Blogathons

Ultimate Decades Blogathon 2021

Drew and Kim are back again with their Ultimate Decades Blogathon! In previous years they’ve covered the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s – but rather than go back further in time this year they’re switching up the format and are focusing on years ending in a 1. You can find a list with all of this year’s entries here. With so many movies in so many eligible years, it was impossible for me to pick just 1 movie to talk about so instead I’m bringing you 5 of my favourite movies spanning 5 decades!

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1971 – Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

I’ve watched very few movies from the 70s but one of those just so happens to be one of my childhood classics. Watching it now, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is quite a terrifying story but as a child it was magical. Didn’t we all just wish we could visit the factory and eat all the sweets and chocolate we could?

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1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark

This blogathon serves as a perfect reminder that I need to have an Indiana Jones marathon soon. I remember watching the Indiana Jones live show at Disney World as a child and thinking I was watching the real deal. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve seen every movie in the franchise yet so watch this space but in the meantime, can we all agree Raiders of the Lost Ark is the best of them all?

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1991 – Beauty and the Beast

I talk about this amazing, greatest of all time Disney movie far too much so I’ll keep this brief but come on, this was the only option for me. My Mum likes to tell me that this movie was played so much when I was little the VHS tape was worn to nothing but as it’s also her favourite Disney movie I’m not convinced that it was me who demanded it be played daily.

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2001 – Donnie Darko

There were a lot of movies I wanted to pick for this year but it has to be Donnie Darko. It opened my eyes to a movie genre that wasn’t animation, action or comedy and was basically the beginning of my love for weird movies. There’s something new to discover with every watch of Donnie Darko.

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2011 – The Muppets

Yes, I know this is an odd choice. There were some fantastic movies released in 2011, but I’ve realised that subconsciously I’ve been picking movies that mean something to me on a deeper level rather than simply great movies, and so I had to pick The Muppets. If I were to explain my sense of humour to you – this movie is it. It’s essentially me in movie form. And fun fact – at our wedding we walked back down the aisle to ‘Life’s a Happy Song’!

Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Bookish Movies

England has just entered what is being called ‘Lockdown 2’ so I completely forgot it was Thursday today until I was checking my blog feed. I just feel like all new things should start on a Monday, you know? More on the lockdown later this week though, I have something fun for you all this Sunday. So – this Thursday Wandering Through the Shelves is asking us to share some of our favourite ‘bookish’ movies.

It’ll be a really interesting week as there are many ways to interpret the theme, but all of my choices are movies I’ve loved for years now, and their main characters all love books.

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Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Everyone in Belle’s town finds her odd because her favourite pastime is reading a book. Maybe it’s because it was my most watched Disney movie as a child but as a pre-teen who loved nothing more than reading, I saw myself in Belle, and she’ll always be my favourite Disney princess because of that.

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Matilda (1996)

What is it with childhood movies and their hatred of children who like to read?! Belle might have alienated her town for her hobby but Matilda was scorned by her very own parents for it! Seriously though, Matilda is just such a classic, I’m terrified it’s going to be re-made within the next few years and as much as I’d hate that to happen, I’d still be super interested in the casting choices.

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The Good Girl (2002)

Back when I was a mopey teenager with a love of the TV show Friends, a discovery of movies outside my childhood favourites and a growing crush on Jake Gyllenhaal, The Good Girl came along and fulfilled all of my desires. It’s a mopey movie and I watched and re-watched my DVD (or it may even have been a VHS) so many times. I loved Gyllenhaal’s character Holden, and his obsession with the book The Catcher in the Rye.

Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2017

There’s one good thing that’s come of me taking way too long to make these lists. A lot of the great 2019 movies are only just coming out now in the UK and it’s given me time to watch them before making my Top 10 of last year! In fact, if I wasn’t notoriously late for everything, you might even believe me if I told you that was my plan all along. We’re approaching the end though, and this has been a lot of fun to put together.

2017 was easier to be strict with, but I still had to cross 4 off my original list, and it took a lot of going back and forth before I could decide what 4 they were going to be. My original Best of 2017 list had 15 movies in and I’ve seen loads more since then! As always, you can find my other lists here.

