zondag 31 maart 2013

50 Books Challenge 2013 - # 10: 1984 by George Orwell

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Story: Winston Smith works for the Ministry of truth in London, chief city of Airstrip One. Big Brother stares out from every poster, the Thought Police uncover every act of betrayal. When Winston finds love with Julia, he discovers that life does not have to be dull and deadening, and awakens to new possibilities. Despite the police helicopters that hover and circle overhead, Winston and Julia begin to question the Party; they are drawn towards conspiracy. Yet Big Brother will not tolerate dissent - even in the mind. For those with original thoughts they invented Room 101.
Start: march 24th 2013
End: march 31st 2013
Comment: This is one of those books you just need to read. It belongs on anyones list. I read George Orwell's "Animal Farm" last year and it was fantastic, but not for everyone. It's not the easiest peace of literature, it has several layers and a great choice of words. "1984" has that too. This is Orwell's first novel and it was written amidst the anti-communist hysteria of the cold war. This is the story of how he feared the world would become run by a group of cahooting despots by 1984. The world he created was seriously scary, though very insightful. You see it all throught the eyes of Winston, which makes it all even scarier. I felt like I was in that creepy world, I was Winston. It's really easy to relate to him somehow, although this is a world you can't even imagine living in. That's the power of the story: it gets a hold on you and doesn't let you go until you close it. This book was published back in 1949, but Orwell already had certain ideas about how the world could be someday. Nowadays it's ruled by computers and all types of media. You wonder now if this book is fiction or it was a prophecy. Again, like "Animal Farm", this isn't just for anyone, but you should at least give it a try. It's such a good book. I'm glad I finaly picked it up.
Rating: 5/ 5

Movie Trailer Sunday (79)

Here are this weeks trailers.

White House Down
Description: Capitol Policeman John Cale (Channing Tatum) has just been denied his dream job with the Secret Service of protecting President James Sawyer (Jamie Foxx). Not wanting to let down his little girl with the news, he takes her on a tour of the White House, when the complex is overtaken by a heavily armed paramilitary group. Now, with the nation's government falling into chaos and time running out, it's up to Cale to save the president, his daughter, and the country.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Starring: Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Richard Jenkins, James Woods
Trailer: Trailer "White House Down"

Before Midnight
Description: we meet Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse (Ethan Hawke) 9 years on. Almost 2 decades have passed since that first meeting on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early 40's in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
Director: Richard Linklater
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Trailer: Trailer "Before Midnight"
Comment: I love the other two movies, so I'm sure I will like this one.

2 Guns
Description: For the past 12 months, DEA agent Bobby Trench (Denzel Washington) and U.S. naval intelligence officer Marcus Stigman (Mark Wahlberg) have been reluctantly attached at the hip. Working undercover as members of a narcotics syndicate, each man distrusts his partner as much as the criminals they have both been tasked to take down. When their attempt to infiltrate a Mexican drug cartel and recover millions goes haywire, Trench and Stigman are suddenly disavowed by their superiors. Now that everyone wants them in jail or in the ground, the only person they can count on is the other. Unfortunately for their pursuers, when good guys spend years pretending to be bad, they pick up a few tricks along the way.
Director: Baltasar Kormakur
Starring: Denzel Washington, Mark Wahlberg, Paula Patton, Bill Paxton, Edward James Olmos, James Marsden
Trailer: Trailer "2 Guns"
Comment: Denzel Washington is almost always a garantue for an entertaining movie night.

Arthur Newman
Description: Wallace Avery (Colin Firth) hates his job. His ex-wife and son hate him, and he's blown his one shot at living his dream. Not wanting to face all this, he stages his own death and buys himself a new identity as Arthur Newman. However, Arthur's road trip towards anew life is interrupted by the arrival of the beautiful but fragile Mike (Emily Blunt), who is also trying to leave her past behind. Drawn to one another, these two damaged souls begin to connect as they break into empty homes and take on the identities of the absent owners: elderly newlyweds, a high-roller and his Russian lady, among others. Through this process, Arthur and Mike discover that what they love most about each other are the identities they left at home, and their real journey, that of healing, begins.
Director: Dante Ariola
Starring: Colin Firth, Emily Blunt
Trailer: Trailer "Arthur Newman"
Comment: After watching this interesting trailer I can almost forgive Firth for stealing the Academy Award from James Franco.

