I have always loved and adored musicals but I am fully aware that the genre seems to be the most difficult to please people who aren’t the biggest fans of them. After rewatching Chicago and the up and coming release of In the Heights it has me thinking about musicals going from stage to screen. Then if you have actually seen them on stage before the film adaptation or if you see the film first and then the stage musical. For obvious reasons a lot of changes have to be made when taking a show from the stage and putting it on screen, this is the main reason I feel Wicked has been left in production for around 12 years now. It’s one of my favourite stage musicals that I have currently seen nine times, but I really cannot picture how it will transfer to film without losing its magic and quite frankly being rather ridiculous on screen?
In the Heights is a show that I have been very lucky to see on stage twice, the first time on Broadway the night before it won the Tony Award for Best New Musical in 2008 and then in the West End in 2016. Both times I appreciated the unique nature of the music and quite frankly I think it is better than Hamilton. Both obviously coming from the genius mind of Lin-Manuel Miranda, seeing him perform on Broadway was certainly very special. I have been looking forward to seeing the film adaption of In the Heights since it was announced and that is now only a few weeks away. The reviews that have been released so far have been extremely positive and this increases my excitement to see the film. As we always seem to go through phases with musicals and one often leads to more being released.
I am really hoping that people who are not the biggest fans of musicals will give In the Heights a watch though as it really is not like any other musical you have seen before, we have come a very long way from the traditional musical numbers and acting. The rap/hiphop style is something so unique and different that it is a true joy to witness, I feel I have now moved more into begging people to see it, even though I haven’t myself yet either. I just hope audiences will be open minded and see something that dares to be different.
Obviously this film awards season year has been as strange as the rest of 2020 and 2021, therefore without our cinemas in the UK it has been an even tougher task to catch the award seasons films. So I have decided to try and help out by listing the ways you can watch the Oscar nominated films in the UK and possible dates if they are not currently available.
Another Round – 25th June (Cinema?) Borat Subsequent Moviefilm – Amazon Prime Video Da 5 Bloods – Netflix The Father – 11th June (Cinema?) Hillbilly Elegy – Netflix Judas and the Black Messiah – VOD rental Mank – Netflix Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom – Netflix Minari – VOD rental (from 2nd April) Mulan – Disney+ News of the World – Netflix Nomadland – Disney+ (from 30th April) One Night in Miami – Amazon Prime Video Onward – Disney+ Pieces of a Woman – Netflix Promising Young Woman – Sky Cinema (from 16th April) Soul – Disney+ Sound of Metal – Amazon Prime Video (from 16th April) Tenet – Available to buy on all formats The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Netflix The United States vs Billie Holiday – Sky Cinema Wolfwalkers – Apple TV+
This is something I have been putting together for quite a long time now and I have held off posting it or even attempting to start the blog post in fear that I have forgotten and somehow missed a favourite film from the list. Barring in mind I got up to 72 films and then had to cut it down to the 50. I would like to make clear these are my favourite films, some might have happened to win Oscars as well and some certainly have not at all. The way I have decided on my favourites is the sheer joy they bring and the number of rewatches I have had over the years. While I have listed 1-50 a lot of them can be shifted around and changed with each other. It is going to highlight my love for musicals and for certain actors and actresses! I doubt it will contain many surprises though!
Today marks 12 years since starting Let’s Go To The Movies and in that time I have blogged a lot about the films I truly adore and love, although also come across I don’t like and sometimes hate. Isn’t that one of the best things about watching films though? I certainly think so the discussion around films you just got and the ones you just didn’t.
Thanks to everyone for the support over these past 12 years, it has seen Let’s Go To The Movies make a UK Top 10 Film Blog four years in a row, but since been a couple of years now since making that list. I’ve done well though going for this long on just a little hobby right?
1727 Film Reviews
I thought this year I would celebrate with Harry and Sally, one of the greatest film moments of all time, considering it took them 12 years and 3 months to get together and married after their first meeting.
I signed up for Letterboxd way back in 2015. Yes, really! Although I didn’t actually start using it properly until the end of 2019 and therefore 2020 was the first full year that I logged every single film that I watched. Albeit not as many Cinema films as I would have liked, which leads me on to saying during the lockdown/furlough stage I spent a lot of time logging in the diary all of the films I had seen at the Cinema dating back to 2003 (yes, I still have my Lord of the Rings: Return of the King ticket). This obviously took a few weeks as I also logged the films I have review on here as well. So as you imagine a lot of time was taken to do this. It gives some amazing all-time stats though.
Here we can take a look at my 2020 stats and I am sure no one will be surprised with my most watched films either!
If you fancy yourself a film buff and think you know your movie cars, Peter Vardy have created a quiz to put your expertise to the test over the festive season.
They’ve collated the number plates of 24 movie cars to test the knowledge of movie fans, asking them if they can identify cars the famous number plates belong to. Just a pre-warning: it’s much harder than it sounds.
I have an every growing collection of Pop! figures, seriously it does become very obsessive. I know that they divide opinion and seem to be a very much love or hate collectable item. I for one love them so when an advert popped up on my iPad for this game I have to admit that I was rather excited. Another way to collect POP!s but where I don’t have to find space for them to be displayed!
Lockdown and the Coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic has brought many challenges for everyone, along with so many issues. Personally for me the cinema being closed has been one of the toughest adjustments, while many people may not actually understand this and see the cinema as somewhat of a luxury and somewhere they only go every so often, maybe even every couple of months to see the latest big blockbuster films. That is not the case for myself, I go two/three times a week and sometimes even more depending on what is being released. Managing to balance this in with work and occasionally being able to have a double feature with two films straight in a row.
It may no longer be as welcome, but smoking has had a place on screen since the medium began. It’s synonymous with the black-and-white era of cinema with screen giants like Humphrey Bogart and James Dean stealing scenes with the simple puff of a cigarette. But, even if it’s to a lesser extent, modern cinema has retained the tradition of depicting smoking on screen. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the most iconic smoking scenes across movie history.
Humphrey Bogart’s Oscar-nominated turn in the all-time classic ‘Casablanca’ included plenty of scenes of him smoking at the bar. After uttering the immortal line “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine”, his character Rick Blaine stares into the distance forlornly, only pausing to take a smoke. Bogart was able to use smoking as a subtle expression of emotion, whether laid-back cool or heartbreak.