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Review: The Muppets (2011)

The Muppets
Directed by: James Bobin
Starring: Amy Adams, Jason Segel and Chris Cooper.
Genre: Family Comedy
Released: November 23 2011 (US) 10 February 2012 (UK)
by Walt Disney Pictures
Running time: 103 mins (1 hr, 43 mins)
Cert: U (BBFC) G (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
Walter is a Muppet whose ambition is to visit the Muppet Theatre in Hollywood. One day, he gets the opportunity to go with his brother, Gary and his girlfriends, Mary. However, when they arrive they are saddened by the state that the theatre has got into. When Walter discovers that oil magnate Tex Richman intends to buy the theatre and drill for oil, he, Gary and Mary travel far and wide to reunite the disbanded Muppets. Together again, the Muppets must put on a show and try to keep the theatre.
I've loved The Muppets since I was very small. I used to watch The Muppet Show all the time, so when I found out about this movie, my brain exploded. I didn't care what it would be about, it's The Freaking Muppets! Also, I've been in the mood for a good laugh and nostalgia, and even though this is a family movie I knew that I would enjoy this.

If you're a die hard Muppet fan like me, the poster will cause what I call a "fangasm". Pretty much every Muppet is featured on it, along with Amy Adams, Jason Segel and Walter, the new Muppet. I love the amount of colours used on the poster; it makes it really stand out.

I didn't know much about the human cast, but the huge amount of cameo appearances is outstanding. Name any celebrity and they will probably be making a cameo appearance here. I really like Amy Adams because she is an incredibly versatile actress; I loved her in both The Fighter and Enchanted. I haven't seen any of Jason Segel's work though.

Before the movie starts, there is a Toy Story short called Small Fry. It features a Happy Meal style Buzz Lightyear trying to replace the real Buzz. It was pretty funny and I'm glad that the original cast was featured but I didn't pay much attention ebcause my THXphobia was on high alert. Yes, I am afraid of the THX logo because I am a big baby. It's a digital nightmare (damn you, George Lucas)! Luckily, it didn't appear and I was treated to just the lovely Disney logo.

I liked the opening scene/montage/whatever you want to call it that introcudes Walter and how he came to be the biggest Muppets fan in the world. Some of the class photos were quite funny, especially the one where he is being given a funny look by a little girl. As I said, I didn't really care what this movie would be about, so I was pleasantly surprised when it didn't start with Kermit or Piggy. It kind of added a bit of a realistic value to the movie since the Muppets are treated like celebrities in real life.

One thing that I really liked in the movie is how musical montages are referenced, especially when they "travel by map". I love it when movies break the fourth wall and this movie did it pleanty of times. It wasn't overdone when the fourth wall was broken and it garnered quite a few laughs from the audience (bearing in mind that the entire audience was over 15).

You'll already know that I love The Muppets, but my favourite Muppet is Rowlf (the dog on my Twitter DP). I love Rowlf because he is a cool character and his sense of humour is icredibly witty:

Rowlf: I thought my storyline was very intriguing.
[cut to Rowlf snoring in a hammock on his porch surrounded by other Muppets]
Kermit the Frog: Hey, Rowlf.
Rowlf: Huh?
Kermit the Frog: You wanna get back together?
Rowlf: Okay.
[cut back to the car]
Rowlf: Classic.
I thought that Walter, the new Muppet, was incredibly likable. Even though he is a grown "man", he is a bit of a man-child (Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka is a perfect example of a man-child), which I thought to be cute and appealing. I found it was funny how nobody in Smalltown or anywhere realises that Walter is clearly made out of felt and a human hand, rather than flesh and bones, even though he is treated incredibly different from the other residents of Smalltown.

