Sunday, 10 July 2016

She Likes Movies

I've been talking about this for far too long and I feel the groans around the room whenever I talk about it, write about it and Tweet about it. I have finally renamed my blog, She Likes Movies.


Like most things I do that seem to take off, they all begin with or as a joke, Ever So Ethnically Confused was no exception. It was a blog I started to document my progress and then completion of my dissertation and a way to update on the shooting and editing of my final year film. After graduation I branched out and write more about myself, with the occasional fictional story thrown in as well as my day to day thoughts. The usual thing to happen on a blog.

After 6 years of blogging it was high time I changed the name. Ever So Ethnically Confused doesn't exactly scream 'film blogger' and I have, over the last few years honed in on my thoughts on film and my obsession for film and TV. From now on, film and TV is what I will be concentrating on, maybe with a few more serious posts too.

I will still be adding and changing bits and pieces but this is now the official home of my film and TV thoughts, rants and adventures. Thank you to all those have commented on my posts and those who stopped by to read my ramblings. A new era is beginning in the least dramatic way, just the way it should be right?

I hope I can tempt any readers out there to follow me to my new blog, She Like Movies.

Monday, 4 July 2016

June Watch List



Love & Friendship
Based on Jane Austen’s short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, the story follows the lady in question as she imposes herself onto her brother-in-law’s family and tries to force her daughter into marrying a man who isn’t the most intelligent of fellows. Lady Susan, played by an excellent Kate Beckinsale, manipulates, lies, cheats and justifies her way through this brilliantly told story. Quite unlike Austin’s other stories as the protagonist is very entertaining but is actually an awful person. She invites herself to her to stay with family who know of her reputation after she has an affair with a married man and is forced to leave. Then she makes the rather na├»ve Reginald DeCourcy fall in love with her but then breaks his heart to cover up her own lies. It’s Austen so it sorts itself out in the end. I actually laughed out loud at this and really enjoyed a cast that I hadn’t seen before or not in an age. If only all Austen stories could be and feel this unspoiled by countless versions.  4/5

Bullets Over Broadway
I think, without realising it, I'm slowly going through Woody Allen's film catalogue. I know he's probably lost a lot of fans in the light of his son speaking out. I do not agree with Allen as a person as that's despicable but I can separate the films from the man.

No Allen in this one (which I'm thankful for) but in his place, John Cusack (who I love for some reason) is the passionate playwright in desperate need of funding his new play. In order to get these funds, he agrees to cast a well known gangster's high pitched wannabe actress girlfriend. Quiet (and sometimes loud) chaos ensues in each rehearsals as egos clash, Jim Broadbent eats, ideas are exchanges and bullets are fired. All set in 1920s on Broadway - which for me is brilliant. I loved Midnight in Paris for 1920s segments and having a whole film in that era was a dream. Also what was refreshing was that there was no young girl getting with an older man. But there were a couple of ridiculous scenes about the idea of art and love blah. Can't win them all. 3/5

The Nice Guys
When I think of a great detective story in recent years, I do think of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Shane Black's 2005 film. I'm a sucker for a murder mystery/detective story. KKBB also had an unusual pairing but it worked, as does Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling. In fact, these two are a brilliant combo and are hilarious together. Set in the 70s centered around a missing girl who may or may not be connected to something bigger and more sinister as everyone involoved in a certain porn film is murdered. P.I Holland March and 'fixer' Jackson Healy are on the case with the help of Holland's pre-teen daughter. I really enjoyed the film and cannot understand the negativity its received. 4/5

Child 44
Sometimes I watch a film with Tom Hardy in it and I think he's a genius, other times I can't understand what he's saying, other times I question his popularity. Child 44 is a cross between all three. The plot is all over the place which I was surprised by as it based a the novel by Tom Rob Smith. I read his book The Farm last year, brilliant book. But Child 44 lost me at places despite having a truly brilliant cast. There is sinister serial killer who kills young boys leaving them naked and bruised by the railway tracks. Hardy and his wife Noomi Rapace are wrongly accused of being traitors and sent to live in a hell hole. There is side story between the couple about she was scared of his because he was in the army. It does move all over the place but it gets interesting when they stick to the murder cases. 3/5

