Not Another Happy Ending Review

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To celebrate this day of love, I am going to review the Scottish romantic comedy Not Another Happy Ending! I am afraid I can’t do this entirely without Spoilers, so beware!

Let’s start with the facts (as always):

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Length: 102  minutes

Cast: Karen Gillan, Stanley Weber, Iain De Caestecker, Henry Ian Cusick, Gary Lewis, Freya Mavor, Amy Manson, Kate Dickie …

Director: John McKay

Writer: David Solomons

Jane Lockhart is Tom’s only bestselling author and he can’t wait for her new book to be ready for publishing. But there’s one problem: Jane is blocked. Distracted by her successful screenwriter-boyfriend, who is currently adapting her first story for the big screen, and the pressure to write another hit-novel she rather bakes instead of write. Yet Tom knows exactly what to do. There’s one thing he’s sure of and that’s the fact that Jane can only write when she’s miserable, so he tries to ruin her life in order to help her. Of course that’s a plan destined to fail and it only gets worse after he starts developing real feelings for her. Emotional chaos on both sides is the result.

There were several reasons I wanted to see this movie. First, I am a sucker for RomCom’s (big news there, I know), but the even more prominent reason was the cast. I love Karen Gillan because of Doctor Who, Iain De Caestecker because of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Henry Ian Cusick because of more than just the 100 – that movie was like a feast for the TV show-loving side of my brain with several worlds colliding. I hadn’t heard much about Stanley Weber before the movie (probably because he’s in a lot of French movies and I haven’t seen any them except for French Women/Sous les jupes des filles), but he also proved to be a good choice for the role of Tom and worth looking out for.

Generally, I really enjoyed the movie. It offered exactly what it advertised and that is light entertainment. Granted sometimes the humour was a tad too silly for me, but it was quirky and hilarious nonetheless. The music is great as well and I really can’t say much more. Of course it’s predictable, but who watches a RomCom for their plot twists? The main cast knows how to hold themselves and is supported by great side characters. If you are looking for a nice movie for Valentine’s Day this is my recommendation!

What do you think?

Fall Review: Our Girl

There is My Girl and New Girl already out there, and now I present to you: Our Girl. What started out as a British one-time drama in 2013, is now a full 5-part series on BBC One. Just like in previous posts, I will do a little review on the pilot episode and tell you what I think, and it even seems like I can do this close to spoiler-free again.

To be honest with you, I didn’t know about the movie before I started watching the show. The promo for it was always played before the new Doctor Who episodes, and I was just immediately intrigued. Now, the storyline isn’t that difficult to explain: Molly Dawes (Lacey Turner), a young woman who joined the British Army as a medic, goes on her first mission to Afghanistan. Being the only woman on the platoon, she has to prove to her team and herself that she can do the job right. That pretty much sums it up, so here are my reasons why you should watch the show:

  • It is almost physically painful to watch Molly underestimate the situation. Of course the real thing will never be the way you imagined it, but she just seems massively unprepared for what’s ahead of her. Yet, she gets it together and thrives under the harsh circumstances – those transformations are always great to watch!
  • Iwan Rheon is in it! I’ll grant you that this might not be a reason for everyone, but I am a huge fan. I loved him in Misfits, laughed with and about him on Vicious and loathed him on Game of Thrones – I even wrote a whole post about him sometime last year (click here to read it). I’m not entirely sure what I think about his character Smurf now, but I’m looking forward to finding it out!
  • Sometime during the first episode I fell in love with Ben Aldridge, who plays Captain James. There’s so going to be a love story between him and Molly and you know how much of a romantic I am.
  • The whole theme of the show is compelling and also thought-provoking. In my opinion, it doesn’t just glamorise the actions of the army, but also questions them.

I am a little sad that the series isn’t longer, but I understand why they chose the format of a mini-series. I am definitely going to tune in again next week – how about you? What do you think about the show?

How I Live Now – Book vs. Movie

How I Live Now by Meg Rossoff definitely isn’t a universally appealing story, but it somehow managed to fascinate me – which not a lot of stories have been capable of as of late. I have read the book and watched the movie and I wanted have finally decided to share my feelings about it with you.

