Little Women (2019)

little-women-2019-movie-review-posterDirector: Greta Gerwig

Genre: Drama, Romance

Runtime: 135 Minutes

Main Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep, James Norton

Plot: Based on the classic novel, Little Women is the story of the 4 March sisters each eager to live their own lives, as told by one of the four herself, Jo March.

My Thoughts: Are we talking enough about Florence Pugh? Because I don’t think we are. In January 2019 she went from an actress I’d never heard of to my favourite actress of the year. Which is how I found myself watching Little Women after Christmas. I’ve never read the novel, nor watched the original movie, and I don’t think there will ever be a day I can say I love period dramas but damn it, I will watch one for Florence Pugh!

I actually ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would. With a cast like this, it’s hard not to enjoy it, and Saoirse Ronan was made for roles like Jo March. I found the sisters slightly irritating to begin with but it was so easy to warm to them. Timothée Chalamet gets more interesting the more I see of him too. Were we meant to both love his character and want to slap him at the same time? Because that’s how I felt!

From watching Friends all those years ago I knew there was going to be an upsetting moment somewhere along the way but I’d forgotten who/when/why. Ugh, even though you know what’s coming before it happens it doesn’t make it any easier. Why am I like this? When I left the cinema I was positive I liked the movie, but the more I’ve thought about it the more I actually enjoyed it. It’s one of those I need to sleep on.

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Best Bit: Florence Pugh having a tantrum is big, floofy (yes, spellchecker, floofy is a word, take your red, squiggly line away from here) skirts is what I live for. Also, there’s a scene in which she’s wearing a flower crown and dancing in a circle and I got Midsommar vibes. So need to see that movie again.

Worst Bit: Time jumps! I’m not thick enough that I need a ‘7 years earlier’ stamp in every scene but oh man was I confused. One sister had a fringe in the old scenes that she doesn’t have in the present scenes but that was honestly the only way I could tell which timeline we were on.

Fun Trivia: Emma Watson took over the role of Meg March from Emma Stone, who became unavailable due to scheduling conflicts with promoting The Favourite (2018). Ironically, Stone previously took over the role of Mia in La La Land (2016) after Watson dropped out of the project due to the commitment of her role as Belle in the Disney live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast (2017).
I love both Emmas but this definitely worked out for the best.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 peaches that thankfully Timeothée Chalamet was not holding at any moment in this movie.

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Going Off Topic (#23) Who, What, Where, When, Why?

I’m doing a grand old job at posting all my Top 10 lists for the decade, aren’t I? I’m just stuck in that time between Christmas and New Year when I don’t know what day of the week it is, what time of day it is or what a decent meal looks like. Chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and wine…wine whenever! So whilst I’m in no shape to be ranking movies or attempting to review anything I’ve seen, enjoy some word vomit from yours truly.

I hope you all had a grand Christmas, by the way! Mine’s been fab. I’ve spent the days with family and friends and it’s genuinely been lovely. Speaking of friends, my bestie Steph is going to get an ODEON Limitless card in the New Year so I’m going to have a cinema buddy for 2020! Hurrah! I mention her often here but she’s actually been my best friend since we were about 14. We lost touch after school but reunited around 6 years ago and now we live literally seconds away from each other! She’s as nuts as me, and she was grateful I didn’t mention how she broke down in tears in my car after watching Rise of Skywalker. Whoops.

Movies wise, I think I’ve only seen 2 new ones since I wrote anything here.I’ve rewatched Rise of Skywalker twice now but I also watched Parasite on Boxing Day (bloody brilliant) and I saw Little Women last night which was good, if not my usual cup of tea, and ever so slightly confusing with the time jumps. Oh! And I did see Jumanji: The Next Level as well which was surprisingly good, just like the first.

Over to TV…I didn’t catch up with Mr. Robot in time to watch the finale as it happened. I haven’t seen any spoilers yet though, so I’ll get there eventually. I did finish The Mandalorian which was glorious, and I’m interested to see where Season 2 takes us. Me and my husband have started watching The Witcher together which is actually really good so far, even though we’re only 2 episodes in. Can we all agree that Toss a Coin to Your Witcher is the greatest song of 2019? And finally – I’ve started Season 2 of You which is everything I wanted it to be. Life is good, guys.

So, once I’m back into the swing of things I’ll be posting regularly again, and I desperately need to catch up on the blogs I follow too (sorry, guys!). I’ll be finishing my Top 100 Movies of the Decade posts, announcing my 2020 Blind Spot list, and probably making a few New Year’s Resolutions too.

