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:

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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!

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!

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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.

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*

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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?

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Movie Review: Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

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Plot: A woman rebels against a tyrannical ruler in post apocalyptic Australia in search for her homeland with the help of a group of female prisoners, a psychotic worshiper, and a drifter named Max

Rating: 8.5/10

YASSSS. I finally got around to watching it, and let me tell you, it was so worth the watch. 2015 has not been the most cinematically pleasing year, but Mad Max: Fury Road was one of the movies that worked.

Fury Road is just an insane car chase across the desert but it works really well. Tom Hardy as titular Max and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiousa and their plight to save the Wives from Immortan Joe keeps you nailed to whichever seat you are sitting on for two hours straight.

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What worked the best? Is it the absolutely brilliant soundtrack? Is it the fantastic warfare depiction? The desert that has become the world? The Pro-Feminist movement with Furiousa and the Wives with their “We are not things!” ? Perhaps it is Tom Hardy as Max – the guttural grunting, the short sentences, the craziness. It might be Nux, whose fanaticism manages to be both scary and hilarious.

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Mad Max starts with breakneck speed and never slows down. It rushes from insanity to insanity, never stopping to draw a breath. The costume and set design is fantastic and furthers the insanity – the only remotely soft thing in here are the wives and they are so determined to escape or die trying that it is only their appearances that are soft.

The villain, Immortal Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne) is disgusting and terrifying – I did not blame his wives in the least for escaping. He is cruel, he is malicious, he enjoys keeping water from his desperate little city. His lieutenants and cronies are as disgusting as he is and it completely crushes the popular trend that villains should at least be pleasing to the eye in some way.

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Then, and you all knew I would get to this – Imperator Furiousa is the QUEEN OF EVERYTHING. She is the most resilient, kick-ass action character that has graced the screen in years, she fearless leads the show and she is the one true main character. Tom Hardy does a fantastic job, but despite having his character as the “main” character, Max is continuously outshone by Furiousa – and it is justifiable.  The Wives, lead notably by  The Splendid Angharad (Rosie Hungtinton-Whitley) are being saved, but they aren’t the expected damsels in distress. They are just as fearless in their pursuit to survive and willing to do what is needed to escape Joe.

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Mad Max: Fury Road, is certainly one of the best movies of 2015 and one of the most outstanding action films in recent years. It’s grown-up, it doesn’t follow Hollywood’s usual movie development and never stops with its insanity. It was a thrilling joy to watch and I will definitely do it again – if you haven’t, I suggest you give it a try!

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PS: THIS MANNNNN ❤

Warm Bodies (2013)

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What am I doing with my life? I’m so pale. I should get out more. I should eat better. My posture is terrible. I should stand up straighter. People would respect me more if I stood up straighter. What’s wrong with me? I just want to connect. Why can’t I connect with people? Oh, right, it’s because I’m dead. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I mean, we’re all dead. This girl is dead. That guy is dead. That guy in the corner is definitely dead. Jesus these guys look awful.

R is a Zombie. He can’t remember what his name used to be, or how he got to be a Zombie, what disease might have caused it, but now he spends his day walking around in a catatonic state, staring at his fellow zombies. His best friend is M (Rob Corddry), another Zombie. They occasionally grunt and speaking a word (literally, one word). R feels that he is different from the other zombies. They are completely lifeless but R is still processing his surroundings, collecting things, and constantly thinking. There are other zombies as well, who’ve progressed further into the monstrous state and they are called Bonies, because they all peeled their skin off eventually. They are horrible and dangerous and much crueller than the other zombies.

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M asks R if he wants food, and they and another bunch of zombies head out to hunt humans. They find a group of humans, led by Perry Kelvin (Dave Franco), who is outside the protective walls to find medicine for the remaining humans. A fight ensues, and R kills Perry and eats his brain. He glimpses into Perry’s life, and sees his relationship with Julie (Teresa Palmer), who is still fighting the zombies. He saves Julie’s life by making her smell like a Zombie and takes her to where he lives.

Julie is frightened and wants to go home, but is fascinated by R and how different he is from her perception of zombies.

Eventually R takes her home because her safety becomes a major concern. On the way, he tells Julie that he killed Perry and she disappears without him.

M finds R and it is clear that he and some of the other zombies have also starting healing. M tells R that the Bonies are mad that a change is happening and are planning to attack the human enclosure. R decides to go warn Julie, despite the danger.

Will R be able to warn Julie? Will she believe him? What will her father do when he finds out what his daughter has been up to? Can the Bonies be defeated?

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Rating: 7/10

This was such a cute, fun movie that I enjoyed unexpectedly. I thought I would dislike it – the story sounds so corny and I was rolling my eyes when I heard that Hollywood was producing a zombie love story. I mean, honestly? I kept on postponing watching this even though I had heard decent things about it. Warm Bodies succeeded in impressing me – the acting was well done and the progression of how everything went down came along nicely.

I actually enjoyed the presence of Analeigh Tipton, something I never enjoy (she has such an annoying face). Nicholas Hoult should get more roles – not only is he gorgeous he can act as well. Same goes for Dave Franco – his older brother is so annoying but this beautiful man is definitely not. I thought Teresa Palmer was a good choice to play Julie. Julie was a good character and she was admirable and a real fighter. She showed that kindness could be given to something you don’t understand and that if someone’s atrocities shouldn’t be a damning conviction on the rest of the species. I do admire her – not many girls can cope with loving a man who ate your previous boyfriend’s brain.

The theory of healing Zombies was ridiculous, and the zombies not very scary (although the Bonies were), the movie was fun because it didn’t take itself so seriously.

Recommended as some light hearted movie watching. Bestie, I think even you would like this! I can see myself watching this again at some point, and that itself is a rarity these days. Go try it out!