Thursday, 13 July 2017

Recapping The Movies I've Watched In 2017 So Far


I feel like 2017 has been the year of movies for me. Not in the sense that every movie I’ve watched has been outstanding but rather, I’ve watched an immense amount, for someone who only watched She’s The Man in 2012 and have not seen a single Lord of the Rings or Star Wars movie. Basically, I’m not a huge movie buff - I don’t rush to watch movies unless I feel like it’s necessary and I’m not fussed on whether I do get around to it or not. I guess the biggest difference this year is that the friends that I’ve been hanging out with all love watching movies, and it’s become a social thing for me. Almost like a movie club! 

So without further ado let’s get into the first half of the year recap. 

Movies that I’ve watched


Most, if not all of these, are pretty mainstream movies with heaps of hype around them. 

Best Movies

I’m going to admit it, I’ve barely seen any of the other Wolverine movies, but Logan was amazing in that I didn’t have to know much about the other two to watch this one. It was such an emotional journey, played out spectacularly by Hugh Jackman and Dafne Keen. The plot was detailed enough, without dragging out moments, and I loved that it conveyed themes around equality, discrimination, love and family. 

I’m a Disney fan and this pretty much exceeded my expectations of it. I always go into adaptations quite apprehensive, but I throughly enjoyed this. Full review here. 

Worst Movie

Don’t even ask me why I watched it. From the plot to the script, it was all so cheesy and barely made any sense. Do not waste your time. 

Most Surprising

I watched this at the beginning of the year, after looking at what was on and not seeing anything else my friends and I would’ve liked to see. Surprise, surprise, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Maybe it’s because I didn’t expect too much, but I loved the design of the spaceship and the world building, the flawed characters and yes, even the sappy plot line. It was an enjoyable movie and would be great for a night in. 

Most Disappointing

Okay, let’s just get this straight. “Split” was one of those movies that I pictured what would happen in my mind and hope it would blow my mind. Instead, it left me confused and unsatisfied, veering from psychological thriller to having supernatural elements. I was hoping for darker elements that would leave me questioning the entire plot but really, all I'm questioning is why they decided to do what they did. 

Let’s be real, I expected this to be a disappointed. I don’t even know why I thought this would be better than it was. I mean I liked the transformation of the cars. I liked the humour. I liked the fighting. But everything else was way, waaaaay too cheesy. Optimus Prime had so many monologue moments, I thought I was watching a Shakespearean play. 

Thoughts on other movies


Gal Gadot was badass and beautiful. I’m not a huge DC fan nor do I know much about the history around Wonder Woman, so I felt like the context was strange. Nevertheless, it was an amazing movie celebrating a female superhero so I’m all about it. 

Can you tell I really like superhero movies? I really appreciated this re-make of Spider Man, because it explored Peter’s younger years and how he struggles to balance his teen years with his secret missions. It’s so realistic and relatable, from the peer pressure to thinking that he can tackle everything in the world because he has powers. It was definitely different to other superhero movies, but once I got past the lack of action - there is action, just not the same amount as per usual - I found I really enjoyed it for the message it portrayed. 

I'm in two minds about this. I liked it. It had a good back story to Kong, his demeanour and personality and how, as humans, we tend to take things for granted and assume that every land is ours for the taking. The island was incredible and so rich in creativity, and I loved that they filmed part of it in Ha Long Bay. On the other hand, it wasn't as engaging or captivating as I wanted it to be, so there were times I zoned out or felt like it was dragged on.

Bottom Line - go see Logan, Spiderman, Beauty and the Beast and Wonder Woman because they were all incredible and had so much to take away from. 

What Movies Have You Guys Seen This Year?

Read more »

Monday, 10 July 2017

Why You Should Read "The Handmaid's Tale" Once In Your Life


Title: The Handmaid's Tale
Author: Margaret Atwood
Publication Date: 1985
Add to Goodreads | Buy from The Book Depository
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She has only one function: to breed. If she deviates, she will, like dissenters, be hanged at the wall or sent out to die slowly of radiation sickness.

But even a repressive state cannot obliterate desire - neither Offred's nor that of the two men on which her future hangs. 





Review



The Handmaid’s Tale is one of those reads that you know will leave an impression on you, at least it did for me.

