Thursday, 17 August 2017

Thursday Bonus Post: A Harry Potter Primark Haul

Forgive me, dear readers, but I don't have a TBT post for this week. I had so much to do this week and I still need to pack for my trip this weekend. So I've got something a bit different for you and I seem to have mistaken myself for a bloody lifestyle blogger. One of my biggest guilty pleasures is watching hauls on YouTube. There's something about seeing how other people spend their money that speaks to me. It helps that I love shopping. I'm not very good at it because I tend to send most of my purchases back. But the actual act of picking something and paying for it is something I'm a fucking expert in. Something you'll no doubt have picked up on if you're keeping track of the "Recently Purchased" section of my weekly Rundown. Of course, doing a lot of shopping doesn't necessarily mean that my sprees are interesting enough to showcase here, which is why it's not something I've ever done before. This week is a little different, though, because it brings together my love of buying shit with my love of Harry Potter. You may be aware that Primark has recently brought out a whole new range of goods relating to JK Rowling's hit series and, if you're social media is anything like mine, you'll have been hearing about it ever since. At one point every other post on my feed seemed to be a news article announcing the release of the range with many excited comments. So, as I happened to be in Leeds yesterday, I decided to see what all the fuss was about. It's safe to say I was persuaded to make a few purchases.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Baby Driver (2017)

I'm of an age that means I remember the 2003 music video that paved the way for Edgar Wright's current hit movie. I'm not bragging: the song is pretty shit and the I can't imagine that anyone's missed the band that much. Still, the video is amazing. Not only does is feature The Mighty Boosh (Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt), Nick Frost and Michael Smiley but it's just great fun. For those of you that haven't had the pleasure Noel Fielding plays the getaway driver who can only tell the time through track lengths. Whilst waiting for his fellow criminals to rob the bank, he rocks out to the song so he knows when they'll be done. It's a great premise that I always felt could have been taken further. Thankfully, so did Edgar Wright and he gave the world Baby Driver. Before we go into the review I want to take a minute to talk about the name. If I hadn't known this film was connected to Wright then I doubt I'd have seen it. The title gives the impression that it's going to be nothing more than a sequel to last years' lousy looking animation Boss Baby and nobody needed that. On the face of it, Baby Driver is a film with a lousy title that stars the kid who died of cancer in The Fault in our Stars. It's a huge testament to Edgar Wright that it managed to look so fucking cool.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I'm not going to lie, this has been a terrible work week. The girl who is responsible for out rotas messed up everyone's holiday so we've been pretty short staffed this week. As it's the school holidays that means we're extra busy so we've all been feeling the strain. It's times like this when everyone starts to feel unappreciated and used. There's a very bad atmosphere in the branch right now and it's not a great place to be. It's also meant that I've been super tired and not really in the mood for reading much this week. So I've barely got any further with my reading. And it doesn't help that I've officially got 3 books on the go. Even though student me was more than capable of reading three books at once, it seems that 30 year old me is only just able to cope with one. But I really don't see why I care so much. I think starting Instagram has made me more competitive about reading quickly but this also means I'm more likely to read badly. If I'm focusing on quantity rather than quality then I'm not giving each book my full attention. So I'm vowing to give up on yearly book quotas and just focus on getting better at the basic act of reading.

Thursday, 10 August 2017

TBT - Very Bad Things (1998)


As I mentioned on Tuesday, I have seen quite a few comments recently bemoaning the fact that Rough Night is basically a female remake of the 90s film Very Bad Things. I don't know how, why or when I saw Very Bad Things but I was probably far too young and channel hopping late at night. I can't say that I remember it all that fondly and didn't see that there would be a problem with a film taking a similar premise using female actors instead.Apparently, I didn't count on a load of random people out there who believe this to be the best film of all time. According to the fan reviews on IMDB this is best dark comedy that has ever been created. I just didn't buy it.  I mean, we all know that standards for films were lower in the 90s. Joel Schumacher's Batman films are all the evidence you need for that. So I decided it was time to revisit the film and see if I'd forgotten the brilliance somewhere over the years. I doubted very much that I had but what is life if you aren't willing to take risks, right?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Rough Night (2017)


There's a lot to be said for my love of Kate McKinnon. I was almost 100% sure that I didn't want to ever watch Rough Night but every time I saw the trailer I couldn't help but think "Kate McKinnon though...". So I decided to just go with it. Best case scenario: it'd be the new Bridesmaids. Worst case scenario: well, I've seen both of the Sex and the City movie and it's got to be better than that, right? Don't even ask me how that happened but it did. When you've seen those films and Mama Mia it becomes really difficult to imagine a film that I can hate quite as much. With every second of SATC2, each cell in my body started to shrink into itself out of anger and embarrassment; embarrassment for the people who made it, the people who liked it and for me, for making the decision to watch it. The good thing about writing this blog over the years is that I have a different range for what is good and bad. It's like studying novels of sensibility during my Masters degree. I suddenly found a new appreciation for all of the books I thought were rubbish because they all had something more than just countless stupid young women fainting at the slightest sound. Once again, provided nobody in Rough Night fainted in the arms of their creepy uncle/step father then this definitely wouldn't be the worst story I've ever experienced. So that's something.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

What a week it's been. My social life has blown up in the last 7 days. I went out for drinks not once but twice. I'm a social butterfly. It's exhausting being this in demand. I'm more used to just being inside and reading/binge watching some shit. Still, I just about coped, which is good because I'm no longer alone at home. Aside from work, I've not really spoken to people much in the last 2 weeks. Other than myself of course. I'd wander around the house having conversations with myself to fill the silence. That's probably the most depressing thing I've ever written but it's true. I still find myself doing it not despite the fact that there are actual living people I can talk to now. I just need to get used to the whole response part of talking now. It's such a good job I don't live alone. I'd literally never talk to anyone but my colleagues. I already have something of a lax attitude towards socialising as it is. At least I'd always have time to read, though.

Thursday, 3 August 2017

TBT - Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)


When I was writing one of my recent Chris Evans' reviews I remembered that he appeared in 2010s adaptation of Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim. I know why I forget Evans is in this film: it's cause he's so good and I wasn't used to that feeling 7 years ago. It does mean that I've had a deep-seated desire to watch this film ever since so I decided it would be the perfect film to talk about this TBT. It's been a while since I saw this but I absolutely love this film. I'm also a fan of the graphic novels that it is based on. Really, Scott Pilgrim is the reason that I often get the desire to dye my hair bright pink or blue every now and then. I've always wanted to be more like Ramona Flowers. I mean, without the crippling emotional detachment and stuff but, you know, the coolness. It's no wonder Scott falls in love with her at first sight. I certainly did.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

TOP 10 WEN-SDAY - Top 10 Fictional Jobs

Today I was rejected for another job that I really wanted. To be fair, I highly suspected I hadn't got it even after they spent 4 days longer than they said to contact me. It still sucks though because I thought it would have been a really good fit. I'm getting so used to getting psyched up for interviews and then coming out feeling like shit. I'm sick of job hunting. When I got a promotion at work a year or so ago I nailed the interview. Since then, every interview I've had has ended in rejection. So I've come to the unfortunate conclusion the job I'm most qualified for is the one I know, wholeheartedly, I don't want to do. Whilst the job that I'm desperate to get is the one that nobody thinks I should be doing. Great. So, I've got some thinking to do, which is convenient because a recent Instagram challenge prompt asked me to reveal my dream fictional job. It's an interesting question. Yes, it won't help me in my job search but when my current job is so fucking boring I need to pass the time somehow. This prompt happened to fall today which is the first Wednesday of the month. Perfect timing for a hastily put together Top 10 Wen-sday.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Gifted (2017)


