Thursday, 31 December 2015

TBT - Sherlock: A Study in Pink

Today is New Year's Eve and people all around the world are excitedly waiting for the biggest event in the calendar. Yes, we are a few hours away from the Sherlock special. The first episode in almost a year, which is admittedly less time than we've been kept waiting in the past. An episode that take us back to the world of the books and places Tumblr's favourite Otter in Victorian England. It's an exciting concept and has allowed Martin Freeman to sport a much more impressive moustache than the last one. Now, I've not always been on board with Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss' modern Sherlock and still only really like a couple of episodes in seasons 1 and 2 and all of season 3. I just feel like they keep mixing up Arthur Conan Doyle with Doctor Who and it's really fucking annoying. I understand the logic: you want to persuade your already loyal Whovians to follow your new series so you make it so fucking familiar its like their watching the same show. It makes sense. It just doesn't always feel right to me. I know it's a modern interpretation but Sherlock is sometimes too quirky for my liking. I like my Holmes to be more stiff-upper-lipped than bouncy.

Monday, 28 December 2015

The Lobster (2015)

So it's been a week since I intended to post this and I've probably forgotten everything about the film. Well apart from the fact that I fucking loved it and haven't stopped recommending it to everyone. At the same time, I've just got a new laptop for Christmas and everything has shifted to the left slightly. Without meaning to sound big-headed, I'm fucking great at typing and this is throwing me off completely. I have't typed this slowly since I first used a fucking computer. So I warn you, there may be spelling mistakes and random symbols that shouldn't really be here. I blame my inability to accept change. So a badly written and ill-informed review. Who else is really fucking excited to see how this turns out?

Sunday, 27 December 2015


Just a quickie this week. Christmas has sort of taken over my life and work has been hell. I've not really had the time or inclination to do anything other than sleep. Plus, old friends are back, family are around and my entire fucking county seems to be covered in water. Reading, unfortunately, has had to take a bit of a back seat. Still, Christmas is a time of giving and a few people have given me good booky presents. Now I have my own Personal Library Kit I won't have to face the injustice of an unreturned book. My colleague has had my copy of The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August for months and I've long passed the point I can ask for it back. I hate this fucking shit. I should just stop lending my books to people. Although, now I have the kit that seems like a rather foolish thing to do. 

Thursday, 24 December 2015

TBT - Elf (2003)

So it's Christmas Eve and I'm full of festive cheer. I'm also fucking exhausted. I made the reckless decision to watch The Force Awakens last night despite having to start work at 6am. I've only been able to keep going thanks to my continued delight at how wonderful the whole thing turned out to be. Obviously I have a few gripes but The Force Awakens was the best present I could have hoped for. I admit it was a bit fucking stupid seeing it so close to Christmas. It would really have taken some of the joy out of the festive period if I was brooding with hatred for JJ Abrams. It would have taken something very special to lift me from that foul a mood. Thankfully, at this time of year there is always a feel good film on somewhere. I got home to the end of Finding Nemo and instantly forgot how much I hate all of our customers when Dory encouraged me to "just keep swimming".

Monday, 21 December 2015

Hermione Granger: The Next Racebender

I was all set to write a review of The Lobster today. I watched it yesterday and really enjoyed it. Then something happened and parts of the internet went crazy... supposedly. It was announced today that the actress playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter play, The Cursed Child is Swaziland-born actress Noma Dumezweni. Now I'm pretty pissed with myself for talking about this because the whole idea of doing an eighth installment as a stage show is fucking stupid. Not just because it's going against all those times Rowling said she was done with Potter but because it also means so many fans will miss out. However, the story has blown up on new sites with many journalists defending the decision to the naysayers. That, my friends, is the reason I've decided to break my silence. Not the defence itself: I couldn't care less who plays Hermione Granger because, in my opinion, nobody can be more annoying than Emma fucking Watson. No, I'm annoyed because is there really any need to defend it?

Sunday, 20 December 2015


So it's five days until Christmas and things are getting super stressful at work. Tensions are rising and people are arguing over really fucking trivial things. It's ridiculous. I'm managing a team of people ages 30-60 and they all act like fucking kids. It's meant that the last thing I feel like doing when I get home is read so, once again, this rundown is a pathetic review of my literary failings. On top of that, writing about all my new purchases is getting my super pumped to read everything on my TBR and I can't help but want to pick up every new book as soon as possible. I'm so fucking fickle when it comes to books. Fingers crossed 2016 is the year I get my shit together and work out how to concentrate on one book at a time. Until then, I'll just have a currently reading list that is exactly the same size as my TBR. 

Thursday, 17 December 2015

TBT - Jingle All The Way (1996)

Shopping at Christmas has to be the biggest pain in the arse. There are people everywhere and being around people isn't good for my sensibilities. I'm not ruthless enough for the December chaos. So I tend to try and avoid the physical act of shopping and do my purchasing online. That, of course, is fraught with it's own difficulties as the postal service takes a fucking age to get things here. I feel bad for postmen but why can't they give me things when I expect them? As well as being glad I don't work for Royal Mail, every year Christmas comes around makes me even happier that I'm not a parent. Fucking kids, eh. You spend a fuckload on a fake hoverboard and the bloody thing blows up.  Having to track down that year's 'It' toy just goes against my who shopping ethic. It's not something I want and having to fight people for it is something I don't have the inclination for.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Gift Ideas For Bookish Folks

So we're about 10 days away from Christmas and you'll probably be sick of people thinking they have the right to tell you what to buy. Luckily for you, my sense of self-importance is just as high as everyone else. What I essentially have for you here is a list of things I'm desperate for someone to buy me but, in order to fill some content, am going to claim it's a handy dandy guide to bookish gift giving. I'm shit at this time of the year. I get so jealous of buying great things for other people that I have to make it up to myself by spending loads of money. So if I really wanted this list could go on indefinitely. And that's just using Etsy alone. However, in the interest of keeping it short(ish) and sweet I've limited it to about 10. By the time you read this I'll probably own most if not all of the items listed. I'll also be in the corner holding my wallet and lamenting my poor use of money. Happy Holidays everybody.

