Movie Reviews

What I Watched: September 2021

Spooky season is upon us! I’m a bit all over the place these last two weeks. Furlough has come to an end in the UK and I’m back to work full time, which is great to be honest because I’ve really missed having a full wage at the end of the month. I’m also back in the office one day a week (for now) as of today so that’s pretty cool! I’m starting to feel like a normal person again. Anyway, September sucked for new releases and thankfully October is looking much better. It gave me the time to catch up on a few 2021 movies I’d missed though, so it’s not all bad.

You know the drill by now, I’m here with a few words on all the movies I watched last month but didn’t find the time to write a full review for.

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He’s All That (2021) – Wow, I actually forgot this movie existed until I loaded up my film diary to remind me what I watched. Did you know there’s a scene in He’s All That where one of the characters is doing karaoke and because of the green screen their arm disappears for a second? It came up on my Twitter feed and it’s the only thing I remember from the whole movie and that’s all you need to know.

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Vacation Friends (2021) – Lil Rel Howery has been in everything this year, I swear. I barely knew who he was until the start of 2021 and now he’s one of my favourite comedic actors. This movie, also starring John Cena sounds absolutely awful on paper but it’s actually pretty decent thanks to the chemistry involved. I regret only half-watching it whilst doing chores so I’m going to rewatch it soon.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Full Review

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Wrong Turn (2021) – This was awful. I had no idea it was part of a franchise but Netflix was throwing it in my face so often I watched it in the hopes it would stop. Terrible characters, some fun gory deaths but a dull plot and I very almost gave up and turned it off.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions (2021)Full Review

Fargo (1996)Film & Wine Club Review

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The Green Knight (2021) – The hype got me so excited to see this! I was gutted when the UK release got shelved for a while. It’s definitely one of those arty movies that feels like style is favoured over substance but I was kept interested throughout and any movie time spent watching Dev Patel is good movie time.

Malignant (2021)Full Review

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Best Sellers (2021) – What an adorable little movie! Once I knew the leads were Aubrey Plaza and Michael Caine I didn’t care what the plot was, I was in. Aubrey’s character runs a failing publishing company and Michael Caine plays a once great author roped into writing another book. It didn’t turn out to be as amazing as I would have hoped but it was still really enjoyable and had some stellar moments. Aubrey Plaza really knows how to yell at someone!

Fear of Rain (2021)Full Review

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People Just Do Nothing: Big in Japan (2021) – I’d never heard of this BBC show until my brother explained it to me, I saw the trailers for the movie and genuinely thought Kurupt FM were a musical act I just wasn’t cool enough to know about. I’ve since watched a few episodes and it’s really funny. I don’t know how well British comedy holds up overseas but if you’ve watched and enjoyed The Inbetweeners then you’ll like this too. I’m told there are inside jokes that are funnier when you’ve seen the whole show but it’s definitely not required to enjoy the movie.

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The Many Saints of Newark (2021) – I was clearly having a dumb week because the very next day I went to see this at the cinema. I’d never heard of it, I hadn’t seen a single trailer but like I mentioned, September was awfully quiet at the cinema and it was this or nothing, basically. Despite not being a fan of gangster movies I quite enjoyed this, but I was hoping the questions that I raised would be answered by the end and they weren’t. Turns out this is a prequel to the hugely popular show The Sopranos…which I’ve never seen. Doh.

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The Starling (2021) – If you can get past the awful CGI bird and the first 10 minutes of this movie, the rest isn’t actually that bad. It desperately wants to be an Oscar movie and falls well short of the mark, but it wasn’t as melodramatic as I first thought. Melissa McCarthy is someone I always enjoy watching, and I’m a huge fan of Chris O’Dowd. For someone who plays comedy almost exclusively, he does an amazing job here.

I also watched Smashed (2012), Luce (2019), and Paradise (2013) as part of Mettel Ray’s Hidden Gems Challenge. September was Octavia Spencer month, and you can check out my post here.

TV wise, I’m still watching Season 2 of Ted Lasso although I’m 2 episodes behind right now. I’m loving this season just as much as the last one, but oh my goodness Nate is irritating me. I was so happy he got the confidence boost he needed but he’s getting close to irredeemable for me now. The reason I’m behind is because I finally gave into the hype of Squid Game, and everything else got put on hold. That show really is as good as everyone is saying! I get the feeling we’re going to see a lot of those tracksuits around Halloween this year. I also gave the first episode of Midnight Mass a try but it hasn’t gripped me like I hoped it would. Does it get better?

