Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Horror Movie Houses

Happy start of the spooky season, folks! Anyone else waiting for the plot twist in our lives that reveals we’ve been living in a horror movie since the start of 2020? I’m still hugely out of my depth in the horror genre but I reckon I’ve seen enough to take part in the Halloween editions of Wandering Through the Shelves‘ Thursday Movie Picks this year. According to my Letterboxd account I’ve watched a total of 118 horror movies which isn’t a lot at all, but I’m embracing it this October!

This week’s theme is Horror Movie Houses. Generally speaking, I hate the kind of horror movies that take place in a creepy house in the middle of nowhere when it’s always dark and forever raining, but I do have 3 choices to share with you today. They’re all from 2019, the year I welcomed the horror genre into my life, and all center around a house in some way or another.

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The Lighthouse (2019)

I have to thank my local cinema for showing this again for one night only this week – feeding the Pattinson obsession but also giving my ideas for this week’s theme! It’s a tough movie to sell to your average movie fan,¬† and I don’t do a good job of explaining it, either. I mean basically, Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe go crazy whilst working together in a lighthouse. Dafoe gives a cracking shouty rant about lobster and Pattinson craves a steak so badly he would…well, let’s say it’s the first time I’ve ever envied a steak before.

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Vivarium (2019)

Put this at the top of the list of movies NOT to watch whilst in lockdown. Imogen Poots and Jesse Eisenberg play a young couple looking to buy their first home. An unnerving estate agent shows them to a house in a new-build neighborhood but they find themselves trapped. No matter which direction they head in, it always leads them back to this house. I’ll admit that the idea wasn’t executed perfectly, but it has so much potential.

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Ready or Not (2019)

I saved the best till last. Please give this a watch if you haven’t already! Samara Weaving marries into an unusual and wealthy family, their funds all thanks to their board game empire. As is tradition, on the night of the wedding the bride picks a card which determines the game they all play. She picks hide and seek. Harmless, yes? Think again. If she gets found, she is to be murdered. And so commences the greatest, goriest, yet funniest game of hide and seek in a beautiful house full of great hiding spots.

Lists

Ranking the Twilight Saga Movies

Yes, you read that right. With a lack of new cinema releases and a re-kindled love for Robert Pattinson, I’ve found myself re-watching the Twilight movies over the last 2 weeks. I’ve finished reading Midnight Sun too so expect a post about that sooner or later. I adored Twilight when it was new, all those years ago. Me and my Mum even stayed up late to watch the midnight showings of at least a couple of the later movies. I had a #TeamEdward t-shirt that I wore with pride. I’d be wearing it again now but…that was over 10 years ago and even if I owned it still, it wouldn’t fit.

This year I’ve started re-watching a lot of movies I enjoyed but generally there aren’t many that I watch more than once. There are SO many movies out there that I find myself always looking for something I’ve never seen, and I’m not convinced I’ve ever watched the Twilight movies since they were first released, with possible exception to the first one.

So here we are, all the Twilight Saga movies ranked from worst to best. Yes, they’re the film equivalent of junk food, but we all need a bit of junk food in times like this.

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#5 New Moon (2009)

New Moon would rank much higher among the #TeamJacob fans I’m sure, but this wasn’t the one for me. Too much moping and too little Edward!

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#4 Breaking Dawn: Part I (2011)

Part I gave us the wedding (cute) and the honeymoon (hilarious) but I can’t deal with the pregnancy stuff. That’s where it gets too silly for me even by Twilight standards!

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#3 Breaking Dawn: Part II (2012)

I don’t care for the CGI baby but Edward’s delight at vampire Bella kicking Jacob’s ass is one of the best moments in the whole Saga. Plus we get to meet loads more vampires, I wish we could have spent longer with them. Not forgetting the best and also worst plot twist in cinematic history, the final fight!

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#2 Eclipse (2010)

Eclipse is just a lot of fun for me because of the love triangle. Who can forget Jacob’s two iconic lines in this one?
“I kissed Bella. And she broke her hand. Punching my face. It was a complete misunderstanding.”
“[to Edward] Let’s face it…I am hotter than you.”

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#1 Twilight (2008)

My top 2 could switch places on any given day, but right now I don’t think you can beat that first impression, that first movie in a series that really sucks you in. The high school drama, the romance developing…I’m just a helpless romantic at heart, I think.

Lists

UPDATED – Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2018

When I started my little Top 100 Movies of the Decade project I said from the outset that I would update it over time. If I’m honest I wasn’t sure when that would be, but I didn’t expect it to be within a year of writing it. However, over lockdown I watched 2 movies from 2019 and 2018 that absolutely blew me away. I wasn’t blogging at the time and so there isn’t a dedicated post for them here, so instead it only seemed right that I updated my current lists for those years.

Are you actually kidding me? I’ve done 8 of these lists now, you’d think I would have become hardened to only picking the very best movies that I truly loved. I should have it down to a cold-hearted process, right? I just counted my starter list for 2018, and it has 21 movies on it. 21! That’s not including a lot of movies I really enjoyed but knew they weren’t quite Top 10 material. I have to cut this list in half, and chop another off after that.

