Saturday, 31 December 2016

Most Anticipated Books of 2017

It's nearly the start of January 2017 and, after my last post looked back on my last year, this one is looking forward to the next. In 2016 I made the resolution to read more books but didn't do a great job. This year I hope to get better at reading and, by giving up on books as soon as I stop enjoying them, will hopefully stop falling into reading slumps. So, to inspire me to get stuff finished I've created a follow-up to my incredibly popular 'Most Anticipated Books of 2016' post with a few of my Most Anticipated Books of 2017. This is only a short number of the huge list I had at one point. It looks as if I'm not going to curb my spending this year. Ah well.


Updated Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016

So it's that time of year when people start to look back and look forward to the year ahead. 2016 has been an odd year. It's been a great year for my family as my older sister got married and my twin bought a house. However, I've felt the sting of job rejection more times than I really want to think about. Still, 2017 has to be my year. Plus, my life is hardly as bad as it could be. After all, with the political climate being so unstable it's going to be an interesting year that could go either way. But, instead of worrying about what's to come, I'm going to look back at what I've achieved. Which, in terms of reading, isn't that much. My only resolution last year was to read more but my grand total of reads was pathetic. I'm going to partially blame work and my sister's wedding for taking my time away from me. So, when I went back to look over my 'Most Anticipated Fiction of 2016' at the start of this month I realised I'd failed miserably. So, I've been frantically buying as many as possible in the hope I can read them in the coming weeks. So, I've updated the list. The titles in red are ones I haven't bought, orange are the ones I've bought but haven't read, and the limited number of greens are the titles I've read. It's hardly a mixed bunch.

Thursday, 29 December 2016

TBT - Singin' in the Rain (1952)

This has been a week of great losses. With actress Liz Smith leaving us on Christmas Eve, George Michael's death on Christmas Day, and Richard Adams dying on 27th December it was already bleak. Then we had the absolutely devastating news that Carrie Fisher had passed away on December 27th after being in hospital for 4 days. Finally. only 1 day after her daughter, the legendary actress Debbie Reynolds died of a suspected stroke yesterday. It's heartbreaking news and I can't imagine how their family are coping with everything. Both women were iconic and important in their own time and the world is a sadder and darker place without them. Just as Carrie Fisher made a huge impression in her breakout role as Princess Leia, Debbie Reynolds has been most notably linked with one of her earliest onscreen moments. Back in the 1950s, Reynolds took the part of Kathy Selden opposite huge star Gene Kelly despite having no experience as a dancer. It's a testament to her skill and determination that Reynolds more than held her own against the more experienced cast members. Singin' in the Rain sums up everything you need to know about Debbie Reynolds. She didn't let her inexperience stop her, she didn't shy away when her co-star, Kelly, reacted badly to her casting, and her natural charisma ensured that she stole every scene she was in. I couldn't think of any better way to remember the great actress than watching her in this breakthrough performance.


Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

I obviously have a lot of love for Star Wars fan. I mean I am one myself and so are a load of my friends and colleagues. They're a great bunch of people who share an often insane amount of love for a really great set of films. However, they are an infuriating bunch of people. Or, at least, a select group of them are. When The Force Awakens opened last December people were rejoicing that JJ Abrams had undone the damage of the prequels by making a decent Star Wars film but there was still criticism that the film was too much like A New Hope. I can see what they mean but their argument is absurd when you consider how pissed off they were about the prequels: three films that went wildly beyond the scope and lore. So we've learnt that Star Wars fans don't want anything new nor do they want anything old. Well, is it any wonder George Lucas couldn't do a damn thing right when you're all so fucking undecided? It meant that there was even greater risk for the newest film Rogue One because it was bridging the gap between old and new. It was telling the, as yet, untold but all too familiar story of how the rebellion got their hands on the plans for the Death Star. With news of its release came the usual questioning of "is it necessary?" and people claiming enough was enough. I can't help but feel that Star Wars fans needs to take some tips from the Harry Potter fandom. Those guys are always after more: even when it's absolutely balls.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

It's Christmas Day and I'm full of food and festive cheer. It's been a quiet day as we're not really celebrating Christmas until 27th December when the whole family is back together. So, at the moment I've barely opened any presents. It, therefore, remains to be seen just how well I've done book wise this year. My family tend to avoid buying novels for each other but I do quite often get something book related. Still, it's been a lovely day and I'm looking forward to another day of rest before I'm back at work on Tuesday morning. I want to try and be productive but I'll probably just spend all day in bed, eating and watching TV. But isn't that what Christmas is really all about?

Thursday, 22 December 2016

TBT - Arthur Christmas (2011)

On Tuesday I finally saw Rogue One and I have been obsessed ever since. It's just put me in such a Star Wars state of mind that I'm getting all impatient for the release of Episode 8 next Christmas. So instead of writing this review I've spent the evening watching random videos and reading random articles all about people still trying to guess who Rey's parents are. I don't really want to waste too much time on conspiracy theories but, I will say, I think it would be better for the narrative structure of the whole 9 films if she were a Skywalker rather than a Kenobi. I know time wise she could just as easily be Obi Wan's granddaughter but it would just feel wrong if she was from the bloodline. After all, Star Wars have always been the story of Anakin Skywalker and his children. So it makes sense for the next 3 to be about his grandchildren. Rey is being set up as the main hero of the piece so it would be a weird change to have her come from an unconnected family line. Yes Obi Wan had a huge part to play in Anakin's story but it was never his story. He merely played a supporting part. Still, if it is revealed that Luke is her father then it would lack a great deal of shock. Nothing compared to the revelation that Darth Vader was Luke's dad. So, despite what Daisy Ridley and the rest of the internet is saying, nobody is going to know for sure until December 2017 or beyond. Which is why I'm going to get back to the job at hand and review a Christmas film.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Christmas with the Coopers (2015)

I think I've proved enough times that. in my opinion, Christmas films are serious business. I know you can only really watch them for 1 month of the year (with a few major exceptions) but when they're good then they're just incredible. Add a bunch of Christmas spirit to the normal Hollywood sentimentality and you have a blend of heartwarming entertainment for all the family. Of course, with every passing year, new Christmas releases have become something to be feared instead of celebrated. This year sees the arrival of Office Christmas Party which looks dreadful. Despite that I still kind of want to see it because my love of Kate McKinnon knows no bounds. But you can't help but get the feeling that Christmas films are just becoming super fucking lazy. However, there's something about them that means great actors are willing to sign up for them. Which is the only reason I can really give for wanting to watch Christmas with the Coopers when I came across it on Netflix.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So it's officially 7 days until Christmas Day. I hope you're all ready. I think the only thing I've got left to do is get my friend a small final gift, wait for my secret Santa present to arrive, and finalise my sister's present. So I'm in pretty good shape I think. So, 7 days til Christmas. Which means it's 8 days until the January sales really start. Which means it's 9 days until I'm officially broke. I'm planning on keeping calm this year but that's exactly what I said about Black Friday and that resulted in me increasing my already too big Pop Vinyl collection. I have too many clothes, shoes, books, and bags but I guarantee that Boxing Day will consist of my tracking down more of these at bargain prices. What is it about a sale?

Thursday, 15 December 2016

TBT - Home Alone (1990)

I slept terribly last night. I was at work for 7 this morning so was awake before half 5. However, no matter how hard I tried, I found myself still wide awake at 1 am. So today I've been like a fucking zombie trying not to let exhaustion get to me. It also meant that, despite my plan to come home and write this post as soon as possible, I spent my time napping. So, in a moment of complete honesty, I'm not going to put my normal review hat on for this post. Of course, it doesn't really matter I suppose. Any Christmas film that I could discuss for TBT are ones that everyone knows. So, instead, I want to discuss several points that have been bugging me about Home Alone over the years. I, like everyone else around my age, loved this film growing up and I'll still watch it every year. I mean it is a remarkably funny festive film that, despite the absurdity of the premise, a terrible script and more than a few cringey stops in schmaltz town, is an essential Christmas watch. Let's be hoenst, we love this film because of nostalgia. It reminds us of being children who all wanted to be the situation that Kevin found himself. But, we're not kids anymore. With every year that passes, I find myself worrying more and more about what I'm watching. So I want to address some points.


