Roswell High: The Watcher – Book Review

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I don’t remember much about the show ‘Roswell‘. My older sister watched it a lot, and I know the faces, but that’s about it.

Looking through a box for my next book to read, I found ‘Roswell High: The Watcher‘. Number four in the series, it isn’t a long book, and it contains information from previous novels – not to mention essentially ending on a ‘to be continued’.

As I said, I don’t remember much of the show, but surely it was better than this. The writing was immature, the characters acted ridiculously, and the events moved way too quickly. I know it is a book about aliens –  so how realistic could it be? – but I still expected more.

If you still want to read this book and reminisce about an old TV favourite, go ahead, and let me know what you think.

2.5 out of 5

Oscars 2016 – Academy Awards

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With the Golden Globes done and dusted for the year, we have the Oscars (Academy Awards) to look forward to.

Here is the list of nominees, and my guesses.

Please note, most of these are not the films I want to win, and are merely who I think will win.

Best Actor

Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Matt Damon (The Martian), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

My Prediction: Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl)

Best Actress

Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Charlotte Rampling (45 Years), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn)

My Prediction: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy)

Best Supporting Actor

Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Tom Hardy (The Revenant), Mark Ruffalo (Spotlight), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Sylvester Stallone (Creed)

My Prediction: Tom Hardy (The Revenant)

Best Supporting Actress

Nominees: Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Rooney Mara (Carol), Rachel McAdams (Spotlight), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs)

My Prediction: Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

Directing

Nominees: Adam McKay (The Big Short), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Alejandro G Inarritu (The Revenant), Lenny Abrahamson (Room), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight)

My Prediction: Alejandro G Inarritu (The Revenant)

Film Editing

Nominees: The Big Short, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Spotlight

My Prediction: The Revenant

Foreign Language Film

Nominees: Embrace of the Serpent, Mustang, Son of Saul, Theeb, A War

My Prediction: No guess

Original Score

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Carol, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Best Picture

Nominees: The Big Short, Bridge of Spies, Brooklyn, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight

My Prediction: The Martian or The Revenant

Production Design

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant

My Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road

Visual Effects

Nominees: Ex Machina, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Adapted Screenplay

Nominees: The Big Short, Brooklyn, Carol, The Martian, Room

My Prediction: The Martian

Original Screenplay

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Ex Machina, Inside Out, Spotlight, Straight Outta Compton

My Prediction: Straight Outta Compton

Animated Feature Film

Nominees: Anomalisa, Inside Out, Shaun the Sheep, Boy and the Wild, When Marnie Was There

My Prediction: Inside Out

Cinematography

Nominees: Carol, The Hateful EightMad Max: Fury RoadThe RevenantSicario

My Prediction: The Hateful Eight or The Revenant

Costume Design

Nominees: Carol, Cinderella, The Danish Girl, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant

My Prediction: Mad Max: Fury Road or The Revenant

Documentary Feature

Nominees: Amy, Cartel Land, The Look of Silence, What Happened Miss Simone?, Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom

My Prediction: No guess

Documentary Short Subject

Nominees: Body Team 12, Chau Beyond the Lines, Claude Lanzmann, A Girl in the River, Last Day of Freedom

My Prediction: No guess

Makeup and Hairstyling

Nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, The 100-year-old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared, The Revenant

My Prediction: Either Mad Max: Fury Road or The Revenant

Original Song

Nominees: Earned It (50 Shades of Grey), Til It Happens To You (The Hunting Ground), Writings On The Wall (Spectre), Manta Ray (Racing Extinction), Simple Song 3 (Youth)

My Prediction: Writings On The Wall (Spectre)

Animated Short Film

Nominees: Bear Story, Prologue, Sanjay’s Superteam, We Can’t Live Without Cosmos, World of Tomorrow

My Prediction: No guess

Live Action Short Film

Nominees: Ava Maria, Day One, Everything Will Be Okay, Shok, Stutterer

My Prediction: No guess

Sound Editing

Nominees: Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Sicario, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: The Revenant

Sound Mixing

Nominees: Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, The Revenant, Star Wars: The Force Awakens

My Prediction: The Revenant

 

20 Movies Coming in 2016

As you can tell, I love movies. I love the storylines, I love the characters, and I love being taken away to another world.

