Movies & Books

Starting the list today, 25.04.2019 😉 Warning: this page is full of spoilers.

Movies (11)

Avengers: Endgame (2019)This is the continuation of the Avengers’ battle against Thanos, who succeeded in collecting the Infinity Stones and destroy half of the human population. He then hid himself on a planet he called “the Garden”. When Iron Man and Nebula were rescued by Captain Marvel, the Avengers went to search for Thanos. Thor killed him with his axe. Five years later, the Avengers were still trying to move on from their loss. Ant Man, who was one of those who disintegrated during the Infinity War, was released from the quantum realm and found himself lost in the present world. For him, only five hours went by and not five years. He asked Captain America and Black Widow for help, to go back in time using quantum physics and undo what Thanos had done. The Avengers asked Iron Man for help, but was turned down at first because Tony Stark was already living the family life he dreamed of. But when he discovered how to make the time machine work, Pepper (his wife) convinced him to go. The Avengers then divided their group into three and tried to bring back the infinity stones together in hope to reverse Thanos’ actions and bring the lost lives back. Iron Man, Captain America and Ant Man went to New York City to retrieve three of the stones; Nebula and War Machine went to Morag for the Power Stone; Black Widow and Hawkeye went to Vormir for the Soul Stone; Thor and Rocket went to Asgard for the Aether; and the Hulk convinced the Ancient One to give him the Time Stone. They all succeeded to collect the stones, but Black Widow had to sacrifice herself to retrieve the Soul Stone. Present-Nebula was also captured by Thanos and instructed the past-Nebula to bring him and his subordinates to present Earth and get him the infinity stones. The Hulk put on the infinity stones and brought back all those who lost their lives during the Infinity War, but past-Nebula also managed to bring Thanos and his gang to present time. They destroyed the Avengers’ HQ and a war ensued. All the other Avengers like Spiderman and Black Panther, crossed portals to fight against Thanos and his gang. Gomora also helped present-Nebula to destroy past-Nebula, and they fought with the Avengers against their father Thanos. In the end, Iron Man put on the infinity stones and destroyed Thanos and his gang, but also killed himself in the process. Captain America went back to the past to put the stones back, and returned as an old man who had lived the life he wanted. He gave his shield to the Black Panther. Thor, on the other hand, gave Valkyrie the leadership of Asgard, and joined Quill and the Guardians of the Galaxy.  ♥♥♥♥♥/5.0 Enjoyed the movie w/ the hubby. It was quite long, so it’s important to empty your bladder before starting the film. I was a little bit disappointed with Thor’s transformation from a hunkie to an alcoholic slowed down by his beer belly, although many critics say that it was a way for him to relate to ordinary people. Many social issues were also ‘sort of pushed into the movie’, like the ladies fighting together during the war, Thor handing down the throne to a woman before he joined the Guardians, Captain America giving the shield to the Black Panther, etc. Cool, but a little bit superficial. Lastly, amazing effects! My two cents.. 

Julie & Julia (2009) – A comedy-drama film based on two books: Julia Child’s autobiography, My Life in France, and Julie Powell’s book based on her blog, Julie & Julia: 365 days, 524 recipes, 1 tiny apartment kitchen. This is the first major motion picture based on a blog, The Julie/Julia Project, where Julie (Amy Adams) wrote about her cooking experiences following recipes written by Julia (Meryl Streep) while living in Paris. So the movie was set in two different time frames, in the 1950’s, when Julia moved to Paris with her husband Paul who works in the embassy, and 2000’s, when Julie made the blog. Julie noticed the similarities between her life and Julia’s: they both worked for the government, moved with their husbands, felt lost, and got saved by the joy of cooking and eating. In the end, both became successful and published their books. Although it was mentioned that during an interview for her 90th birthday, Julia expressed dislike over the blog. Julie felt upset, but was encouraged by her husband, Eric, to ignore the comment because Julia probably did not understand what Julie was doing. In the end, Julie was seen taking photos with Julia’s portrait in a museum/gallery dedicated to her. Julie also left a box of butter under the photo frame. The final scene showed Julia and Paul on the dinner table, with Julia opening the packet that contained the first published copy of her book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking♥♥♥♥♥/5.0 Love Meryl Streep, ever since Mama Mia! She was incredibly tall in the movie, thanks to the high heels she had to put on. The film makes me want to start a cooking blog, but I have so many things going on in my life right now. This travel blog is not even updated 😉 Ja vel..

