sea_thoughts: (Bookworm - smercy)
In Praise of Older Women – Stephen Vinzinczey
Broken Homes – Ben Aaronovitch
Marina – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
From a Distance – Raffaella Barker
Singled Out – Virginia Nicholson
Findings – Kathleen Jamie (nf)
Half Bad – Sally Green
The Silver Star – Jeannette Walls
A Song for Ella Gray – David Almond
Bone Jack – Sara Crowe
The Year of the Rat – Clare Furniss
We Were Liars – E. Lockhart
Foxglove Summer – Ben Aaronovitch
The Prince’s Boy – Paul Bailey
The Lost Books of the Odyssey – Zachary Mason
Dust’n’Bones – Chris Mould
The Mercy of Thin Air – Romlyn Domingue
The Old Ways – Robert Macfarlane (nf)
Meet the Austins – Madeleine L’Engle
The Moon At Night – Madeleine L’Engle
Twenty-Four Days of Christmas – Madeleine L’Engle
And Both Were Young – Madeleine L’Engle
A Ring of Endless Light – Madeleine L’Engle
The Green Road Into The Trees – Hugh Thompson (nf)
Girl Friday – Jane Green
Summer Falls and Other Stories – Amelia Williams
Five Children on the Western Front – Kate Saunders
The Wolf Princess – Cathryn Constable
H is for Hawk – Helen Macdonald
Twilight – William Gay
Instrumental – James Rhodes (nf)
The Arm of the Starfish – Madeleine L’Engle
Mr Mac and Me – Esther Freud
Lucky Us – Amy Bloom
Trigger Warning – Neil Gaiman
Absolute Pandemonium – Brian Blessed (nf)

(bold = book from the library and nf = non-fiction) I read a lot more this year than last year, probably due to the fact it wasn't half as stressful (despite becoming an aunt for the first time).

Films
The Theory of Everything
The Imitation Game

All This Mayhem
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
No

My Old Lady
Big Eyes
Kon-Tiki

The Eichmann Show
Big Hero 6
Shaun the Sheep Movie

The Book of Life
Birdman
Foxcatcher
Penguins of Madagascar
Whiplash
Wild
Jupiter Ascending
Kingsman: The Secret Service
Maxine Peake as Hamlet

Paddington
Selma
Argo
Love Is Strange
Still Alice

Lost River
Interstellar

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
Burlesque
Cinderella
The Legend of Princess Kaguya
Far From The Madding Crowd

Cobain: Montage of Heck
Prometheus
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Mad Max: Fury Road

Testament of Youth
Pitch Perfect
Jurassic World
Annie
Mr Holmes
Cake
Terminator Genisys
Amy
Inside Out
Tomorrowland
Song of the Sea
The Ecstasy of Wilko Johnson

Woman in Gold
Ant-Man
The Water Diviner
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
The Man from UNCLE
45 Years

John Wick
Mud
The Martian
Danny Collins
Marshlands

Macbeth
SPECTRE
Suffragette
Crimson Peak
The Lobster
Mockingjay Part II
The Lady in the Van
Star Wars: The Force Awakens

(bold = rented from TV or ITunes, italic = seen in cinema, no style means I saw it on the TV)
sea_thoughts: (Bookworm - smercy)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman
Whispers Underground – Ben Aaronvitch
Holloway – Robert MacFarlane
Between the Lines – Tammara Webber
Black Diamonds – Catherine Bailey
The Casual Vacancy – J.K. Rowling
Tinder – Sally Gardner
When To Walk – Rebecca Gower
Fortunately, The Milk… - Neil Gaiman
The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
The Arrivals – Melissa Marr
Otter Country – Miriam Darlington
Through The Woods – Emily Carroll
Red as Blood – Tanith Lee
Scarlet – Melissa Meyer
The Silent Stars Go By – Dan Abnett
First Aid – Janet Davey
Hollow City – Ransom Riggs
You Say Potato – Ben Crystal and David Crystal

(bold = book from the library)

Unfortunately I didn't read as many books as I did in 2013. I will try to read more books in 2015.

