This week was the first time in ages that I watched one of the original Star Wars films. It’s not something that I’ve done purposefully but because I have so many other options now. Between all of the streaming services that I’m subscribed to and my own film collection, I just have too much choice. So much choice that I rarely go back to beloved classics. I’ve probably seen the prequels more often than any of the other films in the franchise. Not because I prefer them (although, I do think they have their positive points) but because they don’t demand my attention. Watching one of the original trilogy should be an event. You should be watching it and not doing anything else. These days, I’m rarely able to just sit and watch a film. I’m either writing, taking photos or just distracted by something. Not this time. When I turned on A New Hope on Star Wars day, I was determined to watch this as it deserved.
As I mentioned on Tuesday, Lady and the Tramp was never one of my favourite Disney movies. Sure the dogs are super cute and it’s a very adorable love story. It just never stuck with me. It lacked the silly humour of the other films, it didn’t have the catchy songs, and it didn’t have a larger than life villain. For a Disney film, it’s kind of grown-up and serious. And though it centres around talking dogs, it’s more of a real-world film rather than a fantasy one. Set in the real world and taking much inspiration from society. Let’s be honest, the thing most people remember most from this film is probably the thing that Disney is trying so hard to cover up. The thing that Disney+ warns is an “outdated cultural depiction”. Aside from the meatball nose push, it’s the most memorable thing about the film. It’s a huge shame.
This week it was announced that Billie Eilish was going to be the next singer to write and record a theme song for a James Bond film. The US singer is going to sing the title track for the upcoming No Time To Die which will make her the youngest singer to do so. I’m the kind of 30-year-old who doesn’t keep up with contemporary music so, though I have heard of Eilish, I don’t think I can say I’ve ever purposefully listened to one of her songs. Still, good luck to her. She can’t do much worse than the last two. I’m sure there are plenty of awful naysayers out there moaning about how Eilish isn’t the right choice but they’re probably the kind of people who thought Sam Smith and Adele’s abysmal efforts were decent Bond themes. Sam Smith wrote a song that I can’t remember 1 minute after I finish listening to it and Adele wrote a Adele song. And I don’t really like Adele songs. Seriously, take the strings away and that song doesn’t fit. The vocals don’t work, the lyrics don’t work, and the way she has to force the rhymes is laughable. It’s the most narcissistic Bond theme ever written. It was the song that was meant to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the franchise and it’s not even focused on Bond. It’s awful and it’s disgusting that it was the first theme to win an Oscar. It only did because everyone was jizzing over Adele at the time. Skyfall is one of my least favourite theme songs. She’s lucky that Madonna was such a shit show or she’d be at the bottom for me. But this isn’t about how much I dislike Adele as a singer. This is about my favourite Bond themes. It’s a very personal thing. It depends on who you are, when you were born, your favourite Bond, and what kind of music you like. I doubt that anybody would ever be able to produce the same list as someone else. I might do a definitive ranking one day but, for now, here are my faves.
As you’ll know from my review on Tuesday, I loved Jojo Rabbit. It was the funniest film I’ve seen in a long time. But since I watched it, I’ve read a lot of criticism about it. One of these was based around the fact that Taika Waititi’s portrayal of Hitler just came down to pulling silly faces. As if that didn’t make it enough of an anti-war film. Which is ridiculous. Waititi’s version of Hitler would be at home with any of the propaganda that the allied forces were putting out during the war. We have always been well aware that one of the best ways to take power away from a dictator is to turn them into a laughing stock. It’s been a tradition that has been handed down to us and that we should continue with. Look at America. Donald Trump is gaining support in many places in America but he’s basically a laughing stock around the world. Yes, it helps that he’s a fucking moron but it means he’ll never be a full figure to fear.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a Quentin Tarantino fanboy. Actually, no that’s not true. I love a bit of Tarantino but I do think he is a bit overhyped. Pulp Fiction is a great film but is it really one of the greatest films ever made? I don’t think so. Is it one of the most overrated films ever made? Quite possibly. Yes, it inspired a generation of filmmakers and spawned countless copycats. The problem is, in the cold hard light of day, Pulp Fiction just feels kind of juvenile. It’s one of those too cool for its own good kind films that everyone sensationalises. In Mean Girls terms, Pulp Fiction is Regina George. Pulp Fiction is possibly one of Tarantino’s most indulgent films. He, like Spielberg, is very good at standout scenes but, below the surface, it’s kind superficial. So, I’m always a bit wary of Tarantino. But, I have enjoyed his films more and more as the years go by. And I was excited to see what he would do with this film. It’s such an iconic time in history and Tarantino taking on the story of Sharon Tate’s murder was always going to be interesting.