TOP 10 WEN-SDAY – Top 10 Fictional Jobs

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Today I was rejected for another job that I really wanted. To be fair, I highly suspected I hadn’t got it even after they spent 4 days longer than they said to contact me. It still sucks though because I thought it would have been a really good fit. I’m getting so used to getting psyched up for interviews and then coming out feeling like shit. I’m sick of job hunting. When I got a promotion at work a year or so ago I nailed the interview. Since then, every interview I’ve had has ended in rejection. So I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion the job I’m most qualified for is the one I know, wholeheartedly, I don’t want to do. Whilst the job that I’m desperate to get is the one that nobody thinks I should be doing. Great. So, I’ve got some thinking to do, which is convenient because a recent Instagram challenge prompt asked me to reveal my dream fictional job. It’s an interesting question. Yes, it won’t help me in my job search but when my current job is so fucking boring I need to pass the time somehow. This prompt happened to fall today which is the first Wednesday of the month. Perfect timing for a hastily put together Top 10 Wen-sday.
Ten: 00-Agent (James Bond)

I know that James Bond is an awful mess of sexism and nonsense these days but I always loved the films as a kid. I think I’ve always been fascinated by spies and secret agents when I was growing up. My favourite episode of Thunderbirds was the one with the secret agents and I was obsessed with Bond’s gadgets. I realise that I wouldn’t be as suave or sophisticated as 007 and I certainly wouldn’t be ordering Martinis when I walked into a bar. However, I’d be pretty happy to drive around in fancy gars with exploding pens in my pocket.

Nine: Paper Salesman (The Office)

I realise that the act of selling paper itself isn’t that dream worthy a job but it would be if you were doing it at either Wernham Hogg or Dunder Mifflin. I’d love to do this job for a short time just to get the chance to work with the characters on both shows. We’d all love to mess around with Tim/Jim and hang out with Dawn/Pam at reception. And, despite their flaws, I’ve have worse bosses than either David Brent or Michael Scott. This could be a breath of fresh air.

Eight: Man in Black (Men in Black)

This job may have more to do with the accompanying Will Smith song than a real desire to do it but I think that’s reason enough. This just feels like a cool job. Wake up, save the world from Alien scum, erase people’s minds, and go home. What a way to spend your day. This would be a job where you would wake up desperate to go to work and look insanely good whilst doing it.

Seven: A Detective (Sherlock HolmesPoriotMiss Marple etc)

In real life, I’d probably be shit detective. I’ve watched enough crime dramas and failed to work out who the killer is to know this. I’m probably either too trusting or not trusting enough of people. This wouldn’t work too well. I’d either suspect nobody or everyone. So, in my dream world, I’m a great detective. It’s perfect. You solve crimes and get to be kind of a dick to everyone. Plus, you always get some sort of great accessory that makes you stand out. Hat, moustache, knitting… I wonder what mind would be.

Six: Member of Starfleet (Star Trek)

I don’t even care what job I’d have to do for this to happen. I’d be a red shirt and run the constant risk of sudden death if I had to. Who wouldn’t love the chance to be on the Starship Enterprise? Especially if it was The Next Generation era. Working under Captain Jean-Luc and discussing great things with Data? Sounds like a great day at the office. Then there’s the whole holodeck thing… and we all know, what happens on the holodeck stays on the holodeck.

Five: Auror (Harry Potter)

I reckon a lot of people who thought about this kind of list would say that a teacher at Hogwarts would be the best job in the series. However, I would hate it. I’ve already discussed my feelings about the way the school is run so I don’t think I could get on board with it. There would be far too much stress and so much work to do. Then you have to deal with kids. Not just any kids, mind, but magical kids. No, I’d much rather be the next Alastor Moody and go around kicking the arses of bad witches and wizards. Doling out justice with my wand in hand… I can picture that.

Four: Ghostbuster (Ghostbusters)

I’d happily be a part of either the original team or the new, girl-only team. I think the original film is clearly better but there was something about the new one that I loved. Whatever happens, I’d love to get the chance to test out a proton pack and capturing some spirits. I could even get on board with the unflattering jumpsuits.

Three: A Member of International Rescue (Thunderbirds)

I absolutely bloody love Thunderbirds so would love the chance to join the team. I’ve always wanted to be Virgil if I’m honest. Yes, he doesn’t get the glory in the way that Scott does but he’s probably the most important guy on nearly every mission. He carries the bloody supplies to each site and controls every piece of equipment that is needed. The guys a bloody hero but Scott acts like the big I am all the time. Ridiculous. Still, I’d rock the hat and I’d love to have a portrait that has light-up eyes.

