A Year at the Cinema
So at the beginning of last year, I decided that I wanted to keep a record of all of the films I went to see at the cinema. The plan was to post a little round-up of those films at the end of each month but that, naturally for me, stopped happening in March because life got busy and I just didn’t have the time but what I did do was keep every single ticket that I got from the films I went to see. So now I am sitting here, a year later having spent a total of £202.80 on my cineworld card and wondering whether it was worth it.
Guys… it was. It really, really, really was.
Because I went to the cinema a total of seventy-two times! This means that I could have spent around £720.00 to see all those films but I didn’t. Which means that I made an astounding saving.
I am absolutely gobsmacked. I would never have thought I was saving that much money but I did and you know what? I plan to keep it up next year too. There is just something so absolutely brilliant about watching films in the cinema, don’t you agree?
How did your year at the cinema go?
Looking Forward to 2017
Today I am here to share with you 10 books and 10 films that I am highly anticipating! These are books and films that I am dying to dive into and hope they will be just as good as the wait for them will be!
What Are You Looking Forward to in 2017?
Title: Hell or High Water
Director: David Mackenzie
Screenwriter: Taylor Sheridan
Published: 9th September 2016
Main Cast: Ben Foster, Chris Pine, Jeff Bridges and Gil Birmingham
Format: Cinema Screening
Source:: Unlimited Viewing at Cineworld
Add It: IMDB
Chris Pine and Ben Foster play two brothers on the run from the law in this gripping drama.
Toby (Chris Pine, Star Trek) is a divorced father who only wants a better life for his kids. With both him and his ex-convict brother, Tanner (Ben Foster, 3:10 to Yuma) facing the foreclosure of their mother’s West Texas farm, they decide to take justice into their own hands by robbing the bank they believe robbed them. But after the robbery they find they have two West Texas rangers (Gil Birmingham and Jeff Bridges) on their trail…
This modern Western is directed by British director David Mackenzie (Starred Up) and has been lovebombed by American critics. Variety called it “a thrillingly good movie – a crackerjack drama of crime, fear, and brotherly love set in a sun-roasted, deceptively sleepy West Texas that feels completely exotic for being so authentic,” while The Playlist described it as “if No Country for Old Men were remade as a heist movie.”
At What Point
I didn’t know much about this film before I decided to go and see it which is more or less how I prefer it. Thus I walked in with no expectations and no theories on how the film was going to play out. Whether this increased my enjoyment or not, I don’t know but I do know that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. From the beginning until the end, I was fully enraptured by this story.
Do You Bend
This drama was packed with emotion and I felt so much watching it. Every single character stole my heart and I was at a loss for who to support which was such a fascinating experience. This was due to the wonderful acting but also because the incredibly strong screenplay with witty and brilliant dialogue. I just loved it all.
The Rules For
Along with vibrant characters, the cinematography and plot were also very well done too. The plot was gripping and tense and the cinematography really pulled that atmosphere out of the screen too. From dusty, secluded and empty Texan towns to funny moments in diners and banks. This film was just full of amazing moments and just worked so well. It is the kind of film that I love to watch.
A Better Life
A film that makes you laugh one minute, feel tense the next and finally has you near to tears, this is nothing but an emotional rollarcoaster. I was fully transfixed on the screen and couldn’t wait to find out how it all came to an end. I was blown away by the film as a whole and will definitely be re-watching this film at some point in the future. I would highly recommend giving this film a watch.
Title: Huntsman: Winter’s War
Director: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Main Cast: Chris Hemsworth, Jessica Chastain, Charlize Theron & Emily Blunt
Release Date: 15th August 2016
Format: DVD & Blu-Ray
Source:: Review Copy
Add It: IMDB, Amazon UK, Rakuten.co.uk
Freya the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt) brings her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) back to life, and the powerful evil siblings plan to conquer the Enchanted Forest. Only the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his secret lover Sara (Jessica Chastain) can stop them in this sequel continuing the inventive twist on the Snow White fable.
When I first watched this film in the cinema, I was a bit unsure what to expect. Having seen Snow White and the Huntsman previously, I knew that it would be a magnificent film but there were parts of that film that film that I disliked. Fortunately, this film was a lot better and I ended up liking it a lot. So when I was given the chance to receive the DVD and review it early, I jumped on the chance. Watching the film for a second time just made me realise how much I really enjoyed this film and I am certain that I will continue to watch this film over and over again. The exact thing you want when purchasing a DVD or Blu-Ray!
