TBT – Death at a Funeral (2007)

films, reviews

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After the travesty of Love Wedding Repeat on Tuesday, I wasn’ quite sure to go with today’s TBT review. In the end, I decided to give Dean Craig a second chance. His Netflix film was his directorial debut, so it’s entirely possible that he just got a bit overexcited. I’d never seen any of his other films. I remember the 2010 remake of this film coming out and having absolutely no interest in seeing it. But would I have an interest in the original? It wouldn’t be the first time America had taken a British concept and destroyed it.

Book Review – Ayoade on Ayoade by Richard Ayoade

books, reviews

225934195_star_rating_system_3_stars I’ve been a little off with my reading this week because I’ve been so bloody tired. Tomorrow I start working from home for a bit, so, hopefully, the lack of commute will make everything a bit easier. Not that it’s a massive one but I think I just generally need to take it easier. Being able to get up a little later and not worrying about getting public transport is going to help. Obviously, helping reduce my chances of actually getting Corona is a good thing. I just hope that it all works out. This is the first time I’ve ever been able to work from home. I’m not worried about getting distracted but it’ll take time getting used to doing things on my own computer. I’m so used to having everything that I need at hand. Still, we’ll get there and I’ll get everything done. I just wonder how long everyone can keep going like this.

Oscars Week Review – I Lost My Body (2019)

films, reviews

i_lost_my_body 5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 Seriously, Netflix has been doing great things with animation recently. So, it’s no wonder that they’ve gained two Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature Film this year. And, though the smart money will be on Toy Story 4 because of all the reasons, there’s every chance that the streaming service could walk away with a prize in that category. After all, Klaus was the surprise winner at this year’s BAFTAs. It was the unexpected hit of their Christmas output. Mixing beautiful animation, a talented voice cast, and a charming story, Klaus brought new life to the oft-told origin story of Jolly Old Saint Nick. But it’s not their only output this Christmas time that really resonated with audiences. The French animation about a severed hand really did prove to be quite a success. Even though that statement just feels wrong.

Book Review – The Monk by Matthew Lewis

books, reviews

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Do you have a favourite book? I know that it’s one of the most difficult questions that you could possibly ask a bookish person. We have shelves crammed full of books, how the hell are we meant to edit that down to just one deserving book? It’s all about context, timing, age, and countless other variables. Although, we all have books that we prefer to the others. It’s like children: we all know our parents have a favourite but they’re just kind enough to not tell us. I’d definitely place The Monk at the top of my favourites list. The rest of the books on there might change as time goes by but this has been there since I first read it. I’ve always been a fan of the Romantic period and, though my studies, I became enamoured with gothic fiction. You may remember that I wrote a beginner’s guide to gothic fiction of the 1790s. I wrote my postgraduate dissertation on it and it was mainly so I could use this book. I love it. I’ve tried to make so many people read it but it’s not for everyone. It’s a bit much but, then again, so am I.

Bonus Review – Cats (2019)

films, reviews

cats_2019_poster5_star_rating_system_1_star Do you know who I blame for Cats? All of you. All of you who came out of Les Miserables thinking “that wasn’t bad”. All of you who applauded Ann Hathaway’s Oscar win for being snotty while singing a song that made Susan Boyle famous. All of you who proclaimed that Russell Crowe wasn’t as bad as you’d thought. All of you who thought Amanda Seyfried was anything other then screechy. All of you who thought Tom Hooper’s decision to stick a camera really close in his actor’s face was anything but him showing off. You made his already ego trip of a movie seem justified. Les Miserables wasn’t a good representation of a musical. It was just one long film where Tom Hooper was showing off. But it fucking worked. And now he’s made this abomination and its all your fault. I knew this would happen. Okay, I didn’t know exactly this would happen but I knew we were playing a dangerous game. If you’ve seen Cats and you regret it, just remember, the few of us who didn’t like Les Mis tried to warn you.

Book Review – James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster

books, reviews

33538599._sy475_5_star_rating_system_3_and_a_half_stars After finishing He Said/She Said last week, I found myself in the middle of audiobook fever and decided I would try and get another finished before the end of the week. On Thursday morning, I started listening to James Acaster’s narration of his book Classic Scrapes. I was a little worried about listening to it at work because I don’t always find it easy to fight the giggles. I’ve listened to a fair few funny podcasts and struggled to hold in my laughter. It normally ends up with my laughing silently at my desk. So, picture the scene. I’m sat in front of my computer, headphones in, and shaking with laughter but not making any sounds. It must be super weird. I shouldn’t do it to myself but I never learn. Any episode of the Adam Buxton podcast that features Joe Cornish or Louis Thoreaux will do it. Or any episode of My Dad Wrote a Porno. I was absolutely convinced that listening to James Acaster recount the ridiculous tales of his past would get my laughing. So, the question is, was I stifling the giggles throughout Thursday and Friday last week?

