I’ve been tagged by Keeping Track to partake in a questionnaire about my favourite time of year. Cute, huh?
The gist is to answer 19 questions about Autumn and then tag 10 fellow bloggers to see what they have to say. I might not get to ten whole nominations, but I’ll definitely pass on the questionnaire.
So, to my questions!
Favourite candle scent? I’m not great with artificial scent, unfortunately. It tends to do my head in so I rarely burn scented candles. However, around Christmas to impress visitors, I might go for something spicy and cinnamon based, maybe a French Vanilla.
Coffee, tea, or hot chocolate? Tea, all day, every day. Strong (2 teabags), no sugar, splash of milk. It’s true what they say, never accept a badly made cup of tea.
What is the best fall memory you have? Autumn in Vancouver has been my most memorable to date (2008). I was living alone again, having come out of a bad long-term relationship, had just had a wild summer and I was falling in love long distance with my now husband, who was in the UK.
My fondest memory from this year was all the walking I did with friends, supping on hot chocolates, meeting my best friend David after work to write in a cafe most evenings, and pumpkin carving with his family for the very first time.
Best fragrance for fall? I don’t wear perfume ever, so nothing.
Favourite Thanksgiving food? England doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving so this tradition is not part of my year, however my mouth salivates at the thought of anything pecan/pumpkin flavoured.
Most worn sweater? Plain grey sweatshirt, a la Jennifer Beals in Flashdance.
Football games or jumping in leaf piles? Leaves. I hate football.
Favourite type of pie? Anything, but if we’re talking sweet, how about cherry or traditional apple?
What is autumn weather like where you live? Wet and miserable usually. That’s the great British summer/autumn/spring/winter. I dream of sunny but cold, crisp days with crunchy leaves underfoot and if I’m lucky I might get a few.
Which make-up trend do you prefer, dark lips or winged liner? I’m all about smokey eyes every day. Black Kohl is my staple, I’m terrible at the winged liner though. I’d like to be more ambitious with my lips as well, and prefer berry hues.
What song really gets you into the fall spirit? Can I have November Rain by Guns N Roses?
Is pumpkin spice worth the hype? Fuck yeah. But not the horribly sweet stuff we get in the UK. It’s all about the Pumpkin Spice you get in the US/North America.
Favourite fall TV show? I like the American Horror Story series. And Scream(TV Series) has just appeared on Netflix, and that’s quite good. Anything you can snuggle up to under a fleece blanket will do in the Autumn.
Skinny jeans or leggings? Leggings under a dress or massive baggy tee/cardigan combo. Skinny jeans/jeggings aren’t what you want for lounge wear.
Combat boots or Uggs? DMs. Obviously.
Halloween – yay or nay? All the yays. Except a lot of people here are terrible at it. We’re getting better and personally, I love it. Not sure who I’ll be this year yet.
Fall mornings or evenings? Evenings. I like it when it’s dark straight after work. I like to be warm and snuggly.
What do you think about Black Friday? Again, being English it’s not as big a thing as in the US. It’s started becoming bigger, but I avoid it. I think it’s a bit pointless and indulgent.
One fall 2015 trend you love? Big gorgeous jewel coloured coats. Dark nails. Thick knits. Boots. I’m not sure these are strictly 2015 trends but I love these things every year for A/W.
It’s time for Horror Month, in honour of the best time of year, and the best holiday, obviously: Halloween!
I don’t have to tell you that I’m a massive horror fan, it must be obvious by now that it’s hands down my favourite genre.
This sometimes mystifies me though, since it’s the hardest to get right and most modern horrors fall very far of the marker that could make them excellent. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been really engaged in a film and then suddenly, crushingly disappointed by a plot device, novelty scare tactic or more often than not: the ending. It makes me so mad!
We’ll see if the films in this series manage to break the curse. I’m sure there’ll be some real stinkers in the collection, and that’s okay. The stinkers are the reason Jillian and I got started in the first place.
IMDB Synopsis: A hopeful young starlet uncovers the ominous origins of the Hollywood elite and enters into a deadly agreement in exchange for fame and fortune.
Sarah is a would-be actress who works at Big Taters (a Hooters style affair with tighter trousers). Her big dream is to make it as an actress, of course and it’s obvious her heart isn’t really in the Big Taters lifestyle. Alas, she’s not doing that well at the dream chasing, despite all the work she’s putting in. Sarah also has a worrying habit that helps her deal with stress, trichotillomania.
Sarah is quite a solitary woman with no apparent family. She has a roommate though, Tracy and a group of friends who all seem to have their hand in acting and film-making. At a party Sarah attends with Tracy we meet some of these friends; the obviously smitten (with Sarah) Danny and the group’s mean girls, Erin and Ashley.
