Movie Review: What If (2013)

What if poster

Wallace: “In fairy tales, love inspires you to be noble and courageous, but in real life, love is just an all-purpose excuse for selfish behavior. You can lie and cheat and hurt people, and it’s all okay because you’re in love.”

Plot: Wallace, who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.

Rating: 7/10

After weeks and weeks of not really watching movies (Code: Gossip Girl Marathon) I finally managed to sit down and get some movie time in. I chose What If, a movie with some good reviews and positive scores online. I enjoy romantic comedies and love a feel good movie, so that made me quite keen to give this a go.

 What if 1

Firstly, What If is the definitely the hipster version of a romcom. All the characters are quirky and it is obvious that they went to great lengths to make this movie original and less cheesy than what would be expected from this genre. The dialogue is fast and witty and the characters seem very human with their insecurities and faults.

Daniel Radcliffe is Wallace, a man whose life is not going as planned. After finding his girlfriend kissing their teacher, Wallace drops out of medical school and takes a miserable job. After his friend Allan (Adam Driver) convinces him to attend a party, he meets Chantry (Zoe Karzan) and he accepts her request for friendship when she clearly tells him she’s already in a relationship, and they can only ever be friends.

Daniel Radcliffe was a great choice for Wallace. It is perhaps unfair to eternally reference his years as Harry Potter, but hey, if something awarded you with that much money and fame, deal with it cupcake. Radcliffe impressed me more as Wallace as he ever did as Potter. He was young and inexperienced in those movies, the acting was not always legit or even marginally good, but they have paid off: Daniel Radcliffe has turned into an authentic actor with greater capabilities than what anyone could have expected. Wallace is a brooding guy who drastically changed his life to stop him from becoming like his parents. He is a loner with a quirky sense of humor that doesn’t work for everyone.  In other words, he is relatable to anyone with someof their own quirks.

Zoe Karzanshines as the female lead. She is unlike the outrageous female stereotype that Hollywood pushes on its viewers: she looks like a normal girl and she is beautiful in an everyday kind of way. She’s also a decent actress, and the chemistry between her and Radcliffe is strong. I really liked that Chantry chose her career, even when things were looking up between her and Wallace, because Chantry,and all girls around the world deserves a chance to make something of their lives. I loved the relationship between her and her sister – the way they talk to each other is shockingly like the way my sisters and I talk to each other. That tummy scene? Yep, we’ve done it about ten million times.

I would have loved to have seen a bit more of Wallace’s sister and nephew; they were mostly ignored and underdeveloped. The whole scene where Ben falls out of the window is outrageous, and if someone pushed my boyfriend out of any window, even accidentally, I would not remain friends with them. I also thought that Ben’s macho behavior at his first introduction on screen did not fit with his personality throughout the movie.

I did like the length. There is nothing more despicable than a movie that drags when it is supposed to be done. The hour and forty minutes were enough to develop the characters, the situation to unfold and a decent ending.

It feels as if there was a nearly 500 days of Summer feel to the directing. What If is shot in a very arty way with some random animation floating around on the screen, reinforcing the whole “hipster-original-story” vibe.

 What if 2

What If is truly an enjoyable romcom with a more plausible than usual storyline, and the improbable events do not outweigh the possibility that this might actually happen. I did think at a few places that cheating on a partner was slightly glamorized, and even though the characters frequently expressed their disgust in the activity the theme was still explored positively.  Karzan and Radcliffe both gave impressive performances and it is surprising that Radcliffe fit so well into a romantic leading role. It is obviously a movie that some people will scoff at, but I think the majority would find it a not-so-nauseating romantic comedy to sit through.

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Marvelous Mondays: The Punisher: Warzone by Drew’s Movie Reviews

For today’s penultimate Marvelous Mondays instalment, please help me in welcoming Drew who blogs over at Drew’s Movie Reviews. Drew has a very cool site (I especially love his Movie Quote of the Week segment – they are really fun!)

Today Drew is reviewing The Punisher: Warzone for us. Thanks for taking part Drew! You rock!

Punisher_war_zone

Synopsis
Six years ago, Frank Castle (Ray Stevenson) and his family were enjoying a family picnic when they witnessed a mob hit, resulting in the death of his wife and two kids.  Now he is the Punisher, slowly eliminating the crime families of New York City.  When he kills the head of the Cesare family, he is succeeded by Billy ‘The Beaut’ Russoti (Dominic West).  When Castle catches up to Russoti, he traps Russoti in a glass cutting machine, leaving him disfigured.  Russoti takes the name “Jigsaw” and sets on out on a quest of revenge against the Punisher.

