[Guest Post] Film Review: T2 Trainspotting

[Guest Post] Film Review: T2 Trainspotting

The following blog post was written by Patrick, from The Blog from Another World, as the second part of our second collaborative series and again, the focus seems to have been on trains! You can read our previous posts, talking Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting here, and about Paula Hawkin’s The Girl On The Train, here and here.


I love Danny Boyle and I love Trainspotting. When T2 was announced, I was worried that the film would be a cash grab, a lazy retread. Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon had already disappointed me with Jason Bourne (2016), which was an ill-thought through bore. However, after watching Trainspotting again for my article with ReadandReview2016, the stakes were raised very high. Impossibly high?

No. Not at all. Danny Boyle is the finest British filmmaker in modern cinema. There is no doubt in my mind about this. T2 is fantastic. Possibly even better than the first.

Boyle performs camera moves, positions and set pieces which are truly thrilling. He and his director of photography Anthony Dodd Mantle work with light and shadow and perspective to create meaning.

He’s a director who inspires me and this might just be the biggest risk of his career. He pulls it off and shows a maturity and an evolution of film-making style which makes us understand just how much experience and persistence matters. In preparation for watching T2 I watched A Life Less Ordinary, the Boyle directed film which came after Trainspotting and before The Beach. The film is a flawed and underwhelming work despite a career best performance by Cameron Diaz.

My reason for watching A Life Less Ordinary was to remind myself of Boyle on a bad day (but even his low point is better than many director’s best).   Slumdog Millionaire and Steve Jobs are big favourites of mine but T2 takes his best work and betters it.  It’s funny, sad, euphoric, tragic and utterly brilliant.

The story of T2 follows Renton, Sick Boy (now Simon), Begbie and Spud as they deal with the modern world twenty years after the events of the first film.

This film is a wonderful look at ageing, our modern world and the responsibilities of adulthood. The characters feel deeper and emotionally richer although some plot strands don’t go anywhere and seem added in for nostalgia’s sake (the re-appearance of heroin is pointless).

The four leads are superb. Ewan McGregor is the best he’s been since the original film, Robert Carlyle has aged Begbie in the most perfect way and Ewan Bremner is the heart of the film. Only Jonny Lee Miller isn’t stretched, with Sick Boy always being a secondary character.

This film has a rollicking pace and heaps of style. It captures the spirit of the original whilst moving in an entirely new direction, away from drugs and toward some kind of recognition. For the first time, Renton is forced to face the consequences of his actions and it’s an explosive moment. I personally loved this scene (not a spoiler) which captures the hard edged but joyful tone of the original and is a perfect storm of music, action, comedy and character.

This film is the best thing I’ve seen all year. It would take a lot to top this, and I can’t wait!

***

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, please give it a ‘Like’. . Thanks to Patrick for writing this film review. You can find his other film reviews here:

WOW: 1 Year @ ReadandReview / 500 Followers @ReadandReview!

WOW: 1 Year @ ReadandReview / 500 Followers @ReadandReview!

I was really hoping to get to 500 followers before writing this milestone post!*

Oh well.

*Edit: I’ve reached 500 followers a day later! 

You can follow ReadandReview with your WordPress account, or just an email address!
You can follow ReadandReview with your WordPress account, or just an email address!

Today is the day that ReadandReview2016 reaches its first blogging anniversary!

I honestly can’t believe the time has flown so quickly – one year ago, I was feeling nervous and scared about putting my energies into writing for such a public audience. Now, I really don’t regret it.

Sometimes it has been a bit of struggle to write blog posts I’m happy with, but most of the time it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

I’ve written book reviews, film reviews, book tags, joined Twitter**, come up with my own book-themed challenges and even collaborated with other bloggers***, as well as joining Rosie’s Book Review Team.

**You can follow me on Twitter @judiththereader.

Hopefully I’ve developed as a blogger and writer, and I look forward into writing new forms of blog post this year. One example being my new series that I started at the end of January: From One Blogger To Another, where I interview/discuss various book or film themed topics with other bloggers. For a new year of blogging, I’ve also changed and updated the rest of my blogging schedule– you can find details about this here.

To all my followers, whether you’ve recently joined ReadandReview, or you’ve been a follower for a long while, thank you for continuing to read, share, like, or comment on my blog posts. My favourite aspect of blogging is when I receive comments – feedback, discussion points, encouragement, you name it – so please don’t forget to leave one!

***Thank you to all the bloggers I’ve collaborated with, or written guest posts for, over the last year:

1. Making Time For Me

2. Nothing In The Rule Book

3. Reading Ahead

4. The Blog From Another World

Here’s to another year of blogging!

– Judith

WOW: 450 Followers @ ReadandReview!

WOW: 450 Followers @ ReadandReview!

Happy Friday!

It’s just occurred to me that the last time I wrote a post like this was also on a Friday, what an odd coincidence. Anyway, this post is to announce & celebrate that ReadandReview2016 has now reached 450 followers!

my-photo-450-followers
You can follow ReadandReview with your WordPress account, or just an email address!

