Taking Stock: April 2014 | Monthly Roundup

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- photo scrapbooking

B: getting back into reading, kickthepj's channel and feeling inspired to create things
L: the latest Marvel films, roast pork chow mein and painting random stuff!


WATCHING  {check out our april film reviews}
B&Lsome movies, the walking dead s4, parks and rec s6, breaking bad s5, agents of SHIELD s1 and adventure time s1.

B&L: west coast - lana del rey, heart of glass - blondie, heartbreaker - metronomy, rebellion (lies) - arcade fire.

L dead nation, FIFA 14, dragon age origins, kingdoms of amalur: reckoning  

READING  {check out bee's april book reviews}
B: dark places, ham on rye, wild abandon, books vs. cigarettes and life drawing
L: a dance with dragons: dreams and dust

B: a clearer idea of what I'm doing for my diss, new clothes and a happy May
L: glass display cabinet for collectibles and a certain LFC to win the league! 

B: the pup, adventure time and the office (as ever) 
L: family guy t-rex, alan partridge and ron swanson

B: my diss, summer fun and blog projects 
Lsummer adventures, writing and business ventures

B: to get some writing done, to go on some adventures and to help Luke out
Lto do lots of writing in May!

  What have you been up to this month? 
• Do you have any plans for May?

LEAVE US YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW or tweet us @tftcblog. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe through Bloglovin and check us out on Twitter. We'll see you on Sunday!

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.



April Film Reviews | Monthly Roundup

APRIL FILM REVIEWS uk lifestyle blog the finer things club

We've been watching films, again. How predictable! Leave us your recommendations in the comments below and you'll be granted good luck and good fortune for the rest of your days...Okay, maybe not but it'd be nice to do so anyway, right?!   

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1. how i live noW (BEE LOVED IT!)
2013 | 101 MIN | action / drama / thriller
An American girl, sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelopes the world around her. 

B: I read the book last year and really enjoyed it, so I watched the film as soon as I saw it pop up on Netflix. I really enjoyed how the film was done stylistically, and I think the actors were absolutely brilliant in their roles. It was as horrifying as the book and I think that's important to note because I was a little worried that they'd tone it down a lot for a younger audience or try and overly romanticize it all. The soundtrack was also pretty good. Whilst some things had been changed for the screen, I did respect the majority of the creative decisions that were made. Obviously, you don't really get the scope and character development that you do with the book but, overall, I really enjoyed this film. A pretty faithful adaptation of a seriously impressive YA novel. Pick up the book and then enjoy the film if I were you. 

2013 | 146 MIN | Adventure / sci-fi / thriller
Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem.

B: We reviewed Catching Fire in our January film reviews but I recently re-watched it with my family. I enjoyed it just as much the second time around, if not moreso, and I'm ridiculously excited for the third installment that's out later this year. 

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2014 | 136 min | action / adventure / sci-fi
Steve Rogers struggles to embrace his role in the modern world and battles a new threat from old history: the 
Soviet agent known as the Winter Soldier.

b: This film was seriously impressive! Fantastic action scenes mixed in with a well thought out plot, it's pretty much all you could want from a superhero film. I thought the actors were superb and it has got me even more excited for Guardians of the Galaxy which I didn't think was possible...

L: I loved this film because it had everything I could have hoped for. The action was awesome, the overarching story intriguing, and it was even better than the first film which I loved. The only weakness I'd say was the main villain, he's certainly no Joker. Aside from that, this film is probably my favourite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date. It's even even better if you watch the Agents of Shield TV series which runs alongside all of the latest films. On a final note, I definitely think Nick Fury should take a break and present Pimp My Ride...that car!

there will be blood film review blog
4. there will be blood (we liked it!)
2007 | 158 min | drama
A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the 
early days of the business. 

BI think the best thing about this film was the superb performances that both Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano put in. There were some really interesting scenes in this film because it dealt with concepts and ideas that were pretty new to me. Whilst it's quite slow, and quite quiet, I imagine it's a film that some of you would enjoy.

l: Just to clarify, this is not a documentary about giving blood. In fact, it couldn't be further away from such noble deeds. It follows the life of a brilliantly cast, and acted, silver-miner-turned-oil-man and his journey from the end of the 19th Century into the 20th. The clash between business and religion is a particularly interesting part of the film but it is Daniel Day Lewis who will keep you fascinated from start to finish. 

