2016: 100 Book Challenge

Uncategorized

Hello!

The end of the year usually means a lot of looking-back/reflection/summary posts. This one is no exception. Also, if you ever needed more proof that I am a gigantic nerd, this is it.

At the beginning of the year, I raised myself a challenge – to read 100 books and to keep track of them. I mainly did that because 1. I wanted to read more – I used to read a lot during childhood but couldn’t find time for books in later years, due to watching a lot of films and 2. since I read/watch/hear so many stories, I wanted to have a list of them so that I would not start reading a book which I have read before.

I’m glad to announce that I did achieve my goal and did finish 100 books in 12 months. I covered a variety of genres, authors, and languages.

Some statistics before I give you the list: out of the 100 books:

  • 23 were in my native Lithuanian language and 77 were in English.
  • 20 of them were for study purposes, 80 – for leisure.
  • 60 authors were covered: I read only one book by 44 authors and a few books by 16 authors. W. Shakespeare came in first with 8 repeats, T. Morrison followed second with 6 and J.K.Rowling with 5. D. Brown had 4, while A. Moore, R. Riggs, M. Strandberg and S.B. Elfrgen and Sir A. Conan Doyle all had 3. Lastly, I read 2 books by each of the following authors: A. Miller, H. Ibsen, A. Spiegelman, S. Plath, J. Conrad, J. Moyes, G. Flynn, and H. Lee.
  • 30 writers were American, 15British, 5French, 2 (each) were Lithuanian, Irish, Japanese, and Scandinavian and 1 (each) – Russian, Polish, Nigerian, and Pakistani.
  • 72 were stand-alone books, while 28 belonged to 11 series.
  • 53 were modern books, while 47 were classics.
  • 56 were prose and 2poetry books. 15 were plays, 18graphic novels, and 9memoirs.
  • 8 was my monthly average.

Before I give you the long list by genre, here is my TOP 10 in no particular order:

  • A. Spiegelman – ‘Maus’
  • A.Moore and D.Gibbons – ‘Watchmen’
  • J.K.Rowling – ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’
  • S. Plath – ‘The Bell Jar’
  • H. Lee – ‘Go Set a Watchman’
  • A. Weir – ‘The Martian’
  • G. Flynn – ‘Sharp Objects’
  • E. Cline – ‘Ready Player One’
  • L. Wacquant – ‘Body and Soul: The Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer’
  • C. McDougall – ‘Born to Run’

Now the actual list by genre:

Prose:

  1. E. A. Poe – collection of short stories titled ‘The Gold-Bug’
  2. A. de Saint-Exupéry – two storiesSouthern Mail’ and ‘Night Flight’ in one novel.
  3. M. Shelley – ‘Frankenstein’
  4. J.M.Barie – ‘Peter Pan’
  5. W. Golding – ‘Lord of the Flies’
  6. V. Nabokov – ‘Lolita’
  7. K. Ishiguro – ‘Never Let Me Go’
  8. S. Plath – ‘The Bell Jar’
  9. J. Conrad – ‘Hearth of Darkness’
  10. J. Conrad – a trio of short stories ‘An Outpost of Progress’, ‘Karan’, ‘Youth’.
  11. J. Baldwin –  ‘Giovanni’s Room’
  12. C. Achebe – ‘Things Fall Apart’
  13. T. Morrison – ‘Beloved’
  14. T. Morrison – ‘Sula’
  15. T. Morrison – ‘Song of Solomon’
  16. T. Morrison – ‘A Mercy’
  17. T. Morrison – ‘The Bluest Eye’
  18. T. Morrison – ‘Home’
  19. M. Mauss – ‘The Gift’
  20. H. Melville – ‘Moby Dick’
  21. J. Austen – ‘Sense and Sensibility’
  22. J. Moyes – ‘Me Before You’
  23. J. Moyes – ‘After You’
  24. H. Lee – ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’
  25. H. Lee – ‘Go Set a Watchman’
  26. A. Weir – ‘The Martian’
  27. G. Flynn – ‘Sharp Objects’
  28. G. Flynn – ‘Dark Places’
  29. M. Strandberg and S.B.Elfgren – ‘The Circle’
  30. M. Strandberg and S.B.Elfgren – ‘Fire’
  31. M. Strandberg and S.B.Elfgren – ‘The Key’
  32. K. Vonnegut – ‘The Breakfast of Champions’
  33. I. Fleming – ‘Casino Royale’
  34. D. Brown – ‘Angels and Demons’
  35. D. Brown – ‘The Da Vinci Code’
  36. D. Brown – ‘The Lost Symbol’
  37. D. Brown – ‘Inferno’
  38. G. DeWeese – ‘Into the Nebula (Star Trek: The Next Generation #36)’
  39. R. Riggs – ‘Miss Peregrine’s Home for the Peculiar Children’
  40. R. Riggs – ‘Hollow City’
  41. R. Riggs – ‘The Library of Souls’
  42. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five Go Down to the Sea’
  43. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five Go to Mystery Moor’
  44. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five Have Plenty of Fun’
  45. E. Blyton – ‘The Famous Five: Five on a Secret Trail’
  46. K. Keplinger – ‘The Duff’
  47. P. Hawkins – ‘The Girl on the Train’
  48. J.K.Rowling – ‘The Casual Vacancy’
  49. J.K.Rowling – ‘Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them’
  50. J.K.Rowling – ‘Quidditch Through The Ages’
  51. J.K.Rowling – ‘Tale of Beedle The Bard’
  52. Sir A. Conan Doyle – ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’
  53. Sir A. Conan Doyle – ‘The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes’
  54. Sir A. Conan Doyle – ‘The Return of Sherlock Holmes’
  55. E. Cline – ‘Ready Player One’
  56. G.R.R.Martin – ‘The World of Ice and Fire’
  57. D.Grayson – ‘Doctor Strange: The Fate of Dreams’

