Thursday Movie Picks: Television Edition: Secret Agents/Spies

There's always been that one TV series I watched that was involving secret agents and spies. It was La Femme Nikita when I was a kid, Chuck when I was a teen, Agent Carter, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and Homeland in my early twenties. Unfortunately, I've already picked most of these so for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, I'm going with shows I want(ed) to watch but never started.

Booksmart (2019)

Every now and then, a new high school coming-of-age film makes its way into our heart and instantly becomes a classic. Recently, thankfully, we've had plenty of female-led ones — just think of Easy A, The Edge of Seventeen, or Lady Bird. Olivia Wilde's directorial debut, Booksmart, is not quite the revelation I was led to believe it'd be, but it's nevertheless a smart, energetic and fun teenage film with a nice twist on the genre.

John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum (2019)

Whether it's the type of gun or the Latin word meaning "prepare for war" you're thinking of, Parabellum makes for the perfect title for the third chapter of the John Wick series, an action flick which unfortunately has too much action for its own good and becomes tiresome before even hitting the first hour mark. 

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies Adapted from Movies of a Different Language

Something I'm guilty of is watching a movie after loving the original foreign version only to trash it because, let's be honest, those remakes, especially when they are American, tend to be terrible. Since being less negative is my resolution for 2019, for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves, I'm focusing on good films only. Without further ado, here are my picks:

Tallulah (2016)

"Yet another Netflix original with a great cast to lure you into watching it" was my first thought we Tallulah's popped up on my homepage. I do love Ellen Page and Allison Janney too much though so I couldn't just ignore it. And I'm glad I didn't because this is one of those small gems more people need to watch.

Thursday Movie Picks: Letters

Are you ready for some cheesy romantic movies? Because this week's theme for Wandering Through the Shelves's Thursday Movie Picks is letters and all I could come up with are movies driven by love letters — I hope this is not the first symptom of me falling in love. Anyway, without further ado, here are my picks. And grab some Kleenex if you decide to watch any of them. 

The Woman in Red (1984)

The Woman in Red is yet another of those movies that have been on my watchlist since the dawn of times and that, for a reason or another, I've been putting off forever. Since it's only an hour and a half long and lately I don't have a lot of time to watch movies, I finally watched it. 

The story follows Theodore "Teddy" Pierce (Gene Wilder), a happily married family man who would never even consider cheating on his wife, Didi (Judith Ivey). Things are about to change when he meets a beautiful woman in red (Kelly LeBrock) — he's smitten by her and totally infatuated and he tries various schemes only to realise that cheating is not as easy as it looks.

I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

Believe it or not, I had never seen I Know What You Did Last Summer before now. I've seen it parodied in Scary Movie and probably other movies too, but never watched the actual film. Then the other day I was in the mood for something light and I finally watched it. 

The story follows four friends, Julie (Jennifer Love-Hewitt), Helen (Sarah Michelle Gellar), Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr.), and Barry (Ryan Phillippe). On their way home from a party on the beach, they accidentally hit and kill a man. After some arguing, they decide to dump the body in the water and never talk about what happened ever again. A year later, Julie returns home from college only to find a letter simply saying, "I know what you did last summer". Shocked, she reunites with her friends and tries to figure out who is after them. 

Short Term 12 (2013)

Whenever someone on Twitter says that Brie Larson can't act there's always someone that brings up Short Term 12 to prove the contrary. Now I love Brie Larson as, to me, she's always proven she can act, but since I had never seen the film, I checked it out. 

The story mainly focuses on Grace (Brie Larson), the young supervisor of a group home for troubled teenagers called Short Term 12, who lives with her long-term boyfriend and coworker, Mason (John Gallagher Jr.). While facing personal issues as she finds out she's pregnant, she has to deal with two difficult kids at the home, Marcus (Lakeith Stanfield), a quiet kid who is about to turn eighteen but doesn't want to leave the facility as he's not ready to face the world out there, and Jayden (Kaitlyn Dever), a troubled teenage girl who seems to be deeply scarred. 

Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond (2017)

I was wandering through the documentary section on Netflix when I stumbled upon Chris Smith's Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond. I couldn't believe there was a documentary about Jim Carrey so, of course, I ended up watching it. 

The film is about the making of Milos Forman's Man on the Moon, the biopic of comedian Andy Kaufman, and focuses on how Jim Carrey prepared, actually, how he essentially became Andy Kaufman for the role in the film. 

