Archive for January, 2021

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Pic of the Day (125th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “There can be only one!” (35th Anniversary)


The Underseen Films of 2020

And now our final one of this series of lists: The Underseen Films of 2020. This one’s pretty simple — I thought these films were great or simply interesting and worth your time, and I feel like not enough people saw them or gave them proper consideration. That’s it. For various reasons, these films feel like they deserve as wide an audience as possible, and I’m hoping my bringing them up gets you to see them and maybe gets a few of you to go, “I really liked that,” and then bring it up to your friends, and so on and so forth. They all deserve it for one reason or another. How is this notably different from Hidden Gems? Probably in that these are more likely to be films you’ve at least heard of in some way. That’s it, really. And it’s more about me saying, “Hey, this is why you need to see this,” instead of, “I think this is great, you should see this, and here’s why.”

So here are my top underseen films of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I’m sorry. That last hand… nearly killed me.” (15th Anniversary)


The Underrated Films of 2020

Okay, so Overrated was real difficult this year. And Underrated tends to be a mix of Hidden Gem plus stuff that I felt didn’t fully get a fair shake in theaters (which also overlaps with Underseen). There’s a weird alchemy to how I put stuff on lists (to the point where there might not actually be any real logic to it whatsoever. But what else have you come to expect out of me?), so I just kinda go with my gut.

This year, since you can’t really call much of anything underrated, I’ve decided to do something very specific with this year’s list, which is to make it all about representation. Because one thing I’m noticing over the past few years — there’s starting to be more and more films coming from places you would not have seen in years and decades prior. Films directed by women (and written by women at the same time. Sometimes even the same woman). Films authored and made by Black filmmakers. Films by and about LBGTQ+ people. And it’s not that all of them are amazing films (and should not be judged as such simply because they exist. Everything deserves the same equal shot to be deemed good or bad), but I find that they’re taking up some of the space of films that I’d normally see and shrug and go, “Whatever.” And now, there’s this increasing number of stuff that, while some of it will make me go, “Yeah, sure,” I can also go, “Oh, that’s a Black filmmaker who wrote and directed it. Good for them.” And I can be happy that it got made and got a chance to succeed as opposed to the same old boring white people shit.

So that’s what I want this year’s list to be about. I want to shout out all the films that are really worthy of your time and your respect, even if they might not all be my favorite films of the year (though I did like all of them. It’s not like I’m putting them on here just for representation. They’re all good movies). The point is — we’re not giving them enough credit for helping create this massive sea change in the industry and hopefully make it so anyone can tell any story about any subject, rather than it just be the same forty white guys making all the movies.

So here are the films I consider Underrated for 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “You do hate me, don’t you, Johnny?” “I don’t think you have any idea of how much.” “Hate is a very exciting emotion. Haven’t you noticed? Very exciting. I hate you too, Johnny. I hate you so much I think I’m going to die from it. Darling… I think I’m going to die from it.” (75th Anniversary)


The Overrated Films of 2020

Okay, so we really only had about two-and-a-half months of moviegoing this year, so it’s hard to define the term ‘overrated’ for 2020. Usually, for me, overrated is people rushing out to see something and proclaiming it a masterpiece when really it’s just okay or just good. Or the media machine hypes the shit out of something and the movie’s just not worth it in the end. Or it’s an awards contender that people build up sight unseen and it turns out to be garbage. This list is always about hype and things not living up to that hype. (And again, based on my own feelings of things. I feel like people often misconstrue overrated to mean ‘bad’. When in reality, something could be the most lauded film of the year and still be overrated. The overrating only speaks more to the people talking about something than the thing itself.

But, whereas most years, the overrated films tend to be the ones that made a bunch of money and become runaway successes. But since we’ve all been stuck inside for the majority of the year and there’s really not much hype to be had, it’s hard to necessarily call things overrated. So I’m just gonna make this one a shorter list than usual. There are really only ten films I can put on here (and even then, I may have stretched it a little bit). The awards movies still have another six weeks to come out and we never had a summer movie season. It’s not an easy year to do this.

So, with as many caveats as I can give, here are my Overrated Films of 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “If I were a rich man / Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum / All day long I’d biddy biddy bum / If I were a wealthy man / I wouldn’t have to work hard / Ya ba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dibba dum / If I were a biddy biddy rich / Yidle-diddle-didle-didle man.” ♫ (50th Anniversary)


The Films of 2020 That Disappointed Me

So yesterday I talked about the films that surprised me in a good way… today’s the other list. The ones that I had some hopes for that just did not meet them. Not that I necessarily disliked them, but they just felt like they didn’t achieve what I was hoping they’d achieve, to varying degrees of disappointment. I’ll specify just how each of the films disappointed me, but in each one’s own way, it disappointed me. Again, I’ll specify that the list is only based on my own personal opinions, before you get all butt hurt about me putting something on here (hence the word “Me” in the title).