This makes me really happy, as although I’ve still been posting, I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a blogging slump. I’ve found it hard to remember to share my posts, connect with other bloggers and be an active part of the WordPress community. But, new year, new me – right?

This year, I’m thinking of changing my blogging schedule. I haven’t exactly decided what I’m going to change about my blog posts, or what I’m going to write about. I still want to write about books and I still want to write about films, but I’m considering looking at the texts in more depth, from a more analytical perspective perhaps?

I also have some interviews with bloggers / authors lined up, content that was originally going to be published on MyTrendingStories. However, I stopped writing articles on there in September because I became increasingly frustrated with the system. I found it really difficult to be “noticed” – I gained a maximum of 12 followers – and the views/likes/comment/share functions were tricky to use. I didn’t feel like I was writing for an audience and I just didn’t enjoy the website’s format. I much prefer the well-known and much-loved simplicity and ease of WordPress. The point is, those articles will eventually find themselves on ReadandReview2016 – hence the slight rejigging of my blogging schedule.

I realise this a bit more of a rambly post, so I apologise.

Thank you for the 450 people who have decided my blog is worth following; if you read my blog posts, please like / comment and interact with the post. I think opinions and discussions are so valuable on a site dedicated to reviewing and expressing opinions.

I’m approaching my 1 year anniversary (February), and the goal I set myself was to have 500 followers by that point. It would be lovely if you could help me reach this goal – share this blog with other avid readers or bloggers you know.

Thanks once again – I look forward to blogging for the rest of 2017!

– Judith

WOW: 400 Followers @ ReadandReview!

WOW: 400 Followers @ ReadandReview!

Happy Friday!

This is just a little update to celebrate the fact that ReadandReview2016 has now hit 400 followers! Thank you!

my-photo-400-followers
You can follow ReadandReview with your WordPress account, or just an email address!

It seems not too long ago I was celebrating 350 followers, and I love being able to count milestones like this. I thoroughly enjoy blogging and it makes me so glad to see you all reading my posts, liking them, and leaving comments and sparking some discussions.

As we’re drawing to the end of 2016, I’d like to take a moment to talk about goals. I think it’s important to have goals, and if you’re a blogger and writer, it’s particularly important to keep yourself motivated when you can fall into writing and reading slumps. Don’t set goals that are too easy, or you’ll slacken, but don’t set goals that are too difficult, otherwise you’ll feel frustrated at a lack of progress.

My blogging goal is to reach 500 followers by the time ReadandReview’s 1st anniversary comes around in February 2017. I really hope I get there.

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.

As a response to this post, please share below one goal you have for your blog. I’d really like to see all your answers!

– Judith

Monster Book Challenge Day #5: Demons [Reblog] Book Review: Horns

Monster Book Challenge Day #5: Demons [Reblog] Book Review: Horns

Image via hypable.com

Challenge Week: Monster Book Challenge Day #5: Demons

Welcome to the final day of my Monster Book Challenge! So far, there have been book reviews on vampires, zombies, witches and ghosts. Today’s chosen monster is… Demons [sort of]!

  • Title: Horns
  • Author: Joe Hill
  • Published: 2010

I don’t know about you, but I get demon/devil vibes from a book with a title like Horns – not to mention Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal as Ig with some creepy looking horns in the 2014 film adaptation. Hence, my decision to feature Horns.

However, this is where I leave my opinions on Horns, as I haven’t actually read the book!

If you’re particularly eagle-eyed, you’ll noticed that the following Horns book review is actually a reblog from Stephanie’s blog at Adventures of a Bibliophile.  I’m a follower of Stephanie’s and I absolutely loved reading this book review, and thought it just perfect for Halloween, so I thought I’d share it with you all.

You can find Stephanie’s review below – read and enjoy!

That’s all from me; I hope you enjoyed my various Halloween book reviews! I’ll definitely be adding Horns to my TBR!

– Judith

Adventures of a Bibliophile

Every October, I try to read Halloween-appropriate books. I love getting into the mood for the holiday, and even though I usually don’t go out (parties are not really my thing), I love curling up with some dark and spooky reads. This year, I was determined to pick up a book by Joe Hill, because I have a few of them, and hadn’t picked up any of them. On your advice, I decided to go with Horns, which has actually been in my collection the longest. It ended up being the perfect novel to read this time of the year!

Synopsis

(From Goodreads) Ignatius Perrish spent the night drunk and doing terrible things. He woke up the next morning with a thunderous hangover, a raging headache . . . and a pair of horns growing from his temples.

21920692At first Ig thought the horns were a hallucination, the product of a…

View original post 512 more words

WOW: 350 Followers @ ReadandReview!

WOW: 350 Followers @ ReadandReview!

Hi!

ReadandReview2016 has reached 350 followers! I’m so excited by this latest milestone, although it feels like it’s taken me ages to get here.

my-photo-350-followers
You can follow ReadandReview with your WordPress account, or just an email address!

In fact, I feel like this month, my blogging has been slightly below par – some posts have been a bit late and I haven’t felt as satisfied with my blog. The reason behind this, I feel, is that things have been a little more topsy-turvy since… I moved to university!

