Wrapping up December 2013.
Let it all out, Leo.
A Happy New Year post is also coming up, but for now let's just have a look at the month that passed. I spent most of it in Harbor Spring, Michigan with my lovely grandparents which was a wonderful time. This is how the holiday season should always be: filled with big chunks of snow, hot chocolate and your family. Oh, and the latest fresh-out-of-Hollywood end-of-the-year blockbusters. And some great books. And new plans for the new year. With a dash of confusion about friends, the future... life. So let's capture those snow flakes and - ok bad metaphor... Anyway, let's have a look at December.
WATCHED FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013)
YESYESYES I admit it, I'm just as big of a Tolkien freak as Peter Jackson. At least I see no other reason why I should be so absolutely in love with this overenthusiastic three part (all of which are about 2,5 hours) version of a 300 page book that I loved. But it's Middle Earth! And Martin Freeman, Benedict Cumberbatch - dwarfs and elves and dragons! And awesome fight scenes! And... a very convincingly gay Lee Pace, hm. By the way, I think the 3D is getting so much better, really enjoyed it in this one.
Fruitvale Station (2013)
I don't see a reason for the huge hype around this since I think it's a good movie but not a great one, but then again the subject matter may be the reason for all the love. The actors are great though.
The Hangover Part III (2013)
Fun, yes, more fun than the second. But nothing special. I just watched it for closure.
The Way, Way Back (2013)
Absolutely living up to my expectations, perhaps exceeding them. I finally get it now: Sam Rockwell rocks. I just can't get enough of good coming-of-age stories. If I ever write a book, it'll probably be about the same kind of topic.
The Purge (2013)
Again, I agree with most people on this one: it started out great and went nowhere. Hopefully, the sequel has some more original ideas for the middle part. I did like the ending though.
The Ultimate Gift (2006)
A very cute christmas movie that I watched with the family.
Christmas With Tucker (2013)
Cute but boring, what the previous movie did right, this one didn't.
Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
This is what I always hope for in a month; just one of those movies you never saw coming and that completely blows you away. Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman deliver some of the most honest and beautiful performances I've ever seen and the story of a friendship instead of a love affair is so unusual and brave that it's just... I have no words. Everybody, go see this movie.
The Christmas Blessing (2005)
It's hard for me to take Neil Patrick Harris seriously, but this movie made me say: "Challenge accepted". Love the guy, love christmas movies (even when they're predictable), loved what they did here. Very much enjoyable.
A Christmas Carol (1999)
I thought I had seen one of the versions before but I actually don't think I had. Patrick Stewart is great but I think there are much better versions out there. Next year I'll read the book.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Pretty much turned my Top list of the year upside down. I never thought I would change my #1 now that I had settled on Spring Breakers but this movie - this movie! It was filthy, politically incorrect and made you feel like the worst person alive - and yet it was the best theatrical experience of the year for me. Leo for Oscars! I might write a review on this by the way - would anyone be interested in that? Since I don't write many reviews this day, I'm not sure about it yet.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
Saw this as a double feature with The Wolf which could have made it seem a bit bland - but it didn't. It's a very sweet and unspectacularly spectacular movie that deserves all the praise it can get. That last shot was perfection too.
Even with a different title explanation than the one I had expected, this was a very enjoyable movie. Well-written and -paced with great child actors and an even better Matthew McConnaughey (when did he suddenly stop being the-guy-from-that-rom-com?).
The Place Beyond the Pines (2012)
So much more fantastic than reviews had let me to believe. Honestly, I didn't even want to watch this one anymore - until I read Stevee's unofficial top 15 of the year. I'm still stunned by the way the story was put together and narrated when I think about it.
Admittedly, the primary reason I watched this was the two hot dudes. Yes, it also stars Naomi Watts and Robin Wright and it's set in a sort of utopian beach world that apparently exists somewhere in Australia. But that didn't matter to me at the time. However, it's indeed a very interesting story that goes much deeper than I had expected. And I'm now officially obsessed with Xavier Samuel.
