Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs (2020) – Fairy Fail

Released: 2nd July
Seen: 8th July

In 1937, Disney released what many regard as the definitive version of the German fairy tale Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs. It’s certainly the version that most of us think of when we talk about that legendary fable, to the point where the question “What are the names of the seven dwarfs” is answered with “Doc, Grumpy, Sleepy, Happy, Sneezy, Dopey and Bashful” instead of the names used in the original Grimm’s fairy tale. Do you even know what the dwarfs were named in the original Grimm’s fairy tale? Trick question, they didn’t have names and were referred to either as a collective or by “The first one, the second one, etc”. With Disney’s version looming large over the history of the story, every version since then has had to try and do something to make it stand apart from the most well-known iteration of this story. Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs decided to be confusingly boring, which is fun.

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The Last Days of American Crime (2020) – Absolutely Criminal

Released: 5th June
Seen: 11th June

When it comes to single sentence movie concepts, it’s hard to deny that “The government is about to implement a device that makes it impossible to do crime, so what would the last crime ever committed look like?” is a fantastic concept. The idea alone promises a fascinating film, maybe something like Minority Report or even the later Purge movies that had some elaborate plot device around how crime is handled and used that to discuss serious real-world issues. It promises a fun movie, possibly futuristic and certainly a little bombastic. I mean, this is a film about the last crime that can physically be committed in the United States, surely that crime has to be something elaborate right? Well, turns out… no, no it doesn’t mean that. In fact, somehow a film that’s been gifted an idea so good that it should be impossible to mess it up managed to mess up in every way possible.

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The Lovebirds (2020) – Something For (Almost) Everyone

Released: 22nd May
Seen: 25th May

In case you hadn’t noticed, these last several weeks have been…  a lot. It’s been a couple of months now that the entire world has basically had to shut down while we deal with a minor apocalyptic pandemic and everyone is reacting differently. Some are just getting tired and depressed, some are playing a whole lot of Animal Crossing, others are outside demanding barbers open so they can get haircuts because no one loves them enough to grab a pair of scissors and snip their bangs. I’ve personally been doing the first two of those, my Animal Crossing island is awful at the moment but I clearly have plenty of time to create a little getaway where I don’t have to deal with the third kind of person. 

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Spenser Confidential (2020) – Not So Condidential

Released: 6th March
Seen: 28th April

The buddy cop movie is a classic and reliable genre for a reason, the formula is so simple that if you pull it off right you will have something fun. You take two very different people, an Odd Couple if you will, and then you put them in cop outfits and make them do cop stuff. This is not a hard concept to execute and yet Netflix has already kinda screwed it up with the disastrous Coffee and Kareem which still haunts my nightmares which I have a lot more of now because I sleep more often because what the hell else does one do during a pandemic? Anyway, since Netflix either knew Coffee and Kareem was going to hurt or because they figured that no one would care if they did the same general thing again they made another buddy cop movie and this time they did an adequate job, IMPROVEMENT!

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Extraction (2020) – Familiar But Still Good

Released: 24th April
Seen: 27th April

It feels like 2020 is the year when certain actors need to prove that they can survive outside of the Marvel ecosphere. Namely, the original Avengers who are either no longer in the main series or are on their way out. The year started with RDJ making everyone worry that maybe he was going to be the big casualty of this with his devastatingly painful performance in Dolittle, we recently got the confirmation that Chris Evans is probably going to be fine with his work in Defending Jacob and now we come to Chris Hemsworth, who has also been working outside of the boundaries of the MCU for a while but keeps picking projects that no one likes (MiB: International) or no one sees (Bad Times At The El Royale). So, here he is teaming up with a first-time director who used to be a stunt coordinator and one of the Russo brothers to create a “White stuck in a foreign country shooting all of the bad guys” movie. It might not be great, but it’s pretty damn good.

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The Hunt (2020) – The Most Dangerous Movie

Released: 13th March
Seen: 18th April

The Hunt Info

The most controversial movie of the last decade is easily The Hunt. Easily, just based upon the reaction its trailer got alone it will go down as being one of the most controversial films in history, alongside its controversy cousin The Interview. Much like The Interview, the film became a major discussion piece throughout pop culture due to its subject matter and the trailer used to promote it. What else makes it just like The Interview? The fact that the controversy was obscenely stupid on every front and was a vast overreaction by everyone involved. Guess who gets to talk about politics in a review of a film in the year 2020? BECAUSE THIS YEAR DOESN’T SUCK ENOUGH ALREADY!

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Coffee & Kareem (2020) – I’ll Have Decaf, Thanks

Released: 3rd April
Seen: 6th April

Dear Netflix

Look, I get it. You used to be the king of the mountain with all the films anyone could ever want and then the studios got greedy and realised that they could do it without a middle man and you lost a bunch of content so now you’re desperate to fill the empty space up. Sometimes you get desperate and you need to load up with content. I get it, you need content that they can’t take away from you and so you’re just greenlighting everything but may I suggest you try watching it before you upload it because maybe then you won’t unleash painful garbage like Coffee & Kareem onto the world.

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Bloodshot (2020) – More Like BloodMisfire

Released: 12th March
Seen: 12th March

In November 1992, Valiant Comics introduced the world to the character of Bloodshot. A super-soldier gifted with the ability to regenerate damaged tissue due to the nanotechnology that has been injected into his veins, Bloodshot was a huge seller with praise coming out of every orifice, strong enough that it’s still in print today with new issues of the comic coming out within the last year. The character has been rebooted a few times, appeared in other media but had yet to be turned into a movie and since now is the golden age of the comic book movie this would be the best time to make a go of it and… well, they almost have something here. Almost.

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Midway (2020) – Midway Of The Road

Released: 30th January
Seen: 14th February

So… the guy who directed Independence Day and that really bad American remake of Godzilla wants us to take him seriously. Roland Emmerich, a director who only has 2 films that got above average reviews from critics, would really like it if you could look at his film Midway and say “Why, Roland, you are an artist who is right up there with all the other great war filmmakers”. I would love to say that, I genuinely would. I would love to have a fun subversive twist by ending this slightly sarcastic paragraph with the shocking reveal that this film is actually great… but I’m not a liar and “it’s average” is not enough, especially when the average Roland Emmerich film is so awful.

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Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) – Gotta Go

Released: 13th February
Seen: 13th February

Remember this? Remember when this image was originally seared into the brains of people around the world? Remember the nightmares? The shakes? Do you remember the fear that at any moment this small blue demon from the depths of hell could emerge from the shadows in the corner of your room and the last thing you’d hear before you were forced to look at your own intestines was a tiny innocent-sounding “Meow”? Well, I remember, I remember it well. I still can’t listen to Gangsta’s Paradise unless I’m wearing brown pants. 

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