Watched, Read, Loved: January 2017

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I’m not going to bless you with that whole “how quick did this month go” crap, because let’s face it; January 2017 took its sweet time being done. At this stage I’m so deliberately avoiding bitching about politics on here, but please note that I do a whole lot of bitching in private about that man who is committing genocide.

I had my birthday on the 25th. I am now officially on the wrong side of 25. I’m 27, so I’ve already been on the wrong side for a whole year, but I was ignoring that at 26. Apart from suddenly stressing about retirement plans and the meaning of my entire existence, I’m not too stressed. I have decided that 27 good things WILL happen to me this year, so I will keep you in the loop.

Here is what I got up to this month, which is an impressive amount! #GoMe

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Movies watched:

10 Things I hate about you:

Confession time: if I had to go live on an island indefinitely with only ten movies to watch, I’d very likely pack 10 Things I Hate About You in.  I love everything about this film – how 90’s everything is: Julia Stiles’ hair, the clothes everyone wore, the music and the cars. I die every time Heath Ledger gifts us with that smile; it is equal parts pain and pleasure. The quick bantering and the ridiculous teenage humor make me laugh every single time. I actually wrote a post about how much I love this film, so I won’t turn it into a whole review here, but I’m sure you are getting the point here that I love this film.

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How to lose a guy in ten days: Kate Hudson used to be my ultimate girl crush as a teenager – she’s so pretty and preppy and blonde. I’m now at a point where I want actresses to be more than pretty, preppy and blonde, but I still find her a good romantic comedy lead. She wouldn’t hold up in more serious roles, but these? I’ll cast her any day. It also contains the delicious Matthew M.

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962): I finally managed to finish up my Blindspots for 2016. To round the year of with To Kill A Mockingbird was a great idea – what an incredible film.

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Passengers (2017): These films with the strange release dates make it impossible to put them in the correct year. I watched in this year, hence this year will be referenced. I actually really liked it and think that the Oscar nod for set design is well deserved. I know it didn’t go down well with everybody, but I actually quite enjoyed it despite the numerous flaws.

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Fool’s Gold (2008): This falls in the time frame where Matthew McConaughey became the romantic comedy guy, something which still grates on a lot of people today. I do think that Fool’s Gold lacks certain important things like a proper plot, but I didn’t hate it at all.

Scream 4: I finished up my run on the Scream franchise this month. I am so sad! Because while I can definitely watch it again, I won’t ever be able to watch it for the first time again. I’m only posting this for Halloween, because I’d love to actually do a Halloween month this year, but please know that I did love this so much!

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Sicario (2015): Don’t you just love when a film is good enough to inspire you to read up on what you are watching? Shortly after the film ended I read up all about Juarez, Mexico, and the increasingly dodgy sounding CIA. Sicario is a great film that stays with you after you watched it and I will definitely be revisiting Denis Vileneuve’s film in the near future.

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The Princess Diaries:A Royal Engagement (2004): I remember this as a decent movie, which it was NOT. I adore the first Princess Diaries, but the sequel suffers from the sequelitis and it is rampant with bad acting, bad pacing and general badness. The years have been kind to Chris Pine – he is so much more attractive right now than he was in 2004.

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Love, Rosie (2014): I’m still trying to formulate some thoughts on Love, Rosie. Did I like it? Moderately so. I know for a fact that it contains some of the most awkward of scenes ever invented, and I was horrified and cringed so much. It gets a little drawn out and the story is never really strong. I do think that Sam Claflin is simply beautiful and that if just smiled all the time the world would be a better place.

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Vrou Soek Boer (2014): I got my fix of Afrikaans films with Vrou Soek Boer in January. It translates to “A woman is looking for a farmer” but it was a much cuter film than that translation suggested. I enjoyed it very much!

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Sisters (2016): This is surely the biggest waste of cash of 2016 for me. I bought this on DVD, sure I would at least like it okay. Nope. I hated it. What a stupid, unfunny film.

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The Accountant (2016): To embrace my mood of needing to watch people beat up things I picked up the Accountant. Ben Affleck’s hit of 2016, where he is an autistic superhero, fulfilled that need on some level but I was also left feeling vaguely unsatisfied with the ending.

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Series:

The X-Files Season 1: I am having so much fun with the X-files. There is nothing better when you discover a series and along with the discovery is the fact that there are so many seasons with a lot of episodes per season. SCORE! It took me a few episodes to get used to the layout of the show as well as the whole 1992 vibe the first season has going for it. It is pretty good and smart, as well as some funny conspiracy moments going on.

