Thursday, 30 June 2016

TBT - Celeste and Jesse Forever (2012)

You may have noticed that I recently changed my blog name. This is the third time I've done this since I started writing it. The first time was because, whilst in my final year of university, I chose the most pretentious name possible. Transcribing Thought was taken from the Marshall McLuhan quotation (yes, I'm that awful guy in the cinema queue in Annie Hall. I hate myself too.) "A typewriter is a means of transcribing thought, not expressing it." I thought it was deep and meaningful but it also didn't really tell you anything about my blog. The second name, Much Review About Nothing, satisfied my love of puns and Shakespeare whilst also sufficiently lowering people's expectations of my writing. Still, it didn't ever thing it fit the relaxed and sweary atmosphere I wanted here. It took ages to think of something I was happy enough with and, if I'm honest, I still don't think it'll stick. Still, it'll do for now unless anyone out there has any better ideas. Seriously, I need all the fucking help I can get.

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

I don't quite trust people who don't like The Lonely Island, the comedy music trio formed by Akiva Schaffer, Andy Samberg, and Jorma Taccone. Yes, it's completely childish and base humour but that doesn't stop it being funny. I've come up against a few people over the years who dismiss the trio as unfunny but I know at least one of those people voted to leave the EU this week so, clearly, their opinions aren't worth listening to. I've permanently got their music on my everyday Spotify playlist and at 630 am there is nothing quite like listening to 'I'm on a Boat' to get you ready for a shift. So, suffice it to say, when I heard the trio were starring in a new music mockumentary then I was excited. Particularly in this new and awful world where the likes of Justin Bieber, Katy Perry and One Direction were all getting their time on the big screen. It's about time someone came along and showed us all how absurd this all is. It's probably also the first time I've ever been this keen to see a film produced by Judd Apatow.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

This week the United Kingdom took part in a huge political decision that had the power to rock the whole world. The decision to leave the EU isn't one I voted for nor was it one that I believe we should have been left to decide in this manner. Politicians have made massive gambles to gain power and it has royally fucked the country. It has also created a situation in which hatred, anger and prejudice are becoming the norm. It's a sickening and worrying time to be here and there's fuck all we can do about it. I've spent days trying to understand what has happened and try to find some positives. But I can't. Instead I'm thinking of all the opportunists that have been ripped away from young people. All the chances that have been ripped away from me because Boris Johnston and co. have fed lies to us all for months. All I can feel is numb. Numb and upset that things are so bad in this country that a large proportion of people felt so marginalised that they targeted our connection with Europe as the reason for their suffering. Instead of getting back their rights they only voted for a situation in which their suffering will only get worse before it could possibly get better. They have created such uncertainty that we will get a Prime Minister who will, if anything, care about them even less. When they can't blame Europe who are they going to blame for their lack of benefits? This country is slowly being torn apart and we can do nothing but wait. The EU wasn't great but living in a country that is defined by its isolation and xenophobia can be no better for anyone. I never wanted to use this as a platform for this kind of thing but its where my thoughts are this week. The real world is a fucking mess and the only thing I want to do is retreat into a fictional world. I imagine my reading slump will come to an end any day now.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

TBT - Now You See Me (2013)

We all have those people that irritate us for no real reason. You know what I mean, when literally everything they do just makes you irrationally angry. There's a girl at work who is highly annoying me at the moment and I really don't understand why. We have a lot in common so should get on. However, every time she opens her mouth I just feel my entire body scrunching up in annoyance. I mean, I guess it's partly down the fact that I'm an awful person who hates pretty much all other people but I also put the blame partly on her. I mention this because Dave Franco is another of these people. I think it's because he was in that awful final season of Scrubs but I just prepare for the worst whenever he's in a film I'm watching. It's stupid, I know, to hate someone because they played a really annoying character on a TV show I didn't even really like many years ago. However, I'm just that petty and ridiculous. Which is why I was surprised to find, upon rewatching the first Now You See Me film, that I actually enjoyed Franco's work. He was funny and got into the spirit of it. Maybe I'm growing as a person? Or maybe I was just realising how stupid this film really is?

