Watched, Read, loved: March 2017

March2017

Here is my monthly rundown of what I was up to the previous month. Right now it is still pretty much only addressing entertainment, but I hope to add some more life things into it soon too. Please feel free to comment below if you’ve seen any of these, or just to say hi!

movies-logo

Southpaw poster

Southpaw (2015) – I love a good sport movie. Even though they are all pretty much the same story, I’m always caught up. It was no less with Southpaw, and even though Jake Gyllenhaal irrationally annoyed the shit out of me, I really enjoyed this one.

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Letters to Juliet (2010) – Amanda Seyfried delivers another charming performance. Objectively I know this isn’t a strong film, but it is so feel good I actually couldn’t care less about ratings. It is foolishly optimistic and cheerful, and a great film to watch if you are feeling down.

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The Wedding Singer (1998) – The 90’s atmosphere, combined with a surprisingly affable Adam Sandler and an adorable Drew Barrymore, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Definitely one of the best Adam Sandler films I’ve ever seen.

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My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) – I HATED the ending and I really disliked the main character. What a stupid movie.

enchanted

Enchanted (2007): This spectacular Disney production made me so happy when I watched it again. It is on a grand scale and very elaborate and so lovely to look at.

underworld

Underworld (2003), Evolution (2006), Rise of the Lycans (2009), and Awakening (2012)

After years of ignorance I am finally familiarizing myself with this franchise. I had a great time with all these movies. Seline is such a strong female character and saves herself and her love more than once, and the feminist in me was cheering all the way.

four

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

Continuing on this journey to watch more romantic films that are seen as classics, I got to see this. It was… okay. Hugh Grant really was quite the adorable English actor in his prime, and it is easy for him to be quietly charming. Andie McDowell also had no clue how to act. I’m not sure if she’s ever had a clue in that regard, but it really is prominent here.

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The Lucky One (2012)

The Lucky One  is not by any means the worst Nicholas Sparks film – Best of Me still holds that title – but what is most notable is the awful acting. Taylor Schilling and Zac Efron just don’t gel together. I’m forced to ask whether Zac Efron actually has a brain – there is nothing shining behind those pretty blue eyes. Sure, he’s cute and ripped, but his attempt at a tortured marine invoked less sympathy than concern about synapses firing at an appropriate rate. Schilling, yeah, also pretty bad. They also have zero chemistry and the scenes looked stage and neither actor really wanted their hands on each other. Okay, I’m done. But sheesh.

Kong

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Kong: Skull Island is what it was supposed to be: a nice action packed adventure with a handsome cast and a big gorilla. Ticked all the boxes for me, excellent popcorn entertainment.

Power rangers

Power Rangers (2017)

I had not planned going to cinema for this. I would have preferred John Wick, but I was sorely outvoted by a bunch of 30 year old men who wanted to watch Power Rangers. There is something to be said for nostalgia. I ended up having a decent enough time – I  was unaware up until this point that Power Rangers could be made into something that resembles a non-cheesy film. I’m still shocked.

books

The Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts: Stars of Fortune, Bay of Sighs and Island of Glass

I read these three books in the span of two weeks and I don’t regret one second of it. It is the most fun I’ve had in ages with Nora Roberts’ fantasy work.

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Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (JK Rowling)

The penultimate book in the best series to have ever been written is overshadowed in intensity only by the last book. Half Blood Prince is consistently one of my favorites. It features the more mature trio, naturally Dumbeldore’s death and the discovery of the reason behind Voldemort’s apparent immortality.

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (JK Rowling)

Horace Slughorn returning to the castle to fight, Snape’s secret, Fred dying, Lupin and Tonks, Colin Creevy being tiny in death, Kreacher’s bullfrog voice, Dobby’s death, Hagrid throwing MacNair, Molly vs. Bellatrix– the last hundred pages of this book is nonstop goosebumps. I get tears in my eyes every time. Every. Single. Time. Deathly Hallows binds every single event that occurred in Potter from the very first page of The Philosopher’s Stone to the very last page of Deathly Hallows in a neat bow. This is truly the best thought out work I’ve ever read by an author.

