Friday, 23 June 2017

Shutter Island | Film Review

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Hey Guys x

I watched this yesterday afternoon and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it! It's quite an old film, it came out in 2010, so if you wanted to see it, you probably have.

Nevertheless, I only saw it for the first time yesterday, and I'll save what I think of it for after I give you a brief description.

This film is about a U.S Marshal called Teddy Daniels, who is sent a mental asylum on Shutter Island (along with his new partner Chuck) to find a girl who has been reported missing from the asylum. However, Daniels begins to think that there is something seriously wrong with everything about Shutter Island. The patients act weird, the wardens withhold information, and just what is happening at that lighthouse? In addition, everyone there seems to be keeping a secret to the only question that Daniels really wants to know - where are they keeping the man that killed Daniels' wife?

I thought this film was INCREDIBLE. Seriously, I thought it was such a good movie, definitely the kind that you have to watch twice, which I can't wait to do!

Not that it's like this in any way, but the feeling I get when I talk about it is the same feeling that I get when I talk about 'The Departed', they're both such freaking incredible films! It's the Scorsese effect, of course it is!

The two main characters are played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo, who were both amazing! I was fans of both of theirs anyway (Ruffalo more than Leo) but they both blew me away with this one, and I do think that it was their acting, as well as the acting of everyone else in the film, especially the people in the backgrounds of shots, that made this film what it was.

I hardly mention soundtracks or music when I'm writing about films that aren't musicals, but it has to be mentioned for this film. The soundtrack, each second of music in the film has a purpose. Whether to create tension, or to subtly give away plot details, it has a reason and I really love that.

Now, I have to mention, without spoiling anything, the twist. Without a doubt the best twist that I've seen in a movie since Get Out, it might even have been better than Get Out's twist. I absolutely love twists in movies, they inspire me to be a filmmaker more than anything else, and I can't get over this one. It definitely felt a bit like the film 'The Amityville Asylum' which had similar tones, but I feel like I was the only person who talks about that film because I have a love for it that I don't even understand myself, particularly because I don't think it was a good movie! But there were some definite similarities.

Anyway, I've spent the last few hours watching all these theories and explanations and 'ten things you missed...' videos from YouTube to try and understand all the subtle nuances that Scorsese included in the film, and if I keep talking about it I'll definitely spoil something!

Thank you for reading.

Have you seen this? Comment below!

Lou xx

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Man of Steel | Film Review

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Hey Guys x

So, today I watched 'Man of Steel'. I went into this with a lot of other people's negative reviews in my head. Because of this, I was very much determined to like it.

You may or may not know this but, I am a huge Marvel fan. I only started getting into DC movies this year but, thanks to seeing Man of Steel, I'm now completely up to date and anxiously awaiting  Wonder Woman. I hope to go and see it next week.

However, so far, I'm really liking what I'm seeing of DC.

That being said, let me get on with the review.

The story is about Clark Kent. It follows his birth, the way that he was sent from his home planet of Krypton to live on Earth with Martha and Johnathan Kent. It then goes on to show the ways that he's tried to disguise himself, to shield other people from knowing the truth about him or his powers. However, when he meets Lois Lane, who discovers his secret, things start to unravel. Especially when he finds out that someone from Krypton is trying to make a new civilisation on Earth - after getting rid of all the humans. Can Clark sacrifice himself and his home planet for the people on Earth?

Now, when I went on the Wikipedia for this film (which I do for most films I watch), there was a note above the plot. I'm paraphrasing, but it basically said: 'The scenes in the film happen in a weird order. We're going to write them as they appear chronologically'

And this was so true!

In so many points of the film I was just so confused. One minute we were on Krypton, the next on Earth with adult Clark, then back to Krypton, then back to Earth with 9 year old Clark, then with adult Clark, then with 13 year old Clark, it was a bit much to keep up with!

For example, in the first scene that showed adult Clark, I couldn't work out whether it was him or not! I've spent a lot of my free time looking at Henry Cavill's face (because it's a freaking work of art) so after a while I understood, but it definitely was not made clear!

Having said this, once the film stuck with one line of plot, I actually really enjoyed it. I was definitely comparing it to Smallville all the way through, and I thought that the plot, storyline and characters all made sense and worked.