So far, 2016 looks to be a great year for the big screen. Youtube is filled with trailers for upcoming movies, and I wanted to share some with you. I will be going into them more in-depth at a later time, but for now have a look at the videos below and let me know what you think.

1. Midnight Special

Adventure, Drama, Sci-Fi.

2. Victor Frankenstein

Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi.

3. The Legend of Tarzan

Action, Adventure.

4. The BFG

Family, Fantasy.

5. The Jungle Book

Adventure, Drama, Fantasy.

6. Angry Birds

Animation, Action, Comedy.

7. Popeye

Animation, Children’s.

8. Goosebumps

Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy.

9. The 5th Wave

Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller.

10. Bilal

Animation, Action, Adventure.

11. Eye in the Sky

Drama, Thriller, War.

12. Captain America: Civil War

Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller.

13. Hail, Caesar!

Comedy, Drama, Musical.

14. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Action, Horror, Romance.

15. Central Intelligence

Comedy.

16. X-Men: Apocalypse

Action, Adventure, Fantasy.

17. Jane Got a Gun

Action, Drama, Western.

18. The Little Prince

Animation, Fantasy.

19. Eddie the Eagle

Drama, Sport.

20. I Saw the Light

Biography, Drama, Music.

Which one is your favourite?

Let me know in the comments below.

Harry Potter Spin-Off: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Having read all the books and seen all the movies, I can honestly say that I love the Harry Potter series. But it didn’t start out that way.

When the books first came out, I read them along with everyone else: Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3. But along the way, I lost interest. I don’t know why, I just did.

It wasn’t until 2009 that I got back into it. Within about a month I read them all from start to finish (including Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Tales of Beedle the Bard, and Quidditch Through the Ages). I was instantly drawn back into that world, and excitedly saw The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 at the cinema, and The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 at the midnight premiere.

Of course, when something is popular, everyone wants to know everything about it, and own ever piece of merchandise possible. We had trouble letting go of the story, and saying goodbye to the characters from our youth. So it’s no surprise that we have Pottermore, colouring books (read my post about them HERE), and now another movie.

The trailer for Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was released today, and the internet is going wild. The story goes like this:

The story revolves around Newt Scamander’s arrival at the Magical Congress of the United States of America, for a meeting with an important official. Central to the story and this meeting is a magically expanded briefcase which houses a number of dangerous creatures and their habitats. When the creatures escape from the briefcase, it sends the American wizarding authorities after Newt, and it threatens even further the state of magical and non-magical relations, which is already in a dangerous place, due to the threatening presence of the fanatical extremist group that call themselves, in short, “The Second Salemers”. The story tells of what effect this devastating mistake has on the state of wizard/No-Maj (the American term for a non-magical person) relations in New York City’s community of wizards and witches in 1926, the effort to correct the mistake, and the horrors of the resultant increase in violence, fear, and tension felt between magical and non-magical peoples.

We don’t learn all of this from the trailer, but we do get a glimpse of what is coming in 2016.

PROS:

CONS:

  • I’m nervous it was only made because the fandom won’t let go, and I’ve seen that go so badly for TV series and movies.

What do you think? Are you excited to see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them? Let me know in the comments below.

Adult Colouring Books

To my last breath I will attest that I was the one who brought back this ‘adult colouring-in’ trend.

As a primary school scripture teacher, I do a lot of colouring-in of simple black and white pictures to help bring them to life for the kids (links to Year 1/2 puzzles HERE, and Year 4/5 puzzles HERE). Despite the pictures being quite simple, I immediately felt relaxed; like I was transported back to the carefree days of my childhood, where the only thing we had to do for homework was to create a title page for our exercise books.

So I wasn’t surprised when adult colouring books became the new trend.

For those of you that are unaware, adult colouring books are much like regular colouring books, except they include intricate designs, like geometric patterns.

I had so far been avoiding them – not really seeing the appeal of spending time doing something to never be able to use again – but I caved in and bought these two the other day:

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I saw the Harry Potter one first, and got the other one because I was interested to give it a go.

The designs were really well done and actually quite beautiful.

I decided to start with Harry. I think it was about $16 from Target.

As you can see, I haven’t fully finished it, but it is definitely cool. There are a LOT of pictures to colour-in, and it takes you through the whole movie series.

For about $10 in Coles grocery store, I got ‘New Idea: Around the World Colouring Book’.

