Friday finds

These are my first Friday web finds for the new 2016 and I’d like to start with this amazing thing Martin sent me yesterday.

He described it like “Airbnb for dogs” and he was quite right. It’s a pet sitters platform for Ireland where you can find pet sitters in your neighborhood, review their profiles and availability, you can contact them, reserve and pay online. It looks super useful and I’d give anything to have something like that in Bulgaria, considering how often I travel.

You can see the site here: www.pawshake.ie

The other thing I found are the release dates for all the upcoming Star Wars movies. Maybe I should stop with the Star Wars related posts but the hype from me viewing The Force Awakens hasn’t died out yet, so I guess you’d have to bare with me ūüôā

Check them out here: http://moviepilot.com/posts/3713121?utm_source=fb-stream-post&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=these-5-upcoming-star-wars-movies-make-a-galaxy-far-far-away-seem-pretty-damn-close

My¬†last find is this great fitness site by Strahil Ivanov, where you can read all about dieting, exercises, sport and health. I love that he explains the medical reasons behind his statements and he provides all kinds of tips why you should or shouldn’t do something.

You can see it here: http://fitbg.net/

 

 

 

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Star wars the force awakens review

Last Friday I finally got to see what I was waiting for since the first time I heard it was in production. I know the craze has been overwhelming. I was even discussing it it my cousin, who is also a big fan. But as he’s 5 years older he was wondering why the hype was that much. We trying to remember if it was was the same when the last 3 movies were released. And here comes the power of social media. However, hype or not (as you can see from the pic in my case it’s HYPE), the movie was absolutely all I was hoping for.

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The story is captivating though not new and as a stand alone movie, it is far from disappointing.

The new characters are interesting, different and at the same time familiar. I love that we get to meet one of the Stormtroopers and that he’s fun and neurotic. Rey, a scavenger from a desert planet who doesn’t know her parents (ahem, Luke anyone) ¬†is a great strong female center character. Kylo¬†Ren as the bad guy is a nice mixture between a troubled young man and a powerful Sith¬†with¬†anger issues.¬†I also loved that we got to see him without his mask.¬†Poe is the dashing Xwing Pilot from the resistance and the owner of the cute¬†BB8 robot. There are more new secondary¬†characters and¬†Han, Leia, Luke, Chewie, C3P0 and R2D2¬†all return for the enjoyment of old and new fans.

I won’t share any spoilers, but I’d say the story is similar to A¬†New Hope. It’s not a bad¬†thing as for older fans its an awesome nostalgia experience¬†and for newer fans its a great introduction to the Star Wars universe.

I left¬†the cinema wanting to know more why things have turned bad again¬†and I¬†look forward to a second viewing, hopefully when Martin gets home on Thursday ūüôā

May the Force be with you !

Love and time: An Interstellar review

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I know that there have been many reviews of Christopher Nolan’s latest¬†film and all of them¬†have high praise for¬†it. I was also impressed by¬†the visual effects, the acting, the music but the best thing about Interstellar is that I¬†haven’t felt something like that in a movie theater¬†for a very long time – immersed and shaken at the same time. And four days after seeing it I’m still thinking about it, so I decided I’d better share my thoughts.

