#100HappyDays ROUND 2: Days 31-40

So it is Monday again, and I thought I’d post this specifically as a reminder about happy things, not Monday things. However, I am almost going on leave and seeing my bestie, so today is pretty great!

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Day 31: I went for a walk in the nature reserve close to where I live. It is really beautiful there, and it was really relaxing walking in the green after a long day at work.

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Day 32: The crochet-bug has been around significantly more frequent now that it is a slight bit cooler. I am trying heroically to finish this granny square blanket that I started over a year ago. Wish me luck!

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Day 33: I sat down with my mom and sister and watched another old-school film I haven’t yet seen. Andy McDowell has NO clue how acting works, but I did like Hugh Grant. He was so handsome as a younger man.

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Day 34: I went back to the same nature reserve for another walk. glorious!

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Day 35: Some wine before Power Rangers. Did it make the movie better? Not sure, but might have contributed.

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Day 36: I do love this Avon French Manicure nail polish. It always comes out looking so pretty!

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Day 37: I love these pretty rings I bought!

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Day 38: I bought this USN shake after I finished my Nutritech shake. Further investigation reveals that this is actually just a bit too sweet for me. Anyway, at the price it goes for I will definitely finish it. Maybe it grows on me!

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Day 39: At this stage in my life I have no issue admitting I love buying shoes. It is my own money, so I couldn’t give a damn about opinions anymore. Anyhow, here is my tan heels I purchased recently. #love

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Day 40: Attended a babyshower. Let’s be real – most women face these only because you like the mom-to-be and not because of any actual potential fun. I have to say, this one turned out great. I am happy I went!

What have you been up to lately? Let me know!

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 (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.

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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.

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?

Movie Review: Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason(2004)

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Plot: After finding love, Bridget Jones questions if she really has everything she’s dreamed of having.

Rating: 4.5/10

I have two things I am really upset about after watching The Edge of Reason: 1) I spend R100 on this DVD – I will never be able to replace that money, no matter how hard I work. It is gone forever. 2) I wasted one hour and forty minutes on this crap, and while I can probably get over the lost hundred rand I cannot forgive that this was one hour and forty minutes of time in a life that is not infinite.

The Edge of Reason is the sequel to the wildly popular and equally awesome original Bridget Jones’ Diary. This is likely the best known case of sequelitis I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. Bridget isn’t even herself in this film – they have her essence completely wrong. Her quips are off and her personality is skewed. Mark Darcy isn’t himself – and if Colin fucking Firth cannot save a movie, no one can. Daniel is back, and he is not himself – the Daniel in the first film was more affable rouge than heartless bastard – everyone loves Daniel because he gets to a point that he cares for Bridget, genuinely cares, and would not leave her surrounded by foreign police.

The fucking story – who wrote this? WHO? Was Helen Fielding on the writing panel? I highly doubt it. How did they think it would be okay to somehow make jokes about foreign prisons and drug smuggling and lesbians?OMFL (That is now OH MY FUCKING LIFE). It is awful. The pacing is wrong, the actors are all aware that the fantastic work they did with the first film is being destroyed in front of their eyes and there is nothing they can do about it. Bridget and Mark eve lacked the intensity they had in the first film. I nearly switched this off – I was about half way through and thought I cannot do this to myself. But sometimes I get through things promising myself that I will come and tell you all about it and then I feel so much better. So here I am, and take the advice of your trusted friend here, and don’t watch the Edge of Reason. Watch the first film and definitely the new third installment (review loading tomorrow!), but avoid this piece of shit because you don’t deserve to waste your time like I did.

eor1Film Title: BRIDGET JONES : THE EDGE OF REASON.

March to May: Watched, Read, Loved

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I was all over the place with this post , claiming that I would do some monthly rundowns. I was planning to, I really was, but as you know life is a busy little bastard and all you can do sometimes is hold on for dear life and hope not to fall off the wagon.

In Cinema:

I’ve been to cinema quite a lot the last couple of months. There were a few films I wanted to watch before the internet spoiled everything, and for the most part I walked out relatively pleased.

  1. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice

The biggest problem with Batman vs. Superman? It lacked heart. Not all films should be lighthearted, but BvS had no comic relief and no passion – you need either of the two. I didn’t hate it though, but I do think that DC should have worked a little harder if they really plan to have a fighting chance in an environment so dominated by their biggest rivals.

  1. The Huntsman: Winter’s War 

I will definitely watch this again – it is easy, comfortable watching, not necessarily great but it was quite fun. It also contains my husband, and that can’t be ignored!

  1. The Jungle Book

Beautiful and charming, it impressed me with its gorgeous CGI and traditional storyline. Not my favorite Disney live action film, but it was good nonetheless. I am still the most excited for Beauty and the Beast next year. I CAN’T WAIT.

  1. Captain America: Civil War

Woohoo!! This was so great! It probably deserves a higher score from me, because on reflection I had a blast with it.

