Movie Madness: April Wrap-Up

Movie Madness @ The Talking Teacup & A Girl, Books & Other Things
While nothing beats curling up with a good book and entering a new world, we sure do love a great movie! Comedy, Drama, Action, Thriller; whatever the genre may be, escaping for two hours into a world of Hollywood created bliss is always great fun…
I'm so proud of myself this month because I have been able to watch more movies! Yay :) Here is what I watched this month (some reviews are to come):

  1. Star Trek: The Next Generation
  2. Morgan Spurlock's New Brittania
  3. My Week with Marilyn (2011)
  4. The Lion King (1994)
  5. Penelope(2006)
  6. Star Trek (2009)
  7. Star Trek: The Original Series
  8. Only Fools and Horses
  9. Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
  10. The Hunger Games (2012)
  11. Smash
  12. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Total for this month: 12
Total for the this year: 51


Review: The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King
Directed by: Roger Alles and Rob Minkoff
Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons and James Earl Jones
Genre: Animation
Released: October 7 1994
by Walt Disney Pictures
Running time: 87 minutes (1 hour, 27 minutes)
Cert: U (BBFC) G (MPAA)
Rating:★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
A young lion prince is born in Africa, thus making his uncle Scar the second in line to the throne. Scar plots with the hyenas to kill King Mufasa and Prince Simba, thus making himself King. The King is killed and Simba is led to believe by Scar that it was his fault, and so flees the kingdom in shame. After years of exile he is persuaded to return home to overthrow the usurper and claim the kingdom as his own, thus completing the "Circle of Life".
Shocking, isn't it? I haven't seen The Lion King until now! This is definitely one of those movies where everyone fawns over it in euphoric nostalgia and claims it to be the "best movie of all time" and without even seeing it, I immediately think "it's not that great".

Now that I have watched this, I can give my view on it!

The plot is the main reason as to why I put off watching it. Why? It's pretty much Hamlet acted out by anthropomorphic animals, set in Africa with a sub-plot. Obviously there are extra characters added for comic relief or romantic moments, but the basis of the plot is Hamlet. It's pretty obvious; the king's brother is jealous of his nephew and wants to be the king so he kills his brother, becomes the king and the nephew vows revenge. That aside, this is quite a unique plot for Disney since most Disney animated movies are adaptations of fairy tales or classic childrens' stories. It was nice of them to put a spin on Shakespeare and add things to it.

The voice cast is so humongous that I'm unsure of where to start. Hmm... let's start with the awesomeness that is James Earl Jones! The dude has an epic voice and he was cast perfectly as Mufasa. He sounds like the hero of the movie because his voice is so epic. Here is where I am going to get controversial; I think that Bambi's mother's death was a lot more heartbreaking than Mufasa's. I really do. You want to know why? Animals kill each other out of jealousy every day. There isn't a single human in this movie. Bambi's mother was killed by a hunter that isn't even seen.

Honestly, I wasn't too pleased with Matthew Broderick playing Simba. Like most of the heroes in Disney's movies during the Disney Renaissance, he sounds like a high school heartthrob. That's not good for the hero. I couldn't take him seriously when he was being threatening or angry because he didn't have the right voice for it. I would've preferred Simba to sound like a man, rather than a boy.

The animation of this movie is beautiful, it really is stunning. I love the colours that have been used in the scenery and they really capture how beautiful the African continent really is, rather than it just being a dry and dreary landscape. Well, it is at some point but that's to reflect how the kingdom has changed for the worst.

I have kind of mixed feelings on the music. I'm not a fan of Can You Feel the Love Tonight at all and the lady who sings it in the movie doesn't have a very nice voice in my opinion. I prefer Elton John's version which doesn't appear in the movie but on the soundtrack. However, I love the African feel that the score has, even down to the Swahili backing vocals in some songs. It felt quite authentic.

Overall, this movie was really good, but it's certainly not the greatest movie ever or even the greatest Disney movie ever. I kind of understand why everyone fawns over it, but, in my opinion, there are better Disney movies.

Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games
Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Released: September 14 2008
by Scholastic
Source: Gifted
Rating: ★★★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
MAY THE ODDS BE EVER IN YOUR FAVOUR

WINNING WILL MAKE YOU FAMOUS.
LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH.


In a dark vision of the near future, twelve boys and twelve girls are forced to appear in a live TV show called the Hunger Games. There is only one rule: kill or be killed.

When sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen steps forward to take her sister's place in the games, she sees it as a death sentence. But Katniss has been close to death before. For her, survival is second nature.
I don't know why, but I'm always late when it comes to the latest phenomena and I was incredibly late with The Hunger Games. Getting my paws on a copy was a bit of an adventure in itself - I didn't have any money to buy a copy so I went to the library and they didn't have it. Then I asked my mam to get it out of the library at work and it is always out on loan so she bought the entire trilogy for me as a gift for getting a good report at college. I love my mammy ^_^

Anyways, I was originally quite skeptical about this book since I'd seen some mixed reactions here on the net; some people loved it and others hated it so I put off reading the book for quite some time. Now the movie is out and I always promise myself that if it is a movie adaptation of a book, I must read the book first.

I am aware that people have been making comparisons between The Hunger Games and Battle Royale but before reading this book I had not heard of Battle Royale so I wouldn't have been able to make any comparisons. I have a thing for fight-to-the-death stories, they just seem so interesting and exciting to me. The element of this fight to the death being composed entirely of teenagers and being broadcast live on TV made it even more interesting.

The beginning of the book was a bit slow for me what with all of the preparations for the Games. I kind of expected them to just be thrown into the Area, rather than being beautified and coached on interview skills and trained on how to kill each other. Fortunately, the narrative really picks up once the actual Games begin and the violence starts.

Initially, I didn't really like Katniss. She was quite hard but not really in a good way. To me, she came off as incredibly defensive and I found it horrible that she doesn't trust her own mother. At the beginning she really needed an attitude change, although I can see why her attitude stunk so bad. Thankfully, her attitude does change throughout the book and I started to like her. Girl is bad-ass! I loved how she only killed when she felt she needed to and I liked her morals. I want to be her, but I don't at the same time.

WARNING! SPOILERS!

Makeover!

Yup, the banner is correct, I will be changing the blog very soon to Nerdette Reviews.

Why?

Vandasamur is just too hard to remember and doesn't really grab people's attention. Also, it doesn't have any significance since I don't speak much Icelandic.

So, yeah. I will continue to be posting but from now on, I will be using my real name when I blog. I'm bored of using Harker.

I will be changing the blog name and URL properly once I have the layout, banner and other graphics completed.

Keep watching this space!

Review: Schindler's List (1993)

Schindler's List
Directed by: Steven Speilberg
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes and Ben Kingsley.
Genre: Historical Drama / Biopic
Released: 15 December 1993
by Universal Pictures
Running time: 195 mins (3 hrs, 15 mins)
Cert: 15 (BBFC) R (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
The true story of Czech born Oskar Schindler, a businessman who tried to make his fortune during the Second World War by exploiting cheap Jewish labour, but ended up penniless having saved over 1000 Polish Jews from almost certain death during the Holocaust.
Before this review, I'd never watched this movie in full. I'd only ever seen the beginning and the Krakow Ghetto Liquidation scene (the red coat part)  but I've always wanted to watch it in full, despite the many warnings that I would cry.

While I didn't cry at this movie, I nearly did. I really have to give Steven Spielberg a lot of credit, because this movie is so beautifully made. One of the reasons why I favour black and white movies over ones in Technicolor is because you're pulled into the plot and not distracted by fancy effects or pretty colours. This movie achieves that so well.

I love Liam Neeson. He is a wonderful actor and can mould into whatever the script demands of him. He made an incredibly believable Schindler and I can't really imagine anyone else doing as good as job as him. One thing that astounded me when the movie started was how young he is here! I have to admit, at the very end when Schindler breaks down and cries because he "could have gotten more" really got to me. When Liam Neeson cries, that's the time for me to cry.

Ralph Fiennes made Amon Goeth look like a complete monster. And that's a good thing, because the real Goeth was a monster. He was quite a few things; he was a sadistic, vile, repulsive, childish monster who deserved to be executed! I don't think that hanging was good enough for him, I should have gotten more, just to show him what it was like to be one of the thousands he had killed. Even his mistressthough that he was childish:

"Amon, you're such a DAMNED FUCKING CHILD!"

There is very little negatives I can say about this movie. I just wish that they would put subtitles when people are speaking in German, or Polish or French (not necessarily Hebrew because those are just prayers) because I would then be able to understand what people are saying.

