Monday, 31 March 2014

Cops and Robbers aka Lego Girl on a Motorcycle

In between housework and job hunting, there's always time for Lego...

Big thanks to Ellen for getting me this set for my birthday. I love it!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Lambing Live and Zombie Sheep

So, this week I have been immersing myself in Lambing Live, the BBC show which spends a week on a sheep farm taking us through the processes of sheep breeding, and showing us little lambs being born fresh and gooey into the world, live on your television set.

It's so good. I've spent the last four days trying to work out how I could post a blog about Lambing Live that wasn't just me going on about how super cute lambs are and how I want my own little small-holding with a couple of sheep, some chickens and a pig or two. I mean, after all, this blog is meant to be an expression of my love off all things undead and spooky, not a super-cute-fest.

Then I remembered two films and a book that I felt served as a remedy to the farm based cute fest, and up my horror cred a bit.

1) For those desirous of some gross-out horror-comedy, try reading Apocalypse Cow. An out-break from a government lab causes animals across Britain to become slobbering, shagging, killing machines. I'm fairly certain I wrote a review of it at some point, so use this as an opportunity to meander down memory lane and check out some of my past posts. Anyway, it's not the greatest book ever written, but there are certainly some memorable moments that have stuck in my brain, and it's pretty entertaining.

2) Sticking in the horror-comedy genre (my favourite, and incredibly hard to get right) but moving on to films, I highly recommend Black Sheep. In New Zealand, where sheep outnumber people roughly 8-1, an outbreak of zombism in the ovine population would be a real disaster. It's gross, creepy and hilarious and definitely worth watching if that combination in any way appeals.

3) Finally, moving on to slightly more serious fare, Isolation was originally described to me as being like Alien on an Irish farm, which frankly sounded terrible. Thankfully it turned out to be brilliant. It's dark, intense and thrilling and perfect for watching on stormy nights.

So, there you go, a balance for the cuteness that I'm going to leave you with...

Friday, 21 March 2014

Only Lovers Left Alive: A Review

So, I sat down to write this review and had a moment where I finally understood why I don't present a film review programme, because this film made me want to paint a picture or do a dance rather than sit and explain what's good about it. Then I thought, no, you really ought to present a film review programme, because then you could just do the dance to show how this film made you feel, rather than trying to capture it in words. The dance would involve a lot of spinning and smiling, then I'd jump around a bit, then maybe hold myself and sway, before heading with some dramatic swooshing about the place before collapsing to the floor.

But probably, because this is a blog and not a TV show, I ought to write something a bit clearer than that.

So, I loved Only Lovers Left Alive. It managed to blend a romantic and  darkly funny story, with horror elements, in to something that felt real and relatable. The way they talk to each other really rings true, despite the fact that they are characters who have lived for hundreds of years. It reminded me how wonderfully diverse Vampire stories can be, and I hope that it reaches a new generation of people who might only have seen Vampires in things like the Twilight saga, and be a gateway film to stuff like Near Dark and The Addiction, which are both really different to this and each other, but both brilliant films.

It also made me want to watch more Jim Jarmusch films. I've only seen two before this, and one of them (Broken Flowers) I wasn't a huge fan of. On the other hand, I loved Ghost Dog, and Only Lovers Left Alive really reminded me of that film, in the almost dreamlike way the story unfolds and the way I became completely absorbed in what was happening.

On a shallow level, Tom Hiddleston is gorgeous and spends quite a bit of the film topless. On a slightly deeper level, Hiddleston and Swinton are just amazing together, equally beautiful and equally great actors. I came out of the cinema wishing that they would appear in a million films together, because I was certain that each one would be just as good as this one.

