Thursday 30 April 2020

Because 'Angels' sounds better?

Last year I made my 'Charlie's Angels' (2000 & 2003) fan zine and wrote a post (which can be read HERE) before the lastest in the franchise, rather than a reboot, was in cinemas. It took me a while but I finally got to see what all the fuss was about (the cast) and why critics and audiences weren't so keen on the film.

The fact that Elizabeth Banks directed made a huge (and better) difference and change from the tone of the previous male gaze galore films which I both love and hate. But that didn't mean that the latest escaped the 'costume' moment and the utterly pointless dance routine sequence AND weird creepy hitman. At least the latter for something to look at.

My full review is over at Vulturehound and can be read here

Later, angels.

Friday 24 April 2020

Comfort Zone

Everyone has their own comfort zone and what their go to films, TV, books and music are. But my comfort zone has stretched no farther than what I watched last month. I'm sure there are a billion other posts are there like this one, but this one is mine.

I'm admiring all the other bloggers and film writers out there who are continuously writing. Those who are able to get past any personal issues that may get in the way of their writing. Anyone who can carry on despite there being less 'new' content to talk about. I not only admire and commend you all but I envy that ability. I haven't been consistant with my writing since January (moving house stress, starting new job stress, having guy problems, feeling demotivated then lockdown happening) and I've tried a few times to get back on the writing horse but haven't been very successful. I have been working on other side projects (latest zine - coming soon) and other interests (tarot readings - if intrigued ask me) but my love of film has been diluted of late and this isn't because of all the pre lockdown things, its literally been because of lockdown. I know I'm not the only one out there feeling like this and there really isnt a magic cure for this very odd variation of writer's block. So instead I've retreated into my comfort zone of rewatching films that I find an easy watch or could have on in the background and TV shows that make me laugh no matter how many times I watch them.

To try and get me out of this comfort zone, I have watched a few films I haven't seen before whether I wanted to (hopefully my Charlie's Angels review will be up soon, either here or on Vulturehound) or because I'm watching it with my friends (my uni friends are still having our film nights/days over zoom) or because I was so intrigued I made myself watch it (The Platform on Netflix, its horrible but very good) and finally I made a pile of all the films I own that I haven't watched yet BUT that pile was then tidied away when I reshelved my collection. Instead of watching all the films I wanted but didn't have time before I have rewatched 'Ready Player One' and 'Oceans 8' many many times as they are both easy watches.

But the real comfort has been TV. In between watching 'Tiger King' over a few days and managing to cram in 'The Pale Horse' and wait impatiently for the next Mandalorian episode, I've rewatched 'Brooklyn Nine Nine from seasons 3-6 twice. I have also rewatched Schitts Creek seasons 3-5 twice, not including when I watch the entire show the first two weeks of March before lockdown. These two shows have taken the place of my favourite go to comfort show, 'Parks & Rec' which I regularly from seasons 2-7 (first season isn't great). I have watched the latest season of 'Kim's Convenience' in the middle of all this but otherwise its been title of your sex tape jokes and enjoying David's quips and outfits.

The need for comfort TV or films is having something familiar and reliable, you know how it ends and you know what to expect which is what I've needed in these very uncertain and terrible times. My attention is also not fully needed as, again, I know what happens. BUT I have avoided my Lord of the Rings marathon, even though these are my favourite films and this is the perfect opportunity to rewatch them. But I have avoided the films and others as they deserve my respect and full attention. It may seem an odd way to look at it but that's just how I'm feeling right now.

I actually had several posts planned out, which I wrote out last month, here's hoping that my motivation returns and I can steer myself out if this block as no matter how many crumpets and gin I consume, its not changing my state of mind. Hope you're all doing better than me out there!

