From The Net (My April Trawl) Wednesday, Apr 14 2010 

A few interesting items I have stumbled across…

Jennifer Anniston takes a jab at herself… and also Brad Pitt by association.

I went and saw “Love Exposure” the other day, a 4 1/2 hour long Japanese film Directed/Written by Shion Sono. Possibly one of the most bizarre, yet arguably one of the best, films I have seen of late. Read a really good review here, on my fave blog, Three Dice. See the movie trailer (with English subtitles) below:

This one’s a serious one. Following the murder of Eugene Terreblanche in South Africa, a racial debate got heated on a SA TV news set. Secretary General of the AWB Andre Visagie lost it, and became quite threatening and well, came off quite racist to be honest.

This is a video of a teenage girl speaking about depression and suicide. I think she is really brave, and has a big heart, to do this. Please watch.

A bit of a mix in there – enjoy.

Hugh Grant – My Foppish Older Man Crush Sunday, Apr 4 2010 

We all know who Hugh Grant is. He’s the lovable jerk, Daniel Cleaver, from the movie’s Bridget Jones’s Diary 1 & 2. He is the dorky sap from Mickey Blue Eyes, and the foppish English dweeb from the famous Four Weddings And A Funeral. Over his long-spanning acting career, and a successful one at that, he has racked up countless roles that have showcased his acting talent, wittiness, ingenious facial expressions and great hair. (I’m sorry, but he does, even if he is stuck in the past with his chosen styles!)

Born Hugh John Mungo Grant on September the 9th 1960, in Hammersmith, London, he earned himself a scholarship to esteemed Oxford University where he enrolled in acting courses. Since then, his career has been on the up and up. His roles aren’t usually serious, gritty journey’s; he often portrays affable, eccentric and witty characters that you can’t help but fall in love with. His most common film trend is that of the leading man in a romantic comedy – working alongside actresses such as Drew Barrymore, Mandy Moore, Andy MacDowell, Julia Roberts, Emma Thompson and Sandra Bullock to name but a few.

He’s also the guy who got caught with prostitute Divine Brown in 1995, whilst dating Elizabeth Hurley. (He was consequently arrested for lewd behavior and fined.) Which isn’t exactly sexy buutttt…

I’m coming out of the closet here. Hugh Grant is my all time older man crush. From his quaffed hair, sparkling blue eyes and crooked grin, to his sexy English accent, his ability to be so witty and lovable onscreen and his quirky personality. I just can’t help but fall for him all over again whenever I watch one of his films. Age difference much? But I don’t care! Haha, he just does it for me!

Every girl I know has an older man crush (George Clooney being the most common!) and Hugh is mine. YUM-O!

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

Hugh Grant

77 Movie Sequels Currently in Production Tuesday, Feb 9 2010 

Stumbled across this article at the “Den of Geek!” website, detailing which movie sequels are being made (some rumored, most verified) as I write this/you read this! Yay for imagination and originality! 😛

Haha – nah, some of them have me pretty excited… Like Avatar 2, Anchorman 2 and Indiana Jones 5! Whoop!

Read the full list here.

Movie Sequels

UP! (2009) Sunday, Jan 31 2010 

I went round to a friends house the other evening for a board games and movie night (don’t laugh, totally the best kind of evening EVER!) and the movie we ended up watching was UP!, of Disney/Pixar fame. Two of my friends had already watched it, and had been raving about it ever since, so I was mildly excited to finally see it.

What ended up happening was I found a movie that easily slotted into my top five fave flicks (alliteration at it’s best 😛 )!

UP! is an animated movie that at first glance, seems like a kids movie. But it is so much more than that. Hilarious, witty and smart, but also unexpectedly raw and heartfelt. The story follows Carl Fredrickson through his shy boyhood, as he dreams of being an adventurer like his hero Charles Munts, who claims to have found The Lost Land somewhere in South America. This place has been labeled a myth by the scientific community at large, but Carl clings to hope of its existence. He meets the rambunctious neighborhood girl Ellie, their shared love of The Lost Land growing as they do. They grow up and marry, live a happy but fairly uneventful life together.

At the ripe old age of 78, Mr Fredrickson finds himself alone after his beloved wife has passed. The world he knew has changed, his demeanor is crotchety and negative, and all he wants to do is keep living his days out in the house he and his wife were happy in. Unfortunately, a developer is trying to get him to move, and when he plonks one of the workers on the head with his cane, he gets told by the courts he has to go into a retirement home. So, what is a man to do?

Well, as an ex helium balloon salesman, he attaches thousands of balloons to his house and floats off of course! He decides to keep the promise he had always made to his wife – to find their magical place they always believed existed. Unfortunately, Mr Fredrickson doesn’t discover his accidental stowaway until its too late! Russell, an eight year old boy who his trying to get his scout badge by helping the elderly, was on the front porch when the house took to the sky and now the two of them are stuck together on an adventure that leads to The Lost Land.

I won’t ruin the plot by divulging the rest of the story line in detail, but once the two unlikely adventurers arrive in The Lost land, hilarity ensues. You meet Kevin, a female bird that has yet to be discovered by the rest of the world and who is being hunted by Charles Munts, Mr Fredricksons lifetime hero. Theres Dug, one of Munts’ dogs that comes equipped with a specialized collar fitted by his owner that allows him to speak. Dugs lines made me laugh so hard I cried!

