I have to admit to something, I never got round to watching Uncut Gems. Phew, that’s a weight off my chest. At the time that it was really doing the rounds, I was desperately trying to watch all of the Oscar nominated films and, unfortunately, it was totally ignored by the Academy. I always intended to catch up but it never happened. Not because I didn’t think it would be good but because it just seemed so heavy. I mean this year is heavy enough. The reason I bring it up is because Uncut Gems could very well be the reason that Hubie Halloween exists. Before awards season kicked off, Sandler made a vow that he would make the worst film possible if he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. 10 months on and another Netflix original hits us. So, was it really going to be the worst of his vast and often uninspiring career? There was only one way to find out.
The first Borat film came out just before I headed off to university, which meant my entire 3 years were full of bad impressions and catchphrases. I lived on a floor with about 50 people in total and there were a lot of idiot guys who thought the only indication of their sense of humour was being able to regurgitate film quotes. Oh, and let’s not forget one of flatmates who bought the character’s trademark mankini and wore it to every social event possible. I know it sounds like I hated the film but I didn’t. It was just fucking endless. It was everywhere. My undergraduate course was defined by Borat quotes and that Linkin Park and Jay-Z Numb/Encore mash-up. It was an interesting time.
You know you’ve made a cultural impact if you inspire an episode of Doctor Who, right? Season 4 is one of my favourite seasons because I think Donna is the best companion in modern Who. It also has some fun episodes. Most importantly for this post is The Unicorn and the Wasp. An episode in which Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance is connected with an alien murder mystery involving a giant wasp. Death in the Clouds is referenced towards the end of the episode as evidence that the encounter stayed with her subconsciously. I do wonder how many Who fans picked up the book following the episode. Maybe hoping for something fantastical and extraterrestrial? The giant wasp on the cover of my copy might certainly suggest something rather more sinister to anyone who hasn’t already read it.
Agatha Christie and trains go together like Hercule Poirot and a well-groomed moustache. She bloody loved them. More importantly, she bloody loved to see them feature in her murder mysteries. Nowadays, train travel doesn’t have the same romantic appeal as it may once have done. Although, it’s been about 8 months since I was last on a train so there might actually be some romanticism there right now. My morning commute was nothing very interesting but, now that it’s been taken away from me, I do miss it a bit. So, I thought I’d indulge in some train travel during my Christie month. This has never been one of my favourite Christie stories so I’m never that keen to revisit it. It was definitely time for a reread.
One of my favourite moments in The Gentlemen was during the scene in which Hugh Grant’s scummy PI tries to sell his film script. He attends a meeting at Miramax and a huge poster for The Man from U.N.C.L.E can be seen in the background. It just went to show that this may be Guy Ritchie’s attempt to show that he’s still the East-End gangster director but he doesn’t want you to forget that he’s a Hollywood name now too. Although, really what have his blockbuster franchises ever gotten him? Sherlock Holmes has, at least seen a couple of sequels. 2019’s Aladdin remake wasn’t exactly a critical success and the less said about King Arthur: Legend of the Sword the better. I’m not trying to criticise Ritchie for his varied career but it was a really odd flex. The Man from U.N.C.L.E didn’t do that badly but it’s hardly fondly remembered all these years later.
In my review of Hallowe’en Party, I suggested that people first went into the book expecting it to be a spooky and supernatural read. There are a couple of weird moments but it’s not exactly a going to cater for your Halloween mood. So, some bright spark of a publisher decided to create this collection. It brings together her previous published stories into one scary anthology. The draw being that one of the stories was unpublished but only in America. Just imagine you can see my eyes rolling as I type that. As I’m going through an Agatha Christie moment, I decided to go through this collection. I’ve never been a huge fan of her short stories but I was ready to be converted.
It probably wasn’t until Paddington 2 that I really gave a shit about Hugh Grant. When it comes to his acting career, all I ever really associated with him were Richard Curtis movies and I’m not a huge fan of Richard Curtis movies. Don’t get me started on how awful Love Actually actually is. It was Paddington 2 that really showed how much fun he could be. So, when I saw the trailer for Guy Ritchie’s The Gentlemen I was quite excited to see it. I can’t say that Ritchie has ever been my favourite director even before he started making guff like King Arthur and Aladdin. They just weren’t the films I was interested in watching. I guess his films are fun in their own way. Just as long as you don’t mind gangs in London who have a penchant for violence.
October is over halfway through and I’ve just finished my third Agatha Christie book of the month. I was hoping to be a bit further ahead at this point but the last couple of weeks haven’t been good for reading. I’m on holiday now and I’m planning on getting as much done as possible. Even if I don’t get any other Christie books read before Halloween (even though I definitely will have to read And Then There Were None for my book club), I have achieved the one thing I wanted. I’ve reread Death on the Nile before Kenny B brings his film out. You can see why it was the second in this latest series of adaptations. It’s one of the first murder mysteries that most people think of when they think of the Queen of Crime. You can definitely see why. As murders go, this is pretty memorable.
I know that it might seem that my dislike of Enola Holmes was mostly because of how much a fan I am of Arthur Conan Doyle’s literary creation. That I’m some sort of traditionalist who can’t see the character in any other way than a Victorian gent. But that’s not true. I’m always willing to give it a chance. After all, we’ve seen enough of the same old adaptation over the years. And I know that I was initially dubious of Sherlock but that’s got more to do with Stephen Moffat’s writing skills than anything else. I long for the day that we see a Sherlock Holmes that we’ve never seen before. It was the reason that I really wanted to see Ian McKellen playing an older Holmes. I had always expected to watch it when it came out but life never quite pans out as you expect.
I’ve decided that I’m on a bit of a mission to read as many Agatha Christie books in the next months as possible. My virtual book club chose And Then There Were None as its October picky. I’ll be honest, I didn’t pick it but mainly because it’s one of my favourite books. Certainly one of my favourite Christies. I’ll reread it but I know that I’ll leave it to the last minute. Although, that does give me time to cram in as many of her cosy crime novels as possible. This is my second after last week’s Evil Under The Sun. We’re not even halfway through yet and I’ve got a week off coming up. Hopefully, I’ll get a few more in before Halloween. Oh, speaking of Halloween…