Something Beautiful: Tea Time – #T2 #strawberriesandcream #obsessed

 

Somebody PLEASE stop me from visiting this store……. I spend a fortune each time I cross the threshold. My family has been shown exactly which teapot and cup and saucer set I want for Mother’s Day. I can’t find a picture online otherwise I would share 😉

This week’s obsession? Strawberries and Cream…

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OH

MY

GOD

Absolutely scrumptious.

I use this gadget to brew at home….

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I will have to go back in during the week to get a pic of my cup and saucer set.

YAY

Movie Review: The Croods 3D [PG] #TheCroods

 

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Directors : Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders

Starring : Nicolas Cage , Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Chris Sanders, Randy Thom

Running Time : 98 minutes

Release Date :   28 March 2013

 ‘Meet the first modern family’

The newest Dreamworks juggernaut, The Croods is an animated feature about a prehistoric family and the world’s very first road trip. The family patriarch Grug (Cage) manages to instill in his family a fear of….. well everything. He ensures they fear change, the dark, ideas, fun and most of all life outside the cave walls. Indulged by his long-suffering wife Ugga (Keener) and thick as two planks son Thunk (Duke), he meets resistance from his spirited teenage daughter Eep (Stone) who just wants to knows what’s ‘out there’ .

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One night, Eep wakes up to see a strange light and slips out of the cage. She meets a young handsome stranger Guy (Reynolds) and his trusty sloth, Belt (Sanders). Guy warns Eep of impending doom in the form of earthquakes and erupting volcanoes. Eep in turns tells Grug who refuses to listen until the inevitable happens and the family are forced to flee their ancestral home errr cave.

 

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The destructive earthquakes expose the family to a brand new world. Grug has the hardest time adapting to this new reality, especially the influence of the young Guy who wins the trust and hearts of the family, one by one.

 

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As the family make their way across the new landscape, they encounter many new creatures, some familiar to us and some just made up in the minds of a cartoon artist. These creatures are sometimes dangerous, sometimes funny but always entertaining.

This is a movie about love and family. It’s about tradition and adapting to change. It’s about growing up and letting go.

Like all great kid’s animation features of the last 15 years or so, it has a few jokes that sail right over the heads of the kiddies and make the adults chuckle in delight. The ongoing husband vs mother in law gag is one of the movie’s highlights. Just a look into the camera by a scheming Grug is enough to pitch every adult in the cinema into fits of laughter. The cackling and caustically sarcastic comments of the mother in law as Grug’s plans are foiled yet again sends them into hysterics.

 

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The Croods has something for everyone, young and old. The kiddies today seemed to respond mostly to the sloth ….. da da daaaaaaaaaaaahhhh ….. the almost feral baby and the smaller birdlike creatures that played pranks on the travelling family. It is a mixture of fantasy and history, or pre history as it were. That the world changed and cavemen had to adapt to survive is an accepted scientific fact. To see it on the screen in such an endearing and engaging manner makes this movie entertaining and just a little educational. It could certainly open some discussion about prehistoric times that does NOT include dinosaurs.

 

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I saw this movie in 3D but it could certainly be just an enjoyable in 2D. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and I urge you to grab the kiddies, big and little, and go see The Croods. It has some history, some whimsy, some romance, some laughs and some drama. Something for everyone. So if the kids get hyped up on chocolate bunnies over easter, rope them in and drive to the movies for some giggles and downtime.

Da da dahhhhhhhhhhhhhh (see the movie and you’ll understand….. )

 

Love Flick xx

 

 

Movie Review: Goddess [PG] #Goddess #GoddessMovie #Magda #RonanKeating

 

Director : Mark Lamprell

Starring : Laura Michelle Kelly, Ronan Keating, Magda Szubanski,Dustin Clare , Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Pia Miranda, Corinne Grant, Cameron Lyon, Lucy Durack

Running Time : 105 minutes

Release Date :   In Cinemas Now

Adapted for the screen from Joanna Weinberg’s stage show, Elspeth Dickens (Kelly) is a frustrated wife and mother, stuck in rural Tasmania with twin toddlers as her husband James (Keating) sails off to Antarctica every few weeks to record whale songs. Elspeth is a Brit import and has struck a deal with her Irish husband to move to Australia so he can follow his dream of studying whales. When their twins go to school, he will take over the main child rearing duties. She’s finding it hard to make friends and is snubbed by the local mothers group who sneer at and judge her behind her back.

