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My Days Off: Movies

By Geeky Gem

I feel the natural conclusion to these blogs is to tell you about some movies I have watched on my days off in recent weeks. Now I havent been to the cinema since The Hobbit came out shocking I know, I will fix that. So most of the movies I will talk about here will be ones I have seen on DVD or Blu-Ray at home.

Total Recall (2012)

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Now I am a fan of the original Total Recall so I was a bit unsure of this movie. When you sit down to watch and you have seen the other one the one thing you have to keep in mind is that this is not a remake but a re-working og of Philip K. Dick’s book. We’ll remember it for you wholesale, is the book this movie is based on and I have to admit I liked it a lot. It’s a great action movie and perfect if you like that genre.

Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil

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I found this little gem on Netflix and only started to watch it as I love Alan Tudyk. Its comedy horror where Tucker and Dale go into th words to do up their cabin so that they can spend summers their fishing and what not. However things do not go as planned when some teenagers show up and think that Tucker and Dale are there to kill them. It’s a funny little movie and worth a watch.

Skyfall

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Did you really think I wasnt going to buy this on Blu-Ray when it came out. It was brilliant on the big screen and loses nothing coming from your smaller screen a brilliant end to the trilogy. Fantastic acting and an awesome story is what makes Skyfall one of my favourite all time Bond movies.

The A-Team

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I love this movie as it based on one of favourite shows as a kid, as you can tell by now I love a good action movie. There is nothing wrong with this, yes at first i was a bit like really your making an A-Team movie please don’t ruin this. They didn’t but it didn’t make a lot of money hence no sign of a sequel. If you havent seen it check it out.

Harry Potter

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These movies are my default if I fancy nothing else. So you will find I watch these at lest a few times a year. I wont tell you how much I love them as you should know from other blogs I have done.

There we have it just some of the movies I have watched on my days off.

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Geeky Gem’s Day At Hogwarts

By Geeky Gem

As I had been a very good girl in 2012 for Christmas Santa* gave me two tickets to The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford. Now Santa being Santa picked a date in February so I had to wait  very long time to go on this adventure with my boyfriend. Bless him he drove us all the way from Cardiff to Watford it’s not that far to be fair. Anyway he got us there safe and sound and then the fun began.

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As you can tell I took this photo outside of the studio, I wont post to many as I don’t want to spoil all the wonderful things you get to see once you enter sound stage J and sound stage K. See what they did there. Any once inside you are greeted by a lovely waiting area. Which some lovely pictures hanging on the wall of the cast, and  few things hanging from the ceiling like this little unknown car.

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You also get to see the Ford Anglian again later in the tour, you can sit in it then along with a few other items in the back lot tour which you can sit in and walk across which is all good fun. There is so much to see I spent two hours looking at everything I could see. If you take the audio tour which is narrated by Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) the tour can take you up to 3 hours, which to me really is worth the entrance fee. You even get to go and buy a cup of Butterbeer from a stall in the back lot part of the tour and it is amazing.

There are loads of things to see, you get to walking in the same foot steps as the cast of the movies and that to me really brought out the geek in me. Walking in the Great Hall was mind-blowing and I wont post a photo of that as you really have to see it for your self.  However I will treat you to a photo of me outside  Dumbledore’s office.

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As you can see I am wearing my home-made Hufflepuff jumper, I would later fix this is in the shop by buying a real one. Your just get to see so much and find out how thins works and interact with sets which is a lot of fun. BlitsEvo’s favourite part was the creature workshop. Where you get to see Goblin masks and many other things. One thing in there is this –

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This my friends, in case you don’t know is Fawkes the Phoenix from the movies and he beautiful, I had no words when I saw Fawkes he is one of the many things to see inside the creature workshop. Now the tour ends with Hogwarts Castle model which BlitzEvo took 20 pictures of for me as we walked around the whole thing. I really want to post a picture of that for you but it really is something you have to see up close.

 There you folks that is all I can bring you from the tour, if you have only ever seen the movies then you will enjoy this just as much as some one who has read the books and seen the movies.

*Santa = My Parents

Wednesday Whimsy

Wednesday WhimsyBy: Caelrona

Hiya all! Caelrona here; you might have noticed my, uh, lack of a blog post last week. Sorry about that. I missed my day, and to make matters worse I don’t even have a legitimate excuse. I had one all typed up, and ready Tuesday morning, and decided to have a catnap before putting pictures to words. When I woke up.. BAM! it was nearly mid-day Wednesday! I lost an entire day to sleep. Not that I’m particularly complaining; I do love sleep, but now I feel bad. Anyway, there are tons of things I want to blog about; I mean, The Walking Dead just started back up, and there is a new show coming on March 3rd that I am super excited about. However, since Valentines’ Day was this past Thursday, I’m going to save my excitement about The Walking Dead. Valentines’ Day only happens one time in a year; so I figure I ought to blog about it whilst the blogging is good (er, relevant, Hehe.) So in honor of Valentines’ Day, I thought I’d share some of my favorite chick flicks. I do watch them occasionally, and even though I spent my Valentines’ Day with my friend Annie in a theater filled with dudes watching A Good Day To Die Hard, chick flicks are more.. uh, lovey, and thus more suited to a Valentines’ blog.

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10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You was made in 1999, and released by Touchstone Pictures. It is an American teen romantic comedy with a runtime of 99 minutes. The film is a modernization of Shakespeare’s ‘Taming of the Shrew’, and is titled after a poem written by the film’s female lead about her bittersweet romance with the male lead. The film follows two teenage couples. Cameron, a new kid at school, wants to date Bianca. Unfortunately she cannot date unless her older, non-conformist shrew of a sister Kat does. Being broke, Cameron tricks popular jerk Joey into paying bad boy Patrick into dating Kat. What can I say? I’m a child of the 90’s. Plus, Heath Ledger looks pretty damn good in this, so that does influence me a little bit. This is one of my favorite chick flicks. I mean, how could it not be? It’s a modern day Taming of the Shrew (yay, Shakespeare!) I prefer the aspects of the movie having to deal with Kat and Patrick (Julia Styles and Heath Ledger) rather than Bianca and Cameron (Larisa Oleynik and Joseph Gordon-Levitt). I’m guessing that is probably because I identify more with those characters, but whatever.

