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Monday, February 29, 2016

NYPD Red 3 (James Patterson and Marshall Karp)


Hunter Alden Jr. has it all: a beautiful wife, a brilliant son, and billions in the bank. But when his son goes missing and he discovers the severed head of his chauffeur, it becomes clear that he is in danger of losing it all.
The kidnapper knows a horrific secret that could change the world. A secret worth killing for. A secret worth dying for.
New York's best detectives, Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald, are on the case. But by getting closer to the truth, Zach and Kylie are edging even closer to the firing line...


Quote: "Detective, do you have any idea how many calls I juggle a day? So, no, I don't think it's particularly strange if some wacky old broad calls to thank me for sending an imaginary cop to arrest a couple of imaginary terrorists.
On the other hand, two NYPD Red detectives investigating said imaginary crime - now that is pretty goddamn bizarre."

Why this book speaks to me: I liked it more than the first two NYPD!
It kept me up for many hours. Very entertaining with many plots and twists throughout the story, so it never became boring.
I must say that I am enjoying this series much more than the Private series.
Hopefully, I will find the 4th book in the shops soon.
Totally worth my time!

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The 88th Academy Awards

Hosted by Chris Rock

BEST PICTURE: Spotlight

ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE: Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant)

ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE: Brie Larson (Room)

ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies)

ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

ANIMATED FEATURE FILM: Inside Out

CINEMATOGRAPHY: Emmanuel Lubezki (The Revenant)

COSTUME DESIGN: Jenny Beavan (Mad Max: Fury Road)

DIRECTING: Alejandro G. Iñárritu (The Revenant)

DOCUMENTARY (FEATURE): Amy

DOCUMENTARY (SHORT SUBJECT): Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness)

FILM EDITING: Margaret Sixel (Mad Max: Fury Road)

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Son of Saul (Hungary)

MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Mad Max: Fury Road

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE): Ennio Morricone (The Hateful Eight)

MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG): Writing's on the Wall (Spectre)

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Mad Max: Fury Road

SHORT FILM (ANIMATED): Bear Story

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION): Stutterer

SOUND EDITING: Mad Max: Fury Road

SOUND MIXING: Mad Max: Fury Road

VISUAL EFFECTS: Ex Machina

WRITING (ADAPTED SCREENPLAY): The Big Short

WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY): Spotlight

That's all folks!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Trumbo (Directed by: Jay Roach; Written by: John McNamara and Bruce Cook)



In 1947, Dalton Trumbo was Hollywood's top screenwriter until he and other artists were jailed and blacklisted for their political beliefs. This film recounts how Dalton used words and wit to win two Academy Awards and expose the absurdity and injustice under the blacklist, which entangled everyone from gossip columnist Hedda Hopper to John Wayne, Kirk Douglas, and Otto Preminger.



Starring: Bryan Cranston, Michael Stuhlbarg, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, David James Elliott, Toby Nichols, Madison Wolfe, James DuMont, Alan Tudyk, Louis C.K., Roger Bart, Peter Mackenzie, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Meghan Wolfe, Mitchell Zakocs, Elle Fanning, John Goodman, Mattie Liptak, Becca Nicole Preston, Dean O'Gorman, Christian Berkel, Rick Kelly

My thoughts on this film: Much of Trumbo is comedic, and with intention, but the film also carries a certain amount of poignancy. Bryan Cranston is incredibly enjoyable to watch, and during the credits you get to see clips of the real Trumbo to compare. The portrayal is daringly realistic. Helen Mirren is a worthy antagonist, and very effectively displays the fear and anger that result from war - the need to justify pain through rigid ideology.
Other remarkable performances come from Diane Lane, as the quiet but strong Cleo Trumbo, the rock of her family; John Goodman is well cast as the comedic used car salesman of film, and Elle Fanning makes her mark as the rebellious daughter learning to be every bit of a force as her father.
Louis C. K. also came as a great surprise, since I am not used to seeing him in such serious roles.
As a whole, the film's laughs are well earned and its feelings are well felt.
It was successful in portraying a larger than life writer who decided to take on the world... and won.

Monday, February 15, 2016

How to be Single (Directed by: Christian Ditter; Written by: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, and Dana Fox)

There is a right way to be single, a wrong way to be single, and then... there is Alice. And Robin. And Lucy. And Meg. And Tom. And David.
New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, be it a love connection, a hook-up, or something in the middle. And somewhere between the teasing texts and one-night stands, what they all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Damon Wayans Jr., Anders Holm, Nicholas Braun, Jake Lacy, Jason Mantzoukas, Alison Brie

Why I loved this film: The first thing we see is a guy having a boner while talking to some girl across his apartment, which was not a good impression when added to Rebel Wilson partying like crazy.
But it really does have a turn of events.
The comedy was on point. It was not your normal retarded type.
I started out thinking I was going to see a stupid film about making out, but I left pretty satisfied.
This movie was just what I needed to lift my spirits, and it actually made me think about the whole relationship/being single situation, and how I should not worry about it.
Overall, I just loved the moral of the story and how every situation developed.
If you are in a relationship, this film really does depict the sad dating world of today.
I recommend it to all single girls!

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Spotlight (Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer)

When the Boston Globe's tenacious 'Spotlight' team of reporters delves into allegations of abuse in the Catholic Church, their year-long investigation uncovers a decades-long cover-up at the highest levels of Boston's religious, legal, and governmental establishment, touching off a wave of revelations around the world.


Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Brian d'Arcy James, Stanley Tucci, Elena Wohl, Neal Huff


Why I loved this film: Here, you do not learn about the reporters' personal lives except for what you see incidentally as they work at home. There is no romantic sub-plot; there are no action scenes where a reporter punches a priest.
I have never seen a film in which I liked Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Live Schreiber more. There is no Hollywood in these performances. There are no sexy costumes or makeup, no grandstanding for the Academy. The actors are dressed in the usual work attire for news reporters. Much of the film takes place in a grubby shared office full of file folders or in cafes and working class neighbourhoods where informants are interviewed.
'Spotlight' mentions 'Good Germans' – people who kept their eyes closed to the disappearance of their Jewish neighbours. Just so, there were many 'Good Bostonians'. It is sickening to confront the many who were aware of priestly sex abuse and did nothing. Targeted kids were powerless and without allies. After they were abused, some became alcoholics, drug addicts, or committed suicide.
Boston is a small town, with a lot of Irish Catholics who do not want anyone rocking the boat.
The plot is so well-written that I was not bored for a single minute.
I think this story speaks for itself. I am a non-practising Catholic, like so many who grow up, due to corruption stories and phoney priests who try to preach their own fantasy world instead of showing a true and honest one where money will not be the key to achieving your own dreams and a brighter future.
These priests should not make you question the institution, for they are only people (of the worst kind, I must say), but all those who stood and still stand behind them for the sake of religion itself are enough to make you question everything.
I totally recommend this film, whatever your beliefs!