Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Feel free to leave any suggestions or comments...

My ratings:
❤️ = Loved it
😐 = It's okay
😝 = Hated it

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Humans, Bow Down (James Patterson and Emily Raymond)

The Great War is over. The robots have won. The humans who survived have two choices: they can submit and serve the vicious ruler they created, or be banished to the Reserve - a desolate and hopeless slum camp.
Now, following the orders of their soulless leader, the robots are planning to finish what the Great War started and conquer humanity's last refuge.
Six, whose family was killed with the first shots of the war, is a young woman with nothing left to lose. Escaping the Reserve with her friend Dubs, Six knows she must find a way to stop the robots before they wipe humans off the face of the earth.

Because no Hu-Bot is capable of cruelty in the way a human is. Nor can they rival us in treachery. They simply weren't engineered to understand deception - whereas humans have been perfecting this terrible art for thousands of years.

😐 I picked up this book because I felt that the story had so much potential to be a great one.
Well, the plot was rushed and there was not enough time to become attached to any of the characters. I did not feel sad when one of them died. I did not feel happy or relieved when either of them lived.
The writing is fine. The sentences are clear and concise. The dialogue was at times a bit cheesy. Patterson is famous for making the pages turn, but in this case, I felt that the story lacked substance.
I was still entertained, but after a while I just wanted it to end.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Madame (Amanda Sthers)

While preparing a particularly luxurious dinner for sophisticated international friends, Anne discovers that there are thirteen guests. Our hostess insists on her loyal maid Maria disguising herself as a mysterious Spanish noble woman to even out the numbers. But a little too much wine, and some playful chat later, Maria accidentally endears herself to a dandy British art broker. Their budding romance will have Anne chasing her maid around Paris and finally plotting to destroy this most unexpected and joyous love affair.

Starring: Toni Collette, Harvey Keitel, Rossy de Palma, Michael Smiley, Tom Hughes, Violaine Gillibert, Stanislas Merhar

😐 This film starts off really well, with hilarious scenes and brilliant acting, but then it gets disjointed with a few omissions that throw you completely off balance.
It felt like the writer had no idea how it was going to end when filming started and just kept adding bits and pieces as it went along.
The worst was the ending, where I still do not know what happened. What did Anne tell David to make him change his mind? Where did Maria go?
So many unanswered questions...

Monday, April 02, 2018

Singles for the Summer (Mandy Baggot)

Tess Parks has made up her mind: love is not for her.
When it comes to dating she has one rule: after six weeks with a guy, she ends it. So when her heartbroken best friend invites her for a girly getaway in Corfu, Tess is sure she can stick to their pact to stay single for the summer.
But then she meets the gorgeous restaurateur Andras...
To keep his overbearing mother off his back, Tess agrees to pretend to date him. But as the two spend time together, Tess begins to realise that this fake relationship is starting to feel like the best one she has ever had.

It was no longer than a Snickers, the width of a KitKat, but it had a bright blue head and it was looking back at her like it wanted to get intimate. God, was this what happened when you pledged to stay single for the summer? The local wildlife smelled a loner from thirty paces?

❤️ I usually find it difficult to read comedies because they are never as funny as the book cover dictates. Well, this was a nice surprise.
To begin with, Tess is a funny character all by herself, but the banter between Tess and Andras is hilarious - not to mention the Greek Adonis that is Andras, I never thought it was possible to fall in love with a book character.
There is also a great cast of supporting characters providing lots of humour along the way: Sonya plays a large part in this book and helps Tess to see the beauty of Corfu while dealing with her own uncertain relationship and Hector definitely deserves a mention for managing to escape throughout the entire story without making it annoying or boring.
This is a perfect feel good summer read and a definite one to take on a holiday (maybe to Greece).

Friday, March 23, 2018

I, Tonya (Directed by Craig Gillespie; Written by Steven Rogers)

Former competitive figure skater Tonya Harding was never fully accepted in the figure skating community for not inherently being the image of grace, breeding, and privilege that the community wanted to portray despite being naturally gifted in the sport. Although she ultimately had some success in figure skating, particularly by being the first American woman to complete a Triple Axel in competition, she is best known for her association to 'the incident': the leg bashing of her competitor, Nancy Kerrigan, who, unlike Tonya, was everything that the figure skating community wanted in their representatives. Her association to that incident led to Tonya being banned from competitive figure skating for life. Tonya's story from the beginning of her figure skating life at the age of four to the aftermath of the incident is hereby presented.

