2018 Film Challenge: 31. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Having just the one Star Wars film on this list, and for it to specifically be episode 3, might seem a tad random, but it’s only because it’s the only film I hadn’t seen. I thought it was about time I corrected that.

My memory of episodes 1 and 2 was pretty vague. I watched a pirated copy of episode 1 in a bar in Corfu, so it’s probably not surprising that my memory of that was hazy! Episode 2 I watched at the cinema, though my only memory of it was of Yoda being a badass.

I didn’t have high expectations of episode 3, as I knew the first 3 episodes weren’t anywhere near as good as the original trilogy or the more recent films, but I still figured it’d be cool to finally get to see Anakin become Darth Vader. Which it kinda was (ignoring the incredibly hammy ‘Nooooooooooo’ moment soon after). But generally it was pretty mediocre and not that exciting. The CGI hasn’t dated well either, as some parts are so clearly fake it’s actually funny, which isn’t really what you want. Plus, oh my god, where are all the women?? There’s one brief moment where you think Padme might actually get to do something interesting, but she mostly just gets strangled. Awesome.

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • There’s just something about that music kicking in and the words ‘Star Wars’ appearing. It’s weirdly emotional.
  • They’re frightfully English in space
  • Ooh, the special effects are slightly dated and somewhat obvious
  • Oh no, the special effects are actually comical in places. That’s going to be distracting.
  • C3PO’s so shiny
  • No one needs to look that glamorous whilst they’re sleeping
  • Yoda!
  • Yoda’s going to hang out with Wookies? I’m here for that.
  • Was he just playing with a Game Gear?
  • Ha ha ha, is he trying to be stealthy whilst riding a massive lizard?
  • That escalated quickly
  • OMG, I thought that was a hologram dildo. You shouldn’t dress in those hooded cloaks, dude!
  • Cockney Jedi children?
  • Hurrah, a woman’s finally going to do something in this film. I didn’t think that was going to happen at all.
  • Oh, never mind, she didn’t really do much
  • Ouch
  • It’s pretty cool seeing the mask go on
  • Ha ha ha, that was a bit overly camp
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2018 Film Challenge: 30. Y Tu Mamá También

I remember seeing this film reviewed on TV when it came out and thinking it looked interesting, but not getting around to watching it. 17 years later and I’ve finally managed it! I kinda wish I’d seen it at the time though – I feel like I’d have appreciated it more then. I enjoyed it, but for most of the film I felt quite old and found the young guys a bit too annoying. I know they’re meant to be immature and that’s kinda the point, but still, it took a while before I properly started to enjoy the film. I liked the whole end section though, plus I liked the contrast and bleakness of the voiceover segments. They also included some really good turns of phrase.

Anyway here are the thoughts I had whilst watching:

  • That got going quickly! No messing.
  • That suddenly got unexpectedly dark
  • More cowboys than I’ve ever personally seen at a wedding.
  • Ew
  • Why would she want to go anywhere with them?!
  • Did she just describe a foreskin as yummy?
  • How far is this beach?
  • Ha ha ha, she’s not wrong
  • Morbid, much?
  • Ha ha ha ha. Don’t be mad at the pigs, they’re so cute.
  • Ah man, do all the voiceovers have to be depressing?
  • So gross
  • Where’s this headed now?
  • Yep, she wasn’t wrong
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2018 Film Challenge: 29. What We Do In The Shadows

It’s a New Zealand-based vampire mockumentary! In some ways it was surprising that I hadn’t watched it already. It was good fun, as expected. Maybe not quite as full-on laugh-out-loud as I’d hoped, but there were definitely some good laugh-out-loud moments. Plus lots of pleasing shots of Wellington.

I didn’t make a lot of notes whilst watching it, as it’s not a long film, but here are the thoughts I had:

  • It’s Cuba Street!!! Ah man, this is going to make me miss New Zealand. More than I already do.
  • They’re as good at housework as me
  • That actually looks quite like the house we lived in in Wellington!
  • Burger Fuel!
  • That’s disturbing
  • Rhys Darby!
  • Ha ha, poking
  • That was pretty cool
  • I love the Kiwi pronunciation of ‘chips’
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2018 Film Challenge: 28. Burn After Reading

This is a film I’d seen previously; back in 2009. I remembered really enjoying it and that it was quite zany, but I had no memory of what actually happened in it.

Initially I wasn’t sure if it was going to be quite as zany as I’d remembered, as it takes a while to get properly ridiculous, but happily it didn’t disappoint.

The thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • I’m generally not that fussed on George Clooney, but I like him in this.
  • Ha ha, what Family Fortunes category is that? (Or whatever the American Family Fortunes is called). (Note: It’s Family Feud)
  • Chicken fat?
  • You don’t want something to snap in your ass
  • Bless him
  • That’s a creepy way to say you’re a good samaritan
  • Ha ha ha ha ha
  • I wonder how many times John Malkovich says ‘fuck’ in this film
  • Oh my god! I wasn’t expecting that. Even though I’ve seen the film before.
  • It’s Stuart!
  • Not the dildo!
  • Bit harsh
  • Oh, it just got harsher
  • Ha ha, that was possibly even more nuts than I’d remembered it being
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2018 Film Challenge: 27. Wild At Heart

I first watched this film in about 2013, so not really that long ago, though I’d managed to forget practically everything about it. On the plus side, that meant that this re-watch was still surprising and almost like watching it for the first time.

I’d remembered it as being quite a ‘normal’ film for David Lynch, which I guess it is by his standards, though it is still quite weird. Hoorah!

Here are the thoughts I had whilst watching it:

  • You can tell it’s a Lynch film just from the cast list. That and ‘music by Angelo Badalamenti’.
  • What is he doing?
  • That’s some interesting dancing
  • Ha ha ha
  • I’d remembered this film as being quite ‘normal’, but that was clearly just by Lynch standards
  • That’s not something you should say to a guy you’re sleeping with
  • Lots of fire
  • Lynch likes a hitman
  • You don’t want to spill any coffee when wearing those maids outfits! If they even qualify as outfits.
  • The notion of a talking penis is quite scary
  • Ewwww
  • She’s got some issues
  • The ‘dancing’ is totally my favourite
  • Yes. Bit of Wicked Game.
  • Ah, the all-too-brief appearance of Sherilyn Fenn
  • Grace Zabriskie’s awesome
  • A candy necklace! Do they still make those? They were simultaneously awesome and rubbish.
  • Jack Nance!
  • Is that the dude from Unruhe?
  • One Eyed Jack’s! This was around the same time as Twin Peaks, right?
  • He’s a pleasant man
  • Willem Dafoe plays creepy well
  • Those pants!
  • Ughhhh, the teeth
  • Ha ha ha, but also, ew
  • Ha ha ha ha
  • Laura Dern cryface!
  • Sheryl Lee!! How had I forgotten about this?
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Novel to be writing

I promised back in January that I was going to start a new novel and that I’d write a future blog post about it. 6 months later and I’ve finally managed it. I’m not the greatest with the self-motivation, which is why I’ve never made much progress with novels in the past. I’ve never really gotten beyond the 8 or 10,000 word mark before losing interest/confidence/motivation/all-of-the-above. The closest I came to a novel-length story was a 3 part Catatonia fanfic I wrote in about 2000/2001! That totalled just over 18,000 words, though was also left unfinished. You can see why I’ve gravitated more towards short stories in recent years. (Side note: I just found a Catatonia/X-Files crossover fic that I wrote (unfinished, of course) and I think that’s gotta be the definition of Peak Chantal.)

However, as mentioned back in that January post, it’s always been an ambition of mine to write a novel, so I should probably get cracking and attempt to instill some discipline in myself. After reading various bits of writing advice online, I’m adopting the following 2 key approaches:

  • Setting myself a target of just 300 words per day. So low it’s non-daunting and actually achievable and will slowly add up. Plus I can obviously exceed it when I want to.
  • Allowing the first draft to be awful. I have far too much of a tendency to re-read and re-write things I’ve already written, rather than just carrying on and getting the bare bones on the page.

I started writing the novel about 3 weeks ago and I’m up to about 4,400 words. Considering I took a week off when I went to Budapest, so it’s only really 2 weeks worth of writing, I’m really happy with that. I have a vague notion of where I want the story to go, but don’t have it firmly mapped out, which I quite like. I find that I lose interest if I have things too planned out in advance – it feels like I’ve already written it. Fingers crossed I can carry on with this approach and actually have something resembling a first draft by this time next year.

I’m not currently going to give any details about the novel, as it’s still too early days, but I am going to share a very brief part of the previous novel I started. I spent a long time working on that novel, even if it was mostly just disjointed thoughts and notes and rambling catharsis. Reading back through what I wrote, there was very little I was still happy with. One little paragraph I did like, however, was the one below. I felt sad that it might never be read by anyone other than me, so here it is (for those few awesome people who read my blog).

Nothing good ever happens before midday. Even sex isn’t as much fun in the morning – it seems wrong somehow – too wholesome. More fun than going to the gym or having a swim, granted, but it still has a healthy fitness edge to it. You follow it up by showering, getting dressed and having breakfast! It just seems backwards. Sex should never be followed by getting dressed, unless you’re outside and it’s for reasons of public decency.

To be frank, it’s mostly just the last line I like. Years of work and contemplation and I come up with one line I’m happy with! Writing’s fun, eh?

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