woensdag 31 augustus 2011

50 Books Challenge 2011 Update - August

This month I read some pretty big books, but I did manage to read 5 and a half books.

# 42. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
# 43. Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
# 44. Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
# 45. The Shining by Stephen King
# 46. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
# 47. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millenium # 1) by Stieg Larsson

Favorite of the month: "Thirteen Reasons Why"

I haven't finished "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" yet. I think I will finish it this weekend. I'm just three books away from reaching my goal of 50. I still have some great books on my shelve. Some of them are up there for a long time already, so I have plenty of reading material. I'll keep you updated.

Best of... Quentin Tarantino

Tarantino is probably my favorite director. Mostly because of the way he tells a story. It's always very unique, with catching dialogues and memorable characters. He hasn't directed that many movies, which gives him time to focus 100 % on his project. Here are my favorite Quentin Tarantino movies.

"Reservoir Dogs"
The beginning of a very succesful directing career. What a way to make a debut. "Reservoir Dogs" is the proof of less is more. This movie takes place largely in one location, but it's interesting because of the characters and the fantastic dialogues. I can actually quote this movie.

"Pulp Fiction"
This movie gets better by each viewing. This movie has no message, but people are still dicussing this film to the day. I actually read a topic recently where people where debating about what was in the suitcase. And again, same ingredients as in "Reservoir Dogs", great characters and even better conversations.

"Four Rooms"
Tarantino didn't direct the entire movie, just the segment "The Man from Hollywood". I don't know how well it was received, because not every segment was as good. Frankly this wasn't even my favorite, but my runner up.

"Jackie Brown"
It's my least favorite on the list, but I still think it deserves a spot up here. And I thinnk most people see it that way. It has al the trusting Tarantino elements, it's just not as perfect as "Pulp Fiction" or "Reservoir Dogs". It is more mature though.

"Kill Bill: Vol. 1"
It took him about six years to deliver us a new movie, but it was worth the wait. Damn is this good! I loved it from the first time I saw it and when it ended I just wanted more. I love The Bride.

"Kill Bill: Vol. 2"
I didn't think he could top the first one, but he did. Most people prefer "Kill Bill:Vol. 1", but the second installment has always been my favorite. It all starts with the opening monologue from The Bride, which I can quote from beginning 'till end.

"Inglourious Basterds"
This was the first Tarantino movie I saw on the big screen. This was a bit different from his other work. The story was chronological. And I think we also have to thank Quentin for finding Melanie Laurent and especially Christoph Waltz. Awesome movie, I can rave about it constantly.

I didn't like "Death Proof" especially not the ending. I can't wait to see "Django Unchained" which comes out next year. And I read there's going to be a "Kill Bill: Vol. 3". Don't know what to think about that yet, because Bill was already killed, but still I'm curious what he's going to do with the story.

dinsdag 30 augustus 2011

The Many Faces of... James Franco

I've had a lot of inspiration lately, because I came up with another new item: "The Many Face of...". In this item I will pick an actor or actress and show you the different looks they had in their movies. I'm starting of with my favorite face of the moment: James Franco. And to be honest it doesn't matter to me how he looks, he just always looks great.

Face # 1: James Dean
Role: James Dean
Comment: He looks a lot like James Dean and he was also very handsome.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 2: Spider-Man
Role: Harry Osborne
Comment: Is it just me, or does he look skinny?
Rating: 2,5/ 5

Face # 3: Tristan & Isolde
Role: Tristan
Comment: I like the long hair, but if it were a bit longer it would look better.
Rating: 3,5/ 5

Face # 4: Spider-Man 2
Role: Harry Osborne
Comment: An improvement on the first "Spider-Man" movie.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 5: In the Valley of Elah
Role: Sgt. Dan Carnelli
Comment: Not a fan, but he does look good in uniform.
Rating: 3/ 5

Face # 6: Pineapple Express
Role: Saul Silver
Comment: His looks in this film fit his character perfectly.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 7: Milk
Role: Scott Smith
Comment: He has different looks in "Milk", but I just picked my favorite. Me like mustache!
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 8: Howl
Role: Allen Ginsberg
Comment: Wow, almost didn't recognize him.
Rating: 3,5/ 5

Face # 9: 127 Hours
Role: Aron Ralston
Comment: I like this look, with the stubble.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 10: Your Higness
Role: Fabious
Comment: I just want to run my hands through his hair.
Rating: 4,5/ 5

