the-1865639_1280.jpgNot hard to guess what this post is about! Yep, after the false start, where I ended up watching Star Wars due to a packed screening, I finally managed to catch my originally intended film, Jumanji.

Overall, it was an enjoyable movie, with some laugh-out-loud moments (though tbh if you’ve seen the trailer, you’ve seen most of them). Despite it being a fun film, I still don’t get why it was more packed out than Star Wars, but each to their own I guess.

What always amazes me though is just how good an actor Dwayne Johnson is, especially when it comes to comedy. Compared to other wrestlers (or muscle-bound hulks) who have gone into acting, with varying degrees of success, he has a remarkable natural talent for it. Hopefully, he won’t quit Hollywood for a try at the White House.

Now I’m just counting down the days till Black Panther.


Happy New Year!


So how were everyone’s festivities? Mine was the usual stuff-fest of mince pies, cakes, chocolates, nuts, misc. nibbles and what-not. I started off in Yule, where I celebrated the shortest day of the year by eating homemade vegan pizza, a rather crappy sugar-fest of a brownie pudding from Tesco, and watching a Ghost in the Shell marathon courtesy of some DVD’s I’d purchased a while ago so I could get free P&P on Amazon. It was the original anime version of the movie in a double set with Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Having rewatched the original anime, I realise how much better it is than the dumbed-down Hollywood version. And yes, I’m still enamoured of Batou!

I managed to burn some of the excess calories off on my cross-trainer before Xmas rocked up, which brought more food, nibbles, and something I haven’t eaten in a while (despite being vegan), namely nut roast. It was another Tesco’s offering, but unlike their travesty of a pudding, it was a lot better, although I was in danger of breaking a tooth on its overly hard nuts.

Then, shortly before the New Year, my mate and I headed off to the cinema to watch Jumanji. We also wanted to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi at some point, but figured as it was the holidays, as the film had only recently come out, and as it was Meerkat Wednesdays (2 for 1 on tickets), it would be rammed. Boy, were we wrong!

We were greeted by the desk clerk telling us that the only free seats in Jumanji were right at the front, and the next showing wasn’t for another couple of hours. Given that it had been a 45-minute drive to get to the cinema, we couldn’t exactly pop home and wait it out. It was then my mate asked about Star Wars. We were told that it too was fairly full, but there was still good seats available, so that’s what we went and saw. Turns out, the theatre was probably a little over half full by the time it started. I still can’t get my head around the fact that Jumanji was busier than Star Wars, I mean c’mon! It’s Star Wars!

I also can’t get my head around all the hate that’s been going on over the film. I thought it was great, and I liked the difference in the storyline and direction. Yes, it was quite a bit different to The Force Awakens, but let’s face it, that was just a rehash of A New Hope, complete with exploding Death Star. Also, watching the film was a little bitter-sweet, as shortly before reaching the cinema, the news reminded us it was the anniversary of Carrie Fisher’s death. I’ll be honest, I got a little teary-eyed at times when she came on screen. Personally, I’m glad it’s done well at the box office, despite the concerted effort of a bunch of nay-saying fanboys to make it bomb. Seriously, the f*ck is wrong with some people?

I saw the New Year in with yet more nibbles, a dickie tummy (apparently, rolls in the freezer can go off), and my yearly alcoholic drink (thank you Aspall Cyder).

So here’s to 2018, and to hoping the orange one doesn’t cause the extinction of the Human race!

And who knows, maybe I’ll actually get a paid job this year (I know, I know, pigs have got a better chance at flying!)

Thor-some Sauce


I managed to go and see Thor: Ragnarok the other night, and boy was it awesome. The laughs came thick and fast, and there was plenty of action. The Thor series definitely went back to its roots, but this time without the tepid love action courtesy of Jane’s inclusion, which I always felt was a bit weak and shoe-horned in.

Honestly, I would have given Thor: Ragnarok 10 out of 10 on IMDB if it weren’t for two minor things. First, Cate Blanchett’s Hela was rather hammy (why do women badies have to chew up the stage so much?). Secondly, Bruce Banner was more ‘bumbling’ than he has been in the past. That being said, if I could’ve, I would’ve given this a 9.5 as these are pretty minor gripes compared to the film as a whole, which was fantastic.

Overall, I think this is one of the best entries into the MCU, beaten only by the original Avengers film. Actually, they may even be level-pegging. So if you haven’t seen this instalment, do so. You won’t be disappointed!

