Movie Review: Paper Towns (2015)

Paper-Towns-Quad-Poster

Plot: After an all night adventure, Quentin’s life-long crush, Margo, disappears, leaving behind clues that Quentin and his friends follow on the journey of a lifetime.

Rating: 6.5/10

The main question on everyone’s mind right now should be whether John Green is systematically becoming the new Nicholas Sparks in Hollywood. Like Sparks, Green is a fairly decent author with a penchant for sentimentality. It went down great with both The Notebook and The Fault in Our Stars respectively, but progressing further on the impact of their literary attempts decline on-screen.

I didn’t hate Paper Towns. I actually think teenagers will likely love it. It’s not bad, it is just made for teenagers who simultaneously want people to understand them and remain mythical creatures full of secrets. I’m past that, in life and what I want in a movie by now.

Cara-Delevingne-in-Paper-Towns

I really enjoyed Cara Delevingne. Her eyebrows are perfection, so naturally I’m going to love her for that, but she also surprised me with quite decent acting abilities. I’m confessing now that when I saw she’s branching into acting I wasn’t all that impressed, but I’m convinced that she can do something with it if she chooses to. As for the character, Margot Roth Spielman was a terrible person. There is nothing more that can be said about her, really.

As for Nat Wolff and the rest of the cast, I am just way too old to relate to them. Really, such kidlets. They weren’t bad, but all those deliberate attempts to be quirky and interesting were boring.

The story didn’t suck; it was just unbelievable and silly. As I understand this is the least liked book of Green, so I’m sure there might be better things in store in the future. Let’s hope so.

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#ForScience

Hehehe

Happy Friday, ladies.

And the gentlemen who prefer.

There’s a lot of reasons I’m putting up a #ForScience post. 1) It is a long time coming 2) I’m done with exams = celebration time and 3) It was examination time and I didn’t watch a lot of things and need some blog post posts. I’ve tried to be a bit more original with my choices – not just my usual picks, so I hope it finds resonance and brightens up your day 🙂

Let’s start off with Chris Hemsworth

I know, I know. I always pick him. He‘s beautiful, T9M agrees. Muscly, tall, handsome and by all accounts sweet. YEAH.

Chris Hemsworth

Chris Hemsworth 2

2. Beautiful and younger brother Liam Hemsworth

Some parents equal genetic lottery, and the Hemsworth line is certainly blessed as such. I’ve always been primarily on the Chris-train, but Liam Hemsworth has been catching my eye as of late.

Reasons: He’s 25, I’m 25, PERFECT MATCH OBVS. 2) All that leg – same reason I love those cricket players so much. 3) Those puppy eyes that shows such goodness.

Liam Hemsworth

3. The only man I prefer with Less Beard – Tom Hardy

I love beards. The just add to the manly man that no amount of muscle can do. Yet, on Tom Hardy, I prefer him clean faced. No idea why, but maybe it is because that scraggly beard hides that lovely mouth and we can’t have that, can we?

4. Max Irons

The guy looks like Prince Charming from a Disney Movie. It makes my heart sigh.

Max IronsMax Irons Smoking

The above picture is for perusal of my dear Bestie

5. Another new comer, Armie Hammer

I’m just going to say straight off the bat that if Armie Hammer didn’t take up a Russian accent in the Man from U.N.C.L.E, he probably wouldn’t have made the list. He’s not my usual type of guy, but that accent combined with the length, and perplexingly, his affection for polo-necks in that film, made me drool.

6. The I’ll make straight men gay, Henry Cavil

Just bless him

Henry Cavill

7. Scott Eastwood

Looks like his dad, but HOT.

Scott Eastwood

8. HUGE Jackman

Not really my taste usually, but yummy still.

Hugh Jakman

9. My Husband, Dan Stevens

❤ ❤ ❤ <3<3 <3<3 <3<3 ❤

 10. and Finally, my other husband, Chris Pratt

Chris Pratt

There we go. Let me know who you wish to see next time 😉

Movie Review: San Andreas (2015)

SANANDREAS

Plot: In the aftermath of a massive earthquake in California, a rescue-chopper pilot makes a dangerous journey with his ex-wife across the state in order to rescue his daughter.

Rating: 6/10

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General things in Disaster Movies:

The big, strong hero with a sad, sad past:

Check. Dwayne Johnson is Ray, ex-military (major points for that) and also lost a daughter in a drowning incident for which he blames himself – sympathy vote! – He also has incredible muscles and a killer smile, as well as a fuck all attitude except when it comes to his family.

Regardless of his acting abilities, I always enjoy Dwayne Johnson. The Rock knows his target audience and he always ends up delivering. I also find his beautifully straight teeth beautiful, and it is so obvious that he is having the best time when he is on screen it is hard to begrudge him his work.

