Thursday Movie Picks: Police Detectives


This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about police detectives. There's plenty of films to choose from, so here are a few of my favorites. 

1) Se7en -
I couldn't let the Detective theme go without picking one of my favorite movies of all time. Despite its creepy and uncomfortable subject matter I could watch this over and over.

2) Memories of Murder -
Speaking of creepy and uncomfortable, this film by Bong Joon Ho is so good. If you're keen to check out more of his work after Parasite, definitely find this. 

3) The Nice Guys-
And so we're not all glooming and dooming here, this film still makes me laugh just thinking about it. I never expected to like this as much as I do.

My Top 10 Films of 2020

I spent an unnecessary amount of time trying to decide what I was going to do with my Top 10 list for this year. With the Oscars pushing their eligibility window to March, it means movies I really want to see like Minari and Nomadland don't come out until February. That's going to get confusing. Then I thought to myself, Brittani, 10 people read your blog and no one cares where you draw your line. So here I am with my Top 10 of 2020. I'll probably make a Top 15 list next year if I end up loving a bunch of the Oscar holdovers. 

Honorable Mentions: The Assistant, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Birds of Prey, Bad Education, Babyteeth, Sylvie's Love, Disclosure, The Vast of Night

Another honorable mention but this scene was too perfect not to gif

My Top 10 Films of 2020

Riz Ahmed is amazing in this and I loved how much of the deaf community it showed.

I know. A contemporary black and white film on my best list? Well The Forty-Year-Old Version is funny, honest, and a must see.

One of the most beautifully shot films of the year is about a girl who swallows random objects. This was such a unique story.

I love the hand drawn animation and the Irish folklore. I can't wait to see what Cartoon Saloon produces next.

It's rare that a documentary makes my best list, but this year made me realize that the majority of the docs I watch are kind of sad or about true crime and while this one does include sad stories, it's absolutely fucking wild.

Hamilton made me SO HAPPY when it first came out. It's exactly what we needed during this pandemic and I'm still listening to the soundtrack all the time.

A quirky film from Miranda July with a wonderful performance from Evan Rachel Wood. This film is really the definition of an indie darling.

This film has a wonderful ensemble cast and feels very relevant in the world today. We've learned nothing.

A film about a teenager girl seeking an abortion that doesn't follow any of the typical roadblocks you'd expect this movie to run into.

Denmark is apparently the drinking capital of the world and Mads Mikkelson is an absolute delight.

Review: One Night in Miami

One Night in Miami
is a fictional account of a night in 1964 where icons Cassius Clay, (Eli Goree) Malcolm X, (Kingsley Ben-Adir) Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge) and Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) meet in a Miami hotel room. Some expecting a party, some expecting a lengthy discussion. 

Regina King directing this immediately got my attention and she does a wonderful job. A lot of this film stays in one location, but she makes great use of that space. I especially liked how she shot the boxing ring after Cassius won.

The acting in this film is phenomenal. Odom Jr. was one of my favorite performers in Hamilton and he's excellent here too. The song he sings at the end of the film is gorgeous as well. Ben-Adir was a wonderful Malcolm X. Since I just watched Denzel's version so recently I was afraid of comparing them throughout but I never did. I liked his solemn spin on this. Hodge was the actor I was most familiar with as I've seen him give many good performances in the past. (see Clemency) Jimmy is probably the most understated character but his introduction in the film and the blatant racism shown to him is heartbreaking. The look on his face at the end of that scene sticks with me. And finally we have Goree, who gives the most energetic performance. He looks the part and you can't help but be excited for him as he celebrates his win. 

A movie like this lives and dies with its actors and we're lucky to have such a talented cast to go through this with. Admittedly, it may not be the most "exciting" movie out there. Talk heavy movies are an acquired taste, but I enjoyed this and I can't wait to see what everyone involved does next.

Recommended: Yes

Grade: B+

Memorable Quote: "This is one strange fucking night." - Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge)

My Favorite Movie Youtube Channels

Starting around 2018, I started watching Youtube for more than just movie trailers or music videos whenever a new one dropped. Now I'm in full blown subscription mode and don't bat an eyelash at watching a Youtube video that's over an hour long. I watch Youtube for a few different categories of content, but one of them that I love most is movie/TV essays and commentary, and that's what I'm going to talk about today. Below is a list of my favorite movie related Youtube channels. Let me know if you're familiar with them too, or if you have any you'd like to recommend to me. 

