Thursday 31 May 2018

TMP Television Edition: Entertainment Business

Oh Smash I do miss the drama, the music, Anjelica Huston throwing martinis. It had a great but possibly difficult premise, the making of a broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe. Shows are very expensive to make (obviously) and the creatives involved are simply amazing. The first series is maibly about the show being workshopped and the previews with the second being about making it to Broadway as well as another show off broadway. Two shows in one show. Both had great music and epic scenes, including the random Bollywood style dance and song near the end of season 1. But alas, the rating weren't high enough to keep this Bombshell going. Boasting stars of stage and screen though, this could easily make it to real Broadway, in fact both Bombshell and Hit List did make it to theatres but for a few performances with word that Bombshell may head to Broadway!

A very Aaron Sorkin TV series about a sketch comedy show, very similar to Saturday Night Live. He even modelled two characters after himself and Kristin Chenoweth whom he dates for several years. It begins with the new director/producer Danny Tripp and producer/head writers Matt Albie arriving to revive the show. Focusing on the cast and crew of the show as well as the broadcaster heads and their relationships with each other as well as exploring and depicting bigger issues. The show itself was brilliant BUT the show was put on hiatus in the middle of the season and the remaing episodes werrn't given proper slots so had a miscarried way to the small screen. This usually spells death for a TV show (same thing happened to Firefly) and thus why the show only has 1 season. Shame. It deserved better.

This show is everything. Set in a world where anthropomorphic animals exist with humans sets it apart visually as well as it being animated perfection, but the show is known for being the blackest of comedies. Bojack Horseman is a washed up 90s sitcom actor who is trying to make a comeback. He drinks to excess, takes drugs, is rude to everyone and has warped view on how things should be but deep down he has the lowest of the low self esteem and continually self hates. At the same time, this show is hilarious! The show has the ability to switch from a ridiculous scene to a very dark and serious tone. The show is about showbiz mainly on those who live in Hollywoo (the 'd' fell off) and those who intereact with Bojack, but they have all had their own great storylines too. Princess Caroline (a cat) is his savvy agent and ex-girlfriend, Mr Peanutbutter (a dog) is his rival and sort of friend, Todd is his long long suffering friend/roomate and Diane is a writer and Mr Peanutbutter's girlfriend (later wife) but also serves as Bojack's confidant and probably his real soulmate (but that has yet to come up). The writing as well as the animation is sometimes so on point when it tackles 'taboo' subjects and doesn't hold back. Maybe because its animated or that there are anthropomorphic animals as the main characters, but the show gets away with quite a lot which is great to see in a show. Sometimes going dark is the best way. 

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at
Wandering Through the Shelves

Tuesday 29 May 2018

Going West - BFI Flare Film Festival

Having missed the chance to see 'Going West' at the London Film Festival, I was lucky to catch it at BFI Flare. A Norwegian family comedy drama road trip isn't something you see everyday, especially when the father in the story dresses as a woman.

Music teacher Kasper, after losing his job due to his extracurricular activites impacting his work, visits his dad, Georg, who hasn't left his flat since his wife Irene died. When father and son discover Irene has been short listed for the main prize in a quilting competition, the two decide to honour her by taking her quilt to the remote lighthouse island wher the competition is held.

Both men are broken, partly because their mother/wife was the person to keep everyone together. But they are incomplete for other reasons. Kasper has drinking habbits that make me irresponsible and its a wonder if he actually wants to be a music teacher. Georg likes to dress as a woman, he feels freer when he does but of course its not considered the norm. Irene knew he dressed as a woman and its clear that Kasper is used to it by the way he doesn't bat an eyelid at his father's new outfit. The two are accepted by those who they meet on the road, including three girls on a camping trip which is actually a prelude to a planned heist. An old friend picks up the father and son when their motorcycle breaks down and even lends them a car for the rest of the journey. Just like other road trip films about families, troubles from the past are brought up and find resolution.

