Posted in Book reviews, Cinema, Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Travel

Watch, Read , Listen – Part 2

Hello friends , 

This week I urge you to do at least one of these things because , in my opinion, they are all amazing . And because you’re here and my opinion is the only one that matters ; you should listen to me. 

Watch ‘Frank’

  
An interesting little movie based loosely on Chris Sieveys’ character Frank Sidebottom who wore a giant fake head when performing weird music which , quite frankly (see what I did there), I did not understand. The story follows an aspiring musician who finds himself pulled in to Frank’s band. They hole themselves away in the woods to record their album and nothing much happens. It’s honest, funny, sad , and you should watch it. 

Read ‘An Untamed State’ by R.Gay .

Ever since reading Bad Feminist I have been waiting for her next book to come out. I’m still reading it but so far so good. Be warned though if you’re expecting a repeat of Bad Feminist-y vibes, this is totally different and is about a woman kidnapped in Haiti.

Listen to these Podcasts:

Last year it was avocados, this year I’m all about podcasts . They are my new thing. 

If you’re a podcast newbie , here are my favourites so far : 

Serial – because who doesn’t love a good story about crime, innocence and an unfair justice system!?

Call Your Girlfriend – two friends and feminists talking about social media, being ‘diagnosed’ with menstruation, race, what an asshole the pope is , and everything inbetween. 

Another Round – two friends and feminists (yes there’s a trend in my listening) talking about racism, sexism, popular culture, everything. 

This American Life – the podcast that has it all , because there are over 500 episodes dating back to the 90s. 

All of these podcasts are free online , otherwise if you have an ‘Apple-anything’ product you can also search for them in your Podcast app. 

In other news :

  
I got to vote yesterday for the first time ever in my ten years of being in this country. For those who have not experienced it , it is mostly quite dull and there are no snacks offered in the poll stations (for anyone who was wondering).

Have a good weekend wherever you all are !

Posted in Book reviews, Cinema, Comedy, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews

Watch. Read. Listen.

Hello everybody,

Here are some things keeping my attention over the last month . Normally this is quite hard to do so these are the “cream of the crop” (a phrase I’ve never really understood, thus inverted commas).

Reading

Currently reading Joseph O'Neills' The Dog.
Currently reading Joseph O’Neills’ The Dog.

I first heard of this book whilst reading an FHM magazine waiting in line for the hairdressers ( I know right ? – there was a line ). Anyway, FHM magazine had a little snippet on Cillian Murphy’s favourite books. I rather like Cillian Murphy’s face and so naturally I wanted to read all of what he was reading. This book was one of them.

Watching

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If you’ve never been to the BFI Southbank, today and tomorrow would be a good time to go and see this documentary based on Franz Fanons’ book Wretched of the Earth. As far as I can tell, the last day to watch it is the 11th December and after that it’s 2001: Space Odyssey and trust me you don’t want to watch that. So go and see this instead.

Listening

parov-stelar-coco

I first heard this about 4 years ago and have been rediscovering the same albums over and over again. Not something I would describe as groundbreaking music but makes my mornings a little brighter , and I need all the help I can get with mornings so .. it’s good.

Also, for longer journeys I have just started with this..

Serial-banner

I may have mentioned in other posts but This American Life is one of my favourite radio shows. I could listen to them talk all day without a single song being played in between.

Serial is a podcast where the writers unfold one nonfiction story over the course of a season. Each week gives out a new episode for , I’m guessing, as long as it takes until the writers get to the bottom of the story.

This season looks into the case of Hae Minn Lee who was (apparently) murdered by her boyfriend Adnan Syed in January 1999. I am one hour in and it’s getting interesting!

If you’re interested in joining in on the mystery (actually it’s not a mystery , it’s all over Google but no spoilers ) , you can go to http://serialpodcast.org 

That’s all for now !

Posted in Book reviews, Cinema, Comedy, Humour, Life, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews

No equality in The Equaliser

Hello everybody,

For lack of anything better to watch, we saw The Equaliser last week. Several completely unrelated things made this movie worse than it really was for me;

– Emma Watsons’ speech on gender equality to the United Nations

– reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

– Being female , period.

Denzel feels sorry for a young prostitute and decides to take matters into his own hands (because clearly she can’t ? ). He feels sorry for her for about ten seconds before jabbing a corkscrew into a Russian’s neck. We soon forget why he was equalising anything in the first place and just watch him beating people up.

It all ends in a messy final scene set in a DIY store where everything can and will kill you given the chance or ‘On’ button.

There is a lot of slow-motion walking
There is a lot of slow-motion walking

This weekend is the release of Gone Girl , which will hopefully see the gender tables turn a smidgeon. Strongly recommend you read the book before seeing the movie. This way you will be guaranteed disappointment .

rs_560x415-140117183509-1024.Gone-Girl-Ben-Affleck.011714_copyUntil next time !

Posted in Book reviews, Cinema, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews

Under the Skin

Hello everybody ,

I’ve found a good one ! I watched Jonathan Glazers’ Under the Skin this weekend and loved it.

140403_under_the_skin_660

If you have ever read the book , as is most often the case the movie is nothing like it. Briefly, the book is about an alien living in Glasgow (…) hunting for hitch-hikers, which she then drugs and takes back to her alien headquarters. The humans (known as ‘vodsels’ in the book) are then harvested for their meat and shipped off into space, where the meat is used to feed alien life on other planets.

