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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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.

The Favourite (2018)

the-favourite-movie-review-poster-2018Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Genre: Drama, Comedy, History

Runtime: 119 Minutes

Main Cast: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult, Joe Alwyn, Mark Gatiss, Jenny Rainsford, James Smith, Tim Ingall, LillyRose Stevens, Liam Fleming

Plot: Set in 18th Century England, Queen Anne’s palace is thrown into chaos by the arrival of Abigail, the cousin of the Queen’s closest friend. A rivalry breaks out between the two as they fight to be the favourite.

My Thoughts: It’s been a whole week and I still don’t know how I feel about this movie. Really I should have known better because this is my 3rd Lanthimos movie (I’ve also seen The Lobster and The Killing of a Sacred Deer) and I’m not sure how I feel about those movies either. Pun not intended however – The Favourite is definitely my favourite out of the three.

I usually can’t stand Period Dramas but I’ll literally watch Emma Stone in any movie she does, and the amazingly positive praise I’ve read so far in reviews actually got me quite hyped up to see this in the end. I was joined in my screen by a pair of little old ladies…and that was it…so clearly this isn’t getting great marketing in the UK. That or everyone was still nursing a New Year’s hangover, who knows.

Anyway – I think I kind of loved this movie. Yes, it’s too period-y for my liking but absolutely everything else about the movie is stunning. The script is witty as hell, the cinematography is stunning, and the performances all round were top notch. Everyone was giving their A-Game.

I think it’s one of those movies you need to see twice, especially if you have mixed feelings on a first watch. I came home feeling quite confused but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since, and I fall in love a little more every day.

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Best Bit: Despite my undying love for Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult was the star in my eyes. He was hilarious any time he was on the screen, and it was in the scene that he threw a strop and dropped the C-word that I realised what kind of ride I signed myself up to. Dude rocks make-up better than me, though…

Worst Bit: I’m sure this was something I picked up on in Lanthimos’ other movies but the music was really off-putting at some points. It could have been the cinema’s fault but there was one scene where I could barely hear what anyone was saying because it was so loud. One of those artistic things that flew right over my head most likely.

Fun Trivia: Rachel Weisz’s character, Sarah Churchill, the Duchess of Marlborough, is the direct ancestor of both Sir Winston Churchill and Princess Diana (born Diana Spencer). The former was actually born in the Spencer-Churchill family’s Blenheim Palace, which is mentioned as being still unfinished in the film, and was named after Sarah Churchill’s father-in-law, the first Sir Winston Churchill. Before becoming prime minister, he wrote a biography of Sarah Churchill’s husband, the first Duke of Marlborough (Mark Gatiss).
That wasn’t really very fun trivia at all now, was it? It’s all like this if you look it up. Did I mention I hate History?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 exquisite cups of the finest tea, which you should never, ever, accept from Emma Stone.

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Top 10 Worst Movies of 2018

It’s that time of the year already, just before the awards season really kicks in when bloggers everywhere are posting their Top 10s for the year. I’ve always gone by UK release dates for my lists as we often have to wait weeks for a lot of releases, but honestly, it’s so hard to keep track of so this year I’ll be using the general release date. What I’d like to do then is revisit my list later in the year when I’ve caught up on more movies.

Let’s save the best for last and kick off with this year’s stinkers. I think I’ve done quite well to avoid a lot of the bad movies this year but I still managed to put a list of 10 together without any troubles.

Some of these are simply terrible, others are disappointments, and a couple just weren’t for me.

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#10 The House with a Clock in Its Walls

Cate Blanchett was the only real saving grace of this movie. I’m also still plagued by nightmares of Jack Black’s head on a baby’s body.

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#9 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

I had decent expectations for this sequel, but the second half was so ridiculous I found myself laughing for all the wrong reasons.

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#8 Red Sparrow

You know – I can’t even remember anything about this movie. It was slutty and it had spies…and that’s the best I can do.

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#7 The Commuter

I love all of Liam Neeson’s action movies, even if they are all kind of the same. This one, however, was just boring!

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#6 The Old Man & the Gun

I’m sorry – I know lots of people loved this movie. It’s just…for a heist movie it was quiet, slow and dull.

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#5 Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

JK Rowling needs to step up her game. I hope the backlash this movie got makes her look really hard about how this series moves forward. Perhaps she could start by reading her own books again.

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#4 Life of the Party

Another year, another Melissa McCarthy comedy that I’m either going to love or hate. You can all guess where this one fell.

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#3 Fifty Shades Freed

Confession – the Fifty Shades series is a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine. However, I didn’t really love the third book and the movie was even worse.

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#2 How It Ends

Hey Netflix, if you’re going to make a post-apocalyptic movie without a real ending, how about you don’t call it How It Ends?!

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#1 The Happytime Murders

Melissa McCarthy, you messed up twice in one year. I’m so, so mad about The Happytime Murders because it could have been brilliant, and witty. Instead, it was just vulgar and unfunny.

I’ll be back early next week with my Top 10 Best Movies of 2018!

Black Mirror: Bandersnatch (2018)

black-mirror-bandersnatch-movie-review-posterDirector: David Slade

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller, Mystery, Drama

Runtime: Varies – Roughly 90 Minutes

Main Cast: Fionn Whitehead, Craig Parkinson, Alice Lowe, Will Poulter, Asim Chaudhry, Tallulah Haddon, Alan Asaad, Catriona Knox

Plot: Set in the 80s and played out like a Choose Your Own Adventure story, Bandersnatch is the story of a young gaming programmer who is adapting a dark fantasy novel with a morbid background into a video game.

My Thoughts: I love Black Mirror. I love video games. I love fantasy novels. Although it’s been well over a decade since I read one, I bloody love the Choose Your Own Adventure books. If ever there were a Netflix movie made with me in mind, Bandersnatch is the one. I can’t even tell you how excited I was to settle my toddler off to bed so I could eat cold pizza and watch it.

The ‘choose your own adventure’ concept obviously isn’t new, but this is the first time it’s been released in TV format, and I really hope it isn’t the only time either. I never thought I would find myself so stressed out about picking a cereal that I wasn’t even going to be eating!

So I made the mistake very early on of telling Satpal that I would work with him which clearly I wasn’t meant to do, I feel like most people would have made the same mistake which I thought was clever because we’re then introduced to the ‘game over’ feature quite early on. I suppose the downfall of Bandersnatch is that if you take the movie at face value without the gimmick, it’s not that strong of a story, as much as I enjoyed it.

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Best Bit: Spoilers ahead, because the best bit for me was the ending that I got. Our Bandersnatch game got rated 5/5, but we ended up in prison for murdering Dad. Years later, Colin’s daughter Pearl falls down the same rabbit hole as we did, as she adapts the video game Bandersnatch into a choose your own adventure movie for Netflix. I’ve since looked into the other possible endings and still feel like mine was the best.

Worst Bit: I really didn’t want to kill Dad…I wanted an option to question him further about everything he had done! I also slightly regret the choice to chop him up…that was a bit grim.

Fun Trivia: Some of the Black Mirror Easter eggs in the movie are Black Mirror episode titles, misspelled. The game titles METL HEDD and Nohzdyve, refer to Metalhead and Nosedive respectively.

My Rating: 4 and a half boxes of Frosties, which are superior in every way to Sugar Puffs. Seriously, who picked Sugar Puffs?!

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