I saw 371 movies last year. My film review of 2020.
My top 11 worst films of 2020:
10. EUROVISION SONG CONTEST: THE STORY OF FIRE SAGA
My top 26 favourite films of 2020:
25. THE INVISIBLE MAN
24. BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM
My awards for best film, actress, actor, horror, comedy, etc.
SMALL AXE ★★★★★
D: Steve McQueen (Widows, 12 Years a Slave, Shame, Hunger).
S: John Boyega, Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes, Sheyi Cole, Kenyah Sandy, Robbie Gee.
The first project I’ve seen which is both television and film. Five stories looking at racial injustice in Britain. Hard to watch in one go, they are so profoundly upsetting. Ferocious odds and injustice are arrayed against the protagonists, yet hope is given and guidance. Is Steve McQueen the UK’s best director working right now?
(UK peeps, all five films are on BBC iPlayer.)
(American peeps, I believe they are on Amazon Prime Video.)
The Call ★★★★☆
D: Chung-Hyun Lee.
S: Park Shin-Hye, Jong-seo Jun, Sung-ryung Kim, El Lee, Park Ho-San.
It is so rare when a movie pulls the rug from under an audience, here in terms of tone and genre. Starts off as a naff time travel flick with a generic title, but evolves into a tense serial killer movie. A cross between FREQUENCY and LOOPER.
CAPITAL IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY ★★★★★
One of 2020’s best documentaries. An utterly absorbing analysis of capitalism. Fits 300 years of history into 103 minutes without feeling cursory.
Ds: Pete Docter (Inside Out; Up; Monsters, Inc.), Kemp Powers.
S: Jamie Foxx, Tina Fey, Graham Norton, Rachel House, Alice Braga, Richard Ayoade, Wes Studi, Angela Bassett.
Another disappointment from Pixar. It hasn’t delivered a great film since 2017’s COCO. Story, characterisation, themes, etc. feel half-baked. The few things to celebrate here include the racial diversity of the animated characters and the striking cinematography.
D: Matthew Michael Carnahan.
S: Suhail Dabbach, Adam Bessa, Is'haq Elias, Waleed Elgadi, Hayat Kamille, Thaer Al-Shayei.
Produced by the directors and writers of AVENGERS: ENDGAME, respect to them for using their clout to make this. And Netflix. A rare American war film from the perspective of Iraqis. An elite, unfathomably brave Iraqi SWAT team hunt ISIS amid the desolation of the country’s second largest city. Heart-pumping and heart-rending.
JETT [season one] ★★★½☆
Those missing GAME OF THRONES’ heady concoction of nudity, sex, and ultra-violence, may also enjoy this pulp noir. Carla Gugino’s no-nonsense thief is surrounded by intriguing support. Hardcore and gripping.
D: Il Cho.
S: Yoo Ah-In, Park Shin-Hye, Jeon Bae-soo.
A derivative, tedious zombie flick. Pretty inane. What’s up with the rubbish front doors? RAMMBOCK  already did a spry apartment block undead movie.
THE MANDALORIAN [season two] ★★★★½
Keeps getting better and better. The storytelling. The slow, sublime mythologising. The world-building. The casting. Like ROGUE ONE and Genndy Tartakovsky’s CLONE WARS, this is invigorating while also enhancing Star Wars. However, camerawork is too pedestrian - needs some panache.
This website is written by Hemanth Kissoon.
Filmaluation is dedicated to arts culture, with a particular focus on film.
I care about intelligence, quality and entertainment.
Going to the cinema today? See the recommendations page of what is currently out. Click here.
The vital ambitions of art and entertainment:
- The unexpected
Brains and soul are key; but adrenaline junkies do not fret, there is also much love for an experience that delivers a sucker-punch to the guts via stunningly delivered thrills.
The evaluation of a film
Verb, "to filmaluate”:
To evaluate a film
I am well aware how difficult it is to make a film, put on a stage play, create a television show, write a novel, let alone make something of note. (That appreciation doesn’t stop me from having high standards though.)
This online magazine is edited by Hemanth Kissoon.
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