Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey, film review.

An Unexpected Journey is the first in a trilogy preluding the ever famous Lord of The Rings. Based on the prequel-book, The Hobbit, which was written by J.R.R Tolkien before the LOTR's, which has been divided into a three-parter in order to include as much detail from the book as possible. As a fan of The Hobbit book, and a fan of books in general, this is something which has made me very happy, as key scenes which are often cut-out in the transition from paper-to-screen have been included.

The film tells the story of a young Bilbo Baggins who defies the expectations of a Hobbit and goes on an adventure, which he has been coaxed into by Gandalf The Grey. Bilbo signs a contract to join the company of Thorin Oakensheild, King of the Dwarves of The Lonely Mountain, and his mixture of 12 loyal companions, as their burglar. Their quest is to travel to The Lonely Mountain and reclaim the treasure taken from the Oakenshield family by the dragon Smaug the Magnificent. This task however, is not as simple as it sounds. Throughout their journey many things stand in their way, as a journey through Middle Earth is never going to be an easy one. Many enemies stand in the way of the company of fourteen, from dim-witted trolls, vengeful orcs, and a nine-toothed creature who features in The Lord of the Rings - Gollum. All of which provide for spine shivering battle scenes that will leave you perched like a Great Eagle on the edge of your seat.
Thorin Oakenshield and his company of 13 Dwarves. 

Martin Freeman has stepped away from his side-kick position of Doctor John Watson in the BBC's Sherlock, and into the starring role of the films namesake, in what I can assure is his best performance to date. In an interesting twist of fate, and a move by Peter Jackson which has overjoyed nerds like myself, two of the films antagonists have been portrayed by Freemans BBC co-star, Bennedict Cumberbatch, although we only have glimpses of his characters in this, the first of the trilogy. 

Often when a person is as excited to see a film, as I was, their expectations can lead to disappointment, with The Hobbit this was not the case. I watched the film with a smile on my face - enjoying being back in Middle Earth, being reunited with beloved characters, and happy with how little of the stories origins were lost through the paper-to-screen-transition. Commonly it is the case that films based upon novels have made changes in order to adapt to the restrictions of the screen, an example of this is The Hunger Games, in which many adjustments were made so that aspects of the story were as clear as they were in the novel.

Most of the criticism that I have heard about the film, is from those who have not read the book - and who have probably never experienced the frustration of a beloved book losing its original essence when a film 'version' is produced. I have heard people describe the film as 'too long', but I feel it is just long enough - fitting in key features from the book and ending in an appropriate place. 

I personally feel those who say that this film is rubbish don't know what they're Tolkien about. 

Martin Freeman as, The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World - Film Review

Of all the apocalyptic films that I have seen, from Armageddon to I Am Legend - none have been more thought provoking than Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. This is probably because it takes the piss out of the situation. The film sees the unlikely pairing of Steve Carell and Keira Knightley when the Earth is given an exact day of death - three weeks from the films beginning. The neighbours, Dodge and Penny, pair up to achieve their pre-apocalypse dreams.

Dodge is on a mission to re-unite with the first woman he ever loved (awww) whilst Penny has the simple desire of getting home, to England. The pair have quite a journey in the now chaotic orgy-fest world, there are twists and the film is completely hilarious at points - other parts are tear-worthy and the ending was pretty lame ... well it's kind of Marmite-esque - It creates mixed opinions. One thing I was shocked at is that for once I found neither Steve Carell or Keira Knightley annoying. In the case of Carell he is not his usual try-hard self, and in the case of Knightley I realised that it is because she is not her usual pout faced self! - she has learnt other facial expression, I kid you not. 

Thoughts Provoked...

The film provokes thoughts by not only taking the piss out of the situation, but looking at it from another angle. Most apocalyptic film see the point of view of the President trying to save the day with a spaceship loaded with the worlds leading astronauts and sciencey people. This film however, sees an average bloke whose wife dips out of their marital contract three weeks before she would have achieved her vow 'till death' who struggles to take in the fact that the world is ending, and continues to go to work each day. This is where the thought provoking begins. 

In the film Dodge continues going to work for a week or so, he drives past men mowing the lawn, and visits friends who encourage their child to drink alcohol. In reality, who the hell would go to work? Nobody would need money and would have nowhere to spend it because nobody would be going to work. It would become a dog eat dog world, imagine the supermarkets when snow is predicted - except it is a snowstorm for three weeks long. Chaos. And this is the point where human kind lose their morals. Morals are only really needed in a civilised society, and society will be far from civilized. Like with the film, people went crazy doing things you never usually would - drugs, orgys, giving kids alcohol - just because you now can. 

If a person considers all the things they want to do before they die, their bucket list - ideally these are things that in a situation where you are given a period of time until your untimely death, that you could complete. However, in a situation where EVERYBODY is dying - your list will become irrelevant. Perhaps too, even the point in living - why carry on when you can't even achieve any of those lifelong dreams. There would be no laws in this time-bomb world, the biggest crimes such as murder would barely matter, as soon -you will all be dead. 

Little bit of positivity in the evening, but these are the dark thoughts provoked by a comedy...

Making pre-apocalyptic dreams come true? 

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Whore - Short Story

When she walked through the front door to their house, she was the most surprised she had been in their 8 year marriage. Greeting her was a trail of rose petals – red rose petals. She had to catch her breath. ‘What did I do to deserve this?’ she thought. She set her handbag down on the dining table and hung her coat on the rack, then took a look in the mirror, re-touched her make-up and undid the first three buttons on her blouse to reveal some cleavage.

