#100HappyDays: Days 49 -56

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Series Review: Arrow Season 2 (2013 – 2014)

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Rating: 6/10

You might have seen my very snarky review of Season 1 here, and let me tell you, I walked into this with some trepidation. I am deliriously happy (okay, not really so deliriously) to report that most people aren’t stinking liars and that Season 2 is much better than season one. There are notable efforts, both from the cast and the storyline, and it reflects well in the show.

What I liked:

My main man John Diggle is still my main man. He’s awesome. I wish he had his own show. On the one hand I really enjoyed the character development and flashbacks he got but as I mention below, there are way too many arcs at this point.

Season 2

Felicity Smoak. I still love her, her awkwardness and hilarious commentary. I also noted how short her dresses are becoming, just proving the fact that men can be badass on screen in suits and full outfits whereas women are only allowed tight leather and skimpy dresses.

Slade Wilson. The actor. Goodness. Manu Bennett is massive, impressive and scary as hell. I think he suits Deathstroke quite well. I don’t blame him for wanting to kick Oliver’s ass, I really don’t. He looks impressive in a suit too *super innocent whistling*

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Kevin Alejandro as Sebastian Blood. The character had a lot of potential and I wish Alejandro can get some permanent fixture somewhere – I loved him in True Blood and he also did very well in here. Blood is written well enough and I was never really sure if he was truly bad or just really messed up. He walks a very thin line and his connection to Slade Wilson was unexpected from my side and well done. However, I did not like how bluntly the show ended for him.

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The death of that central character. Someone had to eventually die – you can’t keep a show like this on course if you don’t give the hero something else to feel guilty about!

What I didn’t like:

There are way too many things going on. We are sitting with Slade Wilson arriving at the party to kick some ass, Sebastian Blood being insane AF, the whole Felicity and Oliver thing, Malcolm being alive and a stealthy assassin to boot, John Diggle entering the management of the Suicide Squad, his flashbacks into Afghanistan, all his relationship dramas, Roy and Thea, their dramas and Roy’s mutation, Sarah Lance returning (saw that one coming a mile far), Moira Queen continuing with making us wonder if she’s bad or if she’s not, Thea’s patronage (FFS man) and Laurel Lance becoming the hugest pain in everyone’s butts. And I’m not even mentioning everything here at this point.

Laurel. UGHHHHH. Why did she have to become the long suffering whining alcoholic petty and selfish character? Over that. Really. Your sister and your boyfriend were tortured for five years and you’re upset that everyone doesn’t love you the most? Go away.

The arc of the CEO of Queen Consolidated. Go away. No acting skills, no sassy, nothing. Go away.

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There will always be something worth watching.

I’ll watch Season 3 as well – this show can be such excellent background noise when it needs to be. A lot of improvement but still a long way to go.

Have you seen season 2? Thoughts? Opinions?

Movie Review: The Final Girls (2015)

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Plot: A young woman grieving the loss of her mother, a famous scream queen from the 1980s, finds herself pulled into the world of her mom’s most famous movie. Reunited, the women must fight off the film’s maniacal killer.

Rating: 7/10

What I liked about this movie:

The fun they had – it is pretty obvious these kids were having a blast.

The mocking undertones.

Malin Ackerman – I really do enjoy her and it was good seeing her. She’s not the sturdiest actress, but she’s able to handle these light roles with aplomb.

Nina Dobrev is in fine form as the perky bitch. She is also one of the most beautiful young women in Hollywood, and even if she wasn’t, she definitely has a level of talent worth taking notice of. It is good to see that she’s not just dropping off the grid after her risky departure from Vampire Diaries.

I’ve never really seen Taissa Farmiga outside the one time I watched an American Horror Story episode, but she was great and took to the lead with gusto.

That young blonde eye candy guy was also pretty cute,  but I did feel like a pedo bear thinking he’s cute.The Hilarity

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I wish the guy who was so enthusiastic about Horror films did not die as quickly (or whatever). Had a lot of fun with him on screen.

I realize how uninspired this review sounds, but please know that I did enjoy it!

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Book review: The Longest Ride (Nicholas Sparks)

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Plot: Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

Rating: 6.5/10

Well, that synopsis basically told you about the entire story line. Anyway, I’m really glad I read this. It was the lightheartest (word?) form of fun that you could ever hope for and as unrealistic as you could ever find on a bookshelf, but it is worth a read.

