Similarly to the five summer films I talked about a few months ago, these are the five new releases I am looking forward to seeing in the cinema this autumn and winter.
Obviously, the first film on the list had to be Rogue One. I have mentioned several times before how excited I am about this film. As a young Star Wars fan I always wondered about the rebel agents that stole the plans to the Death Star. Now finally I am going to see their story on-screen.
I love the MCU and Sherlock, so as the kids say it’s “a non-brainer” that this movie has been added to the list. Marvel have always produced more than traditional superheroes movies, Winter Solider is a political thriller and Ant-Man is a heist movie. It will be interesting to see what direction this movie will take the MCU.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Where do you start this movie? A chance to re-enter the Harry Potter universe. Getting to met new characters and amazing creatures. Stunning visual effects all seem to spell out a magical film.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
I have to confess I have yet to read the Miss Peregrine series of books. However, that hasn’t stop me from getting excited about this movie. I adore Tim Burton, he is one of my go-to directors, so I am expecting his unique style in this movie.
The Magnificent Seven
Growing up, I used to always watch movies with my dad, he played a massive part in shaping what movies I love. My dad’s favourite genre was westerns as I result I have fond memories of watching the original Magnificent Seven and it’s sequels with my dad, So in honour of him I am going to see this movie and hope they don’t mess it up!
What films are you most looking forward to seeing this autumn and winter?
Living and working in London, we don’t need a car in our everyday lives. Instead we rely on a car sharing service and occasionally hire cars for weekend adventures. Normally, we have to pick up our rental cars at the airport. So nowadays all mini holidays for us start riding travelators in the airport.
One of the reasons I started this challenge was to explore the city more and try new coffee shops. Over the last year, whilst doing this challenge I’ve put together a large list of coffee shops to visit. But occasionally, I discover a little gem on my own, like this café near to Jason’s barbers.
This spring once again I became obsessed with Game of Thrones, as well as watching the sixth season, I also re-watched seasons one to five on Blu-ray. So most of my free-time was spend knitting, binge watching and drinking coffee.
If I ever have to have a morning meeting, I love to schedule it in Pret a Manage, as they have stores located all over the city, serve great coffee and have the most amazing almond croissants in London.
Before Star Wars Celebrations, they was a lot of confusion online regarding when and where to pick up your passes and the wristbands for the panels. Rather than risk the queue in the morning I picked up our passes the day before. (You can read all about my adventures at Star Wars Celebrations here.)
What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.
Normally, before starting a 6 on 6 challenge I have a chat with Jason. We think of a few obvious ideas for each colour theme and then set about taking the photos.
For this month, we talked about a few famous purple themes, Lumpy Space Princess from Adventure Time or Count von Count from Sesame Street. Then I went on a hunt for some purple geeky stuff. I couldn’t find a purple Tsum Tsum or Funko figure. In fact all I could find was a purple cape on my Batgirl keyring.
When I talked with Jason at my surprise, that I couldn’t find anything purple. Jason was shocked, he stated that our “wedding colour” was purple. It was probably the only time he wore purple!
After that instead of looking for more items to photograph. I ended up spending hours on my laptop looking through wedding photos! So this month’s 6 on 6 was an epic fail! I have one photo and published my blog post a day late.
Currently Knitting… It’s was too hot to knit in August, so instead I have been planning which patterns I want to knit during the my autumn/winter seasons. (This really translations to me spending time on Ravelry looking at new patterns or buying yarn online).
Currently Watching… During most of August, I watched the Olympics. I stayed up early to watch the Opening Ceremony and continued setting my alarms to catch-all the “big” moments during the fortnight. For the rest of the month we have played catch up and trying to clear all the shows we DVRed during the Olympics.
Currently Listening to… We became obsessed with Stranger Things this summer (didn’t everyone). I discovered this playlist on Spotify which included all the songs featured in the TV show.
Currently Playing… I am still playing Pokémon Go, trying desperately to “catch ’em all” and fill my Pokédex. I still don’t have a Pikachu but I did catch this little guy last week.
Currently Loving… This warmer weather has been amazing. It has encouraged us to get out and walk (normally Pokemon Hunting). So far we have been walking along the Thames or exploring one of the amazing parks in the city. It has also given me an excuse to bring along my camera and take some photos of my favourite places.
As several members of Jason’s extended family have moved to the Norfolk area, we have visited the area a lot. The problem is most of our visits coincide with family events (weddings or birthdays). So our time in Norfolk involves seeing family and not enjoying the countryside.
On our most recent visit to Norfolk we wanted to this visit to see more of this county. When planning our trip we set aside two days for exploring along with catching up with family. We figured one day we would visit and stately home and the other plan a visit to the beach.
I did some research into stately homes in Norfolk, the obvious house to visit would have been the Sandringham Estate, as it is the Queen’s country home. However, after our research we decided we wanted to visit Houghton Hall, because of its collection of modern art.
