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  1. Hi, have we met?

    Joy Smith is Cinebling

     


    I'm Joy Smith, and I'm the designer behind Cinebling. 

    I often write about movies and my jewellery inspirations on the blogs here, but I thought it would be fun to do something a little different.


    This reminds me of the chain letters and emails that used to circulate (and most likely, still do!) back in the 90s, although here, there is no obligation to pass it on or be forever cursed to watch bad movies!


    There are 40 questions in total, which will be updated after I send them out to my A List! (Want all the inside news? Join the A List here!)

    Hope this gives you a little more info on me as a person, and if you have any questions I haven't answered, please drop them into the comments and I'll let you know!

    Joy

     

    1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?

     

    This would probably change every time I got asked it! I think right now, I’d love to have Gal Gadot over. From what I know about her, she’s a really interesting person (and she could maybe give me the inside scoop on WW84, too!)

     

    2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?

     

    Definitely not! When I was younger and wanted to work in the movies, I wrote scripts. You get all the fun and glamour of working in the industry, but mostly, no one knows what screenwriters look like. Definitely not in the way they do actors and directors!

     

    3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?

     

    No, but I probably should! Sometimes I hang up and do a bit of a facepalm, but I just go for it!

     

    4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

     

    Easy! A lie in, a spot of brunch, and then a triple-bill at the movies with a sundae and lashings and lashings of popcorn. Just don’t ask me to narrow it down to only three movies!

     

    5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

     

    About five minutes ago! I seem to have a very wordy brain, and will often find myself singing apparently random songs. I then realise it’s linked to an earlier conversation or something by the lyrics.

     Cinebling Scared Kitten Under Sofa

    (Turns out my singing makes cute kittens hide underneath sofas!)

     

    6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?

                                                                                         

    This is tricky! I’d like to think that I’d learn a lot between being 30 and being 90, which would make me lean towards body, so my mind could grow… but then it would be great to have the enthusiastic outlook of 30-year-old me and brighten up the 90-year-olds. Toss a coin!

     

    7. What do you find relaxing?

     

    The seaside!

     

    8. What's your least favourite sound?

     

    Any recording of my own voice.

     

    9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

     

    Wow, there’s so many to count here! Probably my family. They can drive me crazy sometimes, but they’re pretty awesome.

     

    10. Can you describe your taste in interiors and design?

     

    Erm, not really! I don’t think I know enough about it. I think I err slightly towards minimalism, as I don’t like too much pattern on things. I did read something recently that patterns can trigger migraines, which I’ve had really badly, so maybe that’s something to do with it.

     

    I don’t it when things look too plain though – I like a house to look like a home, not a showroom or a museum.

     

    11. How would you like people to feel around you?

     

    Happy! If that’s not possible, I’d have to go for relaxed and inspired.

     

    12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

     

    It’s got to be the ability to fly, right? Reading minds sounds great in theory, but in practice people are so complicated it’d be mind-boggling. Flying is simple, cool and also useful!

     

    13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?

     

    Wow, it’s so hard to narrow it down to just one thing, especially with all the uncertainty that’s going on right now – so many questions!

     

    14. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

     

    I’ve always wanted to live by the seaside. Why haven’t I done it? Well, where you live is complicated, and it also affects more than just me – my family too. So, it’s still on the agenda, but I’ll get there when things line up right.

    Seashells on Sea Shore 

     

    15. What tiny accomplishment are you proud of?

     

    Last Friday (after I sent the email!) I went swimming and managed to swim 1500m. That’s only 100m (or 4 lengths) short of a mile. I’m pretty happy with that! Unfortunately, the pool is now closed for two weeks due to ‘technical difficulties’ (which I expect is a staff member testing positive for Covid). I’m hoping to hit the one mile mark soon after I can get back in the water.

     

    16. When did you get a surprise?

     

    The world is full of them! Pretty much every time I watch a documentary or something on Quest. People surprise me all the time too, which

     

    17. What item of clothing do you treasure?

     

    A red jumper that used to belong to my Mum. She was tall like me, and the sleeves are just perfect!

