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Books from 11th April to 8th May
67. Regeneration by Pat Barker - Re-read for my book club. A great story based on Siegfried Sassoon's stay at Craiglockhart Hospital during the First World War. Some great descriptions of shellshock and the soldier's experiences during the war.

68. The War Poems by Siegfried Sassoon - Collection of his poems written during and about the War. I really like his style, and his poems are very "wordy" so you get a really good description of what he's trying to say. Some very emotional poems.

69. In Time of War, edited by Anne Harvey - a compilation of war poems, I think aimed at a young (teenage) audience. I think after reading this I definitely prefer the poems of the First World War. A good collection though.

70. A Single Man by Christopher Isherwood - This was quite disappointing, I'd seen the film and it was amazing, but this just didn't really have even half the emotion of the film. A rare case of the film being better than the book!

71. Breaking the Silence by Diane Chamberlain - this was similar to Jodi Picoult's style, about a woman who's child becomes mute after seeing her father kill himself, and then the woman trying to find out why, plus another story to do with an old lady who has alzheimers and some secrets in her past - better than I thought it would be.

72. Quartet by Jean Rhys - About lovers in Paris. It was ok, but I didn't really feel much emotion about the characters or anything.

73. The Client by John Grisham - a crime thriller, can't actually remember what its about...hmmm...a boy and he knows where a body is hidden I think? It was ok.

74. The Eye of the Red Tsar by Sam Eastland - A great thriller set in Russia, about the location of the Tsar's jewels after his murder.

75. The Killing Floor by Lee Child - crime thriller about a small town where people start getting murdered and its all to do with money laundering. It was ok.

76. The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass - I haven't read such a boring book for ages, I almost didn't finish it, but I forced myself to..about a dwarf and his drum, and how it affects him through all his life. It was quite interesting, but it went on and on...could have been about 2/3 shorter!

77. Great Apes by Will Self - About a man who wakes up and discovers that the rest of the human race has been turned into chimpanzees. It was really clever as it put chimp characteristics into an otherwise human world, for exmaple it was a "gamemale" instead of the "gameboy" as they didn't have boys! A good book

78. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys - The story of Mr Rochester (from Jane Eyre)'s wife before she came to England and became mad. Gave a good background for it, and at the end there was a nice link to Jane Eyre - I want to read that book again now.

Currently reading The End of the Affair by Graham Greene, which is quite good so far. And currently watching An Education, which is a really excellent film!
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The 30 Day Song Challenge - copied from my facebook, but without the videos so its not annoying!

Day 01 – Your favorite song - Dominion / Mother Russia by The Sisters of Mercy, The Fragile by Nine Inch Nails, and Lovesong by Jack Off Jill

Day 02 – Your least favorite song - Hey Ya by Outkast, You're Beautiful by James Blunt, and Sweet Child O'Mine by Guns N Roses

Day 03 – A song that makes you happy - Military Fashion Show by And One

Day 04 – A song that makes you sad - Inverse Midas / Anti-Everything by Mansun

Day 05 – A song that reminds you of someone - Papa by Span (Jamie!)

Day 06 – A song that reminds of you of somewhere - Pretty When You Cry by Vast (The Goth Night!)

Day 07 – A song that reminds you of a certain event - Monster by The Automatic (Kt's Parties!)

Day 08 – A song that you know all the words to - Capital G by Nine Inch Nails

Day 09 – A song that you can dance to - Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy by Rotersand

Day 10 – A song that makes you fall asleep - La Mer by Nine Inch Nails

Day 11 – A song from your favorite band - We're in This Together Now - Nine Inch Nails, and When You Don't See Me - Sisters of Mercy

Day 12 – A song from a band you hate - I Wish I Had An Angel by Nightwish

Day 13 – A song that is a guilty pleasure - Toxic by Britany Spears (its actually great!)

