Movie Review: Bad Moms (2016)

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Plot: When three overworked and under-appreciated moms are pushed beyond their limits, they ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun, and comedic self-indulgence.

I really expected to be either wildly irritated or exasperated by Bad Moms. I wasn’t – It was actually a surprisingly fun film and catered exactly for its target audience. Mila Kunis plays Amy, an overworked mother of two young children. If you can believe she’s supposed to be washed out, well, you can believe anything. She’s still crazy gorgeous despite her wearing adult clothes all the time. Her husband is her third child – a boy-man who does nothing to help her with raising children and is eventually caught in an online cheating scandal. This understandably leads Amy to lose her shit. She drops pretending to be the perfect mother that actually cares about the strict rules Gwendolyn, who is the perfect president of the Parents association, sets. Gwendolyn subsequently loses her patience and war erupts in the pretty suburban life of these women. Amy decides to run for president at school and she teams up with Kathryn Hahn’s Carla, and Kristen Bell’s Kiki, and eventually ends up winning (if you don’t expect this you are a dumb-dumb) and shows the mothers their children are supposed to be kids and be fun and have a good time.

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I didn’t expect this amount of heart in this silly little film. There is warmth and humor and some prodding reminders that children are supposed to be young and play outside, not to be rushed from exams to sports to cultural activities. Hahn has some funny moments, though she really is typecast at the moment. It is always good seeing Kristen Bell in anything – she’s so adorably weird and this film doesn’t try to change that – Kiki is weird as hell.

I can’t really comment on more in this film – it is just a for fun film, there is a pretty hot guy, some pretty hot moms and just a film to relax with. This really isn’t for all you I-only-watch-serious-movies people, so if you don’t want a silly comedy, just don’t watch it J

Rating: 6/10

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Movie Review: The Intern (2015)

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Plot: 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker has discovered that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Seizing an opportunity to get back in the game, he becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin.

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The Intern was touching, sweet and a kind movie. It is a feel good film, the characters are set up to succeed, and really, don’t expect any plot twists. What made this film stand out for me is the warmth of Robert De Niro’s Ben – a retired 70 year old who applies in a senior intern program at Jules’ (Anne Hathaway) wildly successful but very new company. Anne Hathaway is really also quite wonderful in her role as Jules, and it manages to bring up so many things that successful women have to face – the guilt of working long hours when you have a young child, the judgement you face from other mothers with less ambition, the questions you need to endure as a CEO which a male CEO would never have to face, the emasculation your husband is doomed to feel because his fragile ego can’t deal with your success, and the scary feeling that you are employing hundreds of people who depend on you making good choices.

But The Intern doesn’t stop there. It is about making older people feel relevant and important, how important it is for retired people to feel that they still have a cause – that is something that sits very close to my heart – and also a reminder that older people have knowledge and skills that we would do well to pay attention to.

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The cast, lead by Hathaway and De Niro, really contribute to the heart that makes this film work. I would love to have the style and class Rene Russo has when I’m all grown up, Adam DeVine is there for some funny laughs – this guy has the best facial expressions – and Andrew Rannellis, Christina Scherer, Nat Wollf, Jason Orley and Zack Perlman as more colleagues bring a variety of dramas and meltdowns and adventure to the film. JoJo Kushner is such an adorable little girl – like if I can be guaranteed I’d have such a cute child I would maybe even consider having one. Anders Holm has the unfortunate task of playing the emasculated husband, and he was for the most part really sweet and I was impressed by how well Matt was dealing with having a successful wife until he was a douchebag and I was revolted – but he was cute at least.

The Intern has some problem with pacing at some times, not all the scenes are shot very well and there is a ridiculously positive tone to all the events – so not really the perfect movie, but  I thoroughly enjoyed it and found it sweet, strong messaged and fun to watch.

Have you seen this? What did you think?

Rating: 6.5/10

Book Review: Jewels of the Sun (Nora Roberts)

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Plot: Determining to reevaluate her life, Jude Murray flees America to take refuge in Faerie Hill Cottage, immersing herself in the study of Irish Folk and discovers hope for the future of the magical past.

