Thursday Movie Picks: Summer Break

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’s theme is Summer Break! We are in the midst of summer and I know that not just because it’s super hot all the time, but also because my birthday is nearing and people were always off on summer vacation, which was why I rarely celebrated. Enough about that useless information about my life. Let’s dive into the movies!

The Way, Way Back

I love this movie so freaking much! The message of the movie is so simple, but you really have to surround yourself with good people. Don’t let the toxic ones get to you. Also, everything Sam Rockwell is very likely to be a favorite. I’m a simple girl.

Adventureland

Ah yes, the time when you take the odd summer job. I keep forgetting who all is in this movie, but there’s so many well-known actors and comedians featured. I also just really like the idea of carnivals and amusement parks.

Magic Camp

I really wanted to include a typical summer camp movie! This one isn’t necessarily the most inventive or funny, but it’s the latest example I could think of. I suppose there was a reason they never even attempted to put it anywhere but direct to streaming though.

Raise Your Voice

Who said you actually had to take a break during summer break? Why not use that time to participate in a special music program to realize your dream? I had a huge Hilary Duff phase and this was one of the movies that stuck with me. Is it corny? Yeah. Do I mind? Nope.

The Lifeguard

Summer is also the time to get lost and take a break to reassess your life. I mean, you don’t have to, but things kind of slow down in summer and that makes it a perfect time to reflect. I can also highly relate to the quarter-life-crisis of it all.


What are some movies with summer breaks you enjoy? Let’s chat!

Thursday Movie Picks: Non-English Language Movies

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’re going to focus on Non-English language movies! There’s really so much content out there that gets dismissed because people would need subtitles or dubbing to watch them and that’s just not fair. As there’s a whole world of movies that can be explored this way and I find it really hard to pick, I decided to focus on films made in my mother tongue – German. (Please, no one come for me for not including Austrian movies … I feel the shame enough as is.) I also wanted to spotlight films that were sweet or fun and not too much of a downer. So, at least on my post, we have a theme within a theme!

Der Junge muss an die frische Luft/All About Me

This movie is the the biopic of a German comedic actor and had me laughing and crying in the movie theater. It was done so well, the boy is a fantastic actor and will go far. I was just in love with it in a way I never expected to. It hits all the emotional chords.

SMS für Dich/Text for You

I’ve seen this movie so many times, I have lost count entirely. Although it’s kind of messed up to play with the mind of a grieving person like that, I … found it endearing? I really, really love this movie. It’s one of my all time favorite German RomComs and has cemented Karoline Herfurth as a great director for me (even though I don’t love all her directorial work).

Vielmachglas/A Jar Full of Life

I remember being surprised by how deep this movie actually was, despite some really ridiculous scenes. In the end, the message was great.

Die wilden Kerle/The Wild Soccer Bunch

These movies (and I mean all of them!) shaped my childhood. Everyone was crushing on the guys or girls and it didn’t matter if you liked soccer or not – something about them was just magic. I played the soundtrack up and down and just wanted to go on an adventure.

Ruby Red Trilogy

This is based on a popular YA time travel book series and while the movies are super corny, they get better over time. I’m not sure what to think of the English dubbing, but maybe you can find it with subtitles instead?


I totally stuck to my juvenile taste again, but that’s just me. What are some movies in other languages you quite like? Let’s talk about that!

Thursday Movie Picks: Female Athletes

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 Female Athletes in movies and you might not believe that, but I actually quite enjoy sports-centric films. My favorite female sports character is in a TV show though and that’s Ginny Baker from Pitch – it’s a huge recommendation from me, despite FOX axing the show after just one season. I will never not be bitter about that. Anyway, on to movies!

Brittany Runs a Marathon

No one, and I mean absolutely no one, said it had to be about professional athletes. I remember watching this movie and sobbing my freaking eyes out, because it hit home in far too many ways. I haven’t watched it since, but I thought it was a great movie and way too under the radar for my taste. The trailer doesn’t even do it justice.

Bend it Like Beckham

I can’t get over the fact that I watched the movie and read the book at school, because this story was an actual treat. I feel like it’s a classic in the genre by now.

