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Welcome to my blog!

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

Saturday, September 29, 2012

To Rome with Love (Woody Allen)

Set in the romantic city of Rome. This tells the intertwining stories of a worker who wakes up to find himself a celebrity, an architect who takes a trip back to the street he lived on as a student, a young couple on their honeymoon, and a frustrated opera director who has a 'talent' for discovering singers.

Starring: Judy Davis, Flavio Parenti, Roberto Benigni, Alison Pill, Alessandro Tiberi, Alessandra Mastronardi, Alec Baldwin, Woody Allen, Jesse Eisenberg, Greta Gerwig, Penélope Cruz, Ellen Page

Why I loved this film: Unlike many comments I have read, the silliness and ridiculous scenes behind this movie blended with the beautiful scenario that is Rome makes it one of Woody Allen's best works ever!
I was not a Woody Allen fan before but he has started winning me over slowly with 'Midnight in Paris' and now 'To Rome with Love'. Besides, it took a lot of guts to make a mix between American and Italian movies, and the result was fabulous!
A mixture of hilarious, witty stories that blend reality with the surreal, which kept me laughing all the way along with everyone else in the room. A great comedy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hate List (Jennifer Brown)

Five months before, Valerie Leftman's boyfriend, Nick, opened fire on their school cafeteria before turning the gun on himself. Val was as shocked as everyone else - but despite her own serious injury she is implicated in the crime because of a list. The list both made of people they hated. The list Nick used to pick his targets.
Now, after a summer of seclusion, Val is forced to confront her guilt as she returns to school to complete her senior year. Haunted by the memory of the boyfriend she still loves and navigating rocky relationships with her family, former friends, and the girl whose life she saved, Val must come to grips with the tragedy that took place, and her role in it, in order to make amends and move on with her life.

Quote: "I sat on the couch, feeling more alone than ever before. Feeling colder than I'd ever imagined possible. Feeling like, of all the horror of what happened, this was the worst of it. This was the worst because, even after everything that had been done, I still missed Nick. Sometimes we get to win, too, he'd told me."

Why this book speaks to me: Unlike what you may think, Jennifer Brown's debut novel is not about a school shooting. That is just what triggers the story.
I have considered this book to be about two things. Firstly, how it all can change from one moment to another, one minute you are here, next you are not anymore; One minute you are happy, the next something will make you unhappy, or vice-versa; so you cannot take things or people for granted, nobody knows what tomorrow will bring.
However, this is also about a girl trying to find herself, in spite of everything. Trying to realise who she is, to fit into a dysfunctional family, and consider her future.
I found it to be a clever, powerful, and moving story. A real page-turner that left me in tears at the end!

The 64th Primetime Emmy Awards

Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel

Outstanding supporting actor in a comedy series: Eric Stonestreet (Modern Family)

Outstanding writing for a comedy series: Louis C. K. (Louie)

Outstanding supporting actress in a comedy series: Julie Bowen (Modern Family)

Outstanding directing for a comedy series: Steven Levitan (Modern Family)

Outstanding lead actor in a comedy series: Jon Cryer (Two and a Half Men)

Outstanding lead actress in a comedy series: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep)

Outstanding Reality Program: The Amazing Race

Outstanding host for a reality or reality-competition program: Tom Bergeron (Dancing with the Stars)

Outstanding supporting actor in a drama series: Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad)

- A prank is played where Tracy Morgan pretends to pass out, so people will twitter and Facebook about it, therefore increasing the audience of the Emmys.

Outstanding writing for a drama series: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff (Homeland)

Outstanding supporting actress in a drama series: Maggie Smith (Downton Abbey)

Outstanding directing for a drama series: Timothy Van Patten (Boardwalk Empire)

- A tribute was paid to Jimmy Kimmel (In Memoriam)with Josh Groban playing 'What makes you beautiful' by One Direction on the piano.

Outstanding lead actor in a drama series: Damian Lewis (Homeland)

Outstanding lead actress in a drama series: Claire Danes (Homeland)

Outstanding writing for a variety special: Louis C. K. (Louis C. K. Live at the Beacon Theatre)

Outstanding directing for a variety special: Glenn Weiss (65th Annual Tony Awards)

Outstanding Variety Series: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie: Jessica Lange (American Horror Story)

Outstanding supporting actor in a miniseries or movie: Tom Berenger (Hatfields & McCoys)

Outstanding writing for a miniseries or movie: Danny Strong (Game Change)

Outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie: Julianne Moore (Game Change)

Outstanding directing for a miniseries or movie: Jay Roach (Game Change)

Outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie: Kevin Costner (Hatfields & McCoys)

Outstanding miniseries or movie: Game Change

Outstanding Drama Series: Homeland

Outstanding Comedy Series: Modern Family


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan)

Directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, Calvin is a genius novelist who begins to type a new novel - on his manual typewriter - about Ruby, his dream girl. He cannot believe it when the following day Ruby becomes a real person, and they begin to have a beautiful relationship together. Whenever things are not perfect, all Calvin has to do is simply type the words on the page and Ruby's actions will change to what he needs.

Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, Elliott Gould, Alia Shawkat

Why I loved this film: To begin with, I had read a similar story called "The Girl on Paper" by Guillaume Musso; however, this remains pretty original, or at least there are not many similar movies out there, which is a real breath of fresh air.
It mostly follows that saying "be careful what you wish for", since it might come true and you may be over your head with something you are not sure about. Everything in this story is amazing, funny, witty - although it is not a real 'work of art', it made me laugh and think about what really matters in life, but mostly about fate. Even when you think everything seems lost and things will not get better, fate will find a way, making you think... Is it all my imagination?
But the most important lesson here is that you cannot control life - only your dreams - so leave for the present, do not worry about the future and never stop dreaming!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Hope Springs (Vanessa Taylor)

Directed by David Frankel, Kay and Arnold are a middle-aged couple whose marriage has declined until they are now sleeping in separate rooms and barely interact in any meaningful loving way. Kay has finally had enough and finds a book which inspires her to sign them up for a Doctor's intense week-long marriage counselling session. Although Arnold sees nothing wrong with their 30-year-old marriage, he reluctantly agrees to go on the expensive excursion. What follows is an insightful experience as Dr. Feld manages to help the couple understand how they have emotionally drifted apart and what they can do to reignite their passion. Even with the Doctor's advice, Kay and Arnold find that renewing their marriage's fire is a daunting challenge for them both.

Starring: Meryl Streep, Tommy Lee Jones, Steve Carell, Ben Rappaport, Marin Ireland, Elisabeth Shue

My thoughts on this film: I saw the trailer and thought it looked hilarious, but then I went on to watching the movie...
I expected nothing but greatness from such a wonderful cast and got... nothing!
With some funny moments, this looked more like a romantic story than the comedy it was supposed to be. Steve Carell was not funny at all, Meryl Streep was the romantic and clumsy wife in love with her husband - nothing new there and this sounds funnier than it actually was -, leaving Tommy Lee Jones with all the funny lines.
Some bits were a little too mushy and awkward for my taste; however, to be fair, it was not all so bad, I did laugh, but overall this movie was disappointing.

Miracle Cure (Harlan Coben)

Sara and Michael are the ideal celebrity couple, darlings of the media - until their lives are shattered by an illness.
Dr. Harvey Riker's clinic has found the miracle cure that millions seek. One by one his patients are getting well. One by one they are targeted by a serial killer more fatal than the disease.
Lieutenant Bernstein's true desires make him a perfect choice to track the killer - or a perfect victim.
Can anyone stop the assassin who will do anything to prevent the world's most desperately needed miracle cure...?

Quote: "No matter how hard she tried not to be, Sara was always different, always coddled, always behind. She hated it. As she got older, Sara learned that the limp and brace were not as difficult to overcome as people's perceptions."

Why this book speaks to me: I usually go through various stages where I get attached to a particular author. Right now I am hooked on Harlan Coben.
His books have everything I crave: mystery, fun, celebrity-style characters, a story that makes you want to keep reading non-stop, and a surprise at the end.
And this is no different; however, I have to admit it is not his best book whatsoever, but the ending is nothing like I imagined, so it made up for the rest.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

The eye of the storm (Judy Morris and Patrick White)

Under the direction of Fred Schepisi, Elizabeth Hunter controls all in her life - society, her staff, her children; but the once great beauty will now determine her most defiant act as she chooses her time to die.

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Charlotte Rampling, Judy Davis, Alexandra Schepisi, Maria Theodorakis, Helen Morse, Robyn Nevin, Martin Lynes

My thoughts on this film: I would not call it a great piece of art; however - with the help of an amazing cast -, this deals with life issues that concern us every day, where do we come from? How did we get to this point? Where do we go from here? How do we deal with the death of loved ones? What will it feel like when we die? Are we really able to choose our own time of death?... And, most importantly, why is Geoffrey Rush playing a sex symbol? I guess the latter will remain unanswered...
Overall, this is an all around fun - without being overly comic - family movie that teaches us to take each day as it comes and not to worry too much because the end is a sure thing.