As I’ve mentioned before somewhere in this corner of my blog, Jay loves Harry Potter. So, last year, I bought a couple of tickets for us to go to the Warner Brothers Studios in Watford. Blown away doesn’t even cover it! I’ve put in a few pictures for you guys, because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so have a look, if you haven’t been before! Basically, I want to live there and real life is not the same I didn’t put on the bestest photos I have, because it’s so amazing and mind-blowing when you go and have a look Noteably, the Hogwarts school is insane, as well as Diagon Alley.
So the other weekend, Jay and I actually had a weekend to ourselves and we ended up going to see the new James Bond film, ‘Skyfall’.
I have been brought up watching James Bond films with my Dad’s heavy influence in watching and loving the films. Jay, however, has only just started watching James Bond films since Sky Movies had introduced their 007 channel and he has managed to watch every single one of them before we went to see this one at the weekend. He is obsessed too
Daniel Craig is most probably my most favourite Bond out of all of them. He just seems to have the complete attitude there and my Dad said that that is more like what Bond was written as, rather than a Pierce Brosnan or Sean Connery where they seemed to do as they were told by MI5; Daniel Craig’s portrayal is more rebellious. And it’s not because he’s ‘well fit’, because I actually don’t fancy him? Hahaha. I’m not sure if it’s the writing that has changed or the change in actor though… And I don’t like Daniel Craig’s pout, which he casually pulls out when he’s like, walking around… I don’t know, hahaha.
The story line is awesome and more modern for today’s audience who may have not seen any JB films before, and the actors are just as amazing. I found myself actually hating the villain, which is obviously the best compliment to the actor playing a baddie, because that’s what you want to achieve. I never really know what to say about films when I review them, because I don’t want to give too much away, but I feel like this film being released on the anniversary is massive credit to the James Bond series and I’m sure we will be buying this on DVD now that Jay is a massive super-fan!
Have you seen the James Bond film yet? What did you think?
On Saturday, I was lucky enough to have tickets to head on over to Twickenham to watch the opening night of Lady Gaga’s tour, The Born This Way Ball. To be completely honest, I was slightly nervous about this one. I didn’t think I knew any Gaga songs that well and I know how crazy Lady Gaga’s “little monsters” can be! I’m going to try and not give too much away from the concert, but please be aware that there may be some spoilers!
I was so wrong! Her fans were completely amazing; most of which were dressed as she has been in her music videos (with coke cans in their hair as rollers or with blonde fringed wigs and bows made out of hair - even one lady in a mickey mouse catsuit, reminiscent of Gaga’s Papparazzi vid, and another in an iconic yet contraversial meat dress… made from fabric!) and everyone was crazily friendly! Like, really lovely people all gathered in one stadium (I gather sold out, but you can never tell with the standing bit how busy it actually is unless you’re in there!). We were sitting at the far back left on the stage. I wish I’d have brought my glasses, because at the end of it, my eyes couldn’t really see Gaga on-screen… But that’s my biology’s fault! Stupid eyes.
The Born This Way Ball is named after one of The Lady’s most famous songs, Born This Way, which is all about self acceptance and loving yourself. A fabulous message to spread to the masses, I’m sure. And I think this was reflected in how nice everyone was
Gaga must’ve changed outfit every single song, which was amazing, although a little irritating when you couldn’t really see her face… And oh my goodness, how fit must she be to sing and dance as energetically as she did?! I was quite astounded with her ‘live’ voice; I’d heard that she couldn’t sing live, but she really and truly absolutely belted those notes! Favourites for the night, for me, were probably Born This Way (however, I’m not sure about the lady reanacting the whole giving birth, complete with massive inflatable legs spread out on stage!), Just Dance, Bad Romance and You and I (which is my personal fave, so I’m a bit biased!). I was surprised at how many Gaga songs I actually knew, even my Mum was like, “Wow, I know this one!” and I was on my feet the whole entire time, dancing away. I’m definitely going to download the whole of her albums.
