Watched, Read, Reviewed: June 2019

Happy almost-end-of July! I’m way behind on these posts (as usual). Here’s the stuff I watched in June. I watched way too much. I’m going to take a break from watching so much crap, especially at home…

MOVIES IN JUNE

MOVIES REVIEWED IN JUNE

None. I had a busy month so posted nothing on my blog. I caught up on reviewing current releases the past couple of weeks, though. I’ve posted links to my full reviews below.

MOVIES WATCHED IN JUNE (ranked best to worst):

Yesterday – 7.5/10

Toy Story 4 – 7.5/10

Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) – This is one of my 2019 Blind Spot choices so I’ll review it in full at some point (probably for Halloween). I added it since the Italian Giallo horror thing is one of very few genres I’ve not yet really explored (I’ve still seen nothing other than three Dario Argento films). I liked Deep Red – I have to say it’s a more straightforward and “accessible” film than something like Suspiria, although that one is more my style. Man I love the Goblin score in these movies… – 7.5/10

Rocketman7.5/10

Searching – I enjoyed this way more than I was expecting for a movie that’s all seen through a computer screen via Skype, social media posts, websites, videos, etc. I didn’t think the gimmick would work but the mystery of the daughter’s disappearance was intriguing enough to keep you interested the whole time. The story worked well, the father & daughter had good character development (making up for other characters having very little), and the gimmick didn’t end up being a distraction from the story like I feared it might. The pacing was also really good – these mystery thrillers can drag a bit sometimes but this was fast-paced and very engaging the entire time. I feel like I’m hyping this too much… It’s not exactly Oscar-worthy material but I’m impressed that its gimmick worked so surprisingly well. – 7/10

Ma7/10

Child’s Play (2019)7/10

Crazy Rich Asians – I see why this film got a lot of hype as it’s a good return to the simple rom-coms that have really died off in the past decade. To be fair, it truly deserves to be ranked higher than Ma & Child’s Play as it’s a much better film (but I’m more of a horror girl than a rom-com girl). If you’re a rom-com fan, I definitely recommend this movie as it’s a fun film with characters you’ll love as well as love to hate. Is it the most original movie ever?? No, we’ve seen the whole “evil mother-in-law” thing before. But that doesn’t matter if it’s a well-written movie. The characters are strong and the main guy is a hottie – I enjoyed gazing at him in the thoroughly entertaining A Simple Favor as well. The only thing I’ll say is that I’d have liked a bit more to happen at the end. Some things are left unresolved and I’d have liked more of a comeuppance for a few people. This movie keeps things very light, though. It’s also very “clean” so it’s something that wouldn’t be inappropriate to have on while your kids or grandparents are around or something. I don’t mean that as an insult, though – it was kind of refreshing to see a modern rom-com that isn’t crude in any way. – 7/10

The Killing – I’ve watched a lot of movies for my IMDb Top 250 Project this year so I’ll try to give this Stanley Kubrick film a review when I do a big post with the other Top 250 movies that I’ve watched. – 7/10

Booksmart7/10

Wine Country – This was fine. I actually liked it more than I was expecting for a Netflix old-chick chick-flick. But that’s because I’m an old chick like these chicks. Well, I’m a tiny bit younger… (Not much!). Considering the stars of this, the movie is fairly tame. I actually prefer that to the over-the-top comedies such as Bridesmaids. It’s not a laugh-out-loud riot but I got a few laughs out of it (mostly thanks to Maya Rudolph – I usually find her funny). What I also liked is that the women all had different personalities so you’ll probably like or relate to at least one of them if you’re a middle-aged woman like me. I’d totally be the friend in this who no one expected to actually turn up to this get-together. That’s so me. Seriously – Don’t invite me to anything. I don’t want to come. – 6.5/10

