Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Book)

Following on from the Deathly Hollows The Cursed Child is set 20 years later and revolves around Harry and Ginny’s second son Albus. This is a review of the book which is set like the Play script and in a way I would love for it to be made in to a film but maybe JK Rowling could be waiting for 20 years after the Deathly Hollows before creating a Sequel set following the Potter children.

Harry and Ginny are now married and still friends with Ron and Hermione (who are also married to each other) and have 3 children. This book/play focuses more on Albus and his friendship with Draco son Scorplus. If you’re a Wizarding World fan then this is a must read even though it will divide opinion whether it’s any good or belongs to the Harry Potter story, I personally think it does it increases the world of Harry Potter which I think is a good thing, yes the storyline is not the greatest and revisiting old stories from the films is not the greatest way of expanding the story it does work.

I’ve also read the The Tales of Beedle The Bard which is given to Hermione during the Deathly Hollows after Dumbledore’s death and contains the story about the three brothers and the Deathly Hollows. This is also a must read for Potter fans.

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Claire Richards – My Wildest Dreams – Album Review

An album that’s seems to have taken ages to be released after first Steps went split up and then after Claire & H decided to work on Solo work after their debut album flopped and one I’ve been looking forward too as Claire was my favourite member of Steps. The deluxe version of the album contains an additional 3 tracks and well worth getting. I like the album, it proves Claire can sing a variety and that she’s good enough to cope without being in a band though I do expect it will be like the first solo albums of other bands that have gone their separate ways and not do well as they tend to be compared to the band albums which I don’t think is fair. Claire’s album starts with one of my favourite tracks on the album “On My Own” I also loved “7 Billion” but honestly I’m not sure there is a bad track on the album as when listening to it, it finished so quickly despite the album being near an hour long which tends to be a good sign as time flies. As mentioned it will suffer as is Claire from Steps and will be compared to Steps music but I think it’s good and good enough to hold its own.

Track Listing –

1. On My Own
2. End Before We Start
3. 7 Billion
4. These Wings
5. Deep Waters
6. Liar
7. Brave
8. Shame on You
9. Ruins
10. My Wildest Dreams
11. For Now
12. Don’t Leave Me in This Love Alone
13. Forever Ends With You
14. If I Didn’t Have You
15. My Heart Is Heading Home (This Christmas)

2019 Movies

Been a while since I’ve updated my blog as not had the time or motivation really to update but as I have a day pretty much to myself today I though I do a post with the Movies I’ve seen this year that I’ve not written about (only Colette I have written about).

These are in no particular order.

Cold Pursuit – Starring Liam Neeson and Laura Dern it’s based on a 2014 film called Order of Disappearance (which is what it says where the credits start) about a Snow Plough Driver (Neeson) who takes on a Drug Lord after his son is killed. The cast and the story has the ingredients of a good thriller however it fails to deliver with only the last part the only good part. The film is overcast by something that happened a long time ago in Neeson personal life but in a way I wonder if this could’ve been hyped up to bring the film more into the spotlight.

D

Happy Death Day 2U – The sequel to Happy Death Day which I thought failed to life up to expectation as similar to other films but the sequel though started slowly was better than the original which is rare and I really enjoyed it, the original cast is back and this had a bit more to the story than Tree dying over and over again and had more of a story this time.

B+

The Favourite – An Oscar nominated film and with Olivia also being nominated as best actress, it was another nominated film that disappointed me, there is no faulting Olivia, Rachel and Emma in their roles but it didn’t grip me, I’m not familiar with Queen Anne as never really covered her reign in any History classes I did. The film is really about two cousins fighting over who should be the Queens favourite.

C

Mary, Queen of Scots – A story I am familiar with which result in Mary’s son become the first monarch of England and Scotland as before then and during the reign’s of Mary of Scots and Elizabeth of England these where ruled separately. Mary  who had lived most of her life in France returned to rule Scotland after the death of her Husband and according the film try to reconcile with her cousin (once removed) Elizabeth and only managed to get Elizabeth to agree that James (Mary’s son) would reign if Elizabeth fail to produce a heir. Starring Margot Robbie as Elizabeth and Saoirse Ronan as Mary, whilst I really loved Saoirse as Mary I can’t understand why an Australian (nothing against Margot as love her acting) was casted as the Queen of England but that is the only really downside to it though a lot of the film is only set in one brief period whilst Mary fleeing and then arrest before execution is squeezed in to the last 5 – 10 minutes of the film.

B-

How to Train Your Dragon – Hidden World – The third and final instalment of the How to Train Your Dragon animation series of films (There is also a Netflix Series about How to Train Your Dragon) with the Dragons and people of Berk returning with new dangers and more Dragons. Toothless (thought to be the last Night Fury) finds love which whilst putting the resident of Berk under threat turns out that the Light Fury saves Hiccup which in term saves the residents and the dragons who then are freed into the Hidden World. This was a fitting ending to the series and I don hope that this is the end and not like other films like Toy Story that return later on.

