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, March 29, 2015

Samba (Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano)

Samba migrated to France ten years ago from Senegal, and has since been plugging away at various lowly jobs. Alice is a senior executive who has recently undergone a burnout. Both struggle to get out of their dead-end lives. Samba is willing to do whatever it takes to obtain working papers, while Alice tries to get her life back on track, until fate draws them together.

Starring: Omar Sy, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Tahar Rahim, HĂ©lĂšne Vincent, Youngar Fall, Christiane Millet, Jacqueline Jehanneuf, Liya Kebede, Sabine Pakora

Why I loved this film: Samba is a French romantic comedy. What I like about this movie is that it is not so cheesy and over the top like many Hollywood productions. Samba is a very personal film. The characters are every day people with every day problems. It also picks up the migration issues in France, which makes it that much more interesting.
Overall, this film is perfect, romantic, funny, entertaining with a little bit of drama and social criticism. You definitely get your money's worth!

Friday, March 27, 2015

R.I.P. Luis Miguel Rocha

Hoje quero começar por fazer uma homenagem a um grande escritor que faleceu, ontem. O Ășnico escritor portuguĂȘs com quem me identificava e a quem eu dei a alcunha de "Dan Brown portuguĂȘs".
Luis Miguel Rocha tinha 39 anos e foi vĂ­tima de um estĂșpido a quem chamam de cancro.
Nestas alturas, damos por nĂłs a pensar na vida e a perguntar: porquĂȘ?
Sei que nĂŁo existe altura certa ou errada, mas o Luis partiu cedo demais. Ainda tinha tanto para dar ao paĂ­s e ao mundo (as suas obras encontram-se traduzidas).
A nossa cultura ficou, de facto, mais pobre.
Dito isto, apenas me resta a resignação de que nunca hei-de entender estas escolhas que a morte faz, mas é assim a vida...
Até sempre Luis Miguel Rocha!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Bleeding Edge (Thomas Pynchon)


It is New York City in 2001 and fraud investigator Maxine Tarnow is on the case of billionaire geek CEO Gabriel Ice.
Standing in her way is an array of bloggers, hackers, code detectors, and entrepreneurs, some of whom begin to show up mysteriously dead. Not to mention a drug runner in a motorboat, a professional nose obsessed with Hitler's aftershave, and a neoliberal enforcer with footwear issues.
Will perpetrators be revealed, forget about, or brought to justice?

Quote: "At bedtime Ernie used to tell his daughters scary blacklist stories. Some kids had the Seven Dwarfs, Maxine and Brooke had the Hollywood Ten. The trolls and wicked sorcerers and so forth were usually Republicans of the 1950s, toxic with hate, stuck back around 1925 in almost bodily revulsion from anything leftward of capitalism, by which they usually meant keeping an increasing pile of money safe from the depredations of the IRS. Growing up on the Upper West Side, it was impossible not to hear about people like this."

My thoughts on this book: I decided to pick 'Bleeding Edge' because I felt curious about Thomas Pynchon after hearing so much about 'Inherent Vice', and since this is his most recent novel, I gave it a go. Well, maybe I am not ready for his books, or maybe he is just not ready to be read by someone like me!
I must confess that I had a difficult time following the narrative, staying invested in the heroine, and understanding the plot.
The characters seemed stereotypical and we get that Maxine is Jewish! There is no need to keep bringing it up every time you get a chance!
In the end, there is no real resolution, no big sigh.
Either I missed something or I really should be reading other types of books. I will not be giving Mr. Pynchon another chance any time soon!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (Directed by John Madden; Written by Ol Parker)

Sonny has his eye on a promising property now that his first venture has only a single remaining vacancy. Evelyn and Douglas have joined the Jaipur workforce, and Norman and Carol are negotiating the tricky waters of an exclusive relationship, as Madge juggles two eligible and very wealthy suitors. Perhaps the only one who may know the answers is Muriel, the keeper of everyone's secrets.

Starring: Dev Patel, Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Celia Imrie, Ronald Pickup, Diana Hardcastle, Tina Desai, Shazad Latif, Lillete Dubey, Tamsin Greig, Richard Gere

Why I loved this film: This movie allows you to reunite with an incredible cast and their charming characters, which I am sure are what made the first film such a hit. Sonny and Muriel are the highlight of the story for me, they are hilarious, no matter what. Although you do see a softer side to Muriel, which comes to a particularly emotional point at the end.
But the rest of the cast were as brilliant. When I first realised Richard Gere was going to be in it, I did not really see the point, but he showed that he can be just as funny as the others.
If you loved the first film (who hasn't) then you will enjoy this one.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Big Eyes (Directed by Tim Burton; Written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski)

In the 1950s, Margaret is trying to make it on her own with only her daughter and paintings. She meets Walter Keane in a park while struggling to make an impact with her drawings of children with big eyes. The two quickly become a pair with outgoing Walter selling their paintings and quiet Margaret holed up at home painting even more children with big eyes. But Walter's actually selling her paintings as his own. A clash of financial success and critical failure soon sends Margaret reeling in a life of lies. With Walter still living the high life, she must try to make it on her own again and re-claim the ownership of the paintings.

Starring: Amy Adams, Christoph Waltz, Krysten Ritter, Jason Schwartzman, Danny Huston, James Saito, Delaney Raye, Madeleine Arthur

Why I loved this film: I do not know enough about the real story on which this movie was based to tell whether this was a true statement, but I bought it. I really did!
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz were believable, and I must say that I absolutely love Krysten Ritter, she is one of those actresses that leave you wandering whether she ever stops acting in real life.
I read an interview where the real Margaret Keane claimed that "Walter was a little crazier" in real-life, which would explain the court bit, since I found it hard to believe that anyone would act in such a way. That is the part where I doubted whether this was really based on real-life events as the guy seemed completely out of his mind!
Overall, I loved every minute of this film and it made me curious about the real-life story and those paintings. As soon as I got home I had to look it up on Google.
I highly recommend this movie!