The Sleepover (2020) – I’m So Extremely Tired

Released: 21st August
Seen: 9th September

The Sleepover Info

In 2001 the movie Spy Kids was released to an unsuspecting public. The story of the Cortez family became something of a major hit, in part because it had such a fun and simplistic story. A pair of kids found out that their uncool parents were actually spies and when those parents were kidnapped it was up to the children to learn how to be spies themselves and rescue their parents. When I say it was a hit, I mean it, the film raked in over $140 million worldwide and was one of the 20 highest grossing films of the year. It led to a bunch of sequels and, naturally, some rip offs… including The Sleepover which is clearly copying so many ideas that Spy Kids had roughly 2 decades later which means it isn’t dated in the slightest.

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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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Random Acts Of Violence (2020) – OMGZ SO RANDOM

Released: 20th August
Seen: 7th September

One of the longest held ideas that people have around violent media is the idea that violent media, be it film or video games, has the power to inspire real world violence in those who partake in it. No matter how many studies say “Yeah, that’s not a thing” (and there are so many studies that completely debunk this notion of violent media inspiring real world violence), people will look at random acts of violence and associate them with some film that has a similar act. A lot of Horror films get blamed for either actually inspiring violence or potentially inspiring violence and sometimes the genre wants to comment on that. In this case a film called Random Acts of Violence would really like to talk about the relationship between art and real world violence and I’d like to say it does a good job at that, as a commentary it’s just so-so but as a violent horror film, it’s kind of fun.

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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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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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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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Go! (2020) – Seriously… GO!

Released: 16th January
Seen: 2nd September

Go Info

In the 80s there was this trend of films that basically wanted to go out and copy The Karate Kid, which was understandable since Karate Kid was a monster hit. There were sequels, spin offs, rip offs and more. Hell, right now someone is apparently working on a musical based on the Karate Kid. It was a monster hit for a reason, it’s a fantastic film with charming characters, brilliant performances and a classic underdog story that tugs at the heartstrings… and if you remove the words “Charming” “Brilliant” and “Classic underdog” from that description, but effectively make the same film, you get Go!, a 2020 Australian film that almost completely lost me within the first 30 minutes and didn’t gain me back for the rest of the film.

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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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