Lists

My 10 Favourite Cinema Experiences

As a movie blogger, I feel a certain sense of responsibility to promote the cinema and the joy of watching the latest releases on the big screen. However, sometimes life just gets in the way, money is running low, and hey presto, you’ve got a 6-month old baby who’s not going to make a great cinema companion, and you’re stuck at home with Netflix instead. It’s not all bad of course, but I do miss my weekly cinema trips a bit. My friends and family are more caught up than I am lately!

So with all that in mind, I thought it might be a nice time to look back at some of my favourite experiences at the cinema. Of course, all lists need to be neat and even, so I chose 10. In no particular order…

#10 The Force Awakens (2015)

After finally realising just how amazing Star Wars is at the ripe age of 26, I was so excited to see The Force Awakens just before Christmas with my family. I steered clear of all social media for about 4 days I think, which is unsettlingly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. The cinema we went to put on an amazing show as we took selfies with Stormtroopers as they escorted us to our screen!

#9 Elf (2003)

My poor brother Rich has his birthday in the middle of January, and in the UK it’s such a rubbish month to actually do anything. You can’t have a BBQ, none of the theme parks have opened yet and the weather is guaranteed to ruin any trip out. For his (I think) 8th Birthday, myself, him, our Mum and a handful of his friends went to see Elf. Around 3 weeks after Christmas. Safe to say the screen was empty – but it’s the only time that’s ever happened to me!

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#8 Gone Girl (2014)

I think we saw this on the opening weekend, because the screen was packed, and I think packed with people who hadn’t read the book, just like us. The moment that plot twist hits is an amazing moment on its own, but the audible gasps of over 100 people at the same time was pretty awesome.

#7 Sherlock: The Final Problem (2017)

This feels so much longer than last year! But yes, our cinema put on a screening of the last episode of Season 4. We even got some bonus footage beforehand which was pretty cool. This is memorable though because of my Mum bringing in a tiny bottle of Prosecco along with a plastic champagne flute, which she promptly dropped on the floor with a clang during a very quiet moment. Oh, Mum.

#6 Avatar (2009)

You know, I’ve only ever seen Avatar once. I feel like the world raved about it when it first came out, but 9 years later everyone kind of hates it. I should watch it again really to decide for myself! But anyway, Avatar was my first IMAX experience, and if you know me at all you’ll know how much I love IMAX!

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#5 Spy Kids 3: Game Over (2003)

Bet you didn’t expect to see this is any ‘Favourite’ list did you? Spy Kids 3 was the first time I took my brother Rich to the cinema without any parental supervision! We had such a funny time and we still joke about it to this day. In case you’re wondering, Johnny English (2003) was our second visit.

#4 Twilight (All of them!)

Spy Kids and Twilight in a list together? Only here! Yes, I saw every Twilight movie at the cinema. Not only that, but all of them were midnight screenings too. With my Mum! I’m so rock and roll aren’t I? If you’ve ever done a midnight screening though you’ll know what I mean. There’s just something a bit special about not getting into bed till 3am and going to work the next day tired…but without a hangover.

#3 Marley & Me (2008)

Here’s another movie I’ve only seen once. For a different reason this time though. Marley & Me made me cry like no movie has ever before. I didn’t even like dogs at that time either, so goodness knows what it would do to me now. This trip will always be memorable for the moment during the credits when the lights came on, and every person in that room tried to hide the fact they were sobbing their heart out.

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#2 Horrible Bosses (2011)

I can’t talk enough about Horrible Bosses. It’s my favourite modern comedy ever, and I don’t think I could really explain why. It just tickles me. Anyway! When we saw this it was opening night in a full screen. Seeing a comedy in the cinema is always special because no-one feels weird about laughing out loud. We all also collectively pooped ourselves when that cat jumped out of nowhere!

#1 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

This is making me laugh the more I think about it. Sweeney Todd is the first movie my husband and I saw together when we were just boyfriend and girlfriend. In fact, we might even have just been friends at the time. Actually – we might have even seen it on Valentine’s Day! Anyway – what I find so funny about it is that both of us hate horror movies. I don’t mind them as much now of course but at the time – why did we see this? I need to ask him…

That’s enough from me for one day but I’d really like to know…what’s your favourite cinema experience?

TV Shows

Thoughts on Sherlock: The Final Problem

It should be a crime to make a TV series with only 3 episodes per season, let alone having such a painfully long wait in between seasons! Can you believe Sherlock started in 2010? That was 7 years ago, 7! After a 3 year break (not counting the Christmas special in 2016) Season 4 came to our screens on 1st January, and just 15 days later, it’s all over again. What I can’t stop asking though is, is Sherlock over for good?