I’ve always been enamoured with the Snow White story and I love that in this film they dive deeper into the background of the story. This is different to the normal story that we all know and love. This is the prequel story, how the Huntsman became the Huntsman. It was thrilling, addictive and intense. I thought it was full of brilliant twists and turns and I found myself riveted in my seat both times that I watched the film. My favourite characters of the film, aside from the Huntsman himself, were the dwarves. They were the perfect characters to bring comic relief to such a dark film and I just thought they were absolutely brilliant.
The one thing about this film that cannot be missed out of this review is the stunning cinematography. This film is absolutely beautiful. Every colour has been carefully planned and plotted to bring out the right essence of this film. From the cold, snowy scenery to the vibrant colours of the forest. It has all made this film a masterpiece to watch. It made the atmosphere just right and just makes me want to re-watch it over and over again to witness the beauty all over again. It is absolutely stunning and I am in awe of everyone who worked on this film to make it what it is.
Overall this film is a spectacular movie that will keep you entertained from start to finish. It is interesting and fascinating and you will become engrossed in the storyline as the film progresses. It is full of charming characters that you can’t help but love and villains that you will want to destroy. It’s storytelling and filmmaking at its finest and it is easily re-watchable too. I absolutely adored this film and I know that I will be re-watching it myself too. This film is intense, emotional, and has comic relief moments too. The perfect film to watch with the family. So, if you haven’t yet seen this yet, I highly recommend you go out and buy it tomorrow!
** I received this copy in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. **
Cineworld Unlimited; February
February was actually a much better month for films than I first thought it was going to be. I was certain that I’d end up only seeing four films and while that is still brilliant, it was nothing on the seven films I had seen in January. And then by the end of the month, I looked at my collected tickets for the month and realised that I had actually seen eight films! One more than January. Needless to say, I was pretty impressed and proud of myself.
And, apologies for the lateness of this post, here are the films I saw and what I thought of each of them!
The 5th Wave
Don’t shoot me but I actually haven’t read the book yet. I’ve had it for a few years but it just hasn’t been one that I’ve picked up yet. But I was intrigued so I wanted to see the film. Fortunately I quite liked the film, thought it was very interesting and easy to follow. I’ll be doing my best to read the book now. But I would recommend the film if you haven’t read the book. It’s a good film, not amazing but good.
I grew up reading the Goosebumps books and I loved them all so much. Admittedly now I’m older, I don’t really remember them but that love for them never went away. Thus when I heard about the Goosebumps film, I couldn’t not go and see it, could I? And I’m glad that I did because I actually really enjoyed this film. It was entertaining, interesting and had me on the edge of my seat. Plus there was a bit of emotion too. Definitely worth a watch whether you read the Goosebumps books or not!
Jem and the Holograms
Apparently February is the month I watched films without reading any of the books they were adapted from. I didn’t realise that this film was both a graphic novel and an old television series before I went to see it. I got a recommendation that it was good and just decided to go and see it. And I’m glad I did. Because I loved it. It was cheesy but it was also cute and heart-warming, and I will admit to crying because it touched me. Definitely a film I’d be happy to watch again!
This was my least favourite film I saw in February. It was far too gruesome for me. And I don’t normally shy away from gruesome films but there were just far too many moments in this that did not sit right with me. I actually felt nauseous through part of the film and covered my face with my jumper during three parts as well. I have never had to do this in a cinema before. It was definitely an epic film and was incredibly well acted, but it just was not the right film for me!
How to Be Single
This was my second least favourite film of the month. While I did enjoy it and it was an entertaining film that I am fairly certain many people will completely love but it irritated me too. It was a very blockbuster version of what being single is like and it just, frustrated me to no end. There were far too many awful things that happened and I just couldn’t love it as much as I should have. Wouldn’t it just be wonderful if we were all caught between three guys, right?
This is a film that I absolutely adored but also completely destroyed me emotionally. It was very well filmed and acted, was very dramatic and compelling and it really caused me to cry. If you don’t know, this book is about the newspaper story about the sexual abuse that was occurring in churches from priests and how they covered it up. It was a very, very powerful film and I would highly recommend it.
The Finest Hours
This is another film that I really, really loved. It was very dramatic, very compelling, and very well acted and filmed. It was gripping, emotional, intense and just everything that I love in a film. I love these kind of films so much, especially when they’re done well and this film was exactly that. Very highly recommend this one!
The film that seemingly everyone is raving about at the moment. I am very glad that I finally went to see this film, even more so because I really, really enjoyed it. What I did come out of the cinema with was the fact that this wasn’t your typical superhero movie. If nothing else, this one felt more like a superhero origins movie but I still very much liked it. It was very much on point with modern references and sarcasm running throughout as well. I thought it was a very entertaining film and I would definitely recommend it. (I also haven’t read the comic so that might change some people’s opinions, of course).
