“Laura”, I hear you all asking, “are you writing this review of Jodie Whittaker’s first episode of Doctor Who because, once again, you didn’t get round to watching a film this week? Or is it just because writing the words ‘Tuesday Review – New Doctor Who‘ is incredibly satisfying for someone who loves rhyming as much as you?” To which I would respond, why not both? Yes, it’s true that I didn’t quite follow my plan for this week and was in need of something to review but I could have just watched another Netflix film and had a rant about how rubbish they all are. As I’ve made quite clear here, I do love a good Netflix rant. And, I admit, there is something quite lovely about repeating those words over and over in my head. However, this is a momentous occasion and something all of us Whovians have been waiting patiently waiting for. I couldn’t very well let it pass me by without saying something about it, could I?
Every year the Man Booker Prize longlist comes and it becomes a massive list of books I want to read. Inevitably, I never get round to them all but I will try to manage one. That one then becomes my top pick for the prize because it is the only one I’ll ever read. Most of the time my picks don’t make it to the shortlist and, if they do, they never win the prize. It was only last year’s Lincoln in the Bardo that I correctly championed. This year the first and, thereby, only book I’ve read is the one causing a massive stir. For, in 2018, the Man Booker committee have decided to place a graphic novel on their longlist. It’s quite a huge step for a prize that is so often awarded to similar works all deemed to be of high literary value. Occasionally, you’ll get the odd piece that verges more on popular literary fiction, like David Nicholls’ Us, but it never makes it to the shortlist. These guys know what they like and that’s not going to change. So, for there to be a graphic novel on the list is a pretty big deal. For such an elitist prize to pick something so un-literary is unprecedented. I had to check it out for myself.
I know that I liked The Incredibles but I really don’t think I have that same sense of nostalgia that a lot of people I know have for it. I was 16 when it came out so I was probably trying to appear too cool to give a shit about Pixar films. I definitely wasn’t but I was going through a phase. So, as good as I think the film is, it was never one of my favourites. I certainly wasn’t as emotionally invested in the sequel as I had been for Toy Story 3 or Finding Dory. Which is weird considering how much I adore superhero films in general. But, I have to admit, that every time someone was getting super excited about the new release I quite often had to fake enough enthusiasm to keep myself on par with theirs. I was excited but this wasn’t the film of my youth. Maybe I’m just spending too much time with younger people? Maybe I should have re-watched the original more recently? Who knows. I was excited enough to watch the damn thing. Plus, I’m always down to watch a Pixar film.
We’re always told “don’t judge a book by its cover” but if I took that advice I’d probably never read any of the books I’ve come to love. The greatest and worst thing about being a part of the Bookstagram community is that you constantly get to hear about interesting sounding books but then, unfortunately, you want to buy every interesting book you hear about. And I don’t know about you but my TBR is already unmanageable so I don’t need any unnecessary hauls. As you will no doubt know if you read my weekly rundowns, however, I have no will power whatsoever. So as soon as I saw the cover to my last read on someone’s feed (I can’t remember too, sorry) I knew it was the kind of thing I wanted to read. The more I found out about it the more I had to have it. So it was super lucky that I won an Amazon gift card recently. Not only could I buy a copy without feeling guilty but I could pay extra for the cover I wanted. So far, everything had gone perfectly. It seemed like fate was telling me this was a reading experience I wouldn’t want to miss. So, would it be as good as I hoped?
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.
There are loads of amazing films coming out soon and I’m desperate to see them all. The only trouble is finding time to see them. These days I don’t get to the cinema as often as I’d like. It’s why I have to review older films and Netflix originals in my Tuesday posts so often. Not that I’m really complaining. There were so many films I missed last year that I feel like I need to watch and I’m always hopeful that Netflix will create a truly wonderful film. So far I’ve not been completely impressed by their film outputs but they’ve been getting better. The so-called comedies have been a huge letdown but their more intimate portrayals of people’s lives have fared better. Kodachrome wasn’t perfect but it was the best Netflix film I’ve seen since Okja. The trailer for their latest film kept popping up on my feed as something they obviously thought I’d enjoy. And I can see why. I’ve not seen a great deal of Ben Schwartz’s back catalogue but, as a huge fan of Parks and Rec, am always a little excited to find out he’s in something. Plus, this film looked super adorable and the plot looked interesting and simple. And, the best thing of all, it didn’t star Adam DeVine. Massive bonus.
