A inspirational montage of hallucinations, beauty and heart. Wild captures the struggle of addiction, grief and loneliness and still manages to uplift, reminding you that no matter what happens, you have to keep moving forward, one foot at a time.
Based on Cheryl Strayed’s best selling memoir Wild: A Journey From Lost To Found, Wild is a great comeback for talented actress Reese Witherspoon. Far away from the blonde bombshell of Legally Blonde, Witherspoon shows her vulnerable side and shows the world that she is anything but a one trick pony.
The film deals with sex, drugs, addiction, grief and learning from past mistakes but the dark themes are juxtaposed with inspiring moments of faith, freedom and enlightenment. Cheryl Strayed is a flawed character but that only makes her more relatable.
When the film begins, we learn about Cheryl and how her mother’s premature death has sent her into a downward spiral of self-destruction. Cheryl is determined to find herself again so she decides to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, alone with her thoughts, she works through everything she was previously trying to forget.
The film incorporates Cheryl’s backstory by using hallucinatory memories, poetry and songs. The narrative is honest, the acting is superb and the message is crystal clear. Wild is a terrific film that brings to life the real story of one woman’s journey that helped her find herself again.
Rating – 5/5
Critics are calling Love, Rosie a mediocre Rom Com with no depth or originality but after watching it, I have to disagree. Love, Rosie is so much more than what it appears, if you look deeper into the story, it will definitely steal your heart.
An adaptation of Cecilia Ahern’s epistolary novel Where Rainbow’s End, the film focuses on two characters, Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin). They met at the age of five and have been best friends ever since. The two characters face the highs and lows of growing up and deal with the complexities of love, life, family and friendships.
I have no doubt that the audience will be charmed almost instantly by their unbreakable bond but wonder if there is something else between them. The film is a little bit predictable at times but sometimes all you want to watch is a simple love story with relatable characters and an uncomplicated plot.
Missed chances, miscommunication and mistakes, drive the characters two apart and as Rosie and Alex try to carry on with their separate lives, a force always pulls them back together again. The sentiment of the film is sweet and I really enjoyed watching it.
Love, Rosie is a heart-warming and likeable film, give it a chance, it is a nice relaxing love story, perfect to watch on a Friday night.
Above: The people of Bon Temps raise a glass to an easy life and a happy ending.
The last drop of blood has been tasted as the curtain falls on the last True Blood episode.
The fans had high expectations of the finale season and even higher hopes for the finale episode titled Thank You. There have been many complaints about the way the supernatural TV show has ended but I have to say, I think although it was a safe ending, a lot of loose ends were tied up for all of the main characters.
The episode is an emotional one as Bill dies but what I and many of the other fans don’t understand is why he wanted Sookie to kill him? I mean, hasn’t he done enough harm to her? He wanted Sookie to use her light bomb to kill him which would give them both what they wanted, Sookie could be ‘normal’ and Bill could die at a time that was right for him. In the end Sookie decides to keep her light and I’m glad she did because it is a part of who she is and in the end she finds happiness with a mystery man, who appears to be human.
The biggest problem I had with the finale was that there was a gaping hole in the plot. During the last few episodes of season seven we are led to believe that Bill could possibly be turning human. He has many human visions, he tells Sookie that having Hep V has made him feel more human and Sookie reads his thoughts in the final episode. I think the writers screwed up with that one. It would have been a more sufficient ending if Bill turned human again and he and Sookie lived happily ever after. It makes no sense that Bill had a problem with Sookie being with a vampire when he didn’t mind Jessica marrying Hoyt, who is human.
I know what the writers were thinking with the finale, they wanted the entire story to go full circle. The first episode began with the people of Bon temps and that’s exactly how it ended. They used a flash forward to show the viewers what happened in Bon temps when the balance was restored. They paired Jason with Bridget, they had three kids. Arlene ended up with a vampire named Keith. Lafayette finally found happiness with vampire James (I’m still annoyed that he didn’t get his moment in the finale) and Sookie is pregnant and with a mysterious man which in my opinion should be Bill. The finale felt rushed and sloppy and I think the writers actually ran out of ideas. I still love the show and I, like many others believe that it had definitely ran its course as a TV series.
I hate to give it a three star rating but I was definitely disappointed in the way True Blood ended.
Lucy is a heart-pounding action packed thriller with eccentric possibilities.
Luc Besson’s latest film Lucy has been compared to Limitless, a previous film starring Bradley Cooper but the thriller explores further fictional realms. The plot begins with the main character Lucy played by Scarlett Johansson, a student living in Taiwan. Her latest boyfriend Richard tricks her into delivering a case to a group of business men in a fancy hotel. In a matter of minutes Lucy is thrown into a mess of blood, drugs and crime when she and three other men are used as drug mules to transport a mystery drug CPH4 to different countries.
