Monday, 20 October 2014

Movie Mondays: The Maze Runner

The film I finally chose to see this year for my birthday was The Maze Runner and I am glad I did so. Ever since I found out that this was going to be Dylan O'Brien's next project I knew it was a film that had to be seen. And what better day than the day I planned to celebrate turning 24. Sure I could have decided to see a more "grown up" film like Gone Girl but The Maze Runner  is a young adult film which is exactly what I am so there!  

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Source: 20th Century-FOX
Yeah, so I loved it. Having never read the books or watched the trailer in full I had no idea what this film was really about. From its title, poster and the few seconds I caught from the trailer I got this The Hunger Games-esque vibe which was totally cool with me. My brother and sister were equally eager to see the film as well which made the whole experience much more fun. We were slightly worried that we'd fall asleep in the cinema due to us OD-ing on the Chinese food we had for lunch (I doubt I will ever master the art of eating at a buffet) but the tempo of The Maze Runner did not give us that opportunity. The opening scene is one of the most intense, suspenseful and captivating scenes I have seen in a long time. All signs of drowsiness were instantaneously wiped from our body as were quickly sucked into the maze.

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Without giving too much away, The Maze Runner is a fascinating action-packed story about how an inquisitive and empathetic young lad named Thomas finds himself trapped in a maze, along with a few others, and attempts to find the exit and answers to the questions related to what lies beyond the walls destined to confine them. Filled with gasp-releasing twists, characters that slip into your heart with ease and a bit of humour, this dystopian tale was based on the book of the same title written by James Dashner. I really want to get my hands on this series (I do love a good series) and devour them all but... I am not sure if I want to know the end yet. I reckon I'll at least read the first book and enjoy finding out more about this world via a different medium.

As far as first features go, Wes Ball (Ruin; A Work In Progress; Jacob: The Movie) did not do too badly me thinks.  It was under his direction that The Maze Runner was brought to be big screens. And it seems as though its interesting screenplay was written by T. S. Nowlin, Noah Oppenheim and Grant Pierce Meyers. I said "it seems", because those are the three names that keep popping up when I search for this film's screenwriter but I've seen only one web page so far that lists all 3 as contributors...

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The performance of the cast was great to watch and definitely one of the highlights of this film. Dylan O'Brien (The Internship; The First Time; Teen Wolf), whose acting I can find no fault in, stars as curious, driven and protective Thomas. Alby, the strong and affable leader of the small community of people that call The Glades (the centre if the maze) home was played remarkably well by Aml Ameen (Beyond the Lights; The Butler; The Bill). My siblings thought it fit to call me Alby after we saw the film when I decided to do my weekly shop 7 mins before our train was due to depart -click the link to see if I made it or not haha. Blake Cooper (Prosper) played the role of Chuck- a kind, loyal and brave soul who I would not mind being friends with at all. He is definitely in the running for being my favourite character in this film. Thomas Brodie-Sangster (Phineas & Ferb; Game of Thrones; Love Actually) took on the role of the carefree, fair and hopeful Newt who helped Thomas find his bearings when he first stumbled upon The Glades. Minho, an agile, helpful and dependable member of The Glades was played by Ki Hong Lee (MotherLoverThe Nine Lives of Chloe King). Will Poulter (PlasticWe're the Millers; The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader) did a great job portraying the polarising character, Gally, that is not so much in denial as he is in a position to protect those he cares about the best way he knows how. I was pleased to hear that Kaya Scodelario (SouthcliffeSkins; Wuthering Heights (2011)) would be in this film as the last thing I saw her in was Skins. She took on the role of Teresa, a direct, no-nonsense and caring girl whose presence not only brought along more questions but some answers too. All in all, there was a great mix of interesting characters whose back stories I am eager to know more about.

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In short, if you are in the mood for a film that catapults you into a dystopian universe with some great action sequences, an interesting storyline and great characters then you should give this a go. I really enjoyed it and I'm excited to see what The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials brings to the table. If you have seen this film, let me know what your thoughts are on it.

Mo x

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Being 23...

When I watched the film 'The Number 23' starring Jim Carrey (Yes ManBruce AlmightyAce Ventura: Pet Detective), Virginia Madsen (Crazy Stupid Love; Red Riding Hood; Firewall) and Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower; Percy Jackson & the Lightening Thief; Hoot) way back in 2007, I was momentarily scared about turning 23. Not just because of the number 23 but because my birthday, 13th of October (13 +10 = 23) , was used as yet another example of how significant this number is. So yeah, I was a little spooked about turning 23 on that date. But when my actual 23rd birthday rolled round last year that film was the furthest thing from my mind. My 23rd year on this planet was an awesome but slightly scary year!

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Being 23 was as much fun as it was hard. It saw me being truly independent - "all the women who're independent throw your hands up at meee" - and learning to accept said independence. I was a recent graduate living in her first 'Big Girl' flat and paying her own bills due to having been blessed with a job. For the first time I was able to fund my love for baking, interior design, my blog and a bunch of other interests. But I also had to learn to budget and always be two steps ahead of utility companies -I'm looking at you pesky quarterly bills that threaten to make a dent in my account - and any unforeseeable circumstance that may also gobble up my pennies. I had to learn to quickly understand the nuisance that is office politics and have more confidence in my abilities. And coming to terms with no longer having the luxury of waving around my student card - which sadly expired last October- to get those lovely discounts every chance I get was hard. I guess that is one reason why having younger siblings is a great thing. This year really showed me how to see the beauty in making sacrifices for those you love. Boy, oh boy, oh boy are parents great. I cannot even fathom what things they must have put on hold to ensure their kids are happy but I take my virtual hat off to you.

