The Kissing Booth 3 (2021) – ARRRRGH

Released: 27th August
Seen: 5th September

The Kissing Booth 3 Info

Sometimes I genuinely worry for Netflix, I really do. In their desperate need to fill up their library with films that can’t be taken away by competing studios who want to start their own awful streaming service (Tangent: The Paramount Plus streaming service is crap and they should delete it now before they hurt themselves) they just greenlight everything that’s remotely in their price range. Sure this led to the recent trilogy of Fear Street films that were absolutely amazing, but it also led to the series The Kissing Booth which culminates in The Kissing Booth 3, a film which makes me hate the concept of kissing, booths and the word “The”.

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He’s All That (2021) – That Don’t Impress Me Much

Released: 27th August
Seen: 29th August

He's All That Info

Pygmalion is a 1913 play by George Bernard Shaw about a little flower girl being taught how to be a proper English lady after a bet between two men, Higgins and Pickering. If this sounds familiar to those who’ve never heard of Pygmalion that’d be because this play ended up being the inspiration for the mega musical My Fair Lady. It also inspired the 1999 film She’s All That, which hasn’t aged well but I promise you was a gigantic hit back in the day. It was part of this period of time where a lot of classic stories got updated for a 90s teen audience and it might have been the most successful of the bunch, although Cruel Intentions and 10 Things I Hate About You have seemed to live on a lot stronger in pulp culture.

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Love, Weddings and Other Disasters (2021) – Uggh

Released: 28th January
Seen: 19th July

So, currently, my home state is going through a lockdown thanks to covid, which means that I’m basically relegated to only reviewing movies I can see from home… and because I’m Australian that means anything that WB releases is not available for streaming down here, so that’s why you’re not seeing a Space Jam 2 review and might not even see a Suicide Squad review (unless I somehow find a way to make HBOMax work from down here which feels like too much effort for those films). This means I’m going to have to review Netflix movies or films that are cheap on Google Plus and that’s what led me to Love, Weddings and Other Disasters which is a film so painfully bad that it makes me regret almost everything in my life up to this exact second.

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Happily (2021) – Not Happy Jan!

Released: 2nd June
Seen: 4th July

Happily Info

One of the saddest things a film can do is to not seem to know what it should be, relegating the element of the movie that’s actually worth exploring to a single scene when it realistically should just be what the entire movie is. I’m sure we’ve all seen movies where it meanders for an hour and then gets to a single interesting scene that makes you go “Where has this been for the last hour? Why isn’t this the entire movie?”… and if you haven’t, watching Happily will give you that exact feeling.

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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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The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things (2021) – Almost Nearly Average

Released: 12th February
Seen: 17th February

“It’s Groundhog Day, except…” is a fairly easy way of describing most movies that feature a time loop situation, it tells everyone exactly what to expect right off the bat. For example, Happy Death Day is “It’s Groundhog Day, except there’s a killer on the loose”. Well, when it comes to describing the charmingly simple The Map Of Tiny Perfect Things, I’m gonna go with “It’s Groundhog Day, except with teenagers”… yes I did just copy my entire opening paragraph from my Palm Springs review, there aren’t many ways to open a review that has a Groundhog Day premise and this film is good but not so good that I feel the need to try hard to come up with a great opening.

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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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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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