Blogathons

Hidden Gems Movie Challenge 2021

For at least 3 years now I have tried and failed to complete a full year of the Blind Spot Movie Challenge. I don’t know what happens but something just stops me. It was great, then, when last year one of my favourite movie bloggers Mettel Ray announced that she struggles with the same challenge, and so created her own – the Hidden Gems Movie Challenge. Check out her original post here to find out more, but I’ll explain briefly too.

Mettel Ray was kind enough to let me take part in the challenge myself for 2021 and I couldn’t be more excited. The idea is that each month you pick an actor or actress of whom you’re a big fan of, and watch 3 of their movies you haven’t yet seen, with the hope of finding a hidden gem. If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know I tend to obsess over a star and then consume as much of their filmography as I can so this should absolutely be a challenge I can keep to and enjoy!

The hardest part is picking who to focus on for each month! Like Mettel Ray, I’m going to pick 6 actors and 6 actresses. There are 3 names who, as much as I love them, aren’t going to be included, and that’s simply because I’ve already watched so many of their movies there either aren’t even 3 left or there are only 3 or 4 that I haven’t seen. Those names are Adam Driver, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.

So, without further ado, here are my picks…

hidden-gems-dan-stevensJANUARY – Dan StevensĀ 

hidden-gems-kristen-stewartFEBRUARY – Kristen Stewart

hidden-gems-keanu-reevesMARCH – Keanu Reeves

hidden-gems-michael-b-jordanAPRIL – Michael B. Jordan

hidden-gems-margot-robbieMAY – Margot Robbie

hidden-gems-paul-ruddJUNE – Paul Rudd

hidden-gems-nicole-kidmanJULY – Nicole Kidman

hidden-gems-jake-gyllenhaalAUGUST – Jake Gyllenhaal

hidden-gems-octavia-spencerSEPTEMBER – Octavia Spencer

hidden-gems-emily-bluntOCTOBER – Emily Blunt

hidden-gems-emma-thompsonNOVEMBER – Emma Thompson

hidden-gems-oscar-isaacDECEMBER – Oscar Isaac

Blogathons

Girl Week 2020: Female Directors of 2020

For 6 years now, one of my favourite movie buffs Dell at Dell on Movies has hosted his Girl Week blogathon, celebrating females in the movie industry. Many bloggers have been posting this week and I’ve snuck in at the last minute with a post of my own. If you want to find out more check out Dell’s announcement post and give him a follow if you haven’t already.

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In 2019 and 2018 I posted about the female directors of that year so far, and it feels right to carry on with that theme. At this point in November in 2018 I had watched 47 new releases, and just 4 of them were directed by woman, which shocked me. In 2019, I’d seen 70 new releases, and only 8 were directed by women. That’s still really bad, isn’t it? I told myself after that I would make a concentrated effort to improve that figure by you know, 2020 happened and I have to admit I haven’t kept track. So with that in mind, allow me a minute (or 20) to look at my Letterboxd account and run the figures.

Number of 2020 releases watched so far: 77
Number of 2020 releases watched that are directed by women: 16

You know what? I’m reservedly happy with that number. Of course I wish it was higher but that’s double the number of last year when I’ve watched roughly the same number of movies overall. I think it’s mainly due to having virtually no blockbuster movies this year, freeing up my time for indie releases. I’ll list all 16 for you now, and I may as well do a top 5, right?

365 Days – Barbara Bialowas, Tomasz Mandes
Emma. – Autumn de Wilde
Mulan – Niki Caro
Misbehaviour – Philippa Lowthorpe
High Note – Nisha Ganatra
Desperados – LP
The Old Guard – Gina Prince-Bythewood
She Dies Tomorrow – Amy Seimetz
Unpregnant – Rachel Goldenberg
On the Rocks – Sofia Coppola
American Murder: The Family Next Door – Jenny Popplewell

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#5 Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. the Reverend – Claire Scanlon

Chosing a 5th place was tricky because looking back at my film diary, I ranked a lot of these 7/10. The one I had the most fun with though was the interactive Kimmy Schmidt movie. The show cheered me up during the tough days of having a newborn baby, and now the movie is here cheering me up in a terrible year!

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#4 Birds of Prey – Cathy Yan

It almost feels surreal that I was at a cinema this year to see Birds of Prey. I don’t generally rate the DC movies but this was so much fun, and Margot Robbie is the perfect Harley Quinn. It sucks that WB didn’t give it the marketing it deserves, and now it’s been hailed as a flop.

kajillionaire-2020-evan-rachel-wood-movie

#3 Kajillionaire – Miranda July

Kajillionaire just represents everything I love about indie movies. Great characters, great acting and a weird as heck story. I’m so glad I got to see it at the cinema before they closed again, and I’m hopeful that a streaming service picks it up soon so I can watch it again.

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#2 The Broken Hearts Gallery – Natalie Krinsky

I’ve seen The Broken Hearts Gallery twice now and loved it just as much on a rewatch. There are hoards of average romcoms released every year but every now and again there’s a diamond in the rough and this is one of them.

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#1 Happiest Season – Clea DuVall

I haven’t written a proper review of Happiest Season yet (that’s coming next week) but there’s just no way I wasn’t going to enjoy it. I’ve always been a Kristen Stewart fan, I would walk on all the LEGO barefoot for Aubrey Plaza and these last couple of months I’ve binge watched an unhealthy amount of Schitt’s Creek for Daniel Levy so it would have taken a disaster for me to not love this movie.

