By now, you should know that I love a good piece of middle grade fiction. If it’s an exciting book that’s intended for kids then I’m probably going to read it. It helps that Waterstones email everyone about their books of the month so often. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t even know about the most recent releases. This is one of the books that I was introduced to through email marketing. Honestly, if all of our customers were as easy to market to as I am then my job would be so much easier. This book just sounded like so much fun and I’m always going to be up for a story set in a magical school. Especially
Book Review – Birnam Wood by Eleanor Cattonbooks, reviews
I have to admit that I wasn’t drawn to this book because of Eleanor Catton. It was purely because of the Shakespeare reference. I read the title and had to find out more. It sounded like an interesting read and it was certainly creating buzz. So I pre-ordered it. I was a bit concerned because I normally end up disappointed by hyped books. It was also much longer than the books I’ve been reading recently. That’s probably why it took me so long to finish. It didn’t help that I was reading it during a really stressful time at work and didn’t feel like reading much. In the end, I put down the physical book and bought an audiobook copy. I’m trying to stop relying on audiobooks but I had to this time. Otherwise, I’d still have been reading it this week.
Tuesday Review – The Mitchells vs. the Machines (2021)films, reviews
I have to be honest, I wouldn’t have watched this film if it wasn’t for its link with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. From the Netflix trailer, it just seemed like any other family animation mixed with every repetitive homicidal AI sci-fi film. Yes, it looked good and there were elements that really interested me. Mostly Olivia Colman. I didn’t think it was gong to be bad but I just wasn’t the market for something so seemingly unoriginal. Then this weekend happened and I hadn’t watched a new film for today’s post. There was only one thing to do. Find the quickest and easiest thing to watch on Netflix.
TBT Review – Shrek (2001)films, reviews, TBT
Shrek is celebrating its 20th birthday in 2021 and, apparently, not everyone is happy about it. In the Guardian this week, Scott Tobias decided to write a diatribe against the animated film that has captured the attention of millennials and beyond. It’s hard to ignore the fact that the film has achieved cult status and is still a very strong component of meme culture. Yet, according to Tobias, it’s not worth it in the slightest. He seemingly has nothing good to say about it. So, we have to ask, how did everyone get it so wrong? Why is he the only one who can see the DreamWorks animation for what is really is? Or rather, we should be asking, what exactly happened to Scott that means he is so against fun? And what exactly was he expecting from a film about an Ogre that’s based on a fairly crude picture book?
Book Review – Monsters by Emerald Fennellbooks, reviews
You may have noticed that I’ve not really been around lately. I had every intention to post on Monday and Wednesday last week but, when it came to it, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’ve been falling behind with my reading of late and was nowhere near finishing a book in time. So, instead of a review, I was planning on writing something about recommendations for Mental Health Awareness Week. I sat down to write and I just crumpled. All my energy was gone and I had no suggestions for the post. For my own mental health, I decided to take a bit of a break. When it came to my Sunday Rundown, I decided to not post either because I’d posted so little and barely having read anything. It wasn’t exactly going to be a very good rundown. I’m starting this week in more of a positive mindset. I’ve finished not one but 2 books over the weekend and have high hopes for my next one. It should be a quickish read all going well. So, I should be back in the swing of things in no time.
Tuesday Review – Palm Springs (2020)films, reviews
After Groundhog Day, I always wondered why people tried to keep making comedy time loop films. Once you’ve found something so perfect what do you expect to add? It’s always the same thing anyway. We see people experience grisly deaths, drink, take wild risks, and fill the time as best they can. It’s not like there’s been an awful lot of originality. That doesn’t seem to stop anyone trying to do something new. Last year, Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti starred in the latest attempt and, in another great example of unoriginality, it centres around a wedding. I knew that the reviews for this had been good but, I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly overjoyed by that concept. Still, Samberg is a great performer. He may not have written this but I had to believe that he wouldn’t sign on to do any old shit.
TBT Review – Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)films, reviews, TBT
This week was the first time in ages that I watched one of the original Star Wars films. It’s not something that I’ve done purposefully but because I have so many other options now. Between all of the streaming services that I’m subscribed to and my own film collection, I just have too much choice. So much choice that I rarely go back to beloved classics. I’ve probably seen the prequels more often than any of the other films in the franchise. Not because I prefer them (although, I do think they have their positive points) but because they don’t demand my attention. Watching one of the original trilogy should be an event. You should be watching it and not doing anything else. These days, I’m rarely able to just sit and watch a film. I’m either writing, taking photos or just distracted by something. Not this time. When I turned on A New Hope on Star Wars day, I was determined to watch this as it deserved.
Tuesday Review – Promising Young Woman (2020)films, reviews
In light of all of the Covid nonsense, I’ve really not been keeping track of awards season this year. I’ve barely watched any of the nominees. Or at least I’m pretty sure that I haven’t because I don’t even know who all of the nominees are. I’ve just lost my way with films and decided that there were other things to focus on this year. Plus, it isn’t really the same when you can’t head out to the cinema. Despite my Oscars blackout, I was still overjoyed to wake up to the news that this year’s ceremony had made history. Anthony Hopkins became the oldest person to ever win for acting. Daniel Kaluuya picked up the best supporting actor and became the first Black British actor to win an Oscar. Then there’s Chloé Zhao who became not only the second woman to win Best Director but also the first woman of colour. It’s quite the positive step for the Academy. Emerald Fennel was given recognition for her screenplay and became the first person since 2007 to win. This was only one that I was really invested in. I was desperate for Fennel to win. Why? Not only was the film important and original but I’m becoming obsessed with Fennel. She seems like a fantastic human being with a unique creativity. This was one film that I knew I had to see as soon as possible.
Tuesday Review – 21 Bridges (2019)films, reviews
It was genuinely shocking to wake up on Saturday morning to the news that Chadwick Boseman had died after battling cancer since 2016. The actor had kept his medical struggles a secret even as he carried on working. Think about it, he’s given us 3 turns as T’Challa, a biopic about Thurgood Marshall, and Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. All while battling cancer. And not just that. Boseman had already become something of an acting legend and his role as the Black Panther only cemented his importance to Black people all over the world. He will be remembered for all of the work he did to bring Black stories to the big screen and for sticking to his beliefs. You can see how much he meant to people all over the world by the outpouring of grief on social media this weekend. 43 is far too young for anyone to leave us and Boseman’s passing will be felt for a long time to come.