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Why I Love… The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy

I finished my yearly rewatch of The Lord of the Rings this week. I watched The Fellowship of the Ring (my favourite in the trilogy) on Monday, The Two Towers on Tuesday, and The Return of the King on Wednesday. These were the theatrical editions because while I own and have watched the extended editions a couple of time, it’s the theatrical editions that I love the most – because it’s those versions I saw in the cinema and fell in love with.

The Lord of the Rings is inexplicably linked to Christmas to me. That’s because when each film was released, me, my mum and my gran would go together to see each one on Christmas Eve. It was a family tradition for three years and I loved it. Now I always rewatch The Lord of the Rings in December, as close to Christmas Eve as possible. When I was at university and had longer holidays and less to do in them, I even watched all three films on one Christmas Eve before. Now with work and having to travel home for Christmas, I can only do watching one per evening, three nights in a row.

I love every film in the trilogy, but my absolute favourite is The Fellowship of the Ring. I think I love that one so much because it is kind of the most light-hearted of the trilogy. It’s the one that introduces all the big characters, is more hopeful but it also has some scary moments and brilliant battles. The Mines of Moria sequence is one of my favourites in the whole trilogy, both the battle and the chase to the bridge. Also love the Skirmish at Amon Hen at the end of the film. That’s a brutal battle but one that’s so motivated by the characters you’ve grown attached to over the course of the film.

While the Battle of Helm’s Deep is fantastic, and I always get goosebumps when Haldir and the elves arrive to help, I think The Two Towers is my least favourite. That’s because I don’t love Frodo and Sam’s plot until they meet Faramir but I like the Merry and Pippin stuff with Treebeard and I adore seeing what Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli are doing. That doesn’t mean to say The Two Towers is bad, it’s still immensely enjoyable and does a great job of reintroducing all the characters we’ve already met and setting up the importance of Rohan and its people in the first 20 minutes – that’s a great screenplay.

The Return of the King is the perfect end to a perfect trilogy. I love every character’s plot; the battles are phenomenal, and the story is so full of hope. Yes, it has a dozen endings, but I love every single one of them and they send me on an emotional rollercoaster.

I love The Lord of the Rings trilogy because of the way it makes me feel. It’s got nostalgia value for me as it was such a formative influence on my taste in films and stories, so every time I watch it it feels like a warm hug. I’m still constantly surprised that no matter how many times I watch the trilogy (this year was my 14th full trilogy rewatch) there’s still little things that I notice and that bring me joy.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy just makes me happy. It makes me smile, makes me cry, and I still get completely taken in by the battles and the whole world of Middle Earth. I love it so much and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to put into words how much I love these films or how much they mean to me.

M is for Mr. Brightside by The Killers

There was no other possible choice when it came to my favourite song beginning with M.

I am trash for Mr. Brightside. If there’s any kind of meme on Twitter that’s somehow referencing Mr. Brightside I will retweet it. One of my oldest friends is getting married next month and with the wedding invitation, when you RSVP’d, you could also suggest a song to play at the reception, and I of course suggested Mr. Brightside. Can you imagine a bunch of wedding guests jumping and screaming along to this song?! To be honest, I don’t have to as the last wedding I went to the band there played Mr. Brightside and we did all shout along enthusiastically with overly dramatic gesturing.

I really don’t know what it is about this song that makes me love it so much, and how it’s become “that song” for me and so many other people of my generation. It was released when I was 13 so I’ve probably been dancing along to it and screaming the words from school discos, to night clubs, and to weddings.

It’s a song that has definitely been a part of my formative years and one that I have so many vivid memories of. With different friends, at different points of my life, I have sung along to this song – in a friend’s kitchen, in a piano bar with new work colleagues, and in my uni nightclub.

Mr. Brightside is a song that brings people together, especially millennials I feel. I don’t know what makes it so special, but it has some magical quality to it that makes it a song I can never get tired of.

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Favourite Science Fiction & Fantasy Films

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week’s topic is in honour of the Booktube SFF Awards and instead of focusing on books, we’re talking about our favourite science fiction and fantasy in other media, whether that’s TV or Film. Me being me, has gone for film and here are some of my favourites.

Moon
If you’ve not watched Moon you really should. It’s a small-scale sci-fi film that sometimes feels claustrophobic, but that just adds to the underlying tension running throughout the film. Moon is eerie and gripping and Sam Rockwell is fantastic. It’s a film that’s lodged itself in my brain from the first time I saw it.

 

Transformers
While I do feel this franchise has gone on far too long and has generally gotten worse, I do love the first Transformers film. It’s one of my “comfort” films, if I feel down for some reason I’ll put it on and the over the top characters and action cheer me up. The battle in Qatar’s desert between the US military and a Decepticon is one of my favourite action sequences ever.