Monday 13 April 2020

March Watch List


Jane Austen adaptations are really a dime a dozen. There are stand outs and there are those that are screaming out to be made, again, maybe. But 'Emma' wasn't one of them. Surprisingly this is Austen's most adapted novel and is very unlike all her other stories. The major exception is that Emma Woodhouse is wealthy and stays so throughout. She's also rather full of herself, at times selfish, rude and careless. But those are only her bad qualities, she will happily share her good ones. Although we've seen Emma very often on the big screen, small screen and the youtube screen, this fresh faced adaptation is a very welcome addition to the collection. Not only do you actually feel the 'heat' between Emma and Knightly (Emma Approved also gets this chemistry, but its modern day) but you also feel like connection between Harriet and Farmer Roberts which is a new and again welcome exploration (again except in Emma Approved - which deserves its own post really). A fine film which I really wish was given a better chance at the box office. 4/5

Issi & Ossi

As Netflix originals go, they are hot and miss, BUT I think this sort of rom-com-dramady gets it just right with a simple but convoluted set up and equally confusing execution with two great leads. Rich girl Issi who isn't academic in any way wants to go to go a fancy cooking school BUT her parents don't want that. Boxer Ossi is stuck working in his mum's ill fated petrol station and losing time training for a big fight as well as trying to keep his recently released grandad from turning to crime again. He needs money to make his big career making fight to happen, she needs a 'dodgy' boyfriend to annoy her parents SO they make a deal. But like all rom-coms with a similar deal set up, you can guess what happens next, well except Ossi's grandad's rap career taking off. It's light, silly in all the right places and such an easy going watch, especially in these lockdown depressing times. 3/5

A beautiful documentary about life long friends supporting each other through their transitions. My full review is over at Vulturehound and can be read HERE.  5/5

Ralph Breaks the Internet

As Pixar sequels go, I will always watch Toy Story, although I think that story is done now, I never liked Cars or its spin offs, literally the worst and I liked Monsters University, thought it was hilarious and clever despite obvious plot issues. But Wreck-it Ralph, which I didn't think was the strongest films in the bunch, was an odd one to give a sequel to. I still think it. But two best friends on a journey together with self discovery and very funny jabs at Disney and every inventive way to show the internet behind its scenes, it wasn't bad. But that virus making worm guy will haunt me for sometime. 3/5

Friday 3 April 2020

Rocks - BFI Film Festival

Firstly, it’s beyond a shame that 'Rocks' won't get to have its moment in cinemas this April. A story about a London teenager who left by her mum to take care of her young brother and fend for herself. But this isn't just about harsh realities or the tragedy that some young people suddenly find themselves left in, 'Rocks' is also about friendship and how we try to do the best for our friends even if it means making difficult decisions.

Sarah Gavron’s latest film may seem like other films of a certain genre but really, it’s been a long time, where a film, not a TV series, centres around a group of friends who happen to be girls. With 'Our Ladies' meant to be released later this month too, cinema is really be robbed of fantastic stories that you don't normally see on the big screen. But unlike 'Our Ladies', which was based on a novel, 'Rocks' was brought to life very differently. Working with the cast who mostly have not had any acting experience, Sarah Gavron worked on the script and dialogue for their characters. This refreshing way of telling the story really does shine through throughout, its realistic and very believable that these girls are friends and do deal with these problems at school and home at time doesn't feel like it’s a drama but a documentary and this is no bad thing.

Delving straight in Rock's world and the very dire situation she finds herself in. Too young to have to know exactly what to do, she's too young to have this responsibility but here we find her, asking for friends to let her stay the night, stealing stolen money from a new questionable friend, starting fights with those she's closest to. Her story doesn't have an end but rather a new start and new challenges. The last few scenes where her and the best friends take an impromptu trip to the coast is both full of joy and mischief but a sobering tone and a realisation that things will change, hopefully for the best.

A fantastic cast and a refreshing take on the over used 'coming of age' genre, Gavron makes this about friendship and growing up instead, which is a far better view of this story. I just really wish this British gem could be enjoyed in the cinema. Soon, I hope. But I feel I'll be saying that quite a bit in the weeks to come.