Wednesday, November 30, 2016

December 2016| most anticipated movies

Are you kidding me?? 3 movies with Marion Cotillard! I love her since the "Taxi" came out and now three movies in a row. It is going to be a nice month)

1 December

Name: Allied 
Cast: Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris
Time: 124 min
Genres: Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller, War
Country: USA/UK
Language: English

     In 1942, an intelligence officer in North Africa encounters a female French Resistance fighter on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. When they reunite in London, their relationship is tested by the pressures of war.

Name: From the Land of the Moon
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Louis Garrel
Time: 120 min
Genres: Drama, Romance
Country: France, Belgium, Canada
Language: French, Spanish

       Gabrielle (Marion Cotillard) comes from a small village in the South of France, at a time when a dream of true love is considered scandalous. Her parents marry her to José (Alex Brendemühl), an honest and loving Spanish farm worker. Despite José's devotion to her, Gabrielle vows that she will never love José and lives like a prisoner. One day she is sent away to a cure in the Alps to heal her kidney stones. There she meets André Sauvage (Louis Garrel), an injured veteran, who revives the passion in her.

 8 December 2016

Name: Underworld: Blood Wars
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Theo James, Lara Pulver
Genres: Action, Horror
Country: USA
Language: English

     The next installment in the blockbuster franchise, UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS follows Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) as she fends off brutal attacks from both the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her. With her only allies, David (Theo James) and his father Thomas (Charles Dance), she must stop the eternal war between Lycans and Vampires, even if it means she has to make the ultimate sacrifice.
    It is just a tradition to match all Underworld movies. So i expect some good action and a lot of inter clans' confrontation.

15 December 2016 

Name: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Cast: Felicity Jones, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker
Time:  133 min
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Country: USA
Language: English

      Jyn Erso, a Rebellion soldier and criminal, is about to experience her biggest challenge yet when Mon Mothma sets her out on a mission to steal the plans for the Death Star. With help from the Rebels, a master swordsman, and non-allied forces, Jyn will be in for something bigger than she thinks.
     I really do not know what to expect from the new Star Wars. The last one from 2015 was really disappointing. So I guess no further expectation and it might turn out all right.

29 December 2016 

Name: Assassin's Creed
Cast: Marion Cotillard, Michael Fassbender, Essie Davis 
Genres:  Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Country:  UK, France, Hong Kong, USA
Language: English, Spanish

Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day.
     The idea is just fantastic! The ability to activate genetic memories, that might be a real hit. Let's see how the movie director managed to put it to life.

November 30, Top 5 Wednesday

This weekly book meme officiated in November 2013. Every week there is a new topic and your list of 5 nominates will be based off this topic. For further information check out the Goodreads Page.

The theme this week is: Favorite Villains 

1. Long John Silver from Treasure Island by R.L. Stevenson
One legged manipulative and fearful pirate, Silver gains the trust of protagonist Jim Hawkins, only to reveal himself to be the leader of a mutiny, planning to murder the ship's officers once the treasure is found. I actually like the guy. Not his cruelty and blood thirst, but his imagination and wit. He was one head above most of the pirates not only because he was feared, but because he dared to do things no one done before.
2.  Count Dracula by Bram Stoker 
A picturesque figure of the gothic-fiction world. Bram Stocker sets rules about what a vampire should be and was followed by many authors in gothic-fiction and vampire topic. But only reading the book I realized, how twisted modern vampire fiction has become. So for me Count Dracula is the father of all Gothic villains.

3. Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë 
He is not 100% villain as in most of the books. Life makes him such a heartless and vindictive person and he is like a demon for this area and most of his deeds cannot be called anything but evil. He does not show any mercy in his revenge,  but still he encourages sympathy. 

4. Annie Wilkes from Misery by Stephen King
Anne Marie Wilkes, better known as Annie Wilkes, is the main antagonist in Stephen King's 1987 novel Misery. Annie is a severely mentally ill, demented and obsessive nurse and the self-proclaimed biggest fan of her favorite author, Paul Sheldon. This character is so sick and freighting that I like her so much for that.