Medicinen (2014) – A Swedish comedy-drama film about  45-year old Johanna who was experiencing middle life crisis. She works for Dolce Vita (the sweet life in Italian) magazine. Divorced with two kids, she was being bullied by her boss and reprimanded by her ex-husband, who went for a younger woman, Nicole. No one knew why she put up with the low-paying job and the superficial friends in the workplace. But then, she received an invitation to write a travel article about Menorca, all expense paid. She told her two kids about it, and they were all excited to travel abroad, since they couldn’t really afford such trips. However, the boss insisted that the invitation was meant for the company and not for Johanna, and turned over the job to Louise, a colleague whose husband was cheating on her with a younger colleague named Trude. Hopeless, Johanna promised her children that she would find money to travel, and so she agreed to be a guinea pig to an experiment for medicine against herpes. After taking the first pill, her life began to turn around. She went for a new hairdo, went out on dates (even tried sex with another woman), and became fearless and fierce at work, that even the boss Iris saw her competence and favored her ideas. She even gathered the courage to ask Erik, the only guy in the workplace, out and started a relationship with him. Johanna also found out about Lasse’s cheating on Louise and bribed him into lending her 15,000 sek, and with that money, she took her kids to Menorca. While there, Iris called her and asked her to write an article about the travel, in exchange for a refund for her travel expenses. Later on, Johanna found out that she was among the reference group who received placebo pills. Deciding on how to continue her life, she quit her job, returned the money to Lasse and told Louise the truth about her husband, and continued her relationship with Erik. ♥♥/5.0 Lame movie. Very predictable. I love the Swedish accent, so I just had to finish the movie. 

Miss Congeniality (2000) – An action comedy film starring Sandra Bullocks (Grace Hart/Gracie Lou Freebush). Grace was a smart woman who works as an undercover agent for the FBI. After figuring out a secret message about a planned bombing, the agency decided to do an undercover mission to stop the tragedy from happening. Grace pretended to be one of the Miss USA’s candidates, aiming to find out who the real criminal was. However, the agency caught the criminal and pulled out the team from the mission. Grace, after befriending the candidates, chose to stay, believing that the real criminal was the head of the pageant, a former beauty queen who won by bad means with her son as an accomplice. She just had to save the girls. Eric, the leader of the mission found out that the head of the pageant was suspiciously clear of any criminal charges, and that her assistant was her son. So he disobeyed the order to pull out and came back to the rescue. Later on, Grace figured out that the bomb was planted in the tiara, so when her friend Cheryl got crowned, she immediately took the tiara and threw it away before it exploded. In the end, Grace was awarded Miss Congeniality, in addition to being first runner up in the competition. The bad people got caught, and Erik and Grace received praise. ♥♥♥♥/5.0 Love Sandra Bullock’s quirky side! 

My Bestfriend’s Wedding (1997) – A romantic comedy film starring Julia Roberts (Jules) and Cameron Diaz (Kimmy), two of my favorite actresses during my teenage years. Jules’ bestfriend, Michael, invited her to his wedding with Kimmy, a senior university student from a billionaire family. Jules and Michael have known each other for a very long time, and traveled together for nine years, but they never used the word ‘love’ in their relationship. They, however, promised to marry each other if they were to be single at 28. So Jules felt devastated when she heard about the wedding, and became determined to break it and steal her bestfriend. It was tough though, because Kimmy, although flawed, was endearing and charming. She was even willing to sacrifice her career to travel with Michael for his job. Jules did her best to be the antagonist, to the point of having Michael lose his job and calling off the wedding. Following her gay friend, George’s, advice, she told Michael she loved him but was scared to admit it, and kissed him. Unfortunately, Kimmy saw them. Kimmy drove off, Michael followed her, and Jules followed Michael. Jules called George for advice, and he asked her ‘who’s following who’, and so, Jules realized that no one was actually following her and that she had to give up the chase. In the end, Kimmy and Michael got married and Jules gave them their ‘song’. ♥♥♥♥♥/5.0 Starring two of my favorite actresses during my teenage years! Romcom is seriously better before, with the ‘kilig’ scenes and the music and singing…

