30 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: Z is for Zardoz

Yep, the tattoo finally made an appearance.

Movie: Zardoz (1974)

Overall Rating: 3 / 5

General Impression: I watched this movie as a recommendation from +Denton Froese because, well, how many movies do you know that start with "Z"?

I didn't know what to expect when I watched it. I had no idea it was sci-fi or starred Sean Connery (who had a shocking few lines) running around in what I can only describe as sex-pest shorts. The movie touched on some interesting subjects such as "What is the point of procreation if you live forever?" and "What separates people from animals?".

Granted it was 1974 and the focus of movies was a bit different than it is today, but it was a bit of a slow watch and the ending was a bit confusing in that I didn't understand the point of the final scenes. Maybe if you've watched it you can let me know?

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

29 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: Y is for Yes Man

Movie: Yes Man (2008)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: I'm not a Jim Carrey fan. I've never thought him funny and the movies I watched of his career beginnings I thought were a waste of time. However, a number of his recent movies confirm that he can actually act and this was no exception.

The premise of the movie is pretty self-explanatory, after being a "No Man" the protagonist goes on a journey to be a "Yes Man". I liked the concept because it's true, there are too many things in life we say "No" to because we're scared. On the other hand, we also say "yes" to too many things we don't really want to do. Just as Jim Carrey's character forgets to differentiate between what he really should say "no" and "yes" to, we do as well.

OK, that's deep enough for this cat. Just a last mention that the movie was entertaining and as always, Zooey Deschanel is cute and quirky. I recommend this movie if you want to watch something that's not too intense.


28 April 2013

4 / 12 Update

I sort of feel like I've caught up finally.

Sort of.

The mom cat came for a visit which threw me out of my routine and then I had to prepare for the husband cat to be in the Falklands for the next two months. Also, I'm registered with the NMC (woop woop).

But enough of the life update. Here is the goal update... slow start?

1) Complete the A to Z Challenge
Two days left! I've watched all the movies and written the last post. Time to start visiting other blogs en masse (a little late I know, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't keep procrastinating somewhere in my life...).

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

2) UK Driver's License
When I started this post I had only picked up the form. I'm now on my way to a "provisional license".

3) Novel Outline for Hashtag Kissing Katie.
Yeah... that hasn't happened yet.

4) Run twice a week.
So, a couple weeks ago I was being all dramatic about having to be on crutches and not being to run etc etc. I'm not crutches following my specialist appointment (huzzah) and after a two week TKD break, adding various stretches, and adding other leg strengthening exercises, I have permission to start a walk to run programme next week (double huzzah).

I try not to bore people with whining, but I think it's healthy to indulge in fifteen minutes of self-pity every now and again. Only as long as you can snap yourself out it.

You'll know when it happens again.

5) Take a Multivitamin daily.
It hasn't been daily but certainly more consistent Monday to Friday. Massive improvement.

6) Do my TKD blue belt grading.
Due to the issues surrounding 4), I've had to take a bit of a break. This may or may not affect my decision to do my grading in this set of goals. I still have two months: anything can happen.

7) Post five chapters of #KK
I still have two months: anything can happen.

8) See Tegan and Sara in Manchester, June 8
It's London instead of Manchester and it's the 11th instead of the 8th. But I'm still going to see them!


9) Visit four more English Heritage sites. 
While my mom was visiting we did more day trips in Southern England and visited two English Heritage sites and two associated sites. I'll blog about them shortly, but in chronological order we visited: Farnham Castle Keep, Silchester Roman Amphitheater & Walls, Roman Baths in Bath, and the Fashion Museum in Bath. Two down, two to go.

10) Read two more books.
Finished reading "Emma" by Jane Austen. Started reading "Northanger Abbey" by Jane Austen. The former was a pleasant read, that latter is becoming a bit painful...

11) Two more chapters for Elisa's Thoughts.
I still have two months: anything can happen.

12) Goodreads widget for my blog. 

27 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: X is for xXx: State of the Union

I have mad ambidextrous skillz. Naht!

Movie: xXx: State of the Union (2005)

Overall Rating: 0.5 / 5

General Impressioin: I feel like any effort put into telling you my opinion would over-validate this movie. Srsly, what kind of crap was this?

Lame characters, lame dialogue, lame action, lame stunts, lame plot, lame lame lame.

