Watched, Read, loved: March 2017

March2017

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!

movies-logo

Southpaw poster

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.

letters-to-juliet-015

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.

The-Wedding-Singer-movie-poster

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.

My_Best_Friends_Wedding

My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997) – I HATED the ending and I really disliked the main character. What a stupid movie.

enchanted

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.

underworld

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.

four

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.

zac efron

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.

Kong

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.

Power rangers

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.

books

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.

Harry_Potter_and_the_Half-Blood_Prince

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.

angels-fall-nora-roberts

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.

Advertisements

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.

BVS

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

fb1

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

Number 17: Before You 6/10

thechoice

Number 16: The Choice 6.5/10

How to be single poster

Number 15: How to be single 6.5/10

The-5th-Wave-logo

Number 14: The 5th Wave 7/10

Suicide-Squad

Number 13: SUICIDE SQUAD 7/10

Number 12: Rogue One: 7/10

huntsman

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

Tarzanposter

Number 10: Legend of Tarzan 7.5/10

Baby-Dory-in-Finding-Dory

Number 9: Finding Dory 7.5/10

Civil war poster

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

zootopiaposter1

Number 7: Zootopia 8/10

JB poster

Number 6: The Jungle Book 8/10

10cl

Number 5: 10 Cloverfield lane 8/10

doctor-strange

Number 4: Dr. Strange 8/10

deadpool poster

Number 3: Deadpool (8/10)

bridget_joness_baby_poster

Number 2: Bridget Jones’ Baby: 8.5/10

Pride_and_Prejudice_and_Zombies_poster

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

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.

Book review: The Longest Ride (Nicholas Sparks)

Longest ride

Plot: Ira Levinson is in trouble. Ninety-one years old and stranded and injured after a car crash, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes beside him: his beloved wife Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by recounting the stories of their lifetime together – how they met, the precious paintings they collected together, the dark days of WWII and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can’t possibly be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and everyday joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest College senior’s life is about to change. Recovering from a recent break-up, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes of survival and success, ruin and reward — even life and death – loom large in everyday life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans — a future that Luke has the power to rewrite . . . if the secret he’s keeping doesn’t destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common, and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

Rating: 6.5/10

Well, that synopsis basically told you about the entire story line. Anyway, I’m really glad I read this. It was the lightheartest (word?) form of fun that you could ever hope for and as unrealistic as you could ever find on a bookshelf, but it is worth a read.

Why? Well, I had to, after putting it on this list and watching the movie. The movie and book has some differences, but as usual, both are able to get along fine. Which is better? I don’t know. I usually pick the book, but Sparks can be really whiney at times and that frustrates me endlessly. The Longest Ride keeps it on a tolerable level, but there are moments were I still thought that no one would ever utter such nonsense.

Sophia Danko is the beautiful girl with brains, personality and depth. Completely plausible naturally. Luke was as unbelievable as his counterpart, in touch with his feelings and beautiful and everything. Sigh. It also has a light form of a villain, a best and backstabbing friend, with lots of romance and dramas.

The book is quite long and gets laborious at certain points, and there were times that I just wanted it to end.

I guess you all can see I’m very uninspired at this point, but the book was a good enough read and definitely some of the better that Sparks has penned in later years.

Have you read the book? Watched the movie? What did you think?

#100HappyDays: Days 38 – 42

Here we are again. Another week, another February the 15th, with everybody wondering why Valentine’s Day gets such a fuss. I’m not, really, so I’m just throwing out the next section of my 100 Happy Days challenge. Here we go!

38

Day 38:

I went for another run at the nature reserve, but running was quite impossible – the heavy rains caused mud everywhere and since I had absolutely no desire falling face first into it, so we walked. However, the light was amazing and it was wonderful to see everything so green again

39

Day 39:

I am currently reading The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. It is surprisingly not annoying me.

40

Day 40:

Went for dinner at my sister’s house and spent some time with this crazy little dog. I love her so much!

41

Day 41:

Deadpool. Need I say more?

42

Day 42:

I was only too happy to take my car in to get her little light fixed. Happy days!

What made you happy this week?

