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Lockdown Day 7 & The Upside (2019)

So the world feels like we’ve entered the upside-down but at least one thing never changes, I’m great at making a plan and failing to stick to it. I’ve been stuck under a bit of a grey cloud these past couple of days, but I was determined to journal this crazy situation and so here I am.

Our supermarkets finally have strict measures in place. There is a limit on how many people are allowed in the store at any time, so you now have to queue to get in. There are now sanitising stations for trolleys and baskets too, huzzah!

You know what’s angered me though? I have an unwell family member right now. They used the NHS 111 online service to answer questions about their symptoms and was told yes, they most definitely have Covid-19 symptoms. They were given a reference number. And that was it. They won’t be tested. You what? How on earth can we report daily figures on the number of cases when we aren’t even testing people with symptoms?!

I’m dreading tomorrow. I’ve now been put on furlough so I’m not working, but my husband’s job falls into the grey area of not being an essential business, but not being public-facing, so he has to go to work still. This past week he’s been working shifts to reduce the number of staff in the unit, so 13:30 – 20:30, but for whatever reason, they’re now scrapping that and so he’s working his using 7:30 – 16:30 from tomorrow. It’s so tough keeping a 2-year old entertained at home all day, I really struggle with it, and now I’m losing my partner in crime, my help, and my only chance at conversation all day.

That’s what I’m finding the hardest about the lockdown. It’s so lonely. Plus, once we’ve finally got the little one to bed, I’m so exhausted and full of anxiety I struggle to enjoy a bit of ‘me time’ with a movie before going to bed and starting over again the next day. Urgh.

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I’m still enjoying Animal Crossing, that game couldn’t have come at a better time, really. And I finally got around to watching The Upside (2019). I wanted to see it at the cinema, missed my chance and then forgot it even existed. Which is a shame, because it’s a really decent movie! Not the flat-out comedy I was expecting, more of a drama than anything else, but Kevin Hart and Bryan Cranston have such good chemistry it was hard not to enjoy.

It has a The Pursuit of Happyness (2006) vibe to it, with elements of Me Before You (2016). Well worth a watch if you haven’t already.

UK Netflix finally got Season 6 of Brooklyn Nine-Nine so that’s what I’m watching whilst I write this, and then who knows. I’m torn between watching Underwater (2020) or digging up an old Domhnall Gleeson movie. I hope you’re all keeping safe and well, wherever you are. We’re all in this together ❤

…and now I have that High School Musical song in my head.

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Lockdown Day 4 & Bloodshot (2020)

How are we all coping today? My parents decided to let my little girl have her Easter present early so this morning my Dad dropped off a trampoline to our back garden! Contactless delivery of course, couldn’t even say hi which really sucks. I did tell them that a trampoline is very extravagant for an Easter present but they really do spoil her. Anyway, most of the morning was spent in the garden building it and the little one LOVES it. It’s definitely helped that the UK is finally having some decent weather.

My husband is working late shifts this week so he set out after lunch, and me and sprog hopped into the car to drive to some woods we’ve never visited before. I’m trying to use our allotted outdoor exercise time to visit some new, secluded areas. I really enjoyed the walk, but it seems my hatred of staying indoors wasn’t passed down to my daughter, so it was a short walk.

This evening we watched far too much Cory Carson on Netflix. Are anyone else’s kids obsessed with this show? I’ve had to learn what episode my daughter wants to watch based on some rambled clues she gives me. Some are easier than others.
“The ice cream one”
“The doctor one”
“The bye-bye one”
“The stink stinky head one”

Last night, against all advice, I watched Bloodshot (2020). It was pretty much as I expected. Not a total flop but not really a great movie. If it were made and released 15 years ago it would have felt like a better movie, but the techy, superhero-style movies have just moved on way too far now.

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It did get better as it went on though, I quite enjoyed Guy Pearce’s character and the reveal about what they were actually getting Vin Deisel’s character to do. The kind of movie where if you saw it in the cinema it might feel like a wasted visit, but man, I would actually go and watch Cats right now if it meant I could go to my local cinema.

Right now I’m watching The Upside (2019), a movie I really wanted to see and then totally forgot it even existed. More on that tomorrow. For now, keep safe, sane, and happy ❤

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Lockdown Day 3 & The Hunt (2020)

Hi guys, you might have noticed I haven’t been around lately. The Coronavirus pretty much ruined my creative writing and my appetite for watching movies. I’m trying though, so whilst I’d probably say I’m still on some sort of hiatus, I thought it would be therapeutic to carry on using the blog as some sort of diary for now.

