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.

movies-logo

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.

basic instinct

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.

twilight-graphics-twilight-new-moon-840934

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.

Hes-Just-Not-That-Into-You-2009

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.

warm-bodies-10

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.

DUFF4

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!

Blood wars

Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

SO SLOPPY.

chef

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

arrival-banner

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.

Prisoners-E invite R2

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*

PPZ

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016):

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

CSL

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.

 

books

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.

born-in-shame

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.

series

2bg

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?

Advertisements

Watched, Read, Loved: October 2016

october

October was by far the slowest month in my year in entertainment. I’m really hopeful that this is the last semester where I will ever have to write a BSc Theoretical exam, so I’ve spent every moment that I wasn’t at work in front of a book. I really hope it will pay off – my heart won’t be able to handle the trauma of failing a subject. So it has been quiet on the entertainment front and even the blog front, but I’ve managed to include see and read some things here and there though, so here is a quick rundown J

Watched:

bourne-supremacy

Bourne Supremacy

I really hope I wrote a proper review on this, because I can barely recall the film now. I know it was fast paced and good and very Bourne, and I guess that is what counts.

10cl

10 Cloverfield Lane

I LOVED this. The review should be up some time this week, and I am totally with the crowd on this one. It was a phenomenal performance from all three main characters, and they were able to create maddening suspense throughout.

nye-movie

New Year’s Eve (2011)

I was quite obsessed with this film (to get to see it), and it was so meh. It was probably one of the last films Gary Marshall ever produced, and I hoped it would be something similar to Valentine’s Day. In all essence it was but lacked the heart.

you-again

You Again (2010)

I enjoyed this on the most basic level. It had a pretty good message that bullying stays with you forever and it was nice to watch such a light movie where romance wasn’t the core of the plot.

the-choice

The Choice (2016)

I have this game with Nicholas Sparks movies where I HAVE to watch it despite knowing it will probably end up being super crap. But The Choice is one of the better ones, certainly better than the awful Best of Me, and I has a somewhat of a decent time with it.

Read:

TWWSML

The Woman Who Stole My Life (Marian Keyes)

I finally finished TWWSTM. It was gigantic, and maybe 50 pages too long and then ended up with a rough ending, but this is the least bizarre book I’ve read from Keyes in a while.

sookie-stackhouse

Definitely Dead / All Together Dead / From Dead to Worse

Exam brain wants me back on books where I need no brain power, and I’ve been reading some of the Southern Vampire Mysteries again. I’ve actually been having a really good time with this non-Pulitzer material.

new-moon

New Moon (Stephanie Meyer)

I’m slowly making my way through these books. Bella is a joy to behold in this particular novel, let me tell you. I always have fun with this – part enjoyment; part scoffing, and it has been the perfect read throughout exam time.

i_am_number_four_cover

I am Number Four (Pittacus Lore)

This book is SO good. It is obviously a book that was written at the beginning of the dystopic craze; because the ideas are original and GOOD, and things are named intelligently (the naming conventions in other dystopian novels are quite ridiculous). I need to finish this still, but it is going well.

On a Life front, those of you who follow me on Instagram will know that I got myself a new car. It really wasn’t an option as I was in a car accident that wrote my little Suzuki Alto off. To say I was upset was an understatement, and it was pretty stressful sorting it out. I have to say my insurers were absolutely fantastic, and I will (and have) recommended them to anybody. However, it was the first car I’d ever owned, and I was so heart sore about the entire process.

It feels like a lot of things have happened the last month. I’ve had a dear friend in hospital, I’ve been in an accident, there was a break-in at my sister’s boyfriend’s house and another friend of mine got attacked and robbed at gunpoint.  So it’s been quite hectic. I’m in need of a Bilbo Baggins holiday to say the LEAST. Oh, I also went to a bachelorettes that was quite wild, and let me tell you, I was shocked at some of the actions there. I’ve been to a significant amount of wild parties in my young life, so when I am shocked, I am S.H.O.C.K.E.D. It feels like I need a peaceful December without any drama. I am on leave for two weeks at the end of December (hear me sobbing in gratitude), and I am so happy that I will get to a place where I don’t need to start functioning at 4:30 am. It will be great.

Anyway, what’s news on your side?

PS: Let’s not even talk about my Blindspot progress. It’s worse than the state of the American election right now.

PPS: I can’t wait until Hillary wins JUST so that Donald can shut TF up.

