Welcome to my blog!

Welcome to my blog!

Feel free to leave any suggestions or comments regarding music, books, films, TV, theatre or culture related news...

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

Thursday, October 05, 2017

Lucky (Jackie Collins)

Daughter of one of the world's richest and most powerful men, wildly beautiful Lucky Santangelo is set on continuing the family tradition.
Sex and the rich fruits of crime are her aphrodisiacs. Power is the ultimate thrill - power over the Santangelo empire and power over the men of her choice.
Moving in the fast lane from Las Vegas to New York, from Beverly Hills to a Greek island paradise, Lucky takes up where Chances left off. Winning is all that matters - and luck has nothing to do with it.

It was goodbye. Neither of us is looking for trouble. Today was a dream... a fantasy... Now we go back to real life.

❤️ This was the one book missing from my Jackie Collins collection. It is written in such a way that only Jackie Collins could do. Intrigue, romance, sex, liars, and players all rolled into a fabulous 700-page-adventure.
I have always loved the banter between Lucky and Lennie, in the later books as well as these earlier ones. Their road to marriage was a long one, but most definitely worth every second of reading time put into it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Victoria and Abdul (Directed by Stephen Frears; Written by Lee Hall, based on the book by Shrabani Basu)

The true story of Queen Victoria's friendship with a young Indian clerk named Abdul Karim.

Starring: Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard, Adeel Akhtar, Michael Gambon, Paul Higgins, Olivia Williams, Fenella Woolgar, Sukh Ojla, Kemaal Deen-Ellis

❤️ This should probably be best described as a comedy drama. The first part had me in tears from laughing so hard while the second part had me in tears from crying.
The focus of the film is quite rightly on the scandal of the Queen of England (and hence head of the Church of England) having a spiritual teacher (or Munshi) who is neither white or Christian.
This is an acting tour de force for Dame Judi Dench. I know it is early in the season to be placing bets before having seen any of the other major contenders, but her marvellous performance from beginning to end screams Oscar to me.
Another great surprise was relative newcomer Ali Fazal (he had a role in Furious 7). His performance is almost as impressive, bringing warmth and compassion to this supporting role.
The rest of the cast is also amazing, but the Scottish countryside manages to steal most of the film. The images are just ravishing!
Overall, it is a true delight of a film, perfectly balanced, brilliantly acted, and a 'must see' for anyone, really.
Highly recommended.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Matthew Vaughn)

When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organisation in the USA. These two elite secret organisations must join forces in order to defeat a common enemy.

Starring: Taron Egerton, Edward Holcroft, Mark Strong, Hanna Alström, Julianne Moore, Keith Allen, Tom Benedict Knight, Colin Firth, Sophie Cookson, Channing Tatum, Halle Berry, Elton John, Jeff Bridges, Pedro Pascal, Poppy Delevingne

😝 I never watched the first film of the series, so maybe that is why I did not particularly enjoy this one.
A movie filled with special effects, and very impressive visually, with a plot that is difficult to take seriously, not to mention the abundance of childish humour: Elton John repeatedly dropping the F-Bomb, a woman asking someone to urinate on her, and an old man stating that he has just soiled himself are not my idea of comedy.
So many big names and yet so disappointing!
Maybe the first one was better, as a lot of people say, but I am not buying this film.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Practice makes Perfect (Penny Parker)

Welcome to the surgery at Larkford, a hotbed of rivalry and romance - and that's just the doctors.
The Practice has suddenly been thrust under the spotlight - its nomination as an 'NHS Model Surgery' is causing the team major headaches. Dr Holly Graham should be basking in the glow of her new romance with fellow doctor, Taffy - but her favourite resident, the irreverent and entertaining Elsie, is facing a difficult diagnosis.
Dr Dan Carter's obsession with work is masking unhappiness elsewhere - he cannot persuade his girlfriend Julia to settle down. It is only as Julia's mother comes to stay that he realises what she has been hiding for so long. Alice Walker joins the team like a breath of fresh air and her assistance dog Coco and Alice will soon need some help of their own.

You know how if you hear something often enough, it becomes familiar - even if it's not true? If somebody tells you over and over - whether it's with their words or their actions - that what you need isn't important. Well, you start to believe it.

😐 As you can see from the picture, I bought this book for the 'buy 1 get 1 half price' offer. I have not read the first book on the series neither have I read any other book by Penny Parker.
To begin with, I found the story rather long, so that was a low for me. Then, it says on the cover that this is 'laugh-out-loud funny', well, maybe this is because I did not read the first book, but I did not find it laugh-out-loud (or even laugh quietly) funny. To tell you the truth, I did not even care for the characters or what they did.
Overall, this is the type of book you read when you have nothing better to do, or if you are anything like me, you feel like after paying for it you will read it to the end, no matter what.

Monday, September 11, 2017

American Made (Directed by Doug Liman; Written by Gary Spinelli)

Barry Seal lands work for the CIA and the Medellin cartel during the 1980s.

Starring: Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright, Jesse Plemons, Caleb Landry Jones, Jayma Mays, Alejandro Edda, Benito Martinez

😐 I found this movie to be more like a collage work. It was scratching the surface instead of going into details, I had to browse the internet in order to understand what was so interesting about the story of Barry Seal.
It may not be a documentary, but it was based on a true story, and I feel like a lot has been left out.

Friday, September 08, 2017

The Boss Baby (Directed by Tom McGrath; Written by Michael McCullers, based on the book by Marla Frazee)

Seven-year-old Tim Templeton has always been a boy with an overactive imagination, and for the past seven years, life has been nothing but peaches for him, getting all the love and attention from his caring parents. However, life will never be the same and Tim will not be the centre of attention anymore with the arrival of an improbable new brother. Nevertheless, soon, Tim and the new Boss in a diaper will need to put differences aside and join forces, as a sneaky scheme involving the head of Puppy Co. threatens to tilt the balance of power towards their adorable furry antagonists, not to mention that the next Pet Convention is in only two days... Brothers, hurry up!

Starring: Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Miles Bakshi

❤️ The Boss Baby is fabulously directed by Tom McGrath, the brilliant mind behind all three Madagascar movies (of course!)
It does not matter what age you are, you have to love the Boss Baby. Alec Baldwin voices him with such panache! His witty personality mixed with a take-charge attitude bursts through the screen.
The film is enjoyable throughout and safe to keep you and your family thoroughly entertained.

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Private Vegas (James Patterson and Maxine Paetro)

Jack Morgan, head of Private Investigations, the global PI agency of the rich and famous, is being pushed to the limit. His car has been firebombed, his ex is dating someone else, and his twin brother is still out to destroy him.
But Private does not rest, and nor do its clients: not the LAPD who need Private's help catching two scumbags with diplomatic immunity, and not the client who has just confessed to murdering his wife.
Add to that Jack's best friend being held on a trumped-up charge that could see him locked away for a very long time, and it seems like all bets are off...

Guess how many ultra-high-net-worth individuals there are in this country - that is, individuals worth fifty million or more. No, let me tell you. There are one million multi-multimillionaires living right here in the U.S.A.

😐 It started out as fun with many storylines at the same time, but towards the end all these storylines just made it even more confusing, and they also just seemed to work out by themselves - like some kind of a miracle.
I really thought that the story being set in Vegas would make it more fun, but I was wrong!