Review
I really enjoy 2004’s The Punisher starring Thomas Jane, but I felt its PG-13 rating held it back.  The Punisher is a violent character who needs the freedom to be as brutal that the R rating allows.  Punisher: War Zone takes full advantage of the upped rating.  Every kill is gruesome (and almost artistic), very fitting for the character and world he inhabits.  The violence feels almost over the top, acknowledging that its source material as a comic book, but never becoming too ridiculous.  It is a good mix that few movies can pull off.  Although, it can be difficult to be serious when your main villain’s primary motivations for revenge against the main character is because he ruined the villains face (there was a thing about the Punisher killing his crime family but hey, his looks were important to him).

Ray Stevenson does well as the Punisher.  His presence is intimidating and he easily pulls off the toughness of the character.  Thomas Jane showed more of Punisher’s calculating and strategist side, whereas Ray Stevenson’s Punisher shows the Punisher’s military training and violent combat side.   The story moved pretty quick and part of that was because it skipped Frank Castle’s transformation into the Punisher.  Instead, he was already established as the Punisher for five years. His history was told through exposition, very similar to The Incredible Hulk.  I like that it took that route because his origin is fairly simple and didn’t need to be retreaded again, especially only a few years after the previous Punisher movie.  Punisher: War Zone embraces the violence of its comic book origins and shows a more graphic and ferocious Punisher than previous films that makes for a pretty entertaining afternoon popcorn flick.

Rating
3/5

Cast & Crew
Lexi Alexander – Director
Nick Santora – Writer
Art Marcum – Writer
Matt holloway – Writer
Michael Wandmacher – Composer
Ray Stevenson – Frank Castle
Dominic West – Billy / Jigsaw
Doug Hutchison – Loony Bin Jim
Colin Salmon – Paul Budiansky
Wayne Knight – Micro
Dash Mihok – Martin Soap
Julie Benz – Angela
Stephanie Janusauskas – Grace
Mark Camacho – Pittsy
Romano Orzari – Nicky
KaremMalicki-Sanchez – Ink
Larry Day – Agent Miller
Ron Lea – Captain Ross
Tony Calaabretta – Saffiotti
Carlos Gonzalez-Vio – Carlos
TJ Storm – Maginty

Five Things Friday: My five favorite books as a child

Yep, it’s Friday again (I know you all really hate Fridays ;)). I try to keep Fridays unscheduled to allow space if inspiration strikes – I’m totally kidding, I am usually over scheduling stuff after the fourth post for the week has been uploaded. I’ve been thinking about books a lot – I haven’t been reading as much as I enjoy and need because life has been so insane the last few months, but I’m slowly getting back on the book train again. I’m currently reading The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes and Evening Classes by Maeve Binchy.

All this thinking about books lead me to think about what started this insane reading passion I have. It started pretty early on in my life, somewhere between Enid Blyton and JK Rowling – these ladies are my heroes and they have incomparable talent. So in the spirit of books and childhood and reading, I compiled a list of my favorite books I read as a child. Read, enjoy, and let me know which books you adored!

Enid Bluton secret seven

Enid Blyton: The Secret Seven

Enid Blyton has a descriptive writing style that places her in an elitist class of her own as an author. I’ve read a number of her books, and this series, as well as the Famous Five are wonderful books full of mystery and childhood adventure. I remember a particular trait of Blyton very well – her description of food! Wow, this lady could make me ravenous by describing lunch. The food was always succulent and plentiful, and the characters always had the most amazing adventures before settling down for lunch. The books are also full of adventure – secret passages, saving dogs, climbing through wells, small secretive towns – everything that makes a child want to believe that you can have fun while saving the world!

JK Rowling: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Prisoner of Azkaban

JK Rowling could really take over this entire post if I let her, because Potter was the very definition of my childhood. During my recent move I found my Potter scrapbook where I had pasted every article, picture or reference regarding these books I could find. It was vaguely embarrassing to page through but I was fangirling nonetheless.

I’ve often mentioned that these books are some of my favorite one’s ever – I’ve never felt that I’ve outgrown them and they are special to read every single time.  The Philospher’s Stone takes you through that pity for the life young Harry has at the Dursleys’, the excitement of finding out he is a wizard, the wonder of the first exploration of Hogwarts and the daring courage of an eleven year old boy to stand up against the monster who murdered his parents. The Chamber of Secrets is still full of exploration, Harry learns more of Voldemort’s past and how he was already evil as a student, he learns what his strange snake speaking ability means and that similarity between him and Voldemort and, very importantly, he finds the first Horcrux although he has no idea at the time what it means or even what it is.