Finally back home in Ireland after years of traveling, Aidan Gallagher possesses an uncommon understanding of his country’s haunting myths. Although he’s devoted to managing the family pub, a hint of wildness still glints in his stormy eyes–and in Jude, he sees a woman who can both soothe his heart and stir his blood. And he begins to share the legends of the land with her–while they create a passionate history of their own..

Rating: 6.5/10

I always think that I have read all that there is to read with Roberts. I think of her work in four categories – her JD Robb work I haven’t really touched, her thriller mysteries which I devour,  her romance trilogies such as this, which I really thought I had covered them all, and her Mills and Boon novels which I really rarely, rarely venture in to.

So when I the Gallaher family series naturally I had to investigate. There is a clear distinction between  Nora Roberts writing Irish stories and real Irish writers writing Irish stories. They can’t be grouped together and Roberts really writes perfectly nice books about them but it is clear she doesn’t have the cultural grasp of the nation as the authentic ones do. Her characters are nearly cartoonish with their cultural habits and they are all, always, the “black Irish”. But anyway, I’m not here to bash one of my favorite authors, that is just the impression I wanted to share with you.

Jude Murray – who names their child Jude? – is unsure of who she is when she lands in Ireland. Since we’ve all been there I won’t really blame her. She meets the incredibly attractive and remarkable single bar owner, Aidan Gallagher. She’s clearly immediately what he’s been waiting for his whole life, and he finds her neurosis and anal personality endearing and not irritating as shit. (Because this is a totally legitimate love story). But there is more – Jude is living with the town ghost, who has been cursed to stay as a ghost in eternity because she spurned a proud Prince Fairy’s advances when she was a married woman. Men and their fragile egos aren’t made for positions of power. So there are some conversations with ghosts and fairies and sad souls all in the midst of Jude and Aidan falling in love, and we are kept entertained and a little flabbergasted throughout the book.

Despite all my mean spirited thoughts, I actually did like this book. It is innocent, empty fun and you don’t have to think way too much about it. Despite the cartoonish cultural attachments, I enjoy Aidan. He’s obviously written to be a hero and he’s good at that. Jude is my favorite of the three female characters in the trilogy – Darcy is a gold digger and Brenna was written as this fiercely independent woman who really wasn’t a fiercely independent woman. Jude might be neurotic and insecure but she’s the most believable of the three female leads. The entire trilogy didn’t need the ghost element – it is certainly not the main focus of these romance novels, and it mostly feels pushed in to breathe some life into the often lagging plot.

Anyone looking anywhere for some real characters or even just a love story that feels legitimate will probably not like this. If you are in the midst of stressful exams like I was, this might just get you through the week and prevent you of beating your zoology professor to death.

Blindspot 2017: Ghost (1990)

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Plot: After a young man is murdered, his spirit stays behind to warn his lover of impending danger, with the help of a reluctant psychic.

Sitting down and finally watching Ghost was such a rewarding and fun experience for me. The 1990 Patrick Swayze, Whoopi Goldberg and Demi Moore CGI extraordinaire feast gave me a good couple of laughs, and while I am sure the film was never created for laughs, it is a side effect of watching a 90s film with CGI in 2017 for the first time. However, the film holds really well in the test of time. It has that really hot scene with the clay and sexy time in, and that is a really well shot scene even today. The sweetness of Demi Moore’s Molly and Patrick Swayze’s business-orientated-but-wildly-in-love Sam is a really lovely relationship on screen.

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The little “devils” arriving to take all the evil ghosts made me snort with laughter. The “angels/white light” arriving to fetch the good guys is so expected but still so good to see. Vincent Schiavelli makes a really creepy Subway Ghost and did really well acting deranged and loony. Patrick Swayze’s body magic through train walls was amazing to behold. Demi Moore was really shockingly beautiful in an innocent way in the 90s – not many women would be able to pull off hair like that, and her sadness and confusion in the situation she found herself in was done well enough that I found her sincere. Patrick Swayze is attractive in a 90s way, and I really enjoyed seeing him in something other than Dirty Dancing (my exposure to him is bad, I know).

