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My 15 Favourite Movies of 2017

I might have completely fallen off the movie wagon in the latter part of 2017, but I’ve been catching up as best as I can, and although there are still some big ones I’m yet to see, I’ve seen and enjoyed enough that I can put together a list of not just 10, but 15 movies I loved in 2017!

Please remember I always stick to UK release dates on this blog, so some inclusions here I realise were 2016 releases around the globe, and others have only just been released (Three Billboards for example) so won’t be on my list until next year.

I’ve tried to rank these as best as I can but I would probably change the order every single day depending on my mood! But without further ado, let me celebrate my favourite movies of 2017.

15. A Ghost Story

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Weird and wonderful, and got me thinking for a long time afterwards. Not just about pie. Pie still makes me feel uneasy after this…

14. A Bad Moms Christmas

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I love Christmas movies, and this is no exception. Plus I’m a bad Mom myself now too, so it’s totally relatable. I didn’t get to sit on Santa’s lap this year though.

13. Battle of the Sexes

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Took me completely by surprise! Loved every minute of this story about Billie Jean King, I don’t think I’ll ever not enjoy a movie with Emma Stone or Steve Carell.

12. Hidden Figures

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Who knew a true story of such a powerful band of women could be amazingly entertaining at the same time!

11. Hacksaw Ridge

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One of 2 war movies in this list – and I don’t like war movies! It made me laugh (thanks Vince Vaughn), cry and crap my pants. I still have nightmares about that green flare.

10. Wonder Woman

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I haven’t loved any of the DCU movies until now. Wonder Woman kicks ass and brings some much needed humour too. Plus I now have a massive girl crush on Gal Gadot.

9. Lion

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Although I was looking forward to seeing Lion, I didn’t expect the story to steal my heart in the way that it did. The ending is amazing, especially when you learn why the movie is called Lion in the first place!

8. Logan

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2017 brought a few new things when it came to superhero movies, Logan being one of them! It was about time the grown ups got to see Wolverine being a badass.

7. Colossal

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Colossal is such a cool movie that not enough people have even heard of, let alone watched. If Anne Hathaway controlling a giant monster unintentionally isn’t enough for you, I don’t know what is.

6. Beauty and the Beast

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A remake of one of my favourite Disney movies, and although it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea, I loved it. The casting in particular was spot on, and the inclusion of new/extra songs gave it a fresh feel.

5. Baby Driver

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Who knew that guy from The Fault in Our Stars could be such a cool, leading guy? Cool is the most accurate word I can use to describe Baby Driver. Side note – it was also the last time I went to the cinema whilst being hugely pregnant!

4. Dunkirk

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I think I’ve lost the right to say I don’t like war movies now I have 2 in this list. Whoops. What more can I say about Dunkirk? It’s an experience, and an experience everyone should witness.

3. The Greatest Showman

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Oh you guys, I’m still riding the hype from seeing this movie. The soundtrack is my go-to for all my park walks with the pushchair. The more I go on about it the less and less my husband wants to see it with me when it comes out on DVD, boo!

2. La La Land

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It’s hard to believe La La Land was actually a 2017 release in the UK, I must have seen it at least 5 times by now! One of the most beautiful movies I have ever seen, and it’s always a joy to see Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling together on screen.

1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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I can’t help it. It was always going to by my number 1 spot. There’s no other movie I was looking forward to more, and no other movie that will get obsessively re-watched as The Last Jedi. The next 2 years are going to be a killer wait!

I’m predictable I know, but I could honestly have these in a completely different order by tomorrow so I have to call it somewhere. Next I’ll be working on my least favourite movies of 2017 which will most likely be a little shorter, as having less free time means I’ve been a little more picky about what I watch. It still hasn’t stopped me being massively let down a few times though!

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Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin (2017)

goodbye-christopher-robin-movie-review-2017Aww man I broke my ‘post every 3 days’ streak! I blame the little one, who this week decided that sleeping through the night actually wasn’t all that fun, and it’s much better to wake up several times instead. Oh, and also to never nap in the day either. Today’s post is sponsored by takeaway pizza and energy drinks…enjoy the nonsense and endless typos!

