The Voices

The Voices

The Voices

I have been looking forward to watching “The Voices” since I read about it’s release back in 2014. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to catch it until recently (it’s on Netflix now!)

At first glance, the film is a whacky comedy. A pre-Deadpool Ryan Reynolds plays a naive and troubled kid who accidentally commits a crime and then comes off his meds to try and escape from his actions.  The voices in his head manifest in his pets, a judgemental Scottish cat who tells him to do bad things, and a forgiving dog that tells him he’s not to blame.  Without his meds, his situation gets worse, while he tries to convince himself everything is fine and normal.

Although there are some real laughs, there is an underlying sadness. Jerry is a lonely guy desperate to connect with someone. He’s had the worst possible start in life, and there was never really any hope for him.

The most surprising part of the film is when the camera shows Jerry from the point of view of his victim.  I hadn’t realised the film was showing what was in Jerry’s head instead of reality.  Seeing the true squalor of Jerry and his life shows him as a more traditional serial killer, and there is a genuine moment of terror.

This is an unexpectedly entertaining and touching film, with just enough wackiness.

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Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice

Batman V Superman

Batman V Superman

Much like the rest of the cinema going public this weekend, I was disappointed by Batman V Superman.  The title promised so much, but the execution of the film fell flat and I was left bored and frustrated.  I’ll try to sum up my thoughts on the film (without comparing it to Marvel)…

To sum up, the two lead characters talk and pout into the camera for the first two hours, then they have a 10 minute fight and continue moping for the final 20 minutes.  Although the fight scene is generally good, it was also a let down as there was no reason for it.  The fight doesn’t make any sense in terms of the whole, and generally useless, plot.

The first two hours is spent threading together a flimsy excuse for the two heroes to dislike each other enough to have to fight it out.  And even when they get there, the fight could have been avoided had Superman just spoken a little louder.  Once they finally figure out the real villain is a very manic Lex Luther, there are some vague attempts at setting up some sequels and spin offs.

The only interesting part of this film is the title.  We were promised an answer to the age old question: Who would win in a fight between Batman and Superman?  But instead, it seems the film was a solution to tie together a few loose ends before continuing with the franchise: Superman was hanging after the last film but he can’t carry a film on his own; Batman needs an origin story but it’s really well known already, and they need to create some buzz around the Justice League spin off films.  None of these things seem all that appealing, so why not promise a massive fight to drag in the punters?

The characters in this film are one dimensional, from Batman being concerned with and only with the crime in Gotham.  To the point that there is LITERALLY nothing else going for him.  He doesn’t host or attend any parties (except one at Luther’s house, which he attends to look for clues), there are no ladies in his life (the one female he meets, he is so preoccupied about crime in Gotham that he forgets to hit on her), he doesn’t even talk about work!  I thought this guy was a billionaire businessman?  Apparently not Ben Affleck, he just inherited daddy’s money and thinks about bad guys.  Superman isn’t any better: he has to decide whether to continue being a hero to the ungrateful human race, however this provides little tension as he’s too good and wholesome to let us all die. However he too sits around looking sad while pondering the decision.  The problem with the two leads is that both are furiously boring, that even having two doesn’t equal one good superhero.

The other characters have been added as an afterthought to assist with progressing the plot to the fight.  Lois Lane has to be rescued no fewer than THREE times by Superman.  Meanwhile, she contributes ZERO to the plot as a character in her own right.  What she does manage to accomplish, though, is throwing a spear of kryptonite (created by Batman to kill Superman) into a small pond a few steps away from where they were fighting.  Good, he’ll never think to look over here, should he decide to try and kill your bae again.  But wait, Luther has unleashed a monster from Krypton on the world, and they need that spear to kill it.  So off she swims to retrieve it, getting herself trapped and needing rescued from Superman.  It’s so tedious.  Lex Luther is a bit of a throwback from a few Batman movies ago, with his erratic and manic behaviour becoming almost cartoon-like.  But I have to admit, I didn’t mind his character and ended up rooting for him.  Can they just kill each other so I can go home?