 

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Aware that his wife is lonely and unhappy, James gives her a webcam so they can keep in contact while he is away saving the whales. Unable to contact her husband, Elspeth sets up the webcam and shares her Sink Songs with the world. Frustrated that she has no viewers, she calls in the local tech geek/supermarket employee Neil (Lyon) who sets her up online and BAM….. she has an enraptured audience.

 

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It’s not long before the webcast catches the eye of a PR company searching for a woman to spearhead a webisode campaign for a new range of ipads called Goddess. Elspeth is quickly flown to Sydney where she is mentored by corporate bitch with a heart Cassandra Wolfe (real life Aussie Goddess and icon Szubanski) into becoming the face of this new Goddess range of computers.

 

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Elspeth is faced with all the realities and tough choices that comes with success and motherhood. She sets up a nanny cam to keep an eye on her sons while she is away and inadvertently sets it to broadcast from her website. The world watches, completely mesmerised, as her hunky husband comes home and deals with his children, his life and their new cute and perky nanny Cherry (Durack).

 

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I am not a fan of movie musicals. I’m just not. They bore me and I have even avoided the much-lauded Les Miserables because I didn’t want to be murdered as I slept and snored my way through a Hugh Jackman movie. For those who don’t know, sleeping your way through a Hugh Jackman movie is actually a punishable crime here in Australia …… *winks*

And may I add that the house used in the movie is my absolute dream house and I would give almost anything to own it *sighs*

 

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So with this in mind, I cannot believe I almost missed this movie because of my aversion to musicals. This move is wonderful. Unashamedly a chick flick, it has all the elements that make a truly feel good piece of modern musical escapism. It is fun and funny, quirky and charming, with lots of cute and catchy songs throughout.

Laura Kelly is a gorgeous and divinely adorable leading lady. She can sing and is not a bad actress. Her scenes with her twin sons, who have quirks of their own…..one refuses to remove his butterfly/angel/bee wings and the other refuse to poop…. are endearing and delightful. Every single mum in the cinema will shuffle awkwardly and laugh out loud as Elspeth deals with her sons throwing a terrifyingly familiar tantrum in the local supermarket as everyone looks on, full of judgement.

 

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Ronan Keating is an absolute hunk. This is the Boyzone guy right? He’s on some Aussie TV show which I will now be watching religiously. WOW! He was always a good-looking man but this mature, gorgeous, tatted up creature is something else. And that Irish accent………are you kidding me. Beware of blue-eyed Irish boys my Irish grandmother used to say. Oh Nanna but why… *sighs* A gratuitous Ronan pic? I think so …..

 

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Magda Szubanski is, as always, beyond fabulous. And she is looking amazing, absolutely amazing. She plays the highly strung, highly ambitious PR woman to high camp perfection. She stays just this side of being over the top and she is simply wonderful. Full of insight and insincere PR wisdom, she stole every scene she was in.

This whole movie made me laugh and smile. I don’t think I went for more than a few minutes without a grin on my face. It did have a  few sombre moments as the relationship between Elspeth and James began to unravel and as the choices a mother has to make weighed heavily on our heroine.

 

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I would absolutely recommend you go and see this movie. Take a few girlfriends and make a night of it. It has everything a chick flick should have. A nice script…. not to demanding or taxing on the brain but what are we here for? Lots of catchy songs…. a couple of cute kids…a gorgeous leading man….and lots and lots of Aussie humour. Oh and speaking of Aussie…….not one single cringeworthy stereotype was spotted during the entire movie. Lots of modern stereotypes, of course, but not a single g’day mate or thick ocker accent. Phew!

