films, reviews, TBT

TBT Review – True Romance (1993)

true-romance-1993-05_star_rating_system_4_stars1 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.

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films, reviews

Tuesday Review – The Favourite (2018)

1542148943768_thefavourite_a3portrait1 5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars Another week and another potential Oscar nominee. This is another that I was really desperate to watch and its mainly because of Olivia Colman. I adore her and it definitely has something to do with Peep Show. Anyone who was a fan of that show and doesn’t still have a massive soft spot for Sophie is insane. Obviously, she has proved time and time again that she is a fantastic actor in any situation but she is such a fantastically funny woman that she deserved a great role like this. The trailer more than hinted that this was going to be a comic creation like we’ve not seen before and I was all for it. The Lobster is the only other film I’ve seen by Yorgos Lanthimos but I loved it. So was excited to see what he did with this story. Everything I’d seen or heard about it was weird. Everything seemed to have been planned, right down to the justification of the credits, to make The Favourite as disconcerting as possible. And I was ready. But before we get into this, one more word about the credits. I’ve heard and seen a lot of people complain about how the words are set out on-screen but I don’t see the problem. Everything is perfectly readable and, maybe its just me, but they sort of end up having the effect of a tapestry. Plus, it’s a historical thing. It fits and, frankly, I think it worked brilliantly. But I’m getting off topic.

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films, reviews

Tuesday Review – Roma (2018)

p15849821_v_v8_aa5_star_rating_system_5_stars It’s getting near to that time of the year when I madly try to watch all of the films nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. As I only just managed it last year, I’m trying to get ahead of the curve and watch the most likely candidates before the nominations are even out. Luckily, they’re all films that I want to watch anyway so, even if none of them end up with a nomination to their name, I won’t have watched them for nothing. First film on the agenda is one of the most talked about film of the end of 2018. I was too busy watching shitty Christmas films to watch Roma when it was first released on Netflix. So, I made it my mission to watch it at the beginning of January. I’d only ever read absolutely positive things about it so, it’s fair to say, my expectations were pretty damn high. But could it really be as magnificent as we’ve been allowed to believe? We know what Netflix films can be like after all? Obviously, as you’ve already seen my star rating, you’ll know that it did live up to its reputation but, let’s be honest, there wasn’t any real doubt was there?

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books, reviews

Book Review – Normal People by Sally Rooney

img_20181231_133847-017025406857644198044.jpeg5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars Do you have any reading resolutions for the year? I know a lot of people like to challenge themselves by setting a reading target for the year. This isn’t something that I tend to do because I don’t want to go down the road of seeing reading as being competitive. If that were to happen, I worry my life would become less about the book and more about the numbers. I want to be able to read at my own speed and not feel guilty. However, as I’m trying to be an active Goodreads member this year as well, I have set myself the modest target of reading 30 books this year. Last year I read 34, which is including a massive slump towards the middle of the year and a fairly shitty December. So, hopefully, I’ll make my target. At the very least I’m off to a good start as I finished my first read of the year yesterday. I may have started it in December but it counts to this year. Thank you very much Goodreads.

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films, Films of the year, reviews

Tuesday Review – Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

220px-Spider-Man_Into_the_Spider-Verse_poster5_star_rating_system_5_stars I’ve only just started it but this is already turning out to be an extremely odd post to write. For one thing, it’s that time between Christmas and New Year when nobody ever knows what day it is so I wasn’t expecting to have to post until tomorrow. For another, I’ve already posted my Top 10 Films of the Year list with this in the top spot. So, it feels like I’ve already reviewed this and should probably just move on. Finally, my family and I only really celebrated Christmas together today. We exchanged presents after a New Year’s Day lunch and it’s making it even harder to figure out what day it is. I just don’t know what to do. It’s going to take the rest of the month before I really know what day it is. But who cares. At the very least, I have a wonderful day with the people I love and I’m planning on finishing (or getting as close as possible to finishing) my current read before I go to bed tonight. If the first day is anything to go by, 2019 could turn out to be quite a lovely year. But then again, the world is still going to shit… if only superheroes were real and could sort this mess out for us.

