Top 25 of 2017

For the third year in a row I’ve been keeping track of all the new films I’ve been watching and thus it’s time for another round up of my 25 favourite films of the year. It’s been a fantastic year with a lot of fanatic movies. Out of the 80 2017 UK releases i’ve seen, these are the ones that i’ve loved the most.

25. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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By no means original nor perfect but J:WttJ is surprisingly fun and pretty funny with a great cast on fine form, Karen Gillan and Jack Black are particularly brilliant. It’s a romp and perfect Sunday afternoon fare.

24. Trainspotting 2

Dazzling and grim with a killer soundtrack. Never saw the first one until just before I caught this sequel and I gotta say I loved this more.

23. Seoul Station

This strange animated prequel to last years superb Train to Busan is an oddity, perhaps a little too grim compared to its predecessor. Yet some great set pieces and a palpable sense of dread make it a great zombie treat.

22. Battle of the Sexes

Great performances and style, this is less about tennis as it is about the central relationship between the two women and it shows.

21. Detroit

Spectacular performances from the pro and antagonists. It captures a slice of the culture of the time and isn’t just a grim real life tale.

20. Colossal

Weird but I like weird

19. Wonder Woman

That scene in No-Mans Land is one of the best scenes of the year and Gal Gadot is simply breathtaking as Diana

18. The Lego Batman Movie

Funny, sharp and impossible not to enjoy

17. Blade Runner 2049

Visually and musically dazzling with some wonderful set pieces and performances

16. Atomic Blonde

Sexy in every sense of the word. An explosion of the senses with incredible action scenes.

15. Gifted

A wonderful little underrated gem. Emotional and engaging.

14. Free Fire

Sharp, concise and fun as hell. Free Fire is a ride from start to finish.

13. The Death of Stalin

Laugh out loud funny and uncompromisingly dark. An excellent mix and a great film.

12. The Limehouse Golem

Old gothic grisly with excellent atmosphere and a great score.

11. Thor: Ragnarok

Very funny, very silly and a breath of fresh air.

10. Get Out

Brilliantly darkly humorous, superbly made with some great moments of cheer, shock and gore.

9. The Red Turtle

A stunning piece of work. Moving, sweet and sublime, this is a masterful story of life that captures a spark of deft imagination and beauty.

8. John Wick: Chapter 2

Stunning action and an extra focus on plot make this a well honed and incredibly enjoyable film

7. La La Land

Music, melancholy and gorgeous visuals. A wonderful old school musical with more than a hint of sadness.

6. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Bold, beautiful and often jaw dropping. Sure it’s divisive but I’d rather it be a film that takes risks than is horribly safe.

5. Logan

Jackman and Stewart are on incredible form. The film is dark, brutal and heartbreaking but ultimately the film these characters deserved.

4. IT

Scary, funny but most importantly well made. Pennywise is a fantastic villain and all of the young performers are brilliant and endearing.

3. Baby Driver

Marries my love of action set pieces to music and is brilliant at it.

2. Paddington 2

Made me cry, made me laugh. As good as the first if maybe a tad less so yet it’s warm hearted joyousness is the perfect antidote to the world and an incredible experience.

1. The Big Sick

A true surprise. Funny, tender, heartbreaking and honest. I loved every single second.


6. Some Time in Late 2017

“Wind’s in the east, a mist coming in

Like something is brewing and about to begin

Can’t put my finger on what lies in store

but I feel what’s to happen has happened before”

In January I got a flat. In March I got a job. In April I got married. Many other things have happened between then and now, from new friendships to money worries, 2017 has been an eventful year and to me the time has simply flown by.

The trouble is I haven’t written, barely at all. Primarily because of the varying hours of my job, also because the rest of my free time is spent with Amy, my friends or my family and it’s been hard trying to find time to watch new TV let alone sit down in a quiet coffee shop and blather on about it. I want that to change, I just need to wake up earlier, set myself some goals and bloomin’ well get on with it.

I haven’t been totally idle, mind. My writers club made another book, I’ve watched a lot of films, been on some small day trips and holidays and at work I’ve aimed to expand into others areas. I host the Movie quiz every once in a while y’know.

I just can’t quite find the time to do this sort of writing. The times there, taunting me, I’m just not implementing it wisely enough. I guess I’ll call it something of a year off but hey, it’s been a busy year.

It’s nearly 2018 now, the cold wind blows and the Christmas decorations are up for the first time in our new abode soon to come down. Our new house mate, Andrew, says he loves living with us because we’ve made it feel like a cosy home. All I can say is that it took a lot of work and time to make it this welcoming.

There’s that word again, time. Who was it that said “Time marches on” or was it a song? Anyway, it’s doing its thing and 2018 is going to be another big year. Lots of self improvement, body modification, expanding relationships and a kitten called Marceline. We have a lot in store and a lot of time to do it.

My biggest hope is that I can continue this writing lark and make 2018 a great year.

Anyway, how was your Christmas?

4. The Two Sides of Socializing

I’m an introvert. Often I don’t like it and wish I wasn’t but I embrace it and any achievement in which I pass a social barrier fills me with pride.

I like to take some time to myself, quietly adjusting to a new reality. It’s not that I see anything wrong with parties or large social gatherings, I just either don’t get invited to “those sorts of parties” or find far more enjoyment in something quiet and considered with people I trust and can open up to. Continue reading

Shakespeare Double Bill: Isle of Wight Literary Festival

On Saturday 15th October there will be very exciting opportunity to see a double bill of Shakespeare at the Trinity Theatre Cowes.

Beginning at 7.30pm will be The School of Night, The Rhapsodes.


Hilarious, ingenious and completely improvised, inspired by suggestions from the audience, the Bard has never been this much fun. If you are an aficionado of improv, Shakespeare or extreme theatre, this is truly one not to miss

Followed at 8.45pm by a talk from one of the world’s leading Shakespearean actors, Michael Pennington, as he talks about his fifty years experience in Shakespeare.


He’ll bring the story up to date with his enthralling account of playing King Lear. With the help of his new book King Lear in Brooklyn, Pennington gives a fascinating insight into the experience of preparing, performing and triumphing in what is perhaps Shakespeare’s most demanding role. Funny, highly personal and deeply illuminating, both honest and scholarly, King Lear in Brooklyn is a unique encounter with one of our finest actors/writers at the top of his game.

If you’re a fan of Shakespeare or just interested in witnessing some first class performance then come to the Trinity Theatre on Saturday 15th October from 7.30pm – 9.45pm.

Tickets are £12.00 for both parts and there will be a 15-minute interval.

Tickets are available to buy here:

The Isle of Wight Literary Festival


Hello to all. From the 13th to the 16th of October The Isle of Wight Literary Festival will be returning to Northwood House in Cowes, Isle of Wight, for the fifth time.

Yes for four days you can come and enjoy some of the best events that the festival and the Island has to offer. From wonderful local authors, musicians and guests to quizzes, workshops and plenty of activities for the kids.

The event will take place in locations across Cowes and will again display the incredible amount of talent we have locally and further afield.

Tickets can be purchased here:

It’s an event not to be missed!

1. The Interim: Poised Above the Keys

From the top. Hi. It’s time to start writing again.

It’s the start of September, the rain is chilling the summer air and there’s a whiff of Autumn on the horizon.

I’d go as far as to say it’s the best part of the year, a time where the deluge of bad weather evokes a deeper state of relaxation and we can sit in our warm bedrooms listening to the sound of rain. Continue reading