March to May: Watched, Read, Loved

march to may

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!

Damon-Salvatore

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.

Me-Before-You

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?

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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)

Love actually colin

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!)

Inlove

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.

Love atually prime minister

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.

Love Actually Karl

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:

Love actually keira

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

Five things Friday: Impressive movies I watched lately

Happy Friday!

It feels that I put up a FTF post about a million years (three weeks) ago, and when this idea suddenly came to me, I decided that I immediately had to adhere to this before stuff (soccer) corrupted my mind again badly that I forgot. Without further ado, here are five movies that I saw lately and was enormously impressed by.

Saving Private Ryan

I think I saw this movie as a teen a few years back, but when I watched it in April it certainly felt like new material. Saving Private Ryan is gory, sad, intense and apparently very realistic to the real thing that went down. I enjoyed every single suspense filled moment of it.

Lawless

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I enjoyed this Prohibition Crime Drama very much. Every performance was top notch, and I even liked the Beefster in here, something that very rarely happens.

Taken

taken poster

I saw some negative reviews on this movie that I can’t understand. I had so much fun with Liam Neeson going on an enormous ass kicking spree and thought the entire movie was extremely well put together.

The Green Mile

The green mile

A movie about death row did not sound like the most enticing tale ever, but I was shocked at how much I enjoyed the movie. Tom Hanks was once again perfect with his performance, and the way the whole story came together and how the plot lines worked made for excellent viewing material. I am currently reading the book, and so far it is an excellent adaption of how it went down in Stephen King’s novel.

Drive

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There was never a movie with so little conversation in that wasn’t a silent movie and still managed to stay spectacular as was Drive. It is Ryan Gosling’s finest role. He WAS the Driver, and the underlying tension and power of the character was nail biting all the way through.

What have you seen lately that you loooooved? Tell me!

Taken (2009)

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Bryan: I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you. 

Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) seems to be an elderly man that retired to be closer to his daughter. Kim (Maggie Grace) lives with her mother Lenore (Famke Janssen) and her wealthy stepfather (Xander Berkeley). On Kim’s birthday, Bryan gives her a karaoke set, and while she loves it, her stepfather’s gift of a horse vastly overshadows the thoughtful gift Bryan spent months deciding over.

Bryan agrees to do some security work with his friends to protect a pop star, Sheerah (Holly Valance) at a performance. When the crowd breaks loose and someone tries to hurt her, Bryan shows his impressive defensive skillset and saves her life and gets her to safety. Grateful, Sheerah offers her help, and the help of her assistants, to Kim, who wants to be a singer too.

Bryan plans to tell Kim what he organised for her the following day but she once again overshadows his extremely thoughtful acts. Kim and Lenore shows up to ask Bryan’s permission that Kim can travel with her friend Amanda (Katie Cassidy) to Paris to presumably see art museums. Bryan is worried, having seen how evil the world is, and rejects Kim’s pleas. Later on he agrees with a very strict set of rules: that she calls him when she lands, each night and if she plans to move location. Kim agrees, and accepts the international phone her father hands her.

At the LA Airport, Bryan discovers that Kim and Amanda are planning to follow U2 on their European tour, not visit museums. He is even more upset when he finds out Lenore knew of their plan and did not tell him. She manages to get him to still allow Kim to board the plane, assuring him that the teens will be fine.

Kim and Amanda meet Peter (Nicolas Giraud) a handsome young man at the Paris Airport. They are very excited about his interest in them, and they agree to share a taxi to save on costs. They tell him a lot about themselves, and Amanda shares that they have the flat in Paris to themselves, something Kim didn’t know about, and she is upset because she promised her father there would be some supervision. The moment Peter is alone he calls someone telling them the exact location of the two girls.

