Category Archives: Films

MOVIE REVIEW: Thor – Ragnarok

As the parent of a small child, I don’t get to go to the cinema very often. In fact I have been twice in the 16.5 months since Little O was born. When Mr O suggested that we go for my birthday (which was on Monday) I jumped at the chance. As it was my birthday treat it was my choice and I really wanted to see something fun and not too taxing. Picking Ragnarok seemed like a bit of a no-brainer.  Read more…

HALLOWEEN MOVIE REVIEW: Final Destination (2000)

In honour of Halloween Mr O and I have been watching cheesy late 90s/early 00’s horror movies. I had a brief flirtation with enjoying horror around this era when I was in my late teens. Back then the films were silly and not actually particularly scary and my expectations were much lower so I didn’t realise how bad they all were. The The Ring came along and scared the crap out of me and I stopped watching horror pretty much altogether. I haven’t reviewed any of the films we’ve watched so far because I have reviewed them in the past as part of Film Friday but it turns out I have never reviewed Final Destination.

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MOVIE REVIEW: The Edge of Seventeen

Nadine (Hailee Steinfeld) has always been a bit awkward… okay, a lot awkward, which has been even more highlighted by the fact that her brother, Darian (Blake Jenner) is about the coolest, most popular kid in school. Fortunately, Nadine has her best friend, Krista (Haley Lu Richardson), who hates Darian just as much as she does. Read more…

MOVIE REVIEW: My Scientology Movie (2015)

Mr O and I are big fans of Louis Theroux. We’ve watched all of his documentary series and various of his independent documentaries. His penchant for injecting himself into bizarre scenarios from porn to prisons to plastic surgery and drug addiction and then getting under the skin of what is going on without being judgmental is fascinating. His total unflappability means he often gets answers to questions others would not. Read more…

MOVIE REVIEW: John Wick (2014)

I have decided it’s time for movie reviews to return to this blog. Film Friday is not coming back any time soon because the likelihood of me watching four films in one week these days is somewhere around slim to zero. I think a more realistic target is about one film a fortnight. I have never been a great movie essayist so the reviews will be short, sweet and extremely honest. But let’s stop fannying about and get onto the first review, John Wick. Read more…

BOOK REVIEW: The Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle

I became interested in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle because of his most well known character, Sherlock Holmes. I was a big fan of the Guy Richie film and decided to read some of the stories to see how close his interpretation of Holmes was to the original and became hooked. (Spoiler: he’s not far off. Also Watson is my ideal literary husband). Recently I decided to see if the magic was confined just to Holmes by checking out one of Doyle’s other novels. Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #176: Chocolate, coconut bites 

Recently I have become obsessed with these coconut bite thingies from Pret and bought loads of them. They’re not cheap though and all the habit was costing me a fortune. I’ve always loved coconut and these are kind of like a healthier version of a Bounty. I decided to try and find a recipe to make my own and this is the result and they’re soooo good!

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Film Friday #285

Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Behind the Candelabra chronicles the relationship between animal trainer, Scott Thorson (Matt Damon) and iconic pianist, Liberace (Michael Douglas). When Scott first meets the closeted Liberace, he is repulsed by the aging star but Liberace works away at him with expensive gifts, offers of employment and a lavish lifestyle that he cannot resist until he is completely in his thrall. Things become even more intense as Liberace convinces Scott to undergo plastic surgery to make him resemble himself as a younger man. Read more…

Film Friday #284: Halloween special

I pretty much only watch horror movies once a year because they really aren’t my thing and that’s in the lead-up to Halloween. So here we go… my 4 horror movies for the year.

Hush (2016)

Deaf mute writer, Maddie (Katie Siegel) lives on her own in a remote house in the woods where she is working on her latest novel and struggling with the ending. As she works into the night a masked man (John Gallagher Jr.) stalks her but he’s going to get a lot more than what he bargained for. Read more…

Film Friday #283

How to be Single (2016)

Alice (Dakota Johnson) has been dating Josh (Nicholas Braun) for four years but now she wants to take a break and try out the single life in New York. She has no idea how to behave as a singleton so she teams up with her crazy colleague, Robin (Rebel Wilson), who is very good at being single, drinking, drugging and basically just doing whatever she likes. At the same time Alice’s sister, Meg (Leslie Mann), an oby-gyn who has never wanted children starts to think she might and Alice’s neighbour, Lucy (Alison Brie) struggles to take a chance on anybody. Read more…

Film Friday #282

Room (2015)

Ma (Brie Larson) and her five year old son Jack (Jacob Tremblay) live in a solitary room in the home of Old Nick (Sean Bridgers). Jack has no concept of the outside world. Room is his only reality, that and what he sees in the seemingly fantasy world of the television. Old Nick provides for Ma and Jack’s basic needs and takes what he needs from Ma, who protects Jack from him at all costs, but Ma has a plan, one she hopes will turn the outside world into a reality.

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Film Friday #281

So after 6 weeks I have successfully managed to watch four whole films, so Film Friday is back! I can’t day how regularly… I highly doubt it will be weekly but right now… TA DA!