Amy Adams is one of my favourite actresses and I thought that she gave an excellent comedic performance. I love her versatility and here she proved that she is able to act in a movie for any audience. Her musical number were incredibly funny and I enjoyed hearing her sing; she has a very nice voice. She kind of added to the brightness of the movie, as Mary is a very bright and bubbly character. For some reason, her thoughts on Gary and Walter always being together and tagging along on dates kind of reminded me of the situation with Principal Skinner, his mother and Mrs. Krabapple from The Simpsons. I'm not sure why, but I was reminded of that. To me, Mary was the most 'grown-up' character in the movie, if that's the right way of putting it. Even though she wanted to help out, she was able to handle things in a more mature manner.

I love cheerful characters, and Jason Segel's Gary was the most cheerful of cheerful characters I have seen in quite some time. I love that Gary was an incredibly loyal character, to both Walter and Mary, and even the Muppets. His loyalty is a trait that I really admire and it made Gary a really likeable character. I liked Segel's musical numbers; he managed to make them funny even when they're supposed to be serious, like with Man or Muppet.

My opinion of Tex Richman is quite mixed and hard to put into words. For a villain, I found him to be hilarious but some of his scenes were quite awkward. In one scene, he breaks out into a hip-hop song with some showgirls and I thought that it was... odd. When the number was finished, I sat with a reaction of "WTF?" I liked how Uncle Deadly and Bobo were his "henchmen" because they're not really antagonists to any of the Muppet characters but being henchmen does fit their appearance (and Bobo was originally the security guard on Muppets Tonight). As soon as I heard the name "Tex Richman" I knew that the character would be a villain. His name reminds me of the Rich Texan from The Simpsons (yes, I'm making comparisons again) who buys things without considering the consequences.

I screwed my face a little when the first musical number started. I didn't expect it at all, but it was quite funny how the numbers were addressed. The numbers were written incredibly well and the lyrics were quite funny, my favourite being,
Life’s a filet of fish, eh!

...yes, it is!
I wasn't surprised that Man or Muppet won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It's a really catchy song and the scene that it appears in is incredibly funny; especially when Jim Parsons shows up unannounced as Human Walter. Pretty much everyone in the screen burst into laughter at that point. It was so unexpectedly hilarious.

I think that the songs used in the movie were good choices as they fitted the scenes. I loved that Gary Numan's song Cars was featured as it is one of my favourite songs of all time, even though it wasn't featured for too long. I also liked the original score, it was very fitting of both The Muppets and your typical Disney music. Also, one of my favourite scenes involves Sam the Eagle, Rowlf, Link Hogthrob and Beaker performing Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit in a barbershop quartet style while they "shave" Jack Black.

I loved how Mahna Mahna was featured in the credits with every member of the cast featured in it. You can't have the Muppets without a performance of Mahna Mahna and it was incredibly enjoyable how the song was performed here. Unfortunately, I can't find a video clip of the credits so you'd have to watch the movie to see it.

Overall, I loved this movie. I've never laughed so much in the cinema in my life; I nearly cried with laughter, this movie is so funny. The musical numbers are catchy, the characters are likeable and the plot is very easy to get into. However, I have incredibly mixed opinions on Tex Richman and his inability to laugh maniacally (maniacal laugh, maniacal laugh..). I would recommend this movie to anybody who likes The Muppets or wants to have a good laugh.

Review: Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows
Directed by: Guy Ritchie
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law and Jared Harris
Genre: Mystery / Action
Released: 16 December 2011
by Warner Bros. Pictures
Running time: 129 minutes (2 hrs, 9 mins)
Cert: 12 (BBFC) PG-13 (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
With Dr. John Watson about to marry and end their partnership, a disconsolate Sherlock Holmes occupies his time investigating the schemes of his archenemy, Professor James Moriarty. However, when Moriarty warns that he considers the Watsons a legitimate target for his retaliation against the detective, Holmes must save them and get John involved in one last case. To do so, they join the Roma lady Madame Simza Heron's quest to find her missing brother, Rene, who may be the key to defeating Moriarty. Together, the trio find themselves involved in a dangerous international conspiracy led by the Napoleon of Crime in which the fate of all of Europe hangs in the balance.
I wasn't too fond of the first Sherlock Holmes movie because I didn't really understand what was going on, so when I saw this instalment's trailer I wasn't particuilarly interested in going to see it. However when I did go to the cinema I didn't orginally want to see this (my friends andI wanted to see The Sitter but the youngest member of our group couldn't get in) but I was pleasantly surprised.

