The Fanatic (2020) – I’m Not A Fan

Released: 30th March
Seen: 27th April

Sometimes a movie is so instantly deemed “God awful excrement” that I’m almost eager to see it, just to know if everyone is overreacting. At the end of August last year, The Fanatic came out in America and when I heard about it, I patiently waited for it to come down to Australia when I’d have the chance to see it, but it never came. Possibly because it made $3000 in 52 cinemas, which is aggressively bad, but I knew eventually I would have to see it somehow. Sure enough, the movie got a DVD release on the 30th of March, meaning it’s a 2020 movie for me and I would finally have the chance to see it (and it’d be eligible for an end of the year list for me, so that’s nice). Then it popped up on Google Play and was about 6 bucks to rent which… yeah, more than I should’ve spent. I should’ve just not bothered, I don’t deserve this kind of shabby treatment.

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Stargirl (2020) – Aggressively OK

Released: 13th March
Seen: 26th April

In 2000, Jerry Spinelli released the novel Stargirl to critical acclaim. The book was a New York Times bestseller, won multiple awards and even had a sequel called Love, Stargirl. It even got adapted into a stage play and has led to the creation of groups known as Stargirl Societies, designed to encourage young people to be themselves. With all this acclaim and cultural impact, a film adaptation was somewhat inevitable and since Disney is a mega-corporation with a streaming service in search of original content it seems only logical that they would be the ones to take the ball and run with it… or, in this case, take the ball and casually walk down a footpath with it while whistling music by The Go-Go’s.

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The Willoughbys (2020) – Home Alone: Extreme Edition


Released: 
22nd April
Seen: 24th April

So, I know right now we’re all a little frazzled thanks to the mild apocalypse we’ve got going on. The people who are probably most in need of a respite from the insanity are the parents of young kids who are just running about without anything to watch since they’ve probably sat through Trolls: World Tour and Onward about 17 times each. Well, let me offer something that might delight them… and might make them work out ways to murder their parents, but they will be quiet for an hour and a half so you can decide if that trade-off is worthwhile.

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Circus of Books (2020) – The Happiest Show On Earth

Released: 23rd April
Seen: 23rd April

In 1960 at 8230 Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, a little bookstore named Book Circus opened up. Loaded with hardcore gay pornography, the store managed to keep the doors open until 1982 when Barry Mason found out that the store was in trouble and wound up buying it. One brief name change later and the little porno store owned by a cocaine addict would turn into the mom and pop shop Circus of Books, still dealing in gay pornography and run by a former special effects engineer and a heavily religious journalist. It would become one of the most important hotspots in gay culture and would be there for a lot of essential moments in queer history. This documentary tells that story through the eyes of the daughter of Barry and his wife Karen and it tells it beautifully.

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Reel Redemption (2020) – Faith Films Redeemed

Released: 1st January
Seen: 22nd April

I’ve made it no secret on this blog that I have something of a problem with Christian Films. Not because of the Christian element, I firmly believe that every single community deserves to see themselves on screen, but because lately they’ve been kind of… oh, what’s the term? God-Awful wastes of the time I have left, that’s it. In general, I look for them to show some form of quality filmmaking and instead I tend to find a lot of the films are little more than sermons that wrap themselves up in the blanket defence of faith. What I’ve been wanting for some time now is for someone to show me why I should give this growing subgenre any semblance of respect… enter Tyler Smith’s documentary/video essay Reel Redemption to make such an argument.

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Z-O-M-B-I-E-S 2 (2020) – Braaaaiiiiiinnnnss

Released: 18th April
Seen: 20th April

You know, I’ve tackled a fair few streaming networks over the years. I’ve dealt with Netflix originals, Stan originals and Shudder originals but I’ve somehow managed to avoid Disney Plus originals because none of them really leapt out at me. I almost watched that Lady and the Tramp remake but… well, I suffered through three Disney Remakes in one year, I’m allowed to skip one of them. There are a few original films on there but I figured they weren’t going to be that important for me to need to look through… and then the world decided to malfunction and every cinema closed, so I may as well throw the Disney Plus originals into my diet because why the hell not?

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My Mentor the Serial Killer: Tony (2019) – It’s A Killer

Released: 29th November 2019
Seen: 19th April

About a month ago today I received a list of films from The Movie Agency, 6 in total that I thought would take me a long time to get through because I still had a bunch of movies in the cinema to check out and a ton of Netflix stuff so I was going to work through them at about one a week and see where that got me… and then someone stupidly read out loud from the contagious disease version of the Necronomicon and I found myself stuck at home with nothing in the cinemas and needing to do something to kill time for the next month. On the whole I have to say that these films have been interesting experiences, probably not films I would’ve selected to watch and review on my own but each one did offer me something interesting even if I didn’t like all of them. From the very start though I knew there was one film I wanted to save until last. Partially because it was the longest and I am nothing if not predictable in enjoying shorter films but also because it seemed like it was going to be the best and I wanted a high note… of course, having seen Necrologies and fallen in love with Pozu I now can’t see this as the high note of the list I had provided to me, but it’s still really really good.

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