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Never Been Kissed

Never Been Kissed was made in 1999 by 20th Century Fox, in conjunction with Flower Films and Bushwood Pictues, and was released by 20th Century Fox. It is a romantic comedy, with a runtime of 107 minutes. It follows Josie, a copy editor desperate to make reporter, as she goes undercover to get the scoop on the high-school scene. A ridiculed nerd when she was in high school, she starts off pretty bad until her drop-out, but cool, brother enrolls undercover to help her out, giving her an over-night popularity makeover. Both siblings find love and joys of youth again, but in Josie’s case it is sensitive bachelor teacher Sam Coulson. As the publication deadline and prom approach, the price of blowing their cover rises; and it seems ever more daunting, yet inevitable unless she sacrifices her career for love. I think this one is probably on most girls’ chick flick lists. At least, it is if they are my age. I love Drew Barrymore in everything I’ve ever seen her in, and while parts of this movie are too ridiculous for words (Oh Gawd, the Barbie outfits,) parts of it are really sweet. I particularly like the dress Josie wears to the prom (er, her second prom, I mean.) I’m not really a chick flick type of girl, but this movie I’ll watch just because it’s on, even if I’m not in the mood for a chick flick. It’s just a good movie.

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Simply Irresistible

Simply Irresistible was made in 1999 by Regency Enterprises and was released by 20th Century Fox. It is a romantic comedy with a runtime of 96 minutes. Simply Irresistible is about a young woman who inherits her mother’s restaurant, but not her ability to cook. After a shopping trip, she begins to develop the magical ability to influence people’s emotions through her cooking, which is also much improved. Her love interest, a no-nonsense businessman, tries to resist falling in love with her after discovering her powers. I’m not actually certain why I like this movie. I’ve only seen it a handful of times, but every time I watch it, it doesn’t seem to slide off my list of chick flicks. There’s just something about it. I’m not a big fan of either lead actor (although I like Sean Patrick Flanery in The Boondock Saints,) and I wasn’t old enough when this came out to really identify with the characters, so I’m at a loss as to why I like it. I think it might be the idea of magic through cooking… not that I’d use such powers if I had them or anything <.<; No No.

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Miss Congeniality

Miss Congeniality was made in 2000 by Castle Rock Entertainment in conjunction with Village Roadshow Pictures, NPV Entertainment, and Fortis Films, and was released by Warner Bros Pictures. It is an American police comedy, and has a runtime of 109 minutes. Miss Congeniality is about a tough, tomboy FBI agent named Gracie Hart, who is forced to go undercover – as a girly contestant in the Miss America beauty pageant. Aided by master stylist Victor Melling, she must get in touch with her femininity to keep her cover while working with her love interest and fellow FBI agent Eric Mathews to catch a criminal who is planning on blowing up the Miss America pageant. I love this movie. I also really like Sandra Bullock, so it isn’t really a surprise that I’d love a movie where she plays a tom-boy FBI agent. I can even forgive her for getting in touch with her inner femininity, because she pulls it off well, and with humor.

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Ever After: A Cinderella Story

Ever After was made in 1998 by Flower Films, and was released by 20th Century Fox. It is a historical romance based upon the fairy tale of Cinderella, and has a runtime of 121 minutes. Ever After follows the story of a common girl, Danielle de Barbarac, who is treated like a slave by her aristocratic stepmother as she overcomes all odds to become a princess. Yet another Drew Barrymore film; what can I say? I like this movie because it takes all of the magic out of the picture. Magic is all well and good, but watching Cinderella get the prince under her own power is a nice change. Plus, in the end she rescues herself. It’s a very strong picture of womanly independence and strength, while still remaining a romance.

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Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha was made in 2005 by Spyglass Entertainment in conjunction with Amblin Entertainment, and Red Wagon Productions; and was released by Columbia Pictures and DreamWorks. It is a film adaptation of the novel by the same name, and is a historical romance with a runtime of 145 minutes. Memoirs of a Geisha follows the story of an impoverished nine-year-old, named Chiyo, from a fishing village as she is sold to a geisha house in Kyoto’s Gion district and subjected to cruel treatment from the owners and the head geisha Hatsumomo. Her stunning beauty attracts the vindictive jealousy of Hatsumomo, until she is rescued by and taken under the wing of Hatsumomo’s bitter rival, Mameha. Under Mameha’s mentorship, Chiyo becomes the geisha named Sayuri, trained in all the artistic and social skills a geisha must master in order to survive in her society. As a renowned geisha she enters a society of wealth, privilege, and political intrigue. Memoirs of a Geisha has stunning visuals. I cannot say enough about how absolutely gorgeous some of the scenes are in this movie. The story is intriguing and very interesting, with enough romance to really sell as a chick flick. I don’t watch this movie often, but I still love it.

 

Well, there you have it. My top… er, 6… My Top 5 (and a bonus!) Chick Flicks. We’ll go with that, even though the real reason is because I apparently fail at counting. Oh well, hehe. I also just noticed that half of them were made in 1999. Apparently that was a great year for chick flicks or something, or maybe it’s just that movies made in that year were being shown frequently on television when I was a teenager. Either way, way to go 1999. All of these movies are entertaining in their own ways, and they are really great if you’re feeling in a chick flick mood. Speaking of, all this blogging about them has kind of gotten me in the mood for a chick flick, so I think I shall be off to watch one!

