Thursday, 20 December 2012

Kiwi FIlm Review: Never Let Me Go



IMDB: 7.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 71%(critics), 70%(audience)
Roger Ebert: 4/4 stars


Stars: Keira Knightly, Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield
Written By: Kazuo Ishiguro(novel), Alex Garland(screenplay)
Directed By: Mark Romanek

Release Date: 25 November 2010
Described by IMDB as: "As children, Ruth, Kathy and Tommy, spend their childhood at a seemingly idyllic English boarding school. As they grow into young adults, they find that they have to come to terms with the strength of the love they feel for each other, while preparing themselves for the haunting reality that awaits them."


*This Review contains some small Spoilers* Is it wrong to call a little girl a evil? Because I feel just about nothing else for young Ruth(Ella Purnell) in the film. I feel only absolute heartbreak for young Kathy (Isobel Meikle-Small), who, by the way, was amazingly casted as she looks unbelievably like adult Kathy(Carey Mulligan). I would probably say the same for both young Tommy(Charlie Rowe) and adult Tommy(Andrew Garfield). Besides the fact that they casted well for common looks, Knightly, Mulligan, and Garfield are some of the best young actors from the UK at the moment, if not THE best. They all have very impressive resumes, and although at the time Andrew Garfield was probably a slightly unknown name (despite the success of The Social Network), he's obviously now known for his role as Spiderman in the new film The Amazing Spiderman.

I'm surprised this isn't a more popular film, as I stumbled upon it by accident, not because I'd heard anything about it, because everyone loves a good love story, especially a tragic one. Although, its a pretty difficult story as well. It is incredibly heartbreaking from the moment you find out what their entire role in life is. I also love how interesting and unique this story is. I mean, there have been movies where there have been people created for the sole purpose of being organ donors(like The Island), but none that show that they were raised from children, it wasn't a crazy action film, it was a calm, sad story focusing on both their childhood and growing up from there. Its also sort of funny that the saddest part of the film is not that their being farmed for organs, but the sheer dispair you feel for Kathy H(Mulligan) when you see the boy she loves being taken from under her nose.

I suppose another reason why its another difficult movie for people to watch is the real question of morales that obviously have to be brought up. Is it morally sound to bring children into the world, isolate them from society, and raise them knowing the whole time that none of them will make it past their mid-twenties because they will all be farmed for their organs once they hit a certain age. How far are people willing to go to stay alive a bit longer? How many people would be ok with knowing that their organs are coming from people who are going to be born and raised for the sole reason of giving up their organs, not having a life, but just living long enough to be able to go through 1-4 surgeries, depending on how strong they are.

I've seen this film a couple of times now and I adore it every time. I'd recommend it to basically anyone, but only a person who can handle a sad film will enjoy this film. Its not a comedy, its not a romance film, it is an extremely tragic story about love and loss.

I'll gladly give it a 9/10. It's definitely one of my all-time favorites.




Friday, 23 November 2012

Portfolio

Just spent the morning making a new site for my portfolio as I'm currently looking for a work term in the St. John's area.

Check it out : gilldaweportfolio.blogspot.ca

Monday, 19 November 2012

Online Shopping Addiction: Christmas Edition

One of the many excellent things about Christmas is that I get some new clothes as one of my presents. In the last couple of years I've bought some clothes online a month in advance, and sent it home so my parents can have it wrapped for Christmas morning. I know it takes away from the surprise, but at least this way I know I'm going to like the clothes I get. This year and last year I purchased my clothing from boohoo.com SUCH great site, great prices. Its based in the UK but has free shipping to Canada for purchases over $25. 


Here are my purchases:



I cannot wait to feel the comfort of this sweater dres


Classic black dress


I quite like these


SO cozy looking


Seems comfy enough

Updates

Just thought I'd write about some recent updates I've done. I've added some links at the top of the home page to a few new pages I've created. A few weeks ago I made a page with all of the links of the film reviews I've ever done, which is under the Kiwi Film Review page. I also added 3 more pages yesterday, Photography, Recipes, and DIY. The Photography page is basically a portfolio of some of my favorite pictures, and the Recipes and DIY pages just have links to the posts I've made that are under those categories.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Kiwi Film Review: An Education



IMDB: 7.3/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 94%
Roger Ebert: 4/4 Stars

Stars: Carey Mulligan, Peter Sarsgaard, Alfred Molina, Dominic Cooper, Rosamund Pike, Emma Thompson.
Written By: Nick Hornby(screenplay), Lynn Barbor(memoir)
Directed By:  Lone Scherfig


Release Date: 
8 October 2009
Described by IMDB as:
"In the early 1960's, sixteen year old Jenny Mellor lives with her parents in the London suburb of Twickenham. On her father's wishes, everything that Jenny does is in the sole pursuit of being accepted into Oxford, as he wants her to have a better life than he. Jenny is bright, pretty, hard working but also naturally gifted. The only problems her father may perceive in her life is her issue with learning Latin, and her dating a boy named Graham, who is nice but socially awkward. Jenny's life changes after she meets David Goldman, a man over twice her age. David goes out of his way to show Jenny and her family that his interest in her is not improper and that he wants solely to expose her to cultural activities which she enjoys. Jenny quickly gets accustomed to the life to which David and his constant companions, Danny and Helen, have shown her, and Jenny and David's relationship does move into becoming a romantic one.."


I saw this film a year or so ago and I adored it, and so began my lady-crush with Carey Mulligan. She's done a few amazing films besides this one including Never Let Me Go(which I'm actually watching right now) as well as Shame, Drive, Pride & Prejudice, Public Enemies, and Brothers. I mean really, how many young actresses have that amazing of a resume? Its such an odd film really, an older man seduces a 16 year old school girl, but theres something charming in it. I think its because most girls feel like they want something bigger and better in their lives, I know I do. Who doesn't want a romantic trip to Paris for their 17th birthday? I sure did. Unfortunately it doesn't end well, which I'm sure couldn't possibly be a spoiler, because who, while watching this film, thought "Oh yes, this will work out wonderfully for Jenny(Mulligan) and her con-artist, old-man, boyfriend."