Two: Pokemon Trainer (Pokemon)

This may not really count as a job but, in the game at least, you got money for winning matches. I’d love to wander around and catch Pokemon for a living. It’d be difficult but I think I’d get a pretty good team together. Then it’d be on my way to the Gyms to get my hands on the coveted badges. I’m already a proven Pokemon Master using my Gameboy so why not make it official?

One: Jedi (Star Wars)

Okay, I’m not entirely sure that a Jedi even counts a job either but I can’t deny that it’s something I’d love to do. Yes, the whole celibacy thing would be tough but I’d love to learn how to use the force. To travel around the galaxy and stop uprisings and shit. I think I’d be a pretty good General and could proved fairly useful in the Clone Wars. I think I could cope with the pretentious and moral act that I’d have to put on…as long as I could get my hands on a lightsaber. That’s the real draw.

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Fictional Characters I’d Invite to Christmas Dinner

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It’s so close to Christmas it’s unreal. In 10 days it’ll be Christmas Eve. I think I’ve just about got my presents all sorted but who really knows. I’m not a fan of last minute shopping but I tend to need little stocking fillers as I go through the month. Still, I’m mostly there. As it’s a time of celebration I’m adding a few additional posts this month. Each year I’ve released a Christmas top 10: My Essential Christmas films and My Least Favourite Christmas films. So I’m planning on keeping them as festive as possible but I’m likely to run out of ideas by next week. We’ll see how it goes. For now, I decided to delve into the world of fantasy dinner party and decide who I’d invite to my ultimate Christmas celebration.
Ten: Brienne of Tarth

My main reasoning for including Brienne on this list is simply because it’s kind of a habit to include her on all of fictional character based lists. It’s no secret that she’s my favourite character in both the book and the show. It’s also no secret that I adore Gwendoline Christie. If Brienne came to my Christmas dinner then I’d spend most of the time just starring at her the way Torumund did at Castle Black.

Nine: Belle

Now I’m not talking about the Belle from the upcoming, unnecessary live action Beauty and the Beast as played by the annoying Emma Watson. Nor am I talking about the Belle on the show I’ve tried so hard to enjoy Once Upon a Time. No, I’m talking classic, animated Belle. She’s always been my favourite Disney princess because she loves books as much as I do. There’s nothing I enjoy more than talking about books and it’s something I don’t really get to do too often. So, I’d love nothing more than sitting in a post-Turkey daze and discussing my favourite novels with Belle. Unlike friends, she might appreciate the Romantic era fiction that I recommend to her. Of course, being so fucking cynical, I’d find her hopeless romantic thing quite annoying but it would be something we could happily debate on.

Eight: Holtzmann

Another of my latest character obsessions. Jillian Holtzmann is the greatest thing to come out of the Ghostbusters reboot and Kate McKinnon is such a fantastic performer. I’d love the chance to meet the Holtz but worry that she would make dinner a little awkward. Not that I don’t love awkward moments but, as a perfect host, I’d have to think about my guests. Still, I love her so she’s coming.

 Seven: Rob Fleming (High Fidelity)

High Fidelity is one of my favourite books and films. I love it. You may remember Rob was featured on my list of Top 5 Fictional Husbands. As such, I’d love to invite Rob to my Christmas dinner. I mean we both a predilection for making Top 5/10 lists so we could definitely turn it into an amusing dinner table game. He’d also know the best tunes to play before, during, and after dinner to keep us all in the party mood.

 Six: Leslie Knope

Re-watching Parks and Rec recently gave me an all new appreciation of Leslie Knope and what a great person she is. She champions women, loves her friends, and won’t back down in an argument. She’s the kind of person I pretend to be but much nicer and much more successful. I’d love to sit next to her at Christmas dinner because, not only would we have a great in-depth discussion about all things, I think she’d share my childish love of the holiday.

Five: Thor

Thor is my favourite superhero. I love all of the Norse mythology and his Shakespearean qualities. He’s so dramatic and literal about everything. I have to admit it would be kind of cool to have him at my Christmas dinner just so I could say there was a real-life God there. Kinda cool, no? Plus, the arms are always a plus. He also seems that he’d be fun to have at a party. Asgardians are basically Vikings and they were kind of up for a good time. Also, how great an after dinner game would it be to try and lift Thor’s hammer, Mjölnir? You’ve had all the turkey so now let’s find out whose worthy.

