ellis and that he was perfect to get Adaline to embrace her life again.

Harrison

The story progressed well and didn’t really need help, but Harrison Ford arriving on the scene not only made the movie run more smoothly, but also provided a good way to tie Adaline’s past with her present. I thought it was well executed and found it funny that the awkward moments potentially linked to Ford’s character was smoothly glossed over.

Because

Because

The Age of Adaline was much better than most people hinted it was and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours. It is not particularly complex or mind blowing, but it is a good watch and I don’t think it would offend a lot of people.

Movie Review: Ex Machina (2015)

Ex MAchina Poster

Plot: A young programmer is selected to participate in a ground-breaking experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluating the human qualities of a breath-taking female A.I.

Rating: 8.5/10

2015 is turning out to be such a mediocre year for entertainment. I’ve only seen four (including this one) movies that I thought to even deserve consideration for ending up in my top ten at the end of the year (and yes, I fully realize how pretentious I sound with that sentence).

Ex Machina is the so far the best thing that waltzed out of Hollywood that wasn’t an animation. It is original, brilliantly directed, thought out and produced and is an all-round excellent watching experience. I don’t even particularly enjoy sci-fi because it often has great pace then collapses at the end or contains too much romance. Ex Machina did neither. I wouldn’t want to spoil it to anyone who hasn’t seen it, but it keeps pace throughout the movie, is well thought out and intellectualized and is exactly how I think AI would pan out if it ever happened.

Ex-Machina

The cast is small and all gave stellar performances. Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaacs have the three available leading rolesand Sonoya Mizuno with the only other cast member as the particularly odd Kyoko. Gleeson plays Caleb, the lonely programmer who wins the chance to intern at a research facility for AI started by Nathan, the CEO of the world’s largest search engine company, Bluebook.

EX-MACHINA (1)

Caleb is introduced to humanoid robot Ava. She seems to have every single human emotion and interactive skills a human might possess, and Caleb is tasked to check if she can pass the Turing test.

I can’t really say more of the plot without ruining it, but it is tightly written and well thought out. Oscar Isaacs is phenomenal as Nathan – he is so weird and isolated and it is obvious that his seclusion from society has messed him up.

Ava’s design is fascinating and the way they brought her together is impressive. Everything about that research facility is thought provoking out of this world.

Ex Machina is a movie that stays at the back of your consciousnessand returns to make you think about the consequences of technology should we ever progress to that level. I would highly recommend a watch if you can get your hands on it.

5 Things Friday: Trailer time

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYY

IT’S FRIDAAAY!

I’m not nearly as excited as I was last week Friday, because THEN I drove down to see my bestie. It was AWESOME.

Anyway,

This was only a four day week for South-Africa because we, true to our fondness for public holidays, had one to celebrate Women’s Day this past August – my only question is why the men got off as well, but I guess I will never get the answer to that.

To celebrate this short week that went quicker than most, because DUH, one day less of work, let’s look at some new (and some not so new) trailers that has me excited to see their full movies.

Batman vs. Superman

Release date: March 23, 2016

Pros:

I think this can work well if it is properly done

Cons:

Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor?? I can’t see that happening. What is with the hair?

This isn’t really a con, it is just apprehension. Batfleck. I don’t know. Ben Affleck is a good actor and all but I can’t see how he will top Bale.

 

Suicide Squad:

Release date: August 5, 2016

Pros:

Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. I think that is going to be amazing.

The whole feel of the trailer – WOW DC, it is looks eery and gritty and sexy.

Cons:

Jaret Leto as the Joker. We will see, but I wasn’t all that impressed by him.

I’m not even sure what Will Smith is doing in here?

The Revenant:

Release date: December 25, 2015,

Pros:

I get to see Zoë dancing around in happiness because DiCaprio is on screen.

Hallo, Tom Hardy

Hallo, Leo

Tom and Leo together? Bring me that popcorn

Cons:

The plot isn’t that obvious in the trailer. Maybe it is a good thing.

 

Mockingjay Part II

Release date: November 20, 2015

Pros:

The second part of that book is much more exciting than the first part, and that is what everyone was complaining about in their reviews of Part one – it was a little bit boring.

The Cons:

That trailer, if you look properly at it, really doesn’t happen what will go down in the final part of the movie.

 

Spectre

Release date: November 6, 2015

Pros:

Daniel Craig as Bond

Cons:

Can’t really think of any right now

Whoop!! What are you excited to go see?

Blindspot 2015: Romeo and Juliet (1996)

Romeo and Juliet Poster

Plot: Shakespeare’s famous play is updated to the hip modern suburb of Verona still retaining its original dialogue.

Rating: 7.5/10

The 1996 adaption of the timeless story of two hormonal teenagers made it onto my Blindspot list for three reasons – I love Baz Luhrmann’s work and this is one of the few movies I haven’t seen of him, I adore DiCaprio and young DiCaprio was my dream boy as a kid and I mean Claire Danes was a lady I loved a whole lot before Carrie Matheson (because DIE BITCH DIE).

Romeo and Juliet other

Baz Luhrmann has a very characteristic directing style.R&J had the same feel of all his movies – straight out flamboyance everywhere compared to the poignant and sweet love scenes. It is such a strong contrast and achieves to highlight that no matter how crazy life can get, romance is still the sweetest thing there is and will remain unchanged through history. The modernization of the classic can overwhelm the senses initially but is well done – there are such ghetto scenes, the Montague’s and Capulets’ are depicted more as mobsters than anything else with both families being overrun with hoodlums.

Romeo and Juliet Paris

I think apart from DiCaprio and Danes my favorite performance was that of Paul Rudd. Man, he is such a cutie. He managed to be Paris perfectly – a lovely, vacant pretty boy that was only placed in the story to act as the final catalyst to Juliet’s rash decisions.

Heeeyyyyy

Heeeyyyyy

DiCaprio… sighhhhhhh. He is so perfect. Young Leonardo is so beautiful. Old Leonardo has evolved into something like royalty in Hollywood, and is really hot in all his distinguished glory. However, this young Leo is so sweet and his acting is raw and powerful. I doubt that this movie would have been as effective without him as Romeo. He is the perfect personfor this role.

Before crazy-eyes-Matheson, Claire Danes rocked

Before crazy-eyes-Matheson, Claire Danes rocked

Claire Danes was also a great choice for Juliet Capulet. She is sweet and innocent and fresh, and an anomaly compared to her gaudy family. She and Leo had wonderful chemistry throughout the movie and there are a few scenes where I held my breath because it was so lovely and sweet.

I can’t tell you how many times I thought “TEENAGERS” throughout this movie, because really – the rampant hormones in this film caused all the drama. I mean – falling in love, getting married and dying seems a little extreme in the span of only three days.  I don’t think anyone on this planet doesn’t know how this story ends – but I kept thinking how horrible I would have reacted if I didn’t know the end and I saw that unfolding – there would definitely have been things travelling through the TV screen!

My Blindspot list has really intense and wonderful movies on, so while I enjoyed this movie a lot and would recommend it to fans of Shakespeare, DiCaprio, Danes and Luhrmann, it won’t ever end up as my number one at the end of the year (because I already know which one is going to be number one!)