It starts off with a young girl named Jenny(Mulligan) who is stuck in a boring, pressure-filled life with her mother and father, who only want her to focus on her school and her Latin so she can get into Oxford. She's doing just that, when she meets David(
Peter Sarsgaard). He seduces Jenny and her parents surprisingly easily. And they go out to a concert with his friends Danny(Dominic Cooper) and Helen(Rosamund Pike) and the story develops from there. They go on various trips where she discovers some things about David(Sarsgaard) that she's not happy about, but he somehow manages to convince Jenny to forget about it. This charade keeps up until she realizes, almost too late, that she has made a mistake with him. She then has to figure out if she has lost everything, or if she has enough time to life the life she always wanted, or if she's too late. 

Its almost horrifying that this film was based on a true story from a memoir written by Lynn Barbor. I mean, there's no murder or anything, its just it seems as though there were so few options for women back in the 60's, and to think it was almost all over for her is just heartbreaking. I'm trying desperately not to give too much about this film away, because I think everyone should see it, and I really don't know what else to say about it without giving the whole plot away to be honest. 

I think all there's really left to say is that the reason this film gets me so much is that when you're 16 it seems incredibly possible for something like this to happen, for you to be tricked into something you don't understand. Especially by a man who can give you everything you've ever dreamed of, the music, the travel, the glamour. If this happened in real life exactly the way it happened in the film, I can't help but think that this was almost entirely on the fault of Jenny's(Mulligan) parents. Young girls make mistaks, and lie to their parents. Adults are supposed to know better, and protect them from stupid mistakes, and bad people.

I really love this film, so I'm giving it a 9/10. Definitely worth the Oscar Nominations for Best picture and best actress for Carey Mulligan. Bravo.




Kiwi Film Review: Lincoln



IMDB: 7.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
Roger Ebert: 4/4 Stars

Star: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, David Strathairn, Tommy Lee Jones.
Director: Stephen Spielberg
Writer: Tony Kushner

Release Date: 16 November 2012
Described by IMDB as: "
In 1865, as the American Civil War winds inexorably toward conclusion, U.S. president Abraham Lincoln endeavors to achieve passage of the landmark constitutional amendment which will forever ban slavery from the United States. However, his task is a race against time, for peace may come at any time, and if it comes before the amendment is passed, the returning southern states will stop it before it can become law. Lincoln must, by almost any means possible, obtain enough votes from a recalcitrant Congress before peace arrives and it is too late. Yet the president is torn, as an early peace would save thousands of lives. As the nation confronts its conscience over the freedom of its entire population, Lincoln faces his own crisis of conscience -- end slavery or end the war."



I find it quite hard to review films like this. I like to refer to them as "Oscar films" even though the nominations obviously have not yet been released. These are films that without doubt, will definitely be nominated for oscars based on their actors, directors, and general themes. Since all of these categories are covered far and beyond with Daniel Day-Lewis, Steven Spielberg, and Abraham Lincoln, this film is not only an "Oscar film", but probably one of the top contenders for winning best picture. Unfortunately, the difficult part in reviewing these films is the fact that there are many parts that are, for lack of a better word, dull. 

Now, don't let this deter you from watching this film, as it was a fantastic film, and displays a very important part in history. I found it hard not to see clear parallels between the 1865 fight to abolish slavery, and the current day fight in America for equal rights for gay lesbian people. I will never understand how people could be so hateful that they feel people shouldn't have equal rights. I felt myself quite enraged through some parts of this film, when talking about how all men are not created equal. How dare someone presume that they have the authority to decide that.

I have to say almost the entire first half of the film was so, so dull. Now, I totally understand how important it was to set up the second half, but that doesn't make it any less, well, boring. But the second half definitely made up for it. Its not one of those films with crazy thrill and excitement, but when the 13th Amendment passed I have to say I just wanted to stand up and cheer as the people on the screen were doing. I definitely teared up a little bit when that happened, as I'm sure anyone with a heart would have. Its astonishing that slavery was abolished almost 150 years ago, and yet slavery still persists. I thought it was great timing to release this film, right after the election. I think its a great film to reignite patriotism among Americans in a time that they are incredibly divided.

I'm not even sure how to begin on how fantastic Daniel Day-Lewis was in this film, but lets be honest,  could we expect anything less? He has to be one of the greatest character actors of our generation, possible even of all time. Whenever I see his name in the titles I almost know for sure that I'm going to enjoy it. I couldn't believe how much he resembled Abraham Lincoln in this film. Unbelievable. Makeup should definitely get an Oscar nod for that one. The cast list in this film is pretty incredible. Mrs. Lincoln is played by Sally Field, their child Robert Lincoln is played by none other then Joseph Gordon Levitt. There were numerous other cameos by great actors as well, most of them only for a few moments really, I guess everyone wanted in a big film like this, even if it was just a small part. 
I really liked Tommy Lee Jones' storyline. I loved his pure enthusiasm and hope for the Amendment to pass, I won't give any spoilers, but his part at the end added a little extra to my heart.

I have to say that I didn't know anything about the timeline of these evenets, but I was pretty shocked by how quickly the whole thing happened. I mean, obviously the war went on much longer then what was in this film. I didn't realize that the amendment was passed on January 31st 1865, then the war was ended in the beginning of April and Lincoln was killed on April the 15th. I really didn't realize three of those things were so close together. 

Overall I really liked this film, unfortunately I'm going to have to take off a few points for the beginning, but I couldn't give it a low score because it really was an amazing piece of work. I went with a friend who said it could have ended earlier, but I think it was important to show both the ending of the Civil War, and Lincoln's death.

