I was looking so forward to this and, thank god, it didn’t disappoint. I was worried it would go all schmaltzy, as holiday specials tend to (I’m not really a big Christmas person so all the Cheer(tm) just bounces off me.) But it was lovely overall and it was so nice to see Mantis finally get her moment in the sun. Er, snow.
I liked that the Peter Quill rehabilitation tour is continuing! (not the Chris Pratt rehabilitation tour. Screw that guy.) When Kraglin called him the greatest hero in the galaxy my heart went all wibbly. Man, it’s so so hard loving Quill and hating Pratt, but what ya gonna do.
I did NOT like that Rocket’s fixation with Bucky’s arm was brought up again, even assuming Bucky gave it away willingly cos he got a new one or whatever, it’s a joke that has its roots in ableism and it really needs to die already.
About a month before this aired I learned Yondu was gonna be in it and I was like “???!?!?!” They managed to work him in there in a very pleasing and appropriate way, but I do wish they’d managed to do the same for Gamora somehow.
The big spoiler! Mantis has been Quill’s sister all along and that’s what a lot of the plot revolves around. It does fall a little flat if you’ve seen the behind-the-scenes stuff from GOTG Vol 2 and know that was supposed to be the idea right from the beginning, though. Here’s a little photoshop manipulation of Ego and Mantis’ mother that I did years ago, based on the deleted scene of them.
GOTG Vol 3 inches ever nearer. :) Hey maybe Mantis can learn more about her mother in that one.
Note that these are (mostly) not what I consider the BEST films of the decade. Honestly I don’t even get to go the movies all that much, so the best ones I might not have even seen. But they are the ones that made me the happiest.
My GOD this film. It was claustrophobic, creepy, gnaw-your-own-arm-off terrifying… and a FANTASTIC power fantasy. Michelle, the protagonist of this film, quickly became one of my favourite sci-fi heroines ever. She suffers a lot of trauma during the movie, unimaginable things (but nothing graphic/titillating/male-gazey) and comes out the other side swinging. Then she downs an entire alien spaceship using nothing but her wits. God I love her and this film so much. I could write essay after essay about female empowerment as portrayed in this flick.
When I was a child I dreamed they would one day make a Pokemon live-action film, and they DID, and it was better than I ever imagined. It was sweet, it was funny, it was packed with references to the Pokemon lore (Pokelore?) that would have gone over most people’s heads but was included anyway, and Bill Nighy was in it. I loved this film so much and I can’t wait to show it to my future children.
Okay here goes: I never saw the original Ghostbusters. I never saw the sequel movie either, or any of the cartoons. Why’d I like this so much then? Well… honestly… because it was all women. Funny, smart, main-character women, the mere existence of which apparently drove some people into teeth-gnashing mania. And that was it. That’s enough, right?
The Greatest Showman
It stills surprises me that this film got such bad reviews on release. Audiences apparently disagreed because not only did it get really high audience ratings it ALSO made a ton of money AND everyone I’ve ever shown it to liked it! I know some of the songs within it ended up massively overplayed (especially This Is Me, thanks a bunch Simon Cowell) but when you see them being performed in the movie they really do seem raw and real and touching.
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2
I have absolutely no idea if GOTG2 is a good movie or not and honestly, there’s a part of me that doesn’t even care. It fills me with such insane joy every time I watch it. I love the friendships between all the main characters, I love Yondu’s redemption, I love how the music ties into the story, I love Baby Groot. And I especially love how the film is mostly about different forms of abuse and how we all have it within ourselves to overcome them.
Les Mis is a very good movie, but it’s actually on this list not so much for itself but because its existence introduced me to the book, which transpired to shape my entire life. That being said I do really mean that it’s a very good movie (and quite faithful to the book as well it turns out), it thoroughly deserves to be on everyone’s Best of the Decade list. Don’t be put off by the fact that Tom Hooper’s next musical was Cats.