Day 14 – A song that no one would expect you to love - Eleanore by The Turtles (one of the best lyrics ever - "You're my pride and joy, etc..." :D )

Day 15 – A song that describes you -changed to "A song that's stuck in head as I fear might be true - History of a Boring town by Less than Jake

Day 16 – A song that you used to love but now hate - Crazy by Buckcherry (reminds me of the Hemel Rock Nights...eugh!)

Day 17 – A song that you hear often on the radio - Kidz by Take That (and its great, haha)

Day 18 – A song that you wish you heard on the radio - Lightbringer by Covenant (one of my current favourite songs!)

Day 19 – A song from your favorite album - Flood 1 from Floodland by the Sisters of Mercy

Day 20 – A song that you listen to when you’re angry - Somewhat Damaged by Nine Inch Nails (amazing lyrics!)

Day 21 – A song that you listen to when you’re happy - Under the Cross by Uberbyte

Day 22 – A song that you listen to when you’re sad - The whole of The Fragile album by Nine Inch Nails

Day 23 – A song that you want to play at your wedding - Unexpected Song from Tell Me On A Sunday, sung by Marti Webb, Just like Heaven by The Cure, Here Comes The Sun by The Beatles

Day 24 – A song that you want to play at your funeral - Lovesong by the Cure (just to remind everyone!)

Day 25 – A song that makes you laugh - "the ultimate song about loneliness, love and loss" by Bill Bailey

Day 26 – A song that you can play on an instrument - Walking In The Air from The Snowman, on piano!

Day 27 – A song that you wish you could play - Hurt, either Nine Inch Nails or Johnny Cash - although I could probably work it out if I really tried.

Day 28 – A song that makes you feel guilty - Poison by Alice Cooper - it was so long ago, but this song still makes my stomach feel funny every time I hear it - I was so horrible :(

Day 29 – A song from your childhood - No Milk Today by Herman's Hermits - no Milk today, and Bus Stop by The Hollies - I don't know why, but they just remind me of when I was little! :)

Day 30 – Your favorite song at this time last year - I'm going to miss this one out as I have absolutely no idea!!
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Hmmm well I've started with this Dreamwidth thing as Livejournal has been a bit dodgy recently, and I don't want to lose everything I write! It seems like you can import everything you've written in Livejournal to here, so I will do that too, just for a back up! And hopefully this will be crossposting to Livejournal as well (which is probably where people are reading this, if anyone is reading it!) Dreamwidth seems almost identical to Livejournal at the moment though, which is nice.

I'm going to carry on with short reviews of the books I've been reading. These have all been from the library, so thats good, I like to support the library - even though it didn't have half the books I wanted to get! But I did manage to get 8 books which are on the "1001" list, so that was ok.

Books Read from 27th March - 10th April

62. Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey - set mainly in Australia, about two people, their lives and how misunderstandings and people not saying what they really mean can really change people's lives...it was quite good.

63. Troubles by JG Farrell - I really enjoyed this and will definitely be reading more books by this author. About a huge crumbling hotel in Ireland, about a visitor there and the residents, mixed in with something about the "troubles" in Ireland. I found this really interesting as I haven't really read much about Ireland before.

64. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner - really disliked this book. I think it was about a family and how they lived, but I didn't get any sense of a narrative, it was just a series of conversations, without anything which really drove the story on.

65. The Collector by John Fowles - this was an excellent book - definitely am going to get more of his books! About a man who stalked a girl and then kidnapped her, with tragic consequences. You really felt like you were able to get into their heads (both the girl and the kidnapper) and knew how they felt. The ending was excellently written.

66. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - this was another good book, about a young woman and her family moving from the country to an industrial town in the 19th century, and how the change of place affected them. There were lots about the rights of workers and things, which I liked.

I'm currently re-reading "Regeneration" by Pat Barker, for my book club. I'm really interested in what other people think of this book, as I really enjoy it.

