vanilla sky poster

“The little things… there’s nothing bigger, is there?” 
– David

SYNOPSIS: A self-indulgent and vain publishing magnate finds his privileged life upended after a vehicular accident with a resentful lover. – via IMDB

vanilla sky

I know that there are people with some issues with this film, but I found it to be a rather decent one, and I enjoyed it. Despite all the awful reviews, Vanilla Sky is not the wreck that it is made out to be. By no stretch of the imagination a piece of perfection, it is entertaining nonetheless. Tom Cruise was well suited for the role, and didn’t even really get on my nerves. I am not a fan of either Diaz or Cruz, though they were the leading ladies for this. I think that is the only thing that actually got to me, but overall not enough to detract from the journey that you undertook with David Aames. Diaz pulled this role off far better than most I have seen her in, and managed to give a solid spine and feel to her character.  I liked the way the story was presented and laid out, as well as how it progressed.  There were plenty of plot twists and turns, and kept it fresh and interesting throughout. The back and forth banter between Dr McCabe and David was interesting, as well as David dealing with the tragedy he has been visited with. He did not deal so well with it, and there are plenty of times that you can identify with him, and plenty of times that you can see as a spoiled brat he took things too far. An engaging movie to check out if you have not done so before, and one to watch with an open mind seeing as it was bashed more than it deserved.

kill your darlings poster

“Some things, once you’ve loved them, become yours forever./And if you try to let them go… /They only circle back and return to you./They become part of who you are…”
– Allen Ginsberg

SYNOPSIS: A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs. – via IMDB

Kill Your Darlings is a good biographical drama. I remember when it came some people had written it off as slow and dull, so I eventually ended up putting this off for a while. Let me tell you, I am glad I finally got to it. I thought that it was a solid film that was well shot and studded with an exceptional cast that delivered fantastic performances all round. Dane DeHaan was mesmerising as Lucien Carr. Everything about him oozed a certain vulnerability, yet he was confident and was incredibly sensual. He exuded confidence, drew you in, made you fall in love with him too, yet have your illusions broken the same time as others. He really was perfectly cast. Daniel Radcliffe impressed me again, which is no surprise. Take him out of Harry Potter and he is amazing, I think he has some real talent. He was timid, afraid, intelligent, and soon he just grew into a whole different type of person with Lucien. Not in a bad way, either, it is just that he came out of his shell. It was good to see Michael C Hall in something again, I enjoy his work. Jack Huston played Jack Kerouac very well, I do quite like him as an actor and wish he was in more things. I am not the most clued up on the history involved with this, though it interested me enough to do some reading at some point. Maybe I was more fond of this due to liking literature, writing, thinking outside the box, all of that, and while it might not have been put together as well as it could have been and misses some things here and there, I had a good time watching this, and can recommend it, if not for the performances alone.

Jessie Cole #4

SYNOPSIS: Two missing persons. One apparent suicide. Three cases pushing PI Jessie Cole and crime reporter Ben Morrison closer to the edge.

Lacey Geiger could be a very rich woman. If Jessie Cole can find her. The beneficiary of a sizable estate, Lacey vanished years ago after escaping an abusive childhood and is veiled now behind a new identity. Jessie has two weeks to find her. It’s enough time to discover that Lacey is hiding from so much more than anyone realized. But she isn’t the only one with secrets. And Jessie’s not the only one searching for the truth.

A concerned daughter has asked for help finding her mother—a woman said to have been murdered thirty years ago. And Jessie’s colleague Ben, an amnesiac still struggling with the bloody memories of a shattered life, is nearer to piecing together a very dark picture. Especially when someone he detests is found dead, hanging from a tree by a riverbank.

Now as the mysteries, puzzles, and lies of three investigations are unearthed, Jessie and Ben will risk everything to bring all that is hidden into the light. – via Goodreads

So another quick and easy read, that has a decent story, so it is not too light, but also not too heavy to go through, either. I really enjoy the Jessie Cole books, where I never really did the Lizzie Gardner books.

Ben Morrison painted to be a very complex character, and while he is, he is not too intense. The romance between Colin and Jessie is sometimes really flat, in the sense that it is not really anything, but Ragan keeps bringing it up to humanise Jessie or something? I don’t know.

