Tag Archives: blogging

Whitewashed Films & White Guilt

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I’ve been terrible at blogging lately. I aim to rectify this, starting now. A good number of people have followed this blog after viewing the [THOUGHT BUBBLES] site, and I feel a mounting sense of guilt with each new cheery notification.

So as both catch-up and potted introduction to how things work around here, I present you with some reviews I’ve written for Nerdly in July:

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation

If there’s anything that connects the Mission: Impossible films in my head, it’s that I consistently come out of each new installment wondering what the hell happened.

The Gallows

Despite his main function being to pretend to carry a camera around, Ryan voices his unwanted and abrasive opinions at every possible opportunity, from telling the lead actress Pfeifer that his best bud Reese (her opposite number and, incidentally, terrible) has the hots for her to talking to himself about how much he hates acting. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to want Ryan to eat it immediately, but a scene in which he prangs a stereotypical drama nerd with a football cemented my desire to see him strung up IF ONLY JUST TO MAKE HIM STOP TALKING PLEASE JUST STOP

Ant-Man

Another Marvel movie, another bad – and bald – industrialist trying to weaponize something cool. They have their formula and they’re sticking with it, but that doesn’t mean they can’t play with their  own tropes. After the first forty-five minutes of exposition Lang is finally given the Ant-Man suit and discovers (along with the film) a whole new world of possibilities. Instead of being seen as an unreliable crook with a lot of potential but no options, Scott chooses to disappear altogether, becoming a catalyst for Hank and Hope’s damaged relationship to repair itself and learning how to be a hero – through a series of training montages, natch. Rudd’s character arc is nicely underplayed if somewhat baffling; he goes from being unable to make a fellow prisoner flinch to taking down an Avenger in a scant hour, but the lead is so much damn fun to be with it’s easy to forgive most of the film’s minor flaws.

There are a couple of other reviews in the pipeline – I saw Pixels the other day and British council-flat horror Containment last night – and I’m literally just now seeing that the summer of 2015 promises to be the blandest yet in terms of blockbuster fare. Though if those are the only kinds of movie you’re seeing I don’t have a whole load of sympathy. That’s like having McDonald’s three meals a day.

Ah well. At least Dear White People finally got released in the UK:

If you’re in London or near a Picturehouse that’s showing DWP, I would urge you to see it. The film’s not as incisive as I would have hoped, and there’s a real lack of punch to its ending, but it’s a gorgeous, mostly-honest piece of entertainment that’s actually about something. And, if you’re white, makes you realise just how racist you might be.

And you know how much I like punishing myself, right?

More soon. You’re the best.

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Reasons to be Blearful

It’s been a little quiet here the past couple of days largely because

a) other things required my attention, and

b) I’ve been trying to solve the medical conundrums that are my inconsistent deafness and impending death.

Okay, that might sound a little dramatic, but you try coughing your lungs up every other day for three months and see how optimistic you are about your chances. It’s not really that bad, but I have been feeling more and more run down as the days go on, which makes it harder to keep up with the things that require effort (like this blog) , and there doesn’t seem to be a concrete reason why. I’ve had my ears syringed twice this week – a procedure not unlike brush-scrubbing your forearms for so long and so hard that you start scraping the skin off, except with your eardrum – and came out of the session with the reasonably certain knowledge that a bunch of wax  wasn’t the problem in the first place.

Yeah, I know nobody likes a blog where someone just complains about their shit – especially when I don’t even have things especially bad – but I figure a (possibly) entertaining explanation of my recent silence is better than said silence.

But I could be wrong.

If you want an example of someone who’s way worse off than me, and a beautiful response to their problems, then you should check out this post from comics writer Matt Fraction’s blog in which he replies to a question from a fan contemplating suicide, incorporating his own experiences with it and depression in general. It’s pretty moving, inspiring and will likely make you cry if you value human life, and the section on “reasons to live” was especially potent.

So, um, yeah. Sorry about the emo post. I’ll try and make the next one bright and sparkly, and possibly incorporate unicorns and rainbows of some variety.

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Paging Doctor Sellout

So I went and got a Facebook page. Isn’t that special?

Go ahead and like it if you’re in the mood. I’ll mostly be reposting things from here but it’d be nice if it ended up being a place where I can engage a bit more with readers rather than the one-way conversation we’ve got going on here, and shorter subjects might seem more appropriate for social media. Who knows?

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I’m Not Sure How To Feel About This

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Well, this is certainly a strange turn of events.

Don’t worry. I’m sure normal service will return soon enough.

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Slumpkiller

Here’s an excerpt from the first of my recently reborn In Defence of the Reboot columns at Nerdly, in which I wax lyrical about the art of the spin-off:

Let’s keep it in the television family for now. Sitcoms were probably the first to truly capitalise on the spin-off dollar – and I mean capitalise in the most literal term. Happy Days spawned no fewer than five(!) other shows – Joanie Loves ChachiLaverne and Shirley and Mork and Mindy among them – and was itself kind of a spin-off from LoveAmerican StyleCheers spawned the incredibly successful and well- loved Frasier, which actually ran an equal number of seasons to its predecessor, and made everyone involved rather a lot of money. I’m not saying that’s an indicator of quality by any means, but we all love Frasier, right?