Mystic Pizza
It was about time I saw this film. It popped up on my Netflix one lazy Sunday afternoon, the perfect time. As far as 'coming-of-age' films go, this wasn't too bad. Two sisters and their friend all work at the local pizza place, they all have dreams and desires and the film just goes along smoothly. There is love, heartache and a questionable amount of lobsters stuffed in a fridge. 3/5

Anatomy of a Murder
Considered a classic, directed by Otto Preminger and starring James Stewart as the lawyer who defends the future Jackie Treehorn (Lebowski fans will get this), Ben Gazzara, for murdering his wife's rapist. The main part of the film was set in the courtroom as the lawyers constantly argue while the calm judge politely asks them to just ask the questions. Even though it was made in 1959 the case feel all too familiar and could have easily been a case from the present. The case takes twists and turns and I can't help but think how gad damn awful these trials are. A woman is always accused of being the cause of rape and it make me sick. This aside, its a very good film. 3/5

Rollerball
My friend asked if I wanted to this at BFI a few weeks ago and all I saw was men on skates and the words ‘futuristic’. It looked like a more dangerous version of Roller Derby but in the future and 3 players were on bikes. The film was introduced by Jason Isaacs (aka Lucious Malfoy) who talked so passionately about the film and the star, James Caan who he was said was coming to end of his career at this time. But we all know James Caan still makes movies now. I think he meant his ‘star’ was fading. This mirrors his character, Jonathan E, the captain and longest playing Rollerball player. Most players are killed or injured so dramatically they have to stop. But now he has asked to retire from the game by the ‘management’. The world is run by corporations and everyone that is not management has to abide by their rules. Jonathan’s wife was even forced to leave him at the request of the ‘management’. But Jonathan refuses to give up. The games that we see in the film are brilliant, my favourites scenes. The stories away from the arena or track are dull and quite confusing. The film takes place in the future but it just looks like the 70s with a few odd buildings and technology. The fast paced game scenes pick up the pace of the film and where looks are exchanged, there seems to be more said here than in the non-game scenes. Said to be a cult film then and now, I can understand why, it’s a strange film that I think given another release would find a whole new audience now. 3/5


Thursday, 30 June 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: High School Reunion


The best double bill I saw at the cinema was Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion with Grosse Point Blank. I still have the poster I took from the wall at Prince Charles Cinema. Apart from these two film - which I'm guessing will be popular this week - I found it difficult to think of other film with specifically high school reunions.

Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.

Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion
I think I might have said this already but Romy and Michelle is a film I could literally watch back to back. During Uni my friend and I would ALWAYS watch this film when it was just the two of us and once we did indeed watch it twice in a row. If you don't know the story, its about two ditzy blondes who go to their reunion where they weren't exactly popular. They decide to lie about their lives and claim they invented post-its. Its hilarious as well as just being a great film, full of quote-able lines and memorable outfits and THAT dance routine. Time after time, I'll always come back to this.

Grosse Point Blank
I could say the same about this film too. I will always go back John Cusack's Martain Blank, a hitman who decides to retire. Before he does though, he goes back to his home town and his reunion. He left 10 years previous on Prom Night without a word, breaking the love of his life's heart, Debi, Minnie Driver. As well as being followed by two NSA agents, he also being pursued by Dan Aykroyd's Grocer, another hired gun who wants Blank to join his assassin's union. Great cast, such a typical 90s film and I just love (most) hitman stories and John Cusack.

Young Adult
Ghost writer for a once popular series of book about high school, goes back to her home town for a reunion. She was the Prom Queen and in her mind she is still is. While everyone else has grown up, she hasn't and she thinks she can win back her old boyfriend. It doesn't go well. She is a total bitch and its hard to watch a film where the lead is awful and you can't root for them. Charlize Theron is at her worst here, meaning the character but she does a fantastic job of making us all hate her.

Edinburgh Film Festival: Slash


As director, Clay Liford mentioned before the film began, Slash is a coming of age film as most indie movies are, but this is different.