Face # 11: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Role: Will Rodman
Comment: Sigh...
Rating: 5/ 5

maandag 29 augustus 2011

The Hunger Games, Sneak Peak

Finally we can catch a glimpse of the movie "The Hunger Games". It was announced that at the 2011 VMA's they would show footage of the movie. It's not much, but here is a Sneak Peak of "The Hunger Games" which will hit theaters in March 2012.
This short teaser already looks great and the music sounds really good. That can also be heard on the official website. I can't wait to see the extended trailer.

zondag 28 augustus 2011

Pic Spam: Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer has always been one of my favorite actresses. And she was one of the most beautiful ones out there as well. She still is. Michelle is in her fifties, but she doesn't show. So this pic spam is an ode to her.

zaterdag 27 augustus 2011

In the Picture: The Characters from "Inglourious Basterds"

Quentin Tarantino is probably my favorite director and I already dedicated this item to one of his movies. This time I'm going to look closer at the characters from "Inglourious Basterds", which is an awesome movie.

Lt. Aldo Raine
Played by: Brad Pitt
Aldo is 2nd lieutenant in the US Army First Special Service Force and now the leader of “The Basterds”. Aldo's nickname, "The Apache", comes from his penchant for scalping Nazis. He’s determined to kill all the nazis he can get his hands on.

Col. Hans Landa
Played by: Christoph Waltz
Hans Landa is called “The Jew Hunter” and he carries that name with success. He is well known for finding Jews in hiding and eventually killing them. He’s a very smart man who can speak at least four different languages fluently. Landa is the main target for “The Basterds”.

Shosanna Dreyfuss
Played by: Melanie Laurent
Shosanna is a French-Jewish girl who’s entire family was murdered by nazi’s. She was the only one who could escape and now hides in Paris as a movie theatre owner that goes by the name of Emmanuelle Mimieux. Shosanna is strong, smart and out for revenge.

Sgt. Donny Donowitz
Played by: Eli Roth
Donny is Aldo’s right hand. His nickname is “The Bearjew” and he is ruthless. Donny is known for killing his victims with a baseball bat because he wants to feel the violence and the sensation of beating nazis to death.

Bridget von Hammersmark
Played by: Diane Kruger
Bridget is a popular filmstar in Nazi Germany and a spy for the Allies. Because of her beauty and charm, she often gets her way and she can easily win you over. But Bridget can be outsmarted though.

Fredrick Zoller
Played by: Daniel Brühl
Fredrick is a German officer and a war hero. He is pretty full of himself and is not shy to brag about his actions as a soldier. His affection for Shosanna, although she doesn’t really return it, is genuine. Everything he’s doing for her, he’s doing with the best intentions.

Sgt. Hugo Stiglitz
Played by: Til Schweiger
Stiglitz is an ex-Nazi and now recruted into “The Basterds” unit. He is knows as a maniac to both German and US forces, because of his cruel ways of killing people. Many people fear him.

Favorite Character: Shosanna Dreyfuss

vrijdag 26 augustus 2011

50 Books Challenge 2011 - # 46: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Author: J.K. Rowling
Story: A grim mood has fallen over the country. The minions of Lord Voldemort continue to grow as his evil spreads. The Ministry of Magic has stepped up security everywhere, and as Harry enters his sixth year at Hogwarts, he begins to see himself -- and everyone around him -- in a different, more discerning, light. With rumors swirling about Harry being the prophesied "Chosen One," he begins taking private lessons from Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore. As Dumbledore prepares Harry for his destined clash with Voldemort by revealing jaw-dropping insights into the Dark Lord's past -- who his parents were, what happened after he left Hogwarts, and more -- Harry also struggles to uncover the identity of the Half-Blood Prince, the past owner of a potions textbook he now possesses that is filled with ingenious, potentially deadly, spells. But Harry's life is suddenly changed forever when someone close to him is heinously murdered right before his eyes....
Start: august 20th 2011
End: august 26th 2011
Comment: Just like the last time, I'm a bit sad that the journey is coming closer to its final destination. This is the darkest and most detailed book in the Harry Potter series yet. Voldemort's role in the stories gets bigger by the book, he gets more depth because we learn about his backstory. That was maybe my favorite part of this book. And it's good that Rowling waited this long to reveal more about Voldemort. We get to know and love Harry, Hermione and Ron more and more and we become a part of their world. This book was fast paced and a real page turner. What I thought was great about the sixth book is that Rowling created the perfect cliff-hanger. A good mystery creates a load of questions. This is a great set-up for the final installment. And we come closer to the enchating ending.
Rating: 5/ 5

Movie Moments: "Big Fish"

"Big Fish" is full of great scenes. This movie is a visual treat and has such great characters. Here are my favorite moments from the movie "Big Fish", in the order they appear in the film.

