2017 Challenges: April Recap

Wooo boy, only two weeks late with this one, but it’s been kind of hectic, you know? April is done, that means we’re 1/3 of the way through the year, so I should be 1/3 of the way through all of my totals… right? Right?!

Make 10 new cosplays (including one entirely from scratch)
MCM London is next week, and as previously mentioned, I’m doing three new cosplays. That’ll bring my total for the year up to 5, so that’s pretty good going! One of my cosplays for next week I have also made entirely from scratch, and I’m really happy with it so far! I did have a minor meltdown over the wig and the trousers, but I’m through it now (touch wood). I still have some finishing touches to do on each of them, but I’m excited to share photos when they’re done!

For those interested, this is my line-up:

mcm lineup

Watch 30 anime series
I had been doing really well at this challenge, but I feel my progress has slowed down a bit the closer it’s getting to con and the more time I’ve had to spend working on cosplay. It’s really hard to watch anime in the background of cosplay as I find I need to concentrate quite heavily on both activities (I am quite prone to sewing in sleeves inside-out).

Having said that, since last month, I’ve managed to watch the first season of Black Butler, which brings the total to five completed anime series. To refresh, that’s:

  1. LoveLive! School Idol Project
  2. Voltron: Legendary Defender (s01)
  3. Vampire Knight
  4. Vampire Knight: Guilty
  5. Black Butler (s01)

I need to majorly up my game on this one!

Platinum 12 games
This is the part of the list where things start to get a bit less impressive… so the less said about this one the better, I think. *coughnoplatinumtrophiescough*

Watch 30 new ‘old’ films
I think what is needed is a weekend where I just obliterate this list, but until then, I will have to be satisfied with my one tick on this list of thirty.

Watch 60 films at the cinema
Look! An actual challenge I’m on track for! I’ve seen 20 films at the cinema so far, so bang on target for the time of the year!

Clear the gaming backlog
So little progress has been made on this challenge, I still haven’t even made the list yet.

News: BAFTA Rising Star nominations announced

With awards season on the horizon, the nominees have been announced for BAFTA’s EE Rising Star Award.

The five nominees have had a remarkable year between them, and with huge films ahead of them the future sets to be even brighter for them.

Leading the pack is home-grown talent Jack O’Connell. Star of cult TV teen drama Skins, and more recently the lead in the Angelina Jolie directed film Unbroken, O’Connell has gone from the small screen to appearing in huge blockbusters, also appearing in last year’s 300: Rise of An Empire.

Up next is Gugu Mbatha-Raw, who is probably most known as the titular character from 2013 period drama Belle. We’ll see her next in sci-fi flick Jupiter Ascending.

Miles Teller, star of the critically acclaimed, but yet to be released in the UK, Whiplash has also received a well-earned nomination. Teller will star as Reed Richards (Mr. Fantastic) in the upcoming reboot of Fantastic Four.

Margot Robbie is next in the shortlist, most recognisable from her recent role as Naomi Lapaglia in The Wolf Of Wall Street. Robbie has certainly come a long way from her role as Donna Freedman in Australian soap Neighbours, and has been recently cast as two iconic characters in upcoming films; Jane in Tarzan, and Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad.

Finally, rounding off the pack is Shailene Woodley, star of the Divergent series and last year’s blub-fest, The Fault In Our Stars.

I don’t know about you, but my money is on Miles Teller to win. The winner of the EE Rising Star award is selected by public vote, so it really is anyone’s award!

The BAFTA ceremony is on February 8th.

Image taken from BBC News.

Review: Monsters University

Glastonbury festival is universally known for having something for everyone. As a film lover, I’m always interested in what’s on offer at the Glastonbury cinema, the Pilton Palais. Unfortunately, as most of it clashes with the musical acts, I don’t see many films there; in fact, of the two times I’ve been to Glastonbury, I’ve only seen two films at the Palais, both Pixar offerings.

Historically, Glastonbury has a way of obtaining the rights to early previews of Pixar films. In 2008 they showed Wall-E, and back in 2010, when I went, the Palais hosted a preview screening of Toy Story 3, six months before the film was due for general release. This year it was the turn of Monsters University, Pixar’s first prequel.

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Previous experience with the Toy Story 3 screening had taught me that these previews tend to garner a huge crowd. Not wanting to miss out, we turned up over an hour early for the showing and waited it out in the queue with the daily paper. Sitting in the queue and subsequently the tent, you really soak up the atmosphere; lots of excited children, and plenty more excited adults.

The film got off to a bad start with some technical difficulties (which also occurred later on too), but where a cinema audience might have complained, the festival viewers remained in high spirits with the children keeping themselves entertained making monster noises.

Once the film finally got underway (and later technical difficulties aside), it was much more than I hoped it would be. What could easily have strayed into an unnecessary Cars 2-esque sequel, was actually a charming new exploration of much-loved characters a la Toy Story.

Monsters University creates a real shift into the perception of characters. I’ve never been much of a Mike fan, seeing his character in Monsters, Inc. as a bossy control freak, who frankly, was a bit of a jerk. Monsters University really changed my opinion of Mike, and also Sully who goes from a loveable giant, to the atypical college burnout, who constantly butts heads with Mike.

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As the film and plot unravel, it is interesting to see the dynamic between Mike and Sully change, as the two go from rivals to develop the basis of the true friendship we all know from Monsters, Inc. The viewer is left with a deeper understanding of what drives the characters in the first film, including Randall, though he does not feature heavily in Monsters University.

The film is a great addition to the Pixar catalogue, and got me a lot more interested in the Monsters, Inc. world than I was before. The film is funny in all the right places, and as tense in parts as animated films get. Any reservations I had about the film were quickly dissipated as the film went on, and I have been telling anyone who will listen just how good the film is.

8.0