rants

Bonus Post – Mary Sue who? (Spoilers)

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It’s nearly been a week since the last Game of Thrones episodes so it may seem like a stupid time to post a rant about it. However, there never seemed to be a decent time to do it. This week was all about Endgame. The only sensible time would have been Wednesday but I had a book review ready to go and I’m trying to keep on top of those. So, I almost just left this alone but, as you should know by now, I’m never one to miss the chance to rant about something. And this is a doozy. Spoiler warnings to anyone who hasn’t seen the episode this week. It’s been long enough by now but I still don’t want to risk it. A friend of mine had the ending ruined for him and I feel his pain. If I’d have known how that episode finished going in, I would have been fucking livid. It was such a fantastic thing to be surprised by. So, yeah, if you haven’t seen the latest episode I’m about to give you major spoilers so stop reading now. It’s really not worth it for what I’m going to say. I’m just going to be getting angry about stupid men on the internet. I have hundreds of rants like this already. Go read them instead.

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books, reviews

Book Review – Vox by Christina Dalcher

img_20190407_121121-0152815122958061560.jpeg5_star_rating_system_2_and_a_half_stars I had a random encounter with a stranger because of this book. This isn’t something that normally happens to me but a woman approached me because of what I was reading. During a short train ride this weekend, I was rushing to finish my chapter before I got off at the final stop. Prompting a fellow passenger to tell me I’d have to finish it later. She then informed me that she’d recently bought the book for her daughter but she hadn’t read it yet. I’m not used to this happening because I’m always fearful of popular fiction. Meaning I’m not normally reading books that are topping the best sellers lists. That wasn’t supposed to sound like such a weird and patronising brag as it does. I just mean, I’m normally met with blank stares or bemused nods when someone spies the cover of my current read.

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films, reviews

Tuesday Review – Captain Marvel (2019)

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It’s safe to say that there was a lot riding on this film for me. I found Wonder Woman to be a fantastic celebration of female superheroes. So much so that, as you may remember, I started tearing up during the opening scene. But I’ve never been that big a fan of Wonder Woman as a character. I’d not really read the comics and I’d not seen the TV show. She wasn’t really on my radar. Unlike Carol. I love Carol. I loved her as Ms Marvel. I love her as Captain Marvel. I love the idea of Brie Larson playing her. This film definitely sounded like it was being made for someone like me. I wanted it to be good. I wanted it to be loved. A difficult thing considering it was already under threat of trolls before its opening weekend. Let’s be honest, this was never going to be given a fair hearing from a lot of male fans and film critics. You know who I mean: men who see themselves as being as cool as Tony Stark, as sweet as Steve Rogers, and as intelligent as Bruce Banner. But men who are, in actuality, only as cringe-inducing as the Spider-Man 3‘s dancing Peter Parker. I know it’s what we’ve come to expect from pathetic fan boys and the fragile white male ego but that doesn’t mean it gets any easier to stomach. But let’s not give them any more attention and get on with the real work.

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review, television

Tuesday Review – New Doctor Who

promotional_poster_of_doctor_who_28series_11295_star_rating_system_4_stars1 “Laura”, I hear you all asking, “are you writing this review of Jodie Whittaker’s first episode of Doctor Who because, once again, you didn’t get round to watching a film this week? Or is it just because writing the words ‘Tuesday Review – New Doctor Who‘ is incredibly satisfying for someone who loves rhyming as much as you?” To which I would respond, why not both? Yes, it’s true that I didn’t quite follow my plan for this week and was in need of something to review but I could have just watched another Netflix film and had a rant about how rubbish they all are. As I’ve made quite clear here, I do love a good Netflix rant. And, I admit, there is something quite lovely about repeating those words over and over in my head. However, this is a momentous occasion and something all of us Whovians have been waiting patiently waiting for. I couldn’t very well let it pass me by without saying something about it, could I?