Why? Well, I had to, after putting it on this list and watching the movie. The movie and book has some differences, but as usual, both are able to get along fine. Which is better? I don’t know. I usually pick the book, but Sparks can be really whiney at times and that frustrates me endlessly. The Longest Ride keeps it on a tolerable level, but there are moments were I still thought that no one would ever utter such nonsense.

Sophia Danko is the beautiful girl with brains, personality and depth. Completely plausible naturally. Luke was as unbelievable as his counterpart, in touch with his feelings and beautiful and everything. Sigh. It also has a light form of a villain, a best and backstabbing friend, with lots of romance and dramas.

The book is quite long and gets laborious at certain points, and there were times that I just wanted it to end.

I guess you all can see I’m very uninspired at this point, but the book was a good enough read and definitely some of the better that Sparks has penned in later years.

Have you read the book? Watched the movie? What did you think?

#100HappyDays: Days 43 – 48

I can’t believe this challenge is going so quickly! Not going to lie, my penchant for self sabotage sometimes peeks out and … motivates me to only post two posts on one day rather than on separate days. However, this is my challenge, so it makes me quite happy 😀

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Day 43:

Spent Valentine’s day with my sisters and my mom, had a fantastic breakfast at Life in Mall of the South and finally found a copy of the long searched for Kill Bill Volume 1.

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Day 44:

The caption on my Instagram post says it all: These books attacked me and forced me to buy them. I had no say whatsoever.

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Day 45:

Winning the war on sugar is not easy, but the days where I evict the victor is truly marvelous and very frequent lately.

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DAy 46:

Had a GALentines day and went to watch How To Be Single. So much fun!

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Day 47:

Woohoo! Finished Season 2. It is better than Season 1 at least.

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Day 48:

I was so impressed with Takealot. I firstly got my Unisa textbook on a 50% sale, and chose two cheesy Afrikaans DVDs to be delivered with it. Much to my surprise it was delivered the following afternoon.

What is making you happy as of late?

Movie Review: How to be Single (2016)

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Plot: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Rating: 6.5/10

This movie is this year’s most chick-flicky flick of all time. I have been so excited to head out with some girl friends and I finally did Wednesday.

How to be Single is exactly what we want it to be. It is hyper unrealistic mixed with handsome men, women struggling to get a grip on life and girls being friends forever.

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Dakota Johnson is perhaps the most enjoyable, really because it is something where she isn’t being abused. I really do like her and her unique sense of fashion, which suits her to a tee.

Rebel Wilson is surely underused, but still greatly entertaining. I wish this girl could get her own movie, I truly do. Leslie Mann really worked well in her role too, and it was nice discovering that she can be really good to watch when she plays something different than a ditzy trophy wife. I don’t truly get the point of Allison Brie’s character, but she was also quite a bit of fun.

The male leads are all rather insignificant, underlying the point that the movie is not about men, but surviving on your own and enjoy some time where you don’t have to fully account for all your moves (yes, biased).

Did I enjoy it? Very much. Sorry, I’m not terribly eloquent tonight. I had fun and I was entertained, and it is a great film for what it is – a great movie to start a girl’s night with.

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Series Review: Arrow Season 1 (2012)

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Rating: 5.5/10

What I liked

  • I’m going to start with the final episode. It was good and arguably the best of the season. It started out so vague that I went back to check if I had missed an episode. I didn’t, it was following the standard format of the show. It managed to develop into an emotional episode that was jam packed with drama. That episode alone convinced me to give the second season a try. So, well done guys on getting one episode right out of 23. Great job.
  • David Ramsey as John Diggle. Wow. Can’t he be the main superhero? Please. ONE person in this show that has acting skills! He is a saving grace and I enjoy the scenes that he’s in. He is also subjected to terrible lines, but at least he knows something about acting.

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  • Emily Bett Rickards as Felicity Smoak. The IT genius tech is given a proper spot on the show to provide comedic relief, and she does it well. I enjoyed the awkwardness of her character and the fact that she is a complete nerd – a very beautiful one sure, but at least they tried. Rickards should try to improve the timing of her punch lines and refrain from doing things that a scientist should do – she’s IT, but I did enjoy her.
  • Willa Holland as Thea Queen. I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy the character, but she is one of the better parts of the series. I am interested to see where the show takes her. She starts out as the spoiled rich kid but quickly develops into a better person.
  • The scenes on the island. That is marginally interesting and I would love to know more about stealthy Chinese man at this point. Also, really appreciative of everything Slade Wilson brings to the table.
  • Katie Cassidy as Laurel Lance. In Supernatural she was Ruby version 2.0, and a much more enjoyable one. She is way more tolerable as a character in Arrow. I do like her character, just the acting that still needs to evolve a bit.
  • Colin Donnel as Tommy Merlin. The initial party boy sneaks into your heart, and is also part of the tiny circle of people that doesn’t speak in stage whispers or employ eye wriggles to get their point across.

