books, films, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, rant

Bookish Post – Fantastic Beasts 2 Cast 2 Furious

C-c-c-combo breaker!

5aa7fcf3f375f624008b45a8-750-563So this is the official end of my run of book reviews. I was doing so well and now I’ve lost it again. It’s been a super hectic week and I’ve not had much time to read. Plus, I’ve been trying to get ahead with my posts and stuff before I go on holiday. I think I can just about manage it but it does mean I’ve had to put aside reading to get things done. I’ll definitely make up for it whilst I’m away but it does mean my next two Wednesday posts will be kind of bullshit. Well, hopefully not bullshit but not what they could have been. I even started reading The Hate That U Give in the hope that I could finish it in time. I didn’t. But I hopefully will soon. I’m enjoying it much more than I expected but that’s mainly just due to my general mistrust of YA fiction. Something that I could go into now but I have bigger fish to fry. Bigger fish like Johnny Depp… again. After all, the second Fantastic Beasts trailer was released a matter of days ago. And, unsurprisingly, I had a lot of thoughts about it.

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books, rant, rants

Mother Booker II: The Slumps

dscn7669It’s reaching that time of the month when us bookish people start to set out what we plan on reading in the weeks ahead. As a keen Bookstagrammer who sticks to a couple of photo challenges for inspiration, I am used to post at least one photo at the start of every new month to show off the books in my monthly TBR. Now, I know there are people out there who will stick religiously to whatever they pick at that point but I’m not one of them. In fact, each of my TBR Instagram posts just tend to be a random selection of books that I kind of want to read but know, deep in my heart, that I won’t be doing it any time soon. It’s just a routine I’ve found myself in. But this month is worse than other months. Because I’m in the middle of a major reading slump. I’m currently still reading¬†Frankenstein in Baghdad: a book that I actually opened for the first time towards the end of March. Fucking March, guys! That was ages ago. So, I’m feeling a little more stressed than normal about my selection this month. And, as we all know, stress isn’t something that really helps in a slump.

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poetry, rant, rants

Contemporary Poetry: The Rupi Kaur Conundrum

Poetry. It’s something I love but don’t often read these days. I blather on and on about my university days when I read Romantic poetry all the frigging time but I’m 30 now. As much as I don’t want to admit it, it’s been a while since I finished my degree and I’ve kind of lost my way with poetry. So, I’m always trying to get back into it. Obviously, I have my favourite Romantic poets and have a certain fondness for the greats. I’m talking Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Yeats, Eliot. TS Eliot’s¬†Love Song of Alfred J. Prufrock is one of my favourite ever works of poetry. It shared the top spot with¬†The Rime of the Ancient Mariner but I’ve discussed this before.¬†My issue is contemporary poetry. I guess the closest I get to really loving contemporary poetry is the work of First World War poets. So, you know, not at all. It’s not that I hate it; I just don’t have the same love for it. So, recently I’ve been trying to push myself to read more. It was this quest that lead me to pick up Rupi Kaur’s collection¬†Milk and Honey and Amanda Lovelace’s¬†the princess saves herself in this one. Both collections were ones I’d seen praised all over social media and the internet as a whole. I expected to be blown away. I wasn’t.

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rant, rants

Seriously, can someone give me 13 reasons why we needed season 2?

img_4885As I started typing this last night I’d literally just finished watching the second season of the Netflix original show¬†13 Reasons Why. The first series was based on the popular YA novel by Jay Asher. It showed us the aftermath of a teenage girls suicide and the discover of thirteen tapes she recorded before she died. On them, Hannah outlined all of the reasons she had for killing herself and demanded that they be passed between all of the people mentioned on the tapes. I wasn’t a fan of the first season but mostly because i thought it was just badly made. It was way too long and self-indulgent. On top of that, I think it failed to do what it was trying to. The message it was trying to tell got lost because it was too quick to make entertainment out of sexual assault and suicide. There were far too many depictions of rape on-screen especially considering the audience it was targeted for. It seemed more interested in making headlines than in actually helping people. But mostly it was just boring and bad. Everything was dragged out way too long. What it did have was a complete story. We had reached the end of Hannah’s story

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books, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, rant, rants

