What I have been watching lately – #movie edition

monkey at the movies 2

Hello all! Hope you’re having a lovely Sunday! Since we’re coming up to the end of the year, I’m in a wrap-everything-up kind of mood and thought it would be fun to share some of the awesome (and less-than-awesome) movies I’ve seen over the past few months. This is by no means a comprehensive list- just the ones that stood out to me for some reason or other. And of course, this list will be accompanied by plenty of monkey drama 😉 Let’s jump to it!

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before– I enjoyed every second of this! I adored the series, so I was a tad nervous… but all those fears were allayed because this completely brought the book to life! I particularly liked how it took the characters and made them real, very much capturing their distinctive personalities. And Lara Jean was so Lara Jean- she was relatable and dorky and ahhh practically perfect in every way!!! So yup- one happy monkey here!!

5/5 bananas

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi– I finally watched the new Star Wars- and wish I could unwatch it. Look, I’m not trying to start arguments, and if you liked it, I’m glad you got more out of it than I did. Frankly though, if a movie bores me so much that I can leave to do chores in the middle (and yes, this is frequently my barometer for a bad movie) then I’m going to hate it. I get that the visuals are good- however that’s not why I watch movies. I’m here for the story and this did. not. deliver in that department. For all the obvious flaws- the campy scene where Leah flies through space, Rey the ULTIMATE Mary Sue, Holdo’s resting bitch face, the lame villains, the bad jokes etc- the most unforgivable thing was that it took a story about hope and made it nihilistic- that’s quite the feat! And I know this film has been analysed to death by now, so I’m sure I don’t need to get into everything, but “defying expectations” isn’t automatically a good thing. While I like unexpected twists and turns, they need to make sense in the grand scheme of things, deliver emotional punches and make me care about the characters- this did none of those things. It felt like *surprises* for surprises’ sake- which is not a good storytelling tactic. The only way this defied my expectations was that I thought it was going to be a good movie and it wasn’t. Also congrats for making the prequels look good I guess. This gets a banana peel from me:

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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them– okay, so here’s another one I finally caved and watched… and that was surprisingly a good thing. While I’ve always been on the fence about Harry Potter spinoffs, this ended up delivering on a lot of fronts: the characters were stellar, there were cute animals (employed in a way that actually affected the plot- *evil eyes at Last Jedi*), the visuals were stunning and the differences between Britain and America were explored (like the term no maj- which on the surface is simpler- but also sounds less offensive). Plus there was some hidden depth in the symbolism of obscuras- drawing on how trauma can breed tragedy. I particularly liked the portrayal of Scamander by Redmayne (quickly making this a new fave HP character). And *spoilers* Grindlewald as a villain was subtly portrayed (I’m decidedly less keen on the actor that’s taken over). Overall, this worked for me!

4/5 bananas

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The Death of Stalin– this captured the sheer *craziness* of the situation. Plus, for a movie that’s historically accurate (if you want to see just how much you can watch this great video essay) and very dark, it was ridiculously funny. I was laughing throughout. Though the fact that this Kafkaesque/1984 setting was *real* always sat disturbingly in my mind. And while I reckon history buffs will get a kick out of it, I do recommend this film for everyone really.

4/5 bananas

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The Theory of Everything– the most obvious thing I can think to say about this was that Redmayne was *definitely* an Oscar-worthy performance. It was also a beautifully shot movie, though a little on the slow side. BUT it was very life affirming- really embodying Hawkins’ famous quote: “As long as there is life, there is hope”. It was amazing to see what he achieved in film form. I also felt like it could be seen as a counter to the Me Before You narrative argument (not to criticise the author, for whom it was an exercise in empathy). The only thing was I didn’t buy the romance as much as I wanted to. And, while I’m glad I watched it, it didn’t blow me away. Incidentally, I’ve been listening to brief history of time- which I won’t be reviewing  cos WHODOYOUTHINKIAMLOLIREADBOOKSIDON’TDOPHYSICS (seriously I can’t help you with black holes and the like)- but I will say it’s very interesting.

3½/5 bananas

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The Shooting Party– this was rather propagandistic. At the risk of alienating all zero of my posh fans, I don’t actually think I need any convincing not to go shootin’ animals. That said, I don’t think that if I was unclear on that this would change my mind- because it’s not a convincing argument to have people walking round moralising. There’s literally no real characters in this- merely lifeless husks that act as mouthpieces for an agenda. Regardless of whether I agree with said agenda, it simply doesn’t make for an entertaining film. There’s a lot of pointless, pretentious conversations and not nearly enough drama. All this ended up being was an opinion masquerading as art.

