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.

Book Review – Coraline by Neil Gaiman

books, reviews

136187025_star_rating_system_4_stars1 As you’ll know if you read my last Sunday Rundown, I’ve decided that I’m going to try and listen to an audiobook ever weekend. This means I’ll hopefully be able to keep up with two reviews a week. It also means that I’ll get through more books a week. I don’t think listening to them at work as I did with The Diary of a BooksellerIt was fine for a non-fiction book but I don’t think I can keep track of the narrative of a story. Most of my job involves writing and researching. It’s not the kind of thing you can do and still pay attention to a book. But, I can try and get one finished when I have a free weekend. Stick one on as I tidy or take photos for the upcoming week. Then, if I’ve nothing else to do, I can just lie in bed and relax for a bit. This week, I had an urge to revisit an old favourite. The fact that’s it was also read by Neil Gaiman himself was just an added bonus.

Tuesday Review – The Lighthouse (2019)

films, reviews

the_lighthouse5_star_rating_system_5_stars I’m still not entirely convinced by Robert Pattinson. It’s not really his fault. I just haven’t seen that many of his films. Besides Harry Potter and Twilight I’ve managed to avoid the majority of Pattinson’s career. I didn’t really have a reaction when it was announced he was taking over as Batman. He’ll probably be quite good but, as we’ve seen, DC movies aren’t the most reliable. My heart just isn’t in it anymore. I’m willing to be proved wrong but I don’t see a new Batman story bringing anything new to the DCEU. So it doesn’t even really matter how good Pattinson is. I mean Christian Bale was an awful Batman but people still class him about Micheal Keaton (the actual best portrayal) because he’s the most recent. When it comes down to it, film fans have a very short attention span so whoever ends up wearing the cowl will, inevitably, become the favourite of most people. Now, I realise that I have been banging on about Batman for too long and it has nothing to do with why we’re here. To The Lighthouse… geddit? Cause of Virginia Woolf? Oh, fine.

Book Review – My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

books, reviews

38819868._sy475_-15_star_rating_system_4_stars1 What would you do to keep your family safe? That’s the question at the heart of my last read. I feel like I’ve seen this book everywhere. It’s been getting huge attention and has been nominated for so many awards. Did I buy it because of either of those facts? Of course not, I bought it because I loved the bright green font on the cover and because it was going cheap on Amazon. Yes, these aren’t the greatest reasons to buy a book but they’re the reasons that I go with most of the time. And you can’t really ignore the title either. It’s got that Snakes on a Plane simplicity that I really like. Forget books with deep and meaningful titles that you have to deconstruct. I want it to do what it says on the tin. I genuinely believe that writers should stop thinking about their titles so much. The best way to draw somebody in is to make the title super relevant and irresistible. A title like this does both remarkably well. You have to pick it up.

Book Review – Ayoade on Top by Richard Ayoade

books, reviews

Ayoade.jpg5_star_rating_system_5_stars I was so terrible at reading last week that, on Saturday, I decided I need to find a quick read to race through before Monday. That is the only reason that I’ve strayed from my Halloween related reads. I bought this book as soon as it came out because I was so excited about it. I’ve got both of Richard Ayoade’s last books and could not wait to get his third. I absolutely love his weird and dry sense of humour. It’s what I like to imagine that I’m like but, in reality, I’m much meaner and less funny than he is. I also don’t have quite such impressive hair or such a strong dress sense.