Saturday, 29 November 2014

reviewing #3: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1

I have to admit, 'The Hunger Games' by Suzanne Collins is one of my favourite books, and the series one of the most intense that I have read. It is for that reason that when I found out they were being adapted to films I was seriously excited; for each film I have been in eager anticipation. It has become a world-wide phenomenon, nearly everyone knows the 3-fingered salute, and I am (not to sorry to admit) a huge fan-girl of this franchise. 

'Mockingjay - Part 1' was one of the most anticipated films of 2014, and I think that 'Part -2' will be of of the most anticipated for 2015. However, it has been met with mixed reviews from critics. In my opinion it was not as good as the first two films, but that was inevitable with the split of the final book into two which meant that they final climax is being saved for 'Part - 2'. This being said, I still think it was an excellent film and definitely worth a watch. 

The film had the 16th largest opening for a film of all time (2nd of 2014 behind 'Transformers: Age of Extinction'). I actually saw it on its second day of release... I thought that it was a good adaption to the first half of the book, yet I still prefer the book! Moreover, I loved Jennifer Lawrence's performance as Katniss, she created most of the intensity through her emotive performance. In this finale the character becomes darker due to the intense plot line. 

Overall, if you are a fan you've probably gone to see it already, but if you've never seen any I would honestly wait until November of next year (the scheduled release of 'Part - 2') so that you don't have to wait in hesitant expectation for the ultimate finale (unless you can't wait then definitely go for it)! I'd definitely give the books a go, the first book was my favourite but the second film was my best-loved out of all of the movies (yet!). I'm preparing myself for laughter, anger and tears for 'Part - 2' ... I can't wait!

     Overall Rating: 8.4 / 10

     Acting Skills: 8.9 / 10

     Cinematography: 8.8 / 10

     Watch-ability: 9.3 / 10

     Must See Rating: 10 / 10



Wednesday, 26 November 2014

bonuslifepoints #2: meditation

Normally when we think of meditation we imagine Buddhists in lotus position, or perhaps even Buddha himself. They strive for enlightenment or a spiritual awakening through the practice of meditation. This mental relaxation is something that should be strived for; especially in this age where busyness is a constant that leads to our achievements. 

Everyone needs a relax every now and again, and the point of this post it to emphasize the importance of having a 'down time', a detox and a relax. This could be achieved in a variety of ways, for example, reading a book, listening to music or just generally sitting somewhere peaceful (also like a bath... but I really don't like baths :D). If there's a place where you find relaxing just go there during times of mental strain when peace is desired. There's this bench that I used to drive past on Saturday mornings where I would always see an old man sat, doing nothing just watching the cars hurry past, and I used to think that the place reminded him of something or someone so he returned there just for the memories.

Although, a lot can be learned from the Buddhist teachings. Their goal is to reach the state of Nirvana through spiritual understanding; we can take from this a goal for peace of the mind. I love this concept (and I believe in Karma too :D) as it's something to aim for. Perhaps just generally being happy could actually lead to this too. 

My favourite time of day is the wind-down before drifting off to sleep. I use it as a time to think through my day and what the future may hold as well as dwelling on the past. In those hazy moments life seems simple; that's why that key moment of my day is my mediation time. For some reason when drowsiness creeps in I don't see my issues as problems but just simple things with easy solutions. 

Therefore, I just think that every so often you should take some 'me-time' just to think things through- particularly during times of crisis. So maybe give it a go... it may help? and apparently it makes you wiser so I'd get going :D



Saturday, 22 November 2014

reviewing #2: The Imitation Game

I love films. Plain and simple: watching either works of theatrical art or hard-core action - I love it. So for me to say a film was a utterly amazing shows something (I think/hope? :D), and The Imitation Game is certainly extraordinary. It's a British-American historical thriller film about the cryptanalyst Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch). Directed by Morten Tyldum, it centers around solving the Nazi Germany's Enigma code to help the Allies win World War 2 (don't worry I will not reveal any spoilers!!).  

Most people will recognise Benedict Cumberbatch from Sherlock, but if you don't then I would recommend that you go and watch it (I mean it. Go and watch it NOW!). His acting in it is stunning, and many people think its so good that he deserves an Oscar, it was definitely perfect casting (especially considering Leonardo DiCaprio nearly got the part). Keira Knightly is in it, and her acting is also superb in my opinion, as are Mathew Goode and Mark Strong among multiple other excellent actors. 

It is actually based on the biography Alan Turing: The Enigma by Andre Hodges. In September The Imitation Game won the People's Choice Awards for Best Film at th 39th Toronto International Film Festival, and has currently won 9 different awards. This illustrates how its had an amazing reception already.

In the film you watch Turing uncover the secrets of the enigma, whilst the audience is left discovering Turing's own secrets. This scenario uncovers what a true 'thriller' film is, as its not full of jump-scares, but full of emotional scares.

     Overall Rating: 9.5 / 10

     Acting Skills: 9.2 / 10

     Cinematography: 8.7 / 10

     Watch-ability: 9.0/ 10

     Must See Rating: 9.4 / 10



Wednesday, 19 November 2014

that autumnal feeling.

Orange is my favorite colour. I love its freshness and the tranquility it evokes. Autumn is the season where it's normally neither too hot or too cold but it is still wellington boot weather! Its the perfect time of year to go for a walk and take some photos so that's exactly what I did here!

 In this photo I feel I captured the darker side of the season; the transition into winter... and I'm not a massive fan of the cold! Its murky darkness contrasts with the brightness that autumn normally is.