First off, a little summary: Daisy, a fifteen-year-old girl from Manhatten gets sent to England to visit her family there. The only thing is, she never met her aunt and cousins before, because her father didn’t want to talk about anything related to her deceased mother. So, naturally, Daisy feels quite uncomfortable, rejected by her father and now having to live with perfect strangers. It doesn’t take long, until her aunt has to go away for a business trip and leaves the kids by themselves. Now the real storyline begins, because the next day World War III breaks out.

I don’t want to say more than that about the plot, because it will totally spoil the experience, but you are probably wondering why I categorized the book as not universally appealing. Well, one of the problems a lot of the readers complained about is Meg Rossoff‘s style of writing, which is very stream-of-consciousness, and there are no quotation marks around the dialogue parts. This might seem strange to some people, but it isn’t actually something that bothered me very much. Now on to the second point. Very early on in the story, Daisy falls in love with one of her cousins. I mean she’s a teenager and they’ve never met before and it really seems like they are in love, but some people complained that it would encourage incest. Now, I am not into incest stories, but somehow I didn’t mind that part either. I guess, that those are points that could turn people off from reading the book, but I don’t think it should.

From the more problematic parts on to what I really liked about the book. I thought that it was extremely interesting to see how Meg Rossoff would envision a worldwide war in modern-day civilzed countries. Mostly, when I read about war it is either about WWI or WWII or in some sort of dystopian novel, but this one actually took place in the here and now in a country like Great Britain. That’s also what I would like to have read or in case of the movie seen more about. The build-up and the resolution concering the war could have been way longer in my opinion. And I was extremely sad at the ending … I dread endings, so they are never really my thing.

Now, I’ve talked a lot about the book, but I think I enjoyed the movie even more! It is drastically different from the book, not so much in what happens (although there were some changes involved as well), but concerning the characters. A lot of people just didn’t exist in the movie or were portrayed completely different and usually that would annoy me, but in case of How I Live Now it weirdly enough didn’t. It was shot beautifully, it has a great soundtrack and I adore the main actors Saoirse Ronan and George MacKay. It really was heartbreaking! Other than that, there’s only to say that it was directed by Kevin Macdonald and stars (next to the people I mentioned before) Tom Holland, Anna Chancellor, Corey Johnso, Harley Bird and many others.

What did you think of the movie or book? Would you watch it after seeing the trailer? I think it is definitely a story that should be checked out even though you might hear a lot of negative things about it.

 

The Time of the Doctor

Let’s start this year by talking about the last chapter of Matt Smith’s era on Doctor Who. Indeed a really sad chapter for me, but I am going to share my opinion on the 2013 Christmas Special anyway. If for some inexplicable reason you haven’t watched it yet (maybe you’re just dreading the idea of Matt Smith leaving, like I did) you should not continue reading, because like River always said: Spoilers!

The initial idea of making the Time of the Doctor as the ulitmate Eleven episode, by including about every villain/monster he has ever encountered plus resolving the whole Silence storyline, was a good thought, but somehow the execution didn’t work out as well as I’d hoped it would. I do have to admit that there probably was no right way to let Matt go and I probably would have found something to rant about in a different sort of episode as well, but still, the Time of the Doctor just didn’t satisfy me as a proper ending for the Eleventh Doctor.

Since this all sounds very bleak and as if the episode was a complete disaster, I will first start with the things I liked about it:

  • Clara was simply brilliant! She showed real emotions and while I have encountered many people who don’t like her, I loved her the entire season and especially in this episode. Getting left behind by the Doctor is about the worst thing that can happen to a person (as we’ve seen countless times with Rose) so I could defintitely sympathise with her devastation when she stepped out of the TARDIS and it vanished behind her.
  • The whole Silence thing was finally resolved! We saw what the Doctor saw in the hotel room in the God Complex and why the Silence wanted to prevent him from ever reaching Trenzalore … it all makes sense now and I will never ever accuse Steven Moffat of leaving plot holes again. It might take some years, but he will eventually resolve the storyline. (Although I want to mention that I didn’t expect the silly crack to be behind the hotel room door …)
  • Amy! Just like Eleven was my first Doctor, Amy was my first companion and I’ve missed her very much. I do realise that she was only a halluzination, but nonetheless I was happy to see her again for the farewell.