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Fictional Characters I'd Invite to Christmas Dinner

It's so close to Christmas it's unreal. In 10 days it'll be Christmas Eve. I think I've just about got my presents all sorted but who really knows. I'm not a fan of last minute shopping but I tend to need little stocking fillers as I go through the month. Still, I'm mostly there. As it's a time of celebration I'm adding a few additional posts this month. Each year I've released a Christmas top 10: My Essential Christmas films and My Least Favourite Christmas films. So I'm planning on keeping them as festive as possible but I'm likely to run out of ideas by next week. We'll see how it goes. For now, I decided to delve into the world of fantasy dinner party and decide who I'd invite to my ultimate Christmas celebration.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Tuesday's Review - Doctor Strange (2016)

I used to be one of those Marvel fangirls who would go and see a new release as soon as it was out. Now I tend to take my sweet time because there doesn't seem to be any need to rush. I'm guarateend to love the film regardless but it's becoming more like doing a Where's Wally instead of watching a film. There can be no denying that Marvels films have become more than a little predictable of late. An underwritten big bad threatens the world and the good guy/guys have to save the day, probably involving something huge crashing to the ground. Don't get me wrong, it's a system that has worked for them and gives the audience everything they want from a superhero film. However, with the arrival of Phase 3 this year it was definitely the time to see something different. That started subtly with Civil War where we saw the good guys facing off against each other for a huge showdown. It wasn't everything we hoped it would be but you can see that it's starting to break the mould. The problem is that the formula is safe and adaptable enough for different themes, heroes, and genres. Marvel don't want to risk losing fans when they know what works.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

It's been a stressful week and I'm so glad it's over. It started off terribly when my house was broken into on Monday. Thankfully there was no major damage but they took some of my mother's jewellery, including her engagement ring. So I've spent the week feeling really angry and sad about it. I just don't understand how someone can do that to another person. It's absolutely disgusting to break into their home and root around all of their stuff. What kind of person thinks that's acceptable? I don't care how difficult or hard someone's life is. It's just horrendous. Still, there's not much we can do about it now. It's just bullshit. So a new week will hopefully mean a better one. It's getting nearer to Christmas and, fingers crossed, I'm basically done with my presents. Although, I feel like I'm spending a shitload at the moment. It was my Christmas party this week and, despite being fairly restrained on the drinks front, I did end up caving and buying a fairly big round of drinks near the end of the night. One shot of tequila and suddenly I'm super generous. Just waiting until January and my year of sensible living awaits.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

TBT - William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet (1996)

There are a couple of reasons why a lot of the girls I know around my age are obsessed with Leonardo DiCaprio. Those two reasons are: Titanic and Romeo and Juliet. These films really pushed DiCaprio into spotlight as the romantic hero and the pin-up of the late 90s. We all remember his curtained blonde hair, beautiful blue eyes, and youthful grin from our youth and still sigh at his perfection. Even now, 20 years later, DiCaprio is perfect but, I'm happy to say, his hair has improved somewhat. When I was at university I was part of a group of literature students who fondly remembered Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the tale of two star-crossed lovers as being their first memorable experience with Shakespeare. It took the words of the Bard and made them cool and sexy. And it cemented DiCaprio as our ideal man. Now that I'm a partially matured adult, I find I appreciate about Shakespeare in a more traditional manner but in my younger days the idea of Shakespeare with guns was too good to ignore. Now that the film has celebrated the 20th anniversary of its release, it felt like the perfect time to revisit this classic.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Things I Thought After Watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life

In my Sunday Rundown a couple of weeks ago I promised to write about the Netflix Gilmore Girls reboot that week. That was mainly because I'd got my dates mixed up and thought this Top 10 Wen-sday was happening then. Still, in lieu of an actual review, which I figured would be both difficult, gushy, hyperbolic, and really fucking long, I'm setting down my strongest feelings regarding the new four episodes. I don't know when I first got into Gilmore Girls but it was probably when I was 16. I instantly loved it and have rewatched every epsiode more times than I'd care to remember. So when it was announced that Netflix was bringing it back I was ecstatic. Of course, when I binge watched the new episodes as soon as possible I had a few questions. The most important being: WHY WAS THERE NO KIEFER SUTHERLAND CAMEO? I mean how hard would that have been? He's on Netflix himself. They could have put it in his contract. What else is he doing? We need a Luke Danes/Kiefer Sutherland spin-off where they go fishing and discuss being shit at baseball. Desperately.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Romeo and Juliet (2013)

I know this isn't really a recent film but, with the 20th anniversary of the 1996 Romeo and Juliet last month, I decided, in order to compare and contrast, that it was time to watch the most recent film adaptation of one of Shakespeare's most annoying plays. I know people generally love it because it's about true love and shit but I just find it boring and really stupid. I mean people build these two teenagers up because they are so desperately in love with each other but they're actually just idiots. Firstly, they know each other for about 2 seconds before they tie the knot and secondly they both die for really unnecessary reasons. It's supposed to be the greatest love story ever told but isn't it actually just the greatest story about horny teenagers ever told? I mean Romeo was madly in love with another girl literally seconds before he first saw Juliet. I don't think we can trust anything he says about his feelings. Call me cynical if you wish but the idea that "true love" is so unconquerable that you must bow to its every whim is just a hyperbolic idea. Why does all love have to be so fucking insane that it leads to untold anguish and death? Surely the greatest love story ever told is one where two people fall in love over a prolonged period and become so comfortable and happy that they spend their lives together? Isn't that what we should be striving for as a society? Not a crazy ride full of sword fights, feuding, and the death of two young people? Anyway, this turned into a massive rant so it's best I just get onto the review.

Sunday, 4 December 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

This week has flown by and I have very little to show for it. Work is crazy busy because it's nearly Christmas and we don't have enough staff to cope. So we've all been working like crazy people and it's fucking exhausting. As such I've not really done anything this week but binge watch all of Parks and Recreation again from start to finish. Amy Poehler is just sensational and Adam Scott is a dreamboat. I've got loads of books I want to finish before January but I doubt I'll get much reading done in the next month. Christmas is just too stressful to get stuff done.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

TBT - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)

I'm so far behind my schedule today that I've left myself with no fucking time to do anything. I've left this to the last minute as I tried to get everything else done. I'm also tired so I can't promise this will be the best thing I've ever written but I'm determined to get it done. After all, I sat through one of my least favourite Harry Potter films in order to have a subject this week. I'd have to say that my least favourite in terms of both book and film is Goblet of Fire but, thanks to their childish nature, I've never revisited the first two stories for years. I saw the first film at the cinema with my family for my mother's birthday. I was 13 years old and completely obsessed with the books. I remember leaving the cinema feeling disappointed with some differences but, ultimately, I loved it. I mean it was faithful to the book and that was all that mattered to me. Let's be honest though, that's all that mattered to anyone.


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Yesterday I finally saw the next stage in JK Rowling's plan to dominate the word of literature and film. I mean I have nothing against the woman but everything about Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has just screamed of "how can we squeeze more cash out of our loyal fans?" I mean the decision to release the screenplay may be no-nonsense from a financial standpoint but it just seems like a shameless tactic to earn more cash. It kind of feels as though Rowling and her backers just see the Harry Potter fandom as bags of cash and are doing everything in their power to exploit them for continued financial gain. You know me by now; I think Harry Potter should have ended at the final book. It was complete and it was satisfactory. Rowling herself once said she wouldn't revisit the world again but has continued to prove that was a huge fucking lie. Yes, she gives loads to charity and helps people and I admire her for that. However, her constant flip-flopping on this and inability to leave well alone just makes me lose respect for her. She's like the literary world's George Lucas. So I wasn't exactly convinced I'd come out of Fantastic Beasts feeling much love... especially when the Rogue One trailer showing beforehand gave me literal tingles. I mean my legs went actually went numb. I haven't felt that kind of emotional response to anything Harry Potter related for years. I'll always be a fan but I've been over it for a while now. At least Disney don't try and pretend that you're anything but bags of cash in their eyes.