Inside the apartment, Kim gradually relaxes and starts having a good time. After using the bathroom, she notices her father tried to call her, and while talking to him assailants appear and she sees Amanda being attacked by men. She hysterically tells her father what is happening, and Bryan gets her to crawl under a bed in the closest bedroom. He tells her that they assailants are going to take her, and when they do, she should keep the call going and call out as many identifiable characteristics she can. Moments later, she is snatched from the bed and taken away. Bryan tells the person who is listening, one of the assailants, that if his daughter isn’t left alone, Bryan will find and kills them.

Back in the States, Bryan is calmly working through panic. He calls on a former colleague Sam (Leland Orser), who identifies the accents of the assailants as Albanian, and tells him that it is most likely an Albanian human trafficking ring that targets female tourists at the airport, getting them hooked onto drugs and then keeping them in prostitution. Bryan, who put this entire conversation on speakerphone in Lenore and Stuart’s house, makes sure that the successful Stuart didn’t have any enemies wanting to get back at him. When that is cleared up, he asks Stuart to organize him a plane into Paris immediately, and Lenore begs Bryan to get her back safely. He tells her that he must first find their daughter to do that.

                Bryan immediately heads to the flat where Kim and Amanda would have stayed, and investigates the signs of fighting, and quickly analyses where Kim was taken. He gets the broken phone and the memory card with the photos Kim took on, and makes Peter out in the reflection he took of them.

Bryan sees Peter at the airport, but Peter is killed by a bus before giving any helpful information. Bryan meets an old associate, Jean-Claude (Olivier Rabourdin), who is now behind a desk and sorely wishes to leave Paris whole and not suffer under Bryan’s hunt for his daughter. He does point Bryan to Porte de Chichy, where it is rumoured that the prostitution there is being run by an East European gang. Jean-Claude gets someone to tail Bryan, but Bryan is able to easily dodge him. Jean-Claude warns that Bryan will get deported if he continues with his vigilante justice, but Bryan avoids arrest when Jean-Claude tries to corner him.

Bryan gets to a brothel and finds Kim on a prostitute that is very high on drugs. Fighting off the brothel guards, he manages to get the girl to safety, and after feeding her some proper medication to help her, she reveals Kim gave it to her. She gives Bryan information about a house with a red door, and Bryan manages to track it down. There he eventually finds the man he warned on the phone, and after torturing him Marko (Arben Bajraktaraj) tells Bryan that Kim will be sold to the highest bidder at an auction.

                Will Bryan find Kim alive and whole, and most importantly, before she is sold and never seen again?

Rating: 8/10

This movie looked appealing right from the start and did not disappoint in the least. It is one of the best action movies I have watched in ages, and the storyline was solid and based on terrifying truths. I can definitely see myself watching this again; it might even become a recurring type of event.

Liam Neeson was excellent as Bryan Mills, and every punishing act he delivered was with conviction. I loved that Bryan had no qualms taking down people who were hurting his most prized possession, and that he was able to do it with so much talent.

It took me some time recognising where I had seen Famke Jansen (in Breaking Dawn) and I think the role of Kim suited her perfectly well. I had great sympathy and angst for her and Amanda, and thought that they were getting such harsh “punishment” for a simple vacation, even though Kim wasn’t completely honest with her dad about the plans for the trip.

I was eventually so pissed with Jean-Claude and how he was willing to sacrifice Kim and his friendship with Bryan just to have a comfortable lifestyle. It seemed to be a recurring theme, the “hey, it is not personal, it is business” and I especially enjoyed Patrice Saint-Clair’s demise. I mean honestly, who takes some man’s daughter into a life of horror and prostitution and expects him to see it as not personal?!

This movie made a lot of things clear:

Never mess with Liam Neeson, or his daughter,

Don’t travel alone

DON’T travel to Paris alone

DON’T speak to charming French men (is there even such a thing, Zoe?)

Travel with a big strong guy, or Liam Neeson.Have you seen Taken?

Did you love/hate it? Tell me!