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Being 23 was great. For me, it was a year of growth. I began to truly accept and love who I am; zero in on and work on my strengths and weaknesses; take my dreams seriously; and continued to work on my relationship with God. I am a homebody. Fact. Clubbing until the wee hours of the morning is not my idea of an amazing social activity. Catching up with family & friends - preferably in my PJs-, making & eating good food, watching a film/entire DVD boxset of a great TV show/a play, reading a book and going for a nice walk are more my thing. And I have come to accept that this is ok. We are all different. And the sooner we realise who we are is flippin' great, the less time we'll waste perfecting the role of someone else. For a long time I  had a rubbish view of how I looked in the mirror which did no good for my self-confidence. But this past year I have not only grown to love my reflection -in a non-narcissistic sort of way of course - but I have also started taking better care of my body by attempting to eat right and injecting a healthy dose of cardio and strength training into my daily routine. This then had a knock-on effect of leading to an increase in my self-confidence and knowledge of self-worth which was a long time coming. And as for my relationship with God? I feel we are getting there. Don't get me wrong, it has not been all sunshine and custard creams but my resilience during the hard times is definitely getting stronger as my faith in Him and who I am grows.

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Being 23 saw me stepping out of that lovely, safe and wonderful bubble that university provides which really did a number on my perception of life. I realised that although getting a job that is directly related to what you studied is great, there are so many other career choices out there and your career path may not be as straight-forward as you thought it would be. It was also the year I actually accepted the fact that shizz happens. Sometimes it's good. Sometimes it's bad. But it does in fact happen. And that plan you had of how your life will be, whilst good to have, will learn to become slightly more flexible as you, your views and dreams evolve over time. Opportunities you once thought were out of your reach no longer are. And it is ok if you do not have everything in place by whatever age you thought you'd get all done by. Just enjoy the moment you are in now. Ride the waves as you figure out your life's course. Don't jump overboard. If things are really spiraling out of control: Stop, take a deep breath, remember all that you have achieved up to now and the other times you thought the end was nigh but ended up surviving all them. This too will be another victory for you and is only helping to shape you into a stronger, more patient and appreciative individual. Plus, you can always lean on you family and friends for support. And though that big circle of friends you once had steadily becomes a bit smaller, you are left with the honest bunch that will stand by you through whatever and slap some sense into when needed.  Although you may not speak to or see your bestest peeps regularly, when you do get the chance to catch up it will magically be like no time has passed at all.

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Being 23 taught me quite a lot but I am going to share some of the main lessons I learnt below and  I challenge you to attempt to incorporate them in your life. These photos were taken on my last day of being a 23 yr old welcoming the year of Being 24 with a smile and a snazzy new look. Have no fear, a post on the new 'do is in the works.

[*] Love and respect who you are
[*] Be one with MS Excel and take note of your expenses - you'll be surprised to see where your money goes
[*] We all go through life in our own unique way so stop comparing yourself to others
[*] Organisation is a beautiful thing
[*] Allow the dreamer in you to take the wheel more often
[*] Whilst direct debits are useful, still keeping track of all the dates your bills are due is really handy
[*] Cherish the times spent with your family & friends and make an effort to see them often
[*] Be honest with yourself
[*] Give, give, give - be it your time, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a helping hand etc
[*] If you are single, enjoy this version of freedom
[*] Don't be so hard on yourself
[*] Give your dreams room to grow
[*] Don't be afraid to ask for help

If you have any life lesson you've learnt lately and want to share, please leave a comment below. I'd love to pick your brain. I hope you are all having a lovely day and are thoroughly enjoying this beautiful month of October.

Mo x

P.S. Not sure if you noticed something different to my URL but it's now got a area/post/web code! Onwards and upwards folks :D

P.P.S. All photos of me were taken by Suji So. of Hostile Fvshion.


Saturday, 11 October 2014

One for the Radio

If you cast your wonderful minds back to my little natter about the press event I attended for HOME's production of Romeo & Juliet, I mentioned a little something about the importance of the consequence of me meeting the lovely Jill Bowyer from Salford City Radio. Well, the time has come for me to let you in on said consequence - although, I am sure the title has given away my secret :/

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Photo Credit: Kari So // Edited By: Mo Ray 
I am going to be on the radio!! Hands up if you have McFly's 'One for the Radio' song stuck in your head right about now. Anyone? My toe is still tapping away. Anyway, yes, yours truly has somehow got an appointment noted down in her trusty purple filofax that demands her presence at the Salford City Radio station on the 14th of October to be on Jill's show Drive with Kaleidoscope (94.4 FM) for a good ol' chinwag. I am not sure I accurately conveyed just how much I love October in my ode to this gorgeous month. Don't get me wrong, I am freaking out big time slightly but I have a feeling it will go alright... she says.

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So, if you are free at about...5pm that day and want to test out your radio whilst actually hearing my voice - I cannot be the only one who enjoys finding out just how bloggers/writers sound like and then end up reading their posts/work in their voice...if that makes sense - then please tune in.... or don't. It is entirely up to you. The option is there...

What fun and exciting and maybe scary things are you up to this month?

Mo x

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