Update on Books and Films!

As I haven’t posted for a while, there’s a few things I wanted to do posts on but never got round to doing so this post is basically just going to be a mash up of a few of those things because it has been too long for me to want to do a separate post for each of these.

First up was the film ‘In Time’ which was pretty cool, I loved the acting and how action packed it was and then of course the universe as a whole because the idea behind that was just amazing. Essentially, the world operates on a system of using time as currency, so if you want to buy something, you have to spend time meaning your life will be shorter. the plot then follows a guy who is poor, living his life day to day until he meets a man who has an insane amount of time and feeling that he has lived too long, transfers all his time over to Will (the main character) who then makes it his cause to destroy the system. It’s a few years old now I think but it was a good film and I’d say you should watch it is you are into any sort of action films or dystopian films as it’s not necessarily as corrupt as lots of dystopians but still pretty cool to see and the main character are great together and are played by Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.

The next one I wanted to talk about was a film called ‘Trishna’ which I first heard about from a comment on this post; https://emlinian.wordpress.com/2013/09/07/tess-of-the-durbervilles-thomas-hardy/ as the film is an adaption of ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’ by Thomas Hardy. I loved the book but this film adaption was totally not for me which was disappointing as I thought it looked good but I felt they changed too much and so because of that it just wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be. Trishna, the film’s version of Tess (as the film is an Indian adaption) was nothing like the original character of Tess and so in that I felt like a lot of the main points of the story just weren’t there. I admit that not all of the film was bad, there were good parts in there, but I didn’t feel like Trisha fit the story and that the settings and other characters didn’t really work. Alec and Angel were one character rather than two separate ones and although they are pretty similar in some ways, the differences there are important too as this adaption made it seem like Trishna loved him whereas Tess never loves Alec, only Angel and that is why it is important that she can’t get away from him. I might have missed some message within it, I don’t know, but that for me didn’t work, I did still hate Jay (Alec/Angel) though so at least that was still there.

In terms of books, I’ve read ‘The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass’ which was good. It’s the story of a slave called Frederick Douglass, written by himself after his escape and is seriously interesting. I loved his style as it just flowed easily in most parts which lots of older books don’t and that really annoys me and so is really impressive for a man who pretty much taught himself to write. You know from the start that he escapes as he is obviously writing the book and it says a bit about the life he is living after his escape in the introduction. There’s not really much else that I can think to say about it, it’s a book written by a slave about his time in slavery, you know just from that what it will be like. It’s not as harsh as it sounds though, despite the horrible things that happen in the book, his narrative is soft in a way which is really nice. I’d recommend this one to anyone who is interested in America in general just as it tells you a lot about the history and culture. But more than that I’d recommend it to anyone who likes a book that will make you feel. I don’t think I cried at it but the story does make you feel a lot of things. Basically I just thought it was great.

Next up I read ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ which is a very old text, I mean old as in it was written before the bible so I found it very hard to get into and I can’t say it was easy to understand all the stuff about the Gods as I have never known much about mythology. It was kind of interesting as it followed a king named Gilgamesh who was said to be part God and he does a load of heroic acts which aren’t really that heroic but still impressive. I thought it was okay but wouldn’t say you should read it unless you are really into history, the bible (it talks about the flood and Noah only in slightly different terms), or mythology.

I think I will put the other things either in a second wrap up post or do separate posts for each of them, but, in either way, I’ll see you soon!

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Cast Away

All I actually knew about this film when going into it was that it was about a man who gets stuck on a desert island and that there was some weird looking sports ball called Wilson. I am completely unashamed to say Wilson was probably my favourite character if you can call him that. So the main character is Chuck Noland, played by Tom Hanks, he’s a fed-ex employee and on a business trip something goes wrong, the plane crashes and he is the only survivor. This is where the film get really sad but amazing too; seeing him try to survive on his own, missing his girlfriend/fiancee and pretty much just going mad. I would say its a pretty slow film but definitely one I wanted to watch and am happy that I did. I loved his character and the reality of it; in that the film was slow because it was like his life had stopped, how he was doing little things like gathering the packages and trying to light a fire.

I loved the idea of all the fed-ex packages washing up on the shore just for him to gather, and in a way for them to save him, that was really sweet. Going into spoilers, I loved that he kept that one package with the angel wings and how them wings were the icon for him being set free as that was what he put on his windbreak as he escaped and then in delivering the package he could see the woman and move on from Kelly. I don’t know if that was actually the intention but I like to think he goes back for the woman and falls in love with her instead. I totally hated Kelly though, I understand that she thought he was dead and so had met someone else but she wasn’t even good about it, not telling him herself and then hanging out with him as if they could get back together when that clearly wasn’t going to happen.

