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I think Channing Tatum is a good actor and I’m almost not embarrassed to admit it….

Last night I watched “Dear John” and a couple of days prior to that I watched, “The Vow”.  It’s been a while since I saw a film with Channing Tatum, the last one being “Step-Up” which I really enjoyed and should probably be a little more reluctant to admit to.

It’s been interesting reading about him on gossip sites with the general consensus being that: he’s hot (agreed), a terrible actor (disagree), but a lovely bloke whose down to earth, humble and keen to learn how to become a better actor.  Sadly I’ve not met him, but based on the interviews I’ve read, he certainly comes across this way, so either it’s true or he’s a better actor than he gets credit for.  Watching “Dear John” last night, made me think the latter is true, which is not to say he’s faking his interview persona, just that on the whole, this film is pretty bad, which only serves to emphasise how good his performance is in contrast.

For those who’ve not seen it, “Dear John” is your usual boy meets girl love story, with Tatum being a US Soldier (John), who whilst on leave meets Seyfried (Savannah) and over the course his leave, they fall in love.  As he has to return to duty, they continue their relationship primarily through letters for a few years until Savannah meets someone else.  But fear not readers, the story doesn’t end there although to reveal more, would spoil it  for those wish to see it in spite of reading this review.

What I didn’t like about the film was that: Savannah was all but a saint; the writing was weak; and the film just felt a bit too tortured and angst ridden.  I understand it was supposed to be sad, but a few comic moments could have lightened it up a bit and provided some welcome relief from the general sense of melancholy.

What saved the film for me was Seyfried and Tatum’s performance.  Seyfried did a good job of portraying a character whose so perfect she’s irritating, yet I didn’t hate her.  Tatum’s performance was particularly good in how understated his delivery was.  His character wasn’t necessarily the most vocal, so a lot of feeling was conveyed through eyes and facial expressions. I think Tatum did a good job in this respect;  he demonstrated subtlety in conveying emotions and gave a restrained but sensitive performance non-verbally, which was just as well considering the script.

And as for “The Vow”, well if I ending up marrying someone like that I wouldn’t have any complaints, amnesia or no amnesia.  Again, I thought he gave a solid performance; his love and passion for his wife felt completely genuine, so his pain felt real and authentic.  I really hope that he’s around for a while because he’s definitely one to watch.


Jane Eyre

I saw Jane Eyre last week, which stars Michael Fassbender as Rochester and Mia Wasikowska as Jane, and is directed by Cary Fukunaga.  It was good in a lot of ways; beautifully shot, good acting blah blah blah, but somehow, it left me feeling vaguely unsatisfied, mainly because it ended too quickly and easily for my liking.

Warning: the synopsis below contains spoilers unless you’ve read the book in which case none of this will be a surprise. 

Jane’s all broken hearted after Rochester tried to commit bigamy with her and almost dies in a desperate attempt to escape him.  She gives it a year whereby she manages to survive and gets a job in a village school as a teacher, has a bit of a non-romance with Jamie Bell’s character, St John, (although from the way his name is pronounced in the film I thought it was Sinjin but I realise now that this was due to their rubbish Yorkshire accents) and then one day, she hears Rochester’s voice calling her across the moors.  Jane says adios to St John whose a bit annoyed because he thought he was in with a chance, and she goes back to find Rochester.  He’s now blind but she forgives him and they presumably live happily ever after although you don’t really get to see that bit because this is where the film ends.

As mentioned above, I felt that the ending came about too abruptly and swiftly considering all the torment Jane had been through.  Both Jane and Rochester had suffered enough so you think I’d be pleased they got back together, but it just felt a bit rushed, almost like Fukunaga realised he had used 2 hours portraying how awful her life was and thought, “Oh gosh is that the time?  Well I’ve got 2 minutes and not much budget left to give Jane the fairy tale ending we’ve all been waiting for.”

In some ways, Fassbender’s portrayal of Rochester irritated me as well.  On the one hand, although I think Fassbander seems suited to the role as he is a handsome chap and played Rochester with the required magnetism and charasima, I also thought he seemed a bit of a d-ck at times, unnecessarily so.  For example, in the scenes when he was mocking Jane, I think he was supposed to come across as being sardonic and cynical, but instead came across as arrogant, patronising and condescending.  I guess I was disappointed because I wish I could have fallen a bit in love with him, like I did with the book, but sadly that wasn’t to be the case with Fassbender’s version of him.

Overall, it’s ok, watchable, safe to watch with older relatives, but personally I think better versions have been made such as any of the ones by the BBC for example.

Toddlers and Tiaras

It’s not often that I read Perez Hilton’s blog anymore, but whilst looking for something else, I came across this.

Is this royally screwed up or what?  I admit, it’s fascinating tv and compulsive viewing in a car-crash, I-can’t- believe-this-is-really-true, kind of way, but shaving a little girl’s legs, giving her a fake tan, and making her up to look like a 20 year old; how an earth can these mothers not see that what they’re doing is wrong and creepy?

Maybe I’d have to watch more of the show to understand the thinking behind it all.  But even if I understood it, I still don’t think I’d be able to agree that it’s ok and normal.

