Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008)

This was another chick flick classic of my childhood. I remember when this came out and it was one of the films to watch to understand the talks in school and the quotes – just like ‘Mean Girls’ was. ‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’ tells the tale of a 14-year-old girl, Georgia Nicholson (Georgia Groome), struggling with realistic teen stuff, silly stuff which means a lot at that age – such as boys, kissing and how to be grown up. In an embarrassing state she gets a lot wrong, trying to pretend to be someone she’s not, putting herself down and feeling competitive amongst friends. But of course, it’s a film to learn along the way, giving it a soppy, cheesy, but feel-good ending. But maybe the blast from the past is needed, rather than watching this as new?

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Georgia is told by all her friends that “boys don’t like girls for funniness” and that beauty is everything. So when Georgia finds her first crush, Robbie (Aaron Johnson), she is determined to do anything to be noticed by him and to get onto the “kissing scale” as she and her best friend Jas (Eleanor Tomlinson) call it. Whether that be turning her legs orange or faking a missing cat scene, it becomes hilarious in her anxious attempts. Yet somehow becoming so understandable and realistic in teen years. Meanwhile, things at home in Georgia’s life become hard-hitting when her dad (Alan Davies) is offered a job in New Zealand.

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I have to state: this is one of the definitions of a cringey film. Although, I still think it’s so funny, I didn’t think I would, thinking it was just cheesy comedy, but it got be laughing still now. The classic quotes are so nostalgic they bring back memories in the hilarity I used to find it. However, those cringey scenes, the kissing scene (you know if you’ve seen it) is still awkward to watch! This is why the film is probably more appreciated as a blast from a past, rather than a film to enjoy in all days.

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‘Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging’ should not be lost in its mass of films. It’s a childhood classic, comical and full of nostalgia with a soppy fabulous ending which still gets me feeling great in the end! Plus, there are some great songs throughout, reminding me of The Stiff Dylans songs I listened to constantly after this movie came out. And I can’t believe I forgot Lenka’s ‘The Show’ existed! If this film rings a bell of memories in the teen years, watch it again, it’s still brilliant.

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How to Train Your Dragon 3: The Hidden World (2019)

I was so excited to hear that the fabulous Hiccup and Toothless were going to have a third movie. I absolutely love the first two movies, they are brilliant (if you wanted to read my reviews on them, the first is here, the second click here). The third ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ brings back our favourite Viking and Dragon for another adventure, but this one might not be so easily defeated when there’s a distraction flying through the air: that’s right, this Night Fury has found himself a Light Fury and it’s love at first sight.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 - Night and Light Fury

If you haven’t seen the first two films, I would definitely recommend watching those two first, as all the movies perfectly follow on from each other to make a conclusive great trilogy of Vikings and Dragons at their home, Burke. More problems arise in the third film as Dragon Trappers are still present and Hiccup (Jay Baruchel), as our new chief, is consistent in wanting to save them all. But once again a new enemy arises, Grimmel (F. Murray Abraham) and as all have before, he’s got his eyes set on the alpha dragon, Toothless.

To begin with, I watched the trailer and was immediately shocked by how much was in it! I thought it gave everything away, watching the whole film in the three-minute trailer as they say. But happily, there was more to the story than everything we were already told. I still think they could have kept some things a secret, such as the existence of the Light Fury (although all the advertising has been around this), or at least hide the tale of another Dragon Trapper. But anyway, they didn’t, and I still loved the film. So, rant over.

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This third film is more of a story for Toothless. I have to mention his flirting scene, because it had me in stitches, brilliantly hilarious as the Light Fury is at a complete loss at what is happening to this puppy-like Night Fury. Definitely my favourite scene of the whole movie. But amongst this story for Toothless is also a story for Hiccup. I love all the connections with Hiccup as it brings such a conclusive ending reflecting on the first film bringing in memorable moments. It was excellently, beautifully done to close a perfect trilogy. I don’t know if there is going to be a fourth film, but I kind of hope not because I don’t want it to ruin this fabulous collection of three.

How to Train Your Dragon 3 - Hiccup and Toothless

‘How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World’ is another journey for Hiccup and Toothless and it’s adored. It isn’t a let-down but just a continuous build on our favoured characters. Bringing back Gobber (Craig Ferguson), hilarious as ever as he starts to see “bad omen” dragons. Or even more of a build on one of the twins, Tuffnut (Justin Rupple), in his hilarious pride of a long beard. As you can probably tell I loved this film, it has hilarious moments, heart-warming ones, morals and just a perfect ending. Definitely worth a watch. Besides, Toothless alone is worth the watch any day!

Revenge (2011-2015)

I started this show ages ago, but never had the chance to finish it. So I returned to it recently from the beginning and I’m hooked! A scandalous drama even thrilling at times. Welcome to the Hamptons socialites, they would do anything for everything. There are no limits they wouldn’t go to. Expect a lot of drama, twists and turns, surprises and shocks throughout.

