Thursday Movie Picks: Break-Ups

There’s something about the changing seasons, days getting shorter and the weather getting colder that makes curling up on the sofa with a hot drink and a sappy movie so appealing to me. So I guess it’s great timing that this week’s Wandering Through the Shelves Thursday Movie Picks theme is break-ups!

When I started scouring my Letterboxd account for possible choices, I very nearly created a theme within a theme of Ryan Gosling break-up movies, but changed my mind at the last minute! It was a good reminder that there are still far too many of his movies I haven’t seen yet, though…

But without further ado, here are my 3 picks for the week:

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The Break-Up (2006)

I know this seems like the laziest choice ever, but I actually really love this movie! Back in the day when I didn’t watch many movies at all, The Break-Up was the first rom-com I watched with an ending that surprised me, it totally bummed me out and I’ve never forgotten about it! Plus, it has my favourite funny argument between a couple ever. “I don’t want you to do the dishes, I want you to WANT to do the dishes!” “Why would I WANT to do the dishes?!”

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Begin Again (2013)

Excuse me John Carney, it’s been 3 years since your last movie, we’re due another! You can always count on a John Carney movie to be beautiful and have the best soundtrack ever. I loved Begin Again so much. Keira Knightly plays a talented musician who finds herself single after her long-time boyfriend makes it big in the music industry and leaves her behind. It’s just stunning in all aspects!

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La La Land (2016)

I will never, ever, get over the sadness that the ending to La La Land caused me. It’s just not fair. I thought I was over it, and then on holiday we were stuck in some Los Angeles traffic and I found myself singing ‘Another Day of Sun’ and it brought the pain back to me. I do like that the embarrassment at the Oscars where La La Land was announced as Best Picture just to have it corrected a few minutes later was kind of a parallel to what the audience to this movie ends up going through, though. The irony isn’t lost on me!

Best and Worst Amy Poehler Movies

I had so much fun writing my Best and Worst Will Ferrel Movies post a couple of months ago, I’ve been looking for an excuse to write another. For these kinds of posts, I usually head over to IMDB and check birthday dates because trying to pick an actor or actress out of thin air is virtually impossible. Turns out it’s one of my favourite comedic actress’ birthday today so I’m presenting you with my Best and Worst Amy Poehler Movies!

Her favourite role of mine will always be Leslie Knope from Parks & Recreation. That show grew to be my most loved TV show of all time, and Leslie is just one of those characters who I admire and relate to so much. If you’ve never watched Parks & Rec please, please give it a go! As of the time of this post being published I’m pretty sure it’s on Netflix. The first Season is slow to get into (but short!) but a few episodes into Season 2, I guarantee you’ll be hooked if you’ve stuck it out that far.

Anyway, I’m talking movies today. So without further ado, these are my 3 favourite Amy Poehler movies:

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Sisters (2015)

If Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are together, you’re guaranteed to have a good time. The way they bounce off each other is simply brilliant, and after their short appearance at the Oscars I hope one day they’ll present the whole night! Sisters is one of those comedies that can be hilarious if you’re in the right mood. Poehler and Fey play sisters (funnily enough) who are summoned to clean out their childhood bedroom so that their parents can sell the house. It’s rude, it’s funny, and there are plenty of cameos to spot, too!

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Wet Hot American Summer (2001)

This one is worth a watch for the cast alone! I only watched it myself for the first time recently so seeing a baby faced Paul Rudd and Bradley Cooper was a funny experience. The movie itself is basically the crazy antics of a summer camp, full of romance, mischief, and ending with a big talent competition. I might just make this movie a summer tradition.

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Inside Out (2015)

No prizes for guessing Inside Out would be my favourite. There aren’t many Disney/Pixar movies I don’t love but this one struck a chord with me like no other. Casting is so important when it comes to animation, and especially so when the animated characters are, in fact, emotions. Amy Poehler voices Joy, and I couldn’t think of anyone else more perfect for the role!

Now I’ve spread positiveness and love all over this post, time to highlight a couple of stinkers…

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The House (2017)

You could make the argument that The House was just a ‘meh’ movie rather than a bad one, but I was so disappointed that it wasn’t anywhere near as good as I hoped! Amy Poehler, Will Ferrell (that’s an odd coincidence, actually) and a whole bunch of familiar faces from Parks & Rec, together in one movie? Combined with a trailer that never failed to make me laugh, no matter how many times I saw it? I was so excited. And it turned out to be such an unforgettable movie.

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Wine Country (2019)

And speaking of promising casts, let’s look no further than this year’s Netflix release, Wine Country. You know how I said Amy Poehler and Tina Fey together was a guaranteed good time? I guess there’s always an exception to the rule. The story itself was interesting enough, but Wine Country was far from a good comedy.