The first design that caught my eye was Elvis!

Not only does this book have great colouring pages, but they also have really intricate dot-to-dot activities.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t really like how it turned out. Maybe I didn’t do it properly, but it just seemed a bit weird (and yes, I know that is only half of it, but I am referring to the doubling-up of lines).

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In keeping with this new colouring trend, I have started making my own, with film, TV, etc., designs. Check them out HERE.

Let me know in the comments section if you’ve done any adult colouring, and what you think of it!

Independence Day: Resurgence – Trailer Review

Independence Day (1996), Speed (1994), Ransom (1996), these were my top favourite movies during my childhood. Even now I bring them out as often as I can.

So it is with my excitement – and trepidation – that I welcome the trailer for the sequel Independence Day: Resurgence (2016). Check it out below, and then we’ll chat!

Almost all my fears are gone. Not only do the visual effects look amazing, but it looks like it has an actual storyline.

I love that it’s a different Earth – they have learned from the remaining alien technology and employed it for their defence. So what happens when the aliens return and they’ve ramped-up their defences too?

A lot of the original cast are coming back (Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch), and they are mixed with a new breed (Liam Hemsworth, Joey King, and, I don’t know how much he’ll be seen, but Hays Wellford is also listed, who I recently saw in Cop Car and wrote a review here).

Of course one absence is Will Smith. For some reason he has declined to participate and the official Independence Day: Resurgence website WarOf1996.com records that his character died in 2007.

From what I have seen, I think this movie has what it takes to be a successful sequel. Many have tried and failed, so only time will tell if I’m right.

What do you think? Are you looking forward to seeing it on the big screen? Let me know in the comments below.

#ExplainAFilmPlotBadly – Twitter trend

Once again I found an awesome Twitter hashtag trend. This one involves writing a bad explanation of a film plot.

Scrolling through, there were a lot of crummy ones, but these were my favourite:

I couldn’t come up with any of my own, but let me know if you can!

Golden Globe Awards 2016

*UPDATE – winners added to list*

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The 2016 Golden Globe Award Nominations have just been announced.

Check out the list of nominees below and see if you agree with my predictions.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Carol, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Room, Spotlight.

My Prediction: I haven’t seen any of these, and don’t know most of them, but I’m hoping The Revenant wins because of Leonardo DiCaprio, but Spotlight might win because of its topic.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Cate Blanchett (Carol), Brie Larson (Room), Rooney Mara (Carol), Saoirse Ronan (Brooklyn), Alicia Vikander (The Danish Girl)

My Prediction: Again, there are none that I feel inclined towards, but I think Alicia Vikander will win for the topic of the film.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Nominees: Bryan Cranston (Trumbo), Leonardo DiCaprio (The Revenant), Michael Fassbender (Steve Jobs), Eddie Redmayne (The Danish Girl), Will Smith (Concussion)

My Prediction: I would love for Leo to win, but I think it will go to Eddie Redmayne (for obvious reasons).

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: The Big Short, Joy, The Martian, Spy, Trainwreck.

My Prediction: How did The Martian get into this group?! I guess I’ll go for that.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Jennifer Lawrence (Joy), Melissa McCarthy (Spy), Amy Schumer (Trainwreck), Maggie Smith (The Lady in the Van), Lily Tomlin (Grandma).

My Prediction: Everyone seems to be loving Amy Schumer lately, so I’ll pick her.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Christian Bale (The Big Short), Steve Carell (The Big Short), Matt Damon (The Martian), Al Pacino (Danny Collins), Mark Ruffalo (Infinitely Polar Bear).

My Prediction: Again, I don’t know how The Martian got into this category, but it seems popular, so that’s my prediction.

Best Motion Picture – Animated

Nominees: Anomalisa, The Good Dinosaur, Inside Out, The Peanuts Movie, Shaun the Sheep Movie.

My Prediction: OK, rant time. The Good Dinosaur (“what if the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs missed?”?!?!). Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?! There was no asteroid and humans and dinosaurs did live at the same time! I cant believe this evolution and long-age nonsense is still going.
With that being said, I hope Inside Out wins because its good to be open about emotions.

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

Nominees: The Brand New TestamentThe ClubThe FencerMustangSon of Saul.

