Watched, Read, Loved: February 2017

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February being so short is all fun and games (particularly since payday is closer for a lot of people) but then suddenly you are in March and I don’t know about you, but I’m really like where the actual f is this year going? February was rather quiet compared to January’s movie intake, which I will blame on the shortness of the month and the fact that I got hooked on Daredevil, which certainly took up the majority of time I would usually have spent watching movies. But do you see me complaining? Nope. It changed my life, the show is THAT good.

On a personal note the start of February was rather sad. I kept thinking whether I should do some sort of separate posting about it, but decided against it as it seemed too morbid to post exclusively about death. One of my oldest friends committed suicide late January, and her birthday was on the same date as my father’s, who would have been sixty this year. In the past the weekend close to the 2nd of February would have usually been a massive amount of party juggling is now only a sad remembrance of two amazing people, and that is really just very sad to deal with.

Furthermore work was also a little crazy. I received a job offer and went through all the hoops to get a formal proposal. I ultimately decided to stay with my current company, a decision which I question daily. The pros and cons kept me awake for nights on end, and while I’m mostly happy with my decision the thought of a few things still make me wonder. It is not always easy here, but I have realized that the field I am in is rarely easy, so if I truly want to change I will do so after my degree and rather just change careers completely.

On the Tinder and dating saga: February is the month of Lurveeeee. I am very much past the point where Valentines actually holds meaning to me. I hate to be on the overly-negative-bandwagon, but it is a commercialized chaos and I am very uninterested in furthering every shop in town’s agenda. I just realized that I really have so much to say about this that I should do another Tinder and dating post. It has been a merry ride with asthma attacks during dates, single events, people who actually use the term hella cool and people who seem to think I’m dumb and don’t have basic knowledge of things.

Looking at everything I just wrote on there I am not surprised I didn’t reach my January high of movies. Here they are below, let me know what you’ve been up to as well in the comment section!

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Movies:

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016): 8.5/10

I started February off with a bang and finally got to Hunt for The Wilderpeople. I reviewed it already because I loved it too much to keep it contained for too long. It is really far out of the type of movie I would usually choose to watch. This actually can’t be classified to a genre. Full of quips, this film is designed to warm your heart and make you think long and hard about the sanity of New Zealanders.

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The BFG (2016): 6/10

Wow, I really get why people didn’t like this! Long and overindulgent. Ugh.

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Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince(2009): 6.5/10

Can a movie ever really do justice to the book it was created from? The answer is always no unless it is Lord of The Rings. I’m not sure whether I’ll even do a review for this. I had it in my head to do a series at one stage, so maybe I will just write it up and get to it one day in the distant future.

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Shall We Dance? (2004):6.5/10

I watched this with my mom, and we both enjoyed it. It is mostly about an old man finding his groove again, and I liked it by the end. It is also not about cheating and I was very suspicious about that, which made me pleased in the end.

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Notting Hill (1999): 6.5/10

I apparently really like the 6.5/10 rating. It seems like a fair score if I liked it but it wasn’t amazing. Notting Hill is a passable film but it isn’t my favorite in the genre. I still think Julia Roberts is one of the most beautiful women to have ever worked in Hollywood.

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How to Be Single (2015): 6.5/10

This is a second watch for me. I really like a number of things about this movie – Rebel Wilson and Dakota Fanning do great work together. Dakota Fanning is a really talented lady, so I hope she does more work other than that BDSM crap. The message of this film is also really important.

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Books:

The Power of Six (Pittacus Lore)

Not sure if I should even list it on here as I read the last twenty pages in February, but there you go. It was quite enjoyable although it certainly wasn’t as captivating as the first book.

After You (JoJoMoyes)

After Me Before You, the touching book and the slightly less touching film, After You comes along. Lou is dealing with her grief, her inability to convey to strangers how she loved a man so quickly and powerfully in only six months and the judgment of every ass available. It is written in typical JoJoMoyes style and so far it is really enjoyable although I can’t see how she will reach the emotional highs of her first book.

Tribute – Nora Roberts

I enjoy Tribute on a loop every year at least. All I know from reading this book again is I want a Spock.

Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban – JK Rowling

Everything. This book is everything. It makes me so happy and content. It is such an important book in the series, and there are scenes in there that fills my heart up with so much happiness and light.

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Series:

X-files Season 2 – I’m a bit at a snag right now with X-Files. I enjoy it but it is so procedural I can drop and pick up without too many holes in the conversation.

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Daredevil Season 1 and 2 – I’ve been postponing this for ages now. WHY? It is amazing. It is 10 000% better than that awful Jessica Jones BS I subjected myself too. Charlie Cox as Daredevil is AMAZING. That introduction.The tone of the series.The action.The simple badassery. I am so involved in this. WOW. I will post both reviews and JJ soon, and you will see the remarkable difference.

What have you been up to this month?

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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

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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: How to be Single (2016)

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Plot: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Rating: 6.5/10

This movie is this year’s most chick-flicky flick of all time. I have been so excited to head out with some girl friends and I finally did Wednesday.

