Showing posts with label reading and watching. Show all posts

Why I'm afraid of the Handmaid's Tale

Now, this has been everywhere now and I'm a tad annoyed it took me so long to get on board. The Handmaid's Tale  is one of Charlie, Distracted's favourite books and she has been telling me to read it for years but I didn't pick it up until October last year. Fast forward to 2017 and everyone's talking about it again.

If you're not sure about what the Handmaid's Tale is (well, you should read it anyway), It's set in a Dystopian Future where women's money, livlihoods and, eventually, identities are stripped from them, all in the name of the 'greater good'.

The Republic of Gilead (former USA) is under the control of a Totlitarian Government, having overthrown the Democratic one before. The country is erily the same yet not at the same time. Spies (The Eyes) are watching every movement you make. There has been a drop in fertility and therefore a drop in childbirth. The women are blamed entirely for this. For their 'promiscuity', their general lifestyles, for being gay and so much more.

You look at situations like this and think 'that will never happen in the West'. What is shocking, is that makes it more shocking. It doesn't take away the reality of the world outside of our little corner. There are places in the world where FGM are practiced, women in Saudi Arabia were allowed to vote for the first time in 2015, there are countries in the east where women can't leave the house without their husbands and they can't drive. But it'll never happen in the West, never in our little bubble. Seeing it on our screens and hearing these things in English words make it real for us too, not just something halfway across the world.

I look at the handmaids tale and I realise that I already have more rights and priveledges than even my Grandmother before me (maybe even my mum, in some respects) and there's always a little niggle in the back of my head thinking 'what if they change their minds and this is all taken away?'. It's not an unrealistic thought to have, especially considering the state of the world right now.

My boyfriend doesn't really understand my feelings on this as it seems to farfetched. I think it could be too close to reality before we know it. That thought terrifies me.

We don't know when, how or if it would start bnt it would have happened before we have realised it. Everything we know and love can be swept away from uner our feet and we won't even see it coming.

Has the Handmaid's Tale impacted you as much as it has me? 

Trainspotting Live Review

Trainspotting Live The Vaults London

One of the best things to come out of the 90s was Trainspotting.Some of you may think that's a bold statement but it really is. From page to screen.

I get that something like Trainspotting isn't for everyone so it has remained a cult classic. It's raw direction and 'colourful' script has made it one of my favourite films of all time. So much so, I wrote part of my dissertation on it at Uni! So glad I did an interesting degree.

Trainspotting Live first appeared at Edinburgh Fringe and has also done performances in the likes of the King's Head Theatre in London. I missed it this time around so I had to get tickets to see it at the Vaults when Charlie sent me a text in big capital letters saying WE DO THIS, YES? The Vaults is quickly becoming one of my favourite venues in London. I've seen so many things there now, most recently Ghostbumps Alive which was also awesome.

Trainspotting Live The Vaults London
My 'ticket' was a glowstick wristband!

Trainspotting Live is an immersive experience that starts in the heart of a 90s rave. There's many a strobe light so I had to keep my face covered for a good 10 minutes (#EpilepsyProblems). Complete with glowsticks, whistles and loud music, you really felt like you were a part of a drug-fueled party is some abandoned warehouse somewhere.

The acting is amazing, Gavin Ross joked on his Twitter feed that he will always be Renton. He played Ewan McGregor's infamous drug addict on stage with the original performance at the fringe and he is just outstanding.

The whole thing is brutal from the very beginning, but in a good way. I'm glad they didn't have 'The Baby' though. I don't think I would have been able to handle that. I laughed in my seat when chracters climbed into the crowd and, at points, even sat on people. The highlight though was when I saw people leave during the situation with 'The Worst Toilet In Scotland'. To be honest, they probably hadn't seen Trainspotting before!

To be honest, the drug taking-ness freaked me out a little, but that's only because it looked so real from where I was sitting. That scene with Tommy (no spoilers here, watch it if you need to know) was so full of emotion that it gave me shivers. It was just brilliant, really.