She took a deep breath and with bated anticipation began to follow the spontaneous trail, which as she discovered led to their bedroom. She took another deep breath as she reached the door, and settled her hand upon the handle as her heartbeat quickened at the thought of what was waiting on the other side.        
The door swung open. The coming events were not drawer dropping, but jaw dropping. Her eyes settled upon her naked, sweaty husband – who was apparently not naked for her benefit. Then her eyes examined the body beneath his. Skinnier than her, younger than her, and as she quickly noticed more flexible – the question on her lips was why, but by what she was quickly noticing, there was no need to ask.  But that however was all she managed to say, “Why?” at first she said it quietly – not heard over the screams of her husband’s whore. Then she screamed, “WHY?!?”

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Social Suicide #2

I decided to look for follow-up on yesterdays blog post, and Twitter top trend - #RIPMaryDirectioner ...

I found that she was alive. 

Yesterday Twitter filled with love (mostly) and kind words for the teenager who had committed suicide, and now it has come to light that her sister did whatever the Twitter version of 'frape' is, and made her followers believe that she had killed herself - look to my previous post for those tweets. Which is probably the worst form of hacking by a friend that I have ever seen. From what I can piece together, Mary was travelling to Spain whilst her sister had control of her Twitter account and was oblivious to what was happening. 

Today I looked at her Twitter and found that she had recently tweeted! which is fairness I thought may always be a possibility, as I mentioned in the post, but the blog post yesterday was not just about what happened to her - but just the act of real-time suicide itself. 

Her sisters confession tweets. 
The reason why I was so unsure yesterday was the fact that her sister supposedly tweeted a friend of Mary's and confirmed her death - an unlikely action of a grieving sibling - but even still I found it even more unlikely that a sister would pretend her sibling had died. I find it outrageous. I grew up as one of four children (that has since expanded) and we fought a lot - but whenever I was being bullied my siblings were always there for me - something like this is just unimaginable to me. I know also that Mary isn't just pretending that her sister did it - I checked her sisters account, she tweeted that she was sorry. 

Mary has now reportedly been unfollowed and had people send her insults and say that she is 'bullshitting' - bit harsh for an innocent girl. The people of Twitter should learn the phrase 'nothing nice to say then don't say anything at all.' and apply it to situations like these. Yesterday Twitter wished that she was alive, and today upon finding out that she is not dead - they insult her? the fact that she is alive is a good thing! Utterly short-sighted and uncalled for backlash, but tomorrow Twitter will have moved on. 

Dark Shadows - Film Review

With a Tim Burton film you can expect three things: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, and the element of strange.

The film begins in the 1700's with the Collins family starting a new life in America, creating a successful fishing business, building a family home (or rather Manor), and having a town built up around them - which is then named Collinsport - after the family. The young master of the Collinswood Manor, Barnabas Collins (Depp), is a rich playboy who makes the mistake of breaking the heart of a housemaid he once bedded. This housemaid happens to be a witch - and it is this act which causes her to curse not only Barnabas but all future generations of the family. If you thought you'd ever seen a possessive relationship - you've seen nothing yet. This crazy witch-bitch kills Barnabas' parents, his lover, and curses him to be a vampire and live an immortal pain that doesn't even end when he is buried underground for over 200 hundred years.

Barnabas is awoken after construction workers uncover the buried casket containing the hungry vamp. This is where the fun really begins. He awakes in the 70's, a time of hippies, Chevy's, and Alice Cooper (who has a cameo in the film).  Barnabas must learn to navigate in this new world, and soon sets out to help get his dysfunctional family back in order. Barnabas ends up falling for somebody who works for the family, again, describing her as having 'the most fertile birthing hips' that he's 'ever set eyes upon.' However soon his nemesis, the possessive witch-bitch, Angelique, discovers he is back in town and uses the most powerful persuasive tool she has - her breasts - to instigate the most epic sex scene in film history.  In keeping with his history of turning her down, and in true playboy fashion - when he is finished, he announces that is was most regrettable, and leaves. Which sets the witch-bitch in evil motion again, leading her on a vengeful mission to destroy him and his family.

This comedy certainly delivers, and Burton of course delivers, yet again, a film weirder than the audience entered the cinema believing it would be. The big fight scene toward the end is definitely over the top and when Barnabas' teenage ancestor reveals her secret - I was a little bit in shock at just how ridiculous it had gotten. The film regains its sense of dignity by the ending though, and finishes with the potential for a sequel.

The Lucky One - Film Review

Zac Efron just got sexy. He has lost his silly schoolboy crop, gained some muscles and landed himself a role as a United States Marine (Oooft). The Lucky One is an adaptation of the book by Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook, Dear John, The Last Song) which sees Logan (Zac) set off in search for his lucky charm, after his life is saved by discovering a picture of a woman in some rubble after a mission in Iraq.

The picture, with the words 'Keep Safe' written on the back, saves Logan's life twice - whilst others die around him. After returning to the States filled with the haunting traumas of military life, Logan makes it his new mission to track down his guardian angel, and thank her. This mission is made easier by the fact that the woman is standing in front of a landmark located in Louisiana. As you probably already know from the trailer, a love develops between Logan and his angel, Beth - but what Marine-bred-Logan fails to mention from the start is what brought him to Louisiana, and imagine being in her shoes when she finds out.

As with so many chick flicks, the film is filled with a lot of predictably, which is probably why the tears that welled in my eyes failed to fall. There were some moments which I did not see coming and characters I did not expect to see, but I predicted who the owner of the photo would be and I knew the outcome from the trailer - but it is the moments in between that you've got to look out for, these are the moments which are the most touching and gasp worthy. . . Oh and also sex scenes that made most of the all-female-but-two-audience jealous.