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TOP 5 WEDNESDAY: Current Favourites that Aren’t Books

Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about favourites that aren’t books, so it could be TV shows you’ve been enjoying, makeup you’ve been wearing, food and drink you’ve loved – anything! I’ve decided my post will be about my current favourite TV shows. I’m usually pretty terrible at keeping up with TV shows but these five are the ones I’m really enjoying right now and am making the effort to keep up with.

Taboo
While I usually spend about 30% of an episode confused about who’s who and what exactly is going on I am really intrigued about this show. That’s mainly because I love the main character James Delaney (played by Tom Hardy) a lot, he’s just so interesting! He seems to have dark magic, he’s very clever and can see all the pieces on the board and is nearly always a step ahead of everyone else. He’s not a nice person, he even uses people like pawns in his game but I find him so interesting. Taboo is now a show that I actively look forward to as it gets closer to the time it airs on Sunday.

 

The Halcyon
The Halcyon is the other new show that I find myself looking forward to every week. It’s set in a posh London hotel during WWII and it is bit like Downton Abbey in the sense it’s about the “upstairs” or the hotel guests and the owners of the hotel, the Hamilton’s, and the “downstairs” all the staff who work in the hotel, from maids, to chefs, to the managers. It’s got some interesting characters and there’s some great relationships. My favourites are Betsey, the lounge singer, Toby the younger and often forgotten son of the hotel owner, and O’Hara an American journalist that says what he thinks.

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My Top Ten Favourite Films of 2015

It’s the end of the year so that means it’s time for best-of lists! So if you haven’t spotted my top ten list on HeyUGuys Movie Bloggers Top Ten – a list you should check out because it’s interesting to see what a load of different bloggers love – here is my top ten and my thoughts on each film. Now please note, all of these are UK cinema releases because as you’ll notice, one of these films came out two years ago in America.

10. Dope
I watched Dope on a plane and it was great. It made me laugh and think and I really enjoyed all the characters and their chemistry. It’s a small film that definitely deserves a lot of love.

9. Spy
Spy is a film I missed at the cinema but then I caught it on a plane and I wish I’d seen it at the cinema! It was surprising, funny and often kind of ridiculous but it really was so much fun. Jason Statham neds to do more comedy films.

8. Straight Outta Compton
I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed Straight Outta Compton. It was about a time in recent history and a band that I knew next to nothing about but I couldn’t help but get pulled into the story and I found myself caring about these people.

7. Ant-Man
Who would’ve thought that the Marvel film on my top ten list would be Ant-Man and not Avengers: Age of Ultron? Not me! I was really anti-Ant-Man a year ago, mainly because of my dislike of Hank Pym from the comics, so I was so surprised at how much I enjoyed Ant-Man. The cast had great chemistry, Michael Pena stole every scene he was in, and it was about a heist and I love heist movies! Ant-Man really was a pleasant surprise. (more…)

Thoughts on… Favourite Films

What’s your favourite film? I don’t know about you but as a self-confessed film addict, sometimes that question stops me in my tracks. There’s so many films out there, so many “great” and “classic” films and I do sure appreciate films like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Shawshank Redemption but I wouldn’t say they were my favourite films.

For me to class a film as a favourite it has to be something I want to and will watch over and over again. A film that brings me joy as well as maybe make me laugh and even cry, I want my favourite film to be fun.

So without further ado, here are the five films I say are my favourites whenever I’m asked that horrible, hard question.

lord of the rings elenasquareeyesThe Lord of the Rings trilogy (because it totally counts as one film)
I rewatch the trilogy one a year, usually around Christmas time, and it continues to give me all the emotions. I can quote like 90% of the film, Aragorn continues to be one of my favourite characters ever, Merry and Pippin make me laugh and Sam and his love for Frodo always makes me cry. And don’t get me started on when Aragorn says “You bow to no one” to the hobbits and everyone bows and I just start sobbing.

the mummy elenasquareeyesThe Mummy and The Mummy Returns – there is no third film
For me, a mark of a favourite film is if I see it’s on TV and whether it’s just started, half way through or ten minutes from the end I just have to watch it. The amount of times I’ve watched The Mummy and The Mummy Returns on TV even though I have the DVD’s is ridiculous. Also I’m totally going to name my future hypothetical daughter Evelyn. (more…)

Why I Love… Elizabeth and Peter Burke

I’ve recently been catching up on the TV show White Collar. I’d only seen the first three seasons because after that it stopped showing it over here in the UK but now I have a gorgeous boxset of all six seasons and I’m catching up. Not only had I forgotten how much I loved this show but I had also forgotten what an awesome power couple Elizabeth and Peter Burke are. So I’m just going to take this moment to gush about why I love them so much.

White Collar - Season 6

Peter is a FBI Agent in the White Collar crime unit who’s partner Neal Caffery is an ex-con. He’s smart, resourceful and well respected. Elizabeth is an event planner who is supportive, smart and charming. They are the perfect team. (more…)