I was on TV for a few embarrassing seconds!

How about a little Saturday night laugh?

I skipped yesterday’s post so I figured I’d make it up tonight.

One of my friends just told me that one of our friends saw me on TV.  Well, there is only one reason he saw me on TV and thats because two summers ago I was caught on Just For Laugh Gags.  If you’re unfamiliar with that, during the summer in Montreal, Just For Laughs pulls pranks anywhere in Montreal.  I can be at a mall or in the streets, a park.  It can be anything crazy and weird and just capturing those candid moments.

I’m not going to go further but I thought my reaction wasn’t very good but apparently, it was funny enough to get two seconds on TV ;)  Of course, I went online to share this embarrassing moment with you (after I found the YouTube video).

Here it is:

If you are new to my blog and don’t know what I look like, I’m at 1:12 ;)

Hope you’re all having a fantastic Saturday night, my lovelies!! 

Seconds Before Sunrise by Shannon A Thompson (The Timely Death Trilogy #2)

Back in March, when I was doing another recommendations month, I ended off with reviewing some ebooks.  One of them was Minutes Before Sunset, which is Book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy by Shannon A Thompson.  I highly recommended that one and truly believe that Shannon is a fantastic young writer.  I was completely captivated by the first book in her trilogy and looked forward to reading her second one. Recently, she launched her newest book and asked me to review it, however, before I went into that one, I felt like I wanted to give Book#2 of her trilogy a read first.  I will be reading her new one right after but lets take a look at this one first.

If you would like to check out my review of Minutes Before Sunset, check it out HERE.

SECONDS BEFORE SUNRISE (THE TIMELY DEATH TRILOGY #2)

BY: SHANNON A THOMPSON

seconds before sunrise

Seconds Before Sunrise picks up a little bit after the events of book 1.  If you haven’t read Minutes Before Sunset, I suggest that you stop and go back before proceeding.

Jessica had chosen to give up her memory of her Dark side and it seems that in the process, she didn’t only lose that.  She has become lost in life and burdened with nightmares.  In these nightmares, she also sees a guy that she’s drawn to.  On the other hand, Eric only has weeks before he has to fight Darthon and the Light.  While he tries to avoid Jessica, their connection and feelings are too strong to push away.  At this time, he also ends up in an accident which causes him to deal with a lot of human issues, as also in the hopes to hide his Dark side to be protected before the battle.  As the final battle between Light and Dark approach, the issues at hand become more serious for both Jessica and Eric.

I always tend to take a little break between one novel to the next.  Its just how I am usually, unless of course, I’m waiting for the next novel to come out. Its not all bad though because this gives me time to digest everything thats gone on in the previous one and when I crack open the sequel, I can go in with a fresh mind.  Seconds Before Sunrise reflects on some aspects from the first novel but as I read it, it reminded me of what happened again.  However, it might be a nice idea to actually read these two one after another.

What I loved about Seconds Before Sunrise, (just like the first one), is that we get to see both sides of our main characters, Jessica and Eric.  We go back and forth throughout and we grow to learn how each side feels. As the audience, we get the full picture of both sides.  This really  helps in connecting with our main characters and really feeling what they are going through.  However, there is a lot of unknown, to them as well, when it comes to the world of Light and Dark. The focus on this novel becomes very human and less in the battle for most of the book until we hit the end.  However, that is in no way a bad thing.  Jessica and Eric’s emotional struggles are very real and very believable.  They are faced with a hard choice (on Eric’s side) and a confused feeling (on Jessica’s side). This makes it human.  Whether its teens or adults, its hard to separate our feelings with the reality at times and sometimes, its even hard to separate our dreams with reality.

Plus, we get some mysterious supporting characters that add a little extra to the story. The main question now is that as the final battle approaches, who in the human form is a Light? Will they figure out who Eric really is and even who Jessica really is? There is nothing better than a novel that delivers a believable story with an alternate reality/fantasy world intertwined and while giving us a love story also gets us to wonder what happens next. Thats what Seconds Before Sunrise is.  It may not be quite the page turner that Minutes Before Sunset is but its still a great sequel to read.

I definitely look forward to the next one and see how everything turns out! :)

Shannon is a fantastic writer and you can find her blog right HERE!