At Home:

Blindspot:

March: Love Actually – it was OKAY. Not really my favourite romantic comedy and I won’t be watching it again.

April: Home Alone – not gonna lie, I hated this. I am way too old for this shit

May: Warrior Sooo good, but not something I’d recommend as a pick me up.

Other films:

Begin Again (2013) – I really enjoyed it! It is surprising and not really as close to a romcom as it might sound, and I especially enjoyed the track.

The Fast and The Furious (2001) – This way Throw Back was the best and entertaining. I had the best time even though it is as ridiculous, gawdy, a murky story line and terrible acting. It’s all about investing in the future films, you see.

Wild Child (2008) – Wild Child is a favorite movie of 2008 for me. It has everything – the teenage drama, the love story, the gorgeous hero, friendship, everything! I had to force myself not watching it again right after!

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Series:

I’m rewatching The Vampire Diaries at the moment and having a complete and utter blast.  I stopped half way into Season two to focus on exams, but I am so onboard getting my ass to season 7 eventually! Can we just say #teamDamon all the way?!

Reading:

Last Chance Salloon (Marian Keyes) – hmmm, not my favorite Marian Keyes. It was good in some places but it took me ages to get through it – long, laborious reading.

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Me Before You (JoJo Moyes) – surprising and good, well thought out, not overly sloppy.

The Welcoming (Nora Roberts) – for the life of me I can’t write a review on this for some reason. It is very bland, definitely some of Nora’s most basic work. It isn’t bad or offensive, just pretty tame and nearly put me to sleep in some places.

I finally finished Big Magic after months of searching for it! I’d love to read it again, with a highlighter and a note pad.

Currently also reading:

Evening Class by Maeve Binchy. – this book is a real drag, to be honest. I don’t get why the author is compared to the likes of Marian Keyes – Binchy writes books that make me fall fast asleep. I thought perhaps this book was different from the other one I read by her, but it is shockingly the same – the exact same format and story if you take away all the frills.

Collaboration:

I reviewed over on T9M’s site The Help (2011) – such an awesome flick!

I also reviewed for Kim and Drew‘s 80’s blogathon – When Harry Met Sally – what a great film, definitely worthy of a classic status.

What have you been up to?

Blindspot 2016: Love Actually (2003)

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Plot:Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England.

Rating: 6.5/10

What I liked:

LOVE ACTUALLY

Alan Rickman. I feel that he should do the voiceovers on my life. My sarcasm levels are spectacular and he sounds like the inside of my head feels like (but female. Erm.). He also played a character I’m not used to seeing him portray – just a normal man in a marriage that has become monotonous and a habit (he was also a bit of a douche though)

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Colin Firth. Sheesh. My love for this man. He’s so sweet and British and perfect. His character had such bad luck – i.e. his girlfriend banging someone, and then his story went so lovely and romantic and all bilingual. Goodness. (I do wish he had more time on screen though!)

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The kid who found true love and his father. Liam Neeson? Yes. He is such an enjoyable actor and seeing him paired up with this lovesick baby was just too adorable.

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Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister and his lady friend. They could have made a movie exclusively about these two and it would have work much better. Hugh Grant has buckets of cool and class and style. He is quite quiet lately (Except for the spectacular The Man From U.N.C.L.E) and I wish he would appear in more things. The dry British wit, charm, amazing hair and improbably Prime Minister antics were hilarious and sweet.

Martin Freeman – it is so weird to see him playing a normal character. It was fun though.

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These two – however, they were really just thrown into the story and pulled so frequently that it felt that they were time fillers, and it is sad since Laura Linney gave one of the best performances in the movie.

What I didn’t like:

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Keira Knightley. So. Annoying. This was before she went on her serious roles binge and she used to be this preppy, overly larged mouthed quirky person (the Bend it Like Beckham years). I’ve said it before, and I will say it again, she’s WAY too good in playing an evil character. It must be, inherent. That was mean, I am sorry, BUT, her character in here  – it was one thing for that guy to be a stalker infatuated with her, but eventually he got over it and THEN SHE KISSED HIM. You were married like what, three weeks ago, TO HIS BEST FRIEND?

Did the writer get bored with finalizing the script? That is what happens when there are too many characters in one movie. Kris Marshall’s escapades to the States? He was such a funny little oddball character and got about three scenes and had no real screen time.

Bill Nighy’s character. What happened here? Was he declaring that he’s in love with his manager OR that he loves his manager, which, both are totally fine, but I would love to know which one it was.

I can say that Love Actually isn’t a bad film. It has some good moments, but too many characters made what could have been a good movie vaguely confusing.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

Perfect

#stalker

Movie Review: The Man from U.N.C.L.E

The man from uncle poster

Plot: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons

Rating: 8/10

Things I liked:

The Score

Let’s start out with the score – it was absurdly fantastic. It was a compelling mix of weird Russian/USSR songs and 1960’s style songs perfectly supplemented the action.

