The Sunday Post #18

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The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer in which book bloggers recap their week and look at what’s to come.

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My boyfriend came to visit on Friday and just went home today so I was busy all this weekend and haven’t done any blog hopping. I’ll try and catch up next week! However, it was lovely seeing Mark as we’re currently doing long-distance after uni ended. It’s difficult but we’re managing it!

Anyway, that’s my little update. Here were the posts this week:

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I finished my last book in the Halloween Read-A-Thon, The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich, which was sadly a bit of a disappointment. After that, I started my ARC of Gilded Cage by Vic James. I’m only a few chapters in but I’m really liking it. The atmosphere is great and the characters are intriguing, not to mention the opening was especially good.

After that, I was planning to start A Darker Shade of Magic but An Ember In the Ashes has been looking at me from the bookshelf. I’m really tempted to start that instead. However, I’ve had A Darker Shade of Magic longer.

I also got Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) this week and whilst I’m itching to read it, I’m going to be patient and read some books I’ve had for longer first. Whether I can actually be that patient is another thing entirely!

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Instead of music this week, I’m going to post a film trailer! Specifically, the new teaser for Guardians of the Galaxy 2. I am so so excited for this film, and even more excited for the Avengers Infinity War films when the Guardians will meet up with the Avengers. That’s going to be one strange encounter.

Enjoy and Happy Halloween!

caitlin

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

THE SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD

A big thank you to Demetra @ bookstraveller for nominating me for this, it’s my first award since I started blogging in March so I’m pretty excited! If you don’t already follow her blog, go check it out!

Questions

1. What Hogwarts house are you in?

I’ve admitted before on this blog that I only ever got as far as Chamber of Secrets so I’m not very knowledgeable when it comes to the Hogwarts houses! However, I’ve seen all the films, and I’ve always felt a strange attraction to Slytherin. I’m not quite sure what that says about me…

2. What Ilvermorny house are you in?

I had to google this and I had no clue it was another Harry Potter thing! Sorry, Demetra! I found the houses though and I like the sound of Thunderbird the best as it ‘favours adventurers’ and I’d like to think I’d be an adventurer if I had magical powers and all that.

3. Have you read Harry Potter and The Cursed Child already or planning to?

Seeing as I never made it past Chamber of Secrets, I don’t think I’ll ever read The Cursed Child, although it does sound interesting!

4. Is there a book you own more than one copy of?

I own two copies of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities. I read it for fun and loved it, then had to read it again at university, but I needed a particular edition of the book because this one had an introduction. Other than that, I don’t think so, but I’ve almost finished my ARC of Goldenhand by Garth Nix and seeing as it’s my favourite series I want a finished copy too, in case there are any changes! So I’ll probably have two copies of Goldenhand soon.

5. What kind of book or movie related merchandise do you own?

I picked up a bunch of bookish freebies from YALC so I have loads of excerpts and postcards and badges! I have some movie-tie-in editions of books, like my copy of Never Let Me Go and I also collect those 1 litre special edition movie cups from Vue cinemas (this won’t make any sense unless you’re British) because I’m a sad person. They’re giant cups with a movie poster printed on and they have little figurines on top and I feel like such a child asking for a Katniss or Bucky Barnes figurine. (Although I desperately wanted a Bucky Barnes one). I even have a dinosaur one from when I went to see the new Jurassic Park. I used to love dinosaurs as a child, okay. However, I have no shame buying the big special edition cups for Marvel films. Marvel rules all.

6. If you could have personally witnessed anything, what would you want to have seen?

I’ve always had a fascination with the World Wars, but I think it would be much too harrowing to go back and witness any of that. So probably a happier event, like the coronation of Elizabeth I or something. Or, I’d go back to when dinosaurs roamed the planet, as long as someone could guarantee I wouldn’t be eaten.

7. What’s your favourite TV show?

This is really difficult to choose, so I’ll pick a few: The 100, Mr. Robot, The Returned (the original French version, of course), The Bridge (the original Scandi version), Game of Thrones and of course Peaky BlindersThere’s definitely more but my mind has gone blank!

8. What’s your favourite movie?

Once again, how can I choose?! Anything Marvel, especially the Captain America films. And I’ve always loved The Lord of the Rings films, they’re just perfection. I’m not even gonna mention any more because I’ll be sat here forever.

9. If you could be any book character, who would you be and why?

I think Sabriel from the Old Kingdom series, although I don’t know if I’d be very good at fighting the Dead, I’d probably pass out from fear. But then again, if I was Sabriel, I’d pretty much be fearless.

