Category: Ramblings

The 10 O’Clock No Doom, No Gloom

From the News

Just the one post for today. It’s so bloody beautiful that it needs no others to distract you from it.

Daily Three

1 I don’t have the ‘ return to work’ blues. I’ve missed not having that feeling.

2 I was well enough to leave the house. Whoop! Wasn’t out for long, but it means tomorrow I get to start my new life which involves being up and out the house early doors. (Less mysterious: I’ll be form filling, blogging, story writing and job hunting until 11 when my father wakes… until I get the internet when the coffee drinking can happen at home)

3 I sorted out a load of my clothes and managed to get the couch clear of things downstairs. I’m very very close to having most things put away.

Incredibles 2 (2018)

Length: 2Hr 5

Rating: PG

About: Everyone’s favorite family of superheroes is back in “Incredibles 2” – but this time Helen (voice of Holly Hunter) is in the spotlight, leaving Bob (voice of Craig T. Nelson) at home with Violet (voice of Sarah Vowell) and Dash (voice of Huck Milner) to navigate the day-to-day heroics of “normal” life. It’s a tough transistion for everyone, made tougher by the fact that the family is still unaware of baby Jack-Jack’s emerging superpowers. When a new villain hatches a brilliant and dangerous plot, the family and Frozone (voice of Samuel L. Jackson) must find a way to work together again—which is easier said than done, even when they’re all Incredible.

The Good

The best part of this film is the character of Jack-Jack. Not only is he cute, Jack-Jack brings with him some of the best scenes. From his face off with a tash panda to his sleepover with a fan favourite. I almost wish more time was spent on this plot thread.

Having Elastigirl take on the bulk of the crime fighting was a good move; it allowed for Mr Incredible to keep house and explore their dynamic a little further. I loved the scenes in which Bob helped his Children develop and I couldn’t help but chuckle at his screams over maths.

Interestingly, I loved the deep conversation that happened over dinner regarding how children should be brought up. An interaction that will go over most pint-size viewer’s heads, but it really struck a chord with me.

Michael Giacchino is back and he impecibly builds upon his original score. Giacchino’s work is brilliant and this is no exception.

The Bad

I’m not fond of the 1950s styling this time around. I’ve been spoiled by my Marvel movies and this blend of nostagia and future don’t work for me. However, I’m sure on another viewing it won’t bother me so much.

The Ugly

The first Incredibles came at the beginning of the superhero genre taking off. Unfortunately this second intallment has come at a time when the market is reaching its usaturation point. As a result, some of the plot points are too predictable and over used.

The momentum has definatly been lost with the length of time between films. I’ll admit, I haven’t recently watched the first installment, but a good film shouldn’t need you to.

10 o’clock

On the Feeds

First up is a post about the beautiful and underrated black cat. Often black cats, and tuxedo cats, get abandoned and left in shelters because misconceptions.

Second up is a wonderful and uplifting post from Buzzfeed. I challenge each and everyone of you to take a look and be inspired to do something kind to a colleague over the next month.

Finally, this is a post I’ve seen a few times and it brings joy to my heart. Not only is it a story of women looking out for each other, it breaks boundaries of colour and culture in order to demonstrate pure love.

Daily Three

1 I fixed my dad’s washing machine. Now I only have two loads of washing to do.

2 In a sliding doors of my life, I could have been in London and preparing to go back to a job that was eating away at my soul. Instead I’m snuggled up in bed and ready to start the next chapter of my life.

3 Book Post!!! Getting books in the post makes me so happy. Not all because of the freebie- the main thing I love is the fact that I’m helping promote someone’s work.

Goodnight all

Han x

The 10 O’clock No Doom, No Gloom

Happy Friday everyone.

In the News

First up tonight is a story of a 9-year old I’m sure all of us wish we could be more like.

Next up we have an amazing accomplishment that needs to be celebrated in the USA.

Finally, this post gives you 10 benefits of working with animals.

Daily Three

Yesterday and today I’ve found very difficult, mainly because I’m coming down with a cold or flu. I’m currently writing this at 6.30 on a Friday night while in bed. However, it’s times like this, when it’s hard, that you have to push through and find some positives.

1. I sat down and watched Hobson’s Choice with my Dad. He’s found this channel that’s playing old school movies. I’ve been finding them a bit hit and miss, but Hobson’s Choice was exactly what I needed today.

2. I’m hopefully going to see a sing-a-long version of BoRhap next Friday. I love that film and I’ll take any excuse to see it again.

3. My cats, Casca and Cassius, have been amazing the last few days. They’ve been snuggling up and purring away. Almost as if they know I’m sick.

