Thursday Movie Picks – 2020 Releases

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.

Since this week is all about our favourite 2020 releases, I want to direct you to my Top 10 movies of 2020 post, which you can read here! However, that list was about the movies I had watched that year but not necessarily only ones that released then. So, to not just duplicate it in part anyway, I wanted to highlight one movie from every streaming service I could think of/watched.

Uncle Frank (Amazon Prime Video)

This movie. It was sad but also beautiful and I loved the characters. I think it went kind of under the radar, as did many movies last year, but would deserve a bit more attention.

Palm Springs (Hulu)

Palm Springs is a whacky movie, but in all the best ways. The whole groundhog-day-scenario can get so tiresome, but they managed a fresh take on it that was fun to watch.

The Half of It (Netflix)

I’ve mentioned this movie so often, I don’t even think I still need to explain why it is beautiful, authentic and worth the watch.

Clouds (Disney+)

I always feel weird judging movies that are based on real people, especially ones that are very, very recent. I remember Zach’s song when it first released and it truly wasn’t that long ago. Anyway, due to the personal connection director Justin Baldoni had with Zach, this movie is incredibly moving. There were some creative liberties taken, but I started crying about 20 minutes in and did not stop until the end of it all.

Amazing Stories “The Cellar” (Apple TV+)

Okay, this is actually the first episode in the Amazing Stories series, but it felt like a mini-movie and was really lovely. Considering that it was barely an hour long, it really fit a lot of story and emotion in it. Also, Victoria Pedretti and Dylan O’Brien will always be great arguments for any content. They made a great team together.

I vow to watch one of the Apple TV+ movies soon though! Maybe On The Rocks!


What are some of your favourite 2020 releases? Let’s talk!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Picture

A new year, a new sub-category on 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.

This week is part of the Oscar Winner Edition, which will pop up every now and then during the year and will let us focus on movies that received the Academy Award. I have a confession to make here and it is that I often skip the critically acclaimed stuff and rather watch my unknown indies or the super mainstream stuff, but let’s try and see what I can talk about in terms of Best Picture winners anyway.

Parasite

This movie made history for a reason. I watched it with part of my family and I am pretty sure that the majority did not enjoy it and it was a bit violent for me too at times, but the subject matter and execution were still 100% worthy of the four awards. I can still remember almost everything about it so clearly and the subtitles were no issue at all. Get over those, people!

 The King’s Speech

I had this super strong obsession with Madonna’s movie W./E., which is about the brother King George took over for. It was lovely to see the other side of the story and especially his struggles with his stutter and how he overcame it in the King’s Speech. Also, Colin Firth is always very enjoyable to watch.

Slumdog Millionaire

Not saying this movie is perfect in terms of representation at all, but I watched this on the plane home from the US when I was 15. I was both excited to see my parents again, but also deeply sad that I had to go back home. It was such an odd mix of emotions and with the flight seeming endless, this movie actually managed to occupy my brain quite well. For that, I appreciate it a lot.

Nominees Who Would Have (Also) Deserved the Win

The Academy can obviously vote however they like, but here are some movies I also liked (this does not mean they always should have won instead of the actual winner, but are stuff I enjoyed):

  • Little Women
  • Jojo Rabbit
  • Black Panther
  • Lady Bird
  • Get Out
  • Arrival
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close


I am sure I have watched more than those winners, but maybe this really isn’t the category I am best at. We shall see how I fare in future versions of this Oscar related post. What are some Best Picture winners you enjoyed?

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies by Female Directors

As we’ve established by now, I am doing 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.

Today’s theme is movies directed by female directors! In general, I adore that as an idea, because why not celebrate the women who make amazing content? I was just struggling to decide whether to give in to the idea that women make great romance movies (cause they do) or to focus on other genres as well. I hope I made a decent mix of things, but also … I like certain genres more and watch more along the lines of romance, comedy or family drama. And, I really focused on recent releases, because I like new things.

The Broken Hearts Gallery – Natalie Krinsky

There’s so many bad romantic comedies every year that I cherish the good ones like nothing else. This may have replaced Set It Up as my favourite RomCom and that means a lot!

The Half of It – Alice Wu

This movie was so good! The cinematography is top notch and the meaning behind the imagery and its symbolism is worthy of an entire thesis if you ask me.

Late Night/The High Note – Nisha Ganatra

You get a two for one here! Both of these movies focus on strong women in their respective fields of work. It’s about lifting up a future generation and has sweet romance notes without being the focus at all. I enjoyed them both a lot.

