Watched, Read, Loved: August 2017

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Yay! It’s spring! (I am writing this up quickly in September). The weather has turned me into a positive, upbeat person for the time being. There is something to be said to drive to work and the sun is actually up when you get there, so I am pretty thankful. The saddest thing is naturally not being in the sun during the day, but it makes life worth it.

Life-wise, we went to the Modderfontein nature reserve for a friend’s birthday. It’s quite lovely, and as it is not the one I usually head to for a it-doesn’t-feel-like-the-city feel, it felt like a new place to see in the concrete jungle I live in. Had some amazing cupcakes too, which changed my life – like WOW.

I also watched the international Dota championships – like, I still don’t know how that happened. I hope to have actually played this game by next year to have a clue what is happening.

I also did a Parkrun – naturally the morning was chillier than all the rest, but I did one. I’d love to 1) make better time 2) remember my barcode and 3) get fitter. We are doing an international health challenge at work, starting the 27th of September, and the aim is 10 000 steps a day. It is scary because I don’t think I manage 2000 a day at this stage.

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Ghost (1990) – I really thoroughly enjoyed Ghost. The effects had me giggling, while the youth of Swayze and Demi Moore was really pretty to look at. Definitely one of the best Blindspots this year, though my selection has been pretty on point if I say so myself.

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The Intern (2015) – you can read my review here. The Intern is a heartwarming film with a great message, and I had a great time.

Ella Enchanted (2004) – I seemed to have had a lot of exposure to Anne Hathaway this month, but I’m not complaining as I really like both films. Hathaway is joined by Hugh Dancy, who has the most perfect face to play any form of a Prince. So handsome. This is a really fun movie, and I always enjoy it.

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016) – yes, again. Don’t judge.

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Sully (2016) – probably my favorite watch this month, Sully is inspirational and I was on the edge of my seat. Highly recommended.

Wild (2014) – Wild is a prime example why I don’t like real life adaptions. The lead character was uninspiring and selfish, and a track across the NST couldn’t convince me to root for her.

Mean Girls (2004) – Is Mean Girls the most quotable movie of all time? This movie is definitely one of my favorite films ever. It is relatable, accurate, hilarious and just so much fun.

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to find Them (2016) – I have a friend who was really outraged that I talked smack about this film. His attempt to convince me was to have me watch it at home in Bluray with 3D Glasses. I don’t have the heart to say that just because something is pretty to look at it means it is good, but it did improve on rewatch.

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Stranger Things – the amounts of hearts I want to draw around this show. STRANGER THINGS IS EVERYTHING AND I NEED MORE NOW. The soundtrack, the premise, the whole I difference of it all, the miraculous amount of kids who can actually act. I was told by ten million people to watch Stranger Things, and now, after watching, my life is richer as a result. I need the second season now. Like NOW.

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Game of Thrones Season 7 – I joined everyone and their grandma’s to watch the amazing penultimate season of Game of Thrones. I still need to do a recap of the last two episodes, which are some of the best this show as given us.

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Vampire Diaries Season 7 and 8

Season 7 nearly sunk the show for me. The departure of Nina Dobrev proved to be a terrible blow to the show. The odd thing is that Season 7 started fine and halfway just lost the plot. It became so bad that Damon slipped in his number one ranking for me, and was replaced by Enzo. Even after being done with the show, Enzo remains as number one. I need to find it in me to review the last two seasons, but man, some things just can’t be forgiven, DAMON.

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The Rise of Nine (Pittacus Lore)

I am steadily working my way through the Lorien Legacies series of Pittacus Lore. I am enjoying the Rise of Nine quite a bit, although I still find the battles way too frequent and drawn out.

The Gunslinger (Stephen King)

Finally, I am also trying to attempt to work my way through The Gunslinger. I really like Stephen King’s way – I’m not always sure whether his books are for me, the man is amazing with words. I was about 5 sentences in when I googled a word to check what it means, and that rarely happens for me. I’ll still have to see what the book is all about, and hope to finish at least the first one.

What have you been up to this month?

