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

Monday, December 11, 2017

Lipstick Jungle (Candace Bushnell)

To everyone who is anyone in New York, Victory Ford, Wendy Healy, and Nico O'Neilly are riding high: Victory is the hottest new designer on the block; Wendy is president of Parador Pictures with a sure-fire hit in production and three gorgeous children; and Nico is the editor of Bonfire magazine, the city's style bible. To the outside world they have hit their prime, but from where Victory, Wendy, and Nico are standing, things do not look quite that way. Nico is fitting in guilty extra-marital sex with an underwear model, Victory's last collection bombed, and Wendy's twelve-year marriage to her househusband is in freefall.

She would have liked to have called someone - Nico or Wendy, or some boyfriend or lover, which she didn't have at the moment - anyone to listen to her woes and tell her she was wonderful and make her feel better - but there wasn't anyone to call. And so she thought about how she would have to deal with this by herself, and how she had always dealt with everything by herself and gotten through it.

😐 I took time to read this novel because of the TV series. I never read a book while a movie or TV show is out there (usually before or many years after).
That said, I was hoping for something more fun like Sex and the City, but all I got was a rollercoaster - fun at times and, mostly, boring. It seemed too unrealistic and cheesy, no one gets through their problems that fast. Even Victory, who I totally related to, ends up the complete opposite to all her beliefs.
My favourite part was the last page.

Friday, December 01, 2017

R.I.P. Zé Pedro

É difícil falar do Zé Pedro sem falar dos Xutos & Pontapés.
Para quem, como eu, cresceu no estrangeiro, os Xutos eram a minha ligação a Portugal. Tal foi a minha alegria quando encontrei uma cassete deles à venda numa loja em Londres (talvez uma HMV ou WHSmith, não me recordo qual). Mas a minha maior alegria foi quando lhes escrevi uma carta, com os meus 14 anos de idade, e recebi uma resposta a agradecer o apoio juntamente com uma foto autografada pelos quatro elementos do grupo.
Quando regressei a Portugal passei a frequentar os concertos (entre os quais destaco os 20 anos da banda no antigo Multiusos - XX Anos XX Bandas, Casino do Estoril, Coliseu de Lisboa, etc., etc.) Os Xutos não eram apenas uma banda rock, eles eram muito mais do que isso. Chegaram até a ser apelidados de Rolling Stones portugueses, mas não concordo, pois eles conseguiam unir muito mais gerações do que qualquer outra banda e, apesar de tudo, mantinham-se humildes, com a noção de que eram os fãs que os tinham colocado ali e agradeciam-nos sempre que podiam.
Dito isto, sempre vi o Zé Pedro como um porreiro, humilde, simpático, e talvez o mais charmoso do grupo, sempre com um sorriso nos lábios. O Zé Pedro não era apenas dos Xutos, mas de todos nós que vivíamos as músicas intensamente. Um eterno roqueiro que acabou por não ser tão eterno como queria. Afinal, os Grandes também morrem, e muitas vezes mais cedo do que se espera.
Podes já não estar entre nós, "Mas sempre... P'ra sempre... Gostarei de ti!"
Zé Pedro, obrigada por tudo e até sempre!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Le Sens de la Fête (Olivier Nakache & Eric Toledano)

A wedding held in a 17th-century palace comes together with the help of a chaotic staff.

Starring: Jean-Pierre Bacri, Jean-Paul Rouve, Gilles Lellouche, Eye Haidara, Suzanne Clément, Alban Ivanov, Hélène Vincent, Benjamin Lavernhe, Judith Chemla

❤️ This is a hilarious and very modern film, which deals with the everyday matters of our society. The cast is amazing, I only knew Gilles Lellouche from other movies, but he never seizes to surprise me.
I totally recommend this movie!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The House on Cold Hill (Peter James)

Moving from the heart of Brighton and Hove to the Sussex countryside is a big undertaking for Ollie and Caro Harcourt and their twelve-year-old daughter Jade. But when they view Cold Hill House - a huge, dilapidated Georgian mansion - Ollie is filled with excitement. Despite the financial strain of the move, he has dreamed of living in the country since he was a child, and he sees Cold Hill House as a paradise for his animal-loving daughter, the perfect base for his web-design business and a terrific long-term investment.
Within days of moving in, it becomes apparent that the Harcourt family are not the only residents of the house. A friend of Jade's is the first to see the spectral woman standing behind her as the girls talk on FaceTime. Then there are more sightings, and as the house seems to turn on the Harcourts, the terrified family discover its dark history, and the horrible truth of what it could mean for all of them...