Four: Buddy the Elf

I don’t know about you guys but I always feel that Christmas Day is kind of let down after the endless weeks of lead up. I’m not saying I’ve ever had a terrible Christmas Day but we’re always just so exhausted we end up eating and lounging for the entire day. What we really need is an injection of Christmas spirit. And who has the largest supply of that round here? Buddy’s love for the holiday is contagious and he’d have no trouble getting everyone up around the piano for a sing song. With Buddy at your house, every Christmas can be like the ones you see in every American sitcom’s Christmas special. Plus, you know, the candy.

Three: Tyrion Lannister

Despite everything the Bible tries to tell us, Christmas is basically about excess and over-indulgence. It’s about spending too much money, stuffing your face, drinking too much, and basically letting go. Who embraces these ideas more than anyone? Yes, the self-titled “God of tits and wine”. To re-appropriate Ke$ha for a second, the party don’t start til he walks in.

Two: Newt Scamander

Not only would the addition of Newt to the party mean guaranteed Eddie Redmayne but it would also mean some fantastic stories. Newt has travelled all over the wizarding world and met some of the most amazing creatures. He’d be able to fill the time with so many exciting tales. There’s always a boring lull on Christmas Day when you’re eaten too much but there’s a few hours before Doctor Who is on. Newt would be the perfect person to fill the silence. Hell, if we’re lucky he might even get his Niffler out… which, as I’m writing it down, definitely sounds like a euphemism you might come across in the wizard world. Hey, Newt, how’s about you let my play with your Niffler.

One: Sookie St. James

This is the second time this month that Sookie has been in the number 1 spot of my top 10 list. Maybe she’ll be the new Brienne? Anyway, I think Sookie would be a great person to invite to dinner. Not only would she definitely bring something scrumptious to eat but she’s just such lovely human being. Why would you want to spend this holiday with people who were anything but nice? My only doubt would be the fact that she would clearly be silently judging everything that was being cooked for her. It would take about five seconds of her being in the house before she was “fixing” everything that was being made in the kitchen. Still, what a meal we’d get in the end.

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 fictional characters I’d want in my zombie apocalypse squad

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These Top 10 Wednesdays really sneak up on me so I’m always caught off guard. I don’t know why I’m so shit at remembering considering it happens at the start of every new month. I try and spend the month thinking about the next one but still feel unprepared when the day finally arrives. This month I wanted to celebrate the upcoming ghoulish celebrations by making it Halloween themed but my proposed Top 10 Alternative Halloween films list just didn’t happen. So I’ve decided to keep that for closer to the day and have instead decided to delve into a topic that is fairly controversial for me. I think I’ve made it clear that I’m fucking bored by zombies these days but, at a time like this. you can’t really get away from the little buggers. So it begs the question, if the day ever comes when the undead decide to fight back who do I really want by my side? What I’m essentially doing is creating the cast list for my ultimate dream zombie apocalypse movie. And I know what you’re thinking, why not just find 10 characters who have survived zombie apocalypses? Well, that would be both boring and not as much fun. So, I’ve avoided that wherever possible. It’s going to be great. But probably not. You know who these things go.

Ten: Gillian Holtzmann

 A bit of a weird one I must admit because she’s mostly prepped for dealing with ghosts. However, look back at her fucking awesome gun sequence in Ghostbusters and you’ll see she’s pretty handy with firearms. She could easily change her targets if need be. Plus, you need people who are gonna be fun if you’re the last remaining humans on Earth. I mean I love Andrew Lincoln so much but Rick Grimes is so fucking miserable and annoying. I’d have given him up to the Walkers many seasons ago. Holtzmann would put the “ha” in zombie ha-pocalypse. Also, you need more than death in a zombie movie. The sexual tension between me and the Holtz would be palpable. Or, more likely, entirely in my head and making everyone else uncomfortable. But you know, subplot.