Brightburn6.5/10

If I Stay – I figured I should finally watch this since I read the book when I was on my “I’m tired and I’m only going to read easy YA stuff” kick. From what I remember of the book now, this is a pretty faithful adaptation. Dare I say that it was maybe even a little better than the book? They did a good job with the characters and the parents were especially likeable (I don’t remember as much focus on them in the book?). The romance was also believable enough and they had decent chemistry. As far as teen drama romances go, I thought this was fairly good. Here’s the IMDb plot synopsis:”Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined. The choice is hers if she can go on.” – 6.5/10

Boogaloo Shrimp Documentary – This documentary has only FIVE votes at IMDb. Shameful! Anyway, here’s the IMDb plot synopsis if you don’t know who the hell Boogaloo Shrimp is – “The life story of Michael Chambers aka “Boogaloo Shrimp”: the dancer, actor, singer, comedian and master of waving, ticking, backsliding and liquid animation dance during the 1980’s breakdancing phenomenon.” Well, this documentary is fine and it was fun seeing Michael Chambers being interviewed. It’s not the most in-depth documentary, though – I’d only recommend it if you’re a fan. What I DO totally recommend is the movie Breakin‘ (1984). Eighties classic! Love it. And nothing beats Boogaloo Shrimp’s “broom dance” from that movie. I’ve posted a video of the dance at the end of this post. – 6.5/10

Life As We Know It – I honestly can’t believe I watched a Katherine Fucking Heigl movie. Something about her is just really hateful. I hope she doesn’t read this… Hey, Katherine Heigl – you’re far less hateful than Gwyneth Paltrow! Anyway. I think I watched this because I liked the (unbelievable) setup: A couple with a new baby die in a car accident and leave the baby to their two best friends who can’t stand each other. The two best friends must then work together to create a new life for the baby!! Madness and TOTALLY FUCKING PREDICTABLE possible romance ensues!!! I kind of hate myself for watching this. And even more for kind of liking it. It’s fine. What can I say? Sometimes you’re in the mood for an utterly predictable rom-com with a cute baby. My only actual complaint is that I’d have liked a little more focus on the baby. Poor kid. Not sure I felt by the end that she’d ever really feel like these are her “parents”. But I’m probably putting too much thought into a movie with a pretty ridiculous concept. – 6/10

Finders Keepers (2015) – This was a bizarrely fascinating documentary. I really need to give you the Wikipedia plot synopsis for THIS one: “The story details John Wood’s attempts to recover his mummified leg from Shannon Whisnant, after Whisnant found the leg in a grill purchased at a storage unit auction.” Yep, sometimes fact is stranger than fiction. This guy lost a leg in a plane crash and asked the hospital if he could keep the leg. So they gave it to him, skin and all, and it was really gross and he didn’t know what to do with it so he stuck it inside a grill in a storage unit. Then he didn’t pay the rent on the unit and the stuff in the unit went to auction. A guy bought the grill and discovered this gnarly leg inside and decided to turn it into a money-making opportunity and wanted to charge people to come see the human leg. But the original owner of the leg heard about it and wanted his leg back and it all turned into a custody battle over who had the right to now own the leg. Seriously. What’s best about the documentary, besides the bizarro story itself, is that these two guys are obviously unique characters. Who the hell would want to keep a human leg they found?! You’re likely to be on the side of the guy who lost his leg. I mean, it’s his damn leg! Humans are so fucking weird sometimes. Well, watch this one if you want some light (and weird) entertainment. – 6/10

The Happytime Murders – Soooo much silly string! This movie was, uh, what I was expecting. To be fair, although it’s not great, it’s better than its ratings would have you believe. What the hell did people expect? It’s a raunchy comedy with filthy puppets. Not as funny or clever as I’d been hoping but who doesn’t want to see a puppet squirting silly string, uh, semen all over the place, huh? – 5.5/10

