Tag Archives: 2013

Film: The Great Gatsby

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Despite the fact I studied The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, in English Literature for about a year; I never got the opportunity to watch the 2013 movie. But, alas I finally have.

gatsby‘In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. “Whenever you feel like critizing anyone, “just remember that all the people in this world haven’t had the advantages you’ve had.”’ This is my favourite quote from the novel and was also the opening line to the film, with Tobey Maguire, who plays Nick, saying it. The film hooked me then and there.

The film, from this beginning, continues with a very swift pace. This makes the film seem quite rushed, however, this matches the cinematic quality exhibited in Fitzgerald’s writing and therefore, I like how well The Great Gatsby 2013 has managed to stick so closely to the book. Of course, it does follow the book quite well, with entire scenes reading exactly as they do in the novel.

Although, the way in which the film was framed, through Nick’s therapy, I suppose, was not at all in the book. In the novel, Nick does write the story of Gatsby but not because he needs therapy from it. Not that this is a complaint. I actually really liked the way it was done because when Nick gets closure and is able to sleep, after being an insomniac, it gives the audience closure after such a pivotal moment in the narrative.

The characters and setting in the film were exactly as I had imagined them while reading the book. I know that other people wouldn’t be as easily pleased, but I thought it was extraordinary, as if I was watching my imagination play out in front of me. I think a part of why the characters were so good was because appropriate actors were cast. Tobey Maguire plays a perfect Nick; his style just suits how Nick was written, as does Owl Eyes’ character in the library, and Gatsby, as played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Other amazing actors in the film were: Isla Fisher, Amitabh Bachchan, Elizabeth Debicki and Joel Edgerton.

The soundtrack for this film is brilliant; I love how modern songs were made to sound like the songs of the time and just fit into the film as if they were classics from the 20s. I also like the onscreen edits with text running across the screen at specific parts of the movie; I think it just added another layer to the film.

I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby (can you tell?) and I do really recommend it. I also recommend reading the book first because Fitzgerald crafted an amazing novella, and I think that there will be a better understanding of the themes, such as decadence and hedonism, that are shown throughout, by doing this.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the picture, it is from: http://operagasm.com/download-of-the-week-23/
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Film and TV: New Girl

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NEW-GIRL-POSTER_510I have been watching New Girl at every free moment I can. I watched it when it first aired and now have Season 1 and 2 on DVD. This show has great characters, great scenarios and a great concept. The concept is that one girl lives in a loft with three guys. Hijinks ensue.

The plot is described as follows (from google+): ‘After going through a rough breakup, awkward and upbeat Jess moves in with three single guys. Intelligent and witty Nick is an underachiever who took the bartender off-ramp on his road to success. Schmidt obsesses over his social standing and looks at Jess as a personal project. Winston is a competitive former athlete who, after realizing he will never become a pro, moves into the loft. Together with Jess’ best friend, Cece, they bond to form an unlikely, and dysfunctional, family.’

The show is so loveable because of these four people who live together and because each episode allows us to see their relationships develop and grow both with each other and with outside characters. Part of this comes from excellent actors such as; Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Hannah Simone, Lamorne Morris and Damon Wayans Jr.

I am so obsessed, once again, with this show and I’m sad because I’m not watching the show right now!

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Disclaimer: I do not own the above picture, it is from: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1826940/

Film and TV: NCIS

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I have a confession. I’ve recently gotten into another TV show and gotten completely obsessed. NCIS is that TV show…

My entire household love NCIS so much. I watch it with my parents on the many channels that are showing the repeats from the last ten seasons. My Grandad also loves it just as much. It’s just so damn good! First and foremost, the characters are brilliant, that’s what keeps us all engaged and it’s why my parents can watch the same episode over and over again (something that, believe me, is very rare for those two). The team has changed over the years but the dynamic has always been similar and has always had something that keeps us all hooked, ncis-7993-1920x1200perhaps it’s because we like the character development and the interactions between and around our favourite characters.

 Another thing that has made this show continue so well is that it must have amazing writers. I honestly believe the people who write NCIS are geniuses. They’ve managed to keep a show about the Navy and about murders with the same handful of characters so interesting. There must be over 200 episodes but thus far I have found all the ones I have watched completely different and engaging.

