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

Sunday, January 30, 2011

British and American Office come together!

For those who have missed it, here is the best moment of the U.S. Office:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Digital Fortress (Dan Brown)

In the National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Maryland, when the most powerful intelligence organisation on earth's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, there is a call for its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power.
The NSA is being held hostage... Not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it could cripple US intelligence.
In Seville, Spain, the creator of the code, Ensei Tankado, is found dead. And with him has died the secret to an indestructible code-writing formula that threatens to erase the post-cold war balance of power... Forever!
From the underground hallways of power to the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the towering cathedrals of Spain, a desperate race unfolds. Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, betrayed on all sides, Susan Fletcher finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.

Quote: "Hiroshima 8:15 A.M. August 6, 1945 - a vile act of destruction. A senseless display of power by a country that had already won the war. Tankado had accepted all that. But what he could never accept was that the bomb had robbed him of ever knowing his mother. She had died giving birth to him - complications brought on by the radiation poisoning she'd suffered so many years earlier.
In 1945, before Ensei was born, his mother, like many of her friends, traveled to Hiroshima to volunteer in the burn centers. It was there that she became one of the hibakusha - the radiated people. Nineteen years later, at the age of thirty-six, as she lay in the delivery room bleeding internally, she knew she was finally going to die. What she did not know was that death would spare her the final horror - her only child was to be born deformed."

Why this book speaks to me: Dan Brown never stops surprising me! I must say that I have actually become a fan of his work. He does a great deal of research on the subject of the book that is being written and I always learn new facts. This time the author concentrates on a new form of communication called the "e-mail" and how it can be tampered with for the sake of "anti-terrorism", therefore, it does not matter how secure an internet service may appear, there is always a backdoor.
However, the church is not out of danger here either, Dan Brown still finds the time to criticise the Catholic religion and some sins that are carried out therein.

Inconsistencies: The first thing I found is not an actual inconsistency, but having only read this book recently, the fact that the author kept on mentioning Pesetas in Spain confused me, since the currency in that country is now the Euro, however I later found out that "Digital Fortress" was first published in 1998, which explains it.
The second inconsistency is a Portuguese assassin, born and raised in Lisbon, who is called Hulohot and speaks Spanish throughout the whole story. Dan Brown does not explain whether Hulohot is his surname or just a nickname, but there is one thing I know for sure, it is not a Portuguese name, neither should he be speaking in Spanish if he is Portuguese and was hired by an American (even if the murders are set in Spain, it is not the same thing!)
Finally, almost at the end of the story, when the Director of the organisation is speaking to two agents he sent to go to Seville, Coliander and Smith, when Coliander is speaking, the Director calls him Smith.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Operação Triunfo (Portugal): The winner is...

33-year-old Jorge Roque is the big winner and will be off to Boston, where he won a scholarship at Berklee College of Music!
Well done, Jorge, a new artist is born...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Ricky Gervais Scoop!

The King of Comedy has been in the news throughout this week... To begin with, he hosted the Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, then (according to the press) managed to get fired on Monday for being too truthful (if you ask me, I only think he went a tad too far with the Hugh Heffner joke, I would have left the mimicking out)...
... And now he is reclaiming his old Office job back... Or at least David Brent, his original British Office character, is... Only for a special episode at the end of this month, where Ricky will guest star in a faceoff with Steve Carell... Or his character, anyway... Be sure to watch it!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Unseen Academicals (Terry Pratchett)

Football has come to the ancient city of Ankh-Morpork - not the old-fashioned, pushing and shoving kind, but the new, fast football with pointy hats for goalposts and balls that go gloing. And now the wizards of Unseen University must win a football match without using magic, so they are going to try everything else.
The Big Match draws in a mischievious youngster with a gift for kicking a tin can, a maker of jolly good pies, a dim but beautiful young woman, who might turn out to be the greatest fashion model ever and the mysterious Mr. Nutt (no one knows much about Mr. Nutt, not even himself.)
As the match approaches, four lives are changed for ever. Because the thing about football - the important thing about football - is that it is not just about football.

