Blogmas: First 5 ever blog cinema reviews and last 5 blog cinema reviews

My first 5 blog cinema reviews

  1. My first blog cinema review was actually a double header of two Oscar contenders for 2017: wLa La + Man by sea

2.Trainspotting 2

3.50 shades of grey

4.Lion

5.Hidden Figures

My last 5 blog cinema reviews

Technically the last time I was in a cinema was just before lockdown but not included that as that was a theatre in cinema experience of Cyrando de Bergerac

5. The time before that was my first 4DX experience therefore I reviewed that experience and the film 1917.

4. Earlier in the year was a film set in the Second World War:

Jo Jo rabbit

3. Cats 🐈

2. Then it is back to Last Christmas 🎄

  1. Sorry we missed you

April 2020 Summary

Books

Lake House by Kim Edwards. I bought this book from a charity shop and when I started reading started getting de Ja vou and eventually realised had read before could not remember all so read it again; was entertaining enough but if can go back to a charity shop when they reopen.

The Co-ops got bananas 🍌 This is Hunter Davis biography from childhood up until early adulthood. I have previously read his adult biography. I have also read his biography on Wainwright and newspaper columns / compilation book of his football articles and have even got his book of lists! So I do find his writing interesting. He grew up in the North of England at Carlisle and in Scotland post war hence reference to the bananas 🍌 is about that revelation post war. Slightly odd to use a throwaway minor comment in book as book title! It was interesting book to me as I enjoy his writing but if did not know him would not be as entertaining. Although it does give a flavour of 1950s Britain.

Unplanned following on from Hunter Davis book that ended in early 1960s I read a book the Affair starting in early 60s. Hunter had wrote about issues such as not knowing anyone homosexual and repressed attitudes to sex therefore The Affair mentioning open homo sequels seemed years more advanced. But part of it was different worlds. From Hunter’s northern England to Rome on a film 🎥 set !

The Affair by Gill Paul. Read and enjoyed her book about Titanic: Women and Children First last year. It was set around filming of Cleopatra starring Liz Taylor in early sixties. Interesting to hear a fictional account of this point in history. There was more than one affair which kept it interesting!

Over the Rooftops – Fiction someone (not Anne Frank) hiding in an Amsterdam attic during world war 2. An enjoyable read if that is appropriate to say for a book that highlighted Brutality.

Why You Should Read Children’s Books, Even Though You Are So Old and Wise by Katherine Rundell. A few interesting points in it but if I was to recommend a book about the value of children’s book instead of this I would recommend Memoirs of a Bookworm by Lucy Manganese.

The Swap An interesting book about two families who find out when their child is three, that the embryo they went through pregnancy with that turned into the baby they delivered was not their embryo. But each Mother carries one child for 9 months, gave birth to it and has looked after for three years but the other is the one they had longed for, the one they are genetically related to. An interestingly page turner looking into these issues and emotions. 

Memoirs of a Bookworm by Lucy Mangan Review

Film / Virtual Theatre 🎭

Theatre on Screen Cyrano De Bergerac, Joseph, Jesus Christ Superstar

Contagain

Contagain

I started watching this film 28th March. I finished watching it 11th April. On 28th March I started watching a recording from the tv but the recording cut out partway through. I tried to record it again when it was repeated in the middle of the night the following week; again the recording stopped at the same point. Easter Sunday I ended up paying to ‘rent’ it from Sky.

My first impression was I liked that it starts on day 2 rather than day 0. The day people across globe already infected. Ultimately in my case, three weeks later the movie ends with day 1. In between, there was looting which luckily not seen with covid pandemic and hope we do not. I also hope there is less death and hopefully there will be as unlike in contagion people do survive covid. I feel that not all the narrative strands were really wrapped up*. I’m pleased I have now watched the whole film and would love, if this pandemic could be over in three weeks with a little death as possible.

*SPOILERS ahead

Presumably Kate Winslet’s character dies but that was not shown.

There was the woman who had been kidnapped who was last shown walking away in airport. Where did she go?

Did Gweneth Paltrow’s character meet with her lover and pass it on?

I may have blinked and missed some plot points but surely not all?