'I saw an elderly lady in a blue dress. She appeared out of the wall on the left, glided across the room and disappeared into the wall on the right.'

😐 This was not a particularly interesting story to read. There was not much point to it. I kept thinking that maybe something worse was going to happen, and then it didn't... until the very end.
The unexpected ending managed to save the whole story. Everything else was just a waste of time.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Murder on the Orient Express (Kenneth Branagh)

From the novel by Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express tells of thirteen stranded strangers and one man's race to solve the puzzle before the murderer strikes again.

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Daisy Ridley, Leslie Odom Jr., Tom Bateman, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Penélope Cruz, Josh Gad, Johnny Depp, Sergei Polunin, Lucy Boynton, Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, Olivia Colman, Willem Dafoe

😐 I have not seen the original Murder on the Orient Express from 1974 although I do enjoy Agatha Christie's novels and I absolutely loved Death on the Nile (that is why I'm begging Kenneth Branagh not to do a remake - you can have all the A-list stars in the world but you can never top a classic).
About this film, the acting is superb with great A-listers (I particularly liked Kenneth Branagh as Hercules Poirot), but the plot felt a bit rushed in my opinion. Like I said, I did not see the original, but I felt that it took more time with less important matters in the beginning and the end, and then it just rushed through the main topic.
I still enjoyed the film though.

Monday, November 06, 2017

The Orville (Seth MacFarlane)

Set 400 years in the future, we follow the adventures of the Orville, a not-so-functional ship in Earth's interstellar Fleet. Facing all kinds of cosmic challenges, this crew of space explorers will go where no comedic drama has gone before.

Starring: Seth MacFarlane, Adrianne Palicki, Penny Johnson Jerald, Scott Grimes, Peter Macon, Halston Sage, J. Lee, Mark Jackson, Larry Joe Campbell, Chad L. Coleman, Victor Garber

❤️ I have never been a fan of Star Trek or Star Wars, but this has won me over.
Seth MacFarlane once described The Orville as 'something that has never been done before, which combines Science Fiction and comedy', and I guess that is why I like it so much. It is not a spoof of other shows but it actually brings something new to the table, something that has never been accomplished before, and which is so refreshing.
It is, overall, funny and there is an actual story here. It feels like it was written by a more grown-up Seth although you do get some hints of his typical humour here and there.
I guess this is my new addiction!

The Late Show (Michael Connelly)

Los Angeles can be a dangerous city - never more so than in the dead of night.
Detective Renée Ballard, once one of the department's young hotshots, now works 'The Late Show', the graveyard shift at the LAPD.
It is a thankless job keeping strange hours in a world of tragedy and violence, handing over her investigation as the sun rises, never getting closure.
Some nights are worse than others. And tonight is the worst yet.
Ballard knows it is always darkest before dawn. But what she does not know is how deep her dual investigation will take her into the dark heart of her city, her department, and her past.

Compton got out and looked back in at her. She said nothing and kept her gaze on the Camaro. He slammed the door. She refused to turn to watch him walk away.
"And another one bites the dust", she said to herself.

😐 I have not read other books by Michael Connelly, so I may be in for a nice surprise along the way; however, although I did enjoy some parts of the story, particularly towards the end, I felt that it took a long time to build up, where it even seemed somewhat boring at times.
Also, I did not care much for Renée Ballard. It is important to love the main character, and maybe I will feel differently later on, but I felt that everything happened too fast for me to like her.