Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) – Review

Mamma Mia 2018 review

Why do you watch musicals? If you have any sense, you go for the music and dancing. It is a fatal mistake to actually notice the story, script, or underlying themes.

If you like ABBA songs (yes, you do), then you will enjoy the music and dancing in Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again. If you are a fool like me, and make the mistake of having more than two brain cells, then you will wish for death. Here, in no particular order, are all the reasons why I hated this film. Here, I am very much afraid, we go again.

 

Continue reading “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (2018) – Review”

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Mission: Impossible – from I to Fallout

Mission Impossible Fallout book reviewI would like to begin with an apology. Right now, there are 7 drafts sitting in my review folder. I have indie films to analyze, antique anthropology to bring back into the light, and a hatchet job on Mamma Mia 2 which consumes me with evil joy.

But nothing – nothing – can come before Mission: Impossible. I am totally biased on this topic. I have been nurturing weird fan theories for years, so as well as a review, you are going to have to sit through the internet equivalent of someone sitting at a bar emanating weird smells and muttering to themselves.

I’m probably going to get kicked off the blog for this. Thanks for the excuse to rewatch the series. Continue reading “Mission: Impossible – from I to Fallout”

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (Review)

9781501173219_p0_v3_s550x406Radio is not fashionable any more. The rot (or the revolution, depending on your view) set in years ago: television, online music downloads and auto-suggested playlists, smartphones. More and more people are listening to podcasts, but podcasts are a very different beast to radio. They’re full of star appearances telling sob stories, built into very specific media niches like weird deep-sea anemones. You have to be the right person for a podcast.

But radio is for everyone. If you have ever been awake late, alone, and turned on the radio, you will know what I mean. A quiet voice on the airwaves is one of the most comforting things there is. This is why people write so many books about the shipping forecast, or mount national protests when the BBC tries to close a station.

All the Light We Cannot See begins just as the lights are going out across Europe. In a bare Paris flat, in a cold German orphanage, in a beachside house with all the doors and windows sealed shut, a single voice is heard on the wireless: a rich, warm voice, explaining what the moon is made of or how electricity works. The kind of voice that can light a fire in a cold room. A voice for radio. Continue reading “All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr (Review)”

The Vietnam War: a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2017) – Review

The_Vietnam_War_(TV_series)_title_cardThe greatest movie I have ever seen is The Deer Hunter, released in 1978 and starring Christopher Walken and Robert De Niro, among a galaxy of other Hollywood notables. It was gripping, gritty, expertly produced, shudderingly authentic. I never ever want to watch it again.

Like many people, I am absolutely fascinated by media about the Vietnam War – fascinated, and sometimes disgusted or horrified. I am interested in war movies, in general. They represent a huge number of films made since the industry began, to distract the population, to raise morale, or as naked propaganda.

There are classic comedies of resistance: Whisky Galore!, Closely Observed Trains. Thrillers: The Guns of Navarone, Ice Cold in Alex, The Hunt for Red October. Breakthroughs so radical they must have seemed like science fiction: The Dambusters, The First of the Few. But the Vietnam War seems to have cast its own particular spell over people. Continue reading “The Vietnam War: a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick (2017) – Review”

An Incomplete List of Unfinished Series

adult-book-boring-267684I used to struggle with guilt about books and television I didn’t like. Once I had made it past the first chapter, or past the first three episodes, I would feel like I really had to continue. I made THREE attempts to finish JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, and was defeated each time by the endless descriptions of military movements. Pace Alan Bennett, it was as if a hand had come out from the page, and beaten me into a coma.

Friends, readers, fellow subscribers, break free from your chains! Stop drearily attempting to finish that show you hate just because George-from-work keeps talking about it. Today, I plan to share a few of the things I have unapologetically stopped watching. No guilt. No shame. No wasted time. Lots of spoilers in here, though. Continue reading “An Incomplete List of Unfinished Series”

The Hopkins Manuscript – RC Sherriff (Review)

Since nostalgia and the end of the world are currently two of the hottest trends, this weekend I have delved into the archives to bring you a forgotten classic of the post-apocalyptic genre: The Hopkins Manuscript. It was first published in 1939 – a year which we now look back on with a painful sense of foreboding. Those poor bastards, we think, they had no idea what was coming.

Not to be too dramatic, but it seems like a great book to re-read in 2018. Continue reading “The Hopkins Manuscript – RC Sherriff (Review)”

The Death of Stalin (Review)

The Death of Stalin (2017)Do you remember the first time you watched Jaws, and you were really hyped up, but it was kind of disappointing? And you complained about the corny acting and the special effects and someone said, hey, you’ve missed the point?

And then you watched it again, and this time you got it, because you knew the secret: Jaws is not a film about sharks. Jaws is a film about fear.

That magical moment has never happened for me. I think Jaws is a terrible, boring film, and I always will. But I mention it now because The Death of Stalin is not about Stalin. Or sharks.

It’s about fear. Continue reading “The Death of Stalin (Review)”