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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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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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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The Lovebirds (2020) – Something For (Almost) Everyone

Released: 22nd May
Seen: 25th May

In case you hadn’t noticed, these last several weeks have been…  a lot. It’s been a couple of months now that the entire world has basically had to shut down while we deal with a minor apocalyptic pandemic and everyone is reacting differently. Some are just getting tired and depressed, some are playing a whole lot of Animal Crossing, others are outside demanding barbers open so they can get haircuts because no one loves them enough to grab a pair of scissors and snip their bangs. I’ve personally been doing the first two of those, my Animal Crossing island is awful at the moment but I clearly have plenty of time to create a little getaway where I don’t have to deal with the third kind of person. 

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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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