The Prisoner of Azkaban brings us a Harry that is quickly approaching his teenage years – he starts noticing girls andhis temper is all over the place. It also introduces us to a fatherlike figure for Harry, Sirius Black and takes you through the unbelievable glory of Harry and the Gryffindor team finally winning the Quidditch cup. It is as excellently written as what comes before and after it, but I really enjoyed this book more than the first two. It carries great significance in the Potter world because if Wormtongue hadn’t escape Voldemort would never have risen again (OR WOULD HE?) and Harry would never have lost Sirius (again, thanks for that, Rowling).

(Do you see how I can make this entire post about Potter if I allow myself?)

 RL Stine: Goosebumps

Goosebumps

These books terrified the crap out of me as a kid, but I could never stop reading because it is so fantastically written. I especially remember reading one of the novels where a sponge was the villain, and believe it or not, that was pretty creepy to twelve year old Natasha. I also remember the notoriety the writer achieved in school – there was rumors if you properly realigned the letter in his name you would find “satan” written in there – yep, once again, an utterly impossible event that terrified twelve year old Natasha.

The books are pretty fun though, and I found something in the recurring theme that evil can’t be fully eliminated interesting. I can see myself rereading it at some stage, only if it is to see if sponges still terrify me.

 Francine Pascal: Sweet Valley High

sweet valley high

These books, also a series, epitomized the highest living standard I could ever hope to achieve as a teenager. I mean – TWINS firstly: Imagine how awesome life would be if I had a twin! Then, super-hot boys pining away for you – no girl would deny the need for that one. Jessica’s life as a cheerleader seemed so glamorous and Elizabeth’s cool and calm confidence in her brains and abilities – these two were the combination of everything a teenager would want to be – popular, pretty, smart, confident (I see what you did there, Pascal)

These books were available in our school library and my one friend and I devoured these books. They provided endless entertainment, impossible situations and a perfect setting for teenage fun.

 JRR Tolkien, The Lord of The Rings

Lord of the rings

I first read the LoTR trilogy when I was eleven years old. My dad, recognizing a fellow book junkie, loaned me his battered mammoth copy of the three books. I can’t really remember if I took everything in at that young age, but I read it about three times that year. Eventually it got superglued into my brain and made me the Tolkienista I am today.

I adore this series. I fully agree with people who moan that the books are mostly about walking and take ages to move between scenes, but Tolkien was an exemplary writer for his time. I also applaud the female characters in his novels, although it saddens me that there were no ladies in the fellowship. These books are a large project to undertake and to be perfectly honest I haven’t had the guts in the last few years with life happening and all. However, I do think that it is the right time again, just to see if I can still reach that fanatic reading level the munchkin me was known for!

Honorable Mentions:

Edward Stratemeyer/assorted writers: Nancy Drew

Nancy drew

The Nancy Drew series is a quite important read for a young girl – the first book was released in 1930 – a time where women were expected to wash dishes and have babies, and Nancy came along and solved mysteries and took care of herself. Yay for feminism!

These books are well written and are intricate reads – there is always something unexpected and nothing is ever quite what it seems. I haven’t read even half of the books available in the series, but the one or two of these I have read were wonderfully done.

Stella Blakemore: Maasdorp

Maasdorp

No we get to the more obscure and lesser known books of this post – they are in Afrikaans, so I don’t think the majority of my readers would have heard of them J

Afrikaans literature is surprisingly good for such a small language. I think it is because our language developed quickly and stemmed from a language that was already at the height of its’ existence (Dutch).

The Maasdorp series is extremely old – it was also written in the 1930s. It follows the tale of Kobie Malan and her escapades in the boarding school Maasdorp.

These books are really well written and extremely fun, although I think it must be mentioned that there is something specifically precious about a book that is written in your own language. That, and the midnight feasts and extravagant plans these girls undertake while still excelling at school, provided endless entertainment and addiction as a young girl.

Maritha Snyman/Louise van Niekerk: Reënboogrant

reenboogrant_tieners_liefde_in_londen

This series is also Afrikaans, but it is much more recent (somewhere in the 1990s). To perfectly sum up these books would be to say that it is a more innocent version of Sweet Valley High (Afrikaans parents are particularly strict and traditional). I loved these books because between the two main characters Shani and Sunette they had kidnappings, suicides, alcoholism, anorexia, holidays to the South-African coast and London, parties, stalkers and numerous other dramas scattered between their friends all in one year. I will still pick up a book in this series if I spot it in a shop. It is so much fun to read!