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The stand out performance is that of Whoopi Goldberg, who very deservedly won an Oscar for her role as Oda Mae Brown, the fake psychic who somehow manages to become a real one when she’s able to hear Sam when he is a ghost. She is forced to help him because he bugs her senselessly until she relents, and her irritation and attitude, as well as her quick fire remarks, made this role tailor made for Whoopi Goldberg.

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You probably shouldn’t be thinking too hard about his movie, but it is really a nice piece of cinematic history to sit through. I can see myself watching it again without any fuss – definitely excellent popcorn entertainment.

Rating: 8/10

Game of Thrones Season 7: A recap of the so far

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Me, and the majority of the world seemingly, have been following the latest Game of Thrones season. Sure there are people who still feel the need to say that “this isn’t their show” or “I’ve never watched Game of Thrones in my life”, and they are all really annoying, but for the most part people are at least really interested in what is happening in Westeros. It is probably the only show I make the effort to watch as it comes out, because people love talking about this show that you are bound to know every single detail if you don’t watch it the moment it is released.

As usual, I felt that the show started slow. It is on par with the layout of the previous seasons – the snail paced start of the first few episodes and the eruption of war and chaos everywhere a few episodes in. The first episode was a catch up of what had happened and where every character had ended up, and it felt slow but it was also a necessary aspect.

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I really do enjoy Euron Greyjoy. I’m mentioning him first of the characters because he’s my favorite new addition to this season. Sure, he’s an absolutely horrendous character, but actor Pilou Asbaek is having the time of his life portraying this mad, fearless pirate. He provided a fierce battle on the water, and the scene where he rides into King’s landing after sinking Daenerys’ fleet amused me – he is clearly having the time of his life. The death of the Sandsnakes were desperately disappointing, with their rumored excellent fighting skills just that – a rumor.

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Cersei Lannister is still the Queen of Chaos and creating havoc where she goes. Lena Headey has done a fantastic job with this role and she continues to shine. This is a petty need, but I really just wish she can get other hair now in the show – that yellow short style hurts my soul. I’m now where she told Jaime she’s pregnant and threatened him in the same breath. She’s a crazy woman and although I’m not sure if she is going to stick to the plan to tell the world that Jaime is indeed the father of her child, she certainly knew the impact it would have telling him that.

Nikolaj Waldau-Coster still plays my favorite incestuous guy in Westeros. He’s clearly conflicted and a brave, honorable man – there was something insanely courageous and telling in the way he decided to charge Drogon. I hope this show takes him more places and he doesn’t just remain Cersei’s puppet. Although gross and illegal, he truly loves her, and while I’m sure she loves him, I often feel that she looks at him like a dispensable pawn. Jaime has levels that are untapped and if one of my ten million theories about how this show can end ever pans out, he’s probably going to be the Queen-slayer as well.

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The other Queen, Daenerys of the million names, is irritating me on a level that I can’t put in to words. She has evolved over the season as any character has, but that is not always a good thing. She’s pompous, power hungry and a fool most of the time, and is steering towards the direction of her father at this stage. I was sorry when she burned Dickon Tarly and his father for refusing to BEND THE FUCKING KNEE – that phrase is irritating me so much – it showed that they were obviously honorable men (though Tarly senior was definitely a mean old thing), and on the seriously low looky level the show currently has I would have enjoyed more of Dickon Tarly. I really hope the resurfacing of the now cured Jorah Mormont will stabilize her attitude. Her relationship dynamic with Jon Snow is also interesting – after them finally meeting there was definite sexual tension in the air, which is just a bit gross since they are related. Neither of them know it yet at least, so thus far that tension isn’t a Lannister thing yet.

