Media Stock: What I Watched and Learn in 2020 –

Movies Review

For a very long time I’ve aimed to observe roughly one film a day, averaging round 350 a 12 months. In a typical 12 months as a film critic, about 200 of these had been new releases, movies that got here out that 12 months. The remainder can be about an excellent mixture of first-time watches and flicks I’d seen earlier than that had come out earlier than the present 12 months.

This 12 months issues had been totally different, clearly. It was my first 12 months in non-movie-related employment, which means I now not had any obligation to see motion pictures in theaters if I didn’t really feel prefer it. After which the film theaters closed and flicks stopped being launched anyway, on account of the pandemic.

I ended up watching a typical variety of motion pictures this 12 months: 380. However as a substitute of the standard 200 or so being new releases, solely 56 had been — and 38 of these had been earlier than the shutdown (together with 24 at Sundance in January).

And as a substitute of 60-80 rewatches, this 12 months I had 196! I watched quite a lot of outdated favorites within the early weeks of the quarantine — consolation viewing, I assume, if “Se7en” might be mentioned to supply “consolation.”

Probably the most rewarding acquire was in motion pictures that I noticed for the primary time. As an alternative of 50-70, this 12 months I had 114 new-to-me experiences. The Criterion Channel and, considerably surprisingly, HBOMax had been each very useful right here.

I used to be even capable of watch motion pictures remotely with just a few pals by way of a web site referred to as TwoSeven. You and the opposite particular person can see and listen to one another by way of your webcams (particularly necessary while you’re watching one thing that shall be making you snigger), and the app syncs the film up for you. The draw back is that it’s a must to watch the film in a browser, it’s a must to use headphones, and there’s nearly at all times some TwoSeven wonkiness at first with getting related. As soon as I obtained the dangle of it, although, it turned a priceless approach to simulwatch motion pictures (that’s what we’re calling it) with pals I wouldn’t have seen in any other case.

Of the 380 motion pictures I watched in 2020…

56 had been 2020 releases:

Something for Jackson B+
Babyteeth B+
Dangerous Boys for Life B-
Invoice and Ted Face the Music B-
Birds of Prey B-
Black Bear B
Borat: Subsequent Film Movie B
Boys State B
Brahms: The Boy II C+
Cuties B
Da 5 Bloods B+
Satan All of the Time, The C+
Dolittle D
Downhill B-
Emma. B
Eurovision Track Contest B
Fantasy Island C
Gents, The B
Glorias, The B-
Gretel and Hansel C+
Grudge, The C+
Hamilton B+
His Home B
Hunt, The B- (the final film I noticed in a theater!)
I’m Pondering of Ending Issues A-
Invisible Man, The B+
Kajillionaire C
Leap of Religion: William Friedkin on The Exorcist B-
Lovers Rock B
Ma Rainey’s Black Backside B+
Mank C+
Minari A-
Miss Americana B
By no means Hardly ever Generally All the time B+
Onward B
Palm Springs B+
Possessor B
Possum C+
Psychokinesis B-
Relic B-
Scream, Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Avenue C+
She Dies Tomorrow B-
Sonic the Hedgehog B-
Soul B+
Sound of Steel A-
Spree B-
Tenet C+
Tesla B
Time A-
Uncle Frank B-
Underwater B-
Huge of Evening, The B+
Wendy D+
WW84 C+

8 had been movies I noticed at festivals that shall be launched in 2021 (or presumably by no means):

Come True
Dream Horse
Father, The
My Coronary heart Can’t Beat Until You Inform it To
9 Days

196 had been pre-2020 motion pictures that I rewatched:

