Movie Review: Shakespeare in Love (1998)

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Plot:A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

Rating: 8.5/10

Have you ever just wanted to write a review and start (and end) with “sooooo, I liked it”? Is that the equivalent of writer’s block for the blogging community? I’ll usually start writing it out and hope something comes from the material, something to spark my opinions, but usually I just aimlessly wander through words hoping to hit a mark.

That is where Shakespeare in Love also starts. I just uncomfortably realized that I’ve now compared myself to William Shakespeare, author of the English language. Now that that is out of the bag, I really liked this film. (See, doing it again)

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Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) has writer’s block, and gives a bracelet to Rosalind, a lady with negotiable affections, with the hope that she will become the muse for his next play. Because she’s a lady with negotiable affections, he finds her in the arms of another man, but luckily finds it in him to pen at least a draft of a very wild idea. Through twists and turns he meets Viola (Gwyneth Paltrow), a beautiful girl who is betrothed to Lord Wessex (Colin Firth). Viola falls for Shakespeare and he for her, and they embark on an adventure of romance and intrigue.

This film won the 71st Academy Award for best film in 1998/1999. I checked the other films that went up against it, and while I would have rather awarded the award to Saving Private Ryan (I mean really, there is no comparison here), Shakespeare in Love is a solid film. It takes a significant amount of talent and dedication to make a love story worthy of Academy notice, something this film did very well, winning seven of the eleven awards it was nominated for.

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Gwyneth Paltrow took one of those awards for Best Actress for her role as Viola. Now, Gwyn gets some steady hate and although I’m not always sure why, she’s not my favorite actress. I adored her in here though. She seems so clean and pure and alive, in contrast to the Queen (Judi Dench), and the insufferable Lord Wessex. Her love for Shakespeare is quick and potent, though no one can blame her – I mean just look at Joseph Fiennes’ eyes.

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Now, Joseph Fiennes. A new inappropriate post needs to be up soon, but I won’t litter this review with my appreciative thoughts. Questions though: why isn’t he in more movies? He is a solid actor. Is he related to Ralph Fiennes? I hope so. Is he very beautiful? Yes. I doubt if the real Shakespeare was so beautiful, but he was likely as passionate. Fiennes is a great Shakespeare – passionate, beautiful and intelligent.

The supporting cast does a wonderful job as well, and many British actors and actresses have small parts in here that I enjoyed recognizing their faces. Judi Dench is intimidating as the Queen, and I enjoyed the silly young Ben Affleck (not English) in here – so cute! Imelda Staunton, Jim Carter and Mark Williams are all in mostly small roles, but man, they were lovely to watch.

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Shakespeare in Love is quite clearly a drama/romance. It might not be for everyone – it is heavy on the sexy time, full of quite lame phrases and gestures. I however, am rather squishy at heart and really enjoy a good romantic film. John Madden was an excellent director, and the cast manages to be talented, humorous, quick-witted, sad, heartbreaking and entertaining at once.

And like I said, I really liked it 😀

Have you seen Shakespeare in Love? What did you think of it?

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Links I Love IV

links i love

Rory and Jess moments – Buzzfeed

This Cracked post is very interesting – the power of accents and being well spoken has been on my mind often the last few months.

Celeb passport photos throughout the years – I got this from T9M’s site – super interesting!

31 Photos from Fukushima 5 years after the nuclear disaster – Article by Upworthy

These words for emotions you thought you couldn’t explain

The routines of powerful women

These celebrities that hate their famous characters

Some South-African gems of the past few week

  I swear, these things can only happen in South-Africa

Mrs. South-Africa became Mrs. World

Wayde van Niekerk, a South-African sprinter, became the first runner to break 10 seconds for the 100m, 20 seconds for 200m and 44 seconds for the 400m. He is the favorite to win the 400m this year at Rio. Have I mentioned how ridiculously excited I am about the Olympics coming up?

What did you find interesting article wise the last few weeks?