Henry Cavill, Amy Adams and all the other actors and actresses in the film were great! They were all really believable, I think great casting choices were made, and I'm glad that the actors that portrayed the characters of Superman, Lois and Martha Kent were reprised in Batman V Superman, because it would have been a completely different film without them.

As someone who's somewhat of a superman novice, with the exception of four seasons of Smallville and BvS, I really was able to enjoy it and I fully understood everything that was happening, which I was obviously really pleased about!

I really really enjoyed the ending. Like, when the words 'Man of Steel' came up, I got chills, which is always a good feeling to have.

I would definitely recommend this film if superman or superheroes are your thing. If they're not, maybe watch some others before you watch this one, just so that there's less confusion!

Thank you for reading!

Comment below what you thought of Man of Steel!

Lou xx

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Me Before You | Film Review

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Hey Guys x

I've just watched this and I'm actually still crying so bear with me!

I read this book ages ago, so I don't know why it took me so long to see the film! Actually, I do. It was one of those things where I was going to watch it with someone (my mum) but ended up watching it alone because they took too long.

And I'm so glad I actually saw it on my own and got to cry in private!

The film is about a girl called Lou Clarke who is in desperate need of a job. So when a well-paying job near her home opens up, caring for a quadriplegic man, she takes it, excited to be making more money. However, when Lou meets Will Traynor, things get off to a bad start. She hates going to work and wonders when, if ever, this insufferable man will give her a chance. But then she stumbles across some information that she shouldn't have found, and decides to make it her mission to give Will the best life possible. However, unbeknownst to her, getting this job will change both of their lives forever.

As you can tell from the crying I previously mentioned, I loved this film!

I didn't have high hopes, I'll be honest. Book-to-film adaptations are never as good when you've actually read the book.

However, this really was. I still enjoyed the book more than the movie, but the book didn't tug at my emotions as much as the film did. The film really made me feel, and it reminded me why I fell in love with movies as a medium of storytelling. Nothing can make you feel things like a movie can.

All of the characters were played extremely well, particularly Lou and Will's characters, played by Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin. They were exceptional, and not for a moment did I question their acting choices.

This is a deep movie that you really have to watch. Not only does it tug at your heartstring and make you feel things for everyone involved, but it makes you put yourself in their situation. It makes you think about what you would do, and I really liked that about it. I still don't know what I would have done in Lou's situation.

I did a blog post ages ago now, about Epic loves, particularly of the fictional variety.

Lou and Will are epic loves. Their paths intertwined and their lives completely changed as a result. They made each other better, brought out the best in each other, it's the kind of love that a lot of people want to have, it's the kind of love that I want. The way that this love was captured on screen was phenomenal, and this definitely doesn't have to mean romantic love, any kind of love. They had the best of it. 

Thank you for reading.

Comment below your thoughts on this film!

Lou xx

Friday, 9 June 2017

The Lucky One | Film Review

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Hey Guys x

Another movie review for you today! Sorry if you're getting sick of them, but I have a lot of films to get through this summer, and most of them will definitely be getting reviews.

So, this is a movie adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling (Piper from OITNB) - which alone made me want to watch it. However, the reviews weren't the best, so I didn't have high hopes.

The film is about a U.S. Marine called Logan, who one morning after an ambush, finds the picture of a woman. Finding the picture saves his life (as if means that he has moved just before a mortar attack takes place) and he tries to find the owner of the photo. However, he is unsuccessful. When he returns home, he feels compelled to find the woman in the photo, to thank her for saving his life. However, when he finds Beth Green, his life takes an unexpected turn, particularly when he finds that Beth has a son and an extremely aggressive ex husband. But is Beth his guardian angel? Or was finding her photo a complete coincidence? Does it mean anything?

I have to say, I really really enjoyed this film. Unpopular opinion, but I thought that this was better than the Notebook!

The storyline itself was really unique, and something I really enjoyed thinking about. This concept of fate, where something as small as a photograph can change the trajectory of someone's life forever, it's insane!

And then there's the main actors, Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling, who were amazing in their roles! Before I watched it, I thought that watching this would feel like watching Troy Bolton and Piper Chapman in a really weird high school/prison crossover, but it wasn't like that at all! I guess it's because they're both really talented, but not for a second did I think about them as anything other than the characters that they were portraying.

Not a lot actually happens in the movie, but I like that because it's completely uncomplicated. You see all these little details play out and it enables you to fall in love with these characters in ways that you didn't expect.