I strongly urge you to see it as you only have another 6 weeks to do so. Although, one word of advice would be to sit on the left handside so you're away from the toilet!

We Are Lumos: Charity Gala and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London

In 1997 one woman captured the hearts of a generation and more to come. The story of a little orphan boy, his adventures and friends taught us that it's OK to be different and that there will always be a light, no matter how dark and bleak the world may seem. Now, 19 years later, J.K Rowling is putting that into practise.

Lumos is not only the spell that brings light, it's also J.K Rowling's charity working towards making the world a better place for over 8 million children (that we know of) in institutions.

Lumos Charity

I'm going to be honest here, I had heard of Lumos (obvs) but I had no idea what they really did nor the immense scale of their work. While at their charity gala as new ambassadors for Lumos, we had the opportunity to meet some of the celeb ambassadors and listen to talks from Georgette Mulheir and Bill Di Mechele who both chair the charity.

Normally when people think of orphanages (or institutions), many people will have the image of a loving environment and happy children running all over the joint. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

Lumos charity

The harsh reality of the children in institutions is that 80% of them have at lease one living parent but have been placed into the system because of poverty, disability. discrimination and the need for health care that their parents may not be able to provide. Many children could then be subject to trafficking and abuse. Not only will they suffer physically and emotionally but also intellectually as their education could be considered as a sideline or they are lacking support to succeed.

Lumos Charity Gala

On the even darker side of things, shocking figures show that 1 in 7 children raised in institutions will resort to prostitution later in life and 1 in 10 will be driven to suicide, One. In. Ten. It's enough to send a chill down your spine and the look of sheer shock I saw on Jason Isaac's face (who is also new to the campaign), really said it all.

During the talks, Warwick Davis and Evanna Lynch told us more about the work they have been doing with Lumos, most recently in Moldova, what they have seen and how they are working with Lumos to get these children out of the institutions. It made me desperately want to help more.

While we were there, we had the opportunity to actually meet Evanna Lynch ( LUNA BLOODY LOVEGOOD) who is hands down one of the nicest people I have ever met. She came right over to our table and started chatting away and we all ended up huddled around her phone watching videos of Chris Martin singing a song about wanting to be in Gryffindor.

Gryffindor for the win.

Lumos Charity Gala
From left to right: 1. Mugglenet 2. Alex, 3. Katy 4. EVANNA LYNCH, 5. Katie, 6. ME 7. Charlie

Warwick Davis is in pretty much everything and sums up my childhood in movies so just being in the same room as him and working towards the same cause filled me with joy. Jason Isaacs... well, I have no words.

*cue silly giggles*

So very dashing, in a nutshell.

Following all the talks, photos and general nattering, we all filed over to the Palace Theatre for a special Gala performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. There, the experience was opened by the one and only J,K Rowling giving is a speech about Lumos and their goal and their work.

J.K Rowling is just inspiring. Did you know she covers all costs of the charity out of her own pocket? I did not. Did you know that this then means that all proceeds go directly to the charity and their work to help those 8 million children (that we know of) one by one? I did not. The way she spoke so passionately about Lumos' goal to get those children out of institutions and into loving families really struck a chord. I've been privileged enough to grow up in a very loving family and this has made me want to do more. Already there have been discussions with the Bangarang Girls about what we can do. All. The. Ideas.

If you also want to help the work of Lumos, you can buy one of these AMAZING t shirts right here.

They're absolutely fabulous and I will continue to wear mine with pride. They're only available until October so you'll have to be quick and, remember, all proceeds go directly to Lumos and not into someone else's pocket.

Lumos Charity Gala
Don't we all look fabulous in these tops. You should buy one.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London

When it comes to the play itself, I will obviously #KeepTheSecrets. I'm going to be seeing it again VERY SOON and will be sharing a completely spoiler free  review. In the meantime, for those of you who have read the script and had some sad #opinions, remember that it is not the finished project, There are so many elements that cannot be portrayed on paper. It's just the dialogue and stage directions so it's far from the full experience on stage. In short, it's an absolute delight. I laughed, I cried, I screamed. Charlie, Distracted, who has already seen it, thoroughly enjoyed watching my reactions!