Sunday, 13 December 2015


This week I've been on holiday from work. It was my intention to relax before the Christmas rush really starts and buy any remaining presents I needed. The reading side of my plans hasn't gone awfully well but I've done almost nailed the present side of things. I have to admit that I've probably bought more for myself than other people. You'll get a small glimpse into this further down the page. I'm so fucking selfish that as soon as I spend time looking for other people I find at least three things I "really need". I've also bought about 5 different Christmas party dresses (four of which went back) and a shitload of make-up that will eventually go to waste. Considering Christmas is one of my favourite times of year it doesn't half show me how terrible I am at life.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

TBT - The Holiday (2006)

As you all know by now one of my greatest loves is Christmas films. As a permanent child, I fucking love everything about Christmas and fall victim to the festive spirit in all forms. However, there is nothing that annoys me more than a cliched rom-com. So I'm a little bit torn when it comes to Christmas rom-com. Half of me hates everybody for being so bloody oblivious whilst the other half just get caught up in the festivities. Of course, there are some special cases that manage to be so fucking awful that I don't need to worry about potential warm and fuzzy feelings. You can take a look at my Top 10 Worst Christmas Films list for more details on some of these but I want to focus on a film that I get more resentful towards with every passing year. I'll be honest that has a lot to do with my annoyance at Jude Law's questionable acting talents but there is a lot to The Holiday that we should be opposing.

Monday, 7 December 2015

Goosebumps (2015)

It feels like fucking ages since my last old fashioned Monday film review. I've gotten so used to letting off steam in a rant every week that I've moved beyond the point of this blog at all. Change is all well and good obviously but this was my chance to play out my long dead desire to be a film critic. It's just a really sad fact that I don't get chance to see as many films at the moment. I need to catch up with things. It's always the way though: one thing starts going well whilst everything else suffers. Reading or films? Surely there are people out there who find the balance? Until I find the dream solution I'll count the victories where I can. Last month I managed to watch a film that I'd been excited about for a while. A film that summons up feelings of my childhood... although without the fear I experienced in those days.

Sunday, 6 December 2015


In good news I've only indulged in one new book this week. On the other hand, I've hardly been a great reader. I've felt like shit and have had an awful week at work. The last thing I wanted to do when getting home was read something complicated. So I've turned to really simple books that require no real effort to read. Although this is making me feel super fucking guilty. I recently watched John Green's guide to giving books for Christmas and I can't help but think that I've missed out of so many of the greats this year. Being more prominent on Instagram means I see people with Booker Prize nominees whilst I'm chilling out with some trashy thriller or the latest YA garbage. I don't think I'd recommend any of my last read books to anyone. So I've decided: 2016 will be the year of reading great books. 

Thursday, 3 December 2015

TBT - The Flint Street Nativity (1999)

On Monday I admitted to acting quite like a child. It's true. I still love all of the TV shows I grew up watching and the music I listened to as a teenager. I'm not sure that I'll ever reach a point where I don't need my parents to help me deal with banking and medical issues. A co-worker recently took the piss out of me when I admitted to owning my very own set of replica Pokemon gym badges. Apparently it makes me a little weird, childish and ridiculous. If you ask me it makes me super cool and someone to be jealous of. However, I can't deny that I'm hardly the most comfortable of adults and, outside of my job, will do anything I can to pretend I'm still a kid. Who needs that shit? I'll just stuff my fingers in my ears and pretend it's not happening.

Monday, 30 November 2015

Colour Me Ranting: or why I won't be reaching for my coloured pencils when I'm feeling stressed

Have you ever had those days where you try and do the right thing and it ends up causing you a shitload of grief? It's felt like today that everything I've done has just come back to bite me... unnecessarily. I'm not going to be crass enough to bitch about my work place here but, suffice it to say, I'm super ready to leave right now. Anyone looking for a ranty film fan who has super strong feelings (whether good or bad) about everything JK Rowling does? No. Yeah, I've been getting that hint from all those rejection letters. So, to end this cycle of self-pity, I'm feeling super shitty and stressed right now. What am I going to do about it? Well, if you listen to any bookstore, I should apparently be colouring in. What a fucking joke.

Sunday, 29 November 2015

That's What She Read - Sunday Rundown

This has been a tough week for me. I've been super busy and really stressed at work. It was my mother's birthday on Thursday so I didn't get a TBT post up. I intended to do it on Friday but was so fucking ill I couldn't even move. It's been a disaster of a week. The last thing I've wanted to do is read so, after finishing Leixcon a few hours after posting last weeks rundown, I've only read a minute section of my new book. Pretty slow week so pretty lame rundown. At least I've bought enough to fill the space.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Top 5 Most Devastating Dr Who Companion Departures (Spoilers... duh)

We've known for a while that Clara Oswald was set to leave Doctor Who. So we've spent all of the current series waiting for it to happen. Clara has increasingly put herself in dangerous situations and has managed to get herself close to death more times than I can count. It's getting a tad annoying but I'm actually going to miss Clara. After a few series of hating her, she has really come into her own this series. She and Peter Capaldi make an excellent team. So it got me thinking about the other companions and how much emotional impact their departures has on me. So I present to you, my top 5 most devastating Dr Who companion exits.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

That's what she read - Sunday rundown

Either the realisation that I'm giving out weekly updates on my reading habits or the fact that I'm reading better/easier books has meant that I'm reading more at the moment than I have in ages. In the time between posting last week's rundown and today I've nearly finished a new book. Consequently, I'm no further along with any of the other ones but I take victories where I can. I'm still buying books like I've got an unlimited bank balance, of course. I'm sure one day there'll be a week where I have nothing to write under the "Recently Purchased" section but it won't be whilst I've got fuck all self-control.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

TBT - Goldeneye (1995)

On Monday I'm finally going to get to see Spectre. I know there have been a few dodgy reviews but I always love a Bond film. It comes back to those lazy weekends as a kid where I had nothing to do but watch Roger Moore on his hover-gondola. Younger me loved James Bond because it was silly and camp. Twenty years ago this week the James Bond franchise changed completely. Pierce Brosnan stepped into the role and helped create one of the best bond films of all fucking time. That's quite a bold statement and part of me does worry my love of the game is clouding my judgement. However, there is no denying that Goldeneye took the womanising, drunk spy in a more modern direction. Without it we wouldn't have ever met Daniel Craig's brooding and parkour-ing 007.

