Review: Wish I Was Here

Wish I Was Here tells the story of Aidan Bloom, a struggling actor who lives in LA with his wife and children. When Aidan’s father becomes seriously ill and can no longer afford to pay for his grandchildren’s tuition, Aidan attempts to home-school his children while his wife tries to keep the family afloat. His unique curriculum leads to Aidan and his family discovering parts of themselves they didn’t know they had, or thought were lost, and they grow closer in the process.

My thoughts

No matter what the film, there are always going to be people who find something to criticise. I however am not one of those people. This film was heartfelt and funny and unique, and I genuinely loved it. It’s one of those feel-good films (despite the obvious sadness) as Aidan and his wife rediscover their old selves and grow closer again, and he improves his relationship with both his children and his dying father. Zach Braff and Kate Hudson make a cute couple in this film, it can’t be denied! The soundtrack is also pretty decent in my opinion. I think this film is worth a watch, as it does make you see things in a different light, and it also makes you appreciate the ones you love more.

Review: The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes

Written by Anna McPartlin, The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes is about the last few days of Mia ‘Rabbit’ Hayes’ life. Rabbit is a one-of-a-kind woman who is dying from cancer, and this book tells the story of her last few days as she says goodbye to those she loves, and also her younger years, when she fell in love with Johnny Faye. The book is set in Dublin, and any Irish person will find comfort in the Irish sayings and banter in the book. The sadness of the story is often balanced out by the funny yet wise words of Rabbit’s family and friends, as they recount stories from their past.  Simply put, it is a book about love. The love parents have for a child, the love siblings have for one another, the love of friendship, and the romantic, life-altering love between two soul mates.

Although the story of a 40 year old woman dying of cancer and leaving her 12 year old daughter with no parent may seem like a devastating story which makes you see the unfairness of the world, it is also a story that will make you laugh and make you appreciate the joy in any moment, and the happiness that love can bring.

 

A definite must read from me!

The Ten Best Friends Episodes (in my opinion)

The One Where Ross Is Fine.

“I’m making Fajitas!” Seriously though, how can anyone not think Ross in this episode is hilarious? It’s the aftermath of Ross finding out Rachel and Joey are together, where Ross invited everyone to dinner, got drunk and said some hilarious stuff, as shown here. meanwhile, Chandler accidentally tells a little boy that he is adopted and the triplets that Phoebe gave birth to them.

The One Where No One’s Ready

The reason I love this episode is because the whole episode, bar a minute or two at the start, takes part in Monica and Rachel’s apartment, with the whole group together for the most part. Ross tries to get everyone ready on time for a paleontology award ceremony, Joey and Chandler fight over a chair while results in some pretty hilarious comedy, Monica deletes Richard’s answering machine message and replaces it with “I’m breezy!” and Ross nearly drinks a glass of fat.

The One With The Prom Video

Rachel is still furious with Ross for making a list of reasons to choose her/not choose her while Joey is furious at Chandler for making fun of the friendship bracelet he got him. We get to see a video of Monica and Rachel getting ready for the prom, Rachel’s prom date is late so Ross dresses up in a tux so he can take her, but the video ends with Monica and Rachel happily leaving with their dates and Ross watching them, looking devastated. I love this episode because Ross and Rachel become a proper couple, and it has the whole Chandler/Joey bromance going on.

The One With The Rumour

Monica invites Will, an old school friend of hers and Ross’ (played by Brad Pit) over for Thanksgiving dinner, not knowing that it was him who started a rumour that Rachel had “a teeny weeny” in high school because she was mean to him. It’s also revealed that Will and Ross had an “I hate Rachel” club. Rachel tells everyone that Ross did it with the old librarian, which makes Ross re-join the club. Phoebe also joins the club because she’s never been part of a club before, while Joey attempts to eat a whole turkey by himself.

The Last One

If the last ever episode of this wonderful series didn’t make you cry, then clearly you are heartless. Monica and Chandler finally get not one, but two babies, Rachel decides not to go to Paris but stay with Ross, Phoebe is finally living the normal life she dreamed of with a husband who adores her, and Joey is becoming more independent and has a new baby chick and duck to take care of. This episode causes both laughter and tears, and says goodbye to these six friends in the best possible way. Such a happy ending for them all! It still gives me all of the feels though when this happens:

The One With Ross’ Sandwich

While Ross does have a lot of freakouts throughout the series, nothing tops his lament over someone else eating his Thanksgiving leftover sandwich (MY SANDWICH?!), a freakout which results on him going on “sabbatical”.  Meanwhile, Joey has to keep covering up for Chandler and Monica, who haven’t revealed their relationship to the rest of the group yet.

