Summer’s Gone

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Wow! I didn’t even realise how amazingly lazy I’ve been again. With posts in general but especially with my updates. So, let’s take a look where I am at the moment, in life and movie world.

Did you, guys, realised that my 101 (which is 55 these days) has its deadline already in March?! I sure didn’t! Well, I’m certain that I won’t be able to travel to all those destinations mentioned on it. Pity. But at least I will be travelling somewhere (come January and I’ll be heading to Florida and The Bahamas!!! Yay!). Anyway, let’s take a look if if I’ve managed to do anything… Heh, yeah, I went on a date (#8), a very, very nice date. In May already. Pity it didn’t work because I liked the guy a lot. He was clever enough to suggest that we will go to see a film in local art house cinema and even was willing to see Son of Saul, not exactly the first date material. The other thing I did was taking a selfie every month for a year (#16):

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There are pics from June 2augustselfie16015 to March, April and May are somewhere in social media and  I’ll let them be as they’re not that good. But here’s me now, taken this Tuesday. I cut my hair after couple of years keepin’ it long.

Ok, enough of that. What else I’ve managed to do from my list… I did saw the northern lights when I was working in northern Lapland from February until April. I will go back there on 5th of September and this time I’m planning on staying there until the next spring. I also visited there the last week. Here are some pics from northern Norway where I visited for the first time ever:

Btw, if you’re interested in checking out more of my pics, follow me on Instagram, the name fairytalepictures. I also use Snapchat, feel free to add me, it’s satufp (my first name and letters from the blog). I’d love to follow you guys too if you use any of those.

So, three things in, what… a year?! Wow, talking about laziness… What about life goals aka the bucket list? Have I done anything? I kinda doubt it. And yep, I was right, I haven’t done anything. I better start, life’s short, huh?

In February I said I will go and post a list of films I watch every month. Did that happen? No. the-hundred-year-old-man-who-climbed-out-of-the-window-and-disappearedSo, let’s take a look now what has happened my 50/50 list. I can’t even remember when I watched those films. Thankfully (read: sadly) there aren’t that many. I’ve only read two books this year (it’s kind of hard to believe, I really though I’ve read more) but as I’m going to Lapland in a week, I know that I will have time to read more, so it’s still possible to get my 12 books before the end of the year. Right now I’m reading this novel called The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed Out of the Window And Disappeared and I recommend it gladly! It’s so funny, interesting, heartfelt and just absurd. I love it! They also made a film of it, it might be worth to check out too.

And to films! I’ve seen 66 films this year, so far. 16 of them I saw in cinemas despite the fact that during two months I didn’t really have proper access to them. Well, there is one in the nearby village (30 km away) but the screenings are like four times a week, so it’s good luck if you’re not working then. The best one of the new films to me I’ve seen this year is still Spotlight, the runner-ups being Captain America: Civil War, The Big Short, Pan’s Labyrinth, In Your Eyes and of course Deadpool that delivered even though I had huge expectations! And when it comes to my IMDb-challenge, I’ve watched four from the list. And I’m planning on watching two more today! I already watched No Country for Old Men. On TV side I’ve been hooked to Bones the most of the year and as I’ve been quite tired this summer (I’ve been working at festivals, so it means travelling around all the time), I’ve mainly watched Gilmore Girls as I find it comforting. I did finish watching Outlander, though. It was recommended to me back then when I started my TV challenge.

There you go. This year has kinda gone past without me really noticing it. The summer went and I mainly worked. I only slowed down during the last few weeks and visited a friend in Kalajoki. While in home, I’ve been in Tampere, my favourite place in Finland (pics above, first Kalajoki, 2nd Tampere). I’m still in the middle of my uni, I still need to do the practical training and thesis. As I wrote in the end of the year, I wanted to stay in Amsterdam but couldn’t in the end, so I decided to go to Lapland to make some money after coming back to Finland in the end of January I did apply here and there during the last spring but didn’t get a place that I really wanted, so graduation post-boned but it’s OK. Now I’m off to Saariselkä. Winter is coming.

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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.

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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.

@Satumaah

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Happy Blogoversary!

blogoversaryTime to celebrate!