Zee is also still an interesting character. She definitely has mental health issues, and they are explored, but again not in depth. I think Ragan likes to touch on subjects, but never gets too involved with anything, so the read always feels lighter.

The one issue there is with these books is that they don’t really have anything that sets them apart from each other, defining them. I look at how I read these two one after another, and thoroughly enjoyed them, but neither stood out on its own. They blur together, though I liked them well enough.

being human season 2 cover

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Josh’s social anxiety is hilarious. Just think of how he guzzled the wine when Sally’s mother was there for that awkward dinner, or how he edges out and avoids uncomfortable situations. I love it.
  • Demonic, dark side Sally is actually really entertaining, hectic plot to watch. The introduction of the Reaper and then all the things that subsequently happen? So good.

being human sally season 2 shred

  • Seeing Aidan delve deeper into the world of the vampires, and it is messy, ugly, and digs up another side of him altogether, which is quite cool to see.

being human season 2 blood lust

  • More of Aidan’s past was also welcome.
  • The friendship between Aidan and Josh will just always be awesome. They are definitely besties.

being human season 2 josh and aidan

  • Zoe was a character I liked. She was so awkward and amusing, but I also felt so sorry for her later on – the Nick situation was a killer.
  • Aidan and Josh banding together to save Sally – friends for life! It was also quite funny to see how they had no other choice but to let Zoe know that they are totally not normal humans.

being human season 2 i am a vampire

What I didn’t like:

  • Nora irritated the crap out of me this season. I really like her and Josh together, but this new Nora? Nah uh! What a bitch.
  • Those thoroughbreds are a real issue – they come in out of nowhere, make issues for Nora and Josh, make Josh to feel a fool, nope. Just not on man.
  • So many story arcs were introduced, rushed through, and then discarded. Like, really? What was the point of all that?
  • Josh and Julia being together again was something I wasn’t a fan of. Not because Josh isn’t allowed to be happy, it was just a silly plot device.

being human season 2 whore

Rating:

Yep, another really entertaining season if you ask me. Aidan will just never get the freedom he wants, to lead the life he chooses, there is just always something lurking about to make him miserable. The assumption was that the end of Bishop would have bought him his freedom, but instead left him in the precarious place of leading Boston. Never mind that, it put him in the line of fire of Mother, an acient vampire, and Suren, her daughter who crushed his heart many years ago.

Josh and Aidan are trying so hard to just be normal, and it is failing miserably. Aidan is still judged super harshly for ever slipping or just for being loyal, but is still expected to carry the world. I was pleased to see in this season that Nora knew all about Josh’s werewolf secret, and thought it was going to be amazing (after they dealt with the fact that she, too, is a werewolf). But oh no, it could never be that easy with Josh, and instead we got these annoying thoroughbreds introduced to us, and they just got right in there what with tearing Josh and Nora apart. She was such a bitch and so cruel in this season, really, she annoyed me the whole way through. ICK.

While Sally can still make things all about her, it was interesting to see how her arc went this season, what with her making friends, learning about possession, getting hooked, and leading a Reaper into her world. The consequences were rather dire there, and the way she snapped was fantastic. Seriously, it was worth a watch. Something that amused me endlessly was Aidan sleeping with Julia, only to find one super awkward morning that Julia is, in actual fact, Josh’s ex-fiancé. I know it sounds bad, but that scene was handled well. The friendship between Aidan and Josh survived it, so all is well. However, later, after Nora and all her stupidity, when Josh and Julia were together again? Not a fan. It’s just not supposed to work that way. Nope. Plus, he belongs with Nora. She just needs to get over her crap.