5. Woland (Satan) from The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Woland is the mysterious foreigner and a professor who is "in Moscow to present a performance of 'black magic' and then expose its machinations". This exposure never occurs; Woland instead exposes the greed and bourgeois behaviour of the spectators themselves. His visit to Moscow sets the plot rolling and turns the world upside-down. This is the most honest and worthy devil I have read about. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 29, Top Ten Tuesday

        Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Visit their blog for more details on how to participate. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list on specific topic. 

Topic: Holiday Gift Guide freebie - 10 books to buy for your dad
      My father is a huge fan of detective stories, mysteries and action books. At the same time he likes politic memoirs and philosophical works. But I also try to keep him up to date and provide new contemporary books and new authors. So this is going to be the mixture of everything.

1. The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith 
2. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
3. Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
4. In Search of Lost Time/Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust
5. Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen (Karen Blixen)
6. The Swimming-Pool Library by Alan Hollinghurst 
7. The Hours by Michael Cunningham 
8. The Gun Seller by Hugh Laurie
9. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
10. The Snowman by Jo Nesbø

Actually this is quite a nice list and I would like to read all the books myself.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ali Smith, Hotel World

Author: Ali Smith
Original title: Hotel World
Pages: 236
Edition Language: English
Publisher: Penguin Books
Series: none
Genres: Fiction, Contemporary
Year: 2001

There are five characters, two relatives, three strangers: a homeless woman, a hotel receptionist, a hotel critic, the ghost of a hotel chambermaid, and the ghost’s sister. These women tell a story and it is through this story. The common link between all those characters is the Global Hotel. The dead girl Sara worked there as chambermaid and died in an accident falling in a shaft of a dumbwaiter. It is not clear till the chapter “Future in the past” was this an accident or the suicide. The homeless woman Else is begging in front of the hotel every day. One cold night she is allowed to take a room free of charge by a hotel receptionist Lise. The fourth person is Penny, the hotel critic is disturbed in her room by a chambermaid who is trying to open the shaft. Penny tried to help the girl and looking around for help. Then she meets Else on the flour and all 3 opened the shaft. The chambermaid is actually the dead girl’s younger sister who wanted to see the place of death and find some peace at last.

About the author:  
    Ali Smith is a writer, born in 1962 in Inverness, Scotland, to working-class parents. She was raised in a council house in Inverness and now lives in Cambridge. She studied at Aberdeen, and then at Cambridge, for a Ph.D. that was never finished. In a 2004 interview with writing magazine Mslexia, she talked briefly about the difficulty of becoming ill with chronic fatigue syndrome for a year and how it forced her to give up her job as a lecturer at University of Strathclyde to focus on what she really wanted to do: writing. Openly gay, she has been with her partner Sarah Wood for 17 years and dedicates all her books to her. Taken from Goodreads

Coping with grief and tragedy: After the sudden death of Sara Wilby we can see how the grief affects the people around and how each of then trying to cope with it. The only male character in this book apart from the father is Duncan, the witness to Sarah's death and his character shows that mourning is not exclusive to family or close personal friends of those who have died.

Sexuality/Sexual awakening: This topic is slightly covered. Sara Wilby's sexual awakening starts a week or two before her death when she meets the girl in the watch shop. Sarah is amazed and confused about this side of her attraction and suffering with the first love fears. The shop girl shared interest in Sara, which is only conveyed briefly near the end of the novel—reveal.

The flow of time: We can see a lot of indication through the story about time importance. How fragile the moment might be and how much a small fragment of time can contain.

My thoughts:
I cannot remember a book recently which I was enjoying less than Hotel World. A book without story development, but only emotions and stream of conscience. I hope that all Ali Smith’s fans will ever forgive me, but I found this book utterly boring and unexciting. The anticipation of the story ranged from boring to frustrating. Some days I was forcing myself to get the book and continue reading. The Sara’s sister’s chapter was a total nightmare with 31 pages of unpunctuated stream of conscience writing. This was like I'd read poetry. The story stayed in the fog even though there are 5 main narrators. The only chapter that made any sense was chapter "Perfect". Here was at least some story and character development, some inner wishes and thought shared and some interaction between the characters.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

T5W, November 23 , Books I Want to Re-Read

This weekly book meme officiated in November 2013. Every week there is a new topic and your list of 5 nominates will be based off this topic. For further information check out the Goodreads Page.