When I reviewed Snowpiercer in my post last week, I mentioned my new love of Chris Evans. It hasn't always been this way, of course. For years, I didn't really rate Evans as an actor. Having now seen the first Fantastic Four film about 3 times recently, I realise that it wasn't necessarily his fault. Yes, he agreed to do some shit films but he probably had to take whatever he could get. Fantastic Four isn't a bad film because of Chris Evans; it's a terrible film because it's so badly written. The character of Johnny Storm wasn't an awful and annoying version of the comic book character but that isn't Evans' fault. I'm not trying to suggest that he's the next Daniel Day Lewis or some shit but he's proved he can be really good. Look at Snowpiercer for an example of how good he can be. He just needs to start taking more serious roles and not people who run around in Lycra for a living. Which I'm guessing was the appeal of Gifted. It's probably as far away from Captain America as he can get.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So I've survived the first week on my own without any major incidents or going insane. I have to admit I've got into something of an OAP type routine in the last few days when I had a run of early shifts. I started to eat around 5pm and head to bed about 9. It's so fucking rock and roll I can't function. Tonight was a little different though. I didn't eat until after 7pm. It was a massive shock to the system. Tonight my twin sister invited me round for dinner. I imagine this was mainly to make sure I hadn't starved whilst being alone. It was a lovely evening but my routine is a little off. Which is why I'm writing this now and watching the season 1 finale of The Handmaid's Tale. So I'm feeling a mixture of contentment, panicked and traumatised right now. But I'll get through. Well, not so much the trauma... this show is fucked up. I love it! Now, I'd best get to bed because it's now way past my new bedtime.

Thursday, 27 July 2017

TBT - Casa de mi Padre (2012)


On Tuesday I criticised Will Ferrell's new film The House for being short at 88 minutes long. Casa di mi Padre undercuts that by 3 minutes. So, if you thought I was harsh to the former then just wait until I get started on the latter. Until I watched it specifically for this review I'd never seen this film before. I used to pride myself on watching every film that Will Ferrell starred in but, over the years, I've really become quite lax in my viewing. I think it was probably around the Bewitched era when it just became a bit too much for me. I feel as though I'm on fairly safe ground with any kind of Will Ferrell/Adam McKay combination but the pair only act as one of the many producers for this film. Instead it is a combined effort of ex-SNL writer, Andrew Steele's, script and Funny or Die co-creator, Matt Piedmont, in the director's chair. I can't say that, after seeing the disappointing results of a union between Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, I wasn't exactly excited to see this. Especially when it couldn't even find enough comedy to fill a 90 minute running time. Then again, maybe it's just so well-developed that anything over 85 minutes would be too much for the audience to handle? It's possible, right?

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - The House (2017)


Will Ferrell is one of those comedians that you can trust to be funny whatever he's doing. Through the years, I've happily watched and enjoyed every film starring him that I've ever seen. Even the shit ones, like Daddy's Home for example, have something fairly entertaining in them. The guy always gives his all in a role and is so naturally hilarious that you'll find yourself crying with laughter at the stupidest things. So I kind of feel like I'm on solid ground with him and that's before you even consider that Amy Poehler is also in it. Combine the pair and you have a powerhouse of SNL alumni. Of course, things start to unravel when you look at how the film is being marketed. It's very telling that neither Ferrell or Poehler seem very eager to talk about the film itself. Interviews aren't treated as a place to talk about the film but simply about getting the pair in front of a camera. Will Ferrell has done some shit films in the past so when he's keeping shtum about a film then you know it's embarrassing. 1 hour and 28 minutes worth of embarrassing. Yep, The House can't even hit the 90 minute mark and we've all heard the one about good films
coming in short run times. Well, even if this is going to be shit at least it's not going to be shit for too long. Let's be thankful for small mercies.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

For the next couple of weeks I have the whole house to myself. Now, I've seen Risky Business, I know what I'm meant to do with an empty house. It's safe to say I've been enjoying the freedom. You know, showering at normally unsociable hours, playing the Hamilton soundtrack at full blast, and not locking the bathroom door. I think it's safe to say I'm living life to the full right now. But, tearing myself away from the rock n roll lifestyle, I still have to stick to my schedule. So on with the rundown.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

TBT - Snowpiercer (2014)

I have a bit of a problem guys: I'm love a man who is completely unattainable. That man is Chris Evans. It hasn't always been this way. No no. Back in the Fantastic Four days I couldn't have cared less. Even the first Captain American film didn't do anything for me... I assume it's down to the creepy tiny Steve CGI. Yeah, I happily denied any attraction to Chris Evans for years and even presented arguments with my friend about why Robert Downey Jr. was a more attractive member of the Avengers. Then bloody Winter Solider went and got really good and suddenly Chris Evans starts to look better and better. By the time Civil War came out I was hooked. Seeing him do interviews with his Gifted co-star kind of made my ovaries explode. I don't know what's happening to me. It was because of my deep-seated interest in Chris Evans that I was so desperate to see Snowpiercer. I knew very little about it but had heard great things. Unfortunately, that proved difficult because the bloody thing wasn't released in UK cinemas. Then I managed to miss it on Netflix because I'm a bloody idiot. I became invigorated after seeing Okja earlier this week so went on a hunt to find a copy of Snowpiercer.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Okja (2017)

Since Netflix started making original films there have been more than a few duds. The online streaming site is really good at certain things, like Marvel TV series, documentaries and original sitcoms for example. However, the majority of the original films that I've watched have been underwhelming: The Circle was just dreadful; Mascots was fun but nothing to really get excited about; The Fundamentals of Caring was sweet but unambitious; and Special Correspondents was the worst Ricky Gervais film I've ever see and that's saying something. So it was really refreshing that one of its recent releases, Bong Joon-ho's Okja, was competing for the Palme d'Or at this years Cannes festival. Refreshing for about 30 seconds obviously because, as we all know, the shit really hit the fan soon after. The argument against Okja's inclusion in the list of Palme d'Or candidates created much controversy for the judging panel who suggested that the film's release on Netflix meant it shouldn't have been allowed within the competition. When the film was opened to the press it received boos from the audience and suffered from technical issues. Still, this did nothing for the film's reputation and, in its official opening, the film got an standing ovation from the audience. Everything was looking good for Okja being a rare Netflix hit.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Quick Post: Women can be Doctors too

So I've just finished the first episode of Season 7 of Game of Thrones and I have so many thoughts buzzing through my brain. Which is why I'm not trying to get an early night ahead of my 7 am start tomorrow morning. Instead I wanted to write a quick post in response to yesterday's announcement about the new Doctor Who as there has been so much controversy. Naturally, people have a lot of feelings on the matter... but that's hardly new. Every regeneration has had some amount of hatred. Even the amazing Peter Capaldi still has his doubters as I discovered today when a female coworker proudly proclaimed that she hated him. I really had to bite my tongue at that moment. Capaldi has suffered because of terrible writing but has done wonders with the character. His version of the Doctor is one of the best we've had in years but his stories haven't served him well enough. I have nothing against Matt Smith or David Tennant but Capaldi tried to do something different with the character and I will defend him to anyone. I imagine that the people who dislike him are also the same stupid people that fail to accept that Donna was the best companion. I reckon they're all fans of David Tennant and Billie Piper and just can't move on. Speaking of moving on...