The Lego Movie
I wasn’t expecting much from The Lego Movie. Was anyone?! I thought it was a cheap, cynical cash grab. MAN was I wrong. Instead it was an amazing story about the power of imagination and the importance of childhood. The final speech (“You are the most talented, most interesting, and most extraordinary person in the universe…”) is one of my favourite speeches in any movie, ever. It makes me think of a parent talking to a child and it captures the spirit of Lego perfectly.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Is there anything to be said about Mad Max: Fury Road that hasn’t already been said? It’s been called the greatest action film of all time, a feminist masterpiece, one of the best movies of its era… and all the people claiming those things are 100% right. I don’t think it’s technically perfect but it’s damn close. And special-effects wise it’s a staggering achievement. (All those people REALLY WERE climbing poles on motorbikes, holy heck.) I hope it’s celebrated for years to come.
I love Pacific Rim not because it’s a bonkers, brightly-coloured monsters-vs-robots movie (though that definitely helps) but because how utterly adamant it was that teamwork, collaboration and in some cases love would help humanity save the world. God, the whole movie seems like a relic from a totally different time, doesn’t it? The less said about the sequel the better.
Apparently Paddington 2 is the highest-rated film ever on RottenTomatoes, and despite what you think of RottenTomatoes the site (I personally am not a fan) HOLY HECK IT DESERVES IT. This is a children’s film about a cute teddy bear who lives among humans and loves marmalade sandwiches and somehow it was more hard-hitting, beautiful and poignant than a lot of the “serious” movies released the same year. Hugh Grant deserved an Oscar for playing such a fantastic baddie/hilariously exaggerated version of himself. The whole damn film deserved an Oscar. (As it happened, The Shape of Water won that year. They got the wrong Sally Hawkins Forms A Relationship With A Non-Human Character Resulting In An Emotional Underwater Scene film.)
Honourable mentions: (my god there are a lot) Toy Story 3, Avengers: Endgame, Black Panther (most of the MCU honestly), The Rise of Skywalker, Belle, Their Finest, Big Hero 6, Frozen II, Aladdin, Batman vs Superman (yes really), Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the entire Hunger Games series, SO MANY
#1 Use a different movie for each prompt #2 Add photos and/or explanations of how your choices fit the prompts #3 Tag a few friends to play along
Let’s see what we got.
1. A Partridge in a Pear Tree — movie that involves agriculture
OH NO. Okay… Hmm. WAIT! My husband just HANDED ME the most obvious answer. The Martian, a space movie which I love, all about a guy who survives on Mars by growing potatoes. (It’s much, much more interesting than I make it sound there.)
Home to a really good line about humanity and the world:
“Every human being has a basic instinct: to help each other out. If a hiker gets lost in the mountains, people will coordinate a search. If a train crashes, people will line up to give blood. If an earthquake levels a city, people all over the world will send emergency supplies. This is so fundamentally human that it’s found in every culture without exception. Yes, there are assholes who just don’t care, but they’re massively outnumbered by the people who do.”
2. Turtledoves — movie about a long-lasting relationship
Back in 2007 this movie ripped my heart out, stamped on it, put it back in, then kicked it upwards through my brain and out my head.
I speak of course of Atonement, the tale of a doomed romance and some beautiful, beautiful dresses. In the end, Robbie and Cecilia can’t survive World War II or the British class system. (Yeah, the British class system, not Briony, is the villain of this story.) But Briony ensures via her writing that they have a long-lasting relationship anyway, and I cry.
3. French Hens — movie that takes place in France
Okay, it’s a toss-up between two movies here, both based on works by Victor Hugo: Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables. And… despite the fact that it has virtually nothing at all to do with the book… I think Hunchback juuuust takes it, because it’s a gorgeous, interesting, progressive-for-Disney film, and I love it.
I can’t even choose one shot from this movie so just have the opening one. And hey! The titular church didn’t burn down this year! It’s still there!
4. Calling Birds — movie where people talk on the phone
Okay, I’m gonna stretch the definition of “phone” a bit here and show you something from The Phantom Menace:
I’m sorry I knoooooow Love Actually probably isn’t really all that great as a movie and it’s so cheesy and corny and up-itself but I love it. It’s like a warm Christmas hug. (And I don’t even really like Christmas, so…)
6. Geese A-laying — movie with a birth or that features babies
So before there was Baby Yoda, there was this equally adorable fella:
And I think his presence is enough to qualify Guardians of the Galaxy 2 as a film that features babies. No births though, unless you count the birth of a god or the birthing chamber stuff on the gold planet or various “rebirths” of characters. Wait… GOTG2 is surprisingly birth-metaphors-heavy actually. Who knew.