Poetry:

  1. S. Heaney – ‘North’
  2. S. Plath – ‘Ariel’

Plays:

  1. J.M.Synge – ‘The Playboy of the Western World’
  2. A. Miller – ‘The Crucible’
  3. A. Miller – ‘Death of a Salesman’
  4. H. Ibsen – ‘A Doll’s House’
  5. H. Ibsen – ‘Hedda Gabler’
  6. J. Lyly – ‘Galatea’
  7. W. Shakespeare – ‘The Taming of the Shrew’
  8. W. Shakespeare – ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
  9. W. Shakespeare – ‘Twelfth Night’
  10. W. Shakespeare – ‘The Merchant ofVenice’
  11. W. Shakespeare – ‘The Tempest’
  12. W. Shakespeare – ‘Coriolanus’
  13. W. Shakespeare – ‘Hamlet’
  14. W. Shakespeare – ‘Troilus and Cressida’
  15. J.K.Rowling – ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’

Graphic Novels:

  1. A. Spiegelman – ‘Maus’
  2. A. Spiegelman – ‘In The Shadow of No Towers’
  3. M. Satrapi – ‘Persepolis’
  4. J. Maroh – ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’
  5. C. Burns – ‘Black Hole’
  6. M.Millar and S.McNiven – ‘Civil War’
  7. Various authors – ‘Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes: Wolverine’
  8. A.Moore and D.Gibbons – ‘Watchmen’
  9. A.Moore and D.Lloyd – ‘V for Vendetta’
  10. A.Moore and B.Bolland – ‘Batman: The Killing Joke’
  11. M.Anusauskaite and G.Jord – ’10 litu’
  12. Various authors – ‘The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told’
  13. Various authors – ‘Marvel Platinum: The Definitive Iron Man’
  14. J. Sacco – ‘Palestine’
  15. C.Thompson – ‘Blankets’
  16. M.Wolfman and G.Perez – ‘Crisis on Infinite Earths’
  17. E. Brubaker – ‘The Death of Captain America’

Memoirs:

  1. D. Howell and P. Lester – ‘The Amazing Book Is Not On Fire’
  2. T. Oakley – ‘Binge’
  3. C. Franta – ‘A Work in Progress’
  4. G. Helbig – ‘Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to be a Grown-Up’
  5. L. Wacquant – ‘Body and Soul: The Notebooks of an Apprentice Boxer’
  6. M.Youafzai and C.Lamb – ‘I am Malala’
  7. I.Staskevicius – ‘Maratono laukas’ (‘Marathon running’)
  8. H. Murakami – ‘What I talk about when I talk about running’
  9. C.McDougall – ‘Born to Run’

I hope you enjoyed flicking through my 2016 reading list. I really want to start writing more book-centric posts next year, so this was like a taster-post. Have a great New Year and tell me in the comments your favorite book from last year!

A snapshot of my collection

Advertisements

Movie review: Trolls

Movie reviews

Hello, everyone!