I'm going to give it an 8/10. Solid film, definitely expecting big things at the Oscars.



Thursday, 15 November 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Argo


IMDB: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Roger Ebert: 4/4
What The Flick: 9.3/10


Stars: Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Victor Garber
Directed By: Ben Affleck
Written By: Chris Terrio

Release Date: 12 October 2012
Described by IMDB as: "In 1979, the American embassy in Iran was invaded by Iranian revolutionaries and several Americans are taken hostage. However, six manage to escape to the official residence of the Canadian Ambassador and the CIA is eventually ordered to get them out of the country. With few options, exfiltration expert Tony Mendez devises a daring plan: to create a phony Canadian film project looking to shoot in Iran and smuggle the Americans out as its production crew. With the help of some trusted Hollywood contacts, Mendez creates the ruse and proceeds to Iran as its associate producer. However, time is running out with the Iranian security forces closing in on the truth while both his charges and the White House have grave doubts about the operation themselves."



Well, lets be real. Ben Affleck lucked out on the timing of this movies release. After the whole Libya, Benghazi, protests killing an American diplomat last month, this fits perfect for this film. Way more people are going to be interested in this film because of this, which is definitely good, because its a really interesting part of history.

Despite the fact that I knew how this film was going to end, because it is based on a true story, it really didn't take away from the stress and thrill of the film. There were so many times when you really didn't know how it was going to turn out for them(even though you really did). Especially at the end, you were really quite terrified for them.

I liked that they explained some of the history of the relationship between America and Iran in the beginning to set up the story, I liked that when they really didn't hold back on the truth of it, that the blame for the situation was really based on the mistake of America in taking in an awful dictator for protection, rather then him getting justice at the hands of his people.  I'm not for vigilante justice, but in some cases, like this, dictators diserve whatever the people plan to give them. I think this film showed some good for Jimmy Carter, since so many people have negative feelings for him. I also really liked his "cameo" at the end during the credits. When I heard his voice coming over the speakers I was pretty excited. I also think its important to remember the incredible risk the Canadian Diplomat  took by letting these six people stay in his house.

Thusfar, Ben Affleck has had an incredible writing/directing career. I mean, if his acting portfolio wasn't enough, he has Good Will Hunting, Gone Baby Gone, The Town, and now Argo under his belt for writing and directing. All of these films have above a 7.5 rating on IMDB and above a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Argo will definitely be fitting in nicely with this line up. I will be shocked it Ben Affleck doesn't get an oscar nod for both directing and acting in this film. Although, his acting mostly understated, and he really doesn't have a whole lot of speaking, you still get the intensity in his performance.


I absolutely LOVED Alan Arkin and John Goodman in this film. They were hilarious, and their chemistry and friendship was amazing. They played an important role in the mission, and the film. They were also involved in one of the most thrilling and anxious parts of the film. Bryan Crasnton was also great in this film, but sort of an asshole who almost completely screws everything up. 
So, what do I think of this film? I loved it. I always enjoyed the story when I learned about it school, so to see it in film was pretty great. I think its amazing that everyone involved were forced to keep what really happened a secret, when they could have taken full credit and been treated as heroes. I think its very important that the people responsible for saving these 6 men and women's lives. They show pictures of everyone involved in the mission during the credits, and man, did they cast well. All of the 6 refugees were spot on in casting, amazing really.

I'm going to give this film a 9.5/10, such a great film, and I think just about anyone would enjoy it. Even if you aren't into films about history, or that take place during different times, there is enough thrill and heart in this film to keep anyone interested. 




Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Kiwi Film Reivew: Skyfall




IMDB: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomaotes: 92%

Roger Ebert: 4/4 stars
What The Flick: 9.5/10

Stars: Daniel Craig, Judy Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Ben Whishaw
Directed By: Sam Mendes
Written By: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, John Logan

Release Date: 9 November 2012
Described by IMDB as: "Bond's loyalty to M is tested as her past comes back to haunt her. As MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost."



I feel like this was the first Bond film (that I've seen at least) thats been really much more then cars and bond girls, but even from the beginning of this film it is full of action. The opening sequence shows Bond being sort of betrayed by M and is thought to be killed off. No worries, this won't have any spoilers, if you've seen the trailer you know this much at least already. The staple "Bond opening sequence" was breathtaking. The beautiful design combined with Adele's "Skyfall" was nothing short of perfection, truly beautiful.

I feel like this is a pretty different film then Sam Mendes is used to directing, but I was previously a huge fan of his work. American Beauty is one of my all-time favorite films, and I really enjoyed Revolutionary Road, but neither are very action-packed, but I have to say, even without a history in Action films, he did an amazing job of balancing story with action. Kept it interesting without making it completely unbelievable. 
The storyline was great, I really enjoyed the backstory to Bond's childhood and how he became the was he is. The cinematography was beautiful. All of the scenes over Shanghai were awesome, as were the scenes of London. Lots of views of the London Eye in this one. The views in Scotland are also completely gorgeous, the last quarter of the film was my favorite, and the cinematography was probably half of the reason, it was just so beautiful.

I really love everything about Daniel Craig as Bond. He's been strong and sexy, but also truly weak and vulnerable in all of the films, especially this one. I love how he's the suave, tuxedo Bond, but he's also a more down and dirty, gritty Bond, I really liked the whole "unshaven" look in the beginning, really added a different feeling. The whole film you really wonder whether M(Judy Dench) is on his side or not, especially after you learn all of Silvia's(Javier Bardem) story, and you find out that it may not be the first time she's turned her back on one of her star spies.

Javier Bardem was unreal in this film, so genuinely creepy, but so good. He was incredibly intense throughout his entire performance, it really felt like genuine emotion. He was definitely a great and classic Bond villan.  Ben Whishaw is the new tech and toys guy "Q". He's having a pretty great year, he was in Cloud Atlas a few weeks ago. There is also a pretty strong chance that I am totally in love with him, he is probably one of my new favorite actors. (I've also started watching The Hour which is awesome).