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The Fashion

So much love. The Twiggy style fashion worked to perfection and Vikander’s beehive made me want to do it myself (I fortunately restrained myself). I love that time period fashion!

I really wish men could wear suits all the time. I really appreciate a good man in a good suit, and especially these old fashioned suits just work. Such class.

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Directing& Storyline

Guy Richie is a master. I love the split screens and the way action was choreographed, as well as the rich tone that the film had. The story itself was fun. It is well thought out, clearly developed and mixes humor and action very well. The little plot twist had me fuming –that bitch! – then forgiving her and going back to admiration. It gets so preposterous at times – two highly trained secret agents bitching about which outfits their female counterpart should wear, Solo having a little drink and snack while the whole world is crashing down around him and the constant competition between the Allies.

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Casting:

This brings the movies I’ve seen with Alicia Vikander in up to two and I am impressed here as I was in Ex Machina. She’s a very good and talented woman, as well as incredibly beautiful, and she held up very well against Hammer and Cavil.

I’ll do a whole other post about how delicious the men were in this movie, but let’s just say here that if Armie Hammer walks up to me and speaks in that Russian accent I will jump his bones after the fainting that was a direct result of his sexiness. OMFG.

I really did enjoy him also on a non-pervy level, he is talented and I found the character layered and hilarious. The way his temper was just waiting to boil out and take people down with it was something I found very amusing.

Henry Cavil. Sigh. This cast was purely chosen on the genetic lottery, because this man – how can he be so perfect? Did they copy and paste his genetic sequence specifically for “Chiselled Chin”, “Dreamy Eyes”, “Perfect Mouth”, “Perfect Build” and “General Breath Taking Beauty”? I’m sure they did, I’m sure they did.

Solo was also a really fun character, so full of debauchery and completely fine with it. No doubt about it, Solo is an extremely talented criminal that is using his talents currently to keep him out of jail – so respectable.

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Hugh Grant comes in, classes things up because he is British, adds another amount of hilarity and plot twists, heads out again, just to return later. I haven’t seen him in anything for a while, and it was nice to spot him.

Elizabeth Debicki was a fantastic villain. I am happy that they chose a woman to be the villain, and how cold she was. So cool.

Conclusion:

The Man from U.N.C.L.E is very enjoyable to watch. It has great laughs, some surprising touching moments and good performances by the entire cast, but especial note to Cavil, Vikander and Hammel. Cavil’s performance is especially important – the man needs to show he can be more than Superman if he wants a career after his run as the Kryptonite-intolerant superhero. Definitely recommended and a really good addition to the 2015 repertoire of movies.

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Movie Review: Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

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Resolution #1: Uggg – will obviously lose 20 lbs. #2: Always put last night’s panties in the laundry basket. Equally important: will find nice sensible boyfriend and stop forming romantic attachments to any of the following: alcoholics, workaholics, sexaholics, commitment-phobics, peeping toms, megalomaniacs, emotional fuckwits, or perverts. Will especially stop fantasizing about a particular person who embodies all these things.

Plot: A British woman is determined to improve herself while she looks for love in a year in which she keeps a personal diary.

Rating: 7/10

I recently read the book, and enjoyed it very much. I have seen the movie, ages ago, and had to watch it again to check if it was a proper book adaption.

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It was just as funny as I had remembered. It is witty, funny and I really feel like Bridget Jones goes through realistic shit in her life that all 20/30 somethings eventually go through. I think Renee Zellweger was a perfect choice to play Bridget Jones. She is awkward, very British (I loved that) and has so many quirks that you just want to be her friend and help her. She is simply hilarious in all her mistakes and I loved the attitude she knew how to throw at exactly the right time, how she had a limit of what she would take from people and how she let you knew you had finally pissed her off.

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I love the inclusion of Colin Firth and Hugh Grant – they are both mentioned in the book so it is great that they were cast as their respective characters. Hugh Grant was delightful as Daniel Cleaver. He is great to cast if you need to cast someone for a smarmy character. Daniel Cleaver was one of those men you wanted but really already knew it would be a bad idea in the end.

Mark-Darcy

Mr. Darcy: “I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.”

I think the only things more British than Colin Firth is Benedict Cumberbatch and Queen Elizabeth. He as Darcy was excellent – awkward, socially stunted and not really attuned to his feelings or how to express what he wanted to say in the correct way. I really would have liked to see more on how he changed in Bridget’s eyes – the movie makes it seem more like he was her only other option rather than she genuinely started noticing who he was.

I am a bit disappointed with the adaption though. While it is an excellent movie, the first half of the movie was loyal whereas the second half deviated completely. I would have loved if they had kept the end of the story exactly like it was, as well as the proper development of Mark Darcy’s character. The movie does not make you fully understand who this man is and the goodness to him, even though he is blunt and always says the wrong thing.

Overall, a good, light and funny movie, but not a good book adaption.