Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier – A Review

Hello, hello! I know, I haven’t been very active lately, but now I’m back with a brand new movie review on Marvel’s latest hero story! I’ll try very hard not to spoiler anything. But please read with caution!

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Marvel is pretty good when it comes to marketing. Want to know why? Well. They do so much more than just releasing a movie every few months – they are creating a universe where everything is affected by another. So each movie is part of a bigger picture.

Last fall, they started a whole series around agent Coulson and a team of S.H.I.E.L.D agents. (No superheroes there, just incredibly talented and clever humans). This show has connected both the Thor 2 movie and now the Winter Soldier. So basically, when a new movie comes out, the series stops for a few weeks and then incorporates  the events of the movies into the next episodes. How grand is that? It’s perfect marketing.

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Of course you can still watch the series without knowing what happens in the movies or rather you can decide to get the spoilers in the series. But really. Who wants that? I certainly don’t, so basically that’s why I ended up going to the cinema yesterday. Because I am completely hooked and want to know everything that happens in Marvel’s universe. And I hate spoilers.

Let see then, what I thought of Winter Soldier.

I watched the 3D Version – and it was bombastic. I loved the visual effects, not only during the explosions and action scenes, but also the general depth added by 3D. I can’t really remember the last movie I saw with 3D technology, but I think Winter Soldier so far was the best experience I ever had with 3D. It felt just real, not too overwhelming, not too forced. Thumbs up for that!

 

The cast was mostly known, Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson and Cobie Smulders starred in previous productions such as The Avengers. But there were some fresh faces as well, such as Anthony Mackie as Falcon and Sebastian Stan as the Winter Soldier. In my opinion, the cast was good, not great. They act well together, but I was missing a certain brilliance, some sort of deeper connection that makes me forget the names of the actor and completely believe in the characters. If I had to pick one, I’d say Scarlett Johansson had the best performance. I love the character Black Widow and she got the whole package: action scenes, a lot of funny remarks and some thoughtful inside moments. I still have no clue who she really is or what happened to her, but I felt that her character was portrayed very nicely and believable. I also liked the bantering between her and Steve Rogers. (Apologies to all Cap fans out there, I never really liked that character. It’s not Chris Evans fault. Or maybe it is.)

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What I like about the Marvel movies is that in the end, there is always some sort of positive resolution, but the development to that moment is the most important part. The plot was interesting, not too complex but also not too shallow. There were some nice twists in there, I had a couple of “No that did NOT just happen!” moments – then again, some major surprises weren’t too surprising for me because of what happens in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D series. There were tons of references to previous movies, especially the previous Captain America movie. But for those who are not familiar with Steve Roger’s story, Marvel found a nice way of explaining the most important things: there are a few flashbacks and they also have a Captain America museum which plays a minor role.

The fighting sequences are breathtaking, there are some major badass moves (I love the  Black Widow’s fighting style and Steve’s round shield!). I was not the only person in the cinema who was stunned and thought “Wooooow what was that just know”. There were a few scenes – let’s call them “touching” – which were, to me at least, disappointing. For example the after-showdown scene between Cap and Bucky. Or what happens to Nick Fury. But that is just a personal feeling. I didn’t cry. I usually cry at those moments.

Let’s wrap it up: I liked the movie. It was good entertainment, fantastic visuals and a solid performance by a mostly known cast. The storyline was ok, some surprises but mostly building up to a reasonably good ending. There were moments where I was literally sitting in my seat rubbing my hands in excitement because I knew what was about to happen. Loved that. It feels so much better if you know more about the whole universe; I think I got a lot more references than the people next to me (who didn’t know much about the whole Marvel thing).

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If you liked the previous Marvel productions, go and see this one. It’s really worth it. Maybe not the best movie of the year, but definitely a good one. They left me and all the others with a huge cliff hanger, foreshadowing exciting events for the future, both the series and other movies. (I get the feeling Loki will be part of that future, yup, yup. But that’s just me.) You have to stay until the end though, to see it!

Also, if you haven’t already done that, go and watch the series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. It helps to understand. And it’s fun to watch!(And if you haven’t seen any of the Marvel movies – start with Iron Man and then go up chronologically. It makes more sense that way ;) )

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So 2014 already started, happy belated New Year!

… and happy first anniversary to this blog! Can you believe it’s been a whole year since I started writing about my experience? Time has moved so fast. The past year has been full of amazing new people and new places. I learned so much, both academically and about myself. I will use all this knowledge in the future to be a better person (or just to have a better life, selfish as I am…)

So to all of my readers, thank you for journeying with me, no matter how brief your walk with me and my blog was. I appreciate every view and every comment. :)

As a small treat, here’s the link to my newest music video! (It opens in a new window, so go ahead and click…) We recorded this song over Christmas.

