As the leaves start falling and I start contemplating swapping jandals for boots (there is no middle ground for me when it comes to footwear ;-)), what better time to contemplate my current favourite things. And there are a few to contemplate. So here you go:
Favourite song: Royals by Lorde – it is not often that I fall for a song immediately, on first listening. Normally, I have to hear it a few times on the radio, then it becomes catchy, then I am whistling it, next thing I know I am online downloading a song by Taylor Swift (hypothetical example, obviously…). But this track, by Kiwi songstress Lorde, had me hooked from the very beginning. It is a thoroughly catchy wee number that I can only really describe as Florence & The Machine meets Ke$ha meets Sugababes. Strange, but true. Lorde is apparently only 16 – god, at 16 I was obsessing over Jason Priestly and whether to take Calc or Stats next year, not writing hit songs and signing record deals with Universal. Kids these days, eh? Seriously, good on her though – and more than a one hit wonder – her EP The Love Club is solid and catchy the whole way through. Check it out, I dare you 😉
Favourite Book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – I often pick up books on the basis that I have heard buzz of a movie adaptation by someone interesting and respectable – in this case David Fincher (Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Social Network). That is what happened here, and I am very pleased with my following of Hollywood in this particular case. Gone Girl tells the story of a married couple – Amy and Nick – forced, as a result of the recession and redundancies, to move from shiny, exciting New York City to small town Missouri. The book kicks off when Amy disappears in mysterious cirumstances, and then unravels the various layers of their relationship via separate chapters from both Nick and Amy’s current and historic perspectives. On the face of it, you could call it a crime novel – but it isn’t really at all. It is an intense, no holes-barred examination of a marriage, and a complex one at that. With more twists and turns than a Christopher Nolan film, this had me hooked from the start. Highly recommended. (By the way, when doing a bit of research for this blog I found out Reese Witherspoon owns the rights to the book, and had a freak out that she would also star in the film. However, it was confirmed in January that she won’t be. Thank god for small mercies ;-)).
Favourite new hobby: Comics – yep, I never thought I would list ‘comic book reader’ as one of my descriptors, but I may in fact be doing so in future. Beyond the odd Garfield and Peanuts comic strips as a kid (I mean, who doesn’t love a smart arse cat who eats lasagne, right?) I hadn’t read any comics to speak of. I have, however, watched many movies and TV shows based on comics – the most recent of which being The Walking Dead. On hearing of my addition to said zombie drama, a friend highly recommended the series of comics the show is based on, and lent them to me (Thank you Mike). And they are really good! I know, I shouldn’t sound surprised, comics are a HUGE industry after all, but I just didn’t think I would like them. I thought that there wouldn’t really be much dialogue (and dialogue in story is key to me) and that I would be bored by them. But not at all. The graphic artists do an amazing job depicting things it may be much harder to do on film, and the stories portrayed are solid, interesting, challenging and complex. I think I might try Scott Pilgrim next, or maybe venture into something that hasn’t been adapted for film/TV? Hmm…
Favourite TV Show: New Girl: It is a tough call to say what is my favourite show on at the moment, as there are quite a few contenders (The Americans, Go On, The Mindy Project), but probably the one I get consistently excited about, and that generates the most belly laughs, is New Girl. A fair way through it’s second season now, the show doesn’t seem to be struggling to find new things to make funny – in fact it is just building week on week, as we get to know the characters better and relationships are developed. The core cast – Zooey Deschanel, Jake Johnson, Max Greenfield and Lamorne Morris – have great chemistry and comedic timing, and you get the feeling that there would be a massive number of outtakes and deleted scenes that would be worth watching just on their own. And full credit to the show for handling that trickiest of tricky things – the Will They/Won’t They romance. Jess and Nick’s relationship is as quirky and real as the show itself, but doesn’t shy away from giving the show real heart, on top of the laughs. She may not be New anymore, but this Girl is well and truly one worth watching.
Favourite re-discovered Actor: James McAvoy – I remember when I first discovered talented and charasmatic Scottish actor James McAvoy. It was watching the (simply brilliant and if you haven’t seen it you should) BBC series State of Play, where he played an upstart young journalist. It wasn’t a big role, and he played a bit of a t***, but I remember thinking ‘that kid has something’. And something he had clearly, as he went on to star in big films like Atonement, The Last King of Scotland and X Men: First Class. He had kind of dropped off my radar for a wee while though, until I saw Danny Boyle’s latest film Trance this week. McAvoy portrayed an art auctioneer involved in a heist, who suffered a whack to the head and forgot where he stashed a $25M painting. His criminal cohorts, led by the excellent Vincent Cassell, enlist a hypnotist (Rosario Dawson) to get inside James’ head and find the painting. It’s a great film – as most Danny Boyle flicks are – and Mr McAvoy was simply brilliant in it. And he got to use his Scottish accent, which he no doubt enjoyed. He is so much fun to watch, and it made me immediately more excited about the next X Men film (and I am not generally an X Men fan). In fact, the reason why the film probably won’t get more stars than the 4 I would probably give it is due to SPOILER ALERT the fact that his character turns out to be not so nice at the end. And I was like, nah – it’s James! He is lovely! Yeah, I know, it’s just a movie. But still 😉
So, there we go, a Sampler box of the things that are currently putting a smile on my dial. Now, off to stash my jandal collection until…oh yeah, Hawaii in September 😉