Life Lately: February 2016

February

So, February. I am totally okay that you are here. January wasn’t even bad, but it was the trial month for the year and I am happy to get things in full speed right now.

 100happydays

#100HappyDays: This project is still ongoing, and I am still enjoying it. There are days where I struggle to find things to post about, so the challenge proves its’ point: you need to be able to find something happy daily regardless of how small it might seem to you.

Blog: I am actively considering renaming my blog. I’m not going to say what the title is going to be right now, because someone might nab it before I have it set up, and then I will be mightily upset with whoever it is. (#paranoid). I DO like the sound of it and have run it by my confidantes, who agree. I just want to work out the logistics of things before I go full speed into it.

 longestride

Reading: I somehow misplaced my darling Big Magic book. I am so peeved. I need to finish reading it and then I need to gush on here about it. Like, WHY universe? I will find you book! I also started with The Longest Ride. It is written by Mr. Soppy himself, Nicholas Sparks. It’s part of my book reading list for this year and I just want to get cracking on it.

Blindspot: This is officially in disaster mode. I swear I have such affinity for ignoring the fuck out of deadlines. Each. And. Every. Time. I looked around a bit for copies of what I need to watch, gave up pretty quickly, and am now stuck. ANYWAY, I’ll get watching soon and be posting ALL THE REVIEWS.

 Arrow

Series: Goodness. Finally got around to Arrow. The acting. Erm. It is… SPECTACULAR? The plot is good enough, the acting and the effects are just a bit hilarious tbh.

Tinder: I should seriously get up a few posts on my experience over there. Let’s just say restraining orders and a dictionary are things I want to get for some of the guys I’ve spoken to.

Unisa: Studies and assignments, here I come. Now that I know what to expect for the practicals, I am really excited for that too. Just still so disgusted with Unisa that they mess around with their students so badly.

Being healthy: I’m really excited about this. I’ve said from the start I am not going to starve or deprave myself, and I certainly won’t be following any Fad diets. I just want to find a way of lifestyle that is maintainable as well as healthy. I’m getting there. The hardest right now is the sugar. I’ve cut it out that I’m about 98% sugar free in whatever I consume. I’m still growling at hidden sugars. They are the reason I have trust issues. Moving on. I plan to write about my revelations about changing your eating habits, and what myths I’ve come to believe and not believe about losing weight. I can tell you if you use the word “diet”, I don’t like it. It contains about as much positive reinforcement as the phrase “New year’s resolutions”. Sure, lifestyle change sounds way pompous, but if it isn’t a lifestyle change, it’s not going to work. BOOM.

Tinder. I hope to get up some posts about his experience in the next two weeks. It is just the right time of year for all the romantic fools out there.

Excited for:

Literally ALL THE WEDDINGS. I have two weddings and an engagement party in March and another wedding, bachelorette and kitchen tea in April.

How to be single – this looks so great

DEADPOOL!

Deadpool

 

 

 

 

Reading Challenge for 2016 and what I’m currently reading

Everyone has challenges in the new year. Lose weight, find love of life, clean your room regularly, etc. While I completely share these dedications, I would also like to declare my dedications to my reading addiction this year. Below is a challenge I am going to take, and following that is the books I currently have that I want to finish. Comment, please!

readin list 2016

  1. A book published this year: The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
  2. A book you can finish in a day: (still looking for one)
  3. A Book you’ve been meaning to read: The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead
  4. A book recommended by a local librarian or bookseller: Brida by Paulo Coelho
  5. A book chosen by your BFF: BFF, tell me!
  6. A book published before you were born: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  7. A book that was banned at some point: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossini
  8. A book you previously abandoned: Last Chance Saloon by Marian Keyes
  9. A Book you own but have never read: The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
  10. A book that intimidates you: War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  11. A book you’ve read at least once: Emma by Jane Austen

Currently on my bookshelf waiting to be read:

  1. Currently reading: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I have so much love for this writer and the book at this point. Really having a fantastic time. I can’t read too much at a time, because the book simply has such big ideas.
  2. Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding. I really do love the original Bridget Jones, so quite interested to see what this is about.
  3. Brida by Paulo Coelho. Coelho is such an obscure, strange author. I’m never really sure what to make of his work.
  4. The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks. Oh, because I need cheese in my life.
  5. Live in Dreams by Josephine Cox. Started it and put it down again, but I will finish it just to be scathing.
  6. Indelible by Karin Slaughter. To continue the series.
  7. The Ruby Circle by Richelle Mead. Because it was a mad hunt to get a copy and I want to be able to say that I’m done with the series.

