Knives Out

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I love whodunnits!

My friend and I have read multiple Agatha Christie novels, and while we always try to figure out the culprit before the end, we never seem to be able to get into Agatha Christie’s head… Continue reading

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Emma

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I took a little too long to get around to writing this review! So I’ll try to remember my first impressions…

I am a Jane Austen fan – despite reading all of zero of her books. But I do own the complete book series, which I might get around to reading one day… Continue reading

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Jumanji: The Next Level

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As I mentioned in the first remake – Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle – you can in no way compare these modern day films to the 90’s Robin Williams Jumanji masterpiece. Nor are these parody movie intended to be.

With that said, let’s begin:

Jumanji: The Next Level was everything that I expected it to be. It was clearly capitalising on the success of the first one, with the story being an after thought. However, if you didn’t see the first movie then you’d still enjoy this second instalment… Continue reading

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Downton Abbey

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It followed the same upstairs/downstairs troubles and triumphs, but with the backdrop of the Royals coming to stay at Downton. All the while, tying up the loose ends of the final series.

The movie was ho-hum, and plodded on in the same fashion as series 5 and 6 had (not much scandal or suspense). I think the writers had been running out of steam for some time, and the movie didn’t seem to show much difference in their creativity… Continue reading

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Stan & Ollie

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Stan & Ollie is a film based on comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.

It doesn’t follow the typical story line of a biopic of following the protagonist’s life from childhood through to death. Rather, it focuses more on Laurel and Hardy’s (Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly) friendship.

The relationship they had was not only heartwarming, but combined with the backdrop of the thirties and fifties, you’re left longing for simpler times where human interactions were not interrupted by technology.

The movie follows the ups and downs of the ageing duo, who are struggling for money as their careers on the stage and in front of the camera are winding down… Continue reading

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Yesterday

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Yesterday is a movie exploring the world where The Beatles never existed. After a global black-out, the protagonist Jack (Himesh Patel) wakes to discover that he’s the only one who remembers The Beatles or their songs.

Thankfully, as he’s a struggling musician he’s able to bring The Beatles’s music back to life. But with the fame and fortune, guilt and doubt isn’t far behind.

Yesterday is an easy watch. It’s a great Sunday afternoon family film with a fantastic soundtrack… Continue reading

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The Lion King (2019)

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We had such a wonderful night out to see the remake of The Lion King!

While the original 1994 Disney version wasn’t my absolute favourite movie as a child (Sleeping Beauty will always be number 1), it was certainly a movie that was ingrained in my childhood.

I used to sit close to the TV with my Simba, Narla and Scar plush toys in front of me, and act out all the scenes alongside the movie.

It was a real treat to watch The Lion King for the first time again. However, its realistic live-action animation didn’t always work in its favour because it meant that the animals couldn’t physically do what the cartoon characters could do… Continue reading

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Green Book

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I was looking forward to watching a movie full of triumphs and heart-wrenching moments. I guess I was expecting Little Miss Sunshine meets The Help.

Sadly, Green Book was a somewhat shallow story that did not reach the emotional depths that I expected it would.

It’s about Frank “Tony Lip” Vallelonga (Viggo Mortensen) who works as a bouncer before being asked to drive a successful (and rather pompous) African American musician (Doctor Don Shirley) around the deep south… Continue reading

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Bohemian Rhapsody

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Bohemian Rhapsody is a biopic of Freddie Mercury’s life within the iconic band, Queen.

It’s an emotional journey with an epic soundtrack, mirroring the trauma and heartbreak of Mercury’s rise and fall in fame.

What I like about this movie is that unlike Elton John’s biopic, Rocketman, Bohemian Rhapsody retains the original Queen soundtrack. So it feels like a more accurate representation of Freddie Mercury and his music… Continue reading

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Rocketman

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Rocketman was two hours of musical classics, sung by Taron Egerton who portrayed Elton John. It’s worth a watch if you are a fan of Elton John’s hits – which is everyone! However, it’s is the perfect example of why a biopic should not be made while the main character is still alive, let alone be made by the main character – Elton John – himself… Continue reading

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Down Down Down to the Wishing Well – Leafy Satori Risk

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I have reviewed a Leafy Satori Risk song before called Cherry Blossom Trees. This song, Down Down Down to the Wishing Well, is of a similar genre – sort of folk meets electro/psychedelic. Although, the band refer to their genre as ‘dream pop’, which is a great way of describing their sound… Continue reading

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Mary Poppins Returns

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Well, I thought this was a scene-by-scene remake. That’s what the rumours said anyway.

However, as the title does actually suggest, this is a sequel. It follows the lives of Michael (Ben Whishaw) and Jane (Emily Mortimer) as adults – the brother and sister in the first film.

After the death of his wife, Michael’s repayments on the house lapsed. The bank demanded that he now pay up in full – which he can’t possibly afford. 

Thankfully, Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) arrives just in time!

I have been looking forward to see this movie for ever! So as part of my hen do, we all went to watch it. It was such a magical day… Continue reading

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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I was on the back foot about this film because I loved the ‘first’ Jumanji film so much.

I say ‘first’ film, but these movies are totally unrelated. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is very loosely based on the board game featured in the 1995 film, but updated to a play station game to target the newer generation.

The main characters are high schoolers who find themselves in detention together – not unlike The Breakfast Club. They are cleaning out the basement of the school when they come across this Jumanji game… Continue reading

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Contagion

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I’m 100% sure I have reviewed Contagion before… But I can’t find it anywhere so I must have only thought about writing about it. Anyway.

