People

Z is for Hans Zimmer

I love film scores, they’re the best thing to listen to while writing in my opinion. There’s so many brilliant composers out there but Hans Zimmer is my favourite. I saw him live a few years ago at Hammersmith in London and it was the best experience, and probably my favourite gig I’ve ever been to. I wrote (more like gushed) about his concert on my blog here.

He’s composed so many iconic scores, from the superhero films like the Dark Knight Trilogy, Man of Steel, and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, to epic films like Inception, The Last Samurai and Gladiator. He spans all genres, has worked with so many great directors and still manages to bring something new and different to each of the films he works on.

I find it hard to pick a favourite soundtrack of his. I think The Dark Knight was the first film score I bought so that has a special place in my heart, The Lion King gives me goose bumps and I adore both Sherlock Holmes and Inception.

I love how kind of mainstream Hans Zimmer is becoming. He’s got a world tour this year and he performed at Coachella a few weeks ago – can you imagine a film composer performing his scores with a full orchestra at a music festival like Coachella a few years ago? It’s kind of mad but brilliant. It makes people listen to the scores, and seeing all those people on stage really shows how much time, effort and people power it takes to make a film score.

Below is a compilation of some of Hans Zimmer’s best, or most famous, film scores – I’ve been listening to it as I write this post!

Y is for Anton Yelchin

Anton Yelchin was one of the actors I’d go on an actor-binge for, just buy and watch films only because he was in them never really mind the genre or reviews. I watched Charlie Bartlett (2007) that way and Middle of Nowhere (2008) which I watched last year and it really is a delightful film.

I think the first film I saw him in was Star Trek (2009) and he made a wonderful Chekov and he was instantly my favourite character. The same year Terminator Salvation was released and while it’s not the most liked film in the franchise, I enjoy it and think Yelchin made the best young-Kyle Reese. It was great because you could see the baseline for the man he’d grow up to be aka Michael Biehn in Terminator (1984).

I don’t know where I got it from but downloaded music from Anton Yelchin’s band – The Hammerheads. It’s loud and manic, very different to what I’d usually listen to but I do like it. I do love Yelchin’s vocals, and another great thing about Green Room (2015) besides it being a brilliant film, is you get to see some of Yelchin’s musical talent on screen.

Anton Yelchin was a really talented actor and it hurt when I heard of his death via social media. It was one of those that I didn’t believe and was in denial about until the news as being picked up on other sites. It was such a freak accident and I couldn’t believe it. His was the first “celebrity death” that really hit me and made me cry. I think it was not only because he was super talented and one of my favourite actors, but because it was such a shock giving the circumstances of his death and how young he was.

I’ve still got unwatched films of his, for an actor so young he’s made a hell of a lot of films, so it’s nice to go back and see him on screen.

W is for Denzel Washington

Denzel Washington is a babe. He’s funny, charming, talented and good-looking. He’s another one of those actors I’ll watch films just because I know he’s in it – that’s how I watched Courage Under Fire (1996), a film that wouldn’t normally be high on my to-watch list.

I’ve not yet watched two of his biggest films American Gangster (2007) and Malcolm X (1992) but I do have the DVDs sitting on my shelves. They’re films I really want to watch but feel like I have to be in the mood to really concentrate and give them my full attention when I’m watching them, recently I just like easy-watch kind of films.

Still, I’ve seen a lot of Denzel Washington’s filmography. He’s brilliant in Training Day (2001), his performance won him an Oscar, making him the second black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, I love the dramas he makes and stars in but I also love it when he stars in action films like The Equalizer (2014) and Safe House (2012). The films he made with Tony Scott directing were some of my favourite, especially Unstoppable (2010) which I talked about a few days ago in the A-Z Challenge.

Denzel Washington’s won two acting Oscars and been nominated for six other Oscars, he’s been nominated nine times at the Golden Globes and won three times, and he’s been nominated for and won so many different awards in different categories at different institutions it’s hard to count. I really do think Denzel Washington is one of the best actors in the business right now.

V is for Viggo Mortensen

I love this man, he’s one of my favourite actors and just generally seems like a good person.

I first saw Viggo Mortensen in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and thanks to his wonderful acting and his beautiful face, Aragorn became my firm favourite character. I love all the stories you hear about the filming of LotR, to be honest the entire cast seem peak #castgoals when it comes to being with the same group of people for years. I love hearing about how Mortensen bought the horse he rode in Lord of the Rings because he fell in love with them and even bought Liv Tyler’s stunt double the horse she rode because she loved it but couldn’t afford to buy the horse herself.