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Angel’s Fall (Nora Roberts)

I really enjoy reading through my Nora collection at least once a year. Right now I’m with Reece and Brody, and I particularly enjoy the book – I like both main characters, the setting, the plot and development of said plot.

FTF: Five Favorite Films about Weddings

Happy Friday! It’s been yonks since I fired up this bad boy. Five things Friday started way back (I think probably 2013), and I’ve done a few here and there. I’d like to do some more in the future – I love lists so much, and let’s face it, they are so easy to put together! Today’s feature is about the age old institutional – tying the knot. There are so many movies focusing on weddings that it should probably be an entire genre on its’ own. There are so many! I’ve seen a ton, but I’ve never hidden the fact that I am able to enjoy the most gory and the most fluffy films equally as much:)

Let me know about your favorite in the comments section!

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5: Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement

Number 5 on this list was hotly contested, let me tell you. I ended up choosing The Royal Engagement because I’m such a huge fan of the Princess Diaries. It deviated quite badly from the books, but it managed to be pretty good. Anne Hathaway, Chris Pine and Julie Andrews are a power team in TRE, and the message is a bit lame but also strong – don’t marry for the wrong reasons (something that wasn’t already obvious), and what might seem as the best choice for you probably isn’t what you really want.

Wedding Crashers

4: Wedding Crashers

Can this film make the list? It isn’t about weddings in the way the other films here are about weddings, but it definitely deals with them. This movie is the top point of silly and has some hilarious moments. It is one of the few films where combining Vince Vaughn and Isla Fischer works, and I wouldn’t have thought it possible to combine two such horribly annoying people and get a proper result. The film also stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Christopher Walken, and those three alone can probably carry any film without too much effort.

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3: 27 Dresses (2008)

I actually smashed this movie in the review here. I do enjoy it though, and am frequently worried that I first have to be a bridesmaid 27 times before I get to put on a white dress. Anway, remember that Tinder post I put up? Still getting feedback from it which is great! Back to why I chose this as a favourite – it is about a girl that loves weddings and finds that her partner isn’t what she always expected her spouse to end up as.

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2: Runaway Bride (1999)

EEK! I love this movie. The only movie about weddings that could possibly be even more favoured than Runaway Bride is the one listed below. Julia Roberts has always been my girl crush. She’s so beautiful and smiley and talented. I loved Maggie Carpenter’s spirit and love for family and independence. Her matching with Richard Gere always results in chemistry and us wondering why they never made babies together. This film is all about identity and finding yourself before you end up with a partner – quite ahead of its’ time!

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1: The Princess Bride (1987)

❤ Is there more to say? This film is everything – Buttercup and Westley and their escape and love story ❤

Honorable mentions:

mammamia

Mamma Mia (2008)

When asked whether Pierce Brosnan can sing I would immediately think that he’s placed shortly under Rebecca Black for artistic capabilities. However, that didn’t stop him or Colin Firth going at it. This movie is definitely not for everyone. It is firstly a musical. Some of Abba’s most iconic songs get somewhat butchered (okay, a lot), and I’m sure I saw this listed as one of the films that make most heterosexual males feel suicidal. However, if you are game for watching Meryl Streep clearly having the time of her life, pondering why exactly Pierce Brosnan has such piercing blue eyes (he) and just want to watch people dancing and singing about love, this film is definitely something you can watch.

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The Five-Year engagement (2012)

I do remember this – it is Emily Blunt and Jason Segel and they are engaged for ages and end up wondering if it is worth it. I actually think long engagements are silly – its’ that thing if the guy is committed you don’t need to worry and I assure you, most modern relationships have enough things going on without having to make it seem more official. This movie didn’t suck at all, and although I can barely remember it, I think I enjoyed it at the time.

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Bride Wars (2013)

Despite this film rather pissing me off every time I watch it, I always end up watching it quite often. It is the most stereotypical of the lot, and perpetuates the notion that women turn into Godzillas the moment they get engaged. Just as a fact: the majority of brides I’ve worked with have been friendly and accommodating and calm, so it is once again a case where a few psychos make the entire bunch seem awful. It is also quite below Anne Hathaway to be degraded into the boring girl role – she’s immensely talented and deserves more. But like I said, I end up watching at least once a year for some strange reason, so I obviously don’t hate it that much.