 

 

 

#100HappyDays: Day 69 – 80

I know, I know. It’s been ages since I posted a 100 Happy Days update. Hell, ignoring yesterday, it has been a whole week since I’ve posted anything. I took a very little hiatus, mostly from my responsibilities, just to focus on myself and rest a bit. It’s been great, but I love blogging and had to return. I refuse to return to my other responsibilities though 😀

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Day 69:

I have been on the prowl for a red pair of shoes for a while. Red is such a kick-ass color, don’t you think? I had to be particular though because I have no wish to go full on stripper while working at a Pharmaceutical company. I saw these shoes first when they were not on sale and a bit pricey. So just think of my happiness when I found them on sale at nearly half price!

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Day 70:

I’m reading the Inn Boonsboro series of Nora Roberts again and having such a blast.

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Day 71:

Packing and wedding prep had me hyped up the entire week for my Bestie’s wedding!

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Day 72:

I’m currently obessed with this purple polish from Revlon. The pic doesn’t really capture the true color though.

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Day 73:

The day of my Bestie’s wedding. The rain stayed away, the bride looked amazing and the venue was so on point. It was a wondrous occasion. Pictured here is our bridesmaid’s bouquet. How gorgeous?!

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Day 74:

On the way back from the wedding we stopped at the Sudwala Caves in Sabie/Hazyview. If you ever travel in South-Africa and find yourself in the region, definitely pay them a visit. It is humbling to see the majesty of the caves, and an education and highly entertaining to listen to the history, well told by properly trained tour guides.

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Day 75:

Gosh, this little dog of ours. Things to note: How Nicci Noodle is lying inside the house when it is their “outside time”. How Olive, the larger black dog in the pic, can’t fit through the gate and is feeling very sorry for herself, and the guilt that radiates from Nicci. It’s hilarious to watch these two!

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Day 76:

I obviously had very little to post that day. However, I do find it so stimulating to talk to people who has passion for something. It is a rare thing to find lately.

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Day 77:

Biltong, my favorite snack.

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Day 78:

Went for some coffee and cake with my sister. We used to live close to  one another and work together, and now both those scenarios have changed. It was lovely just sitting and talking uninterruptedly for a few hours.

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Day 79:

Everything was good about this Good Friday, yo. I woke up naturally, wasn’t forced to function at a godforsaken hour and baked some delicious savory muffins.

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Day 80:

Zoë did my nails with this topcoat, and it is ridiculous how well this Essie Good to Go range works. My nails were unchipped for more than a week, and I am very rough with my hands. I got my hands on some in the shops, and am so happy to have in stock now!

What have you been up to darlings?

Movie Review: Batman vs. Superman (2016)

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Plot: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.

Rating: 6/10

If we could rate Batman vs. Superman solely on the thigh muscles of Henry Cavill, displayed in tight leather pants, then the most awkward attempt at block buster creation would have ended up with a much higher rating than it currently holds, especially on Rotten Tomatoes, who is leading the angry mob with a nice little 30% rating on there. I was feeling a bit meh towards the film when I walked out of cinema, but have to admit I was slightly shocked at the hate I saw online while doing my usual post-film Googling.

Is it 30% bad? No. It might be the biggest wasted potential of the decade, but it is not worth such a harsh rating. Some things worked really well. Henry Cavill is the most Superman-looking Superman that has graced our screen in a long time, and while his character is shrouded in guilt and really, let’s be honest, needing to man the hell up and stop pitying himself, Cavill is as entertaining as Superman as he was in Man of Steel. Ben Affleck is surprisingly good. Look, I enjoy Affleck very much. He’s a talented actor and comes across as a fairly decent human being. I was not convinced of his ability as Batman, because Batsie is dark and Ben Affleck just seems so nice even when he is trying to be not nice. Yet Affleck portrays Batman with underlying anger and menace that I never thought was possible. He was one of the best things in this dismal movie.

What went wrong?