Best part about this movie is that I heard a few days ago that Daniel Craig has signed on for another 2 Bond movies! Pretty excited about this.

If I haven't already made it clear, I loved this film and pretty much everything about it. I'm giving it a 9.5/10. Definitely go see it asap, great for any action, thriller, drama, or Bond lover. 


Monday, 5 November 2012

Kiwi Film Review: The Queen





IMDB: 7.4
Rotten Tomatoes: 97%
Roger Ebert: 4/4


Stars: Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell, Alex Jennings
Written By: Peter Morgan
Directed By: Stephen Frears

Release Date: 20 October 2006
Described by IMDB as: "Diana the 'People's Princess' has died in a car accident in Paris. The Queen and her family decide that for the best, they should remain hidden behind the closed doors of Balmoral Castle. The heartbroken public do not understand and request that the Queen comforts her people. This also puts pressure on newly elected Tony Blair, who constantly tries to convince the monarchy to address the public."



The death of Princess Diana has always been intriguing to me. I was only 6 when she was killed but I remember it vividly. I think it was mostly the funeral that I remember being on the television, but it was all anyone talked about for so long that it was burned into my mind. A while later my mother bought a book about her life and death. I don't remember what it was called but was gold and had a picture of her on the cover. I was still too young to read it but I remember flicking through the pictures of her has a child and a teenager inside. I just remember how tragic her death was, and knowing it was clearly entirely the press's fault. You'd think they would have stepped back a bit, but its obviously only gotten worse. 

This movie was really excellent. Hellen Mirren was almost unrecognizable. Michael Sheen I felt did a great job as well, although I can't say I really know much about Tony Blair, especially in the beginning of his time as Prime Minister. Thats the hard thing about this movie, clearly most of it at least has to be complete fiction, because there is truly no way of knowing the truth about what happened behind closed doors, especially the parts with the Queen and the royal family itself. I was thinking that they could have gotten a lot of information from the book that he wrote after his resignation, but I'm pretty sure the movie was released a few years before the book was released. So, clearly can't be true, meaning that pretty much the entire film has to be fiction, which I think is actually ok.

I have to say this film really changed my views on Prince Charles. I feel like children absorbe a lot that they hear as fact, and that really sticks with you. I remember hearing, when I was quite young, maybe 8 or 9, that many people believed that Prince Charles was behind Princess Diana's death, and that she had written a letter saying that if anything had happened to her to look to him first, and I've hated him ever since. I really don't know how much of what happened in this movie actually happened, but I'm hoping his general reaction is mostly true, I'm sure it probably was. 

I also hadn't realized how much the people loved Tony Blair so much at that time. I'm not extremely familiar on British politics but I always thought that the people mostly hated him, but that was probably just at the end when he resigned. He seemed to handle the situation well, especially compared to how the monarchy handled it. I suppose they had to have a hero and a bad guy to try and rationalize what had happend. 

I have to say that its really an interesting perspective on the whole subject, showing it through the eyes of the Queen. Although to choose this of all subjects to make a movie called "The Queen" is interesting, since its mostly about Princess Diana. 

Great movie, and excellent acting on both Mirren and Sheen's behalf, but also on pretty much everyone else in the film. If you have any interest in history, Princess Diana, or the monarchy, or if you just like a good drama, this film is for you.

I'm giving this film an 8.5/10. Very good, very enjoyable.



Thursday, 1 November 2012

New Kiwi Film Review Logo

Well, I'm not 100% happy with it, but without the border it looks too plain, and with the border it just doesn't look right, so thusfar, I'm keeping the border. I'm sure I'll do some updating soon, but for now.. here we are. It wasn't too difficult actually. I had made the border a while ago, so I just keep it as stock. The kiwi itself was actually pretty easy, just trying to get the seeds in a good position was hard, then actually finding a layout I was happy with was definitely the hardest part. I chose Helvetica for the font as it is one of my favorites. I love the cool clean look of it.

Now, I present to you, Kiwi Film Review Logo 1:


Feel free to give feedback.

Kiwi Film Review: Cloud Atlas



IMDB: 8.4/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 66%
Roger Ebert: 4/4 stars
What The Flick: 6.3/10 (The average of 3, 7.1, 7.1, 8. Clearly would have been higher if Christie hadn't lost her mind.)

Stars: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Braodbent, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae,  Ben Whishaw, Keith David, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant.
Written by: David Mitchell(novel), Tom Tykwer(screenplay), Andy Wachowski(screenplay),, Lana Wachowski(screenplay)
Directed by: Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

Release Date: 26 October 2012
Described by IMDB as: Everything is connected: an 1849 diary of an ocean voyage across the Pacific; letters from a composer to his friend; a thriller about a murder at a nuclear power plant; a farce about a publisher in a nursing home; a rebellious clone in futuristic Korea; and the tale of a tribe living in post-apocalyptic Hawaii, far in the future.

Finally, a new science fiction movie with a great story, great acting, and great overall theme.

I'm not even sure how to begin with this film. I don't think I'm going to go into too much detail, because I want everyone to see this film, and I don't want to ruin it. Also, lets be real, I'm not really sure I could properly explain it. I guess when it comes down to it, its a possible answer to the question of "is there an afterlife, and if there is, what is it?" I guess this movie comes down to being about reincarnation... even though I don't believe in this, I try to keep an open mind so that I don't ruin the film for myself. Its funny, because even though that was the message they were trying to get across, what I got was to never let injustices happen, and to stand up when you see something horrible happening. That one person can make a change in the world if they just have the courage to do what they know is right.

It basically takes place in 6 different times and places.