The theme this week is: Books I Want to Re-Read

1. Harry Potter series.
 This might be really silly, but I want to read the whole series all over again. Taking in consideration that I have already read all the books in 3 languages! But it is so interesting to compare different translations of the favorite story. Challenge your own memory and try to predict next move or phrase. Refresh long forgotten secondary character.

2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
I am afraid that when I was reading a book I was looking for a happy ending or at least some improvement. That is why at the end the book seemed to me disappointing and depressing. I believe if I re-read it now without any additional expectation or set up I would be able to dive deeper into the events and characters of the book.

3. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
 When I first read this masterpiece, I was too young. Not too young to read it to the end and enjoy it, but I guess too young to grasp the built-in philosophy. It is like peeling: you get off layer by layer as you read and get deeper and deeper in narration, the unnecessary layers go away (people, events, doubts)  slowly bringing you to the understanding of the soul movement, motivation and striving of people. 
They say you need to read War and Peace 3 times: when you are young, when you are grown-up and when you are old and you will always find something new and useful for yourself. I tend to agree with this point of view as I always thought that since I read the book I know it all. And now thinking more often about it, I have my doubts and I am not so sure about the motivation and reasoning of this or that character anymore. So this is a definite re-read to me.

4. Gentlemen and Players by Joanne Harris 
I strongly believe that might be the best book of Joanne Harris. This book was an absolute delight from start to finish. This is a brilliant psychological thriller set up in a chess game format. Joanne Harris as usual has such unique and unusual characters. They are so full of colors and so real.
After I read the library book I had a strong impulse to re-read it straight away. Of course I did not do so, but instead I bought a nice hardcover copy and keep it now for a proper time to read.

5. Captain Blood by Rafael Sabatini 

This book is just the list of my most favorite: this is my favorite love story, this is my favorite revenge story, this is my favorite pirate story, and this is my all-time favorite hero and the best fiction marine adventures I have ever read. So I re-read the whole book or even small passages from time to time.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

November 22, Top Ten Tuesday

       Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Visit their blog for more details on how to participate. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list on specific topic.

Topic: Thanksgiving freebie -- tell us what you are thankful for! Books you are thankful for! 
I have decided to stay in the book theme and dedicate my thanks to books mostly.

1. I am thankful for the creation of a printing machine which took the books from the privileged clerical circle and made them available to  the mass public.

 2. I am thankful that there was such a writer as Jane Austen and that she wrote Pride and Prejudice, the book that gives a lot life lessons.

 3. I am thankful for the creation of the Internet, which is in most of the cases stealing our time, but at the  same time helps to broad you horizons, help to find people who shares your interests and helps you to express yourself.

4. I am thankful that there are so many cozy coffee shops, where you can relax with a book and drink a cup of hot chocolate while it is raining outside.

5. I am thankful to my parents who taught me how to love a good book; who monitored and influenced my reading preferences.

 6. I am thankful to Shakespeare for "The Taming of the Shrew" which was my inspiration in so many ways

7. I am thankful that there are libraries in the world which is an endless sourсe of inspiration, when you are out of ideas and feel down.

8. I am also thankful to Charlotte Brontë for Jane Eyer as this is a timeless creation and teaches how love can be difficult.

