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Bare With Me!


I hinted the other day about my mental health issues and unfortunately I have hit a bit of a slump. I am okay and still working on blog posts etc but everything is just happening a little slower than normal. I wanted to write a quick post to say thank you for sticking with me and also to say that I will be back with frequency very soon.

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News From The Web - Tom Holland Confirmed as Spider-man

I wrote a post at the beginning of this month about the excitement of on who would be playing Spider-man in the next movie. My money was actually firmly on Asa Butterfield but it emerged this morning that Sony and Marvel have in fact chosen Tom Holland for the role.

As I said in the last post Holland has proven with The Impossible that he can take on both emotion and action. I am hoping he can inject some much needed oopfh into Peter Parker and do for spider-man what I feel Ruffalo did for the Hulk.

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Something A Little Different - My Mad fat Diary

Today I want to veer away from film just for one post and talk instead about a TV series. Since 2013 when it first began My Mad Fat Diary has touched me in a way that is so rare and pure that I simply had to share some of my thoughts on it. Last night saw the programme embark on it's third series so I thought the time was definitely right for it to make it's appearance here. I shall explain..

MMFD is a UK comedy drama series made for E4 based on a book of the same name by Rae Earl. It is set in a mid 90's Lincolnshire and centres around Rae Earl, a young girl recently released from psychiatric hospital. 

Before I go any further it is worth noting that this was the reason I first started watching. I myself have suffered from various strains of mental illness for most of my life so anything that tries to tackle the subject I look at with interest. Mental illness is very close to my heart, something I deal with every day and the very reason I started this blog (as distraction therapy) so of course I watch things associated with it. Unfortunately, I feel many films and TV shows miss the mark and was expecting the same from MMFD... boy was I wrong.

Never before have I come across anything so delicate to the subject matter whilst still allowing humour and I think that's the magic ingredient here. Rae is played by Sharon Rooney who is a cracking stand up comedian and along with the rest of the cast injects a lot of fun into something that really could become bleak.

I don't want to say too much about the plot because there is quite a lot to cover and I don't want to spoil it for anyone who hasn't seen it. However I will say that over two series I have both laughed and sobbed along through dramatic story lines that are acted brilliantly. I have, on more than one occasion, looks at my screen and thought to myself 'she could be me' and I have held Rae's hand throughout both taking strength and urging her on.

If you haven't heard of it or seen it please do seek it. Start at the beginning and allow your life to be infected by the characters of My Mad Fat Diary.. Honestly, It's marvellous.
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Wednesday Wonders - The Sorry I Missed Last Week Edition

Last week saw the acting world lose Christopher Lee who died aged 93. Known fondly for many a role including Dracula and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings the whole world seemed to mourn him through tributes and social media. This particular article is quite in depth and was enjoyable but bitter sweet to read. I also liked this one which is a tribute from the mouth of Tim Burton.. beautiful stuff.

I haven't seen many gangster flicks because I really don't like to see 'real life' brutality on screen. I have however seen The Long Good Friday which was released the year I was born as I went through a stage of actively seeking out films from that year. I read THIS today which not only talks about the film in classic status but poses the question of predicting the future through cinema.

I am OBSESSED with Ru Paul's Drag Race on Netflix at the moment that it is quickly taking over my night time routine. I am dying to see Drag Becomes Him which is the story of season five winner (and my personal favourite) Jinkx Monsoon. Until then I have been perusing this list of 5 great drag queen films to wet my appetite.

Another list I have loved this week (and boy do I love lists) is one that connected with the romantic in me. Coffee Cups & Camisoles chose the best 3 movie kisses and I think they're pretty good choices to be fair. My personal favourite is the swimming pool seen in Whip It! but whatever!

And finally, because I asked for comedy films to see recently, I have been watching a lot of Adam Sandler. (In fact I am working on a couple of blog posts now which I will link here when they're finished). Anyhoo, when I was looking for films to watch and generally getting the low down on Sandler I came across this TRAILER for upcomimg film Pixels and I must of been living under a rock because it looks GREAT!! I SQUEALED!!!!
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Cinema Review - 1971 (2014)

1971 (2014) Poster

I have to be straight before even start this and say that documentary films are not within my comfort zone. It isn't that I don't like them or anything because let's be honest I will watch anything that holds my attention for long enough. Instead I think, at least for me, one has to have a little bit of knowledge tucked away about the films subject in order to really understand. In the case of 1971, apart from a quick research google, I had none.

The film is the directional debut of Johanna Hamilton who I'm afraid again I knew nothing about. What I do know something about though is the pull of indie cinema with it's films that pop up and pop off again so fast that you simply have to see them. I found an article over at Indie Wire which gave me the gist about Hamilton and where she named Deer Hunter as a cinematic influence. I've seen that I thought, and I liked it. That was good enough for me!