Zac Efron just got sexy. 

American Pie: Reunion - Film Review

American Pie Reunion contains all the same ingredients as the previous films - showing that not even age, 'proper' jobs and married life can mature these lads. Though the film does of course contain the running jokes from the previous films (Stifler's mum, 'This one time at band camp' etc.), it is still easy to understand for those who have not seen them (my boyfriend).

It has been over a decade and the old gang come together for a messy weekend prior to their class of '99 school reunion. A lot has changed in their lives: Jim and Michelle have replaced their sex lives with a son, Jim's Dad is widowed, Oz is famous, and one thing remains the same - Stifler still does not trust Finch around his mum. Despite everything that has changed in the lives of the characters since we last saw them, when they're back together they soon revert back to their old ways.

This is definitely not the best of the films, and they certainly didn't save the best piece till last, but if you have seen the previous films then you are not allowed to leave the table until you have cleared your plate of pie. Just hopefully it is not the same pie that Jim ... you know.

You are not allowed to leave the table until you've cleared your plate of pie. 

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Social Suicide

Exactly 2 hours ago, a Twitter user and One Direction fan-girl committed suicide and broadcast it across the world. The teenage girl who went by the username @iMaryTomlinson tweeted a goodbye to her followers, a twitter friend, and her celebrity crush Louis Tomlinson. The use of twitter was unable to save Mary as it did for a 47-year old transsexual who attempted 'real-time suicide' but it did gain her a top trend. This 'real-time' suicide is becoming a new twitter trend with these two cases not being the first I have seen. 

Mary is however the first case I have seen with the suicide actually occurring - her death was apparently confirmed by her sister to a twitter friend (though this is not certain as I struggle to believe her sisters first concern would be to tweet). 
This story is tragic and despite the majority remarking how sad it is and trending the phrase #RIPMaryDirectioner there were still those who insulted the girl and the trend. If only it was easier to locate her - all that is known from her twitter is that her first name is Mary and that she lives in Canterbury, but with only an hour between her first stating that she planned to end her life and the final tweet it would have been a difficult yet worthy mission. 

I admit myself that I think such a public suicide in any form - whether on a building top or via Twitter - is attention seeking, but there is a reason for it and it shows that they perhaps thought they had hope for themselves, whether minute or not, there was a chance - perhaps she could have been persuaded but she was reaching out to the wrong crowd it is very difficult to save a life via the 140 character world of Twitter. Though saving a life using Twitter has been achieved by Amanda Westwood (who had never met the man) - she had a longer period of time in which to find out his address and alert authorities.

Though the facts surrounding the death of Mary are so far unknown it is a tragedy, but it is also just as tragic when people speak ill of the dead and criticized the fact that it was trending - if only it trended sooner, a life could have been saved.


Her final tweet. 

I have since written a follow up to this story which you can find here

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Avengers Assemble - Film Review

Previously I have said the The Clash of The Titans was the best use of 3D I had seen so far. Avengers Assemble has beaten that. Similarly with Clash, Avengers really comes down to sibling rivalry (also funnily enough involving the Gods) and power struggles, but Avengers does it in a much more epic way. The rivalry in Avengers sees Loki again crying (not literally) over the fact that his brother Thor got the throne (continues from Thor's own film) and instead of throwing toys out of the pram he throws an army at the Earth. Loki wants to be the boot which stomps the ant (Earth), and to prevent this Nick Fury assembles Earth's mightiest heroes to defeat Thor's adopted brother. 

Usually I try not to get my hopes up with films that build up so much hype and anticipation, but with this film you can believe the hype. There were fears among fans pre-release as to whether having such a star studded cast would work, fans feared they would all be vying for attention. In the case of Iron Man it can be said that he is attention seeking, but that is just his character not the actor himself. There are evident power struggles between the characters (as to be expected) but it just makes for a hell of a more entertaining viewing. As the threat grows the team learn to play nicely and 'suit up' to to take on the demi-God who literally has an army falling from the sky at his will. 

The team shoot and smash their way to victory in this ultimate action film. It reaches so many ages and such a wide audience, bringing the comics out of the hands of the geeks and onto the big screen, and potentially giving the comic world a cool new look. Most people who have seen this film want to see it again almost immediately, I know people who have seen it 3 times already - it is a hit with the sales and it is a hit with me.

If they can't protect this Earth, they're sure as hell going to Avenge it.

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Big Bad Grandma

This short story is my own twist on the classic children’s story ‘Little Red Riding Hood’. The audience is teenagers or adults, but I have kept to the style of a children’s story to create a contrast. Hope you like it. 

As most of you know, there was once a little girl who liked to wear a red hooded cape which had been knitted by her Grandma. This little girl was known as Little Red Riding Hood. What you do not know – is the truth…

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, in a small house just outside of the woods, a frail old lady lived on her own. She relied on visits from her Granddaughter for company. One night whilst Grandma lay in bed, she was gazing out of the window…

As the full moon entered the winter’s night sky Grandma began to change. Her crow footed eyes grew and the humble hazel they once were turned into a bloodshot black. Her aged ears, decorated by dangling beads, and the left ear aided by a hearing aid, also grew. They changed and pointed at their tops, and in doing so the hearing aid fell to the floor. The beads still dangled from the mutated ears. Her wrinkled nose was next; it mutated the whole shape of her face. The area from her jaw line to her nose stretched outwards and it was now a rectangular shape. Her nose became a simple black moulding on the end of her irregular face, moist and perfectly rounded. Next, Grandma’s dentures fell out of her mouth and from her gums grew razor sharp teeth, sharp enough to puncture a tyre with one touch. 

