I can’t believe this film is this old. I also can’t believe that George Clooney looks so much better now than he did 18 years ago. Seriously, what is going on with that man? But, there we are. And I remember watching this film for the first time. It blew my mind. The twist worked really well. It’s also the film that first introduced me to my long-standing crush on Matt Damon. Before this, I didn’t give a shit about him but there was something about watching him rob Andy Garcia that obviously really did it for me. I used to watch the scene where he’s hanging above a vault shaft on repeat. A lot. Boy, he had some mighty fine arms. And I guess it’s true what they say; women like a bad boy. But I didn’t just like this film because of Matt Damon. It was a hugely entertaining film. And, as I found out, it still stands up 18 years later. Steven Soderbergh really is quite the talent. Has he actually properly retired now? I can never keep up with that man. That man has had more comebacks than The Rolling Stones at this point.
One of the films that I watched for my Throwback Thirty was the Michael Caine and Steve Martin comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It wasn’t the worst film that I watched last year but it didn’t really make an impact. So, the news that it was being remade with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson didn’t necessarily leave me feeling super excited. I’m all for getting more female leads in comedy films but why does it have to be like this? Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was itself a remake. So, The Hustle is a remake of a remake. I know it’s a bit of a cliche to say that Hollywood is out of ideas but, is Hollywood out of ideas or something? And, as much as I don’t want to sound like those awful men on the internet, I just didn’t really see what the gender switch was really going to add to the story.
My last read was one of the books I bought in my post-Endgame book trip. I had needed something to cheer me up and nothing cheers me up quite like looking at books. I’d been attracted to this cover for ages because I’m a sucker for anything yellow these days. But I had also been wanting to pick this up for a while. I’ve seen it around quite a bit and heard good things about it. So many people bring up Agatha Christie when talking about it that I felt I had to give it a try. I’ve been a Christie fan for years and admit that she is one of the few crime writers I never get bored of. I’ve never been a big crime fiction reader. I always find them underwhelming. The twists are too obvious and I guess them from the start. I know it’s probably not in the spirit of the book but if it’s staring me right in the face what am I meant to do? Maybe there just are no crimes to write about anymore? Has every possible murder been committed in literature? I kind of feel like it has because I get such a sense of deja vu whenever I read the next big crime novel. But, that also doesn’t stop me trying so I’ve got nobody to blame but myself.
What’s this? Another Wednesday and I’m reviewing something that isn’t my current read? Yep, yet again, I’ve had to resort to reading a short story in order to stick to my upload policy. There’s something about Shakespeare: The World As Stage by Bill Bryson that is making it difficult for me to finish. Although, I am in the midst of birthday week so I’ve had other things on my mind. So, what was I to do? Check Kindle Unlimited for an interesting sounding short story that I could finish in less than an hour today, obviously. There really was no thought beyond that. It was basically the first short story I came across that sounded interesting. I’d never heard of the author before or the short story collection that it came from. But I guess that’ the joy of having to read something for a review. You pick up things that you’d never have considered before. Whether that is a good thing or a bad thing.
What? A review? On a Sunday? No, you aren’t going mad. I’ve decided that, in order to get all my pre-Oscar reviews up before the big day, that I’m going to have to change my schedule for a bit. I started writing this yesterday but ended up feeling so bad that I went to bed early. But that’s not important because, at this point in my life, I have watched all of the Best Picture nominees. The only ones I want to try to watch before the ceremony, if I have the time, are The Wife and At Eternity’s Gate. But, if I don’t then I won’t do feel bad. I managed to watch the films I wanted to and well on time. Unlike last year when I was watching them up to the last-minute pretty much. I think I saw my final one the day before the ceremony. In fairness, there were 9 nominees last year. That’s a whole extra film to find the time for. It was tough! But I digress… So, I’ve seen all the nominees but I still need to review 3 of them. And, let’s not forget, the actual ceremony is on February 24th which is just over a week away. If I’m going to have the reviews up in time then I need to hurry the fuck up. Meaning the fact that I’m starting my extra reviews with a non-Best Picture film is kind of absurd… but I watched this before the other two. And I’m not really looking forward to having to write the final 2. To say I have mixed feelings about them is an under-statement.
Let’s look back to the end of 2017 when I foolishly decided that I would reread Murder on the Orient Express before I watched Kenneth Branagh’s film adaptation. Unfortunately, I started reading Autumn by Ali Smith and it took me all fucking month to get through it. So, I decided that this was the year when I would finally do it. And, today, nearly a whole month later, I closed the final page. I should just realise that December isn’t my reading month but, if I start doing that, I’d then have to admit that no month is my reading month. It’s why I can’t ever set myself a reading challenge unless it’s read 1 book. But, let’s not get too bogged down with 2019. We’re still in 2018 and, unless I miraculously gain the ability to read super quickly, this will be the last book I finish this year. So, let’s make this review a good ‘un.
Ever since I watched this week’s Throwback Thirty film I’ve had the song ‘You’ll Be In My Heart’ in my head. You know the one. The Phil Collins song from Disney’s Tarzan movie. I’ve only seen about half of that film but I fucking love that song. It must have been on a Disney compilation album I had when I was younger. It was probably the first time I was aware of Phil Collins as a person. I’d no doubt heard more of his stuff but never known who it was. But I knew it with this song. So, that song has become so intrinsically linked with Phil Collins that I can’t hear his name without it spending days in my head. And those drum beats are bloody memorable. And then there’s the fact that the film’s soundtrack is full of classic Phil Collins songs. So, it’s been a pretty Collins heavy week for me. I definitely need to go and listen to something else as soon as I’ve written this review. And forget this ever happened.
Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film was a great film. Featuring a cast of big names and possessing an even bigger sense of fun, it was something I enjoyed watching again and again. Then the series went downhill thanks to the release of Ocean’s 12 and had a slight improvement with the final installment Ocean’s 13. Soderbergh was adamant that neither he or George Clooney wanted to carry on with the films but that didn’t stop the rumours of a gender-swap reboot. Now, I’m all for female centric films but was there really anything to add to this series? Soderbergh’s trilogy proved that it was an area that you couldn’t really get very innovative with so would we literally just see the same film but with females in the male roles? The cast list was sensational and exciting. Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter. Love them all. Anne Hathaway? She’s had her moments alongside her undeserving Oscar wins. Rihanna? I guess. So I was there. Really, I was just secretly glad that Leslie Jones wasn’t here in the Bernie Mack role. We’ve seen where that gets us in Ghostbusters.
Today was the end of my working week and I’m absolutely exhausted. I got home from work and just collapsed. So, my aim is to get through this review and get tucked up in bed at an obscenely early time. Especially as this was such an emotionally draining film so I can’t imagine that writing this is going to be the most fun I’ve ever had. I’d heard about this film before this week, obviously, but I’d never seen it. As I’ve made perfectly clear on this blog, I’m very wary of the way sexual assault is used in the entertainment industry. There are countless rants available that make my point very clear. It’s a difficult and important subject that needs to be handled correctly. When it isn’t it has the potential to damage so many people. So, going into this film I was already anxious about the key scene and how it would depict the event that is so key to the film’s narrative. But, given this is the film that won Jodie Foster an Oscar for Best Actress, I didn’t feel as though I could ignore it in this series.