zondag 26 februari 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 - # 8: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire # 1) by George R. R. Martin

Title: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire # 1)
Author: George R. R. Martin
Story: Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom's protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: the game of thrones.
Start: february 13th 2012
End: february 25th 2012
Comment: I've wanted to read this book for such a long time. And this book took me a long time to read as well. But it was worth the time. And I even think this is an epic story maybe someday even titled as classic. The story isn't complicated, but the reason this book took me this long to finish is because you want to absorb every inch of the book. It has a lot of characters, it was hard to remember who was who. To make it easier each chapter is seen from the point of view of another character and it's limited to only some of them. My favorite characters were Eddard Stark and Daenerys Targaryen. The chapters from their viewpoint were the most interesting ones and those characters really stood out. The story had a fast pacing, but I did think the books was extremely graphic. It didn't bother me, but this isn't just for anyone. Sex and violence are described in detail. I loved the writing style, so well done. I'm really glad that I finally got to read this fantastic fantasy novel and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.
Rating: 5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (26)

This weeks trailers are about a young woman entering the porn industry, a Parisian falling in love for the seond time, a man child, the last day on earth and the newest Pixar movie.

Description: Angelina (Ashley Hinshaw) is an 18-year-old girl on the verge of finishing high school. Angelina's family life is difficult. Her mother (Lili Taylor) is an alcoholic and her step-father is violent and unpredictable. One morning her boyfriend (Jonny Weston) suggests she take naked pictures for money. She balks at first but then does the photo shoot, using the money to run-off with her best friend (Dev Patel) to San Francisco. In San Francisco, while cocktailing in a strip club, Angelina meets Frances (James Franco) a well-off lawyer who offers to introduce her to a different kind of world, a place full of expensive dresses and fancy parties. But that world is not as perfect as it first appears and Frances has problems of his own. At the same time Angelina, using the moniker Cherry, has begun exploring the San Francisco porn industry under the direction of Margaret (Heather Graham) a former performer turned adult film director
Director: Stephen Elliott
Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, James Franco, Dev Patel, Heather Graham, Johnny Weston and Lili Taylor
Trailer: Trailer "Cherry"
Comment: This is one of those ten projects James Franco will be in this year.

Nathalie (Audrey Tatou) is a beautiful, happy, and successful Parisian business executive who finds herself suddenly widowed after a three-year marriage to her soul mate. To cope with her loss, she buries herself and her emotions in her work to the dismay of her friends, family and co-workers. One day, inexplicably, her zest for life and love is rekindled by a most unlikely source, her seemingly unexceptional, gauche, and average looking office subordinate, Markus (Francois Damiens).
Director: David Foenkinos, Stéphane Foenkinos
Starring: Audrey Tautou, Francois Damiens, Bruno Todeschini
Trailer: Trailer "Delicacy"
Comment: I really love Audrey Tatou...

The Trouble with Bliss
Description: Morris Bliss (Hall) is a 35-year-old man-child who still lives at home but when he finds himself falling into a romantic relationship with the precocious 18-year-old daughter of a friend, he discovers that his life is changing in ways that are unexpected and long overdue.
Director: Michael Knowles
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Lucy Liu, Brie Larson, Chris Messina and Peter Fonda
Trailer: Trailer "Trouble with Bliss"

4:44 Last Day on Earth
Description: In a large apartment high above the city lives our couple. They're in love. She's a painter, he's a successful actor. Just a normal afternoon - except that this isn't a normal afternoon, for them or anyone else. Because tomorrow, at 4:44 am, give or take a few seconds, the world will come to an end far more rapidly than even the worst doomsayer could have imagined. The final meltdown will come, not without warnings, but with no means of escape. There will be no survivors. As always, there are those who, as their final cigarette is being lit and the blindfold tightened, will still hope against hope for some kind of reprieve. For a miracle. Not our two lovers. They - like the majority of the Earth's population - have accepted their fate; the world is going to end.
Director: Abel Ferrara
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Shanyn Leigh, Natasha Lyonne
Trailer: Trailer "4:44 Last Day on Earth"