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Now You See Me 2 (2016)

I saw Now You See Me with a couple of friends and vividly remember one of them despairing about how much we enjoyed it. She said it was nonsense and the plot didn't make sense. She wasn't wrong, of course, but, as we tried to explain to her, that didn't make it any less exciting. Yes, finishing the film made you realise everything pretty much happened for no reason but it was still fun. I can't even say that I am a massive fan of magic as I'm far too cynical to appreciate it. I'm always looking for the hidden aspects and the slight of hand because that's what adults do. However, films concerning magic are always incredibly exciting. The Prestige is utterly insane when you think about it too much but that doesn't stop it being fucking amazing. So, whilst I won't be shouting it from the hill tops, I was a fan of the first film. Still, I can't say I was exactly thrilled by the idea of a sequel. Especially as it starred Daniel Radcliffe, the least talented actor of the Harry Potter films. At least Mark Ruffalo would be there and I'm sure there's a lot of things I could get through with the help of Mark Ruffalo.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Today is father's day so I hope that you're all treating your dad like a King. Me? I forced him to drive me to work at 6:45 am and left his present on the side for him to find when he got back. Who says daughterly love isn't alive and well. Still, I guess I owe a lot to my father. He's had a greater influence on my interests than I really appreciate. He's a fan of J.R.R Tolkein and bought my my first copy of The Fellowship of the Ring when I was younger. He was the one who bought me a copy of The Philosopher's Stone when it was released. His love of Arthur Conan Doyle pushed me into reading his novels as soon as I could. It was sitting with my dad and watching The Next Generation that really got me into Star Trek. No doubt there's more that his tastes have influenced but it can't be ignored that my father is responsible for some of the greatest loves that have followed me through my life. Without Toklein I wouldn't have read George RR Martin. Without that first copy of Harry Potter I would have missed out on one of the most important series of books in my life. Without TNG I wouldn't have grown up knowing what a badass Patrick Stewart is. So, despite my lack of celebration this morning, I am celebrating my father today. Who knows what kind of boring life I'd have had without his influence. 

Thursday, 16 June 2016

TBT - X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

It's been just over 10 years since Brett Ratner's addition to the series of X-Men films that Bryan Singer started back in 2000 and, without meaning to be too dramatic, it's still painful that this film exists. I know that Days of Future Past went and deleted it from the film canon but that doesn't make it any easier. I vividly remember going to see this film with my friends: I was 18 years old, full of hope and excitement at what the next instalment would bring. I left feeling utterly depressed and glad the whole thing was over. A lot of my sadness at the time revolved around the casting of Kelsey Grammer as Beast. I've always loved the character of Beast and was glad that he was set to be involved in this film. As a firm lover of Frasier I even, initially, didn't mind the casting of Grammer; I mean Hank is an intelligent and peaceful creature so I could see where they were coming from. Upon leaving I was bemoaning the fact that Beast had been so utterly wasted. As the years went by my hatred for this film only grew and, had it not been for the even more appalling X-Men Origins 3 years later, I could easily say this was worst film in the whole franchise. And, for once, I'm not just being melodramatic.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - X-Men: Apocalypse

Anyone who has been following this blog for long enough knows that I've had a long and tortured relationship with the X-Men film franchise. I've been a fan of your friendly neighbourhood mutants ever since the amazing 90s cartoon and X-Men Evolution back in early 2000. Then, of course, Bryan Singer brought the gang to the big screen in 2000 with X-Men and its superb sequel. Still, the films that followed never quite managed to achieve the original greatness so I wasn't exactly loving the prospect of X-Men: Apocalypse. Especially when each of the trailers were such utter shit. Still, a guy at work saw the film when it first came out and insisted that it was worthwhile. He pretty much loves anything he watches so I wasn't exactly convinced so it took a while to get round to it. So, will Apocalypse fall into the same traps that we saw The Last Stand did?

