My Favourite films from the ’80s

Hey pals,

I know lots of people love ’80s films, but tend to name things like The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, or a range of horror films… These are my favourite three iconic films.

 

IMG_1627

The Karate Kid (and spin offs)

One of my first recalled crushes was on the Karate Kid. Daniel LaRusso fucked me up, I wanted to be him and be in love with him. One of the best underdog films, in my

IMG_1626opinion. Mr. Miagi was a true icon and I spent my time practicing the winning crane kick. This was the film that got me interested in other sports drama films even though Idon’t like sports. It was wonderful to see Japan through these characters in the sequel and the life/people Mr. Miyagi left behind, but the plot isn’t that far different from the first one, as Daniel pisses off the local bad boy by flirting with the girl he wants. The sequel after, with a new karate kid, was more different because it was a young woman in high school with an attitude problem and Mr. Miagi had to learn how to be around a teenage girl vs. teenage boy. Some nice comedic moments, and generally is a sweet film.

 

IMG_1633

 

Dead Poets Society

I practically lived this society at university, we even watched it at one of our socials. I’m asucker for Robin Williams characters and his character Mr. Keating is the literary teacher we all deserve. His passion for literature but also to help spark passion in the kids he taught is so admirable and makes it hard to hate this film, even with the dark ending. He brings a group of boys, who are hardly anything alike, together to enjoy being a group and to make their lives extraordinary. 

 

 

Anne of Green Gables trilogy

The first television drama was released in 1985, the follow up sequel was released in 1987, and then the final film (The Continuing Story) was released in 2000 but I’m going to ignore that and just include it here. It all starts with Anne at 12 years old, an orphan who loves to read, in a terrible family. She is adopted by two siblings, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. They wanted a boy to help with the farm and Marilla told Matthew to take her back, I think they attempted to take her back a few times but Matthew never wanted to IMG_1628and eventually convinced Marilla they should keep her. Anne was always the oddball and never did things the ‘right’ way and was a dreamer. She stood up to boys being horrible and was an incorrigible show off, but I always loved that about her. She went to university, became a teacher, taught at an awful private school full of upper class priss bitches, and eventually published a book and married the boy who used to pick on her. She has numerous love affairs (not in a bad way, but she was always lusted after by men wherever she went because she wasn’t prone to their advances and chased after her). He life was always crazy and adventurous. She made such an impression on young me that I too went to university, studied writing and stood up to horrible boys and bosses. She helped turn many horrible characters into more likable people with her unending kindness and she also parallelled Mr. Keating from The Dead Poet’s Society and tried to spark something in the children she taught. I think you can tell which of the three I have the most passion about (also there are three films that span a character’s lifetime, whereas the others aren’t so extensive.)

 

I hope i can spark an interest in these film for you, and if you have any you think I should reconsider, leave a comment down below.

 

~ Artie

 

 

see other film related posts here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.

I Read Killing Eve and Watched the Show

Hey pals,

 

To be clear, I DNF’d the Killing Eve: Codename Villanelle (vol. 1) for a few reasons so it won’t be a glowing review. I’ve watched all of the currently aired episodes of Killing Eve on TV and I love it. I think Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer are great leading women. It makes a nice change this show mainly centres two very interesting, powerful and FLAWED women without over sexualising them (like ALIAS with Jennifer Garner which also has a very unfortunate black face moment…) and the humour being on more the dark side vs. things like Charlie’s Angels (which I love btw, just saying it’s very different).

 

It was also amazing to see casual bisexuality with Villanelle, the plot isn’t only about her sexuality but it is part of her. This is the same in the book, thankfully.

 

The first volume of the book series, however, had a weird structure. The book is pretty small so I thought it would be an easy read, the first chapter was 40 ish pages and I thought this would continue on this way. 40 more pages in I’m only half way through the next chapter. Overall, there are only 4 chapters of varied lengths which made it really difficult for me to get into a reading rhythm.

