Film Friday Review: Rush and The Fifth Estate

rushRush 

Based on a true story, Rush follows the rivalry between Formula 1 drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda.

Although Formula 1 and sports-related movies aren’t really my thing, this has been getting fairly good reviews. The trailer looked sufficiently dramatic, and there wasn’t really much else showing of interest. And, y’know, Chris Hemsworth….

The film features mainly on the tension between the two main characters and the differences in their lives and the way they approach racing. Although there was some track action for those who like that, I wouldn’t say it was the main focus of the film. Although at one point I did have to watch through my fingers! 

I have to give the makers of Rush credit for making me want to see something sports related. Although its not something I would watch again, I did enjoy it and it was a lot more dramatic than many sports-related movies! 7/10 stars.

The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate (2013) Poster

 

The Fifth Estate is also based on a true story; of the scandal behind Wikileaks. 

There were two main reasons I wanted to see this film. 1) I didn’t know much about Wikileaks and thought it was a good opportunity to become a bit more knowledgeable and 2) Benedict Cumberbatch.

 

I felt like the film was good and I definitely came away feeling more informed. Unfortunately, I also felt a little bored. There was next to no action in this film, and no suspense at all.

However, I did come away wanting to find out more about Wikileaks and it did make me think about censorship, and whether revealing secrets (especially those of national security) is a good thing or not. I’m all for free speech, but when it potentially endangers others, especially those undercover, the line becomes very blurry between right and wrong. 7/10 stars.

 

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Film Friday Review: About Time

about timeAbout Time

Time travel and romance? I am SOLD. Regardless of the fact that this has Bill from HP in it ( know, right?!), I was guaranteed to enjoy this romcom. 

When Tim turns 21, his father (Bill Nighy) tells him that he can travel in time. There are rules (aren’t there always?!): he can only travel to somewhere in his lifetime, and can’t go into the future. All he has to do is go into a dark space (generally a cupboard), close his eyes, clench his fists, and imagine the exact time and place he wants to go to. 

Simple right? And, of course, everybodys dream! Tim, bless him, is kind of awkward in a cute sort of a way. I found myself laughing quite a lot through the film when he gets himself into embarrassing situations but (luckily) can save them by escaping into a wardrobe. 

There were also some really sad parts in the film, which I wasn’t really expecting. The whole film dealt with the issue of fate, and what happens if you change one thing but another thing gets worse. Sometimes things happen for a reason, but its how you deal with it afterwards that can help to change the future, not the event itself. 

I think this film made me think more about appreciating the small things, such as saying thank you and smiling to people. While they won’t make a massive difference like ending poverty, it can make a day infinitely better. I think there are many days that I would like to relive in order to change things, but at the end of the day I have no way of knowing whether they will change for the better. For that reason, I think it is just better to try and make each day as good as it can possibly be. 

This film made me giggle and smile, and left me appreciating life that little bit more. For that reason, it gets put in the awesome uplifting film category. 8 stars! 

If you could go back in time, what event would you do differently? 

Film Friday #5

Welcome to my new feature, Film Friday. Here I will recap the films I have watched this week, and ones that I have either discovered or talked about.

Watched:

Erin Brokovich

Erin Brockovich (2000) PosterMade in 2000, this film stars Julia Roberts as an unemployed single mother of three. After hiring herself as a legal assistant, she creates a case against an American power company for polluting a city’s water supply.

I think one of the great things about this movie is that you know it is based on a true story. So every action has more meaning, because its not just some storyline concocted for the movies. When it was over, it left me thinking how similar things happen in society; companies covering things up. One example my friend came up with was the BP oil spill. But share with me if you know of any other films based on a true story (the only other I could think of is Pursuit of Happyness). I think it adds a certain edge to the film.

7/10 stars

The Internship

The Internship (2013) PosterI have seen the trailer for this a gazillion times so I knew I had to see it. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson star as two middle aged men who lose their jobs and decide to apply for internships at Google. Once there, they are bundled in a team with other misfits, and have to try and succeed in order to secure a job at Google. 

