vrijdag 31 augustus 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 Update - August

I really read a lot of books this month. Seven! And some of them were great, fantastic and perfect. What an amazing author Roald Dahl is.

# 32. Matilda by Roald Dahl- 5/ 5
# 33. The Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl - 5/ 5
# 34. The BFG by Roald Dahl - 4,5/ 5
# 35. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl - 5/ 5
# 36. Danny the Champion of the World by Roald Dahl - 3/ 5
# 37. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl - 4,5/ 5
# 38. The Witches by Roald Dahl - 5/ 5

Average: 4,6

Favorite of the Month: Matilda

Now the theme for september:

After spending so much time reading children's books, I'm now going to read some adult classics. Books I just have to read. Thinking of Charles Dickens, the Brontë sister and Jane Austen. Looking forward to those classics.

donderdag 30 augustus 2012

Top 5 Thursday: Female Book Characters

I already shared my favorite movie character, both male and female, with you. Now it’s time for the book characters that I love. As always, ladies first.

5. Clare Abshire (“The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger)
Some people might call Clare insane, for giving up her life for a man who travels through time. He can leave at any time and be gone for quite a while. Clare knew that she loved Henry and she wouldn’t be happy without him. To me, Clare is a hero.

4. Minerva McGonagall (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling)
Professor McGonagall seems fierce and she is very strict. That has led to a huge amount of respect. I like her as an authority figure and she’s always been my favorite female character from the Harry Potter series. Her students can always rely on her.

3. Jane Eyre (“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë)
Jane is an intelligent, honest, plain-featured young girl forced to contend with oppression, inequality, and hardship. I love that she’s so assertive and she speaks her mind, although most people won’t expect it.

2. Katniss Everdeen (“The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins) Far out the strongest woman I ever read about. Katniss has to survive in a game where young people have to kill each other. Most people would have already given up, but not Katniss. She fights, helps others and defeats.

1. Elizabeth Bennet (“Pride & Prejudice” by Jane Austen)
It is already my favorite book, but Elizabeth Bennet is an intelligent young woman, with a lively, playful disposition, which delighted in anything ridiculous. Elizabeth doesn’t want what every other woman wants (read: her mother). She doesn’t want to just ‘marry well’. She wants to love a man and marry him out of love.

They almost made the top 5: Celia Foote (“The Help”), Hermione Granger (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling), Fanny Price (“Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen), Beatrice Prior (“Divergent”’ by Veronica Roth), Matilda Wormwood (“Matilda” by Roald Dahl), Benny Hogan (“Circle of Friends” by Maeve Binchy), Violet Baudelaire (“A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket), Allie Hamilton (“The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks) and Cecilia Tallis (“Atonement” by Ian McEwan)

woensdag 29 augustus 2012

In the Picture: The Characters from "Jane Eyre"

I saw the new version of “Jane Eyre” just recently and I think it’s fantastic. I love the story and I’m planning on reading it in september. I decided to take a good look at the characters from this movie.

Jane Eyre
Played by: Mia Wasikowska
Jane is an intelligent, honest, plain-featured young girl forced to contend with oppression, inequality, and hardship. She is very assertive, although many people won’t expect it from her. Jane also values intellectual and emotional fulfillment. She catches the eye of Edward Rochester

Edward Rochester
Played by: Michael Fassbender
Sir Rochester is Jane’s employer and the owner of Thornfield. He’s a wealthy and passionate man with a dark secret. Although Jane doesn’t show affection at first, Rochester is charmed by Jane. He’s not used to a woman who speaks her mind.

St. John Rivers
Played by: Jamie Bell
He serves as Jane’s benefactor after she runs away from Thornfield, giving her food and shelter. John is cold and reserveed, but he sees a good wife in Jane. She doesn’t feel the same because she already lost her heart to someone else.

Mrs. Fairfax
Played by: Judi Dench
Mrs. Fairfax is the housekeeper at Thornfield and very loyal to her master Rochester. She is very fond of Jane and Mrs. Fairfax advices her about a lot of things. And she warns her for Rochester.

Favorite Character: Jane Eyre

dinsdag 28 augustus 2012

Movie Moments: "Toy Story 3"

The first two installments of this series have already been in this item. "Toy Story 3" is also full of great, memorable scenes so here are the best ones lined up for you.