 

Until next time,

Caelrona – signing off! ❤

My Days Off: Gaming

By Geeky Gem

On the days when I not working I love to kick back and either read a good book or comic. When I am not doing that I am gaming and yes Kirkiechick is not the only gaming girl here at All Geek to Me. I like nothing more to sit down and lose hours in a good game. Some of favourite games are the Lego ones.

At the moment I am playing two different ones, Harry Potter year 5-7 and Pirates of the Caribbean. However today I am going to talk to you about just Harry Potter. If any of you know me you will know I love Harry Potter and I have just finished reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. So when I got my X Box one of the games I got was Harry Potter years 5-7. I love these games, they can really have you addicted.

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In years 1 – 4 you play through the first four Harry Potter movies and each of the key parts within the movies and books, you even get to play Qudditch during the first ear at Hogwarts. You get to brew potions and take on enemies from with in the movies. Watching the key story parts played out in Lego is not only really funny but really good as well, these games are planned out with fun in mind.

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The first 4 years are all leading you to something big that comes up in next art of the story but if you have seen the movies or read the books you know what Harry must face.

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Then you move on to the following year 5-7 with even more fun to be had as you race to save Hogwarts from Lord Voldemort, and did I mention there is a dragon. A Lego Dragon folks.

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This one is harder but still as much fn as the other one. The thing I love about these games is that you have so much to do and so many things to collect that you get to play them over and oer again if you want to get all the extra things with in the game. If you have never played them but like the movies and te books then give them a go they really are fun.

Wednesday Whimsy

Wednesday WhimsyBy: Caelrona

Hiya all! Caelrona here with another steaming cup o’ Wednesday Whimsy for you all. Last week I told you all about how I was going to attempt to stick to HMS’s Wednesday Whimsy style of more or less posting about my week, and it didn’t go nearly as terribly as I thought it would. I mean I sort of felt like I was writing a diary entry, but the finished product wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be. However, this week while attempting to write my post I came to the realization that, holy shit my life is boring. Seriously, I couldn’t even come up with one paragraph. The most significant things I’ve done this past week were to buy a ridiculously awesome fuzzy pink hat with bear ears and lose my wallet – all in the same trip, so that was the most exciting two hours of my week. Not exactly blog material, right there. So this week I’m taking us back to my Top 10 Favorite Movies. Now, I know, I’ve already told you about them in a twopart blog. However as I was creating my list for those blogs, I ended up with more than just 10 movies. Some movies made my list at first, but then got bumped because I thought up a movie I loved just as much. Sacrifices had to be made, and I ended up with a small list of amazing movies I really love, that just wouldn’t fit. So without further ado, here are my Top 10 Favorite Movies: Honorable Mentions.

 

Krull

Krull was released in 1983 by Barclays Mercantile in conjunction with Industrial Finance and released by Columbia Pictures. It is an epic styled Science Fiction and Fantasy with a runtime of 121 minutes. The story takes place on the planet of Krull, where the evil being known as ‘The Beast’ and his army of ‘Slayers’ have invaded. Two rival kingdoms decide to unite as one in order to defend against the Beast’s incursion. The union is to be solidified by the marriage of Princess Lyssa and Prince Colwyn, whom come to love each other. During the marriage ceremony The Beast attacks and kidnaps Princess Lyssa, for it is foretold that she will bear a child destined to rule the Galaxy. Prince Colwyn must quest to find and defeat the Beast so that he may save his love, and his planet. This is a really great old-questy type of movie – if you are into those type of things. You might recognize it off of GeekyGem’s list; seems we both love it! I haven’t been able to find a DVD version so expect the grainy goodness that comes from watching old-school VHS. I first watched this movie when I was a wee little girl of maybe 3 or 4 and immediately loved it. Although, I will admit that part of my initial love of this movie is that my name is in it. Nothing holds a small girl captive like having the Princess in a movie share their name. The monster was a little creepy back then (to be honest, still is) but it didn’t scar me for life to watch it at that age (or did it? Ha <.<; ) so it is fairly family friendly in my opinion.

 

Resident Evil

Resident Evil was released in 2002-Current by Constantin Film in conjunction with New Legacy Films, Davis Films and Impact Pictures and was released by Screen Gems in the USA and Pathé in the UK. It is a Horror Fantasy film and the entire series of movies to-date has a runtime of 481 minutes. The series follows the life of a woman named Alice through the zombie apocalypse and beyond. The sixth in the series, Resident Evil: Retribution was just released not too long ago and looks awesome! Is 12 too young to love zombies? I honestly think that is when my obsession with them began. I’ve never played the games (I know, I know. I need to,) but the movies caught my attention; and more importantly they’ve kept it. There are a lot of movies series that lose quality as they progress; each sequel seems to be worse and worse. Maybe it is the zombies talking, but Resident Evil doesn’t do that; at least not for me. Probably not for the kiddies; but definitely a great watch!

 

How To Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon was made in 2010 by Dreamworks Animation in conjunction with Pacific Data Images and released by Paramount Pictures. It is an animated fantasy adventure movie with a runtime of 98 minutes. It follows an awkward teenage Viking named Hiccup who aspires to follow his tribe’s traditions and become a Dragon Slayer. When he captures a dragon he finds that he is unwilling to kill it and instead befriends it. But hiding a dragon from a village of Dragon Slayers is about as easy as it sounds. How to Train Your Dragon is a great film. When I first saw the trailer my reaction was this sort of odd cross between fan-girl squealing and shout of ‘OMGIWANNASEETHAT!’ What can I say? I love dragons; and this film didn’t disappoint. I saw it twice in theatre and got my hands on a copy of it as soon as I could. This is a fantastic film for all ages; kids will love it and so will adults.

