As you already know, I’ve been trying to get ahead with posts. Tonight I went out for dinner for a friend’s birthday. Tomorrow night I’m going to see Adore Delano after work. I came home already to get an early-ish night feeling quite smug when I remembered. I needed to write this TBT post. I’m already a book review behind so it’s not as if I can even push it back until Friday. I’m devastated. I’ve not slept well the last few nights because I was so obsessed with finishing Daisy Jones & The Six. Sleep didn’t matter when I was so deep in that story. So, the idea of another night being up later than I meant to just fills me with sadness. Thankfully, I no longer work weekends or bank holidays. This means, for the first time in years, I have a four day Easter weekend. What am I doing? Is sleeping an adequate answer? I should probably do stuff so I don’t waste it but my bed and books are calling… but I guess they’re always calling. Just like now so I’d better not put this off any longer.
Is there something of an Arthurian revival going on at the moment. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve watched two films that involve the legend of King Arthur. Last week I finally managed to see The Boy Who Would Be King and now we have Hellboy fighting a foe who was almost vanquished by the legendary King. Am I missing something? Not that I’m complaining. It’s a great story. You know I love swordy stories about Knights and Wizards. It just seemed like my life was being dominated by it. Anyway, I should really be reviewing the Joe Cornish film this week as it was the one I watched first but I came back from Hellboy on Saturday night needing to get this out. I have a lot of thoughts. So many thoughts that I don’t think I really talk about the plot much in this review. Basically, the set-up is much the same as 2004 film but this time we’re fighting an evil old witch who wants to release Hell on Earth. She was stopped by Arthur and Merlin years ago but is back. So Hellboy and some new friends, have to stop her. Standard comic book stuff really. But could it possible live up to its predecessor?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Podcasts at work lately but I don’t like to listen to the grown-up ones. I tend to listen on my way to and from work and during the quieter times in the office. So, they need to be light and not distract me from what I’m doing. Obviously, film podcasts are up there for my listening pleasure and I’ve just started getting into a new one. I plan on talking about that in-depth later this week but, for now, a recent episode has inspired me for this TBT post. In one episode, Nish Kumar (British comedian interested in politics and social commentary. Also, one of my weird comedy crushes but enough of that) was talking about how he can’t watch Woody Allen movies any more. And I get it. I’ve read Dylan Farrow’s letter and I get it. The allegations prove that Allen is not a nice man but how far do we tie up a person with their art? Do the awful things he’s done suddenly mean that Annie Hall isn’t a good film? It’s a question I’ve continually asked myself and I have no answer. But it came to my mind when I decided to finally watch Carnage this week. I’d forgotten who directed it so when the name Roman Polanski came up on the screen I paused the film. Ultimately, I decided that watching the film wasn’t me letting him off. But I still felt weird about it. But this isn’t the place to get into this.
I had a random encounter with a stranger because of this book. This isn’t something that normally happens to me but a woman approached me because of what I was reading. During a short train ride this weekend, I was rushing to finish my chapter before I got off at the final stop. Prompting a fellow passenger to tell me I’d have to finish it later. She then informed me that she’d recently bought the book for her daughter but she hadn’t read it yet. I’m not used to this happening because I’m always fearful of popular fiction. Meaning I’m not normally reading books that are topping the best sellers lists. That wasn’t supposed to sound like such a weird and patronising brag as it does. I just mean, I’m normally met with blank stares or bemused nods when someone spies the cover of my current read.
So, I think I’m finally at the end of my list of outstanding reviews. It feels like an absolute age since I saw this film so it’s a relief to be finally writing it up. And I was pretty excited about seeing this one. I mean, there was a time when seeing the names Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly on a movie poster would bring nothing but glee. So, the idea that they were coming together to reinvent Sherlock Holmes, another of my major loves, was perfect for me. Let’s be honest, since Stephen Moffat came along, the baker street detective has started to be taken a bit too seriously. The fan girls want him dark, broody, and sexy. Despite the fact that Benedict Cumberbatch is a far cry from the man Arthur Conan Doyle came to despise. What we really needed was for someone to come along and take him down a peg or two. But then Holmes and Watson came along. Complete with rescheduled release dates and Sony refusing to screen the film for critics. It quickly became clear that this wasn’t going to be the film we wanted it to be.
