February 2016: Watched, Read, Loved

february

Welcome to a new little segment I want to start running monthly – just a rundown of whatever entertainment I found the most enjoyable the past month. I hope you enjoy!

In cinema:

The Fifth Wave: 7/10

I certainly enjoyed this more than most other trolls on the internet. While it isn’t a perfect film and feels at places that some ideas where snatched from other dystopian novels, it was entertaining and with a semi-solid cast.

Deadpool: 8/10

i.e. The film everyone had been waiting for for years, etc. It is rowdy, rude, sexual, violent and entertaining as hell. It is great to see a superhero movie that isn’t PG friendly. I’ve never understood why these superheroes could even be depicted as PG – they save the world and they are these happy, behaved and profanity ignorant people?

How To Be Single: 6.5/10

HTBS started off the 2016 romcom year, and it was a suprising movie. I never expected it to be groundbreaking or revolutionary, but the performances from Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson makes the movie enjoyable.

Wedding Crashers

At home:

Wedding Crashers: 8.5/10

This is my favorite movie watched in February. It was hilarious and I had the best time ever.

When Harry met Sally

Short on it the heels of Wedding Crashers, TBH. It is worthy of its iconic romcom status, and I’m glad I saw it for Drew and Kim’s 80’s blogathon – I think that is going down in March, so keep a lookout!

Kill Bill Volume I – 7.5/10

Hmm. THIS BLINDSPOT. It derailed so many plans of being perfect this year. I struggled to get a copy, finally got a DVD, THE DVD then didn’t work, and I was just done with life at that point. However, I’ve seen it now, and it was good, although not my favorite show.

arrow poster

Series:

Arrow Season 1

Hehe. I’m very passionate about this show, but not because it is good. I just like going on and on about how bad it is. Great conversation starter, let me tell you.

Arrow Season 2

Same as above

Longest ride

Books:

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

It was okay, though lacked the sensory pleasure the movie does because I thought Scott Eastwood was mighty fine in the adaption.

Mad About the Boy by Helen Fielding

Finished this book in the time frame for Feb because of leap year. YAY! Book was good, entertaining, bit too long and very much like its’s first novel.

Hope you have an excellent March my friends! This is wedding month for so many people on my side, and I am pretty amped for them.

Advertisements

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?

Best Films of 2015: 11-20

best of 2015

  1. Fifty Shades of Grey

Original rating: 6/10

Does it still hold? It might eventually fall to a 5.5

You are all right now: fuck this, not reading this shit. It gets better. Let’s focus on that this film, while being terrible, was not as bad as it could have been.

What I liked: Dakota Johnson did her best and she’s the best part of the film. The score was also really well done and is the only other saving grace in the film.

What I didn’t like: The line is LONG here. Jamie Dornan has no charisma on screen, he looked so freaked out to touch Johnson and he was frigid. Then the directing didn’t help things along either, sack that director. You can go read the list of complaints by clicking on the link above though, because I can’t remember everything that annoyed me, but I will mention that movie remains a movie about the glorification of abuse.

 San Andreash

  1. San Andreas

Original rating: 6/10

Does it still hold? It might eventually edge up to a 6.5

What I liked:

Dwayne Johnson and his type cast roles work well because Dwayne Johnson is excellently type casted. He is so big and brawny but with a nice guy attitude that he works exceptionally well as a hero. A really big one.

AllesandraDaddario. I really enjoyed her in here and she was such a strong female character.

What I didn’t like:

It is exactly the same as every other action movie out there. A bit of variation would have made this movie really cool, but it was written in the same formulaic tone that always works, but rarely excites.

 Paper-Towns-Quad-Poster

  1. Paper Towns

Original rating: 6.5/10

Does it still hold? No. Thinking back I enjoyed this less than number 20, so eventually it might drop to a 6.

What I liked: Not too much. Mostly just Cara with-the-difficult-surname’s eyebrows.

What I didn’t like: I’m just too old for these kid movies. Over it. That and Margot Roth Spielman was a terrible character.