Aidan and Suren was a relationship that needed to grow on me, and I still don’t think they were properly suited, but definitely better than Aidan and Rebecca, that’s for damn sure. Suren originally grated on me, but she gets better. Still not a huge fan, but better. I also happened to thoroughly appreciate the story she told of how Aidan kept a black orchid from her mother alive once a upon a time. It was beautiful. The effects are still a bit sketchy, and there are times where the narrative stumbles a bit, but Being Human is still a damn fine show that I would highly recommend to anyone that wants a supernatural comedy/drama mix. Worth your time, for sure.

being human season 2 meemaw

This scene is absolutely hilarious. I mean, we all know Klaus is cuckoo and will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Still not having gained entry to the Gilbert house was no deterrent for him, and the way he started to wage a siege to get in was classic. The execution of this scene, the music, everything just worked wonders. My favourite piece? The way Klaus walked the gas up the stairs to burn down the house, and Stefan stops him there at the door. Ah, Klaus! ❤

“Were we just as obnoxious as these kids back in the day?”
– Kevin

SYNOPSIS: Jim, Michelle, Stifler, and their friends reunite in East Great Falls, Michigan for their high school reunion. – via IMDB

Well. Uhm, this is, hands down, my least favourite of the American Pie movies as they stand with the original members. I didn’t expect this to be good (I mean the older ones aren’t great, but they were a large part of my silly youth),  but I thought maybe nostalgia could save this one a little.

It straight up didn’t. The poster might hark back to the first of its kind, and the content may have tried at times, but it was desperate and a cheap cash grab. How Oz is suddenly back with a stray throwaway line about The Wedding, nope. Kevin is back, has a wife, and has a whole story arc with Vicki going.

We went through three movies with no real severe nudity (yes, there were boobs, but nothing too private. This movie? Show me Jim’s dick. Through a pot lid. Yes, that is exactly what I wanted to see for a cheap laugh. I know the others were also filled with crude, gross out humour, but this just seemed like a line crossed I didn’t need. I also did not like the creepy story with this young girl prostrating herself at Jim’s feet, and all these guys preying on young, high school girls. For reals. If you have been out of school twelve years, you should not be trying to make it with a sixteen year old.

What I did like though was watching Jim’s dad and Stifler’s mom chilling together and having a blast. There is also plenty things that do throw back to the originals, and for the most part, this is pulled off successfully. Stifler has another crazy party, and Jim’s dad is the life of the scene, hands down.

Yeah, I am bitching about this, and I sort of expected it to be weak, but I didn’t expect it to be as terrible as it was at the end of the day. This one can totally just be skipped. It is cringey and embarrassing, and not in the sort of forgivable way of the old ones. I still maintain I don’t know how those would be received if seen for the first time nowadays and no youth to help it along.

SYNOPSIS: 5 D A Y S A G O
A rash of bizarre murders swept the country…
Senseless. Brutal. Seemingly unconnected.
A cop walked into a nursing home and unloaded his weapons on elderly and staff alike.
A mass of school shootings.
Prison riots of unprecedented brutality.
Mind-boggling acts of violence in every state.

4 D A Y S A G O
The murders increased ten-fold…

3 D A Y S A G O
The President addressed the nation and begged for calm and peace…

2 D A Y S A G O
The killers began to mobilize…

Y E S T E R D A Y
All the power went out…

T O N I G H T
They’re reading the names of those to be killed on the Emergency Broadcast System. You are listening over the battery-powered radio on your kitchen table, and they’ve just read yours.

Your name is Jack Colclough. You have a wife, a daughter, and a young son. You live in Albuquerque, New Mexico. People are coming to your house to kill you and your family. You don’t know why, but you don’t have time to think about that any more.

You only have time to….

R U N – via Goodreads

Yep, this one just wasn’t really my cup of tea. It just… got really old and repetitive quickly. As is typical of a Blake Crouch novel, you are dumped smack into the middle of things and it sure as hell doesn’t slow down as you keep going.

Run starts quick enough, and you read for ages before you even get to a place where you sort of understand that the family is being hunted down and that it has something to do with some night time astral viewing of sorts, and that is pretty much all you get. The running away gets repetitive after awhile, as survival is the name of the game, which is all good and well, but it has been done much better in the Wayward Pines novels by Crouch, for instance.

I also feel that while the violence makes its way onto the pages, you are never truly afraid for the characters, and it comes across as rushed and underplayed, except for one specific scene (which, horrific as it was, was also rushed through).