Dug: “My master made me this collar. He is a good and smart master and he made me this collar so that I may speak. Squirrel!” [looks to distance for a few seconds] “My master is good and smart.”

Dug: “I was hiding under your porch because I love you.”

Dug: “Hey, I know a joke! A squirrel walks up to a tree and says, “I forgot to store acorns for the winter and now I am dead.” Ha! It is funny because the squirrel gets dead.”

This movie was a delightful and well crafted mix of comedy and heart, so good in fact, that I think Disney has outdone itself. This is definitely going to be one of the few movies I want to own myself, as it is JUST THAT GOOD! I recommend that you watch it, either with the kids, with your significant other or even with friends. I think the audience for this movie is the entire human race!

Watch the trailer here.

UP! Movie Poster

Henry, Russell, Dug and Mr Fredrickson

Dug In The Cone Of Shame



2009… Farewell… R.I.P… Lesson Learnt Saturday, Dec 26 2009 

What did 2009 mean to you? What stories caught your attention, what songs buzzed around in your brain like a fly whacked on speed? Everyone had their own personal ups and downs, of course. For me, it was (is) recovering from a pretty bad car accident. Breaking up with a boyfriend of over five years (my choice, but none the less hard), coping with the backlash of the recession and trying to move past my friends death that happened at the end of 2008. Sorry to be a downer there, but 2009 has been ROUGH! I’m looking forward to a fresh beginning in 2010, but before the year rolled over, I thought I’d blog about the events and happenings that caught my attention in ’09. 

First off, the recession. It’s almost become it’s own entity, hasn’t it? People talk about it like it’s a living, breathing thing with actions and no conscience. People have lost their jobs, homes, security. Businesses have closed down, new graduates have struggled to find work. It has been a terribly hard year for everyone, but we battled through and its only up from here!

The Recession Trend

 

The Chris Brown/Rihanna debacle where Chris attacked Ri-Ri while he was driving and she was in the passenger seat. This was brutal and alarming – you don’t think such horrendous behavior happens between celebrity couples. It has highlighted how violence can permeate into anyone’s life, including those who seemingly “have it all”. I won’t go into the he said, she said stuff – google it if you want details. All I want to say is that after it happened, the world was awash with sympathy for the Umbrella singer, and Chris continues to be shunned. Abusing someone is never okay, and I’m just glad that Chris was given the dunce hat on this one as opposed to being excused. I hope a lot of people out there learned from this situation, at the very least. Rihanna will continue to make great music, and seems to have become stronger despite all of the negative media attention and hype. Chris played the “I don’t know what happened, it just wasn’t me” card, but at least owned up to what he did. He didn’t blame her. I just hope he can learn to harness his temper so that the next girl doesn’t cop it too, and I also pray that his fans don’t take direction from his actions and let themselves lash out too. Sad to say, it happens when people are impressionable. This was a big story in 2009 – and I look forward to seeing more and more celebs being pulled up on their behavior in the coming years. I don’t care about sex, drugs and alcohol. That’s personal, it’s not my business. But when it’s something like violence, I do not believe they should get away with it because of their fame. Step one. 

Chris Brown and Rihanna

 

President Barack Obama had a bit of a full on year. He was elected 44th president (and first African-American one to boot, whoop whoop!)  in November of 08′, but was inaugurated as president on January 20, 2009. Along with that, he also won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. What a year, and what a man! The news has been saturated with everything Obama has done, from his decisions regarding Iraq to his economical plans and strategies to beat the global recession. I finally have faith in the US government with him at the reins. 

Barack Obama

 

The release of the movie The Twilight Saga: New Moon (based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling books) was a big event in my eyes! My friends and I, all avid fans of both the books and the first flick, spent most of the year discussing the up and coming release. Edward or Jacob? Could they get across the sorrow of New Moon, the book, into the movie? Could Taylor Lautner pull off Jacobs physical change? Would the movie work with Edward leaving at the beginning? Ahhh, it’s the big questions in life! You may laugh at me, but I was merely one of MILLIONS waiting for the same thing. A bit of Vampire/Werewolf action – oh yeah! 

New Moon Movie Poster

 

On a sad note, many celebrities died in 2009. A scarily high amount, and a lot of them far too young. This struck a chord with me, and I do believe, with the world. So R.I.P. to the following greats:

* David Carridine – 08/12/1936 to 03/06/2009. An actor, well known for many roles over the years. One of his most recent magic roles was Bill in the Kill Bill movies. He was found dead in Thailand from, err, accidental asphyxiation. Enough said. 

* Edward (Ted) Kennedy – 22/02/1932 – 25/08/2009. A United States Senator and an integral part of the Kennedy family. In 2008 he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, and died from the ensuing complications in 2009. 

* Farrah Fawcett  – 02/02/1947 to 25/06/2009. An actress known most famously for her role in Charlie’s Angels. Died from the complications of rectal cancer. 

* Frank McCourt – 19/08/1930 to 19/07/2009. Teacher and famous author of the books Angela’s Ashes and Teacher Man. He died from metastatic melanoma.

