Monday, 29 August 2011

Recommended: "The skin i live in (La piel en la que habito)" by Almodovar


What a joy! Watching an Almodovar movie one day after work, it has made my day! I'll start by saying : CLASS!!! Aesthetic, artistic, original, fresh, sensual, action, thriller,exaggerated Spanish culture, superb acting, beautiful soundtrack with a delicate touch, great photography. This time, I'm not even going to read what critics have written about this film because i fucking, loved it and I don't care!!

Every time I watch an Almodovar film , I like him more and more ,maybe because i know him better, I love his typical characters in his movies and themes like : A relationship between a mum and his son/daughter ; sex and nudity treated in a natural and aesthetic way and also in an abrupt way , when he wants. High heels, make-up, tits, arses , pussies, a gun, some blood, dramatic and complicated relationship, true Spanish swearing ,annoying secondary female and or male characters with short but funny dialogues, aesthetic scenes decorated in a very original way all combined with the perfect soundtrack!

A must in Almodovar films, actress: Marisa Paredes and a mature Antonio Banderas, who also started his career with Almodovar and beautiful actress Elena Anaya, make the perfect combination. Some short but memorable lines: "yoga you can do it everywhere, at home, at prison.."; "what dress do you like? the stripped one?no; then this one: no.. etc" and of course the most touching and impacting moment : " I'm vicente" (soy vicente..).

Best actress for me: Elena Anaya.
Best song: The fab orchestra at the wedding with the black singer.
Most artistic moments: When Elena who plays Vera, starts drawing in the wall and when she starts ripping off her dresses and it's all on the floor (it looked like a painting to me..).
Best moment of the film: The end and all the Spanish touches (breakfast of toast with oil: cutting a Spanish ham, cooking "croquetas"..).
Best line: "He just wanted to have a cunt" (excuse my language..i'm just quoting..) and "I'm Vicente " (Of course)
Recommended? Yeah if you really know and understand Almodovar's way of filming, if it's your first Almodovar experience , then I'm not sure, to me when it finished I was really excited and happy!


Saturday, 27 August 2011

Romantic movie: One Day (2011) uhm, Recommended? Not sure


Gee I still have mixed feelings after having seen this film today, i was not very convinced while i was watching it and i was kind of regretting not having gone to see the new Almodovar's movie uhm, but something kept me in there, i didn't want to leave maybe because i had high expectations and i wanted to like it. I have to agree with the critics that the days in the movie go too fast and you don't get into the story. After a long time of not very convincing acting and dialogues, the last 30 minutes of the film really got me engaged and this is what made me doubt, whether if i liked it or not. The plot is basically about a complicated love story of 2 "friends" that lasts for 20 years and shows how tough and unexpected life can be and basically you have to seize the moment (I agree with the Carpe Diem attitude, by the way, although it's not always possible). Anyway, I'm happy i haven't read the best seller book before watching the film because i'm sure the book is much more powerful. To me, the idea of the love story is beautiful and the settings: Edinburgh, London and Paris (3 cities , I personally love).

Just after the film ended, we talked about buying the book and read it together, so only after we finish the book , i'll judge again this film or maybe watch it again uhm. So I have just bought it online! I can't wait to start reading it!

One thing is for sure the male protagonist Jim Sturgess is so cute!!! Not very good acting skills but who cares, he is still so cute! The main actress playing Emma, Anne Hatheway didn't blow me away either, sorry.

So , in a nutshell, go and see this film and judge for yourself but only if you really wanted to see it like me but don't expect much, just seat back and wait for the last 30 minutes lol.

By the way, the kiss from the poster of the movie, you wait for it a long time, i think it's part of the last 30 mins lol I'm maybe too passionate and wanted kisses and hugs from the beginning!! Come on!!!!!

Tomorrow more, I think Almodovar's movie is the one on the list!!

Humble Guide to help you find things to do apart from going to a pub in Dublin & surroundings !


I have heard many times already from different people from different nationalities that there is not much to do in Dublin and after more than 6 years living here and going to different cultural events regularly, I think I'm going to start sharing with you my little researches before I decide where to go or what to do, you usually find out after I have done things, so I'm going to try to inspire those people that still think that there is not much to do here, which is totally WRONG.

First of all,not to set up wrong expectations, there are some free events but you usually need some cash for the events I'll be writing about, you need to invest money and time on culture, so spare some euros & hours every week and give it a go!

