The 500/365 Film Challenge: Weeks 1 – 4 PART ONE

Okay guys, we’ve got a LOT of films to cover in this post. 45 to be exact. This is the first half of the recap of Weeks 1 – 4. Grab some popcorn and settle in, because this is going to be a LONG post. (For a full list of the films watched without the reviews check out PART TWO)

                                                           WEEK ONE

Image result for the greatest showman stills

I started the first week of the year off with a little cinema trip to watch The Greatest Showman with my family. It completely captivated me, made me laugh, and made me cry. “Never Enough” and “A Million Dreams” are the musical high points, giving me an overwhelming feeling of genuine emotion that forced me to check any hint of early adulthood cynicism at the door. Hugh Jackman never fails to impress me in his musical roles, but Zendaya’s performance as Anne Wheeler was a particular stand out to me, and it’s wonderful to see her career evolve after first becoming a fan as a pre-teen during her Shake It Up days.

Now here’s a (relatively) unpopular opinion: I think I might even prefer this film to La La Land (GaspShockHorror – I know). Don’t get me wrong, La La Land is one of my favourite films with an aesthetic to die for, but there’s just something about The Greatest Showman. Maybe it’s the heart. Maybe it’s the music. Maybe it’s Troy Bolton singing a duet with Jean Val Jean. Who knows? RATING: 5 Star Rating System 4 and a half stars

Aaaaaannndddd how here’s the couple of days where, out of sheer boredom, I watched nothing but a bunch of RomComs that I’d been meaning to see but never got around to watching.

First off: Table 19. I’ll watch any film that Anna Kendrick makes and this one was no exception. It’s an easy watch and by no means a masterpiece, but it’s a cute film with cute, quirky characters, and a cute ending. I watched it as part of a lazy-day marathon, and it made a nice addition to that. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 2 and a half stars                                                   

 I finished off the day with a double bill of Zac-Efron-And-Aubrey-Plaza-comedies-that-I’m-not-quite-sure-why-I-own-them-on-DVD-but-for-some-reason-I-do: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates and Dirty Grandpa. I’d already watched Dirty Grandpa when it first came out (a side effect of having a younger teenage brother is accidentally watching multiple comedies that you never planned on seeing.) and although it genuinely does have it’s funny moments, it’s just not my kind of film. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 2 and a half stars                                    

I enjoyed Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates a bit more. The ensemble cast for this film felt like a more cohesive comedic unit, and I’ll admit that there were points where I was legitimately crying with laughter. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 stars

My one lazy day of movie watching accidentally turned into two, and next I was watching Why Him? – to which I was asking Why Am I Watching This Film? I’ll probably recommend it to my aforementioned brother though. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 2 stars                    

Up next? The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. I remember watching this film when I was a kid, and I remember wanting to look like Blake Lively when I grew up (still relevant), but that’s about all that I remembered. This film actually surprised me with a genuine heartfelt plot line, considering I was just expecting it to be a mindless teen film. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 stars                                                                                                           

I finished off the week with Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. I’ll be honest: This was on TV while I was organizing my degree work, so I wasn’t 100% focused on it, but it was an enjoyable little film. Emma Stone was a high point, as was Jennifer Garner – but, again with the honesty, I accidentally fell asleep before the end of the film – but that’s more a reflection of my lack of sleep as opposed to the quality of the film (I think).              RATING: 5 Star Rating System 2 and a half stars

 

                                                                WEEK TWO

Image result for trainspotting stills

 

Trainspotting is one of my all time favourite films, so it would make sense that I’d inevitably re-watch it within the first month of 2018. I’m currently writing a post on my favourite films which will be published on Wednesday, and you can definitely expect to see Trainspotting make an appearance on that list. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 5 stars                            

The next day called for another cinema trip, this time to watch Star Wars: The Last Jedi (There’ll be a LOT of Star Wars in Week 3’s recap – don’t say I didn’t warn you). I’m the first to admit that I’m a bit of a Star Wars geek – maybe not to the level that my dad is, but pretty close. I LOVED this film. Seeing Carrie Fisher on the big screen again was an emotional experience, but overall the film filled me with that childlike wonder and excitement that the Star Wars franchise is so brilliant at creating.                           RATING: 5 Star Rating System 4 and a half stars               

On the opposite end of things, I watched The Edge of Seventeen. Let’s just leave it at that, shall we? RATING: 5 Star Rating System 1 and a half stars

This was followed by a re-watch of Angus, Thongs, and Perfect Snogging. What a nostalgia trip. If you weren’t obsessed with this film when it first came out then you probably weren’t a British pre-teen/teen girl in the mid 00s. It’s bubbly, British, and has a surprisingly good soundtrack. (I’m adding an extra star purely for the nostalgia and the song Ultraviolet okay?) RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 and a half stars                                                                 

