You’ll hear plenty of people bemoaning “cancel culture” at the moment. Usually, it’s the people with the most controversial opinion who are so critical of it. All you need to do is look at JK Rowling and see that. Of course, the people who are so vocal about “cancel culture” are also the first people to vow never to use a service again if it goes against their ideas. You know what I’m talking about. The people who threw out their Yorkshire Tea because they don’t agree with racism or set fire to their Nikes when they stood behind Colin Kaepernick. They’ll also be the same people who have cancelled their Netflix subscription after the controversy surrounding one of their latest films. Although, you have to wonder how many have actually watched the feature film debut of writer and director Maïmouna Doucouré. I’d bet all of them have just eaten up what they’ve been told by right wing politicians or the media.
For those who haven’t read it, this week’s Tuesday Review was Judy. A film that mixes Renée Zellweger with Judy Garland and puts her in the 1960s. Which makes Down With Love the perfect film for today’s Throwback Thursday. Well, it is a film that mixes Renée Zellweger with Judy Garland and puts her in the 1960s. Plus, this one has Ewan McGregor’s face in it. And, as we all know, that can make anything better. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t completely hate the Star Wars prequels. Although, it was never enough to make me want to watch this film the first time around. 15-year-old me wasn’t a fan of romantic comedies. Not that 31-year-old me is but I am less of a twat about it. A friend of mine really liked it and told me it wasn’t bad. I couldn’t see it. But, after a long Monday at work, the draw of McGregor’s face and the promise of an easy watch finally got me to say yes. So, would it be worth the wait?
Some weeks I plan ahead what I’m going to watch for this throwback post so I know what I’m going to be in for. Other weeks I just randomly search for a 1988 film and pick the most ridiculous. This week was the latter. I’ve just not been in the mood this week. I’m in a massive funk right now thanks to various things so I just wanted to watch something simple and easy. And if it involves Tommy Lee Jones then all the better in my opinion. I’ve always kind of love his blunt and no-nonsense attitude. I love the fact that the man I probably first became aware of in Men in Black actually has no time for jokes. Just remember what he was like at the 2013 Golden Globes with his stony-faced reaction to every joke. It’s iconic. As someone who often just has no time for people, Tommy Lee Jones is kind of my idol. So, a random made for TV movie where he falls in love with a ghost? How the hell could I not?
When I first heard about it, I Feel Pretty was being marketed as some sort of feminist propaganda. I saw it mentioned on Facebook as being a must-see because of how super empowering it would be for all women. Then I saw the trailer and I got really angry. The film that was supposedly meant to provide a message about body positivity was actually just a run of jokes about Amy Schumer being fatter than a model. It really didn’t seem very empowering to me. This anger also made me really interested to see it but I knew I would hate it so much that I didn’t want to see it at the cinema. That would be giving it too much credit. But, inevitably, my fascination got the better of me so I finally watched it. Preparing for the worst.
I’ve got one more day of work before I head off on my holiday and I can’t wait. I’ve almost go ahead with next week’s posts. I just need to quickly write up next week’s TBT post tomorrow before I start packing. God, I hate packing. It’s days like this that make me wish I was still a kid. Remember how great it was when you went away and your mother packed all of your clothes for you? All you had to do was pack books and stuff. That was the bit I always looked forward to the most, obviously. Picking which books you take away is serious business. You want to take enough incase you get through them all but you can’t use up all of your space by taking too many. It’s such a difficult decision. And one that deserves more time than I’m going to be able to give it. Thanks to my bloody packing nightmare. God, being an adult is the worst… cut to shameless link to today’s TBT film. A film about a man who has a hard time dealing with growing up. Throughout his films John Hughes has explored the life of Chicago teenagers and She’s Having a Baby feels like the logical next step. We’ve seen them work their way through high school and now we get a picture of them trying to settle down. Starring Kevin Bacon. The darling of the 80s… as I’ve just dubbed him.
Normally I try to review up-to-date movies for my Tuesday post but today’s is a little different. Last night I went to Manchester to see Bianca Del Rio perform her ‘Blame it on Bianca del Rio’ tour. If you’ve been paying attention to my ‘Sunday Rundown’ posts over the past few years you’ll know that I’m a bit obsessed with RuPaul’s Drag Race. Bianca is definitely one of the greatest drag queens to win the show so I’ve been really excited to see her for months now. And it was a really good night and she was so funny. Brutal but funny. Completely not-PC but funny. Her humour offensive but completely over-the-top. It’s great in certain situations but I was never convinced that it would work in a film setting. Which is why it took me until last week to finally watch Hurricane Bianca. The film that was written and directed by Matt Kugelman to fully showcase Del Rio in all her glory. I’d seen it on Netflix for a really long time but was too afraid to see it. There was no way that I could see this going well.
