A Lost Boys Haiku For Haiku Day

Happy Haiku Day! I used to do movie haikus at the end of my reviews sometimes but I haven’t done one in ages. Not that any of them were any good… But they’re always fun to write! Here’s an old favorite: simple but straight to the point. I’ll always love The Lost Boys. ๐Ÿ™‚

Two Coreys defeat
Santa Carla vampires
Death by stereo

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From Beyond (1986) Review for Halloween Horror Fest

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Bloody hell I can’t find a good poster for this movie…

From Beyond (1986)

Directed by Stuart Gordon

Based on From Beyond by H.P. Lovecraft

Starring:
Jeffrey Combs
Barbara Crampton
Ken Foree
Ted Sorel
Carolyn Purdy-Gordon

Running time: 80 minutes (original), 85 minutes (unrated)

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
From Beyond centers around a pair of scientists attempting to stimulate the pineal gland with a device called The Resonator. An unforeseen result of their experiments is the ability to perceive creatures from another dimension that proceed to drag the head scientist into their world, returning him as a grotesque shape-changing monster that preys upon the others at the laboratory.

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Before I Start…

This review will be full of SPOILERS, especially in the pictures. But I HAVE to include the pictures – this movie is mental.

This is the first movie I’m reviewing for my Halloween Horror Fest. Saw it about a month ago. Now, this is a film that is definitely not for everyone. If you like Re-Animator meets Society meets Slither meets The Thing meets David Cronenberg meets H.R. Giger-type sexual imagery meets “body horror”, From Beyond will be right up your alley. If you’re now looking at me like I’m nuts, you might want to skip this one.

Put it this way – there was this annoying woman I used to work with and couldn’t stand. She was all “perfect mother”, “perfect housewife”, yada yada. She used to look at me like I was mental when I would go all geeky discussing films & couldn’t understand why I had no interest in the things she did for fun like sew & bake cakes (nothing against anyone here who does these things for fun!). My point is this: If she still worked with me, I’d totally recommend From Beyond to her in the hope that she would hate me forever & stop talking to me. It’s one of those types of movies.

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My Opinion:

Like I said – If you like any of the movies that I mentioned above, you’ll like this. This was made by Stuart Gordon, who also made Re-Animator. Both films also star Jeffrey Combs & Barbara Crampton and are (I assume very loosely!) based on H.P. Lovecraft stories. (Barbara Crampton also starred in the recent horror You’re Next). I know Re-Animator is a cult classic but I’d not heard of From Beyond until recently. I think it’s just as good/bad as Re-Animator. I actually think it’s more memorable.

20131011-092854 am.jpgSo anyway – these two scientist dudes are conducting experiments to stimulate the pineal gland, a small gland in the brain which apparently (according to this movie, at least!) looks like a tiny penis. Especially when the experiment causes it to grow & pop out of this dude’s head. Yeah, spoiler. But, seriously – check this shit out!:

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Hilarious! Anyway, I’ve looked the pineal gland up online and still don’t fully understand why stimulating it makes you all into S&M and made Barbara Crampton put this outfit on:

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I also don’t understand why it allows you to see creatures from another dimension. But, anyway, it does in this film. It also makes you want to eat brains. Yum.

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Ken Foree, the dude above, is from one of my all-time favorite movies (Dawn Of The Dead) so it was cool seeing him here. Barbara Crampton gets naked (as usual?) so guys should like that. And. Yeah. Not much else to say. This movie was probably even more fun than Romero’s Monkey Shines. It’s completely mental. And that phallic pineal gland will haunt me forever.

My Rating: 6/10

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My From Beyond Haiku:

Brains and S&M
Protruding pineal glands
Naked Crampton boobs

Django Unchained (2012) Review

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Django Unchained

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring:
Jamie Foxx
Christoph Waltz
Leonardo DiCaprio
Kerry Washington
Samuel L. Jackson
Walton Goggins
Dennis Christopher
James Remar
Michael Parks
Don Johnson

Running time: 165 minutes

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)

Set in the antebellum era of the Deep South and Old West, the film follows a freed slave (Foxx) who treks across the United States with a bounty hunter (Waltz) on a mission to rescue his wife (Washington) from a cruel plantation owner (DiCaprio).

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My Opinion:

Django Unchained got second place after Stoker when I asked all of you which film I should review next. Sorry it’s still taking me a bit of time to get around to these reviews.

I should maybe re-watch this one as I saw it in the cinema back in January but I remember it well anyway. I still consider it my favorite film of 2013 (UK release date). But it’s one of the only 2013 movies that I didn’t review. I have a strange relationship with Tarantino films – I think they’re brilliant but I also can’t fully watch any of them as I’m a mega wuss about violence. Figure that one out… Plus so many people love Tarantino and there will be tons of great reviews online from people who are proper writers and I don’t know what I could really add to all that. So, as usual, I’ll just discuss what I personally liked about the film.