Her newest novel is called Take Me Tomorrow.  I will start reading that one very soon :)

Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon – Family Plot (1976) – Tranquil Dreams

Kim @ Tranquil Dreams:

Head on over to check out my entry into MovieRob and The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger‘s Alfred Hitchcock Blogathon. My choice was Hitchcock’s last film, Family Plot. I haven’t seen much of Hitchcock’s works except for the really famous few: The Birds, Psycho and Vertigo, so this was pretty much a completely new experience for me.
A huge thanks to Rob and Zoe for putting this together! Also, remember to check out their blogs and if you don’t follow them, remember to do so because they have lots of fantastic posts to offer :)

Originally posted on :

hitchcock

For the 53rd and FINAL review in our Alfred Hitchcock blogathon, here’s a review of Family Plot by Kim from Tranquil Dreams.

Thanks Kim for taking part!

family plot posterFamily Plot (1976)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Cast: Barbara Harris, Bruce Dern, Karen Black, William Devane, Ed Lauter

A phony psychic, Blanche (Barbara Harris) is hired by  a wealthy lady called Julia Rainbird who is trying to track the whereabouts of the long lost son of her sister Harriet that she forced her to give up when they were young.  Rainbird is willing to compensate Blanche for her hard work  at a great price.  Hearing this, she convinces her partner and boyfriend, George Lumley (Bruce Dern) to help her play detective and follow the clues.  On the other side, there is Fran (Karen Black) and her jeweler husband Arthur Adamson (William Devane) who are are actually kidnappers.  Somehow along the way, George and…

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Fray

Share a photo of what “fray” means to you — it could be a tear in a favorite pair of jeans, a street rumble just about to begin, or a friend diving into an oncoming wave at the beach.  Don’t stand on the sidelines: join in and show us a photo that says “fray” to you. – The Daily Post

I’m not exactly what fray means but from the multiple definitions I’ve found online, its something along the lines of being worn out.

I’m a nostalgic person and a pack rat which means basically, that I keep a lot of stuff.  As I’m moving right now, a lot is being ripped away from my possession and honestly, it is time.  I have stuff from school that was almost 10 years ago, just to give you an idea.  So I own worn out stuff. Two things that hold dear to me and I’d never throw out is what I’m going to showcase today.

Exhibit A: My security blanket

My security blanket

My security blanket

Thanks to mom, even if she constantly threatens to throw it away, my security blanket is basically without any holes.  I don’t know if my boyfriend will be equally accepting of it but you can count on my night being immensely better when I have it around.  This little blanket as been with me since I was a baby.  I don’t fit so snug under it unless I tuck myself into a ball but it holds a special place in my heart, even though it is covered with scars. Now, it has a new friend.  My cat accepts it also and loves to sleep on it all the time ;)

Exhibit B: Snoopy

Snoopy

This collection of five colorful Snoopy puppy set has been with me for a long time also.  I know, there’s only four here.  Orange likes to wander off and disappear ;) Poor Red has had that little scar for a little while now and we really need to fix it up again.

I don’t wear torn jeans but I do have torn objects so I figured I’m spot on for this Fray challenge ;)

What do you think? What comes to mind when you think of the word “Fray”?

Heat Wave, Home Stuff & Luck!

I realize I talk about weather a lot but its the Montrealer in me. The proof is right HERE in #14 ;).  Well, at least you all gain knowledge about how Montreal’s weather is doing, right?

This week has been calm for the most part (although a lot of you still seem to find my life crazy busy…which it isn’t).  The goal of this post is to see the positives in the little thing.  Even when its just the simplest things going on.  Sure, my weekend is busy especially on hot days because I’m accepting that its the part of owning a house. Plus, its slowing down at work so I find myself trying to fit in what I didn’t have time to do before August.

Anyways, this week has been rather special for various reasons and I’m about to get into my next little steps that I’d like to share.

1) Surprise Sunflowers

sunflowers

Sunflowers

Some of you would agree that July is kind of the dead season for flowers and gardening.  The garden is just green.  A few weeks ago, I talked about the hard work of squirrels burying sunflower seeds in our front yard and after a few small ones bloomed, a gigantic one bloomed last week and its just a lovely yellow delight.

Flowers always make me happy :)

Do you like flowers? Whats your favorite ones?

2) Harvests

Raspberry and Tomato

Raspberry and Tomato

I haven’t gotten a picture of my raspberry harvests to show yet.  This week’s was by far the best harvest so far and I see lots coming out.  I just need to find a way to prop up the leaves so it has room to grow freely.  I actually need to do the same for my yellow zucchini plant as well.