What Did You See In February? Did We Watch Any Of The Same Films?
Cineworld Unlimited; January
Almost two years ago, I decided to take the plunge and subscribe to the Cineworld Unlimited membership and I can tell you now that it is the best thing that I have ever done. As an avid film watcher, I have now become an avid film go-er because I can afford to go to the cinema multiple times a month. While the prices of cinema tickets were on the rise, I could watch as many films as I wanted all for just £16.40 a month. All you have to do to make the membership worthwhile is watch two films a month. And as I often want to see two films a week, the unlimited membership felt like a no-brainer for me!
But, for the first year and a half of my membership, I had no way of actually knowing what films I had seen nor how many I had seen overall or per month. As someone who likes to know if I’m getting my money worth and likes to know what she’s watched (and read), this year I decided that I would keep all of my cinema tickets so that at the end of each month – and then again at the end of the year – I could see what I had seen and if I had made my money back with the unlimited membership.
And being that I’m a blogger at heart, I, of course, wanted to document this with you too and then do a little summary of my thoughts on each film as well.
January Filmic Wrap-Up
So above are the tickets for the films I saw in January. I went to see a total of six films in January – so I definitely got my money back! In fact, that means that even if I don’t watch films for the next three months, I’m not losing any money.
I loved this film. In fact, after the film had ended, I almost decided to go and see it again. It had a really interesting plotline, was full of brilliant actors and actresses and just made me very emotional throughout. Definitely glad I saw this and will probably be purchasing it on DVD at some point!
In The Heart of the Sea
I’m in two minds about this film. I both liked and disliked it. I thought it was a very strong film and had a fantastic cast who all acted incredibly throughout. But it was also a little bit too realistic and gruesome in places for me. But this realism is also what made this film so incredible in my eyes. I probably wouldn’t see it again but I’m glad I did go and see it!
I really wanted to like this film. I was certain that it would be a brilliant film (even if the casting makes me slightly angry) but sadly, it did not turn out that way. I’m definitely intrigued in reading the book and the actual history to see where it all fit in and that did keep my curiosity peaked throughout the film. But otherwise I thought the film to drag a little too much and it just didn’t speak as much as I thought it would.
The Hateful Eight (Odeon film)
I am a big Tarantino fan. I think he is a great director and just has a very unique style that I absolutely love. So even though I had to go to the Odeon to see this film as Cineworld didn’t acquire the rights, I’m glad I did. Once again, I really liked the film and thought Tarantino did another smashing job on it. It was a little gruesome in parts but it worked and I just enjoyed the whole film.
I will put my hands up first of all and say that I have not read the book, but I have to admit that I really want to now. I loved this film. I thought it was a very moving and interesting film – and according to my mum, it was also a great adaptation. I thought it was very well-acted and just worked really well. I would definitely be happy to buy this DVD when it comes out.
Incidentally, I missed the first few minutes of this film as I got stuck in traffic but fortunately, I don’t think I missed much. I ended up really enjoying this film. Peter Pan is one of my favourite childhood stories so whenever there is an adaptation, I do try and watch it. This one was full of fun, adventure, courage and bravery and I just thought it was a very enjoyable film to watch.
Capture the Flag
This is the only film this month that I wasn’t particularly keen on. It seemed like it was going to be a good film from the trailer but I actually found it to be pretty dismal film. There were good parts to it and I definitely cheered with the rest of them but there was just something about this film that made me struggle to keep my concentration. But I think it’s probably a good one for the kids, it just wasn’t a great one for me!
What did you see in January? Did we watch any of the same films?
Title: Jurassic World
Director(s): Colin Trevorrow
Writer(s): Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver
Main Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard and Ty Simpkins
Release Date: 12th June 2015
More Info: IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes Amazon UK
22 years after the original Jurassic Park failed, the new park (also known as Jurassic World) is open for business. After years of studying genetics the scientists on the park genetically engineer a new breed of dinosaur. When everything goes horribly wrong, will our heroes make it off the island?
In A World
While it is not a film I have seen a million times before, Jurassic Park has always held a special place in my heart. Thus, just like countless others, I could not wait for the release of Jurassic World. As we drew nearer to release day and the first few reviews and hype started to file in, I got even more excited and quickly made sure I was watching it on release weekend – something that is very important for films. Upon coming out of the cinema on Saturday, I was incredibly pleased. Jurassic World was well worth the wait and will be a film that I am certain I would happily watch over and over again – and I’m already planning to go see it in the cinema again!