Usually, I go to the cinema on a Friday or during the weekend. However, I made an exception this week and went to see a film on a Monday afternoon as a reward for finishing a very depressing anthropology essay (I wrote about race and racism). As a result, I chose a movie that I hoped would make me smile and would lift my spirits – Trolls. So, let’s see if the film succeeded in that regard!!

IMDb summary: Enter a colorful, wondrous world populated by hilariously unforgettable characters and discover the story of the overly optimistic Trolls, with a constant song on their lips, and the comically pessimistic Bergens, who are only happy when they have trolls in their stomach

Writing

Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger, writers of the Kung Fu Panda series and The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water, penned the script for Trolls and did a good job. The narrative was not the most original – it had the basic rescue plot, a storyline of hero’s growth, a dead relative (a Disney/Pixar staple in a DreamWorks film?) and even a Cinderella-esque plot-line on a side. However, it was executed effectively. Trolls was cheesy and had heart: it was pleasing to the eye, the mind, and the soul. It portrayed universal topics of friendship and family and looked for the balance between positivity and negativity. It overcame the problematic and a tiny bit cruel premise that one can only be happy by hurting others with a concluding notion that happiness is inside all of us, but sometimes we need others to bring it out. The film’s jokes were mostly aimed at children, but a few more adult lines were also slipped in, including ‘Little slappy, make daddy happy’ moment. I also appreciated ‘the happiness equals pizza’ scene.

Directing

Mike Mitchel (worked on the Shrek movies and the new SpongeBob film) and Walt Dohrn (co-wrote the Shrek series, the Madagascar series and Rise of the Guardians) directed the film and did a nice job. I loved the fact that they and the DreamWorks animators just went all out with the colors. Trolls was an absolute explosion of the rainbow – all big and bright. I loved the troll’s hair and the way they used it as a tool or a weapon. Both the hair and all other surrounding textures appeared to be very furry and soft – I really wanted to physically touch that world. The structure/appearance of the trolls’ bodies reminded me a bit of smurfs, although it was actually based on the Danish woodcutter’s Thomas Dam’s designs. Because of the way trolls acted, they also had some similarities to minions. I wish that Trolls would become the new Minions because I am so tired of those yellow fire-hindrents – they are literarly everywhere. Trolls’ movements (or singing, dancing, hugging, and scrapbooking) were realized nicely as well: they moved realistic enough but also had the right amount of fantasy’s fluidity. Lastly, the movie had a mid-credits scene, so make sure you stay through the first part of the credits to watch it.

Music and Voice Work

Christophe Beck was responsible for the music and he did a fairly good job. The film had a good mixture of well-known pop songs and, since I enjoy pop music and different covers of it, I liked the overall soundtrack. My favorite performances were the sadly happy ‘True Colors’ scene and the unapologetically bright and explosive finale with ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’. That song was literally everywhere this past summer (and will probably re-appear after the release of this picture) and was the best marketing for the film. However, I wish they would have released the movie’s version with both Kendrick’s and Timberlake’s vocals, instead of it just being sung by Timberlake. Both of them did a good job with their songs and dialogue, though. Kendrick (Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates, Pitch Perfect and upcoming The Accountant) was bubbly and sweet as Poppy and Timberlake (Friends with Benefits, In Time, upcoming Woody Allen project) was moody and whiny enough to be Branch. Branch’s character was probably the one that I related the most to. I also liked the meta-moment when Branch said ‘I don’t sing’ even though the person behind his voice is literally one of the greatest singers/entertainers of out generation.

The supporting voice cast included a few actors, a few comedians, a few singers and even a few YouTubers: Zooey DeschanelRussell BrandJames CordenGwen Stefani, and Icona Pop all had characters to bring to life. Youtube was represented by Ricky Dillon, Kandee JohnsonGloZell GreenCarrie Hope Fletcher, and Connie Glynn (Noodlerella). All of them were supposed to have voice cameos in the film, although I’m not sure in which versions. I definitely know that Carrie and Connie aurally appeared in the UK version – the one I saw.

Rate: 3.75/5

In short, Trolls was a delightful little film. It had superb animation, some nice songs, and good performances from the voice cast. The story lacked originality but entertained me in that familiar kinda way. Next similar film – an animated musical comedy SING will be coming out in December/January!

Trailer: Trolls trailer

Trolls_poster_goldposter_com_9.jpg

Movie review: Pixels

Movie reviews

Hello!

I hope you are ready to travel back to the 1980s because this is the review of the Pixels. Enjoy!