How to be Single is exactly what we want it to be. It is hyper unrealistic mixed with handsome men, women struggling to get a grip on life and girls being friends forever.

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Dakota Johnson is perhaps the most enjoyable, really because it is something where she isn’t being abused. I really do like her and her unique sense of fashion, which suits her to a tee.

Rebel Wilson is surely underused, but still greatly entertaining. I wish this girl could get her own movie, I truly do. Leslie Mann really worked well in her role too, and it was nice discovering that she can be really good to watch when she plays something different than a ditzy trophy wife. I don’t truly get the point of Allison Brie’s character, but she was also quite a bit of fun.

The male leads are all rather insignificant, underlying the point that the movie is not about men, but surviving on your own and enjoy some time where you don’t have to fully account for all your moves (yes, biased).

Did I enjoy it? Very much. Sorry, I’m not terribly eloquent tonight. I had fun and I was entertained, and it is a great film for what it is – a great movie to start a girl’s night with.

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HAPPY MIDDLE OF THE YEAR – MID YEAR IN REVIEW

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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?

Movie Review: Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

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Plot: After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas enter an international competition that no American group has ever won in order to regain their status and right to perform.

Rating: 7.5/10

I’ve only seen Pitch Perfect once, and it was on while I had a massive hangover. So, it might have been a crappy movie or I might just have at that stage been at a place where I would have hated any movie, but I don’t have fond recollections of my first meeting with the Barden Bellas. So naturally I didn’t do handsprings when hearing we would go watch PP2 but the thought of going to movie with some fun female friends and having a nice girls night definitely perked me up.

This movie was really enjoyable in a lighthearted way. It contains way less toilet humor than the first which counted in its favor. It follows basically the same formula – humiliation, staggering odds against them, etc., but it is better laid out and more heartwarming than the first one.

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I find Rebel Wilson so funny as Fat Amy. I wish I could have one tenth of her confidence – life would be so sweet. She’s funny and her ceaseless energy at life is so amusing to watch. She provides for most of the laughs in the movie as she is the only real comedian in there, and every scene with her in is worth watching.

Anna Kendrick entertains again as Becca, the only grungy girl with a big attitude in the Bellas. This role suits her so much better than her whole Twilight escapade as Jessica. Elizabeth Banks is hilarious as the uppity news correspondent Gail is really amusing with the banter she and the horrifically sexist co-anchor share (John Michael Higgens). Its also really nice to see Brittany Snow (Chloe) out an about again – who didn’t LOVE her in John Tucker must die?! It was also a good idea to bring in Hailee Steinfeild as new Bella addition Emily. It provides some realism because these girls do need to graduate. Finally for the character mentions: Anna Camp is such a favorite of mine. I’ve been a fan since seeing her as the religious fanatic Sarah Newton in True Blood. She’s so funny!

What really makes this movie worth watching is the girl power that is in this movie. It’s about girls working together in a team, supporting each other and sticking together when things get rough. It is so nice that there is finally a franchise that girls are watching where romance isn’t the main factor of the movie. Sure, there is a bit of romance in, but the girls have aims other than getting the guy in Pitch Perfect.

Pitch Perfect 2 is an all out fun experience and made me feel very happy. Definitely worth the watch!

Movie Review: Bachelorette (2012)

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Katie: “I don’t understand anything anyone is talking about most of the time”

Plot: Three friends are asked to be bridesmaids at a wedding of a woman they used to ridicule back in high school. (via IMDb)

Rating: 6/10

This movie was awful. I went in knowing that it wouldn’t be great, because when are movies like these ever great? But it sucked. It marginally redeemed itself within the last twenty five minutes, but the rest was a big gnashing of teeth and wishing it could get over with.

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The one thing this movie really does show well is how people make weddings all about them, and never about the happy couple. Kirsten Dunst had the pleasure of portraying a horrendous self righteous woman who couldn’t even be happy the girl that had always protected her was getting a good husband because NO she had dared to get married before her elitist friend.

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Bachelorette had a very common phenomenon in that movies love to have: send out hateable characters then reveal something sad about their past just to make them more lovable in the last few minutes. I’ve often discovered that an ass is an ass even if you put a shiny ribbon on it, and screenwriters can either start writing better characters or keep them hateable to the end.

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The meh factor with Kirsten Dunst and Rebel Wilson was slightly offset by the charm of Lizzy Caplan and Isla Fischer in. I really enjoy Lizzy Caplan although she is not overly famous and Isla Fischer is always predictable but not bad at playing her favourite scatterbrained characters. Bachelorette’s males aren’t much better than the females –  James Marsden as the rogue playboy no one cares enough about to tell to grow up and had Adam Scott in who really seems like a douche forever and always.  I really enjoyed Kyle Bornheimer’s character Joe – perhaps the only person in the wedding party with some resemblance of a soul?

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I liked this more than Bridesmaids, so that is something I guess. I just really wish that there could be a few movies that don’t portray women as nasty, insincere friends who take no accountability for themselves or their actions.

Recommendation: NO (well, maybe if you’re high this might be funny)