After being kicked in the stomach where the drugs are stored Lucy experiences the devastating effects of the drug leaking into her body. The sub-plot centres around Professor Samuel Norman played by Morgan Freeman, who’s area of academic expertise surrounds brain activity and cerebral capacity. The plot switches between the action of Lucy discovering her abilities and Professor Samuel Norman talking about what would happen if humans could use more than 10% of their brains.
When the characters collide the fast paced plot soars and the mind blowing blend of science and fiction creates an exciting film experience. The words that really stood out to me during the film were ‘Without time we don’t exist.’ This profound sentence captivates the entire meaning of the film and makes you wonder if we actually exist at all. There are very few films that leave a lasting effect on the viewer, Lucy is one of those films. It is a gem, the best film I have seen this year and if you love science fiction, action or thrillers you will definitely love this film.
Five stars *****
A beautifully plotted TV series with heart wrenching moments of truth.
Orange Is The New Black is the latest TV craze to spark controversy and gain instant fans. This comedy drama set in a prison was everything I wanted it to be and more. The writing, first of all is absolutely brilliant in this show. The characters are individual and I really liked the way that each episode focused on their backgrounds, how they ended up in prison and how much they have changed since their crime.
There is a diverse cast and some of the stories are lifted from Piper Kerman’s memoir ‘My Time In A Women’s Prison.’ The series began as a rich to rags story about the main character Piper and her ways of adapting to the prison life. Although I enjoyed the first few episodes, it wasn’t until the end of season one that my anticipation grew.
However, as the first season progressed and season two began, the main arc of the series focused on the conflicts between inmates and how their stories coincided. I personally loved the character Suzanne Warren, often referred to as Crazy Eyes. She was a wonderful character with many layers to her back story and I am glad that justice happened in the end for her character in the season two finale.
I now have to wait like everyone else until next year for the next instalment of Orange Is The New Black, but after that spectacular season finale. I am left feeling satisfied and warmed by the surprise endings and the sweet karma that killed an inmate that definitely had it coming.
Watch it! I promise you won’t regret it.
The Fault In Our Stars is the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster, an intelligent and witty teenager living with terminal cancer. Her parents encourage her to attend a cancer support group and it is there that she meets to love of her life Augustus Waters.
Hazel and Augustus embark on an ambitious journey to grant Hazel’s only wish, she wants to know how her favourite Imperial Affliction ends. After contacting the author and taking a life changing trip to Amsterdam, the two fall in love and enjoy every moment they have together.
I read the novel shortly before the film release, but knowing the contents of the story did not spoil the film adaptation for me it only enhanced the emotions I felt as I turned the pages of the heartbreaking novel. I often feel an aching disappointment when I watch film adaptations of novels I feel emotionally attached to but in this particular situation, the film amazed me with it’s similarities to the book. John Green stayed clear of the typical cancer clichés and approached the story in an original way, the film also achieved this.
The film is sombre in places but the balance is restored with lots of laugh out loud moments between the cute on screen couple. The chemistry was electric between Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort and many readers will agree with me when I say that they are the perfect Hazel and Gus.
The plot of the book and film isn’t anything exceptional but the story is character driven and the beautiful simplicity of young love pushes the story forward and keeps you on the edge of tears from beginning to end.
The Fault In Our Stars is a roller coaster of emotions and it explores the honest, funny and thrilling moments of being alive and in love.
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss… you will land among the stars – Les Brown
I have always had a love-hate relationship with New Year’s Resolutions. I dislike resolutions of the generic kind, such as – I will lose x amount of weight, I will stop eating unhealthily and I will quit smoking. These are the types of resolutions that are most likely to fail. I have to admit that I have made similar resolutions in the past and they have always failed. This year I have decided to make a different kind of resolution, call it a different way of thinking if you will. I no longer want to waste my time. I need to start saying yes to more things that I want to do. I make far too many excuses and I am tiring of these ‘phases’ that I seem to be accustomed to recently. So my goal for 2014 is to change my way of thinking. No more laziness, if I want something I need to work hard to achieve it.
I have always been too ambitious with my goals and this year will be no different. I am going to achieve my goals. Some of them are unrealistic but quite a few of them are possible to achieve. I would love to say at the end of 2o14 that I am a published writer. I doubt my young adult novel will be ready for publication in one year’s time but if I can publish a short story in a magazine or self-publish one of my poetry collections, I will be a very happy writer. 2014 is the year of writing, the year that I will finish my university course, the year that I will find a job and start my career in the writing industry.
2013 has been a hard year. But everything I have been through has made me a stronger person. I have an amazing group of friends at university, I am in a loving relationship with my best friend, my family may never be the same again, now that my parents are no longer together, but a sense of normality will develop as time progresses. I am very lucky and every day I try to remind myself of this. I think it is important to take a few moments, maybe at the end of the day before you go to sleep, to just reflect on everything that you are grateful for.
