The Change-Up (2011)

I added The Change-Up on my watchlist a long time ago because of Jason Bateman but never cared to watch it because I knew it'd be some idiotic comedy. There are those days though when I feel like watching these movies, like today. 

The story follows two friends —Dave (Jason Bateman) who is a hard-working lawyer married with the beautiful Jamie (Leslie Mann) and father of three, and Mitch (Ryan Reynolds), a single, reckless and unemployed stoner who never concludes anything. One night, after getting drunk, they urinate in a park's fountain and at the same time they wish they had each other's lives. The next morning, they wake up and discover that they have switched bodies. 

This Means War (2012)

As you know, I'm not a fan romantic comedies but I like Reese Witherspoon, I have a crush on Chris Pine since I was twelve and Tom Hardy, well, he's hot, so, after putting it off literally for years, I finally gave This Means War a chance. 

The story follows two CIA agents who are also best friends, Tuck (Tom Hardy) and FDR (Chris Pine), as they hit the dating scene after being benched because an international criminal, Karl Heinrich (Til Schweiger) is after them. While the first tries online dating, the latter goes for the old "picking up a lonely woman at video store" approach, and they both meet Lauren (Reese Witherspoon), a product-testing executive with no luck in love. When the two friends find out they are dating the same woman, they begin to compete with one another to win her.

The Little Hours (2017)

I added The Little Hours on my watchlist ages ago because of the cast, specifically Aubrey Plaza and Dave Franco, but because of the characters, which are mostly nuns, I kept putting it off. I would have checked it earlier though if I had bothered reading the storyline. 

The film is based on the first tale of the third day of Giovanni Boccaccio's Decameron —which I'm yet to read—, and mainly follows three nuns, Sister Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza), Sister Ginevra (Kate Micucci), and Sister Alessandra (Alison Brie), who lives at a convent in the countryside. When a young, handsome servant (Dave Franco) fleeing from his master (Nick Offerman) takes refuge in the convent, the sexually-repressed nuns find ways to escape from their tedious lives. 

Next (2007)

Next is another of those movies that have been on my watchlist since the dawn of times because of Julianne Moore but kept putting off because it's a Nicolas Cage flick, and I have to be in the right mood and mentally prepared to deal with the insanity of them. 

This one follows Cris Johnson (Nicolas Cage), a small-time magician who can see a few minutes into the future. There's an exception though as he once had a vision of a beautiful woman (Jessica Biel) walking into a diner at 8 and he makes it his mission to be there and meet her. In the meantime, a terrorist group threatens to detonate a nuclear device in Los Angeles so the FBI, led by Agent Callie Ferris (Julianne Moore), tries to capture Cris and convince him to help them prevent the attack. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Television Edition: Non-English Language TV Series

It seems like yesterday when the theme for Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks was non-English TV series and yet it was a year ago. Anyways, last year I went with three Italian shows. This year I'm still going with random series from Europe that I used to watch when I was a kid/younger.

The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part (2019)

Saying that I was reluctant about The Lego Movie is a bit of an understatement as I thought it'd be a dumb kids flick but I gave it a chance anyway and I loved it. So of course I gave The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part a chance. 

Set immediately after the events of the original film, the story follows Emmet Brickowski (voiced by Chris Pratt) and his friends as they face a new threat, Lego Duplo invaders from outer space. When Lucy (voiced by Elizabeth Banks) and others are captured by General Sweet Mayhem (voiced by Stephanie Beatriz), Emmet attempts to rescue them while also trying to stop the Armamageddon.

One Day (2011)

Nine years ago I bought David Nicholls's One Day only to stop reading it after a hundred pages because I didn't like it. Years later, when I learnt that it had been adapted into a movie starring Anne Hathaway, I decided to watch the movie instead to know how the story ended. And I did not like it. Earlier this month I gave the book another chance and I liked it enough to consider giving the film another shot. Unfortunately, unlike the book, the second time was not a charm. 

The story follows the lives of Emma Morley (Anne Hathaway) and Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess), starting with an almost one-night stand on their graduation night, on July 15, 1988. They decide to stay in touch but, over the course of eighteen years, they grow apart as they choose different paths and we are shown what they are up to on the same day, July 15, every year. 

Peppermint (2018)

I'm not a fan of Jennifer Garner at all as I find her acting bland and unconvincing. I'm not the biggest fan of action flicks either but every time I went to the movies since December they kept showing the trailer for Peppermint. I knew it was going to be bad, but I checked it out anyway to see how bad. Very bad, as it turned out. 

