Friday, 21 November 2014

What I've Been Watching In: November

So technically I watched the first four movies on the flights to and from Orlando and then saw Annabelle whilst I was there but last month's What I've Been Watching post just had to be dedicated to all things Halloween, meaning that I wouldn't have been able to include these movies in my October post. And since all of these movies have just been released in the UK, either on DVD or at the cinema, this might be even better timing for my What I've Been Watching post.

Bad Neighbours (2014)
Starring: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Dave Franco
As soon as I took my seat on the first flight there was one movie that I knew I really wanted to watch and that was Bad NeighboursI love a good Seth Rogen movie. I know they might not be to everyone's taste but I personally find them hilarious (apart from The Green Hornet and The Guilt Trip of course). Bad Neighbours revolves around the lives of two sets of neighbours; Rogen and Byrne's characters who have just moved to the suburbs with their baby and a fraternity who move in next door. I think because we don't really have fraternities/sororities and that kind of University experience here in the UK means that I'm always intrigued to see what goes on, on an American college campus.
I have a feeling that a lot of people will have been drawn to this movie with the promise of Zac Efron and not only Zac Efron but a shirtless Zac Efron at that but for me, Dave Franco is much more my type. Fans of The Mindy Project will also recognise Nurse Morgan Tookers (aka. Ike Barinholtz) in this movie too, which was a lovely surprise. The baby in this movie really does steal the show for me though. She is just the cutest! And the fact that Rogen and Byrne's characters are creating a calendar featuring their adorable baby instantly made me smile and when they dress her up as baby Heisenberg I couldn't stop laughing. It's a pretty decent comedy and one that I would definitely watch again. 

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman
Now I'm going to start by saying, I'm a big fan of comic book movies and the first of the recent X-Men reboots; X-Men: First Class, was fantastic, in my opinion (link here). So I was really excited to see how Days of Future Past would compare and I have to admit, I really wasn't as impressed as I hoped that I would be. All the aspects of First Class that I adored were completely obliterated and replaced with the original X-Men aesthetic. And all I could ask was why? 
For me, there was far too much Wolverine. It felt like the tenth Wolverine movie (we must be at least nearing that many Wolverine movies by now, right?) Then there wasn't enough screen time for the characters that I had fallen in love with all over again in First Class. And one thing that annoyed me was the fact that they introduced a really interesting and intriguing character in Quicksilver, played by Evan Peters and then neglected to do anything with him bar the most impressive scene in the entire movie and this really certainly me. It was watchable as a result of some of my favourite actors (Fassbender, McAvoy and Lawrence) being in it but it definitely was a huge departure from my much loved First Class.
Oh and if you happen to watch the Screen Junkies show on Youtube (link here) then you might have seen their Honest Trailer of this movie where they compare it to Terminator 2 brilliantly. It's actually unreal how many parallels it has with T2!

Annabelle (2014)
Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard
As a very big fan of the movie The Conjuring (which I reviewed last month in my Halloween What I've Been Watching post - link here), it's hard to forget the doll who appears throughout the movie; Annabelle. When I first heard that they would be making this into a stand alone movie I was really excited but I also had a bit of a bad feeling about it too. I was worried that it would be rushed, especially when it had a release date right before Halloween of the same year but as soon as I saw it being advertised when I was in Florida last month, I knew that I would need to go and see it.
I had the real privilege of seeing it in a US movie theater, complete with reclining leather seats and to top that all off, me and my mum had the entire XD screen to ourselves. This was probably a good thing as thankfully we were the only two to hear one another screaming, jumping and nervously laughing too. Hehe. It's safe to say that we definitely weren't too disappointed by the way that Annabelle turned out at all.
Okay so it wasn't quite as good The Conjuring was but I wasn't expecting it to be, especially as The Conjuring is honestly one of the best horror movies that I've seen but it wasn't as bad as some of the other recent horror movie releases. It definitely had an Insidious feel to it, so if you're a fan of those kinds of movies (as I am) then I have a feeling that you will enjoy this, plus there was just the right amount of jumps and scares too. I did manage to predict exactly how it would end once Alfre Woodard's character started to appear more and more but apart from that Annabelle was well worth the watch.

22 Jump Street (2014)

Starring: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
Whilst I was all about sitting down, strapping in and watching Bad Neighbours on the first flight, on the flight home the one movie I knew that I just had to watch was 22 Jump Street
I really adored 21 Jump Street and even watched it on TV whilst I was in the US to make sure that I was completely prepared for the sequel. For fans of the first movie, I have a feeling that you will really enjoy the second in the Jump Street franchise. And if you haven't seen the first then I would definitely recommend it, especially if you like those kinds of movies. Even my mum was laughing uncontrollably at this movie and trust me, she is really not a fan of a whole lot of comedies.
I think the important thing to remember with this movie is the fact that it is a sequel and a pretty good one at that. I still prefer the first Jump Street venture but I have a feeling that once I've seen 22 a few more times I'll probably like it even more. Is anyone else like that? Sometimes it takes watching a movie or TV episode a couple of times to really enjoy it to it's full potential? I definitely need to pick it up on DVD.

The Other Woman (2014)
Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau
I had two hours left on my flight to Florida when I happened to be scrolling through the selection of movies on the Virgin Atlantic In-Flight Entertainment system. It was then that I spotted The Other WomanI do like Leslie Mann and Cameron Diaz so I was more than happy to give it a try. And of course, I had a feeling that Nikolaj Coster-Waldau would be rather easy on the eye too (and I was right).
The story isn't all that original and it was pretty easy to predict how it would end as well as who Cameron Diaz's character, in particular, would end up with. I also wasn't entirely convinced by Kate Upton as an actress but I did have a feeling that that would be the case. There is no denying that she is unbelievably stunning though, even if the Baywatch-esque scene felt a bit unnecessary.
It's your typical chick-flick in many ways and not the worst one that I've seen at that. It's the kind of movie that you can have on in the background while your doing other things and I don't imagine that you would miss too much or struggle to follow the plot.

True Detective (2014-)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Michelle Monaghan, Michael Potts
Unlike The Other Woman, you really need to give True Detective your full concentration and attention. Not only so you can follow the narrative and hopefully come up with a few ideas as to where the case will take them next but mainly because it is completely deserving of your time.
I've slowly but surely been making my way through some of the most talked about TV shows of recent years and after watching Breaking Bad and Orange Is The New Black I knew exactly what I wanted to catch up on next. Finding out that it was being repeated on Sky Atlantic, from the very beginning, really did make my day/week back in September. I made sure to get a series link set up straight away and I'm so glad that I did. True Detective is easily one of the best TV shows that I have ever seen. McConaughey and Harrelson are pretty unbelievable in this, especially when you've grown up watching them play characters that are far flung from those of Rust Cohle and Martin Hart. You really need to see it to believe it. And how amazing is the theme song? I've had it on constant replay ever since I watched the first episode.
It did remind me quite a lot of The Red Riding Trilogywhich was one of my favourite TV series' from a couple of years back, as it does share a lot of the same tropes but I mean this in the best way possible. I now feel the need to re-watch The Red Riding Trilogy again pretty sharpishly.

What have you been watching this month? Do you have any recommendations? Have you seen any of these? If so, what did you think of them?


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