Movie Reviews

What I Watched: July 2021

Why hello there, August! It’s my birthday month which means everyone has to be nice to me. Or that’s what I think the rules are, anyway. Can someone remind my three-year-old? What a wild age. One minute she tells me she never wants to play with me again (I asked her to eat her dinner) and the next she’s giving me kisses and telling me she loves me. She’s cute and hilarious though so I’ll forgive her – I think my husband would say the same about me, to be perfectly honest. Let’s talk movies though, shall we? I’ve watched loads this month, but haven’t been so great about writing about them afterwards.

That’s the beauty of these little round-up posts though, I get to talk a little bit about everything I’ve seen without trying to find the time to write a full review for each movie. Here’s what I watched in July!

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Fatherhood (2021) – I genuinely forgot I watched this, which serves about right as a review I guess. It has some sweet moments and raises some genuine issues that single Dads are facing right now, but it’s just not memorable enough. I find Kevin Hart so enjoyable though so I’ll forever watch his movies, but he’s at his best when he sticks to pure comedy.

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Fear Street: 1994 (2021) – I’m not a huge fan of slasher horror movies but I do like to keep up to date with the Netflix Originals and I was intrigued about the three part movies all coming out on a weekly schedule rather than having to wait at least a year, so of course I watched Fear Street. It didn’t convert me to the genre but it was stylish and I really like the cast so I still had a good time watching it.

Black Widow (2021) Full Review

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Fear Street: 1978 (2021) – This was probably my favourite of the three Fear Street movies. It was interesting going back in time to delve deeper into the mystery and the soundtrack was brilliant. I feel like I’m yet to see a movie about summer camp that doesn’t involve kids being murdered though? So kind of grateful they aren’t a thing in the UK!

Arthur Christmas (2011)Full Review for Drew’s Christmas in July Blogathon

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Werewolves Within (2021) – I’m not aware of the video game this movie is based on but I know very well the board game/card game Werewolves which is very much the same thing. I think I took this movie too seriously to begin with and I wasn’t enjoying it much, but once I let go a bit I had a much better experience and loved the conclusion to it. Such a great cast, too! Sam Richardson is quickly becoming one of my favourite comedic actors.

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The Tomorrow War (2021) – Bit gutted I didn’t find the time to write a full review for this one because I had a blast watching it. It’s loud, it’s expensive but it’s a proper popcorn movie and if you don’t get your head too wrapped up in the logic of the time travel then it’s really fun. It was so weird that Sam Richardson was in this too as I had only watched Werewolves Within the night before. If you’d like to know my Mum’s review of this, it was “I think Chris Pratt should stick to comedy”. Clearly she wanted Dwayne Johnson as the lead!

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Good on Paper (2021) – I’m not aware of Iliza Shlesinger so I was watching this just for the romcom vibes. I liked how it was a bit different to the generic movies of this genre but UGH. The characters. I mostly had problems with the character of Dennis, the guy who is meant to be the ‘good on paper’ boyfriend. He’s downright unlikeable from the very beginning so I was never invested in the relationship for a minute.

Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)Full Review

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Fear Street: 1666 (2021) – Probably my least favourite of the three movies but I did still enjoy it. The first half felt a bit ‘by the book’ but it was a satisfying conclusion and the final fight in the shopping mall was super cool. I hope Netflix do something like this again, I would definitely be up for it.

Goodfellas (1990)Full Review for Film & Wine Club

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Pig (2021) – Two new Nic Cage movies in one year? We’re being spoiled. I loved Willy’s Wonderland (2021), it was the right combination of gory and absurd, and I have to admit I went into Pig mostly blind. I was expecting some sort of Big Lebowski type movie but it wasn’t that at all. It’s a must quieter movie about grief and I was pretty blindsided. At first I was disappointed, but I’ve appreciated the movie more as time has gone by.

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Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) – Now this is what I was expecting Pig to be more like! I was down for this movie for the name alone but I’d read a lot of lukewarm reviews so I wasn’t expecting much. Gunpowder Milkshake has many comparisons to John Wick and whilst it’s not on the same level as that franchise, it’s still a lot of fun. There’s some fun worldbuilding and great action scenes and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would. I’m a fan of Karen Gillan but she didn’t quite feel like lead material here, that’s my main gripe.

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The Forever Purge (2021) – I’ve missed a couple of movies in this franchise but it was so hot outside and inside that I just needed a couple of hours in an air-conditioned room, so off to the cinema I went. I wish these Purge movies were of a higher quality because it’s such a good concept, but they’re enjoyable regardless. The concept of this one is that when the 12 hour Purge ends, people don’t actually stop and the killing gets worse. And let’s face it, if the Purge were real, that’s EXACTLY what would happen.