Let’s be real for a minute: university is hard work. I don’t just mean the lectures, the work, and the extra reading, I mean everything about university – making new friends, exploring a new town, managing your own schedule, remembering to eat three decent meals a day. I’ve also gone through some pretty serious personal stuff, and I have to adjust to that as well. The experiences I’m going through are all completely new and naturally, is taking a while for me to get used to.

Of course, I’m determined to keep getting blog posts out on time – not out of “pressure” from my readers, but because it allows me to keep this hobby thriving.

Anyway, I suppose this “mini-diary entry” is to thank my most recent followers, and my oldest ones for sticking with me and continuing to read the content I produce. It really means a lot.

Here’s to 400 followers!

P.S. If you aren’t yet following me on Twitter, you can find me here: twitter.com/judiththereader

That’s all for now!

– Judith

[Guest Post] Film Review: The Girl On The Train

[Guest Post] Film Review: The Girl On The Train
  • Title:The Girl On The Train
  • Director: Tate Taylor
  • Released:2016

Hello!

My name is Patrick from The Blog from Another World. If you want to check out Judith’s review of the book, you can find it here:

The novel, as Judith has written, is a page turner, a compelling read. This film then, should be gripping. It, in theory, should have maintained this tension and compulsive plot. Instead, The Girl on the Train has become a bore − a super-serious thriller without the thrills.

The most obvious comparison to this film is Gone Girl (2014), David Fincher’s brilliant adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s suburban murder mystery. Sadly, this film does not match the quality of Gone Girl at all.

I was struck in the first half an hour by how heavy and dour this film is. Each scene is laboured and miserable, characters complain about their lives and very little happens. It is not for a long time that the central disappearance occurs.

This film has a Hitchcockian plot; Rachel, played by Emily Blunt, commutes to and from New York each day on the train where she observes the lives of the people whose houses are near the tracks, including her ex-husband. When her ex-husband’s nanny goes missing, Rachel herself may be implicated in the mystery.

I recently watched Hitchcock’s Strangers on a Train in the cinema and was struck by the light touch and thrilling pace of it. Characters have light moments and dark moments. They are gripping, complex and compel you to keep watching. Strangers on a Train is a magnificent thriller and I would recommend it to anyone who feels short-changed by The Girl on the Train as, in contrast to this, it feels grindingly repetitive. A scene will open, someone will complain about their lives and by the end, without fail, they will be in tears. This makes the film such a drag, and pulls down many excellent performers along with it.

Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson are excellent actresses. Their performances in Sicario (2015) and Mission Impossible 5 (2015) are some of the most fun and exciting female characters of recent years.

In this film, however, both feel laboured and heavy, battling with boring material in an attempt to make deep and meaningful characters. In the end, both come across as cyphers, stereotypes of middle class women, trapped in their own separate worlds, enraptured by the men around them. If this film was more thrilling and fun, this type of characterisation might work. A savage critique of the American middle class is what makes Gone Girl so fun. This film wants to portray real life, and aim for realism but another side of it wants to make Gone Girl, the savage, darkly funny and vicious mystery.

A presence with the entertainment value of Ben Affleck, Tyler Perry, or Kim Dickens would really have given The Girl on the Train another side, some more depth. People are naturally humorous, and a few amusing lines of dialogue or a dark sense of humour would have elevated things tenfold.

However, smaller roles seemed to feature actors who were really bringing something to the table. Justin Theroux as Rachel’s ex-husband and Luke Evans as the husband of the missing woman were far more convincing than most others. However, their involvement was too small for them to shine.

Blunt’s performance frankly is an embarrassment. She wildly overacts in some scenes and in others she seems slightly sheepish to be a part of this film. I was very disappointed by her and I think she is indicative of a lot of the problems this film suffers from.

However, most of the blame must be placed at director Tate Taylor’s door. He is the worst possible choice for director. This film needed a provocative and uncompromising director, someone who would tell the story truthfully and intelligently but with a sense of fun. The film handles tough real life themes but this doesn’t mean that you can skimp on the mystery and thrills at the centre of it. Taylor directs with a soporific and laboured style, glossy but shallow and with no sense of pace. This film is boring and silly with so few decent performances you wonder why these people were cast in the first place.

Overall, this film is a disaster, a page-turner turned into a cinema-snoozer which fails miserably at its central goal: to thrill and intrigue. I guessed the ending within the first fifteen minutes and I was so desperate for my guess to not be the case that I ended up making up theories to allow the screenwriter and director some credit.

However, I was sadly correct and I walked out of the cinema thinking: “This would be the movie David Fincher and Alfred Hitchcock would make if they were both stupid”.

***

Thank you for reading this very therapeutic review! I hope you enjoyed it, and if you want to see this film, just read the book instead. It’s obviously much better. On the other hand, watch Strangers on a Train – that’s how you do a train-based thriller.

I would just like to thank Judith for all her help and her agreeing to be a part of this collaboration! I hope we can work together in the near future.

All the best,

Patrick and Judith