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Made of Honour (2008)

I‘d like to watch this again sometime, but I do remember Patrick Dempsey and surprisingly Michelle Monaghan – why did I think it was Selma Blair?? I see this film holds a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but we all know the raters on there are really just haters. Made of Honor is so not Oscar material, but it was fun at the time!

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The Big Wedding (2013)

This cast is impressive AF – De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams are joined by a younger cast composed of Amanda Seyfried and Topher Grace. Okay, Katherine Heigl too, and I suspect that reviewers rate her badly on purpose. This movie is not that bad, but it can be seen as a bit boring though.

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Father of the Bride (1991)

LOVEEEE. Need to watch again to properly remember and review.

Dishonorable mentions:

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Monster-in-law (2005)

One of J-Lo’s better attempts at comedy, though without a doubt still rather low on the list of funny things.

Wedding planner

The Wedding Planner (2001)

Read my review here. It is such a stupid film man. I see JLo is quite frequent on this part of the list.

bridesmaids

Bridesmaids (2011)

Hmmm. Everyone LOVES this, though I don’t. I need to watch again to make sure this hate is accurate. It is a vulgar film and humour at its worst – just eugh.

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Sex and the City – the Movie (2008)

I never saw the show and can tell you jack shit about it. It was before my generation, and the one episode I tested out never caught. I did see the movie though, and it raises a few eyebrows in my head – this couple clearly never heard anything the other said.

Movies I haven’t seen yet:

Big Fat Greek Wedding

The Corpse’s Bride

My Best Friend’s wedding

The Wedding Singer

Well, there you have it. This post turned out way bigger than I thought, and I hoped you had as much fun as I did! Let me know what you thought in the comments below 🙂

Movie Review: Jennifer’s Body (2009)

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Plot: A newly possessed high school cheerleader turns into a succubus who specializes in killing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

Rating: 5/10

What is this movie supposed to be? A thriller? A PG porno? A Horror? I have NO idea but it didn’t work. I am such a scaredy cat and I wasn’t even a bit afraid of this. The only semi interesting moment was when they showed Megan Fox’s fangs. That is all. Amanda Seyfried is deliberately uglied up and that’s a shame because she is gorgeous. Her boyfriend in the movie seems way too young for her and his Justin Bieber hair irritated the shit out of me. Adam Brody plays the evil Satanist and while he did that decently well it wasn’t really explained either. The movie is mostly about how hot Megan Fox is, and while I definitely agree that she is quite hot, I generally need more to a movie to keep me entertained!

Jennifers body

Nicholas Sparks Movies: A rundown of the good, the bad and the downright cheesy

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I hope you guys enjoyed my double posting yesterday – HINT: I accidentally scheduled both posts for Tuesday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday, and I realized this at work. Sometimes I really do wonder if I’m as smart as my mom thinks I am…

To continue our nice cheese venture we will today take a look at the Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations I’ve seen.  Of the nine movie adaptions Sparks produced I’ve seen seven, which you can see listed below. The other two are Message in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe is definitely something I’ll find the time to watch and then come tell you all about it.

When you willingly choose to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie, you can know for a fact that it will be unbelievable, inconceivable and utterly romantic. Nicholas Sparks is Disney for grownups – the male lead is sensitive and wants you to love him eternally and the woman is damn lucky to find him wandering on her little stretch of Southern American road. There will be villains but mostly there will be love and adventure and lots of smooch time.

Still, I can watch most of these movies and have fun while doing it. It sets you on an emotional high and even though it creates a false idea in your head permanently that men are like that, you still feel pretty happy afterwards (the depression sets in when Spark’s kills someone, and he loves killing, that man)

Nic Sparks movies watched, ranked from best to worst:

The Notebook (2004)

A Walk To Remember (2002)

The Lucky One (2012)

Dear John (2010)

Safe Haven (2013)

The Last Song (2010)

Best of Me (2014)

Female Leads

First Place: Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton

Allie Hamilton

Rachel McAdams has always been the epitome of class to me. Even from her days as skanky Regina George, McAdams made sure you notice her and it wasn’t surprising to anyone that she became the most successful of the Mean Girls clan. McAdams plays a darling Southern girl perfectly and even though she is hampered by the time she grows up in Allie Hamilton still gets her say in things and she is determined.