Monday, 16 November 2015

Kindle Surprise: or why I'm finally embracing the electronic age

Anyone who knows me well enough will have heard me ranting about eReaders for years. I'm infamous at work for my stubbornness about Kindles and my desire to stick with the physical book form. So it shocked a few people when I made the decision to buy on this week. When it comes to reading, I still prefer owning and holding a book in my hands. I think books are a beautiful thing and having full bookshelves is better than wallpaper in terms of decoration. However, over the last 27 years of my life I've amassed a rather large selection of books, which, sooner or later, I'm going to have to pack up. If I have to move soon then it's going to be hell transporting my library. It was time to find an alternative option.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

That's what she read - Sunday rundown

So, it's week two and I'm still trying to go strong with my new routine. I'm actually doing pretty well at sticking to things at the moment. Since September I've been doing some form of exercise (nearly) everyday. I'm so fucking smug at the moment but, don't worry, I won't turn into one of those people that constantly mentions how fucking awesome I am. I won't be tweeting about my post-workout high or anything. Doing more than I was doing wasn't exactly difficult. However, it does mark the beginning of a new age where I make myself promises and really try and stick to them. So I'm naively hopeful that this can work... provided I start reading some fucking books that is.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

TBT - Space Jam (1996)

When it comes to these throwback Thursday posts, I like to try and tie in my nostalgic lookback to my Monday post. Sometimes this is nigh on impossible and I just pick something at random. Other times I'll just make a really tenuous link and hope for the best. Then there are times like this: times when everything falls into fucking place. Monday saw me reviewing The Martian and discussing one man's struggle in space. To go with it I chose a film about one man's struggle with beings from space. It also happens to be the first film I saw multiple times at the cinema. I fucking loved it and I still do. Every time I watch it I feel like a kid again. Suffice it to say, this probably won't be a very objective review... but considering Space Jam is fucking awesome it doesn't really matter.

Monday, 9 November 2015

That's what she read - my new weekly rundown

Sometimes we all go through reading slumps where the last thing we want to do is sit down with a book. I'm currently in the longest slump I've experienced since I first graduated from university. Buying books is not a problem for me but getting through them is taking a lot of effort. I don't know whether it's because I'm too fucking old now or just too overworked but I can't get through a chapter before bed anymore. My eyes start dropping a couple of paragraphs in. If I'm going to continue with my rule to never leave a chapter unfinished then I'll have to start reading books with much shorter chapters. Next time I'm in a book shop I'm only buying children's books or the novels of Dan Brown.

The Martian (2015)

I was such a naive fool just a few months ago. I definitely thought I would be able to manage reading Andy Weir's The Martian before the screen adaptation came out. As I've mentioned a million fucking times already, I'm not managing to read a damn thing at the moment. Especially when you consider that Aziz Ansari's new show is up on Netflix. I'll always love reading but, I don't know if you've noticed, there's always something else going on. I'll wait til I can sit down and read a chapter without falling asleep I'll get back on with the reading. Before that miracle happens, I'll just go with the film version. Especially when it has more Matt Damon.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

TBT - Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Despite spending my last post bemoaning the sudden influx of all things Christmas I'm about to embrace the season of goodwill to all men. You see there's a secret clause (HA!) in my whole 'no Christmas movies until December rule'. There is one film that combines the months of October and December in such a way that it's totally okay to watch it any time during November. The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Christmas staple. Not watching it at least once would be like not having a fucking tree or a turkey. It's also not directed by Tim Burton. I vividly remember during my undergraduate degree nearly getting into an argument about that very fact whilst on a bus. I'd just been to see Coraline with my flatmate and had to bite my tongue as someone behind my started telling his friends that the film, from the director of Nightmare, was such a typical Burton film. I was fucking livid because I'm something of a pretentious twat like that.

Monday, 2 November 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... is going to drive me insane.

When it comes to favourite times of the year I realise that most people pick the month of their birth. March is great an all but the months towards the end of the year are perfect. I love this season. I adore the knitwear, the ability to wear tights without being judged, and the boots. The people I work with complain about the fact that it's dark when we get to work and its equally as gloomy when we leave. Not me: I fucking love the shorter days. I'm super pale and get irritated by the sun. Summer is absolute hell for me. Winter is the perfect time to stay inside, curled up with a book. There's very little that I dislike about Winter. Although, there is one worrying trend that I can't fucking stand.

