vrijdag 30 september 2011

50 Books Challenge 2011 - # 51: The Reunion by Simone van der Vlugt

Title: The Reunion
Author: Simone van der Vlugt
Story: When Isabel disappeared, Sabine was fifteen, isolated at school and tormented by her former friend. She remembers nothing from that hot May day. Nine years later, unbidden memories are returning to Sabine. What if she saw something the day of Isabel's disappearance? What if she could put a name to the shadowy figure in her dreams? And what if her knowledge was dangerous?
Start: september 26th 2011
End: september 30th 2011
Comment: Van der Vlugt is one of the best thriller writers of my country. I already read some of her books and they were all pageturners. And this wasn't any different. You get sucked into the story pretty quickly. And together with Sabine you're trying to figure out who killed Isabelle nine years ago. You really get to know Sabine, the way she lives and works and how she became the woman she is now. As the story developes, Sabine's memory is coming back piece by piece. She's starting to remember things from her past, but doesn't know if it is real or that she dreamed about it. And neither do you. There are a lot of questions in the story, you want answers to. That's what makes this so good and interesting from beginning to end. And the end had a fascinating plot twist. It was one of the possible scenario's in my head, but towards the end I didn't expect the story to go in that direction. I can recommened this to anyone!
Rating: 4/ 5

Best of... Toni Collette

Yesterday I went to see the new "Fright Night" which also starred Toni Collette, who I think is an underestemated actress with a lot of good films and tuns of talent. So here is a list of her best movies, in my opinion.

"Muriel's Wedding"
The plot doesn't really sound very special, but it has an incredibly moving performance by Toni Collette. This is a feel good movie for the outcast of the world.

Jane Austen stories are always great. Not my favorite story or movie, but it's such a joy to watch. Gwyneth steals the show though.

"The Sixth Sense"
I think this movie got her her fame. She played Cole's mother, who's trying to deal with her troubled son. Great, solid performance.

This movie isn't great but very much OK. Enjoyable and very cool. Samuel L. Jackson is a good "Shaft", Christian Bale a believable villain, Toni is just there and does a great job, as always.

"About a Boy"
I think I like the book a little bit more, but this movie is so much fun too. Hugh Grant's performance is a little different from his other. Not the clumbsy, sweet and romantic guy. Toni is the titulair boys mom and does what she's good at.

"The Hours"
The way this was told. The novel "Mrs. Dalloway" affects three generations of women, who all had to deal with suicide. Toni isn't one of those three women, but Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman and Meryl Streep are so good in their roles."

"In Her Shoes"
Toni Collette and Cameron Diaz play sisters and, as in real life, they are each others total opposites. Especially Toni's performance is strong. An amusing film and very feel good.

"Little Miss Sunshine"
My favorite of her list. This is one of my all-time favorites! Great story and fantastic, quirky characters. Toni plays mom Cheryl, who doesn't know if she hates or loves her family.

"The Night Listener"
This was actually a very weird movie. Strange role by Robin Williams and Toni Collette's character was very weird as well. I thought it was a pretty good movie, not that well known, but good.

This movie had a great cast, though not all A-listers. Claire Danes, Patrick Wilson, Hugh Dancy, Vanessa Redgrave, Natasha Richardson and Toni Collette, but also Glen Close and Meryl Streep. This movie was overlooked and very much underrated. I think this movie was so good, great performances and a fantastic story.

"Fright Night"
My brother is a huge fan of the original, so he was a bit sceptic about the remake. He thought it was very good and so did I. Colin Farrell is a very charming and sexy, though pretty scary vampire. Very believable as a villain. Toni plays the mother of Charly, the ones Jerry the vampire moves next to. Very good horror movie.

donderdag 29 september 2011

Top 5 Thursday: Movie Trilogies

I thought this was going to be a walk in the park, but it wasn't. I realized a lot of good series aren't trilogies anymore. Like the "Indiana Jones" series or "Die Hard". I managed to make a top 5 and here it is.

5. “Toy Story”
When “Toy Story” came out in 1995, it was highly anticipated because it was the first fully computer animated film ever made. I was sceptic at first, because I loved the hand-drawn animation so much. But after seeing it I forget about it immediatly. “Toy Story” is in fact one of my favorite Disney movies. And all three are great. I can’t pick a favorite of the three. OK, probably the third.

4. “Back to the Future”
Time travel movies are always fun, but no one ever made a better one than Robert Zemeckis did. And with Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd starring as two of cinemas most beloved movie characters. For some reason the second movie has always been my favorite, closely followed by the first.

