Feature & Follow #2

FF 2012 Feature & Follow #121

If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

trans Feature & Follow #121The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

 How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!

What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. All features are chosen randomly to be the feature. They are not chosen by content or name.

Q: Books are turned into movies all the time! Turn it around. What movie would make a great book?

A: Great question! I think the TV series of ‘Friends’ could work quite well as a series of books, or ‘Closer’, starring Jude Law and Clive Owen.

Happy Follow Friday, please say hi and link me back to your blog 🙂

Film Review: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World

Seeking a Friend for the End of the World‘ takes place 21 days before the end of the world, due to an asteroid about to hit the earth. This really intrigued me, as I’ve always wondered what I would do if I knew the world was going to end. Steve Carell plays Dodge, a man with a depressing life. His girlfriend breaks up with him, and he continues to go to work.

Until Keira Knightley shows up crying outside his window that is. I have to say I have never been the biggest fan of Keira’s work, but she was such a wimp in this film! She is crying because she missed the last plane ever, so cannot make it back to England to see her family. Dodge invites her in, and she seemingly then takes over his entire life.

It conspires that they live in the same building, and Penny (Keira) has been hoarding Dodge’s mail if it got delivered incorrectly. She reunites it with him, and he discovers a letter from his high school sweetheart. In her guilt, Penny then takes them on a roadtrip to  find this girlfriend before the world ends.

When this film was released in the cinema I thought it looked quite quirky, and I presumed Steve Carell would be funny. Although there was nothing really awful about the film, I just kinda felt like I could have survived without it. There is a really bad moment where they appear to fall in love; this is creepy as he is plenty old enough to be her father, and Keira is very immature in the film. She appears to have a studenty, indie persona, but it just turns a bit annoying, if I’m honest.

There wasn’t a moment in the film that really made me laugh or cry, it just kind of happened. I’ve given it 5 stars, but it was a pretty drab film. Not one to waste your last moments on, that’s for sure!

Have you seen ‘Seeking a Friend for the End of the World?’ Do you agree/disagree with my verdict? Is there a Keira Knightley film out there that is not cringeworthy? 

Film Review: Skyfall (007)

I must confess that I haven’t seen any other Bond films (I don’t know how I’ve missed them all!) but I’ve spoken to people that have, and their view was that ‘Skyfall‘ lived up to the franchise, and was much better than the last film in the series.

As an outsider’s point of view, I thought it was very easy to pick up as a standalone film. The movie starts as Bond (Daniel Craig) is trying to retrieve a hard drive containing information about undercover agents from the enemy. The fight ends with James getting shot, and falling into a river.

I thought the action sequences throughout the film were good; I especially liked the beginning where Bond landed on the back of a train, and when he runs after the tube train and leaps after it.

The only thing that irritated me about the film was the girl, Severine. She seemed to appear out of nowhere, lead Bond to the villain and then seemingly disappear? She wasn’t involved or mentioned in the explosive closing scenes, but maybe I missed something!

I think overall I enjoyed the film; it made me want to watch previous Bond adventures (though perhaps not Quantum of Solace, as everyone tells me that was awful!). I think the action sequences were stunning, and I liked how they had many different settings (London, Shanghai and Scotland). I’ll admit the film did seem a bit long (at 143 minutes!) but it kept my attention long enough. The baddie (played by Javier Bardem) was very convincing, and gave a stunning psycho performance.

8 stars from me! What did you think?

Film Review: Ruby Sparks

Having not seen ‘Little Miss Sunshine’, I didn’t really know what to expect. The trailers for ‘Ruby Sparks‘ looked quite funny and quirky. The story follows Calvin, a writer who uses a typewriter to write about his dream girl, Ruby. One morning, she appears. He discovers that anything he writes about her comes true, thus every man’s dream.

I have to start by admitting that I did miss the first ten minutes of the film, so I have no idea why Clavin started writing. However, I came in just as Calvin’s brother finds a bra in his apartment. The film is funny, and has some really laugh out loud moments. I also felt tears in my eyes at one point, so it does really take you on an emotional rollercoaster.

I think the film explores a really interesting concept, and I love that as well as the happy parts, it also shows Calvin being controlling of Ruby, as I think this is what it would be like in real life.