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books, reviews

Book Review – Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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5_star_rating_system_5_stars 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.

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films, reviews, TBT

Throwback Thirty – My Neighbor Totoro (1988)

my_neighbor_totoro_-_tonari_no_totoro_28movie_poster295_star_rating_system_5_stars As I was reminded today, there are only 19 more sleeps until Christmas. This means that Christmas shopping is in full swing. I like to think I’m doing well with the amount of gifts I’ve already bought but, when I really think about it, I still have loads to buy. And I’m starting to get desperate for ideas. When I read something on Twitter about the 30th anniversary box set of My Neighbour Totoro I decided it was the perfect present for a friend… until I saw the price and almost died. I mean, I love her but no. Sorry. On the plus side, it reminded me that I’ve been putting off doing a TBT post about this film. I don’t know why it took me so long as I really love this film. In terms of Studio Ghibli films, it is one of the all time classics and Totoro has become a massive part of Japanese pop culture. By this point, he’s essentially the Japanese Winnie the Pooh, right? If I was going to be sharing my 30th birthday year with anyone then I’m really glad it’s Totoro.

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books, reviews

Book Review – The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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I meant to start writing this review last night because I’ve got a busy couple of weeks ahead of me. Inevitably, I didn’t manage it as I got distracted and, if I’m not careful I’ll do it again tonight. It’s all because of this book as well. I have been a fan of Greek myths since I was a kid and got given a book about them. Before writing this post, I decided that it was vital to find the book online so I knew the name. I never did, which is a shame because I bloody loved that book. It presented the Greek myths in a child-friendly way that really played up the humour. Something that really helped distract from just how horny Zeus and everyone really were. It meant that I became interested in the myths rather than disturbed by them. With that kind of background then this book should have been right up my street. So, why has it taken me 7 years to read it? A very simple answer… the cover. The original cover (featuring a breastplate that looks more Roman in my mind) just looks tacky. I know I know. Never judge a book by its cover etc. But, come on, it’s awful. If Bloomsbury hadn’t released the beautiful Modern Classics edition then I might never have experienced this book at all. I owe them.

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books, reviews, Uncategorized

Book Review – Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

81oxlxekxxl5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 It became very apparent at the start of this week that there was no way that I was going to finish the book I was currently reading for this post. So, on Tuesday lunchtime I had a mad dash around the charity bookshop next to work to find something I could finish in a day. There were plenty of possibilities on offer but, having recently seen this on Instagram, I felt the discovery of this book was fate. Not only is the book gorgeous but it’s something I’ve only heard great things about. So, I bought it and started reading it immediately. I didn’t get as much reading done last night because I ended up dropping my phone outside my friend’s house. I ended up spending the time I had put aside to read desperately trying to find my phone and arrange to get it back to me. Still, thanks to a lunchtime of ignoring my coworkers and just reading, I finished the book in time. Now I just need to get this post written.

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films, reviews

Tuesday Review – They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

2f2c7d438d4f789950ada472cff36e0afcac25_star_rating_system_5_stars I think it’s safe to say I got into the spirit of Remembrance Day this year. I mean it’s been 100 years since the guns stopped during the Great War. A war in which millions of young men from all over the world lost their lives fighting for freedom. For the freedom we now have to ignore their sacrifice apparently. Now I know we live in a superficial age where mentioning things on social media isn’t necessarily considered the greatest tribute but it’s still a social platform on which you can express yourself. Yet, I spent the day dismayed by the apparent apathy of the people I follow on Instagram. I decided, as I do every year, to post a simple shot of a poppy with my Penguin Little Black Classics collection of Wilfred Owen poetry. Now, the algorithm hasn’t been kind to me in general lately but that post did worse than normal. And, in general you can rely on Penguin books to do well. To put it into perspective, after that had been up for 11 hours it had 44 likes. I then posted a fairly crappy picture of my fireplace, which got 49 likes in 4 hours. What the fuck is up with people’s priorities? So, you could say I’d already had enough of humanity by the time Peter Jackson’s documentary aired on BBC2. At least it meant that I was extra prepared for a very emotional experience.

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