For now – I hope you’re enjoying the break, if you’ve got one, and I’m super excited to be sharing the movies of 2020 with you all next year!

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2012

Two days in a row, baby! And a happy Christmas Eve to you all! I’ll be offline for Christmas Day and Boxing Day whilst buried under torn-up wrapping paper with a plate of pigs in blankets in one hand and a bottle glass of wine in the other, but I’ll be back soon. I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas!

I’m back with my next 10 top movies of the decade, this time looking at 2012. These lists are starting to get more and more difficult to narrow down, but it’s so fun to look back on what I’ve watched and enjoyed. You can find the other lists for the decade here.

2012 Movies Watched: 50

2012 was the first year I watched the BAFTAs, and although most of the movies nominated were completely unheard of to me, I loved watching the ceremony and I haven’t missed a year since. I guess this year was the start of my movie hobby, although I wouldn’t start blogging for another 2 years.

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#10 Magic Mike

Wait, wait, don’t close the tab just yet! It gets better, I swear. Come on, though. Not only was Magic Mike a wildly fun movie to watch the cinema with friends (or your Mum, if you’re me), it was actually a decent movie at the same time!

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#9 Chronicle

Chronicle is a criminally underrated movie. It’s found-footage done well. It’s a perfect blend of superhero and thriller and it’s darker than expected. And if nothing else, it introduced me to Dane DeHaan who never fails to put in an excellent performance.

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#8 Dredd

I was mostly forced to go and watch Dredd, it’s not my usual go-to movie. At face value, it’s an extremely simple movie but it does action and gore very, very well. If I remember right it was a 3D-only release at the cinema (in the UK, anyway) which seemed odd at the time but worked brilliantly!

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#7 Silver Linings Playbook

I miss the old Jennifer Lawrence who seemed super down to earth. Regardless, I loved Silver Linings Playbook. It was a touching representation of mental illness and two individuals finding love despite their problems. I haven’t seen it since but I really ought to.

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#6 Disconnect

This one I didn’t watch until after I’d started blogging, and I can’t remember who it was who put this on my radar but I was so glad I watched it. I guess the TV show Black Mirror took away the need for movies like Disconnect, but it shows the stories of several lives ruined by the internet and social media.

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#5 Argo

Basically, on the night I watched the BAFTAs for the first time, Argo was the movie I was rooting for. It was possibly the only nominated movie I’d watched but I loved it and was rooting so hard for it! The scenes at the airport were so intense, I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing for a while.

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#4 Django Unchained

I guess 2012 was a year of a lot of firsts because Django Unchained was my first Quentin Tarantino movie. I’d seen clips of Pulp Fiction in college but didn’t watch it fully till much later. There are still a few of his that I need to see but Django Unchained will probably stay as one of my favourites.

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#3 Looper

After Looper, The Last Jedi, and Knives Out, I will blindly watch anything that Rian Johnson makes. I must literally be his target audience. Looper was so much fun! I’ve always enjoyed the theory of time travel and it was so well done in this movie.

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#2 The Avengers

There was no stopping the MCU train at this point. I remember thinking this Avengers movie was bold by bringing so many superheroes together! The Avengers was everything it needed to be. It was funny, it was captivating, it had great action, and it had heart.

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#1 Moonrise Kingdom

Another movie I can thank the bloggers for introducing me to. After watching The Grand Budapest Hotel in 2014 and wondering what on earth that colourful, crazy and amazing movie was, you all told me more about Wes Anderson and the rest of his work. Moonrise Kingdom is where I turned to next and it did not disappoint. It was so sweet.

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2011

Remember how I said I was going to publish one of these posts a day in the run-up to the New Year? Yeah, sorry. Don’t worry, at my usual rate I should be done by Easter! I’ll create a page on my blog’s menu bar for these lists now as I try and pick up speed a little. If you didn’t see my 2010 list, I’m trying to put together a Top 100 Movies of the Decade list, but with 10 movies from each year as opposed to an overall list. I’m weak.

These lists will get better as they go, but as I mentioned last time, I only started movie blogging in 2014, and I still have so many movies I should see. I guess there’s always an option to update the lists, though!

2011 Movies Seen: 45

This was surprisingly difficult to rank. Although I haven’t seen many 2011 releases, I really liked a lot of them, so finding 10 was no problem. I’m not completely happy with the order though, I think I would change them every day.

