Girl Week 2019: Female Directors of 2019

For now the 5th year running, Dell at Dell on Movies is celebrating all things female in the movie world with his Girl Week Blogathon. Last year I decided to write a post about my favourite female directors of the year, and came to a shocking discovery that out of the 47 2018 releases I’d seen so far that year, only 4 were directed by women. FOUR. Can you believe that? It meant that instead of writing about my favourite 4 movies directed by women, I had to talk about literally the only 4 movies directed by women that I’d seen!

female-directed-movies-in-2019

So this year it seemed only right to check my stats for 2019 so far and see if there’s been any difference. At the time of writing, I’ve seen 70 of this year’s releases so far, and 8 of them have been directed by women. That’s still shockingly bad, isn’t it? 2 of those 8 are co-directed by women, too.

To be completely honest – I don’t make a concentrated effort to find female-directed movies. I’d had to look up each movie in my diary on Letterboxd because I don’t pay much attention. Next year, I think I owe it to my fellow gals to actively watch their movies!

Still, 8 gives me a big enough number to at least do a Top 5, so let’s crack on with that. Missing out on my Top 5 are:
#8 Wine Country, Directed by Amy Poehler
#7 Someone Great, Directed by Jennifer Kaytin Robinson
#6 Little, Directed by Tina Gordon Chism

Which leave my Top 5 as:

female-directed-movies-late-night-2019

#5 Late Night, Directed by Nisha Ganatra

I’m of the opinion right now that Emma Thompson can actually do no wrong. Even in the most mediocre movie, her mere presence lights up the screen. I missed Late Night in the cinemas because of the luke-warm reviews but gave it a chance in the end. Whilst I didn’t love it, I still laughed a lot. There’s plenty to like here, even if it does get a little heavy on the politics at times.

Nisha Ganatra has also directed Chutney Popcorn (1999).

female-directed-movies-captain-marvel-2019

#4 Captain Marvel, Directed by Ryan Fleck and Anna Bowden

It’s that time of year now where I sound like a broken record, “NO WAY was this released this year” but seriously, does Captain Marvel feel as recent as it is to anyone else? Perhaps it’s just because the trolls have been crying for over a year now. I’m well overdue a rewatch of Captain Marvel but flaws aside I really enjoyed it, and I thought Captain Marvel made a fine addition to the team in Endgame, too.

Ryan Fleck and Anna Bowden also directed Half Nelson (2006).

female-directed-movies-always-be-my-maybe

#3 Always Be My Maybe, Directed by Nahnatchka Khan

2019 has to go down as the year of Keanu Reeves, right? Can we all hand-on-heart honestly say we would have watched this little Netflix gem if we didn’t know Keanu Reeves had the best cameo of all time in it? Keanu aside, whilst the movie world is flooded with lame romcoms, Always Be My Maybe is one of the good, if not great ones, and is equal parts hilarious and heart warming. Well worth a watch if you haven’t already.

Always Be My Maybe (2019) is Nahnatchka Khan’s directional debut. 

female-directed-movies-frozen-2

#2 Frozen 2, Directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

I haven’t written my full post for Frozen 2 yet because it’s one of those movies that I really enjoyed, but ask me to talk about it and I can only nitpick at the parts I didn’t like. It IS good though. It has a big theme around growing up, and maturity, which is fitting really for it’s main audience who are 6 years older than they were when the original came out! Can you tell I’m completely avoiding talking about my feelings towards it? Watch this space…

Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee also directed Frozen (2013).

female-directed-movies-booksmart

#1 Booksmart, Directed by Olivia Wilde

This one sure divided opinions, huh? There’s a ‘this is the next Superbad’ camp and a ‘this is entirely overrated’ camp from what I could tell. I was never a huge fan of Superbad to be honest, but I loved Booksmart. Not all the jokes landed, but it was a perfect representation of female friendship.

Booksmart (2019) is Olivia Wilde’s directional debut.

Finally – if you don’t already follow Dell on Movies you should right that wrong straight away, keep an eye out on his blog for a Girl Week roundup next week!

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:

amy-poehler-best-movies-sisters

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!

amy-poehler-best-movies-wet-hot-american-summer

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.

amy-poehler-best-movies-inside-out

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…

amy-poehler-worst-movies-the-house

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.

amy-poehler-worst-movies-wine-country

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?