I would expect Ice Cube to pick up a role like this, but Samuel L Jackson? Scott Speedman? Really? I am disappoint. Somehow Vin Diesel was smart enough not to pick this sequel up.

As a final note, I know I complained in my 'N' post that it was difficult to find movies to watch with that letter? I take that back. 'X' is much harder when you're not interested in watching porn.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

26 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: W is for Warhorse

Movie: Warhorse (2011)

Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5

General Impression: Two things I typically dislike: World War movies and animal movies. Together? The concept is horrendous.


This wasn't bad.


Family centric, a lack of depth, and still an animal centric movie I couldn't rate it much higher. I did find that the intertwined storylines great and that some depth was shown by presenting a few different perspectives of the peoples involved in the war. The acting, directing, and the bits and bobs of the movie well done so it's alright but it's not something I'd tell people to make sure they've seen.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

25 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: V is for The Vow

Movie: The Movie (2012)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: I think because the movie was based on true events I found this movie quite romantic and enjoyable. I'm not a softie but there were moments where I was nearly brought to tears and I was so glad to finally see a happy ending.

Channing Tatum prancing around half and fully naked did contribute to the movie's charm as well...

Just saying.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

24 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: U is for Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning

Check out this gun show...

Movie: Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)

Overall Rating: 1.5 / 5

General Impression: What a crap movie.

I gave a 1.5 because of some cool fights and Scott Adkins, but overall I was bored. I feel like I should have watched the other three Universal Soldiers for this one to make sense, but then, if you have good writers they should be able to fill in the gaps. Or do I have too high of expectations?

Also, I'm so not a Dolph Lundgren fan. Dolph had too many lines and he. Just. Irritates. Me.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

23 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: T is for Taken

Movie: Taken (2008)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: OMG what a thriller.

Even though the movie wasn't action from start to finish I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Liam Neeson makes the baddest bad ass dads ever and the rest of the characters were cast well too. The action scenes weren't very flowry but I kind of liked the roughness of them and the cinematography accompanying it.

I only took one point off for the moments of brutality that I found hard to stomach. Overall I loved it and would definitely recommend it.


22 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: S is for Skyfall

Movie: Skyfall (2012)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: Ah yes, Daniel Craig again. With Judi Dench (my hero).

When Pierce Brosnan was James Bond that was when I was first introduced into the franchise. I thought they were decent action movies and had no idea what kind of history the name had. I enjoy Daniel Craig and the most recent 007 movies with him. They feel like real movies, not just a formula, "Quantum of Solace" being the most true of that statement. "Skyfall" felt a bit more like they used the formula, but it didn't take away from the overall story. Especially since the "Bond Girl" Severine was so short lived.

I mean that literally.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

20 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: R is for Rise of the Guardians

Movie: Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: I watched this movie Easter weekend and it was probably the best time to watch it since the story itself was set shortly before Easter. Which got me wondering why it was released around Christmas and "The Croods" was released around Easter...

Sorry, a tangent.

I can't really find any fault in this movie: it had action, cuteness, depth, fantasy, memorable characters, character development, great CGI, and great voice acting. Definitely a movie worth watching if you're looking for something light hearted and family friendly. Or just light hearted.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

19 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: Q is for Quills

Movie: Quills (2000)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: I was 14 when this movie came out and I'm glad I didn't watch it then: I wouldn't have understood or appreciated it. It's a brilliantly told story about a writer of erotica trying to keep publishing while housed in an insane asylum in the Napoleonic era.

It's a bizarre story of love, sex, and trying to get ahead and then it all falling apart in the end. Geoffrey Rush, Joaquin Phoenix, and Kate Winslet are brilliant in their roles. The cinematography and score are wonderful and I would definitely recommend it.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

18 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: P is for Priest

Movie: Priest (2011)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: I enjoyed this movie. It felt a bit nostalgic for two reasons, the first being that it felt like a classic blockbuster from when I was a kid that you got excited to go to the movies to watch. The second was it was based on a Korean graphic novel, the kind I would have read when I was in high school.

Good times.

I didn't know it was based on a graphic novel until after I watched the movie and it makes sense: the different spin on "Church" and "Religion", the "Wild West", and "Vampire" concepts were well done and without having read the novel, I can't fault the cinematic result. I'm a Paul Bettany and Karl Urban fan and so I was a little biased when I say I think the acting was great.