The story follows Riley North (Jennifer Garner), a mother and wife working as a banker who is struggling to make ends meet. Her husband, Chris (Jeff Hephner), who owns a failing mechanic shop, gets into some shady business which results on drug lord Diego Garcia (Juan Pablo Raba) ordering his men to kill him. Riley's daughter, Carly (Cailey Fleming), also gets killed and five years after the judicial system failed her, Riley sets out for revenge.

The Best of 2018

I think it's safe for me to say that every single movie blogger out there has already talked about those 2018 movies he/she thinks were the best of the year. It's almost April, after all. Then there's me who has been trying, for the past couple of months, to watch all those 2018 releases that, for a reason or another, slipped under her radar, and then has kept postponing writing because watching movies and binging new series required so much less energy.

8 Mile (2002)

I was about eight when I first heard of Eminem and fell in love with his music. I didn't understand the lyrics as I didn't speak English at the time, but I loved them nevertheless. So I was pretty excited when 8 Mile aired on TV a year later —no way my parents would bring me to see this. Also, I doubt my tiny town showed this— and I loved it. I rewatched it many times over the years, I rewatched it now and I still love it. 

Set in 1995 Detroit, the story follows Jimmy "B-Rabbit" Smith Jr. (Eminem), a young, unhappy white blue-collar worker who, after breaking up with his girlfriend (Taryn Manning), returns to his mother's (Kim Basinger) trailer park home and her young boyfriend (Michael Shannon). While struggling in every single aspect of his life, he tries to make a name for himself in the African-American dominated underworld hip-hop world. 

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

I don't remember why I was drawn to Little Miss Sunshine when I first watched —it was probably on some list featuring dark comedies—, all I know is that I ended up loving this quirky road trip indie movie, and I loved it every single other time I watched it over the years. It's quite embarrassing that I've never written about it, so here it is. 

Just in case you are not familiar with this —I'm judging you if you are not though—, the story follows the Hoovers, a dysfunctional family composed of Richard (Greg Kinnear), his wife, Sheryl (Toni Collette), his father, Edwin (Alan Arkin), his brother-in-law, Frank (Steve Carell), his step-son, Dwayne (Paul Dano), and his daughter, Olive (Abigail Breslin). When Olive qualifies for the finals of the Little Miss Sunshine pageant, the family goes on a road trip on their old Volkswagen bus to take her to the contest. 

Single White Female (1992)

After reading Cinematic Corner's Forgotten, underrated and unseen erotic thrillers from the 90s last Friday —yes, it's embarrassing that it took me so long to read it—, I noticed Netflix had just added one of the movies in that post, Single White Female, and decided to check it out. 

The story follows Allison "Allie" Jones (Bridget Fonda), a young New York businesswoman who is looking for a new roommate after breaking up with her boyfriend, Sam (Steven Weber). After meeting several candidates, she picks Hedra "Hedy" Carlson (Jennifer Jason Leight), a sweet and shy young woman who seems like the perfect roommate. And she is the perfect roommate, until Allie and Sam get back together.

Girl, Interrupted (1999)

I don't know the reason —it was probably on some list somewhere, probably on BuzzFeed— but many years ago I decided to check out Girl, Interrupted, and I ended up loving it. It's been ten years since then so I figured it was time to rewatch it.

Based on Susanna Kaysen's memoir —which I've been meaning to read for years but still is on my to-read list— the story follows Susanna Kaysen (Winona Ryder), a neurotic and volatile 18-year-old who is admitted to a mental institution after she attempts to commit suicide. In the confined borders of the institution, Susanna befriends the other troubled girls in her ward, including the seductive, manipulative and dangerous Lisa (Angelina Jolie).

The Simpsons Movie (2007)

I was browsing through Netflix kids because I had nothing better to do when The Simpsons Movie popped out. Since it had been forever since I last saw the movie, I decided to give it a rewatch. 

The story sees Homer Simpson (voiced by Dan Castellano) as he screws up big time. To be more specific, he saves a pig from being killed in Krusty Burger and adopts it. In the meantime, Lisa (voiced by Yeardley Smith) has convinced the locals to clean up the polluted Lake Springfield and it's now forbidden to dump garbage into the lake. Of course, Homer dumps the pig's waste into the lake, polluting it. As a result, the EPA places a large dome over Springfield to hold the population. The Simpsons escape and flee to Alaska only to learn that the EPA is planning to destroy Springfield.

