Maleficent (2014)

Maleficent

Maleficent: “I had wings once, and they were strong. But they were stolen from me.”

Maleficent is a 2014 Disney movie that looks at the iconic Sleeping Beauty fable from another perspective, the villain, Maleficent (Angelina Jolie). The young Maleficent (Ella Purnell) lives in the magical realm the Moors, and because she is the strongest of all the faeries there, she is destined to become their leader. One day, she has to address a young thief, and meets Stefan, a peasant boy from the nearby kingdom with which the Moors are in constant war with. Stefan and Maleficent bond, and eventually fall in love, but it isn’t real love: Stefan is soon corrupted by the things that break most humans: greed, thirst for power and jealousy. Stefan drifts away from Maleficent and becomes a squire for the King, who wishes to infiltrate the Moors. Maleficent wins a fight against the King, injuring him badly, and the King promises all his squires that the one that kills Maleficent will be the next King.

Stefan returns to the Moors, intent on killing Maleficent, but the single shred of dignity in his body prevents him from killing her. Instead he cuts off her powerful wings and takes it to the dying King. Believing it to be proof, the King makes Stefan his successor and Stefan is married to the King’s daughter. Shortly afterwards they have a beautiful baby girl, Aurora.

Maleficent is nearly destroyed with heartbreak of Stefan’s betrayal and losing her wings, and swears revenge. After saving a raven from death, she turns him into a human, and Diaval (Sam Riley) becomes her eyes and ears, and soon tells her of Aurora’s impending christening.

Maleficent

Maleficent heads to the christening, where she lays the curse on Aurora: that on her sixteenth birthday she will prick her finger on a spinning wheel, and fall into a deep slumber, and that only true love’s kiss can awaken her.

Aurora is taken by three dimwit faeries to safety, but their incompetence causes Maleficent to save Aurora plenty of times. Times progress, and Maleficent soon notices that Aurora (Elle Fanning) has none of the flaws her father has, and is truly as lovely as everyone says. Is it too late for Maleficent to take back the curse? Can Aurora be saved? Does true love exists, because Maleficent doesn’t believe it does and specifically put that into the curse for that very reason?

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Maleficent to Aurora: “I will not ask you for forgiveness. What I have done is unforgivable. I was so lost in hatred and revenge. I never dreamed that I could love you so much. You stole what was left of my heart. And now I’ve lost you forever.”

Rating: 7/10

This is the second movie I watched in the cinema in two weeks, and I still haven’t seen the Fault in Our Stars, and I desperately want to. I haven’t seen that yet because the company I went with “didn’t want to cry”. Well, let me tell you I nearly damn cried in Maleficent more than once. It is beautifully done and tells a good, tragic story about a good person so maddened by grief that they do something they regret and ultimately can’t reverse, no matter how sorry they are.

The casting was near perfect. Sharlto Copley and Michael Higgins were both perfect casting choices as King Stefan with narrow faces and high cheekbones. Copley finally seems to be the hope of the South-African acting community and did well as the lowly Stefan. His true agenda was surprising – not to save his daughter, but rather defeating Maleficent to be the greater power. I found him so deplorable in the end, broken by greed and selfishness.

The internet has been raving about Angelina Jolie as Maleficent, and I am glad to finally have seen how right they truly were about it. She was amazingly cast and Maleficent’s looks are truly the live impersonation of the Disney movie. I’ve always had this bad perception of Jolie’s acting abilities and I can admit that I was wrong – her acting was real and deep and really made the movie.

Brenton Twaithes and Elle Fanning as the iconic Prince Phillip and Aurora also worked incredibly well. Prince Phillip was also one of the characters that stood out as perfect casting – once again the live impersonation of a story book character and all. I found that both characters actually looked sixteen – something highly unlikely in Hollywood where age perception is flawed. Their love story is charmingly underdone and that I enjoyed, because for all my love for Disney movies I have always felt derision at the love at first sight angle – WHEN has that ever happened? Without giving too much away, I thought the true love scene was so beautifully done and a brilliant fresh take on the story.

What people seem to forget about Maleficent is that it is a Disney movie. If you look at it forgetting who made the film, you might feel it is fluffy and not worthy of attention. If you remember that Maleficent is from Disney and look at it from that angle you will recognize it as a good Disney movie and very much worthy of attention. The take on the story is fresh and entertaining and I loved how they worked everything from the old storyline into the new story and how it all seemed plausible. The crow (that angle was pretty well done), the little monsters, King Stefan’s surprisingly deplorable character (feeling alone in the naughty chamber, Joffrey?) and how the three good fairies weren’t actually all that sweet and kind and capable.