Well, there you have my list. I’m sure it is not even nearly complete, though I did my best! Drop a comment and let me know which books were your favorites as kids!

Series Review: Gilmore Girls Season 3

Gilmore.Girls-Season.3

What I liked:

Lane Kim’s rebellion: Lane’s quirky nature has been repressed by her mother her entire life, and it is amusing to see Lane starting to openly rebel against it. I found the purple hair incident really amusing and Rory’s baffled support throughout very endearing.

Rory and Dean’s breakup: Hehe, it was nasty. Rory had partially deserved it because she cheated on Dean, and was so inconsiderate to his feelings. Both Alexis Bledel and Jared Padalecki did well in this scene and I was impressed with their emotions flying everywhere.

GG3 Rory and Paris

The bi-centennial speech: Paris freaking out over live television and referencing Rory’s virginity and her lack of it was cringe-worthy but had me laughing so loudly.

GG3 Rory and Jess

Jess and Rory, finally: I only liked Dean in Rory’s life as a first boyfriend: Nice and all, but someone who you love and then move on. He’s not her equal on so many levels, and I think them together in the long run would be disastrous. Jess challenges Rory and he is her intellectual equal. He is always honest with her and it doesn’t matter to him what other people think of their relationship.

Jesse vs. Dean: That fight was one just waiting to happen and it was so well executed. I was very entertained and changed sides constantly who I was cheering for.

Luke: He’s just the greatest guy in the show. Even though he easily loses his temper and doesn’t have much time for silly town events, he has a soft heart and will do anything for his family and friends.

The buying of the Dragonfly: YAAAY for Lorelai and Sookie getting their inn!

Rory’s graduation speech: WOW. I had to watch it three times and I got chills every single time. It was beautiful and touching and appropriate and her grandparents and Lorelai seemed so genuinely touched.

GG3 Snowman

What I didn’t like:

Rory’s treatment of Dean: This is the first time we get a good view of how bad Rory can behave, and I was not impressed with her kissing Jess while she was still with Dean. Dean can be grating and immature and silly, but he does not deserve to be cheated on (no one does). I also thought that her taking out her cheating on her mom all the time is unfair.

GG3 Lorelai and Jess

That said, Dean: Dean gets annoying really fast when he gets on his high horse and his constant jealousy pisses me off. I also really don’t appreciate how he towers over Rory and shouts at her, it is rather terrifying and screams abuse to me.

Jess: He is one of my favorite characters but also an annoying one because he constantly messes up the things that are important: school, his relationship with Luke, his relationship with Rory. I love his cocky attitude and his bad ass nature, but sometimes I want to pull his ear and tell him it is time to act like the adult he so desperately wants to be. He made me angry a lot of the times because he mistreated Rory emotionally and that was not fair at all.

Alex: He seemed nice, and Billy Burke is so young in here, but the relationship between him and Lorelai was clearly a subplot and undeveloped. It would have been nice to see more of him and Lorelai together and how their relationship ended, for which there wasn’t even an ending.

GG3 Lorelai and chris

The Lorelai and Christopher flashback: Wow, it was so fake. And those kids? The girl could pass for a younger Lauren Graham but that teen boy would never grow into Christopher. EVER

Rating: 8/10

I enjoy this show so much. A big plus for Gilmore Girls is that it never runs dry and constantly evolves to keep the characters growing and the audience entertained. I really enjoy all the characters – they are quirky and unique and there are a ton of them. The cast works well together and you can see that they are having a blast. Season three had a good momentum and managed to balance the story of Rory at Chilton with her relationship dramas and small town life really well and Lorelai also got her emotional and career development. Both Alexis Bledel and Lauren Graham are much more comfortable in their roles and seemto have settled into their characters.

The support cast provides endless entertainment as with their small town lives. I especially enjoy Kirk very much. He is so awkward and the things he gets up to makes me laugh the entire episode through. I’m really happy he was promoted to a series regular because Sean Gunn does a fantastic job with his role. Miss Patty (Liz Torres) also provides chuckles with her dancing school and her open perving about gorgeous younger men makes me want to high five the lady. Then there is Michel Gerard (Yanic Truesdale), a man whose view on life and work should be celebrated. His constant sarcasm and determination to do as little as possible is truly admirable, as well as the bit of sweetness he can exhibit for the people he cares about.

