High Life (2018)

When High Life leaked a couple of weeks ago, many people I follow on Twitter and Letterboxd obviously watched it and they all praised the film and Pattinson's performance. Being a fan of Pattinson — not Twilight Pattinson, but serious movies Pattinson — I checked it out. 

The film follows a space crew consisting of criminals serving death sentences on their mission to finding and extracting a new source of energy from a black hole. The inmates, who thought they were given a second chance, soon learn that they are nothing but the subjects of a human reproduction experiment led by Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche).

A Walk in the Woods (2015)

(Not so) Fun fact. I watched A Walk in the Woods because one does not simply pass a movie starring Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson, but also because I needed a film for a Thursday Movie Picks a while back, and by a while back I mean more than two years ago. As usual, I wrote the review, obviously picked the film for the series, and then forgot about it. So here it is, better late than never, right?

Anyways, the story follows travel writer Bill Bryson (Robert Redford), who instead of retiring and spending time with his loving wife, Catherine (Emma Thompson), decides to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends, Stephen Katz (Nick Nolte).

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Spoilers ahead! I never cared much about superhero movies, but then the Marvel Cinematic Universe happened and, every year for the past eleven years, they've been the movies I was looking forward to seeing the most. No matter how disappointingly awful some were, I was still excited to see what would come next. And after Avengers: Infinity War ended with that huge cliffhanger, Avengers: Endgame became my most anticipated Marvel film ever. And boy, I was not disappointed. 

The story picks up after the devastating events of the previous film, with the remaining Avengers — Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo), Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), James Rhodes (Don Cheadle), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth) — joined by Captain Marvel (Brie Larson), Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), and Nebula (Karen Gillan) to track down Thanos (Josh Brolin), steal the Infinity Stones and reverse his action. Unfortunately, they learn upon finding him that he had destroyed the stones, and Thor kills him. Five years later, Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) comes back from the Quantum Realm and proposes the others to travel back in time and prevent Thanos from finding the stones in the first place.

Mirage (2018)

I loved Oriol Paulo's The Invisible Guest which is why I've been putting off Mirage (Spanish: Durante la tormenta) for the past month, afraid that the film would not meet my high expectations. 

The story begins on November 9 1989, the day of the fall of the Berlin Wall, during a storm. Twelve-year-old Nico (Julio Bohigas) hears noises from next door, he investigates and discovers his neighbour, Ángel Prieto (Javier Gutiérrez), standing over the dead body of his wife with a knife. Nico runs away but he's hit by a truck and killed in the process. Twenty-five year later, on November 9 2014, the same storm occurs, and Vera (Adriana Ugarte), who has recently moved with her husband, David (Álvaro Morte), and daughter, Gloria (Luna Fulgencio), into Nico's old house, is connected to Nico through an old analogue TV and has the chance to save his life. The next morning, Vera wakes up in an unrecognizable reality where her daughter was never born, and sets out to go back to her life.

The Proposal (2009)

I still remember the first time I watched The Proposal — I liked the movie so much I talked about it all the time and I even convinced my mother to watch it. I've been meaning to rewatch it for quite some time to see how I'd feel about it now and, since recently I'm often in the mood for romantic comedies — what is happening to me? — I finally did. 

The story follows Margaret Tate (Sandra Bullock), a successful editor at a prestigious New York publishing house, and her personal assistant, Andrew Paxton (Ryan Reynolds). When Margaret, a Canadian, faces deportation due to an expired visa, she blackmails Andrew to marry her. In return, she would promote him to editor and publish his book. Mr. Gilbertson (Denis O'Hare), however, the clerk of the immigration department is a bit sceptical and schedules an interview on the next Monday, so Margaret and Andrew travel to Alaska to celebrate his grandmother's (Betty White) ninetieth birthday and announce their engagement.

Atonement (2007)

I was wandering through the library shelves when I picked up Ian McEwan's Atonement. I didn't know what it was about, but I remember it was adapted into a movie with Keira Knightly and Saoirse Ronan that I had meant to watch for quite some time, so I read it. And I loved it which is why I was no longer sure I wanted to see Joe Wright's Atonement.

The story opens in 1935 when a 13-year-old aspiring writer and playwright, Briony (Saoirse Ronan), witnesses an act she doesn't fully understand, the long-time family servant, Robbie Turner (James McAvoy), making love with her older sister, Cecilia (Keira Knightley). Later on, she becomes the witness of a crime she doesn't understand but she thinks she does and falsely accuses Robbie because of what she had seen earlier. This accusation of hers tears apart the two lovers, maybe forever as Robbie is sent to serve the army in WWII. Five years later, a grown-up Briony (Romola Garai), aware of the damage she has caused, tries to make amends for it.

