Bad Boys For Life (2020) – Oh God I'm So External

Normally here is where I would be posting a lengthy review about Bad Boys 3 and making a bunch of jokes about how Bay is a bad director who shouldn’t be permitted near a disposable camera let alone a movie camera but… well, this time I did that somewhere else.

The fine people over at Soda and Telepaths sent me to go see Bad Boys For Life and my review for that film is over there. I will hopefully have a Little Women review up here tomorrow but if you want to read me rambling on about the Will Smith and Martin Lawrence movie, go click the link and head on over there.

Ghost Stories (2020) – Boo!

Released: 1st January
Seen: 4th January

The anthology film is a sad rarity nowadays, especially in Horror. Horror used to be a haven for great little films that told several short scary stories but we haven’t had a truly great one in a while, the last one I can remember being truly special was the V/H/S series (I’m aware Nightmare Cinema came out last year to decent notices but I haven’t been able to see that one yet). The big thing that makes these films particularly special is how they link together. That connection is what takes something from a series of short films to a cohesive anthology film. V/H/S did it with the gimmick of every story being done in a found-footage style, a simple little gimmick but an effective one that allowed each story to flow naturally between each other and made it feel more like a single film rather than a series of shorts. Netflix is now having a go at it by distributing the movie Ghost Stories and… oh boy.

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The Gentlemen (2020) – Bring It On Lads

Released: 1st January
Seen: 2nd January

For several years now, Guy Ritchie has been trying to spread out from the English crime drama/comedy films that he made his name on. Most recently he tried to take some of the elements from his old crime drama films and put them in the criminally underrated King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. He then made the just flat out criminally bad Aladdin movie and maybe those films shook him a little since people were starting to catch onto his bag of tricks and calling them out. Whatever happened with those two films, Guy Ritchie seemed to go back to what he does best… an English crime drama/comedy with a large eclectic cast of characters who drop obscenities like they were forms of punctuation. Thank goodness because this is probably the kind of film Guy Ritchie was born to make because he does it so well.

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The Top Ten Worst Films of 2019

Well, here we are. The end of 2019 and we’ve gotten all the positive feelings out of our system, leaving us with a thick bile that needs to be expelled. That’s kind of how I feel about these lists, it’s more of a way for me to vent and purge out all the excess bad feelings I had towards some of the worst films of the year. Just need to get this out so I’m prepared for the year to come… and because I find it’s good to acknowledge just what mistakes were made over the last year, but mostly it’s just venting about things that’ve been bugging me for a while now and if we’re being honest, worst lists tend to just be venting by people who need a good bit of content. The rules I used for my best list carry over to this list too, go look at that list to check up on what those rules are (and to see if any films I liked match up with yours, because I thirst for views and attention) but first, some dishonourable mentions

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The Top Ten Best Films of 2019

Looking back over the last 12 months, this has been a great year for movies. While the lows have been stunningly shocking, the heights have proved us just what this medium can do when it’s at its best. It’s the first year I will really look forward to the Oscar nominees because this year is going to give us some absolute classics and the most random batch of movies in that best picture spot. We’re now here to look back and talk about the 10 best films of the year… and by best I mean “The ones I like the most” because these lists are always subjective, there is no objective way to view and rate art but saying “Top 10 Films I Liked The Most” is not a good title for Google’s algorithm. Hell, I have enough that I liked this year that I could easily do a Top 20 without breaking a sweat (as the honourable mentions list will prove). So before we do this, ground rules time.

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Jojo Rabbit (2019) – Springtime

Released: 26th December
Seen: 30th December

So… the Nazis are back. Do you remember them? God, you probably shouldn’t because we all agreed back around 1945 that Nazi’s sucked and anyone who does anything even remotely Nazi-like was a worthless piece of excrement that we didn’t have to listen to… then the world went freaking insane and now we have Nazis again and they’re out in the open like that’s in any way acceptable. I mean, it’s good that they’re open about it so we can punch them in the face but yeah, Nazis suck and no one should ever want to be one. There’s a controversial political statement, it’s bad that Nazis are still a thing. Maybe the problem was that we weren’t making enough fun of Nazi’s, there’s only so much Mel Brooks could do after all so it’s about time someone else made a movie that not only made fun of how stupid and ugly every single Nazi actually is… but damn it Taika, did you also have to make me cry like a child while you were doing it?

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Jumanji: The Next Level (2019) – Round Two. FIGHT!

Released: 26th December
Seen: 27th December

Two years ago, the world was surprised when the reboot of Jumanji came out and was actually really good. They had the near-impossible task of making a sequel to a Robin Williams movie just a few short years after he left us. It was the first time any property that Robin had touched would get revisited and somehow not only did they make it work, they even paid homage to the legend himself with some subtle and unsubtle nods. It ended up making almost a billion dollars at the box office and so naturally there was talk of a sequel. A sequel to Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle would have its own problem to deal with. Now that they had proven that they could make a film that honoured the original star… could they do something that didn’t rely on our love of a legend?

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Cats (2019) – Jellicles Can't

Released: 26th December
Seen: 26th December

In 1939, T.S. Eliot wrote a book titled Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats. In it, he wrote a series of poems about… well, cats. The book was beloved by many and would be the inspiration for Andrew Lloyd Webber to create the musical Cats in 1981. That show would go on to be the fourth longest-running show on Broadway, just behind The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago and The Lion King. It would also be the 6th longest running show on the West End, behind The Mousetrap, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, The Woman in Black and Blood Brothers. It’s made billions around the world on the stage and has delighted audiences for years with its story of cats that compete to kill themselves in a magical ritual… and then Tom Hooper managed to get some blackmail photos of a lot of famous people and forced them to appear in his adaptation of the infamously strange musical. That’s the best explanation that I can come up with for why these people turned up. Blackmail and kidnapping, they certainly weren’t there because they wanted to be.

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6 Underground (2019) – Bury it!

Released: 13th December
Seen: 24th December

During the promotional tour for this movie, the star Ryan Reynolds was happy to describe the film as “The most Michael Bay movie ever”. This kind of warning had me worried because I have a bit of a history with Michael Bay movies and the promise of the most Michael Bay movie ever sounds more like a threat than anything. See, I still contend that the last Transformers movie is so bad that it should basically bar Michael Bay from making a movie with a budget that’s above 5 million until he learns how to make a movie… and then Netflix in their infinite wisdom promised to release his latest film 6 Underground and my life is now actively worse because of it. Seriously Netflix, I understand that you need to have content that you own outright because everyone else is taking their content away to put on their own streaming platforms but how hard would it be for you to have just the tiniest bit of quality control. Not much, just enough to stop encouraging Michael Bay to keep making movies.

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Playmobil: The Movie (2019) – Everything Is Awful

Released: 12th December
Seen: 23rd December

I don’t think we spend enough time really grappling with how surprisingly good Lego Movie and Lego Movie 2 were. Not only were both of them hilarious and wonderfully animated, but they both also had memorable soundtracks and a well thought out and touching tale about family and bringing them together. Sure they were also giant advertisements for the toy that’s caused more foot pain than ingrown toenails, bunions and athletes’ foot combined but it was a sweet and clever advertisement for that toy. Sure, Lego Ninjago wasn’t that great but Lego Batman made up for it. Movies about the tiny plastic figures going on adventures seems to actually work… when you’re a popular brand like Lego. When you’re Playmobil, also known as “What you buy for your kids when they’ve sold out of Lego”, turns out it doesn’t quite work out as well.

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