Thursday Movie Picks: Natural Disasters

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 special theme is Natural Disasters! I can’t with good conscience say that I love watching those, simply because they stress me out a lot. They’re literally natural phenomena and could happen (or have happened in some cases), which is sad and devastating and … does not exempt them from making good movies, I suppose. Here are my examples! (which definitely won’t *all* be realistic ones)

Twister (1996)

My dad had this movie in a box set with disaster films, I suppose, and I don’t know why, but I fell in love with it. I was completely fascinated by these storms, would never ever become a stormchaser myself, but wanted to know all about them. I’ve now seen it several times and really still enjoy it.

Armageddon (1998)

When I was little, I was obsessed with this movie for no good reason at all. I think it might have been the soundtrack by Aerosmith (I know it was the soundtrack), but I have some good memories about this one.

The Core (2003)

There’s just SO many big actors in this and I thought it was an interesting concept. Mainly thought of it, because I’ve seen it on TV several times now, I suppose, but always am happy to see Stanley Tucci on my screen.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006)

This documentary was one of the first to really rattle me. I was starting that age where I realized there was a world beyond my little bubble and I was just devastated to learn that we had screwed up our planet so much. There a lot of new and different information we have at this point, but I’m still glad that watching this was one of those eye-opening-moments for me.

Only the Brave (2017)

We all know I have a thing for firefighter content, so here we are. Need I really say more?


What did you think of my picks for the week? (Just as a side note, they were all classified as natural disaster movies on imdb.) What are disaster movies you enjoy? Let’s talk about it!

Thursday Movie Picks: Worst Book to Movie 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 are going to talk about the worst book to movie adaptations! I’ll probably always be in the minority on this, but I really enjoy adaptations for the most part. Even when the material isn’t adapted super faithfully, I just love seeing it come to life, but … as with all things, not everything turns out great. This topic was suggest by Becks @The Punk Theory and I hope you’ll all enjoy it!

*I’ll stick to books I’ve actually read here, but know that I know there are a lot more bad examples of adaptations*

Fallen

Oh boy, it’s a long time that I’ve read and/or watched this, but it was not great. I’m pretty sure they fully intended for this to become the next Twilight, just with angels, but they missed the mark by a lot.

Inkheart

The Inkheart trilogy is one of my all time favorite childhood book series and I was elated when they decided to make them into a movie. Paul Bettany as Dustfinger and Brendan Fraser as Mo were really great casting choices, but other than that … I found very little to like about what they did with my beloved material. It’s a shame, because so many cast members were really top notch, but somehow they couldn’t portray the whimsy and magical setting or even the beautiful complexity of the characters.

My Sister’s Keeper

The book and movie are both sure to make you cry with their devastating premise, but by changing the end of the film, I felt like they undermined one of the key elements of the book. It’s not a bad movie exactly, but I felt like they lost a really important message along the way.

The Wave (1981)

This was a movie made for TV and it really showed in its quality. Based on the book that is based on a real life experiment a teacher underwent with his class, this movie just felt fake and corny. I remember having to watch it in school and just shuddering at the bad performances.


What are book to movie adaptations you were not happy with? Let’s talk!

TMP – Oscar Winner Edition: Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay

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 specifically is about Best Original Screenplay and Best Adapted Screenplay, which are actually categories I’m kind of fond of. Maybe it’s the writer in me. Here we go with my picks!

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Promising Young Woman (Emerald Fennell)

I adore this movie with all my heart. Even if you don’t take into consideration the absolute fantastic cinematography and style choices, the way this story was told was simply fantastic. Emerald Fennell took such great care with every single aspect of this movie, doing research about minute details, I love it. Just plain love it.

Get Out (Jordan Peele)

I was so happy to see Get Out be as successful as it turned out to be. Social commentary entertaining horror is a whole genre in itself and Jordan Peele really showcased his range with this project and all the things that followed.

Honorable Mention: The Big Sick (Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani)

The Big Sick was nominated the same year that Get Out won, which is obviously a very worthy winner. Still, I watched The Big Sick when it was only shown on limited release in selected cities and I fell head over heels in love with the movie. The fact that it’s based on the lives (albeit dramatized) of Gordon and Nanjiani just makes it all the better.

Honorable Mention: Knives Out (Rian Johnson)

Knives Out had no chance running against Parasite, but I still think it was such a fun and lively script for a genre that is often played out and predictable. I’ve watched this movie more than five times and never felt bored, which can only be attributed to great storytelling (and acting).

