May Wrap Up – Movies


 

 

Wonder Woman 84 – I remember seeing the trailer for this at the movies and being excited to watch it. Sadly, it was a bit of a flop for me. I felt like the plot had so many holes in it (more than the standard comic book movie standard), and the overall vibe just wasn’t that good. The highlight, as always, was Chris Pine – who can charm his way through any movie, it seems.
 
Deepwater Horizon – I don’t remember much about this disaster at all, so this movie was a fascinating watch for me. I felt like there was a good balance of build up and action, and although I am a huge fan of disaster movies, knowing that this was a real-life event made this quite a sombre viewing experience.
 
The Conjuring – This is one of my favourite horror films, and I’ve seen it so many times now that it almost feels like a “comfort” movie. I love this entire universe and most of the films from this franchise, and this is the one that kick-started that obsession for me.
 
The Conjuring 2 – The third Conjuring movie is coming out this year, so I figured after watching the first film I should probably watch the second to make sure I’m up to date and ready for the next one to come out. I love this movie just as much as the first, and it was a perfect watch for a stormy weekend afternoon.
 
The Dry – I read this book last year and was keen to watch the movie, so when we were over in Perth visiting my parents I jumped at the chance when they suggested we watch this. I felt like this was a decent adaptation of the book, but as always it’s hard to translate the depth and context of a novel to film and I feel like this movie struggled a bit in that way.
 
Mulan – Also while we were visiting my parents in Perth we set them up with an Apple TV and got them hooked up to Disney+ and this was one of the first movies my dad wanted to watch. I’ve never seen the cartoon version of Mulan but I adore this live action version. It’s such a beautiful film and of course, a heart-warming story.
 
Empire Records – This is one of my all-time favourite movies, and I’ve seen it so many times that I can quote it by heart. Re-watching this brought me so much joy, and even though I had “oh Rexy you’re so sexy” stuck in my head for days afterwards I want to watch it all over again.
 
Almost Famous – I had not watched this movie in years, probably since it first came out, and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Kate Hudson is one of those actors who I feel like I don’t like her (?) until I see her on screen in a film and I fall in love with her. She was incredible in this, along with the rest of the cast, and the story is something I feel like I could appreciate a bit more on re-watching it now that I’m older.
 
Alice in Wonderland – Alice in Wonderland is one of my favourite Disney films, and although this live-action version by Tim Burton is beautiful, it doesn’t quite live up to the original for me. Having said that, it was a bit of fun and I enjoyed it despite re-living the horror of Johnny Depp’s breakdancing scene at the end of the film.
 
Three To Tango – This was a rom-com from the late 90s and it absolutely did not stand the test of time. There was a lot to be offended by in this movie, I don’t know where to begin. Neve Campbell was as charming as always, and Matthew Perry’s weirdly orange hair will probably haunt me for the rest of my days.

RYFO TBR – June

 

The general goal for a #ReadYourFaceOff readathon is to get through as much reading as you can in a 24-hour window of time. It’s a fun (and short) readathon that was created by Riley from RMFickFack. This round will run from 9am on Saturday 12th June to 9am on Sunday 13th June in your time zone. My focus for this round is to try and smash through some books on my TBR from earlier this year. I want to try and knock at least one March book off of my list this weekend. I’m also quite far behind with my nostalgic reading, so I want to make some progress there. Good luck to everyone participating in this round!

April/May Wrap Up – Books

 

The Guest List by Lucy Foley – I started up a book club at work, and this was the first book we decided to read as a group. I figured a thriller was a good way to ease us all into reading and getting together to discuss a book. This was a decent thriller that had a few twists and turns along the way, which made for an easy and enjoyable read.
 
Honeybee by Craig Silvey – This was originally one of my April TBR reads that I had not yet gotten around to reading (and I am still finishing off February’s books, fml) but it was nominated for my work book club book of the month in May, so I picked it up. I read this over the course of a couple of days while on holiday back home in Perth, and it was the perfect vacation read. It was engrossing but easy to read, and the characters and their stories will stay with me for a very long time.
 
The Bluffs by Kyle Perry – This was my second vacation read for our holiday to Perth, (and another cheeky early read, as this was listed as one of my TBR books for March) and it ended up being an excellent choice. This was a moody thriller set in Tasmania that kept me guessing until the end. Definitely worth picking up if you want to read something you can lose yourself in, and you won’t want to put down.

