Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2015

Past the half-way point and we aren’t half-way through January yet, okay, I can do this! 2015 has been an easier year strangely enough. There were a lot of movies I really liked, but not as many that I loved so I didn’t feel as bad striking movies off my list like I did with 2014’s list. Does anyone else feel the same about 2015 or was I grumpy that year? Perhaps I’m just toughening up by making all these lists.

You can find my other Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists here.

2015 Movies Watched: 93
Movies that just missed out: Room, Brooklyn, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

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#10 Anomalisa

Not going to lie, I forgot all about this movie until I checked my Letterboxd list for 2015. There was no way I couldn’t mention it, though. I’ve always had a love and appreciation for stop-motion animated movies and Anomalisa is one of the greater ones. It’s quite a dark tale but very thought-provoking and definitely a must-watch for fans of the genre.

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#9 Mad Max: Fury Road

It’s forever a thing that the movies I watch unwillingly turn out to be some of the best ones. I remember clearly seeing Fury Road at the cinema with my guy pals, ready to roll my eyes at it. I hadn’t seen any other Mad Max movie then (and still haven’t, whoops) but it’s hard not to get swept up by the beauty of it all. This was my best-rated action movie until John Wick 3 came along.

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#8 The Martian

Never will I ever take a bottle of ketchup for granted after watching The Martian. I rarely understand space movies but this was the exception, and I never expected it to be so funny as well as nerve-wracking! I told myself 4 years ago I would read the book and still haven’t. Ah, the best-laid plans…

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#7 The Gift

If you’ve never seen The Gift, do me a solid and give it a go. Just don’t look at a poster or watch a trailer, because the marketing team behind it are idiots. I thought this was a horror and it couldn’t be further from it. Jason Bateman plays a dark and serious role which was a first for me. It’s the kind of story where you don’t know who to root for… because you don’t know who the bad guy is.

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#6 Sicario

I’ll never forget making the mistake of putting Sicario on the TV after just sitting down with my dinner. That opening scene…ergh. Anyway, the sequel wasn’t that great but Sicario is still a fantastic movie as a stand-alone. It’s gritty, it’s dark and some of the scenes made me feel almost as tense as the closing scene of Whiplash (2014).

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#5 The Dressmaker

We don’t get enough movies like The Dressmaker, seriously. What looked to be a dull drama is actually a fascinating drama, romance, black comedy and murder mystery movie all in one. It’s quirky, odd and just downright entertaining from start to finish. One of those movies I wish I could watch again for the very first time.

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#4 The Hateful Eight

I still stand by the fact that the first hour of this movie drags like a bitch but after that, I was glued to my seat. My experience was probably helped by the fact the UK was having a snowstorm of its own when I went to the cinema so I felt fully immersed, but I just love a whodunit and so The Hateful Eight ticked all the boxes for me.

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#3 Inside Out

Who would have thought a movie about emotions could be so good? This came out in the cinemas during a really tough time of my life and maybe that aided my enjoyment of it, but it’s still an absolutely stunning movie. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me want to watch it over and over, and it doesn’t get much better than this.

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#2 Spotlight

You know you’re a movie blogger when you can say one of your favourite movies is about a team of reporters uncovering the scandal of child molestation within the Catholic churches. Definitely feels weird to say. Still, Spotlight is just a downright fantastically well-made movie and fully deserved the Best Picture Oscar.

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#1 Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Not going to apologise for any Star Wars sequel movie making these lists! The Force Awakens deserves extra love because it was the movie that finally converted me into a Star Wars fan. It also kicked off my Adam Driver obsession, which I guess I should be grateful for!

Lists

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?

Lists

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?

Movie Reviews

Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in June

Not gonna lie, I lost my movie mojo a little at the start of June. Maybe it was the shocking amount of rain we were having in the UK that was making me feel glum, or maybe it was because I couldn’t settle on what Keanu Reeves movie to watch next, but either way, both the weather and my movie watching picked up eventually! As I’ve started to do, here are some mini-reviews on the movies I saw in June but didn’t write a full post for.

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Wonder Park (2019)

I wasn’t super excited to see Wonder Park or anything but I’ve always loved rollercoasters and theme parks, even the games like Rollercoaster Tycoon, so I still wanted to see what it was like. It was pretty meh. It uses cheap tactics to pull on your heartstrings and it just feels like a second-rate Pixar movie. Almost like a budget Inside Out to be honest. Plus – why the hell is the movie called Wonder Park if the park in question is actually called Wonderland?! It’s still annoying the hell out of me.