 

The Scorpion King

The Scorpion King was made in 2002 by WWE Studios in conjunction with Alphaville and released by Universal Studios. It is a fantasy-historical action film with a runtime of 92 minutes. The Scorpion King is a prequel/spin-off of The Mummy series of movies, following Mathayus, the Scorpion King, a small character featured in The Mummy Returns. The Scorpion King follows Mathayus and his rise to power as the legendary Scorpion King. Mathayus begins his tale as one of the last of the Akkadians, a race of unparalleled mercenaries and assassins. He is hired to take out the Sorcerer of the tyrant Memnon, but unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – not all goes to plan. Instead of killing the sorcerer he kidnaps her, and eventually the two learn that they have more in common than originally thought – including a common enemy, the tyrant king Memnon. Mathayus must battle King Memnon to save his Sorceress, whom he has come to love. The Scorpion King has been one of my favorite movies for a long time. It is my go-to movie for sick-in-bed days. I’m not sure why it has held its appeal for all these years; it just has. There is plenty of action to keep me happy, plus it was one of the first things Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson acted in, so there’s always that to make it awesome.

 

Robin Hood: Men In Tights

Robin Hood: Men In Tights was released in 1993 by Gaumont in conjunction with Brooksfilms, and was released by 20th Century Fox, Columbia Tristar Films and Distributors International. It is a fantasy-action comedy, with a runtime of 104 minutes. Robin Hood: Men In Tights is a comedic romp through the tale of Robin Hood. It follows Robin of Loxely and his band of Merry Men in their campaign to oust the odious Prince John, whom has taken control of the kingdom whilst his brother, the good King Richard, is off fighting in the crusades. Robin also endeavors to regain his family lands and save the fair Maid Marian from the unsavory advances of the Sheriff of Rottingham. I know that there are other Robin Hood movies out there; some arguably better than RH:MIT. However, this has always been one of my favorite movies. It is always great for a laugh, plus Cary Elwes is fantastic in this. I saw it when I was fairly young, and it quickly cemented its place as one of my favorite movies.

 

Well, there you have it! The finishing touches on my list of favorite movies. Cutting these from the original list was a hard thing to do. I love all these movies just as much as the ones that made the actual list, and I felt that they deserved mentioning as well. I have my reasons for not including them in the Top 10, but rest assured that entertainment value was not one of those reasons. These movies are all excellent films, and if you haven’t seen any of them then I highly suggest you plunk your rear end in a seat and turn on the DVD player, because you are sorely missing out. There are a lot of other great films out there, but for me these take the cake.

Until next time;

Caelrona – signing off! ❤

Movie Review Round Up

By @hmsbeefnuts

With all the Autumnal Terror that has been going on here recently I have been neglectful of keeping those interested in my opinion on films, informed of what films I have seen. Now I’m not really sure why anyone in particular would be interested in what my opinion on any given film is, but that is not going to stop me from writing about it. As it has been quite some time I can not remember, or be bothered to look up, what films I have actually written about, but I am pretty certain that the following films have not been written about by me. If I have doubled up, I apologise, perhaps you can see if my thoughts have changed on the film, but as I’m pretty sure I haven’t written anything about these films; that little game will have to remain merely a dream. A fair few Halloween type films this time around, obviously, and a good amount of films to write about too, so lets crack on shall we?

LOOPER

Lots of people have said Looper is great. I am not one of them. I didn’t really see what everyone was making such a massive fuss about. It was well acted, had decent action, a decent premise, but just didn’t really do anything too amazing for me. The major problem was JGL, not his performance, which is always great, but the stupid CGI makeup job they did to his face to make him look like a young Bruce Willis. It just made him look very weird, and it was quite distracting, because he looked so weird. We know what Bruce looked like young, and we know what JGL looks like, it doesn’t matter that they look nothing alike, audiences are willing to suspend their disbelief, instead, this weird thing is on-screen and I didn’t care for it much. Apart from that, the film was fine, just didn’t rock my world. Emily Blunt is sexy as hell though, so extra points for that. Worth seeing, but not worth all the fuss.

TAKEN 2

Lots of hate for this film. I found it alright for what it was. Nowhere near as good as the first, but Liam Neeson is always watchable and some of the deaths were entertaining. The picture I have chosen for this film perfectly illustrates how I feel about the film. Ice cream is fine, but when you go in expecting a steak, it is disappointing. Look at how happy Neeson is in that picture. He should never be that happy in a sequel to Taken, ever. Even if he is fucking Jean Grey and his daughter is safe.

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

I saw this film with my Lady friend and her son. He is 4 years old. We all liked it a lot. I liked the references to my beloved Universal Monsters, and the bigfoot cameo’s, he loved the colours and the ‘zany’ comedy. The story is typical of such films, over protective Dad, daughter fancies a stranger, in this case a human, and there is even a ‘race to the airport’ scene. So in no way original. But it amused all of us for an afternoon, and I would watch it again. Loved the Wolfman and Frankenstein characters, all in all worth taking a small child too.

MADAGASCAR 3

Back to the cinema with said Lady friend and small child, and erghhh. Great flaming Zeus on a pegasus, this film was utter shit. It moved at breakneck speed. I hated all the characters, especially the Lemur King, I would watch Madagascar 4: Trip To The Abattoir just to see all these characters die in horrible, horrible ways. I have seen all these fucking movies for some reason, and I fucking hate them all. Small child however, loved it and wanted to see it again. I might have another trip to see this at some point, if we can’t think of anything else to do on a rainy weekend. Please let it stay dry. Circus Afro may be the worst thing I have ever had to endure. Just awful. I know these films aren’t aimed at me, and every other child I know loved the shit out of it, but really, go see Hotel Transylvania instead.