Little Women – Greta Gerwig

I just love this movie. I will always love this movie. I know I only mentioned it a couple posts ago, but I could probably find a way to mention Little Women in every single post if I tried.

The Party’s Just Beginning – Karen Gillan

This was Karen Gillan’s first feature length directing effort and a very personal story set in Scotland. It’s definitely to be watched with caution, because it leaves you in a very sad state of mind. Trigger warnings for suicide and depression are necessary, but it was still an amazing movie.

The Old Guard – Gina Prince-Bythewood

Gine Prince-Bythewood is not new to the scene, having directed gems such as Love & Basketball or Beyond the Lights (which I can also 100% recommend). But it’s still more on the rare side that women get to direct action movies, so, I wanted to mention The Old Guard. While I will agree that it’s a character-driven movie on the slow-paced side, which also feels a bit like a prequel set-up for a franchise, I really, really enjoyed it.


Yeah … I couldn’t hold back today. I hope you won’t mind that there are a couple more film picks this week! What are some of your favourite movies directed by women?

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies for Seniors/The Elderly

As I have announced last week, I am now going to take part in 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.

Today I am going to present to you some movies for seniors/the elderly! What exactly does that mean? I think it’s pretty much up to you. It does not mean that the actors/actresses in the movies have to be old … because what is old? It can just be about a decade elderly people might want to reminisce about. There’s a lot of ways to interpret this theme and I hope you enjoy the movie picks I have chosen for you!

It’s Complicated

This is one of my favourite romantic comedies of all time and I would never say that any of the cast members are old, because look at their vitality and screen presence, but you also have to admit that they are older than the average main character in that genre. I am in favour of finding love at all stages of life though!

Water for Elephants

Maybe I am still transfixed by the book, but I adored the changing POV between the present and past. I am also sure that the 30s weren’t always easy to live through, but something about that aesthetic just makes my heart sing.

Rebecca

I tried to throw in a classic, but I wanted it to be a new interpretation. I am sure many seniors know the Hitchcock version, but I would love to hear their take on this new one. I don’t think it’s groundbreaking in any shape or form, but my rose colored heart was not opposed to the more happily ever after ending they included here. Also … the cinematography is beautiful.

Kodachrome

When I think of films that might appeal to the elderly, I think of generational dramas that involve old media. Kodachrome has all that.

The Photograph

I know that there is a revival of photography on actual film rather than digitally, but similarly to the previous movie, I enjoyed the generational discourse as well as the medium a lot here. I don’t know if it’s too modern, but I also refuse to believe that the elderly will only watch movies that were made in the 50s.


What did you think of the movies I chose for this feature? Would you watch any of them with your grandparents or an elderly friend? Let’s talk!

Kat Made Me Watch/Read It! (Part 3)

This is the final installment in the Kat Made Me Watch/Read It!-series! After the posts about movies and books, the only plausible topic could be TV shows. It’s probably the thing I am most known for, because I watch a ridiculous amount of shows. Therefore, reigning this post in has been really difficult, so I decided to only allow myself ONE sentence per show to describe how I feel about it, in order for it not to get out of hand entirely.

9-1-1

I will go down with my still non-canon Buddie ship, while supporting all the other characters too, because this show has so much more than superficial drama.

9-1-1: Lone Star

With a much shorter season (and there only being one so far), 9-1-1: Lone Star has managed to emotionally rope me in just like the OG show and I have no regrets stanning it.

The Royals

Once a guilty pleasure, then a non-guilty obsession, so if I could bring back ONE show – this is it! (Check out a post about it here)

Wynonna Earp

I fought for this show to stay on the air and I even own some replica jewelry from set, so this passion for female cowboy Supernatural will never cease to exist. (Check out a post about it here)

Sense8

My dedication for this show goes so far that I had an actual screaming fit when I saw myself (as in physical form) during the end credits of the very last episode! (Check out a post about it here)

Charmed

If you think this is just a love pertaining the reboot, you are sorely mistaken, because I even own trading cards from the OG show. (Check out a post about it here)

Younger

As bookworms, we should really all be watching a highly entertaining, funny, insightful, steamy show set in the publishing world that champions female characters! (Check out a post about it here)

The Bold Type

Female friendships are the best thing and if you don’t see yourself in Sutton, Jane or Kat, I am sure there are many other characters in that show you’ll find aspects of yourself in – which remains a thing of beauty!