My first post, I'm going to start with GENERAL TIPS to have an active life full of events (not suitable for people with 5 kids or one kid/baby giving more work than 5..sorry..):

1. Be organized ,I have already started planning on the google calendar what is coming this September, yes, rule number one start using google calendar to remember events that are coming (if you have a gmail account, you have one)! I'm going to do the research for you, so you save that part of going through different web pages and reading newsletters that I'm subscribed to.

2. If you attend one event and you like it, usually they have a newsletter where you can subscribe to and if there are similar events, they will email you. It's a good idea to create an email account only to receive this cultural newsletters. To give you an example, as I'm a big fan of the theatre & musicals,I'm subscribed to the major theaters in Dublin: Gate Theater, Gaiety Theater & Docklands Theater (the most modern one and my fav,also close to my place lol), Olimpia Theater & Abbey Theater. Of course a newsletter you should all receive should be: The one from ticketmaster! Specially if you like going to big gigs from time to time. Upps I almost forgot about the National Concert Hall newsletter where they offer mainly classical music concert (not always though) for a very affordable price (sometimes starting from 10 euros)

3. Of course check your newsletters inbox at least once a week, otherwise it doesn't make sense if you check it one month after the events have taken place! Yeah, you need to dedicate some time to go to the right events, people who seat on their bums at home without checking any information, will not find an event unless they find it in front of their eyes.

4. There is a lot of information out there when you walk around the streets, be vigilant, check the walls, posters and ads, even if you pass by a theater, have a look at the coming events! Same in the cinema. So for those fo you who go by car everywhere, leave it at home from time to time and WALK AROUND!!!

5. What? You are not still a member of the cinemaworld unlimited card, what are you waiting for??!! hello??? Unlimited cinema visits for less than 20 euros a month! Come on! If you go once it's almost 9 euros! With the card, your life will be full of stories to tell about all the movies you will see. Who can live without a new film on their lives every week? I can't!!! o.k. if you can, that's your choice.

6. Don't take me wrong, it's o.k. to go to pubs from time to time but please, if you do, choose the ones that at least have good live music, which, luckily is very easy to find in Dublin, start by going to the "Celt pub" in Talbot street and see the cute family that usually play there from Friday's to Sundays from 21.00, it's really worth it to have a pint with a free live concert!

7. If you have a hobby that you love, like me for example, photography, google it from time to time with the name of your town/city and the month and you should be able to find something linked to it either a course, festival or exhibition and of course if they have a facebook page, join it and you will get all the updates straight away (same for the theaters and deals)

8. If you are a food lover, look for other people with the same addiction to good food, talk about different restaurants you have been to, this way you will not always be going to the same places, for example i can start by recommending a very good Portuguese restaurant that actually a work colleague recommended to me (thanx Allan!), it's called "Nando's" , not suitable for vegetarians, since their main speciality is grilled chicken uhm!! delicious!!! It's located in Drum-Drum outside the shopping centre but they are opening to more branches in Dublin soon.

Another choice is to gather with your food-lovers friends and have a nice meal all together at their homes! Francesco if you read this, we need to do organize another meal soon!

9. As this is the first article,i'm not going to reveal all the secrets (so hold on!), so I 'll leave you with the last one I discovered a couple of months ago , Citydeal and similar pages ('i'm subscribed to 3 of them lol), where they offer events with discount starting from 35 to 50%). It's free to join and you can really find good stuff, you have to be patient and keep an eye because there are some uninteresting deals but perseverance is the key!

More to come soon and special edition for September 2011! After my posts you will be surprised of how much Dublin and suroundigs have to offer, so read them carefully !

Friday, 26 August 2011

French Romantic movie recommended: "Beautiful lies" with Audrey Tautotu


I saw this film 2 weeks ago and I wanted to write about it briefly since then, unfortunately I don't think it's still in the cinema but if you have the chance to see this French romantic comedy, don't miss it! It's a bit of a soap opera with a very funny touch, great to have a good time! Even me that couldn't understand much of what they were saying and I had to read the subtitles all the time (I'm sure for those who understand French,it's even funnier!), famous actress Audrey Tautou,some may remember her from the beautiful film of "Amelie" , and not so famous Nataly Baye (maybe she is very famous and I didn't know her upps) ,playing her mum, really did the trick. They both play a very good role, specially Nataly, I'd say. The big mess which can come out of a love letter sent to the wrong recipient and all the different situations will make you laugh for sure.I loved the end " Are you sure you wrote this letter?" lol. It's not a very complicated plot and it may not be the film of your life but to me, if I go to the cinema and i come out of the screen smiling, it means that my time was well invested! Of course, if you are not into romantic comedies and don't want to read subtitles, then stay homeeeee. Last but not least, yeah, I admit it, French can also make some good movies from time to time, not always though lol.

