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Happy New Year!

Hope everyone had a happy new year and that 2012 will be a great one :)

New Years was pretty quiet for me, I just watched movies and then the Sydney fireworks at midnight and then went to bed. So nothing too exciting there.

I have three resolutions/goals that I would like to achieve this year.

1. Get a full time job (preferably as a journalist) that is related to my degree
2. Finally get on board with building up my hours and getting my Ps (my Ls expire October 2013 but I really should have already gotten my Ps by now)
3. Travel (I'm aiming to do the Contiki Grand Explorer to New Zealand sometime at the end of November/early December depending on how my finances/savings fare this year.

I have also made a quick youtube video revealing what my top ten most anticipated movies of 2012 are. It took me ages to narrow it down to a top ten but I was pretty pleased with the result.

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I received my final uni grades, I passed everything, so that means I will be graduating next month :)

So what was supposed to initially be a 3 year course (I first started out doing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of New England in 2006), has progressed into being like a 6 year course (included a year and a half stint at TAFE to redo the equivalent of the HSC). But today I officially completed my studies and will now receive a Bachelor of Communications (Journalism).

I think this year has been one of the most stressful ones that I've experienced. Between being sick for months on end (I still don't know what was actually wrong), two weeks being amongst the chaos that was the 2011 Sydney Royal Easter Show and generally working and trying to finalize the work I needed to hand in ...I'm just glad that this part of my studies is over.

I've started looking for jobs that I'm qualified for, I'm still with my job at Target even though for a few weeks nothing was happening with it but I think it was due to the retail slump but I've been getting a few shifts now and I'm still eligible for Newstart (Centrelink) to help me until I can find a full time/part time job in the Communications industry. I haven't had much luck yet but I've applied for a few different jobs over the past few weeks.

I'm also aiming at saving up to go on Contiki next year, I'm looking at October 2012 to do the Grand Explorer from Auckland to Christchurch, which is about 15 days. The tour costs around $2000, but I've figured I will need about $5000 to cover for the flights, optionals and other expenses. I've roughly worked out that I need to save about $400 give or take to have enough to go, it still depends on whether or not I find a permanent job by then but I'm still going to keep saving and see where I end up. I just feel the need to travel somewhere, my ultimate goal is Europe and I'd love to be able to do the Ultimate European Plus Egypt tour but that would take me a few years to save up but we'll see.

I will also be seeing the new Australian production of Annie in January next year. I've had my ticket for the 11th since August and I'm quite excited about seeing it, I've only seen an amateur production of Annie and I wasn't able to go the last time it was playing in Sydney back in 2000/2001. This past year I was able to see Mary Poppins twice (and loved both of them) and I finally saw a production with Marina Prior. I'm hoping that the matinee performance of Annie I'm still will have Anthony Warlow in it because I missed out seeing him in Phantom when I saw it back in 2008.

So I think that generally covers everything that has been happening over the past few months. The biggest one being that I've finally completed my studies :). I didn't intend for this entry to be so long but I think it's been a while since I've actually done a proper update.

I've really got to get back into the swing of actually using my lj.
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Movie update

So it's been a couple of months since I did a movie going experience entry so I just thought I'd do a general update on my cinema-goings and also to direct you to a new blog that I started just for movies and movie reviews, I will still be updating this journal but I decided to have a blog just so I can do film reviews.

Yesterday I went and saw two movies Real Steel and In Time, both were better than what I had thought they would be. I've been to the movies 25 times this year, which is pretty much more than I've been in the past decade. I've really kept up the momentum this year, I've just fallen in love with going to the cinema on a regular basis. The only movie that I found somewhat disappointing is the remake of Footloose, granted I haven't seen the original even though I do own it on DVD, i just haven't gotten around to watching it yet.

