Movies 2016: Worst to Best

The year 2016 will be known for a number of things – an inordinate amount of celebrity deaths and an equally inordinate amount of lackluster movies. Are these two correlated? I’m not convinced its’ not. Anyway, here is my list of movies I watched this year that was released in 2016. It’s not been a good one.

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Number 19: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice 6/10

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Number 18: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them 6/10

Number 17: Before You 6/10

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Number 16: The Choice 6.5/10

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Number 15: How to be single 6.5/10

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Number 14: The 5th Wave 7/10

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Number 13: SUICIDE SQUAD 7/10

Number 12: Rogue One: 7/10

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Number 11: The Huntsman: Winter’s War 7/10

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Number 10: Legend of Tarzan 7.5/10

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Number 9: Finding Dory 7.5/10

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Number 8: Captain America: Civil War: 7.5/10

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Number 7: Zootopia 8/10

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Number 6: The Jungle Book 8/10

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Number 5: 10 Cloverfield lane 8/10

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Number 4: Dr. Strange 8/10

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Number 3: Deadpool (8/10)

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Number 2: Bridget Jones’ Baby: 8.5/10

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Number 1: Pride and Prejudice vs. Zombies 8.5/10

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Watched, Read, Loved: November 2016 – Most dramatic month ever?

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What a month! It’s been crazy. I wrote this long ass post about all my opinions and then I was like eh, don’t need it, not my country, not my cheescurl. So let’s just go on with the usual here and do the rundown of what I was up to this month as usual, shall we?

I finished exams – YAS. So far I’ve passed everything with one result still pending. I’m darn pleased with myself, to be honest. So close to being done I can smell it. I’ve been rather irritated with some things at work, but my eyes have been opened a bit – I am so fortunate to be employed by a stable company where there is a 30% unemployment rate in South-Africa right now, and I should really be more thankful about that. I also broke plates at a Greek restaurant, and I now fully understand why the Greek people are so joyous – it is therapeutic! I also managed to be caught in rain storms quite a few times, and as I’m writing this I have a disgusting head cold going on – sneezing, coughing, basically being the person I’d generally want to murder.

Watched in cinema:

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Dr. Strange(2016)

I enjoyed this film quite a lot. It really IS Iron Man on drugs and has the exact same story, but I liked it nonetheless. Benedict Cumberbatch truly is the definition of the term strange, and works superbly in this Marvel film. (and he WERKS that cape)

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them (2016)

I made no secret in my review that I had zero time for this film. What a precious waste of my time and abuse of the Potter world. Ugh.

 Watched at home:

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Aliens (1986)

So much epic. I am so glad I sat down and watched this, my 2016 blindspot series has been quite the disaster and I’m scrapping it off the menu for 2017 completely. However, I did enjoy a whole bunch of the watched films, and this was one of them. Ripley is so badass man, so badass.

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Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

As mentioned above, I’ve been kicking and screaming trying to finish my Blindspots while totally not in the mood, but this turned out to be so beautiful and heartbreaking. Totally worth the time and paying attention to the English subtitles.

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Series:

Vampire Diaries Season 5

It’s good, but definitely lacks a bit in terms of my favorite – season 3. However, Elena isn’t the world’s most annoying vampire ever, which can only be an improvement. Review will hopefully be up soon 😀

Books read:

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The Dressmaker– Kate Alcott

Despite this being the title of THREE DIFFERENT NOVELS – which lead to a variety of confusion -I have all the love for this book. It is definitely not the same story as the movie that I want to watch with Kate Winslet and Liam Hemsworth, but I am so happy I took a chance. What a lovely, interesting and thought provoking read this was!

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The Power of Six – Pittacus Lore

The second book in the Lorien Legacies is also turning out to be a fantastic read. It is well written and well thought out, something most of these dystopian/alien/teenage books lack completely.

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I am Number Four – Pittacus Lore

I reviewed this over HERE, and it was one of the better books I read this year. Very impressed!

Love by Design: Loving Jack and Best Laid Plans – Nora Roberts

I’ll never really review this – it has little to no story line and is essentially just some smooch smoochy stories. Even in my bedraggled study brain mode this was too dumb for me, and I probably skipped quite a few pages because there are only so many scorching kisses that can be read.