Sleep deprivation and complex movies don’t mix well so I decided to give something a little lighter a try this week and watched Goodbye Christopher Robin. I’ll admit I don’t know the story behind how that silly old pooh bear was created and you won’t find me turning down a movie starring Domhnall Gleeson so it seemed like the perfect choice! If you didn’t know either, the movie follows the story of creator Alan Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), his wife Daphne (Margot Robbie – who seems to be in everything lately) and his son Christopher Robin/Billy Moon (played at different ages by Will Tilston & Alex Lawther).

You know what? Every new parent needs to see this movie. If you feel bad about yourself as a parent – watch this movie. Because Billy Moon’s parents sucked. I know it was the ‘norm’ in those times to hire a nanny who basically raised your children for you, but Alan and Daphne especially were so cold towards Billy that it made my heart hurt.

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My favourite chunk of the movie is when Alan is left to look after his son alone and the two begin to bond in the woods. They are such magical moments! It’s also quite fascinating to see where the book characters came from, and how they got their names. Then it takes a turn for the worst again. You know those terrible parents who enter their kids in beauty pageants? It can’t be worse than pushing your kid into a bear enclosure for a photo opportunity!

And then of course we have the inescapable heart breaking moment. You guys, I cried my heart out. My little one was having a rare nap in my arms at the time and she nearly needed a clothes change from my tears. Oh motherhood, why have you turned me into such a pussy? I knew the moment was coming, the start of the whole movie alerts you to what’s going to happen, but still! Ugh.

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Of course, Alan gets his redemption in a way, but I never, ever warmed to Daphne. I wonder if it was intentional, but I still hated her by the end of it all.

Gosh doesn’t it sound like I hated this movie? I loved it! It just made me feel all the feels.  Also like a much better parent than I feel I am 99% of the time. It’s well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it already. A solid 4 out of 5 silly old bears from me.

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Review: Darkest Hour (2018)

darkest-hour-movie-review-2018Every year when it comes to Awards Season, there’s always that one movie that I just can’t bring myself to watch. I’ll groan at the very thought of it, but I really try to watch at least the nominated Best Picture movies. Boyhood is the exception. I still can’t face that. Anyway, this year’s movie for me is Darkest Hour. I’d honestly rather watch the terrible alien/sci-fi movie by almost the same name, but I know if I save it till last I’ll never watch it at all, so I sucked it up!

I don’t do history, I don’t do war and I most certainly don’t do politics, and Darkest Hour is all of these. It is essentially a retelling of Winston Churchill becoming Prime Minister of the UK in the middle of World War II, making the impossible decision whether to make terms with Hitler or fight to the bitter end.

Honestly, this movie just wasn’t for me. I loved Dunkirk (2017) because despite it being a war movie, it showed purely the action side of things. I mean, at least this was a more fun way of learning about World War II than sitting in my actual history lessons back in school? I’ll give it this though, Gary Oldman as Churchill is nothing short of amazing. He is completely unrecognisable, and brought so much life to the role.

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Speaking of which, shout out to Ben Mendelsohn! He’s such a chameleon, that’s why I love him. I’ve seen him play a space nazi, a down on his luck gambling addict and now a British king, and every role seems to come so naturally to him. I’m so looking forward to seeing him in Ready Player One later this year!

So seeings as I’m going to really struggle to talk about this one, let me tell you the character I identified the most with, Elizabeth Layton, played by Lily James. Poor girl is a typist for the grumpiest bloke ever, and it’s not easy when he’s changing his mind on words and shouting! It reminded me of my first boss who I did a lot of admin for. He’d stand right behind me and dictate what he wanted me to type, which is incredibly difficult for a nervous dyslexic like me! Even the best of us can’t type with someone breathing down their neck.

