10 out of 10: Would Recommend

I went back to work (on a part time basis) yesterday. My maternity leave was on the short side- only 8 weeks- but that’s how it goes when your husband owns the business and you’ve both got more than just money invested. Anyway, while I was off work and changing diapers/holding a napping baby/giving a bottle I logged quite a few hours on Netflix & Hulu.

I don’t waste my time watching things I hate so I recommend all of these.

High Seas (Netflix)
I am IN LOVE with this series. It’s a Spanish period drama (the English is dubbed over but it has yet to bother me) and it is so so so good. I’ve binged both seasons and can’t wait for season 3 to be released. It’s about two sisters, set on a cruise ship just after WWII. Lots of mystery, romance, etc.

Once Upon A Time (Netflix)
I loved this series when it was on the air but I fell off the wagon around season 5. I decided to restart the series. The first few seasons are amazing but from what I remember things get meh around season 4… Maybe I’ll feel differently this time around but I’m only halfway through season 2 right now.

The West Wing (Netflix)
K and I decided to rewatch this series. We watch it together so we only watch in the evenings. I will always and forever recommend this series to everyone. It is the greatest. We’re currently on season 5 (but I’ve watched the whole series).

The Crown (Netflix)
I’m not obsessed like the rest of the world, but I enjoy watching an episode or two when I can actually focus. I’m still in season one.

Letterkenny (Hulu)
Unfortunately, I discovered this gem on the last day of leave. Fortunately, I have two days off a week to chill with M and be at home… so I can binge more episodes soon. It’s crude and weird and hilarious.

Holiday in the Wild (Netflix)
A super cheesy Christmas movie but it was cute. Plus it had elephants, Rob Lowe, and an adorable story.

Funny enough, I had a handful of shows I wanted to watch while on maternity leave but I didn’t start any of them. I was going to watch The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Dolly Parton’s Heart Strings, & Schitt’s Creek (BUT I DIDN’T REALIZE IT WAS ON NETFLIX). Oh well. I’ll get to them eventually.

Have you watched any of these? If not, have I convinced you to start?

 

2019 Movies I’m Excited About!

When I started 2018 off with a list of movies I wanted to see, I had mild success. I don’t feel quite as passionately about 2019 releases, but I put together a list that looks pretty good. If I don’t get to these, it’ll be just fine.

Before we kick this off, here are a few 2018 movies I didn’t get to:

  • Molly’s Game (love Aaron Sorkin)
  • Ready Player One
  • Fantastic Beast: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • The Incredibles 2
  • On the Basis of Sex

Additionally, the 2017 movies I still have seen (& want to) are: Wonder Woman, Jumanji, Murder on the Orient Express, and Wonder.

Ok now that that’s taken care of, on to the new releases for 2019!

The Upside | Neil Burger | January 11
I know there’s controversy with Kevin Hart right now. I’ll weigh that before deciding how to spend my money. Promise.

What Men Want | Adam Shankman | February 8
Honestly, I probably won’t see this one in theaters but it does look like a cute comedy.

Fighting With My Family | Stephen Merchant | February 14
I have 0 interest in wrestling but I still this looks super entertaining.

Captain Marvel | Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck | March 8
I don’t know if I want to see this or not. I have no vested interest, but I love the badass girl power this movie seems to radiate.

Five Feet Apart | Justin Baldoni | March 22
This one looks like it could be sad… but sometimes I’m in the mood for that. We’ll see if I watch it this year.

The Best of Enemies | Robin Bissell | April 5
I know nothing about this real life conflict but dang this looks good.

Shazam | David F. Sandberg | April 5
Um, this looks so hilarious and amazing. Glad to see DC lighten up a bit. Also, now there IS a movie called Shazam, lol. (Mandela effect, anyone?)

Little | Tina Gordon Chism | April 12
I have so many comedies on here this year. A little odd for me, but I’m feeling it.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu | Rob Letterman | May 10
When I first saw this teaser I thought it was a joke. It’s not a joke. And Ryan Reynolds voices Pikachu. Obviously I’m going to see this one because I’m a 90s/00s nerd.

Aladdin | Guy Ritchie | May 24
I feel like if you’re not excited for Aladdin you might be lying 😉 Or maybe it was just me who was an obsessed child.

Dark Phoenix | Simon Kinberg | June 7
This was on my list last year. It didn’t end up coming out. Yeah, it’s a wee bit dark but it’s looks like it’s more dramatic than anything else.

*Sidenote: There are new X-Men/Mutant things coming out left and right, and they’re all SO DARK. Stop it, Marvel. I like my X-Men funny and lighthearted. 

