Archive for December, 2020

Mike’s Top Ten Films of 2020

This… was a weird year. We had a global pandemic, brought on by a government that ignored it and abandoned people in need and we all ended up stuck inside for most of the year. I believe it’s been in the papers. All of this, of course, had a trickle-down effect on movies. Theaters were closed for the majority of the year, which forced most studio releases onto streaming platforms if not into 2021 entirely (especially awards-level films, which usually make up a good portion of this list). And so, while I was still left with some quality choices, I did feel like this year was a lot thinner at the top and more populated with stuff I’d consider ‘just okay’ rather than truly noteworthy. So I guess what I’m saying is — a government abandoning people during a crisis, trickle-down effects and a spate of mediocre movies — I’m just gonna go ahead and blame 2020 on Ronald Reagan.

I know it’s a tradition for me to say that the year felt pretty underwhelming and that I had a hard time coming up with this list, but that is legitimately how I felt this year. And since it’s funny to me to go back and read myself say that same thing every single year, I’m gonna leave it in. Because one of the most underrated things you can do is something that will make your future self laugh.

It also brings me to another point (which is something I always stress when I make these lists): the only thing that makes a year good or bad and really lets you know what movies you like the best… is time. That’s all it is. You can say you love something now, but wait a year. Wait five years. Wait and see what you end up going back to watch the most. Is it that one critically-acclaimed movie that everyone had on their list that you felt had to be on yours too or is it the rom com that makes you feel happy every time you watch it that you left off because it didn’t feel as ‘important’ as the other one? Time levels all playing fields. I said last year felt underwhelming at the time and now I think it’s one of strongest years of the decade. I like all my choices even more now than I did at the time.

So, as always, what I’m trying to do when I make up this list (which is always done on the fly, under pressure and after seeing most of the films once, maybe twice. The second usually very quickly, especially if it came out late) is try to find the ones that I know in my heart are the ones I like the best. The ones I’ll keep getting excited about as time passes. And that requires looking past the trappings of the present. So, if it seems like things are ranked on this list differently than my ratings might suggest, that’s because the only proper way to make a list like this is to ignore ratings and ignore reviews and ignore hype and just go with what your instincts tell you. And so, despite a pandemic, despite the decimation of the year’s film calendar and despite what feels like a crop of films that, in the moment, feels every bit as uninspiring as all the other crops of films did in all the other years that worked out just fine, I’m gonna throw that paper airplane into the future one more time and hope it stays as in tact as possible. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “That’s the spirit! You’ll be celebrating Life Day before you know it!”


2020: In Memoriam

As we end the year, we do as we always do, acknowledge those we lost over the previous year. Sure, we used to do this on January 1st, but I’ve retired the Unforgivables list, so something had to go here. Plus, let’s say goodbye to 2020 as soon as we fucking can, am I right?

Because this year was an extremely egregiously bad one, I’ve decided to expand this list from the usual 50 to 60. It seems like an inordinate number of great people died this year, and because the year’s felt like it’s been so goddamn long, you might need to be reminded about some of them. Because it’s a pretty insane list. And, as always, these are the ones that mean the most to me (which usually means music and movies). There are far more people who died this year than this, but these ones felt personal to me in some way.

Anyway, let’s celebrate all these people and the great things they’ve accomplished: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Anything can change a life that’s ready to be changed.”


2020: The Year in Reviews (The Wrap-Up)

Okay. We went over all the months and what I thought in January versus what I thought when I saw everything, and now I get to analyze it. It’s a lighter year than usual, but that doesn’t change anything. So we’ll begin with links to everything, just so it’s all on the up-and-up. And then we’ll get right into it.

2020 Film Release Calendar

2020: The Year in Reviews

January

January

February

February

March

March

April

April

May

May

June

June

July

July

August

August

September

September

October

October

November

November

December

December

Films Without Release Dates (A-L)

Films Without Release Dates (M-Z)

Unreleased Films

(more…)


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Pic of the Day: “All right. Everybody into the den, or I’ll shoot her.” “Go ahead. Shoot her.” “Shut up! Get in the den!”


2020: The Year in Reviews (The Unreleased Films)

And now for the bookkeeping. We went over all the stuff that did come out, now for all the stuff that didn’t.

I always cover way more films than actually come out. Most years I’d say there’s about 100-150 that don’t end up coming out for various reasons. Last year was around 140. This year we’re at least 90-100 films above that. Of course, we all know why, but that just means we’ve got an abundance of stuff to deal with presently. Which, as I said, is just bookkeeping. The real interesting step is gonna be when we start going over next year, when we consider how few things shot this year and whether that affects next year’s totals.

But, before all that, let’s go over all the stuff I previewed that didn’t come out this year. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “The laws of breaking and entering, as they pertain to Santa, are unclear.”


2020: The Year in Reviews (December)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over December. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Forgive me, shopping makes me nervous.” “That’s all right, working here makes me nervous.” (5th Anniversary)


2020: The Year in Reviews (November)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over November. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “That’s right. Got my ass back in the projects. The only place where you get robbed by Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.”


2020: The Year in Reviews (October)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over October. (more…)


Pic of the Day: “Scut Farkus! What a rotten name! We were trapped. There he stood, between us and the alley. Scut Farkus staring out at us with his yellow eyes. He had yellow eyes! So help me, God! Yellow eyes!”


2020: The Year in Reviews (September)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over September. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “So… you still think that killing yourself would make everyone feel happier, eh?” “Oh, I don’t know. I guess you’re right. I supposed it would have been better if I’d never been born at all.” “What did you say?” “I said I wished I was never born!” “Oh, you mustn’t say things like that… Oh, now wait a minute. That’s an idea now, isn’t it? What do you think? Ahhh… that will do it. All right, George… you’ve got your wish: you’ve never been born.”


2020: The Year in Reviews (August)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over August. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You’re the innkeeper’s wife.” “Do innkeeper’s wives have naturally curly hair?” (55th Anniversary)


2020: The Year in Reviews (July)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over July. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Don’t tell him what you want, he’s a liar.” “Let the kid talk.” “You disgust me! How can you live with yourself?” “Just cool it, Zippy.” “You sit on a throne of lies.” “Look, I’m not kiddin’.” “You’re a fake.” “I’m a fake?” “Yes!” “How’d you like to be dead, huh? Ho, ho, just kidding.” “You stink.” “I think you’re gonna have a good Christmas, all right.” “You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa.”


2020: The Year in Reviews (June)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over June. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “They’ll blow their floofloovers. They’ll bang their tartookas. They’ll blow their whohoopers. They’ll bang their gardookas. They’ll spin their trumtookas. They’ll slam their slooslunkas. They’ll beat their blumbloopas. They’ll wham their whowonkas.”


2020: The Year in Reviews (May)

No matter how strange the year is, we still gotta do the thing. You know how it works: in January I preview and guess ratings for a bunch of movies, then most of them come out over the course of the year, and then we recap it all in December. This year will be no different, though admittedly it’s a much thinner year to review than I’m used to. But, we can only review what comes out.

It started as a game for me to see how well I could guess stuff, but really, like most things on this site, it becomes a vehicle to try to get people to watch stuff. The tallying part is just for me to make it interesting. Mostly I’m just trying to tell you about all the cool stuff I saw this year.

Today we go over May. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Listen, Scrooge, if men were measured by kindness, you’d be no bigger than a speck of dust!”