Thursday, 29 October 2015

TBT - An American Werewolf in London (1981)

It's Halloween this week and, to be honest, I don't really give a fuck about this holiday. I've never really got it. The whole sexy costumes thing just confuses me. My favourite Halloween costume to date was my first year of uni when I went as Christine the demon car from the Stephen King novel. It was amazing, even if I do say so myself. I made a license plate, wore furry dice and taped torches to my legs as headlights. Fucking amazing. Now I'm not saying I hate Halloween because of my leanings towards homemade costumes. It's just that I lack the artistic skills to make it look like something that wasn't made by a fucking child. I'm all for any excuse to go out drinking but I dislike having to jump through certain fancy dress hoops to get there. I'd rather stay home and watch The Nightmare Before Christmas on repeat.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Confession of an English blogger

It's finally happened: I've succumbed to ennui. Work has been especially shitty at the moment thanks to various staffing issues and I've been under an increased amount of pressure. It means when I'm not there the only thing I want to do is lie in bed doing fuck all. Even reading is hard these days. I try to get a chapter in before bed and my eyelids are drooping after 1 bloody paragraph. It's making my 'never close a book in the middle of a chapter' really fucking hard to stick to. It also means the last thing I want to do after a busy day is find something to write about. I haven't been able to keep up to date with the latest films and, understandably, it's taking me so long to get through a book these days that I'm without topics for reviews. Thankfully I have an endless supply of things to rant about but no real energy with which to do it.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

TBT - Back to the Future Part II

So, it's official: the future is finally here. It's taken 26 fucking years but we've finally gone back to the future. For those of you not in the loop, yesterday was the day Marty and Doc travel forward to in the sequel to the much loved Back to Future. October 21st 2015 was supposed to be a time of hoverboards, flying cars, self-tying shoes and self-drying clothes. There has been a lot written in the past few weeks about how accurate these predictions were. People are going fucking mental because a few conicidences have meant that some things are kind of similar to the vision of the future depicted on film. It's really irritating. I mean let's not forget how many of them have only come about because it was dreamt up in 1989. Even Robert Zemeckis thought the future scenes were fucking stupid. Regardless, Back to the Future day is a good excuse to revisit an important and well-loved franchise. The first film is a favourite of most people and the third is just a fucking awesome romp in the old West. But what of that tricky middle child?

Monday, 19 October 2015

Trainwreck (2015)

I can't decide whether or not I like Amy Schumer. I know she's big fucking news at the moment and is supposedly changing the face of female comedy with every public appearance. I just don't think I can be bothered. Women making jokes about sex, drugs and the fucking awful aspects of being a woman is, quite frankly, old news at this point. She's just doing what a fuck ton of female comics are doing but is, for some reason, supposedly doing something really fucking noteworthy. Not to put her down, of course. She's really fucking funny and she's actually using her position to highlight some great points about sexual politics. She's ticks many a feminist checklist. However, I still don't see what supposedly makes her so fucking special. I don't see why everyone made such a massive deal about her cliche sounding rom-com. My friend was desperate for me to watch it with her but the trailer just wore me out. We've seen it all before. I could have made one of those Michelin I-Spy books for the rom-com tropes that were waiting for us.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

TBT - Mamma Mia! (2008)

I went to university in Lancaster with the Lake District basically on my doorstep. I love the Lakes and, as a steadfast Romanticist, should have spent every weekend exploring the part of the world beloved by William Wordsworth. As it happens, I only went there once because I was too fucking lazy and probably drunk. That one time I stayed one night at a campsite full of awful teenagers whilst sharing a three man tent with three of my flatmates. I got absolutely no sleep and, because I like in the UK, the second day was a complete fucking washout. Probably the reason I never ventured back that way. Anyway, the reason I bring it up now is because our trip's soundtrack was provided by the big Hollywood sensation that I'm about to discuss. As the only person in the car who hated the film, I was forced to listen to the great Meryl Streep and the almighty Bronhom murder ABBA songs for hours on end. I think the fact that I've watched the film so many times since is more than enough evidence of Stokholm syndrome.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Fear leads to anger; anger leads to hate; hate... to creativity?

Last night I attended Jay Rayner's (the Observer's food critic) discussion My Dining Hell at the Ilkley Literature Festival. It was a really good night and I can happily attest that he is as funny in person as he is in writing. The talk discussed our perverse obsession with negative reviews and that fucking awful compulsion we all have to take enjoyment from other people's tales of woe. You know, that same mentality that drives you to stare at a car-crash or laugh when people fall over. As a not-so-secret bitch at heart, I'm always guilty of having a chuckle when someone does something embarrassing in public despite the fact I'm really fucking clumsy. Humanity has moved to a point where we get bored hearing about people's happiness but can't get enough of their misfortunes. Basically we're all just terrible people.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

TBT - Mr Mom (1983)

Unfortunately, I've managed to contract the plague this week and have spent much of my day off feeling like shit and wallowing in self pity. Unable to focus on anything greater than trawling through Netflix looking for TBT ideas, I stumbled across some classic 1980s Michael Keaton. It should be well documented by now that I have a great love of Mr Keaton; particularly during the 80s. You know, when he was a young comic actor making slapstick comedies rather than depressing us with his attempts at feel-good Christmas films. The will 80s always be one of my favourite eras of cinema, despite the fact that most things look horribly dated by this point. This is mostly thanks to the time spent in my teenage years watching every John Hughes film I could and wishing I was Ally Sheedy. So it seems only natural that I'd love a film that combines the writing prowess of Hughes and the comic timing of Keaton. Right?

Monday, 5 October 2015

With great power comes short attention span.

I know most of my Doctor Who related posts mainly seem to revolve around my hatred of Steven Moffat for turning a beloved show into a steaming pile of shit. However, I'm about to turn this around. We're only three episodes into this latest series but I can honestly say it's my favourite since Moffat took over. Peter Capaldi's first season was pretty good but I didn't think he got the opportunity to be as great as he could be. There was a major highlight towards the end of the series when the Danny Pink love story (yeah, more like love bore-y ) ended and Missy proved that a female version of a male character is actually the best fucking idea ever. Does anyone know if Helen Mirren is still up for playing the Doctor? I think it's time.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

TBT - What Maisie Knew (2013)

Recently one of my closest work friends left the business and I was put in charge of his leaving collection. This is mostly down to the fact that I'm fucking awesome at buying people presents. I'd love to be modest here but it's the cold hard truth that I always find the perfect gift for any occasion. It's a blessing and a curse. Once again, when the time came to present him with my offerings it went down incredibly well. Considering that much of our interaction at work came down to quoting Alan Partridge I knew what I had to do. Amongst other random shit, I managed to track down an Alan Partridge blazer badge, Alan's big plate, some Kiss My Face brand soap and a chocolate orange with superficial damage to the box. Turns out there's a lot of great shit out there for any fan of Steve Coogan's most successful character.

