Lists

Thursday Movie Picks: Holiday Horror

I might not know a lot about horror movies, but one thing I can easily talk to you all day about is Christmas movies! This week’s Thursday Movie Picks theme (ran by Wandering Through the Shelves) encompasses horror movies set in all kinds of holidays, but I am the self-proclaimed Queen of Christmas and so all 3 of my picks this week are festive!

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Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

My first pick is the best, let’s start off strong. Not only is Anna and the Apocalypse a horror movie set at Christmas, it’s also a musical! You heard me. The songs are catchy and there are plenty of laugh out loud moments. It also has a lot of heart, Ii wasn’t expecting to cry for this one. If you haven’t seen it yet please give it a chance this year, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

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Krampus (2015)

Krampus came to town just when I needed it. I wanted to get into horror movies but I was still too scared, but Krampus is more of a horror comedy which is a nicer transition. Plus it stars Toni Collette who basically makes any movie instantly better!

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Black Christmas (2019)

You can’t have good movies all the time, just like you can’t have good Christmas presents all the time (do we really need that many Lynx/Axe gift sets?) so here’s one to avoid. Actually scrap that, because Black Christmas just about falls into that category of being so bad it’s quite funny. If I remember correctly it’s a remake of a movie I’m going to assume was much better in quality.

Blogathons

Badly Drawn Christmas Movie Posters: Christmas in July Blogathon

Note: Originally posted on Drew’s blog here – please check him out and follow him if you aren’t already!

How many years has Drew been hosting my favourite blogathon now? I lost count, but I think I’ve taken part every year. This could, however, be the first year I’ve submitted my entry on time.

In previous years I’ve listed my favourite Christmas movies, defended Die Hard as being classed as a Christmas movie, picked which Christmas movies I can’t wait to watch with my daughter and suffered through the Star Wars Christmas Special movie. This year, after having a lot of fun hosting a Zoom quiz round on movies based on posters that I had badly recreated, I decided to do it again.

So, I present to you…5 badly drawn Christmas movie posters! All drawn by yours truly whilst binging my latest Netflix obsession, Modern Family. Can you guess them all? I’ll pop the answers at the bottom of this post.

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Now…my favourite part of Drew’s Christmas in July blogathon is that he hosts a party, and we get to bring any celebrity guest we would like, particularly someone we would like to meet under the mistletoe. In previous years I’ve invited Chris Pratt, Dan Stevens…and practically the whole male cast of the Star Wars sequels…oh and Keanu Reeves too! I’m starting to run out of options. I also can’t help but feel that in a Coronavirus-filled world, we might be forced to be socially distanced at this party…so I can’t bring someone too irresistible.

My lockdown TV obsession has been Modern Family. I haven’t seen a single episode before but now I’m wondering what to do with my life when I finish Season 7 as that’s all the UK Netflix has! So Drew, to your party this year, I’m bringing my Modern Family BFFs, Mitchell and Cam!

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Oh and if my terrible drawings have left you scratching your head…here are the answers!

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Blogathons

Thursday Movie Picks: Adaptations

I refuse to believe it’s Thursday already, mainly because it isn’t – I’m just organised for a change and have all my posts this week written in advance! Anyway, another Thursday means another of Wandering Through the Shelves’Thursday Movie Picks. This week’s theme is Adaptations. Basically, movies that have been adapted from other works. There are so many to pick from I’ve decided to go with a theme within the theme.

It’s been a very festive week so far and so all of my picks this week are Christmas movies adapted from books! And yes, my #3 choice is a Christmas movie, don’t you try and tell me otherwise.

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It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

My local cinema had a showing of this a few years back that me and the family went to go and see. I’d never watched it before and although I really enjoyed it, it’s a tough movie to put into my annual movie rotation for December. It’s based on a short story called The Greatest Gift, by Philip Van Doren Stern. Apparently the Director Frank Capra read the story and bought the film rights straight away. The names of all the characters were changed for the movie.

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The Polar Express (2004)

It feels to me like The Polar Express is only a few years old, and yet I’ve watched it so many years in a row it almost feels like it’s always been around. Almost 20 years before the movie’s release, The Polar Express was a children’s book written by Chris Van Allsburg. By 1989, the year I was born, it had sold a million copies!

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Die Hard (1988)

Is there ever going to be a year where we aren’t arguing about whether Die Hard is a Christmas movie? Probably not, but if you’ve watched the movie so many times you can’t bear it any longer, perhaps you might want to read the book it was based on, Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. Just to confuse you as well, Nothing Lasts Forever is a sequel to The Detective, which also got an adaptation in 1966 starring Frank Sinatra!

Blogathons

Top 5 Non-Christmassy Christmas Movies: Christmas in July Blogathon

Originally posted at Drew’s Movie Reviews to kick off his blogathon. Go check out Drew’s blog now if you don’t follow him already!