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Jojo Rabbit (Taika Waititi)

Taika really did something when he decided to do this project. Talking about the atrocities of WWII and making it funny, heartfelt, emotional and entertaining is not an easy task, but he did it. The trailer doesn’t even begin to show the depth of this movie, while still having incredibly hilarious elements. I know it’s quite different from the source material, but I’m glad Taika made it his own.

Honorable Mention: Little Women (Greta Gerwig)

This is my favorite adaptation of Little Women ever. I loved the interwoven timelines and how Gerwig took elements from other stories by Alcott and included it here, because they still felt fitting and relevant (like my favorite monologue).

Honorable Mention: Arrival (Eric Heisserer)

Eric Heisserer is amazing at adapting material. Be it short stories or a whole book series, he just knows how to take the material and bring it to life on screen, change it to make it work for the new medium, but still stay true to the essence of the story and characters.


As you could see, I mostly focused on recent releases, but that’s just the way I am. What are some of your favorite original and adapted Oscar nominated screenplays? Let’s chat!

TMP – TV Edition: Globetrotting

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. Today is all about the topic of globetrotting, BUT only scripted, non-reality, non-travel, non-docu series, which eliminates quite a bunch of shows that might come to mind initially. Still, I got you covered and here are my picks!

Sense8

To this day, Sense8 is one of my all time most favorite shows ever! With its cast from all around the globe, it managed to create a feeling of connectedness to strangers I had rarely experienced before. I was lucky enough to meet the cast and creators during PRIDE weekend a couple years back and they are lovely, inspiring people in real life too. I wouldn’t want to miss this experience for anything in the world. Also, I low-key got captured at one of those events and ended up depicted for 2 seconds in the credits of the final episode.

The Librarians

The Librarians are the keepers of ancient (often magical) artifacts and as you may be able to guess, they aren’t all located in the good old US. Granted, I do believe that I associate the traveling more with the movie franchise the show is based on, but there’s still globetrotting involved. I liked the show, as corny as it may have been.

Tribes of Europa

This show takes place in a post-apocalyptic Europe, where borders are newly defined and areas ruled by tribes instead of countries and governments as we know it. There’s a lot of cringe that comes with this show, because what is that stilted dialogue at times, but the concept is interesting either way. I wasn’t a fan of all the violence and sexual abuse, but I would be curious to watch another season.

Doctor Who

The Doctor sure seems to favor contemporary Great Britain, but he does travel around the globe and the galaxy as well, not just in time. I can’t pinpoint a specific episode that enjoyed particularly because of its location, but I do remember them being in Pompeii, Venice, France, NYC etc.


What are some shows that you can think of that are about travelling the globe? And remember the parameters of the prompt – non-fiction or reality shows are not allowed!!

Thursday Movie Picks: Cyberpunk

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.

Last week was all about period dramas and this week we are moving on to cyberpunk! That’s quite the different aesthetic, but I’m going to try and not name the most obvious movies from the past years … although I will probably fail. We shall see!

Tron: Legacy

I’ve seen this movie in theaters a minimum of five times. I don’t know what it was (the Daft Punk soundtrack. It was the soundtrack for sure), but I just couldn’t get enough of it. I liked the actors and story and wasn’t too put off by the weird face capturing technology that just felt off. I’d watch this again over and over to be honest.

Treasure Planet

Why not add an animated movie, right? I don’t mention animation projects a lot, neither in this feature nor on the blog in general, but Treasure Planet was my everything when I was little. I had a huge robot figure and just wanted to go be a space pirate.

Divergent

They mucked up that adaptation series SO BAD. I think it had a lot of potential and it surely wasn’t perfect, because neither was the source material, but it could have been really great. Now it didn’t even get an end …


There’s so many other examples, like Blade Runner, Terminator, the Matrix series, Alita, etc. but I just felt like mentioning the movies above more. What are your favorite cyberpunk movies? Let’s chat!

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!

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!

TMP – TV Edition: TV Score and/or Theme

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 once per month though, we focus our attention on television content instead, making this the TV Edition about themes and scores! Some of you might remember how I could barely contain myself last month, when we talked about intro sequences (click here to check it out), but today I find it harder. Music and sound is an integral part of any production, but I would be lying if I said I played extra attention to it. However, as per usual, I’m going to do my very best to give you examples of scores I enjoyed!

