Monday, 16 February 2015

Movie Round Up

As a spoonie I inevitably spend a lot of time watching television. Having binged on Pretty Little Liars to the point where I'm completely caught up and waiting week-by-week I thought I'd catch up with some films. Assuming that you're a spoonie who needs film suggestions too, or someone who watches films, or someone - here are a few short film reviews of movies I've watched this month. 


I have a confession - I'm a movie snob. Well, okay, that's not entirely true; sit me down with a formulaic rom-com and some chocolate and I'm more than occupied for an afternoon but show me an independent film, something quirky or a foreign film and you really have my interest.

To that end, I was really excited to watch Boyhood. For those of you who don't know (and where have you been?) Boyhood centres around the character of Mason but does something groundbreaking - it was filmed over the course of 12 years. So we really see Mason and all the other characters age and grow up. 

There's no denying that it's a great concept and executed very well. The problem was - it didn't go anywhere. I kept waiting for something to happen, and it never did. And towards the end, a film which showed such promise at the beginning bordered on pretension as the film makers realised just how clever they had been. Metaphors symbolising journeys and grand knowing stares weren't upheld by the movie itself. 

What If?

I believe What If is the first rom-com debut from Daniel Radcliffe since Harry Potter. He's dabbled in some horror and of course getting naked in the West End, but I didn't think he could be leading man rom-com material, until he was. And he was really good. 

What If is one of those quirky romantic comedies, akin to 500 Days of Summer, which whilst still following a familiar formula brings something a little bit different to the genre. Daniel Radcliffe plays Wallace. Still torn up about a nasty break up that happened a year ago. At the party of his best friend he meets Chantry who seems to be his socially awkward and dead-pan equal and they talk all night. Then comes the bombshell, she has a boyfriend. I won't spoil the end of the film so I won't add anymore but I really liked this film!

Magic in the Moonlight

I felt a bit weird watching a Woody Allen film in light of recent accusations against him but his film 'Midnight in Paris' is one of my favourite films and I must admit, I really like his films. The fact that my older man crush Colin Firth is in this film swung it for me and I watched it.

Set in the 1920's, the film follows Firth's character who is a world famous magician and illusionist who is hugely cynical, often rude, arrogant and abrupt. When he is told of Emma Stone's character who claims to be a spiritualist who can contact the dead, he travels to the South of France to unmask her as a fraud. The problem is, he can't find fault with her and it leads him to question his life-long cynicism. 

I really liked this film as I like all Woody Allen films I have seen so far. He always has beautiful settings and era's which are just wonderful to look at. The film has an interesting narrative and is just a good story. Sometimes I think films loose good old fashioned stories in their attempts to be clever - Woody's films seem to be the opposite to that. Firth's character often overplays his rudeness and oblivion to the fact he is being unkind to the point where, at times, his character becomes unlikeable. The over all film, however, was really charming.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

This Or That Tag

The gorgeous Steph from tagged me to do the This or That Tag - it was lots of fun but very hard so give it a go!

Red or white wine? Although I don't really drink, even when I do I've never been a fan of wine. *Embarrassing story alert* When I was 17 I went to a party where pre-drinks were about a bottle of wine and I probably consumed a second, and shots at the party and as you can imagine it didn't end well. I now can't stand the smell of wine - lesson learned!

City or countryside? As Steph said in her blogpost, we are just so lucky with where we live. The seafront is 10 minutes away, the beautiful South Downs is 10 minutes away and the amazing city of Brighton is 25 minutes away so - why choose? We have it all!

Cats or dogs? Dogs for me! I like cats but I'm really allergic!

Sweet or savoury? Once upon a time the answer, hands down, would have been savoury. Now it's hard to choose! If I'm really hungry though, I'd go savoury.

Dresses or Jeans? Most of the time, dresses. I buy too many - I've got to wear them!

Heels or Flats? Without doubt I'm a flats girl, I'm too tall for heels!

Beyoncé or Taylor Swift? This is another hard one! I love Beyonce and until recently I didn't like Taylor Swift but her new album is really good...

Tea or coffee? Without doubt it's tea. Tea is a real staple in our household.

Divergent or The Hunger Games? I like both! I find these sorts of films to be a real guilty pleasure but if I had to pick I'd go with The Hunger Games.

Blogposts or Youtube? Today I'd have to say YouTube, I started one recently and I'm really enjoying it. Take a look -

Skincare or Makeup? Makeup for sure! I spend so much on makeup!

Morning or Night? Honestly neither. The afternoon is my time!

Books or magazines? Books! You can't get much from a magazine these days that you can't get from a good blog!

Facebook or Twitter? This is a hard one! I love Facebook for photos and keeping in touch with my friends but I'm spending more and more time on Twitter recently!

Summer or winter? I like both! I love it when it comes and I don't mind when it goes.

City? I really loved Berlin when I went a few years ago. I'd love to go again.

Book? This is hard. I guess a book that was close to my heart when I was younger and is a Young Adult book is "The Raging Quiet" by Sherryl Jordan. It's based in medieval times where a bewildered young bride is moved to a new town with her much older (and drunk) husband where she makes friends with the town's 'madman' who she grows to realise is not mad, but deaf.

Film? Ugh, SO MANY. 10 Things I Hate About You will always be a rom com favourite. The Prestige, Ever After (Guilty pleasure), Moonrise Kingdom, Submarine...the list continues.

TV Show? I watch lots but if I had to pick all time favourites it would be Lost and Sabrina the Teenage Witch because I grew up with it.

Perfume? Armani Code or Dior Miss Dior.

Skincare item? Without doubt the Clarins Blue Orchid Facial Oil.

Lipstick? At the moment Rimmel Vintage Pink!

Foundation? Shiseido Sun Protection Foundation

Food? Im such a foodie but you can't go wrong with a good cheeseburger. If you can get garlic sauce involved, all the better. (I'm so classy).

Dessert? Something chocolatey!

Place to eat? I really like Bella Italia. I love their chicken, spinach and garlic calzone.

Alcoholic Drink? I don't really drink these days but my drink is always vodka lemonade and lime or a baileys latte!

Non-alcoholic drink? Tea or coke.

Actor/tress? I really like Felicity Jones, Marion Cotillard or Kate Winslet who is gorgeous. Actor wise I'm in love with Tom Hiddleston (for real) and I cannot believe Leo has missed out on so many Oscars. In The Aviator he is amazing.

Album? Albums I could listen to and not skip tracks are White Lies - To lose my life, Noah and the Whale - The First Days of Spring, The Dykeenies - Nothing Means Everything and EVERY Death Cab for Cutie or Arcade Fire Album.

What does the future hold for you? Any of the above and that's a start ;)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Political Correctness Gone Mad?

'Political correctness gone mad' is a term I dislike. Whilst I don't disagree that often there is unnecessary or over zealous censorship I find this particular phrase favoured by those wishing to say something that does cause offence (even though perhaps they disagree - BNP I'm looking at you) or used by attention grabbing tabloid newspapers. Sure there are some nativities who don't have a Jesus , perhaps even some offices who'd rather not put up Christmas decorations, maybe even brands who don't want their staff representing them with a Christian cross pin (and I'd be one of them), but I'm sure they are the few and far between. 

Reflecting upon one case recently, however, this phrase was the first that came to mind. On American television the aristocratically spoken Benedict Cumberbatch was discussing the parallels between the American and British film industry and their use (or lack of, in the case of the latter) of black actors. He expressed his distress that good black friends of his were being passed over for parts they would be well suited to. That sums it up in a nut-shell apart from the fact that he used the word coloured instead of black. 

I think we can all agree that coloured is an out-dated word but when did offence start occurring without intent? To me, offence is contextual. We all know there are certain taboo words you just don't say as everyone knows and everyone finds them offensive - the ground rules are there, illuminated in neon lights and flashing. We also all know that when someone like Katie Hopkins says something controversial with that little glint in her eyes and a (not so) subtle upturned eyebrow that there is a certain intent behind her words.

Luckily for everyones faith in humanity most people saw the incident for exactly what it was - an honest mistake.

What Cumberbatch was trying to do was support his fellow Brits and publicly highlight an issue that is hindering their success. Whilst it doesn't necessarily effect him directly (although it's very much an issue for all) he took the time to discuss it in time his 'people' would probably much prefer was used for plugging and furthering his own career. His intent clearly couldn't be further from trying to cause offence - so therefore it is not offensive. Am I wrong?

And for your enjoyment Tom Hiddleston, Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Fassbender because - why not?