30-Day Film Challenge
So around the time lockdown went in, Cineworld introduced the 30-day film challenge. So, on June 1st for the entire month, they would introduce the 30-day film challenge, and I thought that I could put my spin on it or at least give my thoughts on each, on how and which film I would put in each category since it seemed like a good time. Here’s the thing, this time next month I’ll be 30 years old and it’s going to be a major milestone in my life, so I figured that a 30-film challenge would be a good way to mark the occasion, and that was a way to get 30 films in there so why not? It’s a good way to celebrate being alive for 3 decades nearly. Now, these will not be in-depth reviews or in-depth thoughts; I’m just going to state which one, why I picked it and small bit about it. You’re probably going to ask me in person my thoughts on the films. But hey, it’s a good bit of fun, so let’s get started.
Day 1: The 1st Film You Saw at The Cinemas
I say this with a pinch of salt. I think it’s the first film I saw at cinemas; I have a vague memory of my auntie and my gran taking me to go see it, but I definitely did see Jurassic Park in cinemas. I might have seen a film earlier than that in cinemas but that’s the earliest I can remember. And well, Jurassic Park is still in my top ten favourite films. I still absolutely love it and it’s been a big part of my life ever since.
Day 2: A Film You Watched Over and Over Again as a Child
Okay, this one was a bit of a difficult one because I only had to pick one. I watched a lot of Disney films on a VH set when I was a kid, but Aladdin’s the one I have a very big recollection of. Honestly, I could have also put 101 Dalmatians or Beauty and The Beast in this bit, but I figured Aladdin’s lasted a bit longer with me, so that one made the cut.
Day 3: A Film That Made You Laugh Out Loud
This is still one of the funniest films I have ever seen in my life. Me and my friends are still quoting this film years after the fact, we love it that much. I don’t think I’ve laughed in a cinema more than when I saw this film.
Day 4: A Film That Starts With ‘The’
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
This was a bit of a weird one, so I thought why not kick off the Ghibli films? We’re going to be seeing a lot of them in this, and The Tale of Princess Kaguya is an excellent retelling of the classic story of Japanese folklore. You really should give this film a chance if you haven’t – its art style is way more different to the other Ghibli films, and the animation team lovingly worked on it for 8 years and it shows.
Day 5: A Film That is Underrated in Your Opinion
Song of The Sea
How did this film not catapult Tom Moore into being a directorial superstar for family animation? This film is amazing! It even got an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Film. Oh yeah, that’s right, because it was only shown in limited run and then was only in a few cinemas – there was only one cinema in Liverpool that was actually showing it. Seriously, excellent film; does an excellent job doing a storybook take on Irish myth and legend. You really ought to check this one out at some point.
Day 6: A Film to Put on When You Feel Sad
Day 7: A Film You Would Love to See on The Big Screen
I never got to see Gravity in cinemas, and I kind of wish I had because I think I would appreciate it more if I went to see it in the cinema. I didn’t really have much of an appreciation for it when I did see it after I bought the Blu-Ray, and I think it’s really one that I really ought to give a bit more credence to considering just what an achievement it was from a technical level, though I stand by that on a story level it does not entirely work.
Day 8: Your Favourite Film Set in Space
Ridley Scott’s sci-fi debut is fantastic. He really does a good job with this film giving us an excellent horror movie, where space itself feels like this barren wasteland that is deliberately trying to kill this crew.
Day 9: A Film with a Soundtrack That Gets Stuck in Your Head
Guardians of The Galaxy
Guardians of The Galaxy really to me was an excellent soundtrack and I really had all those songs stuck in my head afterwards. Let’s face it: Many of those songs are now majorly more significant in a pop culture sense because of Guardians of The Galaxy. Those songs really have a way of sticking with you.