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Spoilers from here on out, you’ve been warned!

The Sherlock Squad (consisting of myself, my husband, my parents and littlest brother) went last night to our local Showcase cinema to watch The Final Problem. We’ve been so excited for it, we had our tickets booked before Christmas! There’s just something extra special about seeing something like this on the big screen, although we were slightly concerned about how we’d make it without our usual pause breaks for the loo, or biscuits. Cinema goers had an extra 15 minutes of footage, too!

So, whilst trying to prepare myself for what was being set up for a dark episode, I had 2 main questions. What’s the deal with the Holmes sister, Eurus, and just how did Sherlock not recognise her? Is Moriarty back after all, despite how impossible it seems? Thankfully both were answered, and not in the way I expected.

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I have to say, watching the episode at the cinema was such an amazing experience. The screen felt like a gigantic family gathering, with whisperings before it started of what everyone thought would happen, frantically checking the time to see how long we had to go. We were giddy! Our bonus footage was a small documentary with Amanda Abbington discussing her role as Mary and how it all began. It wasn’t as exciting as I’d hoped for, but it was wonderful looking back at clips from the earlier seasons and seeing how things had changed.

And then BOOM. We’re at Mycroft’s place. There’s a creepy faceless doll running around. The portraits on the wall are bleeding. There’s a clown trying to kill him. WHAT. THE. HELL. GUYS. I can’t watch this stuff at home, let alone in the dark. Will not forgive you for that one, Sherlock Holmes.

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Over at Sherrinford, which we now know is the BBC’s Arkham Asylum, we finally get to learn about Eurus, and why Sherlock doesn’t recognise her. Or even remember her existence, in fact. That game she plays with Sherlock, John and Mycroft is one of the most intense things I’ve ever watched. I was frozen in place, shaking, and trying to hide in my jumper all at the same time. Fellow Sherlock and Molly shippers, rejoice? I mean, we’ve been waiting for ‘I love you’ for so long, but did any of us want it to happen that way?!

Onto Moriarty. I should have seen it coming. When Mycroft mentioned he took Euros a Christmas present, I knew straight away he meant Moriarty. So why, why when Queen started playing, did I join the room in a chorus of ‘YES’ when he stepped out that helicopter, just to see the ‘5 years ago’ on the screen and have all my dreams shattered. Major sadface, reporting for duty.

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My heart can’t bear to talk about Redbeard, I didn’t see that twist coming at all. I just. Cannot even. Sherlock cried. I cried. We all cried. Moving swiftly on…

Have we ever had a Sherlock season end what wasn’t a cliffhanger? I really do feel like this is the end, and if it is then it’s a good ending. Maybe we’ll get a Season 5, maybe just a Christmas Special in a couple of years. No, I can’t do it any more. I miss the Baker Street boys already! I need an entire season dedicated to Sherlock and John trying to look after Rosie. I don’t want this to be the end!

TV Shows

Thoughts on Sherlock: The Lying Detective

I’ve had the WordPress editor open for about 2 hours, just trying to get my thoughts into order. My brain is kind of sleep-deprived today, thanks to last nights episode of Sherlock. I don’t remember the last time I lost sleep because of a TV episode! After last week’s episode (which you can read my thoughts on here) I wasn’t as giddily excited for The Lying Detective, in fact my family were deep in holiday planning discussion when we realised it had started!

It seems obvious to me but I should warn you just in case, big, boy racer spoilers ahead for last night’s episode of Sherlock. Steer clear if you haven’t seen it yet. Or if you appreciate good writing. There won’t be any of that today I’m afraid.

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That’s about as much as I can type without beginning to lose it. Because last night’s episode was JUST SO GOOD. Literally, from the word go, I knew this was the kind of story that was missing from last week. Straight away we were introduced to our bad guy, AKA Culverton Smith, AKA Toby Jones, who seems like one of the nicest guys on earth yet plays some of the nastiest human beings ever on TV.

Now I’m really struggling, this is kind of what’s going on in my head right now:

Mary isn’t dead?! Mary isn’t DEAD?!
Oh. Never mind. John you need to get yourself some help, buddy.

Sherlock’s a mess too. Is it wrong to miss druggie Sherlock? He’s kind of hot in that weird, rugged way. Now I need some help too.

