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.

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Disclosure (2020) – One Of The Most Important Films Of The Year

Released: 19th June
Seen: 21st June

In a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court, it is now illegal in the United States to fire someone for being gay or transgender. This has naturally made a lot of trans and gay people very happy while having the added benefit of making bigots cry because they can’t be bigots without consequence anymore. It’s fitting that this ruling came down during Pride month, especially a pride month where we’ve kind of had to shelve everything because of a pandemic. Sadly it’s not all good news, just as a positive ruling comes from the court the administration changes another rule that will allow discrimination in the healthcare system (because that’s the exact thing that needs to be done during a goddamn pandemic). Trans issues are a huge topic right now and Netflix recently released a film that focusses on just one small issue, trans representation in the media, and uses it as a springboard to remind us all about the importance of representation and just what that can do for a community.

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Artemis Fowl (2020) – Artless and Foul

Released: 12th June
Seen: 16th June

In 2001, Eoin Colfer released Artemis Fowl which was the first in a series of eight novels surrounding the adventures of the titular Artemis as he fights fairies, tries to save his father and… uh… do his taxes? I’ll be honest, I never read the Artemis Fowl book series as around that time I was just getting into the Harry Potter series (Yes, I’m aware that I bet on the wrong horse there. Sure Harry Potter had a good run of movies but… well, now I have to deal with liking the work of a transphobe so the Artemis Fowl fans won this in the long run) and didn’t have time for another book series about a 12-year-old in a battle with fantastical creatures stories, When I heard there was going to be a film of Artemis Fowl released this year I was mostly just happy to see Disney making a film that wasn’t just a remake of their earlier work. Then the apocalypse happened and Disney seemed almost eager to move this film to their streaming service… and having seen it, I can see why because oh god this one isn’t good.

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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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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 Wrong Missy (2020) – The Wrong Movie

Released: 13th May
Seen: 17th May

The Happy Madison film company logo might as well be the poop emoji for what it represents as a marker of quality. Every now and then they’ll release something decent, the corn kernel of their cinematic output that’s just overwhelmed by a monsoon of shit that spews out of that company like water from a fire hydrant. It’s almost like they’ve set a challenge to make the laziest comedies known to man and milk people’s love for a pack of former SNL bad boys as much as they can. Their films are also, effectively, creative excuses to go on long trips on company money to fancy locations where they can basically have a vacation between making what they claim is a movie. Since the end of 2015, shortly after the release of the infamously awful Pixels, every movie from Happy Madison is a Netflix exclusive but because Netflix doesn’t seem to have quality control, we get films like The Wrong Missy which are almost clinically designed to make me hate life itself.

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Becoming (2020) – It Becomes Something Good

Released: 6th May
Seen: 8th May

In November of 2008, America did something amazing. They elected their first black president, a major moment in history and a presidency that would’ve been important just for that alone if all Obama had done those 8 years was sit in the White House and eat cheerios. With Barrack Obama becoming president, this also meant that his wife Michelle Obama would go down in history as the first black woman to be first lady, another monumental moment on its own before you even factor in what was done over the next eight years. 

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Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution (2020) – Touching and Important

Released: 25th March
Seen: 6th May

Crip Camp Info

In 1971, almost a decade before summer camps became associated with hockey mask-wearing murderers, there was a place called Camp Jened. This camp was a little different from a lot of other camps, in that it had a heavy focus on disabled kids who would be able to have a normal camp experience. They’d play ball, go swimming, catch crabs, all the things that one normally associated with going to summer camp back in the 1970s. It was a place where these kids could just be like any other kid without anything holding them back, because back in 1971 there still wasn’t an American Disabilities Act and the outside world effectively segregated them due to their physical and mental disabilities… eventually, the kids at Camp Jened would have enough of this system and went from camp goers to activists who fought the government and won.

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A Secret Love (2020) – A Sweet Secret

Released: 29th April
Seen: 5th May

A Secret Love Info

In terms of gay history in film, we tend to focus more on the 70s-80s than almost any other time until now. If you were to ask most writers, it seems like the history of gay culture began around the time of the AIDS crisis and everything has happened in its shadow but that’s not the reality of the situation. Gay people have been a part of society since society became a thing but with few exceptions (like The Favourite or Wilde), we rarely see stories from before the decades mentioned… except in documentaries, which often give us stories of legendary queer people and the stories of their lives back when things were a lot worse than they are now.

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The Last Thing He Wanted (2020) – No One Wanted This

Released: 27th January
Seen: 5th May

The Last Thing He Wanted Info

So, while I’m still learning how to effectively write these reviews, I have slowly developed a system that works for me. After I do the first paragraph (usually designed to be just eye-catching enough that if you were to scroll through my main page that it might make you want to know more) I will then stop and think about how to describe the plot. I might have IMDB open to remind me of character and actor names but I can usually come up with a decent enough plot synopsis that doesn’t give away more than I need to in order to get you to know just what kind of movie I’m talking about. The plot synopsis is always a quick thing for me, I try to keep it short and sweet because if you want a proper plot synopsis then Wikipedia is in the next tab over. I add it for context and little more than that… this time? I’m tempted to skip it because the plot is so poorly constructed that even just adding it for context feels pointless but it’s my structure now so I feel obligated to try.

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