Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekly Recap #8: Untold, Gone Girl, Witches of East End, Bates Motel, Grosse Pointe Blank


This post is linked to Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga Reviews)  and The Sunday Post (hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer).


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Read
  by



Watched

Witches of East End - Season 1
Recently finished the first season. The family of witches aspect, 2 generations of sisters in this one, reminds me a bit of Charmed at least the first season Charmed before it seemed the characters/cast were in competition with each other as to who could wear less clothes. Quite enjoyed this first season where so far the storyline has been about defeating enemies from their past that have come back into their life, which I think has a more manageable plot than them being defenders of this realm.

Bates Motel - Season 2
Another great season where more bad stuff happens. We see more of Norman's unstable side and he is just scary during his bouts of explosive anger. When will someone see that he is just mentally not right instead of just referring him to as a sensitive boy? It'll be great if in the future season Norman actually get's institutionalize and see a psychiatrist try to diagnose him and discovering some of the crazy stuff that has happened the last few years. In Season 2 we also learn more about Norma's past when a family member comes to town, which explains a lot why Dylan seems to be the son that she loves less. Poor Dylan. I like that we see more of his character in this season and he is possibly the most normal member of the Bates  family. Can't wait for season 3.

Grosse Pointe Blank
When I did my Thursday Movie Picks on Assassins, someone recommended Grosse Pointe Blnak (I think it was Greg?) and so I caught it the past week. John Cusack plays, Martin Blank, a hit man who reluctantly goes back to his hometown (Grosse Pointe) for his 10 year high school reunion as he sees it as an opportunity to see his old girlfriend (Minnie Driver) and complete his latest assignment which happens to be in his hometown as well. The movie is a dark comedy and it's great. There's action, romance, and just so darkly funny. A lot of great lines. I love that whenever anyone in his hometown ask Martin what he does for living, he'd say professional killer and every single time people thought it was all joke. Then there's Martin's psychiatrist who is terrified of Martin because of his occupation and every advice/session pretty much ends with him telling Martin to not to kill anyone.

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Around the Blog


Thursday: Thursday Movie Picks #7 was Dramatic Scenes in which I included YouTube clips of 3 of my favourite scenes. Do check out what my picks were as well as the blogs that participated. Next Thursday's topic is Movies set Locally (you can choose country or state). Since the participators of past edition of this meme comes from various places, I don't expect to see any similar picks for this upcoming meme :). So if you love movies, come and take part in this weekly meme. You can read about future topics here.
Friday: Did another Let's Get Creative post.


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Other Stuff



  • I tried reading Gone Girl some weeks ago. Read about 2 chapters and gave up. Now currently listening to the audiobook. So far things are interesting. I always feel like I'm cheating when I listen to an audiobook. The experience is just different from actual reading since the work is partly interpreted for me.
  • Have you seen The Lizzie Benet Diaries before. It's a YouTube series based on Pride and Prejudice and set in present day. I started watching last year, took a break and and was reminded of it again when I started seeing Emma Approved gifs on Tumblr. It seems present day adaptations of classic works YouTube style is all the rage now. If you love those two check out more series here to fill that Emma Approved void.
  • Underworld is getting a reboot! I don't care much about the 3rd and 4th movie but I really like the Underworld universe so I'd love to see another Underworld movie. But I'm not sure how I feel about a reboot since the last movie didn't have like a proper ending for the characters, seems more like Underworld should get a final sequel.
  • Did you see Weird Al Yankovic perform some Show Themes at the Emmys? I of course love the Game of Thrones theme he did. Don't know what I'm talking about? See it here.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thursday Movie Picks #7: Dramatic Scenes



Hey there, welcome to the seventh edition of Thursday Movie Picks! I hope you have been joining us the previous weeks. If you haven't, it's still not too late to join. For new folks, the rules of this weekly meme is simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you're up to it one of each. For more information on the meme and future topics please visit the meme's page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Dramatic Scenes (Your pic of dramatic scenes. You can either quote the scene or post a YouTube clip of it)
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When I picked this topic I thought it was going to be easy. I knew I had seen some amazing scenes in a lot of movies. Ones that demand my attention. Ones that make me rewind and rewatch just because they're awesome. So then it came to narrowing them down and seeing if they were available on YouTube. Unfortunately, few are online. And when I checked, some of them did not seem as dramatic when they are seen out of context and so they were left out of my picks. Now, I also did not specify or define what were dramatic scenes when I chose it for today's topic. You can interprete it as you like. For my picks the dramatic scenes I have chosen are usually emotional and have a revelationary aspect in terms of the character or story. So here are my picks in alphabetical order.

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Before Sunset (2004) - "Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse's book tour"
From the very beginning, we pretty much know of Jesse's feelings toward his and Celine's missed meeting 9 years ago. However Celine has been playing it cool until this scene. She finally lets it out how affected she is by that missed meeting. And did you see how Jesse wanted to touch her as she made the emotional sad/angry confession but too afraid to make contact. Celine does this too as the scene continues beyond this clip when he talks about his marriage. Her hand hovers over him as if to console him but retracts just before she touches him.




