Movie Review: Chef (2014)

chef

Plot:A head chef quits his restaurant job and buys a food truck in an effort to reclaim his creative promise, while piecing back together his estranged family.

I would never have specifically chosen to watch this film by myself, and yet Zoë really liked it. I knew if she liked something like this (and it usually isn’t the type of film she’d go for), I would likely enjoy it too.

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Jon Favreau is perhaps best known for his role as Happy in the Iron Man franchise, but we all know him to be an excellent director too. He takes on the main character role of the Chef Carl Casper (love the alliteration right there), a brilliant chef who is forced into a mundane existence by working in an upmarket restaurant with a close-minded owner (played by Dustin Hoffman). After being blasted terribly by a Food Blogger, Carl loses his shit, goes on a Twitter rampage and eventually just quits. His ex-wife, Inez (Sofia Vergara), convinces him to take up a food truck because then he can actually be true to himself and cook what he wants.

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Beware, Chef is food porn. You need to be prepared for the visual stimulation that will besiege you and I would not suggest watching this on an empty stomach. The amount of goodwill towards good food is staggering, and I was salivating even after I already had a delicious meal earlier.

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Primarily Chef is what happens when a man loses his passion. It is a lesson on social media etiquette, being a good parent, finding solutions and loving what you do how a man that lost his passion gets back on his feet, and his relationship with his wife and child are incorporated into that.  It is a feel good film . I wish all divorced couples would get along so well. Inez and Carl are the ideal divorced pair. They both care about their childs’ happiness and work towards keeping him grounded. I also enjoyed seeing Sofia Vergara in such a role, she is too often only cast as a hot Latino mammy and while she does good at it, she has so much more to give than her typecast work. I also enjoyed Bobby Cannavale and John Leguizamo in their roles, as well as Scarlett Johannson who was just a normal character. Robert Downey Jnr. Quickly makes an appearance too, which tells me a number of the Avengers cast wanted to support their friend and that is just great.

I actually have nothing bad to say about this. Chef is a joyful film with humor and self-discovery, and while it really is very optimistic it is lovely to watch. Definitely worth it!

Rating: 8/10

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Movie Review: Annie (2014)

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Plot: A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in.

Rating: 6/10

The very low rating I gave might suggest that I disliked Annie. I really didn’t though. I certainly thought that it was really very, very optimistic and that literally no one had an ounce of rhythm except Jamie Foxx. Cameron Diaz and Rose Byrne were the epitome of white girls dancing and I wanted to hide when they were subjected to singing and dancing and I was subjected to watching them do it. I thought Quvenzhane Wallis (what a name) was pretty cute as Annie. It seems quite deranged to make films about singing orphans, but the film (and probably theater production) manages to be upbeat and sweet and inspirational and one of those situations where the villains aren’t even villains at the end of the day. I watched Annie with my mom and she really liked it, and for her to really like a movie is almost impossible. There really isn’t much else to say about this – for a musical full of people who aren’t really musically gifted it didn’t go that bad. I wouldn’t claim that the film restored my faith in humanity because there is no way humanity is that good, but I did like it and thought it was sweet.

Have you seen Annie? What did you think?

Movie Review: The Maze Runner (2014)

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Plot: Thomas is deposited in a community of boys after his memory is erased, soon learning they’re all trapped in a maze that will require him to join forces with fellow “runners” for a shot at escape.

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Rating: 6.5/10

My younger sister nagged me to watch The Maze Runner, so recently on a day off I sat down with her and watched it. I didn’t really love it, but it was okay. The most lacking thing is definitely the storyline – I get that things are supposed to be a puzzle and mysterious, but come on, at least reveal things that would make your movie make sense. Dylan O’Brien is the main character. He’s totally adorable, and I liked him as this main although can we please just all get to a point where a 25 year old male is not cast as a teenage boy? I also liked Ki Hong Lee – his role wasn’t all that clear and I didn’t understand why he was running in the Maze, but I liked him. I really don’t get why Will Poulter is popping up everywhere. I have hated this actor since We’re the Millers, which everyone knows was the worst movie of 2013.Eugh. He was obviously destined to be a pain in the ass in The Maze Runner, and he achieved it quite well because he was a pain in the ass. There were also a lot of male leads and only one female. They are probably doing this for #PLOTREASONS but it was kinda stupid. Also, like I mentioned, the plot is shrouded in mystery. I’m guessing if you read the book it would make more sense, but it seems to be a movie about a maze and some Dystopian drama and feelings. It also felt rather Divergent-ish, but it seems to be the norm that Dystopian authors “borrow” ideas here and there.  So in the spirit of not moaning too much about this, I really enjoyed O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster. When they finally let us know why these kiddos were in a Maze, it was quite interesting. I liked the images of the desert stricken earth – it was so dystopic dystopian. I am planning to watch the second film, and then the third as soon as cutie pie recovers from his on-set injury. Definitely not as good as The Hunger Games, but luckily not as awful as the Divergent films.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

5 Things Friday: 5 Movies I’m totally excited about for 2014

Happy Friday!

