Watched, Read, Loved: June and July 2017

*warning: gargantuan post ahead*

I want to start every post now with “yes, it’s me, and I am still alive”. What a couple of months this has been! July has hands down just been the slowest month in everything for me. It was a roller coaster – I was away in Nelspruit end of June to bid my bestie goodbye, then for two weeks in Potchefstroom for university work and then I had to rush to finalize my younger sister’s 21st birthday. And when I looked down at the date it was suddenly the 19th of July and there were no blog posts from me! SHOCK, HORROR. So I am trying to move my blog into activity again, and herewith some of my favorite posts, a Watched, Read, Loved list for both June and July. I really hope to be back to full time blogging in August, I’ve really missed everyone and the feeling of having a creative outlet.

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I started off June by watching Wonder Woman (2017). I’m not really a weeper, but let me tell you I was misty eyed reading some of the truly excellent tributes that poured in. Little girls in costumes, women everywhere just flooding cinemas to watch a superhero films and all the financial and critical acclaim that accompanied this film just filled my heart. I can’t do any more justice to this excellent work of director Patty Jenkins that has already been done, but I assure you that I will always try.

Say Anything

I also saw Say Anything (1987) for the first time. I can now put a film to the iconic John Cusack pose that is everywhere on the internet, and I’m not really surprised that I enjoyed this film because it is right up my alley. It is a short, fun and easy watch and really good in its’ genre. I must post its review soon but a severe case of apathy towards typing out reviews has taken hold of me at this stage.

 

I also saw Rules Don’t Apply (2016) which has the unfortunate distinction of being one fantastic box office fail. It’s not really bad, it is just frustratingly boring. It could have been great with its excellent set design and costumes, solid acting and notable performances. It just lacked heart and a decent turn of events.

I picked up Mother’s Day (2016) to watch with my own mother, because I can promise you Gary Marshall won’t be putting too risqué sex scenes in any of his films. I was right – there is little to no romance. If you can get past the notion that Jennifer Aniston is supposed to be the old, washed out mom in here, you will likely enjoy it. Julia Roberts is hidden under the most horrible wig I have ever seen, but the film is sparingly okay and has some legitimately funny moments in. It also casts Jason Sudeikis, and I have never seen him in anything except this and that godawful We’re the Millers – can someone tell me why he’s famous?

I also watched Bad Moms (2016) which was rather fun and hilarious. I know, I was shocked too.

Then there was Jackie (2016), a movie that got an Oscar nod for Natalie Portman. While her performance certainly deserves a nod, the movie itself is quite slow and not really worth the hype.

On the Afrikaans movie front I watched Platteland again. It is such an intense musical, and as Afrikaans as can be. I really do have a fondness of locally produced movies, and my plan to branch a part of this blog off into local films will hopefully happen sometime.

Homecoming

Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) was a first of three July cinema watches for me. I really still struggle to formulate thoughts on this film. I sincerely didn’t hate it, but I have struggled to see the reason for Spiderman for years now, and this reboot even more so. Tom Holland is okay I guess. I particularly liked Zendaya. I think it is safe to say while I still have time for amazing and new superhero films (such as Wonder Woman), the generic Marvel film has become somewhat of a repetitive bore.

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I still cannot believe that I refreshed my makeup, made sure my outfit was okay and went out on a damn Friday night (this is torture for me) to watch Valerian and a City of a thousand planets. You will see that review hopefully Friday, but heads-up: I hated it.

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I also saw Dunkirk this last weekend and that at least was worth my time. Christopher Nolan is the salve to every hurt a bombastic Bay/Snyder movie throws out, and the beautiful, heart wrenching film hit me quite in the feels.

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Series:

Yes, I know. I need to tame this wild Pride and Prejudice obsession that has gotten over me. Not only did I see the 2005 film AGAIN – this is in addition to the watch I did in May of it, I also got my hands on the 1995 series version of it. I am a bit torn. I’ve read far and wide that it is the best adaption, and while it is certainly the most faithful adaption, I really hated the score – classical music makes me want to pull my hair out.