Slash caught my eye in the festival programme and it was lucky that it happened to be on while I was there. Set in the world of fan fiction writing as well as the act

ual fictional world that Neil, has immersed himself into. A loner at school, going almost unnoticed until, Julia, slightly older and rebellious find his work. She is also an fan fic writer and encourages Neil to publish his work. The two writers grow closer but as with all teens, things are complicated as they are still figuring things out. Neil is definitely bi-curious, conflicted about his feeling for Julia and his attraction to men. It especially shows in his writing.


Neil write about a fake famous character in the sci-fi world, Vanguard and uses his stories as a way of exploring his sexuality. Julia write about another fictional character, an elf, even going as far as dressing up as the character. She seems to write to prove something to herself. These two form a bond that is both endearing and dangerous, but then, that's most things when you're a teenager.

What great about this film is that there is no clear ending, suggesting that both Neil and Julia are still deciding who they are. It's positive and different to most films in this genre.

I thought I knew what fan fiction was, but this film actually cleared a few things up for me. I've read a few stories about various characters, gad knows I've read some FitzSimmons stories. I feel it is something I can read but not join in on. The film reminded me of Jared and Jerusha Hess' Gentlemen Broncos, also set in the world of writing, also about a young writer who has his science fiction novel stolen by a famous sci-fi author. The similarities are with the obvious young writer and the coming-of age experiences but is the writing coming to life that connects these two. We get to see Bronco, both versions of him, trying to complete his mission. In Slash, we see the established character, Vanguard, play out Neil's stories. This adds something extra to the 'coming-of-age' theme and immediately immerses you into Neil's universe.


I really enjoyed the film and it was even better to listen to the director talk about the film. Hoping that it gets a release in the UK but I'n not expecting a large audience which would be a shame. I think there are some sceptics out there who would warm up to fan fic writing. 

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Blind Spot Series: Local Hero




Not the most quoted film on my list or the most talked about BUT it is a classic British film that is on the Film 4 list of classics.


American oil company representative 'Mac' MacIntyre (Peter Riegert) is chosen to go to negotiate a deal to buy a small village on the west coast of Scotland and the surrounding areas to make way for a refinery. Upon arrival in Scotland, he teams up with local representative Danny (a very young Peter Capaldi) for the trip. The village is small and the locals seem content with their ways, doubling up on jobs, congregating the same pub every evening. Despite this, they are all keen to sell their properties. While the locals take their time with negotiating, Mac becomes more at peace and happier than he was in Houston. He calls Felix Happer (Burt Lancaster), the owner of the oil company everyday as requested with updates on the sky and stars. Negotiating comes to a halt when Ben Knox, who resides on a the beach, doesn't want to move but as he actually owns the beach, Mac and the locals can't do anything. Happer arrives, wanting to see the village and becomes so enamored with the beautiful location, decides not to have the refinery there but instead make it a research site. Mac is asked to return to Houston to look for another location and reluctantly leaves.


Described as a comedy drama, but more of a quiet culture clash. There are no 'big' scenes or an 'epic' moment. The film takes us on a journey without hardly moving (not counting the flight from Houston to Aberdeen) and lets us as well as Mac indulge in the little pleasures in live, such as looking up and seeing the Northern Lights, collecting shells and making phone calls from an old red phone box.


Bill Forsyth won the BAFTA for Best Direction in 1983 for the film, which beat Tootsie and The King of Comedy. It's rather pleasing to see a British film win the prize. It also seems that those other films were not the same tone.


What could have been a confrontational subject for the film was in fact an entire story about reflection. Happer is obsessed with the stars and encourages Mac, who starts out as a typical sales guy, to look up and observe. He gets excited when he sees the Northern Lights for the first time but the locals, who also seem quite happy where they are, have seen them many times before. As soon as Happer lands on the beach, firstly to talk Ben into agreeing to sell his land, is changed too. The village and location have an usual power, it changes those haven't seen a land like this before. This might not be what Forsyth intended but its what I took away from it.

To see where it all started and for an excellent insight to film, have a look at The Matinee and have a look HERE for more Blind Spot posts from other bloggers. 

