Link

Moved!

14 Feb

Moved!

Life of Pi – The Movie

5 Feb

Life_of_Pi_2012_Poster

I knew the book for years now, I had never read it but I knew of its existence, for some inexplicable reason it never really appealed to me. Honestly though I had no idea what the story about and some part of me had always thought it was about some mathematics genius and I don’t know how it happened but on the version of the book cover I knew I had never really noticed the ship, tiger and fishes. Somehow in my mind it had settled itself as a blue cover with math signs on it. Boy was I wrong! I still haven’t read the books but it’s on my to read list now so I’ll get there at some point. As one of my reading resolutions of this year is to read a bit more adult fiction (not counting the ones I read for my research), I should give it a go this year. The movie seemed like one of those one has to see so off to the movies I went with my friend.

Yay!

  • The stunning visuals, it’s a long movie but you never get bored due to the wonderful cinematography. Be it India or the wide open sea, a tropical island or hallucinations, there’s never a boring visual moment in this movie.
  • The acting skills of young Pi Patel, Suraj Sharma. I love that they chose an unknown actor for this part, it gives the main character that innocence it needs and not somebody who maybe tries to overdo it.
  • The fact that the tiger was CGI most of the time because really in this day and age we don’t need real animals anymore, also it was amazing CGI because Richard Parker looked amazingly real. Although I would have liked to see a 100% use of CGI.
  • The way Pi embraces all religions, I’m not religious but I liked the way it was dealt with in this movie.
  • The main thematic of the movie, when somebody tells us a story, can we ever completely believe it? And what is actually reality and what is fantasy?
  • Man’s relationship with the forces of nature and how helpless we can be in the light of some things juxtaposed to the fact that Richard Parker and Pi have to find a way to survive the wild open sea.
  • The hopelessness and desolation coming across the screen, the movie in some way feels a bit claustrophobic but it’s beautiful to see how Pi never seems to completely lose hope.

Nay…

  • I keep thinking that the theme of which story is true lends itself better to a book, thinking of the question how reliable a narrator is or can be. It was however wonderfully done in this movie and I can only really judge this when I read the book.
  • They could have used only CGI for the tiger.

All in All

I really liked this movie and I went in not knowing a lot about it which was probably a good thing because I could just let it all wash over me. It’s a long movie but you won’t be bored for a second. There’s nothing really bad I can say about this movie so if you want to see a stunning movie that has amazing visuals and tells a wonderful story satisfying your mind and eyes, you should definitely watch this.

4 stars

January Movies

5 Feb

As I haven’t done any movie reviews of any of the movies I watched in January so let’s have a look.

I started out my year by re-watching both of the Bridget Jones movies, after I had re-watched Love Actually, I felt like seeing some more Hugh Grant so I decided to re-watch these two.

bridgetjones1 bridgetjones2Yay!

  • Hugh Grant. Seriously, nothing else needs to be said. So sexy as a bad boy.
  • Colin Firth. I’m a Hugh fan girl but in these movies Colin Firth even convinces me, he’s just the perfect mix of a man.
  • Bridget, she’s not perfect and relatable to a lot of women, which is quite refreshing
  • The group of friends, they’re awesome and honest
  • The humor, they’re the kind of movies that have you laughing out loud even though you’ve already seen them.
  • The romance, which is so perfect yet not perfect because Bridget keeps messing it up.
  • The fights between Hugh Grant and Colin Firth, one should only watch these for those alone.

Nay…

  • The second movie seems to be trying a bit too hard and relies a too much on practical jokes.
  • The whole plot in Thailand and Bridget going to prison is far from realistic, she’s not THAT stupid.
  • Daniel having ordered a hooker and taking Bridget to his room, seriously?!

All in all

These are obviously not highbrow movies but I like my romantic comedies from time to time and even more so when they star Hugh Grant (in any format, bad boy or not) and these are particularly funnies and movies that I can re-watch from time to time and still get lost in it. They’re kinda refreshing and Renee Zellweger is the perfect Bridget, even though there was probably nobody who thought she would be when she was first cast.

4 stars for the first one and 3 stars for the second one.

518efKfpDWL._SX500_Yay!

  • The ending was great, loved the music and the dancing.
  • Melissa McCarthy.
  • The friendships.
  • The food poisoning and the scene at the bridal store, I’m usually not a fan of this kind of humor but this was kinda funny, I mean Melissa McCarthy on that sink? Hilarious!

Nay…

  • I’m not a huge wedding fan so the whole theme of the movie was not my kind of thing.
  • It’s a movie you easily forget.
  • It wasn’t as funny as it’s made out to be.
  • The main actress was kinda meh.
  • The creepy cousins.

All in all

Honestly, it’s one of those movies I watched and didn’t really think about, I remember some things and I remember laughing about some things and liking the end of it but I don’t really have a lot to say about this one.

3 stars

Top Ten Tuesday

17 Jan

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info about the meme and how to participate, click here.

2013 Debuts

As I signed up for the 2013 debut challenge, I figured it would be a good thing to go through the list of debuts that was compiled for the challenge and I checked out everything that sounded good, this should be my top 10, I put them down chronologically because no way I can actually put them in a top ten order.

1. Level 2

2. Nobody But Us

3. The Ruining

4. When We Wake

5. OCD, The Dude and Me

6. Mila 2.0

7. How My Summer Went Up in Flames

8. The Summer I Became a Nerd

9. Parallel

10. All Our Yesterdays

Vegan Recipe Challenge 2

15 Jan

I meant to post this last week when I actually cooked this but I forgot, or rather I was too lazy. While I was planning on cooking something from Vegan Planet each week, I felt like making this stir-fry the other week. It was good but not mind blowing, it’s something I had made before but with some variants. Or let’s say, I made stir-fry with soy sauce before or just tofu marinated in soy sauce on lazy days. This had a bit more additions which made it much better. I’m definitely going to make it again sometime.

Ingredients

1 small Thai pepper, minced
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 Tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 16-oz. pkg. firm tofu, drained and cut into 1×1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp. soy sauce
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch strips
1 red pepper, sliced
1 large bok choy (or 4-5 baby bok choy), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup yellow squash, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
Cooked lo mein or soba noodles

I did vary my recipe a bit with different vegetables and I added some brown sugar for a bit sweetness. I also didn’t go to the process of transferring the sauce and tofu to a separate bowl. Maybe it does something special I’m not aware of but the step just seemed silly to me and I was hungry.
I didn’t make it with noodles but with rice because I’m in love with my new rice cooker.stirfry1

I then proceeded to chop up my ginger, garlic and peppers. I didn’t have red peppers (or well I did as I discovered the other day but I didn’t remember when I made this) so I used milder green ones as those where the only ones I thought I had. As a huge garlic lover I can never just put in 1 clove, that’s just silly!

stirfry2

stirfry3

After that I heated some oil

stirfry4

And sliced my tofu.

stirfry5

Then I stir-fried the ginger, garlic and peppers.

stirfry6

Added the soy sauce, water and cornstarch, be careful to stir this in very quickly or you’ll get lumps!

stirfry7

I then added my tofu which I had fried in a bit of oil in another pan first but you can also skip this step I guess, depends on how you like it.

stirfry8And finally my veggies.

stirfry9

I served it over the rice and enjoyed it a lot! It was super easy and quick to cook so definitely going to make it again on days I need a quick dinner because it doesn’t require any special ingredients and you can basically make it with any kind of veggies you have at home.

stirfry10

Top Ten Tuesday

11 Jan

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. For more info about the meme and how to participate, click here.

Book resolutions for 2013

Being a bit late this became Top Ten Thursday but here’s my list:

1. Read 50 books.
I managed to go a bit over 50 last year so I can definitely do it again I hope.

2. Read the books mentioned in my books I resolve to read in 2013 list.
I did make that list so I should make it a resolution.