The opening scene was, to me, quite confusing. I wasn't sure of what was going on with Irene Adler who was only in the whole movie for about ten minutes. Even though her appearance was important, it could have been longer rather than doing a Psycho and killing off one of the movie's most famous stars right at the beginning. However, it did grab my attention.

I liked the main elements of the plot; especially the Watsons' marriage. The wedding scene was incredibly cute. It made me want a Victorian style wedding. I love how the film started and finished at the same place; with Watson sitting at a typewriter writing a memoir of some sort. I love it when films do that.

I really admire the character of Sherlock Holmes. He's witty, daring and above everything, incredibly intelligent. I preferred Holmes in this movie; he was more of a detective here and didn't hit on anyone. Probably because there was no Irene for him to hit on. I found Holmes' fear of horses to be hilarious; I laughed all the way through the scene in which he rides a Shetland pony up a mountain.

I felt that Dr. Watson was a bit more direct in this movie; especially when he is attempting to resuscitate Holmes. He didn't seem as daring or direct in the first movie (bear in mind that I didn't pay close attention while watching it) so I also preferred him here. I don't think anyone could have done a better job than Jude Law.

If I had to say a few magatives, the first would be about Stephen Fry's nude scene. Some things are better left to the imagination, and that includes Stephen Fry's bum. The second would be the moments where Holmes analyses his tactics. I can only take so much slow-motion footage and the fights looked so much cooler in regular spped. The last negative I have is the length of Rachel McAdams' performance as Irene Adler. It was far too short for me. She may as well have not been in the movie at all.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie; it was funny and action-packed at the same time. The plot was engaging but I still want to pull my eyes out at the sight of Stephen Fry's naked body. It burns!

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
My pick this week:
Sacré Bleu: A Comedy D'Art
Christopher Moore
Release date: April 3 2012
It is the color of the Virgin Mary's cloak, a dazzling pigment desired by artists, an exquisite hue infused with danger, adventure, and perhaps even the supernatural. It is...

Sacré Bleu.

In July 1890, Vincent van Gogh went into a cornfield and shot himself. Or did he? Why would an artist at the height of his creative powers attempt to take his own life... and then walk a mile to a doctor's house for help? Who was the crooked little "color man" Vincent had claimed was stalking him across France? And why had the painter recently become deathly afraid of a certain shade of blue?

These are just a few of the questions confronting Vincent's friends - baker-turned-painter Lucien Lessard and bon viviant Henri Toulouse-Lautrec - who vow to discover the truth about van Gogh's untimely death. Their quest will lead them on a surreal odyssey and brothel-crawl deep into the art world of late nineteenth-century Paris.
Another graphic novel! I am a huge fan of graphic novels and I came across this book when surfing the net for new graphic novels that are up for release. The title immediately grabbed my attention because the French language fascinates me (mainly because I don't speak it!) as well as art. The cover grabbed my attention because it's, well, incredibly blue and blue is one of my favourite colours.

I also love mysteries, so the mysterious aspect of this book really sparks my interest. I like how the synopsis asks questions, they're quite thought-provoking. I will definitely be getting my mits on this book when it comes out!

What are you waiting on?
Leave me a link to your post and I'll drop by!

Review: Julie and Me... And Michael Owen Makes Three by Alan Gibbons

Julie and Me... and Michael Owen Makes Three
Alan Gibbons
Genre: Children's Fiction
Released: October 2006
by Orion
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
It's been a year of own goals for Terry.