Erin in particular is a total bitch, continually competing with Sarah to be the group’s successful actress. If Erin spoke to me the way she does Sarah, for the record, I would have punched her in the face a long time ago. But Sarah is somewhat passive in this context.
After the party, Sarah receives a call about a job she’d previously applied for online. A mysterious film called The Silver Scream being made by powerful production company Astraeus Pictures. That night she has a horrible nightmare about the audition but is a little more together when she arrives at the designated time and place the next day. There are many girls in attendance, one of whom comes out of the audition space in tears.
The audition is overseen by an indifferent (and bitchier) Chuck Bass (Marc Senter) and the po-faced Casting Director (Maria Olsen). Neither seem particularly impressed by Sarah, and she faces the usual ‘Don’t call us, we’ll call you’ line as she leaves. She’s understandably distraught and retires to the toilet to ‘punish’ herself for her failures.
While having her signature hair-tearing fit in a stall, the Casting Director stumbles upon her and tells Sarah that they might not have seen everything they needed to from her. So she’s back in, where she’s invited to recreate her self-flagellation in front of them both. She’s reluctant at first but then concedes, finally managing to stir a little interest in them.
Later, Chuck Bass calls her and invites her in for a second audition, telling her this one will be much different. And different it is as they ask her to shed her inhibitions (pants) and let herself go in the name of art. Sarah manages to pass this phase of the audition by laughing maniacally in front of a flashing light with her boobs out. Go Sarah!
But has she done enough? It would seem so as suddenly the head honcho Producer wants to meet her and Sarah gets cocky, packing in her job at Big Taters. Not wanting to spoil too much, the meeting doesn’t go according to plan for either party and Sarah is left feeling foolish and a big fat failure again. (Think casting couch).
She confides all this in Tracy but Tracy tells the group. Sarah tries to get back to reality, returning to Big Tater’s to ask for her job back, goes back to hanging out with her frenemies. Danny gets her to agree to appear in his latest amateur film. All seems like it will go back to normal, except in a moment of impulse (and on an Ecstasy high), Sarah decides she’s willing to do whatever it takes for the part of a lifetime after all.
On her second meeting with the Producer, Sarah is asked if she’s willing to shed everything she knows for a new life, one given to her by Astraeus Pictures. Is she willing to shed her body, the way she sees things, etc – all for this chance and for the chance to have her picture on billboards, in theatres, everywhere?
Sounds dreadful to me, personally but Sarah doesn’t hesitate to say yes, please. She also has to carry out a puke-inducing sex act on The Producer, don’t think she got away with it that easily. The Producer (Louis Dezseran) is a sleazy old man unfortunately, not a beautiful George Clooney-type, even though nothing makes the casting couch and subsequent exploitation of vulnerable women okay, no matter what the couch looks like, obvs.
Anyway, Sarah does what she feels she’s gotta do and wakes up in her own bed the next morning. She’s in weird pain and not feeling that well, what’s worse is that she’s not hearing back from Astraeus, which sends her into a panic. She keeps calling and hearing nothing, visiting the offices – still nothing.
In the meantime, and feeling worse every day, Sarah finally loses her job, falls out with Tracy and her other friends and generally looks horrific. She starts to lose her hair, her fingernails – everything is decaying around and within her. She receives a call back from The Producer just as she feels she’s going to finally die.
He taunts her, telling her she can either choose death or embrace the transformation they talked about. Well, can you guess what Sarah decides?
In the final segment of this film, she has a few more things she needs to take care of before she’s fully ready to embrace her new role and lifestyle but they’re killer ones, if you know what I’m saying. I’ll park this review up now but not before the Questions Section, obviously. You ready?
Will Sarah get the goddamn part after all this? Will it be worth it? Is there even a part to begin with? What will become of her friendships and of Sarah herself? Who are those weird black masked weirdos in the shadows? Who or what the fuck is an Astraeus really?
And, the main question on my lips is, why the hell would anyone want to be famous?
Hm. This is an interesting one. I mean, the concept was fresher than your average and I liked it for that. It was atmospheric and not too horribly acted. I like the film within a film devise, even if we never quite make it onto a movie set.
In places this could have been quicker paced but the lead up to Sarah giving it all up for the part of a lifetime is otherwise fine and the final bloody horror of what she has to do is fantastically gory. There’s some delightful vengeance in the horror scenes.
And the fact that by the end, I felt sorry for the people around Sarah says something, I guess, even though most of the characters are pretty 2D. I felt particularly for Tracy, who genuinely seem to care for Sarah’s welfare, despite her blabbermouth tendencies. Even horrible Erin doesn’t deserve her gruesome demise, even though it is satisfying AF.
One scene is absolutely horrifying (and brilliant) – and you’ll probably know it when you see it.