Moment # 1: The witch
Edward tells his son about the witch. He visits her with his friends and they dare him to bring them the glass eye that belongs to the witch. He does, but the witch comes with him. Whenever you look into the glass eye, it shows you how you’re gonna die. Edward never shares that information with anyone.

Moment # 2: Edward meets Karl
The town of Ashton is terrorized by a monster, or so they say. Edward volunteers to go and meet with the so called monster. He meets Karl, a giant man, and finds out he is harmless. Edward tells Karl that he might be big, but the town is just to small for him. And for Edward. Together they leave Ashton to explore the world.

Moment # 3: Norther Winslow's poem
Norther has been working on his poem for twelve years and all he has are three sentences: The grass so green. Skies so blue. Spectre is really great!

Moment # 4: Spectre dance
In the town of Spectre, Edward joins a party. Together with the other residents he starts dancing. Then he realizes he needs to leave. He would be happy to end up in Spectre some day, but he isn’t meant to end up somewhere just yet.

Moment # 5: Edward sees Sandra
Edward visits the Galloway circus when he first sees Sandra. The world around him literally stops, but she’s gone before he has the chance to talk to him. He makes a deal with Mr. Galloway to work for him and Mr. Galloway will tell him a fact about Sandra every month.

Moment # 6: Daffodils
When Edward finds out her name and where she goes to college, he decided to tell her how he feels. She is already engaged to be married, but that doesn’t stop him. He finally wins her over by giving her a garden full of daffodils, which are her favorite flowers.

Moment # 7: Edward returns from the war
Sandra thinks Edward died in the war. While she's hanging the laundry out to dry, Edward turns up again, in one piece.

Moment # 8: Norther Winslow robbes a bank
Edward goes to the bank where he meets Norther again. He is about to rob the bank and Edward is forced to help him. Because there was nothing in the vault, Edward gives Norther some money so he wouldn’t go home empty handed.

Moment # 9: Edward and Sandra in the bathtub
Edward is in the bathtub, because he thought he was drying out. Sandra gets in the tub with him and says: “I think I’ll never dry out”.

Moment # 10: The thunderstorm
While on the way in his car, he ends up in a terrible thunderstorm. His car gets flooded and he sees the most beautiful woman swim by. When the storm is over, his car ends up in a tree.

Moment # 11: Edward fixes Jenny's house
Edward visits Jenny when she’s older and fixes her house, because it’s all crooked. Together with Karl he makes it into a beautiful dream house.

Moment # 12: Will tells Edward how he goes
Edward is in the hospital. When he wakes up he asks Will to tell him how he goes. Will starts telling him about how they leave the hospital and drive to the river. There they’ll meet all of Edward’s friends. Will carries him to the river, where Edward becomes a really big fish, something he was always meant to be.

Moment # 13: The funeral
After Edward died, Will, Sandra and Josephine attend his funeral. There they see people Edward told them about in his stories. So Edward didn’t only tell lies after all.

Favorite Moment: # 6: Daffodils

dinsdag 23 augustus 2011

Favorite Movie Stoners

I'm not into drugs, but the subject does give us some great movies. And most of all it gives us some awesome, hilarious and memorable characters. Here are my favorite stoners.

Floyd from "True Romance"
Played by: Brad Pitt
He hardly has any screen-time but stoner Floyd steals every scene he is in. He never gets of the couch and smokes a bong all day. In other words: he's totally useless.
Best quote: Hey! Get some beer and some cleaning products!

Jeff Spicoli from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High"
Played by: Sean Penn
This 1982 classic had a lot of memorable moments, like Phoebe Cates taking of her bikini top, appearences by Nicolas Cage and Forest Whitaker, Cameron Crowe's script. But surfer dude Jeff Spicoli is my favorite, especially in the scenes with Mr. Hand.
Best quote: What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place 'cause it was bogus; so if we don't get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we'll just be bogus too! Get it?