What I found satisyfying about the story and the characters was that comedic moments are from a light sense of humour or from a completely ridiculous situation, such as the failed heist the three girls try to pull at a petrol station. There is no humour around Georg's crossinf dressing which so wonderfully refreshing. Its not treated as the focus of the story, the relationship between father and son is.

I'm glad I got to see this gem of a film. Having only seen a little of Norwegian cinema, with every new film, I'm keen to seek more stories like this.

Monday 28 May 2018

New Zeland: South Island

It may seem like I'm milking it with my New Zealand posts but its got to that stage where its seems like a strange a faraway place and I can't believe I went...


South Island! We landed in Nelson and enjoyed our chatty taxi driver's stories about his life. Turns out his daughter married a British guy (they fell in love over rugby) and moved to the UK. He said he was planning a trip over hopefully this year. As we only had a precious day and half in Nelson, we wanted to make the most of it.

We jumped on a bus and walked our way to World of Wearable Arts museum which had been recommended to us by my aunty. WOW is an internationally renowned design competition that has been going for 30 years. A very friendly staff member of the museum told us all about the competition and even showed us a couple of bras (from the previous year's bra section of the competition) that were in the boardroom! There were some amazing pieces on display, some of which are above.

The hostel we stayed in was Bridge Backpackers which is very shiny and clean looking from the dinning area and even the kitchen. But we were in the rooms out back, the motel looking part of the hostel. We enjoyed a private bathroom complete with cracked toilet seat and broken door that fell on my friend. We also missed out, on both mornings of our stay, waffle breakfast which was only served between 8am-9am, so for all the people travelling to Abel Tasman (a huge reason why most of the people were there) would have to get the bus as 7am, so who actually gets to enjoy the waffles? Wouldn't recommend the play based on that above but apart from that an ok place to stay.

The next day we went to Abel Tasman, hoping to beach hop with the available water taxis BUT as we booked with ScenicNZ we encountered issues. We were booked onto the coach to Kaiteriteri with the rudest bus driver who can't tell time but when we dashed to the boat for the cruise we weren't on the list so were left alone on the beach while the boat sailed off. Luckily the Wilsons tours lady helped us out and booked us on to a better sounding deal, a cruise along the Abel Tasman coast and then a 2 hour beach stop at Anchorage bay which was beautiful. We had the beach to ourselves! Well, for most of the time.

My advice - don't bother with ScenicNZ, they are terrible! Use Wilsons instead.


No rest for us - we had another early start the day after Abel Tasman, where we headed for Punakaiki, home of the Pancake Rocks. After a snooze on the coach, we were dropped off at the cafe, where the driver warned everyone about food poisoning, putting a spanner in our plans for lunch. We had stocked up at Nelson for the two days in the middle of nowhere so had all meals sorted. The 6 minutes walk from the bus stop to the hostel was in fact 20 minutes with all our bags. But the walk was worth it for the amazing view and the perfectly situated hostel, which was right  next to the beach. We had been so excited about the beach we had changed out plans, adding in an extra day to stay, using this place as our chill stop.

We stayed at the Punakaiki Beach Hostel and had amazing welcoming hosts who told us about all the places to go. A few tracks into the rainforest but they had been partly closed (no matter to us as we had no plans on going on a hike), the glowworm cave hidden in the rocks, a place to go after dark in order to see anything glow and of course the Pancake Rocks themsleves. It wasn't as warm as we had hoped but that didn't stop us exploring the amazing beach! We also went to see the rocks but unfortunately missed the blowholes which can be seen just before high tide. We attempted the caves BUT there was a person in there on their own, the dark, we freaked out and ran away.

We spent the next day attempting to go swimming but the rocky beach was difficult. The funny thing is the water was actually fine, just the damn stones digging into our feet was too painful. We sat on the beach instead, taking in the sea air before we planned for a late lunch/dinner at the local tavern, the only other place, apart from the cafe, that served food. Punakaiki can barely be called a villiage and would usually just been used as a stop off point for people driving but if you are lucky enough to be travelling in the summer months, its worth a few days just for the beacha and view alone.

