The First Time (2012)

The past week or so, I’m been in kind of a rut.  Why? I guess it primarily comes from stress but its also the fact that I’m highly competitive and I haven’t really had much inspiration for this Nanowrimo so everyday passes by and I write like 300 words on the bus and stop.  Its hard to write a romance and be stressed at the same time.  I usually don’t go seeking out anything romantic but I figured what better time to watch a teen movie, my mind thinks about Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist and how that was quite quirky and cute. Still, it seems recently, I always dive back into older movies for this sort of fun, cute teen romance thing but The First Time has caught my eye since it hit Netflix so I decided to check that out.

the first timeDirector & writer: Jonathan Kasdan

Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Britt Robertson, Craig Roberts, James Frecheville, Victoria Justice, Lamarcus Tinker, Joshua Malina, Christine Taylor, Maggie Elizabeth Jones

Aubrey (Britt Robertson) and Dave (Dylan O’Brien) meet under awkward circumstances outside of a crazy party that they were both dragged two for different reasons.  As they sat down to know each other, they feel more and more attracted to each other. However, Dave is pining over this beautiful girl Jane (Victoria Justice) who only treats him like a good friend that she can talk to about everything and Aubrey is dating Ronny (James Frecheville) an older emo sort of rock band guy. As their feelings take a hold over them, they experience an eventful weekend together.

the first time

This is how they started: meeting in an back alley of a party when she startles him as he’s trying to figure out how to tell the girl of his dreams how he feels.  The First Time is sweet, cute and so magnetic to watch.  Its been a few days that I’ve seen it and I can’t get it out of my mind.  In a certain way, its real but not sure how high school real it is.  Love is something that changes to everyone so this sort of movie probably won’t appeal to everyone especially if your romantic experiences are different.  For me, high school felt like how the character Dave was: unrequited love. His was a girl of course while I had this guy that wasn’t all that great (now I know) but we were good friends but essentially it was unrequited love.

the first time

At the same time, I could relate to Aubrey because man, was it scary to think about stepping into the world and really have enough of this high school thing, even if I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do.  Although it didn’t happen in high school but man, what the hell is love was what I thought back then also, up to college, even after having short relationships and lets not even talk about elusive “the first time.” But thats what makes this movie fantastic because regardless if it all happened over a weekend and whether it was in high school, the time frame doesn’t matter.  Its about the feelings this movie invokes making it feel real.

the first time

Although, there’s this subtle awkwardness that shows up between them, which is normal when you meet this guy randomly for such a short time, Aubrey and Dave, portrayed by Britt Robertson and Dylan O’Brien, have this amazing chemistry.  Teen romances are simple and that gives this extra points because thats what being in high school should be.  Thats what makes it great also.  Nothing in the romance has to be overly complicated especially in chance meetings like this, where emotions take the best of you.  I’m going off on a tangent but thats really to support why I think chemistry is the most important in these sort of movies.  Man, do they pull it off? When the movie ended, and perfectly where it should in my opinion, I actually connected with Dave and Aubrey so much that I wanted to know whats next. I was kind of all touched and getting misty by the last few parts when they were talking about meeting that right person and all that.

the first time

There’s so much to love about The First Time: the great chemistry, the cheesy moments (because you know they have it), the awkwardness, taking chances, being young and in love, being passionate.  Just a mountain of that surge of emotions that there is.  Its smart, cute, sweet and the connection is so real and so honest.  The characters are lovable.  Its done with so much awesomeness and I totally hope that you give this a chance. There’s going be cliches, but you know what, Britt Robertson and Dylan O’Brien will make you fall in love right along with them (at least I know I did).

Have you seen The First Time?

Photography 101: Swarm

It’s a swarm! Show us something that overruns your scene, but observe and compose carefully before you click the shutter.

Swarm: to fly off together in a group, as bees; to move about in great numbers, as things or persons.

Don’t just point and shoot. Observe your scene closely before pressing the shutter. Spend time watching and planning your frame, so that you can take a photo that captures a unique moment in the larger scene. -The Daily Post

This morning, a lot of the normal swarming was rather calm.  Maybe its the cold weather and people are taking the subway or walking in the intricate underground passages that Montreal is so awesome for. I don’t have that luxury and as I scanned my area, there is one thing in abundance other than the gravel on the sidewalks, its shoe prints in the snow. The passerbys that have walked the same path that I have at some point during the evening, night, morning.  Whatever time of day it is, there is someone who traced the same path that I did.

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Scattered and could be more abundant but thats the best I could do with the limited amount of snow on the ground.  Not exactly swarming but if the snow didn’t melt on part of the sidewalk, it would be more along the lines of what I need. ;)

Double Feature: Lockout (2012) & Ender’s Game (2013)

This last weekend, my boyfriend and I went through quite a bit of indecision as we sat around trying to figure out what to watch.

