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.
In light of all of the Covid nonsense, I’ve really not been keeping track of awards season this year. I’ve barely watched any of the nominees. Or at least I’m pretty sure that I haven’t because I don’t even know who all of the nominees are. I’ve just lost my way with films and decided that there were other things to focus on this year. Plus, it isn’t really the same when you can’t head out to the cinema. Despite my Oscars blackout, I was still overjoyed to wake up to the news that this year’s ceremony had made history. Anthony Hopkins became the oldest person to ever win for acting. Daniel Kaluuya picked up the best supporting actor and became the first Black British actor to win an Oscar. Then there’s Chloé Zhao who became not only the second woman to win Best Director but also the first woman of colour. It’s quite the positive step for the Academy. Emerald Fennel was given recognition for her screenplay and became the first person since 2007 to win. This was only one that I was really invested in. I was desperate for Fennel to win. Why? Not only was the film important and original but I’m becoming obsessed with Fennel. She seems like a fantastic human being with a unique creativity. This was one film that I knew I had to see as soon as possible.
For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been listening to the soundtrack of this film non-stop. I don’t know why I started listening to it. Especially considering that I’d never seen the film until this week. It was recommended to me on YouTube, which potentially shows you how much Disney I’ve been listening to lately. I guess it makes me feel better about how awful the world it right now. After months of ignoring it, I couldn’t resist the lure of the Rock singing a Lin-Manuel Miranda song anymore. Turns out, the soundtrack is absolutely amazing. It was only fair that I actually watch the whole film. At least I knew that if the story was bad that I’d have the songs to fall back on.
When I review the first book in the Artemis Fowl series, I mentioned that wanted to read it before watching the film. It’s always tricky when it comes to book adaptations that you care about. Especially when you care about it for nostalgic reasons. You obviously want to it be as good as possible, but you also know that there will have to be changes. You can’t get everything into a film version without the runtime being uncomfortably long. Which is why I don’t normally reread books just before I watch a film. Otherwise, you’re too close to it to be objective. But with Artemis Fowl, it had been too long since I’d read the series for me to be happy to watch it. I needed to refamiliarise myself a little more first. But would it be my undoing? I was already going in with low expectations thanks to the criticism the film garnered. Would my recent reread cause even more problems? I had to find out.
It’s not very often that I watch a film adaptation after just reading the book, so I normally don’t get as good a sense of just how much is changed. I mean, yes, I have an idea but it’s never quite as vivid as it was this week. I watched The Remains of the Day the evening after I’d finished reading the book. That’s pretty damn fresh in my mind. As such, I was probably a little more annoyed by the changes made to the original story. Well, after you’ve read something as perfect as Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel, how can a film adaptation ever be as good? Still, I knew that I couldn’t let this get in the way too much. I don’t want to be one of those book fans who always pretend the book is massively better than the film.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t put much effort into my film choice for this week but things haven’t gone as I expected this weekend. Being incredibly exhausted and pretty busy was a terrible combination. So, when it came time to watch something, I was mostly looking for something quick and tat didn’t require any real effort. At one point, I’d considered watching the Snyder cut of Justice League but I wasn’t capable of concentrating on something for over 4 hours. Especially something that I didn’t enjoy enough the first time to really want to watch again. Instead of Snyder, I turned to Netflix and found the least appealing film that I could find. The fact that it ran to just under 90 minutes was just a happy bonus.
I know we’re meant to be complaining about the fact that Hollywood is obsessed with remakes, reboots, and sequels these days. However, I can’t help but be a little bit excited about the new Mighty Ducks series that’s starting on Disney+ tomorrow. For one thing, I’ve always had a soft spot for Emilio Estevez. He’s one of my favourite members of the Brat Pack. I can’t help it; I love him. For another, I bloody love The Mighty Ducks franchise. Yes, the third one is awful in comparison to the rest but there’s still some fun to be had. As a trilogy, it’s brilliant viewing. To prepare myself for the new episodes, I decided that I had to go back to where it all started.
I have only seen Coming to America once before. I watched it as part of my Throwback Thirty series during my 30th birthday blog celebration. I know that there is a lot of love for the film but it didn’t really do much for me. It’s sad that in 2021, its all-Black cast still feels so ground-breaking. It’s also important to note how important the film was and still is in terms of Black art. It’s not that I’m dismissing its entire existence. I just didn’t really think it was that funny. So, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed to hear that a sequel was coming to Prime. Was I still going to watch it? Of course. Did I think I’d enjoy it? Not really.
A friend of mine is convinced that Nicolas Cage has 5 truly good films. This is something that she’s maintained for years. The only problem is, she can’t actually remember what all of the 5 films are. There’s Kick Ass obviously and Face/Off. I think she also approved of Lord of War but, after that, things get pretty shaky. I’m pretty sure that National Treasure was one of them but that might just be something I’m choosing to believe. I also feel as though I should point out that her definition of good doesn’t necessarily mean top quality. I think it just means fun to watch. That’s the joy of a Nick Cage film. You don’t go in expecting to be wowed but you at least want to be entertained. You need him to be at just the right level of Cageism so he’s funny without being irritating. National Treasure offers perfect level Cage.
I had quite a bit to do on Sunday and my day ended up massively going off the rails. Meaning I forgot about watching a film for today’s post until that evening I didn’t really have time to watch what I’d originally planned so I ended up finding the first quick thing I saw on Netflix. What I didn’t realise at the time was that this film was a sequel. I’m not saying that it became difficult to follow because it’s still a kid’s film. It just meant that I was a bit slow on the uptake with certain references. I just thought the writers couldn’t be bothered to include all of the necessary context, which seemed quite an interesting choice.