Moment # 1: Opening
Mr. Potato Head is stealing money from a train. Woody tries to stop him with the help of Jessie and Bullseye. When the train almost crashes, Buzz comes to the rescue. Rex helps them and is finally scary and Hamm is evil Dr. Pork chop. Yes we’ve entered Andy’s imagination again.

Moment # 2: Buster
All the toys, besides Woody, accidentally end up in the trash. Woody needs to think of something so he calls Buster the dog. He got older, so he’s really slow. Woody gets on his back, but Buster roles over and lands on Woody.

Moment # 3: New toys!
Woody, Buzz and all of their toy friends are in a box. They arrived at Sunnyside Daycare. They are really curious about what’s going on outside the box. Rex eventually gets too excited and knocks over the box. They fall over and see a lot of new toys.

Moment # 4: The caterpillar room
The toys are very excited about their new home, they think it’s really nice. But that changes when they finally meet the kids. They are too young and can’t play properly with the toys. Slinky has three aliens curled up in his spiral, Rex lost his tail, Jessie is covered in paint and Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head got all their parts mixed up. They don’t like it anymore and realize that Woody, who got out, was right all along.

Moment # 5: Chuckles
Woody is at Bonnie’s house. He really likes her and he’s happy that someone finally played with him again. But Woody feels he has to return to his actual owner Andy. When Bonnie’s toys find out that Woody’s friends are at the Sunnyside Daycare, they get really worried. Sunnyside isn’t a nice place. Woody doesn’t understand, because Lotso was a very nice toy. Chuckles, an angry clown, can tell him everything about Lotso, who isn’t nice at all. Woody realizes he has to save his friends.

Moment # 6: The plan
Woody arrives at the daycare and has a plan to get his friends out of Sunnyside. Mr. Potato Head distracts the big baby and Woody and Slinky catch “the monkey”. Barbie distract Ken in order to get the manual to reset Buzz. Hamm and Rex pretend to fight so that Jessie and Bullseye can capture Buzz, who was set into demo mode. In the mean time Mr. Potato Head puts all of his parts on a tortilla, but falls apart because of a pigeon. Barbie gets her hands on the manual to reprogram Buzz. Mr. Potato Head returns as a hotdog and all of the toys are together again and ready to escape.

Moment # 7: Buzz tries to impress Jessie
The toys reprogrammed Buzz, but something went wrong. He now is set into the Spanish mode. He tries to impress Jessie with his Spanish dance moves. Jessie doesn’t really know what to do with it.

Moment # 8: Buzz saves Jessie
All the toys are in the dumpster and Jessie is in trouble. Spanish Buzz sees her and saves her. Something heavy drops and he makes sure Jessie is save, but Buzz is hit. When he wakes up, Buzz is himself again and Jessie is very happy.

Moment # 9: Saved by the claw
Woody, Buzz and their friends think that it’s over. They grab each others hands, but all of a sudden the three little aliens save them with a giant claw.

Moment # 10: Andy and Bonnie
Woody writes Andy a note. He wants all the toys to got to Bonnie, instead of putting them in the attic. Andy introduces all the toys to Bonnie, including Woody, and he wants her to take good care of them because they mean a lot to him. Andy stays a little longer to play with Bonnie and the toys.

Moment # 11: Trixie and Rex play a videogame (end credits)
Rex finally found a dinosaur friend, Trixie. She also happens to love videogames and they make a great team together.

Moment # 12: Romeo & Juliet (end credits)
Mr. Pricklepants performs as Romeo and his Juliet is one of the little aliens.

Favorite Moment: Moment # 12: Romeo & Juliet

maandag 27 augustus 2012

50 Books Challenge 2012 - # 38: The Witches by Roald Dahl

Title: The Witches
Author: Roald Dahl
Story: A seven-year-old boy has a run-in with some real-life witches! In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch. Witches, as our hero learns, hate children. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him.
Start: august 26th 2012
End: august 27th 2012
Comment: This is the last book I read in my Roald Dahl month. It was such a pleasure reading them all and it's great to end this month with "The Witches". This is without a doubt the scariest book Dahl wrote. I remember that it freaked me out as a kid, both the book and the movie. The little boy in the book hears all those gruesome stories from his grandmother, that he didn't only get scared. He gets curious and wants to see them for real. When he does, he wished he didn't. My favorite parts in the book were the chapter where grandma tells her grandson how you can recognize a witch. And second is where the boy turns into a mouse and tries to think of a plan to get the witches. I really liked the boy narrator. Like in "Danny the Champion of the World" we see the story through his eyes. Grandma is also loveable, although she has the nasty habit of smoking cigars. She dedicades her life to her grandson. The witches in this book aren't stereotypical witches with pointy hats, brooms and a black cat. Dahl managed to create a new kind of witch, maybe even scarier than the one we already knew. This month was fantastic, Roald Dahl will always be te best children's book writer.
Rating: 5/ 5