     

    18. What's your favourite flavour?

     

    Cherry! And as a bonus, my worst is coffee. I drink black coffee, and can’t stand anything that has a coffee ‘tint’ to it. Why spoil perfection? So I guess if you really wanted to torture me, you’d force-feed me cherry-flavoured coffee… although hopefully that doesn’t exist. (Googles it.) It does exist. Yikes!

     

    19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, what would you do?

     

    Probably do a couple of mega world cruises for the first six months, then spend the last six months with my family (assuming I couldn’t take them all with me!)

     

    20. What does friendship mean to you?

     

    Funnily enough, I posted this pic on Instagram yesterday. It’s not my words, but it’s a pretty good summary. It also applies to movies!

    Good friend

    Numbers 21-40 are coming soon!

     

    Got any questions for me? Ask them in the comments!

  2. Cinebling Movie Review The New Mutants

     

    WARNING: This reviewer is not a consumer of comic books. Any inconsistencies with the comics will not be addressed here. It only reflects the film as a standalone work.

    I’d expect that when The New Mutants first got ‘stuck in development hell’ no one would ever have expected that the movie would end up being released during a global pandemic (which puts me in mind of Monty Python and Sliding Doors – “Nobody expects the coronavirus!” Anyway…) Originally slated for release in April 2018, it has survived reshoots, mergers, script changes to accommodate studios and other films from the same story world being released.

    So, what is it about? Well, it ‘does what it says on the tin’ which is deal with five mutants who are coming to grips with their newly-manifested powers. As with the Spider-Man films, a mutation that manifests during puberty is an excellent allegory for how teenagers feel. Everything is changing, and they’re trying to find their place in the world.

    However, the place that the New Mutants end up is a place not fit for anyone to inhabit for too long, and while there is time spent exploring themselves, the New Mutants wise up to this quickly enough. The filmmakers described the film as ‘a haunted-house movie with a bunch of hormonal teenagers’, and while that certainly covers a lot of ground, there is also a second sinister force at play, which is not paranormal in any way.

    The filming location was a psychiatric hospital that was over 150 years old, which hadn’t been used for around 50 years. The cast and crew have hinted at strange goings on. While I couldn’t say I felt that the film was a horror, there was definitely enough of a sinister atmosphere to provide an edge.

    A criticism levelled at the film is that it’s quite insular for a superhero movie. However, I felt like that was the whole point of the movie – the teenagers have been extracted from the world to allow them to investigate themselves before they face the world. That’s certainly something I would have snapped up when I was a teenager! The movie works through fears, traumas and anxieties, while also managing to deal with wider threats.

    Interestingly, what stuck with me was the isolated nature of the movie, and perhaps that’s one reason it’s not being appreciated so much – we’ve all had enough of lockdown. I found it quite appropriate for 2020 that the main characters were confined due to forces beyond their control. This is effectively teenage mutants in lockdown, and gosh, I hope no one outside this movie has had to deal with this level of carnage!

    Each Mutant has a very different power. Although it has been criticised, I love the idea that a teenager that suddenly discovers they can fly isn’t then instantly amazing at it. Ironically, I think the people saying how bad that is are probably the same people that would complain if someone picked up a musical instrument and could instantly play at an excellent standard. (That’s movie magic for you!).

    The film retains some genuine X-Men touches, not least the fact that it is the last film to list Stan Lee as Executive Producer. It’s a good popcorn movie for a Saturday night, and at a mere 94 minutes your bottom will thank you that it didn’t fall asleep!

    Overall Rating: Not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a look!

    Check it out on IMDB here.

  3. Cinebling Movie Review Tenet

     

    Tenet

     

    Chances are, if you’re reading this review, you’re wondering if you should brave the trip to the cinema to see Tenet. My short answer: yes, absolutely. You might also want to know if I think Christopher Nolan did the right thing in waiting for cinemas to re-open before releasing Tenet. Again, the short answer: yes, absolutely.

     

    I’ve been to the cinema several times since they re-opened, and have felt safe the whole time. The closest anyone has sat to me is a single seat away (approx. 1m) and then there was no one in the row in front or behind (and I just put my face mask on and it was fine). Most places, you can choose your seats before you get your tickets, so you can choose how close you want to get to other people. I’ve felt safer at cinemas than I have anywhere else, mostly because once people take their seats, they’re down for the duration of the film so the distance is maintained.

