Dear Evan Hansen (2021) – Return To Sender

Released: 9th December
Seen: 18th December

Dear Evan Hansen Info

Dear “Dear Evan Hansen”,

Today was going to be an amazing day, and here’s why. Because today all you had to do was just be a decent movie. Not even a great movie, I think we both know you were never going to be great but good would’ve done us both a whole lot of good after the kind of year we’ve both had. I know you’ve had quite the bad year yourself what with all the people throwing mud your way since your little trailer came out and expecting you to be the next Cats. Well, I have good news Dear Evan Hansen, you’re not the next Cats… cos I’d go and see Cats again.

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tick, tick… Boom! (2021) – Explosively Great

Released: 19th November
Seen: 20th November

On January 25, 1996, the musical Rent opened to rave reviews. It was written by one Jonathan Larson who sadly would never get to read those reviews or bask in the 12 year run that Rent had because on the day Rent opened, Jonathan Larson passed away due to an aortic dissection. The only other work of Jonathan Larson’s that we know of is a piece called tick, tick… Boom! which began as a one man show in 1990 and then was adapted posthumously into a small 3 person play. Well, here we are about 30 years later and that little monologue has turned into a major movie musical and… god damn I’m so glad we’ve got people doing musicals properly again, Cats had me worried we’d never get to enjoy this genre again!

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Diana: A True Musical Story (2021) – A Royal Mess

Released: 1st October
Seen: 7th October

Diana: A True Musical Story Info

Princess Diana, also known as the people’s princess, died in August of 1997 after a group of paparazzi chased her through a tunnel. The crash also took the lives of Diana’s partner Dodi Fayed and the driver of the car, Henri Paul. This was in 1997 and the obsession with Princess Diana has not abated for even a moment since that day, I would dare to say that there isn’t a week that goes by when she isn’t on the cover of a magazine that probably paid the very paparazzi that contributed to the events that led to her death. Her life was fascinating and full of truly great highs and lows… and is the subject of possibly the worst musical I’ve seen in my life and keep in mind that the Cats movie still exists so that’s a low bar.

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Cinderella (2021) – More Like Sinderella

Released: 3rd September
Seen: 4th September

The story of Cinderella has been adapted countless times in multiple forms. From the legendary Disney animated classic of 1950 to the millennial favourite 1997 version that starred Whitney Houston and Brandi, to the Disney Live-Action version from 2015, there have been so many attempts made at this simple story that it feels weird to go five years without someone taking a shot at it. 

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Arlo the Alligator Boy (2021) – Smile At This Crocodile

Released: 16th April
Seen: 18th June

Arlo the Alligator Boy Info

Back in the 90s and early 2000’s, Disney had this thing that they did where they would make a movie out of the first three episodes of an upcoming series in order to get people used to what was to come. This led to such films as The Return of Jafar, Mighty Ducks the Movie: The First Face Off and Buzz Lightyear of Star Command: The Adventure Begins among a whole cornucopia of other films. 

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In The Heights (2021) – The Highest Heights

Released: 24th June
Seen: 14th June (Advance Screening)

In The Heights Info

In recent years, musicals have been… well, bad. Music was offensive to many communities, The Prom was brought down by one truly bad performance and a lack of style while Cats… well, I try not to discuss war crimes on this blog so let’s just not talk about Cats anymore. For a while now it’s felt like we might never have another great musical outside of animation, and even those are slowly dying since musical animated films appear to be happening less and less often. Thank goodness we now have In The Heights to remind everyone just how great a musical can be, I hope this is the start of a glorious resurgence for this little genre.

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Over The Moon Header

Over The Moon (2020) – Out Of This World

Released: 23rd October 2020
Seen: 5th April 2021

Over The Moon Info

When it comes to the Oscar race this year for best animated film, it feels like Soul is the foregone conclusion. It’s kind of hard to beat a film that was so funny and poignant with such impeccable visuals and was such a cultural event. However, the race isn’t quite over yet and I would like to offer a wild card entry that might sneak in at the last minute, that being the Netflix original film Over The Moon.

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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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The Prom (2020) – Hope You Had The Time Of Your Life

Released: 11th December
Seen: 11th December

The story of Constance McMillen’s 2010 prom is truly something. Constance had plans on going to the prom with her girlfriend while wearing a tux, something that’s completely harmless in every possible way… unfortunately, her school board consisted of massive pieces of excrement and they decided to ban her from the prom. Like any good member of the LGBT community that knows their history, she fought this ban on the grounds that it was stupid and bigoted so the school board did what anyone with no brain would do. They cancelled the prom. 

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Trolls World Tour (2020) – All Over The World

Released: 17th September
Seen: 13th September (Advance Screening)

Trolls World Tour Info

When we look back on 2020 in film (through the spaces between our fingers like one might watch a particularly gory horror movie) there will be one film that stands out as having changed cinema forever. That film will be Trolls World Tour, one of the first films to make the leap from a cinematic release to a VOD release that created a stand off between AMC theatres and Universal that ended with Universal getting to put their films on VOD a lot sooner than they ever had been able to before and AMC gets to maybe show James Bond movies if we ever put big blockbusters out again. This film hit VOD in April… oh wait, I’m sorry, it hit VOD in the USA back in April but because of reasons, I had to wait until it came out in an Australian cinema in the middle of September in order to see it. Seriously, this kind of gap is dumb at the best of times but during a pandemic? ANYWAY

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