However, being released so close to another geeky/quirky film (‘Perks of Being a Wallflower’) I have to draw comparisons. I didn’t love the character of Calvin as much as I did Charlie, and I think Calvin was far too serious for my liking. Although Ruby was supposedly his dream girl, he never really does anything romantic for her, and the film constantly shows her in the kitchen, which is very stereotypical. However, the scene where she won’t let go of his hand is extremely funny, and I don’t think I had many laugh out loud moments in ‘Wallflower’.

Overall I did really enjoy ‘Ruby Sparks’, but I don’t think it had the impact on me that ‘Perks of a Wallflower’ did. Perhaps it was because I didn’t expect much of Wallflower, whereas I had high expectations of Ruby.

Let me know if you agree/disagree!

Film Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I very nearly missed out on seeing ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower‘ in the cinema, but I am so glad I didn’t! Everyone I read/talk to is raving about this film, but I wasn’t sure. There never seems to be much luck with book-to-film adaptations, so I didn’t really hold my hopes up. But the trailer looked good, although my cinema only showed the film for just over a week! I luckily managed to sneak in on the last showing, and I loved it.

Logan Lerman who plays Charlie is the perfect choice, and I thought he played his role really well. He is the main character, who is just starting high school. His best friend committed suicide, and he has no friends. That is, until he stumbles upon brother-sister duo Patrick and Sam (Emma Watson).

I thought it would be difficult to see Emma Watson as anyone other than Hermione, but I think the short hair really suited her. Although I didn’t really believe her story as much as Charlie’s, I still really enjoyed the film. There are some beautiful moments, such as the part also featured in the trailer where Sam stands on the back of the truck as they go through the tunnel.

I did nearly cry at one stage, when I just felt for Charlie so much! He is adorable. I have to say I haven’t read the book (by Stephen Chbosky) but I will be putting in an order at the library, just to compare. I think the film was good at tackling the quirky awkwardness of teenage life, and the emotions of friendship.

But the big question is, which is better; book or film?

Film Review: Taken 2

Warning: possible spoiler alert.

Okay, so firstly the whole concept of Taken 2 is a bit worrying. In the first film, Liam Neeson’s daughter, played by Maggie Grace (from Lost), is kidnapped in Paris to be sold for prostitution. Liam Neeson’s character Bryan is a retired CIA agent. When he receives a phone call from Kim (Maggie Grace), he rushed to her aid, tracking her down and killing her abductors.

When I heard there was to be a Taken 2, I was dubious. Surely the girl had learnt her lesson by now? The film begins with Bryan taking his daughter and ex-wife with him to Istanbul. Here, the father of one of the kidnappers from the first film tracks him down. He manages to capture Bryan and his ex-wife, but luckily Kim manages to evade capture.

It is at this point in the film where it went downhill for me. Kim is in her hotel room, and Bryan calls her from a tiny phone/pager he just happens to have in his shoe. Thus he is able to advise her how to hide from the abductors. He then tells her to go to his room, unlock a suitcase full of weapons (which he managed to get to Istanbul how?), where there also ‘happens’ to be a local map. She then uses shoelaces (?!) to locate him on the map by drawing circles depending on how many miles he has calculated to have travelled. She then tales a grenade and throws it onto a car park across from the hotel, so that he can hear the explosion on the phone and decipher how far away he is. There are so many questions derived from this; how did he get the weapons over the US and Istanbul borders, why no one ever raises an alarm to a grenade and how she is able to locate him from a map and shoelaces. The grenade madness continues, when she travels to his supposed location, and keeps setting off grenades until he can notice the destruction.

Eventually they are reunited, but Bryan has to leave his unconscious ex-wife to ensure he gets Kim to safety. When he goes back for her, she is just leaving in a car. He then escorts Kim to the American Embassy, and goes looking for Kim’s mother. Somehow he manages to track her by recognising one of the men outside a building, even though he did not get the numberplate, and they were in the middle of the city.

I know the films were probably creating for the action/violence, but I just felt the plot and so many holes, too many lucky chances for it to be believable. Hopefully they have learned their lesson and will not make a Taken 3!