Friday, 24 June 2016

I Can't Believe I Saw It At The Cinema

Continuing from the theme last time, I'll dive right into films I wish I never saw. My parents didn't take my sister and I to the cinema too often. I thought this was because they didn't like going but now I understand. There wasn't much on for children apart from the latest Disney which we all loved. My parents were more keen on watching films at home, which is why I think my sister and I had such a great movie education, brought up on all the classics and films they used to like.

Inspector Gadget
My mum used to take us to the cinema during the holidays. My mum isn't really a big cinema fan but she took us. The summer of 1999 we saw the terrible atrocity that was Inspector Gadget. I remember not enjoying this film about a policeman who ends up in a accident and is then transformed into the gadget man and tries to stop the evil criminal Dr Claw. Ugh so dumb. I liked the song that the boy band FIVE did about Inspector Gadget more. I knew Rupert Everett and again wondered why he was in the film. Says quite a lot about me that I only recognised British actors in American films.

Star Kid
From the age of 7 or 8 until 18, I used to stay with my aunt and uncle for at least a week in their home in the New Forest. My Nan would also accompany me for a few years until it became too much.We used to have a routine; go for breakfast at the French cafe, swimming, Milford-on-Sea, visit the large Marks & Spencers for my Nan and go to the cinema. My aunt was and is obsessed with Harbour Lights cinema which is situated just on the water's edge in Southampton. It really is a great cinema but with only 2 screens? We saw many films there but one of the first was Star Kid. It was a similar situation to back home, not many films to choose from for children. Seen the summer before Gadget and this was film was just as bad if nor worse. We all recognise the kid from Jurassic Park right? Joseph Mazzello is now all grown up but I'm sure even he regrets this sci-fi fantasy family film. I think its about a robot suit type thing that a boy climbs into and then has powers and he has to fight this alien who is at war with the robots? (Looks at Wiki) Yeah, that's pretty much it with the added, shy kid gets confidence thing too. I didn't enjoy this film.

Garfield
This is probably one of the most hated films ever. Even the cast hated it but it still got a sequel. I used to like cartoon and the comic strip AND I love Bill Murray. I begged my aunt to take me to this. She was not happy. I really enjoyed this terrible film because it was terrible. I thought Murray was hilarious and everything else was just 'ok'. I completely understand the hate for the film but at the same time I can enjoy it. I've always thought I had an affinity with Garfield. My mum used to say I was him and my sister was Odie. This is spot on.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: School Competition (Not sports)


I actually found this weeks theme difficult. I don't think I've seen many films with school competitions that don't involve sports. There are quite a few films about singing but instead I went for....

Rocket Science (debate)
Jeffery Blitz's story about shy stutterer Hal Hefner who is roped into joining the school debate team. He tries different ways to overcome his stutter but ultimately does not succeed but he does learn a few other things along the way. This was the first film I saw Reece Thompson in, it's a shame he's not in more things.

Spork (dance)
A musical comedy about a fourteen year old hermaphrodite girl, Spork, a nickname given to her by her brother and friends. After her best friend injures their ankle, they are unable to compete in the school's Dance Off so Spork steps up ans wows the crowd. The clothes and music is all over the place which sounds like a mess but is actually really fun.

Spellbound (spelling)
This is the second of Jeffery Blitz's film in my picks this week. I think this counts as a school competition, especially as you have to be a certain age to be able to compete. Following eight contestants in the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee as they try to become the number one speller. Sounds dull? Well, it may seem it, but its actually a really interesting documentary. I just can't believe this is 'a thing' as far as I'm aware we don't have these competitions in the UK.


Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Edinburgh Film Festival: The Library Suicides (Y Llyfrgell)


I honestly picked this film because of its title. And it also fit in with my schedule. But the story did catch my eye too. Who doesn't love a revenge story involving twins in a library? 

An unusual thing to have in UK film, it's a subtitled film as it is all in Welsh. To be fair, it makes sense for a Welsh film to be written and made in Welsh. The director, Euros Lyn, said that it was not an odd decision as he speaks Welsh at home so it only seemed natural. 