What I loved most about this was the way Atwood introduced profound ideas, which were explored somewhat, but for the most part I was left to delve further and reach my own conclusions. At first, it was a little frustrating, seeing as I wanted to know more, but overtime as I began to engage and construct my own opinions, I realised that I was taking more out of the plot by being forced to think about what Atwood was presenting. I really would’ve liked to have studied this sometime during high school or university because I feel like I would’ve gained so much more. There are so many aspects to this novel that can be discussed and to hear people’s opinion about it would’ve made for great debate.

The best part of The Handmaid's Tale as well, is that your opinion of it will change depending on when you read it during your life. For me, being at the ripe old age of 22 (kidding, I know I’m still very, very young), this novel has given me so much to think about but I’m also aware of how much I would’ve missed. I say this because Margaret Atwood, whilst writing this in 80s, was well ahead of her times and introduced ideas that can only really be grasped from knowledge gained through life experiences, studying these aspects or being well read. Personally, I think my feelings around this novel will definitely evolve between now and say 10 years later.

The writing itself is almost like the stream of consciousness style, reflecting Offred’s mindset perfectly. It felt like she was recounting her time, moving to and from the past and present as she remembered moments that related to her present time. I found that it was almost like I was reading a diary - intimate and compelling - and I couldn’t help but become attached emotionally. The world building was also fascinating and slightly terrifying. It depicts a society with ideals and hierarchy that can be considered as exaggerated to reinforce Atwood’s portrayal of the negative consequences in creating such a society. However, there are notions of truth within it, and as terrifying as it sounds, this world presented in the book could potentially become a world we might live in. This is why I find Atwood so impressive, because the story is well beyond its years and will remain relatable for generations to come.

The Handmaid’s Tale is a thought-provoking and precautionary tale that speaks of equality, power and identity that will stay with you and is well worth the read and re-read later on in your life.

Read more »

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Recapping The First Half of 2017 and Where I'm At So Far

I'm sorry but how is it July already? I have no idea where the first 6 months have been so this post will be interesting. Hopefully my memory doesn't fail me.

Posts To Check Out


I haven't been as consistent with my blog, but I'm actually quite satisfied with the content that I've produced. This year I wanted to focus on generating content that I was happy about, and that would create ideas and debate, rather than write about anything and everything to make up for lack of posts.

My favourite posts for this year so far are:

Let's Talk

Reviews

Other
Harry Potter's 20th Anniversary: Counting Down 20 Of My Favourite Moments


Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 


Find out which books I loved, found disappointing, my biggest surprise so far and favourite book covers I've bought for the first half of 2017.


Goals Progression


I've only read 8 books so far this year. Yes, it doesn't seem like much, but my goal this year was to read books that I know I'd like and will be memorable. With at least 7 of them I can happily say I'm glad I read them and that I did enjoy them. Quality over quantity right?



I never really got to set resolutions for this year, purely because I know that I'm all for talking about them but never put plans in place to action them, which is a big no no. Instead, I've set long term goals that have short term goals that I want to work on within an amount of time to get there. Early days so I have to wait to see how I go with those.

How Has 2017 Been For You So Far?


Read more »

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Counting Down 20 of My Favourite Harry Potter Moments


The first Harry Potter novel was published on June 26th, 1997 and now it's 2017 - 20 years since J.K Rowling has blessed us with one of the best things to have ever been produced.

In honour of its 20th year anniversary, I wanted to share my favourite moments of the series. I honestly thought it was going to be hard to make up a list of 20, but it was harder to not go over!

20. Harry visits Diagon Alley for the first time 
This was pretty much the first time both Harry and readers are introduced to the world of Magic, and boy was it magical. From Gringotts to Olivander it was such an amazing experience.

19. "Weasley is Our King"
No, not those times Ron was terrible at being Keeper, but when he completely shut down Slytherin and helped Gryffindor win the cup. Hell yeah is Weasley Our King.

18. Exposing Rita Skeeter 
At the end of Goblet of Fire, when Hermione discovers and exposes Rita for being an illegal Animagus to eavesdrop on people's conversations, I felt such a deep satisfaction. Serves her right for being such a mean person.        

17. Molly and Fleur see eye to eye 
Fleur’s ferocious approach to telling Molly that she doesn’t need Bill to be “pretty” for her to love him and Molly’s offering of Aunt Muriel’s tiara was such a perfect way for each to accept the other.