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#10 Thor

I know the original Thor movie wasn’t at the top of many people’s lists but for me, it was the movie that got me invested in the MCU. I loved the simplicity of it, the introduction to Asgard, to one of the MCU’s best villains, Loki, and well, Chris Hemsworth as Thor. What more can I say!

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#9 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

I’m glad the idea of splitting final movies in franchises into 2 parts didn’t stick around long, because it’s just unnecessary. Deathly Hallows: Part 2 might not have been my favourite Harry Potter movie, but even on a bad day I still love the franchise.

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#8 Captain America: The First Avenger

Captain America has grown on me over the years. I don’t know why for sure, but I was never a big fan to begin with. It has nothing to do with Chris Evans, who is fantastic, but the character just didn’t do it for me. I’ve seen the error of my ways, though!

best-movies-decade-2011-horrible-bosses

#7 Horrible Bosses

You can admit it, you hate me for this being here, higher than 2 MCU movies. It’s okay. But the trio of Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis is too perfect for me to not include it. I saw it in the cinema back when it was busy every night, and comedies are best watched with company, strangers or not.

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#6 The Help

I need to see this again. 2011 me was painfully naive when it came to movies. Comedies and action movies were my go-to, and I only watched The Help because of my little obsession with Emma Stone. It was moving, upsetting and hilarious at the same time, and well worth a watch.

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#5 The Muppets

I’m going to stop trying to defend my choices now and just run with them. The Muppets were basically my childhood. I was raised on them. There was no way I was not going to love this new movie. The soundtrack is to die for, the cameos are brilliant and relentless, and it was funny from start to finish. Fun fact – at my wedding, after we said our vows, we walked back down the aisle to ‘Life’s A Happy Song’.

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#4 Source Code

Jake Gyllenhall. On a train. Trying to stop a bomber. He dies, he’s brought back to the train. Mystery! Explosions! Plot twist! If you need more than those things to enjoy a movie, I don’t know what to tell you.

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#3 Crazy, Stupid, Love

Literally the best modern-day rom-com out there. Don’t tell me I’m wrong. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have perfect chemistry together. We’ve since had Gangster Squad (not that good) and La La Land (perfect) with them together and I’m sure we’re due a reunion by now!

best-movies-decade-2011-drive

#2 Drive

Speaking of Ryan Gosling. Drive is a weird one for me. I watched it, yes, because I was on a Ryan Gosling thirst, and I hated every second of it. It was pretentious and boring, but it felt like something my husband (then, boyfriend) would love, so the next day I told him to watch it and ended up watching it with him. On a second viewing, everything made sense, and I loved it! Weird, right?

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#1 The Cabin in the Woods

I’m still not sure if The Cabin in the Woods should stay as my #1 choice for the year, but it certainly deserves its place for now. On the surface, this should have been your average modern horror movie but somehow it’s a horror, comedy and sci-fi movie in one and it works!

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

star-wars-rise-of-skywalker-review-2019Director: J.J. Abrams

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Runtime: 141 Minutes

Main Cast: Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Domhnall Gleeson, Richard E. Grant, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Ian McDiarmid

Plot: The final episode in the Skywalker trilogy, following on from the events of The Last Jedi. Rey continues her Jedi training to defeat the First Order whilst Supreme Leader Kylo Ren threatens to wipe out any threat to his power.

My Thoughts: So…hey guys? It’s a loud and angry place to be, social media right now, but you can always count on me for having an unpopular opinion and loving the latest Star Wars movie. I don’t hold a grudge at all against anyone who hated Rise of Skywalker, there was never going to be an ending we all loved, but I do think it’s hilarious that there’s an uprising of Last Jedi fans now. Where were you guys 2 years ago? Anyway – this post is going to be SPOILER HEAVY, I’ll warn you now.

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I loved it. It was a wild ride from start to finish. The pacing was nuts, there’s barely any time to breathe. I’ve seen it twice now and the second time felt even faster. I guess everyone had their image of what the ending would look like, and I got mine, and some, and even though I’m completely heartbroken, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I always knew deep down Kylo Ren wouldn’t live to see the credits of the final movie, but I didn’t expect to get to see Ben Solo in action. That’s credit to Adam Driver, show-stealer-extraordinaire, who never ceases to amaze me with his performances. Do I wish Ben Solo survived? God yes, but it would never have made sense. He couldn’t exactly go back with Rey and hang out with the Resistance, could he? He’d have had to live in exile.