The Wolverine
Description: Wolverine makes a voyage to modern-day Japan, where he encounters an enemy from his past that will impact on his future.
Director: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Will Yun Lee, Svetlana Khodchenkova, Hiroyuki Sanada, Hal Yamanouchi, Tao Okamoto, Rila Fukushima, Brian Tee
Trailer: Trailer "The Wolverine"
Comment: I'm nor sure if we need another one, but I just can't resist Hugh Jackman as the über manly Wolverine.

zaterdag 30 maart 2013

In My Mailbox (90)

Five officials and one swap. The first one is a card from Wyoming, but the sender is actually from Los Angeles, California. I like it a lot.

Sent: march 18th 2013
Received: march 25th 2013
Distance: 9,107 km (5,659 miles)
Travel Time: 7 days

From Lomza, Poland I got this really cute puppy. The sender is also an animal lover, like me.

Sent: march 21st 2013
Received: march 26th 2013
Distance: 1,118 km (695 miles)
Travel Time: 5 days

I got an awesome 3D card with a brown bear on it from Perg, Austria. I love this. My favorite of the week!

Sent: march 25th 2013
Received: march 29th 2013
Distance: 702 km (436 miles)
Travel Time: 4 days

From Kiev, Ukraine I received this card from a horselover. She is also a teacher, but then she teaches French and English.

Sent: march 15th 2013
Received: march 29th 2013
Distance: 1,722 km (1,070 miles)
Travel Time: 14 days

And another dolphin postcard, this time from Slochteren, Netherlands. the sender complimented me on my wishlist, she had so many cards she didn't know which one to send me.

Sent: march 28th 2013
Received: march 29th 2013
Distance: 231 km (144 miles)
Travel Time: 1 day

And one private swap again from Gatchina, Russia.

Thanks Kelly, Monika, Johanna, Tamara, Hindriktje and Anton for your fantastic cards this week.

donderdag 28 maart 2013

Top 5 Thursday: Movies I Always Watch When They're on TV

I think everyone knows this phenomenon: movies that, for some reason, you always watch whenever they are on TV. And mostly they aren’t the best or even your favorite movies. Here is my list.

5. Shanghai Noon
This is hilarious, my mom and I love watching this film. The combination of Owen Wilson and Jackie Chan seems weird, but works like a charm.

4. Home Alone
Every Christmas! And still funny as hell. Who doesn’t like “Home Alone”, I would like to meet that person.

3. Beverly Hills Cop 3
I can already see you roll your eyes. I think this movie is awesome, can't tell you why. Oh yeah, maybe because it's freakin' hilarious!

2. The Burbs
My brother and I are big fans of this Tom Hanks movie. It’s his funniest film and it even made it to the top 5 of best Tom Hanks movies. We can actually quote from it and we make jokes about it and no one else knows what we’re talking about.

1. Demolition Man
I don’t know what it is, but I love this film. I always watch it, literally always. I can’t explain why….

They Almost Made the Top 5: Gremlins, Independence Day, Jurassic Park, Daylight

woensdag 27 maart 2013

In the Picture: The Characters from "Django Unchained"

With "Django Unchained" director Quentin Tarantino delivered another masterpiece and created again some memorable and unique characters. Here they are.

Django Freeman
Played by: Jamie Foxx
Django has been soled as a slave and is seperated from his beloved wife Broomhilda. When he meets King Schulz he gets the oppertunity to find her and to get his life back. Django is a strongwilled man and does everything to get his wife back.

Dr. King Schultz
Played by: Christoph Waltz
Schultz is the one that frees Django and offers him a better life by helping Schultz as a bountyhunter. In return he will help Django find his wife. Schultz is a loyal man, with a strange sence of humor and he can outsmart anyone.