10. What do you look at first: the book cover or the blurb?

Book cover, definitely. I try not to judge a book by its cover but you can usually tell if something isn’t your cup of tea just by the cover. Even still, if the title catches my eye or I’ve heard great things, I’ll check out the blurb.

11. Which book should everyone read?

The Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix! Or anything by Virginia Woolf! I’m a broken record on this blog.

My Questions

  1. Who are your three favourite protagonists?
  2. What’s your favourite book cover?
  3. Is there an antagonist you’ve ever sympathised with? Or even liked more than the protagonist?
  4. Do you write books as well as read them?
  5. Do you prefer Sci-Fi or Fantasy? Or do you not like either?
  6. Do you like books being adapted for film/TV, or do you hate it?
  7. Do you prefer paperbacks or hardbacks?
  8. If you could compete in any Olympic sport, which one would you choose?
  9. If you could be friends with any character (book, film or TV) who would you pick?
  10. Is there a book or series you think is underappreciated?
  11. If you could be a superhero, what powers would you have?

I Nominate

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My Long-Awaited Film Review for X-Men: Apocalypse

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I used to occasionally watch the X-Men cartoons as a kid, but all I vaguely remember is really liking Rogue. It wasn’t until Bryan Singer’s first X-Men movie that I could officially call myself a fan. If you don’t love superheroes and/or want to be them, then I think there’s something a bit wrong with you. And even though some of the X-Men movies have been a little hit and miss (X-Men: The Last Stand anyone? Although I did still really enjoy it…) they’ve still been fun.

Now, X-Men: Apocalypse was always going to struggle to top its predecessor Days of Future Past, especially since that film brought together the cast of the original trilogy with the new X-Men cast, satisfying all of the fans at once. Undoubtedly, Apocalypse fails to outshine Days of Future Past, and doesn’t maintain that bleak, ‘all hope is lost’ atmosphere that the previous film did so well. But it’s still an enjoyable film and, whilst being a fan of the original trilogies, I’m enjoying the new direction the franchise is going in after Days of Future Past reset the timeline.

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So let’s start with the villain. I enjoyed Apocalypse as the antagonist. I really like Oscar Isaac, he’s a brilliant actor, and he delivers Apocalypse’s grandiose rhetoric well. However, whilst I didn’t find him cheesy, I wasn’t all that afraid of him; I was never too worried that he was going to succeed. Of course, we always know the X-Men are going to triumph, after all that’s what we’ve paid to see, but I was never too worried that maybe, just this once, the villain might succeed. Even though the superheroes always win, we should still feel that fear that maybe they won’t.

However, I did enjoy the new cast of characters in this film, the next generation of mutants. Jennifer Lawrence as Mystique really bores me now and I’m glad she probably won’t be coming back for another film, even though I liked her in the last two films, and especially liked the character in the original trilogy. Unfortunately, Lawrence as Mystique just doesn’t have any of that mysteriousness; the clue is in the name after all, and she proved to be pretty useless in this film. As such, I’m glad this film gave time for other characters to shine.

One of these characters was Evan Peters returning as Quicksilver. He provided some great comic relief, and also some depth. Will Magneto find out Quicksilver is his son, or won’t he? Peters plays the character exceptionally well and I hope he holds a central role in the upcoming films as he did in this one.

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As for some of the others, I enjoyed Sophie Turner as Jean Grey, which was great because Jean Grey is one of my favourite X-Men and her powers were allowed to shine in the climax of the film. However, I had to force myself to remember the X-Men timeline has changed and that Jean Grey doesn’t become the Phoenix and pretty much kill everyone, as she did in The Last Stand. I think it’ll be interesting to see what lies in store for the Phoenix in the future. I hope they’ll allow Jean to reach her power’s potential without going batshit crazy again.

I also liked Tye Sheridan as Scott Summers. He encapsulated the cockiness of Cyclops, as seen in the original trilogy, but also his vulnerability. However, sometimes the rudeness just got a little bit annoying and I wondered how Jean would ever end up with such an arsehole. Hopefully that was just teenage bravado.

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Yet, as I said before, what let this film down a little was the fact that I never felt like the X-Men were truly in peril. However, it was still a really enjoyable film and it didn’t shy away from some dark themes. I’ve seen this film get mixed reviews, but I don’t think it deserves the panning that some critics have given it. It was still fun and sets up the future installments for the next generation of X-Men that we know and love from the original three films, as well as the comics (obviously) and the animated TV series. So I’d say don’t pass up on this film just because it got some bad reviews; form your own opinion instead.

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Have you seen X-Men: Apocalypse? Did you enjoy it? Let me know in the comments below!

