Vampires vs The Bronx (2020) – Don’t Mess With The Bronx

Released: 2nd October
Seen: 6th October

Vampires vs. The Bronx

I’ve said it before, I will probably say it again, Horror is one of the best ways to handle social commentary. It can be a subtle critique of consumerism, like in Dawn of the Dead, or it can be so gloriously blunt that the movie might as well just beat you with a hammer with the movie’s message attached, like in Get Out. It can be a great way to put an indescribable feeling into something that can be easily described and get that feeling across… or it can just take a real world scenario and have some fun with it. 

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Dick Johnson Is Dead (2020) – Long Live Dick Johnson

Released: 2nd October
Seen: 5th October

Dick Johnson, father of filmmaker Kirsten Johnson, is on his way out. The former psychiatrist and current father is in the beginning stages of dementia and is starting to have to face the reality of his own mortality. Naturally, this leads to his daughter Kirsten coming up with an idea… she’ll film him dying in multiple gruesome ways, from falling down a set of stairs to having his neck punctured and bleeding out. It’s a fun little thing to keep Dick going, ironically by killing him over and over again.

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The Boys in the Band (2020) – The Band Plays On

Released: 30th September
Seen: 1st October

The Boys In The Band Info

In 1968 the groundbreaking play The Boys in The Band premiered off-Broadway. Written by the late Mart Crowley (who passed away in March of this year), the play revolves around a group of gay friends coming together for a birthday party which slowly turns into a chaotic night of revelations, bitchiness and a lot of self-loathing. It’s one of the first plays that showed gay men as actual characters with love lives and personalities, it’s so ahead of the curve that it premiered roughly a year before Stonewall putting it right at the start of the gay liberation movement. The 1968 play would later be adapted into a feature length film in 1970. 50 years after the off=Broadway play premiered, in 2018 it was revived on Broadway and now here we are, 2 years later and we have a new film adaptation and it’s just wonderful.

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Pets United Promo Image

Pets United (2020) – These Dogs Can Go To Hell

Released: 11th September
Seen: 21st September

Pets United Info

Sometimes a film gives me a very easy opening topic for a review, either there’s some interesting backstory or the film is so boring I decide to compare it to paint drying or it’s an adaptation of a book so I can do some basic research and pretend that I know something about the book or comic that a movie is based on. Then there’s films like Pets United which give me nothing to work with, literally nothing. I mean, I could run through the long list of films about abysmally animated animals going on a quest that I’ve subjected myself to over the past few years in a vain attempt to get more eyes on some of my hilarious takedowns of films that belong in the discount bin at the dollar store (Read my review of The Big Trip) but… after Pets United? I’m just so tired.

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The Social Dilemma (2020) – Oh, You Got Trouble

Released: 9th September
Seen: 20th September

The Social Dilemma Info

On some level we all know and accept that social media is evil. They sell our data to anyone who asks nicely, the algorithm has a disturbing habit of pushing people towards extremism and they have rules that they enforce sporadically at best. It’s a running joke that when someone we know finally joins Twitter or Facebook, we send them condolences because their lives are about to get dramatically worse. We know these companies are evil… but just how evil are they?

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Fearless (2020) – I Fear Nothing

Released: 14th August
Seen: 8th September

Fearless Info

In this, the year of impending doom and sadness, a lot of great animated films are either shunted off to the land of digital downloads or postponed until we feel like it’s safe to let a large number of children share an enclosed space again. Of course, this plague makes things like Netflix turn into a go to source for children’s entertainment which means that films like Fearless might seem like a great idea to entertain the small ones who are in desperate need for something to distract them but despite its bright colors and simplistic fart jokes, this film is not good enough to properly entertain your kids.

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Work It (2020) – Dance Magic Dance

Released: 7th August
Seen: 11th August

Work It Info

So yesterday I talked about the movie Magic Camp and compared it to the cinematic classic Sister Act 2, except Magic Camp was crap. The idea of a team of underdogs learning some kind of art in order to win a competition is nothing new but when done right it can be a lot of fun. If Magic Camp is an example of taking this story setup and handling it badly, then Work It is a great example of taking that setup and actually making something fun out of it.

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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.

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The Kissing Booth 2 (2020) – Dry Mouth

Released: 24th July
Seen: 26th July

In 2018 Netflix released The Kissing Booth, a 2 hour long romcom that focussed around a girl named Elle Evans (Joey King) and her best friend Lee Flynn (Joel Courtney) who were born at the same time in the same hospital, a fact that is literally meaningless to the plot of the entire story. Lee has an older brother named Noah (Jacob Elordi) who is somewhat of a player with the high school girls and, naturally, Elle has a crush on him. However, due to a list of random rules that she and Lee came up with years ago, Elle isn’t allowed to follow that crush… except she does it anyway, lies to Lee about it, they get discovered and there’s a kissing booth at the end that brings everything to the light. It’s a very generic and very dumb movie that relies on the charm of it’s cast that carried it over towards being watchable. It was a monster hit for the platform and so, naturally, it got a sequel… because apparently that’s something we needed.

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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! 

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