Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – May

monthly mini reviews version 2

Phew- April’s over! And I’m feeling a lot calmer this month (though I’m still sick of being in lockdown). Things aren’t exactly easier, especially on the workfront, but I’m feeling a little bit more chill about it (most of the time haha!) And *fingers crossed*, I’m hoping to be able to have better news to share next month. In terms of what I’ve been up to… well it’s party like we’re in a pandemic baby! That means occasional painting and long walks in the country- WOOHOO! 😉 As you can imagine, I’m also watching more TV and movies, which is why I thought I’d do some quick mini reviews for those first- *SURPRISE!* Here are some quick recommendations (that you’ll most definitely be aware of and don’t really need me to tell you to watch them):

monkey at the movies 2

tiger king

Tiger King– I had low expectations for this- but enough people recommend it and… here we are! Like everyone else in April, I was swept up in the audacious entertainment and pure escapism of this *bonkers* documentary. I can safely say I’ve never seen anything else like it. And, best of all, it’s really fun to theorise about (so, if you did watch it, I want to know- do you think Carole Baskin murdered her (ex)husband and fed him to the tigers!? Was Joe Exotic Guilty? What do you think??)

spiderman into the spiderverse

Spider Man into the Spiderverse– what a beautifully made movie! I’ve wanted to see this for ages and I’m glad I finally did, cos yeah, I get what the fuss is about. I won’t go as far as to call it my favourite animated film, but it is gorgeous to look at! And storywise, it has some awesome twists and turns. It never leaves you hanging! And not only is it a well-woven tale, it also has some great characters. So yeah, definitely recommend getting stuck into this one 😉

frozen 2

 

Frozen 2– I was actually surprised by quite how much I liked this one. While I enjoyed Frozen, it’s by no means a favourite, and so I thought it was really cool that I liked this more! I’ve heard some criticism about it, but I actually liked Elsa’s character development in this. And I felt it built on and answered some of the unanswered questions left over from the first film. Having seen this, I get how (and why) this has to be more than one film. All the songs were delightful (even the one about how we’re all gonna die… yeah this really took some risks!) Plus, it happened to have one of my favourite tropes- going out into the unknown and coming back changed. And yes, there is quite a lot of exposition here, but this is Frozen, so I let it go 😉

Annnnd that’s about it. In terms of reading, I’ve been in a bit of a slump (which I’m trying to be forgiving of), so there aren’t going to be too many this month. Let’s get to it:

unhoneymooners

Unhoneymooners– this was a fun hate to love story and just the ticket right now! It especially worked for me that all their antagonism was based on a long-standing misunderstanding (which makes *so much sense* in context). Oddly enough, while I enjoyed the romance, the best part for me was the (thoroughly unromantic) DRAMA at the end. What can I say? Apparently, I read romance books to see people get mad at each other… That said, I think this is upbeat and really strikes the right tone if you need something entertaining.

Rating: 4/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

slaughterhouse 5

Slaughterhouse 5– Argh I didn’t know this was stream of consciousness when I picked it up! I was lulled into it by the amazing opening line and first chapter… but it soon became really disjointed and I just hate this writing style- sorry! It didn’t help that a lot of this was a diatribe (and I’m not a fan of moralising books either!) Plus, while I’m not anti an anti-war message, *drops voice to a whisper* I didn’t think this was nearly as ground-breaking as he thought it was. I kinda get why this is popular and my sister the monkey baby liked it… but it just wasn’t for me.

Rating: 2/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana

reading lolita in tehran 

Reading Lolita in Tehran– wow, Nafisi has a beautiful way with words. The second I picked this up, I felt the atmosphere of suffocating beauty. I understood her love of words and books. I felt transported to Tehran, like I was in the room with the book club, like I was walking around in her memory. It was an incredibly evocative memoir. The one issue I did have was that the structure could be a little disjointed, so I got a little lost at times. That said, I very much appreciated her the way her interpretation of literature tied into the text. In fact, it was almost better that the title book (Lolita) is one I don’t like. While I’ll always struggle with its content, Nafisi opened my eyes to its subversive and defiant heroine, and I respect that. More so, I respect what a brilliant teacher the author is to bring me this fresh understanding!

Rating: 3½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

call it what you want

Call it What You Want– This was a surprising delight. I picked it up and I found myself so wrapped up in the story that I finished it in one sitting- the first time that’s happened in ages! The characters and conflicts were so well done that they felt real. And even though this was a contemporary, there were no easy answers or comfortable resolutions. In fact, this was a layered narrative, feeding in mythic elements from tales like Robin Hood, while also embracing real world issues. Of course, the downside of such a thematically rich and complex contemporary is that there wasn’t as much finality to it as I might have liked. Still, I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would and I’d say that’s a success… but you can call it what you want 😉

Rating: 4½/5 bananas

hand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-bananahand-drawn-banana half-a-hand-drawn-banana

That’s all for now! Have you read any of these? Did you like them? Let me know in the comments! And I hope you’re all staying safe and well!

