October – Reading, Watching, Listening

Reading books, watching TV and listening to podcasts to me is all part of the job of being a writer. At least that’s what I tell myself when I’m hooked on a series and will do anything to binge watch it.

And word of mouth and reviews is the best way to spread the love of book, tv, podcast consumption. So, this is me, spreading the love. 

I have to admit, it’s all about the watching this month. Not to say I haven’t been, you know, reading highbrow literature (I haven’t) but I have seen a couple of films and oh, so much to say there wasn’t room for the reading or the listening.

Photo by Zakaria Ahada on Unsplash

What Am I Watching?

Once Upon A time in Hollywood. Ummm. It’s a no from me. Disclaimer: I’m not a Tarantino fan. Sorry. Where most people say he’s unrestrained I say he hasn’t learnt to edit and needs a jolly good smack on the bottom. But the only research I did was to watch the trailer and thought ‘Hey, that looks great. Maybe he’s moved away from all that shock value shite he normally does’.

I probably should have done some more research.

I can say I did enjoy the movie up to a point; I put my patient pants on knowing it would be a Tarantino self-indulgent fest of camera shots and meandering story lines and I was okay with that. But with ten minutes of the (nearly three hour) movie to go and having been lulled into a false sense of security there was one of the most senseless, violent scenes I wish I had never seen. It was so revolting I had to leave the cinema. Further disclaimer: I really struggle watching violent stuff, as in I’m desperate to watch Game of Thrones but I just have to call it as I know it’s not for me. So, there is a possibility I should never have been watching a Tarantino movie in the first place but hey-ho.

Regardless, my question is this: Is Quentin Tarantino the genius everybody says he is or is he the kid that pulls wings off of flies for fun and everybody is too scared to say, ‘Hey man, that’s gross.’  

On the opposite end of the spectrum I went and saw Toy Story 4.  Another disclaimer here: I am a massive Toy Story fan, Toy Story 3 without a doubt my favourite. I love that a children’s animated movie can move me so much and the characters now feel like old friends. So my children patiently handed me tissues as I sobbed goodbye in the cinema. I’ll admit I had really high expectations for this movie and it didn’t quite hit them but I was grateful for one of the final scenes where the camera lands on each character as if the audience could say their own personal goodbye. This might be revealing too much of my dorkiness but I think I needed it, I needed to say goodbye to these characters that I met myself in 1995 when I was in year 12 and am now sharing with my kids.

I can’t quite explain why I love these movies so much but I think this article by Anna Menta is on the money that the real message of Toy Story is about growing up, getting old and accepting it. 

And just when I thought I would never recover from the end of The Letdown, I stumbled across The Drop Off. I really don’t know how, one of those gifts from the Internet Gods. It is a web series focused on that time of day all parents can relate to – the school drop off or as a friend of mine once called it ‘Running the Gauntlet’. It is so well done and coming from people who obviously get all that is involved in the school drop off. With tasty little bites of 5 minute episodes I accidentally gobbled up a whole series in one day. I’m now pacing myself for Series Two and only watching one at a time, as a reward…when I’ve actually accomplished something. The good news is Echo Publishing is looking at publishing the book in 2020!

Anyone got any recommendations? 

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