Jul 31, 2011

Citizen Kane and a slight improvement

 
15:52 I decided to watch Citizen Kane. With Space Odyssey it helped to keep 'a watching diary', so let's see if it helps me here, too. I'm not mentally as well prepared as I was last time, but let's hope for the best. I did write a very hopeful title for the post: 'Citizen Kane and a leap back to success'. I'm referring to the last two months of total FAILS in my little New Year resolution project.

15:58 Decided to watch a trailer first to get a clue of what to expect. It was a very fun trailer, though it didn't give me much of a clue. So let's get started. I'm starving, but there's nothing edible in this house. Oh well. I'll see you in a half an hour, when I'm hopefully fully absorbed in the world of Citizen Kane.

16:03 Well, I checked my Facebook page first. Get on with it, woman...

16:06 My knees are cold. That's weird.

16:07 Rosebud. Okay, yes, I've heard about that. Luckily I don't remember what it's all about. I don't know if I can actually shut up for a half an hour, but I'll do my best.

16:39 Did it! Now I need to go hunt down some food. But really, I'm quite enjoying myself.

16:55 Unfortunately I need to have a break to go and pick up my mum. Will be back in business in about an hour.

20:16 ... Or three. My nephew came to a visit and I kept him company by the sandbox making boat-shaped cakes. On with the show.

21:10 Nephew still here. He came and asked me to come and run with him in the backyard, so I did, until I got tired (didn't take long). Despite the distraction, I'm finding the movie pretty interesting.

21:57 Well, wasn't that confusing. I guess I'm a bit dumb.

22:01 Oh, I wasn't, after all. Only a bit blind for not recognizing an object. You know.

Well, a wrap-up. This sounds really pathetic, but before today, my closest interaction with Orson Wells was that Zac Efron movie. I guess it was about time to change that. Once again I saw that the film was very well made, it had some fascinating ideas and a killer cast, but it was missing that something that makes me tick. Well, I'm just a silly young girl watching one of the 'greatest' films ever made, I wouldn't understand. Haha. But yeah. I did like the trailer. And even though I wasn't blown away by what I saw, I wasn't totally bored, either, and didn't start cutting my toenails or anything, so I knew what was happening in the story all the time. It's just not my kind of a film, I guess.

So, I'll strike the 'leap back to success', even though I don't consider this a FAIL. Instead I'll call this post 'Citizen Kane and a slight improvement'.

Oh and HA! Stayed on schedule after all. Today is only the last of  July...

London memories


It's now been over a month since me and my friend came back from our gleeful weekend trip to London. For me, it was a kind of reunion with the city I've been growing fonder and fonder of over the years, and which I hadn't visitited in whole two years. Here are a few photos and words about the trip. I will seriously keep it short this time. (And give you a link to another post, which I definitely did not keep short.)

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Day 1, Friday. Our dear friend Ryanair brought us to the Stansted airport, almost on schedule this time! Hurray! The day was traditionally grey and rainy and our bus trip to centre London took so long (thanks to the traffic) that after getting to our hotel near the Waterloo station, we barely had energy to go out for dinner. Luckily there was a nice Egyptian style restaurant right across the street, so we didn't get very wet while running there through the rain. The waitress was so nice, and I remembered why I like English people so much, and the customer service. Fake politeness rocks! Haha. Afterwards we stopped by in a little corner shop, where I bought some of my British favourites: the lovely orange chocolate, Galaxy chocolate and chamomille tea.


Day 2, Saturday. My friend, although visiting London for the first time, wasn't interested in sightseeing, which I truly appreciated. I've acted as the tourist guide more than enough times already, leading my companions to see Big Ben and the Buckingham Palace and so on... This was a nice change. First we went to Camden, a huge market area which I just love. I bought a cute black-and-white dress with tiny cats in it (see the picture down below for the pattern), which has become one of my favourite pieces of clothing. Then I looked for and found all of my old favourite shops, and bought stupid funny postcards as always (one has a little dude in it, who says, "Let's go to Ikea", and another dude, laying on a couch, says, "Fuck Ikea", and I just can't get over how hilarious it is) and a traditional Star Wars t-shirt, which was not as stupid funny as usually, but pretty cool anyway. (I should propably take a picture of all the things I bought, but I'm too lazy to bother right now.)