Destroyer (2018)

One of the last few remaining 2018 films on my watchlist —some of those are nowhere to be found so expect my list soon—, Destroyer ended up on my radar because of Nicole Kidman's highly praised performance which got her a Golden Globe nomination.

The film tells the story of now-alcoholic LAPD detective Erin Bell (Nicole Kidman) who, seventeen years ago, was placed undercover with a veteran partner (Sebastian Stan) and infiltrated a vicious gang of bank robbers led by Silas (Toby Kebbell), a master of manipulation. When Silas reemerges, she is forced to reopen old wounds and face her demons. 

Mary Queen of Scots (2018)

Historical movies aren't really my thing —despite the fact that I loved my teacher, history was one of my least favourite subjects in high school— but I checked out Mary Queen of Scots anyway because one does not simply pass a movie starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. And of course eye-candy in the form of Jack Lowden is always welcome. 

The film tells the story of Catholic Mary Stuart (Saoirse Ronan). Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, she returns to Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England are both ruled by her cousin Elizabeth (Margot Robbie), the Protestant Queen of England, and her claim to the English throne puts her on a collision course with Queen Elizabeth I.

Serenity (2019)

I read something about a brilliant, mind-blowing twist on Twitter a while back so, despite my aversion for Matthew McCounaghey, I decided to check out Serenity. And now I don't know how I feel, whether I'm angry about the fact that sarcasm doesn't translate well over text or astonished about the fact that some people actually believe that was a clever twist. 

Anyways, the story follows Baker Dill (Matthew McConaughey), a down-on-his-luck fishing boat captain who is obsessed with catching "Justice", a giant tuna fish (no, it's not Jim Halpert). One day, his ex-wife Karen (Anne Hathaway) shows up and offers him a deal, $10 million to drop her new, violent husband, Frank (Jason Clarke), into the ocean for the sharks to feast on him and pretend it was a fishing accident. 

Swiss Army Man (2016)

I first heard about Swiss Army Man when someone picked it for a Thursday Movie Picks post —I'm pretty sure it was Brittani from Rambling Film— and I added on my neverending watchlist because of the cast. 

The story follows Hank (Paul Dano), a man stranded on a deserted island who is about to kill himself as he's lost all hope. Suddenly, a dead body named Manny (Daniel Radcliffe) is washed up on the shores and, when Hank is about to try to hang himself again, the strangest thing happens, Manny starts farting. Hank soon learns that Manny can help him survive and find a way back and strikes up a friendship with him in the meantime.

Private Life (2018)

I've been meaning to watch Private Life since it released as I love Kathryn Hahn and Paul Giamatti but I kept putting it off because of the plot. Now that I'm finally working on my best and worst of 2018 post, I figured it was time for me to check this out. 

The story follows Richard (Paul Giamatti) and Rachel (Kathryn Hahn), a couple in their forties who are desperately trying to have a kid by any means possible. Just when they think they are out of options, a new opportunity presents itself, to use an egg donor. While Richard is fine with it, Rachel struggles with the idea of using some stranger's eggs but when Sadie (Kayli Carter), the stepdaughter of Richard's brother, Charlie (John Carroll Lynch), drops out of college and stays with them in New York, they decide to ask her.

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies You Thought You'd Hate But Ended Up Enjoying

Just like there are movies that we expect to be good but end up disappointing us, there also are movies we expect to be bad but we end up enjoying. Today we are focusing on the latter for Wandering Through the ShelvesThursday Movie Picks, and I'm doing some sort of theme within theme. 

Zombieland (2009)

Shaun of the Dead has always been my go-to zombie comedy so I never really cared about watching other movies of the genre. Then eight/nine years ago I fell in love with Emma Stone which translated in me watching every single film she made. Zombieland was one of them, and, despite Jesse Eisenberg, it was love at first sight and now it's kinda replaced Edgar Wright's film.

The story follows Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), a geeky young man trying to survive the zombie apocalypse by following a long list of rules he has created. On his way to Ohio to see if his parents are still alive, he meets Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), a man who hates zombies and enjoys killing them like nobody else on a quest to find the last Twinkie, and they decide to travel together. While on their journey, they meet Wichita (Emma Stone) and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin), two sisters who are heading to an amusement park nearby Los Angeles which is believed to be zombie-free.