I love the new direction Disney is taking with their movies. It is as if they are trying to rectify the fact that they have been whispering to girls for many years that you are only there to be saved by a prince, and that girl power is an actual fact and not a myth.

Maleficent is good enough to be watchable to adults and stays away from too scary, so the kids will like it too.

Have you seen it? Did you like it?

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Movie Review: Carrie (2013)

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Based on the Stephen King novel, Carrie tells the story about a seventeen year old girl, Carrie White (Chloe Grace Moretz) who lives with her very scary religious fantasist of a mother (played excellently by Julianne Moore).

Carrie is removed from society, shunned on the basis of the rules her mother enforces on her. She has no friends, wears clothes that don’t fit into modern society, and has no clue to what it even feels like to be normal. She doesn’t want this, but it is hard to rebel against a mother who locks you in a small closet for hours if you disobey her.

Carrie’s miserable life becomes worse when she gets her first period after gym class in the showers. The teenage girls lose their heads and follow the orders of Chris (Portia Doubleday), the school bully, and starts throwing Carrie with tampons. The coach (Judy Greer) shows up and help Carrie recover some dignity and modesty, and no one notices the one light explode in the showers, or no one thinks much of it.

Carrie is punished by her mother for having her first period and spends some time in the closet, and when the door gets a crack in Carrie seems to become aware that she has some form of magic ability, and the following day she starts researching what it might be, trying to ignore the ridiculing she is subjected to.

Sue Snell (Gabriella Wilde), one of the tampon throwers is feeling horrible about herself. She doesn’t know what came over her, because she really isn’t such a bad girl. Coach punishes the girls by giving them rigorous training as punishment, and everyone but Chris does it, and when she yells at the girls to side with her, not even Sue does it because they know how wrong they were. Chris is expelled from school and banned from Prom, and vows revenge on everyone, including Carrie.

Sue is still feeling horrible about what she did and decides that Carrie deserves one normal, happy night, to go to prom with a handsome guy. Sue convinces her boyfriend Tommy (Anse lElgort) to take Carrie, and he is reluctant, but agrees to do so because Sue is beating herself up horribly about it. Tommy asks and Carrie naturally thinks it is a trap, but she is convinced eventually by Tommy that his offer is sincere.

Back at home, Carrie’s mom freaks out, sure that Tommy wants to defile her daughter. Carrie’s powers has now progressed immensely, and through her telekinesis she starts controlling her mother, and says that she will go to prom.

Prom night arrives, with Chris planning revenge, and Carrie unaware of it. Will Carrie be able to survive yet another embarrassment at school? What will she do to Chris when she is thrown with pig’s blood? Is Carrie, already unstable, capable of controlling her powers under such strain?

Rating: 7/10

I watched this movie to see how the adaption went since I read the iconic King novel sometime last year. I thought that it was rather decently done, and although there were some minor details that were changed, it didn’t deduct from the whole story.

I really pitied Carrie. This girl had so much against her, and that particular horror in the shower would have cracked any girl. She had no support at home and her mother was a lunatic, and she had no friends to even help her. Her eventual revenge on the school felt like justice and especially on Chris – who might just make it into the famed hall of asses of all time. Moretz did well as Carrie and I think it might be the first time where she didn’t irritate me senseless. I didn’t catch anything of her characteristic snottiness in this movie and she seemed genuinely unstable as Carrie is supposed to be.

I do think that Chris could have been better developed. The movie didn’t really show how awful, cruel and spoiled she is. Also, I thought the movie Sue Snell was better than the book version – she is somewhat condescendingly written I’ve perceived.

Ansel Elgort is really a very cute guy deservedly on the rise. He was perfect as Tommy – capturing the high school popular jock who isn’t a bad kid (a bit of a moron, but not bad) and on the way to becoming a good man.

Recommendation: not too much guts and gore to put you off bacon for weeks, so you can watch it for some horror street cred.

Quotes for the week

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You know,

I was feeling quite out of it and irritated with men in general when I googled “What do men want?”. I clicked on images (in hindsight this could have been traumatising), but found nothing in particular… because guess what? No one fucking knows what they want **

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Then I Googled “Why are men such idiots?”

A TON OF RESULTS.

Obviously, there are many a lady wondering exactly the same thing.

asshole

Okay, since I’m feeling marginally better, I will state that I 1) did not google what women want, and 2) I know not all men are asses.

**It’s true, no one does

Snowpiercer (2013)

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Hello dearest readers.

Sorry for the temporary absence – pesky data problems again. Today’s review is about a movie that has some good reviews floating around, and this weekend I finally got to see if it was worth the hype.

I have to say, it is, in a very depressing way. Snowpiercer has no happy in; it is about a world finally destroyed by the humans who claimed to love it so much. It has a completely new angle it explores for post-apocalyptic life on earth and I really enjoyed the way they went.