Battle of Hogwarts Anniversary – I apologise for not caring about your apology

DSCN7638 (Edited)Anyone out there who is a fan of Harry Potter, so most of the reading population of planet Earth, will know that today marks the fictional anniversary of the fictional Battle of Hogwarts. On this day of¬†fictional commemoration the¬†real author J K Rowling takes to Twitter to apologise to her fans for killing one of their favourite characters. This year she said sorry to her social media followers for the death of fan favourite Dobby, Harry Potter’s faithful House Elf friend. In the past she has made similar public apologies for killing characters such as Severus Snape, Remus Lupin, and Fred Weasley. And, as I sit here desperately wanting to go to bed but needing to write something for today’s post, I can’t but wonder why the fuck she bothers. I mean if it bothers her that much why kill them in the first place? It’s just more of her pathetic pandering to her fans to ensure that the¬†Harry Potter gravy train she’s riding for the rest of her life never stops. And, really, every year I lose a little more respect for her as a writer.

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blogger, blogging, book blogger, book blogging, books, childhood, childhood favourite, film blogger, film blogging, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, Johnny Depp, LGBTQ+, rant, rants

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of J K

DSCN6734So it’s been quite a while since I had a good old-fashioned rant about JK Rowling, hasn’t it. But now, only a few weeks after JK Rowling and David Yates caused a stir by brushing off the controversy surrounding Johnny Depp’s continued presence in the¬†Fantastic Beasts franchise, the¬†Harry Potter author is pissing off her fans once again. Over recent years, I’ve sort of become disillusioned with Rowling. Yes, she does a lot of great things and has used her money to aid some fantastic causes. That doesn’t mean she can get away with anything, though. Whether she means to or not, she has allowed herself to gain a certain sense of entitlement that only goes with becoming the world’s richest author. Just look back on the moment when she acted like a victim when it was revealed she had written¬†The Cuckoo’s Calling.

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anniversary, books, childhood, fucking stupid, fucking weird, Harry Potter, harry potter week, J K Rowling, magic, rant, rants

Harry Potter Week: Hog-Warts the deal with this school, though?

If you’re a Harry Potter¬†fan then I’m sure you, like me, grew up dreaming of going to Hogwarts. As a kid there was nothing that seemed as exciting as being packed off to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to learn how to perform magic. Being stuck in school being taught how to do maths or learning about geography was nothing compared to being in a transfiguration or potions lesson. The teachers all seemed so much more interesting than my own and the headteacher was a sparkly blue eyed old man with a love of traditional sweets. It sounded perfect to a child of 10. I’m kind of a grown adult now and can see that the whole school is just a joke. Every single year the headteacher cancels final exams. How the hell do the students get their qualifications? What kind of school system just gives students a free pass every year? In my first year of uni, my friend collapsed and had a fit on the way to our English Literature exam. I had to stop her hurting herself while my other friends ran around campus to find a porter to ring an ambulance (because, stupidly, that’s how you had to do it). Did we get let off the exam and given a passing grade? Did we fuck? We sat that exam despite having no idea how our friend was. Because that’s life. If you go to Hogwarts and break a nail before an exam Albus would probably have let you skip it on emotional grounds.

I know it’s a children’s book but the education system of the wizarding world is a bit of shoddy. At the age of 11 all magical children in the UK are packed off, on a steam train, to the Highlands of Scotland to live in an old castle potentially full of terrible things. Then are expected to follow a curriculum of solely magical learning, which, considering it’s a school of magic, is fine but surely it misses out some essential points. I mean, muggle children will no doubt have a background in the basics of Maths, Science and English but what of the wizarding kids? And do we really think that, at 11, they have got a good enough grasp of these subjects to survive. It means your only education is learning spells or potions and nothing else unless Muggle studies covers literally everything outside of the wizarding world. Of course, that seems both unlikely and really stupid considering you can’t take it until your 3 year. Where are the basics of every person’s education? History of magic is fine but surely it’s still useful to know about the history of the muggle world. Wouldn’t they both be linked? Or are we expected to believe that those pesky World Wars just didn’t affect any magical person?