The Secret Life of Pets 2 | Chris Renaud | June 7
I loved the first movie so I’m just assuming I’ll love the second.

Men In Black International | F. Gary Grey | June 14
I never really got into the original MIB (although I’ve seen the first one). I like the twist for the new one.

Toy Story 4 | Josh Cooley | June 21
This looks cute. I finally watched Toy Story 3 last weekend! #sobfest

Ford v. Ferrari | James Mangold | June 28
I feel like this will for sure be a film K wants to see. (Enzo is named after Enzo Ferrari and K likes all things motor.)

The Lion King | Jon Favreau | July 19
I think this movie looks beautiful. And keeping James Earl Jones as Mufasa was a smart move.

Downton Abbey | Michael Engler | September 3
SQUEALLLLLL!

The Addams Family | Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon | October 18
An animated version of the most spooky family ever? Yes, please.

Frozen 2 | Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee | November 22
I don’t think anything has been released regarding this film, but I love Disney & cartoons so obviously I’m still planning to see it. Haha.

There are a few films being released later on in the year so I’ll add them to my final review when they come out/I see them. Similar to my 2018 movies, I’ll do a 2019 review end cap 12 months from now.

If your new around here, you might not know that I don’t watch violent movies. So with that said, here are some films that I think look really good, but I won’t be watching:

  • Hotel Mumbai | March 22 I love Dev Patel so freaking much.
  • A Dog’s Way Home |January 11 Obviously not violent, but I avoid dog movies.
  • Greta | March 1 Looks like a good psych-thriller.

So what looks good to you?

2018 Movie Review

At the start of 2018 I listed all the films I was excited to see (original post). Instead of reviewing or talking about each movie as I saw it, I decided to recap the 2018 movies in one post.

I’m going to pat myself on the back right now for seeing 50% of my Movie Bucket List.

Molly’s Game – Didn’t see. (Starting off strong.)

Peter Rabbit | PG | 4.5 out of 5 ★
My mom & I went to the small local theater on a dreary Thursday night to see this movie. Oh my gosh, it was hilarious. There were certainly some sweet and sad and silly moments, but overall I laughed out loud so. many. times. I loved it. I walked away wanting to plant a garden for all the local bunnies to come visit.

A Wrinkle in Time | PG | 3.5 out of 5 ★
The best part of this movie was the female empowerment and the overall SELF empowerment themes. The colors and vivid landscapes were a close second. I loved the children actors, too. And Mindy Kaling- she’s the best. I had issues with the lack of explanation about certain go-ons, but I’ve read the book and I think that influenced me.

Isle of Dogs | PG-13 | 4 out of 5 ★
This was a weird one. I didn’t decide that I actually liked it until hours after I left the theater. It moved slowly in places, it was 100% Wes-Anderson-weird, and it felt maybe 20 minutes too long?… but the dog scenes were amazing and hysterical and my absolute favorite. Fantastic Mr. Fox is still my #1 Anderson movie, but Isle of Dogs is second. *You need to be a fan of dry humor, Wes Anderson, and stop-motion animation to like this one.

Ready Player One– Didn’t see.

Ocean’s Eight | PG-13 | 4.75 out of 5 ★
I love the Clooney/Pitt Ocean’s movies. Love love love. When they announced an all-female Ocean’s cast I was there. for. it. And let me just say, it lived up to the hype and franchise. K was hesitant- he’s protective of his Ocean’s series (to the point of not even liking the original Ocean’s 11), but he was 100% sold on the new one, too. I really hope they make a 9 and 10 to fill in the gaps. I loved the small nods to the male Ocean’s movies, too. LOVED THIS ONE. I only docked them .25 of a star because the heist was a little… convenient at times.

The Incredibles 2– Coming to Netflix at the end of the month. I’ll watch it then.

Mary Queen of Scots– Decided I didn’t want to see it.

X-Men: Dark Phoenix– Pushed to 2019 release.

The Grinch | PG | 5 out of 5 ★
I loved this movie! I’m a huge fan of the original cartoon but I’m indifferent when it comes to the 2000 Jim Carrey version. This movie was cute and hilarious and so heartwarming. The Grinch was mean & hilarious, but 10xs more endearing than Carrey’s version (IMO). And Cindy-Lou was adorable and crafty and perfect. Obviously Max (and Fred) were my favorites, though!

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald– Haven’t seen YET.

Mary Poppins Returns | PG | 4.5 out of 5 ★
So cute. I thought MPR was an entertaining, visually stunning movie that didn’t take away or compete with the original in anyway. Emily Blunt is the cutest and Lin-Manuel Miranda is the most talented. I’m a fan of Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom), too. Emily and Lin-Manuel were the sweetest pair, though. The music and art and story was so sweet and catchy. I definitely recommend this film.

