TMP – TV Edition: Mystery

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

As it so happens, we change it up once per month and talk about TV shows instead of movies and today is all about shows in the Mystery genre! I feel like that’s such a huge pool to draw from, because there’s also a million sub-genres, that I’m super curious to see what everyone will come up with. Here are my picks!

Yellowjackets

Two episodes in and I am disturbed yet fascinated, grossed out but curious. It’s not a show for everybody and I find myself not being able to stomach some things, but it’s still interesting. I like the different timelines and how we only slowly uncover what happened and to what extent the situation really escalated. They went into more than just survival mode.

Only Murders in the Building

I didn’t think this was going to be for me, but it was so fun, I binged it all in a day or two! It has those typical amateur detective elements, but really great twists and hilarious cameos on the way. I enjoyed it a lot and am glad to know there’s another season coming.

Cruel Summer

Throughout the entire show, I kept finding myself going back and forth on who to believe and who to trust. I really liked the ending too, because of the implications it held, even if that meant that it wasn’t really closed. It works as a limited series for me.


I definitely went with more recent shows! What do you think? What are some of your mystery picks?

Thursday Movie Picks: Book Adaptations

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today we shall talk about Book Adaptations, which most of you will know, is a topic I’ve talked about on numerous occasions here. Seen as this blog is dedicated to books, TV shows, movies and really anything I can think about, it does tend to be a repeat subject.


Here are some examples of previous posts regarding adaptations:


I’m going to try my very best to not to repeat myself too much from previous posts (and to stick to movies and not TV shows). There’s not really a theme here, other than that I have actually read all the books for the movies as well as watched them. (Because there’s still some books I haven’t watched and some films I haven’t read … if that makes sense.)

Stardust

Stardust is one of my absolute favorite comfort movies and I can watch it pretty much any day, whenever it is on. There’s no such thing as too much Stardust. I also have to say that I enjoy the movie more than the book, because I didn’t actually connect to Neil Gaiman’s writing at all. I know he is brilliant and a much beloved author, but this book wasn’t really it for me. The movie is where it’s really at!

Charlie St. Cloud

I read this book after watching the trailer, while I was doing my internship in the French countryside. Something about this story was just magical and although I think the movie didn’t capture that as well as the book, I still enjoyed both.

The Spectacular Now

The Spectacular Now is one of those cases where I thought I would really enjoy both, the movie and the book, but ended up feeling very confused about both. It’s not a fluffy teen romance at all, it has a deceptively amount of depth. It’s even quite sad …

Dumplin’

I cried watching and reading Dumplin’. It’s a really beautiful story, but it was interesting to see on what different aspects the two variations focused on. I remember the book featuring more of Bo (who I adore as a love interest), while the movie had a clear focus on the mother-daughter-relationship. Then again, how could you not utilize having Jennifer Aniston in your movie …

This Is Where I Leave You

I have a thing for grief explorations and complex family dynamics, so I was immediately drawn to This Is Where I Leave You. The book obviously has the room to go much more into depth on some of the relationships, which I missed in certain scenes, but generally, it was a well done movie. Some things were even improved (thank the lord we didn’t have to hear Judd’s horny thoughts all day long).


What are some of book to movie adaptations you like? Let’s talk about those!

Thursday Movie Picks: Dream Sequences

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is all about Dream Sequences! I honestly couldn’t think of a single one from the top of my head, which just means that dream sequences aren’t something I pay a lot of attention to. Either way, we are … or rather I am going to try and come up with some.

Inception

Does it count when basically the whole movie is a dream? I’m just going to say yes. Inception had such a great concept and I loved the world of possibilities it opened up. I really enjoyed watching that movie back in the day, although I haven’t revisited it much to be honest.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Walter Mitty’s daydreams were wild and ridiculous at times and then really beautiful as well. I love that movie, despite some flaws, because it’s just such a great motivator to be brave and go into the world. It’s also just very human.

Grease

Okay, who could ever forget the Beauty School Dropout scene? I sure couldn’t, so it made this list. Grease didn’t age particularly well, but it’s one of the musical movies I enjoy more than others.


What are some dream sequences in movies you enjoy? Do you tend to remember those very vividly or did you have to look it up? Let’s talk!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Animated Movie

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is once again part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will continue to be a reoccurring theme during each month. After having taken a break during October in favor of a Halloween theme, we are back with Best Animated Movies. I can’t really recall watching an animated movie BUT I can proudly say that I have watched every single movie that has won an Oscar for best animated feature. The category “only” exists since around 2000, so I didn’t have that much to comb through, but how exciting? I think I genuinely liked 90% of the movies, so narrowing it down will be hard.

