Hello everyone and welcome to the end of the longest month of the year! I feel like the month has lasted forever and yet I have done nothing! I’ve started bullet journaling this year (mostly to habit track) and although it is nowhere near as beautiful as some of the ones I’ve seen online, it exists, there are pages for my month, each week and a monthly habit tracker. I really enjoy writing things down with a pen and paper so this is a lot of fun. I’ve also started learning Spanish which I’ve been wanting to do for ages. It’s only an hour a week so a nice, slow ease into a brand new language.
In terms of media consumption, it is very thin this month with only one book. I thought I’d finished The Good Place but apparently there’s one more episode! I’ve also been watching Doctor Who which I have been blogging about on a weekly basis. This week’s episode was a fricking rollercoaster and a completely unexpected (but pleasant) surprise.
I also went to see a theatre production of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (a birthday gift from my friend Laura) which was a mixed bag but overall fun. Shout out to Laura for the excellent seats we had, and for igniting a more urgent desire to reread the Narnia series.
The Reading Corner
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alires Saenz
This was a YA book club pick and not really my jam. It’s a contemporary YA, it’s a coming of age story and it’s a bit of a romance too, so altogether not something I would normally read. The writing is lovely, the characters are compelling and the story has heart. However, it felt too long for my liking and suffered from a first person perspective where we don’t get to see inside, the main character, Aristotle’s, head properly. This is part of the point – he is an angry teen who doesn’t understand himself, but it’s frustrating as a reader.
The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008)
I adored The Mummy films as a child (love a good fantasy film and was always a lover of Egyptology) but can we ignore this sequel in the way that we ignore Indiana Jones 4? Because it’s not a good mummy film. Whilst the background, Chinese setting and mythology is good, there’s something missing from it. A big issue is replacing Rachel Weisz as Evie to shifting the focus on Rick and Evie’s son, Alex. There’s not the same kind of excitement as I felt with the original mummy films and I would not recommend this end of the trilogy.
Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)
Continuing with my family’s enjoyment of the Mission Impossible franchise, this month we watched the latest film. I don’t have loads to say about these films except that they’ve hit on a formula that clearly works across what is now the sixth film in the series. I don’t think there were as many standout stunts in this film compared to Ghost Protocol but I did watch out for the stunt where Tom Cruise breaks his ankle and continues to act whilst jumping rooftops because he knew they wouldn’t get another shot. Good, solid film in the franchise – I enjoyed it!
Knives Out (2019)
Friends, this movie redefines the murder mystery. Set in a beautiful mansion, following the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey, the film begins like your standard murder mystery, complete with suspicious family members and genius Detective (Daniel Craig as the southern Benoit Blanc). The humour was excellent, the subtle way in which the awfulness of each family member is revealed was fab and the story kept surprising me and changing direction in a refreshing way. Let’s ignore how badly the latest Star Wars film treated Rian Johnson and instead focus on and appreciate the excellent films he continues to make.
Assassins Creed (2016)
For a video game adaptation this film isn’t too bad. It’s also not good. It parallels the bare bones of the story – the Animus machine takes our main character to relive his ancestor’s past as an assassin in 15th century Spain, part of the war between the Creed and the Templars. But there’s no balance between the past and present-day scenes. Spanish scenes are exciting and action-packed but there are only 3 in total contrasting with the present day. There’s no satisfaction is seeing pieces of the past and no tension outside of the Animus making the film feel shallow.
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (Bridge Theatre)
An adaptation of a childhood favourite, aimed at a family audience, I enjoyed this production but it was a mixed bag. None of the actors really stood out to me until we see the Captain of the Wolves who, moving like a dancer, acted with his whole body and Aslan himself (I gasped when I saw the lion puppet). There were some design choices that I disagreed with and I could have done without the singing too. Some highlights were the beasties at the battle – quite scary for children- and the wonderful folksy music throughout the show which I enjoyed.
The longest month of the year and I don’t feel like I really read anything! How was your January – are you glad to have reached the end of it? Do you have any tips for bullet journaling?