So, take a moment and imagine you’re a muggle who finds out their son/daughter is being accepted into Hogwarts. Currently, they’re in a primary school that you’ve handpicked to offer them the best start in life. You’ve gone over Ofsted reports and considered exam results. Then you find out they’re going to a school where they ignore that side of their education to focus on something extremely specific that holds no place in your world. Wouldn’t you be a bit worried? I mean you wouldn’t know anything of the wizarding world or the potential career path your child could follow. All you would know is that they wouldn’t be prepared for any kind of job you’d secretly been hoping they’d enter. It just seems like education at Hogwarts isn’t really taking the practicalities into account. Even specialist schools in the real world offer a subsequent education in the key subject matter alongside. It’s super important to give a well-rounded education; shame Hogwarts doesn’t support this.

What it does support though? Taking new kids and dividing them into houses based on certain personality traits and then promoting competition between the students. For a while now I’ve had a massive problem with the way JK Rowling uses the house system in Hogwarts. Throughout my education we were split into groups to streamline the whole system but it was random chance or based on skill level. It certainly wasn’t based on who was the bravest, the kindest or the most suspicious. The books are terrible when it comes to describing the different houses and, thanks to the perspective of the narrative, completely biased towards Gryffindor. It’s no wonder that, as a kid, I would have been desperate to be in Gryffindor. As I grew up I saw that, really, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Gryffindors may be brave but they have no respect for rules or putting people in harms way. They’re basically the jocks in every teen movie. You know the ones that get by on their popularity but are eventually overthrown by the geeks.

Also, what is this opposition to Slytherin? There’s a girl I work with who always throws around the “Slytherin’ remark as an insult and it’s just stupid. Slytherins, as we are told, are loyal, ambitious, cunning and adventurous. If I wasn’t a Ravenclaw I’d rather be a Slytherin that a fucking Gryffindor. The books tell us that “there’s not a witch or wizard who went bad who wasn’t in Slytherin” but what kind of message is this? Not only is it not true (Peter Pettigrew) but what about the members of Slytherin that didn’t go bad? Unless, they actually all do but that prompts further questions. If you have a house that you know is full of future evil doers then either don’t allow them in the school or educate them into being good instead. This is a flawed system that should have been removed from the school once the founders had snuffed it. It’s a crazy system.

Still, it might just seem that way because the books don’t go too deep into it. I guess they are for kids. Although, even then the school doesn’t seem like the best place to live. For one thing, you have to get to grips with the fucking moving staircases so you’ll never be able to find your way around. How many first year students get lost in that place every year? And, I can’t remember if this is just a movie thing or a book thing but teachers see to be getting pissed off when they’re late. How the hell is it their fault when the stairs have a mind of their own? Then there’s the ghosts just hanging around and flying through kids. The talking portraits who just shout shit at the children walking past just seem like a weird addition to the mix. And Peeves? Heck, I love the guy but you’d have got rid of him centuries ago. He’s a menace to the teaching process.

Then you have the fact that there are plenty of ways for the students to get killed. For one thing, your school bullies have access to magic that can maim or, potentially, kill you. Then there’s the fact that Dumbledore hides philosopher’s stone in the castle by employing the services of a vicious three-headed dog and his only warning is exactly the kind of thing that would make children want to explore the third-floor corridor. Tell someone not to do something and that’s exactly what they’re going to want to do. Finally, there’s the Forbidden Forest, which is full of crazy killer spiders and god knows what else. Of course, this also doubles up as a potential place for detention. What kind of headteacher forces students to keep out of the forest only to allow Filch to send people in their as a cruel and unnecessary punishment.

Actually, why does Hogwarts even employ Filch anyway? The guy is clearly just an embittered and angry Squibb who hates the magical kids who’s vomit he has to mop up. Filch is always on the verge of a mental breakdown that would very clearly include the death of most of the student body and probably some of the staff too. And it’s not the first weird hiring mistake that Dumbledore has made. He hired Quirrell as DADA teacher despite the fact that Voldemort was living in his fucking head. The following year he went and hired the most incompetent man in the world. Plus, let’s not forget that he was completely fooled by, or at least didn’t seem to care that Mad-Eye was actually Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise. How did he not realise that? The man’s supposed to be super intelligent and, it’s always suggested, that he can read people’s thoughts. I highly doubt that the insane Crouch was good enough at¬†occlumency to stop the most powerful wizard of all time from hearing his desires to kill Harry Potter. Then you have the fact that Snape straight up bullies like 3/4 of the school without repercussion.

