Review: Ocean’s 8

When I found out that a whole host of talented women were coming together for the Ocean’s 8 cast, I was thrilled. Then I was overcome with dread. A female spin-off is always under the microscope, meaning that they must work twice as hard to gain half the recognition. The film was worth the watch, but that microscopic lens was a gaze that, at times, sadly overpowered the film.

Obviously, Ocean’s 8 had to pay respects to its predecessors. The film handled this well with a sprinkling of cameos and allusions to Debbie Ocean’s (Sandra Bullock) late brother Danny. The film’s awareness of its surrounding franchise also proved to be its downfall though. The previous Ocean’s films had charm due to their own style of dry humour that was uttered by heartthrobs like George Clooney and Brad Pitt. The first quarter of Ocean’s 8, however, tried to replicate this but fell flat. I didn’t get why at first – Sandra Bullock is usually hilarious? She can do wry and cheeky, never failing on comic delivery. I then realised that the problem was that it sounded like she was saying someone else’s punchlines. At the beginning, her lines seemed to be the verbatim of Danny Ocean’s, leading to a struggle to appreciate what Debbie Ocean had to bring to the table. This is one of the reasons why I always get the fear when an all-women spinoff is announced. Continue reading Review: Ocean’s 8

Postcards from Abroad: Norway

I started this summer by flying with my friend Jacob to his home country for two eagerly anticipated weeks of perfecting my Norwegian, soaking up the cultural and instagramable sights, and enjoying more fish dishes than my pescatarian self could wish for. After stumbling across the hugely popular web series Skam a few years ago, I fell head first in love with the country and spent more than an acceptable amount of time researching my “future home” (job success dependant because, wow, is Norway expensive).

Norway, however, was everything and nothing like I expected it to be. No matter how much Jacob reassured me before departure that ‘Norway does have summers too!’, I wasn’t prepared for the 30 degree heat the country was enduring from a rare but persistent heatwave. Nor was I to perfect any of the basic Norwegian I already knew. You were much more likely to see me tight lipped and silent, refusing my receipt with a shake of the head because apparently even the way I said ‘nei’ was amusing to my friend, tour guide, and native speaker. Nonetheless, prepared to return all but bankrupt and thoroughly exercised (because it turns out everything in Norway is a hill), we were off. Continue reading Postcards from Abroad: Norway

In My Good Books: ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris

 “You will honour them by staying alive, surviving this place and telling the world what happened here.”

Based on the true story of Lale Sokolov, The Tattooist of Auschwitz, by Heather Morris, follows the harrowing memories of an Auschwitz prisoner. It captures the true experience of Lale as he battles for survival and yet finds love in the midst of chaos. Each reader becomes truly invested in the day to day battles of Lale and Gita, as love and friendship prove as essential to survival as physical needs. Heather Morris recounts the intricate relationships and business affairs of Lale Sokolov as he bargains, begs and befriends his way to survival. Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘The Tattooist of Auschwitz’ by Heather Morris

A Love Letter to Love Island

I told myself I wouldn’t be drawn in by the hype of Love Island again. After an embarrassing four-week binge last summer, instigated by the Mike-Jess ‘did they, didn’t they’ saga, I said goodbye to July with a whole new vocabulary, new-found knowledge of the Blazin’ Squad and six pounds heavier as a result of the snacks consumed whilst binging the show. Yet, as the 2nd June 2018 rolled around, my housemates and I sat, buffet in tow, impatiently anticipating the return of the fourth series. Two weeks in, I’m rooting for Dani, astounded by Adam and secretly hoping Eyal will be whisked off by the producers and dropped in the sea. I know deep down, I’m absolutely screwed. Continue reading A Love Letter to Love Island

Review: Faslane by Jenna Watt

My parents grew up in the cold war era, where the shadow of Hiroshima and Nagasaki hung closer and the threat of further use of nuclear weapons felt tangible. While the use of nuclear weapons is still a potential reality, heightened by the attitudes of certain leaders like Donald Trump and Kim Jong-Un, there is less of an everyday consciousness of it, less fear of … Continue reading Review: Faslane by Jenna Watt

First Year: The Highs and The Lows

The thing about university is that no matter how much you convince yourself that you are prepared to start this whole new life in a new place, meeting new people and doing new things, you’re never really fully prepared (or at least I wasn’t anyway).

I made countless to-do lists, read an abundance of blog posts and watched too many YouTube videos on people’s experiences of moving to university and their first year in general. What I should have realised from that, is that everyone’s experience is different.
Continue reading First Year: The Highs and The Lows

Razz’s Favourite Films: Atonement

Just over ten years after Atonement was released, it remains a triumph of film-making and storytelling. It’s an adaptation of Ian McEwan’s heart-wrenching 2001 novel, and his sensual writing is expertly translated onto screen by director Joe Wright. Set across three different periods of time, it begins in the 1930s. We follow Briony Tallis, a precocious 13-year-old who aspires to be a writer. That summer, she witnesses something that she doesn’t understand between her sister Cecilia and Robbie, the family’s gardener. The false accusation that she makes has consequences for all three of their lives and as the title suggests, Briony spends the rest of her life consumed with guilt and trying to make up for it. Continue reading Razz’s Favourite Films: Atonement

Review: Beast

A twisted tale, Beast is the debut feature from writer-director Michael Pearce starring Johnny Flynn and Jessie Buckley. Set in the picturesque Jersey, Beast follows Moll (Buckley) and her turbulent relationship with Pascal Renouf (Flynn). The duo’s relationship develops into a romantic one but soon local anxieties regarding the murders of young women encroach on their relationship when suspicions fall on Pascal. Moll is a … Continue reading Review: Beast

One to Watch: Paige Music

Discovering new music is one of the delights in this unpredictable world. In my opinion, it can make everyone’s week just that little bit better. That’s how it feels to listen to the talented tunes and vibes of Paige Music, led by Lauren Buckley. The Buckinghamshire singer has been around music and performance for a long time. Her passion for music and singing has led … Continue reading One to Watch: Paige Music