Bombshell (2020) – Explosive

Released: 16th January
Seen: 23rd January

If I had to put a label on it, I’m what you might call a leftist, I believe in a lot of left-wing causes, particularly in regards to things like LGBTQIA+ rights and the rights of other minority groups and like all good left-wingers I hate Fox News. I hate them, I hate everything about them. I really hate Rupert Murdoch and have since before he scarpered off to become a US citizen and help to change the news landscape forever by taking what he had already done with the Australian and British news media and turned it up to 11. Why am I opening with this? Simple, I need you to know my biases before we go on. I need you to be aware of where my head was when I walked into this movie. I always do my best to walk in with an open mind on just about everything I review but there are times when I know there’s a bias that will in some way alter my judgement. Being impartial in regards to a film is a pipe dream anyway, there is no such thing as an impartial review. If you want a review that doesn’t in some way reflect the politics and beliefs of the author… well, you don’t actually want a review, what you want is a plot synopsis written by the studio itself. This film is a political film that deals with a political company and a political issue, therefore the viewers politics will shape on some level how you view the film and it would be a fools errand to pretend otherwise. Please note that this does not mean I want to be involved in a political debate, not only because I’m exhausted with those (It’s 2020, aren’t we all exhausted?) but because even if you somehow changed my mind right now that would not impact my mindset walking into this film which is why I’m bringing it up at all. I’d rather just get all that out in the open now so you can consider it when you read what follows and how much of it you feel would be relevant to you. Oh, one more tiny bit of bias… I’m sincerely happy that Roger Ailes is dead and by the time you finish watching this movie, you’ll probably feel the same way I do.

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A Fall from Grace (2020) – Graceless Melodrama

Released: 17th January
Seen: 21st January

Tyler Perry is a director whose work I’ve never watched before. I’ve heard about it, it’s reputation precedes it, but I’ve never seen anything he’s made. Most of his films came out before I did this reviewing thing so I would react like most people and look at the posters and say “That looks like shit” and then go see something else. The ones he’s released since I started reviewing never made it to the cinema near me so again, no reason for me to try and see them. I will say that I respect the man for what he’s done in the industry, there aren’t many black writer-directors who are getting consistent work and somehow Tyler Perry has made it so he is making a movie every year, often with a largely black cast. He recently opened the first black-owned movie studio which is absolutely incredible and he deserves a spot in cinematic history just for that alone. I respect him… but that doesn’t mean I have to like the movie he made, which I really don’t.

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Dolittle (2020) – The Animals Talk But Have Nothing To Say

Released: 16th January
Seen: 20th January

The Doctor Dolittle character first came to life in 1920 with the release of the book The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. The book, and subsequent series of companion novels, told the story of Doctor John Dolittle who has learned to talk to animals and uses that knowledge to go on several great adventures. This idea was destined to become a movie so it comes as no surprise that in 1967 a musical was created. That musical cost 17 million and ended up making 9 million, it had the production from hell that included racism, Rex Harrison being a dick and ducks forgetting how to swim. Naturally, the property would end up abandoned until 1998 when a new Doctor Dolittle movie was made that starred Eddie Murphy. This new version was a success financially and got average reviews but it’s still fun… but it’s also, notably, one of the last good films Eddie Murphy made until his recent resurgence with Dolemite Is My Name. Basically what I’m saying is that the Doctor Dolittle franchise is a career killer and I now seriously worry about just what’s going to happen to Robert Downey Jr because the man just appeared in the worst version of the Dolittle story that’s been put on film.

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Little Women (2020) – Effortlessly Charming

Released: 1st January
Seen: 18th January

Remember how stunned we all were when we heard they were doing another version of A Star Is Born? Four versions of the same movie seemed insane, right? Remakes are one thing but multiple remakes are something else. Well, I bring this up because Little Women, according to IMDB, has been adapted 25 times. Think about that for a second, a book printed in 1868 has been adapted, on average, once every six years since the original publication of the first volume of the novel… and considering that the first adaptation doesn’t pop up until 1917, it’s probably adapted once every four years. Basically, this is here to explain why I cannot in any way give you a fair comparison between every version because there are far too many for me to even try it. I also can’t tell you how it compares to the book because I didn’t read it when most people do. As far as this review is concerned, no version outside the 2020 adaptation by Greta Gerwig exists and it will be judged on its own merits. I cannot tell you if this is a truly great adaptation of the original novel that’s going to make you feel as though you are living the lives of the March sisters as you imagined them from the source material. I can tell you that it’s just a damn sweet movie that made me all warm and happy inside.

