Filth (Film) Review

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Jillian’s choice for our Free For All Fortnight and cor blimey it’s a good ‘un. If you like cocks, swearing, vomit, spit, shagging, cross dressing, cocaine and violence that is.

Luckily, I live for that shit!

All that really matters here is that I’m not watching If I Stay and being bored to tears so right away Filth has the upper hand. I’ve actually seen this film before but I don’t have to be asked twice to spend a few hours with Jame McAvoy, even if he is a git of the highest order here.

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Scream if you want to go faster!

I’m a big Irvine Welsh fan but haven’t actually read the novel Filth yet, though it is on my shelf. I’m told it explains parts of the film much better than the film does, but I’ll have to reserve judgement until I actually pick it up. Getting into the way Irvine Welsh writes can sometimes seem like a chore, though once you’re there it is well worth it.

To the film!

As always *Spoiler Alerts!*

Filth (2013)

Director: Jon S. Baird
Stars: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Jim Broadbent, Eddie Marsan

IMDB Synopsis: A corrupt, junkie cop with Borderline Personality Disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.

My Review:

Bruce Robertson is a bit of a mess, truth be told. Junkie, corrupt, alcoholic, arsehole – any one of these words and more could be used to accurately describe our friend. Yet, he’s happily married with a child and being considered for a promotion, from Detective Sergeant to Inspector.

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Haven’t you ever been tempted? (All the effing time)

Quickly, however, it becomes apparent that things aren’t as they seem with this guy and that he’s suffering from a personality disorder. He’s not a nice person really, displaying all the traits of someone you would move heaven and earth to avoid (aka. my ex) yet, not everyone is onto Bruce yet.

Despite his secret campaign to bring down pretty much everyone he’s ever met, including his work colleagues (and competition), Bruce still has one true friend, Clifford Blades. This doesn’t make Bruce soft, however as he has a unique way to thank Clifford for his loyalty, and it ain’t flowers and chocolate.

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“No thanks, I’ve already eaten.”

The film begins with the unfortunate murder of a Japanese tourist, witnessed by a mystery blonde in a leopard print coat. The kids responsible for beating this poor boy to death are startled away when they realise they’ve been spotted.

Later, we find out this is the case Bruce is working on. The appearance of the glamorous blonde is significant as she bears more than a passing resemblance to Carole Robertson (Shauna Macdonald), Bruce’s wife. This may be the reason Bruce fails to mention her as their main witness to the rest of the team.

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Inception but with bras

As Bruce and his colleagues start to look into the murder case, he starts to lose it big time, suffering from severe hallucinations, not helped by the copious amount of drugs and booze he’s consuming. Bruce is haunted not only by these terrifying illusions but it seems also by a small ghost boy called Davey. What’s that all about, hmmm?

Bruce is obviously a troubled soul who might not be worth saving but he’s obviously arrived at this place through a serious of tragedies. We soon learn Carole has left for another man and taken their daughter with her, leaving Bruce bereft. Can he get this promotion and win back his family? (Don’t worry, questions section to follow!).

In the midst of all this trauma, comes a sliver of hope in the form of Mary (Joanne Froggatt), a recently widowed young mother. Bruce was there when her partner suffered a heart attack in the street and tried to save his life – so Mary thinks Bruce is a good person.

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The new Wetherspoon’s had gone very avant garde with its new decor

I feel like I don’t want to give too much away on this film as it is a bit of a caper, leading you down, down, down to rock bottom and beyond. He makes prank phone calls to Clifford’s wife, Bunty (Shirley Henderson) then frames Clifford; steals, lies, cheats and manipulates until there’s nowhere else for him to go.

Let’s just say Bruce fucks over people without prejudice, has violently abusive relationships, shags everyone and hurts the people who care for him the most. Admittedly, this list of loved ones is dwindling quickly.

But where will he go from here and can he get any lower?

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Jame is being very mean in this scene

Want some questions? I got questions! Is there a good person at the core of Bruce? Will he get his family back, or will he start a fresh elsewhere? Will he ever make it up to adorable Clifford, the one true friend he has?

Will Clifford ever get a decent pair of spectacles? And will he ever get anywhere with his perpetually unimpressed bride?

Will Bruce pull it together and get the promotion, or at the very least will he solve the murder? Who’s the mystery blonde, and where can I get her coat?

