Greyhound (2020) – Explosively… fine

Released: 10th July
Seen: 7th August

Greyhound Info

It’s somewhat of a cliché to refer to movies about the war (any war really) as “Dad movies”, but it’s one that feels weirdly appropriate no matter what kind of dad you have. There’s something about the genre that just paints the image of a dad on a couch ignoring everything while watching some good old boys bomb some nameless bad guys who have accents and maybe a weird 4 legged spider on a flag. Greyhound is definitely playing to that kind of dad, but a dad who also has things to do and needs to get his movie watching done in under 80 minutes if it’s at all possible.

Continue reading “Greyhound (2020) – Explosively… fine”

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.

Continue reading “The Personal History of David Copperfield (2020) – Delightful Dickens”

The Secret: Dare To Dream (2020) – Keep This Secret

Released: 31st July
Seen: 3rd August

The Secret Dare To Dream Info

In 2006, The Secret was let loose upon society. The self-help book introduced many to the concept of the law of attraction, namely that if you think about something enough that it will appear in your life (which I can roundly disprove by pointing out that at no point in my life has Chris Hemsworth turned up to my house to feed me freshly peeled grapes, a thing I think about often). The book became a monster hit with people like her holiness Oprah championing it to the masses. Well, it’s 14 years later, so naturally now is the perfect time to start a cinematic universe around the concepts presented in that book.

Continue reading “The Secret: Dare To Dream (2020) – Keep This Secret”

Relic (2020) – Old Creaky Horror

Released: 10th July
Seen: 2nd August

Relic Info

One of the great things about the horror genre, indeed the thing that’s probably kept it thriving for so many years, is that horror is a fantastic way to tell a story through metaphor. So many of the greatest horror films of all time have been metaphorical tales decrying certain things in culture. They Live is an anti-Reagan era film, Get Out was calling out liberals who use performative wokeness while still engaging in systemic racism, every zombie movie made since Romero has been a metaphor for something. It’s a great genre to work in when dealing with a major topic… the catch is you’re still a horror movie and you still need to scare the audience at some point.

Continue reading “Relic (2020) – Old Creaky Horror”

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!

Continue reading “Love Sarah (2020) – Love?”

Fatal Affair (2020) – Dead Boring

Released: 16th July
Seen: 27th July

Fatal Affair Info

From the writer director who brought us Secret Obsession and no less than 19 movies with the title The Wrong (Noun) comes the newest Netflix movie to make me worry about that company’s idea of quality control. Every time there’s some weird looking Netflix original that was clearly rejected by everyone else, I just wonder why Netflix is doing this. It’s not like they don’t know what good movies look like, they funded The Irishman when no one else would and took chances on great films like Roma, Klaus and The Two Popes. They have the ability to be picky and only buy the good projects, instead of buying another dud like Fatal Affair.

Continue reading “Fatal Affair (2020) – Dead Boring”

365 Days (2020) – It Hurts

Released: 7th June
Seen: 24th July

On this blog I have been almost gleeful in tearing apart the 50 Shades of Grey franchise and just about anything that looks like it. I put the last two films in the franchise on my worst lists for 2017 and 2018, Freed was actually my worst film of 2018 and I stand by that ranking. It’s obvious rip-off After was also on the worst list in 2019 and the attempted tie in movie Book Club only missed out being put on the list because it was the only film that hired people who could act. In general I’ve found this franchise to be one of the worst things to happen to culture in recent years due to its romanticisingof rape and misrepresentation of BDSM, along with just generally bad writing. I genuinely thought that someone couldn’t come up with a worse attempt at a romantic plotline… and I guess the writers of 365 Days heard that and went “Challenge accepted” because oh boy, OH BOY! 

Continue reading “365 Days (2020) – It Hurts”

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.

Continue reading “The King Of Staten Island (2020) – It’s Good To Be The King”

The Current War (2020) – Shockingly OK

Released: 19th March
Seen: 6th July

The last time I got to see a film in a cinema was the 21st of March when I went to see Onward. Even back then I kind of knew that I wouldn’t be walking into a cinema for a while but no way could I have known it would be a little over 3 months. In that time we’ve watched as film after film has been pushed back to be released either in the latter half of this year or sometime in 2021, if not just sent straight to digital streaming where they probably should’ve gone in the first place (Hello Artemis Fowl) and I was left to wonder just what would be the first film I saw when the cinemas would reopen. Well, they finally opened my local up again and to the shock of no one, the pickings are slim so I decided to dive into a big theme of this year in cinema… “Hey, what’re the Avengers cast doing to follow up Endgame?”. Well, technically this film was made BEFORE Endgame but still, I figured seeing Dr Strange, Spiderman, Beast and Zod running around in period outfits and arguing about electricity would be a fairly good time and I almost got what I expected, so that’s nice.

Continue reading “The Current War (2020) – Shockingly OK”

Da 5 Bloods (2020) – Bloody Good

Released: 12th June
Seen: 27th June

Da 5 Bloods Info

Throughout the year, I keep a document listing every film I see. I do this mostly as a refresher for when I make my end of year lists and the Oscar predictions, since some films may have been amazing but because my memory is so iffy sometimes I may not think about it right off the bat. I also keep a second list, a ‘potential best and worst’ list so if something stands out as particularly good or particularly bad then I won’t forget it when the time comes to make those lists. By June of last year, I had a top 10 best list I could’ve posted and still had to make some really painful cuts. This year? I barely have a top 5 I feel that confident about, that’s how empty this year has felt. You can undoubtedly blame most of this on the current plague we’re experiencing that has pushed so many films back over a year and only left us with streaming films. Add to that the general rule that the prestige films tend to wait until around the time the Oscar nominations are being sorted out and it’s been a slow year and someone needed to throw something out to fill the void… enter Spike Lee.

Continue reading “Da 5 Bloods (2020) – Bloody Good”