It’s been a year since I posted my first post. Surprisingly it was about the Oscars. I’ve had posted a few more within the same topic since then. Hoping that you won’t get sick of the subject. At least the Oscars are bringing more visitors to my site because there’s never been more traffic than on the day they announced the nominees. And right now the most read posts daily are the ones that are about the Oscars. I don’t mind! I love writing about them.

I’ve got a little over hundred followers for my blog and then of course everyone following me on Twitter.  It’s kinda funny that it shows both. But pleasant, of course. And I don’t think one should pay too much attention to stats (although, I got to admit, I still do check them regularly) because the best things in writing a blog and living in the blog world are of course the fellow bloggers. So thanks to all of you who have visited here and especially thanks to all  of you who are writing these splendid blogs I love to read and comment! Here are some of my very favourites, check them out!

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Cinema Parrot Disco
Movies & Music Café
Silver Screen Serenade
Where the Wild Things Are
The Sporadic Chronicles of Beginner Blogger
The Verbal Spew Review
Rambling Film
Literary Vittles
Ten Stars or Less
Screenkicker
Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews
Keith & the Movies
Tranquil Dreams
Flixchatter

That Leo pic has actually nothing to do with those blogs but I love it and I can post anything today because it’s my blogoversary. And my review of The Wolf of Wall Street is the most commented post I’ve ever written. And this cheery one is the most liked post. Oh, and if I forgot to mention someone on the list, please, feel free to come and shout at me, my memory is not the best one.

It’s been quite good blogging year. Inside and outside of the blogging. Like I mentioned I’ve gotten to read great blogs, seen great TV series and watched a bunch of very good movies and then written about them. Which is good. I also have had quite an eventful year in real life too. I got into school, I’m finally following my dream; my most viewed post of all time is “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It” (quote by Walt Disney). I am now studying International Business and basically minoring in Media Studies. I’ve found out I’m quite good at Scriptwriting, I just need to get my English more natural, and Stats which was plan1quite a surprise. I tried to find a summer job in England but didn’t, so I’m staying here, doing bartending but attending to summer uni to study either Stats or German, depending on summer courses. So it will not be total waste of time. And then next year this time I’ll be applying to exchange to abroad. To United Kingdom, to be precise. And at the moment the plan is to stay there after that half of a year. Hopefully I’ll find internship placement on some bigger production company, on the distribution side preferably. Here’s one that seem quite like the one that I have in mind, if you’re interested.

I also traveled to few places during this year. I went to London and Dublin, saw amazing musical of Wicked, go see it if you at all like musicals and celebrated St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. After quitting my horrible job, I went to Prague for a short holiday and had a great time. That great that the photos from there are not so good… But I love the city and will definitely go back there. During the summer I visited to Lapland for the first time and participated as a volunteer to Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä. That was amazing! I also took part to Helsinki International Film Festival and will take a part to Tampere International Film Festival in three weeks, as a volunteer like always. It’ll be interesting. I should do a post about Tampere altogether, this is a nice place to live. Anyway, I also visited to Copenhagen that probably was my favourite trip of the last year, the city is so relaxing and easy to go around. And I loved Danish food! During the autumn holiday I went to visit my friends in Spain (read how no one should travel) and then came back via Paris. I still haven’t edited all the pictures from that trip but I will post them as soon as I have! Here’s one from Paris:

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So, not a bad year at all. I’ve had my sorrows but mainly I’ve had quite a good time! At the moment I’m doing a business plan (school project) for a photography studio, another hobby of mine and marketing research for actual customer that happens to be privately owned cinema here in Tampere. School can be fun! Blog-wise, I will continue writing about the Oscars (next week!!!!), The Best of the Best lists and anything movie-related. I try to keep you guys updated how I’m doing with my lists and dreams because that seems to interest the most of the visitors here. Meanwhile, enjoy the show below, they are the most searched people who bring readers to Fairytale Pictures:

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matthew1

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The List Lover Updates (50/50, The Oscars and 101 Things)

aphorism1I did check my Bucket List too but I haven’t done any of them. To explain a little to all of you who haven’t noticed my pages on the top of this, is that I love lists and challenges, so I’m basically all the time trying to achieve something. That’s in my nature. I’ve posted few List Lover’s (read: me) posts previously, they can be found by clicking the link of The List Lover on Themes (right hand side on the Home page). I mentioned I will be updating how I’m doing but guess movies have just taken me so thoroughly that I really haven’t paid that much attention to my personal life here in the blogverse. But let’s take a look.