Now, the plotline is pretty simple and predictable. One of those against-all-the-odds movies, they aren’t really any twists to make it interesting. Basically the reason to see this film is if you like Vince and Owen’s comedy (which seems to be pretty much the same no matter what film) or if you are intrigued what working at Google is really like. 

There are funny parts, bits that made me smile and laugh, but it isn’t really a lifechanger. The main bit that interested me was the challenges that they had to complete as part of the internship, and just the general environment. It made me wonder whether I’d really like to work somewhere like that, with free lunches and nap pods…. And it probably shows why Google is consistently rated the best place to work. An article here discusses life as an intern with Google employee Mark Hariz, and another one here discusses how accurate the film is. Certainly interesting, but not one I’d ever watch again. 

6/10 stars

Heard/Talked about:

Geography Club

A trailer has been released for this film, based on the bestseller by Brent Hartinger. Its on my summer to read pile and I hope to get to it soon. According to IMDB, the release date is set as April 2013 but I don’t know if it has been released or has a UK release date. If anyone knows more I’d be grateful to know! 

Check out the trailer here

That’s my film wrap up for this week. What are your opinions/thoughts? What other Julia Roberts films do I need to watch? Have any recommendations for me this week? 

Film Friday #4

Welcome to my new feature, Film Friday. Here I will recap the films I have watched this week, and ones that I have either discovered or talked about. 

Watched: 

Hairspray (2007) PosterHairspray

One of my lovely musical-obsessed friends coerced me into watching this, and I was surprised by how good it actually was. Okay, it’s probably not going to change lives or anything. But it does everything it says on the tin; it’s colourful, fun and quirky, and above all else, a musical. Also, John Travolta is actually an excellent woman. Aside from the fact that when he/she dances, her bosom doesn’t move at all. MADE OF STEEL. 3 sofas

Side Effects (2013) PosterSide Effects

Starring Jude Law, Channing Tatum and Catherine Zeta Jones, this psychological thriller sounded really intriguing. The premise is basically a girl who starts taking a new drug and turns a bit psycho (my impression from the trailer). I did not prepare myself for the mindgame that this film is! It does start off a bit slow, but after 15-20 minutes, I was hooked. There are a few twists that I didn’t expect, and Rooney Mara (the girl who takes the drug) is an amazing actress, and played the part brilliantly, if a bit too creepy! I also thought Jude Law was really good. I haven’t seen him in anything in a while, so I was impressed. I did think Zeta Jones’ performance was a bit linear, and Channing Tatum a little redundant, but you can’t win them all. Overall I was really impressed. While probably not the type of film I will watch again, I would recommend it! 4 sofas

Great minds must think alike, because Faye of A Daydreamer’s Thoughts also went to see it this week, and you can check out her review here.

Heard/Talked about:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (link to Empire news article)

Yet another teen book to film adaptation, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, has been given a writer this week in the form of Stuart Beattie, who has previously worked on Pirates. I’m not sure how I feel in the explosion of these adaptations. If it gets more people to read it, then sure it is a good thing. But they have to do it right. I was disappointed with the Hunger Games, and it is frustrating when my idea of this world is ruined.

Marvel Universe Live (link to Empire news article)

While not strictly a movie, the news that the Avengers are turning into a stage show needs to be shared. Supposedly with a $10 million budget. Marvel owners Disney have signed an agreement for a tour of their best superheroes. Rumoured to include not just the Avengers but also Spiderman and the X-Men, this could be a wonderment to behold. 

That’s my film wrap up for this week. What are your opinions/thoughts? Do you think its a great idea that so many YA books are being adapted to film? Have any recommendations for me this week? 

Letterbox Love #15

Letterbox Love is a meme hosted by Lynsey of Narratively Speaking whereby book lovers can exhibit the books they received this week.

Welcome to my 2-week haul post! Lots of exciting things happened in the last two weeks!

First my library/print book piles:

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*Sigh* SO MUCH GOODNESS these last two weeks. First the library books! I ordered ‘If I Stay‘ by Gayle Forman because I stupidly picked up the second in the series a couple of weeks ago. Luckily this is only short, so should only be a day’s reading. This week I also collected ‘Delirium‘ by Lauren Oliver because she’s doing an event in London in a couple of weeks for Requiem, and I wanted to reread the series beforehand. 