Interstellar is truly a sci-fi epic like no other. I’ve seen people are trying to compare it to¬†‘2001: A Space Odyssey’¬†but for me¬†the movies¬†are almost nothing alike,although they share some¬†plot elements. Furthermore, I’ve always thought that¬†Stanley Kubrick’s interpretation¬†of Arthur C. Clarke’s novel¬†was aiming mostly to make art rather than to ponder the philosophical questions that occurred with¬†the story. With Interstellar, Nolan made¬†his most personal and emotional film to date about love and time (time being a recurring theme throughout all of the director’s¬†movies). But it’s so much more than that too. I have¬†no words to express the epic journey Nolan takes us on in the film, but needless to say, it’s tear-jerking and emotional throughout. The acting is first-class, especially McConaughey, who gives, in my opinion, his most emotional performance yet. The¬†soundtrack from Hans Zimmer is, without a doubt, one of his best and most influential, helping drive the film’s bold and breath-taking vision (the church organ was stunning). The visual effects are easily¬†the best¬†of the year. Seeing¬†a black hole created through visual effects in such a way, with pages theoretical equations provided by Kip Thorne (theoretical physicist, of whom’s work inspired the film’s genesis) was mesmerizing. ¬†What you see in Interstellar¬†is the most realistic depiction of a black hole, and even offered new insight to accretion discs surrounding the anomalies. But even everything else, from the alien planets to the Endurance, the visuals are astounding. And the center of the film is the touching story with a¬†script that continually pours or oozes emotion, keeping the audience tethered to the film.

This is the sci-fi movie of the decade, and probably the best movie Nolan ever made. Simply go see it, without a second thought.

Book review: The hundred-foot journey

Lately I’ve been reading lots of thrillers, so I needed something fun and relaxing. So this feel-good culinary escapade was an appropriate choice. I highly recommend it if you want to indulge in a greatly written love story¬†dedicated to food.

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Hassan Haji, the second of a a family of six from Mumbai, knows from an early age that his destiny lies in the food arena. In this simultaneously comic and touching¬†tale, we trace Hasssan’s culinary development from the roadside restaurant for servicemen established by his grandparents to the prominence¬†of the world of haute cuisine and the much sought after Michelin stars.

Morais’ exploration of Hassan Haji’s climb¬†in the world of haute cuisine also engages the themes of longing, homesickness, family legacy, and the losses and sacrifices that come with success.

This is a pleasant¬†story¬†filled¬†with a diversity¬†of vibrant¬†characters, from Hassan’s larger than life, candid¬†father who contrasts sharply with the polished, refined¬†Madame Mallory, protector¬†of classic French haute cuisine. You can hear, smell and taste the tenor¬†of the Indian and French kitchens -I would strongly advise you to eat before reading!

If you love traveling and indulging in fine foods, you will certainly enjoy this book.

I cannot wait to watch the movie based on this charming book, starring Helen Mirren, Om Puri, and Manish Daya.

My fashion icons: Rose Byrne

From her role as Ellen Parsons in “Damages” to the big screen with “X-men: First class” and “Bridesmaids”, I believe the Australian actress has a lot of potential for becoming one of the “most wanted” in Hollywood. And seeing her fashion choices you can’t escape liking her. Her casual style ranges from sharp to rugged, her beautiful knee length dresses, funky skirts and fancy pants for more formal occasions and her red carpet attires are just flawless. I also love how her hair is the perfect accessory for her combos. And that jumpsuit from the SAG awards was divine.

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The Girl on fire strickes again

I’ve been a little short on movie-watching last year and I’m starting to catch up. First, it was The Hobbit and yesterday was time for another big sequel: The Hunger Games: Catching fire.

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The premise of a Survivor style deathmatch where regular people have to fight to the death is very interesting. There’s so much potential for suspense, action, drama, betrayal, etc. And I was not disappointed in¬†The Hunger Games: Catching fire. Sure, they left out a few moments from the book, but the visuals were fantastic and the cast was great with both old and new blood, including Woody Harrelson as Katniss and Peeta’s mentor, Sam Claflin as the charming Finnick Odair and Philip Seymour Hoffman as the imaginative new games master. Donald Sutherland returns as the villainous President Snow, his soft spoken exterior concealing his brutal nature.The weakest part for me is the attempted love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale. It pales in comparison to the wider struggle of the story and is perhaps wisely downplayed. However, I enjoyed the arena and the new tributes immensely.

All in all, a great entertaining sequel. Can’t wait for the Mockingjay!