Day 10: A Film That is Also a Book Where You Loved Both Versions
Yeah, this one always surprises me that it does not come in really great book to film adaptations. While it’s not a one-to-one of the book, it’s damn near close and I actually thought that the changes made were fairly decent; I think both versions work in their own respects. It’s also one of the times when Shia LaBeouf actually gives an excellent performance. Trust me, if you really look out for it, the guy is a decent actor. I’d also recommend his performance in the English language version of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind; he gives a really good performance in that film as well.
Day 11: A Film That Made You Want to Cheer at the Cinema
Avengers: Infinity War
There was one film that probably fit this more, but it’s coming up later in this countdown, so I decided to put Infinity War in. I really adored so many of the scenes in Infinity War, they really do make you want to cheer – particularly the scenes in the Battle of Wakanda. Though, that being said, I definitely would not have wanted to see this film in a cinema in America.
Day 12: A Film That Left You Confused
I still have no idea what is going on in this completely pretentious nonsense that Donnie Darko director, Richard Kelly, put forward. It’s one of the most nonsensical films I have ever seen in my life, and it’s one of the worst. I utterly hate it.
Day 13: A Film That Made You Want to Travel
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
I actually have travelled quite a bit, but I don’t think any films really made me want to do it per se, more travel documentaries. But if I go by a film that does make me want to go back to travelling, it would definitely be Lord of the Rings. I’ve never been to New Zealand and I’ve never been to Hobbiton. I’ve been to Saint Vincent to see the sets of Pirates of the Caribbean, but I’ve never been to see these sets – I really should get round to that later when it’s safer.
Day 14: Your Favourite Film From Your Least Favourite Genre
My Big Fat Greek Wedding
I’ve made it no secret that I am not a fan of the Romantic Comedy genre, especially in film form as they don’t work well in their time period and often resort too much to cliché over genuinely good writing and chemistry, but My Big Fat Greek Wedding is definitely one of the exceptions to the rule. I think this is mainly down to the screenplay being written by lead actress, Nia Vardalos, which is based on her one-woman-show of her real life, and that lends an authenticity to the film that is not often present in many movies like this. The less said about the much weaker sequel, the better. Though my patience for the film is definitely starting to wear, as my Greek-culture obsessed mother insists on constantly quoting the film at every chance she gets, even nearly twenty years after the film came out.
Day 15: A Day That Broke Your Heart
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
To see one of Disney’s best films be turned into this soulless cash-grab of a lazy film just got rid of the joy around me. I really knew at that point that this was the future of Disney remakes. It’s not just how bad the film was that broke my heart, it’s the fact that a lot of people gave it a pass, and that it made a lot of money at the box office. It just broke me.
Day 16: A Film With a Number in the Title
Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
Star Trek 2 is actually my favourite of the Star Trek films, and I’m not a trekkie. I don’t think you have to be to enjoy this one; this film is just excellent. I really think that this is one of the premiere sci-fi films ever made, and though it is a bit of a cop-out to pick a sequel for this one, I’m going to take it so that I finally get to gush a bit about this film.
Day 17: Your Favourite Animated Film
I’ve made it no secret that Spirited Away is not only my favourite animated film, it’s my all-time favourite film, and while a few films have tried to take that title, I think, for now, I’m going to stick with that. Spirited Away is simply a masterpiece of animation; you really ought to have seen it if you haven’t already. It’s a beautiful film on every level.
Day 18: A Film You Can’t Stop Thinking About
The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s masterwork of suspense and paranoia is a film I’m constantly thinking about every time I’ve watched it. Who was infected? Who wasn’t? Who was to be trusted? You’re thinking throughout the entire film. Carpenter rarely offers answers and the ending is really excellent for that.
Day 19: A Film Set in the Future
Ghost in the Shell (1995)
Ghost in the Shell is still set in the future from now, so I’m going to go with it. I’ve gone on and on about how this is a brilliant film about the human condition and what it means to be human, and if you haven’t seen it already you really should. Believe me, this is a film that’s really relevant right now for several reasons, that I wouldn’t want to give away.