Thelma & Louise (1991)Full Review for Film & Wine Club

Old (2021)Full Review

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The Last Letter from Your Lover (2021) – Oh I do love my ODEON membership and being able to see movies early every now and again. This kind of sappy romantic movie isn’t usually my kind of thing but when you’re in a cinema with no distractions it’s easy to get sucked into the story and I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought. Callum Turner was surprisingly good, but as much as I like Felicity Jones I can’t help but feel like she was miscast. She’s not believable as someone who loves to swear, Emilia Clarke would have been my choice.

Jungle Cruise (2021) – Full Review coming soon

Movie Reviews

What I Watched: June 2021

What a whirlwind week it’s turning out to be! Word on the street is that all COVID restrictions in the UK are going to be lifted in 2 weeks, which just feels surreal. I just got back from a weekend away in Wales for a family wedding which was a delight. My 3-year-old was better behaved on the long drives than I was, she’s an absolute boss. Oh, and I returned to work this week! Home working only for now and part-time too but after being on furlough since April 2020 I’ll take anything. It’s going to take a LOT of getting used to!

Safe to say, my movie watching is going to dip in July but we aren’t here to talk about July today, are we? Let me share with you what I watched last month…

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Bo Burnham: Inside (2021) – Clearly I’ve been living under a rock, because I didn’t know Bo Burnham was a comedian. Everyone was talking about his lockdown special over Twitter though and I just hate to be left out, so I gave it a watch whilst writing. I got no writing done! I adored every single minute. ‘Shit’ is by far my most listened song of the year, it doesn’t get old for me.

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Spiral: From the Book of Saw (2021) – Whilst I’m still salty that ODEON didn’t bother to show this movie, I wasn’t missing out on much. I haven’t seen all of the Saw movies so I can’t comment much about this latest installment, but it was just…a bit meh, wasn’t it?

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Dream Horse (2021) – Yes, I’m still sticking with my pledge of watching absolutely everything my local cinema is showing. Dream Horse was actually a really sweet story set in the Welsh valleys and starring the always-wonderful Toni Collette. It’s a feel-good story and showcases the beauty of the countryside and the warmth of a small community.

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Awake (2021) – I really wanted to like this movie. The idea that some awful catastrophe occurring that renders humankind unable to sleep is fascinating, especially to someone as sleep-deprived as me. Yet Awake somehow manages to follow every conventional step in the ‘disaster movie’ book and is just plain boring.

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)Film & Wine Club Review

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard (2021) Full Review

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Together Together (2021) – What a beautiful movie this was. It’s been a while since I watched something that plagued my thoughts for so long after. It’s the story of a single father who hires a surrogate mother, and how their relationship develops whilst she’s pregnant. It could have so easily become a romcom but it stays realistic, through the highs and the lows and it just really surpassed all of my expectations.

In The Heights (2021)Full Review

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)Film & Wine Club Review

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Bo Burnham: Make Happy (2016) – Obviously I was going to allow Netflix to push me into watching some more of Bo Burnham’s comedy work. I think I still prefer Inside but I love the chaotic energy that Bo has on stage. The musical numbers were great, as expected!

Fast & Furious 9 (2021) Full Review

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Luca (2021) – I really want to do a full review for Luca so I’ll be brief for now but I really enjoyed it. It’s not as deep as Inside Out or Soul but I don’t want all of my Pixar movies to be like that. Sometimes I just want to watch two fishy friends eat pasta and ride bikes! It has it’s faults for sure but after reading reviews I enjoyed it so much more than I thought I would.

The Dressmaker (2015) – This was a Film & Wine Club pick that I’ll get a full post written up for soon.

I also watched 3 Paul Rudd movies for June’s Hidden Gems challenge. The movies were Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues (2013), How Do You Know (2010) and Dinner for Schmucks (2010). Find out if any of them were gems here!