So, judging by my Will Ferrel post, this is the part where you all tell me about an amazing movie that I haven’t even heard of, let alone watched. Last time, many of you told me about a great Will Ferrell flick, Stranger Than Fiction (2006). For the record, I haven’t seen it yet, but I plan to this week. What’s your favourite Amy Poehler movie?

Thursday Movie Picks: Non-English Language Movies

Shame on me, it’s been forever since I took part in Wandering Through the Shelves’ Thursday Movie Picks. I got into the swing of it, came across a week where I had nothing to contribute, and then fell off the wagon, hard. Typically now I’m back off holiday this week’s theme is a real struggle for me, but I do (just about) have 3 movies to bring to the table this week.

The theme, of course, is Non-English Language Movies. I’ve largely avoided these movies for the majority of my life because…well. I’m from England where we rarely learn any other language at a high level, and the thought of reading a movie was offputting. I’ve widened my horizons in recent years though, and I’ll happily watch any movie that other bloggers are raving about, no matter the language!

Here are my 3 favourites that I’ve seen so far…

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Incendies (2010)

If you’ve seen any of Denis Villenueve’s other movies (Prisoners, Sicario, Enemy, to name a few) then you know you’re in for a wild, often brutal ride. There are no happy endings here. Incendies is the story of a set of twins traveling to the Middle East to discover their family history, and it was one of those endings that has haunted me ever since. 100% a must watch!

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Memories of Murder (2003)

Speaking of no happy endings…Joon-ho Bong’s Memories of Murder was an exhausting (but worth it!) watch. It deals with three detectives desperately trying to solve the case of multiple murders. If you’ve watched Wind River (2017) and found it a good watch, then this should definitely be next on your list.

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Roma (2018)

A weird choice, considering I wasn’t exactly singing it’s praises when I reviewed it last year, but despite Roma not being the most exciting movie I’ve ever seen, it’s stuck with me ever since. On the surface, it’s a quiet story of a housemaid and the life she leads, but there are some really powerful moments in there.

Thursday Movie Picks: Blockbuster Flops

Sometimes, after spending literally hundreds of millions of dollars on acting talent, special effects and marketing, a movie flops at the box office. More often than not, these movies are Blockbusters – those movies sometimes based on other movies, books or TV shows. Most of the time, the flop is justified. The movie was just downright terrible. But that isn’t always the case, and I guess this week Wandering Through the Shelves has set us bloggers the task of defending some of those failed movies.

I used this Wikipedia article to help me define what the biggest movie flops are, and these are 3 of those movies that I don’t think deserved to do so badly.

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Ghostbusters (2016) Production Budget: $144m Worldwide Gross: £229m

I loved the all-female Ghostbusters remake. Not because I’m a woman and I want women to have bigger roles in the industry, but because it was a fun movie and it made me laugh. In fact, it was the first Ghostbusters movie I ever watched, I watched the original for the first time last year and wasn’t that impressed (don’t @ me). What annoys me so much is wondering how much of a factor internet trolls were to the failure of the remake. If anyone’s seen the movie and hated it that’s fine, everyone has their own opinion, but to hate on a movie before even seeing it is just childish!

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Rise of the Guardians (2012) Production Budget: $145m Worldwide Gross: £306m

Honestly, I was shocked to find Rise of the Guardians in that Wikipedia list. I think it’s such a beautiful animated movie. It’s definitely geared more towards being a Christmas movie but it covers a lot of other holidays too. The voice cast is stellar (Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law to name a few) and the story is so sweet. If you’ve never seen it before please just do me this one favour and give it a try!

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Green Lantern (2011) Production Budget: $220m Worldwide Gross: $219m

Yeah, yeah, you rolled your eyes so hard I heard them! I know Green Lantern isn’t a good movie. I watched it before I got into the genre and didn’t know better. Anyone who’s ever read a Green Lantern comic could write a better script, and the bad guy was butchered in the development phases. BUT. Are you telling me that Green Lantern deserves a flop sticker when movies like Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad are labeled as huge successes?

Best & Worst Will Ferrell Movies

It’s been ages since I did a list like this but I haven’t watched any movies whilst I’ve been feeling ill – and I find myself in a writing kind of mood so with no reviews to write it seemed like a good time to make a list. IMDB tells me that today is Will Ferrell’s birthday, so what better time to look back at my 5 favourite movies of his, and point out his worst!