We’re also introduced to Wonder Woman.  She comes across as a love interest for Bruce Wayne as she is a sexy and mysterious stranger, but we are soon disappointed to discover that she is actually a superhero.  It’s not bad enough she has to scamper around baring her flesh, while the boys are head to toe in armour, she is even introduced to us simply as someone Bruce might have sex with.  I really want to support the female superhero here, and I understand that the costume she wears is similar to the comic book, and I get that it’s all just a bit of fun.  BUT it’s really difficult when the film shows her in a power pose for a full 30 seconds before she starts fighting (what’s the hold up?  You’re not on pause, that monster can still swing at you!?)  and it’s really difficult when she gets knocked to the ground and again pauses for 30 seconds to pose, smiling, with her legs open.

Anyway.

The reason this film deserves all the fierce criticism it’s currently receiving is because this SHOULD have been the best thing we have ever seen, but it’s not.  And it’s not good on purpose.  They had so much opportunity to make this great, but they chose to be lazy and throw together a plot that didn’t make any sense, to include not only 1-dimensional secondary characters, but the main characters too.

And to top all that off, this film is a 12A.  This is unforgivable.  They could have thrown in some more swear words and they could have shown some more blood and it would have been rated a 15.  Why is this such a big deal?  I went to the cinema on Saturday morning during the Easter weekend and I was surrounded by very young children who’s parents had thought on this miserable, rainy Easter weekend let’s take the kids to see this kid-friendly superhero film.  And these poor kids had to watch their heroes sulk and talk for 2 hours.  I understand they want to distance this from light-hearted Marvel films and instead do a darker take on the genre, but they opted out and chose a misleading title and lightened the content to make it suitable for under 12s, when 90% of the film won’t entertain them.

Batman V Superman has left me concerned for the rest of DC’s offerings, let’s hope Suicide Squad isn’t as bad!

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“True Romance” this Valentine’s Day

Is True Romance the Best Love Film?

Is True Romance the Best Love Film Ever Made?

 

Is True Romance the Best Love Film Ever Made?

 

I’m not an overly romantic person, and when Valentine’s rolls around I struggle with the pink fluff and candy hearts.  My other half and I prefer a lavish and indulgent home cooked meal, – not so much lavish as “I tried really, really hard…” – and a chilled bottle of champagne (and gorgeous flowers!)

This year, I chose the film we watched with dessert (this Oreo cheesecake, *drool* give it a try!) and I chose True Romance (1993).

My other half was pleased, as he hadn’t seen it for a while, but miffed.  I had veto’d his suggestion of going to the cinema to see Spotlight.  That was a very inappropriate Valentine’s evening activity.

And yes, True Romance was much, much more appropriate.

From an exceptionally brilliant cast to a breath-taking love story, from pimps to murder – this film is perfection.

The script was written by my favourite, but not everyone’s cup of tea, Quentin Tarantino, but directed by Tony Scott (Ridley’s brother who sadly took his own life a few years ago).  True Romance has the tell tale signs of Tarantino: meaningful dialogue, engaging characters, exaggerated violence, and an unbelievable cast.  But Scott, director of Top Gun and Man on Fire, brings his own style to the film, making clear this is no Tarantino film, even changing the ending to make it fit his impression of the film.

Scott wanted to direct two scripts written by Tarantino: True Romance and Reservoir Dogs.  He was forced to choose just one, and although I can’t help but wonder what Scott would have done with Reservoir Dogs, I think he made the right choice.

The love story is a simple one: Boy meets Girl.  Girl is a prostitute.  Boy murders girl’s pimp and accidently lands a big suitcase full of drugs.  Boy must sell drugs to run away with girl.

Jeez, kids these days!

Perhaps not the most conventional romance story.  This film features my favourite cast from any film, ever.  An unrecognisable Gary Oldman as a pimp, Brad Pitt as a stoner, Samuel L Jackson as a drug dealer, a menacing James Galdolfini securing his role as Tony Soprano, and a nightmare-inducing Christopher Walken as “the Antichrist”, a Sicilian gang boss who I belief to be the most terrifying character ever created.

Not convinced?  Val Kilmer plays Elvis.  I’m serious.  And of course the happy couple themselves: Patricia Arquette as the charismatic Alabama, and Christian Slater as the cute boy-next-door-starting-to-lose-his-mind, Clarence.

