Sunday, 22 June 2014

Movie Enthusiast: A Long Way Down

Nick Hornby wrote a book and so they made a movie out of it. Such is the nature of things. 

The premise: "Four people meet on New Year's Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another weather the difficulties of their lives."

The genre boxes: Dark comedy, drama, inappropriate Breaking-Bad-quote inducer 

The reaction: The book was better. (This is the first time such a sentiment has been uttered. Take note, historians.)

The part where I say more things about it: A++ casting, Nina Gold (thanks, IMDb). Pierce Brosnan is perfect as the disgraced media personality Martin Sharp, though a bit more likeable than Book-Martin. Toni Collette is waaaay younger than I pictured dowdy and downtrodden Maureen, but she kills it, on account of she's Toni Collette and she can do whatever she damn well pleases. Aaron Paul and Imogen Poots are not at all what I imagined JJ and Jess to be, but 15 minutes in I was on board. I mean, 

look at Aaron Paul and his adorable face. 

(Jess can be grating, but so can Book-Jess. [And, like in the book, you feel a bit bad for thinking she's grating and wind up loving her anyway. So well done, there.]) 

Story-wise, they pretty much stuck to the book, as far as I can remember; until they didn't. (I need to re-read it, but I lent my copy to a co-worker and then moved. I have two of her books. Sorry, Laura! [She does not read this blog. {I am still sorry.}]) It's still a story of an unlikely band of suicidal misfits. It keeps a nice mix of humour-that-you-only-sometimes-feel-bad-for-laughing-at and touching moments. Maureen's story was moving, as it had to be. They did have to skip over a great deal, on account of time; and they sort of polished it and made it happier than the book, which was a bit of a miss, for me. 

The ending was entirely different, and there is one thing in particular that I think was a divergence from the book, but I'm not totally sure. So if you've read the book and don't mind having the movie spoiled, please read this next bit; otherwise, skip to the terrifying cat GIF:

Movie spoiler goes here! Avert thine eyes, spoiler-wary. Do Jess and JJ have a love story in the book? Like, together, I mean. No, right? Because they did in the movie and I was pissed. Remind me whether I should be pissed at the book, too.

Super terrifying, right?! At first it's cute, but then it reminds
you of The Yellow Wallpaper and you never sleep again.
Ah, right. Sorry about that.

I'm contractually obligated to like all things Nick Hornby, so I did like it. It left me wanting to watch About a Boy and read High Fidelity, but really, so do most things. Actually, now I really want to watch High Fidelity, too.


The verdict: Watch it if you're an Anglophile because there are some nice London shots, and watch it if you're a Hornbyphile because you can't help yourself. If you are neither of these things, watch High Fidelity. (If you are both of these things, watch High Fidelity.)

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Suddenly, Posting

HEY, KIDS! It's been a while. Nice of Tika to arrange a minithon to encourage this auspicious return to the internets. 

And nice of OITNB to lower the participation expectations and provide what will surely be a gaggle of applicable GIFs (I'm still searching for an "Everybody dies" GIF. From the third or fourth episode of season 2? When Piper's taking back all her stuff? So versatile, in this GRRM world.)

The minithon was extra mini today. I read 68 pages (oof) from two books I'm re-reading (The Shining [even better than I remember] and Bridget Jones' Diary [more problematic than I remember, but still funny]). I did take a picture of my mini-puffs and mini-pop, though:

Note Orange is the New Black in the background
 and understand the previously mentioned
68 pages.

So, how about some lifey updates, seeing as we haven't got much in the way of books to talk about?

What's happened

Winter here was rough, mood- and weather-wise. I haven't really been reading, and I certainly haven't been blogging. I'm missed both things, but mainly I've missed you guys. So that's something I'll be working on doing more of: checking in with you all more regularly. 

My role at the environmental consulting company I work for has changed from copy editor + receptionist to copy editor, full stop. IT'S THE BEST and I like it very much.

I volunteered backstage with the local theatre group at the musical they put on in April, and it gave me infinitely more hope in terms of being happy here in the semi-North. Will definitely be auditioning when they get their new season going.

What's happening

Neil and I are buying a house!

Look how crappy and tiny it is! I love it with my whole heart. 

What will happen

I don't want to set myself up for failure and say I'll post once a week, but I'd certainly like to engage more often with you lot. I like your faces, you see.

Neil and I take possession of the house (tentatively dubbed Shack von Wittgenstein) in July, and we'll have to work out what our decorating scheme will be. He doesn't care, so I'm thinking white walls with many manner of interesting things on them (like every actual item from this guy's shop). And random, ultra-colourful furniture. Yes, good. Also, you know, we have to replace the 20-year-old water heater but details

And that's the haps, as they stand. Now to fend off the Sunday blues with more OITNB and laundry folding.