Spirited Away

I highly doubt I understood what this movie really entailed when I watched it as a little kid, but I definitely knew right away that it was something special. I fell in love with the style of animation, the quirkiness and oddness of the story, the (to me) unexpected depth. To this day, it’s my favorite Miyazaki movie.

Big Hero 6

Baymax being absolutely adorable aside, I loved the family aspect of this, especially the relationship between Hiro and Tadashi. I don’t know what else to say. It was really good.

Inside Out

This movie wrecked me when I watched it. There are so many layers to it and still, it works for children just as well as for adults. I’ve seen it several times now and found something new to appreciate upon each rewatch.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

The animation for this movie is impeccable. The characters amazing. Miles Morales being front and center is pure satisfaction. You know me to be a Marvel simp, but I never expected to be that much into the animation. I usually prefer live-action, but this might just be the best Spider-Man movie we have.

Soul

Not gonna lie, Soul put me into a bit of an existential crisis, but in a good way. Totally in a good way! Pixar … they get me every single time.

Some of my Favorite Nominees

As I’ve stated in the beginning, I really enjoyed almost all the winners. They are fantastic movies, but I also wanted to give a quick shout out to some of my favorite nominees:

  • Brother Bear
  • Lilo & Stitch
  • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
  • Monsters Inc.
  • Coraline
  • The Princess and the Frog
  • Wreck-It Ralph
  • Klaus

I’m pretty sure all of those movies also made me cry at one point or another. So, I kind of even had a theme within the theme? Still, movies like Finding Nemo, Shrek, Wall-E, Up and so many more would have just as equally deserved to be mentioned this week. What are some of your favorite Best Animated Feature winners?

Spooky Books That Didn’t Give Me Nightmares!

We all know that I don’t do well with scary stuff, but because I am terribly slow at reading this month and I want to give you some bookish content, I thought it would be best to make a list of spooky books – that didn’t give me nightmares? Which, just to be clear, is what I want in books. Mildly spooky or full of ghosts or whatever, but not something that will leave a mark of terror on me. So, beware that this is a very tame list and obviously a very subjective one.

*If you click on the title, you will get redirected to my full review, which includes trigger warnings!*

The Taking of Jake Livingston

The Taking of Jake Livingston

I’ve seen opinions differ on this one, but I really enjoyed reading it. First of all, it’s a very short book. Some might say that the fast pacing hinders an emotional connection, but I teared up at some of Jake’s revelations, so I really don’t think that was a disadvantage for me. In addition to that, I liked the dual POV, even if bits of it felt disjointed. This is totally something you can read in one sitting!

Spooky elements: ghosts, relived deaths, possessions

My rating: 3.5 stars

Dark and Shallow Lies

Dark and Shallow LiesThe setting and the atmosphere for this one was great. As a supernatural thriller, it did keep me guessing in part, while I figured out a lot (gut feeling is rarely wrong) early on. It especially focuses on grief and how irrational we can become because of it. While I would have wished for some aspects to be explored further, I liked the vibes of this one.

Spooky elements: supernatural predators, swamp legends, potential mysterious serial killers?

My rating: 3.5 stars

Don’t Tell a Soul

Don't Tell a SoulI like books that teeter the line between ghosts and people just imagining things in their terror. This book was alright and definitely handled the creepy atmosphere well, however, there were a lot of characters that could have been explored deeper. Because of the main character being so closed off and us only getting secondhand information on everyone, it wasn’t easy to connect to the different players.

Spooky elements: haunted house, ghost girls

My rating: 3 stars

This Is Not a Ghost Story

This Is Not a Ghost StoryThis book surprised me, to be completely honest. I can see how the voice of the narrator/main character might not be for everyone, but I liked it. The ending is also very controversial, so I’d understand if people disagreed with me, but I had a grand time reading this one. It flowed nicely, gave me little scares, but resolved it in a way that felt very human.

Spooky elements: haunted house, spirits and danger everywhere

My rating: 4.5 stars

Watch Over Me

Watch Over MeI’m a huge Nina LaCour fan and this was not my favorite book, but it’s still fantastic in its own way. I get that she can write beautiful stories that evoke emotions in you, this was no exception, but somehow it felt less polished than the others I have read. As always, it was whimsical and filled with grief and heart. LaCour just knows what she’s doing.

Spooky elements: trauma, ghosts

My rating: 3 stars

Ninth House

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)This book was a lot. I do prefer Leigh Bardugo’s other series, but she still has me hooked on some of the characters here (I so fell for Darlington and Dawes). I like the world she built, I’m also curious how it continues, but it’s very heavy in parts – both in terms of content and descriptions. This is a field day for Yale fans, but I could have done with a little less campus talk.

