Watched, Read, Loved: February 2017

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February being so short is all fun and games (particularly since payday is closer for a lot of people) but then suddenly you are in March and I don’t know about you, but I’m really like where the actual f is this year going? February was rather quiet compared to January’s movie intake, which I will blame on the shortness of the month and the fact that I got hooked on Daredevil, which certainly took up the majority of time I would usually have spent watching movies. But do you see me complaining? Nope. It changed my life, the show is THAT good.

On a personal note the start of February was rather sad. I kept thinking whether I should do some sort of separate posting about it, but decided against it as it seemed too morbid to post exclusively about death. One of my oldest friends committed suicide late January, and her birthday was on the same date as my father’s, who would have been sixty this year. In the past the weekend close to the 2nd of February would have usually been a massive amount of party juggling is now only a sad remembrance of two amazing people, and that is really just very sad to deal with.

Furthermore work was also a little crazy. I received a job offer and went through all the hoops to get a formal proposal. I ultimately decided to stay with my current company, a decision which I question daily. The pros and cons kept me awake for nights on end, and while I’m mostly happy with my decision the thought of a few things still make me wonder. It is not always easy here, but I have realized that the field I am in is rarely easy, so if I truly want to change I will do so after my degree and rather just change careers completely.

On the Tinder and dating saga: February is the month of Lurveeeee. I am very much past the point where Valentines actually holds meaning to me. I hate to be on the overly-negative-bandwagon, but it is a commercialized chaos and I am very uninterested in furthering every shop in town’s agenda. I just realized that I really have so much to say about this that I should do another Tinder and dating post. It has been a merry ride with asthma attacks during dates, single events, people who actually use the term hella cool and people who seem to think I’m dumb and don’t have basic knowledge of things.

Looking at everything I just wrote on there I am not surprised I didn’t reach my January high of movies. Here they are below, let me know what you’ve been up to as well in the comment section!

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Movies:

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016): 8.5/10

I started February off with a bang and finally got to Hunt for The Wilderpeople. I reviewed it already because I loved it too much to keep it contained for too long. It is really far out of the type of movie I would usually choose to watch. This actually can’t be classified to a genre. Full of quips, this film is designed to warm your heart and make you think long and hard about the sanity of New Zealanders.

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The BFG (2016): 6/10

Wow, I really get why people didn’t like this! Long and overindulgent. Ugh.

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Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince(2009): 6.5/10

Can a movie ever really do justice to the book it was created from? The answer is always no unless it is Lord of The Rings. I’m not sure whether I’ll even do a review for this. I had it in my head to do a series at one stage, so maybe I will just write it up and get to it one day in the distant future.

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Shall We Dance? (2004):6.5/10

I watched this with my mom, and we both enjoyed it. It is mostly about an old man finding his groove again, and I liked it by the end. It is also not about cheating and I was very suspicious about that, which made me pleased in the end.

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Notting Hill (1999): 6.5/10

I apparently really like the 6.5/10 rating. It seems like a fair score if I liked it but it wasn’t amazing. Notting Hill is a passable film but it isn’t my favorite in the genre. I still think Julia Roberts is one of the most beautiful women to have ever worked in Hollywood.

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How to Be Single (2015): 6.5/10

This is a second watch for me. I really like a number of things about this movie – Rebel Wilson and Dakota Fanning do great work together. Dakota Fanning is a really talented lady, so I hope she does more work other than that BDSM crap. The message of this film is also really important.

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Books:

The Power of Six (Pittacus Lore)

Not sure if I should even list it on here as I read the last twenty pages in February, but there you go. It was quite enjoyable although it certainly wasn’t as captivating as the first book.

After You (JoJoMoyes)

After Me Before You, the touching book and the slightly less touching film, After You comes along. Lou is dealing with her grief, her inability to convey to strangers how she loved a man so quickly and powerfully in only six months and the judgment of every ass available. It is written in typical JoJoMoyes style and so far it is really enjoyable although I can’t see how she will reach the emotional highs of her first book.

Tribute – Nora Roberts

I enjoy Tribute on a loop every year at least. All I know from reading this book again is I want a Spock.

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling

Everything. This book is everything. It makes me so happy and content. It is such an important book in the series, and there are scenes in there that fills my heart up with so much happiness and light.

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Series:

X-files Season 2 – I’m a bit at a snag right now with X-Files. I enjoy it but it is so procedural I can drop and pick up without too many holes in the conversation.

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Daredevil Season 1 and 2 – I’ve been postponing this for ages now. WHY? It is amazing. It is 10 000% better than that awful Jessica Jones BS I subjected myself too. Charlie Cox as Daredevil is AMAZING. That introduction.The tone of the series.The action.The simple badassery. I am so involved in this. WOW. I will post both reviews and JJ soon, and you will see the remarkable difference.

What have you been up to this month?

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Movie Review: What If (2013)

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Wallace: “In fairy tales, love inspires you to be noble and courageous, but in real life, love is just an all-purpose excuse for selfish behavior. You can lie and cheat and hurt people, and it’s all okay because you’re in love.”

Plot: Wallace, who is burned out from a string of failed relationships, forms an instant bond with Chantry, who lives with her longtime boyfriend. Together, they puzzle out what it means if your best friend is also the love of your life.

Rating: 7/10

After weeks and weeks of not really watching movies (Code: Gossip Girl Marathon) I finally managed to sit down and get some movie time in. I chose What If, a movie with some good reviews and positive scores online. I enjoy romantic comedies and love a feel good movie, so that made me quite keen to give this a go.

