Barb And Star Go to Vista Del Mar (2021) – A Great Trip

Released: 12th February
Seen: 15th July

Barb And Star Go To Vista Del Mar Info

A good comedy is hard to find nowadays, it almost feels like every joke’s been told and you have to really do something pretty different to stand out among the crowd. Heck, sometimes doing something remarkably different might mean you just get released unceremoniously to VOD where people can just not notice you, despite you being a film that stars several of the biggest film stars in recent history which would’ve probably been wonderful to see in a cinema… oh well, at least Barb And Star Go to Vista Del Mar is so unique that it’s probably going to work for audiences whenever they discover it, no matter how long that takes.

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Fear Street Part Three: 1666 (2021) – Bewitching

Released: 16th July
Seen: 17th July

Fear Street Part Three: 1666 Info

In the last two weeks, the Horror community has been treated to the first two parts of the Fear Street series. Both parts have been outstanding, glorious slasher throwbacks that honoured the material they were referencing and didn’t skimp on the gore or lesbianism. They were truly brilliant and have been leading up to this, the final part of the epic story of Sarah Fier and the town of Shadyside. It not only has a lot of questions to answer but it has to live up to the spectacular first two parts… so, how is Fear Street Part Three: 1666? Exactly as good as it needed to be, which is to say, “downright spectacular”

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Good on Paper (2021) – Blank Page: The Movie

Released: 23rd June
Seen: 13th July

Good on Paper Info

When a stand-up comic takes their act and turns it into a movie you can have a few different results. If you want a really good example of a comic’s act made into a pretty good movie, Trainwreck took Amy Shumer’s set and created a fairly fun film with enough jokes to make it through. You could also just film a particularly important set and release it, like Kathy Griffin did with her most recent comedy special that revolved around her recent controversy… third option is to take one specific joke from a set, make it into a film and forget to put jokes in there completely. Sure, that idea might sound good on paper but in practice you get… well, the film Good On Paper.

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The Unholy (2021) – DAMN IT!

Released: 15th April
Seen: 12th July

The Unholy Info

Of all the horror genres there are, the is one that I’ve never been exactly fond of and that’s the paranormal horror. Things like Paranormal Activity or Annabelle where there’s a haunting and the film is usually nothing but a set of jumpscares surrounded by mediocre characters who don’t run for their lives when that’s the safe and sensible option. Sometimes there can be exceptions, the first Conjuring movie is a prime example of a film in this genre that understands how to put tension and real stakes in to make it work… we don’t have a film like that today, we have The Unholy and I hate it.

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The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) – You Let Me Down

Released: 29th April
Seen: 11th July

The United States vs Billie Holiday

As I mentioned in my Judas and the Black Messiah review there were 2 films that were part of the major categories of this year’s Oscars that I didn’t get a chance to see in time. Judas was possibly the one I had the most chance of seeing, since it appeared in Sydney a month before the ceremony (but that’d involve a train ride into, what is still an epicenter of Covid cases). The one that would prove to be impossible to view in time was The United States vs. Billie Holiday… a film released on Hulu in the US back in February, because nothing says “thing that should be impossible to view legally” like a film put on a streaming platform. Anyway, it finally became available down here so I watched it and… well, I get why the only point of awards contention was the lead performance.

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Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) – Thank God!

Released: 11th March
Seen: 9th July

Judas and the Black Messiah Info

Earlier this year we had the Oscars… and they were something of a shitshow. The lowest viewed ceremony in history, filled with baffling nominations that no one really understood (how the hell was Mank the most nominated film?) and an ending that was so cynically planned that it could only end in spectacular failure.

Like with every year I made a prediction post and this year I named two films that I had missed due to lack of availability. One of them was Judas and the Black Messiah, a biopic about the Black Panther party leader Fred Hampton. It would end up taking home best supporting actor and Best Song… my question is why it didn’t take home more because it’s absolutely brilliant.

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Fear Street Part Two: 1978 (2021) – Fri-YAY The 13th

Released: 9th July
Seen: 11th July

Fear Street Part Two: 1978 Info

Last week we got the first part of the Fear Street trilogy, a reverential love letter to the 90s horror classics that also opened up a larger story around the tale of Sarah Fier, a witch who cursed the town of Shadyside. When we left that film, we were about to meet up with the lone survivor of a massacre at a camp in 1978 and I was hyped because that told me we were getting a Friday the 13th style chapter and that’s a franchise I adore. So, does Fear Street Part Two: 1978 live up to expectations? Oh hell yes it does.

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Black Widow (2021) – Kick Ass!

Released: 8th July
Seen: 10th July

Black Widow Info

It’s been over a year since we, as a society, have made the trek to throw money to the almighty House of Mouse as our offering to the rodent entertainment god to provide us another adventure led by superpowered human beings who can do impossible feats. Sure, we’ve had TV offerings like Wandavision and Loki but that cinematic experience has been lacking the last Spider-Man movie (though god, imagine if this pandemic had hit before Endgame and we all had to spend an extra year in a world where half the Marvel superheroes were dead… fanboys would’ve been dropping like flies!).

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Run, Hide, Fight (2021) – Die Soft

Released: 5th May
Seen: 9th July

Run, Hide, Fight info

As a general rule I try my hardest not to let my personal politics impact my enjoyment of a film. I won’t pretend I don’t have intellectual differences with certain films ideas, I even spell them out in order to give context, but I can and have enjoyed movies with values I don’t agree with made by companies run by people who I don’t agree with… so, even though this movie was released in the US by Ben Shapiro’s website, The Daily Caller, a site I would consider a gateway drug to fascism and white supremacy, I promise you that connection had nothing to do with my enjoyment of the film… no, because in order to enjoy this film I would have to have little to no good taste even before I looked into its connections because it’s just so poorly made.

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