Movie Review: Safe Haven (2013)

safe-haven1

The movie’s opening scene shows a young woman (Julianne Hough) fleeing a house holding a bloody knife. She buys a bus ticket, now with short blond hair and leaves the station. A man is shown flashing a police badge and searching buses for her, but she manages to avoid detection. When she arrives in Southport, North Carolina, she introduces herself as Katie and gets a job as a waitress. She buys a rundown house on the edge of town, and meets her neighbour Jo (Cobie Smulders) and they eventually becomes friends. Katie meets Alex Weatley (Josh Duhamel), the convenience store owner, and his two children, Lexie (Mimi Kirkland) and Josh (Noah Lomax). Alex was widowed when his wife died of cancer a few years back, and Josh has some troubles because he was old enough when she passed away to remember and miss his mother. Even though it is obvious that Alex likes Katie, she seems to thaw very reluctantly when it comes to him, but it is impossible to not love Lexie.

After driving Katie home with her groceries Alex notices that she doesn’t have transport. He leaves her a bike with a basket, intending to simplify her life, but she gets angry about it. Jo gently points out that Katie overreacted and she apologizes to Alex afterwards. A few days later they head to the beach on a family trip and later on Alex and Katie start going on dates together. They are soon dating and even Josh starts to enjoy the new addition to his life.

Meanwhile, the cop who was looking for Katie at the bus stop, Kevin Tierney (David Lyons) is still obsessed with finding her. He releases reports saying that she is wanted for a connection to a murder, and the police force in Southport puts up her picture in their police station too. Alex notices the picture and confronts Katie. She tries to tell him the truth but he is horrified that he endangered his children. She nearly leaves but he arrives in time to stop her. She tells him that Kevin is her abusive husband, and that she fled Boston after he nearly killed her. Alex promises that he won’t allow anything to happen to her. Kevin’s boss confronts him with the notice for Katie’s arrest, and discovers that the water bottle Kevin always carries contains vodka. He is asked to hand in his service weapon and badge. Kevin is sure that his neighbor helped Katie flee and starts watching her house obsessively. He breaks in and listens to a phone message where Katie tells her friend that she is okay. Kevin writes down the phone number and realizes that Katie is in Southport. He starts driving there.

On the day of a parade in town Kevin arrives. He is stupendously drunk. He heads into the convenience store and encounters Lexi. She lies to him when he shows her a photo of Katie. He searches the crowd and sees Katie kissing Alex and he becomes very angry. Later that night, Josh and Alex leave Katie and Lexi at home when they go help light the annual fireworks. Katie falls asleep and dreams of Jo telling her Kevin is in town. She wakes up and finds him downstairs. Scared for Lexi, she leads him outside. She begs him to leave town and he pretends to walk away. Katie puts Lexi in the highest room in the house for her protection and tries to contact the police. She sees Kevin dousing the house with petrol and rushes out in time to stop him lighting the house. She throws the lighter in the water but a spark from the fireworks set the house alight with Lexi in it. She starts struggling with Kevin, and Alex sees the fire and Lexi stuck in the house and rushes back. He climbs onto the roof and breaks a window to get Lexi out. Katie and Kevin are struggling and he tries to shoot her but she turns the gun on him, killing him.

Days later, Alex promises Josh that they will rebuild the house. He gives a letter to Katie that his wife wrote to his future wife and she reads it. Upon reading it she realizes that Jo is Alex’s dead wife and that a ghost has been visiting her all the time she’s been in Southport.

Rating: 6.5/10

So I read the book, which naturally meant I had to see the movie. It took me ages to get to actually watching Safe Haven, which pretty strange considering how much I love schmaltzy movies and books (not even ashamed)

Save Haven was a good adaption to the book. Alex didn’t have prematurely grey hair, but I thought it silly in the book so it wasn’t in the least offensive in the movie either. I am sure that Katie goes from blonde to brown, not the other way around in the book, but can be wrong, but that isn’t really an issue either. Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough had some good chemistry going between them which is obviously very important in a romance film. The kids cast were pretty damn adorable.

Rotten Tomatoes thought that Safe Haven sucked, but I have to disagree. Movies shouldn’t always be made to be critically acclaimed. I think it is important to produce movies that appeals to the general public too – that is how it becomes a financial success.

Safe Haven was based on the bestselling book by Nicholas Sparks with the same name. The movie stayed true to the book and that really impressed me. Duhamel and Hough have really good chemistry between them and they made a really good couple on screen. I’ve seen Duhamel in a few films but this is the first time I’ve seen Julianne Hough in a movie where her acting was actually good (before Rock of Ages, which I thought was a bit floppy, I thought her claim to fame was dating Ryan Seacrest – which isn’t something I would be proud of FYI).

The best performance however needs to go to David Lyons as Kevin Tierney. I could not have cast a better actor or thought of how he was portrayed in any way. His descent into madness was excellently done.

Have you seen the movie? Read the book? Let me know what you think!