Franz Josef 

After two days of beaches, we took the coach to Franz Josef. We decided just to stay the night and pick up the coach again in the morning for Queenstown as we would have had to spend two days there if we wanted to try getting to the glacier, but it wasn't high on or list of things to do. Not wanting to waste our time there, we did book a private pool at the Glacier Hot Pools when we arrived.

After a relaxing evening and an early night, the drama began in the morning. We had been told by the bus driver the previous day to be outside our hostel at 7:45 am and the bus would then leave at 8am. Two guys from our hostel room were also getting the bus and were a minute ahead of us. We got to the bus stop maybe a 7:46am but no coach. The bastard coach driver had left without us. The guys in our room hadn't said anything either. We panicked and ran to where we thought the bus would be. No coach. We called InterCity who were useless saying he was still checking people in. If we had gone to the original bus stop, we would have been on that coach. After I had yelled at the useless InterCity, my friend calmly took over but they faffed around for too long until the driver said he can't turn back now. I spotted a coach pulling into a hostel where we were standing and in an act of desparation asked the coach driver if he could take us as far as he was going, a stop just outside Queenstown. Thankfully he said yes. We were saved!

My friend and I enjoyed a very sceanic drive to Wanaka, stopping off at Lake Matheson for brunch where we could collect out selves. My cousin thankfully picked us up from Wanaka and drove us to Queenstown. She had arrived a few days early to do some walks and had been exploring the areas herself. It was hectic day but we made it to our destination. The moral of the story is, NEVER USE INTERCITY.


Queenstown is situated right under The Remarkables (mountains). It was overwhelmingly beautiful every time we saw them. We stayed at Base Backpackers which was decent enough. Room for three with private bathroom AND we could see mountains from our window. Downside though, only free wifi between 7am-7pm which is useless as those are the hours you will be out of the hostel. Outside those hours they charge you. If I returned to Queenstown I'd book a hostel with free wifi for sure. Plus the so called breakfast was literally just bread, butter and jam.

Over the three full days there it did rain which dampened the mood on the day we didn't have anything special planned. That was the middle day where we had a fancy breakfast at Ivy & Lola's. The food was delicious, I think I had pancakes and loved it. We also had a wander around town, went to the cinema and endulged in ice cream at Patagonia (there are a few of them around).

First day, we travelled to the famous Milford Sound. This involved getting up early and a very long coach ride. There are a few tour and cruise options, we went with Jucy Cruise which wasn't too bad, but they do offer slightly better versions at different times. Best to look around for what suits you. If you have a car, no need to book the coach, you just need the cruise. Along the way we stopped off at a few places, a few hidden mini tracks that, to be honest would have been much better had it not been pouring with rain.

The cruise was fantastic. I think we were aboard the boat for 90 minutes (could be wrong, honestly can't remember) and went as far out as the sea. Milford Sound is located in Fiordland National Park and is in fact a fiord, not a sound. Even through the rain it was amazing, even better when the boat got closer to the sea. There were waterfalls to marvel at but the best part was when lots of people on the board (including my friend and cousin) stood outside to 'touch' the waterfall. As soon as I realised what was happening I rushed back inside. Everyone was soaked! The boat drove right under the waterfall, twice. As much as I love the water, I like to be prepared for things like that.

In the evening after the long journey back, we had ourselves a famous Fergburger. This is apparently the thing you have to do when you visit Queenstown.

On our last full day, my friend and I had booked a Lord of the Rings tour (plus other bits). We had wanted to do this the whole trip and as plenty of scenes were shot in and around Queenstown, this was the best place to pick. We ended up with a tour that took in sites off the beaten track and got to drive up the 8th most dangerous road in the world and a bit of gold panning in the arrow river. We also had a private tour as no one else was booked, so it was just us and Joe our guide, who was from Yorkshire! in Queenstown, you're always a few inches away from another Brit or Irishman/woman. We got to see some amazing views and found out where Peter Jackson's Summer house is. We also got to stand on the river bank where Arwen says 'If you want him, come and claim him!' and where Sam, Frodo and Gollum set up camp before being captured by Faramir, among other locations.