Last week I went to a book signing for Nicholas Sparks as his latest book, ‘Safe Haven‘, is being released in the cinemas. The two stars from the film were also there, and they all answered questions before Nicholas signed books. 

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P1050171I’m hoping to see this film next weekend so I’ll let you all know what it’s like! 

While I was in Waterstones I picked up ‘Attachments‘ by Rainbow Rowell. I absolutely ADORE her, and I have been after this for ages. Unfortunately all the copies I’ve seen in the bookshop are dirty, or have crumpled pages, and I’m a perfectionist! I’ll hopefully be rereading this soon, as I want to follow the playlist she has created for the book.

I also picked up ‘Between the Lines‘ by Tammara Webber, as I need more New Adult books in my life, and this looks really good. It also sparked a conversation with Laura from Bookish Treasures about where to shelve new adult books, as she is my NA guru!

I bought ‘The Vincent Boys‘ by Abbi Glines (who is coming to the UK soon!) and ‘Emailing Allie‘ by Julie Lawson because they both sound amazing. ‘Drowning Instinct‘ by Ilsa Bick was on special for only £3.50 so I thought I’d give it a whirl 🙂

Finally, my highlight from the past two weeks (and my year!) was the Geek Girl blogger party. My first blogger event, I got to meet lots of other bloggers, and everyone was super amazing and friendly and never complained that I kept plonking myself in their circles and eavesdropping! 

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Holly Smale, authoress of Geek Girl, was so amazingly lovely. I like to stalk her on Twitter, but I was quite shocked when she invited me to the party. But she is such a doll 🙂 Look at the picture of all the goody bagness I received! I didn’t take any pictures, but please check out Kirsty’s post here and Luna’s here for their round ups of the day 🙂

 

 

 

In other book news, I also got a couple of ebooks:

The S-Word

The S-Word by Chelsea Pitcher. I’ve heard lots of people talking about this bullying/suicide book, so I was really surprised to be approved! Thanks Simon & Schuster via Gallery books and Netgalley.

Picture Perfect

I received ‘Picture Perfect‘ buy Alessandra Thomas via Kelly of InkSlinger PR as I am talking part in the release day launch on March 26. When an ex-fashion designer takes to nude modelling after an accident, it causes all sorts of problems. This book sounds really good and I’m so pleased to be able to review it.

The Registry

 

 ‘The Registry‘ by Shannon Stoker is actually an adult book, but a dystopian one at that, so I had to request it. Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins via William Morrow Paperbacks for the approval!

The Space Between

I received a copy of ‘The Space Between‘ by the author Victoria Smith to review. New adult contemporary romance? Yes please!

Escape Theory

 

Escape Theory‘ by Margaux Froley is a book I’ve been hearing good things about on the blogosphere. Thanks to Soho Teen and Edelweiss for this copy! I haven’t heard a lot about Soho Teen before, but they’ve got some interesting books coming up so I’ll be keeping my eye out!

What did you receive this week? Have you read any of my books and do you think it should be at the top or the bottom of my to read pile? I’d love to hear from you! 

Film Friday #3

Welcome to my new feature, Film Friday. Here I will recap the films I have watched this week, and ones that I have either discovered or talked about. 

Watched: 

So unfortunately I haven’t had much time for films this week. My sister has been visiting from Newcastle and she (shockingly) doesn’t enjoy films, so I haven’t had much chance to watch anything! Business should resume as normal next week though. But what should I go see? Lets have a look at my choices:

Safe Haven (2013) PosterHansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013) PosterSafe Haven

I went to a book signing by Nicholas Sparks last week, and the two main stars of the film joined him. I’m a sucker for a good girly film, so I will definately be seeing this at some point. And I loved Josh Duhamel in Life As We Know It.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

I want to see this (not just for Jeremy Renner) but because it looked like a good fairy tale reboot. After the double Snow White film bonanza last year, we have this and Jack and the Beanstalk to look forward to. However, I’ve heard a couple of bad reviews so I’m not sure anymore.