1971 focuses on events in that year, on March 8th to be precise, when a group of seemingly ordinary people broke into an FBI office in Media, Pennsylvania. They then proceeded to steal all the files and then over time out them through various newsrooms. Although the subjects of the files differed one the most significant involved illegal practises of J. Edgar Hoover's agency.

Hamilton sets 1971 up to tell the story of that group of people and in fact uses interviews with five of them along with a lot of archival footage as the meat of the film. The story is put into context as the audience is asked to contemplate just what impact unfolded on public. You can't help but compare to today's opinion government corruption and this changes what could of been seen as a family documentary into a hard hitting scoop or secret. I must say too that there was more than once, as I heard the personalised accounts, that I literally gasped for air. I found it riveting, more so because it actually happened. I felt like I was watching a bloody great thriller movie that was well constructed and brilliantly shot.

The only let down for me was the reenactment scenes that I guess were put there as a visual aid. They didn't really add anything if I am honest and the acting wasn't great. Luckily they didn't distract too much from the retelling of a piece of history that by the end I cared about.

Great job!

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Looking Forward - Suffragette (2015)

Suffragette (2015) Poster

I have always identified myself as a feminist from being as young as I can remember. Of course back then I had little understanding of what it meant. I had been taught about Emmeline Pankhurst at school and even without knowing the impact she would have on my adult beliefs just knew that she had acted the way she did for me. It wasn't until I started University that I actively studied feminism and it really started to strike a chord with me. I care about equality but what women did in order to get a little piece of it for further generations is mind blowing.

I feel then like I have been waiting forever for this film to be made. The plight of Pankhurst and the other women involved deserves to be shouted about and if that can be done by putting it on the big screen, I say marvellous! With many a historical and political film banded about over the years surely this movement should of been flung forward sooner? If a biop can be made about Margaret fucking Thatcher, who personally stole part of my womanhood, then surely this is a no brainer.

In a time of non peaceful protest Suffragette promises to be a no holds barred look at the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement. Women fighting back in a dangerous game of cat and mouse against government and society. It stars three huge female actresses, Carey Mulligan (Never Let Me Go) Helena Bonham Carter (Sweeney Todd) Meryl Streep (Doubt), in roles that according to the first look trailer see them fighting for their rights with gusto.

If you haven't already you can see the trailer HERE which shows the feminist plight as one all guns blazing. It shows that the chase for equality knows no class and it shows the women as true (if somewhat radical) heroines of history.

I can't wait for it's release in October.
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DVD Review - Brokedown Palace (1999)

Brokedown Palace (1999) Poster 

I was unsure about this one as I settled down to watch it. I read the synopsis and already discounted it if I'm honest. I mean surely a movie that follows a plot I have seen so many times before starring two young actresses will end up being just mediocre at best right? Wrong actually.. Don't misunderstand me,  this is not the best movie I have ever seen but as a piece of drama it was definitely better than average.

The two young actresses I mentioned are a 20 year old Claire Danes (Romeo and Juliet) and a 26 year old Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) both more or less at the beginning of their careers. They play friends Alice (Danes) and Darlene (Kate) who are arrested (and convicted) for drug smuggling whilst on holiday in Thailand.

I need to start by saying that the chemistry between the two girls is terrific. They have been friends for a lifetime and as a viewer it's easy to buy into both their similarities and differences that ultimately make the friendship work. I loved the fact that each personality was different with Alice being the bolder of the two and although both actresses held their own throughout the film, for me Danes was absolute stand out.

What makes it interesting for me is that  under the different back drops of each point in story it's the constant test of their friendship that drives the movie forward. It was refreshing that even though most of the movie was set in a Thai prison there was little reliance on shock tactics from the situation and instead the focus was always on the people involved.

Also starring is Bill Pullman (The Equalizer) as the girl's American lawyer Hank Greene. I felt uneasy with Hank at first as he teeters on a tightrope between being phony and the real deal which Pullman plays this brilliantly, kick starting the thrill aspects within the drama. Unfortunately though Greene always feels like a bit part against the strength of the two main characters and I would have loved a little more development. It's worth stating here that the movie seems a little short and a bit more time added could of allowed extra depth in characterisation.

The movie has a pace that sometimes lacks subtlety but there's enough twists to keep it more than interesting. Sure, there's a couple of head scratching moments but there is also enough questions (both deliberate and not) to keep us both guessing and thinking. Overall Brokedown Palace is a good piece of drama, written well and acted even better. It has enough balls not to water down the conclusion and the story skips along nicely enough to get us there.

Good stuff!

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