January Film Reviews | Monthly Roundup

FILM ROUND UP the finer things club uk lifestyle blog

We are 'movie buffs'. Not a week goes by where we aren't discussing films, watching films, reflecting upon films and working out what ones we want to watch next! We know a lot of you are probably on the look out for film recommendations, so we thought we'd put our obsession to good use and bring you film roundups once a month. How does that sound? Here's some mini reviews of the films we have watched this January! Let us know what films you've watched this month in the comments below, as well as some suggestions of films we should buy next. Thanks!

4 back to the future uk lifestyle blog the finer things club movies to see listography

1985 | 116 min | adventure / comedy / sci fi

'A teenager is accidentally sent 30 years into the past in a time-travelling Delorean invented by this friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school age parents unite in order to save his own existence' 

BWe decided to start the year off with one of the films that we featured in our 10 Films Bee Needs to See in 2014 post: Back To The Future! I was expecting a 'laugh out loud adventure', and whilst I feel the characters could have utilised the whole time travel thing a lot more, I thought it was a pretty good film. It's definitely one that I would re-watch again on a lazy afternoon. 

LEven better than I remember! Yeah sure, Marty doesn't actually go very far when you consider the time travel part but the comedic value and intrigue of seeing someone from the 80's roaming around in the 50's is still pretty unique to this day!  

movie review the kings of summer

2013 | 95 min | comedy / drama

'Three teenage friends, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land' 

BI'd heard a few people discuss this film after its debut at Sundance, so I made sure it was a film that the two of us sat down and watched. I'm so glad we did. The Kings of Summer is immensely funny, the characters are relateable and you can't leave it without a heart full of nostalgia for never-ending childhood summers where you had six weeks to do anything and everything all at once. Watch this if you fancy an adventure without leaving your four walls. It's really great! 

L: This was a really nice surprise, and a film I'm really glad Bee got us to watch. There are some pretty hilarious characters in it, particularly Frank, played by Nick Offerman. It's one of my favourite films of the year so far and one that makes me want to run off into a forest and become a hermit living off of a healthy supply of 'avocado meat'.

uk lifestyle blog the finer things club wes anderson movie reviews

2009 | 87 min | animation / adventure / comedy

'An urban fox cannot resist returning to his farm raiding ways and then must help his community survive the farmers' retaliation' 

BI watched this on a quiet afternoon with my Dad, with some chai and some biscuits, and I absolutely loved it. I adore Wes Anderson, and think he is super talented, and whilst it's totally different from everything else he has done, it didn't disappoint! Whilst the plot wandered from the book, I thought Anderson's slight re-telling worked really well. Everything about this film was really great, from the impeccable voice acting, to the underlying humour, to the overall aesthetics. Definitely worth a re-watch, and I'll definitely be getting Luke to watch it too!  

epic movie review blog uk lifestyle

2013 | 102 min | animation / adventure / family

'A teenager finds herself transported to a deep forest setting where a battle between the forces of good and evil is taking place. She bands together with a rag tag group...in order to save their world - and ours' 

BThis film was a disappointment. I can see what they were going for, but the poor voice acting and weak plot really let it down. A good idea executed pretty poorly, in my opinion. There were some funny moments, involving the slug and the snail, and the overall look of the film was good, but I left it feeling really uninspired, therefore, I won't be giving it a re-watch.  

LI'm pretty much on the same ground as Bee with this one, I wasn't expecting it to be that great but I was still waiting for it to pick up all the way to the end. For a film that boasted the potential for so much epicness (if that's even a word?!) the slug and snail were the only interesting part, for me!

movie review uk lifestyle blog back to the future

1989 | 108 min | adventure / comedy / sci-fi

'After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985...without interfering with his first trip'

BWe ended up getting the whole Back to the Future trilogy so we thought we'd watch the second installment soon after the first. I love old visions of the future, so this was pretty hilarious. I think in some ways I preferred this to the first film because I'm really into that Prisoner of Azkaban two stories happening at the same time thing (technical term, I know!). It's definitely worth a watch if you enjoyed the first film!  

L:Wow, I can't wait to purchase my first flying car next year and trade my smart phone in for an almighty fax machine!! Again, if you want to travel further than Marty's home town then you might be better skipping to Back to the Future Part III, but I just love seeing a 1980's vision of 2015.

zodiac movie review blog uk

2007 | 157 min | crime / drama / mystery

'A San Francisco cartoonist becomes an amateur detective obsessed with tracking down the Zodiac killer' 

BIf you're a fan of crime dramas and mysteries, this is for you! Whilst the film is quite long, it kept my attention throughout thanks to the stellar casting. Don't watch this if you're hoping for a big resolution because you won't get it. It's long and quiet but the characters' determination is infectious and it'll pull you through to the end.  

