How’d it go? – April 2021

Just like March, April just sort of disappeared from under me without anything major really happening. Genuinely I think the most exciting thing that happened was I got a haircut, for the first time since November. What a thrilling life I lead.

April did see the Oscars take place, but I did not. At the time of the ceremony I’d only seen three of the best picture nominees and very few of the films nominated for acting or indeed many other awards. I’d caught all the animated feature nominees, but that wasn’t exactly an exciting race this year. I recorded the ceremony, heard it was terrible, and so haven’t watched a single moment or highlight reel. If there’s some aspect I should check out, please let me know, but otherwise it’ll get deleted from my SkyQ box soon. Anyway, let’s cease dwelling on what I didn’t watch, and get onto what I did, shall we?

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How’d it go? – March 2021

What do you mean it’s April? Don’t be ridiculous.

After the eventfulness of February, March just kind of trundled along for me. It wasn’t the most exciting of months, and honestly there’s not a lot to report. I got back on some podcasts, failed another marathon attempt (less dramatically than last time, more on this later) but no-one else in my household – or in fact anyone that I know of – got COVID, so there’s that. Let’s skip the preamble and get straight into the movies, shall we?

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How’d it go? – February 2021

The themes of this update are patience, procrastination and putting things off until the right time. My February was overshadowed by two separate events, the first of which occurred on February 6th, a Saturday. You may recall one of my resolutions for 2021 was to run at least a half-marathon every month, slowly increasing my distance over the course of the year, eventually building up to running a full marathon. Well on the 6th of February, 37 days into the year and with just two half marathons under my belt this side of 2020, I got up, went for a run and thought “Fuck it, why not today?” Yep, I tried to run a marathon, with no proper preparation, no real route planned, and having eaten no breakfast. This is, to date, one of the stupidest decisions I’ve ever made, especially when you factor in the route I did take involved so many hills it could’ve been shown on MTV in the late 2000s. Ridiculous. I made it just over 30km (about 3/4 of a marathon, so still my longest run ever) before my wife – who I also hadn’t informed about what I was doing – phoned me to ask where in the blue blazes I’d got to, and how badly injured was I. She had an errand to run in the direction I was, and I couldn’t really walk any more, so she picked me up, took me home, and justifiably called me a numpty. Unsurprisingly it took me over a week to get into any kind of decent running shape again.

The second momentous occasion of the month occurred 2 weeks later, on the 19th February, a Friday, when my aforementioned wife tested positive for COVID-19. I’ll start off by saying she and I are both fine. Her symptoms were pretty mild – headaches, upset stomach, fever – all are gone now, and I didn’t have any whatsoever. The day before I’d tested negative, and we gingerly kept a distance apart but didn’t go nuts with it. Our toothbrushes still shared the same pot, but less time was spent hugging than either of us liked. Anyway, in the UK a positive test result means the whole household must self-isolate for two weeks from the start of the symptoms, so we couldn’t leave the house until this past Saturday (27th). That meant no pops to the shop to restock our meagre supplies – fortunately we got a grocery delivery a few days in, but they didn’t bring everything – no going for a run and, crucially, no dog walking. We arranged for a friend-of-a-friend to take the dogs out on the weekdays, and we played with them best we could – or rather, as best as they’d allow, the grumpy sods – at the weekend and in the evenings. I’ve never been more grateful to have a garden, although once you’ve run from the back door to the side gate and back again 231 times in a bid to run a 5k, you can’t help but wish for a bigger one. By no means do I intend to imply we’ve been through anything close to the ordeals of many others. At the end of the day we have each other, we have an outside space, and my wife recovered completely, but paying someone else to take your dogs for a walk when it’s literally all you want to do is a bizarre feeling, and dammit we got down to our last can of Pepsi Max, which is something I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

So, what did I learn this month? There’s no need to rush something you’re comfortably building up to, it’ll more than likely hurt if you try tackling it too early. But also, don’t wait until you’re almost out of supplies before going to get some more, as who knows if you’ll be able to. Every task has its own sense of urgency. Sometimes you’ll put off writing a couple of reviews until the end of the month in order to reach your one-review-a-week goal, but then on that last evening you’ll have a combo of your utter gobshite arsehole imbecile neighbours having a karaoke rave party during a fucking pandemic until 2am in the mother-fucking morning, and then plumbing issues that take far longer to fix than intended, so you miss your self-imposed deadlines and end up behind. However, there are few things in life more satisfying than the kah-THUNK! of a dislodged toilet blockage you’ve spent three solid hours plunging away at, so there’s that.