The inside of Houghton Hall has several state rooms for you to visit including Sir Robert Walpole’s library. The grounds contain a deer park and beautiful walled garden. Hidden among the garden where a beautiful rustic temple made of wood, beehives and a mini orchard.
Our real reason to visit the Hall was the amazing collection of Contemporary Sculptures in the gardens. The artwork includes one of James Turrell’s Skyscape pieces, Waterflame and Scolar Rock.
Norfolk has some amazing beaches, based on recommendations from our family we decided to visit Wells next to Sea. The beaches are beautiful like a picture postcard, a wide open space with miles sand, views over the bay and multicoloured beach huts.
The Wells also has a working harbour. You can talk a leisurely walk along the harbour wall or get the mini train to the town. We took a slow walk playing Pokemon Go along the way. We looked around the town, watched people crabbing and brought some sticks of rock candy. Before treating ourselves by having fish and chips for our dinner, and eating ice cream on the walk back to the car.
Once again, I am behind at writing my coffee drinking adventures, as part of my 100 cups of coffee project. Most of these coffees are from the spring.
On a rare occasion in early May, Jason and I had a weekend meeting in near London Bridge. This was the perfect chance to visit Borough Market and do a little shopping. No trip to the market is complete without a visit to Monmouth Coffee!
I have mentioned before that I love the @breakfastlondon instagram account, and use it for recommendations for new brunch spots. As Ling and I hadn’t met up of a while we thought we would try one of these places and have a fabulous spring brunch on the terrace of Urban Pantry.
May (along with November) is Birthday month in our family. As much as I love buying presents for my family, I also find it stressful, so I tend to treat myself during a successful shop, to a break and cake!
When I was reading Rebel in the Sands, I was looking at photos of the book on Instagram, and I noticed a lot to mentions of Artisan Coffee Shop. This is one of my favourite coffee spots, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover the book was part written in the shop.
Finally, at the end of May to celebrate my sister’s birthday (and my successful present buying skills). We went for lunch at Valentina’s. Our favourite Italian restaurant have a bottomless lunch on Sundays, after drinking several glasses of prosecco I needed a coffee!
What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.
For this months 6 on 6 as always I had to include a Tsum Tsum. Originally, I only planned to collect the Star Wars or Marvel versions. However when I saw the “Dory” version Disney released to conjunction with the release of Finding Dory, I had to change my mind.
When I posted my 6 on 6 photos for March, I mentioned I acquired a collection of Star Wars tins. This R2D2 version has moved around over the years. First it was in my bedroom for a while, holding odd buttons, then ear-rings and odd ear-ring backs. Now it is on my desk holding paperclips.
As you may know Batgirl is my favourite character. So I adore buying anything Batgirl themed (yes I own Batgirl knickers and pyjamas), the very first Pop Vinyl figure I brought was Batgirl. It is also my favourite Pop Vinyl. Shortly, after buying her I also brought the Dorbz and Mopeez versions.
Another blue cowl. I love Pez dispensers, but don’t really like the sweets. This year, I have found several stores are selling geeky Pez dispensers. So far I have brought a Darth Vader, Minion and several Marvel comic characters including this Captain America one.
As I Londoner I always carry around my trusty Oyster Card. (The contact-less payment system used on public transport in London). I know I could use Apple Pay or credit card, but I love my Oyster Card. Maybe one day they will offer Oyster Card Nails.
Finally, my beloved Team GB t-shirt (and scarf), which I had to include as the Rio 2016 Olympics started this weekend. I become obsessed with the Olympics in 2012. We were lucky enough to attend several sporting events and spend a lot of time in our fabulous city enjoying the extra events laid on. (You can read about my adventures during the London 2012 Olympics here.)
Currently Watching… I have re-discovered my love of the Gilmore Girls. When Netflix began streaming the show at the start of the month I immediately started to binge watch it. It had been a few years since I watched this programme and it was lovely to re-visit Star Hallow and my old friends The Gilmore’s. Currently Playing… Like the rest of the world, this month I became obsessed with Pokémon Go! I also joined in the Pokémon Q&A on Epicfied blog, me and other geeky bloggers talk about our experiences as Pokémon fans. Currently Loving… Trailers!
San Diego Comic Con was last weekend, after all the big announcements the internet for flooded with trailers for upcoming movies. One of my favourites was the trailer for the new Wonder Woman movie.
Before I start the review of The Killing Joke, there are a few things you need to know about me. I grew up loving the Batman: Animated Series. If you ask me who my favourite Joker is, I would reply Mark Hamill. As I have mentioned before Batgirl and Robin are my ultimate OTP.
Along with Star Wars, Batman was one of my first fandom. The first graphic novel I ever read was Knightfall. When I began reading collecting comics a friend recommended The Killing Joke. To this day it has remained one of favourite books.
