Do you know who I blame for Cats? All of you. All of you who came out of Les Miserables thinking “that wasn’t bad”. All of you who applauded Ann Hathaway’s Oscar win for being snotty while singing a song that made Susan Boyle famous. All of you who proclaimed that Russell Crowe wasn’t as bad as you’d thought. All of you who thought Amanda Seyfried was anything other then screechy. All of you who thought Tom Hooper’s decision to stick a camera really close in his actor’s face was anything but him showing off. You made his already ego trip of a movie seem justified. Les Miserables wasn’t a good representation of a musical. It was just one long film where Tom Hooper was showing off. But it fucking worked. And now he’s made this abomination and its all your fault. I knew this would happen. Okay, I didn’t know exactly this would happen but I knew we were playing a dangerous game. If you’ve seen Cats and you regret it, just remember, the few of us who didn’t like Les Mis tried to warn you.
I watched the first Daddy’s Home film because I have a secret of Mark Wahlberg. And by love, I mean I appreciate how much he’s willing to make fun of himself. It must have been after watching The Other Guys, the first film he did with Will Ferrell. It was so much better than I ever would have believed and Wahlberg was a big part of that. Although, I can’t pretend that I enjoyed the film. I didn’t. I just think the pair were super funny together. Funny enough to make me want to see their next team-up Daddy’s Home. Once again, it failed to do anything exciting and was a big disappointment. So, I decided to skip the festive follow-up when it was released.
In previous years, I haven’t felt very festive at this time of year. Although, in previous years I’ve been working in a job I hated. A job that only got busier and more hectic as we got closer to Christmas. A job that only got worse thanks to the terrible catering management team. I had some great friends at that job but it still wasn’t enough to make me care about Christmas. This year is different. 2019 has been a great year for so many reasons. I’ve got a job that I not only enjoy but that is finally getting me on the right career path. My sister had a baby. My twin sister is getting married in February. My parents are both retired and enjoying their free time. It’s been a positive 12 months. So, I was actually feeling pretty good going into advent. But I wanted to feel even better. I decided to push myself further into the Christmas spirit by holding my own Christmas film advent calendar. Every day I’ll aim to watch a different Christmas film. Some will be good, some will be bad, and some will be so bad that they’re good. You can keep up with my daily viewings on my Instagram Story Highlights. Fingers crossed I can make it for the next 20 days. I’ll either run out of time or run out of Christmas films.
Christmas films are a complicated thing. There are so many classics but, let’s be honest, they’ve sort of ground to a halt in recent years. Christmas films just aren’t as good these days. Seriously, I think that last one time a festive movie really spoke to audiences was Elf and that was way back in 2003. I can’t even remember a Christmas film that’s come out since. Okay, there are the terrible Netflix films that I love so much but they’re hardly good. Something being so bad it’s impossible not to watch isn’t the same thing. So, I guess the world is waiting for something great. On paper, that film could easily have been Last Christmas. Co-written by Emma Thompson? Check. Directed by Paul Feig? Check. Starring Emilia Clarke? Check. Soundtrack celebrating George Michael? Check. What is not to love there? So, could Last Christmas really fail? I had to find out.
After finishing my latest read on Sunday, I knew that there was only one option for my Throwback Thursday film this week. I can’t remember exactly how old I was when I watched View From the Top but it must be about 15 years. It was one of those late nights at my friend’s house. I’m not sure why we picked it but it was an experience that I never forgot. Seriously, Gwyenth Paltrow in her purple and orange uniform, shiny purple boots, and massive hair are really difficult to get out of your head. Although, after reading Ayoade’s fantastic analysis, it does worry me that I’m tackling this film too. There is no way I’ll be as shrewd or as funny as he is. I should have done something else. Watched Airplane or something. Maybe a different Gwyenth Paltrow film? Sliding Doors? He does mention Sliding Doors in the book too. Although, I have a bit of a soft spot for that film and I wouldn’t want to have to admit it’s rubbish.