This week, I also started my internship in an internationally renowned Consulting Company here in Germany. Not as a consultant though, but as part of the Recruiting team. It’s so much fun! It also takes up almost all of my time, so I won’t be writing much for the next two months.

Keep smiling and enjoy your life. Until the next post!

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It’s Christmas time!

Good evening everybody, I hope you had a wonderful advent so far! I just wanted to stop by and wish all of you a happy, merry Christmas. Enjoy your time with your family and friends, or just have a relaxing evening without any fuss.

There won’t be any snow where I live, but maybe some of you will be lucky enough to get a white Christmas. (If you don’t like snow, just pack it up and send it to me!)

Celebrate with your family, unwrap gifts, have a huge Christmas dinner – and always remember, it’s not about what you get, it’s what you can give and the time you spend together that is the most precious thing.

So, let me say it again: MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

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The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug – A Review

This review might contain spoilers. If you have not seen this movie, the previous one or read the book, do so first ;)

Yesterday was the day. I finally got to see the second part of the Hobbit, which I had been waiting for forever (a year, but that is so long!). I was so excited; I literally was jumping in my seat when it started and silently clapping my hands. However, I left the cinema slightly less ecstatic than last time. The movie was great, amazing pictures and all, but they changed the story a bit too much for my liking. I read the book after the first part last year and was amazed at how close they stayed to the story, but this time there was so much more action than in the original book. They also changed the scene with Beorn, the scenes in the forest, the scenes in the mountain, what happens in Dale… I like that they added Legolas, but the female elf and the blooming love triangle just seems forced. It’s not flowing, not natural. Too bad. (They also added about 1000 orcs. And they are all so handsome!)

Martin Freeman as Bilbo is downright hilarious. There are a lot more funny moments, and they are most of the time nonverbal. The way Bilbo moves, looks, shrugs, whatever. I couldn’t help but burst out laughing – as did the whole cinema. Amazing, amazing, amazing actor.

What I also thought amazing was Smaug. I regret that I couldn’t watch the movie in English because I really want to hear Benedict Cumberbatch’s voice, but the German part wasn’t bad at all. Nice dialogue, fantastic animation. I actually like Smaug! Spoiler alert: He gets massive screen time. Deservedly so.

In total, I really liked the movie. I laughed, I was excited and I feared for our heroes. Although there were many changes to the story, it still makes sense in a way. As usual, Peter Jackson did an excellent job at capturing the scenes with so many details (look out for the very first scene in the movie, guess who’s walking past?) . I was not as flashed as last time, but then it is always hard for a sequel to live up to the previous one.

I will definitely watch the Hobbit again in English as soon as I possibly can (when’s the DVD release??). And then start waiting another year to get to see the finale. Oh Peter Jackson, what are you doing to me? :D thcc_bilbo_01

 

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Happy First Advent!

It has begun, the last 24 days until Christmas and today is not only the 1st of December, but also the First Advent.

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For those of you who are lucky enough to have a chocolate calendar or anything like that: Enjoy it and spread the love! Don’t underestimate the power of getting a treat or even better, something your family/friend/partner made for you especially. It’s not just chocolate – it is edible love. :)

For those of you who don’t have one – don’t be too sad! I give you a virtual hug and wish you a happy Christmas time nonetheless. You should also check the calendars that some people came up with. For example, you can get some kind of free software from CHIP. There are special offers from Weltbild and if you participate in the daily quizzes at the Sueddeutsche, you can win stuff (Those are mainly in German). The online calendar from the Liverpool Museums shows you different photographs and art. And here you can play a cute little game each day.

I hope you enjoy the coming days and have enough spare time to relax and recharge your energy. Me, I’m writing a few exams and other fun stuff like that, so you gonna have to do the relaxing for me.

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Hunger Games: Catching Fire – A Review

I went to the cinema last week to finally see Catching Fire. I had been anticipating this movie since the first part came out, so I am glad the wait is over. It was rather spontaneous, I found the special one-time screening in English only about two days earlier (and there was no way I would endure the torture of watching this movie in German.)

The movie was just as fascinating as the first part. As a huge fan of the book series, I was both excited and afraid to see all these characters and settings on screen, but they did a good job and I really loved it. The costumes are downright amazing, I want some of the dresses RIGHT NOW! Effie’s look is hilarious as usual and Katniss has some awesome dresses as well.

The relationships between all the characters are portrayed lovely. The old ones as well as the new ones. For example Finnick and Johanna are some of my favourites and in my opinion, Prim has developed much since the last movie. You can tell she grew up and understands her responsibilities. Also, you just gotta love Haymitch!

I can’t say much about the surprising twists and stuff like that, since I know that story almost by heart and I knew what was coming. Still, I was curious and excited about HOW they would represent certain events. Although I imagined the arena differently, I still liked it.