Description: Merida (Kelly McDonald) is a skilled archer and impetuous daughter of King Fergus (Billy Connolly) and Queen Elinor (Emma Thompson). Determined to carve her own path in life, Merida defies an age-old custom sacred to the uproarious lords of the land: massive Lord MacGuffin (Kevin McKidd), surly Lord Macintosh (Craig Ferguson) and cantankerous Lord Dingwall (Robbie Coltrane). Merida's actions inadvertently unleash chaos and fury in the kingdom, and when she turns to an eccentric old Wise Woman (Julie Walters) for help, she is granted an ill-fated wish. The ensuing peril forces Merida to discover the meaning of true bravery in order to undo a beastly curse before it's too late.
Director: Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman
Starring: Kelly Macdonald, Emma Thompson, Billy Connolly, Julie Walters, Kevin McKidd, Craig Ferguson, Robbie Coltrane
Trailer: Trailer "Brave"
Comment: It's a Disney Pixar movie so almost a guarantee for good entertainment.

zaterdag 25 februari 2012

In My Mailbox (35)

Last week no cards. This week only two. It's been a quiet couple of weeks, postcrossing wise. And I still have to receive at least 8 cards. It's weird, but I don't trust the mail these days.

Anyway... the first card I got this week came from Cambridge, UK. First card from that country. It shows the bridges in Cambridge.

Sent on: february 16th 2012
Received on: february 22nd 2012
Distance: 420 km (261 miles)
Travel time: 6 days

Second one came from Louisiana, US. Pretty card with a flower. The school I work at is actually named after this flower.

Sent on: february 10th 2012
Received on: february 22nd 2012
Distance: 7,973 km (4,954 miles)
Travel time: 12 days

Thanks Jennifer and Yvette. Still hoping for more cards next week. Because I'm writing and sending more than I receive....

Best of... James Franco

The first thing you see are off course his good looks, but when you focus, James Franco is a fantastic actor with some wonderful films on his résumé. Here are my favorite James Franco movies.

"Never Been Kissed"
I didn't even know he was in this movie after watching it for the third time. James doesn't have a big role though. I love this movie, such a sweet film and Drew Barrymore rocks!

He initially auditioned for the role of Peter Parker, but I think Harry Osbourne suites him better. Great comic-book adaptation.

"Spider-Man 2"
This is concidered the best in the trilogy. I think I agree. The villain is certainly more interesting. Great job by Alfred Molina. The triangle Maguire, Dunst and Franco also works perfectly.

"Tristan + Isolde"
Beautiful lovestory. I really enjoyed this movie a whole lot. I always seem to enjoy movies or stories about forbidden love. Great chemistry between Sophia Myles and James Franco.

"In the Valley of Elah"
This movie is basically great because of its strong cast. Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon. James only had to make a small effort, but I remember him. I especially liked Theron in this movie. She proved again why she's one of my favorites.

"Pineapple Express"
How awesome is this. I recently rewatched it and it's so much fun. I love the combination of James Franco and Seth Rogen and their humor is hilarious. Saul Silver is one of the dumbest but funniest characters.

"Nights in Rodanthe"
I seriously didn't know that he was in this movie, while I was watching it. SURPRISE! I always like Nicholas Sparks stories, so I enjoyed this one as well.

Fantastic performance by Sean Penn, he really deserved that Oscar. Great story and so perfectly told by Gus van Sant. Other great performances by James Franco, Emile Hirsch and Diego Luna.

James Franco's performance is better then the movie itself, but worth putting on this list anyway.

"127 Hours"
His best movie so far and also one of the best performances I've seen the last ten years. Franco gives away a perfect one-man show and this movie kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

"Your Highness"
A lot of people critized it, but I liked it. It's a bit ridiculous, but maybe that's why it's so much fun. All actors seem to 'overact' a bit, maybe Natalie Portman was the only one perfoming at her best, but still... I just like "Your Highness".