Films
The Heat
Troll Hunter
Deliver Us From Evil (documentary)
Saving Mr Banks
Blue Jasmine

White Elephant
Mandela: Long Walk To Freedom
Frozen

Any Day Now
12 Years A Slave
August: Osage County

Frankenweenie
Philomena
Promised Land
The Client
The Butler
Captain Phillips

Blancanieves
The Selfish Giant
Inside Llewyn Davies

In A World…
The Lego Movie
Ginger and Rosa
Monuments Men
Looper
Le Week-End

Captain America: The Winter Soldier
How I Live Now
The Invisible War
Stories We Tell

American Hustle
The Invisible Woman

Enough Said
Bridesmaids
Blue is the Warmest Colour
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Sea
Hot Coffee
Lovelace

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
All Is Lost

Weekend
Godzilla
Muppets Most Wanted
The Lunchbox

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
The Angels’ Share
Dallas Buyers’ Club
Nebraska

Frank
X-Men: Days of Future Past
The Two Faces of January

Beautiful Creatures
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Maleficent
Cuban Fury
Belle
Her
The Past
20 Feet From Stardom
The Wolf of Wall Street

Guardians of the Galaxy
The Fault In Our Stars
How To Train Your Dragon 2
Begin Again
Jersey Boys
Boyhood

Chico & Rita
Chaplin

The Hundred-Foot Journey
Cycling with Moliere
Thank You For Sharing

Before I Go To Sleep
Pride
What We Did On Our Holiday
The Night of the Demon

Shame
Mr Turner
Gone Girl
The Boxtrolls
Effie Gray
St Vincent
The Possibilities Are Endless
Mockingjay Part I
The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies


(bold = rented from TV or ITunes, italic = seen in cinema, no style means I saw it on the TV)
sea_thoughts: (Happy - ajcher)
The mechanic dropped my car around on Thursday evening! I was so happy to see it that I went to the cinema to see Frank (film with Michael Fassbender, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Dominic Gleeson). Tragicomic film about music, inspiration and the music industry today, plus social media. I'd recommend it, it's fascinating to watch.

Just saw X-Men: Days of Future Past last night with my friends and had a blast (even though I think Ellen Page was wasted). It was fun to see Logan having to be the calm, rational one and actually talking to people and helping them, talk about out of his comfort zone. Best scene was definitely the one between the two Xaviers, it moved me deeply to hear the discussion of how we are afraid of other people's pain when empathy is what really makes us strong. What a wonderful message. And I got the end of credits scene, thanks to avid watching of the 90s X-men cartoon, so I could explain to everyone else who didn't (I'm not surprised a lot of people thought it sucked because it's pretty fricking obscure, especially when you compare it to the others).

Off to see The Two Faces of January this evening and then Maleficent next Friday (because my sister's desperate to see it).

Theory Test

Mar. 3rd, 2013 07:11 pm
sea_thoughts: (W00t! - ibroughtuflowers)
Passed my driving theory test yesterday! What a relief. Now all I have to do is pass the practical and I'm free and don't have to listen to my driving instructor. Also went to London to see Wreck-It Ralph (which FINALLY opened here last month) and really enjoyed it. Have to say that all the "duty" jokes will fly over the head of anyone who isn't American, though. I'm glad I went with my friend from California, who was able to explain the pun to me!
sea_thoughts: (DWCarmen - wg15graphics)
Had one of the best Bank Holiday weekends in recent memory a couple of weeks ago. Had the Thursday and the Friday off because I went to see Michael McIntyre on the Thursday evening with my sister in Cardiff. I've never been to Cardiff before (never been to WALES before) so I was very excited to finally see the Severn Bridge and the Severn Estuary (which was beautiful even under the glowering clouds). The sat-nav managed to take us into Cardiff but didn't direct us to the entrance of the NCP car park, so we had to drive around in a huge circle. We really only found the entrance thanks to my sister's driving skills and experience, because it was TUCKED AWAY behind some houses. I wonder how anyone parks there considering it's such a major car park. Due to traffic, we only had time to eat a Burger King meal before running off to the arena (and it started raining) but the show made it all worth it. McIntyre is just as funny live as on screen (possibly funnier). There were points during the show where I couldn't breathe because I was laughing so hard. Stayed at my sister's for the night, then went down to see my parents for the weekend and did basically nothing, which was very nice. :)

Have seen The Dark Knight Rises (oh my God, I want to see it again); The Avengers (saw it four times, I regret nothing); The Bourne Legacy (mainly for Jeremy Renner, let's be honest); and The Amazing Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield IS Peter Parker, Emma Stone was adorable, can't wait for more).


