Back To YouTube

This is just a quick post to say that after having six months off of YouTube I have started again. Last year I spent ages editing and playing around with bits of video to review books and TV shows, but then I lost my nerve. I felt a bit self-conscious and made the drastic decision to delete all of my content.

Despite such supportive comments on my videos and only the occasional bot heckle, I felt as though I was making a fool of myself by sitting at a desk and sharing my thoughts on things. The blog took over and I put all of my energy into that.

Nevertheless, after a while I missed interacting with the Booktube community and began to think about making videos again, but without having to spend hours editing and adding silly graphics. I also came to the opinion that a YouTube site would bolster my blog and the two things may complement each other. So, here we are. I am having another go.

This time I am keeping the videos short and all in one camera shot. My intention is to do mini-reviews and talk about things that matter to me without getting carried away with filters and picture cards.

West Side Story - Me Reviewing x
West Side Story - Me Reviewing

There you have it. Nothing fancy or complicated. My blog is still my number one priority but, as you know, I love to mix it up a bit and I hope from time to time you will consider looking at one of my video reviews too. If you prefer a written review then here is my recent post discussing West Side Story.

Coda – Film Review

Although I do watch an awful lot of movies, there is one that seemed to pass me by… until recently. Coda was originally shown on Apple TV Plus and I have finally got around to watching it. With Bafta nominations and a real buzz about the film, I wanted to see if it deserved the widespread commendation.

Sitting down to look at it, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew the main actress from ‘Locke and Key’ but didn’t recognise any of the other actors. With an open mind I lapped it up and all I can say is it was totally magical. Absolutely captivating!

In a nutshell (Coda film synopsis)

The main character is a teenage girl called Ruby (played by Emilia Jones) who lives with a fishing family in a US coastal town. Ruby is passionate about singing and the actress has an incredible voice. It is something that seems to run in the actress’s family as her dad, Aled Jones, is known as the voice of the Snowman movie and the beautiful, ‘We’re walking in the air.’

Ruby has grown up as a translator for her parents and brother who are all profoundly deaf. Although she loves her family dearly, they are not keen on her interest in music. Her mother suggests that she chose that hobby to spite them, as she knew they couldn’t understand or enjoy it. The interesting fact here is that Emilia had to spend six months learning American Sign Language before she was able to take on this brilliant role.

The conflict between keeping her family fishing business together and driving forward with her dream of studying music is immense. CODA means Child Of A Deaf Adult but it also means ‘a passage of music’. So even the title is very clever by having a double meaning.

Thoughts

It was interesting to see the fishing storyline as the family were earning less and less for their catches due to quotas and taxes. They also had to pay 800 dollars to have an auditor onboard, who wasn’t able to communicate with them, causing all sorts of difficulties. We hear a lot about the fishing industry and its struggle so this topic seems very relevant.

Ruby shone a torch for another guy who happened to be in the school choir. The eccentric music teacher had her back and encouraged her to train to get into Berklee Music College in Boston. Torn between love, music and family reliance, Ruby had a lot of juggling to do.

Summary

I have to say that I was totally enamoured with this film. It highlights the important issue of lack of access for deaf people to elements of daily life. It also showcased Emilia’s incredible singing voice, which I hadn’t witnessed before. The Coda film storyline is neat, well written and emotional. I laughed and cried in equal measures. It takes a lot to make me feel so involved in a movie’s plot.

Hopefully you enjoyed my Coda film review and will consider checking out the CODA movie some time soon. Here is my recent review of the Belfast film. Please consider joining my email list for future articles about books, movies and the environment.

Death on the Nile – Film Review

Last week I was able to nip to the cinema to watch yet another Kenneth Branagh film. Isn’t it funny how movies involving the same people seem to come out close together? This is his second time directing an adaptation of an Agatha Christie novel. Having seen the first one, I knew that I was likely to have a great time.

What’s it all about?

In this detective story set in 1937, a group of mainly wealthy people were on a cruise down the River Nile when murder struck. The well known Hercule Poirot just happened to be on board ready to investigate events.

Branagh played Poirot brilliantly yet again and his accomplice Bouc (Tom Bateman) also came along for the ride. Alongside them were Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French as a rich god mother of the woman celebrating her marriage (Wonderwoman Gal Gadot) and a nurse maid. Russell Brand appeared as a doctor who used to date the bride. The cast were incredible and all of the characters had clear motivations for murder.

Best Bits

The storyline felt even stronger than the first movie. (I half expected it to be less interesting.) It started with Poirot witnessing a love conflict, while watching a musical act in a London club. Soon they were all in Egypt and the backgrounds looked grand (although no doubt mainly CGI – not that I can tell the difference any more). Before long they had decided to take a wedding celebration onto the water with a stunning cruise.

With a clever script and some funny one liners (especially from Jennifer) this film was well paced and kept me guessing right till the end. I went with two friends and we all changed our minds about who had done it about three times as the story progressed. This movie was definitely unpredictable and I was impressed by that.

Being a fan of the original Poirot actor (David Suchet) I felt like I was cheating him by being equally impressed by Branagh in this role. He was charming, humorous and drove the story forward well.

Summary

I would say go and check out this film. It has been widely successful and deserves to be reviewed positively as it had just the right amount of intrigue, pace and plenty of twists and turns.

Thanks for reading my review of the 2022 movie – ‘Death on the Nile.’ I have also recently reviewed Belfast Movie which was directed by Kenneth Branagh too. Please consider following my blog for future similar content.