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The combination of two of my favorite people in the show – Jon and Ser Davos – continues to keep me happy. I like Ser Davos so much – from his time where he acted as a kindly father figure to the now toasty Shireen Baratheon, Ser Davos is an honorable man who is loyal to his King. He’s proven to be a great help to Jon, though not always the most linguistically capable comrade Jon has. I also liked Davos bringing in Gendry (YAY!) again, and I hope Gendry and Jon have great adventures together. I really liked the banter shared between Jon and Gendry in Episode 5, and might I just say Gendry turned in to a fine young man while he was hiding in plain sight. There was lots of humor – the banter about Robert Baratheon’s girth and Jon not being as tall as Ned, and I particularly liked Gendry not hiding the fact that he’s a Baratheon from Jon. It’s important, because despite the many faults of Robert he and Ned were great friends and allies. Jon himself has grown – I’ve been annoyed with the character at times but he remains my favorite to be on the throne. He’s agenda is different and he’s focused on the right thing – the Night King and his frozen army. Jon had a moment where he stood up to Daenerys which I found really attractive – it is so pleasing when a righteous man puts his foot down once in a while. He’s now on his way back to capture a Zombie, and I really hope he, Tormund Giantsbane and Jorah make it back out alive. (I also wish Tormund and Brienne marry and have big, scary babies). The scene with Jon touching the dragons are obviously important, and I found the setup of the scene fantastic.

Arya has finally dropped the part where she was no-one, and after being in one of the best and most rewarding opening scenes in a series where she avenges Robb Stark, she heads back to Winterfell to reunite with her siblings. This is important as she was on her way, and would likely have succeeded, in killing Cersei. There was this awkward moment with Ed Sheeran (the internet mayhem kept me entertained for weeks), and a moment with Hot Pie that I really enjoyed, and afterwards her reunion with Sansa really didn’t have the same emotional punch as Sansa and Jon enjoyed in season six. I think it stems from the fact that the sisters were never really close at the start, and while they are probably happy to see each other they are likely still going to be competitive. Of the two sisters, Arya is my favorite. I think authority sits well on Sansa but she needs to get rid of Littlefinger – he has way too much hold on her at the moment.

I think the other last important thing to mention is Sam and Gilly. I like Gilly so much, and Sam a lot of the times, but he was just a bit annoying in the last episode. His heroics saved Jorah this season, for which we thank him, but his irritated dismissal of Gilly’s information did not endear him to me. Sam lost his temper a bit with his position at the Citadel, and has now embarked to who knows where. He had a point there at least – to provide valuable information to Jon.

I really like the scenery, the battles, the costume design (as always fantastic in this show) and how plots are falling in place – my brother in-law feels that it is too designed and easy, but I am enjoying it. The entire story is finally escalating towards massive battle scenes. Every single family has been uprooted and displaced, and the Tyrells have been completely obliterated (fantastic exiting scene from Oleynna Tyrell). If I could have a scene where Littlefinger dies, where Jon and Arya are reunited, and possibly love between Brienne and Thormund, I will consider myself a very lucky person. I think Dany and Cersei squaring off is probably only the very last season, but we can hope for that to happen soon too as it will be amazing.

What are your thoughts this far in?

Watched, Read, Loved: June and July 2017

*warning: gargantuan post ahead*

I want to start every post now with “yes, it’s me, and I am still alive”. What a couple of months this has been! July has hands down just been the slowest month in everything for me. It was a roller coaster – I was away in Nelspruit end of June to bid my bestie goodbye, then for two weeks in Potchefstroom for university work and then I had to rush to finalize my younger sister’s 21st birthday. And when I looked down at the date it was suddenly the 19th of July and there were no blog posts from me! SHOCK, HORROR. So I am trying to move my blog into activity again, and herewith some of my favorite posts, a Watched, Read, Loved list for both June and July. I really hope to be back to full time blogging in August, I’ve really missed everyone and the feeling of having a creative outlet.

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I started off June by watching Wonder Woman (2017). I’m not really a weeper, but let me tell you I was misty eyed reading some of the truly excellent tributes that poured in. Little girls in costumes, women everywhere just flooding cinemas to watch a superhero films and all the financial and critical acclaim that accompanied this film just filled my heart. I can’t do any more justice to this excellent work of director Patty Jenkins that has already been done, but I assure you that I will always try.

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I also saw Say Anything (1987) for the first time. I can now put a film to the iconic John Cusack pose that is everywhere on the internet, and I’m not really surprised that I enjoyed this film because it is right up my alley. It is a short, fun and easy watch and really good in its’ genre. I must post its review soon but a severe case of apathy towards typing out reviews has taken hold of me at this stage.

