Oh hey there. It’s been a weird year and I haven’t been writing again. 2020 has been a challenge, to say the least, and it’s seemed like there have been bigger things going on, and also the ol’ day job has been a little on the intense side.
But things are finally calming down a little so I am back to writing a little. A good place to start is with the films I was looking forward to this year because, well, most of them aren’t coming out this year anymore. Theatres here in Vancouver are re-opening in a limited way, but even if new movies were coming to them (which they aren’t) I don’t think I would feel comfortable going to see them yet. Or for the rest of the year.
So let’s take a look at what I was looking forward to, and see where that leaves us for the rest of the year.
Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey hit theatres back in February and I am pleased to report that I liked it. Here’s what I wrote back then:
DC’s Extended Universe of films got off to a rocky start. An early focus on being grim and gritty and “realistic” a la the comics of Frank Miller along with a lot of time spent setting up a universe seemed to get in the way of making, you know, good movies. That is to say, they went too dark and they spent so much time worrying about the next movie they forgot to focus on the one they were making.
Luckily it seems that someone eventually figured this out and started letting filmmakers make the movies they want to make rather than having them conform to a predetermined aesthetic and continuity. Sometimes this has resulted in a miss (like Joker) but in recent years they have actually generated a string of fun movies (like Aquaman and Shazam!).
So how does Birds of Prey fare? As both a sequel to one of the least liked DC films and also focussing on one of the most fun characters in the DC universe it has a tough setup but I’m pleased to say it’s definitely a hit.
Birds of Prey also has the distinction of being the last movie I saw in theatres this year, all the way back on February 16th, which feels like a lifetime ago for so many reasons.
The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man also came out in theatres but did so right around the time that this whole Coronavirus thing was really taking off. As a result, this was the first new release of the year that I watched on-demand when it was released that way while also still being in theatres.
I will have more to say on the sanctity of the theatrical experience a little later in this post but for now, rest assured that The Invisible Man is great. Here’s how I started my review back in March:
There are many ways to tell a story that has already been told. You can simply re-tell it, or add some embellishments, or you can entirely remake it into something new. The Invisible Man falls squarely into this third category. It takes the bones of a classic monster movie and re-contextualizes it for now.
The Invisible Man is a legitimately great movie and one of my favourites of the year so far. Elisabeth Moss is incredible in it, and a scene in which she acts opposite an empty doorframe is one of my favourite scenes of the year.
No Time To Die
And here is our first casualty of the ongoing pandemic. No Time To Die was scheduled for release in April and has since been moved to November of this year. Will it actually be release in November? Who knows! That all depends on how bad the second wave of this global catastrophe turns out to be.
I had started a re-watch of the entire James Bond franchise in anticipation. I’ve written two posts about the franchise so far, and I promise I’ll get back to it this month.
The Rest of 2020
Literally everything else that I was looking forward to has been either pushed back or will most likely be pushed back.
Wonder Woman 1984 has been rescheduled from June to October, Death on the Nile moved from October 9th to 23rd, and Denis Villeneuve Dune is still scheduled for December, but do we really expect any of these movies to actually come out this year? I suppose they could. The forthcoming Bill & Ted Face The Music has actually been moved up into August and will be released straight to video on demand.
Top Gun: Maverick, Eternals, and Godzilla vs. Kong have all been moved to next year but even the February release date for Eternals seems a little optimistic at this point.
I miss the movies. I mean I really miss the movies. As someone who misses the movies though, I can’t see myself in a theatre this year and I live in a part of North America where things are going relatively well. At this point, I have started to hope that more movies take the route of Bill & Ted, and release in theatres where it’s safe to do so and on-demand everywhere so that I can take the on-demand option.
There are plenty of things to worry about with that plan too though. Disney took their live-action Mulan remake off the calendar earlier this year and has announced they will be adding it to Disney+ later this year, but also for a one time $30 fee on top of your subscription if you want to see it first. I don’t think that $30 is too much money exactly, but it does kind of sting on top of an existing fee when it’s going to end up on Disney+ at some point anyway. Disney has stated that this is a one-off plan but it’s hard to imagine them not continuing the practice if things go well.
The point here is that 2020 is kind of fucked and who knows when it will be unfucked and what the moviegoing landscape will look like at the end of it all.
The good news is that there are still tons go great movies actually coming out and we still have ways to watch them so given all the things that have happened and are happening this year we can at least count that as a blessing.