The Big Trip (2020) – Fall Over, Play Dead

Released: 5th March
Seen: 8th March

The Big Trip Info

So there seems to be this weird new trend going on at my local cinema and I don’t like it at all. For some reason over the last year, every few months an animated film is put on a big screen that clearly was meant to go direct to DVD. I’ve now seen so many awful animated films in a cinema that I thought I was numb to them. We’re not talking your generally bad animated films either, nothing that’s just bland or boring. No, we’re talking crap like Arctic Justice, Cats (not that one), Here Comes The Grump and Flying the Nest. Films that look like they were made in a month for the express purpose of being sold in bulk to video retailers to help them have filler on their shelves. These movies are not meant to turn up in actual cinemas, they’re not built to be presented there… but they keep on coming, and today we have the first animated abortion of 2020 and oh my god, I hope this is the worst one of this year because I can’t handle any more of this.

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Downhill (2020) – It’s A Disaster Alright

Released: 5th March
Seen: 8th March

Downhill Info

In 2014, the Swedish comedy-drama film Force Majeure told the story of a marriage going through a rough patch caused when an almost avalanche makes the wife and children fear for their lives while the patriarch of the family does a runner. Naturally, this leads to a feeling of “you left us to die, you colossal asshole” to go throughout the remaining family members and they must learn to deal with the knowledge that one of them is a giant hunk of shit. This film got rapturous praise, including a Golden Globe nomination for best foreign film so naturally would go through the same thing a lot of beloved foreign films does and receive a substandard American remake that removes any charm or wit and just makes it into one of the most painful things I’ve ever had the misfortune of sitting through. 

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Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears

Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears (2020) – Sadly Not Great

Released: 27th February
Seen: 3rd March

Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears Poster Info

Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries was an Australian drama series based on the novels by author Kerry Greenwood. It ran for 3 years, airing 32 episodes on the ABC and getting a spin-off, Ms. Fisher’s Modern Murder Mysteries, in 2019. The show itself was a decent hit by Australian standards and got average reviews throughout its run. The series fans did what a lot of fans do when a series they love ends, begged for them to go again one more time and thus we have been blessed with Miss Fisher & the Crypt of Tears, a film that knows it needs to be more impressive than the TV series was but somehow fails to find its footing.

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The Call Of The Wild Promo Image

The Call of the Wild (2020) – I Hear You Calling

Released: 20th February
Seen: 2nd March

The Call Of The Wild Info

When it comes to movies featuring animals, you could say that I haven’t exactly had the best luck. In fact you could say that any time I see a dog on the poster of a film I break out in a rash and start rocking in place because I’m fairly confident that whatever I’m about to see is going to either bore, infuriate or confuse me. There was the eternally hated A Dog’s Purpose, a film I will never stop complaining about because it’s bad and deserves nothing but ridicule, along with its sequel A Dog’s Journey. There was the spinoff to those two movies that was so boring that I can’t be bothered to type the title even though typing the title would take up less space than this comedic riff about how I won’t type the title, Show Dogs literally had a scene that resembled child grooming pulled out while it was in cinemas, Dolittle was a trash fire of epic proportions. The only film of the last few years that prominently featured a member of the canine family that didn’t want to make me start setting fires was Pick of the Litter, that adorable documentary about how they train guide dogs. It’s now become a rule around here, if a film is fictional and heavily features a CGI dog then it’s going to be awful… and just as soon as I make that rule, something comes along to prove it wrong because that’s how my life works.

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All The Bright Places Header Image

All the Bright Places (2020) – A Little Dim

Released: 28th February
Seen: 29th February

All The Bright Places Info

Sometimes when I pick a movie to review (because until I can turn this into an actual job, I still get to pick which ones I see and when) it’s often based on just how much effort I feel like putting into them. If I feel like I have the time and mental capacity to fully understand and articulate the various issues in a two-and-a-half-hour-long exploration of a political structure, I’ll go find one and if I feel like I need to let out some well-earned snark, I’ll find a 90 minute animated film that gives off the impression that it’s going to be bad and go to town. Sometimes though I have the time available but don’t want to really have to think about something too heavy so thank god Netflix is there with a teen romance film where I literally need to put in zero effort because who the hell even needs to think about one of these things? So that’s what led me to pick the teen romance drama All The Bright Places, thinking “Oh, this is going to be easy. I won’t need to think or handle anything heavy, it’s a cheesy looking teenage romance” and then I clicked it and… they tried to touch on heavy subjects, why does this happen to me?