A thriller with basically a cast of 4 people (5 characters - twins are involved) set in one location mainly, the National Library of Wales and that takes places of one night might seem like a stretch but it fascinating to watch. I did find myself wondering how the hell it was going to end and I'm still a tad confused about a few things but despite these qualms I really enjoyed it.



Based on the book, by Fflur Dafydd’s bestseller Y Llyfgell, the story starts after the sudden and suspicious death of their famous author mother, twin sisters, Ana and Nan take matters into their own hands. Believing that their mother was murdered by her editor, they put their plan of revenge in motion. 

The twins both work as archivists in the National Library of Wales, which where most of the film takes place. The impressive building is in a marvelous location which makes it seem imposing and with the help of the perfect soundtrack, threatening at the same time. It isn't exactly a simple murder revenge story, there are also family secrets to dredge up at the most unfortunate time, repressed feelings and the need to be recognised. As I mentioned, the ending is slightly odd and in my opinion can be taken two ways. There are two sides to every story, different way to look at things, which is interesting and as someone in the Q&A said, 'I appreciate this'.

Not sure if the film will get a wide release outside the UK but if you are in the UK reading this, it might be worth keeping an eye out for it. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Fandom Friday: Favourite Places to Read

As I missed this Fandom Friday topic at the start of the month I'm sending this out instead of the podcasts one as I don't listen to podcasts.

Apart from reading in my room and getting lost in a book on the train to and from work, these are the places I like to read...

Harris + Hoole coffee shop
At my previous job I used have has at least one weekday off (office shift work ugh) so I usually, if I didn't have any urgent business, I'd sit in the coffee shop for a couple of hours. I used to go there every Tuesday when I was on my writing course as I found it the perfect place to write  too. I barely get to there now as I'm back to normal work days and I'm always way too tired to get up early and head over. 

The Book Room
This is a spare bedroom in my aunt and uncle's house in the New Forest and it is named The Book Room. Quite simply the room is full of books, two walls of shelves with books, mostly old copies but there are lots of childrens' books from the 60s -90s as my aunty was and is a prolific reader. I used to be able to visit for a week each Summer until Uni then it became whenever I could. I realised the other day that I actually haven't stayed there since Christmas 2014! I've spent the day but nothing longer. This is mainly to do with my terrible job I had and that my aunt and uncle have a busy schedule. I'm hoping this year I can stay for a few days at least.

Waterstones, Piccadilly
Its a marvelous gigantic bookshop a short walk from Piccadilly Circus and it has 5 floors crammed full of books. The Crime & Mystery section is huge so I can easily get lost in just that one area. The downside is that you want to buy everything in sight so you need to sit down and read a bit of the pile you have in you hands. But there are only a few seats so either wait or hover for your turn. It's like library in there, so quiet and calm, its the perfect place to literally get lost among the shelves.

Cornwall

This is a bit of a stretch and maybe too broad, but there were so many places that were perfect reading spots. On both of my solo trips to this paradise, I found that the promenade in Penzance was peaceful enough to read and it wasn't over crowded with people. Plenty of benched to choose from and a view of the sea. The Minack Theatre was another great spot. Resembling a Greek open air theatre, it is situated on a cliff edge and not only have amazing view but is is also a full functioning theatre. Another spot was The Island in St Ives, a small headland that sticks out into the sea but there were plenty of rocks to climb onto and read for a while.


Richmond Hill
I don't come here alone that often, I'm usually enjoying it with a friend but when I do go alone, in the Summer, the view is beautiful so for me, its the perfect setting for book reading. There are many benches to sit and admire the view and there are grass-y areas too that are wonderful in the sunshine but I'm more of a wonder round then park on a bench kind of person. 

Monday, 20 June 2016

Edinburgh Film Festival: Hunt for the Wilderpeople


 Rarely have I laughed so much in the cinema. Usually there are a few laughs to be had or maybe the odd the laugh, cringe moments depending on what comedy it is. But I haven't laughed constantly at a film in an age. 

Taika Waititi's latest film, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, was a brilliant film. It's been so long since I've seen a cleverly written comedy and heartfelt story in one. 