But back to the great character of Wilson, I loved how he was a real character, as Chuck’s only friend on the island and one which I would say helped him, as it was through talking to him that Chuck would get ideas and be convinced that he needed to keep going and to eventually escape. It made the film a lot more interesting and I loved seeing how attached Chuck got to Wilson as I got attached to him through out the film as well, actually crying when he is lost without hope of being returned. Ultimately I thought this film was just really interesting and I love stories which focus on survival or on a person beating their situation despite all the odds so I really loved cheering for Chuck. The weird thing is, i wouldn’t have liked Chuck as a character in anything where he wasn’t stranded; he just seemed controlling and like he worked all the time, which would have made him both boring and annoying yet here I loved him because he wasn’t just an ordinary guy, he was the hope; the one you hope will survive and when he does, he is the one which makes you feel just so impressed.

I would recommend this film to anyone although you may want to keep in mind that it can be slow if you don’t like that, but I thought it was all good. My next post on a film will be talking about In Time which I watched a couple days ago now, so I’ll see you then, comment if you’ve seen Cast Away, I’d love to know what other people thought!

Star Trek Into Darkness

It feels like ages ago that I watched this film although it hasn’t been more than a few weeks so this will probably be quite a small post but I did like the film so thought I would put something about it up on here. I’m not very familiar with the Star Trek universe so all I have seen is this film and the one before it but they are both pretty good and this one was great to watch after seeing The Guardians of the Galaxy as I was in a sci-fi mood. The start of this one was pretty dark but I thought it set up Khan’s character pretty well as he was a pretty strange character throughout the film with his mind games and his tricking of crew members. The parts with him in the on-ship prison cell was cool and kind of reminded me of the prison scenes from Thor: The Dark World with Loki in the little glass prison cell as I felt in both cases that the person behind the glass was somehow going to then gain control somehow.

From now on pretty much everything will be spoilers as I want to talk about my favourite part of the film with their ship being destroyed and the gravity being turned off as that was pretty intense and I love the characters of Scotty and also Pavel Chekov of the flight crew and they were pretty cool in this part. The people flying from the ship out into space was creepy and dramatic, but then the flight of Khan and Kirk to the enemy ship was really cool, with the shouting and radars and panic, it just looked so crazy and then Scotty’s little trick to open the door, save himself and get rid of the guard was pretty cool. The whole film was just full of action and sneakiness which is simply awesome.

The part in which Kirk sacrificed himself by going into the contaminated area in order to save his crew was really sweet, I was totally crying and that and had no idea what was going to happen from there. I wasn’t disappointed though as Spock rocked as the captain in saving Kirk and Khan’s crew, I thought that was a really cool link to the start where Kirk goes against the rules in which they must observe and not let the planet’s natives see the ship in order to save Spock who is fine with sacrificing himself for that. I didn’t quite understand this at first though as I didn’t actually realise that their mission was simply to explore or how it would affect the little civilization which saw the ship. Basically the people of that planet were no where near as progressed as the main characters and so they worshiped the scroll which Kirk stole which was why they were chasing them as they wanted to get them away from the volcano but then after seeing the ship they abandoned the scrolls in favor of worshiping the ship which was shown really funnily by them literally just tossing the scroll to the side to draw the ship in the dirt.

So far I’ve liked the films and would like to see the next although I’m not interesting in any of the old shows/films or whatever as I can never really get into older shows or films and I think it would be harder to understand them and they are probably less blockbuster styled with all the awesome explosions and effects which I absolutely love. I saw Pitch Perfect the other day so that should be my next film post on here, and I’ll see you then.

Guardians of the Galaxy

All I knew about this film before seeing it was that it was made by marvel, starred Karen Gillan, and had gotten good reviews, so I was really not prepared for just how funny and adorable it was. I love the bad-ass feel that comes with all marvel films and that was definitely in this one as the main band of characters were completely crazy for instance near the start of the film we see the main man (Star-Lord/Peter) on a job to retrieve something and he just puts on a mix-tape and dances through the whole thing while at the same time fighting off little rodent type creatures which are attacking him. This is such a cool scene not only because it’s funny and sets him up as a awesome and reckless character but they somehow made it just seem right for this to be the progression from the very first scene; him as a child crying in a field. My favourite character by far was Groot though, in the first shot of them I thought Groot and Rocket looked kind of stupid and that because of this their characters would annoy me, yet I realised this was totally wrong before their first scene had even ended as they were funny and crafty and I got used to the idea of a raccoon and a tree being main characters.