3. “Bourne”-trilogy
I recently rewatched the complete series and I reminded myself of how good this trilogy is. Matt Damon is so good as Jason Bourne and all films are extremely exciting. The last one is my favorite, than the first and the second installment was my least favorite.

2. “The Godfather”
This series is epic. The first two are equally as good, though I do prefer the first because of Marlon Brando. And I also like the third, but even I see it didn’t fully live up to the standard of the previous two films. But all in all it’s a fabulous trilogy.

1. “Jurassic Park”
Who doesn’t love dinosaurs? And you don’t have to be a nerd because of it. “Jurassic Park” was such an experience for me when I saw it for the first time. I was nine and I was completely blown away by this great film. The second one was also amazing but I missed Sam Neill and I also really liked the third movie which brought Sam back. Just a great series and therefor my favorite.

They almost made the top 5: “Lord of the Rings”, “Spider-Man”, “X-Men” en “Ice Age”

woensdag 28 september 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

I received another card today. From Portugal. Lovely card, but I think it was one of those free ones. That's just lame... But I like the postcard anyway. Here it is.

Sent on: September 21st 2011
Received on: September 28th 2011
Distance: 2,895 km (1,799 miles)
Travel time: 7 days

The Many Faces of... Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Joseph Gordon-Levitt had already stolen my heart in "10 Things I Hate About You", but he didn't star in that many (well known) films after that. Ever since "(500) Days of Summer" our Joseph returned and how.... He did some fantastic movies and had some great looks. Here they are.

Face # 1: 10 Things I Hate About You
Role: Cameron James
Comment: A very cute and boyish look.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 2: Brick
Role: Brandon
Comment: A very casual look.
Rating: 3/ 5

Face # 3: The Lookout
Role: Chris Pratt
Comment: Again pretty casual, I don't really like the long hair in his neck but he still looks good.
Rating: 3,5/ 5

Face # 4: Kill Shot
Role: Richie
Comment: He has an earring!! I hate it when men wear earrings!!
Rating: 1,5/ 5

Face # 5: G.I. Joe: Rise of the Cobra
Role: The Doctor/ Rex Lewis
Comment: There's really not much to see of his face.
Rating: 2,5/ 5

Face # 6: Stoploss
Role: Tommy Burgess
Comment: Short hair, very nice.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 7: Uncertainty
Role: Bobby
Comment: This is what I'm talking about, the way I love my Jo! Great look, just sad that this movie isn't that well known.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 8: (500) Days of Summer
Role: Tom Hansen
Comment: Again a great look. I especially love the clothes he wears in this movie.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 9: Inception
Role: Arthur
Comment: Normally I don't like the slick, combed back hair. But on Joseph it looks great, I love this look.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 10: Hesher
Role: Hesher
Comment: Greasy, skinny, dirty, home made tattoo. Perfect role, but not one of my favorite looks.
Rating: 2/ 5

Face # 11: 50/ 50
Role: Adam
Comment: The reason he looks like this is because his character is sick, so it's almost impossible to look steaming hot.
Rating: 3/ 5

dinsdag 27 september 2011

In My Mailbox (2)

I received my second postcard today from Osaka, Japan. It came from a five year old girl, who wanted to start postcrossing just like her mom. She wrote it herself, but her mother 'translated' it. Super sweet. Here is the card.

Sent on: September 20th 2011
Received on: September 27th 2011
Distance: 9,305 km (5,782 miles)
Travel time: 7 days

Pic Spam: Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson is one of the most talented actresses of her generation and I just love her look. Classical but hip and very sexy without being slutty. Here are some of her best pictures.

maandag 26 september 2011

In the Picture: The Characters from "The Faculty"

I have seen this movie many times. Robert Rodriguez directed and I think this is one of his better films. Today I'm going to focus on the characters in this movie.

Casey Connor
Played by: Elijah Wood
Casey is an outcast and he loves photography. He’s the one that finds the weird organism and starts to suspect that something is wrong. Casey secretly has a crush on Delilah, who is way out of his league.

Zeke Tyler
Played by: Josh Hartnett
Zeke is a rebel and he’s repeating his senior year because he didn’t care about graduating. He is very intelligent but he doesn’t use it the way he should. Instead he created a home made drug and sells illegal video’s to classmates.

Stokely Mitchell
Played by: Clea DuVall
Stokely is a very exentric girl, though very timid. She dresses in black so that she doesn’t stand out in a crowd and she is a sci-fi fan. Stokely is the first one to believe Casey and together they go over the theories by using the science fiction novels she read. Stokely has a crush on Stan and she sees he is not just another sportsjock.