zondag 26 augustus 2012

Movie Trailer Sunday (49)

This weeks trailers are about a singing group, butter carving, the tsunami in Thailand, a seductive superior and eight friend vacationing together.

The Sapphires
Description: We follow four vivacious, young and talented Australian Aboriginal girls from a remote mission as they learn about love, friendship and war when their all girl group The Sapphires entertains the U.S. troops in Vietnam in 1968. Cynthia (Miranda Tapsell), Gail (Deborah Mailman), Julie (Jessica Mauboy) and Kay (Shari Sebbens) are discovered by Dave (Chris O'Dowd), a good-humored talent scout with a kind heart, very little rhythm but a great knowledge of soul music. As their manager, Dave books the sisters their first true gig giving them their first taste of stardom, and travels them to Vietnam to sing for the American troops.
Director: Wayne Blair
Starring: Chris O'Dowd, Deborah Mailman, Jessica Mauboy, Shari Sebbens, Miranda Tapsell
Trailer: Trailer "The Sapphires"

Description: Laura Pickler (Jennifer Garner) is the ambitious, self-anointed First Lady of Butter Carving. Refusing to accept that her husband (Ty Burrell) wants to step down after his 15-year run as the Iowa State Butter Carving Champion, and therefore end the Pickler family's reign in the spotlight, Laura takes a stab at the title herself. But her bid for glory is complicated when two unlikely contestants enter the race. One, her husband's hard-living mistress (Olivia Wilde), and the other a 10-year-old foster child named Destiny. Enlisting the help of her high school sweetheart, Boyd (Hugh Jackman), Laura will stop at nothing to be crowned champion, even if it means resorting to sabotage.
Director: Jim Field Smith
Starring: Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Alicia Silverstone, Ashley Greene
Trailer: Trailer "Butter"
Comment: Sounds ridiculous, looks really fun.

The Impossible
Description: Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But on the morning of December 26th, as the family relaxes around the pool after their Christmas festivities the night before, a terrifying roar rises up from the center of the earth. As Maria freezes in fear, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds toward her.
Director: J.A. Bayona
Starring: Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast
Trailer: Trailer "The Impossible"
Comment: The trailer alone made me cry. And Naomi Watts is my favorite, so I definitely want to see this movie.

Description: Isabelle (Noomi Rapace) has unlimited admiration for her direct superior, Christine (Rachel McAdams), a woman well-schooled in the ways of power. Christine enjoys holding sway over Isabelle, leads her one step at a time and ever more deeply into a game of seduction and manipulation, of dominance and servitude. The game is played for keeps, and there is no turning back.
Director: Brian De Palma
Starring: Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace
Trailer: Trailer "Passion"
Comment: Intriguing...

Little White Lies
Description: Eight thirty and forty-something close friends vacation together in the summer beach house of uptight restaurateur Max (Francois Cluzet). Starting out light and carefree, tensions begin to fill the air when Ludo is clinging to life following a motorcycle accident, and Max is grappling with unwanted affections from Vincent (Benoit Magimel), whose married life and sexuality are under fire. Womanizing actor Eric and free-spirited ethnologist Marie (Marion Cotillard) navigate the challenges of single life while lovelorn Antoine (Laurent Lafitte) pines for his ex-girlfriend after a sudden breakup
Director: Guillaume Canet
Starring: Francois Cluzet, Marion Cotillard, Benoit Magimel, Gilles Lellouche, Laurent Lafitte, Jean Dujardin
Trailer: Trailer "Little White Lies"

zaterdag 25 augustus 2012

Best of... Will Ferrell

Will Ferrell is one of the funniest actors on this planet. He doesn't even have to make an effort to make me laugh, because practically everything he does is hilarious. Here's a list of his best movies.