The One With Phoebe’s Birthday Dinner

Chandler returns from Tulsa smelling like smoke, Monica is furious at him but tricks him into trying for a baby, Phoebe and Joey attempt to hold a decent table for dinner until everyone else arrives, and Ross and Rachel lock themselves out of the apartment, with Emma inside. The funniest moment of this episode was when Ross mocks Rachel with a hilarious tale of the apartment filling with water while Emma fights a bird on fire, nut all of the characters have their great moments of humour, especially Phoebe, who screams across the room at Judy to pick up Emma’s sock.

The One With The Cop

Phoebe finds a police badge in Central Perk and goes around pretending to be a cop, until she meets the real owner of the badge who asks her out, Joey has a dream about Monica and thinks he’s in love with her, and Ross enlists Rachel and Chandler to help him get his new sofa into his apartment. Every time I see this episode I crack up at “PIVOTTTTT!” and Chandler’s response.

The One With All The Embryos

While Phoebe is at a clinic ready to have her brother and sister-in-laws embryos implanted,  Rachel, Monica, Chandler and Joey take part in a quiz created by Ross to see how well they know each other, with the winning team getting Monica’s apartment. I love this episode because the information we find out during the quiz is hilarious (Miss Chanandler Bong and Monica’s various towels), and also because we get to see Phoebe do something incredible for her brother.

The One With All The Resolutions

The gang make New Year’s resolutions and attempt to keep them. Phoebe is determined to pilot a jet, Rachel vows to stop gossiping, Ross wants to try something new every day (cue leather pants), Chandler tries his best to not make fun of people, Monica wants to take more photos and Joey tries to learn guitar. Best quote: “If the paste matches the pants, you can make yourself a pair of paste pants and she won’t know the difference.” Wise words from Joey.

Review: We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

I follow Emma Roberts on Instagram, and I noticed that she posts a lot of photos about what book she’s currently reading. Usually I don’t pay any specific attention to most of them, but for some reason this one caught my eye and I quickly added it to my Amazon Christmas wishlist, which my lovely mammy saw and got it for me.

The story is narrated by Cadence Sinclair, who is the eldest grandchild of the extremely rich and privileged Sinclair family. They are so rich, that their grandparents own their own island, where their children and grandchildren flock to during the summer months every year. This story follows the family and their summers spent on the island, over the space of a few years.  Cadence and two of the elder cousins, and a family friend form a close group of friends throughout these summers, but during summer fifteen, Cadence has an accident which results in temporary memory loss. When she returns to the island two years later, the whole family treats her differently, trying to act carefully as she’s still fragile from the accident. Cadence spends that summer trying to remember everything that happened, wondering why her little group id constantly lying to her.

At first I thought this story was going to be about the pretty rich girl who falls in love with the Indian boy most of her family views as beneath them, who fights with her family about the boy but then realises love is more important than a trust fund and they live happily ever after. I was so wrong. Cadence doesn’t narrate in the way you would expect a well educated rich girl to, she’s brutal and honest at times, and sees the world differently than most of her family. She often seems all over the place, as she’s basically trying to piece her life back together after an accident that’s clearly more severe than she first thought. I’m not going to reveal the big secret, but when I got to it in the book I was so shocked, I genuinely didn’t expect it. I think this book, although short (I read it in a number of hours) was smart, gripping and well written. Although it was written for a young adult audience, I think it’s worth a read for anyone past their teenage years.