Grandma was a werewolf.

With a hunger for meat and a thirst for blood, Grandma was a vicious mutation of her previous self.  With a simple sniff of her dog-like nose she could sense ‘food’ within a 10 mile radius. And who happened to be on her way to visit her Grandma at this moment? None other than Little Red Riding Hood, the werewolf’s Grandchild. However the love Grandma felt for Little Red Riding Hood was hidden by the sweet scent of the young girl’s flesh, bones and bodily fluids, which were skipping happily towards Grandma’s cosy cottage. These tantalising smells excited Grandma’s senses and she prepared herself for the hunt…

The young, innocent, sweet little girl was joyfully singing as she made her way to visit the Grandma she loved so dearly. In her hands she carried a basket in which some home-made cakes were waiting to be delivered to Grandma. As the little girl, proudly wearing the red knitted hood her Grandma had made for her, travelled onward to the little house she had been to so many times before – began to get nervous. She had left late on this bitterly cold November day and the darkness was easing in. The bare trees creaking above her quickened the little girl’s heartbeat.  As Little Red Riding Hood’s nerves grew she began to panic and sweat. The scent of this sweat enhanced the longing inside the beast Grandma had become. Grandma could sense the little girl’s fear, enticing her to the point where she had utterly no power over the body which was once hers. As the little girl rushed through the frightening woods, each twig that snapped beneath her feet and every tree that creaked around her caused her to shudder and gasp, as the terror began to be too much for the child to handle.

When Grandma did reach her Grandchild a scream so high pitched that it penetrated the ears of all those nearby and scarred their memories, came crying out of the little girl. Grandma’s big eyes locked onto the little girl, studying her every move. Grandma’s big ears heard every last breath the little girl took. Grandma’s big nose inhaled the sensational scent of the little girl’s flesh and blood. Grandma’s big teeth punctured the small child’s skin and tore her apart. She ripped her limb from limb. Grandma ate her Grandchild and at the time loved every moment in doing it. When Grandma was done devouring her own Grandchild all that was left of the young, innocent, sweet little girl was a burgundy blood stain tarnishing the ground, and a tuft of red thread, the only remains of the red cape Grandma had knitted her, stuck between Grandma’s murderous teeth. 

Grandma ended Little Red Riding Hood.

Friday, 20 April 2012

Cabin in the Woods - Film Review

Three words - what the fuck?
What the fuck am I watching is the main thought that ran through my mind while watching this film.

The whole thing was completely bizarre. Writer, Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) laid bare the well-known conventions of horror films, using them to his advantage - and putting a story behind a story.  This I relate to the 'gamemakers' of 'The Hunger Games' as we witness a team of people setting into motion all of the disasters that are to await the five unsuspecting friends.

Despite the utterly weird storyline and turn of events, there are aspects of this film which are simply awesome. For example, the ending - it was brilliant, I'll give no more than that away though. I was happy as well because I'd watched a horror film that barely scared me. There were parts where I jumped out of my skin and had to look away as it was too gross to watch, but each was counteracted by a hint of comedy that was weaved throughout the film and eased my nerves. Despite the mixed opinions of almost everyone who left the cinema, my opinion is watch the film for yourself to see if you can decide what you think.

You think you know what to expect, and then the unexpected happens. 


Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Battleship - Film Review

I can now happily say that this film beat my expectations. The trailer I saw in the cinema focused on the CGI alien attacks, explosions, and a clip of Rihanna saying "Boom" - Not my cup of tea.

Having been made by the same people who brought us the Transformers films, excessive CGI is expected, but what the trailer barely hinted at is that there is a story there too and comedy - so really there is a little bit for everyone. My preconceptions led me to believe that only CGI fanatics, and rowdy men wanting to look at Rihanna would be wanting to view this film. I was wrong. I found myself actually enjoying it, but perhaps this is because I had such low expectations to begin with - So don't go to see it with high expectations, or you'll be disappointed. I don't want to get your hopes up, the film was not amazing, just better than I'd thought it would be.

Rihanna's acting skills were also better than imagined as she played the part of a macho marine. No-one however, is more macho and manly than the protagonists boss and potential father-in-law, who is played by Liam Neeson. A man who in every role played, is a manly tough guy - because well, let's face it - he can't act as anything else with that voice!

The film which had been inspired and based on the classic naval combat game, also named "Battleship", sees five unidentified-flying-objects heading for Earth, before one breaks off (later discovered to have been the communications device) and the others land in the sea just out from Hawaii. The naval forces, who have all coincidently been residing just off of Hawaii for a sports comp,  are thrusted into battle. Their enemy, lizard-like-iron-men, are more powerful and advanced and on a mission to 'phone home' and gather the rest of their species for a takeover. It is now the role of default ship leader and films protagonist, Hopper, to thwart their plans. 

Battleship: Game on ?!

Tuesday, 17 April 2012


Okay, so my lazy day came to an end when the internet annoyed me. How? Cyber-bullying.  

Bullying, whether physical or emotional, can hit a person like a ton of bricks. I have experienced bullying, through most of primary and up until year 8 of secondary school, and that is awful - But cyber-bullying seems often to be in a league of it's own. I have not experienced cyber-bullying as social networking was getting popular just as my bullying was coming to an end. 