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Demolition (2015)

I realised it’s been a year since I announced I would watch my entire watch list by the end of 2018. Whoops. That didn’t go well. I’m not giving up though, so Demolition was next on my list. It’s a quiet and melancholy little movie, typical Jake Gyllenhaal to be honest, but still very much enjoyable. I remember a time when I was a teen that angsty Gyllenhaal movies were my life – teen Allie would have loved Demolition much more than adult Allie.

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Murder Mystery (2019)

I’ve been looking forward to this one for ages but my sleep-deprived brain convinced itself that Jason Sudeikis was the main star?! It was only when I opened up Netflix on the night the movie dropped that I realised it was even an Adam Sandler movie. We all know to watch with caution when this guy is involved. I didn’t love it like I hoped, but there was still a lot of funny moments. Luke Evans was a delight, and that guy who only spoke in raps had me laughing every time he showed up!

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Slaughterhouse Rulez (2018)

This is one of those movies I kind of forgot existed after it left the cinema. I missed it, and only caught it this month, and it was pretty ‘meh’ to be honest. Why oh why would you cast Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in a movie together and then only let them share one, brief scene? I was really hoping this would be Shaun of the Dead but set in a British boarding school. It wasn’t, sadly…

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Away We Go (2009)

See, I’m making a real effort to tick off my watch list! About 5 minutes into Away We Go I realised why it must have been on the list to begin with. It’s all about pregnancy, becoming parents and not knowing your place in the world. One of you lovely bloggers must have recommended it when I announced my pregnancy. My little girl is going to be 2 in October, so yeah, that’s how neglected my list is! Anyway, once I’d realised this was more of a drama than a comedy, I adored this movie. I highly recommend it to anyone else during their pregnancy, it paints such a more realistic picture than the terrible and loud comedies out there.

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Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)

Okay, so I was certain I’d seen this movie before, just so long ago that I couldn’t really remember anything about it. My husband never has though, and let’s face it – that’s a crime. He loved it (duh!) and now I’m not convinced I ever did watch it as a kid. It was so stupidly funny, had some most excellent time travel bits, and not only made history fun but made it make sense! I hated history at school, loathed it, and I’m sure this movie might have made me change my mind. I laughed every time Socrates’ name was pronounced ‘Soh-craytes’ – it was a joke that never got old!

Aaaand just in case you missed any, these are my full reviews for June:

Ma (2019)
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)
Dark Phoenix (2019)
Men In Black: International (2019)
Gladiator (2000)
Brightburn (2019)
Toy Story 4 (2019)

Movie Reviews

Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in May

So, May was an odd month for me, movie-wise. I wasn’t watching much at all at the start of the month, and then I went to see John Wick: Chapter 3, fell in love with cinema again…and spiraled into a Keanu Reeves obsession. Whoops. I blame @lady_sati. She’s such a bad influence!

As always, I never find the time to do a full review of what I watched, although I do have a full review for Always Be My Maybe (2019) sat in my drafts that will be ready soon. In the meantime though, here are a few words on what else I watched in May…

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Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile (2019)

Zac Efron has come such a long way since High School Musical. This is the story of Ted Bundy, during the time of his conviction and imprisonment. I’m glad they didn’t go down the nasty route of showing his murders, it would have just felt glorified. What’s left isn’t the most exciting movie in the world, but it’s still worth a watch.

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Booksmart (2019)

I got to see this early thanks to ODEON and I can’t believe I’m only writing about it now. It’s Olivia Wilde’s directional debut and it’s fantastic. I think the hype out there has killed it a little, it’s not an ‘instant classic’ like a lot have hailed it. It’s a very, very good movie and it’s one I’ll watch again as soon as I can but it’s not groundbreaking. That bathroom scene was hilarious, and I don’t think I’ll ever look at a stuffed panda in the same way again.

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Replicas (2018)

I…I don’t even have the excuse of Keanu Reeves to explain why I watched this, because it was before I saw John Wick: Chapter 3! I thought it started out fairly decent, all things considered, but it descended into stupidity. Keanu plays a scientist who, when distraught with the death of his family, makes clones of them. It was entertaining, but ‘meh’ at best.

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Wine Country (2019)

I’m so MAD at this movie for being so mediocre. The cast was so promising! I loved the idea! How did it turn out to be so boring? Maybe it was aimed at an older audience, and I’ll appreciate it more in 10-15 years…

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Knock Knock (2015)

Yeah, okay…I watched this trash for Keanu Reeves. It was a stupid home-invasion sort of story that wasn’t scary enough to be thrilling or dumb enough to be funny. It didn’t even have enough sexy moments to make it worthwhile watching! Sigh.

