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:

BEauty poster

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.

basic instinct

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?

December 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

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Happy 2017 everyone! I pretty much disappeared from the blog in December. I needed a break. I often am way too harsh on myself about blogging – wanting desperately to post five times a week. It is important to remind myself though that blogging is supposed to be fun and for times where I actually have the time. So I gave it a bit of a break and I am back feeling all refreshed!

It was also quite a sad December globally with the deaths of George Michael and Carrie Fisher. It seemed like 2016 kept knocking everyone down and I am really glad it ended. Let’s hope for a peaceful and fantastic 2017.

Series Watched:

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Vampire Diaries Season 5: I am currently stalling with this season. It is a pretty rotten season and by far the worst of all the seasons so far. I need to finish it up but definitely not feeling all the bullshit of the season.

Alias season 1 and 2: EEK! I am having so much fun! It is so much fun! I can’t wait to review this.

Movies Watched:

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Rogue One: A Star Wars movie. It was good, great excitement and all. I did like The Force Awakens better though.

memento

Memento: This was my second last blindspot for 2016. It is mind tingling and interesting, well directed and acted. Definitely worthy of watching, despite me taking ages to get it done!

Annie: I put this on for my mother to watch. It was okay – very singy and full of children but not overly offensive. It’s definitely a film that parents can watch with their children without wanting to cry because it is so boring.

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Twilight: I had such a weak moment! Want to review them all at some stage again.

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Scream 1, 2 and 3: this was so much fun. I’m planning to do the fourth one soon. Great entertainment!

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A Nightmare on Elm Street: Same here. I am having way too much fun with these old school thrillers.

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Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:  second time watching this and I loved it way too much.

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The DUFF: I am racking up the watches on this film. I showed it to my mom and my bestie on separate occasions and they both really enjoyed it. Why so much hate against this film? I know it is completely different from the book, but the additions worked really well.

The Departed: The Departed is a film my bestie has told me to watch or be disowned. So I watched it with her just to make sure she had the evidence and everything 😀 did I like it? Yeah. Excellent performances and directing all around. I got a bit exhausted with the length of it, and that is about the only thing I didn’t like.

Me Before You (2016): after reading the thought provoking book I was quite amped for the film. I pushed it back when the reviews didn’t garner the most promising reviews I pushed it back. Bestie and I watched it on our visit, and it was okay. Not really bad, but Me Before You doesn’t carry as much emotional baggage as the book does.

cruel-intentions

Cruel Intentions: What a deranged film. I enjoyed it, but wow, deranged. Not something to watch with your parents, if you weren’t already aware.

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Ocean’s Eleven:  I really liked this! Heist films done right is a treat for the soul man. Clooney and Pitt together? There can’t be a better idea out there.

seven

Seven:  I got to see a young Brad Pitt as the excitable and young cop and Morgan Freeman as the intelligent, calm cop. It’s quite dark and deals with a demented serial killer. It had a dark and depressing atmosphere.

Books Read:

Dawson’s Creek – this is a compilation of short stories based on the series. I’d love to watch the series at some stage, but the book isn’t worth reviewing.

The Collaborator – Margaret Leroy – I can’t wait to post this! I really loved the book, and was so unhappy when I finished it.

The Martian – Andy Weir. The Martian was my favorite film of 2015, and I really wanted to get my hands on the novel. However, I’m struggling at this stage to get through it as it contains some unnecessary jargon in my opinion.

What were you up to in December? Tell me!

Book Review: The DUFF (Kody Keplinger)

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Plot: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “the Duff,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now, and Bianca is desperate for a distraction. She ends up kissing Wesley. Worse, she likes it. Eager for escape, Bianca throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with him.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

Rating: 6.5/10

Things you need to know about this book:

The movie and the book are two different things. The producers essentially used the names of the main characters and little else. There is no Madison at all, Toby is one of the sweetest characters in the book and I’m pretty sure they changed her best friends’ names too.

The book is very teenagy. It’s not a bad thing, I actually enjoyed jt very much, but keep it in mind.

That said, this book isn’t for everyone. It is quick and easy reading, and is surprisingly dark about a few topics, but it definitely isn’t a book that is going to appeal to everyone.

Book or Movie? Surprisingly I prefer the movie more, a rarity for me. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the book, I just think the movie was better aimed at its’ target audience and had a lot more humor in.

The book is a bit optimistic about a few things, especially the return of Bianca’s father’s alcoholism. Perhaps it can happen that a person immediately snaps out of the relapse, but it is surely a rarity and I found it a bit ridiculous. Her reaction towards the divorce of her parents is also quite mellow, and it came across that the author didn’t want to invest time into this.

Are American teens really so promiscuous? I have always been a firm supporter when girls want to sleep around (cue: WANT). It is unfair that men can sleep with anyone they want to but women are judged harshly. I did feel a bit shocked though – the teens in this book is sleeping around freely and with everyone. Is this the norm or was it dramatized?? Am I still a bit of a prude? I don’t know, and I don’t really care, but that amount of free willy is a bit much to stomach.

