Well, 2020 has been… an experience, hasn’t it.
Ever since March, life has changed for pretty much everyone in the world. Coronavirus – or Covid-19 – has all of a sudden become the most famous celebrity in the whole world, and everyone abruptly discovered a new vocabulary, including “social distancing”, “pandemic”, “isolation” and “quarantine”.
It became the biggest thing in the world around March, especially half way through the month. It is still going on now, but it’s definitely dialling down, and will probably never again reach the craziness of mid-to-late March. The whole pandemic is like a TV show that started off as biggest show on television, and is now petering out (but still has a devoted fan-base) – it’s like Twin Peaks, Glee or Heroes. And, like these shows, the pandemic will hopefully be cancelled soon, only getting a revival in the press when it is properly finished.
And, like everyone, we were put in lock-down in late March, not being able to go outside, go to cinema, go to a restaurant, see friends, see family, or just really do anything that doesn’t involve doing it in the house. So, therefore, like everyone, I got a load of brand new projects, and this included watching a lot of films.
Firstly, during the first half on the month (the 1st to the 16th), where the world had not really changed that much, it was pretty much business as normal. This includes:
- A load of new films, that I watched at the cinema (remember when we could do that). This includes – Portrait of a Lady on Fire, The Invisible Man, Downhill, Onward (and the short film that proceeded it, Playdate with Destiny), The Photograph and Military Wives. Yes, that’s right, Military Wives was the last film I watched at the cinema. I mean, Military Wives was good and everything, but if I die of Covid-19 and that is the last film I see at the cinema, I’m gonna be pissed. Overall the best of these films are either The Invisible Man or Portrait of a Lady on Fire (both so great – Portrait a little overrated, and Invisible Man was better than many thought), while the worst was definitely Downhill.
- Also, I watched Taylor Tomlison’s new stand-up special, Quarter Life Crisis, which was very good. It was broadcast on Netflix – a eerie foreshadowing that we would get a load of new films on streaming services.
- I continued to watch Studio Ghibli movies – the anime movies that were produced by Hayao Miyazaki’s film studio – ever since were brought to Netflix in February. In February, I watched Kiki’s Delivery Service, Castle in the Sky and Porco Rosso, and re-watched My Neighbour Totoro, while in March, I watched The Secret World of Arrietty and The Cat Returns and re-watched Spirited Away.
- I also continued to watch a lot of Mark Ruffalo films, which I started to watch after seeing Dark Waters in late Feb. This includes Foxcatcher and Just Like Heaven, and re-watching Zodiac and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, the latter two are two of the best films of the 21st century.
- Other random first-time watches include: the 2016 horror film (that the podcast, The Evolution of Horror recommended me), The Autopsy of Jane Doe; the underrated Best Picture nominee, In the Bedroom; the overrated Noah Baumbach movie, Mistress America, and the solid Sidney Lumet thriller, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. A re-watch includes Ready or Not, a film from last year, that I really liked.
- In terms of TV, I watched the fifth season of Inside No. 9. This was good, but was not as good as the utterly brilliant fourth season.
Now, we get to the time were the world went to shit. This is a new world, where new releases were either delayed, or taken straight to streaming. With the world in extreme turmoil, I started to watch favourite films and childhood favourites. Also, feeling like I won’t have this opportunity again, I decided to watch a bunch of old classics I’ve never seen before. Watches includes:
- I re-watched some of my favourite films, including Fargo (believe or not, a go-to comfort film for me), Toy Story 2 (which I’m loving more and more on each re-watch) and last year’s Knives Out (which I watched for the fourth time).
- I also watched some of my favourite films from childhood, including Ocean’s Eleven and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Both were good, but not as great as I remembered, especially Ocean’s Eleven.
- Also, when I got DisneyPlus in late March, I watched a lot of their content, including their two short films, Lamp Life and Forky Asks a Question: What is Money?.
- I started watching some classic films, starting with 1949 classic, The Third Man.
- As we had to get used to our new surroundings, I started to watch new films on streaming services instead of at the cinema. This includes The Platform and Vivarium – both solid, if slightly underwhelming satirical movies.
- Other random watches include: The Invisible Man director, Leigh Wannell’s other film, Upgrade; the 1970s musical thriller (that Edgar Wright recommended me), Phantom of the Paraside, and re-watched the 2011 Steven Soderbergh thriller, Contagion, which for some reason, I found slightly relatable.
- Also, as a go-comfort move, I re-watched my favourite show from my childhood – a little show you may of heard of called The Simpsons. I re-watched a lot of random episodes and finished the eighth season. This brought me back to my childhood at this really heard time, and really established for me that it is indeed one of the best TV shows of all time.
- Otherwise, I also finished the second season of Lost in Space and the twelfth season of Doctor Who. Both were solidly good seasons.
Now, the next two months were peak lockdown, so prepare for a lot of movies in the next few months.