Ok, I’m getting this out of the way because it seems like the whole world watched Birdbox over Christmas. Well... 6 million out of 6+ billion. Netflix’s best opening week for one of their original movies and it’s been causing so much buzz and meme material - even as we enter our second week of January it's still going strong - that it’s difficult to find people saying whether it’s actually any good or not. And I’ll be honest I’m still a bit confused about that myself. I enjoyed it, the acting is decent, and I appreciated the skill and danger of knowing that they filmed all those dangerous scenes actually blindfolded. But I never really invested in the characters - except Sarah Paulson... weep - And I have a major issue with one of the major plot points. I'll save you from spoilers but its a solid 3/5 for me.
Two words. Olivia Colman. Whilst you’re supposed to be focusing on the sapphic love triangle and rivalry between Rachel Weiss and Emma Stone I could not take my eyes off of Colman - who has just picked up a Golden Globe for the role. Her performance as the brattish, spoiled, clueless Queen Anne is just wonderful. The film is a, somewhat pretentious, view in to the ridiculous world of 17th century nobility. Or least it wants to be. You can’t be mad at the Barry Lyndon-esque pretenses, given the subject matter, and I’ve no idea whether people actually behaved as scandalously as they are betrayed or if this was just the writer saying "f*ck it, lets be ridiculous" but I enjoyed it either way. With Mary, Queen Of Scots coming out later this January female led period dramas seem to be the key to bagging yourself some Oscar buzz this awards season. 4/5
During the press screening of Aquaman I got so angry that I forgot I was surrounded by "serious film people" and should be on my best behaviour and actually began shouting at the screen and gesturing wildly. Thankfully it was during a really loud scene so only those closest to me would have been disturbed; I apologise to them all. Aquaman is ridiculous. It is full of clichéd jokes, lazy writing, overused cinema tropes - the Wilhelm scream? Really?? - seriously bad CGI, the bechdel test isn't even considered, and most of the acting and directing is just generally laughable.Despite this Jason Momoa seems like he is living his best life, which makes me sad because his best life could be so much better. Despite all of this, and my physical outrage as I was watching, it is still the best installment of the DC extended universe. 2.5/5
The Return Of Mary Poppins (or what I like to call Lin Manuel-Miranda The Movie)
Part of me really wanted to dislike this fairly jaded sequel to Mark Poppins. Is there anyone of adult age who doesn't consider it one of their all favourite films? Most of this latest 'installment' doesn’t give me the “magic” feeling that the original did but then I do have to remind myself that I’m not a young girl anymore and that this film is not made for me. So, yes, I could tear it apart but I don’t want to. I do want to take a moment to appreciate Lin Manuel-Miranda who gives every ounce of his soul trying to keep the pace of film high and gives excellent wide-eyed hopefullness throughout - I also appreciated them slotting in some Hamilton-esque numbers because he does it so well. The animated sequences in the middle are which really brought me back to my childhood; that old sixties era classic Disney that I love. If Disney could forget all these sub par live action remakes and just get back to making wonderful animations that’s would be great. 3/5
Spider-Man Into The Spiderverse
Speaking of wonderful animations, I did not expect my film of the year to be a Spider-Man cartoon. I mean I hoped it would be good but I didn’t expect it to be great. It was nice to see Myles Morales introduced in to the spidey universe and the internet is abuzz with new generations of children discovering superheroes and, for the first time in their lives, seeing themselves in the character! We laughed the whole way through the film and came out discussing all the different eastereggs and plot points that we had noticed and I'm looking forward to seeing what else they do with this multiverse. The possibilties are endless! 5/5
The selling point of this interactive episode of Black Mirror was that you could create your own ending, having worked out fairly early that this wasn't the case and that choice is an illusion I lost interest in the actual choices and spent the rest of my time working through the various scenarios. I love the concept and I even enjoyed the story line at the base of the episode but from a user experience point of view there is much be learned. 2/5