Michael Clayton (2007) - "A law firm brings in its "fixer" to remedy the situation after a lawyer has a breakdown while representing a chemical company that he knows is guilty in a multi-billion dollar class action suit."
Tom Wilkinson's character just had a public meltdown where he stripped naked during a deposition and this clip here is this great scene where he attempts to make his case and explain to his colleague, played by George Clooney, as to what brought about the meltdown. Basically he is wreck with guilt from representing a guilty client and he is standing his ground that he is not going mad despite the nude show he had just put on.



 

Scent of a Woman(1992) - "A prep school student needing money agrees to "babysit" a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated."
Al Pacino makes an emotional, angry passionate speech to save Chris O'Donnell's character from getting expelled. When he slams his cane does that not make you sit upright and listen to what he says. It's overtop but it works. He's so powerfully intimidating he commands the attention of the whole auditorium of snooty students and educators...and us the viewers and puts it plainly what he thinks of them all and their scapegoating.


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So that's it...my three picks. What three movies made your list today?

If you are participating be sure to add your blog post to the linky widget below (Enter your Blog Post URL, your Blog Name and your email {which will remain hidden}). Please also visit the other participating blogs, spread the word about this meme, and also link back to my blog on your own Thursday Movie Picks post :)

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Participating Blogs/Bloggers



Sunday, August 24, 2014

Weekly Recap #7: Feed, Petals on the Wind,Paranormal Activity


This post is linked to Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga Reviews)  and The Sunday Post (hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer).


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Read
Feed by M.T. Anderson
Finished Feed a book set in a futuristic world where people are completely immersed in technology and consumerism. In Feed, people have access to a wealth of information which are transmitted to a feed implant in their brain. They are constantly bombarded by entertainment, advertising and messages by friends and family. Being fed information instantaneously consequently results in the erosion of people cognitive ability. Most don't know how to read, write or even speak in complete sentences. Imagine knowing that 10 plus 10 is 20 because you brain googles this answer but don't actually know how to calculate this on your own. Only when a hacker attacks their feeds does Titus, the main character, becomes aware of the pervasiveness of the feed and the negative effects that they have. I find books that create a new language/slangs challenging to read; meaning extremely difficult to read. This as well. I nearly gave up as it was hard trying to make sense of this new world and trying to decipher what the characters were saying with all the made up slang filled dialogue. It was only midway through that the world began to make more sense and I understood the language more. Overall I find myself liking the book and gives me much to think about.
 

Watched

Petals on the Wind

Beware of some spoilers for Flowers in the Attic - Petals on the Wind was so bad. I understand that the children were screwed up by what happened to them in the attic but a lot of the stuff that happens until midway through in the Petals on the Wind just seemed like unnecessary attempts to be more scandalous than the incestuous affair of the teenage siblings in Flowers in the Attic. Example: what importance was Carrie's and the priest's engagement other than be a wafer like reason for her to seek her mother? Or even of Cathy's involvement with that toxic male dancer? Not much other than being a frivolous filler for an already short TV movie before the actual main confrontation/revenge plot comes into play. 

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
This movie has such a low ratings on IMDB. I don't get it. It's not too bad. I think it's probably that with a lot of the Paranormal Activity movies there is no resolution in the end which leaves the audiences dissatisfied. I remember watching the first movie in the theater and when the credits rolled a person actually actual cried out something along the lines of "that's it?". So yeah the ending is always left hanging, although I do think they've tried to tie each of the sequels to the first movie. I'm not sure how coherent and successful they are at linking up the stories together since I have not watch any of the movies back to back or in the order they were released. Anyway, I did enjoy this movie. There were several scary bits but what I like most about it was the characters had great chemistry. They really seem like friends and family and we are one of them along for the ride.

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Around the Blog



Thursday:Thursday Movie Picks #6 was Movies about Time Travel. I really enjoy watching time travel movies and had a lot of fun coming up with my picks. We also had the most of participants taking part in the meme last Thursday. So do check out what my Time Travel Movie picks were as well as the blogs that participated. Now next Thursdays topic is a lot of fun; Dramatic Scenes (Your pic of dramatic scenes. You can either quote the scene or post a YouTube clip of it). So if you love movies, come and take part in this weekly meme. You can read about future topics here.
Friday: Did another Let's Get Creative post.


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Other Stuff



I have been hanging around Tumblr and seeing a lot of the Outlander gifs...I so want to watch this. It's a period time travel TV series...awesome right? If the books weren't so thick I'd probably have checked it out first.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

Thursday Movie Picks #6: Movies about Time Travel



Hey there, welcome to the sixth edition of Thursday Movie Picks! I hope you have been joining us the previous weeks. If you haven't, it's still not too late to join. For new folks, the rules of this weekly meme is simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you're up to it one of each. For more information on the meme and future topics please visit the meme's page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Movies about Time Travel

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Time Travel movies are a lot of fun and most will definitely give your brain a lot exercise. For something that may not at all be possible, there are a lot rules to adhere to. 

