Back on the Saddle!

I thought about this a lot. If I have an interest to write this blog. And if I can find time. But as long as I have time to binge-watch Netflix, I also have time to write my blog.

Let’s take an update.

I live in Amsterdam now. I’m in exchange. For my studies that I started two years ago. If you’re interested in reading more about me and my actual life, not just about movies, feel free to browse “The List Lover” posts that you can find from the left side menu.


I’m still pursuing my dreams. One way or another. I will be studying Business of Sports and Events during my time in Amsterdam. That will start on Monday. And after that I will have my practical training aka Internship time. I have quite big dreams concerning that but I will talk about it later.

So, how about my lists. Well, as you, who have read my blog earlier, know I love the Oscars. And I already made my early (very long lists of) predictions for next February. Check them here. And please feel free to tell me if I’ve forgotten something. Or make suggestions for the best documentary category, I’m so lost with that one. Thankfully, I will be here in Amsterdam when they are having IDFA, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam in November, the mother of documentary film festivals.

Then, IMDB top-250. Yeah, I haven’t watched any since January. Yay for me… Tomorrow I’ll be seeing Manhattan though. I’m going to visit the Eye that is contemporary movie culture centre in here Amsterdam and they are showing the film.

Ok. 50/50. I haven’t watched that many films this year to be honest. But I did see 15/64 in cinemas. That’s not bad, I think. I listed the series, just to explain to myself why there aren’t more films in the list.

Well, my Bucket List. I’ve started number 56. Hah, I actually had my IQ tested (66). It’s normal. I never thought it would be very high but at least a bt. To be honest. It’s not. Wow. I’ve been too honest there… Well, what’s written it’s written… I guess. Number 90. is thankfully getting closer everyday.

And lastly, my list of 101 things in 1001 days. The deadline is gone. I managed to do quite many things from the list:

1. Get into some school to study something you really want to study and stay there. 

Still there.

Then I volunteered at film festivals (though I still want to go to Sundance or Toronto), joined Pinterest and Twitter (still using both) and started a blog (actually two but other one is in Finnish). I unpacked and then packed again as I don’t have home in Finland anymore. I saw new artists and tried new foods and restaurants and shot more people with my camera. I got new haircuts and new glasses as well. I made a short film, I used earrings and started to use more feminine clothes altogether. I saw Wicked and Supernatural season 6 (it was a drag…). I visit Lapland and Louvre. I got a bicycle(s, actually). And I got a pasta machine from my friends for my birthday (didn’t by it myself but who cares!). I managed to do 36/101. Not bad. And I will continue it. From now on it’ll be list of 55 things in 555 days.



The Day After the Oscars

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Ok, let’s take a look at some of the categories that I predicted incorrectly or where the gongs went where I did not want them to go. Or something. Let’s just take a look.

By far the biggest disappointed for me was Boyhood losing to Birdman. Birdman was a good film but I didn’t like it that much and I think Linklater did something special there. He should have also won the director award. So sorry that he didn’t. I did predict that Iñarritu’s win in directing, so only half wrong. I also hoped that Whiplash would’ve gotten the best picture but I knew it would not. But it’s still the best film of the year and one of the best ones ever.


I was happy with all the acting categories, so no complaints there. I also got all of them correct. I was first disappointed that Whiplash didn’t get the gong for the adapted screenplay but Graham Moore who won for The Imitation Game was so touching and worthy in the end that it’s ok. Birdman got the other and that was expected. As was its win for cinematography. Well deserved.

I predicted The Grand Budapest Hotel for the costume design and the production design and I also wanted it to win, pretty, pastel picture as it is. The makeup and hairstyling I predicted to go to Foxcatcher but there I was wrong as The Grand Budapest Hotel took that too. It’s ok. I also got the best original score correct by predicting it to go to The Grand Budapest Hotel.


The best surprise of the evening was Whiplash winning for editing. So glad of that! I predicted Boyhood but damn, I’m glad I was wrong!

The best song went to Selma, John Legend’s and Common’s Glory as I predicted and after that touching performance thought it went to the best choice of them even though I liked Everything Is Awesome before the gala.

I’m sad that I was right in predicting American Sniper to win the sound editing, that film sucks. And very glad that Whiplash won for the sound mixing, it definitely deserved that. And every other award it has won. Visual effects went to Interstellar, no surprise there.

