Watching - July 2021

The Book of Life (2014)
I'd heard from my kids that Pixar's Coco was basically a replay of this film, but I'd never seen it for some reason. Conveniently it's now on Disney+ so we were able to make the comparison. At least, Z was, as I haven't watched Coco for ages. The themes are very, very similar, as they are based on the same cultural references, but outside of that, I think they're different stories and different films. The animation in this is nicely quirky, avoiding an attempt to be super-realistic, and if the plot is a little predictable and generic, then it's still good fun.
Military Wives (2019)
You don't need to know the story to understand where this is going from about ten minutes in, but that doesn't make it any less enjoyable. A good mix of the affecting - it's particularly good at illustrating the emotions around the partners leaving to go to Afghanistan - and the comedic elements are reliably in place. Good enough to keep watching, but not brilliant.
Eric Clapton: Life in 12 Bars (2018)
Eric Clapton is one of the reasons I started playing guitar - not the only reason by any means, but definitely a big part of it. Yet for some reason I know little of his music past Derek & The Dominoes, nor much of his history since then either. Interestingly, this biography doesn't actually tell you much past this time either, other than, basically, he was drunk for about twenty years. His albums from about 461 Ocean Boulevard (1974) to Journeyman (1989) are dismissed with the one-liner "I can hear how drunk I was", yet I suspect that much of his wealth comes from the music he made during this period. He's obviously had hard times, some through no fault of his own and some entirely self-imposed. The film ends on happy notes: as well as setting up the Crossroads centres, he finds love and has children (about the same age as mine, incredibly). Moving in places, fairly stark in others, this was an interesting watch but I felt it obscured some things.

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