Holmes & Watson | PG-13 | 2 out of 5 ★
Oh man… this was a dumb one, lol. I chuckled a few times but it’s no Step Brothers or Talladega Nights. Ferrell and Reilly are a good pair but the movie is ridiculous. The pointed jokes about America were good, as was the Millie character, but I wanted more from this movie. I wanted stomach-cramping-laughter. I did not get that. The reviews are also terrible.

On the Basis of Sex– Not out (everywhere) yet.

Additional movies I saw this year…

RBG– I talked about this film in this post. Go. Watch. It.

Crazy Rich Asians– This deserves all the hype- it made me laugh and cry and want to give the book another shot. (I never do movie first, but I couldn’t get into the book.) Also, Awkwafina is my new role model.

What movies did you watch last year?

The Good, The Bad, & The Cheesy

I’ve been hitting the Christmas movies hard this year. Have you watched any Hallmark or Netflix movies yet? I took my Christmas streaming list seriously and decided to report back. If you’ve watched any of these cheesy love stories let’s discuss in the comments!

Road to Christmas (Hallmark 2018)
Good: I really loved the cross-country trip. The map visual was cute. I felt like the chemistry between Maggie and Danny was great, too.
Bad: The snowman contest left me going w.t.f.
Cheesy: The draaaamaaa was ridiculous, both between the bros and between Maggie & Danny.

Christmas Wonderland (Hallmark 2018)
Good: The acting is surprising really, really great in this movie. Even the kids are talented.
Bad: Her job behavior is sh*t. I think she enjoys her job and I think she’s good at her job… but everyone gives her crap because she moved to NYC to paint and now she’s an art dealer with no inspiration or free time. She’s just a successful adult. *eyeroll* Also, she treated her boss and assistant kinda sh*tty, too.
Cheesy: The godawful dance scene. Things were so good until that point.

The Princess Switch (Netflix 2018)
Good: The setting for this movie is stunning. I also appreciated the deception with minimal drama.
Bad: I wanted her baking career to be more of a thing. She’s not excited about it and it seems like no one else is either.
Cheesy: I mean… the acting is a little cheesy. And the romances. But that’s why we watch, right?

A Christmas Prince (Netflix 2017)
Good: Princess Emily. She was quick and witty from the start but not in a bratty way. I thought her bond and honestly with Amber was a plus. And the prince before he shaved. And the scenery.
Bad: The prince’s bad acting when he’s in proper royal mode.
Cheesy: I hate Amber’s acting. I won’t lie. It all feels forced- including the chemistry.

A Christmas Prince: The  Royal Wedding (Netflix 2018)
Good: It’s a different character, but her dad is great. I love him. Same with Mr. Zabala.
Bad: The peak moment with the bad guy was anticlimactic. That could’ve been cooler.
Cheesy: The wedding itself. YAWN.

The Holiday Calendar (Netflix 2018)
Good: I thought the love triangle was tastefully done.
Bad: Josh’s hair. Sorry, but it’s distracting and I don’t like the style.
Cheesy: The stupid camera thing Abby and Josh do. Honestly. *eyeroll*

Christmas Inheritance (Netflix 2017)
Good: I definitely started crying during the snowstorm when Ellie helped out. Also, the self awareness of the cheese factor is refreshing. I liked it. The letter reading part made me sob, too. WTF.
Bad: The drama for the sake of drama is a little much at times- especially regarding Ellie and her image and her reputation.
Cheesy: The change of heart when she holds a baby. Apparently her ovaries woke up & saved the day. Also, the end, but that’s a good thing since that’s what we’re all looking for.

I also watched:

  • The Grinch (2018)
  • White Christmas (1954)
  • The Santa Clause 1, 2, & 3
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – FINALLY

My favorite was definitely Christmas Inheritance. Let’s hear it for the film where the leading lady DOESN’T have to give up her career!

What was your favorite? Which one(s) didn’t you like?

The Roaring Swing Groovy Fabulous Blog Collaboration | The Recap

HOW ARE WE HERE?

Welcome to the final installment of the #RSFGBlogCollab for 2018! We went back and forth on how to set this post up. We settled on a “Best of the Best”category, a “Through the Ages” category, and a recap of “On Deck” recommendations from the year that I did end up getting to!

Be sure to link-up with Alexandra and I to share the period books and movies and tv shows that you’ve read and watched!