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I’ll get right to it and say that there’s ONE very specific thing that made me really go for this movie even though I literally “saw” less of this than probably any other Tarantino film as I found the violence in this one the most disturbing yet & didn’t even look at the screen for a couple entire scenes (the “Mandingo” fight for one – the sound effects alone were enough to make me feel ill). I think everyone knows what I’m going to say that one specific thing is as I think most people agree:

CHRISTOPH WALTZ

He’s brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I have to say I’m not one to worship actors – I just like movies. I do have some favorite actors, of course, and a few actors who will make me actually watch a film they’re in (or, more often, avoid one). But I just enjoy watching movies I think are good and for the most part don’t care who’s in them as long as the actors fit the part and they’re not really horrible at acting and they’re not Tom Cruise.

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But… Oh my god I love Waltz in Tarantino films! I know that not ALL the credit can go to Waltz, though – As many people have already said, there’s just something about a Tarantino script combined with Waltz’s acting that’s just the perfect fit. I really need to watch Inglourious Basterds again – the scene with Waltz at the beginning was so intense (I barely watched that scene. Sorry – I just couldn’t! My heart was pounding like crazy).

I love the character of Dr King Schultz in Django Unchained. He’ll go down as one of the all-time best characters with one of the all-time greatest performances (in my opinion but, hey, he did win an Oscar for it). This is why poor Jamie Foxx seems so overlooked in the title role – He was fine but he just didn’t quite have that special “something” that Waltz has so his performance naturally pales in comparison.

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Before I go on kissing Waltz’s ass too much, there was one other performance that I also felt was worthy of at least an Oscar nomination: Leonardo DiCaprio. Why does he keep getting overlooked? Is it because he’s a former “heartthrob”? I’m not exactly a Leo fan but I think he’s had some amazing performances in a variety of films and Django Unchained is one of them.

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As for the film itself, I liked the overall story. I like revenge (Kill Bill being my favorite Tarantino film) and I like some good old-fashioned “rescue the helpless woman” sometimes as it’s set in the old West (or old South). I found the “Blazing Saddles” type of comic relief scene with the masks funny, all the stuff at Candyland was great, Don Johnson was actually not bad and, as already mentioned, DiCaprio and especially Waltz were brilliant and a joy to watch whenever they were on screen (which was quite a lot, luckily).

Tarantino’s role was a bit embarrassing, the violence was too much for me, and I’m not 100% sure if it’s okay to like Samuel L Jackson’s character or not. I love the guy (I’ve had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!) but that role was probably getting into iffy territory and I’m so not going there – there’s already been enough talk of the excessive use of the N word in this so I’ll leave that to intelligent people to dissect. I also felt that Django Unchained lost its way a bit in the last 45 minutes or so – it started to feel a little overlong and seemed to not be completely sure how to end although I found it a satisfying enough conclusion.

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Summary:

Django Unchained is another great film from Tarantino with a brilliant script and excessive violence than can be a little hard to watch. But I suffer through the violence as I think Tarantino is one of today’s most talented filmmakers. I’ve never watched classic Westerns but did force myself to watch the excellent Once Upon A Time In The West for the first time a couple months ago and it’s made me appreciate Django Unchained even more and made me want to further explore the influences on the film. Django Unchained isn’t a perfect film and does lose its way toward the end but with such a mesmerizing performance from Christoph Waltz, who cares? The man is amazing.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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See where Django Unchained ranks in My Top Five Films Directed By Quentin Tarantino.

My Shitty Django Unchained Haiku:

To rescue his love
Django and Schultz hunt bounty
The D is silent

My Top Movies Directed By Quentin Tarantino

**I’m updating this list on March 24th 2017 as I’ve now seen Jackie Brown & The Hateful Eight. Here we go! Counting down to my favorite (and not including his guest director credit on Sin City, a movie I don’t really like anyway), here are all the films I’ve seen that were directed by Quentin Tarantino:

8. The Hateful Eight (I wasn’t really a fan of this one)

7. Inglourious Basterds

6. Death Proof
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5. Django Unchained
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4. Jackie Brown

3. Pulp Fiction
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2. Reservoir Dogs
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1. Kill Bill (both of them – I count them as one)
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Inglourious Basterds was SO close to being above Death Proof, which few people will agree with. First of all, I should probably give Basterds a re-watch as I was especially wussy about violence that day and didn’t watch it closely enough except for the parts where Christoph Waltz or the lovely Melanie Laurent were on screen. It’s a much better film than Death Proof. But… Death Proof was fun and I really liked it. Zoe Bell was cool. I’m a girl and I like girls who kick ass (which is why Kill Bill is number one). So there you go!