Quote: "When you clearly liked people, they were slightly more inclined to like you. Every little helped."

Why this book speaks to me: Although it seems to be just about football, that is not the case. Written in a very funny and intelligent manner, this story is about a stranger who finds out he is not what he thought and has to find a way to live with it and not run from people judging him; A fat lady who speaks her mind whenever she thinks people are not being fair, but also learns that love can arrive when you least expect it to, with the person you least expect; A beautiful girl who leaves the dream of becoming a model to listen to her best friend, the person whose feeling she truly cares about; A boy capable of anything for his true love, even being as corny as writing a love poem, with the promise of no "hanky panky"; But above all, this story is about being a team and sticking together as such for good and bad times. If one person is suffering, the others will help them out, that is what friendship must be about!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Golden Globe Awards: The Results


Hosted by my favourite comedian Ricky Gervais!
 














Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

Best Actress in a Television Series - Drama: Katey Sagal (Sons of Anarchy)

Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Carlos

Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Chris Colfer (Glee)

Best Actor in a Television Series - Drama: Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire)

Best TV Series - Drama: Boardwalk Empire

Best Original Song - Motion Picture: "You haven't seen the last of me"- Diane Warren (Burlesque)

Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross (The Social Network)

Best Animated Feature Film: Toy Story 3

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Annette Bening (The kids are all right)

Best Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Al Pacino (You don't know Jack)

Best Actress in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television: Claire Danes (Temple Grandin)

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture: The Social Network (Aaron Sorkin)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television: Jane Lynch (Glee)

Best Foreign Language Film: Hævnen - In a Better World (Denmark)

Best Actress in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Laura Linney (The Big C)

Best Actor in a Television Series - Musical or Comedy: Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory)

Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Melissa Leo (The Fighter)

The Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement in Motion Pictures: Robert DeNiro

Best Director - Motion Picture: David Fincher (The Social Network)

Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical: Glee

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy: Paul Giamatti (Barney's Version)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: Natalie Portman (Black Swan)

Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical: The kids are all right

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama: Colin Firth (The King's Speech)

Best Motion Picture - Drama: The Social Network

Saturday, January 15, 2011

American Dreamz (Paul Weitz)

Martin Tweed is the host and sole judge on "American Dreamz", a hugely popular TV show about to begin a new season. But Tweed, bored and barbaric, wants to shake things up this year. He orders his staff to ensure that an Arab and a Jew are among the competitors, and when the president of the United States says he wants to appear as a guest judge for the finale, well, that should be good for a laugh too.
The president is Joseph Staton, recently re-elected who does whatever his chief of staff tells him. But Staton, experiencing something of a mid-life crisis, has actually started reading the newspapers and thinking for himself. In fact, he is so concealed in the world of current affairs and book-learning that he has not appeared in public for several weeks, leading to rumours that he has had a nervous breakdown, prompting his chief of staff to try and get him on "American Dreamz."
Meanwhile, the early front-runner on the show is Sally Kendoo, a perky Ohio blonde who will turn on the charm in public very easily. She becomes the soulmate of Martin Tweed, and the two find kinship in their duplicitous black-heartedness. This distresses Sally's boyfriend William, a semi-wounded Army volunteer whom she is dating solely because it looks good on TV to have a boyfriend who fought in Iraq.
But what about the Arab? He is Omer, a sweet former terrorist-in-training who was exiled by his Iraqi handlers to live with his cousins in America. Omer was never cut out for terrorism anyway; he prefers singing and dancing. Nonetheless, when his handlers tell him to use his TV appearance - and the presence of the U.S. President as a guest judge - to further the cause, he has no choice but to obey. Although Later on he realises that nothing is worth losing your life over!