First choice went to Lockout and the second one went to a movie in my unwatched pile of movies, Ender’s Game, both have one similarity: they both have a lead by an actor that I love.

LOCKOUT (2012)

lockout 2012

Director: James Mather & Stephen St. Leger

Cast: Guy Pearce, Maggie Grace, Vincent Regan, Lennie James, Peter Stormare

Set in the future, ex-CIA operative Snow (Guy Pearce) is wrongfully convicted of turning on his operation.  However, when maximum security prison in space, MS1 has a rogue prisoner break loose and lets out the 500 convicts while taking the facility’s personnel and also, the president’s daughter, Emilie who happened to be there conducting an interview on the stasis procedure there, Snow is asked as to go in to save Emilie and send her back home safely.

lockout 2012

Lockout is nothing great.  There’s crap CGI that doesn’t match up to what is capable of modern technology of computer graphics.  In fact, at the a certain point, it felt like I was looking at a video game cut scene or whatnot, lacking a feeling of being realistic.  But,  I love Guy Pearce and he can make a movie really good.  That man is fantastic and when you put him in the whole Netflix description suggesting that if you were looking for an entertaining movie full of one-liners. Well, I’m down.  So, with that said, one-liners also means that there is going to usually be a whole lot of cheese.

guy pearce

Before I say whether I liked this or not, you need to take into consideration that I slept about 3 hours the night before because of a late girl’s night in and then woke up at 5:30 for a sunrise shooting session with my friend.  Continuing with my first thought up there, Lockout is nothing great.  Put CGI aside now, the story is ever so flawed.  The prisoners at MS1 are a little weird because its just a bunch of them sitting around socializing while the main group is threatening the government.  Put that aside, I realized how much I am not a fan of this Emilie character because she is a pain in the ass. And some of these characters are painfully stupid, I mean, just so very frustratingly stupid. But, somehow, through all those downfalls, every time Guy Pearce was on screen, I was excited to see what happened next or just how he’d react.

No, I won’t recommend this but you know what, Guy Pearce is still an amazing presence in this one.

ENDER’S GAME (2013)

ENDER'S GAME

Director: Gavin Hood

Cast: Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld

Ender Wiggin is recruited to be part of the International Military to be trained with other chosen kids who have the ability to help fight in the war against an alien population known of Formics. The Formics nearly destroyed the human race in their last invasion however thanks to a hero leader, they survived.  Now they are preparing for the next battle that is inching closer day by day.  Will Ender become the leader that the human race needs to survive before its too late?

ender's game

 I’m a huge fan of Asa Butterfield, especially after seeing Hugo.  This kid can achieve some great things and he is amazing.  Ender’s Game is right up my alley of what I like to watch: adventure being the main thing.  I’m not so much a sci-fi person although I’m starting to think I kind of am.  Anyways, before I wanted to seeing this in theatres, I picked up the book, hoping to finish it before I went to see it, but the slow beginning made me skip through that.  I can’t believe that was a year ago, as I looked through my review again.

Ender’s Game is based on character development of Ender as he’s thrown head first into Battle School and as he learns from the mock battles he has there.  What is wildly abundant in the book is his advanced strategy because he can plan out towards the end results he needs to not let things happen again. In that sense, he can make some pretty drastic choices.  These choices shape who he becomes and the struggles he has to endure. The  movie adaptation does a good job of showing his struggles except it moves forward pretty quickly (or I wonder if I fell asleep for 10 minutes in between because I was really tired). Regardless, the movie had me pulled in from the start, which is a lot more than I could say for the book.  Maybe sci-fi for me works better adapted in movies than in books.  I don’t read enough of that genre to know. The only thing that taking a slower time to build character as in the book, gives the character a more focused thoughtfulness to it.  It gives it more growth.

ender's game

Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld: all very well-casted for their respective roles.  What I loved most was how the transposed the description of the Battle School sequences from the army battles in that zero gravity zone especially.  The design and graphics of it was absolutely beautiful to watch.  The technology that they can use for this is done perfectly to show that its set in a future that we don’t have now.  The battles set in their simulation is all touch screen and fast-paced.  Everything feels like its just so real and its full of action as Ender bounces from one training group to another.

However, what makes the book intriguing was the heavy constant focus on giving little bits of how the management level of the International Military functions and then seeing their plans play out on Ender and how he reacts.  Thats less obscure but still the ending packs a punch in the same way.  This is the first time, I felt the need to compare the source material and the movie adaptation.  I don’t really know why.  Maybe its because as much as I liked the book, I didn’t love it because it wasn’t really for me but I could see how great it would be for a movie.  And it didn’t let me down one bit.  It could’ve been better in capturing the development of Ender as a child who is thrown into an adult’s world as the responsibility of saving your race is on your back but its well worth the viewing just for the beauty of the setting itself.