Nine: Rupert Giles

I know, I know. Why would you pick someone from the Buffyverse and not pick Buffy herself? Well, think about it. Buffy is great, undoubtedly, but you have to spend every day with these people. Every day. Look at Buffy in season 5 and beyond. She moans… a lot. That would be super annoying after a while. Yes, she’s the chosen one but why does she have to be so holier than thou about it? Yes, Giles may have a propensity for getting bashed on the head every time he tries to fight someone, at least he knows a fuckload about the forces of evil. Surely if there’s anyone that could find a way to end the zombie plight then it’d be Giles. Besides, every zombie film has that one person who always falls into a zombie trap and needs rescuing. If I don’t provide that person then it would end up being me.

Eight: Minerva McGonagall

 Minerva is old, make no mistake, but she’s a badass motherfucker and I want her on my team. Just look at her in Deathly Hallows, she’s a queen. She faces off against Snape, holds her own in the Battle of Hogwarts and says two of the best lines in the final two films. Minerva is a powerful witch that, when Dumbledore was alive, was always overlooked. She’s amazing. Plus, you know, Maggie Smith. 

 Seven: Sherlock

In all honesty I wasn’t sure about including Sherlock on the list. He’s hardly an action hero who would be able to stand up to the zombies. However, he is the kind of guy who could help with strategy. He’d know how to keep people safe and where to get the supplies we need. He’d be the one that would wind everyone up but would ultimately save everyone’s life. Brawn isn’t everything you know. Zombies shouldn’t be the only ones looking for braaaaaains.

 Six: Obi Wan

 There were a lot of people from Star Wars that I could have chosen to be part of my dream team but there were more that I knew wouldn’t work: Luke and Yoda would be far too annoying; Chewie would no doubt growl loudly enough to alert a horde to our presence; Darth Vader would definitely kill you given the chance; Anakin is annoying as fuck; and Mace Windu was clearly shit as shown in his fucking stupid death. It essentially came down to Leia, Han and Obi Wan. I chose Obi Wan because I’m a bigger fan of Ewan McGregor’s face than I am Carrie Fisher and Han Solo without Chewie just didn’t seem right. Besides, he was a pretty big deal during the Clone Wars so General Kenobi would be a fine edition to the team.

Five: Ellen Ripley

Ripley is often considered to be the greatest female character of all time and it’s easy to see why. She’s an amazing character who has lived through enough alien encounters to make it obvious that she’d survive this. Ripley is exactly the kind of person you need around when things get tough and it doesn’t seem as though she’d be too annoying to be around. If anything I think she’d be my sassy, cynical soulmate. We’d be BFFs in no time. I’m positive.

Four: John McClane

Earlier this year I was asked in an interview “which fictional character would you most identify with?” As I’d watched Die Hard a couple of days before I could only think of this guy but I think it’s a pretty good answer. John McClane is the kind of guy I’d want to be around in a crisis. Now I’m not talking about Die Hard 4 era John McClane. I’m talking 80s god John McClane. The guy who single-handedly took down a whole gang of German thieves. Imagine what he could do in a zombie apocalypse? I mean he’s a man who doesn’t mind being dirty, he thinks on his feet, and he’s handy with the weapons. Exactly the kind of man who’d get you through a zombie infestation.

Three: Brienne of Tarth

 I realise that there are very few lists on this blog that don’t contain Brienne of Tarth now but there’s a reason for that. The woman is a fucking badass. She’s handy with a sword, fucking huge, and just really awesome. I’d love to be stuck with her at the end of days. She’d protect me and help me get things off high shelves. I mean she fought a bear and lived for fuck’s sake. Why wouldn’t you want her around. And I’m pretty sure Podrick would just follow her around anyway and, as we know, I a fan of the Brienne-Pod friendship. It would add some much needed sentiment to my Z-movie.
Two: Jack Bauer

So I’ve saved the best til last. I think this one is pretty self-explanatory. Jack Bauer is handy in a crisis and knows how to stick to a deadline. If there’s anything we learnt from the 9 seasons of 24 it’s that Jack Bauer can turn anything into a weapon which would be incredibly handy given it’s the end of the world and supplies would probably be limited. The guy’s got skills. He’s also incredibly attractive so it only increases my chances for romance in my zombie movie. You know how it is: I nearly get eaten by zombies, Jack Bauer saves me, he proceeds to shout abuse and threats at me and, obviously, one thing leads to another. This shit writes itself.

One: Groot

Fun fact: the game I’ve played most on Steam is Plants vs Zombies. I used to play is as I was writing my essays so it would be open for hours on end whether I played it or not. As such I’ve managed to get 190 hours of play recorded on my account. This means I know a fair bit about zombies by now. If there’s one thing I know it’s that they don’t fair well against plants. Therefore, the best man to destroy them is a massive fucking tree. Not only was he the greatest thing in Guardians of the Galaxy but he would surely have the power to stop zombies making their way across your garden. He is Groot. I am Groot. We are Groot.