As you can imagine I was over the moon when they announced they were turning the story into an animated movie. I had always thought The Killing Joke (and Long Halloween), would make an amazing movie. To me the book read like a movie. My excitement for this movie was heighten when I heard the original Batman: Animated Series team would be working on this film.
The Killing Joke is infamous for two reasons it is seen as the origin story for The Joker and it is the story line that shows when Barbara Gordon was paralysed. Whether the story line part of the Batman canon varies. Pre-Flashpoint tales like No Mans Land or Hush feature Oracle (Barbara Gordon’s new alter ego), where the Batgirl of Burnside story line ignore The Killing Joke.
As you may know The Killing Joke is a short graphic novel, to counteract making a short film. They created an original story line explaining Barbara Gordon’s last days as Batgirl and why she retired her cape and cowl. As a result, almost turns into two mini movies or episodes of the TV show.
The “Batgirl” story line is just awful! Batgirl is regularly dis-empowered and shown as a sexual object. She shown as being desperate for Batman’s approval and affection. The movie begins with Batgirl explaining how she is Batman’s sidekick, there is no mention of the rest of the Bat-family. (I’m assuming this is post-Jason Todd and Dick Grayson is in Bludhaven).
This Batgirl is objectified by the bad guy, Paris Franz. He calls her hot and his special girl. A red-head prostitute explains how Franz made her wear a black cowl during sex. Later Franz manipulates Batgirl into doing his bidding just by flirting with her. Another bad guy proclaims “it must be her time of the month” after she beats him up.
Her relationship with Batman is even worse. He disapproves of her and she desperately tries to please him. When they finally do have a conversation and physical altercation it ends with Batgirl stripping off and kissing Batman.
When Batgirl isn’t shown as a sex toy of the criminals and vigilantes of Gotham she is portrayed as a love sick puppy librarian. There are several scenes where Barbara is chatting to her gay work colleague about her messed up relationship with he yoga teacher (aka Batman). This gay best friend character is based on every gay stereotype that exists.
There were a few good scenes in this part of the story. Batgirl’s fight scene whilst trying to escape from the apartment, and a glimpse of her detective skills as she hacked into the police camera to track down Franz. But for the main part it is just shows Batgirl as a weak, submissive woman.
As for the second half to the story, the one that does not include Batgirl, this does not disappoint. The pages of Alan Moore’s novel appeared on the screen, his words are transformed into the dialogue of the movie. Bruce Timm recreated many of the iconic images of Brian Bolland artwork perfectly onto the screen. Mark Hamill and Kevin Conroy reprise their roles as The Joker and Batman wonderfully.
As in the graphic novel the rape of Barbara Gordon is implied at and not seen. Jim Gordon’s torture and systematic humiliation are sinister but not terrifying. The story line is still extremely disturbing, it is definitely not safe for children.
Whilst watching this film, I kept asking myself “is this why I haven’t had a Batgirl movie?” I know producers know how to make movies with decent female characters. I have even seen female comic book characters portrayed well onscreen like Black Widow or Hope Pym. The Jessica Jones TV programme also showed a female lead comic book adaption can work. So why was this so bad.
For our last day at Star Wars Celebration, we headed to the Excel Centre early, to collect our wristbands for the Closing Ceremony. Rather than waiting in the long morning queue, Jason and I had breakfast in the local pub, where we were joined by our friend Matt. As Matt was getting inked at the Tattoo Pavilion, he too had to be at Celebrations bright and early.
Once inside the Convention, Matt had a quick chat with Adam Guy Hays (the tattooist). Jason and I chatted to a journalist from The Verge, who would be live-streaming the tattooing on their Facebook page. (You can see the highlights and finished tattoo here).
Whilst Matt was being tattooed, Jason and I meet up with his family. It was nice to experience Celebration with children, like me they adored the Lego play area. They also had a lot of fun looking at all the Star Wars themed art (they are both budding artists).
We ended the day, and our Celebration experience by watching the Closing Ceremony. I am obviously excited for the release of Episode VIII next year. It was also fun to finally get official confirmation that Alden Ehrenreich will be playing the young Han Solo.
When I began talking about my Star Wars Celebration experience I mentioned how I had Con-Envy at the when I see social media posts about other people’s convention adventures. The truth is I still had some Con-Envy even though I attended Celebration. There was so much going on we missed out on so much. Whilst we queued for the official store, our friends got to watch Mark Hamill take-over the Star Wars Livestream. We had to watch the record version of the Rogue One panel, when we got home. We even learned on social media Ash (one of my favourite bands) had played a Star Wars themed gig, as a pre-Celebration party. Whilst it was a wonderful experience and one I look forward to doing again, I guess I will always Con-Envy, as everyone experiences will be very different.