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FTF: Five Favorite Films about Weddings

Happy Friday! It’s been yonks since I fired up this bad boy. Five things Friday started way back (I think probably 2013), and I’ve done a few here and there. I’d like to do some more in the future – I love lists so much, and let’s face it, they are so easy to put together! Today’s feature is about the age old institutional – tying the knot. There are so many movies focusing on weddings that it should probably be an entire genre on its’ own. There are so many! I’ve seen a ton, but I’ve never hidden the fact that I am able to enjoy the most gory and the most fluffy films equally as much:)

Let me know about your favorite in the comments section!

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5: Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement

Number 5 on this list was hotly contested, let me tell you. I ended up choosing The Royal Engagement because I’m such a huge fan of the Princess Diaries. It deviated quite badly from the books, but it managed to be pretty good. Anne Hathaway, Chris Pine and Julie Andrews are a power team in TRE, and the message is a bit lame but also strong – don’t marry for the wrong reasons (something that wasn’t already obvious), and what might seem as the best choice for you probably isn’t what you really want.

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4: Wedding Crashers

Can this film make the list? It isn’t about weddings in the way the other films here are about weddings, but it definitely deals with them. This movie is the top point of silly and has some hilarious moments. It is one of the few films where combining Vince Vaughn and Isla Fischer works, and I wouldn’t have thought it possible to combine two such horribly annoying people and get a proper result. The film also stars Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Christopher Walken, and those three alone can probably carry any film without too much effort.

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3: 27 Dresses (2008)

I actually smashed this movie in the review here. I do enjoy it though, and am frequently worried that I first have to be a bridesmaid 27 times before I get to put on a white dress. Anway, remember that Tinder post I put up? Still getting feedback from it which is great! Back to why I chose this as a favourite – it is about a girl that loves weddings and finds that her partner isn’t what she always expected her spouse to end up as.

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2: Runaway Bride (1999)

EEK! I love this movie. The only movie about weddings that could possibly be even more favoured than Runaway Bride is the one listed below. Julia Roberts has always been my girl crush. She’s so beautiful and smiley and talented. I loved Maggie Carpenter’s spirit and love for family and independence. Her matching with Richard Gere always results in chemistry and us wondering why they never made babies together. This film is all about identity and finding yourself before you end up with a partner – quite ahead of its’ time!

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1: The Princess Bride (1987)

❤ Is there more to say? This film is everything – Buttercup and Westley and their escape and love story ❤

Honorable mentions:

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Mamma Mia (2008)

When asked whether Pierce Brosnan can sing I would immediately think that he’s placed shortly under Rebecca Black for artistic capabilities. However, that didn’t stop him or Colin Firth going at it. This movie is definitely not for everyone. It is firstly a musical. Some of Abba’s most iconic songs get somewhat butchered (okay, a lot), and I’m sure I saw this listed as one of the films that make most heterosexual males feel suicidal. However, if you are game for watching Meryl Streep clearly having the time of her life, pondering why exactly Pierce Brosnan has such piercing blue eyes (he) and just want to watch people dancing and singing about love, this film is definitely something you can watch.

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The Five-Year engagement (2012)

I do remember this – it is Emily Blunt and Jason Segel and they are engaged for ages and end up wondering if it is worth it. I actually think long engagements are silly – its’ that thing if the guy is committed you don’t need to worry and I assure you, most modern relationships have enough things going on without having to make it seem more official. This movie didn’t suck at all, and although I can barely remember it, I think I enjoyed it at the time.

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Bride Wars (2013)

Despite this film rather pissing me off every time I watch it, I always end up watching it quite often. It is the most stereotypical of the lot, and perpetuates the notion that women turn into Godzillas the moment they get engaged. Just as a fact: the majority of brides I’ve worked with have been friendly and accommodating and calm, so it is once again a case where a few psychos make the entire bunch seem awful. It is also quite below Anne Hathaway to be degraded into the boring girl role – she’s immensely talented and deserves more. But like I said, I end up watching at least once a year for some strange reason, so I obviously don’t hate it that much.

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Made of Honour (2008)

I‘d like to watch this again sometime, but I do remember Patrick Dempsey and surprisingly Michelle Monaghan – why did I think it was Selma Blair?? I see this film holds a 14% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but we all know the raters on there are really just haters. Made of Honor is so not Oscar material, but it was fun at the time!