Sunday, 27 November 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

This week saw the return of everyone's favourite time for violently trying to track down the greatest shopping bargains. Yes, Black Friday has come and gone once again. I still don't really understand why this American tradition has made it over to the UK but it has. It always gets out of hand and this year in Leeds, where I'm from, a man was actually stabbed whilst trying to stop someone shoplifting. It's fucking crazy. I'm not one of these people that like to take the day off to try and grab a bargain. Although, I can't say that I'm immune to the whole thing. As much as I'm annoyed by the constant stream of discount emails I receive in the run up to this weekend I did succumb to a few bargains myself. It's a great time to get Christmas presents after all. As you may know from previous rundowns I lack a lot of self-control when it comes to spending. I'm trying to get better and I think it's working. It's only going to be when I finally stop checking ASOS all day that I know I'm over it, of course. But for now, I'll embrace my bad habits and wait until the new year to fix myself. It's nearly Christmas and that is a well-known time for excess.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

TBT - The BFG (1989)

When it came to the adaptations of his books Roald Dahl was a tough critic. He was incredibly stubborn about giving the rights in the first place and, when he did give his permission, it was nearly impossible to create something that he felt was a faithful  It's a well known fact that he turned his back on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the 1971 adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. He wasn't happy that the focus was on Willy Wonka instead of Charlie and he was against the casting of Gene Wilder. It wasn't the film that he wanted to make and the alternative script wasn't what he wanted. However, it wasn't completely impossible to get Dahl onside and after he saw the 1989 animated version of The BFG Roald Dahl actually stood up and applauded. If I'm honest, I find it doubtful that Dahl would have been completely happy with Steven Spielberg's 2016 adaptation of the book despite the fact that it's a genuinely good film. So how does its predecessor actually stand up to Disney's CGI filled version?


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Tuesday's Reviews: The BFG (2016)

Conditions aren't exactly ideal for writing at the moment. My back is aching again and I just can't get comfortable. I've changed position about a million times whilst getting to this point in the sentence. My computer is irritating me and annoying noises every few seconds. And it's nearly 11 o'clock and I'm feeling a bit under pressure to finish. Still, we all know by now that I like a challenge. I can and will write something before midnight. Now that we're done with exposition, you may remember that a few months ago I reread The BFG before I watched the film. I managed to read it before Spielberg's film came out but never actually came through on the second part of the plan. This Summer ended up being a bit of a blur that revolved around work and my sister's wedding. So the film came and went without me realising. However, it was finally released on Monday so I decided it was time I finally sat down and got on with it.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Those of you who also follow me on Instagram will be aware that I gave myself a little treat this week and finally bought the Lego The Force Awakens video game. As a fucking huge fan of pretty much all of the previous Lego games, I've wanted it ever since I knew it was coming out. However, I can never justify buying new games because they cost a shitload and I never have the time to play them enough. But I had a few vouchers to use up and ended up finding a copy for a reasonable price and I'm so glad I did. I've spent every spare second I have playing it and I love it. Playing as BB8 is the best thing in the game. It's amazing. I realise that these games are for kids but they are so great. The characters look so good, the storyline is so loyal and the game play, except when it comes to flying/driving as it the problem with all these games, is so easy. It's not the most difficult thing you'll ever play but these games are rewarding in so many different ways. It's the greatest purchase I've made all year. Although, it has meant my reading hasn't vastly improved this week. I need to start dividing my time better.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

TBT - Angels and Demons (2009)

It seems that I'm going through a bit of a Tom Hanks week this week. I can't get away from the man. This week Michael Moore declared that he run for president in 2020; my Tuesday Review this week was his latest Robert Langdon film Inferno; and today my colleague told me she preferred younger Tom Hanks to younger Harrison Ford. Now, I'm not trying to criticise the man but there is no competition. Tom Hanks is Hollywood's Mr Nice Guy but he's hardly a fucking pin-up. Anyway, I decided to continue this trend by discussing another of the Dan Brown film trilogy. But which one to pick? A few weeks ago the Cinema Sins YouTube channel brought out a video describing everything that's wrong with Angels and Demons and, weirdly, it made me want to watch it again. I've seen The Da Vinci Code a couple of times and it bored the shit out of me every times. As you may remember from Tuesday, Inferno hardly set my spirits alight so, by process of elimination, Angels and Demons had to be my favourite of the Robert Langdon trilogy. Although this probably has something to do with my love of Ewan McGregor and Stellan SkarsgĂ„rd because you can hardly say that I love the film or the book. Still, I'm never one to ignore a craving so I spent last night reminding myself of what a travesty it really is.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tuesday's reviews - Inferno (2016)

Considering my general anger about the whole thriller genre it shouldn't come as any surprise to you guys that I'm not a fan of Dan Brown. However, this dislike comes from a place much deeper than mere genre. It basically comes down to the fact that Brown is a fucking shit writer. Something that is even more worrying when you consider he used to be a creative writing professor. Still, it's something that seem unwilling to admit. I have had several arguments with people over the years about why his books are so awful but Dan Brown's fans are as stubborn as his books are dull. There's no way around it, Dan Brown just doesn't know how to write. He uses words in completely nonsensical ways; he's incredibly repetitive; his dialogue is clumsy; he gets bogged down with insignificant details; and he's incredibly repetitive. He's a man who's name should be Dan "tautology" Brown and who should really ask a creative writing professor what a real metaphor is. Not only is his writing bad but it's incredibly simplistic in the midst of all the biblical/ literary history. I mean each chapter is about 2 pages long and each one ends on some kind of underwhelming cliffhanger. It's fucking awful. However, desperately trying to find something positive to say, Dan Brown's stories do make fairly adequate cinematic experiences. Once Ron Howard and co manage to remove all the bullshit and get down to the puzzle then it's not quite as bad. I mean it's not good but it's not the worst thing I've ever seen. Plus, Tom Hanks is so fucking likeable that it's easy to get swept away. So, despite the fact that I never bothered to read Inferno I was interested in how it would work on screen.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Fair warning, I've just got to the end of a week of 7am starts and I'm feeling tired and melodramatic right now. 2016 is turning out to be a pretty dismal year all things considered and this last week has definitely been a tough one. It started with the news that the great Leonard Cohen had died at 82 and then continued to reveal that Donald Trump would become the next President of the United States. Then Nigel fucking Farage has been popping up spreading his usual bigoted bullshit and looking extremely pleased with himself. It's too much. We've lost so many talented people and seen too many political upsets this year and we're still only in November. I'm going to blame this difficult week for the fact that I haven't done any reading. I've just been hiding in my room, listening to Leonard Cohen songs, and pretending 2016 isn't happening. Only a month and a bit until we can start a new year and leave this awfulness behind us. 2017 has to be THE year, right?

Thursday, 10 November 2016

TBT - Liar Liar (1997)

This has been an absurd week really. Just when we thought no political decision could out crazy Brexit America decides it's time to up the game. The world has changed dramatically thanks to the this weeks American election. We've been through weeks of incredibly mean campaigns and general horribleness only to be left with scenes of despair, fear and violence when the least likely Presidential candidate actually fucking won. Still, I also feel that it's not really my place to go too far into how much of a fuck up this could be. It will have an effect on everyone but will have a major effect on the people who live in American who aren't white, male and straight. It's crazy and I can see why people are worried. Even if Trump does eventually tire of politics it won't exactly leave us in a better position. Compared to the rest of his party, he's fucking liberal. He goes and we get Mike Pence. Hardly comforting. Anyway, this has never been a political blog so it's time to get back to normal life. So, for this TBT I decided to find a film that both summed up my feelings about this election and provided an escape from reality. Liar Liar is a film that works on both levels.


Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Mascots (2016)

I've had another pretty relaxed day off today. I've done a lot of sorting and tidying, which I of course have been putting off for a few days now. So now that my surroundings are clear my mind must also be feeling refreshed, right? Well, I can't promise that. I've been working my way up to writing this review for a while and have been unable to find the best way to start it. I think I sometimes find it difficult to collect my thoughts quickly after I finally watch a film that I've wanted to see for a while. I should really work my schedule better so I have the time but then I wouldn't be the same old unorganised mess that you've all come to know and love. So whilst I doubt this will ever be mistaken for the greatest thing I've ever written, I can at least take comfort in the fact that I'm finally getting around to taking something of my Netflix 'to watch' list. This is one of those films that I regularly scroll past during those moments when I'm desperately looking for something to watch. For the past few weeks I've guiltily ignored it in favour of rewatching everything I've ever seen. Not today though. Today I conquer something even greater than my ever expanding wardrobe. And it feels fucking great.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Once again, I've have a Sunday off and I've done fuck all. This week has been a bit of a boring one. Work is increasingly frustrating and applying for jobs is back in full, repetitive, swing. Still, I'm remaining hopeful and trying to look into ways that I can prove myself. Bribery, selling my soul to the devil, that kind of thing. I've also, finally, come to the conclusion that I am too keen to wilfully spend my money on shit I don't need so I've been trying super hard to not do that. Unfortunately, the shit I don't need is actually really fun. So it's been a difficult start. I am, however, a stubborn old mule and will persevere. If I can only get rid of some of my stuff as well I might actually start resembling a functioning adult... or at least someone who could one day turn into one.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

TBT - The Addams Family (1991)

When I was younger our local village shop started renting out films on VHS. Yes, that does probably age me horribly but I lived through a golden age of video tapes, cassettes and floppy disks and I'm not about to hide that. Anyway, there were a couple of films available that I became obsessed with and always tried to get my father to rent for us. It drove my twin sister a bit mad because she got bored with them but I really didn't give a shit. One of them was Addams Family Values. I fucking loved that film. It was everything to my pre-teen self. I'm pretty sure it's the reason I love Joan Cusack so bloody much. Which makes it weirder that I don't think I saw its predecessor until quite a few years later. I don't know how I managed it but I somehow avoided the 1991 Addams Family film. Thankfully I've seen it more than enough times to make up for it now. And, as I never actually got round to creating that list of alternative Halloween films that I promised you, I decided I would discuss it here for my post-Halloween TBT. After all, along with last Thursday's Hocus Pocus, it definitely would have made the list.


Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Magical Creatures I Would Most Like to Encounter

It's the start of November and that can only mean two things. Number 1: Christmas shit will start appearing in every shop and adverts will start talking about presents and Turkeys. Number 2: The Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them film is coming out in a matter of days. Now, I can't say that I was too pleased to hear that it would lead to a series of 5 films because it feels like a shameless money grabbing scheme but I am excited about the first one. I have such love for Eddie Redmayne that I can't wait to see him as Newt Scamander and it'll be good to expand the wizarding world beyond Harry Potter's tiny glimpse. I, like every good Potterhead, have my very own copy of the Fantastic Beasts book along with Quidditch Through the Ages and have done since they were first released for Comic Relief way back in 2001. And, just like every other good Potterhead, I spent time devouring the book and wondering which of the magical creatures I'd most like as a pet. In honour of the upcoming film I decided to make it official but, as so many of the creatures are not exactly domesticated, I decided it was only fair to change the rules to creatures I'd like to see the most.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet

It seems as though last Tuesday was about a month ago but, as it turns out, it was only 7 days. You may remember that last week's blog post was a bit of an unusual one thanks to some unexpected news. Instead of my scheduled review of the Man Booker 2016 Shortlisted His Bloody Project I spent the Tuesday review in a rather angry and sad analysis of a rejection for a job I really wanted. I've had time to come to terms with it now and, even though I'm still feeling all of those things, I'm not dwelling. I'm applying for more and trying to organise some useful shit to help me in the future. Now that I'm once again of sound-ish mind, I'm going to attempt to do what I wanted to last week. It may not have won the Man Booker Prize but His Bloody Project was a worthy, if unexpected, entry on this year's shortlist. It's my favourite entry on the shortlist... but, then again, it's the only one I've actually read.


Sunday, 30 October 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Today has been horrendous. Last night was my work friend's 21st birthday so we all went out. It's safe to say the gin was flowing quickly. Unfortunately, I happened to be working at 7am today. Even with the added hour I gained by the clocks changing, I've spent the day in a bit of a haze trying to get my brain to speed up. Somehow I made it through my 9 hour shift without any problems but I've spent the evening doing nothing. I just really want sleep so this will be brief. Also, because I've not had a very exciting literary week.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

TBT - Hocus Pocus (1993)

It's weird to think about it now that Hocus Pocus is a cult classic but when it was first released in the 90s the film bombed at the box office. The critics hated it and people just didn't go an see it in the cinema. However, as we've seen with a shitload of supposedly terrible films, over the years it has become a fan favourite and a cult Halloween classic. It's pretty much the only film I'd say is a must-have viewing over the fright season. Who needs scary movies and gore when you have Bette Midler and that nun from Sister Act dressed as witches and luring children to their home? Nobody that's who. I realise I'm someone who dislikes the horror genre but that doesn't make my point any less valid... does it? Well, I don't give a shit. I've loved Hocus Pocus since I was a kid and I'm pretty sure I watch it every year around this time. It's the only time I've enjoyed something starring Sarah Jessica Parker.


Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Tuesday's Reviews: job rejection

I'm going to be honest with you. I really don't give a fuck about my schedule this week. I was all set to sit down and write a review of His Bloody Project when I found out that I didn't get the job I was so excited about. Don't get me wrong, I didn't think it was in the bag but to hear the words "lack of experience" again just fucking killed me. So I've gone off book for one time only and am going to have another of my famous rants mixed with a little self-loathing and depression. I apologise in advance because this post isn't really going to offer a great deal to the world except insight into the world of a 28 year old job seeker who's slowly losing hope. It's just that I've spent the last few weeks trying to act positive and being grateful for any opportunity and, really, I can't be fucking bothered to hide my true thoughts anymore. I'm full of those typical post-rejection feelings of sadness, anger and fear so I need to get them out somewhere. I can promise you it'll be melodramatic and highly irrational. Best not to take too much notice.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I've been no help whatsoever today. I was at work at 7 and I managed to spill not 1, not 2 but 4 drinks all over the place. It's been a tough few days where we've had loads of customers and not enough staff. Really fucking frustrating but we got through it. So, it explains why all I've done since I got home is nap. It's pathetic but I needed it. It does, however, mean I'm really late with this post. Which actually sees me finish a book for a change. It's a joyous occasion but I've just got through my first Man Booker 2016 nominee. Now is the difficult choice of what to read next. I have too many great options. Hopefully I'll get through it quicker now I've had the two interviews for the job I applied for. Still haven't heard but silently hopeful. In preparation for the second interview I've been obsessively listening to the Hamilton soundtrack and I'm stuck in another endless cycle of Lin-Manuel Miranda's genius. It's so fucking good though. My favourite song changes daily. I'd do anything to get tickets for it's UK run. I don't hold out much hope though.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

TBT - The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)