It would be foolish to believe that the plot of this film would be anything other than predictable but that didn’t mean it was not enjoyable or entertaining. Even knowing the ultimate outcome, it still created tension, romance, heart-warming emotions and many “phew” and “yay” moments. All of which helped to make the film that much better in the long run. I really liked the script for this film as the dialogue was well placed and intriguing. I have heard that the film is a little misogynistic and I can definitely see that, especially with a cast overrun with males, but that didn’t stop my overall enjoyment of the film, fortunately.
Things Are Bound
What always makes films with predictable plots easier to stomach are likeable and relatable characters and this definitely happens in Jurassic World. I will admit to very much appreciating Chris Pratt’s performance in this film. His character was strong, powerful, and overwhelmingly charming. He was caring and protective and lovely and just a simple joy to watch. I also really enjoyed that the Dinosaurs became characters themselves as you cared about them and what happened to them. I felt many emotions while watching the film purely because it was possible to see the dinosaurs as you would any other pet. The main female in the film, Claire, did frustrate me at times but overall I did like her character by the end of it.
To Go Wrong
I very much enjoyed this film and I would highly recommend it, even to someone who hasn’t seen the first three films. It was great to see that they didn’t ignore Jurassic Park’s existence though and I really loved all of the small references to it. On top of that, this film is definitely a scary one when you really think about it and I’m certain some people may feel jumpy over it but I love it when films do that, it pulls you into the story that much more. On that same note I loved how intense the film became at parts and just couldn’t help but find it completely entertaining. This is a film that will stay with you. It will make you feel many emotions and it comes across as a true experience, almost like being on a ride. On a final note, I watched this film in 2D and think it was really interactive and brilliant, I’m not convinced watching it in 3D would add anything new to the experience.
Title: Pitch Perfect 2
Director(s): Elizabeth Banks
Writer(s): Kay Cannon, Mickey Rapkin
Main Cast: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Hailee Steinfeld
Production Company: Universal Pictures
Release Date: 15th May 2015
More Info: IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes
The Bellas are back, and they are better than ever. After being humiliated in front of none other than the President of the United States of America, the Bellas are taken out of the Aca-Circuit. In order to clear their name and regain their status, the Bellas take on a seemingly impossible task: winning an International competition no American team has ever won. In order to accomplish this monumental task, they need to strengthen the bonds of friendship and sisterhood, and blow away the competition with their amazing aca-magic! With all new friends and old rivals tagging along for the trip, the Bellas can hopefully accomplish their dreams once again.
When You’re Faced
Pitch Perfect is one of those films that I could watch over and over and over again (and I do). So when it was announced that there was going to be Pitch Perfect 2, I was overjoyed. Naturally I had my doubts but essentially, I didn’t care. I loved the first film so much that nothing was going to stop me from watching the sequel. While, as I did expect, the second wasn’t anywhere near as amazing and brilliant as the first, Pitch Perfect 2 was a film that I thoroughly enjoyed and is one that I would easily be able to watch over and over and over again.
With A Battle
After years of success, the Bardon Bellas start the film with the honour of performing live in front of President Obama before it all goes wrong. This film is the story of how they plan to get back to the top and re-instate their reputation. But underneath that, it is also a story of friendship, the terrifying last year of university and not backing down when life continues to kick your backside. I loved the storyline of the film. It made me laugh, it made me cry and it made me feel hopeful. I loved that it showed all of the scary things we go through, and how strong true friendships can be. I think it had a solid plot, even when you knew exactly how it was all going to turn out in the end.
Do You Fight
One of the reasons I love Pitch Perfect is because I loved the vast majority of characters. It has a great ensemble cast and the major characters all go through really life-affirming journey’s. Pitch Perfect 2 is no different. The characters are all just at a different stage of their lives with something else to confront and overcome. I thought this was all done really well and I very much enjoyed watching it. My favourite character, in both films was Becca. I just think she is such a solid and sound character and I would so want to be her friend. I also adore Benji. He is super cute and I think he is incredible in this film, I was definitely having a mini-cheer just for him.
Or Back Down?
Both the Pitch Perfect films have a tendency to go a little OTT but I think what makes both of them so incredible is the story and characters. The films make you laugh, cringe, snort and cry and I think it’s wonderful that a film manages to evoke all of these emotions. I love that you get so emotionally invested in the story and the characters, even going so far as to feel victorious for the characters when things go there way. It is for this reason that I highly recommend both of these films. They’re fun, full of flair, and not ashamed to just let themselves go. If you want a film that is essentially cheesy but also full of heart, definitely watch Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2.