On Chesil Beach – Soooo much silly string! I guess this movie was fine. Well acted & all that but I was a bit bored. Here’s the IMDb plot synopsis: “Based on Ian McEwan’s novel. In 1962 England, a young couple find their idyllic romance colliding with issues of sexual freedom and societal pressure, leading to an awkward and fateful wedding night.” The problem was that the new husband was a complete asshole and it was very hard to have any sympathy for him. I felt sorry for Saoirse Ronan’s character. The ending was fairly good – it just felt like it took forever to get there. I’m not really into this sort of genre, though. Watch it if you like a relationship drama. – 6/10

Murder Mystery – Ugh. First of all, can I just say that I do NOT hate Adam Sandler? Hating him seems to be the popular thing. He’s had some dreadful movies, yes, but he’s also had several that I quite like (especially The Wedding Singer). Murder Mystery is definitely not one of his better films, though. For the most part, it’s just boring. It has none of that wacky Sandler humor that I know isn’t for everyone but I prefer that humor to the blandness of this film. I suppose it’s kind of fun in that it has, well, a murder mystery. It’s like Murder-On-The-Orient-Express-Lite. But with a far less intriguing mystery. If you like Sandler & Aniston, Just Go With It is a better movie. But his movies with Drew Barrymore are WAY better. – 5.5/10

Re-Watched:

The Karate Kid (1984) – LOVE this movie. It’s another Eighties classic. And when it comes to inspirational underdog movies, you can’t deny that The Karate Kid is one of the all-time BEST. Hell, I’d personally put it up there with Rocky but I know that’s because I’m an 80’s kid so I love this as I grew up with it (I like it more than I like Rocky). I watched this with my daughter and I’m loving sharing favorites of mine with her as she gets older. They don’t always work… I admit that some of my beloved Eighties films are dated and she hasn’t liked some of them. She loved this. While it has some very 80’s moments (The You’re The Best montage! God I love a cheesy old montage!!), I think it easily stands the test of time. The underdog story is timeless, the characters are strong, and it has some extremely iconic moments and lines. Who doesn’t know the whole “wax on, wax off” thing even if they’ve never seen the movie?? What really sold it to my daughter was Mr. Miyagi and she has now declared him as one of her very favorite movie characters. She was very excited when she got a Karate Kid shirt the other day and thinks she’s cool as shit when she wears it now. It’s actually a cool as shit shirt – I want one too. Any movie that can gain new generations of fans 30+ years after its original release is my definition of a damn good film. – 9/10

A Knight’s Tale – Watched this with the kid as well since I thought she might like it. I think she did but not nearly as much as The Karate Kid! I remember hearing a while back that this is “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes. Come ON. I know it’s not exactly Citizen Kane but it’s fun and there’s a Bowie song in it, dammit. Critics need to lighten the hell up sometimes. Like The Karate Kid, it’s an entertaining underdog story. Who the hell doesn’t like a good underdog story?! Who cares that this one is pretty damn predictable? It’s light entertainment. It’s a popcorn movie. (It’s no Karate Kid, though – Watch that one first) – 7/10

Godzilla (2014) – Ugh. I figured I’d re-watch this before going to the new Godzilla movie. It reminded me just how fucking boring this one was. I was so bored that I ended up not bothering going to the new one. – 5/10

BOOKS, TV, MUSIC, MISCELLANEOUS THIS MONTH

As I said, it was a busy month so I watched no TV shows and I’m still in the middle of reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. It’s long so it’s taking FOREVER…….

As for music, I realized that I never actually post about music in this section. Weird as I love it almost as much as I do movies. I suppose it’s because I never like any new music. Anyone have any recommendations of music from within the last ten years that doesn’t suck?! Here’s the kind of shit that I like. Yeah, stuff like Bowie. I always love an excuse to use a David Bowie image.

BLOG PLANS FOR JULY

My only blog plans for July were to catch up on reviewing cinema releases that I’ve seen. I’m now all caught up. Yay! And I’m unlikely to go to any more for a while since movie releases for the next few weeks are really poor for the summer season. Yikes.

