On being late to the party…

Every now and then a film/book/tv series is released and becomes THE thing to see. It takes over – all of your friends have seen it, it’s on all the social media sites and before you know it there are songs in the charts and merchandise everywhere.

I am one of those people that always misses them. Sometimes it’s because I tried it and I’m not keen (Game of Thrones springs to mind) and sometimes out of pure stubbornness. One of the stubborn moments occurred around the release of Disney’s Frozen. Very quickly it was everywhere, even at university, and I was told time and time again ‘You have to watch this movie’. The song was everywhere, there were quotes thrown around and people were giggling at the concept of Snowmen who wanted to see the summer.

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Image by Lin1130

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Ender’s Game: book vs movie

Over the Easter break I disappeared to the North for some well-deserved relaxing time with the Bearded One. While I was there I did the obligatory uni work, but also took the chance to catch up on my reading for fun. One of the books that has been on my Nook for some time is sci-fi classic Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (what a name!). It was awesome! I had no idea what to expect from it and was completely lost from start to finish. On returning home, I thought I would check out the recent movie. Big mistake.

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On the Oscars

Yes I know, it’s everywhere today. No matter where you look there will comments about Leo missing out yet again, how obvious it was that 12 Years a Slave would get Best Picture, or THAT selfie. So I thought I would share my views.

First of all, I must tell you that I think very little of award ceremonies. Whether it’s for film, television or books, I can recognise that something has won an award but that holds very little weight with me. I’m a judge-it-for-myself kind of person. I am that annoying person that avoids something because everyone says I HAVE to see it. So I didn’t watch the award ceremony last night, but I did go online as soon as I woke up to find out the winners. And I was so happy with what I saw.

Image courtesy of @TheEllenShow

Image courtesy of @TheEllenShow

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IBiS Lit Badges

What on earth, I hear you say. What is an IBiS Lit Badge and how do I get one? Well let me explain.

IBiS is a fabulous blog written by associate literary agent Maria Vicente. I discovered this in the early days of January when I was trawling the internet looking at new years resolution ideas. This is my favourite and is something I am very very slowly working my way through. The idea of the Lit badges is to get you to read a variety of things you wouldn’t normally choose, to broaden your literary horizons as it were. There are 24 badges to aim for and you have the whole year to get through them. That’s only 2 a month which I think is more than achievable. So which have I got so far?

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Why ‘The Amazing Spiderman’ kicks ass

Christmas is a time for relaxing, watching lots of movies and tv and eating as much junk food as you can mange without exploding. For once, I’ve been managing to do just that. Granted I have been writing and doing uni work at the same time but I’ve managed to relax more than I usually do. So far today I’ve watched ‘Stardust’ (always makes me feel Christmasy, don’t know why) and ‘The Amazing Spiderman’. Which I have decided is one of the best superhero movies made recently. Why, I hear you ask. One reason.

Gwen Stacey.

Emma Stone as Gwen Stacey

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Are Fantastic Beasts fans feeling excitement or apathy?

This is just a very quick post to shamelessly plug my latest article written for Yahoo Movies about the new Fantastic beasts movie that is currently in production. Please have a read if you think it will interest you at all.

http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/fans-fantastic-beasts-feeling-excitement-apathy-102200603.html

Thanks everyone. Have a good day and there will be a proper post soon, I promise!

Fantastic Beasts – who’s excited?

Today I’m after your opinions!  I am in the process of writing an article about Harry Potter fans and whether or not they are excited about the new ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’ movie.  Now personally, I’m really looking forward to it and am excited about seeing the wizarding world before it went really bad.  But I am only one person, and ‘fans’ is definitely a plural.

So I ask you all, readers and Potterheads, what are your thoughts?  Are you dancing for joy in your Gryfinndor pyjamas at the prospect of more Potter, or would you rather the whole magical mess be put to rest?

Please post your thoughts, comments, musings below and let me know exactly how you’re feeling.