Sunday, 12 June 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Was going to write this earlier but was so tired when I got home from work that I had a quick nap. I'm so pathetically tired at the moment that I need to do something about it. Nothing much to report on the book front of late. I'm still buying more than I need and reading less than I should. It's just that every time I sit down to read I fall asleep. Still, I'm at least getting back into Instagram after a brief pause for my feed. Sometimes I feel as though I'm turning a corner with my photos then I take an absolutely shocking selection that I just can't make work. I guess I just don't have a natural eye for composition. It's all about wildly trying something until it works. Maybe one day it'll all make sense.

Thursday, 9 June 2016

TBT - Jaws (1974)

Jaws has a great legacy in Hollywood for still being one of the greatest films ever made. This is partly down to director Steven Spielberg's deft handling but, perhaps mostly, down to the many issues that arose during production. It was a completely troubled shoot that overran its given 55 day schedule by more than 100 days. By the time it was finished the film had cost double it's estimated $3.5 million budget and had cause Spielberg no end of stress. There were problems with props, and filming at sea proved incredibly tricky. There was great tension between the main cast and the watery setting constantly caused them to become seasick. Pretty much everything that could go wrong with filming did but it didn't stop the film. Despite all the stress, Jaws became a tremendous success and was released to positive reviews. It has remained a on Best Film lists since its release and has one of the most iconic scores in film history. It's a great achievement considering how difficult it was and given the fact that the book it's based on hasn't fared so well.

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Tuesday's Reviews - Jaws by Peter Benchley

Everyone knows the story of Jaws right? Well, I thought I did. Of course, not being too up-to-date with popular fiction of the 1970s, was only really aware of the story thanks to the film. I knew that Steven Spielberg changed much of Peter Benchley's book but had never thought to read it. Until I found a copy with the most amazing cover I'd ever seen. No matter how many times I get burned by ignoring the well-known idiom, I always judge a book by its cover. Still, I at least knew that Benchley's book was a much trashier affair than Spielberg's film so it seemed like perfect reading during the recent run of good weather. Even ex-literature students love a bit of trash every now and then. Maybe one day I'll tell you all about The Second Lady by Irving Wallace. Now that's some fucking great trash. So it was with a piqued interest that I sat down to read the book that became a surprise best-seller after its release in 1974. 

Sunday, 5 June 2016

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Posting this much later than usual because, as you'll know if you follow my Instagram, I've been in London this week visiting my friend for her birthday. I got back super late and, because I hate writing too much on my phone, I left it until now to start this. The weekend has been great and I've indulged in a lot of book talk. My friend's a fellow literature graduate so most of our conversations eventually come back round to books. Plus, she works in publishing so often has free treats for me to take away with me.  I also took way too many with me because I managed to overestimate just how much I can read on a train journey. Still, I hunkered down and got a fair bit done.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

TBT - Zombieland (2009)

On Sunday the new series of Top Gear started and, without getting into my feelings on the new format, I was glad to see Jesse Eisenberg as the star guest. Despite how awful his interviews inevitably are, I love Eisenberg and thought he was super funny when faced with Chris Evans and Gordon Ramsay. Eisenberg has made a career out of playing the awkward, geeky loner and it is something that filters out into his personal appearances. Something that has made him seem stand-offish and rude. Still, I count Eisenberg as one of my favourite actors and am convinced that, when I eventually see it, he'll be my favourite thing about Batman vs Superman. Although, I'm still not ready to see just how bad that film is yet so I decided to revisit classic Eisenberg.


Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Top 10 Wen-sday - Top 10 most heartbreaking deaths on Game of Thrones

I had such plans for this post after seeing Civil War. I  had every intention to use this post to discuss my favourite Marvel movies. I mean it's something we all need to think about at some time. I mean we all really hate Iron Man 2 but which comes next? There's the tricky Incredible Hulk question to consider and it's hard not to see Captain America in a new light after the trilogy ended so well. Plus, I realise I'm in a minority of people who really love Thor so I'm always slightly away from the trends. So, as you can see, I'd given the whole thing a lot of thought. I was ready. Until I saw Game of Thrones episode 5 and my whole life got turned upside down. We all knew George RR Martin had a tendency to kill the people we love but I had to believe Hodor was safe. He was the best of us. So I decided to pay my respects to the gentle giant and remember the 10 most heartbreaking deaths in Game of Thrones.
 
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