Fighting with My Family (2019)

When I first heard of Fighting with My Family earlier this year I thought, "great, another dumb movie with The Rock" and I avoided it. Then about a week ago I read a blogger saying it was fun and entertaining, even if wrestling is not your cup of tea, and I decided to give it a shot.

The film tells the true story of professional wrestler Paige/Saraya Knight (Florence Pugh). Born in a family of wrestlers, she joined the family business at 13, even though she didn't love it as much as her family, especially her brother, Zak (Jack Lowden). Five years later, both her bother and she find themselves competing for the same WWE and Saraya is the only one picked among all the participants. While she is pushed to new limits by coach Hutch (Vince Vaughn), Zak must move past his dreams of making the WWE.

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019)

I grew up watching Pokémon and I’m one of those people who has been playing PokémonGO for the past three years, so when news came out of Pokémon Detective Pikachu, saying that I was excited about the film is an understatement.

Set in a world filled with hundreds of unique creatures — Pokémon —, the story follows Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a 21-year-old blue collar insurance worker, as he teams up with a talking Pikachu (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) to investigate the death/disappearance of his father, Kanto police detective Harry Goodman.

50/50 (2011)

There's plenty of movies dealing with cancer, but the majority doesn't really know how to handle the subject properly and usually ends up being either the overly emotional type or the "living life to the fulled" type. It didn't seem like 50/50 was going to be one of those so I checked it out. 

Based on a true story, it follows Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), a 27-year-old radio journalist in Seattle who lives with her girlfriend, Rachel (Bryce Dallas Howard), of whom his best friend and co-worker, Kyle (Seth Rogen), disapprove. After experiences back pain for a while, he goes to the doctor only to be diagnosed with a rare form of spinal cancer. At first, he handles all with ease as he starts counselling with Katie (Anna Kendrick), a young phycologist, but as he begins chemotherapy, everything gets more complex — her relationship with Rachel, his friendship with Kyle, and his overbearing, needy mother, (Anjelica Huston).

Thursday Movie Picks: Movies You Have a Different Opinion After Rewatch

I don't usually change my mind and, for this reason, I never rewatch movies. Unless I really enjoyed them, of course. There are some exceptions here and there though, like when a film loved by most was average at best for me, or when I'm just curious to know how I'd feel today about movies I loved as a kid and teen. The latter are the movies I'm focusing on for this week's Thursday Movie Picks, the weekly series hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves.

Top Gun (1986)

Something I've heard a lot since I started blogging four years ago is that Top Gun is one of those classics you must watch a least once in your life. For a reason or another — mainly because I tried to avoid everything with Tom Cruise as my love for him is quite recent —, I never watched it. Since a sequel is coming (soon), I finally decided to watch it. 

The story follows Lieutenant Pete "Maverick" Mitchel (Tom Cruise), a young, cocky, hotshot pilot. After a daredevil stunt, Maverick receives news that he's being accepted into an elite training academy known as "Top Gun", along with his co-pilot and friend, Nick "Goose" Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards). As soon as he begins his training, he's faced with two distractions — a highly competitive fellow student, Iceman (Val Kilmer), and Charlie Blackwood (Kelly McGillis), the attractive woman whom Maverick hits on the night before he's discovered who turns out to be one of his instructors. 

Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Although it took me more than a year to check it out, I loved Happy Death Day, which is the reason why I was really looking forward to catching up its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, even though sequels usually end up being huge disappointments. 

The story opens with Ryan (Phi Vu) as he wakes up in his car, goes about his day and gets killed by someone wearing a creepy baby mask only to wake up in his car again and relive the same day. Turns out he's the one who created the loop that trapped Tree (Jessica Rothe) on the day of her birthday and when it tries to fix it, he screws up Tree's life again as she is yet again stuck on April 18, only this time around she finds herself in an alternate dimension, where Carter is dating her friend, Danielle (Rachel Matthews), her mother is still alive, and the killer, who is now after Tree's roommate, Lori (Ruby Modine), is someone else.

The Ruthless (2019)

Modern Italian cinema and I don't get along very well so, unless it has Alessandro Gassmann, I make sure to stay away from those movies But then the other day, and by the other day I mean April 19, The Ruthless (Italian: Lo spietato) popped up on my Netflix homepage and since it stars Riccardo Scamarcio — I have a crush on him since I waw thirteen —, and I read many positive reviews, I checked it out. 