Bullies are often described as cowards, and cyber-bullies are the most cowardly of the breed. Hiding behind their screen sending insults through cyber-space and thinking little of the consequences.The first form of cyber-bullying I witnessed today was in the comments section of an article on the Independent website. I had heard of it but only checked it out after my boyfriend blogged about it leading me to the article entitled: Going on strike is disgraceful, selfish and, quite frankly, passé, heard of it? - Well this article was written by a third year studying the same university course as my boyfriend (who is in the first year). Those commenting not only insulted Malm for having a view but insulted the course that she is studying, and those on it. These commenter's also found Malms own blog and criticised her there too. Despite disagreeing with her views, there is no need for a playground slanging match. I'd always thought of the readers of the Independent to be mature and educated, but when they call a 21-year-old student an 'ignorant twit' and liken her to Samantha Brick and the Ugandan war-lord Joseph Kony, my opinion began to waver. You can insult her writing style as much as you like, and disagree with what she is saying - yes, fair enough, that is to be expected as a journalist anyway - but do not insult the girl for saying it or object to her right to say it. Also, should it not be commended that an undergraduate has managed to be published in the Independent before even graduating - showing that clearly the course she is on is doing something right? 

@ItsGailPlatt (fake imitating twitter) started the trend ...
The other form of bullying I witnessed was when I decided to look for Twitter reactions to Malms piece, I looked at the 'Top Trends' and saw - third in the list - #GailPlattLooksLike. I found tweets suggesting she looked like everything from E.T to Parker from Thunder Birds. Other tweets didn't liken her to anything, just outright insulted her. Do these imbeciles not realise that Gail Platt isn't just a character, but is played by a real life person! This type of trending is regular on Twitter and I find it insane that this is seen as light hearted banterous entertainment. Helen Worth has done nothing to these people yet yesterday Twitter was full of abuse for her. Imagine if she saw all of those tweets, stuff like that could lead to insecurities and depression. 

In the days when I was being bullied, going home I could get away from it - that is if my siblings were being nice to me that day anyway - but with the bullies now having the ability to target their victims even after school hours, there is no escaping it. I once saw a news story in which a young girl attempted suicide after her school bullies created a website - dedicated to bullying her. It was insane, making a young girls life hell for entertainment? Wrong. 

I am not a devout Christian, but there is one rule I learnt during my Sunday school days which I will always live by - and that is to treat others how you wish to be treated. 

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Mirror Mirror - Film Review

Director Tarsem Singh, has taken the well known naive-apple-eating-domestic-princess and transformed her into an ass-kicking version of her former self, who needs not to be saved by the prince, but wishes only to save the kingdom which is rightfully hers - and ends up saving the prince along the way.

Despite being one of the only groups in the cinema without children, the film was still entertaining and not directly aimed at children, with adult humour and humour that the kids will understand too. The film was thoroughly entertaining, containing the perfect hint of Fairytale magic and modern twists.

Lily Collins (Daughter of Phil Collins) plays Snow White in the modern adaptation. This is her first film role. In this adaptation, Snow breaks her evil stepmothers rules, and leaves the castle on her 18th birthday, witnessing how the people no longer sing and dance all day. After a failed attempt at getting the Prince to help her gain her rightful place on the throne, the evil queen (Julia Roberts), sends her right hand man, Brighton, to kill her in the woods. Brighton, however, fails to do the deed and instead instructs Snow to "run!". She finds safety in the woodland home of seven banished 'uglies' - Also known as the seven dwarfs. The seven of them do what Snows father had felt he would not be able to achieve (because she is a girl) and teach Snow how to fight. Showing little girls everywhere that they can achieve anything.

Whilst the training is taking place, and the whole kingdom believe Snow to be dead, the Queen gets her clutches on the Prince and manipulates him into fighting for her. The Queen then also has a brainwave of how to end her financial problems - Marry the Prince. How though could she get this 'smooth, hairy' Prince to agree to this, when he is so clearly in love with Snow White - Magic. The Queen uses a love potion - which she later discovers to have been 'Puppy Love', on the Prince. The lovestruck pup then agrees to marry her and it is up to the Princess and her bandit dwarfs to save the day.

The film contains one thing which most traditional Fairytales lack - twists! I was surprised to have been surprised by this film and love that I was. Being a Fairytale it is of course a moral tale, so a good one for the kids - but one you shouldn't mind taking them to see. Some of the links to the original tale are also noticeable, and I like how they have entwined this with the modern take. Overall, this is definitely one to watch.

Naive-apple-eater to ass-kicking-sword-fighter. 

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Street Dance 2 - Film Review.

Before even getting to the cinema I could predict almost perfectly the whole plot of this film. The trailer does give most of it away, but the gaps where it doesn't tell you what happens are easy to fill in.

As with most dance films, there is a competition to win. After humiliating himself in front of the 'unbeatable' crew, Invincible, street-dancer Ash (Falk Hentschel) has even more motivation for winning the 'Final Clash' - he just needs a crew. That is where Eddie comes in (George Sampson, runner up of 2007 Britain's Got Talent). Eddie approaches Ash with the desire of being his manager. Miraculously the fired-popcorn-boy and teenage manager are able to fund a trip around Europe to gather all of the top street dancers, who Eddie somehow knows of, personally or otherwise.

Almost everything about this film is unrealistic. The plot is unrealistic, the acting is unbelievable - most probably seeing as they are primarily dancers, and some of the scenarios are just absurd. I get that it is just supposed to be a bit of light fun and entertainment - but would the whole dance crew really all wake up at the same time due to one person snoring, all have the same idea of attacking him with pillows, and the room - somehow carpeted in feathers, then become a dance floor filled with the happy, laughing crew. No - they would be pissed off and sleepy and moaning at each other.

