I’m never entirely sure where to start these posts. Do I write about the week’s viewing in chronological order? In order of preference? Quantity? Haven’t a clue. This week, though, Arrow‘s got all of those bases covered. I have watched SO MUCH over the few days. So much that I’m onto the back end of series two now (probably Arrow‘s finest hours anyway), and I’m convinced that it is not just trash with which I am in love, but at times genuinely really, really good. To be honest I don’t know if this is just the constant exposure overwhelming my good judgement or if I’m just realising a truth that’s always been there, but I’m inclined to believe the latter. It’s great. The episode that’s sticking in my head right now is ‘Heir to the Demon’, because there are so many great female performances in that episode, and great female relationships (not something Arrow‘s necessarily so brilliant at throughout), but I am really just on board for the whole of the second series. It’s dark, brooding, and really entertaining.
Continuing the trend of watching the reliably enjoyable, we were in need of some comfort-watching this weekend and we really, really brought it. First up was The Princess Bride, which is so warm and funny and attached to one of my favourite memories from uni. It’s still warm and funny, and quoting along is obligatory (including shouting ‘INCONCEIVABLE’ at every relevant opportunity). I’ve recently read Cary Elwes’s account of the film’s production (which I’d recommend to anyone who’s watched and loved The Princess Bride), which only made the film more enjoyable by adding backstage stories into the mix. Look, if you’ve managed to get through your entire life without having watched The Princess Bride, it’s probably about time that you did.
After that, The LEGO Movie, which I’ve banged on and on about before. I still love it, unsurprisingly. It’s a colourful barrage of stuff and, alarmingly, I can quote as much of it (if not more) as I can The Princess Bride. The voice cast is amazing and the animation stunning. It was the highest-grossing film at the UK box office in 2014, so I’m not going to be all ‘if you still haven’t seen it, you should’, because while a not-insignificant proportion of that sum might have been from me, a lot of other people saw it too. Because it’s STUPENDOUS.
Mind you, SPECTRE also made a tonne of money at the box office and, er, at the risk of offending the Bond fans, I was not on board for that. I really did want to be. I grew up watching Bond films, and I LOVED Skyfall when I first saw it. But SPECTRE was really bloody messy. In fact, I found it pretty boring. I don’t want to just slate it, though, and I can happily say that the opening sequence – one long shot through a Día de los Muertos parade in Mexico City – is beautiful and interesting, and must have been a logistical nightmare to shoot. The rest, though, doesn’t really get back up to that level of interest again – in fact, it’s all very blue and grey and a bit lifeless with it. This got compounded when I caught a bit of Skyfall this week, which is visually STUNNING – in fact, it may be one of my favourite films to look at. Its cinematography carried me through the plot of Skyfall, I think, and the same could not be said for my view of SPECTRE. It’s ludicrous, but not particularly enjoyable (I mean, M:I – Rogue Nation has a very similar plot and is so much more fun), and in the time since I last properly watched a Bond movie I’ve grown up enough to be strongly creeped out by Bond walking into Monica Bellucci’s house (does that character even have a name?) unannounced and backing her against a wall. I know that’s a huge part of what Bond is, but I don’t think I can deal with that any more (and it bothers me that I ever really did). Ugh. So, not for me, even if I do occasionally remind myself that it is for other people.
I don’t want to end on a downer, though, and I’ll say that while I replaced my The West Wing binge with an Arrow binge, I did sit down to watch a random episode (‘Bartlet’s Third State of the Union’) with my parents the other night. Series two is particularly brilliant. I’ve already made them promise that they won’t watch ‘Two Cathedrals’ – i.e. the greatest episode of The West Wing, and probably one of the best episodes of anything – without me. I love The West Wing, so much. Have I mentioned that before?