Normally, I like to match my TBT film with my Tuesday Review. Whether it’s thematically or by actor, I attempt to link them. This week? I’m so fucking exhausted this week I wanted to find the quickest film I could and bosh out a quick review. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I have not been sleeping well. So, I picked the shortest film that I could find quickly on Netflix. And this was one I hadn’t seen for a while. Plus it stars Bill Pullman and it’s always a fun game trying to work out if he’s the Bill I think he is or not. He’s the one from Independence Day but not Twister, right? I don’t even know why I get so confused. He and Bill Paxton don’t even look alike. I just get confused because they have the same name. My brain is either just fucking with me on purpose or so stupid that someone having the same name as another person really confuses it. Which means having such a common name as Laura must be a huge mind-fuck for it.
It feels as if Melissa McCarthy and I have been here too many times before. Me wanting to believe that her latest film would be the one to give her the role she deserved. And, coming off the back of her amazing performance in Can You Ever Forgive Me? I was confident that she was on her way up. The Kitchen seemed like a great fit. Based on a Vertigo comic book miniseries about housewives taking their husbands’ place in the Irish mob. It’s an adaptation written and directed by Andrea Berloff and starring Elisabeth Moss and Tiffany Haddish. This was a film that was making so many promises about celebrating women that I had to believe that it would be perfect. But could it ever live up to our expectations?
With the release of every new Quentin Tarantino fims there comes the same old gender discussion. Is he a massive sexist who refuses to give women ay real place in his films? This time it all kicked off when people started complaining about Margot Robbie being given so few lines in Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood. Does Robbie get short shrift? Yeah. But it’s not as if the film was even from Sharon Tate’s perspective anyway. It was a film about a male friendship that skirted around the star’s tragic death. It wasn’t supposed to explore Tate’s life but give an image of her as a person. It was a fairy tale where she was the kind, sweet, and promising young woman who didn’t deserve to have her life taken from her so brutally. Robbie and Tarantino manage to prove who Tate was without words. I’m not here to say whether Tarantino’s treatment of women is positive or negative but, in this case, it seems like a needless argument. Besides, since when is the only indication of a strong female character the number of lines they speak? As someone who has trouble speaking up at times, I’d say silence isn’t necessarily an indication of weakness.
I picked up this book because it claimed to be perfect for fans of Black Mirror. Now, being a fan of all things Charlie Brooker, I decided to give it a go. I mean, it calls itself a “taut psychological thriller about obsession, fame and betrayal”. How can you ignore claims like that? When I picked it up, I hadn’t realised that it was a YA book. I’d not read anything from Tom Pollock and I never really look into the books that sound interesting to me. So, I started reading what I thought was an adult book and I hated it. I thought it was super shit. Then I realised who this book was intended for and I realised I had to look at it differently. Turns out, once I lowered my expectations, I found it much easier to read this book and I got through it super quickly.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a Quentin Tarantino fanboy. Actually, no that’s not true. I love a bit of Tarantino but I do think he is a bit overhyped. Pulp Fiction is a great film but is it really one of the greatest films ever made? I don’t think so. Is it one of the most overrated films ever made? Quite possibly. Yes, it inspired a generation of filmmakers and spawned countless copycats. The problem is, in the cold hard light of day, Pulp Fiction just feels kind of juvenile. It’s one of those too cool for its own good kind films that everyone sensationalises. In Mean Girls terms, Pulp Fiction is Regina George. Pulp Fiction is possibly one of Tarantino’s most indulgent films. He, like Spielberg, is very good at standout scenes but, below the surface, it’s kind superficial. So, I’m always a bit wary of Tarantino. But, I have enjoyed his films more and more as the years go by. And I was excited to see what he would do with this film. It’s such an iconic time in history and Tarantino taking on the story of Sharon Tate’s murder was always going to be interesting.
I kind of forgot that there had been a load of backlash to Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla when it first came out. I think, by the time I saw it, I was just so relieved that it wasn’t dreadful that it was elevated in my memory. Even reading back my review of it left me realising that I was looking back with rose-tinted glasses. I think it also helps that it’s not been long since I saw the new film. Let’s be honest, that would have made a lot of things look like masterpieces. Even if there are some people out there who would strongly disagree. I was looking at the Guardian’s review of Godzilla: King of the Monsters the other day and one guy kept commenting on everyone else’s comments that’s all the critics were wrong and the new film was the greatest. It was weird and, quite frankly, utterly baffling. Yes, if all you’re looking for in a film is mindless monster-fighting then good for you. God, I bet he fucking loved the newest Hellboy film.