Today is what feels like Lockdown Day 3 for me in the UK. I’m working from home for the foreseeable future, but I work in a service industry that is essentially closed right now. In the background, my boss is trying to secure government funding to cover our wages whilst we have no work, and hopefully he’s successful. Even so, if work doesn’t pick up for us once this is over, I’m out of a job, and with a mortgage and a child depending on me, that’s causing me real mental issues right now.

So is social media. Our UK lockdown guidelines allow us out of the house to do essential shopping, as well as 1 form of outdoor exercise per day. I’ve been using my time to take my little girl to either the woods or a large outdoor park to run around in, obviously keeping our distance from everyone else. Now, they’re starting to close parks and I’m running out of options. It seems so counter-productive, and sometimes I don’t even dare share photos or videos of our walks because others have interpreted the rules as ‘DON’T LEAVE THE HOUSE EVER’ and I feel like I’m passive-aggressively being told I’m a terrible person. I need to get out for my own mental wellbeing, and being out in the woods is far less dangerous than being in a supermarket complaining about how busy it is.

So anyway – that’s how things are right now. Every day is something to overcome, but hey, we’re all in this together. And I guess that’s why it makes me sad when I see so much aggression on my Facebook and Instagram feeds.

I managed to watch The Hunt (2020) though, on Monday night. I already had my cinema ticket booked for it and then, of course, the cinemas got closed, so I was so glad I could stream it! It was absolutely bonkers.

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I’m so impressed that everyone is doing a fabulous job of not mentioning spoilers, but at the same time I’m GUTTED I didn’t see it in the cinema because those first 10 minutes were jaw-droppingly brilliant. It had a real B-Movie vibe about it, but in a good way, and oh that ending! It reminded me a lot of Ready or Not (2019) for all the right reasons.

We also got Disney+ at long last in Europe yesterday. I got a week’s free trial, for now, to see how I get on. I’d love to say I’ve been making the most of it but so far I’ve only watched The Muppets (2011) and way too many episodes of Phineas & Ferb. Whoops.

Tonight I’m either going to watch Bloodshot (2020) or start tackling my never-ending watchlist, I’m undecided yet. Watch this space. For now, I hope you’re all keeping well, and I can’t wait till the day we can complain about someone chewing popcorn too loudly at the cinema! Love to you all ❤

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Going Off Topic (#25) Crazy, Stupid, Love

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Whether you’re on a fancy getaway this weekend or having a microwave meal in front of the TV, I hope you have a fab time. I feel like my last few Off Topic posts have been a bit dull and depressing, so I’m going to try and lighten the mood today. Tonight, once the kiddo is in bed, me and my husband will be cooking up a storm with the fancy meal deal we picked up from Marks & Spencers and polishing off a bottle of red wine, whilst watching our annual traditional Valentine’s movie of Crazy, Stupid, Love!

Speaking of the kiddo, when she isn’t robbing me of sleep or causing me endless anxiety, she’s absolutely hilarious lately. She always has been, but she’s starting to speak in full sentences and she’s so crafty and clever. The other day I offered her a dinner of pasta or chicken and her response was “Ermm…chocolate coins”. Yesterday she spent most of the day telling me she wanted to go and see Santa. I work from home on Wednesdays so we spend the day together and usually try to sneak in a trip to the library or soft play. Here she is – eating a cake in her own special way and just generally looking cooler than I ever wish I could!

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February has been a very mixed month for movies, so far. I’m keeping up my momentum of watching as many movies as I can which has been great, but I’ve seen very few great movies this month. The huge exception is Birds of Prey, or Harley Quin: Birds of Prey, or whatever WB decide to call it in an attempt to stick a plaster/bandaid on the hurt they’ve caused by not bothering to tell anyone their own movie exists.

I’ve finished Season 2 of Sex Education finally, and I’m fully on board with the hype now. My brother was telling me that his college’s bathrooms are plastered with posters of Eric and his famous line “Wash your hands, you detty pig!” I’m so, so angry with Isaac though! I hated his character at first but really warmed to him, and I’d have been happy for him to get together with Maeve, but what he did in the last episode was unforgivable.

I also started to watch The Outsider which is looking really promising so far. Out of the very few books I’ve actually read – this is one of them so I’m excited to see how closely the story follows the book! In amongst all of this I’ve been watching Zumbo’s Just Desserts on Netflix which is a terrible guilty pleasure of mine.

So wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – have a fantabulous weekend!

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What I Watched: December 2019 & January 2020

Hello February! Thank goodness those 20 weeks of January are finally over. I got so caught up in putting together my Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists that I forgot to do a little roundup of everything I watched in December, so you’ve got a double whammy from me today. I’ve watched loads, and just haven’t found the time to write full reviews for a lot of what I’ve seen! Shame on me, but here are a few words on what I’ve been watching over the last two months.

Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

Yes, I’m having a weird Andy Samberg phase, okay? Don’t judge me. There’s only so much joy rewatching terrible Adam Driver movies can bring me. I didn’t love Celeste & Jesse Forever as much as I hoped, but only because they were so funny together at the start I never wanted it to end, even though I knew it made sense.

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Funny Games (2007)

This movie was WILD. Thank you to whoever recommended it to me probably about 4 years ago, it’s been sat on my watchlist ever since. At face value it’s a fairly straightforward house invasion movie, but just with that little extra. Such a good ending, too.

The Kitchen (2019)

Honestly? This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It got a bit too much towards the end but I was really into Elisabeth Moss’ character’s story and how she completely turned herself around from being pushed around to being a badass. It also has a vest-wearing Domnhall Gleeson sawing up a dead body in a bathtub. Which isn’t even the weirdest thing I’ve seen him do in a movie.

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Klaus (2019)

I can’t believe I never got around to doing a full review for Klaus. What an amazing little gem of an animated Christmas movie by Netflix! I was thrilled when it won a BAFTA and at this rate, if I even bother to stay up for the Oscars it’ll be to find out if Klaus wins again.

Black Christmas (2019)

Absolute garbage. I always try to find the good in a movie but the only thing Black Christmas had going for it was that it was so trashy, it was kind of fun to watch and poke fun of it.

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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

The first Jumanji remake was surprisingly decent, and even though I knew The Next Level was getting okay reviews I still didn’t believe it could be any good. For me, it worked, because it was very much more of the same, but if you weren’t a fan of the first then you won’t like this, either. The highlight for me was Awkwafina, who somehow does a better Danny Devito impression than the man himself!

Parasite (2019)

What a movie. I thought I knew where the story was going. I was comparing it to Us (2019). Then wow. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong! To anyone hesitant about getting into foreign-language movies because of the subtitles – give this a go. I’ve seen woefully few myself, but if this movie doesn’t convince you to watch more then nothing will.

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Five Feet Apart (2019)

I put so much pressure on myself on New Years Day to start 2020 with an amazing movie that I watched nothing at all. I saw Five Feet Apart instead on January 2nd. Cried like a bitch. Regretted nothing.

Hot Rod (2007)

Yes, I started hunting down Andy Samberg movies on Netflix. DON’T JUDGE, remember? I had a blast watching Hot Rod and I’m gutted I waited so long to see it. It’s one of those movies where if I watched it when it first came out, I’d have seen it 20 times by now, and still be quoting it on a daily basis.

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The Irishman (2019)

I only watched The Irishman because I try to see all the Oscars Best Picture nominees before the actual night. Yes I know it’s got legendary actors, yes I know it’s directed by Martin Scorsese but it was LONG and it was DULL and you’ll never change my mind.

The Other Guys (2010)

After slogging through The Irishman I needed something fun and dumb to relax, and a bunch of you recommended The Other Guys when I made a list of my favourite Will Ferrell movies. I love you guys. This movie was so funny!

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That’s My Boy (2012)

…oh, this awful Adam Sandler movie stars Andy Samberg? Huh, weird. It’s almost like I’m stooping to really low levels…*cough*

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

I love a good mystery, and despite the lukewarm reviews, I was still keen to see Motherless Brooklyn. It was worth it for Edward Norton’s performance but it was lacking in so many places. It was too slow to make the reveal worth it, sadly.

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Ford v Ferrari / Le Mans ’66 (2019)

Can we not give movies 2 very different names, and use both? My brain can’t cope. Anyway, I enjoyed this so much more than I expected. I like Christian Bale but I’ve never really raved about him, but he was so good here! The final race was thrilling, and I was kind of sad when the whole thing was over.

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019)

This just wasn’t my cup of tea, to be honest. It took me at least half the movie to really get into it, and as much as I love Margot Robbie (she’s amazing) she just felt a bit wasted here. Some of the editing was really weird, too!

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Cats (2019)

Oh, what a movie to end on. Silly, naive me thought all the negativity around Cats was overexaggerated, and musicals usually win me over so I thought I might actually enjoy it. I didn’t. It was weird. Creepy. And every time someone said ‘Jellicle’ I only heard ‘genital’ which I can’t tell made it better or worse.

I also watched The Shining (1980), Doctor Sleep (2019) and Your Name. (2016) but haven’t included them here because I’m planning on writing full posts for them. If you missed any of my full reviews over the last 2 months here they are:

Knives Out (2019)
Frozen II (2019)
Noelle (2019)
Marriage Story (2019)
6 Underground (2019)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Little Women (2019)
The Gentlemen (2020)
Just Mercy (2019)
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
1917 (2019)
Bad Boys for Life (2020)