Good night all

Han x

Hobson’s Choice (1954)

Length: 1Hr 47

Rating: PG

About: Henry Hobson (Charles Laughton), a British widower, is the overbearing owner of a shoe shop. His three daughters — Alice, Vicky and Maggie (Brenda De Banzie) — work for him and all are eager to get out from under his thumb. When the headstrong Maggie announces she intends to marry Henry’s best employee, Will (John Mills), father and daughter engage in an intense showdown. As Maggie works on launching a competing business, she also helps her sisters free themselves of their domineering father.

Hit

John Mills is always a pleasure to see on screen and no more so than when his character makes such development as Will. From the meek and aimless to confident and achieving, it’s quite a heat-warming story.

The father, Henry, makes for some of the film’s funnier scenes. Him chasing the moon never fails for gain a chuckle and I will always love how Maggie orchestrates the engagement of her two sisters to the men of their own choosing.

I love Maggie. She knows what she wants, what she doesn’t and stands for no shit. At the heart of this film are characters you relate to and she is no exception. Maggie is able to be headstrong and independent without coming across as cold or bitchy.

Miss

Not so much a miss, but more that this is a film of its time and the plot doesn’t hold up as a form of entertainment. As a 33 year old woman, I don’t like 30 year old Maggie being told she’s too old to marry and that she’s ‘too ripe’. But, it runs deeper than that; the misogyny present in this film is what sets a lot of the plot in motion; something that would not stand today.

Maybe

While I love headstrong Maggie and her wish to get from under her father’s thumb, if the genders were reversed people would put this out to pasture as Me Too propaganda. The only reason why this sort of plot works, is because it’s a work of fiction. In reality, Will would have told her to fuck off.

Because there’s no set up that shows that she has feelings for him, it loses some of its charm and romance. While the chemistry between them makes the start forgivable, I would have liked to have seen a hint of her feelings before hand.

Final Thoughts

I always think of this film fondly. Even with the flaws, I still love it. Today, being full of cold, it provided some comfort knowing the last time I’d watched it was with my mum.

The Raging Moon (1971)

Length: 1Hr 51

Rating: PG

About: Bruce Pritchard (Malcolm McDowell) is a vibrant young man whose life is disrupted when he is severely injured during a soccer match and loses the use of both legs. Sent to a convalescent home, Bruce becomes sullen and withdrawn as he deals with the reality of his new state. However, when he meets another handicapped patient, the lovely Jill Matthews (Nanette Newman), he gains a new appreciation for life. The two quickly fall for each other, and begin a supportive relationship.

The Good

Malcolm McDowell shows a much wider range of emotions than his other 1971 release; Clockwork Orange. While the overwhelming intensity is there, the romance brings a softer side to McDowell’s acting.

The second half, the part that focuses on the romance of Bruce and Jill, is a delightful, emotional watch that’s not far from the feels of Me Before You.

The Bad & the Ugly

The problem The Raging Moon faces is that the first half of the film is way too slow and bloated with character exposition. There are better and much more economic ways to get across the history of both characters. It’s almost like watching two different movies and unfortunately, it runs the risk of people turning off before getting to the good part.

The 10 O’Clock No Doom, No Gloom

In the News

Auticon exclusively hire employees who are on the autistic spectrum.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-46538125

A sweet little story about Maisie Green who has been knitting for her local dogs trust.

Another compilation from Buzzfeed that will melt your heart.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/100-pictures-that-will-make-you-feel-better-about-the-world?utm_source=dynamic&utm_campaign=bffbbuzzfeed&ref=bffbbuzzfeed

Daily Three

  1. My Hopper pop arrived. On my birthday, I was pulled out of HMV before I bought him and when I went back, he’d found a home. Worked in my favour because I found him cheaper online.
  2. I’ve booked my FREE ticket to the Northern YA Lit festival in March. There is going to be a speed dating event with book agents where I can pitch my Liverpool based YA novel and hopefully get some advice.
  3. I was asked to be a part of my first Instagram blog tour. I’m so happy to be able to help promote an upcoming book and I have some brilliant ideas for the photos.

Sleep well beautiful people

Han x

Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Length: 2Hr 24

Rating: U

About: When the idealistic young Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) winds up appointed to the United States Senate, he gains the mentorship of Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). However, Paine isn’t as noble as his reputation would indicate, and he becomes involved in a scheme to discredit Smith, who wants to build a boys’ campsite where a more lucrative project could go. Determined to stand up against Paine and his corrupt peers, Smith takes his case to the Senate floor.

The Good

As always James Stewart is fantastic. While his character of Jeff is able to show Stewart’s range, it’s interesting to see such innocence and vulnerability about him. It’s refreshing to see that he’s just a little innocent rather than ‘stupid’; too often that’s the easy approach and now feels old hat and cheap.