Special mention to Lady Gaga’s support act, The Darkness. I have loved The Darkness since I bought their album about seven years ago now (where does time go, seriously?!) and played their album on repeat for a good year after that. They were also awesome live, but we only saw half of their set, as we were running late, so I’m now determined to see them when they are headlining or at their own gig.
So I’m now a converted little monster! Did you go and see Gaga at Twickenham or at any of her other Born This Way Ball venues? What did you think?
Okay, I have to admit it. I have now read all of them. I stole the following picture from Carlyn from Smoking Peaches‘ instagram and I believe it sums everything up really well.
Honestly. It’s really not very well written and, in fact, I found it a little boring and just read it so I could say I’ve read it and move onto something else. How did it get so much hype?!
I’m not going to spoil it; I completely appreciate that everyone has different tastes and what I didn’t enjoy doesn’t mean that someone won’t love it and camp out in the queue overnight, waiting for its release at the cinema. For me, I found the first one completely intolerable with the lack of storyline; it was just sex, sex, sex. The second book was better, as we learned a little bit more about both characters and shock, horror, there was an actual story to what was going on, complemented by sex, sex, sex. I thought the third one just went back to being boring; seriously, I ended up skipping paragraphs and pages, just to find some sort of development to a storyline. Throughout all of the books, I kept thinking to myself that people do not talk like that in every day life, especially in modern times, and I had a real problem imagining exactly who they were and how they were like. And, after three books, you’d think I would have at least an idea. I was a little bit disappointed by it all and I have spoken with others about it who, like me, feel the hype is really unjust.
Have you read the ‘Fifty Shades’ series? What did you think? Would you give it as much hype as it has received?!
So during the week, I’d seen Westlife at the o2, but we were heading back to the o2 on Saturday 26th May to go clubbing at the Indigo2. That’s right, old school fans. I love a bit of Kisstory. In fact, when I’m in the office on my own, I always will tune into my Kiss Kube on my phone at 11am for an hour of pure old school-ness. And dance around like a weirdo on my own with my shoes off. Bank holidays are even better with a whole day dedicated to the old school!
Needless to say, I was overly excited about this.
There were six of us in couples and we went to eat first at one of the many restaurants at the o2 called Rodrizio Rico, which is Brazilian BBQ and they come around with meat and put it all on your plate until you’re full. No one ate that much, as we were concentrating a little to hard on the Sangria. I couldn’t drink so much as I had work the next day, so I decided that I needed to stop drinking at around midnight, to ensure a sober Franno for behind reception on Sunday.
Off we trotted to a sports bar. The doors didn’t open until 10pm, so we settled into drinking more. The girls shared wine, the boys drank cider. I was feeling particularly tipsy as I never drink wine anymore since leaving university. Wine makes me feel terribly drunk, extremely quickly!
Three bottles of wine in, we found the entrance (after trying to get into the VIP section – oops!) and headed straight for the bar. The club was heaving, so people must’ve got there dead on 10pm! I never drink in London, but I didn’t realise the drinks were that expensive! Luckily I wasn’t paying for myself (thanks, Jay ), else I’d be bankrupt!
The music was amazing; Justin Wilkes was on the decks when we got in and I absolutely love him! The special guests were Nightcrawlers, who I didn’t actually know, but as soon as I heard their song, I completely knew who they were… which brings me quite nicely to my song of the day
Definitely feeling like summer’s here after Kisstory and those kinds of songs Nightcrawlers played a few songs, which weren’t really my cup of tea, but Justin Wilkes came back on again to play some more awesomeness (yay!) before introducing DJ EZ. I am a bit fuzzy at this point (they gave me a pint of wine…), I just remember singing along at the top of my lungs to Do You Really Like It by DJ Pied Piper… My shoes were off, need I say more?!
We left at 2.30am in our minibus back to our’s and, instead of staying up all night like we would usually do, we all went to bed straight away! We’re getting too old for this… I would definitely recommend going to a Kisstory night! I had such an amazing time, and I’m constantly checking when the next one is… Unfortunately, the next one is in Ibiza, so I won’t be going to that one (although I wish I was…) but when they come back to the o2, I’ll be there with bells on!