I've got some gigs to write about, and some really fun weekends I've had (Resistanz Festival in Sheffield was excellent!!), but I think I'm going to go and do some more Open University work at the moment - I'm on the last but one essay of my current course, yay, and have signed up for another course which is just psychology, so I'm really looking forward to reading the textbook for that. Its weird though - in my current course they've given a week to read the chapters and do the associated activities, but in the next course they've given 2 weeks per chapter, when the chapters don't seem to be any longer! So I think I might have this one done rather quicker than they expect!
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Hmm this journal seems to have kind of fallen by the wayside..I'm reading so many more books than I was last year, and I'm a lot busier at work at the moment than I usually am, so I don't have that much time to write in here...well I do, but I'd rather be reading my books, haha. I feel I should still keep writing my reviews, but I might write a few lines for each thing rather than a couple of paragraphs. I do like writing in here, but I just haven't been in the mood for lots of reviews. I will try and write in here more though. For now I'm just going to list the books, with a couple of lines for each.

47. Howards End by E M Forster - bit boring, another story with weak women in it!

48. Falling Angels by Tracy Chevallier - set in early 1900s, about two friends who meet as children, going on to be about suffragettes, really good but silly twist at the end!

49. Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson - I loved this, crime story about missing children in the 1970s, with some bits set in modern times, it was great.

50. Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell - this was wonderful, with lovely characters, really recognisable from watching the TV series. A great writing style too.

51. The Island by Victoria Hislop - This was a re-read for my book club. A good book, on a topic I'd never really read before.

52. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - This was excellent. About the lives of black maids and nannies in a town in America. Couldn't believe it was set in the 1960s!

53. Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre - Boring! Didn't care about the characters, even though it tried to be about something deep and meaningful.

54. Fall of Giants by Ken Follett - This is a huge epic of a book, set in five different countries, across 12 years from 1911 to 1923. Fantastic fictional history of the beginning of the First World War. and its the first book in a trilogy! woo! :D

55. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer - Don't know where I got this book, but I'd like to give it back as it was rubbish! Another weak woman!

56. One Day by David Nicolls - I felt so strongly about this book that I not only didn't give it a rating (as I couldn't decide on it), but I wrote a note about what I thought about it: "depressing, about two people who wasted their lives without each other, then didn't get the chance to enjoy it when it all went right". I really found this book incredibly depressing!

57. Girl, Interrupted by Susannah Kaysen - This was good, an interesting memoir about a girl's stay in an asylum in the mid 20th century. Some interesting observations.

58. Nerd Do Well by Simon Pegg - This is excellent, especially for sci-fi geeks! Simon Pegg writes in a really interesting style. And in one of the pictures one of his friends is wearing a Sisters of Mercy tshirt, woo! haha.

59. Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - This wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but it was nothing particularly impressive. A moderately good thriller, but not worth the hype.

60. Tomorrow When The War Began by John Marsden - This is a great children's book, about a group of teenagers struggling to survive after their country has been taken over by an army. A good book!

61. Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote - Not quite how I expected, I wanted it to be longer, but it was ok.

I'm currently reading Oscar and Lucinda by Peter Carey, which I'm enjoying.

I've got a horrible cough at the moment, so bad its giving me a headache! I've had an ok week though - after my slightly depressing last entry I had an excellent birthday weekend, with some surprisingly pleasant effects...haha. It may cause some uncertainty in time, but its quite nice at the moment! Though I kind of feel like Katie or someone told them (both...) to be nice to me because I was sad the previous weekend...but ah well, haha.

Next weekend its the Resistanz Festival at the Corporation in Sheffield, which should be excellent! Covenant, And One, Faderhead AND Uberbyte, (and more, but they're my favourites!) all in the same weekend! Woo! Corporation is a bit of a tatty venue, but I suppose its just comparable to Slimelight in that respect. It should be a great weekend though. Oh, and its the "Classix" night in Camel on the friday, which we're also going to, which should be great - Katie is friends with the dj so hopefully he'll play lots of goth and 80s! :)

I hope everyone on my friends list is well and good and happy! :)
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Exterminate, Annihilate, Destroy by Rotersand
Chrome by VNV Nation
Dominion / Mother Russia by The Sisters of Mercy
Alice by The Sisters of Mercy
Military Fashion Show by And One
Eleanore by The Turtles
That song about a monster coming over the hill!! 