Nostalgic Book Haul (June)

 

Sweet Valley University #40 – Private Jessica“Jessica Wakefield is rocking everyone’s world at the Florida Specialized Security Academy. The only person she can’t impress is her drill sergeant, Vanessa T. Pruitt. Jessica is tired of scrubbing toilets and getting stuck on night watch. Can she cook up a plan wicked enough to give Sergeant Pruitt a taste of her own cruelty? Elizabeth Wakefield’s off-Broadway dreams are turning into nightmares faster than she can say “Bravo!” Her co-producers are pretentious snobs. Her lead actress couldn’t act her way out of a shopping bag. And Tom Watt’s failure to get a job–any job–is driving her crazy! Is Elizabeth’s final curtain call coming sooner than she expected?”
 
Sweet Valley University #41 – Escape To New York“Jessica Wakefield is on the loose in the city that never sleeps! Her horrible memories of boot camp disappear when she’s shopping at exclusive Madison Avenue boutiques and partying at wild downtown nightclubs. But will she give up the high life in order to help her sister. With the off-Broadway debut of her play just around the corner, Elizabeth Wakefield hasn’t a nail left to chew–because her lead actress is a disaster! Can she convince Jessica to step in for opening night? Tom Watts has finally found the journalism job he’s been dying for. But now his boss wants him to review Elizabeth’s play! Will Tom find a way to give it a thumbs-up? Or will he be forced to report the cold, hard facts?”
 
Sweet Valley University #56 – Dropping Out“Todd thought dropping out of school meant full-time fun at work… so why are his co-workers giving him the cold shoulder? Sam can’t let Elizabeth know that their kiss meant anything… but pretending it didn’t isn’t easy. Nina used to be a straight-A student… but partying has its price. Neil and Jessica are best friends… until she turns on him.”

June TBR

 

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse – “Half-hidden by forest and overshadowed by threatening peaks, Le Sommet has always been a sinister place. Long plagued by troubling rumors, the former abandoned sanatorium has since been renovated into a five-star minimalist hotel. An imposing, isolated getaway spot high up in the Swiss Alps is the last place Elin Warner wants to be. But Elin’s taken time off from her job as a detective, so when her estranged brother, Isaac, and his fiancée, Laure, invite her to celebrate their engagement at the hotel, Elin really has no reason not to accept. Arriving in the midst of a threatening storm, Elin immediately feels on edge–there’s something about the hotel that makes her nervous. And when they wake the following morning to discover Laure is missing, Elin must trust her instincts if they hope to find her. With the storm closing off all access to the hotel, the longer Laure stays missing, the more the remaining guests start to panic. Elin is under pressure to find Laure, but no one has realized yet that another woman has gone missing. And she’s the only one who could have warned them just how much danger they are all in…”
 
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel – “Vincent is the beautiful bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star glass-and-cedar palace on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. New York financier Jonathan Alkaitis owns the hotel. When he passes Vincent his card with a tip, it’s the beginning of their life together. That same day, a hooded figure scrawls a note on the windowed wall of the hotel: ‘Why don’t you swallow broken glass.’ Leon Prevant, a shipping executive for a company called Neptune-Avramidis, sees the note from the hotel bar and is shaken to his core. Thirteen years later, just after a massive Ponzi scheme implodes in New York, Vincent mysteriously disappears from the deck of a Neptune-Avramidis ship.”
 
Nightingale by Amy Lukavics – “June Hardie is everything a young woman in 1951 shouldn’t be–independent, rebellious, a dreamer. June longs to travel, to attend college and to write the dark science fiction stories that consume her waking hours. But her parents only care about making June a better young woman. Her mother grooms her to be a perfect little homemaker while her father pushes her to marry his business partner’s domineering son. When June resists, her whole world is shattered–suburbia isn’t the only prison for different women… June’s parents commit her to Burrow Place Asylum, aka the Institution. With its sickening conditions, terrifying staff and brutal “medical treatments,” the Institution preys on June’s darkest secrets and deepest fears. And she’s not alone. The Institution terrorizes June’s fragile roommate, Eleanor, and the other women locked away within its crumbling walls. Those who dare speak up disappear… or worse. Trapped between a gruesome reality and increasingly sinister hallucinations, June isn’t sure where her nightmares end and real life begins. But she does know one thing: in order to survive, she must destroy the Institution before it finally claims them all.”
 
Your Life Is Mine by Nathan Ripley – “Blanche Potter never expected to face her past again–but she can’t escape it. Blanche, an up-and-coming filmmaker, has distanced herself in every way she can from her father, the notorious killer and cult leader, Chuck Varner. In 1996, when she was a small child, he went on a shooting spree before turning the gun on himself. Now, Blanche learns that her mother has been murdered. She returns to her childhood home, where she soon discovers there’s more to the death than police are willing to reveal. The officer who’s handling the case is holding information back, and a journalist who’s nosing around the investigation is taking an unusual interest in Blanche’s family. Blanche begins to suspect that Chuck Varner’s cult has found a new life, and that her mother’s murder was just the beginning of the cult’s next chapter. Then another killing occurs.”