  • Man U, the entire focus of his life (what else is there?) lose to arch-enemies Liverpool
  • He looks like Chris Evans, no pecs
  • Mum and Dad split up (just another statistic)
  • he falls seriously in love with drop dead gorgeous Julie. It's bad enough watching Frisky Fitzy (school golden boy) drool all over her, but worse still she's an ardent Liverpool FC supporter.
Life as Terry knows it is about to change in this hilariously funny, sometimes sad, utterly readable modern Romeo and Juliet story.
There is something wrong with that synopsis. This book was not a Romeo and Juliet story at all because Romeo and Juliet actually get together without anyone knowing. That doesn't happen in this book because Julie and Terry hardly speak to each other.

I was quite disappointed and even a bit annoyed with this book. It was a lot like my Facebook news feed: negative after whine after whinge after put down after character needing a good smack across the face. Also, football makes up 90% of this book (watching football, commentating on football, being teased about football, playing football and last, but not least talking about football) while 10% is Terry doing other things that don't involve football. The cover just showcases that this book is about football; it will definitely drag boys to it only for them to be horrified when it's about a boy in love and not footballers.

There were very few characters that I liked in this book, they were all either obnoxious, pessimistic, in need of a slap or all of the above. Everyone argues about football and that really bugged me because I hear arguments about football every day (my hometown revolves around sports). They don't realise that football is only a game. I was quite irked when Chloe, the only character who is nice and has a functioning brain, turned into everyone else because she got dumped.

Although this was quite a short book, it was quite hard to trudge though a football commentary, obnoxious taunts, pining and rhetorical questions every chapter. Every chapter has sections in that are given dates and times. I didn't understand why these are present as the book isn't in a diary format and takes place in the present tense. They felt a bit unnecessary to me.

There are a couple of good things I could say about this book; the first is that the book takes place in the North of England so I was able to relate to some elements of the book, like how the world of Northern England revolves around sports and that teams have enemies and those enemies will spill your guts simply for winning a match. The second thing (albeit a bit of a silly thing) is that my hometown of Sunderland is mentioned five times throughout the book during Terry's football commentaries as he wants the team to win against one of the many teams that he hates.

All in all, this book was disappointing. And that will be because I am female, not a child anymore and I can't stand football. There is a follow-up to this book and chances are, I won't be reading it.

Dusty Reads (3)

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted by Giselle at Xpresso Reads, about books that have been sitting unread on your shelf at home for a long time.

My pick this week:

The Shining
by Stephen King

Danny is only five years old but in the words of old Mr Hallorann he is a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage.

When his father becomes caretaker of the Overlook Hotel, Danny's visions grow out of control.

As winter closes in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seems to develop a life of its own. It is meant to be empty. So who is the lady in Room 217 and who are the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why do the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there is an evil force in the hotel - and that too is beginning to shine.
I bought this quite a few years ago, read up to chapter four and just... stopped. I'm not sure why but this is a habit I have with Stephen King's books. I get relatively far and then start reading something else (I read up to chapter 3 of The Green Mile and past halfway of The Dead Zone and had to take them back to the library, the never took them out again). I have vowed to myself that I will get through this, mainly because the film is on my Watchlist and I don't like leaving books unfinished.

Have you read The Shining?

Review: Beautiful Days by Anna Godbersen

Beautiful Days
Anna Godbersen
Series: Bright Young Things #2
Genre: YA Historical
Released: September 20th 2011
by Harper Collins
Source: Purchased
Rating: ★★★★

Add to Goodreads | Purchase online
It's the last summer of the Jazz Age and the Bright Young Things of New York are revelling in beautiful days and glittering nights.

Letty Larkspur has shaken off her smalltown origins and is set to chase her broadway dream no matter what the cost.

Gordelia Grey is reeling from the tragedy that's befallen her new-found family but she won't let it hold her back.

Astrid Donal is leading a dazzling life but her liasion with a gangster could threaten everything she holds dear.