Lex Luthor

Jesse Eisenberg. I called this mistake in casting he second it happened. He’s twitchy, he’s whiney, he is not marginally charming in this role. What I liked about General Zod in Man of Steel is you could root for him, understand on some level why he was doing what he was was doing. Lex Luthor in BvsS is silly, stupid and twitchy. He barely gives any reason why he is acting like he’s acting, and it constantly feels like he has a tiny-man syndrome and is angry at the chiseled looks of Clark Kent and the adoration humanity has for him.

There is no story. Seriously, the film, starting out darkly with (yet another) backstory on Bruce Wayne looked enticing but quickly developed into a mess. There are kitchen timers, wheels being beaten into submission, Lois Lane throwing the one object that can kill a Kryptonian being into some pool (that appears from nowhere). Even Batman eventually needs to check in what is going down at the end of the film.

I discovered that I dislike Zack Snyder. A man of his wealth and fame will hardly care what I have to say, but looking at the films he made up till now makes me realize that I kind of feel about him like the internet feels towards Michael Bay. Poorly written material with violent scenes seems to be his biggest thing, and it always reflects poorly. This is no different just as MoS was no different – fight scenes that takes way too long to flesh out and then falls flat. The big fight between Batman and Superman started out animatedly enough but ends up with Lois breaking it up. FFS.

Batman V. Superman: Dawn Of Justice

Lois Lane and Martha Kent constantly needs saving. They have zero girl power. Can we have the sassy Lois Lane from Smallville, please? Amy Adams… yeah. I find her relatively decent as a rom-com character but she needs way more spunk as Lois Lane if she wants to continue in the role.

But, what worked?

Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. I can’t wait for this movie.

Holly Hunter as Senator Finch. I could moan for days that she was badass but not used enough, but I won’t, because she had a hard stance when she was on screen and was girl power through and through. Go team!

The score. It is Hans Zimmer everywhere and it is dramatic, lonely and astonishingly beautiful.

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Ben Affleck as Batman. It worked, as mentioned above, surprising everyone. I wouldn’t completely be against a standalone movie here, but not sure if it would qualify as necessary.

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heeeyyyyy

Henry Cavill as Superman. Good golly, yes please. He didn’t get any character development in here, and I didn’t appreciate the Christ-attributes that was given to him, but he continues to work well as the local Kryptonian.

The quick spotting of Aquaman. Does anyone fully understand my level of adoration for Jason Momoa? It’s unnatural and unhealthy. I can’t wait.

The bottom-line

I think the critics are being unnecessarily rude about this film, and their harshness is uncalled for. It might be a good plan to scrap Jesse Eisenberg and Zack Snyder and to follow a straight line of comic book back story. There are enough things that work in here to make the exhaustive time of the film slightly tolerable. Go watch it, get your own opinion and don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong about it.

Batsie

Music Madness – My slightly deranged playlist

Am I insane? I think so. I’ve been listening to a variety music that I love, and it is so across the board I am very amused with myself. Here it is, judge away, enjoy (some great songs on here if I say so!)

Sam Smith – Writing’s On The Wall

I really, really don’t like Sam Smith. He whines incessantly and sounds like a hysterical teenager. For some reason I can’t get enough of this song though. I loved the movie it was written for, it is very dramatic and melancholic, and sounds like something I should listen to on a rainy day while staring out of the window in a melancholy fashion.

The Weather Girls – It’s Raining Men

So much memories to this song. The Geri Halliwell version is more in the years that I listened to, but I happen to think both are excellent. In the biggest turn of “A Girl can Dream” it is such a great song, full of drama and fun.

Gentleman – Psy

I told you that this was demented. I absolutely love this strange little Korean man though. He is so weird.

Du Has – Rammstein

YASSSSS.

Eendag as ons groot is – Dewald Wasserfal

Afrikaans music is so cheesy. Like, really cheesy. I find this guy so super adorable and secretly listen to all his songs.

Gangster’s Paradise – Coolio

This song makes me feel so badass. That is it.

