Lists

Top 10 Worst Movies of 2020

As the UK enters it’s THIRD national lockdown, and I’m clearly feeling grumpy, why not put that energy into listing the worst movies that 2020 brought? I’ll be back later this week with best movies but for now let’s focus on the mundane and downright awful. Thanks to streaming services there have still been plenty of movies released this year – of varying qualities.

I’m always nervous posting a worst movies list because there’s always something here that someone loves! I also seem to have gone against the crowd a lot this year, if the Twitter noise is anything to go by. So no hard feelings, okay?

As far as release dates go – if you see something in one of my lists and think it’s from a different year, just remember UK release dates can be completely different! Also – bonus points if you spot all the poop emojis.

2020 movies watched: 91
Movies that narrowly missed out: Antebellum, The Witches, Superintelligence, Songbird, Tesla, The Call of the Wild, Bloodshot, Dolittle, Brahms: The Boy II

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#10 Artemis Fowl – I’m not the target audience of this movie, I get it. But the best kids movies have something that appeals to adults and this…had nothing. Other than a horrifying Josh Gad dislocating his jaw to eat dirt and poor Judi Dench with the world’s sorest throat.

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#9 Fantasy Island – This is a shame because the idea was fun, and the movie wasn’t all terrible. Jetting off to a remote island in order to live out a fantasy of yours seems pretty ideal right now, huh? Some plot lines work, others don’t, but the characters are just downright terrible.

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#8 I’m Thinking of Ending Things – Now is when I start to get anxious. I know this is a widely loved movie. Since reading many other reviews I also understand the movie a whole lot better. But I stand by it being included in this list. I don’t mind a movie being so confusing it needs a second watch but if it’s so dull that I can’t even bring myself to give it another go then it’s just not going to work.

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#7 Rebecca – Reviews for this one are all over the place so I don’t know if mine is a popular opinion or not. If anything I’ve made a mental note to watch the original 1940 Hitchcock version. This remake was just…boring. There’s nothing particularly bad about it, but it felt about 3 hours long.

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#6 365 Days – We all watched this out of morbid curiosity, didn’t we? If you hated the Fifty Shades trilogy then boy…you’re either going to want to avoid this like the plague or hate-watch it with a very large drink!

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#5 Desperados – Huge thank you to Letterboxd and it’s Diary feature because if it wasn’t for the fact I log every movie I watch Ii would have forgotten about this movie all together. I remember it stars Aly and Winston from New Girl and that’s why I watched it but other than that? I can only assume it’s a terrible romcom that fades into nothingness.

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#4 She Dies Tomorrow – This is the exception to the rule, I don’t feel anxious at all telling you how much I hated this. The idea is great, I’ve never seen anything like it, but to be it’s the absolute definition of style over substance.

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#3 After We Collided – Clearly I’m now officially an old person because I had no idea this series was such a big deal. I saw at in the brief summer window that cinemas reopened and made sure I watched the original first. That one was actually a decent watch but this sequel? It felt like Fifty Shades for young teens…wrong on every level!

worst-movies-2020-ava

#2 Ava – This movie is just downright disappointing in every single way. It’s a spy movie, so how is it so mind numbingly boring? It also boasts a stellar cast including Jessica Chastain, John Malkovich and Colin Farrell. It doesn’t feel like anyone is phoning in their performance here but still – ugh.

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#1 Wild Mountain Thyme – Maybe this takes the top spot because it’s the most recent in my mind but it still very much deserves it’s place in this list. Wild Mountain Thyme feels like a TV movie broadcast in the middle of the night with a target audience of insomniacs simply needing to pass the time. And yet it’s not. I thought Alex Baldwin had a dodgy Irish accent in this year’s Pixie (2020) but Christopher Walken manages to speak only around 1 in 5 words with an actual accent. It’s…magnificently bad. The moment that firmly plants this movie though is Jamie Dornan’s confession towards the very end. I won’t spoil it, but ask me in the comments if you want to know without suffering through this movie.

