Oh January, can you go away now? I am very much over your terrible weather and financial burdens. I’m already dreaming of sunny Spring, with the thoughts of a little trip down south to the beach for a week. Until then though, when life gets tough I’ll turn to movies and books to escape. Which brings me to a thought I had at the cinema last night. Almost every advert is for brand new BMW or Audi cars, diamond jewellery and last night, holidays to Dubai. What do they think the average cinema-goer earns? I’m there because my monthly membership costs £12.99 to see as many movies as I like, I’m really not the target market for these ads! It’s always been that way though. Is that UK-specific or does it happen in other countries too?
Anyway, before I go into full rant mode, let me shar what I watched last week!
99 Homes (2014) – And so concludes my Hidden Gems for the month. I’m not sure if I’ll do a dedicated post for that yet so I’ll tell you now, 99 Homes is a gem for me. I loved it, and it’s purely down to Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon’s performances. It’s a heavy subject around the 2008 house market crash in the USA (which I learnt about from The Big Short!) and it’s a powerful movie. It loses steam towards the end but there’s 2 particular stand-out scenes that were really dramatic.
Brazen (2022) – This is what happens when I don’t know what to watch and just press play on the newest Netflix addition. Brazen was absolutely garbage in every single way. Thriller/Mystery writer’s sister has a secret life as a dominatrix cam girl, gets murdered, and the writer teams up with the sister’s neighbour who happens to be a homicide detective to solve the crime. It wasn’t sexy, it wasn’t mysterious, it wasn’t thrilling. It was boring.
The Tender Bar (2021) – Oh, I really enjoyed this. Movies like The Tender Bar toe that line between being quietly full of heart and charm and being too quiet and dull, but this was exactly what I wanted it to be. 2021 was great for Ben Affleck, I got to see two movies of his where he looks like he’s having a great time and I’m so glad of that.
Belfast (2021) – Yeah, I loved this too. I kind of knew I would before even going in, but it was brilliant. Jamie Dornan is so much more than 50 Shades, and I’m glad it didn’t ruin his career. Everyone in this movie is stellar but the stand out for me was little Jude Hill. That kid can act his socks off, and his comedic timing was spot on. The washing powder line killed me off. Just a beautiful, beautiful movie with a powerful message behind it.
Nightmare Alley (2021) – Basically The Greatest Showman but dark and depressing. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, to be honest. It wasn’t perfect and I much preferred the first half to the second, but I got swept into the visuals and the mood. At it’s heart it’s a really basic and unoriginal plot, but it gets away with it because of how it’s made. The entire cast is just *chef’s kiss* and Cate Blanchett is still just as terrifying as the last time I saw her.
I’m still working my way through The Office US while working from home which is perfect background noise (I’m at the “BUTTLICKER, OUR PRICES HAVE NEVER BEEN LOWER” episode at the moment) and also slowly getting through Season 2 of The Witcher. It’s nothing life-changing but I’m really enjoying it. I wasn’t keen on actress playing Ciri at first but I’ve really warmed to her, and Dijkstra has just been introduced and he’s perfect. There’s not enough Jaskier yet for my liking, though.
I’ve carried on struggling through Succession and I’m finding myself warming to it, so I hope that continues. I’m planning on watching another episode or two tonight. The once that changed my mind was the Thanksgiving episode, so I hope they continue getting better. Tell you what isn’t getting better, and that’s The Book of Boba Fett. I found myself enjoying episode 4, but that comes after the mess that was episode 3, so not high praise. Still, it’s Star Wars, and it’s not such a huge time sink that I want to give up on it, so all I can do is hope that it gets better.
What are you all watching right now? I definitely have enough time to give another series a watch!
Onto books and I finished reading Verity by Colleen Hoover. Phew. What a book. I’m averaging a book a week at the moment which isn’t going to last at all, but Verity was SO hard to put down. It’s dark, and I mean really dark. Parents in particular will find some chapters very difficult to read, but the pay-off is so worth it. If it got a movie adaptation I could definitely see it getting the same kind of hype as Gone Girl, in the right hands.
I wasnt sure what to read next but I want to switch things up and not stick to one genre, so my next pick is a bit of a classic, it’s Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. I doubt I’ll have finished it by next week’s post but you never know!
One final thing I’d like to mention, a good blogging friend of mine, Chris (@digwithashovel) has a new DVD out collecting his short films based on his series of books Velcro: The Ninja Kat. Check out the trailer here and if it’s something you’re interested in, you can purchase the DVD here. This isn’t an affiliate link of any kind, Chris is a friend and I promised I’d share the links as I’m not actually writing reviews right now!