Second Place: Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan

Jamie Sullivan

A Walk to Remember went down when Mandy Moore was still relevant, and I’m surprised this didn’t take her even further into fame. She manages to be the sweet, innocent and sincere Jamie without being too sugary and that is a mean feat to achieve. She also worked really well with Shane West, and they complement each other well enough so that you end up sobbing for them. I really do enjoy A Walk to Remember – it is a book and a movie where Nicholas Sparks was still original and had fresh ideas, and you couldn’t predict what would happen.

#bringBackOriginality

Third Place: Amanda Seyfried as Savannah Curtis

DEAR JOHN

Amanda Seyfried probably ranks as one of my favorite young female actresses. I love her unique looks and her acting ability. She always seems so sweet and pure and that made her perfect as Savannah. I don’t think she has a lot of chemistry with Channing Tatum but they made a good pair onscreen and I also really liked Savannah’s character – she put others above her own needs and cared for the people in her life.

Honorable mention: Miley Cyrus as Ronnie Miller

I used to adore Miley Cyrus. Really, I know she grated on everybody’s nerves long before she grated against Robin Thicke, but I’ve always liked her voice. She wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination a good actress in the The Last Song, but it was pretty much the last time we all understood Miley Cyrus. I also really liked her and Hemsworth together (reunite now, lovebirds!)

Male Leads: Deliciousness always

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To land a spot as the main man in a Nicholas Sparks movie, there are two main requirements:

One: Be so hot you are one of the main culprits in a sudden increase in global warming

Two: Have the ability to look pained/pensive/heroic with extra benefits if you can do all these at once.

That said, most actors in these adaptions have done a very good job and they are all fine actors. I think some of them like Channing Tatum and Zac Efron (Especially Efron) are still proving themselves in Hollywood and romantic movies is a good way to get noticed #MatthewMcConaughey

First Place: Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun

Noah

My favorite actor in this set of movies is definitely Ryan Gosling: I love the man, I loved Noah in the books and how Gosling represented Noah in the adaption. Gosling himself is three hundred percent charm and can act exceptionally well. The Chemistry between the main characters is another topic but the intense attraction between Gosling and McAdams also contribute greatly to the success of both their roles.

Second Place: Shane West as Landon Carter

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Shane West has the perfect face and personality to be the angry teenager with a chip on his shoulder. He worked as Landon Carter as few others could have and he brought the change that took place in Landon after he met Jamie to the table authentically. He had very decent character development – Landon was a spoiled rich kid that found something more rewarding to live for than getting in trouble all the time.

Third Place: James Marsden as Dawson Cole

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I had a truckload of issues with this movie, but James Marsden as the leading man in Best of Me was a good choice, even if he had no chemistry with Michelle Monaghan. Marsden is cute as hell, he can act, he has gorgeous blue eyes and he is a perfect mix of defiance and sweetness in his portrayal of Cole.

Honorable mention: Zac Efron as Logan Thibault

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For the sake of full disclosure, I’m admitting I just wanted him on here because he’s so gorgeous. That, and he really did the sad, hardworking ex-marine thing well (go talk to Zoë about that obsession of mine)

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Yes, It’s Zac Efron holding a dog. You’re welcome!

Death of a Central Character:

Contenders:

George Martin

Suzanne Collins

Veronica Roth

JK Rowling

Nicholas Sparks

In this epic battle Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins would square off, but I think Collins would win as the most psycho writer because we loved Finnick WAY more than we loved Tris, right? Then as our next set of contenders we would have George Martin killing Nicholas Sparks without mercy (beheading, of course) while JK Rowling would not even notice them and keep writing in her castle, smugly, because she killed Dumbledore, Mad-Eye, Hedwig, Dobby, Lupin, Tonks, Fred, Sirius and Snape within a book and a half.