Double Toasted - I'm honestly surprised this channel isn't bigger. I first came across Korey and Martin when they reviewed War for the Planet of the Apes a few months before it hit theaters and I thought they were hysterical. While their full length videos stream on Twitch, they often upload their movie reviews and commentary on youtube and they're always hilarious. They've had a few line up changes, I preferred when they were a group of four with Goodwin and Girts, but I like the other people they use too. They're always entertaining.

Be Kind Rewind - This is a channel that focuses mainly on Actresses and Oscars. BKR has a lovely voice that I could listen to for hours and I've learned a lot of interesting tidbits on classic films and actresses from watching this channel. It's also caused my classic watch list to surge because I'm always adding something new she's talking about to it. 

Jaime French - Jaime is mostly a makeup channel, but she has a series called "Makeup and Movie Mondays" where she reviews a (usually bad) movie while getting ready and it's hilarious. She puts an insane amount of effort into these, including editing herself into the movie at times. I think it's a newer thing for her, because she doesn't have a lot of them. but when her Crossroads review came up as a recommendation for me I immediately subscribed and look forward to more.

Sarah Z - Sarah's channel focuses a bit more on TV and fandom tropes, but what I love the most about her are her Tumblr related deep dives. That's a platform I've used since probably around 2013 primarily to look at gifs, so while I didn't actively participate in a lot of the things she talks about, I was aware of their existence and getting more context on these things was wild. Because of Sarah, I have watched two hour and a half long videos on Johnlock and Destial ships (despite having never watched a single episode of The Supernatural) and I am okay with this.

Lindsay Ellis - I love Lindsay Ellis, the algorithm recommended her live action Beauty and the Beast video to me, and I agreed with everything she said in it and became an instant fan. I don't always agree with her takes on certain movies, but she's always interesting to watch and she's easily one of my favorite people on the platform. She also works for PBS on their webshow It's Lit and talks about books with another creator I'll talk about here.

Jenny Nicholson - I'm fairly sure I came across Jenny on Twitter first as she's a big Star Wars fan and that is what landed me on her channel. She's another one that I just enjoy listening to. She tends to favor numbered lists when going through her points about media and I enjoy that format. Plus she watched every Land Before Time movie while in quarantine and that's pretty impressive. 

MelindaPendulum - Princess Weekes is someone I found through Lindsay Ellis' channel. She's her It's Lit co-host and he content is mostly about the fantasy genre across books, anime, TV and film. I enjoy a lot of her takes, especially on race and feminism. I think the first video of hers I watched was her Gone With The Wind one, which I thought highlighted a lot of very valid complaints people have about the film.

Sideways - This account is technically about the music, but he breaks down film scores in a really interesting way that I never considered until landing on his channel. I believe his video on the music in live action Disney remakes is what brought me to his channel initially, but I'm glad I stayed.

Amanda the Jedi - This is the newest film channel I subscribed to. To be honest, she came up on my recommendations a lot but I never clicked her videos because she added the word "Explained" in all her titles and I kind of hate that. I think it sounds pretentious, a lot of content creators do that and none of it ever makes me want to watch their videos, but I finally gave her a go and she's a good channel to watch if you want to listen to a rant about a bad movie. She's funny and consumes a ton of terrible content so you don't have to.

Quinn Curio - She doesn't post a lot of youtube videos. At the time of me writing this, she only has 5 but I really enjoyed all of them. I found her in a moment of butthurt when I just wanted someone to affirm my feelings of Ron being treated poorly in the Harry Potter films, and I found her video on just that. I needed that, and I'm glad it lead me to her content.

Kennie JD - This is another new one for me. Like Jaime French, she's primarily a beauty channel but she has a series called "Bad Movies and a Beat" and she is so funny. I appreciate the detail she goes in to so much curiosity will never get the best of me because she's already painted the full picture.