I never cry at movies. I never have. This movie nearly succeeded in that. A movie would have to be incredibly moving to make me cry and this movie is powerfully moving, I'm glad that I borrowed this from my friend Stu. I'd highly recommend watching this while cuddling into a tissue box.

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
My pick this week:
The Lucky Ones
(Bright Young Things #3)
Anna Godbersen
Expected publication: September 18 2012
by Harper Teen

Add to Goodreads
Letty's rising star is threatened by a new rival...

Astrid's relationship with Charlie takes a dark turn...

And Cordelia vows revenge against the Hales - once and for all...

I love the Bright Young Things series and I am so excited for this book! I'm glad that there is now a better cover on Goodreads, the one before was a lot smaller and hard to see.

But anyway, I love the covers of this series! They kinda make me feel jealous of the models >.< I want hair like that!

What are you waiting on this week?
Leave me a link in the comments and I'll make sure to drop by!

Teaser Tuesday (2)


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading where each week we grab the book that we're currently reading, let it fall open at a random page and share two sentences from that page.




This week my teaser comes from Suzanne Collins' The Hunger Games: 



For a moment, no response. Then one of Rue's eyes edges around the trunk. "You want me for an ally?"
I haven't gotten very far in this book, but from what I have read, I am really enjoying it! I've been wanting to read this book for a while and it was a struggle to get it because I didn't have any money and it wasn't in the library.

What are you reading this week? Leave me a link to your teaser and I'll make sure to drop by!

Review: A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd

A Swift Pure Cry
Siobhan Dowd
Genre: YA Historical Drama
Released: February 1 2007 (first published March 2 2006)
by Definitions
Source: Borrowed from library
Rating: ★★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
Life has been hard for Shell since the death of her mam. Her dad has given up work and turned his back on reality, leaving Shell to care for her brother and sister. When she can, she spends time with her best friend Bridie and the charming, persuasive Declan, sharing cigarettes and irrreverent jokes.

Shell is drawn to the kindness of Father Rose, a young priest, but soon kinds herself the centre of an escalating scandal that rocks the small Irish community to its foundations.

I originally picked up this book having no idea what it was about as I was drawn to the picture that was on the spine and the cover. I have a thing for covers that make me think "what the hell is that?" and since the blurb is quite vague, I picked it up for the cover.

I was going to file this under DNF because the first chapter is full of Catholicism when Shell refinds her faith when a new priest gives mass at her church. I do believe in God, but even that was a bit too much for me. I don't mind a few religious references in books, but there are so many in this one that I considered putting it down.

However, I did give it a second chance and I'm glad that I did. Siobhan Dowd has a beautiful and personal narrative style which really captured my attention; I loved the Irish feel to the narrative. Once I picked up this book again, I couldn't put it down. I was too engrossed by Shell's story to put it down, I didn't even bother to sleep.

One thing that really stood out for me was how Dowd makes pregnancy sound and feel. To me, it sounds horrific, especially going into labour. This is one of those books where I would not want to be the main character, especially after all that Shell has been through. I definitely wouldn't want her dad to be my dad. Her dad is the father from hell!

I could actually feel myself getting frustrated at certain characters. The police interrogation scenes that feature Superintendent Molloy made me want to jump inside the book and beat sense into the man (highlight to view spoiler) after he refuses to believe that Shell's baby was a girl and was stillborn, not a boy that was left at the beach to die. The man seemed ignorant and stubborn, which really showed why the police failed and got into a mess. Most of the Coolbar residents seemed to be quite two-faced to me. One minute they're sweet and kind and the next they're saying that they "knew Shell's trouble from the minute they saw her". I've seen these things happen before and it's quite disgusting.

A Swift Pure Cry is beautifully written with a heartbreaking story and I would definitely recommend this to young adult readers.

Musing Mondays (2)

Musing Mondays is a weekly event, hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading, where you are asked a book/reading related question and you answer with your own thoughts on the topic.

Do you belong to any book clubs - face-to-face or online? If so, how long have you been with the group(s)? If not, why?

I was in a book club at school for about two or three years but I stopped going because the school librarian discontinued it. I don't belong to any book-related clubs at college because there aren't any. There should be because there is very little to do at college other than study and talk to people!

I am in a book club on Goodredads which is called Basically Books:

It's quite a warm group and is really fun to be a part of! I'd recommend joining :)