My point here is that Sparks sure loves killing people off but it is usually after they’ve gotten some bits of happiness in. The impact is also less because his books are singular entries and not a continuing series, so your attachment, book or movie-wise is not gut wrenching forever.

The title for the saddest Nicholas Sparks movie is shared by The Notebook and A Walk To Remember. You can still argue that A Walk To Remember is worst, because Noah and Allie end up together for a few decades before they both die whereas Jamie dies on Landon a few months after they fall in love.

Book Vs Movie

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But will I rewatch?

Best of Me (2014): No. It’s mediocre at best and there are far better alternatives if you want some cheesy romance.

Safe Haven (2013): Maybe – It’s not horrid but it’s not the best movie either

The Lucky One (2012): It has Zac Efron in, I definitely will

The Last Song (2010):  Hmmm, maybe.

The Notebook (2004): You mean apart from the other ten times I’ve rewatched? Then yes.

Dear John (2010): Hmmm, maybe.

A Walk to Remember (2002): Definitely. Nothing better than a good cry 😀

Hope you enjoyed this enormous post! Let me know what your opinions are about the movies you’ve seen on this list!

Red Riding Hood (2011)

Red riding hood

The village of Daggerhorn has been subjected to the terror of a werewolf for two generations. They constantly live in fear, offering up their best livestock in the hopes that the werewolf will not take one of them. The town is horrified when Lucie (Alexandria Maillot) is found murdered by the werewolf.

Lucie’s father, Cesaire, mother Suzette and sister Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) are greatly saddened by the loss of their daughter and sister. Valerie has the additional strain of now being betrothed to the wealthy Henry Lazar against her will, because she loves Peter, a woodcutter in town. Her friends inform her, insensitively that Lucie was in love with Henry and that finding out Valerie was engaged to him might have caused her to seek her own death.

The men in town are furious that the werewolf killed one of their people and decides to take action. They head out to the cave where they think it lives, against the wishes of Father August (Lukas Haas), who tells them that he has called for the famed werewolf killer Father Solomon (Gary Oldman). They ignore him, where Adrien Lazar (Michael Shanks), Henry’s father, is killed. They bring back the head of presumed werewolf.

Valerie demands to know from her mother why she didn’t arrange a marriage between Lucie and Henry when she knew that Lucie loved him, but she doesn’t need the answer when she sees Suzette (Virginia Madsen) weeping at the body of Adrien. She tells Valerie the truth – that Adrien was Lucie’s father, making Henry her half-brother, and begs Valerie not to tell Cesaire (Billy Burke) of this horrible secret.

Peter (Shiloh Fernandez) tries to distance himself from Valerie, knowing that she is better off with the wealthy Henry (Max Irons). Henry has his own issues – he is dealing with the loss of his father and being engaged to a girl that doesn’t return his affections and also the insinuations from Valerie’s grandmother (Julie Christie) that he might have been the werewolf and killed Lucie when he lured her out on the night she died.

Father Solomon arrives and is immediately at odds with the townsfolk. They insist they killed the wolf, he insists they didn’t and tells them the story of how he killed his own wife when he found out that she was the werewolf that had been plaguing their town. He sets guards around the village, telling them that the next few days is known as the “Blood Moon” – a phase that a werewolf’s bite infects the victim and doesn’t kill it, leading to the creation of new werewolves. Solomon tells them that the wolf is amongst them and that they will find it by caging everyone in.

That night, the town continues with its celebration of the wolf’s demise, ignoring Solomon’s warnings. Peter and Valerie bump into each other and start to make out, but are interrupted, while not knowing that Henry witnessed it all.

The wolf attacks again within the village and Father Solomon is proven right. As they flee into the church grounds, were a werewolf cannot enter, Valerie and her friend Roxanne (Shauna Kain) is cornered by the wolf. Somehow, Valerie understands him and that he tells her he will kill Roxanne if she doesn’t follow him.

Claude (Cole Heppell), Roxanne’s autistic brother, is brought in by Solomon’s men when they find him hiding. Solomon accuses him of communicating with witches and being evil, blissfully unaware that autism is a disease. He eventually dies in captivity. Roxanne, who thinks Claude is still alive, tells Solomon that Valerie can communicate with the wolf. Believing her to be a witch, Solomon takes her captive.