A

A Simple Favour – Based on the Novel of the same name starring Anna Kendrick, when a widower Stephanie (Anna) befriends Emily a high class mother of her Sons friend, Emily soon disappears without trace causing Stephanie to hunt for her as the Police suspect she has just ran out on her husband and after her body is found they become suspects after starting a relationship, but it turns out Emily faked her disappearance and death and ends up trying to kill her husband and Stephanie, this is a decent film, it again could’ve been better (I seem to have higher expectations now) and it was good to see Anna in a far more grown up role.

B

Beautiful Boy – Based on 2 books and on a true story we see the relationship between a father and son and also how it affects the rest of the family when a son gets addicted to drugs and fails rehab several times before a near overdose that by the sounds of it should’ve killed him finally gets him to recover and gets sober. This is a beautiful film with Steve Carell as the father (David) and Timothee Chalamet as his son (Nic) playing the parts superbly, this is possibly one of the best films dealing with Drugs I have seen as most of them show it from the addicts side but this has done it from both sides and it worked really well.

A-

Instant Family – Starring Mark Wahlberg and Rose Byrne it was a pairing I was unsure about but it worked, Pete (Mark) and Ellie (Rose) decide to foster a child after putting off having kids until it seems too late as Pete doesn’t want to be old when his kid is growing up and after doing a course in Fostering they thought they would get a teenager; Lizzy (Isabela Moner); they also get her 2 younger siblings; Juan and Lita. At first everything is good even if hectic but soon as Lizzy has her teenage rebellion stages she starts fighting against Pete and Ellie and with them having to deal with Juan and Lita as well it seems to wear them down and after Ellie finds Lizzy taking Nude Selfies Pete first accusing an innocent 14 year old before than assaulting the janitor who was the boy who was asking for the selfies which lands them in trouble and the kids Mother is soon released from Jail and Lizzy wants to reunite her family but when it is time for the kids mother to take them she doesn’t show and Lizzy runs away crying with Pete and Ellie chasing and after comforting her and Lizzy reading the statement that Pete and Ellie where going to read in court she relates and they all go back to live as a Family, we then see them be officially adopted. This was a beautiful film and Isabela outshined the A stars (Mark and Rose) in the film and it was good to see Mark in a “Family” film rather than an Action film.

B+

 

Walking Football

I recently got invited to try Walking Football by someone I used to play football with. I had heard about it and that was mainly for over 50’s so didn’t think would be able to do but at a local one there is no age restriction so after a couple of false starts (Christmas & Illness) I finally attended my first session. Leading up to it I thought how hard can it be but boy I was wrong, I know the session I attended are a bit loose on the Walking part with some jogging happening but after not kicking a football in nearly 6 years (since I ruptured my Achilles) it was hard work and strange as where used to use pace to help stretch for a ball not having that pace made it harder and a few times I ended up on the fall the same with shooting though even standing still my shooting was awful and it felt weird kicking a ball properly though still have my keeping reflexes. One thing I’ve not missed from playing football is the bruised knees which I have 2 of them now after spending a lot of time falling over.

The group was a complete mixture and very welcoming and it looking forward to the next session even though my knees and muscles ache the day after but that’s to be expected until I get used to it.

Rita Ora – Phoenix (Deluxe) & Paloma Faith – The Architect (Zeitgeist)

Not sure if have done an normal album review on this site yet but here goes with a double review, both of female artist I do enjoy listening to with very distinct voices.

Rita Ora – Phoenix

For me Rita is an artist that keeps producing better and better music and this album continues this with too me more good songs than average songs as often find on albums as normally you get 3 or 4 “Singles” which are good and the rest are average. The Deluxe version has 16 tracks including her hits Anywhere, Your Song along with her collaborations with Liam Payne (For You), Rudimental (Summer Love) and Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX for the track Girls , it also includes her latest song Let You Love Me. For me this is her best album and I hope she continues improving, the favourite track on the album is Girls but I do love Anywhere. Rating – B+

Tracklist –
1. Anywhere
2. Let You Love Me
3. New Look
4. Lonely Together (feat. Rita Ora) – Avicii
5. Your Song
6. Only Want You
7. First Time High
8. For You (Fifty Shades Freed) – Liam Payne & Rita Ora
9. Summer Love – Rudimental & Rita Ora
10. Girls (feat. Cardi B, Bebe Rexha & Charli XCX)
11. Keep Talking (feat. Julia Michaels)
12. Hell Of A Life
13. Velvet Rope
14. Falling To Pieces
15. Cashmere
16. Soul Survivor
Paloma Faith – The Architect

Paloma is a singer I really do love listening to as she has a unique voice and like Lily Allen and Kate Nash has her own unique songs, I do have to admit I’ve not got her other albums but love Changing and Only Love Can Hurt Like This that she has previously released. Whilst many of these tracks are not as well know it does contain Crybaby and Lullaby (with Sigala) but my favourite track is the one she has done with John Legend called I’ll Be Gentle which hasn’t been released as a single but I think would do really well as a single. I think she might not sell as much as she could because of her voice as whilst I love it I can’t really listen to an hour non stop like can do some singers but could listen to a track several times in a day without losing the love for the track. Rating B-