Really, you just need to see it for it to completely make sense.

I am beyond thrilled that I have been given the opportunity to work with Lumos as an ambassador for their work. This was honestly one of the best days of my life and, despite how long this blog post has become, I really don't have enough words.

Earlier on, I described J.K Rowling as inspirational but, looking back on it, I don't think that word is big enough. She created a world that made mine, and so many other people's lives, better through a work of fiction and now she's using her influence as literary queen and icon to make this a reality for those who so desperately need it. Be the Light with Lumos and J.K Rowling and remember that children need families, not orphanages.

* Disclaimer: This post is on behalf of Lumos and to raise awareness of their latest campaign. I was not paid for this opportunity, just really bloody happy! 

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Midnight Book release

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch

This post is a long time coming. Sometimes I wish Time-Turners were real so I could give myself a little more time... that and I wouldn't have to be rewriting this post because blogger deleted it. #Rude.

Back in 2007, Charlie, Distracted and I attended the midnight release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We were a part of history. We were doing something that we never thought would be possible again. It started a love for midnight releases, ever since that first one, I have been to many midnight releases for books, films and videogames. Most recently I was one of the first people in the country to leave Waterstones clutching my copy of Go Set a Watchman tightly to my chest.

I have to say though, nothing really compares to a Harry Potter midnight release.

The second I bought tickets, the eager countdown began. When the day came, I donned my Gryffindor colours with pride and, wand in hand, made it hastily across London to Piccadilly to join my fellow fans, cosplayers and Potterheads.

Harry Potter Cosplay

Standing in the queue with Leanne, Charlie and her sister, gold enveloped were handed out, we drew lightning bolts on our foreheads and we waited anxiously (well, I was) while we waited for Katy to arrive and the doors to open.

As we stepped through those double doors of my all time favourite bookshop, I was overwhelmingly happy for the first time in weeks. We were greeted by a String Quartet playing music from the films and I ended up with butterflies in my tummy.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch

 Seriously, hats off to the visual lot who organised the Launch. They had made everything perfect down to the tiniest detail. There was a pub quiz, Quidditch, Butter Beer, a mini version of Hogsmeade and THE THIRD FLOOR WAS OUT OF BOUNDS. Guys, you're all legends.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child launch

 After all our exploring and missing out on top points in the pub quiz... (George lost his left ear, not his right *Face palm*), we joined the winding queue up the stairs.

Midnight arrived and after a ten second countdown, there was an immense cheer throughout the shop. Tears were shed for a variety of reasons and I finally ha my hands on a copy of the script.

Once again, I was a part of literary history and I cannot thank Waterstones enough.

 I made my decision before the release to not read the script until after I had seen the play and now, thanks to the #WeAreLumos campaign, I finally have. The whole situation has made this year 1000 times better. There will be a new post shortly to tell you all about Lumos and the amazing work they do to improve the lives of children around the world.

At the Theatre: From page to stage

Theatre London

Let’s face it, the West End s pretty much the best place to ever go to the theatre. I’m sure Broadway is awesome and everything but we are a country of performers, writers and musicians that is steeped in so much history, you can’t help but be in awe when you walk down the Charing Cross Road or Shaftsbury Avenue. As based on recent performances, and some past, London is the ultimate place to make the name of a new production, especially one that has been lifted straight from the page.

In 2003 we had Phillip Pullmans ‘His Dark Materials’ brought to life through the master of puppetry, in 2014 Harper Lee’s iconic To Kill aMockingbirdcame to the Regents Park Theatre and was so popular it continued to sell out at the Barbican, and now we have the legacy of ‘Harry Potter’ continuing beyond page and screen, with a two part spectacular at the Palace Theatre in ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’… I say ‘spectacular’ but I’m just assuming as I’m not going to see it until the end of September…

Any way… Harry Potter is beyond the point… at this moment. Watch. This. Space.
As an avid book lover, one of my favourite things is to see my favourite stories appear in front of me as though they were real life and London will always be the place to see it happen. This is not just your standard listicle but it is a collection of tales that I love and have continued to love since I see the characters I have always imagined take their first step onto the stage. These are not in order of preference but are just a group of plays I have seen and WILL see. Some reviewed, some just hoping. Either way, I love them (already).