SKYFALL

This was the film I was most looking forward too last month, and it was fantastic. Daniel Craig is for me the best Bond, he brings the nastiness of the character to the forefront, just like my second favourite Bond, Timothy Dalton (shitty films, good Bond). I still think Casino Royal is the better movie, but Skyfall is so damn close. At times it felt less like a Bond movie, and more like a great action movie starring James Bond. But the Bondness was their in spades too. Great title sequence, great pre-title sequence, great action, good villain, sexy girls, M, Q, long may the Craig Bond films continue. Only one slight problem, I hated Naomie Harris, just thought she was totally weak in her role, one which will most likely be repeated, so lets try harder next time shall we Naomie? Apart from that, awesome movie. Go see it, but you probably already have.

SINISTER

I saw Sinister with a friend of mine. She was terrified throughout the film. I didn’t really know what to make of it. I jumped, but I was never scared. The movie uses cheap scares for many of its big moments, and whilst there is nothing really wrong with jump scares, they shouldn’t be your only port of call. There were a few nice set pieces in the videos, but the idea behind the film was a bit too ridiculous, something about a Babylonian God who can haunt you through images. It was OK, and delivered one gory and shocking moment, even though it was obvious it was coming. I much prefered the film below.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

I like the Paranormal Activity films, and I’m not bored of them yet, even though the formula is getting a bit familiar in this fourth one. My favourite of the franchise is a toss up between 2 and 3, and whilst this installment is the worst yet, I still liked it. It advances the story slightly, and makes good use of laptops, and the XBOX Kinect sensor to raise some chills, although nothing is quite as good as the camera mounted on a moving fan scenes from number 3. The main couple, a young girl and her boyfriend, are very likable and I cared for their welfare, and Katie Featherstone is back as the horrible, yet very sexy, demon/***** (censored) next door, and the scares are quite effective. Stay until the end of the credits and see a confusing spanish/mexican flavoured scene that doesn’t make much sense, but is promoting Paranormal Activities Latin flavoured off shoot. I will be watching the inevitable 5th entry, but feel that things need to be changed a little for the next entry. If you liked the first 3, and are not fed up with the concept, it is worth a look, and I enjoyed it.

Top 5 Monster Mocumentaries/Found Footage Films

By @hmsbeefnuts

I have recently written about the Top 10 Documentaries that I think are definitely worth checking out, which you can check out here, and here. Whilst writing the lists, I decided that I should also write a blog about mockumentaries, and as monster/horror mockumentaries are a particular favourite, well I should base my list on this specific genre. I do like a good mockumentary, and I think that the found footage genre, which I am including in this list (OK so found footage isn’t strictly mockumentary, but is usually based on a fake documentary that was being filmed, until something unfortunate happened to the film makers), is a decent way to ramp up tension and scares, when used well. I’m not including the Paranormal Activity films in this list, as although thoroughly decent and effective, the characters in them aren’t really filming documentaries, and so I didn’t feel like they belonged in this list. Right, enough pre-amble, lets get down to some films shall we?

INCIDENT AT LOCH NESS

That was the only picture I could find for this film. Honest…. Anyway. HmmHmm. Incident At Loch Ness is a wonderful film that follows film maker Werner Herzog filming a documentary on the enigma of the Loch Ness Monster, and the various problems that he encounters. Obviously, Herzog is playing up to his great director image, and is having a whole heap of fun throwing hissy fits at his interfering producer and crew of misfits. Of course, there may or may not be real trouble on, or under, the Loch (hint: there probably is) and things start to go tragically wrong. I loved this film, it is a bit of a favourite of mine, and as a fan of Herzog’s real documentaries, it is a brilliant device to use Herzog in this way. I have been to Loch Ness, and there is definitely an air of mystery there, although I don’t actually think a dinosaur lives under the murky depths, but how amazing if it did?!? It’s hard to write a great deal about these kind of films without spoiling them slightly, but I will say that if you like Herzog, have any interest in Loch Ness at all, or like a good monster tale, Incident at Loch Ness is well worth a look.

TROLL HUNTER

A Norwegian mockumentary about three film students following a mysterious bear hunter around the wilds of Norway, Troll Hunter is absolutely first rate. When ‘bears’ come too close to population centers, Hans is called in to hunt the animal. Turns out though that bears are not the real problem in Norway. Hans is really a Troll hunter, and he agrees to the students following him around on his trips and filming the results. This leads the viewers on a trip through some magical scenery, where we encounter a number of different Trolls. The film is funny, exciting and tense when it needs to be, and yes, it has subtitles, but that only lends itself to the films ‘believability’. You should check this out immediately.

THE LOST COAST TAPES

This is a very new entry, and to be honest, is a little ‘straight to DVD’ smelling, but I’m a sucker for Bigfoot, and although there are many better films out there, I personally liked this quite a bit. The story goes, a man contacts a TV documentary crew about a dead Bigfoot that he has obtained. Obviously they set out to film a documentary about this guy and his story. He happens to live in the middle of nowhere, and his property is surrounded by some very unfriendly locals. This is a bit by the numbers, and it doesn’t really do anything too original, although the ending was different, but the Bigfoot connection won the day for me. I would recommend this film if you like the genre, or Bigfoot, or both.

THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT

Well this is the grandaddy of the bunch. The film that started the found footage boom, although not the first example of the genre, this is certainly the best known. Three film students decide to film a documentary about the Blair Witch, a local legend of witchcraft and child murder, that doesn’t exactly go as planned thanks to the titular Witch. I’m sure most have you have seen this film, and there is a reason why that is so, it’s pretty damn good. The film is bleak, and the tension and horror of being lost in the woods is very apparent, and that’s before you add a pissed off Witch. I re-watched this recently and it still has a big effect. I’m not a huge fan of the ending, but the film was a breath of fresh air at the time, and is still well worth seeing, even if it’s originality has been dulled by imitators.