Sunday, 16 July 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

In all honesty, I had planned to be in bed by now but, thanks to one thing and another, I'm still typing this late into the night. Not only was A Handmaid's Tale on 30 minutes later than I expected but then I got caught up in finishing job applications. Probably the wrong time to be doing it but I'd mixed my dates up. Still, I'm here now and about to settle down for a bit of reading before I head to bed properly. Though I need to finish changing my sheets first. Today's lazy Sunday routine seems to have got a bit out of hand if I'm honest. I'm about halfway through finishing loads of things. It's been a rough couple of days at work so I really just wanted to relax today. I'll get stuff finished after work tomorrow. Sometimes procrastination can be justified... right?

Friday, 14 July 2017

FBF - Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Ever since the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming this month the internet has eagerly been taking every chance it can to rank the web-slinger's movies in order of brilliance. It's just what we do. We can't just appreciate things for their own merit. Oh, no. We have to make sure there is a definitive decision on which one you're allowed to like the most. (She says hoping nobody picks up on the hypocrisy of someone who ranks things every first Wednesday of the month.) Apparently, it's not possible to thing both the new film and the older films are all okay so we have to decide which is the best. I've seen so many lists in the last few days and things are getting crazy. After all, there aren't that many live action Spider-Man films. There are, really, only 6. Which I assume is the reason that many people are desperately including Civil War on their list so it doesn't seem so utterly pointless and pathetic. It's not a fucking Spider-Man film; stop going out of your way to put Andrew Garfield's film further down the list. So, before this goes into rant territory, the main topic of conversation that seems to exist now is whether the newest film is better than the film that previously topped the list: Toby Maguire's sequel. It is widely acknowledged that his third time to put on the suit was the biggest disaster to happen to comic book movies ever but is Spider-Man 2 actually still better than Tom Holland's first attempt? There's only one way to find out.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

TBT - Spider-Man (2002)

Before the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming came out it seemed as though everybody in the world had decided without a shadow of a doubt that this was going to be the best Spider-Man film since 2004. Suddenly, Toby Maguire was being hailed as some sort of hero because of his role as Peter Parker. I get that there were many disappointing things about The Amazing Spider-Man but the mistakes weren't down to Andrew Garfield. They were down to poor writing and Sony desperately trying to build a franchise to compete with Marvel Films. It was handled terribly but I've always been a fan of Garfield's Peter... even though he is a tad too old to play a high school student. Plus, how was everyone forgetting that Toby Maguire is kind of a terrible actor in these films? Those tears when Uncle Ben dies? That's been a pretty strong feature of the meme circuit for years now. I felt like I had fallen in an insane alternate reality where everybody else's memories of those films were different from mine. So, I decided to rewatch them for this week... just to be sure.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Tuesday's (ish) Reviews - Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

I've always felt that Andrew Garfield got a bit of a rough deal when it came to his time as Spider-Man. He is now widely considered the worst version of the character to appear on screen but it's hardly his fault. Now, I liked The Amazing Spider-Man and thought Garfield did a really good job with the character of Peter Parker. Yes, he wasn't the same geeky, isolated young man that we're used to but we're living in a world where geek is cool. Garfield gave Peter some sass and it could have worked really well for him because Spider-Man has always been the sassy one. The films didn't work because Garfield was bad but because he wasn't given the right material. Sony fucked up the reboot in order to get it out in time. I think the things would have been very different if the actor had been given more of a chance and there had been more thought in the whole thing. Plus, there's a lot of weird nostalgia surrounding Toby Magurire's time as the character that I don't really get. He's not that good. It's just that he was the first major big screen version of the character. It just boggles my mind that so much of the stuff I read before I saw Tom Holland's first solo outing as the web-slinger was focused on how great Maguire was and how shit Garfield was. Let's be honest, we could do better than both of the attempts Sony made and his brief time in Civil War showed that maybe Holland had what it took.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So my week off work is over and I was back at work yesterday. It's safe to say I ached everywhere when I got home yesterday and couldn't face anything. Which, actually, also sums up my week off. Having planned to get some shit done in terms of reading, I actually didn't get much done. I carried on in my attempt to reread Harry Potter but that was the extent. Turns out, after weeks of not getting enough sleep, your body reacts to a holiday by sleeping a lot. I'm not complaining I just wish I'd done more. Still, I managed to see some friends and do some fun stuff. So I shouldn't really complain.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

TBT - Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

When Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter came out in cinemas I was super excited to see it because, you know, Abraham Lincoln and vampire hunting. Of course, I couldn't find anyone who shared my interest in it so I never got to see it in the cinema. After all, it's not the kind of film you should really see alone. I think it would have said a bit too much about me as a person. Then, as time went by, I forgot about this film and never saw it at all. And, to be quite honest, the dismal Pride and Prejudice and zombies hadn't really convinced me that mixing fantasy with period drama was a very good idea. Normally, I love a bit of altered history but does it need vampires? Especially at a time when vampires had been ruined thanks to the god-awful Twilight films. Added to that, I've never been convinced that Dominic Cooper was a necessary addition to any cast list. No matter how many times my friend tries to convince me that he's fantastic. He just seems a bit smug and gets a lot of freedom down to his looks. He's like a male Keira Knightley... but nowhere near as good looking or posh. Still, In need of an Abraham Lincoln film to accompany Tuesday's Lincoln in the Bardo review, I decided it was time to watch it. After all, I felt like Steven Spielberg's Lincoln from the same year would be a bit heavier than I was really ready for in the middle of my week off. Maybe it would have been appropriate coming after the announcement that the actor is set to retire from acting? Of course, I hadn't thought of that until this moment... so, the crazy vampire story it is.

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

TOP 10 WEN-SDAY - RANKING MCU MOVIES

Tomorrow I'm watching Spider-Man: Homecoming and I couldn't be more excited. I've enjoyed the majority of Spider-Man films that have been released, probably only really excluding Toby Maguire's third outing, but none of them have really done fantastic things. I think Andrew Garfield was perfectly cast but the stories just didn't cut it. Toby Maguire was fine for the time and his films are still astonishing in terms of that era. However, his portrayal of Peter Parker just seems flat nowadays. With this film being the third time a new actor has taken up the spidey suit in 15 years, it's starting to feel like every young-ish actor will eventually get the chance to play him. Still, I have high hopes for Tom Holland. His brief appearance in Civil War was an absolute treat within all of the heavy shit going on and proved that a solo film could be full of geeky fun. To get myself in the mood for watching this new film I spent today watching some past Marvel films: namely Civil War and Ant-Man. Both were great, obviously, but it got me thinking about my ranking of the films in the MCU. It's something I've tried to avoid doing because it's such a changeable thing. However, with another Top 10 Wen-sday upon us, I decided it was time to give it a go. Expect this to have changed by tomorrow.