Then we went for a walk in St. James Park, aka the bird park, which is my favourite park in London. At least it was before. My friend has an insane bird phobia, and it was pretty contagious. We draw some amused looks as we both ducked and scremed when a pidgeon flew over or something. Then we went to Starbucks and I got my Strawberry and Cream Frappuccino, which didn't taste as delicious as usually though. We drank our drinks sitting below the statue of Eros in Piccadilly Circus. Then, um... Right, more shopping! This time on Oxford Street. I didn't buy anything there. There's just too many people for my taste.

On a side-street of Oxford St. there is a really nice champagne bar called Amuse Bouche, where we went to enjoy some yummy and not even insanely expensive champagne cocktails. Before getting back to the hotel we went for another drink in a bar called The Fire Station, near the Waterloo Station. It was nice, though we were a bit disappointed for the lack of firemen and a pole.


Day 3, Sunday.

Yihaa! Sunday! The concert day! If I haven't made it clear enough, the purpose of our trip was the Glee Live concert we had tickets for (well, we DID have them, in the end...). The concert was in the evening, and to set ourselves into the right mood, we decided to go to the Imperial War Museum (pretty much next to our hotel), and see the Holocaust exhibition. Haha. Good thinking, girls... I'd been to the exhibition once before, but the effect wasn't at all disminished. We walked out of the Museum with quite long faces and our thoughts pretty far away from the awesome fact that we would see the Glee cast live in just some short hours.

Luckily, the remedy was near. It was an awesome, sunny day, so we went to buy ice cream and sat down on the pretty lawn area next to the Museum. Then we lay down in the sun and listened to some Glee music from my MP3 player and watched the airplanes fly over us in the cloudless, blue sky. And there was the right mood again. We stayed there for quite a while, until finally made our way to the O2. Below is a 15-second taste of what we experienced there, but to read the whole story do click here. And no worries, there's no more of my lousy, shaky video clips.

video

Day 4, Monday.

After the concert, we were supposed to go to the hotel, get our things and walk to Victoria Station where we'd take the bus to the airport. Our flight would leave at 7 am, you see. Well... We thought, 'Oh we don't have to leave just yet, let's take an hour-long nap'. After the hour-long nap, 'Another hour won't hurt, we'll still make it'. And then, 'Aw, let's sleep some more and take a cap, screw saving money'. So that's what we did. And well, after all that money we'd already spent, a dozen pounds more didn't hurt too much.

Jul 21, 2011

A Very Potter Musical

In the middle of your Post-Potter depression? Feeling empty? Feeling like a part of you just died and left a gaping hole in you? Looking for something to refill the hole? I might just have the cure!

A Very Potter Musical is a fan-made parody of the world of Harry, made by a group of students (including one Darren Criss, who later would move on to bigger circles and rock the Glee universe as every teenager's dream, Blaine (edit// and who even later might do what all respectable Harry Potters do and star in Broadway's How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying after Dan Radcliffe retires from the show. Love the symbolism!)) in the University of Michigan in 2009. It's seriously funny as hell and the songs are not just catchy but seriously good, too, and it's just seriously fantastic and totally awesome and it makes you want to quote it in every single situation you get into in a daily basis.

I'm not sure if enough people (meaning absolutely everyone!) know about this, so if you haven't seen this master piece before, now's the freaking time.



And it doesn't matter if you've seen it already. One more time is never too much!

(If you ask me: What about after I've watched A Very Potter Musical? How do I fill that hole? Well, let me tell you. With A Very Potter Sequel, of course!)

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"That's the thing about Hogwarts. No matter how long you're away from it, there's always a way back." 

Ah, less than three.

Jul 20, 2011

Never Let Me Go (2010) - no more smiling today


directed by Mark Romanek / starring Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield, Keira Knightley

Ruth, Tommy and Kathy grown up in an idyllic boarding school in the English country side. They are not normal children, however, and this they learn from a teacher, who simply feels too sorry for them to keep them in the sweet ignorance. And thus they are forced to adjust to the truth, and try and live the rest of their lives as well as they can.

Never Let Me Go is not a very cheerful movie. Actually, it's quite depressing. It never really rubs it in your face, but in fact it's quite cruel and ruthless and hopeless. All of that is almost hidden under the beautiful music, young love, the lingering shots of the English country side, the gentle voices of the actors and the subtle ways of handling all that cruelness and hopelessness. But yeah, I know I won't be smiling for the rest of the day. It's just so unfairly sad to watch young, beautiful people turn into wrecks as their lives are thrown to waste beyond their own control.