3) Winning an Advanced Screening

wpid-20140824_170637.jpg

I never win anything. EVER. My luck is shot.  I think it has to do with having used up a lot of luck finding the amazing people that entered my life so I have none for anything else. So, when I got the email that I won these advanced screening tickets for Sin City: A Dame to Kill For. I was skeptical until I actually got the pass in the mail.  Which I did on Monday and invited my best friend to go with me.  Although, I’ve been completely ridiculously slow at putting up my post for Guardians of the Galaxy, I pushed myself to at least put this one up because its a significant event in my life, one that makes me feel so very lucky :) If you missed my double review of Sin City 1&2, head on over HERE.

Have you seen Sin City: A Dame to Kill For? What did you think?

4) Cleaning Plushies

First batch of plushies

First batch of plushies

As said in the beginning, this weekend was gorgeous. It was just so hot with a nice little cool breeze here and there. I’m at the stage of moving where its the dusty little plushies that need to move so I brought the first batch over and gave them all a nice wash.  The first batch are the smaller ones and my non-Disney collection ones.  Oh right, I collect Disney plushies but its really for the goal of hitting ALL the Disney stores eventually ;) So, feeling a little bit more accomplished, I hung these up and they pretty much spent a good part of the weekend drying off.  The small took only the Saturday whereas, there was two larger ones (not here) that are still drying today :)

Next batch is next weekend for the Disney, my guess is Zazu, Classic Mickey and Stitch might get the second round ;) Maybe a few more…I don’t know yet.  Maybe I’ll let the relatively new Bambi join in.  Dumbo, Lady and Tramp are the oldest bunch so they might be the hardest to clean.

Do you own collections? What do you like to collect?

5) New Fruit Discoveries

Pluot/Plumcots

Pluot/Plumcots

I love Costco for many reasons.  Oh yeah, so many reasons, one of them is the gluten-free choices I talk about all the time.  Now, the other one includes having all these awesome fruit selections.  I find Costco fruit a bit pricey but when I saw these little beauties and had no idea what they were.  I figured they must be those hybrid fruits and they were.  These are called Pluots or online says, Plumcots.  Its a mix of plums and apricots except its closer to the plum taste (whereas if you had aprium then it’d be more apricot taste).  These taste very delightful and I can see them going very well in pies, tarts, even crumb bars. If we don’t finish them before they get completely ripe, I’ll probably have to use them to bake ;)

Have you tried any hybrid fruits? Have you tried Pluots/Plumcots/Apriums?

6) Garden Mission

Garden Mission

Garden Mission

The downside of buying the house in winter is not seeing what the garden looks like or how the previous owners cared for it.  Thats something I’ve learned.  My previous owners were certainly not in the green thumb category because now that everything has pretty  much grown, I can just see how disastrous and neglected it was. So after I went crazy cutting and freeing one of the plants in the back so that they have some sort of space and order, I started pulling out weeds (still!).  Now I have patches of empty soil sitting around waiting for some grass seeds to fill up the space.

My mission on Sunday ended with this patch which could look so nice but with the ungroomed overgrown hedges here, it just looks like a mess.  Do you see the chrysanthemum? No, right? Well, its there. And this picture was after I already pulled out a ton of plants and vine-y weeds. How to fix this mess?

I have so many plants to pull out because its just way overgrown and too much. This is the final month before things switch around.

And please, someone tell me what leaves bear tiny apple-like fruits and sheds bark, leaves and twigs in the middle of August? I’m stumped! I’ve been searching for the two gigantic trees and the type and I just can’t find it.  Maybe I should have taken a picture but I’m still a bit angry that I’m the only crazy person raking leaves in August..haha!

7) The Lion King Musical

The Lion King Musical

I love musicals. This year, I already gave up a bunch of concerts because I’m trying to budget my money better. I was about to give up The Lion King musical until there was a 25% off coupon online for some pretty awesome seats.  Yesterday, me and my girl friends went out to see it at Place des Arts. We had balcony seats, which is a completely different experience.  Plus, whats nice is that being in the balcony, you get to see the animals walking down the aisles and then the people in the upper balconies and around.  The show is just so fun.  The singing, the costumes and the props: all so beautiful. Its really one of the best musicals I’ve seen.  My favorite was the starting of the second part and there was the bird props soaring all over the room.  It was so magical :)

Have you seen The Lion King Musical before?

8) Inspiring (and Energetic) Music

Shattered Glass – Brad Paisley

Footprints (Kaaze remix) – Tiesto

Just two really  nice songs with different styles depending on what you like that has really caught my attention.  I love Brad Paisley’s new single Shattered Glass because the video is amazing and the message is inspiring. As for electronic music, I love to listen to it to sort of detach a little and relax.