I made a huge mistake last night. I made the decision to carry on reading until I finished this book. I just couldn’t put it off any longer. It meant I went to bed super late and was an absolute mess this morning. I emailed a colleague thinking he was a customer. It wasn’t a massive thing but it could just have easily have been the other way round. Nobody should have to answer emails before noon. And then, to add insult to injury, I had a 45-minute phone call with a customer. Thankfully, it wasn’t a bad one but it went on too long. She wanted me to sort somethings out for her and insisted on waiting on the line as I did it. As we all know, doing your job whilst someone is hovering always makes it impossible so it was a bit of a nightmare. So, I had a dodgy start to the day. But the rest of it went okay. And at least I didn’t have to worry about finishing the book for tonight’s post.
I think we were all a little bit surprised by how good Gareth Edwards’ Godzilla was back in 2014. Although, that was nothing to do with Edwards. Of all the directors who could have got the job, he was definitely up there near the top of the list of most suited people. But it was the second time Hollywood had made a Godzilla film and, let’s be honest, the first time had gone about as bad as it could have. That’s the problem with Matthew Broderick. When he’s good, he’s good. But when he’s bad, it’ll haunt you for the rest of your life. I mean we’re lucky that film didn’t start a major international incident. But Edwards and co turned it around. They made a pretty decent film. It was sophisticated and not your usual blockbuster disaster movie. And it was exciting to hear that a sequel was in the pipelines with Edwards expected to return. Then, in 2016, Edwards left the project and we were left in some kind of limbo. Would it be able to live up to its predecessor without the director making a return? There was only one way to find out.
Christ, it’s hot. I know there are countries out there who consistently have much hotter weather than this but this is the UK. We’re not built for heat. Especially as my office has no air-con and we’ve been told we’re not allowed fans. It’s been so gross. To put it bluntly, I’m sticky. So, I need to get this sorted quickly and go for an icy shower. I’m a bookish person. We aren’t built for Summer. And I promise you, I hadn’t intended to start this post by talking about how sweaty I am. I had something planned and everything. But the heat has melted my brain. So, here we are. At least I can clarify something today. I don’t hate The Beatles. No matter what I may have suggested in my review of Yesterday, I actually enjoy listening to them every now and then. I just think we need to change the narrative that they’re the “greatest band of all time”. Maybe they’re the most popular band of all time but the greatest is a different story. Yesterday wasn’t a film. It was Richard Curtis trying to get Paul McCartney to notice him. It was weird and kind of sad. So, I thought it was time to review a film that actually does a decent job of using The Beatles as a basis for a film.
I stumbled across this whilst browsing in a bookshop. I read the back and was instantly hooked. It sounded absolutely perfect and everything I wanted to read. So, I bought a copy. Like any normal human being, right? Apparently not. At least not according to the people on GoodReads. Whilst updating my status with this book the other day I saw something that really irritated me so I’m going to have a quick rant before I get on with my review.
I would never have read this novel if it weren’t for the Booker International longlist – I’d already seen the blurb a few months earlier and decided the book wasn’t for me. After the longlist was announced, I requested and received an ARC of The Pine Islands, direct from a very nice member of staff at the publisher
So, you had already rejected a book because it wasn’t for you but then it nearly won a prize. Then you demanded a copy of it for free, knowing that, in all likelihood, you weren’t going to enjoy it that much. What the hell kind of entitlement is that? This is the kind of shit that gives all bloggers a bad name. Like the people who went into a restaurant and demanded a free meal in exchange for a review. It’s pathetic. The fact that this person also appears to be the kind of person who uses their reviews to let everyone know that they’re more intelligent than you. I mean, it’s GoodReads for fuck’s sake. If the review goes on more than 5 paragraphs it’s too much. Anyway, as you can tell it put me in a huge mood. So, I’d better get on with the reason I’m here.