As I mentioned on Tuesday, I was obsessed with Pokémon. I loved everything about it. And the first Pokémon movie was something that people my age will remember as having one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the history of cinema. I lived with a guy at university that definitely described it as the saddest films ever made but he also really loved the Hannah Montana movie. So, I’m not sure we can trust his opinion too much. I never quite went that far but it certainly stayed with you. And this year, Pokémon: The First Movie is celebrating its 21st birthday. Yep, the first ever animated Pokémon movie is finally becoming an adult. So, I decided it was definitely worth giving it a rewatch. Especially considering I’ve been pretty Pokémon obsessed since I watched Detective Pikachu. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve nearly bought a Nintendo Switch just to play Let’s Go Pikachu! At least the film would only distract me for a little over an hour. Continue reading
I was obsessed with Pokémon as a kid. Who am I kidding? I’m still obsessed with it. But it came out when I was exactly the right age. I bought the trading cards, bought as many Gameboy games as I was allowed (my parents being in control of my financials at the time), and watched the TV show. I sang the theme song and tried (and failed) to learn the Pokérap. I put a lot of thought into deciding which Pokémon I’d love to own if they were real: pretty sure I stuck on Growlithe in the end, cause I loved dogs, but it probably changed every day. One thing I did know, however, is that Pikachu wasn’t all that. Something I’ve had heated arguments over the years but that’s a different story for a different time. Pikachu is cute, granted, but he’s not the strongest out there. Still, I was embarrassingly excited about Detective Pikachu. Obviously, Ryan Reynolds meets Pokémon? What more could I want? So, yeah, I was excited but, to be honest, I didn’t think it was going to be good. How could it? It looked shit and it didn’t sound like a real film. It was more like a fake YouTube trailer than a real Hollywood trailer.
I made a bold claim on Tuesday that I liked every romantic-comedy starring John Cusack. Well, I said that before I remembered just how many shitty romantic-comedies he’s been in. I mean he’s not up to Tom Hanks numbers yet but there are some bad ones. I mean I can kind of give Serendipity a pass because of the book thing but America’s Sweethearts? Urgh. High Fidelity and Say Anything really do a lot for his reputation as a romantic hero I guess. Or maybe I just do a lot for it? I do love him. And I have done since that first time I saw him holding that boom box outside Ione Skye’s window. I’d recently seen a John Cusack romantic-comedy that I’d never seen appear on Netflix, so I decided it could really answer the question once and for all. Is John Cusack the romantic hero of my dreams or my nightmares?
So, it’s that time again. That time of the month where I cover up the fact that I don’t have a book to review yet by discussing the books I read last month. It’s the perfect crime. And I don’t think I did too bad a job in May. I thought I’d done really badly but I forgot about a few quick reads early on. When I say early on, I mean May 1st. I got a couple of NetGalley books done and dusted on the first night of the month and promptly forgot about them. It safe to say my great start didn’t continue all month. I did pretty well until about halfway through when I slowed down. I haven’t had a lull that bad all year. But I got through it. And I’m determined to catch up this month. Unfortunately, my first read of June looks like it’s going to be a slow one so I’ve already paused that and moved on to something else!
I have to admit that I normally roll my eyes at romantic-comedies. I just get pretty bored with them. It’s always the same thing. Boy meets girl who is way out of his league. Boy tries to win girl but doesn’t. Girl eventually realises that boy is perfect for her. Boy gets girl. Urgh just thinking about it is making my eyes roll. I haven’t always been like this. As a youngster I loved romantic-comedies. I definitely liked Richard Curtis films ways more than they deserved. Obviously, anything starring John Cusack was more than okay with me. And I definitely spent many a sleepover watching whatever 90s/00s chick flick was all the rage. But I’ve grown up a lot since then and I find the whole thing pretty dodgy these days. Some of them break through and do something different. Most of them are just guff. I mean just look at how many romantic-comedies Netflix are churning out these days. They’re essentially the same film but with characters of different ages, ethnicities, and genders. And, if I’m honest, I thought Long Shot was going to be another forgettable piece of nonsense.
