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?
Let’s pretend it’s Tuesday 18th June and not Monday 24th. This is the film that I had intended to review last week but, at the time, I was probably holding my one-day-old niece for the first time. And, as I gave up all ideas of achieving anything last week, I didn’t even think about taking part in the Creatively Squared hashtag challenge. So, to get myself back on schedule, I decided I would post two movie reviews this week. Starting with a film that has followed me around social media since it was released. I was skeptical about Booksmart in the same way that I am about any film being given almost universal praise. It always seems too good to be true. And as much as I like Olivia Wilde, this was her directorial debut. Could it really be as good as everyone claims? I mean I’ve seen people already describing it as their favourite film. I never trust people who do that. Anyone who says the last film they saw is their favourite is either an idiot, a liar, or someone who has only ever seen one movie in their life.
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.
I didn’t get a chance to watch a new cinema release this week so I turned to Netflix. I’ve not really been keeping up with Netflix original films of late. I watched Rebel Wilson’s Isn’t It Romantic one boring bank holiday weekend. It was almost as dire as I’d expected but I guess it wasn’t all bad. Not as funny as it thought it was but the overall message wasn’t as dire as it seemed. But it still wasn’t enough to suggest that Netflix had turned itself around in terms of original comedy films. We’ve discussed my feelings about this in the past but, as I’m never against talking about it, I’ll remind you of them. Netflix comedy films suck. They are never original or clever. It’s just basic stories mixed with big-name stars to draw people in. To be fair, it’s a fantastic strategy in terms of getting viewers but it doesn’t make for critically acclaimed features. But, with the announcement that Amy Poehler’s directorial debut was coming to Netflix, surely things were about to change? I mean Poehler reuniting with plenty of SNL alumni in a female-based comedy about middle age? It sounded like it could be perfect.
So, you may have noticed that this isn’t a book review. And that’s only partly because I haven’t quite finished Machines Like Me yet. I say partly because I’m trying to convince myself that I haven’t been rubbish at reading this week. That’s not the reason. The real reason is that I needed to talk about this week’s episode of Game of Thrones. Or, more specifically, the reaction to it. Cause this season has divided opinion quite dramatically. And the last few episodes have left a particularly sour taste in people’s mouths. I’ll be honest with you, I’ve found the final series of Game of Thrones to be disappointing. The writing has gone downhill and the storylines are being rushed to fit into the shorter episode run. The focus has been on spectacle instead of the story. Character development has gone out of the window in favour of more CGI dragons. Now, it should go without saying but spoiler warning guys.
It’s nearly been a week since the last Game of Thrones episodes so it may seem like a stupid time to post a rant about it. However, there never seemed to be a decent time to do it. This week was all about Endgame. The only sensible time would have been Wednesday but I had a book review ready to go and I’m trying to keep on top of those. So, I almost just left this alone but, as you should know by now, I’m never one to miss the chance to rant about something. And this is a doozy. Spoiler warnings to anyone who hasn’t seen the episode this week. It’s been long enough by now but I still don’t want to risk it. A friend of mine had the ending ruined for him and I feel his pain. If I’d have known how that episode finished going in, I would have been fucking livid. It was such a fantastic thing to be surprised by. So, yeah, if you haven’t seen the latest episode I’m about to give you major spoilers so stop reading now. It’s really not worth it for what I’m going to say. I’m just going to be getting angry about stupid men on the internet. I have hundreds of rants like this already. Go read them instead.
So, once again I’m having to put off my book review until Friday. At this rate, I might as well just do two bookish posts a week. Especially now I have weekends off. I’ve been thinking about it for a while. It means I can do at least one review a week (if I can keep up) and a random post. Of course, it would also mean me coming up with an extra post idea a week and that’s not always worked out well for me. I’ve never been the kind of person who wanted to write content for contents sake. Despite what I might be being told at work. But that’s another rant for another day. Instead, I’m filling my Wednesday night post with a subject that’s close to my heart. A topic that I’ve been getting quite passionate about with a friend of mine. A friend who really wasn’t ready for how much I cared about it. I’ve ranted about this television show before and I will again. That’s the joy of finding something you actually give a shit about. You’ll always find something to be annoyed about and something to absolutely adore. I’m not the kind of person who believes that anything is flawless. That doesn’t sound like much fun to me. I enjoy conflict and feeling conflicted about something I love is the ideal situation. Really, what I’m saying is, I just love debating and arguing about things.
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.
Anyone who’s been keeping up with my Sunday Rundowns of late will know that I’ve been making painfully slow progress with Shakespeare: The World as a Stage by Bill Bryson. So, when I was approached by Linh Le James to read her novel #Toots for a review, I decided it would be a good excuse for a break from my current read. And, thankfully, it was a quick read that proved to me it’s not that I’m in a slump that Byrson is taking so long. It’s just the book itself. So, I’m now wondering, still being only about halfway through at 2.5 weeks, whether it’s worth carrying on with it. I don’t want to give up considering how much time I’ve put into it but it feels like this uphill struggle is never going to end. I mean, there’s only so much pleasure you can take reading the history of a man who we know next to nothing about. It’s pretty much all speculation. I’ll be honest, I could have been asked to review any book right now and I’d probably had agreed just to give me the excuse to put Bryson down again. Maybe that explains why I got through #Toots in only 3 days? Or maybe it was just the best book I’ve ever read?