As I’ve mentioned before, I sometimes have a problem with my blog schedule. Tonight I had the deepest desire to rewatch Doctor Strange but couldn’t do it. Instead of settling down to indulge my post-Infinity War increased love of Benedict Cumberbatch after a tough day at work, I have had to force myself to watch an 80s Chevy Chase comedy that I never really needed or wanted to watch. I realise that the only person who is forcing me to do this is myself but once I’ve committed I’m hardly going to back out. I’ll just have to leave the good Doctor for another day. I know Chevy Chase was one of the big stars of the 80s but I never really cared about him. There are certain films starring him that I love but that’s mostly because of the other people in them. I enjoyed Community but Pierce could have been played by anyone and I would have loved it as much. It’s not that I had any strong negative feelings about him but I had other favourite films of the era. Maybe it’s an age thing or a British thing? Or maybe it was just my family? Whatever the reason, I’ve never felt the whole Chevy Chase excitement that some people get. Still, I planned to use my TBT posts to discover more films from the year I was born so maybe this is the one to turn me into a real Chevy fan?
My aim was to see this film the Sunday after it first came out. That was already after two of the least discreet people I work with had already seen it so I was still skirting on dangerous spoiler territory. Unfortunately, my plans fells through and I was forced to wait until the Saturday after that before I found out what I’d been desperately waiting 6 years for. That was so many days where I had to hide from spoilers. By that point the vast majority of my colleagues who were ever going to see it had seen it and there was the added threat of the entire fucking internet. I’ve already unfollowed people on Instagram because they were flirting with spoilers. I couldn’t go on Facebook or YouTube without there being some sort of reference to the film that I had to ignore. And don’t even get me started on my misguided decision to check out Buzzfeed one night before bed. Nearly every article had something to do with Infinity War. I managed to get away with only having one thing confirmed to me and it was something I had guessed (and was secretly hoping would happen). It’s something I want to discuss on a different post because I feel this should be entirely spoiler free… if only to prove I’m better than the people I no longer follow on social media. Be the change you want to see in the World and all that. I’m pretty sure Gandhi was talking about movie spoilers, right?
What is it about the late 1980s and body swap movies? I mean there aren’t shit loads but there are more than enough. Was everyone secretly worried about waking up as someone else for the last few years of the decade? Earlier this year for this very segment I reviewed the movie Big… I say reviewed but it was more of a detailed breakdown of how fucking creepy that film is. SHE HAS SEX WITH A CHILD! AND SHE’S WEIRDLY OKAY WITH IT! But I’ve already vented my frustrations on that earlier post so feel free to go and check it out. I have to say, though, my many viewings of Big over the years has really had an effect on my liking of these films. It’s given everything a seedy undertone. So, I went into this sort of mixture of Freaky Friday and Big with a huge amount of trepidation. Especially considering the only time I’ve really heard it mentioned was in that episode of Community when Abed throws the DVD away. It didn’t bode well.
I have to be honest and start this post by saying that I never had any intention of watching this film. It looked so bad and, as a fan of the book, thought it was a terrible legacy for Beatrix Potter’s famous rabbit. That was until I heard the story of James Corden’s dad email to Mark Kermode about the critics review. In it, Kermode described Corden’s performance as “appallingly irritating” which prompted the actor’s dad to write into his show to disagree with him. Replying that, as a parent, it was only the prerogative of himself or his wife to describe their son as such. In the email he also complained about the feedback Kermode gave The Greatest Showman but for different reasons. It wasn’t quite as epic as finding out that James Corden and Hugh Jackman are related. Although, it was a truly brilliant thing that I’m very glad happened. But the whole affair has got me thinking about the film more and, helped along by my recent obsession with Domhnall Gleeson’s face, I decided I had to see for myself who was right? Malcolm Corden or Mark Kermode. Let’s find out.