To begin with, I think that this movie wasn’t as bad as I was led to believe by a lot of reviews from my most trustworthy critics. It wasn’t a flawless film but it definitely wasn’t the worst Sandler film and that’s saying something. Well, not really. Let’s just continue with the review.

Even before reading and watching the reviews of Pixels, I had my own doubts. One of them is the fact that Pixels is a Sony film, and, with the recent developments within the inside of that company and a track record of terrible films (if you mess Spider Man up for the 3rd time, the nerds won’t allow the 4th time to happen), I was worried how this movie will turn out. The other doubt inspiring thing is the the main start of the motion picture – Adam Sandler. His movies have been getting worse and worse, almost all of them were financial flops and didn’t earn any praises from the critics and fans alike. Personalty, my favorite Sandler’s films are Bedtime Stories and the Grown Ups. Both of them were also panned by the critics, though, I found them enjoyable as a 12 year old. However, 6 years later I can’t say the same about Pixels.

IMDb summary: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games. Pixels feature film is actually based on a French animated short film with the same name by Patrick Jean. 

Premise 

The premise of the film was genius and had a lot of potential. We have seen films based on video games, but never have these movies actually acknowledge that the games are real and alive. For example, if you take the Need for Speed film (review), you can see that they never talk about any games; they just set their movie in the same world that the game’s action takes place or maybe they borrow some characters and stories from the game. But Pixels goes full on gaming mode and includes a plethora of old games (Centipede, Donkey Kong, Tetris, Pac-Man). They were definetely trying to make the old arcaders feel nostalgia. However, I do believe that they were also trying to appeal to the current gaming community. Gaming channel are huge on YouTube – just look at PewDiePie.

The fact that the movie includes a wide variety of different games begs for me to mention the product placement portion of the film. A few times, I really felt like I was watching a commercial. They should have been more careful with the commercial and merchandise side of the film.

Personally, I’m not a huge gamer. I remember playing Super Mario on an old Terminator 2 console (also know as Nintendo with yellow cartridges) in the early 2000s. Terminator 2 was the Eastern European version Nintendo Famicom. Yes, even when the Cold War ended, life was still hard for people, living in post-Soviet Union countries. On a side note, even though 25 years have passed, I still feel the division between the west and the east today. However, the Internet helps to remove the differences, which I am extremely happy about. But back to the film.

Story

The scrip and the story of the film were quite clever. The cheating twist was interesting and very realistic. However, I didn’t felt like I was watching a comedy, because I didn’t really laugh much.

Also, a few scenes in the film took place in India for the sole purpose of making this film more appealing to Asian audiences. Get that damn Asian money, Sony!

Acting and Cameos

  • Adam Sandler was okay in the film. I quite liked his romantic comedy scenes with Michelle Monaghan’s character. However, her chracater didn’t have anything to do, except be the love interest.
  • Kevin James was also in the film, as usual with Sandler films. His part was the most unbelievable one.
  • Josh Gad tried to be the funny one but ended up being the stupid one. I really do prefer Gad as a voice actor.
  • Peter Dinklage was the coolest part of the film and one of the reasons that I was excited about the movie (Game of Thrones, duh). His physical appearance was also great.
  • Ashley Benson was another reason I wanted to see this film, because I am a Pretty Little Liars fan. However, I was really dispapointed. I waited the whole film for her to show up and she had only 3 scenes at the end. She didn’t even said a word, just stood there looking pretty.
  • Denis Akiyama played Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac-Man. I wish they would have let the actual creator of Pac-Man play himself because we do see him in the film. The real Tory Iwatani cameos as an Electric Dream Factory repairman.
  • Sean Bean was also in the film for no reason whatsoever.
  • Serena Williams and Martha Stewart make cameo appearances as themselves. Their cameos were the only ones that worked.
  • Also, the film had a plethora of 80s stars appearing in alien messages That made the film seem more grounded, so good job.

Visuals

The visuals effect of the film looked really amazing. The way the video game figures moved and dissolved into tiny pixelated cubes was a wonderful feast for the eyes. The end credits design and the GAME OVER at the end of the film were also really appropriate additions to the overall theme of the film.

Directing 

The film was directed by Chris Columbus. I have seen a number of his films. He directed the Mrs. Doubtifre, the first two Home Alones and the first two Harry Potters as well as produced the Night at the Museum films as well as 2011’s Oscar nominated drama The Help. This probably won’t be his best movie (I mean, look at what he’s done), but I still believe that Pixels won’t be a stain on his resume, because the directing aspect of the film was really good. The action scenes looked exciting and interesting. Moreover, they looked realistic and that’s really hard to do while working with the green screen. And this movie needed a lot of green screen, I suppose.

