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.

Movie Reviews

Antebellum (2020)

antebellum-movie-review-poster-2020Director: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery

Runtime: 105 Minutes

Main Cast: Janelle Monae, Eric Lange, Jena Malone, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Gabourey Sidibe, Marque Richardson, Robert Aramayo, Lily Cowles

Plot: Eden (Janelle Monae) finds herself trapped on a plantation, working as a slave in the cotton fields and is biding her time, waiting for the perfect moment to escape. Veronica (also Janelle Monae) is a hugely successful business woman and black rights activist but is finding herself being stalked by an unsettling woman with questionable motives. Eden and Veronica’s stories are entwined…but how?

My Thoughts: I’m the biggest sucker for marketing, and I know it, which makes it worse. I was so glad Antebellum got a VoD release rather than be pushed back in cinemas. Why? Because my dumb-ass read “The Producer of Get Out and US” and translated that as Antebellum being Jordan Peele’s latest horror. Antebellum WISHES is could be Jordan Peele’s latest horror. My biggest gripe is that the entire movie is already there in the trailer, plot twist and all. WHY?! Give me the software and I’ll edit you a trailer for it. It might not be good but it’ll at least not spoil the entire movie. Let’s say the trailer for Sixth Sense (1999) included a clip of Bruce Willis’s character being murdered, that’s how revealing it is.

Anyway, it’s not all bad and I’m not here solely to rant. Janelle Monae is incredible and brings so much energy into this movie. Jena Malone plays a very over the top character but she’s fun to watch, at least. The story itself is interesting and kept me engaged throughout, but I guess I was waiting for a twist that wouldn’t happen because without knowing, I already knew it. I realise I’m back to ranting again. I promise I enjoyed parts of this! The scenes at the plantation were the strongest and the opening to the movie was particularly strong and unsettling. See? I can be positive.

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But it always brings me back to the ending. Sure, there’s a bit more to the twist that I didn’t see coming but it winds up feeling anti climatic because we’re never given a why. What was the point in it all? What was the antagonist’s motive? There’s a moment of clarity and then bam! Credits. Oh.

Best Bit:  The shot of Eden walking away with the torch held high was nothing short of awesome. Just like in Birds of Prey (2020) and Ready or Not (2019), I feel like every movie needs a scene wherein a bad ass woman walks away slowly from a burning building.

Worst Bit: Did we ever get an explanation for the creepy little girl following Veronica around in the hotel?!

Fun Trivia: Gerard Bush got the idea from a nightmare he once had. He initially thought it would be a good basis for a short story, but he later developed it with co-director Christopher Renz into a screenplay for a feature film.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 bold lipsticks that I definitely think I could pull off.

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Movie Reviews

The Devil All the Time (2020)

the-devil-all-time-2020-netflix-movie-posterDirector: Antonio Campos

Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller

Runtime: 138 Minutes

Main Cast: Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Riley Keough, Robert Pattinson, Haley Bennett, Harry Melling, Eliza Scanlen, Mia Wasikowska, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke, Douglas Hodge

Plot: Set in a town called Knockemstiff in Ohio,  the story revolves around Arvin (Tom Holland), orphaned at a young age and surrounded by violence and grief. Arvin tries his hardest to live a good, honest life, despite the sinister characters around him.

My Thoughts: You know how my mind works by now, I stumble into an actor or actress obsession and then I make it my goal to watch anything and everything they’ve ever starred in. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve watched many a terrible movie starring Robert Pattinson, and I have to say, I wasn’t even looking forward to The Devil All the Time. I watched the trailer a few times and it just didn’t seem like my kind of movie. And well, sometimes it’s when your expectations are rock bottom that you find yourself a movie you enjoy the most. I don’t think this one is perfect, it’s very bleak, quite depressing and at least 20 minutes too long, but it’s been playing on my mind for almost a week now since I watched it.

Tom Holland is phenomenal here. He might be known best as Spider-Man in a playful role, but he really shows off his talents here. I don’t have a clue when it comes to awards and I know this movie hasn’t had great reviews but surely Tom Holland deserves some kind of nomination for this? His accent is impeccable and the way he transforms from a quiet boy to the man seeking revenge is just…incredible! Also, I know the buzz is around how Robert Pattinson steals the show as the corrupted and deceitful Revered (he is excellent, I won’t argue), the show-stealer for me was Harry Melling, who we all know as Dudley Dursley from Harry Potter! I hope we get to see him in more movies.

