I still think the biggest problem with #Partygate is that hashtag. It didn’t need to be a “party”, it needed to be an indoor gathering for non-work purposes that breached the rules in place at the time.

Yes, it is ridiculous that, say, 5 people, working in a socially distanced office, who had face-to-face contact throughout the day, could not stand together and sing someone happy birthday. But those were the rules and people bent over backwards to follow them.

Watched How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) by an author from letterboxd.com
As Hiccup fulfills his dream of creating a peaceful dragon utopia, Toothless’ discovery of an untamed, elusive mate draws the Night Fury away. When danger mounts at home and Hiccup’s reign as village chief is tested, both dragon and rider must make impossible decisions to save their kind.

This is a fantastic film.

It deftly avoids the mistakes of the second by focusing on the relationship between Hiccup and Toothless and keeping everybody else to supporting roles.

The fact that some of the best scenes have no dialogue is an absolute tribute to the animators. Such superb work.

And it delivers a pretty much note perfect ending (or three) too.


My review

Watched Fantastic Four (2005) by an author from letterboxd.com
During a space voyage, four scientists are altered by cosmic rays: Reed Richards gains the ability to stretch his body; Sue Storm can become invisible; Johnny Storm controls fire; and Ben Grimm is turned into a super-strong … thing. Together, these "Fantastic Four" must now thwart the evil plans of Dr. Doom and save the world from certain destruction.

I’ve always thought this was one of the better early live action Marvel films. It’s all very lite but still fun. My little ones (11/8) enjoyed it enough.

There was a jarring amount of cleavage and, unexplicably, some saucy nightwear on the dark streets of (an unnamed borough of) New York. Different times, eh?


My review

Amazing(ly shit) response from LastPass to their breach. From their new Security Bulletin:

Is your master password hash Iteration value set to at least 600,000

How the f*ck do I know?! This isn’t something I chose!

So, I go and have a look in the Settings, as advised. It’s set to… 5000. Oh, only 120x fewer.

“People say things ‘in heat of moment’ on WhatsApp ‘they don’t really believe’, says minister, defending Gavin Williamson”

All those Met coppers exchanging those hateful texts must be kicking themselves for not using the “I didn’t really mean it” defence…

Watched The Beyond (1981) by an author from letterboxd.com
A young woman inherits an old hotel in Louisiana where, following a series of supernatural "accidents", she learns that the building was built over one of the entrances to Hell.

Yes, the narrative nonsense might be an attempt at surrealism. Based on the ending that even seems probable. But even if that IS the case, it’s still not a good film.

It’s so jarringly bad in places it complete destroys any sense of dread or suspense that may have been building.

I do understand (I think) that the nonsensical plot turns are supposed to indicate the encroaching Hell-state but it’s badly communicated, both in the writing and in the visuals. I appreciate the intention, at least.


My review

Watched https://letterboxd.com/film/star-wars-the-rise-of-skywalker/1/ from letterboxd.com

My last review of this film simply said “Extremely forgettable”.

I watched it for the second time, the first with my children (8/11), and remembered almost nothing about it. So, I guess I nailed that…

This is a terrible film in so many ways. Probably the most egregious error is that, in a film about space wizards, it asks too much of you in the suspension of disbelief. “They built a colossal fleet of gigantic starships and no-one noticed?” And this is merely the tip of the iceberg.

I don’t think there is any doubt that Ben Solo’s story is the most interesting thing here. Rey’s story becomes ridiculous as it tries to reverse out of the cul-de-sac it went down in TLJ.

As we reach the end it become abundantly clear there was no overarching story for these final three films. Or, if there was, it was second guessed. The prequels are much derided for the quality of the film making but at least there was an actual story. As a result, I think this comfortably becomes the worse film of the nine.


My review

Watched Cocaine Bear (2023) by an author from letterboxd.com
An oddball group of cops, criminals, tourists and teens converge in a Georgia forest where a 500-pound black bear goes on a murderous rampage after unintentionally ingesting cocaine.

You know exactly what you’re getting. The comedy comes in waves, rather than a consistent level of hilarity. And, frankly, some of the troughs are kind of dull but the peaks make up for it.


My review