What are your reading plans for the year?

Movie Review: The Longest Ride (2015)

LONGEST-RIDE-QUAD

Plot: The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love

Rating: 6.5/10

I have this big embarrassing weakness for any movie that comes from a Nicholas Sparks novel. It is so bad. The movies are so bad and you know exactly what is going to happen. Latter day Sparks is not as poweful as The Notebook or as heart wrenching as A Walk to Remember. Those are movies everyone can agree that while they are formulaic and predictable they have things going for them.

So, I HAD to watch the Longest Ride. It’s Sparks, Scott Eastwood was there and I really enjoyed Brit Robertson in The First Time.

It’s not bad. I enjoyed it much more than Best of Me, the offering Nicholas Sparks delivered before this one.

This is the same pic as above basically... but still good :D
This is the same pic as below basically… but still good 😀

I really, really enjoyed Scott Eastwood. Yeah, he sure looks like his daddy but the difference is that Scott is HOTCAKES. Like, WOWZER. I think he has some charm in his role as Luke Collins, the country boy with the dangerous profession of jumping on angry cattle.

Brit Robertson was semi enjoyable as Sophia Danko – preppy, pretty and totally deep art student at college who meets Luke on a wild night that she was totally not in the mood for but got forced – MOST ORIGINAL PLOT LINE EVAR. What really irritated me was that giggle. Sheesh, it was giggling everywhere. Look, if Scott Eastwood was around me and I did not pass out from hyperventilating I would probably also be giggling, but at least I don’t have an annoying giggle.

heeeeyyyy
heeeeyyyy

The camera work is highly suspect and really focused on Eastwood’s face. A LOT. Not that I’m complaining, but he his beauty was so over captured that I sometimes felt I would have to get my binoculars just to see the other cast members.

longest-ride

The flashback storyline of Ira Levinson’s relationship with his wife Ira (Oona Chaplin) was something that could have been really beautiful. Jack Huston made a good young Ira and Oona Chaplin would have been much more effective if she hadn’t employed that absolutely terrible attempt at an accent. The story was poorly incorporated and used as an entrance to a predictably ridiculous end, but there were moments that worked out decent enough.

The Longest Ride is definitely not for everyone – if you generally dislike love stories, give this one a skip because it is not going to convince you to love the genre. However, if you are looking for an easy way to spend two hours, this is something you should explore!

HAPPY MIDDLE OF THE YEAR – MID YEAR IN REVIEW

Doggie

Hello everyone! Today is the 2nd of July, a.k.a. the EXACT MIDDLE OF THE YEAR. In exactly 183 days we will be partying in 2016. It also means that we only have another 183 days left where things can go totally wrong for us. Not bad, eh?!

To celebrate this joyous occasion, I have compiled a list of things that I’ve done in this year that seems noteworthy… or not. It at least proves the amount of time I spend on movies, books and series! Enjoy!!

2015 Movies watched so far:

The movie year didn’t start off so well for me. I mean, I watched Seventh Son. I gave it a 6/10, and I still think that is a very fair assessment. It is really not great and it could have been much more with the cast they had available.

The next was Best of Me, a movie adaption from Nicholas Sparks. It was unoriginal and cheesy, typical Sparks. I gave it a 6/10 as well, and counted my losses, and looked with hope to the next movie.

Ballade vir n enkeling poster

The next movie is still one of my favorites of the year, Ballade vir ‘n enkeling. It is a South-African film and I thought it would be okay at best. It was so well done. I was and am so proud of the quality they produced here and super chuffed that it is a local film, that I got to see it in cinema and that one of the lead actors, Armand Aucamp, was nice enough to read the post, comment on it and favorite it on Twitter #hellyeah #famousness. I gave it a well-deserved 8/10.

