Back in March I shared that I had started watching one new movie a week in order to catch up on all that I had missed. I’m a bad screenwriter. I wasn’t watching much.
I’m happy to report that I’ve maintained my momentum.
Now that we’re over half way through the year, I thought I’d share part two of my viewings. This time I’m trying a strict A, B, C rating. There may be the occasional + or – , but I’m doing my best to limit those half measures.
10. The Breaker Uppers – If you’ve seen Taika Waititi’s charming 2014 film, What We Do in the Shadows, you’ll recognize one of the leads of this film, Jackie van Beek. Waititi is also a producer of this film about two women who provide a service of helping people break up in elaborate ways, so I had high hopes. It failed to deliver. While the two leads obviously have chemistry, the story fell flat. My rating: C
11. Train to Busan – I had come across a number of positive comments about this zombie thriller, and it lived up to the hype. The story follows a father and his young daughter who have grown apart because of divorce on a train ride to return her to her mother. Over the course of a tense and dire train ride, human nature is put to the test, and we learn what’s most important. My rating: A
12. Outlaw King – Despite its historical inaccuracies, Braveheart is still one of my favorite films. So I was intrigued when this movie showed up on Netflix about the man who would be King of Scotland, Robert the Bruce. In Braveheart, his father made the alliance with England to secure his throne. While obviously not made on the same grand scale, this film was still enjoyable and insightful into the life of a man we saw very little of previously. My only major complaint, why cast an American actor to sell a movie people will most likely watch anyway? My rating: B
13. A Quiet Place – This was a film that was being referenced quite a bit in screenwriting circles when it was released so it had to be put on my list so I could see what all the hubbub was about. It opens up without any preamble and you quickly learn how vital silence is in this post-apocalyptic world where humans are under threat from vicious aliens who can hear the slightest sound. As we watch this family struggle to survive, we have to wonder how long can people live like this? Try moving around your house without making a sound and see how long you would survive. My rating: A
14. Kick Ass – This had been on my list for some time, but with streaming services, things come and go, and some times you just miss out. I miss Blockbuster. When it popped back up I took the opportunity to watch it. It’s entertaining, it has heart, and has plenty of action and violence. Watching a young superhero wannabe come into his own, and getting his ass handed to him repeatedly, is kind of inspiring. Also watching a small Chloë Grace Moretz be a total bad ass is just fun. My rating: B
15 & 16. Avengers: Endgame – This will get a proper post, especially now that it’s on DVD. The Sis missed the first viewing, so saw it twice in a week. There’s a lot to take in so watching it twice was like watching it again for the first time. 😉 My rating: A
17. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – I didn’t really plan on watching this, but when my little fur baby had some weird hive reaction all over her face in the middle of the night, I had to stay up and I figured the mindless action would do the trick. The first Jurassic Park is still amazing but the new franchise is just disappointing. No matter how endearing Chris Pratt is. The opening sequence of the island being destroyed by a volcano and the animals fleeing for their lives, no matter the CGI element, was unsettling, and set me off right away. There are some interesting moments, but overall the highlight of the film is Jeff Goldblum. My rating: C
18. The Darkest Minds – There are a slew of dystopian teen films out there, and every once in a while, there’a a good one. Maybe the book is better. A genetic mutation has occurred in teens that gives them powers. Now considered a threat, they are sent to camps where the most dangerous are eliminated, or used as weapons. This is another film that had a few good moments, but overall has nothing to distinguish itself against so many others of its kind. My rating: C
19. The Losers – One guess why I watched this movie. Chris Evans and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. I enjoy elite forces/spy films, and the trailer for this movie showcased its sense of humor, but again, this story had nothing to differentiate it from the horde of other similarly themed films – agents thought dead return for retribution. My rating: C
