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.

letters-to-juliet-015

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.

The-Wedding-Singer-movie-poster

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.

My_Best_Friends_Wedding

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.

zac efron

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.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Half-Blood_Prince

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.

angels-fall-nora-roberts

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.

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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.