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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Parasite (2019) – Everything You Heard Is Not Enough Praise!!

Released: 27th June 2019
Seen: 5th February

It was worldwide news when Australia decided to turn up the heat and set itself on fire. I don’t need to go into details of it all but suffice to say that it wasn’t exactly a good time to be in the land downunder. Air was awful, the heat was intense and our prime minister decided to go on holiday in Hawaii before coming back to force people to shake his hand for a series of photo ops that went wonderfully for him. A small (we’re talking beyond trivial, but I bring it up for context) side effect was that travelling from my home to Sydney was not going to happen under any circumstances since I had no guarantee the fire wouldn’t block the way and because the air quality was roughly the same as smoking 37 cigarettes a day. Because of that, any movie that was only being shown in Sydney was impossible for me to get to because I will do a lot to go see a good movie, but I won’t walk into an inferno.

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The Two Popes (2019) – Two Popes Are Holier Than One

Released: 27th November 2019
Seen: 3rd February

In 2017, Anthony McCarten wrote The Pope as a stage play. Sadly I don’t know who was in it originally (and god damn it’s impossible to find out any details of that 2017 production even though I know it existed!) but it was apparently clear to everyone from the jump that this little biographic play about the old pope and the new pope having a lengthy conversation was destined to become a movie. It was also pretty obvious to everyone that Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce were the guys who should take the lead. In Netflix’s bid to try and get an Oscar for Best Picture, they bought the rights and produced the movie version, probably figuring that the last three things Anthony McCarten wrote (Theory of Everything, Darkest Hour and Bohemian Rhapsody) all ended up with Best Picture nods so if they had him adapt his own stage play then it might happen again… it didn’t, cos this isn’t a best picture nominee, but the film is still pretty damn good.

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Like A Boss (2020) – You're Fired

Released: 23rd January
Seen: 2nd February

The phrase ‘like a boss’ dates back to 1993 when rapper Ice Cube wrote the lyric into his song “Really Doe”, using the phrase to imply that something was being done with confidence. The lyrics “Out like a boss, with a half-pint of sauce” would create a phrase that would continue to be copied by rappers for years, until a bunch of white guys put it in a comedy song on a Saturday night program and the phrase ballooned in popularity because that’s what tends to happen when something originates in black culture and then the white people appropriate it. Now the phrase is so ubiquitous that it’s printed on mugs sold to bored people in discount stores who want to believe that one day they’ll actually be the boss when the reality is that they’ll probably be a worker drone until the day they die of liver failure from all the vodka they secretly slipped into their like a boss mug… I know, morbid and pointless opening, you try thinking of a way to open up a review on a movie like this. It’s either talk about the origin of the phrase that makes up the title or discuss various brands of paint that I’d like to see drying, pick one.

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Klaus (2019) – Happy Belated Holiday

Released: 15th November 2019
Seen: 1st February

Over the last year of this blog, I’ve done my best to see everything, in part so that when the time comes to do Oscar Predictions I’ll be able to say that I saw all the major films nominated. This was my intention from the start since I started reviewing specifically because I had somehow missed all the best picture nominees when La La Land won in 2017 (I turned it off after then, I’m sure they made a great acceptance speech). So now we’re a little over a week away and it turns out I missed a few films so I’m going to do my best to catch up on what I’m able to, starting with the animation nominees who I missed… and I now wish I had seen this one on its release so I could’ve started a Christmas tradition because it feels like the kind of movie that will be watched every single year by many people.

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Spies In Disguise (2020) – Bond-Lite, For The Kiddies!

Released: 1st January
Seen: 28th January

In 2009, Lucas Martell released a short animated film called Pigeon: Impossible. The short was simple, a secret agent sits on a bench about to eat a bagel when a pigeon comes by to take it, there are some mishaps with a computer in a briefcase and a whole lot of slapstick comedy. It’s a pretty fun little short film that clearly caught the attention of some people at BlueSky Animation because that little short film directly inspired this little animated spy comedy and in doing so created a genuinely fun little film that just oozes with charm.

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My Spy (2020) – '90s Reject

Released: 9th January
Seen: 28th January

About a month ago I reviewed Playing With Fire and in that review, I discussed this strange phenomenon where wrestlers who become actors have one big thing in common. They all end up headlining a very bad kids’ movie. Sure, a lot of actors end up appearing in one bad kid’s movie because it offers them an easy paycheck and it’s a movie they can take their children to go see so they can prove they have an actual job but wrestlers almost make a sport out of it. Our latest addition to this is Dave Bautista who I kind of hoped wouldn’t have to do this because he has the Guardians of the Galaxy and Avengers movies which would be enough to show any future children that he was cool. He didn’t need this, he didn’t need this to be the first major thing he did after Endgame (Stuber came out BEFORE Endgame, if you can believe it). I’ll give it this much, it’s not as painful as that thing Robert Downey Jr decided to do after Endgame.

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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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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.

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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