If you need a rom-com to watch, something that's not too heavy and won't leave you crying, this is definitely a good option! Plus, Zac Efron is really hot in this movie, which is always a bonus!

Thank you for reading!

Have you see this? What's your favourite Nicholas Sparks movie adaptation?

Lou xx

Friday, 2 June 2017

May Favourites! | 2017

Hey Guys x

The end of May really crept up on me! I was planning posts and suddenly looked at the date, remembering that I hadn't even written my favourites for May yet!

I'm putting this up the day that I write it so sorry if there are spelling mistakes or anything, I haven't given myself the time to do a full edit.

Anyway, let's get on with it!

Favourtie Movie (1): Me Before You
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I've got a review of this ready to go up, so I won't go into too much detail. But if you haven't read the book or seen the film, it's basically about a girl who gets a job as the carer for a quadriplegic man. It's a romance movie, and I loved it so much. I've also read the book, and I'm really pleased with how it was done. But more to come in my review!

Favourite Movie (2): The Lucky One
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Again, I have a review of this written and ready to go up, so I won't go into too much detail here. But this is a film that is adapted from a Nicholas Sparks novel. I wasn't expecting too much, I thought it would just be the usual love story, but it really isn't! I definitely think it deserves a lot more praise and credit than it gets, especially because I think it's better than the Notebook!

Favourite TV Show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
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There were so many shows that I wanted to put in this place, but I'm giving it to Kimmy because this is the only show that I watched completely on a whim. I'm the kind of person that shies away from the overly-hyped popular shows, which is probably why I haven't watched '13 Reasons Why' or 'Stranger Things', but the girl that plays Kimmy Schmidt played Erin in The Office. When I saw that she was the lead in the show I decided to try out the pilot. Especially because I had heard how funny it was and how much people loved it. I can confirm that it is really funny and, 12 episodes in, I am one of those people that do love it. I can't wait to finish season 1!

Favourite Song: La La Land Soundtrack
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I completely fell in love with this soundtrack. I was browsing ITunes, and decided that I wanted to buy one or two of the songs. I ended up wanting to get about 8 of the 15 songs on the album. However, at 99p per song, it worked out cheaper to buy the whole 7.99 album than to get 8 individual songs. So I bought the album, listened to every song, and fell completely in love. Every song is a masterpiece, every person involved is so talented, and I would urge everyone to listen to the songs even if they haven't seen/didn't like the actual movie.

Favourite YouTuber: Louise Pentland
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This probably isn't a surprise considering how much I love Louise. She's been doing 'Storytime' videos this whole month and each story was funnier and more entertaining than the last! I've really enjoyed delving into her world, and I can't wait until my pre-ordered copy of her book comes next month so that I can delve into her head!

Favourite Actor: Henry Cavill
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Welcome to my latest obsession - Henry Cavill aka DC's Clark Kent (Superman). He has a face that literally looks like it's been carved of stone and he just seems like the nicest guy! I first saw him in Batman V Superman and thought he made a great Clark Kent. I then saw him in Guy Richie's movie 'Man From U.N.C.L.E' and thought he was amazing! I really can't wait to watch more of his films and to continue to follow his career because he's definitely one to watch!

Favourite YouTube Video: Bed Head

(Sorry for the picture!)
Bed Head is Jack and Dean's new sketch. I love what they do, I think they're really talented guys, so it makes sense that I would love the sketch. Definitely check it out - it's only three minutes long and it's really funny! I want to go and watch it again!

Random Favourites

End of Exams!
I finished my exams on the 10th of May and I was so happy to get home and know that I was completely done! But what makes it even more special is that, if I've passed the exam that I just sat (and so don't have to retake) I will never complete another written exam again! I've chosen modules for next year that don't rely on an exam, so that's something to look forward to!

The Office Finale
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I finished the last season of the Office last week, and I cried so much! I haven't cried that much since the end of The Vampire Diaries, it was just so emotional! Although the show wasn't with me for the 9 years that it was on television, even for the two or so months that I was watching it, it meant so much to me and really touched me. I miss settling in every night for another episode of the show and it's sad to know that I'll never be able to watch another new episode. However, the good thing about finishing this is that I get to watch it all over again!

