Six Ways To Sunday was released in 1997 and is one of Norman’s earliest films. Bar Boondock Saints I have found that he’s not renowned for being in particularly good films, preferring to star as uncoventional characters in small, indie films that are what many would consider weird. With this in mind I started watching with very low expectations fully prepared to be bored and uninterested in the film. However I was very pleasantly surprised by the performances and story, enjoying the whole thing much more than I expected. So much so actually that I now want to read the novel, “Portrait of A Young Man Drowning” by Charles Perry, that it was based on.
The film follows Harry, played by Reedus, who is a very timid 18 year old boy still living with his overbearing mother. Harry inadvertently ends up becoming a member of the local mob and through it grows and develops, albeit unconventionally, in ways he’s never been able to whilst living at home. As this happens his mother’s possesiveness and jealousy grows and the conflict that arises as a result actually makes for a very interesting story with a surprising twist at the end. Whilst watching I found it had a very Norman Bates feel to it with the whole creepy mother/son relationship which at times makes for uncomfortable viewing which in all honesty is a testament to the quality performances from Norman Reedus and Deborah Harrie.
Unlike The Boondock Saints this is the kind of film you watch for plot and character development. The attention to detail allows for empathy towards the different characters despite the dark undertones of the story. I found myself quickly drawn in and caring for the outcome of not just Harry but several of the other characters as well. I was eager to see how everything was going to play out and was not left unsatisfied by any of the results. Whilst not a light hearted film it also doesn’t feel as dark as it could given the violence involved, somehow managing to strike just the right balance between the two to give a powerful yet enjoyable film.
Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day is the highly anticipated sequel fans waited ten years for. That said not a single person mentioned this one to me or insisted I needed to see it. Perhaps they were lumping both films together, collectively recommending them as Boondock Saints assuming I’d learn there were two if I looked it up (which is what happened) and would consequently watch both (which I did). Even so the general attitude I have picked up on about this film is that most fans just don’t like it as much as the first.
Given that this film is almost an exact copy of the first in the way it is presented and plays out I can see why many fans may feel like it falls short of the first. Sequels are typically supposed to be bigger and better, notjust more of the same. This makes me feel ever so slightly awkward though because if I’m honest I think I actually prefer this one. Only slightly. I love them both. Although on first viewing I again struggled to grasp exactly what was happening I did find it much easier to pick up and follow the plot second time round. And yes I have also watched this a third time as well. I struggle to watch one without the other, I like to keep it balanced.
The film starts with the revelation that eight years have passed since the ending of the first film during which time Connor and Murphy have been living on a farm in Ireland with their Dad. A friend arrives to inform them they have been implicated in the murder of a priest back in Boston which sets them off on a quest to return, discover the true perpetrator and serve them justice. This time around though it is about more than Connor and Murphy’s divine vigilantism, they are pawns being used to draw out their father who has some unfinished business with “The Old Man”. The FBI is once again involved, this time in the form of Special Agent Eunice Bloom, trained by Paul Smecker.
I feel it’s important to add that just because I followed the plot better this time round doesn’t mean it actually made any more sense. There were still holes and confusion as to what was going on and why but piecing it all together seemed easier this time as the film progressed. There is very little to say about Boondock Saints II that wasn’t already said about the first film, it’s another great fun film with action, comedy and fantastic performances from Reedus and Flanery as brothers Connor & Murphy. Once again their brotherly rapport and sibling squabbles are my favourite elements of the film.
Boondock Saints 2 is exactly the same formula as the first and if you’re watching this it’s highly likely because you saw and liked the first and if you saw and liked the first well then you should really give this a watch.
Ahh Monday, the start of another week and for me a particularly busy week. Busy because I have been an incredible lazy bones as of late and it’s reached the point of “DO IT, DO IT NOW OR DOOM!!” Naturally I am feeling overwhelmed by the mere thought of everything that needs doing so rather than tackle any of it I have decided the thing to do is to make lists. Firstly a list of everything that needs doing which I will then go through and highlight in colours relating to the urgency of completion. I will then rearrange said list so that all the jobs of the same priority are listed together, I might go so far as to then break that list down into several lists, one for each day this week. At some point after all that I might even get round to those listed jobs.
Perhaps I am being a bit excessive with having that many lists for one thing. I do know what needs doing, maybe I should just get on and do them but that’s the beauty of lists. Maximum feeling of productivity and organisation with minimum expenditure of effort. True it can sometimes back fire and you end up either overwhlemed by the size of your list or procrastinating the list because you can’t start without a cup of tea and what’s a cup of tea without a snack oh and where’s that really nice pen that is my favourite for writing and well this isn’t the right notebook for today, hey who knew we had so may sticky notes stashed away in the stationary box, let’s sticky note EVERYTHING!
However you look at it there’s no denying lists are awesome both in their creation and usefulness. The joy of creating lists of wants and desires for holidays, birthdays, christmas, conventions, that shopping spree you deserve just because. The thrill of using new stationary and turning lists into epic works of art through mindless doodling. The unmatchable satisfaction of crossing the last thing off a busy to-do list. The bright eyed optimism of productivity that comes from making a list in the first place. Altogether it’s hard not to love lists and I hope you have a lovely week full of them.
The Bondock Saints made it’s impact by word of mouth after it’s video release. Infact I only chose to start with this particular Norman Reedus film because of the fervour with which my firends who had seen it spoke about it. When they spoke about it though I noticed noone really mentioned what it was about All I was presented with was the fact that if I liked Norman Reedus I had to see this film.
