5 ideas about a movie: Midnight Sun

Movie reviews

Hello!

Welcome to a review of another YA movie. This time around, it’s Midnight Sun.

IMDb summary: A 17-year-old girl suffers from a condition that prevents her from being out in the sunlight.

  1. Midnight Sun was written by Eric Kirsten and directed by Scott Speer (whose previous teen dramedy – Status Update – came out only around a month ago). It’s actually a remake of a Japanese film Song to the Sun. Yes, foreign YA movies are joining foreign actioners and thrillers as the second genre that Hollywood loves to reboot. In general, I have noticed that my enjoyment of teen/YA pictures depends as much on their quality as on my personal psychological state when watching them. My state was neutral today, so the movie seemed okay too. I definitely rolled my eyes as many times as I genuinely smiled.
  2. Thematically, this movie was similar to Everything Everything in that both of them had a sick girl in the lead. However, while that movie had a twist that led to a happy ending, Midnight Sun had a ballsier ending closer to that of Me Before You. I swear I watch too many movies cause my reviews are literally just me commenting on movies using other films. Anyways, there were a lot of things to love in the script of this film. The portrayal of teenage life was accurate, while the girl’s awkwardness when talking to her crush – incredibly relatable. It was also awesome to see such an open and loving father-daughter relationship on screen. The ultimate message to live life was either cheesy, inspirational or both.
  3. My two main dislikes in the writing were the fact that the girl’s choice not to tell her boyfriend that she was sick seemed like a cheap trick to build conflict rather than a profound and important decision. Similarly, on the character development front, the movie didn’t practice what it preached. The film’s message was that people shouldn’t be defined by one thing, like a sickness or a sport. However, the movie kinda went against that message because it didn’t give its characters much more than just that one defining feature. The main girl got a dead mom and a passion for music so that’s something, but the guy was just a swimmer. Basically, one more rewrite of the script to flesh out these details might have been beneficial.
  4. Bella Thorne played the lead girl in the film and did a good job. I found her dramatic performance quite believable. She also did a good job with the signing even though I don’t think that her voice is that good. Charlie’s Song was a really a lovely pop track. Rob Riggle was also really great as the father. He had one excellent speech that he nailed.
  5. Patrick Schwarzenegger, the son of Arnold Schwarzenegger played the romantic lead and was also fine. The fact that his character was a swimmer made the movie 10 times more enjoyable for me, as a someone who hasn’t left the pool since she was 7 (that’s 14 years in the water). Though, I did chuckle seeing him swimming in those couple of scenes. Not only wouldn’t he get into Berkeley with that, I don’t think a Division III school would even accept him. But, I guess, that’s just a personal gripe – the same one that, for example, actual doctors have when watching the cinematic versions of medical procedures.

In short, Midnight Sun was a perfectly fine YA drama. I have been watching quite a few of those lately and this one was certainly not the worst.

Rate: 3/5

Trailer: Midnight Sun trailer

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Movie review: The Shallows

Movie reviews

Hello!

I’m more than a month late to review this film, but you can blame foreign release schedules for that. Without further ado, let’s talk about The Shallows – that small Blake Lively thriller .

IMDb summary: A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.

I have seen this movie being described as a sum of a few already made films. Some said it was 127 hours in water with sharks, others that it was Shark Week: the movie. Personally, The Shallows reminded me a bit of Soul Surfer (the family drama, the surfer being attacked), Jaws (similar filming techniques from the shark’s perspective so as not to show the shark) and Piranha (the horror elements in the few scenes).  The main thing that attracted me to this film was the fact that I really want to learn how to surf. I already spend a lot of time in the water since I am a competitive swimmer (or used to be one), so transitioning from swimming to surfing would not be that big of a stretch.

Writing

Anthony Jaswinski wrote The Shallows’s script and did a good job. I really liked the way he presented the main character’s backstory – the viewer found out all he/she needed to know in 3 dialogue scenes: the one with the driver, the phone conversation and during the small talk with the other surfers. I also liked her backstory by itself – she was a medicine student so her knowledge of that field helped her survive – she was resourceful and quick-witted. The writing for the big finale was a bit weak though – for such a realistic movie, I had a hard time believing that the shark would meet that kind of an end.

