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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Feel The Beat (2020) – The Beat Feels Familiar

Released: 19th June
Seen: 23rd September

Feel The Beat Info

Not long ago, I reviewed the Netflix original film Work It which was about a young girl trying to put together a dance troupe in order to get into college. Dance films are a very rare breed because they tend to require actors who can pull off the vastly different skills of acting and dancing. The problem with dance films is that it takes something kind of special to break out into the mainstream, films like Dirty Dancing, Hairspray and Step Up managed to infuse dancing with a plot that people latched onto and have kept in the cultural landscape for years… something tells me Feel the Beat isn’t going to be one of those movies, but it’s fine.

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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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Becky (2020) – Oh My God

Released: 10th September
Seen: 15th September

Home invasion movies are a staple of many genres, have been for years but I think we can all agree that they really hit their pinnacle with a little comedy film called Home Alone (sidebar, you know there’s 4 sequels to that movie? AND a reboot that was filming until *gestures at the apocalypse*) that showed us the fun side of what would happen if a pair of criminals broke into the house of a kid who just discovered who Rube Goldberg was. Of course this idea is a big staple of the Horror genre, films like Hush and You’re Next pit a home invader against an intelligent home owner who will defend themselves to the death… and now someone has gone “OK, let’s take the young kid from Home Alone and blend him with the badass women from Hush and You’re Next” and turns out you can get something kind of interesting out of that.

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After We Collided (2020) – Complete Car Crash

Released: 10th September
Seen: 11th September

After We Collided Info

2019 brought the hit series After to cinemas and… it was awful. A bland flavourless movie that only exists because the One Direction fanfiction it’s based on did well online. It made about $12 million on a $14 million budget and in a fair world that would mean the series died there… of course, that’s just the domestic total. Worldwide, After made (I swear I’m not joking here) $69 million and therefore it was going to get a sequel. Now, the first film was spectacularly bland so surely the second film is going to be just as bland right? Right?

…So, this is somehow less original than 50 Shades of Grey and a lot less interesting. 

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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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Honey Boy Header Image

Honey Boy (2020) – Oh Honey

Released: 27th February
Seen: 4th September

Honey Boy Info

Shia LeBouf is certainly an interesting actor with a progression that’s worthy of discussion. He started as a child star, spent the later part of the 2000’s being a mainstream star in the Transformers movies and then seemed to fall into the indie film scene where he’s basically stayed ever since. If you’ve just followed the broad strokes of his career it’s been one hell of a ride, and that’s before we get to his personal issues which lead him to having a stay in rehab in 2017. This ends up being important here because during that rehab, Shia began to write the script that would eventually become Honey Boy

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The Lighthouse (2020) – You Light Up My Life

Released: 6th February
Seen: 3rd September

The Lighthouse Info

Back in February, in the before times when we had hope that this year wouldn’t be a total garbage fire, I wrote up a list of Oscar predictions. This was way back in the before times when Parasite winning a bunch of awards felt like it was a sign that this year wasn’t going to be a constantly depressing mess. In that prediction post, between my complaining about snubs and my general apathy because I expected the ceremony to be safe and bland, in the Best Cinematography category I brought up The Lighthouse. While I hadn’t seen it because it was released the day before I posted that prediction list, I was confident that a black and white film shot like an old 30s flick might make the Oscar voters have a shattering climax. Well, it’s now about 6 months later, I’ve been basically stuck at home for a very very long time and going quite mad so a film about two lighthouse keepers slowly losing their minds feels depressingly appropriate.

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The Way Back (2020) – Loves Me Some Sportsball!

Released: 5th March
Seen: 2nd September

 The Way Back Info

Ahh, the sports movie. I love a good sportsball movie, I love it. I know all about the sportsball with… the passing and… uh… throwing a ball? OK so I know exactly jack shit about sports and the balls that are used to play them but fortunately sports movies never need you to actually understand the game because they’re never actually about the game. They’re about the scrappy underdog team who starts at the bottom and works their way up the top and the question is always if we’re focussing on the team itself or on the coach of the team and maybe one team member that the coach identifies with. Details may change, like the sportsball game being played or how many times someone yells an obscenity but in general they are all the same and The Way Back is not about to break that pattern, but it does offer a good version of that story.

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The Assistant (2020) – Helpful

Released: 24th June
Seen: 31st August

The Assistant Info

So, this review of The Assistant is going to have to touch on some difficult subject matter AKA we’re talking about sexual harassment in the workplace. Just warning you now that if that’s a trigger for you then just move on knowing that this film is good, a bit too subdued for my taste but it’s still good. This movie basically takes place in the secretary pool of a Harvey Weinstein type person (PS, I can’t wait to hear the phrase “Harvey Weinstein dies in jail”, that’s the energy we’re working with on this subject matter) so be warned that we’ll have to talk about that. OK? Great, on we go.

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