Plot

To offset global warming, a gaseous substance is fired into the atmosphere that freezes earth completely. Humanity and life on earth is on the brink of extinction, save a precious few who is on-board of the Snowpiercer, a train specifically designed to always keep running.

Life on the train is only nice to the upper-class citizens that live at the front of the train. It steadily decreases towards the back of the train, where life resembles a slum and the only food available is thick, black protein bars.

Curtis (Chris Evans) has been on the train for the past seventeen years and barely remembers anything before it. He is the leader of the resistance and helps plan the attack where the people at the back of the train plan to revolt against the unfair ruling system. Curtis knows that he must gain control over the engine to control the train, and he must therefore find the reclusive engineer of the train, Wilford (Ed Harris).

Will Curtis succeed in taking the train? What lies behind each security door?

Rating: 8/10

There are a few topics that will always interest me – Bioterrorism, mutant diseases, action, life post apocalypse and anything to do with global warming. Snowpiercer took two of these topics – life on earth after a cataclysmic event and global warming and combined it successfully with deep questions regarding class systems and injustice to bring forth a powerful and unforgettable tale of what people will eventually do when continuously beaten down.

Chris Evans’ acting was top notch. I thought he was brilliant and seeing him in a role where he showcases that acting skills was so worthwhile. He was spot on as the face of the people in the back of the train, how they were tired of being constantly beaten down and controlled and had to sit by idly and wait all day for those DISGUSTING PROTEIN BARS.

Those protein bars – Can I just say WTF. It looked so disgusting right from the start and I knew it would be nasty as hell, but eventually finding out what was IN it made my I’ve-seen-everything-in-the-lab stomach nearly lose it. JUST YUCK.

The directing was superb. Clear cut, focused and taking the correct amount of time with the fight scenes, I was very impressed.

Recommendation: serious minded folks 🙂

Have you seen it? Did you like it?

Five things Friday: Impressive movies I watched lately

Happy Friday!

It feels that I put up a FTF post about a million years (three weeks) ago, and when this idea suddenly came to me, I decided that I immediately had to adhere to this before stuff (soccer) corrupted my mind again badly that I forgot. Without further ado, here are five movies that I saw lately and was enormously impressed by.

Saving Private Ryan

I think I saw this movie as a teen a few years back, but when I watched it in April it certainly felt like new material. Saving Private Ryan is gory, sad, intense and apparently very realistic to the real thing that went down. I enjoyed every single suspense filled moment of it.

Lawless

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I enjoyed this Prohibition Crime Drama very much. Every performance was top notch, and I even liked the Beefster in here, something that very rarely happens.

Taken

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I saw some negative reviews on this movie that I can’t understand. I had so much fun with Liam Neeson going on an enormous ass kicking spree and thought the entire movie was extremely well put together.

The Green Mile

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A movie about death row did not sound like the most enticing tale ever, but I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the movie. Tom Hanks was once again perfect with his performance, and the way the whole story came together and how the plot lines worked made for excellent viewing material. I am currently reading the book, and so far it is an excellent adaption of how it went down in Stephen King’s novel.

Drive

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There was never a movie with so little conversation in that wasn’t a silent movie and still managed to stay spectacular as was Drive. It is Ryan Gosling’s finest role. He WAS the Driver, and the underlying tension and power of the character was nail biting all the way through.

What have you seen lately that you loooooved? Tell me!

Book Review: Committed (Elizabeth Gilbert)

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“Sometimes life is too hard to be alone, and sometimes life is too good to be alone.”

Elizabeth Gilbert continues to share her romance with Felipe, whom she met Felipe at the end of her yearlong travel across Italy, India and Indonesia. It was easy to love in the picturesque Bali, but as a journalist and author, Elizabeth eventually had no choice to return to the United States to work

In love and committed to each other, the two lovebirds created a seemingly fool proof plan: to travel together across the globe, attending their respective work responsibilities together.

Liz and Felipe forgot something vitally important: the suspicious American government, post 9/11. It took one official to notice Felipe’s passport carrying a suspicious amount of travelling stamps for the kind and carefree Brazilian to be detained at an airport for hours.

Elizabeth and Felipe were fortunate enough to meet with a kindly officer, but they were laid down the law nonetheless: either go through the arduous process required for an American to marry a foreigner and get married, or permanent deportation of Felipe .

What sounded like an easy solution certainly wasn’t. Not only did they have to go through various channels and mountains of paperwork to get married, they both had to deal with the idea of being married again – something the couple did not want in the least as they both had gone through difficult divorces. The alternative was something they would not consider: the end of their relationship or Elizabeth’s relocation.