Triple Frontier (2019)

I'm not even going to pretend that I was interested in seeing Triple Frontier for its plot. I didn't even know what it was about because I just didn't care. Four hot and talented men —and unfortunately Ben Affleck— were a strong enough motivation to sit through Netflix's latest film.

Just in case you are not as shallow as I am, the story follows five Special Forces friends, Santiago "Pope" Garcia (Oscar Isaac), Tom "Redfly" Davis (Ben Affleck), William "Ironhead" Miller (Charlie Hunnam), his brother Ben (Garrett Hedlund), and Francisco "Catfish" Morales as they reunite in South America to rob a drug lord (Reynaldo Gallegos).

Fargo (1996)

I'm working on something —you'll see what it is next month— which requires me to rewatch many films I haven't seen in ages because watching a new film every day doesn't leave a lot of room for rewatches, and the Coen Brothers Fargo was the first on the list that I was yet to review. 

The story follows Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), a sales manager at a car dealership who needs his father-in-law's (Harve Presnell) money to get out of his financial troubles. He comes up with a plan to hire someone to kidnap his wife (Kristin Rudrüd) and demand ransom from her wealthy father, but things don't go according to plan, soon three people are dead and police chief Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand) starts investigating.

Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)

I avoided Wreck-It Ralph for years because I thought it would be a dumb movie for kids. When I finally watched it, I was amazed by how entertaining and enjoyable it was. That said, I still didn't care much for Ralph Breaks the Internet, and I checked it out just now because of the Oscar nomination. 

Set six years after the events of the first film, the story follows Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) and Vanellope (voiced by Sarah Silverman) as they travel to the internet to search for a replacement part for Vanellope's arcade game, Sugar Rush, which was broken because of Ralph and left the game's characters homeless. 

Captain Marvel (2019)

Although it took Marvel more than a decade to make a movie about a heroine —and they probably made it only because they needed her in End Game— and the web filled with negative reviews earlier this week, I'm a Marvel ho and I love Brie Larson and I'm also a woman so of course I went seeing Captain Marvel. And I had pretty high expectations about it, even though I was said to lower them. 

Set in 1995, the story begins on the planet Hala with Vers (Brie Larson) training with her mentor, Yon-Rogg (Jude Law). They soon go on a mission to rescue an undercover Kree operative who infiltrated a group of Skrulls, shapeshifting aliens who have been fighting with Krees for centuries, but it turns out it was an ambush, Skrulls leader Talos (Ben Mendelsohn) captures Vers and tries to extract information. Instead, he revives some of her memories, she manages to escape and crashlands on planet Earth, where she joins forces with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to discover who she really is and to stop the Skrulls from getting an experimental engine designed by Dr. Wendy Lawson (Annette Benning).

Ben Is Back (2018)

They played the trailer to Ben Is Back all the time here. It was on TV and in cinemas before any movie started and yet when the release date came, screenings of it were nowhere to be found and so I had to wait for the home release to have a chance to watch it. 

The story follows Ben Burns (Lucas Hedges), a young drug addict who suddenly returns home from his treatment facility on Christmas Eve. While Ben's step-father, Neal (Courtney B. Vance), and his sister, Ivy (Kathryn Newton), start worrying about the chaos that Ben's arrival will eventually bring, his mother, Holly (Julia Roberts), is filled with joy. Things complicate real quick when Ben's old gang discovers he's back in town.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016)

Frankly, I don't know what I've been doing with my life for the past years. I mean, I love Zac Efron since I was 14 so why on earth did I hear about Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates for the first time when a couple of weeks ago when Margaret from Cinematic Corner watched it? 

Anyways, the film follows Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron), two brothers with the tendency to screw up every important family event. As the wedding of their younger sister, Jeanie (Sugar Lyn Beard), approaches, Mike and Dave are told by their parents (Stephen Root and Stephanie Faracy) to bring good girls as dates at the destination wedding in Hawaii. They have the brilliant idea of posting an ad on Craigslist, all the women volunteer to be their dates and they end up on TV. Slacker party girls Tatiana (Audrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick), not wanting to be just two other girls to be interviewed, find a way to meet the brothers and be picked. Of course, things in Hawaii don't go as smooth as Mike and Dave were hoping. 

Paddleton (2019)

When I first saw Paddleton on my Netflix homepage, I thought, oh god, another Netflix original that will probably suck, and I skipped it. Days later, I was wandering on IMDb and I stumbled upon it, the rating was pretty good —7.2— so I checked it out. 