"Rise of the Planet of the Apes"
Surprisingly good! Never thought I would love it this much. The kudos go to Andy Serkis, as chimp Ceasar. What a fantastic role. This movie actually made me think and see again how cruel people can be.

I haven't seen "The Broken Tower" yet and it seems that James Franco has to work very hard. He has like 10 projects upcoming! Hell yeah!

donderdag 23 februari 2012

Top 5 Thursday: Movie Directors

I know a lot about movies, its stars, genres, you name it. Directors I don't know as much about, but I do know my favorites. Here are my favorite movie directors.

5. Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood has always been a fantastic actor, but in my opinion he’s an even better director. He has a good eye for telling a great story. I love all his movies.

4. David Lynch
David Lynch dares to be different. I wish I could get into his head someday, so I could find out how his mind works. His movies always make you think, more than usual. What seems like average stories turn out to be the most complicated stories ever. And even after seeing the movie you end up in an internal monologue with yourself, trying to figure out what you just saw.

3. Steven Spielberg
Maybe a bit cliché to put him on this list, but I always enjoy a good Spielberg movie. He made some classics like “Jurassic Park”, “Jaws”, “E.T.” and “Schindler’s List” and that’s just some I can come up with right now. They are always a great treat and they garantuee an entertaining night.

2. Ron Howard
Ron Howard started out as a childstar and grew out to be a succesful director. He became an actor so he wouldn’t be typecasted as an actor and he also refused to become a typecast director. Although all of his films are explorations of the human experience, he has ventured into many genres: science fiction, fantasy, epic adventure, romance, comedy, drama, satire.

1. Quentin Tarantino
Quentin Tarantino is my go-to-director. He hasn’t done many movies, but the once he made are all great pieces of work. He really takes his time to create a film. I like his controversy, the fantastic dialogues, the memorable characters and his style. Tarantino is one of a kind and I can’t believe he hasn’t won an Oscar yet.

They almost made the top 5: Frank Darabont, Sofia Coppola, Alejandro González Iñárritu, Martin Scorsese, Peter Jackson and The Coen Brothers.

woensdag 22 februari 2012

The Many Face of... Chris Evans

Chris Evans is one of the sexiest leading men and although he hasn't been around long, he did have some different looks in the movies he made. Here are they.

Face # 1: Not Another Teen Movie
Role: Jake Wyler
Comment: OK, like a real jock.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 2: The Perfect Score
Role: Kyle
Comment: Too boyish
Rating: 2,5/ 5

Face # 3: Cellular
Role: Ryan
Comment: That's better....
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 4: Fantastic Four
Role: Johnny Storm
Comment: Really, you want a comment. He's just looks HOT. Get it? I really didn't want to make this lame comment.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 5: London
Role: Syd
Comment: Don't like the hair.
Rating: 2,5/ 5

Face # 6: Sunshine
Role: Mace
Comment: Pretty standard, but a good look.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 7: The Nanny Diaries
Role: Harvard Hottie
Comment: Is he wearing a pink shirt? I hate pink shirts on men. But Chris gets away with it. They call him Harvard Hottie for a reason you know.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 8: Street Kings
Role: Detective Paul Diskant
Comment: He's a cop!
Rating: 3,5/ 5

Face # 9: Push
Role: Nick Gant
Comment: I like the fact that he didn't shave.
Rating: 3,5/ 5

Face # 10: The Losers
Role: Jensen
Comment: So not every look is good for him.
Rating: 2/ 5

Face # 11: Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World
Role: Lucas lee
Comment: Ehm... Chris even looks a bit creepy here.
Rating: 2,5/ 5

Face # 12: Puncture
Role: Mike Weiss
Comment: A bad boy look. Likey like!
Rating: 4,5/ 5

Face # 13: Captain America: First Avenger
Role: Steve Roger/ Captain America
Comment: It doesn't get better than this.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 14: What's Your Number?
Role: Colin Shea
Comment: I would date him!
Rating: 5/ 5

dinsdag 21 februari 2012

Oscar Predictions 2012

I'm going to predict the winners for this years Oscars again. A though year, because of all the different winners during all the other award ceremonies. I'm only pretty sure about the supporting actor/ actress category. Here is my list of who should and would win this year.