Tuesday’s Reviews – Ghostbusters (2016)

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It’s fair to say that the Ghostbusters reboot has had a lot to contend with before its release this month. As you may remember from way back in March I have been defending this film from people who dismissed it immediately. I wanted to see this film from the minute I saw the first trailer. It looked fun and I wasn’t melodramatic enough to believe that it was going to destroy the original just by existing. Although I can’t exactly describe what I was expecting to feel when I left the cinema but I certainly didn’t expect to end up having to question my sexuality solely thanks to Kate McKinnon. I mean I knew I loved the character from the trailers alone but that action sequence got me a little more hot and bothered than I would have thought. Holtzman is my everything at the moment. But getting away from my new found love/obsession for a moment, because it’s the healthy thing to do, I have to be honest that I didn’t come out of the film as happy as I assured the doubters that I would be.

Ghostbusters is not exactly a carbon copy of the 1984 original but the plot does owe a great deal to its predecessor. Erin Gilbert (Kristen Wiig) is an uptight physics professor at Columbia University. Her track to tenure is put into jeopardy when an embarrassing book about the paranormal that she co-authored in her youth resurfaces on Amazon. She gets in contact with her old friend, Abby Yates (Melissa McCarthy), to get the book removed before her bosses see it. Ultimately, both women lose their jobs in education, along with Abby’s co-worker Gillian Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon). but they quickly find themselves involved in a real-life ghost hunt at a nearby haunted mansion. Erin is left having to admit that ghosts are real and the three women set-up shop above a Chinese takeaway. 
After another ghost sighting in the Subway, they are joined by subway worker and New York history buff Patty Tolan (Leslie Jones). Whilst undertaking their research into the ghostly goings on in the city, the foursome decide that they should also use their knowledge to protect the citizens from the growing number of apparitions that are terrorising their lives. Of course, the group eventually realise that the increased activity is down to a bigger plot to unleash the dead on the world to crate havoc. Despite being branded as fakes, only the Ghostbusters can save the day and stop the end of the world. 
So, yeah, it’s a pretty familiar plot with a few modern and gender updates. I’m going to be honest, there was plenty that I liked about the film and there are jokes a plenty here. I mean the gags come thick and fast but that’s mainly because the narrative is so unimaginative. The villain of the piece barely registers here and, despite the fact a connection is attempted between him and our heroic team, he is never explored in any real detail. The whole end of the world thing is just a bit of a throw away here. With so much riding on this reboot, it deserved a better plot and a more in-depth villain. 
Although, that’s not to say that I hated everything about the plot. I think this film, more than the original (boy, is that a risky thing to say), properly introduces us the world of ghost-hunting. I enjoyed the scenes where Holtzmann introduced the team to their various proton-weaponry and helped them test it. Ultimately, these scenes were let down by shitty editing but it was certainly something I would have loved more of. Although, that might just be because it would have guaranteed more Holtzmann. Still, the plot is so reminiscent of the original that it carries the weight of that film on it’s already laden shoulders. 
Which is the major problem I find with the film. I realise that as a reboot of such a beloved film Paul Feig and co. wanted to show their respect to it. However, there is too much of a connection with the original Ghostbusters that you just couldn’t escape the feeling that you might as well watch that instead. The cameos and in-jokes, whilst fun in a certain way, just felt cheap and cheesy in the long run. They didn’t always work and I would have preferred the film without them. 
Still, I would be lying if I didn’t say that I enjoyed the film and am keen to see it again. A lot of the cringey jokes from the trailers seemed to work in their original context and the four female leads work really well together. I think all characters need more development but there is an undeniable group chemistry that works well on screen. From my completely unbiased view (ahem), it is McKinnon who steals the show as the whacky and hilarious Holtzmann but Leslie Jones’ Patty is nowhere near as annoying and redundant as the trailers suggested. I would have loved more for McCarthy and Wiig, who seem destined to forever be stuck playing the same characters but in different outfits. However, there is definite potential there. 
The women are all funny and have a great sense of comic timing, which is good because the film is jam packed with jokes. Not all of them work completely but there is enough to keep everyone happy. I mean Andy Garcia’s Jaws mayor joke may just be one of the funniest things I have ever heard. So, if only for that, it’s worth a watch. The problem is, the film feels rushed and unfinished. It suffered from an identity crisis whilst it tried to cater to the kid crowd and still pleasing the, now grown-up, fans of the original. The script isn’t always very tight, the editing seems choppy in a lot of places and the CGI is much more Haunted Mansion than it should be. Even though I wanted to admit to loving this film I can’t deny that it’s not perfect. To be honest, it really should have been considering who was making it. 
However, I’m still an optimist at heart and I have to say that it’s got something about. It’s charming and silly. There is plenty of potential there for future films. Something which I definitely would like to see happen. Much like the American Office only really got watchable after it stopped trying to copy the English version, I think this reboot will really get off the ground when it gets out from the original’s shadow. No offence to Parks and Rec writer, Katie Dippold, but get a better writer in there and have a think about what tone is needed and we could be onto a winner. Ghostbusters wasn’t a good enough film to destroy the backlash the trailer received online but it was almost there. 
This film didn’t necessarily back-up my many arguments with coworkers about how good it looked. What it did, was show me how good it could be if it got the chance. It also told me that that there’s very little Kate McKinnon could ask me to do that I would say no to. I’m fucking hooked. 