Many of the more popular time travel movies tend to be adventure/action/science fiction movies, most are set in some distant or not to distant future and are about traveling to the past to save the world from some disaster. But for my picks, I'll be picking the more low key time travel dramas with relatively contemporary settings.

As always, my picks in alphabetical order:


The first time I heard about About Time, I thought...Rachel McAdams in another romantic time travel movie (I still haven't watch The Time Traveller's Wife)? I blame it on the poster. Tim is a time traveler. He travels back in time sometimes selfishly to alter events to seek a happier future himself and at times to prevent accidents. But time travel is of course a tricky business which gives rise to other unwanted consequences which we do see here as well. But what I like about About Time was that it also presented time travel as an opportunity to have more time to do things that you love or to spend more time with your love ones. It was also very refreshing to watch a movie that featured a pretty functional family that actually enjoy each other's company.

This I have heard as being the time travel movie to watch. It is certainly one of the more meticulous time travel movies that I have seen that attempts to play by some of those tricky rules. The movie does get a little confusing at times along the way, but I got most of it and Primer is certainly of those movies that would benefit from a second viewing.

Christopher Reeve plays, Richard, a playwright, who is approached by an elderly lady who gives him a pocket watch and cryptically asks him to come back to her. Intrigued yet? Not Richard, not until much much later when an elderly hotel employee believes he looks like a man from his childhood. Realising there must be some kind of connection to the old woman, he seeks for a way to travel back in time to meet her. I'm a fan of period movies and this is a pretty movie. Jane Seymour and her costumes in Somewhere in Time were just gorgeous. I also enjoyed the time travel aspect of the movie which came full circle in the end. Here's a little spoiler so highlight the next line if you want to see...If you remember where it starts, you'd know how it ends, which is the tragedy of this love story.

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So that's it...my three picks. What three movies made your list today?

If you are participating be sure to add your blog post to the linky widget below (Enter your Blog Post URL, your Blog Name and your email {which will remain hidden}). Please also visit the other participating blogs, spread the word about this meme, and also link back to my blog on your own Thursday Movie Picks post :)

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Participating Blogs/Bloggers


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Weekly Recap #6: Garden Spells, Snowpiercer and Flowers in the Attic


This post is linked to Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga Reviews)  and The Sunday Post (hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer).


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Read

Garden Spells
A short read about the Waverly sisters who are not quite so ordinary. One, a caterer who can cook up dishes to meet the special needs of her clients and the other finally discovers where her talents lie when she returns home after a decade away. I haven't read a lot of magical realism and this is one I enjoyed very much. Sweet and charming story, I'd say it's a mix of Practical Magic and Chocolat.



Watched

Snowpiercer
Finally saw this after hearing/reading about it. It recently aired on one of those cable movie channels, which isn't exactly the ideal way to watch a movie since they either tend to be edited and have no subtitles which I have come to depend on. I'm not sure how much was edited out for Snowpiercer but what really sucks was there were several scenes where Namgoong used this translator device which translates whatever he said into English, and the audio for the computer translator was just soo much lower than the voices of all the other characters that I missed out on chunks of what Namgoong was trying to say. Aside from that, the movie started out well.


The world of Snowpiercer was interesting, the train is self sufficient and I love discovering the contents of each carriage. The aquarium and the garden ones were wondrous and thus such a contrast to the back carriages and the artic cold that lies outside of the the train. The look of the world of Snowpiercer I'd say was like a cross of City of Ember and Harry Potter/Wes Anderson movies for the front carriages. I was to a point sold on the whole lower class revolting against the ruling upper class premise until I began to see some plot holes. Well...it was either plot holes or I wasn't quite paying attention. How exactly did the class system work? The Snowpiercer I'm assuming represents the world; people in the front are the upper class, and at the back are the lower class. Unfortunately I think the movie does a deservice by not actually showing the lower class working, as such they're not exactly illustrating the exploitative nature of such a system. Secondly if each carriage exist solely for one purpose only, this meant that passengers would have to go through several carriages to go to whatever destination they were headed to...which in turn meant that armed guards would have to go through the kindergarten everyday just to get to the back of the train? Err...not really clever planning from the genius Wilford. And I don't get why anyone felt it was worth to fight for the control of the engine, in the end you're still trapped on a train, so yeah Namgoong is probably the only one who has his head straight. Still the train itself is fascinating and I like the characters so I expected a good payoff at the end, with the engine and the leader of the train, Wilford. I don't want to spoil it so I'll just say I was disappointed. In a way I understood Wilford's reason but it seemed such a tedious and convoluted way to bring about what he wanted. 