Thursday Movie Picks: Television Edition: Music/Musicals

While I love music, music-related films and TV series aren't really my thing, especially musicals, so yeah, I had quite a hard time picking series for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, as I've only seen one in its entirety that fit the theme — it's Hannah Montana, just in case you're wondering. I didn't want to skip the week so I went with those I watched some episodes either and there, started and never finished, and started and yet to finish.

Step Brothers (2008)

After a day of non-stop walking, I still had some energy left to watch a movie so I decided to watch something light. It took me 30 minutes to pick one and eventually went with Step Brothers because it had been on my list for ages and it was about time for me to watch it. 

The story follows Brennan Huff (Will Ferrell) and Dale Doback (John C. Reilly), two unemployed, nearly 40-year-old slackers who still live with their parents. When Brennen's mother, Nancy (Mary Steenburgen), marries Dale's father, Robert (Richard Jenkins), Brennan and Dale are forced to share a room. Despite their personalities being so alike, they don't get along very well, but when Brennan's successful young brother, Derek (Adam Scott), the two begin to bond. 

Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)

While I've heard of Four Wedding and a Funeral many times over the years, always from people who enjoyed the film, I never watched it because of Hugh Grant — I'm probably the only woman in the world who feels this way but I don't like him. 

The story follows a small group of friends as they attend four weddings and a funeral of mutual friends or acquaintances — hence the title —, and it mainly focuses on Charles (Hugh Grant), a carefree bachelor who is some sort of perpetual Best Man. At the first wedding though, he meets Carrie (Andie MacDowell), a young, free-spirited American woman, and falls in love with her, and over the course of the four following gatherings, he reassesses his thoughts on marriage.

Snakes on a Plane (2006)

It was January 2016 when I first heard of Snakes on a Place, when many people picked it for the airplane themed week of Thursday Movie Picks. That's for how long I've been meaning to watch this but kept putting it off instead. 

The plot goes like this. After witnessing the murder of an American prosecutor by the powerful mobster Eddie Kim (Bryon Lawson) while on vacation in Hawaii, Sean Jones (Nathan Phillips) is persuaded by FBI agent Neville Flynn (Samuel L. Jackson) to testify against Kim in Los Angeles. For the trip back, they take the entire First Class section of a red-eye flight, thinking that Jones would be safe there. Unfortunately for them and everyone else on that plane, Kim has dispatched hundreds of venomous snakes with a crate with the intent of crashing the plane and hence stop Jones from testifying. 

Lost River (2014)

I added Lost River on my list years ago because of Saoirse Ronan but, I don't know why, I never cared to watch it. Probably because it sent me a negative vibe. 

Anyways, the film centers on Billy (Christina Hendricks), a single mother of two who has fallen behind on her house payments and may lose her home because of it. As a desperate attempt to save her childhood home, she takes a disturbing job into a macabre underworld. In the meantime, her older, teenage son, Bones (Iain De Caestecker), steels chopper from old houses to make some money and gets into trouble with a vicious local criminal named Bully (Matt Smith). 

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)

Believe it or not, I had never heard of Bill & Ted before Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter announced the third film and basically Film Twitter lost it.  Since I love Keanu Reeves, I decided to check out the first of the series, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure.

The story follows Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves), two Californian teens who want to start their own rock band. Unfortunately, they both are on the verge of flunking in high school and if they don't pass their upcoming history report, they will be expelled and separated as Ted's father (Hal Landon Jr.) will be sending him to military school. Help arrives from Rufus (George Carlin), a man from the 27th century who comes down in a time-travelling telephone booth and gives the dudes the chance to travel back in history and gather historical figures in order to complete their report for the next day and save the future.

Someone Great (2019)

There's something about Gina Rodriguez that I don't like. It's not her fault, it's just that she reminds me of a person I know and don't like much and that person basically ruined Gina for me. She is a great actress though — I loved her in Jane the Virgin — so, despite me not being the biggest fan of romantic comedies and the trailer basically screaming "I'm a terrible movie", I checked out Netflix's newest original film, Someone Great

Set in New York, the story focuses on Jenny (Gina Rodriguez), a nearly 30-year-old music journalist who has just landed her dream job as a writer for Rolling Stone magazine in San Francisco. Not even contemplating the idea of a long distance relationship, her boyfriend of nine years, Nate (Lakeith Stanfield), breaks up with her. To nurse her broken heart, she decides to have one last, outrageous night in New York City with her two best friends, Erin (DeWanda Wise) and Blair (Brittany Snow).