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I can appreciate Darkest Hour for it’s performances, and I’m sure it’ll do well at the BAFTAs next month. It’s just really not my cup of tea. I know it’s a well made, well acted movie, but I rate my reviews on a mix of that and also how much I enjoyed it, and so that’s why this gets 3 out of 5 ‘V for Victory’ signs from me.

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7 Things I Wanted To Do After Watching The Greatest Showman (2017)

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I’m just too giddy to try and write an actual review of The Greatest Showman you guys. Not that my reviews are serious, well-written or articulated in the first place, but I can’t even bring myself to ramble about it. I LOVED EVERY MINUTE. I’d been excited to see it since the very first trailer, but I never thought it would suck me in like it did. Maybe motherhood has turned me into a big sap.

In fact, Jenna is up for writing on Flick Chicks again so I might be reviewing it over on that blog anyway!

Instead, I thought I’d share 7 things I wanted to do as soon as those credits rolled.

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1. Jump up out of my seat, sing and dance. It was the first movie I’ve ever seen where everyone clapped at the end. I live in the UK, we don’t normally do this. We pick up our empty cups of tea and quietly shuffle out of the room.

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2. Find the soundtrack on Spotify and play it as loud as possible. I did this on the drive home, then did it again the next day, only quiet because you know, baby in the car and all.

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3. Go and see it again. I don’t think it’ll happen, but my husband has been warned that he’ll be made to watch it as soon as it’s out on DVD or VoD.

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4. Re-watch High School Musical. Has anyone else missed Zac Efron singing and dancing just as much as me?

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5. Tell everybody about it until they hate me. Also, pronounce Hugh Jackman’s name as HUGE? ACKMAN? whenever possible.

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6. Visit a circus show. Get disappointed when it’s nowhere near as good.

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7. Daydream about Hugh Jackman (I’m trying not to say it…) in that red jacket. I do love a man in uniform…

Review: Focus (2015)

focus-movie-review-2015It was time I took a break from catching up on as many award-nominated movies as possible, and watch something a little easier to digest, something that had been recommended to me by my movie-loving family (a long time ago, and on multiple occasions, sorry!). Time for Focus (2015)! Besides, who can turn down a Will Smith movie? I just love the guy.

Focus (2015) is a reasonably straight forward Crime/Drama movie in which Will Smith plays Nicky, a veteran con man takes an apprentice under his wing, Jess, played by Margot Robbie. A heated romance ensues, but without warning Nicky breaks up the relationship. 3 years later Jess shows back up whilst Nicky is in the middle of the biggest con of his career, and she throws him off track completely.

I feel like this movie was split into two distinctive halves. First we have an introduction of sorts into just how talented Nicky is not just with sleight of hand, but also psychology and suggestion. This was without a doubt my favourite part of the movie after a certain scene in which it is shown to us the audience the sheer level of work and skill that went into the con at the sports game. It’s like something Derren Brown would do!

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The second half leaves us wondering – Is Nicky conning Jess? Is Jess conning Nicky? It’s the more action packed half, and comes to an explosive conclusion. It might have been fairly predictable, but there was still one more twist that I didn’t see coming.

I think what makes Focus so enjoyable is the chemistry between Will Smith and Margot Robbie. They’re both people I love to see, but they work together so well! It reminded me that their relationship in Suicide Squad was what made it entertaining to be honest.

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My only complaint is that I wanted more of that first half. Watching the team work the crowds, lifting watches, jewellery, handbags and more from clueless victims. Seeing Nicky explain all the suggestions he left behind in the lead up to (and during) the sports game. I actually turned onto high alert after that part, wondering if the movie itself was doing that to us. Were there little details hidden throughout the movie that would lead up to something shocking we should have seen coming? That never happened, sadly.

Still, as a Saturday night movie with a glass of wine and a takeaway, you can do no wrong by watching Focus. It’s flashy, it’s fun, and you can brag to your family/friends if you manage to work out the ending before it’s too late, just like my Mum who’s very pleased with herself (proud of you, Mum!). From me, Focus gets 3.5 out of 5 things I stole from you whilst reading this. Psyche!

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