Ice Princess

Ice skating (and dancing) is an obsession of mine and yes, I could have gone more high brow and pick something like I, Tonya, but I wanted to go with my teenage dream. The whole “it’s never too late to get started”-vibe and how it married different interests was just so fun for me.

Stick It

Gymnastics are brutal, but this movie will forever be hilarious to me.


What are some sports movies with female athletes you like? I think Million Dollar Baby might be a common example this week, but I wanted to go with my usual more teen-esque picks!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects

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. Today we are tackling the categories Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. We’ve had two categories in one before and I think it worked alright, so I hope I can make this one work as well. I don’t think I pay as much attention to visual effects on an active level as I do with cinematography, but those are both such important elements of the industry. I found a lot of movies that were nominated and/or won in both categories, but I tried not to use the same movies in both for my list. Let’s dive in!

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Pan’s Labyrinth (Guillermo Navarro)

I love this movie, even though it breaks my heart every single time. It just has such an interesting atmosphere and the look definitely speaks for itself. I even read the book (you can find my review here) and felt like it just added to the magic.

Hugo (Robert Richardson)

It wasn’t my favorite movie, but I was utterly enchanted by the look of it. Just from the trailer alone, I thought “yes, I want to see what this is” and it looked so beautiful.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Ex Machina (Mark Williams Ardington, Sara Bennett, Paul Norris and Andrew Whitehurst)

You’ve heard me gush about Ex Machina before, because I love the cast and story. Alicia Vikander as a robot was so well done! I think that definitely earned them the Oscar.

Babe (Scott E. Anderson, Charles Gibson, Neal Scanlan and John Cox)

I just couldn’t resist featuring this movie, because I loved it as a kid. Talking farm animals were just the best. Need I say more? I probably should, but I don’t know what … just that I’ve never seen it in English and feel odd not hearing it in the German dubbed version.


What did you think of my picks? Which movies would you have chosen? Let’s talk!

TMP – TV Edition: Fish Out of Water

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.

As it so happens, we change it up once per month and talk about TV shows instead of movies and today in particular is all about the theme Fish Out of Water! I quite like shows where a character is just so out of their element, I’m really looking forward to see what everyone else comes up with as well. Here we go!

Ted Lasso

Ted Lasso has become one of my all time favorite shows in no time whatsoever! I cannot wait for the new season to start airing by the end of July, because I just need my comfort show back. But what makes it so fish out of water? Well, Ted, an American Football coach (college football at most), gets hired as the coach for a premier league football/soccer team in England – hilarity ensues!

The Nanny

Did Fran have any experience taking care of children? Did she previously run in the circles of the rich and famous of New York’s Broadway scene? No, to both of those things. Didn’t mean it wasn’t a perfect fit in the end. I love that the show is getting some love again, because it’s now on streaming platforms.

Schitt’s Creek

Rich people not knowing how to deal is so funny to me. And Schitt’s Creek as a whole meant a lot to me as a show. I have to admit I still haven’t found it in me to watch the final season. I will, though … one day.

The O.C. 

Unconsciously, I have made up a theme with these last three examples, because they are all about the rich/poor divide in some sense. The O.C. was my obsession back in the day, I loved the characters all so much. I think I was one of the few people who was actually happy to see Taylor get a more prominent role in the later seasons though … neurotic characters like hers always knew how to draw me in. They remind me of me, I suppose.


What are some of your favorite fish out of water style shows? What did you think of my picks? Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks – Period Dramas

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 about period dramas! According to online definitions, a period drama is any television or film production set during a particular historic period that is characterized by clearly recognizable costumes, set design and props. What you consider to be a specific historic period, is up for interpretation though, but I think I’d say a minimum of about 100 years? But that’s just my thoughts! Let’s dive into my examples!

Testament of Youth

Testament of Youth is a film based on the memoirs and diaries of Vera Brittain, a nurse, writer, feminist and pacifist, who made it her mission to fight for the lives lost during World War I and for them to not be forgotten. The movie was absolutely heartbreaking to watch and while I could not get through her entire memoir, I understand why it was chosen to be adapted.