The Good Place

This show is perfection and I will not tolerate any other opinion on the matter. (Check out a post about it here)

A Discovery of Witches

It has witches, vampires, time travel, magic, demons and beautiful cinematography – why would I ever stop gushing about things that are so on brand for me? (Check out a post about it here)

Ragnarok

While I am always here for Norse gods in modern settings, it was my good friend, Lois, who convinced me to include the show and I was more than happy to do so! (Check out a post about it here)

Dynasty

This was also included because of a dear friend, Marie, who I will never get tired gushing over the Carringtons with! (Check out a post about it here)

The Rook

This show has given me one of the best characters ever and I will forever hate them for not continuing with it – Gestalt deserved better! (Check out a post about it here)

Now, that’s it? I think? But if I could point you towards some amazing, not so well known, fairly new releases, these would be my picks:

  • Dollface
  • Reprisal
  • The Society
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • The Politician

You can read about ALL of them here, because they were featured in my favorite new shows of 2019 post!


Did you ever watching something you’ve previously seen on the blog? Please tell me all about it – I’d really like to know!

Random Movie Recommendations: Karen Gillan Edition

Usually, I have movie recommendations based around a theme or genre for you, but not this time. This time, it’s simply Karen Gillan. I adored her when I first met her as Amy Pond on Doctor Who, I was happy for her when she started to get major roles in Hollywood and I was beyond impressed when I watched her directorial debut. Now, she is coming to Berlin for a project I am not really at liberty to talk about and you never know, maybe our paths will cross one day?

The Party’s Just Beginning

(TW: suicide, excessive drug and alcohol use, bullying of/violence against trans characters)

Honestly, the trailer didn’t really convince me to watch the movie. It was a little bit all over the place, whereas it didn’t feel like that at all to me when I watched the entire movie. This was Karen’s directorial debut and she showed the bleak and somber side of Scotland, her home, for sure. The movie was harsh, but hit deep (being stuck in eternal grief stages is a big mood) and I am excited to see what more Gillan will show us in the future.

Please, don’t watch this while being in a bad place mentally! My own state of mind wasn’t that great and the movie threw me for a real bender. As much as I want to commend Karen Gillan for her work here, it is depressive and does not sugarcoat anything whatsoever. It can be a cleansing movie, but it can also destroy you emotionally.

Really could have needed someone to hold me after this. Preferably, also Lee Pace …

Not Another Happy Ending

On to something way more fluffy! We are still in Scottish territory, but this is an awesome RomCom about a writer who has writer’s block and her editor trying to sabotage her relationship because she writes better when she’s unhappy. Tell me that doesn’t intrigue you! I dare you!!

I don’t even know what to say. This movie offers pretty much exactly what it advertises – light entertainment. If you don’t go into it expecting mad twists and turns or some sort of unpredictable storyline you will be fine and most likely enjoy yourself.

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

I was very tempted to put Guardians of the Galaxy as one of her more mainstream projects here, but then I decided against it. Nebula is for real one of my most favourite characters in the MCU, but Jumanji was more of a surprise. So, that’s what I am going with.

When I was younger, I was obsessed with the original Jumanji movie. Nothing, I was sure of it, could ever compare to it. And Welcome to the Jungle definitely isn’t up to par with the original, but it is a lot of freaking fun. Sometimes you just have to not take everything so seriously and these sequels can be downright hilarious. They are even making another movie (with the same actors) and I am confused and suspicious but I learned better than to judge it before watching it.

Have you watched any of these? Do you like Karen Gillan as much as me? Let’s chat about it!

What I’ve Been Binge-Watching! #1

I always used to love to talk about TV shows on the blog and nothing really has changed in that regard. However, I don’t have the time to do a full-fledged break-down of a series like I used to do with my #CurrentlyWatching posts in the past. Instead, I am going to keep it short and simple (à la Random Movie Recommendation). If you want to talk about any of the examples I am going to list below in detail though, just hit me up in the comments!

Plan Coeur/The Hook Up Plan

First off, I want to say that I KNOW that romantic love and sex isn’t everything in this world. People are darn well capable of leading a happy fulfilled life without it and this show is super over the top in that regard, but when I actually watched the whole thing in one sitting, it didn’t bother me as much. This show actually focuses on all sorts of relationships and especially on the one between the three women.