Experiencing 1917 in 4DX in 2020

I had my first experience of 4DX cinema at Centertainment Sheffield. The film is set around the trenches of 1917. The 4dx experience adds drama when there is explosions; the seat moves and there are blasts of cold air. A couple times water 💦 was also squired at you. If there was a way to bring in heat of fire that would add to the experience. I can remember going on Jaws ride at Universal Florida and on that you really feel the fires heat!

It has taken me a while to get around to going to the 4dx because action films which it lends itself, to are not my thing. This film was not just action; lots of more tender moments and therefore the effects are not throughout. The first effects of movement when characters walking, I do think were distracting and did not add anything.

I think the film is a good film with or without extra effects, but I’m glad I have now experienced 4dx. There are moments in the film that seem implausible. It brings to life the futility of war; how lives were risked and lost to convey message. Overall worth a watch.

Have you seen 1917 / experienced 4dx or both?

Jo Jo Rabbit 🐇 Film Review

This film is expected to be nominated for Oscars. I saw it reduce a friend to tears and heard others laughing. I did not quite, find it that powerful.

The film centred round a young boy being trained to be a Nazi. It showed how people could be indoctrinated to follow Nazis and / or had to go along with Nazi’s for their safety. I liked this concept which is a true reflection. I do not like it when people tar all German’s with the same brush and don’t understand how normal people had to just fit in; like how men were conscripted to fight for England. Based around this concept could have been really poignant.

I was put off by attempt at humour, it jarred with the poignancy; in particular Rebel Wilson. It does not feel right to laugh at a film about Nazi. A friend has tried to explain that it is about laughing at Nazi’s, yet still that does not make me comfortable.

Overall I’m not sure about this film. It was watchable. Would not recommend but if anyone was wanting to watch for example as wanted out of interest to see Oscar nominees, would not strongly try to dissuade them.

Cats 🐱 Is it as bad as the critics are making out?

I don’t think it was awful. It was not sensational either. I have not seen the whole theatre show myself; just individual songs. However, there are lots of fans of the original therefore there was a lots of potential hence possibly people’s disappointment. If it was an original picture perhaps it would not have been criticised as much.

It was watchable. I do think visually it was quite dark; with the brown cats against background of London at night. London could have been made more twinkly lights to showcase the cats. With musicals like Greatest Showman and La La Land in recent years we have probably grown to want more than just watchable.

In conclusion, not one to rush to see but if you fancy it give it a go, it will keep you reasonably entertained.

Last Christmas film review

Will warn before drop spoilers.

Both Love Actually and Last Christmas are centred around London at Christmas and feature Emma Thompson. However apart from that they are vastly different. Emma Thompson wrote last Christmas. Last Christmas is less feel good and it could be said less simplistic than Love Actually. I still enjoyed watching it but think it will not become such a classic as Love Actually.

The lead character works in a Christmas shop in Covent garden, which is full of twinkling lights in the film. The film makes London seem like a village, with reoccurring characters such as policewomen duo. The policewomen’s acting seems forced; this is not the only instance of this in the film. Sue Perkins of former bake off fame also appears in the film and her performance also feels forced.

The film is being touted as being a George Michael music film but his music does not feature that heavily and does not enhance the film, which is a shame.

The lead character in the film is living a chaotic alcohol fuelled lifestyle. Not giving anything away; the film has some drama, sadness and romance. As perhaps the best aspect of film would spoil the film, it perhaps does not come across how much I enjoyed this film despite it’s flaws. It was a layered film that gave some food for thought such as how to live life when was in danger of having it taken away and homelessness.

This ends the spoiler free review.

SPOILERS AHEAD

……

…….

You expect the film to end with the lead character in a happy relationship therefore it is refreshing change in that this is not how it ends. I realised just before the actual reveal he was a ghost. I realised when they were in the garden and he said she could not rely on him and she was trying to work out what the issue was; was he gay, married etc… It is sad when realise he is not real, so they are not going to be together. Also interesting to think about how she was sensing him. Possibly a good promotion as regards organ donation.

Memories of watching Labyrinth from first watch to latest Viewing at Temple of Fun

I have vague memories, of this being on every Christmas when so was young. It seems it came out in 1986 when I was 4. I was not sure, I had watched it all the way through so I went along when Temple of Fun in Sheffield was showing it.