 Cinderella carriage

  1. Cinderella

Original rating: 6.5/10

Does it still hold? Yeah

What I liked: My beautiful Robb Stark as Prince Charming. Gosh. Although extremely under-utilized, I also really enjoyed Cate Blanchett as the stepmom. Helena Bonham Carter is always a treat on screen and she didn’t disappoint either.

What I didn’t like: Disney did not change one single thing. It is truly the live version of the animation, and yet if they took another angle I would likely have loved it way more.

 Magic mike xxl

  1. Magic Mike XXL

Original rating: 6.5/10

Does it still hold? Yeah

What I liked: These guys obviously worked much harder at being more original and it came across. The embarrassment threshold a person should possess to sit through this is still very high, but it was quite entertaining.

What I didn’t like: Not much really. The acting was terrible but it certainly wasn’t a prerequisite to the success of the film.

LONGEST-RIDE-QUAD

  1. The Longest Ride

Original rating: 6.5/10

Does it still hold? Eh. Not sure.

What I liked: Brit Robertson, Scott Eastwood, YAY. I liked both characters.

What I didn’t like: The story didn’t mesh very well, was badly told and was boring in a few places. Nicholas Sparks needs to stop making movies for the sake of getting his books made into movies.

 Me earl and the dying girl POSTER

  1. Me, Earl and the Dying Girl

Original Rating: 7.5/10

Does it still hold? It might fall to 7 in the future.

What I liked: The fact that it was about friendship not romance. Since I lost someone to cancer I don’t find movies about cancer interesting at all, I find them distasteful because they are so unrealistic. Yet this movie wasn’t as offensive and managed to be sweet. It has a very indie vibe to it and that worked great as well.

What I didn’t like: It felt a bit long. That’s mostly all that I recall in hindsight.

 The Mockingjay Poster

  1. Mockingjay Part II

Original rating: 7.5/10

Does it still hold? Eh. Not sure. It was good though.

What I liked: the slightly altered ending made Katniss seem like a much nicer person, the fact that they kept to all those deaths that occur in the book because some of them were hard to include and the feeling of how everything in Panem is at an end – the film had a great somber tone going for it.

What I didn’t like: The film loses track with some of the characters. I’ll even suggest that they should have included some extra dialogue to take you to where Gale ended up. It is a big mistake in the book and shouldn’t have been taken into the film.

 pitch-perfect-2

  1. Pitch Perfect 2

Original rating: 7.5/10

Does it still hold? Yeah. My favorite comedy of the year.

What I liked: The fact that there is a franchise out there that celebrates female friendships and team work as well as being about something that doesn’t have a penis. The hilarity of Fat Amy and her antics, the ridiculousness of the acapella wars and everything that accompanies it just makes the franchise great.

What I didn’t like: Really not much to complain about here. It worked really well and falls technically into my top ten for the year with that rating.

 Age of Adaline

  1. Age of Adaline

Original rating: 7.5/10

Does it still hold? Maybe an 8

What I liked: It was a genuinely good film and Blake Lively shone. I truly enjoyed her and she was perfectly cast. Michiel Huisman is drop dead gorgeous yummy, and he suited that role of a lover perfectly. The film isn’t for everyone, but it was a great experience for me.

What I didn’t like? I really liked this movie, so there isn’t anything to bitch about right now.

Tune in tomorrow for the top ten!

Currents

square-quote-3-export

Location: Potchefstroom NWU University for my Microbiology practicals. I always like it here but it also always feels like I am living someone else’s life – the full time students with nothing but time. It feels so weird.

Reading: Insurgent by Veronica Roth. This is where Tris is the most annoying, so it is a slow process.

Vikings poster

Watching: Trying get into the swing of Vikings. Everyone keeps raving about it so I am willing to give a few episodes a try.

Recently watched: Heathers, Insurgent and the Longest Ride on the movie side of things. Heathers was by far the best movie of the three, and I am going to gush about it if I ever get to writing a review for it. I reviewed the Longest Ride here, and I am first finishing the book Insurgent before I properly bitch about the movie – a girl needs her priorities straight.