Currently planning my birthday weekend in Paris with [livejournal.com profile] vifetoile and my sister. Definitely going to see the Musée d'Orsay this time, and the Eiffel Tower, and lots of other things! There will be photos because my sister is bringing her boyfriend's camera, and they will be GOOD ones this time!
sea_thoughts: (DWPensive Eleven - mars-mellow)
Okay. Deep breath. I'm going to try and be as objective as possible. *wrestles fangirl back into her straight jacket*

Let's BREAK IT DOWN!

"We're looking at writers now. We're going to spend two to three years to get it right," he said. "It needs quite a radical transformation to take it into the bigger arena."

Uh huh. Okay. This seems fair, as it can be quite frustrating to have films that would have been great as tv episodes but are overstretched to meet the standard feature time. (Although you could just make a SHORT film.) I am a bit leery of the implication that DW doesn't translate well to the big screen in general but okay.

"Doctor Who" follows the adventures across space and time of a super-intelligent alien in human form, who battles a variety of cosmic bad guys aided by plucky human companions.

The Doctor doesn't go looking for a fight (unless you're talking about Ten in his Time Lord Victorious mode). He just won't run away from one. There's a difference.

"The notion of the time-travelling Time Lord is such a strong one, because you can express story and drama in any dimension or time," Yates said.

Yes! I agree! As long as you keep what made the character so beloved in the first place.

"Russell T. Davies and then Steven Moffat have done their own transformations, which were fantastic, but we have to put that aside and start from scratch," he said.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? Does this mean you're going to completely ignore what RTD and Moffat have done? I'm going to state the obvious and say that would be a BAD IDEA. Doctor Who has always been a show that's played fast and loose with its own continuity... but that is not the same as completely abandoning it. Unless Yates means something like Gallifrey Academy: First Class. I think I'm not alone in saying I would certainly be willing to give THAT idea some room (especially if you got Fassbender to play the Master and McAvoy to play the Doctor, haha), but I don't see the point of rebooting the TV series while it's STILL ON AIR and it's still doing the business when it comes to ratings/DVD sales/merchandise etc.

They already tried that with the DW movie back in the 90s. And the only good thing to come out of that movie was Paul McGann (and Sexy in her steampunk phase). There are so many things that could go wrong with this movie that I actually feel a bit sick contemplating the prospect.

"We want a British sensibility, but having said that, Steve Kloves wrote the Potter films and captured that British sensibility perfectly, so we are looking at American writers too," he explained.

Honestly, this is the part which really pissed me off. No, Yates, he did NOT capture it 'perfectly'. Making Ron say 'bloody' every other sentence and sticking 'mental' in there a couple of times does NOT mean he captured the British sensibility. You want proof? Harry Potter hugging people in the movies left, right and centre when Harry Potter in the books finds it hard to show any kind of spontaneous physical affection AT ALL! (It's not that he doesn't care about people; he just wasn't hugged after his parents died. AT THE AGE OF ONE. Excuse me while I have a little cry.)

I do like Yates as a director, but I'm worried about who's going to write the script. I think there are some good American writers out there. But they would have to understand and love the show. They would need to understand, in the words of Craig Ferguson, that this show is about the triumph of intellect and romance over brute force and cynicism. Look at those last four words and then think of Hollywood. Do you think anyone in that town could understand that concept?
sea_thoughts: (HPHermione Thinking - dark_branwen)
[livejournal.com profile] stmargarets gave me these five questions

1. Which of your user names is your favorite and why?

2. If you could interview anyone - dead or alive - who would it be and what would your first question be?

3. What was the last thing you ate today?

4. Describe an ideal day.

5. How did you get into the HP fandom?

Answers Underneath The Cut )

