Movie review: Unbroken

Movie reviews

Hi!
On Monday, I went to the cinema to watch Angelina Jolie’s Unbroken. I have seen several films depicting World War II events from different angles (Schindler’s list, Fury, Inglorious Basterds, Pearl Harbor, Forest of Gods and The Imitation Game) and now Unbroken joins this list.

In short I would describe the film as a mixture of Life of Pi and Fury with a pinch of Forest of Gods and topped of with Edge of Tomorrow.

Unbroken isn’t Angelina’s directorial debut – it’s her 2nd time being behind the camera. The film tells a story of Louis Zamperini – an Olympic athlete who spent the 2nd World War in a prisoner of war camp in Japan after surviving 47 days of a raft in the middle of the ocean. It’s based on a book by Laura Hillenbrand as well as real life events. Sadly, the real Louis Zamperini died in spring of 2014 and didn’t get to see his life on the big screen.

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Acting

Louis Zamperini is portrayed by Jack O’Connell – a British actor who is best known for his work on the TV show Skins. I liked his performance, it was so-so at the beginning of the movie but in the end, when Jack really got into the character, it was just amazing. The emotional dual between him and the Bird truly showed his talent and made me enjoy the scene which was actually horrible and heartbreaking but inspiring at the same time. I would love to see more of his work.

Speaking about the Bird – a Japanese general who tortured Louis both mentally and physically – he was played by a Japanese singer Miyavi. The character seemed a bit cartoon-y to me – almost like a stupid school bully. Nonetheless, I hated the character almost as much as Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa in the Inglorious Basterds, so Miyavi did a great job as a villain.

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Other cast members included : Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Finn Wittrock, Jai Courtney, Luke Treadaway, Jordan Patrick Smith and many others. As you can already tell, this is an all male cast type of movie. I don’t have any problems with that because there were no women at war. However, I do have a problem with the fact that I can’t remember anything about the characters that these actors played with the exceptions of Jack O’Connel and Miyavi. They didn’t develop them well enough and didn’t make me care about them or even remember them at all.

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Visuals and Directing

The movie is beautifully shot and I really liked Angelina’s work as a director. The scenes in the water were cool but sometimes cheesy while prisoner of war camp was portrayed realistically.

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Sport

Louis Zamperini was an Olympic runner and for me as an athlete, the part which told us about his athletic career was the most interesting. I also loved the fact that they didn’t diminish the importance of sport in Louis Zamperini’s life. If he hadn’t been an athlete and hadn’t trained as hard as he did, he probably wouldn’t have survived the war. I loved the clip of the real Louis running with the Olympic torch in 1998 Winter Olympics in Japan.

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Religion

Louis Zamperini also was a religious person, who found God when he needed him the most. Religion’s theme was mentioned in the film but didn’t explored deeply enough. The end of the film was really touching and made me tear up. It showed the importance of forgiveness – sometimes it’s better to turn the other cheek than to raise a fist.

Criticisms

Unbroken received mixed reviews from the critics and was shut down from the award’s season. Overall, I liked the film, though, a few scenes were really unbelievable and took me out of the movie. For example, their fight with a shark – you can’t catch a shark with your bare hands. The pacing had a few problems, but I would still recommend to watch this movie if you are a sport’s fan and interested in history.

Rate 4/5

Trailer: Unbroken trailer

Photos: Screenshots form the trailer.

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Sport: Running for Kaunas

Sports

Hello!

There hasn’t been a post in my blog about sport and active life for a while, but today, I’ve participated in 3rd annual “Bek uz Kauna” marathon (Marathon “Run For Kaunas”). It was my second time running this specific marathon. Around 1500 professional athletes and amateur runners chose 10 km or 5 km distance and were running in the city center.

Web page of the run: Run for Kaunas. Place of the run: Laisves aleja (Liberty avenue). The main sponsor: Fazer company

The weather was perfect for running, the sun was shining and there was no wind at all. I was a bit unprepared for this run, lately, I have been running only 2-3 times a week and, more importantly, I have been getting cramps in my right foot. By the time I had finished my 5 km distance, my foot had already started to cramp, so I was happy that I didn’t choose a longer distance.

All the participants received a commemorative medal and a gift from the sponsor company (various kinds of breads).