When The Diary of a Teenage Girl came out last year I was desperate to see it. Of course, I didn't see it at the time and it has been calling to me every time I opened Netflix recently. The graphic novel has been in my Amazon basket for months as well. It's exactly the kind of thing I was bound to get obsessed with. You know the score by now: feminism and shit. Although, upon its release it caused something of a controversy as all the best things do. The critics loved it but the 18 rating was a fairly controversial topic in the UK. The film was given a high rating for its sexual content. However, as a film about a teenage girl coming to terms with her own sexuality, it meant nobody that this story was relevant to would have seen it at the cinema. Even the film's star Bel Powley came out to urge teenagers to sneak into the film to embrace its message. I mean, really, it's a fair point. Yes, there's a lot of dark and adult themes running through the film but, it's not more sexually suggestive than many of the films out there with a lower rated. I realise that we live in a world where we try and protect people from certain things but it always seemed fucked up that people were trying to keep this film from the people who it was made for. Still, that doesn't matter now it's been out for so long. Anyone can see it now and, without wanting to spoil anything, they all should.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Haters Back Off (2016)

Over the last few months my dedication to YouTube has waned slightly and I don't regularly watch as many videos as I used to. However, over the years I've been through a series of obsessions with certain channels before getting bored of them. I guess because, when it comes to these things, I have the attention span similar to the life of a mayfly. One of the people I used to be an avid subscriber of was Miranda Sings. When I first watched the videos created by Colleen Ballinger I thought they were fucking hilarious but, over time, everything was just painfully similar. The character is absurd, sure, but there is only so many videos you can make around the concept before it becomes a bit too familiar. However, I am obsessed with her brother's vlog channel so I feel like I've been hearing about the Miranda Sings Netflix show for absolutely ages. So, when it finally came out on Friday, I decided I should watch it.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So this week came with some good news and some bad news. Fortunately, it was the same news so I didn't need to get my head around multiple revelations. I got a second interview for the job I mentioned the other week. It's fantastic because it means I didn't fuck up as much as I thought I did but it's terrible because it gives me more opportunities to fuck up. However, I'm all about the self-belief at the moment. By which I mean I'm delusional. Nah, it's going to be fine. And I'll make sure to have a large supply of doughnuts waiting for me when I'm done. The one thing I've learnt in my 28 years on this planet is that there isn't any emotional problem that carbohydrates can't solve.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

TBT - Horns (2013)

Thanks to a 20 year old hispter I work with I've spent the last few months revisiting the music of my youth. We've had a bit of a 90s revival recently which consisted of the two of us singing the Spice Girls and B*Witched as loud as possible to the alarm of our coworkers. It's now moved on to the 80s focusing mainly on The Smiths and Spandau Ballet. I used to love The Smiths as a teenager but my tastes have grown up with me. Thankfully I'm less of a pretentious dick these days. However, it's fucking sad that such a large part of my musical soundtrack has just disappeared. I'm madly making throwback Spotify playlists as I type. I mention it because as I watched today's film pick I heard so many songs I haven't really listened to in years that the wave of nostalgia left me feeling warm and fuzzy. Something it's star, Daniel Radcliffe, normally fails to do. It was only after he got my seal of approval in Swiss Army Man that I decided it was time to give some more of his post-Potter films a chance. He was kinda funny in that so shit can he be in the rest, right? I've always liked the sound of Horns. I've never read the book by Joe Hill because, as anyone who's ever read my Sunday Rundowns will know, I'm pretty shit at getting books read. However, from what I knew of the plot I figured it would be an interesting concept. Would the film live up to my own hype though?


Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Swiss Army Man (2016)

We all know that I was a pretty big Harry Potter fan back in my day and I have a great deal of love for the film series that goes with it. However, I can't say I've ever been that convinced by Daniel Radcliffe as an actor. He always seemed kind of shitty especially when he came face-to-face with some of Britain's finest actors. Harry has always been one of the worst parts of the whole series because he's such a whiny fuck and Daniel hardly did anything to make him any better. So when the series ended I didn't exactly follow his post-Potter career with any real gusto. I mean the guy really doesn't come across well in interviews and seemed to pick any old piece of shit to appear in. I just couldn't be bothered. Until this year with the release of a film that sounded so fucking odd I couldn't say no. Of course, that didn't get me to the cinema in any real amount of time but I finally watched the film that could easily have been an episode of The Mighty Boosh or something.

Sunday, 9 October 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

This has been a bit of a non-week if I'm honest. I'm still waiting to hear back about this interview and, according to an email update, I won't hear until at least Wednesday. I'm trying to forget about it but it's difficult when you want something so much. So I've thrown myself into a distracting cycle of Netflix binges. It's not clever or helpful but it does take my mind off everything. So I'm sorry that I'm still reading the book I expected to have finished by now but that's just what I've got to do. At the same time I've been spending my wages without a care. Clothes and books that I really don't need are littering my bedroom floor shaming me for my lack of self-control. Although, after seeing the pictures of this years Books Are My Bag tote I knew I had to have one. It's gorgeous. And if you're getting the bag then you at least need to buy a book as well. You know, National Book Shop Day and all.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

TBT - Stargate (1994)

It was a fucking glorious day last weekend when I discovered Stargate had made its way onto Netflix. The 90s science fiction film that proceeded the television series is something of a cult classic starring the fabulous Kurt Russell and James Spader. I couldn't wait to watch it. When it came out in the mid-90s, Stargate was pulled apart by critics. Some of the reviews are fucking brutal. None more so than the late Roger Ebert's one star review. In fact the film remained on his list of worst ever movies for the rest of his life. Even before you watch it that's quite a reputation. Any film that creates so much hatred from critics inevitably goes on to be a fan favourite. It made a shitload when it opened in cinemas and has become a confirmed cult classic. It's nowhere near being a great movie but it does make great viewing. So much so that its welcome arrival on Netflix prompted me to abandon plans to discuss JJ Abrams' Star Trek for this Throwback Thursday and, instead, allow me to spend some time convincing you all to give this one a shot.


Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 fictional characters I'd want in my zombie apocalypse squad

These Top 10 Wednesdays really sneak up on me so I'm always caught off guard. I don't know why I'm so shit at remembering considering it happens at the start of every new month. I try and spend the month thinking about the next one but still feel unprepared when the day finally arrives. This month I wanted to celebrate the upcoming ghoulish celebrations by making it Halloween themed but my proposed Top 10 Alternative Halloween films list just didn't happen. So I've decided to keep that for closer to the day and have instead decided to delve into a topic that is fairly controversial for me. I think I've made it clear that I'm fucking bored by zombies these days but, at a time like this. you can't really get away from the little buggers. So it begs the question, if the day ever comes when the undead decide to fight back who do I really want by my side? What I'm essentially doing is creating the cast list for my ultimate dream zombie apocalypse movie. And I know what you're thinking, why not just find 10 characters who have survived zombie apocalypses? Well, that would be both boring and not as much fun. So, I've avoided that wherever possible. It's going to be great. But probably not. You know who these things go.

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

I've had mixed feelings about this film since I first saw the trailer. I hadn't exactly been blown away by 2013's Into Darkness despite my love of Benedict Cumberbatch. I just didn't like the silliness that the trailer seemed to be portraying. It was trying to go down the Guardians of the Galaxy route with the references to The Beastie Boys. It felt fucking desperate if I'm honest. Like it's just trying to fit in with the other spacey blockbusters instead of trying to be something new. Of course, there was still hope. I know I've said a lot of shit about Simon Pegg over the years but the fact that he came on board as co-writer surely had to be a good thing. I mean the man helped write Spaced and a trilogy of films that succeeded 2 out of 3 times. At the very least we'd have enough in-jokes and references to keep is preoccupied long enough to not notice how shit everything else was. So, with only a month to go before the film comes out I finally got round to watching it.