All in all, Pixels was a fun film that exceeded my expectations, which, to be fair, were quite low to begin with. However, if you love video games and if you are a fan of the staring actors or if you just want to see whether Sandler still has what it takes to make a good comedy, go see this film. Bye!

Rate: 3.25/5

Trailer: Pixels trailer

10865871_612372792222920_6931055041149370545_o

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.

2015/01/img_3216.png

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.

2015/01/img_3205.png

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.

2015/01/img_3213.png

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.

2015/01/img_3217.png2015/01/img_3219.png

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.

2015/01/img_3208.png

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.

2015/01/img_32221.png

Kylie Minogue: Kiss Me Once Tour 2014 in Lithuania, Kaunas

Music

Hi!

How is your weekend? Did you celebrate Halloween? Who did you dress up as? In my country, Halloween isn’t a popular celebration, however, some people do celebrate it. The reason, why this celebration isn’t wide spread in my country is because on November 1st (next day after Halloween) we have a serious event – National Memorial day (in English it’s called All Saint’s day in the Christian part of the world and November 2nd is All Soul’s Day). It would be kinda strange to run around dressed up in a weird costume one night and the next morning go visit your relative’s graves, light a candle or visit a church. If my nation had more happy ways to remember the dead (like Mexicans do), we would probably celebrate Halloween too.

Anyway, this post is not about that. It’s about the fact that on October 31st, I attended Kylie Minogue’s concert! Kylie is an Australian singer whose career started over 20 years ago and she is still mega popular today. In 2011, she visited my country with her Aphrodite tour but I wasn’t able to see her concert then. But now, 3 years later, she is back in Lithuania with her new album Kiss Me Once.

After a brief opening from DJ duo Third Party from London (nobody listened to them), Kylie took the stage being just an hour late because of technical difficulties. She rose to the stage on a sofa shaped like lips and started singing Les Sex. Then came In My Arms – a timeless hit. She changed costumes 7 times and with the help of her band, 2 back-up singers and 8 dancers gave the audience an amazing showed filled with both new song form Kiss Me Once album and singles form the past like: All the Lovers, In you Eyes, Locomotion, Spinning Around, Can’t Get You Out of My Head, On A Night Like This, Time-bomb, I Believe In You. She actually invited one fan to dance to Locomotion with her and other pair of fans to take a selfie.

Lights, lasers and smoke effects were awesome and white sprinkles and sparkles falling form the ceiling when All the Lovers song was playing turned the event into a magical wonderland. She closed the concert with Into the Blue and left the audience wanting for more.

I enjoyed the concert very much, I was standing in the fan zone, in the first row, so I saw Kylie from 5 meters distance. She is so beautiful, you couldn’t even tell that she is 46 years old! As much as I had problems with over-sexualization in this years VMAs, Kylie’s sexual performance didn’t bother me that much because it wasn’t as vulgar as, for example, Miley’s.

After the event, I bought a poster as I always do (see my whole collection of posters). Bellow you will find photos and videos form the concert. On Monday, I am going to Vilnius, to the One Republic concert, so now I am super excited for that. See you next week!

More info about the tour: Kylie

Les Sex on my Youtube channel  Sexercise on my Youtube channel 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Current favorite actress: Shailene Woodley

Uncategorized

Shailene Woodley is a 22 year old American actress, who started her acting career on the small screen, particularly, in an ABC family’s teen drama The Secret Life of the American Teenager. The show ran for 5 seasons from 2008 till 2013. By the end of it, it had lost a lot of fans because it started repeating the same stories and dragging on the new ones. More importantly, almost all the fans were disappointed with the ending of the series.  I was a loyal fan of the show, started watching it around the 3rd season. Shailene’s character was probably one of the most annoying characters in a history of television for me. Nonetheless, I enjoyed her performance as an actress because she really made me hate that character.

shailene-woodley-secret-life-american-teenager-3

In 2011, Shailene moved to the big screen and stared in family drama The Descendants alongside George Clooney. For the role in this movie Shailene received recognition form the critics and won an Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress as well as was nominated for the Golden Globe in the same category.