Lately…

  • I’ve been focusing on studying for my exams since Christmas, which has taken up an annoying amount of time and has caused me to eat an entire tube of Pringles in one sitting.
  • I’ve been re-watching the entire series of American Horror Story. The Pepper aspect of Freakshow made me want to watch it all again. I’ve also discovered that Asylum’s Lana really annoys me.
  • I’ve been listening to some more One Direction. I can’t help it, their latest album Four is actually decent, and they really seem to be growing as artists.
  • I’ve become obsessed with the idea of making my own homemade pizza! Don’t get me wrong, I love my Domino’s, but I feel like making my own every now and again would be a cheaper and healthier option.
  • I’ve been reading another Jodi Picoult book (surprise surprise) called Change of Heart, a review of that should be posted soon.
  • The fridge broke, and when we realised we had to eat everything in it Joey style. It may have included me eating four bacon sandwiches in one sitting…

My Top 5 Favourite Christmas Movies

Tis the season to lye in front of the fire with many, many hot drinks and enjoy all the wonderful Christmas films on tv, or from your own DVD collection (Tell me I’m not the only one that has a Christmas section on my DVD shelves?). Christmas is my favourite time of the year, and as Christmas movies are an important part in spreading Christmas cheer and making us feel festive, I’ve decided to tell you all my top 5 favourite Christmas films, in order for once!

  1. The Santa Clause. If there’s one film I remember watching when I was a child, it’s this one. Scott, played by Tim Allen, is a divorced, workaholic dad who has his son Charlie on Christmas Eve. Scott accidentally kills Santa, and for some reason puts on the Santa suit, and Scott and Timmy are transported to the North Pole by reindeer and a sleigh, where Bernard the elf explains that Scott is now Santa Clause. Scott and Charlie deliver presents to children all around the world, but the next morning Scott is convinced he was dreaming. Charlie is convinced that Scott is now Santa Clause, but no one believes him, least of all his dad. However, when Scott gains a lot of weight and inexplicably grows a bushy white beard every day, he is forced to accept his new responsibilities. Such a great Christmas film, who couldn’t enjoy it? Between the witty words of Bernard the elf and the open dislike between Scott and Charlie’s step-dad, this film never fails to make me smile.
  2. Home Alone. I have not met one person who said they dislike this film!  Eight year old Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left in the house by himself while the rest of his family are in Paris for Christmas. When they realise that Kevin is at home by himself, his mother does whatever it takes to get back to her son, while in the meantime, it’s Kevin versus the two crooks who are trying to rob his house while everyone is away. A film all the family can enjoy to be honest, and “Keep the change, ya filthy animal!” is probably one of the most well-known, and favourite movie quotes around.
  3. The Muppets Christmas Carol. Michael Caine and the Muppets together in one film about Christmas, with singing, what more could you want?! This take on the Dickens classic is better then the original in my opinion. Tiny Tim with Kermit the frog is almost too cute to handle, and Michael Caine is nearly inrecognisable as Scrooge. With these hilarious and colourful Muppets spreading their Christmas cheer, it’s no wonder that Scrooge eventually sees the error of his ways. A true Christmas film, that always has to be watched on Christmas Eve in my house.
  4. Love Actually. Many people don’t like this film, and I do understand why, but I think cheesiness aside, it’s such a lovely film. It follows lots of characters during the run up to Christmas, and all the characters are connected to each other somehow. Even though it’s quite a sad moment, Emma Thompson’s scene when she realises her husband bought the necklace she saw for another woman and breaks down in her room is possibly the best scene in the whole film. On a brighter note, there are many lovely scenes, ones that include love and family connections. A mushy Christmas film, but a Christmas film nonetheless.
  5. The Holiday. An American and a British woman swap homes before Christmas due to bad breakups, and find romance in their new temporary homes. Another mushy film, but the cast of Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jack Black and Jude Law work well together. There is also Iris’ cute friendship with the elderly neighbour, and the lovely family scenes with Graham’s daughters, not to mention the big happy ending where they all get together.

I would also like to add that the Back to the Future Trilogy and the Harry Potter series are also part of my favourite Christmas films, as I always watch them around Christmas, but I didn’t add them because there isn’t anything Christmassy about them. A post on non-Christmas Christmas films perhaps?

My November Favourites

Mac – Please Me

Like I said before, not a big lipstick person. While I do own Velvet Teddy, it’s close to my natural lip colour so it doesn’t really stand out that much. I don’t usually draw attention to my lips, especially with pink lipstick, which is why it was a big deal for me to buy Please Me. This lipstick is matte, and in my opinion has great staying power. It lasted about 5 – 6 hours on me without a top up, and that was with me eating and drinking. It’s not barbie in your face pink, but still quite feminine. I feel like I can wear this one during the day and night, which suits me fine! As it was a bit of an impulse buy I’m glad it looks somewhat decent on me.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Who doesn’t love this film? Personally, I watch this film at any time of the year, but it feels extra special watching it during that time between Halloween and Christmas. This Tim Burton and Danny Elfman collaboration is great no matter what age you are – it combines Christmas and Halloween with songs and memorable characters, what more could you want?