Delilah Profitt
Played by: Jordana Brewster
Delilah is the most popular girl in school and editor in chief for the school newspaper. She can be very vindictive and Stokely is her main target. Delilah is Stan’s girlfriend, but she doesn’t treat him right and actually thinks he’s stupid. She first doesn’t want to believe Casey’s theory, eventhough she saw what happened.

Stan Rosado
Played by: Shawn Hatosy
Stan is a sportsjock but decides to quit football and focus on his academics. He thinks he can do more than play sports and is sick of being favoured by teachers. At first he doesn’t really care much for Stokely, but he discovers that she’s the only one to see past the sportsoutfit.

Marybeth Louise Hutchinson
Played by: Laura Harris
Marybeth is new to Herrington Highschool and moved from Atlanta to live with relatives after her parents died. She befriends Stokely, because she feels left out like her. Marybeth shows interest in Zeke and is attracted to his rebelious lifestyle.

Coach Joe Willis
Played by: Robert Patrick
Coach Willis is the gymteacher and football coach at school. He’s your typical sportsfanatic. Stan is his best player and he can’t understand why he would leave the team. Coach Willis is the first teacher who shows strange behaviour.

Miss Elizabeth Burke
Played by: Famke Janssen
Elizabeth is the English teacher and very shy. She can barely controle her class, who is mainly bullied by Zeke, but she does love her job somehow. When she turns, she becomes a sexy, assertive woman and she wants to teach Zeke a lesson.

Principal Valerie Drake
Played by: Bebe Neuwirth
Valerie is a real autorithy figure and the principal at Herrington high. She’s someone who’s respected by her students and her staff, but she also turns and becomes insidious and the students think she’s the leader.

Favorite Character: Zeke Tyler

zondag 25 september 2011

50 Books Challenge 2011 - # 50: Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen

Title: Lock and Key
Author: Sarah Dessen
Story: "Ruby, where is your mother?" Ruby knows that the game is up. For the past few months, she's been on her own in the yellow house, managing somehow, knowing that her mother will probably never return.That's how she comes to live with Cora, the sister she hasn't seen in ten years, and Cora's husband Jamie, whose down-to-earth demeanor makes it hard for Ruby to believe he founded the most popular networking Web site around. A luxurious house, fancy private school, a new wardrobe, the promise of college and a future—it's a dream come true. So why is Ruby such a reluctant Cinderella, wary and defensive? And why is Nate, the genial boy next door with some secrets of his own, unable to accept the help that Ruby is just learning to give?
Start: september 17th 2011
End: september 25th 2011
Comment: I've heard so many great things about Sarah Dessen. She's not that well known in my country yet, so her books aren't all out in The Netherlands. I started this book with not too many expectations, because I thought it was going to be just another teen summer read. Very soon I discovered how beautiful Dessen's writing style is. And I also immediately liked her characters. Easy to relate to and just normal, without being dull. Dessen knows how to create a character and give them depth, even the minor ones. The story was pretty straight forward and not very surprising, but very enjoyable. My first Sarah Dessen book was a great experience and I'm really looking forward to reading more of her work.
Rating: 4/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (4)

This weeks trailers are about J. Edgar Hoover, whales, a scandal, love in the 1950's and a man on a ledge.

J. Edgar
Description: As the face of law enforcement in America for almost fifty years, J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio) was feared and admired, reviled and revered. But behind closed doors, he held secrets that would have destroyed his image, his career and his life.
Director: Clint Eastwood
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Judi Dench and Josh Lucas
Trailer: Trailer "J. Edgar"
Comment: This movie has to be a succes. Directed by Clint and starring Naomi Watts and Leonardo DiCaprio. I'm saying hell yeah!

Big Miracle
Description: a small town news reporter (John Krasinski) and a Greenpeace volunteer (Drew Barrymore) are who joined by rival world superpowers to save a family of majestic gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle.
Director: Ken Kwapis
Starring: John Krasinski, Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and Stephen Root
Trailer: Trailer "Big Miracle"
Comment: Definitely want to go see it. Love Drew and John!

Oranges and Sunshine
Description: Margaret Humphreys is a social worker from Nottingham who uncovered one of the most significant social scandals of recent times: the deportation of thousands of children from the United Kingdom to Australia.
Director: Jim Loach
Starring: Emily Watson, David Wenham and Hugo Weaving
Trailer: Trailer "Oranges and Sunshine"

The Deep Blue Sea
Description: The wife (Rachel Weisz) of a high court judge, shockingly in her 1950s milieu, leaves her husband to move in with a dashing young ex-RAF pilot, with whom she has fallen passionately in love. The film explores the nature of love and the lines drawn between love and passion.
Director: Terence Davies
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston and Simon Russell Beale
Trailer: Trailer "The Deep Blue Sea"

