2020. That was a good year, wasn’t it? If your idea of ‘good’ is sitting topless all day, unwashed, picking Quavers out of your belly button, whilst watching Friends on Netflix – YET AGAIN – with your Pringles friends.
I know most people make fruit friends, instead of Pringles friends, but do I look like the sort who eats fruit? Someone once said the word ‘Kumquat’ to me, and I punched him in the nose, because I thought he was calling me something offensive.
It was also a fantastic year for cinemas – we got about five movie releases this year, and one of them was Sonic The Hedgehog. I can’t wait to see that be a genuine contender at this year’s Oscars for Best Picture.
Since March, I – a man who has called himself The Movie Dweeb – have only seen one movie in the cinemas, and that was Tenet. Although, I did watch it in the only way Christopher Nolan would have wanted you to watch it – whilst wearing a mask.
As 2020 is one of the worst years in human history – just knocking 1347’s Black Death off of the leaderboard – it’s only fair that we look at some of the worst (and best) movies of this year, all of which I watched whilst picking Quavers out of my belly button.
I really need to get out more…
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
We’ve had some hard-hitting political dramas, some foreign arthouse pictures and some critically acclaimed masterpieces released this year, so what film will I start my Hits off with? Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. Y’know, the one where Sacha Baron Cohen puts a medical mask over his genitals. Frankly, it’s why Mank never made this list – there just wasn’t enough PPE on Gary Oldman’s nuts for my liking.
This year has suggested to me that a portion of the most vile, pathetic excuses for humans are out there in America and Borat has just proven it. Can you believe we’re getting the year’s best investigative journalism from a man that says waa waa wee waa?
I remember watching the first Borat in Secondary School, and just laughing hysterically because, well, I saw a willy, but Borat Subsequent Moviefilm is every bit as funny; if not funnier. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Maria Bakalova was nominated for an Oscar for her role. After all, it takes a hell of an actor to pretend she’s not wanting to throw up every internal organ whilst sitting in the same room as Rudy Giuliani.
I’m sure there’s some enraged, misogynistic Trump supporters furious at that choice of film, so my next choice of favourite films of the year should please you…
It has loads of action…
Plenty of swearing…
And Margot Robbie…
(I can already hear these divvy blokes crying into their hands as I type this.)
Every once in a while, there comes a film so abysmally bad, that it makes you want to retire your blog, acquire the £7 a month you spend on the domain, and use that money to buy enough gasoline that you can burn down every cinema, drive-in or home threatening to show it.
Luckily for Birds of Prey, that was not one of those films. In fact, what I am describing there is its predecessor, Suicide Squad. But – at risk of summoning the devil himself – I shall simply refer to it as ‘SS’.
Back in January 2016, Warner Bros. Pictures promised us a zany, wild thrill ride in the form of SS, as its trailer dropped, and Freddie Mercury’s iconic voice could be heard singing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ over helicopters being shot down, epic car chases, and fiery explosions.
What we got was Cara Delevingne jiggling her belly as her mascara ran down her face, and a blue beam shot from her arse into the cosmos.
And then Birds of Prey (And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) came along, taking note of the praise and hype of SS‘ trailer, and was, frankly, everything that the film promised to be. It was violent. It was brutal. It was camp. It was funny. It was bonkers.
And it was fucking brilliant.
In response to all of the creepy blokes who are whining because Birds of Prey isn’t sexy enough for them, can I suggest that, erm… You wank to something else? It’s pretty simple, really. Birds of Prey wasn’t made “to be sexy”. It was made to be a great, fun, enjoyable film. And it accomplished that.
And I definitely won’t take your message seriously if your profile picture is a car. What are you? A Transformer?
Da 5 Bloods
Netflix has saved me during lockdown. I’m not suggesting that we go stand on our doorsteps and clap for Tiger King any second now, but it’s definitely a close second to our NHS.
And one of Netflix’s best outings this year has to be Spike Lee’s Da 5 Bloods. Are you surprised that a Spike Lee film is one of the greatest of the year? I think Richard Prior in See No Evil, Hear No Evil would’ve seen it coming.
Da 5 Bloods sees Four African American vets travel to Vietnam to get the golden treasure that was hidden by their fallen leader – played by an exceptional Chadwick Boseman.
Spike Lee just has his finger on the pulse; he knew that this film was going to be as needed and as powerful now than it ever would be.
And don’t get me started on Delroy Lindo.
Fine. Do get me started on Delroy. Delroy bloody Lindo. Wow. What a performance from him. His character, Paul, goes through every emotion imaginable, and Delroy delivers it with such subtleties that it almost makes you forget you’re watching someone acting, and instead think you’re watching someone just… Living. I want him to win the Oscar. I want him to win the Golden Globe. Hell, I want him to have my wallet and my phone. He’s just that damn good.
How many times have I mentioned Netflix in this one video?
Four times? Wow. Well, if you’re looking to sponsor me, Netflix, my DMs are open. Anyway, more Netflix…
The Trial of the Chicago 7
Netflix also dropped the fascinating The Trial of the Chicago 7; which boasts an incredible cast – including Eddie Redmayne, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Sacha Baron Cohen (again) – all showcasing some of their best acting, all in attempt to try and topple Delroy for the Oscar.
