Up [Review]

disney.com

Up is the story of an old man named Mr. Fredrickson who wants to escape.

He wants to escape the building contractors surrounding his house, the young people who think they know better tan him, and the death of the love of his life, Ellie. Having been a balloon salesman for most of his life, Carl Fredrickson [voiced by Ed Asner] thinks of the perfect plan, but when a boy named Russel [played by Jordan Nagai] who just wanted to help accidentally gets on board, shenanigans ensue.

Planning to head for “Paradise Falls”, Fredrickson aims for South America, eager to fulfill his lifetime dreams of leading a peaceful life, however he ends up on the opposite side to them and so employs the help of his new companion to help him get around, the house tied to them using a hose and some abseiling rope. On the way, they meet a bird named Kevin, a dog named Doug [voiced by Bob Peterson] [yes, voiced] and Carl’s childhood hero, Charles Muntz [Christopher Plummer], all of whom come with surprises. And it was all going so well.

A story of love, friendship and the wisdom of the old, Up is one of my favourite movies of all time. It’s sweet, funny and colourful with a fast moving, action packed story line despite one of the main characters being north of 70. A feel good comedy cartoon that is definitely not limited to kids to enjoy.

openwalls.com

5/5

The Purpose of Christianity

It may be confusing to some as to why anyone would choose religion, or Christianity. As I know the answer to the second question, at least from my own view and the view I know many people share, I’ll outline it for you all [and it may even answer the first question].

The foundation for Christianity is such- “ For God so loved the world that he gave his only son so that whoever would believe in him will never die but have eternal life.” [John 3:16] Let’s break this down.

The idea that draws many people to Christianity is that God loved us. He continues to do so. He’s this big entity that made the world, and everything in it, and he loves us. No matter how bad we stuff up, no matter how much we disobey the rules he set for life, God loves us. That’s the first point of Christianity right there.

Then there’s that he sent his only son. Jesus was God’s son – he said so himself, whether you believe him is another story, however I do. Jesus, being God’s son, was perfect. He was tempted, he had a heap of things thrown at him, and was challenged by the devil himself [Matthew 4:1-11], but never, ever did something that was against God’s will, even when it meant he would have to die a horrible death on the cross in accordance with God’s will. Why is that, you ask? Well, God is perfect, we are not. Unfortunatley, God is so perfect that it means that we are separated from him, or rather, were. Jesus, a perfect man dying for us, took on all of our sins, all of the things that separated us. Therefore, we are now perfect before God, and we can be with him. He did that because he loves us- he sent his son to die so we could be with him, like a judge sentencing his innocent son to death row in order for some criminals to be set completely free, except on such a scale as to last for eternity.

Then the Bible says this means that whoever believes in Christ will never die but have eternal life. Basically put, if you believe what God says- that we can be with him- and you really want that, then you’ve got it. It’s as simple as trusting God with your life, because of what he did for you. Living your life the way he wants you to. If you do that, you’ve got eternal life, in heaven, with your loving God. Forever and ever. The Bible goes on to say in it’s last book, Revelations [21:4], that there will be no tears, no pain, no evil- just you and God, in heaven, hanging out, like peasants with permanent residence in a palace.

The last part, though, is that Christianity gives your life purpose. You have a God who loves you and is protecting you [Psalm 121:7= the Lord will keep you from harm; he will watch over you all your life], and you know you’re not an accident [Isaiah 42:4a= This is what the LORD says– he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you]. Furthermore, now that we’ve got this great message, the Bible says we should pass it on to the world [Acts 1:8= But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”] and that’s a life time job. I’ve now got a purpose for life [faith], a cause [hope], and, most importantly love.

“For now there is faith, hope and love, but the greatest of these is love”. 1 Corinthians 13:7

Thirteen Reasons Why [Review]

en.wikipedia.org

I recently was recommended a novel by two friends, completely separately, written by a man named Jay Asher.  When I got my hands on it [each gave me a copy, as it happens] I read it quite eagerly. The entire book only took me a night.