Speaking of the Resistance, YAAAAS to my boys Finn and Poe being back together again. Them being apart was my biggest gripe of The Last Jedi. And Rey? I don’t feel like her being a Palpatine was a retcon, to be honest. If it was revealed in the second movie, we’d know for sure Palpatine never died, because otherwise what would be the point? You need surprises in each movie, I guess. I don’t know – I don’t make movies, but I wasn’t mad at that choice. It was wild to watch Rey accidentally use force lighting though!

Leia was so, so well done. It was absolutely the right choice to make do with archive footage, and it didn’t seem out of place at all. Her death hit me hard, and then Chewie’s reaction destroyed me. The moment we thought Chewie was dead was well done, too. The first screening I was in everyone gasped out loud, and the second time there was just this uncomfortable silence. I can’t tell you the reaction to the Ben Solo moment because I was crying ugly tears into my IMAX glasses.

I could go on forever, but I’ve already babbled for longer than I usually do. The bottom line is, it worked for me, I laughed and I cried and I got an ending that felt right to me. That can’t be said for most I know, but I hope you can appreciate my reasons for loving it.

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Best Bit: It’s impossible to pick one. I mean, Ben Solo, just being Ben Solo! Running through those ruins just like his Dad, taking out bad guys with a blaster. His smirk once he was given a saber by Rey and taking down his own knights. I WISH we could have seen more of that cheeky character.

But also? HUX WAS THE SPY. Hux is like, my second favourite character in this series. Him being the spy was silly but goddamn hilarious. I’m sorry to anyone in that first screening because I actually screamed.

Worst Bit: There were scenes in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi that I could happily do without, but nothing felt unnecessary here. My only real gripe is how useless Rose was in this movie. It didn’t make sense for her to have a huge role in the previous movie but have nothing to do here.

If you’ll allow me a silly complaint – who turns down Poe Dameron? TWICE?!

Fun Trivia: During the massive crowd celebration scene, C-3PO says that this event happens once every 42 years. This was the time between the first Star Wars movie to be released in 1977, and this film, the last of the sequel trilogy, released 42 years later.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 porgs who also needed more screentime this time around.

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6 Underground (2019)

6-underground-2019-netflix-movieDirector: Michael Bay

Genre: Action, Thriller

Runtime: 127 Minutes

Main Cast: Ryan Reynolds, Mélanie Laurent, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Ben Hardy, Adria Arjona, Corey Hawkins, Dave Franco

Plot: 6 underground agents work together on the world’s most dangerous, top-secret missions. All of them have buried their pasts behind them and are completely off the grid. Essentially, this is Michael Bay’s Suicide Squad.

My Thoughts: I’m avoiding writing anything about Rise of Skywalker at the moment for fear of creating something 1,000 words long and completely incoherent, so let me tell you about this piece of trash movie I watched earlier this week instead. If you have a Netflix account then it’s impossible to not know anything about it. I’ve seen it, and Netflix is still shoving it in my face. It’s the second most expensive Netflix movie out there, second to The Irishman.

Is it any good? That depends entirely on what you want from the movie. If you want a decent plot, character development, and a logical story that doesn’t overstay its welcome, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you want to watch Ryan Reynolds play himself, car chases, explosions, fight scenes and corny jokes in spades, then you’re going to love it. For me, it was half an hour too long to pass as a good movie. I just wasn’t interested enough, but it still had a lot of memorable moments.

I should probably tell you to avoid the movie but…there’s still something about it that’s fun. In amongst all the nausea-inducing shaky-cam moments and attempts at invoking emotion, there are jokes that land and action scenes that are actually stunning. It’s a mess, but it’s a beautiful mess.

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Best Bit: The movie opens with a car chase scene and honestly? It’s probably the best I’ve ever seen. Maybe I haven’t seen enough action movies but this monstrous scene shows the realities behind a car chase this wild, pedestrians being flung around like crisp packets!

Worst Bit: Where do I even begin? There are plenty of cringy moments, but the one that made me laugh loudest was when a rooftop swimming pool was smashed open which caused more flooding than Sharknado!

Fun Trivia: A year prior to the release Ryan Reynolds posted a video of himself talking about how quiet Michael Bay’s movies are, while in the background a car explodes. This scene is in the movie and you can actually see Ryan Reynolds in the background filming the crash.

My Rating: 2 and a half bottles of Aviation Gin, only the tip of the iceberg that is shameless product placement in this movie.

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