Maybe 2018 was a fantastic year for movies, but it’s maybe more down to me re-finding my love for this little hobby of mine after losing myself at the start of the year. Either way, this is going to be tough. Here goes nothing. You can find my other lists here.

2018 Movies Watched: 89
Movies that just missed out: BlacKkKlansman, Bandersnatch, Bird Box, The Favourite, Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, A Quiet Place, Game Night, Love Simon, American Animals

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#10 Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Watching this movie was never on my agenda until Melissa McCarthy started getting nominations left, right and centre for it. I’m very love her or hate her with McCarthy but she was incredible here, and Richard E. Grant is a delight too. It’s a story that some might find a bit dry but I was enthralled.

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#9 Hereditary

Hereditary was the first movie I went to see by myself with my shiny new Odeon card. I must have been mad, but it was a great experience. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending but there are scenes in that movie that still bug me and haunt me, and they always will!

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#8 Widows

Badass women doing badass things – count me in. Viola Davs is absolutely terrifying in Widows, I 100% would not want to be on her bad side. There are bound to be some copycat style movies following this, but Widows will remain the original and best.

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#7 Ant-Man and the Wasp

Look – I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sure this is at the bottom of everyone’s favourite MCU movies but there was something about Ant-Man and the Wasp that struck a chord with me. It’s funny, it’s got great action scenes and it’s just…wholesome.

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#6 Green Book

Green Book is another of those movies I would have skipped if I didn’t make a habit of watching all the Best Picture nominees. I know it wasn’t a popular winner but I loved it. The story was engaging, the message powerful, and it had a surprising number of funny moments. I’m still a little mad Mahershala Ali was considered a Supporting Actor rather than Lead Actor, though.

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#5 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

So the internet decided that Into the Spider-Verse was the best Spider-Man movie ever made. I thought there was no way that could be true, but there’s only one way to find out. Turns out, the internet was right! From the stylish animation, to the smart story, funny one-liners and characters that should be annoying but aren’t, I loved every minute of this.

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#4 A Simple Favor

A comedy/mystery movie directed by Paul Feig and starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively is like, right up there on my list of dream movies. There was no way I wasn’t going to love A Simple Favor. It’s stylish, sexy and mysterious, and although it gets way too over the top at the end, it’s a wild ride.

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#3 A Star Is Born

I’ve listened to the soundtrack from A Star Is Born countless times since watching the movie, but I’m yet to bring myself to actually rewatch it. It’s such a beautifully painful story, but ugh, my heart hasn’t recovered quite yet.

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#2 Blindspotting

Ironically, I don’t know how I managed to avoid Blindspotting. I don’t remember seeing a single trailer, and the only time I reacll seeing it’s name was in the outrage on Twitter and the blogs I follow that it was ignored by the Academy. Well, it took falling in love with Hamilton (2020) and wanting to see more of Daveed Diggs to get me to pull my head out of the sand. Blindspotting is a stunner of a movie that is more important now than ever in the current #BlackLivesMatter movement. I’ve seen it twice now and I can’t recommend it enough!

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#1 Searching

An odd choice, I admit, but let me explain. I love movies that bring something a little different to the table. All scenes in Searching are through a screen, be it a laptop, mobile, CCTV, FaceTime. That alone makes it great in my eyes. The cherry on the top is a simply brilliant mystery story that twists and turns constantly, with a hugely satisfying conclusion. Love it.

Lists

UPDATED – Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2019

When I started my little Top 100 Movies of the Decade project I said from the outset that I would update it over time. If I’m honest I wasn’t sure when that would be, but I didn’t expect it to be within a year of writing it. However, over lockdown I watched 2 movies from 2019 and 2018 that absolutely blew me away. I wasn’t blogging at the time and so there isn’t a dedicated post for them here, so instead it only seemed right that I updated my current lists for those years.

That’s going to mean kicking Klaus from the Top 10 but man, 2019 was a cracking year for movies! You can see my additions in red, just in case it isn’t obvious.

Phew – what a wild ride this little project has been! Yes, I wimped out of ranking 100 movies across 10 years, but with the exception of 2010-2013, I feel like I’ve picked some solid choices here. It’s been such a fun exercise looking back at everything I’ve watched over the last 10 years, seeing how much my taste in movies has broadened and matured. It was probably handy that I took longer than I thought to make these lists because now I’ve arrived at 2019, there are movies in this list I only got the chance to see very recently, and they would have missed out otherwise.

2019 was a pretty incredible year for movies if my rankings are anything to go by. For my starter list, I only included anything that I rated 4.5/5 or higher, and I gave 21 movies that score! Just like with 2018’s list, I’m crossing movies out that could very well be in my Top 5 on another day.

Have a look at my other lists here if you haven’t seen them already!