For today: Five Movies being released in 2014 I am so excited about.

Enjoy!

Vampire Academy

So you thought the Vampire craze was dead? Nope. It is here and it is happening. Based on the best selling series of the same name by Richelle Mead, Vampire Academy focuses on Dhampir Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch) and Moroi Princess Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry). I am really excited that it is being released within a respectable time frame in SA (next week).

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Divergent

Divergent

The Fault in Our Stars

It is definitely Shailene Woodley’s year. Starring in both the FiOS and Divergent, Shailene is set to rocket to stardom. I haven’t seen anything of her yet, but since both these movies are being made from two of my favorite books, I am putting a lot of trust in her acting abilities.

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The Mockingjay Part one

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Captain America: Winter Soldier

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What movies are you excited about for 2014?

PS: I linked the respective movies to their books, so go take a look 🙂

 

Reality

After three weeks of doing absolutely nothing, I am back at work.

It was wonderful and fun filled.

I need to diet (which I am busy with) to shed all those unwanted extra kilos.

The first week of my leave I pretty much spent every day in the shops hunting for Christmas presents. It was probably the least fun of it all, because as much as I like buying presents and shopping, neither is fun when the entire South-Africa is with you in the mall. I eventually got everyone sorted though. I really do like buying presents, and think it this year I gave out some excellent ones.

I went to see the Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, in theater with my dad and sister. To say that I was unimpressed is an understatement. It is basically a three hour tale that is loosely based on the most boring part of the book. When I say loosely based, I mean loosely based. Just where the hell does Legolas factor into the Hobbit? And some elvish-dwarf love story? I was sincerely not impressed with the tale, but the special effect (especially Smaug) is worth mentioning. The scenery was once again amazing. All in all, it is okay to wait for the DVD and not spend money on the cinematic experience.

I spent my second week of leave with my friend Zoë in Nelspruit. It was a lot of fun. Thank you bestest! After returning, I had the best New Year’s party I’ve had in a few years. I really hope that this is an indicator of a great year ahead!

Movies (old and new) watched this holiday:

50/50

Inception

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part one)

Letters to Juliet

Stupid Crazy Love

Bourne Identity

I read a very unimpressive amount of books this last three weeks:

Beautiful Creatures

This Charming Man (Marian Keyes)

Sanctuary (Nora Roberts)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (JK Rowling)

The Fiery Heart (Richelle Mead)

I finally finished Supernatural Season 5! It was amazing, and I really, really enjoyed it much more than season four, where Sam irritated the shit out of me. He still was, but at least in five he had some redeeming qualities!

I also (finally) started watching Suits Season Three. I’m really enjoying it.

Some Unisa news: I passed both subjects this semester. That makes it 5/6 subjects passed for 2013. I want to pass 8 subjects in 2014. Let the studying begin!

What did you do this December?

 

New Year’s resolutions 2014

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To be thankful

I am so blessed. I have friends, family, people who love me and whom I love. I have clothes to wear, food to eat and a job. I live in an amazing country that defies everything people have ever thought about Africa. I am literate. I can read as much as I want. I have the capacity to understand what I read and apply it. I have no disabilities. In 2014 I want to complain a little less, love a little more, and appreciate what I have.

Explore new things

I want to be able to sit as an old lady and say that I have lived the best possible life, and tried everything. I want to see new places this year, read new books, listen to new music, and talk to new people. I don’t want to get stuck in a comfortable bubble, content to slip into routines and never

Get a car

My biggest obstacle in life was not having a license. I finally got my license in June 2013 (WHOOP) and now my next goal is a CAR – the next step to freedom. Watch this space!

Be better with my finances

Which means no new debt and saving for the next independence move – my own place.

Building up a good wardrobe. I want a functional wardrobe that is appropriate for any occasion. I always feel that my wardrobe has good ideas for parties, but generally less for normal life. Sigh.

Being the healthiest I can be – by this I mean content with my size, feeling healthy and energetic. I also really want to do the Warrior Race, so I need to get into shape for that.

Pass 7 subjects with Unisa

*If they actually release my results before 2058

Travel to a new place.

Develop my blog and get a new, customized theme.

Start my fashion blog.

Stop swearing so damn much (haha)