I can’t believe this film is this old. I also can’t believe that George Clooney looks so much better now than he did 18 years ago. Seriously, what is going on with that man? But, there we are. And I remember watching this film for the first time. It blew my mind. The twist worked really well. It’s also the film that first introduced me to my long-standing crush on Matt Damon. Before this, I didn’t give a shit about him but there was something about watching him rob Andy Garcia that obviously really did it for me. I used to watch the scene where he’s hanging above a vault shaft on repeat. A lot. Boy, he had some mighty fine arms. And I guess it’s true what they say; women like a bad boy. But I didn’t just like this film because of Matt Damon. It was a hugely entertaining film. And, as I found out, it still stands up 18 years later. Steven Soderbergh really is quite the talent. Has he actually properly retired now? I can never keep up with that man. That man has had more comebacks than The Rolling Stones at this point.
I didn’t know anything about this book before my friend sent me a copy. She works for Vintage publishing and is always trying to give me cheap books from work. I know I know. First world problems. So, when I asked for a copy of Machines Like Me I wasn’t expecting a whole package of fun stuff. And by fun stuff, I mean a copy of Rosie Price’s book and some marketing material relating to it. Including a tote bag that my mother was extremely excited about. God knows why. I have more than my fair share of free tote bags. Don’t all women, particularly bookish women, have more tote bags than they could ever need? But do I ever have one with me when I need one? Of course I bloody don’t. That would require too much forward-thinking. But I digress. I decided that I would give this book a go once I’d finished the Ian McEwan. It sounded like an interesting read. About a horrible topic, obviously, but an interesting read. And Price’s debut had been receiving a lot of attention.
One of the films that I watched for my Throwback Thirty was the Michael Caine and Steve Martin comedy Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. It wasn’t the worst film that I watched last year but it didn’t really make an impact. So, the news that it was being remade with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson didn’t necessarily leave me feeling super excited. I’m all for getting more female leads in comedy films but why does it have to be like this? Dirty Rotten Scoundrels was itself a remake. So, The Hustle is a remake of a remake. I know it’s a bit of a cliche to say that Hollywood is out of ideas but, is Hollywood out of ideas or something? And, as much as I don’t want to sound like those awful men on the internet, I just didn’t really see what the gender switch was really going to add to the story.
So, you may have noticed that this week’s Throwback Thursday post is actually a day late. And, if I’m honest, I nearly didn’t write it at all. I ended up meeting a friend yesterday so couldn’t get time to post. And today? Well, I just couldn’t be bothered. I watched the film earlier in the week and it left me totally uninspired. But I’m here. Trying to stick to my schedule. If I start letting myself believe that I don’t have to do things then I won’t do them. It’s like Instagram. I’m having a massive Instagram crisis and I keep telling myself it doesn’t matter. Which, to be fair is true but that’s not the point. The whole reason for keeping this blog up and doing my Instagram stuff is to help in my career. Now, I’m not being delusional. I know that this isn’t going to get me anywhere but it means I can try things that might help at work. So, yeah, what I’m saying is you’re my test subjects. Don’t you feel special? At least I kind of know what I’m talking about with you guys. I work for a company that sells football kits so, now I’m in charge of their blog, I have to write a football related post every week. I know nothing about football. I don’t even know the vocabulary. In the last week, I’ve used the word “cross” in a football-related context countless times never knowing if I was using it correctly! Best not to dwell.
One of my best friends works for Vintage books so she is constantly offering to pick up cheap books for me. I know I know. I’m making it sound like a bad thing when it’s not. The only problem is that I never remember to ask her. I buy the book myself and then have to put up her with telling me she could have got it for me. So, when I heard about Ian McEwan’s latest book dealing with AI, I knew this was one of the times I should take her up on it. I was a massive fan of Ian McEwan as a teenager but I’ve lost my way over the last few years. Basically, everything after On Chesil Beach has remained unread on my shelf. And I’ve been okay with that. Sweet Tooth and Solar I wasn’t that interested in but I did really want to read The Children Act and Nutshell. Honestly, I did. I just never got round to it. But this one sounded interesting. An alternate reality 1980s where AI technology exists. Part of me was worried, though. AI has become a bit of a thing in literature recently and I wasn’t sure that McEwan was the best to add to the conversation. But, I couldn’t let my friend down again.