Lego Movie (2014)

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Emmet: “You don’t have to be the bad guy. You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe. And you are capable of amazing things. Because you are the Special. And so am I. And so is everyone. The prophecy is made up, but it’s also true. It’s about all of us. Right now, it’s about you. And you… still… can change everything”

The Ancient Wizard Vitruvius (Morgan Freeman) tries to protect the “Kragle”, a powerful weapon, from falling in the hands of villain Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Vitruvius is blinded in his attempt and Business steals the Kragle. Vitruvius prophesies that “the Special” will one day find and use the “Piece of Resistance”, a powerful tool that will stop Business and the Kragle.

Years later, a normal construction worker Emmet Brickowski (Chris Pratt) is living his life in exactly the same way as the rest of the city. One day at work he notices a suspicious character searching through building material and sees a beautiful lady. He tries to stop her, but she disappears, and Emmet heads down to see what has been cracking. He stumbles upon the Piece of Resistance, has visions and passes out.

When Emmet wakes up he is in police custody under the surveillance of Bad Cop (Liam Neeson), the sidekick of Lord Business who has a split personality – Bad and Good Cop. The Piece of Resistance is stuck on his back now, and nothing he can do can get it off. While under interrogation Emmet learns that Business wants to freeze the world with Kragle, to keep everything as it is. The woman Emmet saw on the construction saves him and introduces herself as Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). While fleeing, he manages to convey the message that he is in no way special and she is very disappointed. Wildstyle takes Emmet into another “world”, the Old West. She explains that people used to travel freely between worlds, but Lord Business detested it and tried to seal them off from each other by building walls between each world.

In the Old West, Wyldstyle introduces Emmet to Vitruvius. She explains about Master Builders – people capable of building things without instruction manuals. She and Vitruvius are both Master Builders, and all like them are despised by Business for their creativity creates chaos in his perfect world. Business and Bad Cop tried to catch all the Builders, but some of them remained free. Emmet insists he has no such talent but Vitruvius is convinced that with enough exploring he will find his talent.

Bad Cop is soon on their tail and they have to flee the Old West through the pandemonium that ensues. Wyldstyle’s boyfriend rocks up and he is Batman. He saves them in his Batmobile and they head to Cloud Cuckoo Land, where they meet princes Unikitty and the rest of the remaining Master Builders. The Master Builders are not impressed when they learn Emmet has no real talent and refuse to help him fight Business. Bad Cop finds them and captures most of the Master Builders, destroying Cloud Cuckoo Land. Emmet, Wyldstyle, Batman, Vitruvius, Unikitty and Benny, a spaceman, manages to escape on a submarine. They are saved by a pirate named Metal Beard when the submarine sinks.

Emmet realizes that the flaw in all of their attempts was that they did exactly what Business expected them to do – work with their own individual creativity and not as a team with a plan. He therefor creates a plan and they all follow his instructions, and head to Business’s headquarters. Will they succeed in time to save all the worlds? Can Business be stopped?

Rating: 6.5/10

I’ve decided to go ahead and like this, although I fully expected to loathe it purely because it is animation, and about BLOCKS. A movie about building blocks just didn’t seem like the world’s most riveting movie ever and since I rarely find any animation worth re-watching or praising, I did not think I would be laughing or vouching for anything.

However, I was soon hoping Emmet would succeed and that he and Wyldstyle would end up together. He was a very generic guy, just doing his job every day and suddenly he was thrust into saving the world. I liked how he never tried to be the best but always insisted that he was just a normal guy (unless when he was boasting to Wyldstyle of course).

Lego Movie has an extremely catchy song. I was dancing to “everything is awesome” and singing it to people for days after watching Lego. I think Lego is an extremely clever company and this is a brilliant way to up sales. I loved the cheesy message in there that people can be heroes without being extraordinary, I LOVED that their hair could be so easily removed and changed (a girl can dream) and I found the references to popular superheroes quite cleverly done.

I wish they could have kept it at being an animation and not incorporated humans into it and having Will Ferrell in there (totally unnecessary) and I am not too sure if it was a good idea naming the villain Business – is Lego tricking children into hating corporate establishments #DeepQuestion

Recommendation: Honestly, kids should watch this.