Moving onto the spoiler territory of why I love Groot so much, he was just adorable, never really panicking but just stumbling around with his little ‘I am Groot’ saying. Then there was the prison escape with him just reaching up and grabbing what they needed without listening to the plan or thinking of what would happen next, just trying to help and I thought that was really sweet. Then the sacrifice scene with him was just so sweet and I am completely unashamed to say I cried as he shielded his friends, and with the whole ‘We are Groot’ part. I loved the ending with the little dancing Groot too, to have the whole last part of the movie to be just showing you how epic and unbeatable these characters are with the fight scenes and then for Groot to actually still be alive after being blown up, plus baby Groot was just so cute. I’ve scene pop figures of Groot since watching the movie and I seriously want one, they are just amazing.

My second favourite character was either Star-Lord or Drax because both of them had such hilarious moments but also really nice moments such as Star-Lord saving Gamora by giving her his helmet or how we know that Drax is after revenge for his family and then seeing him fight for them. I loved all of the Guardians though with the idea that they were just losers banding together to save everyone and everything, all of them with faults and all of them excluded from society as outcasts or weirdos but together being this all powerful team. I thought the part with the infinity stone was really cool where Star-Lord absorbs the power and by joining hands the team is able to sustain the damage it gives to holders as the effects just looked pretty epic and the whole idea is sweet. The effects for the ships all connecting as a net were awesome too, as they were being bent around Ronan’s ship.

If you haven’t seen this film, I definitely would as it was way better than I thought it would be and I will absolutely be getting it when it is released on DVD. It has gone straight up into my favourite superhero films, and I think it’s awesome to have one that’s more sci-fi than others. I also watched the second new Star Trek film recently so I might post on that soon, and I’ll see you then.

Aladdin

I ordered the DVD of Aladdin a while ago and then watched it just the other night with my boyfriend and I really liked it. It’s not one of my favourite Disney films but I like the idea of a princess film where the prince is just a normal person rather than being like some of the others, such as Prince Charming who is made out to be perfect and so is pretty much just boring. Aladdin was fun and interesting like the newest princes from Tangled or Frozen. I liked pretty much all the songs but ‘A Whole New World’ is definitely my favourite, while the second best for me is either ‘One Jump Ahead’ which is the song that he sings while running through the market to escape the guards after stealing bread, or ‘You Ain’t Never Had a Friend Like Me’ as I like the playful aspect through both songs that’s seen in Aladdin, Abu and The Genie. The Genie is a great character just because he makes the film so much funnier with his jokes and how over the top he was with everything, such as the parade for Aladdin being a prince where instead of simply dressing Aladdin right and taking him to the palace there is this spectacle through the city with The Genie being hilarious as he jumps around and shape-shifts to spread rumours about Aladdin and make him seem important.

I love the idea of how they are all trapped though as Aladdin claims to be trapped in the life of a thief while Jasmine says she is trapped by the law of her having to marry a prince, and The Genie is trapped by the lamp and yet they set each other free from this while trapping the one character who started off free; Jafar. I felt Jafar was a pretty cool bad guy as although he didn’t do much to start with; just disguising himself, tricking people and mind controlling Jasmine’s father, I did like him once he got his hands on The genie as he was way more powerful and seemed almost insane with his obsession of having ultimate control. The last stand-off scene was one I liked just because rather than any kind of physical or magical fight they could have had, the downfall of Jafar came from outsmarting him and that was just by Aladdin, a guy from the streets rather than a prince.

So despite not being one of my favourites, I did quite like the film, mainly due to the songs and the comedy from The Genie. The next film I’ll watch will probably be to see Guardians of the Galaxy at the cinema so expect a post on that sometime soon, and I’ll see you then.

The Hobbit (Book) and The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

So I read The Hobbit in preparation for the second film, I have seen the last of The Lord of the Rings films, the first part of The Hobbit and parts of the other two Lord of the Rings films but found them really hard to get into. The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey was good but I wasn’t sure what was going on all the time really so it was nice to read the book and understand The Desolation of Smaug. Something I had trouble with before was keeping up with who was who when presented with character after character with all these names I had never heard but books just make this so much easier for me, and so other than the odd couple of names, I don’t think I was too bad when I was trying to talk about it.