Having since watched it three times I can understand why noone really told me what it was about because I’m still not entirely sure myself. At first I thought I didn’t get what was going on because I was drinking the first time I watched it but when I was still none the wiser after watching it perfectly sober I figured the problem wasn’t me.
The bare bones of it is that there are these two brothers, Connor & Murphy Macmanus, who after accidently killing two men from the Russian mafia decide it is their God given duty to rid Boston of it’s evil and corrupt. They’re not alone though as their friend Rocco, who is some sort of messenger/errand runner for different gangsters, wants to help. Naturally their violent actions do not go unnoticed and FBI agent Paul Smecker, played by Willem Dafoe, is working to end their reign of vigilante justice. Or is he?
Whilst I might still be sketchy on the plot it’s not a problem because honestly, this is not the kind of film one watches for the plot. This is the kind of film you watch because somebody makes you. After which you either love it or you question why you are friends with the person who made you watch it. Personally I loved it. I loved the music, the humour, the cinematogrpahy, the action, the performances and pretty much just everything about this film. Norman Reedus and Sean Patrick Flanery, who I discovered actually knew each other before coming together to work on this film, have a wonderful chemistry and dynamic that works brilliantly for the brothers. In fact my favourite part of the movie has to be their sibling interactions. Particularly the squabbles.
If I had to pick a fault, I would say it swears too much. You may wonder why admidst all the blood and violence I’d get hung up on the bad language, but it’s because I truly feel it detracts from the dialogue. There is an unnecessary amount of swearing and it adds to the clunkiness of the plot. When rewatching I found myself replaying chunks of dialogue trying to work out what was being said between the expletives. Despite that though the film is, in my opinion, fun. It’s something you have to see to appreciate but at the same time you musn’t try to take it seriously. That is the one way to guarantee missing the quintessential elements that make it a cult film beloved by it’s fans.
When I started writing on this blog I had a feature post idea called “Finished it Friday” but I have not been in a crafty mood recently and have had nothing to show for it for too long. The crafty bug will return (phases see) and when it does so will the posts about stuff I finish. In the meantime however I am replacing it with a current interest I actually have something to write about. Norman Reedus. Watching The Walking Dead I fell (very) in love with his character Daryl Dixon and normally I am very good at keeping my affections solely directed towards the fictional character whilst remaining indifferent to the actor but it turns out
Therefore I have started watching my way through his filmography, something my Friday nights have started to become dedicated to. I am hoping to watch everything he’s ever been in, well except for maybe “Clowns”. I mean I appreciate Norman and all but CLOWNS! So for the foreseeable future Friday blog posts with be dedicated to reviews of his films, I’m thinking of titling it “Friday Night Film with Norman Reedus” but we’ll see.
I’m going to be honest, throw my hands up and admit, Zombie Fit has become Zombie quit. I hurt my ankle, couldn’t put weight on it properly for two weeks in which time I got over the abject terror of coping with an apocalypse and just stopped caring. So as my husband rightly pointed out when I started, it was just a phase. And even though he was right and always is when I start something new, I hate hearing that phrase “it’s just a phase”. I can’t help taking it as a personal attack and always end up on the defensive, even when it’s not directed at me.
I struggle with a stable sense of self so whatever my present phase is, it is literally defining who/what I am at the time. Therefore however intended it always comes across to me as belittling and condescending. As if whatever the phase is can’t be taken seriously and consequently I am not being taken seriously and I really don’t like not being taken seriously.
I mean if you think about it everything in life is some sort of phase,
so why are some more valid than others? After getting engaged I was in a wedding phase dresses, venues, meals, music and so son. Once I was married I moved on with the skills I had developed from it and that was that. Noone cared about that phase, judged it. Is there a certain point in our lives when we’re supposed to become fixed amd stop having phases? Stop learning about ourselves, discovering new things and being passionate about them? And why do some people bother themselves so much with other people’s phases? Have they forgotten their own phases and their importance in shaping who they are or do they genuinely believe themselves above it? Or is it just when a phase doesn’t match societal milestones? Whatever it is maybe just think twice before scoffing at someone and rolling out “it’s just a phase”.
For over 4 years now I have had a load of polymer clay sat in my craft supplies that i’ve never really done anything with. The few attempts i’ve had at making things have never produced anything i’ve been happy to keep but damn that stuff is expensive so there was no way I would just get rid of it. I found use for it for this week though, in the form of a model Daryl Dixon.
I have recently started watching The Walking Dead and have taken a shine to its resident red-neck bad ass and to stall bankrupting myself on merchandise featuring his face I decided to have a go at making something. Normally my default go to would be to crochet something but I wasn’t feeling it and happened to come across my clay whilst in the zone. I searched online for a tutorial as I wouldn’t otherwise know where to start and found this one on youtube by Sugar Powdered Dreams.
It looked so simple! I beleived i’d have one done in no time. HA! Was I wrong. It took me over 4hours with many, many mistakes before I got to my finished Daryl. I think I made him too big, but I have no idea how I could have made him smaller. It was fiddly enough at the size I was doing! Not being a frequent user of polymer clay I didn’t actually have any of the right equipment but I did alright with what I did have, paperclips, plastic cake decorating tools, a craft knife and small wooden rolling pin. I couldn’t work out how to effectively blend the clay so his hair was restyled several times until I just gave up. I made the mistake of not wiping down my surface between colours or washing my hands every time meaning it all transferred on to everything, thankfully Daryl is a mucky person so it all passes of as in character. In fact I ended up adding more “dirt” to make it look deliberate.
He doesn’t look remotely like the one in the tutorial but I am happy with him. I’ve added a keychain so I can hang him up somewhere. Still unsure about using polymer clay but it was nice to do something different for a change.