* Jade Goody – 05/06/1981 to 22/03/2009. TV personality and “Queen” of reality television in the UK. Died tragically of cervical cancer. 

* Jett Travolta – 13/04/1992 to 02/01/2009. Jett wasn’t a celebrity, but his parents were (John Travolta and Kelly Preston.) This poor kid captured the heart of the world when he died. It made everyone think, if it could happen to a celebrities child it could happen to mine. So sad. His cause of death was an epileptic seizure

* Michael Jackson – 29/08/1958 to 25/06/2009. This was probably the most famous death of the year, and one that truly stopped people in their tracks. MJ was possibly the most talented performer ever to live (okay, I’m a bit biased, so sue me) and was known world-wide for his amazing music and bizarre lifestyle. He died in his home from an overdose of drugs… It has yet to be determined if this was the fault of his Doctor or just the result of his chosen lifestyle. Either way, we lost an amazing talent. 

* Natasha Richardson – 11/05/1963 to 18/03/2009. An actress in movies like The Parent Trap and Maid In Manhattan. Died far too young due to a skiiing accident which resulted in a fatal epidural hematoma.

* Patrick Swayze – 18/08/1952 to 14/09/2009. Actor and dancer – famous mostly for his roles in Dirty Dancing, Ghost and Point Break. Died of pancreatic cancer. 

* Stephen Gately – 17/ 03/1976 to 10/10/2009. Singer with Irish boyband Boyzone. Died from a pulmonary oedema.

* Walter Cronkite – 04/11/1916 to 17/07/2009. Famous US journalist. Died from cerebrovascular disease.

* Brittany Murphy – 10/11/1977 to 20/12/2009. An actress famous for rom-com roles in such movies as Clueless and Just Married. Her autopsy results have yet to be released at the time of me writing this, but she was found collapsed in her bathroom from suspected heart complications/failure. So young, so sad.

There were more, but these are the people that passed that truly made their mark on the world (in my eyes, at the very least.) R.I.P. to you all, you amazing, talented, wicked bunch. 

R.I.P.

 

The Swine Flu Pandemic. Now, that lasted through a huge chunk of 2009! A lot of people poo-poo’d it, but at the end of the day, it was a flu that could take down someone with a compromised immune system. The young, the old, the already sick. But it certainly caused an uproar – but with less panic than the Bird Flu (remember that?) At the very least, I hope it taught people to wash their blimmin’ hands. (Pet peeve, don’t mind me!) 

Swine Flu

 

The Tiger Woods debacle. The car accident, the cheating, the media circus surrounding it. I kind of feel sorry for the guy… I don’t believe in cheating, and his poor wife for having to go through it all, but imagine how it must feel to be them! With the media glare watching their every move – how humiliating. Over a dozen women have stepped forward to say Tiger cheated on his wife with them, and at this point (to be fair), there’s no proof that these allegations are all true. I’d say most of these “ladies” (scoff) are lying just to get into the headlines and on tv. But Tiger has admitted to transgressions in his statement here and most recently, his wife Elin (a model, so why Tiger, WHY?!) has walked out on their marriage with the kids in tow. Looks like this sports star has a rough path ahead of him… But at the end of the day, he is human. If everyone could forgive the rapscallion President Clinton for his “transgressions”, I’m sure we can all move past judging Tiger and leave him and his family to sort themselves out in private. This has been such a major story for 2009 – sad huh?

The Woods Family

 

This year has been a major year for book to screen adaptations. Of course this is a concept that has been around for ages, and has been gaining real momentum in the past ten years or so. But I found 2009 to be quite heavy with it. The movies that came out in ’09 that were originally books are:

* The Twilight Saga: New Moon – The sequel to the movie Twilight about two star-crossed lovers, Bella anordinary human girl, and Edward, a tortured vampire. Another dimension is added with Jacob, a werewolf who is also in love with Bella. Based on the series by Stephenie Meyer.

* The Lovely Bones – Directed by Peter Jackson and written by the amazing Alice Sebold. This is about a young girl who is raped and murdered, and how she watches over her family as they fall apart over her death. She is stuck in the “in between”, having not quite passed over and yet not on earth. Her Father strives to find her murderer, and becomes consumed by this. Heart wrenching.

* My Sisters Keeper – A wonderful movie made from the amazing book by Jodi Picoult. It’s about a beautiful teenaged girl who has spent her entire life dying of cancer, kept alive only due to her mothers absolute refusal to give up. When her daughter is diagnosed with cancer, the mother chooses to give birth to a genetically specified child so that she can harvest blood and stem cells etc from this healthy child to save her dying daughter. Heartbreaking, thought provoking and makes you appreciate your family. 

* Up In The Air – Originally a novel by Walter Kirn, this movie has yet to be released in NZ, but has been (just!) in the US. This is about a corporate downsizer and his travels. Where he goes, who he meets and what he learns.

* Invictus – A movie directed by the great Clint Eastwood and based on a book called Playing the Enemy, by John Carlin. A true story about newly elected Nelson Mandela, and how he joined with the captain of the South African rugby team in the wake of the apartheid to push forward his country, leading them to the 1995 world cup championships. 