I am planning to participate in the PINK run for breast cancer awareness at the end of October. I hope my cramping foot will let me do that. Have a nice week!

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Movie review: Gone Girl + book

Movie reviews

Hello!

Last night, I went to the early screening of Gone Girl, so this is a spoiler warning, because I am going to review this highly anticipated book-turned-movie thriller.

Summary: With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent. (IMDb)

Book + Changes

I have started reading the book by Gillian Flynn when I had 5 days left till the premiere, so I was on a tight schedule. I really loved the first half of the book, but when the big secret was revealed I was kind of skeptical that this was the big plot twist. It was hard to root for Amy when you’ve found out her mental state but I, as a woman, couldn’t be on Nick’s side as well because he was a cheat.
The ending was really weird. They resolved some stuff out and they were still dragging the story out and then it just suddenly ended. What is more, by the end of the book, probably all the readers were on a Team Nick and he did not get a happy ending. I was really happy when the producers decided to create a whole new ending and the third act. Moreover, the author of the book was the one creating the new material, so this was still her imagination and not some screenwriter altering the original material.  In addition, the new ending meant that all the book readers hadn’t spoiled the movie for themselves.

Note: I wrote that part of the review before going to see that movie, so my comment after watching it: they didn’t change a dam thing. I was hoping that there will be a big, grand change but the story played out the same way it did in the book. Of course, there were a few minor changes but that always happens when you are adapting a book to the big screen. For example, in the book we have read what were they thinking after the reunion .In the movie, we are only guessing what is on their minds from their expressions and their actions. I was a bit disappointed that everything everyone was talking about were these big changes and there weren’t any of them.

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Acting

I believe that Ben Affleck was great choice for the role of Nick – the husband. I have firstly acquainted with Ben as an actor in one of the reruns of Armageddon when I was about 8 or 9. After that, I watched him in Daredevil and Oscar winning Argo (I loved Argo – one of my favorite movies ever) and recently, I got around watching – Gone Baby Gone – a directorial debut of Affleck that has almost the same premise as Gone Girl and even a similar name. In the 2007’s Gone Baby Gone a girl goes missing and in this year’s Gone Girl – a grown women. I still need to check him out in Pearl Harbor – I have heard so much about this movie and I can’t believe that I still haven’t watched it. Shame on me.

As much as I knew about Ben Affleck, I was totally in the dark when it came to Rosamund Pike. I haven’t seen any of her movies (or maybe I have and I just don’t remember her which actually is a bad thing for actors). Nonetheless, I enjoyed her performance; she was a believable (SPOILER) psychopath.

Speaking about the supporting cast, Neil Patrick Harris was, of course, the main scene stealer. He is always perfect in every role and this one was not an exception.  And that SPOILER bed scene – that was one of the most powerfully gross scene I have ever seen. The whole cinema was open-mouthed by the time it ended.

Emily Ratajkowski (Blurred Lines music video girl) played Nick’s mistress Andie, she was quite good too, and her role wasn’t that hard but still props to her for trying to move from her image in Blurred Lines. Then again, this time her boobs also played an important role.

The character I didn’t like in the books but really loved in the movie was detective Rhonda Boney played by Kim Dickens. I really enjoyed her performance and was rooting for Rhonda in the investigation. Tyler Perry was nice Tanner Bolt even thought I imagined him in a completely different way when I was reading the book. Carrie Coon also did a good job as Margo – I loved how she almost always stayed on Nick’s side.

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Directing

The movie is directed by David Fincher who is best known for directing The Girl with the dragon tattoo, The Social Network and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s short story).  As a long time Facebook user (My name is Lue, and I am an addict), I adored The Social Network and loved seeing Jessie Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake in one movie (too much eye candy).  I was never a fan of The Girl with the dragon tattoo book series, maybe because I was too young when I tried to read them. Furthermore, the critics and the general public weren’t really interested in the movie adaptation so it sort of slipped from my “to watch” list. I have read The Curious Case by Fitzgerald and I want to watch the movie but haven’t found time yet.

In Gone Girl, I really loved Fincher’s attention to details. He really made me believe in these characters and the story. Of course, he has to share these praises with both Gillian Flynn for creating this strong material and great actors who brought these powerful characters to life.