40% Tolkien + 60% Jackson = The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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It was about time I went to see Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I won’t review the content of the movie in any detail, but I would like to share my thoughts about how this film should be approached. I’ve been a Tolkien fan since my teenage years and he’s works showed me the way to the fantasy genre for which I’d be eternaly grateful. So I expect that many fans like me will perceive this movie as a disfigured monster version of the written story. Still, I tried to see it as Jackson’s The Hobbit, not Tolkien’s. The two works represent different media, they come from different times, and have partly different target audiences. The children’s book was written before Tolkien had any idea of the majestic trilogy to follow and Jackson had already did his Lord of the Rings trilogy and I believe he tried to make the prequels resemble it, in tone and scope.

It’s more like Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy is “based on” the 1937 children’s book in the sense that the characters have the same names and visit the same places in somewhat the same order (though new characters and places are also added). Their basic motivations are also the same. But beyond that, there is hardly anything that isn’t greatly exagerated and elaborated, mostly so as to allow for a much darker tone and MUCH more fantasy action.

Entire new subplots are freely created and added to the story. The Elf Tauriel and her unlikely flirt with one of the Dwarfs is clearly meant to add a love story. The survival of ALL the protagonists despite their endless meetings with death doesn’t just strain credibilityy.

So, viewed as an independent work, it is a great movie.

Only Italy. Only Robert Downey Jr. I review Only you

I’m a little sick and staying at home so I needed a “comfort” movie. I was browsing Imdb for a nice comedy or a rom-com and I found this. I love everything about Italy, RDJ is one of my favorite actors and Marisa Tomei does great supporting roles so the choice was easy.

The plot was a little far-fetched. When she’s 11, Faith (Marisa Tomei) finds the name of her soul mate from the Ouija board: Damon Bradley. Later, a fortune teller sees the same name in the Crystal Ball and Faith is convinced. 14 years later, she is engaged and about to marry a nice but dull doctor. Until she gets a call from one of his classmates who is on his way to Venice, Italy. “Surprisingly” his name is Damon Bradley. So Faith and her sister-in-law Kate decide to go to Italy hoping to find Damon. Continue reading

My fashion icons: Marion Cotillard

I first saw Marion Cotillard (37) in Taxi¬†and I loved her classical French vibe mixed with a little sassiness. After that her career was nothing but great success with roles in¬†Big fish, Jeux d’enfants/Love me if you dare, Taxi 2 and 3, and A good year. She received international acclaim for her role as √Čdith Piaf in La m√īme¬†(retitled “La Vie en Rose” in USA). This got her the Best Actress Academy Award and she became the second actress to win an acting Oscar performing in a language other than English next to Sophia Loren who won for La ciociara.

Continue reading

It has finally come to an end. The Twilight Saga: Braking dawn part 2

It’s been on screen for a week now and maybe there isn’t a person who haven’t seen the trailer, read at least one review or read the books, so my post won’t be a great revelation. However, I saw it yesterday and I would like to ramble on a little bit. So bear with me, please.

I’ve never loved any of the Twilight movies. They are ok but there always were many things missing and this one isn’t an exception. It was slow paced, some of the acting was far off, the music wasn’t helping the monotony and the CGI was pretty bad. I mean Renesmee was supposed to be exquisite but instead most of the time she was downright creepy.

That said, there were some highlights that I actually appreciated. I few laughs here and there, a few new¬† characters that I liked, especially Garrett (Lee Pace), Taylor Lautner’s aversion to shirts (hey, I’m a girl, it’s natural) and finally real emotions from Kristen Stewart mostly in her early “newborn” moments. The cool fight scene near the end was refreshing and somewhat satisfactory. The Cullens gather a team of vampires to stand on their side against the Volturi. This leads to a battle with many surprises and shocking twists that I actually enjoyed. It kind of made the movie worth seeing.

In my humble opinion, fans of the series and single teenage girls will love the final installment as it has the core elements of the other movies that made the series so popular. I would just advise girls not to make your boyfriends endure it unless they have a great sense of humor and at least one more guy for moral support:)