* Julie & Julia – A movie about the chef Julia Child, based on the book about her experience with Julia’s cooking by Julie Powell. 

* Where The Wild Things Are – A childrens book by Maurice Sendak that has been adapted for the big screen, about a boy called Max who is naughty and sent to bed early, and creates his own world where there are monsters and he is king. 

* Precious – You may have heard of it, because it has Oprah Winfrey’s fingerprints all over it. The movie is based on the book that was originally titled Push (later renamed Precious) by the author Sapphire. The story follows a young african american girl called Precious, who is overweight, illiterate and living in poor-town Harlem. She becomes pregnant after being raped by her own father, and struggles with the help of her teacher to create a real life for herself and her child. 

* Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince – This is the sixth book/movie in the multi-million dollar franchise that J.K. Rowling wrote as a struggling, single mother. Harry Potter is a teenage wizard who attends Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with his friends and has to face many challenges along the way. (Usually evil ones)

* The Time Travelers Wife – This novel by Audrey Niffenegger has sold so many copies worldwide that it’s not surprising that it was turned into a movie. About a man who spontaneously time-travels against his own will, and the complications it brings to the absolute love of his life, his wife.

* Angels & Demons – The sequel to The Di Vinci Code, another very smart book by Dan Brown turned into a bit of an action flick for the big screen. 

* Confessions Of A shopaholic – Based on a series of light-hearted books by author Sophie Kinsella, this was easily adapted into a Rom-Com type flick.

* The Road – A book written by Cormac McCarthy, about a father and sons relationship evolving as they are left alive while most of the world is killed. A post-apocalyptic tale about survival. 

* Coraline – A children’s book by Neil Gaiman, turned into a movie, about a little girl called Coraline who finds a way into an alternate world where all her dreams come true. It’s a tale of “be careful what you wish for”.

Honestly, that’s not even all of them, just a few of my picks! Obviously they have caught on to the idea that you just can’t beat a good book – or perhaps they are just relying on the pre-existing fan base? Hmmm…

Adaptations: Books to Movies

 

Another thing that stuck out in 2009 for me was the iPhone. I know it wasn’t released in 2009, but it has become stronger and stronger in popularity, especially in the past year. From applications, to music, to using your iPhone to update your Twitter/Facebook account, the iPhone is this years must have. 

The iPhone

 

2009 also brought forward the brilliant Lady Gaga. She truly became an artist of her own standing this year, and I kind of see her as the Madonna of the naughties. Weird, funky, catchy, freaky – she is an odd act, but one no one can get enough of! I have even caught my Mum singing along to her – which has to mean she is saturating the market because my Mother only listens to the oldies stations!

Lady Gaga

Michael Jackson found the uber-talented, Australian born guitarist Orianthi before he died – he even had her set up as his lead guitarist for “This Is It”. She released an album this year due to her sudden popularlity – and it’s okay, she can sing, meh – but OMG her guitar riffs are orgasmic! (I can say that, it’s my blog!) So check her out on iTunes or YouTube – WOW! Best newcomer for 2009, even if it’s for her instrument artistry. 

Orianthi

So, 2009 has been insane for celebs having babies and calling them Sunday-Roast or whatever. But I don’t want to do a run through of that because I don’t have another 12 hours to list them all. So I’m going to list another popular hobby this year for the rich and famous: Breaking up. Doesn’t matter how sexy you are, or how much money you have, there is always someone willing to leave you. Bless.

So here are a list of some of the most famous of golden couples that have decided to walk (according to magazines and gossip websites – I take it all with a grain of salt myself!)

* Kim Kardashian & Reggie Bush

* Joe Jonas & Camilla Belle (Awww… Poor kids)

* Kim Cattrall & Alan Wyse

* Jessica Simpson & Tony Romo

* Jon & Kate Gosselin (Thank god, for the kids sake, sheesh)

* Billy Joel & Katie Lee (Might be the age difference… ?)

* Megan Fox & Brian Austin Green

* Paris Hilton & Doug Reinhardt

* Miley Cyrus & Justin Gaston

* Mel Gibson & Robyn Moore 

* Lindsay Lohan & Samantha Ronson (Not that they ever publicly declared they were together either *shrugs*)

* John Mayer & Jennifer Aniston (Poor Jen 😦 )

* Holly Madison & Criss Angel

* Hayden Panettiere & Milo Ventimiglia

* David Cook & Kimberly Caldwell

* Patricia Arquette & Thomas Jane

There are sooo many breakups it’s not funny. And yet, a lot of the big ones stayed together… Tom and Katie, Brad and Angelina, Posh and Becks… Maybe it only happens when your are only so-so famous? PFFT, yeah right. 🙂

Heartbreak

 

One of the really sickening events in New Zealand in 2009 was the Clayton Weatherston case. He was sentenced this year for the murder of his former girlfriend, the beautiful and intelligent Sophie Elliott. He stabbed poor Sophie 216 times in her own bedroom while Sophie’s mother tried to break down the locked door. No one believed his plea of self defense (that she had tried to stab him with scissors first – but even if she had, why retaliate by stabbing her that many times? Who goes somewhere with a knife? One word: Premeditated) and he was sentenced to 18 years non-parole. This was another case that highlighted the culture of brutality between some couples, or at least the potential of it. As awful as it sounds, I hope he rots.