THE LAST EXORCISM

I love the exorcism sub-genre, I find all the Catholic mystery and demons etc. fascinating, even if it is bullshit. Well I could not have been happier with this film. Basically, a documentary crew follows an exorcist around on what is supposed to be his last job. He is tired of making a living out of lies and cheap parlour tricks, and has decided to ‘come out’ on film and expose his job as the theatrical show that it is. Of course, his last job may not be his easiest, and in fact, may be a real case of possession. I enjoyed this film immensely, and loved the ending, the characters are likeable and the story far more complex than initially thought. It does have it’s fair share of scary bits and is a great film for Halloween.

My Top 10 Movies: Part 2

By Caelrona

Hiya all! Caelrona here, to talk to you about movies once again! Last post I told you all about the first 5 of my Top 10 films. As a recap I have already covered The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Labyrinth, The Princess Bride, The Fifth Element, and The Aristocats. Now I am back to cover the other half of my list. On to the movies!

Mononoke Hime

Mononoke Hime, known as Princess Mononoke in the English adaptation, was made in 1997 by Studio Ghibli and released Toho in Japan, Miramax (a Disney company), and Disney. It is an Anime, and has a runtime of 134 minutes. The story follows our Hero, a young man named Ashitaka who, after being cursed and subsequently cast out of his village, embarks on an epic quest to cure his curse. Along the way he meets a traveling monk named Jigo, several mystical spirits including our Heroine San, and the many interesting and colorful individuals of Iron Town. In the end he winds up saving the townspeople, the mighty Forest Spirit and last but not least his love interest San. This is an excellent anime, a shining example of computer graphics married brilliantly with hand-drawn animation. Studio Ghibli created a gripping story, with a fantastic visual feast rivaled by few other anime. The violence and dark themes are not suited to very young children, so it is family friendly to a point. However, I watched this when I was young and I’ve loved it since.

Tremors

Tremors was made in 1990 by Universal Studios, who also handled the release. It is a Sci-fi Horror-esque comedy, and has a runtime of 96 minutes. The story starts out following two cowboy handymen named Val and Earl working as handymen in their hometown of Perfection. After yet another crappy job, they decide to pull stakes and move to the big city of Bixby. Unfortunately, there are other forces at work and the boys end up heading right back for Perfection after finding one of the town’s denizens dead from dehydration in the middle of nowhere – up a power pole. Things start to get weird as huge worm-like monsters named Graboids begin to make themselves known. People get killed and things get destroyed as the town bands together to escape the monsters. This movie, while not a huge hit at the box office, quickly became a cult classic. It is a hilarious movie with a great cast. It spawned two sequels, a prequel and a 13 episode television series. I have all of the movies on VHS (I know, it’s ancient) as well as the DVD Attack Pack. If you haven’t watched it, then you should.

Lord of the Rings

The Lord of the Rings is a trilogy made in 2001-2003 by WingNut Films in conjunction with Middle-Earth Enterprises and released by New Line Cinema. They are epic fantasy-adventure films, with a combined runtime of 558 minutes (683 for Extended Edition and 726 for Special Blu-ray Extended.) The film trilogy follows the journey of nine companions, known as the Fellowship of the Ring, as they quest to the deadly land of Mordor to destroy the One Ring. Together, these films make one of the most breathtaking cinematic masterpieces I’ve ever watched. I could get into detailed plot descriptions, but unfortunately my summary would fall far short of the mastery of these films, not to mention it would be incredibly TL/DR. I love all three of the films (although I’ll admit freely, Two Towers is my favorite) and I recommend them if you’ve ever got roughly 9.5 hours to kill and want to watch something amazing. I was only 11 when the first film came out, and I saw all of them on release day in theaters, so they are child friendly. However they do contain vast amounts of violence and death, and thus should be viewed only by audiences mature enough to handle it. All in all, if you’ve not seen these films then you ought to hand in your geek card and go watch them.

The Swan Princess

The Swan Princess was made in 1994 by Nest Entertainment in conjunction with Rich Animation Studios It was released theatrically by New Line Cinema; and re-released by Turner Home Entertainment (VHS) and Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (DVD.) It is an animated movie with a runtime of 90 minutes. The movie centers on the love developing between Princes Derek and Princess Odette, whom initially are forced together by their widowed, conniving parents but eventually fall for each other. During their journey back to their home country, Odette and her father are attacked by a ‘Great Animal’ and Odette is kidnapped by the evil enchanter Rothbart. Rothbart casts a spell on Odette which turns her into a swan by day, with the only way to regain human form being to be on the lake by his castle when the moon rises. Derek must journey to find and rescue her by breaking the spell with a Vow of Everlasting Love. This is one of the best animated Princess type movies not made by Disney I’ve ever found. It rivals the Disney Princess movies in almost every way, and is often mistaken for a Disney production. It was created for children, but is enjoyable at any age. If you enjoy Disney films, then you would definitely enjoy The Swan Princess.

The Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Caribbean is a series made from 2003 to 2011 by Jerry Bruckheimer Films and released by Walt Disney Pictures. They are fantasy-adventure films with a pirate theme, and a combined runtime of roughly 600 minutes. The films follow a various assortment of characters, but center on the entwined tales of Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann. Although they are a chronological series each movie can be watched on its own and be enjoyed without too much confusion. However, I find that they are far more enjoyable together as a whole. I really love Johnny Depp as Captain Jack in these movies; it is my favorite of his many roles. His flamboyancy really brings something special to his character that adds to the film. By far they are my favorite pirate movies, although I will admit I loved the third one the best!

