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Showing posts from January, 2021

Ranking Netflix Series

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In continuation with my ranking TV shows by network series, let's talk about the next streaming behemoth that gets a lot of my views. I'm only ranking shows that I have at least seen an entire season of (the Marvel shows kind of forced me to make this adjustment from my previous HBO post, where I only shared shows where I saw every single episode) Not all of these shows are Netflix originals, some are just distributed by them, but since this is my source of watching they are included to. I also decided to exclude docuseries because those could be its own post all together and the animated shows I watch with my kid. And before you ask about Ozark, I know. I never got past the first season. Space Force - This show is painfully unfunny and I'm shocked it was renewed for a season season.  Jessica Jones - I know, worst than The Iron Fist? Let me explain. I had HUGE expectations for Jessica Jones because on paper and in the trailers it looked great. I give this show endless pro

Thursday Movie Picks - TV Edition: Freshman Series

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  The first TV week of 2021 at Wandering Through The Shelves is as always, the shows that are also starting their first season. Here are three that I've started within the past year. 1) WandaVision - I know this is a one off series and there's only been a few episodes but it's Wanda, my favorite MCU character. I have no choice but to stan. I'm also aware this is a 2021 release but I have just about every 2020 show I watched saved for one category or another this year.  2) I May Destroy You - There's still no word if Michael Coel is going to write a second season for this, but I hope she does. I fell in love with the characters and I'd love to see where they go from here. 3) The Morning Show - I really wish this show wasn't on Apple TV as it's not a service I plan on keeping (I have a year free trial) but this show is excellent. It reminds me a lot of The Newsroom, which I adored. 

2021 Independent Spirit Award Nominations

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Finally we have nominations to talk about! The extended Oscar dates are killing me this year. It's weird not to already be talking about this, but thankfully the Indie Spirits are here to give us something. They even expanded their categories to include scripted series this year. Below are a list of the nominations, followed by my thoughts. Best Feature First Cow Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom Minari Never Rarely Sometimes Always Nomadland Of these, I haven't seen Minari or Nomadland yet. They haven't been released here, but I look forward to both. I figured NRSA would get a lot of love here, so I'm happy to see that and Ma Rainey. First Cow was fine.  Best Director Lee Isaac Chung, “Minari” Emerald Fennell, “Promising Young Woman” Eliza Hittman,” Never Rarely Sometimes Always” Kelly Reichardt, “First Cow” Chloe Zhao, “Nomadland” WOMEN! Can you imagine the Oscars picking 4 female nominees? I can't. I love the Spirit Wards for this. Best First Feature “I Carry You With Me”

Review: Miss Juneteenth

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  Turquoise Jones (Nicole Beharie) is a former beauty queen in the Miss Juneteenth pageant. Her life didn't go the way she planned, so now she wants her young daughter Kai (Alexis Chikaeze) to follow in her footsteps. Kai of course, has other aspirations.  I was very hyped for this film. I saw nothing but praise for it online and especially for Nicole Beharie's performance so I had high hopes. I have to say, I really loved the relationship between Turquoise and Kai. Obviously they have their differences, but there's a lot of love there, and I'm glad they never took it into a place that felt too over the top. Keeping the majority of the POV to Turquoise and her struggles as a single mother who was told she was destined for greatness after winning only for things to not go that route was a good choice.  This is a good film, but it's not very engaging and I think my expectations were slightly too high. It loses a bit of steam in the middle, even though the final pagean

Review: Color Out of Space

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Based on the short story by HP Lovecraft, The Gardner family - Parents Nathan and Theresa (Nicolas Cage and Joely Richardson) and their three children Lavinia, Benny, and Jack (Madeleine Arthur, Brenden Mayer and Julian Hillard) live on a secluded farm. One day, a meteorite lands on their property and strange things begin to happen afterwards. This film feels part Annihilation  part Mandy . There's a bit of sci fi, a lot of neon pink, and some body horror thrown in. There's so truly gruesome imagery going on at times. I think at times the film has issues marrying all of these things together, but for a DVD watch, this is perfectly fine. Madeleine Arthur gives my favorite performance in the film. Lavinia is our main point of view so it's easy to be on her side. Arthur throws everything into the performance. My other favorite character was Ward (Elliot Knight) a scientist that the Gardner family encounter and the one with the most sense in the entire film. Nic Cage is wildly

Thursday Movie Picks: Police Detectives

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  This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about police detectives. There's plenty of films to choose from, so here are a few of my favorites.  1) Se7en - I couldn't let the Detective theme go without picking one of my favorite movies of all time. Despite its creepy and uncomfortable subject matter I could watch this over and over. 2) Memories of Murder - Speaking of creepy and uncomfortable, this film by Bong Joon Ho is so good. If you're keen to check out more of his work after Parasite, definitely find this.  3) The Nice Guys- And so we're not all glooming and dooming here, this film still makes me laugh just thinking about it. I never expected to like this as much as I do.