 

Half of the book was world building and context. It was interesting to begin and when Eve was introduced, it was interesting again but there was so much of it before they really cross paths and start dancing around each other I got bored. I didn’t even read up until them meeting or fulling being aware of each other. I don’t know a lot of lingo to do with spy/crime books but I could skin through the weapon descriptions because I know they are relevant to people who do understand, but I’m gonna just make it up in my 9E014546-49B5-4B58-B9FB-D3FD77EE77E2brain coz I’m not bothered. Also, Eve is 29 in the book?? Seems a bit weird reading this, coz clearly Sandra Oh’s character on TV is not 29. It was hard to imagine someone so young doing this job, and then makes less sense for Villanelle to become obsessed with her as her teacher was quite a bit older… I dunno man, I think the show made everything make more sense.

 

There was a moment when I realised this was definitely written by a man (I hadn’t taken any notice of author name tbh) and it was when boobs kept being mentioned. It’s not as bad as some of the Twitter threads about men writing women and writing boobs, but it just made me very aware that a man wrote these women and everything felt a little less cool and a little more soft porn. Just totally irrelevant tiddy moments. It also felt like the POV changed at times, and there was no real distinction between Eve and Villanelle POV except a paragraph break.

 

My overall opinion is that the TV production took this concept and made it better. I like that the show has cut ALL of Villanelle’s backstory from the show, I think it still applies and is canon but none of it is mentioned and it’s still a mystery how she became who she is, so a lot of the mystery immediately disappeared in the novel.

 

I recommend the TV show, not the book. Sorry.

 

~ Artie

Book Review: WRANGLESTONE by Darren Charlton

wranglestone zombie book YA

Hey pals,

I got the chance to read this amazing book before Christmas and I get to be part of the blog tour! It was described as a Zombie Apocalypse adventure book for

Wranglestone CoverYA with some elements of mystery and… A GAY PROTAGONIST!

I honestly had no idea I wanted or needed this book until I read the description. The writing is focused on the plot, not the character’s queerness, doing well to fill in the gaps in dystopian YA. The cover is so gorgeous as well and really fits the brief.

Here’s a short snippet from the novel:

A canoe hung on the dark water as silently as a wolf in the woods. Peter stumbled back. “Dad!”

“Aw hell,” came a voice. “I didn’t mean to startle ya.” A forest of tangled blond hair swished forward followed by a bloodied face.

Peter let out a deep sigh. “Cooper?”

Cooper tucked a strand of hair back behind his ears and shrugged. “I was just checking you was doin’ OK is all.” 

“Were,” said Peter.

Cooper cocked his head to one side like a confused dog. “Huh?”

“Were OK. Was is the wrong grammatical construction.”

Cooper looked away and seemed to rummage around in his head for the right thing to say. And it should’ve felt good watching him struggle for a change. After all, it wasn’t often that a chipmunk could outsmart a bobcat. Except it didn’t feel good at all. It would’ve been easier to live with the fact that the only other boy around Peter’s age happened to be the best Zee-wrangler the lake had ever seen if he was as mean as a westerly wind. But he wasn’t. From the little Peter knew from watching Cooper out on the lake all these years, patrolling it or ferrying people back home late at night when they’d had too much to drink over at one of the neighbour’s, he was more than useful. He was well liked.

It also didn’t help that he had the bluest eyes either. Even now, with his face half caked in dried blood and dirt, like he’d just crawled out of some stinking geyser, they still blazed like the blue of a flame. Peter pulled down on his sweater and looked away. All he had were his dumb words. Cooper had everything.

“I should’ve come and found you to say thank you,” said Peter at last. “Sorry.”

Cooper scratched under his armpit and shrugged. “I din’t come to chase you for no thank yous.”

“Well, I should’ve.”

There was another awkward silence so Peter filled it. “Did you bury the old man and that thing?”

“Yeah. Good and proper, out in the woods.”

Peter turned to leave. “Well, that must’ve been hard work, so thank you.”