Anyway, that was a longer intro with far more personal information than any of you wanted, so let’s get into the movies, shall me?

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Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

An aging Admiral James T. Kirk (William Shatner) no longer captains a starship, instead overseeing training simulations for upcoming recruits. On one such exercise, Kirk takes over command of his beloved Enterprise when Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalban), a genetically engineered superhuman Kirk has run into before, attacks a space station containing a terraforming device.

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American Graffiti

It’s the last day of the summer vacation in 1962. Tomorrow, Curt (Richard Dreyfuss) and Steve (Ron Howard) are heading off to university, leaving behind their two friends Terry (Charles Martin Smith) and John (Paul Le Mat), as well as Steve’s girlfriend and Curt’s younger sister Laurie (Cindy Williams). Over the course of this night spent on their local driving strip, these four friends will undergo various adventures that may change their lives forever.

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How’d it go? – January 2021

A new year rolled around and wouldn’t you know it, in the grand scheme of things not a lot changed. In some ways this pandemic seems to be improving, and in others it feels like any real change is at the very least months away. Nationally, things are grim. For the past four years, no matter how bad things have gotten, we here in the UK have at least been able to mutter under our breath “At least we’re not in America…” but now if the world is looking for a country to look down on, the UK has to be pretty high on that list, what with the double whammy of incompetent leaders and the calamitous Brexit ripples flowing into full on waves of destruction. Wow this post started out negatively! Sorry about that. Let’s abandon the socio-political bollocks and get down to how my year is going on a more personal scale, shall we?

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Disclosure

Tom (Michael Douglas), a devoted husband and father, has spent years working his way up the corporate ladder at a technology company, and is expecting to be promoted as part of an upcoming merger. However, instead his boss Bob (Donald Sutherland) brings in new blood for the role, in the form of Tom’s ex-girlfriend Meredith (Demi Moore). Meredith summons Tom for a suspicious evening meeting accompanied by wine and shoulder massages, during which she attempts to seduce him. After initially reciprocating, Tom eventually turns her down and flees, telling no-one and hiding the scratches on his torso. Upon arriving at work the next day Tom discovers Meredith has vengefully accused him of sexual harassment, and Tom must either prove his innocence or be forced out of the company.

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The Best Years Of Our Lives

After the end of World War II, three American veterans from different military branches and different social backgrounds return home to try and reacclimatise themselves back into society, but the world back home isn’t quite how they remembered it.

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Little Women (2019)

In 1860s Massachusetts, the March family has four daughters, all with different artistic aspirations. Meg (Emma Watson) is an actress who is happy complying to society’s ideals of feminity, Jo (Saoirse Ronan) is an aspiring writer with intentions to make it on her own, cherubic Beth (Eliza Scanlen) is a musician, favouring the piano, and Amy (Florence Pugh) a painter who sometimes feels put out as the youngest child (although it was only in researching for this post that I discovered she was supposed to be the youngest, as it felt like Beth far more filled out that role). Their mother Marmee (Laura Dern) tries to mould them into good, charitable adults whilst their father is fighting in the American Civil War, and over the seven year period of the film, they all have varying dalliances with their wealthy neighbour’s grandson Laurie (Timothee Chalamet).

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The Thin Man

Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O’Sullivan) is in distress. Her inventor father Clyde (Edward Ellis) has disappeared, after taking $1,000 from his lawyer (Porter Hall) and heading to a secret location, not returning in time for Dorothy’s wedding. Fortunately Nick Charles (William Powell) is in town for the holidays with his wife Nora (Myrna Loy) and their dog Asta (Skippy). Nick is a retired detective who was once hired by Clyde, and after some initial trepidations, Nick is soon on the hunt for the missing man.

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