Thursday, 30 March 2017

TBT - Batman and Robin (1997)

I'm so tired right now. I've had a string of early shifts this week and it's killing me. Tomorrow is my last day before I have a week off and I can't wait. I just need to sleep for a week. I have no plans and, quite frankly, it's a delightful thought. Still, before I can start to relax too much I have to get tomorrow over and done with. And before I can get work finished I have to go to bed. And before I do that I have to finish this review. God, why did I leave this to the last minute again? I was getting so much better with my schedule. So, this is no doubt going to be terrible and rushed but it's an idea I've been thinking about all week. So let's just get on with it.


Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Lego Batman (2017)

Let's be honest, Batman has something of a chequered history when it comes to live action adaptations of the comic book character. Aside from the supremely cheese but colourful television show of the 1960s and the best forgotten Joel Schumacher films of the late 90s, the Dark Knight has provided something of a literal interpretation. The films created by Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan and, Zack Synder are all part of that super cool, edgy and moody brand of superhero film. Batman has long since shed the image of his cartoony caper when Adam West was the man behind the cowl and has transformed himself into an angsty longer who most probably listens to MCR and muttering about people just don't "get him". So, when Lego Batman, voiced by the supremely funny Will Arnett, became the breakout star of the 2014 The Lego Movie nobody was sure how his solo outing would fit within Batman's canon. Especially cause, as we know from the past, comic book fans are massive dicks about this kind of thing. A colourful, family friendly and comedy filled story is hardly on a even playing field with the politically heavy and mature narratives on display in Nolan's trilogy. After all, the sillier that Batman became the more his fans complain. I mean are we still not ready to admit that there is something so gleefully bad about Batman and Robin that we kind of don't completely hate it? No? Okay then.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

It's Mother's Day so I hope you all treated your mothers with something lovely. Or that your children surprised you with something wonderful. On Instagram today I've been celebrating my favourite literary mother: Molly Weasley. There aren't many positive examples of motherhood in the world of Harry Potter because, quite frankly, there aren't many of them. The main two that we experience are Molly and Narcissa Malfoy. I know Tonk's has Teddy but she's a mother for about half a book or something. Plus, you could argue that her decision to leave her newborn baby to go into battle was the wrong one. I realise she was fighting for the freedom of the wizarding world and it was a tough decision. However, you could argue that, having basically just given birth, she would have been distracted and perhaps not in the best frame of mind to fight. Essentially the decision to have her leave her baby was so JK Rowling had symmetry between Teddy and Harry. I hate plot points that only exist for reasons beyond the narrative itself. Anyway, this isn't the time to start another rant about the Harry Potter author. I have a rundown to write.

Thursday, 23 March 2017

TBT - Chasing Amy (1997)

I've never really been a massive fan of Kevin Smith films. When I was at university I lived with a guy who loved him and wouldn't hear a bad word said about the director. I mean Clerks is a silly but enjoyable enough watch and I did enjoy Dogma. However, I think Smith was severely overrated. Thankfully Smith-mania really peaked in the 90s and early 2000s but it still bugs me that Clerks is so often brought into discussions about "best films ever made".  I mean I get that guy can make films out of small budgets but that's no reason to give him so much credit. He got lucky with one suprise hit film and has been essentially riding it's coattails ever since. I mean all his films are on pretty much the same level. Plus, he's very hit and miss. Now, I realise that Ben Affleck has, for most of his career, made some questionable film choices but it always makes me a bit sad that Kevin Smith features so often in talks about Afflecks greatest film roles. I think Chasing Amy is almost always listed and Dogma makes the occasional appearance. Am I just missing something? Or were people just a lot easier to please in the 90s?

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

Way back on New Year's Eve 2016 I posted my list of most anticipated novels of 2017. On them was this debut novel by Kayla Rae Whitaker about two female friends and business partners. It sounded amazing and the reviews suggested it was something to pay attention to. I bought it not long after it's release at the end of January but didn't actually start reading it until well into February. At first I sailed through it and couldn't get enough. I was on holiday so had time to indulge myself and read chapters at a time without any real worries. However, those of you paying attention to my recent That's What She Read rundowns will know that it took me a long time to finish the novel. The last few chapters just took me ages to get through but I'm happy to say that I finally got to the end last week. It was a great day and I can now get on to one of the many other books that have been piling up for weeks. As I have not watched anything new this week and because I haven't done a good old fashioned book reviews in ages, today's review is going to be a rather terrible overview of this book. Apologies in advance.


Sunday, 19 March 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

I feel like I've had a rough day at work. I can tell because, somehow, it's 21:30 and I've just woken up with no idea where the time went. I think it's because I had last weekend off so I forgot what it's like. Still, I am writing this feel a sense of accomplishment because I've finally finished another book this year. That means I'm up to about 5. In 2.5 months. That doesn't feel like a great rate when you put it like that. I need to find more time to read. I used to read on my break at work but I'm getting more sociable. I miss the days when I was a quiet introvert sat in the corner reading. I just need to stop making friends with the people I work with. It's so distracting to the more important things in my life.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

TBT - X2 (2003)

If you'd asked me before I saw Logan last week, which film in the X-Men series was my favourite I would have confidently answered "Bryan Singer's second film".  It took all of the good things about the first film but made them much better. It also has one of the best endings to a comic book movie ever. The fact that Brett Ratner fucked it all up is another story. It still remains a fucking awesome cliffhanger. X2 is a remarkable sequel that manages to break the rule that the second films always fair worse than their predecessors. It is clever, well written, well acted, and has some of the best action sequences you could hope for. This post marks the moment that I've finally posted a review of all existing films in the X-Men franchise. I've seen some great films and some not so great films. This remains one of the best. Had it not been for Hugh Jackman's swansong this year, X2 would have remained the very best.


Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - Logan (2017)

We've known for a while that Hugh Jackman was on his slowly moving towards his final outing as the character he's played since 2000. For 17 years Huge Ackman has continued to prove that nobody could have been cast in the role of Wolverine and has gained a phenomenal number of fans. So when the first details of Logan were announced it became a clear the whole thing was going to be fairly emotional.., and that was before the trailer sound-tracked by Johnny Cash's cover of 'Hurt' was even released. I've been excited about this film for a long time but I was also faced with a certain amount of trepidation about seeing it. Not because I thought it was going to be bad (everything we were shown pre-release destroyed any fears regarding quality) but because it's the end of an era. It's a bittersweet sensation that Hugh Jackman is finally able to do great things in the character's first R rated outing just before he leaves the role (almost certainly) forever. Suffice it to say I was struggling to hold back the tears as the film went on and was only prevented from bawling like a baby thanks to the awful guy we were sat next to and his inability to shut the fuck up. It's weird but I can't help mourning the loss of this character. He's become so iconic through Jackman's interpretation and the X-Men movie franchise is always going to feel like it's missing something now. Thank fuck the big guy went out on a high though, eh.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

My days off are quickly becoming days that pass me by in a haze of nothing. I still have some holidays to use up before the end of the "year" so I had the weekend off. I've done nothing. I haven't even finished the book I intended to have done by now. If I'm honest I expected to have it finished last month but the end of February just got away from me. Netflix is a great thing but it really is ruining my social life. Still, it could be worse I guess. I just wish I could split my time between binge watching and reading. Then these rundowns wouldn't be so bloody repetitive.

Thursday, 9 March 2017

TBT - Best in Show (2000)

Today was the opening day of the Crufts dog show. I work with more than a few dog obsessives who will get quite into the show. So it's probably going to be something I hear about a lot for the next few days. As much as I love dogs, Crufts always brings to mind the Christopher Guest mockumentary Best in Show. So, being a Thursday, I decided to rewatch the film about a fake dog show instead of watching the real thing. After all, watching dogs actually compete for the title of Best in Show would only have me wishing that I was still a dog owner. At least this way I have the comedy to distract myself. After all, sitting down to watch a Christopher Guest film is like sitting down with an old friend. Back in November, I watched his Netflix original Mascots and, despite feeling it could have been better, I bloody enjoyed it. It's been 17 years since Best in Show was first released so would it still feel as fresh and funny?

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Tuesday's Reviews - A Monster Calls (2017)

I've literally just got back from watching Logan and am desperately trying to finish today's review. My original plan was to watch something yesterday and write it up ahead of time so I wasn't rushed. Instead I spent most of my day off asleep and only just had time to watch today's film. As I have such a small window here I'm waiting until next week to write up Logan because I want to do it justice. Although, spoiler alert, I fucking loved it! I knew I would but it was so good. Despite the fact the we waited for a post-credits scene and there wasn't one. It was just nice to sit and take events in whilst listening to Johnny Cash. I guess it's good that there wasn't actually anything after the credits. It ensure that the ending was as powerful as it needed to be. Gah, it was an emotional experience which means after watching A Monster Calls yesterday means I've been emotionally drained for the past 2 evenings. I need to start watching some happier films.

Sunday, 5 March 2017

SUNDAY RUNDOWN - THAT'S WHAT SHE READ

Today is my 29th birthday and I've barely done anything all day. I went out for a nice meal with my family but didn't get anything else done. I had plans to tidy and do odd jobs I needed to get done. Instead, I woke up with an agonising back ache and just spent all day avoiding moving if possible. Still, at my age, it's probably best that I don't get too excited. I did manage to plan a trip to see Logan this week which I'm very excited about. I'm positive that I'm going to love it but the whole thing will be bittersweet knowing that neither Hugh Jackman or P. Stew will be back again. It's the end of a bloody era. I fucking amazing era.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

TBT - Aliens (1986)

On Saturday 25th February it really was "game over, man. Game over" for actor Bill Paxton. The 61 year old died after complications during heart surgery. 61 really is no age at all and I can hardly imagine how his family and friends are coping. I liked Bill Paxton; although, I find this a sort of hypocritical statement to make considering most of the time I didn't get his name correct. Yes, I'm one of those people that could never tell the difference between her Bills. Just like trying to get a USB stick into the hole, it always takes me 3 attempts to work out if I mean Bill Pullman or Bill Paxton. Even though I know there is one Bill I prefer, I just can't remember his name. Bill Paxton was a great actor who had the ability to turn his hand to any number of roles. In order to honour his work and, conveniently, find something to write about for TBT, I decided to rewatch one of his greatest early roles. It was the role he won himself a Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor. It only seems right.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Top 10 Wen-sday: Top 10 Characters I'd Invite to my Birthday

Just like Ronald Bilius Weasley, I am a March baby. Yes, just as Ron is celebrating his 37th year of his life on this very day, I will be celebrating turning 29 on March 5th. As a younger twin, I'm used to not really giving much of a shit about my birthday. I mean when you've spent 29 years sharing congratulations, parties and cakes, you start to feel that the whole thing isn't really that special. Still, I feel it's best to honour it in some way so for my monthly top 10 I decided to do a rundown of the fictional characters I'd most like to attend my birthday shindig. Not that it would be a wild affair. Don't get me wrong, I like to party... but by party, I mean read books.

 
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