Monday, 17 April 2017

Movie Review: Beauty and The Beast


So I meant to write this review much sooner than I have, mainly because I had so many feelings and emotions after the movie. But sometimes giving myself time to ruminate over those reactions can help me decide if they were just knee jerk reactions or if they are constructive to my review. To start off full disclosure, Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney Princess movie of all time so I feel slightly more critical.

Looks wise I think Emma Watson fits the bill perfectly, I just can’t say I was overly impressed with Emma Watsons acting. It just felt a bit off and quite stiff. In part this could be to do with the fact that a lot of the time she would be acting opposite a CGI character and that would be unimaginable awkward in more serious, emotional scenes.
 I think it was made even more evident in the end scenes where the beast is dying, I just couldn’t feel it. I didn’t expect to be moved to tears or anything but her acting felt insincere particularly in this scene and the animated movie just seemed to capture the pain and heartbreak much better.

The new songs and fill in of the back story we missed in the Disney original was great. I loved the little bits about the beasts past and explanation of how the village had completely forgotten about the castle and its inhabitants. I particularly adored the Beasts song ‘Evermore’ it had a Phantom of the Opera-esque feel to it, ‘Days in the Sun’ and ‘How Does a Moment Last Forever’ were a delight as well. Of course all the old favourites were present and delivered by some great talent like Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson and Audra McDonald (I didn’t even know she could sing!)

The Beast himself, while obviously being CGI had some great voice acting done by Dan Stevens and as I mentioned his solo song was impressive. Gaston and LeFou were very good and the actors well chosen for their respective roles Gaston was the epitome of arrogant and manly just as I remember him from the original movie. The little nod at the end toward LeFou and his romantic preferences was endearing and surprisingly brave in a Disney movie.  

Overall, I was impressed with the movie but I wasn’t in love with it. The original will always hold a place in my heart that will be hard to replace, and there’s just something about animated Belle and Beasts romance that is so much more believable to me. Not to mention I’ve loved animated Beast since before I can remember, and I still prefer him to the CGI beast (although Dan Stevens voice is delicious and does give animated Beast a run for his money).

Lastly, it may have something to do with the fact that I prefer my men ruff and rugged with beards, but I’ve always liked the beast more before he got transformed into his princely self (too clean shaven and boyish for me) and this especially holds true in the animated version. Is that weird? Am I the only one who finds him less attractive as a Prince? I need to know I’m not alone in this haha.



What Did you guys think of the new Beauty and the Beast remake?


Image Credits: 
Belle gif- Giphy.com

Sunday, 12 March 2017

February Wrap-Up

And here we go sailing into March. I didn't get a lot of reading done in February, I blame the month for being short, but I also took some time out of my home town to soak up some of the last of the summer sun at the beach for a few weekends.

Normally that would mean a whole lot of reading for me and my introverted self, but the friends we stayed with are pretty outdoorsy and always need to be doing something (unlike me who is quite content with plonking myself on the sofa and reading the weekend away). So that meant a lot of time swimming at the beach, paddle-boarding and just generally being social in situations where pulling out a book to read may have been interpreted as rude. 

A good time was still had all round and I definitely had a lot of fun (apart from my alabaster skin getting fried in the sun, which lucky with my genetics eventually faded into a nice tan). 

Finished 


 Reboot by Amy Tintera Rebel by Amy Tintera
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks  Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally None of the Above by I.W. Gregorio

Reboot and Rebel were a duology, which I was happily surprised by. It came out some time ago and I've had it on my TBR for a while now. I picked it up on a whim and was instantly caught up in the story. I'll have a review of both books out later this month. If you're looking for a diverse read, I highly recommend None of the Above. It was a greatly informational book while also being entertaining . You can find my full review here. 

I managed to read A Walk to Remember in a day. While I wouldn't say its the most fast paced book, there is something delightfully charming about its story. However, I do prefer the movie adaptation than the book, same with The Notebook. Coming up for Air, is an ARC I was lucky enough to receive. It was probably my favorite book of the month and I have to say it is my favorite of the Hundred Oak series thus far, and I enjoyed it immensely more than her last release 'Defending Taylor'. (My Review for Defending Taylor can be found Here)


Up Next In March

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea (Between, #1)The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1) The Vincent Brothers (The Vincent Boys, #2)


Other Favorites



So I built a fort in my living room, because you know I'm 26 and live with my fiance in our own home, so why not? I mean it was a little embarrassing when his auntie showed up unannounced at our house, as you know we're suppose to be adults and all but pfftt. Basically we built the fort so we could watch telly and play playstation in it and that's basically what we did all weekend. (If you want to see a short video of what our fort looked like, it's on my Instagam :P)

So now I'm back into playing GTA 5, and I'm pretty close to clocking the games main story line. I've sunk a lot of my reading hours into this this past week haha but it's been so worth it and it's also helped with my anxiety quite a bit.