Notting Hill (1999) – A romantic comedy film set in London, starring Julia Roberts (Anna Scott) and Hugh Grant (William Thacker). I seriously love the last lines in the movie. Anna was a famous American actress who went to London for a movie launch, while William was an English guy who was divorced and living with a weird flatmate. He was running a small travel bookstore, where he met Anna one day. He bumped into her again and spilt coffee on her dress, which led him to inviting her to his house to change. Anna kissed him before she took off, leading William on. They continued seeing each other, even went to William’s little sister’s birthday together, until Anna’s boyfriend unexpectedly showed up in her hotel. They had to stop seeing each other. Then, explicit photos of Anna spread and she had to hide from everything, so she went to William and asked if she could stay there. One thing led to another, until William’s flatmate slipped and told some people in the bar that Anna was staying with them. The papparazi flocked outside William’s house the very next day, to Anna’s utter disappointment. Six months later, Anna went back to London to shoot another film. William came to see her, but heard during the shoot that Anna dismissed him, but it was unintentional. Anna went to the bookstore to apologize, and told him that she was also “just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her”. William pointed out their differences and turned her down, but after talking to his friends, he realized that he made a mistake. So they rushed to Anna’s final interview before flying back to the US. Anna told the press that she was not intending to stay another day in London and that she was no longer connected to her ex-bf and that she and William were just friends. William, now a member of the press crowd, asked her to reconsider, and Anna agreed. She was then asked again how long she was intending to stay in London, and she replied, “Indefinitely”. In the end, the two got married. ♥♥♥♥♥/5.0 Kilig to the bones! The lines “I’m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her’ got stuck in my brain since the first time I saw this movie. Should have visited Nottinghill when we were in London ❤

Same Kind of Different as Me (2017) – A drama film based on a book published in 2006 with the same title and written by Ron Hall, Denver Moore and Lynn Vincent. It shows two life situations – that of being homeless, and that of living in a huge mansion. Ron, an art dealer in Texas, cheated on his loving wife, Debbie. Debbie forgave him, and gave him a choice – to go away or to choose her. Ron chose her, and they tried to bring back the love they had for 19 years, also for their two teenage kids’ sake. Debbie sort of forced Ron to join her to a volunteer feeding program for homeless people living on the other end of the tunnel. There, they met notorious criminals, including Denver aka Suicide, a black man who commited serious crimes because of poverty. His grandmother who raised him and his cousin Chook, died on a fire accident. They lived with their uncle, who was a God-fearing man, and worked in a cotton field. Later on, Denver escaped and took the train to the city. There, he tried to rob a bus, got caught and sent to the worse jail for 10 years. He had to be invincible to survive the prison. The couple succeeded in making friends with Denver, although Denver didn’t want to be friends with the white people because of horrible experiences in the past. He talked of a metaphor amongst the white people – that they catch and release fish.. for fun. Meanwhile, his people catch fish, show it off to the community proudly, and share it with everyone. He wondered whether the couple would ‘release’ him as well after the ‘fun’. He was proven wrong, as the friendship went stronger. He even went with them to family dinners, and helped Ron reconcile with his father. Unfortunately, Debbie got sick with cancer and died. In the end, Denver gave a touching eulogy for her, saying that homeless people and people living in mansions are BOTH homeless in fact, and that they find their way home when they die, i.e., in Heaven. And so was Debbie, Home.  ♥♥♥/5.0 Lovely Christian movie full of nice quotes and metaphor. I particularly liked the metaphor about the white men catching and releasing fish for fun, compared with how they catch and release people. Applicable to anyone, actually. I just wish it is still as easy to trust people nowadays as it was before. 