The-Descendants

In 2013, she once again received an Independent Spirit Award’s nomination for the lead role in coming of age drama The Spectacular Now. Milles Teller also started in this movie as her love interest and later moved on to be her enemy in Divergent. (See a post about him here).

shailene-woodley-miles-teller-the-spectacular-now

2014 were the best year so far for Shailene. She got the lead role of Tris in Divergent – dystopian young adult book to movie adaptation.  Of course, Shailene and Divergent were immediately compared to Jennifer Lawrence and The Hunger Games. I believe that Shailene stood her ground and she was excellent in the film.

shailene_woodley_divergent-wide

Another big film of 2014 was The Fault in Our Stars (review). Beloved book by youtuber/author John Green was one of the most anticipated book adaptations ever and Shailene got a worldwide recognition as well as praise for her portrayal of Hazel – a teenage girl who knows she is going to die from cancer. Her brother form the Divergent series – Ansel Elgort – also stared (as her love interest this time).

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

White Bird in a Blizzard – another independent Shailene’s movie. It was released in 2013 in some countries and only a year later in others.  This movie was super peculiar to me: some themes felt disconnected form others. I couldn’t understand what a mother’s problems had to do with a teenage girl’s sexuality. I guess it showed how bad parenting affects children, what a loveless marriage can do to you and what a strong feeling jealousy is. But how can there be jealousy in a family? That just seemed straight up strange. I have never felt anything remotely close to the things they portrayed. However, I agreed with one idea of the movie: something can look perfect from the outside, but deep under covers, the truth might be completely different.

Shailene_Woodley-White-Bird-in-a-Blizzard2

Shailene has strong beliefs when it comes to the environment. She tries to help save our nature, uses only ecological make-up and hair products and strongly expresses her opinions about saving and cherishing our world.

tumblr_inline_n06eti4KsK1rb6m8f

Next in Shailene’s future stand 3 more movies in the Divergent series (2015, 2016 and 2017). She currently doesn’t have any more announced projects but I believe that she has a bright future ahead of her. She definitely deserves an Oscar nomination and I believe she will get one sometime soon for a role in another independent movie.

Shailene’s style:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Photos: Google Images

Collection: Magazines

Beauty&Fashion

Hi!

I have previously shared my nail polish collection and posters/quotes collections with you. This time, I will show you my magazine collection and boy; I do have a lot of magazines.

My collection consist of 71+ magazines, most of them are fashion and art journals, but there are also a few lifestyle ones. If you look closely, you might find couple of political magazines as well.

Lithuanian magazines:

Cosmopolitan Lithuanian version – I usually buy these if a celebrity I like is on the cover.

L’OFFICIEL – a Lithuanian version of a popular French fashion magazine – I get them cheaply at a book fair in spring. Of course, they are a couple of months old, but I get all the latest fashion news from other sources, so it’s nice to flip through them even if they are out of date.

MADA (Fashion) magazine – well, these magazines should belong in a museum, because they are from 2007-2009. They were the predecessors of L’OFFICIEL magazine in my country. My old school’s library actually gifted them to me for volunteering there.

10716111_958441530849343_776323410_n

1061473_958441494182680_593528237_n

10654150_958441527516010_580255557_n

American magazines:

Teen Vogue – about two years ago, my aunt gifted me the subscription of this magazine and I have been a loyal subscribed for 2 whole years and I am currently waiting for the first issue of my third year as a subscriber.

Seventeen – the same story as with Teen Vogue. However, I grew out of this magazine (and I only turned 17 like two months ago); it repeats a lot of the same themes and features the same stars on the cover.

10717662_958441524182677_983403103_n

10708227_958441510849345_536668743_n

10715740_958441504182679_1549581931_n

  1. British magazines:

VOGUE UK – the first issue of Vogue was actually a gift from my friends for my 15th birthday because, back then, my biggest dream was to work in that magazine and one day I wished to become the editor-in-chief of it. Good old days when I knew what I wanted to do.

ELLE UK and Harper’s Bazaar UK and InStyle UK– I buy them if I am interested in the life and work of the celebrity who is on the cover. As you can see, I love Jennifer Lawrence, Amanda Seyfried, Candice Swanepoel and Emilia Clarke.

Glamour UK – I pick this one the same way I pick Elle or InStyle. However, I really enjoy the articles which they publish and how you can always relate to the problems which are discussed.

10714681_958441520849344_2056137923_n

10717827_958441517516011_2113770552_n

10717743_958441500849346_1387834715_n

10711552_958441514182678_891773262_n

  1. Miscellaneous magazines: I haven’t taken a photo of them because they are just so random.

Between them, you might find a STAR magazine from 2005 (found it at a flea market and picked it as a joke), special collector’s issue of People’s magazine featuring One Direction (a friend brought this magazine from South Korea). The last interesting item is Citizen Today magazine about politics, economics and health care – don’t even ask me where I got it.

