Laughter and books make life a little easier

Posts tagged “review

Random and really long-winded rambling on The Hobbit movie [vlog]

I finally recorded my opinions on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but instead of writing, I recorded a vlog, because, trust me, you don’t want to read the amount that I would gush write on this topic and you probably don’t want to watch this long video either, but it is probably less torturous than the writing would be.

And yes, this totally counts as this month’s book review! I didn’t post one last month anyway, so I’m declaring that this movie review counts! 😉 I wanted to write a review on either A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin or American Gods by Neil Gaiman, but I’ll leave those for a later stage when I have a shortage of time to read new books to review!

So, here’s the video! It’s really, really long, but it’s the shortest I could cut it to. There were just so many things I wanted to talk about! The original video I recorded was 30 minutes long (8 minutes of which was really long pauses during which I wondered what I meant to say next), so I’m quite proud of getting it to under 16 minutes.

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Books, books, books, books.

Yes, we are starting this new series right now!

Introducing…

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Yay!

So, what does this book challenge consist of? Here are the list of posts:

The 30 Day Book Challenge

Day 01 – Best book you read last year
Day 02 – A book that you’ve read more than 3 times
Day 03 – Your favourite series
Day 04 – Favourite book of your favourite series
Day 05 – A book that makes you happy
Day 06 – A book that makes you sad
Day 07 – Most underrated book
Day 08 – Most overrated book
Day 09 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 10 – Favourite classic book
Day 11 – A book you hated
Day 12 – A book you used to love but don’t anymore
Day 13 – Your favourite writer
Day 14 – Favourite book of your favourite writer
Day 15 – Favourite male character
Day 16 – Favourite female character
Day 17 – Favourite quote from your favourite book
Day 18 – A book that disappointed you
Day 19 – Favourite book turned into a movie
Day 20 – Favourite romance book
Day 21 – Favourite book from your childhood
Day 22 – Favourite book you own
Day 23 – A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven’t
Day 24 – A book that you wish more people would’ve read
Day 25 – A character whom you can relate to the most
Day 26 – A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 – The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 – Favourite title
Day 29 – A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 – Your favourite book of all time

Doesn’t it look exciting? Open-mouthed smile

 

You can expect the first post tomorrow. I know I said last week that I will stagger the posts a little further apart until I actually leave, but now I’ve noticed that I’ve so many posts that I can let them post every day, even now when I am not gone yet. Yes, I’ve written way too much for some of them. For some of them, I was not sure what on earth I should write. But it was great fun (I’ve been working on this for months).

 

Anyway, what can you expect from me in this challenge? Well, maybe the easiest thing would be to tell you the kind of things that I read. Then you can decide for yourself whether you would be interested in following along with me in this challenge.

These days the largest part of my reading consists of everything that I have to read for class. I am not too happy about this. I am not crazy about many of the books that I have read or still have to read, but so far I have been lucky. There were very few books that I hated and couldn’t get through. I have read colonial and postcolonial, modernism, classics, renaissance and am now facing a term of the Romantics. I’m not looking forward to many of the books staring at me from my university shelf right now. One of them is Wuthering Heights. I tried to read it once and I was nearly bored to death. Another one is A Portrait of a Lady. I watched the movie once and Nicole Kidman annoyed me so much I nearly threw a cushion at the screen. I can only hope the novel is better. But I haven’t got much hope. Winking smile

I’m digressing again! What I meant to say was that while I usually spend my time on these genres listed, what I prefer to read is fantasy. I’m hesitant to call myself a fantasy buff (because I haven’t read many of the titles that are considered the staples of fantasy reading these days), but it is still my favourite genre. I also love historical fiction (but not the romantic kind), I like science fiction and I read the occasional classics. I can’t stand romances and I’m none too fond of fluffy reads. People always tell you to switch off your mind whilst reading. If I have to do that to like a book, I’d rather not read it.

So, I like fantasy. But which fantasy? Lord of the Rings! I also love Harry Potter, though I haven’t read it in years – it is true that it does always stay with you. And then a series that you will meet far too often in this challenge… the Discworld-series by Terry Pratchett. It’s just so much fun: I love all of it!

 

Don’t worry, these are not the only books that I can talk about and will be writing about! I read wider than that!