I could go on, but the list really is staggering.

You can read the rest here if you like.

I intend on making the column a weekly affair, assuming there’s proof that anyone actually reads the damn thing, and intend to keep it up a good while longer than the last time I attempted it (I think I got as far as #6 – let’s just call it a miniseries). It might take a few attempts to get an authorial groove going, however, as I’m still trying to figure out the best approach for making one-sided discussions of pop culture ephemera in any way entertaining, so you’ll forgive me if I waffle on a bit.

Mind you, if you’re reading this then you’re probably used to that sort of thing by now.

But then why should I have a column at all when I’ve got this? Surely there’s even more free reign on my own personal blog than an entertainment news site? Well, less than you’d think – at least on Nerdly, which is why I enjoy writing for it so much – and it’s the self-imposed limitations to working on something for another site that are most appealing, as they force me to get to the point, i.e. actually have a point, and practice the kind of writing that can be easily digested by a wider audience than I usually get.

I mean, writing on here is always practice…in the same sense that taking a casual bike ride with no destination counts as training for the Tour de France. There’s just not the same sense of discipline as when you’re meant to be being judged by everyone else. But yeah, hopefully it won’t suck and you’ll enjoy reading (and commenting on – hint hint -) it.

On a related note, this post marks the first five days in a row I’ve written a post since March, which is both surprising and a little depressing. I’m not asking for a parade or anything – though it wouldn’t be totally uncalled for – and don’t anybody actually get used to this malarkey lest you jinx it, but it seems pretty safe to say that I’ve gotten over my recent slump for the time being.

Um, yeah. Hooray?

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The playlist for that last post

was as follows, if that kinda thing interests you:

(In particular, The State I Am In & I Don’t Love Anyone, obv)

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Kill your plans

Let’s be honest about this: I doubt I’m ever getting back to a regular schedule, and it just makes me look (more) foolish to promise things that I never come through on. The whole point of this site was to get me on a regular writing schedule, and if I’m only going to get to one thing a day it might as well be a creative (or paying) project as opposed to letting you know how bad I am at getting around to such thing. So how about this:

Some days I’ll post one thing.

Others I’ll post five.

And some (most, in all likelihood) there’ll be naught but tumbleweed knocking around this ill-tended saloon of bloggery to remind you that, yes, there are an infinite number of things that are more interesting to look at on the internet.

But, y’know. I’ll try.

[Also, because I don’t like leaving you lot empty-handed, you should listen to this:

I was recently reminded of the existence of this sublime remix of an already-great song by a band from my hometown, and rightfully decided it was criminally unheard by the vast majority of people. So enjoy.]

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Absences

Last weekend I went home to help out at a local blues festival, which mostly entailed hauling amps and getting a lot of free drinks on the festival tab. So you can understand why I haven’t posted anything for a few days, I’m sure.

Ahem.

Yeah, I know. I’m pretty terrible about getting back on the horse. Every time I try to get saddled up it bucks me off and leaps over a hedge into another field.

In less procrastinatory news, I got some excellent notes from my friend Ben about my second draft of Scars, including one or two minor epiphanies that should make the next version of the script a hell of a lot tighter and the characters much stronger. So yeah, thanks, Ben.

[Oh, and I DEFINITELY haven’t given up on that short film. Promise. More news tomorrow.]

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The Vexing Allure of DIY

Word to the wise: when deciding to be manly (dumb) and build yourself a flatpack desk with all sorts of nooks and shelves and castors THAT YOU PUT ON THE WRONG WAY OVER AND OVER AND OVER FOR THE LOVE OF BABY MOSES try not to begin on or after midnight, because

a) you won’t finish. Pathetically, you won’t even get close

b) that movie you said you were going to talk about so you wouldn’t break your new (incredibly dumb) rule of “2 posts a day!”? You’re not going to do it, and

c) Your hands will be so, so sore when you finally do decide to pack it and hit the sack. More sore than they usually are ten minutes after you get into bed, which makes things problematic.

Too far? Too far. I’m getting a kind of ‘old habits’ vibe from this one, so I better sign off.

We’ll talk Stoker tomorrow (today), then. Well, I guess I’ll be doing most of the talking. You’ll just stare into your tea and passive-aggressively suggest changing the subject every paragraph break.

And we used to have such good conversation, you and I.

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Strange Breadfellows

So I finally got my act together and put the second part of my two-parter on rewatching up on Strange Bedfellows. It’s here if you want to have a looksee, and here’s the first part if you’ve forgotten what it was all about. (I certainly did…)

Oh, and housemate/wunderkind Tom’s started baking bread for us now. I’m a lucky gal.

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