Here are the films that disappointed me most in 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Have no fear. Filly the Kid is here.” (30th Anniversary)


The Films of 2020 That Surprised Me

This is a list that’s slightly harder in a pandemic year, when a lot of the calendar was pushed to next year, but it’s not impossible, since if you’re gonna try to watch every movie that comes out, you’re gonna have some ones that you go into thinking will be one thing and come out going, “You know, that was way better than I thought.” I think the variance will probably be smaller this year, and the lack of big budget blockbusters will hurt it, but overall, I think I was able to find some movies that did, to some extent, made me go, “Oh, that was better than I was expecting.”

To put a finer point on it: this is mainly about why the films surprised me. The fact that they’re here is an implicit recommendation to go see them, and they count just as much as the Hidden Gems or any other list that I’ve put out around this one. I’m just trying to turn people on to some good movies here.

As usual, I’ll remind you that this list is entirely subjective and based solely on me and my own personal opinions on what I thought the films were gonna be versus what I actually thought of them. That said, here are the films that felt like pleasant surprises to me from 2020: (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “I haven’t lived. I’ve died a few times.” (50th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “I may be old-fashioned, but I thought murder was against the law.” (70th Anniversary)


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Pic of the Day: “Daddy, would you like some sausage? Daddy, would you like some sausage?” (20th Anniversary)


Some Hidden Gems of 2020

And so the lists begin. In a year like this, I feel like these lists are actually more important than they usually are (even though some of them will be made incredibly more difficult without having the theatrical experience and audience reaction to draw on), especially this one. Given that for the majority of this year, all the films that mattered essentially came out on VOD, a streaming service or PVOD, I’m guessing most people didn’t do a whole lot of movie watching. Maybe you watched some stuff here and there, but I’m thinking most people, if they could overcome the general dread and anger from the social and political events of 2020 and bring themselves to actually watch things, probably spent the majority of the year catching up on stuff they’d been meaning to watch from previous years and a lot of TV. Which means that you can use a list like this to tell you about all the cool stuff you probably missed.

Normally this list comes before my month wrap-up lists, so if you actually read those (doubtful, but possible), you’ll be aware of my feelings on most of these. But it’s still nice to have them out there. The next few lists (Films That Surprised Me/Disappointed Me and the Overrated and Underrated lists) are trickier, since they are more based on a shared viewing experience and reaction, but this one isn’t. So let’s just focus on this one.

Though I will say — I endeavor to only use films on one list. So if you see a movie on this list, you won’t see it on the, say, Underseen list. I try to spread the wealth as much as I can (with the possible exception being the Overrated list. That feels like it can afford a double entry if that’s how I feel).

Anyway, here’s just a sampling of some films I thought were really good and worth seeing that maybe you might not have seen or heard of: (more…)


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Pic of the Day (65th Anniversary)


Ranking All the Netflix Original Movies (Top 50)

The governing principle behind this website has always been, “Well, I did this, so I might as well document it.”

I think we’ve established by now that I watch ostensibly everything that matters each year (in terms of American feature releases), and a lot that doesn’t. And that now includes an ever-increasing number of Netflix movies. And, as is my credo, if I’m watching them all, why not make you all have to hear about it?

This isn’t a definitive ranking by any stretch. It’s really just how much I like each of the movies and want to recommend them to you. That’s it. Because at this point, there’s so much stuff that’s put out on the platform that unless something truly breaks through, it immediately gets lost under the pile of the newer, shinier stuff. So the goal is to just talk about everything in relation to all the others, so you can gauge what you have seen versus where I’ve put everything and then maybe go, “Oh, what’s this one? This one sounds good.” (more…)


Ranking All the Netflix Original Movies (51-100)

The governing principle behind this website has always been, “Well, I did this, so I might as well document it.”

I think we’ve established by now that I watch ostensibly everything that matters each year (in terms of American feature releases), and a lot that doesn’t. And that now includes an ever-increasing number of Netflix movies. And, as is my credo, if I’m watching them all, why not make you all have to hear about it?