The reds in these leaves are really bright. Moments like this are when I really love photography as its so simple, I recommend just going outside and taking photos of anything - I guarantee something nice will come out of it!

This was another of those magical moment where a bird flew through my shot.

This photo is the one I will leave you with, it's my favorite. Chestnut trees area key component of autumn, and now that it's (sadly) coming to an end this is a memorable photo. I probably wont be the only one playing conkers!!



Sunday, 16 November 2014

reviewing #1: Sam Smith - In the Lonely Hour

An album I find CONSTANTLY on replay is 'In the Lonely Hour' by Sam Smith. his soulful voice captures me and I always seem to stop what I'm doing to indulge myself in his captivating outburst of emotions. 

Each individual song portrays an unforgettable new feeling, but even Sam Smith himself stated on Digital Spy that the overarching theme of the album is 'sad'. But don't let this prevent you from listening to the album; the story of each one is powerful as he bravely reveals his emotive events and desires to his captive audience. His signature voice adds to the profound sincerity of what some might describe as an 'acoustic orgasm'. This passion is exhibited in 'Life Support' and 'Restart'; 2 of my favorite heart-melting songs on the album. You can easily see how this debut album has become a worldwide hit.

I thoroughly recommend that you listen to this album. Sam Smith described it (again in the interview with Digital Spy) as 'my way of defining what is love, and how unrequited love is just as painful, just as powerful, as what we call 'normal' love'. This is explicitly illustrated in 'Not in that Way'; demonstrating an unforgettable questioning of love itself. It's an unforgettable whispering song whose lyrics echo within you for hours afterwards. Oh yes... he's that good at singing. 

It is clear why he won the BBC sound of 2014. I think most people would have heard of him first in Naughty Boys 'La La La', in which he was excellent too. It definitely helped this album to become the 2nd biggest selling album of 2014 (just behind 1989 by Taylor Swift). However, my overall definite favorite is 'Like I Can', which is set for release as a single in December, as it is sooo catchy! The whole album is easy to listen to and in my opinion it is one of the best songs on the entire album - so it must be darn good.

Overall, I think basically everyone would want to have a little listen to 'In the Lonely Hour'. Everybody (ish :D) will have some sort of emotional connection to it at some point in their lives. This fervent album should definitely be put on your Christmas wish-lists!

Here is a link to the interview with him on Digital Spy: HERE



Saturday, 15 November 2014


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Im now on Bloglovin wooo!



Wednesday, 12 November 2014

super cute Sa Nail Polish.

These little bottles of nail varnish are super cute so I thought I'd share them with you. Sa Nail Polish is a Japanese brand and the bottles have little Japanese dolls on them. I literally love them :) . They only take 2 coats to be opaque and they dry relatively quickly... (I always end up smudging them though :D) and they come in some really nice colours. The colours I have are #3, #11 and #4 respectively. 

My favourite one is the pale orange (#3), it's a very autumnal and warming colour but I will probably be wearing it throughout the promptly approaching chilly winter months!



Saturday, 8 November 2014

bonuslifepoints #1: dreams.

The reality of future.

'We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.'
The Tempest, Shakespeare

When we were little we all dreamed. Whatever it was, the future was always positive. Always. But as the years pass doubt begins to slither in and affect these dreams. We try to mature (because as a child you tend to think that you're an adult!! I wish I hadn't tried to grow up so fast...) and hence become 'realists'. Yet, consider the fact that during the night your unconscious dreams continue to animate, to bring you emotion and will. Hasn't everyone experienced a nightmare and woken up crying? This could be seen as your subconscious trying to convey a message,  (yes... Even nightmares could be showing this). So when you have a dream try to fight for it as perhaps it is your doubt in yourself that stops you persevering.

In fact, in Greek and Roman times dreams were believed to be messages from deities or predictions of the future. Obviously for some dreams this can't be true, but they could symbolise something that is on your mind. This is more of a psychoanalytic perspective of dreams, as Freud stated that dreams could show our repressed childhood memories. Have a little think about your latest dream, does it mirror anything that is happening in the present, the past or the future? Chinese history even provides the idea that the soul leaves the body and embarks on a journey towards spiritual awakening. All of these ideas seem stem right back to the same idea: that dreams reflect your life. 

All in all, when sometimes our reality is hard to overcome we must always clutch our future dreams tightly for our own peace and sanctuary. This is super deep, I know, but a boost is sometimes all we need, I know I need it sometimes. I won't give up hope in my dreams, as I believe they will happen with courage and perseverance. Age shouldn't change this, and I know my dream hasn't changed since I was little. Even in The Tempest Caliban, the monster, is able to achieve his dream of freedom, despite his confinement, as he 'cried to dream again'.



Friday, 7 November 2014

Remember, Remember the Fifth of November

'Remember, remember the fifth of November,
Gunpowder, treason and plot,
I see no reason why Gunpowder and treason
Should ever be forgot.'

 Fireworks are pretty awesome, and luckily enough it is November so that means fireworks!!

I would have to say that my favorite thing about them is actually the smell. I adore the colours and the sounds (even though they used to scare me...). In my opinion the smoke creates the atmosphere!

The bonfire at the end with Guy Fawkes on the top was the pinnacle of the night. The fire reached so high up and the embers erupted and filled the night sky (probably more than they were meant too aha) it was pretty beautiful.

Hope you enjoy these photos!