The Beguiled (2017) – Based on a novel of the same title, the story was set in Virginia, USA during the Civil War in 1864. Martha runs an all-girls school, but only five students and one teacher remained when the war broke out. Amy, one of the pupils, found Corporal John, a Yankee soldier, wounded and desperate for help. The women helped the man and decided against reporting him. John, however, became beguiled by the girls, or the other way around, and flirted with one of the students while making a mutual understanding with Teacher Edwina. When the poor teacher found out, she accidentally pushed him down the stairs. Martha decided to cut off the soldier’s leg because it was badly infected and deformed by the fall. When John woke up, he went hysterical for missing his leg. He stole Martha’s gun and threatened the girls to do his bidding. Edwina tried to calm him down by sleeping with him, while the girls thought of a plan to get rid of him, i.e., making him supper and poisoning the mushroom dish the soldier liked so much. Without suspicion, the soldier ate the mushrooms and died. ♥♥♥/5.0 A movie with just the right amount of thrill.. Not too much, not too little – just o.k. I didn’t have to hide under the sheets. It was just.. crazy how the girls turned to be so flirtatious when the soldier stayed with them. I thought it was a school for mentally challenged girls. But seriously, the soldier shouldn’t have taken advantage and flirted with all the girls. It was like a ‘curiosity kills the cat’- turn of events.

The Princess Bride (1987) – A romantic comedy fantasy adventure film. A sick boy was visited by his grandfather, who brought with him an old story book called The Princess Bride. The boy didn’t want to hear the story at first because of the “kissing” part, but liked it later on. The story was about a peasant named Buttercup who fell in love with a farmboy called Westley. However, the young man didn’t have money to support her, so he went away to search for good fortune. Sadly, he ended up “dead” by the Dread Pirate Roberts. Buttercup promised not to fall in love again. But five years later, she was engaged to Prince Humperdinck, who plotted to marry a peasant to use her and murder her to start a war against the neighboring country of Guilder. Before the wedding, Buttercup was kidnapped by three outlaws – the witty Vizzini, the giant Fezzik and the fencing master Inigo Montoya. Inigo was also searching for a six-fingered man who killed his father. On their way to the Cliffs of Insanity, where they planned to kill Buttercup, a masked man followed them and saved Buttercup. The man turned out to be Westley, who was now known as the Dread Pirate Roberts. He told Buttercup that the Dread Pirate Roberts handed down the title to another man when he retired, and the next man handed it down to another, and so on, until it was handed down to Westley. The two ran towards the Fire Swamp infested with giant rodents to escape the Prince, but was later on got caught. Buttercup went with the Prince, if he promised not to hurt Westley, but the Prince was a liar. He sent Westley to the Pit of Despair to get tortured, and went on with his plan. When Buttercup and the Prince argued about the wedding, Humperdinck murdered Westley on the torture machine. Meanwhile, the giant Fezzik and Inigo found each other again, and looked for Westley so he could help them avenge Inigo’s father. They took the dead Westley to Miracle Max, a folk healer, who managed to revive Westley from death, but it took time to get rid of the paralysis. At the castle, Inigo met with the six-fingered man and avenged his father. Westley also found Buttercup, who was about to commit suicide. Westley and Humperdinck dueled. In the end, Westley, Buttercup, Fezzik and Inigo escaped the castle, and lived happily ever after. The sick boy then asked his grandfather to visit him again and to read the same story again. ♥♥/5.0 I have no idea how my hubby made me watch the movie. Apparently, it was one of the best when it was released in the late 1980s, but later on, it became a joke (sorry, it was a joke). It was even included in lists of the top funniest movies of the 80s. It’s very sexist, just to warn you.. For instance, the princess bride did nothing while Westley was being attacked by the giant rodent, as in, she just stood there and sighed. She was all waiting to be saved – typical damsel in distress. Well, I guess it was indeed funny. Silly movie…  

