At least that is the gospel according to Jojo who has crowned himself new king of the universe. Looking like butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth, his transformation from the live toy of the mastiff into boss of the world was quite interesting. After his confrontation with Scharnelle he decided he liked being top dog and has ensured–at least in his own mind–that he stayed there.
His new-found courage has made him cheeky to the point of trying to eat your sandwich from your hand and telling Scharnelle where she can sit. Since Scharnelle is either polite or needs glasses she is batting him aside only now and then. The rest of the time she concedes just to keep him out of her face. Wrestling can be problematic for them both, so the new game is stealing toys from each other. Scharnelle waits until Jojo is looking the other way, but Jojo is happy to latch onto the bottom of it and swing until she gives up. He has gone from the timid newcomer to the small dog with a big dog ego and Scharnelle is left her disapproval as only a mastiff can. The house is now the new battleground where their endless power struggle will be eternal because Jojo is relentless and Scharnelle hasn’t noticed the change in status and probably never will!
Jack Reacher is based on a character by author Lee Child. This movie was a so-so rather predictable adventure that could have been a better one–and the near miss is due to the stereotypical characters. We have been subjected to years of Bourne movies–showing a hero of complicated simplicity, yet this movie chose to return to the one-dimensional old-school action hero. Surely we have grown up from the Arnie and Stallone fare where explosions serve as dialogue?
A character that lives by his own code, whose boundaries are determined by whatever he was undertaking could be intriguing, but the story was let down because the hero had no dimensions. The lack of charisma between the lead characters was glaring–it would be nice if characters actually could relate intelligently. One can often describe Tom as being wooden and considering the hero he was portraying he did his usual stuff, but Rosamund Pike appeared to have little chemistry with anyone. Everyone was either obvious or backflipped in seconds, which was a let down because I had hoped for some unexpected twists. At first I considered that Tom was giving a performance worthy of Keanu until he says:
Jack Reacher: There are four types of people who join the military. For some, it’s family trade. Others are patriots, eager to serve. Next you have those who just need a job. Than there’s the kind who want the legal means of killing other people.
That’s when I realised that Tom wasn’t wooden because Jack was the last soldier described on the list. Just another psychopath posing as a hero. He evoked nothing, emoted nothing and inspired nothing. Then again, since the movie gave only a superficial somewhat stock action character description, it’s unlikely that anything intriguing would occur. It seemed to prefer to concentrate on the action–as a good action adventure should, but a little more clarity and a little less cliché would have gone a long way.
It was the Jason Statham type of skirmish where ten guys try to beat up the hero that put me off. Now I realise in the book Jack is very, very tall, but if you put Tom on the screen you need a pertinent fight. There can be one or two villains, or at least have him run down the street and take on a couple of a time to give a modicum of realism. These type of scenes take the hero from being a credible and scary man into a cartoon–another action fail. Which was disappointing as maybe Jack Reacher could have been an exciting set of movies, but then I think this is as good as it gets.
7.5/10 Needs a reality check.
Despite Bjork, Hákarl and the threat of volcanic eruption Iceland has always been my dream destination. One look at the wonderful Fjords and aurora borealis was enough to cement that choice. I live in a sunburnt country and it is indeed that. From the golden beaches to the sun baked deserts with dry inland grasslands and clay lands. Australia has commanding scenery, exotic animals and beaches that go on forever. We also have the aurora australis , but one always wants something different. So when I look for adventure I look for the very opposite and nothing seems more opposite than the strange and beautiful makeup of Iceland. With a small population, almost no violence and amazing scenery, there is everything to entice–if you are willing to overlook the pickled herring and rotten shark and other strange dinners.
I still live in hope in being able to get there to enoy the delights before the next volcano sends it the way of Atlantis to become the myth of further centuries.
Here are some Icelandic authors to help inspire a visit!
B eautiful Creatures was a surprising movie. I happened upon it by accident and was not expecting anything beyond mildly interesting. I do not follow most teen movies. Twilight was a yawn– The Hunger Games moderately engaging if you consider children murdering children to be entertainment, but this–this was an unexpected encounter.
I am not familiar with the series or the authors Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia, in fact I had no idea the series existed at all beyond a movie that I had come across. It was obvious from the start that this story was a multilayered structure and I knew, even without being familiar with the work, that it was not going to do justice to the book. The concepts were too complicated, and some of the characters obviously not explored properly. It was no doubt, a huge task to translate to screen. Even so, the story left Twilight in the dust. The main characters were witty and intelligent, while their concerns were both real and unique.
The Romeo and Juliet aspect of the story was the usual hook for the intended audience and it was done with the correct amount of humour and angst. Starring Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert as the young lovers it also has an impressive list of supporting actors. Such as Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rosum to name a few.
The ending I found a little trivial, but considering the intended age of the audience it was probably acceptable. While I am not in a position to say if the movie has done justice to the story it has challenged me to find out.
8/10 Better than most.
Cake is just cake until it comes from a patisserie, then it elevates itself to something heavenly that cannot be ignored. It is difficult enough to concentrate on a schedule that is demanding without flooding yourself with sugar. After a luxurious éclair, I find myself wanting to sleep instead of work. For me, sugar is not beneficial to the creative process, yet somehow I am always under the influence. My work suffered, my fitness suffered and my brain became fuzzy.
Unfortunately, the worst and best thing that could happen did—when a patisserie opened up in the next suburb. The delight of fresh French bread, baguettes, brioche, almond croissant, milles feuilles was just too much and I started making daily trips. Luckily, they were only open three days a week or else I would soon have been unable to fit back into the car. After a few weeks, however, I realised that the visits to the shop of French delights had to be reined in and so now, I count down the days to my birthday when I am allowed to go back!