2020 has been a hell of a year. With theatres ending up being an unsafe place to be during an ongoing worldwide pandemic you’d think it would be a harder year for film, but looking back it’s clear that this year has been an as vibrant and diverse year for film as any other.
Of course, the difference is that without theatres, there have been far fewer blockbusters and far more indie and middle-tier films. The impact on my film diary for the year has been an interesting one, with bigger budget films losing the endorphin high of the theatrical experience –and thus losing some of the immediate forgiveness they earn if they aren’t great. Additionally, film festivals moved to an online experience either in whole or in part this year, which has meant that I have “attended” more of them.
As a result, I have seen more than 120 of 2020’s films, a steep increase from years past. Narrowing the list down to a group of favourites is as difficult as ever! Also this year, for the second time, I am going to highlight some of the performers that blew me away.
Continue reading “Matt’s Favourite Films & Performers of 2020”
Halloween Night is upon us dear readers, and on a Saturday night, no less. Any other year that would be cause for celebration, for the biggest party you can find in the most elaborate costume that you can come up with. This year we’re all stuck inside though, and what better way to spend the night with some Halloween movies.
So here are nine movies and three binge-watch suggestions for you to watch this Halloween, and which streaming services to find them on.
Continue reading “Home Video, Halloween Edition: 14 films and 5 binge-watches for your Halloween weekend”
The Simpson’s annual Treehouse of Horror Halloween Special had it’s 31st edition this year, one year shy of the 32 years that the series has been running. It has produced some of the best episodes of the entire series and over the years let the writers and performers explore stories that they couldn’t get away with during the regular season.
As any child of the 90s, I watched many of these episodes as a child but gave up sometime around the end of the so-called “golden age” of the series. This year I am stuck indoors though, and 29 of the 31 episodes are on Disney+, so I spent the last few weeks watching (or re-watching) every Treehouse of Horror they have made, including the 31st edition which aired this past Sunday and ranked all 93 segments, from my least favourite to my most favourite.
Continue reading “All 93 Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Segments, Ranked”
It’s hard to properly capture how amazing it is to slip into Oculus Quest 2’s alternative dimension. I’ve owned and play a plethora of VR headsets over the years – from the second iteration of the Oculus Rift years ago at an expo, where the blurry Godzilla-style city smashing game made me sick to my stomach in seconds, through to my own Gear VR, Oculus Go, and PSVR. Each has dangled the promise of VR immersion, but with enough caveats (overheating, low resolution, screen door effect, clunky setups) to stop them from realising the medium’s potential.
So it’s with a mixture of triumph and trepidation that I can tell you, after two days with the newly-released Oculus Quest 2, the dream is finally here. Triumph, because it not only removes those lingering issues but its cable-free, high framerate/resolution experience exceeds even your highest expectations. The store is packed with great games and experiences. Digital delivery is quick and easy.
But trepidation because this is very much a Facebook machine, in ways you maybe hadn’t anticipated, which could very well outweigh its incredible potential.
Continue reading “Oculus Quest 2 is an incredible leap into an untethered VR future, but at what cost?”
The 39th Vancouver International Film Festival is officially ended! It was a great festival, and well executed given the current state of the world. Before the festival started Thomas from ForReel Movie News & Reviews talked on Zoom about our most anticipated films of the festival, and this week as the festival drew to a close I once again joined him, along with Leanne McLaren of 103.5 QMFM to talk about our festival favourites.
Continue reading “VIFF 2020: Favourites from the festival with Thomas from ForReel Movie Reviews and Leanne from QMFM!”
Mads Mikkelsen is one of our great performers. Whether he’s playing a cannibal serial killer on TV, or a James Bond villain, he puts everything he has into his performances and each one of them feels sincere and true.
This year at the Vancouver International Film Festival he starred in Another Round, a film about a man who breaks himself out of complacency by way of a heightened blood alcohol content. It is, to date, one of my favourite performances of the year. Inspired by this, and by the fact that going to the movies is still a bad idea in most places in the world, here are four more great performances from Mads Mikkelsen.
Continue reading “Home Video: 4 Great Mads Mikkelsen Performances”
Tom Holland has a new film debuting on Netflix this week, Antonio Campos adaptation of Donald Ray Pollock’s The Devil All The Time. Holland is a megastar thanks to his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Peter Parker, the Amazing Spider-Man, but in his 8-year career he has been in a number of great films. Let’s talk about three of them.