Popcorn for the ‘Little Grey Cells’


So, somehow I missed out on seeing Blade Runner 2049 in the cinemas. Is it me, or was its run in British Cinemas way shorter than usual? Anyway, it’s no bad thing, as it’s been years since I watched the first, and I would’ve liked to have seen it again before watching the new one. I’m sure there’ll be a double box set out sometime in the future. However, with having missed Blade Runner 2049, I was in need of something else to see at the cinema, and urgently, as my mate’s free, Sweet Sunday, tickets were due to expire.

There was Thor: Ragnarok, but as that’d only been out for about a week, I figured it would still be packed, so we (and by ‘we’, I mean ‘I’) opted for Murder on the Orient Express. Mainly because the poster showed it to be a rather star-studded film. Plus, although I think I’ve seen one of the story’s previous incarnations, like Blade Runner, I had no recollection of what transpired, so I could go see the film with my brain a spoiler-free zone.

Looking at the reviews of the film on IMDB, people seem to be pretty bent out of shape over the fact that it was a remake, and harp on about not needing another one. Fair enough, but as there are already several versions out there, what’s one more? There has been one other film (1974), and two TV versions (2001 & 2010) of the story, and if someone hasn’t seen any of these adaptations, or if, like me, can’t remember what happened if they have, then another remake is fine. And let’s be honest, Poirot is one of those series that gets a rehash every few years with a new lead. Moreover, I don’t hear people getting their underwear in a bunch over the various Sherlock remakes that keep getting churned out. So live and let watch I say.

Overall, I found the film quite enjoyable. It was a slow, methodical burner, rather than an epic film, but then that’s what you get from the material, and given that everyone was stuck on a train, it had a somewhat claustrophobic feel to it. Additionally, although I’ve grown up with David Suchet as Poirot, I didn’t find watching Kenneth Branagh in the role too jarring. Plus, his moustache was way more epic than Suchet’s. I did have an inkling as to who the murder could’ve been about halfway through, and as it turned out, my guess was right. Whether that was good ol’ Belgian detective work on my part, or a long-forgotten neuron firing, I’ll never know. So ignore the bar-humbug nay-sayers. If you’re looking for a quiet film to go see on a rainy afternoon, then this will fit the bill nicely.


Brollies Up: It’s Kingsman Time

Thanks to my mate’s chocolate addiction, I was able to nab a couple of free cinema tickets through Sweet Sundays. So, of course, I had to use them to go and see Kingsman: The Golden Circle.


I have to say, the critics have been unduly…well…critical. The film was a hoot and a half, and I certainly didn’t notice its over two hours run time. Ok, it wasn’t as good as the first, but then what sequel ever is? Still, it definitely doesn’t deserve the mauling it’s gotten from the pole-up-their-backsides-critics. Apparently, there’s going to be a third film, rounding off the trilogy, and I’m so up for that. Also, the film had over an hour’s footage cut from it, so I’ve got my fingers crossed for an extended director’s cut. Yep, I would happily sit through four hours of Kingsman, so the film couldn’t have been that bad. I sat through over two hours of Transformers: Age of Extinction, after which I vowed never to do that again, and I haven’t. The Last Knight be damned!

I have to say, up until Kingsman, I don’t think I’ve actually seen Colin Firth in a movie. The films he’s usually in aren’t really my thing, namely period dramas, or chick-flicks. So having seen him in the two films has made me realise what a great actor he is, especially in the sequel. He has the ability, with barely a change in expression, to go from someone who looks like a fragile, doddery old man, to an avenging kick-ass hero. It’s oh so subtle, but oh so obvious.

Also, how have I never heard of Pedro Pascal before? I mean Agent Whiskey…DA!-AMN! Now I get the whole women crushing on cowboys thing [insert crude jokes about whips and being lassoed here]. Anyway, getting back on track, not to be too spoilery, but his character deserved way better.

In conclusion: Go see this movie! It has action from the very start (with Matthew Vaughn’s slickly choreographed fight scenes taking centre stage as per usual), humour, unnecessarily attractive cowboys, and Elton John. If you haven’t seen the original, see that first. It’s bloody hysterical (if you can get past Samuel L. Jackson’s annoying lisp), and will set things up nicely.

Lastly…. Damn you “Take Me Home, Country Roads”! Damn you to hell!