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‘Revenge’ follows one particular woman on a path of, can you guess? Revenge. Emily Thorne (Emily VanCamp) travels to the Hamptons to start on her meticulous revenge plan against some of the most powerful and wealthy socialites, the Grayson’s. What they don’t know when Emily carefully plants herself into their family, is that she is secretly Amanda Clarke, the girl who lived next door as a child, the daughter of the man Conrad (Henry Czerny) and Victoria Grayson (Madeleine Stowe) framed for murder. David Clarke (James Tupper) was framed in a plan cleverly devised by the Grayson’s with a lot of other powerful influential people involved; all knowledge Emily Thorne possesses left by her father after his death in prison. One by one she crosses people off her list as truths arise and scandals are revealed. Emily Thorne is brutal living a life to avenge her father’s death. But how long can she keep her secret identity hidden?

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There are many other characters along the way. Ones to love, Nolan Ross (Gabriel Mann), even if he is presented as a bit sceptical in the beginning. Nolan needs a mention, because his character is phenomenal, his dedication to Emily is one to admire and route for. There are a lot of characters that are not likeable, but many to be loved too. Characters to feel wary of, to hate, to learn to appreciate, or even ones that need removing from the picture immediately: this show has got them all. We predominantly follow Emily Thorne and the Grayson family; Conrad and Victoria and their two children, Daniel (Josh Bowman) and Charlotte (Christa B. Allen). But also, we dive into the Porter family at the Stowaway Pub, where we find Jack (Nick Wechsler) and his younger brother Declan (Connor Paolo – Serena’s brother in ‘Gossip Girl’).

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This show’s episodes follow from one another, making it so addictive as you want to uncover more and more about the characters. We are thrown into flashbacks in some episodes where we find more about their backgrounds, things we don’t expect or things that make what we already know more clearer, more understandable. There are so many shocks and surprises in the whole show, where you have no idea how the characters are going to react. They all are unpredictable, particularly, Victoria and Emily, the two female stars of the show. ‘Revenge’ is a drama of lies and secrets, of revenge and scandals. I think it’s a great show, so addictive and unpredictable. It’s fun to escape into, a life of upper class stab-in-the-backs and unknowing sins. ‘Revenge’ will throw anything at you.

Thoroughbreds (2017)

A dark comedy thriller drama, where two upper class girls regain a startling, unsure friendship. One, Amanda (Olivia Cooke) has no feelings, no emotions. The other, Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) is quite the opposite, feeling everything. Yet somehow, they become friends and spend more and more time with each other as ideas plot around their heads of crime.

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This film definitely intrigues from the beginning. The characters are so interesting and complex you watch as a want to know more and more about them. I think Amanda was a fab character, played so excellently! She’s so likable, yet has no emotions, and even comical at times. In fact, she’s actually quite funny with her witty remarks and total honesty. She’s a phenomenal character. Lily seems to be the one that’s relatable but there’s still an unnerving edge to her character. It’s all extremely well acted to bring these characters to life. You can not predict what they will do, it’s very clever.

‘Thoroughbreds’ is broken down into chapters, which is a nice change. I love the editing and the camera work with the film, the noise is excellently executed. There is a lot of real silence. We don’t need to see everything to know what’s happening, the camera is particularly clever. The whole film has a fresh feel to it, that is different and to be liked because of that.

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We follow these two young girls as they begin to spend more time together. With hatred running in the family, the girls want to get rid of a particular someone. The whole film has a feel of eeriness and unsettling moments, although you route for these girls. So it makes it a film enjoyable to watch.

“It’s only weird if you make it weird”.

How to Get Away with Murder (2014 – )

‘How to Get Away with Murder’ is one of the most addictive shows. Anything can happen, anything could happen – it’s addictive with thrilling twists and turns. It is inappropriate for younger ages, there’s a lot of murder, if you couldn’t tell from the title, also quite a lot of sex scenes – so definitely not appropriate for younger ages. The show is scandalous, crazy and full of madness.

First of all, plots. Set at Middleton Law School in a Criminal Law class, Professor Annalise Keating (Viola Davis) begins a new year with a new lecture of students. Every new episode has a new case to be solved in court, led by Annalise and involving some of the students. The students are pinned against each other, all desperate for a case, as they compete to win defences and be chosen to work with Annalise. 

CHARLIE WEBER, VIOLA DAVIS, KARLA SOUZA, ALFRED ENOCH

Next, structure. The show jumps and plays with time throughout the series. We see more and more snippets of the future, as it becomes one month before, to three weeks, to two weeks, to knowing more and more with one week in the future, and so on. But we don’t know everything, we actually know quite little, but more and more is slowly revealed, but still you don’t know everything until the end. In the first series, as we are brought into the future a particular group is brought together when they are the ones involved with a case of their own and they must be the ones to get away with murder. This element of structure is so clever as it just forces you to keep watching.