I saw Deathly Hallows Part I for the second time yesterday, alone. This time I had an opportunity to concentrate on the details. I love all the things they put in the newspapers which will only be spotted by people who've read the books. Oh wait, that sort of applies to the movie as a whole, doesn't it? *cough*

Emma Watson has finally tamed her eyebrows and I was really happy with her performance, it's probably her best since... well, I'd say OotP. I get really fed up with how the films characterise Hermione as the proactive one while Harry and Ron hang back (what books were they reading?) but it was FINALLY okay, because that's actually how she is in this book. I just wish they hadn't made movie Harry so damn passive! And that goes double for movie Ginny! Why did Kloves write Harry like that? Daniel's certainly not quiet in real life, he bubbles over with energy! Did someone somewhere mistake quiet intensity for meekness? I don't know. Daniel is brilliant as the Seven Potters, he seems more at ease with the comedic scenes (though there aren't many in this movie). Rupert Grint's pretty fantastic in this movie. Previously, it's always seemed to me like he grabbed every dramatic scene he was given with both hands, so DH Part I is a golden opportunity for him. Yeah, yeah, I'm a Rupert fan but I think general opinion backs me up. Of course I admired just how broad his shoulders have become and his physicality in general, but more importantly, he finally had a script that gave him some proper snarky lines and some edge. It seems like the filmmakers finally remembered that Ron and Harry are best friends. When was the last time we had a proper Ron/Harry scene in the films? If you're not counting the brilliant but wordless moment when Harry awakes from a nightmare in OotP and sees Ron watching over him? I'm having trouble remembering.

Yes to Bill Nighy as Scrimgeour, though I feel like the character didn't have as much impact as I wanted, because once you take away the tension with Harry, he becomes just another Minister for Magic. He actually came across as sympathetic in the talk not pressured and aggressive. I've seen people complain that the camping sequence was like an advertisement for Visit Britain but I'm not sure they would show bleak clifftops and the underside of the Severn Bridge, an abandoned caravan park and a ruined power station. The whole point about the locations is that they emphasised the trio's isolation, both as a group and as individuals, and the increasing deterioration of Ron's mental state. There is absolutely no sound in Godric's Hollow, which adds to the eerieness and the Nagini scene was almost unbearable to watch. There's a shot when Harry first lights the candle in Bathilda's cottage where her eyes are completely black and it made me shiver the second time as well as the first. Even if they did cut very carefully around Nagini's 'exit' from Bathilda, there was enough left in there to give you the gist of what was going on. Oh, I also love that when Ron comes back, the SUN COMES OUT for the first and last time in this movie! I don't think that was planned - you can't plan the English weather - but it made me want to laugh. Yes, we get it, Ron is back and things are looking up! Still, I did love that moment. However, if Hermione tying that scarf around the tree was supposed to be a clue that they'd buried Mad Eye's eye - they needed to make it a hell of a lot clearer. I just thought she was trying to show Ron they'd been there!

I think it's probably my second favourite adaptation. We'll see if Part II keeps up the standard.
sea_thoughts: (Quill - godricgal)
I went to Stroud today to see Toy Story 3 (NOT in 3D because those glasses give me a headache and I dislike the way they're using it as the saviour of cinema).

Warning: contains spoilers for plot and characters )

Inception )
sea_thoughts: (HPWhite Road - dark_branwen)
The Spiderwick Chronicles
Really, really good film. I haven't read the books, so I can't comment on the adaptation. Since it's a long series, I think they combined a few, much like they did with A Series of Unfortunate Events. Freddie Highmore is very good as the twins, but I was so shocked at his voice: a) it's broken; b) he has an American accent for this film. I spent about ten minutes recovering from that. Well-developed storyline, tense moments, faeries are appropriately warty and weird, especially the hobgoblin, though the redcaps were a bit cute for my case. Loved the ogre, though. It was really weird to see David Straithairn in this, as the last time I saw him was in Good Night, And Good Luck! Very different role but I'll watch him in anything. The film really captured the nastiness of the faerie world, which doesn't happen too often in films, so I was pleased about that, and the final battle was great fun to watch.

