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Whenever Luke and I get away for a date night, we always end up doing the same thing because we love it: going to park the movies. Our favorites are dinner-and-a-movie places, which work out better in the long run with paying a babysitter. Here are a few of my favorites:
TOY STORY 4 – I cried laughing at Forky in more than one scene. A definite must for any Toy Story fans. The ending left me convinced there has to be more down the road…
THE LION KING – This live-action remake of the Disney classic does not disappoint. My husband and son saw it twice in theaters and I was so impressed with how realistic the animals were. They kept it pretty true to the original script!
FROZEN 2 – While my kids liked this even more than the original, I felt the storyline was a little confusing and enjoyed the first one better. Either way, they are both great films and the songs will definitely be stuck in your head!
ALADDIN – Because I grew up on the 90s version of this film, I had to check out this live-action remake. While my kids loved it, I was fine with only seeing it once. I just couldn’t get into the Will Smith version of the Genie, although anyone playing that other than Robin Williams would have been weird to me I guess…
DUMBO – I’m not a Tim Burton fan (except for Edward Scissorhands because it’s hilarious), so I didn’t really enjoy this much. My kids, however, wanted to watch it again the next morning! I think the depressing original must have scarred me for life so I had too much to compare it to…
DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD – I was never into Dora the Explorer as a kid, and neither were my children, but I loved the style they did this movie in. It reminded me of a kid version of Indiana Jones. I bought this for us to watch on New Year’s Eve.
DETECTIVE PIKACHU – My son was obsessed with Pokémon for the last two years so he had to see this one. Super goofy and weird, but worth the watch for any Pokémon fans. My husband randomly said, “I’m waiting for like a hundred Bulbasaurs to come out” (as a way to get a laugh that he knew the characters’ names) and halfway through the movie, it really happened. Creepy. We were cracking up.
THE AERONAUTS – True story released on Amazon Prime about two scientists flying a hot air balloon to break a world record proving that you can predict the weather. Worth the watch as they almost go into orbit!
HOLIDAY IN THE WILD – I know that Christmas is over, but this one is still worth watching because it’s another feel-good movie starring some big actors. It takes place in Africa so you get to see a different approach to Christmas and enjoy a change of scenery.
EXTREMELY WICKED SHOCKINGLY EVIL AND VILE – Ok, definitely a change of pace from the other movies I’ve listed, and you may be thinking WHAT? But seriously, I saw Zack Efron and true story and had to see it. I was cautious at first because it’s about a serial killer – and I don’t watch crime dramas on TV because they bother me, but this one was different. They didn’t show anything and most of the movie was courtroom drama. (Think The People vs OJ Simpson). I’ve been recommending it to people because it’s told from the point of view of his wife and how she believed he was innocent the whole time. It’s creepy how you almost want to believe he’s telling the truth because his character is so convincing.
THE IRISHMAN – Martin Scorsese directed this gangster film starring DeNiro, Pacino and Pesci. I love anything based on true events, so when I saw that Pacino was playing Jimmy Hoffa, I wanted to know more. Because the movie was over three hours long, I got bored frequently with the amount of dialogue and slow pace compared to his other films like GoodFellas, but overall the violence was simplistic and not drawn out and gory like most shows today. Watch if you like gangster movies.
THE KING – I only watched the last half of this movie with my husband but it was super interesting. Another biography movie about young King Henry V.
THE RAIN: Season 2 – This show is in subtitles, but worth the watch! It’s a sci-fi series from Denmark about a deadly rain that falls and the survivors who escape to underground bunkers. The second season is better than the first!
STRANGER THINGS: Season 3 – I think this was my favorite of all the seasons—I don’t know though because they’ve all been so good! The first season was fun because it was all new, the second was a little dark, but the third season was funnier than the others. I loved Steve in this one! Must see!
DON’T WASTE YOUR TIME
AD ASTRA – I was so bored with this one. I thought it would be about aliens or something cool and it was just a sad film about a son and his dad. Next time bring on the lasers and spaceships!
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS – I actually fell asleep watching this, not because I don’t like Godzilla movies, but because it was cheesy and the storyline was awful. It may have also been that I had just watched Bloodline and HATED IT so the main actor was bothering me a bit…
IN THE TALL GRASS – I like a good sci-fi scary movie, but I should have known with this Stephen King adaptation that it would get disturbing. No aliens, just child sacrifice weirdness left me turning this one off early—and wishing I hadn’t started it at all.
PET SEMETARY – I saw the original as an adult because as a kid I was told it was the scariest movie in the world, but found it was more of a laugh than anything. When I was talked into seeing this one, for some reason I was expecting the same. Ending up being really disturbing, especially watching as a parent. Luke and I both regretted sitting through the entire thing in the theater, which doesn’t happen often. Completely done with Stephen King stuff. Skip this one.
STILL WANT TO SEE
MOVIES BASED ON BOOKS
These are books I haven’t actually read, but I know they were extremely popular when they came out.
LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott
A MILLION LITTLE PIECES by James Fray
BIOGRAPHIES & TRUE STORIES
I love a good true story, even though most movies are only a sliver of the truth. I usually watch the show, and then look up to see what was true or not. These films keep me thinking for a while. Last year I enjoyed I, Tonya, Bohemian Rhapsody and White Boy Rick.
Ones I still need to watch this year are:
ROCKETMAN – Elton John
TOLKIEN – J.R. Tolkien
JUDY – Judy Garland
THE HIGHWAYMEN – Bonnie and Clyde
HONEY BOY – Shia LeBeouf
THE LAUNDROMAT – Panama Papers scandal
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD – Mr. Rogers
BOMBSHELL – Fox Newswomen
1917 – World War I mission
JUST MERCY – a true story of justice for black inmates on death row
DARK WATERS – a true story about a city with contaminated water
HARRIET – Harriet Tubman
TERMINATOR: DARK FATE – because of the ORIGINAL ACTORS!
I grew up on all things Disney, so I have to see every remake. Love that they are going through and doing live-action films of all the classics:
BEFORE YOU GO…
Thanks for going to the movies with me! What did you watch this year? Do you completely agree or disagree with any of these? I’d love to hear from you—especially if there’s any you recommend that I may have missed. Comment below!