Review: The Midnight Sky

Augustine (George Clooney) is a terminally ill scientist who stays behind at a base in the Artic Circle after everyone else flees due to a catastrophic event on Earth. He realizes he's not alone, when Iris (Caoilinn Springall) a mute child finds him on the base. At the same time, he's trying to stop Sully (Felicty Jones) and her crew aboard the Ether from returning to Earth after their mission to find another planet that can sustaine human life.

With the way some people were talking about The Midnight Sky, more specifically the ending, I was really expecting this to turn into a Cloverfield movie or something. It doesn't, although that would've been kind of cool. I ended up enjoying it more than I thought I would given the low expectations I set for myself.

This film reminds me a lot of Baz Luhrmann's Australia, where instead of feeling like one cohesive story it feels like two movies stitched together. Unlike the former, there isn't a clear winner of which of these movies is better, one is certainly more exciting, but they don't blend as well as they should.

Clooney is in the director's chair again and he's....fine. Everyone's motivations are clear, the main action sequence was very thrilling, though I didn't care for the outcome. There is a twist that becomes pretty apparent early on, but it's not distracting. As for that ending? Sure, it's lame, but I was expecting Sunshine levels of fuckery. 

Overall, with the right expectations I think this is a perfectly fine watch. Especially for a Netflix movie. What else are you going to do during a pandemic?

Recommended: Sure

Grade: C+

Memorable Quote: "Ask me a question." - Augustine (George Clooney)

Thursday Movie Picks: 2020 Releases

 This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is looking back at the 2020 releases...that are still technically coming out because of the Oscar submissions but I digress. I wanted to talk about some 2020 releases that I enjoyed that I feel like no one talks about anymore

1) Horse Girl
- The script admittedly isn't perfect but Allison Brie gives a great performance. This was one of the better Netflix releases of 2020, in my opinion.

2) Disclosure -
This documentary about trans representation in media was so interesting. Docs are rarely widely discussed and in 2020 especially I felt like I was only hearing about docuseries on TV vs features, but it still surprises me that this one isn't brought up more.

3) Bad Education
- Hugh Jackman was going to win an Emmy for this until Mark Ruffalo came out swinging with I Know This Much is True. This was such a great movie.

The Worst Movies of 2020

2019 was the first year I made a separate "worst" list. I usually just leave them as a footnote on my Best list, but since 2020 was a dumpster fire, I felt I should continue on with separating them. These are my least favorite films I watched last year. I'm sure there are plenty of "worse" movies out there, but these are the ones I had the misfortune of seeing.

Dishonorable mentions: The New Mutants, Trolls: World Tour

The Last Thing He Wanted - This one hurts, because I love Dee Rees but this movie was such a mess. I'm sure the next thing Rees does will be wonderful and we can just pretend this never happened. I imagine most people already forgot about this.

We Can be Heroes- I had Trolls: World Tour here until I watched this with my son recently. The lack of effort put into EVERYTHING in this movie is just astounding. The only thing that saves it from Artemis Fowl levels of bad is all the unintentional comedy. 

Come To Daddy - I wanted this to be campy, gorey fun and it was just dumb. It could've been so much better.

The Lodge - This is a movie that is pretty good until the "catch" comes along, then you realize that you really have just witnessed some of the dumbest characters in the universe's domestic issues play out. 

Artemis Fowl - I didn't put this list in order, but this one IS the worst. The ways this movie fails is just extraordinary. Film students should study this for centuries as an example of what not to do with a franchise starter. 

Capone - I think this was supposed to save Josh Trank's career but the best part of it ended up being Tom Hardy running around in an adult diaper. 

Hillbilly Elegy - Overdramatic poverty porn.

The Gentlemen - IMDb calls this a 2019 release, but it didn't come out in the US until January 2020. Hugh Grant single handedly tries to ruin this movie, it threatens its only female character with rape, and it was ultimately a dud. It had a lot of potential that was squandered.

Unpregnant- Two charming leads can't save this uninspired film that looks even worse coming out in the same year as Never Rarely Sometimes Always.

I'm Thinking of Ending Things - I know this will be divisive, but I just didn't love this. I wanted to, it started off so well, then it just continued to annoy me as it went on.