The romance was cute and Jean Arthur plays Clarissa as this wonderful, head strong woman who would do wonders in modern society let alone the time in which the film is set. Its this sort of character that makes me wonder if all those calling out Hollywood for representation have watched films like this.

What I love about politically based films and tv is how relevant and topical they are today. For too long, I’ve avoided them, thinking I wouldn’t understand references and that times have changed. Fundamentally, things that films and tv comment upon are the same; reporters producing articles out of contexts, corruption within government and the one who doesn’t seek out power will always make the best leader. That is, if they’re not eaten alive first.

The story is wonderful, powerful and thought provoking; I particularly love the scene in which the reporters catch Jeff outside his home and the headings and pictures that come from that impromptu interview are powerful ‘fake news’.

The Bad and the Ugly

It’s a personal thing, but I wasn’t fond of the ending. I’m happy that the truth comes out, but we end with our protagonist unconscious and that leaves me a little unfulfilled. Objectively, we have enough to know he’ll be fine and the attempted suicide of Paine is certainly climactic and everything else is implied, but I just would have liked to have seen Jeff awake.

Final Thoughts

It was a solid, heartwarming, film that I will happily again. Jean Arthur is someone I’d to see more from and will be adding some of her films to my viewing list over the next few months.

Bringing Up Baby (1938) was

Length: 1Hr 42

Rating: U

About: Harried paleontologist David Huxley (Cary Grant) has to make a good impression on society matron Mrs. Random (May Robson), who is considering donating one million dollars to his museum. On the day before his wedding, Huxley meets Mrs. Random’s high-spirited young niece, Susan Vance (Katharine Hepburn), a madcap adventuress who immediately falls for the straitlaced scientist. The ever-growing chaos — including a missing dinosaur bone and a pet leopard — threatens to swallow him whole.

The Good

Cary Grant is utterly charming. He’s the perfect blend of the frustration seen in John Cleese and the stuffy Britishness of younger Hugh Grant.

It’s a brilliant watch to spot themes and scenes have become legacy over the years. Most significant being the feline and The Hangover and the car journey . You’d think that having seeing what are now tropes, would make this film stagnant, but it’s truly the opposite.

The plot is the right side of crazy. It’s also timeless comedy and quite a decent, believable romance. I love Katherine Hepburn’s eccentricity. It brings such joy and warmth that I’m not certain a contemporary actress could get across.

The Bad

David’s fiancée, Alice, was too much of a stereotype or even a panto villain. She’s so transparent, that it gives away the plot too easily. Yes, on the one had it does ensure don’t care that David wants Susan almost as soon as they meet. However, in the process they’ve made Alice an unlikeable character and not simply someone who doesn’t fit with David.

The Ugly

For a comedy, it feels a little on the long side. A bit of an edit would bring it down to a lean 90 minutes and make for a slightly better film.

Final Thoughts

It’s a story based upon work by a female novelist who was even brought on board for scriptwriting duties. The lead female, while eccentric, is independent and head strong. The comedy is still funny and inoffensive. The only thing wrong is that I’ve never seen it before.

The 10 O’Clock No Doom, No Gloom

In the News

In this first post for your reading pleasure, is the story of Roxy the cat, reunited with her owner 5 years after going missing.

This Buzzfeed post is ideal for if you’re needing a big dose of happy as the author gives a rundown of moral boosting events from 2018.

Finally, a lovely story about the largest Maine Coon looking after the youngest addition to the family in Wakefield.

Daily Three

  1. This morning there was frost. Not sure about anyone else, but I was starting to get a little nervous about how mild our winter was. That, and there’s something very refreshing about the first frost.
  2. I had a very productive morning and got quite a bit knocked off my to do list.
  3. Despite having a cold, I’ve been able to unpack a few more boxes before having a chilled day with the cats and Dad.

Sleep well beautiful people

Han x

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Length: 2Hr 15

Rating: 12

About: Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins forces with a gang of galactic smugglers and a 190-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission — the Millennium Falcon.

The Good

I loved Alden from the start. His charm, humour and chemistry with everyone. He IS Solo; I never once question his Solo evolving into Ford’s incarnation. The best example being the way Han tried to explain his way out of his first scrap.

My favourite thing is that the trailer threw me off about his relationship with Qi’ra… shows how trailers don’t need to reveal all. I also loved the added significance of the charm Han has always had.

The progression is a break from other films within the franchise: 3 years later allows us to move on with the story without the need for Han’s training. The war itself looked brutal and was an ideal place to pick up Han’s life.

NO DEATH STAR. I can’t explain how happy I am that the plot does not include anything to do with a Death Star.