All I Need

I started a new fanfiction (combining the Vampire Diaries and the Avengers), which is pictured above. Just like when I was writing Rogue, I am so excited and happy to be writing this and uploading it. Fanfiction is a thing that is very close to my heart and it really excites me to be working on something that I can upload on a weekly basis and get almost instantaneous feedback. If you want to give me a few reads, you can check out the first two chapters of this fic here!

Thanks for reading!

What are your May Faves? Comment below!

Lou xx

Friday, 26 May 2017

BBQ Chicken and Bacon Burgers!

Hey Guys x

I had planned to post this earlier than today, but there were personal things, and then Manchester, so I thought I'd wait until it felt right to post again. It kind of still doesn't. But I'm getting on with things, and that means posting.

As well as watching movies, another thing that I'm trying to get myself into is cooking. Especially because I can put all my recipes on the blog!

If you want a more traditional version of this recipe, you can find one here:

But I have to say, I definitely didn't follow this recipe as closely as I originally planned to.

The most important aspect of this recipe is what you put in the marinade.

I used: 4tbsp of ketchup
4tbsp of Heinz BBQ sauce
A LOT of 'Red's Kansas City BBQ Sauce'
A sprinkle of black pepper
A sprinkle of salt
2tbsp of honey
2tsp of 'very lazy' chopped red chillies
2tbsp of anything that you usually season chicken with. For me, it was 'Schwartz' chicken seasoning.
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
(As well as the chicken breasts, bacon and burger buns)

After mixing the marinade together, coat the chicken in the marinade and leave to chill in the fridge. I think however long you leave it for is subjective, I left mine for about 2 hours.

Then I cooked it for 30-40 minutes, also cooking the bacon in the oven at the same time. But you don't have to put bacon with it if you don't want to, you could just have a BBQ chicken burger.

Then you can assemble the burger in any way you want. I buttered my bun and added the chicken and bacon.

And it was such a nice meal! I would honestly recommend it! It takes like, 10 minutes to prepare, less than an hour to cook and if you make enough, it can feed a lot of people!

Thank you for reading!

What do you think? Will you make this? Let me know if you do!

Lou xx

Friday, 19 May 2017

Confessions Of A Shopaholic | Film Review

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Hey Guys x

As you can see, I have another movie review for you today!

This one was a long time coming! I am obsessed with the 'Shopaholic' book series by Sophie Kinsella, they're one of the reasons that she's my absolute favourite author.

But I waited a hell of a long time to see the film. I guess it's because, when I read about Becky (Rebecca Bloomwood, the protagonist), I never picture her as Isla Fisher. I don't know why,  just didn't. So it took me a while to actually decide to sit down and watch the film.

The film is about a girl called Rebecca Bloomwood who, as you can tell from the title of the film, is a shopaholic. Even with mountains of credit card debt and mountains of clothes that she's never worn, she just can't stop herself from spending money. So when her debt tries to catch up with her and she finds herself unemployed, Rebecca has to find a way to keep herself afloat. Hence a new job at Brandon communications. With a very attractive boss and an extremely popular article under the name of 'the girl in the green scarf'. Will this job be just the thing that she needs to get out of her debt? Or will she realise that a shopaholic can never change their ways?

I don't know how I feel about this film.

On the one hand, I enjoyed it. I was looking for something light and fun to watch and that's exactly what I got. Delving into Rebecca's world was fun and extremely cringe-inducing in equal measure. There were some parts where I literally had to close my eyes and ears to avoid the cringe.  It was also an interesting watch in general, to see someone spiral so far out of control and then try to get that control back. It was great!

But there were some things that I didn't like. At some points, the cringe felt a bit too much, a bit unrealistic. From what I've read in the books (bearing in mind, I haven't read the particular book that this film was based on) it was even too much for the Becky that I know. In the books, you can really get in her head and see what's going on, but in the film, you have no idea what's fuelling her decision-making.

And I tried not to compare the characters in the film to the characters in the books, but I couldn't help it. Not one of the characters matched-up to my expectations. I thought that I would get used to them as the film went on, but I still found it really hard to see, for example, Jessica Jones play Suze.

But overall, it's an enjoyable film that I would recommend, particularly if you haven't read any of the shopaholic books, as that will probably make the experience much better!

Thanks for reading!

Have you seen this? Have you read the books? Comment below!

Lou xx