So what are you waiting for? Go and buy yourself a pair of hot pink washing up gloves and support our local movie industry. I promise you will have a great time as well

 

Love Flick xx

 

Quote of the Moment – In Images #quote #truth #lies #love #hate

I would rather be honest than impressive

one lie is all it takes for a person to lose interest in you

if someone tells you to change yourself, tell them to go fuck themselves

Choices ...

forget what hurt uou but never forget what it taught you

trust your hunches

dont get even be better than the person or situation

all truths wait in all things

bullshit

giving up had enough

beautiful-white-girl-walking-the-road-before-sunset

Movie Review: I Give It a Year [M] #igiveitayear

 

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Director : Dan Mazer

Starring : Rose Byrne, Anna Faris, Simon Baker, Minnie Driver, Stephen Merchant, Rafe Spall

Running Time : 97 minutes

Release Date :   In Cinemas Now

Nat (Byrne) and Josh (Spall)  are a newly dating couple. For just 7 months to be exact. The first few minutes are a montage of their romance, culminating in their wedding when the movie shifts to real-time. But this is no happy marriage and the couple are in therapy within months. Nobody expects this marriage to last, thus the title.

Josh is a writer suffering writer’s block as he struggles to pen his second novel. This infuriates Nat who complains that he is ‘always here (home) ‘. He is buoyed and enabled by his best mate Danny (Merchant). Josh has unresolved feelings for his ex Chloe (Faris) and the two engage in a merry dance of will they or won’t they.

 

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Nat is a successful advertising type and is soon pitching an account to the wealthy and handsome Guy (Baker). The two share an immediate attraction and Nat is encouraged by her colleagues to seem available. Nat’s sister Naomi (Driver) is gorgeously snarky and caustic as she endlessly shares with her sister the disappointments and drudgery of married life.

This movie has an interesting premise…..it’s an anti romantic comedy.  A couple who fall in love and marry within 7 months. Marry in haste, repent at leisure as they say. Their relationship is played out in a therapist’s office and we have a real he said, she said scenario with the exception that they both tend to agree that this marriage really was a bug mistake. At first I thought it was just one of those quirky Brit films, like Four Weddings and a Funeral, that you had to persevere with for a little while before it’s subtle humour grabbed you. And so I waited ….

 

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It has all the elements of greatness, including a powerhouse cast. I am a big fan of the quirky and irrepressible Faris and the goofy, gangly Merchant and, of course, I do love to support my fellow Aussies. Byrne is serenely stunning and Baker is swoon-worthy, movie matinée idol delicious. But it just didn’t work for me. It never quite clicked and found it’s momentum. Don’t get me wrong, it had its moments and there were some laughs but they were few and far between.

 

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I found Merchant’s character in particular to be vulgar and tacky. It was real schoolboy humour and …… just no. Faris was made as dowdy and frumpy as possible as just never shone as she normally does. Both of these great actors can blame a lacklustre script and bad directing for their disappointing turns in this movie.

This movie has received very mixed reviews and the split really is 50/50. And by reviews, I mean talking with my fellow cinema goers and friends who have seen the movie. It was not my cup of tea but was worth it for the eye candy that is Mr Simon Baker.

Yes please ….

 

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Movie Review : The Impossible #Theimpossible #tsunami

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Movie Title: The Impossible  [M]

Director : Juan Antonio Bayona

Starring : Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor, Tom Holland, Samuel Joslin, Oaklee Pendergast, Geraldine Chaplin, Johan Sundberg

Running Time : 114 minutes

Release Date :   In Cinemas Now

 

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The Impossible is based on the true story of a family who endured the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami that devastated vast tracts of Southern Asia and killed over 230 000 people. As this is a movie review and not an account of the earthquake and ensuing tsunami, you can read more about the actual tsunami here if you are so inclined.

Henry (McGregor) and Maria (Watts, nominated for an Oscar for this role) are holidaying in Thailand with their 3 sons Lucas (Holland), Thomas (Joslin) and Simon (Pendergast). They arrive at the brand new resort and to their delight, find they have been upgraded from a third floor room to a beach front bungalow. The family settle in for Christmas and the days are spent as you would imagine days are spent in Thailand while on vacation……lazing around the pool reading, relaxing and promising the kids you will play table tennis with them later.