10 Issues I Hate About You (1999)
21 Soar Avenue (2012)
22 Soar Avenue (2014)
500 Days of Summer season (2009)
8mm (1999)
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Adaptation (2002)
Adjustment Bureau, The (2011)
Age of Innocence, The (1993)
American Psycho (2000)
Anastasia (1997)
Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)
Child Driver (2017)
Batman Begins (2005)
Batman Without end (1995)
Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
Earlier than the Satan Is aware of You’re Lifeless (2007)
Being John Malkovich (1999)
Bellflower (2011)
Finest in Present (2000)
Huge Hero 6 (2014)
Black Dynamite (2009)
Boogie Nights (1997)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)
Burn After Studying (2008)
Cape Worry (1991)
Cell, The (2000)
Chinatown (1974)
Clockwork Orange, A (1971)
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Clueless (1995)
Contagion (2011)
Darkish Knight, The (2008)
Dave (1993)
Dazed & Confused (1993)
Loss of life of Stalin, The (2018)
Departed, The (2006)
Descent, The (2006)
Dick (1999)
Dick Tracy (1990)
Django Unchained (2012)
Doorways, The (1991)
Dr. Strangelove (1960)
Drag Me to Hell (2009)
Drive (2011)
Drop Lifeless Beautiful (1999)
Fringe of Tomorrow (2014)
Election (1999)
Emperor’s New Groove, The (2000)
Everlasting Sunshine of the Spotless Thoughts (2004)
Ex Machina (2014)
Fall, The (2008)
Implausible Mr. Fox (2009)
Fargo (1996)
Few Good Males, A (1992)
Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Freddy’s Lifeless: The Closing Nightmare (1991)
Frequency (2000)
Recreation, The (1997)
Ghost World (2001)
Godfather Half II, The (1974)
Godfather Half III, The (1990)
Godfather, The (1972)
Goodfellas (1990)
Hairspray (2007)
Hamlet 2 (2008)
Hannibal (2001)
Harold & Kumar Go to White Citadel (2004)
Heathers (1989)
Hey, Dolly! (1969)
Henry Gamble’s Birthday Social gathering (2015)
Hercules (1997)
Hereditary (2018)
Historical past of Violence, A (2005)
Holy Motors (2012)
Sizzling Rod (2007)
Within the Loop (2009)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Cranium (2008)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Inherent Vice (2014)
It Occurred One Evening (1934)
Jaws (1975)
Jennifer’s Physique (2009)
Jerk, The (1979)
Josie and the Pussycats (2001)
Jumanji (1995)
Jurassic Park (1993)
Kill Checklist (2012)
Killing Them Softly (2012)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
Knives Out (2019)
Ladykillers, The (2004)
Lifetime of Brian (1979)
Lilo & Sew (2002)
Limey, The (1999)
Little Hours, The (2017)
Little Ladies (2019)
Lengthy Goodbye, The (1973)
Looper (2012)
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
MacGruber (2010)
Mad Max: Fury Street (2015)
Maltese Falcon, The (1941)
Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, The (1977)
Mascots (2016)
MASH (1970)
Matrix Reloaded, The (2003)
Matrix, The (1999)
Imply Ladies (2004)
Michael Clayton (2007)
Mighty Wind, A (2003)
Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Munich (2005)
Muppets, The (2011)
Thriller Science Theater 3000: The Film — Prolonged Version (1996)
Bare Gun 2 1/2: The Odor of Worry, The (1991)
Bare Gun 33 1/3 (1994)
Bare Gun, The (1988)
New Nightmare (1994)
Newsies (1992)
Good Guys, The (2016)
Nightcrawler (2014)
Nightmare on Elm Avenue 2: Freddy’s Revenge, A (1985)
Nightmare on Elm Avenue 3: Dream Warriors, A (1987)
Nightmare on Elm Avenue 4: The Dream Grasp, A (1988)
Nightmare on Elm Avenue 5: The Dream Little one, A (1989)
Nightmare on Elm Avenue, A (1984)
Nightmare on Elm Avenue, A (2010)
No Nation for Outdated Males (2007)
As soon as Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019)
Different Guys, The (2010)
Others, The (2001)
Panic Room (2002)
Perks of Being a Wallflower, The (2012)
Pineapple Categorical (2008)
Poltergeist (1982)
Popeye (1980)
Status, The (2006)
Promotion, The (2008)
Raging Bull (1980)
Raiders of the Misplaced Ark (1981)
Rango (2011)
Ratatouille (2007)
Purple Dragon (2002)
Street to Perdition (2002)
Rocketeer, The (1991)
Rocky II (1979)
Rocky III (1982)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
Saving Non-public Ryan (1998)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
Se7en (1995)
Shining, The (1980)
Indicators (2002)
Silence of the Lambs, The (1991)
Simpsons Film, The (2007)
Sleepy Hole (1999)
Smiley Face (2007)
Snowpiercer (2013)
Social Community, The (2010)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Spaceballs (1987)
Splash (1984)
Starship Troopers (1997)
State & Most important (2000)
Step Brothers (2008)
Swiss Household Robinson, The (1960)
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
Gifted Mr. Ripley, The (1999)
Staff America: World Police (2004)
That Factor You Do! (1996)
They Got here Collectively (2014)
Factor, The (1982)
This Is the Finish (2013)
Three Amigos (1986)
Tommy Boy (1995)
Tony Takitani (2005)
Prime Secret! (1984)
True Grit (2010)
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The (1964)
Uncut Gems (2019)
Beneath the Pores and skin (2014)
Up (2009)
Us (2019)
V for Vendetta (2006)
Wake Up, Ron Burgundy (2004)
Stroll Arduous: The Dewey Cox Story (2007)
What We Do within the Shadows (2014)
Witch, The (2016)
Withnail and I (1987)
Wizard of Oz, The (1939)
Wolf of Wall Avenue, The (2013)
Surprise Girl (2017)
World’s Finish, The (2013)
Zodiac (2007)