Flowers in the Attic (2014)
I've not read the book but I am a little familiar with the story from having watch the earlier adaptation made in the 80's. Can't exactly compare the two adaptation since I watched the earlier one almost a decade ago. Some positive for this newer movie; good that they used kid actors who are closer to the age of the Dollanger children. It made believing their naivety slightly easier. Negatives; well this is a Lifetime channel movie, as expected the dialogue isn't really good. They do have some good actors here but even they can't carry some of the bad lines this movie had. Some scenes also seemed weirdly edited together, but since I saw this on TV, this may be due to some scenes having to be censored out. Overall not so bad. The sequel Petals on the Wind airs next week.
  

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Around the Blog

Wednesday: Did another Let's Get Creative post
Thursday: This is the fifth week for the Thursday Movie Picks meme where I listed 3 Movies that feature Food Predominantly. Do check out what my picks were as well as the blogs that participated in this meme. Fortunately Wendall spotted there was no theme for this coming week Thursday Movie Picks and so I have chosen one his suggestions; Movies about Time Travel for this Thursday. So if you love movies, come and take part in this weekly meme. You can read about future topics here.



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Other Stuff



  • Currently reading Feed set in a futuristic world where people are completely immersed in technology and consumerism...we're not too far away from it.
  • Currently watching the Walking Dead Season 4....in time for Season 5 which should be premiering soon.
  • I've also opened a Society6 shop. Not much stuff yet as editing has been a pain since my computer is having trouble handling all the large files and keeps hanging :(


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Thursday Movie Picks #5: Movies that feature Food Predominantly



Hey there, welcome to the weekly Thursday Movie Picks! I hope you have been joining us the previous weeks. If you haven't, it's still not too late to join. For new folks, the rules of this meme is simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you're up to it one of each. For more information on the meme and future topics please visit the meme's page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Movies that feature Food Predominantly

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A toughie this week; I haven't really watched a lot of movies that feature food and can't remember enough of the ones that I have watched...but I've managed to put together my three picks. One of them is a clear favourite and the other two are ones that I've enjoyed.

As always my picks in aphabetical order:

Marie Antoinette (2006) - "The retelling of France's iconic but ill-fated queen, Marie Antoinette. From her betrothal and marriage to Louis XVI at 15 to her reign as queen at 19 and to the end of her reign as queen and ultimately the fall of Versailles."
Ok so there's no cooking here or any of the sort...but Marie Antoinette supposedly said "Let them eat cake", which may not at all be true. Whatever the case this movie certainly featured some gorgeous looking desserts. Pure decadence.

Ratatouille (2007)  - "A rat, who can also cook, makes an unusual alliance with a young kitchen worker at a famous restaurant."
Yes I'm going for the obvious choice; not my favourite Pixar movie but I enjoyed it. The food in the movie looked gorgeous. I think the movie visually looks very different from most Pixar films, with glowy bloom effect which gives it a romantic nostalgic look.
  
Waitress (2007) - "Jenna is a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the deep south. She meets a newcomer to her town and falls into an unlikely relationship as a last attempt at happiness."
One of my favourite movies which just happens to feature yummy looking pies. Keri Russell plays Jenna a waitress who makes excellent pies. Stuck in an abusive marriage, an upcoming pie contest gives Jenna an opportunity to put her skill to use and win some money for an escape. The movie is sweet, funny and touching.

So that's it...my three picks. What three movies made your list today?

If you are participating be sure to add your blog post to the linky widget below (Enter your Blog Post URL, your Blog Name and your email {which will remain hidden}). Please also visit the other participating blogs, spread the word about this meme, and also link back to my blog on your own Thursday Movie Picks post :)

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Participating Blogs/Bloggers

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Weekly Recap #5: Vampire Academy, ATM, The Vampire Chronicles


This post is linked to Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga Reviews)  and The Sunday Post (hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer).

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Read

Vampire Academy
You may have read my mini review of the movie in a past StSatSP post. In brief, it was terrible. Now the book is a lot better. It was more thorough in explaining the different type of vampires and their difference and I kinda grasp all of it, though I'm not quite sold on their brand of vampires and half breeds. Rose is less annoying here; she is not spewing pop culture reference every other sentence unlike the movie. We get to see more of the friendship between Rose and Lissa and they really are great friends, very loyal. Lissa is less of a weakling which was the impression I get from the movie. She did do her part in many situations. I can definitely see the appeal of the VA series. It has a strong female friendship story and Rose and Lissa are both a force, proactive, taking action to secure their own safety instead of waiting to be saved.