Flu and Film Reviews

Despite an encroaching cold, I managed to go to the cinema a couple of times this past week.

giphy-downsized.gifFirst I caught up with Despicable Me 3 (which is probably where I picked the lergy up from). To be honest, the film wasn’t a patch on the previous two films. I laughed, but it was usually at the minions. There was one moment that got me thinking, and not about the story line. [non-spoiler alert]. There’s a moment when Dru and Gru are on a beach, talking, and Dru is sat, playing in the sand. It was just a small action, but the fact that they included this random little detail (who hasn’t sat on the beach and absent-mindedly dug a hole?) and the detailing of the sand itself, made me realise just how far and how intricate animation has become. It was a cool little revelation, but it couldn’t elevate the film above its mediocre delivery.

spider-man-2319337_1280Then, with a scratchy throat, I went and saw Spider-Man: Homecoming. The cinema was packed, which surprised me, considering how long the film’s been out, and I ended up getting a cricked neck in one of the front rows. Thankfully, the film was a hoot and a half, and I hardly noticed the fact I was sat practically horizontal in my seat. Bringing Spider-Man into the MCU’s fold was a good move in my opinion. The action was fast, the dialogue was funny, and there was a much lighter tone to the whole thing (a key ingredient to Marvel’s big-screen appeal over DC). I can’t honestly fault the film, and I’m actually looking forward to more Spidey films. Oh, and the Marvel end credit scene was also incredibly trolley! *Bravo!*

So, to sum up, if you haven’t seen either film, I’d say go see Spider-Man on the big screen, and wait for Despicable Me 3 to come out on DVD … or on the TV.

No Wonder

When one door slams shut in your face, another opens just a crack. Gotta love air pressure! What I mean by that rather weird sentence is that a couple of days after posting about how Hootsuite had given their free users a punch to the gut, I got an email from Buffer inviting me to try out their business plan for free for a fortnight. S-weet! Unlimited posting here I come! Of course, there’s no way that I’ll be signing up proper to a Business account as 1) I’m not a business, and 2) I’m unemployed, so I’ll have to enjoy it while I can. It’s just nice not having to juggle 4 different scheduling platforms for a couple of weeks.

With my rantings over Hootsuite, I forgot to mention that I went and saw Guardian’s of the Galaxy the other week. Great film! I’m not sure about the inclusion of PacMan in the final boss battle, but other than that, it gets good marks all round. The dialogue was quick and funny, there was plenty of action…and oh, Yondu!

The next movie-going debate in my household revolves around Wonder Woman. To be honest, I just can’t find the motivation to go see this. The DC Cinematic Universe, for me, has been one loooong and daaaaaaaark disappointment. I didn’t even bother going and seeing Batman vs Superman. And from what I hear, I think I dodged a bullet. The whole franchise seems turgid at best. Actually, I’ve not seen a Batman on the big screen since Batman Begins. I caught The Dark Night on TV…and pretty much prayed for my own death because it was so long and dull. The Dark Night Rises wasn’t that much better, and in all honesty, the only good thing about it was the Robin that never got to be: Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


Typical maximum lighting level in a DC film

From the trailers I’ve seen, Wonder Woman’s lighting isn’t much better. Again, it’s the good ol’ dark, bleak lighting that plagues the other DC films. Something that’s in serious need of a vaccine. Then there’s Gal Gadot’s accent. I’ve mentioned before that I’m more than happy to hear accents on a film, but not at the expensive of not being able to understand what’s being said, such was the case of Marion Cotillard’s last line in Assasin’s Creed that no one seems to have caught. And quite frankly, she could have done with subtitles for the majority of the movie, despite speaking English. Unsurprisingly, I worry that Gal Gadot’s accent may also cause problems. And to be honest, from what I’ve seen of the trailers, her delivery seems stilted at best, which doesn’t bode well if I have to sit through near two hours of her performance.


With all this, I have to say, my drive to see Wonder Woman is negligible. There’s an undercurrent of, “you should go see this movie, because woman power!”, and that I’m somehow failing the sisterhood if I don’t go see it, but I don’t want to have to sit through two hours of ‘meh’ just to prove I support female leads. Yes, some people have been raving the film, but then, people raved about Heath Ledger’s performance in Batman, and I found it forgettable (no disrespect to someone gone too young too soon). I guess I’m just not a DC fan, or rather, a DC Cinematic Universe fan. Will I be going to the cinema to see it? No. Will I watch it on TV in a couple of year’s time? Probably.

Well, I’m sure my thoughts have just p-o’d a lot of people, so I’m off to go vote for a better country. Ciao!