…and 114 had been pre-2020 motion pictures that I watched for the primary time:

5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, The (1953)
Abyss, The (1989)
Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The (1988)
After Hours (1985)
Alchemist Cookbook, The (2016)
Anchors Aweigh (1945)
Anderson Tapes, The (1971)
Anguish (1987)
At Struggle with the Military (1950)
Beau Travail (2000)
Past, The (1981)
Bigamist, The (1953)
Black Narcissus (1947)
Black Orpheus (1959)
Blackboard Jungle (1955)
Blithe Spirit (1945)
Blob, The (1958)
Breaking Level, The (1951)
Brute Pressure (1947)
Buck Privates (1941)
Bugsy Malone (1976)
BUtterfield-8 (1960)
Candyman (1992)
Cat on a Sizzling Tin Roof (1958)
Cat Folks (1982)
Coloration of Cash, The (1986)
Coma (1978)
Daytrippers, The (1996)
Lifeless Reckoning (1947)
Die Arduous 2 (1990)
Die Arduous with a Vengeance (1995)
Don’t Look Again (1967)
Dybbuk, The (1960)
Experiment in Terror (1962)
Fade to Black (1980)
Fail Protected (1964)
Implausible Planet (1973)
Footlight Parade (1933)
Frighteners, The (1996)
From Past (1986)
Entrance Web page, The (1931)
Large (1956)
Woman Loopy (1943)
Woman on the Third Ground, The (2019)
Gun Loopy (1950)
Hardcore (1979)
Historical past Is Made at Evening (1937)
Hollywood Shuffle (1987)
Starvation, The (1983)
I Married a Witch (1942)
It’s Alive (1974)
Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
Jawbreaker (1999)
Joe (1970)
Johnny O’Clock (1947)
Keeper of the Flame (1943)
League of Gents, The (1960)
Lifeforce (1985)
Lonely Man, The (1984)
Longest Yard, The (1974)
Man Who Knew Too A lot, The (1934)
Man with the Gun (1955)
Manhunter (1986)
Marnie (1964)
Masque of the Purple Loss of life, The (1964)
Merrily We Go to Hell (1932)
Mikey and Nicky (1976)
Cash Pit, The (1986)
Monty Python: The That means of Reside (2014)
My Left Foot (1989)
My Little Chickadee (1940)
Nutty Professor, The (1963)
Obsession (aka The Hidden Room) (1949)
Solely Angels Have Wings (1939)
Orlando (1993)
Parallax View, The (1974)
Phantom Girl (1944)
Section IV (1974)
Play Time (1967)
Participant, The (1992)
Poltergeist II: The Different Facet (1986)
Prince of Egypt, The (1998)
Pump up the Quantity (1990)
Purple Midday (1960)
Pygmalion (1938)
Actual Life (1979)
Richard Pryor: Reside in Live performance (1979)
Proper Stuff, The (1983)
Street Home (1989)
Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985)
Saboteur (1942)
Season of the Witch (aka Hungry Wives) (1973)
Secret Lifetime of Walter Mitty, The (1947)
Shampoo (1975)
Silent Companion, The (1978)
Six by Sondheim (2013)
Spider Child (1968)
Cease Making Sense (1984)
Three Colours: White (1994)
Three Males and a Child (1987)
Three on a Match (1932)
Topaz (1969)
Torn Curtain (1966)
City Known as Panic, A (2010)
Trilogy of Terror (1975)
Trog (1970)
Hassle in Paradise (1932)
Two Jakes, The (1990)
Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)
Vampyr (1932)
Strolling Hills, The (1949)
Welcome II the Terrordome (1995)
Younger Ladies of Rochefort, The (1967)
Zelig (1983)

I don’t care about TV anymore. There’s an excessive amount of of it. In 2020 I stored watching the reveals I’d been watching. I additionally watched just a few new reveals — “House Pressure,” “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist,” “Devs,” “The Haunting of Bly Manor” — and didn’t significantly take care of any of them. Good day.