Next film on my list : The Rise of the planet of the apes!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Recommended song: Called out in the dark (new single from Snow Patrol!)


I have listened to this song a couple of times on the radio in the car and today i have decided that it was about time to know the name of the song! Not only i found that out but i have also found this karoke-like video and now i can sing along!! yeahhhhhh!! i know,i know that i can't sing but dont worry only y neighbours can hear me,no complaints so far lol I hope you enjoy this song from this alternative rock band from Northern Ireland :Snow Patrol (Gee all the music talent is in this country!!!) isn't it nice??!!!! I think i need to see them in concertttttt, this will be my goal next year!



Monday, 15 August 2011

Captain America (2011) " too American for me..geeee"


One more time my opinion goes against the critics and audience that score this film with a 79%, maybe I expected too much,not sure. One of my motivations to see this film was the gorgeous looking Chris Evans but guess what?I couldn't even enjoy this because from the beginning of the movie Chris head is "attached" (you can see that it was done with a computer) to a small skinny guy and this look does not go away when he becomes Captain America..,similar feeling I had when I saw Brad Pitt as an ugly old baby in "the curious case of Benjamin Button"(another movie that I hate deeply!!), there are some cinematographic scenes that cannot simply be erased. Well appart from Captain's American's looks all this patriotism with the American flags & cheesy moments did not convince us, yeah i write "us" because Andres agrees with me. Yeah, it has some cool effects and some cool moves but it's way to long with a poor plot behind, i should have gone to see somethingelse... This year, i'm getting disappointed with the super heroes movies, what is going on?? it's them or it's me?? Well, not that bad this weekend out of 4 , i loved 3 of the films , only this one did not win me over! Sorry Captain America's lovers..

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Mr Popper Penguin's (2011)


As a unconditional fan of Jim Carrey I had to go and see this film & I my expectations were fulfilled, I'm glad Ben Stiller's dropped out and Mr Popper was eventually played by Jim. It's a family oriented film, the penguins are so cute in it and the story is simple but touching. Jim plays a very busy business man, divorced and with a distant relationship with his son and daughter. One day he receives a gift from his father: A penguin. This will change his life and his relationship with his family and even at work! How would a penguin survive in Manhattan?!!It was great to see Angela Lansbury (the famous 80'ies icon Jessica Fletcher in "Murder she wrote", i didn't know she was still alive!!) on a movie after so long. Not sure if I can recommend this film to everyone, to Jim Carrey's fans, yeah and to parents that want to take their kids to see a cute film, yeah, to the rest I'm not sure. The rotten tomatoes page gives it a 59% score (the audience) and 47% (the critics), I agree with the audience score, a 60 is o.k. We enjoyed the film, we boh liked it and it made me laughed a couple of times and i found it sweet , too. Who doesn't love penguins??!!! I kept thinking of my nephew who actually love penguins and was waiting to see this film, I would have liked to see it with him.. I'm sure he would have loved it! Gee nothing to do with the film but Jim is getting older!!! I only hope he keeps on doing films, I like to see him at least once a year!Jim you rock, thanx for not disappointing me, i hate wasting time in the cinema!

Movie recommended: Bridesmaids (2011) HAHAHAHAH


This film wasn't actually on my movie "wish list" but I'm very happy that we went to see it on our Cinema marathon day! Just what i needed laugh out loud again lol but this time even louder than with "horrible bosses". It's incredible how movie scripts can have jokes in them that you haven't seen before. If you want to seat back & be entertained this is the film for you! Do not expect a deep plot or an unpredictable end but just expect to see funny scenes with very funny girls. To me,my favorite actresses were: Christen Wiig & Melissa MacCarthy. This group of bridesmaids with very different personalities will make you laugh, I assure you. Some of my fav bits: The scene in the car with Christen playing Annie andRose Byrne, playing Helen when they were trying to get the cop's attention; One of the first scenes with the same 2 girls saying the speeches for the bride to be (hilarious!). The scenes on the plane to Vegas with the different girls were very funny ,too and of course the scenes at the shower party, I would have reacted like Annie did LOL and of course the scenes were they were trying on the bride maids dresses, Melisa MacCarthy was just HILARIOUS lol, I could actually go on writing about funny moments and this does not happen often with funny films!! Another nice surprise I got from this movie was to listen and see after so long to the 80ies group Wilson Philips and their song " hold on"! gee im old that i know them!!