Day 20: A Film That Frightened You
The Witch is genuinely terrifying. It creates a brilliant atmosphere that is completely creepy. I was honestly really disturbed and left wondering ‘what is going to happen next?’ This is one a lot of people disagree with me on, but I really think it works well as a horror film, just by how well its atmosphere is delivered.
Day 21: A Film That Made You Want to Fall in Love
This one was a bit of a weird one based on its wording; I don’t understand how a film can really make you do that, so I went with one of my favourite love stories in film, and I decided to go with Your Name, an absolutely brilliant film that is Makoto Shinkai’s best films to date, and one of the highest grossing foreign-language films ever. It does have an English language version, which means if you’re not into that, you can see it, and I won’t talk much about it as this is a film you really need to see; but absolutely check it out before the J. J. Abrams-produced version comes out, which I’ve now found out is being directed by one of the directors of The Amazing Spider-Man Films (Oh, ‘deep joy’, he says, sarcastically).
Day 22: Favourite Film From a Fantasy World
Howl’s Moving Castle
This one’s a bit more steampunk than it is fantasy, but it’s based on a fantasy book and still has a lot of the ‘swords and sorcery’ aesthetic, so it counts for me. Howl’s Moving Castle is fantastic, and it’s genuinely a good book adaptation, and one of Miyazaki’s best films. It’s an absolutely brilliant watch.
Day 23: A Film That Feels Important to you, Personally
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn
Tintin has always been a big deal for me, and it was one of a couple of films I never thought would come to cinemas, but when it finally did, it was a joy to see Tintin completely there, and it was exactly the film I wanted to see. It meant a lot to me to see that adaptation finally happen.
Day 24: A Film Made by Your Favourite Director
Kiki’s Delivery Service
I already have two of Hayao Miyazaki’s films in here with Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, so I decided Kiki’s Delivery Service gets this spot. I really love this as a film – it’s fantastic. It’s not got too much of a plot, but it doesn’t really need one; it’s a really nice slice of life movie about a witch who uses a broom to fly to people’s houses. It’s a story about a nice girl moving to a new town. It sounds boring, but I promise you, it’s genuinely good and wholesome.
Day 25: A Film That Inspires You
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
There are all sorts of ways to say that something inspires you, but I wanted to go with a film that actually inspired me to do something – and considering I wanted to go to the actual sets and travel a bit more, the fact that I went to the locations where they shot Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl means that that film definitely inspired me to do that. And, hey, it’s a fantastic film, it’s just too bad that it was ruined by a bunch of sequels. But that first film is still there, and it’s still amazing. Here’s hoping that the reboot with Brie Larson will work out okay.
Day 26: A Film That Made You Happy
Sonic the Hedgehog
I know it’s fairly recent, but this film just put a grin on my face the entire time I was watching it. It was great to know that this film just exists and is brilliant. I really like this movie on so many levels, and I’m glad that I’m living in a world where there’s a good Sonic movie.
Day 27: Your Favourite Super Hero Movie
I adore Avengers: Endgame; it’s absolutely the perfect part 2 to Infinity War and it feels like the event film of my generation. We probably won’t get another film like this for quite some time, and I think that makes a big difference to a lot of people.
Day 28: A Film That Changed Your Life
Pride came out around the time I was just starting to do film reviews, and I think it’s the film that really proved I could be a proper film critic, since it was the first time I was able to be happy about one of the reviews I had done, and that I could keep doing this. Considering how much of my career I owe to this film, I think it deserved this spot.
Day 29: A Film You Didn’t Want to End
When Marnie Was There
When Marnie Was There was, at the time, going to be the last Ghibli film, and knowing that when it ended, it was the end of a legacy, it really made me want that film never to stop. Thankfully, that studio is back in gear, and we are finally going to be seeing a new film from them down the line.
Day 30: A Film with a Beautiful Ending
A Silent Voice
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