I have to be honest, when I first requested this on NetGalley, I didn’t realise this book was part of a series and, embarrassingly, it took me a while to realise once I’d started. So, what was I going to do at that point? Stop reading altogether? I was invested now. And who is to say that you can’t just totally ignore the first book in a series? Well, pretty much everyone but it’s okay. This was a children’s book and, if I’ve learnt anything from trying to re-read The Chamber of Secrets over and over again, it’s that the second book in a kid’s fantasy series is just going to recap the whole of the first book anyway. In the case of JK Rowling, that almost literally means retelling the whole story whilst writing some half-arsed plot about a massive snake. Sorry to go off track as always but I bloody hate The Chamber of Secrets. Nothing happens for the first 2/3 chapters. It’s just Harry thinking about everything he did in his first year. It’s no wonder she had to keep spacing out her releases. It’s only when you read those babies back to back that you realise how repetitive she is. But, let’s not let She Who Must Not Be Praised ruin this extra bookish post. On with the review I should have written on Wednesday.
I vividly remember writing my first review of The Lego Movie back in 2015. It was because I was writing it with a pen and paper. I was on a train going to and from a course at work but, because they’re always held in the middle of nowhere, it meant a 3-hour round trip. So, I decided to try to get my thoughts in order after recently re-watching this film. It was a second watch because I, stupidly, hadn’t been mad keen the first time. I enjoyed it but everyone was raving about it. So I figured I might be missing something. And I’ve never been more happy that I did. I bloody loved it second time round. It was fun and the twist was brilliant. The animation was, obviously, stunning and the voice performances were perfect. I became a firm fan of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller and the pair have only continued to do wonderful wonderful work. I’m sorry I ever doubted them.
It took me two viewings before I really came on board with The Lego Movie. The first time, I just didn’t get what the fuss was all about but, thanks to a chance special offer DVD, I gave it another chance. And I loved it. I couldn’t get the song out of my head and it finally made sense. Everything about that film was awesome. As is everything that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have come up with since. The Lego Batman movie proved to be a huge success and a lot of fun. Then, as you may well remember, Into The Spider-Verse proved to be my favourite film of last year. I mean it was basically perfect. I still can’t get over it. And, considering how many disappointments there were at this year’s Oscars, it was well deserving of its win. It seems as though Lord and Miller are definitely set to be quite the duo and, especially when it comes to animated features, they are a pretty safe bet. So, I was pretty excited by the release of a follow-up to The Lego Movie. Obviously, sequels to great movies aren’t necessarily great themselves and, if I’m honest, I wasn’t entirely sure how the second film would work. But I was looking forward to getting the gang back together to find out. And who knows. Everything was probably going to be awesome anyway.
I sometimes forget that Robert Rodriguez directed the Spy Kids series. I mean the guy directed Sin City and the Mexico Trilogy so I tend to overlook the fact that his first major Hollywood film was a children’s film about kids who become spies. Although, it’s probably because I never saw it. It came out when I was 13 so I definitely thought I was too cool to see it. I definitely wasn’t too cool to see it but that I was even more of an idiot then than I am now. After finally posting my review of Alita this week (I watched it at the start of the month), I was in need of a TBT post and it seemed like the ideal time to finally watch a film I’ve ignored for so long. How bad could it be?
I’ve had this book sat in my NetGalley account for a while now and, as I’m trying to get better at sending my feedback, I decided it was finally time to read it. This was one of those books that sounded like a really interesting read. I don’t tend to read much fantasy these days and I tend to particularly avoid fantasy for younger readers. It’s the kind of genre that can be done so well but, on the flip side, just be turned into a horrible stereotype of things gone before. There is a fine line between creating a brilliant fantasy world and just shoving a load of random letters together to get a magical sounding city name. But, despite my misgivings, I’m always willing to give the genre a chance and this one sounded interesting.