Category Archives: Film and TV Reviews
Discussion does contain some spoilers
I went into this film knowing it was a marmite film and that generally people were falling into either the ‘it’s a masterful work of genius’ or ‘it’s a pile of poop’ camp. Some people from the former have made suggestions that those who don’t like it don’t understand cinema, metaphor etc.
What I liked
The acting Especially from the main female leads.
Jennifer Lawrence did an excellent job as a slightly downtrodden but lovestruck wife.
Michelle Pfeiffer is amazing as a bitchy older woman who acts much much younger and is very very unaware of personal boundaries.
The use of setting
The house in the middle of nowhere and it’s alive. The setting definitely ratcheted up the tension.
The first part
Initially the film shows you the peace of Lawrence and Bardem’s couple being shattered by the arrival of someone who turns up saying ‘they’ said you were a B and B. Who are they and why is Bardem so accepting of inviting strangers into their house and so dismissive of his wife’s concerns? Creepy enough.
What I didn’t like
The film length
I was definitely watch watching and the pacing at the end was so off I would not have been distraught it the film had abruptly ended.
By the time the Gleeson brothers (sons of Harris and Pfeiffer’s characters) turned up my friend and I were laughing incredulously and almost wondering when the marching band and jugglers were on their way.
The gratuitous violence
There’s a bit with a baby that was bad enough but when Jennifer’s character was being beaten I had to look away from the screen.
The odd supernatural elements
Personally I’d have found it more effective had their just been a creepy fan come to meet his favourite author but what even happened at the end??
Issues re consent and vulgar language
There’s a bit where the traditional ‘man attacks woman she fights then gives into passion’ trope and the use of c**t etc when a man doesn’t get his own way.
That scene was so odd. I’d have preferred a gradual appreciation of her state of affairs rather than the supernatural we had sex last night and now I know I’m pregnant oddity.
Themes/Use of metaphor
There has been discussion about religious allegory which I kind of understand. But what I read into it more was things like the absurdity of celebrity. The lack of agency that women often have over their bodies when pregnant. The disintegration of relationships where couples don’t truly discuss what is happening and tiptoe round things.
I’m sure the film does have some very clever things to say but to me it just wasn’t enjoyable enough to warrant a rewatch to work them out. Remove lots of the second half of the film, especially once Bardem has written again and it might be something worth exploring.
Maybe save to watch on the telly box rather than spending £9 to be confused.
Z is for… Zen in the Art of Writing (Ray Bradbury) (Book)
The last of my two last A-Z challenge posts – my other post this morning was about zombies and I think I feel like one now (next year I WILL complete most if not all of my blog posts before hand and schedule them – I will also pick a much easier and shorter topic – sorry so many posts including this one have been up a little late – what can I say I’m busy!).
Anyway the Z post for my PhD challenge is a review of another book on writing by a writer.
This is one of my early purchases and it was inspired by seeing someone’s signature line with the quote:
‘You must stay drunk on writing so reality cannot destroy you.’
For Ray writing was seen as a tonic or cure to the stresses of everyday life – to not write was to die.
I’m guessing he may have been a pantser type by this quote: ‘In quickness is truth. The faster you blurt, the more swiftly you write, the more honest you are. In hesitation is thought. In delay comes the effort for a style, instead of leaping upon truth which is the only style worth deadfalling or tiger-trapping.’
‘The problem for any writer in any field is being circumcised by what has gone before…’
Is this an unhealthy relationship maybe within writing?
I’m going to enjoy this series of essays – he also recommends Dorothea Brande’s Becoming a Writer which I recently bought.
The zen part is about relaxing into your writing work – I love this quote which is very very OT – ‘So, stand aside, forget targets, let the characters, your fingers, body, blood and heart do.’
I’m hoping to do some more fiction writing soon – how about you?
A-Z over and out.
Z is for… Zombies – In the Flesh
I watched the BBC3 3 episode series In the Flesh this weekend. This is an interesting take on zombies.
The main character is Kieron – a Partially Deceased Syndrome Sufferer (the politically correct term for zombies).
A treatment has been found that helps the PDS victims feel again and they begin to be reintegrated back into society. Needing to use contacts to cover their staring eyes and mousse to pink up their pale complexions they can’t eat or drink without nasty eliminations of their waste.
Kieron is haunted by images of the last person he killed when in his untreated state and is at first reluctant to go home (other reasons for this reluctance are also explored).
Also despite a law to protect them from discrimination there are enough people who want him and everyone like him dead again.
Kieron is sensitively played by Luke Newberry who played the uncredited Teddy Lupin in the last Harry Potter film epilogue scene (I’ll have to look out for him when I next watch it).
The reason this works so well – it’s about human relationships and love and loss and second chances.
Are you a zombie fan? Any other recommendations?
And that’s it – the final post of my A-Z of Supernatural, Sci-Fi and Fantasy TV series. Thanks for all of your comments – I hope you’ve discovered at least one new show to enjoy. Do come back if you have, and let me know what you think.