Prison Break

I’m currently re-watching this show and I still love it! I know T-Bag is a murderer and a creep, but his character adds humour to the show, which is mostly drama/action/thriller. I like that it’s not too focused on romance – there is the Michael and Sara aspect, but the creators didn’t really rely on that story-line to attract and keep their viewers. Such a change, as in most tv shows there’s usually a major romantic story-line each season. When I first watched it last year I didn’t like Alex Mahone, but I have to say, he’s growing on me. A decent tv show for anyone who hasn’t watched it, and it’s on Netflix (I think) and the boxset is cheap enough to buy on Amazon.

Soap and Glory Hand Food

Cold weather means dry skin, and who wants that? I go more into Hand Food and other Soap and Glory products here. I carry a travel sized tube of this around in my bag, I use it any time of the year but I always appreciate it more during the colder months and it keeps my hands soft and moisturised.

Hot Chocolate

As the temperature plummets, is there anything nicer then curling up with a lovely hot drink? It’s a great time for hot drink lovers, as Costa and Starbucks have their festive stock out. As I’m not a coffee fan, I usually end up getting a hot chocolate when I end up in Costa or Starbucks. If you don’t want to venture outside in the cold however, Cadbury’s drinking chocolate is a great alternative – just add milk, whipped cream and a few marshmallows and voila! 

Review: Mockingjay Part 1

I have been waiting for this film to come out for what feels like forever and I’m so happy to say that it did not disappoint! As I’ve mentioned before, usually I don’t like book to film adaptions, but The Hunger Games has always been the exception. I adore this trilogy so I’m delighted that the films haven’t ruined that for me.

In this film we see what happens to the victors after their second trip into the arena, resulting in half of them being captured by the Capitol and half of them being rescued by District 13. There is so much action, suspense and emotion throughout this whole film. I found myself tearing up a bit when Katniss returned to District 12 to see her district in ruins, a land which has become a mass grave. The scene in which she sings The Hanging Tree is one of the most emotional and powerful scenes in the film in my opinion, it was so much better then the way I envisioned it in my head when I read the book.  We get to see more of Effie Trinkett in this film – she really only appears in a small scene in the end of the Mockingjay book so it was nice to see her a bit more, to see her reaction to the harsh reality of District 13. Julianne Moore portrayed President Coin in a different way then I expected – she seems less harsh then in the book, although things may change in Part 2. We didn’t get to see much of Peeta in this film, but it ends on a chilling note, with Peeta fighting against his restraints, and eventually breaking down.

This is just a quick post as my laptop battery will go dead any minute now! I really did enjoy this film, it annoys me that i have to wait another year to see Part 2! Any Hunger Games fans should definitely see this asap, it is worth the two hours, trust me.

Ten Of the Greatest Buffy the Vampire Slayer Episodes

Season 5: The Body

This episode shows the gang reacting to the death of Joyce. This is one of the most amazing episodes in the series, as it strips back all of the supernatural and deals with death of a natural cause, something Buffy and everyone else is unfamiliar with. Each scene runs almost awkwardly long, leaving us to think about the sadness of the situation. there is no background music, no jokes, just everyone processing the fact that Joyce is now gone. One of the saddest episodes, but quite possibly the very best.

Season 7: Chosen

I just had to include the series finale in this post. I rarely think the last episode of a series does the show justice, but this one ends on such a great note. There’s so much emotion in this episode, between the death of Anya to Spike sacrificing himself to stop all the uber-vamps from taking over the world, to everyone looking over the giant crater that was oce Sunnydale at the end. The story of Buffy Summers (on tv anyways) ended with humour, awe and sadness. The episode leaves you feeling content with how it ended, but also wanting more, which is what I think makes it such a good season finale.

Season 2: I Only Have Eyes For You

This is the episode where Sunnydale is haunted by two ghosts from the 50’s, who use unwilling people to reenact their last moments. It’s a great storyline: two lover’s are doomed to play out their last encounters through other people, which results in the same ending. This is in the middle of the evil Angel plot line and I really liked the little break from him being evil as he and Buffy reenact the scene. The fact that Buffy felt so hurt and devastated over the fact that Angel was evil in her real life, and brought a lot of that emotion to the reenactment, make this episode so much better.