Watched

ATM
I'm not sure I've heard of this movie prior to watching. The gist of it is that three co-workers gets trap in an ATM one wintry night by a hooded man as he stalks and tries to break into the booth to get to them. I don't know where ATM booths are located elsewhere, but in this movie it is located in an area that looks like to be far off from main roads and surrounded by a large parking lot which was empty? So here's a question, why have an ATM where there is no traffic at all? Who would ever go to such an ATM? And why is there a large parking lot for an ATM booth? I just don't get it. Is it just wanting to be bait for robberies. So you see...the set up is just ridiculous. More frustrating is that there are three of them trapped but somehow they weren't able to brainstorm on how to get past the menacing man nor try to take him down, instead they just sit and wait. And there's more...none of the characters had their hand phone on their person when they entered the booth. Seriously? Not one of them?  Aren't most people attached to their phones - and these are supposed to be young savvy investment bankers?? Arghh.


Currently Watching

Once Upon a Time Season 3
Last week I nitpicked Grey's Anatomy, this time it's Once Upon a Time. Well I can't un-notice what I've already notice. What is up with Snow White's hair! That wig they have Ginnifer Goodwin wearing is terrible this season. It looks like a stringy brown mop on her. Was it always this bad in the last seasons? And the make up on the Wicked Witch - the green paint on her face is notably uneven on her face. It seems to be thin on some areas that I can clearly see her natural skin colour.  
 
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Around the Blog

It has been a week of lists the past week:

Monday: I blogged about trying to be more creative
Tuesday: Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read YA. So if you haven't read any YA before. Give some of the books in my list a try.
Wednesday: I did another movie blogathon where I list movies I like to see a sequel of.
Thursday: This is the fourth Thursday Movie Picks outing where I listed 3 Movies about assassins. Next Thursday's topic is Movies that feature Food Predominantly. If you love movies, come and take part in this weekly meme. You can read about future topics here.

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Other Stuff

  • Just as I thought Vampire Academy won't get a sequel, after that terrible first movie, apparently it still is. You can go to IndieGoGo to help Frostbite get made.
  • In other Vampire news, it seems Universal has acquired the rights to Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles. I love the 1994 Interview with the Vampire so I'd love to see a complete adaptation of the books in the series. I've not read the books; who do you think would be perfect for Louis, Lestat and Claudia?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thursday Movie Picks #4: Movies about Assassins


Hey there, welcome to the weekly Thursday Movie Picks! I hope you have been joining us the previous weeks. If you haven't, it's still not too late to join. For new folks, the rules of this meme is simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you're up to it one of each. For more information on the meme and future topics please visit the meme's page here.

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This week's Thursday Movie Picks is Movies about Assassins

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I'm choosing to use the more lax definition of assassin (apparently assassins only take out prominent persons) and including hitmen. 

Once again I am picking favourites. One of my picks came to mind quite easily, mostly because it is the earliest movies out of the three I've seen and certainly one I've seen the most. The other two, required further thinking being much newer films.

As always my favourite assassin movies in aphabetical order:


Ray is deeply depressed after his screw up, where an innocent is killed. He is now grumpy and cynical about everything. This a contrast to Ken, Ray's partner, who tries to lift Ray's spirit by wanting to be touristy and take in the sights of Belgium while they keep a low profile...which gives us a lot of the funny bits. Then there's Harry played by Ralph Fiennes who is pretty hilarious as the boss who will go to great lengths to stick to his principles. I had no expectations for this movie when I saw it and was thoroughly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I didn't even think movies about hitmen can be funny (darkly of course) but this one successfully manages to be .

A long time favourite, this is such an emotionally intense movie and equally action packed one too...Léon the assassin is just so slick! Is he a ninja? This movie also introduced us to young Natalie Portman who is great as Matildha, at once a vulnerable child and a mini femme fatale convincing the reluctant Léon to teach her to avenge her family's death. Then there's Stansfield, played Gary Oldman who was just ridiculously amazing as the dug crazed DEA cop. I would also recommend you to check out the extended version if you haven't seen it.

Is this Tom Hanks's best performance? I think so, or maybe I am biased since I love this movie. Mike Sullivan is certainly, not the kind of characters usually played by Tom Hanks. He is a quiet man who works hard to build a better life for his family by working in a morally questionable job. I love the characters here who are all incredibly well developed and the story explores the complexity of father and son relationships, which is made the more interesting with the dire situation the story has set up where the fathers have to battle over doing the right (debatable) thing for their families.

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So that's it...my three picks. What three movies made your list today?

If you are participating be sure to add your blog post to the linky widget below (Enter your Blog Post URL, your Blog Name and your email {which will remain hidden}). Please also visit the other participating blogs, spread the word about this meme, and also link back to my blog on your own Thursday Movie Picks post :)

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Participating Blogs/Bloggers


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blogathon: Attack of the Sequels


        


Found an interesting blogathon, Attack of the Sequels, by Feeling Fuzzier. The challenge of the game is to pick 5 movies that you'd want to see a sequel. Nowadays almost every successful movie gets a sequel so it was quite a challenge for me to come up with my 5 picks.

