Saturday, 9 January 2016

best of the beatles | playlist

Finally the Beatles have been added to Spotify! I have been waiting for this day for years. I've always really liked the Beatles but only ever knew the better-known songs of theirs, so over the past few days I've been catching up on lost time by listening to every one of their albums one after the other and picking out my favourites. I am completely obsessed with this playlist and I've found that the most played tracks are not the best ones. Obviously I'm a few decades late (for obvious reasons), but I can definitely say that from now on I am a massive Beatles fan.

Friday, 8 January 2016

favourite films of 2015

Bridge of Spies
This is one of the most recent releases of 2015 but it's already got a permanent place on my favourites of all time list. It follows an ordinary American lawyer who is sent to Berlin by the CIA to negotiate a prisoner exchange during the cold war. It's based on a true story and is completely fascinating. What I personally love about it is the message it portrays about how every life matters. Being directed by Spielberg, it has a very moody tense atmosphere that works really well with Tom Hanks bringing a lot of heart to the film as the main character. An amazing film with incredible acting that I would perhaps compare to the Imitation Game but better.


Brooklyn is about an Irish girl who moves to New York in the 1950s, leaving her family behind. It is the story of how she adjusts to her new life and falls in love with a Italian plumber, and the problems along the way. I went into this film having no idea what it was about, but I'm so glad because I don't think I would have gone. Just describing the plot of this film does it no justice, so despite what you might think, you NEED to watch it. The whole thing just feels so genuine with the characters having a certain vulnerability that makes them seem so normal. You become almost enveloped by the emotions they are feeling. I haven't cried so much at a film since 12 years a slave.

Star Wars | the Force Awakens
I'm a big Star Wars fan and grew up watching the prequels on repeat, playing the star wars lego game on the wii, and a completely obsessed brother. So like a lot of people, I was a bit concerned that with all the hype, it was just going to be a massive flop. But I think J.J. Abrams did an amazing job considering everyone's high expectations. I think it worked so well because it still contained the nostalgic aspects that everyone wanted to see, whilst updating the franchise by improving the special effects and more importantly the script. Speaking as someone who was brought up on the prequels I would have liked to have seen a few more Jedi's about but I'm hoping that's all to come as the story progresses.

Jurassic World
I have to admit I was completely expecting this film to be awful, but after some time of putting off watching it, I was pleasantly surprised. It definitely had some flaws, such as the unnecessary love interest, the annoying Claire character, and the unrealistic teenage boy. But on the positive side, I loved how realistic and exciting the park seems, you couldn't ask for more tension, and I'm slightly obsessed with Chris Pratt. Overall, I really did enjoy it.

The Martian
Right at the start of the film I thought I was going to have to walk out, not because it was bad, but because it was so incredibly intense that I honestly didn't think I could handle it (pathetic I know). The overall theme of the film is quite a serious one but there are a lot of moments that make you smile and provide it a bit of relief. I think it's so interesting to watch someone's brain working in such a amazing way and observe how someone fights to survive. It's so well done that you really do begin to feel as though it is a true story, and a fascinating one at that.

I think the best animated films are the ones that everyone can enjoy. Paddington is a prime example. The whole film is just so beautiful, from the set design to the animation. When I watched it in the cinema for the first time, I was honestly in complete awe of the animation, particularly in the first scene. I don't think I've ever seen such realistic yet magical animation before in any film. The story isn't particularly strong but it's the kind of film where it really doesn't matter. 

Kingsman | the Secret Service
This is another film that I really had no expectations for. I thought oh great a James Bond wannabe, but I actually kind of loved it. I feel like it isn't really taking itself too seriously and is just a fun, somewhat gory secret agent film with a good main character. If you don't mind a bit of gore (okay a lot), the church scene could perhaps be the best, most hilarious action scene ever. I have to say though the whole film is slightly tainted by an untasteful misogynistic part at the end.


Friday, 1 January 2016

reflecting on 2015

All in all 2015 has been a good year for me. I still may not have been in my ideal situation, living away from my family and friends, but in terms of personal growth (cringe), it couldn't have been better.

So what has happened this year? Well, I got my A level results which I was over the moon with, I officially became an adult, I went on an amazing holiday to the US and Canada with my family, my sister now lives up the road from me, and some of my friends actually moved to the same country as me.  Amazing.

I did a similar post this time last year (reflecting on 2014), and reading it back a year on has actually made me feel pretty emotional in a self-centred kind of way. Over the course of the year I have really learnt how to look at everything more positively, and for once can think about the future and feel excitement rather than dread. A year ago I never would have thought I would be nearly as content and confident as I am now. In the best way possible, the person I was in 2014 has completely gone.

It feels odd writing this post because my brain still thinks it's the beginning of the year, but I am more than ready to take on 2016.