21st century girl

reviews – my way.

Month: December, 2016

Outnumbered special

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What’s the wifi password?’ 

The Outnumbered gang Pete (Hugh Dennis), Sue (Claire Skinner), Jake (Tyger Drew Honey), Ben (Daniel Roche) and Karen (Ramona Marquez) are back for a spin off episode. The Brockmans want to scatter Grandad’s ashes, but they are stuck in a pub after an accident  on Boxing Day, and things go wrong.

I have watched all of the previous episodes, and this one came as a surprise. First of all, the children are all older. I also feel like the series is a bit too close for comfort, and the episode is fairly poignant considering the fact that the actor who played the grandfather died a few years ago. The episode is a sweet little tribute to him. Outnumbered was originally a show where the children ad libbed their lines, but now we have matured with them. There were some good one liners, mostly based around Brexit, and maybe the hilarity of the name ‘Billy Spaz’ but other than that, some of the humour generally fell flat, except for the comic timing of the men who were pretending to be Nazis. It just left me thinking ‘Is that it?’.

I do not think that it would suit having another series, but that’s just my opinion. The show was good while it lasted, and the actors certainly contributed well to the episode. It’s not just that the children are all grown up, but it was completely different from what we expected. Luckily the show grows with us in a realistic way, but there was something slightly off about it. Can kids really be kids forever? Or should we let them grow up?

3/5

 

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Carrie Fisher

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‘Why you half witted, stuck up, scruffy looking nerfherder!’

It is with great sadness that Carrie Fisher has sadly died at the age of 60. As most of you know, she was Princess Leia in the original Star Wars series, and she was also in The Force Awakens amongst many other things.

2016 has been a sad year for actors and singers etc. We’ve lost Prince, George Micheal, Alan Rickman, Bowie, the old lady from Vicar of Dibley and many others. The memorial part of the Oscars will be incredibly long.

Anyway, I admire Carrie Fisher, and I am not saying that because she died. She was incredibly badass in Star Wars, a series of films that I got into because my guy friends are obsessed with it. She turned away from all the assumptions of a woman’s portrayal in film. She has made an impact on both men and women in the geek and film culture. Some men like her and women would want to be her. She was one of my ultimate role models.  She has also written a fair share of autobiographies, and her legacy will be left for years to come. I will rewatch the original Star Wars trilogy and her other films and cameo in The Big Bang Theory with great sadness, along with refusing to unfollow her on Twitter despite the fact that she will never update it because of her death. Apart from fairytale Disney princesses, she was honestly one of my favourite princesses in film, and she appeared to work so well with all her co stars.

R.I.P Carrie Fisher, you will be missed. May the Force be with you always.

1956-2016

 

 

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt (TV movie)

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‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt,’ 

We’re going on a Bear hunt is a short film based off the popular children’s book of the same name by Micheal Rosen. The short film stars Olivia Coleman and Pam Ferris amongst others.

My mum used to read myself and my four other siblings the original book when we were all little, so it was a pleasant surprise to have such a classic book adapted into a short but sweet film. I would probably not be taken seriously for reviewing an animated children’s film of this level, but it is for all ages. You could watch it with your children or reminisce on having it read to you when you were younger. Although Christmas Day was a day ago, we are simply spoilt for choice with Christmas television and movies.

The animation was simply beautiful and detailed and the baby and the dog were adorable. If you want a relaxing movie to unwind with, I would suggest that you should watch this one.

4.5/5

 

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

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‘I will bring you that fallen star’ 

Stardust is a book written by Neil Gaiman and it is about a man called Tristran Thorn who vows to retrieve a fallen star for his beloved, a woman called Victoria Forester.

I was familiar with some of Neil Gaiman’s work previously, but I had not read any of it. Considering my fascination with fantasy and magical realism novels, I will continue to explore his work in the near future. I am aware that there is a film adaptation of Stardust but I have not seen it, although I might watch it at some point and see if it lives up to my expectations that I concluded from the novel. As I read the book, I realize how the Take That song made for the film suits the moral of the story. I was recommended this book by my older sister, and as I was reluctant to explore more in the fantasy genre, I had a go at reading it.

This book is short and sweet and I finished it in about two days. Although the concept of having someone retrieve a fallen star for the person that they love is considered to be a cliched idea, Neil Gaiman does it in such a way that makes you fall in love with his vivid descriptions and characters that is all too common in the fantasy genre. His characters, however, are distinguishable. I do love a good fairytale. I also have a small interest in stars and it is simply fascinating looking at them on a cold winter’s night. Stardust is also quite an easy book to follow and everything starts to come together the more that you read it. I tended to avoid the reviews of the book to keep my first impression of the novel fresh and undiluted from someone else’s negativity.

This book strives on conflict. On one side, there is Tristran wanting to catch a falling star as a favour for the woman that he loves, and on the other side, there is the evil witch who wishes to destroy the star. What was particularly effective was the fact that the star was personinified as an actual woman, a lady called Yvaine. Gaiman takes what would usually be cliches if applied to any other story and puts his own individual twist on it, making you dwell in a fantastic fantasy world that you refuse to leave. His narrative does not go down a straight road full of predictabilities. The book is full of surprises. Tristran does not even marry the woman who he retrieved the star for. This suggests that even if you go the distance for people, they would not care in return, as it shows in the book when Victoria Forester marries someone else.

I would definetly read this book more than once. The characters are not just cardboard characters, I personally think that they are metaphors. Tristran’s journey represents maturity into adulthood, and the personification of the star represents goodness and hope while the witch represents evil. Witches are common creatures in folklore, giving more of a reason to make her villainous. She also has a motive to be evil, to destroy people’s happiness, so she isn’t just a cartoon villian. Gaiman’s vivid descriptions of the woods and trees and the sky and the the stars can easily make you fall in love with the book so that you are seduced by his effective narrative.

Overall, a fantastic book that I shall reread at some point, full of surprises and wonderful characters. As it is set in the Victorian Era, the author gives a bit of context at the beginning of the book and dwells off into his own fantasy world that readers can easily get lost in. The book also makes me really want either a goat drawn carriage or a unicorn. The fact that the author uses goats and unicorns etc instead of horses gives its own individuality, only a subject to the writer’s eccentricities. Apparently Stardust is a sequel to a book that Neil Gaiman never published but Stardust is fine on its own.

4.5/5