As I usually do, I’m going to enter a synopsis from IMDB: ‘Special Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs is the leader of a team of special agents belonging to the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service) Major Case Response Team. Gibbs, a former Marine, is a tough investigator and a highly skilled interrogator who relies on his gut instinct as much as evidence. Gibbs’ second in command is Senior Field Agent Tony DiNozzo, a womanizing, movie-quoting former Baltimore Homicide Detective, who despite being the class clown always gets the job done. The team also consists of probationary field agent Ziva David, a former Mossad officer who is a skilled fighter, as well as Junior Field Agent Timothy McGee, a computer-savvy agent often mocked by DiNozzo. Assisting them are Abby Sciuto, the energetic-but-Goth lab tech who is like a daughter to Gibbs, and Dr. Donald Mallard, nicknamed Ducky, the eccentric medical examiner full of unusual stories. This team of elite agents, based in Washington, D.C., solve criminal cases involving Marine and Navy personnel’. neue-episoden-von-navy-30408_big

I just couldn’t recommend this programme enough, so please check it out if you haven’t already because it is genuinely so well written and has a handful of truly amazing actors; Mark Harmon, Michael Weatherly, Pauley Perrette, David McCallum, Sean Murray, Cote de Pablo, Brian Dietzen, Rocky Carroll, Lauren Holly and Sasha Alexander are a few examples.

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Ps. NCIS Los Angeles also looks brilliant and has some really good actors.

Disclaimer – I do not own the pictures, they are from: http://www.serienjunkies.com/news/navy-cis-30408.html and https://tinyobsessions.wordpress.com/category/law-order-svu/

Music: Jesus Christ Superstar and Phantom of the Opera

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Today’s music recommendation is going to be Jesus Christ Superstar. This is because I like a lot of musicals and I always name Phantom of the Jesus Christ SuperstarOpera as my favourite for its atmosphere, it’s drama and the phantom himself and I absolutely love it’s music but I don’t necessarily love all the songs… so I’ve had to re-evaluate which is my favourite and I think Jesus Christ Superstar deserves the top spot in my musical lophantom-1ving heart. I love all of the music in Jesus Christ Superstar and I always sing along and I know all the words. The music tends to be my go to play on Spotify and I think it’s just crafted magnificently, not that Phantom isn’t, both Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar have brilliantly composed music and that’s thanks to the genius that is Andrew Lloyd Webber.

So I guess this post has become me raving about both musicals. Now I’ve had the pleasure to watch Phantom of the Opera in London at the West End and it was fantastic. I’ve also fallen in love with the 2013 arena tour version of Jesus Christ Superstar that we have on DVD. It is because of the incredible music that they’ve hooked me so well.

Before the rambling continues… Here’s a song from both shows:

 

If ever you have the chance to see either show, grab it!

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Disclaimer – I do not own these pictures, they are from: http://now-here-this.timeout.com/2012/05/18/christ-almighty-%E2%80%98jesus-christ-superstar%E2%80%99-comes-to-town/ and http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/whats-on/music/jesus-christ-superstar-birmingham-nia-1717195 and http://www.uktheatretickets.co.uk/blog/index.php/547/phantom-of-the-opera-a-musical-that-has-everything

Films: Top 5 Johnny Depp Films and Mortdecai Trailer

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With the recent release of the Mortdecai trailer, I wanted to talk about it. I am a massive fan of Johnny Depp, you may’ve realised this with my blogs on Johnny Depp quotes and The Tourist, and this trailer only fuels that. I thought that Mortdecai was going to be some morbid, dark film but rather it looks like it’s going to be a brilliant piece of comedic gold. Not only does it have Depp in it, it also has some other favourites of mine, Paul Bettany and Ewan McGregor.

Following this I want to recommend some films too, so here are my personal Top 5 Johnny Depp films (please take into consideration the ratings of these films to see if they are appropriate for you):

  • Sleepy Hollow (1999) – Starring alongside Christina Ricci, Johnny Depp plays Constable Ichabod Crane who is sent to the small town of Sleepy Hollow to investigate a series of decapitations. It becomes clear from the beginning that these murders have been mysteriously committed by the enigmatic Headless Horseman.

 

  • Pirates of the Carribbean (2003 – 2017) – Starring alongside Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly in the first three films and Penelope Cruz and Ian McShane in the most recent, Johnny Depp is well known for his role as the somewhat crazy, eccentric pirate, Captain Jack Sparrow. It has also been announced that POTC5 will be released in 2017.

 

  • The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) – Although Johnny didn’t have a huge role, I did love the part he did as one of the many versions of Doctor Parnassus, and this was a genuinely good film albeit incredibly random and strange. It also had an incredible cast including Heath Ledger, Jude Law, Andrew Garfield, Lily Cole and Colin Farrell.

 

  • The Lone Ranger (2013) – Starring alongside Armie Hammer, Johnny’s Tonto is brilliant. The relationship and onscreen chemistry with Armie is so good. It was only recently that I watched this film for the first time and I absolutely loved it!

  • Chocolat (2000) – Although Johnny, again, didn’t have a main role, his role was very good. I love this film about a mother and daughter who move and open a chocolate shop in rural France. This is met with much negativity on various occasions but eventually they win the trust and hearts of their neighbours.