The film follows Andy (Ray Romano) and his neighbour and friend Michael (Mark Duplass) who, in the opening scene, learns that he has terminal cancer. Forced to weigh his options and not wanting to let the illness take him, Michael opts for prescribed suicide and asks Andy to help him to it.

Thursday Movie Picks: Cold War

There's no other way to put it, I don't like war movies. It's a whole different story when it comes to cold war though as it's not your typical war, but it's more about espionage, which I love since always. So without further ado, here are my picks for Wandering Through the ShelvesThursday Movie Picks.

We Are Your Friends (2015)

I added We Are Your Friends on my watchlist years ago because of my crush for Zac Efron. It didn't appeal to me much though so I never watched it. Now that Margaret over Cinematic Corner has reawakened my love for Zac, I finally watched it (it's not like I have much of a choice. Italian Netflix doesn't have many of his films).

The film follows Cole Carter (Zac Efron), a 23-year-old aspiring DJ in the electronic dance music scene, who spends most of his time partying with his friends. When he meets James Reed (Wes Bentley), a once-famous DJ who takes him under his wing. Things get complicated when Cole falls for James's much younger girlfriend, Sophie (Emily Ratajkowski).

Black Sheep (2018)

Having "enjoyed" —it's definitely not the most appropriate word for these shorts— End Game and Period. End of Sentence, I decided to check out Black Sheep. I had very low expectations about this one though as I haven't read great things about it and I was not disappointed. 

The film tells the story of Cornelius Walker, a young English man of Nigerian descent who, as a kid, moved from London to a more rural area in England after the high-profile killing of Damilola Taylor, as his mother thought it'd be safer for him to live there.

Isn't It Romantic (2019)

While I don't hate them as much as Natalie does, I'm not a big fan of romantic comedies. And truth to be told, I'm not the biggest fan of Rebel Wilson either. That said, I still decided to give Isn't It Romantic a chance because I'm a sucker for Netflix originals and the Hemsworth genes are too good to be ignored. 

The story of this one follows Natalie (Rebel Wilson), a young woman whose dream of living the perfect romance was shattered when she was just a girl as her mother (Jennifer Saunders) explained to her that there's no such a thing as a happy ending for girls that look like her. She is now an architect who lacks confidence and self-esteem and hates romantic comedies. One night she is mugged on the subway, she hits her head and wakes up the next morning only to find herself trapped into a romantic comedy.

Free Solo (2018)

I really wanted to see all the documentary feature nominees before the ceremony but I miserably failed as it was the Oscars day and had seen none. So last Sunday afternoon —the ceremony is on Monday morning here— I decided to watch at least one and I went with Free Solo because I had read somewhere that it was going to win. And so did it. Did it deserve it though? I'm not sure as I'm yet to see the other nominees. 

Anyways, Free Solo is a biographical documentary about Alex Honnold, an American rock climber best known for his free solo ascents of big walls, and it focuses on his 2017 climb of Yosemite's 3000 foot El Captain without ropes or safety gear.

Vox Lux (2018)

I remember seeing the trailer to Vox Lux on TV after it premiered at Venice last September and you know what stuck with me? Natalie Portman's Black Swan-alike makeup. Despite the film's forgettability and my lack of interest in seeing it, I still checked it out because of my love for Portman. 

The film follows 18 years in the life of Celeste Montgomery (Natalie Portman as an adult, and Raffrey Cassidy as a teen). After surviving a school shooting in 1999, she is catapulted into stardom thanks to the writing skills of her sister, Ellie (Stacy Martin), and her passionate manager (Jude Law).

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

I'm not going to lie, I was not interested in seeing Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse at all after seeing the trailer, it just didn't click with me. Then the movie hit theatres everywhere but my country, people were loving it and I decided I'd give it a chance. Too bad my city had screenings only on Christmas and Boxing Day, I was busy with family and stuff, and I missed it. 

This umpteenth movie about your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man follows Miles Morales (voiced by Shameik Moore), a teen from Brooklyn struggling with school and friends. One night he sneaks out of his dorm room to visit his uncle, Aron (Mahershala Ali), who brings him to paint graffiti in an abandoned subway station. Miles is bitten by a radioactive spider and Spider-Man. There's already a Spider-Man (voiced by Chris Pine) but he's killed by Kingpin (voiced by Liev Schreiber). Luckily, Kingpin's dimension-crossing super-collider brings in Spider-Man from other universes, and Miles must team up with them to stop Kingpin.