20. Their Finest – A period piece about screenwriting? Sure. I’m in. A movie about women making headway in a male dominated industry. Yeah, I’m in. Starring Gemma Arterton, who carries the film about creating a propaganda movie during WWII about the evacuation at Dunkirk, is charming and engaging. The film, overall, is well done and a peek into an aspect of filmmaking that encourages nationalism. My rating: B
21. Isle of Dogs – The first Wes Anderson I ever saw initially left me confused. I didn’t quite get his humor but now he’s one of my favorites and I look forward to seeing his name on a project. He has such style, and a strange sense of humor, and while this story about dogs being quarantined is not my favorite of his, it does highlight our relationship with our furry friends and the loyalty born from it. Like many of his films, it definitely requires a second viewing, and I’m sure it will grow on me. My (current) rating: B
22. Always Be My Maybe – A film about childhood friends finding love years later is not a new concept, and yet this romantic comedy hit the mark. So many of my friends were talking about it, so I gave it a watch. Surprisingly, it was just the right amount of cute and funny with two likable leads. Then there’s Keanu Reeves who steals the show. My rating: B+
23. Z for Zachariah – I like apocalyptic movies. I’m not sure why. Maybe because people are awful and it’s interesting to watch what they’re willing to do and wonder what I might do in the same situation. This film has an Adam and Eve aspect to it as two people are trying to survive in the only habitable place left, but even in the end times, a rivalry for the woman’s hand was the most pressing matter. My rating: C
24. Swiss Army Man – What a strange and unique film about the power of imagination and learning to accept yourself. Paul Dano and Daniel Radcliffe make a good team, even when the humor was a little off-color. The ending is open to interpretation and was the only part of the film that disappointed me. As we’ve all learned (looking at you, GoT), endings are difficult. My rating: B
25. IO: Last on Earth – Another apocalyptic movie in a sea of similarly themed tales that failed to deliver. The world has become toxic and people have fled to the stars, save one young woman, a scientist who is carrying on her father’s work to save the world. MCU’s Anthony Mackie is one of the only remaining humans left who, no matter how charming, has absolutely no chemistry with the last woman on Earth. My rating: C
26. Rim of the World – Maybe because I never went to summer camp, I’m drawn to movies about the possibilities that camp and the nostalgia of youth they offer. Of course, I’m not sure how I would have responded to aliens attacking when I was 13. This movie was inspired by a number of its sci-fi predecessors and is clearly meant for a younger audience. While not great, by any means, it was kind of fun, and at least gives the viewer hope that the younger generation will step up. My rating: C
27. The Spy Who Dumped Me – Well this one took me by surprise. A buddy/spy comedy starring two women that handle sh*t on their own? I’m a fan of Kate McKinnon, she steals the show at every turn, and this movie about two best friends who wind up in an international conspiracy is no different. There are some outlandish (pun intended for Sam Heughan?) moments, but the chemistry between the two leads keeps the movie afloat. My rating: B
28. Lady Bird – I don’t know what it feels like to be so fearless and opinionated. I grew up trying to keep the peace and always putting on a happy face. Maybe this is why I, personally, had a hard time relating to Saoirse Ronan’s Lady Bird. She’s an angsty teenager trying to figure herself out while dealing with her strong willed mother. My rating: B
29. BlacKkKlansman – By far the best movie I’ve seen all year. The premise was, of course, interesting – the first black officer in Colorado Springs in the 70s infiltrates the KKK by using a white counterpart – and completely deserving of its accolades. It’s an important movie, especially in these turbulent times, and the ending sequence is disturbing and thought provoking. And it’s true. My rating: A+
30. Early Man – As you may know, from reading a previous review, I’m a fan of Aardman Animations’ Wallace and Gromit. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is a favorite. Early Man stars my future husband, Tom Hiddleston, so it was always going to be on my watch list. While the animation is still superb, the comedy just didn’t do it for me this time around, and especially since the entire movie basically revolves around a game of soccer/football, I sort of tuned out. Maybe I’ll give it another watch at some point and see if it grows on me. My rating: B
I started this post a couple of weeks ago, so there are more movies to add…for the next one. :). Any suggestions on what I should watch next?