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My Thoughts:

Phew. This isn’t for the faint-hearted which is exactly why I liked it. I love James McAvoy and appreciate his diverse CV. I even fancied him in this which is pretty hard to do since he’s repugnant.

I must admit to watching this with redemption in mind, I mean most awful human beings in films (only films alas) end up redeeming themselves somehow, if not undergoing a complete moral turnaround. I can’t say if I was right to hope for this but I can say that I’d forgotten the ending until it started playing out again, and it hasn’t lost its impact.

BTW this film stars one of my all time favourite actors, Eddie Marsan who plays Clifford. He’s such a nuanced actor and recently moved me to near hysterics in a low-key film called Still Life (2013), which I really recommend.

All in all, I don’t have much bad to say other than a lot of things have happened to Bruce to make him who he is and it could get a bit all over the place if you weren’t paying attention. The surreal sessions he shares with his psychiatrist (Broadbent) get a little grating after a while.

Also, the bit I mentioned above that is elaborated on in the book (apparently) does not come through in the film at all.

My Rating: 4/5 (5/5 for Jame McAvoy, any day of the week)

What did Jill think? Pop on over for a look-see shortly!

Searchin’ for Bums

peachesSearch terms are topical at the moment, as Jill just blogged about them in a rather hilarious way. I tend never to check mine because I forget where they’re located tbh and I’m generally a bit of a fool.

But today’s stood out like a sore thumb: jane seymour bum.

Excuse me? I mean I’ve maybe mentioned men’s bums once in the past and I do agree that Jane Seymour is a fine looking woman (and one of the best Bond girls to date) but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned her derriere.

What goes through people’s minds? Also, dear whoever was looking not just for a nice bum to stare at but a very specific bottom indeed, I’m sorry. There are no bums to see here, except maybe the word ‘bum’.

A word which, incidentally, got me into much trouble as a kid. My overuse of this expletive resulted in having my mouth washed out with soap and water by my mother (it was the 80’s, swear words weren’t as evolved back then).

Also, I should say that my mum is the greatest living woman and a joy, not the evil matriarch I make her out to be purely for entertainment value.

So. Bums. Jane Seymour’s Bum.

Would make a great name for a Riot Grrrl band, non?

No Regerts

Don't do this. It's really bad.
Don’t do this. It’s really bad.

I know we’re all supposed to live by the mantra that there should be no regerts in life. I get the philosophy, I do; even the worst decisions should teach us a lesson that helps us make the next ones a little better.

All those heartbreaks, kissing frogs, dancing in the street until 8am, flipping the bird at your pervert boss: them’s life experiences, yo. And you’d be nothing without them, trust me.

Yet. I think it’s okay to look back and think “Ooooooooooooo-eeeeeeee WTAF was I thinking there?” The minor regrets.

Some of mine:

  • 87% of my childhood/teenage haircuts
  • Giving my brother a black eye with my Barbie horse in 1985 (or thereabouts) and denying all knowledge of it being me because he was asleep at the time, and why would I? *innocent eyes*
  • Being so into Vanilla Ice
  • Ra ra skirts
  • Not seeing more of Australia (met a boy din’t I?)
  • At least 50% of the time I’ve spent with my ‘sink’ friends (the ones that drain you)
  • Hitchhiking (nothing bad happened but I still reel at how stupid we were)
  • Not buying that amazing white leopard print coat (1998)
  • Whatever it was that I did to get myself grounded and unable to attend ‘that school disco’, it could have been a game changer (but then again, probably not)
  • Taking out my amazing ear piercings for work
  • Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
  • Not telling people who’ve told me I’d be beautiful if only I *insert their version of a beauty ideal here* to go and fuck themselves. Sideways

So no big ones there.

The biggest regret I have but don’t count, because so much good came out of it, was my six years of Hell. I’m sure most of you know how that story goes by now.

I can now, thankfully say that that isn’t my longest standing relationship anymore. And even though looking back makes me cringe, I wouldn’t have what I have now without it. That’s just a fact.

So, what about you? What’s your view on regrets?

Things I Dislike

largeFollowing on from yesterday and my current Writing 101 strike, I give you the next thrilling instalment in my Getting To Know Me series.