A lot of these will already have appeared on the blog but, meh!

The Phantom of the Opera

If you know me in anyway, you would have known that this would already be high on the list. It’s just a given. The Phantom of the Opera was originally written as a novel by Gaston Leroux in 1909 and back in the 1980s, it was turned into the production we know today; a musical love story of (doubtfully) unreciprocated love, splendour and beauty by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Everyone knows of the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and guaranteed you will know at least one of the songs even if you don’t know it. ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ is one of those plays that I will go and see as often as I can. I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I have sat in the audience of Her Majesty’s Theatre  (where it has performed since 1986. Dude, it’s older than I am!) to watch that chandelier come crashing down but I will always keep going back. I even went two weeks ago and I am adamant it’s the best version I have seen to date.

Les Miserables

Another of the longest running performances in the West End/ the world... but I didn't get to see it until 2014! Madness. Following the release of the film in 2012, Les Miserables has become even more famous/popular in some ways that many tend to forget about the book. It is a bit of a beast and I have lost count of the number of times I have tried to read it but the stage version makes everything so much more interesting. I'm the kind of person who always says 'the book was better', but with Les Misrables, that's really not the case. Just listening to the soundtrack makes me cry, let alone see the full performance.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time

I first read this book when I was sitting my A-Levels... a bloody long time ago now. Charlie, Distracted  knew how much I loved it and booked me tickets to see it for my birthday a few years ago, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time is an exploration of adolensence, curiosity, life with aspergers and so much more. It's very difficult to explain the concept on page, let alone how they do it on stage. It's just amazing. If you're going to see it for yourself, I strongly recommend getting seats high up. You'll thank me later when you see why.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Briefly spoken about it just now and also previously reviewed it here. To Kill a Mockingbird is my all time favourite book. When the stage version originally opened at the Regents Park Theatre, I tried desperately to get tickets but failed. When it came back to the Barbican, Charlie, Distracted succeeded because she's amazing like that. It's difficult to put into words just how good this was, all I can say is that it's always a good thing when you see something you love so dearly not tarnished by someone else's vision. They used the whole stage in such an imaginative way and truly brought the story to life, just as we always wanted it.

War Horse

When I read the book, I cried on the train. When I saw the play, I cried pretty much throughout the whole thing. It's strange to think that puppets can be seen as real. Seriously, the way they move and they noises the actors make as they control it, make the whole thing seem more real. With a minimal set design, it's all you can focus on. The whole thing is raw and beyond beautiful, it's no wonder it was around for so long. I was lucky enough to see this adaptation right before it ended and it will be going on tour in 2017. Do yourself a favour and see it before you miss it again.

I'm lucky enough to already have seen a bunch of my favourite books on stage, but there are still a fair few I am anxiously anticipating (in the good way).

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

If you know me at all, this doesn't really require much explanation and I'm counting down the days... and planning my outfit.


This is coming to the Vaults and Charlie and I obviously couldn't pass up the chance to get tickets. We'll be there in November

The Red Shoes

A short story by Hans Christian Anderson turned into one of my favourite films by the Archers is now the latest spark of genius by Matthew Bourne. I will be getting tickets VERY soon.

What's your favourite book adaptation?

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post with but all opinions and excitement are my own

Goosebumps Alive - Backstage Tour

Goosebumps Alive London

Remember that time I went to see Ghost Stories and I was terrified? How about that time I went to see The Woman in Black, cried and had to go and buy some shoes to feel better? Well, guess who thought it would be a good idea to go and see Goosebumps Alive... That would be me.