The Silly Wife Who Dared To Want a Fulfilling Relationship and Now Wants to Leave:

Stupid woman. Why does she dare to want to move on when her husband basically ignored her since their daughter’s death? Pfft.

Carla Gugino, starring as Emma, said SWWDTWFRNWL, did a decent enough job, but it felt that she was only there to act frail to The Rock’s strong leadership. Also – gasp – she was running in heels the entire time – DID THEY NOT LEARN FROM JURASSIC WORLD?!

San Andreash
act like she’s your daughter, act like she’s your daughter!

Beautiful Daughter who Needs Saving

Alexandra Daddario played Blake, and I actually enjoyed the role the most of the entire movie. She saved the day, the two guys that tagged along knew she had the knowledge and afforded her the authority, and even acknowledged at the end that they would be deader than dead without her.

International scope and Kidlet

Colton Haynes plays young professional Joby, who immediately falls in love with Blake’s sunny nature and amazing blue eyes. He is British, acknowledging Ally ties and all that.

Required kid is played by Art Parkinsin, Joby’s little brother Ollie, and although annoying AF he is as tolerable as he can possibly be.

Alexi, played by Alex Utgoff, is included to show Putin that we can all work together if we want to.

The Smart Professor and Hardworking News Anchor

Check and Check. Paul Giammati is the Professor of something in here and Archie Panjabi is the News Anchor that needs to get the news out. Both did well enough, but I think this is where the story went flat.

San fran

Preposterous Storyline

It is based on actual fact but the whole San Andreas fault line causing such spectacular damage right now is sillier than people who don’t like Harry Potter. It was really smart to localize the disaster to one area rather than the entire planet, and having the San Fransisco Bridge collapse is always a nice touch. The CGI was a bit pathetic, but as that was to be expected, no harm was done. San Andreas has very little humor, not much in the way of real plot development and the biggest failure to me was the university scenes – it felt displaced in the movie. If you look at this movie as a piece of fluff and don’t take San Andreas up too seriously you will end up enjoying it as a cheesy fest full of bulging muscles. Not a bad thing, come to think of it!

PS: Captain Hindsight thinks that this movie has a lot of things in common with both Taken and Lucy. Any comments on that?

Movie Review: The Mockingjay Part II (2015)

The Mockingjay Poster

Plot: As the war of Panem escalates to the destruction of other districts by the Capitol, Katniss Everdeen, the reluctant leader of the rebellion, must bring together an army against President Snow, while all she holds dear hangs in the balance.

Rating: 7.5/10

Mockingjay Part II had a lot to live up to. The not so stellar opinion of Mockingjay Part I probably increased the pressure significantly. Did it live up to the hype? You will have to go see it to decide for yourself, but I liked it well enough. It doesn’t come close to disrupting what I consider my favourite films of 2015, but I found the movie well done, very sad and a good end to the franchise.

What is it about this film series that makes it much more palatable than other Dystopian dramas? I really enjoyed the Divergent books but the movie adaptions run great risk of falling into complete obscurity. The Hunger Games, however, does not run this risk. Why? Firstly, the cast is stellar. Secondly, the directing is spot on and I think a great visualization of what Suzanne Collins thought. Lastly? The story itself carries resonance in a world plagued by terror and war. No one can possibly watch the Hunger Games series and realise that no, we aren’t sending people into an arena to fight to death, but that it is very close to our every day of warfare.

I considered Mockinjay Part I fine, much against popular opinion, but Part II is definitely better than its’ predecessor. It is mostly due to the fact that the last part of the book has all the action – part I had the unfortunate task of making a movie out of a very dull and depressing part of a very thin book.

The biggest flaw in the film is most certainly that the watchers who didn’t read the book will be confused in many places – even I, who did read the book, thought that the movie was confusing at places.

It also feels rushed – the film is short for a last film and there is so much action that a few breather scenes – something I rarely recommend – should have been included.

My favourite part? Josh Hutcherson. I am a full out Gale Hawthorne fan, but Josh Hutcherson was born to play the sweet Peeta Mellark – that incredibly kind person who managed to keep something of himself despite the fact that he had gone through enough to destroy kindness once and for all. He broke my heart in places, and watching him struggle through the lies the Capitol had fed him was really very painful.

Mockinjay wedding

The best scene? Definitely those fucking mutts. Pardon my French there, but what WERE those things? I was terrified. I expect them to show up in my dreams soon. WTF. And the death there that supposed to happen? It did, and it was as terrible as in the books.

Kudos to Jennifer Lawrence for what she does for Katniss Everdeen. Say what about how annoying she is on the red carpet, because she is, Jennifer Lawrence brings so much character to that selfish girl in the books. You get to understand that Katniss is going mad – she’s been through too much and has seen so many horrors that she is not stable and she has lost most of her kindness.