Coming to America (1988)

On his 21st birthday African prince, Akeem (Eddie Murphy) is due to meet his future bride and live happily ever after in the luxury lifestyle he has grown accustomed to. But Akeen dreams of more. He wants to explore the world, America in particular, and see how the other half lives. So with the blessing of his father (James Earl Jones) ostensibly to sow his wild oats, Akeem heads off  to New York with his manservant, Semmi (Arsenio Hall).

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Film Friday #280

The Nice Guys (2016)

Holland Marsh (Ryan Gosling) is a down on his luck private investigator who has been struggling to make ends meet and raise his daughter, Holly (Angourie Rice), on his own since his wife died. Jackson Healy (Russell Crowe) is a mysterious loner who makes his money as a kind of thug for hire. Read more…

Film Friday #279

X-Men Apocalypse (2016)

I have always been a big fan of the X-Men franchise. While I have limited patience with the never-ending superhero trend, it’s always felt like X-Men delivered even when it was a bit sub-par *cough” X-men 3 *cough*. So despite the less than stellar reviews for Apocalypse, I had quite high hopes. I was wrong and I am sad. This time we are back in the 80’s where Professor X’s (James McAvoy) school for mutants is up and running, Magento (Michael Fassbender) is living in a Polish forest with his wife and daughter and not mutanting at all and Mystique (Jennifer Lawrence) is working on her own rescuing young mutants from bad circumstances, one such being Nightcrawler (Kodi Smit-McPhee). Read more…

Things I have been cooking lately #160: Gestational diabetes friendly peanut butter cookies

These cookies have a somewhat different texture from traditional cookies but they are still very tasty and extremely satisfying when you can’t really eat normal cookies. They’d also work great as a snack for kids because they’re really healthy even if you were to substitute the xylitol with honey or sugar (or possibly just leave it out completely). I have to give full credit for this recipe to Jo Paterson who runs the Gestational Diabetes UK website and has dedicated herself to helping ladies with GD to manage and survive this confusing, complex and ever-changing condition. She is a legend. These cookies are also gluten and grain free.

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Film Friday #278

Sing Street (2016)

Fifteen year-old Dubliner Connor AKA Cosmo (Ferdia Walsh-Peelo), has been forced to move to a new school because of some family unrest and from day one things are pretty horrible. The other students are out of control and the teachers, who are mostly priests, are either heinous bullies or halfway to the grave. Read more…

The inevitable demise of Film Friday

My more astute and committed readers (who I love more than life itself) might have realised that this is the second Friday in a row with no Film Friday feature. There are two main reasons for this:

I am insanely busy: For the last few weeks I have had antenatal classes two evenings a week, plus personal training two evenings a week, plus whole days of hospital appointments, plus working full time, plus visiting family in preparation for Little O’s arrival. I have just not been able to fit in as many films.

I have no concentration span: At 34 weeks pregnant I sometimes struggle to focus for very long. I’m tired all the time because I don’t sleep well and I am preoccupied with planning for the baby as well as dealing with my gestational diabetes and anxiety. Sitting down for a full two hours and getting through a film is hard. When I do get time I end up watching Obsessive  Compulsive Cleaners and history programmes about Anne Boleyn that help me fall asleep.

I think this is probably the beginning of a slowing down of this particular feature. I am under no illusions that I will have much leisure time once Little O makes his appearance and it is inevitable that I will have to choose where I spend the time that I do have. I don’t plan to stop watching films altogether or to abandon my blog completely but I think Film Friday particularly is going to become something more of a fortnightly or monthly feature.

I hope that those of you that enjoy it will still check in and also forgive me if it takes me a little longer to get around to all of your awesome posts.

Film Friday #277

Captain America: Civil War (2016)

When the Avengers interfere with Crossbones’ (Max Grillos) nefarious plans leading to the deaths of innocent people the United Nations insists that they come under their control and act only under UN instruction. Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey Jnr) believes this is a good idea, while Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) is less convinced when it is suggested that Bucky Barnes/Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) might be behind the latest atrocities. When the Captain refuses to comply Iron Man has no choice but to try and arrest him. Read more…

Film Friday #276

Serena (2014)

When lumber yard owner, Pemberton (Bradley Cooper) meets orphaned heiress, Serena (Jennifer Lawrence) it is passionate love at first sight and the two get married almost immediately. Serena joins Pemberton at the lumber yard, sinking what money she has into it and proving a force to be reckoned with in terms of running the place, which is pretty unusual for a woman in depression era America. The two prove to be ruthless in their ambition, stopping at little to achieve success and keep their business alive in the face of double dealing from their closest advisers. Read more…

Film Friday #275

Eye in the Sky (2015)

Colonel Katherine Powell (Helen Mirren) is in charge of a joint British-American-Kenyan operation to use a drone to observe and facilitate the capture of a group of high profile terrorists. During the operation it becomes apparent that the these terrorists are planning a suicide bombing. Read more…