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 The thing that Disney+ warns is an “outdated cultural depiction”.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.
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.
After reviewing The Irishman this week, what else could I watch for this week’s TBT post? So many people have given Martin Scorsese’s latest film the title of his “best film since GoodFellas“. It was the perfect excuse to back and watch the classic film. GoodFellas is one of those films that will always stand the test of time. This year marks its 30th anniversary and, though it has 2 years on me, it has held up much better than I have. And, on the plus side, Robert De Niro looks like a real human being. Of course, he was only in his 40s at the time. It also features a wonderful performance from Ray Liotta who was last seen having a fun time as a smarmy lawyer in Marriage Story. Yes, The Irishman may have Al Pacino going for it but, I’ll be honest, I’d rather watch Scorsese’s earlier work than his latest. After all, you could watch it twice in the time you’d spend watching uncanny De Niro’s creepy eyes.
Today really does mark the end of Christmas. I’m back at work this morning after an 8-day break. It’s just flown by. It obviously didn’t help that I spent so many of the days in bed. But I’ve had a lovely time off and it’s been so nice to actually have a Christmas holiday for a change. I’m not looking forward to getting up in the morning. I’ve become too used to being able to get up whenever I want. I confess that I’ve been somewhat leisurely when it comes to getting out of bed. I set the alarm for 8 o’clock and get dressed at about 10. It does mean that a 7am wake-up call seems hellishly early. Though, I am looking forward to going back. If nothing else, it will mean that I might finally be able to work out what bloody day it is. I hate that period between Christmas and New Year when you don’t know what’s going. When every day fees like Sunday. When you can’t even work it out by watching TV because the schedules are all fucked and they’re only playing films. I love Christmas but I can’t wait until life feels a bit more normal again.
I know that I should probably have watched a wrestling film to go with my Tuesday review but, to be honest, none of the ones that I could think of appealed to me at the time. Instead, I decided to watch a film that I’ve been wanting to rewatch for ages. This film was one of my favourites when I was a child. I don’t think it was a massive one, at least not in the UK, but it was part of a VHS boxset that we owned. It was in a three-film set with Richie Rich and Dennis. My sister and I loved them all and would watch them over and over. There are scenes we would rewind so much that I’ve never forgotten them. And it’s a film that so few of my friends know about. Which makes me wonder where the hell my parents found that box set but I’m glad they did. But would it be as good now I’m a grown-up?
The other day I saw a post on Instagram that made me feel super old. And, considering I turned 31 on Tuesday, that’s saying something. Turns out that Cruel Intentions turns 20 years old this week. I don’t remember how old I was but I do recall first watching this film at a sleepover. And I’m pretty certain I wasn’t a teenager yet but, with my memory for this kind of thing, I’ve no way of knowing for sure. What I do remember is that my twin sister became kind of obsessed with the band Counting Crows afterwards. For years she would play the piano part for the song ‘Colorblind’ on repeat. Our piano lives in the room directly underneath my childhood bedroom so, it’s safe to say, that I quickly became sick of that song. But. obviously, it always reminded me of this film. Cruel Intentions is one of those films you probably first watched at a young and impressionable age. As such, it has the effect of seeming really sexy and dark. The Sarah Michelle Gellar/Selma Blair kiss was much talked about at the time for being either controversial or groundbreaking. At whatever age I first watched it, I can say that it felt like a very grown-up film. So, would rewatching it 20 years after its release change things? I already know younger me was massively embarrassing so I’m expecting this to go badly.
As you may know, I’ve been trying to go back and watch the films that I’ve already reviewed for 2019’s TBT section. Last week aside, I’ve been going through them in chronological order. Then I went rogue and watched a film that I wanted to. And the floodgates opened. There is no more order and the rule book is out the window. Maybe it’s because I know the next film coming up is one I’ve watched recently and don’t really want to go there again? Or maybe I’ve just got tired of setting myself these parameters for no reason? Either way, this week I had a craving to watch something random and I went through the films available on Prime and ended up here. Drawn in by Ewan McGregor’s face because, let’s be honest, the early 2000s were the peak time for his face. One year before Attack of the Clones and four years before the beardy goodness of Revenge of the Sith: Moulin Rouge is classic Ewan McGregor beauty. And he’s singing. I don’t know whether it’s the amount of Disney films I watched growing up but, for some reason, I’ve brought myself round to the idea that the ideal romantic partner is one who is an amazing singer. I feel like most people don’t see this as a vital ingredient to love but it is. It definitely is. So, let’s jump in.
Today is Valentine’s Day and, to get in the mood, I was planning on finding some ridiculous romantic-comedy to review. I’ve been getting into the spirit on my Instagram so I might as well do the same here. My plan was to get home from work and watching something disgusting. Probably a Richard Curtis film or something. Instead, I had a dreadful day and really lost my romantic spirit. There’s nothing like your manager unnecessarily calling you a liar to really ruin your entire day. So, I decided I wanted to watch something a little less conventionally romantic this evening. As I was going through my film collection and found this beauty. It seemed to tick every box: romance, mindless violence, humour, Gary Oldman, Patricia Arquette’s boobs… it was all there. I don’t think I’ve ever really made a definitive list of my favourite films ever because it would be too long and ever-changing but, if I did one day, I’m sure this film would be on there somewhere. And I’ve never really talked about it on here before. I think it’s time.
What were your least favourite TBT films in 2018?
You may have noticed that I didn’t post a Sunday Rundown yesterday. That was mostly because, after a bad night’s sleep, I fell asleep before writing it. But it was also a tactical choice. After all, it’s New Years Eve so it’s time I started doing my rundown of the year. And what a year it’s been. I’ve already posted my Top 10 Books, Top 10 Films, and Top 10 TBT Films lists. But, let’s not forget that 2018 wasn’t a completely positive year. The political situation of the UK is pretty shitty moving into the new year so it seems only fair I add my least favourite TBT films to the pile. It really seems that for every great 1988 movie there is at least 5 terrible ones. I really had my eyes opened this year about what people were willing to watch 30 years ago.