Having said that, Elsa, the girl who gets set up with a hooker without her knowledge, is my absolute favourite character. She is beautiful and hilarious and super awkward and rarely gets the effect she has on people. The things she says, you want to cringe hard but at the same time it’s incredibly endearing. She’s one of those cases where you can clearly see what self-confidence can change in a person. I shipped her and Jules so hard!

The end of the show is a bit of a controversial topic. Some love it (like me) and others hate it. I think it was cruel perfection and the perfect set up if they decide to continue with the show!

Tidelands

I have previously described this show as H2O for adults and I still stand by that statement. I really, really, really enjoyed their take on sirens and the mythology it accompanied. It’s not a perfect show, but rarely any show is. People take off their shirts for no reason whatsoever way too often and it does give you a little bit of a CW vibe, but there’s nothing wrong with that per se. A lot of people like that kind of aesthetic or approach to the material (me included).

The build up and twists over the course of the episodes really kept a nice tension going and the last episode was packed full of surprises. They were very smart in never really showing the sirens entirely. In addition to that, I wanted a certain ship to happen, it did and that just always makes me happy.

I like a lot of Australian shows, so if this is Netflix’ gateway into more original series from there, I am in. After that ending, I’d definitely be up for a second seasons!

Travelers

I’ve actually talked about this show in detail in the post here, but it has moved from being a Showtimes-Netflix co-production to Netflix entirely for Season 3 and it was one of the best seasons yet. I hope you don’t expect an action packed SciFi series, because that’s not what Travelers is. Instead it is a character study with developments that span seasons. I honestly cried through almost the entire second half of Season 3 and the ending was something I did not expect at all. It’s one of those shows that keeps you guessing and I feel like not that many are able to do that for me nowadays, so I appreciate that element a lot.

I sincerely hope they will continue the show. I would love nothing more than to find out how they want to keep going after that finale.

Have you watched any of these shows? Do you plan to? Let’s chat!

Random Movie Recommendations: Kids That Will Make You Cry!

I like doing these posts every now and then, especially when I see a pattern in the films I like. The theme “Kids that will make you cry” might seem a little out there, but sometimes I watch young actors and actresses and I am just in awe of the emotions they can evoke in me. Just because there are kids in these movies, doesn’t necessarily mean they are kids movies. I hope that makes sense?

A Monster Calls

Within the book community, Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls is a pretty popular book. It destroys your feelings and leaves the reader in tears in 9/10 cases. It took me some time to get to the movie, but in my opinion they did an amazing job with the adaptation. Even for the smallest roles, their cast is beyond stellar and despite a couple changes (as they always tend to happen), it felt like a pretty faithful film to me.

Handling themes such as death, loss, grief, guilt and the anger that comes with it, is never easy for kids (not that it gets any easier once you are older), but I feel like A Monster Calls provides a nuanced approach to it. It’s a dark tale that might not be for everyone, but it is a beautiful movie.

I Kill Giants

I Kill Giants is a movie that really blew me away. It perfectly plays between what is real and what is fantasy, but ultimately leaves it up to the audience to decide which one they want to go with. It deals with similar themes as A Monster Calls (terminal illness, loss, grief, etc.) and is based on a graphic novel of the same title (which I haven’t read though, so I cannot give any comparison).

I think something that hindered this movie from becoming really successful is that people expected it to be action-packed, which it is really not. It’s not so much a fantasy adventure as it is an exploration of how far a child’s imagination can go to help them cope with stressful and traumatic experiences.

Bridge to Terabithia

Do people still know about this movie? I feel old recommending it, but it was one of my favourites when I was younger and fits the theme perfectly as it also deals with the sudden death of a loved one, guilt, grief, bullying (which I forgot to mention for the previous movies) and how a vivid imagination can help children cope with what they are going through.

This movie is also based on a book, which I have read but never reviewed. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I actually enjoyed the movie more and struggled with the way the book was written. Also, it has been far too long to memorise the differences between the two.

Have you watched any of those movies? What is your take on them? Do you have some recommendations in the same field? Let’s chat!

Random Movie Recommendations: Teen Rom-Coms

Last week I talked about some of my recent favourite Rom-Coms, but I know that the age of my audience is very varied, so I didn’t want to hold off on you about teen rom-coms I watched! Although I want to note that both movies technically also fall into the drama genre … just saying. When I was growing up, which makes me sound much older than I am, I feel like there were just tons and tons of amazing and more importantly fun teen movies

Candy Jar

There’s not a lot of movies on debate clubs out there. At least none that I really know of, so to get that glimpse into a world I am vastly unfamiliar with was really interesting (and from what I heard it also seems to be an accurate depiction of that scene). Also, I am always here for a good old enemies-to-lovers trope!