I went to see Disney’s latest live adaption, Cinderella, in cinema. It wasn’t close to the entertainment that Maleficent brought us last year. The story was exactly as it has been since Cinderella the animation was released a million years ago, the characters were perfectly cast (but was that even necessary?). I think that if Disney wants to keep on doing these and make them a success they need to make it unique or at least change perspectives of the film. I gave it a 6.5/10, because it was quite enchanting even though it wasn’t excellent.

Kingsman-movie

I chose watching Kingsman: A Secret Service, instead of Fifty Shades in Cinema, and let me tell you, it was an excellent decision. The movie is

Avengers: Age of Ultron has easily been my most anticipated movie of 2015. I am a massive fan of the first Avengers, and think Marvel excelled there. This time around everything was bigger – the villain, the explosions, the fights, the character development. It worked really well although I don’t see the point of the love story. But anyway. It was good, and I rated it an 8/10

#cannotBeUnseen
#cannotBeUnseen

Fifty Shades of Grey.LOLS. I know so many people who were really looking forward to this. I wasn’t, and even refused to go watch it in cinema because that would mean helping it edge closer to the billion dollar mark at the cinema (which it didn’t, and I’m very sure it is because I stood my ground!). It is bad. Like really, really bad. The source material is nothing to work from, because it is sex, sex and more sex and then more sex on top of that. You can’t put all that sexy time into a movie in the graphic detail the readers seems to have wanted into a film and show it to large audiences. The acting was awful – the best was Dakota Johnson, and she’s not any Meryl Streep if you know what I mean. The chemistry lacked, the lines were painfully cheesy and the sexy time wasn’t sexy. Just go read my review and see what I said haha. I gave it a 6/10, received some flak for it, but I stand firm – it wasn’t THAT bad and Johnson worked really hard at this.

Pitch Perfect  2 was my most apprehensive venture into cinema yet this year. I hated the first one (disclaimer:  I need to watch it again because I was hanging when I saw the first one and it might not be that bad). The second one was really a lot of fun and had elements of girl power, and you all know I cheer madly when that happens. I love Fat Amy, she’s hilar, and I think the execution of the movie was really well done. I gave it an 8/10 again.

I just watched Jurassic World and thought it was great fun and a very good sequel. I don’t really know if I support more movies coming into this franchise, but after the massive box office hit I am sure they won’t let this in peace. Chris Pratt the adventurer is also a lovely thing to behold 😉

Books

Eleanor and park book

I’ve read an astonishingly small amount of new books this year, instead rereading all my favorite ones. The best book I’ve read for the first time this year is definitely Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. I campaigned to everyone I knew to read that book and still do – it is such a cute book man.

I recently read the first four books in the Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot. It is not such an amazing achievement though, as the books are never more than a 150 pages long each. They are really fun though, and excellent entertainment when your brain needs some easy fun.

The Liar by Nora Roberts proved to be a very nice read. The quality of her last couple of books hasn’t been excellent, so naturally I was relieved when this book had some entertainment value.

The Brightest Star in the Sky has been the oddest book I’ve ever read from Marian Keyes, and she is well known for her odd books. The book is way too long and often a bit drawn out, but I had a good time.

I am currently busy reading Atonement by Ian McEwan. I’ve been interested in this book after seeing the heart wrenching movie, and although I am only a few pages in I find that the book is really well written.

Further on I would like to get to The Woman who Stole my Life (Marian Keyes), Looking for Alaska (John Green), Indelible (Karin Slaughter) and Ruby Circle (Richelle Mead).

Series

downton poster

The Dawn of Downton Abbey

Have you guessed I would talk about this series on here? Because I’ve reviewed Seasons 1, 2 and 3 already, and guess what? Season four is scheduled for scheduled for tomorrow 😀 :D. I blew through all the seasons of this. It is simply impossible to stop watching something so well done. It is very likely my favorite series of all time.  Season three made me rather angry – some deaths were SO uncalled for. Season four was good but not up to the standards of the previous three and season five was as good as the first three. Have I mentioned that I can’t wait for the sixth season?