It's kind of a niche movie so I recommend it if you're into this genre (dystopian, paranormal, action, etc).

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

17 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: O is for Ong Bak

Movie: Ong Bak (2003)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: Why have I never seen this movie before?

I'll be honest, I thought it was going to be cheesy and ten years ago (yes ten) I was inundated with cheesy martial arts movies and if China couldn't produce something a little less cheesy then how could Thailand? Well, Thailand could and seriously, Tony Jaa and his stunts? Brilliant.

Granted, it was a bit of a predictable storyline with archetype characters, but I enjoyed it all the same. I would only recommend this movie if you're into action and martial arts movies. 

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

16 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: N is for New Year's Eve

I feel like a communist with this picture...

Movie: New Year's Eve (2011)

Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5

General Impression: I realize it's not even close to New Year's Eve, but do you know how difficult it is to find a decently interesting movie starting with 'N'? Very difficult, let me assure you.

I can't quite tell you why I gave this movie only a 3.5. It wasn't a terrible movie but it didn't really knock my socks off. I enjoy story formats where you have a half dozen side stories that are all separated by one or two degrees but I found the stories I wanted to know more about were actually given the least amount of time, like Halle Berry's character and her husband. Perhaps because it hit closer to home than the rest.

There were sweet, cute, and endearing moments that I guess you can let yourself be inspired by. I had a fangirl moment when I saw Til Schweiger appear. He doesn't sound quite normal when he's speaking English, however. My most favourite story was Michelle Pfeiffer's character. You don't know anything about her backstory but that didn't seem to matter as her character crossed off all of her New Year's Resolutions. Just in time to make some new ones.

I can sympathize with a fellow list maker and crosser-off-er.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

15 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: M is for Morning Glory

Movie: Morning Glory (2010)

Overall Rating: 3.5 / 5

General Impression: I had seen the trailer several years ago and always wanted to see it because it looked funny, Harrison Ford as a grumpy old man and all of that. In actuality, the movie was far slower and a bit teenage awkward for parts of it. However, there were some endearing and hilarious moments that redeemed the movie, mostly because Rachel McAdams is cute and the movie left me feeling somewhat inspired.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

14 April 2013

Tegan and Sara (2 / 12)

Tegan and Sara.

I have tickets to see them in London on June 11.

With Susi M.

That is all.

Who else is going to a concert?

13 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: L is for Layer Cake

Soz for bad picture. :(

Movie: Layer Cake (2004)

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

General Impression: I watched this movie based on a recommendation from Mark Means when he commented on my C is for Cowboys & Aliens post. I had never seen any previews for "Layer Cake" so I actually didn't know what to expect. It was a good movie, and I would recommend it if anyone is a Daniel Craig fan. However, I really dislike movies about drugs and gangsters so that's is the only reason I didn't give it a 5 / 5. The acting, the little bit of action, the humour, and the story were all impeccable.

Except the ending.

The ending was poo.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

12 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: K is for King Kong

Movie: King Kong (2005)

Overall Rating: 1 / 5

General Impression: Boring. Lame. Not even Jack Black or Adrien Brody could redeem this adaptation. That is all.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

11 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: J is for Judge Dredd

Movie: Judge Dredd (2012)

Overall Rating: 3 / 5

General Impression: I am disappointed with this movie.

It wasn't a terrible movie per se, but I had expected a little bit more. More back story, more character development, more... more... meaning? I can't fault Karl Urban's performance for the role he was given, but the character felt very RoboCop like. There was no development on his part: Just a seasoned and embittered vet. His rookie, played by Olivia Thirlby, I think should have been pitched as the star. Her character had back story, it made sense, she was cool and could hold her own (I also like how her character wasn't massively sexualized either). Lena Headey who played the villain also did credit to her role and it was an interesting dynamic to have such a ruthless female villain in an action flick.

The action and soundtrack was also pretty rockin' but those parts of awesome were overshadowed by lack of back story, the isolation of the story (I was always waiting for the bigger picture to come into view), and the sheer brutality of how people were treated in the movie. I don't have a weak stomach, but it was quite graphic and felt unnecessarily so. In my opinion, this movie had so much potential and it just didn't fulfill it. I have to say the original adaptation in 1995 with Sylvester Stallone was better.