Elizabeth, in her travel-enthusiastic nature, devised a plan for them to travel the world together while they tried to sort out the drama back in the States. Travelling to many small, primitive towns and cultures, Elizabeth sets out to determine how marriage is seen in the world and what they do to keep it intact.

Rating: 6.5/10

YAY! I finally finished this book. To get it done, I refused to read anything interesting until I got through it. I had been sitting with this book, occasionally peeking at it and wondering why I couldn’t finish what was essentially a good book, and I found my reason: It is too much a textbook to provide easy, continuous reading.

Gilbert extensively researches marriage, its history and customs and seeks advice from across the globe, and documents most conversations, theories and ideas quite intensely. I found it interesting and intelligently written, but the material is very intense AND thought provoking, causing me to stop every few paragraphs just to take a breath and think about what I read.

Producing a novel worthwhile to compete with the colossal success that Eat Pray Love was could not have been easy. Gilbert continues with the story of her and Felipe but it is never on that level of adventure and romance. The story concerns them intimately, but their relationship is merely a stepping stone that was used to provide a storyline. I wish she could have focused on her relationship more – for all the fanfare she created to marry the man she loves (because we are ALL so against marrying men we love), she sorely forgets that being with him would be her ultimate prize.

It sounds like I didn’t enjoy the book, but I did. I just found it confusing and sometimes lost of focus. I really learnt a whole lot about the different forms of marriage and how the ancient ceremony has evolved over the years, and how each country, no matter how primitive, finds a way to bind themselves to each other.

Recommendation: If you read Eat Pray Love, you will most likely enjoy its sequel, although be warned that it is not on the same scale.

Taken (2009)

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Bryan: I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. 

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) seems to be an elderly man that retired to be closer to his daughter. Kim (Maggie Grace) lives with her mother Lenore (Famke Janssen) and her wealthy stepfather (Xander Berkeley). On Kim’s birthday, Bryan gives her a karaoke set, and while she loves it, her stepfather’s gift of a horse vastly overshadows the thoughtful gift Bryan spent months deciding over.

Bryan agrees to do some security work with his friends to protect a pop star, Sheerah (Holly Valance) at a performance. When the crowd breaks loose and someone tries to hurt her, Bryan shows his impressive defensive skillset and saves her life and gets her to safety. Grateful, Sheerah offers her help, and the help of her assistants, to Kim, who wants to be a singer too.

Bryan plans to tell Kim what he organised for her the following day but she once again overshadows his extremely thoughtful acts. Kim and Lenore shows up to ask Bryan’s permission that Kim can travel with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy) to Paris to presumably see art museums. Bryan is worried, having seen how evil the world is, and rejects Kim’s pleas. Later on he agrees with a very strict set of rules: that she calls him when she lands, each night and if she plans to move location. Kim agrees, and accepts the international phone her father hands her.

At the LA Airport, Bryan discovers that Kim and Amanda are planning to follow U2 on their European tour, not visit museums. He is even more upset when he finds out Lenore knew of their plan and did not tell him. She manages to get him to still allow Kim to board the plane, assuring him that the teens will be fine.

Kim and Amanda meet Peter (Nicolas Giraud) a handsome young man at the Paris Airport. They are very excited about his interest in them, and they agree to share a taxi to save on costs. They tell him a lot about themselves, and Amanda shares that they have the flat in Paris to themselves, something Kim didn’t know about, and she is upset because she promised her father there would be some supervision. The moment Peter is alone he calls someone telling them the exact location of the two girls.

Inside the apartment, Kim gradually relaxes and starts having a good time. After using the bathroom, she notices her father tried to call her, and while talking to him assailants appear and she sees Amanda being attacked by men. She hysterically tells her father what is happening, and Bryan gets her to crawl under a bed in the closest bedroom. He tells her that they assailants are going to take her, and when they do, she should keep the call going and call out as many identifiable characteristics she can. Moments later, she is snatched from the bed and taken away. Bryan tells the person who is listening, one of the assailants, that if his daughter isn’t left alone, Bryan will find and kills them.

Back in the States, Bryan is calmly working through panic. He calls on a former colleague Sam (Leland Orser), who identifies the accents of the assailants as Albanian, and tells him that it is most likely an Albanian human trafficking ring that targets female tourists at the airport, getting them hooked onto drugs and then keeping them in prostitution. Bryan, who put this entire conversation on speakerphone in Lenore and Stuart’s house, makes sure that the successful Stuart didn’t have any enemies wanting to get back at him. When that is cleared up, he asks Stuart to organize him a plane into Paris immediately, and Lenore begs Bryan to get her back safely. He tells her that he must first find their daughter to do that.

                Bryan immediately heads to the flat where Kim and Amanda would have stayed, and investigates the signs of fighting, and quickly analyses where Kim was taken. He gets the broken phone and the memory card with the photos Kim took on, and makes Peter out in the reflection he took of them.