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5. alan patridge: alpha papa (we liked it!)
2013 | 90 min | comedy
When famous DJ Alan Partridge's radio station is taken over by a new media conglomerate, it sets in motion 
a chain of events which see Alan having to work with the police to defuse a potentially violent siege. 

B: This film is piss-your-pants funny for AP veterans and n00bs alike. I haven't laughed at a film as much as I did with this one for bloody ages, so it was ridiculously refreshing to watch. Watch this if you're in need of a good laugh. You won't be disappointed. 

L: I had no idea what the film was about when I went into this one. Needless to say, there were plenty of laughs. I ended up liking it. The fact that the radio station was at the centre of a hostage situation made it unique, and Steve Coogan's infamous character had me laughing and smiling throughout. Comedy seems to be the one film genre I struggle to find good films in on a regular basis but I'm glad I gave this film a watch.  

6. the avengers (bee loved it!)
2012 | 143 min | action / fantasy 
Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. assembles a team of superheroes to save the planet from Loki and his army. 

B: This was another re-watch because I was horrified that my Dad hadn't seen it yet. If you're a big superhero fan, this film is an absolute must-see. It's got all the action, fight scenes and witty dialogue that you could want. Seriously good stuff. 

o brother, where art thou film reviews blog

7. o brother, where art thou? (i loved it!)
2000 | 106 min | comedy / crime
In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman 
pursues them. 

B: I'd been meaning to watch this film for ages so I was rather chuffed when my Dad requested that we watch it together last Sunday. I was absolutely enthralled by this film, and I honestly haven't stopped thinking about it since! I found everything about it fascinating, from the picture perfect cinematography to the flawless soundtrack. It's based on Homer's Odyssey and it was really intriguing to see how they adapted the tale and applied it to a completely different setting and era. In my opinion, they completely pulled it off. This film deals with some dark topics but it's really really good. Watch it now and attempt to tell me otherwise! My favourite Coen Brothers watch of the month. 

raising arizona film review

8. raising arizona ( bee liked it!)
1987 | 94 min | comedy / crime
When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cope decide to help themselves to one of another family's
quintuplets, their lives get more complicated than they anticipated. 

B: Not content with watching just one Coen Brothers movie last weekend, Dad decided to put this film on for us to watch post-roast dinner. Whilst nowhere near as snappy as their latest offerings, I quite liked Raising Arizona. Very young Nicholas Cage was a particular highlight - I know, who knew?! This is the sort of film you pop on on a lazy Sunday and come away not necessarily singing its praises but admitting that it was a 'good' watch, nonetheless. 

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Peter Parker runs the gauntlet as the mysterious company Oscorp sends up a slew of supervillains against him, 
impacting on his life.

B: I'm a bit of a sucker for the re-boot because I happen to love both Garfield and Stone. Their chemistry on screen is absolutely stunning and, when I think about it, all of the actors involved put in really strong performances here. Garfield, for me, is 100x better than McGuire when it comes to his interpretation of Spider-Man's sense of humour and underlying sarcasm, and I think it really envelopes you in. Yes, the film does get a little gimmicky at times but I think that's what I love about Spider-Man himself. He knows it's all a little ridiculous but he enjoys it. It's definitely a must-see for all those who have a soft spot for superhero movies and not just because of the stunning visual effects and action scenes. It's definitely a film that will leave you with a lot to think about afterwards though...I'm still struggling to process it all, if I'm perfectly honest. 

L:I wanted to love this film, I really did, but it just felt like it was missing something. Don't get me wrong, I certainly liked this film and, like Bee said above, Garfield's Spider-Man is awesome. I just felt it struggled to be its own film at times, and I was surprised how attached it was to the first film. It kind of felt like a hangover from the previous film in parts and its own story kind of suffered for that. I am still waiting for a villain to take this reboot by the scruff of the neck, and maybe we see one in the making towards the end of this film...

10. we're the millers (we liked it!)
2013 | 110 min | comedy / crime 
A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S.
from Mexico. 

