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.

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Mini-Reviews: Movies Watched in July

I basically fell off the blogging wagon this month, so I’m really sorry for neglecting everyone else’s blogs over the last few weeks. I still managed to watch 13 movies though and post full reviews for most, which isn’t too bad I guess!

Summer feels like it’s come and gone already in the UK but I can’t help but be a bit smug as I’m going on holiday in less than 3 weeks now. That obviously means I’ll be away from the blog again for 2 weeks, but I’ve got some of my older reviews from my previous blog scheduled on those days just to keep this little corner of the internet active, and I’ll catch up as best as I can when I’m back!

For now though, as usual, here are some mini-reviews for the movies I watched last month but never got around to writing about…

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Hotel Artemis (2018)

This was so disappointing. It had such a good premise, not dissimilar to the Continental hotel in the John Wick series, the cast was full of stars, but it all fell flat. It was a bit style over substance and when I couldn’t really care less about any of the characters, it makes for a tough watch. It was alright, but nothing more.

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It Comes at Night (2017)

I’d file this movie in the same drawer as Bird Box (2018). It’s a dark but quiet little horror movie, and although I mostly enjoyed watching it, it was also super depressing and kind of bummed me out a little. Worth a watch for sure but not when you’re already in need of a pick me up!

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Little (2019)

Okay, I actually enjoyed Little more than I thought I would. It’s one of those ‘Freaky Friday’ type comedies that suffers from the common problem of the main character being really unlikeable, but her younger self is so damn sassy and entertaining that I had a good time watching it anyway!

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Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

January was a rough month and I wasn’t 100% sold by the trailer for Alita so I skipped it. I think a younger audience would have an amazing time with this movie but it wasn’t for me. In terms of visuals, it was absolutely stunning and the world-building was fascinating, but I didn’t care for the story. It just wasn’t that original and didn’t bring anything new to the table.

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The Lion King (2019)

Umm…I really didn’t write a full review for this?! How did I manage that? Anyway – boo to the haters, I’ve been really enjoying the live action Disney remakes and don’t want them to slow down any time soon. I loved The Lion King. I literally started crying the second The Circle of Life started playing, and Timon and Pumba had me laughing out loud. It’s a little weird seeing the animals not as expressive, but that’s the only thing I could fault.

And so in case you missed any, these are the movies I did full reviews for in July:

Yesterday (2019)
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
Odd Thomas (2013)
Midsommar (2019)
The Dead Don’t Die (2019)
The Lake House (2006)
Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019)

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?

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)

1 Year of ODEON Limitless

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My Timehop reminded me this morning that it’s been a whole year since I signed up for ODEON’s Limitless membership! When I first started I was hesitant, wondering if I would actually make use of it and make the monthly cost worth it, but I really have – and it doesn’t even feel like a year has already gone by.

I used to go to the cinema a lot before I became a Mum, and I accepted that part of my life would take a break whilst my little girl grew up, but actually, it’s been the opposite! I go to the cinema alone now most nights, something that made me nervous to begin with, but I don’t give it a second thought now. Quite often I spot other people on solo visits, and even if I’m seeing the latest horror on a Friday night with a room full of teens, it’s no big deal.

I’ve been able to see movies that I might have otherwise missed altogether, I’ve been to many secret screenings, and seen movies up to 5 weeks before their UK release date at some Limitless-exclusive events. It’s been a brilliant year – and I’m looking forward to the next one!

Here’s everything I’ve seen at the cinema in my 1st year. If I’ve written a full review for it then I’ve linked it:

Ocean’s Eight
Hereditary
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Tag
Skyscraper
Incredibles 2
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Twice!)
Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again
The Meg
Christopher Robin
American Animals
Searching
BlacKkKlansman
The Predator
A Simple Favor
The House with a Clock in Its Walls
A Star Is Born
Venom
First Man
Bohemian Rhapsody
The Old Man & the Gun
The Grinch
Sorry to Bother You
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Beautiful Boy
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Aquaman
Bumblebee
The Favourite
Mary Poppins Returns
Stan & Ollie
Glass
Instant Family
Green Book
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part
Wild Rose
Fighting with My Family
Cold Pursuit
Captain Marvel
What Men Want
Fisherman’s Friends
Us
Shazam!
Dumbo
Pet Sematary
Missing Link
Avengers: Endgame
Long Shot
Booksmart
Pokemon Detective Pikachu
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (Twice!)
Aladdin
Rocketman
Ma
Dark Phoenix
Men in Black: International

60 movies in total! Ah, that was so satisfying finishing that count, I think it would have killed me if I’d seen 59 – I like a nice, round number!