2017 Movies Watched: 86
Movies that just missed out: Coco, It, Lady Bird, Logan

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#10 Dunkirk

I’ll forever be kicking myself for not watching Dunkirk in the cinema, but I’m glad I at least gave it a chance because it was the war movie that made me realise that I do in fact enjoy a good war movie! I’ve since finally watched Saving Private Ryan which was fantastic.

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#9 Beauty and the Beast

Here’s my unpopular choice thrown in for good measure. Yep, it was virtually a shot for shot remake, but the original is perhaps my all-time favourite Disney movie so that’s not a problem for me. The extra song, Evermore will forever be one of my favourite songs ever, too.

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#8 Baby Driver

Fun fact, Baby Driver was the last movie I watched at the cinema before giving birth to my little girl. I had to watch it again once it was out on DVD because I missed at least half thanks to running off to the toilets every 5 minutes!

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#7 A Ghost Story

I really want to watch A Ghost Story again. It’s not a horror, if you’ve never heard of it, but a quirky little mysterious movie with a cracking ending. Just be warned, you’ll be put off from eating pie for quite a while afterwards.

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#6 The Florida Project

Who knew that just a stone’s throw away from the most magical place on earth is…a very unmagical, sad place, where families struggle to get by and raise their children. Poor Willem Dafoe plays the manager of the Magic Castle Motel and despite the kids there making his life hell, he loves them still. It took me a while to warm to the movie but I haven’t forgotten it since.

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#5 Battle of the Sexes

I never expected to enjoy Battle of the Sexes so much. I find biographical movies can be quite dry sometimes, and I have no interest in tennis at all, but I gave it a go for Emma Stone and Steve Carell, both of which I’m a big fan of. I don’t know what to tell you, I just found the story absolutely fascinating!

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#4 I, Tonya

Speaking of biographical movies to do with sports…oh boy was I, Tonya a lot of fun! Margot Robbie was the perfect choice here. I just love how her story was told, I laughed so much but at the same time, it’s really quite emotional. Just excellent performances all round, here.

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#3 Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

A fantastically dark story about how a mother uses any means necessary to solve the case of her murdered daughter when the police fail to come up with an answer. Three Billboards is a must-watch.

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#2 Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Yeah, I put The Last Jedi up here. You didn’t expect anything less of me, did you? I’ll always have a soft spot for The Last Jedi, just like a have a soft spot for any Star Wars movie. We were blessed with unmasked Kylo Ren, the most beautifully shot lightsaber fight/team-up ever, and a whole host of galactic creatures and beings.

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#1 The Greatest Showman

Is the soundtrack for The Greatest Showman the most sold album of all time yet? I think it was #1 in the UK album charts for over a year! I didn’t realise until recently that it got quite mixed reviews, but for me it’s everything I want in a movie, and I honestly couldn’t fault it!

Lists

My 5 Favourite Dan Stevens Performances

A very Happy Birthday to one of the most important men in my life…Dan Stevens! No, wait that’s not right…I mean my husband! Today he joins me in the final run-up to being 30…yikes! And yes, he loves to remind me that I am in fact older than him (by 2 whole months) and will be 30 before he is. He’s a funny one.

Wait – I just read that paragraph back and it looks like I’m talking about Dan Stevens being my husband…

Let me clarify. It is both my husband’s and Dan Stevens’ birthday today…but they are 2 very different men! But as my husband hasn’t featured in a feature-length movie, this post is dedicated to my 5 favourite performances by Dan Stevens.

Still with me? Here we go…

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#5 Colossal (2016)

Only Dan Stevens can get away with being an uppity annoying boyfriend with a posh accent and not make me hate him. On a side note, if you’ve never seen Colossal you really, really ought to. It’s one of the most original yet recent movies I’ve ever seen! By now I’m fairly sure I’m owed some money in royalties for the number of times I’ve tried to sell this movie.