Clayton & Sophie

So thats the things (or as much as I can be bothered to write about) that shaped my year… Events and news that touched me, angered me, stayed with me. What was yours?

Avatar Movie (2009) Thursday, Dec 24 2009 

So I went and saw this last night with one of my best friends at her very excited insistence. She had already seen it and was over the moon at being able to go again. So I went in with high hopes. I walked out going “Oh my god, that was one of the best movies EVER!”

The movie is set in the future, and though there is talk of Earth, everything is set either on spaceships or on the planet Pandora. Jake Sully, a paraplegic former marine, has taken part in a science experiment in the place of his dead twin brother. He is part of a team of humans that have created “Avatars”, bodies like the native Na’vi people of Pandora (big, blue, amazonian). He can transfer into this new body and out of his broken human one. In the beginning he is protection for the rest of the team, going down with them to Pandora in his new body (and enjoying being able to walk!) and scoffing as they take plant samples and talk of learning the ways of the natives. When he is suddenly separated from his group due to the horrifically scary animals of this planet, he is saved by one of the natives, a female called Neytiri. When the essence of the planet gives Neytiri a sign that he is important, she takes him back to her clan, where he is forced to pass through trials to prove he can be one of them.

Whenever he goes to sleep as a Na’vi he wakes back up in his human body (and vice versa), and during these times you find out more and more about the true reason humans are on Pandora. Underneath the Na’vi tribes home is a precious metal that Earth people want and believe they have every right to take. Jake’s team of scientists know this is inevitable, and are trying to get the Na’vi to move so that they don’t get hurt. The military side of it has stated that if they don’t move in three months they will be executed. At first Jake isn’t that fazed by this, as he thinks he can make them move and with the promise of his legs being fixed, he selfishly believes he is doing the right thing. 

As Jake learns more about the cultural and spiritual aspects of the Na’vi’s world, as well as falling in love with Neytiri, he finds himself. He reevaluates what is important, what is right and good. He learns a strength he never had before, and as a character becomes more animated in his Avatar body than as a human being. I won’t give everything away, but this movie HAS IT ALL! Romance, action, humour, fantastic CGI (and I mean, bloody amazing! Go Weta Productions!), heart and even an environmental message that really makes you think. I kind of thought this was a super modern day Pocahontas, where two worlds meet and the individual who thinks they are more civilised learns that really, they are not. This movie has a beautiful feeling to it, backed up by great acting and amazing, fantastic, wonderful CGI and effects like none I have ever witnessed before.

All in all, I’d give this movie a 10 out of 10. I’m most certainly going to be buying it on DVD when it’s released. I can’t stop raving about it – and neither can anyone I know thats seen it! Please, take my advice. Go see it. Don’t think, boy flick yuck. Science fiction, no thanks. Animated? Bleh. No. Go into it with new eyes. It’s just great – and now I think I prefer blue boys! Hehe.

Avatar The Movie (2009)

Neytiri - Daughter of the clan leaders

My Top Ten Movie and TV Couples Sunday, Dec 6 2009 

So, I was out the other day, and overheard someone going on about couples in literature that had changed romance and relationships as we know it. Too true, and a very interesting topic. It got me thinking about the couples on TV and in movies that had influences ME, and came up with the following list. This is probably very generational, but hey.

1) Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the Twilight Saga movies and books – Now, everyone knows Twilight. And most women who have seen the movies and/or read the books, just melt at the idea of Edward Cullen. Sure he’s a vampire, but he is also dark and tormented, which women invariably love. (Maybe we all wish for the challenge of being able to soothe his pain? I know I do!) Plus he is an utter gentleman who never deviates from loving Bella, a girl who is, even in her own words, ordinary. Their relationship is deep, full of pain and temptation, with both of them only wishing for a life with each other. This is the kind of relationship most women dream about – complicated, loyal, complete. So it probably wouldn’t work in real life, but thats not the point now, is it? 

Bella Swan and Edward Cullen

 

2) Fox Mulder and Dana Scully from the TV and movie phenomenon The X-Files – Now these two characters played on the edge of innuendo for eight seasons before their first “real kiss” (they almost kiss in the first X-Files movie, but Scully is stung by an genetically modified bee before their lips could lock) let fans finally see their favourite characters move towards the relationship they were born to have. Two complete opposites – Mulder the believer in the unexplained and Scully the scientist the believer in cold, hard fact – they weren’t really suited to being partnered together in the FBI, and yet found an even ground where they balanced each other out. Their deep trust in each other, their respect and friendship, strengthens their characters bond over the years. Each continuously saves the other from peril and death, and despite many disagreements and varying beliefs, never turn their backs on each other. The romantic angle is built up excruciatingly slowly over the seasons, never blatant, but always there enough through furtive looks and body language. Theirs is a relationship of utter truth and trust, of danger and respect. 