Directing

Jaume Collet-Serra, a mainly thriller director, did not disappoint with another project in his preferred genre. To begin with, the filming locations really helped him – the beach and the ocean were magnificent. Also, the beauty of nature was effectively contrasted with the terror of the situation that the main character was in. The photos that would pop-up on-screen were also a great tool for backstory, so as to make those 3 scenes of dialogue more visual. The effects, mainly the shark CGI or a model, also worked – he did seem real. The glowing jellyfish were also gorgeous. Those seagulls that were keeping Blake Lively company really reminded me of the seagulls that live in Aberdeen, Scotland (my second hometown) because they weren’t afraid of people and seagulls in Aberdeen can literally attack anyone that is passing them by.

The handheld camera was also good (and that’s coming from a person who hates shaky cam) – the mobile frame and the close-ups depicted the fact that our character was alone on a sea really well. This feeling of fear and loneliness together with the sense of suspense made watching the movie an engaging but not a comfortable experience. The hardest scenes to watch where the actual shark attack sequence and the ‘surgery’ scene. The Shallows also had a couple of jump scares that were effective. If we would have gotten more jump scares I would accuse the film of going the easy cliche route, however, since the picture had just the right amount of jump-scares, I was okay with them. The technique that I thought was a bit overused was the slow motion – it overdramatized an already dramatic and scary situation and pushed it towards a cliche, over-the-top cartoon level. The surfing montage at the beginning was cool but the music choice was a bit cheesy – Trouble by Neon Jungle, really? The other song that I remember from the film was Sia’s Bird Set Free. It was a good song for the credits. Sia’s music have been featured in at least 4 films this summer, she is really making her mark in Hollywood. The Shallows instrumental score was great too – it helped a lot to build an anxiety-inducing atmosphere.

Acting

Blake Lively starred as the lead, named Nancy, and did an amazing job. She basically carried this whole movie. She was believable as a sporty surfer and was amazing in all the suspenseful scenes. I especially liked that close-up reaction shot where she supposedly saw the shark attacking that drunk guy. Lively just starred in the new Woody Allen film Cafe Society. She was also really good in last year’s Age of Adaline (that picture have been doing great on streaming). Lively has definitely shed her Gossip Girl persona and is probably doing the best out of all her former castmates. A few unknown Spanish actors, as well as a few familiar faces from TV, played a couple of small supporting roles but, honestly, none of them had enough of screen time for me to talk about them.

In short, The Shallows was an unexpectedly entertaining film, one of the hidden gems of this summer. Blake Lively shined and finally proved herself to be a great actress. The writing and directing were also good for the most part.

Rate: 4/5

Trailer: The Shallows trailer

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Swimming: Sudeikiai Open Water Marathon 2016

Sports

Hello!

This is the last short sport/swimming update post this summer. Today, I took part in the Sudeikiai Swimming Marathon and lost all my energy. Let me elaborate.

The Sudeikiai Swimming Marathon is the hardest one out of the 4 open water swims I do each summer. The weather is usually not the nicest as the marathon takes place at the end of summer. This particular lake, in which the swimming is actually done, also tends to have huge, almost sea or ocean-like waves. 

This year, the weather and the water’s temperature were both quite horrible. The waves were also way too big for a lake. It was hard to swim the first 500m (I did 2,5km distance, I could have also chosen the 5km distance) because I didn’t have a chance to properly warm up. The next 1000m were fine – not easy but not too hard or too energy consuming either. The last kilometre of the distance was the most horrible one – it was a long and losing battle against the waves. Nevertheless, I was quite proud of myself for finishing the distance in these awful conditions and I got even happier when I found out my time – it was way better than I expected or predicted.

I skipped this particular marathon last year because I had other priorities. However, I did participate in the event in 2014 and did a post on it – you can find it here.

Bellow, I will include some photos from the location of the event as well as a picture of the swimming caps that all participants got. All athletes also received free lunch, a bottle of water, and the competition’s certificate.

Swimming: 35th Annual Swimming Marathon ‘Platelee-2016’ 

Sports

Hello!

Welcome to another short sports update post in-between the summer movie reviews!

On Saturday, I participated in the 35th Annual ‘Platelee’ Swimming Marathon. To me, personally, this was the 7th marathon of this kind. I’ve already told you about my experiences, swimming in this open water competition, in  2014 and 2015.

