Monday, 17 November 2014

Us by David Nicholls

This years Man Booker prize long list proved two things: that last years embrace of female writers was a bit of a fluke and that the judges were going to extremes to prove that they were fans of more popular literature. Or at least this felt like the most likely explanation for the inclusion of David Nicholls' Us. Don't get me wrong, I like One Day as much as the next person after my second attempt to read it. However, Nicholls' books aren't necessarily prize worthy; they're nice. A term that, in regards to literary works, takes on a sickeningly patronising tone most often applied to works enjoying unprecedented sales success. Then again, I have been known to be over critical so I thought I'd give his new, Booker prize longlisted novel a chance.... plus it was on offer at the time.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Gone Girl (2014)

(As I seem to be one of the only people on the planet not to have read Gillian Flynn's bestselling novel spoilers probably won't be an issue. On the other hand, if you're part of my team this may be verging on the dangerous ground.)

As I'll no doubt have mentioned by now (after all, deep down I'm still annoyingly Indie at heart), I never finished reading Gone Girl. I can't remember how far into the book I actually got but it was well before the 'big twist'. I just couldn't keep going with the writing and I thought it was painfully obvious where Gillian Flynn was going. Having learnt about the plot, it turns out my predictions were pretty accurate so I don't really regret my decision to stop. Life's too short for that shit. If my undergraduate dissertation had been as signposted as Flynn's bestseller, my tutor would have fucking loved me. However, I have a certain amount of faith in David Fincher and if anyone could make me like this story it was likely to be him. All I needed to do was convince my friend to go with me. Thankfully I had a secret weapon up my sleeve: the promise of Affleck penis.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

'71 (2014)

It was a busy Saturday afternoon at work when my friend suddenly decided I was a suitable back-up plan for her evening. I was spared an evening of bowling failures (spared... geddit?) thanks to her raging hormones. We'd seen the trailer for '71 when we went to see TheRiot Club although our reactions to it were pretty different. Whilst I'd seen a historically and aesthetically interesting thriller, she saw an opportunity to stare at Jack O'Donnell for nearly 2 hours. Never mind, eh? I can think of worse reasons to sit in a dark room on a Saturday night. Plus, she's been threatening to drag me to endless Zac Efron films for the last few years so I'm just too grateful when our interests overlap to really care why.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

The Riot Club (2014)

No matter how much I loved An Education, I have to be honest, I never wanted to see The Riot Club. Unfortunately, a friend of mine was desperate to see it because “she loves posh boys”. As the only alternative film I had in my arsenal was the new and most likely disappointing Woody Allen film, I couldn't change her mind. Still, considering Douglas Booth has a fucking beautiful jawline (who's with me, ladies?) I was pretty sure I could work with it. Besides, who doesn't enjoy a bit of social commentary on a Wednesday afternoon?

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Roald Dahl Day: Who is your favourite character?

As you all may know this year marks the anniversary of Roald Dahl's birth. Today, 13th September 2014 is Roald Dahl day and the world has taken to celebrating the much loved children's author. Especially considering this year also marks the 50th anniversary of the publication of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This milestone is partially being marked by Penguin through their new Classic edition which, as we have discovered recently, is a pretty controversial topic. To be honest, and at the risk of feeling the wrath of the internet, I'm not as opposed to the questionable picture as most seem to be. I admit there is a certain amount of sexualising the young girl at the centre of the photo but, after watching far too much Toddlers and Tiaras over the last few days, maybe I've become somewhat immune to it. Plus, I also quite like the combination. Dahl was a lot darker than people tend to appreciate. Of course, he wasn't that dark but I like the idea of an adult addition that pays attention to it.

Confessions of a Grown-Up Potterhead

So I'm a pretty big Hank Green fan and I have recently put him back on my “Day to Day” Spotify playlist. However, I can't help but feel a little guilty when I listen to his Harry Potter songs. OK not guilty but at least sad that I'm not that big of a Harry Potter fan. It's something that has always made me feel a little awkward and constantly has me considering handing back my geek ID card. It's not even like I hate the books: I'm just kind of ambivalent towards them. So whenever a song like 'Book Eight' comes on I can't fully appreciate how downright awesome the song actually is because I don't fully understand the sentiment.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Sex Tape (2014)

I imagine a certain type of person reacting to the news that Cameron Diaz would star in a film called Sex Tape as though it's the best thing to happen ever. Although it wasn't this person that Vue cinemas felt they needed to advertise it to. I first saw the full trailer for Sex Tape before my viewing of Guardians of the Galaxy. It was the middle of the Summer holidays at about lunchtime so there were kids aplenty. It seemed a bit fucking weird to me. Do fathers, out with their kids, really want to be titillated by the thought of a naked Cameron Diaz? Do parents really want their children being forced to imagine Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel filming themselves getting down and dirty? Clearly marketing strategies still centre around fucking ridiculous stereotypes of desperate and sexually frustrated comic book nerds.

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

It was back in 2010 that Marvel started making public suggestions about a Guardians of the Galaxy film. I have to admit that I didn't really pay any attention to it. My limited knowledge of the comic book world had let me down again so I had very little knowledge of this part of the Marvel universe. With every new piece of information my eyes rolled with increasing exaggeration: chubby yet adorable Chris Pratt as a Hans Solo type? Karen Gillan? Bradley Cooper? Vin Diesel? Certainly nothing that really left me inspired enough to pick up a comic book. That was until the first teaser trailer was released... and I was fucking hooked. I bought some of the comics, found out as much as possible and made weird high-pitched noises whenever I saw new pictures of the newly buff Pratt.