  • Pacific Ocean in 1849
  • Edinburgh, Scotland in 1936
  • San Francisco, California in 1975
  • United Kingdom, 2012
  • Neo Seoul(Korea), 22nd Century
  • Sometime in the distant future on another planet
I have to say I really liked all of the different times and places in which this film took place. All of them were very interesting and quite inspiring. Some of them were uplifting and others quite heartbreaking. I think my favorite may have been the 1849 storyline, though all of them were great.. Jim Sturgess was charming and uplifting in his gradual fight against slavery. Tom Hanks as an evil doctor was equally as interesting. I also really enjoyed the Neo Seoul Storyline in the 22nd Century. The story of another sort of slave having the courage to stand up against a regime. Doona Bae was amazing. She has so many strong subtle scenes, very impressive.  I don't think there was a single storyline that wasn't excellently executed.  I also really liked that in each world/time/place one of the lead actors was a main character.

The acting lineup could easily be the most impressive I've ever seen. There were even a few "supporting actors" that I had no idea were even going to be in this (Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon, and Hugh Grant). All of the acting was fantastic, I think that Tom Hanks plays the most different characters in this film, so impressive. Although, Halle Berry also had quite an array of characters as well, my favorite probably being her character in the "distant future, another planet" storyline. Great costume and story in that one. Although, her 1970's storyline was also great where she stands up against a big company when she suspects they're doing something that would cause huge problems for the people in the surrounding area. Ben Whishaw's character in 1936 was very enlightening and charming, with a love filled story, and a heartbreaking ending. It was really beautiful.  Jim Braodbent was also brilliant in this film. His 2012 storyline was also filled with love and regret. The seniors home breakout scheme was hilarious and delightful.

The music played a big role in this, and I have to say it was really great. I will definitely download the soundtrack. The Cloud Atlas Sextet was really quite beautiful. I feel like if this film doesn't get an Oscar nod for makeup I will be shocked. There were so many times I could hardly tell who the actors under the prosthetics were. Really great work.  

In Roger Ebert's review, he stated that this film was "one of the most ambitious films ever made" and I have to agree. I've seen that thusfar this film may be a "100 million dollar flop." I really, really hope not. It was a fantastic movie, and even though its pushing 3 hours in length, at no point was I bored or did I feel as if it was being dragged out. I think that can be attributed to the fact that it was constantly cut up into chunks to keep 6 story-lines running smoothly.

I'm going to give this film a 9.5/10. Its seriously that good.


UPDATE: November 10th


I ended up seeing this film again a few days ago, and I felt the need to ad an update. This film is really worth seeing twice, you get so much more information.

Its much more clear how the stories are linked together than it was the first time. I was also able to see more of the characters who were in each setting. I didn't notice Ben Whishaw in the "2012" storyline until the second time, and I didn't notice Hugh Grant in the "Neo Seoul" storyline until the second time either.


I also wanted to add how much I love the 1936 storyline. I had forgotten how much I loved it when I was writing my first review. It was definitely the one that touched me the most, I just loved the love story between Robert Frobisher and Rufus Sixsmith there was so much passion in it, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Even the second time I watched it, it ended with me in tears and inspiration. I definitely still recommend this film to anyone who enjoys movies at all. 


Halloween 2012

This may have been the most successful halloween to date. Definitely since I've been in St. John's anyways. 


On Sunday 2 of my friends and I carved some pumpkins (pictures below) and then I had a few other friends over for a pot luck where I made some Taco Cupcakes . We then watched Hocus Pocus (Best Halloween movie ever) and then ventured to my other friends house to watch the Halloween episode of Once Upon A Time(because I don't have cable).


Here is my Jack Skellington pumpkin :)




Jack Skellintgon, Cheerful Pumpkin, and The Tardis


Pumpkins and their creators


All of the party people



Saturday, 20 October 2012

Kiwi Film Review: The Perks of Being a Wallflower







IMDB: 8.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4


Stars: Logan Lerman, Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Dylan McDermott, Nina Dobrev, Kate Walsh, Paul Rudd, Joan Cusack
Directed By: Stephen Chbosky
Written By: Stephen Chbosky (Novel & Screenplay)


Release Date: 28 September 2012
Described by IMDB as: "Based on the novel written by Stephen Chbosky, this is about 15-year-old Charlie (Logan Lerman), an endearing and naive outsider, coping with first love (Emma Watson), the suicide of his best friend, and his own mental illness while struggling to find a group of people with whom he belongs. The introvert freshman is taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam and Patrick, who welcome him to the real world."


Wow, just WOW. The only thing that I didn't like about this movie was that I hadn't perviously read the book. I think I can seriously add that to the list of regrets in my life. All I knew going into it was that some kid had no friends, but then did have friends. But there were so many moving parts to this movie I don't even know where to begin. Its about so many different things; suicide, depression, love, abuse, loneliness, mistakes, and just growing up in general.

In the beginning you see how Charlie(Logan Lerman) is alone, and wants nothing more to just have some friends. From the letters he's writing to an anonymous person you know he's had some problems in the past but its not until a little later that you start finding out what they are. Seeing him sit alone at lunch, is just so sad. When he finally meets Sam(Emma Watson) and Patrick(Ezra Miller) everything starts turning around (or so you think). I went into this thinking it was going to be an uplifting happy film about finally finding friends and all of your problems going away, but I quickly discovered this was not the case. It seems like everything starts coming out in that first party they go to together after the Homecoming dance. First when you find out about Charlie's(Lerman) best(and only) friend killing himself, and then about Patrick's(Miller) secret affair with the most popular jock in school, Brad(Johnny Simmons).

After this it starts being happy-go-lucky again for the most part. I mean there's that whole "I'm in love with this girl who's a year or two older then me and who happens to be dating jack-ass college guys" thing going on, but thats a manageable situation. Then when you find out that she was molested by her fathers boss at age 11, you have that moment of "wtf?" but it ultimately ends in Charlie having his first kiss with the girl he's in love with (Watson), even if it can't last longer then that night. Honestly, that whole "secret santa" night was just so sweet, it just showed how much he cared about all of them, and how they cared for him. 