The animated feature went to Big Hero 6 that I haven’t seen but I thought it would go to How to Train Your Dragon 2. Citizenfour got the award for the best documentary like probably everybody predicted and the foreign language film went to Ida, as anticipated. I also had all the short films correct, they went to Feast (animated), Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 (documentary) and The Phone Call (live action).

neilpatrickharrisSome other thoughts concerning the Oscars. I liked Neil Patrick Harris as a host but Ellen DeGeneres last year was better. The performances were boring and good. On the latter side were Glory, Lady Gaga with her Sound of Music tribute (and the crowning of that was very genuine Julie Andrews thanking her) and of course Everything is Awesome. With Will Arnett. The best speeches were given by J.K. Simmons who urged everyone to call their parents, Common who talked about the inequality that is still present in the world of today and Graham Moore who told “I tried to commit suicide at 16 and now I’m standing here,I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.”

What did you think this years Oscars? Good, bad? Did the right films win?

Oscars Predictions – winners 2015

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.


I’ve been so badly neglecting this blog but the Oscars are something I just can’t miss, so here are my predictions for winners and under them, the ones that I think are the best ones in each category:




DIRECTOR: Alejandro Gonzales Iñarritu – Birdman

(Richard Linklater – Boyhood)

ACTOR: Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

(I don’t know… I guess Michael Keaton – Birdman)birdman

ACTRESS: Julianne Moore – Still Alice


SUPPORTING ACTOR: J.K. Simmons – Whiplash


SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood








grandbudapestCOSTUME DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel

(I guess The Grand Budapest Hotel)

EDITING: Boyhood

(Whiplash, even though I can understand the work in Boyhood and it’s extraordinary)



PRODUCTION DESIGN: The Grand Budapest Hotel

(The Grand Budapest Hotel)

SCORE: The Grand Budapest Hotel

(I really can’t choose, I like all of them; Desplat; I don’t care from which one)

SONG: Glory – Selma

(Everything Is Awesome – Lego Movie)

SOUND EDITING: American Sniper




VISUAL EFFECTS: Interstellar


ANIMATED FEATURE: How to Train Your Dragon 2

(Lego Movie… Yeah, I know BUT it really was robbed)

DOCUMENTARY: Citizenfour



(Wild Tales)


(Feast is the only one I’ve seen…)

DOCUMENTARY SHORT: Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press

(No opinion.)


(And again; no opinion)


Have a great the Oscars night everyone!


Final Oscar Nominations Predictions 2015

The 85th Academy Awards® will air live on Oscar® Sunday, February 24, 2013.Tomorrow is again the day when The Academy will announce the Oscar nominations. And here are my final predictions that I first made sometime in the spring 2013. Some of the films that I predicted to get some noms, actually are still here on this list. But most of them are not. I had hard time deciding with some of the categories, the leading lady being the toughest. I only right now decided to ditch Marion Cotillard and put Ms. Amy as my fifth choice. They do love to dominate her in Academy and there usually have been at least one different choice between Screen Actors Guild and the Oscars.

Another that I struggled were directors. I really wanted to put first timer Damien Chazelle there as he is young and apparently very talented (haven’t seen Whiplash yet, so I can’t really say my own opinion) but he is total newcomer, so I don’t think it’s his time yet. In adapted screenplay category I left Inherent Voice out but it can be also easily in. In editing, I so much wanted to put Interstellar there but as Editing is “the magic category” where you need to have your film to be if you want it to have a chance to win the best picture, it is unfortunately out. (Btw, like there’s any question which film will the best this year… And its editing has been such a job!)


In original score I was tempted to put Under the Skin there but as there will be a new name in Icelandic Jóhann Jóhannsson of The Theory of Everything (my choice for win, I love that soundtrack!), I doubt there’s room for more new ones, they like to support the old, familiar composers in this category. But I’m not complaining, Desplat is way due after six nominations and this year, I predict he’ll get to for The Imitation Game and Unbroken (one of those films that I picked to be in this pack already back in 2013). In Song category I chose Patti Smith instead of Lorde. And in sound editing I left out The Hobbit 3. It was such a bad film, I kind of hope it won’t get any nominations. And in mixing I left out Fury. I’m still a bit bad with those two categories as I don’t properly understand them.