Themes

Both the movie and the book explore the problems of the family. They show how parent’s problems affect their children. They portray what happens when parents raise their child as a god: the kid doesn’t want to let his/hers parents down, she/he becomes a perfectionist. However, at the same time he/she might turn into a spoiled brat. The conclusion: raise you kids in a right way (but god knows what the right way is). The second big theme was a relationship between a husband and a wife and domestic abuse. Nick and Amy’s relationship was toxic and addictive: they could not live together normally, but they couldn’t exist separately as well. Relationships are hard and if you want your relationship to succeed both sides have to work together. Lastly, I loved how they portrayed the importance of media in contemporary world. If society loves you, you are innocent. If they hate you, you are screwed.

All in all, I liked the book, I liked the movie. I wish they would have given us an alternative ending but I am still quite satisfied with what I got. I wouldn’t be surprised if the movie received an Oscar nominations for best adapted screenplay and acting.

Trailer: Gone Girl trailer

Rate: 4.5/5

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Photos: Google Images

Movie review: Boyhood

Movie reviews

Hello!

Since it is officially an Oscar season, let’s review one of the most definite contenders – Boyhood.

Boyhood is a coming of age drama directed and written by Richard Linklater. The movie follows one boy’s life through period of 12 years (from 6 to 18) and it actually took 12 years to make this movie because the director didn’t want to cast different actors for the same character in different ages. So, he enlisted Ellar Coltrane to play the main character Mason Jr., Ethan Hawke to play his father Mason Sr., Patricia Arquette to play his mother Olivia and his own daughter Lorelei Linklater to play the sister of Mason Jr. – Samantha – and followed them for more than a decade.

I really enjoyed Ethan Hawke’s performance, he portrayed a divorced parent perfectly and not just in a bad way. He showed that divorced dads are usually doing the best they can even if it doesn’t work out.

The mother’s character was super annoying to me; I have no idea why she wanted kids in a first place. I guess to give her some higher purpose? Also, she has a terrible taste in man, just saying.

The sister’s character was okay, she didn’t stick out much for me. I also believe that Ellar Coltrane who played the main character could have done a better job. I didn’t like his performance until he was about 12 years old, since that age his acting got much better.

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The movie pretty much dealt with only family issues but there were a lot of them: divorce, abuse in a family, parent’s alcoholism, and child/parent relationship.

It is an amazing experience to see a movie that took such a long time to make; it is a truly unique piece of art. There hasn’t been anything like this before, this was an original experiment and I have to say – a lucky one.  I also loved how they included all the pop culture references and political stuff too.

All in all, the movie was kinda slow, nothing really happened and it was super long (like 3 hours) but I enjoyed seeing this kid grow up before my eyes and as a teenager myself I could relate to some stuff.

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ys-mbHXyWX4

Rate 3.5/5

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Photos: Google Images

Nails: TFIOS design

Beauty&Fashion

Hello!
The hottest thing right now in pop culture is the movie The Fault In Our Stars. As I am a huge fan of this story (John Green is a genius for writing such an exquisite book), I have decided to try my hand at nail art inspired by TFIOS..
This is a super simple, minimalistic design for those who don’t have any tools for nails and don’t want to spend a lot of time on them. Shall we begin?

First of all you will need a blue nail polish. Try to find yourself a blue color that resembles the color of TFIOS book cover. I used Maybelline New York nail polish COLORAMA in 651. Then get yourself a few toothpicks for painting. The last thing – black and white nail polish. Mine are both form a brand called Buk. I think they are only sold where I live. For finishing touches you will need a topcoat and some nail polish remover to clean around your nails if you are as messy as me.

Instructions:
1.Paint all you nails with blue color. Let them dry completely – this is important because when you try to paint something on them, you will just smudge everything into one color if their are not dry.
2. Pick a nail you will paint your cloud symbols on. I chose my left hand’s index finger.
3. Start by slowly painting the outline of the white cloud at the bottom of you nail with a toothpick. When you feel happy with the outline, color the inside of it and let it dry.
4. Get another clean toothpick a paint a black outline of the cloud at the top of your nail. Remember: the clouds have to touch (the black one is slightly covering the top of the white one).
5. Let the clouds dry completely and put on a topcoat.
6. The next thing you might do is pick another finger: I chose my right hand’s thumb. Here I painted a little question mark to resemble the Okay? question. If you want to do that, paint it by using a toothpick and a black polish. Let it dry completely and put on a topcoat.
7. This is where I stopped, because I like to have some nails that are plain, just colored with one color. But you don’t have to follow me. If you are more advanced than I am in nail art, I suggest you paint more clouds with Okay? Okay. written on them or a cigarette to recall Gus metaphor, an infinity sign, TFIOS abbreviation or something else that reminds you of the beautiful story of Hazel and Augustus. When, don’t forget to paint a layer of topcoat and by using an ear pick clean the outsides of you nail. The product is finished:)