"A Night at the Roxbury"
This movie is actually really ridiculous, but maybe that's why it's so funny. The two Butabi brothers are a bit retarted and they are so naive. And the Haddaway song is iconic. Maybe not iconic, but it's super awesome in this film.

"Old School"
One of the best comedies ever made. This movie is so funny, especially because of Ferrell. His character Frank the Tank is one of cinema's favorite drunks. Don't you just crack up when he starts singing "Dust in the Wind" or when he does gymnastics? I do, even when I just think about it.

A man who thinks he's an elf... Only Will Ferrell can get away with that sort of nonsense. And it works. At least for me it does.

This movie is filled with extravagant characters. Ron Burgundy is so full of himself, he doesn't even realize how arrogant he is and he isn't really talented at all. He just reads of a teleprompter. And I haven't mentioned the weatherman Brick yet. Steve Carell plays this role, which is maybe even more memorable than Ferrell's. A sequel is coming, can't wait.

"Wedding Crashers"
Ferrell only has a small role in this movie, but you do remember that one scene where we meet his character Chazz at his house. Or actually his mothers house. He totally stole that scene.

"Curious George"
One beloved children's story comes to life. It's an adorable movie, that didn't got that much attention, but is definitely worth checking out.

"Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"
The leading characters name is Ricky Bobby. That alone is funny. Just picture Will Ferrell's face and Sasha Baron Cohen pronouncing the name in a weird way and you have "Talladega Nights". Not very special, but I liked it.

"Stranger Than Fiction"
Again the funny name (Harold Crick), but this time a more serious role for Ferrell. Surprising and I enjoyed it very much. This also works for him.

"Blades of Glory"
I thought Ferrell couldn't be more ridiculous than "A Night at the Roxbury", but this movie proves he can. A movie about two figureskating guys teaming up? And guess what, I thought it was really hilarious!

"Step Brothers"
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly work really well together. We saw it before in "Talladega Nights" and this time as stepbrothers. My favorite scene is where they build bunkbeds.

"The Other Guys"
I didn't think Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell would make a good team, but they did. Great action comedy, with also nice supporting stars Eva Mednes, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Samuel L. Jackson.

"Everything Must Go"
Like "Stranger Than Fiction" we get a good mix of drama and comedy. I always love it when directors get it right. Really liked Rebecca Hall. And Will Ferrell is really good too.

50 Books Challenge 2012 - # 37: James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Title: James and the Giant Peach
Author: Roald Dahl
Story: When poor James Henry Trotter loses his parents in a horrible rhinoceros accident, he is forced to live with his two wicked aunts, Aunt Sponge and Aunt Spiker. After three years he becomes "the saddest and loneliest boy you could find." Then one day, a wizened old man in a dark-green suit gives James a bag of magic crystals that promise to reverse his misery forever. When James accidentally spills the crystals on his aunts' withered peach tree, he sets the adventure in motion. From the old tree a single peach grows, and grows, and grows some more, until finally James climbs inside the giant fruit and rolls away from his despicable aunts to a whole new life. James befriends an assortment of hilarious characters, including Grasshopper, Earthworm, Miss Spider, and Centipede--each with his or her own song to sing.
Start: august 21st 2012
End: august 25th 2012
Comment: The idea is again very original. A peach that starts growing because of magic seeds. The start of the story is a bit slow, but when the peach starts growing it's another joyful read. James is the leading character in the story and he's a sweet boy. He has to put up with a lot because he lives with his terrible aunts, which is typical for Roald Dahl's books. Most of the time the adults in the book aren't the most pleasant characters. Like the three farmers from "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", the two aunts both had completely different looks. They make James do all the nasty work and he never gets to be a kid. I liked the gang James met inside the peach. Like the centipede and the spider. Real fun. My favorite part is when the peach hits the ocean. Some exciting things happen there. And I loved the ending, because James got his dream. Roald Dahl did a great job with this book.
Rating: 4,5/ 5

In My Mailbox (59)

Only three cards this week. The first came from Zeist, The Netherlands. I love this card. A great clasic Disney card. A favorite.

Sent on: august 21st 2012
Received on: august 22nd 2012
Distance: 113 km (70 miles)
Travel time: 1 day

From Jyväskylä, Finland I got this serene landscape. Looks really peaceful.