Pride & Prejudice (2005)

The 2005 version of Pride & Prejudice was my first introduction to Jane Austen and I have loved watching and reading her material ever since. I think I’ve seen almost all the different adaptations of her work, except for the latest version of Emma, which I still plan to watch as soon as possible. Still, P&P has a special place in my heart.

The King

I know that The King is a Netflix movie, but I’m glad I got to see it in a theater. The visuals are really quite stunning, even if I did not love all aspects of the story and the characters. It will also forever be hilarious how Robert Pattinson butchered the French accent.

Summer in February

Summer in February is based on a real artist community from the UK. I honestly don’t know if I remember the movie or the book on this one, because I definitely read it first. It’s not the best movie out there, but I loved the cast and the deep dive into artists minds. That’s just something I always enjoy quite a lot.


What are some of your favorite period dramas? Let’s talk about that!

Underrated Books I Love (aka books with less than 5,000 ratings on GR)

I’ve recently seen this post over @Kristin Kraves Books, where she highlighted some books that had less than 5,000 ratings on Goodreads, but which she enjoyed a whole lot. I loved that idea so much and was surprised by how few ratings there were on some of my favorite reads from the past months, which is why I compiled my own list of seriously underrated books! I hope you enjoy it and maybe feel compelled to pick one of them up!

Any Place But Here – 28 ratings

Any Place But Here

To be fair, this book released less than two weeks ago, but I haven’t really heard of anyone who wanted to pick it up yet. Despite me finding some flaws in the story here and there, I really enjoyed it and want to give you a mini-insight on what to expect from this read:

  • photography nerds
  • strained family dynamic
  • changing relationships/friendships
  • exploration of sexuality
  • growing up and growing apart

Read my full review here!

The Summer of Broken Rules – 121 ratings

The Summer of Broken Rules

I have the absolute warmest memory of The Summer of Broken Rules and almost wish I could read it anew all over again. Like the previous pick, it’s also only been out in the world for about two weeks, so I expect the ratings to go up, but I still wanted to showcase it early on. I’m going to keep the bullet-point format going for what these books are about, so here are some short teasers:

  • big warm family vibes
  • feeling like you’re on a vacation
  • loss of a loved one
  • grief vs. joy
  • instant adorably hilarious love connection

Read my full review here!

Soulswift – 627 ratings

Soulswift

This book took my heart by storm and I cannot fathom how there aren’t more people out there who have read it. A lot of the time, due to Fantasy worlds being quite complex, stories like Soulswift tend to be part of a series, but it’s actually a wonderful standalone.

  • enemies to lovers
  • period talk in Fantasy world
  • exploration of faith
  • universe in balance
  • ending WILL make you cry
  • I’m still in pain

Read my full review here!

This Is Not A Ghost Story – 742 ratings

This Is Not a Ghost Story

As you all know, I went on a bit of ghost-centric reading binge last year, where almost all books I dealt with had some shape or form of ghosts in them for months. I still don’t think this was intentional, but here we are.

  • unique narrator
  • slightly creepy
  • controversial ending

Read my full review here!

Hana Khan Carries On – 904 ratings

Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On has been in the world for a month now and I just want to more people to enjoy it. I had such a great time while reading, because Hana is just a fantastic narrator, even when I disagreed on certain things the characters did.

  • South East Asian Muslim MC
  • Toronto based
  • podcast and radio love
  • enemies to lovers
  • “You’ve Got Mail” vibes
  • finding your voice!!
  • importance of community

Read my full review here!

Lock & Mori – 2,746 ratings

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori, #1)

Lock & Mori is the first book in a trilogy, which showcases a teen version of Sherlock Holmes and James Moriarty (a female incarnation in this version) and how they met and became “enemies”. All of it is told from Mori’s POV, which was what originally enticed me to pick it up.

  • AU Sherlock/Moriarty
  • meet the genius while he was still an awkward teen
  • nurture vs. nature
  • abusive homelife
  • could be a CW TV show

Read my full review here!