My Top 10 Films of 2020

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I spent an unnecessary amount of time trying to decide what I was going to do with my Top 10 list for this year. With the Oscars pushing their eligibility window to March, it means movies I really want to see like Minari and Nomadland don't come out until February. That's going to get confusing. Then I thought to myself, Brittani, 10 people read your blog and no one cares where you draw your line. So here I am with my Top 10 of 2020. I'll probably make a Top 15 list next year if I end up loving a bunch of the Oscar holdovers.  Honorable Mentions: The Assistant, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Birds of Prey, Bad Education, Babyteeth, Sylvie's Love, Disclosure, The Vast of Night Another honorable mention but this scene was too perfect not to gif My Top 10 Films of 2020 Riz Ahmed is amazing in this and I loved how much of the deaf community it showed. I know. A contemporary black and white film on my best list? Well The Forty-Year-Old Version is funny, honest, and a must see

Review: One Night in Miami

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One Night in Miami is a fictional account of a night in 1964 where icons Cassius Clay, (Eli Goree) Malcolm X, (Kingsley Ben-Adir) Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) meet in a Miami hotel room. Some expecting a party, some expecting a lengthy discussion.  Regina King directing this immediately got my attention and she does a wonderful job. A lot of this film stays in one location, but she makes great use of that space. I especially liked how she shot the boxing ring after Cassius won. The acting in this film is phenomenal. Odom Jr. was one of my favorite performers in Hamilton and he's excellent here too. The song he sings at the end of the film is gorgeous as well. Ben-Adir was a wonderful Malcolm X. Since I just watched Denzel's version so recently I was afraid of comparing them throughout but I never did. I liked his solemn spin on this. Hodge was the actor I was most familiar with as I've seen him give many good performances in the past. (see Clemen

My Favorite Movie Youtube Channels

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Starting around 2018, I started watching Youtube for more than just movie trailers or music videos whenever a new one dropped. Now I'm in full blown subscription mode and don't bat an eyelash at watching a Youtube video that's over an hour long. I watch Youtube for a few different categories of content, but one of them that I love most is movie/TV essays and commentary, and that's what I'm going to talk about today. Below is a list of my favorite movie related Youtube channels. Let me know if you're familiar with them too, or if you have any you'd like to recommend to me.  Double Toasted - I'm honestly surprised this channel isn't bigger. I first came across Korey and Martin when they reviewed War for the Planet of the Apes a few months before it hit theaters and I thought they were hysterical. While their full length videos stream on Twitch, they often upload their movie reviews and commentary on youtube and they're always hilarious. They've

Review: The Midnight Sky

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Augustine (George Clooney) is a terminally ill scientist who stays behind at a base in the Artic Circle after everyone else flees due to a catastrophic event on Earth. He realizes he's not alone, when Iris (Caoilinn Springall) a mute child finds him on the base. At the same time, he's trying to stop Sully (Felicty Jones) and her crew aboard the Ether from returning to Earth after their mission to find another planet that can sustaine human life. With the way some people were talking about The Midnight Sky , more specifically the ending, I was really expecting this to turn into a Cloverfield movie or something. It doesn't, although that would've been kind of cool. I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would given the low expectations I set for myself. This film reminds me a lot of Baz Luhrmann's Australia , where instead of feeling like one cohesive story it feels like two movies stitched together. Unlike the former, there isn't a clear winner of which of

Thursday Movie Picks: 2020 Releases

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  This week's theme from W andering Through The Shelves is looking back at the 2020 releases...that are still technically coming out because of the Oscar submissions but I digress. I wanted to talk about some 2020 releases that I enjoyed that I feel like no one talks about anymore 1) Horse Girl - The script admittedly isn't perfect but Allison Brie gives a great performance. This was one of the better Netflix releases of 2020, in my opinion. 2) Disclosure - This documentary about trans representation in media was so interesting. Docs are rarely widely discussed and in 2020 especially I felt like I was only hearing about docuseries on TV vs features, but it still surprises me that this one isn't brought up more. 3) Bad Education - Hugh Jackman was going to win an Emmy for this until Mark Ruffalo came out swinging with I Know This Much is True. This was such a great movie.

The Worst Movies of 2020

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gif credit: Margaret 2019 was the first year I made a separate "worst" list. I usually just leave them as a footnote on my Best list, but since 2020 was a dumpster fire, I felt I should continue on with separating them. These are my least favorite films I watched last year. I'm sure there are plenty of "worse" movies out there, but these are the ones I had the misfortune of seeing. Dishonorable mentions: The New Mutants, Trolls: World Tour The Last Thing He Wanted - This one hurts, because I love Dee Rees but this movie was such a mess. I'm sure the next thing Rees does will be wonderful and we can just pretend this never happened. I imagine most people already forgot about this. We Can be Heroes - I had Trolls: World Tour here until I watched this with my son recently. The lack of effort put into EVERYTHING in this movie is just astounding. The only thing that saves it from Artemis Fowl levels of bad is all the unintentional comedy.  Come To Daddy - I wan