The Way Back (2010) – The story was inspired by a memoir, The Long Walk (1956), written by a Polish prisoner of war. Set during WWII in 1941, Poland was occupied by Nazi Germany in the West and by communist Russia in the East. A young man named Janusz was accused of spionage, and his wife was tortured in order to serve as witness to her husband’s “crime”. Forced to work in a mine, Janusz met several inmates, and together, they escaped the prison ground during a snowstorm. They were seven at first – Janusz, Mr. Smith (an American engineer who lost his son to the Russian soldiers), Valka (a Russian gambler who had a knife named “Wolf”), Zoran (a Yoguslavian accountant and joker), Tomasz (a Polish pastry chef and aspiring artist), Andrejs (a Latvian priest) and Kazik (a Polish man with night blindness). They headed south towards Lake Baikal to escape Communist Russia. Kazik lost his way one night while gathering firewood and froze to death. The rest of them continued the journey and successfully reached the lake, and there, they met Irena (a Polish girl whose communist parents were killed by Russian soldiers). They didn’t want to take her with them at first because they thought she would slow them down and share with the little food they had, but let her anyway in the end. When they reached the border to Mongolia, Valka decided to stay. The group then reached Ulan Bator, but saw that the country was also under Communism, so they decided to continue across the Gobi Desert and the Himalayas, and on to British India. On the journey, they lost Irena and Tomasz to extreme hunger and unfortunate weather. When they reached the foot of the Himalayas, they were rescued by a Tibetan monk, who convinced them to stay and let the snowstorm pass first before going to India. But they were motivated to finish the journey, so they set off across the Himalayas, without Mr. Smith though, who decided to get smuggled to China in hope of being reunited with the US Army there. 4000 miles and the three finally reached India, where they waited til the war was over. In the end, Janusz went back to his wife, who was pleased to see him. ♥♥♥♥♥/5.0 Thrilling and sad and disappointing and happy and hopeful.. Very nice movie. 

Viceroy’s House (2017) – A historical fiction film based on the books Freedom at Midnight and The Shadow of the Great Game: The Untold Story of India’s Partition. Set in 1947, the story revolves around the Mountbatten family and two lovers – Aalia (Muslim) and Jeet (Hindu).  Mountbatten of Burma was appointed as the last Viceroy in India and was tasked to pave the path towards India’s independence from Great Britain. Aalia and Jeet were servants to the British family, and rekindled their affection towards each other when they met in the House again. Jeet was a soldier who helped Aalia’s father, who was imprisoned and lost his sight while in jail. They tried to make their love known, but failed, because Aalia was already promised to a Muslim man. Meanwhile, Mountbatten seemed to have been framed, pushing for the partition of India and Pakistan, despite Gandhi’s disapproval. Gandhi said that religion does not bring peace, but destruction (something like that). But the Muslims had been raiding Punjab and other parts of India, forcing Mountbatten to decide immediately. It turned out that the partition was actually already planned the year before by another Viceroy, but it was unclaimed, and now Mountbatten had to take the consequences of the decision, since they have named it as “the Mountbatten plan”. When it was done, a massive migration ensued – Muslims moving to East and West Pakistan and Hindus and sikhs to India. Aaliah decided to take the train to Pakistan with his father, leaving Jeet heartbroken. Later on, Jeet found out that his entire family was either killed or driven away in a Muslim raid, and that the train Aalia and his father took was bombed. He and the Mountbatten family chose to stay and help the poor people during the migration, tending to the sick and giving out food and water. In the end, Aalia survived the train attack and was brought to the camp by an old woman. She managed to stop Jeet from leaving with the soldiers, and they were reunited. Thank goodness! ♥♥♥♥/5.0 Nice film, with insights as to how India became independent. I didn’t know that Pakistan was a part of India before. And it was super nice that the two lovers got reunited in the end. Saves a heartache.