Monday, 28 September 2015

My Little Monotony or: How I Learned to Start Worrying and Hate my Bookshelf

Something happened to me whilst I was reading Haruki Murakami's first novel Hear the Wind Sing recently. I was over halfway through the story when I suddenly realised that I was picturing the main female character as a traditional Hollywood beauty. You know the sort, blonde, thin aloof: in other words every single Sienna Miller character. I was on a train at the time and was so freaked out by my personal discovery that I stopped reading for the rest of the journey. Then, thanks to my endless neuroses, I then spent the rest of the day partly ashamed and partly annoyed with myself. It seemed disrespectful and narrow-minded that my brain was subconsciously changing the Japanese setting to a more familiar Western backdrop. What did it say about me as a reader and a person that I couldn't even imagine the novel as its writer had intended?

Thursday, 24 September 2015

TBT - Muriel's Wedding (1994)

Everywhere I look it seems as though people are getting engaged. Apparently, we live in an age where women of all ages and marital statuses have a fucking Pinterest wedding board. Am I missing something? I don't see the fuss. I'm sure when I was younger I did the whole pretend wedding thing but now I just think it's a little bit unnecessary. A lot of money for one day? My heart-rate has gone up just fucking thinking about it. I must be one of a minority that sees Don't Tell the Bride as the preferable way to organise your big day. No shopping for flowers, venues or the dress: fucking ideal. Hell, I'll wear PJs if need be. 

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Top 5 Literary Husbands

So I had every intention of writing a great and meaningful post for this week. However, my older sister royally fucked that up by getting engaged yesterday. I mean I'm happy and everything but I had to spend valuable writing time drinking champagne instead. So now it's half 11 on Monday night and I've only just started writing something. It's fucking ridiculous. I'm pretty much back to square one. That can only mean one thing: it's time for a lazy blog post. With marriage now on my radar, I've decided it's time to compile my top 5 list of male literary characters I'd be okay to settle down with. God knows it's about time I give this some thought. Pretty much every YA-focused book vlogger I've ever watched seems to be editing this list on a weekly, if not daily, basis. To be fair, they're lists mostly contain awful YA pretty boys I've never heard of or the awful men who wear breeches in classic novels. When will people learn, Mr Rochester and Heathcliffe are fucking creeps: not the kind of people you should aspire to marry. Anyway, just as some people don't feel comfortable until they have their zombie apocalypse plan in place (yawn), I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep until I sort this fucking list out. So without further ado...

Thursday, 17 September 2015

TBT - America's Sweethearts (2001)

My review of Station Eleven discussed my relationship with YA and the fact that I always come back for more knowing that, more often than not, I'm going to fucking hate it. I've pretty much accepted at this point that I'm an oft disappointed fool who's stubbornness will always be my undoing. It's a character trait that moves beyond the world of shitty books for teenagers/adults that never want to grow up. It's just as easy for me to lie to myself that the work of certain directors or actors that I know have a tendency to be fucking awful will actually turn out to be awesome. The most notable offenders are Woody Allen and the man I'm going to talk about today, John Cusack. Now I've been in love with John Cusack since I first saw Say Anything so I have this ridiculous notion that everything he stars in will be amazing. Unfortunately, this hypothesis is absolute bullshit.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

I've hardly been hiding the fact that I'm not the biggest fan of YA fiction. Call me crazy but as a fucking adult I tend to prefer fiction that actually tries to challenge me. However, as I'm also the kind of fucking pathetic individual who is always swayed by popular opinion, I can't seem to stop giving it a go when a book proves popular enough. Back in 2014, George RR Martin, you've probably heard of him, gave Station Eleven his seal of approval so I figured 'why the fuck not'. Then, unsurprisingly, the book sat at the bottom of my TBR pile looking beautiful whilst I couldn't give a shit about opening it's pages. Until the day when my increasing guilt proved too much and I gave in. I'd just read a supposedly 'revolutionary' YA novel that was the biggest load of shit I'd ever read. It's safe to say my hopes about this one weren't high.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

TBT - Life After Beth (2014)

My last post, a much longer rant than I had anticipated, concerned the realms of creepy love. It's a worrying fact about society today that normal love stories are no longer enough to satisfy an audience's needs. It needs to be unusual and extremely over-the-top. It's an explanation for why the humble rom-com that kept Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in work for most of the 80s now only exists within hybrids with other genres. As time goes on these will only get fucking weirder but, for now, the supernatural romantic love story still seems to be exciting the type of pathetic people who think the latest popular YA sensation is the most romantic fucking story ever written. Hollywood knows where to place its bets and love stories featuring sexy versions of horror movies staples have been ten a penny in recent years. For the most part I'm okay with it if I can avoid it but, I have to admit, I'm a little about the potential popularity of the zombie romantic comedy (or zom-rom-com). I mean it seems to me that the moment young people start fantasising about having sex with dead people we could have a major fucking problem on our hands.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Because you know I'm all about that Snape. 'Bout that Snape... no I'm just kidding that guys a fucking creep.