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What I didn’t like

  • Arrow is more Days of our Lives than Superhero. Seriously, this feels like a soapie. The acting certainly furthers that idea.
  • The dialogue. Cringe. Cringe. Cringe.
  • The main villain. John Barrowman. Just, what? I was so irritated by him. He mostly just looked very dirty, but I could ignore that if he wasn’t the epitome of the rich and successful of this show. His copycat hood looked amazing but was rarely used. Why is his true character introduced so late into the show? He is a bad father, sure, but initially he just looks like the run of the mill rich parent that couldn’t care less about their children except that they be heir someday.
  • OLIVER QUEEN HAS LESS STEALTH THAN JACOB ZUMA’S POLITICAL AGENDA RIGHT NOW.
    • He’s SO chill when someone finds out who he is. It’s like: “Yeah, you know I’m murdering people but I am sure I can trust you completely, person I’ve just met”
    • Stephen Amell’s acting. Let’s not even go into this. Does he think he’s a voice over actor? Because he has a I’M BATMAN voice and this seriously low pitched serial killer voice when he tries to show his feelings. Also, why does he talk so slow? I’m sure the average comprehension speed of the watchers isn’t THAT slow.
    • HE HAS NO STEALTH: Asking your IT guy at work to hack documents for you that ARE CLEARLY SECRET, not even caring that she might find it interesting to mention it to other people.
    • THE STAGE WHISPERING. OMFG. I’m dead about this.
    • The hood – you can still see his face dammit.
  • The pacing. These actors have NO pacing. They just mumble out the words and DONE.
  • Voice overs. Dead.
  • Paul Blackthorne as Detective Lance. EYE WRIGGLING, BODY SHAKING, I’M SUCH A GOOD ACTOR.
  • The cut and dried method of each episode. Zoom in on baddie, take him down, go smile beautifully at something.

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Slade’s guns are definite pros!

Seriously, the show’s main redeeming qualities are Steven Amell’s chest and those dreamy eyes. He needs to learn to act though, he needs to connect to his character. It isn’t all bad, it’s just not written in a superhero format, and itis reminiscent of Days of Our Lives. The dialogue makes me ashamed and they are ruining a truly excellent storyline. I’m not saying it needs to be super dark – goodness knows there are enough dark shows to go around. They should just learn to connect the characters emotionally to the material and not be so damn cheesy all the time. I’ve heard a few times that the series improves in time. This proved to be true at the end of season two, so I will give season two a chance. This show is mindless enough to enjoy without thinking about it and since you form no attachments it is not a train smash when a character dies, I guess it can be considered light watching.

PS: JUST DON’T THINK TOO HARD. THE QUESTIONS WILL BE ENDLESS THEN.

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PS: Let’s not forget:

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#100HappyDays: Days 38 – 42

Here we are again. Another week, another February the 15th, with everybody wondering why Valentine’s Day gets such a fuss. I’m not, really, so I’m just throwing out the next section of my 100 Happy Days challenge. Here we go!

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Day 38:

I went for another run at the nature reserve, but running was quite impossible – the heavy rains caused mud everywhere and since I had absolutely no desire falling face first into it, so we walked. However, the light was amazing and it was wonderful to see everything so green again

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Day 39:

I am currently reading The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. It is surprisingly not annoying me.

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Day 40:

Went for dinner at my sister’s house and spent some time with this crazy little dog. I love her so much!

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Day 41:

Deadpool. Need I say more?

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Day 42:

I was only too happy to take my car in to get her little light fixed. Happy days!

What made you happy this week?

Movie Review: Deadpool (2016)

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Plot: A former Special Forces operative turned mercenary is subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopting the alter ego Deadpool

Rating: 8/10

There is a war going on right now. You might be thinking that I refer to the war between DC and Marvel, but this war I speak of is one where Marvel and DC seem to be on the same side. The other side is us, the innocent consumers. Because every time I hear a mention of superhero fatigue, either Marvel or DC does something that makes you pack that exhaustion away and sit back and watch another damn entertaining movie.

