I Care A Lot (2021) – Care Is An Understatement

Released: 19th February
Seen: 21st February

I Care A Lot Info

There is no greater evil, at least in my mind than those who take advantage of the elderly and infirm. The top of that list of evil people are known as professional guardians, not all of them (I’m sure some of them are perfectly good people) but we’re talking about the kind of professional guardians who take on a ward who is elderly and is needing help, pay themselves an obscene wage, puts that ward in an aged care home and slowly bleed them dry. To see how evil some of these guardians can be, I’d suggest watching this segment by John Oliver on them. They are so cruel and evil that it almost feels like an inevitable source for a film. I won’t lie, when I saw that I Care A Lot was about a woman who puts elderly people with dementia in a home and drains them of their money I was worried as hell about how it was going to handle this heavy topic. I’m glad to say it’s damn near perfect.

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Promising Young Woman (2021) – Promises, Promises

Released: 1st January
Seen: 8th January

“Boys will be boys”
“It’s a ‘he said she said’ situation”
“It’s a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”
“If you really want to know the truth you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you did to this guy.”

Let’s be blunt, when women come forward with allegations about being assaulted chances are good she’s going to hear something like one of the above quotes. We have a serious problem when it comes to believing women who make allegations of sexual assault or harassment… that problem being that we don’t. Hell, we’re so bad at it that we might be dumb enough to hear the phrase “Devils Triangle” and believe the rapist that it’s a drinking game when anyone who has a cursory knowledge of Google knows it’s a threesome with two men… in a culture like this, a film like Promising Young Woman isn’t just inevitable, it’s cathartic.

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The Dry (2020) – Aussie Cinema Goodness

Released: 1st January
Seen: 6th January

The Dry Info

I hate to take you back there but at this point in 2020 my country was in… well, I’d say we were in hot water but actually we were in the literal opposite of water. The bushfires of late 2019 to early 2020 were some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Sure, we have bushfires here a lot (Comes with having lots of bush and not as much water as we should have) but it was nothing like last year. Part of the reason we have such bad bushfires here is that we are a dry country, known for lengthy periods of drought. Droughts that lengthy can do some serious damage on little towns like Kiewarra, which is the setting for the Australian crime movie The Dry.

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Honest Thief (2020) – Honestly? Not Great

Released: 22nd October
Seen: 11th November

Honest Thief Info

Can we, as a society, just admit that Liam Neeson action films have become repetitive and stale? Is that a thing that we can collectively do? Hell, let’s be honest, they were getting stale roughly around the third time he played a character who had a member of his family taken. It’s now to the point where you could write a Liam Neeson action film using a madlib form, they all have the same basic plot and only change the minor superficial details. It’s always the same and every time it gets a little bit less interesting and Honest Thief is just another one for the pile.

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The Empty Man (2020) – Yep, Empty

Released: 23rd October
Seen: 31st October

The Empty Man Info

The Bye Bye Man
The Snowman
The Slenderman

Movies that begin with The and end in Man in the horror genre have lately filled me with dread lately. With the exception of The Invisible Man, I can’t think of a good film with this combination of words in the title so imagine how I felt seeing the poster for The Empty Man. If you thought I was prepared for a long slow boring film that tried far too hard to be smarter than it was, then you know me far too well… and you also just described the film to a T.

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The Lie (2020) – Pants On Fire

Released: 6th October
Seen: 17th October

The Lie Info

One of the many repeated tropes of horror that has worked time and time again is “Someone does a murder, they or someone who loves them helps them lie to cover it up, the secret comes back to haunt them in the end”. This simple concept has led to literary classics like The Tell-Tale Heart, to cinematic classics like Rope and even been used in fun 90s slashers like I Know What You Did Last Summer. When done right, it’s a setup that creates tension right off the bat and the way the characters react to the knowledge of what they’ve done (or how what they’ve done turns them into the ultimate victims) creates the emotional core of the story… when done wrong you get The Lie.

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Enola Holmes (2020) – Elementary School, My Dear Watson

Released: 23rd September
Seen: 27th September

Enola Holmes Info

December 26, 2018. A date that will live in infamy. This is the date when Holmes & Watson was released and, despite the year being almost completely finished, made a case to be called one of the worst movies of the year (a case it won, easily, since it made it on my list with 5 days to go!). It was truly a ghastly nightmare but as since then it looks like it may have done something even more sinister… it may have killed the Sherlock Holmes brand! 

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The Devil All the Time (2020) – The Devil Went Down To Ohio

Released: 11th September
Seen: 18th September

The Devil All the Time Info

In 2011, the novel The Devil All the Time was released and was instantly showered with awards and praise. Written by Donald Ray Pollock as a follow up to his book Knockemstiff, it was a big enough hit that, inevitably, the rights to the book were bought and a film adaptation was announced way back in 2018. Well, now we are here two years later and what did they make? They made… a film. A film with two great performances that is a film, it’s not much more than that.

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Just Mercy (2020) – Mercy Mercy Me

Released: 23rd January
Seen: 6th September

Just Mercy Info

Racial injustice is a topic that never ever makes anything controversial or hard to talk about. Never, I never ever go “oh how do I open this review” when I watch any film about racial justice because surely it is a non-controversial topic that I can never say anything wrong about, right? Of course not, that’s impossible but yes today I’m reviewing a movie, specifically Just Mercy, that does that thing where it tries to remind people “Hey, the justice system as it currently exists has a horrific problem regarding race that disproportionately affects people of colour and it would be great if someone would do something about that” because apparently that’s a thing we still need to be reminded of in the year 2020 because some mouthbreathers don’t seem to realise that there’s this big horrific problem so maybe they’ll pay attention if they hear it from Jamie Foxx, Michael B Jordan and Brie Larson in a legal drama… and a really good legal drama, like one of the best I’ve seen in a while.

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Queen & Slim (2020) – Heartfelt and Powerful

Released: 12th March
Seen: 25th August

Queen & Slim Info

On August 24th, video emerged of Jacob Blake being shot 7 times in the back by police officers. He was not resisting arrest, he was not armed, he was not in any way a danger to the officers. He was getting into his car after breaking up a fight and was shot by police 7 times IN THE BACK (that ‘in the back’ part is why I’m not going to be hearing your counter arguments on this. not kidding, don’t bother trying to justify this, you can not). Now, fortunately (at the time I type this) Jacob survived this attempted murder by the police, although he is paralysed from the waist down but he is just another in a long line of unarmed black men who have been shot by police who disproportionately shoot unarmed black men. 

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