Here at Blue Centerlight Pop, Sarah and Erin bring you reviews on movies, books and anything else we deem worthy. We’re both quite the avid readers, so read the reviews and see what’s worth your attention.

If You Follow Me, Would You Go?

Marina is adrift in her life. She runs from the numbness of her father’s suicide to Japan. She is in Shika, Japan for one year to be an English teacher. She thought she could escape her past, but in Japan her past found her.

How Jane Austen Ruined my Life

While browsing through rows of books, I happened upon one called “Jane Austen Ruined my Life” by Beth Pattillo. That sounded like an interesting title and on the cover is a woman dressed in red, holding a letter and looking either utterly distressed or constipated. After reading the description on the back, I knew I had to read it.

That bizarre kid called ‘Keith’

The plot is easy. Popular girl who has everything (looks, sports, grades, boys) gets chosen by this boy to be his lab partner. The teacher says everyone was randomly placed together, but they weren’t. It was all Keith’s doing.

‘Invictus’, Rugby and Learning to be the Captain of your Soul

The opening scene is enough to replicate the social ambiance of the time period to the audience. There is a group of young black boys playing soccer on a field with a high, dilapidated metal fence and children wearing what could be called clothes, though their “clothes” are rags. On the other side of the road, a group of Caucasian boys play rugby on an emerald green lawn in sparkling white uniforms. Their coach remarks on Mandela’s release as, “Boys, remember this is the day our country went to hell.”

On the other hand, the general consensus is that Mandela is there to unite the bitterly divided country during his first term in office. On one side, there are the black compatriots who have been oppressed and disenfranchised. On the other, there are white Afrikaner nationalists who want to keep hold of system that repressed their fellow countrymen. He attempts to amalgamate South Africa upon the split of social values and issues of human injustice by transforming the horrid Springboks rugby team into national heroes.

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Avaste Ye ‘Pirate Radio’!

The story begins with Carl(Tom Sturridge) arriving on the Radio Rock ship because he had been expelled from his school for smoking cigarettes and marijuana. He claims his mother sent him there to try a different way of life with his Uncle Quentin(Bill Nighy). He meets a ragtag crew who DJs twenty-four hours a day from the ship, including the ship’s cook, Felicity(Katherine Parkinson), who plays a lesbian. Carl bunks with a man called Kevin, who is nicknamed Thick Kevin(Tom Brooke) because he doesn’t process information that quickly (Kevin wore an Easter bunny costume to Christmas dinner). This is a coming of age story for Carl who learns about rock ‘n roll and loses his virginity(while it was being broadcast live). More

‘Precious’, a Harlem Gothic Story

The film follows the journey of Claireece ”Precious” Jones(Gabourey Sidibe), an overweight sixteen-year-old African-American living in Harlem in 1987. She lives in a life no one would desire. She’s pregnant with the second time by her absentee father. Her home life is very turbulent because she has to wait on her mother(Mo’Nique) who smokes like a chimney and watches television all day. Precious is abused emotionally and physically by her mother, who at one point makes Precious eat macaroni and fried pig’s feet because she is unsatisfied with the meal. More

Things We Couldn’t Say

Diet’s story is true. She had to keep a secret. Several secrets, actually. People depended upon her to keep her silence so that they could live.

It’s all about the Girl and her Ramen obsession

The Ramen Girl” is about, Abby, a spoiled American who rushes to live in Tokyo with her boyfriend. He leaves her alone in Tokyo because he’s a “traveller and he’s not feeling the relationship.” Not sure what to do next, Abby finds solace in a neighborhood ramen shop, unable to speak any Japanese. She works in a law firm as a copywriter and she is barely given any work to do. She sees the ramen shop as her sign to begin her long journey as a ramen chef… More

New York, I love you… but you’re way too complex!

“New York, I Love You” explores the major complicated theme that is love. The film is described on the official website as: “love in all its varieties, from first love, tough love and momentary love, to love remembered, love denied, love yearned for and love that lasts forever.”Love is a tricky, sticky emotion that makes people act like fools and drives us all crazy… More

A Matchmaker from Hell

Meet Emma Woodhouse. Jane Austen wrote the first sentence describing Emma in a way every one could be envious: “I am going to take a heroine whom no-one but myself will much like. Emma Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich.” Envious of Emma? I am!.. More

The September Issue

Director R.J. Cutler brings to the screen the hectic, dramatic and often heart breaking process of the creation of the famous September issue of Voguemagazine. “The September Issue” follows the chilly Anna Wintour and flamed-haired Grace Coddington, the Creative Director of American Vogue, through the streets of London, New York and Paris in the development of the magazine… More

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

Shanghai Girls begins in the year 1937 centering around two sisters Pearl, the eldest, and May Chin. Both girls are on the cusps of their youth in Shanghai, China before Mao took over the country. Shanghai is called the Paris of the East. The city is dripping with glamor, high fashion, excellent society, beggars, gamblers and everything life has to offer. Pearl and May get everything they want because they are fashionable girls that must keep up their image as “beautiful girls.” They model for calendars, advertising campaigns and just for fun. The girls laugh at their parents foolish, traditional ways to live their carefree life, until everything changes… More

Daniel Deronda

While gallivanting in Europe, Gwen meets Daniel Deronda, an English gentleman who is the ugly duckling, so to speak, of his family. He never quite fits in with the rest and is not sure why. He’s studying classics at Cambridge when he decides to go on a rendezvous to find himself. He meets Gwen while she is gambling away everything she has. She loses it all and must return to England, but before she can do that, Deronda does Gwen a great favor which causes romantic tension between the two and ties them together like a spider’s web… More

He Knew He Was Right

Yesterday I was in the mood to watch a period piece because I’m a dork like that. I wanted to watch something taking place in the 1800s and that was different from the average Jane Austen-ish drama. After doing research via IMDB and Netflix, I decided to watch the BBC mini series “He Knew He Was Right.” It’s an adaptation of Anthony Trollope’s novel. Here’s the synopsis of the series from BBC Drama:

Louis (Oliver Dimsdale) and his wife, Emily Trevelyan (Laura Fraser), are madly in love.  Emily’s a strong woman seeking to make her own decisions, but Louis is a fragile man who can’t stand up to her.  Through mistrust and lack of communication they head inexorably for disaster. Notorious womaniser Colonel Osborne (Bill Nighy) drives a wedge between the two by visiting Emily too frequently and causing gossip. The confrontation between Louis and his beloved wife over her liaisons with Colonel Osborne drives Louis into a vortex of misery and, ultimately, madness… More

Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

Angela’s Ashes was first printed in 1996 and received the Pulitzer Prize in 1997. The book is an autobiographical account of Frank (Francis) McCourt’s days growing up in New York City and Limerick, Ireland. He had a large family that struggled for every bit of money they had… More

Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay

I will confess that the first time I picked up this book, I did not want to read it. My name is Sarah, I have a little brother, and I’m jewish. I was afraid it would hit a little too close to home, but I am so glad I ended up reading it. When I did read it on a recommendation from my Mother, I found out I had more to relate to the book than I had imagined. I’m a journalism student with an itch to travel and live abroad, and one of the main characters is an American journalist… More

The Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir

There is something ever so fascinating about Henry VIII’s life and all of his wives. Each one was very different and he always desired a new characteristic after being done with one wife, such as a more virtuous woman. After reading this novel, my mom thrust the book in my hands and said, “You HAVE to read this.” I finished the novel in three days and absolutely loved it… More


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