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!”


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


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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!”


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


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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)


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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.”


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!”


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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.”


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


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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.”


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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.”


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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!”


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Pic of the Day: “A true selfless act always sparks another.”


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Pic of the Day: “Things are fucked up at the North Pole. Mrs. Claus caught me fucking her sister, now I’m out on my ass.”


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “I’m waking, spent too long playing dead / I’m shaking these blues out of my head / Not letting anybody bring me down / I’m ready for turning my life around” ♫


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Pic of the Day: “Well, I-I’d better go.” “Okay.” “Goodnight.” “Goodnight.” “Actually, I don’t have to go.” “Right. Good.” “I mean…” “No-no that’s good. Just, um, would you excuse me for one second? Just…” “Sure.”


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Pic of the Day: “Karen hated to say goodbye to Frosty, but as Santa promised, Frosty returned every year with the magical Christmas snow. And every year there was a big celebration with a big Christmas parade.”


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Pic of the Day: “Are you here all by yourself?” “Ma’am, I’m eight years old. You think I would be here alone? I don’t think so.” (30th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “Oh, this is too scary. I don’t think I wanna see any more!” “When you’re right, you’re right… You’re on your own, folks. We’ll meet you at the finale!”


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Pic of the Day: “Eureka! This year, Christmas will be – ours!”


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Pic of the Day: “Harry, are you wearing aftershave?” “That’s not aftershave, Marv. That’s kerosene. The rope is soaked in it.” “Now why would anyone wanna soak a rope in kerosene?”


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Pic of the Day: “Hermey! Aren’t you finished painting that yet? There’s a pile-up a mile wide behind you! What’s eatin’ ya, boy?” “Not happy with my work, I guess.” “What?” “I just don’t like to make toys.” “Oh, well, if that’s all… What? You don’t like to make toys?” “No.” “Hermey doesn’t like to make toys!” “Hermey doesn’t like to make toys. Shame on him!” “Do you mind telling me what you do want to do?” “Well, sir, someday, I’d like to be a… a dentist.” “A dentist?”


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Pic of the Day: “You’re dead, Roy. Don’t just stand there pretending you’re not.” (10th Anniversary)