I am also particularly pleased that Gilmore Girls never do that annoying thing where a story arc keeps running indefinitely. Rory gets her three seasons at Chilton, because it fits with the necessary time frame and then she applies to college. She also GOES to school and constantly studies, something that sorely lacks from shows like Pretty Little Liars where you wonder how those girls are planning to get their school certificates.

Gilmore Girls Season 3 provided easy, fun and hilarious television time. It is a great pick-me-up, and I think plenty of people would have fun with this!

Thoughts: Moving and what accompanies it

Moving house

This past weekend was one of those “No fun allowed” kinda weekends. I moved out of the home I had been living in for 25 years (i.e. my life) and I can now say that moving is the most draining experience you will ever undertake: physically and emotionally.

However, I am miraculously mostly settled in, and that prompted me to make a list of the random thoughts I had while moving.

How can I have so many things?

Letters, books, DVDs, clothes, shoes, bed, blankets, tables, chairs, make-up, brushes, bags, double copies of books – DOUBLE COPIES OF BOOKS THAT IS INSANITY, pillows, fridge, stove, kettle, toaster, MORE BOOKS.

How is it possible that I fit so many objects into my old place?

Really now. What spatial miracle did I do the first time around and why is it not working this time around?

I HATE carrying things

They are so heavy and bulky and many. WHY do we have to carry things around?

My car will be less packed if I went on a trip to Uzbekistan for a month right now.

I did not know my car could carry such a load. I am duly impressed.

Have I mentioned SO many things?

Bubblewrap is suddenly not only there for endless popping entertainment. It is an incredibly helpful tool to wrap things in. It is a miracle.

Carrying boxes through the rain… NOT FUN

I will never entertain the ridiculous notion that rain is in any way romantic ever again.

Ladders.

They are beautiful things helping vertically challenged individuals like myself reach places.

Plastic bags are wonderful

They are somehow much easier to carry than boxes, they don’t stink or damage your stuff when it gets rained on, they can be packed VERY full. Beauties.

Selection process: TWO times

At your old place, go through your things and decide what you want. Then, at the new place do it again and trash the stuff you suddenly realised is useless mainly because it will never fit.

It’s “Gifting” season

You are just being a nice person if you give things to people they can use and you have no space for. It doesn’t benefit you more than it does them, nope not at all. You are being kind.

Don’t listen to advice when it is about moving your stuff in a certain way.

Especially if you know for a fact that you have a better eye for dimensions than the other person. You will just tire out yourself by moving things around three times before settling on the way you knew it would work in the first place.

Storage solutions for small places

Were designed by some kind spiritual being for small places.

Well, that is mostly it. Feel free to comment below with your horror stories about moving!

Movie Review: Atonement (2007)

atonement-poster

“I am very, very sorry for the terrible distress that I have caused you. I am very, very sorry…”

Plot: Fledgling writer Briony Tallis, as a 13-year-old, irrevocably changes the course of several lives when she accuses her older sister’s lover of a crime he did not commit. Based on the British romance novel by Ian McEwan.

Atonement1

Rating: 7.5/10

I enjoyed Atonement. I had no idea what the storyline was even about, and going in blind is always entertaining. It has a heartbreaking story and ending, and you can’t help feeling like crap because you’ve had a much better life than anyone involved in there.

The characters had real depth and the actors were well able to keep you dedicated to watching the movie to the end. I was really excited to see Benedict Cumberbatch around and he is as great as always, although his character was reprehensible. I also got to see some more James McAvoy, and I am currently a huge fan of him after watching Days of Future Past. He is fascinating and lives himself into a character completely. He was so sweet and happy and got up to such ridiculous things – I knew his letter writing exercise would blow up in his face in the end and it did quite entertainingly.

Atonement Kiss

Kiera Knightley plays a character that you eventually just feel sorry for – she lost what she had just found and could never really get on with her life after that. She was first the girl who loved someone beneath her class, then the second she made peace with her feelings it was taken away from her so badly, and her life turned out in a way that she never would have guessed.

Atonement McAvoy

James McAvoy as the male lead in Atonement had me fangirling again. I discovered him only last year when I watched X-men: Days of Future Past, and right now the man can do no wrong in my eyes. He is an incomparable actor with great talent and he really makes you understand the depth of who he portrays. It was wonderful seeing him in a role where he is a straight laced guy – his roles are often of incredibly broken men (not that his character had it any easier in here than he had as Professor X)

atonement saoirse

Saoirse Ronan as a little girl was an amazing actress. She very nearly stole the show because she makes you understand that she is a sensitive, inquisitive young girl. I was so mad at what she did because I fully believe that it is not something a man can ever outlive, but then eventually had to sympathize with her because she acknowledged she was very young and had no idea what the consequences of her incorrect evidence would have.

