Blackbird

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review. It was written because Kate Winslet appears in the film and one of the missions of this site is to review every Kate Winslet film. The other Kate Winslet reviews can be found here.

There’s all kinds of films in the world. Films to cheer you up, films to terrify you and get your blood pumping, even dramatic weepies designed to emotionally rip you apart, rendering you unable to function for the rest of the day. There’s a time and place for each of these films, and given just how unprecedented the times we’re living in are, and how these days every waking moment can feel like a never-ending naked slide down the spiralling razor blade of life, I for one am trying to limit my exposure to the more emotionally draining films.

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Taskmaster Ranking

Season 10 of Taskmaster starts tonight, and to celebrate here’s a post all about the previous nine seasons! If you’re not familiar, Taskmaster is a light entertainment comedy show in which comedian Greg Davies judges the task-completing efforts of five celebrities (usually, and preferably, comedians) as they attempt to complete the bizarre tasks set to them by Davies’ assistant, Alex Horne. These tasks are rarely straightforward (eg: paint the best picture of a horse whilst riding a horse, blow out a candle from the furthest possible distance, determine the circumference of a caravan in baked beans, that sort of thing). Each season has five new contestants, and the winners of each season go on to compete in a tournament of champions, of which there so far has been only one. Presumably after twenty-five seasons the five tournament winners will compete in some form of grand tournament, and I for one cannot wait.

So, there’s been nine seasons, with five competitors each season, and I’d say the success of each season is partly down to the entertainment value of the competitors, so I’m going to rank all 45! I re-watched all nine seasons recently on UKTV Play, so let’s go!

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Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast

Folks, it happened, I started another podcast, and this one’s all about Deep Blue Sea. “Wait,” I hear you cry, unable to conceal the slight crack of excitement in your voice, “the 1999 shark-infested masterpiece from Renny Harlin? Surely there are already dozens, nay, hundreds of podcasts already devoted to such an opus of cinema.” Yes, that very film, but no, somehow, inexplicably, despite the film-centric podcast world already overflowing far beyond any reasonable degree of saturation, there are no such shows devoted to the film Roger Ebert once described as “a neat package of terror, sharks and special effects.”

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So what is this delightful new podcast, and where can I listen to it, and is it any good? Well, firstly, stop asking so many questions, calm down, we’re not going anywhere. The show is called Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast, and you can find it pretty much everywhere podcasts are found including iTunes. Here’s a link to it on spreaker: https://www.spreaker.com/show/deep-blue-sea-the-podcast. At the time of writing there are already three episodes out, with more released every Tuesday. The show is hosted by me and Mark Hofmeyer from Movies, Films & Flix, and every week we discuss the next DVD chapter of the film Deep Blue Sea. There’s 33 chapters in the film, so there’ll initially be 33 episodes, followed by some bonus ones on the straight-to-streaming sequels etc. We will not, I repeat, WE WILL NOT, be covering the sequels chapter by chapter, because whilst I haven’t seen them at all, just mentioning their existence makes Mark sad.

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It’s not just going to be me and Mark, we have guests, preferably ones who agree on the near-perfect status of the film’s quality, and as for is the show any good, I’ll leave that up to you to determine but I for one am having a very fun time delving into Deep Blue Seas delightful depths. I hope you give us a listen!

Mid-2020 Update

I think it’s safe to say that 2020 isn’t exactly going to plan. It’s not been a stellar year for anyone, and listing off the many and numerous trials that either have been or are still testing the world at large isn’t going to do anyone any good. Suffice to say I’ve found myself home a lot recently, not that the activity on Life vs Film would have led you to such a conclusion. It turns out that being stuck inside for almost three months with nothing but a bunch of streaming services and a decent sized DVD collection still isn’t enough to actually make me watch and review more films. In fact, compared to this time last year I’ve only reviewed a third as many! How is that even possible? So what have I been doing? Good question, and to answer it let’s run through my 2020 goals at this roughly half-way point through the year: Continue reading

Her

In an undisclosed future date, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) doesn’t have much in life. He lives alone, almost divorced from his wife Catherine (Rooney Mara), with his only intimate moments taking place with strangers over the phone. For work he writes personal messages to and from people he’s never met, and he spends his spare time playing video games featuring a verbally abusive child-like being. That is until Theodore meets Samantha (Scarlett Johansson). She understands him. She spends all her time with him. They make each other laugh and have stimulating conversations. Oh, and she’s the operating system on his new phone.
Her Joaquin Phoenix phone
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Rio Grande

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Tasked with defending settlers in 1879 Texas from attacking Apaches, Lt. Col. Kirby Yorke (Wayne) has an already difficult job complicated when his undermanned regiment is joined by a new recruit in the form of Yorke’s underage son Jeff (Jarman Jr.), whom the Lt. Col. hasn’t seen in a year. Hot on Jeff’s heels is his mother, and Yorke’s wife, Kathleen (O’Hara), eager to retrieve her son, but neither he nor his father is willing to allow that to happen. Elsewhere, an Apache attack on their fort and another enlisted man being wanted for manslaughter further add to Yorke’s plight.
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Life Vs Film in 2020

Happy New Year! It’s a new year (it’s not a new decade, don’t get me started), so let’s take a look at everything that happened to me in the past twelve months. Those of you who just follow my exploits on the blog will be forgiven for assuming that I’ve been in a coma. I haven’t, it’s just that, like pretty much every year, I started out on a fairly average trajectory and rapidly spiralled into doing nothing, but that’s only here, what about everywhere else? Well, I think the best way to look at this will be to run through my resolutions from 2019: Continue reading

2019 Review of the Year – Movies

It’s that time of year again! As the new year looms ever closer on the horizon, here’s my ranking of every new release I saw in 2019. It wasn’t a banner year for new releases (I’ll go into more detail tomorrow), but I saw 54, which isn’t terrible. Here’s the ranking: Continue reading

Now, Voyager

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Charlotte Vale (Davis), is the self-proclaimed spinster aunt of her wealthy Boston family, living under the tyrannical oppression of her domineering, incessantly critical mother (Cooper). The pressure put upon Charlotte eventually induces a nervous breakdown, causing her to spend time in the sanitarium of Dr. Jaquith (Rains), allowing her to gain a proper sense of self and embark upon a cruise. There she meets Jerry Durrance (Henreid), and the pair almost immediately hit it off and fall in love, but there’s a problem, Jerry is married with a family back home, so the possibility of a lasting romance with Charlotte seems impossible.
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The African Queen

This review was originally written for Blueprint: Review.

Rose Sayer and her brother Samuel (Hepburn and Morley) are prim and proper British missionaries attempting to bring Methodist sensibilities to the village of Kungdu in German East Africa in 1914. They receive occasional supplies, mail and news from coarse, slovenly Canadian engineer-turned-boat captain Charlie Allnut (Bogart), who informs the pair about the outbreak of World War I. Shortly afterwards the village is ransacked, the church is burned down and the villagers are conscripted into the German ranks. When Samuel passes away from fever-induced delirium, Rose has no choice but to attempt to flee Africa aboard Charlie’s boat, The African Queen. The unlikely duo initially do not take too kindly to their polar opposites in such confined quarters, but soon learn to not just rely on one another, but that maybe opposites really do attract.the african queen 1 Continue reading