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully

 

3) Ross Geller and Rachel Green from the hit TV show Friends – Here is a couple that truly shaped a generation. The up and down relationship between Ross and Rachel is well known to all. Ross’ character always held a flame for Rachel from their High School days, and ten years later when they come to be in the same group of friends, that spark is still there. Over the many seasons you see Ross and Rachel fall in love, fight, get jealous, go on a break and ultimately break up. They both go on to date other people, but with at least one of them still nursing strong feelings for the other at any given time. They struggle with letting the other move on, Ross even getting married to another woman at one point much to Rachels heartbreak, but he stuffs it up at the alter by mistakenly naming Rachel in his vows as opposed to his wife-to-be. They go through copious amounts of real-life situations together, as well as the ludicrous, but always come through it with a strong sense of friendship, respect and ultimately, love. By the last episode of the last season, Ross and Rachel have come to find they cannot live without the other. (Which is great because by then they have a kid together, from a passionate “one more time”) A modern, deprecating look at love in this day and age – along with being hilariously rediculous!

Ross Geller and Rachel Green

 

4) Max Evans and Liz Parker from the TV show Roswell – Not everyone was a fan of Roswell, but I certainly was. It focused on Roswell, New Mexico (you know, where the 1947 UFO crash was supposed to have happened and the US government covered it up?) and three aliens that came down with the UFO. Crashing to earth in the guise of kids, the show opens on them as teenagers who have been adopted into the human world. Max is the unofficial leader of this band of aliens, whose goal is solely to find out where they came from and why they ended up on earth. Liz is a popular, sweet High School student who one day see’s Max for what he is when he saves her from being shot in a freak accident. Liz and Max quickly fall hopelessly in love with each other, both fascinated by the other to the extreme. Liz (and eventually some of her human friends) helps Max and the others search for the answers they need, cementing her place in his life. There is nothing they wont do for each other, despite their obvious differences. It’s a deep, very sweet, one of a kind type relationship. In a way doomed, but also pregnant with possibilities.

Max Evans and Liz Parker

 

5) Buffy Anne Summers and Angel (aka Angelus) from the award winning TV show Buffy The Vampire Slayer (and the Spinoff Angel) – Buffy and Angel is one of the most heartbreaking unions ever created for TV, in my opinion. Buffy, a vampire slayer, and Angel, the vampire with a soul, have obvious complications from the start. Despite their deep and honest love for each other, they face both disgust from those around them, and danger due to who and what they are. They “meet” in season one, and go on to fall hopelessly for each other, despite their better judgement. By season two, Angel loses his soul when his curse is lifted due to one moment of happiness – a night in Buffy’s arms. He turns evil, and starts killing the people Buffy cares about and wreaking havoc on the town in general. He tries to end the world and Buffy is forced to kill him and send him into a hell dimension to stop this from happening, causing her to break down. Angel returns in season three by The Powers That Be, but after tortuous months trying to be with Buffy but unable to “Be” with Buffy, Angel leaves Sunnydale to start a new life in LA. But over all of the Buffy seasons and the Angel (spinoff) seasons, neither of them ever finds love again quite like what they had. They both take on partners, but it always comes back to wanting to be with each other. It is true love, dark and filled with pain, and given up due to their responsibilities to keep others safe. It doesn’t have a happy ending as they never really let go of each other, never truly move on, and so are forever doomed to be detached to whomever they are with in the meantime. But ahhh… So sexy!

Buffy Summers and Angel

 

6) Marge and Homer Simpson from the animated TV show The Simpsons – Okay okay, they aren’t “real people”, but they are an extremely famous TV couple, are they not? Their marriage is one of uneven footing, with Marge being attractive and sensible, and Homer being a bit of a lovable, idiotic slob. Homer creates more trouble than he is worth, throwing the Simpson family often into upheaval (losing the house, getting fired from his job, gambling away all of their money etc) but Marge ALWAYS stands by him. She gets frustrated, she gets upset and worried – sometimes gets even! – but she always supports Homer and helps him get them back on track. They love each other, and Homer often reminds himself how very lucky he is to have Marge as his wife, and Marge is constantly having to remember that her love for him is more important than the amount of crap he creates for her. Great, hilarious couple. It may be a cartoon, but I think their relationship is quite poignant. 

Marge and Homer Simpson

 

7) Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big from the TV series (and recently, box office movie) Sex and the City – The relationship between Carrie and Big is one many can relate to. Both with their twenties long behind them, they face all the pressures of life – careers, ex’s, their expectations of relationships – which invariably get between them. Their relationship is realistic in the sense that despite the fact their feelings for each other are true and passionate, they often let everything else come in the way. Dramatic, filled with hurt and betrayal, their relationship is one that seemingly should work, but never does. Of course, everyone around them pushes them to move on, get away from each other and find happiness with more appropriate people. This works on and off over the series many seasons, but inevitably they end up back in each others arms. Their relationship isn’t perfect, their characters are flawed and often selfish, but at the end of the day they love each other. They like each other. By the end of the last episode of the last season, the two of them deicide that being together is the only thing that really matters – even if it is going to be a lifetime of hard work! This relationship is a great example of modern day couples facing the stresses of work, money, appearance and acceptance – all the while getting older!