Don't think much about it because it has been in the cinema for 3 weeks now!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Beautiful song for a rainy August day in Dublin


She is called Adele and the song is called "rolling in the deep" , she reminds me a bit of the legendary Amy Winehouse..,well only the song , they don't have any other similarities! The power of good music that makes you forget that it's summer and it's raining cats and dogs and all the noe's arch! And yeah Andres is playing violin at the same time so...!! GREAT!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Laugh out loud in the Laughter Lounge in Dublin!


I couldn't have a better idea that celebrating my birthday in the Irish Comedy club called " Laughter Lounge", it helped me to cope with the pain of being one year older and not younger lol Believe me even though I'm a very cheerful person ,it's not easy to make me laugh and a whole audience from different countries at the same time, so loud! After Saturday night, I proved myself that after 6 years, I'm really integrated in the Irish culture, I know the tv programmes the played jokes about (4 weddings, super nanny, ross Kemp and the gangs..), the famous people, life style and way of talking! It was 10 of us, only one of us was Irish , the rest were concentrated to understand lol There were 3 comedians and the presenter who was also a comedian (Gar Murran).

Out of the three, We enjoy mostly 2 of them , the first one not so much for one simple reason, he was from the North of Ireland and had a very rural tough accent and it was very local..,maybe he was good, i'll never know lol we couldn't understand him very well. The other 2 were just hilarious!!! The second one (Can't remember his name..) played a lot of jokes about t.v. and music,he played the guitar and even sang, he imitated u2 in a funny way and current music talent lol (uhhhh!!). I liked his jokes about super nanny and when he grew up being raised with a wooden spoon instead of a naughty chair and that he would use it with the bunch of little bastards that are in super nanny programme lol. He also talked about the amount of money American couples spend on 4 weddings and that once he went to a wedding and somebody asked him about it and he said : 8 for the overall presentation, 5 for the dress lol He also played a lot of jokes about toilet wet tissue and how cool he was because he bought a flashy yellow vest to laugh at people and it worked (people listening to him ,when he stop traffic in the vest lol). In between the acts the fab hilarious Irish comedian : Gar Murran , picked on the audience improvising jokes, I was lucky that he didn't hear that it was my birthday, believe me LOL, he picked on 2 hen partys (one with 14 guests and the other with 10) and one stag party, with them he found jokes for the whole night and me and Raquel specially, who were on the second row laughed very loud every time he came to the stage. Gar also told jokes about facebook, me being a facebook addict i laughed out loud again , he spoke about old school mates sending you invitations in facebook or people who don't greet you and what to do and consequences (if you ignore them, invitations keep coming lol). He aslo joked about relationship break ups by texts and the difference between men and women when looking at pictures (women looking at them for hours and thinking of the situation, when it was etc and men dont even remembering when the pic was taken!So true!) I had a chance to congratulate Gar on the show just after it such a nice guy! fresh, natural and spontaneous!

Well going back to the comedians, the last one who was actually the star of the show , the other 2 comedians were guests, was Dubliner Willie White from Ballymoon. I had a chance to see him a couple of years ago in another comedy night at the international pub and gee he is fucking funny and excuse my language! He played jokes mainly about knackers lifestyle in a very exaggerated way, believe me everybody was crying when laughing, the 10 of us agreed that he was the best. His jokes about the burberry's t-shirt he had on when he said: "you will be wondering ,what the heck is a guy from Ballymoon like me wearing a brandname t-shirt, it's either robbed or counterfeit" " well ,it's actually both" (LOL). He also said that he used to sell drugs and that he ,himself, was his worse costumer. He had a strong northern accent but i could understand him perfectly and I would pay again to see him, he can make anybody laugh, of course you have to be used to Dubliner's north accent to understand him otherwise, it can be tough!

So what are you waiting for? If you live in Dublin and you ahven't been to any of the laughter lounge shows, book online and go! it starts at 20.30 and it finishes at around 23.30, laughing non-stop. you need to book in advanced via the webpage, you cannot buy the tickets at the doors ,specially because it's usually fully booked. The place is very nice, they have it very well organized: cloakroom for one euro, cocktails for 7,50 euros (mojitos!), wine,beer and you can pre-order fingerfood or have some nachos on the night. If oyu go don't forget to have a picture taken in the free photo booth, they will be posted in their facebook page for free and you can tag yourselves (I share with you the one we took of ourselves!!). And no I'm not working for them or anything!