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I promised myself that I wouldn’t be late to bed tonight because I’m working at 7 tomorrow. I always let myself get too distracted the night before an early and end up having to survive on 4/5 hours sleep. As you can tell by the fact that I’m writing this at 23:30 that I’m not doing very well. An unexpected trip down memory lane royally fucked up my plans for the evening and I’m desperately trying to catch-up. My father brought a load of old photos home from my Grandfather’s house and we spent a good chunk of the night going through them. Thankfully, there weren’t too many examples of my many fashion disasters so I didn’t have to be too mortified. Still, there’s more than enough of them around my parent’s house that I’ll have that joy to come one day.
Currently Reading
  • The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso
Yeah. I know. I fucking suck at this reading thing. I’m honestly trying but I keep getting distracted. There’s always something going on and I tend to get dragged into Pokemon Go on every train journey instead of using my time wisely. However, I’ve started to blank my coworkers during my lunchtimes and take the time to read in the sun. As long as the weather holds I’ll hopefully get a good 45 minutes every lunch.  

Recently Purchased
  • The Bed Moved: A John Murray Original by Rebecca Schiff
Looking at the Amazon page doesn’t really explain why I bought this book. It has a single 1 star review and that’s it. However, it’s been on my wish list for absolutely ages and I decided it was time to indulge. The Bed Moved is a short story collection featuring tales of people growing up and looking for love. It gives a selection of views into the act of maturing when you’re a human person and the joy and sadness that is mixed up in the process. I don’t care what Amazon says, I’m looking forward to this.
  • Wanting It by Diana Whitney
I recently decided that I don’t read enough poetry these days. Having studied Romanticism at University I was used to having to read poetry on a regular basis and I enjoyed it. Now I’m not doing it for educational purposes, I find my desire to read poems has increased. I also happen to think this is a terrible thing. So I’m attempting to read more poems. Starting with this collection that I’ve been eyeing up for longer than I can remember. This is Whitney’s first collection and it features poems about sensuality and growing up. It’s becoming a bit of theme of this rundown I see. 
  • Whisky Galore by Compton Mackenzie
Bought this on a lunchtime whim at my local bookstore because I fell in love with the cover. I initially went in to buy the anniversary edition of Catch 22 that has been giving me it’s come hither stare from the window for a while. However, as soon as I saw this gorgeous cover and read the back I knew which book was meant to be mine. Set in 1943 and a time where rationing has had a major effect on all food and beverages. So what happens when a poor Scot is left with a life without whisky? I’m pretty sure my Scottish heritage had a lot to do with this selection. 