Now that I’ve mentioned at least something I liked, let’s get to the things I absolutely didn’t like:

  • While Amy is definitely on my positive-list, she is also on my negative-things-about-the-epsiode-list. So far ever since the reboot, all the Doctors had great last words. Just think about it! Nine said: “Rose, before I go, I just wanna tell you: you were fantastic, absolutely fantastic. And you know what? — So was I!” and Ten said the iconic “I don’t wanna go!” and while Matt had an absolutely fantastic monologue, the final words came from Amy saying: “Raggedy man, Good Night!” … I was a little disappointed about that, but maybe “I will always remember when the Doctor was me.” does count anyways …
  • I expected a brilliant Matt-episode for the Time of the Doctor, but mostly he wasn’t really like the Doctor we all remember him. The ancient man with the baby face actually aged – a lot! I realise that I am really critical about this, but I didn’t like those prosthetics, they looked ridiculous. And weirdly I could empathise more with Clara than I could with the Doctor and those random 300 year-jumps in time.
  • Why doesn’t Capaldi’s Doctor know how to fly the TARDIS!? Is it because he has to break his new body in first before he can remember things like that? That never happened before though …

I guess I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye … I am terrible with goodbyes. What did you think of the episode? Did you think it was a worthy farewell, alright but not fine or a complete fail?

The Last Post on New TV Shows

I think this will be the last installment in my series of posts concerning this fall’s new TV shows. If you haven’t read the previous posts, you can find the links at the end of this one. Also, if you are not happy with the shows I talked about and think I have missed something really crucial, please tell me in the comments below!

Sleepy Hollow

Sleepy Hollow is a new mystery-crime show on Fox. Even though it has characters and storylines that resemble the movie with the same title (especially in the first episode), it is completely different, because it is rather a modern-day retelling of Washington Irving‘s short story The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Amongst the main and reccuring cast are: Tom Mison, Nicole Beharie, Orlando Jones, Katia Winter, Clancy Brown, John Cho, Nicholas Gonzalez, Michael Roark, …

In 1781 Ichobad Crane dies in the American Revolutinary War, but suddenly awakens in present day Sleepy Hollow. Nearly at the same time as Ichobad turned up a mysterious Headless Horseman appears and goes on a killing spree. With one of the victims being Sheriff August Corbin, Lt. Abbie Mills soon meets Ichobad and together they have to stop the Headless Horseman, while also proving they are not insane.

I really enjoy the whole “fish out of the water”-theme, since it creates some great comedy at times. That in turn brightens up the whole gloom and doom atmosphere, which isn’t a bad thing at all. I think it fits the show really well and adds to the mystery. There are certainly some questions raised in the first episode that keep you watching and I am almost certain that this show will soon have a great fanbase.

Reign

reignReign is a new period drama from the channel CW, that revolves around the early years of Mary, Queen of Scots and her time in 1557 France. CW usually provides us with shows that are fun and targeted at a young audiences, so they are definitely not known for having many period dramas (just look at some of their previous shows: Gossip Girl, 90210, One Tree Hill, …) and that is the reason why I won’t even comment on whether it is historically accurate or not. It is entertaining and nice to look at, so people should be happy enough.

The storyline mainly focuses on Mary’s relationships, be it with her fiancé, her friends, her admirers or her enemies. I am of the opinion that the show is quite intriguing and definitely worth a look at, because the first episode clearly established who is one who’s side, while still keeping a few secrets from the audiences. Also, I was already torn as to whom Mary belongs to (even though I think I like Bash more than Francis).

Some actors and actresses of the show include: Adelaide Kane, Toby Regbo, Torrance Coombs, Megan Follows, Alan Van Sprang, Rossif Sutherland, Anna Popplewell, Caitlin Stasey, Celina Sinden, Janessa Grant, …

The Tomorrow People

the tomorrow peopleThe Tomorrow People is a CW science fiction show, that is apparently based on a British show with the same name. I have made the experience that American remakes are never as good as the original, but since I have never seen the British version, I’ll let somebody else be the judge of that.