July Movies I Want To See:

Well, it’s over halfway through the month now so I’ve seen some of these. I’ve included links to those I’ve reviewed.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

Midsommar

Anna – Was kind of annoyed to miss this. It didn’t show for long. I’m sure it’s not great but I did actually like Luc Besson’s Lucy and sexy female assassin stories are usually entertaining popcorn movies.

Annabelle Comes Home

The Dead Don’t Die – Could’ve gone to this last week then remembered that it’s directed by Jim Jarmusch and I thought his film Only Lovers Left Alive was boring as shit. So I didn’t bother.

The Lion King – NO. I’ve had it with these Disney remakes. I don’t want to give this or any more unnecessary remakes any money. But, yeah – I’m likely to see it on whatever service it pops up on. (Oh yeah – I guess it’ll be the Disney one that we aren’t getting in the U.K. anytime soon???).

The Current War – So odd that this took SO long to come out! That’s worrying. The reviews don’t look great but I’d be interested in seeing it on Netflix eventually.

Teen Spirit – Looks like it could be a fun family film. Might go to it if we have nothing else to do one night.

Here’s the Boogaloo Shrimp broom dance from Breakin’. With music from Kraftwerk! That’s the kind of shit that I like…

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Re-Rated: Movie Reviews I May Have Gotten Wrong

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I know a couple of people here have in the past picked on my “rating system” when it comes to my movie reviews. I admit I’ve made mistakes… I have a tendency to rate new releases too highly, probably partly due to hype & partly due to my enjoyment of seeing a new film in the cinema/theater. However, there are also times when a movie goes up in my estimation after I’ve reviewed it. I love it when that actually happens!

I’ve never really explained my rating system here (which is on a scale of one to ten, ten being the best). I think it’s really simple – it’s based almost entirely on MY own personal enjoyment but I do take “worthiness” into consideration somewhat if reviewing a classic for something like my IMDB project. Hence, something like Adventures In Babysitting gets a 9/10 from me while On The Waterfront, which I found boring, will get a much lower rating than that when I eventually get around to reviewing it. I’m not saying that Adventures In Babysitting is the better film – I’m just saying that I like it more. Makes sense, right??? πŸ™‚

Below are some films I watched for the first time since starting this blog two & a half years ago which I feel I either gave too high or too low of a rating. None have changed too drastically. I’m extremely opinionated when it comes to movies I like or dislike so I’d never change my mind completely. Let’s start with the ones I think I rated too highly:

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Godzilla (2014)
Original Rating: 7/10
New Rating: 6/10

This damn movie! I think I ended up liking it even less after a few of you picked on me for trashing it in my review then giving it a 7/10. I don’t know… I think I try to be nice with my ratings sometimes as it’s not like I’ve ever made a movie. This wasn’t the worst thing ever plus Godzilla looked great (when you finally got to see him after watching a bunch of idiots you didn’t care about for the first hour). It needed a better script & characters, though.

Pacific Rim
Original Rating: 7.5/10
New Rating: 6.5/10

WHAT?! 7.5? What was I smoking??? Here’s where I’m going to get in trouble – I gave this a higher rating than Godzilla when it was far more guilty of having a godawful script. However, I’m still giving it a higher rating than Godzilla since I did actually enjoy it slightly more, even if it was dumb as hell. Sorry! At least the first half wasn’t boring as shit.

Pretty Much Every Superhero Movie Other Than Guardians Of The Galaxy:

I won’t list them all since I think I’ve reviewed every superhero movie that has been released since I started this blog. I still really hate Man Of Steel – I gave that a 6/10 but I’d like to change that to 5/10. I admit I rated The Amazing Spider-Man 2 too highly since I like Andrew Garfield more than Tobey Maguire but, still – I haven’t exactly loved any of the Spider-Man films. X-Men: Days Of Future Past was a mess so I’d probably knock at least half a point off of that now. Actually, to be on the safe side, just take half a point off every rating I give superhero movies from now on. πŸ˜‰ They’re such fun popcorn movies that I kind of get caught up in the moment when I review them right after seeing them. I’d even already lower my Avengers: Age Of Ultron & maybe even my Big Hero 6 ratings. However, Guardians Of The Galaxy remains a firm 8.5 & I was considering raising it to a 9. We’ll see if any future films taint things or not.