I was quite impressed with the first book of this series and as soon as this one came out, I just had to buy it straight away! But, like most books that I buy, this went straight on my shelf and became a bit dusty and had to wait until I'd finished another book that I was reading (which took me quite some time). Since the cover model of Bright Young Things was Astrid, I'm assuming that this is Cordelia from the images on Anna Godbersen's website. The love the cover, mainly because the dress is incredibly pretty and I wish I could look like the model (in my dreams).

I liked this book a lot more than the first. The characters were a lot more well rounded; some of them becoming even more shallow *cough*Astrid*cough*. In this book, I was routing for Letty most of the time, rather than Cordelia or Astrid as they already have what they wanted and Letty has to work her way up to the top.

I felt that the plot of this book was a bit slower than the first, but somewhat more daring (if that makes sense). I liked how the characters were placed in situations that they wouldn't have dreamed would happen to them, especially towards the end. There was more of a danger feel to this book, which I really liked. I love it when a book has me on edge.

As I'd said, I was routing for Letty all the way through this book, mainly because I was able to connect with her and know how she felt. I felt that she was the most dimensional of all the characters and the most relatable as there are people who are like Letty. I loved how innocent she can be, it made her really cute.

I didn't think it would be possible, but Astrid became even more shallow in this book. And there is nothing that turns me off a character more than being shallow. The fact that she purposely does things behind Charlie's back in an attempt to get back at him really didn't impress me. However, I liked that she holds her friends near to her heart even though she is desperate for Charlie's attention.

If I had to pick one character that I detested; it would be Charlie. His relationship with Astrid, to me, was incredibly reminiscent of Sammi and Ronnie from Jersey Shore. He tells her to do something, she doesn't do it. He yells at her, she yells back. They break up, they get back together and everything happens all over again. Their relationship was so on-again-off-again that I ended up not wanting them to get back together at all.

Something that felt incredibly awkward to me was the subject of sex and how it is discussed. I read a lot of books that have sex in and never usually feel uncomfortable, but the way it was handled and talked about by characters was so awkward it nearly made me laugh. The fact that the words "sex", "intercourse" or even "love-making" weren't used made it even more of an innuendo.

I was incredibly relieved that there was no sight of "little gem of a mouth". That description was used so much in Bright Young Things that I began to see it as a cliché and thankfully it wasn't used at all here. However, the many many many descriptions of clothes bothered me a bit mainly because I don't really care about what characters are wearing (I've established this feeling from the many bad fan-fictions I've read) and how they flatter their bodies or the way they move, I want to know what is happening to the characters and the world around them.

Overall, despite the minor setbacks, I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice refreshing read (compared to a lot of books I've been reading recently) and kind of made me realise that I should read more books like this. Not many of the characters are relatable, but there are certainly likeable.

Waiting on Wednesday (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine and spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My pick this week:
Uglies: Shay's Story
by Scott Westerfeld
Release date: March 6 2012
"This whole game is just designed to make us hate ourselves." - Shay

 Uglies told Tally Youngblood's version of life in Uglyville and the budding rebellion against the Specials. Now comes an exciting graphic novel revealing "new" adventures in the Uglies world - as seen through the eyes of Shay, Tally's rebellious best friend who's not afraid to break the rules, no matter the cost.

 A few months shy of her sixteenth birthday, Shay eagerly awaits her turn to become a Pretty - a right of passage operation called "the Surge" that transforms ordinary Uglies into paragons of beauty. Yet after befriending the Crims, a group of fellow teens who refuse to take anything in society at face value, Shay starts to question the whole concept. And as the Crims explore beyond the monitored borders of Uglyville into the forbidden, ungoverned wild, Shay must choose between the perks of being Pretty and the rewards of being real.

I haven't touched the Uglies series since I was at school where I read it three times and I do still check Scott Westerfeld's website quite frequently. So when I saw that a graphic novel (I simply adore graphic novels) was to be released about Shay, I nearly hit the ceiling. I have immediately added this to my TBR list and I will definitely buy it as soon as it is released (unfortunately, I can't win a copy because I don't live in the US).