Charming as a Verb – 2,965 ratings

Charming as a Verb

I just love Ben Philippe’s books. And I want him to succeed so bad, because that means I get more books! It’s really simple math right here, but he became an auto-buy-author for me the second I first read one of his books.

  • Black Haitian own voices rep
  • realistic struggle with college applications and senior year
  • meet cute that starts with blackmail
  • great NYC setting and Montreal mention
  • funny banter

Read my full review here!

The Light Between Worlds – 3,140 ratings

The Light Between Worlds

When I first read The Light Between Worlds, it destroyed me! It’s not the first book dealing with children who go into a magical land and then have to deal with reality as grown ups, but it hit me really hard. I’m sure I cried through 100 pages straight.

  • mental health issues/suicidal ideation
  • leaving part of yourself in another place/world
  • bond between siblings
  • formidable love interests

Read my full review here!

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo – 3,220 ratings

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, #1)

Back in the day I saw everyone talk about The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, but the ratings now do not reflect that at all. I really thought it would have much more, but here we are with it deserving double, triple and whatnot in reality.

  • action, romance, comedy
  • HILARIOUS
  • Chinese folktales and mythology
  • balancing school and superpowers

Read my full review here!

Echo North – 3,539 ratings

Echo North (Echo North, #1)

Echo North is one of those quietly beautiful magical books. It won’t destroy you, but it will leave you whimsical for mirrors that can take you to other worlds and wolves to fall in love with. It borrowed quite a bit from existing fairy tales, but made it completely its own thing.

  • lush setting
  • fairy tale vibes
  • fated love
  • just-roll-with-it magic

Read my full review here!


Have you read any of the books I mentioned or do you plan to? What are some actually underrated books you love? Let’s talk about it!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Director

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. We already talked about Best Picture, Best Actor/Actress as well as Supporting Actor/Actress, but today is all about Directors. As I like to do so often, I’m going to feature my favorite winners, but also include a little section with nominees I think also deserved the award.

Bong Joon-ho with Parasite

Bong Joon-ho made history with Parasite for a reason. Despite this movie not really being in a genre I love, I could not not feature it on the list. I really thought it would open up future award shows for more representation and diversity in the films and people they select, but they still have miles to go.

Danny Boyle with Slumdog Millionaire

I know this movie isn’t flawless, but I had a great time watching it. Many people know Dev Patel from Skins, but this movie is actually how I got introduced to him as an actor and I have loved his journey and following his career ever since.

Kathryn Bigelow with The Hurt Locker

Can you believe that the first woman director who won an Oscar was Kathryn Bigelow in 2010? Looking at the nominees of the past decades was a sobering experience. I’m glad that Chloé Zhao has won now too, although I haven’t seen Nomadland yet.

Nominees Who Would Have (Also) Deserved the Win

As mentioned above, it’s not that I want to take the award away from the actual winners of any particular year, but sometimes I just liked other nominees as well. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Jordan Peele (Get Out)
  • Denis Villeneuve (Arrival)
  • Wes Anderson (The Grand Budapest Hotel)
  • Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot)
  • Peter Weir (The Truman Show)
  • Steven Spielberg (E.T.)

What are some of your favorite directors? Not even necessarily just some that have won the Academy Award. Let’s talk!

Thursday Movie Picks – Psychological Thriller

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 Psychological Thrillers. I like them more than regular crime or horror movies, but once again, not my field of expertise. I’m such a sucker for fluff and comedy and just regular dramas, but this darker stuff really isn’t my wheelhouse. I will still try to give you my best picks!

*the genre of the following movies is probably debatable, but I picked them from the most popular list of psycho thrillers on IMDB … so, take up the classification with them*

Gossip

I watched this movie up and down when I was younger. It actually has a really excellent cast, but barely anyone I know has seen it. Basically, it’s a study of what happens when you put fake rumors into the world and how wrong things go when they develop a life of their own.

Ex Machina

I like my thrillers sci-fi based? Again, Ex Machina has a fantastic cast and deserved its praise back in the day. They weren’t the first to talk about sentient “machines”, but they did it well and I enjoyed it quite more than I expected.