A list of some things I really dislike:

  • Getting hair in my mouth
  • Weak tea
  • Custard
  • Sexism
  • Being patronised
  • Tax returns
  • Tomatoes
  • The Daily Mail
  • Baby voices
  • Being rushed
  • Rita Ora
  • Silver jewellery that turns green
  • Snapchat (but only ‘cos I don’t really get the appeal)
  • Auto play videos on social media
  • Having to repeat myself
  • Hardcore negativity
  • Public speaking
  • Dieting
  • Exercising (though man, do I love the afterglow)
  • Lists
  • Blogging
  • Bullet points
  • Bad jokes repeated twice
  • Dubstep

xoxo

Things I Like

I’m taking a few days off Writing 101 I’ve decided because my head isn’t in the game and… well thetumblr_nt3ek7dDud1trjy1to1_400 prompts just haven’t resonated with me this week, y’know?

So here’s a list of things I really like:

  • New socks
  • Thick baggy jumpers
  • Amsterdam
  • Cake
  • Hot baths
  • Talking about how Tupac ain’t dead (he really isn’t, you know)
  • Handsome men
  • Bums
  • Taylor Swift songs
  • Nicki Minaj
  • Carrying 76 lipbalms
  • Handbags
  • Jackie Collins novels (God rest your beautiful soul, Queen)
  • Early nights
  • Fruity shower gel
  • Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
  • The ‘C’ word (not cake again, no)
  • Broad City
  • Lie ins
  • Vodka
  • Selfies
  • Dogs in neckerchiefs
  • Humans of New York
  • Big Macs
  • Lists
  • Blogging
  • Bullet points

Night all!

If I Stay (Film) Review

tumblr_n7uu8ntGEa1txydcmo1_1280This wasn’t my original choice for our Free For All Fortnight, which is what I’ve just now dubbed the next two weeks of reviews. I wanted Whiplash (2014) but Netflix lied to me and it wasn’t really there.

Jill and I will be retreating into the comforting bosom of the Horror genre for the month of October so we’ll each be taking the opportunity to pick absolutely anything this week and next.

I can’t wait to see what Jillian picks, I hope to God it’s better than this drivel. No pressure.

(I’m going to be really harsh on this film, I’m afraid).

*Beware spoilers!*

If I Stay (2014)

Director: R.J Cutler
Stars: Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley

IMDB Synopsis: Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on..

My Review:

Mia Hall is just a normal teenager, obsessed with Beethoven and a bit of a whizz on the old cello. She’s also got a super fit boyfriend who’s in a band, currently off on tour somewhere.

Her parents are former punks who gave it all up to be good parents to Mia and her young brother, Teddy and that’s about it. One fine snow day, the family take off in the car. Alas, in a split second their lives are changed forever.

Mia's first driving lesson went well she thought
Mia’s first driving lesson went well she thought

As the trailer and synopsis of this film reveal, Mia is thrown into a fight to survive. While she has an out-of-body experience (not as good as Ghost (1990)), and finds out what has become of the rest of the family following the crash (there’s a crash), we are treated to a bunch of flashbacks that lead up to this fateful day.

We learn about her relationship with sexy Adam, who falls for her through the door of the music room when she’s lost in music one day. Of how she’s never really been that comfortable in ‘his world’.

(Dear God I cannot express enough how different Mia’s high school experience is to the one I had. If this were a flashback to my adolescence, Mia would be played by a chubby ginger with an eye patch just trying to get through the day without drawing attention to herself.)

“I’m King of the World!”

We take a trip down Cello Lane where we’re treated to a sweet lesson on how Mia found a soul-mate in her beloved instrument and just how fucking cool her parents are. Which is a bit of a kicker when…

… should I? (I can’t).

Basically, the film centres around a hospital and Mia’s not only physically fighting for her life but also fighting for a reason to stay on this plane – hence the title – so obviously there are a few fatalities along the way. Hope you’ve got the Kleenex to hand!

Going down?
Going down?

I’m not going to beat around the bush here, I feel sick from working out this morning (go me) and I know later, when I get home from work, that I’ll be heading straight to my bed for at least an hour to try and shift this feeling. My heart’s just not in this film and it won’t be in this review later. So let’s do this.

The premise is a good one I guess but it has been done and it’s been done with a hell of a lot more panache too. Before I give you my thoughts, shall we have a few questions?

As you wish. 

Will Mia and fam get through this awful night? Will Mia live to make it work with Adam, despite the distance between them while he’s on the road and she’s off fulfilling her own destiny? (e.g. Will Mia get into The Julliard School, NYC?)

And will you actually care? I guess that is the main question.

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“Oh fuck! This isn’t a base guitar!”