Thirdly, the lawyers. Annalise Keating – she’s harsh, she’s brutal, she would do anything to win a case. Absolutely anything to solve a case, if not legal, it’s creative. Then there’s the two flanking her side, Bonnie (Liza Weil – Paris Geller from ‘Gilmore Girls’) and Frank (Charlie Weber). Bonnie is such a vulnerable and desperate character, she’s so interesting. Frank, again, is one that is discovered more and more about as we go on. But we know he would do anything Annalise asks him to, he is her henchman, as such.

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Now, the students. Wes (Alfred Enoch – Dean Thomas from ‘Harry Potter’), the one that seems to have an unusual connection to Annalise. Connor (Jack Falahee), sex-driven to get what he wants, but also is probably the one with the biggest character growth. Michaela (Aja Naomi King), very driven, opinionated and determined in her own mind. Laurel (Karla Souza), the one that is underestimated at the beginning, but equally as driven as the others. Asher (Matt McGorry – John Bennett from ‘Orange is the New Black’), who maybe an outsider at the beginning, but becomes a character loved and appreciated as series go on.

The characters are some deep, complex people in this show. All with complicated backgrounds, many of them extremely difficult. This just makes it so much more interesting as we never know the potentials of the characters and the limits they would go to and trust me they are pushed up to boundaries and beyond. They are all played phenomenally well, obviously this includes the brilliance of Viola Davis in this series.

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‘How to Get Away with Murder’ is a magnificent show. I became obsessed with it, it is so addictive. It has the fun lawyer court scenes with such an intense underlining plot arc that only gets crazier and crazier. Then we’re thrown to a future that is utter madness and we don’t know the full story, begging to know more, you just have to continue to watch and watch and watch. It’s a show thrilling and exciting, worth a watch.

Finally, as the original trailer states: “Sex, Lies and Murder” – this is what underlines this show quite accurately.

This Means War (2012)

Fantastic stardom and a fun action romantic comedy. The stunning cast of Tom Hardy, Chris Pine and Reese Witherspoon. Beautiful, hilarious and fabulous.

A “Gentleman’s Agreement” was made, between best friends FDR (Chris Pine) and Tuck (Tom Hardy), when they discover they are dating the same girl, Lauren (Reese Witherspoon). The deal is to “let the best man win” by letting Lauren decide. Although, rules are broken and a competition rattles off as they both fight for the girl. Oh and did I mention? Throughout all, FDR and Tuck are spies, so this turns into an extreme dating by spies, using fancy technology to ruin each other’s dates and intense research on Lauren. Meanwhile, they’re on a case and a criminal is hunting them down.

This Means War

FDR is the stereotypical girl’s man, the player as such. Tuck is a divorced father. But best friends, they would take a bullet for each other. It’s a woman that gets in the way of these two colleagues. They spy on each, while pretending not to know each other around Lauren. Persuaded by her best friend, Lauren dates these two men although it’s something she would never have done.

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This film is great, it’s hilarious, enjoyable, full of spy action and romantic dates. They would go all out to get this girl, not matter what. Whether that’s setting off the water sprinklers or firing a sleeping dart, the spies go undercover to get to know all about Lauren. It is a fun film, it’s go some action scenes which are great and comical moments. We get to know these characters pretty well and they are brilliant characters at that! Which spy will win the girl?

Shaun of the Dead (2004)

One of the Simon Pegg and Nick Frost classics, they have done so many films together, and this one has to be one of the best. And once again this is a different comedy to so many others, a horror comedy of a zombie apocalypse. But it’s brilliant, it’s cleverly done, hilarious and the relationship between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost on screen is of course great!

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Simon Pegg plays Shaun, the plot revolving around him mainly. When his girlfriend of three years, Liz (Kate Ashfield) breaks up with him, he is destroyed. Shaun and his flat mate, Ed (Nick Frost), get drunk to try ignore his loss. However, in the morning, everything’s changed, not only is Shaun single, but “there’s a girl in the garden”, except she isn’t just a girl… An undead zombie apocalypse has taken toll, and they are everywhere. In a desperate flee to help everyone he can, Shaun makes a plan to save his mum and save Liz, however, that turns out it isn’t as nearly as easy as it sounds.

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The film is hilarious, the humour is executed perfectly. Who thought a zombie film could be that funny? It has to be done well, if not a spoof, but it’s done well to execute as a comedy of two hilarious actors. I would definitely recommend this film as the men struggle to defeat the zombies throwing vinyls at one slowly walking towards them. The film is full of chaos and hilarity as they fight to dramatic music and desperately escape the deathly zombies. It’s such an easy watch, and a good laugh. Reliable and comical, chaotic and disastrous. Just sit down with a cup a tea and have a giggle.