Calvin Candie
Played by: Leonardo DiCaprio
Calvin Candie is the owner of Candyland and he's the one that has Broomhilda in his possession. Although he is a very charming man, Candie is very brutal and relentless. He's a fan of Mandigo fighting, which forces two men two fight each other to the death.

Broomhilda Von Shaft
Played by: Kerry Washington
Broomhilda is Django's wife and she lives with Candie and works for him. She is obedient, because she has no choice. She wants to survive so she can reunite with her husband someday.

Played by: Samuel L. Jackson
Stephen works for Candie and is the worst of them all. He's a snitch en extremely cruel. Although he's black himself, he can act like a racist toward fellow black people.

Favorite Character: Dr. King Schultz

dinsdag 26 maart 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge 2013 - Theme # 12: Stationary

Here is this weeks challenge.

I like writing, journaling, blogging, so a good stationary set is very necessary. Off course the bic pens, they always work. The set is actually sponsored by my dad, he works for Zack, which is very expensive. Because my dad works there, he gets a discount, but he gave it to me as a present. I actually really like this photo a lot.

zondag 24 maart 2013

Movie Trailer Sunday (78)

Here are this weeks trailers.

The Colony
Description: Set during the next ice age, an outpost of colonists struggle to survive below the world's frozen surface. Short on supplies, and plagued by illness and internal conflict, the colonists suspect the worst when they mysteriously lose contact with their only other known settlement, Colony 5. When Colony 7's leader Briggs (Laurence Fishburne) decides to lead an expedition to discover what happened, he is challenged by Mason (Bill Paxton), his former comrade-in-arms, who has his own ideas of what is best for the colonists. Briggs takes two volunteers on the mission, the young Graydon, and Sam (Kevin Zegers), a strong-willed mechanic who seizes the opportunity to confront the icy wasteland that orphaned him. When they reach their destination, the team discover a threat much worse than nature and must battle to save themselves and protect their fellow colonists in what might be humanity's last stand.
Director: Joe Renfroe
Starring: Laurence Fishburne, Kevin Zegers, Bill Paxton
Trailer: Trailer "The Colony"

Tomorrow You're Gone
Description: Charlie Rankin (Stephen Dorff) is out of prison, but not out of trouble. Indebted to the man who saved his life behind bars (Willem Dafoe), Charlie must now carry out a murder to settle the score. But things start to change for Charlie when he meets Florence (Michelle Monaghan), a mysterious and beautiful lost soul who sees the good hidden beneath his tough exterior. When the hit goes bad, it's Charlie's life that is on the line, and he'll have to figure out how to settle his debts and keep Florence out of danger before his past catches up to him.
Director: David Jacobson
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Michelle Monaghan, Willem Dafoe
Trailer: Trailer "Tomorrow You're Gone"

Description: Living homeless after going on the run from a military court-martial, Joey Jones (Jason Statham) is a damaged ex-special forces soldier trapped in London's criminal underworld. But when opportunity enables him to assume another man's identity, he is transformed into an avenging angel.
Director: Steven Knight
Starring: Jason Statham
Trailer: Trailer "Hummingbird"
Comment: Not a Jason Statham fan, but I have to admit that this looks pretty good.

Girl Rising
Description: The movie tells the stories of nine girls from different parts of the world who face arranged marriages, child slavery, and other heartbreaking injustices. Despite these obstacles, the brave girls offer hope and inspiration. By getting an education, they're able to break barriers and create change.
Director: Richard Robbins
Starring: Cate Blanchet, Freida Pinto, Selena Gomez, Anne Hathaway, Salma Hayek, Liam Neeson, Kerry Washington, Meryl Streep, Chloë Grace Moretz, Alicia Keys (all narrators)
Trailer: Trailer "Girl Rising"
Comment: This looks amazing, inspiring and almost gave me tears already.