Hairspray
Fun songs, likeable characters, a good plot, Christopher Walken dancing... what's not to love? I didn't know whether I was going to like John Travolta in the fat suit playing a woman but he was actually very appealing! Don't know what that says about him or me. Nikki Blondski was adorable. I hope she sticks around.

The Devil Wears Prada
Not amazing but good for passing an evening. I like Anne Hathaway and I really think Meryl Streep should do more comedy, because she's brilliant at it. I also quite liked Emily Blunt as the 1st Assistant. But I felt like the film pulled its punches a bit at the end, with Miranda helping Andy to get a job. I really don't think the Miranda we'd seen in the previous two hours would have done that. Also, wasn't Andy meant to be an exception to the rule? Why did her replacement look so lost? I know she was new but surely she'd have more of a clue.
sea_thoughts: (a2aA Living Dream - marble-feet)
Film Reviews

So recently I've been collecting a few DVDs. And I thought it was about time I started watching them. But first, a little review for the film I saw in the cinema on Thursday.

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Cut for spoilers ) If you liked Sleepy Hollow, which is more gruesome in my opinion, then I think you would enjoy this.

The Science of Sleep
I've had this film for a while, but I hadn't got around to seeing it until last night. I didn't know what I was missing. This is a fantastic film, and I use that word in both the modern and the old-fashioned sense: it's very good and it's straight from fantasy. It's all about what happens in the mind of a creative person, about the difference between dreams and reality, how you cope with reality if you're a creative person, the compromises you have to make, the frustration when people just don't get you... I think you can guess by now that I completely identify with the characters in this film. If you are creative in any kind of way, see it. That's all I have to say.

The Dark Is Rising: The Seeker
Okay, so if you haven't read the books... any of the books... this is fine. It's an okay film to watch. If you have read the books, avoid it if possible and if you do see it, just forget everything you read. I only saw it because it was at the Guildhall and it only costs me £4 to watch a film there. They shouldn't have said 'based on' in the titles, they should have said 'inspired by'. Because what they've done is take the basic storyline and twist the characters until they're nigh unrecognisable. The beginning is good, quite creepy and disorientating. I really wish they'd done more in that vein because half-way through, it just degenerates into a typical fantasy film. Christopher Eccleston would have been a fabulous Rider, but all he does is canter around on his horse saying "My power grows stronger". That's great, can we see some evidence? Chris is a great actor, he brings so much intensity to his roles, he can be mesmirising on screen, why didn't the director use that? He's actually scarier in Heroes than in this, which is WRONG. The Rider should be utterly terrifying. Ian McShane is, frankly, not the man I would have chosen to play Merriman, that honour goes to Patrick Stewart (who is so perfect, it's not even funny). But putting that aside, he could have been good... if they'd given him more to do. Again, a waste of talent, I think. The boy who plays Will is actually quite good (though what possessed his parents to name him Wolfgang?) and really, he's what kept me watching to the end. I'd love to see him in a better film. The special effects were good, and that's about it.
sea_thoughts: (Heroes - smercy)
Okay, so yesterday pretty much sucked, as anyone who has read this LJ will know. Thank you to all of you who commented, it did make me feel better. Having said that...

First piece of good news )

Second piece of good news (some of you are really going to envy me for this) )

Then I went to the cinema and saw Becoming Jane. It's beautifully filmed and I was really impressed by Anne Hathaway (not just her accent but her emotion), even though Cassandra was meant to be the 'pretty' sister, not Jane (poor Anna Maxwell Martin was barely in it). I just wish that they hadn't tried to up the drama by putting in that elopement and the bit at the end... mmph. It didn't work for me. But it didn't spoil the film, either. James McAvoy was great, of course. It made me want to go and see Starter for Ten and The Last King of Scotland. I'd give it 3.5 out of 5. ^_^
sea_thoughts: (Default)
You get a bumper entry this week because I didn't make one last week (because you basically knew everything important that was going on, i.e. I suck at translating captions).

As you're pretty, so be wise )

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