REWATCHED WITH THE PURPOSE OF INTENSE EXAMINATION
Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy-woggy Hogwarts... I'm re-reading and re-watching the whole series for the next 7 months - check out the first post by clicking on the movie title above.
The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (2013)
Since I had to see this with my friends the day it came out, I "had to" re-watch it with my sister. What a bummer.
Little Lord Fauntleroy (1980)
Still the best christmas movie in the whole wide world of cinema.
AMOUNT OF FILMS WATCHED: 18 (NOVEMBER +2)
AVERAGE RATING: 8.2 (NOVEMBER +0.1)
Supernatural, S. 1
Yes, I finally finally started watching Supernatural. It will take time until I finish it, but no worries. I like watching tv shows instead of movies after work, since they're shorter (well, if you watch only one episode, that is). So it may go faster than expected. Already love the show, by the way. And that doesn't have to do with Dean Winchester... only.
For fans of: oldschool horror, bad CGI, long eyelashes
Doctor Who: The Time of the Doctor (Christmas Special)
I can't get over the fact that this was the last time Matt Smith appeared in the role of the Doctor. At the same time, I can't wait to see what Capaldi does with the role. The first-world problems of a Whovian.
For fans of: bald-headed Matt, Clara being awesome, crying
Sherlock: Many Happy Returns (mini-episode)
How the BBC continues to do this to us, I don't know. They really must be all sadists over there.
For fans of: nervous breakdown, curly hair, BBC
Conan Doyle, Sir Arthur: The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Book One (1924)
Every true Sherlockian, at some point or another, is going to want to read some real Sherlock - and it's worth it, absolutely. Yes, there are already 1059 pages in Book One and about 800 more in Book Two, the text is tiny and if you don't concentrate you'll miss about 90% of the stories. But if you've worked your way through you'll feel like another person. Me being very unobservant most of the time and clumsy at the same time, reading this gave me the want to be be more observant and try to notice the world around me a bit more. Also, the stories are very suspenseful - and you'll notice all the similarities between the show and the stories. Gatiss and Moffat must have been studying the original texts like crazy.
***** out of 5
Roth, Veronica: Divergent (2012) (Divergent #1)
The pop culture buff I am, I'm curious about everything that's much talked about or hyped, which means that there's a high possibility I'll read a book that's going to be filmatized soon. I've been waiting to read Divergent for far too long, but it's still not too late - the movie is going to be released in March I hear. So the trailer didn't completely overwhelm me, and neither did the book but I still loved the book. It's so much fun, filled with action - unlike The Hunger Games which it's often compared to - and very entertaining. And guess what - the trailer looks much better now that I've read the book and know the context of many of the scenes (and I guess I can get over the fact that Tris wears Mascara in the jumping scene). Verdict: cannot wait for the movie.
Roth, Veronica: Insurgent (2012) (Divergent #2)
My rating is actually more of a 3,5 but I'll round it up to a 4 because like the first one, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and had a lot of fun with it. Some passages were a bit hard to get through and some bits did feel a tad messy, but the more I think about it, the more I feel that it needed to be that way. The final twist has me absolutely stoked and I hope that the series will end just as gloriously.
The Wolf of Wall Street soundtrack and all the other songs from the movie: A psychedelic mixture of hip hop, Italian europop and jazz. Like I said: perfection.
Of Monsters and Men - Dirty Paws: Loved this in the Walter Mitty trailer and it holds up for repeated listening. I like the whole soundtrack, but not as much as the previous one - so far.
Bluegrass: Well, mostly the BCB soundtrack but I plan to listen to more of the genre soon. Because I think I've got Country in My Genes.
Blake Shelton - The Boys 'round Here: Another country song, but this is far more contemporary. My grandma's favourite song at the moment - everytime we got in the car, we turned this one up as loud as we could.
Ed Sheeran - I See Fire: Quite obviously.
Ed Sheeran - I See Fire: Quite obviously.
Now it's your turn to tell me about your month. Was it like a firework of happy people throwing sweaters around or more like a roller-coaster ride smothered in coke?