I actually didn’t really like or sympathise with Sarah that much. She starts out quite insipid and then just plods along on her solo mission like a bit of a wet wipe. Sure, she goes all out in the bloody climax but I think I would like to have rooted for her a little more.
All in all, I enjoyed this one. I was also able to convince G to watch with me, which is nice. He wasn’t such a fan but does think the ending saved it. So there’s his view.
My Rating: 3.5/5 (4 for the idea but 3.5 for the execution).
Writing 101 – Day 20 (Friday 2nd October 2015) – The future
Okay so I skipped out on half the Writing 101 prompts in this series because I’m a bad and lazy person.
It did get me writing on the reg though so I can’t say it’s been a waste of time, and it has had me snarking a lot with Jill (seriously, some of the prompts have been so corny)! So I’m chalking this one down as a success, why not?
The future though? Hmmm.
All I really know about that is that it’s coming (if I can avoid double-decker buses and flesh-eating toilet dwelling spiders) and I haven’t the slightest idea what the fudge I’m doing in it.
Is it okay if I just plod along as I’m doing now and hope for the best? I can tell you with certainty that I won’t be having a baby or running a marathon.
I can tell you that I hope in say, a year, to be in a better place fiscally, my husband still likes me (obvs he will) and that I’m feeling healthier. Maybe that I’ve finally gone on holiday and don’t feel bad about it.
I’d like to tell you by then, but anytime soon is grand, that I’ve learnt not to be so stressed about everything (literally everything) and that I’ve learned to bat away as much anxiety as possible.
I’d like to have muscles, to maybe be doing another job or if not that then be writing, in a more professional capacity. I’d like to have finally seen Southpaw. I’d like to have at least started Mad Men.
Go on then, Cheri, I’ll do one of your prompts.
I believe that my future looks . . .
I choose happiness. Sure, curve balls are always thrown and pure shit happens but I’m ready to take all that and still choose happiness.
Jillian’s choice for our Free For All Fortnightand cor blimey it’s a good ‘un. If you like cocks, swearing, vomit, spit, shagging, cross dressing, cocaine and violence that is.
Luckily, I live for that shit!
All that really matters here is that I’m not watching If I Stay and being bored to tears so right away Filth has the upper hand. I’ve actually seen this film before but I don’t have to be asked twice to spend a few hours with Jame McAvoy, even if he is a git of the highest order here.
I’m a big Irvine Welsh fan but haven’t actually read the novel Filth yet, though it is on my shelf. I’m told it explains parts of the film much better than the film does, but I’ll have to reserve judgement until I actually pick it up. Getting into the way Irvine Welsh writes can sometimes seem like a chore, though once you’re there it is well worth it.
IMDB Synopsis: A corrupt, junkie cop with Borderline Personality Disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.
Bruce Robertson is a bit of a mess, truth be told. Junkie, corrupt, alcoholic, arsehole – any one of these words and more could be used to accurately describe our friend. Yet, he’s happily married with a child and being considered for a promotion, from Detective Sergeant to Inspector.
Quickly, however, it becomes apparent that things aren’t as they seem with this guy and that he’s suffering from a personality disorder. He’s not a nice person really, displaying all the traits of someone you would move heaven and earth to avoid (aka. my ex) yet, not everyone is onto Bruce yet.
Despite his secret campaign to bring down pretty much everyone he’s ever met, including his work colleagues (and competition), Bruce still has one true friend, Clifford Blades. This doesn’t make Bruce soft, however as he has a unique way to thank Clifford for his loyalty, and it ain’t flowers and chocolate.
The film begins with the unfortunate murder of a Japanese tourist, witnessed by a mystery blonde in a leopard print coat. The kids responsible for beating this poor boy to death are startled away when they realise they’ve been spotted.
Later, we find out this is the case Bruce is working on. The appearance of the glamorous blonde is significant as she bears more than a passing resemblance to Carole Robertson (Shauna Macdonald), Bruce’s wife. This may be the reason Bruce fails to mention her as their main witness to the rest of the team.
As Bruce and his colleagues start to look into the murder case, he starts to lose it big time, suffering from severe hallucinations, not helped by the copious amount of drugs and booze he’s consuming. Bruce is haunted not only by these terrifying illusions but it seems also by a small ghost boy called Davey. What’s that all about, hmmm?
Bruce is obviously a troubled soul who might not be worth saving but he’s obviously arrived at this place through a serious of tragedies. We soon learn Carole has left for another man and taken their daughter with her, leaving Bruce bereft. Can he get this promotion and win back his family? (Don’t worry, questions section to follow!).
In the midst of all this trauma, comes a sliver of hope in the form of Mary (Joanne Froggatt), a recently widowed young mother. Bruce was there when her partner suffered a heart attack in the street and tried to save his life – so Mary thinks Bruce is a good person.