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Tuesday's Reviews: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

When I was preparing my 'Most Anticipated Books of 2017' list, I kept seeing loads of people eagerly awaiting the release of George Saunders' first novel. I didn't add the book to my list, though, because I wasn't sure I'd be interested. I enjoy history but I don't know a great deal about the intricacies of American history. Only the bits that have been directly tied up with British history really. I mean I know the basics but I can't tell you a great deal about Abraham Lincoln apart from, you know, the Civil War and slavery thing. So a novel that delved into an untold story of his private life really didn't seem as though it was for me. Until I discovered the audiobook, anyway. I was interested as soon as I read the name Nick Offerman but it just kept getting better. I mean pretty much everyone is in this bloody audiobook. It's amazing. So I used one of my credits to buy the thing and I'm really glad I did. I've still never seen a copy of the actual book so this will review be entirely based on the audiobook. However, I'd encourage anyone to get it for sheer entertainment value. If you've read the book or not.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Quick Review: The Circle (2017)

As I said in my Sunday Rundown this week, I never finished The Circle by Dave Eggers. I bought it way back in 2014 and tried to read it a couple of years ago, I think. I never got very far with it. Yesterday I posted a picture on Instagram of Dave Egger's novel The Circle after I'd watched the film adaptation on Netflix. It created a lot of discussion, which I absolutely loved, but one of the comments suggested I finish reading the book because it "has its finger on the pulse of our zeitgeist." Maybe it's just me but isn't this the most disgusting statement you've ever heard? Finger on the pulse of our zeitgeist? It's the kind of thing some awful contestant on The Apprentice would say in their audition tape. "Oh yes, Lord Sugar, I've got my finger on the pulse of our zeitgeist." Bleurgh. It's also, if you ask me, not actually true anymore. The Circle was released in 2013 when social media was still coming into its own. Everyone was on Facebook and Twitter but we hadn't reached the pinnacle that we have now. Now anyone can "go live" whenever they want and talk about any old shit they want. That's the problem with the internet age; we're always surpassing our vision for the future before we even realise.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So did everyone enjoy Harry Potter Week? I'm not sure I quite lived up to the quality of my previous Harry Potter rants (i.e. my post about what a creep Snape is, which I'm sure is the most accurate thing I'll ever write) but I got a lot of things off my chest at least. Still, it was nice revisiting the series and reminding myself how much it meant to me. I think there are parts of the Harry Potter fandom that make it seem as though there is only one way to appreciate the series so I always felt like I wasn't a real fan any more. Just because I don't reread the books every few months or feel like they're the best books ever written shouldn't mean I can't consider myself a fan. I think that's a problem that is creeping into fandoms as a whole. It's far too competitive and can be quite cruel. Nobody appreciates anything in the same way and that's something to be celebrated. You can't win being a fan of something. Why try? Just because you spend more or talk about something more doesn't make you love it more. It's a ridiculous notion. Anyway, before this turns into another rant I'd better get on with the rundown.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Harry Potter Week: I don't wish to be such a Raven-bore but

So we've reached the end of my Harry Potter themed week on my blog and the final ramblings about the series. I've offered you an overly emotional review of my history with the books on Monday, a rant about Harry himself on Tuesday, a rant about Dumbledore on Wednesday, and a hard-hitting investigation into the terrible conditions at Hogwarts yesterday. What do we have in store for today? Well I don't know. I could easily offer up another rant about how awful Snape is (really why do people respect him so much? Bravest wizard I know? For fuck's sake!) but this week has supposed to be about a celebration of the books that changed so many people's lives. These books have been so great in helping us all grow up and will continue to help youngsters for a long time yet. So I want to take another moment to look at the fandom as a whole. Just think back to just over 20 years ago; what was the world like? We didn't know what Quidditch was. We didn't have a handy way to divide ourselves up by random personality traits. We didn't know about the sheer badassery of Professor Minerva McGonagall. These books were a magical and changed literary history. Yes, JK Rowling may have been incredibly lucky to get published (let's be honest, these books shouldn't have been the hit they were) but that doesn't mean she doesn't deserve her success. I just wish she'd know when to stop.

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Harry Potter Week: Hog-Warts the deal with this school, though?

If you're a Harry Potter fan then I'm sure you, like me, grew up dreaming of going to Hogwarts. As a kid there was nothing that seemed as exciting as being packed off to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to learn how to perform magic. Being stuck in school being taught how to do maths or learning about geography was nothing compared to being in a transfiguration or potions lesson. The teachers all seemed so much more interesting than my own and the headteacher was a sparkly blue eyed old man with a love of traditional sweets. It sounded perfect to a child of 10. I'm kind of a grown adult now and can see that the whole school is just a joke. Every single year the headteacher cancels final exams. How the hell do the students get their qualifications? What kind of school system just gives students a free pass every year? In my first year of uni, my friend collapsed and had a fit on the way to our English Literature exam. I had to stop her hurting herself while my other friends ran around campus to find a porter to ring an ambulance (because, stupidly, that's how you had to do it). Did we get let off the exam and given a passing grade? Did we fuck? We sat that exam despite having no idea how our friend was. Because that's life. If you go to Hogwarts and break a nail before an exam Albus would probably have let you skip it on emotional grounds.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Harry Potter Week: Sorry Albus, don't let the Dumble-Door Hit You on the Way Out

As someone who spends a lot of time internet window shopping for geeky goods, it seems to me that you can't really go anywhere without seeing Albus Dumbledore being quoted on something. After "Always", which is something I've discussed briefly in my rant about Severus Snape, Dumbledore quotations are the most commercially viable of the Harry Potter franchise. People wishing to seem deep love nothing more than plastering his words of "wisdom" all over their houses. However, I've always felt that Dumbledore's soundbites are just trite and overly simplified adages. People just eat that shit up. They love the guy. Dumbledore always reminds me of the Tim Minchin song 'The Fence'. Readers are so quick to want Dumbledore to be good because they need someone to be the opposite of Voldemort. They need the world to be that binary but it doesn't exist. There's a part of the song about the Dalai Lama that goes:
He's a lovely, funny fella,
He gives soundbites galore
But let's not forget that back in Tibet,
Those funky monks used to dick the poor, yeah
It just reminds me of Dumbledore. For all his talk of socks and sherbet lemons, there is a darkness hiding beneath Albus Dumbledore that comes out when it needs to. He has so many secrets throughout the book that show just how far away from a perfect hero he was. Just because they guy manages to say something that sounds deep once in a while people just seem to ignore all of the shitty decisions he makes. Well, not any more, my friends.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Harry Potter Week: Harry Pott-er are we sure this guy is the hero?