Then the tsunami arrives …. and it is devastating.

 

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All we see of the approaching tsunami is palm trees being brought down by something large. Of course, we as viewers know what is coming but for those few moments, we are feeling what those poor souls must have been feeling, a mixture of bewilderment and fear of what was happening just past the tree line. It seems hard to imagine that just 8 years ago none of us would have been able to identify an approaching tsunami. The world is a different place now.

The actual tsunami scenes are harrowing and confronting. The special effects awe inspiring and gruesome. A combination of above and underwater shots, we see the water sweeping everyone and everything away. But it is the underwater shots that take your breath away. We watch in horror as bodies collide with cars, metal and very large sharp tree branches. And the noises.  Blood chilling. The roar of the tsunami itself, the crunching of metal and trees, the underwater gurgling that reminds you these people are drowning. These scenes are not for the faint hearted and I will admit I had my eyes averted quite often and had to rely on my companion to provide necessary commentary.

 

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Maria is swept away and emerges screaming…..a deep guttural cry that brought my first tears. It is possibly exactly what I would have done in her place. She knows what has happened and she has lost her children. She manages to find her eldest son, Lucas and watching  a mother caring nothing for her own safety as she tries to reach her child are gut wrenching. These are also the scenes when the pair emerge from the water and we see their injuries for the first time. Again, not for the faint hearted. But during these moments, we see the relationship between mother and son deepen and shift as they confront their new reality.

In one scene, Lucas comments to his mother that he cannot bear to see her like this and turns away from her. She looks down and as the camera pans down her chest to reveal deep, nasty wounds and a bare breast. Maria covers herself the best she can but it is  obvious that it is seeing his mother so badly wounded that is confronting for the youngster.

The pair are confronted by death and despair on an unimaginable scale. They find Daniel, an understandably terrified toddler and bring him with them to safety. It is locals who are their saviours and there are some truly touching moments here as the bridge between rich and poor, local and foreigner are forgotten.

 

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Henry is with the couple’s 2 youngest children and has to make decisons no father should have to make. I am still not sure I agree with them and so will not discuss them here as I will let you decide for yourself.

Maria and Lucas are taken to the local hospital which is struggling to cope with the emergency. It would be difficult enough for any hospital to deal with such widespread devastation but to see understaffed and ill equipped hositals in a developing country try to cope….. astounding. Seeing seriously ill people pushed against stairwells is confronting but a sad reality of the situation.

 

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Henry searches tirelessly for his family and Lucas busies himself at the hospital helping anyone he can. It is the very best of humanity amongst the very worst of scenarios. Maria’s life continues to hang by a thread.

This movie is a drama and provides some great moments. As I have previously described, the special effects are amazing. We also see what the news censors at the time did not let us see. Things like the rows upon rows of dead bodies…. some bagged, some lying bloated waiting to be dealt with.

I wanted this family to survive and find each other. I really was engrossed in the whole thing but there were some glaring inconsistencies that I just couldnt get past. Yes this was the story of one family but what we saw was the story of rich foreigners. Could there have not been more about the locals who also endured this disaster? What about the nurse who appeared to work 24/7…..did she have a family? Did she lose her children? What was her story?

As for the ending…….I was simply mortified. I won’t spoil it but I was truly disgusted. I am a grown up and I know how the world works but should that have been my family……..I can assure you things would have been a lot different.

Overall this is a good movie. Amazing special effects and a decent story. Great acting, especially from the youngsters but marred, in my opinion, by the ending. But go and see it and judge for yourself ….. and let me know if you agree.