As you can see right below, I left my two extra choices to be seen in Best Picture as they can be in too. I have only seen Gone Girl, Boyhood and Nightcrawler of the bunch so far but this weekend I will see Birdman as it comes out here  in Finland and so will all the others one by one during the next five weeks. Happy Oscar time, folks! At the Oscars site you can watch live the nominations announcements: (that’s 3.30pm in Finnish time.)



The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything



Gone Girl



The Grand Budapest Hotel 






Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman

Richard Linklater – Boyhood

David Fincher – Gone Girl

Ava DuVernay – Selma

Wes Andersson – The Grand Budapest Hotel



Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game

Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything

Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler

Michael Keaton – Birdman

David Oyelowo – Selma



Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl

Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything

Julianne Moore – Still Alice

Reese Witherspoon – Wild

Amy Adams – Big Eyes



J.K. Simmons – Whiplash

Edward Norton – Birdman

Ethan Hawke – Boyhood

Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher

Robert Duvall – The Judge


patricia-arquette-latest-bob-hair-2010SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Emma Stone – Birdman

Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year

Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game

Patricia Arquette – Boyhood

Meryl Streep – Into the Woods



The Imitation Game

The Theory of Everything


Gone Girl








The Grand Budapest Hotel




Mr. Turner



The Grand Budapest Hotel





The Grand Budapest Hotel

The Imitation Game

Into the Woods



The Grand Budapest Hotel

Into the Woods


The Imitation Game

Mr. Turner


foxcatcher-steve-carellMAKE-UP & HAIRSTYLING


Guardians of the Galaxy






Gone Girl

The Imitation Game




Big Hero 6

The Boxtrolls

The Lego Movie

The Book of Life

How to Train Your Dragon 2



Life Itself


Finding Vivian Maier

Keep On Keepin’ On



Force_Majeure_posterFOREIGN LANGUAGE

Poland – Ida

Sweden – Force Majeure

Russia – Leviathan

Argentina – Wild Tales

Estonia – Tangerines



The Imitation Game


Gone Girl


The Theory of Everything



“Everything is Awesome”- The Lego Movie

“Lost Stars” – Begin Again

 “Mercy Is” – Noah (Patti Smith)

 “Glory” – Selma (John Legend)

“Big Eyes” – Big Eyes (Lana Del Ray)






American Sniper



Into-The-Woods-production_designSOUND MIXING


Into the Woods


American Sniper




Guardians of the Galaxy


Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies




Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1


The Lion’s Mouth Opens

One Child

Our Curse



The Bigger Picture




Symphony No. 42


phonecallshortLIVE ACTION SHORT


Baghdad Messi

Carry On

My Father’s Truck

The Phone Call

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Review


Directed by Peter Jackson
Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro. Novel by J.R.R. Tolkien
Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Aidan Turner, Evangelina Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans, Cate Blanchett & Lee Pace

I was so disappointed with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. And quite bored to be honest. There are quite a lot of people who seem to like it but I don’t know why? It’s badly bloated without pulling any heartstrings and it looks just a horrible CGI mess. I do admire Peter Jackson just because of LotR trilogy but this time he messed up. Maybe he tried to make it the way that it would top the last installment of Lord of the Rings but he failed. The last Hobbit has no soul. At all.

azog1 There is this Finnish article of why Jackson failed and it brings up very good points (Helsingin Sanomat). The article points out that Jackson didn’t want to direct the Hobbits in the beginning because he was afraid that he would try to compete with LotR trilogy. Jackson only took the job after Guillermo del Toro retreated. The article argues that there were three reasons why Jackson failed with Hobbit trilogy (to me he only failed with the last part). Firstly he wanted to make it like one film and lost the spirit of the original novel. He wanted to make it like Lord of the Rings even though Hobbit is a children’s book instead of this massive fantasy tale that Lord of the Rings is. The tone is totally different in the book but not in the films. Secondly, he made way too many references to his original trilogy, unnecessarily in many cases. And lastly and to me most importantly, he repeated LotR. In The Battle of Five Armies the fishermen flee like the good folk of Rohan did in Two Towers. Caladriel repeats herself from The Fellowship and Galdalf rides to the rescue like in Two Towers. Even the battles look like they did in the last two parts of Lord of the Rings. Only just more made with digital imagenary. Sad stuff.