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I hope you liked this kinda different post about nails. I hope it has been helpful. Bye:)

Swimming marathon: Šveicarija (Switzerland) 2014

Sports

Hello everybody!!

As I have previously mentioned, I am a swimmer. And summer for swimmers means only one thing – open-water swims/championships/competitions. Yesterday (June 22nd) was first of them this year.

To begin with, I would like to clear some things out. In the the title of the post you can see that this swimming marathon is called Switzerland 2014. Switzerland is a name of the country in Europe, but it is also the name of a little village in my country – Lithuania. Near this village there are other villages called London and Paris. This is the map of my country and the red dot is that village with a name of a famous country.

Some facts about the marathon:
Distance: 1.5 km
Water temperature: 17C or 62.6F
Outside temperature: 13C or 55.4F
This was a 5th annual marathon (I have swam in all of them).

So, as you can see the water was warmer than the air. The conditions for swimming were terrible, I have got super cold after first 500 meters, my muscles became tense and it even seemed like my heart stopped beating or slowed down. However, after I finished the distance I felt amazingly, like I have accomplished something great. I live for the feelings like that. This marathon was not as cold as the one 5 years ago. In 2010 the temperature of the water was 14C or 57.2F.

The next marathon will be held on July 6th in my city – Kaunas.

Bellow you will find the photo of the lake we were swimming in and a picture of the medal I won. (I was second in my age group).

Sightseeing: Prienai, Lithuania – Family day celebration

Sightseeing

Good morning/day/evening my dear readers!

Today I prepared a very short (text wise) post with a lot of photos from my previous trip around Lithuania, my country.
On the last day of spring, me and my family and my godmother’s family went to Prienai: a really tiny resort city in the south/central part of Lithuania. This town is famous for its newly built harmony park ( it’s website http://www.harmonypark.lt/en/news/ ). For a second year in a row, the park held it’s now annual family day celebration. There was a concert with a couple Lithuanian music stars as well as traditional musicians with Lithuanian cultural heritage: country songs and dances, free games for kids, food and souvenir shops. The activity I enjoyed the most was an opportunity to watch a horse-jumping competition. It was super interesting, so I spend around 2.5 hours by a hippodrome.
Overall, I would state that this celebration was a perfect way to spend my Saturday. I got to spend time with my family and relatives, enjoyed beautiful nature and did something interesting all at once. But enough of that, see it for yourself:

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Movie reviews: Old ones + BONUS Godzilla 2014

Movie reviews

Hello everybody!

Sorry for not writing for so long. The reason for that is simple – I hadn’t had anything interesting to write about. But now you are in for a real treat: 3 movie reviews.

I will start with a new one: Godzilla 2014. You might wonder why I am not doing a separate, big review of a newly released motion picture like I usually do. The answer for that is straightforward: I do not know how to feel about this movie. Don’t get me wrong – it is a good movie but I just wasn’t blown away by it. This might be because I saw it really late in the evening and practically napped through the last 20 minutes. So this could mean that the movie wasn’t interesting enough to keep me awake. Or I might have just been too tired. Anyway, there were a lot of great scenes and plot-lines, which I really enjoyed. First of all, I was really digging the design of Godzilla: it was true Godzilla as we know it. However, (SPOILER ALERT) I didn’t really like MUTOs design: they looked fake to me, too geometrical. The character I loved the most was Dr. Ishiro Serizawa played by Ken Watanabe. I enjoyed seeing a scientific side of these monsters. The last thing that brought delight to me was the fact that Godzilla was portrayed not as a monster but as a nature’s warrior and bringer of balance. Overall, I would rate this movie 4/5. It wasn’t as good as Pacific Rim. That is the best monster movie I ever did see. Pacific Rim also is so much better that any Transformers installment, just because it is more realistic.