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Miss Americana Header Image

Miss Americana (2020) – Look What You Made Me View

Released: 31st January
Seen: 27th February

Taylor Swift Miss Americana Info

The career trajectory of Taylor Swift is one that can only be described by referencing objects that defy the laws of physics. What she has somehow pulled off throughout her career is basically impossible and yet she made it look effortless. To list her many accolades and the records she has broken would probably take so long that I dare not even try to start such a list. She is easily the biggest artist of this generation, I’d probably even be bold enough to put her influence above other icons like Beyoncé and Lady Gaga if I wasn’t so completely terrified that doing so would end in my dismemberment by a horde of fans who would track me down and end me. She’s a big goddamn deal and will probably still be a big goddamn deal long after we all are dead and buried. What’s helped her along the way is that every-girl image that almost seemed like it was too perfect to be true. Surely there had to be something hiding underneath that layer of schoolgirl innocence that sung about teardrops falling on her guitar… and now, we know what happens when that image is destroyed and we finally get to meet the real Taylor

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: P.S. I Still Love You (2020) – It’s nice

Released: 12th February
Seen: 26th February

To All The Boys I've Loved Before P.S. I Still Love You Info

In 2018 Netflix released To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, a teen romance movie based on the 2014 novel of the same name. The movie itself was very sweet simple little teenage romance movie that excelled due to its sublime casting and innocent story. The entire plot revolved around Laura Jean (Lana Candor) who would write love letters to every boy she ever had a crush on but wouldn’t send them. It was basically an innocent writing exercise to get the feelings out of her system. The conflict comes when Lara’s younger sister Kitty (Anna Cathcart) finds the letters and sends them out to the named crushes. Lara wrote five letters and the first movie dealt with three of them. It was also a relatively complete story so it probably didn’t need a sequel, but we have two more letters to deal with so that’s how we got here.

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Brahms: The Boy II (2020) – Brahms Dull-uh-bye!

Released: 20th February
Seen: 25th February

Brahms: The Boy 2 Info

So, most paints you buy at a hardware store are made up of four ingredients. The pigment is what gives it the colour and comes in several forms, such as organic and inorganic which work differently depending on where you’re using it and have different kinds of colour. There’s also extender pigments which include things like clay, silica, diatomaceous silica and zinc oxide to name a few. After pigments, there are binders which basically is what holds everything together (hence the term binder, it’s very self-explanatory in that way) and the binder is what gives pain it’s gloss retention, makes it washable and helps with fade resistance. There’s a lot of binder types, like latex and water and oil so that’s probably what gives them their names, I’m not a paint expert. After that there are solvents, basically the thing that makes paint into a liquid so it’s usable. Lastly, there are additives, things that change the viscosity of the paint or keeps it from separating. Now you know this, it might help you understand why it takes so very long for paint to dry. Hell, go out, buy a 5 dollar tin of paint (I suggest a nice hickory brown) and a large piece of wall and just paint a single line so the paint can drip down as it dries. Congratulations, I just offered you a cheaper and more exciting experience than Brahms: The Boy 2.

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The Invisible Man (2020) – Terrifying In Every Way

Released: 27th February
Seen: 6th February (Preview Screening)

The Invisible Man Info

In 1897, H.G. Wells wrote the book The Invisible Man. The story followed a scientist, named Griffin, who found a way to change the way his body reflects light and, therefore, became invisible. Naturally, the scientist used his power of invisibility to do a whole bunch of murder and just generally be a bit of a dick. This book was insanely popular and is still regarded as a classic of the genre. It would later go on to inspire one of the early Universal monster movies with the James Whale directed The Invisible Man, planting the image of a man who can only be seen when wrapped in bandages and glasses. The Invisible Man would continue to be brought up in pop culture, being remade again and again by either having him meet Abbott and Costello, having him be a secret agent, making him a woman, there was even a version in the early 2000s that made him Hollow Man instead of Invisible Man.

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Fantasy Island (2020) – Not My Fantasy

Released: 13th February
Seen: 16th February

There seem to be two main ways to adapt a TV series to film, as far as I can tell. The first is the straight forward continuation of the TV series into the new format, telling a story that’s just too big for the small screen. This kind of adaptation gave us El Camino, The Simpsons Movie and Charlie’s Angels, films that told stories in a similar vein to the series. Then there’s the riskier gamble, one that takes the series and comments on it by pushing it into a new genre, usually comedy. This lets us witness 21 Jump Street, Baywatch and the eternally baffling CHiPS movies in recent years. When you do this right, you can get gold… when you do it wrong you get Fantasy Island.

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