For those of you out there paying attention, I've recently taken an impromptu month-long break from blogging. To be honest, I'd become a little jaded and incredibly fucking lazy regarding the writing of posts. I was out of good ideas and work was stressing me the fuck out so I just wasn't getting anything written in time. I'm hopeful that whilst I've been away I've managed to come up with a few subjects and have, in my usual big-headed way, got some grand ideas about adding more to my schedule. So, if nothing else, the past few weeks have seen me grow even more deluded than I was before. Yay! It's going to be fun seeing how long this 'can do' attitude lasts for. As I'm currently taking a holiday from work I'm guessing it'll be the second I get back to the daily grind. Adulthood is super fun, y'all.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

TBT - Once Upon a Time (Season 1)

I've been ill for the past few days. I've known for quite a long time that I'm one of the worst people to be around when I'm ill. Basically, I become a pathetic mess who refuses to suffer in silence and mopes around feeling sorry for herself. For the good of my family and friends I have proceeded to shut myself away and wallow. The only thing I was really good for was a nightly Netflix binge. Wanting something mindless and ridiculous to take my mind off my infected sinuses, it was the ideal time to finally watch Once Upon a Time. I've been intrigued by this show since the first season aired but I've never had the required Disney princess obsession that it built upon. I always preferred the animal stories and would rather have been Simba than Cinderella. The only princess I gave a shit about was Belle and that was only before she fell in love and became an idiot. Don't get me wrong, I loved the Brothers Grimm and stuff like that when I was growing up. However, I grew up. I find it weird for people over the age of thirteen being too into the idea of princesses. It's fucking creepy.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Boo by Neil Smith

The dust jacket of Boo reminds me of the 'Travel Writer' episode of Black Books. You know the one where every quote on the back of Jason Hamilton's new book says he's charming: “Every one of these blurbs says he's charming: 'I was swept away by a wave of charm.' 'I was immolated in a firewall of charm and charisma.' 'I almost exploded from the concentration of charm on the page.'” The one thing everyone seems able to agree upon regarding Neil Smith's first full length novel is that it's charming. Nothing like creating a little bit of pressure for yourself, is there. Still it was a novel that I'd been keen to read for some time: an incredibly charming novel that's reminiscent of The Lovely Bones? Is it any wonder I lost sleep over this thing?

Thursday, 30 July 2015

TBT - Thor (2011)

With the release of Ant-Man recently we've been preparing ourselves for a new Marvel line-up. We've known for a while that Robert Downey Jr. is out of the door post Avengers 3 but just how much time awaits his fellow big hitters? Chris Evans is keen to step away from the camera and direct so it seems clear that either Civil War will have its comic-book ending or the Cap will meet his maker whilst fighting Thanos. At least when Steve exits the scene we can take comfort in the form of Bucky Barnes. What happens when the contract runs out for everyone's favourite God with the best pair of arms in existence, Thor? I've said several times before that Thor is the Marvel character that I love the most but I can't imagine a situation where the character carries on without Chris Hemsworth. I know that the recent comic-book series has meant that spoiler could take his place but it just wouldn't be the same.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Ant-Man (2015)

Is there anyone out there who isn't even a little bit excited for the upcoming phase of Marvel films? It's a fucking great time to be a Marvel fan and it's set to only get better. There are so many exciting new faces set to make their first appearance and it's bloody brilliant... even if some people won't have as much knowledge of them. Ant-Man  is one of those superheroes that means a lot to people in the know but isn't exactly one of the mainstream. Whilst waiting for the film's release I've had to suffer the mocking tone of several colleagues who think it's just some silly parody. Forgive the fucking awful pun but he's simply too small to stand out against the likes of Thor, Captain America and the Hulk. He was the underdog, which made him the perfect focus for a writer/director like Edgar Wright. Shame that dream died a fucking horrible mess then. So, despite my unquenching excitement to see Paul Rudd take up the costume, I found myself sceptical that I would enjoy this film as much as I would have enjoyed the first one.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

TBT - X-Men (2000)

Last week when I was blissfully celebrating the 20th anniversary of one of the greatest teen movies of all time, one of the greatest comic book movies of all time was also celebrating a milestone birthday. On July 14th X-Men, Bryan Singer's first step into the murky world of mutants, turned 15 years old. With Days of Future Past coming out last year and X-Men Apocalypse less than a year away, Singer really is still a force to be reckoned with in the world of superhero movies. Now I won't lie to you, X-Men isn't the best: it has been overshadowed by Singer's second outing and, perhaps, by Days of Future Past itself. However, Singer brought together a fucking amazing cast and introduced Professor X's squad of mutant heroes to the big screen. It's not perfect by any stretch of the imagination but there is no doubt that it is a film that deserves to be recognised.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Batman v Superman: Battle of Who Could Care Less

So earlier this month nerds from all over the world were flocking to San Diego Comic Con. Amidst all the usual cosplay and fangirling, the world was introduced to a whole host of new trailers to get excited about. A lot of them were exciting, like Suicide Squad which completely turned me around about the whole thing. Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn? Fuck yes Jared Leto's joker? Holy shit! Even Will Smith doesn't seem like too abysmal. So yeah, it turns out I'm actually excited about what DC has to offer in a world dominated by Marvel films. Which, considering how I felt after Man of Steel really fucking shocked me. Of course, even after the super popular Batman v Superman panel that sent everyone crazy, I'm still not over the bitterness that surrounded my soul after watching Zack Snyder fuck with Superman. However, after I first saw the trailer I was weirdly excited about it. There are parts that look so good but... I hate Zack Snyder. I really don't know what to think.