Sent on: august 10th 2012
Received on: august 22nd 2012
Distance: 1,713 km (1,064 miles)
Travel time: 12 days

I got a card from Thailand. This is the first card from that country.

Sent on: august 19th 2012
Received on: august 25th 2012
Distance: 9,343 km (5,805 miles)
Travel time: 6 days

Thanks Trudi, Pirkko and Pann for the cards.

donderdag 23 augustus 2012

Top 5 Thursday: Gorgeous Women That Got 'Ugly' for a Movie

Hollywood is full of gorgeous, beautiful and radiant women. But the most fantastic ones are the actresses that dare to be ugly for a role. Here are my five favorite transformations.

5. Sandra Bullock in "Miss Congeniality"
Bullock played the tough cop Gracie Hart, who walked and talked like a man before she was transformed into a Miss America contender.

4. Salma Hayek in "Frida"
I think Hayek is every man's dream. She is beautiful, curved and has a sexy accent. The unibrow is maybe the ugliest feature of her role in "Frida".

3. Gwyneth Paltrow in "Shallow Hall"
Although this isn't a very good movie, I really liked Paltrow in this film. Funny thing: when Paltrow started wearing the fat-suit, none of the people passing her would meet her eye.

2. Cameron Diaz in "Being John Malkovich"
It's not just the look that's weird, the character of Lotte is also pretty strange. Diaz with her frizzy hair is very memorable.

1. Charlize Theron in "Monster"
Theron is the most breathtaking actress and that makes it so amazing that she went full on ugly for her role in "Monster". That's what I admire about Theron, she truly doesn't care about her beauty, just about her performance. Fantastic.

They almost made the top 5: Nicole Kidman in "The Hours" and Renee Zellweger in "Bridget Jones's Diary"

woensdag 22 augustus 2012

Check This Out # 2

The second edition of this item. Again I have some great stuff I want to share with you. First this: this weekend I received the special edition of "The Hunger Games". It's a 2-disc special and it also contains five photocards. Really awesome!

You know that show "Inside the Actors Studio"? In the end James Lipton always asks his guest the same questions. This video shows a remix of those questions and the answers the guest gave him. Very funny.

Inside the Actors Studio

"Snow White and the Huntsman" is a great film. The song that "Florence + the Machine" made for this movie is fantastic. Here is the video, with clips of the movie, for the song "Breath of Life".

Breath of Life by Florence + the Machine

I found this picture of gorgeous Jessica Chastain, who is starring in the upcoming movie "Lawless".

The DVD for the superhero movie "The Avengers" will come out soon, but a gag reel has already hit the internet.

"The Avengers" Gag Reel

And a CSI season 12 recap. A good preparation for season 13, starting soon....

CSI Season 12 Recap

A show that starts soon too is "Sons of Anarchy". I saw a lot of promo video's, but this one really spoke to me. It's Tara centric and it looks like she and Gemma aren't getting along next season. Tara rocks this promo.

Tara Promo

If you have anything you think I need to check out, feel free to share it with me.

dinsdag 21 augustus 2012

The Many Face of... Jennifer Lawrence

After rewatching "The Hunger Games" I decided to shine my light on Jennifer Lawrence for this item. Here are all her different looks. And while doing this item I discovered that Jennifer can't look bad.

Face # 1: The Burning Plain
Role: Mariana
Comment: Very natural.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 2: Winter's Bone
Role: Ree
Comment: She doesn't really care about her looks. That's why she's so pretty, she's not trying.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 3: Like Crazy
Role: Sam
Comment: Perfect!
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 4: The Beaver
Role: Norah
Comment: I seriously want her hair.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 5: X-Men First Class
Role: Raven/ Mystique
Comment: Very... blue. She was very sexy in her role as Mystique.
Rating: 3/ 5

Face # 6: The Hunger Games
Role: Katniss Everdeen
Comment: Can I give her like ten star rating? She looks awesome, exactly how I pictured her in the book.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 7: House at the End of the Street
Role: Elissa
Comment: Blonde again. Nice.
Rating: 5/ 5

Face # 8: Silver Lining Playbook
Role: Tiffany
Comment: She also rocks the dark brown hair.
Rating: 4/ 5

Face # 9: Serena
Role: Serena Pemberton
Comment: Not out yet, but I wanted to share this special classy look with you.
Rating: 3,5 /5