Tuesday Review – Waves (2019)

Tuesday Review – Waves (2019)

waves_2019_film_poster 5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 I rented this film from Amazon Prime when it was on offer but it never felt like the right time. This seemed like the kind of film that needed my full attention and I’ve just not been in the right frame of mind lately. I’ve been so exhausted, which has meant I could only face watching lighter/sillier films. I really wanted to watch this film though. Thankfully, my time was running out. After getting ahead of my things to do this weekend, I sat down to watch it and was able to give it my full attention. After a couple of fairly mediocre films, it was going to be good to get back to something decent. I was craving a film that had a real story to tell. One that would fully explore its characters and their lives.

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Tuesday Review – Ordinary Love (2019)

Tuesday Review – Ordinary Love (2019)

ordinary_love_poster5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars In December 2019, I listened to an episode of Mark Kermode’s podcast where he was talking to Lesley Manville and Edgar Wright. I’ll admit, I was mostly listening because of Edgar Wright but I’ll never be upset to hear from Lesley Manville. She’s an amazing actor and generally just seems wonderful. She was talking about the release of her new film and it sounded amazing. Terribly sad, obviously, but amazing. In her interview, Mandville told Mark Kermode that the film embraced the humour within the story and brought the humanity to the fore. I never got around to watching it when it came out but I was always interested in seeing it. It’s probably not the most uplifting thing to be watching during the Coronavirus pandemic but Lesley Manville promised that it wouldn’t be all doom and gloom. I feel like I can trust her.

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TBT – Our Souls at Night (2017)

TBT – Our Souls at Night (2017)

our_souls_at_night_28film29 5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 Last night, I attended my first virtual book club meeting. Despite being a massive book person, I’ve never actually been part of a book club before. So, to attend my first one on Zoom wasn’t great. I’m awkward and introverted at the best of times without adding being uncomfortable on camera as well. But, of course, it was mostly fine. I’d read the book in time and, as you’ll have read in my book review on Monday, I really loved the book. I knew before going in that it had been adapted into a film for Netflix but I didn’t want to watch it before reading. Fearing that it might alter my opinion of the book or something. Once I was finished, it seemed like the perfect choice for my TBT film this week. After all, any chance to watch Jane Fonda is something is welcome.

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Book Review – Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf

Book Review – Our Souls At Night by Kent Haruf

wp-15897543918817992521938840667211.jpg5_star_rating_system_5_stars I have owned a copy of this book for a really long time but never got around to reading it. A few weeks ago, my friend convinced me to join her virtual book club. I had initially declined because I didn’t want to add anything else to my schedule. I already struggle to read and watch enough to write all of my posts, so adding the additional pressure of a book club to the mix seemed silly. But they pick a short read at the start of the month and discuss it at the end. I figured that even I could handle that. So a few weeks ago the choices for books came out. This one was on it and I selfishly picked. Well, it meant I wouldn’t have to buy a new book. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one. The fact that it was a short read meant that I put it off for ages but I still got it done in time. And it feels great to have finished a book I’ve had on my shelf for so many years. Has it inspired me to read the rest? Not quite. Maybe if all of them were that small I would.

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Book Review – Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

Book Review – Grief is the Thing With Feathers by Max Porter

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I’m never one to turn down a cheap deal on an audiobook. Especially one that I can finish in under 2 hours. It always helps to have a few super short books on hand just in case I need to get a review out in time. I’m not doing awfully well with my current book so I definitely needed something to fill this post. Thankfully, Audible had me covered with their half-price sale. I bought a few bargains and pre-ordered Adam Buxton’s upcoming book. I never really count audiobooks in my book buying ban but I probably should. I never buy them at full price but I guess it should be included in my book haul. But that’s beside the point right now. I listened to this book before I went to bed yesterday. I kind of regretted it because it’s never a good idea to come face-to-face with mortality just before you turn the light out. Still, I’d wanted to read it for a long time and being able to do so while lying back and doing nothing was even better.

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Book Review – Inside the Sun by Alexis Marie Chute

Book Review – Inside the Sun by Alexis Marie Chute

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I’m not the kind of book blogger who desperately tries to get free stuff. I’m in a lucky enough position to be able to buy books for myself or, if I need to, I still have access to a library. That said, I like helping out authors who ask me to help out. Promoting your book is a huge job so if I can help out then I will. One of the best things to come out of my blog in the last few years is being able to work with writers. Alexis Marie Chute first approached me to help reveal the cover of the first book in her YA trilogy Above the Star. I was beyond grateful for the opportunity and agreed without a second thought. The book sounded incredible and I was excited to introduce my followers to it. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of reading and helping to promote the books on social media. I loved the first book and was super excited to read the second book, Below the Moon. So, when I also offered the chance to get a copy, the final book became one of my most anticipated books of 2020.

