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All the Bright Places (2020) – A Little Dim

Released: 28th February
Seen: 29th February

All The Bright Places Info

Sometimes when I pick a movie to review (because until I can turn this into an actual job, I still get to pick which ones I see and when) it’s often based on just how much effort I feel like putting into them. If I feel like I have the time and mental capacity to fully understand and articulate the various issues in a two-and-a-half-hour-long exploration of a political structure, I’ll go find one and if I feel like I need to let out some well-earned snark, I’ll find a 90 minute animated film that gives off the impression that it’s going to be bad and go to town. Sometimes though I have the time available but don’t want to really have to think about something too heavy so thank god Netflix is there with a teen romance film where I literally need to put in zero effort because who the hell even needs to think about one of these things? So that’s what led me to pick the teen romance drama All The Bright Places, thinking “Oh, this is going to be easy. I won’t need to think or handle anything heavy, it’s a cheesy looking teenage romance” and then I clicked it and… they tried to touch on heavy subjects, why does this happen to me?

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Miss Americana (2020) – Look What You Made Me View

Released: 31st January
Seen: 27th February

Taylor Swift Miss Americana Info

The career trajectory of Taylor Swift is one that can only be described by referencing objects that defy the laws of physics. What she has somehow pulled off throughout her career is basically impossible and yet she made it look effortless. To list her many accolades and the records she has broken would probably take so long that I dare not even try to start such a list. She is easily the biggest artist of this generation, I’d probably even be bold enough to put her influence above other icons like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga if I wasn’t so completely terrified that doing so would end in my dismemberment by a horde of fans who would track me down and end me. She’s a big goddamn deal and will probably still be a big goddamn deal long after we all are dead and buried. What’s helped her along the way is that every-girl image that almost seemed like it was too perfect to be true. Surely there had to be something hiding underneath that layer of schoolgirl innocence that sung about teardrops falling on her guitar… and now, we know what happens when that image is destroyed and we finally get to meet the real Taylor

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) – It’s nice

Released: 12th February
Seen: 26th February

To All The Boys I've Loved Before P.S. I Still Love You Info

In 2018 Netflix released To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a teen romance movie based on the 2014 novel of the same name. The movie itself was very sweet simple little teenage romance movie that excelled due to its sublime casting and innocent story. The entire plot revolved around Laura Jean (Lana Candor) who would write love letters to every boy she ever had a crush on but wouldn’t send them. It was basically an innocent writing exercise to get the feelings out of her system. The conflict comes when Lara’s younger sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart) finds the letters and sends them out to the named crushes. Lara wrote five letters and the first movie dealt with three of them. It was also a relatively complete story so it probably didn’t need a sequel, but we have two more letters to deal with so that’s how we got here.

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Brahms: The Boy II (2020) – Brahms Dull-uh-bye!

Released: 20th February
Seen: 25th February

Brahms: The Boy 2 Info

So, most paints you buy at a hardware store are made up of four ingredients. The pigment is what gives it the colour and comes in several forms, such as organic and inorganic which work differently depending on where you’re using it and have different kinds of colour. There’s also extender pigments which include things like clay, silica, diatomaceous silica and zinc oxide to name a few. After pigments, there are binders which basically is what holds everything together (hence the term binder, it’s very self-explanatory in that way) and the binder is what gives pain it’s gloss retention, makes it washable and helps with fade resistance. There’s a lot of binder types, like latex and water and oil so that’s probably what gives them their names, I’m not a paint expert. After that there are solvents, basically the thing that makes paint into a liquid so it’s usable. Lastly, there are additives, things that change the viscosity of the paint or keeps it from separating. Now you know this, it might help you understand why it takes so very long for paint to dry. Hell, go out, buy a 5 dollar tin of paint (I suggest a nice hickory brown) and a large piece of wall and just paint a single line so the paint can drip down as it dries. Congratulations, I just offered you a cheaper and more exciting experience than Brahms: The Boy 2.

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The Invisible Man (2020) – Terrifying In Every Way

Released: 27th February
Seen: 6th February (Preview Screening)

The Invisible Man Info

In 1897, H.G. Wells wrote the book The Invisible Man. The story followed a scientist, named Griffin, who found a way to change the way his body reflects light and, therefore, became invisible. Naturally, the scientist used his power of invisibility to do a whole bunch of murder and just generally be a bit of a dick. This book was insanely popular and is still regarded as a classic of the genre. It would later go on to inspire one of the early Universal monster movies with the James Whale directed The Invisible Man, planting the image of a man who can only be seen when wrapped in bandages and glasses. The Invisible Man would continue to be brought up in pop culture, being remade again and again by either having him meet Abbott and Costello, having him be a secret agent, making him a woman, there was even a version in the early 2000s that made him Hollow Man instead of Invisible Man.

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Fantasy Island (2020) – Not My Fantasy

Released: 13th February
Seen: 16th February

There seem to be two main ways to adapt a TV series to film, as far as I can tell. The first is the straight forward continuation of the TV series into the new format, telling a story that’s just too big for the small screen. This kind of adaptation gave us El Camino, The Simpsons Movie and Charlie’s Angels, films that told stories in a similar vein to the series. Then there’s the riskier gamble, one that takes the series and comments on it by pushing it into a new genre, usually comedy. This lets us witness 21 Jump Street, Baywatch and the eternally baffling CHiPS movies in recent years. When you do this right, you can get gold… when you do it wrong you get Fantasy Island.

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Midway (2020) – Midway Of The Road

Released: 30th January
Seen: 14th February

So… the guy who directed Independence Day and that really bad American remake of Godzilla wants us to take him seriously. Roland Emmerich, a director who only has 2 films that got above average reviews from critics, would really like it if you could look at his film Midway and say “Why, Roland, you are an artist who is right up there with all the other great war filmmakers”. I would love to say that, I genuinely would. I would love to have a fun subversive twist by ending this slightly sarcastic paragraph with the shocking reveal that this film is actually great… but I’m not a liar and “it’s average” is not enough, especially when the average Roland Emmerich film is so awful.

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Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) – Gotta Go

Released: 13th February
Seen: 13th February

Remember this? Remember when this image was originally seared into the brains of people around the world? Remember the nightmares? The shakes? Do you remember the fear that at any moment this small blue demon from the depths of hell could emerge from the shadows in the corner of your room and the last thing you’d hear before you were forced to look at your own intestines was a tiny innocent-sounding “Meow”? Well, I remember, I remember it well. I still can’t listen to Gangsta’s Paradise unless I’m wearing brown pants. 

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Color Out Of Space (2020) – We’re Hues Out In Space

Released: 6th February
Seen: 11th February

The Colour Out Of Space is a 1927 story by H.P. Lovecraft about the events that happen after a meteorite crashes to earth. If I were to boil the entire idea down to one sentence, it’s basically about a light of sentient evil colour from outer space that sends people crazy and then kills them. It’s an insanely weird idea for a story, so naturally we need to get this to star Nicholas Cage and get the original director of the 1996 version of The Island of Dr Moreau (yes, the weird Marlon Brando version that was such an infamous flop that there’s a documentary dedicated to explaining what the hell went wrong) to helm it. Surely this is going to go splendidly and won’t at all be a big weird mess that pales in comparison to another film involving Nicholas Cage and extreme amounts of primary colours.

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