Written from the perspective of a teenage boy named Clay Jenson, we follow his crazy night that results from a brown package left on his bed. The package contains seven tapes, with thirteen recorded messages in all, from a friend of his who committed suicide two weeks earlier, a girl named Hannah Baker. The story jumps straight to the point- each story she tells explains one reason why she took her life, and one person that lead to that point. As soon as I opened the book, my breathing got a little shallower. At times, I had to remind myself to breathe at all.

From the beginning, and the lesser offenders, Hannah recalls in excruciating details their role in her decision from the grave. She warns that if they do not listen or do not pass the tapes onto the next person on them, the stories and the blame will be released to the public. This is the basis for Clay and the reader being pulled through an entire heart wrenching story about a girl who was sick of life.

Suicide always seems like a final way to end things. As I read, I found the worst thing about it was that you’re watching Clay go through all of this, listen to all of her problems, insecurities and nightmares, and he can’t do anything about them. She continuously reminds us that she thought no one cared about her, but as you’re seeing and hearing everything through Clay’s mind, all you can think is that he would have done anything to change the circumstances. It’s rather well written, although there is also the constant reminder that they’re not talking to each other but he’s reacting too late.

My only qualm with the book is that it’s written with a very adolescent tone. As in, it’s not written how a teenager would think, but how an adult would think a teenager would think. It makes Hannah seem shallow at times, even though she is carefully outlining why she thought this was her only choice, her only way out. By the end, though, I barely noticed, and that’s what I liked about the book. In the end there’s no anger, or madness, only a sad, empty feeling. Very impacting.

Worth a read.

3.5/5

The Silent Majority

It has become apparent, through watching the news and reading people’s opinions online, as well as speaking face to face with people, that mankind has begun to despair for its humanity. However, it is my belief that the situation at hand is not as bad as it may seem.

Learning about the 1960’s in America, and the revolutions that occurred [for the overthrow of such a socially accepted establishment as racism is, indeed, revolutionary]I think it may have appeared to some at the time, that there was no hope. In a country filled with violence, hatred and discrimination, and thrown into political and social turmoil, it may well be forgivable to think that there was no light at the end of the tunnel, however, looking back, one can see the change. I’m not saying racism has been completely obliterated; however, it is during those times of turmoil that it began a slow descent into the grave. Racism is no longer socially accepted- indeed, quite the opposite- and people no longer have to fear the things they did but fifty years ago.

The majority, it would seem, were eventually heard. They knew that racism was wrong, and although they may at first not have participated in the marches, and the strikes, it is clear that they were working against the cause of the loud minority and it worked.

It is my opinion that they continue to do so.

The majority are nearly always silent.

Thankfully, I was born in a society operated by democracy. Every so often, the general public is allowed the opportunity to voice their opinions through a vote, whether it be to change the constitution which it has been argued is in some way outdated, or to decide who shall be our representative and leader in the future. It is through these votes that one may clearly see the distinction between what the polling booth organisers thought we thought, and what we, as a country, actually thought. Oftentimes, it is very different. No matter what is said on the news, the statistics they throw at us and the horrors they expose us to, it is quite apparent that the majority of any population can think quite contrary to what it may appear they are thinking.

This leads me to my conclusion which is such- if you are beginning to despair for humanity because the world looks as if it is swaying to the harsh winds of some terrible institution, be it terrorism, capitalism, extremism or pure and simple evil, let it be said that it has not been so in history, and that the majority, although quiet, usually know the right thing to do. Perhaps it is in our basic instincts, that sense of moral, or conscience, but I ask you to bear with us, because the oh-so-quiet ‘everyone’ is ever present and waiting for the opportunity to say something, change something, do something right.

Purely and simply right.

WALL-E [review]

“Wall-E” is our future in a nutshell. An adorable cartoon about a robot who was created to clean up the Earth, the movie contains some of the most prophetic ideas about the lives our descendants will love- fat, in space, controlled by technology. Not in the physical sense, either- the apocalyptic, we’ll fight them sense, but in the “never even saw it coming” sense. I saw a couple sitting at café together the other day, facing each other with their new born sleeping peacefully next to the table, and they were both on their phones. I can only hope they were Facebooking each other, but that sort of thing is what Wall-E’s all about. We are the foreshadowing.

