Favorite Movie Quote: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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I recently had the pleasure of watching Pride and Prejudice and Zombies for the third (?) time. It is such a fun adaption of the original work. I really do hope to get to the PPZ book soon as I am currently finishing up the original Pride and Prejudice.

As for today’s quote: The famed letter that Mr. Darcy writes to Elizabeth were he explains himself is beautiful across all the adaptions.The entirety of this letter is explanatory and heart breaking, but I am particularly fond of this paragraph:

ppz

Of all weapons in the world, I now know love to be the most dangerous. For I have suffered a mortal wound. When did I fall so deeply under your spell, Miss Bennet? I cannot fix the hour or the spot or the look or the words which lay the foundation. I was in the middle before I knew I began. But a proud fool I was. I have faced the harsh truth: that I can never hope to win your love in this life. – Mr. Darcy, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Here’s my review if you haven’t seen it yet!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

SO SLOPPY.

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

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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.

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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*

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016):

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

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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.

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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.

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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?

Movies 2016: Worst to Best

The year 2016 will be known for a number of things – an inordinate amount of celebrity deaths and an equally inordinate amount of lackluster movies. Are these two correlated? I’m not convinced its’ not. Anyway, here is my list of movies I watched this year that was released in 2016. It’s not been a good one.

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Number 19: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice 6/10

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Number 18: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them 6/10

Number 17: Before You 6/10

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Number 16: The Choice 6.5/10

How to be single poster

Number 15: How to be single 6.5/10

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Number 14: The 5th Wave 7/10

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Number 13: SUICIDE SQUAD 7/10

Number 12: Rogue One: 7/10

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Number 11: The Huntsman: Winter’s War 7/10

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Number 10: Legend of Tarzan 7.5/10

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Number 9: Finding Dory 7.5/10

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Number 8: Captain America: Civil War: 7.5/10

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Number 7: Zootopia 8/10

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Number 6: The Jungle Book 8/10

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Number 5: 10 Cloverfield lane 8/10

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Number 4: Dr. Strange 8/10

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Number 3: Deadpool (8/10)

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Number 2: Bridget Jones’ Baby: 8.5/10

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Number 1: Pride and Prejudice vs. Zombies 8.5/10

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016)

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Plot: Five sisters in 19th century England must cope with the pressures to marry while protecting themselves from a growing population of zombies

Rating: 8.5/10

ERRR-EM-GHEE. I LOVED THIS.

Okay, now that that is out of the way, let me tell you, this film was tailor made for me. I am 1) a huge fan of the original work despite having to fully read the book 2) detailing on that means that I’ve seen the 2005 movie with Keira Knightley and Matthew McFayden and I consider myself an expert 3) I’ve read the book about halfway but olden English can be challenging and I’m just an Afrikaans Girl in an English world – which should be a song or at least a blogpost 4) I’ll stop sounding deranged now and actually review this.

This movie is really Pride and Prejudice but with Zombies. Exactly. It is based on the successful adaption / parody by Seth Graham-Smith, and if the book is like the movie, I am so on board with reading it (a little flip from how I usually approach things). I’m a little sad that this film didn’t do great in cinema because it is so much fun.

I thought Lily James made the perfect Elizabeth Bennet. Ms. Bennet has always been the original feminist, and adding some ass kicking skills to her resume only made her seem more so. Excluding Mr. Darcy, the females in the film does the majority of zombie slashing and there is an underlying humor that suggests that the men are a bit more afraid than the ladies of zombies. Lily was as sassy and as proper as Jane requires of a character, and had undeniable chemistry with Sam Riley – a crucial element in making the relationship dynamic between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth work out.

Initially I was a bit concerned with Mr. Darcy being portrayed by Sam Riley. It is a really difficult thing to pull off – being a bit of a prick while still being able to be compelling and attractive. Sam Riley has a really weird voice – it took a while to get used to. However, he was able to portray the character with conviction and before long I was so on board with him. He was tormented and unamused and serious and it was so hot man. The chemistry between Lily James and Sam Riley is kind of through the roof. It was really hot in a dignified way.

As for the rest of the cast, you will see some Charles Dance and Lena Headley, Matt Smith and Douglas Booth (notably). There were some new names that I haven’t seen on screen before, like Bella Heathcote that did a really good job with Jane Bennet, a tricky role because the character needs to be beautiful and shy without being a pain in the ass. Jack Huston played Mr. Wickham. I’m starting to recognize Huston more and more on screen and he seems to be a fine actor that is going somewhere. He has a specific period look that suited the film well, and was sufficiently slimy in his portrayal of Mr. Wickham. Lena Headley was way underused – the woman has a comedic ability that is suppressed in Game of Thrones. I am always a huge fan of any person that emits sarcasm through every pore in their body and Headley manages that with aplomb.

