Lockdown A-Z challenge part 2

You can read the background to this in the Part 1 post. The second half of the alphabet went much slower, mainly as I had less time in general, with life settling into a new kind of normal. But I was determined to finish, even though I struggled mightily to find an N, a Q, and then utterly stalled towards the end. But – we’re done! 🙂 And yes… there’s a next challenge…!

nancy drew posterNancy Drew (2007)

Why oh why did I not manage to pick something better?! There are surely a ton of great ‘N’ movies, but after lasting all of 10 minutes of No Country For Old Men and finding it far too heavy going I went too far in the other direction in search of fluff. This was… yeah. No.

Ocean’s Eleven (2001)ocean's eleven poster

After something so disappointingly duff, I think I was looking for a sure-fire bit of fun, and a rewatch of Danny Ocean and his madcap heist scheme fit the bill perfectly 🙂 Just hits the right note of suavely stylised, with a cast of who’s who of the period.

pokemon detective pikachu posterPokemon Detective Pikachu (2019)

Yeah, wasn’t the most obvious choice 😉 But it was actually huge amounts of fun, even to someone like me with only the vaguest knowledge of the pokemon stuff. Mainly the trailer caught my eye because the yellow ball of fluff sounded like a less sweary Deadpool lol!

The Queen’s Corgi (2019)queen's corgi poster

Oh em gee, I found a new low point o.O In fairness, Q was always going to be a tricky letter, but wow do I wish I’d gone for Quantum of Solace o.O This was Not Good. This was actually Pretty Bad. Jack Whitehall does corgi, every bit as awful as it sounds.

Rocky Horror Picture Show (1979)

rocky horror picture show posterSee above comment re needing a known quantity following something terrible – step to the right forward, Doctor Frank N Furter! It’s been an aaaage since I last saw this, and to be honest I was a little ‘hmm’ at all the bits I’d totally forgotten – the memorable highlights are absolutely rocking, but to be fair there is also a bit of padding going on. But still oh so worth it for the wonderful Tim Curry 🙂

Starship Troopers (1997)starship troopers poster

Another rewatch of something I last saw a looong time ago. In fact, probably nearer first release, and without much background to explain that this wasn’t just a gung ho dumb shoot the giant bugs b-movie. Which, urm, it also is. And very of its time, have to say.

Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

three billboards posterI will be the first to admit that my taste in entertainment is usually a bit on the suspect side. It is rare these days that I have the patience or mental state to sit through a ‘worthy’ kind of a movie. But when I do, I am blown away by just how brilliant a movie can be. This was… just so powerful. The cast is just excellent, all of them.

Unbreakable (2000)

unbreakable posterTo be honest, I didn’t like this movie when it came out and I first saw it. It was just so slow. It’s like the anti-superhero movie: no pace, no action, no fun. However, having more recently enjoyed both Split and Glass, the rest of the trilogy, I thought perhaps I’d enjoy this more on a second viewing, knowing what I was getting in to. I did not. It was still tortuously slow and quite frankly kinda dull.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

valerian posterAnother rewatch of something I wasn’t that impressed with on first viewing. I did, however, think that the visuals would carry another watch – and they remain outstanding. But otherwise, no, it’s still not a good movie. Mainly, I think, it really really needed a better lead actor. Someone older and with more charisma could have made this work.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016)

whiskey tango foxtrot posterOmg, something I hadn’t seen before! I’m slightly surprised at myself for choosing this, as it doesn’t really sound like my cup of tea – and in truth, it mainly wasn’t. Billed as comedy/drama, I didn’t find it at all amusing, just not too dark with otherwise very serious topics. I probably stuck with it more to get ‘W’ out of the way, but I’d say it was okay rather than great, for me. Impressive cast, though, including Martin Freeman with a surprising Scots accent.

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)

xmen apocalypse posterLet’s face it, options were thin on the ground for this especially when I couldn’t find a copy of Xanadu – thank goodness for the X-Men franchise! I meant to go with Days of Future Past, having seen First Class again relatively recently, but this was more convenient. I wasn’t too impressed on first viewing (hmm, sensing a theme!), but it was fun enough. In hindsight it gets the advantage of being so much better than Dark Phoenix, at least, but still leaves me thinking it could have been done so, so much better.

young guns 2 posterYoung Guns II (1990)

I was so sure I was going to rewatch Yesterday for this, but mood was more for something with just a tad more substance. This couldn’t be more early 90s if it tried, really, from the cast (I want to say Brat Pack, but bar one more BP adjacent) to the soundtrack, to just the style. It holds up pretty well, imo. 

z for zachariah posterZ for Zachariah (2015)

What a shame to end the challenge on a bit of a bum note. This isn’t a bad movie, but rather than the sci-fi drama tag it was a post-apocalyptic love triangle. The cast of three were amazing, but I really didn’t like the slow pace or the nasty tones of the story.


What’s next? Well, I’m pondering doing some movie years – the best (and worst) of a given 12 months, looking back. Or a rewatch of some favourite trilogies, long overdue in lockdown it feels! LotR, Batman and more…!

But first up… the 80s movie challenge! Come join me (us, this time – I have company!) as we watch one movie from each year 1980-89. What would you pick? 🙂

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