I loved the love of "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" in this film, the last time you see it its sort of like his final "coming out" into the school. Which leads me to that dreaded Mary Elizabeth(Mae Whitman) relationship. I felt so bad for him for that entire part of the movie because you know he's just too nice to have done anything about how much he didn't want to be there. I couldn't even watch when they were playing "truth or dare" and he kissed Sam(Watson) instead of Mary Elizabeth(Whitman). You just knew it was coming and couldn't bear it. When this basically (and understandably) ruins his relationships with his friends the movie goes back to being unbelievably sad for this poor kid.

Poor, poor Patrick. Honestly, you sort of get the feeling from the beginning that something bad is going to happen with him and Brad, because they say from the beginning that if Brad's dad ever finds out, he'll kill him, but the thought of a father ACTUALLY beating the shit out of his son is so unreal to me that I sort of forgot about it until it actually happened. Then to be torn down infront of the whole school while Brad stands by? Horrible, so, so sad.  Thankfully Charlie redeems himself by saving Patrick from an insane fight of which he blacks out and remembers nothing. 


Finally, Charlie and Sam have that one perfect night together, where they both know exactly how the other feels. Unfortunately this is EXTREMELY short lived by the fact that Sam is heading off to College the next morning. At this point Charlie completely breaks and ends up in a mental hospital for the summer.

Obviously the saddest part is when you finally realize everything thats happened with "Aunt Helen" throughout the whole film basically boils down to the fact that she molested Charlie when he was a kid. The only thing I didn't like about the movie was that I felt as if it wasn't really fully explained in the film. I mean, I dont think it was necessary to have exact details, but if you weren't paying enough attention you could have easily missed the part where you actually find out. In the end Charlie gets help, and figures how exactly what he needs to survive in life. 

I loved every moment of this film. Its seriously the best movie I've seen in a very long time. I need to go buy the book tomorrow and just read. I will be a complete mess the whole time, but it will be a great experience. I want everyone in the world to watch this, because its so many different things that I think it has something for everyone. 


I'm giving this film a 10/10. I've never given this before, but I just can't get past how amazing this film is.

PS. Who the heck is he writing all those darn letters to???

Friday, 19 October 2012

Kiwi Film Review: The Shining


IMDB: 8.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 88%


Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd.
Written By: Stanley Kubrick(Screenplay), Stephen King(Novel)
Directed By: Stanley Kubrick



Release Date: 23 May 1980
Described by IMDB as: "A man, his son and wife become the winter caretakers of an isolated hotel where Danny, the son, sees disturbing visions of the hotel's past using a telepathic gift known as "The Shining". The father, Jack Torrance, is underway in a writing project when he slowly slips into insanity as a result of cabin fever and former guests of the hotel's ghosts. After being convinced by a waiter's ghost to "correct" the family, Jack goes completely insane. The only thing that can save Danny and his mother is 'The Shining'."




Well, its close to Halloween so I decided to bite the bullet and confront my scary movie fears head on. I was forced against my will to watch Paranormal Activity 3 last weekend, so I figured if I could live through that, I could probably handle a classic Kubrick like "The Shining," and boy am I glad I did.

Such a classic in every way. I mean give me a break, Jack Nicholson is unreal in this movie, although, the kid who plays Danny(Danny Lloyd) is almost equally as impressive. He's so creepy its unreal! I had no idea why this movie was called "The Shining' until I started watching, but its actually really cool. I liked that the kid has his "special ability," really adds to the story, which most scary movies do not do well enough. Unlike most other scary movies, at no point is this a happy family, I like that. From the beginning you know there's a troubled background; ie, Jack (Nicholson) "accidentally" hurting Danny (Lloyd), and his alcoholism. 


There are just so many creepy scenarios about this movie. The fact that they're alone, or that they're completely isolated in the middle of nowhere for so many months. The two twin dead girls who keep appearing in the beginning definitely don't help the creepiness. Or probably more importantly that the kid is possessed by some weird spirit thing. When he talks as Tony, his voice is so creepy! "REDRUM!" I can't imagine having the ability to do that when I was his age. Its really too bad that this was the only real movie he did, because I'm sure he would've become even more impressive with age. But clearly the creepiest part is Nicholson himself. I mean, when he finally loses his mind and goes completely apeshit? Amazing. I was waiting the whole movie for that classic "Heeeeeere's Johnny!" line, and when it came it was so good.

I feel like I would've been not really interested in ever being friends with Stanley Kubrick, because he has a seriously messed up mind. After watching A Clockwork Orange, and this movie, its unreal how much violence was in this man's mind. Although, in his defence, both were based on novels, so not entirely his fault. Also, both were AMAZING films, so I'm not complaining. I finally understand why this is such a classic. Finally a horror movie that is so much more then that. Its actually an interesting story where I was wondering what was going to happen the whole time.

This movie is great for anyone who loves movies, but scary movies in particular. Definitely a great halloween movie. No cheap scares in this one my friends! So, I give this one a 7.5/10. So damn good.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

New Blog Header




As I promised earlier I created a new header for my blog. I felt like it was serious need of a facelift and thats what it got. Even though you can clearly see it above I figured I'd post it anyways for future reference. I'm actually extremely happy with it. As you can see its a pretty similar

Here she is:

















New Business Card Design

Well, since its been about 10 years since my last update, I thought I'd finally add some design to my blog, which seems legit since I'm a design student. I spent most of the night on a new business card concept. 
I'm actually quite impressed with my work on this one.

Take a look:



I'll try to be back with a new movie review ASAP. I've seen a lot of great ones lately so I'm sure I'll have a bunch all at once. I'll also have a bunch of photography posts in the next few weeks. Now that I'm back to school and a schedule, I promise I'll have more updates! Also, keep an eye out for a new look for the blog!