My Thoughts: 

Chloë Moretz is beautiful. I like her, I do. But I sometimes feel like she’s punished (maybe just in my eyes) for not being Hit Girl in every performance outside the Kick Ass movies. I feel like she should always be cool and sweary and fearless – and often she is not. Even in Carrie (2013) she was all cow eyes and not much more (although she was M-E-A-N in Dark Places (2015), so I know there’s potential there).

None of the above is really her fault tbh and I’m sure she’ll grow into a fine actress who will make me eat my hat. But this here is just not the role.

The movie is sweet in places (I guess), touching in others (those grandparents, man!) and really fucking boring for a lot of it (90%). Adam is a total fitty, Mia’s parents are gorgeously layback – all the teen angst is fine, I mean we’ve all been there but would Adam really be that sure of himself and so open about his emotions aged what. 19? I don’t know. It’s all a little too Dawson’s Creek (1998-2003) for me.

And even though I’m not telling you who makes it, or if Mia decides to stay or go, I feel like the poor girl is dealt some properly brutal cards in life.

My Rating: 2.5/5

What does my blog love Jillian make of this tripe? Find out for yourselves here!

The Girl in the Spider’s Web (Book) Review

The-Girl-in-the-Spiders-WebI promised a review of this book, as I’d got so excited on social media about the return of two of my all-time favourite literary characters and a few people echoed my euphoria. So here it is.

I’m going to keep things deliberately vague for two reasons: firstly, so as not to spoil the suspense, of which there is a lot. It’s a book about the underbelly of the Internet, Russian Mafia and Artificial Intelligence FFS, so it’s not giving anything away to say that the plot is steeped in intrigue. Secondly, it’s a little over my head if I’m honest. I’m average when it comes to the technical side of things, but there’s a lot of geek speak. However, I don’t think this will stop you following or enjoying it.

As you may, or may not know, the author of the original Millennium Trilogy (which I bang on about all the time), Steig Larsson passed away in 2004. With him went his sheer brilliance and also the fate of his super characters Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomvist. Partners in crime, or more importantly, justice.

It was depressing, once the final book had been finished and the last film viewed, to think that that was it. Our heroes’ stories fully told, never to evolve beyond The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, which was published posthumously in 2007. Whether Larsson ever had plans to give us more, I have no idea. (Actually, he did but those ideas have nothing to do with this story which is a bone of contention with Larsson’s long-term girlfriend, Eva Gabrielsson).

But then came The Girl in the Spider’s Web and author David Lagercrantz; and, just like that, Lisbeth is back – the most exciting news of all time?

I suppose the question on most people’s lips is, is it any good? Well you’ll have to read on to see what I think!

My Review: 

Blomvist is having issues at work. Sadly these aren’t just a bit of can’t-be-arsedness at the end of a day like the rest of us. The big bosses at Millennium are planning a shake-up in content and this might serious compromise Blomvist’s hard-hitting style.

He’s seriously pissed but just before he throws in the towel forever, a mysterious encounter piques his journalistic interest again. Has this got anything to do with the involvement of an aloof, yet brilliant hacker that may, or may not be his old friend, Salander?

The pair haven’t been keeping in touch, not even the odd postcard but Blomvist agrees to get involved in the curious case of Professor Balder, a scientist seriously concerned for his life, following the theft of some super valuable research.

Balder wants to tell Blomvist his story but things don’t go to plan and lots of drama ensues. The scientist, you see, isn’t just worried about his own life. He’s also fearful for the safety of his young son, August who is autistic.

Balder has been an absent father for too long, so he’s quit his job in the Silicon Valley, Cali. and headed back to Sweden to take responsibility for once. But can he get through to August? And what is this intriguing new skill of August’s? What does it all mean?! (All these questions!)

Meanwhile, Salander is stirring up shit on Darknet and pissing off a lot of people with her skillz. Blomvist optimistically reaches out to his old crime-solving partner but will she take the bait?

I really can’t tell you anymore. What I can say is that you’ll be back in touch with a lot of your old favourite characters; from Plague, the enormous hacker and Erika Berger editor-in-chief at Millennium and on-off lover of Blomvist to Holger Palmgren, Lisbeth’s former guardian and slightly bumbling Chief Inspector Jan Bublanski.

You’ll meet some new ones too, some of whom are terrible but brilliant villains. Gotta always love the villains.