I am slowly becoming a big fan of Liam Hemsworth as well – not near to the admiration I have for older brother Chris, but quite a lot. I think that he did very well in here and acted his best since the start of the series. I do wish that they could have included something about what happens to him in the end – the book leaves that out as well, but I think the movies could have concocted something.

There are a few changes between book and movie, but as nothing major is altered it isn’t something I would complain about just yet.

Mockingjay

I think I am always going to consider Catching Fire the best of the series, but Mockinjay Part II is a good end to a very good franchise. It is a bit sad to say good-bye, and if you have no clue what to expect in the movie, just be aware that Suzanne Collins made J.K. Rowling look like a merciful goddess who spared all your favourite characters from a grizzly death. That is all I’m going to say. I hope you enjoy it, and can speak fondly of a great franchise, as I am planning to do.

Book Review: Sacred Sins (Nora Roberts)

sacred sins

Plot: n the lazy days of summer, a merciless heat wave is the biggest story in Washington, D.C. But the weather is knocked off the front pages when a young woman is found strangled to death. A note left behind reads Her sins are forgiven her.

Two more victims soon follow, and suddenly every headline is devoted to the killer the press has dubbed “the Priest.” When the police ask top-notch psychiatrist Dr. Tess Court to help with their investigation, she comes up with a disturbing portrait of a twisted soul.

Detective Ben Paris doesn’t give a damn about the killer’s psyche. What he can’t easily dismiss is Tess. Tall, dark, and good-looking, Ben has a legendary reputation with women, but the coolly elegant Tess doesn’t react to him like other women he’s known — and he finds the challenge enticing.

Now, as the two are thrown together in a perilous quest to stop a serial killer, the flame of white-hot passion flares. But someone also has his eyes on the beautiful blond doctor … and Ben can only pray that if the madman strikes, he’ll be able to stop him before it’s too late….

Rating: 6/10

Yep, another improper title that makes you wonder what exactly is going to go down in this book. I swear, if Roberts only had better titles she would get more conservative readers on her side, because then they wouldn’t think her books are porn. That is what kept me steering clear from this particular novel for some time – I thought it was from her Mills and Boon days.

The book is okay. I had major issues with the waving–the-white-flag end, but otherwise I enjoyed it. I even had a few chills about the serial killer – the Priest – his sections were chilling and his stalking of Theresa made me check if my windows were sealed shut. I even enjoyed the –sigh- cop – hero, who managed to be entertaining but not terribly layered.

The book had a good amount of chills and a surprisingly little amount of cheese and improbable romantic gestures. I enjoyed the vibes around the police station and the interaction between COP and BEST COP FRIEND. (I forgot both their names at this point). I just hated the end – no drama and really the equivalent of the widely hated end Breaking Dawn provided.

If you can get over wimpy ends and typecast characters, then read this book. Else, there are much better Nora Roberts books to pick from.

Movie Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

The man from uncle poster

Plot: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons

Rating: 8/10

Things I liked:

The Score

Let’s start out with the score – it was absurdly fantastic. It was a compelling mix of weird Russian/USSR songs and 1960’s style songs perfectly supplemented the action.

manfromuncle2-xlarge

The Fashion

So much love. The Twiggy style fashion worked to perfection and Vikander’s beehive made me want to do it myself (I fortunately restrained myself). I love that time period fashion!

I really wish men could wear suits all the time. I really appreciate a good man in a good suit, and especially these old fashioned suits just work. Such class.

man-from-uncle-vespa

Directing& Storyline

Guy Richie is a master. I love the split screens and the way action was choreographed, as well as the rich tone that the film had. The story itself was fun. It is well thought out, clearly developed and mixes humor and action very well. The little plot twist had me fuming –that bitch! – then forgiving her and going back to admiration. It gets so preposterous at times – two highly trained secret agents bitching about which outfits their female counterpart should wear, Solo having a little drink and snack while the whole world is crashing down around him and the constant competition between the Allies.

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Casting:

This brings the movies I’ve seen with Alicia Vikander in up to two and I am impressed here as I was in Ex Machina. She’s a very good and talented woman, as well as incredibly beautiful, and she held up very well against Hammer and Cavil.

I’ll do a whole other post about how delicious the men were in this movie, but let’s just say here that if Armie Hammer walks up to me and speaks in that Russian accent I will jump his bones after the fainting that was a direct result of his sexiness. OMFG.

I really did enjoy him also on a non-pervy level, he is talented and I found the character layered and hilarious. The way his temper was just waiting to boil out and take people down with it was something I found very amusing.

Henry Cavil. Sigh. This cast was purely chosen on the genetic lottery, because this man – how can he be so perfect? Did they copy and paste his genetic sequence specifically for “Chiselled Chin”, “Dreamy Eyes”, “Perfect Mouth”, “Perfect Build” and “General Breath Taking Beauty”? I’m sure they did, I’m sure they did.