This book was a whole lot of fun. It is super-fast and easy to read (I finished it in under eight hours across two days). It plays around with a lot of dark topics but doesn’t really get into it. I enjoyed whawt the book was telling us – someone might be absolutely perfect but if they aren’t compatible with you, it’s not going to work, and that a person’s actions are often not true to their real character.

Have you read the book? What did you think?

June 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

Hello! You might have noticed my blogging has been terribly limited lately. I planned to only blog three times a week for a few months, because life is truly speeding at this point and I barely have breaks. I haven’t even really managed three times a week for the past month and that depresses me a little, but I might have a bit more time for a few weeks so that will mean more time to spend on blogs. I’ve missed you!

This is pretty much a roundup of what I’ve been up to – entertainment wise and life wise. As mentioned, life has been hectic this June! I was away for two weeks on study time for my degree, and it always feels like such a time warp. It really is difficult removing myself from my life and living in another town for such a long time – it isn’t holiday so there is no relaxing and very little partying. I mostly end up missing my life and responsibilities, typically having moaned about them only weeks before!

In some more educational news, I passed both my semester exams! I danced and sang and danced some more. I actually got a distinction for this one lame ass subject, which is probably quite exciting when I really think of it, but I was way happier about the cardiovascular physiology that I also passed – I assure you that present me would go back a few years and stop past-me from choosing physiology as one of her majors #whatWasIThinking. I studied myself silly for that subject and it was good to be rewarded for it.

I’m also back to eating healthy – I was starting to slip back into my awful habits of eating all the nonsense out there. It’s hard, but I’m hoping it gets easier within a few weeks – I am assured that it will

I ended up watching a ton of movies that I’ve wanted to see for quite some time. I also got to watch Finding Dory in cinema, and I absolutely loved it.

A list of movies I really want to see in cinema:

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Warcraft – I don’t think I’ll make this one, but I am definitely interested in seeing what is going on there.

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Me Before You – it falls in either the hate or love camp at this point. I think there is some valid outrage and that disabled people really have a point, but I thought the book was done well enough and explained more eloquently what Will Traynor was about, and the movie

That is pretty much it, but there are a couple of great films also coming out (they will hopefully be great), including in particular Suicide Squad.

Movies watched at home:

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Furious 6:

I’m finally done with the Furious franchise (although it might be running for a while still on the blog), and I need to properly rank them. I think my favorite remains Four, regardless of what IMDb thinks. Five is good but seriously unbelievable, and six and seven are so over the top I was rather a bit annoyed with it. Not nearly as bad as Tokyo Drift or 2 Fast 2 Furious (DON’T get me started), but I think they went way too far now.

Furious 7

As I mentioned above, they are going too far. I thought the tribute to Paul Walker was very sweet, but that is about the only thing I truly loved. I also think that the end was better than killing him off in the franchise. As with Mr. Darcy I would rather have him dead than not committed to the cause.

PW

Pretty Woman

It is the first time I ever saw this film, and it ranks so highly now on my list of movies that I love! It is definitely not a film in the 2016 climate where everyone is offended, and that really contributed towards my love of it.

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The DUFF

The DUFF was surprisingly hilarious and cute, and I really loved how it went to great lengths to not put the character through yet another makeover cameo that reinforces the belief that you should not be yourself.

The Guest

Second time watching this, and completely loved it again. Man, that Dan Stevens.

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Laggies

I actually managed to review this film here. It was horrible, with a completely unrelatable character.

QoS

Quantum of Solace

QoS got a whole lot of hate online, and I’m not sure why. It’s not as good as Casino Royale, but it isn’t that bad.

Thor: The Dark World

I think I was pretty harsh on this film when it came out. It isn’t nearly that bad. Sure, it doesn’t come close to the other Marvel films but it was a fair bit of fun.

Series:

I am still working through The Vampire Diaries, and it is going painfully slow. It is not a reflection on the quality of the show, it is a reflection on the amount of time I actually have to watch the show. It’s still good though, Damon is as compelling as ever, Niklaus is endlessly fascinating and even Stefan isn’t as annoying this time around. I hope to get through all the seasons I have and do reviews on them, but I need to actually finish them up for it to happen!

I’m going to try and catch up with GoT at some point – however, I’ve accepted that with this show you either need to watch it immediately or accept that you will see spoilers. It is just too big at this point and the information is everywhere.

I also really need to get to Vikings. I loved the first season, and somehow ended up never even touching the rest. It is a damn shame.

Books:

I reread Whiskey Beach from Nora Roberts. It was one of my least favorite new releases from her when it came out, and I really thought it lacked essential things like good writing. I am revising that because this time around I felt a lot more charitable to it and I actually really enjoyed it.

I’m currently reading The Obsession by Nora Roberts and having the best time with it. I am really happy right now that I spent the cash on it, because I’ve been pining for this book for MONTHS.

I am also currently reading a whole lot of books at the same time. There is A Respectable Trade from Phillipa Gregory, which is really good when I actually sit down to read it, and a book by an Irish author (who I should write down), which is fine but pretty basic. I also really want to get to the sequel of You Before Me, and see how that goes down. I also got New Moon on a special at my local book store, which means I will get to that some time too (don’t judge). And there is another vampire novel. And I should finish this list. I should just read forever, really.

What have you been up to lately??