What songs/music have you been listening to?

Its been an epic week! I spent time with a lot of my girl friends, my garden is progressing, the move is going well and we even started painting the dining room which is making my head spin because its a leap of faith whether the walls and color will match.

I’m not sure if its the heat or the sudden change in weather or just a lack of sleep causing it, but I’m feeling a little under the weather with a sore throat creeping up.  Hopefully, with more sleep and more water, I’ll get rid of it.  Today’s energy level is a bit low so I’ll end it here. I’ll get something fun tomorrow.

Also, this week, look forward to FINALLY  the Guardians of the Galaxy post and a few posts from my Saguenay weekend getaway :)

Happy Monday, my lovelies!

Double Review: Sin City (2005) & Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

Surprisingly enough, I got selected for a special advanced screening of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For.  However, my memory of the first one was not that great especially since I didn’t remember much, so I decided to revisit it the night before I went.  The experience of being the first group to see the movie is definitely great and since I’ve been doing this little blog and diving into the world of movies, I’ve learned that I’ve changed a little in how I appreciate movies and that is the main reason why I wanted to revisit this.

Since I’ve been massively behind with everything, I decided to just go ahead and do a double review of these two movies. It baffles me that after almost 10 years we get a sequel for Sin City but still, lets see how it all went.

SIN CITY (2005)

sin city posterDirector: Frank Miller & Robert Rodriguez (special guest director: Quentin Tarantino)

Cast: Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Clive Owen, Rosario Dawson, Alexis Bledel, Powers Boothe, Benicio Del Toro, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jaime King

A film that explores the dark and miserable town, Basin City, and tells the story of three different people, all caught up in violent corruption.-IMDB

I have no other way has to how to describe this movie but just use the synopsis in IMDB. I’d give it a shot but honestly, I think it all starts with this.  The first time I saw Sin City in theatres with some college friends, I thought it was THE most boring thing ever.  Why? Because nothing made sense and it was like a jumble of nothing.  It was beautiful and black and white gory and brutal.  Its not really not my thing and as I rewatched it a few nights ago, I saw it in a different light.  There is a brilliance to the jumbled-up story and I stayed awake for it and apparently, I only remembered two parts from the original viewing.

Sin City

What I absolutely love is the style.  The black and white and the interlacing of sharp colors: the red silk (and sometimes, blood), the colors in the eyes, the contrast in hair and that sort of thing.  It just makes an impression.  Then you have one of the bad guys, Yellow Bastard who is just a disturbing and ugly character that popped out because he was literally yellow.

sin city

The second thing that I love about it was the cast.  Bruce Willis is just amazing as Jack Hartigan.  Clive Owen is awesome as Dwight.  And then there’s the passion and chemistry between the characters. The stories gave time for the characters to grow and develop in exactly the space and time it needed.  Each of the stories had their impact and honestly, Basin City has some pretty impressive characters.  The Old Town girls are brutal, violent and fun to watch.

sin city dwight gail

As I sit here thinking about it more, its really starting to grow.  The third thing that works is the stories.  Everyone has something that makes it worthwhile to watch. It has exaggeration, sarcasm, darkness, violence, manipulation.  This town is full of ugly people in personality.  Its corrupt and dark but strange enough, its also covered in beautiful women who are almost as lethal as you can imagine.  There are boundaries and all that.  Its a pretty amazing set-up for a movie.

Sin City has the formula for a great movie and for the most part, it delivers.  The question is whether its your type of movie.  I love the comic book visuals, the sharp contrasts, the set up of the town and the stories of our main characters, and especially the fantastic cast.  It was well-balanced, brutal and very fun to watch. However, its not exactly my type of movie that I go for everyday so it took time for me to really see it through.  The second viewing definitely made me praise it a lot more.

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For (2014)

sin city a dame to kill for

Director: Robert Rodriguez & Frank Miller

Cast: Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Josh Brolin, Eva Green, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Powers Boothe, Bruce Willis

Some of Sin City’s most hard-boiled citizens cross paths with a few of its more reviled inhabitants.-IMDB

On a lesser run time than the first one and having a few new characters, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For still lacks a little something.  I loved the style that was equally has beautiful as the first with the black and white and sudden colors to give it a great experience.  The music was awesome and matched the atmosphere.  I’m trying to pinpoint in my mind if there were 3 or 4 story arcs right now but they weren’t quite as fun as the first.