Recently Watched
  • Submarine
This weeks TBT gave me the perfect excuse to watch Richard Ayoade’s directorial debut again. It’s still as whimsical yet delightful as I remember. With rumblings of Wes Anderson, the film is a fun look into weird teenage love and drama. A great British film.
  • Ghostbusters
Today was all about finally getting round to seeing this film. I’ve spent weeks trying to defend this to anyone I hear dismiss it without good reason so I wanted to see it to find out if I’d backed the right horse. Safe to say I have a lot of feelings. You’ll find them out on Tuesday,

TBT – Ghostbusters (1984)

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Despite my excitement about the upcoming reboot of Ghostbusters, it did make me super nostalgic and all I wanted to do was watch the original. I can’t even remember how many times I’ve watched that film and I’m always outraged when I find out someone hasn’t watched it. I mean, in this day and age, who hasn’t seen Ghostbusters? I lived with a guy at university who hadn’t seen anything. I could accept that he hadn’t watched Gremlins or The Breakfast Club or something like that. But Ghostbusters? I mean what kind of awful childhood did that guy have that he never got the chance to watch it? I’ve since lost touch with him (not based on this revelation but it didn’t help his case) but will always remember him as the guy who never watched Ghostbusters. I assume he still hasn’t watched it and I feel bad for the guy. He’s missed out on so much.

It’s been over 30 years since Ghostbusters was released and it still feels as fresh as it ever was. Originally written  by Dan Aykroyd for him and John Belushi, it has become such a beloved classic that the announcement that it was being rebooted caused uproar. It’s one of my favourite films. Every time I hear the theme song I can’t help but get taken back to that first time I saw it. The joy, the fear, and the utter hilarity. I admit it’s not exactly the most intelligent or perfectly crafted film. However, if I had to pick one film that was close to perfection then this would definitely be a contender.

The story revolves around three scientists who were booted out of their cushy university offices and have their funding cut off. In order to make money they start their own business hunting ghosts for a nominal price. After a brief montage of their success, we see that the Ghostbusters experience a euphoric rise in popularity. Except with the city officials. Their big case comes in the form of Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) whose fridge is transformed into a magical portal. Unfortunately, it marks the start of an impending apocalypse. And when the world is ending, who you gonna call?
Ghostbusters works on so many levels. With a sharp script and an outstanding performance by Bill Murray. There are countless quotable lines, memorable action pieces, and some great chemistry between Murray and Sigourney Weaver. The special effects, in 1980s terms, are remarkable and add to the story rather than take away from the comedy. It’s a fun romp that works all the more because Dan Aykroyd believes what he’s selling. In others words, the ghosts are not just silly sources of comedy but presented as a real possibility.
In fact, there is so much right with Ghostbusters that’s it hard to find something negative to say. However, there are some things that could have been done better. The story is really by-the-bye and is little more than a brief anecdote bloated by quotable lines and special effects monsters. Every time I rewatch the film I am shocked by how short it is. I always imagined that it was drawn out for longer but there is very little substance to the narrative. We have the Dana plot, a few interludes with other ghosts and a brief stop off at City Hall. I’m not saying the story isn’t good; it’s just not substantial.
In terms of cast, the group chemistry isn’t all it could be and that basically comes down to the dominance of one star over the others. Writers Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd seem sort of happy to let Murray take the spotlight here but it’s hard not to detect a certain amount of resentment filtering though. Thanks to the studio’s changes, Murray takes this film to even greater heights because of his undeniable star quality and commitment to the character. However, Ramis and Aykroyd are left with very little to do and are completely overshadowed.
Ernie Hudson is relegated to the role of sassy black co-star and has very little to do but quote bible scripture and play the streetwise New Yorker. It’s a shame that he doesn’t get anything to do and leaves very little impression on the narrative. It’s not Hudson’s fault and he is a talented actor but Winston just doesn’t get any good moments. We now know that Hudson’s character was changed massively to allow Murray the role of top dog, which makes the reality even more frustrating.
There is no doubt that Ghostbusters is Murray’s film rather than the equal partnership it should have been. His performance is the most memorable thing in it but it also sticks out like a sore thumb. It’s probably just me but I get more uncomfortable with his dominating role every time I see it. No matter how much I love this film (and I fucking do love it) I just wish it could have been more of an equal partnership. Although it’s a bit of a Catch 22 when you think about it. Murray completely takes over the film but without his dominating improvisational style this film probably wouldn’t have been the success it is to this day.

Monday’s are for moaning – Ghostbusters 3: the curse of nostalgia

ghostbusters, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, nostalgia, rant, women

So those of you who haven’t been living under a rock for the past week will no doubt be aware that the new Ghostbusters trailer was released. I have to say, it’s fucking awesome. I’ve had my doubts about a third film being released since Dan Aykroyd first starting blathering on about it years ago but as soon as Paul Feig, Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig signed on I was all for it. And that was before I saw Chris Hemsworth in glasses. Obviously, I have huge love for the original film and have been in love with Ray Stanz for a really long time. Just like everyone else, I wanted this film to be good but not shit all over the original. Unlike a lot of the people on the internet, however, I fucking loved the trailer. Yeah, it was as silly and light-hearted as you’d expect from this group of people but, ultimately, it made me smile. Something the original always manages to do.