 

I also saw Rules Don’t Apply (2016) which has the unfortunate distinction of being one fantastic box office fail. It’s not really bad, it is just frustratingly boring. It could have been great with its excellent set design and costumes, solid acting and notable performances. It just lacked heart and a decent turn of events.

I picked up Mother’s Day (2016) to watch with my own mother, because I can promise you Gary Marshall won’t be putting too risqué sex scenes in any of his films. I was right – there is little to no romance. If you can get past the notion that Jennifer Aniston is supposed to be the old, washed out mom in here, you will likely enjoy it. Julia Roberts is hidden under the most horrible wig I have ever seen, but the film is sparingly okay and has some legitimately funny moments in. It also casts Jason Sudeikis, and I have never seen him in anything except this and that godawful We’re the Millers – can someone tell me why he’s famous?

I also watched Bad Moms (2016) which was rather fun and hilarious. I know, I was shocked too.

Then there was Jackie (2016), a movie that got an Oscar nod for Natalie Portman. While her performance certainly deserves a nod, the movie itself is quite slow and not really worth the hype.

On the Afrikaans movie front I watched Platteland again. It is such an intense musical, and as Afrikaans as can be. I really do have a fondness of locally produced movies, and my plan to branch a part of this blog off into local films will hopefully happen sometime.

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Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) was a first of three July cinema watches for me. I really still struggle to formulate thoughts on this film. I sincerely didn’t hate it, but I have struggled to see the reason for Spiderman for years now, and this reboot even more so. Tom Holland is okay I guess. I particularly liked Zendaya. I think it is safe to say while I still have time for amazing and new superhero films (such as Wonder Woman), the generic Marvel film has become somewhat of a repetitive bore.

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I still cannot believe that I refreshed my makeup, made sure my outfit was okay and went out on a damn Friday night (this is torture for me) to watch Valerian and a City of a thousand planets. You will see that review hopefully Friday, but heads-up: I hated it.

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I also saw Dunkirk this last weekend and that at least was worth my time. Christopher Nolan is the salve to every hurt a bombastic Bay/Snyder movie throws out, and the beautiful, heart wrenching film hit me quite in the feels.

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Series:

Yes, I know. I need to tame this wild Pride and Prejudice obsession that has gotten over me. Not only did I see the 2005 film AGAIN – this is in addition to the watch I did in May of it, I also got my hands on the 1995 series version of it. I am a bit torn. I’ve read far and wide that it is the best adaption, and while it is certainly the most faithful adaption, I really hated the score – classical music makes me want to pull my hair out.

I finally started watching Alias season 4. It isn’t bad, still has plenty of Michael Vartan in, and I want to finish it before it somehow gets spoiled by the internet for me.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 6: Season five of this vampire-tastic show took me ages to finalize. It was slow, badly planned and really unimaginative in some places. I am glad to report that season six is wonderful – it is the first season with really legitimately funny moments in, and I am having a fantastic time.

Game of Thrones Season 7: This is still ongoing and I am avoiding people or comments like the plague who have watched it – the internet is the rudest place ever.

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On the reading front I haven’t been exactly revolutionary, but I have picked up Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon. I have never read anything by this author, and I am really enjoying it so far. It is fast paced plot and is well written with likeable characters. I didn’t think I would like a lawyery story, but it seems I was mistaken. I’ve hit a lag with it, and should really finish it up. I’ve slightly changed my opinion with the events that just loops all the time.

I have reread a bunch of Nora Roberts novels – Blue Smoke, The Obsession and some small ones which I really can’t recall the names of. I’ve also picked up Jewels of the Sun and Tears of the Moon, and I will review the entire trilogy once I am finished with the third book.

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I am also now reading Come Sundown – I did all the dance moves when I got a special on Loot (online shopping rocks) for this new release of Roberts. I always weep because I’m just not okay with forking out the prices retailers ask in South-Africa for new releases, so this was quite a score. I can tell you now that there is something different to Come Sundown. I will see how it ends, but it is one of the most unique books Roberts has ever done, and the tone is quite different from what she usually does.

I also should really get in to finalizing those 100 Happy Days post on here. They are just so much work and admin that I am not in the mood. I did finish the challenge, and you can few that all on my Instagram account.