 

The other thing is… about comments whilst I am gone. Of course comments are always welcome, but I will not be taking comment moderation off. This means that if you have commented two or three times here before, your comments will still be approved automatically. However, if you have not commented before, or if you are suddenly using a different account to comment, your comments will go into the moderation queue. All of them will be saved, they will simply not show up on the posts until I get back to approve them. (I might pop by when I am supposed to be on holiday, if the world starts to annoy me too much and do a little comment moderation. But don’t count on it. Smile with tongue out) I could have taken this moderation off, but this blog receives too much spam and I don’t want to chance it. I just wanted you to be aware of this.

 

Lastly, I thought all of you interested parties might be interested in a peek at the books that I will be taking away with me. All of them are books that I have not read before. Half of them are from second-hand bookstores.

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Oh, the choices about which ones to take and which ones to leave! The English title of that Dutch book is They Came to Baghdad, in case anyone was wondering. Yes, I have read the English one. Winking smile The two at the bottom are part of my reading list for next semester. I should probably get started on them, before I get as pressurised as I was this semester again! Also, my father is probably going to complain about the amount of books that I want to drag along. He always complains. And then he finds space for them anyway. Look:

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Like most rulers, that ruler is 30cm (a.k.a. 1 foot) long. Yep, that’s how high my stack of books are! Rolling on the floor laughing

 

And that’s it! I suppose this is goodbye for now! I’ll be back in a month or so. Except, you know, if I’m in an accident. Or my laptop gets stolen. Or I die. Or someone else dies… Except for all those “excepts”, I’ll be back. And I probably shouldn’t joke about death. Also, I promise faithfully to get my bum into gear again and to return with cartoons to place this blog back on its original path.

 

If anyone misses me (hah!) come visit me on my Tumblr. The queue is well-stocked with Discworld stuff! And the other places you can find me is, as always, listed in the sidebar.

 

Love,

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PS. I actually don’t wear glasses, but I wanted to do one of those stereotypical “reader” images for my header, so I played about with an old pair of my mother’s glasses. I was struggling to see the camera! Winking smile


This is a bit ranty… Also, The Hunger Games

Well…

I’m so ridiculously tired right now. If I sit for too long, I fall asleep. This week has been too long. And it only gets worse after this. For the rest of the month, I have at least one assignment to hand in per week. And then at the end, the exams start. Yay. Things are always this crazy just before the end of a semester, because all the deadlines just start heaping up and everyone tries to fit everything in before term’s over. Oh, and of course every lecturer lives alone in their world. No other subjects or work exist. “Why can’t you do three assignments for me? It’s not as though you have anyone else to also give you three assignments, do you?” Bleh.

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This has been my position for the past few weeks. Keeping my head down, scribbling as fast as possible. I usually end up working at the dining room table, because there are less distractions and the constant traffic past the table keeps me working, instead of dreaming, drawing or staring. Also, it is easier to work there than clear space on my desk. It’s kinda full… of stuff… not work.

My paranoia over assignments is not helping during this time, either. Every time we get written work back, I fear failure. This comes with me from school-days. I’m the kid who goes all wobbly-kneed when I spot the stack of assignments on the lecturer’s table. It doesn’t matter if I know the quality of writing I did, I still doubt it. I have only once failed an assignment and that was way back in first year. It doesn’t stop the paranoia. Tests? Oh yes, I’ve failed a few of those. Mainly French literature. I hardly ever knew what page we were on, much less what the story was about. Anyway, tests are much more salvageable if you fail them. They usually don’t count as much as assignments. So yes, what I meant to say was that I live in constant paranoia at the moment with this stream of assignments. Seriously, I hand in one of the little bastards and then go straight back to the library to start on the research for the next one. I’d rather write this amount of tests in the place of the written work to be honest. I hate analytical essays. All that quoting and referencing and comparing stuff drives me crazy.