If you love Lord of the Rings, definitely see about booking a tour. We booked ours with Nomad Safaris.

Later that day we took the bus into Arrowtown where I fell asleep on the way. We had a look round the shops there, had a quick look at the remains of the Chinese settlement and enjoyed some delicious food in the hidden gem, The Chop Shop.

In the evenings we tried a couple of restuarants and cocktail bars, including one of the ice bars (try and find a free entry for this one). On our fourth day, we packed up and all went to the airport, only to find my cousin's flight had been delayed. She got home eventually but it took all day!

Bcak to the North island...


We flew to Auckland for our final two days but by this point, it felt like it was time to go home. We stayed at Attic Backpackers which was pretty nice, but we only stayed one night there.

Our last day was more of 'what shall we do for the next few hours' as we had to get back to the airport. We went up the Sky Tower, regretted we went up (neither my friend or I are good with heights), had a calming coffee and had a look round a small part of the city. We also squeezed in two cinema trips over the stay in Auckland as well a last trip to Coffee Club.

We grabbed a last minute slice of pizza then packing up again and headed back to the airport. Fast forward 24 hours and we were home.

It felt strange being back for a long while, partly because of the jetlag that hit us both really hard and partly because we had to get used to not living out of one bag for a month (my friend for 2 months as she had been in Australia before). Back to routine again now but before I stop talking about New Zealand, I've got a couple film related places to talk about...


Saturday 26 May 2018

How The Writers Ruined The Show

Yes, I'm angry. Fan angry.

And yes, there are spoilers, plenty of them.

There isn't a way to write this and not come off as an angry entitled fan that expects everything to their way when it comes to their favourite characters on one of their favourite shows. So I will try to explain my feelings not only from fan's point of view but also someone who just wants to watch a great story with decent plots and characters development.

If you read my blog or catch my Twitter feed or even dust off a certain Pinterest board, you know I love Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and that my favourite characters are of course Fitz and Simmons, better know as FitzSimmons. From my various out bursts to full blown posts about the show (mainly about FitzSimmons) where I have aired my annoyance and also rejoiced by the acknowledgment of the characters by notable sites as well as other fans. Usually once or twice a season I'll write something but a turn has been taken by the writers that has really pushed the fandom to the edge.

In the finale episode of season 5, Fitz was killed. Crushed by rubble to be exact and Simmons wasn't there. Fitz spent his final moments with Mack and May. No one was given time to be even upset by this news, Simmons was quickly whisked off to find his frozen body out in space and everyone went about their business. Oh yeh, Coulson was meant to die but he doesn't, he goes to the beach with May. Not happy at all.

It wasn't long ago that FitzSimmons was getting credit for being the greatest love story in the MCU and I still stand by that. Season 5 even started off without Fitz (5 long episodes without him was too long) but as soon as Fitz was back with the team, the plot moved along, each character even felt like they had been boosted and new shit was brought to light man! Fitz and Simmons reunited was what the fans wanted and for most of season 5, this was the case. Even when Fitz had his evil episode, they were still a team, when Jemma was convinced that they were invincible, when they were forced to fix that gravatonium machine rather than watch the other die, when they found out that Deke was their grandson and to top it all off the 100th episode was really about them. Their wedding was what the fans had been waiting for 5 seasons and it was perfect. BUT, all these moments were a lie. Now that Fitz is dead, Simmons wants to look for frozen Fitz but frozen he missed everything in season 5 including his own amazing proposal scene from Simmons and their actual amazing wedding. The writers had undone all the great scenes and memories now. Why? Because the writers of the show are ****holes and they can't think of interesting things to happen unless its ripping apart the two best characters on the show. Plus, the writers really don't give a damn about the fandom.

