Friday, 16 June 2017

Sue Recommends: Charming Roald Dahl Movie, and Other Delights

As many of you know, I can be one of the most critical critics ever, black spot on white page, etc. It can be a good thing sometimes. Sometimes. One of the good things about critics is that when they DO recommend something, it means a lot more. Or so I like to believe. So I thought I'd start a new feature on the blog- Sue Recommends. Books, movies, articles, recipes, and everything and anything else that happens to strike my fancy. You're very welcome. Who DOESN'T want more of my opinions on everything?



It's hard to find a movie that I genuinely delight in. Either they are badly directed/have poor acting (it's sometimes hard to tell the difference), enjoyable but morally iffy which spoils it for me (Italian Job), poorly disguising crudity as humour (most rom-coms or comedies), make my thumb ache from all the fast-forwarding because of the endless action scenes (James Bond) or gratuitous violence (Gladiator), or just have lame plots (Final Destination). Sometimes it feels like only kids' movies are left. But they're too kiddy. Yes, I AM hard to please.

But then I watched this kids' movie based on a Roald Dahl I read as a child. I didn't have high expectations because well, it was a kids' movie. Or at least based on a kids'book. But it was delightful! It was about a Big Friendly Giant, and oh, what a joy was every word that came out of his mouth! I enjoyed both the Giant and the little girl who played Sophie, and wholeheartedly enjoyed the inclusion of the Queen in the plot. If I ever think I would like to re-watch a movie, it seems like that's a good movie to own.

"Take a bite and I am positive you will be shouting out oh how scrumdiddlyumptious this wonderveg is!" 

"People would be rushing and bushing after me with goodness knows what and they would be catching me and locking me into a cage to be stared at. They would be putting me into the zoo or the bunkumhouse with all those squiggling hippodumplings and crocadowndillies."

Pros: Charming, family-friendly, BFG's accent and mumbly-jumbly language
Cons: Will completely confuse children who are trying to learn English


I heard Simcha Fisher mention them a couple of times, so I finally looked up the website... and found that they recently came to India. Well, came HOME to India. But for every girl who loves dresses, and has a hard time finding any with sleeves, or knee length or below, or just with any kind of class, these are GORGEOUS. Well, most of them, I haven't bought any yet, they are a little expensive - Rs 2000 and above. But there are group presents for birthdays! And Christmas! And finally a quick answer when people ask what I want!

Pros: So many gorgeous options! POCKETS! You can customize them when you order- your neckline, skirt length, etc. Who does that?? Gift voucher to eshakti is a great gift for self, mothers (the type who wear dresses), sisters, and most female friends.

Cons: It would take forever to choose because there are so many GREAT options. (Even my cons are pros.) Well, I guess they ARE a little expensive. Sigh. And so tempting to just waste time on the website fantasizing about owning them all.


Fr. Mike reminds me of some of my American Catholic friends- informal, a little tongue-in-cheek, constantly referencing pop culture, and so full of asides, I sometimes wonder if he's as ADD as the rest of us. But that's why he's so relatable.

I always say that the Catholic Church has the best content and the worst marketing. Fr. Mike does a great job with these short videos talking about everything from death to coffee to sleep habits to purgatory, and does it all in a likable and non-aggressive manner. If you're looking for byte-sized ways to grow in your faith, and knowledge of your faith, or even just start thinking about aspects of your faith you hadn't before, watch one of these every day.

Pros: Very short videos, easy to share, very logical and relatable, new and unexpected topics (in other words not just the same ones every Catholic blogger seems to write about), and often new takes on the same topics. Great for young people (yes, I'm getting old, I just referred to 'young people', and I didn't mentally include myself in that category). Could be great for youth group discussion starters.

Cons: Sometimes Fr. Mike is so good looking and charming, I wonder if I'm being manipulated. But then I remember that I have my charming moments too, and have tried my hardest to be authentic even while being charming, which is something I see in Fr. Mike too. Also, because the video are short, they don't cover it all. Obviously. I suppose sometimes you have to trade depth for brevity, or try to find a healthy balance of the two. I feel like there are sometimes important points missing, but there is always something to take away from the videos. Also, these videos are largely aimed at American Catholic teenagers, so it won't perfectly work for people who don't fit into that category. Still, I think most people would get something.

Okay, that's it for tonight, folks. Look out for more of Sue Recommends every week. Just kidding. Whenever I feel like it, and get down to it, and have time. We'll see.