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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 (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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The Kissing Booth 2 (2020) – Dry Mouth

Released: 24th July
Seen: 26th July

In 2018 Netflix released The Kissing Booth, a 2 hour long romcom that focussed around a girl named Elle Evans (Joey King) and her best friend Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney) who were born at the same time in the same hospital, a fact that is literally meaningless to the plot of the entire story. Lee has an older brother named Noah (Jacob Elordi) who is somewhat of a player with the high school girls and, naturally, Elle has a crush on him. However, due to a list of random rules that she and Lee came up with years ago, Elle isn’t allowed to follow that crush… except she does it anyway, lies to Lee about it, they get discovered and there’s a kissing booth at the end that brings everything to the light. It’s a very generic and very dumb movie that relies on the charm of it’s cast that carried it over towards being watchable. It was a monster hit for the platform and so, naturally, it got a sequel… because apparently that’s something we needed.

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365 Days (2020) – It Hurts

Released: 7th June
Seen: 24th July

On this blog I have been almost gleeful in tearing apart the 50 Shades of Grey franchise and just about anything that looks like it. I put the last two films in the franchise on my worst lists for 2017 and 2018, Freed was actually my worst film of 2018 and I stand by that ranking. It’s obvious rip-off After was also on the worst list in 2019 and the attempted tie in movie Book Club only missed out being put on the list because it was the only film that hired people who could act. In general I’ve found this franchise to be one of the worst things to happen to culture in recent years due to its romanticisingof rape and misrepresentation of BDSM, along with just generally bad writing. I genuinely thought that someone couldn’t come up with a worse attempt at a romantic plotline… and I guess the writers of 365 Days heard that and went “Challenge accepted” because oh boy, OH BOY! 

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The King Of Staten Island (2020) – It’s Good To Be The King

Released: 16th July
Seen: 23rd July

It has to be said that one of Judd Apatow’s greatest talents is how he creates a film to support his leads. If you’re Judd’s friend and he makes you the star of his film, chances are it’s going to show off your talents in the best light possible. He made the film that turned Steve Carrell into a household name, he managed to give Amy Schumer a great comedy that shot her into the stratosphere… hell, he’s responsible for one of the last good Adam Sandler movies. His skill is undeniable and now he’s taken that ability to work with someone’s strengths to SNL regular Pete Davidson and created a genuinely great little film.

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Follow Me (2020) – Very Good

Released: 16th July
Seen: 20th July

In the early part of 2019, I reviewed a little film called Escape Room. While it was something of a hit financially it was less so critically. I particularly didn’t like it for three main reasons. The first was that it wasn’t as smart as it liked to think it was, the second being how tame everything felt and the third was the strobe lights. I didn’t exactly give that film a high mark, but if a film came around with a similar concept that didn’t pretend it was smarter than it was and actually made things feel dangerous, maybe I’d like it more. This was my thought pattern when walking into Follow Me which I definitely enjoyed more, but I still don’t think this concept has worked out all the kinks yet.

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Scream, Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street (2020) – 1, 2, History’s Coming For You

Released: 9th July (Revelation Film Festival)
Seen: 16th July

In 1985, the sequel to the monster hit film Nightmare on Elm Street was released to an unsuspecting public. The first film was nothing short of a phenomenon, becoming a big enough touchstone to actually be name dropped by the president of the United States so all eyes were glued to the second film in the franchise and oh boy did it get a different reaction. At first it wasn’t well received for reasons people couldn’t quite figure out, some would blame the weird choice to bring Freddy into the real world, some would pin it on Wes Craven not being involved… then people took a second look and realised that they were looking at the gayest horror movie of all time and it was being released in 1985.

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