Game of Thrones

Meh. I hoped season five would be like the glorious first two seasons. But we can’t always have what we want, right? I reviewed the first four episodes and still need to get to the rest, but really, I am so disinterested in Westeros at the moment. The story is badly developed at the moment and I think they are incapable of dealing with the expanding territories at the moment.

gilmore-girls-concert-interruptus

Gilmore Girls

I spent a lot of time running through this series this year. It is the best throwback EVER. I still need to finish Season 7, but as we know it is not the best ever. There are increasing talks to get a movie out, but we will still see, won’t we?

I am currently busy with Pretty Little Liars Season 5. It is okay, but I think I’ve seen so many other series that are really good at this point that I am slightly bored with this right now. It makes for senseless viewing, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I would like to get into Vikings – I saw the first few minutes of the first episode and it hasn’t gripped me yet. Daredevil and Agent Carter are the two Marvel series I am looking forward at watching as well. YAY for Superheroes!!

How has your year been so far?

Nicholas Sparks Movies: A rundown of the good, the bad and the downright cheesy

cover

I hope you guys enjoyed my double posting yesterday – HINT: I accidentally scheduled both posts for Tuesday instead of Tuesday and Wednesday, and I realized this at work. Sometimes I really do wonder if I’m as smart as my mom thinks I am…

To continue our nice cheese venture we will today take a look at the Nicholas Sparks movie adaptations I’ve seen.  Of the nine movie adaptions Sparks produced I’ve seen seven, which you can see listed below. The other two are Message in a Bottle and Nights in Rodanthe is definitely something I’ll find the time to watch and then come tell you all about it.

When you willingly choose to watch a Nicholas Sparks movie, you can know for a fact that it will be unbelievable, inconceivable and utterly romantic. Nicholas Sparks is Disney for grownups – the male lead is sensitive and wants you to love him eternally and the woman is damn lucky to find him wandering on her little stretch of Southern American road. There will be villains but mostly there will be love and adventure and lots of smooch time.

Still, I can watch most of these movies and have fun while doing it. It sets you on an emotional high and even though it creates a false idea in your head permanently that men are like that, you still feel pretty happy afterwards (the depression sets in when Spark’s kills someone, and he loves killing, that man)

Nic Sparks movies watched, ranked from best to worst:

The Notebook (2004)

A Walk To Remember (2002)

The Lucky One (2012)

Dear John (2010)

Safe Haven (2013)

The Last Song (2010)

Best of Me (2014)

Female Leads

First Place: Rachel McAdams as Allie Hamilton

Allie Hamilton

Rachel McAdams has always been the epitome of class to me. Even from her days as skanky Regina George, McAdams made sure you notice her and it wasn’t surprising to anyone that she became the most successful of the Mean Girls clan. McAdams plays a darling Southern girl perfectly and even though she is hampered by the time she grows up in Allie Hamilton still gets her say in things and she is determined.

Second Place: Mandy Moore as Jamie Sullivan

Jamie Sullivan

A Walk to Remember went down when Mandy Moore was still relevant, and I’m surprised this didn’t take her even further into fame. She manages to be the sweet, innocent and sincere Jamie without being too sugary and that is a mean feat to achieve. She also worked really well with Shane West, and they complement each other well enough so that you end up sobbing for them. I really do enjoy A Walk to Remember – it is a book and a movie where Nicholas Sparks was still original and had fresh ideas, and you couldn’t predict what would happen.

#bringBackOriginality

Third Place: Amanda Seyfried as Savannah Curtis

DEAR JOHN

Amanda Seyfried probably ranks as one of my favorite young female actresses. I love her unique looks and her acting ability. She always seems so sweet and pure and that made her perfect as Savannah. I don’t think she has a lot of chemistry with Channing Tatum but they made a good pair onscreen and I also really liked Savannah’s character – she put others above her own needs and cared for the people in her life.