The Tomorrow People are evolved humans that can teleport themselves and are capable of telekinesis and telepathy. The story especially follows young Stephen Jameson, who’s powers just started to emerge and who doesn’t yet know how involved he actually already is with the Tomorrow People. His father, who disappeared years ago, was one of the most powerful Tomorrow People and wanted to look for a place where they could live safely, while Stephen’s uncle works for Ultra, an organisation that hunts Tomorrow People and neutralizes their powers. Now Stephen has to master his new abilities while also being caught up in the war between humans and the evolved species.

I guess the show is quite alright, nothing too special, but also not terribly boring. I’d like to know where it is going, but right now I wouldn’t be heartbroken if I never saw it again, because it is a typical superhero-story, but somehow I couldn’t connect with it just yet. The show is staring: Robbie Amell, Luke Mitchell, Peyton List, Aaron Yoo, Madeleine Mantock, Mark Pellegrino, Jason Dohring, …

Don’t hesitate to comment below and here are the links to the previous posts with the same topic:

https://theimpossiblegirlblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/14/new-fantasy-tv-shows/

https://theimpossiblegirlblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/and-some-more-tv-shows/

https://theimpossiblegirlblog.wordpress.com/2013/10/03/tvs-fall-season-has-started/

The extraordinary life of Liberace

Even though the 2013 movie Behind the Candelabra directed by Steven Soderbegh was intentionally a television movie for HBO, I got the chance to go to the premiere in my hometown cinema. I have to say it was definitely worth it and everybody should see it on the big screen.

Behind the Candelbra is a drama that shows the last ten years of world-famous pianist Liberace (played by Michael Douglas). Although the story is generally sad, I had a great laugh, which I always enjoy very much since I don’t like stories that drag you down. I just thought it was done brilliantly. You get a close look at Liberace‘s life and you can see what all was necessary to keep up the exuberant look of the lifestyle he showed the public. The story especially focuses on the secret relationship between Liberace and his boy toy Scott Thorson (portrayed by Matt Damon), who wrote the book/memoir that the movie is based on. Both actors have done a marvelous job in making the story feel real, honest and believable.

I loved the general storyline and look of the movie and can only recommand it for everyone to see. I am not at all surprised HBO got the highest rating for a TV film since 2004 when the movie debuted. Also, it won several Emmy awards – all indicators for how great it is.

Have you seen it? I’d like to hear what you think about it in the comments section below!

TV’s Fall Season has started!

First off I want to apologize for not posting anything for such a long time. I was very lucky to get an internship for September that took up a lot more time than I thought it would and therefore also didn’t allow me to post anything. But I am back now and will continue to write about two new posts every week as I did before the internship.

Now to the actual topic. Fall season has officially started and a ton of new TV shows started airing. I try to take a look at as many of them as possible and here are some examples of what I managed to watch thus far.

Super Fun Night

This show was created by Rebel Wilson, who also plays the main character, and is a sitcom that airs on ABC. It is about three women who decide to spice up their lifes by introducing a “Friday Fun Night”. It gets especially funny after Kimmie Boubier (played by Rebel Wilson) befriends a fellow attorney. Other cast members include: Lauren Ash, Liza Lapira, Kevin Bishop, Kate Jenkinson, Ashley Tisdale, …

I guess, this show’s (and therefore Rebel Wilson’s) humour isn’t for everybody’s taste, but I thought it was quite funny. We will see how it continues since the pilot of sitcoms doesn’t always indicate how the rest of the show will go. I think that it’s definitely worth checking out though!

Betrayal

Betrayal is a new ABC drama show that revolves around Sara and Jack who fall in love but are both married to other people. As if that weren’t complicated enough the side plot deals with a murder trial. The actors/actresses include: Hannah Ware, Stuart Townsend, Chris Johnson, Wendy Moniz, Henry Thomas, James Cromwell and many more.

I generally think the show has a beautiful aesthetic and likable characters, but I can’t see how the story stretches over several seasons without getting dull. The actors and actresses are doing a great job and I feel with the main characters as they fall in love with each other and have to deal with the betrayal and the other complications that get thrown in their way. In my opinion the storyline would have sufficed for a TV-movie, but I am looking forward to how the show develops. I could be wrong and it might turn into the next Revenge or so.

 

So, that’s it for today. I plan to write about BBC’s Atlantis, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., The Wrong Mans, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland and many others. Are there any shows you would like me to write about? And have you seen something you really liked?

