The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) – Delightful Dickens

Released: 2nd July
Seen: 5th August

The Personal History of David Copperfield Info

When it comes to adaptations of Charles Dickens, everyone has had a crack at one of his stories. There’ve been versions that rewrote Oliver as a story of a young gay prostitute and versions of A Christmas Carol focussed around a vacuous TV host, just to name the oddest ones I could think of. The brilliance of Dickens’ work is that it lends itself to adaptation with it’s grand characters, beautiful stories and fiendishly fun dialogue, though when you do adapt his work you have to be aware that some of the stories already have definitive adaptations you will be compared with.

If you adapt Oliver, you will be compared to the 1968 musical adaptation that everyone thinks about when they hear that title. If you adapt A Christmas Carol you’re going to have to do better than what the Muppets did back in 92 (or be interesting like the most recent adaptation) and now if you adapt David Copperfield… well, I’m not sure this would be the ultimate adaptation of that novel, but it’s a genuinely great one.

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The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee (2020) – No.

Released: 17th July
Seen: 1st August

The Very Excellent Mr Dundee Info

In 1986 the movie Crocodile Dundee came out and was a smash hit. To this day it’s still the highest grossing Australian film, a title it’s held for 34 years and shows no sign of losing it any time soon. It was followed by two sequels that are a lot less fondly remembered and since then Paul Hogan has really just coasted by on the reputation he gained from the 70s and 80s, only popping out for the occasional minor film or TV appearance. Well, after a surprise hit fake trailer, Crocodile Dundee is back… or should I say Paul Hogan is back trying to do a meta take on his career and just misses the mark by a couple of country miles.

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Jay and Silent Bob Reboot (2020) – Time For An Absurd Celebration

Released: 11th March
Seen: 31st July

Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Info

Sometimes you want a movie that challenges the way you think, that presents a complicated idea in a palatable form that’ll make you examine your viewpoints on an essential element of the human condition. Sometimes you want a movie that might have a complex story filled with twists and turns that breaks the rules of cinema itself and presents a new way forward for the cinematic arts… and sometimes you want a movie chock full of puns, dick jokes and slapstick that’s just throwing shit at the wall in hopes that something sticks, aka you want to watch the Jay and Silent Bob Reboot.

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Animal Crackers Header Image

Animal Crackers (2020) – Moderately Adequate

Released: 24th July
Seen: 29th July

Animal Crackers Info

In 1930 the Marx Brothers released Animal Crackers, probably one of their best films. It contains several of Groucho’s best lines, the song Hooray for Captain Spaulding is one of the classics from the group and it was based on one of their highly popular stage plays. I bring this up because I was genuinely stunned, one might even say I was perplexed when I saw that there was going to be an animated film based on the Animal Crackers property… and then I watched it, realised that it had nothing whatsoever to do with the Marx Brothers and then wrote this paragraph because the movie doesn’t exactly give me a lot to work with for a good opening.

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Love Sarah (2020) – Love?

Released: 2nd July
Seen: 28th July

Love Sarah Info

It’s interesting to think that right now we should probably be inundated with movies filled with giant explosions. Tenet, Wonder Woman 1984, Black Widow, so many huge blockbusters should be out right now overwhelming our senses but sadly this year the world decided to see just how much it could mess everything up. As it stands there are no really huge movies coming out for a while, leaving a vortex that’s being slowly filled up by the films that would normally be forgotten by the mainstream, or surprise darlings like The King Of Staten Island… I mean, that’s what’s being shown down here where cinemas are open, they just seem to be filling it with whatever they can get their hands on that might normally go straight to DVD or be relegated to a seniors coffee morning screening. That’s as good a transition as I can be bothered to come up with, LOVE SARAH!

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The Kissing Booth 2 (2020) – Dry Mouth

Released: 24th July
Seen: 26th July

In 2018 Netflix released The Kissing Booth, a 2 hour long romcom that focussed around a girl named Elle Evans (Joey King) and her best friend Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney) who were born at the same time in the same hospital, a fact that is literally meaningless to the plot of the entire story. Lee has an older brother named Noah (Jacob Elordi) who is somewhat of a player with the high school girls and, naturally, Elle has a crush on him. However, due to a list of random rules that she and Lee came up with years ago, Elle isn’t allowed to follow that crush… except she does it anyway, lies to Lee about it, they get discovered and there’s a kissing booth at the end that brings everything to the light. It’s a very generic and very dumb movie that relies on the charm of it’s cast that carried it over towards being watchable. It was a monster hit for the platform and so, naturally, it got a sequel… because apparently that’s something we needed.

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The King Of Staten Island (2020) – It’s Good To Be The King

Released: 16th July
Seen: 23rd July

It has to be said that one of Judd Apatow’s greatest talents is how he creates a film to support his leads. If you’re Judd’s friend and he makes you the star of his film, chances are it’s going to show off your talents in the best light possible. He made the film that turned Steve Carrell into a household name, he managed to give Amy Schumer a great comedy that shot her into the stratosphere… hell, he’s responsible for one of the last good Adam Sandler movies. His skill is undeniable and now he’s taken that ability to work with someone’s strengths to SNL regular Pete Davidson and created a genuinely great little film.

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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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Emma (2020) – More Like Em-meh

Released: 13th February
Seen: 8th June

Time seems to have no meaning anymore, it really doesn’t. I could swear to you that my last review was a few days ago and I would be so very wrong because it’s been two whole weeks. Obviously, these last few weeks are not exactly the weeks where anyone wants to hear the opinion of some random Australian about whatever movie he stumbled upon but it still feels like this year is going at the weirdest pace ever. Time is meaningless, up is down, left is right and people still somehow think the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is scary. I don’t get it, I really don’t but what I do get is that I need to pick up the pace and catch up on some movies that have finally made it to VOD when their cinematic runs got cut short or abandoned in general. Today, we talk about the 2020 adaptation of Emma.

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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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