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My Current ‘Must Watch’ List

Every movie fan has a list of movies somewhere that they need to watch, whether it’s kept on their phone, scribbled on a piece of paper or simply stored in their memory. As a bit of a nerd for organisation, I’ve been loving using Letterboxd for the past couple of years as an information source and a diary of what I’ve seen. It also has a Watchlist feature which I’ve been adding to for a long time now!

It’s gotten to the point now where there are so many movies in this list, that when I have the free time to watch something, I can’t decide between them, and so some of them have been on this list for over 2 years!

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Some of them are classics I’ve been meaning to see for too long, some are movies I know will be terrible but I like the cast, and many are ones that have grabbed my interest from reviews I’ve read by other bloggers. There are also some that haven’t been released yet in the UK, but I don’t want to forget about them.

So to resolve my issue of an ever-growing list, I’ve vowed to watch all these movies by the end of the year. Of course, my list will have more added to it, but I’ll watch the current list in full by New Year’s! In fact, I think I’ll turn this post into a blog page and hyperlink my posts as I complete them!

Here’s the list in full…

Short Term 12 (2013)

Rushmore (1998)

The Neon Demon (2016)

Maggie’s Plan (2015)

Moonlight Mile (2002)

The Shallows (2016)

The Purge: Election Year (2016)

Café Society (2016)

Frank & Lola (2016)

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

Pete’s Dragon (2016)

Demolition (2015)

Away We Go (2009)

Odd Thomas (2013)

It Comes at Night (2017)

As You Are (2016)

Your Name. (2016)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

Secret Window (2004)

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

The Salesman (2016)

The Butterfly Effect (2004)

The Drop (2014)

Unicorn Store (2017)

Detroit (2017)

Stronger (2017)

Certain Women (2016)

Isle of Dogs (2018)

Office Christmas Party (2017)

A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Upgrade (2018)

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Hotel Artemis (2018)

Traitor (2008)

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

The Matrix (1999)

Mommy (2014)

If you’re still reading at this point – what do you recommend I should see first?

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Top 5 Impractical Jokers Punishments

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Here on the little island of the UK exists a TV channel by the name of Comedy Central. It only ever seems to air 2 different shows, Friends and Impractical Jokers. As someone on maternity leave till July who refuses to watch kids shows all day, you can imagine that I’ve been watching a lot of Impractical Jokers! I love it though, it has the perfect amount of cringe to be hilarious, and it’s the kind of show you don’t need to give your full attention to.

In their very own words, Impractical Jokers is a programme which contains scenes of graphic stupidity among four lifelong friends who compete to embarrass each other. Essentially, the four guys (Sal, Q, Murr and Joe) dare each other to do stupid things, or to say stupid things in different scenarios. If you refuse, you lose, and whoever has the most losses at the end of the show has to complete a punishment.

These punishments are sometimes small as simple. such as having to pick up and carry dog poo. Sometimes they’re huge, like getting married to someone’s sister, and sometimes they’re just plain outrageous, like getting mystery tattoos. They’re always funny though, so I thought I would pay tribute to my current favourite show by doing a Top 5 List of my favourite ones. Let the countdown begin…

#5 Sal Playing Bingo

In a huge room full of serious bingo players, Sal was forced to get up and shout ‘Bingo’ every time one of the other guys told him too. What started out as slightly cringy took a turn for the worst when the crowd turned nasty!

#4 Imagine Dragons Concert

Sal and Joe were made to get on stage as the opening act for Imagine Dragons. Dressed not dissimilar to the guys from LMFAO, their songs included ‘Shut Your Face Grandma’ and ended with Sal attempting to crowd surf. I wish I was there!

#3 Sal’s Haunted House Visit

As a huge wuss myself, I totally felt Sal’s pain when he was forced to walk through a haunted house. Featuring horrors such as a creepy girl playing the piano, an old woman chanting in a rocking chair and a moving body bag, I would have noped the hell out of there!

#2 Murr at the Racetrack

Never have I cringed so hard as when Murr was given the punishment of selling concessions at the racetrack, but not being allowed to give any change. It was bad enough to see him just walk away with the change, but when a woman and her husband started to chase Murr down, I actually wanted the ground to swallow me up.

#1 Who’s Phone is Ringing?

Without a doubt, the best punishment was when Sal was made to sit in the audience of a small book reading session, having been told that he’s not allowed to answer his phone when it rings, or turn it off. Every few minutes the guys ring his phone and the ringtone loudly plays ‘Who’s phone is ringing? Mine! Mine!”. The crowd turn nasty, and right at the end Sal takes his turn on stage to present his own book, ‘Silence is Golden’.

 

I’ve just now realised that nearly all of these contain Sal…is he subconsciously my favourite joker or does he just lose a lot? Either way – if you watch the show too I’d love to know what your favourite punishment has been!

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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?

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My 5 Least Favourite Movies of 2017

You can’t have a ‘Favourites of 2017‘ list without a Least Favourites one, right? This one was more difficult to put together to be honest, because having less time for movies generally means you avoid ones you know you aren’t going to enjoy. That said, this list was originally 8, but that doesn’t sit well with me, so a few movies had a lucky escape from being included.

I would say these 5 movies aren’t technically bad, they just massively disappointed me. That’s kind of worse, isn’t it? It’s like when your parents or teachers aren’t mad at you, they’re disappointed in you. That shame sticks with you!

But anyway, let’s kick off…

5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

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Is it commonly accepted that the first Pirates movie was cool as hell? I hope it is, because it’s true. But it’s a franchise that’s been used too much now, and this one just didn’t excite me at all. Doesn’t help that I’ve missed one of them along the way either!

4. Home Again

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Normally I’m totally down for a rom com starring Reese Witherspoon and 3 hot guys, but Home Again was just lame. I didn’t care about any of the characters, so it all got real boring real fast. Stick with This Means War!

3. Fist Fight

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Now I’m mad. Fist Fight had all the right ingredients to be a half decent comedy that you might rewatch on rainy days, but the only remotely funny parts were all in the trailer. Plus, why on God’s green earth was it called Fist Fight when the saying in the movie is Teacher Fight?!

2. The Dark Tower

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UGH. Matthew McConaughey just RUBS me up the wrong way. I don’t know if I would have enjoyed The Dark Tower if he wasn’t in it, but it was mediocre at best. Plus it has the worst dialogue…
“Did you miss me?”
*shoots and misses*
“I guess you did”
UGH.

1. Song to Song

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One of my most hated movies ever. 2 whole hours where no scene lasts longer than 5 seconds, no one smiles, nothing makes sense. It has the most amazing cast and still sucked. Not even Ryan Gosling making a turkey out of a napkin could save this for me.

So tell me guys, what was your most disappointing or hated movie of 2017?

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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!