     

    Anyway – back to Tenet.

     

    Tenet is the latest film from British writer/director Christopher Nolan (Dunkirk, Inception, The Dark Knight). The movie stars John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, Elizabeth Debicki, Kenneth Branagh and, of course, with an appearance from Michael Caine.

     

    Tenet is a single word (and a gesture) that an agent who is assumed to be dead is given in order to save the world. Fortunately, he does have some other help on his side, though the sources of that help are a little vague. It’s a globe-trotting film with a 150 minute run time (plus trailers!) – definitely opt for the larger size of popcorn or an extra scoop of ice cream! Tenet crams a lot in, and coming out of the cinema, you will genuinely feel like you have been through a lot and are maybe a little bit jet-lagged.

     

    Through a character, the film actually tells us at one point, “don’t try to understand it. Feel it.” It’s good advice. There is plenty to feel too – car chases, a few gadgets and a race against the clock to save the entire universe. Let your subconscious process everything that’s crammed into the movie, and it will make more and more sense over the next few days.

     

    Christopher Nolan has a hardcore group of fans – Nolanites – and something as conceptual as this was always going to be hard to pull off for that reason. It must be both gratifying and frustrating to know that every single detail of every single frame of film will be examined over and over and over. No doubt there are already plenty of forums that have sprung up to discuss the finer details of the story and its world and rules.

     

    Will the action from Tenet look as good on a small screen? Only time will tell. The action certainly looks tremendous on a large cinema screen.

     

    Will this turn out to be the movie that saves cinema from coronavirus? The signs are promising so far.

     

    How much you enjoy Tenet is likely to depend on what type of film fan you are. If you like movies that are cinematic, eye-popping and truly visual, you will probably love it. Christopher Nolan the director has made a tremendous film. If you prefer stories that are coherent, abide by their own rules, and have every neat little detail tied up, you may not enjoy it so much. Christopher Nolan the writer will be answering questions for some time yet.

     

    CONCLUSION: A cinematic spectacle that’s worth leaving home for.

     

    Overall rating: Not everybody’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a look.

     

    Check it out on IMDB here.

     

    [Image via IMDB]

  4. Cinebling Movie Review Unhinged

    One of the new releases of summer 2020, Unhinged is definitely different. Listed on IMDB as an Action Thriller, it stars Russell Crowe as an unstable man (just called ‘Man’) who focuses all his anger on one woman after a disagreement at an intersection.

    I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from a film that I knew was about road rage. Was every scene going to happen in cars or on the road? Would other motorists intervene? Would it just end up in a pile up? I’m sticking firmly with my ‘no spoilers’ policy, but what I will say is that if you let it, the movie will suck you in and take you for a ride – so fasten your seatbelt!

    There is only minimal background given to Crowe’s character, but that aligns us firmly with the perspective of Caren Pistorius, who plays Rachel. The initial focus of the film is on Rachel, rather than on ‘the Man’, and I think for this reason, we empathise with her and her situation more. The performances of the co-leads are such that you will find yourself asking ‘what is this guy’s problem?’ along with Rachel, while also being very convinced that for whatever reason, this Man is a serious problem now.

    That said, I found myself frustrated with Rachel a couple of times, as her panic kicked in, and was internally screaming ‘why are you doing that? Call the police!’ But if I held that against every action or horror film I watched… well, I wouldn’t watch many. This isn’t a documentary, it’s a thriller, and it definitely delivers on that.

    The characters are explored in a fresh way – you know something’s a bit different if afterwards you’re thinking ‘what would happen if someone did that to me? Who would they call? Who could get hurt?’ There’s also some good improvised use of everyday objects as weapons, which reinforces the idea that this isn’t a movie, or a man with a plan, it’s someone who is operating solely under the fever of ‘red mist’.

    I also think the casting choice of a slightly older man as the antagonist was a great choice. It subtly hints that the climax of the movie is not just that, but it’s also the climax of a life-long struggle with anger – and potentially mental health. You almost feel as though if the Man was asked at the end 'why ARE you doing this?' he'd have to pause for a moment to try and remember what triggered the latest trail of destruction. 