Movie Reviews

Promising Young Woman (2020)

promising-young-woman-poster-review-2020Director: Emerald Fennell

Genre: Comedy, Crime, Drama

Runtime: 113 Minutes

Main Cast: Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Alison Brie, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Molly Shannon, Adam Brody, Max Greenfield, Chris Lowell

Plot: After suffering a tragedy in her past, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) takes her revenge on the predatory men she seeks out on a weekly basis at her local bar.

My Thoughts: A slight ramble from me before I begin. The pandemic has really thrown my creativity out of the window this year but something amazing still came from it. A little dream came true and I was accepted as a member of the Online Association of Female Film Critics. One of the perks of memberships is sporadically receiving screener links to not-yet released movies and so finding myself watching Promising Young Woman at home, 2 months before it’s UK release with a screener copy that has a watermark with my name on? That’s made my year, for sure. But on with the review!

We get thrown straight into the thick of it when a group of guys in a bar are leering at Cassie, seemingly drunk and alone. One of the guys eventually comes over to offer to get Cassie home, but they end up at his house instead. When the guy starts pushing himself onto Cassie she snaps, completely sober, to teach him a lesson. YAS Cassie. Her quest for vengeance has taken a huge toll on her life, though. Her relationship with her parents is terrible and she threw away a chance at a highly successful medical career. To talk more about the plot would be doing a disservice because just with movies like Gone Girl (2014) – the less you know, the better.

But it’s more than just the story, there is so much more to marvel over. There are things I rarely pay attention to in most movies such as soundtrack and cinematography, but it’s impossible to ignore here. There’s a harrowing version of Britney Spears’ Toxic that gave me actual goosebumps, and every single shot looks like it was set up to be used for a poster. It’s just stunning. I didn’t know what to expect at all and I think that helped too.

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Best Bit: This would change on a daily basis, but the ending is the bit that sticks out the most to me. I know it’s been one of the few things that others have found fault in, but when my hopes were dashed and my jaw had been on the floor for many minutes, what happened at the wedding just blew me away.

Worst Bit: I’ll be as vague as I can but the bedroom scene at the bachelor party. I don’t remember feeling as awful as I did in that moment when watching any other movie.

Fun Trivia: The title is a reference to Brock Turner, a Stanford University student who was convicted of sexual assault in 2016. Despite his conviction, he was referred to by some as a “Promising Young Man.”

My Rating: 5 out of 5 notebooks, and don’t you ever do something that leads to your name being inside one of them.

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Movie Reviews

What I Watched: December 2020

Happy New Year! I swear it was Christmas Eve, I blinked, and then it was 2021. I’ve loved having all this time to spend with my little girl but crickey I’m tired! I’ve been flaked out every evening so I’ve watched hardly any movies and blogged even less. Next week I’ll be cracking on with some reviews that have been sitting in draft, as well as compiling my best and worst movies of the year lists. Exciting! For now though, I’m putting together my usual monthly round-up of everything I’ve watched in the last month.

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Superintelligence (2020)

I was ready to enjoy this one, despite James Corden’s voice trying to ruin it. This movie just doesn’t know what kind of movie it wanted to be, though. It wasn’t very funny, and tries to be all serious towards the end, by which point my interest had been lost all together. I’ll forever be here for Melissa McCarthy despite it however!

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Run (2020)

My dumb ass completely forgot about this movie. I completely confused it with something entirely unrelated. That’s probably not a good sign but I promise, it’s a great flick! A young girl suffering from a number of illnesses and is also reliant on a wheelchair begins to suspect that her Mother is lying to her about her ailments. Sarah Paulson never fails to deliver.

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Freaky (2020)

I was so mad that the UK went into Lockdown 2 just before Freaky got released (of course, I know a worldwide pandemic is a more serious issue but humour me), this is one of my most anticipated movies of the year. I realise now it takes a lot of inspiration from other slasher movies and as someone who could probably count on 1 hand the number of movies like that I’ve seen, a lot was lost on me. Still a lot of fun and so much gorier than I expected.