Now in this rant I don’t want to focus on the people out there complaining about the fact that four men have been replaced by four women. To be honest, I don’t want to acknowledge those fucking idiots any more than they already have been. The arguments are all baseless and I don’t have the time to deal with that many stubborn and brain-dead morons. No, I want to talk about the more worrying set of people who are suggesting that the new film will in some way ruin the original for all of its fans.

In a film industry polluted by dozens of reboots and unnecessary sequels, we hear the phrase “ruined my childhood” far too often. There is an idea that every modern interpretation of something will become the definitive version of that franchise. It’s something we see time and time again with fans who are too melodramatic for their own good. Take the prequels for the major example. All those people bemoaning the fact that George Lucas had “ruined their childhood” with his modern trilogy were just being whiny little bitched. Yes, the prequels weren’t as good as the originals but does that mean, in turn, the original films became worse? Associating something good with something shit doesn’t make it as shit.

Yes Transformers wasn’t a great film but that doesn’t mean you can say it completely destroyed everything that came before it. It’s still a very successful toy franchise and cartoon. Yes, Battleships was the most ridiculous excuse for a cash-in in history but does that make the original game any worse? Okay, I’m not going to pretend I’m a big enough fan of the board game to actually give a shit but people surely didn’t stop playing just because Rihanna was in a terrible film. Jurassic Park 3 certainly didn’t ruin the idea of the first one enough to prevent the amazing Jurassic World being made.

I recently watched a reaction to the new trailer where the guy in question was nearly in tears because he felt the new film wasn’t respecting the legacy enough. I thought he was fucking kidding until he went on and on about it. Not respecting the legacy? It’s got ghosts and people who want to bust those ghosts. What’s not being respected? What people really mean when they say it’s ruining the original is “it’s not got Billy Murray” in it. And I can understand that. Bill Murray is a fucking legend. However, 2016 Bill Murray is not 1984 Billy Murray. Having any of the original cast reprise their roles now could possibly have destroyed the original. Nobody wants the memory of those youngish men valiantly saving New York to be replaced with balding, grey and chubby old men rushing to the aid of their city using a fucking zimmer frame.

Nostalgia is a fucking bitch really. People get so caught up in wanting to relive the past that they romanticise and glorify the films of their childhood. It’s understandable but it shouldn’t lead to the kind of stubbornness that can’t even accept that a re-imagining of something could possibly be good. We know Paul Feig is more than capable of creating funny films, even when they seem completely dire – I’m looking at you The Heat. Give him such a fantastic cast of funny women and a premise based on one of the funniest films of the 80s and it seems you’d have a home-run on your hands. Except to the fucking idiots who are still living in the 80s it seems.

Whatever your view on the new trailer may be, we all have to agree that it at least looks like an improvement on the sequel. I mean that was a fucking travesty. How can anyone say that Melissa McCarthy and co aren’t taking the Ghostbusters ethos seriously when just a few years after the first film a badly animated statue of liberty danced through Manhattan to the song ‘Higher and Higher’? You want to complain that something in the Ghostbusters franchise is too silly then you need look no further. Silliness has always been a part of the franchise and anyone who looks back now and claims it was trying to do something more serious is too pretentious for words.

Ghostbusters always has and always will be a comedy. It came from a silly idea Dan Aykroyd had for himself and John Belushi and only became sillier when Bill Murray and Harold Ramis came on board. Yes, maybe the new film isn’t quite as subtle and has a screaming Leslie Jones slapping Melissa McCarthy in the face. Is that so wrong? It looks like it’s going to be fun and the four women have great chemistry. I’ve watched the trailer countless times and it’s mostly because of Kate McKinnon. I mean this film will probably be worth it for her facial expressions alone.

So shut the fuck up about your ruined childhood. We’re all invested in this but some of us are mature enough to realise that change isn’t always a bad thing. New often is as good as the original. Let’s at least give the damn thing a chance before we start condemning it to reboot hell. I doubt that this will replace the first film in my heart but I am positive that I’ll come out of it feeling happy. And isn’t that the point?