Thursday Movie Picks: Interviews

Storytime. I once went on a job interview for a sporting goods store. I was wearing jeans, sneakers and a coat, like most of the others. One, though, was wearing heavy make-up, 4.7 inches heels, a skirt and a leopard print coat. What I'm trying to say is that it's not only in fiction that people don't make the best choices when it comes to job interviews, and it's on those I'm focusing on for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves.

Happy Death Day (2017)

I really wanted to see Happy Death Day when it came out because of the catchy title and good reviews I had read, but then, I don't remember why, I missed it and, like I always do, I forgot about it. And if it wasn't for the sequel released a couple of months ago, I still wouldn't have seen this.

The story follows Tree (Jessica Rothe), a self-centered college student and sorority sister who wakes up on the morning of her birthday with a terrible hangover, in the dorm room of a guy (Israel Broussard) she doesn't know. She quickly ditches him and goes on with her day. That night, on her way to a party, she is followed and killed by someone wearing a mask. Tree immediately wakes up in the same dorm room only to realise that she's living the same exact day. At first, she thinks she's experiencing deja vu but, when the night comes, she is killed again and yet again wakes up in the dorm room on her birthday, she realises she is stuck in a loop that will end only when she discovers who is trying to kill her.

How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019)

Although I wasn't crazy about How to Train Your Dragon 2 —don't get me wrong, I didn't hate it, it just didn't live up to How to Train Your Dragon, in my opinion— I was still looking forward to seeing How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World as it is the final chapter of the trilogy. 

In this final entry, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) and the other Vikings continue to rescue captured dragons and bring them to Berk. Hiccup's efforts to free the dragons, however, has made him a target for other warlords and Vikings, and pretty soon he and his people are forced to face an infamous dragon hunter (F. Murray Abraham) who uses a female Light Fury as bait to capture Toothless and plans on turning him against his friends. 

Glass (2019)

If it wasn't for Glass, I probably would have never seen Unbreakable, one of the best origin films ever, nor Split, its marvellous standalone sequel. If I hadn't loved those two films, on the other hand, I would have never sat through two hours of whatever the hell Glass is. 

Set immediately after Split, Glass opens with an aged David Dunn (Bruce Willis) who, helped by his son, Joseph (Spencer Treat Clark), tries to stop Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy) and the twenty-four personalities that reside within him. Things don't go exactly as planned and both David and Kevin are locked up in a mental hospital where David's archenemy, Elijah Price aka Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson), is also staying. As if that wasn't bad enough, David has to deal with a psychiatrist (Sarah Paulson) who is out to prove that the three men do not have super-human abilities. 

The Paperboy (2012)

Despite my aversion for Matthew McConaughey —the less I see of this guy, the better I feel— I watched The Paperboy anyway because it has Zac Efron and Nicole Kidman peeing on his face and genitals and I wanted to see what he did to deserve that. 

The story follows an idealistic reporter, Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey), who returns to his hometown when Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman) asks him to prove that Hillary Van Wetter (John Cusack), the man she met via letters and whom she is in love with, on death row for the murder of a sheriff, is innocent, and drags his college-drop-out younger brother, Jack (Zac Efron), into the investigation.

The Pink Panther (1963)

For most of my life, the Pink Panther was only a cartoon character from an animated series. Then, quite recently, I learnt that that character originated from Blake Edward's crime comedy The Pink Panther, and being a fan of crime movies and having heard good things about it, I decided to check it out. 

The story follows a French detective, Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers), who is obsessively trying to catch a jewel thief known as "The Phantom". A lead takes him to Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, at a ski resort where English playboy Sir Charles Lytton (David Niven) and bored Princess Dala (Claudia Cardinale), who has with her the Pink Panther diamond, are also staying. 

Clueless (1995)

I never cared much about high school flicks, not even when I was in high school —Easy A is the exception since I love that movie—, so I never bothered to check out Clueless. Then I learnt there's a (young) Paul Rudd in it so of course I watched it. 