Plateliai lake and town have a very special place in my heart and I usually both long and dread coming back there for a variety of reasons that I won’t be getting into. Thankfully, this year, the longing part of me won and I actually had a great time. I had a chance to spend a day with my friends, which I don’t see for 9 months. I was able to make new memories, which I will cherish for many years. I had an opportunity to try out my swimming skills in freezing cold water. I, once again, overcame my physical limitations and finished the distance faster than last year and was 3rd in my age group.

The sponsors for the event were quite generous since it was the 35th anniversary of the Swimming Marathon. All the participants received commemorative glass statues, T-Shirts, stickers, and  certificates. Winners were awarded medals and cups.

I still have one swimming marathon left this year and I have already done two:  1st|2nd. Sorry for over-dramatizing the post – I’m trying out new writing styles. Bye!

Photos from the event:

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Photos of the goodies:

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Swiss Swimming Marathon 2016

Sports

Hi!

This is just a quick update post for those who actually read my writings about sports events (thank you, BTW)! I started my 8th open water swimming season by participating in the 7th annual Swiss Swimming Marathon.

The marathon was started in 2010 and I haven’t missed a single one of them. Usually, the water in the lake that the athletes swim in is pretty cold but this year it was perfect. Definitely above 23 degrees Celsius. The weather was also amazing: hot (35 degrees Celsius) and sunny.

Swiss marathon’s distance varies year by year (depends on the water temperature). This time, we competed in and completed the full 2,2 km distance. It is not the official length of the open water marathons but it’s enough for the majority if not all that of the participants.

Since I haven’t trained at all, I was happy to just finish the distance and didn’t care much about my result. Nevertheless, I still came in 3rd in my age group (photo of the medal bellow). All the swimmers also received official T-Shirts, so now I have 7 almost identical tops. I wish they would change up the design.

Athletes, who didn’t want to swim the 2k distance, could participate in the triathlon competition (shooting, 2km running, and 200m of swimming). Disabled swimmers could try out their skills in the 300m swim.

Overall, I had a great time swimmer the marathon as well as catching up with one of my friends by the lake. You can find more photos from the event here. If you want to check out my previous posts about this marathon, you can read about my experiences swimming the Swiss Marathon in 2014 and 2015.

Have a great week!

Swimming Marathon: Switerzland 2015

Sports

Hello my dear readers!!

Last week, I’ve participated in my first swimming marathon this summer. That was The Swiss Swimming Marathon 2015 (in Lithuanian language – Šveicarijos plaukimo maratonas 2015). I have already explained why this marathon and the village that it is held in has the same name as a European country. You can find that blog post here.

Anyway, since I haven’t been training at all, I chose the shortest 1 km distance and even managed to win it in a women’s group. It was one of the hardest swims of my career. The weather also seemed way too cold. The organizers said that the water temperature was 20 degrees Celsius (68 F), but it felt like 17 C (62 F) at best. The air temperature was 22 C (71 F).

I wasn’t even planning on attending this marathon but then the nostalgia kicked in. This was the 6th Swiss Swimming Marathon and I have participated in all of them since the beginning. Moreover, this is probably my last year of swimming with my team because I am graduating this year and moving to Scotland . So, I figured that this is probably my last chance to swim in that particular open-water competition, so what the hell, let’s do it.

Bellow I will include some links to a few Facebook photo albums where you can see more moments from the event. I will also include a photo of my commemorative T-Shirt, a medal and a diploma. Have a great week!

Photos on Facebook here.

Multi-sports: Lampetronas 2014

Sports

Hello!

Remember when a few post ago, I said that that was the last time this summer when I was writing about a sports event? Well, I unintentionally lied because yesterday I participated in multi-sport event by accident.

This multi-sport event I am talking about is 2nd annual Lampetronas 2014 event. Visit the website of the event

Lampetronas is held near Lampedziai Lake in Kaunas and in the forest that surrounds the lake. The competition consists of 5 contests: 1.2km of swimming, 17km of skating, 8km of rowing a kayak, 19km of cycling and 9 km of running. It’s like a spin-off of triathlon .This competition is definitely not for the weak and it is also sort of challenge for yourself. You can participate individually or, if you are not strong enough, you can participate with a team.

