Saturday, 29 August 2015

Life Edit: July

Oh July. I barely had time to really kick back and appreciate all you had to offer but I am taking this time to reflect on the time we spent together. Cannot say all 31 days were pure bliss but they all did have moments where I felt more than content. Here's what I remember from last month.

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It started off with a lovely dinner with one of my best friends, Rach, where we had one of our legendary talks about almost everything under and beyond the sun. Though there was a mini hiccup that day as she was stuck on the train for more than half an hour due to a reason I cannot quite recall at this time but the little time we did have together was more than well spent. That week I also got to hang out with my former flatmate Fiona at her brother's BBQ shindig which was lovely. And then I also managed to catch up with my girl Mercy which was long overdue. It is just amazing to see how we've all grown in our own ways over the past year and I can't say I tire of catching up with the fiercely beautiful and kind ladies I call friends.

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July was also the month I decided to give up custard creams. Don't worry, this is only temporary. I have not completely lost my mind. I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. Although I am not sure I can comfortably say I have succeeded. I mean, I haven't had a custard cream since but that doesn't mean I haven't had a biscuit... or 10 (times 100) these past two months. Ah well, I never said I was giving up all biscuits. Speaking of biscuits, there was one Sunday where me and my 3-5's kids group at church (Breaking news: I am now officially my group's team leader! And what a great bunch of people I work with) spent our time playing with toys, dressing up as animals, colouring in and then finally decorating digestive biscuits with icing sugar and sprinkles. And yes, it was indeed as fun as it sounds. Luckily the parents had to deal with the high-on-sugar kids as that activity was done close to the end of our session. Haha.

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But as much fun was had last month, it appears that feeling lost and unsure of what my purpose in life kind of sort of is, was the new pair of shoes I refused to take off and place at the back of my closet or preferably the bin. This may be due to the fact that my 25th birthday is on the horizon and I feel I have got nothing to show for it (but whenever I take a look at my CV I am forever blown away by what's on there haha). So what did I go and do to remedy this feeling? I decided to give myself a well deserved break. I hardly ever close my eyes and 'Just Do It' or 'Just Say Yes' so I thought my birthday was a good a time as any to try and change that bit about me. I am proud to report that I will be living it up in Portugal for my birthday with one of my best partners in crime - my sister. Getting out of my current surroundings and taking a peek at a bit of what the world has to offer is what I am hoping will give me a new perspective on my life. Exploring new places has always been a great interest of mine but money and fear have always held me back in the past. One day I hope to get to the point where I can travel foreign lands all by my lonesome and soak in the wonders of this beautiful planet we live in.

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I came across this quote that really resonated with me: "Never confuse busy with productivity. You can be busy without a purpose, but what is the point?" by Rick Warren.  With feeling all the feels I hinted at above I took a long hard look at what exactly it is I do with my time and tried to find ways to inject more activities that I feel will help get me on a path whose siren call I'm hearing and being hypnotised by. This has not been all too easy nor has it happened overnight but mulling over this quote every now and then does help bring things back into focus and sets me back on the right track. I do not remember where I saw this quote, unfortunately, but my thanks do go to whoever shared it with me. 

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July did have its ups (a colleague of mine told me he was going to propose to his girlfriend - she said yes!!) and downs (being told off by my neighbour for exercising in the morning... actaully this may be an up as no more hardcore burpees for me anymore) but that it is all a part of life it seems. I am glad I managed to finally sit down and allow the words that are not centred on films or TV shows to flow from head to keyboard in the manner that it has. I hope the past two months have had their fair share of glorious days for you. Please do share some of those moments with me if you like.

Until next time!

Mo x

                

Monday, 24 August 2015

Movie Mondays: Fantastic Four (2015)

A few of weeks ago I felt I owed it to myself to make use of AMC's summer offer at least once where tickets for films seen before 12 pm cost a lovely £3.50; the film I ended up seeing was the new version of Fantastic Four. Now, I know a lot of people feel iffy when remakes of films they love are done especially if they are released less than 20 years since the original but I figured I'd still give this a go because, well... the poster made it look like this version would be a completely new spin on the story and I wanted to know how it played out. It is as simple as that really.

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Source: © 2014 Marvel & Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation 
I am not oblivious to the fact that there is a dire need for more original scripts to be turned into cinematic gold (American Ultra I have my eye on you!) but, when there is a promise of a new path for an old favourite character of yours to take that brings them to the same, similar or completely different end, then there is hope that things will still get interesting and be potentially better. If I am completely honest, I did enjoy Fantastic Four (2015) but I was not blown away by what I saw. To me, the film started off well but when we get to the halfway point (or was it a bit after? I forget), the story started to wear a little thin causing the film to not seem "meaty" enough. And I do not mean that it in an action-sequence sense. I think the back story of a few characters could have been explored a little more as it appeared to me that the purpose of this film was to set the scene of the new kids on the block.