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Bad Boys For Life (2020) – Oh God I'm So External

Normally here is where I would be posting a lengthy review about Bad Boys 3 and making a bunch of jokes about how Bay is a bad director who shouldn’t be permitted near a disposable camera let alone a movie camera but… well, this time I did that somewhere else.

The fine people over at Soda and Telepaths sent me to go see Bad Boys For Life and my review for that film is over there. I will hopefully have a Little Women review up here tomorrow but if you want to read me rambling on about the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence movie, go click the link and head on over there.

Ghost Stories (2020) – Boo!

Released: 1st January
Seen: 4th January

The anthology film is a sad rarity nowadays, especially in Horror. Horror used to be a haven for great little films that told several short scary stories but we haven’t had a truly great one in a while, the last one I can remember being truly special was the V/H/S series (I’m aware Nightmare Cinema came out last year to decent notices but I haven’t been able to see that one yet). The big thing that makes these films particularly special is how they link together. That connection is what takes something from a series of short films to a cohesive anthology film. V/H/S did it with the gimmick of every story being done in a found-footage style, a simple little gimmick but an effective one that allowed each story to flow naturally between each other and made it feel more like a single film rather than a series of shorts. Netflix is now having a go at it by distributing the movie Ghost Stories and… oh boy.

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The Gentlemen (2020) – Bring It On Lads

Released: 1st January
Seen: 2nd January

For several years now, Guy Ritchie has been trying to spread out from the English crime drama/comedy films that he made his name on. Most recently he tried to take some of the elements from his old crime drama films and put them in the criminally underrated King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. He then made the just flat out criminally bad Aladdin movie and maybe those films shook him a little since people were starting to catch onto his bag of tricks and calling them out. Whatever happened with those two films, Guy Ritchie seemed to go back to what he does best… an English crime drama/comedy with a large eclectic cast of characters who drop obscenities like they were forms of punctuation. Thank goodness because this is probably the kind of film Guy Ritchie was born to make because he does it so well.

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The Top Ten Worst Films of 2019

Well, here we are. The end of 2019 and we’ve gotten all the positive feelings out of our system, leaving us with a thick bile that needs to be expelled. That’s kind of how I feel about these lists, it’s more of a way for me to vent and purge out all the excess bad feelings I had towards some of the worst films of the year. Just need to get this out so I’m prepared for the year to come… and because I find it’s good to acknowledge just what mistakes were made over the last year, but mostly it’s just venting about things that’ve been bugging me for a while now and if we’re being honest, worst lists tend to just be venting by people who need a good bit of content. The rules I used for my best list carry over to this list too, go look at that list to check up on what those rules are (and to see if any films I liked match up with yours, because I thirst for views and attention) but first, some dishonourable mentions

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The Top Ten Best Films of 2019

Looking back over the last 12 months, this has been a great year for movies. While the lows have been stunningly shocking, the heights have proved us just what this medium can do when it’s at its best. It’s the first year I will really look forward to the Oscar nominees because this year is going to give us some absolute classics and the most random batch of movies in that best picture spot. We’re now here to look back and talk about the 10 best films of the year… and by best I mean “The ones I like the most” because these lists are always subjective, there is no objective way to view and rate art but saying “Top 10 Films I Liked The Most” is not a good title for Google’s algorithm. Hell, I have enough that I liked this year that I could easily do a Top 20 without breaking a sweat (as the honourable mentions list will prove). So before we do this, ground rules time.

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Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Springtime

Released: 26th December
Seen: 30th December

So… the Nazis are back. Do you remember them? God, you probably shouldn’t because we all agreed back around 1945 that Nazi’s sucked and anyone who does anything even remotely Nazi-like was a worthless piece of excrement that we didn’t have to listen to… then the world went freaking insane and now we have Nazis again and they’re out in the open like that’s in any way acceptable. I mean, it’s good that they’re open about it so we can punch them in the face but yeah, Nazis suck and no one should ever want to be one. There’s a controversial political statement, it’s bad that Nazis are still a thing. Maybe the problem was that we weren’t making enough fun of Nazi’s, there’s only so much Mel Brooks could do after all so it’s about time someone else made a movie that not only made fun of how stupid and ugly every single Nazi actually is… but damn it Taika, did you also have to make me cry like a child while you were doing it?

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