Blogathons

Badly Drawn Christmas Movie Posters: Christmas in July Blogathon

Note: Originally posted on Drew’s blog here – please check him out and follow him if you aren’t already!

How many years has Drew been hosting my favourite blogathon now? I lost count, but I think I’ve taken part every year. This could, however, be the first year I’ve submitted my entry on time.

In previous years I’ve listed my favourite Christmas movies, defended Die Hard as being classed as a Christmas movie, picked which Christmas movies I can’t wait to watch with my daughter and suffered through the Star Wars Christmas Special movie. This year, after having a lot of fun hosting a Zoom quiz round on movies based on posters that I had badly recreated, I decided to do it again.

So, I present to you…5 badly drawn Christmas movie posters! All drawn by yours truly whilst binging my latest Netflix obsession, Modern Family. Can you guess them all? I’ll pop the answers at the bottom of this post.

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Now…my favourite part of Drew’s Christmas in July blogathon is that he hosts a party, and we get to bring any celebrity guest we would like, particularly someone we would like to meet under the mistletoe. In previous years I’ve invited Chris Pratt, Dan Stevens…and practically the whole male cast of the Star Wars sequels…oh and Keanu Reeves too! I’m starting to run out of options. I also can’t help but feel that in a Coronavirus-filled world, we might be forced to be socially distanced at this party…so I can’t bring someone too irresistible.

My lockdown TV obsession has been Modern Family. I haven’t seen a single episode before but now I’m wondering what to do with my life when I finish Season 7 as that’s all the UK Netflix has! So Drew, to your party this year, I’m bringing my Modern Family BFFs, Mitchell and Cam!

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Oh and if my terrible drawings have left you scratching your head…here are the answers!

badly-drawn-christmas-movie-posters-answers

Blogathons

Thursday Movie Picks: Prequels

Happy Thursday, folks! If it even is Thursday. I should have stuck with Wandering Through the Shelves’ Thursday Movie Picks from the start of lockdown really, but it’s been so difficult to find any love for movies since the end of March. Now’s a good as time as any though, right? So this Thursday we’re talking about movie prequels.

The movie world is rife with sequels of varying quality, but prequels are rarer to come by. I have to admit, I couldn’t find 3 prequels that Ii can say I ‘loved’, but I did find some that I enjoyed.

best-movie-prequels-bumblebee

Bumblebee (2018)

I haven’t seen all of the Transformers movies. I enjoyed the first one, as cheesy and silly as it was, and I’m fairly sure I watched Revenge of the Fallen. After that, I honestly couldn’t say. If it weren’t for my ODEON card I doubt I would have given Bumblebee a chance, but do you know what? It was a really decent movie! Full of heart and stunning action sequences, and Bumblebee has always been my favourite Transformer anyway.

best-movie-prequels-rogue-one

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Something funny I read online that I’ve never forgotten is “Noone hates Star Wars movies as much as Star Wars fans”. It’s so true! From the chatter I heard though, the consensus was that Rogue One was a solid addition to the series. It’s not one I find myself wanting to rewatch as much as the other movies, but I loved K-2SO so much. It had some pretty dodgy CGI that isn’t going to age well but the Darth Vader corridor scene more than makes up for it.

best-movie-prequels-the-hobbit

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)

Are you ready for a confession? I’ve only seen 1 of the Lord of the Rings movies. I don’t know why I’ve not made an effort to see the others, they should be my ideal kind of movie, but it just hasn’t happened. I really enjoyed all 3 of the prequel movies, and I read the book for the first time afterwards, too. It’s wild how they made 3 movies out of such a small book!

Blogathons · TV Shows

Thursday Movie Picks TV Edition: 2019 Freshmen Series

I really thought I was going to have to skip this week’s theme. I just don’t watch a lot of TV anymore, and because I don’t have a lot of free time I’m suspicious of new shows. I don’t want to sink hours into a brand new show that turns out to be garbage 5 seasons later when I’m too invested to stop!

So yes, this week’s Thursday Movie Picks theme is dedicated to TV shows that premiered in 2019. I knew I had 2 that I could contribute. And that was about it. But then I remembered a show that I started and didn’t finish, so perhaps you can all tell me if it’s worth sticking it out.

best-tv-shows-2019-witcher-geralt-jaskier

The Witcher

I haven’t read the books that the show is based on, but I’m a huge fan of the games, and I hated it when Henry Cavill was announced as Geralt. He’s not my Geralt. But I was too curious to stay away, so I gave it a go. I have to say…he’s a good Geralt. You can tell that Cavill himself is a huge Witcher fan and I see a lot of the video game Geralt in him. I just hope that Netflix throws a lot more money into Season 2 because it’s so painfully obvious that 99% of the budget was blown on Cavill’s salary!

best-tv-shows-2019-mandalorian-baby-yoda

The Mandalorian

But Allie…aren’t you from the UK? The UK doesn’t get Disney+ until the end of March? Well, you know what Disney? Spoiler alert but we’ve all watched The Mandalorian. Perhaps next time you should plan your releases a bit smarter. The entire world fell in love with Baby Yoda late last year, me included. The Mandalorian is a fun little show that doesn’t take itself too seriously and feels accessible for the newest of Star Wars fans whilst still providing enough fan service for the hardcore fans. It’s just an all-round crowd pleaser!

best-tv-shows-2019-living-with-yourself

Living With Yourself

This is the show I didn’t finish. I love Paul Rudd, and him being the lead in a TV show where he has to work out how to live with the better version of himself sounded like the right kind of crazy. It just didn’t turn out as fun as I expected it to be. Has anyone else watched the whole season? Is it worth sticking with?