Thursday, 16 July 2015

TBT - Clueless (1995)

If you've been around these parts before, you may be aware that I'm not the biggest fan of Jane Austen. I know, I know. It's not the kind of thing book nerds tend to admit to. I did two literature degrees that focused on Romanticism and had to suffer the sneers of my professors and fellow students whenever Austen appeared on my reading list. Turns out nobody trusts a book lover who hates the Queen of chick lit. But, frankly my dears, I don't give a shit. Austen is a paint-by-numbers kind of writer so once you've read one novel you've read them all. However, I'm a pretty big fan of the attempts by other media to adapt her novels into something people can genuinely enjoy. Of course, the pinnacle of these attempts is still one of the best teen movie of all fucking time.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One is the debut novel of Ernest Cline, a writer who, before it's release, was best known for writing the original script of the super disappointing Fanboys. Despite this potentially damning connection, it was one of those books that was fucking everywhere recently. For a few months it was the only bloody book that anyone seemed to be talking about. I guess it helps when your primary audience are too young to have watched the shitty films you helped write. I hoped that I liked Cline's novel because it does contain lots of things I'm very fond of. However, as a YA dealing with a dystopian future, I was sort of predisposed to fucking hate it. However, I just couldn't stop myself reading it. It took a really long time, admittedly, but I couldn't stop reading it.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Top 5 Television Characters I'd be Friends With

A few months ago I bought the Film Listography journal and have yet to do anything with it. As I was cutting it really fine to get a post ready for this week so I decided the easiest thing to do was to rely on the old favourite 'Top 5 List'. Picking a page at random I discovered the 'List Celluloid Characters You Wish Were Your Friends' page and thought "hmm this will be a piece of piss". Boy, was I a fucking idiot about 1 hour ago. Hoping it would be simpler, I changed to TV characters I wished were my friends and still had a shit load of trouble getting past 2. It turns out that either I don't like a lot of people or I'm just super picky about who I'll allow to be classed as my friend. Still, I managed to cobble something together for your pleasure.

Thursday, 2 July 2015

TBT - Bridesmaids (2011)

In any interview, review or article concerning Melissa McCarthy will inevitably mention her breakout performance in Kirsten Wiig's 2011 female comedy Bridesmaids. Like it's the only fucking role she's ever had. Part of me is sick of Bridesmaids, it just won't go away. When it came out, the critics and the public were falling over themselves to praise this revolutionary comedy that showed women can be as funny as men. Despite every fibre of my being telling me not to, I'm going to ignore all of the problems associated with that fucking phrase and admit that I wasn't exactly in a rush to see it. I'm all for women getting the limelight but there was nothing about it that screamed 'see me immediately'. I guess it didn't help that I wasn't quite as shocked as the rest of the world to discover that women are gross: having stepped in as a cleaner at work I know first hand how fucking disgusting women can be. Really, I just didn't relish the idea of this Judd Apatow meets Sex and the City comedy all about weddings. I'm not that kind of gal.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Spy (2015)

Melissa McCarthy doesn't get offered the kind of roles that she deserves. She's been faced with plenty of utter shit and several hit-and-miss roles since her breakout performance in 2001's Bridesmaids. As someone who has loved her since I first watched The Gilmore Girls, I've been disappointed with the amount of her roles that just rely on her size to get laughs. Although, she and Paul Fieg are proving to be a pretty great double-act. Bridesmaids is still celebrated for its female-centric comedy and I was surprised to find that, despite my misgivings, The Heat was actually pretty good. The problem with the duo's films is the way they are marketed. They have to appeal to the male film audience as well so I'm never wowed by the trailers. I was devastated when I first saw the trailer for Spy but I knew I'd still end up seeing it. Such is my love of McCarthy.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

TBT - Jurassic Park (1993)

As soon as I heard that 22 years had passed since Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park I had a mild panic attack. Despite the fact I definitely won't have seen it when I was 5, there's nothing like another reminder about the unstoppable passage of time. Jurassic Park is one of those films that you don't mind watching over and over again because it will always be something of a spectacle. Of course, it can't be denied that the technology has moved on since it came out and it may look a little dated to those who have been spoilt by current techniques. However, there's a reason that Spielberg's dino-fest is constantly being recognised as one of the most influential films of all time. I can't remember just how many times I've watched it but I still get that same thrill upon seeing that first dinosaur that I did the first time. It's fucking brilliant.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Jurassic World (2015)

I, like everyone else of a certain age, felt fucking old when I realised it's been 22 years since the Stephen Spielberg's original dinosaur film. film came out. Admittedly, I was only 5 at the time so didn't watch it til a few years later. I'm not ashamed to tell you I was fucking terrified after that first viewing. I couldn't sleep thanks to the vicious Dilophosaurus and its spitty ways. Yes, Nedry was a dick who caused the deaths of many people, but nobody deserves that. Anyway, it's safe to say that subsequent viewings have been much more successful and I love Steven Spielberg's dino-epic as much as it deserves. In it's day, Jurassic Park was one of the best visual displays on show and it still fills me with excitement to see that first glimpse of the park's residents in all their glory. However, you can't deny that the sequels have left a little to be desired. The Lost World was good enough until they stuck another Godzilla inspired film on the end but Jurassic Park 3 was just abysmal. So Spielberg brought out the big guns and dress Star Lord up as Indiana Jones and gave him a raptor army. Fucking awesome. Hold onto your butts.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

TBT - Batman Begins (2005)

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the film that launched one of the most popular film franchises of all time. 2005 was the first time since 1989 that it was OK to be a film fan who also loves Batman. Batman Begins set the trend that has plagued Hollywood ever since: the dark comic book reboot. Batman had already been the star of 4 films since in the 16 years prior to the release of Christopher Nolan came along and each subsequent movie had made the supposed dark knight more of a laughing stock. The hero, first created by Bob Kane in 1939, was patiently waiting for the chance to show what he could really do and Nolan and co-writer David S Goyer knew the only way to go was to be super-serious . Nolan's film was the dark comic book movie that Tim Burton wished he could have made in 1989 and it was a refreshing change. Of course, now it's just par for the course but Batman Begins was a revelation in 2005. It was fucking exciting.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Into the Woods (2015)

When it comes to this blog I think I'm starting to come across as a bit of a grump when it comes to musicals. I don't really understand why as I'm a not so secret lover of the genre. Whilst writing my postgraduate dissertation I listened to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat soundtrack on repeat. I have been known to portray my feelings through the songs of Andrew Lloyd Webber (especially when I'd finished the aforementioned dissertation). However, most modern musicals just don't get me as excited. I see trailers and just get angry. Especially if they star Meryl Streep. Thankfully I have the good sense not to associate with anybody who responded to the release of Into The Woods with any other attitude than “who the fuck cast Meryl Streep in another musical?” Don't get me wrong I love the Streep but, you have to admit, it's a bloody good question. After the travesty that was Mamma Mia it's difficult to see who would have decided casting big names was better than talented singers. 

