The 2020 Film Release Calendar: November

This has been perhaps the strangest Release Calendar I’ve ever done. Because the Oscars were held a few weeks earlier than they usually are, I wasn’t able to fit in the majority of the calendar before them. Usually I get the whole thing done by late January. And now, we’re post-Oscars, and I’m only on March. And the only reason January and February got done is because I wanted to get them up before some of the films actually came out.

But, here we are, working our way through the rest of the calendar for all the films to look forward to. I think you all know how this works — I’m gonna preview everything that’s set to come out (and a lot more that isn’t), and then guess what I think I’m gonna rate them all when I do manage to see them. And then we’ll use this as evidence of my ineptitude come the December wrap-up articles. These are my own twenty-seven 8×10 colored glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one.

Anyway, here’s November:

November

Stillwater

A father travels from Oklahoma to France to help his daughter who has been arrested for murder.

Interesting. Tom McCarthy directs. He did Spotlight, but also did Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made. Matt Damon and Abigail Breslin star. Which is also interesting.

Aside from when he took that Great Wall paycheck and the rare misfire (We Bought a Zoo), Damon is exclusively a 3.5 stars and over guy. The question is, do I wanna think this goes higher than that?

I can’t tell, so we’ll stick with 3.5 stars and see what this is gonna be.

Eternals

The saga of the Eternals, a race of immortal beings who lived on Earth and shaped its history and civilizations.

It’s Marvel, so that means automatic 3.5 stars. That’s the standard Marvel rating. Only in exceptional cases does Marvel manage 4 stars, and that’s only been like, five times ever. I can’t assume that. So it’s 3.5 stars and we’ll assume standard Marvel fare like everything else.

Clifford the Big Red Dog

A young girl’s love for a tiny puppy named Clifford, makes the dog grow to an enormous size.

I can’t believe they made this. From the director of Wild Hogs. It’s hybrid, too.

You know what? I’m gonna regret this, I know, but 3 stars. I know I should say 2.5, but I did enjoy the Clifford books when I was five, so let’s assume it’s cute and I’ll be fine with it. I know it’s dumb, but the heart wants what it wants.

Deep Water

A well-to-do husband who allows his wife to have affairs in order to avoid a divorce becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of her lovers.

Interesting. A Gone Girl-adjacent film, also starring Ben Affleck. And Ana de Armas. Adrian Lyne directs, despite not having directed a film since Unfaithful in 2002.

It’s based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, which is a good start. One of the writers created Euphoria and the other wrote Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. Which sounds like a perfect combination to me.

I kinda wanna say 4 stars. I mean, 3.5 feels most likely, but I’m going 4. Fuck it. What’s the worse that can happen?

Godzilla vs. Kong

As the gigantic Kong meets the unstoppable Godzilla, the world watches to see which one of them will become King of the Monsters.

3 stars. I’m not wasting time here. It’s Godzilla, it’s Kong. The studio has already established that they don’t care about anything other than broad, generic quality that’ll make money overseas. This will just be stupid, over-serious plot with giant creatures fighting in a CGI monster fest. I know what I’m getting. Let’s just move on to something more interesting.

Happiest Season

A young woman with a plan to propose to her girlfriend while at her family’s annual holiday party discovers her partner hasn’t yet come out to her conservative parents.

This is more interesting. Written and directed by Clea Duvall, who did The Intervention, which was fine, as far as indies go. Mackenzie Davis, Kristen Stewart and Alison Brie star. That’s cool. I kinda want this to be good.

3.5 stars.

Raya and the Last Dragon

In a realm known as Lumandra, a re-imagined Earth inhabited by an ancient civilization, a warrior named Raya is determined to find the last dragon.

This is Disney. So we’ve got two Pixar movies and a Disney animated movie.

Disney Animation has really let me down the past few years, with Ralph 2 and Frozen 2.

This, being original, makes me slightly more intrigued, but the setting and stuff isn’t usually what I go for. Warriors and shit.

I’ll say 3.5 stars, but I’m not really all that interested in this. I hope it can be good, but I’ve lost any faith in Disney to have any interest in actual creativity anymore.

King Richard

A look at how tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams became who they are after the coaching from their father Richard Williams.

Will Smith is playing Richard. So that’s interesting.

3.5 stars on principle. I can get 4 out of this, but it’s Will Smith, which concerns me. He tends to level out the quality of his films in order to appeal to the most people. But he does this every once in a while. Does a drama. Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds, I guess Collateral Beauty. Either they work and they’re solid or they really don’t. This feels like it’s gonna work, so I’ll stick with 3.5, but I just can’t assume 4 here. I hope it can be, but I can’t assume it.

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