In the wake of last year, this year felt very different for movie-lovers. For one thing, we were able to (kind of, almost) safely return to theaters. And many projects that had been delayed last year were released this year. It felt like a much more… hopeful? year for the movies. At the same time, streaming really had a strong year. Many of the movies I saw were streaming-exclusive, during a year when the IATSE nearly had to strike due poor work conditions and lower wages for the “disadvantaged” streaming companies, compared to traditional Hollywood studios.
This year, I also successfully used Letterboxd to log every movie I watched, so you can head over there to see every movie I watched this year beyond this year’s releases, and you can look at my 2021 Media Log to see everything I watched, read, and listened to this year.
So… … it’s been a really rough year for movies, among other things. I can’t even really differentiate movies I watched in theaters and not, since movies stopped being shown in theaters a long time ago and many movies that I was looking forward to seeing this year have been delayed to next year.
In the olden days , I’ve noted the exceptions that were watched outside of their theatrical release, as in I had to watch them on a streaming service or even on an airplane. Well… this year, the only movies I saw in theaters were originally released in December 2020. Every new release I saw this year was on a streaming service. (I only saw 2 movies in theaters, back in January.)
But I did still watch a lot of movies, many of which were released this year. (If you’d like to see every movie I watched this year, regardless of release year, you can check my Media Log. I am thinking tracking movies on Letterboxd next year, after years of neglect, so let me know if that is something you use and you can add me!)
Without further ado, here are the 2020 releases I saw this year:
After going off about the soon-to-be-released Mulan live-action adaptation, (and seeing that they are remaking the animated Robin Hood,) I do need to give credit where it’s due on that film because it does not have the issue that I most take with Disney’s live-action remake:
The live-action movies should be human stories. Any non-human characters are unsettling and live in the Uncanny Valley.
The example I get most heated about is the 2017 Beauty and the Beast remake. (I’ll talk about 2019’s Lion King in a minute.) When the movie was first announced, I’ll admit even I was excited, even about the casting of Emma Watson! (Who among us did not fall for that Tumblr rumor that she was cast years and years ago with Guillermo Del Toro to direct?) But then I saw the trailer… with the creepy live-action Mrs. Potts and Lumiere and Cogsworth…
I can never unsee them. I actually stopped wanting to see the movie and only watched it on a streaming service much later because my husband is a big Emma Watson fan. (I can’t get into the music in this post…) It is just really unnerving to have so much time spent on non-human characters.Read More »
Another year, another list of movies! This year marks the first full year I had AMC A-List, which I didn’t take full advantage of but did make it easier for us to watch more movies more spontaneously. I had thought that moving to New York would mean we would watch fewer movies but having A-List has meant that we spent more weeknights at the movies than at home.
(For every movie I saw, including movies released before 2019, and other media I consumed, please check out my Media Log.)
Last year, I started strong thinking I was going to watch a ton of movies, my best year yet! It was even a resolution of mine, because I was armed with MoviePass and the opportunity to watch movies as a contributor for Punch Drunk Critics.
But then… well… I stumbled pretty hard. When my mental health took a hit, I definitely didn’t go see any movies, especially when MoviePass became harder and harder to use. My PDC reviews dropped off in the summer. (Sorry Travis!)
A couple of things I noticed with this year’s movies:
It was a big year for superhero movies for me and I didn’t even see all of them.
No early screenings this year! I just didn’t have the mental bandwidth to wait in line and spend the time this past year, and I was less incentivized once I started paying for movie subscription services.
Despite the long stretch of time I was in China this year, I didn’t get to go to the movies while I was there,
Without further ado, here are all the 2018 theatrical releases I watched last year: