Testament of Youth Review

A while ago I watched the Trailer for Testament of Youth and I knew I wanted to know more about it. I bought the book or rather the memoirs of Vera Brittain, which the movie is based on, but I haven’t managed to finish it yet. Nonetheless, I finally decided to watch the movie and I do not regret not having waited any longer! I will keep this post Spoiler-free but I cannot say the same about the comments!

Here some basic facts:

Genre: Biography/Drama/History

Length: 129  minutes

Cast: Alicia Vikander, Kit Harington, Colin Morgan, Taron Egerton, Hayley Atwell, Emily Watson, Dominic West, Miranda Richardson …

Director: James Kent 

Testament of Youth is the real account of Vera Brittain’s life and keeping that in mind, the movie was just so much more heartfelt and heartbreaking than I thought it would be. I can tell you that they did not stick to the book a 100%, but that was a thing of impossibility anyway. What fascinated me so much about it though, was that the point of view wasn’t from someone at the front, someone involved in the actual fighting, but rather the view of a person who got left behind. Vera does everything possible to be of help, joining the volunteers as a nurse and in that way she witnesses her own horrors of war.

I always have my problems with war stories. There are never any real winners. Yet, the movie shows why people joined up, what their course of thinking was – their motivation. It also shows how war changed them and in consequence also their lives, their thinking and the people they love. Towards the end Vera gives an impressive speech in front of a pro-war crowd and she makes it her duty to never forget what happened to the people she cared about. I think we can all agree that she succeeded in doing that.

The movie is so beautiful and sad to watch (I’ll admit to having cried … a lot). The combination of strong visual pictures and quite striking poetry was extremely touching. Everyone involved did an extraordinary job and I was delighted with the work of  Kit Harington (Game of Thrones), Colin Morgan (Merlin), Taron Egerton (Kingsman) and even Hayley Atwell (Agent Carter) whom I barely recognised at first. The real reason to watch is Alicia Vikander (Ex_Machina) though! She gives a strong, sympathetic and worthwhile performance, that I’ll be sure to remember.

Fazit: very recommendable!

Have you watched it as well? Have any of you read Vera’s memoirs?

Lust for Love Review

I feel like writing today, so here’s my recommendation #2 for Valentine’s Day: Lust for Love! Again, beware of Spoilers ahead!

Here the basic facts:

Genre: Romance/Comedy

Length: 85  minutes

Cast: Fran Kranz, Dichen Lachman, Beau Garrett, Caitlin Stasey, Enver Gjokaj, Karim Saleh, Miracle Laurie, Felicia Day, Jonathan Oldham, Maurissa Tancheroen …

Director/Writer: Anton King

Astor has dreamed to be with Mila his whole life. So, when they finally get together, he’s the happiest man on the planet. Too bad Mila doesn’t feel the same way and breaks up with him before the relationship really started. To win her back, Astor seeks the help of Cali, Mila’s former best friend, who’s supposed to make him a real player with women. Things get complicated when feelings don’t just evolve for Mila but Cali as well and Astor has to choose who he really wants to be with.

Let me start by saying that I adore this movie – there is literally nothing I don’t love about it! (Except maybe for the fact that it was too short and I could have watched it all day long!)

  • I love the cast, because it feels like a long overdue reunion of one of my favourite shows on the planet: Dollhouse. For everyone who knows the show, you’ll understand this: It’s like Topher got a day off to play with the dolls and he decided to let everyone fall in love with him. That alone should get you to want to watch it! But everyone on the movie is just amazing – I mean the minor characters were casted with real stars like Felicia Day or Caitlin Stasey (Reign) to name just a few.
  • It is one of the rare cases where the music from the Trailer was actually used during the movie and I love that as well.
  • The story is sweet and hilarious and cool at the same time and just strikes the right balance for me. You root for Astor the entire time, because he’s just so relatable that you ship him with everyone he meets. I personally would have even liked to see him with Miracle Laurie‘s character Jenny, just because she seemed to be genuinely interested in him and that even though she wasn’t even part of the main cast.
  • Last but not least, it’s just one of those movies that’s really beautiful to watch.

