Another week and another potential Oscar nominee. This is another that I was really desperate to watch and its mainly because of Olivia Colman. I adore her and it definitely has something to do with Peep Show. Anyone who was a fan of that show and doesn’t still have a massive soft spot for Sophie is insane. Obviously, she has proved time and time again that she is a fantastic actor in any situation but she is such a fantastically funny woman that she deserved a great role like this. The trailer more than hinted that this was going to be a comic creation like we’ve not seen before and I was all for it. The Lobster is the only other film I’ve seen by Yorgos Lanthimos but I loved it. So was excited to see what he did with this story. Everything I’d seen or heard about it was weird. Everything seemed to have been planned, right down to the justification of the credits, to make The Favourite as disconcerting as possible. And I was ready. But before we get into this, one more word about the credits. I’ve heard and seen a lot of people complain about how the words are set out on-screen but I don’t see the problem. Everything is perfectly readable and, maybe its just me, but they sort of end up having the effect of a tapestry. Plus, it’s a historical thing. It fits and, frankly, I think it worked brilliantly. But I’m getting off topic.
I’ve been so bad a reading this month that I thought I’d never finish this collection of short stories. There were so many times that I fell asleep with the page open and had to leave story in the middle. It’s just been a stressful few weeks recently and I’ve been feeling it. I’ve managed to get a few days off this week which has been perfect. I got things done I needed to, had some time to relax, and got a quick break before the madness of Christmas. That’s always a fun time to be working in a kitchen. At least I don’t have to come face-to-face with any customers. Apparently, they’ve already started being quite difficult and short-tempered. It’s the reason I don’t like making a fuss when I’m eating out. I’ve seen what the people I work with have to go through and, when things have gone wrong, been on the receiving end of their annoyance. Be nice to your waiter/waitress. But I feel like I’m getting off topic. Long, rambling story short, I finished this book today on my day off. So let’s do this.
This is last TBT post of November. A fact that can only mean one thing: we’re only 4 posts away from the end of this whole series. In just four weeks time I never have to watch a film from 1988 ever again if I don’t want to. Somehow I’ve managed to avoid watching any of the “decent” films that I had intended to watch. I kind of feel like I need to at least watch Cinema Paradiso as it was the Oscar winner from that year. But, then again, when there are still so many shitty films out there it’s impossible to imagine sitting down to watch something good. I know that I’m watching both Scrooged and Die Hard in December so it just begs the question, what are the other two going to be? But, let’s not think about that now. Not when we have a film all about female empowerment. It’s all feeling very progressive but is it as predictable as I think it’s going to be?
It became very apparent at the start of this week that there was no way that I was going to finish the book I was currently reading for this post. So, on Tuesday lunchtime I had a mad dash around the charity bookshop next to work to find something I could finish in a day. There were plenty of possibilities on offer but, having recently seen this on Instagram, I felt the discovery of this book was fate. Not only is the book gorgeous but it’s something I’ve only heard great things about. So, I bought it and started reading it immediately. I didn’t get as much reading done last night because I ended up dropping my phone outside my friend’s house. I ended up spending the time I had put aside to read desperately trying to find my phone and arrange to get it back to me. Still, thanks to a lunchtime of ignoring my coworkers and just reading, I finished the book in time. Now I just need to get this post written.
“Laura”, I hear you all asking, “are you writing this review of Jodie Whittaker’s first episode of Doctor Who because, once again, you didn’t get round to watching a film this week? Or is it just because writing the words ‘Tuesday Review – New Doctor Who‘ is incredibly satisfying for someone who loves rhyming as much as you?” To which I would respond, why not both? Yes, it’s true that I didn’t quite follow my plan for this week and was in need of something to review but I could have just watched another Netflix film and had a rant about how rubbish they all are. As I’ve made quite clear here, I do love a good Netflix rant. And, I admit, there is something quite lovely about repeating those words over and over in my head. However, this is a momentous occasion and something all of us Whovians have been waiting patiently waiting for. I couldn’t very well let it pass me by without saying something about it, could I?
Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the 1960 Rat Pack film was a great film. Featuring a cast of big names and possessing an even bigger sense of fun, it was something I enjoyed watching again and again. Then the series went downhill thanks to the release of Ocean’s 12 and had a slight improvement with the final installment Ocean’s 13. Soderbergh was adamant that neither he or George Clooney wanted to carry on with the films but that didn’t stop the rumours of a gender-swap reboot. Now, I’m all for female centric films but was there really anything to add to this series? Soderbergh’s trilogy proved that it was an area that you couldn’t really get very innovative with so would we literally just see the same film but with females in the male roles? The cast list was sensational and exciting. Cate Blanchett, Mindy Kaling, Sandra Bullock, Helena Bonham Carter. Love them all. Anne Hathaway? She’s had her moments alongside her undeserving Oscar wins. Rihanna? I guess. So I was there. Really, I was just secretly glad that Leslie Jones wasn’t here in the Bernie Mack role. We’ve seen where that gets us in Ghostbusters.
When I first heard about it, I Feel Pretty was being marketed as some sort of feminist propaganda. I saw it mentioned on Facebook as being a must-see because of how super empowering it would be for all women. Then I saw the trailer and I got really angry. The film that was supposedly meant to provide a message about body positivity was actually just a run of jokes about Amy Schumer being fatter than a model. It really didn’t seem very empowering to me. This anger also made me really interested to see it but I knew I would hate it so much that I didn’t want to see it at the cinema. That would be giving it too much credit. But, inevitably, my fascination got the better of me so I finally watched it. Preparing for the worst. Continue reading
You may remember that last week I read a purposefully quick read in order to get another review posted. After starting the first book in the Mistborn trilogy last week I knew I wasn’t going to get that finished in time. I mean it’s an epic fantasy novel that’s over 600 pages long. At this point in time I’m only about 1/6th of the way through. I’m being pretty slow at reading lately so even if I had forgone sleep every night I still wouldn’t have done it. And it really wouldn’t have been worth going through work being that tired. It’s been a rubbish few days as it is so I don’t need anymore problems! So, realising that there was no way I could write anything about Brandon Sanderson’s novel but wanting to continue my streak, I decided to pick a short novel to read. That ended up being this novella by Joyce Carol Oates.
Never mix business and pleasure. That’s what we’re always told and it’s something that Melissa McCarthy and her husband Ben Falcone should really have paid more attention to. This year’s The Life of the Party is their third time of collaborating on a film. The first, Tammy, was such a dire experience for me that I, apparently, didn’t even bother to review it. Something I did, at least, manage for their second film The Boss. But it’s fair to say that neither of these films were a great example of who McCarthy is as a performer. I don’t really understand how it could have gone so wrong either. She and her husband co-wrote both films but, for some reason, decided to write them with a lack of genuinely funny jokes. Instead, they both rely on the physical comedy that McCarthy is regularly forced to rely on to get a laugh. I’ve been a fan of hers since I first saw Gilmore Girls and agree that she was the best thing about Bridesmaids. So it’s been difficult to constantly be faced with an endless stream of disappointing or downright terrible films. Admittedly, some of her other collaborations with Paul Fieg have been more successful but they still feel like they’re lacking something. I go into every new films hoping this is the time she finds what’s missing. Watching the first trailer for The Life of the Party I was pretty sure this wouldn’t have it but I’m nothing if not open-minded at this point.
Back in 2012 I was majorly surprised by how much I enjoyed Pitch Perfect. As someone who has vehemently hated everything about Glee I didn’t necessarily see how it would be my thing. But I loved it. The cast was great, the script was funny, and the musical numbers were really good. I mean, yes, it did have that “isn’t the 80’s great” mentality that so many young people have these days but that was one of only few criticisms I had. I guess I just really like Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson enough to put up with. However, the second film was certainly pushing it for me. I still enjoyed that feeling of nostalgia and fun that remained but there wasn’t really a story there. It was just a rehash of the first one. Hell, if it had been a Star Wars film there would have been thousands of outraged fans campaigning for it to be removed from the canon. So, I have to admit, the idea of a third film didn’t really grab me. I wasn’t exactly rushing to see it, which is why I’ve only just got round to it. So was it as bad as I expected or was it worth the wait?