Continue reading “Home Video: Three Great Tom Holland Films (That Aren’t Spider-Man)”
The 39th Vancouver International Film Festival is coming up soon! From the 24th of September to the 7th of October we’ll be watching and celebrating film. There are over 100 feature films this year in the festival’s remote format, and I sat down with Thomas from MoviesForReel to talk about our most anticipated films of the festival.
Continue reading “VIFF 2020: Most Anticipated Movies of the Festival featuring Thomas from MoviesForReel”
Fantasia is a festival that I’ve always wanted to attend but never been able to. As much as the world is on fire right now, the festival going online and allowing me press access has been a great experience.
I was able to take in more than twenty four at the festival and of those, these six are my favourites.
Continue reading “Fantasia 2020: Favourites From the Festival”
Tenet is in theatres now. I know that everyone is tempted to go see it –I am tempted to go see it– but, as we all know, it’s not safe to go to the movies right now.
We can still get our dose of Christopher Nolan’s trademark brand of incredible practical action and obsession with time though. The man has made eleven films to date and most of them have one or the other or both.
So to help get you through, here are my three favourite Christopher Nolan films, what I like about each of them, and how you can watch them in the comfort of your own home.
Continue reading “Home Video: Matt’s Three Favourite Christopher Nolan Films”
I can’t speak for everyone, but I am at a crossroads. On the one hand, it has been six months since I have been to the movies. Six months and one week. One hundred ninety-two days, but who’s counting.
Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Tenet, a film that I have been greatly anticipating, is being released in theatres this coming weekend. With every other major blockbuster being delayed into this fall or next year, it is one of the first times in that one hundred and ninety-two days that a film almost certainly best experienced in a cinema on the biggest screen available is actually being released to cinemas.
I love the movie-going experience. Sure, people can be jerks sometimes (*cough* turn your phone off *cough*), a man was even arrested for assaulting another moviegoer at my screening of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (seriously, that happened). There’s nothing quite like seeing an exciting blockbuster film with a large crowd when that crowd is into it. It’s electrifying, and I miss it.
On the other hand, there is a worldwide pandemic on. Two hundred thousand people a day are catching COVID-19 worldwide, and anywhere from 4,000 to 6,000 people are dying from it.
Continue reading “Don’t Go to The Movies Right Now”
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.
Continue reading “Matt’s Most Anticipated Movies of 2020, Late Mid-Year Recap”
Welcome to part two of this year’s franchise rewatch. I’ve watched three good films so far, and this time around I’m going to talk about four more.
I’m on pace to get this done before the April premiere of No Time To Die right now so let’s get right to talking about Thunderball, You Only Live Twice, On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, and Diamonds Are Forever.
Continue reading “Franchise Rewatch: James Bond – Part 2: ‘Thunderball through Diamonds Are Forever’, or the End of the Beginning”
Every year is a good year for movies but every year there are always those few you are really looking forward to. Here is my list of those movies.
Will these end up being my favourite movies of the year? Who knows! Probably not! The only movies that we know anything about as far away as December are the big-budget blockbusters with marketing pockets so deep we can start hearing about them now. There are hundreds of movies per year that don’t have that.
This list should probably be re-titled “most anticipated big-budget films”, really.
In any event, here is the list. See if you can guess the first entry.
Continue reading “Matt’s Ten Most Anticipated Films of 2020”
In each of the last few years, I have re-watched a franchise. If you follow my Letterboxd you might have noticed this. One year it was Star Trek, another it was Star Wars, and another it was Mission: Impossible. This year it’s going to be James Bond.
With 24 films in the franchise proper and a 25th due in April of this year, this is no small undertaking, especially if I am going to blog about them as I go. Why haven’t I blogged these in the past? Because I had an idea of what I wanted this blog to be and I have resolved to change that here in this new decade.
So what follows will be whatever I feel it needs to be after watching each James Bond film. I am going to watch them in order, and I am most likely going to stick to the main EON produced films in the franchise. Some of them will get some deep thought, others maybe not so much. I don’t have a real plan besides watch, write about each, and then finish up with some kind of conclusion.
So if that sounds like the kind of thing you’re into then let’s get started on this journey with the first three entries in the franchise: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger
Continue reading “Franchise Rewatch: James Bond – Part 1: Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Goldfinger or The Definition of Bond”