movies of 2020—glenn criddle—feb. 2020
With the abysmal ending to 2019 that was Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker, yes I did eventually get to see it and it was truly awful, lets have a whistle stop tour of what to expect with the new years offerings and how I feel about them at this point.
Bad Boys for Life: Was anyone really excited about this? Expect a late 1990's car chase rock video in the headache inducing, colour-corrected Michael Bay style. It's a dated throwback to a time that saw a lot of dumb, loud films and right now they're not doing that well.
Venom 2: I'm a little on the fence with this one. I found the first part to be flawed but just about interesting enough to pass the time agreeably... but it's Sony, a studio that pumps out so much disappointing content they rival a low budget sausage machine. I think this will be fine enough though and it seems to have a sufficiently different tone to make it stand out as something a bit different from the rest of the MCU that it's now a part of.
Gretel and Hansel: This looks interesting. I've delved into the original fairy-tales before and they are shockingly hardcore. From the trailer it certainly looks like it's trying to recapture the horrific elements of the Grimm's tales, which is quite exciting, but my curiosity is peaked by the change in the title, no it's not a typo. I may have to revisit the original story before going to see this but I'm willing to give it it's shot.
West Side Story: There's a lot of baggage coming with this one. Does it need to happen? The original is a classic, the songs are definitive and the film adaptation more so and one wanders quite what reception Spielberg is expecting from an audience who's likely familiar with the material. Though it's not likely to be the mess that Cats was (that was always trash anyway) I think it has an uphill battle to compete with a classic. Is this the thing for 2020 now? Musical adaptations? It's a tricky thing to get right.
Godzilla vs. King Kong: They're still plugging away at it and are likely to keep getting it 'meh!'. For my part, I just see big monsters being slapped together in the same way Batman and Superman were in their film, only with very little opportunity for characters to shine through.
A Quiet Place part 2: A quiet place was an interesting enough film, spoiled by the reveal of the CG monster in all its overblown glory. My main question is “What does a sequel have to offer?" The first one had an interesting idea; will this be an amped up version? Will that ruin it? (likely). I think they may get away with this one but as a potential franchise? Well, the idea may not have legs as long as the beasties in it.
Ghostbusters Afterlife: After the bland and controversial 2016 reboot effort from Paul Feig and Sony (of course), we're getting another Ghostbusters. Yay? It'll be interesting to see how this one's handled and the trailer has some very promising stuff. It looks like it respects the history of the story whilst adding new stuff and I'm cautiously optimistic that it'll be at least half decent. It is Sony though so I'm holding any excitement seriously in check.
Black Widow: It's odd timing to finally have a solo story for a character that was bumped off in her last movie but considering the movie world is now regularly treating death like a mild inconvenience or even as an improvement then, yeah, not shocked. It looks like decent MCU fare and has an under-explored character that many like so I'm looking forward to watching this. Who needs a female Bond when you have Natasha?
Dune: In one of the more notorious examples of producer/studio meddling, David Lynch's Dune was one of his career disappointments, at least for him. The epic Frank Hebert tale has often been considered un-filmable considering how intricate it is, though this didn't stop Alejandro Jodorowsky from painstakingly planning his own version that ranks up high in the greatest films never made. Getting it right depends on the director having an eye for the scale of the vistas whilst getting to the heart of the politics which shape the story all while being able to do this in the confines of a feature length film. It's a lofty demand but it's what this story needs. I'll be watching this with high expectations and hoping I'm not let down.
I could go on, and maybe soon I'll look further forward at more to come but I just wanted to take this moment to acknowledge the passing of our editor Andrew. Andrew and I sadly never met in person but we did chat via emails and Facebook about whatever I was writing about. He invited me to write for the magazine back at the start and it's been my privilege to do so in each and every edition so far. Andrew was always a joy to chat to, he was supportive, enthusiastic and a genuinely decent man who'd occasionally throw some popcorn money my way as a thanks for sitting through the likes of Ghostbusters 2016. Where he didn't agree with me, he let me express myself as I saw fit, where he did agree with me, he sent long emails in support. I will never forget the generosity and integrity he showed as a follower of my work and as my editor, and certainly not that he gave me the chance to actually get my words in print. I was going to write about how bad Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker was and I know he'd have loved it. But that wouldn't have left me room to acknowledge the life of this lovely man who I'll miss working and chatting with and that was an editorial decision I had to make for myself, to honour him. Goodbye man, the worlds that bit less without you.