Movie Reviews

What I Watched: May 2021

It feels so good to be complaining about the weather being too hot. It’s been winter in the UK for forever, and then out of nowhere we’re right in the middle of a heatwave. I just can’t cope, you guys. My winter jumpers have barely left the wardrobe and I’m filling up the paddling pool. Anyway, May brought the return of cinemas here, YAY! It feels SO GOOD. I’m behind on everything to do with the blog, but at least I’ve got another cinema trip booked. I’ve also had my first COVID jab at last which was terrifying (I don’t cope well with jabs) but also kind of amazing. Before I ramble too much, let me share what I’ve watched in the last month…

Tom Clancy’s Without Remorse (2021) Full Review

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Things Heard & Seen (2021) – I forgot all about this Netflix movie. In my Letterboxd diary I rated it 2/5 and I don’t think it deserves a rating that high. I feel like it started off quite well, but descended into mediocre-ness. It’s just your usual, city-folk move to the country to an old, haunted house kind of movie with some other pointless plots thrown in for the hell of it.

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Shrek the Third (2007) – Remember how last month I used that Netflix feature that just plays something for you at random, and ended up watching 13 Going on 30? Well I gave it another go and ended up with Shrek the Third. I’ve actually never seen it, or the fourth one either! It was good though. Very much the same kind of humour as the first two but just not quite as memorable.

True Lies (1994)Full Review (Film & Wine Club)

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Premonition (2007) – This caught my eye on Netflix. It sounded twisty and I love Sandra Bullock, so I don’t know how it’s escaped me until now. Sandra’s character has a premonition of her husband dying, but the things in her dream start to happen in real life. I loved it, it really took me by surprise, but I wish it ended just 10 minutes earlier. It had a perfect ending, but then it carried on and I wish it had just finished there. Worth a watch if you’re struggling to pick something!

This Is the End (2013) – Seth Rogen and James Franco together is hit and miss for me. Sometimes it’s garbage (I hate Pineapple Express and I won’t apologise) but other times it’s legendary, and I can always count on re-watching This Is the End to cheer me up!

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Mainstream (2020) – Oh I feel so conflicted about this! Definitely worth a watch to see Andrew Garfield having the time of his life, but it’s a messy movie. It’s all to do with influencer culture and how dangerous social media can be, which I’m all for, but Mainstream didn’t have anything to say until at least halfway through. Once the gang have their own TV show, everything from that point is an absolute 10/10 for me, it was fantastic, but everything before that point was just pointless.

Oxygen (2021)Full Review

The Woman in the Window (2021)Full Review

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)Full Review (Film & Wine Club)

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The Unholy (2021) – Ahh, my first cinema trip of 2021. It had to be some fun trash, didn’t it? There’s a good story in there somewhere, and I like the whole ‘when God builds a church, the Devil builds a chapel next door’ vibe to it, but it’s bogged down by the characters and the script which feels a bit lazy. Good enough for a watch with friends and some popcorn though, especially if you like a few jump scares and slenderman-type creatures.

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) – This was a Film & Wine Club watch that I haven’t written up yet, so watch this space.

Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway (2021)Full Review

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Army of the Dead (2021) – Yeah, this was alright. I’m not a fan of zombie movies unless they’re comedies but this one had enough of a balance of serious and entertaining. It was way too long, though. Felt like it took all night to get through. It has some stunning cinematography and I enjoyed it enough to look forward to a sequel at least!

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Friends: The Reunion (2021) – Oh, I wasn’t prepared for this. I loved every second of it, until James bloody Corden turned up at least, but he had the decency to keep to his role as host and not try to take over the show. I’ve been pining for some kind of follow-on movie but when the question was asked I agree with their answer, it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. Oh, and can cupid please work their magic on Jennifer Aniston and David Schwimmer? They are SO CUTE!

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) – Another Film & Wine Club movie that I haven’t written up yet, arghh! I’ll be writing all day today, I think.

Cruella (2021) – If I can stop daydreaming about Emma Stone long enough to write something coherent, I will.

A Quiet Place Part II (2021) – Review coming sooooon, I promise!

I also watched Z for Zachariah (2015), Bombshell (2019) & Mary Queen of Scots (2018) for Mettel Ray’s Hidden Gems Challenge. May’s pick was Margot Robbie, and you can see my post here if you missed it.

TV wise, I’ve started re-watching Friends, and I highly doubt I’m alone in that one. Mare of Easttown has come to an end, and oh boy, what a finale! I loved that moment where the case was solved but then something didn’t quite add up. At that moment I completely lost it and started shouting ‘IT WAS ROY, IT WAS ROY’! Sorry, but David Denman will forever and always be known as Roy from The Office for me. I was so hyped because he was my guess from the very first episode, but obviously it turned out I was wrong. As usual. Who’s hyped for Loki next week?!

