My Thoughts On… About Time

Just a reminder that My Thoughts On… posts may contain spoilers, so if you haven’t seen the film in question, please skip down to Why Should I See This Film? which is spoiler-free.

Synopsis

At the age of 21, Tim discovers he can travel in time and change what happens and has happened in his own life. His decision to make his world a better place by getting a girlfriend turns out not to be as easy as you might think. (via IMDb).

What I Liked

  • I’m not going to pretend that I am not a Richard Curtis fan, because I am. I like Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually, all to varying degrees, and I think that his style of films are entertaining to me. They are never going to win Oscars, but they are funny, they are sad, and they are enjoyable, as far as I am concerned. So I never thought I wasn’t going to enjoy About Time as much as I enjoyed its predecessors. It’s a romantic comedy, with likable characters, and it was a very pleasant way to spend 123 minutes.
  • Domhnall Gleeson is a star; I truly believe that. He is just so completely watchable, and he carries this film perfectly. Tim is awkward and geeky, but he’s lovable and he’s attractive, and you completely believe that Rachel McAdam’s Mary would fall in love with him.
  • The rest of the cast are amazing too. Tom Hollander steals every scene he is in, which is frankly the case in every film he appears in. Bill Nighy, also never not amazing, is beautifully cast as Gleeson’s dad, and he brings his effortless cool to the role. Rachel McAdams does slightly quirky girl-next-door perfectly.
  • Bellowhead pop up during the ‘Falling in Love’ montage as buskers in the underground station. Obviously, when I say Bellowhead, I mean Jon Boden and Sam Sweeney of Bellowhead, because to have the whole of the band in an underground station would be ludicrous. Anyway, obviously Bellowhead are amazing, and their version of How Long Will I Love You is lovely.
  • The film made me cry, a lot. Without giving too much away, I have a bit of a flash point when it comes to terminally ill parents (terminally ill anyone, really, but parents especially), and I watched this in a week when my emotions were running a bit high anyway. Truth be known, I probably would have cried if it had been any week in the year, but I sobbed. This might not seems like an obvious thing to put into a ‘What I Liked’ column, but I love crying at a film, especially if I’m at home.

What I Didn’t Like

  • I don’t really see the point in nitpicking over the time travel issues in a time travel film. Unless you are making a film like Primer, where you go out of your way to make the time travel actually scientifically accurate (insofar as time travel can be scientifically accurate without being scientifically possible), there are always going to be paradoxes, and an agreement between the audience and the film not to delve too deeply has to exist. About Time gets around the issues to a certain extent by saying that the men can’t travel outside of their own timeline, and so Tim can’t go back and stop JFK being shot, for example. Therefore, although I have put this point into ‘What I Didn’t Like’, the truth is, I don’t care about the intricacies of time travel in the film. I don’t care if there are inaccuracies, or paradoxes, because ultimately, it’s an entertaining and poignant story.

 

Why Should I See This Film?

If you’re a fan of Richard Curtis, there’s very little chance that you won’t enjoy this film. It’s a romantic comedy with a father-son relationship at its heart, and wonderful performances by Domhnall Gleeson and Bill Nighy (with a scene-stealing turn by Tom Hollander). It will probably make you cry, it will almost definitely make you laugh, and it’s just nice. It’s no hardship to watch nice films from time to time.

Mondaying

Right now, I am mostly…

 

Loving : I was most excited to open this month’s Empire magazine and find an article about The West Wing. I won’t bore you by going on, yet again, about how much I love this show, but as I’m currently in the middle of a rewatch, it came at just the right time! (Who am I kidding? Any time would be the right time for a massive article.) I saved it for a few days, because there’s nothing liked delayed gratification, and of course, it was wonderful. I just love that show.

Reading : I finished three books in the last week, and based on my recent history, is actually really good. I don’t know what has gone wrong lately, but I haven’t been committing to books in the same way as I usually do. But I feel as though I am on a roll now, and I have moved on to Along the Way, a memoir written by Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. It would be nice if I could get it finished by the end of the month, but as that is two days away, I don’t hold out much hope!

Buying : I always take a look through the vinyls when I go into charity shops, and if they are cheap enough, I buy the ones that take my fancy. I know that there are certain people who buy vinyls because they think they are cool, and to prove that I’m absolutely not one of those people, I bought a Jason Donovan record last week. I am not even slightly embarrassed about it. I loved Jason when I was little, and there are some songs that I still enjoy listening to.

Watching : I was so happy that Strictly finally returned on Friday night! It always feels such a long time coming, but then as soon as it’s back it feels as though it’s never away.