What new books are you waiting for?

Dusty Reads (2)

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme, hosted by Giselle at Xpresso Reads, about books that have been sitting unread on your shelf at home for a long time.
My pick this week:
Julie and Me... and Michael Owen Makes Three
by Alan Gibbons

It's been a year of own goals for Terry.

  • Man U, the entire focus of his life (what else is ther?) lose to arch-enemies Liverpool
  • he looks like Chris Evans, no pecs
  • Mum and Dad split up (just another statistic
  • he falls seriously in love with drop dead gorgeous Julie. It's bad enough watching Frisky Fitzy (school golden boy) drool all over her, but worse still she's an ardent Liverpool FC supporter.
Life as Terry knows it is about to change in this hilariously funny, sometimes sad, utterly readable modern Romeo and Juliet story.
I got this book in 2008 when I was presented my student librarian qualification and Alan Gibbons was the guest speaker at the event. The copy that I have is signed and for some reason I never got round to reading it; probably because it's about football (or soccer as others call it). I may read it soon as it is quite short and I am behind on my reading challenge.

Do you have any books that are collecting dust?

Review: Scarface (1983)

Directed by: Brian De Palma
Starring: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer and Michelle Pfeiffer.
Genre: Crime
Released: December 9 1983
by Universal Pictures
Running time: 170 minutes (2 hours, 50 minutes)
Cert: 18 (BBFC) R (MPAA)
Rating: ★★★★

IMDb | View Trailer
When Fidel Castro opens the harbour at Mariel, Cuba, he sends 125,000 Cuban refugees to reunite with their relatives in the United States. Among all the refugees, there is one who wants it all; his name is Tony Montana (Pacino). Tony and his friend Manny (Bauer) arrive in the United States and start in small time jobs. Soon, they are hired by Omar Suarez (Abraham) to pay money to a group of Colombians. When the deal goes wrong, Tony and Manny leave with the money and succeed in their job. Soon, Tony meets with drug kingpin Frank Lopez (Loggia) and falls for his boss' girl, Elvira (Pfeiffer). Pretty soon Tony will know that those who want it all do not last forever; that is the price of power. The world will know Montana by one name... Scarface.
Everybody knows Scarface. We've all heard 'say hello to my little friend' at least once. I've been meaning to watch this film for a long time, but I've never been able to buy or rent a copy because I'm not eighteen yet (UK laws prohibit the sale of DVDs and video games to people under the age of the BBFC rating stated on the box). However, I got a box set of Pacino films for Christmas and the film was included; yay (the other films will be reviewed at a later date)!

The poster and DVD box art is probably the most iconic piece of film artwork ever. Even though it is a black and white image, it is incredibly striking and eye-catching. The gun in Pacino's hand connotes violence, blood and death, while the stark grainy image suggests that the film is of a grain nature. From these small observations I can guess that the film will be incredibly violent.

I haven't seen the original Scarface but from what I've looked up, the two films have nearly the same plot and is set in an earlier time period. However, I felt that this was very different from other gangster films I've seen as the characters are Cuban, rather than Italian, and focus on a drug cartel rather than a family. It was a nice change. Even though the plot centres around drugs, I thought that the drug use became incredibly excessive. I never want to hear the sound of cocaine being snorted ever again. Such a repulsive noise... I can't really comment on the writing as I have not seen the original, but I think that Stone did a good job with the story and a lot of the lines are incredibly memorable. Here's some examples of a couple:
"You wanna fuck with me? Okay. You wanna play rough? Okay. Say hello to my little friend!"
"In this country, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, then you get the women." 

Tony Montana is a difficult character to say whether you like him or not. You kind of want him to succeed in his dreams and achieve them, but at the same time he is a repulsive character who deserves all the negatives that are thrown at him. I enjoyed Pacino's portrayal of Montana. The accent was flawless and he didn't turn Montana into a Cuban stereotype. His portrayal, in my opinion as I don't know many Cubans, was very accurate of what happens to people who get into the drug cartel business; he keeps wanting more and more until their life and business is put in danger from rival businesses and the law.