The pace of the film is good, it is neither too long nor too short. I was ready to riot a few minutes before the end – watch it to see why – and I was spared this use of energy a few moments later when I was really happy with the end.

I really never knew that I needed a version of Pride vs. Prejudice with zombies, but let me tell you, my life is so much better for it now!

Series Review: Downton Abbey Season 4

Picture Shows:  The TARDIS BBC ONE: Sunday December 25th, 2005  The legendary Time Lord, Doctor Who returns to planet earth for Christmas. Along with established sidekick Rose (Billie Piper), the re-generated Doctor (David Tenant) is once again faced with a battle against evil in a bid to protect planet earth from destruction.  From flame-throwing Santas to the evil alien Sycorax, Rose and The Doctor find themselves in one of the hardest battles their friendship has had to endure... Warning: Use of this copyright image is subject to Terms of Use of BBC Digital Picture Service.  In particular, this image may only be used during the publicity period for the purpose of publicising 'Doctor Who' and provided the BBC is credited. Any use of this image on the internet or for any other purpose whatsoever, including advertising or other commercial uses, requires the prior written approval of the BBC.

*THIS WHOLE DISCUSSION CONTAINS SPOILERS*

Rating: 8/10

This is the first time since the onset of the show that I’ve felt a slight dip in the quality. It still remains really good and my favorite show ever, but it is decidedly less fantastic as the previous three. Honestly, the death of Michael might be the main reason. Michelle Dockery did a fantastic job bringing Mary’s grief so well to life – Mary Crawley has never been a perfectly friendly person or a very kind one, and Matthew made her into the best person she could be. Her grief has so many stages – the stunned mourning, the tumbling tears and her eventual decision to start taking a part in Downton’s management and her son’s upbringing was wonderfully done. I also for the first time thought that Michael’s mother, Lady Isobel (Penelope Wilton), did a fantastic job in her role. I’ve been annoyed by her and mildly entertained, but I’ve never before thought that she’s particularly amazing in the acting department. Her relationship with Lady Violet was also beautiful and how the two ladies evolved and became really good friends.

Downton S4 Lilly

I really dislike the decision of Lady Rose MacClare’s inclusion in the storyline. She’s annoying AF and I just can’t bring myself to like the character. Her mother is downright atrocious and I could not enjoy this story arc even if they brought Matthew back to life and made him a part of that particular story line. I also just can’t get a liking to Lily James. Maybe it is because of the mediocrity Cinderella turned out to be, but I just don’t enjoy her in here.

Oh, Edith. Just when I think that this poor girl actually has a chance of happiness and finds an interesting, engaging man, he goes and gets into a fight with some Nazis. Furthermore, she’s pregnant. One thing this show has done excellently is portray how lives have really improved for women. I mean, we still are underpaid and an alarming amount of women are still being abused, but at least we can get contraception relatively easy and it is not the end of the world if you get pregnant out of wedlock.

I really felt sorry for her because in giving up her child, not only did she give up the girl she carried for nine months but also the only memory of the man that she would have ended up really happy with.  (Great job to Laura Carmichael for her work here!)

I'm still in such awe of this castle <3
I’m still in such awe of this castle ❤

Bates and Anna.LeSigh. I’ve mentioned before that the melodrama becomes too much for me sometimes and it peaked here again. I was so sad for Anna and her whole horrible experience and thought that also excellently showed how backwards female rights were in the 1920s. I thought it was well done and all, but the subsequent death and surrounding drama was too much. Honestly, can these two just be married and happy now and neither one in prison?!

Mr Carson and Mrs. Hughes.Two of my favorite characters finally edging towards a romantic entanglement?Hells yes.

I really disliked the whole crown Prince story and his dance with Rose. WHAT MADE THEM THINK THAT WE WOULD WANT TO WATCH THIS NONSENSE? ROSE ISN’T EVEN A DAMN CRAWLEY MAN.

Sarah Banting was such a pain man. I get that they are trying to show that Tom knows that this is not his life, but really, Sarah Banting was not so cool.

Tony Gillingham

I really liked the inclusion of both Tony Gillingham (Tom Cullen) and Charles Blake (Julian Ovenden). If Mary ends up with either of these men, I would really choose Charles Blake for her. Let’s face it – Tony is incredibly gorgeous and so sweet, but Blake challenges Mary and is her intellectual equal.

