One Night In Miami (2021) – Miami is Nice

Released: 8th January
Seen: 22nd January

One Night In Miami Info

Sometimes an idea doesn’t have to be complex to be effective, it can be as simple as “Let’s throw a bunch of people in a room and see what happens” and it’ll create something fascinating. We’ve seen this in film all the time, one of the first examples I remember is a little film called Murder by Death which asked what’d happen if a bunch of fictional detectives were thrown together and tasked with solving a murder. It’s a fun way to work, to try and figure out what would happen with big personalities being put into a pressure cooker and having to interact. Of course, this can also be used to create a serious work that’s designed to grab the audience and shake them up a little bit… enter One Night In Miami.

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Ammonite (2021) – Ammono

Released: 14th January
Seen: 20th January

You know, normally when I write one of these things, I like to think my feelings match the quality of a film. I like good films, I don’t like bad films and I can usually explain what they did wrong that I didn’t like. Even films that I’m in the middle about, the 2.5-star films that have no effect on me are ones I can express why it’s in the middle. Ammonite is different though, a first for me on this blog because it’s a film that I can look at and admit that it’s well made and well acted with an interesting story and a lot of elements that I have actively begged for in movies… but I just didn’t like it one bit.

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Music (2021) – Tone Deaf

Released: 14th January
Seen: 18th January

Music Info

The list of musicians that decided to try their hand at directing a film isn’t exactly large, especially in comparison to musicians who’ve acted in a film. People like Rob Zombie and Barbra Streisand proved that you could make big waves in music and be a respected director… then there are people like Madonna and Fred Durst who proved that sometimes you should probably stick to music. So, where does Sia fall in this- second. She’s in the second group, she should just stay in the world of music because if this film is an indication of what she’ll offer to cinema, I’d rather she stuck to music.

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Promising Young Woman (2021) – Promises, Promises

Released: 1st January
Seen: 8th January

“Boys will be boys”
“It’s a ‘he said she said’ situation”
“It’s a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action”
“If you really want to know the truth you sure as hell wouldn’t have done what you did to this guy.”

Let’s be blunt, when women come forward with allegations about being assaulted chances are good she’s going to hear something like one of the above quotes. We have a serious problem when it comes to believing women who make allegations of sexual assault or harassment… that problem being that we don’t. Hell, we’re so bad at it that we might be dumb enough to hear the phrase “Devils Triangle” and believe the rapist that it’s a drinking game when anyone who has a cursory knowledge of Google knows it’s a threesome with two men… in a culture like this, a film like Promising Young Woman isn’t just inevitable, it’s cathartic.

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Pieces Of A Woman (2020) – Once, Twice, Three Piece a Lady

Released: 7th January
Seen: 7th January

Pieces of a Woman Info

Some topics are difficult to work into a movie, not because of taste or anything but because they are so loaded and intense that unless you nail every element of that topic your entire film could suffer because of it. Pieces of a Woman tackles possibly one of the heaviest topics, the death of a child, and for the most part, it nails it but some parts aren’t exactly the best.

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The Dry (2020) – Aussie Cinema Goodness

Released: 1st January
Seen: 6th January

The Dry Info

I hate to take you back there but at this point in 2020 my country was in… well, I’d say we were in hot water but actually we were in the literal opposite of water. The bushfires of late 2019 to early 2020 were some of the worst I’ve ever seen. Sure, we have bushfires here a lot (Comes with having lots of bush and not as much water as we should have) but it was nothing like last year. Part of the reason we have such bad bushfires here is that we are a dry country, known for lengthy periods of drought. Droughts that lengthy can do some serious damage on little towns like Kiewarra, which is the setting for the Australian crime movie The Dry.

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We Can Be Heroes (2020) – Just For One Day

Released: 25th December
Seen: 31st December

Robert Rodriguez is one of the most fascinating filmmakers of our time. Known as the one-man film crew, he’s got a reputation for doing everything on set. Not only directing and writing, we’re talking handling the editing and cinematography and score of his films, he’ll even carry the damn Steadicam if that’s what he has to do to get the job done. He’s also very well known for working with a limited budget, preferring to come up with creative solutions to his problems rather than just throw money at it. He’s the kind of director who you always look out for because no matter what he makes, you can guarantee that it’ll be interesting in some way. Well, now Netflix has decided to get this filmmaker on their payroll and let him have some fun and god I hope this is the first of many Netflix funded Rodriguez films to come because the man knows how to make a fun family film, which is the quick description of We Can Be Heroes.

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Mank (2020) – It’s His Sled!

Released: 4th December
Seen: 28th December

Mank Info

When it comes to movies and their quality, there are no real definitive answers. A film that I love is one that you may hate and vice versa… there is, of course, an exception to this statement. Namely, if you answer “What is the greatest movie of all time” with any movie other than “Citizen Kane”, you are factually inaccurate in the eyes of everyone who would bother to ask that question and will probably be stoned in the streets. 

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Mulan (2020) – I’ll Make A Film Out Of You

Released: 4th September
Seen: 23rd December

Mulan Info

I’ve made it no secret how I feel about Disney remakes, I hate them, I hate them on a fundamental “These have no reason to exist beyond capitalism gone amuck” level. Sure, in a very real sense every remake is kind of pointless in some way, but the recent batch of Disney remakes seem to be extra pointless since they’ve taken to remaking some of their absolute classics. They don’t bother remaking things like The Black Cauldron or Oliver and Company, films that didn’t exactly do well. No, instead let’s remake classics like Dumbo, Aladdin and The Lion King… you know, that trilogy of remakes was so awful that I gave them all a joint place on my worst of 2019 list. Well, this year we add another film to the list of remakes… Mulan.

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) – Her Bottom Is The Tops!

Released: 18th December
Seen: 20th December

In this, the year of perpetual pain and suffering, one of the moments that shocked the world was the passing of actor Chadwick Boseman. Probably best known for his work as the Black Panther, Chadwick had an amazing career playing legends from Jackie Robinson to Thurgood Marshall to James Brown and it seemed like he was destined to take over the world as an actor before we lost him far too young. When this happens to an actor in their prime, it’s always curious to know what the last film released featuring that actor and how would such a film reflect upon their legacy… in Chadwick Boseman’s case? Don’t be surprised in a few months when we hear his name read among a list of Oscar nominees.

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