Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995)

Title: Welcome to the Dollhouse200px-wdollhousemovieposter
Year: 1995
Director: Todd Solondz
Genre: Indie
Category: #21 A cult film

I chose this one for my cult movie largely because it stars Heather Matarazzo. I first saw Heather Matarazzo in the Princess Diaries where she was amazing as Anne Hathaway’s slightly dorky best friend. Honestly, her character there could easily have been the older version of this one.

This movie is a bit like every other coming of age movie you’ll see in that we get to see her figuring out what’s important to her. The big difference here is that instead of getting drunk, and having harmless fun, Dawn is a much darker character. The kind you might find shooting up a high school for instance.

I absolutely understand how this became a cult classic but honestly, I think the storyline could really have done with some work. It just didn’t feel very cohesive and it’s probably not something I’ll be heading out to recommend to my friends.

Rating: 2/5 stars

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Shadow of the Titanic – Andrew Wilson

Title: Shadow of the Titanic13036369
Author: Andrew Wilson
Genre: Non-Fiction
Pages: 391
Category: 19. Read a History book, fiction or nonfiction
Format: Paper

This isn’t the first book this year that could have fitted into this category which is great because it’s honestly a bit of a dense category as far as reading goes.

Shadow of the Titanic is a non-fiction book that explores the experiences of Titanic survivors (and their families) following the tragic sinking in April 1912. As someone who has been fascinated by the Titanic for most of my life. Since I was six and picked up a children’s reader that talked about the sinking and discovery of the wreck . So this book was a natural choice and I’m really glad it exists because most books about the Titanic talk about either the voyage and subsequent sinking of the ship or about the discovery of the ship by Robert Ballard including various explanations for how an unsinkable ship could sink. So the stories that are part of this book are largely not included in other discussions of the topic, at least not in their entirety.

Unfortunately, I found the writing a little dry and had a lot of trouble getting through the book. It’s certainly not a book I would recommend for anyone who is not a passionate fan of the topic as I don’t think I would’ve bothered finishing it if I wasn’t such a fan.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Suicide Squad (2016)

Title: Suicide Squadmovieposter
Year: 2016
Director: David Ayer
Genre: Action
Date Watched: June 20, 2017
Category: #18 A film that has won an Oscar

I really wanted to like this movie despite everyone telling me how bad it was. Every friend who watched this and every review I’ve seen told me not to bother but, I decided to watch it anyway. Please don’t make the same mistake. This movie is not worth your time.

Okay so I definitely see why it won an Oscar for it’s makeup because it was spot on, and there were moments that I thought were really well done but, as a whole it’s pretty terrible. I loved the Joker and Harley Quinn relationship and perhaps if the whole movie has been Joker and Harley Quinn it might have fared better. But the real problem is that they tried to introduce us to a huge cast and have us 3619164954_d3bd1e25dbcare what happened to them in a relatively short movie as well as introducing not one but two villains. If you’ve ever seen those venn diagrams that say “choose 2” (like the one left). In this case you could have a movie that’s a watchable length, great characters or a good plot. Sadly these guys chose to skip the plot. There was no plot at all, where did the bad guys come from? What were they? Who knows…

Rating: 2/5 stars

Confessions of a Sociopath – M. E. Thomas

Title: Confessions of a Sociopath22041297-_uy200_
Author: M. E. Thomas
Genre: Autobiography
Pages: 163
Category: 11. Read a nonfiction book
Format: Paper

Date Started: April 15th 2017
Date Finished: May 4th 2017

It took me such a long time to get through this book, I just could not muster enthusiasm for it. It wasn’t particularly engaging and I suppose part of that is because I’m not the target audience. I am not a sociopath, the only reason I picked up the book at all is that I’m interested in psychology and thought it might be interesting.

The anecdotes included are actually quite interesting so I won’t spoil them here, and the writing was decent enough it just wasn’t the book for me.

There’s really not much to say about the book beyond that except that it is mostly an autobiography including a little insight into the sociopath’s mind as well as a few entertaining anecdotes about life growing up.

Rating: 2/5 stars

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (2016)

Title: My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2my_big_fat_greek_wedding_2_poster
Year: 2016
Director: Kirk Jones
Genre: Romance/Comedy
Date Watched: May 6 2017
Category: #17 The last film in a series

There is nothing more true about this movie than the tagline – People change. Greeks don’t. It’s the perfect summation of the movie, aside from the age of the characters very little has changed since the original movie.

I loved the original movie, it had jokes and transformation and the merging of families, so I expected to like this movie too. Except, what I find is more of the same stuff from the original movie, nothing has changed. This time it’s their daughter who is feeling embarrassed by her family rather than Toula and for some completely unknown reason John Stamos appears sporadically but otherwise it’s just a rehash of the same jokes and the same tensions and it’s just not funny the second time around.