As for adventures, I quickly went down to my bestie to see her one more time before she goes on her international adventure. The next time I see her will be in London, which at this stage is simply mind boggling to me.

Book Review: Come Sundown (Nora Roberts)

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Plot: The Bodine ranch and resort in western Montana is a family business, an idyllic spot for vacationers. A little over thirty thousand acres and home to four generations, it’s kept running by Bodine Longbow with the help of a large staff, including new hire Callen Skinner. There was another member of the family once: Bodine’s aunt, Alice, who ran off before Bodine was born. She never returned, and the Longbows don’t talk about her much. The younger ones, who never met her, quietly presume she’s dead. But she isn’t. She is not far away, part of a new family, one she never chose―and her mind has been shattered…

Come Sundown has a different tone than Nora Roberts book usually has. It firstly really had way less sex scenes (something that drives Zoë absolutely nuts) and the biggest pull for me was the fact that our heroine did not lose her personality the second she got some action. Bodine Longbow is pretty awesome. She runs the resort her seriously rich family owns. She’s a staple in her family, and they all rely on and trust her decisions. The “competent woman” had me cheering. Bodine is also written with a lot of warmth. She’s a generous and giving woman and her successes does not change her perception on the world or make her hard and cynical. I also liked Callen – he has heart, is not intimidated by money and is impressed rather than scared by Bodine’s straightforward and problem solving attitude. Then there is Alice, the other main character in this book. She broke my heart, and I’m sure everyone who have read this book will feel the same. What the character goes through remains a fascinating and eery topic, and it always grabs my attention. How sick can the human race be? Well, every time I think I’ve seen it all something else happens. Alice was a rebellious girl. It is clear throughout the book that she was never the perfect child but everyone agrees – she didn’t deserve the 20 years she got as punishment.

I (unfortunately) spotted one villain pretty early one – you must really just read properly to catch it. I thought Callen’s little war with the Deputy was silly and was only there to show how manly and adult-y Callen had become. I sincerely wished I got more of Jessica and Chase’s story. I’d be happy to have had them as main characters or even just more spotlight on them. In fact, if Nora wants to write a book ten years into the future where they rediscover their relationship, I’m ordering my copy now.

I think the best benchmark I can give you is to say that one night I was awake until three reading this book. If that doesn’t speak of the gripping quality it has, nothing will. It’s a big book so do gear yourself up for a massive adventure.

Have you read Come Sundown? If you have, let me know in the comments.

 Rating: 8.5/10

Movie Review: Jackie (2016)

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Plot: Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy fights through grief and trauma to regain her faith, console her children, and define her husband’s historic legacy.

Focusing on the aftermath of one of the most defining moments in American history, Jackie, as I’m sure you know by now, focuses on what Jacqueline Kennedy had to face following her husband’s assassination. It is expertly and cautiously approached. There are careful hints at the infidelity of JKF, though accusations are never outright thrown. The focus is on Jackie, and the horror she experienced witnessing a bullet travel through her husband’s skull while she was right next to him. It is shown that even while their marriage probably had a few cracks, she was as drawn to the man as the rest of the world and certainly depended on him. The film is shot in an eery way, making her fragile state of mind a visible shot.

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Natalie Portman shows her impressive acting abilities to the fullest of their extent. Jackie is vulnerable yet in control, she’s learnt to master her emotions in the public eye. Her outbursts are private and only with close confidantes. Her beautiful friendship with Nancy Tuckerman (Greta Gerwig) is shown and how Nancy was one of the few people Jackie Kennedy could trust and rely on. There is also a really close bond with Robert F. Kennedy (Peter Sarsgaard), who is forced to take control of the situation while grieving his brother.

Yet for all the excellence in directing and acting I had no lasting emotional attachment to the film. It did make me think of more than the assassinated president – it is impossible not to sympathize with Jacqueline Kennedy’s plight. The horror she had to go through – the immediate and the prolonged effects of being ripped from your life. Sudden death will always be a complete shock to the system, and facing the grief for a lost one on such a public stage is beyond our “normal” people’s comprehension. It is difficult to remain interested in a film where the main event has already passed. The assassination is briefly shown on screen but the aftermath is the sole focus. It is admirable, it is excellently portrayed, but it is never thrilling and there is no climax. I was impressed, but not moved. It is worth a watch if only for Portman’s admirable portrayal of Jacqueline Kennedy, but personally I won’t be rushing to get another view in of this film.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Rating: 7/10

Movie Review: Valerian and the city of a thousand planets (2017)

Plot:

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Plot: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

Couple of things about this film:

1) What the actual f? Valerian and the terribly long name was super long, extremely boring and amazingly pompous.