I feel like I don’t want to give too much away on this film as it is a bit of a caper, leading you down, down, down to rock bottom and beyond. He makes prank phone calls to Clifford’s wife, Bunty (Shirley Henderson) then frames Clifford; steals, lies, cheats and manipulates until there’s nowhere else for him to go.
Let’s just say Bruce fucks over people without prejudice, has violently abusive relationships, shags everyone and hurts the people who care for him the most. Admittedly, this list of loved ones is dwindling quickly.
But where will he go from here and can he get any lower?
Want some questions? I got questions! Is there a good person at the core of Bruce? Will he get his family back, or will he start a fresh elsewhere? Will he ever make it up to adorable Clifford, the one true friend he has?
Will Clifford ever get a decent pair of spectacles? And will he ever get anywhere with his perpetually unimpressed bride?
Will Bruce pull it together and get the promotion, or at the very least will he solve the murder? Who’s the mystery blonde, and where can I get her coat?
Phew. This isn’t for the faint-hearted which is exactly why I liked it. I love James McAvoy and appreciate his diverse CV. I even fancied him in this which is pretty hard to do since he’s repugnant.
I must admit to watching this with redemption in mind, I mean most awful human beings in films (only films alas) end up redeeming themselves somehow, if not undergoing a complete moral turnaround. I can’t say if I was right to hope for this but I can say that I’d forgotten the ending until it started playing out again, and it hasn’t lost its impact.
BTW this film stars one of my all time favourite actors, Eddie Marsan who plays Clifford. He’s such a nuanced actor and recently moved me to near hysterics in a low-key film called Still Life (2013), which I really recommend.
All in all, I don’t have much bad to say other than a lot of things have happened to Bruce to make him who he is and it could get a bit all over the place if you weren’t paying attention. The surreal sessions he shares with his psychiatrist (Broadbent) get a little grating after a while.
Also, the bit I mentioned above that is elaborated on in the book (apparently) does not come through in the film at all.
My Rating: 4/5 (5/5 for Jame McAvoy, any day of the week)
What did Jill think? Pop on over for a look-see shortly!
Search terms are topical at the moment, as Jill just blogged about them in a rather hilarious way. I tend never to check mine because I forget where they’re located tbh and I’m generally a bit of a fool.
But today’s stood out like a sore thumb: jane seymour bum.
Excuse me? I mean I’ve maybe mentioned men’s bums once in the past and I do agree that Jane Seymour is a fine looking woman (and one of the best Bond girls to date) but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned her derriere.
What goes through people’s minds? Also, dear whoever was looking not just for a nice bum to stare at but a very specific bottom indeed, I’m sorry. There are no bums to see here, except maybe the word ‘bum’.
A word which, incidentally, got me into much trouble as a kid. My overuse of this expletive resulted in having my mouth washed out with soap and water by my mother (it was the 80’s, swear words weren’t as evolved back then).
Also, I should say that my mum is the greatest living woman and a joy, not the evil matriarch I make her out to be purely for entertainment value.
I know we’re all supposed to live by the mantra that there should be no regerts in life. I get the philosophy, I do; even the worst decisions should teach us a lesson that helps us make the next ones a little better.
All those heartbreaks, kissing frogs, dancing in the street until 8am, flipping the bird at your pervert boss: them’s life experiences, yo. And you’d be nothing without them, trust me.
Yet. I think it’s okay to look back and think “Ooooooooooooo-eeeeeeee WTAF was I thinking there?” The minor regrets.
Some of mine:
87% of my childhood/teenage haircuts
Giving my brother a black eye with my Barbie horse in 1985 (or thereabouts) and denying all knowledge of it being me because he was asleep at the time, and why would I? *innocent eyes*
Being so into Vanilla Ice
Ra ra skirts
Not seeing more of Australia (met a boy din’t I?)
At least 50% of the time I’ve spent with my ‘sink’ friends (the ones that drain you)
Hitchhiking (nothing bad happened but I still reel at how stupid we were)
Not buying that amazing white leopard print coat (1998)
Whatever it was that I did to get myself grounded and unable to attend ‘that school disco’, it could have been a game changer (but then again, probably not)
Taking out my amazing ear piercings for work
Star Wars II: Attack of the Clones
Not telling people who’ve told me I’d be beautiful if only I *insert their version of a beauty ideal here* to go and fuck themselves. Sideways
So no big ones there.
The biggest regret I have but don’t count, because so much good came out of it, was my six years of Hell. I’m sure most of you know how that story goes by now.
I can now, thankfully say that that isn’t my longest standing relationship anymore. And even though looking back makes me cringe, I wouldn’t have what I have now without it. That’s just a fact.