AND I have an embarrassing confession to make: I’m a big film fan yet there’s one Tarantino-directed film that I haven’t seen. So I’ll update this list if I decide that Jackie Brown deserves a place in the Top Five. (Update – I’ve seen it now!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

Now off to finally write my review for Django Unchained (Review done now!). I’ll leave you with a shitty haiku summing up how I feel about Tarantino’s crazily violent films:

Tarantino films
Are really brilliant but I
Wish I could watch them

**I need to point out that the hubby and I are having an argument over how many syllables are in the word “brilliant”. I think this is a US/UK difference. The way I say it, it’s two, dammit! Making my haiku correct… ๐Ÿ˜›

Stoker (2013) Review

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Stoker

Directed by Park Chan-wook

Produced by:
Ridley Scott
Tony Scott
Michael Costigan

Written by Wentworth Miller

Starring:
Mia Wasikowska
Matthew Goode
Nicole Kidman
Dermot Mulroney
Jacki Weaver

Music by Clint Mansell

Running time: 99 minutes

Plot Synopsis:

India Stoker’s beloved father dies in a car accident on her 18th birthday. Soon after, the mysterious Uncle Charlie comes to stay with India and her cold & distant mother. India never even knew her father had a brother and she starts to suspect that Uncle Charlie may not be all he seems.

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My Opinion:

First of all, thanks to everyone for voting when I asked which film I should review next. Stoker was the winner.

I think it’s pretty well known that the inspiration for Stoker was Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow Of A Doubt. Being a pretty big Hitchcock fan and having just watched that one this year (review HERE), I can certainly see how similar the films are and how much Wentworth Miller clearly must love Shadow Of A Doubt. As to be expected, though, it’s not as good as Hitchcock’s film.

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I missed Stoker when it was in cinemas and I was so mad because it looked interesting & I really wanted to see it. But as it wasn’t Fast & Furious 23 or some shit like that, it was only on for one week at my local cinema. So, anyway, after fellow movie geeks seemed to love it despite some not so great reviews I think I had probably hyped it up too much in my mind & that may be why I was a little disappointed with the film.

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I’ve never seen Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy and had wanted to do this review along with that one but just haven’t had time to watch it. I’m assuming it’s a better film with all the best bits of Stoker, like some great visuals and all that director-y stuff that I know nothing about, but with a better story. Stoker looked great & it had this wonderful creepy atmosphere that I really liked. But the overall story wasn’t all that shocking or original and, with a different director, I think it would be a very forgettable film.

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I also think everyone did fine in their roles but no one really blew me away.
Mia Wasikowska was fine but I think plenty of other actresses could have played the role too. Matthew Goode has this insane look going on in his eyes so I think he was right for the role but, again, I think there are others who could have played Uncle Charlie and I can’t help but say that Joseph Cotten was a creepier Uncle Charlie in Shadow Of A Doubt. At least the character of India in Stoker has much more depth than Hitchcock’s Charlie, niece of the uncle with the same name. Nicole Kidman is also fine but she always is – I didn’t really feel like we were seeing anything new from her here.

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Overall I just found the story too predictable. It was too much “style over substance” for me. I don’t think it was bad but, if you’re going to make a film so clearly inspired by Hitchcock, I think you need to do a better job on the suspense in the film. You’re not going to top the Master in that regard but there are other films that have achieved a growing sense of anxiousness more than Stoker does, which never exactly had me on the edge of my seat.

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Summary:

Stoker is a very atmospheric film that is lovely to look at and one I’m sure that people who know anything about filmmaking would probably appreciate. In the hands of a less talented director (and without a certain shower scene), I think it would be a very forgettable film. It’s a good Hitchcock-inspired mystery but just can’t match his brilliantly suspenseful storytelling. But who can? Although it sounds like I almost hated Stoker, I did actually enjoy it. It’s a solid effort & I appreciate the attempt to make something other than the same old tired mainstream movie in this world full of horrible sequels, remakes, and “Ow, my balls!” comedies. Stoker is worth a watch for film fans but I would hope that everyone will have already seen Hitchcock’s biggest classics first to see the true master of suspense at work.

My Rating: 6.5/10

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And I’m on a Movie Haiku kick again so here’s one for Stoker. Warning if you’ve not seen it – SLIGHT SPOILER:

Strange Uncle Charlie
Masturbating in shower
Hitchcock this is not

Which leads me to two of my lists on which Stoker probably now at least deserves an honorable mention. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies

My Top Five Movie Scenes Of Self-Pleasure

See the Cast of The Lost Boys Then and Now (with Haiku!)