I occurred to learn two books in a row (re-read, truly, in each instances) that had “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize” medallions on the quilt (“The Superb Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” and “A Confederacy of Dunces”). I puzzled what number of different Pulitzer winners I’d learn in the middle of my travels. I consulted the record on Wikipedia and located I’d learn a complete of 10 — and preferred each single one among them. That’s a fairly good success charge.

So I made the Pulitzer winners my new studying record! I’ve been shopping for low cost used copies of them so as to add to my cabinets. There are 93 winners (minus 10), so I don’t count on to complete anytime quickly, and presumably by no means. (Having learn one among John Updike’s “Rabbit” novels by myself, I don’t relish having to learn one other one.) My alternatives so far have been based mostly on what was instantly accessible and, of these, what was shortest. And I’ve preferred all of them.


The Comedians, by Kliph Nesteroff. A historical past of stand-up comedy! Extremely entertaining and informative (and humorous).

The Bizarre Accordion to Al, by Nathan Rabin. A song-by-song evaluation of Bizarre Al Yankovic. I used to be anticipating extra background information, trivia, tidbits concerning the songs, nevertheless it’s principally simply Rabin’s opinions about them. Which is ok, he’s a very good author.

Ending the Hat, by Stephen Sondheim. The nice songwriter’s lyrics are compiled with commentary from the person himself. (I believe that is what I hoped the Bizarre Al guide can be.) He’s sensible, and likewise a bitchy outdated man.

Saints Vol. 1
Saints Vol. 2
The Mormon Expertise, by Leonard J. Arrington & Davis Bitton. I actually loved the primary two volumes of historical past printed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They’re written in a energetic voice, very readable. Since I used to be bingeing, I then learn this historical past I picked up at a used bookstore, printed in 1979. Not as fascinating, nevertheless it was written 41 years in the past for a non-LDS viewers, so whaddaya gonna do?

Let’s Discover Diabetes with Owls, by David Sedaris. Extra humorous tales and whatnot.


I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, by Alan Bradley. That is from his collection of novels a couple of plucky woman from the English countryside within the ’50s who solves murders. I like them.

Most important Avenue, by Sinclair Lewis. I’ve been a fan of Lewis since highschool and loved this one as soon as I obtained into it (which took some doing). I used to be fascinated by the depiction of small-town life a century in the past, particularly small-town life for a bored housewife.

I’m Pondering of Ending Issues, by Iain Reid. Liked the film, learn the guide, additionally beloved the guide.


The Superb Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon. A re-read. One among my favorites.

A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole. One other re-read. A lot of the humor on this very humorous novel comes from the voice I’ve in my head for the protagonist, Ignatius Q. Reilly. It’s a bit like Foghorn Leghorn, although this time round it had developed into Daniel Craig from “Knives Out.”

Ironweed, by William Kennedy.

The Fixer, by Bernard Malamud.

The Age of Innocence, by Edith Wharton. I noticed this film years in the past and was tired of it. Anticipating the novel to have the identical impact, I used to be intrigued when one thing droll on the primary web page made me smile. I ended up having fun with the guide fairly a bit, then went again and watched the film once more and preferred it higher, too.

The Reivers, by William Faulkner. I’ve a spotty historical past with Faulkner. I think his Pulitzer Prize right here was extra of a lifetime achievement than for this particular work, which is slight and comedian (and straightforward sufficient to observe, in contrast to sure different Faulkner books). It’s effective.

The Optimist’s Daughter, by Eudora Welty. A lot of Southern novels have received the Pulitzer, apparently.

The Recognized World, by Edward P. Jones. Set in slave instances, primarily a couple of group of slaves owned by a black man.

A Loss of life within the Household, by James Agee. His potential to explain the emotions and get inside the top of each member of the household is a powerful show of creativeness and empathy.

The Pulitzer winners I had already learn are the 2 talked about and:

“The Bridge of San Luis Rey,” Thornton Wilder
“The Outdated Man and the Sea,” Ernest Hemingway
“To Kill a Mockingbird,” Harper Lee
“Middlesex,” Jeffrey Eugenides
“The Street,” Cormac McCarthy
“The Transient Wondrous Lifetime of Oscar Wao,” Junot Diaz
“All of the Mild We Can’t See,” Anthony Doerr
“Much less,” Andrew Sean Greer

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