The Invisible Man

I rarely do horror, but Oliver Jackson Cohen is the exception! He can get me to watch just about anything (I really mean that. I watched some terrible stuff, but also brilliant projects he was in) and he is one of my favorite on screen villains. Although, I also love it when he is the genuine love interest … anyway – probably not the most impacting horror movie ever, but the reality of someone gaslighting you and making you seem crazy to the world is my worst nightmare!

Inception

So many friends tell me they were confused by the movie, but I wasn’t really and I loved the dream-hopping and idea planting. Is it really a thriller? I don’t know, but it has several psychological aspects and it was number one on the imdb list.


What are some psychological thrillers you enjoyed? Did you watch any of the ones I mentioned?

What to watch now that WandaVision is over?

I know we will all be feeling the hole that WandaVision leaves in our TV schedules (read my Spoiler-filled review of the finale here). There’s nothing really quite like it out there at the moment, but I still think I can come up with some good alternatives and complementary TV shows and movies. This is not a definite guide and I’m sure there’s more and possibly better recommendations out there, but I hope you will find something to dive into here!

Want more of Elizabeth Olsen dealing with grief?

I think this show went under a lot of people’s radar, but it’s actually phenomenal. Sorry for Your Loss follows recently widowed Elizabeth Olsen and her close family as they deal with the doubts, anger and repercussions of losing a loved one. You know how good she portrays this particular emotion already if you have finished WandaVision, so why not hurt alongside her some more?

Need another unusual TV show focusing on female leads and relationships?

WandaVision, in my humble opinion, had a lot of great women front and center and I think it’s so important to show healthy female friendships and relationships, which is why Dollface, a fun and quirky show came to mind (it did get an extra plus point for featuring our Darcy Lewis – Kat Dennings). After a break up, Dennings’ character realizes she has neglected all her friends and now feels the need to reconnect with them. She is guided through that journey by a cat-lady (as literal as cat-lady can get).

Wish Jimmy Woo was the love interest in a movie?

I know a lot of you have fallen in love with adorkable FBI agent Jimmy Woo, portrayed by Randall Park, over the past couple of weeks. He’s been in business for quite a while, but why not watch one of his recent movies where he gets to be the main love interest? I know I loved seeing it! So, check out Always Be My Maybe and swoon some more with me.

Could do with a show that has the potential to confuse and emotionally touch you with a possible multiverse?

Usually, I like to say as little as possible about the OA, because it’s such a special and unique show. Unfortunately, it was cancelled before its time, but still gave us an amazing two seasons and ending on a mindblowing meta ending.
This show is for you if you don’t mind slow storytelling that focuses on characters and that always leaves you with more questions than answers. I don’t think I can say more.

Something really meta where the characters are in a TV show?

Dramaworld could possibly serve as a little palette cleanser after WandaVision. I loved how Wanda’s reality celebrated TV and there are many shows that do something similar, but I also like when people “stumble” into shows and then have to pretend to be characters. This is exactly what happens in Dramaworld, which is a very short, fun 1-season-show with a bit of an open end and a strong KDrama inspiration.

Just want to prepare for the next Marvel project?

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier starts in two weeks (March 19 to be exact), which gives everyone enough time to catch up on any missing Marvel projects. I know that WandaVision has drawn a new crowd to the Marvel universe and sometimes left them confused when references weren’t understood due to lack of prior knowledge of the universe. I doubt The Falcon and the Winter Soldier will be as intricate and theory-inducing as WandaVision, but just in case, now is the time to rewatch or get aquainted with the material.
If you are like me and you do not have the stamina to go through all of this again, there are neat short videos on Disney+ labeled Marvel Studio Legends that recap the arcs of the characters.


I want to apologize for not including anything specific to Teyonah Parris in this post! I have seen some of her work, but nowhere near enough to know what to recommend yet. I fully plan on doing a deep dive into her filmography and can’t wait to see her again in Captain Marvel 2. Although, let’s be real, Monica Rambeau deserves her own spin-off!


What did you think of this list? Would you like to watch anything on it? Does something come to mind you’d recommend after WandaVision? Let’s talk!