 The reason I first got interested in this film was its splendid cast; the cream of Britain's young talent is at work. Mulligan is inevitably on her way to winning at least a lap-full of Oscars, Garfield is only the most disarmingly adorable thing ever, who manages to melt anyone's heart with that humanity and innocence he conveys through his every role, and even though not everyone likes Keira, I do, and I thought she did really well, too.

There have been numerous films surrounding this topic, but never before has it been looked at from such an emotional and humane point of view. It's always just so sci-fi. In Never Let Me Go all that has been stripped down to the minimum, which allows us to see the real tragedy behind the sci-fi. I also think it was very clever to set the film in the past, instead of future, as usually. It doesn't feel so alien and far-fetched, but actually very real and relatable.

What the heck, I'm not rambling. Or writing unrelated, stupid things just because they pop into my head. That's all I have to say, really. Weird! I bet it's because I cut 25 centimetres off of my hair today. I feel like Samson, when that bitch Delilah cut his hair and he lost all of his powers.


"None of you will go to America. None of you will work in supermarkets. None of you will do anything, except live the life that has already been set out for you."

Jul 19, 2011

May the odds be ever in your favor... and may March 2012 arrive soon


Just when you thought there is nothing more to look forward to now that the Potter series is finished... Think again!

 The first poster for the upcoming, highly anticipated Hunger Games movie has just been released. And it's not just any poster, it's a motion poster! Never heard of one of those before, but now I have, and it's pretty awesome in its simplicity.

CLICK HERE for the chills of the day.

Jul 18, 2011

Ariel, that stupid teenage brat


I love Disney (news?), but last summer, after weeks of watching only Disney animations, I learned that the love isn't totally unconditional. The Little Mermaid made me want to reach through that TV screen, grab Ariel's skinny little shoulders and shake some sense to that silly, idiotic teenage princess. You can read my sentiments here. I don't no if my reaction would've been the same, had Mermaid been a childhood favourite of mine, but anyway, it's almost refreshing to passionately loathe a Disney film, for its twisted values and non-existent character development.

Some time ago I got into a debate about The Little Mermaid and Ariel, and, not surprisinly, found myself quite alone with my opinion. Today my opponent linked me the following video (very nice and selfless of him, as this gives me the advantage in the future debates, hahaha), and lo and behold! I'm not the only one after all. I pretty much agree with all the anti-Ariel arguments. Plus the video is funny, and doesn't take the matter too seriously, as it shoudn't (we're talking about a kid's movie, after all). I encourage you to watch it even if you don't share the hatred. I know critique towards your childhood idols feels basically like a sacrilege. But be brave and watch it anyway! Haha. (Easy for me to say. Good luck talking me into watching or reading or listening to one bad word about Belle...)


... And if someone now wants to stage an intervention for me, no reason to bother, I don't know the lyrics to Part of Your World, anyway. (Just two lines. Which are stuck on my head right now. Ugh.)

Jul 16, 2011

Sherlock makes a kaboom boom boom comeback


I hugely enjoyed the first Sherlock Holmes, and have been looking forward to this sequal for ages. Admitted, recently I've kind of forgotten to look forward to it, but was altogether glad to find that the first trailer has come out.

Not sure what to think about it, though. There was a lot of kaboom boom boom. Too much, even, I hope there's something else too in the actual movie... Noomi Rapace is a huge plus, great to see her make her big break in a huge Hollywood film! The brilliant chemistry of RDJ and Jude Law made the first film such a joy, and I can only hope the charm is still there in the sequel.

I'm not blown away by the trailer, nor am I feeling as super excited as I expected myself to, but still, the movie should be good solid entertainment, if not anything else. I clearly need to start re-warming up my love for RDJ, though...

Jul 14, 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) - goodbye, childhood

 
directed by David Yates / starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Michel Gambon, Helena Bonham Carter

SPOILER ALLERT! for those two people on Earth who haven't read the books yet. (Also, I might advise you to read this post only after you've seen the movie, because I go into details you might not want to know yet.)

I remember when I went to see Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone ten years ago. I had just won a huge box of delicious chocolates on a lottery of some sort, and I ate them before and after. When we got back from the cinema, I was just about to tell my little brother what troll bogey had looked like (yes, that was important at the time), when I hit my toe on a closet door or something and it hurt so much I couldn't say anything in a while. I guess I liked the movie. My age has always been fortunately fitting when it comes to the Harry Potter experience: I read the first book when I was around eleven myself, and grew up simutaniously with Harry (and Dan Radcliffe; we're the same age!) as the books and later movies kept coming. So I didn't watch the first movies as critically as I would now, and only later realised how lousy they are. At the same time, very early I learned not to expect too much of a Harry Potter movie. They should always be judged by they own special standars. And the standards are never too strict, because come on, it's Harry Potter, it'll always be awesome anyway.