L: I really liked this film and I would say its really worth setting out the 157 mins for. It's quite a long journey following the many suspects, victims and investigators but I have to say it had my full attention from the first minute to the last. Panning out almost like a documentary, Zodiac is one of those films you'll be glad you watched, as it's an interesting depiction of one of the most infamous and elusive serial killers of the 20th Century.  

uk movie review blog

2010 | 92 min | comedy / romance

'A clean-cut high school student relies on the school's rumour mill to advance her social and financial standing' 

BI'm not a massive fan of teen comedies these days but I wanted to pop something on that I hadn't watched before, and was an easy enough watch, whilst I was at home alone so I scaled my sister's DVD pile and came across Easy A. It was your typical teen movie, and whilst I'm not exactly its target audience, I did laugh along at certain bits and it definitely served its purpose as a light lunchtime watch. Emma Stone seems pretty great, from my limited knowledge of her, and I though the film's overall message that your body is your own business was pretty sound.  

movie review bad teacher lifestyle blog

2011 | 92 min | COMEDY

'A lazy, incompetent middle school teacher who hates her job and her students is forced to return to her job to make enough money for a boob job after her rich fiancĂ© dumps her' 

B:I watched this straight after Easy A. It was that sort of day, okay?! I thought it was quite funny and it had Phyllis from The Office in so that gives it plus points. I'm not going to lie to you, I wasn't properly focusing whilst watching this film but it served its purpose as an easy lunchtime watch and I found it pretty funny! 

the way way back movie review

2013 | 103 min | comedy / drama

'Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park'

BAgain, a lot of people were talking about this film so I thought we should pick it up and give it a go. This film is akin to The Kings of Summer in that it deals with some pretty important subjects under the wistful gaze of a long summer. Whilst I preferred The Kings of Summer, this movie was really uplifting, and fun, so it deserves a watch! Great for lazy days.

L:I wasn't sure whether I was going to like The Way Way Back, especially when it introduces Duncan, a somewhat less than cheery teenager - a character type that Homeland has done well to drive me far far away from. Saying that though, Duncan turns into a really likeable character and the film itself gets even more likeable as it goes on. I like this film, and I think you could like it too, so go watch it!

gravity movie review blog uk

2013 | 91 min | drama / sci-fi / thriller

'A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space' 

LA film that I think has some of the best special effects I have ever seen in a film, and considering its setting I guess the film would only work if the effects were spectacular. I'll admit though, it took me a while to start caring about Sandra Bullock's character, but eventually I did. I think Gravity is one of the best fighting-for-survival films I have ever seen. 

uk lifestyle blog foreign films movie review

2011 | 100 min | crime / thriller 

'An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary' 

LA foreign film, aren't I fancy?! Now I've not read the book, but I really liked this film adaptation, and that's despite not really liking the main protagonist! You need to watch this film as it has Jamie Lannister in it (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), and you also need to witness one of the worst hiding places in a movie and the amoral getaway vehicles featured. 

uk lifestyle blog film reviews away we go the finer things club

2009 | 98 min | comedy / drama / romance

'A couple who are expecting their first child travel around the US in order to find a perfect place to start their family. Along the way, they have misadventures...with an assortment of relatives and old friends who might just help them discover home on their own terms...' 

B: I love this movie so much, and not just because it has a bearded John Krasinski in it! Unf! It's funny, it's warm, and it's full of love and hope. The perfect movie for those days when you need a little pick me up. It's just insanely beautiful, and heartfelt, and the dialogue is pretty much perfect. Go and buy this now. It's one of my favourite films - if that's not enough to make you want to pick it up, I don't know what is! 

L:I agree with Bee, Jon Krasinski is such a likeable actor, but Away We Go wouldn't be nearly as good if it wasn't for Maya Rudolph's equally likeable contribution. Away We Go is probably battling Gravity for my favourite film of 2014 so far. Two very different films that I really really like! 

hunger games review movie uk lifestyle blog

13. the hunger games: catching fire (WE LOVED IT!)
2013 | 146 min | action / adventure / sci fi

'Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark become targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th Hunger Games sparks a rebellion in the Districts of Panem' 

BI think this is one of my favourite film series' because it does exactly what it says on the tin. It gives you a ton of action, a ton of adventure, and the plot is always super interesting and immersive. The casting is also pretty stellar, even though I have a few qualms with JLaw. I'm definitely going to re-watch it when it is out! 

LSo far I think Suzanne Collins' novels have made a very successful leap from book to film, and if you've read the books I think that only makes watching the films better. Why? The books go into a lot more detail with regards to the background information, that adds to what you see on the big (or little) screen. Although, I think they've got the casting near enough spot-on in the films.   


14. little miss sunshine (we liked it!)
2006 | 101 min | adventure / comedy / drama

'A family determined to get their young daughter into the finals of a beauty pageant take a cross-country trip in their VW bus'

BI quite liked this movie, because it was somewhat relateable. It doesn't pretend that road trips are perfect, or that life in general is peachy, and I think that's what makes it good. It was funny, it was heartfelt and it was ultimately quite uplifting! The dance scene was also glorious. 

LLittle Miss Sunshine is a really tricky film to recommend as it took me quite a while to decide whether I liked it or not. It incorporates a lot of very low points in life but despite that, rather like the camper they set off in, they keep riding through the negatives until they start finding all the positives. It was nice to have the humour throughout, of course, surely the best pick me up!