Thursday Movie Picks: Period Drama

Happy Thursday, everyone! Brightburn is finally out in the UK today so I’m hoping to catch that tonight. I’m not setting my expectations too high, but I’m still looking forward to it. Anyway, Thursday also means Thursday Movie Picks, hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. I had to do a quick Google search to define this week’s topic of Period Drama, as I’ve always said I hated the genre without really knowing what it is.

To my joy, Google defined it as “a work set in a past time period, usually used in the context of film and television”. Well blow me down, it’s a much broader term than I thought it was! Thanks to that revelation, I’m bringing a theme within the theme this week, as my 3 Period Drama picks all star Emma Stone!

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The Favourite (2018)

This, to me, is my dictionary definition of Period Drama. Women in huge, stuffy dresses and men going off to war. What convinced me to see The Favourite though was the cast, obviously including Emma Stone, and the fact that it’s directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, known for creating all things weird and wonderful. Olivia Colman won an Oscar for her performance in this, and she was so deserving of it! I highly recommended this one if you haven’t seen it already.

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The Help (2011)

It’s been years since I watched The Help, but writing this has reminded me how much I want to see it again. Emma Stone plays a writer called Skeeter who decided to interview the black women who look after wealthy families. Again, the cast here is stunning and it’s a shocking look into history. The Help is worth a watch if nothing more than to see Octavia Spencer deliver arguably her most famous line ever, “Eat my s**t”.

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Magic in the Moonlight (2014)

I only watched this one recently, but once I realised my first two picks shared Emma Stone in common I just had to see if I could make it a hat trick, and huzzah! Here we go. I’ve since learned that Woody Allen movies are an acquired taste, so this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I quite liked it. It had just the right amount of humour, romance, and mystery to satisfy me.

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote (2018)

the-man-who-killed-don-quixote-2018Director: Terry Gilliam

Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama

Runtime: 132 Minutes

Main Cast: Adam Driver, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgard, Jordi Molla, Joana Ribeiro, Oscar Jaenada, Olga Kurylenko

Plot: Toby, once a starry-eyed film director is now an advertising director. Whilst shooting on location he realises how close he is to the town where he shot his first movie. When he visits, he comes across the man he hired to play the character Don Quixote…only the man believes that he really is Don Quixote.

My Thoughts: What a strange, odd movie! The Man Who Killed Don Quixote started production in the year 2000, and finally finished in 2017. There’s even a documentary about the problems and challenges the crew faced to actually bring this movie to our screens. Then in May 2018, it was released at the Cannes Film Festival. It got shown at several other festivals that year, and then got a 1-day theatrical release in the USA almost an entire year later. Finally, this month it got released on DVD & Blu-Ray! Phew…what a journey.

The movie is insane, that much is established within the first few minutes. When Toby meets his old cast member, he fully believes himself to be the great Don Quixote of La Mancha, and thinks Toby is his squire, Sancho. Hilarity ensues, but Toby starts to question what is actually real…and so did I! I completely lost the plot at about the halfway point, but it was so damn entertaining that I kind of didn’t care. I signed up for 2 hours of Adam Driver shouting the f-word in the way only he can, and I was in for the long haul.

I wonder if this is the kind of movie you actually need to be drunk for in order for it to make sense? Regardless, it’s a shame it wasn’t a masterpiece after taking so long to make, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. I found myself asking, but who is the man who killed Don Quixote? He isn’t even dead? And I guess my question got answered…in a very amusing way!

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Best Bit: Towards the end, when the crazy got turned up to 11 and Toby gave into Don’s disillusions, that’s where it got fun. Plus, that black outfit with boots Adam Driver was wearing? Yes, please. Can that be Kylo Ren’s new get up? Anyway – that’s when Don Quixote meets his end. It’s hilarious!

Worst Bit: I think it was the moment that the gold in Toby’s hand turned out to be rocks or dirt or goodness knows what – and Stellan Skarsgard showed up again. That was when I realised I had no idea what was going on, and it was useless to try to work it all out.

Fun Trivia: The film is dedicated to the memory of John Hurt and Jean Rochefort. Terry Gilliam had chosen both to play Don Quixote in past incarnations of this project, and both died before the film was completed.

My Rating: 4 murderous GIANTS that I, Don Quixote of La Mancha shall…oh no wait, they’re just windmills.

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