And lets talk about teachers for a moment; JK Rowling has said there are about 1000 students in the school and, from what we are told, there is one teacher for each subject. One teacher? 1000 students. How the hell do they get their marking done? How the hell do they work out the fucking schedule? My family contains a lot of teachers so I know how hard they have to work but this is a ridiculous situation. Even if they all had a time turner they’d be working nearly ever hour of the day. And yes, they probably have an enchanted quill to mark things and take notes and shit. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t loads to do still. When they aren’t teaching they’d be setting lesson plans, organising homework tasks and holding office hours in case 1 of their 1000 students needed help. It’s crazy. Hogwarts teachers need a fucking union. Also, before I forget, 1000 students and 1 medical professional? What the fuck?!?!

Now, it’s got to the point where I’ve ranted for far too long but you get the idea. Hogwarts is a fucked up school that expects parents to be happy sending their kids there. I wouldn’t be happy. Want your kid to get into Quidditch? Good luck. They only hold trials when one of the existing team leaves so, even if your kid if the best player around, they might never get a chance to play. Seems fair. And, on a final note, imagine being in the same year as Harry but not being one his friends. Wouldn’t you get tired of being overlooked because of the boy wizard? Wouldn’t it piss you off that you were slaving away in the library whilst he was copying off Hermione and getting away with it? Harry ignores the rules regularly and is rarely punished because he’s Dumbledore’s favourite. He’s not that great a wizard and actually learns very little but he’s always winning house points. There’s so much bias in that school that it’s ridiculous. Hogwarts always seemed like the most respected wizarding school but, now I’m older, I’m assuming that’s mainly due to the fact that it’s one of the few that exist in Europe.

anniversary, books, Harry Potter, harry potter week, J K Rowling, ramblings, rant, rants

Harry Potter Week: Sorry Albus, don’t let the Dumble-Door Hit You on the Way Out

As someone who spends a lot of time internet window shopping for geeky goods, it seems to me that you can’t really go anywhere without seeing Albus Dumbledore being quoted on something. After “Always”, which is something I’ve discussed briefly in my rant about Severus Snape, Dumbledore quotations are the most commercially viable of the¬†Harry Potter¬†franchise. People wishing to seem deep love nothing more than plastering his words of “wisdom” all over their houses. However, I’ve always felt that Dumbledore’s soundbites are just trite and overly simplified adages. People just eat that shit up. They love the guy. Dumbledore always reminds me of the Tim Minchin song ‘The Fence’. Readers are so quick to want Dumbledore to be good because they need someone to be the opposite of Voldemort. They need the world to be that binary but it doesn’t exist. There’s a part of the song about the Dalai Lama that goes:

He’s a lovely, funny fella,
He gives soundbites galore
But let’s not forget that back in Tibet,
Those funky monks used to dick the poor, yeah

It just reminds me of Dumbledore. For all his talk of socks and sherbet lemons, there is a darkness hiding beneath Albus Dumbledore that comes out when it needs to. He has so many secrets throughout the book that show just how far away from a perfect hero he was. Just because they guy manages to say something that sounds deep once in a while people just seem to ignore all of the shitty decisions he makes. Well, not any more, my friends.

As I’ve already suggested, the¬†Harry Potter¬†books have one fatal flaw and that is that they are from Harry’s perspective. This means we all see things as Harry does and his opinions are the ones that run strongest throughout the narrative. We are encouraged to hate the characters that he hates and love the characters that he loves. Most importantly being Albus Dumbledore himself. Through Harry’s eyes we see the Headmaster as a bright eyed, kindly old man who cares about Harry deeply. And not, you know, a reckless old man who left a young baby on the doorstep of his abusive family. ¬†Most importantly is the discovery that Albus has been secretly leading Harry down a path that would eventually lead to his death. He basically grooms an 11 year old boy to become the kind of person who would happily lay down his life for the greater good. He forces Harry to become a hero whilst taking no responsibility for putting the boy in harm’s way.

Dumbledore has always known that Harry will probably have to die to destroy Voldemort. After all, he’s always known that there is a piece of the Dark Lord’s soul within the Boy Who Lived. He has suspected as much from the moment he first heard the prophecy and has only had it confirmed as time went on. Did he tell Harry this? Did he fuck. He, instead, decided to protect the boy’s innocence and keep it a secret. I guess this is a noble thing to try but you’d think anyone who saw that Harry wasn’t going to back down easily would say “now is the time to confess”. Dumbledore should have told Harry about the prophecy from the start but definitely should have told him after the events of the first book. Harry needed to know why Voldemort was after him and what that could entail. It would have saved lives.

