2020 in Film

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:

Collage of posters for movies watched in 2020
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2020 Media Log

Inspired by my friend Ben Hong, who got the idea from Jen Myers, I am continuing the practice of tracking my media consumption this year. This will now be replaced with a 2021 media log, which I will update regularly on its dedicated page. Here are all the movies, shows, books, albums, games, and more that I logged this year.

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Spooky Season Movies for Scaredy-Cats

When the first chill of the year hits the air, the daylight hours get shorter, and for sure when October 1st hits, we officially enter the spooky season with a gusto. Halloween has gotten huge on social media as creatives post amazing costumes, baked treats, and home decor around the theme of black and orange and a little scary.

Pumpkin Dance GIFs | Tenor

I’ve never been big on the “a little scary” part. (I also kind of hate orange on myself, but that’s neither here nor there.) When I was little, I accidentally watched slasher film classic Scream because someone had put the wrong tape in the box for Men in Black. (I was really suspicious when we hadn’t seen a single alien… or Will Smith…) I haven’t really come around to horror or gore since.

BUT I still love the festive feeling around Halloween. I have a long history of loving to dress up but then forgetting that many people go scary in lieu of sexy. (Once, I attended a Halloween event at the National Zoo and had the absolute bejeebus scared out of me by an admittedly impressive duo costume where one man was a menacing puppetmaster and the other was a terrifying zombie puppet attached to him by long rods. I screamed but the craftmanship was đź‘Ś)

spoopy | Dictionary.com
2 spoopy to live, 2 creppy to die

So here is an updated list of some of my favorite movies to watch to get into the spoopy season, and where it’s available to stream if you are interested in that. (If anyone wants to do a watch party, please let me know!) Since I have such a low tolerance for being scared, this list is a lot of children’s movies, since most children have a higher tolerance for being scared than I do… (Hence why I started my old list 6 years ago with several vintage Disney shorts.)

Note: If you would like to stream these, you can check Justwatch.com to see what platforms have it available. Not an ad, just a handy site I check when I get the hankering to watch something!

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Film School on YouTube

We’ve established that maybe I watch a bit too much YouTube, right? But hey, at least I’m actually getting a decent amount of education value out of my viewing! Not only am I learning recipes and cooking techniques (an excuse I love for watching Shokugeki no Soma!) but I also really love watching video essays about film.

Sometime at the beginning of high school, I started to watch movies differently. I think this was triggered by 2 things:

  1. My parents bought a box set of all the Best Picture Oscar winners and we had begun watching them for our weekly family movie nights. I suppose I began trying to see what set these movies apart from the rest.
  2. I watched a bootleg copy of Joe Wright’s 2005 Pride & Prejudice, which remains one of my favorite movies because of what was interesting about this copy of it. When I turned on subtitles because the audio was a little bit off, I actually ended up with the director’s commentary captioning the movie instead of the audio. The result was that having the curtain pulled back on the director’s choices and intent helped me start looking for these things in other movies.

It’s very easy to critique movies without knowing the language of film; all art is able to be consumed at different levels and therefore to be critiqued at those different levels. I have a parent who works with film so it’s a medium that is near and dear to me, and I have begun to learn how to evaluate films in a different critical way.Read More »

My Issue With Disney Live-Action Remakes (and Some Suggestions)

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…

NO THANKS

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 »