I finally started watching Alias season 4. It isn’t bad, still has plenty of Michael Vartan in, and I want to finish it before it somehow gets spoiled by the internet for me.

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The Vampire Diaries Season 6: Season five of this vampire-tastic show took me ages to finalize. It was slow, badly planned and really unimaginative in some places. I am glad to report that season six is wonderful – it is the first season with really legitimately funny moments in, and I am having a fantastic time.

Game of Thrones Season 7: This is still ongoing and I am avoiding people or comments like the plague who have watched it – the internet is the rudest place ever.

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On the reading front I haven’t been exactly revolutionary, but I have picked up Rage of Angels by Sidney Sheldon. I have never read anything by this author, and I am really enjoying it so far. It is fast paced plot and is well written with likeable characters. I didn’t think I would like a lawyery story, but it seems I was mistaken. I’ve hit a lag with it, and should really finish it up. I’ve slightly changed my opinion with the events that just loops all the time.

I have reread a bunch of Nora Roberts novels – Blue Smoke, The Obsession and some small ones which I really can’t recall the names of. I’ve also picked up Jewels of the Sun and Tears of the Moon, and I will review the entire trilogy once I am finished with the third book.

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I am also now reading Come Sundown – I did all the dance moves when I got a special on Loot (online shopping rocks) for this new release of Roberts. I always weep because I’m just not okay with forking out the prices retailers ask in South-Africa for new releases, so this was quite a score. I can tell you now that there is something different to Come Sundown. I will see how it ends, but it is one of the most unique books Roberts has ever done, and the tone is quite different from what she usually does.

I also should really get in to finalizing those 100 Happy Days post on here. They are just so much work and admin that I am not in the mood. I did finish the challenge, and you can few that all on my Instagram account.

As for adventures, I quickly went down to my bestie to see her one more time before she goes on her international adventure. The next time I see her will be in London, which at this stage is simply mind boggling to me.

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Movie Review: Runaway Bride (1999)

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Plot: A reporter is assigned to write a story about a woman who has left a string of fiances at the altar.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’ve been making a point to watch as many films lately that I’ve been meaning to see, but never able to. It’s like the unofficial blindspot list, well, because I have an official one as well (that I continuously run out of time for!)

Runaway Bride is the second venture between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the first being the truly excellent Pretty Woman. Gere is grayer than he was, but the chemistry between the two actors are as strong as ever. It also marks a return for Hector Elizondo, also involved in Pretty Woman, and I have always enjoyed him in any role.

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I had fun with this. It is obviously a romantic comedy, but it is really well written with acerbic bantering and well thought out dialogues. There are a few moments where I laughed out loud – especially Richard Gere’s hair being made an assortment of different colors. I also really liked the bits of character development in Maggie Carpenter – she obviously had to find herself before she found her man. I thought that the friendly relationship between Ike and his ex-wife and her husband was quite silly (I mean, have you MET divorced people and their ex-spouses? #awkward)

Julia Roberts – I hate that people can easily discuss a woman aging but not a man. It isn’t cool! I personally still find Roberts really beautiful, and for that reason alone I am avoiding that Mother’s Day film that has her typecast and it pisses me off. But how fresh and gorgeous was she as a young woman? It is astounding. She perfects the girl next door look and personality, and every girl wants to be her and every man wants her.

Then there is the delicious Gere – he’s a bit older here, but I get why the ladies thought he was so attractive. He did the 90’s man so well, and the ladies were probably fanning themselves every time he got on screen!

If I had to choose between Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride I’d go for Pretty Woman. I think most people would – it is a standout film can be viewed as a defining moment in Roberts’ career. However, this is a great staple to your movie diet regardless of your appreciation of the rom-com genre – I hope most people would love it!