The interesting chronological order of Atonement made you pay attention. Most movies follow the expected formula of moving forward. I enjoyed Atonement because you were taken back in time frequently and could not know when it would happen.

The movie is masterfully directed to make you fully understand the tragic lives of all the people who suffered from Briony’s horrific mistakes. Even when Briony realizes she was wrong, which is pretty much immediately, the damage is done and she has caused a great deal of people in her life incredible amounts of pain and injustice.

Atonement is a strong and poignant movie with excellent directing, and it carries a message of great importance – to be 110% sure before you accuse someone for an unforgivable crime, because you are never ruining only one life in the process.

Marvelous Mondays: The Amazing Spiderman 2 by MovieRob

marvel-logo-wallpaper

Happy Monday, my dears!

As we are coming closer and closer to the end of Marvelous Mondays, the epic Rob is here again to review The Amazing Spiderman 2 for us today. Rob, thanks so much for being such a great contributor for my blogathon!

(PS: If anyone else still want to send in your review, please do so as soon as you can manage. Thanks!)

asm2

“It’s easy to feel hopeful on a beautiful day like today, but there will be dark days ahead of us too. There will be days where you feel all alone, and that’s when hope is needed most. No matter how buried it gets, or how lost you feel, you must promise me that you will hold on to hope. Keep it alive. We have to be greater than what we suffer. My wish for you is to become hope; people need that. And even if we fail, what better way is there to live? As we look around here today, at all of the people who helped make us who we are, I know it feels like we’re saying goodbye, but we will carry a piece of each other into everything that we do next, to remind us of who we are, and of who we’re meant to be. ” – Gwen Stacy

Number of Times Seen – 2 (24 Jul 2014 and 11 Mar 2015)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – While battling his own personal demons from his past, Peter Parker must also save NYC from three new villains.

My Take on it – When I first saw this movie last summer, I was a bit disappointed because I have grown (we all have actually) to better quality superhero movies.

Rewatching it, I felt it was slightly better than I had originally thought, but not as good as a superhero movie should be

I found that all 3 of the villains weren’t created strong enough or menacing enough and they all felt like cookie cutter villains that they were just there to scream and not do much besides that.

The movie suffers from too many storylines and it all gets too jumbled together instead of focusing on key elements, the story is all over the place.

The plotlines dealing with Gwen and Peter’s parents were interesting and needed to be emphasized more to make thismovie even better.

The special effects are done really well and they keep getting better and better as each new movie comes out.

The best thing about this movie was the character of Gwen Stacy (played by Emma Stone) who added so much depth to the storyline.

I’m glad this will once again be rebooted, this time by the Marvel people who have shown they know what they are doing.

Bottom Line – Better than the first SM movie with Garfield, but the villains seem too cookie cutter here and not threatening enough. Stone still remains the best reason to watch the reboots.  Recommended!

MovieRob‘s Favorite Trivia –  When Spider-Man and Electro fling one another at the climactic fight, the heavy bass version of “The Itsy Bitsy Spider,” a running gag in this series, can be heard when the electric nodes are hit. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy  (7/10 )(no change from original review)

Five things Friday: Beautiful speeches on screen

Happy Friday! I was watching Gilmore Girls this week where Rory gives her graduation speech, and that, and a conversation with Zoe, prompted me to compile this list today.

I’ve always read that people give speeches that move other people into action, or make them teary eyed and super emotional, but there aren’t many movies or shows that have actors/actresses strong enough to properly convey the emotion in a way that the speech becomes a powerful entity.

However, I’ve managed to come up with five speeches where the words, combined with excellent acting and setting, impressed me beyond belief and nearly made me cry.

Sherlock Holmes’ best man speech at Watson’s wedding

Benedict Cumberbatch is without a doubt the most perfect person to ever play Sherlock Holmes, a high honor since Robert Downey Jnr did a very decent job in the 2009 and 2011 Sherlock Holmes movies.

Sherlock’s Best Man speech starts off delightfully awkward, just like Sherlock himself. As the scene progresses, you start feeling vaguely uncomfortable and pity the bride, groom and guests alike. Then Sherlock stuns the crowd with a moving tribute to Watson’s character, words kinder than anything Sherlock has ever uttered in his life.

It is beyond a doubt one of the best scenes I’ve ever seen in a show. It’s so unexpected and emotional, beautifully spoken in Cumberbatch’s amazing voice, and so appropriate for someone who has gone through and seen what Watson has seen.