The writers have said they leapt at the chance to pull Fitz and Simmons apart. Why? It angers the fans, it really doesn't improve anything and it sort of wastes time in the overall plot. FitzSimmons work well together that was the whole point of the characters, they're a team. They've proved themselves apart on more than enough occasions and they have developed over the past 5 seasons. BUT they are best when they are a team. Pulling them apart, again, is lazy. The writers needed to go big but they killed the wrong man. As much as I like Coulson, killing him off would have been a braver move. You don't kill the heart of the show, you go big or you go home.

The finale was especially disappointing in that this is the ending the writers wanted the send show out on. THIS is what they thought was a satisfying end?? Really?? Thank gad the show is returning for season 6. They need to fix this mess they've made.

There have already been speculation posts all over the internet (not surprised) and how the show will fit in with the fall out of Infinity War. Season 6 is said to be released Summer 2019, after Infinity War 2 or whatever its called is released. This means time jump and its means even more trauma explaining. With only 13 episodes, most likely Disney finally stopped backing this horse and wanted a short proper ending, but maybe now Coulson will actually die? Fitz better be in the season and not in just one or two episodes. As I can see the ****hole writers doing that.

I yearn for the days of seasons 1-3, although 4 did have some great episode I still can't understand why Ghost Rider was in the show...still odd. Oh and Aida was hideously annoying with her Pinocchio complex (wanting to be a real girl not the nose growing thing). Just fed up of seeing FitzSimmons in peril apart, at least keep them together. In peril if you must. Elizabeth Henstridge and Iain De Caestecker are truly fantastic actors, all they're amazing hard work should be matched with a proper send off when the show does end. An ending where they are together. They also need to be included in Avengers once this whole Thanos things has blown over.

Let's see what misery Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D will bring us next year in what I predict will be the actual last season. But hey, 6 seasons and a movie right? Stranger things have happened, I mean Boba Fett is getting a spin off film...

Wednesday 23 May 2018

April/May Watch List

As I was away for the whole of April, I was unable to post my usual watch list, so this is going to be a mix of the last two months in quick succession as I managed to watch 6 new films just on the way to New Zealand as well as consume 5 other films I watched while out there and 2 new films plus the whole of season one of The Handmaid's Tale on the way home on the plane. No matter what I'm doing or where I am, I manage to watch films.

Ready Player One
I had planned reading the book before the film came out but time makes fools of us all. Set in the future where everyone lives online... honestly this is set in the future but a future where a games creator genius trillionaire has left an easter egg to his fortune after he died. All the players in the world are looking for the clues to that egg, Wade Watts, lives in the stacks, the poorer area of the city where the creator is from. Along with his 'clan' he hunts for the egg before the evil corp finds it and gains control of the Oasis. I'm not explaining this well, but its a fun game and film referenced filled film with basic heroes and fantastic visual art. One of Speilberg's better films in years. 3/5

Game Over Man
The three guys from the TV show Workaholics work in a very posh hotel as housekeepers when a group of terrorists take a famous rapper and his party guests hostage. The film sort digs at a Die Hard like situation but mainly makes a lots of disgusting jokes and a few very funny jokes that land. But the terrible jokes and some of the worse scenes makes the film not exactly memorable. 2/5

The Secret of Kells
Set in Ireland, a young Brendan, lives in the Abbey of Kells where his uncle, the Abbott wants to build a wall around the village and abbey to prevent the Vikings from attacking. As an apprentice in the scriptorium he begins to help Brother Aidan the author of the fabled Book of Iona which olds beautifully intricate details drawings. It is an amazingly animated film, that explores Irish folklore as well as depicting the horrendous Viking attacks and also shows faith in a different light. 4/5

The Jungle Book
Finally got round to watching this film and it did not disappoint. Strangely enough, the live action Mowgli and the CGI animals, beautifully animated, works quite well together. The animals are far more terrifyingly depicted, especially Kaa who had a brief appearance and King Louie who was a gigantic ape. As I'm not a fan of the original Disney animated film, I actually really enjoyed this version, maybe its because Christopher Walken was involved. 3/5