Reread:  Convincing Alex – Nora Roberts

A reread that won’t be seeing another review. I find these books fun and vacant, and having met real Ukranians I can assure you that they are not Mikhael and Alexi Stanislaski, ladies.

Reread:  Luring A Lady–Nora Roberts

Same as above. It was fun while it lasted!

Reread: The Obsession (Nora Roberts) – I have so much love for this book and author (as you all know), and I’m enjoying it the second time around – I borrowed it to a friend shortly after finishing it the first time, and I must say, it is as good as my first impression of it.

What have you been entertaining yourself with? Tell me in the comments 🙂

Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

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Plot: The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school.

Rating: 6/10

If I could rate this movie purely on how pretty it all looked I would have rated it at an 8/10  – it looks pretty and the magic is impressive. I have a great love for the magically conjured umbrellas, it looked simply beautiful. Humour is readily available by the movie clown Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), an unfortunate human caught in a magical mess. I enjoyed seeing Colin Farrell in a film again, I feel that he has completely slipped off the radar in later years and hope this beckons a return for him. However, I am not supportive of the move of magic to America – talk about people needing a pat on the head to feel included. I really hated the No-Maj term – just NO – it lacks originality and sounds and looks stupid. Eddie Redmayne generally impresses me when I see him in something, but I was not a major fan of his work as Newt Scamander. He was twitchy and strange and lacked confidence completely. Ezra Miller was CREEPY – that is an achievement of the film as that would probably stay with me forever.

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The biggest flaw was the lack of story – Newt lands in America by BOAT – since when are we not apparating, folks? And somehow is careless enough to set loose some beasts which he tries to capture in. Throw in a female magical president (and a thorough dose of shade to the current American political landscape), Gellert Grindelwald, a badly plotted love story and some new magic terms, and you end up with a queasy mess that isn’t even close to what Potter originally was. As for the two major plot twists? The one is obvious from the very start and the second surprised me – I won’t go into detail for those people who still wish to watch it.

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Sadly, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them wasn’t that fantastic. I think I love Potter too much and notice anything that doesn’t jibe with the original works. However, it looked pretty and is well acted out, which should not be ignored.

Have you seen this film? What did you think?

Movie Review: The Theory of Everything

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Stephen Hawking: “There should be no boundaries to human endeavor. We are all different. However bad life may seem, there is always something you can do, and succeed at. While there’s life, there is hope.”

Plot: The relationship between the famous physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife.

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Rating: 8/10

As this is a biopic about Stephen Hawking, I expected either a very scientific movie or something so sad I wanted to go gnaw off my own wrists. But the Theory of Everything managed to become one of the most beautiful and positive movies I have ever watched. Although it skimps a bit on the science side, it has a beautiful story of how loved Hawking truly is and how his destructive neuron disease couldn’t prevent him from becoming what he was meant to be.

The movie goes to great lengths to show you that Hawking’s wife had an impossible load on her shoulders and how she carried it for so long. Her determination to stick with him inspired me and is by all accounts quite true. Felicity Jones did an exceptional job as Jane Wilde. Her evolution from quiet determination to quiet desperation is sad to behold, because she loved her husband so much.

Eddie Redmayne is the darling of reviewers right now and I am not surprised. You can’t do the job he did and not get applauded for it. He is the star of this and so accurate in his portrayal that you could easily confuse him for a younger Hawking. I found his nerdy behavior from the very start so sweet and endearing, and how he went after Jane the second he saw her.

I also appreciated that The Theory of Everything was not a witch hunt against religion (I thought it could turn out that way). Rather than that Hawking’s beliefs were stated quite clearly but there was never any malicious element to it.

The only irritation I had was the length – it seems that if you want to be nominated for an Oscar a movie MUST be over two hours and that is just ridiculous. So much time isn’t needed to tell most stories and while this movie tells an exceptional one there was too much time allocated to the movie.

I took such hope from this. The sweetness radiates from Hawking and he is so determined to overcome his obstacles, and he does so without using his disease as an excuse and still fearlessly researches and questions science that few people dare to do. You might look at Hawking and think: Shame, he is so bound by his disease, but this movie shows you that he might be one of the only truly free people in the world.