Say what you want about it, The Lost Boys is a classic and I love it. And I’m of the age where I loved The Two Coreys so don’t you dare go bad-mouthing them here! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’ll just post a few photos – there are lots more at this link (other than Kiefer, the vampires especially look different! so much for not aging…): ScreenCrush

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Poor Corey Haim ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

And I’ve not done one of my shitty movie haikus for ages so here you go:

Two Coreys defeat
Santa Carla vampires
Death by stereo

Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010) Review & Haiku

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Exit Through The Gift Shop

Directed by Banksy

Narrated by Rhys Ifans

Starring:

Thierry Guetta
Banksy
Shepard Fairey
Invader
Andrรฉ

Plot Summary:

This documentary follows a man named Thierry Guetta, a French immigrant in LA who is obsessed with recording every moment of his life. While visiting France, he discovers that a cousin of his is actually the well known street artist Invader.

This is the start of Guetta’s obsession with the secretive lives of street artists. Through Invader, he meets & documents other street artists at work including Monsieur Andrรฉ, Zevs & finally Shepard Fairey back in LA who then helps Guetta to document several other street artists throughout the country. Through Shepard Fairey, and to Guetta’s huge delight, he finally meets the extremely elusive Banksy, who agrees to be documented as long as his identity remains a secret…
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My Opinion:

I saw this movie back in January. Although I absolutely loved it, I guess I never reviewed it because I had no idea how to go about it. But when I asked all of you which film I should review of the ones I hadn’t, this was the winner (yay! you all have good taste.). ๐Ÿ™‚

There is SO much more to this documentary than what I’ve put in the above summary! I’ve barely even scratched the surface. To be honest, if you don’t yet know much about this film, I don’t think you should really know any more before seeing it. Just watch it. I highly recommend it – it’s one of the best films I’ve seen in the past few years.
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If you have the slightest interest in art or filmmaking (or even if you don’t and would just enjoy a very entertaining film with some oddball characters), watch this. Don’t read too much about it beforehand – it really needs to be seen to be believed. Or possibly not believed… It’s an absolutely fascinating look at the world of art. What defines art? Is street art really art? Or is it only art once it’s hanging in a museum? Can just anyone make it? And what about Banksy, who started out a simple street artist but is now having art shows and selling his work for lots of money to the rich & the famous? Is he any more or less of an artist now?

This documentary explores these things in such a unique way by turning the tables on the viewer. I thought this film was extremely clever, even if I was just being brainwashed the whole time. Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter who Banksy is. It doesn’t matter who Mr Brainwash is (who?! watch the movie…). ๐Ÿ˜‰ What matters is that art is art as long as there’s at least one person who considers it to be (in my opinion) and this film is a thoroughly entertaining piece of art.
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Banksy:

Okay – I love Banksy. That’s going to have helped me liking this film. I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to watch this documentary. I suppose that, by the time the film finally came out, Banksy was EVERYWHERE. You couldn’t walk through a shopping mall (in the UK at least) without seeing Banksy stuff for sale. As with anything that becomes too mainstream, it loses its appeal a bit. Especially something that’s meant to be so anti-establishment in the first place. (Did I use that word correctly? Check out me & all my big words in my reviews lately! Lol!).

Many years ago, before he was quite so well known, I went on a Banksy tour around London to see some of his work. Unfortunately, some of it was already gone (like this famous one – now painted over. what a shame! we could just make out the outline):
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I did manage to get one decent photo of one that was still there (on my ancient camera phone!) – I’ll include that at the end of this post. But I really can’t finish this “review” without posting pictures of some of Banksy’s work:
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Shepard Fairey:

Shepard Fairey also plays a very big part in this documentary. I wasn’t that familiar with his work before the film. He created that whole “Obey”/Andre The Giant thing, which comes partly from a favorite movie of mine: They Live. Fairey later created the following They Live Mondo poster for the Alamo Drafthouse. I absolutely adore it & have already posted it a couple of times:
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Fairey has done lots of other work, including things such as album covers & the Barack Obama “Hope” poster.

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One great thing about this documentary is that it got me very curious about everyone involved. I spent ages reading about Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Mr Brainwash, etc. I hope you’ll watch this film and then do the same. It’s the sign of a good film when you get your audience wanting to explore things further. As for Banksy – Yes, he’s supposedly been named. There’s a picture that’s meant to be of him. But I won’t post links to these things. If you want to look for it, you can. But I think knowing who he really is would ruin what makes his work so special. Anonymity is rare in this age where everyone famous is on Twitter or has some ridiculous reality show.