Solomon chains Valerie in the middle of the town, believing that the wolf will come to fetch her. Henry and Peter decide to put the fact that they both love Valerie aside to save her, and together they hatch a plan for her release. Peter sets a trail of fire that engulfs Valerie’s enclosure with fire and smoke, and Henry works on undoing her cuffs. Solomon, who manages to spot Henry helping Valerie, orders him to be killed. Father August, who never believed Valerie to be a witch, dies saving Henry. Peter is caught and put in the brazen bull that killed Claude while Valerie and Henry escape.

 captured

Solomon: “Do you know how you kill a tiger, father Auguste? You tie up your best goat and wait.”

Valerie and Henry rush to church when chased by the wolf and Father Solomon tries to keep her off the holy ground to get the wolf to take her. The wolf warns her that he will kill everyone in town if she doesn’t tag along, but the town rises to protect her. The wolf flees in the rising sun, and Solomon is killed by his own men when they realise he was bitten by the wolf and will now become a werewolf because of the Blood Moon. Henry tells Valerie that Peter is missing and they become suspicious that he may be the wolf.

Is Peter the werewolf that has been plaguing the town? Will Valerie go with the wolf? Or who is the wolf? Who will Valerie choose between Henry and Peter, both worthy of her affections?

Rating: 6/10

I’ve watched this movie quite a few times before sitting down to write this, and honestly, I have no idea why I frequented my eyes on it so much. This last time I watched I was really unimpressed with most of it, although there were a few points that made it bearable.

I really like Amanda Seyfried. She is a solid actress and produces good entertainment 90% of the time. She made this movie work because she is well cast as Victoria, or Snow White.

I always like Sirius Black in movies. For the life of me, I can NEVER remember his name unless I Google it. So, it is Gary Oldman and I think he is such a good actor. I do think they could have developed him in here more, because he really had that extremely cold religious nut down to a science.

The director is the same lady that directed Twilight, and I can say that she certainly favours certain scenery and imagery. The opening scene is so similar to some of the scenes in Twilight I would like to compare the trees in here to the trees in there. The movie has exactly the same feel as Twilight, a dark type of fantasy. I don’t think it is a bad thing, dark fantasy, I think it works really well in most cases, but this nearly smacked of a type of Twilight fan-fiction type of thing. (And we all know which books were written as Twilight fan-fiction, and we know how much I hate it)

Another thing that really plagued me was the costume design. Those clothes didn’t look roughly hewn or old at all, maybe something that could have been found in a normal department store.

The eventual identity of the wolf was a good surprise and I liked how it was executed. I enjoyed Father Solomon’s demise because he wasn’t a character that inspired kind feelings.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Movie Review: Dear John (2010)

kissing scene

Le Sparks movie means le-kissing-in-the-rain

Staff Sergeant John Tyree meets Savannah on the beach during summer vacation. John is introduced to one of Savannah’s friends, Tim (Henry Thomas) who has an autistic son Alan (Luke Benward). Savannah meets John’s father (Richard Jenkins) and comments that he might have high-functioning autism. This upsets John, who has a very strained relationship with his coin-obsessed father already, and he gets into a fight that accumulates with Alan getting unfairly punched in the nose. John storms off but later apologizes before he returns to the army. Savannah and John keep in touch with dozens of letters during his tour.

Just before John’s tour is supposed to end the September 11 attacks takes place. His fellow team mates immediately sign up for another tour but John is uncertain. He returns home to the weekend to see Savannah and meet her parents. Savannah is devastated that John is considering reenlisting but accepts that it is something out of her control. He returns and commits to another tour.

Months pass and Savannah’s letters become more infrequent and eventually ceases. She writes one last letter to John to break up with him and tells him that she is engaged to someone else. John extends his tour again and works in the army for a few years.

His father has a stroke and john returns. He feels guilty because he wasn’t there to take care of his father, but the doctor tells him it wouldn’t have changed his father’s condition if he had been found earlier. That still isn’t much comfort to John because his father dies shortly after, but John manages to tell his father how much he loves him before he dies.