Anyway, the book was good, I found it hard to get into, mostly just because it’s old and fantasy, and I don’t even tend to read modern fantasy, but I found myself really into it at times, with my favourite scene being Bilbo dancy around the tree invisible, taunting the spiders. I was really disappointed not to see that one in the film, because although I understand that they want to make it more action packed for the film and they were also putting in all the extra stuff about Legolas which took up a lot of the film and was cool, I just felt the spider scene was so disappointing after enjoying it so much in the book. The film did do bits a bit better though, like the barrel scene I found amazing, much funnier and more action-packed, them just sitting in barrels was funny to read but probably a bit stupid to sit there and watch.

Another scene I felt was missing from the film was when the hobbits were introduced to Beorn, a funny part, which I guess was too silly or time consuming for the film, but that again I wished they had put in. I know it might annoy some people to compare the book and the film too much as I know they are very different mediums, aimed at different ages, and out at different times, but I think it’s interesting to compare. But on to recommendations anyway; I really liked both the book and the film, despite not getting into any of the earlier stuff that much. I would say both are pretty much able to be liked by anyone, although as pretty much always, I prefer the book, and propose reading that before watching the film, just because that’s me. Anyone reading this have any thoughts on these? I would love to hear them in the comments.

Just a quick extra note to any romantics who would find this as adorable as I do, when discussing the book I got onto talking about Tolkien’s life and was told the story if him and his wife. Meeting at 16 (Tolkien) and 19 (his wife), they began to fall in love, and yet as Tolkien’s guardian found out about this, he banned him from seeing her until he was a legal adult at 21. So for about 5 years the couple did not see each other, only exchanging the odd letter, until his 21st birthday when Tolkien wrote to his wife, asking her to marry him, a marriage that lasted till her death. To me that is just so sweet; a romance that could last a lifetime even after surviving on only words for so long.

Frozen (Film)

I absolutely love everything about Disney princess movies, there is just something about them that feels magical, that makes you feel like you are right in the middle of Disneyland, back to the belief that you can be a princess. But then maybe that is just me. You see, the thing with Disney is that they never bring out just an ordinary film and even then hardy ever are they only good; nearly always they are nothing less than amazing. This element of the extraordinary, these clear cut lovely characters, beautiful animation and songs that are both inspirational and catchy. I get that to some people these are just ordinary films but to me Disney makes most of the few films that can draw me in as much as books do, making  me feel I am part of this magical story.

Frozen was especially adorable in that I have been really excited to see it and so in anticipation I had found the song ‘Let it go’ by Idena Menzel on YouTube which is an amazing part of the film and is seriously beautiful, the animation, the magic, the singing, all of it, and I have heard it so many times now. One you really should not miss out on; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moSFlvxnbgk&list=PLxnVeUnlga-GKeY2ghGGu_qQkGssuP5HM&index=2. Not only is it great for the movie but is just an amazing song in itself and one I feel is pretty inspirational in the whole ideal of the past being in the past, and just letting it all go, moving on and being yourself.

The character in the song is stunning and powerful while her sister is cute and a tad on the silly side with how innocent she is, together they are just so sweet. There is a moment where an act of true love is needed in the film and how they do this is truly amazing, it sounded like it was going to be the classic sort of sleeping beauty style act, yet what actually happens is just so much sweeter. Seriously the only criticism of this film that I have is that it is too short, clocking in at only 108 minutes whereas I would have been happy to sit there for much longer considering how amazing I found it.

I would say it is one that has something for everyone, I was originally a bit disappointed at the teaser trailer of the carrot on the ice; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1x76DoACB8&list=PLxnVeUnlga-GKeY2ghGGu_qQkGssuP5HM&index=9 as I felt it looked a lot like Ice Age which I have never really liked, yet a little spoiler for you, that sequence isn’t actually in the film. The snowman from it is truly cute though, and the reindeer is funny and cute when put together with Kristoff, especially as you get to see them as kids at the start and then guess at what happened between then and when they are adults.

There is something for pretty much anyone who likes Disney within this film; it is cute, funny and sad, there’s princesses and love, even a snow monster. My favourite parts were probably the songs of ‘Let it Go’ and ‘Do You Want To Build a Snowman?’ while my favourite lines have to be ‘I don’t have a skull… or bones’ from Olaf the snowman, and Hans saying his brothers pretended he was invisible for two years, as both moments were really funny and cute. A film you should absolutely see and one I am pretty sure I will buy both the DVD and the soundtrack for. Go ahead and tell me whether you have seen it and your thoughts in the comments.