Bryan sees Peter at the airport, but Peter is killed by a bus before giving any helpful information. Bryan meets an old associate, Jean-Claude (Olivier Rabourdin), who is now behind a desk and sorely wishes to leave Paris whole and not suffer under Bryan’s hunt for his daughter. He does point Bryan to Porte de Chichy, where it is rumoured that the prostitution there is being run by an East European gang. Jean-Claude gets someone to tail Bryan, but Bryan is able to easily dodge him. Jean-Claude warns that Bryan will get deported if he continues with his vigilante justice, but Bryan avoids arrest when Jean-Claude tries to corner him.

Bryan gets to a brothel and finds Kim on a prostitute that is very high on drugs. Fighting off the brothel guards, he manages to get the girl to safety, and after feeding her some proper medication to help her, she reveals Kim gave it to her. She gives Bryan information about a house with a red door, and Bryan manages to track it down. There he eventually finds the man he warned on the phone, and after torturing him Marko (Arben Bajraktaraj) tells Bryan that Kim will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction.

                Will Bryan find Kim alive and whole, and most importantly, before she is sold and never seen again?

Rating: 8/10

This movie looked appealing right from the start and did not disappoint in the least. It is one of the best action movies I have watched in ages, and the storyline was solid and based on terrifying truths. I can definitely see myself watching this again; it might even become a recurring type of event.

Liam Neeson was excellent as Bryan Mills, and every punishing act he delivered was with conviction. I loved that Bryan had no qualms taking down people who were hurting his most prized possession, and that he was able to do it with so much talent.

It took me some time recognising where I had seen Famke Jansen (in Breaking Dawn) and I think the role of Kim suited her perfectly well. I had great sympathy and angst for her and Amanda, and thought that they were getting such harsh “punishment” for a simple vacation, even though Kim wasn’t completely honest with her dad about the plans for the trip.

I was eventually so pissed with Jean-Claude and how he was willing to sacrifice Kim and his friendship with Bryan just to have a comfortable lifestyle. It seemed to be a recurring theme, the “hey, it is not personal, it is business” and I especially enjoyed Patrice Saint-Clair’s demise. I mean honestly, who takes some man’s daughter into a life of horror and prostitution and expects him to see it as not personal?!

This movie made a lot of things clear:

Never mess with Liam Neeson, or his daughter,

Don’t travel alone

DON’T travel to Paris alone

DON’T speak to charming French men (is there even such a thing, Zoe?)

Travel with a big strong guy, or Liam Neeson.Have you seen Taken?

Did you love/hate it? Tell me!

Game of Thrones: Season 2

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Following orders from his father, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) becomes the Hand of the King at King’s landing, while Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) is still on the field. Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) starts worshipping Melisandre’s (Carice van Houten) fire god, burning anyone who objects to his change of faith as offerings. He lays public claim to the Iron Throne as its rightful heir, revealing Cercei’s (Lena Headley) and Jamie Lannister’s incest and one of the results of it – King Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson), who has no right to the throne as he has no blood of deceased King Robert Baratheon. Despite his mother’s assurances that he is a rightful heir, Joffrey orders every single bastard child of Robert murdered in King’s Landing.

Robb Stark (Richard Madden) now rides to war against the Lannisters in vengeance of his father’s unfair execution. Robb, named King of the North, offers peace to the Lannisters in exchange that the North function as a separate entity.

Cersei rejects Robb’s offer of peace while Tyrion hatches a clever plan to see who he can trust in King’s Landing by leaking his marriage plans for his niece, Cersei’s daughter, but telling the three separate people different spouses who he intends to marry her off to. Cersei is furious when she learns of his plans and vows revenge on him while she watches her daughter sail away, while Tyrion has the Grand Maester Pycelle (Julian Glover) thrown into prison for his betrayal.

Robb sends his friend, Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) to the King of the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide). Theon, the only living son of Balon, was taken captive by Ned Stark following the suppression of the Iron Islands after Balon’s revolt against Westeros, and his father and sister taunt and despise him for his Northern mannerisms, and even his betrayal of Robb Stark’s trust won’t change their minds.

Robb and his mother Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) rides to seek an allegiance with Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) , the gay brother of Robert who has married Margeary Tyrell (Natalie Dormer) who is well aware of her husband’s preferences but doesn’t really care as long as she gets to be queen.