Oops, I'm rambling. Point was, it's been a decade since the first movie and that seems so impossible. Moving on, to the topic. I was looking forward to this final movie more than any other before. I knew it would be good; part one was excellent, but failed to give me the sense satisfaction, because, obviously, the story was cut in the middle and no circles were closed. So, what I needed from this film was first and foremost that satisfaction, and closure. So that I could, with reasonably high spirits, accept that there will be no more Harry Potter after this, and move on to look forward to other things. And as sad and wistful and wonderfully nostalgic it was to say goodbye to those characters and to that world (again; I think I've gone through this once before, some years ago...), I guess I'm feeling quite happy and satisfied and I got most of my circles closed. I didn't even cry much!


I've still got something to bitch about, naturally. Most of the bitch-worthy things are quite stupid and unnecessary complaints about why my favourite bits from the book didn't make it to the movie - properly or at all. I often frown at people who geek out and keep bitching about little, pointless details from the book that didn't match with the movie. A movie based on a book is always an interpretation, a version, it's not supposed to be a slaveish duplication. But hey, guilty as charged! I guess I paid more attention on the missing details than usually because I'd just been reading the book all day. (I was in quite a hurry to finish it; I had a good 400 pages to wade through before midnight, they had only just escaped from the Ministry. But I made it!)

Now, let us bitch, shall we! No Percy comeback! Sure, they never set up the story in the previous movies, so they couldn't do it of course, but I love those bits in the book. Fred's death was dealt with far too hastily! I mean, come on, it's Fred freaking Weasley, his death is the saddest death in all the books, I wanted to savour that horrible moment for a bit longer. The brilliant (at least in the book it is) first kiss of Ron and Hermione was so anti-climactic! That was one of the moments I was looking most forward to, and it was gone like that! What is more, no awesome reaction from Harry, none at all. Blah! And not enough Dumbledore! I love how in the book he begins to feel like a vilain at certain point and how Harry is all miserable and angry about it.

Then two of my biggest complaints, which almost ruined the whole thing for me, because they left such a, um, dubious taste in my mouth. The final battle between Harry and Voldemort was just too much! They had tried too hard to make it look climactic and visully interesting and grand, and it took a lot away from the emotional aspect of the scene. Less would've been more... The book had it right; Harry was calm and certain that he would beat Voldemort and made his opponent frustrated by knowing things he didn't. There was no need for running (and flying... sigh) around and hysterical screaming.

Finally... the damn epilogue. I'm one of the people who like the epilogue in the book, I think it's fitting and necessary and sweet. In the film, I wanted to buy it but I didn't. Damn. Where's the CGI when we need it? The 'grown-up' characters looked like teenagers wearing their parents' clothes and too much make-up to get into a club without asked to show their ID. This it what we call FAIL. It was half-comical and half-disturbing and it preveted me from cherishing those precious final moments. (And no "Don't let it worry you. It's me. I'm extremely famous." Boohoo!)


Now, enough bitching. Because I liked most of the stuff, anyway! Here's something I especially liked: Shirtless Rupert Grint (we need more of that in this world!). Gringotts and the dragon and the goblins. Luna ("Harry Potter! You listen to me right now!"), awesome as always. Filch, reporting that students are out of bed, and sweeping the floor after the battle. Neville, for being a total bad-ass and for that amazingly touching speech. Long gone are the days of the whimpy little boy who kept losing his toad. Aw! McGonagall, who I grew to respect and love even more than before on this latest reading round. She just rocks! I loved her reference to Seamus's frequently scorched eyebrows, and that one very uncharacteristic but altogether hilarious line ("I always wanted to use that spell").

Furthermore, I liked the added scene where Harry confronts Snape in front of the whole school. Didn't expect that! The whole Snape storyline was actually handled really, really well, I have no complaints here! Also I loved the clips from all the previous film in the Pensieve. Aww. Wee Daniel. Can't get enough of him and the contrast to the present day version. I always enjoy the bits with the Malfoys, because I'm a big fan, and (more or less) secretly always wanted them to leave the Dark Side and become kick-ass heroes. I love that in the end they kind of turn good, or at least less bad, and that the film remembered to show that as well.