The soundtrack is also lovely, I believe music is a vital part of the success of a movie. In Catching Fire, the music, settings/landscapes, characters and costumes are very well done, you can tell how much detail they put into every scene. I will now wait patiently until the DVD comes out and then until the third part will hit the theatres. Geez. Will be another years or so, right?

Well, go and see Catching Fire now and experience for yourself the weird, twisted and hopeful story of Katniss and Panem. And may the odds be EVER in your favour.

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Improve your life with Disney

You think Disney movies are nothing more than silly stories for little children with characters that burst into song every other minute? Well, think again.

Having grown up with Disney and never having stopped loving it, there are many nuggets of wisdom I have learned and engraved into my heart. Disney is more than a company that produces movies. It is a way of life. Not only do you learn the basics of social interaction – like “Don’t lie”, “Don’t accept gifts from creepy people”, “Don’t judge by appearances” – Disney is also the ultimate way to motivate yourself. To work towards a dream, to go the distance, to believe in oneself and the people around you, to appreciate your family, to never give up. Those are values one should always remember.

Apart from those really deep thoughts that Disney incorporates in each and every movie they do, the stories are just heartwarming, funny and filled with songs that just cheer you up or give you an extra boost when you need it. I cannot tell you how many times a Disney song was exactly what I needed to feel better or to get up and dance around the flat. Humming a song just makes me smile and positive thoughts lead to positive energy lead to positive working outcomes. Apparently, this incredibly easy way to improve your mood has now seeped into the harsh business world, as this article shows. So people, start singing, humming, drumming, whatever it is you do best!

In the (un?)likely case you are in a situation where bursting into song might lead to incredible embarrassment, try the mute version of Disney – looking at Disney art. My favourite way of doing this is by visiting this blog: Oh-my-Disney! Seriously guys, put this onto your favourites, for this blog never fails to make you laugh and jump around in giddy happiness. It is also addictive, so beware! ;)

I guess all I want to express with this post can be summed up with this. Cheers.

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Of calendars and to-do-lists

Hey people!

I figured it might be time for a new entry. I haven’t written in ages, primarily because nothing interesting happened (at least nothing interesting to YOU guys). University has started about a month ago and I have fallen into the same half-zombie mode as usual: waking up some time between 7 and 10 am, going to classes and afterwards going home to eat and relax.  Since we don’t have mandatory attendance this semester, the courses are pretty much empty all the time. I admit I’m not always following the prof, but at least I subconsciously absorb a little of information. And I get to rearrange my folders, clean the laptop, write mails and work on essays. If I stayed at home, I’d just hang in front of the TV and do nothing. I prefer being productive at least a couple hours a day, so going to classes for me is a good thing.

Every Tuesday I go to a small student pub to play table football. I love that because it’s fun, you get to know a lot of new folks and it’s practically next door. It’s a shame my friend and I discovered it only shortly before we went abroad, but now it is a fixed date in our calendars.

Calendars – a great topic to talk about. Do you guys keep one? I remember I never had one until I started university. It is the ultimate symbol of how complicated my life got. In high school I could remember all my classes and appointments I had. I could freely decide to visit a friend in the afternoon and I had pretty much free time every weekend.

I chatted with a friend last week and she asked me if we could meet at some point and I told her that yes, in March there were some openings in my schedule. She didn’t believe me, but it is true. My calendar is a very precious thing and every day something else is added to the already tight schedule. Every weekend I have plans to either visit somebody or to be visited. I am happy, of course, to meet all my friends that I haven’t seen during my stay abroad, but Jesus, the year is short! If I visited all the people who I got to know the last years and who I consider friends or at least close acquaintances, I’d be away more than half of all the weekends in the year. So tough luck, it’s not quite possible, though I’d love to do it.

Do you guys like lists? To-Do-lists? I certainly do. I have one huge big expendable one that consists of everything I need to do this year. I wrote it down because if I tried to keep it all in my head, I’d be going crazy. Exams, presentations, planning the bachelor thesis and my future (which at this point is still rather foggy), getting medical appointments, changing my tires (which involves driving home to my parents because that’s where the workshop is), planning Halloween, Christmas and New Year and throwing in some fun things like karaoke or the cinema. I cannot imagine living from week to week, like I used to and like some of my friends at other universities still do. On the one hand I envy them, because it can be frustrating looking at the calendar and not seeing much free time. On the other hand I love planning and I know it is necessary to be organized. And oh, the happy feeling when I can scratch something off the list! (It happens way too seldom, though). Today I’ll be able to do it, because writing my blog is also on this list. So yay, I have one bullet point to scratch off!

But don’t worry, I’ll keep writing. Got some things in mind for the next entry already. Cheers!

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How long will I love you – Cover version

Hello everybody, here is a new video from me and my brother. So this goes out to all of the lovers and also to those who have not yet found their significant other. I hope you like it!
My brother did the video as a surprise for my birthday (which is today) and I certainly love it. :)

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Barcelona Pictures

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