Season 7: Touched

After being thrown out of her own house by her friends and the potentials when they lose faith in her leadership, Buffy is left wandering the nearly deserted Sunnydale by herself. This episode contains one of my favourite scenes, where Spike finds Buffy and comforts here, telling here she’s a hell of a woman. Spike and Buffy reach a new level of intimacy here, which is kind of annoying seeing as it’s so close to the end of the series. Faith also steps up as the new leader for the potentials and Buffy kicks ass, as usual.

Season 1: The Prophecy

The season finale for season one is emotional, just the line “I’m sixteen years old Giles, I don’t want to die,” makes me extremely sad. But in the end Buffy dies but is brought back to life by Xander, ad kills the Master all while wearing the loveliest dress.

Season 5: The Gift

What a great finale for season 5. Buffy jumps into the portal in Dawn’s place, dying so her sister could live. Her speech was just… So many tears while watching it. And when everyone discovered her body, seeing Spike break down was just heartbreaking. Such a brilliant episode. I didn’t really like the whole Glory plot as much as the other big season plots, I don’t know exactly why, but it lead to a great episode.

Season 4: Hush

The episode where the Gentlemen came to Sunnydale is one of the creepiest ones ever. Many people thought the show relied on witty one-liners and funny comebacks, but this episode proves that the show is great without dialogue. It’s the episode where Buffy and Riley first kiss. I’m not the biggest fan of that couple but it’s still a cute moment.

Season 6: Grave

Ah evil Willow, how everyone both loves you and hates you. I think the important thing about this episode if the fact that Buffy, with all her ass-kicking powers, could not stop Willow, but essentially her friendship with Xander did. It’s a sweet and heartbreaking moment when he finally gets to her, and she breaks down as the pain of losing Tara hits her. Buffy also realises that she doesn’t want to be dead anymore, which is always great.

Season 2: Becoming Part 2

If you did not shed a tear while watching this episode then you have no heart! Willow is finally able to restore Angel’s soul, however just as Buffy realises this, she finds that it’s too late as the portal has opened, and so she sacrifices Angel to save the world from all the demon dimensions. Angel looks betrayed when he gets stabbed, Buffy is devastated, so many sad feels all around.

Season 6: Once More With Feeling

Who doesn’t love a musical? This episode of silly and serious at the same time, between a random man delighting at the fact that the cleaners got the mustard out, to Buffy finally admitting that she thinks she was in heaven when the gang pulled her back out. And who couldn’t love the big group song at the end?!

 

 

Review: Interstellar

As human’s time on earth is coming to an end, scientists are sent on an exploratory mission, travelling past this galaxy to see if it would be possibly for the human race to continue on another planet. Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) is forced to leave his children, Tom and Murph, to lead this mission along with Brand (Anne Hathaway), Doyle (Wes Bentley) and Romilly (David Gyasi) and travel to a wormhole near Saturn in an attempt to save man-kind.

Warning: Spoilers ahead.

Well, Christopher Nolan has done it again. This film blew my mind. I’m honestly still trying to process the whole thing! Throughout the film I became quite emotional, especially as they were travelling in the rocket away from earth. I think it was because there is a very real possibility that this will happen – resources on earth will dry up, causing pandemonium, suffering and the possibility of the human race becoming extinct. It’s amazing, trilling and terrifying at the same time.

I really like the fact that this film has portrayed other worlds that may be out there. The planet with the strong gravity and huge, scary waves genuinely terrified me, but to me it was one of the best scenes in the film. Another aspect that terrified me was the whole time difference. It just amazes me that one hour on a different planet could be seven hours here on earth. And I’m a bi skeptical about that “long nap” machine, I just don’t understand how that could work.

Matt Damon appeared in the film, although that was kept quiet until recently. I’m still unsure as to why he tried to kill Cooper and blew up Romilly though. And what is now typical for a Christopher Nolan film, Michael Caine is also in it, as Professor Brand, the man who lied to everyone on the mission, which I think was really annoying.

As I’m still trying to process the whole film, I don’t really know what else to say, except that it takes the audience on a very emotional journey. I think the acting in it was excellent, I’ve never seen any other film that McConaughey has been in but I’m confident now that I will. An excellent film, and well worth a trip to the cinema in my opinion!