15. super (bee didn't like it, luke thinks he liked it?!)
2010 | 96 min | comedy / drama

'After his wife falls under the influence of a drug dealer, an everyday guy transforms himself into Crimson Bolt, a superhero with the best intentions, though he lacks heroic skills'

B I thought the title sequence was pretty cool but, unfortunately, that's where my enjoyment of this film stopped. I really wanted to like this movie because I love Rainn in The Office and Ellen Page, from the little I know about her, seems pretty cool. However, it was just way too graphic for me. I guess in some ways it's refreshing to see a film be like 'um hey, superheroes kill people?! it may seem heroic but it's actually brutal!!' but it made me feel uncomfortable. I won't be re-watching this but I'd recommend it to people that like really black comedy, and like their action to be pretty graphic! I'd also recommend it to people that like to watch films where Kevin Bacon plays Kevin Bacon. 

LI'm not sure where I stand with this film, I think I liked it. Firstly, I'm not convinced by its ending, something I'll let you judge for yourself, but I think I enjoyed the film as a whole. I think the reason why I'm so confused as to whether I like this film is because I'm questioning my own morals, aka should that guy who may or may not have keyed my car be beaten half to death? Hmmmmmm....... There is no denying that Super got me laughing when I probably shouldn't have, but I guess it was the extremes and hilarious bluntness of the Crimson Bolt that ultimately got me liking the film. It's not one for the squeamish, as Bee has already informed you, it's pretty graphic. I suppose its closest comparison would be Kick Ass and if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose Super.  

movies watched this month: 15
if you only watch one of these movies it should be:
B: Away We Go 
L: Gravity

NOW THAT WE'VE SHARED the films we've watched this month, TELL US...
  What have you watched this month?
• Do you have any recommendations?

LEAVE US YOUR ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW or tweet us using @tftcblog. If you enjoyed this post, feel free to subscribe through Bloglovin and check us out on Twitter. We'll see you on Wednesday!

with regards, THE FINER THINGS CLUB.



  1. I'm intrigued to watch Zodiac just because we are off to SF in March... this is also the same reason why we watched Vertigo ;) I'll be posting up my film reviews of the month at the end of the week, yay! xx

  2. I really want to watch Zodiac, this is the kind of movie I always go for :).
    Easy A was pretty funny — I love her parents, her little brother and her amazing interpretation of Pocketful of Sunshine ;).
    I didn't know anything about Away We Go apart from the fact that it received positive reviews.
    I hope The Kings of Summer will be released in France because the story seems great, interesting and it's nice to watch a movie about "simplicity".
    If you liked Zodiac, I can advise you to watch State of Play with Ben Affleck, Robin Wright, Russell Crowe, Helen Mirren and Rachel McAdams. I'm not a huge fan of Russell Crowe but I think he is particularly good in this film.
    Thank you for this post :). I'm sure I'll be posting a monthly film wrap-up at the end of January too ;).

  3. I like the sound of this! I'm partial to crime drama, so I watched Zodiac a while back and found it really interesting. You guys have reminded me to finish watching Fantastic Mr Fox! I think that's the film I plan to watch tonight. My friends have given me a mixed reviews on Gravity, so I'll definitely be watching that because it looks intriguing .

    I've added the films I haven't seen from this list, so thanks for this post!

  4. I've just found your blog and managed to read every post so far in one go, such a perfect mix of topics and I love getting the dual points of view, I can't wait to read more! I'm definitely putting The Kings of Summer, Zodiac and Away We Go on my to watch list, they sound right up my street. This month I rewatched Garden State for the first time in ages and loved it, it's a very subtle sort of movie so I don't think everyone would like it but I think you guys might!

  5. How did you watch Kings of Summer? Is it online? Or did you rent it from somewhere? Sounds right up my street!
    I'm with Rosie above in that I might watch Zodiac just because I'm totally obsessed with San Francisco - does the city play a big part in it?
    Little Miss Sunshine is one of my favourites :)
    I would recommend Into the Wild if you haven't seen it. Beautiful movie. Very chilled out and an awesome soundtrack. And on the completely other end of the scale, Django Unchained is also a recent favourite of mine - I watched it twice in a week when we first got it which literally never happens!

  6. Ahhhh so many similar film opinions!! I loved Headhunters and Away we go, liked little miss sunshine and gravity (I too took a while to warm to SB but maybe thats the intention?). My boyfriend and I are massive film geeks, our collection is a bit out of control! This week so far ive watched Wolf of Wallstreet (liked) and lywen davis (liked/loved). x

  7. I watched The Way, Way Back a few days ago and as we got through the first half hour I thought it was going to be a generic 'teen boy meets teen girl' film, but it was so much better than that! Sam Rockwell was absolutely hilarious x


  8. Great recommendations again - I've just downloaded Away We Go and Kings of Summer! :D I absolutely adore the Hunger Games, both the films and books! If you guys fancy a few more recommendations, check out: The Wolf of Wall Street, About Time, The Hangover 3 and What's eating Gilbert Grape? xxx



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