Thursday, 21 August 2014

Switching over

Hi gang,

First and foremost I am not abandoning my own website. I couldn't do that because it's my baby and a lot of hard work went into it. However, I am now a writer on Women Make Waves, you can see my page here. So, the majority of my posts eg. reviews and ramblings are going over there.

Elsie Mack, is nonetheless my brand and so I plan, when I get a bit of time, to make it over a little bit and turn it into more of a portfolio. My aim is to get back into drawing and photography and showcase that here, along with anything exciting and personal I want to share.

So don't leave me and please follow me on Women Make Waves.


Saturday, 9 August 2014

Review: The Purge: Anarchy (2014)

Glynn chose this film, horrors and, ya know, mindless killing aren't my thing. We only watched this first The Purge a few weeks ago because Glynn saw this trailer and didn't realise there had been another film and I must say the sequel trumped the original ten-fold. There was way more depth to the story and generally more than just killing, I found it actually rather thought provoking. I might even say I enjoyed it except the concept of the film drives me crackers. But here's the story:

In 2020, the American people elect a new group into power called the NFFA - New Founding Fathers of America. The NFFA introduce the annual purge, every March 21st for 12 hours (6pm-6am) all crime is legal. The only rules are no weapons above class 4 are allowed and level 10 government official are exempt. But other than that, anything goes.

It's 2026 and we meet a bunch of different characters that find themselves stuck together outside after 'commencement' and watch them struggling through the city to survive until morning.

So here's my beef with the idea of it:

*Spoilers ahead*

When I first saw the trailer for the original film I thought the whole point of the purge might be: if crime is allowed for one night, there won't be crime for the rest of the year - which kind of makes sense. But what the films actually show is the point of the purge is to allow everyone to get their anger out and kill people... This handily solves the problem of homelessness and unemployment. It's basically an excuse for a lunatics to go round killing innocent, vulnerable people, it's not as if they're killing criminals! And this doesn't sit right with me. Crazy Americans. Plus this film showed how, like everything else in the world, the purge was another way to get money.

So why was it good Laura? Unlike the first film, we got to see the purge from several different perspectives. Including:
  • The poor man who sacrifices himself to give his family a better life.
  • The poor people selling other poor people for money.
  • The man who is seeking revenge - and if you were in his situation I think you would at least think about it.
  • The government characters who truly believe the need to kill.
  • The family with domestic issues.
  • The rich people buying poor people to murder in the safety of their own home.
  • The rich people buying poor people to hunt for sport.
  • The rebels killing the people who they think deserve it.
  • And of course, the normal people who are just trying to stay alive.
The different characters gave us a better look at the situation; particularly with regards money. The fact that poor people being targeted to be killed by the rich is a whole new dimension to a classist attitude. I do wonder as well, how these people feel the other 364 days of the year...

I feel like there's a sociology essay in here somewhere...

Other things to note: I wanted to smack everyone who spoke, especially the young girl. You're hiding from killers! Shut your yap and save your questions! Same when her mum fell over in the subway tunnel, get the fudge up! My hands would be raw and bloody from scrambling to my feet. What an idiot!

I adored the ending though, usually horrors leave us with a lot of death and a cliffhanger but this one had a nice feeling of karma about it. The sergeant decided to spare them man who killed his son and in return he shot the guy who shot the sergeant and saved his life. Happy ending! (Apart from the husband bloke..)

And if this were real, you would find me down the local high street with a shopping trolley. There are other crimes, you know.

Monday, 7 July 2014

Much books, many films

I love doing reviews but truth is I'm currently plowing through films and books at the moment like there's no tomorrow! So I don't quite see the point in publishing a review when the film's about to end at the cinema. Brace yourself for mini reviews!

Glynn and I have started going to the pictures every week while the Vue is cheap as chips (£4 a ticket) in what we now call 'Cinema Sunday'. We love films and I love being up to date with the new releases, we even pay the extra £1 for VIP seats because they are genuinely comfier than the rest. Our latest conquests have been (no spoilers):


If you're a Disney fan like us I believe you will enjoy it. I was panicking at first that it was going to be another 'Wizard of Oz' fiasco but nope, the CGI was just fine. It tells all the back story behind  Maleficent and who she was before she became a baddie. Without giving too much away it fills in a lot of gaps and definitely bulks out the original cartoon - it even takes lines directly from the original script!

