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.

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

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Arrival (2016): My review will be up next week. I loved this. Handsdown one of the finest films of 2016.

Drive

Drive (2011): I remember enjoying Drive the first time around, but I really couldn’t remember everything about it. I enjoyed it so much this time too, it is a phenomenal film and some of Gosling’s best work.

The guest

The Guest (2014): This film has a lot of science reasons it works well to the appreciative eye, but I can tell you that I would have loved it without the science too. Gorgeous directing, a solid plot and excellent score, this film is a great film to watch again and again.

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Prisoners (2013): Prisoners currently ranks as my least favorite Villeneuve film. It is on no level a poor film, it was just not my favorite of his. And it is five hundred hours long. *Scientific fact*

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (2016):

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

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Crazy Stupid Love (2011): I definitely need to review this film again – It has been ages since I’ve posted it on my blog. One of the most inoffensive romantic comedies produced in later years, this movie will make you laugh and relate with some character in here.

Nocturnal animals

Nocturnal Animals (2016): This is my new hated film. Gosh, what a spectacular waste of my life. Pretentious bullshit.

 

books

Black-Hills

Black Hills – Nora Roberts

This is a particular favorite book of mine. I enjoy Dr. Lillian Chance – she is passionate about her work in the refuge she built and is smart and cool.

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The Concannon Sisters trilogy – Nora Roberts

While I do enjoy this series of books – Born in Shame, Born in Ice and Born in Fire, they certainly aren’t my favorite of the author. However, her love for Ireland does show when reading this, and I particularly enjoy the description of the scenery.

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Two Broke Girls Season 4 and 5

I’m enjoying myself way too much with this comedy. It shouldn’t be as funny as it is, but I end up really laughing at it.

What did you do in April?

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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

Marvelous Mondays: The Avengers (2012)

Firstly, happy Monday my devoted readers! After Rob brought us the Fantastic Four (which he didn’t enjoy all that much), I am putting up a post about one of my favorite movies EVAR, the Avengers, and I really hope everyone will enjoy it as much as I am planning to.

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A challenge in reviewing a lot of Marvel movies is that I’ve seen most of the latest ones, and most likely have reviewed all of them. SO, to keep it all fresh, I will be attempting to go off the tracks and be original with the ones I have already posted. PS (A lot of these were blogged about in the beginning phases of my blog so they are highly likely to be crap. I am doing myself an honor to rectify these previous little posts.)

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Facts about Marvel

Marvel Comics originated in 1939 as Timely Comics by Martin Goodman

The company was known as Atlas Comics during the 1950’s

The finally and ultimately renamed itself as Marvel Comics in 1961

I actually tried to trace in how many Marvel movies Stan Lee appears in. That lead me to read up about Lee, and while I still don’t have a definite number of his appearances I can truthfully state that what he did for comics is the equivalent of what Pascal and Newton did for science. (Naturally, please feel free to tell me in the comments section in how many movies he appeared in). I’ve always thought Stan is pretty damn cool (who doesn’t) but what I didn’t get is that he is essentially Marvel, and this guy is a symbol for what hard work and determination can do to people if they are willing to work their asses off.

Plot (via IMDb): Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.

(That may or may not be the lamest plot synopsis I have ever read)

The Avengers (2012)was this insanely successful film that had the expected categories: people loved or hated it. Either way, the film was everything Marvel had hoped it would be: funny, sarcastic, and intense and the perfect conclusion to the Thor, Iron Man, Hulk and Captain America that had their releases as a build-up to this.

Why it works:

Well, it is fun. It has a story everyone at least has some partial knowledge of but steps were taken to keep a few suspenseful surprises up the sleeves of Josh Whedon.

There is most likely a character in there you will love. The Avengers has a massive, famous cast with Robert Downey Jnr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Buffalo, Samuel L. Jackson and Jeremy Renner all have their say, and that is just to name a few of the insanely charismatic cast.

Earth gets attacked: NOTHING fascinates a cinema of people more than the mere thought that the extinction of the human race is nigh. Aliens have always been a fun yet scary occurrence to contemplate, and if you add in some gods with Thor and Loki, the movie becomes a potent hot bed for success.

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Is not this simpler? Is this not your natural state? It’s the unspoken truth of humanity, that you crave subjugation! The bright lure of freedom diminishes your life’s joy in a mad scramble for power, for identity. You were made to be ruled! In the end, you will always kneel.

Oh, Villainy villain:I am not one of those sad fools who think Loki is the hotter brother, but that man sure has stuff going for him. Tom Hiddleston brings depth to the character which may or may not have failed otherwise. Loki has a lot of issues, his brother is not only the legitimate child of Odin but also stronger, more charming and courageous. Loki makes you understand that although he is rotten, he is also complicated, and that the knowledge of his true parentage sent his already dubious ethics straight into the ground.

Damn funny stuff: This is a movie full of wise-cracks, sarcasm and chirp. A lot comes from Robert Downey Junior’s character, Tony Stark. Iron Man was obviously a great pull for everyone to go watch Avengers, and he delivered by being his usual uncontrollable self. I love and perve about Chris Hemsworth on every level, but I think he should leave the funny stuff to Iron Man. I mean, Thor is beautiful to look at, but he doesn’t come across as having a lot of funny bones in him.

The special effects made the movie that much more entertaining. I really do think it was well done.

There isn’t something I dislike about it the movie, but if I had to choose I would say that female superheroes shouldn’t have to wear tight black suits to save the day. If this is the case, please let Chris Hemsworth walk around bare chested the whole time in his next movie so he can be subjected to being objectified every five seconds.

I am obviously incredibly excited about Age of Ultron, the second Avengers movie. I have hopes that they can improve on this, if it is possible, by taking the story to a whole new level and exploring the characters a bit more. I think Mark Ruffalo is a decent hulk and he needs a movie of his own. He manages to show what bottled rage really means.

Six Degrees of Separations Blogathon: Linking Robert Downey Junior and The Green Mile

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When Zoë first asked me if I would like to take part in this blogathon I was quite excited but extremely confused at the same time – the theory behind the blogathon was fantastic but sounded completely undoable.

The six degrees blogathon is based on the theory that every single person on the planet can be linked to another person in six steps. These posts connect random stars to stars or movies. Here goes!

Then I heard the topics of my linkage –  The Green Mile, an epic movie but a quite old one, and an actor I have always thought very present right now, Robert Downey Junior.

I knew I would have to bring a person in that spanned the time difference between the two links, and I was completely surprised when I finally figured it out.

Thanks for nominating me, best one! It was LOADS of fun and I can actually picture myself doing this for days on end!

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1. One of Robert Downey Junior’s most known roles is as Iron Man/ Tony Stark in the Marvel Universe’s Avengers franchise

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RDJ is such a great, charismatic man and I respect him so much for rebuilding his life.

2. Chris Hemsworth stars with RDJ as Thor in the Avengers, and he is the brother of Liam Hemsworth in real life

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(The above beauty is brother of the below beauty)

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3. Liam Hemsworth is Gale Hawthorne in the Hunger Games, in which Woody Harrelson stars as Haymitch Abernathy, the mentor of Katniss and Peeta.

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4. Woody Harrelson stars alongside Morgan Freeman in Now You See Me

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5. Morgan Freeman also stars in the Shawshank Redemption, directed by Frank Darabont

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6. Frank Darabont is also the director of the Green Mile (1990)

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I nominate Melissa from Snap Crackle Watch to link Robert Downey Junior with Indiana Jones and the Lost Ark. Enjoy!

PS: Go read Zoë’s post – Truly awesome!