Now that 2019 is rapidly drawing to a close, and now that I’ve posted my best of 2019 list, it’s time to turn our eyes forward to the futuristic year of 2020. We’ve yet to get flying cars, the widespread acceptance of tinfoil jumpsuits, or even a legit hoverboard, but there are a bunch of awesome sounding movies on the way, so that’s something. With that in mind, here are my 50 most-anticipated movies of 2020.
Monday, December 30, 2019
Friday, December 27, 2019
Once again, it’s that time of year. I’m not a fan of ranking or even rating movies, though I do. (It’s an unfortunate necessity.) Every year I debate whether or not to do a top ten or best-of list, but I ultimately always do. So without further ado, here are my top ten movies of 2019. And I actually keep it to ten this year. Praise me.
Monday, December 23, 2019
In 2017, the Safdie Brothers, AKA Josh and Bennie Safdie, delivered Good Time, a frantic blast of chaotic cinematic energy. It follows Robert Pattinson through an escalating series of bad decisions and worse consequences. It’s a movie where you sit back, strap in, and exclaim, hot damn. To which their latest endeavor, Uncut Gems, says, hold my beer.
Admittedly, when I heard Greta Gerwig was making yet another adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, I wasn’t particularly enthused. I’m a fan of Gerwig, as an actor, writer, and now director—Lady Bird was one of my favorite movies of 2017. But come on, this novel had already been adapted roughly one million times. (And for those of us of a certain age, Gillian Armstrong’s 1994 version is pretty definitive.) Why couldn’t she focus on telling original stories and new ideas and all that? Yeah, I was wrong, this is delightful.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musical Cats is well known for being weird-ass nonsense. Now imagine taking that weird-ass nonsense from the stage, using hundreds of millions of dollars to digitally turn well-known actors into hellish feline-mutant-people, then splashing the result across a movie screen. I’m not sure what the hell I just saw, but I definitely know I wasn’t high enough for whatever it was.
Because I’m not excited enough about Top Gun: Maverick, they had to go and drop a featurette about Tom Cruise and the rest of the cast flying planes and putting themselves in extreme situations during filming. I find a strange nobility in people putting themselves in harm’s way to entertain. (And yes, I also find a weird beauty in things like Jackass.) Check out this new featurette about just how far Cruise and company were willing to go.
In 2012, writer-director-star Jeremy Gardner dropped a small zombie movie, The Battery, breathing a bit of life into the undead subgenre. Though it’s been a few years, he returns to horror with the “romantic creature feature” After Midnight. If you wonder what the hell that might look like, check out the new trailer below.
Monday, December 16, 2019
As 2019 winds to a close, before we look at what’s next, it’s a time for reflection. In movie terms, that means glancing back over the past year and taking stock of the films we saw. I’m fortunate enough to be a member of a couple groups of film critics, and one, the Seattle Film Critics Society, just revealed the results of the 2019 SFCS Awards.
Sometimes a movie is so perfect the world collectively agrees to leave it the hell alone, to not remake it, to not crank out sequels just to squeeze a few more dollars out of a recognizable IP. For years, Top Gun was one of those movies. And sure, a sequel 34 years after the fact is wholly unnecessary, but also, holy shit, Top Gun: Maverick looks fucking awesome. Sorry for the salty language, but it does. Don’t believe me? Check out the latest trailer below.
Thursday, December 12, 2019
When you make a movie about a regular, everyday person who encounters a fascinating, larger-than-life individual—especially one based on a real-life icon—and that interesting person isn’t the main character, you run the risk of your protagonist fading into the background, being nowhere near as engaging as this secondary character, and the audience not giving a shit about the central figure in your narrative.
Wednesday, December 11, 2019
Oh damn, is it 1983? Because this trailer for Joe Begos’ old-dudes-versus-mutant-punks throwback exploitation joint, VFW, certainly makes it feel that way. And I mean that as the highest praise. This movie may have been made with me as the target audience. Check it out below. Probably a couple of times.
Monday, December 9, 2019
It’s that time of year again. The calendar is running out, the holidays loom on the horizon, and every turns to the past year to reflect and examine. And for film critics, that means looking over the movie offerings and evaluating the haul. I’m fortunate enough to belong to multiple groups of like-minded film nerds, and one of them, the Seattle Film Critics Society just announced our nominations for our end-of-year awards.
After the last Ghostbusters movie no one asked for (which I enjoy well enough—it has the same problems almost every Paul Feig movie has), the internet threw such a hissy fit that girls got to wear the iconic jumpsuits and wield proton packs that it was only a matter of time until we got another one. And there’s now a trailer for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. Watch it if you want.
Friday, December 6, 2019
UPDATED: The first 60 minutes of This is Our Home are a solid exercise in escalating tension, the deterioration of a relationship, and creeping psychological dread. For a movie that’s only 73 minutes, with credits, those don’t seem like bad odds. But damn does director Omri Dorani’s film hit a wall at that point. You can practically hear the screech of tires as all forward momentum comes to a sudden halt.
Thursday, December 5, 2019
Peter Strickland’s Duke of Burgundy is one of my favorite movies of the last decade, so In Fabric was always a must-see. And when the first shot has a warm, crackling giallo look, a switchblade, and ‘70s style prog rock score, you have my full attention.
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
“I need to know there’s a way out of this place.” So says one of the many teenage characters in writer-director Jennifer Reeder’s Knives and Skin. For kids in a small town, one that feels oppressive and choking, like it’s squeezing the life out of you at every turn, it’s a common feeling. This undercurrent flows through the surreal adolescent noir that borders on magical realist fable or allegory.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019
As a young boy, Luke Nightingale leaned on his imaginary friend, Daniel, to help him through a tough time. But when Daniel’s jealousy poked through, convincing Luke to poison his mother, it was time to for Luke to lock his pal away in recesses of his mind. At least until he needs him again later in life. Think Drop Dead Fred, only mean and way more psychedelic and you have a good start on what Adam Egypt Mortimer’s Daniel Isn’t Real is all about.
Monday, December 2, 2019
Sure, the last James Bond movie, Spectre, wasn’t the best entry. Or the best Daniel Craig Bond movie. Or even close. (I’m actually in the minority that I enjoyed it in the moment, though it is purely paint-by-numbers Bond.) That said, I’m always going to be stoked for a new James Bond movie, and that includes the upcoming No Time to Die. Check out our first look at new footage below.