Continuing with my celebration of all thing Harry Potter this week we have a welcome return to my traditional rants. Hooray! It is a truth universally acknowledged that Harry Potter is one of the most annoying characters in the whole series. Well, maybe not universally acknowledged. I thought it was pretty much accepted that, as characters go, Harry Potter is a fucking dick but it seems that there are some people out there who still stick up for him. In the comments section of a recent Guardian post about the anniversary of The Philosopher's Stone there was a beautiful comment talking about how annoying Harry is. I agreed with it 100% but then it was just criticised by everyone else in the comments. Now it's time to get serious: Harry is a straight up wanker and we all know it. Just because his name is in the fucking title doesn't mean we should all just let him get away with that.

Monday, 26 June 2017

Harry Potter Week: The Girl Who Read

When I turned 20 I was at university and I had an epic night out with a load of my flatmates. It was a typical university style night out and we all got super drunk. It was during the days when people still took digital cameras on nights out (yes I'm super old) and I took a shit ton of photos. It's safe to say, as the night progressed, things get less pretty and my eyelids droop ever lower. My 20th birthday was a fantastic night out but the next day I experienced my first, grown-up hangover. Literally the day I turned 20 my body stopped being able to just get up and go after a night out. I was dying. I'd never felt as old as I did that morning. I doubt Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone woke up this morning with a banging headache and feeling super nauseated but I bet it felt old. I mean I fucking do. The first Harry Potter series was released 20 years ago. I'm nearly 30 but it still feels like yesterday that I first read about the boy who lived.  How did this happen? Imagine if I had another night out like my 20th birthday... I probably would die at this point. Jeez.

Sunday, 25 June 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So, tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and, in honour of this momentous occasion, I'm dedicating my entire week to writing Harry Potter related posts. Some of you may remember my week of ranting at the end of the last season of Game of Thrones: I called it my week of Irk and Ire. It's basically going to be like that but for Harry Potter. So I won't be sticking to my usual schedule of reviews. Instead I'll just be writing rants and ramblings about the book series. I'm hoping it will be fun but I can't promise anything.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

TBT - Captain America: The Winter Soldier (20

After seeing Wonder Woman last week I claimed it was my favourite DC movie so far. It definitely is but, considering that it's only the 4th, that isn't really saying much. It's not like the mind fuck of trying to work out which is the best Marvel movie. Most of the time my favourite will be whichever was the last film I saw but that's only because my attention span is the same as a bloody goldfish. It also comes down to what you consider important for making a good film. I mean, a well-made film isn't necessarily going to automatically entertain you the most. And, likewise, a super fun film isn't necessarily going to be good. In a job interview a few years ago, whilst discussing this blog, I was asked what my favourite film was. Now, this is a terrible question to ask anyway but in an already stressed environment I almost collapsed. I ended up by garbling an answer like "I know it should be something classic like Citizen Kane but it's probably more like Space Jam." It's a cop out but I think it raises a good point. The films that regularly grace the top of 'the best films ever made' lists aren't necessarily the ones that you watch about 7 times a year. So do I chose something like Thor that I know isn't the greatest but is so much fun to watch? Or do actually pick the greatest film in the franchise? Well, it's been a while since I've seen that one so it's probably time I revisited it. Oh, and fancy that, it happens to be Thursday too.

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Wonder Woman (2017)

If you'd asked me how I felt when the Wonder Woman film was first announced I would probably have told you I didn't give a shit. I was never really into the character, despite my love of badass women, and my limited view just made her seem a bit campy and annoying. Then there's the issue of an endless stream of disappointing DC films. Man of Steel and Dawn of Justice were both just too dark and completely thoughtless. Then Suicide Squad ruined the chance to be something different and fun by being completely obvious and uninspiring. So, yeah, maybe thanks to their insane love of Zack fucking Snyder I was kind of convinced that DC would somehow fuck this up. Wonder Woman had a lot to live up: it's the first comic book movie about a female superhero. They beat Marvel at showing a woman being awesome front and centre. It needed to be good. With their track record I couldn't help but feel that was unlikely... but then again I'm old and cynical by now.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

This weekend has been incredibly hot here in the UK, which has made being in work unbearable. The kitchen is stifling in this weather and we're all so uncomfortable. All we need is some kind of air con and everything would be fine. Instead we have shitty old vents that really do bugger all to help anyone in the kitchen. Anyway, I only have to get through another couple of weeks and then I'm off. Free to do absolutely fuck all if I want to. If it's sunny I might even sit inside all day and protect my pale skin whilst reading and napping. Those are the thoughts that will get me through.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

TBT - Prometheus (2012)

I'm going to be honest, as much as I've defended Prometheus to people it's a film that I had, until very recently, only watched once and that was just after it was released on DVD. Yes, I didn't even watch it in the cinema. That, obviously, hasn't stopped me feeling qualified to defend it and, if there's one thing you can be absolutely sure of about me by now, I won't back down in an argument regardless of how much I know/remember about a topic. Especially if I think I'm morally superior. And, when it comes to Prometheus, I am definitely on the moral high ground. A lot of people I know have unduly criticised this film because it wasn't what they were expecting. It's a similar situation to the time I nearly ruined an old friendship because of the film Hugo: they hated it because they thought it was going to be a kid's adventure instead of a love-story to cinema. People were so desperate for another Alien that anything else was bound to be torn apart. It's nonsense. Ridley Scott always made his intentions for the film super clear and warned audiences not to go in with any stupid expectations. Is it the film's fault if they didn't listen and just wanted another Sigourney Weaver type killed massive black alien creatures? No. Look, I'm not a stubborn monster who isn't willing to listen to people's reasoned arguments about why it's a terrible film. I myself think it has a few major issues. However, if you're only going to negatively compare it to one of the best films of all time... well, let's just say, in my head nobody can hear you moan.

Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Alien: Covenant (2017)

Before I started writing this review I decided it was time to remind myself of Ridley Scott's first prequel to Alien. I feel like I'm always having to defend Prometheus from people who thought it was a disappointing addition to the franchise. When I looked at the reviews I was shocked to see that a lot of critics gave the film moderate praise. I mean, yes, that praise was mostly for the aesthetic appeal and Michael Fassbender's performance but I was under the impression that it had received more of a negative response. I, personally, didn't mind the film. I knew going in that it wasn't going to be another wild ride of alien escapes and craziness in space. So I went in with realistic expectations. The people that I know who were most disappointed by it are the ones who expected Ridley Scott to pick up where he left off. Before 2012's prequel, Scott had only directed the original film in the franchise so there were fans who were hoping he would give us the same treatment that Sigourney Weaver got but a few years earlier. Instead, we went on a journey to discover humanity's existence and find out where the Alien menace came from. The story wasn't quite as slick as we were used to and, for the most part, Prometheus gave us more questions than it answered. However, it was still enough to whet our appetite for the prequel's sequel. Although, there was always the chance that we would get another Attack of the Clones here. I mean nobody expected that to be even more disappointing to fans than Phantom Menace but then Hayden Christensen managed to take shit to a whole new level.

