Why Did You Kill Me? (2021) – Seemed Like A Good Idea

Released: 14th April
Seen: 31st May

Why Did You Kill Me? Info

The crime documentary is definitely having a major resurgence right now, in no small part thanks to Netflix who seems to churn out a new one every other week. This kind of makes sense for a streaming platform desperate for unique content because in theory these are simple things to make. Find a weird murder with a lot of twists and turns, have relatives and police officers describe the events as they remember it, maybe hire some actors to recreate certain elements, wait for the editor to put it all together and you have a movie. What sets them apart is how weird/interesting/disturbing the crime is and the general presentation of the information. So, with a film titled “Why Did You Kill Me?” basically begging for attention, does it deserve it?

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Yes Day (2021) – Not On This Day

Released: 12th March
Seen: 6th May

Yes Day Info

Films, in general, are full of tropes. Some hide them better than others but every film has them. The trick is to either hide them well enough behind interesting characters and dialogue that no one cares or to find ways to subvert them or put them together in new and interesting ways. Then there’s the films that don’t even bother to try and hide their tropes and just hope you’re stupid enough to enjoy them. Yes Day is kind of the queen of trope films for 2021 and unfortunately for it, I’m not as stupid as I look.

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Thunder Force (2021) – Super Pooper

Released: 9th April
Seen: 29th April

The Superhero genre has been the biggest thing in movies for a little over the last decade, largely thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe that has somehow managed to go from strength to strength. When something is as culturally important as the Superhero genre has been for the last several years it stands to reason that someone would come along and satirize the tropes that by this point have become tiresome… or, if you’re something as unabashedly awful as Thunder Force, you could not make a single decent joke despite a decades worth of material you’ve been gifted and instead rely on the talents of two leads who aren’t miracle workers and can’t make you even remotely humorous. 

Yes, this is one of those angry reviews about a bad film, go get a soda because we will be here a while.

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Over The Moon (2020) – Out Of This World

Released: 23rd October 2020
Seen: 5th April 2021

Over The Moon Info

When it comes to the Oscar race this year for best animated film, it feels like Soul is the foregone conclusion. It’s kind of hard to beat a film that was so funny and poignant with such impeccable visuals and was such a cultural event. However, the race isn’t quite over yet and I would like to offer a wild card entry that might sneak in at the last minute, that being the Netflix original film Over The Moon.

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To All The Boys: Always And Forever (2021) – It’s Sweet

Released: 12th February
Seen: 16th February

To All The Boys: Always And Forever Info

Some films require a lot of thought, you need to sit down with it to figure out what it meant by using a certain camera angle or how a certain line is a reference to a piece of ancient text that sets up something in the end. Some films are hard to write about because they’re so complicated that everything could easily be considered a spoiler. Then there are films like the To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy which are just so easy going and sweet that you barely have to think about them, you can just enjoy them and not worry about them being anything more complicated than sweet little teen romance films that just barely approach the line of saccharine without fully crossing it.

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Strip Down, Rise Up (2021) – The Power Behind The Pole

Released: 5th February
Seen: 8th February

In 2019 the world was rocked by a single moment, that moment being in the movie Hustlers when Jennifer Lopez walked onto a stage while Criminal by Fiona Apple played and performed a pole dance that commanded the attention of anyone who saw it. The pure athleticism and power on display was magnetic and there is no doubt in my mind that this moment led to a whole bunch of women buying poles to fit into their workout routines. Pole Dancing as a workout routine has been around for a long time, and in the documentary Strip Down, Rise Up we get to see just how powerful and meaningful this dance can be for women.

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Outside the Wire (2021) – Wireless

Released: 15th January
Seen: 17th January

Outside the Wire Info

This year Netflix announced that it plans on releasing one brand new narrative film every single week, a proposal clearly borne out of a need to build up a catalogue of films that can’t be taken away when another movie studio decides to try and make its own streaming service. On the one hand, this is a smart idea, with enough of a catalogue of its own Netflix can justify continuing as a service even if every studio pulls their film.

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Crack: Cocaine, Corruption & Conspiracy (2021) – This Doc Is Wack

Released: 11th January
Seen: 12th January

In the 1980s, the decade of greed and excess, the drug of choice was cocaine. The white powder that filled the noses of everybody who was anybody was almost a status symbol, you can’t tell a story about the 80s without someone at some point saying “And then we did some coke” because it was that ubiquitous. Of course, like all things, there was inevitably a cheaper and more effective version available known as crack. Crack cocaine was instantly deemed the worst thing you could do, and this documentary points out the consequences of that.

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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 Minimalists: Less is Now (2021) – Minimally Good

Released: 1st January
Seen: 2nd January

When I think about minimalism, I tend to think about it in conjunction with the art world. My brain instantly goes to works by the minimalists like Barnett Newman’s Voice of Fire, which is a 5-metre high painting of two dark blue lines with a bold red line right in the middle. Well, it turns out that minimalism is also a lifestyle movement now which basically means to have nothing in your home that you don’t have an actual use for (so bye-bye to that Funko Pop collection).

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