Theoden’s speech at the Ride of the Rohirrim

I’ve referenced this scene many, many times as one the greatest scenes of all times. I can’t watch it without having goosebumps or wanting to jump on my own horse(I don’t have a horse) and go fight some Orcs. Bernard Hill did a phenomenal job in his portrayal of Theoden. Theoden has a sad and moving story: he has always felt that he is not worthy to be amongst his great forefathers; he has spent too much time listening to Wormtail’s lies and lost his son on the battlefield. When Gandalf arrives in Rohan, Theoden is a ghost of a man he once was. With Gandalf’s force help, he manages to shake Saruman’s hold on him, acknowledges his power and the loyalty he owes Gondor, and becomes the King he has always been destined to be.

Theodentakes his men through numerous battles and finally rides to the aid of Minas Tirith, under attack from Sauron’s fleet. As his party arrives grossly outnumbered to the orcs, Theoden gives the speech he has been born to give: giving his men courage brutality and death to help their friends.

Aragorn’s speech at the Black Gates

Lord of the Rings is obviously a trilogy with great speeches and epic moments, and this scene also stood out for me: Aragorn taking his small party to the Black Gates to lure Sauron’s eyes away from Mordor, where Sam and Frodo are desperately trying to fulfil their quest.

Rory Gilmore’s graduation speech

Yes, this one might be vastly inferior to those previously mentioned, but I loved the speech Rory gave at her farewell. The entire episode has Rory stressed out and overworked, she is snappy with absolutely everyone, she has just heard that Dean is getting married and that Jesse left Stars Hollow without even saying goodbye or giving an explanation. She’s valedictorian but she’s not even feeling the pride that should accompany it because she has so much on her plate. Lorelai makes her realise what an achievement it is and when it is time for the speech, Rory thanks her grandparents and mother in such a way you can’t help but tear up. I thought it was unbearably sweet and with Luke and Jackson doing the ugly cry gave me a good chuckle. I think I particularly liked this scene because the only problem I’ve ever had with both Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel was that they didn’t really dotears very well.

Kat’s speech/poem in Ten Things I Hate About You

This last spot was a killer to fill. I had some ideas, but wanted the last one, even though it’s fifth on the list, to be worthy to stand with those that came before it. Kat’s interpretation of the poem they’ve been assigned is done so beautifully – she’s hurt because she’s found out Patrick was paid to take her out on dates just so that Bianca could date sleezeball Joey.

What are your favorite speeches? I’m sure I missed/forgot plenty of good ones, so let me know!

Series Review: Gilmore Girls Season 2

Ggs2

Rating: 8/10

There is no other way to watch Gilmore Girls other than binge watching. I continued from my epic return to Stars Hollow in Season One, immediately joining Rory and Lorelai again for their escapades. I can’t imagine giving this show anything below an 8. Gilmore Girls makes me the happiest and watching it is the best. Season two also performed really well and the storyline evolves just enough to prevent the show from stagnating. I really thought the addition of Jess’ character was an inspired move, he brings something to Rory’s life that makes her existence as colorful as her mothers. Below is a rundown of my likes and dislikes… enjoy and let me know if you’ve ever watched it and what you thought!

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What I liked:

Max Madeena and Lorelai’s relationship getting the axe.  I loved Max, I truly did, but he is not the man for Lorelai. (Luke is, duh). Max is very sweet and a wonderful character, but he just seems… too nice for Lorelai.

Lane’s bigger role. I adore Keiko Agena in her role of Lane Kim, and I find her and Rory’s friendship so very sweet. I was very happy to notice Lane gets her moments in the story and that she is developing and having fun.

Rory and Paris… round two.  Paris is rather terrifying but I really enjoy the character. She is so insecure and stressed about being a success and that and her short personality does not make her the best person to be around in trying times. I did enjoy how she and Rory got onto a better level here and how Rory could even be friends with a person that had treated her the way Paris did.

Jess for the win! Ah, Milo Ventimiglia is the best thing in Stars Hollow since Luke’s diner. He’s hilarious, sarcastic, cocky and brutally honest and I love when he is on screen (he’s honey to the eyes too, but that pales compared to his awesome character. My favorite scene with him is where Luke pushes him into the lake, it’s just a small push and Jesse is flying. I laughed for hours afterwards. It’s also pretty clear that Jesse is a much better fit for Rory than Dean is – he’s her equal and won’t treat her like she’s breakable all the time, something very good for a girl as pampered as Rory is.

A Movie by Kirk

LOL

LOL

LOL

Possibly made my year.