49 thoughts on “Monthly Monkey Mini Reviews – May

  1. Haha I felt the same way about tiger king—so fun to theorize about!! (And I’m not sure if she actually did it, but I feel like she definitely knows what happened to him regardless, you know?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many people I know didn’t like Frozen II, and I loved it! It had a more serious tone than the first one, and the colors were absolutely gorgeous. I liked the songs fairly well too. I don’t understand why it got so much hate lol

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I just finished writing up my draft of my thoughts on Tiger King, it’ll go up Tuesday and I think I had the most fun putting it together. As much as I hated it, I loved to hate the show so much and I think that’s probably why I had so much fun. What a crazy documentary it was. I couldn’t believe what I was watching… at times I thought this can’t be real… this is all a ploy… and hey it may be. But I totally don’t believe Carole is 100% innocent in what happened to her husband, like she totally had a hand in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh that’s cool- I look forward to reading that! Ahh I completely understand what you mean! It really was bonkers. And yeah I don’t know what to think about a lot of it. I get what you mean- I don’t know if I would go as far as thinking she killed him and fed him to the tigers, but she might know what happened to him (I dunno though!)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, thank you! It goes up in about an hour! 🙂
        Right?! I totally believe she had some sort of hand in it. Even if he’s not dead, I’m sure she knows where he is… she’s the one who declared him dead after being missing for what 6 years… that’s suspicious to me.

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  4. Tiger King:

    I’m about 65/35 that Carol’s husband ran off to start a new life. Pretty easy to understand her feelings towards him and his family after that, previous intentions aside.

    I think Joe did is guilty (of several things), including murder for hire. I do, however, think him actually going through with it was a setup by the guy that took over his zoo. Joe was/is guano crazy, but he was all talk and venting (as scary and obsessive as it may have been) until those sketchy folks came around. Ultimately though it wasn’t Carol that did him in, he did it to himself and has no one else to blame.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah I hear you- I’m with you on that. I’m not convinced she killed him/did something nefarious (even though the documentary pointed that way).

      Yeah I’m more convinced of Joe’s guilt. I do think he was setup- cos I don’t think if someone hadn’t prodded him, he wouldn’t have given money to have it done… but I think it still doesn’t make it right that he agreed to it (or was mouthing off about it). Yeah I agree with you (and I don’t think he cuts the most sympathetic character in general- cos ultimately I think he should have got in a lot more trouble for the mistreatment of animals tbh)

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  5. Okay yes i definitely think Carole killed her husband (allegedly), maybe didnt feed him to the tigers because after watching Matpats video on that I don’t think it was possible. also, Frozen 2 wasn’t the best time for me I swear all the singing annoyed me to no end although some of the songs were not bad and Olaf was definitely my fav in this movie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. hehe yeah I don’t think it’s possible that she fed him to the tigers (as to whether she killed him, I genuinely don’t know- I know it’s what the filmmakers were going for). hahahaha fair enough- definitely the kind of film you can’t enjoy if you don’t like the singing all the time 😉 I really liked Olaf too.

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  6. “Spider Man into the Spiderverse” is a gem, all the elements click together so well. I’ve been listening to the soundtrack regularly for over a year now, and it’s not my usual kind of music 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok so I ended up watching Tiger King because my fiancé wanted to watch it and I had no where to escape to lol. I will admit that it somewhat entertaining but I couldn’t help joke that I was losing brain cells watching it lol

    I agree with Slaughterhouse 5. I actually DNF’d the book. I too liked the start but then when it became disjointed I got lost. When it comes to stream of consciousness, I struggle. So I moved on to something else 🤷🏻‍♀️

    I have Reading in Tehran on shelf and almost picked it for my nonfiction title for book club. After reading your review I want to pick it up.

    Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha I understand! LOL- I’m definitely losing my braincells from all the (terrible) lockdown tv I’m watching 😉

      Yeah I think the only reason I finished is because it was so short- but I was reallllly lost for a huge amount of it. Me too. Just not my thing- if I’d known it was that before I picked it up, I never would’ve read it.

      That’s great! I think it would be a cool thing to read for a book club.

      Thank you!

      Like

  8. Haven’t heard of Call It What You Want, but since you rated it so highly I’m definitely keeping it on my radar! I haven’t finished Tiger King yet, we watched a couple of episodes but haven’t continued yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My favourite part about Into the Spiderverse is when Miles “falls” down into the city, but the camera is upside down, so the city skyline is at the top of the frame and the “falls up”, because that was intentionally to show him rising up and rising to the occasion and I love this movie!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Lol yup! Tiger King is great to theorize about. I’m trying to convince my cousin to watch just so we can talk about it.
    I think everyone in that documentary is guilty, well, all the major players. It just seems like a lot of shady dealings go on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha it really is- I’ve been trying to get my family to do the same… no such luck 😉
      Oh I completely agree with you- whether they’re guilty of what they’ve been accused of or not, they’ve all done shady things!

      Like

  11. I didn’t expect Into the Spiderverse to be as good as it was, but it was fantastic in style and setting. I’ve been debating whether or not to watch Frozen 2 (admittedly I suspected it might be a cashgrab), but I guess I’ll have to find out sometime in the future! I haven’t read Slaughterhouse Five either but it has always given me some 1984 vibes, of which to this day I’m unsure if I liked or disliked it. It’s great to see you’ve found some books you’ve enjoyed though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I get what you mean! It was so well done! Ah yes, I thought the same… but was pleasantly surprised to be honest (I will say, there are some people that think it was a cashgrab, but from my pov, it builds on certain ideas and mysteries from the first one that makes me think they may have made the first one with a view to making sequels). Yeah, well if it helps I love 1984- I think for slaughterhouse 5, it’ll all depend on whether you’re the kind of person that loves/loathes/can tolerate stream of consciousness 😉 Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As long as it lives up/exceeds expectations and is good on its own, I think it doesn’t matter much even if it’s a cashgrab, so that’s one thing to look forward to! So far, my experience with stream of consciousness is that it makes me feel like I’m falling into a bottomless hole in a bad way so I might pass Slaughterhouse 5!

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  12. It’s OK to be in a slump!! Also, really glad you enjoyed Call It What You Want. I don’t know why, but I’m always surprised by how much I love Kemmerer’s books.

    Like

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