 At times, especially the beginning, Manny seemed like a bit of a creep. He constantly comments on the quality of women's breasts and tries to score with them. Even during one of the first jobs, he's trying to score with some tart with Tony is being forced to watch Angel being mutilated with a chainsaw. However, he did become more likeable and even more sensible than Tony. I thought that the chemistry he has with Gina is quite cute. I kept counting down to when they would get together. I thought that Manny's fate was pretty shocking and unexpected. The effect of it was shattering.

Michelle Pfeiffer is one of my favourite actresses and I loved her performance as Elvira. She was incredibly different to typical gangster wives. She didn't sit back and take her abuse like a good wife, she combated it and refused to take that. I felt that that was her best quality. She knew how to handle herself around creeps and was perfectly feisty. I thought that her dress sense wasn't trashy as she had the confidence to pull it off and has the right body for it. I liked Elvira and wished she contributed to the plot just a little bit more.

Gina, I thought, was a bit of an odd character. She obviously cares about and loves her brother but she purposely goes and betrays him behind his back simply to prove that he is no longer a baby. I felt that she went about that in the wrong way, which is understandable as Tony simply doesn't listen to anybody who is female. I felt that Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio's performance was incredibly strong and emotionally charged, however I thought that her Cuban accent was a bit on the weak side. Some words were pronounced with an American Accent and others with a heavy Cuban accent. The fluidity of it was a bit off to me.

This film is incredibly realistic. As I'd said, I got incredibly sick of the sound of snorting cocaine. A lot of the violence and drug use started to get excessive as the film progressed; Montana got to the point of pouring huge piles of coke onto his desk and shoving his face in it. There was only one point in the film when I had to cover my face, only to find that nothing was shown, and that was when Angel gets killed with a chainsaw. The violence is increasingly grisly and becomes over the top at some times. However, I imagine that this is realistic as humans do tend to bleed a lot when they are shot, stabbed or mutilated.

The instrumental score of the film, for me, is incredibly eighties. A lot of synthesisers are used, which aren't as good as creating tense, romantic, or melancholy moments as acoustic string instruments. However, it does fit in with the era, especially the background music used in scenes that take place in clubs (which Montana danced like a dad at a wedding to). There wasn't really a variety in pop music used as they all really sounded the same and didn't vary at all.

I liked the setting of Miami. Not many gangster films are set in Florida (the ones I've seen aren't), they're usually in places like New York and Chicago; so, again, it was nice to see some variation in the genre. I, personally, didn't see any signifiance of Miami but I think it is historically significant and something to do with Fidel Castro opening the harbour. Something like that. Some of the houses featured in the film look fantastic, especially Tony Montana's house. I would love to have a house like that.

I was very impressed by this film and really enjoyed watching it. The performances were wonderful, the plot was engaging and you could feel some of the raw emotions of the characters. However, the music was incredibly eighties and the amount of strong language, hard drug use and violence became a bit excessive at the end. But, that aside, this was a fantastic film.

Dusty Reads (1)

Dusty Reads is a weekly meme hosted by Giselle at Xpresso Reads about books that have been sitting unread on your shelf at home for a long time.

Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

Shipwrecked in a storm at sea, Robinson Crusoe is washed up on a remote and desolate island. As he struggles to piece together a life for himself, Crusoe's physical, moral and spiritual values are tested to the limit. For 24 years he remains in solitude and learns to tame and master the island, until he finally comes across another human being. Considered a classic literary masterpiece, and frequently interpreted as a comment on the British Imperialist approach at the time, Defoe's fable was and still is revered as the very first English novel.

I got this book (and two others) as a present from my brother two Christmases ago and never really got round to reading it since I had been reading so many other books. It's a shame since I picked it out myself. The cover is a bit bland; it doesn't really give an idea of what happens in the book other than the island part.

Have you read Robinson Crusoe?