John is alone in the world now and decides to go visit Savannah. He is shocked to discover that she married Tim, not someone else. Tim is dying of cancer, and tells John that marrying Savannah had the added bonus of knowing that Alan will always have someone to take care of him and love him.

John asks Savannah why she didn’t have the decency to call him and leave him, and she says that by hearing his voice she would have changed her mind. Devastated, he leaves.

A few months later, John, who is now a civilian, sees Savannah, now a widow, in a coffee shop. The movie ends with them hugging, leaving the ending open.

Rating: 6/10

dear john

Dear John isn’t actually generic within its genre. It is never fully clear whether John and Amanda end up together. The end is realistic, although that makes the final moments not nearly as enjoyable as the normal endings in romantic movies.

The Chemistry between Tatum and Seyfried is strong enough to make John’s nearly obsessive love possible. Tatums’s character inspires sympathy – a brave soldier that doesn’t really have anyone in his life except his girl and his dad. Seyfried exploited that innocent air she carries around her to the maximum. Savannah is the rich-kid-that-has-a-soft-heart and does well as that.

In this movie I liked that the film is about them – the supporting roles don’t ever take the spotlight more than the leading storyline, and that is refreshing when the modern trend is to try and fit 600 story lines into one movie.

The contrast between the war zones and the beautiful American coastline was integral to the story –to me it showed the changes John always had to face and cope. It was fun seeing Richard Jenkins (from Eat Pray Love) in something else. He probably has gazillion movies I haven’t seen yet but so far he played his parts really well in the movies I did see.

Basically, Dear John is a bit mushy but not offensive. I did enjoy it but can only recommend it to people who generally like romantic movies though. Not for everyone.

Movie Review: Letters to Juliet

Letters to Juliet

Sophie (Amanda Seyfried), works for The New Yorker as a fact checker. She wishes to become a writer, but she never has the courage to ask her boss. Before she heads to Italy for a pre-honeymoon with fiancé Victor (Gael Garcia Bernal), she asks her boss one last time to bring a story back with her. He insists that he can’t lose such a good fact checker like herself, and she leaves dejected.

Upon arriving in Italy, Victor, who is a chef, quickly becomes obsessed with the local cuisine and learning as much as possible there for his new restaurant back in New York. Eventually Sophie lets him do what he wants and explores the country by herself. She stumbles upon a courtyard depicting Shakespeare’s Verona and Juliet’s balcony. Later that day she sees women collecting the letters other distraught women had pinned to the wall, and upon following them she learns that they are the secretaries of Juliet – women who are employed to answer the heartsick letters.

Sophie joins them the following day and finds an old letter hidden in a nook in the wall. The letter, written by a Claire, asks Juliet if she should go after her heart and go away with a man she is sure her parents won’t approve of. Even though the letter is from 1957, Sophie replies and sends it away.

A few days later, Claire (Vanessa Redgrave) shows up. Upon reading Sophie’s letter, she returns to Italy with the hope to find her lost love Lorenzo Bartolini. Joining her is her grandson Charlie (Christopher Egan), a difficult, pompous Englishman who now despises Sophie for making him accompany his elderly grandmother to another country. Sophie and Charlie immediately dislike each other, and he is irritated when his grandmother invites Sophie along on the search.

The gap between Sophie and Victor keeps on widening. They occasionally talk, but it is clear that his first love is his business. On the trip, Sophie realises that Charlie isn’t that bad, and that he is simply concerned that his grandmother will get her feelings hurt if things don’t work out.

They meet many Lorenzo Bartolinnis across Italy, but the real Lorenzo is still missing. When they find a gravesite for one of the Lorenzos, Clare is sad and Charlie ultimately blames Sophie for it. His grandmother once again scolds him and he apologises.

Will Clare find her Lorenzo? Will Sophie and Victor be able to work through their issues?

