Reviews

X-Men Days of Future Past (the Review)

*spoilers will inevitably be present*

First of all I’m back (in the Terminator sense) to the world of blogging and I thought why not hit it off the best way I know how, reviewing a rather anticipated film. Okay, I’ll set things straight this isn’t an overall review it’s more a series of remarks I took away from the film.

First of all, I need to just applaud the cast of every form of X-Men franchise in existence which has titillated our viewing stimulation and this film did not disappoint. Fassbender, McAvoy and Hugh Jackman are to name just a few as there are also Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters and Lucas Till but I could literally write a whole thesis upon their beauty so I will stop digressing.

The shift between past and present was so seamlessly blended that in many ways it felt like that was the true success of the film. This was particularly important at the climax with the present mutants preventing the Sentinals from entering the room in which Logan was ‘time traveling.’ The invocation of a consciousness being projected into the past was through the means of Kitty Pryde’s evolved mutation only served to increase the already tense moment further. This scene was riddled with moments which kept one on the edge of their seat; Storm being stabbed, Magneto injured to the point of inevitable death, the Sentinals coming face-to-face with Professor Xavier. It was a scene definitely filled with gasps from the audience- by audience I am referring to myself and that to in the most exaggerated sense but I couldn’t help myself. So much was happening. But that was not all as we switched to the past running of events with; Logan having been discarded in a river (thanks to Magneto), Charles being crushed to the brink of death, Mystique facing the most powerful men in America with a gun poised toward them. Oh it was all too much but it was a test to see if Bryan Singer could pull of the shift between past and present, and he did deliver.

Now the last film, X-Men First Class, was my favourite because it featured a certain President Kennedy who is again mentioned. This time in a new light, he was apparently a mutant. Interesting little remark Magneto made and explanation given to the “magic bullet” which killed Kennedy. I just wished they would have disclosed what power he had, I’d like to think the power of manipulating natural resources, like trees etc. Yeah that would be cool.

This film featured the Tricky Dicky, President Nixon, something which my best friend would be very pleased with seeing as she wrote a whole dissertation on the guy. And I guess the history geek within me loves the continued recurrent back drop of the Cold War America.

I was one of, lets say, 12 people who stayed till the credits ended and we got a little teaser of what’s to come and it featured a glimpse of Egypt and I’m not going to say much but I know how the pyramids were made.

All in all it is a film with fully gets 5/5 stars, a round of applause and leaves you in anticipation of what is to come in true Marvel style. So get yourself round to watching it.

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Alter Bridge gig

I know this is late but better late than never hey? So the gig I went to was at the Manchester Phones 4 u arena (It will always be MEN for me) So this gig started off with Halestorm centre stage. It was good. But it was the drummer who made it a show occasionally throwing a drum stick in the air part way through playing. BUT then they made way for Shinedown.

Now they were GOOD! Coming on stage fully suited and booted a girl couldn’t complain. It was ROCKSTARS in SUITS. Could you believe the effect that had? Beautiful ūüôā And then Brent pulled out a bunch of roses and started distributing them whilst singing “I’ll follow you.” Quite possibly one of the heart wrenching songs to be heard live- or so I thought. I didn’t get a rose NOT that I’m bitter or anything of course.

Now the real show began when Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti graced the stage. Being a shy rockstar who isn’t a fan of the limelight is strange but with Myles it was a humbling experience to see. But not wanting the limelight did not marr his awesome rocking out skills. Which were amazing along with a cracking set list. It was also amazing when it all quietened down for the “watch over you” balled. It was flawless and behind me the best friend graced me with her beautiful rendition. I must contextualise- she is an amazing singer but a closet singer so I will not be pushing her¬†onto the stage. Anyway Myles beautiful ballad was ruined when Lzzy Hale stepped upon the stage. Now don’t get me wrong she is a perfectly adequate singer but with the voice of Myles coming second that was not something I wanted to hear.

All in all it was one beautiful gig ūüôā It was a rock show and true rock show that united everyone under that roof for one night! Lets just end with the one note that I will most likely be seeing Alter Bridge again!

 

 

 

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Time has lapsed

Right, I have some explaining to do as to why I haven’t been writing as much. But truth be told I have no excuse! I will try my hardest to keep up-to-date with blogging. This will start¬†tonight after I have attended the Alter Bridge gig at the¬†Manchester Phones 4 U Arena. Not to fuel the jealous fire further but Shinedown¬†are the support along with Halestorm! But not to fret I shall review and report the gig to those¬†of you who could not make it. Hopefully after reading the post later today you’ll be able to pass off going¬†yourself (pushing my luck- I know)

See you later blog ūüôā ¬†

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Literature to Screen adaptations

The Great Gatsby

Jay Gatsby, the specimen of Fitzgerald’s imagination, is a man which encompasses hope and the epitome of the American Dream. So it comes as no surprise that to watch the new Baz Luhrmann adaptation I was full of hope which slowly diminished through the course of the film. Not like the green light which incessantly made its dominance cast over the whole film.

I normally intend on rereading the book version of any adaptation before I go to watch the film and this was the first time I actually did so. (Maybe, the short novel layout helped in this aim being fulfilled.) But Fitzgerald’s most famous novel was no stranger to me and its a novel which often revives itself in my mind. So my hope for the new adaptation was strong, especially as it had to follow the footstep’s of the previous adaptation which followed the novel so closely, 1974’s version directed by Jack Clayton.

