Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Title: Lord of the Flieslordofthefliesbookcover
Author: William Golding
Genre: Allegory
Pages: 248
Category: 15. Read a popular book, with at least 1 million ratings on any one website
Format: Paper

Date Started: May 30th 2017
Date Finished: June 4th 2017

Okay, so I’m a couple of months behind on these posts. So expect a lot coming in the next couple of weeks. Starting with this classic. This one had been sitting on my shelf for quite some time after I bought it from a second hand bookshop many years ago.

I definitely have some problems with this book, largely with the portrayal of Piggy. When Piggy is first introduced it is with a description of an overweight child who nobody respects despite the fact that he certainly has the most reasoned ideas of anyone on the island. In addition to being fat Piggy has asthma and has trouble keeping up with the other kids when it comes to collecting firewood and hunting etc. He is basically portrayed as completely useless because of his weight and medical condition. Oh and of course, he can’t see anything without his glasses. So he’s 3 for 3. This seems like lazy storytelling to me, to make a character who is slightly larger than the rest of the kids, and who has a medical condition and to stereotype them as the weakest link. Of course, this book is a product of it’s time so this discrimination isn’t overly surprising. Of course, most people wouldn’t be surprised by it today either which is sad.

Okay, so despite my issues with the book I actually did enjoy it. While I’m sure that if I had read it at school for English, then I would have hated it. Perhaps, simply being able to read the book without being forced to examine every aspect of it is a gift, particularly with this novel which despite it’s relatively short length is surprisingly complex.

For anyone who hasn’t read it, I will not spoil the ending, although, I was somewhat surprised by it, but that’s a different story.

Rating: 3/5 stars

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Let’s Be Evil (2016)

Title: Let’s Be Evilmv5bogjjnmm5mjmtmjzlos00yje2ltllngitmdninwvmmtbjzjuwxkeyxkfqcgdeqxvynjc5ndgwnte-_v1_sy1000_cr006741000_al_
Year: 2016
Director: Martin Owen
Genre: Thriller
Date Watched: February 9th, 2017
Category: #35 A short film (less than 90 minutes)

If you’re looking for a movie less than 90 minutes long, the safe bet is going to be horror/thriller or children’s. Sadly I’ve seen most of the well known children’s films of that length and many of the thrillers, so here we’ve ended up with a new addition to Netflix in Let’s Be Evil.

I wish I had looked at the description and thought ‘hmm, cool concept’ and moved on without actually watching it because the concept really does have a lot of potential, unfortunately, the film itself did not manage to deliver on much.

The concept of Let’s Be Evil is a group of ordinary people (Jeni, Tiggs and Darby) who are employed to supervise a group of gifted young children going through a program that utilises augmented reality as a teaching mechanism, but of course it’s a thriller so the children are actually creepy little critters out to kill their chaperones. Based on the beginning of the movie this was employed as a technique to combat failing public schools and a generation of children that was growing up less educated than the one before it.

Honestly, I quite enjoyed the first half of the movie which was mostly setting the scene with the group getting to the facility and being shown around by their AI guide Ariel. I can’t say the same for the second half. A few strange things start happening in the facility, only to Jeni to begin with and then of course it suddenly becomes clear that the children are evil and want to kill their chaperones. Cut to some not particularly imaginative efforts to get out of the testing facility and to safety, cue the death of some of the characters and everyone has gotten what they wanted, right?

Unfortunately, this film left me wanting, based on the first half of the film I expected some kind of clever creeping which was partly realised in the first creepy efforts of the children. But ultimately, first half of the film didn’t gel with the second half, and there wasn’t really anything in the way of resolution at the end of the film. For me, there were clever elements within the film but ultimately they were like separate pieces which together can make up a great horror film (creepy children: check, trapped: check, unexplained occurrences: check) or they can make a disjointed mess like they did here.

Do yourselves a favour and give this one a miss. You will not regret it.

Rating: 1.5 stars (only because the concept and the set up was interesting)

 

The Edge of Seventeen (2016)

Title: The Edge of Seventeenedge_of_seventeen
Year: 2017
Director: Kelly Fremon Craig
Genre: Comedy/Coming of Age
Date Watched: January 21, 2017
Category: A teen movie

From the moment I saw the trailer for this movie I knew I had to see it. It might as well have been about my own experience as a teenager. For anyone who’s ever felt like the dorky outsider, or wondered why they can’t just be like everyone else and have a normal conversation, this is the movie you’ve been waiting for. So much of the movie was completely awkward and cringeworthy but I loved every moment of it anyway.

I don’t want to say too much about the movie except that in some ways it was certainly predictable and it was exactly what I expected from laughter to tears evoking a sense of nostalgia for my own awkward high school years.

Perhaps the most enviable part of the entire movie is that I did not get to spend my teenage years with such an expansive wardrobe of sneakers and hoodies.

Okay, joking aside, this movie is a beautiful exploration of siblings and how the grass always seems greener on the other side, friendship and ultimately finding one’s people.

Rating: 3.5/5

Bad Moms – 2016

Title: Bad Moms
Year: 2016bad_moms_poster
Director: John Lucas and Scott Moore
Genre: Comedy
Date Watched: January 16, 2017
Category: A comedy

This movie was absolutely what I expected from watching the trailer with maybe just a little extra craziness. What did I expect from the trailer? A predictable plot, a few jokes, a bit of a romance subplot, and playground politics that remind us all that girls most definitely don’t get nicer after high school.

If you like a nice, easy to watch comedy that doesn’t make you think too deeply this is a great watch for you. If you want something a bit deeper, maybe skip Bad Moms.

Basic premise for those of you who haven’t heard of it: Amy (Mila Kunis) is a mom to 2 kids, she finds out her husband is having an affair with someone he met online, far worse she realises that she doesn’t love him anymore. After kicking him out, she goes through the day from hell including her dog getting sick, getting coffee spilled on her, then spaghetti, amongst many other things, culminating in a particularly pointless PTA meeting where she completely loses her shit.

She pledges to no longer be a ‘good’ mum because it’s impossible, she’s going to be a bad mom, she meets a couple of other mum’s from her kid’s school and cue the requisite movie montage.

After hurting her kids and escalating things with the PTA mean mom (Christina Applegate) she eventually realises it doesn’t have to an all or nothing situation and finds a balance with both her kids and her nemesis. Her kids finally start doing their own homework and feeding themselves breakfast. Even though the film is slightly overdramatised for comedy purposes, it certainly reminds us that the expectations we put on kids and parents are oftentimes unrealistic.

Bad Moms definitely managed to do what it set out to do, giving viewers an hour or two of entertainment, in fact it managed even a little more than that in reflection of our modern society.

Rating: 3.5/5