 

The characters were great because the cast is still very decent.  Mickey Rourke returned as Marv and is still as violent (and a bit stupid) as before.  The new additions of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Eva Green and Josh Brolin all bring something new to the table. Joseph Gordon-Levitt gets his own story arc as a cocky gambler who never loses.  He goes to Kadie’s to challenge Senator Roark except in the corrupted sin city, he gets warned time and time again that its not a wise thing to do.  As much I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt in absolutely anything and he is very wonderful as Johnny, I felt his story wasn’t quite where I wanted it to go.

sin city a dame to kill for

The next story arc was for an older Dwight (previously played by Clive Owen) but is returned this time played by Josh Brolin. Dwight’s story is possibly the most elaborate.  He is trapped in a flame that he can’t shake off.  He tries to not respond to the attractive Ava, played by Eva Green who is now married to a rich man.  She comes back and he falls right back into her arms.  This leads to a game of manipulation, a trap, revenge and a lot of naked Eva Green scenes. This one was actually pretty fun to watch.  The chemistry, passion, manipulation all works out even if you can predict what will happen ;)

sin city a dame to kill for

I guess, the fourth story would be Marv retracing how he ended up where he was, except I’m wondering if there was anything for him.  Except, Marv, played by Mickey Rourke (like the first one) is the key to drawing everything together because he appears in all the stories in one way or another.  If anyone is easily manipulated, it would have to go to him. Plus, he is the action and the brutal violence.  There is no doubt that Marv is a great character and Mickey Rourke does a great job, even after 9 years he still has the essence of Marv in him and revives him on the big screen.

sin city a dame to kill for

I personally like the follow up with Hartigan’s death and the impact it has on Nancy the best.  The roles are both still played by the original two, Bruce Willis and Jessica Alba. Although Nancy and her dancing scenes are thrown around the entire movie and it lets the audience see how she’s completely broken by it all.  Its a mental struggle for her and she not only wants revenge that she can’t pick up the courage to do so she drowns herself in alcohol.  In her struggle, she sees glimpses of Hartigan, as if he’s never left her side.  Its really something to watch.  There was one shocking part that I never would’ve guessed and its pretty awesome the way they handled it.

Overall, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For is not as good as the first one.  The stories lack the punch it had in the first one, even though there are two that particularly stand out.  However, the style and the music is still amazing.  The 3D is done extremely well and adds to the overall effects.  The cast does a great job at bringing everything they can to the movie and for the most part, they do a very good job.  Even the new additions, Joseph Gordon-Levitt brings a charm to his story (even though it falls flat), Josh Brolin has a compelling character and story and Mickey Rourke is fantastic once again as the ever so violent Marv.

I need to make a point of saying this: If you were a fan of the first one, the chances of you enjoying this one more than me is very high.  Keep that in mind when you decide whether you’d like to see this ;)

Are you a fan of Sin City? What makes it so great to you? Have you been anticipating the sequel? Do you think its been long-awaited or unnecessary?

 

Genre Grandeur – Freedom Writers (2007)

Kim @ Tranquil Dreams:

This month’s Genre Grandeur theme is war movies over at MovieRob. I’m not much of war movie person so I sat around thinking about what to write. After switching around in the last minute, I thought about Freedom Writers. I know that I had another review about it before but it is one of my favorite movies and one I find is underrated so I never give up on a chance to lets others hear about it. Its not a conventional war movie for sure but I promise I do give it a far reasoning as to why it is one.

If you would like to join in on MovieRob’s Genre Grandeur for this month, he is still accepting reviews till August 27th. And give him a follow if you haven’t already, Rob writes awesome reviews. Plus, you should check out the Hitchcock blogathon that he and another blogger, Zoe at The Sporadic Chronicles of a Beginner Blogger has going on right now.

As always, a huge thanks to Rob for putting this together :)

Originally posted on :

For our next entry for this month’s Genre Grandeur – War, here’s a review of Freedom Writers (2007) by Kim of Tranquil Dreams.  Her site is filled with movie reviews, travel pics and great recipes.  If don’t already follow her, I suggest you do so now!

If you’re still interested in joining in this month’s Genre Grandeur, send me an email to war@movierob.net by next Wednesday, 27th Aug.

On Sunday, I will send out an update of this month’s reviews (so far), plus reveal the new genre for September and the Blogger chosen to decide what genre will be featured!

Let’s see what Kim thought of Freedom Writers (2007)

freedom writers posterWar movies are not really my genre. I’m really not much of a person who likes to watch movies based on historical events, especially that of war between countries or cities. Usually its depressing and just sad. Maybe you can…

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