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Summary:

A fascinating documentary about the world of street art that also happens to be a thoroughly amusing & entertaining film with some great characters. I’ve said very little about what actually happens in the film – it needs to be seen to be believed (or not believed…). Go to it without reading up on it too much beforehand – save that for after the film. Trust me, you’ll WANT to read more about it the second the film finishes. An excellent work of art.

My Rating: 8.5/10

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My Grin Reaper photo from my “Banksy Tour” around London:

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My Exit Through The Gift Shop Haiku:

Banksy does street art
And great documentary
Whoโ€™s Mr Brainwash?

Ten Things I Like About England

I’m American but I’ve lived in England a long time now. I complain about it too often (just ask my hubby!). But the truth is that the only thing about England that REALLY gets me down is the weather (too bad I didn’t know before moving here that I suffer massively from SAD)! So as the sun was occasionally shining through the clouds today and the sky was mostly blue and it’s a new month and I’m trying to be a more positive person and yada yada yada, I’ve decided to list “Ten Things I Like About England”. So here you go! ๐Ÿ™‚

1. The Music

Probably almost 90% of my favorites are from the UK. The Beatles, Iron Maiden, Radiohead, David Bowie, John Lydon/Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath, The Chemical Brothers, Peter Gabriel, The Clash, The Cure, The Smiths, Ian Brown/The Stone Roses, UNKLE, Massive Attack… I’ll stop there or I’ll be listing these all day…

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2. London. It’s just really cool.

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3. Stonehenge. It’s just really cool. Spinal Tap agree.

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4. WAY more days off work than in America. Hooray for bank holiday Mondays! (Like today).

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5. Guns. Not many.

Won’t discuss this. Just listing it is the closest I’ll EVER get to being political about ANYTHING. I only discuss movies and light fluffy things. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

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7. Monty Python

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8. Pubs & pub quizzes

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9. Michael Caine. I’ve decided he’s cool.

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10. The word “Wanker”

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My England Haiku:

Not much sunshine but
Look on the bright side of life
And bring umbrella

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A crumpet haiku

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Oh lovely crumpet
Ninety-two calories of
Buttery goodness

I’m always very impressed at all the photos people post of the lovely food they’ve made. I can’t cook. Or bake. (Seriously, ask my hubby). So this is my attempt to make my breakfast seem more interesting. I even dug out a pretty plate. Hey, I toasted the thing – that counts as cooking, right?! ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s better than the other breakfast I have sometimes (mainly on a Monday):

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Les Miserables

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Just saw Les Miserables. My mascara was a mess by the time it finished. Everyone was crying & sniffling. Someone even clapped. I had to get to the bathroom quick to fix my mess of a face.

You’re thinking “Wow – she was really moved!”. Not exactly. My hubby leaned over & cracked a joke at an inappropriate time about 30 minutes before the end and I spent the final half hour trying to suppress a massive giggling fit and wiping away tears of laughter while surrounded by people who were taking the movie very seriously. So, thanks hubby! At least you made Les Miserables less miserable for me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Don’t you think the girl in the poster looks a bit like Dawn Of The Dead girl?

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That’s what this movie needed – Zombies! Would have been more fun. Also needed a Scooby Doo ending, as my hubby pointed out half an hour before the end.

My Les Miserables haiku:

They sing and they cry
Die and still sing! This needs a
Scooby Doo ending

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My Rating: 6.5/10

Movie Haiku Challenge

Anyone interested in writing a movie haiku each week for a fun little competition? I can choose a movie to start with, people can all write a haiku about that movie, and then everyone can vote for the best one. The winner can then choose the next movie to be haikued (is that a word?!). Don’t think I have enough followers… And I do things like this when I’m having trouble sleeping so just ignore me if it’s a dumb idea – I had four hours of sleep. ๐Ÿ™‚

But I’ll start it anyway with this one! Anyone want to do another one for this movie?:

Phone booth time travel
Bill and Ted save world with tunes
Dust in the wind dude

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Snow Haiku

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Snow falls like a dream
Beautiful flakes of pure joy
I f**king hate it

Ok. That’s my grumpy and slightly drunk haiku from a while ago. The drink is wearing off now so I’m bored & posting a few snow photos from earlier. As you can see, I was trying to cheer myself up. Didn’t really work because, seriously, I hate snow. And cold. And, basically, October through April.

Now I’m writing movie haikus. Those are a bit better, I think, as I’m no longer tipsy. Maybe I’ll post some later. Or maybe I’ll just go to sleep… ๐Ÿ™‚

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