Sunday, 11 June 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

What a week it's been here in the UK. With the results of Theresa May's snap election coming in to prove that, in politics, nobody is ever really a winner. It was as good a result anyone who voted for Labour could have hope I think. Jeremy Corbyn was popular but there would never have been that much swing from Tory, UKIP, Lib Dem, or the SNP to get him the win. What he's done is help topple the Conservative from their stronghold and show that the Prime Minister is a weak and unqualified leader. It's still not a great time for us here as the DUP could severely fuck up a lot of things in their casual alliance with Mrs May but there's talk of a slightly softer Brexit that takes into account the wishes of the people. So, maybe some good can come out of this? I just hope that we get another election soon and everyone who was so on the fence about Labour will see that there is potential there. A win for the Conservatives is a loss for ordinary working people, the NHS, education and our future as a society who values other people above ourselves. Under the Tories we will become a nation split between the selfish elite and those who can barely scrape by. It's a scary world we live in.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

TBT - Sliding Doors (1998)

I was sorely tempted to put off this TBT post and do it tomorrow. Today was the General Election and, as I was working from 9 until 630, I decided to go before I set off this morning. That's fine in principal but, as always happens on such occasions, I got caught in a YouTube cycle last night and went to bed far too late. I've been walking around like a zombie for most of the day because of the lack of sleep. I managed quite well but there was a point this morning when I dropped pretty much everything that I picked up. Something that would be quite funny were I part of the circus or in some kind of farce but less useful in a kitchen setting. Still, I am determined to finish this tonight and get to bed, relatively, early. I'd love to stay up and wait for the results to roll in but, as vital as that seemed back in my early twenties, now I'm nearly 30 it seems utterly stupid. Especially when I'm starting work at 7 tomorrow morning. I don't have time for that... Dimbledore or no Dimbledore.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

TOP 10 WEN-SDAY - TOP TEN MOST IMPORTANT QUOTATIONS FROM HARRY POTTER

So, anyone who follows my Instagram will have noticed that I recently took possession of the 20th Anniversary editions of The Philosopher's Stone. I now own 8 different editions of the book, thanks to my four House paperbacks and Ravenclaw hardback, but I'll probably end up caving and buying the other 3 hardbacks. On June 27th 1997, Harry Potter and the Philopsopher's Stone was first published. I didn't read it until a year later but it is a date that remains an important moment in my life. Whatever I think of the series now, the Harry Potter books had a huge impact on my life. I loved them. I obsessed over them. I even, in my more misguided moments, wrote fanfiction about them... secret fanfiction that nobody else ever read but still. However, over the years I've kind of grown a bit cynical and have a lot of irritation for certain aspects of the series. Most importantly is the number of people who pick up on specific quotes and spout them like their philosophy. Things like "Always" and the endless number of Albus Dumbledore quotes are infecting my social media whilst there are so many important quotes just being ignored. Quotations that actually have something to tell us about humanity instead of just regurgitating the usual guff and nonsense that Dumbledore is so fond of. So I decided to put together 10, admittedly this isn't really an indication of my top 10, that should be given more respect. If I'm being honest, this post comes after deciding that doing a Top 10 characters from the series would just be the top 10 characters in Harry Potter that I'd be most likely to sleep with, which is really unhelpful and, more important, probably quite shameful. This feels safer.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett

This is one of those books that I'd seen all over Instagram but never thought I'd read. Call me a snob if you wish but I'm always a bit wary of books that have been endorsed by Richard and Judy. I mean they don't have a great track record of picking out the literary greats. It also just seemed like the sort of romantic-comedy kind of shit that I try and avoid. I don't wish to insult anyone who loves a piece of chick lit but I can't put up with the cliches and the idealism that is central to the plot. It's all very dreamy and not very realistic. Still, when happening upon a Kindle deal I bought the eBook and, later, decided to buy a cheap copy of the audiobook. I guess I still didn't have any real plans to read/listen to it any time soon but it was comforting to know it was there if I ever needed an easy read. Then, without any warning, I became obsessed with Audible so when I finished Norse Mythology last week I was desperate to start another one. I randomly picked this out of the ones I have mostly because it was the shortest but also because I like having a copy of the book to go alongside it. So I still wasn't exactly going into this full of anticipation and excitement. I was hardly open-minded but I figured it couldn't possibly be the worst thing I'd ever read. Especially considering some of the shit I had to read at university.

Sunday, 4 June 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Today I've spent the day trying to sort my life out... or at least my room. Although, I've spent most of the afternoon cleaning and moving things around and I don't think I like it. Basically, I have too much stuff and I'm trying desperately to declutter. It's so difficult when I'm a hoarder at heart. I have books that I've not read for years and mementos from trips I've long forgotten that I just won't get rid of. And don't even get me started on how many bloody mugs and tea cups that I have. Anyway, I've been as brutal as I ever really get and have moved things around. My only problem now is that my playstation is further into my room meaning the WIFI signal is even weaker. I know this is a first world problem but how the hell am I supposed to watch Netflix for hours at a time now? God, what am I going to do? Read?!

Thursday, 1 June 2017

TBT - Stardust (2007)

When it comes to romantic comedies I can't say that I'm a huge fan. I'm much too cynical and, if we're being honest, it's all been done a thousand times before. Boy meets girl. Boy tries to make girl fall in love with him. Stuff happens. Happily ever after. I just never find it an incredibly inspiring to sit down and watch them so I avoid them. However, if ever there was going to be a writer who could change my mind about the whole concept it would be Neil Gaiman. Gaiman is the much loved fantasy, horror, science fiction, anything else you can think of writer who has penned such notable works as The Sandman comic book series as well as numerous novels and short story collections. Stardust is, in a way, Gaiman's own The Princess Bride  (incidentally, this is one of the few romantic comedies that I genuinely adore). Now, I've made it pretty clear that I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman's writing and I would recommend his books to anyone. His writing is like magic. There's nobody quite like him. Yet, I've never really been a massive fan of any adaptations of his work. Well, that's not quite true. I like them but I can't say I love them. I could read and reread Gaiman's work any number of times but I don't think I'd ever watch one his films or TV shows more than once. Except maybe Coraline because that was fucking awesome. There's something that just gets lost in translation and I don't have that same connection with them. It's why I never rewatched this film until I needed something to review for today... and it's why I'm in no real rush to watch it again.

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

I have had this book sitting on my shelf since the day it was released and I had only read bits and pieces until this month. It's that I wasn't excited to read it but I just felt that there were other books that needed reading first. This was surely going to be too much of a treat for myself and, with the speed at which I've been reading recently, I didn't deserve one. I certainly didn't deserve to gorge myself on Neil Gaiman's retelling of the Nose Myths when I have books that are still on my TBR after 4 years. After all, Gaiman is one of those authors who could write anything and I'd enjoy it. He has that universal appeal that do many authors crave and he's so goddamn nice as well. Of course, it also helps that I kind of have a thing about myths and legends anyway. I remember reading about Greek, Roman and Norse mythology when I was younger and loving it. It's the Greek and Roman stories that have become so ingrained in our minds but the Norse myths were always the most exciting. I cite my love of those tales and Shakespeare as the reason that Thor is one of my favourite comic book characters. Obviously, there is a lot of difference between the Marvel representation of Odin's son and that is something Gaiman is keen to point out at the start of his own retelling. However, with Thor: Ragnarok coming out later this year, it is a great time to get further into the tales that started everything off and I was lucky enough to do so with Neil Gaiman himself narrating them into my ear holes. It was blissful.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