I was supposed to volunteer at the event but one of the teams was missing a swimmer and one of my friends bragged that I am a swimmer and they begged me to help them and I agreed because I had a swimsuit in my bag. So, I was responsible for the first event – swimming. After the start, I was swimming in the 3rd place but by the end a man bypassed me because I couldn’t find a finish line in the lake. I was really happy with my result and I definitely gave all of my energy to it.

After that, I had some time to relax and when went back to my voluntary work. I and my friend were standing in the middle of nowhere, in the cycling/running track, watching if all the athletes were abiding the rules. We were standing there for 3 hours and at least one hour of these 3 hours was spent in the rain.

When we finally got back to the camp, we watched an award ceremony and I was pleasantly surprised that my team got 5th place. We were all really happy but really tired as well.

I would like to participate in this competition next year. But maybe with a bit more preparation.

I am afraid to say if this is my last sport blog post or not because I am kinda planning to cycle in another bicycle marathon on August 31st but I still don’t t know if I am up for 40 km of cycling. I guess you will find out in a couple weeks’ time. If you want to learn more about my activities follow me on twitter @LunaTheia

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).

Kaunas running marathon + Sunday reunion

Sports

Good day everybody!

Yesterday (on Sunday) I participated in one of the last running marathons this summer – 2nd annual Kaunas Marathon. Like last year, I’ve chose 10 km distance and did my best time yet -1 hour 5 minutes. The total number of runners was 3000, but 10 km distance was the most popular between them – about 800 people ran it. The weather for running was perfect – not too hot, not to cold, no sunshine as well as no rain, just a bit of wind, which really helped to cool down in some parts of the distance. The only flaw for the whole marathon would be the route that had been chosen for us to run. It was to narrow for that big amount of people, so I have been running at least 6 km in a huge crowd, bumping shoulders with other runners. When, I finished the distance I got a commemorative medal, which you can see down bellow. My number was also really nice – 2424. I will run my next marathon, probably, just at the end of September. My summers are usually dedicated to swimming marathons ,so I am going to do blog posts about them. (The first one is this Sunday – June 22nd). Fun fact – as I am running for my local bakery team, after the marathon they surprised us with a delicious gift: cake and a lot of mini doughnuts and cupcakes. So, my running team had an impromptu picnic on asphalt in the middle of the huge crowd of people.

After this sports event, I went to my previous swimming couches house where we had a little reunion. Me and a bunch of my childhood friends from my previous swim team met there, cooked dinner and ate together as a family, then had some friendly competition in a round of Twister and other board games. Also, we baked super easy cookies using cornflakes and condensed milk, watched FIFA World Cup, went through old photos and laughed our assets off. When we got tired of laughing and being gymnasts on Twister, we cuddled our swimming couches cats and just had a nice conversation about good old times. I still see a lot of my old swimming team everyday, because we still swim together, but couple of them have already said goodbye to this sport so it was nice to see them.

After this relaxed evening , me and one of my friends went back to my house and had a nice girly sleepover. We watched a movie (LOL with Miley Cyrus and Douglas Booth – such a great story) and then talked till 3 am in the morning. And I had to get up at 7 am to go to morning training. Yeah, summer…

I hope you enjoyed this post about running marathon which kinda turned in to a day in life post. Bye.!

vhįštt

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http://www.kaunasmarathon.lt/EN

Another day, another run

Sports

Hello everybody!

I hope that all of you had a great first day of May. There is only one month left till summer – I haven’t really noticed, how quickly this year flew by, but this post isn’t about it, so lets continue with our topic.

Today,I participated in a run for peace. It was held in our city center and it was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the star of World War I. 100 years ago, on May 1st, 1924, a crucial war started and it took a lot of lives and, most importantly, a lot of innocent lives.

Me and my friends participated in this run in order to commemorate this important date. I ran 3,3 km distance and it was really hard for me, because I literally just ran another marathon 4 days ago, so I haven’t had time to rest. Overall, I liked the experience and I always enjoy the feeling of doing something for great cause.

Next run that awaits me will be held on June 15th.I will run 10 km there.Before that I will have 15 km bicycle marathon on May 11th. Stay tuned to my blog and you will find my stories about these competitions. Bye:)

Image

Start of the run – photo belongs to Erikas Ovčarenkas /15min.lt 

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