This isn’t a definitive ranking by any stretch. It’s really just how much I like each of the movies and want to recommend them to you. That’s it. Because at this point, there’s so much stuff that’s put out on the platform that unless something truly breaks through, it immediately gets lost under the pile of the newer, shinier stuff. So the goal is to just talk about everything in relation to all the others, so you can gauge what you have seen versus where I’ve put everything and then maybe go, “Oh, what’s this one? This one sounds good.” (more…)


Ranking All the Netflix Original Movies (101-150)

The governing principle behind this website has always been, “Well, I did this, so I might as well document it.”

I think we’ve established by now that I watch ostensibly everything that matters each year (in terms of American feature releases), and a lot that doesn’t. And that now includes an ever-increasing number of Netflix movies. And, as is my credo, if I’m watching them all, why not make you all have to hear about it?

This isn’t a definitive ranking by any stretch. It’s really just how much I like each of the movies and want to recommend them to you. That’s it. Because at this point, there’s so much stuff that’s put out on the platform that unless something truly breaks through, it immediately gets lost under the pile of the newer, shinier stuff. So the goal is to just talk about everything in relation to all the others, so you can gauge what you have seen versus where I’ve put everything and then maybe go, “Oh, what’s this one? This one sounds good.” (more…)


Ranking All the Netflix Original Movies (151-200)

The governing principle behind this website has always been, “Well, I did this, so I might as well document it.”

I think we’ve established by now that I watch ostensibly everything that matters each year (in terms of American feature releases), and a lot that doesn’t. And that now includes an ever-increasing number of Netflix movies. And, as is my credo, if I’m watching them all, why not make you all have to hear about it?

This isn’t a definitive ranking by any stretch. It’s really just how much I like each of the movies and want to recommend them to you. That’s it. Because at this point, there’s so much stuff that’s put out on the platform that unless something truly breaks through, it immediately gets lost under the pile of the newer, shinier stuff. So the goal is to just talk about everything in relation to all the others, so you can gauge what you have seen versus where I’ve put everything and then maybe go, “Oh, what’s this one? This one sounds good.” (more…)


Ranking All the Netflix Original Movies (201-250)

The governing principle behind this website has always been, “Well, I did this, so I might as well document it.”

I think we’ve established by now that I watch ostensibly everything that matters each year (in terms of American feature releases), and a lot that doesn’t. And that now includes an ever-increasing number of Netflix movies. And, as is my credo, if I’m watching them all, why not make you all have to hear about it?

This isn’t a definitive ranking by any stretch. It’s really just how much I like each of the movies and want to recommend them to you. That’s it. Because at this point, there’s so much stuff that’s put out on the platform that unless something truly breaks through, it immediately gets lost under the pile of the newer, shinier stuff. So the goal is to just talk about everything in relation to all the others, so you can gauge what you have seen versus where I’ve put everything and then maybe go, “Oh, what’s this one? This one sounds good.” (more…)


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Pic of the Day: ♫ “You / Doing that thing you do / Breakin’ my heart into a million pieces / Like you always do / And you / Don’t mean to be cruel / You never even knew, about the heartache / I’ve been going through / When I’m trying and try to forget you girl / But it’s just so hard to do / Every time you do that thing you do.” ♫ (25th Anniversary)


Mike’s Top Ten of 2010-2019

This decade is the first decade where this site existed while I was watching all the films. 2010’s list was the very first thing I posted on this site. So it’s the only Decade I’ve compiled in real time. And I really haven’t had a lot of time to consider just how I feel about it as a cohesive decade, since each year feels like it’s own entity to me (since I treated them as such for the past decade). But I can say, compiling this list was both pretty easy and pretty tough. Because it finally forced me to come to terms with certain films and say, “No, I truly like this movie over this other one, even though I spent the majority of the past decade saying otherwise.” But you know what? It was nice to do. I like that I’ve done it and can now live my truth.

My big takeaway from this past decade in terms of industry/history purposes — this is really the decade where the DVD market dried up and streaming services came about, PVOD became a thing and the theatrical experience became much more about niche art films or giant tentpoles with really no middle ground. But even despite all that, it still made me realize — no matter how they distribute the films, there’s still a baseline of directors and styles/genres that I will always gravitate toward, and this list is gonna reflect that.

For methodology purposes, the way I compile these Top Tens of the Decade lists: I take my top ten for each year of the decade, throw them all together, and simply whittle it down until I find what I feel are my ten favorites from that decade. Not the best, my favorite. That’s really all it is. I feel like if I can figure out what my favorite films of all time are, then I can figure it out by specific decades. (more…)


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Pic of the Day: “Let’s fuck! I’ll fuck anything that moves!” (35th Anniversary)