Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - David Brent: Life on the Road (2016)

I don't these days I'd describe myself as a big Ricky Gervais fan but I've been a huge one. I loved The Office when I first saw it and Extras has a special place in my heart (mostly for Patrick Stewart's cameo but still. I kept with him through the dodgier moments of Derek and Life's Too Short. I still listen to his podcasts and laugh until it hurts. Back in the day, his stand-up was both hilarious and cutting edge. I was there with everyone else in terms of worshipping everything the comic did. Then he went to Hollywood and I kind of lost faith with him. From the laughably bad Ghost Town, the dismal and cliched The Invention of Lying, and the embarrassing brief appearances in the Night at the Museum films, it wasn't the Ricky Gervais I knew. Then the final series of Derek was a bit shit and Gervais just got more unreliable. Unreliable and more egotistical. In the run up to the release of Special Correspondent Ricky was often quoted talking about how fucking great he was. Which would have been fine if the film itself wasn't so shit. So, when it was announced that David Brent, a character that means a lot to me and a great many people, would be coming back in a feature film, I couldn't help but feel kind of apprehensive of his return to old material. Then my old work friend saw it and told me it was awful... and he didn't hate Special Correspondents nearly as much as I did. So, I put off watching the film and went into it expecting to be cringing, crying, swearing revenge on Gervais, or all of the above.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I honestly thought I'd done quite well in terms of book buying this month. I thought I'd managed to reign in my desires and only buy a few books each week. The other day I had to take a monthly book haul photo for one of the Instagram challenges that I'm taking part in. Boy was I wrong. I've gone a bit wild without even realising. I seriously have to get this under control because I don't have the space for them or the time to read them all. I just can't help myself and there are so many great books coming out that it's never going to end. I'm just going to have to be brutal and get rid of a load of stuff that I've either read or will never read. It's so difficult to actually decide what can go though. Ah, being a book nerd is always so hard. At least I'm getting somewhere with the reading. I've managed to get through some pages this week. It feels good.

Thursday, 23 February 2017

TBT - A Single Man (2009)

As I mentioned in my previous posts this week, I've been away for a few days this week. I got back home yesterday evening and it was my intention to watch something for today's post once I was unpacked. What actually happened was me lying in bed for an hour unable to do anything. There was a point when I had no energy or inspiration to even contemplate completing something to post. Still, as I'm such a consummate professional I managed to get my act together and rewatch a film I hadn't seen in ages. Following on from Tuesday's review of Carol I wanted to revisit another beuatiful film that deals with LGBT issues... cos, you know, neatness. A Single Man was a film I loved when I first watched it but, clearly, just never felt the need to watch again. I'm the kind of person who watches certain films to death and eventually start to resent them for being so familiar. Although, the films in that category don't tend to be the best films. They're normally the guilty pleasures that I have a craving to watch. As much as I'd love to watch Oscar winning films again and again, my love of cheese and simple humour overrides everything. So, it turns out, this TBT post is actually doing me a favour and giving me the chance to remember films that I might otherwise have never watched again. It makes me super glad I summoned up the energy to get this review written.

Monday, 20 February 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Carol (2016)

I'm currently away for a few days with my family and, during my week off, I had planned to watch today's film and have the review ready to go. As usual, my aims for the blog didn't quite work out so I only got round to viewing it on Sunday. Then I madly tried to scrabble the post together in between packing. So I have little hope that this will be my finest work. Nut considering I put off seeing this film for so long it was probably doomed from the start. I really wanted to watch Carol last year but I never got round to it. I suppose it was because I'd only heard amazing things about it. It always worries me when I desperately want to see something and it gets astounding reviews. It can only lead to disappointment. It seemed to have everything though: the brilliant Cate Blancett and Rooney Mara and a vintage feel. Still, as a lifelong cynic when it comes to romance, I may have been a little put off by the concept. An epic love story that builds from that classic rom-com cliche love at first sight. Now that I'm no longer 8 years old and wish I were a Disney Princess. I'm just not really into that concept. Although, considering the films is based on a Patricia Highsmith novel I was fairly confident that it wasn't going to be too similar to those awful Tom Hank/Meg Ryan rom-coms from the 80s. I just needed to wait until my excitement had died down before I finally watched it.

Sunday, 19 February 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I'm supposed to be going away with my family tomorrow and I've yet to finish packing. It's only for about 3 days so I don't need a lot but I still feel as though I should have finished more by this point. Still, I have time in the morning. We're going to Scotland so it's bound to be absolutely freezing. Plenty of layers needed I guess. I also need to finish my review for Tuesday which I'm going to try and upload on time. I hate writing on my phone so I want to get it done tonight and just post it. So far it doesn't look good. At least I have all my weeks Instagram posts ready to go. Plus, I might manage a bit of reading too. Maybe next week I'll actually have some exciting currently reading news for you.