So, after Not Another Happy Ending this is my other go-to-movie for Valentine’s Day! Enjoy it and tell me what you think!

Comet Review

A couple of months back, I was raving about the trailer for Comet to all my friends . It looked so beautiful, endearing and, as always, I am a complete sucker for the boy-meets-girl-with-a-twist kind of story. So, now that I finally got to watch the whole thing and not just impressions of it, I decided to write a little review. Spoilers ahead!

Before we get into the actual review, here a few facts:

Genre: Drama/Romance (imdb would also like to have me believe it’s a comedy, but I really don’t think so)

Length: 91 minutes

Cast: Emmy Rossum, Justin Long, Eric Winter, Kayla Servi …

Director: Sam Esmail

In the movie, you see the relationship of the perfectly paired duo Emmy Rossum and Justin Long unfold over the course of 6 years. It all starts at a meteor shower, but you just get glimpses of their life, not necessarily in chronological order. Dell (Justin Long) is a bitter, cynic, smart-ass narcissist, while Kimberly (Emmy Rossum) is beautiful, witty, crazy and fun – of course they hit it off right away. I’m not sure Esmail really managed to “re-invent” the boy-meets-girl drama, but the two main characters have a certain fascination to them and so does the movie.

The first thing I noticed (besides the great choice of music) was that it’s visually stunning, even poetic at times. That alone should get you to want to watch it in a movie theatre, but otherwise I sometimes felt lost. I understand that, just like a painting, Comet does not have a traditional beginning, middle and end, but during the entire time I was watching it, there was this alien feeling to it, and you just knew that something wasn’t quite right. Apparently the whole story is set in a parallel universe, but to me, it seemed much more like a dream; thoughts bouncing back and forth at random, or in this case, Esmail switching between channels, jumping through time. It’s not just the time jumping though, every part of the story has a unique visual style to it and while it’s truly beautiful, I kept wondering if it were several different parallel universes where Dell and Kim met each time instead of just one. Also, it seemed like they were stuck in a loop, always ending up the same way which made for an abrupt ending of the film. You spend one and a half hours investing your emotions into this relationship, just to get it taken away without real conclusion. I suppose that’s what bothered me most; not knowing if they got together or not.

All in all it seemed like a mix between (500) Days of Summer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind to me, which I can’t say is a bad thing. I still have so many questions about the movie and I guess if that was Esmail‘s goal, he succeeded. It’s definitely one of the better Indie movies out there, because even though it’s confusing, you never stop watching. Did any of you see it as well? What was your opinion?

2014 – blogging in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog and I wanted to share it with you. What a fantastic year it has been and that’s all thanks to you!

Here’s an excerpt:

  • The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
  • The busiest day of the year was September 3rd with 666 views.
  • I wrote 90 posts this year and my longest streak was 5 posts in a row.
  • As of today, the most viewed posts were about Caleb Ruminer and Our Girl!
  • People from 121 countries visited my blog! (Muhahaha, I’m taking over the world!)
  • Funnily enough, people weren’t just referred to my blog from Facebook and Twitter, but also from a dating advice site. I’m not sure they found what they were looking for, but it’s still interesting information to me.

So I hope we can keep this up the next year and maybe we’ll even manage to grow our little community a bit. Again thank you for all your support and a Happy New Year from me (even if it’s a bit in advance)!

Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2014

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without a bit of Downton Abbey. As always a lot happens when it comes to the family and staff residing at Downton. Spoilers ahead!