Contagion is almost like an apocalyptic film that explores what may happen in the event of a major epidemic that threatens to wipe out much of the population, similar to that of the Spanish flu that killed about 1% of the word’s population at the time (50-100 million people during 1918)… Continue reading

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The MacGregor Brides – Nora Roberts

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A wealthy old man wants great grandchildren, so he devises a plan to set up all three of his granddaughters with eligible bachelors.

Creepy? Maybe. But you can’t deny the perfection of this story. The characters are perfect, their lives are perfect. And everything works out perfectly. Sometimes you need one of these easy books to read without having to think – it’s not a crime, ladies! Feminism may be in full swing, but reading a book about falling in love and marriage is not yet illegal, and shouldn’t be discouraged… Continue reading

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The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop – Clare Baldwin

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Since I’m co-writing a children’s pony book series… Called The Tales of Pete & Podge… Which you can purchase on Amazon… For only $12.95 or on Kindle for $3.92… (Please judge this book by its cover – a new one is being illustrated as we speak!) I decided to do some research, so I borrowed The Racehorse Who Wouldn’t Gallop from the library.

There’s absolutely nothing to dislike about this book… Continue reading

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Glass

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Okay. So. In order to enjoy this movie to the max, I strongly recommend you view the two prequels before heading to the cinema.

The very first movie in this trilogy (look at me assuming there’s only going to be three…) is Unbreakable. This came out 2000 and actually has a stronger connection to Glass than Split.

The second movie was Split, and this is important to understand the backstory of the ‘villain’ (James McAvoy) and the ‘brain box’ (Samuel L. Jackson).

I’m so excited about this film, I don’t know where to begin… Continue reading

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Storm Boy

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Storm Boy is a story about a boy who rescues three pelicans in an isolated coastal area of Southern Australia called 90 Mile Beach.

Once nursed back to health and released into the wild, one pelican stays behind with the boy and never left his side.

This is a largely unknown and only briefly advertised film, which is a shame. However, I think anybody who has read the novel or seen the 1976 Storm Boy film will adore it…
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Mystery in White – J. Jefferson Farjeon

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Writer: J. Jefferson Farjeon Genre: Murder mystery/crime thriller Released: 1937 Blurb: On Christmas Eve, heavy snowfall brings a train to a halt near the village of Hemmersby. Several passengers take shelter in a deserted country house, where the fire has been … Continue reading

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Top 5 Ways to Read More Often in 2019

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While most people intend to read more or vow to finish the novel that’s in their bedside draw, very few people do. Reading a bit of fiction should be relaxing, enjoyable and hopefully educational too. So if you’re wanting to get reading again… Please read on… Continue reading

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Radio Girls – Sarah-Jane Stratford

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I really felt like buying a brand new book one day. So I walked into W.H. Smith and picked one up that took my fancy.

Radio Girls sparked my interest because it was based in the twenties and was about radio. I studied radio at uni and loved it, but never had the confidence to pursue it (instead, I turned to voiceovers, which is more up my street).

I could easily identify with the protagonist who was a young woman starting her first proper job. She is immediately intimidated by the bosses, but she soon gets the hang of her job as the secretary and begins to get involved with the Talks radio programme… Continue reading

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The Devil’s Staircase – Helen Fitzgerald

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This book does so well reading as though it’s a movie. I loved how easy it was to read with all the twists and turns and surprises that you didn’t see coming, while never leaving you behind.

It’s about a girl called Bronny who hops on a plane from Australia to London without a second thought. No bag or preparation whatsoever. This is what captured my interest, because isn’t this what we all dream of doing sometimes? Just getting away spontaneously?

Upon arriving in the UK, she quickly makes friends at a backpackers where she stays before they all become squatters together in an abandoned townhouse.

But this story quickly becomes a cautionary tale for any young, solo traveller… Continue reading

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Forget My Name – J.S. Monroe

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This was one of those books that I just took a punt on: I plucked it off the shelf and bought it without any research at all.

I read the synopsis and was captivated enough to read the first page of it in the shop. Then the second. Then the third… So I bought it. (As Tim Weaver mentioned in an interview once, it’s important to find an author who writes how you like to read, and this author certainly does!)

What a find!

It’s another one to add to the Girl on the Train/The Couple Next Door/Gone Girl band wagon to be honest. It’s a psychological thriller with a twist (or two)! Continue reading

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Bird Box

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Firstly, if you’ve seen A Quiet Place, then you’ve seen Bird Box. It’s quite comical how similar they both are.

Nevertheless, that is not an excuse not to watch Bird Box – especially if you enjoy an apocalyptic film.

It’s about a mysterious force that if seen, will cause people to kill themselves or harm others. This results in mass suicides, turning the world into a survival of the fittest. No one can go outside without being blindfolded for fear of seeing the nearly invisible killer… Continue reading

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A Star is Born

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Believe it or not, this is the fourth version of A Star is Born.

1937 (Janet Gaynor and Fredric March)
1954 (Judy Garland and James Mason)
1976 (Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson)
2018 (Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper)

It’s about a rock star called Jackson Maine (Bradley Cooper) who is an alcoholic with failing hearing and a career that is winding down. He bumps into a waitress called Ally (Lady Gaga) who has some decent pipes and takes her under his wing. Before he knows it, she’s an even bigger pop star than him and fame changes her from a humble, ordinary girl into an unrecognisable star… Continue reading

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