books, reviews

Book Review – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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5_star_rating_system_5_stars Let’s look back to the end of 2017 when I foolishly decided that I would reread Murder on the Orient Express before I watched Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation. Unfortunately, I started reading Autumn by Ali Smith and it took me all fucking month to get through it. So, I decided that this was the year when I would finally do it. And, today, nearly a whole month later, I closed the final page. I should just realise that December isn’t my reading month but, if I start doing that, I’d then have to admit that no month is my reading month. It’s why I can’t ever set myself a reading challenge unless it’s read 1 book. But, let’s not get too bogged down with 2019. We’re still in 2018 and, unless I miraculously gain the ability to read super quickly, this will be the last book I finish this year. So, let’s make this review a good ‘un.

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Christmas, films, reviews, Uncategorized

Tuesday Review – The Holiday Calendar (2018)

97b73e90f80f75987c1149938161f0abbc9dd0295_Star_Rating_System_0_and_half_star Happy Christmas to anybody reading this on or around the 25th! I hope you’ve had a wonderful time however you decided to spend it. The rest of my family have turned in for the night so I’m taking the time to post my review of the final Netflix Christmas film of 2018. It’s the one I was least excited about, which is why I left it til the last-minute. Of course, I can hardly say that I was looking forward to any of them (with the possible exception of The Christmas Chronicles) but, after seeing the trailer, my expectations for The Holiday Calendar were the lowest of the low. I mean the entire preview gave away the entire story. Not that I couldn’t have guessed from the poster anyway. But, needing to get a sense of completion, I knew I had to watch it eventually. At least I didn’t really have to pay attention to the plot. It’s not like there were going to be any shocks with the narrative. And, after a busy day at work, something this mindless is kind of the only thing I’m in the mood for.

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films, reviews, TBT

Throwback Thirty – Scrooged (1988)

Scrooged_film_poster5_star_rating_system_3_stars We’ve reached the penultimate episode of Throwback Thirty so I’ve decided to watch one of my favourite Christmas films. Whilst it didn’t quite make it into my Top 11 Essential Christmas films, it is certainly something I enjoy watching this time of year. Really, I like films that play with Charles Dickens’ story in different ways. I understand the fact that, as a Victorian novel, it feels as though you should stay true to the time period. But there are only so many times you can see an angry old man in a nightgown following ghosts around until it gets boring, so changing it up a bit is always welcome. Whilst I will always see The Muppets Christmas Carol as the ultimate adaptation of the tale, Scrooged, at least, tries to bring it into the modern age. And, as it was released in 1988, it was made during Bill Murray’s glory days. And, let’s be honest, who better to play a mean, slightly unhinged, and haunted TV executive than the great Murray? Who better to star in the classic festive tale? When Bill’s around it’ll always be a Murrary Christmas. Continue reading

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Christmas, films, reviews

Tuesday Review – The Christmas Chronicles (2018)

The_Christmas_Chronicles5_star_rating_system_2_and_a_half_stars Now, we already know that Netflix have added some pretty questionable Christmas films this year but I actually had some hope for this one. It’s Kurt Russell for fuck’s sake. Kurt Russell playing Santa. I love Kurt Russell. I love Santa. It’s a dream combination. Then I saw the trailer and it looked like a Frankenstein’s monster made up from the tired narratives of old Christmas films. So my excitement started wavering a bit and I put it to the bottom of my pile. Then I watched The Princess Switch and decided it couldn’t be as bad as that. And, there have been loads of people at work raving about it. Once again, I swayed due to popular opinion and decided to watch it this week. Well, that and the fact that the only one I really have left t watch is the stupid magical advent calendar one and that looks even shitter than A Christmas Prince 2. And, if nothing else, Kurt Russell was sure to be perfect as Santa, right?

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films, reviews, TBT

Throwback Thirty – Mac and Me (1988)

220px-Mac_and_me_movie_poster5_Star_Rating_System_0_stars I know that the whole world is madly counting down the days until Christmas because they still have presents to buy and stuff. Me? I’ve got a different countdown in my mind. After today, I’ve only got two more Throwback Thirty posts. That means I’ve only got two more films from 1988 to watch this year. And I already know which ones they’re going to be. Now, I don’t want to spoil it for you all. I’m sure the world is on tenterhooks waiting to see which it will be. Instead, I’ll focus on today’s choice. And it’s one I’ve been waiting for all year. This is one of the infamous films currently holding a 0% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  How could I possibly get through this series without reviewing a film that bad? It’s the film that resides on all of the list of worst films in 1988 and tops most of them. At the very least, it might act as some sort of therapy to help me see that something worse than me came out of 1988. Sometimes a gal just needs a boost I guess.