Thursday, 11 June 2015

TBT - Goonies (1985)

On June 7th this year the classic '80s movie The Goonies celebrated it's 30th anniversary. Now who doesn't love The Goonies? It's the kind of film that will appeal to anyone with a sense of adventure and fun. A great watch for all the kids out there that still believe in Pirates and all the adults that used to. I can't put into words how much I love The Goonies, which considering I've made it the subject of this TBT post is a fucking disaster. It never gets old and I will never be too old to enjoy it. It still has such a huge impact on my life. I mean it gave the name to one of my favourite online retailers. I work with a guy who does his own version of the Truffle Shuffle to cheer me up... which definitely isn't as mean as it sounds. He loves it. I swear. From the first time I watched this film I knew I was a Goonie and 30 years on it's still worth celebrating.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

Pitch Perfect was one of those films that took me surprise when I eventually saw it. Expecting it to be nothing more than the story of awful teenagers whining self-indulgently in between songs, I found myself actually enjoying it. I spent most of that year trying to convince my cynical friends that, despite appearances, it was worth their time. Pitch Perfect is never going to be my favourite film but I liked it enough to be fairly excited about the sequel. Especially when it was announced that YouTube sensation Flula Borg was joining the cast. I've been hooked on Flula's channel ever since I was introduced to his video on Daddy Longlegs where he bemoaned their weird appearance and “spiderweb leggies”. Flula is an underrated comedian and could easily serve as a great foil for the likes of Fat Amy.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

TBT - Mad Max (1979)

With the release of Mad Max: FuryRoad it seems only natural that people will start to look back on Max's place within cinema history. George Miller's 1979 film not only introduced the world to fledgling actor Mel Gibson but also helped to define the action genre as we know it to this day. As a former emergency room doctor, Miller had a personal experience of the type of injuries he would go on to depict and saw them as the natural consequences of the type of mentality that would have people turn to violence in the face of a fuel shortage. Mad Max is an important film for plenty of reasons but it has survived for the last 35 years because it's also a fucking great one. Whilst it never quite had the same impact of it follow-up film The Road Warrior or the final film in the trilogy, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, it it always worth revisiting the cult classic.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

It's been 30 years since Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was released and the continuation of the franchise has been brewing for a fucking long time. George Miller first had the idea for a fourth instalment in 1998 but it has taken 17 years for that seed to grow into the bat-shit crazy tree that is Mad Max: Fury Road. With Tom Hardy taking over from Mel Gibson, Fury Road has more in common with the second film than the third. During the final moments of The Road Warrior, our hero is pursued by a violent gang whilst driving an oil tanker to safety. In his update, Miller has stretched that concept to a full-length film and if that sounds like a flimsy premise then fear not.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

TBT - Joyland

The thing about reading Stephen King novels is that it will always bring about memories of other Stephen King novels. During Mr Mercedes the writer name checked a couple of his most well-known tales by referring to the big screen adaptations of two of his novels, It and Christine. (Fun fact: in my first year of University, I dressed as Christine for Halloween. I taped torches to my legs as headlights. It was fucking amazing.) King has spent years creating an intricate fictional universe where many of his novels can connect with each other. Like watching John Hughes films in the 80s, catching the subtle references to other stories is one of the fun things about reading his books. When I read Revival last year, I was more overjoyed that I should have been to discover a reference to another of his recent works. I think I audibly squeed when a character mentioned a certain North Carolina amusement park: Joyland.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Mr Mercedes by Stephen King

Those of you paying attention will notice that for the first time in 13 weeks I missed a TBT. I don't even have a good excuse: I was just super tired and couldn't think of anything good to write about. Although, the reason for my tired state was because I had been staying up too late to get to the end of my sixth (I think) book of the year: Mr Mercedes by Stephen King. Regular readers will know that I've been burnt by King before so I went in with limited expectations, which, considering the hype when it came out, was fucking difficult. With the second book in the Bill Hodge's trilogy coming out next month, I had to find out if I'd be making another purchase or carrying on with my mission to decrease the number of unread books on my shelf.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Murdocal's Roundup - A Rootin' Tootin' Collection of Books I failed to Review

It may surprise you considering how good I've been at sticking to my schedule over the last few weeks but I'm actually pretty shit at keeping up to date with my blog. Over the last few months there have been fucking loads of books, films and TV shows that I've thought about writing about but neglected in favour of a nap. So I decided that the best way to deal with the backlog was to create a whole new format... new for this blog anyway. The day I have an original fucking idea for what to do here is going to be a day to celebrate. Basically, my general lazy nature is taking over and I'm writing the shortest reviews for these things as possible. I'll spend a small amount of time doing them and you'll learn nothing of any use... sounds fucking brilliant to me.

Thursday, 14 May 2015

TBT - Election (1999)

Last Thursday I voted in the second General Election that has taken place since I've been of the legal age to vote. It was an election that had everyone confused until the last second. I was still umming and ahhing on my walk to my nearest voting station. I'm still not sure I made the right choice now because, in the words of Tim Minchin, “the more you know the harder you will find it to make up your mind”. Unlike my two co-workers who unquestioningly did whatever the fucking Daily Mail told them to but I've argued with them about it until my voice was hoarse. Suffice it to say, election fever has been rife throughout the UK for what feels like a lifetime and, despite the results being in for nearly a week, it's not going away any time soon. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon and looking back to a political film that I only first watched because it came in a box-set with Mean Girls.