Mini Reviews: Movies Watched in April

I’ve barely been on the blog for the last week. I was so desperate to avoid spoilers for Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones that I had a bit of a technology shut down! As a result, I haven’t done as many full reviews as I normally would, so here’s a quick rundown of what I watched in April and what I thought:

unicorn-store-netflix-movie-review-2019

Unicorn Store (2017)

I’ve wanted to see Unicorn Store ever since another blogger wrote about it after it’s festival premiere 2 years ago, so I was giddy when I found out it dropped onto Netflix without any warning in April! It lived up to all my expectations, it was cute, it was weird, it was colourful, and Brie Larson and Samuel L Jackson have the most amazing friendship! Definitely not a movie for everyone but I honestly feel like I was the target audience for it.

baby-mama-2008-tina-fey-amy-poehler

Baby Mama (2008)

Straight after watching Unicorn Store I spotted the poster for Baby Mama on Netflix. A movie starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler about motherhood that I hadn’t seen yet or even heard of?! Sign me up! It wasn’t the greatest comedy out there by a long shot but you can always count on these leading ladies to make you laugh. I’m still kind of kicking myself for not seeing the obvious twists coming, though.

cam-movie-review-2018-black-mirror

Cam (2018)

You can put Cam straight onto a list of movies you should never watch on public transport! I’m so glad my husband was too engrossed in his game to pay much attention to what I was doing because he straight up would have thought I was watching porn. This movie was quite a surprise though. I wish there was a better explanation for it all at the end but if you’re a fan of Black Mirror this movie was made for you.

someone-great-2019-netflix-movie-review

Someone Great (2019)

This was one of those ‘Oh let’s see what’s new on Netflix, that looks like some trashy fun’ kind of movie picks. Jane the Virgin broke up with her boyfriend, she’s leaving town soon and her best buds get together for one last time. It was fun enough but everything about it screamed ‘Millennial’ and as one myself I couldn’t tell if it was trying to appeal to me or take the piss out of me.

step-brothers-2008-will-ferrell-john-c-reilly

Step Brothers (2008)

So last month I ignored everyone and watched Holmes & Watson, and it was just as terrible as you all said. It brought up memories of Step Brothers though, a movie I haven’t seen in 10 years, and I couldn’t remember any of it. It wasn’t the legendary comedy I thought it was back in its day but it was a lot of fun and reminded me that Will Ferrel doesn’t always do awful movies.

Of course, I did still do a few full reviews in April, and if you missed any you can find them here:

Dumbo (2019)
Life Itself (2018)
Pet Sematary (2019)
Missing Link (2019)
Frank & Lola (2016)
I, Daniel Blake (2016)
Heat (1995)
Escape Room (2019)

Double Review: Rough Night (2017) & The House (2017)

What do you do when you haven’t got stuck into a great movie for a while, and you’re also mentally preparing yourself to get back into blogging and actually expressing opinions and thoughts on said movies? Switch your brain off and get stuck into 2 sub-par comedies of course!

Has 2017 had a great comedy yet? I’m behind so maybe I’ve missed it, or maybe I’m just losing my sense of humour. We’re definitely owed a few laughs though!

rough-night-movie-review-2017-comedy

Rough Night (2017)

There’s been a huge rise lately of female-centred comedies, which I am all for of course, but not all are hitting the mark. Rough Night features an all female cast (if we forget about the dead stripper) and even a past female relationship which wasn’t thrown in our faces which I definitely appreciate. However, what could have been a modern day Weekend at Bernies fell rather flat.

The main issue I found with Rough Night was the overall tone. It didn’t know what kind of movie it wanted to be. We’ve all seen the trailer, we know the group accidentally kill a stripper that comes to their home, but that scene itself was actually really dark…

Common sense got thrown out of the window and just when I started to get into the silliness of it all again, things got deep real fast and left me confused again. One thing I’ll say though is it wasn’t the disaster I thought it would be, and I actually quite enjoyed all of the main actresses, even if my beloved Kate McKinnon was a bit over the top. Stay with the credits for this one though, if nothing else made you laugh McKinnon’s song will!

the-house-movie-review-2017-comedy

The House (2017)

I was dying to see The House ever since I saw a trailer. I had no visions of it being an outstanding comedy, but I loved the cast so much I was just happy knowing that I’d be able to see them all in something new.  In The House, Amy Poehler and Will Ferrell are parents struggling to afford their daughter’s tuition after her scholarship is taken away. They team up with their best friend, Jason Mantzoukas and set up their own casino.

So yeah, the funniest moments are all in the trailer. The plot is wafer thin and it’s predictable throughout. But it’s a fairly short movie by today’s standards at just under an hour and a half, and I’ve certainly spent the same amount of time doing worse things! My Parks and Rec senses were in overdrive in the town hall meeting scene with so many familiar faces, especially with Amy Poehler herself there!

I think my favourite running joke was Will Ferrell’s complete inability to count, or deal with math of any kind to be honest. I don’t know if it was as funny as it seemed to me or if it was one of the few jokes that just so happened to land, but it honestly made me laugh out loud each time. I’m easily amused I think!

How is 2017 doing comedy wise though overall? Are there some hidden gems I should hunt down or look forward to? The Big Sick (2017) was fantastic – but I need a laugh out loud comedy right now!