Sunday, 2 October 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

This week I've done badly with reading again. The reason is the same as it was last week. On Thursday I had an interview and since last Friday I've been madly preparing and trying to calm my nerves. I'm not sure how it went but I know I could have done better answering the questions. It's safe to say, with my past experiences, that I don't have my hopes up but it's a job that I really want. Still, it's out of my hands for now so I've spent my time since Thursday playing Civilisation V. It's been fucking awesome. I'd forgotten that I'd bought it until the game was discounted on Steam. I've bought so much shit in their sales over the years that I have an unlimited supply of games I've never or rarely played. So to ignore my increasing fears of rejection I've been trying to dominate a digital world. I always intend to try a peaceful campaign for as long as possibly but easily fall into the joy of military victory. Well, I am British. As if I can avoid creating an massive Empire with my huge fleet of war ships.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

TBT - Daredevil Season 1 Episode 1

I realise I'm super far behind the times with getting around to this series but I'm nothing if not unusual. Friends have been telling me to watch this for ages but I just never did. Of course, after watching the fucking awesome Jessica Jones and being so close to Luke Cage day, it seemed like now was the perfect time to start it. I mean when it comes down to it the only thing that was really holding me back was the dreadful Daredevil film from 2003. You know the super shitty one Ben Affleck made before he became a worthwhile member of Hollywood. Yes, I know it's been a while but the memory still sticks. Get over it, you cry. I understand. It's a silly thing to be so upset about but there was no need for it to be quite so bad. Of course, it's going to look extra silly next to the films of the Golden Age of Marvel but even back then it was fucking embarrassing. Now I'm not trying to claim I'm the biggest of Daredevil fans but there always seemed to be so much potential there. I mean he's blind for fuck's sake. A blind superhero. How can any mess that up? So, even though I knew the odds for the Netflix series were good I couldn't help but have my doubts.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Luke Cage Streets Trailer

So I've decided to forgo my usual Tuesday review in honour of Netflix's latest Luke Cage trailer. With only a matter of days before the first series of Marvel's latest television series kicks off on Friday, we have been offered another trailer showing us what to expect from the series that we've all been waiting impatiently for. This may seem like something of a cop out, and in a sense it is, but I can't help it. I'm really fucking excited about this show. Luke Cage was the best thing to come out of Jessica Jones (David Tennant aside obviously) and Mike Colter was just perfect as the bullet proof barman. Let's all be honest, as great as I think Kristen Ritter's performance was, Jessica herself is kind of irritating. The whole troubled past, drunk thing just didn't get me. She was too self-righteous and holier than though in a way only rivalled by Buffy Summers. The whole 'I can do this without help from anyone ever" thing is just dull. Accept help. It worked for the fucking Avengers. Despite this, her brief relationship with Luke was fantastic and it was a massive shame when he left the scene. It was a long wait for this series.. and I say that as someone who only watched it a matter of months ago. God help all the people who watched the series when it first came out.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I've had a busy day today so I've been super late with all of my postings. I've got a genuine excuse for my distraction... honest. No seriously, this isn't like those other times when I've just laid in bed and not had the energy to get to my keyboard. I've been working and doing stuff. So I'm here, late on a Sunday night before a Monday early shift and I'm madly trying to remember what I've done this week, It's been a weirdly quiet one. After being on a bit of a spending spree recently I promised myself I wasn't going to buy more books and I nearly got through a week without it. Of course, being me, I didn't make it a whole 7 days. Damn this obsessive book love. It'll be the death of me... or at least my bank balance.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

TBT - Batman (1989)

Everyone has their favourite incarnation of Bruce Wayne. After this years Batman vs Superman some may well say Batffleck is their number one and even I have to admit that he was ABS-olutely fantastic in the role. Then there are those fucking idiots that will say Christian Bale is the top dog. However, that just goes to prove that people are easily pleased and that Christopher Nolan can make anyone look better than they are. There's a reason that Heath Ledger is the main thing people talk about when they discuss the Dark Knight trilogy: Christian Bale is so forgettable in the role the supporting characters outshine him. I also imagine, because human beings continue to surprise me, that there are those who prefer the nippley George Clooney and Val Kilmer. Of course, we all know that they are probably mentally unstable or have only seen Joel Schumacher’s two films. Now when it comes to the ultimate Batman there can only be one real winner. Yes, my favourite and, by association, the Number 1 big screen portrayal of Gotham's vigilante is Michael Keaton. Tim Burton's Batman and the slightly superior Batman Returns are just amazing. Which is why I'm going to talk about the first of them this week.


Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice

I really don't want to write this review. I've sat with it open ever since I got home from work and I've not managed to come up with anything. If I'm honest, I never actually wanted to watch this fucking film. I mean Man of Steel was just dreadful and proved that Zac Snyder really should have called it quits on comic book movies after Watchmen was only hated by a handful of people. Those of you who were around at the time of my review of the first of Snyder's Superman films will remember that, aside from it being badly written and really fucking long, it was't exactly complimentary. I just didn't get Snyder's vision for the most popular alien in the DCEU. Still, those photos of Ben Affleck looking super buff got me interested and I finally decided it was time to watch it. I was a big fan of the Batffleck before watching this film so it would be just like Snyder to fuck that up for me too. I decided it was right to watch the Ultimate Edition and, after a gruelling day at work, I sat down for a gruelling 3 hours of muted tones, smack you in the face symbolism, and terrible parts for women. Classic Snyds. 

Sunday, 18 September 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Today has been all about eating unfortunately. I had a massive Scottish breakfast this morning and. despite not wanting any proper meals, I've snacked way more than somebody who feasted on so many calories earlier should. Thankfully, I'm getting back into my regular exercise routine and am at the point where I actually want to do something when I get home from work. It won't last because it never does. This is why I have to mention my triumphs so much. They're so few and far between that I need to make a lasting record of them. Otherwise, who would fucking believe me? It's kind of like the reason I do this rundown. If I don't write down what I'm reading and buying then how would I ever keep track? I've tried to keep a reading list but I always forgot to update it. It meant I could never remember how many books I read in one year. Making it impossible to set myself yearly goals. One day, with the use of this blog, I'll become an organised and put together human adult... or at least as close as someone with the amount of toy swords and guns possibly can get.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

TBT - Finders Keepers by Stephen King

Today has been so bloody hot again that I've done so little. I can't focus on anything. I could easily have written this hours ago but, once again, we're fast approaching the time at which I need to be asleep in order to function for my 7am start tomorrow and I'm finishing the damn thing. It's not as if I can't keep to a deadline I'm just in this hot weather haze where the idea of doing anything other than watch Netflix seems too taxing. I spent some time trying to organise my room and nearly fell off a step ladder earlier. It's just one of those days. The thing I've done best at today is spent money on clothes that I really didn't need. I mean I really really wanted them but I definitely didn't need them. After that, I've been fairly successful at reading. It's amazing how easy it's become now I'm reading a book I actually want to pick up. His Bloody Project may be the only Man Booker Prize nominated book I've read but that doesn't mean it shouldn't be my favourite. Oh, what a difference it is to that End of Watch. I kind of wish I could get my time back from Stephen King after reading his Bill Hodges trilogy. You know, add up the minutes, take them off his life and put them onto mine. Only seems fair. That final book was ridiculous. Although, they kind of all were.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - End of Watch by Stephen King

I know its getting to be a habit that I tart every post by telling you I intended to write about another topic but I genuinely had plans to write about something else today. After finally watching Suicide Squad last week I had decided it was time to watch Batman vs Superman. I meant to watch it this weekend. I even tracked down a copy. It was the fucking ultimate edition and everything. With over 30 minutes of Zack Synder nonsense! However, when it came down to it, the idea of a a whopping 3 hours of shit like The Man of Steel but with added Batfleck and Khal Drogo just didn't appeal. So, in celebration of finally finishing this book after weeks of trying, I decided to give you my thoughts on the final part of Stephen King's Bill Hodges trilogy. Mainly because I can't find one person on the internet who doesn't absolutely fucking love it. And, more mysteriously if you ask me, nobody is bemoaning the use of present tense which is still super annoying to read in. It utterly mystifies me. I mean, did King actually write these as film scripts but decide it was better to get them as novels first? It sounds so childish. Like the kind of shit you'd write in primary school but with actual punctuation and symbolism and shit.


