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Not Another Teen Movie

Published July 13, 2021

Not Another Teen Movie

We felt like watching another spoof, something mindless to soothe a restless brain, and were heading towards Scary Movie. However, before we got there, we went down a rabbithole and saw Chris Evans in this - thought it might be worth a go. Unfortunately, couldn’t get much past the twenty minute rule - it was just too busy. Spoofs are always hit and miss, that’s fine, some bits are funny and some aren’t, but this was trying to do so much that it ended up just being too much.

You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming

Published July 13, 2021

You Only Live Twice by Ian Fleming

Not a bad entry in the Bond canon, this book delves very deep into Japanese culture with a lot of detail about how James has to try and adapt to fit in with a whole new world to him. It feels like Fleming was leaning in to having a more over-arching series in the last few books - Blofeld has become a running theme, and in this book we find Bond dealing with the death of his wife which we witnessed in the previous book. Earlier novels felt more standalone but now we’ve got a character who is learning and growing. Super interesting ending too, with Bond left adrift in a foreign country having lost his memory. What will happen next?

The Tomorrow War

Published July 12, 2021

The Tomorrow War

Right, so, I knew this was going to be a bit of action junk food going in - Chris Pratt leading a bit of a twisty time travel action movie fighting a war against aliens so far in the future. At first, it actually went better than I thought it would. Some areas were eye-rolling, but then they would answer every plot twist question we raised and it seemed to make sense.

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

Published July 12, 2021

Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup

I’m aware of, but have not seen, the movie adaptation of this, so dived straight into the source material instead. It’s such a harrowing story, highlighting once again the horrific nature of slavery, how awful human beings can be to each other for no good reason, and how no one is safe. At some points, I had to pause reading because it was just too awful, but it was worth pushing on to have a little bit of redemption at the end. Northup tells the story very stoically, factually, from moment to moment, and although you can tell he’s holding the true emotion of it back, you still get a feel for how these events affected him. Certainly an important read.

Every film, every year

Published July 11, 2021

Every film, every year

Of course the overarching plan is to watch all the films in the world, but there are quite a lot in existence already and then all these creative types just keep making more, so, you have to pick and choose. I’m sure you’re well aware by now that I love a structured challenge and I saw Stephen King tweeting recently about his ongoing project - to watch a movie from every year between 1961 and 2021.

Buddy Holly by Buddy Holly

Published July 11, 2021

Buddy Holly by Buddy Holly

It makes me laugh a little that this is an album listed as Rock, a genre that covers such a wide variety of music it’s incredible. This is old school rock: soft, gentle, playful, swinging. It’s dated but also legendary. Although aware of the day the music died, I don’t know that I’d really thought about it too much before but having listened to this album, I’m starting to get a sense of how much talent really was lost that day. It seems such a shame that Holly only had time for two solo albums.

The Resurrection by Bugzy Malone

Published July 11, 2021

The Resurrection by Bugzy Malone

I remember really liking Bugzy’s first album which was a bit of a surprise at the time, and with that in mind I was keen to see how this second album played out. It’s good, maybe not quite reaching the heights of the first, but really a very strong follow up. Considering everything Bugzy has been through, there’s a heavier feeling about it, but that deep retrospective and processing of events is what grabs you and keeps you engaged. Very good.

Black Widow

Published July 9, 2021

Black Widow

Wahey, this was a great movie and totally worth waiting for! Finally Scarlett Johansson gets to take centre stage and this is such a great movie for her but also as an ensemble piece with her extended family. It took a little while to get going, filling in that backstory and showing Natasha in hiding from the authorities, but once the action started and the espionage got under way, it was a rollercoaster ride to the end.

Turning Point by Jeffery Deaver

Published July 9, 2021

Turning Point by Jeffery Deaver

This is a short story commissioned by Amazon, and it follows your usual Jeffery Deaver style - some horrifying murders that need solving. It was good though, short, entertaining, and with a twist that I didn’t see coming. Considering how much I read of Deaver’s works, that’s a really good sign. I believe there’s another Amazon Original short story so I’ll be digging that one out too.

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

Published July 8, 2021

Earth Girl by Janet Edwards

As I was reading this, it felt oddly familiar. I don’t think I’ve read it before, but you never know. Regardless, it took a little while to grab me, and there was a little too much detail about future archaeology for my tastes, but underneath all that it was a really interesting and fun story to get on board with. I did think it was interesting that events kept piling on to the point that Jarra herself believed her deception, but then when she did reveal all it was slightly underwhelming - having built up to what could happen all book, she was just accepted. Having said that, it does tend to be the case that when you get to know the person underneath, any sense of racism you might have can fall away.