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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We Can Be Heroes (2020) – Just For One Day

Released: 25th December
Seen: 31st December

Robert Rodriguez is one of the most fascinating filmmakers of our time. Known as the one-man film crew, he’s got a reputation for doing everything on set. Not only directing and writing, we’re talking handling the editing and cinematography and score of his films, he’ll even carry the damn Steadicam if that’s what he has to do to get the job done. He’s also very well known for working with a limited budget, preferring to come up with creative solutions to his problems rather than just throw money at it. He’s the kind of director who you always look out for because no matter what he makes, you can guarantee that it’ll be interesting in some way. Well, now Netflix has decided to get this filmmaker on their payroll and let him have some fun and god I hope this is the first of many Netflix funded Rodriguez films to come because the man knows how to make a fun family film, which is the quick description of We Can Be Heroes.

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Mank (2020) – It’s His Sled!

Released: 4th December
Seen: 28th December

Mank Info

When it comes to movies and their quality, there are no real definitive answers. A film that I love is one that you may hate and vice versa… there is, of course, an exception to this statement. Namely, if you answer “What is the greatest movie of all time” with any movie other than “Citizen Kane”, you are factually inaccurate in the eyes of everyone who would bother to ask that question and will probably be stoned in the streets. 

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Death to 2020 (2020) – KILL IT WITH FIRE

Released: 27th December
Seen: 27th December

2020… this year can hurry up and die at any moment. Seriously, the actual year itself could just fall over, scream “Help, I can’t get up” and we can all just kick it to death. Here’s how awful this year was, Charlie Brooker decided to not bother doing a season of his depression porno Black Mirror (which is one of the best shows with one of the best pilots, more pilots should include world leaders having sex with farm animals) because he didn’t want to make us feel even worse. Instead he decided to make a mockumentary titled Death to 2020, very much in the style of his Wipe series where he would comment on the major events of the year and god it feels cathartic to see the year getting the punching it deserves.

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) – Her Bottom Is The Tops!

Released: 18th December
Seen: 20th December

In this, the year of perpetual pain and suffering, one of the moments that shocked the world was the passing of actor Chadwick Boseman. Probably best known for his work as the Black Panther, Chadwick had an amazing career playing legends from Jackie Robinson to Thurgood Marshall to James Brown and it seemed like he was destined to take over the world as an actor before we lost him far too young. When this happens to an actor in their prime, it’s always curious to know what the last film released featuring that actor and how would such a film reflect upon their legacy… in Chadwick Boseman’s case? Don’t be surprised in a few months when we hear his name read among a list of Oscar nominees.

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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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