16. D.A classes 
Reading about Harry’s self taught Defence Against the Darks was about the only thing that got me through the whole Umbridge ordeal.

15. Hermione and Ron's kiss 
I’m sure we were all waiting for this moment to happen *cue fireworks*

14. The twins leave Hogwarts 
Oh man, when it comes to Fred and George, one of their best moments is playing an impressive amount of pranks on Umbridge and her brigade before leaving Hogwarts. Did anyone say drop the mic?


13. The Yule Ball 
AKA Hermione and that dress, her hair and pissing Ron off for thinking he owns her. You go girl.

12. Harry catches the Remembrall
Cast your mind back to Philospher’s Stone and the moment when Harry zoomed off on his broom to rescue Neville’s remembrall after Malfoy takes it, which then leads to him being part of the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

11. Escaping Gringotts 
There were so many parts of Deathly Hallows that I loved, but the moment that the trio mount the dragon, cut it loose and then fly it out of Gringotts is epic.

10. Troll in the castle 
Wingardium Leviosa. The start of the friendship and knowing that Ron is capable of many things, despite what he thinks.

9. Dobby is freed 
You cannot have read Harry Potter and tell me this wasn'y one of the most touching moments ever. EVER.

8. The Quidditch World Cup 
I’m choosing this more because I wish it was an actual thing to attend. Also because it opened up the world to Quidditch and the rest of its culture a lot more.


7. "Not my daughter you b#@!*%" 
Yeah that moment. With Molly and Bellatrix. It was especially satisfying for me because of how Sirius died and to have Bellatrix experience the exact same thing. I’m sorry but karma is a *bleeeeeep*.

6. Kreacher's tale 
I find this to be one of the most memorable and bittersweet moments. 1) Because there was so much humanity and compassion when the three of them learn about what he has been through and 2) Kreacher is an absolute gem after he reconciles with Harry.

5. Hermione slaps Malfoy 
Enough said

4. Snape's memory 
Learning about Snape’s role in Harry’s life, finding out about his love for Lily. So many tears shed. “Always"

 3. Harry's Patronus 
This is one of my favourite Harry moments in general - when he discovers that its not his father, but himself he makes the Patronus appear and gets rid of the Dementors. That whole time travelling aspect just makes so much more sense and is so cleve by tying it back to this moment.

2. The truth about Sirius 
There’s no surprise this is in my top 3 considering Sirius is my favourite character. You learn so much about him as a person - the loyalty, resilience and courage he has.


1. Harry finds out he's a Wizard 
Without this moment there would be no story. Harry gets to escape the Dursleys and start a better life, Hagrid give Duddley a pigs tail and just seeing someone who's happy to know Harry exists is really heartwarming.

What Is Your Favourite Harry Potter Moment?

Read more »

Friday, 23 June 2017

The Waiting List: July Releases

The Waiting List is a feature hosted by PrintedWordsAnd, where I list some upcoming releases for the month that I'm most excited about! 

Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon - July 4th
Twins, Robin and Sarah, have been estranged for years. Both their lives are now in disarray and we witness their upbringing and the moments that have been brought them to where they are now.

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum - July 11th
Popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker strike up a friendship that lead to investigating the accident that causes Kit’s father to die. What they find might test the strength of their friendship. I’m more intrigued to see if they can keep the relationship as a platonic one rather than moving into a romance. 

All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher - July 11th
Lenny starts a list of all the ways the world can end, after she feels like her life is falling apart. This coming of age contemporary just makes me feel like it’ll be humourous and touching all at once.
The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson - July 11th 
I am all for family mysteries, especially ones that stem from generations before and somehow link up with present day. When Leia heads home to sort out some family issues and announce that she’s pregnant, she soon discovers that theres more that’s been hidden than what she’s expected.

The Breakdown by B.A Paris - July 18th 
Cass is haunted by the image of the lady in the car she drove past one night, the lady who was killed. She seems to be forgetting everything, but that lady. 

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Footy - July 25th
16 year old Sorina is born with the gift of creating illusions, and uses her skills in the Gomorrah Festival. Her illusions may seem lifelike, but they’re still not real. Until one of them is murdered. Sorina must find out who the culprit is and how they killed someone who doesn’t even exist. 

What Are You Excited For?

Read more »