This film tells the story of seven people who were charged with conspiracy and more, during protests in the late 60s. And, yes, you guessed it, it’s all set in Chicago. It pretty much does what it says on the tin.
If you Google this film, you may see a lot of controversy from people saying that Aaron Sorkin glamorised the trial, and that it’s not entirely faithful to the real life story it was based on. Yeah? And? I’m not watching it in the hope that it’s a documentary. This film has taken creative license because it’s a film there for our enjoyment. And The Trial of the Chicago 7 is just that – it’s a hugely crowd pleasing film that is based on a very interesting moment in human history.
Now, if you are looking for a film that is totally accurate and 100% true, you should definitely try watching Avatar. That is spot-on realism.
And my final hit of 2020 is set for release this Christmas, and, boy, is it a crier. I’m not against that – I love crying at Christmas. I do it every year. But this year, instead of crying at Christmas because my Dad’s had one too many sherries and has drunkenly uttered he wished he had a gerbil instead of me, I’ll be crying because I’m watching Disney+’s next outing, Soul.
I remember bawling my eyes out as Bing Bong faded to nothing. I nearly dehydrated during the opening sequence of Up. And don’t get me started on how much I cried when I remembered how much money I spent on the Cars 2 Blu-ray.
Soul is, naturally, no different.
Soul boasts a whimsical world featuring cosmic elevators to heaven, and a dreamy realm where souls get their personalities, guided by counsellors in the Great Before.
Pixar keeps pushing the boundaries with their films; WALL-E featured very little dialogue; Inside Out and Soul both took a conceptual look at our existences, and The Good Dinosaur was the first Pixar film to be viewed by, like, eight people.
Visually, Soul is up there as one of Pixar’s finest works. There are several types of animation throughout – the human world feels very different to the blurry, floaty world of the Great Before. Characters are also animated differently, with soul counters and counsellors being a more 2D, linear figure. And as Joe gets transported to the Great Before, sit back and enjoy the incredibly trippy, and trippily incredible style, here.
Despite not being able to watch it on a big screen – which this gorgeous film totally deserved to be – I implore you to watch the funny, beautiful and wise Soul. It’s released on Disney+ on Christmas Day, so can I suggest, like, maybe before the cheese board and fifth bottle of wine?
I’d hate for your tears to ruin the ambience.
Previously, Disney have locked several of their films away, never to be seen again because of controversy. There’s a non-consensual kiss in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; the crows in Dumbo portray anti-black stereotypes; and, well, Song of the South happened.
Yet, I’m sure Walt Disney would rather show those moments a thousand times over before releasing Artemis Fowl.
This film should have started off a franchise for years to come, rivalling Harry Potter. Instead, I saw Josh Gad dislocate his gob and eat some soil. That happened. And that’s all that happened, really.
The only thing I can respect about this film is the fact that Judi Dench signed up to do this film so we’d all forget how abysmal Cats was.
I don’t want to waste my time writing about a film that I’ve already wasted my time watching, so… Meh.
I can’t help but think that Dolittle is some form of animal cruelty, if not to the CGI creatures, then to Academy Award nominated actor, Robert Downey Jr. and director Stephen Gaghan – the man behind critically acclaimed Syriana. I can only assume they took this project on as a dare.
Dolittle tells the story of a man who, years ago, took the form of Eddie Murphy, but due to a dramatic case of vitiligo, now looks like Tony Stark. After his wife passes away during a voyage, he locks himself away from the outside world. And then, because of reasons, he ends up fisting a dragon.
You think I’m escalating it quickly, but that actually happens in the film. The man known for portraying the iconic comedian Charlie Chaplin, rolled his hand up into a fist, and shoved it up a dragon version of Frances de la Tour. So… Yep.
I appreciate that Dolittle is a family film; I get it. And to keep their mind’s active, there has to be plenty of action and colour and movement. But I almost feel like the team took it to the gazillionth degree here, and chucked in a keg of Red Bull just to shake it up.
The Jesus Rolls
It’s one thing to use Jesus’ name in vain, but it’s another to tarnish The Dude’s. This sequel (?) just, well, rolls into the gutter in comparison to the visually-stimulating, exceptionally written The Big Lebowski.
I can’t judge John Turturro for clinging on to this franchise, and directing an entire feature film based on his supporting character – I’ve spent lockdown writing a screenplay for the milk The Dude buys – and it even boasts an amazing cast, including Christopher Walken and Jon Hamm, but… As someone who’s a huge fan of the Coen brothers’ film, it just doesn’t sit well.
It just seems like Jesus was meant to be a one-off joke, rather than a leading character. It’s as if Disney released an entire movie based on the flying vehicles in Cars. It just wouldn’t make any se- WAIT. THEY DID DO THAT? Christ.
The Tax Collector
We all make mistakes, but none more so than Shia LaBeouf who permanently tattooed his entire torso for the role of Creeper in The Tax Collector. I’d rather he got an entire chest tattoo to commemorate Even Stevens.
There’s no backstory, poor writing, clichéd flashbacks and boring shots. AND SHIA GOT HIS WHOLE CHEST TATTOOED FOR THIS FILM. WHAT WAS HE THINKING? SOMEONE GET AN EXORCIST, ‘CAUSE THIS DUDE’S BEEN POSSESSED.