I’ve seen a lot of Viggo Mortensen’s films now and he’s one of those actors where I’ll watch a film just because he’s in it. I have Captain Fantastic sitting unwatched on my shelves and I really want to watch it soon. Besides Lord of the Rings my favourite film of his was Eastern Promises, that film is often a tough watch but Mortensen is captivating in it.

One of the best interviews I’ve read with anyone was an Esquire interview with Viggo Mortensen last year. It shows how honest and “normal” he is and his love of art, literature and keeping his private life private. It made me love him even more and his personality shines through.

J is for Jesús Navas

This post is going to be a bit of a superficial one. Jesús Navas is one attractive man, he’s also a very talented footballer.

I support Spain’s National Team and that’s where I first saw him play. He’s a brilliant right winger and is really quick and can keep the ball. I don’t support any Premier League team but I know he plays for Manchester City and I do like seeing him and David Silva (my other favourite Spanish player and also the most underappreciated player in both the PL and Spain’s NT in my opinion) play together because they really gel.

Jesús Navas has super striking eyes and an attractive face. His eyes are a really pale blue, almost grey, and with his darker skin they really stand out. I once shared a gif of him on Twitter and it got way more traction than I thought it would and it was pretty much just because people found him hot! His charm comes across well in the video Q+A below, especially at about the 02:25 mark where he gets asked why his eyes are so pretty and he gives a really cute answer.

Remembering Alan Rickman

I’d just got back to the car after going shopping this morning when I heard the news that Alan Rickman had died. I was waiting for my mum to pay the parking ticket so was scrolling through Twitter as you do when I saw all the Tweets. It must have been just as the news broke because a lot of them were linking to news articles and were general displays of shock. I couldn’t really believe it either.

I was born in 1991 and grew up watching Alan Rickman. One of my mum’s favourite films (so therefore it became one of my favourites and a formative influence) was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Alan Rickman was a fantastic, over the top and evil Sheriff of Nottingham. He had the best lines, stole every scene he was in and was more than a match for Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood. I love that film and it’s one that I’ll always watch whenever it’s on TV.

My next “proper” exposure to Alan Rickman was in the Harry Potter films. I was definitely a part of the Harry Potter generation, I remember starting to read Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone in 2001, just after me and my mum had moved into our new home after my parents had divorced. I loved the books and then loved the films. Some actors were perfectly cast in those films and Alan Rickman as Severus Snape was one of them. He was foreboding and intimidating but when it came to showing the softer side to Snape in the later films he was equally brilliant.

And then there’s the other performance that I will always think of when I think of Alan Rickman – Metatron in Dogma. I watched Dogma for the first time at University, I think I watched it so I could reference in in a film essay but I loved it way more than I thought I would. Rickman’s deadpan delivery and air of boredom when it comes to the ridiculousness he’s found himself involved in are wonderful.

There’s obviously many more roles that Alan Rickman will be remembered for but those three are what made him special to me. I can’t help but feel very sad at his passing, maybe it’s also the sadness from David Bowie’s death is hitting me now as well. To lose two such great and influential people in the space of a week is heart-breaking and a sign of our mortality.

RIP Alan Rickman, thanks for being so amazing.

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Z is for Zoe Saldana

zoesaldanaZoe Saldana is the new Queen of sci-fi. She’s been a blue alien in Avatar (2009), Uhura in the Star Trek reboots and most recently the assassin Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy (2013). I think she’s great in all those roles – obviously some are more developed than others but she does a great job with hat she’s given.

Zoe Saldana can do comedy – as seen in Death at a Funeral (2010) which isn’t exactly a great film but it is a lot of fun and she can do action and drama, as seen in the (seriously underrated in my opinion) Colombiana (2011).

My favourite film starring Zoe Saldana is The Losers (2010) – I could wax poetically about The Losers because I love the film and the comic a ridiculous amount. Zoe Saldana plays Aisha, the daughter of a drug lord who is a total badass and can take on the Losers and the bad guys and come out on top.

Infinitely Polar Bear (2014) is released later this year in the UK and I can’t wait to see it. It looks funny and sweet yet also possibly heart-breaking. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it when it has been shown at film festivals.