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The Big Wedding (2013)

This cast is impressive AF – De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams are joined by a younger cast composed of Amanda Seyfried and Topher Grace. Okay, Katherine Heigl too, and I suspect that reviewers rate her badly on purpose. This movie is not that bad, but it can be seen as a bit boring though.

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Father of the Bride (1991)

LOVEEEE. Need to watch again to properly remember and review.

Dishonorable mentions:

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Monster-in-law (2005)

One of J-Lo’s better attempts at comedy, though without a doubt still rather low on the list of funny things.

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The Wedding Planner (2001)

Read my review here. It is such a stupid film man. I see JLo is quite frequent on this part of the list.

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Bridesmaids (2011)

Hmmm. Everyone LOVES this, though I don’t. I need to watch again to make sure this hate is accurate. It is a vulgar film and humour at its worst – just eugh.

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Sex and the City – the Movie (2008)

I never saw the show and can tell you jack shit about it. It was before my generation, and the one episode I tested out never caught. I did see the movie though, and it raises a few eyebrows in my head – this couple clearly never heard anything the other said.

Movies I haven’t seen yet:

Big Fat Greek Wedding

The Corpse’s Bride

My Best Friend’s wedding

The Wedding Singer

Well, there you have it. This post turned out way bigger than I thought, and I hoped you had as much fun as I did! Let me know what you thought in the comments below 🙂

Watched, Read, Loved: October 2016

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Blindspot 2015: The Godfather Part II (1974)

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“There are many things my father taught me here in this room. He taught me: keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

Plot: The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.

Rating: 9.5/10

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I rated this one exactly the same as I did the first one, although I have to confess that I liked the first one just a bit more. The second film is really really good, but it took just a few seconds longer to really start running. I thought it was brilliant to provide some insight into Vito Corleone’s past that had made him the man he was at the time of his death. Robert de Niro did a beautiful job as young Vito – he had that same quiet quality to him that Marlon Brando had displayed in part one. Al Pacino was again my main man Michael – he did a great job with such a fascinating character and was utterly convincing yet again. Even though there is no way that he is above board, I rooted for him all the way through. His wife, played by Diane Keaton, turned so reprehensible at the end and I was furious about all her baby-killing antics. Robert Duvall was again one of my favourite characters with his cool head and loyalty to the people that raised him.

The change between the story of Vito and the story of Michael was done really well. I thought both were of extreme significance because it also highlights the love Vito had for Michael and the dynamics that shaped both of them. It also highlights the similarities between father and son and that Michael would always firstly believe in protecting his family and being the head of the family.

The best thing about these two movies is that three hours rush by and you barely notice that it is happening. I thought the scenes were extremely well laid out and progressed beautifully into each other. The score is also really well done, and I even liked the horrendous yellow couches in Michael’s home.

These two movies have definitely been the best of my Blindspot series so far 😀

Movie Review (The Big Wedding)

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Last Friday night we went out to watch the Big Wedding. We were looking for a romantic comedy to cheer up a friend, and we definitely found one. I was shocked when I saw that the movie got generally bad reviews – I really enjoyed it.

The story:

Don (Robert DeNiro) and his wife Ellie (Diane Keaton) split up after 20 years of marriage after Don cheated on her with Ellie’s best friend Bebe (Susan Sarandon). Don and Ellie have three children; Lyla, Jared and Alejandro, who they adopted from Colombia.

Alejandro’s wedding to Missy (Amanda Seyfried) promises to be entertaining when he asks his adoptive parents to make as if they are still married, to accommodate his birth mother’s traditional Catholic beliefs: that divorce is a sin. This understandably upsets Bebe, though she goes with the plan as a wedding gift to Alejandro.

The only daughter in the family, Lyla (Katherine Heigl) arrives in town after her separation with her husband. She is sad because of it, and also because she is incapable of getting pregnant. She is still angry at her father for his cheating ways, and throws up on him at the reception after a concussion.

Jared (Topher Grace) is somewhat a joke in his weird family – he chose to remain a virgin until he finds the one he loves. He is severely tested when Alejandro’s sister arrives, but his mother intervenes by telling her that American women are more restrained and she must treat Jared with respect.

