The Goonies (1985) Film Review

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It’s small town USA in the mid-eighties. A couple of brothers, asthma-sufferer Mikey (Sean Astin) and muscle-bound Brand (Josh Brolin) are coming to terms with the fact that they are about to be torn away from their friends unless they can come up with a whole heap of money. Then Mikey finds a treasure map, and him and his mates set out on the journey of a lifetime. There’s Chunk (Jeff Cohen), an overweight kid with a huge heart, Mouth (Corey Feldman) the smartarse of the group and Data (Jonathan Ke Quan), the inventor who sometimes manages to get his inventions to work. Brand ends up accidentally joining them, as do Brand’s crush, Andy (Kerri Green) and her mate Stef (Martha Plimpton). Then they come across a family of bad guys and… watch out!

Oh, I was so fearful of watching this… what if it didn’t hold up? What if I ended up *gulp* hating the Goonies? Fear not. It was as fabulous as I remember. Yes, slightly over-written, and overly sentimental, but great. I watched it at a free outdoor screening in a park and it was just ace. A warm enough night, a whole heap of people revisiting their childhood, and a whole heap of kids discovering the Goonies for the first time.

And for an extra-special blast of the past, go check out Cyndi Lauper’s  “The Goonies R Good Enough” clip – it’s all Goonies – and 80s wrestlers!

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Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? (2013) Film Review

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Michel Gondry was fascinated with Noam Chomsky and his philosophies. So, he sat down a few times and talked to him, and then created animations to help explain what was being said. It was hypnotising and interesting and I was just captivated, although I found it a bit long. I would like to watch it again, perhaps in a couple of sittings, but I feel like it might set in a bit more.

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Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (2013) Film Review

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If you don’t know Alan Partridge, you’ve missed the strange creation of Steve Coogan. Once a host of his own chat show, Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge (ah-ha), Alan has fallen from grace and now has an afternoon radio show on North Norfolk Digital with Side Kick Simon (Tim Key), but when it is taken over and another old DJ, Pat Farrell (Colm Meaney) is fired, things get messy. Especially when Pat turns up with a rifle, holding the place at siege. Which works well for Alan’s career, if not necessarily his health.

It’s good if you know and like Alan Partridge, but I think I’ve had enough of him. I like Steve Coogan’s work, but I think there is only so much Alan Partridge I can take. It got great reviews at the time, so I’m clearly may be on my own feeling this.

 

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Geek Girl by Holly Smale – Book Review

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Harriet Manners is a geek. She loves facts and maths and absolutely cannot stand shopping and fashion and all of that guff. But her best friend, Nat, loves it, and dreams of being a model. So when Nat and Harriet go to a mall where there are agents looking for talent and Harriet gets spotted, can their friendship withstand it? Can Harriet ever get beyond her bully, her stalker, her parents?

It’s an enjoyable read that heads toward a Cinderella story, but puts a slightly different spin on it. It’s not a totally new concept, but it is funny and the characters are great. I found that some events in the story (actually, most of the main plot) were insanely over the top, but it’s the type of story where that’s okay. Harriet’s great, with all of her insecurities and social ineptitude – I would recommend this for YA readers who like a fast paced read with a lot of laughs.

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Grantchester – TV Review

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There’s a Church of England minister in a parish in Cambridge not long after World War Two has ended. Sidney Chambers (James Norton). He’s got a few issues; bit of shell shock, drinks a bit much, his handsome looks get him attention from the ladies, and he is somewhat in love with his old school friend Amanda (Morven Christie). Oh, and murders keep happening around him. He teams up with local policeman Geordie Keating (Robson Green) to solve them.

He’s handsome, but spends a bit much time mooning around for my liking. I’ve not been one to watch Midsummer Murders or any of the like, but I’m imaging they are similar. In fact, I am imagining they would be very similar.

 

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Invasion of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Book Review

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Having stopped the shipment of her people as slaves to the neighbouring kingdom of Mortmesne, Queen Kelsea turns her mind to her own kingdom. But there is something mysterious happening – perhaps through the power of her mysterious jewels, she is finding some connection to a woman from the past, and it is this connection may give her the answers that she does not realise she is searching for.

It’s so fabulous. It keeps the momentum and energy of the first book, but then this whole other story of another time comes in and wow. Still, I must say, I think I am going to avoid reading series that are not fully published. I cannot endure the wait for the final in the trilogy, due in June.

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Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Book Review

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As she comes of age, Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, a plain but well-trained and extremely clever woman is taken from the remote home where she has been raised by her aunt and uncle. She knows she is to be queen. She knows that people are out to get her – including her uncle who has sat in temporary place on the throne since her mother died and until she rose to power.

Her first act is to stop the shipping of human slaves to the nearby, stronger country. Having won her Queen’s guard over, she acts and suddenly not only is her throne in peril, but the whole queendom. However she has two necklaces that she wears that give her power – a power that no-one, not even she, understands.

This book was introduced to me as the next big thing in fantasy fiction – a book that Emma Watson read and immediately signed up for the films. And it is really easy to get caught up in it. The protagonist is an educated women who makes considered decisions, and is not afraid to stand up to her guard despite her youth and gender. And then there is the fantasy part – the fact that she has mysterious necklaces, and that the queen across the way has some most strange powers… Oooh, it is exciting.

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