Watching Shit Movies So You Don’t Have To

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I love movies. I love going to the cinema. But sometimes the movies don’t love me.

Here is a list of some of my viewing experiences over the last year, divided by my opinion of their quality. I’ll link them to their IMDb pages for more info. Some are new, some are old. Some are mainstream, some are more obscure.

 

The Great…

Mad Max – Fury Road – Refreshing, amazing, out-of-the-box action movie that shows women of all shapes, sizes and ages can kick ass.

The Tree of Life – Not a normal movie. Don’t expect a normal movie. Part meditation, part polarising vignette of toxic masculinity. Let it wash over you. It can be an amazing experience if you can forgive it for not being a normal movie.

If These Walls Could Talk – Troubling, devastating and incredibly important movie about abortion. An all-star cast of amazing women, frighteningly real and still all too relevant today.

 

The Good…

Star Wars – The Force Awakens – Nice girl-power adventure movie with a few historical actors to appeal to the purists. Rey is the hero we have been waiting for. Looking forward to the next installment.

The Hunting Ground (documentary) – Eye-opening, disturbing expose of the epidemic of rape and rape culture on college campuses in the USA.

Iron-Jawed Angels – Eye-opening and uplifting story of the horrendous treatment a group of women in the USA endured to obtain the right to vote.

Terminator – Genisys – I actually liked this. I liked the characters. I liked how they worked Arnold Schwartznegger’s advancing age into the story. Jai Courtney and Emilia Clarke are adorable. Much better than any of the other cash cows in the franchise that have come out since Judgement Day.

Hot Girls Wanted (documentary) – a distressing, gut-punch of a film from Rashida Jones, telling the story of young girls who attempt to make their fortune in amateur porn. If you still think porn is harmless after watching this, then there is no hope for you.

 

The Watchable…

Trainwreck – Like every other romantic comedy but with more swearing and dick jokes.

Ricki and The Flash – Cute, fluffy, musical, occasionally cringeworthy, with a dash of age-appropriate eye candy in the form of Rick Springfield.

Magic Mike XXL – A movie about men, by men, for women. Cute road movie with a few glaring ‘nope’ moments. See my extended review of it at The Wild Words.

 

The Disappointing…

The Piano – Not at all the amazing feminist piece I was expecting. Men behaving badly, women doing what they can with what they have. Harvey Keitel’s exposed backside neither adds nor detracts. His character is still creepy and predatory.

The Virgin Suicides – Meh. I was completely unmoved by this. Not sure if that makes me a bad person. The mother in the story was the only family member without a first name, she was just ‘Mrs Lisbon’. That irks me.

 

The Terrible…

The Wolf of Wall Street – Three hours of my life I will never get back. Spent all of it wanting to punch Leonardo Di Caprio in the face. What a thoroughly unlikable character.

The Dressmaker – hideous representation of life in small-town Australia. Portrays old people and women as caricatures of evil, while nice young white men are thoroughly pleasant ‘good blokes’ who shit keeps happening to. Watch ‘Shame’ for a more accurate version of what goes on in places like this.

The Diary of a Teenage Girl – claims to be an empowering depiction of emerging female sexuality, is actually a well-crafted normalisation of grown men having sex with young girls. Wrong. Avoid.

 

Now, I don’t waste time on a movie unless I have a reason to watch it. Whether that is a recommendation, a trailer that piqued my interest, positive reviews or a suggestion based on something else I have watched. And I check the content meticulously. Yet, as you can see, I still end up watching some clangers.

If, based on this list, you know of anything I might like to watch, or at least investigate, please drop me a line. I am also always willing to discuss movies that people disagree with me about, so if your experience of any of these was different, or if it was the same, feel free to say so in the comments.

 

GTGMY

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I invented a thing, at least I think I did. There is no short way to describe it, so it gets a blog post.

I use a lot of essential oils in my soap varieties because I like things that smell nice and I like creating combinations of colours and scents and names in my soaps. But not everyone likes a scented soap, and some essential oils are contra-indicated in pregnancy or can cause irritation in some people. So I wanted to make sure that anyone who prefers not to use essential oil soap has plenty to choose from as well.

My soaps are made with 25% whole raw goat milk. I had heard that yogurt was great in soap, and had that in mind to try. I know many soapers use tea in their soaps as well, and green tea in particular is said to be great for the skin.

I don’t know how I got the idea to combine milk, yogurt and green tea in a sort of perfect storm of soap liquids.

It starts like this. The milk needs to be heated to 90 degrees and then cooled so that the yogurt culture can digest the proteins. During this heating and cooling I infused the milk with regular green tea.

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Infusing the milk with green tea, prior to adding yogurt culture.

The next step was to wait 12 hours for the culture to do its work, then measure the yogurt into containers and freeze it.

After that all that remained was to make soap, substituting my usual 450g of milk for 450g of yogurt. I wasn’t sure what colour I would end up with, so I decided to add a 10% green mica swirl so that if it came out very pale I would be able to easily distinguish the yogurt soap from plain milk soap.

Everything went fine… until I started adding the lye to the yogurt. Then this happened…

GTGMY2

Green tea yogurt plus lye…

It started to turn a nasty orange. Thin, with lumps. It reminded me of some of the worst nappies I have ever changed. I thought ‘What on earth have I done?!’

Even with the lye fully dissolved and the yogurt completely melted it still looked nasty.

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Yogurt and lye mixing complete… ew.

For comparison, here is the plain milk and lye mix from today’s batch of citrus EO soap…

plain milk and lye

Normal milk and lye mixture.

The oils were ready… the stick blender was on standby… I decided to press on. I mixed it all together and it started to look less like dysentery and more like soap.

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In the jug, at trace, ready to pour.

I separated 200g and added the mica colouring with a bit of olive oil, then poured the soap into the mould. A little bit of artistic fiddling and it was starting to look okay.

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The soap in the mould.

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And with the dividers inserted.

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And cut, tidied and on the curing rack.

The first batch I made was in the loaf moulds. I chose this soap to try out my new slab mould knowing that in spite of the scary vomit phase, it is a fairly well-behaved recipe. It moves slowly, so it doesn’t get too thick to pour before you’ve got the colours mixed, and it is runny enough to give good concentric circles when you pour the colours alternately in the middle of the mould. It sets up fairly quickly once it starts to cool and doesn’t overheat easily, giving you time to get the pattern done and get it into the freezer. It hardens fairly quickly too, allowing you to unmould it (and cut it if done in a loaf mould) the day it is made to see how the swirl worked on each individual soap.

There are a few different ways of getting yogurt into a soap, some soapers use it unfrozen as all or part of the liquid, some simply add a couple of tablespoons to the mix at trace. I like this method of switching all the liquid for yogurt, as it maximises the amount of yogurt and green tea in each bar, while maintaining a 25% milk content.

In use I found it very cleansing, giving a really clean feeling in the shower. I expected it to be a little drying as a result, but it actually leaves that fresh, dewy feeling on your skin, similar to the super-moisturising avocado soap Holy Guacamole, but without that slightly oily undertone that comes from the high avocado oil content. Green tea is rich in antioxidants, and is said to be detoxifying and hydrating, which is certainly the impression I got from using this soap. Yogurt is claimed to be almost a cure-all when applied topically, and although the cultures probably don’t survive the saponification process, the lactic acid and other fatty acids found in goat milk are also great for the skin.

It will be sold as simply GTGMY, short for green tea goat milk yogurt. I think every aspect of the process is equally important and should be included in the title. Some customers who have bought the early release are already referring to it as ‘the yogurt soap’, but it it is GTGMY to me.