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books, reviews

Book Review – Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

97817847053745_star_rating_system_4_stars1 I’ve been so bad a reading this month that I thought I’d never finish this collection of short stories. There were so many times that I fell asleep with the page open and had to leave story in the middle. It’s just been a stressful few weeks recently and I’ve been feeling it. I’ve managed to get a few days off this week which has been perfect. I got things done I needed to, had some time to relax, and got a quick break before the madness of Christmas. That’s always a fun time to be working in a kitchen. At least I don’t have to come face-to-face with any customers. Apparently, they’ve already started being quite difficult and short-tempered. It’s the reason I don’t like making a fuss when I’m eating out. I’ve seen what the people I work with have to go through and, when things have gone wrong, been on the receiving end of their annoyance. Be nice to your waiter/waitress. But I feel like I’m getting off topic. Long, rambling story short, I finished this book today on my day off. So let’s do this.

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Christmas, films, reviews, Uncategorized

Tuesday Review – A Christmas Prince: The Royal Wedding

a_christmas_prince5_star_rating_system_1_and_a_half_stars Last night was my Christmas party at work and, I’m sorry to say, the free wine on the tables was really flowing. Mainly in my direction. I wasn’t feeling as bad as I expected this morning but, boy, was I glad I had the day off today! I’m so tired. But, instead of spending the day in bed, I have to get myself sorted before I’m out again tonight. I’m such a Grandma these days. All I want is to snuggle up in bed watching more shit Netflix Christmas films. I still have loads that I want to watch but, I’m happy to say, that I have watched the most important one already. After last year’s A Christmas Prince got the internet going mental, I was kind of excited (maybe excited isn’t the right word) to see how the sequel would go. The first film was so bad but in such a wonderful way. And this one has a wedding. That’s always a narrative choice that is both original and full of funny ideas. Right? Guys? Am I right?

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films, reviews, TBT

Throwback Thirty – My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

my_neighbor_totoro_-_tonari_no_totoro_28movie_poster295_star_rating_system_5_stars As I was reminded today, there are only 19 more sleeps until Christmas. This means that Christmas shopping is in full swing. I like to think I’m doing well with the amount of gifts I’ve already bought but, when I really think about it, I still have loads to buy. And I’m starting to get desperate for ideas. When I read something on Twitter about the 30th anniversary box set of My Neighbour Totoro I decided it was the perfect present for a friend… until I saw the price and almost died. I mean, I love her but no. Sorry. On the plus side, it reminded me that I’ve been putting off doing a TBT post about this film. I don’t know why it took me so long as I really love this film. In terms of Studio Ghibli films, it is one of the all time classics and Totoro has become a massive part of Japanese pop culture. By this point, he’s essentially the Japanese Winnie the Pooh, right? If I was going to be sharing my 30th birthday year with anyone then I’m really glad it’s Totoro.

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books, reviews

Book Review – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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I meant to start writing this review last night because I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of me. Inevitably, I didn’t manage it as I got distracted and, if I’m not careful I’ll do it again tonight. It’s all because of this book as well. I have been a fan of Greek myths since I was a kid and got given a book about them. Before writing this post, I decided that it was vital to find the book online so I knew the name. I never did, which is a shame because I bloody loved that book. It presented the Greek myths in a child-friendly way that really played up the humour. Something that really helped distract from just how horny Zeus and everyone really were. It meant that I became interested in the myths rather than disturbed by them. With that kind of background then this book should have been right up my street. So, why has it taken me 7 years to read it? A very simple answer… the cover. The original cover (featuring a breastplate that looks more Roman in my mind) just looks tacky. I know I know. Never judge a book by its cover etc. But, come on, it’s awful. If Bloomsbury hadn’t released the beautiful Modern Classics edition then I might never have experienced this book at all. I owe them.

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Christmas, films, reviews

Tuesday Review – The Princess Switch (2018)

mv5bmtyymjyxmjezof5bml5banbnxkftztgwmjawnde3njm-_v1_ux182_cr00182268_al_15_star_rating_system_2_stars Think back to this time last year when Netflix changed the history of Christmas films by releasing one of the worst yet most compelling Christmas films in recent years. For an entire month, the internet became obsessed with A Christmas Prince and, when news came of a sequel, everyone was excited to continue the story. What nobody was ready for was the increased volume of original Christmas films to come out of the streaming service. Each trailer I saw was worse than the last and, if I’m honest, my excitement to watch them was only increasing. As we know, I love a Christmas film and a cheesy and obvious Christmas film is even better. I have decided to only review Netflix films for December and I decided to start with a doozy. A film that was essentially The Lizzie McGuire Movie meets A Christmas Prince? Starring Vanessa Hugdens sporting a terrible British accent? Who wouldn’t be desperate to see that?

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