9. I am thankful for the opportunity to live and breathe to enjoy the beauty around and gorgeousness around.

 10. I am thankful to most classical authors for leaving us the part of their soul, the picture of the life people had and passions they endure, so we can connect to those through centuries.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Portuguese authours

        I have just returned from the short trip to Portugal and was enchanted by the country. There is such a unique atmosphere there and style.
       Unfortunately, you cannot say that Portugal is now on its peak and you see some decay. The old buildings are not always being cared properly for and you might see spectacular architectural piece with peeling off plaster. But I hope this is a transitional stage and a heritage of the once most influential country in the world will be take care of.
      But another question rose in my head while going along crooked streets. What I actually know about the literary situation in Portugal? Yes, I am aware of some historical facts and prominent discoverers and scientist, but I cannot recall any Portuguese author I have heard about. That seems a little frightening as I am trying to read a lot of different literature from around the world and this turned out to be the huge flop.
       So one of my tasks for the next year will be finding out more about the Portuguese literature and read and least 2 books.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

November 16, Top 5 Wednesday

This weekly book meme officiated in November 2013. Every week there is a new topic and your list of 5 nominates will be based off this topic. For further information check out the Goodreads Page.

The theme this week is: Favorite Publishers

I actually never pay attention to the publisher. The book cover and size are more important to me. So I needed to check my library to see if there is any tendencies and I found some. So most of the boos in my library are from the below publishers.

1. Penguin Books

         The only publisher I new before this meme. Originally British publisher is now world known for its inexpensive paperback and wide variety of choice from modern bestsellers to classics and education books.

2. HarperCollins publishing house

     An old American publishing house starts launched a new mass market paperback line. It was known as Harper Paperbacks from 1990 to 2000, HarperTorch from 2000 to 2006, and Harper from 2007 to the present. that is why have some books from HarperTorchand some from Harper only.

3. Doubleday

      Another American publishing company was the largest in the United States by 1947. It published the work of mostly U.S. authors. Now of cause it is not only U.S. authors.


     Azbuka (eng. Alphabet) is one of the biggest Russian publishing company based in St. Petersburg. It publishes mostly Russian and world classical literature, modern world fiction literature, children books and illustrated dictionaries and reference books in history and art.

5. Эксмо-Пресс

     Eksmo is one of the largest publishing houses in Russia. Eksmo and its rival AST together publish approximately 30% of all Russian books. Established in 1991 as a small book-selling company, Eksmo gradually developed into a major player in the Russian market.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

October 2016 Wrap Up

Read books:
read: 1 / listen: 1 / pages: 376 /hours listened: 14h51m
1. Billie Letts Where the Heart Is p.376
2. Jo Nesbø The Redeemer

Movie watched:  
1. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
2. Inferno (2016)
3. Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016)
4. Doctor Srtange (2016)
5. Sweet Bean (2015)

Theater visited: 
1.The Deep Blue Sea by NT Live (2.10.2016, Prague) review

November 15, Top Ten Tuesday

       Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Visit their blog for more details on how to participate. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list on specific topic. 

Topic: Movie Freebie - top ten movies your favorite actor/actress is in.

 For this topic top 10 is not enough for me. But I will try list best movies of Keanu Reaves (from my point of view of course)

1. Lake House (2006)
Two  people open, good hearted and talented finally find each other. They are in the right place, but in the wrong time. There are 2 years difference between him and that makes this relationship not possible as they cannot meet in real time. And thought this was "a long distance" connection, it is the most real thing they had so far.

2. Constantine (2005)
John Constantine is approached by detective Angela Dodson, who needs his help to prove that her twin sister did not commit suicide, as she was a devout Catholic. She's asked Constantine for help because he has a reputation for dealing with the mystical. Actually, he is hunting demons and sends them back to hell. His investigation leads to discovery that demons are trying to take over the human world and now Constantine has to face Satan in their final battle.

3. Hardball (2001)

Frankly speaking Keanu performance as an actor is not so good in this movie, but the movie itself is very nice and kind that I had to include it in the list. Conor O'Neill's is bright and handsome gambler who is not successful at all.  He starts drinking and trying to hide from the bookies, whom he owns money. Desperate for money, he accepts to be a coach of a Chicago black 'projects' ghetto Little League baseball team. He has to change a lot his way of living to gain his team respect and the attractive teacher affection.

4. The Gift (2000)

Annabelle Wilson is a local fortuneteller. She reads cards and provides psychological help. After the disappearance of a very prominent young lady, her fiancée is asking Annabelle for possible guidance. Annabelle feels that she can't help, but this doesn't stop her from constantly getting visions of Jessica's fate. This is an extraordinary film with an exceptionally genuine performance of Cate Blanchett, Hilary Swank and Giovanni Ribisi. I was really impressed with Keanu who delivered really haunting and disgusting character.