2019 Movies Watched: 109
Movies that just missed out:¬†Klaus, Ready or Not, The Lion King, The Dead Don’t Die, Toy Story 4, Midsommar, Aladdin, Detective Pikachu, Shazam!, Good Boys, Booksmart

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#10 Joker

You might think for all my annoyance at Joaquin Phoenix taking Adam Driver’s awards that I hated Joker, but I really enjoyed it. I said at the time Phoenix should get an Oscar for his part. But then Marriage Story came along and changed my mind. I feel stuck in the middle! I’m being torn apart. I want to be free of this – sorry.

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#9 Marriage Story

Netflix sure had a good year last year! December also brought us Marriage Story, a painfully emotional story of a couple dealing with a messy divorce whilst trying to be the best parent they can be for their son. Even if you haven’t watched the movie you’re probably aware of ‘the scene’. I almost felt like I needed to turn away, like I’d walked into a very real and ugly situation. Such a good movie!

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#8 Avengers: Endgame

The MCU movies haven’t gotten a lot of love from me in these posts but I’ve found that as much as I enjoy them, I rarely rewatch them. I don’t know why. That said, 2019 brought the culmination of every MCU story so far, and it was a spectacle. So many great moments, and it was a lot of fun to be part of the crowd on opening weekend.

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#7 Parasite

Director Bong Joon Ho said something that really struck a chord with me at the Golden Globes this year. “Once you overcome the one-inch tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.” I’ve seen so few foreign-language movies, but the ones I have I found to be incredible. Parasite is such a unique movie in how it crosses genres. I thought I knew where the story was leading, but no!

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#6 1917

See, if I wasn’t so late for everything 1917 would never have made this list, because I only watched it last week. I wonder if we’ll start to see more of this one-take style of movie and get fed up of it, but it was the perfect way of telling the story of these 2 young soldiers sent on a seemingly impossible mission. See it in the cinema if you can, it won’t be the same at home!

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#5 Jojo Rabbit

Honestly, as soon as I heard Taika Waititi was making a movie about a young boy whose imaginary friend is Hitler, I knew it would be in my Top 10 of the year list. No one can make a movie like this like Waititi can. It’s somehow hilarious, shocking, and moving all at the same time.

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#4 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

It’s not a list made by yours truly without a controversial pick, is it? Whatever your thoughts on The Rise of Skywalker, for me, Star Wars is Star Wars. Has my opinion changed with time? Yes, because I can’t help but over analyse everything. But the 5 minutes we got of Ben Solo means this movie earns it’s spot here regardless.

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#3 The Peanut Butter Falcon

If you don’t know it already, I’m a total idiot. I avoided The Peanut Butter Falcon because something in the back of my mind told me it was a war movie (!?). It wasn’t until I caught the trailer on Netflix that I was like, hold up…? It’s actually one of the most beautiful, heartwarming movies I’ve ever seen. Someone on Letterboxd described it as the movie equivalent of a hug and I couldn’t word it better myself. It belongs on my imaginary shelf of amazing movies, right in between Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016).

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#2 Knives Out

The wait for Knives Out felt so long, you guys. I was hyping myself up for so long I was terrified I was building myself up for a fall. But it delivered on everything I hoped it would. What a fantastic little mystery movie. I wondered if it would hold up on a second viewing when you already know how it’s going to end, and so on, and somehow it was even better.

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#1 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

Parabellum was my #1 movie of 2019 at its halfway point, but I thought by year-end something would knock it down at least one place. It hasn’t. I give all my ratings on a mix of whether I thought it was actually a good movie, and my enjoyment of it. I enjoyed the hell out of Parabellum, and I just can’t find fault with it. How many trilogies can say their 3rd movie was even better than their previous 2? There’s no way Chapter 4 can be this good but I have everything crossed that it is!

Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Female Buddy Movies

Happy Thursday everyone! I can’t sleep after watching Host (2020) for a second time, so whilst fearing for my life I thought it was about time I got involved again in Wandering Through the Shelves’ Thursday Movie Picks. If you haven’t seen this type of post before, Wanderer gives us a theme every week and we pick 3 of our favourite movies that fit!

This week’s theme is Female Buddy Movies which I love. The secret to a good buddy movie is chemistry between the leads, I find this either makes or breaks the movie. In no particular order, my favourite female buddy movies are…

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The Heat (2013)

I can’t even believe this movie is 7 years old, it feels like only yesterday that I watched it for the first time. Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy together is a match made in heaven. It’s a buddy cop movie where Sandra Bullock plays an uptight FBI agent and Melissa McCarthy plays a foul-mouthed cop. If you haven’t seen it yet, please do!

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Bad Moms (2016)

I definitely talk about this movie too much but it deserves all the praise I give it. It was hilarious before I was even a Mum myself and even more so now. Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn all play Mums with their own different struggles, but end up becoming the best of friends. There was a Christmas sequel that was just as good, if not better.

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Pitch Perfect (2012)

This movie is right at the front of my memory as I re-watched it very recently (my Husband loved it, no matter what he might tell you). Anna Kendrick plays a freshman who gets roped into joining the school’s all-girls singing group. It’s a movie full of catchy tunes and female friendship at it’s finest, and a movie I find myself watching at least once a year!