Starring: Margot Robbie, Sebastian Stan, Allison Janney, Julianne Nicholson, Paul Walter Hauser, Bobby Cannavale, Bojana Novakovic, Caitlin Carver, Maizie Smith, Mckenna Grace

❤️ I remember this story so well and I have been meaning to see the film for quite a while, so I finally managed to go.
To begin with, this is not meant to excuse Tonya Harding's behaviour or paint her out to be a victim, otherwise it would have been a waste of time. What it does is help you understand who she was and why she did what she did, as she was more than just an intense competitor who did not come forward when she learnt that her husband and his friend had physically assaulted Tonya's competitor, Nancy Kerrigan.
Overall, this is a fascinating look back at one of the most celebrated news stories of the 1990s with amazing performances by the entire cast, but especially Margot Robbie and Allison Janney (Oscar well-deserved).

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

R.I.P. Stephen Hawking

The physicist and author of 'A Brief History of Time' has passed away at his home in Cambridge, at the age of 76.
Hawking was expected to live for only two more years after he was diagnosed with motor neuron disease in 1963, at the age of 21, but the brightest star in the universe overcame all expectations and managed to survive for more than half a century.
His legacy will live on.

'Be curious and however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.
It matters that you don’t just give up.' - R.I.P. Stephen Hawking

Friday, March 09, 2018

Impractical Jokers

I have always been into hidden camera shows, such as Candid Camera, but I have never seen anything like this.
Instead of embarrassing the public, these four friends from Staten Island (New York) actually compete to embarrass each other in front of an unsuspecting public by doing and saying whatever the other three tell them on their earpieces, with hidden cameras filming everything, and at the end of each episode there is a loser who will receive whatever punishment the other three come up with.
Punishments range from sky-diving and a Jaden Smith Tattoo to a frightening encounter with an alligator carrying a backpack - and it is all real (I don't think the alligator was acting)!

Starring: Brian 'Q' Quinn; James 'Murr' Murray; Joseph 'Joe' Gatto; Salvatore 'Sal' Vulcano

❤️ These guys are definitely crazy, and sometimes I wonder if they are trying to kill each other (just look at some of the punishments) but they are too funny to miss.
This show has become my new addiction!

Sunday, March 04, 2018

The 90th Academy Awards

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel

Best Motion Picture The Shape of Water

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role Gary Oldman (Darkest Hour)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role Frances McDormand (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role Sam Rockwell (Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role Allison Janney (I, Tonya)

Best Achievement in Directing Guillermo del Toro (The Shape of Water)

Best Original Screenplay Get Out (Jordan Peele)

Best Adapted Screenplay Call Me by Your Name (James Ivory)

Best Achievement in Cinematography Blade Runner 2049 (Roger Deakins)

Best Achievement in Costume Design Phantom Thread (Mark Bridges)

Best Achievement in Sound Mixing Dunkirk (Gregg Landaker, Gary Rizzo, Mark Weingarten)

Best Achievement in Film Editing Dunkirk (Lee Smith)

Best Achievement in Sound Editing Dunkirk (Richard King, Alex Gibson)

Best Achievement in Visual Effects Blade Runner 2049 (John Nelson, Gerd Nefzer, Paul Lambert, Richard R. Hoover)

Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling Darkest Hour (Kazuhiro Tsuji, David Malinowski, Lucy Sibbick)

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song) 'Remember Me' Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez (Coco)

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score) The Shape of Water (Alexandre Desplat)

Best Animated Short Film Dear Basketball (Glen Keane, Kobe Bryant)

Best Live Action Short Film The Silent Child (Chris Overton, Rachel Shenton)

Best Documentary Short Subject Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405 (Frank Stiefel)

Best Documentary Feature Icarus (Bryan Fogel, Dan Cogan)

Best Foreign Language Film Una Mujer Fantástica (Chile)

Best Animated Feature Film Coco (Lee Unkrich, Darla K. Anderson)

Best Achievement in Production Design The Shape of Water (Paul D. Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeffrey A. Melvin)

That's all folks!