Deadpool is nothing like anything that has been seen on the screen in a very long, if ever, time. It is rude, very inappropriate and not for anyone who takes offense every time someone who makes a joke that is very below the belt.

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Ryan Reynolds is Wade Wilson, the ex-super soldier who spends his free time beating up men who enjoy beating up women. He meets Vanessa (Morena Baccarin) and for a while everything seems like it is working out. But as cancer sets in Wade is reminded of his mortality and chooses to go with the definitely shady offer that is thrown to him by a very shady looking man.

That is as far as I will go into the story, because you need to go watch that for yourself. Deadpool is hilarious and very rough, the violence is graphic and inventive. The language is strong and Marvel is out with all guns aimed at being a bit more original.

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It works. Really well. I laughed, I cringed and there were scenes where everyone wondered if someone actually said that out loud. The movie has everything it needs – violence, heroics, drama, sadness and serious concerns for some of your favorite characters. It entertains you, insults you and makes you laugh very hard.

Fuck you, Marvel.

Series Review: Downton Abbey Season 6 (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

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Rating: 9/10

It is a very well-known fact that I own the title to the biggest Downton Abbey fan that has ever lived. I adore everything about the show – how very British everything is, a look back into a lost era and the class systems. That and the excellent costume design, dramatic sequences and veiled sarcasm that only the British can manage? The show was designed for me. Downton Abbey came around at a time where I was desperately tired of the vulgarity of shows like Game of Thrones – yes, shoot me, I know there is an enormous fan base, but is anyone else tired of it? It has no class and it has no style and senseless violence.

Anyway, now that I’m done sounding like a pompous little prick, let me tell you what I loved about Season 6 of Downton Abbey. Clue: Nearly everything.

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What I liked:

Anna and Bates. These two have had so many plights throughout the show that I’d been thoroughly exasperated at the end of Season 5. Like can they just stop being accused of killing people or stealing or whatever?! Sheesh. The season ended so sweet for them that this I was willing to cry of happiness for them. I was.

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Mr. Carson and Mrs. Hughes. Everyone knew they should marry because Mrs. Hughes is the only one on earth that can sass Mr. Carson right back. I loved this entire story arc and they managed to pull it off in such a way that it wasn’t fake or annoying and just seemed so lovely that two people could find love nearing the end of their lives.

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Edith and her Bertie. Oh, Edith. How you’ve grown on me. Arguably the most beleaguered character ever, frequently by her own design, but Edith Crawley somewhere grew a backbone and received a purpose in life. I loved her Bertie too – here was a man tailor made for her, kind, caring, and could properly assess the complexity of her relationship with her surviving sister. Their wedding is the most romantic thing I’ve seen since Mary and Matthew’s wedding SOB SOB SOB.

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Mary’s incredibly attractive new counterpart, Henry Talbot (Matthew Goode). Where has this man been all my life?! Mary made me so angry. I’ve always been a Mary fan but when she nearly messed up Edith’s life (AGAIN), I was legitimately pissed at her. In my mind the best version of Mary will always be the woman she was when she was married to Matthew, but I found that Henry Talbot had all the wonderful characteristics of my beloved Matthew and could influence her as well. And I reiterate – Matthew Goode is so beautiful.

The darling boy they cast as Matthew Crawley’s son – it ripped out my still bleeding heart but that child could really be the child of Dan Stevens.

Tom returning – let’s face it, everyone loves Tom the most.

How perfectly happy everything ended. Some people will roll their eyes at how tidily every arc was wrapped up and how everyone got their happiness.

I’m mentioning Edith’s wedding again. The happiness. The romance. How deserving she was of her big moment.

The new puppy – awwwwww

What I didn’t like:

Spratt and Denker. I don’t know why these two got so much time in the show. Their quarrels were annoying and silly and it really grated on me.

Daisy. The character has always been a hit and miss for me but she truly grated on my nerves in the final season. She comes across as an ungrateful and immature child, and I just wanted to smack the petulance out of her.

That big fright with Lord Crawley’s health scare. DON’T DO THAT TO ME AGAIN, DOWNTON.

Well, there you have it. My favorite show has come to an end. I will always rewatch this show and even though I am sad that it has ended, I applaud Julian Fellows for stopping while they were ahead. Gosh Downton, I’m going to miss you.