It's the kind of film that once it's finished, you just want to watch it again immediately.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

What I Did on My Holidays

I am back from Plymouth, recovered from some serious over-indulgence at the weekend, and raring to go (ish). I thought to myself, what could be better than telling everyone the top five things I did while I was away. I used to love writing the "What I did on my holiday" essays when we got back to school after summer, although I must confess that I once made up that I'd spent the summer learning synchronised swimming because a) I hadn't been up to anything that exciting, and b) I really didn't feel like it was anyone else's business what I'd been doing. Thankfully, I like you all much more than I liked school, so you will get the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

1) I had a birthday! Yep, the ever youthful Momento Maureen has reached the grand old age of 33. I celebrated by going to see Frozen, and then sitting in a pub drinking soft drinks. Lots of fun and no hangover on the coach to Plymouth the next day.

2) Yep, I went to Plymouth. I saw sailors, seagulls and sunshine. Oh, and my brother and sister-in-law, of course.

3) I went to Totnes to pick out my birthday present, and after much consideration, picked a Lego set. I now of two lovely Lego sets, which I'm sure will be making an appearance on this blog sooner rather than later. Also expect reports on the Zombie dice game, and my lifetime membership at the Prince Charles Cinema! All very exciting. Anyway, I love Totnes, the middle-classness is balanced out by the proper hippy types and there's always a really lovely atmosphere.

4) I saw The Lego Movie again! That's three times. It really is so good. If you've not seen it, I recommend saving the extra couple of quid and seeing it in 2D. There's so much happening in the background and it's much easier to make everything out without those silly glasses on. Either way, it's awesome.

5) I went outside without my big winter coat on! Okay, not necessarily the most exciting event in most people's lives, but it was so nice to be warm outside around my birthday that it made me feel quite giddy. I could feel the Vitamin D!

Hope you've also enjoyed some sunshine, Beautiful Reader, I shall be with you again soon.

Monday, 3 March 2014

My Night at the Oscars

Okay, so maybe that title is a little misleading. I wasn't actually at the 86th Academy Awards, but I did stay up to watch it. I love a good awards ceremony, and the Oscars is the cream of the crop. I mean, you have to accept that genre films are never going to do as well as they should, and that it's all a little cheesy, but it's the glitz, glam and over the top silliness that I love the best.

I did actually write notes as it went along, but after 3am my handwriting gets really sloppy and my spelling goes out of the window. So here are some of my thoughts...

Ellen Degeneres made a brilliant host. She was funny without making anyone feel uncomfortable. In fact, the whole show felt really laid back, almost like it was just a bunch of chums getting together to have a fun night out. My favourite bit was when Ellen ordered everybody pizza, and for the next twenty minutes whenever they cut to the audience you could see some of Hollywood's biggest stars munching away.

I'm probably at my most patriotic during awards ceremonies and so it was really brilliant to see all the Brits who worked on Gravity winning all those awards. I also thought that all the British men looked particularly dapper and did their country proud.

I was ridiculously excited when 12 Years a Slave won Best Picture. It's a wonderful film. I mean it is really heavy, but it's only reporting the truth of what happened, and there are a couple of really beautiful moments. I just worried that it might be too heavy for the Academy to vote for. I loved Steve McQueen jumping up and down at the end of his over-excited speech.

Actually, there were many good speeches. I get bored when people just go into a list of "thank yous", but as soon as people start talking about following their dreams, I'm sold. Jared Leto managed to include everything from his mum to the Ukraine. Genius.

Now, I've had less than five hours sleep, and my brains a bit mushy (I keep randomly capitalising things), so I'll wrap this up with my best dressed man and woman. For the men, I pick Jared Leto, I mean, yes, that white jacket and red bow-tie were a little eccentric, but he looked so good with his hair down. Also, I've had a crush on him since My So-called Life began twenty years ago (shit, that's ages). Seeing as that show also gave us Claire Danes, if you didn't watch it at the time, you should check it out now, especially if you are or have been a teenage girl. It was amazing...

But I'm getting off the point.

Best dress woman goes to Lupita Nyong'o, who also had a lovely acceptance speech ("No matter where you're from, you dreams are valid"). It was inspired by champagne bubbles and was a lovely blue that really suited her. The front was so low cut that it was either held up by tit-tape or magic. She looked amazing. Having said that, she's so beautiful that she'd probably have looked just as good if she was dressed the same as I was, fleece pyjamas and fluffy socks.