 

Movie Review : Silver Linings Playbook [M] #SilverLiningsPlaybook

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Movie Title: Silver Linings Playbook [M]

Director : David O. Russell

Starring : Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jackie Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher

Running Time : 122 minutes

Release Date :   In Cinemas Now

When I started writing this review, I found myself becoming distracted by listing the awards this movie and it’s actors have garnered. So, to make things easier not only on myself and you, my adored readers, but to highlight just how well received and lauded this movie is, I am simply going to list the major awards now. And this is by no means the entire list …. (any inaccuracies are purely unintentional)

Best Picture – Won – AFI (Australian Film Institute) International, Independemt Spirit Awards. Nominated – Academy Awards, BAFTA, Golden Globes

David O Russell – Director/Writer – Nominated and/or Won – Academy Award, AFI (Australian Film Institute) International, Golden Globes, BAFTA, Independemt Spirit Awards

Bradley Cooper – Best Actor  – Nominated – Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globes, AFI (Australian Film Institute) International, Independent Spirit Awards

Jennifer Lawrence – Best Actress – Won – Academy Award, Golden Globes, AFI (Australian Film Institute) International, Independent Spirit Awards. Nominated – BAFTA

Jackie Weaver – Best Supporting Actress – Nominated – Academy Award. Won – AFI (Australian Film Institute) International

Robert De Niro – Best Supporting Actor – Nominated – Academy Award. Won – AFI (Australian Film Institute) International

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Pat Solatano ( Bradley Cooper) is serving a mandatory eight month sentence in a mental institution. He feels he is now ready to leave and reclaim all that he has lost….his wife, his career, his home, his life. His mother Dolores (Australia’s Jackie Weaver) has agreed to bring him home and as part of his release, he must live with his parents. His father Pat Sr (De Niro) is unaware of this agreement. It doesn’t take long before we realise this is a family fractured by their son’s mental illness. It is not an angry, bitter fracture but more a silent resignation of how things are.

Pat Sr is recently unemployed and is attempting to make enough money to start a new business via bookmaking. He bets mostly on the Philadelphia Eagles football team. The entire family are unswervingly loyal Eagles supporters and the rituals and superstitions that go hand in hand with this obsession…. well let’s just say that it is easy to see where Pat Jr may have inherited some of his ummm quirks.

Pat does not want to take his medication for bipolar disorder because he doesn’t like the way it makes him feel. This causes some interesting moments, some amusing, some rather serious and as anyone who has lived with family or friends who are ‘off their meds’ can attest, it can go either way at any moment.  One of his biggest goals is weight loss. It is never addressed exactly how much weight he has lost during his stint at the institution but as most people comment on how well he looks, one can assume it is rather significant. To this end, Pat runs every day wearing a full tracksuit and a black plastic garbage bag…..the garbage makes him sweat thus hastening the weight loss.

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It is during his daily runs that he is consistently ‘ambushed’  by Tiffany (Lawrence), a young woman he was introduced to by a friend at a recent dinner party. Their initial interactions are awkward and mildly hostile. Tiffany has issues of her own and she seems to instinctively know how to push Pat’s buttons. The two form an almost unbearably uncomfortable relationship with the most basic of social interactions difficult for them. Yet it’s good for both of them, this much is obvious and thus gives the fledgling relationship momentum.

Tiffany agrees to help Pat win back his wife and he in turn agrees to enter a local dance competition with her. The relationship changes and flourishes as the pair prepare for the competition.

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This movie is touted as a dramatic comedy and there are some laughs but it is heavier on the drama. And this is a very good thing. The developing relationship between this emotionally damaged pair is lovely to watch. It did take me a little while to warm to this movie but in hindsight, this was possibly because it was very real.

The reality is that most of us are damaged in some way and just because you are not diagnosed or on medication is irrelevant. Too often in movies the dialogue between couples is fluid and clever and witty. This rarely happens in real life, despite what those dating website advertisements want us to believe. There are awkward pauses and confronting comments. The wrong things is said and reacted too. You try to be on your best behaviour but why should you have to be? Why should someone not accept you for who you are?

And that is the secret to this movie.

It is about relationships that are not perfect between people who are not perfect. And that is okay. We learn to adjust and live with and love these non perfect people and if we are very lucky, they will love us right back. We can try and fix ourselves and try and fix those we love but when all the superficial stuff is gone, love is just love. Sometimes the one we love is not the one for us and we have to deal with that before we can see clearly. Most of us have been in this situation and can relate to the frustrations and pain that it causes. To lose the one you love, no matter how it happens, is painful. It’s what you do next that is important.

Try and see this movie because it does live up to the hype and all the awards are richly deserved….