2/5 bananas

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The Birds– now this is more like it! It may start out witty and humorous but the tone steadily shifts. All this builds up the tense and magnetic atmosphere. By the end of the movie, all the little sounds in my flat were making me jump. I didn’t even realise how much it affected me until I saw a load of pigeons the next day and thought: “what are they up to?” Honestly, I don’t think I’ll ever look at birds again in quite the same way. Super clever and wonderfully crafted- this is a classic for a reason! Even scaredy cats like me can appreciate it!

5/5 bananas

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Okay- so some potentially *explosive* opinions there and the question of the day is: do you agree or disagree with me on any of these? What do you think of these movies? And have you watched anything that stood out to you lately? Let me know in the comments!

89 thoughts on “What I have been watching lately – #movie edition

  1. I think the thing that makes me watch Fantastic Beasts more than once is the sub-story – the romance between sister and baker! That was the best use of a romance subplot I’ve seen in quite a while (and I do like the animals).

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  2. I watched Fantastic Beasts only recently. I enjoyed it, but it has not stuck much. The Last Jedi would not quite get a banana peel from me… maybe a couple of oranges. It definitey was not the best…

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  3. Have you ever read Daphne DuMaurier’s short story The Birds? It’s an excellent story, and the film is, of course, great. The film was supposedly based on the story, but aside from the general idea (birds turn on humanity) they have nothing in common!

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      1. It’s a good story, but I was surprised that she was credited as the source for the film simply because it was so different. I suppose if they took the idea for the plot from her then they felt they had to give her credit though.

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  4. I really enjoyed Death of Stalin, such a great movie. Birds are amongst my old time favourites.
    I’m with you re Star Wars. I was so disappointed by the disjointed storyline. 😔
    And I did enjoy TATBILB as well, Laura Jean was perfect! 😊
    I recently watched Hunt for Wilderpeople – if you haven’t seen it, I really recommend it. The story is so good and I loved the overall message as well. 😊❤️

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    1. I’m so glad you thought so- I really agree with you there! And I totally understand why- it’s a sensational film!
      Ach me too!! I can’t believe the direction they took with star wars- it was so bad for me!
      Yay glad you thought so!
      Oh that sounds interesting- I’ll definitely check it out- thank you for the rec! 🙂 ❤

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  5. I LOVE the Birds and To All the boys I’ve loved before! The first is honestly such a under appreciated imo! No one seems to know about it nowadays! Also, the Last Jedi was such a disappointment! It hurts my very soul just thinking about it. Lol. Love these reviews! ❤️

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    1. So glad you thought so! It definitely is!! And YES I really agree with you! I’d seen that there were mixed reviews- but that was the same for force awakens (which I had some problems with, but overall enjoyed it as a sort of remake of the original) so I got my hopes up… ah it was such a letdown. Thank you!! ❤

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    1. hehehe I completely get that! They’re brilliant- but I’m not in a rush to rewatch them! Ah fair enough! I was glad I watched the first one- but now I’m invested and I don’t think the second one is supposed to be very good… so not looking forward to seeing it!

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  6. I’ve been debating if I want to watch To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, but I think I really should! I disliked The Last Jedi as well… hopefully the next movie will explain the plot holes and… I don’t know how to put this, but make more sense?

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  7. I agree with many of your thoughts on Last Jedi. It doesn’t fit with what Force Awakens had started and I was worried when I heard that the director was different. I hope that Episode 9 can fix a few things. While I personally liked the visuals like you said, I also like where Kylo is going as a character. I also love your graphics 😀 they’re the best!

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    1. Glad you agree! And I completely hear you- it didn’t fit with force awakens at all. Hopefully… but I feel like the only way it can is if it ignores/goes *just kidding* about a lot of the stuff from TLJ… which will make an incoherent and choppy series regardless. I still think, like you, that Kylo Ren has potential- but I’ll admit I’m not holding out much hope. Aww thank you!

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      1. You’re welcome! I think the movie had started out in an interesting way but the director made it his own movie and ignored the cannon from the previous movie. My husband keeps saying that Luke didn’t seem like himself either and that was a total downer.

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  8. Every time the Last Jedi comes up I think of more reason I hate it 🙂 Like why did Rey treat Chewy so badly? The Falcon should have been his and instead he’s carting her butt around the universe while she’s giving him orders there wasn’t even a hey, Chewy want to help me? Please. Ugh.
    I really want to check out the Birds soon. I loved Hitchcock back when I was younger.
    Happy Holidays!