And sorry it took me so long to review it!

Caitlin (1)

Film Review: Captain America: Civil War

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(Spoiler-free)

I am a huge Marvel fan. I’ve been watching the films since I was a kid, like the original Spiderman films with Tobey Maguire, to the X-Men films. I’ve seen both of those original trilogies numerous times, but when the new wave of Marvel films began, I didn’t actually pay them a lot of notice until Thor in 2011. I hadn’t been interested in the Iron Man films, but when Thor came out, followed by The Avengers a year later, I was undeniably hooked. I found the first two Iron Man films on Sky Movies and watched them, wondering why I had ignored them when they’d been released.

Upon the release of The Avengers, I was only familiar with Thor and Loki, and I hadn’t yet watched Captain America: The First Avenger. In fact, I always thought Captain America looked like a really corny superhero; I’m not American, so his inherent patriotism was foreign to me. But when I watched the first Captain America film, I really, really enjoyed it. For starters, it was set during the Second World War, so I found it interesting watching a ‘superhero’ in a setting that wasn’t the modern day. But also, Steve Rogers was just a small guy with a big heart, who got big to match that heart. He is in actuality very different to the other Avengers, not to mention the fact that all his loved ones have been and gone, believing him gone too. It’s hard to imagine the loneliness.

And then Captain America: Winter Soldier happened and Cap’s closest friend Bucky Barnes, who he believed dead, returned with no memories, a metal arm, and an order to kill Steve. The tension and emotion was too much. That’s when I knew the Captain America films were my favourite Marvel creations, along with the character of the ‘Winter Soldier’.

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So, understandably, I was pretty hyped for Captain America: Civil War. In fact, I was more than hyped. After the events of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was looking forward to the new additions for the team (especially after Age of Ultron fell a bit flat).

Did it live up to my expectations? The answer is yes, and then some.

I’ve heard some critics say that Civil War is a little slow to get going, but I think that only ramps up the tension. Besides, we know that there’s going to be a divide in the Avengers team, we know that there’s going to be two sides: Team Iron Man and Team Captain America. So why not build the tension? All the pieces shown to us at the beginning wrap up at the end to weave a complex plot that keeps you guessing. I was really glad the Russo brothers were back to direct this installment because they did a superb job with Winter Soldier and there was no exception here. By the time I left the cinema, I had a slight headache from getting way too excited and tensed up. There’s also a big, big twist at the end that I did not see coming and it’s the clincher of the film. It definitely got my heart pumping.

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What with the whole idea of the ‘teams’, there was the potential for this film to fall into a plethora of corny lines, but the Russo brothers were clearly expecting this. The jokes dotted throughout the film are really quite funny, especially during some of the fight scenes that have the potential to be taken too seriously. A lot of the good one-liners went to Paul Rudd as ‘Ant-Man’, but that was to be expected. However, one of the funniest things was the dynamic between Bucky Barnes and Sam Wilson, ‘Winter Soldier’ and ‘Falcon’ respectively. It was unexpected and comedic, and I look forward to seeing more of their duo in later films.

However, the plot wouldn’t be possible without Bucky Barnes. Despite Steve Rogers’ and Tony Stark’s differences taking top bill, the arguments wouldn’t be there to begin with if it weren’t for Bucky. For fans of the first two Captain America films, it’s just as interesting as it is heart-breaking to see Bucky attempting to recover after his time working for HYDRA, as well Cap’s mission to protect him. Just like Winter Soldier, the human element, not the big battles, take precedence here (although there are a lot of fights and explosions, so don’t worry if that’s what you’re after). This was something Joss Whedon failed to do in the previous Avengers film.

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The great thing is, you can also see the reasoning behind both teams. I was always going to be #TeamCap, but I did feel sorry for Tony the more and more frustrated he got; he really believed he was doing something for the greater good. And maybe he was, but I understood Steve’s actions more, especially after witnessing Steve and Bucky’s friendship in The First Avenger (and witnessing Bucky Barnes’ face, he’s prettier than most girls). But that was what made the film so likeable; there’s no right or wrong answer and because of that the tension is sky-high.

All in all, this film exceeded my expectations. Good pacing, great humour and a humanity that had been lost in the previous team-up. As soon as it finished, I wanted to go back and see it again, and I was so thankful it was over 2 hours long! Even if you’re not really into Marvel films, it’s a slick piece of film-work and feels more like a thriller than an action movie. Just read up on the backstory before you go.

My Rating: 5/5

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Which Team are you on? Have you seen the film; what did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

Caitlin (1)