This is my general listing of films I've seen this year (cinema wise):

The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Live from Royal Albert Hall
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Super 8
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers 3
Red Dog
Captain America
Cowboys & Aliens
X-Men: First Class
Real Steel
Fright Night
Source Code
In Time
Horrible Bosses
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Glee the 3D Concert Movie
Green Lantern
Johnny English Reborn
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Friends with Benefits

And I also saw The Lion King 3D, but because that's a 3D version of an older film I'm not ranking even though it would be first if I did.

So now these are the films coming out that I want to see over the remaining months of the year:

The Tree Musketeers 3D (I had wanted to see this when I saw Contagion but there were technical difficulties at the session I was at, so hopefully when I go next week they will have sorted it out)
Arthur Christmas
The Immortals 3D
Mission Impossible 1V
Tower Heist

And these are the ones that I will most likely see:

The Cup
Paranormal Activity 3 (even though I haven't seen 1 or 2 yet)
Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn Pt. 1
Puss in Boots 3D

There are still a couple of films coming out that I'm not sure if my local cinema will get them or not but that's my plan for the remainder of the year film wise.
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So after so many attempts at figuring out a way that I could display most of my things, I've ended up using one of my bookshelves that previously housed by regular DVDs to hold my books in because I have been on a serious book buying binge lately and I at least wanted to display my main books.

The only problem with all this book buying is that I do not have enough time to read everything, seriously I need a time turner just to be able to get through everything. It's the same problem I have with DVD buying I just keep buying more despite not yet watching everything.

I'm currently reading like six books at the moment, mostly because there were a couple that I just wanted to get straight into reading so I'm now alternating between a different book a night at this point so this is what my reading list looks like:

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
Doctor Who - Winner Takes All
Dead Until Dark
I Am Number Four (which I realized after I filmed my bookshelf tour that I had left it out of the video)
Vampire Academy #1
The Hunger Games
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I ended up going down to Sydney for the day on Monday. My main purpose was to see Glee the 3D Concert movie because as far as I'm aware Sydney is the only area in my region that is getting it. The trip was quite spontaneous because I only decided about a week ago that I was going and initially I was planning for Friday but because it was so soon I had already been scheduled to work so I had to wait until Monday.

This is the second time in two months that I've been to Sydney (not excluding my two week internship at the Easter Show in April), I'm becoming quite familiar with the train trip to Central, the travelling is my least fav part because it is so long. If I didn't have my iPod I would go insane (more so than usual).

So the cinema I went to was Hoyts Broadway at the shopping centre, which was about four or five blocks from Central (I underestimated the length of the journey) and thought I was going the wrong way at first because I didn't think I'd ever get there.

I did a bit of shopping and got some new DVDs and books. Went to Dymocks which was across from Hoyts and I knew as soon as I stepped in there I was going to regret it because the shop was massive. I got three new books, which I didn't really need because I'm reading like four books at the moment and I've already got a ton of books on my to-read-list. I ended up buying The Eye of the World #1, Kushiel's Dart and The Hunger Games (which was the main book I was after).

So I went and saw Glee at 12:30pm, which was a lot of fun. The screen was like an IMAX (it's called Xtremescreen, so I think it'd be the closest equivalent) and I got out at about two and my train didn't leave until 5:23 so I had a few hours to kill in and so I went to a second movie and saw Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which initially I didn't think I was going to be able to get to because it started at 2:00 but I got there just as they were showing trailers.

Really enjoyed both movies, even though Glee isn't exactly a movie as such and I thought Rise of the Planet of the Apes was fantastic. I've never seen any of the Planet of the Apes films and I'm only vaguely familiar with the concept but after seeing it I knew I want to check out the original films and today I've ordered the Blu-Ray box set of the 1960s/70s films.

I haven't done a double cinema trip in ages, I think the last time was like when I saw Shrek and Rugrats in Paris back in 2001.

So I've now been to the movies 12 times this year. I've just become really into film, more so than what I've normally been in. I think going to the cinema more regularly as helped with that. I'm planning on seeing Cowboys & Aliens tomorrow but the session isn't until 12:10pm so I think I'm going to a movie in the morning, at this stage it looks i'll be seeing Red Dog.