Also, I fell asleep behind reception on Sunday, with a banging headache. Oops. BUT I had mentioned how awesome Justin Wilkes was and he’s now following me on Twitter. Say whaaaat?!?
So last year, it was announced that Westlife were going to split up. And Jay loves a bit of Westlife, so I bought him a couple of tickets for their last concert as a foursome. It took us absolutely ages to get to the o2, due to crappy transport. The Jubilee line was severely delayed and Jay tried every single method of transport (including The Thames Clipper) to get there, until he settled for a 40 minute cab journey. This didn’t bother me as I had settled into a bar at the o2 and was fully engaged in a happy hour with 2 pitchers of cocktails in my system. Jay got there, helped me finish my cocktails and off we trotted (or staggered) to our seats.
I wasn’t really sure what to make of the ballad boy band and thought I’d actually fall asleep during their concert, as I couldn’t really think of an up-tempo number that they had ever released. Take a picture, because I don’t usually say this: I was wrong. They were so good, despite being late on stage! Opening with video clips of interviews as to why they were splitting up and appearing on stage with one of their more recent hits ‘What About Now’, I was actually disappointed at the lack of stools and standing with a powerful octave change, as they are better known for. They even danced!!
Westlife performed a few songs, had some banter with the audience and then went back to the interview clips about why they thought they’d had enough, what they’d miss most, what they loved the most. Jay and I were surrounded by middle aged women and, when reminded that they had been going for 14 years, we weren’t surprised. I was 11 when they came about! What on earth?!
Two memorable points from my fuzzy head in the morning after. Number one was the Westlife Medley they did in the middle, which involved covers by Black Eyed Peas, Kings of Leon and The Pussycat Dolls. What on earth were you thinking, Westlife?! Although the covers were fine and dandy and got people (well, me…) moving, they were kind of unnecessary. Secondly, the movable stage in which they jumped on and sang ‘Seasons in the Sun’ and ‘Swear It Again’, which I was obviously obsessed with as I took a whole bunch of pictures of them on it, rotating around and waving at everyone…
Jay and I had to leave a little bit early to go and catch our train, and got evils by all of the die hard fans in our row… But we waited at the top, because I really wanted to hear ‘Flying Without Wings’… I didn’t hear it They must’ve left it right til the very end! Perhaps they shouldn’t have done all these covers and actually done some of their awesome hits from over the 14 years!
Nevertheless, I would say it was a good gig for me to have gone to and I think Jay enjoyed it too. I’ll never see them again and they’ve always been in the background for the past 14 years, haven’t they!? I bet you all subliminally can recall random Westlife songs… Not my favouritest gig (Prince gets the crown for that one – excuse the pun!), but I’m really happy I saw them. I think most bands should probably do this when they decide to split up as a final ‘yay’ to everything they achieved and stuff. It was a really awesome idea to have the video clips every now and again, so that the fans knew how they were feeling about the whole ordeal.
Time for the next ballad boy band!
On Sunday, after work, Jay and I headed out to the cinema to watch The Woman In Black. It was Jay’s choice; I’m really not very good with scary films - I get recurring nightmares and everything! - so I was a bit reluctant to watch this on a Sunday evening, when I had work the next day and was inevitably going to have nightmares. But off we trotted, with popcorn, hot dog and fizzy drinks in hand, and here’s what I thought of it…
I hate giving a brief of a story plot without giving too much away, so I’ll be as vague as possible. ‘The Woman In Black’ is a book (I don’t know who it’s by…) and a show in London about ghosts and murders and dreadful goings on. Arthur Kipps (Daniel Radcliffe) is an investigator into why these odd occurrences are happening in a particular village. I hadn’t read the book or seen the show, but Jay had read the book so he knew everything that was going to happen. I don’t think it would’ve made such an impact on me if I had read the book, so I’m happy I went in with an ‘open mind’… Well, I say ‘happy’…
Jay loves Harry Potter. Like, really loves it and he was quite excited to see Daniel Radcliffe in a different role to the one he’s been playing for 10 years. I, however, found it weird to watch him without a lightening shaped scar on his head, rounded glasses and armed with a wand… I even kept mumbling ‘Expelliarmus!’ at really awkward times when I was nervously watching behind my hand.