I don’t really have an awful lot to say about this, as there is not much to say other than it is an okay, if slightly unimaginative survival horror. If you are looking for a quick filler book that does not need too much investment and is something you will burn through super fast, Run would be the pick for that.

“You can’t hold on to everything.”
– McKayla

SYNOPSIS: In the summer of 1991, a sheltered teenage boy comes of age during a wild summer he spends in Cape Cod getting rich from selling pot to gangsters, falling in love for the first time, partying and eventually realizing that he is in over his head. – via IMDB

So I moved this up on my watch list because I adore Timothée Chalamet and I also thoroughly enjoy Maika Monroe, so the talent alone had me like “hells yeah” on this. I had no preconceived ideas about Hot Summer Nights, I remember reading about it before it came and thinking to add it to my watch list because I liked the cast, and A24 has churned out some pretty good movies over the years, then I kind of forgot about it. But then I saw it again and I was like “oh yeah!”.

Hot Summer Nights is a mixed bag. It’s carried by amazing performances from the cast, and it looks great – the outfits of the time, the stylish way it’s shot, the colours, everything on that front works for it. I even like the soundtrack, though at times it just felt like someone wanted to cram as much nostalgic/relevant music of the time to set the scene, which sometimes kinda just dragged you out of the whole affair sometimes? Chalamet was (as expected), fantastic. Honestly. Maika Monroe, too, impressed me (as always), and the two of them just looked gorgeous together. Alex Roe (a newcomer for me) was solid, too. He doesn’t have the most extensive filmography and I am not sure why, I thought he was rather good. I really liked them all, and watching them all.

Where the movie is let down is the paper thin story. For reals. It could have been so much more, weaving a coming of age story into this summer and seeing how it would all come together. But that opportunity was wasted. Also, these guys grow their pot sales empire, but never really addresses the how. We are told it is happening, we see the money, but we don’t get anything more than that. It just leaves holes and questions. Thomas Jane, too, is underused in this.

Anyway, Hot Summer Nights is a decent watch. The performances alone are worth a look see, and it’s not a terrible movie. It just doesn’t have an awful lot of substance to it at the end of the day. Not your typical coming of age movie, but I liked it enough.

Lizzy Gardner #5

SYNOPSIS: Life for private investigator Lizzy Gardner will never be the same. It’s been three weeks since her fiancé, Jared, was shot on what was supposed to be their wedding day. He’s in a coma now, and Lizzy is being forced to make a decision she might not be able to live with.

But a string of deaths has forced her to get back to work. While they appear to be unrelated accidents at first glance, a closer look shows they all have something in common. More than a decade earlier, the victims were all members of the Ambassador Club at a Sacramento high school: a posh posse that bullied other students, one of whom remains tormented years later. – via Goodreads

Well, here we are with yet another Lizzy Gardner book, and man, what a kick in the teeth. The first two were such meh reads, and then three and four were much better and quite interesting. Obsessed ended with quite a cliffhanger, and I was interested to see how Ragan would tackle the issue that she presented. The way she went? Sucky. So sucky.

We have regressed to super bad – the book is not good. At all. Instead of being edgy with the whole botched/ruined wedding thing and instead of using this book for extreme character growth/introspection and to pack and emotional punch of note, Ragan blabs around in cirlces and goes nowhere, and the book is even more unrealistic than others in the series. The cases being investigated by her, Kitally and Hayley are so silly and there is nothing compelling about this book.

There are so many issues that could legitimately be explored in this book, like losing a loved one, respecting another person, dedication, support, domestic abuse, all of those things, and instead this book hobbles along in the most insipid manner possible. The villain dragged back for this? I barely remembered him from the first book. In fact, I barely remember anything about why Lizzy is the way she is, other than that she was kidnapped and held for some time. Like, how bad is it that the main protagonist we have been following for five books now is beyond lacklustre and mediocre? What?