Carrie Bradshaw and Mr Big

8 ) Henry Roth and Lucy Whitmore from the movie 50 First Dates – This is a comedy, and not even a particularly big budget film. Henry is a laid back, commitment-phobic ladies man who is quite happy being a bachelor and living on the beautiful Island of Hawaii. That is, until he meets Lucy by chance one day in a diner. Lucy is beautiful and quirky, funny and sweet – and he falls for her almost immediately. But then he finds out the horrible truth about her – years before she was in a terrible car accident and suffered a serious head injury, and every day she wakes up she thinks it is the day before the accident, and every night her memory resets itself and she forgets everything she did that day and starts again. Obviously, a relationship with Lucy would seem impossible, especially for a guy who has never been in a serious relationship with anyone. But the absolute beauty of this movie is the journey Henry goes through as he falls more and more in love with Lucy and decides no matter how hard it got, just being with her was worth it. So every day, he sets about making her fall in love with him all over again. He creates albums,videos and diaries of their times together, puts this woman above his own wants and needs for the first time in his life. Lucy, on the other hand, struggles every day with new and fresh guilt, with confusion, but ultimately falls in love with him by the end of each day. This is a uniquely sad and equally funny movie that tugs at your heartstrings. 

Henry Roth and Lucy Whitmore

 

9)  Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman and Johnny Castle from the movie Dirty Dancing – Dirty Dancing is one of those iconic movies that everybody has seen and almost everyone loves. It’s set in the 1960’s, and Baby and her family arrive at a resort in upstate New York’s Catskill Mountains for a holiday. Baby is an ambitious, intelligent and slightly bookish 17 year old with aspirations to join the Peace Corps before marrying a Doctor just like her Father. To kill time at the resort, she starts a few dance classes and finds she has an interest in it. And then she meets Johnny, one of the resorts dance instructors. He is gorgeous, he is sexy, and he dances like no one she has ever seen before. In the repressed 1960’s, Baby has never witnessed the dirty style dancing that Johnny does, but she is drawn to him and to his dancing style. They are thrown together as dance partners due to Baby trying to help another resort worker, and from there an impossible romance blossoms. They dance, and you can see the passion flaring between them. They talk, and Baby’s eyes are opened to a much harsher world than she has ever known, while Johnny is suddenly hopeful at a future, pushed by Baby. Their love is one that struggles with their differing socioeconomic groups, with their varying views on the wold and people as a whole, but their love is so pure it washes everything else aside. It is a coming of age love, and a beautiful one at that.

Frances "Baby" Houseman and Johnny Castle

 

10) Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen from the movie Ghost – Another famous flick, and if you haven’t watched it your life is most certainly lacking. Sam and Molly are a couple that are happy and have just moved in together. While Molly is openly in love with Sam, Sam is still a little bit reserved and hasn’t quite worked up to the “I love you” bit yet, and instead replies “Ditto” whenever she says it. While walking home together one night from the theatre, they are accosted in a dark alleyway and Sam is shot and killed. Obviously, this puts an early end to their relationship, and Molly is devastated. Sam, on the other hand, becomes a ghost and chooses to stay as an earth-bound spirit rather than moving on because he can’t yet let go of Molly. As he watches over her, he also starts to piece together that his murder didn’t happen by chance and that now Molly is in danger too. He finds a woman that can see and hear him in his new form and begs for her help him save Molly from an untimely end. He does everything he possibly can, and runs the gamut of emotions, to keep the woman he loves safe. By the end of the movie there is no question how very much he loves Molly, and their connection is beautiful, epic and worth a bit of a cry. They really are soulmates.

Sam Wheat and Molly Jensen

So, there you have it! My top ten screen-based romances. Hopefully you learned something, or at the very least went “Awwwwwwww” 🙂

Forgetting Sarah Marshall Saturday, Dec 5 2009 

This movie has been out on DVD for a while, and if you’re looking for a movie that makes you cry with laughter, then I recommend you rent it (or heck, buy it!). 

Forgetting Sarah Marshall stars and is written by Jason Segal (How I Met Your Mother, I Love You Man, Knocked Up and countless more) and shows the breakup between Peter (Segal) a musician who has yet to find his true calling and Sarah Marshall (played by Kristen Bell) a famous television actress. Sarah breaks up with Peter after five years together, leaving him for infamous british rock star Aldous Snow (played by hilarious comedic talent Russell Brand) and causing him to spiral into a pathetic state of depression.

With a push from his half-brother Brian (Bill Hader) Peter decides to leave the country and the constant reminders of Sarah, and flies to the beautiful island of Hawaii. Once there, he checks into a beautiful resort where – to his surprise, dismay and burgeoning hope – he runs into Sarah and Aldous, who are also holidaying at the resort together. 

The rest of the movie is a brilliant, witty and laugh out loud journey where Peter both finds who he is and what he really wants in life. One of the resort workers, Rachel Jansen (Mila Kunis) helps Peter to relax and have fun, and along the way a romance blooms. Other characters include Chuck (Paul Rudd) a stoner surf instructor, Darald (Jack McBrayer) a newly wed on his honeymoon whose major crisis is how to bring god into the bedroom for the first time and Matthew (Jonah Hill) the resorts loser waiter who is absolutely obsessed with Aldous and wants to follow in his rock-god footsteps. 