Bad weather, great music

I saw this band perform today as part of the City of London festival.  The band is called “Batucada Sound Machine” and they’re from New Zealand.  Their music is described as, “Latin/Samba inspired”, which just goes to show you should never judge by appearances because to look at, they resemble some kind of Heavy Metal/ post grunge type band.  I think it’s the lead singer’s beard.  But their music is more Jamiroquai (although they may loathe the comparison) than Nirvana.  It’s upbeat, it’s got a powerful beat and tempo – it’s pretty hard not to listen to it and find yourself clapping along.  I was sitting down but there was definitely some shoulder/waist twisting action going on.

It seemed to appeal to everyone from a couple of toddlers who happily and unselfconsciously bopped up and down, to the nice Chinese couple from Hong Kong who were sitting next to me. A couple who stood near us, who couldn’t resist the beat and showed some serious dancing skills that were as impressive as the music.

So inspite of the bad weather and an initially thin crowd, the band did well, and by the time their set had finished, the crowd had increased significantly.  They are apparently on tour, so check them out if you can, unlike Cheryl Cole, they’re worth it.

Kelly Brook

Kelly Brook is on holiday in Italy at the moment.  Or maybe she’s working (?) as she’s on the Italian island of Ischia to attend its Global Film And Music Festival.  I have to confess that I’ve not heard of either the Island or it’s festival until Kelly was papped there in her bikini (Ah, maybe that was the point, well done festival organisers, smart move on your part) and as to be expected, these pictures have hit newspaper sites and gossip sites worldwide.  For Exhibit A (the bikini shots), click here, here or here.

I think there’s no doubt about it, the woman has an amazing figure, a gorgeous body, naturally curvaceous and in proportion.  She has the perfect hourglass figure and looks fantastic for it.

It’s kind of unusual these days to see a woman with these kind of curves who is proud and happy with their body.  Apart from Kelly Brook the only other women who come to mind are Christina Hendricks, Jennifer Lopez, and Kim Kardashian.

With regards to Kelly, she does strike me as someone who genuinely likes herself.  From what I’ve read and seen, she seems a happy person who likes and respects her body and is proud of it.  This is a rare trait in a woman or anyone really, to the point where it’s almost considered unacceptable by some.  I’m referring to a few Daily HateMail Daily Mail readers, (I know, I know, I shouldn’t read the Daily Mail), who took offence to the following comment Kelly posted on twitter:

“In Naples! Men are looking at me like I am Gelato!! Are there women in Italy??”

These were some of the responses (all women):

“…. She doesn’t half love herself, does she?!”

“She’s beautiful but very full of herself!”

“hmm her twitter comment sounds a bit big headed…”

In short, they can’t tolerate someone who’s beautiful and likes herself.  To them, this is wrong.

The way I read it, Kelly’s comment is pretty light-hearted.  She’s in Italy, Italian men aren’t known for being shy in showing their appreciation for women, especially those whom they consider beautiful.   I don’t doubt that she did attract a lot of stares; she’s a pretty girl and combine that with an awesome figure, she probably did have more than one hot-blooded Italian male lusting after her.  From her point of view, their reaction is a bit excessive hence her questioning, “Are there women in Italy??”.

I’ve been in similar situation, sadly not because I possess a physique like Kelly Brooke’s, but when I was a teenager on holiday on a Greek Island – the locals not used to seeing people of mixed race, stared at me oddly fascinated.  I understand that they didn’t mean to be rude; they just weren’t particularly discreet.  Whilst flattering, to begin with, it became annoying very quickly, as I went from feeling relatively relaxed to quite self-conscious.  I felt like some kind of weird animal in a zoo.  So from my own personal experience, I can relate.

Overall, the majority of the DM readers comments seem to be complimentary and appreciative of Kelly’s beauty.  It’s only a few that take offence and resent the fact that Kelly (outwardly at least), does not seem to display any signs of insecurity or self-loathing.  I get it.  It’s difficult for those with less than perfect bodies, to see someone who not only is as close to physical perfection as it gets, but who also does not display any false modesty or insecurities and self-loathing – well how dare they?  I mean that’s the least you’d expect right, as some kind of compensation for said person having a near perfect body.

But personally, I don’t see why she shouldn’t love herself.  She’s beautiful, gorgeous – I’ve not ever read any reports of Kelly Brook being a b-tch, she seems a pretty nice person who by and large, is happy with her life.  Or at least that’s the impression I have.  She always seems to be smiling no matter what sadness she may be experiencing (i.e her miscarriage, the loss of her father etc), and I don’t mean in a kind of demented way. I think there’s a lot to be said for someone who doesn’t dwell on self-pity, especially when they’ve had to deal with some tragic situations.

So to all you Kelly haters, if you don’t like her, fair enough that’s your choice, but if you’re going to hate someone, could you at least base it on more than the fact that an individual likes themselves and you don’t?

Buildings and stuff

In recent years, I’ve developed an interest in architecture, by which I mean, I sometimes look at buildings and think, “That looks nice.”   I tried to expand on this interest by reading up on it, but that lasted about 2 minutes.  I decided I was ok, with having an interest that doesn’t extend much beyond the superficial.   And occasionally taking pictures, when I could be bothered to bring a camera.

So here are a couple of photos taken of buildings in Limehouse, in the East End of London.