The first, 50/50 Challenge. This is the third year I’m participating. And I never manage to read 50 books. But I’ll try again. I just updated the page so you can see I’ve watched 16 movies this year so far and read one lousy (well, to be honest, it’s almost 800 pages, but still…) book. Movie-wise I try to watch 200 films this year, let’s see how it goes. Here is how I did last year.

Pulp_Fiction_coverIMDb-250. I think I’ve tried to watch those films forever. And I’ve only managed to watch three more since last time I updated. Quite sad. But I’ve seen Pulp Fiction, Casablanca and Big Lebowski that I only watched yesterday. Only the middle one lived up to its hype. But because I own quite many of 250, I promise I’ll watch the following during the next two months:

  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Goodfellas
  • Cidade de Deus
  • Vertigo
  • The Green Mile
  • Intouchables
  • Reservoir Dogs
  • Amadeus
  • All About Eve
  • Jodaeiye Nader az Simin
  • El laberinto del fauno
  • The Kid
  • No Country for Old Men
  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Trainspotting
  • Annie Hall
  • Warrior
  • Into the Wild
  • The Graduate
  • Roman Holiday

The more personal one, 101 Things in 1001 Days. I have about 18,5 months left. Not that much then. And I just calculated that means doing one thing in a week. That’s a lot… Since last update, I have managed to get into school that I enjoy and have stayed there (1). Even have done quite well, so that area is nicely covered. I’m still studying International Business but I’m basically minoring in Media Studies and the combination is perfect. I’ll write more about it later. I also managed to throw the clothes that were broken away (30). And got some much closer to unpack my stuff that has been sitting in the boxes forever (28). I’ll probably manage to finish that in this month and same goes for filing the papers (29). I also saw a play when my friend had a part in one. And I visited to Paris and also Louvre (93). I really should edit those photos from there and make a photo post here! Here’s one:

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And the last but not least, the Oscar winners predictions. I just updated it today. Took the lists straight from IMDb. I still have about 30 of the features to see and 13 of the shorts, so I can’t have a proper opinion yet. Only thing that is clear to me, I really think 12 Years a Slave should win the Best Picture just because how it handles the subject. And I thought Leo was better than Ejiofor but I haven’t seen Dallas Buyers Club yet, so let’s see if it changes my mind about my favourite. The ones in italics are my favourites, the ones in bold are the ones I’m predicting. What are your favourites?

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Review

hobbitThe Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

Directed by Peter Jackson

Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson & Guillermo del Toro, novel by J.R.R. Tolkien

Starring Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Orlando Bloom, Luke Evans & Benedict Cumberbatch

Again, we have the privilege in Finland to see one of those big blockbuster ahead of the main markets and this time it was The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I saw it yesterday or maybe I should say today because it was the midnight screening. Still a bit of light headed after only few hours of sleep. But back to the business.

The second installment of Hobbitses is very good. It’s not, by no means, perfect but it is better than the first one during which I tried hard not to fall asleep. But I love original Lord of the Rings trilogy, they are THE films for me. The same way like someone has Star Wars that changed their view of living. LotRs are for me those films why I wanted to pursue the career in film. And they remind me everytime how I should not give up my dreams. I consider them as the ultimate reason why anyone should make films; they are the purest escapism entertainment that there is. So, against that, you can understand, I have huge hopes for the second trilogy. And that’s why it probably can never be as good as I wish.

thandruil2Martin Freeman is perfect as Bilbo. I really need to take better look to his career, he’s always better than good yet still so subtle and realiable. Ian McKellen is Gandalf but in this installment he’s a bit wasted. Richard Armitage does a fine job but his character is starting to be quite an ass. And same goes for Legolas and Thandruil (played by gloriously beautiful Lee Pace) as elves, they’re really dislikeable. Evangeline Lilly as an only female elf is beautiful and very likeable as well. Luke Evans as an only proper human in the movie, is nice to look at and I so hope (I haven’t read the book, so I don’t know) he is the one that saves the day. And Cumberbatch, oh Cumberbatch, he is impeccable as Smaug. They really should have a category for voice-overs in Oscars, the Middle Earth folk has very much proven that.