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Source: © 2014 Marvel & Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
For those of you who are not familiar with F4, let me give you a mini recap. Fantastic Four centres on how the paths of four individuals in the Marvel universe cross and intertwine such that they end up being instrumental in protecting the world from harm. This particular instalment in the F4 franchise shifts the timeline back to when they were but teenagers; still trying to find their feet in the world. And who are they you may ask in the not so distant future? Well, we have the siblings Sue Storm - an intelligent, driven young woman - and Johnny Storm - a slightly egotistical, loyal young lad - who who were played by Kate Mara (House of CardsAmerican Horror StoryIron Man 2) and Michael B. Jordan (That Awkward MomentFruitvale Station; Parenthood).  And then there is the wicked smart, egocentric Reed Richards and the true-hearted and kind Ben Grimm who were brought to life by Miles Teller (That Awkward MomentWhiplash; The Spectacular Now) and Jamie Bell (Man on a Ledge; Jane EyreBilly Elliot) respectively. The cast had such good chemistry and gave great performances. It was fun watching the characters grow, adapt to the new situations they were faced with and  deal with the consequences of their actions.

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Source: © 2014 Marvel & Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Directed by Josh Trank (Chronicle; The Kill Point), Fantastic Four (2015) surprisingly did not have a mini clip of what to expect in the next instalment at the end of the film so one can only hope that if there is another film in the works, it does make the audience feel fantastic by the end. The screenplay which was filled with drama and injected with spots of humour was developed by quite a few people - Jeremy Slater (The Lazarus Effect), Simon Kinberg (X-Men: Days of Future Past; Sherlock Holmes; X-Men: The Last Stand) and Josh Trank (The Kill Point). I did love getting the chance to learn about the four main characters in this new light and see how they started knowing already what their future potentially holds. I am intrigued to find out how their story, relationship with one another as well as the rest of the world continues to unfold and found this snapshot of their lives we were given an interesting introduction that focused more on how the team came to be.  

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If you are in the mood for a Marvel movie that takes you on the journey of a bunch of innovative pioneers as they realise their purpose in life with the help of a few superpowers then Fantastic Four might be one to reach for. If you have seen this film what do you think of it?

Mo x

                

Monday, 17 August 2015

Movie Mondays: Butter on the Latch

Last week Tuesday I found myself heading back at the cinema, ready to challenge my views on how stories should be told cinematically. Butter on the Latch ended up with the winning ticket with its promise of Balkan folk music and experimental storytelling techniques and it did not disappoint. Josephine Decker's debut feature film stripped away all my preconceived notions of film structure and left me feeling slightly bemused but also free to see beyond what is... beyond the norm. 

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Source: Josephine Decker
Butter on the Latch, to me, is a story of young woman's struggle- or should I say dealings? - with life. Okay, even I have to admit that that description was pretty vague, even for me. Let's try that again. Butter on the Latch centres on the relationship between Sarah and her good friend Isolde and how it reacts to the somewhat disquieting events that unfold, some of which takes place at a Balkan folk camp that they both decided to attend. Better? I think so. 

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Source: Josephine Decker
Anyway, this trippy, unique and captivating film which was released in 2013 was directed by Josephine Decker (Thou Wast Mild and Lovely; Bi the Way), shot chronologically and filled with scenes with mostly improvised dialogue. And one thing that you will notice immediately is the fluidity of the focus of the film - or should I say camera? Sometimes the camera is shaky or the entire view is out of focus forcing you to consider exactly how the character may be feeling in that precise moment. Other times it is focused on something seemingly insignificant but lingers long enough for you to find beauty in it. Let's just say there is no way you will watch this film and not be intrigued by the relationship between director and the director of photography - who in this instance is Ashley Conner

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Source: Josephine Decker
In terms of plot, Butter on the Latch draws you into the confusing and slightly dark world of Sarah and Isolde that's filled with intrigue, lots of unanswered questions and disorienting moments that force you to broaden your imagination. And the main cast, whose chemistry was undeniable, comprised of Sarah Small, Isolde Chae-Lawrence and Charlie Hewson (Going the Distance).  The lack of clarity in the film is what I think makes Butter on the Latch such an interesting watch and one I would like to see again to try and make sense of things. But alas, even movies that do elaborate a lot more on their characters' backstories than in this film, I am still left with a few unanswered questions.

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If the opportunity arises for you to see Butter on the Latch and you decide to take it, I would really love to hear your thoughts on this thought-provoking film that blurs the lines between hallucinations and reality. 

Mo x
                
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