I thought Radcliffe did an awesome job, even if he did play a dad of a 4 year old and I’m sure he’s not that old. It didn’t even look like him in the beginning! I’m sure he must’ve found it slightly daunting to be out of his Harry Potter comforter and I’d probably watch a film with him in again. Well done, Danny boy! He’s still not fancyable though, is he? I even thought all the support actors were superb. High fives all around.
The film itself is very jumpy when you least expect it, so if you go and watch, please prepare yourself for that. No pacemakers. Seriously, some woman screamed at the first jumpy bit and it wasn’t even that scary. The film really builds the suspense to a point where you’re thinking to yourself oh my God, just something happen already and put me out of my misery! which I actually think is a key thing in a horror film. You have to feel that suspense, else it doesn’t really impact on how you’re feeling.
Girls, please take a boy when you go and see this film. I was sitting next to a girl (half of another couple) and we both had our hands over our eyes for half the film. Don’t take Jay, because he’ll try and scare you when the suspense is building, but take a boy!
I wouldn’t buy this film on DVD; I don’t think it would have the same impact as seeing it in the cinema. In the dark. Where no one can hear you scream… well, apart from the other 100 people in there with you… I am quite surprised I didn’t have nightmares with this film, as I have had nightmares with ‘Paranormal Activity’ and some other random scary shizzle that I have seen. Like ‘Are You Afraid Of The Dark?’ on Nickelodeon in the 90s… I did ‘enjoy’ it (I don’t know if enjoy is the right word…) so I think you should all go out and see it and tell me what you think.
Have you seen The Woman In Black yet? Did it give you nightmares?
For Christmas, we bought my Mum four Billy Elliot The Musical tickets and, with Jay and little bro not wanting to see boys ballet dance around the stage, Mum invited two friends and we popped onto the train up to London. I wanted to get Mum Priscilla: Queen of the Dessert tickets, but unfortunately that show is no long in London from NYE and I thought that was a bit too close to the actual giving her the tickets date for us to get organised!
We wandered around Covent Garden for a bit (I bought me a coat and some prints of London for our house ) and then we felt peckish, so ambled over to one of my favourite restaurants, Cafe Pacifico, which does amazing Mexican food (and cocktails). A stomach full of enchiladas and 5 (strong!!!) daiquiris later, we were in a taxi on the way to the theatre (for some more vodka… and…) to sit on our backsides for an arse-numbing three hours. My legs had forgotten how to walk when we had to go… The seats were tiny (like all theatre seats, really) that I managed to smack a guy in the head with my bag of prints, drunkenly mumbling “Soz!” to apologise for my actions, retiring to my seat and giggling for about 10 minutes. Cringe.
But less of that, more onto what I thought of the show! I wish I could dance like that was a thought that popped into my head on more than one occasion, but I have the grace and elegance of a pregnant elephant, so I will keep dreaming that I can tap dance and ballet dance… Like those 9 year olds that were so awesomely good, when they were pretending to be rubbish, it didn’t quite cut it. I thought the accents of all characters were pretty spot on for County Durham and the show stuck massively to the original story, which is great. I don’t like it when they cut bits out for a stage show; it kind of ruins it! I think the weirdest bit of the show was when the class of ballerinas were dancing around with the miners who were on strike… But somehow, it actually worked? I can’t explain… So you’ll have to go and see for yourselves!
The part I didn’t like were lots of kids, swearing. I know it was set the 80s and I’m a bit of a prude when it comes to swearing (I don’t swear all that often anymore…), but something wasn’t right when the 5 year old kid (who appeared on and off the stage at random intervals) was shaking his 2 fingers about at other peoples. I just didn’t feel it – and was wondering what his mother was thinking!! Hahaha, I’m such a prude.
The Billy Elliot film has lots of T-Rex songs in it, and I was expecting the show to be lightly dusted with their hits, but I was… I wouldn’t say disappointed, but I really wanted to hear some awesome guitar rifts! Billy Elliot The Musical was in fact a musical!