There are way too many plot lines in The Desolation of Smaug. And that brings the problem, there’s way too many characters. And when there’s too many characters, you don’t really as a viewer have time to bond with any of them. The only one in this movie, thathobbit2 got my eyes a bit misty, was Balin (played by Ken Stott). And as you might know from my previous reviews, that’s a minus to me. But then again, the set is fabulous. The scenery is again amazing. And all the actors do very nice job. But unfortunately, this is, like someone pointed, the middle section, and as it, it is a bit of a mess.

Even though it is a mess, it’s looks so fabulous that it’s hard to believe there actually is a land like New Zealand (I so want to travel there!). Jackson is master in details. I saw this one in HFR (high-frame resolution) and like my friend who saw something in that format for the first time, the difference in HFR and 3D is like the difference in 2D and 3D. You need to see it yourself. And I encourage you to see it that way. It’s so real that it’s almost offensive. Sometimes it feels like you’re watching actors on a very fancy stage. The first Hobbit still had problems with the details but this one is just amazing. I haven’t seen anything that real and at the same time so not real on the screen ever. You just wanted to touch Galdalf’s hair because he seemed to be sitting in front of you. The post-production of this scale must have been huge. Gravity will probably win the Best Visual Effects Oscar, but this one has to get a nomination. If not otherwise, then at least because of Smaug. He’s a beauty. And the camera just loves him, the detail in that particular creature is unbelievable. He very much deserves a film that’s named after him.

Eye of Smaug

Rating: ****½ (out of *****)

Photo credits to Warner Bros Pictures & Weta Digital

There’s No Place Like Hogwarts

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I read my first Potter back in 1998 or 1999. I was working at the book store and because I was the youngest (18, to be exact) and Potters started to get popular, the other staff asked me to read one, so we would know what it’s all about. And I fell in love. I’ve read fantasy since I’ve been nine or ten years old and even though I also love Belgariad and Mallorean series by late David Eddings and the character of Raistlin by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, nothing has ever given me the same feeling of home that Harry Potter series have.

Whenever I feel sad, lonely, lost or somehow disorientated I pick-up a Potter and dive in to the world of magic and somehow the world seems a little bit better place again. When I was living in Germany a few years ago and felt homesick, I always started to read the last part of the series and I was good again. When I was living in England back then when the fifth book was released, I cried probably three hours while reading it. It hurt (not gonna spoil it if there’s still some people who haven’t read the novels or haven’t seen the films). Even though I’m not an orphan and my life has been quite nice, no one there to bully me, I can easily relate to Harry, Hogwarts is home.

potter1I’m again reading the books; I tend to read them once a year. I’m not planning it but like this time, I was leaning to my bookshelves and trying to decide what to read and nothing seemed as good as Rowling’s masterpieces. And once again, I got lost in the world of Harry. So inconvenient when you have a lot to do with the school and need to go to work from time to time too. The problem with Hogwarts is that you don’t really want to come away. Besides that I love the novels, I admire J.K. Rowling so much. She made the kids to read again. Plus her story is worth of a movie itself. (Wonder if anyone is going to do one? Have any of you heard anything?) Kind of fairy tale comes true. And the world she created, the way of using the words. I especially admire word “Slytherin”; it really sums up what it is describing.

Ok, the movies are not that “wow” but I still like them. And the first part 12 years ago (time flies, doesn’t it?) was a little bit of a wonder. To see the world that you have imagined and they did make it well, didn’t they? And while few of the first movies are not that generally considered as “well done films”, all of them have over 75 % at Rotten Tomatoes and the final part of the latter part of the last book has spectacular 96 % freshness. And I do love to watch the films as well.

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The pictures above and below all are from our trip to Scotland and taken by me (from the moving train). I still kind of hope Hogwarts actually exists. It just would be so cool. During the trip we were calculating by time how far the castle would be from London. Unfortunately we’re merely muggles and didn’t find it. But while in Scotland, we took a ride with the Hogwarts Express and saw the most amazing scenery of Scotland. And we even crossed the Glenfinnan viaduct that is seen in Harry Potter & Chamber of Secrets. I recommend if you have a change to travel to Highlands, it’s definitely worth every penny. It’s breath-taking in there.