Meanwhile, Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who became the mother of three dragons, is leading her miniscule army through the Red Waste. They are starving and they meet many enemies, all who are unwilling to assist them. In Essos, she sends out riders to look for help, but the rider loses his head and carries a message of warning to her. She and her army eventually reach Qarth, a prosperous city, but they are nearly turned away yet again until Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie) vouches for her and her troops. They are soon fed and cared for within the city, with Xaro offering her everything she wants in return for her hand in marriage. She refuses, still in love with her deceased husband Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), and has to find other resources. Xaro heads up a coup of the state and he becomes the King of Qarth. Daenerys is horrified when her dragons are stolen, and when the immortal warlock Pyat Pree(Ian Hanmore)reveals that he has them locked in his “temple”. She heads to the temple to find many obstacles, including an illusion of Drogo with their baby, but she finds the strength to kill Pyat Pree, free her dragons and leave the temple. She finds one of her handmaidens with Xaro, and locks both of them in the vault Xaro had said held all his riches but is actually empty.

Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) is travelling with the Night’s Watch beyond the wall and they take shelter at the Wildling (Robert Pugh) Craster’s home, where he is living in incestuous relationships with his wives and daughters. It is unclear as to what precisely happens to the boys that are born of the relationships between him and his wives/daughter as he keeps only the baby girls. Jon gets curious and investigates, and finds that Craster offers the boys to the White Walkers in return for safety. Jon is furious and is found by Craster on his way back, leading to tension between Craster and the Watchmen. Meanwhile, Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) befriends Gilly (Hannah Murray), one of Craster’s wives who is pregnant. She begs him for help with the baby should it be a boy, but Jon tells him to not interfere any further and make Craster even angrier.

Following her father’s execution, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) is saved by Yoren (Francis Magee). As he heads to the Wall with some criminals to employ as Watchmen, he promises to drop her off in Winterfell in honour of his friendship with her father. He is killed by some of the Lannister’s army for refusing to give up one of his prisoners. Arya thinks the Lannisters are looking for her, but they are actually still hunting for Gendry (Joe Dempsy), who is a bastard child of Robert Baratheon. They both make it out alive by pointing out a dead boy to be who the Lannisters are looking for, but they are taken captive and held at Harrenhal, where they watch people being tortured to death for information no one seems to have. Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) arrives and immediately puts a stop to the torturing, and when he notices Arya is a girl, employs her as his servant and has no clue she is the girl his family is desperately trying to catch. Arya gets an unlikely protector, Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha), a man she saved from being burnt to death. In return for the three lives she saved, he promises her three lives of her enemies. She chooses her first “payment” to be the man who tortured the innocent people of Harrenhal to death. Her second is a man who discovers she is working against Tywin Lannister, and her third becomes a bunch of guards as she and Gendry escapes Harrenhall.

Stannis is still fully in the clutches of Melisandre, much to the discomfort of his right hand, Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) Stannis sleeps with Melisandre so that she can give him the son his wife couldn’t, but Melisandre gives birth to a shadow creature that kills Renly Baratheon.

Catelyn Stark and Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), a female warrior, are forced to flee Renly’s camp after they witness his murder. Brienne swears her allegiance to Catelyn and vows revenge on Stannis Baratheon.

Back at King’s Landing, things are still not going well for Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner). She suffers abuse under Joffrey every time her brother gains a victory. Joffrey incites a public riot and Sansa is nearly raped by some commoners, but the Hound (Rory McCann) saves her. After she has her first period she is horrified that she can now bear Joffrey’s children, and even though she and Shae (Sibel Kekilli), her handmaiden and Tyrion’s secret lover, tries to hide it, her secret is discovered by the Queen.

Winterfell is attacked by Theon and his men and when Bran(Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) escape, they are hunted down with a search party. Robb is furious when he hears of Theon’s betrayal and sends men retake Winterfell. Theon burns the bodies of two boys who everyone believes to be Rickon and Bran, but they are hiding within the castle. Bran is still having strange dreams about a three eyed raven and still has no clue what it means. Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) heads to Winterfell to take Theon back to their father, while Osha (Natalia Tena) plans to get Theon, Rickon herself and the giant Hodor (Kristian Nairn) to safety.

The Watchmen arrive at the Hand of the First Men, an ancient stronghold. While Jon is out on a journey with some of the men they capture wildling Ygritte (Rose Leslie). She openly tries to seduce Jon and manages to divert his attention enough to escape, which eventually leads to him being trapped by Wildlings.

Jamie Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), still being held captive by the Starks’, nearly escapes after killing a guard. The rest of the camp wants him to be executed for killing one of their own, and Catelyn orders Brianne to take Jamie back to King’s Landing in exchange for her two daughters. Robb is furious with his mother and orders her to be under constant supervision while he tries to calm his men down. He meets Talisa (Oona Chaplin), a beautiful healer, and is instantly captivated by her, despite being betrothed to the daughter of one of his allies. Defying his mother’s warnings, he soon weds Talisa.