Hobbits are like new installments of Star Wars. And I will try to forget them as I have tried to forget those episodes I to III. I can’t really point out anything good in The Battle of Five Armies. Everything looks like wax. Not real. Especially watched in HFR where you can point out all mistakes visible to human eye. HFR is still a bit too much for me, especially in this kind of product where there have been a lot of use of CGI and miniature models. They actually look like it. You can even spot the make up marks on characters faces or photo editing when it comes to elves, the glow on their face is so unnatural.

thandruil_leepaceWriting this makes me sad. And it’s not a very good review. I think all actors and actresses are trying to do their best but because most of the times they are acting in front of a green screen and quite many times alone, I think, it must be difficult to get to the mood. And besides, the whole film is about battles anyway. No need to do actual acting. I used to like Legolas do his thing but in this one he is just annoying. And that “love story”… It was more embarrassing than endearing. Luke Evans was quite alright. And Richard Armitage did his best with that sad script he had to work with. And obviously, CGI looks ok. I just hoped there would have been a lot less of it.

I don’t have anything else to say. Two and a half stars come from technological achievements, the one scene that made me a bit sad for right reason and from the cast that tries its best.

Rating: **½ (out of 5) 

100th Post – Are dreams still alive?

It’s been almost two years since I posted for the first time. That makes it one post per week. And almost a year since I’ve posted something about my personal life if you don’t count those mentions in other posts. The last time I wrote about my life was in Spring Rambling in April 2014. It’s been a while. I’ll try to collect some thoughts and happenings in this post. As the readers who have visited my About page or read my first “List Lover” (that’s me) -post, know that I’d like to work in movie industry and I have big plans for me. More about my plans and how I’ve managed to gain them so far, you can read by choosing The List Lover off the menu on left. If you’re interested. :)

So, what’s been going on since last April. I was quite tired back then because I was working approximately 25 hours per week plus all that school work. But thankfully during the summer I managed to take it easy. I had just the perfect balance between work and play. And the summer all together was very nice, the weather was warm, even hot and I spend a lot of time at parks and beaches. Or at the sea, my favourite place during a summer. Here’s me enjoying it.


Otherwise the last year was not the easiest one. The summer was good but the rest of the year was quite a struggle. Emotionally and physically in that way that I’ve been sick quite a lot and because I tend to stress about things my whole body gets stressed and my muscles are killing me that badly that I can’t sleep. And when I can’t sleep, I get irritated and restless. And that leads to drinking and so on. You get the picture. When it comes to my dreams; are they still alive? To be honest, I don’t know anymore what I really want and I need to figure that out. Following wise words have been my guide during the last couple of months:

And now when the new year has started, it feels like it’s a bit easier to breath again.

How is it going on with my lists? Well, not so good. I’ve been really lazy with all the stuff aapofrom 101 Things. And that’s kinda sad as those things are not that hard to achieve. I only managed to do few things. I unpacked (28.) finally when my nowadays roommate moved here and I changed to the different room in the apartment. I kind of achieved number 39 as my friend moved back from Minsk… 48) I am nice these days most of the time, so that’s not a problem anymore (quite weird to notice that there has been this kind of huge change… Wow.). I did use earrings for a day (59) and several actually. 85) I got a bicycle last summer and I’ve been using it from time to time. My roommate has been using it a lot more though. :D And I just decided that my favourite quotes are safe enough in Pinterest where that pic above will lead you (100.) And the last thing that I did was to shoot (read: photograph) at least five different people for practise. That’s one photo of those sessions. I really like taking portraits.

The Bucket List I’ll just leave alone for now.

That leaves us 50/50 that looks like this: 50/50 Challenge where I managed to read four (how sad is that!!!) books and watched only 105 films. But I did watch quite a lot of series. And thankfully, out of those 105 I did watch 26 of them in cinema.

I don’t know if this is any interest of yours but I kind of like to keep this as a part-time diary too. Reminds me of things. In a good way. But I’d like to get your opinions too, what do you, my dear readers and fellow bloggers, find the most interesting to read, so please choose. You can choose more than one. Thanks! And if you have any suggestions please feel free to comment. :)

I’ll be back soon with the review of the latest Hobbit (which I didn’t like that much) and my new TV series challenge that I gave to myself. See ya soon!



The Best of the Best – Films of 2014

bestof2014There are so many films that I missed this year in cinema that hasn’t come out yet in small format. So, there will be no Nightcrawler, The Grand Budapest Hotel or even How to Train Your Dragon 2. And I’m sad for that. And because of the fact that I live here in north, I haven’t seen the most of the Oscar hopefuls yet, so no Theory of Everything or Birdman either. And because of that same fact there will many Oscar nominees from last year. So, let’s take a look what I liked this year.