The movie sticks to this story very loosely.

Scarlett Johansson is brilliant in her role as she is placed in the middle of Scotland where she really does become an alien in every sense of the word;  she cannot be more out of place.

The book also made references to the alien being a quadruped and having to be surgically altered to walk like a human. I didn’t know what to expect in the movie and my blockbuster-trained brain expected to see werewolves of some kind. Again , not the case. Everything in the movie is implied but very rarely shown. It is all abstract-visuals and sound effects.

under-the-skin-2013-005-pickup-guy-up-to-arms-in-water

If you get a chance to see it , let me know what you think !

Enjoy the rest of your week folks 🙂

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Cinema, Humour, Life, Miscellaneous, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews

12 Years a Slave

Hello readers,

We are off to a great cinematic start to the new year.  12 Years a Slave was brought to me by the Number 87 bus last Thursday when I wondered what I should watch over the weekend (these are the hard questions we are faced with, these are the days of our lives…).

Sensing my question, the right side of the Number 87 bus was painted with this:

12_years_a_slave_soundtrack

 

12 Years a Slave charts the journey of Solomon Northup, a free man who is abducted, given a different name and sold into the world of slavery. It is a true story.

The bus also advertised this as the best movie ever made.

I wouldn’t go that far. But it is good and , primarily, it is extremely uncomfortable to watch. Solomon is passed from one owner to the next, finally landing with Michael Fassbender who plays his character so well that I found it very difficult to like him as a person when it ended.

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

Steve McQueen manages to direct the movie without lecturing you about the topic. He tells the story bluntly and without apology, often focusing on little details to convey the ludicracy of the situation. Take a look at this snapshot for example:

This movement. Who uses a persons' head as a leaning post while they're talking!? Fassbender does that's who.
This movement. Who uses a persons’ head as a leaning post while they’re talking!? Fassbender does that’s who.

A final plus for me was the lack of any sort of motivational speech towards the end. The movie just ends, leaving you feeling utterly depressed. For this all, I give it a 5 out of 5 !

 

 

 

Posted in Book reviews, Cinema, Comedy, Humour, Life, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Travel

A Walter Mitty life

Hello there readers,

I saw this trailer a couple of months ago and knew it would be released as a movie you should ‘definitely see before the new year’ ; adventure, living life to the fullest, taking the bull by the horns etcetera etcetera.

image
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

I wasn’t wrong. Ben Stiller doesn’t do a bad job directing and starring in this short story adaptation and the majority of it is shot in Iceland and Greenland , featuring absolutely beautiful scenery, a volcano, and a questionable looking shark. Walter spends most of his time working for Life Magazine as a Negative Asset Manager ( No , I didn’t know what this was either ).

The other parts of his time are spent moving his mother into a nursing home and thinking about asking his work colleague on a date (but never actually doing so).

Walter’s mind frequently drifts off into another world;  a more adventurous one in which he is the hero, the explorer, the investigator. Long story short, his day dreams are cut short as he is presented with a tangible opportunity to go on a real adventure after misplacing a negative-image which is to be the last ever cover of Life Magazine .

DF-11070-Edit - Ben Stiller in THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY.

I liked it.

It was a nice way of easing in to the new year and looking back over 2013 ( I did this later…not whilst watching the movie. I was too concentrated on the special effects and Stiller’s transformation into a ruggedly handsome nomad ). 2013 is one I will be glad to see the end of in many ways, but in others has been the best year yet.

I was there to see my best friend marry the man of her dreams in the place of her dreams.

I finally finished that dissertation.

I graduated (thank goodness).

I started a new job and company.

We got a brief look at pregnancy and realised it might not be such a bad thing to try after all.

I went to Brussels.

My cousin saw London for the first time ever and hopefully not the last.

I went to a Roger Waters concert, a Holi festival and Dublin.

Ok…so I didn’t have a fight with a shark or run away from an eruption. But , baby steps right?

Posted in Book reviews, Cinema, Comedy, Humour, Movie reviews, Movies, Reviews

The Counsellor : Review

Hello everyone and welcome to several new followers! Nice to have to here and I hope you stay , or forget you ever signed up.. Either way, you stay.

Where was I..

Ah yes.

The Counsellor
The Counsellor

Don’t be blinded by the number of stars here. Ridley Scotts’ new one runs out of steam very fast.

Set in Mexico, the story follows  several people involved in what appears to be drug trafficking. I say it appears this way because the movie never actually specifies any of this. First impressions had me admiring Scott’s nonchalant approach to the plot and script . This movie does not give a s*** about whether you understand what is happening. I liked that at first.

Then it just started to piss me off.

Why does everyone want the Counsellor dead? Why does Javier Bardem look so frazzled all the time? And why are there cheetahs everywhere ?

As it went on, I started to feel a little sorry for this A-list cast who were somehow roped into making their way through a C-list script. 

Between the terrible dialogue (which includes Cameron Diaz explaining what it means to be a cheetah..) , we also get bombarded with constant references about living with bad life choices and the meaning of grief.

Apparently joining a drug cartel is not enough of a sign that you have made a bad life choice.

If you have any different thoughts on this , the movie I mean, I would love to hear them! Who knows.. you might change my mind 🙂