On Saturday, I set out a list of reading resolutions for the year. As usual, one of the majors ones was to buy fewer books. This is something I try and fail to keep every year. The publishing industry just can’t stop bringing out more fantastic books. However, I do intend to do better this year because I’m painfully aware that I have something of storage problem. In order to stop myself from buying new books, I have set myself a second resolution of actually reading the books on my shelves. I have that classic bookish problem of having owned books for years. This is especially true of my Kindle. I tend to buy cheap ebooks on a whim and then forget about them. According to Amazon, I bought Jonathan Unleashed in December 2016. That means I’ve owned it for 4 years. It feels as though it was time to finally give it a chance.
Yesterday, I posted my review of Nick Hornby’s novel A Long Way Down. As it was the first book that I finished this year, it only felt right that I also watch the film adaptation for today’s post. The fact that it also stars Pierce Brosnan was just a wonderful benefit. Although, I’m always up for watching Bronhom is anything and there’s a brief scene of him dancing in this one. Yep, even after the first Mamma Mia! film he still thought it was perfectly acceptable for him to dance on screen. Say what you will about his acting but, boy, does he have a great of confidence for a man born without rhythm. I must say that I’m incredibly jealous. I’m also a terrible dancer despite all my best efforts. I wish I was able to give as few fucks does about what I look like on the dance floor and just went for it.
I’ll be honest, I needed a quick read again this week. I wasted most of the bank holiday and only had one day to finish a whole book. So, I went to my bookshelves to find the shortest book possible. It’s not my favourite method for picking which book I read next but, sometimes, you have to just get something done. I bought this book back in March because it sounded really silly. We’ve had horror versions of classics in the past so why not drag queen versions? And a drag version of Dracula had the potential to be an amazing thing.
The live-action Disney remakes are a curious thing. They’re making a shit-ton of money but, from what I can tell, nobody really likes them. I guess that not only means that we’re all suckers for going to see them but that Disney really is despicably good at business. We all love to get nostalgic and the curiosity of seeing how they’ve been updated is always going to get people buying tickets. It’s the reason that I initially bought so many of the books in The Austen Project. Of the live-action Disney movies that I’ve seen, only The Jungle Book really worked. I’m hopeful that Mulan will be amazing because it’s refusing to go down the musical line. It’s not that I don’t love a musical because I bloody love a musical. There’s a reason why my Spotify end of year round-up was mostly the Hamilton soundtrack. It’s just, Disney animated movies work as musicals because they’re animated. You don’t need to question why everyone’s singing because it’s not real. When the action starts to get realistic, that starts to be problematic. Stage musicals work in a similar way because you accept that you’re watching a play. Live-action films become a little tricky. It can work. I know I didn’t like Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables but, because there is no spoken dialogue, the singing at least makes sense. The live-action Disney movies raise too many questions. Especially when you add animals into the mix. So, when the new Aladdin film came out last year, I wasn’t convinced it would work for me. But, I have been a long-time lover of Will Smith’s musical career, so I wanted to give him a chance. It was time to find out once and for all.
It doesn’t bode too well for this week’s film that I completely forgot what I was writing about. It clearly didn’t make much of an impression on me. Although, I wasn’t completely bothered about seeing this film. It never really seemed that promising from the trailer. I know its Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan together again but it just seemed too good to be true. Although, I am a sucker for a strong British cast and I do always love seeing David Mitchell in things that aren’t panel shows. So, why not give it a chance? I’ll be honest though, writing this review has been painful. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Either I’m having a bad time with lockdown or this film just sucked the inspiration out of me. Whatever the reason, there will be no denying that this review won’t be one of my best. One could argue that none of my reviews are of a good enough quality for this distinction to be necessary but that would just make me sad.
