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Lanzarote - Day 2

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To say that today was inactive would be a very large understatement. I did however walk up and down a few flights of stairs (intentionally this time) in a bid to find more books. I found this one...

With this stellar review...

I had considered leaving a review of the current one I'm reading inside it for the next person. Slightly more detailed than this so as to actually be useful to someone picking it up!
Hey hotels? You spend so much time and money having branded toiletries printed, why not do bookmarks where people can write reviews on the back and leave them in the book? Cheap as, and I've never seen any hotels do this before, it would be a book lovers paradise.
Apart from that I was pretty much sedentary for the whole day. I had told people this in advance. No I would not be walking to the shops. No I would not be playing mini golf. It is my weekend and I am going to treat it as such.
The only variation to the day was eating in the fancy restaurant to belatedly celebrate mum a…

Lanzarote - Day 1

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This post is brought to you by the wonders of auto-uploading via email. I have no idea how it's going to turn out so please bear with me! If only Blogger's app actually worked!
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After having explored the basics of the resort, both intentionally and unintentionally, I've got the lay of the land for the rest of my trip.
It seems fitting to start with the unintentional exploring as that's where I began my holiday when we arrived.
Firstly, this hotel is up the wrong way. You walk through reception to the terrace that presents you with a magnificent view over the pool and the fan of rooms below... but that means that the reception, and more importantly, the main bar are UP from your room. This, and the fact that the place is woefully lacking in signage, leads you to an exciting meander through the building until you can drill the new convention into your head.

I found my room relatively quickly, tomorrow I'm going to time how long it takes to walk back to the main buildin…

A Simple Favour ★★ ½ ☆☆ | Book Review

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Summary
Emily asks for one favour from her friend, Stephanie... Can she pick up her son Nicky from school... and she does, but Emily doesn't come to pick him up. As the search for her continues it becomes evident to Stephanie that her friend wasn't all she appeared to be.

Review
I'm going to make a sincere effort to save movie comparisons for later and just focus on the book for now. I will say that the reason I got the book was because I saw the film and was intrigued to read the source material. I also listened to this with Whispersync.

The story is told from four perspectives in the book: Stephanie, Stephanie's blog, Emily and Sean. The first half being Stephanie, before switching to Emily and finishing with a mix of all of them. I enjoyed the mix of first person narratives and it worked particularly well with the audio version.

As a whole the book was very simple, and by that I mean it was very easy to listen to. Lots of people are comparing the story line idea (a…

The Little Stranger ★★ ½ ☆☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
When visiting a patient at the nearby manor Dr Faraday encounters a little piece of his past and something altogether unexplainable.


Review
I can't say that this is a horror. It's a little bit creepy. It's also somehow engaging, despite it not having that horror aspect you're expecting.

Domhnall Gleeson is an interesting leading actor. He plays the roll well and it feels fitting for the period. But for me Will Poulter really was the best performance. Entirely believable and quite possibly the best thing I've seen him do. I can't say that I was particularly excited about anyone else in this.

The music, or the lack thereof, is very atmospheric. It's really noticable and brings that creepy sense just when it's needed. The visuals get the atmosphere just right too. There's a fantastic slightly out of focus (lets call it squiggly feeling) shot that was used when the supernatural was in the air and it worked intriguingly well.

At the time of wri…

A Simple Favour ★★★ ½ ☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Stephanie and Emily become unlikely friends thanks to their sons. But when Emily goes missing Stephanie discovers that she doesn't really know anything about her at all.


Review
Fair warning, if you see this film you will want Blake Lively to be your lover by the end of the it.

There's no denying that this is an entertaining film. There's also no denying that it's predictable. Even without knowing the plot you can basically guess the way it's going to progress.

Blake Lively is amazing though. I honestly thought I'd never seen her in anything, but of course she's been in Green Lantern and Accepted. The latter being a favourite and the former... well, I thought Deadpool had taken care of that one for us... oh well. She does a great job of her role in this one. You can see her devious nature in the way she interacts with everyone and she really does improve the scenes she's in.