It seems Temple of fun are having regular film nights (there is a couple of Christmas films announced for December. I ate ‘duck’ pancakes, poutine which is Canadian dish with chips, gravy, cheese, ‘bacon’ and the Sheffield product of Henderson relish followed by chocolate shortbread; would you believe this was a vegan restaurant. Food was good, hard to believe vegan! (Photos on Instragram Wonderwall360). Find it rather strange though calling something bacon, duck, chicken or beef burger when it does not contain meat! Vegetarians would not be happy if stated carrot on a menu if it was made from chicken!

I could remember Labyrinth lead actress shared my name and I in past the film scared me. This time I was not scared 🙂

I’m not one for rewatching film but although I know seen parts of it at various Christmas’s, I think I was probably playing with toys / only caught parts of it, so don’t think ever sat down and watched from start to finish. I’m pleased to now now full story. Furthermore I can see why people would see again to take in different details of the Labyrinth. There is the gourds who are like playing cards with two heads, the scrap metal yard and lots of sparkle! Then the castle in final scene is Esher like with lots of connected staircases where it hard to see whether go up or down or sideways ( see instragram Wonderwall360. I could not remember the music; considering all David Bowie, I was disappointed as not his most memorable music. Better music would make me want to watch again more!

Overall I no longer find Labyrinth scary. It is feel good family film. It has sentiments about growing up and dealing with siblings. Sarah often says it is not fair. I thought at one point she said something like ‘It’s not fair but that is just way it is’. I have tried googling to find the quote without success; maybe I need to watch film again to find out.

Watching the film in Temple of Fun was a good experience, I liked the food. There are comfortable big seats. Ideally you want, a seating room for two and share with someone want to cuddle up to. I ended up sharing a seating room with a couple so I was a bit on edge / between two units. I can not concentrate very well watching films at home, so this was a good middle ground between darkness and silence of cinema and more relaxed environment. Location worked well for this enjoyable film!

Sorry we missed you; film review

A sad reflection of the country we live in. Any prime minister or minister who makes ignorant comments about people not using their ‘common sense’ to get out of a burning building or thinks flooding in the North does not count, should be forced to watch this film.

It could be called, thought provoking but it’s the kinds of things we often do not like to think about; they are so unpleasant. The disabled or aged served by low paid zero employees who do what they can in the limited time allotted to them. When going extra mile for careers for their ‘clients’ means neglecting their own families. Latch key kids, ruthless bosses, truanting teenagers, overcrowded emergency departments. It could be said to be full of cliches. But situations that are common and real make those cliches. You can live in a bubble and think these things don’t exist and those like me are sheltered from the worse; yet 2 minutes from the station there is someone try to get warm swaddled in blankets.

It is not pleasant viewing. Not a feel good film. However possibly so important to watch.

The Joker Film review

I was not one of the apparent legions eagerly awaiting this film. When I started hearing it I knew it was connected to Batman so, did not think it would be my sort of film. I said this to work colleagues who invited me, and they said nothing to do with Batman. To be social I sceptically accepted. I did not see trailer and did not give film much thought, until having a drink before the film, I asked if needed to know anything about Batman; they said no. I was corrected when mentioned Joker was Batman’s sidekick that actually he is his arch enemy.

In some ways you kind of need need to know the Joker is Batman’s arch enemy to know point of film is he becomes a bad guy , but as the film is more nuanced than that it is not essential. The film shows how he starts off caring for his Mum. As the film goes on, not to spoil it; traumatic events he has experienced, mental health issues of himself and his Mum are revealed and he is outcasted.

It is a clever film there are sequences that are not quite what they seem, as he is imagining something different to reality. It explores the concept of the pain behind fake clown 🤡 smiles. I did not like the premise that all bad people are mentally ill. But from the film you can be left with thoughts of was it inevitable he would turn out the way he did or if events had gone in his favour rather than against him, would he be different?

The type of film I was fearing was superhero’s battling. But this was a very real rounded character as mentioned above complex character. There was not the endless fighting scenes that bore me. However there was violence and gore. This has traumatised one colleague and another jumped at several places although she did like it and was pleased it kept her awake.

In summary, it did turn out to be my sort of film. I had not looked how long it was before I went in and it is 2 hours 2minutes. I’m not keen on films over 2 hours. Possibly 90 minutes may be my preference. There were points later on I was wondering where the film was heading and how long it was taking but that is just how I’am with films.