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What I Watched: December 2019 & January 2020

Hello February! Thank goodness those 20 weeks of January are finally over. I got so caught up in putting together my Top 100 Movies of the Decade lists that I forgot to do a little roundup of everything I watched in December, so you’ve got a double whammy from me today. I’ve watched loads, and just haven’t found the time to write full reviews for a lot of what I’ve seen! Shame on me, but here are a few words on what I’ve been watching over the last two months.

Celeste & Jesse Forever (2012)

Yes, I’m having a weird Andy Samberg phase, okay? Don’t judge me. There’s only so much joy rewatching terrible Adam Driver movies can bring me. I didn’t love Celeste & Jesse Forever as much as I hoped, but only because they were so funny together at the start I never wanted it to end, even though I knew it made sense.

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Funny Games (2007)

This movie was WILD. Thank you to whoever recommended it to me probably about 4 years ago, it’s been sat on my watchlist ever since. At face value it’s a fairly straightforward house invasion movie, but just with that little extra. Such a good ending, too.

The Kitchen (2019)

Honestly? This wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. It got a bit too much towards the end but I was really into Elisabeth Moss’ character’s story and how she completely turned herself around from being pushed around to being a badass. It also has a vest-wearing Domnhall Gleeson sawing up a dead body in a bathtub. Which isn’t even the weirdest thing I’ve seen him do in a movie.

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Klaus (2019)

I can’t believe I never got around to doing a full review for Klaus. What an amazing little gem of an animated Christmas movie by Netflix! I was thrilled when it won a BAFTA and at this rate, if I even bother to stay up for the Oscars it’ll be to find out if Klaus wins again.

Black Christmas (2019)

Absolute garbage. I always try to find the good in a movie but the only thing Black Christmas had going for it was that it was so trashy, it was kind of fun to watch and poke fun of it.

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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)

The first Jumanji remake was surprisingly decent, and even though I knew The Next Level was getting okay reviews I still didn’t believe it could be any good. For me, it worked, because it was very much more of the same, but if you weren’t a fan of the first then you won’t like this, either. The highlight for me was Awkwafina, who somehow does a better Danny Devito impression than the man himself!

Parasite (2019)

What a movie. I thought I knew where the story was going. I was comparing it to Us (2019). Then wow. I’ve never been so happy to be wrong! To anyone hesitant about getting into foreign-language movies because of the subtitles – give this a go. I’ve seen woefully few myself, but if this movie doesn’t convince you to watch more then nothing will.

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Five Feet Apart (2019)

I put so much pressure on myself on New Years Day to start 2020 with an amazing movie that I watched nothing at all. I saw Five Feet Apart instead on January 2nd. Cried like a bitch. Regretted nothing.

Hot Rod (2007)

Yes, I started hunting down Andy Samberg movies on Netflix. DON’T JUDGE, remember? I had a blast watching Hot Rod and I’m gutted I waited so long to see it. It’s one of those movies where if I watched it when it first came out, I’d have seen it 20 times by now, and still be quoting it on a daily basis.

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The Irishman (2019)

I only watched The Irishman because I try to see all the Oscars Best Picture nominees before the actual night. Yes I know it’s got legendary actors, yes I know it’s directed by Martin Scorsese but it was LONG and it was DULL and you’ll never change my mind.

The Other Guys (2010)

After slogging through The Irishman I needed something fun and dumb to relax, and a bunch of you recommended The Other Guys when I made a list of my favourite Will Ferrell movies. I love you guys. This movie was so funny!

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That’s My Boy (2012)

…oh, this awful Adam Sandler movie stars Andy Samberg? Huh, weird. It’s almost like I’m stooping to really low levels…*cough*

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

I love a good mystery, and despite the lukewarm reviews, I was still keen to see Motherless Brooklyn. It was worth it for Edward Norton’s performance but it was lacking in so many places. It was too slow to make the reveal worth it, sadly.

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Ford v Ferrari / Le Mans ’66 (2019)

Can we not give movies 2 very different names, and use both? My brain can’t cope. Anyway, I enjoyed this so much more than I expected. I like Christian Bale but I’ve never really raved about him, but he was so good here! The final race was thrilling, and I was kind of sad when the whole thing was over.

Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood (2019)

This just wasn’t my cup of tea, to be honest. It took me at least half the movie to really get into it, and as much as I love Margot Robbie (she’s amazing) she just felt a bit wasted here. Some of the editing was really weird, too!

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Cats (2019)

Oh, what a movie to end on. Silly, naive me thought all the negativity around Cats was overexaggerated, and musicals usually win me over so I thought I might actually enjoy it. I didn’t. It was weird. Creepy. And every time someone said ‘Jellicle’ I only heard ‘genital’ which I can’t tell made it better or worse.

I also watched The Shining (1980), Doctor Sleep (2019) and Your Name. (2016) but haven’t included them here because I’m planning on writing full posts for them. If you missed any of my full reviews over the last 2 months here they are:

Knives Out (2019)
Frozen II (2019)
Noelle (2019)
Marriage Story (2019)
6 Underground (2019)
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
Little Women (2019)
The Gentlemen (2020)
Just Mercy (2019)
Jojo Rabbit (2019)
1917 (2019)
Bad Boys for Life (2020)

Random Posts

What I Watched & Read: November 2019

I know, it’s a little too far into December for a November round-up post to be acceptable but I’ve been behind on so many things! Can we just pretend for a while it’s the very start of December and I still have loads of time to sort Christmas out? Good, thanks. So, as it’s the start of December, as usual here’s a little recap of what I watched last month. I’m throwing in a book I read too, because I’ve let my book review posts slip and it’s a shame not to mention them.

The middle of November sucked, I didn’t watch a movie at all for like, a week and a half, but despite that I still saw 11 movies throughout the month, which isn’t so bad. No TV shows though other than The Mandalorian, which is glorious. Going to be so sad when that finishes!

Anyway, here’s what I watched that I haven’t written a full post for:

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Crawl (2019)

I pretty much dismissed this movie but a whole bunch of you said it was good and I always listen to you so I gave it a go. And yeah! It was a lot better than I expected for a movie about alligators in a hurricane. It felt super claustrophobic at times. Not sure I’ll ever want to watch it again mind, but I’m glad I gave it a chance.

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Stuber (2019)

This started out great. I was all up for a feature-length movie about Stu desperately trying to improve his Uber rating, but then Dave Bautista turned up. Then it turned into more of a buddy cop movie. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed that too, but it felt like 2 very different movies mashed together and didn’t work that well in the end. Kumail Nanjiani is one of the funniest guys I’ve discovered in the last few years though, I’ll happily watch whatever he does next!

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A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)

This was a rewatch for me, and I rewatched Bad Moms last night too. I’m struggling with being a Mum these last couple of weeks but oh man, these movies help me to get out of my head. The scene with the mall Santa is too epic!

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The Report (2019)

I still haven’t got around to writing anything for The Report. I really enjoyed it, gave it an 8/10, but it’s tough to write about. It’s a shocking story, but it’s not the most exciting thing to talk about. Adam Driver carries it, without him this would have fallen pretty flat. It was absolutely worth a watch for me for educational purposes if nothing else!

These are the movies I watched in November that I already wrote about, in case you missed them:

Chicago (2002)
Let It Snow (2019)
Last Christmas (2019)
Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)
Frozen II (2019)
Eli (2019)
Knives Out (2019)

Now, books! I read 2 books in November which is better than I normally manage. I set my expectations too high this year, I just don’t have as much reading time as I thought.

The Final Winter by Iain Rob Wright

This sounded like it would be a bit like The Day After Tomorrow with some horror elements in, and it started out well with the introduction of the characters, but it took a real nosedive from the half way point. The characters took on these annoyingly stereotypical traits and to be perfectly honest, I stopped caring about what happened to them. The ending was unexpected, and probably would have been great if I was still interested by then.

