Sunday, 1 January 2017

Happy New Year - and Kinky Boots!

Last year I did quite a lot of blogging about travel and history, including a virtual tour round Europe. I exported this to my new blog Curiosity Cove. Since then this blog has been dormant, which seems a shame as it has been with me for quite a number of years now. So I'm going to revive it - all my history, travel, science and general non-fiction posts will still be over on Curiositycove.com, but on this blog I'm going to post reviews of board games, films, books etc.

My first film of the New Year was also the last film of 2016, as I started watching it last night. That was Kinky Boots. It is a 2005 film about a drag queen who comes to the help of an ailing shoe factory. Neither the name of the film nor the synopsis would have attracted me were it not for my wife wanting to watch it. I agreed, somewhat reluctantly but also knowing she has good taste in films! It was actually very good. After his father dies, Charlie becomes the owner of his family's shoe business, a business they have been running for many generations. Unfortunately, things are not looking good as they are undercut by cheap foreign imports. They are about to go out of business when a chance encounter with a drag queen leads to the idea of specialising in high quality stiletto boots for drag queens and men dressed as women!

The film isn't a comedy, but quite amusing in places. It is quite a touching story that has a definite ring of truth about it - not surprising as it is based on the true story of a Northampton firm that rescued their business and safeguarded jobs by specialising in shoes for transvestites. Not the best film ever, but certainly worth watching. I'd give it a solid 8/10.

Star Wars

After a late New Year's Day lunch and feeling a bit snoozy, it was time for an afternoon family film and this time it was my choice. I finally got my daughter to agree to watch a Star Wars film, after she's resisted for ages. I opted for Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace. Which film to start off with is a matter of much debate, but for a 7 year old girl, I thought that Episode One is a much more fun place to start, and she is less likely to get bored and wander off. Jar Jar Binks may be a much hated figure in the Star Wars universe, but for young children he is a source of great entertainment and amusement. Right now I'm thanking him for that!

So what do I think of Star Wars Episode One? I am going to risk being flamed, but I actually quite like it. If it didn't have the great expectations behind it, the first Star Wars film in a decade and a half, then I think it would have been lauded as a fairly decent film. It's definitely the weakest of all the Star Wars films but the weakest in a great film series can still be a good thing. The only thing that grates is the ending - all is lost and then Anakin accidentally blows up the generator, all the droids all fall over and the day is won (once Obi Wan destroys Darth Maul anyway). A bit too unbelievable really! Oh well. All in all everyone enjoyed.