I was absolutely sure that I’d seen all of Cocktail before. It’s one of those infamous Tom Cruise films that I guess I just know so much about that I believe I’ve watched it. I’ve seen the beginning, I’m sure. I know that somewhere along the line I’ve sat and watched Tom Cruise chuck bottles of booze around. But, when rewatching this week, I realised that there is a whole lot more to this film than I’d remembered. I guess I just never finished it. It’s like The Sound of Music. Throughout my childhood, I don’t think I’d ever got beyond the Edelweiss scene. That means for a large part of my life I’d never seen the Von Trapp family hike over the mountain to freedom. It does leave me wondering how many other films I claim to have seen despite never making it to the end credits. Have I ever actually watched any film? Is my memory just playing tricks on me? Well, whatever the case is, I can now happily say that I watched an entire film about Tom Cruise pretending to be a sexy barman who can mix drinks with style. It’s not like it’s made my life better but it’s a fact.
When I saw Avengers: Infinity War earlier this month I’d seen all but one of the films in the Marvel franchise. The only missing part was the biggest hit Marvel had seen up until Infinity War was released. It wasn’t as if I’d intended to skip Black Panther. I mean I was super excited about it before it came out. Hell, as soon as T’Challa turned up in Civil War was couldn’t wait to see how the MCU dealt with introducing us to Wakanda. It was a big moment for so many people and for so many reason. But, thanks to an annoyingly hectic schedule, I missed out and I had to make the choice to see Infinity War without it. Aside from a few characters I’d obviously never seen before, I don’t think I lost anything by not seeing it. It’s probably the only Marvel film that it’s kind of okay to not have seen pre-Infinity War. That said, it’s not something you should skip entirely. I had the chance to finally see it this weekend and, honestly, it left me feeling amazing. All the time I was watching it, I had that feeling that I was experiencing something special and important. As if history was taking place right in front of my eyes. I realise that sounds not only melodramatic but also fucking pretentious but you can’t escape the feeling that something changed with this film. It was a whole new Marvel experience and a whole new approach to super films. It’s only the second time I can remember leaving a comic book movie feeling so inspired and empowered. This experience is up there with Wonder Woman in its importance to both me and the film industry as a whole.
Gee there seem to be a lot of long films from the year I was born. Since starting this project, I have discovered something about myself. I have no problem is sitting in front of Netflix and binge-watching a load of 45 minute episodes of a TV show in one go but ask me to commit to a film longer than 90 minutes and all of a sudden I have loads of stuff I need to be doing. I am a ridiculous human being. But I’ve also had another very tiring week at work so the idea of sitting down to watch all 2+ hours of Rain Man just didn’t appeal. So I’ve been desperately searching for easy to consume films from 1988 that I can watch without much drama. It is a search that moved me in the direction of a film that wasn’t even a part of my original TBT film jar. Of course, this might mean that I’m breaking some sort of rule but I’m willing to do that for 1980s Rob Lowe. We’ve all seen him ‘playing’ saxophone in St Elmo’s Fire. We all know how sexy he is. Although, 1988 Rob Lowe is also the Rob Lowe who was dropped in the middle of a sex scandal but we’ll forget about that. He’s been in Parks and Rec since then: if we can’y say all is forgiven now then when can we?
With less than a week until the Oscars, my quest to watch all of the Best Picture nominations is getting quite tense. I’ve got three more to go and I’m not really super keen to watch either of them. I managed to watch two in quick succession last week so, if I’m clever with my time, I should be okay. It’s just a shame that the film I’m talking about today marks the end of the list of films I really wanted to see. The Darkest Hour is something I’ve been excited about for months. Combining my love of history and Gary Oldman; what could be better? When the first pictures of Oldman in his full Winston Churchill costume came out months ago, everyone was apparently amazed by the transformation. The picture was placed on the front of newspapers along with the tantalising caption of “we bet you’ll never guess who this really is” or something. I didn’t get the uproar. I mean anyone that looked at the photo should instantly be able to see Gary Oldman’s eyes staring back at them. Don’t get me wrong, the transformation was incredibly but it’s quite clearly the actor underneath all of that makeup. I admit, I have a bit of a soft spot for Oldman so I might be more familiar with his face than many people. It meant that whenever I saw photos from the set of The Darkest Hour I only ever saw Oldman and not one of the greatest Prime Minster’s the UK has ever seen.