As Cool As I Am

as-cool-as-i-amRight at the start, I want to say that the title of this post has absolutely nothing to do with my gigantic ego, but rather with the latest movie I watched. As Cool As I Am is a 2013 family-drama based on the novel by Pete Fromm, directed by Max Mayer and starring Claire Danes, James Marsden, Sarah Bolger, Thomas Mann, William Peltz, Jeremy Sisto, Rhys Coiro and many more.

I am not yet sure what I really think about the movie. It is mainly a film about people, especially today’s generation and revolves around teenage girl Lucy who lives in a small town, falls in love with her best friend and who has to raise herself because her parents have their own problems to deal with. I know, it sounds like a very predictable movie, and at times it was, but then again it was also really interesting to watch. It’s about average people, making decisions that don’t always turn out to be right and that makes the characters just so very human. Claire Danes is wonderful as the former teen mum and Marsden makes a very believable absent father. Sometimes I think Sarah Bolger is a bit too old to play a teenager like that, especially because she seems so very mature, but maybe that’s just my opinion.

One of the things that bothered me is that they only scratched on the surface of certain topics and never went all the way (e.g. domestic violence). Also, I am really picky about endings. I don’t like them, so they have to be a really good finish to convince me and that was not the case with As Cool As I Am. For me it was somewhat abrupt and felt too forced. I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know if they chose to end the movie like that because it was the same in the novel or not.

Generally I thought it wasn’t a bad movie but it didn’t inspire me as much as it could have.

Have you heard of the movie? Did you think it was promising or too shallow?

Look closely, …

… because the closer you think you are, the less you’ll actually see.

Now You See Me  is a mystery-crime-thriller sort of film, whereas I don’t think the thriller element is really that huge a topic. Basically, the movie is about the 4 horsemen, a group of stage magicians, who perform a bank robbery and other inexplicable magic tricks in front of a live audience. An FBI agent and an Interpol agent try to discover their secrets, so that they’ll finally get a step ahead of the group.

now-you-see-me

I absolutely loved the movie and it’s cast. Even the actors for the less important parts were chosen very well, but I guess I am easily impressed by everything that has to do with magic tricks. You know that everything is an illusion, that you are being tricked, but somehow it still amazes you and leaves you wondering how they did it. Now You See Me admited that they use some tricks that are not really possible nowadays, but that might be in the future. Nonetheless, the movie looks really amazing and I don’t regret watching it at all, especially since it gave me another reason to love Jesse Eisenberg.

I never like to go into much detail on the storylines, because I think it can easily spoil the whole experience, but I have to say that I somehow wasn’t satisfied with the ending of the film. I can’t really put my finger on it, but it’s as if I need one more thing explained, a little more detail on what happens. It was made brilliantly though, leaving you wanting more … so, I guess they achieved exactly what they wanted with me.

As mentioned the movie had a great cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, Michael Kelly, Common, …

Have you watched it? Did you love it as much as I did?

Coming this fall … Part II

The previous month, I wrote a post about new TV shows that are about to air this fall. Well, as you probably already guessed, this is the continuation of the list.

abc

Mixology is a show about a group of people who spend the night in a bar called The Mix. The whole season takes place in only one night; I actually have no idea if that is brilliant or totally not managable. I know that shows like 24 have worked, and they also portrayed only one day in a season, but it was a completely different genre. I am guessing that it will be quite a fun and romantic show and it is pretty easy to stretch the whole story over several seasons, but the success of it will entirely depend on whether people watch it or not (which it kind of always does depend on).

 

FOX

This fall J.J. Abrams brings us a new futuristic cop-action-drama called Almost Human. In the time the show takes place, human police officers have to partner with something like evolved human-like androids. After an accident the main character (played by Karl Urban) has to live with being part-machine due to his synthetic leg. Even though he despises the technology, he forms an unlikely partnership when he is forced to work with a part-human robot (portrayed by Michael Ealy). I think the show looks excellent, very action-packed and like a good cop-story. Usually J.J. Abrams’ work is quite popular, so, I think this show will most likely do very well on television.

 

Well, that was it for now. There are so many new shows coming up, that you can be sure I will be writing about them very soon. Do you have particular shows you want me to write about? Have you heard about any of the series I’ve mentioned above?