Thursday, 16 February 2017

TBT - Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)

It's been a few days since I watched La La Land and I'm still obsessed. I've been singing that bloody "City of Stars" song non-stop and listening to the soundtrack on my way to work. I've shocked a lot of the people I work with by enjoying the film. I guess because I'm such a seemingly heartless and cynical person. I mean I am a cynical person but I get swept away with a good love story as much as the next person. I say this as someone who, admittedly in a state of exhaustion after 3 days back at work, was crying at footage of Kiss Cams earlier tonight. Yep, I am, underneath it all, just as sentimental and lovey dovey as the rest of the world. And Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling's romance in the film is made more adorable thanks to their fantastic chemistry. This is their 3rd film together so they've clearly become quite comfortable. So, in order to keep this feeling going, I decided to go back to where it all started way back in 2011.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - La La Land (2016)

After La La Land started being nominated and, subsequently, winning a shitload of awards there were plenty of articles suggesting that actors Emma Watson and Miles Teller were livid that they had turned down the chance to be in the film. But it's just nonsense. The film has achieved such success because Emma Watson and Miles Teller didn't end up playing the roles. No offence to either of them, and ignoring any rumours of them both being too demanding, but it's surely the chemistry between Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling that made the film. What is a love story without the love, after all? I know I'm not the biggest fan of Emma Watson as an actor anyway but you can't pretend that La La Land wouldn't have been a completely different film without it's two stars. They can regret giving up on the role now that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are being recognised but who can honestly say that it would have received so many nominations with a different line-up? Nobody. It always strikes me as super bitchy when actor's talk about giving up on a role. Like they're just trying to take ownership of something that isn't theirs and, probably, shouldn't ever have been. If Emma Watson preferred to be auto-tuned in the remake of Beauty and the Beast instead of the being in this original piece of musical cinema then she has to accept that and let Emma Stone have her moment of glory. It's just selfish bringing attention to yourself to try and overshadow someone else's achievements.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

So I've only got one more day left of my holiday before I'm back at work for 6 straight days. I'm not sure I'm ready for it but I guess I have to start earning my keep again. In the last week I've not done as much as I wanted to but I've actually been quite good at getting ahead in terms of Instagram. It means I should be able to cope with the rest of this month without worrying about lighting and stuff. I won't have many opportunities after I go back to work to get pictures taken until after dark so I've been planning ahead. It means some of my ideas have been a bit ropy but some of them are turning out pretty well. Now I just need to get ahead with posts and reviews so I don't have to worry when I'm away later in the month. Turns out that after all these years, organisation is actually really useful. If only I'd thought of this sooner.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

TBT - Alien (1979)

On 25th January this year, legendary British actor John Hurt died. He was the kind of actor that never really fit into the role of leading man but would have been familiar to a whole host of people thanks to his supporting roles. As I've talked about multiple times since his death, John Hurt was the kind of actor that could turn his hand to anything and had a great deal of skill to bring all sorts of people to life on screen. My review on Tuesday looked at one of Hurt's final films before he died where he made a great impression in the small role of a Catholic priest who Jackie Kennedy talked to after her husband's death. His role has been made all the more poignant following his death as the character discusses death and the prospect of what follows. The film is definitely emotional but it was watching Hurt's performance that really got to me. So I wanted to use my TBT post to revisit of his classic films. There are plenty of great ones to pick from and, normally, I should have watched something like The Elephant Man. There are so many great performances to decide between that it becomes impossible to pick just one. Instead, because I'll take any chance to watch it, I picked Alien. John Hurt may not be in it for very long but his role in the film was certainly one of the most memorable moments in movie history. John Hurt is iconic in this role.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Belated Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Literary Couples

Valentines Day is coming up and love is in the air. People are obsessed. I've been seeing chocolate hearts, soppy cards, and stuffed animals for bloody ages now. I'm getting sick of it but decided I couldn't really avoid it. Recently I've been doing a lot of Instagram challenges, which has been fine but there are times when I really have to think about certain prompts. The most recent one I struggled with was "Favourite Literary Couple". When it comes to traditional views on literary love I tend to buck the trends. I hate Romeo and Juliet. Heathcliffe and Cathy are a disaster. Jane Eyre and Mr Rochester is a creepy relationship. Gatsby and Daisy are in no way relationship goals. And the less said about The Fault in our Fucking Stars the better. So I struggled to find a literary couple that I actually was rooting for. It was pretty difficult, So what was the next logical step? To force myself to come up with 9 more. Obviously.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Tuesday's Review: Jackie (2016)

I have to be honest, if it hadn't been for John Hurt's death last month I probably wasn't ever going to see this film. It wasn't that I thought it would be bad but it discussed a prominent American figure that, really, I didn't know a great deal about. I mean I know enough about Jackie Kennedy but, when it comes down to it, my knowledge of American history is pretty limited. It's probably something I should rectify but my historical education really just focused on the United Kingdom. Although, I guess everyone knows about JFK, Jackie, and the assassination. However, the name Jackie Kennedy only really brought images of pink Chanel suits and pillbox hats to my mind so I didn't really see much need in seeing Natalie Portman playing her on screen. Then, we heard the tragic news about John Hurt's death in January. Jackie was one of his final films before his death so I decided it was a good reason to see the film. John Hurt was one of the finest actor's around and could turn his hand to any part. Yes, he wasn't a traditional leading man but he has been a significant part of some great films. I can think of worse reasons to want to watch something.