Friday, 13 July 2012

Penelope

So I'm just noticing I haven't done a blog post in over a month, and today that's going to change. I've actually started a bunch of movie reviews  but just haven't found time to finish them. Today I'm thinking I'll do a post about my favorite kitty; Penelope. The day before I left to come back home for the summer I had a photoshoot with Penny and it was so cute! But first; some background story.

Around April 22nd my roommate Natasha and I were fed up with our mouse infestation, so we decided it was time to get a cat. I'd always been a cat lover, so this was more of an excuse to get a cat in our house. Unfortunately, my mom is afraid that if I get an animal while I'm still a student, she will somehow become responsible for it, which is ridiculous, so she completely forbid me from having any financial responsibility for this cat. But, I still wanted to be part of the process, so we went to the SPCA looking. We found this beautiful little short haired white cat named "DRU" in the first room we went into. We knew then she'd be ours, but we had to wait 2 days for the SPCA to figure it out.

On April 24th we got the call and went to pick her up. They told us she is between a year pr 2 years old, and that she was a stray from Bell Island. I expected her to be not-so-friendly because of the fact that she was a stray, but it was quite the contrary. She is the friendliest cat I've ever seen! She loves nothing more then a good cuddle, and she's always waiting at the door for me when I get home.

Needless to say, I miss her quite a bit. Anyways, here are some pics from the photoshoot. Enjoy!






Sunday, 10 June 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Prometheus


IMDB: 7.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

Roger Ebert: 4/4
What The Flick: 7.2/10



Stars: Noomi Rapace, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce.
Written By: Jon  Spaihts, Damon Lindelof
Directed By: Ridley Scott



Release Date: June 8th 2012
Described by IMDB as "A team of explorers discover a clue to the origins of mankind on Earth, leading them on a journey to the darkest corners of the universe. There, they must fight a terrifying battle to save the future of the human race."


Holy mother of god. This movie was amazing. I'm really regretting not writing this review last night because I  know I'm going to forget some things I meant to write about it, but I'll do the best I can. I was going to try to write this without spoilers but I don't think thats possible. 


I want to start with talking about how this film fits in with Alien. For 99.9% of this movie I was trying to figure out how exactly this  fits in with Alien. Honestly, it still sort of doesn't in my mind, but for the most part it does. They were actually VERY smart with how much they showed in Alien and how much they didn't because of the lack of technology they had at that point. As far as I can remember you didn't really see any details of the planet itself, just the ship and the aliens. Now, that the technology is in the right place they were able to make an astonishingly beautiful planet. The parallels were pretty clear in the film, *SPOILER* first off the robots. Even the fact that they're both beheaded and talk. If I were him I'd want to redo that actually because it was so badly done in Alien, when we find out that Ian Holm is a robot because his head has been ripped off, but he can still talk. Obviously we know David(Fassbender) is a robot through the full film, but he's still beheaded none-the-lessAlso, clearly the ending of both movies are entirely the same. everyone else being killed and the lead, strong, female lead, Elizabeth Shaw(Rapace) being the only one left. This one is a little different because she's forced to rely on David (Fassbender) Even the part where she thinks she's safe in her ship and then PSYCH you actually have to beat the final alien. I'm very happy with the final scene when we see how the Alien alien is created. Very cool.

Now for the things I enjoyed about the film (besides the things above). First of all, Ridley Scott pretty much never disappoints. The cinematography was absolutely beautiful. All of the scenes while they're in space, travelling to the planet are beautiful, especially when you first see the planet. The moon they land on is also beautiful, but not quite as breathtaking as the planet you see when they arrive. The CGI was amazing and the special effects over all were great. The acting is also fantastic in this film. Michael Fassbender absolutely killed as David. The scene at the beginning when he's going around the ship alone and he's riding a bike and spinning a basketball on is finger and carelessly shoots the ball and it lands in the net, was absolutely perfect. It truly showed how un-human he is. It was a perfect scene to describe him without actually having to explain it. Brilliant idea. He looked super robotic the whole time, and his acting was just fantastic. Guy Pearce was also awesome, the only reason I even knew it was him under all of the prosthetics was because I knew he was in the film.Noomi Rapace was also fantastic, as was Charlize Theron. I thought the "engineers" were were super interesting looking, just human-like enough to "believe" that we could have come from them. I thought that was a really interesting, different idea of our origin.



There were a few things that I felt could have been better explained, but I felt that most of them can be passed as "that can be explained in the next film." Most of the problems I had were pretty much what Shaw was looking to ask the "engineers" when she went to find their home planet.


Overall I'll give it an 8.5/10. Seriously was such a good movie, a must-see for any sci-fi lover!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Signs

IMDB: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
Roger Ebert: 4/4 Stars


Written & Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan
Stars: Mel Gibson, Joaquin Pheonix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin



Release Date: 2 August 2002

Described by IMDB as "In Bucks County, Pennsylvania, a five-hundred-foot crop circle is found on the farm of Graham Hess, the town's reverend. The circles cause a media frenzy and test Hess's faith as he journeys to find out the truth behind the crop circles."



I actually heard horrible things about this movie, but it wasn't too bad. Definitely not as good as The Sixth Sense, but not M. Night Shyamalan's worst. I quite enjoyed it. It had surprisingly good visual effects for 2002, although they made a smart move by never really having the Aliens in full view, that definitely made it a bit easier for them. I think Abigail Breslin has to be the cutest child actress of all time, and she was a great actress. Its hard to tell if she did it on purpose, but she's sort of creepy which kind of added to the film's eeriness. Also, I had no idea that Culkin played the little boy in this movie until this time.  I liked that the film was actually about spiritual believe, and it being questioned, the whole "aliens attack" thing was just sort of another part of the story. I thought that even though he kept it pretty safe with his depiction of the aliens themselves, the water being their kryptonite was a pretty original and interesting.  I actually really liked that.


