Blogathons

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021

Drew and Kim are back again with their Ultimate Decades Blogathon! In previous years they’ve covered the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s – but rather than go back further in time this year they’re switching up the format and are focusing on years ending in a 1. You can find a list with all of this year’s entries here. With so many movies in so many eligible years, it was impossible for me to pick just 1 movie to talk about so instead I’m bringing you 5 of my favourite movies spanning 5 decades!

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1971 – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

I’ve watched very few movies from the 70s but one of those just so happens to be one of my childhood classics. Watching it now, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is quite a terrifying story but as a child it was magical. Didn’t we all just wish we could visit the factory and eat all the sweets and chocolate we could?

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1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark

This blogathon serves as a perfect reminder that I need to have an Indiana Jones marathon soon. I remember watching the Indiana Jones live show at Disney World as a child and thinking I was watching the real deal. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve seen every movie in the franchise yet so watch this space but in the meantime, can we all agree Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best of them all?

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1991 – Beauty and the Beast

I talk about this amazing, greatest of all time Disney movie far too much so I’ll keep this brief but come on, this was the only option for me. My Mum likes to tell me that this movie was played so much when I was little the VHS tape was worn to nothing but as it’s also her favourite Disney movie I’m not convinced that it was me who demanded it be played daily.

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2001 – Donnie Darko

There were a lot of movies I wanted to pick for this year but it has to be Donnie Darko. It opened my eyes to a movie genre that wasn’t animation, action or comedy and was basically the beginning of my love for weird movies. There’s something new to discover with every watch of Donnie Darko.

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2011 – The Muppets

Yes, I know this is an odd choice. There were some fantastic movies released in 2011, but I’ve realised that subconsciously I’ve been picking movies that mean something to me on a deeper level rather than simply great movies, and so I had to pick The Muppets. If I were to explain my sense of humour to you – this movie is it. It’s essentially me in movie form. And fun fact – at our wedding we walked back down the aisle to ‘Life’s a Happy Song’!

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.

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#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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!