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#4 Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (2014)

I ended up watching this whilst falling down a Dan Stevens shaped rabbit hole last year – which is something I need to fall deeper into because funnily enough, having a bay put a stop to that! Anyway, I have two words to sum up why I love his character so much in this movie…HUGE?! ACKMAN?!

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#3 Beauty and the Beast (2017)

This remake seemed to be received like marmite last year, but I loved every minute of it. I just think it’s quite incredible that through all the CGI, the Beast was still very much Dan Stevens, and if you ever have the (dis)pleasure of being on a car ride with me, you’ll be treated to my very loud rendition of Evermore!

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#2 The Guest (2014)

So, several of my fellow bloggers urged me to see The Guest, in which Dan Stevens plays a psychotic mass murderer and raises the temperature in the room by more than a few degrees by wearing nothing but a bathroom towel. *cough* I mean, his performance was very well acted and…nope, I have nothing else more to say.

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#1 Legion (2017 – )

Even though it’s a TV Show rather than a movie, it would feel wrong for the #1 spot to not be the performance of Dan Stevens that made me think “oh, this guy is GOOD.” I really need to catch up and see Season 2 soon, because if it’s half as good as the first then it’s going to be amazing.

What would you include in your Top 5 Dan Stevens performances? What have I missed that I need to see?

Lists

The 5 Best Movies of 2017…So Far

It’s hard to believe we’re half way through the year already! I’ve done pretty abysmally at keeping up to date with current movies so far, but it would be rude not to do a Top 5 list of my favourites so far! I’m expecting Okja and Baby Driver to be great movies, but as I haven’t seen them yet, they can’t be in this list!

I’d just like to throw in a few honourable mentions first: Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2, Table 19, Hidden Figures & Hacksaw Ridge.

Just note, I always go by UK release dates for this list, otherwise those amazing Oscar movies would never make my lists as they’re always released in January!

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#5 Beauty and the Beast

Is the Beauty and the Beast remake better than the original? No, it’s not even on par with it, but I feel like one of the few that still absolutely loved it. Yes, Emma Watson was wrung through the auto-tune a few times, but would you rather have a singer play the role who can’t act to save their life? It was the casting that won me over, even for roles I was skeptical about, such as Luke Evans, who turned out to be the perfect Gaston. I honestly couldn’t have asked for much more!

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#4 Wonder Woman

If you told me in January that Wonder Woman was going to feature in any kind of Top list written by me, I would have laughed at you, but I think we were all a little surprised at just how good the latest offering from DC was. Let’s hope this is the turning point we’ve all been waiting for! Gal Gadot has stolen my heart you guys.

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#3 Lion

I might have only just stopped ugly-crying whenever I think about the ending to Lion. I knew from the trailers it was going to be something I would enjoy, but when half of the movie is dominated by a child actor you can’t help but be a little wary. Thankfully, little Sunny Pawar is an absolute superstar, and it’s impossible not to love him. It’s still hard to believe this is a true story, it’s simply incredible. Oh man, I just remembered why the movie is actually called Lion and now I’m crying all over again!

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#2 Colossal

No, I will never stop talking about Colossal. It’s my hidden gem of 2017, and I don’t care if I sound like a broken record! Is it the greatest movie of all time? No. Is the story completely polished? No, but it’s a completely unique tale in a year full of sequels, and Anne Hathaway is a delight to watch in this crazy role. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it seems to be unheard of outside of the blogging world, and I’d love for more people to give it a try.

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#1 La La Land

It’s rare that I actually re-watch movies in recent years, mainly because my watch list is longer than my arm and I love the thrill of finding new, great things to watch, but I’ve seen La La Land 3 times now, and I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve listened to the soundtrack. It’s a good job that Spotify doesn’t keep those records actually. (Please don’t tell me it does). I’m a sucker for anything starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling together because of their chemistry, and I seem to be loving musicals lately too, so this was a sure winner!

I’ll be back in the week with my Top 5 Worst Movies of 2017 so far list but for now, I’d love to know what movies have been your favourite so far! What have I missed, that I need to catch up on?