The movie begins with a beautiful new robot called EVE [Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator] coming to Earth to see if any vegetation has begun to grow- if Earth is still salvageable after we abandoned it post-stuffing it up. She meets WALL-E [Waste Allocation Load Lifter Earth-Class], who enjoys her company, his only other friend a cockroach [we all knew they would survive the end of the world]. They may even have fallen in love a little [it’s a Disney- Pixar movie; what did you expect?]. Trying to earn her trust and admiration, he shows her his most treasured possession, which he collected while searching through earth’s rubble- his function is to make all of our rubbish into little cubes so we’ve actually got space to move. It’s a little plant in an old boot, but unfortunately fulfils EVE’s function, and so she returns home, and WALL-E, in an attempt to keep his only mate, follows her.

In my personal opinion, the most poignant theme of the film was that, in the movie, we have become so afraid of our own land that we never want to go back. The ship that carries humanity’s captain wishes to go home, but the ship refuses him [ah, technology], stating that Earth is just too ruined to live on. Our world struggles in the rubble, abandoned, and that’s a scary thought. At the end, however, the people decide to go back and give it another go- would we, if given the same choice?

It’s a good movie, with lots of cute moments and thought provoking points [despite half of its dialogue comprising of beeps and bops].

walle

5/5

What It Says On The Packet

I am not a fan of false advertising. When you buy Easy-Mac, you expect the thing to be easy to make, and yet there’s measuring water, pouring water, microwaving and stirring [lots of it]. Also, the thing is flipping hot despite the amount of time it’s been in the mean machine, and they don’t tell you that on the packet. It’s not easy.

babiestravellite.com

So, when I keep getting told that Jesus was a really great “teacher” and he had really great “morals” and he was a nice guy with a hipster beard, I get cheesed off [pun intended, Easy-mac!]. Jesus did not come to be a great teacher, although he was awesome at that- he came to save everyone on Earth. He came to save souls, to speak about heaven and to warn about hell, and if you can’t handle that, get out of my kitchen. I’m just kidding [I’m bearing a torch for that Easy mac thing, I gotta admit]. But let’s be clear- Jesus Christ told everyone that he was the son of God, and he was going to die for people’s sins, and you can’t just omit that from the Bible.

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“My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Therefore the Jews sought to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.
John 15:17-18

You may be being politically correct, which is lovely,  but you’re either for or against the guy to be honest. You wouldn’t go up to Tony Abbot and say, well you’re a great Speedo model [*cough, cough*], because he wants to be known for being the Prime Minister, which is more important anyway [although he does neither very well. Sorry, Tony]. So please don’t just skim over the things Jesus was really trying to say in an attempt to glean what you’d like to hear.

junkee.com

This Scripture was written about him:

‘Listen! I will send my messenger ahead of you.
    He will prepare the way for you.’

Matthew 11:10

Food for thought.

 

Fifty Shades of Grey [family friendly] synopsis.

So, there are a lot of people who say there’s no storyline to Fifty Shades of Grey. They’re also too awkward to Google it, I suppose, and have the Wiki page on their history. Well, rest assured because here is the G rated blow by blow account [no pun intended]. It isn’t just about… well, what you’ve heard it’s about.

Enter Anastasia Steele, our female protagonist. She is doing an interview of a billionaire who sponsors her school, filling in for her friend Kate who is sick.

She meets Christian Grey, a handsome entrepreneur who is witty, smart and obviously insanely rich. And perhaps just a little insane.

They have a great interview, after which they feel close to each other, chemistry beginning between the two of them [like you’re average rom-com].

Christian and Ana begin to get closer, and although he tries to pull away, afraid that he’ll hurt her [this is the part reminiscent of “Twilight”], he just cannot resist her, and she him, although it begins to become apparent that he likes control [which is how he’s gotten to this point in his business ventures], and can swing from mood to mood easily [hence the “fifty shades”, referring to his personality]. Up until this point, everything is sunshine and lollipops.