It’s rare for me to watch a movie and think it’s awful, I even liked Grease 2 but this movie is truly forgettable, I don’t really have anything nice to say about it except that it’s nice to see the cousin coming out with his family being happy for him.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Love and Misadventure – Lang Leav + The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath

Title: Love & Misadventure61mwald8azl
Author: Lang Leav
Genre: Poetry
Pages: 168
Category: 47. Read a collection of poetry
Format: Paper

Date Started: April 28th 2017
Date Finished: April 28th 2017

A two for the price of one today. First up we have a beautiful little collection of poems which I have wanted to read for some time, ever since I saw a couple of poems on tumblr.

I don’t think a series of poems has ever been so true to my own feelings in all my life. Almost every one I read hit on something that I could identify with. They’re short sweet and to the point. I’m not usually a huge connoisseur of poems so there may be a term for this type of poem but I don’t know it (if you do feel free to share in the comments). Basically, these poems say exactly what they mean, while a lot is left to the imagination everything is about feelings rather than imagery. This is the type of poem I prefer to read.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

 


 

Title: The Collected Poems 41f6qyd4igl-_sx329_bo1204203200_
Author: Sylvia Plath (Edited by Ted Hughes)
Genre: Poetry
Pages: 351
Category: 47. Read a collection of poetry
Format: Paper

Date Started: March 6th 2017
Date Finished: April 30th 2017

I’m not sure what I expected picking up this collection but it wasn’t quite what I got. I think, knowing a little about Sylvia Plath’s history and having read and loved the Bell Jar several years ago I expected something similar only to find out that these poems are much more focussed on imagery and frankly a lot less interesting.

If this is the style of writing that you enjoy then that’s great, and maybe if I wanted to take the time to analyse these poems it might be a different story, but the anthology includes over 200 poems many of which could probably have been left out. That being said there are some beautiful lines in the collection, perhaps though, this would be better published as a selection of poems rather than the collected poems. A shorter selection may be able to have a greater impact on the reader.

Rating: 2/5 stars

A Collection of Short Films

Okay, this post is just a little different. Instead of just one short I ended up watching 5, so they’re all here.

Title: Quadrangle612706385
Year: 2010
Director: Amy Grappell
Genre: Sexuality, History
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This one was an interesting watch for me as someone who is fascinated by sexuality and alternate lifestyle choices. Quadrangle is the story of two couples in the 1970’s who swapped partners for many years. The couples had children of their own and became close through a sailing club often drinking and smoking pot together with both couples experiencing relationship issues. There is a coldness about the film that made it a little uncomfortable to watch, perhaps because it was narrated by the daughter of two being interviewed. It does bring up fascinating questions about what it means to be a family and ultimately how we choose to love and live.

Rating: 2.5/5 stars


 

Title: Supporting Film maxresdefault
Year: 2015
Director: Douwe Dijkstra
Genre: Documentray
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This one is a film about film. It’s not very long and is sometimes a little hard to follow but it does offer many different perspectives of film from people who experience film in different ways, such as those who are hearing or vision impaired. Ultimately it is a lovely exploration of something we all know and love: film.

Rating: 2 stars


 

Title: It’s a Date606490254
Year: 2016
Director: Zachar Zazima
Genre: Romance
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This one was shown originally at Sundance and was quite short. Honestly though, it was just not the film for me. Nothing about what was happening made much sense, the animation was not a style I enjoy either. There is nothing I liked about this film at all.

Rating: 0.5/5 stars


 

Title: 9 Daysschermafbeelding-2016-06-07-om-14-29-45-2-1280x800
Year: 2012
Director: Issa Touma
Genre: War, Documentary
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

This film explores one man’s experience over the course of 9 days as the crisis in Syria began in 2012. This is one of the few films made by a Syrian about the Syrian civil war. While I would certainly recommend reading at least a little about the state of affairs in Syria before watching this film it is still one of the true portrayals of the experiences of Syrians. In the time since the civil war started almost half of the pre war population of Syria has been killed, with many more fleeing for their lives to countries that have been less than supportive of their plight.

Rating: 3/5 stars


 

Title: Last Letterslastletters
Year: 2016
Director: Nils Clauss
Genre: Documentary
Date Watched: January 28, 2017
Category: Short

Of the films I watched this one touched me the most, even though it was one of the shortest. The film consists of interviews with some of the family members of those lost in the sinking of the Sewol Ferry on April 16 2014 off the coast of South Korea. Many of those who died were teenagers on a school excursion. In total 304 of the 476 individuals on board died, with 250 of them students. The picture at the top of this article shows a classroom memorial that is still maintained for them, with families and friends visiting and leaving notes on their desks and blackboard. The cause of the accident was found to be a combination of things including human error and unsanctioned changes to the boat, ultimately this knowledge offers little comfort to those who lost their children or parents in the crash as explored by this beautiful film.

Rating: 4.5/5 stars