There you have it; the ending of my list of Top 10 Movies. I find that I really can’t convey how special these movies are to me. It isn’t just that they are awesome movies, although they are. They each have something in them that really grips me, no matter how many times I’ve seen them; and I’ve watched them all so much I can quote most of them word for word as they play. I also find that I really limited myself when I stuck to only 10 movies, because there are a lot of other really great movies that just didn’t quite make the cut onto this list; not because I don’t enjoy them just as much, but because I simply didn’t have room. I’ll have to see about getting around to them, because they really deserve a mention!

Until next time;

Caelrona – signing off! ❤

My Top 10 Movies: Part 1

By Caelrona

Hiya all! Caelrona here. This time I am going to be talking to you about films. I know GeekyGems and HMSBeefnuts have been listing their favorite movies for you to have a look at. I read them over and was rather (un)surprised to find that we share a lot of similar favorites. I thought I ought to jump on the bandwagon and throw my two cents out there. Now I know that HMS did a Top 20, and Gems did a whopping Top 30, however I think I’d go mad trying to come up with that many of my favorite movies! Hence I decided to only do 10 movies. Also, since I didn’t want you to get bored by a super long TL/DR post, I’ve split my list in two. As a warning; some of my movies are the same as a few of GeekyGems and HMSBeefnuts, but that is only because these movies are just that awesome! Anyway, are you ready? Off we go then!

 

Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas, often billed as Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas was made in 1993 by Skellington Productions and released by Touchstone Pictures (a Disney company), then later re-released under the proper Disney logo. It is a stop-motion film with a runtime of 75 minutes. The story follows our hero Jack Skellington, The Pumpkin King and leader of Halloween Town. He has grown apathetic towards his life and is searching for something he cannot name. He finds that something when he wanders through a mysterious door to Christmas Town and decides to take over Christmas. The ensuing antics are as hilarious as they are grim. The day is saved by our Heroine Sally, the Rag Doll Girl, who falls in love with Jack. This is a great film, and it works perfectly as both a Halloween movie and a Christmas movie. I’ve loved this movie since I was a toddler and I watch it every year at both Halloween and Christmas. Even though it has those dark undertones and the slightly spooky aspects, it is really a great family friendly movie. Children of all ages can love this film.

The Labyrinth

The Labyrinth, often billed as Jim Henson’s The Labyrinth was made in 1986 by Henson Associates in conjunction with Lucasfilms and released by Tristar Pictures. It is a unique mixture of a Live Action and Puppeteering film with a runtime of 101 minutes. The story follows a young girl, Sarah, as she makes her way through the Goblin King’s great Labyrinth to save her younger brother, whom she had previously wished would be taken away. This has always been only of my favorite movies, if not my all out favorite. I have always loved David Bowie in this film; he makes a great evil Goblin King with just the perfect touch of glam added. I think I first watched this movie when I was around 5 or 6, so it is fairly family friendly, and kids can enjoy it along with the adults.  Also if you just can’t get enough of The Labyrinth, a 4-part Manga sequel was released in 2006 titled Return to the Labyrinth.

The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride was made in 1987 and based on a screenplay of the same name written by William Goldman. It was produced by Act III Communications and released by 20th Century Fox as well as MGM. It really defies genres by being a Fantasy Adventure Comedy Romance, and it has a runtime of 98 minutes. The story takes place in land of Fire Swamps, Rodents of Unusual Size, Shrieking Eels, and political intrigue. In this land our heroine, the most beautiful woman in the world, is named… Buttercup? Well, it’s a bent fairy tale. It follows the various twists and turns of a very rocky love…square? between our beautiful damsel Buttercup, her True Love Westley, the evil Dread Pirate Roberts and the odious Prince Humperdinck. Hilarious antics, epic sword fights and a chocolate-coated miracle pill later we have a happy ending. This is another one of those films I saw when I was a child and fell in love with. It’s a really great movie for kids, although it has a few adult humor quips here and there. All in all it is a really family friendly movie and a great watch.

 

The Fifth Element

The Fifth Element was made in 1997 by Studio Gaumont and released by Columbia Pictures. It is a Comedic Sci-Fi with hints of Romance and has a runtime of 126 minutes. This film takes place in the distant future (with the exception of a little historical background right at the beginning) and chronicles a battle between good and evil. The Fifth Element, a supreme being named Leeloo, must gather the other four elements and save the Earth from an ominous evil. Since she is a newly created clone of the original Fifth Element, she needs a little help along the way in the form the good Father Vito Cornelius, his assistant David, the Diva Plavalaguna, and the badass Korben Dallas, who becomes her love interest. They (barely) manage to save the day after quite a bit of antics, explosions and mayhem ending with Korben and Leeloo recuperating in a healing tank while the president waits impatiently for them after being told that they ‘need… 5 more minutes.’ All in all it is a great movie. It is a really wild, crazy fun ride to watch and definitely will fulfill any need you may have for random explosions. This one teeters the line of family friendly, squeaking by with a PG-13 rating, but I enjoyed it as a kid and have continued to love it as an adult.

The Aristocats

The Aristocats was made in 1970 by Walt Disney Productions and released by Buena Vista Pictures, which now commonly known as Walt Disney Studios. It is an animated movie with a runtime of 78 minutes, and was the last movie to be approved by Walt Disney after his death as well as the first animated feature to be completed after his death. This movie follows the adventurous lives of a family of Parisian cats after they are set as the beneficiaries of their beloved Mistresses vast fortunes. After being kidnapped by the unscrupulous buffoon of a butler, they must make their way back to their loving Madame. This proves to be quite the adventure, but with the help of the suave alley cat Thomas O’Malley they managed to make it back to a loving home. Along the way we meet a cast of colorful characters, including a brave mouse, two chatty geese sisters, a couple of hilarious hound dogs and a whole band of jazz-loving cats. This movie is full of color and sound and is sure to delight children as well as adults. I’ve loved it since I was a little girl, and if you give it a watch I’m sure you will too! It is a great view for the whole family.