True Romance isn’t a Hollywood blockbuster and it’s not a typical romance film, but it is a 23-year-old love story that I’ll still be watching in another 23 years.

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Things I Learned When I Got Fat

8 Things I Learned When I Got Fat

8 Things I Learned When I Got Fat

 

This post is something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently, but to be honest I never thought I’d actually write and post it.  I’ve put on weight over the last few years and I’d like to share a brutally honest list of things I’ve learned.

 

  1. There is such a thing as being “sensitive” about your weight

I was a size 10 (UK) at my thinnest, and since going back to college/ uni and then working over the last 2 years, I’ve slowly put on weight.  The first thing I realised was that I am genuinely “sensitive” about the topic of weight and food.  Thin people complaining about being fat, or telling me they totally pigged out at the weekend makes me feel uncomfortable because we both know they are lying!  Just stop it, we’re not going to discuss a mutual love of food and become besties, go away.

 

  1. Clothes are not your friend

Before, I never used to think about whether something “suits” me, if I liked it I bought it, done.

And now when I need a new dress, this is the list: sleeves, if no sleeves then suits a cardigan, not too tight, enough boob/bum room, preferably black, definitely not white or pastel coloured, not too short, no cut-outs, seriously what is with cut out dresses!?

At that point I go for a lie down and consider wearing the only perfect dress I own. (It’s this one ladies, it’s fabulous, but it’s practically sold out!)

 

  1. You will be made to feel larger than you are

I’ve gone up to a size 16/18 and when I look in the mirror, I don’t see too many changes just a few more curves.  Walking in to a shop and realising they don’t stock anything larger than a size 14, or a tiny 16, makes me feel like I am bed-ridden, and somebody better knock down a wall and rent a crane to get me outside.  It’s just horrible.

 

  1. Your favourite retailers are also not your friend

This was the hardest lesson for me, as you’ll learn from my hate-filled rant:

Just found that gorgeous dress to rock this weekend?  Sorry, Topshop only stock up to size 14 in that piece.  Topshop were so lovely and welcoming when I was a size 10, but now?  They literally will not make clothes large enough to fit me – like I am some kind of monster.  That feels like a friend telling you they don’t want to play with you any more – it actually hurts.

HOWEVER!  It’s not all doom and gloom.  When my friends want to look in Topshop (oblivious that they disapprove of my kind) I can still buy their shoes, accessories and make up!

Except I won’t; because Fuck You*.  And if/ when I choose to lose weight and can fit into all your beautiful, exclusive clothes?  I will still be taking my money elsewhere.

*I have a serious issue with Topshop.  I do however love New Look and Debenhams more than words can express.  Thank you for stocking size 16 + 18 clothing and making me feel like a worthwhile human!

 

  1. “We stock more online”

That’s right!  There just isn’t enough space in this store to include each piece in one more size, so they bundle all that additional stuff online!  I don’t have to shame myself by leaving the house, I can hide away at home and still give you my money!  How convenient and thoughtful of them.

 

  1. People will tell you that you are not fat (seriously, this happened to me)

I am very aware of my size – I dress it every day.  When there is a conversation, my weight isn’t something I generally choose to talk about.  However, when the topic comes up, don’t tell me I’m not fat.  I should probably clarify here – most of the time I am completely fine, I am a curvaceous lady, I am not Jabba the Hut.  However, I know the difference in my weight before and after, and I have come to terms with that.  I know people are just trying to be nice, and I would suggest a well-timed compliment on something else instead, such as how great I am at my job, instead of focussing on my appearance.

 

  1. People will tell you that you look better with some meat on your bones (seriously, this also happened to me)

To be fair, this happened when I went up to about a size 12/14, but also, please do not say this.  To anyone.  Ever.

 

  1. Shoes, Make Up, Handbags, Accessories, Beauty Products: They are your friend

I’ve found that with my options of clothes dwindling, I’ve been spending more and more on non-clothing items.  Handbags, shoes, accessories, make-up and beauty products have become my go-to when I feel down or deserve a treat (because I can’t reward myself with food anymore!).

When all of the above start annoying me, I just remember: I have an amazing shoe collection.