The film tells the story of Santo Russo (Riccardo Scamarcio), the son of a former member (Angelo Libri) of the 'Ndrangheta who. Moved with his family in Milan at the age of sixteen, one New Year's Eve, Santo (Lorenzo De Iullo) makes the foolish mistake of disobeying his overbearing father and, although innocent, he ends up spending four months in prison. During his stay, he has his first encounter with Milan's underworld and befriends another Calabrese teenager, Slim (Damiano Lauria). The story then jumps years forward and follows Santo as he makes a name for himself. 

Welcome to Marwen (2018)

I don't remember if it was the actual trailer or just some screencaps, but I remember as if it was yesterday seeing Steve Carell playing with those creepy dolls and thinking, "how does someone like Robert Zemeckis end up making something like that?". That was the exact moment I decided to pass Welcome to Marwen. Then it was featured on one of Cinematic Corner's Rambling Friday and it sounded so bad I had to check it out. 

The film tells the true story of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) who was brutally assaulted by a group of white supremacists for admitting he wore women's heels. Having lost his ability to draw, Hogancamp created in his backyard a miniature World War II village called Marwen, which is filled with dolls corresponding to people he knows in real life, mostly strong women who have helped him in his recovery, as a coping mechanism and to create a more satisfying past for himself. 

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)

I really liked Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure so it was only a matter of time — or rather, a matter of finding the film — before I watched its sequel, Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey

Two years after the events of the first film, Bill (Alex Winter) and Ted (Keanu Reeves) have somehow managed to graduate from high school and be accepted into college, and, although they are still struggling, they are on their way to becoming rock stars. In the future, however, there's a man, Chuck De Nomolos (Joss Ackland), who hates the Utopian society they created and sends two evil robots disguised as Bill and Ted to kill human Bill and Ted, take over their lives and change the future. 

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile (2019)

I've been really looking forward to seeing Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil, and Vile because serial killers have always fascinated me and Efron's performance received a lot of praises from critics.

The film is based on Elizabeth Kendall’s memoir The Phantom Prince: My Life with Ted Bundy and follows Ted Bundy (Zac Efron) mainly during the 1970s. The first part focuses on his relationship with former girlfriend Liz Kloepfer (Lily Collins), the second on his trails as he’s charged with multiple first-degree murders.

Weird Science (1985)

Just in case you haven't noticed, I've been watching a lot of teen movies from the 80s and 90s lately, partially because I don't have a lot of time and these movies are fairly short, partially because they've been on my list forever. Weird Science is one of those, and it ended up there because it's a John Hughes film. 

The story follows Gary (Anthony Michael Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith), two very unpopular high school nerds who are not accepted by their peers — while the girls ignore them, the boys bully and embarrass them. One night, they are watching Frankenstein on the TV and they come up with the idea of creating their own creature using a computer program, only instead of a monster they want to create a gorgeous woman who can help them socially. Their experiment proves successful, and they create their perfect woman, Lisa (Kelly LeBrock). 

Thursday Movie Picks: True Crime

Whether it’s a movie, a TV series or a book, crime is a genre that always compels me, even more so if based on a true story, which is exactly what we are asked to pick for the first Thursday of May for Wandering Through the Shelves’s weekly series Thursday Movie Picks. Without further ado, here are my picks — I kinda cheated this week though.

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)

I've been meaning to check out Ferris Bueller's Day Off since I saw the musical scene in Easy A but, for a reason or another — the latest being the idiotic idea to watch Step Brothers — I kept putting it off. 

The film follows a day in the life of Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick), a popular high school student who gets away with everything. On this particular day, he fakes sick to take a day off from school and enjoy Chicago with his best friend, Cameron (Alan Ruck), and his girlfriend, Sloane (Mia Sara), while trying to outwit Ed Rooney (Jeffrey Jones), the suspicious school principal who wants to prove Ferris is not sick, and his sister, Jeanie (Jennifer Grey), who is sick of her brother getting away with his tricks all the time. 

St. Vincent (2014)

I love Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy and Naomi Watts so passing St. Vincent was not an option for me, even more so if you consider the film got a Globe nomination for Best Comedy/Musical. Unfortunately, my cinema didn't show it, I missed it and it took me more than four years to catch up.

The story follows Vincent (Bill Murray), an old, grumpy and alcoholic Vietnam veteran who lives alone and gambles regularly and whose only friend is a Russian sex worker named Daka (Naomi Watts). When Maggie Bronstein (Melissa McCarty), a med-tech divorcée, moves to the next-door house with her eleven-year-old son, Oliver (Jaeden Lieberher), Vicent offers to babysit him for money and he soon turns out to be exactly the mentor Oliver needs as the kid has to deal with his parents' divorce and the new school.