Tracklist –
1. Evolution (feat Samuel L Jackson)
2. The Architect
3. Guilty
4. Crybaby
5. I’ll Be Gentle (with John Legend)
6. Politics of Hope (Feat Owen Jones)
7. Kings and Queens
8. Surrender
9. Warrior
10. Til I’m Done
11. Lost and Lonely
12. Still Around
13. Pawns (Feat Baby, Nym & Janelle)
14. WW3
15. Love Me As I Am
16. Power to the Peaceful
17. Tonight’s Not The Only Night
18. My Body
19. Price of Fame
20. Loyal
21. Final Breath
22. Your Ex
23. Older
24. Make Your Own Kind of Music
25. Lullaby (with Sigala)

Bird Box

A Netflix original that has got a lot of people talking and saying it’s a good film, the first I heard about it was a story about Sandra Bullock not having holes cut in her blindfold as she wanted the journey with her blindfold on to be as real as possible and the producers where worried about her well-being. In my opinion this didn’t live up to the hype it has been give and I kept waiting for Dean and Sam (From Supernatural) to appear as this felt like a Supernatural episode.

The film is decent and worth watching but not as good as it’s led to believe and Sandra Bullock was her normal best, however there was a lot of weird things that didn’t make sense (even in a Supernatural Triller film) and I can’t understand why for 5 years she called her son Boy and the girl that Olympia gave birth to at the same time (weird that too) was called Girl. The ending has caused many discussion online and also at work, it doesn’t follow the book and I gather one of the few things in the film that didn’t. Whilst the ending does seem abrupt and also seems to have got people talking about it, it is what I expect in these types of films and perhaps there might be a follow up film that tells you what happened afterwards.

If you have Netflix, watch it but not necessary a must see as I was expecting with the hype that it was producing. B- from me

Life Itself

A Sky Cinema production that like the previous Sky Cinema Productions were being showed on Sky Cinema Channel and selected Cinemas at the same time. Life Itself feature Olivia Wilde, Oscar Isaac, Antonio Banderas and Annette Bening with a brief appearance from Samual L Jackson. The films starts off weird and tries to split the movie into Chapters like Moonlight but fails with this as it disjoints the film and 1 chapter is 30 minutes long whilst another is like 5 minutes. The Chapters do link up at the end but as you watch the film it is very confusing and has different timelines, you can suddenly be 2 years previous and then back at the current time. However once you have watched the film and pieced all the chapters together it makes a lot more sense and makes it more enjoyable so I think it is a film that improves when you watch a second or third time but not sure you would watch any more than this.

The actual idea I really liked and that the worst story narrator is Life Itself but I do think the film could’ve been better and perhaps get rid of the chapters or just have 3, 1 each about the families and then one final one at the end where the families join.

So I’m only giving this a C+ (Changing rating from out of 5 or 10 to grades like we had I school so will mark it A+ to F-).

If have Sky watch it but I don’t think worth going to the Cinema for.

The Greatest Showman – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Vs Reimagined

One of my favourite movies and soundtrack last year was The Greatest Showman and when they said were releasing an album with the songs sung by the likes of P!nk, Kelly Clarkson and Craig David I was really looking forward to hearing how it compared.

I have 3 songs that I really love in the Movie, A Million Dreams, Never Enough (sung by Loren Allred as Rebecca Ferguson didn’t actually sing the song) and This is Me so these were the 3 songs I played more attention to. Only the Reimagined album A Million Dreams is sung by P!nk, Never Enough by Kelly Clarkson (who I love listening too) and This is Me by Kerala Settle (who sings it originally), Kesha and Missy Elliot. Maybe it’s because I had listen to the original songs first but none of the Reimagined versions seemed to be as good as the originals, Kelly’s version of Never Enough not P!nk’s version of A Million Dreams gave me the chills the original versions gave me, personally to me it seems the people behind the Reimagined version jumped on the band wagon of The Greatest Showman and tried to cash in and with the names on the album should’ve produced a far better album in my opinion but as said it could be that I’m biased as listened to the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack first and fell in love with those versions of the songs.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack would’ve got a B+ from me whilst the Reimagined would only get perhaps a D-

Personally Radio Stations I rather listen to Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams and the rest sing A Million Dreams than P!nk.

Colette

A film I saw the trailer before Christmas and thought this looks interesting so I watched and I rather liked it. Based on the true story about Parisian writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette who married a very successful writer who was better known by his pen name of Willy who was the author of the Claudine Novels though as the film tells they were actually written by Gabrielle. The film follows Colette before her marriage and during it until her divorce which happened after Willy sold the rights to Claudine. Kiera Knightly returns to costume drama with her role as Colette and fits the role well. I learnt a lot about Colette duding the film and made me want to find out more about her afterwards which I guess was part of the point of this film though I expect those who have read more will probably know more about her, I did find out she wrote Gigi which is a book I have heard off. I liked the film and enjoyed it though I have no doubt some people won’t like it and would find boring though there are a few sex scenes and topless scenes to keep the boys watching.

I rate this a 3/5 (I may changing my rating scheme as don’t really like marking out of 5 or 10).

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