Director(s): Don Hall, Chris Williams
Writer(s): Jordan Roberts, Daniel Gerson, Robert L. Baird
Main Cast: Ryan Potter, Scott Adsit, Jamie Chung
Production Company: Walt Disney
Release Date: 30th January 2015 (UK)
More Info IMDB
The special bond that develops between plus-sized inflatable robot Baymax, and prodigy Hiro Hamada, who team up with a group of friends to form a band of high-tech heroes.
When The Going
Some of my favourite films to watch are animated ones. I love that these films often have something for both children and adults and thus, when I heard about Big Hero 6, I knew it was a film that I couldn’t wait to see. When the opportunity of an advance screening arose, I jumped at the chance. And I’m here to tell you all that I’m incredibly glad I did because this film was truly amazing.
This film follows Hero as he learns that there is a lot more to life than bot-fighting. It takes you on a journey of love, friendship, strength, grief and acceptance. It holds so many amazing messages for both children and adults that I could probably love it for that alone. But it is also a story with heart that will make you laugh until there are tears and then make you cry for real. It is the kind of film that will have you leaving the cinema feeling good and knowing that you’ve seen a worthwhile film. The writers and animators made something special in Big Hero 6.
Do You Hide
As with most animated movies, the characters in this film are full of flare. I loved Hero’s attitude to life at the beginning and admired the journey he took as the story continued. I liked that his character celebrated being a nerd throughout the film too, because this should be celebrated. But it is Baymax’s character that really pulls the story along. He is truly loveable and sweet – not usual characteristics for a robot! What makes him work so well is that he has an innocent childishness to him and it is the child (Hero) who helps him “grow” into his character. A superb story line if you ask me!
Or Fight Back
Big Hero 6 was a fantastic film that I really cannot wait to rewatch. It is great for all the family and is just a film that is full of heart. It captured me in so many ways and I could not stop thinking about it after it was all over. With cute, loveable and strong characters, and an exhilarating and exciting plot, it is hard not to love this film in all its glory. Add in great messages about siblings, grief, friendship and intelligence, and you have a golden film that I’m certain will be loved by all.
Below is a list of my top ten movies that I watched and were released in 2014. I was planning to do a non-2014 list too but I realised I didn’t make a note of the films I watched this year but I hope to do this next year at least!
Anyway…. here are the ones that I really loved for many different reasons…
Pride; I almost didn’t see this movie becuase I was so unsure whether I’d enjoy it but I am SO GLAD I changed my mind as this was one of my very favourite films of the year. (And I ended up seeing it twice in the cinema!)
Lego Movie; It boggles my miind that this film came out this year but it did and I loved it straight away. It was fun, cheeky, and just had a very upbeat feel to it all. Definitely looking forward to the next one!
The Judge; The trailer of this film did not do justice to the actual film. I was certain I’d be going to see a regular blockbuster but instead I watched a film that was thoughtful, intense, and incredibly good.
The Fault in Our Stars; I was super nervous about seeing this one as I wanted it to be so good so badly. When it was, I was overcome by emotion. I ended up seeing this film three times. And everytime I laughed and cried until it was over.
How to Train Your Dragon 2; I thought this film was going to be good. I wasn’t expecting it to blow me away completely. I didn’t think it was possible to be better than How To Train Your Dragon but this is what happened. Just. Maybe… It’s definitely close!
Divergent; Another adaptation that I was worried about but was ultimately surprised and happy with the result. While it was no comparison to the film, I still really loved it and so it made it on here!
Mockingjay: Part One; Another one that I was worried about (Are you sensing a theme?) but was essentially blown away. I loved it so much. I have heard people say that they dislike it for so many reasons including having no investment left in the story to watch the last bit BUT I really enjoyed it and thought it made the book so much BETTER.
Guardians of the Galaxy; There were a lot of comic book films that came out this year. Films that were serious, full of CGI and bravado but it is Guardians of the Galaxy that has made this list because it was different. This was a fun, cute, superhero movie that I couldn’t help but really enjoy.
A Long Way Down; This is a British movie. Through and through. It is funny, heart-breaking, heart-warming, and is just a really great film all around. I have now read the book and would even go so far as to say the film is better than the book. It’s just got a lot more life (ironically).
Love, Rosie; This was a film I was super excited for and was actually lucky enough to win tickets to the premiere and it turned out to be a brilliant film! I loved the kookiness of the film, the British humour and how well it was adapted from the book. My only problem was how little it was in cinemas!
So yes, these are the standout films of 2014 for me. There were many other films I saw that didn’t quite make the cut but these were all unique and wonderful in their own ways!