7. Swans A-swimming — movie where someone goes swimming
Okay, so maybe this isn’t so much “someone goes swimming” as it is “someone tries to swim and nearly drowns” but…
I can still remember the music from that bit in Fellowship of the Ring after all this time. My god, the last quarter of that movie kicks all kind of ass and tramples on my feelings, I love it so.
“I made a promise, Mr. Frodo. A promise. Don’t you leave him, Samwise Gamgee. And I don’t mean to. I don’t mean to.”
8. Maids A-milking — movie with cows
Okay, this can only be Children of Men. (A film that I very nearly put at #6.) Why? At the film’s pivotal moment we get this beautiful, striking scene featuring a whole lotta cows.
I think it’s meant to be reminiscent of Mary in the manger. And I love it so much. Please watch Childrenof Men, it’s so harrowing but so good, it’s amazing, I promise.
9. Ladies Dancing — movie with a dance scene
AM I GONNA DO IT? YEAH I’M GONNA DO IT. I’m gonna put Spider-Man 3 in here. Yes, that one.
But not for that dance scene… or even that one. You know the much-derided ones I mean. The one I like is this one:
Harry Osborn (in his various incarnations) is my Second Favourite Fictional Character Of All Time, and Mary Jane is pretty high up the list as well, so it was nice to see them have a moment of happiness before one of them dies. Honestly, that’s it. (I unapologetically love Spider-Man 3, even if only for Harry. I admit it. I’m sorry. No wait, no I’m not.)
10. Lords A-leaping — movie about athletes
Aw dang… I’m not good at this genre. But I do really like Noel Clarke’s Fast Girls and no-one else seems to have seen it, so I’m putting it here. I really need to watch it again actually. It suffers from Unnecessary Forced Heterosexual Romance In An Almost All-Woman Film Syndrome but eh, what doesn’t.
(Yeah, the Noel Clarke from Doctor Who. And yes, that is a pre-mega-fame Lily James.)
11. Pipers Piping — movie with someone playing a musical instrument
Wait, NOW I can get Les Miserables in here. During the very start of the “Drink With Me” scene Grantaire (my First Favourite Fictional Character of all time) starts running his hands over a broken piano.
It doesn’t make any sound of course, but that’s so much more poignant than if it had.
12. Drummers Drumming — movie with characters in the military
I don’t really get to go to the cinema much these days but one film I did see this year was Tolkien, which kinda delves in a little into how Tolkien’s experiences in the First World War inspired his writings.
It didn’t get very good reviews, to my surprise, and I suppose the dispute with Tolkien’s descendants definitely didn’t help, but I liked it. It definitely didn’t shy away when depicting the horrors of World War I.
And that’s that…
You should definitely do this meme if you want to! In fact, please do!
“I was once like you are now, and I know that it’s not easy To be calm when you’ve found something going on But take your time, think a lot, think of everything you’ve got For you will still be here tomorrow, but your dreams may not” — Cat Stevens
Oh yeah, I forgot, I saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 the other day! It was released in the UK a week or so before the US, in accordance with Marvel’s curious plan to show a movie to one group of people whilst withholding it from another group of people and then wonder why people keep pirating their films
(I mean, it worked out for me, but still.)
(Under the cut for huge spoilers)
I actually liked it quite a bit more than the first one. Hey, it managed to have 4 interesting women as major characters in the same movie, and they talk to each other! Well done Marvel Studios, keep it up
I adored Mantis (I hope she’ll be in the next one) and I loved Drax’s relationship with her. Their scenes together, especially the penultimate one, are very touching indeed in a low-key way
Despite the fact that I definitely do not recollect him being, uh, the model of fatherhood, Yondu’s sacrifice and death was pretty touching as well. I suppose I’m a sucker for parent-child redemption stories
K-Gill! It was so nice to see Nebula again, and have her go through something of a redemption too. I wish she was as popular as Loki, what with her having the exact same character arc and all
I was convinced Groot would regrow himself at some pivotal point in this film, he did not
I also thoroughly expected at least one Avenger to show up during a particular bit where at least one Avenger very much should have shown up, they did not
I did not understand 95% of what was being referenced in the after-credits scenes
but I think it might actually be my second-favourite MCU movie after Thor 2. (Yep. Thor 2′s my favourite. I just like the silly MCUs more than the serious ones I guess.)