Hermione as Bellatrix/Helena Bonham Carter channelling Emma Watson was brilliant! I love me some Helena! Finally, I found it funny and fitting how they dismissed Ron's sudden ability to speak Parsel tonque with a joke ("Harry talks in his sleep, did you know?"); it always was a bit ridiculous.


I have no complaints about the actors. The main threesome did a solid, good job: Emma Watson seems to have given up her eyebrow acting for good, I couldn't help loving Rupert Grint even if he really tried to suck, and Dan really impressed me a few times. Like after he learns he has to die, that look was amazing. Go Daniel!

The grand battle of Hogwarts was of course the highlight of the film, as that was what took most of its running time. It was epic, yes, but maybe just Helm's deep epic, not Pelennor Fields epic. Anyway, I had lots of goosebumps and the book's rousing mood was there; I love how they all unite to fight a mutual cause. Though I wanted to see the house elfs and Trelawney throwing her crystal balls around. And Peeves! I don't get it why there is no Peeves in the movies!

By the way. I'm a bit disappointed that people weren't dressed up for the occasion! It was a midnight sneak preview after all! I saw only a couple of cloaks and one Gruffindor scarf. Where were all those wonderfully weird and daring people I so much love??

That's that then. I don't feel quite as empty as I expected myself to. I guess I know that the Boy Who Lived still lives on and can always be revisited. This is the end of another era, one that I've been living since before I had my first pimples, one I've grown up with and always enjoyed no matter my age. But I don't think it makes much sense to feel too crushed about its end, because this era really never ends, I'm sure.

Goodbye, childhood. I'll be seeing you.


 "You'll stay with me?"
"Always."

Jul 12, 2011

It all ends... tonight

 
Click below to join me on a trip down the most magical memory lane ever.

P.S. It's a long one.

Jul 11, 2011

Gone but not forgotten

It's Movie Monday again! This week's challenge is to name a person who thrilled and inpired you in life, and died way before their time. My choice wasn't difficult at all.


River Phoenix, during his ridiculously short life, made so many great and inspiring things, and not only movies, of which he was and is most famous for. He had great, respectable values, and a wonderfully humble and down-to-earth outlook on life. He was a beautiful, special, talented person. Or so I'd like and choose to believe.

River Phoenix died in 1993, at the age of 23, due to the insanity that Hollywood was for a young, beautiful, desired, succesful, talented person like he was. What a freaking terrible waste...

(My theory is he never took a bad picture in his life. Here's something to prove my point...)





I've previously written about River a lot. (Too much, even, if only it was possible to write too much about someone like River Phoenix. (It's not.))

Jul 10, 2011

Catching up!

I'm not dead! I'm just extremely preoccupied with everything else but watching movies and blogging. The combination of the most awesome summer job in the world, not so awesome summer studies and the fact that a month from now I'll be in Emporia, Kansas, has kept me quite busy. Anyway, here's something I've been up to:


I'm watching Roswell! Haha, this is weird. I gave in to the odd need that was sparked by Paul and borrowed the first season from a friend. Yeah, I've only seen two episodes so far, and yeah, I haven't been addicted or blown away in any way (I must be too old, after all), but it's still kind of fun. The best thing is that I don't find the protagonist annoying at all, like I was sure I would! First time for everything!

Also, I watched the first season of Sherlock, which is a modern day adaption of the ever so awesome and captivating British detective. And I loved it and I want more, more, more, now please! Team Benedict Cumberbatch/Martin Freeman works so flawlessly, and their cooperation is almost more entertaining to watch than Team RDJ/Jude Law's! Almost. I'm still being loyal, so far. Anyway, series two is to be aired this autumn, so yay!


My New Year Resolution is going through a rough time. I'm half way through, but it's not looking too good. I did watch Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid last month, and yeah, I did like it, kind of, but just fell into the old habbit of cutting my toenails while watching and sharing my attention with several other activities. Which is never good. So I haven't been able to write a post about it, and I've declared June another big FAIL, like May and 8 ½ was. Shame on me, shame on me. This month I should watch Citizen Kane, and I'm only hoping there won't be a third FAIL in a row. Because that would be just pathetic.

Posts about London and the Glee Live are still in their initial stages, but I'm being hopeful. Maybe after tomorrow's exam I'll have break before starting the final assignment of the summer: an essay of eighteen pages. Whoo, can't wait!

And last but not least... The Deathly Hallows pt. 2 is coming, and it's coming fast! I'm in a hurry to finish the book before Wednesday 00:07 am. The end is so near it's almost here! Boohoo! Or hurray! Or whatever. Both, I suppose.