Dumbledore acts as though he cares about people but, when it comes to the fight against Voldemort, everyone is just a pawn in his war. He’s the perfect General. He sees that Snape is afflicted by his love for Lily and manipulates him into changing sides and acting as a spy. He also doesn’t bother to convince Harry that Snape is a good guy even though Harry straight up hates him. Because he doesn’t actually care if Harry and Snape like each other. Dumbledore only cares that they play their parts. And, talking of Snape, he totally lets the Potions Master get away with bullying his students and being completely unfair towards his own house. Snape is, when it comes down to it, a psychopath who hates children. The worst person to be a teacher. Plus, I know he was supposedly worried about Voldemort and shit but anyone in their right mind would realise Harry and Snape were not the best occlumency buddies. If you need Harry to learn the skill it doesn’t matter how good Snape is if they never get through the fucking lessons. This fuck up caused Sirius’ death you dick!

… Anyway, Harry sees Dumbledore as a hero up until the final book when he finally discovers the truth about his past but even then it makes very little difference. Nothing Dumbledore does is ever questioned by Harry and his loyalty is so unflinching that Fawkes comes down to the Chamber of Secrets to help Harry. It’s crazy to me. Dumbledore was always a fairly suspect character even before we found out that he wanted to help wipe-out muggles solely because he wanted to fuck Gellert Grindelwald. (Hey, I know we’ve all probably done stupid things for love but that really takes the cake.) I mean almost every single school year he cancels final exams and awards random House Points when students have blatantly disregarded the rules. He shows clear bias towards Harry and his friends and has an obvious loyalty to his own house. So much so that, after years of Slytherin winning, Gryffindor ends up with the house cup basically every year. Dumbledore is basically like your racist grandfather: he’s ultimately quite funny and generally harmless but you don’t want to give him any real responsibility.

Now I get it, I get it. Dumbledore isn’t bad; he’s just human. Well, okay but that would be okay if he wasn’t aware that he was doing the wrong thing. He admits that he knew a lot of the decisions he was making were harmful but he did them anyway. Human beings make mistakes for noble reasons or because they don’t realise. Dumbledore is the guy always talking about making the choice between “what is right and what is easy” but can’t live by his own words. When he lies to Harry it’s not the right thing to do and he knows it. He wants people to stand up to Voldemort but he is unwilling to make the right sacrifices. His quotes, far from being deep and meaningful, are just further proof of his manipulation. As he says himself:

Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.

With his words, he has the ability to get the whole of his students, heck the whole of the wizarding world, to stand up and fight for him. He doesn’t even have to live by them himself. He doesn’t have to do anything but spout trite nonsense at people. He’s got the whole wizarding world fooled that he’s a great man but he’s actually an evil genius. Words are a powerful magic that can manipulate people and, let’s not forget, Dumbledore is the greatest wizard that has ever lived.

adaptation, books, Eddie Redmayne, exceeds expectations, films, fucking sweet, Harry Potter, J K Rowling, Johnny Depp, rant, review

Tuesday’s Reviews – Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Yesterday I finally saw the next stage in JK Rowling’s plan to dominate the word of literature and film. I mean I have nothing against the woman but everything about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them¬†has just screamed of “how can we squeeze more cash out of our loyal fans?” I mean the decision to release the screenplay may be no-nonsense from a financial standpoint but it just seems like a shameless tactic to earn more cash. It kind of feels as though¬†Rowling and her backers just see the Harry Potter¬†fandom as bags of cash and are doing everything in their power to exploit them for continued financial gain. You know me by now; I think Harry Potter should have ended at the final book. It was complete and it was satisfactory. Rowling herself once said she wouldn’t revisit the world again but has continued to prove that was a huge fucking lie. Yes, she gives loads to charity and helps people and I admire her for that. However, her constant flip-flopping on this and inability to leave well alone just makes me lose respect for her. She’s like the literary world’s George Lucas. So I wasn’t exactly convinced I’d come out of Fantastic Beasts¬†feeling much love… especially when the Rogue One trailer showing beforehand gave me literal tingles. I mean my legs actually went numb. I haven’t felt that kind of emotional response to anything Harry Potter related for years. I’ll always be a fan but I’ve been over it for a while now. At least Disney don’t try and pretend that you’re anything but bags of cash in their eyes.