Before I start here are Feeling Fuzzier's rules for the blogathon:
  1. Pick up to 5 films that you enjoyed, but never got a follow-up film. You can include films that are already sequels (e.g.Hellboy 2: The Golden Army). Doesn't matter how ridiculous it may sound.
  2. Talk about why you'd like to see a sequel to those movies, and where said sequels would take the story.
  3. Please include the blogathon banner (above) somewhere in your post. 
  4. The deadline is August 7th - but I'm sure I'll go easy on any late submissions ;)
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In alphabetical order, sequels I want to see:

Daybreakers (2010)
Daybreakers gave us quite a good "if the world was run for vampires" world. I remember the glass windows of cars were all tinted and the cars were also fitted with cameras so that the vampire driver can see the roads from within the protected cars. Unfortunately the story itself was pretty weak.  But the movie did end in an open ended manner. I like the world, so I'd want to see a sequel that follows what is done with the cure.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004)
I enjoyed the Lemony Snicket's movie. I love the look of it. A little gothic, a little steampunkish with the crazy mechanical inventions, and it was also darkly funny. I know that the children book series are popular consisting of several books, but maybe the movie didn't do as well since we never got the sequel? I'd still love to see the sequel, though they would have to get new kid actors to be the main characters now.

Leon: The Professional (1994)
I've been wanting to see the sequel to Leon: The Professional since the first time I saw it. I wondered what happens to Matilda. The movie left off with her returning to school, but what happens after that? Would she choose to be like Leon?...I kinda think she would, at least for a while. There has I think talks/rumours of a sequel in the past but nothing came of it and now it just seems the more unlikely that we would ever get a sequel since Natalie Portman is too old to play Matilda if the story for sequel continued only a few years after the first.

Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
I think the first movie was wonderful. I liked the friendship story; Russell Crowe and Paul Bettany have great friendship chemistry and the movie itself looks gorgeous.  Life at sea is hard and dangerous; people lose their limbs and some their life and I love, love that the movie did not romanticized it by simply focusing on the action and adventure. And hey I never knew that training to be naval officers start that young in the 19th century. This movie was also based on a series of books, so why has this not gotten a sequel?

Zombieland (2009)
Zombieland was a lot of fun and I love the whole rules of surviving Zombieland that Columbus had. I know they tried doing a sequel in the form of a TV series but if I'm not mistaken the pilot was not picked so it never made to TV screens. What they should definitely do is a movie sequel, with the same actors as the characters that we love. I checked IMDB and there is a page for Zombieland 2 with a in development status, so here's hoping we get one.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #3: Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read YA


Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish where bloggers share a list based on a weekly theme.

This week's topic is Top Ten Books I'd Give To Readers Who Have Never Read ___. 
Since I've been reading more YA novels the past year or so the blanks will be YA. I know some people refuse to read YA because it is thought to be juvenile, but a lot of these books now are really pushing the boundaries of what you think a YA novel should be.


I haven't had much experience with chick lit and much less YA chick lit, but this book is soo sweet and fun. I also think the plus for this book is that the main character is studying in Paris and it's a lot about her coping with the big move, navigating the new school and exploring a new city. The book now also has a more prettier less juvenile looking cover.

The author transpose the wider world to a boys school and looks at corruption and evil that can exist and the players, from the figurehead, the orchestrator, the foot soldiers, the muscle, the by standers, the sheep and the scapegoat/victim/s. I really like that it tries to simplify and look at corruption and power at a more understandable level and yet undeniably also shows that it can exist in the smallest of places.The book has great villain; clever, determined, just plain dirty and ruthless. Who are they? Your everyday people; students, teachers and priests, who in time possibly rule the world? If you think Lord of the Flies has a harsh perspective of humanity, this is perhaps even harsher for the Chocolate War takes place within a "civilized society". 

Like smart witty characters? Then you'd like Frankie. Seeing how she was treated less than she'd liked because she was a girl and realizing that in the real world the ruling elite are mostly from the old boys club; she infiltrates her school's all boys secret society and pull their strings to show she too is smart enough and has the power to direct people. 

Why not? It is arguable the biggest YA book ever that spawned a 4 movie franchise. If you've watched the movie, read it as it will help to fill in the holes that the movie has. If you have watched or better yet read Battle Royale, try The Hunger Games. In some ways, yes, it is a less brutal story as compared to Battle Royale; one of those possibly being that it doesn't get into the head of each of the participants. Still, unlike Battle Royale and despite it's name, The Hunger Games doesn't only focus on the games but also the world in which it exist which brings a different dynamic to the similar killed or be killed arena type of premise.





Pudge obsessed with famous last words and newly enrolled in a boarding school finally makes friends with kids his own age and falls in love with the not available Alaska down the hall. A tale of friendship that also deals with loss and grief; the second half of this wrecked me...and it's not just the tragedy, it's about the people left behind and how devastated they were by what happened and struggling to make sense of something that doesn't. It kind of remind me of the Lovely Bones in a way.