5. The Watcher (2000) 

Keanu Reeves, as a serial killer David Allen Griffin, chooses a female victim, studies her for weeks till he knows her routine to the smallest detail, makes meticulous preparations using his forensic knowledge to gain entry when she's quite alone, subdues her and administers a long, torturous death. Joel Campbell got so frustrated by his failure to capture Griffin in LA that he quit the FBI, moved to Chicago and remains in psychiatric therapy, unable to function normally. Then he realizes, when opening his mail very late, that a new murder victim is Griffin's, and the killer sends him pictures of her. Campbell reports this to the police, but is unwilling to join them in the search, but he does not know that he is in the game already…
5. The Replacements (2000)

Funny and feel good movie about American football.  A comedy based on the 1987 professional football players' strike. The professional football players refuse to play until they are paid more. Sot eh owner of the club gathers the alternative team of “Wanna-be” unsuccessful of injured former players. This is really an explosive combination of the sumo wrestler, body guards, football (soccer) player, S.W.A.T. member and others not fitting the notion of a professional player. The first thing they need to learn to listen to each other and act as a team, but this is not so easy, when the pressure is on the field and in everyday life.

6. The Matrix(1999)

The Matrix was the break point of cinematography. Although now it can bring out the smile from the younger generation,  it was a real game changer in 1999.  Thomas A. Anderson is a man living two lives. By day he is an average computer programmer and by night a hacker known as Neo. Neo has always questioned his reality, but the truth is far beyond his imagination. Neo is contacted by Morpheus, a legendary computer hacker. Morpheus awakens Neo to the real world, a ravaged wasteland where most of humanity has been captured by a race of machines that made human bodies the power supply for them and who imprison their minds within an artificial reality known as the Matrix. As a rebel against the machines, Neo must return to the Matrix and confront it.

7.The Devil's Advocate (1997)

Aspiring Florida defense lawyer Kevin Lomax accepts a high-powered position at a New York law firm headed by legal shark John Milton. As Kevin moves up in the firm's ranks, his wife, Mary Ann has several frightening, mystical experiences that begin to warp her sense of reality. With the stakes getting higher with each case, Kevin quickly learns that his mentor is planning a far greater evil than simply winning without scruples.

8. A Walk in the Cloud (1995)
A Walk in the Clouds tells us a story about a young-married US military soldier, named Paul, who returned home after the World War II. In the middle of the way back home, he accidentally met a girl named Victoria who finished her master's degree. She has not married but got pregnant. During the journey they talked a lot. Due to her pregnancy, Victoria was afraid of her father who respected old Mexican tradition. Thus, Paul proposed to pose as her husband to help her face her dad.

 9. Point Break (1991)

In the coastal town of Los Angeles, a gang of bank robbers call themselves the ex-presidents as they commit their crimes while wearing masks of ex-presidents Reagan, Carter, Nixon and Johnson. The F.B.I. believes that the members of the gang could be surfers and send young agent Johnny Utah undercover at the beach to mix with the surfers and gather information. Utah meets surfer Bodhi and gets drawn into the lifestyle of his new friend.

10. Sweet November (2001)

One day, during a driving test, he meets Sara, a beautiful but seemingly eccentric woman. After getting kicked out of the exam, Sara waits for him outside and starts to insult him. However, Nelson ignores her and takes off. Then, she traces him down and shows up at his place. She promises to leave him alone only if he gives her a ride. Later that night, she asks him to live with her throughout November on the promise that his life will change for the better. He turns her down saying that he has a girlfriend. On the first day of November, after being fired and dumped on the very same day, Nelson decides to give it a try and then somehow, agrees to spend the whole month with Sara and finds himself in a desperate love affair.

Honorable mentions:

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
Chain Reaction (1996)
Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992)
47 Ronin (2013)
Speed (1994)
John Wick (2014)