    The movie is adrenalin-charged from the moment it starts and it rarely takes its foot off the pedal to let you catch your breath.

    Almost every review I’ve read on IMDB says that this movie will make you think twice about being rude to another driver, and for me, that speaks to the success of this film. Yes, it’s more philosophical at the start before the tension escalates, but if that’s the one main takeaway the audience has, I think director Derrick Borte has probably achieved what he set out to do.

    Which is probably to scare the manners back into anyone with a driving license.

     

    Overall rating: Not everyone’s cup of tea, but definitely worth a look!

     

    Check it out on IMDB here.


  5. Whilst Hollywood blockbusters tend to take up most of any film-related headlines, there are many hidden gems to be discovered in the realm of world cinema. Inviting an audience to experience an entirely different culture to what they are used to, world cinema allows us to live vicariously through film in countries we have never been to before, with different political climates, and sometimes against the backdrop of crucial historical events. With world cinema, you can be a globetrotter from the comfort of your own home!

    Cinebling Movie Review Parasite

    Parasite (2019)

    Parasite made headlines in 2020 after it became the first non-English film to win the prestigious Best Picture category at the Academy Awards, as well as scooping Best Director for Bong Joon-Ho, Best Original Screenplay and Best International Feature. Premiering at Cannes Film Festival, Parasite is an amalgamation of dark comedy and horrifying thriller and is best experienced without any prior knowledge or information about the film. So, if you’re interested in watching this highly acclaimed 2019 release, we urge you to not watch the trailer!

    Cinebling Movie Review Cleo de 5 a 7

    Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962)

    Cléo de 5 à 7 is one of the defining films of the French new wave era, directed by Agnès Varda. The film follows the titular character, Cléo, a self-centred young woman, as she waits for some test results, which could prove grave and sinister. A sense of foreboding follows this aspiring songstress and ultimately forces her to undergo a pivotal transformation in the face of some terrible news. If you love all things French, you will admire Cléo’s stroll through the streets of Paris as she tries to figure out who she truly is.

    Cinebling Movie Review Pans Labyrinth

    Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

    This Guillermo del Toro film is a Spanish-Mexican co-production, set in Spain, against the backdrop of the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Whilst this fantasy-adventure movie employs whimsical and magical elements to create a mythical world, it is the fusion of our real world that generates a unique experience for the audience. Pan’s Labyrinth is the perfect example of why spectators should watch world cinema, as it often takes more risks and provides a unique viewing experience, as opposed to only watching Hollywood blockbusters.

    Cinebling Movie Review Chungking Express

    Chungking Express (1994)


    Chungking Express, directed by Wong Kar-Wai, is a mash up of both comedy and drama, consisting of two separate stories, set in central Hong Kong. The overarching theme of Chungking Express is love, loneliness and heartache; the first protagonist, known as Cop 223, is desperate for company in the wake of a breakup with his girlfriend, and the second protagonist, Faye, obsesses over Cop 663, who has also broken up with his girlfriend. Both protagonists take matters to extremes, Cop 223 eats multiple expired tins of pineapple, and Faye breaks into Cop 663’s apartment to get to know him. Chungking Express is a wonderfully eccentric film that also has some more earnest undertones.

    Cinebling Movie Review Bicycle Thieves

    Ladri di biciclette (1948)

    Ladri di biciclette, also known as Bicycle Thieves, is an Italian neorealism film directed by Vittorio De Sica. This film is set in the aftermath of World War II in Rome and details the story of a man and his family’s struggles with poverty. Unemployment is rife, so our protagonist, Antonio, is offered a lifeline in the form of a job putting up advertisement posters – only if he has a bike. The family pawns one of the only things they have left, their dowry bedsheets, to get Antonio a bike, which is stolen on his first day of work. Along with his son, Bruno, Antonio searches all over Rome for his lost bicycle, his hope diminishing with each minute it is gone.


    Let us know in the comments what your favourite non-English film is.

    Caitlin Hall Movie Reviewer Cinebling

    Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her twitter account is @caitonfilm.