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Movie Review: Runaway Bride (1999)

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Plot: A reporter is assigned to write a story about a woman who has left a string of fiances at the altar.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’ve been making a point to watch as many films lately that I’ve been meaning to see, but never able to. It’s like the unofficial blindspot list, well, because I have an official one as well (that I continuously run out of time for!)

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Runaway Bride is the second venture between Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, the first being the truly excellent Pretty Woman. Gere is grayer than he was, but the chemistry between the two actors are as strong as ever. It also marks a return for Hector Elizondo, also involved in Pretty Woman, and I have always enjoyed him in any role.

I had fun with this. It is obviously a romantic comedy, but it is really well written with acerbic bantering and well thought out dialogues. There are a few moments where I laughed out loud – especially Richard Gere’s hair being made an assortment of different colors. I also really liked the bits of character development in Maggie Carpenter – she obviously had to find herself before she found her man. I thought that the friendly relationship between Ike and his ex-wife and her husband was quite silly (I mean, have you MET divorced people and their ex-spouses? #awkward)

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Julia Roberts – I hate that people can easily discuss a woman aging but not a man. It isn’t cool! I personally still find Roberts really beautiful, and for that reason alone I am avoiding that Mother’s Day film that has her typecast and it pisses me off. But how fresh and gorgeous was she as a young woman? It is astounding. She perfects the girl next door look and personality, and every girl wants to be her and every man wants her.

Then there is the delicious Gere – he’s a bit older here, but I get why the ladies thought he was so attractive. He did the 90’s man so well, and the ladies were probably fanning themselves every time he got on screen!

If I had to choose between Pretty Woman and Runaway Bride I’d go for Pretty Woman. I think most people would – it is a standout film can be viewed as a defining moment in Roberts’ career. However, this is a great staple to your movie diet regardless of your appreciation of the rom-com genre – I hope most people would love it!

Movie Review: Pretty Woman (1990)

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Plot: A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love.

Rating: 8/10

I’m finally catching up with some romantic comedies from the 80’s and 90’s that I feel is a crying shame I haven’t got to yet – and it is totally worth it! I absolutely loved Clueless when I first copped on that it is an adaption of Emma. Heathers was so dark and disdainful, and I thought it worked well for the film. When Harry Met Sally quickly lined up to be one of my favorite romantic comedies ever.

Pretty Woman now joined When Harry Met Hally. I loved this film quite a lot and was so depressed when it finished because I wanted more of Richard Gere’s 90’s suit and mannitude and more of the gorgeous Julia Roberts being hilarious, sweet, convincing and authentic.

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Pretty Woman is a film that would get trashed if it was released today. People are way too sensitive about suddenly not offending anyone, and this film about a prostitute and a businessman would not have gone down right – and that is society’s loss.

I enjoyed the clothes – just look at these office shorts Roberts is wearing, as well as numerous padded shoulder pieces. Gere is rarely out of a suit, but I won’t complain anytime soon, he looked so male and in charge (cue: delicious). The best outfit was naturally the night they went to the opera – breath taken away. I wish everyone can have a night like that.

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Jason Alexander as Philip Stuckey was very disgusting and convincing. He was such a cutthroat lawyer and out to always win, and jealous of Edward Lewis who had excellent business skills and enviable charm. He suited the tone perfectly proving that although Edward was decent and a gentleman, few of his friends would be like that once they found out Vivian’s occupation.

Hector Elizondo returns as the man who facilitates makeover, and I love him in that role. If you’ve ever seen The Princess Diaries, there is no way that you are not loving this man help young women (which sounds decidedly creepy!).

Pretty Woman is sweet and flows well. There is humor, and Julia Roberts has a surprising amount of comedic ability when she turns it on. I thought she really did an excellent job as Vivian – a bit tarty, but capable, kind and still being able to carry herself around with dignity even with what she does. The film is really sweet in places, and Roberts seems to genuinely enjoy herself and it shows. If you are like me and have never seen this, I suggest that you do because it is great!

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