Heathers

Thinking about:

Grief: About how it doesn’t really change you, but it shows you who you really are. I finally feel like all the bullshit has been scraped away from my eyes because for the first time in a long time I know what really matters. I am not ready to word yet what has been going on in my life, but I’ve realized that your heart can keep on breaking every single day and you can still have the power to keep moving through life.

Savings: Like, I really need to start. I have to be able to live in Potch next year for six weeks and I have no idea how I am going to carry myself financially through 2016. I just love ADDITIONAL stress, you know.

Health: It will fully incorporate into the whole GRIEF post eventually, but I’ve just realized again what a life of bad eating habits does to a person. Healthy eating and regular exercise is also a way to combat depression, so I need to start doing both because I think that depression is not that far from where I am at this point. I am seriously considering Banting – I’ve heard great testimonials from people I know and they all look and feel great. I plan to start next week when I am back in Johannesburg, but will obviously only keep you updated if it works for me.

Excited about: Honestly, not much. I am really happy it is getting warmer here – I HATED THIS WINTER, and I am both happy and sad that Downton Season 6 is on its way.

How about you? What is going on in your life?

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!

Watchlist: April, May and Possibly June

EEK! All these movies have me super excited to see them. However, realistically I know that they will be spread over a couple of months due to exams 😦

Read, enjoy, and comment below!

Whiplash

Whiplash_poster

Plot: A promising young drummer enrolls at a cut-throat music conservatory where his dreams of greatness are mentored by an instructor who will stop at nothing to realize a student’s potential

I’m very much with the general population excited about Miles Teller. He’s got some excellent acting skills and has an everyday attractiveness to him that I particularly appreciate. I haven’t heard one bad word about this movie and would really like to check what the fuss is about. I’ve also heard that it is intense and compelling, and I really need an intense and compelling movie in my life right now.

Furious 7

Fast-and-Furious-7-Pic-1940x891

Plot: Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother

I’m such a massive fan of the franchise. It is buckets full of mindless fun and the characters seems like real family. Above and beyond Paul Walker’s death and his exit from the franchise, this was already a movie I was amped for before the tragic incident of his death.

The Longest Ride

The-Longest-Ride-7-Britt-Robertson-and-Scott-Eastwood

Plot: After an automobile crash, the lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man, as he reflects back on a past love.

If not only for the inappropriate comments I already wish to utter about that title, I have this thing where I love watching Nicholas Spark’s movies regardless if it is really bad or not (and let’s face it, it is mostly bad). The Longest Ride stars Scott Eastwood and Brit Robertson and seems like a very nice cheesy feast with romance and country boys making city girls fall for them. It also stars Oona Chaplin from our favourite GoT love story (fuck you, Filtch) so I would love to head out and see what these kids have to offer.

Pulp Fiction

pulp

Plot: The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

This one is for my Blindspot choices. I’ve actually started it quite a few times but then I see the time it runs and I remember I have this life I need to run and get other things done. I would really like to see what the fuss is about and if I like it as much as the rest of the world.

Jurassic Park 2

jurassic park 2

Plot: A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there while another team approaches with another agenda.

I’m working through all these dinos movies before Chris Pratt graces our big screen with his adorable mug and getting chased by new mutant dinos, which translates as I’ve managed to watch one of them and procrastinated on the rest. The First movie is big buckets full of fun, so I can see myself really enjoying the rest of them!

The Godfather (with Zoë)

The_Godfather_Part_2

I’m the most scared to do this, because Mobster Bestie might rear her head if I don’t like this! #scared #running #formylife. This is also for my Blindspot series and it seems high time that I see why everyone loves it so much.

Insurgent

Insurgent-Movie-Download

Plot: Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart with the help from others on her side.

I will definitely wait this one out for the DVD release. Can’t see myself really getting lyrical about it, but it will be nice to continue the series.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

age of ultron

IT IS FINALLY HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Which movies are you looking forward to?