The story follows Cher Horowitz (Alicia Silverstone), a superficial, materialist, rather stupid, spoiled 16-year-old who only cares about herself and being the most popular kid in high school and does not believe in high school boyfriends. She also enjoys playing the good Samaritan so, after orchestrating a relationship between two of her teachers to improve their moods and get better grades without studying, she takes awkward tomboy Tai (Brittany Murphy) under her wing and decides to find her a boyfriend. Which only makes her realise she wants a boyfriend but finding the Balwin of her dreams turns out to be a much more difficult task than anticipated.

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

I saw The Cabin in the Woods when it came out and, although I liked it, I never bother rewatching it, mainly because I had terrible taste in movies back then. After reading Cinematic Corner's 10 best horror films since 2010, I thought it was time for a rewatch.

The story follows five college kids, Dana (Kristen Connolly), Curt (Chris Hemsworth), Jules (Anna Hutchison), Holden (Jesse Williams), and Marty (Fran Kranz), as they head off to a cabin in the woods for the weekend, and along the way they come across a creepy man who warns them about the danger. Of course, they ignore him and isolate themselves in the cabin anyway.

A Most Violent Year (2014)

I've been wanting to see A Most Violent Year for ages because of Jessica Chastain but I've been putting it off because, honestly, the film itself didn't really appeal me. It still didn't but I gave it a shot anyway because of Chastain and Oscar Isaac. 

The story is set in 1981 New York City and follows Abel Morales (Oscar Isaac), a successful and ambitious immigrant, owner of a heating oil company who is planning to grab a bigger piece of New York's gas industry while dealing with very dangerous competitor and a hungry district attorney (David Oyelowo) who starts investigating Adel's company's financial records,. In the meantime, his wife, Anna (Jessica Chastain), accuses him of not doing enough to protect his family.

The Silence (2019)

Four months after the release of Bird Box, the disappointing horror starring Sandra Bullock, comes another horror from Netflix where the characters can no longer do something. That film is The Silence and stars another big name, Stanley Tucci, the reason I decided to check this out.

The story follows Ally (Kiernan Shipka), a 16-year-old who has lost her hearing at the age of 13, and her family as they try to survive after a team of explorers accidentally released an unknown, primaeval species who start killing everything and everyone in their paths as long as they make noise.

What If (2013)

I remember when What If came out an eternity ago and I really wanted to see it because I was in a post-Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe crush period, but for a reason I don't recall I skipped it. The Radcliffe crush is over now, but I do have a crush on Adam Driver and Mackenzie Davis at the moment, and I really like Zoe Kazan, so I finally checked it out. 

The story follows Wallace (Daniel Radcliffe), a medical school dropout who is not very good at relationships and decides to put his love life on hold while everyone around him is finding the perfect partner. One night at a party though, he instantly bonds with Chantry (Zoe Kazan) and falls for her. Unfortunately, she already is in a serious relationship with Ben (Rafe Spall), and she just wants them to be friends.

Us (2019)

I was very looking forward to seeing Us —you can say it was one of my most anticipated films of 2019— and the very positive ratings I kept seeing on my Letterboxd homepage —I avoided reviews because of spoilers— only made me even more hyped about it. And because of it, a part of me was afraid Peele's latest film would let me down. Thankfully, it did not. It still has many flaws but I loved it nevertheless.

The film follows Adelaide Wilson (Lupita Nyong'O) who, accompanied by her husband, Gabe (Winston Duke), and two kids, Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex), returns to the beachfront home where she grew up. It's not easy to be there for her as it brings back memories of her childhood, specifically of the traumatic incident she experienced when she wandered away from her parents and entered a funhouse on the beach. While trying to relax and have fun with her family, Adelaide can't quite shake off the feeling that something bad is going to happen. Her worst fear becomes a reality when four masked individuals break into her house in the middle of the night.

Unicorn Store (2019)

I love Brie Larson so when I learnt that her directorial debut, Unicorn Store, was available on Netflix (by the way, fuck you Netflix for telling me about every single insignificant rom-com of yours but totally forgetting about notifying me about this, and thank you Film Twitter for making me realise it), I watched it immediately.

The story follows Kit (Brie Larson), a young woman who is ejected from art school and goes back in with her parents (Bradley Whitford and Joan Cusack). After dumping herself on the sofa watching TV, she decides to join a temp agency, takes up an office job and soon finds encouragement from Gary (Hamish Linklater), the company's vice president, to pitch a campaign for a vacuum cleaner. But then she gets an invitation to The Store where the salesman (Samuel L. Jackson) promises that not only unicorns exist but that she'll be able to have one of herself to love her forever if she lives up to a few demands. 