American Hustle
Original Rating: 7/10
New Rating: 6/10

Why did I give this a 7?! I must have been blinded by the fact that I love the 70s. This should never have been up for a Best Picture nomination & wasn’t worthy of the hype. It wasn’t awful but it wasn’t anything that special. I also think Silver Linings Playbook is overrated – knock half a point off of that too! Maybe I’m just not a David O Russell fan.

Interstellar
Original Rating: 6.5/10
New Rating: 6/10

Screw this movie. I was going to give it a 6 in the first place but got too scared of the Nolanites.

Now onto the movies I think I rated too lowly:

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The Warriors
Original Rating: 8.5/10
New Rating: 9.5/10

Yes, 9.5 is very high. I think I’ve only given that twice on this blog (to The Breakfast Club & WALL-E) plus a 10 only once (to The Shawshank Redemption). Those three are all movies I already loved from my pre-blog days, though (there would be more 9 & up but I’ve given up on reviewing old all-time favorites for now as I just don’t have the time). My two favorite things about having a movie blog are 1) chatting with like-minded movie fans and 2) discovering new (well, mostly old) movies that I now love. I’ve forced myself to watch movies I’d probably still be putting off watching if I didn’t have this blog making me feel like it’s almost my job to watch things that have been on my “To Watch” list for years. I can thank this blog for my new love of Charlie Chaplin and probably also Studio Ghibli as I may have not watched the fabulous NausicaΓ€ Of The Valley Of The Wind or some of the other great Ghiblis beyond My Neighbor Totoro otherwise. But Chaplin & Studio Ghibli are highly regarded & I gave them all very high ratings when I reviewed them. However, if I’m completely honest, The Warriors is my very favorite CPD “new discovery” that had been on my To Watch list for years and, along with a John Carpenter film I watched for the very first time recently, it would now be up there as an all-time favorite film of mine. I’ve given an 8.5 to some very good recent films such as Her & Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes. Those will never be all-time favorites, though, so I think The Warriors deserves a much higher rating than 8.5. It deserves a place among the the likes of Adventures In Babysitting! (And while I’m at it, I’d like to up the ratings by half a point for two other pre-blog favorites: Dawn Of The Dead (2004) & Hardware. Yes, Hardware. Deal with it!) πŸ˜‰

Hobo With A Shotgun
Original Rating: 6.5/10
New Rating: 7.5/10

I won’t go into this one much as I still have no clue why I like it. In fact, please don’t go read my review because it’s embarrassingly shit! I’m still as clueless now as I was then as to why I enjoyed this thing but it’s one of the movies I saw in the past few years that I think of most often. There’s just something about it & I don’t know why it’s not a bit of a cult classic yet (or is it? I have no idea). I really want to re-watch this now…

The Man Who Fell To Earth
Original Rating: 7/10
New Rating: 8/10

This was a hard movie to rate in the first place as it’s, well, not exactly good. But I like it. I LOVE David Bowie, though, so I’m going to like it much more than someone who doesn’t. It’s a very odd film but, like Hobo With A Shotgun, it’s one of the movies I’ve thought about the most since seeing it. It’s very artistic & iconic. Bowie is far from the best actor ever but I like this beautiful, weird ass movie a lot.

The Great Escape
Original Rating: 8.5/10
New Rating: 9/10

Not a huge difference in the rating but this was one of my favorite IMDB Top 250 movies I’ve watched & I think it deserves a 9/10 just as much as The Bridge On The River Kwai, which I did give a 9/10. Both are true classics & made me realize that maybe some war films actually ARE really bloody good after all.

