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, 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 Legend of Sally Jones by Jakob Wegelius

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I don’t read enough graphic novels but I do love them. To the extent that every time I read a great one I think to myself “I should read more graphic novels”. It was Sabrina that really got my heart pumping for a good graphic novel this year so when I was given the chance to read a new release from Pushkin Press. It is the prequel to Jakob Wegelius’ critically acclaimed The Murderer’s Ape. I hadn’t read The Murderer’s Ape but everything that I found out about it suggested that it would the kind of thing I loved. And the promise of a unique and rare graphic novel was something I couldn’t ignore. It arrived last Thursday and I immediately started reading it. I was done by Friday and I’ve already ordered Wegelius’ first book.

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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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books, reviews

Book Review – The Monsters We Deserve by Marcus Sedgwick

5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars As children we’re so often told that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. It’s a quaint little adage that I completely agree with when talking about people but not when talking about actual books. As any bookish person will tell you, you can very often tell whether or not you’ll like a book based on the cover art. I buy the majority of my books based on chance encounters in book shops. The typical romantic-comedy meet cute kind of thing. I walk into a bookshop, come face to face with something beautiful, everything gets a bit blurry, strings start playing in the background, I read the synopsis, we’re a perfect match, and we end up going home together. It’s a tale as old as time. And exactly what happened with the last book that I read. It was just your everyday lunchtime book shop browse and I fell in love. With a simple white cover with a black illustration. It was creepy. It was gorgeous. I had to pick it up. As soon as I read the word Frankenstein on the back I was doomed. I’d never read anything by Marcus Sedgwick but, if this cover told me anything, I knew this was going to be for me.

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films, reviews

Tuesday’s Reviews – On Chesil Beach (2017)

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When I was a teenager Ian McEwan was one of my favourite authors. I used to read everything I could. I started with Enduring Love and went from there. There is something about the way he writes characters and constructs a narrative that I was mad about. But I have to admit that I haven’t really bothered with him in recent years. I bought Sweet Tooth but, never being blown away by the synopsis, it remains unread. The Nut Shell was one of my must reads but it’s sat in my TBR pile for far too long. I’ve certainly let my appreciation of McEwan lapse over the years. It was, in fact, On Chesil Beach that was my last read by the writer. I absolutely loved it but it was a difficult read. It’s so awkwardly British and repressed but so fantastically written. It’s a fabulous character study about two young people trying to do their marital duty whilst living in a sexually repressed era. It made me physically cringe as I read it but I could not stop reading. So, I was fairly excited by the decision to adapt the novel, especially as it stars my newest love Saoirse Ronan. However, as we also know, Ian McEwan novels are often hard to adapt. So much of his novel is the inner thoughts of his characters and that’s pretty problematic. And On Chesil Beach is even more insular and held-back than most of this novels. I just couldn’t see how it could be done justice.

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