The Fundamentals of Caring (2016)

Unlike the movies that I've been watching lately, The Fundamentals of Caring was not on my watchlist but I watched it anyway because I was in the mood for Paul Rudd and this was one of the Paul Rudd movies available on Netflix. 

The story follows Ben (Paul Rudd), a retired writer who is in need of a job and decides to become a caregiver. After completing a six-week course, he is hired by Elsa (Jennifer Ehle) to care for her sardonic and anxious 18-year-old son, Trevor (Craig Roberts), who has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. After a bumpy start, Ben and Trevor embark on a road trip to see American roadside attractions. Along the way, they pick up a foul-mouthed runaway, Dot (Selena Gomez), and a pregnant woman, Peaches (Megan Ferguson). 

Blue Jay (2016)

After watching and really enjoying Paddleton, I decided to check out more from the Duplass brothers and Alex Lehmann. That's when I stumbled upon Blue Jay and, since it sounded interesting and the cast appealed me, I checked it out (more than a month later because I'm terrible at this). 

The film follows Jim (Mark Duplass) and Amanda (Sarah Paulson), two high school sweethearts who meet by chance for the first time in years when they both go back to their California hometown. They seem very awkward at first as they don't have much to say to each other, but once they get to talking, and decide to spend some time at Jim's old house, they fall back into the past as if nothing has changed between them.

It's Kind of a Funny Story (2010)

It's Kind of a Funny Story is yet another of those movies I added on my watchlist and got stuck there for ages because there was always something more appealing to watch. Or something that I had meant to watch for even longer. 

Anyways, the story, which is based on Ned Vizzini's novel of the same name, follows Craig (Keir Gilchrist), a depressed 16-year-old who, after contemplating suicide by jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, decides to check himself into the psychiatric ward of a hospital, thinking they'll keep an eye on him and send him home for school the next day. Getting out is not as easy as Craig pictured it though and, once in, his new psychiatric, Dr. Minerva (Viola Davis), forces him to stay for five days. During his stay, he quickly befriends Bobby (Zach Galifianakis), an optimistic adult, and Noelle (Emma Roberts), a sweet teenager. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Unrecognizable Actor Transformations

In this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the lovely weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, we are talking about movies with great actor transformations, so great that the actor is unrecognizable. I was tempted to pick three Christian Bale films, but eventually I went with three great actresses (and films) instead. 

The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

Scrolling through Netflix and adding movies and TV series to my watchlist is something I love doing. Putting them off is another thing I love doing. Watching them, not so much. So, if it wasn't for Brittani's review, I probably would have never checked out The Incredible Jessica James

The story follows Jessica James (Jessica Williams), a struggling playwright living in New York. She has recently broken up with her boyfriend of two years, Damon (Lakeith Stanfield) and just can't get over it and keeps stalking his Instagram. Essentially forced by her best friend, Tasha (Noël Wells), she goes on a blind date with Boone (Chris O'Dowd), a newly divorcé who is also obsessed in a stalker-like way with his ex (Megan Ketch). Despite both of their disinterest in a new relationship, they establish an instant bond.

Other People (2016)

It's Jesse Plemons's birthday today and as an appreciation, I decided to watch one of his movies. Other People was the only available on Italian Netflix and since I was yet to see it I checked it out.

The film follows David (Jesse Plemons), a young,  gay, struggling comedy writer as he moves back home to Sacramento to do something other people usually do, taking care of his mother, Joanne (Molly Shannon), who is dying from a rare cancer. Over the course of a year, he has to deal with the deterioration of his mother's health, more career setbacks and a strained relationship with his family, especially his father (Bradley Whitford) who has never accepted him being gay.

The Stepford Wives (2004)

I don't know if you've noticed but I've been watching a lot of crappy movies lately because I'm too lazy to pick movies so I watch whatever trash Netflix suggests me. The Stepford Wives is one of those movies and I gave it a chance because of Nicole Kidman. 

Based on Ira Levin's novel of the same name, the story follows Joanna Eberhart (Nicole Kidman), a successful TV executive. When she is fired and has a nervous breakdown, her husband, Walter (Matthew Broderick), decides to move the whole family from Manhattan to a community in Stepford, Connecticut. There's something weird going on though as their female neighbours are a bit too perfect and the men just seem to sit around in the men's club all day.