Marvin Gaye  – Charlie Puth ft. Megan Trainor

In terms of South-African swearwords this guy has the best surname, trust me. He also has a golden voice and this song works really well – sweet, sexy, the whole shebang.

Sound of Silence – Disturbed

My father used to love the original by Simon and Garfunkel. Since it is a damn near perfect song it is a really risky move to do a remake. However, this is such a worthy remake I can’t be mad. This guy’s voice, the drama, the sheer talent. Goodness. Chills every single time.

So, there you have it. What is on your playlist right now?

Sherlock Holmes: The Abominable Bride (2016)

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Plot:Imagining himself back in the 1890s Sherlock is visited by Inspector Lestrade, after newly-wed Emelia Ricoletti, having apparently killed herself in public, murdered her husband Thomas in front of witnesses before vanishing. Some months later Holmes is approached by Lady Carmichael, who tells him that her husband Sir Eustace has been threatened by Emelia, who then, seemingly does away with him. With an intrusive Moriarty crossing him Holmes attempts to solve the enigma, with unexpected help from Watson’s wife Mary and evidence of a conspiracy involving half the population of the country

Rating: 7/10

I’m typing this out without knowing if I will even rate it. I know, I’m a wild woman today. The Abominable Bride was passed to Sherlockians as something to chew on, because the waiting for season four has become slightly ridiculous. It seems silly to wait so long between seasons. Aren’t they running a risk that the crowds will become disinterested?

The AB is the length of a normal Sherlock episode, about one hour and thirty minutes (i.e. a short movie). Sufficient amount of time to tell a story without making an entire movie out of it if you ask me.

AB Bride

The Abominable Bride, once understood what is going on, makes so much sense. Season three ended wildly, and it is obvious that Sherlock has more problems than we’ve always known and accepted, and this slightly deranged and wildly fanciful episode is proof of that. What is real and what is not real becomes the big question. Initially everything simply looks by a design of the creators to bring a special episode set in another world. But could it be? Come one, the writers of Sherlock is way too crafty to let an opportunity go amiss like this.

The AB manages to be spooky and freaky, intelligent and well written. The hooded scene was amazing, the culmination of who and what the Bride was and how she pulled off her stunts are essential to what might happen to season four, in my humble little opinion.

But has this classic episode of Sherlock become too Sherlocky? I don’t know. I thoroughly enjoy Benedict Cumberbatch – he’s just so perfect as Sherlock. However, are they making him be too quirky? I don’t know, I don’t know. There were some scenes where I felt that his character is being exploited too much and losing the essence of the true character of Sherlock Holmes.

Have you seen this episode? What did you think?

Blindspot 2016: Love Actually (2003)

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Plot:Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Rating: 6.5/10

What I liked:

LOVE ACTUALLY

Alan Rickman. I feel that he should do the voiceovers on my life. My sarcasm levels are spectacular and he sounds like the inside of my head feels like (but female. Erm.). He also played a character I’m not used to seeing him portray – just a normal man in a marriage that has become monotonous and a habit (he was also a bit of a douche though)

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Colin Firth. Sheesh. My love for this man. He’s so sweet and British and perfect. His character had such bad luck – i.e. his girlfriend banging someone, and then his story went so lovely and romantic and all bilingual. Goodness. (I do wish he had more time on screen though!)

Inlove

The kid who found true love and his father. Liam Neeson? Yes. He is such an enjoyable actor and seeing him paired up with this lovesick baby was just too adorable.

Love atually prime minister

Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister and his lady friend. They could have made a movie exclusively about these two and it would have work much better. Hugh Grant has buckets of cool and class and style. He is quite quiet lately (Except for the spectacular The Man From U.N.C.L.E) and I wish he would appear in more things. The dry British wit, charm, amazing hair and improbably Prime Minister antics were hilarious and sweet.

Martin Freeman – it is so weird to see him playing a normal character. It was fun though.

Love Actually Karl

These two – however, they were really just thrown into the story and pulled so frequently that it felt that they were time fillers, and it is sad since Laura Linney gave one of the best performances in the movie.

