Watching With Mother (and Father): Good Karma Hospital, Paddington 2, Ordeal By Innocence, The Play That Goes Wrong

One of the things about living in close contact with your parents is that you sometimes end up watching TV with them. Usually that’s not too bad, especially when there’s a really good act on Britain’s Got Talent, they’ve got that comedian you like on Would I Lie To You or it’s that episode of Midsomer Murders you enjoyed when you first saw it over a decade ago, but sometimes it’s a pain in the backside when for some reason they really want to watch something that doesn’t even have the good grace to be bad, like The Good Karma Hospital. Continue reading


You Might Not Realise How Much Black Panther, The Shape of Water & I, Tonya Have In Common (okay, I might be stretching things a bit here)

My film buddies and I have managed to see three more movies, all of which also happened to be nominated for this year’s Oscars, and have even won a fair few between them. Having seen these movies, I think they all deserve a rundown on just why they’re so damn good, how they deal with their themes (there’s only two that overlap with all three, but I’ll come to those in good time). I will also try to avoid spoilers because I genuinely want you all to see these movies… besides, everyone knows how the story of I, Tonya goes – it’s like Peter Jackson’s King Kong. Or Dino De Laurentiis’, for that matter.

bp et al Continue reading

You Won’t Believe How Many Things “Coco” & “Three Billboards” Have In Common (no really, they’ve actually got quite a few similarities)

I’ll admit, I don’t go to the cinema much last year; I don’t know why, given that apparently it was the year that Marvel and DC both put out at least one great movie each, which should be bread and butter to a nerd like me. Therefore, when two of my friends suggested around New Year’s that we should become cinema buddies, I readily agreed.

Our first film was going to be The Greatest Showman, but we decided to watch Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri instead, on the basis that it had much better reviews. We went in knowing it would be dark, and we were not disappointed. We decided the next week to watch Coco, as a Disney movie would be a welcome counterpoint. We forgot it was a Disney-Pixar movie.

3bco Continue reading

Crimes on The Christmas Express

My parents sometimes buy theatre tickets for me (and themselves) around Christmas, and 2017 was one of those Christmases. Given that we all very much enjoyed The 39 Steps (a wonderful play whose website is sadly plagued by hackers, which now means finding new tour dates is completely impossible) at The Lichfield Garrick some years ago, they were delighted to see there was a new play that spoofed madcap old-timey thrillers, where the cast (a company known as New Old Friends) played multiple roles and invoked some inventive set design on a budget. Sounds ideal, right?

Image result for crimes on the christmas express Continue reading

Webcomics: Why do I still read this stuff?

As somebody who grew up during the dying days of Web 1.0, I got into webcomics pretty hard, often binge-reading stuff for hours.This continued well into the early days of Web 2.0 and then… I just sort of stopped. I don’t know why, but given what I was reading at the time it was probably no great loss. But I’ve already said one webcomic I read is one of the best comics ever, so surely I had better taste than I think… right?

Right? Continue reading

The Addams Family Musical

Well, of course I was going to write this. Given how I’ve covered pretty much every Addams Family adaptation (not counting the live-action TV shows and films, because everyone’s talked about those… Shit, am I a hipster?) it was inevitable that a) I would go see the musical when it came to Britain and b) blog about it immediately afterwards. This isn’t exactly rocket science here, people.

The plot is quite straightforward: Wednesday’s all grown up, and she’s inviting her new boyfriend, one Lucas Beineke, and his tight-laced parents round for dinner. So far, so “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner meets The Rocky Horror Picture Show“. Now, I’m not going to go into any further details, because I genuinely want people to see this for themselves – it’s that good. Seriously, go book your tickets now. Continue reading