I no longer want to write empty words. I want to believe that I can achieve my goals in 2014. Life is so incredible short and I don’t want to wait around for my life to start. I will get a job, save my money, get an apartment with my long-term boyfriend, go on holidays together, buy a pug, publish my novel. The list is endless but I am determined to make the most of not just next year but all of the years that follow. I want to carry on with this positive state of mind, this determination, to make my way through the list that I carry close to my heart. The long list of dreams and goals that I hope to achieve in my life.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice. – T.S. Eliot
Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) is back with the second adaptation of The Hunger Games Trilogy.
Catching Fire is a wonderful addition to the first film and it has definitely stayed true to the book and true to the characters that the readers created in their minds when reading the series. I am always sceptical when I watch adaptations because most film makers ignore some of the important points in the book and leave them out of the film. Catching Fire was an exception to this. It was exactly like the book! The first Hunger Games left out a couple of key points but the film contained all of the plot points that were needed to tell Katniss’ story.
The story takes place in a futuristic place of Panem, where people live in districts and teenagers compete in a televised fight to the death called The Hunger Games. In the first book we are introduced to this concept and follow Katniss as she wins The Hunger Games alongside Peeta Melark (Josh Hutcherson), a boy from the bakery who also lives in district 12. The Capitol, who are in charge of the games were not best pleased with the stunt that the two young teenagers pulled and their act of rebellion would definitely come back to haunt them this time round.
President Snow, still in charge, decides to hold a Quarter Quell for the 75th Hunger Games, which means that victors from all of the games compete together. There are some new quirky characters in the second film, Katniss and Peeta fight, holding hands, pretending to be in love for the sake of both of their lives. This Hunger Games was set in a tropical jungle, the challenges that they face are even more dangerous than before. Catching Fire is a step up from the first, Mocking Jay is hoping to be even better. There are rumours that the final film will be split in two parts. I can’t believe that I have to wait another year to see Mockingjay in the cinema.
Catching Fire is an excellent film, the book, written by Suzanne Collins is equally excellent. The perfect young adult fiction series since Harry Potter in my opinion. Collins has created her own franchise, just like JK Rowling. I really believe in The Hunger Games franchise and I know that it will carry on being successful.
If you love the books or just want to see a fantastic action-filled exciting adventure then Catching Fire is for you. This film adaptation exceeded my expectations and more.
It definitely will not disappoint you!
Now Is Good is an inspiring film about a teenager fighting Leukemia, you will definitely be reaching for the tissues.
Based on the novel Before I Die by Jenny Downham, this film may be packed full of clichés, but I think I can make an exception for this film. I read the book over a year ago and no book has ever affected me in the same way since. A story that will make you feel enlightened with tears of joy and tears of sadness. The story follows Tessa (Dakota Fanning) a seventeen year old girl who makes up a bucket list of things to do before she dies. Refusing anymore treatment, Tessa decides to love every single moment of the life she has left. Making her way through her list she finds something that isn’t on the original list – love. The handsome next door neighbor Adam is exactly what Tessa needs to fill her last months with joyous moments. She realizes that the little things in life are more important, like talking to your brother, holding your father’s hand or simple lying next to the one you love.
I felt so connected to the characters in the book and expected to feel the same way with the film. However, I felt that the film lacked the same connection. This often happens when books are adapted into films. However, the moments in the book that made me cry translated perfectly to screen. Each character has their own way with dealing with Tessa’s illness. Her father is ‘cancer obsessed’, seeking an answer to try and take all of her pain away. Her mother is quite a selfish character, too wrapped up in her own life to care about her daughter. When Tessa needs her mother the most she pulls through but I still disliked her character.
What I loved about the main character Tessa is her attitude. She doesn’t let cancer change who she is. She is witty, confident and optimistic for the most part. Knowing what was coming didn’t affect the way I watched this film. Sometimes it isn’t the ending that needs to be a surprise, it’s the moments leading up to it. Even though this film was heartbreaking, I felt a sense of joy when it ended. The film is uplifting and makes you realize how short life really is. A true gem. I would definitely watch it again.
Rating – 5 Stars
The lagoon of water
shimmers in the moonlight.
The trees whisper as they
lean into the well-lit pathway,
that I walk on this Summer’s eve.
On the other side, people sit
and talk under the stars.
Refreshments and entertainment.
The best spot to enjoy the air,
the water, the symphony of crickets.
Resting there is a boat, tired from the
aching journey it endured before night fell.
My feet are aching in the same way,
I am almost at the end of the pathway.
Peace and serenity here differs from
the hustle and bustle in the centre of town.
Cute, familiar houses sitting on the water edge.
Walking down the large, stone steps.
I see my house in the distance.
Looking back at the water,
the trees and the stars.
I am home and nothing
compares to the feeling.
(First draft of a poem for my portfolio)