I hope you liked this little glimpse in one of few of my obsessions. Teen Vogue is definitely my favorite fashion magazine because it’s the most age appropriate for me.  When I need fashion advice, I always open it and find an inspiration to dress the way I like. For a quick life cheat – Glamour gives the best solutions and brings a smile to my face. Have a great week! Bye!

Top 4 Favorite YouTubers (Part 2)

Uncategorized

Hello!

A couple of months ago, I have done a blog post on youtubers. It was one of my early ones, so don’t judge. That time, I have made a TOP 6 list because I couldn’t fit them all into Top 5. But since 6 is a peculiar number for Top Lists, I decided to do Part 2 and bring you TOP 4 list of my favorite YouTube entertainers.

You can read part 1 of the list here: TOP 6

So my TOP 4 consists of some existential crisis, some science, and some cinema and on top of all that – a little bit of everything.

  1. (7) Danisnotonfire – this is channel owned by a British youtuber Dan Howell since 2009. I have watched his videos for over a year but recently I can’t seem to turn them off. I can definitely relate to his existential thoughts, emotional connections with fictional world, lack of socialism and communication with real people and never ending failures. Dan lives with his best friend Phil (also a youtuber – Amazingphil) and they also both host a show on BBC Radio 1. Dan has almost 4 million subscribers, so go over there and join the Internet Support Group!  Subscribe to Dan!

p01m5y21

  1. (8) ASAPScience – is a science channel which belongs to 2 Canadians Mitchell Moffit and Gregory Brown. Their videos explain hard but interesting scientific questions and facts by using stop motion and painting or writing on a white board. Recently, they created a second channel AsapThought and both channels combined have over 3 million subscribers. Not long ago, they came out as gay to the Internet and been receiving a lot of hate. It makes me super mad to read comments like that when we live in a XXI century. Moreover, their sexuality has absolutely nothing to do with the content of their videos. I highly recommend you to join them here and challenge your mind! Subscribe to ASAPScience!

asap-science

  1. (9) JeremyJahns – Jeremy is a movie reviewer since 2009. I like his style of reviewing – very energetic, upbeat and straight to the point. His grading system is also super fun – Awesometacular, Worth buying on Blu-ray, Good time no alcohol required, Good time if you are drunk, Won’t remember in T-minus () days and Dogshit. He is a huge Lord of the Rings fan and believes that the trilogy is one the greatest movies ever made so that is also one aspect of life we agree on. Join his half a million subs here: Subscribe!

jahns2

  1. (10) TheFineBros – this is a huge channel which belongs Brothers Benny and Rafi Fine. Their channel is actually the first channel I’ve ever subscribed to. I have been watching them for over 3 years now. Their most famous shows are Kids, Teens, Elders and Yotubers React – where they show viral videos to a group of people and ask for their opinion. The channel is not only entertaining but also a really great way to spread social messages and use modern technologies in a good way. Their other shows include sitcom MyMusic, Last Moments of Relationships and Spoilers. Recently, they launched brand new React channel which has a brand new content: reactions to food, technologies, lyrics; gaming videos and advice videos. They also have a deal with Nickelodeon to produce a React TV show. Their channel has around 10 million subs and they also have a group of employees at Fine Bros Entertainment. So, as you can see – Youtube is not just one man’s work. If are not a subscriber yet, go do that now: Main channel / React channel

fine_bros

So, I hope you like part 2 of my favorite youtubers list. Now it is officially a TOP 10 but I think it might be even longer in the future.

P.S. This is just my opinion, I hope you don’t get angry because of my choices. This blog is zero hate zone!

MTV Video Music Awards 2014

Music

A while ago, I did a short review of MTV Movie Awards and decided to do the same for VMAS 2014. I was planning to do review of Teen Choice Awards 2014 but there was just too much drama surrounding TCAs and Team Internet and I thought that my blog post would just turn into an angry rant.

I wasn’t amazed by this award show, I don’t say it was bad but I still had a lot of problems with it. First of all, there was nothing new – they are saying that they will shock us but it is the same show every year. Might be that I have seen just too many shows like this and I am not easily surprised.