Has Will Ferrell played a serious role yet? I’ve seen quite a few of his movies but they’ve all been comedies. As we all know, comedy is hugely subjective, so some of you might disagree with my list entirely, but where would the fun be if we all had the same opinion? I don’t know what my first Will Ferrell movie was, but generally, I think he’s a really funny guy. He was great in The Office in the small role he played, and he’s one of those actors who will always draw me to a movie if he’s in it.

In the last few years, it seems he’s turned his hand towards producing, with a number of projects in the works, but I hope he has an acting role in those projects too! Here are my favourite movies that he’s starred in:

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#5 Daddy’s Home (2015)

This stupid movie grew on me for sure. When I first watched it I wasn’t impressed, and apart from the last scene at the school dance I didn’t find it that funny, but then on one of the flights during my honeymoon we were on one of the older planes with the TV screens in the aisles, and I found myself forced to watch it for a second time. Maybe I was just in a better mood, or maybe it was the free food, but I really enjoyed it upon a rewatch! The sequel was trash though, sadly.

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#4 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

I might be wrong, but I’ve always thought that Ron Burgundy is the role that Will Ferrell is most famous for. I have to admit, I haven’t watched Anchorman for years but I watched it a lot when I was in college and still remember a lot of the lines. It feels like one of those rare comedies that seems to have wide appeal, I’m yet to find someone who didn’t like it…until now maybe?

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#3 The Lego Movie (2014)

I’m still mad that the Academy snubbed this movie! Anyway, I’ve always loved animated movies and I have huge respect for the actors and actresses who can do voice work so well. It’s something I think a lot of people assume is an easy thing to do, but I’ve watched a lot of interviews and read a lot about the work that goes into it, and it sounds tough. Will Ferrell provides the voice of the evil Lord Business here, as well as an in-person role at the end of the movie.

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#2 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Thank you, Dad, for introducing me to Austin Powers when I was a kid. I love those movies so much! They are a must watch if you’ve never seen them before. Will Ferrell only plays a very small role as an Egyptian henchman of Dr. Evil, but his role is one of the most memorable, especially when he is sentenced to death after causing Mr. Bigglesworth the cat to lose all his fur. “I’m still alive! But very badly burned…”

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#1 Elf (2003)

How could my #1 choice be any other movie? I’ll never forget watching this movie for the first time…at the cinema…for my brother’s birthday…in an empty screen…because it was the middle of January! Why was the cinema still playing Elf?! Who knows, but I think I’ve watched it every Christmas since. Buddy the Elf is my spirit animal.

I guess the general rule is that when it’s your birthday, everyone has to be nice to you, but then there are birthday beatings! So, with that in mind, let me share Will Ferrell’s worst movie…

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Holmes & Watson (2018)

Even the poster for this movie annoys me. So much about this movie annoyed me! It actually started on a visual joke that really tickled me, and I had hope that I would be one of the few who would enjoy the rest. Then it gradually got worse and worse until I was actually groaning at some of the jokes. Believe the reviews guys, it really is that bad. I expected so much better!

Over to you guys though…what’s your favourite and least favourite Will Ferrell movie?

Best & Worst Movies of 2019…So Far!

We’re halfway through the year (can you believe it?!) and summer has well and truly arrived in the UK…in the sense that it’s kind of warm, but won’t stop raining. At least it’s an excuse to hide indoors and see all the blockbusters! I feel like 2019 has been a great year for movies so far. It’s had its fair share of stinkers and disappointments for sure, but on the whole I’ve really enjoyed the 2019 releases I’ve seen. In fact, if I check out my Letterboxd ratings, I’ve got 3 five-star movies for the year, compared with none at this point in 2018!

In true blogger fashion, I thought this would mark the perfect time to pick my Top 5 Best and Worst movies of the year so far. Shall we start with the duds? It’s always nice to end on a high note!

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#5 Someone Great

I really wanted to love this movie. I knew not to expect something award-worthy, or a completely original plot that would blow me away, but the cast is impressive and if nothing else I thought I was guaranteed a lot of laughs. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment. It had its moments but it mostly felt like the movie was just trying to take the piss out of Millennials.

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#4 What Men Want

Taraji P. Henson being an absolute badass in a comedy where she can hear men’s thoughts? What could possibly go wrong? It took far too long for the movie to get going, and although it started to pick up steam eventually I’d lost interest at that point. Tracy Morgan was pretending he was actually starring in an episode of 30 Rock.

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#3 Wine Country

It’s still too soon, I’m not sure I can even talk about Wine Country. Some of my favourite comedic actresses getting together and getting drunk should have been a match made in heaven, so why was it so damn boring? I’m starting to get very suspicious of Netflix Original comedies…

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#2 Wonder Park

This stupid movie made me cry for no purpose whatsoever. If you’re a fan of theme parks and really want to watch a budget, crap version of Inside Out then here’s your perfect movie. I still don’t know why it’s even called Wonder Park when the park in the actual movie is called Wonderland. Arggghhh!