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    1. Ahh yes!! I really agree with you! It’s like the opposite of how Marvel embeds little easter-egg nods to fans in each of their movies- for some reason TLJ seems to think it’s a good idea to embed slaps in the face to the franchise :/ and yeah- why on earth doesn’t Chewy get the Falcon?!?! Why is Rey so important?? If there’s no explanation- why do people keep gravitating to her? And ugh yes.
      Ah brilliant! Hope you love it!
      Happy holidays! 🙂

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                    1. hahahahaha oh dear!!! 😂😂😂😂 That just means I would have enjoyed them for entertainment value and not much else… 😉 (which is probably wayyy harsh- sorry!) Did you watch Apprentice this year btw? It was very good- so many of them were useless and mean- which makes for the best TV 😉 (and the candidate I liked won- which is a rare occurrence 😉 )

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                    2. Haha! Yes they were good entertainment (banana guy also didn’t know how to make toast 😂) but they did annoy me. I watched a bit of the apprentice (my mum loves it) but the person I liked went out in about week 2 then I kind of lost interest. I always try to watch the interview episode though, I love finding out what lies they’ve told on their applications!

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                    3. hahahahaha that’s hilarious!!! 😂😂😂 (not least that his nickname is banana guy 😉 ) Fair enough- I can imagine feeling the same way! Oh yeah a lot of the better ones seemed to go out early this year (which left most of the trainwrecks 😉 ) hehe me too! That’s the best bit!

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  9. I really enjoyed this post so much!! And finally I can admit that I still haven’t watched The Last Jedi because of the same reasons you’ve mentioned. And now that you’ve given it only a banana peel – I mean, that says it all, doesn’t it? – I’m even more reluctant. But I guess should the DVD happen to cross my path at my local library, I’ll probably take it with me. 😉
    As to The Birds – totally know what you mean by those scary pigeons giving you the evil eye and jumping at every sound! 😂 But what an awesome movie, right? Hitchcock was a real genius. 😄🐦🐦🐦😉

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    1. Thank you so much!! hehe I can understand that- I somehow managed to avoid spoilers, but I was still aware that the fanbase was super split about it. hehe well I hope you like it more than I did 😉
      hehehe yes!!! Absolutely!!! LOL!!! 😄🐦🐦🐦😂 😉

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  10. I was thrilled to see The Birds in the list. Supposedly people thought The Birds was ridiculous on its first release but some real attacks by large numbers of birds changed their minds. That bit of information comes from Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes, a film as ridiculous as its title.
    Also I briefly considered The Theory Of Everything for the traditional Christmas Eve movie binge—and thank you for reminding me of it; I still plan to watch it—but went with Her directed by Spike Jonze instead. It was a bit of an emotional roller coaster: you know from the start where the ride is going to end up but it’s thrilling all the same.

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  11. The Birds!! Been a while since I’ve seen that one. I was mentioning it to a coworker a few days ago because they was a murder of crows flying around my job building. we were wondering if it was an omen or something.

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  12. Uh I haven’t watched ‘The Last Jedi’ yet because I’m scared so maybe.. I just gonna keep ignoring it exists haha

    THE BIRDS! SO funny! I never watched it but I woke up in the middle of the night once when I was little & was scared shitless because of that NOISE! Turned out my parents where watching THAT movie and the birds were attacking the house 😀

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  13. Love that your thoughts on The Last Jedi. I thought it was utter crap myself. Couldn’t believe what I was watching when it was release and I’m not a huge Star Wars fan anyways. I wonder if they’ll be able to bring back the glory of the franchise with the next canonical movie or continue the slump.

    Ahhh a Hitchcock movie!!! I’ve seen my first one in late 2018 and plan on seeing so many more of them! Do you have a favourite (it’s what I ask everyone who has watched some of his movies hahaha)??? 😀

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    1. Thank you- I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy it, but not that sorry lol, cos I do not want to be alone in this! 😉 Fair enough- I’m someone that likes the old movies… and that’s it 😉 To be honest, this movie killed any further interest I have in the trilogy (though I might watch the new one eventually just to torture myself some more… more likely I’ll watch/read spoiler reviews 😉 )

      Ahh that’s brilliant! haha I really haven’t seen many- just rear window and rebecca (both of which I love, for different reasons)- and honestly couldn’t pick a favourite between these three! Which one did you watch?

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  14. I’m really keen to see The Death of Stalin so I’m glad it fared well in your ratings! And I loved the To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before movie too. As for Star Wars, I must confess I gave up a couple of films ago – I’ve never been a big fan of the franchise (I liked the original three, not so much the ones after that) and I realised the recent movies weren’t changing that so I decided to stop putting myself through them. A bit like you described for The Last Jedi, I just don’t care about the characters and I get bored during the scenes that are supposed to be exciting. I LOVE the new Star Trek films so I was hoping I might get into Star Wars in a similar way but no such luck. Guess they just aren’t for me.

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