Last week, Milly from Mini-Adventures, invited me to go along as her +1 to see the show and go on a  backstage tour organised by Yelp London. I had been wanting to see it for so long because CHILDHOOD so I obviously said yes. Obviously forgetting that the Goosebumps books made me sleep with the lights on, even as a teenager.

No, just no. Glad I missed this room!
As the day went on, I realised what I had committed to and the nerves were kicking in. I pre-warned Milly about how much of a wuss I am and how it was pretty much guaranteed to scream and cry. She said she understood but then realised later in the night how I was really not exaggerating...

I do have one slight problem when I go to things like these, aside for being a complete and utter wimp, there's that whole Epilepsy thing I have. Fun times.

When we arrived I said 'One question, I have epilepsy...' (People started laughing immediately because it 'wasn't a question' despite the fact they hadn't even let me finish the bloody question out of sheer rudeness...), the dude on the front desk let me know which rooms would be safe and which ones I should avoid. Later on in the show, one of the crew members came up to me to take me into a separate show/room so I avoided the most risky of them all. Very kind. Very considerate. Hats off to you.

Image stolen from  Mini-Adventures

The show consists of disorientating corridors leading you to short performances of some of the original Goosebumps stories, set in a modern era, versions of 'Say Cheese and Die' with the new iPhone instead of a camera and 'Don't go into the Basement' showing the story of a young couple in love moving in for the first time.

I repeat. These books gave me nightmares as a kid. The first show we saw was 'Say Cheese and Die'. I was the only one in the room who screamed at the loud noises...

One of the rooms are also immersive where you're encouraged to participate. Normally this would be fun if it weren't for an evil clown man with Salad Fingers fingers who controls bloody Slappy the Dummy, the WORST of all Goosebumps baddies...

Goosebumps Alive London Review
Set for 'Don't go into the basement'
There are two rooms in particular that will stick in my mind for life. Actual life.

There's the Lift and the Grand Finale. 

Milly had already warned me about the lift. I don't like lifts. Especially when there are scary things happening. Even though I knew what was coming, I still ended up on the floor by Milly's feet, holding her hand and crying. She still loves the fact that one of the cast members broke character to check I was OK. I was a god damn mess.

Also stolen from Milly but I did ask first!

But the last room was worse, There were clowns. I don't like clowns. They're evil and wrong and just need to be stopped. I managed to get myself into a safe spot to the side of the room (not the back or front, that's just bloody stupid, Are you asking to be killed by a murderous clown??) but, oh my, was I not safe. The bastarding clowns appeared out of nowhere and I tried to run. At one point Milly was hugging me where 'her boobs were keeping me safe'

Seriously, they should have paid me to be there because I brought so much entertainment.

Despite the fact I was terrified and crying and having all of the emotions... I loved it. 

The entire show runs on a military stylie scheduled with not only the actors being perfectly on cue for multiple performances in a day but also the special effects. When we went on our mini backstage tour, I was still jumping at things I knew were coming even though the show was over.

It's a shame the show is over now as I want to go again. Lord knows why, but I do. If it ever goes on tour/comes back, I urge you to see it.

* Disclaimer: I attended this event for free as Milly's +1. All hilarious tales of me being a pathetic mess and crying at everything are true. I'm not going to deny it. 

Books to read again as a grown up

writer's block and broken lenses

I am an avid reader. I always have a book in my bag and I'm one of those people who will happily go back to books over and over again. I don't really juggle books like some people can but if there is a particular book I'm struggling with for some reason or another, I'll go back to an old favourite to get back into the 'swing of things'.

Ever since I was little, I have read a lot. For a long time I was happier to be up in my room reading than outside with actual people. So much so that my parents would TELL me to go out. A tad odd, really.

