Watched, Read, Loved: April 2017

April is the best month for South-Africa. Seriously – we have so many public holidays people are actually nice to each other. I took off a chunk of time as well, and it did me the world of good. I actually got some sleep in, saw my bestie and watched some amazing films. Without further ado, here is my rundown of April 2017.

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Movies:

BEauty poster

Beauty and the Beast (2017): The painful excitement that came when I heard they were doing a live animation of my favorite Disney classic was excruciating. Would it work? Would it fail? The QUESTIONS that plagued me.Additionally, B&B was released in South-Africa later than the rest of the world because of South-Africaitis, and there were conflicting reports to be read. Anyway, grabbing popcorn and sitting down to see this was really wonderful. I liked it, and will watch it again. I had Gaston stuck in my head for a week. I better not hear that tune soon.

One day

One Day (2011): HATED IT.

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Basic Instinct(1992): This is part of my Blindspot 2017 series. This year I am doing remarkably well with it, because Zoë and I watched a bunch of them in December because #besties. Basic Instinct is next on the list and quite the shocker. OMFG my poor eyes.I might never recover.

Anywhere but home (2008): I thought this comedy was quite funny the second time around (I know I’ve seen this before but I can barely remember it). It’s also titled “Four Christmases”. I’ve never understood exactly why some movies get two titles. Anyway, if you can believe that someone like Reese Witherspoon would end up with someone like Vince Vaughn, you can get through the movie. It has some funny moments, and sure they are the typical things you’d expect, but they are funny regardless.

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Twilight: New Moon (2009): I’ve been meaning to blog about Twilight as a set for ages now. I did Twilight (2008) easily, but had a couple of months delay by what succeeds it. New Moon is the most insufferable – both book and movie – but I sat through it eventually.

Eclipse

Twilight: Eclipse (2010): Eclipse is a strong successor and definitely superior to the ghastly New Moon. Edward is still an obsessive stalker, Bella is still pathetic, R. Patz and Kristen Stewart still can’t act. But decisively better than the infuriating New Moon.

Safe Haven (2013): The casting for Nicholas Sparks film is never specified for acting abilities. I guess the author/filmmaker knows his audience too well, and knows if he provides enough pretty people the film will be acceptable to his fans. He’s not wrong. I enjoyed Safe Haven and the acting is really better than the acting in The Lucky One. The kids were cute and the story was okay.

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He’s just not that into you (2009): I always enjoy watching HJNTIY. My brother-in-law did not appreciate us making him watch it though, telling me that it is not also a guy-friendly film as I initially thought.

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Warm Bodies (2013): I just love this film. Nicholas Hoult is a zombie, and when he eats the brains ofTeresa Palmer’s boyfriend, he starts seeing some memories and slowly returns to human form. The cast, led by Hoult, are all quite charming and for a story that shouldn’t work it works really well.

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The DUFF (2015):yes, I watched it again. One of my favorite films at the moment. Such hilarity.lethal weapon

Lethal Weapon 1 (1987) & Lethal Weapon 2 (1989):
It was my first time around watching this buddy-cop series, and I really enjoyed it. The 1980’s were a glorious time to be alive obviously!

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Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

SO SLOPPY.

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Chef (2014): Chef is a film about good food and happy endings, and well deserved of its’ praise. I really quite liked this film!

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Arrival (2016): My review will be up next week. I loved this. Handsdown one of the finest films of 2016.

Drive

Drive (2011): I remember enjoying Drive the first time around, but I really couldn’t remember everything about it. I enjoyed it so much this time too, it is a phenomenal film and some of Gosling’s best work.

The guest

The Guest (2014): This film has a lot of science reasons it works well to the appreciative eye, but I can tell you that I would have loved it without the science too. Gorgeous directing, a solid plot and excellent score, this film is a great film to watch again and again.

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Prisoners (2013): Prisoners currently ranks as my least favorite Villeneuve film. It is on no level a poor film, it was just not my favorite of his. And it is five hundred hours long. *Scientific fact*

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016):

I can watch this movie indefinitely. It is the best!

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Crazy Stupid Love (2011): I definitely need to review this film again – It has been ages since I’ve posted it on my blog. One of the most inoffensive romantic comedies produced in later years, this movie will make you laugh and relate with some character in here.

Nocturnal animals

Nocturnal Animals (2016): This is my new hated film. Gosh, what a spectacular waste of my life. Pretentious bullshit.

 

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Black-Hills

Black Hills – Nora Roberts

This is a particular favorite book of mine. I enjoy Dr. Lillian Chance – she is passionate about her work in the refuge she built and is smart and cool.

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The Concannon Sisters trilogy – Nora Roberts

While I do enjoy this series of books – Born in Shame, Born in Ice and Born in Fire, they certainly aren’t my favorite of the author. However, her love for Ireland does show when reading this, and I particularly enjoy the description of the scenery.

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Two Broke Girls Season 4 and 5

I’m enjoying myself way too much with this comedy. It shouldn’t be as funny as it is, but I end up really laughing at it.

What did you do in April?

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Movie Review: The Wedding Singer (1998)

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Plot: Robbie, a singer, and Julia, a waitress, are both engaged, but to the wrong people. Fortune intervenes to help them discover each other.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’ve often heard that the earlier work of my arch nemesis Adam Sandler isn’t that bad. I cautiously ventured into this; sure I would end up disliking it either equally or more than his other shitty movies. Other than a horribly outdated impression of a transvestite character which would not have gone off well today, this film was actually really okay and not irritating. There were no butt jokes I could find and the humor was really general and not as below the pants as the current work of Sandler.

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Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler share a large number of films they’ve costarred in, and they seem to have a decent chemistry between them. She’s adorably young and naïve as Julia, whose biggest predicament in life is the inevitability that she would be named Mrs. Julia Gulia. I don’t know about you, but that would put me in a flat spin. Her fiancé is so prick-like you have to wonder how they even met in the first place.