As the novel progresses, the two decide to begin a relationship, although it becomes apparent to Ana that, despite her feelings towards him, he doesn’t reciprocate them. Perhaps he can’t. He doesn’t know how to love [Beauty and the Beast style]. He showers her with gifts, including a laptop, phone and car [for her “own safety”, as she owns an old VW Beetle], and tries to give her the love she wants, but it turns out- drum roll please- he prefers S&M [sadism- hurting others- and masochism –getting hurt himself] during sex, which is the part many people don’t like. I myself skipped over those parts. There are some things people just don’t need to read in agonising detail. Anyway, Ana wants to try to please Christian, as she has strong feelings for him, but realises, at the end of the novel, she cannot be what he wants her to be.

There- we’re done.

My personal opinion on the novel is just as fluctuating as the great Mr. Grey himself. On one hand, I see the appeal- a dark brooding type, with a mysterious past. Throughout the novel, we are told little snippets of what made Christian the type of man that he is, and it’s frankly quite interesting. We’re also meant to relate to Ana, who is experiencing this all for the first time- she has no idea what’s going on and learns it from scratch, so, so do we. Their relationship and it’s dynamics are intriguing, and maybe [for those who are interested], there is something to be learned. [My face is burning, but I promised I’d tell you what it’s about. *shivers*]

However– the language and descriptions get overly descriptive at times. I know this is meant to be part of the appeal, but it’s really over the top. There are avid depictions of what is being done, how it feels, and why, which is just something not everyone can get through.

It’s also been pointed out that it’s slightly [or, rather, very] offensive towards women. Christian does not want to be touched, does not [at first] want to fall in love, and always wants to be in control- he just wants someone to submit to him. The famous grey tie is used to incapacitate Ana [in case you were wondering] so she cannot even hug him. In 50 Shades, it is hinted that he may have found more with Ana, and is willing to do what she wants, but let’s be honest. He’s controlling to the point where she is not allowed to roll her eyes without fearing his reaction. He’s pushy to the point where she has to accept illustrious gifts from him, even though she does not want to. He makes her sign a contract promising not to tell anyone anything about their “arrangement”. He is a controlling dude.
Ana also really gives weight to the idea that a woman cannot be happy without the perfect man. She [this part is sometimes left out] does not want to be a –capital S- Submissive [i.e. someone who does what the Dominant, in this case, Christian Grey, wants]. She feels uncomfortable about it, and yet lets him do what he likes because she loves him. She lets him perform degrading acts on her because she knows it makes him happy, and instead of telling him to go and get his issues ironed out, she just keeps giving in, until the very end of the novel when she says she can’t take it anymore. Spoiler alert: the very next novel takes all of two pages before, attracted by his irresistible allure, she runs straight back into his arms. It’s very disturbing and sad, this part, and it’s what sets it apart from your average novel. At times Christian pushes her to explore her sexuality consensually [and you graphically go through the details of it], but at other times it is clear to the reader that Ana is uncomfortable and lets him treat her like a slave- a literal, unpaid, inferior human being- because she wants to make him happy.

In the end, I guess it’s up to you whether you want to read the book for yourself, or see the movie. I’ve heard that the movie is actually filmed badly, and is rather cliché, however, I have not watched it and do not plan to. You can’t skip pages in a film.

Food for thought.

.p.s. the following image I just googled to put in my post, but it’s from ibtimes.com who have written a post called “50 Shades of Abuse”. I’ve included the link if you’d like to take a look.

www.ibtimes.com

http://www.ibtimes.com/fifty-shades-abuse-study-says-50-shades-grey-readers-more-likely-have-abusive-partners-1666250

The Best Photos I’ve Ever Taken

another

This is a legitimate photo from my short time in Italy- it was our very last day, and I looked up and saw what looked to me like the background of a movie. It was perfect.

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This photograph was taken outside my friend’s house at dusk. The moon herself was actually quite beautiful, but I couldn’t pick up every detail, so took a photo of the sky wrapping her like a shawl.

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This is Enzo, my dog, being the new guy in town. We were at my Uncle’s house and their dogs were scoping him out, while he just wanted to muck around with the ball.

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I took this photo originally for an ad- that’s my dad’s hand holding it. I thought it looked artistic, so I’ve chucked it in here.

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La Perouse, sunset.

