At any given moment in time I'll have a list of films to watch and television shows to see nearly as long as I am tall (although I'm not that tall), so this year I've been making a conscious effort to make my way through more of them. I'm a binge watcher, I'll watch a series in a day and can happily spend hours staring at Netflix with some snacks at my disposal, so I often struggle to keep interest in series that I have to follow week by week, but there's been a few surprises this year.
Last year I didn't go to the cinema much, but this year I'm trying my best to change it. Going to the cinema is one of my favourite things to do and there was a point a couple of summers ago where I would be going to the cinema roughly four times a week - depending on what was on. I'm not quite back at that level just yet, but I have seen some really good films this year! My mum and I like to visit our local Showcase fairly regularly if we have a free day or evening, and thanks to her choices I've ended up seeing, and enjoying, a few films that I wouldn't have originally picked myself.
FilmMy first film of the year was The Lady In The Van, a charming British comedy-drama focusing on - you guessed it - a lady in a van. I hadn't expected to like this film as I get quite stressed out and emotional when it comes to plots focusing on older people (yes, I am a wuss) but it was actually really good. Yes, I did cry, but that'll become a running theme here. It was heart-warming, but not sugar-coated, and Maggie Smith was brilliant as ever.
One of the real highlights of the year so far for me has to be Deadpool, which I ended up seeing in the cinema twice in one week... oops! If you've watched it, you'll probably understand why. It's the perfect alternative superhero film, with all of the classic elements that you'd expect from any Marvel film, delivered in a slightly sassier format. I love that it continually poked fun at itself, it was a laugh a minute and Ryan Reynolds stole the show. I knew I loved him for a reason!
Although technically released in 2015, I didn't get round to watching The Big Short until just a couple of weeks ago. Having seen all of the fuss that had been made over it come awards season with a host of nominations to its name I knew I had to give it a watch, if not for the stellar cast alone. When the 2005 U.S. Housing Crisis was at it's peak, I was still in primary school, so it was actually really interesting to see just what had happened and why it happened explained in a way that was easy for me to wrap my head around - with the help of a few celebrity cameos. It's tongue in cheek, but not to the point of ridicule, and a really enjoyable watch. Think a slightly calmer version of The Wolf of Wall Street, with Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt and Steve Carell.
On my most recent trip to my local Showcase Glasgow I ended up seeing the newly released Eddie The Eagle, which definitely wouldn't have been my first choice, but it was my mum's. Although I was aware of Eddie The Eagle, I wasn't around when his story first unfolded, so had no idea what to expect. Much to my surprise, I was met with an endearing tale of determination and spirit which had me desperate to see what happened. Obviously I cried, but my god it was just so emotional. Even if you don't think it's your cup of tea, I wouldn't write it off just yet!
It just wouldn't be me without some mention of Hugh Laurie, but luckily I'm not just limited to my fifth annual re-watch of House M.D. which is currently nearing it's end, with his latest television appearance The Night Manager debuting on screens back in February. Hugh Laurie played a high powered arms dealer who isn't afraid to use any means to get what he wants. It was a fairly different role for him, but perfectly paired with Tom Hiddleston's part of the former British soldier tasked with infiltrating his inner circle. It's a slow starter, taking it's time to set the scene, but the drama soon kicks off and will leave you wondering who you can really trust. It's worth watching for the cinematography alone, seriously stunning.
The second season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt only had it's debut on Netflix yesterday, but I love it already. Kimmy's endearing enthusiasm for life in New York City after spending 15 years in a cult always makes me smile, with a bit of help from Tina Fey's incredible writing. It's sassy in the best kind of way, making it so easy to watch.
When the third season of House of Cards was released last year I binged the entire series in one day, leaving me waiting for an entire year before having anything new to watch - big mistake. This time round I've been trying to take my time with it, which isn't easy considering just how gripping it is. It's dark, and will probably leave you shouting at the screen. The show is unendingly clever, with new tensions appearing in each episode. The latest season is no different to it's predecessors and despite veering towards a soap style drama at stages, it still manages to be an absolutely thrilling watch.