Spooky elements: ghosts, secret magical society (with loads of sinister occult activities)

My rating: 3.5 stars

Burn Our Bodies Down

Burn Our Bodies DownI went into this book with completely wrong expectations. I thought it was going to be a mere family drama, but oh no – it is creepy! I didn’t end up enjoying this one very much, but I know others loved it, so it seemed fitting on this list.

Spooky elements: buried secrets (literally) – anything more would be spoilers

My rating: 2 stars


What are some mild but still spooky reads you enjoyed? Have you read anything I mentioned? Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks: Folk or Urban Legend (Halloween Edition)

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

The entirety of October is dedicated to a special Halloween Edition, meaning we’ll take a look at themes through the lens of Spooktober! Today’s topic is all about Folk and Urban Legends. Me being me, I have always had a knack for Folk Legends more than the Urban ones, I suppose. To me folk legends just means fairy tales, because that’s where fairy tales originated from. I do realize that folk tales are usually without an accredited author and passed on orally, but hey, I don’t do spooky well, so that’s the drift you’ll be getting from this post. Hope you enjoy!

Red Riding Hood

This is what you get when you try to make a fairy tale for teens during the heydays of Twilight. It’s full of angst and love triangles, but teen me ate it up. I know it’s a silly movie, but the werewolf premise did intrigue me and I would have been lying if I had said, I didn’t want a sequel to it. I might have also been slightly in love with Max Irons … maybe … possibly.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

I watched this movie in 3D in cinemas and I had a blast. I know it’s silly and all, but sometimes that’s just what you need? Also, this is one of the few roles I like seeing Jeremy Renner in. Gemma Arterton is just always amazing, so there’s no debating here.

Snow White & the Huntsman

I thought this movie was beautifully shot. It’s not actually all that spooky, but oh well, I still picked it. I listened to that soundtrack up and down and even bought the book, cause the movie never even mentioned the Huntsman’s name. Rude.

Pan’s Labyrinth

This is probably the only movie that actually fits the prompt, but what can you do? I told you all that I would be struggling to come up with picks for this month, but I still tried. This is not the first time I’ve used Pan’s Labyrinth for my TMP posts, so I won’t go into detail. I just like it a lot.


What are some of your favorite movies about folk and urban legends? I’m assuming we will see a lot of Candyman suggestions this week, but I’m way too much of a wuzz to watch that.

Thursday Movie Picks: School (Halloween Edition)

It’s Thursday, which means it’s time for the Thursday Movie Picks feature. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

The entirety of October is dedicated to a special Halloween Edition, meaning we’ll take a look at themes through the lens of Spooktober! Today, though, is all about School! I’m not the best at scary movie stuff, which is intrinsically linked to Halloween for me, but I’ll try my very best! I’m not even sure if slightly scary movies will be enough, or if it should actually be set during Halloween. We shall see what I can come up with …

The Covenant

People say this movie is really bad. I know a couple of actors, who don’t exactly love to talk about it, but I was obsessed with it back in the day. Maybe, I just liked looking at those boys, but it was mildly scary and the most I could do without being terrified. I hope you’ll grant me this pick.

Carrie

I know people didn’t love this version of Carrie, but I didn’t hate it? I loved the marketing for it though, that was AMAZING. If you haven’t seen it, I’ll post the video below as well.

Halloweentown High

Halloweentown movies were my jam as a kid. There’s technically also one set in college, but we don’t talk about that one, because they replaced the main actress? I’ll never truly understand.

Freaky

I haven’t seen this one YET. I really, really want to though, because it seems like such a fun take on the Freaky Friday concept and the cast is super fun as well.


I would have picked Jennifer’s Body, but I just used the movie last week. I have a feeling that this month won’t be easy for me … what did you think of my picks? Let’s chat!

Thursday Movie Picks: Outlaws

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today we are here to talk about Outlaws! My mind immediately goes to the Wild West, but that’s not all there is to outlaws of course. We shall see what I can actually come up with for today. From the top of my head, not too many movies come to mind, so I’m changing things up and will use movies I haven’t watched yet, but am looking forward to!

Concrete Cowboy

A modern view on cowboys and I’m here for it. Are there really any outlaws in the movie? Debatable, for sure. But 15-year-old Cole is definitely in trouble at school and on the verge of doing some stupid stuff, so I’ll let that slide.

The Harder They Fall

I swear this is one of my most anticipated Netflix releases of the year. This cast has me fawning all over them and it just looks really good. I cannot wait to watch it.

High Ground

Former lawmen becoming outlaws in a way, I like the idea of that. Also, this seems extremely layered and complex, so I’m intrigued.


