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...

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Mark Twain)

Whether forming a pirate gang to search for buried treasure or spending a quiet time at home, sharing his medicine with Aunt Polly's cat, our dearest Tom Sawyer evokes the world of boyhood in nineteenth-century rural America. In this classic story Mark Twain recreated an appealing world based on his own childhood, as well as his friends'.
Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn conceal themselves in the town cemetery, where they witness a grave robbery and a murder; Later in the book, they hide out on an island while the townspeople conduct a frantic search and finally mourn them as dead... Until they return to attend their own funeral; And if that is not enough, Tom and his sweetheart, Becky Thatcher, lose their way in a cave...
With its hilarious accounts of boyish pranks and cunning assessments of human nature, this is a must-read novel that continues to captivate all generations!

Quote: "Tom, it don't make no difference. I ain't everybody, and I can't stand it. It's awful to be tied up so. And grub comes too easy - I don't take no interest in vittles, that way. I got to ask to go a-fishing; I got to ask to go in a-swimming - dern'd if I hain't got to ask to do everything. Well, I'd got to talk so nice it wasn't no comfort - I'd got to go up in the attic and rip out awhile, every day, to git a taste in my mouth, or I'd 'a' died, Tom. The widder wouldn't let me smoke; she wouldn't let me yell, she wouldn't let me gape, nor stretch, nor scratch, before folks - And dad fetch it, she prayed all the time! I never see such a woman! I had to shove, Tom - I just had to. And besides, that school's going to open, and I'd'a' had to go to it - well, I wouldn't stand that, Tom. Looky here, Tom, being rich ain't what it's cracked up to be. It's just worry and worry, and sweat and sweat, and a-wishing you was dead all the time."

Why this book speaks to me: I had read it before when I was little and I remember loving this book so much, imagining what it would be like to have the freedom that Tom and his friends had... Roaming through the countryside, swimming in the river, camping on a deserted island, playing pirates and exploring caves... It was pure joy to read about their adventures!
Now, as an adult, I have another sense regarding the human nature of the book, however, it only makes the story more meaningful and complete.
It also manages to bring out the kid in me... I can never get enough of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Descendants (Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash, based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings)

His wife Elizabeth suffers a boating accident and is on life support... His younger daughter is having tantrums... His older daughter returns a foul-mouthed drunk... Now Hawaiian land baron Matt King also has to confront the young real estate broker who was having an affair with Elizabeth before her misfortune.

Starring: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller, Nick Krause, Patricia Hastie, Beau Bridges, Matthew Lillard, Judy Greer


Why I loved this film: Honestly, I do not have a single bad thing to say about this movie. When comparing it to "The Ides of March" I still cannot decide which should win an Oscar, both are very different, yet brilliantly done!
I laughed from beginning to end, George Clooney was great as the father/widow and it was also good to see Shailene Woodley in a comedy, although she still plays the troubled teenager (however, not pregnant this time).
I really love Matthew Lillard, he is the type of person that makes you laugh just by appearing in a scene and I was not disappointed this time. Although I really hated his character for personal reasons, he managed to remain funny and made me think about how pointless it all seems.
Beau Bridges looks very different here, but did a good job too.
Overall, this is a very funny film that makes you think about life and how short it really is, so do not abandon those you love nor stop telling them how you feel. No one knows what will happen tomorrow.

Note: The subtitles were very badly translated.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The 2012 Golden Globe Awards



Hosted by funny man Ricky Gervais. Five hours before going on the Red Carpet, the Reading born comedian tweeted:
"Hollywood is all about image, so I've hired the best stylist in the business, to really "wow" at the Golden Globes." http://pic.twitter.com/4R0SG0um





Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture:
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)

Best Actress in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical:
Laura Dern (Enlightened)

Best Mini-Series or TV Movie:
Downton Abbey

Best Actress in a Mini-Series or TV Movie:
Kate Winslet (Mildred Pierce)

Best Actor in a TV Series - Drama:
Kelsey Grammer (Boss)

Best TV Series - Drama:
Homeland

Best Original Score - Motion Picture:
Ludovic Bource (The Artist)

Best Original Song - Motion Picture:
"Masterpiece" (W.E.) - Music and Lyrics by Madonna

Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie:
Idris Elba (Luther)

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical:
Michelle Williams (My Week with Marylin)

Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie:
Peter Dinklage (Game of Thrones)

Best Animated Feature Film:
The Adventures of Tintin

Best Screenplay - Motion Picture:
Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen)
-> I loved "Midnight in Paris" but I think that "The Ides of March" should have won.

Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series or TV Movie:
Jessica Lange (American Horror Story)

Best Foreign Language Film:
A Separation (Iran)

Best Actress in a TV Series - Drama:
Claire Danes (Homeland)

Best Actor in a TV Series - Comedy or Musical:
Matt LeBlanc (Episodes)

Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture:
Octavia Spencer (The Help)

Cecil B. DeMille Award:
Morgan Freeman

Best Director in a Motion Picture:
Martin Scorsese (Hugo)

Best TV Series - Comedy or Musical:
Modern Family
->I was enjoying the actors' looks throughout the show, before they won, they could have been a little more discreet and acted like they were happy for the other winners... But the speech was funny, so I guess they made up for looking gloomy!