Doctor Who

Murray Gold is a genius and has brought that extra bit of magic to Doctor Who. There were several episodes where I remember that his score elevated scenes and brought characters to life. I am personally partial to anything to do with our impossible girl, Clara, which is why I used her theme as an example, but anything would have been a great pick! I mean, the episode with Vincent van Gogh is still one of my favorites and “With Love Vincent” remains a classic example of Gold’s beautiful work.

Bridgerton

Bridgerton did something I enjoy a lot in general and that is remix modern day music into classical pieces performed by string quartets and whatnot they had back in the day. It offers a great connection to our time while not entirely disregarding the time period it is supposed to play in. I personally enjoyed the ball scenes all the more because of it.

Game of Thrones

There are people who would go to a concert just made up of Game of Thrones music, so, I could not not include it. We all know that the intro is iconic, but they also had an amazing score and themes throughout the show as a whole. Ramin Djawadi really understood the assignment here.

The Handmaid’s Tale

The Handmaid’s Tale is a very impacting story either way, but the music manages to elevate the atmosphere on several occasions. Here I wouldn’t claim to know the name of many titles, but I know that some of those notes vibrated through my body during certain scenes and that in itself was memorable.

The Queen’s Gambit

The Queen’s Gambit surprised me in so many ways I cannot even describe. I didn’t think I could find a show revolving around chess as exciting as I did, but I was fully invested. The score was masterfully done and I don’t know how else to describe it except for outstanding!


What are some of your favorite scores? If this was a post on soundtracks, I may have decided differently, but with just the score … I had to think hard!

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?

Thursday Movie Picks – Female Cinematographers

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 was suggested by Brittani and is Female Cinematographers. I am really into this, because I enjoyed doing the Female Directors list a LOT! I’m always up for celebrating women in film and TV at any hour. For those who don’t know, a cinematographer, sometimes also known as the Director of Photography, is in charge of the camera and lighting, hence dictating a lot of the visual style (framing, look, color, light, etc.) of the final product. Let’s see who my favorites are!

A Quiet Place – Charlotte Bruus Christensen

I don’t usually do horror. People who know me are aware that I tried branching out and experiencing new things these past years, but as a general rule, I don’t do horror. With A Quiet Place, I was immediately engrossed though and honestly enjoyed the whole thing. I was never too grossed out by anything, but thought that it had a cohesive look and great embodiment of that post-apocalyptic hermit lifestyle.

Further examples of her work: Molly’s Game, Fences, The Girl on the Train, Life, …

Beastly – Mandy Walker

I cannot help myself in putting one the movies that catered to my teen heart like nothing else in these posts. I stopped trying to suppress that part of myself a long time ago and it is just facts that I enjoy and adore watching teen angst filled movies and Beastly is one I have seen more times than I can count. I just think it is fascinating how Mandy Walker has done those epic gorgeous gems that often did well during award seasons, but also does teen movies like this one and Red Riding Hood. I love a woman who can do both!

Further examples of her work: Mulan, Hidden Figures, Australia, Tracks, Red Riding Hood, …

Black Panther – Rachel Morrison

Do I really have to explain the cultural significance of Black Panther? I think not. Rachel Morrison’s filmography proves that she is more than capable and she was the first woman to ever get nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography (for Mudbound at the time).

Further examples of her work: Fruitvale Station, Cake, Dope, Mudbound, …

The Pretty One – Polly Morgan

I figured why not include a little indie movie? I probably remember this one more due to Zoe Kazan’s performance than the overall cinematography, but Polly Morgan has done a lot of work since then and has moved on to far bigger projects.

Further examples of her work: A Quiet Place II, The Truth About Emanuel, Lucy in the Sky, …

Gloria Bell – Natasha Braier

Gloria Bell is not one of my favorite movies, however, to my shame, the only one I have seen of Natasha Braier YET. Still, despite the narrative not being my thing, which really isn’t her fault one bit, it was an example of just how well Braier handles color. The remainder of her filmography showcases this as well and I am really looking forward to watching some of these movies some day for the aesthetics alone. It’s also interesting to me that she is quite in demand when it comes to music videos, but with her style, it’s really no surprise.

Further examples of her work: The Neon Demon, Honey Boy, Gringo, …


Who are some of your favorite women cinematographers? Let’s talk!