Alias Season 3: Alias has been great to me. I still need to finish Seasons four and five. I had some issues with the third season such as Sydney being a complete psycho, but overall still really great.

True Blood Season 1: I’ve been in the mood torewatch this for a while now. After watching a few episodes that need was cured because True Blood has some grating characters in that I somehow softened in my memory. I might still finish it, but right now there are other better shows that deserve attention.

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Books:

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The Collaborator (Margaret Leroy): Few books have stayed with me like this book has. I’ve had the worst book hangover since then and such troubles finding another book to seek my teeth into.

The Road to the Sea (Ciara Hegarthy): I’m going to go rampant on this book when I finally review it. Overly descriptive and insanely boring, this is one of the least favorite novels I’ve picked up in a while.

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The Power of Six (Pittacus Lore): I’m almost done with Book Two in the Lorien Legacies. Although I am still enjoying, the first read and progressed a whole lot better.

What have you been up to?

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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 🙂

Movie Review: The Princess Diaries (2001)

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Plot: Mia Thermopolis has just found out that she is the heir apparent to the throne of Genovia. With her friends Lilly and Michael Moscovitz in tow, she tries to navigate through the rest of her 16th year. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0247638/

Rating: 7/10

Watching The Princess Diaries fourteen years after it first came out brings back so many nostalgic memories. Can there be anything better to see than Anne Hathaway before she was annoying AF? Then there is the subtle reminder that Julie Andrews will always be the Queen of the Universe and is unparalleled in beauty and class. We have some Mandy Moore before she went AWOL, perfect as the nightmare of any teenage girl’s dreams – the perfect, preppy and quite nasty Lana Thomas. We have Josh Bryan – the boy, who looking back, no one can quite understand why everyone thought he was hot back in the day (Hormones are shady business).We have Heather Matarazzo as Lilly Moscovitz, who is the best chosen cast member in this movie. I enjoyed Robert Schwartzman as Michael Moscovitz, although I wouldn’t have chosen him to play Michael on my own accord.

Then there is the whole storyline. It is quite preposterous, but who doesn’t want to learn that they are the Princess and Heiress to a small and beautiful country, and that your grandmamma is Julie Andrews?! I mean, come on. Mia Thermopolis is the spirit animal of every teenage girl – shy, gawky and sure you are somehow a freakish creation that will never find a man. Mia’s transformation is lovely to see but the whole eventual point of the story remains clear – if you don’t believe in yourself, there is no amount of power in the world that can really change your destiny.

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As for the changes from the book to movie (you can read my review of the first Princess Diaries book here), I think that some were well done and others didn’t make sense to even change. Mia’s hair is brown in here, and I think that suits her character better. Queen Clarisse is much nicer, which works better yet again. Then there are small things like Mia’s mom not dating her Algebra teacher but her history one, which seems stupid because one of Mia’s funniest problems in the book is her adversity to math. Her father is also dead, not the faintly pompous but alive version we meet in the books. The first three books are also squeezed into one movie – something that works okay as the books are thin and quick reads.

I really enjoyed the movie – I can see that it is not the best movie made or anything, but there is so much fun and heart and teenage silliness in here that it is easy to ignore anything not so stellar about this. And who ever said that there is anything wrong with Popcorn Entertainment?

Book Review: Princess Diaries – Princess in the Spotlight (Meg Cabot)

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Rating: 7.5/10

I am having such fun with these books. Granted, they aren’t by any stretch of the imagination the best written literature of the last century nor the most solid of stories plot wise, but they are such fun teenage books and I can’t help but loving them. The second book, Princess in the Spotlight, keeps following Mia Renaldo with her quest to find her feet as a young princess in America and the demands of being friends with Lilly Moscovitz and the huge crush she has on Lilly’s brother, senior and general hottie Michael Moscovitz.

Life isn’t exactly easier than before, but there are more perks – her algebra marks seem to improve slightly, Michael does things that convince Mia that he is in to her, and above all, someone keeps sending her anonymous love notes (could it be Michael?)

Well, things aren’t always perfect for Mia and she still has to deal with the ever invasive press, her best friend being just a bit too commanding and her scheming grandmother, Dowager princess Clarisse Renaldo.

It’s fun, the plot developments very obvious and nothing overly dramatic. I love Mia’s take on things – she is such a hyper involved teenage girl (we’ve all been there!) Her insecurities and worries are so legitimate to her age and is a sweet reminder of how insecure all girls were at that age. Her huge crush on Michael Moscovitz is the best entertainment ever, and the emotional growth she undergoes through the course of the books are really entertaining.

Really recommended to anyone in the mood for a laugh, although it might not be to the enjoyment of everyone though (as usual).