Adam Sandler’s character is a bit of a lost case, a clearly talented singer who makes his money performing at weddings. He’s remarkably proficient in his job, managing to prevent wedding fights and turn the tables around on bad, drunken speeches by best man Steve Buscemi – honestly, it was good enough to watch just for Buscemi’s appearance.

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The whole theme behind this film is these two characters who both clearly just want to get married. The notion is quite antiquated and I was a bit horrified with the outdated notions that were waltzing around for the majority of the film. I’m not going to be overly offended here – I was eight when this film dropped and we’ve (hopefully) come a long way in changing the world’s perception that women must marry or be regarded as failures.

I also have to mention the glorious 90’s fashion sense that is celebrated in here. Adam Sandler’s mullet is spectacular, the exercise clothes of Holly and the overall dress sense of the characters were godawful and wildly amazing to see. No one had a clue in the 90’s, hey?

The Wedding Singer is ultimately a worthy film of popularity. It is sweet, fun, sincere and happens all in one hour and forty minutes, which is as much as you can ask from Sandler.

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#outfitAndHairGoals

Watched, Read, loved: March 2017

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Movie Review: He’s just not that into you (2009)

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He’s just not that into you, is a 2009 movie directed by Ken Kwapis that’s based on the self-help book with the same name by Greg Behrendt (I don’t read self-help books so I haven’t read it, but please let me know if you did and what you thought). The movie has a star studded cast – Jennifer Connelly, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Ginnifer Goodwin, Kevin Connolly, Bradley Cooper, Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Aniston and Justin Long.

It seems too jam packed with stars at times. Also, there are a lot of plot lines happening so it takes some concentration to remember who is dating who and what is happening where.

Gigi (Ginnifer Goodwin) lives in Baltimore. She misunderstands everything the men that she goes on dates with do, and spend days obsessing over men she had mediocre dates with.

After a boring date with Connor Barry (Kevin Connolly), Gigi goes a bit crazy, watching the phone constantly. She heads to the bar Connor mentioned he hangs out at, and meets Alex (Justin Long). They start becoming friends and Alex gives Gigi advice about men – sometimes harsh advice, but it is obvious that he is speaking the truth about guys, because he is one. She once again misinterprets his signals and starts believing that he is into her and that everything he does is to woo her. He gets angry and asks her why she didn’t listen to a word he said, to which she replies that at least she isn’t cynical and bitter like him.

Alex’s harsh words have the desired effect – Gigi starts becoming sensible about men and life, cancelling the drama she used to love creating for herself. Alex realizes that he is in love with Gigi and that he seriously messed up. Will he be able to win her affections back?

Another part of the movie focuses on Gigi’s co-worker Jeanine (Jennifer Connelly), who is having marital problems with Ben (Bradley Cooper). Married directly out of college, Jeanine and Ben are in a rut. They are redecorating the house and apart from that stress Jeanine is also constantly worrying that Ben is smoking again, although he always denies it.

Ben meets Anna (Scarlett Johansson) in a grocery store and they start talking. He is obviously attracted to her and initially tries to distance himself. She has absolutely no qualm about seducing a married man, comforting herself by the knowledge that they might be the perfect for one another. Anna is keeping Connor on the line by acting like she’s interested but never closing the deal.

Ben and Anna sleep together and Ben decides it’s time to leave his wife. He tells her that he cheated on her and she is heartbroken, and eventually decides that it is her fault. Jeanine heads to Ben’s office and they sleep together there but she doesn’t know that Anna is hiding in the closet and witnessing everything. Anna is furious with Ben and breaks up with him. Back home Jeanine finds Ben’s cigarettes and it is that, not his infidelity, that makes her lose it and toss all his clothes out of the house, with a note telling him she is divorcing him.

Anna starts a relationship with Connor but dumps him when he wants to move in with her. He meets Mary (Drew Barrymore), Anna’s friend and the woman who is helping him with advertisements, who is also very unlucky in love. They eventually start dating.

Beth (Jennifer Aniston) is another colleague of Gigi and Jeanine. She has hands down the best man out there, Neil (Ben Affleck). Their only issue is that he won’t marry her, even after seven years of dating, because he feels marriage is not necessary and will only damage their relationship. She leaves him when her younger sister gets married and realize that she will never get marriage out of him. As time goes by she realize that he is a wonderful guy and that she is lucky to have his love with our without a ring. She asks him back, assuring him that she now knows that marriage isn’t all that important when two people are really committed. Touched by her willingness to let the issue drop, he eventually proposes.

Rating: 6.5/10

I had a good time with this movie. There are so many cringe-tastic moments in here, mostly thanks to Gigi. She is the embodiment of a phase most girls go through – desperate and needy and embarrassing in their quest to find a date. Her evolvement is endearing to watch, and Ginnifer Goodwin brings her to life with finesse. Alex is strangely compelling as a guy who is a dog to women, but he knows it and accepts it. It seemed like fine justice that he falls for Gigi when she has moved on and that he has to run around to get her attention.

I had the most sympathy for Jeanine. Her husband is a douche – in fact this is one of the only times I’ve seen Bradley Cooper as such a loser. I had no sympathy either for Anna and how her love life went up in flames, because, sweetie; if he’s married he’s out of bounds no matter how cute he is.

Beth was a good character to show how even if your relationship is perfect, most people will always find something worth moaning about. I loved Ben Affleck’s character in here – he is the best guy of them all in He’s just not that into you.

This is a great movie to show to a friend who is acting like Gigi. There are a lot of truths being told and it is a great lesson to most people. It is a very girly movie so I don’t think a lot of guys are going to love it.