Murdocal's Roundup: A Rootin' Tootin' Collection of Books I failed to Review

Monday, 18 May 2015

It may surprise you considering how good I've been at sticking to my schedule over the last few weeks but I'm actually pretty shit at keeping up to date with my blog. Over the last few months there have been fucking loads of books, films and TV shows that I've thought about writing about but neglected in favour of a nap. So I decided that the best way to deal with the backlog was to create a whole new format... new for this blog anyway. The day I have an original fucking idea for what to do here is going to be a day to celebrate. Basically, my general lazy nature is taking over and I'm writing the shortest reviews for these things as possible. I'll spend a small amount of time doing them and you'll learn nothing of any use... sounds fucking brilliant to me.

TBT: Election (1999)

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Last Thursday I voted in the second General Election that has taken place since I've been of the legal age to vote. It was an election that had everyone confused until the last second. I was still umming and ahhing on my walk to my nearest voting station. I'm still not sure I made the right choice now because, in the words of Tim Minchin, “the more you know the harder you will find it to make up your mind”. Unlike my two co-workers who unquestioningly did whatever the fucking Daily Mail told them to but I've argued with them about it until my voice was hoarse. Suffice it to say, election fever has been rife throughout the UK for what feels like a lifetime and, despite the results being in for nearly a week, it's not going away any time soon. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon and looking back to a political film that I only first watched because it came in a box-set with Mean Girls.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Monday, 11 May 2015

Those of you who have been paying close attention to my Twitter for the last 12 months will know that I've been fucking excited about Avengers: Age of Ultron: it's been my not so secret obsession since James Spader was announced as the voice of titular nemesis. As it happened, it took me a week after its release to finally get around to seeing Age of Ultron and I did so well at avoiding spoilers regarding the shocking ending. That was until the day I had arranged to see it when my fucking dick of a colleague ruined it for me. I haven't yet forgiven him and its not an exaggeration to say that I probably never will. He fucking knew I was scheduled to see it but still he blundered on, determined to ruin my viewing pleasure. This meant that I was a little underwhelmed when leaving the cinema because I saw through all of Joss Whedon's intricate plot weaving to the closing act that I knew was heading my way. It was a fucking travesty. However, in the time since my viewing, I've had time to calm down and reflect properly on the latest massively multiplayer Marvel movie.

TBT: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Thursday, 7 May 2015

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the release of the third episode in the Star Wars saga: Revenge of the Sith. As such, it marked the end of the prequel trilogy and the end of the three films that managed to break the hearts of so many people. Fans were fucking jaded and sad come 2005: the excitement pre-Phantom Menace a fading memory of a more naïve time in their lives. To a certain group of society, George Lucas was the fucking villain who pissed on their childhood thanks to an over-reliance on CGI and a fucking racist alien. Although, people still flocked to see the final film to get the closure they needed but they weren't going to enjoy it. It turned out that after the abysmal first two films, Revenge of the Sith was the best of Lucas' modern trilogy but, really, what does that accolade mean?

Star Wars Day 2015: A necessary defence of the prequels

Monday, 4 May 2015

So, it's May 4th and a day when the world come together to celebrate all things Star Wars. The one day of the year where card-carrying geeks, film fans or just normal people rejoice that in 1977 a film was released that gave birth to a great franchise. With the release of the latest trailer for Episode 7 a few weeks ago there has been an increase in the amount of people announcing that JJ Abrams has saved Star Wars after George Lucas nearly killed it. Not only do I bemoan the fact people are only just trusting Abrams to work his magic on the series but I'm getting bored on people moaning about how terrible the prequels are. It seems to be quite a cool thing to hate the prequels but I say it's fucking ignorant. Yes, there is no denying that they aren't as good as the originals but this fucking stubborn need to criticse them is getting silly. In Midnight in Paris Woody Allen warned us against living in the past and I think it's about time we move on. The prequels aren't as good but they aren't awful films. In fact there are a lot of things to praise about them: something I'm about to do right now. Here is my list of 6 best things about the prequels.

TBT: Love's Labour's Lost (2000)

Thursday, 30 April 2015

I had every intention to follow up my '5 films for people who don't like Shakespeare' list with my own top 5 adaptations of his plays. It was a fucking huge undertaking and I couldn't make my mind up on a a final list. I kept flitting between the good ones and my guilty pleasures. I'm such a fickle human being that I'm never entirely comfortable making a definitive statement of favouritism about a subject. The top two were easy (The Hollow Crown and Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing respectively) but the others changed every time I opened the draft post. Possibly because, when it comes down to it, I'll always prefer to indulge in Shakespeare performed on a stage. I expect something different from a cinematic production to a theatrical one: the scope is much bigger and it's easier to push the boundaries more. That's probably why my Shakespeare-related film history has more of a She's The Man feel than a Kenny B's Hamlet to it. Although, I tell a lie: there was another film that continued to keep its place on my list. It's one of my faves even if it wasn't critically beloved. It's about time it receives some decent attention so have given it pride of place as my latest TBT.

Top 5 Shakespeare adaptations for people who don't like Shakespeare

Monday, 27 April 2015

So back when everyone else was celebrating St George's Day, the literary world were remembering a much more important historical figure. Nobody knows the exact date on which William Shakespeare is born so it has become general practice to celebrate his birth on the day of his death, April 23rd. Regardless of all the potential controversy surrounding the writer, he's a fucking important guy in the world of English literature. I know as a degree-carrying, literature geek I'm a little biased when it comes to the Bard but I think it's worthwhile for everyone to experience him at some point in their lives. I'm also aware of the apprehension that surrounds his plays. Back in 2012 when Hollow Crown filled me with fucking joy, I tried to persuade my friends to watch the series only to be met with the unnecessary “I just find it boring” reaction. I understand that the language can be a little daunting for a modern audience but Shakespeare is anything but fucking boring. There is plenty of drama, emotion, romance and humour within his works to keep any audience happy. However, I understand how difficult it will be to change people's minds so, instead, I present to you five Shakespeare films to keep anyone happy.

TBT: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Today is St George's Day: a time where the English get patriotic, in other words drunk, because of the story of some geezer slaying a dragon. It's a day of English-ness, heroics and fire-breathing dragons. It's also a day when you have to put up with fucking annoying people managing to irritate you with these aforementioned traits. It seems to me there is a perfect film out there that sums up the characteristics of the day. The film also happens to be celebrating it's 10th anniversary this November whilst the novel it is adapted from will be 15 years old in July. Well it looks like the fates are with me this Throwback Thursday. I fucking love it when a plan comes together.
 
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