The one thing I cannot fault about this film is the dancing. Ash and Eddie decide to put a twist on popular street dance by infusing Latin. To do this they have to enlist Eva (Sofia Boutella), after having to persuade their crew. The phenomenal dancing is the only reason I wanted to see this film, and the only reason I'd recommend it to anybody.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

The Wrath of the Titans - Film Review

The Wrath of the Titans is basically a film about sibling rivalry. Hades (god of the underworld) and Zeus (god of the sky) are fighting, and Zeus' children, Perseus and Ares, are fighting, because poor ole god of war, Ares, is jealous of the love and affection Zeus shows toward Perseus. Perhaps this shows they are not too far from humanity.

Throughout the film I couldn't shake the feeling that Perseus should have been named Hercules, but apparently seeing as Zeus has immortality he supposedly 'got around' during his years and had many children. Despite this though there were so many things which related to the stories of Hercules that I am so familiar with. Not just the fact that he is the son of Zeus, or that he flies on the back of Pegasus (the flying horse), but whilst in the labrinth leading to Hell - he fights and kills a centaur, as did Hercules!! 

I watched the film in 3D and have to add that it was possibly one of the best uses I myself have seen yet, just a shame about the film itself. 

The film was supposed to be serious for the most part but me and my friends couldn't help but laugh. I really want to label this film over-the-top, but can it be classed as that when it is a film about gods? I went to the cinema with 8 people, none of which were particularly fond of the film. I'll even go so far as to say I was bored, and this isn't because I'm some typical-action-hating-girl, I'll watch anything, and besides 5 of the people I was with were male - and most of those agreed with me. Dull and rather predictable.

Feel the boredom ... 

Fish Fingers and Custard.

If the Doctor says it's good - then it MUST be! 

Today (3rd April) has been named Official Fish Fingers and Custard Day! This is in celebration of the second anniversary of the famous scene in episode one of series five, The Eleventh Hour. 

The Doctor (Matt Smith) is going through the regeneration process and has a "new mouth, new rules". Young Amelia Pond gives him, Yoghurt ("stuff with bits in"), bacon ("Are you trying to poison me?"), baked beans (which are "evil"), and bread and butter (which he throws out of the front door and orders to "stay out"). The frustrated and hungry Doctor then raids her fridge-freezer and finds what he needs "fish fingers and custard" - and alas the trend begun. 

Matt Smith confessed that during filming what he ate was not even fish fingers - but breaded cakes. He has since however joined the fad and had his first taste of the sweet-savoury snack on the Christmas Eve episode of The Graham Norton Show. With a full mouth of fish custard Matt uttered that it was "alright, yeah". The general opinion in the studio was that it was alright. Not disgusting, but not great. 

Shopping List: Fish Fingers, Custard. 
So on this day, I decided to finally partake. Me and my boyfriend, both mad Whovians, walked through the aisles of Morrisons supermarket with a basket containing a packet of 10  fish fingers, and one pot of Ambrosia custard. 

My boyfriend, Matt (not Smith), said that he doesn't like custard and doesn't like fish fingers -so we were off on a good start. I like both but was still weary. Matt admitted though that the custard improved the taste of fish fingers, which is a definite positive. 

Weary Matt

Matt: "It's not bad actually"

Note the Doctor Who T-Shirt. ;) I'm a nerd. 

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

The Hunger Games - Film Review

This is not just a review, but a comparison. I have now been to see the film twice at the cinema. I am definitely a fan of the film, but I am a bigger fan of the books. I am now halfway through Mockingjay (the third in the series) and if you have read my book reviews you will know how drawn in I am to this story. I feel like a part of it, a part of Panem. Though I know the films are simply ‘based’ on the books and not an exact replica, I cannot help but get annoyed at even the slightest change.

Overall the film is great, evidently seeing as it has achieved the third best opening weekend box office sales, of any movie. Having seen it twice in the opening weekend myself I can see why this is. The Hunger Games already has a huge fandom and bringing it to the screen only increases that, bringing it to audiences who prefer to watch than read. Although, personally, I believe that those who are fans of the movie cannot identify themselves as Hunger Games fans. Having just seen the movie they will not have all of their facts right. That is why I am calling this review a comparison. Perhaps you do not have time to read the books, believe me – they will consume your life from the moment you turn the first page – Therefore I have written this blog, it will inform you and allow me to vent some of my annoyance at the misrepresentations and false facts.

I understand that in order to bring the story to the screen it has to be condensed. The transition of The Hunger Games from book to screen has not just condensed it, but altered it. When the lights came on and the credits rolled, I was surprised to see Suzanne Collins’s name under the title of producer. I think it is great that the author of the novels has had great involvement of the production of her work, but seeing her as producer puzzled me – Why would she allow for some of the changes that were made? Perhaps she was overruled, or perhaps she simply had no choice. Maybe it had to be done that way for it to have made sense to those who are new to The Hunger Games.

Some changes made perfect sense. In the novel Haymitch’s gifts whilst in the arena came with no note or clue as to the timing of them. Katniss worked it out. However it is a bit tricky for what is in Katniss’ head to be expressed in the movie – so having the notes I found to be a good compromise. Not being in Katniss’ head was probably the thing they had to alter most. During the tribute interviews they are not on the stage behind Caesar Flickerman, they are lined up waiting for their turn – and are able to watch on screen. This I feel is also a good compromise for the adaptation as you are able to see Katniss react to Peeta’s interview on a screen backstage, which makes it clearer what her thoughts are on what he says. If she were on stage she would have had all eyes on her and had to play along, leaving the viewer’s unsure as to her true thoughts. Whereas in the book we know what she is thinking when she plays along, in the film that would be difficult to portray, as with the in-cave-scenes where the only inclination as to her pretending is in Haymitches notes. The only issue with the tributes not being on stage during the interviews, is how it will affect the second film, as I feel the victors hand-holding-scene is a crucial one – But we’ll see how that happens when the time comes.