My Prediction: I didn’t know any of these films, so I searched for them online. The Brand New Testament is a horrific premise that blasphemes God. For the other titles, I’m not big on foreign language films, so I have no prediction.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture

Nominees: Jane Fonda (Youth), Jennifer Jason Leigh (The Hateful Eight), Helen Mirren (Trumbo), Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina), Kate Winslet (Steve Jobs).

My Prediction: I think The Hateful Eight sounds interesting, and I did a review on Ex Machina (HERE), but Steve Jobs will probably win (for obvious reasons).

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in Any Motion Picture

Nominees: Paul Dano (Love & Mercy), Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation), Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies), Michael Shannon (99 Homes), Sylvester Stallone (Creed).

My Prediction: Beasts of No Nation is my top pick. It looks emotional and dramatic, and is a theme that often wins.

Best Director – Motion Picture

Nominees: Todd Haynes (Carol), Alejandro G. Inarritu (The Revenant), Tom McCarthy (Spotlight), George Miller (Mad Max: Fury Road), Ridley Scott (The Martian).

My Prediction: Finally, a category The Martian fits into! That’s my first pick, with The Revenant a close second.

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Nominees: RoomSpotlightThe Big ShortSteve JobsThe Hateful Eight.

My Prediction: Based on theme, I think Spotlight will win.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Nominees: CarolThe Danish GirlThe Hateful EightSteve JobsThe Revenant.

My Prediction: I haven’t heard any, so I can’t guess.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Nominees: ‘Love Me Like You Do’ – Fifty Shades of Grey, ‘One Kind of Love’ – Love & Mercy, ‘See You Again’ – Furious 7, ‘Simple Song #3’ – Youth, ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ – Spectre

My Prediction: I LOVE the Fast and the Furious series, and they have done so well in banding together and dealing with the terrible loss of Paul Walker, that I hope it wins.

Best Television Series – Drama

Nominees: EmpireGame of ThronesMr. RobotNarcosOutlander.

My Prediction: I’m tossing up between Narcos (first choice), and Mr. Robot.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama

Nominees: Caitriona Balfe (Outlander), Viola Davis (How to Get Away with Murder), Eva Green (Penny Dreadful), Taraji P. Henson (Empire), Robin Wright (House of Cards).

My Prediction: Either Taraji P. Henson or Robin Wright.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama

Nominees: Jon Hamm (Mad Men), Rami Malek (Mr. Robot), Wagner Moura (Narcos), Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul), Live Schreiber (Ray Donovan).

My Prediction: Again, I’m tossing up between Narcos and Mr. Robot.

Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: CasualMozart in the JungleOrange is the New BlackSilicon ValleyTransparentVeep.

My Prediction: Transparent (for obvious reasons).

Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Rachel Bloom (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend), Jamie Lee Curtis (Scream Queens), Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Veep), Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin), Lily Tomlin (Grace and Frankie)

My Prediction: I honestly don’t have a pick in this one.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Musical or Comedy

Nominees: Aziz Ansari (Master of None), Gael Garcia Bernal (Mozart in the Jungle), Rob Lowe (The Grinder), Patrick Stewart (Blunt Talk), Jeffrey Tambor (Transparent).

My Prediction: Jeffrey Tambor (for obvious reasons).

Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: American CrimeAmerican Horror Story: HotelFargoFlesh & BoneWolf Hall.

My Prediction: I don’t know enough about these to make a choice.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: Kirsten Dunst (Fargo), Lady Gaga (American Horror Story: Hotel), Sarah Hay (Flesh & Bone), Felicity Huffman (American Crime), Queen Latifah (Bessie).

My Prediction: As Above.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees: Idris Elba (Luther), Oscar Isaac (Show Me A Hero), David Oyelowo (Nightingale), Mark Rylance (Wolf Hall), Patrick Wilson (Fargo).

My Prediction: I’ve only really heard about Luther.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made For Television

Nominees: Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black), Joanne Froggatt (Downton Abbey), Regina King (American Crime), Judith Light (Transparent), Maura Tierney (The Affair).

My Prediction: Probably Uzo Aduba

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television

Nominees: Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), Damian Lewis (Wolf Hall), Ben Mendelsohn (Bloodline), Tobias Menzies (Outlander), Christian Slater (Mr. Robot).

My Prediction: Probably Christian.

 

So what are your predictions? What do you think of the nominations? Let me know below!