Best Motion Picture of the Year
Should Win: "The Help" or "Midnight in Paris"
Would Win: "The Artist"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Should Win: Brad Pitt for "Moneyball"
Would Win: Jean Dujardin for "The Artist"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Should Win: Michelle Williams for "My Week with Marilyn" or Viola Davis for "The Help"
Would Win: Meryl Streep for "The Iron Lady"

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role
Should Win: Christopher Plummer for "Beginners"
Would Win: Christopher Plummer for "Beginners"

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role
Should Win: Jessica Chastain for "The Help" or Octavia Spencer for "The Help"
Would Win: Octavia Spencer for "The Help"

Best Achievement in Directing
Should Win: Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris"
Would Win: Michel Hazanavicius for "The Artist"

I'm looking forward to the show, because Billy Crystal is returning as a host. It's already a garantuee for an entertaining night.

maandag 20 februari 2012

Pic Spam: Channing Tatum

I loved Channing Tatum in "Dear John" and a dancing movie like "Step Up" would never be worth watching without him in it. I really want to see him star opposite Rachel McAdams in "The Vow", but first his best pictures. And he has a lot of them.

zondag 19 februari 2012

Movie Trailer Sunday (25)

This weeks trailers are about faceless hauntings, vampire slaying Abraham Lincoln, sharks, college and uncovering a tragic past.

Description: Though no one can see him, Hollow Face lurks in the corners, desperately desiring love but only knowing how to spread fear and hate. He creeps into the life of John Farrow (Clive Owen) after Farrow's beloved 13-year-old daughter Mia (Ella Purnell) is assaulted in their home. The line between the real and the imaginary blurs as fissures start to open within the family unit. It seems that no security measure can keep Hollow Face out.
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Starring: Clive Owen, Carice van Houten and Ella Purnell,
Trailer: Trailer "Intruders"

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Description: President Lincoln's mother is killed by a supernatural creature, which fuels his passion to crush vampires and their slave-owning helpers.
Director: Timur Bekmambetov
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Dominic Cooper, Anthony Mackie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Jimmi Simpson, Robin McLeavy, Alan Tudyk, Rufus Sewell
Trailer: Trailer "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"
Comment: The title alone is awesome.

Dark Tide
Description: Kate (Halle Berry) is a shark expert whose business has been failing since a shark attack killed a fellow diver under her command. Once dubbed "the shark whisperer," Kate is haunted by the memory of the attack and unable to get back into the water. With bills piling up and the bank about to foreclose on Kate's boat, Kate's ex-boyfriend Jeff (Olivier Martinez) presents her with a lucrative opportunity: lead a thrill-seeking millionaire businessman on a dangerous shark dive...outside the cage. Battling her self-doubts and fear, Kate accepts the proposal -- and sets a course for the world's deadliest feeding ground: Shark Alley.
Director: John Stockwell
Starring: Halle Berry and Olivier Martinez
Trailer: Trailer "Dark Tide"
Comment: This movie was shot at the same location my brother Frank was vacationing at that time. He didn't get to see Halle Berry though.