Monday, 6 February 2017

MONDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Yesterday marked my final shift at work for just over a week, which is what I'm using to explain my lack of post yesterday. It's so I don't have to start worrying that every day I creep closer to the big 3-0 (my co-workers delighted in reminding me that it's only 56 weeks away yesterday) my memory is getting worse. It's clearly not that. It's stress. So this holiday came at the right fucking time then. After months of trying to get time off it's finally happened. We've been so short staffed that everyone's been working so much and it's not been possible to get my days in. Fortunately, I've got until February 14th off so I'm planning on sleeping, reading, sleeping, taking photos, sleeping, and watching films to get ahead. I'm off on holiday for a few days later in the month so I need to get prepared. When I post my next rundown I'm almost certain it'll be full of regret for wasting my week and doing nothing useful. At least that's what history tells me to expect.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

TBT - Groundhog Day (1993)

Before I start today's post I have to hold my hands up and say "I'm sorry". In my flu-y haze I managed to forget that yesterday was the first Wednesday of February. That would normally be my day for a Top 10 post but I ended up falling asleep. So, you'll have to wait a week longer to read it but, hopefully, the added time will make it a doozy. I mean past experience tells me it won't be but you never know.

Just over a week ago it was announced that John Hurt had died. He was a phenomenal actor who could  turn his hand to any role. He was a chameleon and would always sparkle on screen, especially in his more villainous parts. So learning that he had been battling cancer was clearly devastating to his fans. So, in honour of greatest works, I was planning on using this TBT post to discuss one of Hurt's greatest film roles. Then I found out it was fucking Groundhog Day and I decided I couldn't miss the chance that had fallen in my lap. I'll move the memorial post to next week and discuss one of the greatest films of all time. It's one I've loved for a long time and was delighted to study in my one year of taking film studies at University. I didn't carry on the subject because I wasn't a fan of the course or the lecturers but it will always live on in my memory as the only time I've ever been able to watch some of my favourite films, like Groundhog Day and Beauty and the Beast, and call it work. Movie night with my flatmates as a learning experience? That's the kind of shit I can get behind. As much as I love studying poetry it's not quite the same.


TBT - Groundhog Day (1993)

Before I start today's post I have to hold my hands up and say "I'm sorry". In my flu-y haze I managed to forget that yesterday was the first Wednesday of February. That would normally be my day for a Top 10 post but I ended up falling asleep. So, you'll have to wait a week longer to read it but, hopefully, the added time will make it a doozy. I mean past experience tells me it won't be but you never know.

Just over a week ago it was announced that John Hurt had died. He was a phenomenal actor who could  turn his hand to any role. He was a chameleon and would always sparkle on screen, especially in his more villainous parts. So learning that he had been battling cancer was clearly devastating to his fans. So, in honour of greatest works, I was planning on using this TBT post to discuss one of Hurt's greatest film roles. Then I found out it was fucking Groundhog Day and I decided I couldn't miss the chance that had fallen in my lap. I'll move the memorial post to next week and discuss one of the greatest films of all time. It's one I've loved for a long time and was delighted to study in my one year of taking film studies at University. I didn't carry on the subject because I wasn't a fan of the course or the lecturers but it will always live on in my memory as the only time I've ever been able to watch some of my favourite films, like Groundhog Day and Beauty and the Beast, and call it work. Movie night with my flatmates as a learning experience? That's the kind of shit I can get behind. As much as I love studying poetry it's not quite the same.


TBT - Groundhog Day (1993)

Before I start today's post I have to hold my hands up and say "I'm sorry". In my flu-y haze I managed to forget that yesterday was the first Wednesday of February. That would normally be my day for a Top 10 post but I ended up falling asleep. So, you'll have to wait a week longer to read it but, hopefully, the added time will make it a doozy. I mean past experience tells me it won't be but you never know.

Just over a week ago it was announced that John Hurt had died. He was a phenomenal actor who could  turn his hand to any role. He was a chameleon and would always sparkle on screen, especially in his more villainous parts. So learning that he had been battling cancer was clearly devastating to his fans. So, in honour of greatest works, I was planning on using this TBT post to discuss one of Hurt's greatest film roles. Then I found out it was fucking Groundhog Day and I decided I couldn't miss the chance that had fallen in my lap. I'll move the memorial post to next week and discuss one of the greatest films of all time. It's one I've loved for a long time and was delighted to study in my one year of taking film studies at University. I didn't carry on the subject because I wasn't a fan of the course or the lecturers but it will always live on in my memory as the only time I've ever been able to watch some of my favourite films, like Groundhog Day and Beauty and the Beast, and call it work. Movie night with my flatmates as a learning experience? That's the kind of shit I can get behind. As much as I love studying poetry it's not quite the same.

 
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