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Hillbilly Elegy (2020)

So, everyone who watched this hated it, or so it seems. I went in with low expectations but do you know what? Ii thought it was good. It’s a sad story and it’s quite choppy but I was so invested in Gabriel Basso’s character (if we get a Dexter prequel can he PLEASE play Dexter?) that I was kind of hooked. It’s not a movie I’m ever going to want to watch again probably, but I don’t think it was bad at all. Reminded me a little of Beautiful Boy (2018) for the same reasons.

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Ava (2020)

I’ll admit that I only put this on to watch whilst doing chores, I knew it was never going to be a masterpiece. But UGH, how can a spy movie be so damn boring? What an absolute waste of that cast!

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Nativity! (2009)

I re-watch this almost every December, it’s one of my favourite Christmas movies. It’s set in a city really close to me too so it’s always felt extra special to me.

The Prom (2020)Full review hereĀ 

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Sound of Metal (2019)

I’m kicking myself for not getting a full post out for this movie. It was a little too slow for me to truly love it, but I can’t deny how amazing Riz Ahmed is. He plays a musician who loses his hearing and the sound team behind this movie are absolute geniuses. The final scene is so beautiful I sat through the entire credits just thinking about it.

Songbird (2020)Full review here

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020) Full review here

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Wild Mountain Thyme (2020)

Thanks, Twitter. I saw so many tweets blasting this movie that I had to see it for myself to find out if it was that bad. It’s…bizarre. A tiny little Irish romance story weirdly acted by a star-studded cast with one of the most absurd plot twists/confessions I’ve ever seen. I’m contemplating making a bee-related movie list now, starting with this and Jupiter Ascending (2015).

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Promising Young Woman (2020)

I’m staying quiet for now because I’m already working on a review for this but let me say this. BELIEVE THE HYPE. Carey Mulligan is a goddess.

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020)

Another one I’m still writing a full review for. I was cynical about the praise, I’ll be honest. We all love Chadwick Boseman but I wondered if people were hyping his performance because devastatingly, it’s his last but he deserves all the praise in the world here. Viola Davis is equally stunning but plays a much smaller role than I expected.

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Soul (2020)

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I’m planning a full post for this too. It is, of course, an excellent movie. It didn’t grab me as much as Inside Out (2015) did – but only Pixar can create something so meaningful and deep about our very reason for existing, and disguise it as a fun family movie.

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Death to 2020 (2020)

I chose a very fitting movie to be my last watch of the year, I think. By the creators of Black Mirror, this is sort of a documentary of the year but with fictional characters. Some jokes are laugh-out-loud hilarious and others don’t really land at all, but it’s worth a watch just as a reminder of how batshit crazy this year has been.

Finally – I’m sorry I haven’t been actively reading and commenting on everyone else’s posts this last week and a half. Tomorrow night I’m going to watch my first movie of 2021 and catch up with my new blanket-hoodie and a glass of wine!

Blogathons

Hidden Gems Movie Challenge 2021

For at least 3 years now I have tried and failed to complete a full year of the Blind Spot Movie Challenge. I don’t know what happens but something just stops me. It was great, then, when last year one of my favourite movie bloggers Mettel Ray announced that she struggles with the same challenge, and so created her own – the Hidden Gems Movie Challenge. Check out her original post here to find out more, but I’ll explain briefly too.

Mettel Ray was kind enough to let me take part in the challenge myself for 2021 and I couldn’t be more excited. The idea is that each month you pick an actor or actress of whom you’re a big fan of, and watch 3 of their movies you haven’t yet seen, with the hope of finding a hidden gem. If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know I tend to obsess over a star and then consume as much of their filmography as I can so this should absolutely be a challenge I can keep to and enjoy!