So, this turned into more of a theme within a theme than intended, but what can you do? What would have been some of your picks? Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks: Actors or Actresses Playing Themselves

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

Today’s theme is all about actors and actresses that played themselves. I think there’s room for interpretation with that theme. Is it people who mostly or only ever play characters that are super close to their own personality? Or are we talking about actors and actresses that literally played themselves (be it as a cameo or more) in a movie? Well, I decided for myself that I’m going to go with the latter, however, I didn’t just pick actors but also just celebs in general for this feature.

Keanu Reeves: Always Be My Maybe

I adore Keanu Reeves! He is an odd dude, but he never takes himself too seriously, which is why his role in Always Be My Maybe was simply brilliant. He briefly played the love interest for the main character and I laughed every time he was on screen. I miss him in more light-hearted stuff sometimes.

Julia Roberts: Ocean’s 12

This appearance was super meta and I was here for it! Basically, Julia Roberts’ character pretends to be Julia Roberts, so there’s always that!

LeBron James: Trainwreck

LeBron James having a friendship with Bill Hader’s character was so funny. I loved it and would have watched many more scenes with just the two of them.

Ed Sheeran: Yesterday

Confession time: I’m not the biggest Ed Sheeran fan. I get that many people love his music, but I’m just not that head over heels into it. However, it was fun to see him in Yesterday and become a mentor of the lead character in a way, while he was also baffled someone was a better songwriter than him.

Dustin Hoffman: The Holiday

It was so brief, blink and you might have missed it. But I love The Holiday and I felt compelled to mention it. What can you do?

Dustin Hoffman in The Holiday
credit: Universal Pictures

What are some cameos or full on roles of actors, actresses and celebs of any kind you liked in movies? Let’s talk about that!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Original Score and Best Original Song

It’s Thursday and I’m back with a new Thursday Movie Picks feature post. This series is hosted by Wandering through the Shelves and offers you a weekly prompt to post some movie recommendations/talking points according to the theme. Usually, you are supposed to post about 3-5 examples, which I find a very manageable amount.

This week is once again part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will continue to be a reoccurring theme during each month. As was evident from the post title, we are dealing with Best Original Song and Best Original Score this time around – another two for one post! Music is such an important component to filmmaking, as is sound design in general. I’m looking forward to diving into some good music today!

Best Original Score

Soul

(Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Batiste)

Soul was a beautiful movie that lived off of music, so it only makes sense to mention it here. Jazz in general might not be for everyone, but I’m sure it can enchant you here. (Also, it’s not like it’s all “just” jazz.)

Black Panther

(Ludwig Göransson)

I’ve mentioned Black Panther a lot for these posts, but 1) I’m happy when superhero movies get recognition from the Academy and 2) the movie was fantastic/iconic/a whole movement. If I hear a certain rhythm of tribal drums, I immediately think of Wakanda and/or the Dora Milaje. The score did THAT!

Finding Neverland

(Jan A. P. Kaczmarek)

I was obsessed with this movie when I was like 11 years old. I’m sure I watched it 20+ times and I cried every single one of them. To me, that movie was pure magic and my Peter Pan loving heart was all in.

Best Original Song

Man or Muppet (The Muppets)

(music and lyrics by Bret McKenzie)

Is this song ridiculous? Absolutely! Did it still get stuck in my head? Yes, it sure did!

Remember Me (Coco)

(music and lyrics by Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez)

My favorite song from Coco is actually “Un Poco Loco”, but this one made me tear up in the end. So, it deserves to be on this list.

Falling Slowly (Once)

(music and lyrics by Glen Hansard & Markéta Irglová)

I just love the song! All the more for getting covered on a show I love (Good Trouble), but that’s another story.

You’ll Be In My Heart (Tarzan)

(music and lyrics by Phil Collins)

I love the whole soundtrack. Phil Collins doing all the songs in dozens of languages, despite not speaking them, was just the cherry on top. I will admit to having grown up with mostly the German versions of the Tarzan songs, but it is (next to the Anastasia soundtrack) one of the most played CDs of my childhood.

Honorable Mentions

I couldn’t go without a little shout out to some more songs that I loved and that were nominated, however, didn’t win.

  • Mystery of Love by Sufjan Stevens (Call Me by Your Name)
  • Lost Stars from the movie Begin Again (performed by Keira Knightley and Adam Levine in different versions)
  • Coming Home from the movie Country Strong (which has a fantastic soundtrack in general)
  • A LOT of Disney songs …
  • Tron: Legacy was snubbed for Best Score, because it was never even nominated. You can fight me on that, but I’ll stick to that opinion.

Which songs and scores would have made it onto your list? What did you think of my selection? Let’s talk about that!