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Firstly, What If is the definitely the hipster version of a romcom. All the characters are quirky and it is obvious that they went to great lengths to make this movie original and less cheesy than what would be expected from this genre. The dialogue is fast and witty and the characters seem very human with their insecurities and faults.

Daniel Radcliffe is Wallace, a man whose life is not going as planned. After finding his girlfriend kissing their teacher, Wallace drops out of medical school and takes a miserable job. After his friend Allan (Adam Driver) convinces him to attend a party, he meets Chantry (Zoe Karzan) and he accepts her request for friendship when she clearly tells him she’s already in a relationship, and they can only ever be friends.

Daniel Radcliffe was a great choice for Wallace. It is perhaps unfair to eternally reference his years as Harry Potter, but hey, if something awarded you with that much money and fame, deal with it cupcake. Radcliffe impressed me more as Wallace as he ever did as Potter. He was young and inexperienced in those movies, the acting was not always legit or even marginally good, but they have paid off: Daniel Radcliffe has turned into an authentic actor with greater capabilities than what anyone could have expected. Wallace is a brooding guy who drastically changed his life to stop him from becoming like his parents. He is a loner with a quirky sense of humor that doesn’t work for everyone.  In other words, he is relatable to anyone with someof their own quirks.

Zoe Karzanshines as the female lead. She is unlike the outrageous female stereotype that Hollywood pushes on its viewers: she looks like a normal girl and she is beautiful in an everyday kind of way. She’s also a decent actress, and the chemistry between her and Radcliffe is strong. I really liked that Chantry chose her career, even when things were looking up between her and Wallace, because Chantry,and all girls around the world deserves a chance to make something of their lives. I loved the relationship between her and her sister – the way they talk to each other is shockingly like the way my sisters and I talk to each other. That tummy scene? Yep, we’ve done it about ten million times.

I would have loved to have seen a bit more of Wallace’s sister and nephew; they were mostly ignored and underdeveloped. The whole scene where Ben falls out of the window is outrageous, and if someone pushed my boyfriend out of any window, even accidentally, I would not remain friends with them. I also thought that Ben’s macho behavior at his first introduction on screen did not fit with his personality throughout the movie.

I did like the length. There is nothing more despicable than a movie that drags when it is supposed to be done. The hour and forty minutes were enough to develop the characters, the situation to unfold and a decent ending.

It feels as if there was a nearly 500 days of Summer feel to the directing. What If is shot in a very arty way with some random animation floating around on the screen, reinforcing the whole “hipster-original-story” vibe.

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What If is truly an enjoyable romcom with a more plausible than usual storyline, and the improbable events do not outweigh the possibility that this might actually happen. I did think at a few places that cheating on a partner was slightly glamorized, and even though the characters frequently expressed their disgust in the activity the theme was still explored positively.  Karzan and Radcliffe both gave impressive performances and it is surprising that Radcliffe fit so well into a romantic leading role. It is obviously a movie that some people will scoff at, but I think the majority would find it a not-so-nauseating romantic comedy to sit through.

Halloween Week: Woman In Black

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Plot: A young lawyer travels to a remote village where he discovers the vengeful ghost of a scorned woman is terrorizing the locals (via IMDb)

Scare O’Meter: 3 scares out of 5

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Oh em ghee! Look, I am a scaredy cat. I won’t even deny it. Give me violence, I can deal with that shizz, give me terrorism, I will be endlessly fascinated. Give me a serial killer, I will be hooked. Give me a nice little psychological horror? I will hide under my blankets yelling for my mama.

I was impressed with the directing. The movie was shot in such clear, contrasting lines, it reminded me somewhat of a Hitchcock film (I am sorry if I do offend by that statement, but the dramatic contrasts and sharp lines reminded me terribly of Suspicion). The way this movie was directed made it more eery at the end of the day.

Daniel Radcliff never really impressed me with his portrayal of his iconic Potter roles, but I really enjoyed him in here. He manages to be distressed and determined at the same time, and shows with a film like this he can carve a name out for himself in the current entertainment industry.

The scariest of the film all came from obvious tricks that managed to make you jump even when you knew what was going down. I had some seriously Dafuq moments with those creepy as fuck dolls, and then Arthur goes and willingly winds them up on his own at one stage?!?!

I thought Ciaran Hinds was Stephen Fry who had  losta LOT of weight. My bad. I always enjoy both actors and thought he was handling his grief in this movie way better than his loony wife, who also freaked me out at one stage quite spectacularly.

Tips to surviving when visiting a freaky English town:

Don’t go to Freaky English Town (FET).

If you are at a FET, don’t go into spooky old mansions. Ain’tnobody got time for that.

If the villagers tell you to LEAVE, you LEAVE.

Don’t invite your son on a working trip, basic knowledge.

Don’t wind up freaky old school dolls that look like it had a demonic encounter sometime in the last five hundred years.

Don’t try and fix things, just leave.

Here are some (patented) clips of me and Zoë discussing this movie while I was watching. Enjoy!

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(notice how my typos increase as the movie continues… I promise that is not how I usually spell!)

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PS:  I am referring to Ciarian Hinds, mistakenly seen as Stephen Fry (anyone could have done that!)4

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Okay, there you have it! A look into the (slightly hysterical) conversations Zoë and I had about this. Hope you enjoyed and happiest of Halloweens!