This is an updated list of movies I've seen in 2011 including both seeing them at the cinema and watching them on blu ray.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt. 2
Super 8
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Transformers 3
Captain America: The First Avenger
X-Men: First Class
Source Code
Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides
Glee the Movie Concert 3D
Green Lantern
The Adjustment Bureau
No Strings Attached
The Green Hornet
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This past month I've been to the cinema once a week, which is a lot for me because usually I'm struggling to go four times a year. General movie summary:

Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - On Stranger Tides 3D
Date Seen: 2 June 2011
Rating: 8/10
General: Pirates 4 really surprised me, I wasn't expecting much from the latest installment in the franchise and thought I would go to just check it out. I enjoyed it a lot and it is now my second favourite out the saga. I wasn't a big fan of the 3D effects though and I would have rather gone to the regular 2D session instead.

Movie: X-Men: First Class
Date Seen: 9 June 2011
Rating: 8.5/10
General: I wasn't too sure what to expect with the 'reboot' prequel. After I rewatched the X-Men movies in preparation for the new movie, at the time I hadn't seen the Last Stand or Origins: Wolverine and I really liked both of them. I actually would have liked to have seen a fourth sequel but that's probably never going to happen. I did like this movie a lot though and I can't wait to see where they go with this new series.

Movie: Super 8
Date Seen: 16 June 2011
Rating: 9.5/10
General: One word - AWESOME. This movie was so much fun to see, I wasn't too sure what to expect as I'm sure most people were as there wasn't much detail about the movie known but it was a great sci-fi action blockbuster and I can't wait for the Blu Ray of this. This is my favourite movie of the year thus far.

Movie: Bridesmaids
Date Seen: 22 June 2011
Rating: 8/10
General: I really enjoyed this movie, a bit different to what I normally go and see but I was trying to go once a week and this movie seemed the most appealing. I haven't seen a comedy at the movies since I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding in 2002 but I thought this was a really well done comedy and I thought Melissa McCarthy was great in this!

Movie: Transformers 3
Date Seen: 30 June 2011 (today)
Rating: 9/10
General: Transformers has been a series that I've only recently gotten in to. In the last week alone I saw the first two movies for the first time as I thought I'd better see these ones before I saw the third one and while I liked both I think the third one is now my favourite of the three. I thought this movie was frakin awesome and I want to go and see it again but in 3D this time because I think it would be epic to see it in 3D. My second favourite movie of the year.

So halfway through the year and this is what my top favourite list looks like out of the 2011 movies I've seen:

1. Super 8
2. Transformers 3
3. Thor
4. X-Men: First Class
5. The Source Code
6. Bridesmaids
7. Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - On Stranger Tides
8. The Green Hornet
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So depending on my schedule for work next week I'm planning on going to the cinema to see Pirates 4, I don't really have high hopes for it but I do want to see it on the big screen and I've heard pretty decent things about the movie.

I'm trying to get to the cinema more this year as this will be my final year on student concession and there are actually quite a few movies coming out that I'm looking forward to seeing. I saw Thor last month (even though my Aunty paid for that one) and I saw The Source Code last week.

So I've made a tentative plan for the movies that I want to see this year, there will probably be more but I know for certain I want to see these ones:

Pirates of the Caribbean 4 - On Stranger Tides (If I have time I'm going to rewatch 1 - 3 before I see it)

X-Men: First Class (I still need to see X3 and Origins: Wolverine)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
Captain America

The Green Lantern
Fright Night

The Three Musketeers

In other news I bought my ticket to see Mary Poppins at the Capitol Theatre in Sydney next month, I still need to buy my train ticket but I think I still need to wait until the connecting bus times come out. My ticket is for June 15 1:00pm matinee session and I can't wait to go, after the past couple of months I've had this is just what I need :)