I've always found books the best way to escape. Whether I am stressed or sad there are a bunch of books that are guaranteed to make me feel better and, oddly, a lot of them are from my childhood. They're not necessarily 'kids books', mostly because I don't really agree with the phrase unless you're reading Spot the Dog or something (which is awesome). To a lot of outsiders, they SEEM to be kids books; whether that's down to illustrations or the element of sheer fantasy in some of them (I'm looking at you, Harry Potter haters), I just don't think they really are KIDS books.

With that mini rant, kind of thing over, here's a bunch of my favourite books that I read as a child and just LOVE going back to.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

This is pretty much a given... it is me after all.

Now, I don't for one second believe that Harry Potter are children's books, not only have I already said this (it's important, yo) but recently I also had to stop myself from threatening to hit someone in the face with my hard back copy of The Order of the Phoenix just for saying they are only for kids.


However! Saying that, they are books that GROW and age with the audience and I WAS a child when I started reading them. There is something so innocent and magical (LOL! WIZARDS) about the first one that, when I'm sad, It's always the first book I go to... and inevitably binge read the other six.


This one is in here because I actually reread it for the first time as a grown up very recently. I loved the movie as a child and have always been torn between which Roald Dahl story I love the most, The BFG or James and the Giant Peach.

The BFG never failed to make me laugh when I was younger and I was so happy to discover that it still made me grin from ear to ear. I even amused myself by thinking in the backwards way of the BFG for a bit, purely because it made my tube journey more entertaining...

Little Women

I think I first read this as I was approaching my teenage years... I think. It is now one of those books that I go back to and read every year without fail. It just never gets old.

As a grown up, I still get irritated by Amy, in awe of Jo, and Beth... well, just like Joey in Friends, I always want to put the book in the freezer for a bit.

I will NEVER be emotionally stable enough to handle the Beth scenario.

writer's block and broken lenses

Anything by Terry Pratchett

If you want to read something that will genuinely make you laugh out loud, Terry Pratchett is always the answer.

When I was growing up, my aunt had a massive picture of Discworld, on top of four elephants on the back of the great A'Tuin. It always made me smile and a love for the Discworld grew from there and the very moment my aunt lent me a copy of The Colour of Magic.

Note: This looks pretty much the same as the one my aunt had, I found it on Tumblr but there are so many versions/uploads that I have no idea who to credit. 
Now, if you have youngish children and are looking for new book ideas, the Discword novels aren't really for them until they get to around 12 in my opinion. Some of the humour may be lost as they are predominantly adult driven (with some naughty bits sometimes),

My favourites are the Death series which... obviously feature Death/the Grim Reaper/ Taker of souls. It's nice seeing Death being given an innocent and curious personality along with the power of HIS GREAT BOOMING VOICE ALL IN CAPITAL LETTERS. Just pick up Reaper Man and guaranteed you'll love it, If not, I'll eat my hat.

writer's block and broken lenses

The Wind in the Willows

The biggest regret of my life? Accidentally giving away the copy I have had since childhood to the charity shop. It had my name written in it and everything. I passed the charity shop, saw it in the window for a grand total of £3. When I got back to the charity shop when it was open, it had gone. Such heartbreak.

There are little things about this book that seem to come back to me at random points. Making (and drinking a lot of) mulled wine always makes me think of Rat and Mr Mole drinking their after a day of adventures, tweet jackets make me think of Mr Toad and all his shenanigans... and the same goes for yellow cars. It's strange to think that a book still affects the way I think sometimes even though it's 20 odd years later.

This was such a difficult list to put together. From the beginning I told myself I'd only do a 'Top 5' but now I already regret not putting a bunch of things in there. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Secret Garden and Peter Pan are three that come to mind but I couldn't exactly list ALL THE BOOKS IN THE WORLD! So there we have it.

What are your favourite books to read again as an adult? at the National Theatre London

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

For my birthday last year, the wonderful Charlie, Distracted booked me tickets to see, the new musical by Damon Albarn (Blur... if you didn't know that). BUT THEN, we had the Great Crash of 2015... where the shelves my boyfriend put up in the kitchen fell off the wall and smashed all my Le Creuset so Charlie then bought me a new pie dish to make me feel better and the tickets became a Christmas present instead.