It is proven, by the great Mr. Sherlock Holmes himself, that a bag of chips solves all of life’s problems. However, it is absolutely not okay to put ketchup on top of the chips! Ketchup belongs on the side, for dipping.

I feel like a very bad person for liking dead, imaginary Mary more than alive Mary.

Deductions! Deductions everywhere!

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YAAAAAS Mrs Hudson! I call BS on anyone who claims they knew it would be her to step out of that car. Also, if all it takes is a cup of tea and some handcuffs to get Sherlock into your car… *cough* I’ll stop there, my Mum reads this blog. My husband, too.

Speaking of my Mum, 10 points to Gryffindor because she worked out that Culverton’s daughter (pretend daughter?) and John’s therapist were the same person before any of us! May she be forever known as Mumcroft from this day forth.

She didn’t however, work out that said therapist was also the same lady John cheated on Mary with. Or that she was also THE THIRD HOLMES BROTHER SISTER. It’s like Predestination all over again!

“It is what it is”
“Shit”
Is now my favourite saying ever.

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Who gets to remind John that he started a relationship with Sherlock’s sister? The mere thought is making me giggle.

Finally, how on earth am I going to make it through this week until the next episode? More importantly, how am I going to make it through the next 3 or more years next week when it’s all over again?!

This Sunday is going to be special though. We’re heading to our local cinema which is screening the final episode, with an extra 15 minutes of bonus footage. I can’t wait!

TV Shows

Thoughts on Sherlock: The Six Thatchers

Happy New Year everyone! I hope you all had a great night. Mine was, well, rather tame, but there’s always this year, right?! More importantly however, Sherlock is back! You don’t know how happy this makes me. It’s a big deal in my family, we got together and had a big home-cooked Sunday roast dinner before the main event. Okay, it might have been for New Year’s Day…

Spoilers ahead, obviously, so you’ve been warned!

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My terrible memory of the Season 3 finale seemed to recall Sherlock being sent away on a plane after shooting Charles Augustus Magnussen, and then having to land almost immediately after a video(?) of Moriarty with his famous tagline ‘Miss Me?’ was broadcast. This of course left us all wondering, is Moriarty back? How? I mean, we still don’t really know how Sherlock survived The Reichenbach Fall, we never even considered the fact Moriarty survived it too! Of course there was also the mystery behind Mary’s USB stick and the initials, A.G.R.A.

The new episode, titled The Six Thatchers, started with the covering up of the security footage of Magnussen’s death, and reminded me exactly why Sherlock is such a brilliant character. Who else could get away with sending tweets and scoffing ginger nut biscuits at such a critical time?

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Soon afterwards Mary and John’s baby was born, and we followed the gang on a case. Moments like these are my favourite part of the show, watching in awe as Sherlock solves the mysteries with surprising ease, whilst being a lovable, big-headed idiot at the same time. The small case led on to something much bigger, a series of Margaret Thatcher busts being destroyed. For perhaps the first time in his life, Sherlock is trusting intuition rather than facts, as he tracks down why these busts are being targeted.

This is where I lost interest slightly, as the whole focus of the episode switched from case solving to being all about Mary and her past. I have nothing against Mary, but we had enough of her shady history at the end of Season 3, and I wanted something new. I get that it was still a case to be solved but I wanted to reach into the TV and shake Mary, why would she go on the run, leaving her husband and newborn child behind?! Surely she should have kown she would have been safer under Sherlock’s protection. Argh!

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Does this remind anyone else of Friends? “So no one told you life was gonna be this way…” *clap clap clap clap clap*

Of course, in the episode’s finale, I felt super guilty about my mean thoughts. I hope John can forgive Sherlock soon, because it really wasn’t his fault, Mary wasn’t even the target of the bullet, and I miss John and Sherlock together! I’m still not 100% sure if I understand what happened with A.G.R.A, AMMO, or the mean old secretary lady, I’m going to have to read into it I think.

All in all, it was a solid episode and I’m happy to have Sherlock back, but it didn’t have that fun factor that Season 3 had with the wedding. For me, that’s what the show is all about, some serious detective work with dry humour scattered liberally throughout. Maybe I’ve been building it up in my mind for too long. What sucks the most though is that in 2 weeks, it’ll all be over AGAIN!

Blogathons

A Merry Fictional Blog Challenge

I can’t believe that in a week’s time, Christmas will be over! It feels like we spend so long getting ready for the huge event, and then it passes by without us barely noticing. With 4 work days to go I was in need of some festive cheer, so when I saw Katy at Oh So Geeky post her answers for her ‘A Merry Fictional Blog Challenge’ she couldn’t have had better timing!