The first of all, I can be happy this year compared to the last year when I said I didn’t see any films worth of 10/10 at IMDb (although after seeing Frozen again this Christmas I’m quite willing to give it full stars, it was even better now). This year I saw three! That’s a lot. Roll down to the top 3 and you’ll see which ones I liked the best but before that some honorable mentions like always at my best of the best lists.

I liked a lot of Philomena that was last year’s Oscar nominee, same goes for Inside Llewyn Davis and American Hustle, both of them from last year too. The Lego Movie I only saw a week ago but I thoroughly enjoyed it, great script. And finally one of those outside of my top-10 is Dawn of the Planet of the Apes that was very good and well done technically.

And now, to the ten:




This one took me totally by a surprise. I thought I wouldn’t like it but I fell in love like rest of the world (or so it seems). The whole gang is genius. And Chris Pratt is the best guy in the world. And Groot. Well, all of you who have seen the film, knows what I mean and if you don’t, just check that video clip above. He’s the most adorable thing. I think I will like this film even more in the future. It will hold.




The most of the people saw Her already 2013 but unfortunately it only came out here this year. Or maybe not so unfortunately because this has been a very good year in films to me. I even tried to make the worst of list but I couldn’t because I haven’t seen that many bad films this year. But back to Her. Well, read my review.




The Wolf of Wall Street is the most debated film in my review history. And I quite like that. And I also liked the film itself despite the off-putting main character and quite misogynistic view. It was an entertaining couple of hours. And DiCaprio was so good.




This and the next one could be other way around too but because the number six has more soul in it, I gave it a higher rank. But I liked everything about Gone Girl, it looks good, it feels toxic and everyone make very good work, especially Rosamund Pike who well deserves that Oscar nom that she’s going to get. Oh, and apparently I haven’t done a review of this. Well, like I stated, I liked it a lot. There was only casting of Neil Patrick Harris that just didn’t fit and it bothered me thorough the whole film but otherwise it was guaranteed David Fincher who can make even Ben Affleck, the actor, works magic.




Well, everyone knows by now that Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto killed in Dallas Buyers Club. They were so good. And the story is great. Here’s my review.




Ok, I do understand the thing in this film but still. And I’m a bit afraid to say this, because I think the most of the people (who watch a lot of films) will think me shallow or stupid or something, but anyway: I thought it was a bit boring. Like normal life is. Even though I like a lot Alexander Payne’s films that are usually about normal people, his characters are still larger than life, Linklater’s are not. They are just that size. And even though Boyhood is a remarkable piece of future cinema history and something that hasn’t been done before and so on, it was still boring. And that it the reason I only gave it 9/10. And there were four superior films this year. But I do think Patricia Arquette should get an Oscar for her performance, I think it has been the most real mom portrait on film ever.




This was the most entertaining piece of cinema this year. Oh, all those men that I already appraised in my review. The cinematography and CGI. And Evan Peters. And above is the making of clip of my very favourite scene of the film. Fassbender. Oh, Fassbender. I can’t wait for the next installment. I loved this film. Still do. And now I just have to put a girly heart in here: <3




My 10 out of 10 films. The Best Picture winner of Oscars 2014: 12 Years a Slave. A beautiful work. Well, read my thoughts from the review. It did deserve all the praise it got and some more. And this time Fassbender because, man, that man can act.




Again, total surprise like Guardians. I absolutely adore this little film. It was such an uplifting experience and I still listen to the soundtrack, above is the best song of the bunch. And yes, Keira Knightley sings herself. My review. I still promote this film as often as I can because it makes good to your soul.

And finally… The ones that read my blog regularly would’ve guessed that the best film of the year (and one of the best ever) to me is:



I already celebrated it highly in my review but I can’t do it enough. I still think it was the best movie going experience since Return of the King and that’s the highest compliment I can give. I’m quite sad that I can’t see this one in the cinema again because it truly is the one that needs to be seen in the biggest possible screen. Like said, it was an experience not just a film.

So, there. It’s kind of funny that this year I liked the best a huge film and the last year I enjoyed the most a little film that embraces the story, not the grandeur. But both almost equally good. And I’m so glad I still get to see so many great films. Hopefully the next year will be as good as this one was. And I believe it will.