B: This was a pretty funny film, surprisingly! There was great chemistry between the characters, the jokes were flowing, the plot was easy to follow and there were some really great scenes involving the hilarious Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn. The only gripe I had with the script was the re-occurring jokes about Rose's profession. It got a little tiresome, if I'm honest. I'd advise you to not watch the trailer beforehand because it includes a lot of the best gags! Otherwise, this was a comedy that I would recommend to all and one that I would probably re-watch if I fancied something light.  

L: I really wasn't sure about this film and, as a result, it took me a while to be persuaded to watch it but after all that I ended up enjoying it. I think Nick Offerman played a large role in me enjoying this film because I just find that guy hilarious - even though he is starting to become somewhat type cast in the roles he plays. I liked all four of  the main characters as they all contributed in their own way and created what I feel is a decent comedy film. 

fargo film review

11. fargo (we thought it was okay!)
1996 | 98 min | crime / drama / thriller 
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson. 

B: My third Coen Brothers watch of the month! I'd heard so much about the TV adaptation so I approached this film with quite high expectations. Honestly, I wasn't bowled over by it. It was 'good'. It was 'okay'. Steve Buscemi, as ever, put in a good performance but I think the pacing was a little off. It wasn't really what you'd expect from something that calls itself a thriller, really. The concept was really interesting but the film just didn't wow me like I was hoping it would. You can definitely see just how much the Coen Brothers have progressed over the years! I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for the impending adaptation though. 

L: Now since all the critical praise for the new FARGO TV series I thought I'd best watch this film to see where it all began and I was a little disappointed. I didn't find any of the characters to be particularly interesting, with Steve Buscemi's performance the only one that stood out for me. I just felt the film never really developed into anything thrilling and there was no real pace to the film. Maybe it's one of those films I could learn to appreciate more on a second viewing, but I don't think that will come by any time soon.  

B: O Brother, Where Art Thou?
L: Captain America: The Winter Soldier

  What have you been watching?  
• Have you seen any of these films? If so, what did you think?

LEAVE US YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW or tweet us @tftcblog. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe through Bloglovin and check us out on Twitter. We'll see you on Wednesday.

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.



How To Re-Furbish A Jewellery Box | DIY

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If you've been with us for a few months now, you'll remember that back in January we underwent a £5 charity shop challenge to buy gifts for one another. As a result, Luke managed to track down a pretty little jewellery box that was in need of a bit of TLC and we declared we'd refurbish it together. Not ones to go back on our word, here we are re-furbing the little beauty and giving it a new lease of life! 

It's not something we've done before but we are quite pleased with the results of our first go! We're n00bs with regards to this sort of thing but this is how we did it...

you'll probably need: 
utility / modelling knife, sandpaper, tape, acrylic water-based primer, paint or spray, foam sheets, needle and thread / stapler (optional), fabric, varnish and a pat on the back. 

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step one
Cut away the interior until you're left with a blank canvas to work with. 

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step two
Sand all surfaces until you're left with a smooth finish. 

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step three
Make sure you tape all hinges, latches, handles and mirrors on the box that you don't want to be painted. Cut away the excess tape for a better paint job. 

step four 
Add a thin coat of acrylic water-based primer to the box and wait for it to dry. Paint on another coat if you think it's necessary. We forgot to do this step so our box is a little more rugged! Oops!

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step five 
Paint / spray the box in the colour of your choice. We went for white because it's fresh and fits in with the colour scheme of its new home. Wait a little while for the first coat to dry before applying the next coat. Obviously.

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Cut your foam to size. We cut ours to the size of the drawers with a utility / modelling knife.  Easy peasy!

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Iron your fabric, if necessary, before cutting it to size. You want it to be just a little bigger than your piece of foam so you can fold it around the edges. 

STEP seven 
Tape / sew / staple your fabric to the bottom of your foam.  Place it in its new bed fabric facing upwards. 

STEP eight
Remove all tape from the mirror and other areas. 

STEP nine
Apply varnish to the exterior, if you fancy. 

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STEP ten 
Marvel at your work, you crafty genius. 

  What do you think? 
  Have you ever undertaken a re-furb project like this?

We're rather chuffed with the outcome. We have definitely caught the crafty bug of late! We'll see you on Sunday for our monthly film roundup. In the meantime, share your DIY stories in the comments! 

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.