“You going to First Fall soon?”

“I s’pose.”

Cooper leaned forward and for some reason looked hopeful. “Me too.”

“OK. Well, maybe see you there.”

Wanna lift?”

“What? No. I’m going with my dad.”

“Oh, I know. But if you wanted to hitch a ride or

somethin?”

“No, it’s OK.”

Cooper dipped his paddle in the water and brought the canoe a little closer to the shore. “It’s just that I sluiced out a bunch a deer guts from earlier and laid down a new hide on the seats and everything, so she’s good to go if you wanted. If you wanted to travel with me, I mean.”

Peter looked at Cooper’s shirt. It was so bloodied you couldn’t even make out the black and red plaid beneath it any more. Cooper must’ve noticed his hesitation and quickly glanced down to check himself.

“Oh,” he said, wiping his muddy palms across his thighs. “I honk. Do I honk? I’ve not washed the guts off yet, but I got a clean tee back home. Well, kinda clean.”

Peter narrowed his eyes. “I can make it across the lake without being killed most of the time, you know.”

“Course. I din’t mean that. I just wondered if you wanted to come with me is all. But it don’t matter.”

Doesn’t matter, thought Peter. “Besides, I don’t even know if I’m going to go yet.”

Cooper furrowed his brow. “How come?”

“Well, your dad’s gonna make sure Henry gets me out on the mainland for one thing.”

Cooper looked out toward those dark places where only the pine trees dared stand still.

“They’ll get off your back just as soon as you’ve killed one of the Dead,” he said. “I can show you how things work. If you wanted, I mean. Besides, it ain’t so bad out there.”

“I don’t see how it can be anything but.”

“Well, I ain’t saying it’s not crazier than a dog chasing its own tail, but you can’t see nothin’ all cooped up on these islands.”

“I can see plenty.”

“No,” said Cooper, “you can’t. The view from where you’re standing ain’t wilderness, it’s scenery.”

Peter followed Cooper’s line of sight, but he could only make out the black tips of the pines against the starry night. “Why, what can you see?”

Cooper struck the paddle down in the water like a post and rested his chin on the tip. “Oh, everythin’. The mountains, meadows, rivers roarin’. The way the stars aren’t like a flat ceiling overhead at all, but a universe that wraps all the way around us deep beneath the planet.”

Peter gazed up at the flat roof of stars you could see above the trees around the lake. He didn’t even know what Cooper was talking about.

“There’s something about open places that makes a man consider himself,” said Cooper, as if his soul somehow belonged out there.

Peter watched Cooper’s Adam’s apple rise and fall in his throat when he couldn’t even see his own in the mirror and marvelled at the ease he had in considering himself a man.

“Open places make you consider yourself?”

“Yeah,” said Cooper. “Like the plains.”

“And the stars?”

“Uh-huh. And the sea and the desert too, Pa says. But I dunno why that is.”

Peter shrugged. “Perhaps it’s because they make us feel small.”

“No. They make me feel bigger, Peter.”

Cooper sliced the paddle through the water and turned the canoe to leave.

“Well,” he sighed, “as long as you’s doing OK. I guess I’ll see you around.”

Peter felt a sudden tug in his stomach he didn’t recognize. He took a step forward and went to delay him. But he stopped himself and a moment later the canoe slipped inside the darkness and Cooper was gone. Peter ran his fingers across his throat to feel for his Adam’s apple and gazed up at the starry night. The tree house door creaked open behind him and light struck the shore.

“He carried you all the way up the steps to Darlene’s from the canoe,” called his dad. “Wouldn’t a hurt you to say yes.”

Peter felt the sharp tug in his tummy again. “Say yes to what?”

“Come on, Pete. Come inside, it’s getting cold.”

Peter held back, scanning the darkness for the canoe. But after a moment or two, the sound of the paddle cutting through the water had all but gone so he headed back toward the tree house. 

