And now for something a little bit different – QI

QI - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

QI – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

QI (2003-)

Stars: Stephen Fry and Alan Davies

There are few shows that I can watch by myself and find myself laughing out loud. QI is one of those rare shows that never fails to be both freaking hilarious and informative. I am constantly amazed at how much I find myself giggling as I sit on my bed watching it on my laptop. There is something wonderful about comedians revealing their intelligence and the way their wonderful minds work. Of course then you realise the reason they are such good comedians is because they do know quite a bit about the world and thus can find what is truly funny about it.

QI, which stands for Quite Interesting, is a “game show” for the intellectuals. It is comprised of questions relating to all different aspects of the world. From Astonomy to the Immortal Bard to Zoology and Agriculture. It covers a myriad of ideas and facts and corrects the general ignorance of the world one episode at a time. Along with these weird and wonderful facts there is the weird and wonderful guests that grace the desk of QI with Stephen Fry and Alan Davies every week. They are mostly British comedians with a few extras thrown in for good measure. They compete for you knows the most interesting things and who is least taken by the myths that are spread by the general public.

My favourite thing by far about this show is Alan Davies. He is the representative of the world on QI. And as much as Stephen Fry would like to prove him to be an idiot, I think he is the one who shows the most humility and hilarity. He represents the public and helps us to know that we aren’t just all stupid, but simply ill-informed.

If you haven’t seen QI I would really recommend it. It is a fun show and you will giggle and learn at the same time, what could be bad about that!?

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Films I Watch A Million Times Series – Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl - Official Poster - from IMDB.com

Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

Pirates Of The Caribbean – Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

Director: Gore Verbinski
Writers: Ted Elliott (screen story & screenplay) &Terry Rossio (screen story & screenplay) and Stuart Beattie (screen story) and Jay Wolpert (screen story)
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and Orlando Bloom

Oh the bliss that is to fall in love with a pirate! I saw this film at the cinemas with my best friend from High School. I had a big crush on Orlando Bloom due to the Lord of The Rings trilogy (yes I know, not so appealing now, but that long blonde hair and elvish tongue, yum!) but when I left the theatre I had an even bigger crush on Johnny Depp. How can you compete when standing next to something as beautiful as a pirate in the form of Depp? I still think Elizabeth should’ve run off with Captain Jack but he would never have put up with her. They will always have that night on the island though.

This was the first film that I really fangirled over as a teen. I was obsessed with everything Pirates. I bought the DVD, watched the special features multiple times, watched the film so many times through my last year of school that I can’t recall how many times I’ve actually seen it, although my DVD looks worn. It was the film I put on in the background when I was studying, when I wanted to fall asleep, when I wanted to escape into another world, when I wanted to daydream. It was fun, action packed, funny, and well crafted.

Admittedly the second and third film in the franchise were not as wonderful, and the fourth was a little strange as well, but the original is always the best – except possibly in the case of Toy Story because the third one made me cry like a baby and laugh like a little girl. Anyway… Pirates Of The Caribbean was a brilliant film because it combined all the things I loved about action films, comedies, periods and romance. The grittiness of pirates contrasted with the beauty of the Caribbean with brilliance. The humour of Depp was startling against the drama of Geoffrey Rush. The special effects were stunning. The story line well-balanced. The performances of the actors throughout the film are still entertaining and still make me giggle.

But through all of these features there is one thing that always keeps me coming back for more. It is that it is simple and charming. It isn’t a hard film to watch. It’s purely entertaining. I love that it is a fun film that I can watch over and over again. And even though it’s probably not to everyone’s taste, it is to mine. It doesn’t necessarily have a big moral story overlaying it, nor does it try to be too complicated, it just takes you along for the ride and lets you enjoy the scenery and the ebb and flow of the pirate film. This is what a great action film does for me, it tells an exciting story and allows you to enjoy it. And that’s why I’ll keep on watching it into my old age.

Do you have a film that you watch repeatedly just because you enjoy it?

Films I Watch A Million Times Series – 10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You - Official Poster  - from IMDB.com

10 Things I Hate About You – Official Poster – from IMDB.com

10 Things I Hate About You (1999)

Director: Gil Junger
Writers: Karen McCullah Lutz, Kirsten Smith, and William Shakespeare (play “The Taming of the Shrew”)
Stars: Heath Ledger, Julia Stiles and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I first saw 10 Things I Hate About You on a plane on the way to America as a 12 year old. I immediately loved it and it was always my dream as a teen to be like Kat. She was feisty, strong, had a mind of her own, and wasn’t going to be treated like a fool by anyone. It was her strength of mind that I loved most. She disregarded convention and was a rebel of a different kind. Kat rebelled against what was popular. In a lot of ways she was my first experience of indie, but it was more than that. I had never had much guts as a kid but heading into high school and becoming my own person (in my own mind anyway) was the chance to turn things around, to be a stronger woman, to stand against what I didn’t agree with, and be whoever she deemed she wanted to be. It was this that really connected me to the movie.

The relationships between all the characters are familiar to most as it is based on William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew which has had numerous renditions and adaptations. And as with most Shakespeare plays it has been done well and not so well as it has stood up to the testing of Hollywood. There are some really fantastic adaptations of Shakespeare including Baz Luhrmann’s modern Romeo & Juliet and Kenneth Branagh’s Hamlet and Much Ado About Nothing. However for adaptations into a new period and without the Shakespearean dialogue you can’t go past 10 Things I Hate About You. It stands on its own two feet as a good teen rom-com-drama as well as adapting a brilliant Shakespeare. The characterisation of Kat and Bianca are beautifully fulfilled by Julia Stiles and Larisa Oleynik, let alone the performances of the young Heath Ledger and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Patrick Verona and Cameron James respectively. It was imaginatively formed and it came together to produce a film that would continue to be enjoyed throughout the next 13 years.

This film helped shape me as a person and there have been so many moments when I have quoted lines from this film in real life and then realised that only the people who have seen it millions of times would know the significance of a line like “Sleep is good” or “Yeah, that’s a Toyota.” It also made me want to have curly long hair like Julia Stiles but that was never going to happen with my straight-can’t-be-curled-hair. It was the attitude of Kat and Patrick that I fell in love with most. It was the carefree attitude mixed with strength and loyalty that I strived for and in a lot of ways still do. It’s hard to be a people pleaser but it’s also incredibly hard to not let people’s opinions of us get the better of us and command what we do, say, wear, like, etc.

10 Things I Hate About You still makes me laugh, cry, and think hard about how I’m acting in my life. Kat is one of my heroines of literature and even though this says a lot about me and the kind of person I want to be, I care more like Bianca and obsessive like Cameron, and slightly less delusional than Mandelia, and simply awkward like Michael. It is a film where I relate to pretty much every character and they have come with me in this journey of life as influencing characters who have reminded me of what is real, what is true, and what is honest.

I lived vicariously through Kat as I grew up as a teenager and wanted to be like her. She was my role model. She had the attitude and the lifestyle I wanted. She was intelligent, driven and quick-witted. She wanted to escape to the big city. She didn’t want anyone controlling her life. She was brilliant in my eyes. I know she was never the best example or role model but I love her all the same.

What film or character did you love through your teens? Do they still influence you to this day?