Solo was also a really fun character, so full of debauchery and completely fine with it. No doubt about it, Solo is an extremely talented criminal that is using his talents currently to keep him out of jail – so respectable.

Hugh-Grant-in-Man-from-UNCLE

Hugh Grant comes in, classes things up because he is British, adds another amount of hilarity and plot twists, heads out again, just to return later. I haven’t seen him in anything for a while, and it was nice to spot him.

Elizabeth Debicki was a fantastic villain. I am happy that they chose a woman to be the villain, and how cold she was. So cool.

Conclusion:

The Man from U.N.C.L.E is very enjoyable to watch. It has great laughs, some surprising touching moments and good performances by the entire cast, but especial note to Cavil, Vikander and Hammel. Cavil’s performance is especially important – the man needs to show he can be more than Superman if he wants a career after his run as the Kryptonite-intolerant superhero. Definitely recommended and a really good addition to the 2015 repertoire of movies.

uncle Cavil

Feeling Speechless

pray-for-paris“It’s Friday night,

I am excited.

I’m going to a rock concert.

I’ve been planning my outfit for a week.

I’m super excited to see this band play.

I get to the venue, and it is fun.

I hear gunshots, and I wonder what is going on.

I hear nothing,

I see nothing,

because I am dead.”

Paris support

Credit

I’ve rarely been speechless in my life by global tragedies.

A few comes to mind: The 9/11 attacks, the Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004, the Syrian refugee crises.

Saturday morning was one of those days

I have this unfortunate habit to log on to Facebook when I wake up, because lo and behold something happens and I’m not aware of it!

There it was: five posts, all sounding similar to this: “Heartbroken over Paris”

With a sinking feeling I checked a news site and saw the harrowing news about the 153 dead Parisians in a terror attack.

I am so sorry, beautiful city.

No civilian deserves that.

My heart bleeds for you.

What I know to be true:

It is finally time that the world will stand up to ISIS. I’ve always said that anyone who hides behind their religion is a coward. Anyone who kills innocent civilians? They are even worse.

The world has had enough – you could just hear it in the press releases.

This is not the majority of Muslims. I know so many Muslims who are lovely, friendly, tolerant and kind. ISIS twists their religion to make it suit their needs. I think it is important to remind this.

Grieving for another nation in no way lessens your own problems. I saw a lot of disappointing posts about South-Africans moaning that no one ever mentions farm murders but everyone is on the bandwagon to lament the Paris attacks – why do you think saying you are sorry for Paris makes you NOT sorry for farm murdering? I just can’t get people like that. You are a disappointment to your country and your culture if you think like that.

Once again, beautiful Paris, I am thinking of you. You will strike back and you will rebuild. I know this because you have done it in the past. We love you.

Blindspot 2015: The Prestige (2006)

The-Prestige-2006

Plot: Two stage magicians engage in competitive one-upmanship in an attempt to create the ultimate stage illusion.

Rating: 9/10

I’ll start off saying that I’m not one of the Nolanites who obsessively watch for new releases and get violent in his defense. That does not stop me from recognizing the true genius of the man, but I don’t faint with excitement is all I’m saying. But he directed two of the Blindspots I’ve most enjoyed this year, so obviously this guy is on to something.

I chose amazing Blindspots for 2015. Both the Godfather One and Two, Fury, Interstellar, Casablanca and now the Prestige were all well worth the time I devoted to them. I have Pulp Fiction and A Good Year left and I think we can safely say that Pulp Fiction is the one that might upset the rankings here.

THE PRESTIGE, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, 2006, (c) Newmarket/courtesy Everett Collection
THE PRESTIGE, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, 2006, (c) Newmarket/courtesy Everett Collection

The Prestige is a phenomenal movie. It is entertaining, well-paced, and non-linear in its storytelling (I’ve come to realize that ol’ Nolan likes doing this). Michael Caine, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johannson, Andy Serkis and David Bowie are the main cast and they entertain non-stop. I’ve always thought Christian Bale is a fantastic actor, but I haven’t really seen him as jaw dropping good. I’m told that this is more his natural accent than any other, but just realizing how excellently he does accents and how his whole demeanor changes when he slips into a role is terribly impressive. Without giving plot reveals on here, because if you haven’t seen it you really should, I called one of the big ones pretty early on. All you have to do is pay attention to Tesla’s experience (an already fascinating character and his incorporation into this was a great idea). The last one, just before the end of the movie? I had my suspicions but wasn’t totally correct there – it was very well done. The movie has a fantastic end – you are kept wondering and on the edge of your seat until the very end, and then it still manage to surprise.

The Prestige is well worth the watch. So happy I chose this!