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#1 Serenity

I’ve just realised I never even wrote a mini-review of this movie, let alone anything structured. In fact, I almost gave Serenity a pass because it’s at that level of terrible where I actually had a lot of fun watching it. There’s a good movie in here somewhere, but wow, what a plot twist. Just don’t do what I do and start to read deeper into it, because that’s when it really derails. I’m not sure anything will be able to top this by the end of the year!

I could have quite easily done a list of 10 Best movies of the year so far, which means doing it at the end of the year is going to be horribly difficult. I’ve just enjoyed a lot of movies so far this year! My honourable mentions go to Aladdin, Booksmart, Instant Family, Isn’t It Romantic, Long Shot, Missing Link, Us, Captain Marvel, and Fighting with My Family for narrowly missing out on a spot.

So, without further ado, here are what I’ve deemed the best movies of 2019 so far:

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#5 Shazam!

So many of my reviews this year have started with me saying how pleasantly surprised I’ve been with a movie. With the rubbish released in previous years, I never thought I’d have a DC movie in my top list! I was so hesitant about Shazam!, it looked funny but it also looked a bit dumb in the trailer, but I was overwhelmed. I laughed so much in the cinema and I didn’t expect it to have so much heart too – I’ve seen it twice already.

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#4 Pokemon Detective Pikachu

When Detective Pikachu was announced what feels like 10 years ago, I groaned. As someone who grew up with the trading cards, TV show and videogames, I was dying for a live-action Pokemon movie but not one revolved around a Pikachu with a detective hat. But oh my god. I was sold once the first trailer came in. I know the non-Pokemon fans didn’t enjoy it much, but for me, there’s so much fan service involved that I was grinning the whole time.

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#3 Toy Story 4

I’ve only reviewed this very recently so I’ll keep this one short, major kudos to Pixar for not only making an incredible original and 3 amazing sequels. I thought Toy Story 3 gave the movie a perfect ending but number 4 went one better.

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#2 Avengers: Endgame

My Top 2 keep changing minute by minute. In fact, I’ve changed the order at least 5 times just whilst writing this post. Ask me tomorrow and I’ll have changed my mind again. There was no doubt in my mind though that Endgame would be amazing. Marvel just have this movie making down to fine art now, and what a perfect ending this was for the current Avengers line up. It’s a good job it’s being re-released next week because I didn’t make the full movie without a toilet break and I still don’t know what I missed!

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#1 John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum

I know. I know I put John Wick above Endgame. “It’s only because of Keanu Reeves!” I can hear you all saying. You’re probably right. But if you asked me which of 2019’s movies I’ve enjoyed the most so far, it’s going to be Parabellum every time. I saw it twice at the cinema and I’m looking forward to a DVD release so I can watch it again. Those choreographed fight scenes are just perfect, and it’s ruined every other action movie for me. I’m dying to see Chapter 4!

Enough about me, over to you guys…what’s been your Best & Worst of the year so far? Is it feeling like a good year for movies?

Thursday Movie Picks: Interview

Thursday Movie Picks

Happy Thursday everyone! It’s almost Easter! It’s almost time for it to be acceptable to stuff our faces with chocolate, wayhey! Did I buy my toddler a chocolate egg? Of course I did. Did I pick her the one that just so happened to be my favourite too? You can bet your ass I did. Chocolate is bad for you, kiddo.

Today’s Thursday Movie Picks theme is Interview. Did I ever mention that I work in recruitment? Well, to be honest, I don’t, I’m a Sales & Marketing Administrator, but I work for a recruitment agency – so the theme is quite relevant for me! It’s a shame most real interviews don’t happen the way they do in the movies, but the consultants I work with have more than a few odd stories to share.

So, this week I’ll be sharing my favourite interview scenes from movies!

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Ted (2012)

I don’t think I could even type out what Ted said in his interview for the job at the grocery store it was so obscene, but it’s one of the best bits of the movie! I still can’t believe my brother convinced our mum to watch this movie…

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The Imitation Game (2014)

Based on the true story of Alan Turing, The Imitation Game is far from a comedy, but the scene in which Alan is interviewed for the job of cracking the code is deadpan humour at it’s finest!

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Nightcrawler (2014)

It is so much easier to get a job in movies! All Rick needed was a driving license, a cell phone, knowledge of LA and the freedom to start the job immediately. I had to laugh when he revealed that he worked as a landscaper until he realised he had hay fever.