 

This post was written more for me than anyone else, so a massive thank you for taking the time to read it.

Can you relate to any of the things I’ve learned?  Do you have any more you can add to the list?

Lx

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Things I Loved in August

1. Blogging

That’s right, blogging!  As you’ve probably noticed I’ve taken a few months off.  I started this blog at a particularly busy time in my life: I had recently graduated but was feeling underwhelmed at work.  I loved the job I had but it wasn’t challenging, and I often felt dissatisfied.  I spoke to a friend who was in a similar situation, but she told me her blog helped her feel satisfied when her work didn’t – so, full of hope, I set up my own blog.

It must have helped at least to boost my positivity as I soon seriously upped my job-hunting game, but that left me with little time to write.  Until finally – I got a new job!  And it’s a wonderful job in a great company!  BUT: I work long hours (zzz), I have to travel a bit to get there (zzzzzz), and I work pretty hard (ZZZZZZ).  So inevitably I had little time for family, friends, hobbies or a general life.  Fast forward to tonight and I am one day away from passing from three-month probation period.  I’ve now adjusted to my new routine and it’s time to re-focus and spend more time on things I love.  And that means putting aside a few hours a week to write.

 

2. Coffee

Nescafe Azera Americano

Nescafe Azera Americano

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I recently discovered the Nescafe Azera range, and I am in love.  Normally I’m a coffee snob and only the real thing will do, however I was pleasantly surprised by Nescafe’s new range which compares itself to real barista coffee – and it certainly is the best instant coffee I’ve ever tasted!  Although my coffee maker gets plenty use at the weekend, this lovely instant is proving ideal for a quick weekday morning coffee.  I would love to know your favourite instant coffee?  And BTW: Coconut milk lattes.  THANK YOU Starbucks!

 

3. Autumn

Autumnal Wardrobe

Autumnal Wardrobe

 

 

 

 

 

AAAAH finally!  Summer is over, and Autumn is here!  Technically there’s still a slither of summer to go, but when Debenhams turns into an Autumnal haven of mustard, rust and purple: it’s Autumn for me.  More on my Autumn haul in another post, and in the meantime you can ditch that ridiculous crop top!

 

4. My birthday

Birthday Cake

I’m 28!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

It was my birthday in August, and my birthday is definitely an August favourite.  I celebrated the weekend before with friends in Edinburgh at the Fringe Festival, and watched a couple of hilarious shows.  I celebrated the day with family and my favourite takeaway.  The weekend after I celebrated with my other half who treated me to shopping, dinner at my favourite restaurant and a film of my choice at the cinema (well, a compromise heavily to my favour!).  Finally, I celebrated last weekend with my Aberdeen friends with delicious tapas and some wine.  I love when my birthday celebrations last two weeks – I am a very lucky/ spoilt lady!

Thanks for reading, I’m glad to be back!

Lx

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My First Blog Post

I always knew this post would be one of the harder posts to write.  I can talk for hours about make-up, beauty dilemmas, and give an opinion on most topics, so a blog should be no problem once I get up and running.  But therein lies the problem, how do I get started?

The thought of this “first” post has been a source of dread for a while now.  While my blog was coming along beautifully and I should have been preparing my first few posts, I couldn’t help but avoid actually writing – I feel incredibly embarrassed!  I think it is natural to feel slightly uncomfortable talking about yourself, especially when nobody has actually asked…

I considered looking back at some of my favourite blogs, searching for their first post for inspiration, but I felt that was getting off to a bad start, as I want to find my own style (cringe!).

However, regardless of how this post turns out, no matter the content or clever angle I try to take, I will look back and cringe.  As an experienced writer, I know my style and tone will change as I become comfortable (and, dare I say it? confident) with writing, so when I look back, this post won’t seem like it was written by the same person.

And the pressure!  The first post is so important, it’s the first impression.  Rather than scrutinising my fashion choices (safe) and my hair (big, messy)… something much more personal is being judged.  This isn’t a first impression based on looks, it’s judging what’s underneath that, presented in just a few paragraphs.

Anyway, this is turning into an Oscar winners speech, so I will wrap it up:

Hello!

Lx

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