Honorable mention: Miley Cyrus as Ronnie Miller

I used to adore Miley Cyrus. Really, I know she grated on everybody’s nerves long before she grated against Robin Thicke, but I’ve always liked her voice. She wasn’t by any stretch of the imagination a good actress in the The Last Song, but it was pretty much the last time we all understood Miley Cyrus. I also really liked her and Hemsworth together (reunite now, lovebirds!)

Male Leads: Deliciousness always

nicholas-sparks-movie-actors-hotties

To land a spot as the main man in a Nicholas Sparks movie, there are two main requirements:

One: Be so hot you are one of the main culprits in a sudden increase in global warming

Two: Have the ability to look pained/pensive/heroic with extra benefits if you can do all these at once.

That said, most actors in these adaptions have done a very good job and they are all fine actors. I think some of them like Channing Tatum and Zac Efron (Especially Efron) are still proving themselves in Hollywood and romantic movies is a good way to get noticed #MatthewMcConaughey

First Place: Ryan Gosling as Noah Calhoun

Noah

My favorite actor in this set of movies is definitely Ryan Gosling: I love the man, I loved Noah in the books and how Gosling represented Noah in the adaption. Gosling himself is three hundred percent charm and can act exceptionally well. The Chemistry between the main characters is another topic but the intense attraction between Gosling and McAdams also contribute greatly to the success of both their roles.

Second Place: Shane West as Landon Carter

landon-carter

Shane West has the perfect face and personality to be the angry teenager with a chip on his shoulder. He worked as Landon Carter as few others could have and he brought the change that took place in Landon after he met Jamie to the table authentically. He had very decent character development – Landon was a spoiled rich kid that found something more rewarding to live for than getting in trouble all the time.

Third Place: James Marsden as Dawson Cole

James marsden BOM

I had a truckload of issues with this movie, but James Marsden as the leading man in Best of Me was a good choice, even if he had no chemistry with Michelle Monaghan. Marsden is cute as hell, he can act, he has gorgeous blue eyes and he is a perfect mix of defiance and sweetness in his portrayal of Cole.

Honorable mention: Zac Efron as Logan Thibault

Logan 1

For the sake of full disclosure, I’m admitting I just wanted him on here because he’s so gorgeous. That, and he really did the sad, hardworking ex-marine thing well (go talk to Zoë about that obsession of mine)

logan dog

Yes, It’s Zac Efron holding a dog. You’re welcome!

Death of a Central Character:

Contenders:

George Martin

Suzanne Collins

Veronica Roth

JK Rowling

Nicholas Sparks

In this epic battle Veronica Roth and Suzanne Collins would square off, but I think Collins would win as the most psycho writer because we loved Finnick WAY more than we loved Tris, right? Then as our next set of contenders we would have George Martin killing Nicholas Sparks without mercy (beheading, of course) while JK Rowling would not even notice them and keep writing in her castle, smugly, because she killed Dumbledore, Mad-Eye, Hedwig, Dobby, Lupin, Tonks, Fred, Sirius and Snape within a book and a half.

My point here is that Sparks sure loves killing people off but it is usually after they’ve gotten some bits of happiness in. The impact is also less because his books are singular entries and not a continuing series, so your attachment, book or movie-wise is not gut wrenching forever.

The title for the saddest Nicholas Sparks movie is shared by The Notebook and A Walk To Remember. You can still argue that A Walk To Remember is worst, because Noah and Allie end up together for a few decades before they both die whereas Jamie dies on Landon a few months after they fall in love.

Book Vs Movie

book vs movie

But will I rewatch?

Best of Me (2014): No. It’s mediocre at best and there are far better alternatives if you want some cheesy romance.

Safe Haven (2013): Maybe – It’s not horrid but it’s not the best movie either

The Lucky One (2012): It has Zac Efron in, I definitely will

The Last Song (2010):  Hmmm, maybe.

The Notebook (2004): You mean apart from the other ten times I’ve rewatched? Then yes.

Dear John (2010): Hmmm, maybe.

A Walk to Remember (2002): Definitely. Nothing better than a good cry 😀

Hope you enjoyed this enormous post! Let me know what your opinions are about the movies you’ve seen on this list!