Wednesday, 17 April 2013

I'm back: 4 reviews

Hi! I'm back, I'm back.
Where have I been, you ask? I was writing my third year dissertation, otherwise known as my FYP (final year project). 10,000 words on a subject of my choice, worth 40% of my overall degree. Pretty important stuff!
I decided to question: "How is language abused in science fiction?"
My primary texts were Frankenstein, The Island of Doctor Moreau and Time's Arrow. The primary focus of my FYP was to examine the text of Sir Francis Galton's theory of eugenics, which suggested breeding a better race of people. The emphasis was the language he used in his theory, which was not to create a new race but to modify and improve the current race. This became particularly significant because the scientists in each text all attempt to create their own race, with disastrous consequences.
I took me 8 months to research and write this, and the last 6 weeks were ridiculous. I still feel physically exhausted, even though there was very little exercise happening. Unless eating Easter eggs count as exercise...
However, that said, I have lost another 1% body fat since February :) so now I'm 21.3%. I need to crack on now to reach my goal of 18% by July, but now I'm not living in the library or the learning cafe, I think I can do this.
So... to catch up, I'm going to write 4 little reviews.
Review #1:
Anna Karenina, 3/5
Starring: Jude Law as Alexei Karenin, Keira Knightley as Anna Karenina and Aaron Taylor-Wood as Count Vronsky (ginormous swoon).
Originally a novel by Leo Tolstoy and published between 1873 and 1877, this 2012 adaption is very theatrical. If you like Moulin Rouge and Romeo & Juliet, directed by Baz Luhrmann, you will probably like this film too. That said, I really like the aforementioned films, but I was disappointed with Anna Karenina. It starts as if the action is taking place on the stage, however this theme then becomes more sporadic throughout.
Anna Karenina is a complex character, and I read in an interview with Ms. Knightley that the viewer is not intended to simply like or dislike her. However, when she commits suicide, I felt nothing. I let out a genuine gasp of sadness and shock at the death of Vronsky's beautiful horse, yet when Anna throws herself in front of a train, I felt not a tiny bit of sadness.
The performances of the three main characters were outstanding, and the costumes absolutely gorgeous. Lucky Keira, getting to dress up all the time. However, the inclusion of a side-plot felt fragmented, and when the film switched between the two, I found myself just waiting to return to the plot surrounding Anna.
It was ambitious to turn 800+ pages into a 129 minute film, and I felt there was not enough time to establish the significance of the side-plot. I would watch this film again, and it is definitely worth watching, but I'm glad I waited to watch this on Sky.
Review #2:
Pitch Perfect, 2/5
Starring: Rebel Wilson, Anna Kendrick, and a lot of other people.
This film was predictable to the point of annoyance. And it took 90 minutes, out of 112, to reach an extremely obvious solution.
Beca, Anna Kendrick, goes to college and joins The Bellas, an all-female singing group. They compete against the all-boys singing group in competitions, and inevitably win at the big final.
The first annoying point about this is I've seen Kendrick play the same character twice now; that awkward, "quirky" character which somehow always comes out on top, when in fact is just plain rude. The second annoying point is that, for a comedy, this film isn't that funny. I love Rebel Wilson, and she's hilarious, but after a while I felt, "Oh here's Rebel Wilson, she'll say or do something slightly silly or rude and it's going to be funny." There were no unexpected laughs, and at points, it was just plain odd, like when one of the characters suddenly vomits in retaliation during an argument.
I won't watch this again, and I'm definitely glad I didn't go to the cinema for this!
Review #3:
Bastille, Bad Blood, 4.5/5
Believe the hype, this album is fantastic. It has two of my favourite things: intelligent lyrics and good harmonies. All of the tracks are slightly melancholy and thought-provoking, which remind me of albums such as Ed Sheeran's + and Lana Del Ray's Born To Die. Also, I had a listen to Bastille's live tracks on YouTube, and they are just as amazing live as on the album.
Top tracks: Pompeii, Things We Lost In The Fire and Bad Blood.
Tracks to avoid: personally, I find Get Home a bit irritating.
This is the perfect album for both quiet-time and sing-a-longs, and I strongly recommend buying this ASAP.
Review #4:
Taylor Swift, Red, 3/5
This album is very pop, with catchy sing-a-longs and a couple of ballads. I particularly enjoy the songs where you can hear Swift's country music influences, and the lyrics in her songs are (slightly) more grown up than her previous album, Fearless.
Top tracks: Red, I Knew You Were Trouble, 22, and Holy Ground.
Tracks to avoid: All Too Well and I Almost Do. These get very whiney.
This is a girly, fun album, with some real gems, but sometimes her voice is a little grating.


No comments:

Post a Comment