The animosity between Tyrion and Cersei reach new heights when she has a prostitute she believes to be Tyrion’s lover beaten up, unaware that she has the wrong girl. King’s Landing is meanwhile preparing for the siege of Stannis Baratheon, and Tyrion gets control of the stock of Wyldfire in King’s Landing and prepares to use it as a weapon. Stannis promises to make Davos Hand of the King if their siege is successful, and agrees to have Mellisandra stay behind.

Stannis Baratheon lays assault to King’s Landing in the Battle of Blackwater Bay. Joffrey, who is supposed to be the fearless King that is leading the army of the city, hides beneath the orders of his mother while leaving Tyrion to rally the men. After an inspiring speech, they set out to kill whatever hasn’t been killed with the wildfire. Cersei drinks herself into a stupor while Sansa tries to calm the ladies down. Tyrion nearly dies on the battlefield but his squire saves him from an assassination attempt by his sister, and Tywin Lannister’s forces arrives, defeating Stannis, and stopping Cersei just in time from poisoning her youngest son Tommen (Callum Wharry)

After the battle, Joffrey agree to marry Margaery Tyrell as a favour to her brother Loras, who helped with the saving of the city. Tyrion still fears for Shae’s safety, especially after his father’s arrival. Melisandre is working on motivating Stannis again, while Brienne is constantly facing attack in getting Jamie to King’s Landing.

Rating: 8/10

The Second Season of GoT was just as riveting as the first season, and maybe just loses a few points because season one had that absolutely WOW factor. I really enjoyed the intricate storyline and the magnitude of each character’s influence, and how everything interlinks so perfectly. I haven’t found any glitches in the storyline and I just enjoyed every story arc created. I love the random giggle moments because there are so few and those present is just hilarious therefore.

Danearys is one of the best and strongest female leads I have ever encountered. I admire her courage and determination and her resolve to never marry anyone again because she loves Khal Drogo so much. I thought the fact that she could walk out of the tent with the illusion of Khal and their baby was powerful and showed how strong she really is.

I found it hilarious that Arya Stark was under Tywin Lannister’s nose the entire time and he didn’t even know it. I have great admiration for both characters. Arya is a brave little thing, focused on surviving and a lot stronger than her sister Sansa. I like how she makes friends with the right people and how her judge of character is always right. I was cheering when she got an alliance with J’aqen and the whole three deaths and how she used them. She needed some champions and having a very scary, mysterious knight as a protector was very valuable to her safety. I think she and Gendry can become such a power alliance if you look at their lineage and I hope that they both make it to the end.

Tywin Lannister I respect. He may be short with his children and be the father of two incestuous children and that Joffrey is related to him, but he is an army man, doing the things he does to protect his family, without the pettiness of Joffrey and Cersei. I don’t like him much for the fact that he wants to kill Robb Stark, but I respect him for the fact that he is doing his job, not because he is hiding an incestuous relationship and invalid claims to the Throne, but because he is a warrior and plans to keep his family alive.

Sansa Stark. I did not like this typical teenage girl at all. BUT, in the end pure pity won out against the irritation I felt towards her. She has really had a tough time since her father died and she is so alone that it is just sad. I like that even though her life is horrible she still carries on.

Tyrrion: I STILL LOVE THIS GUY. He is one of the worthy competitors in my mind to be on the throne. His bravery far outstrips Joffrey’s and he is the only child of Tywin Lannister that deserves an ounce of respect.

Robb Stark: He just rocked in season two. I like how angry he was with his mother – she is constantly messing up everyone’s plans. He is also gorgeous and I love his attitude and that he and Talisa fell in love. Robb has honour and dignity and it is so obvious he is miles better than any Lannister. I respected him because he wanted nothing more than making the North free – he doesn’t ever claim to want that stupid Iron Throne that drives everyone mad

Jon Snow. FTW. He is still so pure and honest and good, and I love how he thinks for himself despite orders. I am not a huge fan of Ygritte, but I do like her attitude. I love his relationship with Sam, and I adore Sam just as much. He is sweet and well read and so different from the people he is surrounded with that he is constantly fun to watch.

The White Walker looks awesome. It is still amusing that everyone is slashing each other up and the biggest threat is around the corner, being ignored by the entire world.

I could go on about every single character in this show and how much I love/loathe them for hours and days, and discuss them forever (I somehow manage to work GoT into most conversation these days… I’ve become THAT person), but as conclusion I will say that this show has so much going for it and if you haven’t started on it yet, do so, and stay off the internet because it is a treacherous bastard that will spoil everything for you.