All the Money in the World
I had had an interest in the film, even when Spacey was involved. Following the story about the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III and how his wealthy grandfather wouldn't pay ransom. The film gives context to how Getty works and how he tried to buy his grandchildren from their mother Gail Harris. The film feels like it's Gail's struggle with the monster with years and the fact that Getty won't help save her son is the final straw. Getty is greedy and relentless and played pretty damn well by Christopher Plummer but Michelle Williams deserves credit for this role, even though I know she was nominated for awards, its a shame everyone just remember this film as the one Kevin Spacey was cut out of. 3/5

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
My first film of my epic long flights to New Zealand. At first when I saw the trailer, I though this was pointless. Why? We don't need or want a reboot or sequel or whatever it was... BUT its actually quite fun to watch. Picking up after the last film, the game is found on a beach, a dad gives it to his son to look at but he'd rather play with his video game, so Jumanji evolves to intrigue new players. The boy starts the game and disappears. 27 years later the game has found its way to the junk room at a highschool where four teenagers in detention decide to play. This is not like the previous Jumanji where horrible things happen in the real world, the kids have avatars and are in a real enough jungle. Harping on nostalgia, just like Ready Player One, old school game references are used as well as rules of the jungle and all that. Its actually quite funny as well as fun thanks to Jack Black is a the steretypical self centered vapid girl at school. The film even has time for a little romance to pop up and some heartbreaking truths for the kid who has been in the games 27 years. Along with funny and horrible deaths, its not as bad as I thought it would be. 3/5

A biopic that isn't really a biopic but documentary that uses replay but all with the same actors. This is about Tonya Harding who was accused at being involved with the attack on her rival Nancy Kerrigan in 1994. Based on, if not almost recreations of real interviews, some of which are shown at the end of the film, re-tell the same story from different people who were involved as well as how Tonya grew up, met her husband, had to deal with abuse from her mother and then her husband, so it is a biopic. Without trying to pick sides, not matter whether Tonya was invloved or not, she's an athlete who was stripped of her only outlet and escape from the continuous abuse she suffered. She's tough and isn't accepted by the sport she loves, her talent isn't recognised and she continues her days out of the limelight and off the ice. Its bleak. 3/5

Ah yes the Pizar film 'for boys' and Disney 'for girls' film. I don't like this. But those feelings aside, it was a huge triumph at the Oscars (even though that song wasn't the best). Coco is the central character's, Miguel's great grandmother. His family hate music because Coco's father left his family to persue a musical career so now they make shoes, but Miguel wants to play music just like his famous hero Ernesto de la Cruz. He ventures to the Land of the Dead where he meets his ancestors and makes friends with Hector who can't cross over as no one has put up his picture. Its wonderfully animated as always and the story is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking, but it just ok to me. 3/5

Battle of the Sexes
The icoic tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs should have been something I knew about as it is all about feminist ideals such as women should be treated equally and all that but I really can't be bothered with tennis, plus I found out the prize money is the same for tournaments (correct me if I'm wrong) but the women play less sets? Why can't they play the same amount as the men? That's not fair. Anyway the film is actually pretty dull, saved only by the leads who I like. 2/5

Get Out
Yes I know, it took me THAT long to watch the most talked about film of the year. I honestly don't know why I hadn't seen it. Unfortunately I had read quite a bit about the film and other articles and such and knew most of what was going to happen. A bizarre brilliant and terryinging concept, expecially when the film explaining what its all about is played to Chris before....actually just in case not everyone has seen the film I won't go in details. As a psychological thriller horror it is a great story and I think will be used in film school whether as a discussion peice or directorial example, but I think over all I missed the hype on this one. 3/5