I love Anna Kendrick, she's funny and very talented but I wasn'…

The House With A Clock In Its Walls ★★★ ½ ☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Lewis is sent off to live with his Uncle after the tragic death of his parents. The spooky house holds lots of secrets, including a mysterious ticking sound in the walls. The unlikely trio of Lewis, his Uncle Jonathan and their neighbour Mrs Zimmerman, must work out how to stop the hidden clock before it destroys the world.


Review (minor spoiler at the end of the review)
This isn't a bad film all in all, it certainly fills a more traditional (?) magical gap in recent releases.
The best thing about The House With A Clock In Its Walls is definitely Cate Blanchett, she plays eccentric beautifully in this one and I don't think there were any of her scenes that I wasn't fond of. She bounces well with Jack Black, and their little moments of bickering are amusing and express their playful friendship really well.
Jack Black is very, well, Jack Black in this. He's a good comedic actor, but his roles are always quite similar in ways. That's not a negative thing as …

Superfly ★★ ½ ☆☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
I had to look this up because for a significant portion of the film I had no idea what was going on.

Priest has his eye on very, very, early retirement from the drug game. He lives his life under the radar and likes his colleagues to do the same. But when he goes for the last big score greed and rivalries come to a head and put everything in jeopardy.


Review
This is a remake of Super Fly from 1972, not one I've seen, after seeing this I don't think I'll bother.

I can't say that any of the acting really stood out over the rest. It's not really my genre/subject matter, but everything did feel rather stereotypical. It was an interesting story, but for me the negatives outweighed the positives.

The style of the first and only real fight scene of the whole film was very good, if a little cheesy. It hit the spot for action but it didn't feel like any of the rest of the movie and stuck out a little for me. Perhaps because it's one of the few times we see…

American Animals ★★★ ½ ☆ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
Life must have more to it than this. Four students pool their talents to steal a collection of rare and expensive books.


Review
I'm always a little worried when you get documentary with motion picture, it gives me flashes of terrible Crime Watch style recreations. But watching the blend between the real and the fictional in American Animals was a pleasure. I felt like it drew just the right balance. You got less real life as the film progressed until the conclusion and that then brings back the reality of what happened.

We all know that moment when you tell a story with a friend and there's that pause... wait... that's not how that happened, is it? The film even accounts for that. It deals with the slight uncertainties in a fun way by breaking the... well, I'm not sure what wall it's actually breaking when it's the real person talking to his fictional self.

Each part was played really well, and everyone worked in harmony throughout the whole film. I w…

The Predator ★★★★★ | Movie Review

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Synopsis
When an alien craft falls to Earth Quinn McKenna is the only remaining witness from his team. He's being sold down the river to cover it up. But when the Predator escapes and is on the hunt for it's missing technology he knows where it's going, and he needs to get there before it does.

Review
I went into this expecting some good action and some decent graphics. I did not expect to find so much comedy. This was a real treat to watch.
There's just something about "seeing" The Predator when he's invisible that really hits the spot. It gets you on the edge of the seat and fills you with just the right sort of anxiety. Had someone tapped me on the shoulder during the first time that happened in the film I probably would have swung for them while wailing like a banshee.
Lots of actors that you'd recognise from other things and everyone has their own little quirk that works well together in the scenes. It didn't feel like any of the talent was …

Mile 22 ★★ ½ ☆☆ | *SPOILER FILLED* Movie Review

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Synopsis
Silva's tactical unit are tasked with getting an asset off foreign soil so that they can unlock a hard drive containing information on the location of missing radioactive isotopes.


Review
With a run time of 1 hour 34 minutes, and such a fast flowing story line, you certainly don't feel like you're bored at any point during Mile 22. There were plenty of times where I was confused, and a couple where I was amused, but never bored.

Overall the story is a good one and I felt like the twists and turns come in just the right places. But there's no denying that this could have been a 4/5 star film for me had there been some differences.

The opening titles set about cataloging Silva's (Mark Wahlberg) personal history so that we know what sort of person he is and how he's ended up at the head of this team. While it actually worked well I'm unsure of why it was needed at all. Most of the traits that were being shown are ones that frequently pop up in movies…