Lego Movie (2014)

Lego-movie-2014-poster

Emmet: “You don’t have to be the bad guy. You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it’s also true. It’s about all of us. Right now, it’s about you. And you… still… can change everything”

The Ancient Wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) tries to protect the “Kragle”, a powerful weapon, from falling in the hands of villain Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Vitruvius is blinded in his attempt and Business steals the Kragle. Vitruvius prophesies that “the Special” will one day find and use the “Piece of Resistance”, a powerful tool that will stop Business and the Kragle.

Years later, a normal construction worker Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) is living his life in exactly the same way as the rest of the city. One day at work he notices a suspicious character searching through building material and sees a beautiful lady. He tries to stop her, but she disappears, and Emmet heads down to see what has been cracking. He stumbles upon the Piece of Resistance, has visions and passes out.

When Emmet wakes up he is in police custody under the surveillance of Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), the sidekick of Lord Business who has a split personality – Bad and Good Cop. The Piece of Resistance is stuck on his back now, and nothing he can do can get it off. While under interrogation Emmet learns that Business wants to freeze the world with Kragle, to keep everything as it is. The woman Emmet saw on the construction saves him and introduces herself as Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). While fleeing, he manages to convey the message that he is in no way special and she is very disappointed. Wildstyle takes Emmet into another “world”, the Old West. She explains that people used to travel freely between worlds, but Lord Business detested it and tried to seal them off from each other by building walls between each world.

In the Old West, Wyldstyle introduces Emmet to Vitruvius. She explains about Master Builders – people capable of building things without instruction manuals. She and Vitruvius are both Master Builders, and all like them are despised by Business for their creativity creates chaos in his perfect world. Business and Bad Cop tried to catch all the Builders, but some of them remained free. Emmet insists he has no such talent but Vitruvius is convinced that with enough exploring he will find his talent.

Bad Cop is soon on their tail and they have to flee the Old West through the pandemonium that ensues. Wyldstyle’s boyfriend rocks up and he is Batman. He saves them in his Batmobile and they head to Cloud Cuckoo Land, where they meet princes Unikitty and the rest of the remaining Master Builders. The Master Builders are not impressed when they learn Emmet has no real talent and refuse to help him fight Business. Bad Cop finds them and captures most of the Master Builders, destroying Cloud Cuckoo Land. Emmet, Wyldstyle, Batman, Vitruvius, Unikitty and Benny, a spaceman, manages to escape on a submarine. They are saved by a pirate named Metal Beard when the submarine sinks.

Emmet realizes that the flaw in all of their attempts was that they did exactly what Business expected them to do – work with their own individual creativity and not as a team with a plan. He therefor creates a plan and they all follow his instructions, and head to Business’s headquarters. Will they succeed in time to save all the worlds? Can Business be stopped?

Rating: 6.5/10

I’ve decided to go ahead and like this, although I fully expected to loathe it purely because it is animation, and about BLOCKS. A movie about building blocks just didn’t seem like the world’s most riveting movie ever and since I rarely find any animation worth re-watching or praising, I did not think I would be laughing or vouching for anything.

However, I was soon hoping Emmet would succeed and that he and Wyldstyle would end up together. He was a very generic guy, just doing his job every day and suddenly he was thrust into saving the world. I liked how he never tried to be the best but always insisted that he was just a normal guy (unless when he was boasting to Wyldstyle of course).

Lego Movie has an extremely catchy song. I was dancing to “everything is awesome” and singing it to people for days after watching Lego. I think Lego is an extremely clever company and this is a brilliant way to up sales. I loved the cheesy message in there that people can be heroes without being extraordinary, I LOVED that their hair could be so easily removed and changed (a girl can dream) and I found the references to popular superheroes quite cleverly done.

I wish they could have kept it at being an animation and not incorporated humans into it and having Will Ferrell in there (totally unnecessary) and I am not too sure if it was a good idea naming the villain Business – is Lego tricking children into hating corporate establishments #DeepQuestion

Recommendation: Honestly, kids should watch this.

Five things Friday: Where I will be for a while

worldcup

It’s the Fifa Soccer World Cup Baby!

Although not fortunate enough to be in Brazil, I WILL be in front of my TV Binge watching as many soccer games as I can possibly find being shown at a respectable time in my country. (Fuuu Brazil, is it really necessary to be four/five hours behind us?! #rude)

penny
Penny depicting my obsession perfectly

I love everything about soccer. It is:

1) so close to Hockey rules I understand it perfectly,

2) the guys are super hot – check this,

3) It is a beautiful game

4) Emotional and gut wrenching

5) I laugh and laugh at the dramatic behaviour of the players

This is a Five Things Friday post, so I will add the sixth point apart: It really makes me proud to remember what South-Africa did in 2010. It was the most AMAZING time in this country and the atmosphere was unbelievable. We showed the world what we can do when we put our minds to it, and I will never forget it. EVER.

Are you a soccer fan? Excited much?