There are extremely funny bits, which has made me want to watch the film again to see if it was even funnier in the film. I had completely forgotten about his cross-dressing mate, which was depicted with tap dancing around 7ft tall ‘granny’ dresses. Well, what else would you expect?
I did enjoy the food, show and company – it’s something I probably wouldn’t see again, but it has made me want to watch the film again. It’s also made me realise how good it is to go up to London during the wintery months and see a show; we used to go up there every Christmas with the whooooole Franno family, and I’d like to start doing it again.
So on Sunday, before the bank holiday and before going back to work, me and the fam went to see Sherlock Holmes 2: A Game of Shadows. I’m going to be honest, this post has been sitting in my dashboard, waiting to be worked on, but I’m having some trouble conducting what I actually though about it? Weird, eh?
I am a bit of a geek, really… I freakin’ love Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock! I think I have seen the first film about a bazillion times (I don’t exaggerate…) and you know what, it’s probably one of my favourite films.
My brother had seen it already, but wanted to see it again and that usually bodes well with me as we both like mostly the same kind of films. I think because I went in with a great expectation of it being completely and utterly amazing, I found it disappointing The story was good and invited the viewer to think more than the first one, I guess. But I don’t know, I found myself drifting away about half way through which is such a massive shame.
Nonetheless, on reflection, I think I did enjoy the story line. And Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law’s on-screen partnership. I think they are amazing actors individually, but this is just a different league!
I think one of the reasons why this post has been so difficult is because there’s literally nothing to write home about. I think it’s what I expected from an action film and it did deliver, even if I thought some parts were disappointing.
Sorry for a shoddy post… I’m just really confused Have you seen it? Can you explain how I’m feeling about it all?!
First post of 2012! Yay! Happy new year, all – I hope you’re not nursing too much of a sore head.
Honestly, Winter is the season to spend all of your hard-earned on movies, popcorn and hot dogs at the cinema. I very rarely go to the cinema but I’ve been a few times in the past few weeks. I do enjoy going to the cinema and some films are so much better to see in the cinema than at home on your normal sized TV. Tonight, me and the fam are off to see the second Sherlock Holmes, which I am pretty excited about but the other night, me, Mum, Uncle Pat and some of our pub buddies went to see The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
This is the first book in the Stieg Larsson series and the second attempt to make a film about it; the first being referred to as ‘the Swedish version’ and this, ‘the American version’. To be completely and utterly honest, I couldn’t really ‘get into’ the first book. I really tried on a number of occasions, because my Mum had raved about it so much and she wasn’t wrong about the Twilights… but the first couple of hundred pages are build-up and I am one to get a bit bored if nothing is happening.
However, the film did not disappoint. You learned all you needed to know about the characters before all the juicy stuff started happening. I did kind of figure out how the story was going to go but it was still pretty entertaining. I didn’t realise the film was certified at 18 and I am a real cringer, finding some of the scenes a little too graphic and hiding behind my snood, wishing it would stop! If you’ve seen it, you’ll know what bits I mean! I can just about stomach an action film that’s been certified 15… I’m such a child, ha!
I love Daniel Craig and I think he played his character very well; a hero with imperfections who manages to redeem himself at the end. It was a bit James Bondy, particularly with the opening credits taking about 10 minutes with all these oily girls prancing about. The ‘dragon tattooed girl’ was really awesome and believable. The actress, Rooney Mara, I had never even heard of before and she looks nothing like her grungey and grimey character – she portrays it really well. Her hair bugged me… Haha, I was like, grow a friiiinge!! But that wasn’t what her part was all about… Haha.
After watching the film, I asked Mum how it compared with the book and she said it was quite well done in how they fit in almost everything to still have the story make sense. Apparently, they missed out a bit where they go to Australia, but we think that part wasn’t needed.
It wasn’t much of a cliff hanger, because I think that all the books are meant to be completely different anyway, but I am looking forward to the next one, which will probably be out the same time next year, like they all do to leave you hanging.
Have you guys seen The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo yet? Have you read the book? Did you think it did the book justice?