Sunday, 11 September 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I feel like I'm never going to get over this cold. I'm getting sick of feeling sorry for myself and being so melodramatic all the time. However, I swear that my head has been full of concrete for the past few days. It's the kind of cold that kids me into thinking I'm okay when I first wake up but comes back with a vengeance as the day goes on. It doesn't help that the kitchen has been fucking boiling lately. I honestly dream of getting a job that doesn't require me to work in a similar environment to Satan himself. How long until the comforting chill of Winter? Seriously, I need to get my knitwear out. This sun is doing nothing for me anymore.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

TBT - See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989)

Last week the great Gene Wilder died at the age of 83. Whilst the news was upsetting, I have to admit that a part of me thought he was already dead. Plus, in the ensuing days it really showed me that my ability to differentiate between Gene Wilder and Gene Hackman was sorely lacking. I lost count of the number of times I confused those two. Now, when a colleague mentioned the news the other day she referred to it as "the death of Willy Wonka". Now, because I never miss a chance to argue with people, I declared this as being an insult to an actor with so much talent. What of his work with Mel Brooks and his films with Richard Pryor? Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka is iconic, no doubt, but he is more than that. Besides, I don't think I've ever really liked Wilder's interpretation of the owner of the world famous chocolate factory. I'm fucking stubborn and it didn't fit with my idea of the book. Still, Wilder was a phenomenal performer and probably had a huge impact on many people's childhoods. I even considered reviewing it for this post. However, I've always been a bit freaked out by that one fucking creepy scene on the boat and didn't want to go through it again. Like the well-adjusted adult that I am. I also think, as adaptations go, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory isn't as good as it could have been. As such, I've never been the biggest fan. So I turned to the ever reliable Netflix to see what alternatives I could find. Turns out, not many. Now, if I was a person with more time and less laziness I would have gone down the Mel Brooks route. Unfortunately, I'm not that person. Instead I'm the kind of gal that will pick one of his shitty comedies because of how easy it is to watch.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Top 10 WEN-sday - Top 10 Books I'd Rather Be Reading Than End of Watch

I'm currently still reading the final book in Stephen King's Bill Hodges trilogy, End of Watch, and I'm hating every moment of it. I can't wait to finish it and, I have to be honest, I've looked ahead to find out how it ends. It's not great but I've spent so much time on it that I feel like I have to finish. This always happens to me, I start a book and try so hard to finish it that I just keep going despite knowing it won't be any good. Obviously, as I'm struggling to read it not only makes it harder to finish but it's also highlighting how many other things I could be reading. As you know from my weekly rundowns, I have a problem with buying too many books so I have plenty to be getting on with. They all sit looking at me as I struggle to give a shit about Brady's fucking psychic powers and Bill's cancer. So I've compiled a list of the books I'd rather be reading than this shit. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Suicide Squad (2016)

I've recently stated on more than one occasion recently that I wasn't going to watch Suicide Squad until it came out on DVD. I just didn't give enough of a shit and, from everything I heard, it seemed fucking awful. I'm not the biggest Will Smith fan these days and Jared Leto's Joker was obviously nothing more than a marketing ploy. In my mind there were too many wild cards that I just wasn't sure would work. I mean Cara Delevingne seems like a funny and lovely person but I couldn't see her in this role. I could see why she would be picked as the manic pixie dream girl in a John Green adaptation but the all powerful Enchantress? I didn't like the sound of it. Plus, there was too much pressure on Margot Robbie to pull off Harley Quinn. I, like the entire internet, love the character so was worried as soon as the film was announced. It would be such a Warner Bros thing to completely fuck up one of the greatest female characters in the DC universe. Still, surely it couldn't be as bad as the dreary Man of Steel? I still haven't seen Batman vs Superman so still have hope that DC can, one day, pull off a Marvel. Would Suicide Squad blow it's closest MCU equivalent The Avengers out of the water?

Sunday, 4 September 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I'm running so late with this because I promised to help out my brother-in-law with an essay he's got to hand in. I've supposedly been proofreading it since Friday but I've really only just got round to it. This weekend has been rough so I've just put it off. So I'm rushing to get this out but I've not really done a great deal this week. I promise you aren't missing out on much.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

TBT - Step Brothers (2008)

After watching Sisters for this week's Tuesday review I was all set to re-watch Baby Mama for the accompanying TBT post. However, the last few days have been tough and I haven't had the time. So, in keeping with the apparent theme of the week, I had to come up with a plan B. When Sisters first came out last year a lot of critics made a connection between it and the Will Ferrell/John C Reilly film Step Brothers. It just so happens that I fucking love that film so it didn't take much to persuade me to review it for this week's post. It's one of those Will Ferrell films that you can just quote on any occasion and it is an unrelentingly funny film. If there was any film that deserved a TBT review then it was this one. Plus, the idea of having to watch the shitty Baby Mama again was too fucking abysmal. I mean that family guy joke about the film totally rings true. "What happens when a 40 year old woman asks her 41 year old friend to carry her baby?" I love the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler but that film is so hard to love. Give me Will Ferrell and John C Reilly shouting and fighting any day of the week.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Sisters (2015)

I have to be honest with you, I wasn't expecting to be reviewing this film this week. It was a last minute watch so I could find something to talk about. I was supposed to go and see David Brent: Life on the Road with some guys at work but they proved to be too unreliable. I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad about this. From what I've heard it's good but, obviously, nothing compared to The Office. I'm sure it'll be funnier than Gervais' last outing Special Correspondents but how easy will it be to slip back into David Brent. To be honest, once The Office finished I was done with Brent. I didn't watch the shitty Learn Guitar series that he released on YouTube a few years ago because it just felt to desperate. Maybe that was just me? I love Gervais but he really believes that everything he does is the best example of comedy. If there's one thing he last experiences in Hollywood have taught us, it's that Gervais isn't suited to every format. Just like the pair of funny women heading up the film at the heart of this review. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have not always been as funny on the big screen as they have been known to be on television. Now I'm not saying they've had fuck loads of major disasters but the films they star in tend to be forgettable ones. I had no real expectations for Sisters except that I was going to freak out whenever Kate McKinnon was on screen.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I've been back at work this week after my weeks holiday and its been dreadful. Everyone is ill so I've come down with a cold. I'm aching and exhausted because I spent a week doing fuck all. I haven't been reading anything and my Instagram game is going downhill. It's just been a dreadful time and I need to sort out my priorities again. I've gotten so fucking lazy in the wake of 5am starts. Turns out I, like the rest of humanity, really do need sleep to function properly. Next week I'll be in bed in good time and reading at least a chapter before I turn in. Well, it's a lovely dream, isn't it...

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

TBT - Finding Nemo (2003)

The thing I never get about grown-up Disney fans is the obsession with the Princesses. As a 28 year old who has a room filled with toys and a wardrobe full of clothes covered in pop culture references, I worry about all of the people that walk around covered in garish depictions of the royal women of Disney. I don't really think I've ever been as enamoured with the Princess ones as I have with the animal ones. Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White are all well and good but I didn't give a shit about finding Prince Charming pr having the big fancy wedding. I loved The Fox and the Hound and 101 Dalmatians because I really love dogs. I didn't want to be Aurora: I wanted to be Simba. I guess, when it comes down to it, animated films are better suited to non-human characters because it is able to give a voice to those without a voice. I realise that live action films about animals do exist but there is something so creepy about it. I mean Babe is a great film but talk about the uncanny.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Finding Dory (2016)