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But I’m off now! Got to go back to Hogwarts. See ya later!

Photo credit to harrypotter.wikia.com

Films of the Week Vol. 7

I went to the cinema twice while in Madrid. The first I saw Prisoners and the second Gravity. With the former I was a bit disappointed and with the second I was amazed but not that much as I was hoped for. Guess I’m high maintained. But I’m so glad that I had a change to see Prisoners because in Finland the distributor changed it premier to January(!), so now I didn’t need to wait for three months.

prisoners-posterPrisoners (2013)

Directed by Denis Villeneuve

Written by Aaron Guzikowski

Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Melissa Leo, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Terrence Howard & Paul Dano

I went to see Prisoners because I needed to calm myself down. It kinda worked because the film is shot by great Roger Deakins, the one of the best cinematographers ever, so the look of the film surely calmed me. I even thought couple of times that there were few scenes because they just looked that good even though they were not necessity for the plot. The plot then again is the reason why the film let me down a bit. I had read it’s a twisting story and the ending is something you’re not expecting. Well, I don’t know about you, but I surely was expecting that, it was quite obvious from the beginning. Well, of course not the final scene but the “big” thing there. I liked the open ending. That saved a bit. And I definitely agree with Dan at Dan the Man’s Movie Reviews about that the movie does feel like David Fincher’s work but in the end the director Villeneuve is not able to carry it out the way Fincher would have (check Fight Club or Seven if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

The acting is good. Hugh Jackman is very good, maybe even in his best but then again, he has the role where he can be raging a lot and be miserable all the time. Gyllenhaal is not doing that much but I got to admit, that I always have had a huge crush on him, so I’m not able to be objective. I was just so glad to see him. I also enjoyed that the characters pasts were not told so clearly, a viewer could make his own speculations by the looks or acts of the character, like in a real world. Bello, Davis & Howard’s roles are very much supporting but Dano is again the poor weirdo and Leo again those over-protective mother-figures. She’s good though. I just wish she would someday play someone you could actually like.
All in all, Prisoners is solid. I enjoyed it, the cinematography is good, but not as great as Deakins was in Skyfall (and that was spectacular), the plot is predictable, the acting good and even though the running time is 2, 5 hours, it flies by. I recommend if you like dark, rainy, detective stories with good acting.

Rating: **** (out of *****)

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Gravity (2013)

Directed by Alfonso Cuarón

Written by Alfonso & Jonás Cuarón

Starring Sandra Bullock & George Clooney

The first of all: Do see this movie. You’ve never seen anything like it. It marvels me how fast the technology is developing. And this film is one proof of that. Gravity looks amazing. Amazing. It really feels like you’re at space. Well, not really but still. You can’t explain it, you have to see it. The second time after Avatar I was amazed by 3D. I wish I could see this in IMAX but unfortunately I can’t but all of you who can, do go see it there.

When it comes to the Oscars, I predict nominations at least in the categories of the best picture, director, the leading role by actress, VFX (of course! That one it’ll win, no doubt there), sound in both categories, cinematography, script (original?), editing and score. And those are “at least” predictions. I also think that Cuarón (who has been one of my favourite directors since Y Tu Mamá También and I have waited for him to do something extraordinary) should win. Ok, I haven’t seen 12 Years a Slave but Cuarón or McQueen then. I doubt anyone else can come even near.

Except the brilliance of visual effects and especially 3D and directing, the film belongs to Sandra Bullock. She’s a lock in acting category. Though I have to admit I liked a lot of Clooney’s part. The character brought the much needed laughs and helped a lot to deepen the Bullock’s character. The film worked beautifully with these two actors. At some point I was afraid the film would end up being a beautiful shell without the actual soul but thankfully, it has them both. Thanks to the script and the acting of the leading lady.

My friend whom I went to see this film with, said that it was way out of her comfort zone by being so edge of your seat that it was draining. I agree. I got to gather myself a while before getting up. What a ride it is! So, yes, I recommend more than anything this year so far. My only complaint is that the ending was beginning to be a little bit too much and I wish I would have cried more (I’m a sucker for a big feelings) but never mind that; go and see this movie. There’s no option of not seeing it.

Rating: ****½