Damsels in Distress
Description: We follows a group of style-obsessed college girls who take in a new student (Greta Gerwig) and teach her their misguided ways of helping people at their grungy university.
Director: Whit Stillman
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Adam Brody, Analeigh Tipton, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Carrie MacLemore, Hugo Becker, Billy Magnussen, Ryan Metcalf, Jermaine Crawford, Aubrey Plaza
Trailer: Trailer "Damsels in Distress"

Description: Linked by a rare psychological disorder, Noah Greene and Emily Gates must uncover the mystery of a tragic past in order to find hope for the future.
Director: Aaron Rottinghaus
Starring: Oleysa Rulin,Josh Danziger, Bruce McGill and Joey Lauren Adams
Trailer: Trailer "Apart"

zaterdag 18 februari 2012

In the Picture: The Characters from "The Help"

I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it. And I love the book just as much. I dedicated this item to the movie "The Help" and its great characters.

Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan
Played by: Emma Stone
Skeeter is a young white woman who has recently moved back home to her family's plantation after graduating from the University of Mississippi. She found out that her beloved childhood maid, Constantine has quit while she was away. Skeeter is skeptical because she believes Constantine would have written to her. When she experiences how her friends treat their maids, she decides to interview one of the maids. Skeeter is determined to write a story about them and to show people their point of view, because she actually respects the maids that work for them.

Aibeleen Clark
Played by: Viola Davis
Aibeleen is a middle-aged black woman who spend most of her life raising white children and has recently lost her only son. She befriends Skeeter and agrees on working together with her on the story she’s writing. Aibeleen loves taking care of the children, but hates how their parents treat them. In her opinion should the woman she works for should not be having kids.

Minny Jackson
Played by: Octavia Spencer
Minny is Aibeleen’s best friend ans also a maid. She is very outspoken and her smart mouth has gotten her fired a lot of times. Minny built up a reputation of being a difficult employee, but she makes up for this with her phenomenal cooking skills.

Hilly Holbrook
Played by: Bryce Dallas Howard
Hilly is Skeeter’s friend. She came up with the Home Help Sanitation Initiative, a proposed bill to provide for separate bathrooms for black help because she believes that they carry different diseases to white people. Hilly treats her maid like dirt and with that she’s the worst of them all and a real racist.

Celia Foote
Played by: Jessica Chastain
After Minny gets fired at Hilly’s house, she starts working for the naïve Celia. She is married to a rich socialite. Celia is an outcast from the other society ladies due to the fact she was born into a working class family and her husband is Hilly's ex-boyfriend. Also unlike Hilly, Celia seems to treat Minny with far more respect and actually loves having her around. When the other woman call her ‘white trash’ she is the most good hearted lady of them all.

Favorite Character: Celia Foote

donderdag 16 februari 2012

Top 5 Thursday: Muppets

I've always been obsessed with "The Muppets". Now, the new movie is in theaters and I will go and see it soon. My top 5 of this week is starring my favorite muppets.

5. Beaker
Off course he is a duo with Bunsen, but he’s the better half. Electrocuting himself or blowing up. His suffering makes us laugh out loud. And how he looks, the weird long face and the silly mouth. Don’t even start with what sound comes out of that mouth.

4. Gonzo
Gonzo is a great muppet and that’s all I can call him. Because nobody knows what he really is. I do know Gonzo is a great entertainer, a weirdo and generally doesn’t make a lot of sense. But Gonzo is happy with who he is and that’s what counts.

3. Pepe the King Prawn
Come on, he’s a four-armed prawn with a Spanish accent. Who doesn’t think that’s hilarious and adorable all at once? Pepe is awesome.

2. Oscar the Grouch
Oscar isn’t the most sympathatic character, but never boring. I just think Oscar is awesome, eventhough he is a grouch. I even named my bunny after him.

1. Kermit the Frog
I know… cliché, but Kermit the Frog is the lord of the Muppets. He is so loveable and the actual heart and soul of creator Jim Henson. Kermit the Frog is number one because we love him, and we always will. He touches my heart everytime he sings “The Rainbow Connection”.

They almost made the top 5: Waldorf and Statler, Fozzie, Swedish Chef, Rizzo the Rat, Animal and Rowlf