Sunday, November 30, 2014
Virados do Avesso (Directed by: Edgar Pêra; Written by: Henrique Cardoso Dias, Roberto Pereira, Frederico Pombares)
Starring: Diogo Morgado, Jorge Corrula, Marina Albuquerque, Nuno Melo, Rui Unas, José Wallenstein, Nicolau Breyner, Anselmo Ralph, Bárbara Guimarães
My thoughts on this film: In my humble opinion, this is more of a tragedy than a comedy.
The first thing that entered my mind when I began watching this movie was:'Is it a final project for a film course?'
It really felt like something made by amateurs, and I am not including the actors in this. They did the best they could with a bad product. I mean, you have the crème de la crème in acting, and what do you do? Something out of the ordinary in a very bad way, which starts by turning our beloved international Jesus into a 'figurine of a gaylord'. Something that makes you wonder how much of a homophobic could this director be. I am all for making fun of everything but there have to be boundaries, and this was not even funny!
Overall, I am not really sure what to make of it, but definitely not good!
Monday, November 24, 2014
Hitting the panic button, Rayna searches for a solution.
A seemingly fake engagement instantly turns into an attraction, but when scandal comes calling, Rayna soon finds herself in more trouble than she can handle...
Quote: "Her hands revelled in the feel of the hard planes of his chest. She liked that his toned body was all lean muscle without the perfection of six-pack abs. She's always found the appearance of steroid-pumped muscles too synthetic - the male equivalent of fake boobs."
My thoughts on this book: This is my first Adite novel, so I did not know what to expect.
The first thing that came to mind was 'well, a lovey-dovey romance is not really my cup of tea'; however, even a romance can have breathtaking moments and Adite surely knows how to use them.
The depiction of the places, particularly Emerald Isle, makes you want to pack your bags and head there. What a magical location for a holiday let alone a wedding!
Storywise, the conflicts between Rayna and Neel are what kept me glued to the pages in a 'will they, won't they' fashion. It is the kind of love that probably has everyone rooting for them, particularly after Rayna's recent break-up and Neel's past, but I must also admit that I wish there were less novels with happy endings, although I do not intend to give away the story.
Last but not least, the author's writing is the best part of the whole book, in my opinion. Having grown up in England, I tend to try to mix between English and American novels, and I am usually pretty fast in differentiating the styles and finding my comfort zone within. Adite's style is among my favourites, since not only does she come close to the usual English style but her depiction of all the surroundings and people is simply amazing! If the story does not go your way, her writing will make sure you find your place among the fascinating and lively guests.
Overall, this is a good read to take when travelling or even to the beach. It will have you fantasising in no time!
Friday, November 21, 2014
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Bill Paxton, Kevin Rahm, Ann Cusack, Rene Russo, Riz Ahmed
My thoughts on this film: Jake Gyllenhaal plays sociopath Louis Bloom who is down on his luck and looking for a job, something suited for his 'talents'. He stops at the scene of an accident and sees a van and a cameraman filming. Louis begins to question the man on everything he does, scavenging for little bits of information because Louis has now found his new career and knows that just doing the job is not enough, he has to know it inside out to get ahead, and to hell with whoever gets in his way...
Louis Bloom is a robotic caricature of a human being, but unfortunately a lot of people in the business are similar to the man depicted here, or maybe even worse. There is, obviously, something missing upstairs with Louis Bloom, you just have to hear him speak and see the way he dresses, as well as his mannerisms and actions. Yet there are a lot of people in this business who, although they look 'normal', are similar to Bloom. They do not care who they step on. Jake Gyllenhaal's portrait of the emotionless Bloom is definitely worthy of an Oscar.
Overall, this is a nauseating, yet fun, thriller that you will be thinking about for quite a while!
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The Pythons redo their old sketches in their last show ever.
Starring: John Cleese, Carol Cleveland, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin
Why I loved this show: As a huge fan of Monty Python, I was actually very disappointed not to have been there in person. It was an opportunity to see their very best work included in a single show and there were times when I even felt a little emotional, in spite of being part of a younger generation of fans. And after such hilarious performances, the cherry on top was served at the very ending with an encore of 'Always look on the bright side of life', or as I like to call it, my life's anthem! Overall, as brilliant as it was I really hope it was not their very last performance and that someday my dream to see them live may come true. You never know!
Saturday, November 08, 2014
Starring: Ben Schnetzer, George MacKay, Andrew Scott, Faye Marsay, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Jessica Gunning, Rhodri Meilir, Imelda Staunton, Sophie Evans, Bill Nighy, Jack Baggs, Russell Tovey
Why I loved this film: 'Pride' delivers a moving story about pride, friendship and solidarity. When I was not laughing at the incredible performances from the top cast, I was crying at the emotional and moving story that runs through the film. This could so easily have slipped into a tragic or an over-politically charged story, but it was, instead, beautifully written and balanced. The clear messages come through hand-in-hand with humour, all in the right places. Such a wonderful work and a credit to the British Film Industry!
Saturday, November 01, 2014
Aimer, boire et chanter (Directed by Alain Resnais; Written by Alan Ayckbourn, Laurent Herbiet, Alain Resnais, and Jean-Marie Besset)
In the midst of rehearsals for a new play, amateur dramatics proponents Colin and Kathryn receive the shattering news that their friend George is fatally ill and only has a few months to live.
Starring: Sabine Azéma, Hippolyte Girardot, Caroline Sihol, Michel Vuillermoz, Sandrine Kiberlain, André Dussollier, Alba Gaïa Kraghede Bellugi
My thoughts on this film: In this movie by late Alain Resnais, the scenarios are totally fake, and so are the landscapes, giving it the burlesque feel of the play itself. The humour tends towards the British kind filled with analogies and second meanings.
The acting is superb, and so is the story, although the same scenarios over and over again tend to make your mind wander... I must confess I was struggling to pay attention by the second half of the movie.
However, there is so much you learn from this regarding life and its true meanings from a director who has just left us. Maybe a final goodbye? Some words of comfort? To quote the movie, 'it's always those full of life that leave us while the dull ones remain behind'!
On the occasion of his fifth wedding anniversary, Nick Dunne reports that his wife, Amy, has gone missing. Under pressure from the police and a growing media frenzy, Nick's portrait of a blissful union begins to crumble. Soon his lies, deceits and strange behaviour have everyone asking the same dark question: Did Nick Dunne kill his wife?
Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, David Clennon, Lisa Banes, Emily Ratajkowski, Casey Wilson
My thoughts on this film: The first half of the movie is a fairly standard 'did he or didn't he' mystery thriller. Then, about an hour in, the perspective shifts entirely and suddenly you realise that you are watching something totally unexpected.
Despite the abrupt shift, I still think that Gone Girl holds together extremely well. Ben Affleck's Nick manages to inspire sympathy without ever being truly likeable while Rosamund Pike's Amy is brilliant and terrifying at the same time.
My two complaints would be over the length: There were certainly a few moments when I wished that the movie would hurry up and get to the point just a little more quickly. And although I am not a prude, there were too many unnecessary explicit sex contents in my view. However, I must say that this film is unlike any that I have ever seen before. I would recommend it to all (with a warning that the adult rating is well earned) but especially those with a dark sense of humour.