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The film began with Nick Carraway in a mental institute (Or that’s what it seemed to be) that was an interesting take on the story. I suppose the last section of the book would make you believe that Nick did lose his faith in humanity. This ‘loss’ places him in the institute. A creative twist, which renewed the novel, and one I did appreciate. This twist brought to the fore the character of Nick as an author. Him with a type writer. His creative process. The¬†embalming¬†of Jay Gatsby made this feature of Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation stand out and animated the character of Nick more so.

For me the story of The Great Gatsby gives the reader an insight to the Jazz Era. Parties. Flappers. Smoking. Alcohol Consumption (the prohibition restriction in America made this mundane act rather¬†scandalous.) All of which was achieved through the means of money. Whether is was NEW or OLD money. It bought many things. But for the new money it never bought acceptance which was an issue captured by Joel Edgerton’s interpretation of Tom Buchanan very well. It is this, beside the whole issue with Daisy, which further adds tension to Tom’s encounter with Gatsby.

The-Great-Gatsby

I could easily go on and include other features of the film’s adaptation from the novel but I feel this blog has to end somewhere. That somewhere is with the appreciation of Leonardo diCaprio’s casting as Jay Gatsby. It was played perfectly by him. He brought to life the Gatsby I first encountered when I read the novel, and it was refreshing to actually be satisfied for once with the casting of a character I love. The above picture is from the very endearing scene of when Gatsby meets Daisy for the first time!

SO RIGHT:

The casting (except Myrtle, whom I had imagined a little on the chubby side, she is meant to be the opposite to Daisy. But the only opposition I saw was the blonde hair to the red.)

BUT OH SO WRONG:

The excessive effects (however that could have been effective in 3D- another call to the cinema’s may be on the agenda)

The music (this feature annoyed me a little, so many classical Jazz inspirations, so why not evoke that genius? A jazzed up version of Crazy in Love, really?) A bit of Bessie Smith- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfnmpQv79no would have been appreciated.

Even with the pros and cons I will be watching this film again. Delving into the Jazz era is a true pleasure and I am thankful to Fitzgerald’s transcription of such an era!

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Spontaneous overflow of things

Regret

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39y8m702KvE

Well, Edith Piaf, I have a few regrets… I do love doing my English Literature degree but doing research on the Crimean War for my presentation is making me rather nostalgic. I did English Lit, History and Government & Politics for my A-Levels. I loved them all equally that’s why choosing one was difficult. I applied for history at the University of York. But my summer results had other plans¬†in-store¬†for me. The panic of clearing and the motive of just getting in anywhere made me make the rash decision of now, and I’m doing English Literature at the University of Central Lancashire.

I do love it. But I have moments such as now where I miss doing History so much. Then I worry about the future- that scary prospect of the ‘real’ world which is looming over everyone. I seem to be attuned to it rather too intently currently…

I love books. I went to a publishing talk at the university a week ago and the possibility of actually having a job that is selling book and getting to know them personally, through the process of production seems like a dream come true. Its the dream job. I could bring back and exercise my love for History, Government & Politics as well as keeping English Literature in the mix! I really want to do it. So I really do have no regrets. I want to be Edith Piaf- French version and all!

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Literature to Screen adaptations

Frankenweenie the new Frankenstein

This is my first ever blog, and I’ve always said to myself that when I do start it would be with, Tim Burton. What’s better is that it is also with one of my favourite books, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

There are many things about Frankenstein which make it a stand out piece of literature; its scientific, it critiques society, it reveals the concept of monstrosity. It does a lot, so it comes as no surprise that my little sister came home from school to tell me she was going to study it for her GCSE. This got me excited.

That was not the only thing which made this piece of literature crop up in my life. Tim Burton wanted to release his movie Frankenweenie after making a short film in 1984. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rcPe9sojpc There was going to be a motion picture Disney production which was released last year (2012.) This got me even more excited.

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My last revival of the classic is the fact I just handed an assignment in, it was about monstrosity in the nineteenth century, which inevitably meant Frankenstein was going to feature. This urged me to write the blog.

When I first read the novel it is without a doubt that my love for the¬†nativity¬†of the monster/ creation/ deamon, was apparent. So I was pleased with the amalgamation of Frankenstein’s name with the creature or pet, Sparky. Frankenweenie. It was a good decision on Burton’s behalf because he creature is often referred to with the name of the maker. Don’t tell me that someone didn’t think the monster was called Frankenstein… Just me? I’ll take it because for me the real monster was the Victor.

But that is not the case at all with the film because Victor in Frankenweenie is lonely boy who found companionship with his dog. It is a story that could be any little boys and thats what makes this adaptation a delight to watch. The animated figure of Victor is typical to that of Burton’s other works, such as, Victor VanDorf. (A personal favourite)

The movie is in black and white, it was advertised in a very old fashion form of cinema, with the cheesy tense music, the large words which flash across the screen that look like goo. It really is a film which is a ‘blast from the past’ as my mother referred to it.

I basically wanted to state in my blog that, the film was a refreshing take on the classic, which has unconsciously for children brought to light what Mary Shelley did for the critical audience of 1818. There is nothing more delightful that making the youths of today interact with great works of literature even if it is incarnate through the vision of Tim Burton.

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