Second of all, I had a huge problem with the outfits of all stars and overall image that they are creating. Man and women are putting so much on sexiness that it turns into raunchiness. Females in particular present themselves as these over sexualized beings that think that nudity equals sexiness. (Not just in performance outfits but in red carpet dresses as well) Beyoncé, Miley Cyrus, Nicki Minaj, Iggy Azalea are just a few of them. Even Ariana Grande, who used to be this cutesy good girl, now turned into …I don’t even know what to call her. Her red carpet look seemed very tacky and not classy at all. At least the signature pony tail is still there. However, I agree that in this way all of these stars are showing their confidence and encouraging young women to dress however they like and be proud of who they are. Nonetheless, I believe that there are other ways to do that. You don’t need to walk around almost naked to feel confident and love yourself.

Favorite performance – Taylor Swift’s first live performance of her new song –Shake it off. At first, I wasn’t a huge fan of the song but now it grew on me. I will probably be blasting it out loud half of autumn. I also liked Beyoncé’s performance because she is freakin’ Beyoncé, that why. But I wish she would put less attention to sexiness as well. Her whole new album is about that, except Pretty Hurts – that is the song with an amazing message. I loved how Jay Z brought Blue Ivy on stage and presented Beyoncé with an award – it was heartbreaking in a good way to see Beyoncé tear up on stage from joy of that moment.

Also, did you see Nicki Minaj’s wardrobe malfunction? She did not have enough time to change from that jungle outfit into black dress and had to use her hands to cover herself. I wish she would have put that black dress on properly because I wanted to see it whole– it looked kinda nice to me, sexy but not too much.

I also like to mention that I love that they are including Team Internet more and more. Some youtubers are working on the red carpet (Tyler Oakley and Ingrid Nelson) and others are also attending.

Miley Cyrus also did a good job with her acceptance speech. Huge difference since last year’s VMAs.

Best dressed:

Females: I liked the looks of Becky G, Holland Roden and Kesha – stylish but not too revealing.

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals 2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals 2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Males: I liked the style of Greg Sulkin (can’t wait for Faking It to be back) and my queen Tyler Oakley.

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals 2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

Also – did you see Katy Perry’s nod to the past? It was super fun to see her embracing the denim

2014 MTV Video Music Awards - Arrivals

I am sorry that this post is so long, I guessed I had a lot to say. Have a great last week of summer wherever you are!

Movie review: The Fault In Our Stars

Movie reviews

Hello!!
This Thursday I was fortunate enough to be one of the first people in my country – Lithuania to see one of the most anticipated movies of the summer – The Fault In Our Stars. This is going to be my review.
So, I guess all of you know that TFIOS is a book written by one half of vlogbrothers – John Green. I came across his book because other youtubers (Tyler Oakley, Troye Sivan) were talking about it in their videos. Therefore, I downloaded an epub copy of it and decided to give it a try. Let me just say this: I FREAKIN’ LOVED IT. It was perfect: characters were well-developed and reliable (even though I am not sick with cancer), plot was interesting and unexpected and overall story was just spectacular. I could not wait for the movie to come to the big screen.
June 12th was pre-premiere date of TFIOS in Lithuania. I went alone without any friends because I wanted to concentrate on the movie. I also was kinda embarrassed to cry in front of them and I definitely knew that I was going to cry.
TFIOS stars Shailene Woodley as Hazel Grace and Ansel Elgort as Augustus Waters – two main characters. Although, these actors are playing brother and sister in Divergent movies, it wasn’t awkward to see them as lovers, mainly because they are such great, professional actors that portray believable characters. I don’t want to talk about story-line much because I do not want to spoil anything. Though, book readers may notice that there a couple little changes from a book to a movie: for example, before going to Amsterdam Gus does not get in a fight with his parents in the movie as he does in a book. Personally, I didn’t mind these tiny changes just because the overall story-line wasn’t affected.
The last point I would like to mention is the soundtrack of the movie. It is so good, I have already downloaded it form iTunes. However, I wish they had included Troye Sivan’s song with the same name into soundtrack. You can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqG55HdmKTE
The movie made me smile and cry at the same time. Actually, I haven’t seen that many crying girls in one place ever. The scene that brought the biggest amount of tears was the one when Hazel is giving her speach about infinities at Gus pre-funeral. That part was emotional, sad and overwhelming.
If you haven’t seen the movie, what are you waiting for? Go see it. Now! And them come back here and tell me what did you think about it. Okay? Okay. Bye

fault-our-stars-movie-posterThe_Fault_in_Our_Starstumblr_mjkquik4KY1s2pc1vo1_1280