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The other side of Sydney Harbour, that not many people get to see. Luna Park there as well.

ant carrying dandelionThis is honestly the best photograph I have taken in my entire life. I was putting out the washing one day when I noticed an ant carrying a little piece of wattle I think. His sheer determination- there were heaps of ants running around, but this little guy just kept going, and I was honoured to take his photograph while he concentrated on the job at hand.

10 Things I Hate About You [Review]

Also known as the best movie ever made. You can tell where this is going.

10 Things I Hate About You is the modern remaking of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”, because, as is quoted in the film, “I know Shakespeare’s a dead white guy, but he knows his shit so we can overlook that”.  We watch as Patrick Verona [Heath Ledger] [!] is paid by the wonderful Joey Donner [Andrew Keegan] to take out the shrew, Kat Stratford [Julia Stiles], as her younger sister Bianca [Larissa Oleynik]  cannot date until she does and Joey wants the challenge. What can go wrong, right?
Thing is, Joey’s being manipulated by the much smarter (and much more gentlemanly) Cameron James [Joseph Gordan-Levitt], who, with the help of his friend Michael [David Krumholtz], also wants to gain the affections of the beautiful Bianca. Cue good times, 90’s fashion and some complicated love lifes.

Usually, I don’t like movies like this, however, in this case I make an exception, and I think Shakespeare himself would have approved. It’s one of the most quotable movies I’ve ever seen

“I think there’s a difference between like and love, because I like my Sketchers, but I love my Prada backpack…”
“But I love my Sketchers?”
“That’s because you don’t have a Prada backpack.”
“Oh.”

Still makes me laugh every time.

There’s a good sound track, the plotline is still relatable, and it’s a rom-com almost anyone can watch without cringing.

Furthermore, it takes a classic and makes it understandable, which is always nice.

Worth watching.

5/5

I hate the way you talk to me,and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car, I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb combat boots and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick,it even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you’re always right, I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh,even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you’re not around, and the fact that you didn’t call.
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close…
not even a little bit…
not even at all.”

hellogiggles.tumblr.com

The Okay-ness of Being Single

I think that there is too much pressure on people to not be single. It would seem to me that the aim of everybody’s life these days it to get hooked, get hitched and have kids. Perhaps not in that order, or without the middle one, or putting off the last one- you know what I mean. But my point is, that there is a lot of pressure out there to get a boyfriend or a girlfriend.

Even my favourite Disney princess found out that having a career and supporting herself as a modern woman wasn’t satisfying- she needed Prince Naveen [Princess and the Frog, good movie]. They did make a cute couple, though… It’s worth pointing out that even that crazy woman in Valentine’s Day who organised the party for people who hate the day of lurve ended up with someone.

However! Y.O.L.O.! It is okay to be single.

Let’s weigh this up.

Being single means not being in an official relationship with a person whom you are romantically attracted that is “more than friends”. Society may have you believe that you don’t have to be romantically attracted to them- everyone who’s ever written a successful romance novel or romantic comedy film would disagree. Said relationship may even entail changing a status on Facebook or tweeting something to your more than one follower. God forbid, they may even have to meet your mother. If you haven’t gone through this recently, you may be single. If so, that is okay. No boys have met my mother, as yet [which doesn’t stop her from joking about it every Christmas when we sit at a table for four, but anyway]. Why is this such a bad thing, though? Do we really need to rely on just one person for everlasting happiness?

Being single doesn’t mean not being social- you still have friends, and family, and a dog who loves you [or pretends to love you to get food]. I think that we should stop wallowing in our “loneliness” [and making our friends guilty for actually having someone to spend the day with], stop posting sad things that will end up on our happy mates walls, and just be happy to be alone for a little while. Watch movies you maybe couldn’t watch with a boyfriend or girlfriend, wear yucky clothes with holes in them and cuddle your teddy bear. Stuff your face. Call a mate or go on a play date. Dates are not reserved for the loved up people of the world, everybody. Go and have fun.

I hope everyone had a good day this Valentines Day, and just remember- you won’t always be single [unless, you know, you’d actually really like to be], so enjoy it while it lasts. J

Happy V-Day, everyone.