The Look of Love
Description:The life of Paul Raymond, the controversial entrepreneur who became Britain's richest man
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Starring: Steve Coogan, Imogen Poots, Anna Friel, Stephen Fry,
Trailer: Trailer "The Look of Love"

zaterdag 23 maart 2013

50 Books Challenge 2013 - # 9: Insurgent by Veronica Roth (Divergent # 2)

Title: Insurgent (Divergent # 2)
Author: Veronica Roth
Story: One choice can transform you--or it can destroy you. But every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves--and herself--while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love. Tris's initiation day should have been marked by celebration and victory with her chosen faction; instead, the day ended with unspeakable horrors. War now looms as conflict between the factions and their ideologies grows. And in times of war, sides must be chosen, secrets will emerge, and choices will become even more irrevocable--and even more powerful. Transformed by her own decisions but also by haunting grief and guilt, radical new discoveries, and shifting relationships, Tris must fully embrace her Divergence, even if she does not know what she may lose by doing so.
Start: march 11th 2013
End: march 23rd 2013
Comment: I devoured the first book in this series, so I was really expecting a lot from "Insurgent". Always dangerous. The book picks up where "Divergent" left off and Tris and Tobias are left running for their lives. We are still trying to figure out what the big mystery is everyone has been hiding and how this will play a role in the coming war. The reason I gave it a three star rating is because it's a bit bland and not much happened until towards the end of the book. That's where things started unfolding, revelations, action, betrayal, help when you least expected. I'm glad the ending was good, which makes me want to read the next book. I didn't enjoy reading about Tris and Four together, that relationship lost its spark, but I liked them seperately. Although Tris acts before she thinks and that's annoying, she is an interesting character to read about. What I liked the most is learning about all the different factions, but I still want to know why there are those factions. Although "Insurgent" wasn't as fast paced as its first installment, I did enjoy it and I can't wait for the third book in this series.
Rating: 3/ 5

In My Mailbox (89)

I got eight official postcards and one swap. Happy me! The first was alreadt gorgeous. This is from Witten, Germany. A beautiful Alaskan Malamute.

Sent: march 14th 2013
Received: march 18th 2013
Distance: 97 km (60 miles)
Travel Time: 4 days

Another dog from Germany, this time it's Cologne. The dog looks like a mop, so funny.

Sent: march 16th 2103
Received: march 20th 2013
Distance: 51 km (32 miles)
Travel Time: 4 days

A card from Nashville, Tennessee, USA. The sender is originally from Pennsylvania and she lived in 10 different states! Pretty awesome. She also lived in Korea as a teacher.

Sent: march 13th 2013
Received: march 22nd 2013
Distance: 7,120 km (4,424 miles)
Travel Time: 9 days

This is my weekly favorite, from Taipei, Taiwan. I love this card, the look in this cute cats eyes. This postcard screams out adorable! The sender recommended me to visit the night market and to drink pearl milk tea whenever I visit Taiwan.

Sent: march 16th 2013
Received: march 22nd 2013
Distance: 9,487 km (5,895 miles)
Travel Time: 6 days

From Herisau, Switzerland I received this movie card. I'm not a James Bond fan, but I'm glad the sender picked out a Bond postcard with Daniel Craig as James Bond. I actually like this card very much.

Sent: march 16th 2013
Received: march 23rd 2013
Distance: 485 km (301 miles)
Travel Time: 7 days

The third dog card this week came from Swan Hill, Australia. I like the matching stamp.

Sent: march 18th 2013
Received: march 23rd 2013
Distance: 16,200 km (10,066 miles)
Travel Time: 5 days

Another favorite came from Langfang (funny name), China. i love the colors and the lighting of this postcard. The sender wrote about her favorite movie "Titanic" and she asked if I liked it. I felt bad to tell her I hate it, so I didn't answer that question....

Sent: february 21st 2013
Received: march 23rd 2013
Distance: 7,917 km (4,919 miles)
Travel Time: 30 days

And here a card with character who can always cheer me up. "The Muppets"!!! Love 'em. Great card. I already have a similar card with Kermit and Miss Piggy. It's from Schoonebeek, Netherlands.

Sent: march 20th 2013
Received: march 23rd 2013
Distance: 187 km (116 miles)
Travel Time: 3 days

And a private swap, again from my postcrossing friend Anton in Gatchina, Russia. This card is actually in 3D, but it's hard to tell on the picture. Wonderful creatures, whales.

