I’ve experienced quite a few reading slumps over the years but never a film slump. It’s probably just another consequence of 2020 but I just can’t be bothered with films right now. Last week, I left it to the last minute to watch both Over the Moon and Coco. This week, I didn’t watch anything. I spent most of Sunday finishing off Pizza Girl and then started binge watching season 4 of The Crown. It’s not that I didn’t have the time. After all, I got through 7 full episodes that night. It’s just that I’m not in the mood. The Crown is the perfect kind of viewing for a time like this. I’m not overly invested in the show but was still interested enough to keep going. My only issue is that I can’t actually decide if I like it or not.
I almost didn’t have anything to review today. For some reason, I never got around to watching a film this weekend. I guess I just spent too long trying to get through that bloody Murder, She Wrote book. I didn’t realise until Monday that I’d forgotten. So, I had the choice to write something else for today or watch something and review it in the same night. I had thought about weighing in on the Johnny Depp/Fantastic Beasts news but I didn’t know if that would go against my ban of the writer who must not be named. In the end, I picked the quickest new release on Netflix that I could find. I didn’t know anything about it but someone I follow on Instagram had watched it recently. What did I have to lose?
I have to admit to something, I never got round to watching Uncut Gems. Phew, that’s a weight off my chest. At the time that it was really doing the rounds, I was desperately trying to watch all of the Oscar nominated films and, unfortunately, it was totally ignored by the Academy. I always intended to catch up but it never happened. Not because I didn’t think it would be good but because it just seemed so heavy. I mean this year is heavy enough. The reason I bring it up is because Uncut Gems could very well be the reason that Hubie Halloween exists. Before awards season kicked off, Sandler made a vow that he would make the worst film possible if he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar. 10 months on and another Netflix original hits us. So, was it really going to be the worst of his vast and often uninspiring career? There was only one way to find out.
Now that Henry Cavill has played Sherlock Holmes, does that mean that Benedict Cumberbatch or Robert Downey Jr. are going to play Superman? It would only be the fair thing to do. Although, they’d have to play him as a side character in another person’s film. For Cavill is mere a bit player in Netflix’s adaptation of Nancy Springer’s YA series about his younger sister. It has garnered an awful lot of attention thanks to the fact that Stranger Thing‘s Millie Bobby Brown has been cast in the main role. Brown has become quite the darling since she became Eleven. There was little doubt that people would rave about his film but how much of it is about her rather than the film? I guess I had to find out for myself.
I miss going out to the cinema. The news that Cineworld would be closing due to Covid has made me realise just how long it been since I was las sat in a cinema. I obviously hope that cinemas will survive but it seems clear that, post-Coronavirus, the way people watch films is going to change. I’d love to be able to go out and support my local cinema but I just don’t want to take the risk. I’m not officially shielding but as a “high risk” individual in a virus hotspot, it really doesn’t seem worth the risk to sit in a room full of strangers for a few hours. No matter how good Tenet might be. And it’s not fair to place the survival of a whole industry on individuals anyway. But I digress. For the time being, there are plenty of films being released on Netflix at the moment to keep me occupied. It won’t ever be the same but it’s something.
I haven’t been a massive fan of romantic comedies since I was a stupid tween but I can definitely see the appeal this year. There is so much awful stuff going on in the world that escaping into a rom-com seems like the perfect thing to do. There is a familiarity about these films that is pretty comforting. You know where you’re going to end up before you’ve even started, so you can just sit down and let it all wash over you. Considering the rest of the world is in utter turmoil, there’s a lot to be said to knowing what to expect. This is my only explanation for sitting down to watch the new Netflix original romantic comedy despite the fact that I knew I wasn’t really going to enjoy it.
You’ll hear plenty of people bemoaning “cancel culture” at the moment. Usually, it’s the people with the most controversial opinion who are so critical of it. All you need to do is look at JK Rowling and see that. Of course, the people who are so vocal about “cancel culture” are also the first people to vow never to use a service again if it goes against their ideas. You know what I’m talking about. The people who threw out their Yorkshire Tea because they don’t agree with racism or set fire to their Nikes when they stood behind Colin Kaepernick. They’ll also be the same people who have cancelled their Netflix subscription after the controversy surrounding one of their latest films. Although, you have to wonder how many have actually watched the feature film debut of writer and director Maïmouna Doucouré. I’d bet all of them have just eaten up what they’ve been told by right wing politicians or the media.
What have you been reading this week?
It’s not like 2020 was going well but August has been a big blow to the year. Last week, drag queen Chi Chi DeVayne died at the age of 34 and yesterday we woke up to the news that Chadwick Boseman had died after a long battle with cancer. Boseman was only 43. It’s no age. I don’t normally like to buy into that Social Media displays of mourning for famous people but this got to me. I was crying when scrolling through Twitter. The actor may be best remembered for bringing the superhero Black Panther to the screen and giving some much needed representation in the MCU. However, he was so much more than that. Boseman was a fantastic actor and always followed his beliefs. He did great things for the Black community and he will be sorely missed by so many. I’ve decided to dedicate this week to him and will be reviewing two of his films.
Each week I have to decide which movies that I watch and some weeks are harder than others. I tend to pick something to review on Tuesday first and then try and base the TBT film around that. I like it if they have a common theme but am willing to mix things up for a special occasion (like last week’s unexpected Scott Pilgrim repeat). This week, however, I mixed things up even more. I was looking through Netflix for inspiration and was all set to watch The Peanut Butter Falcon. Then I saw the new Netflix original dance film. I knew that it would be terrible but, in it’s unoriginal concept, I saw the perfect opportunity to watch a film that I suddenly had a massive desire to watch. If I sat through this silly teen romp, then I would be able to watch Save the Last Dance. I hadn’t thought about that film for a long time but, apparently, I’ve been longing to watch it. So, I went for it. Of course, now I also have a desire to watch Bring It On, which means the question of my TBT is still up in the air. So, that’ll be a nice surprise for you. Unlike the narrative of Work It.
When we were teenagers, my friends and I were the biggest Eurovision fans. We got together every year to watch it. We made scorecards and were really clear about what we were looking for in a winner. It was one of the major popular culture events that we really looked forward to. I bloody loved it. Then, a few years ago, Eurovision started taking itself a bit too seriously. Countries suddenly wanted to have good quality songs and think about choreography and staging. It really ruined the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of weirdos on there and some of the staging is fucking insane. Yet, something is missing from it. Eurovision was always mocked for being campy and silly but that was why we loved it. Now it’s had the X-Factor treatment and people seem to be using it as a platform for a singing career. So, I have to wonder why Will Ferrell is setting his sights on it now. It feels as though this film should have come out at least 10/15 years ago. I didn’t want to watch it but I felt I owed it to my past self.