Downton S4 MAry

Overall, there were some great decisions made and some not so great ones. I think I’ve had to deal with the departure of my dear Matthew – that scene killed my soul in Season 3 – and I only recovered by Season 5 😀 This is a great season, just not my favorite, but builds well enough that season 5 took over from this with great success.

Movie Review: Cinderella (2015)

Cinderell poster

“I have to tell you a secret that will see you through all the trials that life can offer. Have courage and be kind.”

Plot: When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her daughters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.

Rating: 6.5/10

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With the annual event of a live animated Disney film, we know what to expect: the knowledge that a dress and pretty shoes will help you find your Prince. I mean, who needs personality or brains or kindness? Nope, just have your dress, shoes, evil stepmom, fairy godmother and mouse ready, coz you are going to find that handsome bastard and marry him within a first few days of your meeting. Oh, there will be some challenges, but because you are nice and everything it will all work out in the end.

Now that I’m finished with those nasty thoughts, I was really excited for this film and that it didn’t pay off. I had hoped for something more than the classic fairytale, but Kenneth Branagh produced what can really be called a reinforced version of Disney’s favorite fairytale.

Pros

Kenneth Branaugh really worked his material to the best of its ability. Cinderella is shot beautiful with such colourful style and just a slight hint of flamboyance and is able to carry the movie when the plot slows down.

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The casting of Richard Madden. Can the world just stand still with me and marvel at Robb Stark’s incredible beauty and talent. This guy is a phenomenon in the “Zoë and Natasha’s eternal debate on the need of male facial hair” debate – we both agree that Rob’s little moustache is delicious and should be kept in a hall of fame. The news that he was cast as Prince Charming made me so excited but he was sadly devoid of facial hair in the trailer, which disappointed me a bit. Well, Madden apparently works with either option because he is the perfect Charming to James’ Cinderella. He also does a really good job as Kit and his acting is impressive. I enjoyed the looks you got at him with his father – there was love and the acknowledgement of their duties between them. The insight into his kind heart justifies why a woman would just accept a man’s hand at the blink of an eye.

Background on Cinderella. I am naturally suspect on truly sweet people – it seems so unnatural for a person to always be kind and nice, a foreign concept in our world. James as Cinderella is then naturally suspected because that kind behavior to such wicked people seems very incomprehensible. The childhood factor helped to show that Ella was always taught to be kind to people even when they didn’t deserve it and that shaped her to become the doormat for the wicked Stepmother and her loony daughters. (I still don’t trust Cinderella, she’s too nice)

 Cinderella stepmom

Some background on stepmother, although not enough. Cate Blanchett handles this role with ease; she’s done much more with just such excellence before. It is criminal that she wasn’t more used. Some insight into her deplorable activities were given – why would a woman openly hate a young girl the second they met? It has been on my mind lately how bitter women become so bitter and cruel and this was just another case study how such things happen. I enjoyed Lady Tremaine’s attitude, her sarcasm and her constant irritation with her silly daughters, and yet you could tell that she loved her daughters despite the fact that she wanted to kill them.

The first dance between Kit and Cinderella at the ball. Call my heart soft and squishy but the romance in this scene was tangible and beautiful. That dress was incredible and Madden leading James through that dance sequence had me sighing with happiness.

 Cinderella meeting

I am a huge Disney fan, but as time progresses and I am more aware of the subconscious sexism women are subjected to each day I am more and more worried that Disney stories are what young impressionable girls are watching. Disney has been on a mission to fix their damage in recent years – Disney’s Frozen had Elsa openly question why her sister would want to marry a man after only knowing him a day. Cinderella is still unbearable sweet and kind and that must not be seen as oppression but as for the personality and charm it is. Cinderella speaks her mind when she meets Kit and has an opinion and I was like HALLELUJA. Her constant bowing to the prince at the ball had my eye twitching but I do acknowledge that feminism was allowed at least fifteen minutes of play time.

 Cinderella couple

Cons:

The movie starts with a slow pace, picks up some speed and then slows again. It dragged a bit at the end and felt purposely drawn out.

When you are gifted Cate Blanchet and Helena Bonham Carter, you used them and don’t under utilise such talent.

The opening scenes with young Ella and her parents were very kitsch, forced, cheesy, over the top and unnecessary.

This movie is exactly what you expect. There is nothing new and original, no fresh take.

Cinderella didn’t really have all that wrong with it; it just lacked either of the two things that could have made it work: magic or originality.