Movie Reviews · TV Shows

What I Watched: April 2021

Well hello there May! Can someone remind the British weather that it is in fact, May? There are exciting times ahead. Cinemas are going to be given the green light to open on the 17th, and indoor entertainment and hospitality opens up, too. I can’t WAIT. I don’t even like popcorn that much but on that Monday I’m buying the biggest bucket of popcorn that the cinema sells. I’ll watch anything, and everything! I’m not taking anything for granted ever again.

Let’s move onto movies before I make myself emotional. A week’s holiday slowed my movie watching down (not that I minded in the slightest!) but I still saw some great things in April. Here they are!

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The Father (2020) – I tried to write a full review of this, it’s still sat in my drafts now. I just couldn’t put my muddled thoughts into actual words though. Just know that it really is as good as you’ve heard. The Academy might have royally screwed up on that fateful night, but Anthony Hopkins fully deserves that award. There are plenty of movies out there that give a perspective of what living with memory loss, but none quite like this.

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Godzilla vs. Kong (2021) – This kind of movie should only be watched on the big screen, but I’d rather have watched it at home than not at all. I’m not a huge fan of these monster movies but they’re fun, and Godzilla vs. Kong kept the lame, human side of the story to a minimum which was a choice that worked well.

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Chaos Walking (2021) – I’m a bit gutted that I didn’t love Chaos Walking, it had so much going for it. I loved the idea of only men’s thoughts being projected, visible and audible for all to hear – but not women’s. It felt like there was a huge mystery and a cover up that was right around the corner, but it never really came to fruition. It was enough to make me want to read the book that the movie is based on though, so that’s something.

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Mank (2020) – I always make an effort to watch all the major awards movies, and I did so gladly this year, other than Mank. I love David Fincher as a director but not even his name could make me excited for this movie. I tried really hard, but I only made it to the 20-minute mark before I gave up, This just isn’t the movie for me.

Thunder Force (2021)Full Review

Nobody (2021)Full Review

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Why Did You Kill Me? (2021) – I don’t talk a lot about documentaries, mainly because I watch so few, but also because I don’t really know how to rate them. This one was an interesting find on Netflix about how social media and cat-fishing was used to track down a murderer.

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Stowaway (2021) – This one just snuck it’s way really quietly onto Netflix one day, didn’t it?! A really interesting sci-fi drama set in space, demonstrating that terrible decision where sacrificing one life could save many more. I didn’t like the ending at all, but it certainly didn’t taint the rest of the movie for me.

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13 Going on 30 (2004) – I’ve just realised I was heavily dependent on Netflix in April! So, you might have heard of this new Netflix feature that’s designed to stop you from spending hours trying to decide what to watch. You just press a button, and Netflix does the choosing for you. Well, I tried it, and it chose 13 Going on 30 for me. Hmm. I mean, the dance sequence to Thriller made it all worthwhile, but at the same time…I haven’t pressed that button since.

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Housebound (2014) – I’m annoyed that I’m so behind on reviews right now, because I really want to write one for this. I’ve a new found appreciation and love for New Zealand cinema. Their sense of humour resonates so clearly with me! If you enjoyed What We Do in the Shadows, you’re going to love Housebound.

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Stay (2005) – Last week I ticked a couple of movies off my watch list that had been there for so long I forgot who recommended them and why. Stay was one of those! I love dark, twisty movies so that’s why, and that’s exactly what Stay was! Starring a very young Ewan McGregor and Ryan Gosling – I didn’t have enough concentration to fully appreciate it but it’s worth a watch for sure as long as you’re wide awake and alert!

I also watched Fahrenheit 451 (2018), Fruitvale Station (2013) and Creed II (2018) as part of Mettel Ray‘s Hidden Gems Challenge, and you can find my Michael B. Jordan post here.

TV wise, I finished watching The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. The final 2 episodes were much stronger than the middle 2 episodes, and I was satisfied with the ending. Sam is going to be a great Captain America! I didn’t love it in the same way I loved Wandavision, I wasn’t interested in the Flag Smashers’ story. I’m hugely excited to see what’s on the horizon for John Walker. Next month brings Loki, the Marvel show I’ve been looking forward to the most!

I also watched The Flight Attendant, a show I’ve been meaning to see for ages. I’ve been a fan of Kaley Cuoco ever since 8 Simple Rules so I was over the moon for her to land a big role like this, and I hope the show’s success leads to bigger and better roles for her. I enjoyed the mystery behind this show, it kept every one of the eight episodes full of tension!

This week I decided to get on board with a show before the hype is already over – I’ve started Mare of Easttown! The first episode threw WAY too many characters at me (typical HBO) but I’ve just finished watching the second episode and it all makes more sense now.

What have you all enjoyed in April?