Thanks Reinhard, Alex, December, Sammi, Elena, Isaac, Ma, Caroline and Anton for the wonderful postcards this week.

Quotables: "50/ 50"

I saw this movie for the first time last year. It has become one of my favorites of all-time. I just love how this movie deals with this complex theme in a light hearted way, even with humor. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick are all amazing in this movie. Here are my favourite quotes.

Adam: See, but... that's bullshit. That's what everyone has been telling me since the beginning. "Oh, you're gonna be okay," and "Oh, everything's fine," and like, it's not... It makes it worse... that no one will just come out and say it. Like, "hey man, you're gonna die."

Adam: You should go.
Rachael: [Kissing him] I don't want to go. I want to stay here with you.
Adam: No, seriously... you need to get the fuck off my porch.

Adam: What were you doing when I called? Were you on facebook?
Katherine: You know... umm... stalking my ex-boyfriend actually isn't the only thing I do in my free time.
Adam: I wish you were my girlfriend.
Katherine: Girlfriends can be nice. You just had a bad one.
Adam: I bet you'd be a good one.

Rachael: Why am I the bad guy?
Kyle: Because you're his girlfriend, you cheated on him, and he has fucking cancer, you lunatic!

Adam: Why didn't we go to a barber?
Kyle: That would have been a good idea if we paid someone to do it.
Adam: Using your fucking balls trimmer instead of going to the barber.
Kyle: I never washed them, ever. It's not my balls, it's my asshole. I'm joking.
Adam: You're not joking.

donderdag 21 maart 2013

Top 5 Thursday: Actors Who Deserved an Academy Award

While wathcing the Academy Awards it happened many times that the one I wanted to win, didn't. And I was actually mad about it. Sometimes the actors had already one an Academy Award, but that doesn't matter. Here are my five actors who I think Deserved an Oscar.

5. Tom Cruise in "Born on the 4th of July"
He has been in many great film, but his role in "Born on the 4th of July" is simply the best. Cruise was so convincing and he touched me.

4. Edward Norton for "American History X"
Norton was fantastic in this film, a great performance. And also one of the best films made.

3. William H. Macy for "Fargo"
He was nominated for his supporting role and I think he did a tremendous job. Macy is a master in playing men who you feel sorry for.

2. Russell Crowe for "A Beautiful Mind"
Denzel Washington won that year, and that's fine, but I'm mostly mad that Crowe won for "Gladiator" and didn't for "A Beautiful Mind". I think it's pretty obvious that his performance as John Nash is much better and tougher to play.

1. James Franco for "127 Hours"
I was raging mad when I found out James didn't win the Oscar. This is one of the best performances I've seen in the past 10 years. Amazing. Colin Firth won that year, but he played a British king with a speech problem... come on!

They Almost Made the Top 5: Leonardo DiCaprio for Blood Diamond, Kevin Costner for Dances with Wolves, Samuel L. Jackson for Pulp Fiction

woensdag 20 maart 2013

Weekly Photo Challenge 2013 - Theme # 11: Red

I know I'm a day late, but it's but so busy lately. But here's this weeks challenge.

It's my favorite color and I wanted to do something original. So I was looking at all my DVD's and i just selected the once with a red cover. This is the photo I made.

zondag 17 maart 2013

Movie Trailer Sunday (77)

Here are this weeks movie trailers.