At the wedding, Alejandro and Missy get married on the dock, ignoring the wedding guests and bridal party after every one hears all the scandal’s in Griffin family. Jared and Nuria sleeps together, after she realizes that Ellie had been telling her nonsense to protect her son, although Ellie is far from innocent in her sexual adventures. Lyla’s husband Andrew arrives after Don calls him, and she tells him she is finally pregnant with their baby. Bebe and Don also get married after their ten year relationship. The movie ends where Don puts up the new baby’s name on their family tree.

Rating: 6/10

I really enjoyed the movie. There are many funny moments, and the film managed an acceptable line between romantic comedy and drama. With my own sister’s wedding on the horizon, I hope the wedding doesn’t lose their sanity as much. I was impressed with Katherine Heigl’s performance as Lyla – her characters are usually shallow, and she managed to present this one as damaged and sad, but still capable of teasing and enjoying her family.

Silver Linings Playbook Review

I have been curious about this film from the moment I saw the trailer. It seemed like a quirky romantic movie, and the reviews indicated fantastic-ness. When I saw it (about a month ago) I was incredibly impressed. I can really see why Jennifer Lawrence won best actress at the Academy Awards.

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Patrick Solitano’s (Bradley Cooper) life is messed up. After finding his wife in the shower with her lover and beating him nearly to death, he is booked into a psychiatric hospital for bipolar disorder. Pat’s mother manages to get him an early release, and he is taken back to his child home, forced to live with his mother and OCD father.

Patrick is obsessed with getting his marriage back on tracks. He largely ignores the fact that his wife took out a restraining order against him. He continuously looks for ways to regain her love.

One night Patrick’s good friend Ronnie Maxwell invites him to dinner to celebrate his release from hospital. Ronnie’s wife, Veronica (played by the delightful Julia Stiles) invites her sister, Tiffany, to the dinner as well. Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) is the black sheep of the family. After her husband died, she coped with her loss by sleeping with everyone in her office. She is every bit as crazy as Patrick, and they strike up an unlikely agreement and eventual friendship. Tiffany agrees to get a letter to Pat’s estranged wife, in return for him helping her train for a dancing contest she needs a partner for. Patrick reluctantly agrees because he is challenged by everything it represents: doing something new, forgiving himself and his attraction to Tiffany. She gives the letter to his wife, but fakes a reply and gives it to him, giving him hope for a possible reconciliation.

Patrick Senior (Robert DeNiro) lost his job and is making money on the side by bookkeeping. He truly believes that Pat junior is the lucky charm for his football team, the Eagles, and wants Patrick to watch every game with him. There comes trouble when Patrick needs to train with Tiffany at the same time there is a game on – and when the Eagles lose, Pat senior loses all his money on a bet. They make a bet with one of elder Patrick’s friend, that the Eagles will win, and Patrick and Tiffany will score an average of 5 in their dancing competition. The Eagles winning is one thing, but the score of five seems a large stretch with the dancing team not even at an average level.

Patrick refuses, and the only way his family convinces him to do it is by telling him that his estranged wife will be there. Tiffany also echoes this lie, although she is very reluctant to do this.

On the night of the competition, his wife does show up – with an invitation of Ronnie and Veronica. Patrick and Veronica dance, and they get their unexpected 5. Tiffany leaves in a rush when she sees Patrick’s wife congratulating him. He follows her, and tells her that he found out weeks ago that she wrote his wife’s “reply” to the letter. He confesses to his realization that he loves her, and not his wife.

The story ends on a sweet note – Patrick and Tiffany happy, surrounded by their families.

JENNIFER LAWRENCE and BRADLEY COOPER star in SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK

Tiffany and Patrick practising for the dance competition.

Rating: 7/10

The film was great. It is honest and sad, and not the type of film usually released. There is such truth and honesty to the film, and it is more than just a romantic movie with an easy tale. It really is a fresh breeze in the world of movies. I feel that the cast was well chosen, and they did a spectacular job of portraying their roles. The movie is just over two hours long, but it doesn’t feel stretched. It seems like a movie everyone would like, so go give it a try 🙂