Starring: Hugh Grant, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Willem Dafoe, Chris Klein, Jennifer Coolidge, Sam Golzari, Marcia Gay Harden, Seth Meyers, John Cho

Why I loved this film: It is a spoof of the American TV show "American Idol", with Hugh Grant as a cross between Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell (which was very well done); also mocking President George Bush, The Middle East and the war on Iraq. I especially enjoyed President Staton's lines: "I've had speechwriters write for me all of my career and advisors telling me what positions to take. I can't even remember why I wanted to get into politics to begin with. I think it's because my mum wanted me to, to show my dad any idiot could do it"; "In terms of the Middle East, it looks like the problems over there are never going to be solved. I mean never, never, never, never, never, never. So, I'm sorry about that..."
But besides being hilarious, this film also teaches a lesson that life is worth so much more than any war or deception. It is much better to face reality, no matter how upsetting it may be!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Angels & Demons (Dan Brown, David Koepp and Akiva Goldsman)

This sequel to "The Da Vinci Code", directed by Ron Howard, finds Robert Langdon summoned to Vatican City to investigate a murder.
There he discovers the existence of the Illuminati – the most powerful and ruthless underground organisation in history, and a deadly enemy of the Catholic Church. In a race against time to save the Vatican, Langdon embarks on an action-packed hunt through undiscovered crypts and cathedrals, and finds himself at the most secretive vault on earth.

Starring: Tom Hanks, Ewan McGregor, Ayelet Zurer, Stellan Skarsgård

Why I loved this film: At first I was not too keen on seeing this sequel to Dan Brown's best seller "The Da Vinci Code" (although Angels & Demons was actually written first) because I simply hated the book. The reason why I hated it was because I had read it right after "The Da Vinci Code" and the plot seemed too similar, except for the woman involved and the places that were visited.
Now that several years have passed I decided to watch this film and I still think that Dan Brown does an amazing investigation job and in every situation you learn a little History. When it comes to the Religion factor, the author loves to throw in some polemic ideas that are a result of his research, but he leaves it up to the reader/viewer to believe what they like, he does not impose those ideas on you.
The movie itself was very well done, with amazing special effects, which keep you glued to the screen every step of the way.

Monday, January 03, 2011

Ratatouille (Brad Bird, Jim Capobianco and Jan Pinkava)

Remy is a young rat who lives in the attic of a French country home with his brother Emile and a pack led by his father Django. Gifted with a keen understanding of cuisine as well as a rat's powerful sense of smell and taste, Remy aspires to be a gourmet chef, inspired by France's recently deceased top chef, Auguste Gusteau. Instead, his talent is put to work by his father sniffing for rat poison. When the pack is discovered by the home's occupant, they flee into the sewers; Remy becomes separated from the others and ends up underneath Gusteau's restaurant in Paris, conversing with a hallucination of the famous chef.
Urged on by Gusteau, Remy makes his way up to the restaurant's kitchen skylight to watch the staff in action. There, he observes Alfredo Linguini, the son of Gusteau's old flame, being hired as a garbage boy by Skinner, the restaurant's current owner and Gusteau's former sous-chef. When Linguini spills some of the soup and attempts to repair it by using random ingredients, Remy is horrified and falls into the kitchen, where, instead of escaping, he fixes the soup. Remy is caught by Linguini just as the latter is caught by Skinner, but before anyone can stop the serving staff, the soup is served and found to be a success. Colette Tatou, the only female chef therein, convinces Skinner to retain Linguini, believing him to be the success behind the soup. Skinner agrees but orders that Remy be exterminated by Linguini, who knowing of the rat's intervention, takes him home instead.
Ratatouille is a very successful dish Remy creates at the end of the story.

Starring: Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, Brian Dennehy, Peter Sohn, Peter O'Toole, Brad Garrett, Janeane Garofalo, Will Arnett

Why I loved this film: Ratatouille is mainly about friendship and following your dreams, no matter how absurd they seem... If you dream them, then they may come true.
Friendship is about sticking together, even when things seem tough... When hope is lost... It is about being on the same boat... About helping each other through thick and thin... This is what Ratatouille shows us through its computer-animated characters.
A film for all ages with funny dialogues and moral aspirations!