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical:
Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
-> I was rooting for Ryan Gosling or Owen Wilson.

Best Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama:
Meryl Streep (The Iron Lady)
-> Worthy of a standing ovation. She really is the Leading Lady of Hollywood! Meryl Streep can do no wrong!

Best Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical:
The Artist
-> This time, I was rooting for "Midnight in Paris".

Best Actor in a Motion Picture - Drama:
George Clooney (The Descendants)
-> This movie only comes out in Portugal next Thursday, so I am definitely going to see it on Friday.

Best Motion Picture - Drama:
The Descendants
-> I was rooting for "The Ides of March", but I have not yet seen "The Descendants".

On a final note, Ricky Gervais toned the jokes down and the ceremony went smoothly. In terms of awards, it was so-and-so. That's all folks!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney, based on the characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle)

Sherlock Holmes and his longtime trusted associate, Doctor Watson, take on their arch-nemesis, Professor Moriarty, with the help of Holmes' older brother Mycroft Holmes and a gypsy named Sim.

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Jude Law, Noomi Rapace, Rachel McAdams, Jared Harris, Stephen Fry, Kelly Reilly


My thoughts on this film: First of all, it should be in the comedy genre. The movie was not at all what I expected, it was laughable all the way, with a great cast, but there were many inconsistencies, in particular the first bomb going off and the first two fight scenes, which were very unrealistic. The film got better throughout the second part, but overall, I was a little disappointed.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Carnage (Roman Polanski, Yasmina Reza)

Two parent couples hold a cordial meeting after their sons are involved in a fight, although as their time together progresses, increasingly childish behaviour throws the evening into chaos.

Starring: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, Christoph Waltz, John C. Reilly

My thoughts on this film: It brought me back to my Drama days, where a good performance meant much more than the scenario around it. I just love to perform these roles and to watch it was simply amazing!

The actors were brilliant and the film was really funny from beginning to end, which made for a nice surprise, the kind that kept you laughing really loudly. However, I did not care much for the ending. I kept on wandering how such a movie could end and I believe the task ahead was a difficult one, but not what I expected.
Overall the film was very good.

Monday, January 02, 2012

2011 Top Ten: My Choices

Movies:
1- The Ides of March
2- Crazy, Stupid, Love
3- Pirates of the Caribbean: on Stranger Tides
4- Larry Crowne
5- Johnny English Reborn
6- Friends with Benefits
7- What's Your Number?
8- Horrible Bosses
9- Romantics Anonymous (Les émotifs anonymes)
10- The Women on the 6th Floor (Les femmes du 6ème étage)

TV:
1- The Tonight Show
2- Último a Sair
3- Happy Endings
4- Franklin & Bash
5- Grey's Anatomy
6- Off the Map
7- Mr. Sunshine
8- Traffic Light
9- The Glee Project
10- Glee

Songs:
1- Que parva que eu sou (Deolinda)
2- Os embeiçados (Clã)
3- The Time: Dirty Bit (Black Eyed Peas)
4- Vá lá senhora (Os Golpes)
5- Closer to the edge (30 Seconds to Mars)
6- Sexy and I know it (LMFAO)
7- One World One Flame (Bryan Adams)
8- Someone like you (Adele)
9- Secret (Seal)
10- Mentira (João Pedro Pais)

Books:
1- Juliet (Anne Fortier)
2- The Lost Symbol (Dan Brown)
3- The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (John Boyne)
4- The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
5- Private (James Patterson)
6- Goddess of Vengeance (Jackie Collins)
7- Summer and the City (Candace Bushnell)
8- Juliet, Naked (Nick Hornby)
9- An Object of Beauty (Steve Martin)
10- One Day (David Nicholls)

Avatar (James Cameron)

Paraplegic Marine Jake Sully goes on a mission to the distant world of Pandora. There he learns of greedy corporate figurehead Parker Selfridge's intentions to drive off the native humanoid "Na'vi" in order to mine for the precious material scattered throughout their rich woodland. In exchange for the spinal surgery that will fix his legs, Jake agrees to cooperate with the military unit headed by Colonel Quaritch, while simultaneously attempting to infiltrate the Na'vi people with the use of an "avatar" identity. While Jake begins to bond with the native tribe and quickly falls in love with the beautiful alien Neytiri, the restless Colonel moves forward with his ruthless extermination tactics, forcing the soldier to take a stand, and fight back in an epic battle for the fate of Pandora.

Starring: Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi, Joel David Moore, CCH Pounder, Wes Studi, Laz Alonso, Dileep Rao, Matt Gerald, Sean Anthony Moran

My thoughts on this film: Storywise, it is not my cup of tea. I am not into military and war movies. However, I loved the whole "save the trees and the planet" theme. Meanwhile, I must agree that the real highlights of Avatar were the special effects; Very well done and cool to watch. It really brought the movies into a whole new dimension. Simply amazing!