I’ve been banging on about October and Halloween for ages now and I do apologise. But I’m getting into the spirit quite a lot this year. I’ve loved creating seasonal photos on Instagram and I’ve been using my TBT posts to watch some appropriately scary films. Well, not that scary. I’m not exactly a lover of horror films in general. It’s not the gore or the violence that get me. It’s the suspense. I’m one of those people who can’t stand being scared. I have no chill so I can’t cope with anything too shocking. Anything that relies on jump scares could, probably kill me. So I have to be careful at this time of year when it comes to my film viewing. I’m just lucky that children are catered for at this time of year. So, instead of watching the countless Netflix films about haunted houses, I decided to watch the sequel to a film I reviewed years ago. 3 years ago to be precise. It’s been so long since the first Goosebumps film came out so I tried to refresh my memory by reading my review. I discovered 2 things: number 1, it wasn’t a very good one and number 2, I made no real discoveries about the film itself. I kind of liked it but kind of didn’t. So not very helpful. It certainly didn’t get me more excited for the sequel.
There’s something quite scary about nostalgia. When you revisit something that you loved as a child there is always the danger it won’t be the same. Which is why I’ve tended to avoid most of the reboots of my most loved childhood TV and films. It’s the reason I only got round to watching the two new Paddington films recently instead of when the first one came out. I just didn’t think it would the same. I didn’t think there was any chance that the CGI bear would give me the same feelings as the cartoon one did in my youth. As we now know, I loved both of the films and feel like an idiot for not believing that I would. So, when Christopher Robin was announced I treated it with less suspicion. I knew that it was possible to make a really good live action version of one of my childhood favourite animated classics. Plus, you know, Ewan McGregor’s face is always a reason to get excited. Continue reading
I will always kind of believe that reviewing a Netflix film for my Tuesday review is something of a cop-out. It doesn’t feel as though it takes much effort and, as we’ve come to see, most Netflix original films aren’t that great. Netflix does something things amazingly well; documentaries; animated shows; reviving old comedies; and stand up specials. What it hasn’t yet nailed is films. Some have worked really well. Okay, I mean Okja was worth watching and others were enjoyable enough. But the majority of films I’ve watched in the last few years have been disappointing or just ridiculous… I’m looking at you A Christmas Prince. So when Netflix announced that it was adapting the hit YA romance novel All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. It’s a book I’ve seen all over Instagram in the past but dismissed it due to it’s awfully clichéd romance cover and my horribly judgmental personality. But I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews for the film version so I had to check it out. Even though I knew it wouldn’t be for me. Any teen movie not starring Chad Michael Murray and Hilary Duff will feel right.
When I was a teenager Ian McEwan was one of my favourite authors. I used to read everything I could. I started with Enduring Love and went from there. There is something about the way he writes characters and constructs a narrative that I was mad about. But I have to admit that I haven’t really bothered with him in recent years. I bought Sweet Tooth but, never being blown away by the synopsis, it remains unread. The Nut Shell was one of my must reads but it’s sat in my TBR pile for far too long. I’ve certainly let my appreciation of McEwan lapse over the years. It was, in fact, On Chesil Beach that was my last read by the writer. I absolutely loved it but it was a difficult read. It’s so awkwardly British and repressed but so fantastically written. It’s a fabulous character study about two young people trying to do their marital duty whilst living in a sexually repressed era. It made me physically cringe as I read it but I could not stop reading. So, I was fairly excited by the decision to adapt the novel, especially as it stars my newest love Saoirse Ronan. However, as we also know, Ian McEwan novels are often hard to adapt. So much of his novel is the inner thoughts of his characters and that’s pretty problematic. And On Chesil Beach is even more insular and held-back than most of this novels. I just couldn’t see how it could be done justice.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been back at work for 3 days and that a week ago I was in the middle of my holiday. It feels like months ago. God, I already need another holiday just to get over getting back from my last one. And I really did start the day feeling positive; or at least as positive as I could in the circumstances. But, clearly, the people I work with had other ideas for me. I managed to leave feeling utterly exhausted and fed-up. Meaning today’s TBT post has been sitting on my screen utterly blank for hours. It also means I’m going to be late getting to bed and unable to read much beforehand. But I’m going to push through. I can’t let things I can’t change stop me getting shit done. Looking at myself now, it’s a mystery how I managed to write-up two weeks’ worth of posts in the run-up to my time away. I must have used up all of my energy and it’s coming up to bite me now. Still, this is in danger of being an absolute self-pity party so, without further ado, on with the review… ooh I love an accidental rhyme.
Anyone that’s been a reader of this blog for a while will know that when I reviewed the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline I wasn’t exactly a fan. For the most part I found it to be an uninspiring and boring story supplemented by an endless and unnecessary stream of pop culture references. It annoyed me that Cline had the audacity to write a novel set in the future and only reference the past. I mean the novel is set sometime in the 2040s which is 60 years after the 1980s. Are we supposed to believe that in 60 years nothing has ever come along to seem cooler than fucking War Games. Now don’t get me wrong, I think War Games is iconic but I was born 5 years after it was released not 50. Anyway, I don’t need to get into this now. Suffice it to say, when it was announced that the book was being turned into a film directed by Steven Spielberg I was hardly on the edge of my fucking seat. I couldn’t see how it would be any good based on the novel or on Spielberg’s recent track record. I mean I enjoyed The BFG and Bridge of Spies is meant to be great but, come one, The Post was hardly anything to celebrate. Spielberg has been a bit of a hack for years. I didn’t see how a huge CGI fest was going to get him out of his funk. But that doesn’t mean I wasn’t curious so, this weekend, I decided it was time to find out for sure.
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.
As 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
On Tuesday I posted my spoiler-free review of the latest blockbuster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. If you haven’t seen the film yet then, be warned, this post will discuss several big events that happen during the film. I’d suggest if that’s the case that you head to my other post instead. Then you can remain in ignorant bliss of what’s to come. Although, by this point, who hasn’t seen it? I mean look how much fucking money it’s made. Still, it’s good practice to warn of spoilers these days as I’ve run foul of them myself. I’d guessed something would happen before seeing the film and it was confirmed to me by an Instagram account that I no longer follow. They’d even made a point of not wanting to spoil to the film before they fucking spoilt it for me. It’s so frustrating. Like the time a guy I work with purposeful told me that Quicksilver died at the end of Age of Ultron despite knowing I hadn’t seen it. That guy is a straight up dick and I’ve never forgiven him. There are certain things I can let you get away with but spoiling a Marvel film? No way, man. So, without further ranting, I present my inner thoughts about Infinity War. Feel free to share your theories or disagree with me in the comments. I’m always up for a discussion about this film.
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?