Archive for Movies

Here are the 30 movies that I watched over Christmas

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on January 1, 2017 by Ross McG

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I used to do these all the time.

Just after Christmas, I’d rattle through all the movies I’d gorged on over the holidays and whack em up on this blog.

You can read the past ones here, and for me it’s like delving into a personal past I never knew existed; did I really watch Mamma Mia? And ENJOY it?!

There are some equally disturbing entries (doesn’t that sound like an early 90s psychological thriller in the mould of Single White Female… DISTURBING ENTRY) in the list below, because it was bloomin’ Christmas.

You might not watch the best films ever made around Christmas, but you tend to watch a lot of them. I know I do.

As in previous years, I didn’t watch every one of the movies below in their entirety. Some of them, sure, but others were caught for 15 minutes or half an hour – that’s the beauty of the Christmas TV schedule.

Most of the below were seen on TV, and they are listed in the chronological order in which I viewed them.

If you get the chance, give us your Christmas viewing list in the comments below. Happy new year…

1. Love Actually

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Where better to begin my festive watching than with everyone’s most loved/hated Christmas movie? I love Love Actually, actually – and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Okay, I’m a bit ashamed, but as ashamed as I should be.

2. Trading Places

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This has become a pre-Christmas tradition, dusting off the old DVD and lashing it on a few days before December 25. I lapsed last Christmas, but the two-year gap did me good, as this time round it felt even funnier. Clarence Beeks remains the biggest git in movie history.

3. Scrooged

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My mum took me to see this in the cinema, so it will always have a special place in my heart, which is more than can be said for its star, Bill Murray, who reportedly hated it. Sorry, Bill, you’re wrong.

4. 12 Dates of Christmas

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Uh… okay. This isn’t my usual Christmas fare, but it was lurking on Channel 5 on a boring afternoon so I gave it a go. Amy Smart has always been an underrated comedic actress and Mark-Paul Gosselaar (from the amazing Franklin & Bash – and some show called Saved By The Bell) pops up as the romantic love interest and… it’s really not that bad. Really.

5. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

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From the ridiculous to the sublime. George Roy Hill’s genre-subverting classic wipes the floor with most modern movies. It’s a western where the main hero doesn’t know how to fire a gun and spends most of the running time doing just that: running away (John Wayne would never have played Butch Cassidy). William Goldman’s script still crackles nearly 50 years later.

6. Cool Runnings

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Candy is the man.

7. Holiday in Handcuffs

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Zack Morris isn’t the only Saved By The Beller getting up to some festive antics. In Holiday in Handcuffs, AC Slater is kidnapped by Sabrina the Teenage Witch in a bid to convince her pushy parents that she has a boyfriend for Christmas. It’s absolute drivel, of course, but it killed 20 minutes or so.

8. The Hateful Eight

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Quentin Tarantino’s snowbound chat-then-shoot-em-up is perfect cosy Christmas viewing… as long as you like your turkey’s juices running red. It’s as if the director took the stunning basement bar scene from Inglorious Basterds and decided to make an entire film out of it – and it’s bloody brilliant.

9. Forgetting Sarah Marshall

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I had forgotten Paul Rudd was in this… and how flipping funny the whole thing is.

10. Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa

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The Alan Partridge movie is still a bit hit-and-miss, even on a third viewing, but when it hits it hits hard. ‘What’s your favourite siege?’ – ‘Iranian hostage crisis.’ – ‘Me too!’

11. The Vikings

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What’s your favourite movie with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis? If you answered with Spartacus, you’re wrong – The Vikings is where it’s at.

12. The Lady in the Van

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I caught the last five minutes of this, and was left as confused as all hell. Just what the heck was going on?

13. Love Actually

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Yes. I watched Love Actually again. Attack me if you dare, I will crush you.

14. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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PoA finishes with one huge hour-long time-travelling sequence that is exhausting, but it’s also deliciously clever. Hermione’s ‘Does my hair really look like that from the back?’ might be the funniest line in the Potter movies.

15. Pride

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This had me crying bucketloads. The true story of how the LGBT community backed the miners’ strike in the 80s, Pride is rabble-rousing, poignant and hilarious in equal measure, constantly flitting between one of several main characters to always keep you on your toes.

16. Muriel’s Wedding

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I had forgotten how utterly depressing Muriel’s Wedding is until I flicked on the last 40 minutes while late-night Christmas channel hopping, but its depiction of dullness is the film’s secret weapon; life isn’t all bombastic Abba numbers, you know.

17. Death on the Nile

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Just caught the last 15 minutes of this to find out which of the starry cast did it. Peter Ustinov’s Poirot had all the answers, of course.