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P.S. Bonus Top 6: The Tourist. I recommended this a couple weeks back, read here.

Music: Hollywood Ending

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hollywoodendingThis week’s music recommendation is the American/UK boy band Hollywood Ending. I found this band about two months ago as they supported McBusted on their arena tour around the UK. Out of the three support bands, Hollywood Ending was definitely the one that stood out. They have two albums already and are currently working on their third. Their songs are incredible and I absolutely love all of them, this isn’t a word of a lie, I honestly love all of their songs.

I’m now going to quote their website, as it probably sounds better than anything I could write about them, and it just tells you more about who they are and what they do: ‘Hollywood Ending is a pop-rock band formed in Summer 2011. The band consists of Tyler Wilson (Lead Vocals), Cameron Byrd (Lead Vocals/Guitar/Piano), Dan Geraghty (Vocals/Lead Guitar), and Chris Bourne (Vocals/Bass), all 18-21 years old. Hailing from all different parts of America and even the U.K., these boys met on Skype and came together with a shared dream of becoming big in the music industry. They got their start on Season 4 of Radio Disney’s Next Big Thing competition finishing in 3rd place. Since then they have appeared on many tours in the United States, Canada, and Europe opening for artists like The Janoskians, Austin Mahone, R5, Allstar Weekend, and many more. In Summer of 2012 they did their first headlining tour selling out shows across the US and Canada.’

They have a sound similar to McFly and Busted but with a mixture of more modern bands such as The Vamps and 5 Seconds of Summer. This to me just spells brilliance as these four bands are some of my favourites, McFly and Busted being my absolute favourite bands, so it was always likely that Hollywood Ending would be amazing. I really hope that big things come their way, as they certainly deserve it! Check ‘em out!

An example of their music is below:

 

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P.S. Chris Bourne, Hollywood Ending’s bass guitarist, is the brother of James Bourne, a third of Busted and a sixth of the supergroup McBusted.

Disclaimer: I do not own the above picture, it from the bands website: http://hollywoodendingband.com/

Films and TV: Jack the Giant Slayer

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jack-the-giant-slayer-2013-15Yes. I’m late to the game. This week I watched Jack the Giant Slayer for the first time despite the fact it came out last year. I bought the film last month and kept putting off watching it, I just wasn’t keen on it. Please don’t make the same mistake as me because Jack the Giant Slayer is genuinely amazing.

Let’s start with the mass amount of stars in this film. Every second there’s another star, a big name, a big face. It appears like all the great actors in Hollywood came out of the woodwork to do this project. Here’s a list of who’s in it: Nicholas Hoult, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Eddie Marsan, Ewen Bremner, Ian McShane, Eleanor Tomlinson, Christopher Fairbank, Warwick Davis and Bill Nighy and that’s not even all of them! Even if you don’t recognise the names of these actors, you’ll definitely recognise their faces. Another thing about these actors is that you may not typically put them together, like Hoult and McGregor but the onscreen chemistry just works so well in showing the characters relationship and its development. Side note: Hoult’s and McGregor’s accents alone were good enough to make me watch the film again, so if that’s the only reason you watch the film I wouldn’t blame you.

But if knowing who’s in the film isn’t enough to entice you into watching it, what about the interpretation of the original fairytale? If you can’t tell by the title, Jack the Giant Slayer is a reimagining of the much older fairytale Jack and the Giant Bean Stalk. I love fairytales, I love their feel-good attitude, their combination of good vs. evil, the mixture of all different emotions and use of techniques found in all different genres; Jack the Giant Slayer is no exception. This film includes a good bit of humour, good wholesome romance and good ol’ action.

It goes without saying that Giants are the ‘baddie’ of this film; their portrayal was phenomenally well done. They were so gruesome, as they were meant to be, that I heard myself audibly going ‘ewww’, ‘ahh’ and ‘errrr’ throughout as I became enraptured in something that was made so realistic that it could actually be a living creature in this world, despite being the complete opposite.  It was this that added to the tension in the film to the point where I couldn’t take my eyes off of the screen.

In addition, the make-up and costume for this film was exceptionally well done especially for Ewan McGregor. He just looked brilliant through-out.

And finally, this film had a very cyclic nature about it which I really liked by, without giving too much of a spoiler, showing the growth of both Ewan’s character Elmont, and Nicholas’ Jack and the growth of their friendship.

I really enjoyed this film, as you can tell, and hopefully you will too!

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PS. For all of those who have watched the film already, isn’t the sausage roll scene brilliant!?

Disclaimer – I do not own the movie poster, it is from here: http://www.newdvdreleasedates.com/m1047/jack-the-giant-slayer-dvd-release-date