If you’d like to get involved also, simply check out Katy’s original post. But without further ado, here are my answers!

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Advent Calendar: Traditions you celebrate during December?
Aside from the usual family traditions, we have a long standing tradition of a big family get together to the cinema on the Sunday before Christmas. It started many years ago with The Polar Express, and we’ve been every year since. In recent years we’ve seen The Hobbit trilogy, last year we saw The Force Awakens, and this year will be Rogue One. I say will be because we’ve had to change the date this year to Boxing Day!

Carols: What’s your favorite song(s)?
There is no possible way I could pick a favourite Christmas song, it’s my favourite time of year and there are too many! However, it always seems to be that Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is the first to be played on the radio, and that song is glorious.

Coal: A naughty character you’d send coal to?
I’d send coal to Ajax Francis, from Deadpool.

Fireplace: Favorite Christmas movie that melts your heart?
My favourite Christmas movies are Jingle All The Way and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, but they’re comedies. There has never been an instance that I’ve watched The Polar Express without ugly crying into a mug of tea, however.

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Gingerbread: What’s your favorite holiday snack?
This might be an odd one, but After Eight Mints, and Terry’s Chocolate Oranges. I don’t know if they’re a worldwide thing or UK only, but I can eat an entire box of mints and/or an entire orange and not feel bad about how sick it would make me.

Hot Cocoa: What’s your favorite drink?
I don’t like hot chocolate or coffee, but Costa are doing a Hot Spiced Apple drink this year which is absolutely to die for!

Mistletoe: Character you’d like to meet under the mistletoe?
Only one?! I’ll go with Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock.

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He seems confused…

Mittens: A cozy outfit that keeps you warm during winter?
The weather can be so odd here in the UK. In the winter I tend to wear exactly what I would any other season, but with a big winter coat and gloves in my pocket just in case!

Naughty: Three characters who’d make the Naughty list.
Paul Spector (The Fall), Man in Black (Westworld) & Rowan North (Ghostbusters).

Nice: Three characters who’d make the Nice list.
Moana (Moana, funnily enough), Jyn Erso (Rogue One) & Dustin Henderson (Stranger Things).

North Pole: If you could spend Christmas anywhere (even fictional), where would you go?
Maybe this is a boring choice as it’s real rather than fictional, but after spending 2 days at Disneyland California this year as part of my honeymoon, I would love to go back for Christmas, it would be magical!

Presents: A book or movie on your wishlist?
I’m planning on doing a lot of reading in the New Year, much more than the 2 measly books I managed in 2016! So I can’t think of one specific book right now, but I’ll have a whole list by January.

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Rudolph: What’s your favorite TV holiday special?
I’m sure there are some great ones out there, but another family tradition of mine is watching Shrek The Halls on Christmas Eve. It’s been so many years now we know all the words. We’re probably really embarrassing, come to think of it.

Santa: A character you’d love to exchange presents with? What would you get them?
I would love to work in the office from Parks & Recreation and take part in an office Secret Santa there. I’d rig it so I could buy for Leslie Knope so I could get her all sorts of stationery and organisational tools, because we have a shared passion in that area.

Scrooge: A villain you’d help see life in a different way?
Kylo Ren for sure. It wouldn’t work (I already tried at Disneyland) but I’d still give it a go. I would either end up a quivering mess on the floor (again, happened at Disneyland) or I’d get cut in half before I finished talking.

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I tried to sass Kylo Ren, and he really wasn’t impressed. I was legit terrified!

Snowflake: Something that makes you feel special.
Last weekend, doing a food shop at the supermarket. They were playing Christmas songs non-stop, and in the bakery isle there was a bit of a sing-a-long going on between some strangers, and it’s honestly one of the most special things to be a part of. It’s the littlest things in life sometimes!

Tree: What do you decorate your house with for the season?
We have our usual Christmas tree, tinsel around every surface we can find, and a few silly decorations too. This year my husband and I are sharing the Lego Star Wars advent calendar, which has a prime location in the living room.

Yuletide: The top 3 things in your life that make you the most happy?
Aside from family and friends (who are the true number 1) I would say coming home from a pants day at work to find my husband and 2 cats who are always happy to see me, lazy evenings spent on the sofa watching a movie, and pizza. Definitely pizza.

BONUS: Ugly Christmas Sweater: Would you wear a sweater Molly Weasley made you or avoid it like the plague?
OMG I WOULD WEAR IT WITH PRIDE.