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, July 28, 2013

Only God Forgives (Nicolas Winding Refn)

Julian manages a Thai boxing club in Bangkok as a front for a drugs operation. Respected in the criminal underworld, deep inside, he feels empty. When Julian's brother murders an underage prostitute, the police call on retired cop Chang - the Angel of Vengeance. Chang allows the father to kill his daughter's murderer, then 'restores order' by chopping off the man's right hand. Julian's mother Crystal - the head of a powerful criminal organisation - arrives in Bangkok to collect her son's body. She dispatches Julian to find his killers and raise hell.

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kristin Scott Thomas, Vithaya Pansringarm, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, Tom Burke

Why I hated this film: Considering that Nicolas Winding Refn also directed 'Drive', which I hated, I am beginning to see a resemblance. Maybe I will lay off his movies from now on. They are not my cup of tea.
I have never walked out of a movie, and this time even I felt like doing it. The only thing that kept me there was the money I had paid to watch it, I thought that I might as well stay to the end.
It took me a while to understand what was going on, but there were times when I felt completely lost and could not figure out the point of the story. Like in Drive, Ryan Gosling hardly ever speaks, but looks rather sad throughout the whole movie, staring point-blank at what is happening around him and having allucinations, which come up out of nowhere.
I also did not see the point of the cop singing in the middle of the story - maybe lack of subtitles in that part did not help much, since it was in Thai.
To top it all, I absolutely hated the extreme violence that seemed to play a main role throughout the entire film. Just not for me!

Monday, July 22, 2013

R.I.P. Dennis Farina


Actor Dennis Farina died today in Scottsdale, Arizona after suffering a blood clot in his lung. He was 69.
Farina starred as Det. Joe Fontana on 'Law & Order' and more recently played Nick's father on 'New Girl'.
Before he became an actor, Dennis Farina was a cop with the Chicago Police Department from 1967 to 1985 and did not start acting until he was 37-years-old.
He is survived by three children, five grandchildren and wife, Marianne Cahill. R.I.P.

Micro (Michael Crichton & Richard Preston)

Three men are found dead in a locked Honolulu office. There is no sign of a struggle, but their bodies are covered in ultra-fine razor-sharp cuts.
Seven of America's top graduate students are invited to Hawaii by a pioneering microbiology company, which promises them access to the very latest scientific discoveries. But they are walking into a death trap.
Exposed to technology of unimaginable power, the group is thrown into Hawaii's rainforest. To survive, they must harness the destructive force of nature itself - and escape the company's trained killers who hunt them through the hostile wilderness...

Quote: "We think they look primitive, we think fewer legs is a sign of intelligence. Because we walk on two legs, we think it makes us smarter and better than an animal that walks on four or six legs."

Why this book speaks to me: I had tried to read other books by Michael Crichton following the success that was 'Jurassic Park' - such as 'Prey' - but I felt disappointed and had more or less given up on him; however, I decided to give the last novel he wrote before passing away in 2008 a chance, and found something much closer to Jurassic Park.
I do not understand how no one has had the idea to turn this into a movie.
I was constantly comparing it to Jurassic Park, since once they are in the micro-world, our scientists are forced to traverse a rainforest that is crawling with gigantic predators.
It would seem that the retreat of scientists to the laboratory is the general inspiration for the novel. In his introduction, Crichton criticises the scientific community for failing to do field work and relying on computer models. Regardless of his aims, Crichton's narrative is solid. The animals often appear quite spooky, the micro-sized tools that the scientists come up with to survive in the micro-world are pretty cool, and the pace is fast. In other words, he covered all the bases.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

R.I.P. Mel Smith




British comedian Mel Smith - from funny duo 'Smith & Jones' - has passed away after suffering a heart attack. He was 60-years-old.
Although Smith had apparently been ill for quite a while it is still a tragedy and great loss for British comedy! R.I.P.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Flypaper (Jon Lucas & Scott Moore; Director: Rob Minkoff)

Tripp walks into a bank to get some change and ends up as a hostage to two bank robber-teams, who decide to rob that bank on the same day. In an almost Sherlock Holmesian way he has to solve this Agatha Christie inspired mystery and win the girl's heart. But not everything is at it seems, and there are many twists and turns in this comedy.

Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Ashley Judd, Tim Blake Nelson, Mekhi Phifer, Matt Ryan, Jeffrey Tambor, Pruitt Taylor Vince, Curtis Armstrong, Rob Huebel, Adrian Martinez, Octavia Spencer

My thoughts on this film: To begin with, I do not understand why this took two years to reach Portugal, since it came out in America in 2011!
Otherwise, the story was original and hilarious! The 'LOL' kind!
The plot was witty with many twists and turns, and the ending caught me by surprise.
Patrick Dempsey and Ashley Judd made a great team, and I absolutely loved Peanut Butter and Jelly (you have to see the movie to know what I am talking about)!
It was overall fun to watch!

Private No. 1 Suspect (James Patterson & Maxine Paetro)

Since former US Marine Jack Morgan started Private, it has become the world's most successful detective agency. But when his former lover is found murdered in Jack's bed, Jack is instantly the number one suspect.
With his team stretched to breaking point and Jack fighting for his life, he finds himself strong-armed by the mob into recovering $30 million (approx. €23 million) in stolen pharmaceuticals, and Jack realises he is facing his most powerful enemies ever.


Quote: "I made a bad mistake, a backslide, that I deeply regret. But we were making our way back to each other after a long time apart. We were building on all of it, everything we know about each other. There is nothing we can't work out. You can't turn your back on love,..."

My thoughts on this book: I have read the entire 'Private' series, some are better, some are worse, it is a little hard to say which is the best. I enjoyed the start and ending of this novel; however, although I know this is mostly about a detective agency, I found there were too many murders to solve, which does not leave much time to focus on forensics, etc. I prefer those books that will lead you through a whole crime-solving deal towards finding the killer. This one focuses more on what happened and who did it with little in-between.
Overall, it was ok.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

R.I.P. Cory Monteith


The 31-year-old Glee star was found dead in a Vancouver hotel (Canada) after he failed to check out. There is no information as to the cause of death at this time although he had entered rehab in April for substance abuse.
I cannot express how saddened I feel right now. This came as a shock!
My condolences go out to his friends and family! R.I.P.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The hound of the Baskervilles (Arthur Conan Doyle)

Some blame the sudden death of Sir Charles Baskerville on the legend of a fearsome and ghostly hound that is said to have haunted his Devonshire family for generations.
So when the services of famed detective Sherlock Holmes are engaged to ensure the safety of Baskerville heir Sir Henry - recently arrived from America - Dr Watson is surprised to find his friend dismissive of the matter. In fact, Watson is dispatched alone to accompany Sir Henry to Baskerville Hall in Devon while Holmes deals with another case.
Yet Watson finds the wild moors are a far cry from the orderly streets of London, and in the cold night a savage and bestial howl may be heard...

Quote: "One great grey bird, a gull or curlew, soared aloft in the blue haven. He and I seemed to be the only living things between the huge arch of the sky and the desert beneath it. The barren scene, the sense of loneliness, and the mystery and urgency of my task all struck a chill into my heart."

Why this book speaks to me: I am still a huge fan of old crime fiction. How I miss the days with no cell phones, where a simple detective had to guess their way out of situations.
I know this has been turned into TV series and movies, but nothing tops a good read leaving it all to the imagination...
There is everything here, the settings of Devonshire, terror, and suspense. What else could I ask for?

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Hysteria (Stephen Dyer, Jonah Lisa Dyer, Howard Gensler; directed by: Tanya Wexler)

The truth of how Mortimer Granville devised the invention of the first vibrator in the name of medical science.

Starring: Hugh Dancy, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jonathan Pryce, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett, Ashley Jensen, Sheridan Smith

Why I loved this film: Set in the 19th century, it tells the interesting story of how Mortimer Granville created the first vibrator.
Due to a fine script and great cast this comedy manages to keep the laughs going throughout the entire movie. It also counts on the presence of Maggie Gyllenhaal, who gives an explosively vibrant portrayal of a woman who will not slot herself into the societal norms of her gender at this time period - leading us towards female rights.
Hysteria is certainly nothing to write home about, but it is a nice change from many of the current 'fight' movies around and it certainly surprised me!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Now you see me (Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin, Edward Ricourt; Director: Louis Leterrier)

An FBI agent and an Interpol detective track a team of illusionists who pull off bank robberies during their performances.

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine

Why I loved this film: The movie was so much more enjoyable than I thought it would be from watching the trailers. It has a lot of wit, a clever plot, suspense, magic, humour, twists, and action. The casting was also great.

Overall, I was surprised at how good the story was. The ending is totally unexpected; and I also loved all the magic tricks, the way they blended into the plot and made you realise that sometimes 'the closer you look, the less you'll see'!