Angela Jolie was fabulous as well, having never actually seen her in anything, I thought she was completely stunning and majestic, she did the role proud. And the part where she's doing a proper big girl cry got me right in the chest, I've been there my friend. Well maybe not in that exact same situation...

The only thing that really irked me was that they were really true to the cartoon characters, so why did they suddenly rename the three fairies? Fauna, Flora and Merryweather became Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit... any need?

X Men: Days of Future Past

I'm not a firm follower of the X Men films but here we join the gang in the future when mutants are being destroyed and it turns out that something one of them did a long time ago actually creates these new enemies. So, Patrick Stewart and the team find a mutant with the power to send a consciousness back in time to their earlier self. Wolverine takes the challenge and off he goes to find young Xavier and Magneto (some time after First Class) and sort the whole thing out.

I must admit the story didn't keep me entirely gripped but the sheer class of the star studded cast did, I love them all: McEvoy, Fassbender, Jackman, Lawrence, McKellan and obviously Patrick Stewart (I've shook his hand don'tcha know?) were stunning and I could look at them all day. Or preferably watch the Graham Norton episode where they do this:

On repeat.

22 Jump Street

I don't really remember 21 Jump Street that well although I do remember enjoying it. The best thing about this film is it's a clear send up of itself and sequels in general. The film emphasises the fact they are going to do everything exactly the same as last time and to be fair it was quite funny with some great laugh out loud moments. I find myself loving Jonah Hill more and more for his talent and genius.

The Fault in Our Stars

It's about a girl with cancer who meets a boy who used to have cancer and it's basically just following their little  romance and the intricate links that has with illness.

See below for my book thoughts. The film, I thought, made a great adaptation of the book, skipping all the really useless bits eg. Kaitlin and keeping the rest. Both the actors were really lovely in it and it tugged heartstrings in all the right places.

I've been devouring books with a vengeance lately and I kind of thank my iphone because I've been buying them on ibooks. I love the freedom to be like 'I want to read that book right now'. It's the first time since before going to uni I really love reading! Long may it reign!

The Fault in Our Stars - John Green

After seeing everyone going on about the book I thought I'd give it a go and I was pleasantly surprised. It was a lot funnier than I was expecting seeing as it's about cancer. The truth about the whole thing was lovely and it was nice that Hazel with her terrible situation doesn't dwell on it but also doesn't want anyone's pity. The whole story was a lovely read, I know a lot of people get annoyed with the way they speak but to be honest, if you'd spent as much time as they had being on their own, reading and that you'd definitely be wise beyond your years.

The Unfinished Symphony of You & Me - Lucy Robinson

20902074I adored this book and everything about it. I loved the plot, the characters, the setting, the language, the narrative... I could genuinely bang on about this book all day. Basically, Sally is the most lovable character who, as a child, discovers she has a passion for opera but this is quashed by her conservative family, still paranoid from a past family tragedy and so she sings only in her wardrobe. Basically the story works in two timelines; firstly Sally in present day has just begun an opera masters which she doesn't want to do, when an old flame turns up and brings up all the stuff from the past timeline. The past timeline is Sally in New York with her workmates and problematic cousin Fiona. We swap between the two stories and get a little more insight each time but just when you think you know what's happening there's a dramatic plot twist, I love that it constantly kept me guessing.

I laughed out loud a lot and cried quite a bit as well. I am now recommending this book to everyone and wouldn't hesitate to read it again!

The 5th Wave - Rick Yancey

My latest conquest. It's all about an alien apocalypse, the aliens are attacking seemingly to rid the Earth of humans so that they may live there. The blurb easily drew me in with: 

Took out half a million people.
Put that number to shame.
Lasted a little longer. Twelve weeks . . . Four billion dead.
You can't trust that people are still people.
No one knows.
But it's coming.

We join Cassie, 16 years old out in the woods currently living through Wave 4 which is were the aliens have inhabited themselves INSIDE PEOPLE! Safe to say, you can't trust anyone. She recaps the first 3 waves for us and then follow her on her search for her brother and along the way she meets the mysterious Evan Walker. It's well written with several different POV's to keep you guessing as to who's who and what's really going on. But the Cassie storyline was by far my favourite and I was all 'I could well play her in the film', turns out they've already cast Chloe Moretz...

Even if you don't read this, whenever it eventually gets made, see it on film because all I thought throughout was how it would look amazing on screen!

That's all for now but give it a couple of weeks and I'm sure I'll have plenty more!