Now for the things I did not like. I really didn't like how quickly the aliens were defeated. There was basically no suspense at all, once they figured out that the aliens were, in fact, going to attack, it was like they were attacking for all of 5 minutes, and then they were defeated. I did like that they thought they'd won, were about to celebrate, and then PSYCH alien took the asthma kid, but even that problem only lasted  all of 2 minutes. And then they just won, and thats it? Oky doky then.

Over all I really did enjoy this movie. I wasn't really big on the whole "believe and faith" aspect, but once past that it was alright. I'll give it a 6.8/10, if its on tv on a sunday afternoon (which it always is) watch it. 



Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Kiwi Film Review: Snow White and the Huntsman



IMDB: 6.8/10
Rotten Tomatoes: 48%
Roger Ebert: 3.5/4


Stars: Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron.
Written by: Evan Daugherty, John Lee Hancock, Hossein Amini
Directed By: Rupert Sanders



Release Date: June 1st 2012

Described by IMDB as "Snow White is the only person in the land fairer than the evil queen. Unable to tolerate the insult to her vanity, the evil queen decides that Snow White must die. The queen sends a huntsman to kill Snow White. However the huntsman finds himself unable to murder the innocent young woman, and instead ends up training her to become a warrior capable of threatening the queen's reign."



Well, I walk away from this movie with very mixed feelings. There were things a loved and things I absolutely hated. I'll start first with the things I loved. This film was visually beautiful, and the special effects were great. I thought it was super impressive that they managed to make full grown actors to look like dwarves. Although, I have to say that I don't really understand their reasoning for that one. Its hard enough for little people(is that the politically correct terminology?) to get good jobs, especially ones where they aren't wearing stupid costumes where you can't even see their faces; they can't even get jobs of the 7 dwarves? Its definitely possible to find 7 funny, good actors who are born for the part, so to speak. Besides all of that, I did think the effects were impressive and I enjoyed all of the actors. Also, Chris Hemsworth was cast PERFECTLY. He is so damn attractive! I could've watched him all day.


Now for the bad. As much as I love Charlize Theron and her acting abilities, she was crazy in this movie. Well, I guess that's a little harsh. She was good through most of it, and I thought her accent was good. She looked and sounded super strong, but every now and then she'd go completely over the top, like way too much. Her shrieking was unbearable, and she was just too intense over all. However, her bad acting was nothing compared to Kristen Stewart's. She was the exact same as she is in every role; dull. I'll give her credit that she did seem to be improving a bit, but she's just not believable as Snow White. They made her as beautiful as she could me, and she really was pretty, but "fairer" than Charlize? I don't think so. I think the casting on this one was very much off, and I don't understand the rationalization for her. The fact that she meets the physical description doesn't mean she should get the job. I'm not British so I can't make this statement knowing I'm 100% right, but from what I could tell, her accent was awful. Also, I just didn't find her strong enough as a character. In this re-telling she's supposed to be strong enough to rise up and take back the kingdom, but I found her only partially believable in the scenes where she was trying to be that person. Again, bad casting on that part.


Also, even though I enjoyed the story, there were SO many far fetched ideas. I know its a movie, but even if you accept the dark magic and the ability for the Queen to suck the souls out of young girls, or the fairies and the enchanted forest, the amount of luck that Snow White(Stewart) has is completely ridiculous. Really, you come out of a sewer and find a perfect, gentle, white horse? AND you know how to write it perfectly despite the fact that you've been locked in a tower for the last 10(ish) years? Thats super great for you. I can accept all of the rules and situations that are set up in the film but thats just one example of something thats a little far-fetched even in the world it takes place in.


Overall I feel like I generally enjoyed this film, but as I stated above it had some pretty core problems. I think the beauty of the film made up for the problems quite a bit. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't buy this film, or go see it again in theatres, but I didn't regret seeing it, so I'd recomend it to anyone who enjoys fantasy/adventure films. I think I'll give it a 6.5/10, that seems fair.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Bucket List

Thought I'd share my personal bucket list as of today, May 29th 2012, in no particular order.


- Watch all of IMDB's top 250 movies.
- Graduate
- Get a car
- Move to London, UK
- Get Married
- Have a child (or 3)


- Travel to London/England
- Travel to Greece
- Travel to Italy
- Travel to France
- Travel to Switzerland
- Travel to Egypt
- Travel to  Ireland
- Travel to Scotland
- Travel to Germany
- Travel to Spain
- Travel to Sweden
- Travel to New York
- Travel to New Orleans
- Travel to California
- Go back to Italy
- Go back to Switzerland
- Go back to France
- See the Mona Lisa
- See Notre Dame
- Go to the Louvre
- See the 7 wonders of the world (+ honnorable mentions)
   -1 Stonehenge
   -2 Colosseum
   -3 Catacombs of Kom el Shaqafa
   -4 Great Wall of China
   -5 Porcelain Tower of Nanjing
   -6 Hagia Sophia
   -7 Leaning Tower of Pisa
   -Great Pyramid of Giza
   -Taj Mahal
   -Cairo Citadel
   -Ely Cathedral
   -Cluny Abbey

   - See the Eiffel Tower
   - See Petra
   -See Machu Piccu
   -See Chichen Itza

- See Meat Loaf live
- See Snow Patrol live
- See The Fray live
- See Coldplay live
- See Mumford & Son's live
- See Our Lady Peace live
- See Matchbox Twenty live
- See a taping of Jimmy Kimmel Live
- See a taping of Ellen
- See a taping of Real Time with Bill Maher
- See a taping of The Graham Norton Show
- Go zip lining
- Go Skydiving
- See or Meet Ricky Gervis, Stephen Mercant, and/or Karl Pilkington
- See or Meet Stephen Fry