You try saying that title after a few cups of eggnog! Does anyone actually drink eggnog? I’ve heard it in Christmas songs I’ve seen it in Christmas movies…but I’ve never actually had any! I guess there’s a first time for everything. Speaking of which, this is certainly not the first time I’ve taken part in Drew’s Christmas in July Blogathon, but it IS the first time I’ve sent my post to him on time! For…any actual Blogathon he’s hosted, actually. I’m so sorry Drew!

It’s getting tougher each year to pick a topic for my post, but after last year when I defended Die Hard’s status as a Christmas movie my theme for this year has picked itself out. I’m going to list my Top 5 Non-Christmassy Christmas movies! You know, those movies you find yourself watching in October or November when the festive vibes are kicking in, but it’s not socially acceptable to be in the festive spirit yet!

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#5 Die Hard (1988)

Defending Die Hard’s Christmassy status is difficult enough, but last year Bruce Wilis himself declared that it wasn’t a Christmas movie. C’mon, man! When the winter months are filled with sickly sweet family movies, sometimes you need to see Bruce Willis kick some ass whilst still feeling festive.

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#4 Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001)

I love a good rom com, and Bridget Jones’ Diary is up there with the best of the very best. Bridget is just so relatable, and the scene with her and Mark Darcy with his ugly Christmas jumper is brilliant!

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#3 The Harry Potter Series (2001 – 2011)

Christmas features very sporadically in all of the Harry Potter movies but for years now, the main UK TV channels feature them heavily in December, and so for that reason, it’s sort of become a tradition to watch them annually at that time of year.

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#2 Shazam! (2019)

This year has actually brought a new movie to my annual Christmas watch list! (I’m going to have to START in July at this rate). Shazam! has it all, it’s a cool and funny superhero movie, it has some touching family moments…and it takes place at Christmas! Winner winner, turkey dinner.

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#1 Just Friends (2005)

I’m a huuuge Ryan Reynolds fan, and Just Friends features Ryan Reynolds at what I consider one of the best moments in his career. Embarrassingly, I could probably recite the entire movie to you, I’ve watched it that often!

Now, as part of Drew’s blogathon, he hosts a huge celebrity party (ever the hostess with the most-ess) and we’re allowed to bring any guest we choose. I seem to have worked my way through the entire male Star Wars cast…but I don’t think you need more than one guess as to who I’m bringing this year…

Keanu, we are going to have a most excellent time!

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Movie Reviews

The Grinch (2018)

the-grinch-movie-poster-review-2018Director: Yarrow Cheney, Scott Mosier

Genre: Animation, Comedy, Family

Runtime: 86 Minutes

Main Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones, Cameron Seely, Pharrell Williams, Kenan Thompson, Angela Lansbury

Plot: The age-old story of why the Grinch hates Christmas, and how he steals Christmas away from all who live in Whoville.

My Thoughts: I’m ‘that person’ who patiently waits for Halloween to be over so I can get the Christmas decorations out of the cupboard, make my house smell like a batch of mulled wine is forever being brewed, and live on a diet consisting almost solely on mince pies until the big day. That also means I’ve been itching to watch my first Christmas movie of the year, even if it meant watching a movie about a grumpy green guy who hates it!

We all know the story of the Grinch by now, don’t we? We’re all probably questioning whether we needed an animated remake too, aren’t we? Thing is, do I really need to buy another box of mince pies this weekend? Not really – but they’re going to brighten up my day anyway! If you’re hoping to see some kind of twist on the original then you’ll be sorely disappointed, but it’s really hard to not be pulled into the charm of it all!

I don’t remember the last Illumination movie I watched at the cinema – do they all have their own shorts now? This came with a Minions short called Yellow is the New Black, a fun little story but honestly, I’m pretty tired of the little yellow guys now.

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Best Bit: I can’t pick one moment, but my favourite thing about the movie (and most animations to be honest) is the little funny details that you could miss if you blink. Do you question why the Grinch is naked when every Who in the village wears clothes? I realise now why I might struggle to sleep at night if this is what I’m thinking…anyway! There are so many little hidden jokes in here you’ll need to watch it at least twice to spot them all.

Worst Bit: If it wasn’t embarrassing enough to be sitting in a packed cinema screen on opening night by myself surrounded by families, the swift punch to the feelings towards the end of the movie made me cry…which in turn made another Mum start chatting with me on the way out. 4 months I’ve managed to stay incognito!

Fun Trivia:┬áIn Despicable Me 3 (2017), the oldest of Gru’s girls, Margo, is seen wearing a T-shirt with this version of the Grinch on the front. Being as both are from Illumination Entertainment, this was clearly a nod to the upcoming film. In the first Despicable Me (2010) film, Margo had a Lorax shirt, teasing Illumination Entertainment’s The Lorax (2012), a fellow Dr. Seuss film.

My Rating: 3 and a half out of 5 screaming goats, which have the power to make any and every child under 10 years old laugh till they cry!

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