Best of the Best

If I could sum up all my recommendations and give you a TL;DR of the very best…

You need to read Serena by Ron Rash and Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline (1920s) and Ashley Weaver’s Amory Ames series. Also, dip your toes in the Agatha Christie pool with And Then There Were None (1930s). Obviously read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid (1950s) and alllll the Harry Potter books (1990s). Both of my 2000s books are must-reads: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan.

You need to watch The Mummy (1920s), A League of Their Own (1940s), Roman Holiday, & Clue (1950s). In our family, Secondhand Lions and That Thing You Do are considered classics (1960s). If you haven’t seen the Harry Potter films (1990s), what are you waiting for?! Also, Talladega Nights (2000s) forever and ever.

You need to binge Downton Abbey (1910s/1920s), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (1920s), The Astronaut Wives’ Club (1960s), The West Wing (1990s/2000s), & The Newsroom (2000s).

*the Miss Fisher’s series is currently making a movie !! And a new series !!

If you are a history lover, you should check out the following podcasts, too!

Through the Ages

I read a lot of historical fiction (and some nonfiction). Here are some of my favorite books, movies, and television shows that pre-date the 1900-2000 we covered this year!

Books
(1521) The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but when I was in HS it was one of my favorites. It was my (fictional) introduction to the Tudor family and it’s where I fell in love with them. I HATED the film they made from this book, but I actually like the movie version of (book) cover art. I love the green in Natalie Portman’s dress. The movie suuuuuuucked, though.

(1609) The Gentleman’s Poet by Kathryn Johnson
Again, I read this book quite a few years ago, but I loved it. I was in colonial Jamestown over Thanksgiving and they mention this wreck in several stories/museums. I loved that I had a little backstory from having read this- even if a large chuck was dramatized fiction. This is a sweet little love story filled with adventure, survival, and Shakespeare.

(1850s) The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
One of my all time favorite books ever. (Thanks, Jana!) It’s much darker than I typically read and there isn’t a sparkly happy ending, but DAMN this book is good. The characters are likable and hateable. The story is violent and touching. The setting is awesome. It’s a western, but almost like a Quentin Tarantino western. It’s also a movie now, too. (I won’t be seeing it because I can read violence- I can’t watch it.)

*It’s funny and amazing to think that people were living like the characters in The Sisters Brothers at the EXACT same time as those in my next book, Gaslight. I feel like historical fiction opens your eyes to the unique paradox of our history. Yes, it’s fiction, but these setting happened. 

(1861) A Holiday by Gaslight by Mimi Matthews
I’d be shocked if this wasn’t on Alexandra’s list– she recommended the book on her blog. This is a cute, festive, romantic novella. It’s perfect for a) Christmastime and b) historical fiction lovers. Nothing too steamy in this short romance- just playful banter and gorgeous holiday scenes and the potential for a happily ever after.

(1949-1970s) 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
This book technically fell into our collaboration timeline, but I didn’t read it until the decade had passed. (Thanks for the rec, Michelle!) As I’ve recently mentioned, this true collection of letters is a sweet and short picture of Miss Hanff’s interactions with an English bookstore staff. It’s lovely and heartwarming.

Television
(16th century England) The Tudors
This is probably my favorite tv series. The costumes and the stories and the history… plus it’s not too violent as far as Showtime period dramas go. Let’s be real… the women shouldn’t be quite so exposed and Henry VIII should be WAY fatter- especially by the end, but I’m good with it. Also, Natalie Dormer and Henry Cavill are in this series and they are HOT.

“On Deck” Reviews

Books
(1940s) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows
So good. I’m so glad I read it. It was sadly sweet & hopeful. A good WWII novel without too much death and despair.

Movies
(1940s) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
A little different from the novel, but equally sweet and charming. I recommended this movie to my grandparents (they loved Downton Abbey) and they LOVED it (without having read the book)!

(1990s) Empire Records
Lots of bloggers rave about this film. (Stephanie’s blog is named after a line from it.) I’d been meaning to watch it but this collaboration finally pushed me to do it. Plus, I found it on Netflix. It was very teen-movie-nineties and I loved it. I loved the relationships and quirkiness of all the characters. It was kind of silly but I really like the take away.

Television
(1930s) And Then There Were None
I ended up finding this 3-episode mini series on hoopla. Holy sh*t, I loved it. It was a perfect dark British mystery. And while Philip Lombard (Aidan Turner) was a very, very terrible man, he was freaking smokin’. Hot damn.

Thank you SO much for going on this historical ride with us!! If you want to relive any of the past decades you can check them out here: 19101920193019401950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000

Check out Alexandra’s wrap up! Don’t forget to link up below!

 CLICK HERE to join in the fun & visit other blogs!