The best way to summarise Almost Dead is extremely bland and boring. What a wasted opportunity that was set up. The book had no heart, and it had so much to work with, too. This series is so hit and miss – and more miss than anything, with only two semi-decent entries so far. The Jessie Cole book started with a bigger bang, and I am thinking that, if Ragan continues that series the way she started it, she will definitely have me sold, because Lizzy Gardner and her band of misfits is really irritating me more than entertaining me.

originals complete season 3 poster

*CONTAINS SPOILERS*

What I liked:

  • Hayley and Elijah getting some awkward time together, and finally caving to it. YAY!
  • More Vincent. I really like this character, definitely interesting, and I am so looking forward to seeing where it goes for him.
  • The relationship ties between characters really improves more with each passing season.
  • I warmed to Freya – she annoyed me last season, but she has grown into herself, and definitely fits into the family better now, and I like that.
  • The relationship between Klaus and Elijah. I love how they can mess each other up intensely, but they are the only ones allowed to mess with each other like that, and then they will have drinks. Nicely done guys.

klaus and elijah

  • The guest appearances from Stefan and even Matt Donovan, as pompous and annoying as he still is.
  • The Mikaelson family drama remains absolutely enthralling every step of the way.
  • Those last two episodes! That finale! Like oh my goodness!

Okay, okay, okay. I can’t help it, but Elijah. So cold, so efficient, so classy, so hot.

originals season 3 elijah kills two people originals season 3 elijah hot

What I didn’t like:

  • Lucien. Ugh. I don’t even want to really type out what I think about this… prat. It’ll get ugly.
  • All these first turned vampires got on my nerves, not even going to lie.
  • This whole Camille/Klaus and Aurora/Klaus thing. It just annoys me. He doesn’t actually have any proper chemistry with them, anything that would convince me that they are supposed to be together (whichever he wants).
  • Camille annoyed me enough as is as a human, but as a vampire? UGH.
  • Finn coming back.
  • That whole prophecy angle, while it was good, was dragged out way more than necessary.
  • Minimal werewolf story arc, and I actually liked knowing more about them all.

originals season 3 vincent griffithRating:

Oh my goodness! What a season! Initially I was a little peeved, and there were sections I didn’t like, but there was also so much that was so right with this season! When it started up, I was a little sketch about all these first sired vampires, one for each Klaus, Elijah, and Rebekah. Lucien Castle particularly annoyed me, even just the way he spoke. Soon it was evident that it was going to be an issue. Tristan didn’t peeve me like Lucien, but Aurora was a piece of work I didn’t like, and neither did I like this forced, ancient love story.

originals season 3 marcel trust your family

Davina leading the witches and finding herself wasn’t bad, either, I have warmed up to her as the show has progressed, though she truly still is a flawed individual. A character I adore is Vincent, and the man is fantastic, has his own set of morals, and works totally different. He is a character that is immensely sure of himself. I was also pleased to see how the Freya story arc was sorted out, because I really didn’t like her in the last season. I was so sad to see Jackson killed off – like I said, I really liked the dude, I just didn’t want him to be with Hayley because I am a Haylijah shipper for life man. Elijah is so freaking in love with Hayley, but he is such a good man and would put her happiness above his wants, and would step back so that she could just live her life. Man, too much for me.

Anyway, you obviously know I was over the moon when Klaus wheedled Hayley into admitting that she still had the hots for Elijah, and that she should do something about it, and then she did. My heart sang. Anyway, the Mikaelson “Always and Forever” motto is really put to the test here, and it was insane to see Kol brought back, but Rebekah taken, Finn brought back, though it was short-lived (thank goodness), and there is just melodrama everywhere, as is Mikaelson tradition. I loved seeing how this season tied into The Vampire Diaries (season 7), and it was great to see Stefan again.

Freaking heck, can we just talk about this Camille/Klaus crap for a second? It has always irritated me, this you know, but this last season it was particularly bad. Then the bitch was turned, and was even more annoying. I know this sounds awful, but when she passed, the only person I felt bad for for losing her was Vincent. Anyway, the way the Mikaelsons sorted out the warring sirelines was fantastic, and Klaus’s disposal of Lucien was cold, like wow. All that aside, that finale nearly drove me crazy! People dying left, right, centre, wars starting, this super dangerous hybrid whatever Lucien crafted, Klaus’s life, my poor Elijah getting snacked on (I literally cried out “no” when it happened), all sorts, it was some intense stuff! I was riveted.

originals season 3 klaus and hope

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