Onwards and upwards

So today my first ever paid article has been published!  I am so happy and excited about it and am sharing it as much as I possibly can.  I have my friend Dan to thank for putting me onto the Yahoo Contributor Network, where I was given this article to write.  I have a second article for them in the pipeline as well at the moment.  I just can’t quite believe that I’ve actually been paid to write something!  It feels so good and makes me feel like I’m actually progressing towards that dream of being a ‘real’ writer when I graduate.

If you’d like to read the article please feel free.  You can find it at:

http://uk.movies.yahoo.com/potter-characters-might-fantastic-beasts-100500993.html

Here’s to many more paid jobs in the future!

Harry Potter’s effect on education

Final year of university is definitely upon me.  The late nights have begun, the panic has set in and, true to student style, rather than confront my workload I am avoiding it.  With Harry Potter.

Like most people my age, Potter was a massive part of growing up.  With each new step at school I was accompanied with Harry’s steps into the wizarding world.  I had a new head teacher, he had a new defence against the dark arts teacher.  I got a new pet hamster, Hermione treated herself to a cat.  I was faced with my GCSEs, Harry was cramming for his OWLs.  And so my life continued.  And seemed dull in comparison.

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Oz the Great and Powerful: Movie Review

WARNING:  THIS REVIEW CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS

oz

Sam Raimi’s vision of Oz is opulent and magnificent, like Fleming’s original Oz on speed. The colours are dramatic and the land is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Unfortunately, the over acting and tacky cgi lets it down.

Oz the Great and Powerful follows the wizard Oz (played by James Franco), or Oscar Diggs as he was known in our world, as he travels to Oz and attempts to save the land from the evil witches Theodora and Evanora (sisters if you hadn’t guessed). With the help of the good witch Glinda and a host of Ozian helpers, Oz saves the land while transforming himself into the wizard they proclaimed him to be.

The film has some touching salutes to the 1939 movie we all know and love. Beginning in black and white it has an old world feel until Franco’s arrival into Oz, where the colour bleeds into the picture until you reach for your sunglasses. Sadly, the extended opening begins to grate due to the tiny picture in the centre of your screen (we spent ten minutes adjusting the screen settings on our tv before realising it was intentional).

The scenery is, as I have already mentioned, absolutely magnificent. I can see myself being overwhelmed in the cinema. However, watching on a relatively small screen at home it already looked dated as Franco flew majestically over what was obviously a green screen. He and his balloon basket were the only realistic thing flying over the land that looked less real than Garland’s Oz from seventy years ago.

Mila Kunis as Theodora, the good witch turned bad, gives a very emotional and real performance from her first moment of meeting the great wizard. She is tender and vulnerable, nervously admitting she has never danced with a boy before. Her early scenes with Franco are both beautiful and sad thanks to his callous treatment of her. Unfortunately, once Kunis becomes the green hag we are familiar with she becomes almost cartoonish with her screeching and evil cackle. I feel a slightly softer tone would have done better than the ear splitting shriek she chose to communicate with.

Franco’s Oz is a complex character that takes quite an emotional journey through the film. He begins as the overbearing, self-centred magician at a travelling show and ends a sentimental and lovely wizard ruling the land. His relationship with Zach Braff’s Finley, the flying monkey, is particularly lovely and the development of their friendship gives you hope that he can become a better man. Regrettably some of his scenes can be wildly overacted, enough to shake you from your enjoyment of an otherwise well-acted character.

On a positive note, Danny Elfman’s orchestrations are, as always, sublime. In particular his montage music during the preparations for the final battle stir your blood and beautifully work with the screen. His music is magical and almost makes up for the shoddy computer imaging on the screen.

Overall this film was not what I was expecting. A fan of the world of Oz (I have enjoyed both movies and books), I was disappointed with the quality of what should have been an incredible cinematic experience. With an all-star cast of actors I admire, plus a world created by one of the greatest fantasy writers there ever was, I was hoping to sit back and enjoy. Sadly, too many elements of the film tried too hard and ultimately made me regret my time in front of the screen.

Ox the Great and Powerful is available to buy now on blu-ray and DVD