There are so many characters in the movie it can be hard to keep track, and not all of their stories are really necessary, but I enjoyed them nonetheless. The movie had a The Place Beyond the Pines (2012) kind of feel to me, I’m not sure what that niche little category would be called. It’s not a happy movie, it’s not a fun movie, but it tells an interesting story and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would!

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Best Bit: The stand off between Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson towards the end was particularly good, I thought.  It was tense and uncomfortable for the right reasons, and the perfect example of how great both actors are.

Worst Bit: Imagine being a Pattinson fan, watching this and thinking yes, this man could actually tempt me into going to church, just to find out that like almost everyone else in this movie, he’s a massive twat. Sigh…

Fun Trivia: Robert Pattinson didn’t work with a dialect coach and crafted his high-pitched Southern drawl on his own. The actor hid his accent from everyone – including director Antonio Campos – until day one of filming. Other actors sent Campos recordings of the voices they were working on – but not Pattinson, preferring to rehearse by himself and getting self-conscious by being judged before actually standing in front of the camera.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 spiders that Harry Melling actually dumped on his head for that stand-out scene, ugh!

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Movie Reviews

Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)

bill-ted-face-music-2020-review-posterDirector: Dean Parisot

Genre: Comedy, Adventure, Sci-Fi

Runtime: 92 Minutes

Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, Kristen Schaal, Samara Weaving, Brigette Lundy-Paine, William Sadler, Anthony Carrigan, Errin Hayes, Jayma Mays

Plot: The year is 2020. Life, as we know it, is about to end, unless Bill & Ted can write and perform the song to unite and fix the universe before the clock runs out. The duo decide the only way to find that song is to travel in time to take it from themselves, whilst their daughters team up to put together the perfect band.

My Thoughts: I’m not well versed in the Bill & Ted universe. I’ve only seen the first movie and that was recently. I loved it, but the trailer for the new movie left me feeling mixed. On one hand, it’s Bill & Ted! How can a Bill & Ted movie not be fun? On the other hand, it felt SO cringe in places. The UK has had to wait a little longer for the release but it’s exciting nonetheless to have new releases to look forward to. The first 20 minutes or so felt slow and a bit dull, mainly because it was all just extended scenes from the trailer I’ve seen 100+ times, but once Bill & Ted started travelling through time, it was a lot of fun.

We sure have had our fair share of time travel movies this summer, haven’t we?! Meeting the different Bill’s and Ted’s in the future is where a lot of the laughs come from. I wish we could have seen a few more variations as most were already in the trailer. I feel like there were plenty of in-jokes for long-standing fans too, just a few scenes or lines that didn’t quite make sense to me but definitely would for others. Samara Weaving (playing Bill’s daughter) is always a fine addition to any movie but I adored Brigette Lundy-Paine as Ted’s daughter. They managed to capture so much of Ted’s mannerisms from the original movie!

Most of the jokes land, others get a little tired after a while. Kristen Schaal was a great addition to the cast, although I’ll never be able to unsee her Bob’s Burgers character whenever I hear her voice! Dennis Caleb McCoy, the murderous robot got a lot of laughs out of me but I did get ever so slightly bored of his character towards the end. All in all, it was better than I was expecting it to be, and it’s definitely the kind of movie we all need at this point in the disastrous year that is 2020!

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Best Bit: There was something so uplifting about the final scene where the prophesied  song is played. Maybe I’m just a bit soppy but for those few minutes everything really did feel right with the world.

Worst Bit: You know I went through a bit of a Keanu Reeves phase last year. I was already mourning his beard when the first set photos were released but none of those compared to the image of British Ted sporting a huge beer belly. Although, I did feel like Bill was channeling his inner Carole Baskin. And of course, my most sarcastic thanks to my husband who pointed out during a John Wick re-watch that Keanu Reeves can’t run. Seriously! You watch him run in any movie he’s in, including this one. His legs just don’t know how!

Fun Trivia: During filming in a neighborhood in Louisiana, the cast and crew were often greeted by local residents. One day, Keanu Reeves noticed a sign on a lawn that read “You’re breathtaking”. He stopped, got out of the car, went to the sign and autographed it. After finding out to whom the sign belonged, he went to the family and posed for a photo with them.

My Rating: 3 and a half time-travelling phone booths that I think we all wished were real right about now.

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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.