I had such high hopes for this weekend and had plans to get shit done. Instead, I ended up getting caught up in the Tories Coronavirus updates and I lost the urge to do anything. This whole situation is terrible but when you’re being told what to do by an inadequate and greedy government, it’s hard not to worry about it a bit. Now that people are being encouraged to go back to work it’s only a matter of time before I’m expected to go in. I’m hoping it won’t be for a while though. Officially, I’m supposed to still be in quarantine for 6 weeks or so. But, with everything so vague, I guess we can’t be sure of anything right now. And I shouldn’t really worry about myself. I’m lucky enough to be able to work from home. It’s the people being forced to go back this week that I feel bad for. Hopefully, the Tories won’t be risking so many more innocent lives. Enough of this. Let’s talk about the thing we’re all here for: books.
I definitely watched Dumbo when I was younger but I can’t say that it was ever one of my favourites. I don’t think I ever really rewatched it. Of course, I remember the adorable elephant because it’s the cutest creature to come out of any Disney film. I remember the clown scene, the song, and, obviously, the flying. My memories of the film were that it was a really sweet but not very exciting film. We were more of a Lion King and Aladdin family. So, I wasn’t as emotionally invested in the upcoming remake as I have been with some of the others. Besides, I’m a huge Tim Burton fan. I even liked his reimagining of Alice in Wonderland. Although, I never saw the second one so I might hate that. Still, I was excited by the first look at this film. It had a great cast and it looked fantastic. And, with the dodgy history of this film, making it a bit darker or creepy. If nothing else, it’s 2019 and the idea of keeping elephants captive to perform in a circus is not exactly great.
Not knowing a great deal about manga, I definitely could have gone without seeing Alita: Battle Angel. However, a friend of mine was desperate to see it so I decided to be a pal and go with her. I mean we’re talking Robert Rodriguez directing, James Cameron producing, and starring Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly and Mahershala Ali. There was so much going for this film that I wanted to give it the benefit of the doubt. And, as I have the tastes of a 12-year-old boy, I do love a film about fighting cyborgs. Especially when those fighting cyborgs are being directed by someone like Rodriguez. So, I was all set to enjoy this film despite my initial hesitation. But, considering the lukewarm reception is received from critics, could this film really live up to the expectations it set for itself? Was this another case of harsh critics or easy to please fans? I had to find out for myself.
I got an email this week from a website informing me that it was my half birthday. Apparently that momentous occasion was reason enough for them to offer me money off lingerie. Who knew that half birthdays were the cheap underwear birthdays? Anyway, that email got me thinking that it was time to celebrate me having made as we have reached this important time of the year I decided that I needed to watch an important film for this TBT post. And there was only one film worth of that honour. It’s a film that I’ve been meaning to watch ever since I heard it discussed on Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish’s radio show. There is a specific scene that became something of an in-joke for the two comedians and their fans. I can only imagine the amount of hours I’ve spent listening to that clip on repeat. It meant that I felt like I knew the film intimately but, obviously, have never seen anything more than a 15 second clip. My friend and I had meant to watch it years ago, during the height of the Adam and Joe Taffin craze. But it never happened. Which means I get to do it now on this, my half-year birthday. It’s almost like fate.
Recently I’ve come down with a bit of a fever. I’ve felt it ever since I saw this Netflix original film last week. It’s main cause is Domhnall Gleeson’s face and the main symptom is being obsessed with Domhnall Gleeson’s face. I’ve been something of a fan of his since I first saw him play Bill Weasley in Harry Potter: although, admittedly I wasn’t as much of a fan of his dodgy accent. It wasn’t a love that prompted me to watch all of his films but it was enough to get me super excited when he was cast in the two new Star Wars films. I had a slight appreciation of his face but it wasn’t enough to make me rush to watch a fucking Richard Curtis film. Then I watched this bipoic of Doug Kenney, the man who helped launch the magazine National Lampoon. I spent a lot of my time looking at the guy playing Kenney’s friend and thinking, “hmm what an interesting face. I wonder who it is.” Cue credits and an obsessive admiration for this adorable ginger Irish man was born. I’ve got it bad, guys. I even stopped so low as to watch that fucking Richard Curtis film. I don’t know what’s happened to me. If only Will Forte hadn’t made it so impossible to ignore A Futile and Stupid Gesture.