(TL:DR, birthday present became Christmas present. I went to the theatre, innit)

As you may be able to guess from the title, is another look at Alice in Wonderland... except it's set in present day... and focuses around the concept of being addicted to technology, especially our phones and the internet.

I'm a MASSIVE Alice in Wonderland fan and had been considering buying tickets to see this anyway until Charlie surprised me with tickets. I have the Cheshire Cat tattooed on the back on my neck, my mum's old copy of the book (kind of falling part due to much reading) and I even enjoyed the Tim Burton versions... #Controversial., however? Meh.

To be brutally honest, the most exciting part to me was the gift shop.

Writer's Block and Broken Lenses

Well, that's probably not exactly true. Around the theatre there are interactive experiences which are pretty cool but also make me think that the whole thing is trying a little too hard. I thought the script of the play was weak and the songs poor and the whole thing doesn't really make much sense so having these things (like a table you can whack to make noises, VR and selfie walls) are compensating for how weak the play was.

Nothing seemed to be quite in balance, and at some points we were all laughing at how ridiculous everything was. It's a real shame because I was really looking forward to it. The only things that had going for it were the costumes and set design. So much colour and glitter, it was amazing, it's a shame that they were overlooked/overshadowed.

I had a really nice time as a whole but I certainly won't be recommending the play to fellow Alice in Wonderland fans. However, this is all my personal opinion and there may be people out there who did enjoy it. It just really wasn't for me.


Creed: Rocky is back!

writers block and broken lenses

I have grown up watching the Rocky series. When I was little, my brother and I used to sit in our parents bedroom watching the Anthology on VHS, my mum would want to be watching Emmerdale or something so we'd go watch it on their TV VHS combi player thing (remember those?).

I'm adamant to this day that Rocky IV is the best and Rocky V doesn't exist. It just doesn't, OK?!

After the shiteness that was the aforementioned film that doesn't exist, I didn't see Balboa until some point last year (FYI, loved it) and that's only because the trailer for Creed came out and I was SO EXCITED.

I kept going through stages, similarly to when Star Wars: The Force Awakens came out where I was terrified that it wouldn't be as good as I wanted it to be. What if it was Rocky V all over again?

But it wasn't, it was brilliant.

It had all the elements that make a classic Rocky film, we were lucky enough to have TWO TRAINING MONTAGES and during the fight, the audience started cheering and applauding.

As with the other Rocky films we have to deal with some variety of emotional trauma... In Rocky II, Adrienne ended up in a coma, in Rocky III, Micky dies,  In Rocky IV, we lose Apollo and Rocky V almost killed the franchise by itself. With Creed we see the struggling childhood of Adonis (Creed's son), his desperate want to be accepted and, the turning point, his relationship with Rocky.  (shall not do the spoiler thing).

On a geeky side of things, the camera work is incredible with some parts being done in one take (cue the fight scene at Godison Park). The fight scene also represents more than just man on man violence. We can clearly see the differing relationships between coach and boxer (we've seen this before with Micky but this is different) and also the difference between a fighter who just wants a quick win, and one who wants to make a name on his own and not his legacy.

All in all Creed is a beautiful film, whether you're into boxing or not. AND WE FINALLY FIND OUT WHO WON THAT THIRD FIGHT BETWEEN ROCKY AND APOLLO! I will happily see it again and will definitely own it on DVD to keep our collection going.

Might be time for another Rocky marathon soon...

What's the best film you've seen this year so far?

(OK, so I actually saw this weeks a go but went through a 'I'm staying off the internet' phase. Oh well, the review is here now.)

Films they should not remake. Ever.

Earlier this week, news was announced that Christopher Nolan's Momento is going to be remade. And I was angry. It's barely 15 years old and it's already going to go through the Hollywood rehash.

Obviously, I'm not the only person in the world who expresses fury when someone decides 'well, we're out of ideas again, so let's redo something else'. Most recently, the American version of The Returned. Just no.