There were a few little things that annoyed me: Katniss going into her private session before Peeta, Plutarch not falling into the punch bowl, Katniss’ crying scene (if you’ve read the book you’ll understand why), appearance of the Cornucopia, the leaves for Tracker Jacker stings having not been chewed, and the minor continuity issue I noticed during my second screening – where before the fire outbreak Katniss goes to sleep in her sleeping bag, wakes up and it’s gone. This may have been done in order for her to be able to make a swifter exit – But Katniss isn’t a magician, either it is there or it isn't.

There were also some bigger things that annoyed me. First of all, the thing which annoyed most readers – is Madge, or the lack of. For those of you who have not read the books, the Mockingjay pin is not a present which Katniss gave to Prim, in order to protect her, it was given to Katniss by Madge for protection, as a token (which also, I should add – all tributes are allowed, one token, therefore Cinna hiding it is slightly annoying – though it does help to identify him as a friend). Madge is the Mayors daughter, and Katniss’s not-yet-close friend.  Having Katniss give the pin to Prim and then Prim to Katniss, does represent their bond as sisters – but writers do things for a reason, and Madge was introduced at this point for a reason. My only guess it that that reason is no longer relevant, and that it will be altered in the second film (we’ll have to see). Other key moments that were missed/added to my annoyance were: Haymitches lack of revealing Katniss to Peeta as having pretended, the adding of District 11 starting an uprising after the death of Rue, Peeta’s lack of a badly damaged leg (resulting in amputation), and a lack of introduction/mention of Katniss’ prep team. We’ll have to wait for the following movies to find out how these changes will affect the future films.

My final thing to discuss is the actual portrayal of the characters – most of which were spot on. Stanley Tucci’s depiction of Caesar Flickerman I thought was perfect, both his appearance and attitude were exactly as imaged. As with the people of the Capitol, their appearances were just as bizarre as the book describes. The one character which I am not so please about is President Snow. It is as if the casting team heard the word ‘snow’, immediately thought of winter, leading them to Christmas – and immediately came up with a depiction of an evil Santa look-alike who has put all 12 districts on the naughty list. I was not impressed. He looks nothing like the botoxed puffy-lipped supreme leader I’d imagined. Even despite his appearances, or perhaps because I couldn’t get past them, President Snow simply did not feel scary enough.

One added moment I particularly love is how Seneca Crane is shown to have been killed; it is brilliant and a really good touch. Though this review must have seemed like a little bit of a rant, I genuinely love the film. The alterations seemed to have just added to my anticipation for the next three (Three books, four films) as I want to know how they are going to achieve things which, having changed/missed/altered in the first film, would be difficult to portray in the next. Good luck to them, and “may the odds be ever in your favour”. 

"Let the games begin!"

Friday, 23 March 2012

Catching Fire - Book Review

The Hunger Games trilogy is gripping. I picked up the second book in the trilogy near enough as soon as I finished the first; I needed to know what else the ‘Capitol’ could possibly put Katniss through. There is a build-up of anticipation ‘as whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol’ spread across Panem. A rebellion started by Katniss’ bold act at the end of the Seventy-Fourth Hunger Games.

As with the first book, each chapter in ‘Part II’ ends in suspense. From the moment the Quarter Quell is announced the book will hardly leave your hands. I became drawn into the world Collins had created. You will become emotionally involved. You will feel Katniss’ pain, her hunger, her confusion. You will want to help – but you can’t. You will read in anticipation fearing for her, and needing her questions answered. It is a thrilling intense experience.

The third in the trilogy, Mockingjay, is now by my side. At exactly 7.30pm I’ll be sat in the Silver Screen Cinema in Folkestone, ready to see how Collins’ vision of the future has been depicted on the big screen. The big screen will bring Panem to audiences who prefer to watch than read, but also bringing what many readers have held in their head and hold dear, to life. I am excited for the film but can safely say now – it will hold nothing on the books, films never do. 

I am now a part of The Hunger Games. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Seagull - Poem

The seaside seagull
Is my siren.
My morning alarm.
It is not melodic music,
Nor a sweet song.
Nothing at all like the birds at home.

Saturday, 17 March 2012

The Decoy Bride - Film Review

The only good thing about The Decoy Bride is that it has David Tennant in it. Granted I laughed-out-loud on one occasion, so yes it is partially funny. Also, it is a Rom-Com - typically feel-good movies, which this is - an upbeat romance story which makes the viewer feel good. I’ll probably watch this again, because it is a fun feel-good movie, oh and it has DT in it. Other than that, the film hasn't got a whole lot going for it.

The film is set on the “sleepy island of Hegg” where American actress Lara Tyler (Kelly Macdonald) slips away with her British author fiancé James Arber (David Tennant) to get married without disruptions from the press. Obviously nothing goes to plan and when stalker paparazzi, Marco Ballani, is found creeping around the island a ‘decoy bride’ is employed to keep him off the scent, and to stop him snapping that all important picture. The decoy (Alice Eve) ‘accidentally’ signs her own name on the marital register, becoming Mrs Arber, and in case you didn’t guess – she falls in love with him. Incredibly predictable.

If you love David Tennant (like me) or enjoy feel-good films that will make you smile and occasionally laugh, then watch this film. If you are one of those who don’t see the attraction in David Tennant or enjoy suspense, twists, and surprise endings – then don’t waste your money. 