This movie is brilliant. Not only is it one of the funniest movies I have watched in a while, but it is also painfully brutal when it comes to the truth behind relationships. Sometimes, it isn’t black and white, not just one persons fault. One of those odd comedies that actually gets you thinking. 

Warning, it can be delightfully rude and there is a bit of nudity – though not from who you’d expect! This is a great movie to watch with mates or even an ice-breaker for a first date. It’s just great!

Forgetting Sarah Marshall

Go Ricky, Go Ricky! Sunday, Nov 29 2009 

Last night I went and saw the new Ricky Gervais movie, The Invention of Lying. Now, I have been climbing the walls waiting for this movie ever since I heard it was coming out. Why? To be honest, I just love everything Ricky does. So even if I had to pay $15 to sit and watch Ricky sit on a couch and eat cheese (His apparent fave hobby) I’d gladly do so. But going by the ads and write ups, the movie seemingly had more going for it than just Ricky himself. And so it did.

First off, the plot is exceptionally different. I mean, don’t expect this movie to win an Oscar or anything (Really good movies never do) but it’s definitely one I’m going to buy on DVD when it comes out. Mark Bellison (Gervais) is a man living in a world without lies. In this world there is no such thing as embellishments, no fiction, no flattery. Everyone is brutally honest, and Mark struggles to find success in this reality as a writer, despite the content being flat-out boring (Imagination doesn’t exist). His romantic life is just as sad, due to the fact he is a “little fat man with a snub nose” in the eyes of Anna (Jennifer Garner) who is looking for a great genetic match to father children with. It is in this depressing, unimaginative reality that Mark suddenly discovers the ability to lie. The results are fantastic, hilarious, and to my complete surprise, utterly heartbreaking. The way it shone a light on human nature really got my thinking – which is quite a feat for a comedy! I wont go into detail other than to say this isn’t a fast paced flick, it’s a thought provoking comedy that makes you sit there afterwards and think about our society as a whole. Makes you consider the impact of religion, why we do the things that we do. Made me laugh, made me tear up – and made me high five my friend @FrostyBoy (See blog on the left hand side) when Stephen Merchant had his cameo.

Secondly, the cast is great! (Aside from the great Ricky Gervais and brilliant Stephen Merchant of course!) Jennifer Garner plays the romantic interest and plays it with surprising sincerity, Rob Lowe plays the nemesis (but you kinda want to pinch his cheek anyway), and then there’s Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., and even PC! (As in, Hi I’m Mac and I’m PC!) John Hodgman is just hilarious and I loved his small part in this movie. 

All in all, I enjoyed it. I was hoping for more of Ricky’s humour to be inserted into the character, but then that’s the fan inside me talking! I was holding out for a glimpse of Karl Pilkington but alas, he must be off researching Monkey News or something! Joking aside, this movie was worth the price of the ticket and I walked out smiling. What more could I ask for?

The Invention of Lying

Waiting for the New Moon Sunday, Nov 8 2009 

Okay, so the world is split into two fractions when it comes to this topic. Stephenie Meyers Twilight saga about the vampire Edward Cullen and the human girl he falls in love with, Bella Swan, has swept around the world drowning the likes of tweens and even their mothers with lust and fantasy.

Did I succumb? Damn bloody straight!

I first read Twilight (the first book in the series) when I was working in retail years back. I worked in a bookstore and all of the book reps knew I was into fantasy fiction. They would give me pre-copies that weren’t available yet to buy, and I’d let them know if I thought they were worth their salt. When I got given Twilight I was told it was teen fiction. With only the tiniest bit of interest I accepted it and it sat on my bookshelf for a few weeks, forgotten. Then, one friday night I came home from a party still wide awake and looking for something to keep me occupied. My eyes landed on Twilight and I picked it up. Well, I never put it down. 

I am not here to convince non-Twilight fans to give it a go. The furor over it is commonly known, and people can make up their own minds. But for me, the books (I of course bought each one as they came out) truly enriched my life. I adore the supernatural, and romance, so this saga spoke to me in great depth. 

The movie Twilight was the first time I loved a movie made from a great book. Is the movie better? No, of course not. But surprisingly, for the only time in my life thus far

New Moon Poster

The second movie in the Twilight Saga

, it didn’t matter. The low-budget flick with unknowns cast as my favourite literary characters gave me an escape to a place inside me that wishes for that kind of romance. The passion, the love, the absolute strength of the heart despite both the ordinary and extraordinary. 

Many of my friends, co-workers and family members feel the same way. As do hundreds of millions of people around the world. And guess what? This month, on the 20th, New Moon comes out at the cinemas. New Moon is the second movie adaptation of the saga, and I am bursting with excitement. Once again I get to transgress into the person I was when I was thirteen years old. The simple and utter elation I used to get when I was that age, over a first crush or some movie heart-throb, is similar to how these books/movies make me feel. I get to forget about the serious intricacies of my adult life. I let myself be washed away by a wonderful story about love, about insecurity, mortality and immortality. 

Does this make me a bit geeky? Perhaps. But to each their own and in a world filled with the horror of war, financial struggle and human evil, I find it marvelous to find something so wonderful and fresh. Something that makes me smile and reminds me to hope. To strive for passion in my own life.

Not such a silly series of books if it can do all that, don’t you think?