After a particularly bad day, all I wanted was some trashy pictures to watch on TV and where better to look for some trashy popcorn movie than Netflix? This popped up as recommended for me and so there was no excuse but to dive right in. The first ten or fifteen minutes weren’t promising, although the friend was quite a lot of fun. Nothing about it was unpredictable or surprising (except how amazing Christina Milian looks?) and it came to a hugely expected and clichéd ending.
This was an interesting experience. First up, as a musical, it was so-so. I’m not a huge fan of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop style, it feels like words thrown together in the hopes it might work whereas I like a bit more structure to it. But that’s fine, it was way better than Hamilton, anyway.
I’ve previously watched all the James Bond movies to date, pending Time to Die, in a big journey from the opening credits of Dr. No to the closing sequence of Spectre. It was a heck of a ride full of highs and lows and good action sequences and questionable moments, and I loved it.
So having completed the movies, tick, tick, tick, what next? I decided I wanted to read the books - a series of 12 novels and 2 collections of short stories published between 1953 and 1966.
I listened to this primarily because it was the key song in CODA, but of course I’m also aware of Joni Mitchell and Both Sides Now in particular for the heartbreaking Emma Thompson in Love Actually. So it’s pretty wedged into my brain culturally. I was expecting the rest of the album to be similar, wistful, in all honesty a bit depressing. There certainly was a lot of that on there, but also more upbeat numbers too - Chelsea Morning was a nice early surprise. Where I had maybe been a bit nervous of dipping a toe in the Joni Mitchell waters, now I’m curious to hear more.
The first listen through took a bit of an adjustment, I was expecting all-out bombastic Killers anthems, but this is not that. It’s a superbly introspective, self-indulgent look at the town Flowers grew up in. There are snippets of audio from inhabitants, giving their insight into what it’s like living there. They were fine the first couple of listens, I wonder if they would get annoying in the long-term.
I was totally expecting this to just be out there action sequences hung over a thin plot, but somehow it was even worse than I could have imagined. The action sequences were good but they MADE NO SENSE. The technology and science behind some of the tricks just seemed impossible and was glossed over rather than explained. A car in space, sure. A magnet that seems only to suck up what you want it to. Okay!
I really liked the first OMD album I listened to, unfortunately this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations but it wasn’t too bad. There was one song I didn’t like, another of those that feels a bit too much like Ross playing with his sound effect packs, but then it was made up by Joan of Arc and the Maid of Orleans. Not sure this is one I’ll revisit a lot but it was fun to listen to.
This surprised me: it’s a short, sharp burst of angry pop and I loved it! There are particularly highlights, the first song and the one where Avril Lavigne pops up stand out but the rest of it doesn’t pale in comparison, it holds its own. What’s weird is I think I only know Willow from whipping her hair back and forth, so this was a whole new sound and her voice has matured greatly. Loved it.
Given our recent strike rate with John Hughes movies, I was worried about this one, but it was okay. It was old and it was weird, it hasn’t aged particularly well, and it was such a John Hughes movie it hurt, but it was okay. The music was good, and halfway through I thought this could be something really good, but then when the robbers arrived, it took a bit of an odd turn that I wasn’t really expecting or looking for. But hey, we got to the end!
Incredible film. Great story, great acting, great singing. Coming-of-age tale with plenty of layers to unpick: family drama, surviving at school, following your dreams, working with a great teacher, falling in love. And on top of that dealing with being the only hearing person in your family. There were tears at several points, particularly at the end, where it ended on such a hopeful note. Lovely.