After an evil pharmaceutical etc company plays science in space and it goes wrong, bits of a deadly formula lands on a wolf, a alligator and a gentle albino gorilla making them mutate and grow huge. They crash through Chicago and the army tries to stop them but really only Primatologist The Rock can help save the city and his best friend George (the albino gorrilla). This is your basic science fiction monster movie complete with silly evil CEO villains, mercs for hire, a scientist who was trying to do the right thing and Dwayne Johnson who will always be The Rock no matter what. Its really silly but fun at the same time, especially at the moments when the film knows its taking the mick out of itself.3/5

Avengers: Infinity War 
This is such a delicate subject for most, but if you haven't seen it and you love the Marvel films then you'll love this and you'll also cry internally unless you show sadness and then in that case you'll just cry. Without spoilers, Thanos is collecting Infinity Stones, all of them, so the Avengers and friends join forces but really splinter into groups (only way really) until terrible things happen. I won't go on. Except the say, the Guardians of the Galaxy have the best bits, together and apart. And yes, we have to wait a whole damn year for the next film. Marvel is turning Star Wars on us. 4/5

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society 
Based on the book of the equally long name by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, the story is about a group of neighbours living on Guernsey during the German occupation who start the book club to cover up a roast pork dinner. After the war, successful writer Juliet Ashton, wants to write a serious novel stepping away from comedic character books. She recieves a letter from Dawsey Adams, member of the society and through this correspondance, Juliet becomes intrigued by their story. So follows is a blissfull English period drama about the war, friendship and romance. Cut between during and after the war, Juliet finds out about the leader of the group who was taken away by the Nazis. The film becomes a mystery as well as little by little we find out what really happened. Its frothy in places but the eccentric characteristics of the group keep you involved. 3/5

Molly's Game 
I admit I fell asleep right at the end of the film but what I saw I enjoyed. Jessica Chastain continuing her 'not your average female character' streak, Molly Bloom is amazing! Well, apart from the poker game stuff that involved the Russian mafia. Giving more than background context to the trial where she could go to prison for illegal activity, we find out how Molly started out in the poker game biz, how she really is as smart as she says, up to the point where she is arrested, made bankrupt and left to her own devices. This is all played out inbetween the present where she hires a lawyer for her trial. Its a very Aaron Sorkin script and therefore the direction is too. Very wordy and slightly over complicated BUT still very edge of the seat, never thought a card game could be this exciting. 3/5

Phantom Thread 
As this was Daniel Day-Lewis' last film before he retired, I knew I had to see this, especially as it was a Paul Thomas Anderson film. But I missed this at the cinema, luckily long flights come with a selection of films. The story is short and is more of a character study of three different people. The wonderfully stern and to the point Lesley Manville, sister to the 'genius' brother DDL, Reynolds, who is a very unlikeable person. He shines for a moment of two when he meets Alma, a waitress who intrigues him the second he sees her. She quickly becomes involved with him, his business and even his sister takes a liking to her, in her own way. Alma is meant to be the 'normal' person who finds herself in Reynolds' world, but really she is just as strange as the others. This concept alone would be fascinating but the pacing is off and the characters are so gad damn horrible, there is little to enjoy apart from the amazing clothes. 2/5

My review can be read on VultureHound HERE. 4/5

The Hitman's Bodyguard
A hitman played by Samuel L. Jackson is the a key witness in a huge court case against a dictator, played by Gary Oldman. Once high and mighty bodyguard now slumming it, played by Ryan Reynolds teams up with hitman to protect him as he makes his way to the trial. I honestly don't know why I bothered with this film. Everyone in the film desereved a hell of a lot better and can do a hell of a lot better. A tedious film with little to redeem itself. 1/5

Smooth Talk 
Young Laura Dern, is the effortlessly elegant looking Connie. She stands out from her family, she doesn't like she is part of them. Being a teenager you already feel disconnected from everyone else apart from your friends. The Summer before her sophomore year, Connie and her friends spend their time at the mall, the movies and at a dive diner hoping to hook up with guys. She clashes with her family and does indeed catch the eye of a few guys, including a creepy as hell Treat Williams (did that guys always look creepy?) who stalks her. The last few scenes in the film are surreal and its unclear if this is reallu happening or if this is manifestation of a wake up call to Connie as she grows up during the film. Either way, its an intriguing film that depicts teenagers in such a realistic light, its worth it just it for that...forget Treat Williams. 3/5

