films, reviews, TBT

Throwback Thirty – Hobgoblins (1988)

220px-hobgoblins19875_star_rating_system_1_and_a_half_stars If I were to ask you what your favourite 80s horror film starring small furry monsters then you’d probably, and quite rightly say, Gremlins. Unfortunately that film was released in 1984 so I had to find the next best thing. Thankfully, in 1988 the film Hobgoblins came out and that’s essentially just a carbon copy. Hobgoblins didn’t exactly make a name for itself when it was released but has since become something of a cult classic. Mostly down to the fact that it was featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 where it was described by Paul Chaplin as heading “right to the top of the list of the worst movies we’ve ever done.” A fantastic legacy that was only helped by the fact that Rick Sloane (writer, director, producer) submitted the show himself and loved the episode. Whatever else you can say about the film, it certainly had earned its place in the annals of Hollywood history. Continue reading

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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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books, review, reviews

Book Review: Sabrina by Nick Drnaso

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Every year the Man Booker Prize longlist comes and it becomes a massive list of books I want to read. Inevitably, I never get round to them all but I will try to manage one. That one then becomes my top pick for the prize because it is the only one I’ll ever read. Most of the time my picks don’t make it to the shortlist and, if they do, they never win the prize. It was only last year’s Lincoln in the Bardo that I correctly championed. This year the first and, thereby, only book I’ve read is the one causing a massive stir. For, in 2018, the Man Booker committee have decided to place a graphic novel on their longlist. It’s quite a huge step for a prize that is so often awarded to similar works all deemed to be of high literary value. Occasionally, you’ll get the odd piece that verges more on popular literary fiction, like David Nicholls’ Us, but it never makes it to the shortlist. These guys know what they like and that’s not going to change. So, for there to be a graphic novel on the list is a pretty big deal. For such an elitist prize to pick something so un-literary is unprecedented. I had to check it out for myself.

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books, reviews

Book Review – Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

through-the-woods5_star_rating_system_2_and_a_half_stars As you may have noticed from my last couple of book reviews, I was starting to get a bit cocky about the frequency with which I was starting to post them. I mean two in two weeks. Who would have thought it? Especially when a matter of weeks ago I was experiencing a devastating reading slump that saw me slog through Frankenstein in Baghdad for over two months! But, I admit, I was starting to get a bit too big for my boots. Something which promptly stopped the minute I realised I’d not read a damn thing for most of last week. I’m currently reading White Houses by Amy Bloom but I’ve not been feeling it this week. Nope, what I’ve been feeling is Project Runway and whatever other shit I could find on Netflix. So, when I wrote my Sunday Rundown this week I started panicking that I wouldn’t have anything to review tonight. So I did what any other good book blogger did and bought a book that I not only wanted to read but, more importantly, could finish in one night! Really the only reaction. So, yet again, I’m keeping up my streak. With a little sneakiness.

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film reviews, films, reviews

Tuesday’s Reviews – The Life of the Party (2018)

life_of_the_party5_star_rating_system_1_and_a_half_stars Never mix business and pleasure. That’s what we’re always told and it’s something that Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone should really have paid more attention to. This year’s The Life of the Party is their third time of collaborating on a film. The first, Tammy, was such a dire experience for me that I, apparently, didn’t even bother to review it. Something I did, at least, manage for their second film The Boss. But it’s fair to say that neither of these films were a great example of who McCarthy is as a performer. I don’t really understand how it could have gone so wrong either. She and her husband co-wrote both films but, for some reason, decided to write them with a lack of genuinely funny jokes. Instead, they both rely on the physical comedy that McCarthy is regularly forced to rely on to get a laugh. I’ve been a fan of hers since I first saw Gilmore Girls and agree that she was the best thing about Bridesmaids. So it’s been difficult to constantly be faced with an endless stream of disappointing or downright terrible films. Admittedly, some of her other collaborations with Paul Fieg have been more successful but they still feel like they’re lacking something. I go into every new films hoping this is the time she finds what’s missing. Watching the first trailer for The Life of the Party I was pretty sure this wouldn’t have it but I’m nothing if not open-minded at this point.

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film reviews, films, review, reviews, TBT

Throwback Thirty – Vice Versa (1988)

vice-versa-movie-poster-1988-10103628855_star_rating_system_2_and_a_half_stars What is it about the late 1980s and body swap movies? I mean there aren’t shit loads but there are more than enough. Was everyone secretly worried about waking up as someone else for the last few years of the decade? Earlier this year for this very segment I reviewed the movie Big… I say reviewed but it was more of a detailed breakdown of how fucking creepy that film is. SHE HAS SEX WITH A CHILD! AND SHE’S WEIRDLY OKAY WITH IT! But I’ve already vented my frustrations on that earlier post so feel free to go and check it out. I have to say, though, my many viewings of Big over the years has really had an effect on my liking of these films. It’s given everything a seedy undertone. So, I went into this sort of mixture of Freaky Friday and Big with a huge amount of trepidation. Especially considering the only time I’ve really heard it mentioned was in that episode of Community when Abed throws the DVD away. It didn’t bode well.

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