The Favourite (2018)- She’s A Killer Queen

Released: 26th December 2018
Seen: 14th January

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There’s something about historical comedy that has always fascinated me, ever since I first saw an episode of Blackadder II and saw an exaggerated rendition of Queen Elizabeth the first. It was truly a masterpiece, the visual style of a historical drama with joke after joke thrown in for good measure created a contrast in ideas that I hadn’t imagined before. This interest carried over to movies, such as last years The Death Of Stalin, which have been able to blend history with a sense of wit and ups the production values to the point where a film can look like a historical epic but have some of the funniest dialogue put on screen. With a film like The Favourite, we not only get to enjoy another comedic interpretation of a Queen but, once again, we mix elements of a biopic and a comedy to get something that can be genuinely fun… most of the time.

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Instant Family (2019) – Just Add Water

Released: 10th Janurary
Seen: 10th January

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The phrase “based on a true story” is little more than a marketing gimmick nowadays. Sometimes a film might actually be inspired by a real event that really happened but, a lot of the time, it’s either just an outright lie or it’s a meaningless way to try and add gravitas to a story that any writer of a lifetime movie could’ve thought up. Now that’s not to say this particular story didn’t happen, indeed all reports say that it’s based on the directors own experience going through the foster care system… but I swear I saw this exact same storyline in a movie I saw in the afternoon on the TV back in the 90s so it feels a little pointless to try and hang a “Based on a true story” banner over this good, albeit-generic, family film

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Lionheart (2019) – Full Of Heart

Released: 4th Janurary
Seen: 9th January

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Say what you will about how Netflix operates with its originals but it has always been a good place to go for films that are not likely to get a mainstream release. Sometimes that means high quality films that just don’t fit what a distributor normally would consider mainstream, sometimes it means they pick up the things everyone else forgets, occasionally it’ll mean they’ll make everyone suffer through an Open House or two, and sometimes it means that they’ll find a voice that would normally be restricted to a smaller market or the indie circuit and give it a global audience right at their fingertips. When that last one happens, it tends to find something interesting and this time Netflix found a Nigerian comedy with a female director and decided to put it in front of the globe and thank goodness they did.

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How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2018) – We Had Dragons!

Released: 3rd Janurary
Seen: 8th January

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How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best animated films of the decade. I know, starting on a subtle statement is a great way to open one of these things but it’s accurate. Even with so many years between the original How to Train Your Dragon and the sequel we’ll be talking about today it’s impossible to understate how amazing the original film is. Not only is the original film a visual marvel but it has one of the most touching stories put in a kid’s film, a story about a kid trying to get the respect of his father who believes in killing every dragon while the kid wants to be kind to the creatures. It’s a touching tale even without the part that is just the adventures of a young boy and his dragon (a night fury named Toothless). The film was an instant hit that was absolutely beloved by everyone who saw it, and then the sequel came out and was even better. The story got darker, the animation was some of the most glorious to be put on the screens and it didn’t seem like it was possible to top it. Now, How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World has come out and… OK it’s not better than the second movie, but its close.

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Mary Poppins Returns (2019) – Practically Perfect In Almost Every Way

Released: 1st Janurary
Seen: 3rd January

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In 1964, the world was enchanted when a nanny flew in from high upon her cloud to the door of 17 Cherry Tree Lane and graced us all with her charm and wit. Mary Poppins remains one of the few movies that you can justifiably say “Everyone loves this one”. If you meet someone who doesn’t love Mary Poppins, I suggest running as fast as you can away from them because there is no time to be dealing with such nonsense. Mary Poppins is a movie that the main character herself might describe as “Practically perfect in every way”, which would possibly be the most accurate statement ever made… so, naturally, 54 years later is the perfect time to release a sequel to this beloved classic.

Right?

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Vice (2018) – Pictures Of Your Dick (Cheney)

Released: 26th December
Seen: 31st December

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It’s a turbulent time to talk about politics, the chances of offending someone by stating an opinion is on the rise so clearly now is the perfect time to release a very politically charged biopic made by a bunch of left wing Hollywood people about a right wing political figure and the effects that his actions still have on the planet today. I can’t see a single person having an issue with this at all… so, for full disclosure I’m more on the left side of politics and that might color my opinion on some things in this movie and it might also mean you may not want to hear my opinion on the most politically charged movie of the year, I am totally aware of that and I need you to be aware before we go on because I don’t plan on holding back my opinion or sugar coating it so with that out of the way, let’s do this.

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Holmes & Watson (2018) – The Defective Detective

Released: 26th December
Seen: 27th December

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In all of literature, one of the most beloved and adapted characters is that of Sherlock Holmes. The story of a genius detective who goes around solving crimes, defeating Moriarty and working with his friend Dr Watson is the stuff of legends that everyone has had a crack at. He’s been in action oriented films, weekly episodic TV shows, miniseries, he was a gnome at one point, an animated rat another time, a doctor for a very long period of time and even a Japanese puppet. Sherlock Holmes has been everything and in every kind of movie… and now, he can add “Awful unfunny comedy” to the long list of film projects he’s been associated with.

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