Pixar have established themselves as the greatest animation studio in Hollywood right now. They are beloved by critics and audiences alike but they have never been able to harness they talent to become consistent. One moment they release a showstopping film like Inside Out and the next they're offering the forgettable Good Dinosaur. For every Toy Story 3 there is a Brave to follow. Pixar have managed to create some of the greatest animated films of all time but they have also been responsible for some truly shitty ones. Plus, they don't really have a great track record with sequels. They constantly churn out follow-ups to their big films but they have generally had trouble meeting the expectations set by the first. There is the odd occasion in which the second film will be better , Toy Story 2, but for every success there is a Cars 2. So the announcement back in 2012 that there would be a sequel to the fucking awesome Finding Nemo it was a bit of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, we all wanted to see what was happening to our favourite characters yet we didn't want our love of the original to be put in jeopardy thanks to an underwhelming sequel. I guess that fear is the main reason it took me so bloody long to get round to seeing it.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So it's the day after my sister got married and I'm fucking exhausted. All I can think about it sleeping for a day. The last few days have been incredibly unhealthy and I need to get back into my healthier routine and start doing some exercise again. I also need to try and curb my spending for this week because wedding are fucking expensive. Still, the week off I took in preparation has proved to be useful in terms of getting shit done bookwise. I finished the book I started just over a week ago, which is better than I'd expected. There was probably some sort of bridesmaid duties I should have been doing instead but it all turned out fine in the end. My plan now the wedding is over is to hide away in my room with my books and make sure nobody takes my picture again. For someone as unphotogenic as me (seriously that's not me being coy or modest, I seriously don't photograph well) it's been a hellish couple of days. I'm dreading any pictures of me making their way onto Facebook. All those photos are just another reason to never get married I suppose.

Thursday, 18 August 2016

TBT - Starsky & Hutch (2004)

My sister's wedding is getting ever closer so I'm not exactly focused on the blog this week. There's a lot of sorting, cleaning and final mad panic buys going on round here that I've been a bit lazy with my selections this week. High-Rise was something I've had on my list for ages and I watched it when I had a spare evening. My pick for today had even less thought behind it. Netflix suggested it to me last weekend and, as it's been such a fucking age since I saw it, didn't hesitate. Now, every week I try and get my Tuesday and Thursday posts to match up in some way: that might be by actor, genre or director but, as is usually the case, it's based on whatever flimsy connection I can create. This weeks connection is the 1970s. Both of this week's films are set in the 70s and that was enough of a connection to prevent me madly searching for a film set in a tower block or just watching the 90s adaptation of Crash. Neither of those things fit into my schedule or filled me with a massive amount of desire. So here we have it. A random film that you'll probably all have watched many many times. It almost doesn't seem worth bothering but when have I ever been known to listen to common sense?

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - High-Rise (2015)

I can't deny that I've been super bad this year at getting round to all of the films that I wanted to see. I had plans to watch Ben Wheatley's adaptation of J. G. Ballard's 1975 dystopian novel but, thanks to my flaky friends, I never managed to see it at the cinema. Then, because I continue to be useless at life, I have only just got round to it. Still, that's something to celebrate, right? So I decided, in lieu of any current release to talk about today, I'd give my opinion of a film that almost convinced my that Tom Hiddleston could be an okay Bond. Although, I remain unconvinced and will forever dream of a world in which Idris Elba doesn't feel too old to take the name over. However, there is no denying that Hiddleston absolutely dominates in this role. As he does in basically all of them at this point.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

It's just under a week until my older sister gets married so my whole life seems consumed with wedding fever at the moment. I've helped make centre pieces and decorations. I'm trying to keep my parents stress free whilst constantly worrying that my dress won't fit and having nervous breakdowns about the sheer volume of photos I'll be required to appear in. I'm sure it'll be a lovely day but I'm taking the week off so I can spend the coming few days hiding from every potential source of stress. I've already spent most of today in bed and getting further into my current read. I'd say that the amount of time I've spent napping is nothing more than disgusting but I'm off work for a week. I deserve this.   

Thursday, 11 August 2016

TBT - Hook (1991)

My twin sister and I really loved Hook when we were younger. It's a really good children's film that we found utterly hilarious. I mean, if I'm honest, it was mainly down to the fat kid and his weird dancing but it's something. We rewatched that film as often as we could and I'm certain we would quote along with it. We must have really worn out the ribbon on the VHS copy we owned. Jesus, that statement makes me feel fucking old. Something else that made me feel old was finding out that Hook turns 25 this week. Has anyone else seen that picture of the Lost Boys as they are now? God dammit, those Lost Boys really grew up. Still, it provided the perfect chance to talk about it for TBT. I always enjoy the chance to revisits a classic from my childhood. The fact that it also marks the 2nd anniversary of Robin William's death is just fate.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - The Woman Next Door by Yewande Omotoso

Those of you reading my latest Sunday rundown will know that I planned to upload this book review last week but The Cursed Child came along and ruined my plan. So I had to shelve my plans until now but I'm sure it'll be worth the wait. The Woman Next Door first came to my attention thanks to Instagram and it sat on myself for weeks before I finally opened the pages. Then, as you'll again see from my rundowns, it took me bloody ages to get the thing finished because of this fucking awful reading slump I've been in. However, it eventually happened and I have to say it's the most I've enjoyed a book for ages. I didn't really have the sneaky feeling that I was finishing it for the sake of it that I've felt with a lot of my previous reads. As such, I decided it warranted more than a simple breakdown on Sunday. I've always said I'd recommend this book to anyone so I figured it was time I did just that.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

This week feels like a victory because not only have I finished 1 book but I finished a second only a day after finishing the first one. Of course, since then I've done barely any reading but we can gloss over that. It hasn't helped that all of my shifts got changed this week and I've had over a week of 7am starts. It's really fucking with my sleep patterns and I'm finding myself going to bed at Grandma standard times. I can't even make it through a whole chapter of a fucking children's book before my eyes start to droop. Is it too much to ask that I find a job will more sociable hours? Oh, and one that won't continually scar me and fuck up my nails and skin. As you can tell, I'm so tired that I'm in an extra ranty mood. I've been a joy to work with.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

TBT - Matilda (1996)

I'm starting to get insanely jealous of everyone who tells me that they've seen Steven Spielbrg's The BFG. It looks fucking amazing and I really want to see it. When you think about it, Mark Rylance is an amazing choice to play the Big Friendly Giant. The world of Roald Dhal movie adaptations hasn't always been that great. The BFG animated film was beloved by many but looks set to be pushed back into the realms of familiar nostalgia now the live action version has been released. Wes Aderson's The Fantastic Mr Fox is a great film but has divided book fans. The two film versions of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory both have their positives and negatives. And there have been a fair share of dodgy ones, of course. I'm mostly referring to the abysmal The Witches. However, my absolute favourite is the utterly brilliant Matilda. I've loved this film since I was 8 years old and will never tire of it. I'd definitely be bold enough to say that it is the best Roald Dhal adaptation that there will ever be. Although, it does make me feel super old that it celebrated it's 20th anniversary this week. Where did my youth go?

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Harry Potter Characters

Yesterday I wrote my review of The Cursed Child and expressed my disappointment that the characters didn't sound the way I was used to. That's always the problem when another writer tries to put words in the mouth of another person's creations. JK Rowling put a lot of work into her characters and really made them people we, the readers, wanted to return to time and again. When it comes to the characters of the series I've never really followed the opinion of most readers about who is the stand-out. I can't say that I ever really got on board with the character of Harry because he was always too whiny and self-important. In fact I've always maintained that Harry was the worst member of the Harry Potter universe. I understand that he's important as fuck to he proceedings but I could have done without him. Plus, I don't get this whole Dumbledore is amazing thing. He says some memorable things but all of his actions are super questionable and shady. He's the worst headmaster imaginable and his relationship with Harry is just weird and inappropriate. I don't care how many soundbites the guy has, it doesn't make him fucking Ghandi. As for the other major fan favourite? Well, I think I've made my feelings about Severus Snape pretty fucking clear by now. So, this Top Ten Wen-sday I felt it was time I made it clear who really matters to me in these books. It's about bloody time. And, despite what I said about my fantasy fictional husbands, neither Oliver Wood nor Charlie Weasley appear on this list.
 
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