2) Who authorized the amazingly stupid and sexist decision to remove Laureline’s name from the movie title? Cara Delevigne is the only thing that actually works in this stupid, time wasting, teeth gnashing mishap.

3) Terrible, terrible dialogue.

4) Don’t watch this

5) As much as I like the guy, Dane DeHaan is miscast. He works in awkward and nerdy roles. This intergalactic officer with cheesy pickup lines laced with some sexual harassment made him look even more uncomfortable than he usually looks.

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6) Delevigne is the best thing about this film. Laureline clearly faces the same issues women face in their place of employment – sexual harassment, being overlooked for their male colleagues and always being subtly shut down when they are clearly a leader in their field.

7) The stunning visuals and CGI of the film is the only thing that keeps me from rating this movie a 0. It looks particularly good, and the fact that this is an independent production and managed to look like it did deserve a few points.

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8) The Pearl race was gorgeous, and their little converter was super damn cute. Too bad you can’t save the film with cute animals.

I actually don’t give enough fucks about this shitty piece of drawn out shit to write out full sentences, hence the bullet points above. You can steer well clear – this is exactly how I felt about Fantastic Beasts – it’s pretty but it doesn’t have a point. That said, at least Fantastic Beasts is better and has SOME POINTS.

Rating: 4.5/10

Movie Review: Dunkirk (2017)

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Plot: Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.

When will it stop?That was what I thought most frequently during the duration of Dunkirk. The endless bombing, the endless attacks, the lack of hope and the unseen enemy made Dunkirk anything but comfortable to sit through. The masterful score by Hans Zimmer heightens the dread. Every time a bomb went off it felt like a vibration in my heart. The correct use of young men for the majority of the army served to highlight that World War II was fought by young, scared men. Dunkirk doesn’t make them heroes – it makes them human. The cast is excellent – from the weathered and powerful lines of Kenneth Branagh to the stoic and impeccable (as usual) performance by Tom Hardy, the movie has an ensemble cast that will leave you impressed. Harry Styles takes on his first role as an actor and he does so remarkably well. I had a moment when I heard that he’d been cast in a Christopher Nolan film, but rest assured, not only did Nolan state he had no idea who Styles was when he was cast; Christopher Nolan would never cast a subpar actor no matter who he was. Styles impressed me – he is authentic and talented and I will probably like him much more as an actor as I ever liked him as a boy band performer.

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Another mention should be given to Jack Lowden, the other pilot in Air, alongside Tom Hardy. It takes significant amount of effort to divert my attention from the talented and gorgeous Hardy, but Jack Lowden managed to keep his own. He had one of the most intense scenes in the film, trying to get out of his slowly sinking aircraft. I will hope that this is not the last time I see this actor in a film, he was talented and worth the watch.

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As for the rest? It is too much to mention. It is about young, imperfect men fighting a seemingly hopeless war. Don’t expect too many acts of heroism – the only definable act can be that of the ordinary British people who got into their little boats to head to Dunkirk and evacuate 300 000 men from imminent death. The majority of the film was intense and scary, but that moment where Commander Bolton sees the tiny ships approaching had me sniffling back tears. The moment wasn’t the often used emotional manipulation in movies – Nolan is above that and is well capable of crafting a powerful scene that hits you in the feels without having to manipulate you to get you there.

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Dunkirk is haunting. It is typically Nolan. I wouldn’t name it as my favorite Nolan or war movie, but it is excellent in both categories. It serves as a reminder of the greatness of the human spirit, and sounds a clear warning to a state this world should never enter into again. I will readily admit I am a sucker for war heroes and get pulled into it every time, and this had the same result. I highly recommend it for movie lovers.

Have you seen Dunkirk?

Rating: 8.5/10

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