The episodes: All of these episodes are hilarious, sweet and well shot and you never even think of the time. Although there is some strange acting here and there it’s not grating because the show is shot so well.

Improved relationships: Especially between Lorelai and Emily Gilmore. It’s quite clear that they are both very responsible for the damage that was done between them and they are such an entertaining case study for the mom/daughter dynamic. I love Emily’s wit and sarcasm and how she always has an answer – she is an older version of her daughter although both would fervently deny it.

Luke, forever. He’s so cranky and his wild tangents entertain me. He never stops bitching and has so many gripes with the world. He is actually also very sweet and has a good heart, which I love because he tries to hide it so well.

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What I didn’t like

Sheesh, there is basically nothing. The only thing that causes minor irritation, and it is truly minor, is Dean. He can get very grating at times and his excessive jealously and over protective nature annoys me (maybe it is strengthened by Jared Padalecki flashbacks from Supernatural season four). It is very minor though, and I really do enjoy the character most of the time.

I also think that it was completely wrong that they didn’t show Sookie’s wedding to Jackson. Sookie is a major character in the story, and it would have been lovely to see how she got her big day.

Really, if you haven’t seen this show and you really enjoy happy things, I think that you give it a try. It is worth the watch and easy and fun.

A random list of things I completely despise

Happy Wednesday. Yep, it is the middle of the week. Usually by now I’m pretty annoyed with the world in general, but I’m scheduling this post (in honor of my new year’s resolution to post on specific times – it’s 10:30 am SA time, as a note) but I’m still certain I’m going to be annoyed.

So I made a list with things that really grate on my nerves. I also supplemented it with pics and some quotes to make it seem much nicer. Enjoy!

Anti-Vaxxers

anti-vaxxers

Ugh. I can get into a rant about these people with amazing passion because they just undermine everything I work for and believe in. I’ve mostly come to terms with the fact that they are a bunch of right-wing lunatics that are conspiracy theorists to boot, because no matter the amount of literature that they are given they will STILL believe that vaccines cause Autism. I would just LOVE to see how anti-vaccine all these people are when Ebola truly starts threatening their loved ones.

People who think Dumbledore and Gandalf were played by the same guy

dumbledore-vs-gandalf

Except for the impressive beards and similarity in hair color, these two refined gentlemen, are in fact, two different people. 

I have a (former) friend who did this. Inexcusable.

Fan fiction involving Severus Snape and Hermoine Granger

I don’t think I will ever get over the trauma of the day my two PSYCHO aunts invited me to their fan page on Facebook of Hermoine and Snape. It is something you never, ever want to see. Trust me. The photoshop is not even good and it is preposterous.

Eskom

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Coconut

It tastes disgusting

Bad internet

internet was down

(FYI: This pic initially didn’t want to load because of BAD INTERNET)

Johannesburg traffic

…Taxi Drivers too

The Hobbit Franchise

Indigestion

The trackpad on any laptop. Who works with these atrocious little monsters?!

Anything Kardashian. I’ve honestly tried not to be on the hater bandwagon with this clan but they are all so forced and fake and attention ho’s. What’s up with her ugly ass blonde hair?

The freaky way themesongs to the apps on my phone start playing without the app being open, softly. Have you ever experienced that? I’ve thought a number of times I’m heading to the loony bin. I had an hour long conversation last Wednesday with my Insurance company while the background music of Plague played. Have you played that game? It’s rather freaky when you are talking to Insurance people

Me having to be the grownup in a situation where I’m dealing with a 50 year old person. What are you, five?

Not being able to sleep

Joffrey Baratheon. Can’t ever forget him. 

People who think life is fair. Really, I can’t even properly get into this one but if you think that people will do what you ask them and be nice and treat you fairly I can’t begin to imagine what is wrong with you.

Crocs. Eugh

crocs2 crocs1

There were tons of pics on the whole Croc debate. Overwhelming evidence, I would think. #nasty

Anti-animal cruelty NPOs. 

I initially planned one of those whole “open letters” things to them all but open letters can actually be added to this list because they are so pretentious and pompous and everything but I really don’t like these guys. They are judgemental and have no idea of what reality is like in every day life. I think a reason why so many of these companies struggle to get funding is because they are rude and very bad with communication skills. I am such an animal loving person and completely against animal cruelty but right now I am at a point of disgust with them that I would never donate to a company like that. (That said, I would totally donate to the SPCA, who is very wonderful with advice and consultation and they pass no judgement unless it is called for)

*Although this list is probably not complete as it is an ever growing type of thing, I am now done. Let me know what annoys you on a weekly basis!