Monday 28 July 2014

July Watch List

Alas, another quiet month for films. Even renting, borrowing and buying them. I was hoping for Boyhood, Finding Vivien Maier and some others would be on here but didn't watch them in time.

How to train your Dragon snuck up on people when it was first released. My sister and I wanted to see it because it dragons in it and of course we liked the story. We fell in love with the film, as did many others. In fact HTTYD is Dreamworks animation's most successful films (rating wise mostly), this is even after all the Shrek rubbish that they've churned out and the Madagascar films too.

Based on the successful children's books series by Cressida Cowell, the second film the planned trilogy, takes place 5 years after the events after the first film, all the main teen characters are all grown up. Excellent sign that there is already character development. Berk has fully embraced dragons and all is well, except there is trouble on the horizon in the shape of Drogo who commands a dragon army (in chains) and has set his sights on conquering the dragon master (Hiccup) and all the dragons on Berk. Oh and if you've seen the trailer, Hiccup's mother makes a dramatic entrance. Its a beautiful film. I hate to say it but the sequences between mother and son flying are (sorry I said this) breath taking. Everything about this film ticks all the boxes, the characters are brilliant and as I've said, they actually developed. The dragons are amazing and all unique, each with their own quirks and secrets. The film even goes dark which is brilliant but I can't say more than that. Only down side, Cate Blanchet's accent is the worst I've ever heard. Hint, its meant to be Scottish. That aside its an amazing film. If Dreamworks keeps producing films like this, Pixar AND Disney better think of something decent quick, no darn Planes crap and run of the mill safe Frozens.

I saw this film twice I loved it so much. Within two days. 5/5

I've had this Woody Allen film on my to watch list for ages, finally got round to watching it the other day. It was not what I was expecting. I thought it would be funnier, with more tragedy. Instead it was a very run of the mill story, apparently inspired by Pygmalion (My Fair Lady). Allen is Lenny, married, second time to Amanda, she wants a child so they adopt. When the child, Max is older, and they family have had some good times, the married couple go through a bad patch. Lenny then becomes obsessed with finding Max's mother who turns out to be dumb porn star/hooker, Linda (Mira Sorvino). She has the worst voice but well done to Sorvino to making her funny and annoying at the same time. The story is constantly interrupted by a Greek chorus which seemed pointless and stopped the flow of the story. Its not one of his best. 2/5

The trailer looked amusing for the film about a New York socialite who was once a promising playwright then hits rock bottom after she loses her job and her boyfriend breaks up with her, oh and she pretends to commit suicide. She is then forced into the care of her mother and live in New Jersey. Kristen Wiig is always great to watch but with all the other characters having their own overwhelming issues and annoyances her story is drowned out and made to look like 'she just made the wrong decision'. Although, there are some funny scenes and heart warming moments, it all felt a bit too generic. 3/5

Sunday 20 July 2014

What's a Hen To Do

After weeks of careful planning and excellent organisational skills, thank you so much to my fellow bridesmaids, the Hen Do of the year took place.

My sister is getting married next month and we wanted to make the best 'sending off' party. I never understood why at hen dos they make the bride wear a L plate. It's weird. Apart from that, we did follow in tradition, we got my sister a veil to wear, along a shot glass she could wear around her neck with a small surprise inside. We even got some straws shaped into phallic objects and fashioned the balloons into something similar. We also bought my sister a fancy sash to wear.

The evening went off without a hitch and everyone (I hope) had a great time. We started the evening at one of the bridesmaid's flats where she put on an amazing spread. My contribution was the good old rocky road - this time with added ice cream.

We all gathered early and surprised my sister with drinks, food, decorations and a Mr & Mrs quiz, where I asked her fiancé some questions via video and she guessed the answers - if she got them wrong she had to take a shot. Most enjoyable.

Drink Shop Do, a brilliant place for cocktails and a dance, was our next stop. Not Do S**t Bake, which is what someone thought it was. The cocktails were delicious, as usual, and we also got to dance to some cheesy music! The party continued on at The House of Wolf a pretty impressive, if small, club in Islington. It was an old victorian music hall, with an Apothecary bar making experimental drinks complete with a secret room. It is also where my sister tried to bargain with a shot girl. We actually ended up staying until closing time - 4am!