 

It’s amazing, I read the whole thing in one day which I haven’t done in ages! I couldn’t put it down. The queer rep is great, Peter and his dad have a moment near the beginning where it was made clear his dad knew and accepted him.

The world building and description was wonderful, it reminded me of the game Firewatch (I’ve never been anywhere near a real American nature reserve so that’s the best I got!) and the map at the beginning does help in placing where everything happens. The idea of living in a tree house over a lake sounds clever, I’ve never read or watched a zombie piece where they actually lived on a lake or in tree houses. It gave me some Walking Dead video game aesthetics as the lake froze over.

I think Darren Charlton approached the more sexual content well and perfectly hinted at it without writing an entire sex scene. I always applaud a writer who does this well as I don’t think it should be entirely omitted in YA but should be handled with care.

I love that there was a little bit of disability rep too! Often people with disabilities in a zombie book/film/show die because of it, so that gave a nice change too. I’d like to see more media that approached disabilities and chronic illness in dystopian futures. Disabled people are creative, ask anyone!

I cried several times, my heart was broken then sewed back together, and the number of TWISTS? Astonishing. Honestly hadn’t a clue who was behind it all until it was unveiled. Such a great mystery plot and not very traditional zombie world either.

As an adult reading this YA novel, I can say it suits the audience well but is written in such an enjoyable way that I got lost in it as well, so the age-range is much broader.

This is a great adventure book that ‘just so happens’ to centre a gay character. I could go on but I won’t coz it’ll just become spoilers and I’d rather let everyone have a chance to read themselves! It’s a great book for anyone who loves zombies.

Comes out 6th Feb

Check out the other stops on the blog tour!

Goodreads // Bookshop

~Artie

My other posts on this book: instagram / Goodreads / 2019 Reading Wrap Up

I also mention it in this post.

Also in LGBTQ+ book recs video here

What I Watch For Emotional Comfort

Hey pals,

I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this, but I regularly go back to old shows and film that I love when I’m not feeling too hot. Some are older shows I enjoyed whilst growing up, others were newer discoveries that have a feel good ending or general vibe.

81js9XntbML._SY445_

Charmed is my first and top choice for needing a break. I watched this with my mother when I was growing up. Now I’m verging on the age they were as characters at the beginning, it’s really interesting to see my perspective change. These were the first strong women I watched on television and have been a big part of how I’ve grown as a person. It’s easy watching but has more too it if you want to see it.

x1080

One of my favourites is Skam Norway season 3. I saw this season first because I couldn’t wait to see how gay it was supposed to be. I’ve watched it enough times I barely look at the subtitles anymore, I almost know it word for word. There’s obvious angst, but I know it all ends well. The cinematography and direction is so beautiful and wistful, it’s all very clean and aesthetically pleasing. I want to finish this show but also watch how it was interpreted in other areas of the world.

Love Simon Launch One Sheet (1)

Love, Simon is always on my lists. Like Skam, it has it’s angst but knowing it all ends well makes it all better and easier to watch when I’m not feeling too positive. Abby is such a sweet, peppy character, I wish I knew someone like her! Anything gay and fluffy is always a good watch on a down day.

eed050abe9433b390a321b259f5cab0288d4051b

Princess Diaries is an iconic film from my childhood that I’ve watched so many times I do know it word for word and still quote parts of it to my mother (especially the bit in film 2 “I look like a moose!” ” WHAAAAAH!”) Anne Hathaway is one of my acting queens and deeply love her Mia, the relatable misfit with a slightly mad single mother and a truly mad grandma.

fundacion_multiarmonia._la_mejor_musica_de_harry_potter_0

Harry Potter sort of become a Christmas tradition for me to watch but also a big series for when I feel poo. I watched these until I fell asleep after a deeply dreadful break up. They come with faults, but I really love watching them and the older I’ve gotten the more humour I understand. I’ll let you in on a little secret, I share my birthday with Minerva McGonagall and definitely feel more and more like her as I age.