 

Anyhow, I don’t really know why I just subjected you to my complaining over my work. I wouldn’t blame you if you just skipped over the above two paragraphs. Nobody is interested, probably. However I haven’t anything blog-worthy to say this week. I haven’t drawn anything and nothing except work has happened. But I feel guilty about not posting and stats have already fallen through rock-bottom a while back and I don’t like that much. Winking smile So… what I’m going to do is…

I’m going to review The Hunger Games movie. Someone (hmm… no, I don’t know who it was anymore, sorry) suggested in the comments last time that I write what I thought about the movie. I’m calling it a review, but this is mostly my opinion. I’m not going to do all that fancy stuff with the technical details and the actors’ names. If you want to know, look it up. And there are going to be spoilers and spoilers of other movies and books*, because I can never talk about one movie without comparing it to other movies. Right. Everyone still awake? Here we go.

*Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Artemis Fowl and Mistborn, if you must know upfront.

 

Thoughts I had in the theatre (in approximate order):

  • Why does someone have to sit in front of me!? You be stealin’ mah footrest! I can be very uncharitable about my footrest in theatres. Smile with tongue out
  • Ooh, the score is beautiful. (I knew this beforehand, actually. Because I downloaded the score before seeing the movie.) James Newton Howard is a master.
  • Hmm, District 12 does not look at all like I imagined it. Hmm.
  • Aww, no drunk scene for Haymitch. That was hilarious in the book and I was disappointed not to see it.
  • “Mahogany!” Hehehehe!
  • Peeta is cute.
  • Wow, the Capitol! Also, Cinna!! And his gold eyeliner!
  • Girl on fire! Eep!
  • Caesar Flickerman! (Have I spelled that right?) Oh my, my, my, my, what a treat. He was so exactly like I imagined him, so perfect, that I was quite overwhelmed. I couldn’t stop staring at this blue apparition. In fact, I was compelled to say “He looks like a huge, blue peacock on that stage!” Not loudly mind, I’m not that person who comments loudly in theatres.
  • The fire dress! O-O
  • Well, the training is fun to watch.
  • Katniss, haven’t you got another top to wear?
  • “Thank you for your consideration.” Hehehehe!
  • Ah, finally it is starting.
  • I really hate bees. Wasps. Tracker jackers. Whatever. This entire scene made me feel very queasy because I can’t stand swarms of buzzing insects.
  • Rue! Eep!

And… and then all thoughts went out of my mind as Rue was hit by that spear.

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The girl in front of me gasped so hard and started crying that I felt quite sorry for her. Obviously she did not see that one coming. I knew it was coming and it still hurt. I knew it before I read the book, in fact. Stupid internet. Spoiling that one for me. I had to be rather strict with myself not to join in the general teariness that was going on in that theatre. I never cry over movies or books.

Then came the scene of rebellion in District 11, one of my personal favourite moments. I’m a sucker for scenes like that…

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I told myself, “Seriously Elana, you’re 20 years old and you’re crying about a picture on a screen. It’s not real.”

Then Katniss started crying. And I decided…

It's real

And I joined in.

 

That’s it, mostly, for my thoughts. After Rue’s death, I mostly stopped thinking and just sat staring. Though I have to say, I’m glad I was waiting for the muttation to appear when it did, because there was some more general screaming and gasping in the theatre when it did.

Other things:

  • I think they did a really great job with the cast. Everyone looked and acted more or less like described. I hate it when moviemakers take a character and, for example, change the hair colour all the way from brown to blond. I always want to ask, “So, why was hair dye invented?” I’m glad it didn’t happen in this movie.
  • I really loved how we got to see the Games Room, or whatever it is called. And also the other districts.
  • At first I didn’t like how they portrayed Haymitch and then he got kind of endearing.
  • Have I said yet that Rue’s death now falls under my category of “Most Painful Partings In Movies”? It now joins the ranks of the deaths of Dobby (In Harry Potter 7), Dumbledore (Harry Potter 6), Root (Artemis Fowl and the Opal Deception), Kelsier (Mistborn 1), and the ending of Lord of the Rings. I tear up every time I see Sam’s face there at the Grey Havens. It never gets any less tragic.

 

So, in conclusion, I really liked The Hunger Games movie. I couldn’t find anything that seriously bothered me in the adaption and that is quite rare for me. It was a treat mostly and Jennifer Lawrence made a great Katniss.

 

Aaaaaaaaand… now my words are all used up. Now for a nap… sleep and perchance to dream. (Shakespeare is probably turning in his grave over that mangled quote.)
Winking smile

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