What I didn’t like:

Love actually keira

Keira Knightley. So. Annoying. This was before she went on her serious roles binge and she used to be this preppy, overly larged mouthed quirky person (the Bend it Like Beckham years). I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, she’s WAY too good in playing an evil character. It must be, inherent. That was mean, I am sorry, BUT, her character in here  – it was one thing for that guy to be a stalker infatuated with her, but eventually he got over it and THEN SHE KISSED HIM. You were married like what, three weeks ago, TO HIS BEST FRIEND?

Did the writer get bored with finalizing the script? That is what happens when there are too many characters in one movie. Kris Marshall’s escapades to the States? He was such a funny little oddball character and got about three scenes and had no real screen time.

Bill Nighy’s character. What happened here? Was he declaring that he’s in love with his manager OR that he loves his manager, which, both are totally fine, but I would love to know which one it was.

I can say that Love Actually isn’t a bad film. It has some good moments, but too many characters made what could have been a good movie vaguely confusing.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Perfect

#stalker

#100HappyDays: Days 63 – 68

Happy Monday everyone! This challenge is heading along nice, even with all my numbering faults. (I managed to have day 63 twice this week, which makes no sense, but I think I may have skipped a day somewhere – sure I did – so it will balance out!)

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Day 63 (1):

Love my eldest sister!

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Day 63 (2):

I watched Shakespeare in Love for the first time all the way through and crocheted on a top secret project. I do hope the recipient of this project loves it when it is finished!

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Day 64:

There are some things in this world that makes me ridiculously happy. Two of them are: Free things and Loyalty cards. Our – amazing – canteen at work has a loyalty based point system and I got a delicious meal out of it last week!

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Day 65:

To say that the past week was hectic and full of stress is the understatement of the year. However, I somehow pulled through in one piece, and my managers thought I was amazing. It is a really good feeling to finally work in a place where recognition occurs.

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Day 66:

Yep, more food. This chicken wrap was divine!

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Day 67:

We spent Saturday with some friends that we’ve known for ages, and it was a lovely experience. It is the best feeling to just completely be yourself, because everyone at an event knows you from when you were in your primary school clothes.

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Day 68:

Instead of resting AS ONE SHOULD on a Sunday, I finally took the time to super clean my room. Things were moved, repacked, thrown out, cleaned, new bedding was put up and curtains were hanged. I am SO happy with the results!

What made you happy this week?

Blindspot 2016: Kill Bill Volume II (2004)

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Plot:The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle.

What I liked:

The Bride. Do you all remember when we did that Top Females list? The Bride was on there but I’d hadn’t seen Kill Bill at the time and didn’t understand why she was so infamous. I do now, and agree. So fierce, vengeful and powerful. A woman seeking revenge for something that isn’t petty? If I didn’t love Tarantino already, I would love the man for writing female characters that are more than pretty trophies.

Does anyone feel that this movie is better than the first? I thought so. Kill Bill Volume II has more stability because the knowledge of where The Bride is going and why she’s on a mission to kill Bill.

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Pai Mei. He’s simultaneously fabulous and dangerous. I loved the beard swishing.

David Carradine. He made such a despicable and insane Bill. I hated the character but enjoyed the performance.

Daryl Hannah as Elle Driver – talk about badass with one eye.

The fight between The Bride and Elle Driver. Talk about fast paced insane action sequences working perfectly!

The music – what is up with this? It is so crazy and dodge and works so well.

Tarantino is a mad man. I adore him. The mad directing looks fantastic.

Rating: 8/10

I really enjoyed this film more than I enjoyed the first. This felt like exactly the right amount of time had been given to it and it played out very well. I enjoyed the flashbacks that gave some history to the Bride’s relationship with Bill, and the way she ended things with him was inspiring to say the least. I’m really happy that I put these two on my Blindspot list, even though I went through so much trauma procuring copies of the film (another post for another day).

Have you seen these movies? What did you think?

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