Rating: 7/10

Letters to Juliet is a good one. It didn’t bore me at any time, and has a good enough storyline to not make anyone fall asleep. It is primarily a love story about an old woman with enough courage to once again search for the love she lost. Everything else falls into second place as it is so sweet to see. Vanessa Redgrave is really the epitome of true beauty. If I can age as gracefully I would be so content with life! Amanda Seyfried is once again enjoyable. She has a sweet disposition and it comes through strongly. I enjoyed Christopher Egan – it is the first movie I’ve seen him in, and hope to see some others too soon. His sarcastic, annoyed character was so much fun. I was a bit disappointed with his declaration at the end – it deviated completely from who he is. That was my only issue with the movie – not how it ended, but how it all went down.

But it is good.

Fun Fact: Vanessa Redgrave is married to Franco Nero, who plays Lorenzo Bartolini. So sweet.

5 Things Friday: Five romantic movies you have to watch

Happy Friday!

While you are reading this, I am probably running around like a headless chicken – my sister is getting married tomorrow. Many congratulations, sister and very-soon brother-in-law! May you have happiness and love in abundance for the rest of your lives. I am so proud of both of you.

Here is my installment of Five things Friday, and keeping with the theme of lurrrvee, Five Favorite Romantic movies I love and think you should watch.

Movie One: Crazy, Stupid Love

Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling star in this movie. Usually star studded films can steer horribly wrong, but I really liked this one. It had a few surprising twists and turns, and managed to be both funny and serious at times.

Movie Two: Dirty Dancing

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Patrick Swayze dancing. ‘nuff said.

Movie Three: Letters to Juliet

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I think this movie is seriously underrated. Amanda Seyfried is one of my favorite actresses (it may be because she is one of the only young Hollywood stars not acting out right now) and she is wonderful in this touching romantic film about finding lost love, and how you can achieve something if you never stop believing.

Movie Four: 10 Things I hate about you

This movie is one of my all-time favorites. Heath Ledger as a teen? It is hilarious to see 90’s high school kids as well.

Movie 5: PS I love you

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Prepare the tissues. I cry every single time when I watch it. Maybe it is only because Gerard Butler dies. But it is still excruciatingly sad.

Movie Review (The Big Wedding)

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Last Friday night we went out to watch the Big Wedding. We were looking for a romantic comedy to cheer up a friend, and we definitely found one. I was shocked when I saw that the movie got generally bad reviews – I really enjoyed it.

The story:

Don (Robert DeNiro) and his wife Ellie (Diane Keaton) split up after 20 years of marriage after Don cheated on her with Ellie’s best friend Bebe (Susan Sarandon). Don and Ellie have three children; Lyla, Jared and Alejandro, who they adopted from Colombia.

Alejandro’s wedding to Missy (Amanda Seyfried) promises to be entertaining when he asks his adoptive parents to make as if they are still married, to accommodate his birth mother’s traditional Catholic beliefs: that divorce is a sin. This understandably upsets Bebe, though she goes with the plan as a wedding gift to Alejandro.

The only daughter in the family, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) arrives in town after her separation with her husband. She is sad because of it, and also because she is incapable of getting pregnant. She is still angry at her father for his cheating ways, and throws up on him at the reception after a concussion.

Jared (Topher Grace) is somewhat a joke in his weird family – he chose to remain a virgin until he finds the one he loves. He is severely tested when Alejandro’s sister arrives, but his mother intervenes by telling her that American women are more restrained and she must treat Jared with respect.

At the wedding, Alejandro and Missy get married on the dock, ignoring the wedding guests and bridal party after every one hears all the scandal’s in Griffin family. Jared and Nuria sleeps together, after she realizes that Ellie had been telling her nonsense to protect her son, although Ellie is far from innocent in her sexual adventures. Lyla’s husband Andrew arrives after Don calls him, and she tells him she is finally pregnant with their baby. Bebe and Don also get married after their ten year relationship. The movie ends where Don puts up the new baby’s name on their family tree.

Rating: 6/10

I really enjoyed the movie. There are many funny moments, and the film managed an acceptable line between romantic comedy and drama. With my own sister’s wedding on the horizon, I hope the wedding doesn’t lose their sanity as much. I was impressed with Katherine Heigl’s performance as Lyla – her characters are usually shallow, and she managed to present this one as damaged and sad, but still capable of teasing and enjoying her family.