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film, film reviews, reviews

Tuesday’s Reviews – I Feel Pretty (2018)

i_feel_pretty5_star_rating_system_2_stars When I first heard about it, I Feel Pretty was being marketed as some sort of feminist propaganda. I saw it mentioned on Facebook as being a must-see because of how super empowering it would be for all women. Then I saw the trailer and I got really angry. The film that was supposedly meant to provide a message about body positivity was actually just a run of jokes about Amy Schumer being fatter than a model. It really didn’t seem very empowering to me. This anger also made me really interested to see it but I knew I would hate it so much that I didn’t want to see it at the cinema. That would be giving it too much credit. But, inevitably, my fascination got the better of me so I finally watched it. Preparing for the worst. Continue reading

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books, reviews

Book Review – Rape: A Love Story by Joyce Carol Oates

41an9958pyl-_sx322_bo1204203200_5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 You may remember that last week I read a purposefully quick read in order to get another review posted. After starting the first book in the Mistborn trilogy last week I knew I wasn’t going to get that finished in time. I mean it’s an epic fantasy novel that’s over 600 pages long. At this point in time I’m only about 1/6th of the way through. I’m being pretty slow at reading lately so even if I had forgone sleep every night I still wouldn’t have done it. And it really wouldn’t have been worth going through work being that tired. It’s been a rubbish few days as it is so I don’t need anymore problems! So, realising that there was no way I could write anything about Brandon Sanderson’s novel but wanting to continue my streak, I decided to pick a short novel to read. That ended up being this novella by Joyce Carol Oates.

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films, reviews, TBT

TBT – Mystic Pizza (1988)

mystic-pizza5_star_rating_system_3_stars I’ve had a really difficult week at work and I really wanted to relax by watching an old favourite film. Unfortunately, most of the 1988 films that I know and love have already been used as topics of my weekly Throwback Thirty review. So, when I put my hand into my TBT jar or film titles it was highly unlikely that I was going to get one I really wanted. I have to admit that, in my down state, I took several attempts to pick a film that I was in the mood for. I know I should want to watch Cinema Paradiso because it’s so celebrated but I really don’t think I could have handled it. Eventually I settled on this cult film that is not only one of Julia Roberts’ first roles but also Matt Damon’s first appearance in a film. It’s weird to think of a time before Julia Roberts was a massive star. It was 1990’s Pretty Woman that really pushed her into the limelight and showed that she was someone to pay attention to. Two years before that she was given second billing behind Annabeth Gish in this tale of three young women working at a small pizza restaurant. It was believed that Gish would go on to be the biggest name from this film. Bet whoever made that assumption feels stupid now.

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film reviews, films, reviews

Tuesday Review – When We First Met (2018)

when-we-first-met5_star_rating_system_1_star Yesterday at work, I nearly got into a huge argument with a guy I work with. It wasn’t about a professional matter but about his attitude towards dating. Specifically his attitude towards finding love on Tinder. He was being extremely pig-headed and negative about the women he was talking to because, unfortunately, he’s not had much success. The fact that he’s only 20 years old and it doesn’t really matter has escaped him. He is just frustrated that he’s, in his own mind at least, “failing” at dating and that the girls he talks to, apparently, say one thing. Basically, he was skating the fine line between someone dealing with a lot of rejection and the guy who shot 6 people in Santa Barbara because he was still a virgin at 22. Any advice I offered was ignored and I ended up getting more and more angry. I mention this only because I think I was feeling extra sensitive about the subject thanks to this fucking film. As soon as I saw the trailer appear on Netflix I knew I wanted to review this film. However, it was the very reason I wanted to do so that prevented me from watching it for so long: namely that I hated the very concept of the film. It made me so angry that I both wanted to be able to destroy it in a post but didn’t want to have to endure it. Well, this weekend I finally watched it. And, as you can tell from the above anecdote, it left me feeling super perky.

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30booksformy30th, books

30 Books For My 30th – Number 17

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dscn7247Dear Northanger Abbey,

I have a question for you: why do so many people hate you? I seriously do not understand it. Now, I’m not the biggest fan of Jane Austen in general but I know a lot of people who are hardcore fans. And what confuses me more than their absolute adoration of her as a writer is that they all seem to share a dislike of you. Which is crazy. You’re the best thing she’s ever written. You are, by far, the most entertaining of the Austen novels I’ve read and you’re heroine is the one I found most endearing. I know everyone wants to be Lizzy Bennett but I always saw Catherine Morland as someone I may once have been.