Though, if you're into action, it's a good shoot 'em up film.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

10 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: I is for I Am Number Four

Movie: I am Number Four (2011)

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5

General Impression: Loved it!

It has Sci-Fi, it has action, it has romance, it has coming of age themes, and it even has a bit of humour, though I know the trailer doesn't show much of anything besides Sci-Fi and action. I can't say that I knew any of the cast before the movie which worked in it's favour because I could keep a very open mind. The acting was top notch along with the pacing, the story, the characters, the CG, and there were some absolutely wicked action sequences.

If I start talking about it too much I know I'm going to give too much away because so many things were fantastic so I'll conclude with it was a very solid movie and I definitely recommend it.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

09 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: H is for The Hulk

Not bad for someone not ambidextrous

Movie: The Hulk (2003)

Overall Rating: 1 / 5

General Impression: I know I'm more of a Marvel fan, but I've never been a Hulk fan despite the frequent appearances in various story lines. So I still don't know if I should be ashamed of myself for not having watched this movie until now. On the other hand, I feel like this movie is a number of minutes I will never have back in my life. The cinematography, action, and CG animation I can't complain about, and the actors didn't really bother me either. What bothered me was exactly how lamely everything was executed and the pacing and character dynamics were horrendous. I had trouble concentrating on the movie because I was bored to tears.


08 April 2013

12 Things in 12 Weeks Update 1/12

I meant to get this up yesterday but the A to Z "rest day" I took seriously. Well, where the internet was concerned. I didn't read or blog or anything instead, I spent the afternoon tidying the shed.

Oh, the shed.

Another location to put things out of sight and out of mind.

Happy for you, I won't be out of sight from your respective feeds and updates with a second blog post today as I check in with my 12 Things in 12 Weeks until Summer Solstice goals.

1. As per my Solstice goals list, I needed to add a GoodReads widget to my blog. It's done! Though you'll have to scroll done a bit to see it on your right. I am thoroughly enjoying GoodReads and the lists it lets me make.

2. Purchase a Foam Roller. If you've been with me for a while you'll know that I have some knee problems. Physio recommended I use one regularly along with various glute exercises to help with my IT band problems so I can start running again.

3. In spite of doing my physio I need to remove "Run twice a week" from my goal list. It's killed me to do that since I was gearing up for the running thing: it looked like my knee was on the mend. I went for a run about ten days ago and I couldn't even get to the ten minute mark before my leg and knee started to hurt. Even TKD training was painful.

Yes, I wanted to cry.

In my follow up appointment with my physiotherapist she said she was disappointed with me that I wasn't improving and suggested a cortisone injection. I had the idea rolling around in my head for a while but I was a devastated cat when I learned I need to be on crutches for three weeks.

No running, no walking, no work, and no training.

As down as I am about it, I'm not going to let it stop me. Walking with crutches is slow, but it's still walking, and there's no reason why I can't swim until I can get back on my feet. Literally. Granted, it's been hard the last couple days to construct a routine that won't aggravate my knee too much, but you know what? My knee hurts if I'm taking a rest or if I'm training, so I might as well find some way to train.

Anybody else having some bumps in the road to their goals?

A to Z Challenge: G is for Gabriel

Movie: Gabriel (2007)

Overall Raiting: 2.5 / 5

General Impression: I saw the trailer and I was intrigued because it had that sort of "The Crow" feeling to it. The star, Andy Whitfield (RIP), who was also the star of "Spartacus", did well in his role, but I though the story and the action left a lot to be desired. It was a budget supernatural and action movie and it showed. I was quite disappointed with the movie and would definitely NOT recommend this movie.

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z 

06 April 2013

A to Z Challenge: F is for The First Grader

Movie: The First Grader (2011)

Overall Rating: 4.5 / 5

General Impression: Wow.

I had to come back to write this several hours after I watched the movie because I was quite moved by it and the events it was based on. I must admit, I know little about Kenya's history and the struggles it has gone through. This movie opened my eyes, though I'm not so naive to think that the brutality displayed in the movie didn't happen for years to the people there. It was a tricky subject matter to tackle but the cinematography, the characters, the acting, the pace, the score, everything was really well done.

Definitely recommend this.