18. Teen Wolf

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When I was nine, I thought Teen Wolf was the best film ever made and couldn’t possibly be equalled. While I have since learned this not to be the case, it still has its charm. I stayed with it until the classic keg of beer scene, then went outside. I didn’t just watch movies over Christmas, you know.

19. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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A good few Christmases ago, this was the movie that finally convinced me Harry Potter films were worth watching, and it still holds up, thanks to the stirring action of the Triwizard tournament and a really chilling ending.

20. Love Story

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This one I watched in its entirety. I’d always avoided Love Story in the pigheaded belief it was over-sentimental drivel – how wrong was I? Soon-to-be college sweethearts Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw clash in the very first scene and the whole thing unfolds wonderfully from there, right up to its tear-filled ending.

21. Captain America: Civil War

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This was another full watch. In the cinema, I thought Civil War might be the best Marvel movie yet, but its deficiencies become more apparent on a second viewing. It’s still terrific fun, but it might have elevated itself to the Best Superhero Movie Ever title had it contained any sense of jeopardy. At no point do you worry about the fate of any leading character, which is a shame. The airport bit is fantastic, though.

22. Muppets Most Wanted

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I caught the second half of this on telly, and laughed way more than I thought I would at a film containing large chunks of Ricky Gervais.

23. About Time

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I have a feeling About Time really will stand the test of that word in its title. A bit of a gem.

24. Beaches

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Anyone who dismisses Beaches as a throwaway chick flick is an idiot. It’s not a film about women – it’s a film about friendship; and a funny and beautiful one at that. Guaranteed to make a grown man cry, especially at Christmas.

25. The Great Muppet Caper

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How did they do that bicycle bit in Battersea Park?! So brilliant.

26. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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I watched The Force Awakens while building some Star Wars Lego – that’s how cool I am. I obviously like it if I decided to watch it for a third time, but I do hope they dispense with the action and concentrate more on the characters in the upcoming Episode VIII – there’s almost too much stuff blowing up in The Force Awakens. That bit with the upside down Millennium Falcon and the gun turret though… super.

27. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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I love a bit of Potter at Christmas, and Half-Blood Prince is quickly becoming my favourite instalment, mainly because it blends the humour and the darkness so beautifully.

28. 84 Charing Cross Road

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This is a film in which Anthony Hopkins and Anne Bancroft write each other letters. That’s all that happens. And it’s kind of great. Rumour has it Michael Bay is circling the remake.

29. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

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My final Potter fix this Christmas. There are some Harry fans who rate this below the frankly unwatchable first two films, which is grossly unfair. Yes, our heroes spend a good deal of the action off the Hogwarts reservation in a tent, but there are so many memorable sequences, particularly Harry’s return to Godric’s Hollow and the magnificent animated tale of The Three Brothers, which is as powerful as anything else in the entire series.

30. You Again

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You’ve seen them kick Michael Myers’ and the Alien queen’s respective asses – now catch Jamie Lee Curtis and Sigourney Weaver together in a bizarre romcom that also features Betty White, Bobby Ewing and, uh, Hall and Oates. I only saw the last ten minutes, but what a perfect way to round off my Christmas movie viewing.

 

WHICH MOVIES DID YOU WATCH OVER CHRISTMAS? TELL US BELOW…

 

What if The Goonies had Twitter

Posted in NEWS with tags , on May 21, 2015 by Ross McG

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Here’s a piece I did over on Metro.co.uk this week, exploring what might have had happened if the members of The Goonies had access to smartphones and Twitter when they were hunting One-Eyed Willy’s treasure and fending off the Fratellis.

You can read the post by clicking HERE.

Or you can go directly to the Twitter timeline of the entire plot of The Goonies by clicking HERE.

Big thanks to Sean Astin (Mikey), Jeff Cohen (Chunk) and Corey Feldman (Mouth) who already tweeted links to the article.

It’s the 30th anniversary of The Goonies in a few weeks.

GOONIES NEVER SAY DIE

The best orgasm scenes in movies

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , , on July 31, 2014 by Ross McG

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Today is National Orgasm Day. Of course it is. It’s right up there with St Patrick’s Day and No Pants Day as one of the worst holidays ever.

What’s that? It isn’t a holiday? We don’t get the day off? Screw that. Uh… precisely.

Some people think cinema was invented (by Steven Spielberg or James Cameron – I always forget which one it was) to show us the beauty and sadness of life, to take us to new worlds, to fire our imagination. Rubbish.

Movies came, ahem, along to do one thing: depict lots of actors and actresses showing us their O face.

In honour of National Orgasm Day then, here are the best and worst orgasm scenes in cinema.

THE WORST:

Okay, let’s start with the drivel before we get on to the good, uh, stuff. And with most lists of terrible things, it begins with The Ugly Truth. Take it away Katherine Heigl… and take away my ability to forget about this awful, awful movie.