My Thoughts:

This book, of course, has garnered a mixed bag of reviews. Some people just ain’t down for a Larsson substitute and I can totally understand that. However, I’m glad another author has been given the opportunity to bring my favourite character back to life.

I’d rather have some Salander than none at all and I feel like he understands her. She remains the same bad ass; driven and talented, hard as nails but also vulnerable with a moral compass that never ever wavers.

This time around we meet Camilla, Lisbeth’s sister and learn more about their fractious relationship growing up. We gain more insight into the tragic life of the girls and their mother, Agneta. I could never tire of Salander’s origin story or her further adventures, so all I can say is GIVE ME MORE.

There were points I was genuinely moved (one of Blomvist’s beloved colleagues sacrifices himself for the greater good and it’s heartbreaking).

I also had a real soft spot for August and his mother. Savant syndrome is a fascinating topic, one I knew nothing about. By the end of the book you’ll be desperate to see what becomes of the boy and his extraordinary gift.

And I hope, like me, that you’ll enjoy yourself along the way. Because life is so much better withThe-Girl-in-the-Spiders-Web-promo Salander in it.

My rating: 4/5 – not bad. The Millennium Trilogy gets 500/5 but this ain’t bad at all.

Book details:

Writing 101: Day 10 – Update Your Readers

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Picture stolen from Tumblr

Writing 101 – Day 10 (Friday 18th September 2015) – Update your readers over a cup of coffee

I was going to write a long thing about how boring my life is in comparison to my friends’ who all go on dates, have scandals and generally live the dream any which way they fucking like (in the good way) and then I stopped myself. I mean, so sue me for being a boring old fart.

Sue me for picking reading a book over dancing in a fountain. Sue me for not having ten holidays a year and spending my money on dresses instead.

Sue me for staying in on a Friday night with Gogglebox instead of going out for dinner.

I’m free-writing this and can you tell this is an inner monologue? I battle with myself all the time, ever since a friend made me cry because I thought she thought I was boring. I’m sure she does think I’m boring – I am boring.

But ever since, I’ve looked at my life the way others might, and it’s making me paranoid. I feel I have to justify everything and I’m not going to do that anymore. It all goes back to comparing yourself to others. Don’t do that.

Focus on your life and the things that are important to you. My family is important to me, and so are my friends – so are naps, pizza and crime novels. Films. Hula hooping. Tom Hardy’s lips. My cuticles. And Netflix.

So what have I been up to?

This morning I watched a video of a squirrel trying to bury an acorn in a dog’s fur, while the dog looked on, too polite to stop him.

We had a collective discussion about the internet and how good/bad it is and I had to explain to Tom who Technotronic are/were.

Then I listened to Neneh Cherry’s Raw Like Sushi while trying to write some uninspiring copy. Don’t dare tell me I’m not living my life!

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You guys seen Broad City? If not, I think you should get on it. If for no other reason than so you get all the gifs I’ve used for the last three posts. Ilana is my heart but I feel as though I’m definitely more Abbi.

This weekend I intend to spend several hours with my BFF in her new house (which she’s just bought, on her own, at the age of 30!), eating baked breakfast goods and christening it by viewing YouTube videos under her new roof.

Then I’m going to eat some more and try and get through The Good Girl which is thus far a little slow, not going to lie.

On Sunday I’m reviewing Whiplash (2014), finally, with Jillian. We each have a free pass before Halloween and the Big Fat Horror Collab 2015 begins.

And that’s me.

How about you guys?

Show me your broken heart and all your scars, I’ll take you as you are

I will write my own post today, don’t worry.

I just wanted to share this post by Belle of the Bluegrass, as it’s a powerful one. Take the time to have a read if you can, it’s a relevant topic no matter your size or gender.

Plus, stick around for Belle herself, she’s reet good.

Belle of the Bluegrass

Scrolling through Instagram, admiring all the beautiful people and their enviable lives, I came across an account that had posted a screen shot of an article written for Vice. The title grabbed my eye “How to come to terms with your attraction to fat girls“, if you, like I, are a fat girl I urge you to read this article. It is honest and insightful, in fact I urge you to read it no matter your gender or dress size.
This well written, no woe-is-me post had me interested immediately. As a plus size woman I have often felt marginalised and fetishised. When I was a teenager and even into my early twenties, no one wanted to admit to fancying the fat girl. We are perceived as taboo. Something you wouldn’t tell you mates you searched for on the internet let alone be someone you willingly wanted to…

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