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Speed (1994)

Yaaaas. This is more like it! There’s a bus with a bunch of explosives attached to it, and they’ll detonate if the bus goes slower than 50mph. Sandra Bullock is in charge of driving and Keanu’s trying to save everyone. It has some amazingly cheesy one-liners and really, what more can you ask from a 90s action movie?

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Rocketman (2019)

This is the movie of the moment, isn’t it? I’ll be straight, I didn’t love it. I enjoyed it plenty, and Taron Egerton is an absolute legend, but the story was all over the place, and so repetitive. He’s performing…now he’s in a fantasy sequence…now it’s all getting out of hand…now he’s waking up hungover. Rinse and repeat for 2 hours. It was fun, but I don’t see how it’s different from other movies like it. #sorrynotsorry

In case you missed any, I did full reviews for these movies that I watched in May:
Long Shot (2019)
Pokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019)
Destination Wedding (2018)
Aladdin (2019)
It (2017)

Blogathons · Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies You Thought You’d Hate But Ended Up Enjoying

Thursday Movie Picks

Happy Thursday, everyone! That’s a weird sentence to type, especially as it’s technically Monday right now. I missed out on last week’s topic of Cold War so I’m being extra-organised this week. Before I begin, let me remind you that Thursday Movie Picks is hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, check out her blog if you’d like to join in!

This week’s theme is Movies You Thought You’d Hate But Ended Up Enjoying, suggested by Brittani at Rambling Film. This is going to be such a fun and varied week, I can’t wait to read what everyone else chose! It was reasonably difficult to think of 3 movies, only because I tend to avoid movies I think I might hate. If I do end up watching one I normally do hate it, which to be honest is fun to blog about but it’s always nice to be pleasantly surprised by a movie!

Here are my choices this week…

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It Follows (2014)

It’s not that I thought It Follows was going to be a bad movie – in fact, I chose to watch it because it got great reviews – but it was approaching Halloween a few years ago and I was desperate to start watching more horror movies. I was expecting to find myself watching behind a cushion for a while before giving up and turning it off but I was gripped. It scared the pants off me and haunted me for at least a week afterward but it was so good! I definitely recommend it to any other scaredy cats out there like me wanting to dip their toes into the genre.

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The Boxtrolls (2014)

I was so salty when the Oscar nominations came in and The Lego Movie didn’t get any love. In my mind, it was the winner so it was a huge snub, and the fact that The Boxtrolls, a movie I’d barely even heard of was there was just despicable. So much so that I vowed to boycott the movie and never watch it. I don’t know why I gave it a chance, in the end, maybe I wanted to prove to myself how undeserving it was but I absolutely loved it when I finally gave in!

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The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (2015)

Maybe it was Henry Cavill (I just don’t like him that much) or maybe it was something else, but I wasn’t bothered at all by the trailers for The Man from U.N.C.L.E. It just looked like another average action movie to me and I’d seen a lot of them around that time so I just kind of forgot about it. It was only when multiple people raved about it to me after it’s DVD release that I gave it a go and really enjoyed it. It was so funny, and Henry Cavill was actually amazing, and I was sold in literally the first 5 minutes.

I think what I’ve learned this week is that between 2014 and 2015 I was very grumpy and didn’t give enough movies the chance they deserved! I’m much more open-minded now.

Blogathons · Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: The Cold

Thursday Movie Picks

Look at me, 2 weeks into the New Year and still keeping up with my resolutions! If only I could get rid of all the leftover Christmas food in the house so easily. This week’s theme for Wanderer’s Thursday Movie Picks couldn’t have been timed any better, because I am so fed up of the cold now! It always feels like Christmas brings the end of Winter when actually Spring is still so far away…

Still, it’s the perfect excuse to stick a pair of slippers on over fluffy socks, make a giant mug of tea and watch a few movies! Here are my picks this week.

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Wind River (2017)

Wind River is a fantastic murder mystery movie set in snowy Wyoming, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen who provide their best performances yet. It’s a dark story that left me feeling cold for a number of reasons, but also one of those movies that I had to mull over for a few days before deciding how I felt about it.

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The Hateful Eight (2015)

Speaking of good mystery stories, I really enjoyed The Hateful Eight. It’s been on my mind this week anyway because I’ve just seen Bad Times at the El Royale and they share similarities. Boring side note – we have a conservatory at home which is like a glass igloo in winter, any time anyone opens the door I’m reminded of the door in The Hateful Eight!

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The Grey (2011)

Okay so maybe not all of my picks this week are great movies, but The Grey features Liam Neeson trudging his way through snowy Alaska after surviving a plane crash…and ends with him having a fist fight with a rabid wolf. That’s just badass, if not a little silly. The toughest thing I ever did in the snow was fall on my arse and only cried for a few minutes.