The hardest part is picking who to focus on for each month! Like Mettel Ray, I’m going to pick 6 actors and 6 actresses. There are 3 names who, as much as I love them, aren’t going to be included, and that’s simply because I’ve already watched so many of their movies there either aren’t even 3 left or there are only 3 or 4 that I haven’t seen. Those names are Adam Driver, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.

So, without further ado, here are my picks…

hidden-gems-dan-stevensJANUARY – Dan StevensĀ 

hidden-gems-kristen-stewartFEBRUARY – Kristen Stewart

hidden-gems-keanu-reevesMARCH – Keanu Reeves

hidden-gems-michael-b-jordanAPRIL – Michael B. Jordan

hidden-gems-margot-robbieMAY – Margot Robbie

hidden-gems-paul-ruddJUNE – Paul Rudd

hidden-gems-nicole-kidmanJULY – Nicole Kidman

hidden-gems-jake-gyllenhaalAUGUST – Jake Gyllenhaal

hidden-gems-octavia-spencerSEPTEMBER – Octavia Spencer

hidden-gems-emily-bluntOCTOBER – Emily Blunt

hidden-gems-emma-thompsonNOVEMBER – Emma Thompson

hidden-gems-oscar-isaacDECEMBER – Oscar Isaac

Movie Reviews

Songbird (2020)

songbird-movie-poster-review-2020Director: Adam Mason

Genre: Thriller, Drama, Romance

Runtime: 84 Minutes

Main Cast: K.J. Apa, Sofia Carson, Craig Robinson, Bradley Whitford, Peter Stormare, Alexandra Daddario, Paul Walter Hauser, Demi Moore, Jenna Ortega

Plot: The year is 2024, and the world is suffering with COVID-23. Nico (K.J. Apa) is one of the very few who are immune, and works as a courier. When the situation turns dire, he turns to desperate measures to help his girlfriend Sara (Sofia Carson) escape.

My Thoughts: Are we ready for a COVID-related disaster movie? Not really, let’s be honest. Songbird didn’t necessarily want to be the best, but it did want to be first. Sadly there’s a little horror movie called Host (2020) which already owns that title. I’m a sucker for bad movies though, don’t ask me why, and with the situation in the UK what it is I thought it might be nice to escape to a fictional Earth where things are somehow worse, to make me feel better. It achieved that at least, and as much as it wasn’t a good movie, Songbird entertained me enough.

Thing is, when you’re living in a pandemic, you know the ins and outs. So a fictional movie isn’t going to pull the wool over your eyes. COVID-23 is so bad that you’ll actually be shot on sight for leaving your home. Those who are immune have jobs as couriers delivering packages to the rich. The whole time I was asking, yeah but how to people get groceries?! These people have fridges full of alcohol, where are they getting it from? The real villain here though isn’t the virus, it’s the Head of Sanitization. Get ready for the most over-the-top villain you’ve ever seen. I actually expected him to burst into song at one point, it was so corny.

Silliness aside though, give it a few years and we’ll probably have a better COVID movie, like it or not. Think Contagion (2011), but probably starring Dwayne Johnson. Songbird was just clearly thrown together as quickly as possible. There’s some good stuff there, I was intrigued by the Q-Zone. Basically, you get tested every day through an app on your phone and if you test positive, the hazmats take you away to this Q-Zone. We never even got to see it though apart from a few aerial shots from a distance. It’s not a total disaster, but only watch it if you’re up for having a bit of a laugh with it.

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Best Bit: Forget the main love story, I was there for Alexandra Daddario. She instantly makes any terrible movie a whole lot better. Although, she does have in her possession the most useless face mask in history…

Worst Bit: Finally getting around to writing your review for this movie on the same night the Prime Minister informs us of a new, dangerous COVID strain – paving for the way for Lockdown 3, whilst the rest of the world slowly cuts off our tiny, infested island. Sigh.

Fun Trivia: SAG-AFTRA issued a “Do not work” order on Songbird, telling its members to refuse any work on the film.

My Rating: 2 out of 5 Whopper burgers. RIP, Burger King…

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