You know what, everything was going okay until I got up this morning. I've had a nice few days and had a nice night out with some friends on Friday. I had today and tomorrow off and the weather's been an improvement. It was looking good. Then I got called into work tomorrow because someone's sick. Now, I know I was sick the other week and left people in the lurch but this was my first Bank Holiday off all year. I'm not saying I won't appreciate the double time but that's not the point. Now, instead of sleeping in til I fancy, my alarm will be going off at half 7 and have to deal with the busiest day of the week. Ah well. It's my own fault for thinking adulthood was going to be a series of fun and wonderful events I guess. Oh and to add insult to injury, I arranged another night out on the same evening that The Handmaid's Tale starts on Channel 4. I've been waiting ages for it to come to the UK and I fucking missed the first episode. I hate watching things on catch up.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

TBT - Live and Let Die (1973)

This week, amidst all of the horrors of the terrorist attack in Manchester, we got the terrible news that actor Roger Moore had died at the age of 89. Moore has become a household name thanks to his numerous television and film roles but it is his time playing James Bond that cemented his place in the annals of pop culture history. Everyone has their own favourite James Bond but I guess Sean Connery and Roger Moore are two of the more iconic names associated with the role. Connery was the first Bond and created the basis for the character. However, it was Roger Moore who stepped in, after George Lazenby's forgettable attempt, to give the character his own spin. For my part, I think Moore is my ultimate Bond. I mean a huge part of me will always love Pierce Brosnan because it's Pierce fucking Brosnan. He's ridiculous but wonderful. I'd also be so bold as to say that Brosnan and Moore both approached the role in similar ways, which probably explains why they're both my favourite. I understand why people think Sean Connery is the best and, I admit, he's bloody great. I just prefer my Bond to be a little sillier and that's one thing we came to expect from the Sir Roger. Bur you know what, I'll be honest, I think it really just comes down to the eyebrow.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Handsome: A Netflix Mystery Movie (2017)

This week there was Cannes controversy when audiences booed the film Okja during its screening at the festival. It comes within a week where the French film festival has condemned the online streaming service despite 2 of its current titles being included in this year's line-up. It all started when Cannes changed its rules to only allow entries from films that have been shown in French cinemas. This year's jury president, director Pedro Almodóvar, made a statement proclaiming that nothing can stand in for the real experience of watching a film in the cinema and said that it would be a huge mistake to award the Palme D'Or to a film that audiences watched at home. Netflix has changed the way in which we are all digesting film and television but Hollywood is still trying to catch up. There are some bigger issues at play here, including French laws, but it should open a debate on what counts as a film. Netflix is loved by certain creatives because it gives them more freedom and room to create. However, it can sometimes come across as the company who make the films nobody else would bother to make. Especially with it's comedies. There have been numerous times when trailers have caught my attention only for the final product to be really underwhelming. So when I first saw the trailer for Jeff Garlin's Handsome I was in two minds about it. Surely it wouldn't be as wonderful as the trailer was making it seem?

Sunday, 21 May 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Good news! I'm no longer sick. I spent about 3 days tucked up in bed last week and I nearly went crazy. I didn't even get much reading done I felt so bad. Instead I've just been binge watching RuPaul's Drag Race. It's so good... even if it definitey won't be as good for my brain as picking up a damn book.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

TBT - Big Fish (2003)

When it comes to my Thursday post I basically just trawl Netflix for a while until I find a film that I really want to watch. It means I'm just rewatching films that I've loved for years but I'm okay with that. It's the best of both worlds I suppose. Although, it does mean that I mostly just end up writing gushing reviews for the films I wholeheartedly adore. I watched this week's film when it first came out in the cinema nearly 14 years ago and have had a soft spot for it ever since. A friend bought me the book it was based on after we saw it but, if I'm honest, I never finished. For one thing, the author had the same as a boy in my class and it was a bit too weird. Basically because he was a bit weird. Secondly, I think it was a mistake reading it after seeing the film because, due to the changes, the film's narrative was tighter. I think I lost my way with the book when the vicious dog turned up. I know I know. As a bookish person it should be "the book is always better" but sometimes it has to be okay to prefer the film. Especially when Ewan McGregor and Tim Burton are involved.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - The Fireman by Joe Hill

I've been ill the last few days so have basically been in bed since Sunday. Until today I'd barely spoken to another human being and have simply had the people on Netflix to keep me company. I'd love to say that I used my time to get some reading done but, I was so tired, I found it difficult to concentrate on the words on the page. I'm only a few chapters into The 7th Function of Language but I'm really looking forward to getting further. One of my most anticipated works for 2017. Hopefully, I'll get my reading groove back and finish it soon. God know's it's taking me long enough to get to the end of novels these days. Although, I have finally finished another book and it only took me about 3 weeks. That still feels like far too long but it was a bloody long book. It average out as 40 pages a day, which still doesn't feel like enough to me. How do people get into the habit of reading? I always find myself getting into a Netflix spiral and realising it's far too late to start reading. And I don't read at work because there are always too many people in the staff room. Anyway, the fact is I finished something and that is reason to celebrate. I always have another book to review and I've decided I need to include more book reviews on this blog. I am a badass Motherbooker after all.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So I'm writing this from my sick bed as I've suddenly be taken ill. I feel rotten and have spent all afternoon doing nothing at all. Except trying to sleep and watching Netflix. I'm rubbish at being sick and just feel super sorry for myself. It's given me time to do stuff that I would have put off though. I've watched things that I wouldn't have got round to if I was well because I'd have felt too guilty. It does also mean my actual 'to do' list has been ignored and I've got plenty to do when I'm well again. Ah well... I've got more important things to worry about. This week I've been a bit bad when it comes to my book buying ban and have bought too new releases that I've been desperate to read. So, as bad as I've been I really don't mind. These are too key reads for 2017. I just need to be quicker.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

TBT - Escape From LA (1996)

One of my biggest fears before watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last week was the change in Peter's parentage. In the comics, Quill is the son of the Spartoi J'son. He's a complicated character who eventually becomes a villain who puts a bounty on his son's head. I can see why Marvel and James Gunn wanted to find an easier solution. That solution, as we now know, was to introduce Ego to the MCU. It initially like a bit of a risk but Kurt Russell's character quickly became the most memorable Marvel villain in years. He revealed a super dark and sinister side and rocked Pete's world for ever. Kurt Russell is fantastic in the role and it only got me keen to rewatch some of his classics. Now, it's not like I have the greatest knowledge of all of Russell's career but I know what I like. And what I like is Snake Plissken. He's the gruff, rough anti-hero who rocked an eye-patch way before Samuel L. got in on the act. It might not be Russell's finest hour but the two Escape films are some of the greatest films I've ever seen.

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Guardians of the Galaxy 2

Last week I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with a friend. Before I saw it I was filled with fear and doubt about how good it was. The trailers hadn't really done much to suggest that Marvel were doing anything other than call-backs and in-jokes mixed with loads of shots of Baby Groot. I was sure it was going to be super fucking cringey and just ruin my love of the first one. I mean, Baby Groot is cute and all but I need something more than a CGI'd tiny tree to keep me happy, you know. So I was concerned but I loved the first film so much. It wasn't perfect but, really, what Marvel movie is? We don't love them because they're flawless films; we love them because they're awesome regardless. Anyway, this film boasts Kurt Russell as Ego and I'm not the kind of person who can happily walk away from that situation. Two powerhouses coming together in one place? Yes, please. Especially when accompanied by still buff Christ Pratt. Really, it didn't matter if this film was good or bad as long as Star Lord was as easy one the eye as the first time.