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Uni Task - Chav speak

We were given the task at Uni to use dialect in dialogue to reflect the location. 
Our tutor set the task of writing a scene where a male and female collide into another males car - a minor road traffic accident. This scene he asked to be written in Estuary English. Being from Chatham, I wrote it in 'chav speak' - How most people talk there! 

Our tutor also said to stay clear of dialect unless you have a good ear!

Here is my take on the task: 

“Heya Chels what’s the goss? What ‘appened to Jacks wheels?” Lauren sat down next to Chelsea in the college canteen.

“Ah I’m well pissed, me an' Jack were out skuddin an' he was like well distracted by the gal drivin’ the car behind us. E’ din’t even notice the traffic lights change an' he smashed up the car in front.”

“Shit Chels, you alright?”

“Yer babe but the cars well fucked an' Jacks propa pissed me off, yer know what I mean? Not only did we crash coz of ‘im but e' got in a fight wid the old geezer that e' hit. The gavas got involved an' everythin. I’m fumin Lor. E' was actin like it were pure bant, but it’s serious init? Probs gonna get a criminal record now, fuckin twat.”

Literally #1

"She got her knickers in a twist"

She got out of the bed in horror. She couldn't remember much of last night and now, somehow, she had woken in Sam's bed. her clothes were in a pile on the floor. She crept out of the bed, trying to avoid waking Sam and having an awkward confrontation. Avoiding stepping on any of the junk on the floor, she bent over to pick the clothes up. It was a t that moment that Sam woke "Nice ass!" he said. She was horrified. She picked her knickers up and started putting them on, the first leg was in when she tumbled to the floor after tripping on all the junk. There she was, a naked pile on the floor with her knickers in a twist. 

Monday, 12 March 2012

The Hunger Games - Book Review

Suzanne Collins has created a dark version of the future. Her vision is one which is not dissimilar to the ‘Big Brother’ of Orwell’s 1984. Collins’ version of ‘Big Brother’ is known as the ‘Capitol’, which in simple terms is the capital city of the country Panem (which we now know as North America). Panem is divided into 12 districts which all serve a different purpose to the ‘Capitol’ from mining, to manufacturing and agriculture.

The ‘Capitol’ have many laws and rules in place, and ‘Peacekeepers’ roam the districts to control this order. And, as if the laws and fences surrounding the district’s weren’t enough to keep the citizens in check, the ‘Capitol’ hosts a yearly game show to reinforce the power they have over the population. This ‘games show’ is somewhat like the dark reality TV shows on the ‘Bad Wolf’ episode of Series 1, Doctor Who in 2005. Twenty-four ‘tributes’ are selected and forced to take part in the fight to the death, one boy and one girl from each district. This live TV show has but one rule: kill or be killed. “Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death.”

Katniss Everdeen, our stories protagonist and heroine, dwells in the ‘Seam’ (the poorest part) of district 12. When the name of her younger sister is called during the ‘reaping’, sixteen-year-old Katniss steps forward to take her place. The story will have you hooked from the offset due to the curiosity that will overtake you, and the ambiguity of the narration leaving you needing to know more. From ‘Part II’ of the novel the suspense builds as each chapter ends in a cliffhanger. Wherever you read this book better be comfy as you won’t be able to move. I spent a whole day in bed clutching the book, gasping and getting teary. It is definitely worth a read. 

"Winning will make you famous. Losing means certain death." 

The Vow - Film Review

Rachel McAdams (The Notebook) and Channing Tatum (Dear John) create the perfect on screen couple, that is until a car accident causes Paige to lose all memory of her unrealistically beautiful husband. Paige’s memory takes her back 5 years to when she was engaged to another man and studying at law school – a big contrast to the life she had been living, a married artist living in the city.

As with every typical Romance film Sucsy has included the clichéd standing-in-the-rain-scene, and knowing that Tatum is a lead you will find a few of the expected topless scenes. Putting these aside, the story of Paige and Leo is one based on true events, one based on the lives of Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. Though the story has of course changed through its transition to the screen, Sucsy has still managed to maintain a sense of realism in the film, and though the story has altered it still hosts unpredictable moments as does real life.

The couple have many challenges to overcome (as if the challenge of Paige losing all memory of her husband wasn’t enough!) one of which being Paige’s dad, played by Sam Niell, who uses the accident to get Paige all to himself once more.

In true Romance film fashion they manage “find a way back to each other” as they’d vowed, despite this the outcome is still one which was not expected, unless of course you were already aware of the story of the Carpenters. The story is both touching and heart-warming and is sure to bring you near tears.  

The unrealistically beautiful couple ...  

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Intro ...

In 2010 I created a blog for posting my poetry. I created this blog under the alias of 'The Girl In The Corner' mainly because I was a little embarrassed and didn't think I was any good (well, I may still not be...) but also due to the fact my first post was a poem on how annoyed I was at my little sister. People have asked me - Why 'The Girl In The Corner'? - Well because at the time of starting my blog I shared a bedroom with my younger sister who took up most of the room whilst I felt shoved in the corner ... Later I got that bedroom all to myself (the biggest room!) after my older sister moved out to go to Uni, and then I put my desk in the corner of the bedroom where most of my belongings used to be. Being at Uni reaffirmed this idea of the desk in corner when we studied Stephen King's 'On Writing' he said: “It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.” 

I haven't used my 'her-corner' blog since March of last year. This blog is my fresh start and I am now not only going to post poetry, but stories and bits of writing I have done in and out of seminars, as well as the occasional blog about myself/thoughts.

My alias on my previous blog (her-corner)