I’ve never read Strangers on a Train but I’ve seen so many adaptations, references and parodies that it feels as though I have. One of the most memorable ones is in an episode of The Simpsons, which really only sticks in my mind because Barr keeps popping up saying “criss-cross”. The latest film to be inspired by Patricia Highsmith’s novel is Do Revenge. The Netflix original is what happens when you combine Alfred Hitchcock and Riverdale. I always suspected that I was beyond the intended age range but I figured it was worth a try. After all, I’m fairly obsessed with Maya Hawke at the moment. She’s by far the greatest thing about Stranger Things and was interested to see her do something a bit darker.
I had intended to write something about The Rings of Power series when I was halfway through the series and then again at the end. Thanks to an unusually buys weekend, I didn’t manage to watch episode 4 until this Saturday. At that point, it just made sense to watch both episode 4 and 5 together. So, this post is coming at just beyond the halfway point but never mind. I was never going to be one of those people who dissects every single episode in great detail. There are plenty of people out there if you want that. Instead, I just want to ramble about my thoughts and feelings. This is probably going to be a messy post, which is probably quite apt.
When I read Katherine Applegate’s book The One and Only Ivan last week, I didn’t know it has been adapted into a film. So, it seemed like the perfect choice for my film review this week. It’s an annoyingly common theme within the bookish community that the book always has to be better. That no film adaptation can ever be as good as the written word. I’ve already written a post about how wrong this idea is, so I don’t judge a film until I’ve seen it. Meaning I had to see if this lived up to the book.
To say that it was one of the few Marvel films that I’ve actually been looking forward to, it’s taken a really long time for me to actually watch the most recent Thor film. I meant to go and see it in the cinema but Covid kept preventing it. So, it was one of the first things that I watched following its release on Disney+ last week. I was really looking forward to it because I loved The Mighty Thor run of comics. It was always going to a dodgy one with fans though. I remember when the comic first came out and a guy I worked with was livid. He couldn’t understand why there could be a female version of Thor when he’s based on Norse mythology. I had no time for him or his nonsense.
I’ve lost my way when it comes to films since the pandemic. I just lost the enthusiasm for them during lockdown and never got it back. This is why I’ve not been putting the best effort into getting my reviews out. Part of the problem is that I’m reading more, which is a great change of pace. Another is that I just can’t be bothered. Films are so long these days and I can’t think about sitting down for over 2 hours to watch one. Seven half hour episodes of a TV show on the other hand…
A lot of stuff happened in 2020. A lot. Something that definitely didn’t happen was me watching films. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Nobody was in a great place that year and one of the consequences for me was losing a desire to sit and watch a movie. Yet I could binge-watch several episodes of TV in a row. It doesn’t make sense. It’s never made sense but it’s how it was. Whatever the reason, I have a whole year’s worth of films to catch up on. I guess you could ask if I wasn’t bothered then, why would I be bothered now? I don’t know. What I do know is that I needed a film to review this week and I saw this on Prime.
Movie trailers should be simple business, right? You’re making an advert for a film to encourage people to see it. Although, you need to find the right balance between showing enough to get people excited and not giving too much away. When I saw the preview for All The Old Knives on Prime, I immediately knew how it was going to end. It was so bloody obvious. So, of course, I had to watch it to see if I was right.
There have been so many great animated films recently that it’s going to get harder for studios to do amazing things. Our standards have changed and certain studios just keep getting better. So it must be tricky coming up with new concepts that offer the same emotional, visual and irrational punch that we’ve become used to. The Bad Guys had the potential to be a lot of fun but did it have enough to be unforgettable? My initial thoughts after seeing the trailer were no but it was still worth taking a look.
It’s safe to say that this weekend got away from me. Despite not being in the Lakes all weekend, I’ve managed to get behind where I wanted to be. So, yet again, I had to find a film to watch in time for this review. Which is just one of the reasons why I picked this film. It was a manageable length for me to fit in after work yesterday without having to stay up late writing it up. One of the reasons. There was a small part of me that was curious about it.
There’s such an overwhelming sense of patriotism hitting the UK these days. And not the good kind. The very unhelpful kind. It feels like every time something happens, people on the right are bringing up the blitz spirit. When we were in the midst of the pandemic, Tory MPs and their supporters proudly announced that people didn’t hide away in WW2. What they failed to mention is that that’s exactly what they did during air raids. There’s nothing like the overconfidence of a rich guy talking about a war that ended before they were born.