It feels as if Melissa McCarthy and I have been here too many times before. Me wanting to believe that her latest film would be the one to give her the role she deserved. And, coming off the back of her amazing performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? I was confident that she was on her way up. The Kitchen seemed like a great fit. Based on a Vertigo comic book miniseries about housewives taking their husbands’ place in the Irish mob. It’s an adaptation written and directed by Andrea Berloff and starring Elisabeth Moss and Tiffany Haddish. This was a film that was making so many promises about celebrating women that I had to believe that it would be perfect. But could it ever live up to our expectations?
I think we were all a little bit surprised by how good Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was back in 2014. Although, that was nothing to do with Edwards. Of all the directors who could have got the job, he was definitely up there near the top of the list of most suited people. But it was the second time Hollywood had made a Godzilla film and, let’s be honest, the first time had gone about as bad as it could have. That’s the problem with Matthew Broderick. When he’s good, he’s good. But when he’s bad, it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life. I mean we’re lucky that film didn’t start a major international incident. But Edwards and co turned it around. They made a pretty decent film. It was sophisticated and not your usual blockbuster disaster movie. And it was exciting to hear that a sequel was in the pipelines with Edwards expected to return. Then, in 2016, Edwards left the project and we were left in some kind of limbo. Would it be able to live up to its predecessor without the director making a return? There was only one way to find out.
I get bored with the argument that Hollywood has run out of original ideas. It’s an argument made by people who only give a shit about blockbuster films. Yes, we see a lot of sequels, reboots, and remakes these days but that’s not to say there aren’t original films. Independent cinema and world cinema are full of interesting and unique ideas that most supposed film lovers wouldn’t know about. Okay, there’s an argument to be made for the accessibility of these films. One that I understand the pain of. I live in the North of England and we don’t tend to get a lot of smaller films here. I mean we’ve only really just got access to National Theatre Live on a large scale. But that’s not something to go into now. So, yes, I don’t agree that filmmakers are running out of ideas. However, sometimes a film comes along where you have to think this must have been scraping the bottom of the barrel of film ideas. That they were literally out of all other ideas. The Emoji Movie was one of those films.
So, you may have noticed that this week’s Throwback Thursday post is actually a day late. And, if I’m honest, I nearly didn’t write it at all. I ended up meeting a friend yesterday so couldn’t get time to post. And today? Well, I just couldn’t be bothered. I watched the film earlier in the week and it left me totally uninspired. But I’m here. Trying to stick to my schedule. If I start letting myself believe that I don’t have to do things then I won’t do them. It’s like Instagram. I’m having a massive Instagram crisis and I keep telling myself it doesn’t matter. Which, to be fair is true but that’s not the point. The whole reason for keeping this blog up and doing my Instagram stuff is to help in my career. Now, I’m not being delusional. I know that this isn’t going to get me anywhere but it means I can try things that might help at work. So, yeah, what I’m saying is you’re my test subjects. Don’t you feel special? At least I kind of know what I’m talking about with you guys. I work for a company that sells football kits so, now I’m in charge of their blog, I have to write a football related post every week. I know nothing about football. I don’t even know the vocabulary. In the last week, I’ve used the word “cross” in a football-related context countless times never knowing if I was using it correctly! Best not to dwell.
On Tuesday I reviewed Shazam! a DC film starring Mark Strong. So, what film could I possibly watch for this Throwback Thursday post? How about a DC film starring Mark Strong? Especially as it’s considered to be one of the worst superhero movies of all time. It even has a lower rating than X-Men Origins. Of course, they both star Ryan Reynolds. Until Deadpool was finally released, it seemed as though that guy just wasn’t going to make the superhero thing work. On the plus side, it isn’t the worst the film in DC history. Catwoman and Jonah Hex will forever beat anything and then there’s Joel Schumacher’s reign of terror. But, certainly, Green Lantern has to be one of the biggest missteps in comic book movie history. It’s just become an easy joke. Something that Ryan Reynolds is more than happy to join in with as evidenced by that line in Deadpool. I guess something good finally did come out of this film.