Don’t worry, we’re only going to subject you to one more bad orgasm scene. Amy Adams is a terrific actress. But she has one major blot in her copybook: Cruel Intentions 2: Cruels Control. Okay, so I made the ‘Cruels Control’ bit up, but it’s still terrible. And it has a terrible orgasm scene, in which Adams teaches her protégé the correct way to ride (sorry!) a horse.

 

AND NOW THE BEST ORGASM SCENES:

10. American Pie (1999)

The original has been so undermined by its 200 terrible sequels and spin-offs that it’s easy to forget just how good – and sweetly innocent – the first American Pie movie is – like The Inbetweeners for US yoofs before The Inbetweeners existed. Its signature scene shows just how good an actor Jason Biggs is – he only ever needs two takes.

 

9. Barbarella (1968)

Jane Fonda proves that machine is no match for woman in this quite literally steamy scene from the 60s sci-fi classic.

 

8. Bruce Almighty (2003)

If you woke up one day and realised you were God, wouldn’t you give your girlfriend an orgasm through a wall just by moving your hands? Seems only polite. Jennifer Aniston obviously took some notes from her former flatmate Courtney Cox when it comes (sorry! Again!) to carnal pleasures. Ugh.. I used the word ‘carnal’ – gross.

 

7. There’s Something About Mary (1998)

Yes there is, and there’s something hanging from Ben Stiller’s ear that he’s not aware of. As if women actually use hair gel…

 

6. Private Parts (1997)

The movie of shock jock Howard Stern’s life isn’t really that shocking, but it does contain a pretty memorable on-air-radio/at-home-with-vibrating-speaker orgasm scene. Couldn’t do that these days with Spotify.

 

5. Pleasantville (1998)

You probably know Joan Allen best for chasing Jason Bourne, but here she makes a splash in more ways than one during a bath in Gary Ross’s underrated comedy drama. This orgasm is so good it turns black-and-white into colour, a feat previously achieved only by The Wizard of Oz. No magic wand jokes!

 

4. Amélie (2001)

Audrey Tautou pervs over Paris. ‘Quinze!’ Brilliant.

 

3. A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

If only more Oscars were handed out for performances in comedies. Kevin Kline is brilliant as crazy Otto in A Fish Called Wanda, even when he’s having sex. Don’t call him Stupid.

 

2. Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion (1997)

Not a real orgasm, but a great one, as Romy (Mira Sorvino) does some amateur acting to procure a car. ‘Oh Rrrrrrramone… You are Columbus and I am America – discover me!’ Talking dirty has never sounded so funny.

 

1. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

YES! YES! YES! More orgasm fakery now, and who other than Meg Ryan could top this list? Sally Albright is the one person you don’t want to be sat near in a restaurant… or maybe you do? We’ll have what she’s having.

It’s Boss time… The best of Bruce Springsteen in the movies

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on January 13, 2014 by Ross McG

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Bruce Springsteen albums are a bit like birthdays – if you wait around long enough, one will come along. Unlike most birthdays, however, Bruce Springsteen albums are usually pretty brilliant. This month he releases High Hopes, a collection of covers – of his own previous work and other artists’ songs – and unreleased material. Continue reading

The 27 movies Ross McG watched over Christmas

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on January 2, 2014 by Ross McG

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It’s a Christmas tradition, isn’t it, sitting around, stuffing yourself with choccies and watching great, good, bad and terrible films? Listing the movies we watched over Christmas is something of a new year’s tradition at Ross v Ross, and you can check out my lists for Christmas 2012, Christmas 2010 and Christmas 2009 by clicking the links. Continue reading

Poetry in Motion Pictures: Pacific Rim

Posted in Poetry in Motion Pictures with tags , on November 19, 2013 by rossvross

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We’ve got a special Poetry in Motion Pictures post for you today – it’s not by one of us useless Rosses, but rather by RVR reader Natalie Gontar from Viewster.com, who felt inspired to pen us her own poem on Pacific Rim. Take it away, Natalie… Continue reading

Four simple rules for how to behave at the cinema

Posted in COMMENT with tags on November 4, 2013 by Ross McG

Judi Dence and Steve Coogan in Philomena

Did you go to the cinema at the weekend? I did. I went to see Philomena, starring Judi Dench and Steve Googan, which was enjoyable if not spectacular, and made me genuinely ponder if its director, Stephen Frears (My Beautiful Laundrette, Dangerous Liaisons, High Fidelity, Dirty Pretty Things), has ever made a bad film. Continue reading

The worst Stephen King adaptations

Posted in TOP FIVES with tags , on October 2, 2013 by Ross McG

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There have been some fantastic movies based on Stephen King’s writings, as evidenced in our list here, but there have also been a few absolute duds. Here are the worst, all terrifying in the wrong kind of way. Continue reading