3. Read more of Atwood’s poetry.
It definitely needs more attention from me.

4. Write more reviews.
I’m too lazy most of the time to write actual reviews so I just give out the stars on Goodreads.

5. Put books away when I don’t like them.
I do this and I don’t do this, if a book is outside of my comfort zone I easily put it away but if it’s something I feel I should like I’m always afraid I might miss out on something.

6. Read  more adult fiction.
I read way too much YA but it’s so much fun! And such easy reads… I should read some actual grown-up reading besides the reading that I have to do because that doesn’t count.

7. Read some actual books instead of ebooks.
I got tons of books that are not ebooks that I still have to read, should get some of those out of the way.

8. Read a classic.
It’s been a while since I read a classic, definitely haven’t read one since I graduated so it’s time.

9. Take part in the Debut Author Challenge
I saw it before but wasn’t sure if I should do it but it’s always fun to discover new authors right so let’s do it!

10. Get these done!
Filling that 10th spot.

Vegan Recipe Challenge 1

5 Jan

Today was the first day I cooked a recipe from Vegan Planet and because I still had some vegetarian chili frozen from when I made it a while ago I decided to go for the Potato Chili Gratin. As the recipe called for vegan mozzarella and vegan sour cream, I decided to make those myself as well. The vegan sour cream recipe is in the book as well but for the mozzarella I found something online here at Vegan Wiz that I decide to give a try because I had all those ingredients at home, well except for potato starch but I used corn starch instead.

The vegan mozzarella was really easy to make, you just have to make sure you keep on whisking everything well together so there aren’t any lumps. I think I put it in a bowl that was way too big for the amount of cheese I had and it remained a bit consisting of crumbs sort of and I think it was maybe a bit too moist because it remained very soft and sticky. It worked for the dish though and the taste and texture was quite alright. It just didn’t melt as nicely as I had hoped to but all in all perfectly fine for this dish. I just realized the first picture looks like an Alpro ad, I should’ve put the Alpro margarine in I got instead of this one. The last picture is right before it went into the fridge for some hours, it basically looked the same later, just a bit less moist and a bit hardened.

veganmozzarella1

veganmozzarella2

veganmozzarella4

Once the time the mozzarella had to sit in the fridge was coming to an end, I prepared the rest of the dish, minus the chili which I had gotten out of the freezer earlier already obviously so it could thaw. First I combined my salt, chili powder, cayenne pepper and basil in a small bowl and then I peeled my potatoes and sliced them to make the first layer of the dish, to which I then added the spice mixture. Next layer was onion plus the spice mixture and then chili peppers plus the spice mixture. All of that went in the oven for a while until the vegetables were done.

potatochiligratin1

potatochiligratin2

While the vegetables were in the oven I made my sour cream, which was the easiest of the whole dish, I just threw my soft tofu, lemon juice, oil, salt and sugar in the food processor and mixed it all together until it was smooth which took about a minute. Put that in the fridge and went on with other things because the vegetables obviously needed some time.

vegansourcream1

vegansourcream2

Once the vegetables were done, I added the sour cream on top of them, then the chili and on top the mozzarella and off in the oven it went again for a bit. Unfortunately it didn’t melt the cheese as much as I wanted to, not even when I put my plate in the microwave to see if that did anything. I forgot to take a picture of the finished dish but I didn’t look any different from the picture I got before it went into the oven. Neither did I take a picture of the plated dish but it wasn’t the prettiest dish to look at anyway. Got some left overs though so maybe I’ll do that tomorrow.

potatochiligratin3

All in all it was a tasty dish and while the cheese could have melted more or have a bit more taste, I’m pretty sure it was much better than any of the store bought variations because I knew exactly what was in there. The sour cream tasted quite good, bit different from the non vegan kind and next time I’ll add a bit less lemon juice but it was good. The dish itself, well I think I either prefer the potatoes, onions, chili peppers and maybe some other vegetables baked and also just the chili because with the chili on top the vegetables kinda lost significance. Maybe it’s because I used more chili than the recipe called for or because there was quite some sauce with the chili but I don’t necessarily need to have everything in one dish.

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