I've also started back into watching House. M.D after taking a little break. While I love the show, I feel that the story lines may be different but they do tend to follow the same formula of "This person is sick, they must have this. Treats for specific illness/disease. Oh no, they're not getting better, they must actually have this, lets treat them. Oh no they've gotten worse. Amazing spin at the end, where at the last minute the mystery is solved". Don't get me wrong, I do love the show, but there's only so much I can watch at one time, hence the hiatus for a little while. 




Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Review- None Of The Above (I. W. Gregorio)

None of the Above



Synopsis


A groundbreaking story about a teenage girl who discovers she was born intersex... and what happens when her secret is revealed to the entire school. Incredibly compelling and sensitively told, None of the Above is a thought-provoking novel that explores what it means to be a boy, a girl, or something in between.

What if everything you knew about yourself changed in an instant?


When Kristin Lattimer is voted homecoming queen, it seems like another piece of her ideal life has fallen into place. She's a champion hurdler with a full scholarship to college and she's madly in love with her boyfriend. In fact, she's decided that she's ready to take things to the next level with him.


But Kristin's first time isn't the perfect moment she's planned—something is very wrong. A visit to the doctor reveals the truth: Kristin is intersex, which means that though she outwardly looks like a girl, she has male chromosomes, not to mention boy "parts."
Dealing with her body is difficult enough, but when her diagnosis is leaked to the whole school, Kristin's entire identity is thrown into question. As her world unravels, can she come to terms with her new self?




                     Goodreads.com


Review 


After a bad experience trying to have sex after prom, Kristin visits her OB/GYN as a precaution as her mother had died a few years earlier from cervical cancer. However, the visit is more than she is expecting and after some questions and an examination, the doctor is suspicious Kristin may have a chromosomal abnormality which causes her to externally look female, but internally carry male hormones and have internal male structures. The book covers her life as she learns to accept her new diagnosis, which she is having a tough time dealing with. This is all made worse when people at her school find out. The lack of support she receives from her peers, and the start of bullying, both emotionally and physically at one point, go to show how ignorance breeds fear and hatred.

Kristin is a strong character overall, but also allows herself to show weakness. She has a tough time dealing with all the information being thrown at her all at once, and goes through the stages of grief as a result. The supporting characters were also important in the overall shaping of the novel. There are the best friends, Faith and Vee, who upon discovery of Kristin’s disorder attempt to be supportive but there is also tension and confusion for them as well. Then there is her dad, who tries to help in the only way he knows how, by researching everything from A to Z and offering his own support while encouraging her to reach out to others who are in the same position as her.

This book proved informative, while also remaining engaging and entertaining. There were a lot of important educational messages about AIS, along with messages on bullying and acceptance. The fact that it was written by a surgeon who has encountered people with this disorder before provides an authentic and likely well researched novel.

Diverse novels always leave me with a lot to think about. None of the Above was a particularly interesting one which brought to the forefront of my mind many a question of how I would feel in the situation of Kristin. If I had been told that I had internal male sex organs, or that my chromosomes weren’t the expected XX of a girl, how would I feel? How would I deal with this knowledge? How would I learn to adjust to the idea of never carrying a child of my own?

Reading these kinds of novels are so important for young and old alike, because it teaches us to empathize and put ourselves in the position of the characters, and just maybe if we do that in our everyday lives a little more often the world could be a better place.

SPOILER BELOW


So the romance between Darren and Kristin seemed somewhat unnecessary to me. I thought they could have just remained friends, instead of turning it into a romance and right at the end too. Or if the author was determined to make it into a romantic relationship then Darren’s girlfriend, who conveniently broke up with him right before him and Kristin get together seemed such an unnecessary character. She didn’t really serve any point to the plot, and if Darren had been single for the book the romance would have come across much more genuine at the end than the rushed and opportune ending that we were left with. Other than that I did like their romance and I thought it was particularly sweet, especially since they had known each other when they were much younger. 

My Rating 4/5


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