That evening, my parents were watching the live action remake of Beauty and The Beast, so I joined them. Apart from knowing that Emma Watson was Belle, every detail about this film somehow completely slipped under my radar. Going into it, I had no clue who the cast were, no clue what reviews it had gotten, and no clue whether I would like it or not. I was pleasantly surprised by the addition of Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, and Luke Evans to the cast, and although I struggle to see Emma Watson as anyone but Hermione Granger (through no fault of Emma’s – I was just a bit too obsessed with Harry Potter as a kid), she very much exceeded my expectations as Belle.                           RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 stars                                                                                                                   

The next day I came down with an extremely bad case of the flu, which sucked for obvious reasons, but it gave me a lot of extra time to watch films and give me a bit of a boost on this challenge (silver linings, eh?). I watched my so called guilty pleasure film: Safe Haven. There’s just something about the locations in the film that make me feel so relaxed and at ease (the more dramatic scenes and turns aside). It’s a simple film, but an enjoyable one all the same. RATING:  5 Star Rating System 3 and a half stars                                                               

I rounded off the week with the start of a Star Wars nightly marathon with my dad, starting with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Another (kind of) unpopular opinion: I don’t get the hate for the Star Wars prequels. Sure, the scripts aren’t particularly strong, and the more-is-more approach to the effects maybe wasn’t the best idea – but at the end of the day, any film that can be described as ‘Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor in space’ in it’s simplest terms is always going to be entertaining. (Also I should mention: There are a LOT of Ewan McGregor films featured in this month’s recap?? Although he’s one of my favourite actors, it definitely wasn’t on purpose?? Most were brilliant so it’s all good. Fun fact though: One time he was stood 5 feet away from me for an entire Green Day concert and I didn’t notice until I kept spotting myself in the background of other people’s photos.) ANYWAY. This is always a fun movie.                                  RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 stars

 

                                                          WEEK THREE

Image result for split 2017stills

Let’s just preface this week with this: There are a LOT of films to cover. I was still sick with the flu, so obviously I had to keep boredom at bay SOMEHOW.

This week started with a viewing of Split. The overall plot of this film (especially the last 25 minutes or so) isn’t the strongest, but it provides a solid vehicle to showcase James McAvoy’s strongest performance to date. His acting in this film, to put it simply, is phenomenal. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 4 and a half stars

Next up was a re-watch of Julie and Julia. An enjoyable and cosy film that leaves me feeling warm with a strong desire to cook every time I watch it.                                    RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 stars                                                                                                                     

 Ready for the first part of the influx of those Ewan McGregor films that I warned you about? Good – because here we go: T2 Trainspotting is a film that I’ve been desperately wanting to watch since it was released at the start of next year, and it did not disappoint. A must watch for fans of the first film, and a brilliant film anyway for those who aren’t. And if you aren’t – what’s wrong with you?! RATING: 5 Star Rating System 4 and a half stars

Adding on to the nightly Star Wars marathon, we next watched Star Wars Episode II:  Attack of the Clones. Today was the worst day of the flu, so I kept falling asleep on and off – purely because I was completely out of it from all the medication and being exhausted. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 2 and a half stars                                                                                                

The next day, they were showing Tim Burton’s Big Fish and Salmon Fishing In The Yemen one after the other on a movie channel (see what I mean about unintentional influx?). Big Fish was enchanting and strange, and the daffodil scene made me cry. I’m not going to lie. It’s a beautiful scene. It’s a beautiful film. (Spotting a young Miley Cyrus – then Destiny Cyrus – is a cute little addition for a flashback scene).                                RATING: 5 Star Rating System 4 stars

Salmon Fishing In The Yemen is a film that I remember being released a few years back, but somehow never watched. It’s an enjoyable and lighthearted film.                  RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 and a half stars                                                                                                                        

At this point, it was time for the third installment of Star Wars (Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith) – this week has too many films to fully cover so I’m just gonna rate it and go (You already know what I thought of the first two prequels so).         RATING:5 Star Rating System 3 stars                                                                                                                       

Next up is Kill The King (AKA Shangri-La Suite). I’m a huge fan of Emily Browning’s work, and this film is so full of dreamy, 70s style cinematography that you’re instantly transported to another world. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 3 stars                                                             

Rogue One was next on the list, and it didn’t disappoint. RATING: 5 Star Rating System 4 stars

After a week of watching films that I’d never seen before/Star Wars marathons, I was craving a re-watch of another of my all time favourites: Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo + Juliet. It’s crazy, captivating, and oh so 90s. Baz Lurhmann is my all time favourite director – I’m obsessed with his work, and the obsession with this film is real.                              RATING: 5 Star Rating System 4 and a half stars

CONTINUED IN PART TWO…

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