The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) – Delightful Dickens

Released: 2nd July
Seen: 5th August

The Personal History of David Copperfield Info

When it comes to adaptations of Charles Dickens, everyone has had a crack at one of his stories. There’ve been versions that rewrote Oliver as a story of a young gay prostitute and versions of A Christmas Carol focussed around a vacuous TV host, just to name the oddest ones I could think of. The brilliance of Dickens’ work is that it lends itself to adaptation with it’s grand characters, beautiful stories and fiendishly fun dialogue, though when you do adapt his work you have to be aware that some of the stories already have definitive adaptations you will be compared with.

If you adapt Oliver, you will be compared to the 1968 musical adaptation that everyone thinks about when they hear that title. If you adapt A Christmas Carol you’re going to have to do better than what the Muppets did back in 92 (or be interesting like the most recent adaptation) and now if you adapt David Copperfield… well, I’m not sure this would be the ultimate adaptation of that novel, but it’s a genuinely great one.

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Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (2020) – Truly Legendary

Released: 8th July
Seen: 4th August

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado Info

July 3rd of 2020 was the first time I’ve ever heard the name Walter Mercado. I wasn’t introduced to him the way a lot of people were, I didn’t watch his shows or call his hotline or see his interviews. No, I learned about him the same way I learned about Little Edie, Mary Berry and Theresa Caputo… I saw them being portrayed as characters on the Snatch Game during an episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race. That was my introduction to Walter, drag queen Alexis Mateo decided to portray Walter Mercado during the most iconic challenge in the entire series and the second I saw this impression I wanted to know more about this person and then, 5 days later Netflix released the documentary Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado and like a good procrastinator I didn’t watch it for over a month because damnit, that’s what a professional does!

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The Secret: Dare To Dream (2020) – Keep This Secret

Released: 31st July
Seen: 3rd August

The Secret Dare To Dream Info

In 2006, The Secret was let loose upon society. The self-help book introduced many to the concept of the law of attraction, namely that if you think about something enough that it will appear in your life (which I can roundly disprove by pointing out that at no point in my life has Chris Hemsworth turned up to my house to feed me freshly peeled grapes, a thing I think about often). The book became a monster hit with people like her holiness Oprah championing it to the masses. Well, it’s 14 years later, so naturally now is the perfect time to start a cinematic universe around the concepts presented in that book.

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Relic (2020) – Old Creaky Horror

Released: 10th July
Seen: 2nd August

Relic Info

One of the great things about the horror genre, indeed the thing that’s probably kept it thriving for so many years, is that horror is a fantastic way to tell a story through metaphor. So many of the greatest horror films of all time have been metaphorical tales decrying certain things in culture. They Live is an anti-Reagan era film, Get Out was calling out liberals who use performative wokeness while still engaging in systemic racism, every zombie movie made since Romero has been a metaphor for something. It’s a great genre to work in when dealing with a major topic… the catch is you’re still a horror movie and you still need to scare the audience at some point.

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The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (2020) – No.

Released: 17th July
Seen: 1st August

The Very Excellent Mr Dundee Info

In 1986 the movie Crocodile Dundee came out and was a smash hit. To this day it’s still the highest grossing Australian film, a title it’s held for 34 years and shows no sign of losing it any time soon. It was followed by two sequels that are a lot less fondly remembered and since then Paul Hogan has really just coasted by on the reputation he gained from the 70s and 80s, only popping out for the occasional minor film or TV appearance. Well, after a surprise hit fake trailer, Crocodile Dundee is back… or should I say Paul Hogan is back trying to do a meta take on his career and just misses the mark by a couple of country miles.

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Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2020) – Time For An Absurd Celebration

Released: 11th March
Seen: 31st July

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Info

Sometimes you want a movie that challenges the way you think, that presents a complicated idea in a palatable form that’ll make you examine your viewpoints on an essential element of the human condition. Sometimes you want a movie that might have a complex story filled with twists and turns that breaks the rules of cinema itself and presents a new way forward for the cinematic arts… and sometimes you want a movie chock full of puns, dick jokes and slapstick that’s just throwing shit at the wall in hopes that something sticks, aka you want to watch the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

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Unhinged Header Image

Unhinged (2020) – Delightful and Devilish

Released: 30th July
Seen: 30th July

Unhinged Info

Everyone who has ever driven a car has, at some point, felt a twinge of road rage. Admit it, you’ve been behind the wheel of a car and seen someone make a turn they weren’t supposed to make or beep their horn for no real reason and you’ve felt a swell of anger growing deep inside. It’s a familiar feeling that we’ve all had and so, taking that familiar real world scenario and turning it up to 11 could make for a pretty unnerving thriller. Enter Unhinged which comes along, does exactly that and throws in one of Russell Crowe’s best performances just for good measure.

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Animal Crackers Header Image

Animal Crackers (2020) – Moderately Adequate

Released: 24th July
Seen: 29th July

Animal Crackers Info

In 1930 the Marx Brothers released Animal Crackers, probably one of their best films. It contains several of Groucho’s best lines, the song Hooray for Captain Spaulding is one of the classics from the group and it was based on one of their highly popular stage plays. I bring this up because I was genuinely stunned, one might even say I was perplexed when I saw that there was going to be an animated film based on the Animal Crackers property… and then I watched it, realised that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the Marx Brothers and then wrote this paragraph because the movie doesn’t exactly give me a lot to work with for a good opening.

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Love Sarah (2020) – Love?

Released: 2nd July
Seen: 28th July

Love Sarah Info

It’s interesting to think that right now we should probably be inundated with movies filled with giant explosions. Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, so many huge blockbusters should be out right now overwhelming our senses but sadly this year the world decided to see just how much it could mess everything up. As it stands there are no really huge movies coming out for a while, leaving a vortex that’s being slowly filled up by the films that would normally be forgotten by the mainstream, or surprise darlings like The King Of Staten Island… I mean, that’s what’s being shown down here where cinemas are open, they just seem to be filling it with whatever they can get their hands on that might normally go straight to DVD or be relegated to a seniors coffee morning screening. That’s as good a transition as I can be bothered to come up with, LOVE SARAH!

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Fatal Affair (2020) – Dead Boring

Released: 16th July
Seen: 27th July

Fatal Affair Info

From the writer director who brought us Secret Obsession and no less than 19 movies with the title The Wrong (Noun) comes the newest Netflix movie to make me worry about that company’s idea of quality control. Every time there’s some weird looking Netflix original that was clearly rejected by everyone else, I just wonder why Netflix is doing this. It’s not like they don’t know what good movies look like, they funded The Irishman when no one else would and took chances on great films like Roma, Klaus and The Two Popes. They have the ability to be picky and only buy the good projects, instead of buying another dud like Fatal Affair.

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