In an alternate world where the minorities are the majorities and racial prejudice and segregation are still prevalent, Sephy a Cross, the ruling race, and Callum a Nought, are friends. As they grow up, as much as they try to be just friends, romantic feelings have developed. Both struggle with the racial discrimination/subjugation (Sephy as she witnesses and Callum the receiving end) and the danger the existence of their relationship could pose them and their families. Their yearning to escape where they can be together and knowing that there is nowhere to escape to, is pretty heartbreaking. A lot of the characters here go through some awful stuff and I dare you not to be sobbing by the last chapter. The copy I read also had the short novel An Eye for an Eye which just broke my heart more.

I don't think I've read a lot of books that have an ensemble cast of characters and this one has a pretty awesome one. Blue has been told forever that if she'd kiss her true love, he'd die, which most of the synopsis will say and I almost didn't read the Raven Boys because I thought "true love?" "Kiss"...yeah...not my thing. Thankfully there isn't much romance. It's mostly about friendship, Welsh mythology and destiny. The story swept me away in it's mix of magical realism, mystery and adventure and I love the lyrical haunting style of writing.

Attacked by a senior just before her freshman year of high school started, at a party that got busted by cops when she tried to call for help, Melinda has now become a social outcast. The shock of the attack and the treatment she got from her friends, who unknowing thought she had foolishly sabotage the party, has silenced her. The story is narrated by Melinda's  inner voice, which just seems authentic. She is sarcastic, darkly funny and introspective and we follow her as she to struggles to navigate through her freshmen year alone, with the heavy secret she carries and her tormentor still roaming the halls free.



I admit, I read the book because it was made into a movie which received very good reviews. A movie I wanted to see but still haven't. So in the mean time I read the book. What I like about this book unlike most YA books is that the character didn't feel like fan service. What I mean is that most main characters in YA are bookish, smart and introspective, trying its best to be reflective of the reader (assuming that readers are bookish, smart and introspective). Cutter is not. If I remember correctly, he was not much of a reader and is a jock. He is popular, likes parties and is the life of most. He talks to everyone, friendly and is the most extroverted person you'd probably come across in the fictional world. He's also an alcoholic and it's affecting his grades, work and relationships. The journey of battling addiction is not always a quick and triumphant one, so I kinda like the open ending of this one. I remember hearing the movie being criticized for dropping Cutter's and Aimee's relationship which was supposedly one of the most interesting thing in the movie...what can I say...this happened in the book. Their relationship was not suppose to save Cutter. All his past romantic relationships had not worked, the last one not working out was a consistent thing in the story. Cutter has an addiction which he need to be overcome first. If you have seen the movie, or seen Smashed, this may interest you.

"It happened like this. I was stolen from an airport. Taken from everything I knew, everything I was used to. Taken to sand and heat, dirt and danger. And he expected me to love him.
This is my story.
A letter from nowhere."
That synopsis intrigued me. Who is this man? Why has he taken Gemma from the Bangkok airport and make her a prisoner in the inescapable, dangerous Australian outback? The story, written as a letter by Gemma to,Ty, her Captor starts at the beginning; from the taking, to the confusion, the shock, the anger, the fear, the disastrous escape attempts and later semblance of affection for Ty himself. Is the affection real or resignation, a survival mechanism? A YA novel that explores Stockholm Syndrome - I know right...heavy stuff! If you've read Stolen, you might also want to check out The Collector by John Fowles (not YA) which has a similar premise but with has dual perspective.

So that's it, my top 10 picks. What are yours? Any similarities? Have I sold you on one of these books?

Monday, August 4, 2014

That scene in Vicky Cristina Barcelona




You know there's a scene in Vicky Cristina Barcelona where Cristina played by Scarlett Johansson says " I just have to come face to face with the fact that I am not gifted, you know? I-I can appreciate art and I love music, but...it's sad, really, because I feel like I have a lot to express and I am not gifted". Don't you just feel that way sometimes? I know I do. There's just this yearning to create something pretty and be more creative. I've seen people posting daily/weekly creative projects on social media, I like looking at them, and I do hope to do one sometime. For now I'll post something interesting when I can. Oh and I just realised the Cristina in the movie is spelled without a H...


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Weekly Recap #4: Can you Keep a Secret? Jack Ryan. Game of Thrones. Grey's Anatomy


This post is linked to Stacking the Shelves (hosted by Tynga Reviews)  and The Sunday Post (hosted by Kimba @Caffeinated Book Reviewer).

