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The Mitchells vs the Machines (2021) – The Animated Charmer Of The Year

Released: 30th April
Seen: 2nd May

The Mitchells vs the Machines Info

Sony Animation has had something of an interesting history in regards to their output over 20 films. They’ve run the gamut when it comes to quality, from the objectively awful fare like The Emoji Movie to some of the best animation in history with Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. Slowly they’ve gone from an animation company people would cringe about to one that actually gets a lot of excitement going with their new releases. So, where does The Mitchells vs the Machines fall in regard to the rest of Sony Animation’s output? It’s borderline perfect.

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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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Mortal Kombat (2020) – Eh-Mortal

Released: 22nd April
Seen: 29th April

Mortal Kombat Info

In 1992, Mortal Kombat burst onto the world and forever changed the course of video game history. To say the game was controversial would be an understatement, it was THE game that every single parent hated with a passion. I vividly remember there was a Mortal Kombat arcade machine at my local fish and chips shop and my mother would never even let me look at the screen let alone play the thing (and now I’ve grown up and watch horror movies so violent they would turn stomachs, so clearly that wasn’t effective).

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Stowaway (2021) – Smart-ish Sci Fi

Released: 22nd April
Seen: 26th April

Stowaway Info

Space, the final frontier. A place that very few have ever gone and a perfect location for a film about people stranded in the middle of nowhere. It’s a popular filming location and can be used for high drama (Apollo 11), horror (Alien) or even goofy ass stupidity that is more enjoyable than it has any right to be (Jason X). Of course, sometimes you can go for a high drama and end up somewhere a little closer to stupid but enjoyable… oh, hi Stowaway.

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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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A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon (2020) – Baa-mazing

Released: 9th January
Seen: 28th March

A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon Info

Aardman Animation has a long history of creating some of the greatest animated works around. Their unique and iconic style has been a constant ever since the early Wallace and Gromit shorts were delighting kids in the early 90s (oh god I feel old). Since then they’ve become a standard-bearer in the world of claymation and their cinematic efforts have been constantly joyful, from the iconic Chicken Run (which is getting a sequel soon, now with 33% less angry anti-semite!) to the gloriously silly Curse of the WereRabbit. This year they’ve given us the second film in the Shaun the Sheep franchise and… oh my god it’s the most precious thing!

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Justice League – The Snyder Cut (2021) – Here We Bloody Go Again

Released: 18th March
Seen: 18th March

Justice League Info

So it has come to this. On March 18th in 2021, as a result of years of campaigning under the hashtag “Release the Snyder Cut”, WB finally decided to release the Snyder Cut of the Justice League film. Now, here’s the funny thing about that, as a critic my opinion means precisely jack shit regarding this film.

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Chaos Walking (2021) – Chaos Crawling

Released: 4th March
Seen: 4th March

Chaos Walking Info,

So Hollywood is kind of realising that relying on $100 million dollar films to turn an even bigger profit is an unsustainable business model right now. Thanks to the plague that everywhere but America is taking seriously right now, no one wants to go to cinemas at the moment which means that giant budget films are losing large amounts of money. 

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Bliss (2021) – Uggh

Released: 5th February
Seen: 8th February

Have you ever noticed how there are some movies that think they’re saying something smart, but’re in fact the dumbest pieces of shit you’ve ever seen? You know the kind of movie where you can almost hear the film theory teachers bouncing with excitement because they’ll get to show it to a class of bored 20 year olds who don’t get what’s so special about the film (because there’s nothing special about it) but want to pass so they make something up? The cinematic equivalent of a guy who wears glasses because he thinks it makes him look smart? Well, whatever list of films you just thought of, you can throw Bliss onto the list because this film really wants you to think that it’s brilliant but that would imply that it’s even worthy of thought.

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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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