Thursday Movie Picks: 2018 Movies

Thursday Movie Picks

We’re still in January and I’m already at risk of falling behind on my resolutions! My toddler has decided this week that sleep isn’t really for her so I’ve been exhausted, meaning no cinema trips and not being able to stay awake past 8pm. I will not give up on keeping this little blog active however so I’m jumping in at the last minute with my picks for Wanderer’s Thursday Movie Picks, and fingers crossed I’ll be more active around here very soon.

This week’s theme is 2018 Movies, and as I’ve already posted my Best and Worst lists for the year, I thought I would pick 3 movies from the year that I haven’t seen yet – but want to see asap!

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Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (2018)

Totally my bad. I had more than enough opportunities to go and see this but in the back of my mind, I wondered how good it would be. Turns out it’s one of the best-rated movies of the entire year!

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Wildlife (2018)

This one’s at least not my fault. No cinema near me was showing this so I’ve been patiently waiting for a home release. It has an interesting premise and it’s directed by Paul Dano, so that alone is reason enough to check it out!

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Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

Released just before I started going to the cinema regularly, but I really regretted not making a bigger effort to see it. I love a good rom-com!

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Mistborn: The Final Empire, Brandon Sanderson

After reading a pathetically small number of books in 2018, I decided 2019 would be much better, and although I didn’t set myself an exact number of books to read, I told myself that once I went to bed I wouldn’t play games on my phone, and instead I would do some reading. My one stipulation was that I would first finish reading the book I started last summer, Mistborn: The Final Empire, the first in the Mistborn series written by Brandon Sanderson.

On the positive side, a mere few days of the new year was all I needed to finish the book. The downside is that since reaching the end, I’ve really struggled to do any more reading, but I have a valid reason why, which I’ll get to!

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When I was younger, the Fantasy genre was always my go-to choice for reading. I immersed myself into anything I could get my hands on at the library and when I was older and trying to get back into reading, I fell in love with The Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. From reading his blog he always had high praise for Brandon Sanderson, and I’ve seen the Mistborn series mentioned more than once in other blogs I read, so it quickly became my next target.

The Final Empire centers around a young street girl named Vin, who learns after joining a thieving crew that she is in fact Mistborn. In this world, certain individuals have the ability to ‘burn’ metal that they’ve ingested, a magic known as Allomancy. Most Allomancers can only burn one metal for its power, but a very small handful of Allomancers are Mistborn, giving them the power to burn them all.

Vin learns to use her Allomancy through Kelsier, the leader of the thieving crew and a legend amongst the poor (Skaa) as The Survivor of Hathsin. The job that Kelsier has taken on is impossible – he plans to raise an army of Skaa to take down the Lord Ruler and overthrow the entire kingdom.

I fell for the charm of Kelsier and his crew instantly. The main characters are so well written, and the book takes constant twists and turns that had me putting the book down for a few minutes to digest what had just happened. It’s not a short book by any means, but once I reached the halfway point I found it difficult to put it down.

help-meSo, why am I finding myself struggling to read anything else after finishing The Final Empire? Veiled spoilers ahead…

Naturally, after finishing it I wanted to start straight away with book 2, The Well of Ascension. In fact I did start reading it. But my favourite character is dead, and not only did I not see it coming, I just can’t come to terms with it. It’s silly, really. It’s a fictional character. But they were the heart of the book, and I don’t know if the next can be anywhere near as good without them.

If you’ve read the book you’ll certainly know who I’m on about. Help me – should I stick with it? I haven’t been this upset over a character death since Sirius Black in the Harry Potter series!

Mock and Roll (2017)

mock-and-roll-movie-poster-2017Director: Ben Bacharach-White

Genre: Comedy, Music

Runtime: 84 Minutes

Main Cast: Aditi Molly Bhanja, Chris Wolfe, Pakob Jarernpone, Andrew Yackel, William Scarborough, KateLynn E. Newberry, Melissa O’Brien, Brian Bowman, Michael Compton

Plot: Liberty Mean is a struggling Black Owls parody band. When one of the members’ brother chooses their story as a video project, we get a glimpse into their lives as they attempt to raise the money needed to get them to the SXSW (South by South West) festival in order to find fame.

My Thoughts: I have fond memories of the time I actually got to visit SXSW through work, and the fact that Mock and Roll has already won awards in the film festival circuit was enough to convince me to give it a watch. It’s also being compared to This Is Spinal Tap (which I’m yet to see) so it had to be good!

In the first 5 minutes, we find out that the band has gone to an extreme length to raise the funds they need, landing themselves in jail. I should have taken note of this scene as a sign of things to come but straight afterward we’re given a proper introduction to each of the band members, Robin, Rick, Tom and Bun. I think I could quite happily watch a TV Series about these 4 characters, I really warmed to them instantly. They’re the true definition of opposites attract in some ways.

Another highlight was the soundtrack. Admittedly I’ve never listened to Black Owls so I didn’t know the original lyrics to the songs being parodied, but there’s music aplenty in the movie and it’s performed really well. I’d definitely recommend Mock and Roll to both movie fans who like to watch something a little different and indie, and also to rock music fans.

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Best Bit: Bun has some great movie trivia to share with the group, which I think redeems him from the terrible decisions he makes to help the band raise money! It was in these moments that the movie surprised me with its twists and turns.