CHEWIE!!!! That was the BEST way for those two to meet. Flawless and with just a hint of humour.

Beckett and his crew- biggest thing for me was that they pulled no punches. Yes, you know that x, y, z will survive… but if you show this before any of the others, I would think Han & Chewie were in jeopardy.

The shower scene- right tone/ humour and I’d say that’s fair to say for most of the film; which is exactly what you want after the comedy road kill that was Last Jedi.

Dryden‘ blades – fucking class. And not wielded by a Jedi/Sith: not so sure about the character, but I love the blades.

The lack of Jedi mythology is also refreshing. It changes the tone of the film completely, to the point where it feels closer to a western than a sci-fi. All the double crossing! It was just a good genre movie and it makes no apologise for it.

L3- sassy robots always work well in this franchise and L3 is giving Chopper, Animated Rebel’s dick of a robot, a run for his money. L3 is perfect! Rebellion ‘equality’. L3’s interaction with Qi’ra is just wonderful and something no other Star Wars could have handled.

LANDO!!!! Lando, I hate to admit, is completely pitch perfect and a true definition of pansexual without making a big deal about it. He’s always been my favourite character and I’m so happy that despite issues I have with the actor, I still adore Lando. Especially when he’s recording the Calrissian Chronicles.

L3 and Lando’s relationship is really beautiful; I love the frustration, the banter and the sacrifice they bother make.

There’s space for a sequel and things are set in motion in case, but I’d be satisfied with just this outing.

The Unsure

Voicing of Lady Proxima. Reminded me of the bag lady from Labyrinth/ chicken from Return to Oz and it’s always set me on edge.

The capes of Lando’s. ALMOST too far and close to Sabre territory fo me. While the man looked good in a cape, and still does, I don’t see him being a character that has it as a signature piece.

Maul reveal- the longer I stayed on it he looked a little off and I couldn’t pinpoint it. Also, as someone who hasn’t seen all of the animated Clone Wars, I feel a little like this is fan service rather than genuine plot. Side bar- I do believe, however, Maul’s resurrection is fully explained in Clone Wars. Plus, even I think it was a stupid move to kill off such an amazing character in Phantom.

The Bad

I’d like to have seen Maz on the ship; there was so much implied in Force Awakens about Han’s relationship with her that it just seems a little silly not to have it.

Lando pissing off- I need more of a friendship build between him and Han to believe that Han would risk going to Cloud city in Empire. I’ve always felt there was a deeper rooted history between them and even perhaps that they grew up together on the same planet.

Final Thoughts

This is quite possibly my favourite of the franchise. I find it hard to be objective about Empire as I went in to that knowing it was a masterpiece; where as this, this I’ve watched with fresh thoughts and no critical pre-Reading to influence my thoughts.

I guess only time will only truly tell, but to quote Han in this film: I’ve got a good feeling about this.

The Indian in the Cupboard (1995)

Length: 1Hr 38

Rating: PG

About: On his birthday, Omri (Hal Scardino) is given several simple gifts, including an old wooden cupboard and a small plastic figurine of a Native American man. When he locks the toy inside the cabinet it magically comes to life as a tiny, cagey warrior named Little Bear (Litefoot). The boy then places other toys in the cupboard and they too come to life, even engaging in entertaining battles. But after Little Bear is wounded, Omri begins to understand that his animate toys are not mere playthings.

First Thoughts

This was my birthday film when I was 10. Upon watching it today, I really do wonder why I chose this to watch. Turns out, I’d had quite a month in the cinema and The Indian in the Cupboard would have been my 6th outing in December. Quite incredible really; I don’t remember seeing quite so many in such a short space of time.

The Good

There’s some deep and meaningful themes within the story that appear to be pulled from the book from which the film is adapted. From exploring responsibility to death and funeral rituals, it’s an easily passive education.

The way in which the film has mastered the perspectives to have the actors as different sizes still stands and I’d say it’s better than films like the Burrowers, which had a larger budget.

It’s quite nice spotting Steve Coogan in a role of humanised toy soldier many years before becoming Octavian in Night at the Museum.

The Bad and the Ugly

Its an odd sort of kid’s film. The plot is rather slow, overly serious and somber for younger viewers, while adults probably would rather check out Mannequin than watch this anxiety riddled kid play with plastic made human.

It’s rather slow in a way that makes it feel overly long. Part of it is to do with the role of Omri; there’s no real development of his character other than him deciding to no longer use the cupboard. I’d have liked to have seen him become a more confident child. By lacking a significant development, it subdues what should be an uplifting ending.

Final Thoughts

It was nice to watch this film again, but I can see why I’ve not rushed to see it again.