Well there you have it, part one of my Top 10 Movies. Now please note that these movies are in no particular order at all. I’ve mixed them about because I honestly can’t choose between some of them, although if you want to know my favorite I’ll admit it has to be… Uh.. well, lets see… Uhm…Nope! Sorry, I just can’t choose. They are all really fantastic movies, and if you haven’t seen some/any/all of them then I suggest you do! Anyway, next time I’ll finish up my list of top movies with Part 2, and maybe some honorable mentions? Also, don’t be shy! Feel free to comment about YOUR favorite movies –I’d love to hear from you and take suggestions. Who knows, maybe with you help I can find some new favorites!

Until next time;

Caelrona – signing off! ❤

WEDNESDAY WHIMSY

By @hmsbeefnuts

Welcome once more to our regular Wednesday blog and this week, I was going to write something about WWE, but instead have written (or will write) some thoughts on films I have seen recently. I think that this year continues to be a strong one at the cinema, and although the end of August and beginning of September hasn’t been stellar, there have been a fair few films that I have seen, and enjoyed, for what they were. Sometimes, I think that expectations of certain films can cloud peoples opinions of said films. I feel it is always important to give every film you watch a chance to impress you, on it’s own merits, no matter how unnecessary a re-make it is, or how far a sequel pushes a tired concept. Apart from The Hangover 3, because fuck that.

Now I know earlier in the year I was down on The Amazing Spider-Man, I didn’t think it should have been put into reboot so quickly after a Spidey Trilogy that was mostly excellent. However, I still gave it a go, and although I did think that Raimi’s films were far superior, it still offered some things that were a slight improvement,although not many. Right with that over with, it is time to look at some of the films I have seen in recent days.

THE WATCH

Comedy is a tricky genre. I find it very hard to re-watch comedies, once I have seen it, that’s pretty much it, even if I liked the film, it takes a very special film for me to watch a comedy again and again. Hotrod is one such film. No matter how many times I watch it, it still makes me laugh. It was with high hopes than that I went to see The Watch, directed by Akiva Schaffer, the guy who made Hotrod. Now The Watch is no Hotrod, but I don’t think it deserves some of the poor reviews I have seen. As long as a comedy gives you some belly laughs every few minutes, then I feel it has done it’s job, and although The Watch is by no means the best comedy this year, I think Ted or 21 Jump Street are, it does supply enough chuckles to be perfectly OK.

 

The Alien invasion story line isn’t original, but at times it reminded me of Tom Hanks film, The Burbs, which can only be a good thing. The cast is good, although Stiller doesn’t have much to do other than be the straight man, Richard Ayoade gets all the best lines, and Jonah Hill continues to refuse to be type cast with another good and different performance. Vince Vaughn is also good, although playing very much the Vince Vaughn character, but I happen to like that, so that’s fine. The Aliens are good, scary enough to provide a threat, and the film is gory when it needs to be. All in all, The Watch is a comedy that is perfectly watchable, and provides a few hours of solid entertainment, although I will probably never watch it again.

TOTAL RECALL

I like Arnie films, a lot. Total Recall is one of his best. Do not go into this re-make thinking about the Arnie original. It is not the same film, and in some ways, it isn’t even that similar, apart from the basic premise of the plot, is the main character a real secret agent or not? This new film doesn’t get to go to Mars, instead, set after the world has experienced chemical warfare, there are now only two zones on Earth that are habitable. The United Federation of Britain is where everyone of importance lives, The Colony, or Australia, is where the majority of people work, and poorer people live. Workers move from home to work using The Fall, a lift that goes from Britain to Australia through the planets core. Doug Quaid leads a boring life, although he is married to Kate Beckinsale, so every cloud. He decides to visit Recall to live out his fantasy of being a spy. Thing is he is having dreams of Jessica Biel and shooting people, he probably should have told the Recall guys, because shit hits the fan.

Total Recall is visually stunning. The sets and effects are amazing, this is one of the best looking films this year. Once I stopped thinking about this being a remake, and started enjoying it for what it was, a slick Sci-Fi chase movie, I actually really enjoyed it. The acting is strong, although I hate Bill Nighy, thankfully he isn’t in it much. Also Brian Cranston as Cohaagen is just OK. I don’t get why everyone loves Cranston, for me he is just OK, guess I’m just Cranston Fickle (I’m so proud of that joke). At the start of the film, Quaid has a dream where his girlfriend Jessica Biel seemingly dies, and he wakes up in a cold sweat. That kind of sucks, until you realise that he is actually married to Kate Beckinsale, bonus, except, oh no she is evil, but that’s OK, because Jessica isn’t dead and is his girlfriend, sometimes life in a distopic future ain’t so bad.

THE POSSESSION

Although I’m not a religious person, I do like religious horror films. Exorcism/possession films are a scary favourite of mine and we have had a fair amount of Christian based horrors, now its time for a Jewish take, and this one is based on ‘a true story’ scary. I liked pretty much everything about this film. The cast was fine, the writing was good, the effects were OK, it just never felt scary or tense enough. The story revolves around a girl whose parents are divorced, who picks up a sealed wooden box with strange writing on it at a yard sale. Well right there we all know that that is a mistake, but the story continues. Eventually said girl opens the box, unleashing the evil spirit or dybbuk, which possesses her.

There are some good set pieces and everything is dark and depressing, but the tone feels slightly off. I didn’t find it at all scary, and I was on my own in the cinema. Although I didn’t hate it, it didn’t really full fill it’s mandate, that is, it didn’t shit me up. On that basis, I don’t think I can recommend the movie, although I did think it was an interesting two hours.

So another blog draws to a close. I’ll catch you soon.

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