Broken City (2013) Poster

Cloud Atlas (2012) PosterBroken City

I’ve got to confess I don’t actually know much about this plot. But a crime thriller with Mark Wahlberg? Surely it must be good…

Cloud Atlas

This is the film I am looking forward to the most. I haven’t read the book, but the idea sounded really intriguing. However, after only a week of being out, by cinema has gone to only showing it once a day, so I don’t know if this will be a wait to dvd now.

I would love your opinions please! Have you seen any of the above? Which do you think sounds best? Let me know below!

I Am Sam (2001) Poster

I Am Sam

Yes I know this was on last week’s list. But I just finished it yesterday! So it still counts. What an emotional film! There was a scene where Dakota Fanning wouldn’t let go of Sean Penn that just had me in tears. I found the ending a tad anticlimatic, but maybe that was because the film lasted two weeks for me!

Heard/Talked about:

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars has a director! This means it is definately going to happen, right?! I’m excited to see what they do with it, compared with other teen cancer movies (Now Is Good, My Sister’s Keeper, among others).

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes / Robocop

What? I hear your confusion. I only talked about this movie last week, surely I can’t still be talking about it! But such massive news was released this week, I can’t not share it with you! So. Confirmed cast star. None other than: Gary Oldman! I know, right?! Oh Sirius. After checking out his IMDB profile, I discovered he is also starring in RoboCop (the remake)! This man just keeps getting cooler and cooler. He would be such an amazing uncle.

 

 

That’s my film wrap up for this week. What are your opinions/thoughts? What should I see this week? What do you think of Gary Oldman? Have any recommendations for me this week? 

Film Friday #2

Welcome to my new feature, Film Friday. Here I will recap the films I have watched this week, and ones that I have either discovered or talked about. 

Watched: 

Warm Bodies

Okay, I have a confession. I watched the movie before reading the book. I know. I am a bad person. I have sooo many books to read, I just haven’t got round to it, and I didn’t want to miss out on the film because of it.

Which is a good thing, because this film was really good! I was expecting a Shaun of the Dead-esque zombie film, but it was actually much better than I thought. What I didn’t realise is that R (played by Nicholas Hault) isn’t actually a zombie, the ‘bonies’ are the zombies. Although he does eat brains. But when he eats the brain of Julie’s boyfriend, he falls in love with her. And hence the movie is about their love against the odds, and whether love can truly conquer all. 

The best bit about this movie is Nicholas’ voiceover, where we can hear his thoughts. They are very funny, as are the scenes with Rob Corddry. 4 sofas from me! And I must go read the book.

I am Sam

Confession number 2: I haven’t actually finished this yet so don’t spoil the ending! I have been watching it for 3 days though so I think it qualifies for this week’s post. This film was made in 2001 (look how young Dakota Fanning is!), and I got it in a library dvd sale for something like 50p. 

It is heartwarmingly sad when Sam’s daughter gets taken away from him by Child Services because he is mentally retarded. He enlists the help of Michelle Pfeiffer as his lawyer to help get her back. Had I watched this back then, I think it would be very poignant. Now, what with gay marriage in the UK and all, it is less so. But yet still current; there is a much greater stigma surrounding mental illness than any other minority group. 

I think this is a great feel good fim (depending how it ends up!) and Sean Penn is just brilliant.    

Heard/Talked about:

Toy Story 4

A rumour was started this week that Toy Story 4 was in production. However, both Disney and Pixar have yet to confirm this. I’m unsure how I feel about this. I thought the third one was better than expected for a 3rd film, but would a 4th ruin it? I just don’t know.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

A film that is definitely being made is the sequel to one of my favourite films of 2011 (Rise of the Planet of the Apes). Due for release in Summer 2014, Jason Clarke (recently starred in Lawless) has been said to have joined the cast. I have yet to see the original Ape films, but I CANNOT WAIT for this one. The Rise of the Planet of the Apes just blew my mind with the detail and animation. 

That’s my film wrap up for this week. What are your opinions/thoughts? Has anyone seen I am Sam? What do you think of the mental illness in films issue? Have any recommendations for me this week?