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Read


I don't usually read chick lit (do people still call things chick lit?). I'm just not into cutesy comedies, but well you know there's only so much dystopian/apocalyptic tales I can read before all those depressing world gets tiring and old. So this book looked like fun. A book about secrets that isn't about a terrible soul crushing secret (We Were Liars...I'm talking to you)...perfect, since I didn't want anything bleak. Hat's off to this book too for pointing out that normal everyday secrets which can seem silly nothings but if they get out in the open they too can be horribly bad and embarrassing, although still totally survivable, and total entertainment for this reader. The main character, Emma's secrets were normal enough stupid things that we would all get embarrassed over. I do wish the romantic interest isn't rich, and was able to sweep Emma and us readers in a more humble way. Plus I wanted her to make it without someone powerful liking her romantically and who could possibly be attributed for her doing well at her job. Ultimately Can you Keep a Secret is a fun funny read and I liked Emma who seemed to be like the everyday girl struggling to find a job she likes and is good at doing, which I think all of us can relate to.


Watched


This movie was forgettable. The story is just boring. What is it about again? Oh yeah...the origin story of Jack Ryan when he was first recruited as a CIA analyst and him stopping some Russian from destroying the world and it's economy. A damsel in distress cliche was also thrown into the story which way just soo bad. And I can't believe that Kenneth Branagh played the bad guy...a Russian? In a movie that has a contemporary setting? I thought he only did period dramas save for that Wallander gig.


Awesome as always. What makes Game of Thrones are its characters so I'll go through the major ones:
  • Sansa the silly little girl we saw in season one has come a long way and I like her more and more. Her enemies are literally down the hall and she plays the game well enough to still have her head. 
  • Bran had some great scenes that showed great maturity in season 1 and 2. This seem to be lacking in season 3 so I hope to see more in later seasons as I get the sense that he is one of those characters that are destined for greatness. 
  • Rob is well Rob...I never thought he was the smartest Stark kid (Bran is) but I get where he was coming from in this season and some of his strategy made some sense, unlike Edmure (who is a fool). Anyway I finally know what the red wedding is! 
  • Jon Snow...I'm not finding his story strong enough. I don't get why the wildings (or issit wildlings?) trust him at all...I am questioning their poor judgement.
  • Arya...the poor girl just had to witness the most awful things. I like that she is now on the road with the Hound, their banter would no doubt be awesome. 
  • Daenerys...not liking her story this season. She used to be a gentle character, but she has grown to not only be smarter but pretty ruthless as well. Her freeing the slaves...I kinda expect there would be like a Francis Underwood (from House of Cards) moment where she would look at the camera and say "let's free them all and they be so grateful they will serve me for free willingly". Did Daenerys take Psychology 101 secretly? And that scene at the end when the Yunkai freed slaves went out to receive Daenerys...it was uncomfortably awful. 
  • The Lannister's...oh I love them! I know they're suppose to be the bad guys but they're so awesome! And are they really the bad guys? Tywin and Jamie give some good points that just greys the lines between good and bad. Plus they all have such a wonderful love hate relationship...the "I hate you, but I hate everyone that's not our blood more". 
  • Joffrey is of course as awful as always, and it's great to see him being scolded by Tywin.
  • In season three, the Tyrells all have larger roles. I love Margaery, the only person I think other than Tywin who is able to control Joffrey. Her grandmother, Ollena is pretty badass too...equal to Tywin in the political game...I hope to see them more in the next season.
So this has become a long Game of Thrones recap. I'll stop with those characters even though there are still many more. What can I say...the series has lots of characters and most of them are incredible. Can't wait to see season 4. I saw season 3 on DVD and I do wish they had more special features on the DVD. I don't understand why they can't put the same features that are on the Blu-ray on the DVD too...arghh!!


Currently Watching


I watch this on and off. Not exactly great television but something to watch when there's nothing else on TV. The perfect hair on this series have always bugged me, I mean do surgeons curl their hair before going to work? And still have that bouncy wavy hair still look perfect after a long shift? Seriously the characters in this show have some of the most perfect hair! I've also noticed that the make up on season 10 is just awful. Dr Edwards and Torres just have so much blusher and makeup overall and Dr Wilson has this smokey eye thing going on. I don't think the make up was this bad in the previous seasons, where it looked more natural looking. Does anyone else notice the change in make up?

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Around the Blog
Was a little busy the past week, so not much updates.
Thursday was the third Thursday Movie Picks post and the topic was Movies set in a Mental Institution. My favourite was The Princess and the Warrior, hidden gem was It's Kind of a Funny Story and my pick for worst was Sucker Punch.
Sunday, today, I've updated/revised some of the Thursday Movie Picks future themes. Please see the meme page here to see all the future themes up till the end of the year. The whole of October now has a Halloween theme and the five topics for the five Thursdays in October are: Unstable Characters, Zombie Movies, Found Footage Movies, Vampire Movies and Haunted Buildings. 
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Next Week
I'll be doing the usual Thursday Movie Picks and also Top Ten Tuesday since I like next week's topic.
Hoping to finish reading Vampire Academy soon.
I had wanted to do "a sequels you want to see" topic for my Thursday Movie Picks, but since there is already a similar blogathon (Attack of the Sequels) currently going on, I'll be participating that. So stay tune for my post on the 5 sequels I want to see.



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