These supposedly shorter reviews are getting long so here it is:

Bottomline: Lockout is going to be a forgettable action thriller with a well enough performance from Guy Pearce who tries his absolute best with he’s given.  While, Ender’s Game is visually stunning and has an outstanding cast that may not quite have the character development that the book has but it is entertaining and thrilling to watch all the same.

Now why couldn’t I have just wrote that and not said so much, right? ;)

Photography 101: Moment

Capture a fleeting moment and experiment with blur and movement.

Think about the fleeting moments you experience each day — from a quiet, precious moment with your child to a busy commute through the subway, among strangers. What will you share with us? – The Daily Post

Not exactly a perfect moment but this morning, there was literally a flock of birds fluttering around the evergreen in my backyard. By the time, I got my phone out of my bag and turned on the camera, I only caught the remaining few as they all left for another pine tree in another backyard.

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It was quite an amazing moment because I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many birds in fluttering at the same time so close to me. For my cat, well, that moment was absolute entertainment.  Guess we all had a nice and brief show this morning and we didn’t even need to get out of our house into the cold ;)

 

Photography 101: Architecture

Study architectural forms, and also train your eye to look for shots that will translate well in black and white.

Train your eye to look for architectural elements that translate in black and white: sharp lines and patterns, defined shapes, large surface areas, and a mix of very light and very dark colors.- The Daily Post

I rarely like to use effects to spice up my pictures.  Its something about my belief that natural lighting and how you structure the shot brings out the essence of a picture more than effects could.  However, I do sometimes like to play around with black and white in a rare situation.

Regardless, I love using black and white mostly for vintage scenes.

In this challenge, I decide to do something of a compare and contrast. The first is an older building and its now converted into a history centre but I believe it used to be a fire department or something like that.

Old Montreal

Historical Building

In the second shot, its of a more modern looking museum, covered in glass and having the metallic vertical antenna looking design.  I don’t know what its supposed to be but its always been the distinct feature that I like about the Pointe a Calliere Museum.

Pointe a calliere Museum

Pointe a calliere Museum

Its comes to the point that does modern architecture or older ones make a more dramatic effect using black and white.

What do you think?

Photography 101: A Pop of Colour

Colors can stir emotions within us, tell stories, and transform our images. Today, use one color to add life or drama to your shot. -The Daily Post

Hmm…its been rather gloomy these days.  We woke up to a temporary thin blanket of snow on the ground. Temporary because it melted away by the afternoon. This morning, it was the same thing. As I stood at the bus stop thinking about this and what to showcase, I bent down and lowered my phone camera to the ground level and took a snow covered ground with green grass but the highlight at that extra dash of colour from the autumn leaves, right?

Snowy ground

It is in the littlest details, right? Noticing our surroundings and capturing the shots that might look good.  I took a leap of faith with this “pop of colour” from the leaves :)

What do you think? Snowing where you are?

Workout Week 1: Getting back on track!

Nothing is harder than to not use a ton of excuses and get up from my comfortable chair and get away from my movies and blog and work out.  I love working out and I stopped a few months ago because life did go a little crazy.  Still, sporadic work outs can only do so much and its time to get back into gear.  Get my mind back to its relatively less stressed mode, be more motivated and get back into shape :)

Week 1 is hard because I’m renewing a commitment.  This time, I’m not stopping after a year.  There is no end to working out.  I’m not going to choose to take it off my blog because its getting too versatile and I don’t have time to schedule it in. None of that stuff anymore.  I realized that was a horrible mistake.

I apparently love to start my workout week on Tuesdays.  Don’t know why, I just do.

TUESDAY: Pop Sugar’s The Ultimate 30-Minute Cardio Pilates Workout

The guest coach is a lady who found something called Burn.  Let me tell you, she is not messing with you.  The burn was there from every part of it.  I absolutely hate pulses…I hate it! That burn feels fantastic afterwards but during is just close to unbearable.

By the way, they used 3lbs dumbbells  but I only have one of those so I was stuck with 5lbs. That was REALLY painful!

WEDNESDAY: Tone it Up Yoga

I usually use this yoga flow to recharge between heavier training days.  I haven’t done this one in a while so I figured I’d revisit it  to recharge a little.

SUNDAY: Pumps and Iron’s Workout Mashup

Workout Mashup

This first week restarting this workout thing and committing to it again.  I’m trying to get back to what brought me to really challenge myself.  Pumps and Irons was the blog that I first found in the blogosphere that had some really challenging workouts.  So I went back to this circuit style workout mashup.  Its always been my go-to and I haven’t done it in a long time.

Something about completing workouts like this make me really confident and motivated to workout again.

I’m charged up for next week’s workouts :)

Before I go, tradition is that I always put some workout inspiration.

i run because

 

Replace “run” with “workout” or “train” and thats exactly how I feel.  Work’s been a bitch but when I push myself and succeed, it reminds me that I can still do and feel great.  There is more to life than all that work stress.  It’ll pass eventually :)