A Lot Of Horror Movies:

I’m always a little harsh on horror movies here at CPD. Horror has never exactly been a favorite genre of mine but when good horror films actually do get made, I absolutely love them. Stuff like The Shining, The Omen, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Romero’s zombie films… Love them! The problem is that there are SO many bad ones these days that I probably don’t give the few decent ones the credit they deserve. I tend to rate them in comparison to non-horror movies when I should be comparing them to other movies in the horror genre to be more fair. These are all horror movies I’ve really enjoyed since starting this blog & I’d up all their ratings by half a point:

It Follows
Tucker And Dale Vs Evil
Grabbers
The Babadook

Also, I thought The Descent was pretty damn good but I think I gave it a fair rating of 8/10 – I just feel it’s worth another mention.

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Hmm. I did this as I wanted a quick thing to post but it ended up taking ages with all those links. I should have just reviewed Big Game instead (FYI – I’m thinking I’ll give it a 6/10 but it probably doesn’t deserve it because it’s pretty bad!). Sorry I’ve not been around much lately. I have a lot of real life things to deal with & my weekends have been too busy, which is when I usually try to catch up on reading other blogs. The blogging thing will have to go on hold for a little bit but I’ll do my best to write more of my high quality reviews that I squeeze into my 30 minute lunch breaks. πŸ˜‰

Godzilla (2014) Review

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Godzilla (2014)

Directed by Gareth Edwards

Starring:
Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Ken Watanabe
Elizabeth Olsen
Juliette Binoche
Sally Hawkins
David Strathairn
Bryan Cranston

Running time: 123 minutes

Plot Synopsis:
Big monster destroys shit. Unfortunately, they attempt to write a plot around that.

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My Opinion:

I’ll keep this one short – I’m soooooooooooo far behind on reviews. So here’s the final review of my 4-movies-in-a-day madness from last week. The best by far was Edge Of Tomorrow, then X-Men: Days Of Future Past, then Godzilla, then A Million Ways To Die In The West.

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This was SO much like Pacific Rim: Cool ass action scenes with big monsters destroying shit. It was fun. Both movies were a lot of fun. But it also suffers from the same sort of boring script and uninteresting characters that Pacific Rim had. Everyone has reviewed this by now & everyone knows the main complaints: “Not enough Godzilla & we have to wait for ages until we finally see him.” YEP! Oh yeah – and, “Bryan Cranston screams & pouts a lot”. YEP! Oh, and I’ll add that Ken Watanabe just stands around looking completely gormless all the time. The hubby hasn’t seen this yet & asked if I’d want to go to it again with him. My reply was “can I just join you for the last hour?”. Aaron Taylor-Johnson was okay – I’ve never liked him all that much. But at least he had something to do here, other than his dad (Bryan Cranston) who was just acting all crazy and his wife (Elizabeth Olsen) who really had fuck all to do (other than leave her phone on silent when worrying about her husband & eagerly awaiting a call from him. Good thing there’s voicemail!).

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Wow. That all sounded really bitchy. The script is nothing special & the characters are pretty one-dimensional – So what? We really just want to see Godzilla destroy shit, right? The second half of the movie really picks up and we get lots of action and a Godzilla that looks pretty damn cool (to me, at least). I just wish I’d cared at least a LITTLE more about any of the characters. Oh well. It’s a popcorn movie with a big monster. It was fun. I wish I’d liked it a bit more than Cloverfield but I think I actually preferred that one. It’s worth going to in order to see it on a big screen, though. God what a shitty review. I clearly can’t be arsed with this review. (That’s “can’t be bothered” to you Americans). Here’s my rating!

My Rating: 5.5/10

**I’ve lowered my rating since a bunch of you moaned it was too high based on my bitchy review. Lol! I did have fun with the movie – I think I was just in a bad mood when I wrote this πŸ˜‰

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FYI: I suggest you all have a look at The IPC HERE to see the shenanigans that have been going on over there this week while The Big Cheese has been away. The Girls have taken over! It’s been a much lovelier (and nicer smelling) place since Eric has been gone. And today you can look at some male strippers! πŸ™‚