Generation Um...
Description: The world is downtown New York City, present day - from the point of view of a driver for an escort service. John (Keanu Reeves), a quietly sexy withdrawn guy, is finally aging out of his young, trendy neighborhood, dealing with the beginnings of the next chapter of his life. John's friends are the party girls he works for - Violet (Bojana Novakovic), an unstoppable entertainer whose weathered beauty and self-proclaimed wisdom are matched only by her lack of audience; and Mia (Adelaide Clemens), the new girl with the dark past, whose traffic-stopping sensuality has brought her nothing but victimization. Both survive on their ability to manipulate men, and don't know how to live any other way. But John, they trust. And through their relationship, all three find a comforting and humorous refuge from the downward spiral of their self-destructive but entertaining lifestyles. The end of another night out for this odd family of circumstance sets the stage for an all too familiar day spent coming to terms with and reveling in the lives they have unintentionally created for themselves. When John impulsively steals a camcorder, he decides to capture the sights, sounds, and senses of New York - or rather, his sights, sounds, and senses. He records nature, people, himself. Today. John's experiment takes a new turn when he pans the camera's attention to his Party Girls. Violet is gung-ho, ready at a moment's notice to become the center of attention before the focus fades away. Mia is less enthused, but finds herself opening up to the promise of a spectator. John's camcorder unravels the girls' lives, as both Violet and Mia find themselves attempting to outdo one another's secrets and opinions.
Director: Mark Mann
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Adelaide Clemens, Bojana Novakovic, Daniel Sunjata, Jake Hoffman, Johnny Orsini, Sarita Choudhury
Trailer: Trailer "Generation Um..."

Description: In the lush tradition of the glorious films of Merchant and Ivory, comes the true life story of Leonie Gilmour (Emily Mortimer), whose life crossed continents, wars and cultures, embodied with courage and passion in search of art and freedom. As an independent young woman seeking to overcome the restrictive female roles in turn-of-the century America, she is retained by the famous Japanese poet, Yone Noguchi, as his editor. Their relationship evolves romantically, however Yone abruptly leaves when she shares with him that she is pregnant. Following him to Japan, she is cast alone to raise their son in a society with few opportunities for women.
Director: Hisako Matsui
Starring: Emily Mortimer, Christina Hendricks, Shido Nakamura, Nichole Hiltz, Jay Karnes, Mary Kay Place
Trailer: Trailer "Leonie"

Kick-Ass 2
Description: When we last saw junior assassin Hit Girl (Chloe Grace Moretz) and young vigilante Kick-Ass Aaron Taylor-Johnson), they were trying to live as normal teenagers Mindy and Dave. With graduation looming and uncertain what to do, Dave decides to start the world's first superhero team with Mindy. Unfortunately, when Mindy is busted for sneaking out as Hit Girl, she's forced to retire leaving her to navigate the terrifying world of high-school mean girls on her own. With no one left to turn to, Dave joins forces with Justice Forever, run by a born-again ex-mobster named Colonel Stars and Stripes (Jim Carrey). Just as they start to make a real difference on the streets, the world's first super villain, The Mother F%&*^r, assembles his own evil league and puts a plan in motion to make Kick-Ass and Hit Girl pay for what they did to his dad. But there's only one problem with his scheme: If you mess with one member of Justice Forever, you mess with them all.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Morris Chestnut, John Leguizamo, Donald Faison, Jim Carrey
Trailer: Trailer "Kick-Ass 2"
Comment: I think Jim Carrey is a great addition. Can't wait to see this.

Penthouse North
Description: Sara Taylor (Michelle Monaghan), a photojournalist blinded in Iraq, is forced to play a deadly game of cat and mouse with the sadistic criminal Hollander (Michael Keaton), a man who will stop at nothing to get a fortune of stolen diamonds hidden in Sara's penthouse apartment. Although Sara claims to not know where the diamonds are, Hollander utilizes psychological and physical torture in an effort to break Sara's resistance. But Sara fights back. As the suspense builds to a shattering climax, Sara gains the advantage. But will it be enough to save her?
Director: Joseph Ruben
Starring: Michael Keaton, Michelle Monaghan, Andrew Walker
Trailer: Trailer "Penthouse North"

Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa
Description: Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan) has had many ups and downs in his life. National television broadcaster. Responsible for killing a guest on live TV. Local radio broadcaster. A nervous breakdown in Dundee. His self-published book, "Bouncing Back," subsequently remaindered and pulped. "Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa" portrays the events of the greatest low-to-high-ebb spectrum in his life to date, specifically how he tries to salvage his public career while negotiating a potentially violent turn of events at North Norfolk Digital Radio.
Director: Declan Lowney
Starring: Steve Coogan
Trailer: Trailer Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa"
Comment: I love Steve Coogan, especially as Alan Partridge.