Just because they are all totally fantastic songs, some make me want to dance right there on the spot, and some are just lovely! 

See, I'm now happy just from thinking about listening to them, so that must be a good thing! :) 
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Book Forty Four - Danny the Champion of the World / James and the Giant Peach / The Twits - Roald Dahl )

Book Forty Five - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick )

Book Forty Six - Now We Are Sixty by Christopher Matthew )

Had a bit of a nightmare evening last night – my computer got a huge virus!! And it ended up only letting me go onto the internet, and if I tried to open anything else it said there was an error. My dad at first didn’t seem to believe it was a virus, which was really frustrating, as to me it was obvious! In the language of all the “alerts”, the colours, even the font of the programmes which were coming up. I took it into the computer shop this morning, and hopefully it will be fixed by tomorrow – when I told the man in the shop what it was he said that they are fixing about 10 of them each day, so I’m glad its not just me. I’m definitely going to get an external harddrive this weekend, just to put all my pictures, documents and music onto. I’m still a bit scared that it won’t be fixed…or I’ll have other problems with it or something! But hopefully not.
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Book Thirty Three - The Mersey Sound – compilation of poetry by Adrian Henri, Brian Patten and Roger McGough )

Book Thirty Four - The Plague by Albert Camus )

Book Thirty Five - The Demon Headmaster / The Prime Minister’s Brain by Gillian Cross )

Books Thirty Six to Thirty Nine - Mennyms in the Wilderness / Mennyms Under Siege / Mennyms Alone and Mennyms Alive )

Book Forty - The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling )

Book Forty One - Enchanted Places by Christopher Milne )

Book Forty Two - The Woman In White by Wilkie Collins )

Book Forty Three - Winter Ghosts by Kate Mosse )

I have also read a few more books, bringing my total up to 47 this year so far! - Howards End by EM Forster, Danny The Champion of the World / James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick, and Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier, but I have just discovered the Project Gutenburg website (why have I never looked at it before!) so am just off to download some books!! :)
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I very rarely get genuinely insulted while walking down the street - unless it was actually someone I know insulting me, when I would really be offended.

So I usually get people shouting "goth", or "cut your hair" at me - and that just makes me smile :)

The best time was when someone driving past in a car shouted something, and threw an egg, but it didn't even get near me, it actually just smashed all down the side of their car...haha. Fail!
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Book Twenty Three – The Great Silence by Juliet Nicholson )

Book Twenty Four - The Reader by Bernhard Schlink )

Book Twenty Six - Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw )

Book Twenty Seven - Cautionary Verses by Hilare Belloc and Now We Are Sixty by Christopher Matthew )

Book Twenty Eight - Digging to America by Anne Tyler )

Book Twenty Nine - The Birthday Party and other plays by Harold Pinter )

Book Thirty - Fantastic Mr Fox and The Witches by Roald Dahl )

Book Thirty One - The Iceman Cometh by Eugene O'Neill )

Book Thirty Two - The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh )

Wow, well this year I’ve read more so far than I read in 3 months in 2009…haha. Although I do feel like I’m “cheating” a bit as most of them have been either children’s or poetry! But no matter how long it takes me to read I suppose its still improving my mind and giving me greater knowledge about things, so that’s all good. I’m really enjoying reading the children’s books again, as they were so great when I was younger and are mostly still great now! I’m currently reading “The Plague” by Albert Camus, which so far is much easier to read than I thought – I thought it would be a bit dense and philosophical – but luckily its not, and its really good.