Worst Bit: I think the only thing is, I would struggle to sell this movie to friends and family who exclusively watch wide-release and blockbuster movies. It’s a low budget indie movie and it shows – but if you’re open minded there’s a lot to like.

My Rating: 3 and a half priceless pieces of art out of 5, which, if you’re ever asked to transport to a total stranger in exchange for a lot of money, you should consider asking why.

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Note: I was provided with a copy of this movie in exchange for an honest review.

Top 10 Best Movies of 2018

Last week I posted my Top 10 Worst Movies of 2018, and this week I’m back with the best of the year! As I said in my other post, for the first time ever I’m using the general release dates so as not to cause confusion. The only problem is a lot of the Award-winning movies are January and February 2019 releases here in the UK and so I haven’t seen them yet. Still, it’s a good reason to revisit the list later in the year!

Maybe it’s because I’ve had a lot of cinema trips this year (thanks to my ODEON Limitless membership) but I had a really tough time cutting my list down to just 10! All round, I think 2018 has been a pretty great year for movies.

Honourable mentions, the movies that just missed my list are: Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, Love Simon, Hereditary, BlacKkKlansman, Game Night, First Man and The Favourite. I also very nearly included Bird Box and Bandersnatch because I downright loved them, but they’re such recent watches that I wonder if I’ll feel the same in a few months time.

But without further ado, here are what I consider the Top 10 Best Movies of 2018:

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#10 Ocean’s Eight

I haven’t seen the other Ocean’s movies so I had nothing to compare it to, but Ocean’s Eight was so much fun there’s no way I could leave it out. That opening scene of Sandra Bullock shoplifting is just everything.

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#9 Ready Player One

It feels like years since I read the book and so the wait for the Ready Player One movie was painful. A lot may have been changed for the movie adaption but I was really impressed with how true to the book the characters were.

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#8 American Animals

This was the first movie I saw as part of ODEON’s Screen Unseen, whereby they play a movie before it’s release, but don’t tell you what the movie is until it begins. I’d never even heard of American Animals and perhaps it helped, but it was an incredible true story.

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#7 A Quiet Place

You guys, I watched this in the cinema! Little old me, terrified of horror movies. Anyway, it’s probably the start of an onslaught of copycats (Bird Box was based on a book – just throwing it out there), but A Quiet Place will remain as the fantastic original.

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#6 Upgrade

What a surprise this movie was! It was thanks to the bloggers that I watched this, otherwise I would never have even heard of it. Just a really well-done Sci-Fi movie with a great twist.

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#5 Ant-Man and the Wasp

I don’t know what it is about this particular Marvel movie but I’ve seen it 3 times now and it’s actually my favourite solo-hero Marvel movie of all at the moment. It’s just my perfect mix of humour and action, and not forgetting the loveable Paul Rudd!

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#4 Avengers: Infinity War

Speaking of Marvel movies…Ii didn’t get to see Infinity War until it had already been out for at least 2 weeks, and somehow I avoided all spoilers, which is incredible really considering all the memes out there. Nothing can beat experiencing the click of Thanos’ fingers for the first time.

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#3 A Simple Favor

Oh my god this movie. I so, so nearly made this my number 1 choice. Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively are absolute legends in this twisted, hilarious and sexy tale. Why did I never find Mums like them at the baby groups I went to?!

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#2 A Star is Born

This was one of those movies I’d already fallen in love with from the first trailer. The soundtrack is incredible, the story is beautiful and Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga made me cry several times.

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#1 Searching

An odd choice, I admit, but let me explain. I love movies that bring something a little different to the table. All scenes in Searching are through a screen, be it a laptop, mobile, CCTV, FaceTime. That alone makes it great in my eyes. The cherry on the top is a simply brilliant mystery story that twists and turns constantly, with a hugely satisfying conclusion. Love it.

Thursday Movie Picks: The Cold

Thursday Movie Picks

Look at me, 2 weeks into the New Year and still keeping up with my resolutions! If only I could get rid of all the leftover Christmas food in the house so easily. This week’s theme for Wanderer’s Thursday Movie Picks couldn’t have been timed any better, because I am so fed up of the cold now! It always feels like Christmas brings the end of Winter when actually Spring is still so far away…

Still, it’s the perfect excuse to stick a pair of slippers on over fluffy socks, make a giant mug of tea and watch a few movies! Here are my picks this week.

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Wind River (2017)

Wind River is a fantastic murder mystery movie set in snowy Wyoming, starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen who provide their best performances yet. It’s a dark story that left me feeling cold for a number of reasons, but also one of those movies that I had to mull over for a few days before deciding how I felt about it.

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The Hateful Eight (2015)

Speaking of good mystery stories, I really enjoyed The Hateful Eight. It’s been on my mind this week anyway because I’ve just seen Bad Times at the El Royale and they share similarities. Boring side note – we have a conservatory at home which is like a glass igloo in winter, any time anyone opens the door I’m reminded of the door in The Hateful Eight!

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The Grey (2011)

Okay so maybe not all of my picks this week are great movies, but The Grey features Liam Neeson trudging his way through snowy Alaska after surviving a plane crash…and ends with him having a fist fight with a rabid wolf. That’s just badass, if not a little silly. The toughest thing I ever did in the snow was fall on my arse and only cried for a few minutes.