Young Ricky Baker, a troublesome chubby teenager who has been moved from care home to foster home all his life is sent to live with middle aged couple Bella and Hec who live in the edge of the New Zealand bush. The former gives him the home he has been looking for as well as teaching him some unusual skills such as plucking a rabbit, shooting wild animals and the significance of a hot water bottle. Gruff moody Hec on the other hand just lives with his presence. But tragedy strikes, leaving the two guys alone, Ricky is forced to leave. Before he can be collected by the merciless welfare officer, he escapes into the bush. Soon followed by Hec. But after a few misunderstandings, Ricky and Hec are soon the victims of a nationwide manhunt with enlightening and very funny results.


I really enjoyed the film, it was such a delight. Sending you on an emotional roller coaster while genuinely laughing all the way. The characters of Ricky and Hec (an excellent Sam Neil) are an obvious odd couple but with both their obscure lives and beliefs they make an excellent team.
In some ways, the humour and the way it's pieced together reminded me of Edgar Wright's films (I think Hot Fuzz I laughed alot too) and to the odd quirky side it also reminded me of Richard Aye one's films too. This is probably why I love Waititi's films. Something new but familiar.

In any other filmmakers hands i dont think the film would have been the hit it is and hopefully will be. With every film that Taika Waititi makes, the array of stories just get better and better. I can't wait to see what he makes next.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Edinburgh Film Festival: The Homecoming



The first film of the festival for me and it was an odd one. Described as a comedy about incest but was really quite a stressful awkward  drama with some humorous moments.

I haven't seen an Icelandic film before so as a first taste of what was on offer was very good. But I don't think this was an outright comedy, that was misold. 


Self help writer Gunnar is bored of his successful books. He wants to write something else but doesn't know what yet. He lives a mundane existance with wife Dsa, who he has been with since they were teenagers and as he son later remakes, they are killing each other with boredom. Apart from writing Gunnar visits his brother who has cancer, in the hospital. He confides everything with him. When his son arrives back home with the announcement that he wants to marry Sunna, who hasn't been with that long, his parents are of course surprised but pleased, that is until Gunnar realises that Sunna is in fact his daughter from an affair years ago. This is where is turns from pleasant dram-com to awkward comedy with an extra large dose of awkward. 

If the story was made by an other country it could have been danger of being over the top but the subtle madness of the situation is not over played one bit. Although I would have hoped for more comedic moments just to ease the ever growing tension. There is also the delightful bombshell that isn't just revealed once but three times, each with different effect as well other further moments of truth. 

An excellent start to the festival and the hope that I will get the chance to see more movies from this beautiful place. The landscape is seen - and I have to admit it's always so pleasing to see no matter what film it features. 

Saturday, 18 June 2016

I'll Be Back Scotland

Two very long train journeys, three very busy days, four very different films and numerous cups of coffee later - I'm home again.
Not only was my brief trip to the Edinburgh Film Festival the first time I had been but it was also the my first time in Scotland. I'm really annoyed that I couldn't stay longer as there were so many films I wanted to see. Just hoping that they come around to the London festival in October. I'll write the individual film screenings (as per usual) and post them up later but just for moment I'll talk about the city.
I loved it. You can tell if you'll like a place by carrying really heavy and awkward baggage around for hours but still loving the place you are in. This happened in a couple of other places before. Edinburgh wasn't small but it wasn't London either. Looking around it from the top of Calton Hill it was insane to think that the city not only had a castle but it had amazing green areas. Calton Hill and Arthur's Seat are slap bang in the middle of the city. I deduced that everything was at the most 30 minutes away from each other which was very handy. It was also possible to walk to places too but the bus service was so damn good it made me lazy.
To add to the enjoyment of the trip, I stayed at my Airbnb on my own. Previous times were with my sister in Hungary and Finland. My host was amazing! She was so welcoming, even though I turned up at past 11pm on a Thursday. The room was so comfy and I felt at ease straight away.
I do want to go back to the city. Maybe for the festival next year or maybe sooner, alot of things depends on the next few months.
I'm glad I made the rash decision to go the film festival - maybe not financially but for my enjoyment and that terrible word, experience it was worth it.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Thursday Movie Picks: Store/Supermarket/Mall Movies



There were a few others I really wanted to pick but I think I have been hanging onto a couple of these for ages waiting for the right theme to use them. Don't forget to check out what Wandering Through the Shelves picked, the blog that started Thursday Movie Picks.