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Tuesday Review – Pain and Glory (2019)

Tuesday Review – Pain and Glory (2019)

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Unless I’m forgetting something, this review should see the end of my Oscar film reviews. I managed to watch all of the full-length feature films nominated in the majority of the categories. I didn’t have time to get through all of the international nominees because of time and cause I suck at watching international films. I need to work on that. However, I did manage to knock a couple off the list. Thanks to the runaway success that was Parasite I saw that early on. Then Antonio Banderas’ nomination for Best Actor meant that I caught up with Pain and Glory. It felt as though Banderas was rarely mentioned in the run-up to the Oscars because the conversation was dominated by Joaquin Phoenix and, to a lesser extent, Adam Driver. Unfortunately, it never really seemed as though Banderas was an option regardless of how much he may have deserved it. Much in the same way that Tom Hanks never really registered in his category for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. Still, that wasn’t going to stop me watching it. I had to make up my own mind about who deserved to win.

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Book Review – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Book Review – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

wp-15818865891623490034819061154973.jpg5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 On 01/01/2020 I started reading a book. I finished that book on 16/02/2020. Even for me, that’s a bloody long time. Yes, I managed to read a fair few books in between those two dates but it was a struggle. I just couldn’t face picking up a book in January. Thankfully, February has proved slightly better. Not much but slightly. Having finally opened the covers of a physical novel has encouraged me and I think I’ll be able to take a bit of a break with the audiobooks. Not that I have a problem with them, something that my post last week can verify, but I do have a problem with buying them. In order to justify my spending habits, I need to start getting a few more finished. Unfortunately, listening to books isn’t going to get that done. Still, we’re only 47 days into the year and I’ve finally crossed one off the old TBR list. It’s some kind of progress. Not good but something.

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Tuesday Review – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Tuesday Review – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

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I didn’t read anything about the latest Star Wars film before I went to see it. I knew that whatever happened the majority of fans would hate it. Those hard-core fans who haven’t even tried to accept the new films in their life. The people who think they are bigger fans because their parents had sex at a time that enabled them to see them in the cinema. The people who so often complain that Rian Johnson and J.J. Abrams shat all over their childhood with their last films. Man babies essentially. It’s not for me to say who is a bigger fan of the franchise but, it seems to me, if you loved the films as much as you say you do then nothing will ruin them for you. I was so confused by the criticism of The Last Jedi. I’m not saying it’s the best of the bunch but it was a really interesting film. The fact that it essentially said Jedi lore didn’t matter was a game-changer. But not everybody did. There was a lot of vitriol surrounding the release of Rian Johnson’s film. It definitely didn’t show Star Wars fans in a good light. So, you can imagine that Disney would have wanted to take steps to ensure that the last film in the saga got a better reception. But, as you’d expect, the reaction has been similarly cold. You see guys, this is why we can’t have nice things. But, and I’m going to get this out of the way now, I came out of the film having really enjoyed it. I know it was far from perfect and I had issues but, the important thing is, I had a good time. And I’ll happily tell you why.

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Bonus Review – Klaus (2019)

Bonus Review – Klaus (2019)

mv5bmwywothjm2itzgyxny00ntqwlwflzwetm2mzm2q5mmy3ndu5xkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtkxnjuynq4040._v1_ 5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars Non-religious Christmas films tend to follow the same basic stories depending on what genre they are. Those based on A Christmas Carol are pretty self-explanatory. Then you have the romance: a young workaholic realises that love and happiness should come before their career thanks to the interference from an elderly relative/something magical. Or the family film: a workaholic parent realises that they should be putting their family first so runs out of the big presentation just in time to see their child perform in the Christmas show. Both of these will inevitably end with the whole cast standing near a piano with their arms around each other and singing ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’. Finally, you have the Santa Claus origin story: in which a kindly but childless man is chosen/decides to spread joy to other people by leaving presents under their tree at Christmas. We get it. We’ve seen it. So, I wasn’t sure what Netflix’s new animation Klaus was going to bring to the table besides a dreamy cast of voice actors. Still, I needed a break from all of the A Christmas Prince and Vanessa Hudgens nonsense.

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