Hunted by Darcy Coates

I loooooved this book. A young girl goes missing in the woods after taking a solo holiday, and her brother and friends come looking for her. Her camera was recovered by another tourist, and the girl’s brother and friends try to put the pieces together to work out where she might have vanished to. The photos start out normal, but then get strange, and a dark figure can be seen in them. The local police don’t seem to be interested, they deal with a national average of missing persons cases – so the youths take it upon themselves to find her.

Movie Reviews

What I Watched: October 2019

Happy November, everyone! The pumpkins have been sweeped away, and after Bonfire Night on the 5th I’ll be officially in Christmas mode! Is it too early to watch Love Actually? Anyway – I’ve been on hiatus for a couple of weeks while I attempt to get my personal life together. I can’t say that was hugely successful and Halloween was a bit of a disaster, but my little girl had a great night and got to eat cake right before bedtime so that’s all that counts!

I miss the blog though – and these coming months are the most exciting for a movie fan so I couldn’t keep myself away for any longer. I’ve been dabbling in TV this month, attempting to catch up on Mr. Robot (I’m almost done with Season 3), fully catching up on The Good Place (new episode tonight though, yay!), starting to watch Living with Yourself (not sure how to feel about it yet) and giving 13 Reasons Why Season 3 a chance to redeem itself (actually seems quite good so far).

Despite everything, I still caught 11 movies this month, which isn’t half bad. Here’s what I saw:

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Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) – Live in Concert

Okay, so this was actually my present for my Husband for his 30th Birthday. We went to the Arena in Birmingham where they showed The Empire Strikes Back, with a live concert on stage playing all the instrumentals. It’s something that wouldn’t have interested me at all a few years ago, but watching/listening to an orchestra play the Imperial March right in front of you? Literally breath-taking, and I’m so glad we went!

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In the Shadow of the Moon (2019)

My brother told me to give this Netflix movie a go, but warned me not to watch the trailer beforehand, and I’m so glad I listened to him! The movie is a strange Sci-Fi/Detective crossover kind of movie, and it was interesting to put together the pieces. I worked out the twist mere seconds before it’s reveal but I think that’s how it was intended. It might not make anyone’s ‘Best of’ list but you can pick a lot worse from Netflix’s selection right now.

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Four Lions (2010)

My local cinema offered a preview of The Day Shall Come last month, directed by Christopher Morris, better known for his comedy Four Lions starring Riz Ahmed as a terrorist. I ended up missing the new movie but I still watched Four Lions. It’s dark humour at it’s finest for sure – one of those movies where you find yourself feeling guilty as hell for lying. I’ll tell you one thing though, Riz Ahmed is brilliant. He’s played an entirely different role in every movie I’ve seen him in!

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Fractured (2019)

I’m going to try and do a full review of this at some point, if only because judging by the reviews I’ve read, I’m the only person out here who loved it. I love a twisty movie that allows you to think you’ve worked it out, only to pull the rug from under your feet. Fractured kept me guessing and changing my mind right up till the very last moment, and that final shot still makes me shudder just thinking about it. Don’t let the reviews put you off, and make your own mind up.

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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil (2019)

My Mum loved the first Maleficent and was dying to see the sequel at the cinema. In her words, her number one choice turned down her offer, so I was second best. Love you too, Mum! I didn’t get a chance to see the original before going to see Mistress of Evil but a quick narrator-provided recap told me everything I needed to know. Hey, maybe I needed the escape from reality that day but I really enjoyed it! The costumes, in particular, were stunning and I just got myself caught up in the fantasy of it all.

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Dolemite Is My Name (2019)

Based on the story of real-life legend Rudy May Moore, Eddie Murphy might just be winning some awards this year for Dolemite Is My Name. Rightly so, too. The movie was too slow for me to truly love it but I laughed a lot, and it’s got me on the hunt for the original Dolemite movie, too. Does anyone else find that they just can’t rid themselves of the image of Donkey from Shrek though? It’s a blessing and a curse!

I also watched:

The Babysitter (2017)Full Review
Joker (2019)Full Review
Gemini Man (2019) Review coming this weekend
Wounds (2019)Review coming next week
Zombieland: Double Tap (2019)Review coming soon, hopefully!