I’ve had a bit of a tough relationship with JK Rowling over the years because of her constant need to present herself in a way that just feels false. She tries to act as though she’s all about her art but she’s still really driven by cash and fame. It’s why we’ll never see and end to her Harry Potter writings and why she’ll continue to allow Warner Bros. to release films in the franchise. She had a huge idea a few years ago and she’s trying to cling onto that high. I get it but I don’t respect it. You need to know when to quit. Before he started getting super annoying and twattish, I really respected Ricky Gervais for knowing when to let go of an idea. He let The Office and Extras¬†go when they were at a high and people love them even more because they never went shit. Harry Potter¬†is in danger of outstaying his welcome.
Still, I love Eddie Redmayne with all my heart so I was quite excited to see him front¬†Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The first film in the quintet introduces us to Newt Scamander, the who will go on to publish a textbook familiar from Harry Potter’s school days. Set in the mid 1920s, Newt (Redmayne) is visiting New York City on an errand. Whilst there his magical suitcase, full of magical beasts, finds itself in the hands of a No-Maj (the American version of muggle), Jacob (Dan Fogler), and some of the contents escape into the city. Before Newt can track down his missing menagerie he is apprehended by ex-auror Tina Goldestein (Katherine Waterston). Tina plans to take Newt and Jacob to her bosses at the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA) to help revive her reputation. Unfortunately for the trio, a magical related No-Maj death could derail all of their plans and land Newt and his creatures into even hotter water.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them¬†takes it’s name from a small book that was released by JK Rowling to raise funds for Comic Relief in 2001. It contained information about the various magical creatures that inhabited the world of Harry Potter. Obviously, the film is not an adaptation, per se, but takes us to the time before Newt began writing his magnum opus. To say that I went in with lowered expectations I actually found the film to be an incredibly welcome entry into Harry Potter canon. Especially after the disgustingly bad Cursed Child. It is helped by a fantastic cast, which to my surprise included Colin Farrell as auror Percival Graves. Eddie Redmayne perfectly encapsulates the character of Newt and is completely believable as the animal lover. ¬†Katherine Waterston manages to do what I felt Emma Watson never quite managed to pull off in her 7 films and provided us with a worthy, young heroine who can hold her own against all those wizards. Tina is fabulous and I want to be her with every fibre of my being. And Ben Fogler is the perhaps the greatest part of the trio as the lovable and clueless Jacob. You bond with him instantly and stay with him as you both learn more about this mysterious wizarding world.
The film is exciting and dark but has the inherent British charm and humour that comes with all of the Harry Potter films. It manages to breathe new life into the franchise by being primarily new and different but with enough similarities that you feel at home. The snippets of the old score coming through or familiar references and in-jokes will give a tug on your heartstrings whilst you’re exploring American wizarding customs. No longer focusing on students, the magic is more powerful and the special effects more exhilarating. There’s a lot going on but director David Yates just about manages to keep control. There are things that characters and plot lines that feel a tad underdeveloped and the whole thing could probably have been a bit shorter but that’s just me nitpicking.
Ultimately, this film made me feel good. It’s the closest I’ve been in years to feeling the same excitement I felt when I was a young Potterhead. It’s sweet, unassuming and just fun. There is a lot in Fantastic Beasts¬†to show that it could be a great addition to the franchise but I can’t help remember The Hobbit. People were up-in-arms about the fact that a short children’s book was being adapted into 3 movies. Now an even smaller book has spurned 5 films and nobody gives a shit. I worry that after a couple more things will be starting to stretch a little. I know Dumbledore avoided fighting Grindlewald for a long time but 5 fucking movies worth? Come on! Plus, I have major issues with the casting Johnny Depp as a key character. I’m really dubious about his abilities these days. He’s too repetitive with his character choices and each of his eccentric characters are just the same person with a different wig. Still, having JK Rowling in charge of the script could actually mean that these films stay on the right course and keep the Potter spirit alive. This film certainly gives me hope.
ghostbusters, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, nostalgia, rant, women

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

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?