Downton Abbey - ITV

No different than in any other episode of Downton Abbey, I am clueless as to where to start especially since this one was two hours long. So much happened and very little actually had to do with Christmas, but let’s get started:

  • Anna is in prison now and it doesn’t look too good for her. Bates of course can’t watch her getting convicted, so he signs a confession and flees to Ireland until they’re both proven innocent. Those two seriously never get a break. Anna can’t enjoy being back at Downton without her love, but then gets surprised by Bates at Christmas, after Molesley can prove that he wasn’t in London during the time of the murder. Now, I hope that Anna doesn’t get imprisoned again, but I also still wonder who actually did it.
  • Andy the footman who helped out in London now works at Downton.
  • Everyone in the family (except for Mary) knows that Marygold is Edith‘s daughter. I’m so happy for her and you can visibly see that a heavy weight was lifted from her shoulders when Lord Grantham “forgave” her. Their might even have been a new love interest for her in form of the agent from York, but I am not sure.
  • Speaking of love interest! Lady Mary has a new one in with the name of Henry Talbot (portrayed by the very handsome and dashing Matthew Goode). I very much approve, in fact I am jealous! She always gets the best love interests and that even though she’s still extremely mean to Edith, who’s been a lot nicer and a good person in general the past seasons.
  • The feud between Spratt and Ms Denkers is hilarious!
  • I am so glad that Rose and Atticus are still happy! Those two are lovely and they deserve it! Even Lord Sinderby now approves of Rose, even though I sincerely hope that it doesn’t blow up in her face one day that she helped him cover up an illegitimate child. Atticus surely won’t be too joyous when he finds out. But maybe he never will since he’s probably moving to New York with Rose sometime soon.
  • Barrow was once again at his best while scheming against the Butler at York. You definitely don’t want to mess with him!
  • The old Lady Grantham helped Princess Kuragin to come to Britain and therefore declined Prince Kuragin. While she still liked getting the proposition at her age, she just couldn’t go with it. We finally get the whole story between her and the Prince and that is great.
  • While I am sure that Doctor Clarkson isn’t too unhappy, I feel sorry for Lord Merton because Isobel keeps refusing him. She doesn’t want to have to deal with his disapproving sons, but I think that really shouldn’t be her main concern if Merton makes her happy.
  • It finally happened! I thought it never would and it was the sweetest moment ever! Carson asked Mrs Hughes to marry him! They are simply perfect for each other!
  • There was a slight scare that Lord Grantham might be sick and everyone was really concerned about it, but he just has to follow a strict diet and should feel better in no time. It’s a relief, because he really is a main component of this show!
  • Tom … my beloved Branson. It seems the time has come and he is actually leaving. It’s not like I don’t want him to succeed on his own, but I’ll terribly miss him, like everyone from the family will too. The most emotional moment from the episode was for me when he was in the childrens’ room and wanted to take a mental picture of everything. Edith and Mary joined him, they held hands and thought of Sybil. They were the ones supposed to grow old with her! While everyone did say their goodbyes to him, I won’t actually believe that he’s gone until he’s not at Downton anymore.

What were your thoughts about the Christmas Special? Did I miss an integral part?

Doctor Who Christmas Special 2014

Before I start this post: I wish all of you readers happy holidays! It’s been a great year and I am thankful for all the support I’ve got from you. I’m truly happy about every visit to my page, like and comment! Thanks!

Now, on to Doctor Who! Despite the fact that the episode was named after the single most terrible Christmas song ever produced, meaning Last Christmas, the episode wasn’t nearly as bad. Beware of Spoilers ahead!

Last Christmas … I don’t even know where to start. This was definitely the most Inception-like plot ever, because there were just so many dreams in dreams and technically we still don’t know if they woke up (just like in the movie). There were parts I really liked and others I didn’t like so much. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts on this years’ Christmas Special of Doctor Who:

  • Nick Frost as Santa together with his elves was simply hilarious. Also I was very happy to see Nathan McMullen, who I first encountered on Misfits, in this episode. I like the way they incorporated Santa and left it open as to whether he truly exists or not, even though we don’t actually have Santa in my country and I never believed in him, the thought of him is quite nice. And just fyi: I like getting tangerines. They are totally yummy!
  • Leave it to Steven Moffat to make dreaming unsafe. I generally didn’t dislike the episode, but it was really confusing and even repetitive at times. A very interesting concept, but at times copied from Inception (as I mentioned above).
  • Unfortunately I didn’t care that much about the other dreamers. The only thing that was a bit interesting to see was where and how they woke up.
  • A lot of people wondered why the episode was called “Last Christmas” because there were so many rumours about Jenna Coleman leaving. In truth though, it was Clara‘s and Danny‘s last Christmas together. It was heartbreaking to see them part yet again. Danny is just too perfect, even if he was just a projection in a dream.
  • Well, Jenna Coleman didn’t leave, although I read somewhere that she had a change of heart at the last minute and that they had to rewrite the ending of the episode. (This information was never actually confirmed though) It was originally planned that Clara would die at old age with the Doctor visiting her for the last time. It doesn’t really matter now that that didn’t happen, although that part of was brilliant. The prosthetics didn’t look as terrible as they sometimes tend to look and I just loved the whole scene. The way the Doctor still saw her the way she looked like when she was young and Clara telling him that there was only one other man than Danny, but that he was impossible. In the end, I am very happy though to see her for at least another half-season. We’ll see if she still stays after that.
  • Clara and the Doctor on the sleigh was so cute and lovely. Another one of my favourite moments!
  • I’m not exactly sure I can pinpoint it, but a lot of this episode reminded me of Donna. The way Clara dreamt about her life with Danny, made me think of Donna while she was saved in the library and the Dream Crabs really reminded me of that thing on Donna’s back during Turn Left.
  • While we still don’t know when Series 9 will continue, we have a title for the first episode: The Magician’s Apprentice. Sounds interesting.

It may still not rank as one of my favourite Christmas Specials, but it wasn’t bad at all. I quite liked it, what about you? What are your thoughts?

The Flash Mid-Season Finale

It’s Christmas! Well not yet, but it definitely was Christmas time during the Flash Mid-Season Finale. Beware of Spoilers!

This episode had some major reveals in it and it should have blown me away. Somehow it didn’t. The episode wasn’t very balanced and I enjoyed it a lot less than last week’s crossover titled Flash vs. Arrow (which was hilarious and brilliant, mainly because of Cisco). But let’s dive more into this week. What do I mean by it wasn’t very balanced you may wonder. Well, the Reverse Flash and the Firestorm storyline are huge and interesting things in my opinion, but the focus was more on Barry’s feelings towards Iris. I just wish that wasn’t such a big deal in the show, because while I do like Iris better than Laurel, I just don’t see her with Barry. He has much more chemistry with Caitlin, or is it just me who thinks that? I just keep realising that they have these really cute little moments and I don’t see those with Iris.

Here are some other thoughts about the episode:

  • Poor Caitlin! She is one of my favourites of the show (duh!) and I feel really sorry for her. She’s so torn about how to feel about Ronny/Firestorm now that he’s back and clearly not the same person he once was. I definitely hope to see more of him soon. I need to see more of him soon! I find him a really interesting character and I’m interested to see in which direction they’ll take him, because he doesn’t seem like a typical antagonist/villain to me.
  • Wells is the Reverse Flash? There were hints that something was definitely up with him, but I did not see that coming. Am I that blind? And it was confirmed that there was another speeder besides the Reverse Flash at the murder sight of Barry’s mum. So, maybe my time travelling theory is right? Barry and Wells both going so fast they go back in time? Who knows.
  • Just when I started to like Eddie, he starts a task force meant to catch the Flash. I guess he’s strayed from that plan now, but still … how could he not see that the Flash is a good guy? Oh right, Barry beating him up probably didn’t help, but that was really the only time he didn’t help people. Now Eddie wants to move in with Iris and I am happy for them. I say, why not?
  • Speaking of Iris. Barry finally confessed his undying love for her. He didn’t phrase it like that, but can you guess what her answer was? Utter silence! That’s right, she said nothing. I think she may realise she has feelings for him too now, but as I mentioned above, if it were up to me they don’t have to get together.

The promo for the next episode looks interesting. The Reverse Flash taking Caitlin hostage and stuff like that. I’m looking forward to the other half of the season, but as a last thing I just want to say that even after the Flash‘s rocketing success, I still prefer the Arrow a little more. What are your thoughts?