This isn’t just some cutesy romantic story in a quirky setting though, it packs quite the punch. It deals with the uncertainty of life and loss, the fact that you can never be prepared for everything. In many ways, this movie reflected all my doubts and struggles when I was about to graduate high school and I can always appreciate relatable content like that.

Alex Strangelove

I think with Love, Simon being a success in cinemas, it was evident we needed more stories like that. Coming out stories that may not be perfect and all happy, but stories that aren’t just doom and gloom either. In many ways, it seems like Alex Strangelove is Netflix’ answer to that.

I am not sure the title was the best choice for this movie, but the content is definitely worth a watch. It aptly depicts the struggles of not just having to come out, but first of all realising that your sexual preferences may be different than what you believed them to be. During all of this, Alex Strangelove never forgets to show both sides and the people who are involved in the process. The characters make mistakes but remain very lovable and give the movie an authentic vibe even with crazy imaginary sequences inbetween.

While watching this movie, it is evident that the viewer knows more about where this is going than Alex does. It is kind of endearing to watch him figure things out. I am sure this movie does not represent everyone’s experience, but at the same time I also don’t doubt that there are people who can identify with his journey.

What are some teen movies you have enjoyed lately? Let’s talk about it!

Random Movie Recommendations: Rom-Coms

So, I don’t know who all remembers this feature, but it pops up pretty rarely since I am more of a TV rather than movie person. Anyway, it’s fairly simple, I pick a theme and then recommend two or more movies that I recently watched and thought the world should know about. There is no in depth analysis, but really just a short and sweet paragraph or so to let you know why people should watch it.

Here we go! This time I really want to showcase some great Rom-Coms (short for Romantic Comedies). Despite a lot of critics complaining about them, I KNOW that people have been craving a comeback of that genre. There is nothing wrong with some formulaic love story every now and then, because that in no way means it cannot be entertaining and memorable. These are my picks:

Set It Up

I have been screaming about this movie for what feels like weeks now. First of all, the casting is more than stellar, I adore every single person on this movie and would have watched it if it had been a potato sack commercial. Luckily, it was not and instead I got one of the best romantic comedies in recent years. I know, I know, that is high praise, but here’s some reasons why it works so well.

While it does play into certain stereotypes, it simultaneously fights against them. Women aren’t given an expiration date or are made to choose between love and a career. There are no double standards for gender roles and friendships are shown how they are supposed to be – supportive with that kick in the butt when necessary. People struggle with what they want in life and make mistakes and there are consequences, all the while this movie is highly entertaining with both hilarious and relatable dialogue and quotes that I’ll probably reference to friends for years to come.

And on a side note, if you are a writer, this movie gives some really good advice. Never thought I’d take advice from a Netflix flick either, but here we are!

Ibiza

Okay, fine! I only watched this because Richard Madden was in it and I haven’t really seen him in a movie or show since Game of Thrones. Not going to lie, I don’t hold Ibiza in the same high regard as Set It Up, but it was still a lot more fun than I thought it would be.

Granted, this isn’t exactly my kind of humour, so that’s probably part of why I wasn’t head over heels into it, but if you are looking for some women who aren’t afraid to have a fun time and an adorkable love interest – Ibiza delivers. Gillian Jacobs and Richard Madden were just the right amount of awkward and cute, their scenes were the best part for me. It gives you that total vibe of a summer romance that could be more if you are brave enough to try.

When We First Met

Before starting this movie, I messaged my friend how I thought the movie would end I was 100% right. As I mentioned in the opening of this post, I don’t think there is anything wrong with movies, especially in this genre, being a little predictable and it didn’t bother me here either. It doesn’t change the fact that When We First Met is a feel-good movie and exactly the right thing if you just want to be entertained.

Overall, it’s a little like Groundhog Day with a twist, a movie with ideas that may have been executed before and in better ways also, but that’s still enjoyable. It stays down to earth and has a cast you will surely recognise from other shows and movies. I always like when you have those worlds-collide-moments.

Have you watched either one of those movies? Would you be interested in getting some rom-com type movie recommendations with teen characters as well? Let me know in the comments below!