Empire Records

 The Prince Charles Cinema in London have hosted a Rex Manning Day a few times and every time I want to go but I've got no one to go with me. No one loves this film as much as me. Its such a crazy group of, dare I say it, misfits and their worn out manager. The actual store is amazing and I wish I could live in it. But as music is not really my thing, I would replace it all with movies. It also represents a time when the indie stores were being bought out by the chain stores but then of course now all the chain stores are shutting down and losing out to the internet. A bit like You've Got Mail. Anyway for those yet to see this 90s gem, the film takes places over one day where staff try to make back the money that one lost to buy the store before its taken over my the big bad Music Town company.
The Shop Around the Corner

Speaking of You've Got Mail, TSATC was actually the precursor to the modern adaptation of the play. Starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan as the co-workers who don't get along in the shop where they work but are actually slowly falling in love through letter correspondence. It a great film and I actually wrote a comparison post some months ago. That has all I can say about this amazing film.
Be Kind Rewind

I didn't think of Michel Gondry's film straight away but it suits this theme perfectly. Be Kind Rewind, a VHS rental store, a dying breed. Again what is strange that even back in 2008, Movie Rental stores were shutting down, ones with DVDs. The film was behind the times slightly but that's not what it was really about. It's more about what Mos Def and Jack Black do when the latter stupidly erases the tapes by being magnetized. They recreate the films using craft and imagination. Their versions are pretty brilliant actually but there was something sad about this film too. Gondry gets in to include his make-shift craft animation that appears in The Science of Sleep (loved) and Mood Indigo (hated). The end film with everyone watching is amazing and probably my favourite bit.

Monday, 13 June 2016

I Can't Believe I Saw It At The Cinema

Do you remember, possibly in your youth, going to the cinema with friends or family? Looking back, I remember watching most of my films at home. Cinema wasn't exactly a rare treat but it wasn't a frequent outing. I remember seeing Mr Bean: The Movie 3 times at the cinema. I think it was because a cinema complex had opened up not far from me and we were all enjoying it. Also there probably wasn't much on. When I was 12 years and under, there wasn't many films to go and see and I think we struggled back then. When I was a young pre teen/teenager, I was old enough to go to the cinema with friends, what fun! Except my friends didn't want to see the films I liked so I was forced to see the endless drudge of dance flicks, bad rom-coms and terrible horror remakes. Ugh. What a wasted time at the cinema.

My Favourite Martian
Unfortunately I think I had wanted to see this because I knew Christopher Lloyd from Back to the Future. My 10 year old self enjoyed this film about an alien (Lloyd) disguised as human, disrupts the life of Jeff Daniels news reporter. I wasn't aware that the film was based on 60s TV show but somehow, I'm not surprised. I remember there was a trailer for The Mummy and being scared....bare in mind I was 10. What I knew back then was that I was watching a film about an alien that starred Doc Brown and Jeff Daniels (I actually knew who he was). A news producer, recently fired, ends up entangled with the arrival of a martian who is being pursued by the government (of course). I think I enjoyed the film at the time but I doubt I would now.


James and the Giant Peach
This is more of a surprise than 'I can't believe I saw this in the cinema' film. One of Roald Dahl's beloved books, it features an amazing cast and even more spectacular animation. But then, it is Henry Selick, teh genius behind A Nightmare Before Christmas and Coraline. Its the epic story of an orphan boy James who escapes his cruel aunts (the amazing Joanna Lumley and Miriam Margolyes) and flys away in a giant peach. He makes new friends (all giant bugs) and goes off on an adventure. Not mentioned often but its a brilliant adaptation and I can say enough how beautiful the animation is. Selick bring together the darkness of Dahl's story, the bizarre characters and of course the sense that everything is marvelous in the end. I think when I was younger though I just really enjoyed the film and was terrified of the mystic rhino in the sky.