Man on a Ledge
Description: An ex-cop and now wanted fugitive (Sam Worthington) stands on the ledge of a high-rise building while a hard-living New York Police Department hostage negotiator (Elizabeth Banks) tries to talk him down. The longer they are on the ledge, the more she realizes that he might have an ulterior objective.
Director: Asger Leth
Starring: Sam Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Ed Harris, Jamie Bell, Edward Burns and Kyra Sedgwick
Trailer: Trailer "Man on a Ledge"

vrijdag 23 september 2011

Movie Moments: "Forrest Gump"

My number 2 movie is "Forrest Gump". Tom Hanks' best performance ever and such a sweet, sincere and heartwarming story. Here are my favorite moments from this film.

Moment # 1: Forrest meets Jenny
Forrest is going to school and gets on the schoolbus. No one wants to sit next to him, but then he hears the sweetest voice. Jenny tells Forrest he can sit next to her and it’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Moment # 2: Run Forrest run
Forrest and Jenny are taking a walk when bullies try to get Forrest. Jenny tells Forrest to run, and he does. And he’s running so fast, his leg braces break and he keeps running without them. And running will become his trademark.

Moment # 3: Forrest meets President Kennedy
Forrest is invited to the White House to meet president Kennedy. Because he’s thirsty he starts drinking Dr. Pepper. A little too much Dr. Pepper, because when it is his turn to meet JFK, he tells him that he needs to pee.

Moment # 4: Forrest meets Bubba
Forrest is going to the army and on the bus there’s again no one who wants to sit next to him. Bubba tells him he can sit next to him. He starts telling Forrest everything there is to know about shrimp and all you can do with it.

Moment # 5: Forrest and Bubba meet Lt. Dan
When they arrive in Vietnam, Forrest and Bubba meet Lt. Dan. He starts telling them about all the rules and Forrest thinks Vietnam is not a bad place at all.

Moment # 6: Bubba dies
When they are being bombed by the enemy, Forrest is trying to rescue his men. He finds Bubba, wounded, but manages to carry him back to the coast. Bubba tells Forrest he wants to go home and then he dies.

Moment # 7: Lt. Dan blaming Forrest
While Forrest is a sleep, Lt. Dan pulls him out of his bed. Forrest saved him when he got shot, but Dan lost his legs. Lt. Dan tells him that he should have left him to die there.

Moment 8: Forrest shows his wound
Forrest is about to meet the American president again and when he asks him where he was shot, Forrest tells him he was hit in the buttocks. When the president says he would want to see that someday, Forrest pulls down his pants and shows it to him.

Moment 9: Forrests speech
Forrest is going to give a speech, but someone pulls the plug so the microphones don’t work. Forrest doesn’t know and just keeps talking. When the microphones are plugged in again, his speech is finished and we hear him say: "That's all I have to say about that".

Moment 10: Lt. Dan visits Forrest
After Forrest bought a boat and started Bubba-Gump shrimp, Lt. Dan comes to visit him. He once made him a promise, that if Forrest would own a shrimping boat he would come and work for him. When Forrest sees him, he jumps of the boat and swims towards Lt. Dan. Not long after that, we see the boat crash into the dock.

Moment 11: Jenny sees her old house
Jenny and Forrest take a walk and pass by Jenny’s old house. Because she has bad memories about her childhood, she starts throwing her shoes and rocks at the house. Forrest never understood what happened when they were young.

Moment # 12: Forrest asks Jenny to marry him
After watching the New Year’s Eve fireworks on TV, Jenny goes to bed. Forrest stops her and asks her to marry him, because he would make a good husband. Jenny says no, because she thinks he doesn’t want to be married to her.

Moment # 13: Forrest starts running
After Jenny left again, Forrest decides to start running. And he keeps running, for three years.

Moment # 14: Forrest meets Forrest Jr.
Forrest found Jenny and finds out he has a son, Forrest Jr. The first thing he asks Jenny is if he’s smart and then he goes over to the little boy. We see the similarity between father and son.

Moment # 15: “I wish I could’ve been there with you”
Forrest tells a sick Jenny about the skies he’s seen. Jenny wished she could’ve been there with him and Forrest tells her that she was.

Moment # 16: Forrest at Jenny’s grave
Forrest is talking to Jenny, who died. He tells her about little Forrest. He ends up with telling her that if she needs anything, he won’t be far.

Moment # 17: Waiting for the bus with Forrest Jr.
Forrest is waiting for the bus, together with his son Forrest Jr. Before he gets on the bus, he tells him he loves him.

Favorite Moment: Moment # 16: Forrest at Jenny’s grave