2-27-qe-index-1519833445

I came late to Queer Eye, it just didn’t sound like something I was going to be interested in or enjoy. I turned it on one day and really felt the good vibes this show gave off and how little brain energy I needed to watch it (though I did need more when they went to Japan, as reading captions can be quite laborious when I’m in a depressive state) but I love all kinds of before and after type content and really like seeing what they do with the living spaces, again… age has lead me to enjoy home decor more than I thought possible.

81fz8VtEPJL._RI_

Legally Blonde makes me feel like I can do anything. I don’t think I watched this when I was younger because it was about a typically beautiful blonde woman, and that put me off. But watching as an adult I can appreciate the strength and total feminist power this movie represents. One day, this woman decided she was going to get into Harvard Law (sure, for a bloke, yuck) she did it, showed up the man who made her feel dumb, and became an incredible lawyer for her strengths that no one understood. Oh, and she becomes friends with the ‘other woman’ who also ended up dumping the bloke.

Some recent additions to this list are:

MV5BMjQ4MjIxOTYyNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMTc3MDg0NTM@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,674,1000_AL_

Alex Strangelove: A film I have reviewed here. But it’s a soft film, the plot isn’t hard to follow and it’s all pretty light-hearted all in and ends with a happily ever after and it’s queer, always a plus for me. This film may not be the most amazing, but it’s simple and heartwarming which can be comforting when dealing with anxiety or brain fog.

viola davis sebastian shes the man

She’s The Man: One of my favourite films. I have a big fat crush on Amanda Bynes dressed as a dude but also just Amanda Bynes. I also just really love Channing Tatum. This is a fun remake of Shakespeare’s A Twelfth Night where the girl’s soccer team are getting their funding cut because girls aren’t as good as boys and Viola (Amanda Bynes) wants to prove them wrong by disguising herself as her brother and go to his new boarding school and join their team. It’s full of fun rom-com antics and bisexual tension.

the cast of gilmore girls

Gilmore Girls: Another easy one to follow if you’ve watched this before. A decently long series, but the episodes are pretty short if you are struggling with concentration time. It’s pretty outdated in a lot of places (very bad jokes in many places, but if you can look past it, it is a heartwarming show). This also has it’s follow up something like 10 years later which is interested to see what happened to everyone, but nothing particularly exciting except Loreli’s love life.

image

Sabrina The Teenage Witch the original series in the ’90s-early 2000s, a kids show I grew up watching and loving so much. I remember having several of the computer games, numerous toys, the original film that started the TV show, and watched the cartoon for a short period of time. This is something I’ve started watching again recently as it is on Sky after Charmed, so my mum and I sit and watched an episode of Charmed and then two episodes of Sabrina as just a short period of time to relax and hang out together.

609d2ac0-a1e9-0133-f237-0e8e20b91aa1

Miss Congeniality was probably my first introduction to Sandra Bullock who I am now desperately in love with (for her skill but also her beauty, the butch woman trope always hit me different) Cheryl is this precious little diamond of a character and Michael Caine is top tier comedy. The sequel is VERY different but I still love it a lot too and it stars the amazing Regina King (who I knew from A Cinderella Story, another great film)

MCDTHGO EC015
13 GOING ON 30, Jennifer Garner, Judy Greer, 2004, (c) Columbia

13 Going On 30 was one of my favourite films growing up and I still deeply love it. Jennifer Garner, Mark Ruffalo and Judy Greer were MWAH! The soundtrack was iconic, I still love listening to Jesse’s Girl by Rick Springfield, and if either Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar or I Wanna Dance With Somebody by Whitney Houston come on, I’m off dancing and singing and being dramatic af. But all the songs are iconic and I see the scenes they were used in right away in my mind, along with the classic fashions of the ’80s and early 2000’s. Also teen me fancied teen Matty a lot. Adult me? Facies all the the adult cast to be honest… except Alex Carlson.

Share with me you’re comfort films and TV shows, I’d love to know what you watch when you’re down and why!

~ Artie

Check out my other socials.