Most book nerds have, unofficially, pronounced Belle from Beauty and the Beast as the icon of what we live for. She lives in her books and craves adventure so I get it. However, if we want to find a female character who really typifies what it means to be a book lover then it’s Catherine. She is so obsessed with what she reads that she imagines it happening around her. If she were living this day then she would be writing fanfiction and creating Tumblrs about her favourite ships. Belle has a pretentious side to her whilst Catherine is just straight up adorable. Naive, definitely, but her behaviour is totally forgivable. Totally understandable. I see people like her on Bookstagram all the time so I don’t see why more of them don’t adore her.

Maybe it’s just that modern audiences don’t get the parody? I know a lot of people who have read this and then gone on to read The Mysteries of Udolpho, which is great because Ann Radcliffe is a sensation. However, it means you don’t get the context until after the fact. If you go into this book without an understand of what very early gothic fiction was like then you’ll think it’s all just melodramatic nonsense. Instead of a very clever parody. They won’t fully appreciate how intricate it all is. How funny. How subversive. You don’t get enough credit.

Neither does your romantic hero. There’s a lot of love for Mr Darcy out there. A lot. Another thing I don’t get about Austen fans. Darcy isn’t the kind of man you fall in love with. Who is the kind of guy you fall for? Why, Henry Tilney, of course. Henry doesn’t take time to get used to. He’s charming, funny, sweet, and kind from the off set. He is patient with Catherine and forgives her for being a bit excitable. He lacks the good looks of someone like Willoughby or Wickham but he’s in no way unattractive. He loves his sister and is an avid reader. Basically, Henry Tilney is the perfect man. So why don’t more people see it?

I don’t understand. I’ll always love you. You were the book that made me give Jane Austen a second chance. I was sure I would never be able to fully appreciate anything that she wrote until you came along. Now, I’m willing to see more positives. I reread Sense and Sensibility a few years after I read you and I enjoyed it more. You were the book that finally made me see that there was more to Jane Austen. I can’t say that you’ve fully changed my opinion but you’ve made me more open minded. You were my Henry Tilney.
I am delighted with the book!
Laura

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30booksformy30th, books

30 Books For My 30th – Number 11

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dscn7164Dear Novels of Sensibility,

I’ll be honest with you, I could have survived without you in my life. And I had managed to avoid you for most of my life. I’d skirted around your edges but hadn’t really dipped my toe into the vast pool of sentimental fiction. A pool no doubt made up of the tears of your many over-emotional characters. Of course, it would be more like a fucking ocean than a pool. I know you were trying to put forward a positive message to be in touch with your emotions but, even you have to admit, your characters are super annoying. Most of your books are super annoying.

I’m not entirely sure it’s your fault but I just don’t think you fit into the world any more. Who wants to read stories about weedy young women who faint all the time? Now, as a lover of gothic fiction, you might say that I should be used to novels where women faint at the drop of a hat. In a way you’re right. However, you’ve basically removed all of the best bits of gothic novels and just left the fainting and crying. Nobody reads gothic novels for the fainting.

One of my fondest memories of you comes from my postgraduate degree when I was studying you. We’d been discussing Pamela in a seminar when our tutor made a comment about Pamela’s fainting saving her from being raped. My friend asked the legitimate question of “wouldn’t it just make it easier for him?” and he was completely stumped. It was hilarious! But that’s the thing I don’t get about you. Sentimental people are saved from dangerous situations because their would-be attackers take pity on them. It doesn’t make sense. If a creepy, pervy uncle wanted to rape you and you fainted then it wouldn’t suddenly stop him wanting to rape you. Surely he’d just thing “bingo!”?

As a lover of all things associated with the Romantic period, I’m glad I studied you and I value the historical context you provide. But I don’t have time for your weeping men and easily shocked women. You’re a type of novel intended to keep society, particularly women, from causing a fuss. To just “be nice” and not complain. You were a reaction to the French Revolution where you wanted to prevent people from taking a stand politically. You’re basically just horrible propaganda intended to mollify your readers. To create a society of men who were more likely to cry over every flower they saw than start a political uprising. To ensure women stayed indoors and fainted at the very thought of being able to make their own decisions. You kind of suck.

I will bear any thing you can inflict upon me with Patience,

Laura

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