Wishing : Do you ever get charity shop regret? I get it ALL the time, and I have it over this badge collection. I couldn’t have bought them all, because they were fifty pence each, but I wish I’d bought the Bowie one, and there were a couple of retro library ones that I could have had!

Fangirling : When someone that I admire greatly tweets me, I always have a little moment. I don’t think it will ever stop being a thrill, and I don’t think I’d ever want it to stop being so. Last week I wrote about Ward Thomas in my Radio 2 in Hyde Park post, and they retweeted the link. I’m pretty sure it’s them, and not a record company person, so it’s lovely. Also, when someone famous tweets a link to my blog, I usually see a little spike in numbers!

Looking : I’m on the lookout for anyone who wants to write a guest post for me next month. You can write about anything you want, and I’d need it by around the 17th October. Let me know if you’re interested!

Things I Have Learned This Week 002

It’s time for another post that may or may not help you in a pub quiz.

Things That Would Be Helpful in a Pub Quiz

♥ The word orthoganal means of or involving right angles.

♥ All of the ants in the world weigh the same as 645,000,000 humans.

♥ Povitica is an Eastern European sweet bread, traditionally served at Christmas (and looks yummy).

♥ Kate Burton (of Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy fame) is the daughter of Richard Burton.

♥ The last debutantes were presented at court in 1958.

Things That Wouldn’t Be Helpful in a Pub Quiz

Happy Birthday Ruby is not a happy book.

♥ It’s impossible for me to watch Strictly Come Dancing without a smile on my face for the majority of it. (Except when Tess is making FUNNY JOKES. They don’t make me smile at all.)

♥ I love my best friend very much. (I didn’t learn that this week, it was just reiterated.)

♥ I don’t love The BFG as much as I feel I ought to.

♥ I will never stop finding C.J. Cregg saying “…crazy glued my phone!” funny.

An Evening With Itchcraft

Last Saturday night I went along to the Royal Institution in London to be at the launch of Simon’s Mayo’s latest book, Itchcraft. I reviewed the book a couple of weeks ago, and loved it, and I had been lucky enough to meet Simon the weekend before at another Itch event that he did in Chiswick. That was just a warm up though; he burned a €100 note (though of course it was a fake one planted in the audience), but he saved all the big explosions for the Royal Institution event.

Sadly, I didn’t get much of a chance to look around the place before the event started, though it’s a lovely building. It’s somewhere I would like to go back to, and I think listening to a lecture there would be really interesting. Science can be an awful lot of fun, particularly when someone is standing in front of you making things go bang, and I’m all for learning more about it.

Simon had a couple of special guests with him to help launch the book. Professor Andrea Sella from University College London was on hand to provide the aforementioned explosions, and Show of Hands made a cameo to sing a song called Cousin Jack. I had never heard of Show of Hands before, and I certainly didn’t know that mining songs were a thing, but they stood right in front of me (I have the type of friends that ensure front row seats are a guarantee), and sang and played beautifully. It’s another step on the road to discovering wonderful new music that I knew nothing about. They were a part of the evening because there’s a character in the book called Jack, and she’s Itch’s cousin, and given the book’s links to mining, Simon named her after the song and puts her dad in a Show of Hands t-shirt at one point. Do you expect anything else from a music DJ?

The evening was a blast (literally); Professor Andrea demonstrated some scarily powerful magnets, and blew up various things (warning us first to look at the space above his head and cover our ears). As with the books, most of the science went over my head, but he informed me on Twitter that the showstopping final explosion was a mole of magnesium. It was quite spectacular too!

Simon Mayo is no slouch in the science department; he may not be the one creating the explosions, but he’s obviously fascinated by the subject, and it’s wonderful to watch children really engaging with the subject. The audience was full of youngsters, and they were so keen to get involved, asking questions and being generally wonderfully enthusiastic. He even got a load of them up to help him with a quiz he did about the current value of certain precious metals, and having seen him play the same game the week before, I had assumed it would be all kids again. Imagine my shock when he pointed straight at me and asked me to stand up – I wasn’t expecting it at all and must have looked like an idiot when I said, “Me?” In fact, I know I looked like an idiot, because the ever-wonderful Chloe took some photos of me to prove it!

 
(Rhodium is my new favourite element.)

Afterwards I joined a very long queue to get my book signed. I had already had Itch Rocks signed the week before, but I saved Itchcraft for this week, and though it was a very long queue, it gave me a chance to catch up with Chloe and spend some time bonding over the fact that other just people don’t get our love for Wittertainment. This time round, I wasn’t particularly eloquent when speaking to Simon, though I did say thank you for plucking me out of the audience. And I did get a photo with him, though it had been languishing on my camera for some days before I managed to liberate it because I couldn’t find the right lead.

