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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Outside the Wire (2021) – Wireless

Released: 15th January
Seen: 17th January

Outside the Wire Info

This year Netflix announced that it plans on releasing one brand new narrative film every single week, a proposal clearly borne out of a need to build up a catalogue of films that can’t be taken away when another movie studio decides to try and make its own streaming service. On the one hand, this is a smart idea, with enough of a catalogue of its own Netflix can justify continuing as a service even if every studio pulls their film.

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Superintelligence (2020) – Kinda Dumb

Released: 17th December
Seen: 23rd December

Superintelligence Info

The idea of technology gaining sentience and turning evil is old hat at this point. Chances are good that you’ve seen something that’s used this as a foundation for the narrative, be it the iconic 2001 A Space Odyssey or the recent Child’s Play remake or even some episodes of the Simpsons Treehouse of Horror (the ones with either the killer Krusty doll or the Pierce Brosnan murder house). It’s a classic bit of Sci-fi that is usually just a twist on the old Frankenstein tale, in that a thing man created is what will actually destroy man. It’s a interesting little idea that can end up creating some interesting stories… unless you give the AI the voice of Bustopher Jones from Cats and then we might have a problem.

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Black Box (2020) – Black Mirror Out

Released: 6th October
Seen: 17th October

In recent years, Blumhouse has become the place to go for a shot of good, fun horror. They’re responsible for intelligent gems like Get Out and Happy Death Day, monster hits like The Purge series and revivals like Halloween all came from this one little studio that is known for giving a lot of freedom to directors who are willing to work with a micro budget. Well, in 2020 they would’ve released a new Halloween and Purge movie by this point in the year but, you know, we live in an apocalypse so we can’t have nice things but what we can have is a quadrilogy of horror films that’s been grouped into a series titled “Welcome to the Blumhouse”. Now I’m aware that there’s apparently 8 films in this series but I only have 4 of them out now to review and I don’t know when the other 4 are meant to come out so I’m going with quadrilogy. Now let’s talk about Black Box.

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Bill & Ted Face The Music (2020) – Excellent *GUITAR RIFF*

Released: 10th September
Seen: 16th September

Bill & Ted Face The Music Info

The year was 1989, Ted ‘Theodore” Logan (Keanu Reeves) and Bill S. Preston Esq. (Alex Winters) were visited by a time traveler named Rufus (The late great George Carlin) who was tasked with helping them pass a history test, a most excellent adventure that made up the plot of a film that had the truly strange title Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

It almost instantly became a beloved cult film, it’s popularity leading to a sequel 2 years after and a short lived cartoon series. Sadly, for the last 30 years or so Bill & Ted haven’t been able to have many adventures, mostly because Ted keeps running off into The Matrix or stopping buses from going under certain speed limits or seeking vengeance for his dog. Well, now that the world’s slowed down a little I guess we can have one more adventure with everyone’s favourite slackers.

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Fearless (2020) – I Fear Nothing

Released: 14th August
Seen: 8th September

Fearless Info

In this, the year of impending doom and sadness, a lot of great animated films are either shunted off to the land of digital downloads or postponed until we feel like it’s safe to let a large number of children share an enclosed space again. Of course, this plague makes things like Netflix turn into a go to source for children’s entertainment which means that films like Fearless might seem like a great idea to entertain the small ones who are in desperate need for something to distract them but despite its bright colors and simplistic fart jokes, this film is not good enough to properly entertain your kids.

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The New Mutants (2020) – Old and Boring

Released: 3rd September
Seen: 6th September

The New Mutants Info

The story behind the making of The New Mutants would make for a fascinating documentary, because this film is actually goddamn cursed and has had the wildest ride. It started with a pitch way back in 2015 (back in the days when we had hope) for a potential trilogy of films in this New Mutants universe. The film actually finished its first round of filming in September of 2017 and planned for a release in April of 2018… in case you haven’t noticed, they missed that deadline. 

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Tenet (2020) – Discount Inception

Released: 26th August
Seen: 22th August (Advance screening)

Tenet Info

2020 is the year that the act of going to a cinema became a distant memory. Something we did in the before times when the world wasn’t battling against one of the worst plagues we’ve ever had with the worst leadership imaginable helping to make it considerably worse. Throughout this year we’ve seen film after film push back to next year when, hopefully, we’ll be able to go outside without any fear again. One film that refused to push back till next year, or bite the bullet and go to VOD, was Tenet. Christopher Nolan absolutely insisted that his film be seen in a cinema no matter what, adamant that this film be the one to get people back to the cinema. Now that it’s come out, I can honestly say that while it’s good it probably didn’t NEED to be the first thing in cinemas.

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