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To All The Boys: Always And Forever (2021) – It’s Sweet

Released: 12th February
Seen: 16th February

To All The Boys: Always And Forever Info

Some films require a lot of thought, you need to sit down with it to figure out what it meant by using a certain camera angle or how a certain line is a reference to a piece of ancient text that sets up something in the end. Some films are hard to write about because they’re so complicated that everything could easily be considered a spoiler. Then there are films like the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy which are just so easy going and sweet that you barely have to think about them, you can just enjoy them and not worry about them being anything more complicated than sweet little teen romance films that just barely approach the line of saccharine without fully crossing it.

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Bliss (2021) – Uggh

Released: 5th February
Seen: 8th February

Have you ever noticed how there are some movies that think they’re saying something smart, but’re in fact the dumbest pieces of shit you’ve ever seen? You know the kind of movie where you can almost hear the film theory teachers bouncing with excitement because they’ll get to show it to a class of bored 20 year olds who don’t get what’s so special about the film (because there’s nothing special about it) but want to pass so they make something up? The cinematic equivalent of a guy who wears glasses because he thinks it makes him look smart? Well, whatever list of films you just thought of, you can throw Bliss onto the list because this film really wants you to think that it’s brilliant but that would imply that it’s even worthy of thought.

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Malcolm & Marie (2021) – Artsy Arguments

Released: 5th February
Seen: 7th February

During the last year, a lot of films and TV series have had to adapt to this strange new world of the pandemic. Some shows just stopped filming all together, others imposed strict rules to maintain safety. Watch a recent episode of Law & Order SVU and you’ll see large plastic barriers everywhere to protect the cast that had to be written into the text of the show. It’s also led to a lot of films being created from scratch to adapt to this new world of Covid.

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Palmer (2021) – Surprisingly Touching

Released: 29th January
Seen: 4th Febuary

Palmer Info

So, stop me if you’ve heard this one. A man is living on his own with no real desire to be around other people, especially kids. One day out of the blue a kid ends up on his doorstep and he’s obliged to take care of the youth because something has happened to their parents. His disdain for raising children ends up slowly changing now that he finally met one and just as he turns a corner and becomes a fully functioning member of society, the parent comes back and there’s an emotional scene where everyone realises that this mysterious man is a better parent than the parent, roll credits. Yeah, that’s the basic plot of Palmer and at least a dozen other films that you can probably name (why not name them in the comments, engagement is king!) and it takes an interesting twist to make the story interesting. Palmer has such a twist and it’s pretty impressive.

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One Night In Miami (2021) – Miami is Nice

Released: 8th January
Seen: 22nd January

One Night In Miami Info

Sometimes an idea doesn’t have to be complex to be effective, it can be as simple as “Let’s throw a bunch of people in a room and see what happens” and it’ll create something fascinating. We’ve seen this in film all the time, one of the first examples I remember is a little film called Murder by Death which asked what’d happen if a bunch of fictional detectives were thrown together and tasked with solving a murder. It’s a fun way to work, to try and figure out what would happen with big personalities being put into a pressure cooker and having to interact. Of course, this can also be used to create a serious work that’s designed to grab the audience and shake them up a little bit… enter One Night In Miami.

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Ammonite (2021) – Ammono

Released: 14th January
Seen: 20th January

You know, normally when I write one of these things, I like to think my feelings match the quality of a film. I like good films, I don’t like bad films and I can usually explain what they did wrong that I didn’t like. Even films that I’m in the middle about, the 2.5-star films that have no effect on me are ones I can express why it’s in the middle. Ammonite is different though, a first for me on this blog because it’s a film that I can look at and admit that it’s well made and well acted with an interesting story and a lot of elements that I have actively begged for in movies… but I just didn’t like it one bit.

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Music (2021) – Tone Deaf

Released: 14th January
Seen: 18th January

Music Info

The list of musicians that decided to try their hand at directing a film isn’t exactly large, especially in comparison to musicians who’ve acted in a film. People like Rob Zombie and Barbra Streisand proved that you could make big waves in music and be a respected director… then there are people like Madonna and Fred Durst who proved that sometimes you should probably stick to music. So, where does Sia fall in this- second. She’s in the second group, she should just stay in the world of music because if this film is an indication of what she’ll offer to cinema, I’d rather she stuck to music.

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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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Pieces Of A Woman (2020) – Once, Twice, Three Piece a Lady

Released: 7th January
Seen: 7th January

Pieces of a Woman Info

Some topics are difficult to work into a movie, not because of taste or anything but because they are so loaded and intense that unless you nail every element of that topic your entire film could suffer because of it. Pieces of a Woman tackles possibly one of the heaviest topics, the death of a child, and for the most part, it nails it but some parts aren’t exactly the best.

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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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