Review: Pieces of a Woman

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Martha (Vanessa Kirby) and Sean (Shia LaBeouf) are first time parents whose homebirth with midwife Eva (Molly Parker) goes terribly wrong. Now they're forced to weather the storm that is the aftermath of something so tragic. Much has been made of this film's 30 minute one take birth scene at the beginning, and for good reason. It's a wonderful piece of filmmaking and makes the scene feel so authentic. We as the audience know something is wrong by the look on Eva's face, but we can also see how it's something Martha and Sean don't notice right away. We're in it with them. While the rest of the film is still good, it doesn't match the brilliance of that scene.  The script doesn't do Martha any favors when it comes to fleshing her out. We don't know what she does for a living, how she feels going into this pregnancy, whereas the first few minutes we spend with Sean we get all of those answers for his side of things. Martha is understandably depresse

2021 Blind Spot Series: The Graduate

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What I knew going in: The basic premise, and classic clips I've seen over the years. Ben (Dustin Hoffman) is home from college and disillusioned with life in general. His parents (William Daniels and Elizabeth Wilson) are obnoxious and prodding. Once night at a party, long time family friend Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft) seduces Ben. At first he refuses then goes along with it. He also becomes smitten with Mrs. Robinson's daughter, Elaine. (Katharine Ross) I've had several chances to watch this film over the years and I've just never felt compelled to. I knew the "Mrs. Robinson trope" without having to watch this, but then I started getting more into Anne Bancroft's work, so I finally bit the bullet. This film is at its best when Anne is on screen. When she isn't, it's not that its bad, but it's sort of uninteresting. Ben and Mrs. Robinson have the best dynamic on screen, and when Elaine comes around, I struggled with understanding why they ar

Thursday Movie Picks: Oscar Winners - Best Picture Edition

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  Wandering Through The Shelves is at it with Thursday Movie Picks again! I love that she keeps going with all these themes, it's no easy task. To kick off 2021, we're talking about Best Picture winners. I've been watching the Oscars yearly since the 2003 ceremony and started treating it like my personal Super Bowl in 2009, the year my blog was born. I decided to talk about 3 years where the winner legitimately surprised me in a good way. And it happened to be three years in a row. 1) Birdman I was so sure Boyhood, a film I despised was going to take home the top price, and when Birdman's name was announced I was overjoyed. I'm pretty sure someone called me an asshole on Twitter for making fun of Boyhood as well. 2) Spotlight In retrospect, I don't know why this surprised me so much. Mad Max was the biggest winner up until the final category but I knew that wasn't going to win. But Spotlight is such a good movie. I often hear people call it mediocre when it

Review: I'm Your Woman

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Jean (Rachel Brosnahan) is a 1970's housewife. In a voice over, she tells us that she and her husband, Eddie (Bill Heck) can't have children. One day, he shows up with a baby and tells her its theirs. Not so long after, Jean awakes to one of Eddie's colleagues telling her that she has to go on the run with Cal, (ArinzĂ© Kene) someone she's never met before. With all the mob movies out there, I can't think of another that comes from the point of view of the mob wife. That's essentially what this is. The film chooses to stay with Jean and not get into the detail's of Eddie's operation. The focus on her is what makes it interesting and it goes in a direction that feels very fresh. Rachel Brosnahan is someone I love in The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel so I'm not surprised Amazon chose to use here here again. She spends the majority of this movie exhausted and utterly confused and she plays that well. My favorite performance is ArinzĂ© Kene. This guy is so talente

Review: Another Round

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Martin (Mads Mikkelsen) is stuck in a rut. He's a high school history teacher who is at the point where he's disinterested in everything. Then he and his friends/fellow teachers, Nikolaj, (Magnus Millang) Tommy (Thomas Bo Larsen) and Peter (Lars Ranthe) decide to conduct an experiment. They attempt to keep a constant blood alcohol level of .05% to take the edge off and make them feel alive again. And it gets off to a very good start. Mads Mikkelsen is one of my favorite working actors at the moment and this is yet another Danish gem. I'm glad they're submitting this to the Oscars. A film like this could so easily go off the deep end and this film never does. I find in a lot of movies where a character consumes drugs and/or alcohol when you know they shouldn't, they end up doing something cringe-worthy that immediately cements the fact that they made a mistake And it can be annoying, because it's an obvious road block for the character to get to their goal. This

What I Watched on TV in December

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Here's what's kept me busy on the small screen for the month of December. This month I definitely put more focus on movies vs TV, but I still managed to see a few things.   The Mandalorian - What an excellent season, though I have some ~thoughts~ on the ending. *spoilers* I was really hoping it would be Ezra that would show up and that could open the door for Thrawn to be on the show. I still hope they do something like that, though now that Ahsoka Tano is getting her own show, that's probably where the bulk of that story could go. It was nice to see Luke in his ROTJ gear and his green saber but the CGI was way too uncanny valley for me. I wish they would've just cast a younger actor. Hopefully they go that route if they continue to use him. I hope this isn't the last of Grogu either. He's such an integral part of the show now, it would be sad to see him go.  Euphoria - Since the pandemic halted the filming of season two, the creators gave us this one bottle e