I did a shout out on Twitter and fellow film nerds started to emerge listing some of their favourites that SHOULD NOT BE TOUCHED! A lot of them are bang on point.
I clearly have a lot in common with a lot of people (especially my #Bangarang girls).  There are a bunch of films in this discussion that are pinnacles of filmmaking and to touch them would be the ultimate insult. As you can probably tell from my header photo I have quite an extensive lists of films that need to be protected. Somehow I have managed to nail it down to a top 5...

Gone with the Wind

Writer's block and broken lenses

Gone with the Wind has always been my favourite films. Yes, it goes on for about 4 hours but they are 4 hours of brilliance. Plus there's the interval which gives you the perfect opportunity to make a cup of tea in the middle.

Gone with the Wind is the best example of Hollywood at its finest. A not quite love story throughout the American Civil War. Scarlet O'Hara always throws aside her own happiness in order to save her family and home and it's not until the very end where she's experienced the greatest tragedy when she realises what will truly make her happy but unfortunately it's too late. Vivienne Leigh is absolutely perfect in this role and it's strange how much of the character is reflected in her real life. It's almost like it's a role that was MADE for her.

True Romance

writer's block and broken lenses

Christian Slater when he was still hot? CHECK. Written by Tarantino? CHECK. Stellar cast in general? ABSOLUTE CHECK! It's a love story with guns, people!

Seriously, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this film. From Samuel L. Jackson's grand five minutes on screen, Brad Pitt playing a stoner to Gary Oldman as a rasta pimp... it's just brilliant. Plus the score is by Hans Zimmer... all the win.

This is definitely one of my favourite films. And my boyfriend's for that matter. We both love it so much we went to see it on 35mm at the Prince Charles Cinema.

Please just watch this film.

The whole Harry Potter series

writer's block and broken lenses

Especially The Half Blood Prince. 

I'm counting these as all one film. I know that they will be remade at some point in the future because it is one of the most successful franchises of all time and it has gripped the hearts of more than one generation for nearly 20 years. It has certainly been a massive part of my life since I was 9-10 years old.

Yes, it's fun to go back and laugh at some of the bad child acting at the very beginning but there further along you go, the darker they get and all the more perfect. There are obviously a couple of things from the books I wish they kept and I am always a broken mess from The Half Blood Prince onwards but if anyone were to remake them, I will be beyond heartbroken. No one will ever be as good as Alan Rickman as Severus Snape and we all know it.

The Princess Bride

writer's block and broken lenses

Possibly one of the most quotable films and a family favourite. It's one of those films that takes the piss out of itself, so much so it has really stood the test of time and I will happily always watch it again. It's not to everyone's taste and I have noticed that unless you've grown up with it, you possibly don't 'get' it. That's how I try to justify people don't liking it anyway.

The Red Shoes

writer's block and broken lenses

We studied this when at Uni for our British Cinema module. It's a story within a story based on the Hans Cristian Anderson fairytale. There are many rumours around this film, like how Moira Shearer wasn't allowed to become Prima Ballerina for a leading ballet company because she made the artform available to the masses through a 'vulgar' film.

A triumph of Powell and Pressburger, The Red Shoes is an explosion of colour and art in a previous monochrome period of British Cinema. It was cited to be a failure but received a massive cult following and is as popular today. It's just beautiful.

The Labyrinth

writer's block and broken lenses

Dude. It's David Bowie in tights, as an adult I can now appreciate this (*giggle*). Similarly to The Princess Bride I think that unless you grew up for it, it's probably not for you. 

BUT! What's not to love, the aforementioned Bowie as the goblin king, songs you can actually sing all day, a Strong female lead who doesn't want to live up to everyone's expectations, or even the dark side of love? Well... obsession at least. It's kind of adult muppets with a dark twist and it makes me happy every time I watch it.

Plus, Bowie.

OK, yes. I'm aware that's not 5... I changed my mind so many times while writing this list that I just decided to go for 6. What of it?

What films do you think should never be remade, EVER?