I leave you with a video of Gar:

http://www.myspace.com/video/garmurran/stand-up-comedy-laughter-lounge-dublin-part-one/52022098

and willie white:

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Beginners (2011)


And yeah i have managed to finally see this movie! How can i describe it: I loved the colours, the images, the dialogues, the game with in and out of focus with the camera, the drama, the protagonists, the dog and of course the story as a whole! It's about life and death, about relationships that go through different stages in different times. It's about changes throughout history, it's about overcoming fears, about love & magic that some people have and it's also about looking for happiness! I cried with Ewan Mcgregor but I also felt happiness, i really got into his unique love story with cute Anna (played by French actress Melanie Laurent) and into his relationship with his mum when he was a kid and into his relationship with his dad when he came out of the closet at 75 years old. Ewan's dad is played by Christopher Plummer, he is damm good, he plays such a good role. I loved the way the story was told going back and forth in time and showing pictures of the past and sometimes even only colours. If you want to feel and a movie that makes you think, this is the right one. While watching this movie I thought of so many things of my life.., it was so real..

The movie is now in the cinema, at least in Ireland, it's not a commercial one and maybe not for everybody ,it's more for sensitive people who like stories being told in a different way.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Manchester : Lively city with plenty of bars & restaurants






Well many people would be surprised of what Manchester has to offer, it's not all about football and rough areas, it's a city with a big contrast between modern and old English architecture. It's very mixed with different nationalities, people wear and do what they want and nobody cares and they live together, sometimes it was even hard to see British people around! I loved their hairstyles, so different! Same about their clothing style , very edgy and different,not everybody cup of tea but i found it so 80ies/70 ies, they are like in another era!. I wish i could have had a long conversation with one of the locals about the city but we could not understand a word when they were talking, same there when we talked they could not understand us either lol I think we are ready to go to Liverpool now (another city with a tough accent to understand!). We got many recommendations from people of bars & restaurants to go to and areas like : Castlefield with its canals dating form the Roman era where all the city of Manchester started. This is was my fab part, just before getting there you could see the big tall Hilton tower where there is a bar on the top, again my vertigo did not let me go in there, anyway i would not pay 20 pounds for a cocktail there thanx. It was beautiful to see the contrast of the Hilton tower with the Roman architecture. There were many nice terrace bars along the canal where you could have grilled food and/or a drink (I recommend " a daiquiri" o "pi~na colada") , our fav place is called: "Bohemia Bar & grill", which is very busy over the weekend but it's worth waiting. Yeah there were cafeterias & grill bars everywhere and I love grills and coffee!! They also put almonds and olives in most of the bars we went to, i felt like home!! They were really tasty and it was loud inside bars, yeah people talking loud very loud! I loved that! There were restaurants from all around the world, probably due to its multiculturalism.

Our hotel was located only 5 mins away from the station on London road, ideal location just minutes away from piccadilly gardens (centre),it's called "Mc Donald Manchester", Chinatown (a bit smelly place but interesting,anyway), the gay quarter (ideal to have a fun crazy night with all sort of people in shapes and colours lol) and a bit further the beautiful Townhall, National Gallery (St Peter's square) ,the shopping area on Market street, the cathedral and Printworks (go inside, i almost miss it!). A bit further away is Castlefield, you can get there by tram or even on foot (30 mins from piccadilly station / return ticket 2,60 pounds) where you can find the canals & bars i talked about and also the Science museum (free entry). If you are into modern architecture and art, you should go to Harbour city by tram and get to Media city, this part was the most modern of them all (it reminded me of the Docklands area in Dublin) and it also has the Lowry art galley with a theatre,cinema and library (We were lucky to see an Andy Warhol exhibition called "The divas", fab! i totally recommend it for Warhol's lovers like me!). Crossing the river you have the Manchester United stadium and the Imperial war museum. As you can see , you will not get bored in Manchester. Yeah there are rough areas in the city but you don't need to go there as a tourist and yeah it's not the cleanest of the cities (specially piccadilly garden..) but it has other things you can't imagine. We stayed there for 3 nights and we had a great time, i recommend it for a weekend break,maybe not to study English ..but for a break, yeah!!! and remember they have pounds so nothing is cheap..you need a good budget! And yeah ,we could not find the tv set for Shameless but we saw a couple who looked like the protagonist of the famous t.v. serie lol

Last but not least i wanted to leave you with some recommendations we got in case they are useful to you:

Nice places
Room(great cocktails)-top of king street
Grinch –great lunch
Northern Quarter bars
Canal Street-Velvet (gay area)

Deansgate
Goucho Grill(behind Kendals)
Living Room
Hilton Tower –cloud 23
Panache
Good atmosphere
LAVA bar
Cocktail bar at Selfridges


Science Museum
Coronation street set


Triangle –shops
Shoes Moda en Pelle for girls


AVOID
:
Deansgate locks
Printworks
Market Street-pickpockets


Places to See