I’ve also got one book (a fantastic collection of poetry!) 6 films (oops, bit behind on those! Might just do short film reviews this year as I’m reading so many books!) and a gig review to do, will come back and do those soon….
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Well that would of course depend on how much I won! But lets make it a nice round number and say I've won £1million :D

First I'd get the list of gigs and festivals I want to go to, and buy tickets for myself and my sister for them...then I'd go straight to the estate agents and look for a house :)

Then once I'd bought one of those I'd look for a house for my sister, and then work out how much money to give to my family and friends, and then to charity...then if I had any left after that I'd go to a record fair and buy lots of records... :D

see, I have this all worked out...but I'm never going to win as I don't even do the lottery!
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Books Fifteen to Nineteen, and Twenty Five – Poetry

I have never really read much poetry before in such an intense way, although we have several compilations of poems, and my mum has some lovely books in which she’s written her favourite poems, I’ve never really consciously gone through one poet’s work in particular. I have enjoyed it though, and am definitely going to read more in the future.

My Thoughts on the poems and poets I have read so far )

23 / 120 books. 19% done!

If anyone reading this knows of any other poets and poems I should look into, considering the ones I do and don’t like, please let me know! :)
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I'm going to review the poetry I've read in a separate post, so thats why the book numbers are out of sequence!

Book Fourteen - Fingersmith by Sarah Waters )

Book Twenty - Folk Devils and Moral Panics by Stanley Cohen )

Book Twenty One - Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh )

Book Twenty Two - Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watston )

17 / 120 books. 14% done!

Currently watching the Australian Open Final...Murray will probably lose, but if he could just have one set that would be nice!! :)
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Book Thirteen – The Master by Colm Toibin

Source: Library
Challenges? 1001, Author Surname (T)
Decade published?
Rating: 6 / 10

This book is a fictional account of the life of Henry James, the people he knew, the places he lived and the inspirations for his books. It describes how he moves around to various places, after being born in America he moves to various places in Europe, Venice and then to the Isle of Wight. It describes his relationships with his family, and with his friends, including some bits which I assume are mainly fictional regarding his relationships with various men that he knew – yes relationships in that way! To be honest that annoyed me a bit, because how do we know he was that way inclined? There were apparently some letters which suggested it, but its just all speculation. But I suppose that’s the point of the book really! It was quite a good book, the individual episodes were good, including some interesting commentary on the American Civil War, but the structure was a bit all over the place, and it went back and forward in time and place, which was a bit confusing, and I didn’t really find it very easy to get through due to this

13 / 120 books. 11% done!
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Book Nine - Matilda / The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl )

Book Ten - The Illustrated Mum by Jacqueline Wilson )

Book Eleven - When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six by AA Milne )

Book Twelve - George's Marvellous Medicine and The BFG by Roald Dahl )

12 / 120 books. 10% done!

I've read one other book, and two lots of poetry, and have two films to review (one of them was SO brilliant, but so emotionally draining, hence the "sad" mood thingy on this!), but that'll do for now :)
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Apparently its the most depressing week of the year this week...so here are a few happy links to hopefully make you smile!

Bat Activities - including "make a flat bat and take pictures of him in funny places! :D - http://www.bats.org.uk/pages/fun_batty_things_to_do.html

A very pretty lady! - http://britishpathe.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/the-lovely-audrey-hepburn/

Daily Bunny Is Daily! - http://dailybunny.org/archive

And finally a funny story about politicians! - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12232145
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Book Three - The Suitcase Kid / The Story of Tracy Beaker by Jacqueline Wilson )

Book Four - The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters )

Book Five - Esio Trot by Roald Dahl and Mary Poppins by PL Travers )

5 / 120 books. 4% done!

Currently reading a really boring book, and watching a really boring film...will probably come back tomorrow to review them!
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Books One and Two )

2 / 120 books. 2% done!