I have Chloe to thank for this photo too; I wish I didn’t look quite so awkward, but hey, when you’re an awkward individual, that kind of thing tends to shine through in photographs.

I had a lovely evening; I got to meet some people that I previously only knew from online, and I got to catch up with Chloe. I’ve said it before, but whilst I am a huge fan of Simon Mayo, I’m a bigger fan of brilliant books, and I do truly believe that the Itch series is great. They are the best kind of children’s books, because they are as appealing to adults as they are to youngsters. We’ve been reliably informed that there’s nothing new until at least 2016, and given that Simon has confirmed he’s currently writing a non-Itch book, who knows when we’ll next catch up with the young element hunter? Whenever it may be, I’ll be keeping an eye out for release dates and details of another explosive launch.

I Watched That 003

Despite all my best intentions of writing a few more My Thoughts On… posts for the films I’ve watched recently, I’ve been lax again, and I kind of just want to get thing tidied up so I can start afresh. That’s the plan, at least, but I know myself well enough to know that I will probably find myself saying exactly the same thing in a couple of weeks!


Inside Llewyn Davis


I really wanted to write a full post about this, but I didn’t do it promptly enough, and now I find myself with less to say than I would like, so I have to fold it into an I Watched That post. I really, really liked Inside Llewyn Davis, and I knew I would from the moment I heard Mark and Simon talking about it on Wittertainment (even if they weren’t sure about it). I’m not some huge fan of the Coen Brothers; I’ve seen very little of their work, to be honest. I think this is possibly why I enjoyed it so much, after all, without a working knowledge of their back catalogue, the burden of expectation was very much removed when I watched it, and I was able to just enjoy it for what it was. I always find it slightly odd to watch a film where you aren’t encouraged to like the main character at all, and that is very much the case here. In fact, there aren’t many likable characters at all, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the film, and I absolutely loved the music.

 
Now You See Me

I watched Now You See Me one night at my friend Anna’s house, and we honestly spent about half an hour browsing through Netflix and Amazon trying to find something to watch. I have to take the blame somewhat, because I vetoed an awful lot of choices (I have to be in just the right mood for the majority of films), but we settled on this one, and I enjoyed it, to a degree. Afterwards, I said that I thought that it wasn’t as good as the sum of its parts. It was all very flashy and exciting, and I love watching magic being done on a grand scale, but when it came to it, I didn’t feel completely satisfied by the ending. It has a great cast; I’m a fan of Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Isla Fisher, as well as an actor I love called Michael Kelly. But I wouldn’t necessarily rush to watch it again.


Zodiac

I went through a bit of a Mark Ruffalo phase here, obviously! I have been meaning to watch Zodiac for years, and finally got around to it last month. I did enjoy it, and it has another cast full of actors I like a lot (Ruffalo, Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr), but I thought it was too long, and for me, it got a bit boring in places. I was really interested in the case, which I didn’t know an awful lot about, and it has led me to do some more reading on it, but again, I don’t know if I would feel the need to watch it again.

Good Morning Vietnam

I guess it’s perfectly obvious why I watched Good Morning Vietnam when I did. When he died, I realised that I had only seen ten Robin Williams films, and while I love the ones I have seen, they are not the ones that are considered his best. How Good Morning Vietnam passed me by for so long, I don’t know, but when I found it on Netflix, I decided to start putting things right, and watched it. I actually wasn’t sure if I was going to love it, because i have a shaky relationship with films labelled ‘comedy’, but I really liked it, and of course, that was all down to the main man. It was great to watch him at work, riffing and improvising his way through almost the whole film, and it did make me laugh a lot. The famous scene where he provides an impromptu stand-up routine for the soldiers heading out is wonderful; hilarious and poignant. And it was great to see Forrest Whittaker in a comedic role, because I’m so used to seeing him being dour and serious.

MASH

I watched MASH because I’ve always had an idea that I would like the television series, and I figured that the film wouldn’t be that different. Well either I’m wrong about how much I would like the television series, or the film and series are different, because I really didn’t like the film. It’s on the AFI list that I’m trying to make my way through, so watching it was not a total loss, as I get a tick on that list. But I didn’t enjoy it. It didn’t make me laugh, and while I understand that it’s a satire rather than an out and out comedy, I didn’t like any of the characters. I know that I’m not supposed to like them, that the film is making a comment on society, but I found it hard to spend that amount of time in their company. I’m sure that I’m probably missing something, as it’s considered a great, but I don’t think satirical black comedy is for me, somehow.

This roundup takes me to within four films of being up to date, and in an ideal world, I’d write separate posts about all of them, because I feel I have a lot to say about them. But we’ll see; don’t hold me to anything!

1 2 3 199