Spy Kids
My mum and her friend used to run a youth club on Saturdays for 9-11 year olds, I used to help out and attend during these ages. My friends and I used to play board games and cards while snacking on treats from the little tuck shop that was set up. Back in the late 90s this was actually quite fun. We didn't sit alone at home on computers or the internet (too expensive). We sometimes played outside too and had water fights, that wasn't as fun when you're picked on. Anyway, it was good while it lasted as it was somewhere to go on the weekends. My mum decided that a trip to the cinema would be good fun too, so she and her friend organised it and you guessed it, we all saw Spy Kids.

I hated this film. I hated it before we even saw it. I was a 'film snob' even then. Looking back, I feel bad about how I reacted, there weren't many family friendly films on at the time and Spy Kids was the only choice. A few other complained about the choice, but they still went. It was a successful trip in the end and I think other parents were pleased to see the kids out of the house.

I still stand by my opinion. A story of two annoying children who are forced to become totally awesome spies to save their world famous spy parents didn't grab me. I remember being disappointed that Alan Cumming had stooped so low in his rather silly role. I knew who he was but now I cannot recall where I had seen him before to know this.... Years later I would wonder what made Robert Rodriguez make this film and its sequels.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Fandom Friday: Fandoms I Just Didn't Get

Buffy the Vampire Slayer

This was/is a pretty huge one. I loved Firefly, Dollhouse and anyone who reads my blog/Tumblr knows exactly how much I love Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But Buffy, to me, was one of those tacky teen shows that was on channel 5 when it first launched and I had no interest in them. It was the acting that seemed wooden, the plastic faces, the fact it looked like a live action Scooby-Doo show and I wasn't interested. Only when I went to college then Uni did I realise it's impact. I'm still not keen to watch it and I don't think I will. My Buffy experienced started and ended swiftly when I watched the 90s movie that came before the show.

The Walking Dead
After watching the first seasons and quite a few episodes from season 3, I got bored. I missed a few episodes and then I stopped caring. This is such a shame as I really enjoyed season 1, but season 2 dragged on for far too long, although I did enjoy the relationship between Glen and Maggie. Before long I forgot about the show until I started taking part in more blogging communities and fandoms and there is an army of fans out there who love the show, but sadly I am not in this army.

Once Upon a Time

I watched 2 seasons and a few episodes of 3 then stopped. This seems to be a running theme. I watched the series originally to see how this was going to replace the would-be 'Fables' comic TV series and of course it cannot even be compared. Fables is obviously superior and nothing liked the ABC show. I hated the first season and skipped a few episodes after a few minutes, mainly because I was bored if it was a character I didn't like. I hated the format. It didn't work. Having flashbacks that were not necessary in every episode slowed the real story. The second season picked up and even season three was pretty good BUT as I missed more and more episodes I left it. I tried picking it up again but I wasn't enjoying how things were unfolding and how some characters were portrayed, so, yes, I left it and I really don't 'get' the thousands of gifs that appear in my Tumblr feed.

Doctor Who
This is a major one. One assumes (a few have) that as I like sci-fi (and I'm British) that I must love Doctor Who. I'm sorry to say I am not a Who fan. When the show was rebooted back in 2005 I gave it a chance. I think I watched 2 or 3 episodes and then, yes, lost interest. I remember enjoying the last episode of the series just so I could see who the next Doctor was. I did the same when Matt Smith was revealed to be the next doctor. I watched more of Torchwood before that became utterly ridiculous. In my defense, I watched it, it wasn't for me, but I do understand the fandom that surrounds it and its crazy how it has reached beyond the borders of the UK.

Anything on the CW channel
I never got into Arrow or The Flash or Smallville or Supergirl, these all passed me by. To be fair though, I'm not a big DC comics fan. I like Batman but that's as far it goes. I'm slowly slowly getting into Gotham after the first season picked up and got interesting, but that is a darker look at the characters from the comics. So sorry CW fans, this isn't for me. I think Supernatural is the only show I stuck with from CW, well I stuck with it until season 6.