Films One to Five )

I watched a really lovely programme about Pixar on BBC3 last night. It was called Pixar's best 25 moments, but it also had about how the company developed, how they thought of the ideas, and had lots of interviews with people who have done the voices about how Pixar works and has developed. It was really lovely, and really showed how highly respected Pixar's work has become. Just lovely! Its available on the Iplayer now, watch it! :)
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Sorry if I'm posting too much, but I keep finding things to post about...heres some book questions! :)

The first book you read this year: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

The last book you finished this year: The Liar by Stephen Fry

The first book you will finish in the new year: Elizabeth Costello by JM Coetzee. Not sure what I thought of it, but my opinion isn't particularly favourable...

Your favorite "classic" you read this year: Dracula by Bram Stoker. My favourite "modern" classic was The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

The book series you read the most volumes of this year: The Matthew Shardlake series by CJ Sansom, I read Dark Fire and Revelation (which I gave 10 / 10 to)

The genre you read the most this year: Probably historical fiction

The book that disappointed you: Double Fault by Lionel Schriver (it was boring and the characters were horrible, disappointing because We Need To Talk About Kevin was so good), Life of Pi, Catcher in the Rye, Middlesex, The Finkler Question and A Liar I thought were going to be good but weren't!

The book you liked better than you expected to: Gone with the Wind - after hating Scarlett O'Hara I didn't expect to like the rest of the book, but it was still really good despite her!

The hardest book you read this year (topic or writing style): Naked Lunch, as I found it really boring and just rubbish!

Funniest book you read this year: Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now, by Andrew Collins (about his life at art school, and being a goth, haha, in the 80s), and Dear Fatty by Dawn French

The saddest book you read this year: The Forgotten Voices of the Great War - a record of soldier's memories of the First World War, and The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne.

The shortest book you read this year: Graves and Graveyards, which was short 1970s book about graveyards, written for school children I think, but it had some quite interesting bits! :)

The longest book you read this year: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, or World Without End by Ken Follett

A book that you discovered this year that you will definitely read again: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

A book that you never want to read again: Naked Lunch by William Burroughs, or The Average American Male by Chad Kultgen. Both horrible books!!

And finally, make a New Year's Resolution: Read more books from the 1001 books to read before you die - last year I only read 13, and in previous years I've read about 50 of them, so I'm determined to do better this time :)
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I watched 78 films this year...well actually I only watched 73, but watched one three times and three twice. I seem to have been quite generous with my film ratings, more generous than with books anyway. It might be that I often have more of an idea about what the films are about than I do with books, so I only watch ones on subjects I know I'll like, whereas with books I read anything!

I gave 8 films 10 / 10:

Hot Fuzz
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino's version)
This Is England
Toy Story 3
Pulp Fiction
Shaun of the Dead
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Mary Poppins

I'd recommend everyone watch all of those actually :D Shaun of the Dead is my favourite film, and Mary Poppins was my favourite childhood film, so maybe start with them and move onto the rest! This Is England is soul-destroying (in a Requiem for a Dream kind of way), so you will have to watch something happy after it, haha.

I gave three films 5 / 10:

The Village
The Other Boleyn Girl

I can't remember why I didn't like Doomsday. The Village just had a weak story (but Adrian Brody was excellent in it). The Other Boleyn Girl was just horribly miscast and just had something about it which wasn't quite right. Which is a shame, as I really liked the book.

I kind of failed at trying to go to the cinema more - I did see 11 films at the cinema, but thats not as many times as I thought I would go. But then again there haven't been that many films which I really wanted to see at the cinema, otherwise I would have gone more. Well, the problem probably is that the cinema near me is just rubbish, and only has the main blockbuster films on, if you want to go and see any more independent or "arty" films, they just don't have them on. But oh well! The main film I wanted to see last year and didn't see was Inception. I still don't really know what its about (and don't want to know, in case it ruins the story!) but it sounds intreiging! (..or however that word is spelt...)

In the three days of this year I've already watched four films and one comedy dvd, so I better get on with my reviews this year! :)
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