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And now, as I have promised, further down you will find two more short reviews of older movies which I have seen in the last few months at home. Enjoy!

The Bling Ring – this movie shows how messed up our society is. We are obsessed with celebrities, with material things; we want to be rich and famous. Because of all this outside “bling” and sparkle we forget what is inside. We can’t remember what the true value of life is. The movie shows how a group of teenagers were robbing rich people house and practically getting away with it. By robbing celebrities, they became well-know. It was like an easy way to fame. The movie also addresses the fake friendship issue, which is also very important these days. People like to use each other for their own good. This film makes you think about the way you live and what your goals in life are. Do we really need to have a lot of money, a huge house or an expensive car to be happy? What is happiness? How can we achieve happiness without bringing bad things to other people? These are the real life question and if you found an answer to them, you had achieved happiness. Rate 4.5/5

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The Way Way Back – this was one of those movies which you can’t really understand while watching but can’t turn off either. It tells a story of 14 years old boy named Duncan who encounters a lot of family problems: his mom does not take care of him, his dad does not want him and his mom’s boyfriend abuses him emotionally. The only place he can find happiness is Water Park, where he befriends a jokester named Owen. The movie teaches us that you have to take a stand for yourself even if you are afraid. You have to surround yourself with people who are good to you, who you can trust and eliminate those, who wish you misfortune. Rate 5/5

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Captain America 1&2

Movie reviews

So recently, I started to get into superhero – comic book type movies. Right now I am watching all the Marvel universe ones and then I am going to move on to D.C. ones.

I have seen the first film (Captain America: The First Avenger) couple of months ago so I don’t remember all the details. However, I really enjoyed the fact that they connected this fantasy superhero story-line with true events a.k.a World War II.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier The script and writing for this movie were really good. I loved overall story-line and character development. I also enjoyed the fact that there was this really great connection between the 1st and 2nd movies; it gave a strong feeling of continuity. This was truly a sequel to a first movie and not just another action film with the same main character. I also loved the fact that, despite this being a fantasy movie, they showed a real life problem -massive governments control over all military equipment and misuse of personal information.

I also really enjoyed all the bromances: The new one between Steve and Sam was so nice. In my opinion, Sam is a great trustworthy friend that will always have Steve’s back. The closing shot practically gave away the fact that we are going to see this bromance continued to a 3rd film. “On your left” Another friendship that I really enjoyed was between Captain America and Winter Soldier/Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes. I loved the way they brought back the character of Bucky and once again showed us that Captain America fights for people and for his friends even if they are against him. “Cause I am with you till the end of a line”.
The pairing of Captain America and Black Widow was also fun and fresh.

The Shield and Hydra plot line was also very interesting and exciting. It showed us that we always need to be careful because the evil might lurk in the unexpected places. Speaking about the opening shot of the movie, did you know that Captain’s “to do” list is different in the all the countries movie is screened? The last 5 items are the same but first 5 are different. It is a nice detail and shout out to all the different countries. You can read all the different versions here: http://sploid.gizmodo.com/captain-americas-to-do-list-is-different-depending-on-1562463536

The Captain America 3 is planned to be released on May 6, 2016. My favorite video reviews: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8j-hFXaNkE https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BicG3dDbbDA

UPDATE: Cap’s 3rd movie will be based on Civil War storyline and Robert Downey Jr. will join the cast as Iron Man.

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Bicycle marathon

Sports

Hello my dear readers!

Sorry for not writing for so log. I was quite busy with school and preparations for prom/senior formal.

Today I am going to tell you about a bicycle marathon which I participated in last weekend. It was my second time competing in this type of competition. I chose the distance of 15.8 km. Other options there 47 km or 103 km.I was definitely not prepared for that much of cycling. In the end, I was very pleased with my result because I haven’t trained much. I’ve got 4th place and did my best time (last year I’ve got 2nd). My friend also participated with me and she got a 3rd place. (I will beat her next year 🙂

The weather was perfect for outdoor competition – chilly but not too cold. However, the wind was really strong and you had to cycle up the mountain against the blowing wind – so that was pretty hard .

Bellow you will find some photos from the event. Next sport post will be either about my swimming competition in Berlin at the begging of June or running marathon on June 15th.

Have a nice weekend and bye:)

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