Book Review – The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

books, reviews

54998745_star_rating_system_4_stars1 As I said in my Sunday Rundown yesterday, I’ve been struggling with reading so far this month. I’ve got loads of great books to read and I’m really looking forward to starting them. The only problem is, I just can’t seem to sit down and concentrate. Every night last week, I tried to read but I always started really late. It’s partly to do with the month I think. January is the worst month of the year. It feels so long. I’m sure time slows down. We’re all tired after Christmas and all of the food is weighing us down. The weather is miserable and there’s nothing going on. All around us, people are preaching about their new gym lifestyles by posting endless selfies (even though we all know it will last all of 3 weeks). People are going vegan or alcohol-free and feel the need to rub it in our faces every 5 minutes. January is a bad month, so forgive me if I’m not quite in the swing of reading yet. But I do have a plan. I’m going to binge audiobooks all month until I feel ready to read physical books again. That way, I don’t fall into a dreaded slump and fuck up my whole year.

Book Review – Nomad by Alan Partridge

books, reviews

31188362._sy475_5_star_rating_system_4_stars1 Now the Christmas period is over, I’m back to my usual routine. Okay, so I haven’t actually done a 5 day week at work yet but at least I finally know what day of the week it is. As this is a Sunday where I had nothing planned, I spent the day listening to an audiobook. I bought quite a few in the January sale on Audible so I have a fair few to be getting on with. At the moment, I’m focusing on books that I can easily get done in an afternoon. Books that take somewhere between 4 and 7 hours seems like a good time. It means I can get everything else I need to finish and that I’m not focusing on listening for too long. I feel like any more than 7 hours of straight listening would be a bit much for me. I’m far too easily distracted by the things around me. Anything shiny or noisy would do it. This week’s offering was something that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time but wasn’t sure how I would feel about it. I’m a bit Alan Partridge fan but these comedy spin-off books never normally do it for me. It just feels like a desperate attempt to cash in. I figured hearing Steve Coogan narrate as Alan would at least bring it one step closer to a TV special.

Bonus Review – A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby (2019)

films, reviews

mv5by2i2ytzizwqtndnmms00mdy1ltlknzutzmi3mdaymjcwyjzmxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvymtkxnjuynq4040._v1_5_star_rating_system_1_and_a_half_stars Can you believe that it was only back in 2017 that we were first introduced to the country of Aldovia and all of the crazy cast of people who lived there? It feels like we’ve known them forever. Mostly because A Christmas Prince was a massive cliche full of recycled plots and characters. The second film, A Christmas Prince: The Royal Weddingwas essentially the same film but with an extra 10 minutes of wedding footage. We hated them yet we loved them. It was like watching a car crash as the second film took all of the bits from the first film that became memes and reintroduced them a second time. Obviously taking away most of the humour. Although, it’s kind of great that a group of people making a film can be quite so self-aware. It makes a refreshing change for a film to embrace what makes it terrible and have absolutely no intention of being anything other than bad. So, despite everything, I’ve been looking forward to the third film in the series.

Throwback Thursday – Coraline (2009)

films, reviews, TBT

coraline_poster5_star_rating_system_4_and_a_half_stars During my second or third year of university, Coraline was playing at our campus cinema. I say cinema. What I’m actually talking about is a lecture hall that had a huge projector in the back and really uncomfortable seats. Don’t get me wrong, it was really useful to have somewhere that showed films on campus but it was hardly a comfortable experience. But I still went with some of my flatmates. On the bus on the way home, we were sat in front of a group of people who’d also been there. One member of the group was loudly and confidently saying “you can tell it’s directed by Tim Burton. It was so similar to The Nightmare Before Christmas.” It certainly took all of my self-control to not turn around call him an idiot. I feel bad for Henry Selick. He’s been responsible for so many great films but he so rarely gets the credit. The fact that The Nightmare Before Christmas is also called Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas is a bit crazy. I guess it was a marketing strategy and, if it was, it bloody worked. But it does mean Selick gets forgotten about.