But we couldn't resist the empty dance floor towards the end and the non-stop 90s classics. But I couldn't stand for the last few songs, my feet had had it. 

It was a brilliant night, so glad that everyone made and my sister had an amazing - and one amazing hangover the next day

Saturday 12 July 2014

In Panoramic View

This week I went to Cornwall, mainly to visit the Seal Sanctuary in Gweek, I do love those seals, but the trip was also meant to be a relaxing few days away from work. Alas it wasn't quite that.

The trip got off to a good (and very early start). We visited the self named 'world famous' Jamaica Inn and had coffee. Next was the Seal Sanctuary and we arrived just at the right time - feeding time. But after a mix up with B&Bs booked and the wrong location, things went down hill. Well not completely down hill. We had dinner, which was delicious, in the Pandora Inn situated on the Helford River close to Falmouth. We were staying in Truro, which I described as Fawlty Towers and not in a good way. I had the worst night's sleep, with the paper thin walls and the plumbing noises tearing through the walls and ceiling, I ended up being violently ill at 4am. By the morning I was worse. Not a great second day.

We walked around Falmouth, had a look at the art gallery, my parents even persuaded one of the curators to look at the art not in display. We then decided to take the ferry out to St Maws. I would have enjoyed the ferry ride if I had not been so ill or cold, I regret to say I spent my time in the cabin huddled against the wall. 

St Maws was amazing, such a beautiful harbour. I'm always amazed at how places in Cornwall don't look like they belong in UK. The water was so blue and clear! I attempted to eat a sandwich at lunch and managed one bite, I could barely move. I was still hustled off to the coastal walk up the hill to St Maws Castle.

Despite all my aches and pains that day I still managed to get some panoramic shots, taking in as much as possible before I fainted.

I spent the afternoon and evening in my B&B room partly in a delirium and partly sleeping the most uncomfortable bed ever. 

The last day was better, at least this time I managed breakfast. We drove to a cove near Redruth on our way home, I took many b&w photos which won't be seen for some time (I still have film left) but I went panoramic crazy. I tried to take a full photo of the ocean but the waves ruined the framing. But the three below came out nice. Again, another location that you wouldn't think was in UK.

Despite the illness and the crashing headaches, I enjoyed my time. Wish I hadn't been so ill. Hopefully I will return to Cornwall soon or maybe next year, we'll just have to see.

I did get to revisit a familiar sight. Hello old friend.

Sunday 6 July 2014

It's A Jungle In There!

No, not sport. If you're looking for sporty things, you are definitely in the wrong place.

I mean the drinking game. The film drinking game. Plus a megaphone.

Last week's choice, a classic 90's family film filled with adventure, laughter and highly dangerous animals. Jumanji. I hear those drums beating again.

The event was hosted by a friend from work had the best place for it, she had a projector! Jumanji on the wall. The game was and is simple. It is simple as we plan on doing this game again, there's been talk of Space Jam. And was simple because it was, film plays, I yell out the rules, we all drink.

I always advise, drinks responsibly, know your limits and choose your drinks carefully. When we all watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, one was to drink whenever its obvious the Bucket family were poor. One member in our company found out that vodka is not their drink, there was crying involved during this rule.

I was in charge of rules and thought about them carefully, there has to be enough that we drink but also have gaps to breath. It's also a game so it just be easy. Luckily I had my megaphone this time as it was crowed during the last game, I got a sore throat from yelling out the rules, plus I was quite out of it.

The rules for playing Jumanji: Drinking Game

Drink when:
-the dice is rolled
-when a clue or rule is read out
-you hear the game drums
-the name 'Parrish' is said or seen (this one is a killer for the first 10 minutes)
-the game changes hands (another killer for about 5 minutes during the shopping scene, the game changes hands so many times)
-a monkey (not Peter) is on screen
-something happens to Carl's car - a shot for when it is finally carried away by the giant plant
-you see the stumpy rhino lagging behind
-whenever Van Pelt shoots his gun
-when the games ends
-when someone says 'Jumanji'

-Do a shot when Van Pelt screams in the supermarket

-Don't make up random rules during the film

Now go and enjoy a cheap night in with film loving friends. I also recommend; Die Hard, Indiana Jones, Beetlejuice, Back to the Future and Jurassic Park - I'm working on adding these rules too.