Given the fact that most of the movies that were originally scheduled to come out in 2020 were either postponed to 2021 or shuffled off to the various streaming services that I don't have, the fact that I ended up seeing just TWELVE movies that managed to get a 2020 calendar year release shouldn't be much of a surprise.
And when you consider that two of those were actually documentaries I saw on Showtime and ESPN, the list shrinks down to 10 films. Factor in that some of the movies were bitterly disappointing to the point where I would either I never buy them on DVD (a critical component in my opinion) but I would never watch them again if I came across them on free TV and the list gets even smaller.
So I'm left with just SEVEN movies that I'd either buy on DVD or at least sit down and watch them again if they popped up on TV as I flipped through the channels.
Just a reminder about the requirements I have for a film making my list: Did I like the movie? Would I pay to see it again in the theater? Would I watch it repeatedly when I saw it on movie channel/On Demand OR Would I buy it on DVD? You've got to hit at least three of those categories to make my list. (This year, the idea of paying to see AGAIN in a theater is slightly changed to "Would I have paid to see it in the theater if that had been an option).
Here's my list:
#7. DEEP BLUE SEA 3 - I loved the first movie. Then I saw the abomination that was the 2nd movie. I had very little hope that a third movie was in the offing much less that I would like it. But the movie trailer was pretty intriguing and when I watched the movie itself, I was entertained by it.
Would I buy it on DVD? - Yes I would. I hope to add it to the first movie DVD I have and completely ignore the existence of the second film.
#6. BLOODSHOT - Vin Diesel has never really had much luck with his movies outside of the Fast & Furious franchise. And while I didn't really have much in the way of expectation for this movie either, it was surprisingly entertaining when I watched it. It won't win awards or anything but it didn't make me want my two hours back either.
Would I buy it on DVD? - Probably not, but if I see it on TV I'd likely end up watching it again.
#5. THE HIGH NOTE - While the movie's plot follows a well-worn story arc, it was the chemistry between actresses Dakota Johnson and Tracee Ellis Ross that made this movie a decent viewing for me.
Would I buy it on DVD? Probably not, but if it was on free TV I'd watch the movie again for sure.
#4. THE LAST FULL MEASURE - This is one of those movies that used to be billed as "featuring an all-star cast" as an important true story is played out on the screen. And that's okay by me because this was a surprisingly effective movie that told a story I'd never heard of before.
#3. ROBERT THE BRUCE - While the movie was released overseas in 2019, it didn't get a US release until this year. The movie is nominally tied to the Braveheart movie due to actor Angus Macfayden playing the role of Robert The Bruce here, as he did in Mel Gibson's Oscar-winning film. I really enjoyed this one. It's much lower-key than Braveheart given the story being told. I read up on the story and it turns out that this is not historically accurate at all, but it does fictionally fill in the blanks of a part of the man's life.
Would I buy this on DVD? Yes I would and I'd probably watch it on TV as well.
My two favorite movies this year were never scheduled to be in the theaters. They are Netflix films. I said before that I don't have any streaming services, so a big shout goes out to my friend Ann for watching these two movies with me. (Spoiler Alert: She liked them too.)
#2. THE OLD GUARD - Based on Greg Rucka's comic book series, Charlize Theron leads a team of immortals through the centuries. In modern day though, they are betrayed and their secret is discovered. Now they are on the run from those who would lock them away to learn their secret. Aside from one change from the source story material that I didn't like, this was a phenomenal action movie. Theron is awesome as Andy and I can only hope it leads to at least a couple of sequels that cover the already published second comic series and the planned third one.
Would I buy this on DVD? HELL YES...if Netflix ever releases it that is. I've looked online and no release date is listed. And I would definitely watch this again...a lot!
And my favorite film of 2020 is:
#1. ENOLA HOLMES - As a devoted fan of mystery novels, I love Sherlock Holmes. And the various pastiches that echo the original stories are legion. The Enola Holmes young adult series has been a well received set of books I'm told. (I haven't read them). But when I first saw this movie's trailer I found that I really wanted to see it. The film has to be carried by the actress in the title role of course and that's never an easy feat. But Millie Bobby Brown is outstanding as Sherlock's younger (and much wilder for the times) sister. This was a gem of a film and I can only hope that there will be more films in the series as time passes.
Would I buy this on DVD? Absolutely! But much like The Old Guard, Netflix has not even announced a release date, assuming they ever will. I would definitely watch this again because this was just a great film that entertained me and proves a worthy addition to the extended Sherlock Holmes universe.
And that's it for my movies of 2020 list. Hopefully next year will prove safe to go back to the theater and I'll have even more to choose from at the end of 2021. Until then, I will blatantly rip off an old movie review show and say "I'll see you...AT THE MOVIES!"