The Dude from "The Big Lebowski"
Played by: Jeff Bridges "
Probably my favorite on this list. Bridges created an icon by playing Jeff Lebowski. I totally understand him, because I would get mad too if someone peed on my rug.
Best quote: Well, sir, it's this rug I have. It really tied the room together.

Saul Silver from "Pineapple Express"
Played by: James Franco
Not only is Saul stoned all the time, he is also very lazy and extremely dumb. My favorite scene is the one with the police car, where he kicks his foot out of the window while driving and then not getting it out.
Best quote: No, I see. The monkey's out of the bottle now!

Harold and Kumar from "Harold & Kumar" series
Played by: John Cho and Kal Pen
Just two nerdy and losery guys who also happen to be funny. And the get into the strangest situations.
Best quote: Did Doogie Houser just steal my fucking car?

Ben Stone and his friends from "Knocked Up"
Played by: Seth Rogen, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill, Charlyne Yi and Martin Starr
They created a website, where you can see actresses and when there were naked in which movies, not knowing that there's already a site like that. All of them are completely useless, Ben is the most normal one but only because he has to.
Best quote: Yeah, it's a cure-all. My buddy Jonah broke his elbow one time. He just smoked some weed. It still clicks, but it's cool.

Melanie Ralston from "Jackie Brown"
Played by: Bridget Fonda
Melanie is like the female version of Floyd. She's pretty nasty, especially because of her peculiar sexual relationship with an aged thug.
Best quote: Jesus, but if you two are not the biggest pair of fuck-ups I've ever met in my entire life. How did you ever rob a bank? When you robbed banks, did you forget where your car was then too? No wonder you went to jail.

Best of... Julia Roberts

Eventhough I'm not a fan, I can't ignore her. Julia Roberts has done some great movies. I think there are a lot of movies that most people love, that will not end up on my list. Here are my favorite Julia Roberts movies.

A bunch of medical students put themselves on the point of death in order to find out what happens to the brain. The story isn't groundbreaking, but refreshing and the film is exciting. You don't mess with death.

"Sleeping with the Enemy"
The plot is very simple, about a woman who is abused by her husband and she tries to get away from him. It's basically good actingby Julia and that's what makes it worth its while.

"Mary Reilly"
The story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde seen from the point of view of Mary Reilly, the housekeeper. I don't think Julia fans will put in on their list, because a lot of people say it's boring. I think it's underrated and I like it because of the mysterious atmosphere.

"Conspiracy Theory"
This was actually a suprisingly good film. It's very exciting, Mel Gibsons acing is great and his chemistry with Julia is very good. Just a very suspensefull movie with good acting.

The idea of the story is beautiful. I love Susan Sarandon in this movie, a loving mother who can't deal with the fact that her ex-husband is seeing a younger woman. Especially when her kids like her too. Both Sarandon and Roberts are outstanding.

"Erin Brockovich"
I think this is her best role so far. I love a strong female character and that's what Julia created. I think her winning the Oscar was well deserved.

"Mona Lisa Smile"
I really can't explain why, but I always liked this film. Maybe it's because of the time setting. I think it's the strong female cast: besides Julia there is Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I like them together.

The actual stars of the film are considered to be the supporting actors Clive Owen and Natalie Portman. Julia Roberts plays a solid role and this movie is based on character developement other then just the story.

"Charlotte's Web"
As a teacher I just love a good children's story. And this is one of those endeering and touching stories. Don't you just love Wilbur?

"Charlie Wilson's War"
It's not one of Tom Hanks' best, but I do like it. It has a good story and message. I don't like Julia's character though, she annoys me.

"Fireflies in the Garden"
Julia's role is very small and the movie isn't really all that special. It's just a beautiful story with good acting in it by Willem Dafoe and Ryan Reynolds.

I haven't seen "Larry Crown" and "Eat, Pray, Love" yet. And I just simply never loved "Pretty Woman" as much as anyone else did. It bugs me how many time it's on TV.

maandag 22 augustus 2011

Meet Jester

My friend Irene recently got a puppy, Jester. He's a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and very cute. My other friend Evelien already had a dog like that, Vykko. Friday I got to meet Jester and here's picture of him with me. He's only 8,5 weeks old.

Isn't he the sweetest? I am going to visit Irene thursday and I will bring a little present for Jester.

Pic Spam: Zachary Levi

"Chuck" is a fun show and I recently dedicated this pic spam to female star Yvonne Strahovski. Now it's time for the title character, played by Zachary Levi. He's so freakin' adorable! Here are his best pictures.