Sunday, 7 May 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

We're one week on and I've had to contend with another job disappointment. To be fair, I suspected it wasn't going to get me anywhere but it still feels shit. I'm sure I'll get there one day but I just need to work harder to get there. Obviously, I still need to learn stuff and get to a place where I'm standing out. It just feels like there are so many hills to climb in order to get the very basic job these days. And it doesn't help that everyone I'm competing against is not only younger but also just brilliant. I can't help but feel that I wasted the last few years and should have been getting ready for this earlier. Anyway, whatever happens with my job search I've always got books to escape into. Here's what I've been up to this week.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

TBT - Attack of the Clones (2002)

I know that it's a very subjective thing but I think we mostly all agree that, when it comes to Star Wars films, the second ever film in the franchise is the best. I know over the years I've changed my mind on the matter many times and can still switch whenever I'm a bit hungry or my mood changes slightly. However, The Empire Strikes Back, ended up being a far better film than A New Hope and it was certainly not surpassed by Return of the Jedi. If you were to ask me, Empire is up there with a limited number of sequels that were better than the original film. This fact may have given fans a glimmer of hope after the disappointing prequel The Phantom Menace by suggesting that lightening could strike twice. We all madly hoped that Attack of the Clones would show us how great Star Wars could be with lashings of CGI and plenty of stupid characters to keep the kids entertained. Unfortunately, it did the opposite and managed to make the first film look like fucking Shakespeare. Just as we can pretty much all agree that the original sequel is the best film in the franchise, I think we all know that the worst is the prequel sequel. So, in honour of this great day, I decided to re-watch it and rip it to shreds.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

TOP 10 WEN-SDAY - TOP TEN STAR WARS

Tomorrow is the biggest day in any Star Wars fan's diary. Yes, May the 4th is upon us all again and, as we started last year, it's time for our yearly Star Wars Top 10. I have to be honest, I've only done 1 of these so far and I was already struggling to find a decent idea here. It didn't help that I got back late from the cinema. I've just watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and I have too many feelings to be able to process this top 10. Still, I'm soldiering on and am ready to right a list of my top moments in the Star Wars films. All the Star Wars films that it. Even the newer ones were up for grabs. That's probably controversial but, as I've said before, all of the newer films have their positives.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Season 1 of Girlboss

It's been a while since I wrote a good old Motherbooker rant but I suspect this review of one of Netflix's new show is about to turn into one. I've not read the book that the series was based on. It's mostly because the very word "Girlboss" gets me a bit worked up but also because I don't think it's ever right for a book title to contain a hashtag. I mean what kind of stupid millennial bullshit is that? Hashtags are an annoying but, often, important part of social media. You need to use them carefully to succeed but non of those uses involved planting them on the front of a fucking book. It reminds me of all those ridiculous books that were popular when I was younger that overused the @ symbol. It was about the time that the internet was becoming more important to everyone but it still felt new and modern. The one thing all those books have in common? They haven't stood the test of time. They now feel horribly outdated and really pathetic. Anyway, putting aside my annoyances about the book, I had decided that I'd probably never watch the series until I needed some easy watching to get me through a packing nightmare. And then I was faced with a problem. Every time I logged onto Netflix it was there in my "continue watching" section. So, in order to get rid of it, I watched the whole damn series. Turns out, I have many feelings about it.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Another week down. Life just keeps on going doesn't it. I don't have many updates this week to be honest. I'm trying to turn my life around by not being so financially irresponsible so I'm on a full buying ban unless absolutely necessary. Of course, my idea of absolutely necessary seems wildly different to most peoples but I'll get better. I'm also getting better at reading during my normal week. I'm not sure if it's down to the reading material or just because I'm finally out of my slump but something's working. I'm loving it. Maybe I can finally start reducing the size of my TBR? I mean it's doubtful if my past is anything to go for but, as Aragorn says, "there is always hope".

Thursday, 27 April 2017

TBT - To Rome With Love (2012)

I said this last week to but I always struggle to find something relatable to review for TBT when my Tuesday post is about a book. Without any real ideas of my own I madly searched Netflix for any film with "love" in the title. The one that jumped out at me the most was the Woody Allen film from 5 years ago. I wanted to see it when it came out but I don't think I have any friends who still have hope that Allen can produce a film worth paying to see. I understand where they're coming from. The last few years really haven't shown the great director at his best. I've also struggled to keep my faith alive over the years. It's only thanks to his random successes (Vicky Christina Barcelona and Midnight in Paris) that keeps me coming back. For every film I love there's at least 2 duds. Still, I like to think that one of my strongest attributes is unflinching and, potentially, misguided loyalty so I'll always keep getting drawn back in.

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - First Love by Gwendoline Riley

I've not read any of Gwendoline Riley's previous four books and, really, only picked up her most recent one because it was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction. It sounded so amazing that I couldn't resist. I bought this one and The Power as soon as the list was up because I'll do anything a bunch of literary prize judges tell me to. I've been in a bit of reading slump lately so as soon as I finished The Best of Adam Sharp I decided to try and to read Riley's novel. It's pretty short and something I've been keen to read. Thankfully, this weekend I was in London visiting a friend so I had a train journey to fill with reading. I managed to finish it by the second day. My friend works in publishing so is as obsessed (if not more) with books as I am. So she's always interested to hear what I'm reading. The trouble with First Love is that I find it so hard to explain what's going on. I managed to garble out a nonsensical plot summary that really didn't do the book justice so, when I'd finished it, I decided it was worth another go. Therefore, my Tuesday review this week is either going to be great or just a terrible mistake. We'll see.

Monday, 24 April 2017

MONDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Eagle-eyes readers will notice that my Sunday rundown is a day late. I've spent the weekend in London with my friend so haven't had time to keep up with my schedule. I meant to have this ready to post but, as usual, I left my packing until the last minute and ran out of time. So I'm doing it now. On Monday. It still counts if it still rhymes. That's always been my motto.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

TBT - Shrek Forever After (2010)

Sometimes I hate this blog, specifically the TBT feature. It forces me to remember how quickly time is passing. I remember seeing Shrek Forever After with my friends from University and, it turns out, that was about 7 years ago. It feels like yesterday. I came to re-watch this after finding it on Netflix recently and having no clue what to write for today. I try to link my Tuesday review with my Thursday one but I was finding a companion for The Best of Adam Sharp a bit of a pain. I think the fourth Shrek film works though: instead of a man looking back on his life and imagining "what if?" it's an ogre. It was also a rather easy thing to watch when I got home from work yesterday. It'd been a hellish day and all I was really capable of was watching a short film intended for children. Although, I do quite like this series of films. The first one is really good and came up with an interesting twist on the classic Disney fairy tale romance. The second film was equally fabulous. Then there was the third film, which super sucked. There's always something funny to be found though. So, it wasn't the worst film I could sit down to watch for your benefit I suppose.

 
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