Beware the Slenderman 
Back in 2014 in Waukesha, Wisconsin, two 12 year old girls, stabbed their friend 19 times. When they were arrested, they claimed that Slenderman told them to do it. The documentary follows the case as the girls' lawyers appeal for the girls to be tried as minors, where the courts are pushing them to be tried as adults which means the girls could get life sentances. The victim survived the attack and her account is told by someone else. The film interviews the accused girls' parents painting a very different picture of the girls. But as the evidence and secret obsessions with Slenderman reveal themselves, its difficult to see how and why this really happened. 3/5

Deadpool 2 
The worry of making a sequel is like the difficult second album and Deadpool is no different. DP is up to his usual job, going global in fact. He's doing great until tragedy strikes and its more hard hitting than you'd expect. In the midst of his sadness DP tries to help a troubled young mutant from New Zealand and ends up in mutant prison complete power surpressing shock collars which means DP is again slowly dying of cancer the Cable shows up wanting to kill the boy DP tried helping. Once Cable shows up the fun really begins. Its hilarious. Not as superb as the first film but my gad it doesn't care. References, tasteful cameos, culture shocks and blood gallore complete with an absolutely horrendous injury DP had to, well, sort out. Its disgusting as well as hilarious. Some of the best lines in the film are just throw aways but gems non the less. Whether there will be a third film is questionable... 4/5

Jeune Femme
A killer soundtrack accompanies the awful Paula. Newly broken up from her older photographer boyfriend of 10 years, who was also her teacher when they first met, she can't let go. Wondering the streets of Paris that she hates after her friend kicks her out for being nasty. She is rejected quite violently by her mother she left years before, pretends to be someone's long lost school friend and ends up in a cheap motel with her ex's stolen cat. She is a mess but she turns her life around as she won't be beaten. She gets a job, finds a place to stay as a babysitter and even makes new friends. Coming off as a spoilt brat who won't move on from being the muse, Paula turns herself into a woman who can stand on her own, proving, most importantly to herself that she can. A brilliantly acted role from Laetitia Dosch and made to perfection by Léonor Sérraille, writer and director, its a film that hits you but you can't help but dance. 4/5

Thursday 17 May 2018

Thurday Movie Picks: Twisty Thrillers

I'm guessing that 'Twisty Thrillers' are those with a twist. If not, this is my interpretation of the theme.

Shutter Island
For some reason, I find this story set on an island with an asylum conforting. I think it must be the waves and the fact I know the ending. Once you know what's really going on, you can see all the signs but what's really clever about the film is that the 'signs' aren't really obvious, you still need to pay attention to detail. It's still disturbing no matter how to watch the film. I felt this film didn't get the recognition it deserved. A detective looking for an escaped criminal on an island which houses multiple criminally insane inmates, where the doctors and orderlies are just as sinister as the patients, is still brilliant no matter how many times I watch it.

Eight candidates for a job are seated in a room. They are given questions to answer and rules to follow, if they break a rule they are removed and no longer in the running for the job. The twist you say? Well, there are a few as little by little information about the job, the company and the candidates are revealed. Slightly futuristic as it involves a virus that has infected people and the company they are trying to get a job with is a pharmaceutical one that produces the medicine needed. But what biggest twist is what the actual answer to the question is. Its quite a good film, but could have been better.

Fermat's Room
Four mathematical geniuses are invited to an exclusive dinner where they become trapped and must solve mathematical puzzles to escape the room which compresses every time they miss a deadline with a puzzle. They suspect that one of them is the instagator. The twist? Well, there are a few small ones but obviously the big reveal is near the end.  A great story, again, taking place mostly inside one space, one location like Exam.

Don't forget to check out where it all started over at
Wandering Through the Shelves