19 January 2020

Movies in 2020! The New Golden Dream!

2019 ended up being a decent year for movies. Not particularly amazing, but it was okay. In addition to superhero films both weird and big we got farting lighthouse operators, high stuntmen, and underground rabbit eaters. It was a fun time. 2020 will assuredly be way better, though. Right?! It's an intriguing year we have coming up. There isn't really a huge monolithic film to look towards. No Avengers, no Star Wars. No Pirates of the Caribbean or Tron movie to keep us on the edge of our seat. But it will be a year dominated by female superhero films (which is amazing that this is notable, since we didn't really extol the previous twenty years of male superhero movies...) and not a ton else. This is great for everyone. Let's get into what looks good:

Wonder Woman 1984



The superhero film to beat in 2020. DCEU seems to be on track without Zack Synder and it's nice to know that yes, these films actually can be good. They have actually had a pretty decent post-Justice League (2017) track record and Wonder Woman (2017) was sublime. There are a lot of questions here, like why is it in the 80s? Why is Steve Trevor back? Did they mean to reveal that in the first trailer? Why are they chasing Thor: Ragnarok (2017) in production design and poster choices... What is Kristen Wiig's Cheetah going to look like? Full Cheetah? I hope she's full Cheetah. There are a lot of other possible superhero films that might be good coming out, but I'm not fully on board with Bird of Prey or The Eternals quite yet. I am with this one.

TENET



I read the cast, which includes John David Washington, Robert Pattinson, and Elizabeth Debicki in some kind of time travel movie and was hooked before I even realized it was a Chris Nolan joint. He's got to try really hard to whiff, and his movies are always an event, especially with this kind of cerebral subject matter. Hopefully he can just tone down the dead wife motivation.

Deerskin



I don't know a ton about this, but Jean Dujardin plays some weirdo who really likes his deerskin jacket. It's creepy, maybe comedic, foreign, and totally under the radar. My kind of flick. The trailer wasn't actually that impressive, but I'm on board for now. Dujardin really hasn't done much of anything since The Artist (2011) and it would be cool to see him in a wacky role like this.

Bad Trip



I am a big Eric Andre fan and this is his own Bad Grandpa (2013) in a way. It seems like it's a loose narrative strung together with pranks, which honestly feels very 2000s. Andre has a fearless persona, though (despite admitting he actually gets nervous before stunts) and truly cares not for his own reputation. It's a special kind of insanity. Tiffany Haddish and Lil Rey Howery are along for the ride.

The Personal History of David Copperfield



At this point I will still eat up anything Armando Iannucci cranks out, and although I am not too familiar with the source material (my first thought is still the magician) this looks winding and whimsical and damned entertaining. It's the kind of film that used to be made. And that's fun. It's a book that has been made or attempted to be made into film many times over the years and Iannucci's wit should prove to be a good match in this attempt.

Untitled Judd Apatow / Pete Davidson Comedy

There really isn't much more information than this, but do you need it? I'm sold. Pete Davidson needs to be out of SNL and break into movies already. He kind of already has, right? He's hardly on air anymore. They just need the right vehicle. It's still a little weird to me that Amy Schumer's star seemed to decline, not accelerate after Trainwreck (2015), and Apatow seems a little more self-serving and self-reflective than what might be best for Pete Davidson. But shit, just a starring role, let's watch this disaster.

Godzilla vs. Kong

I work in a vacuum in many ways. I love TRON: Legacy (2010), The Lone Ranger (2013), and most importantly, Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019). Hopefully Legendary realizes that the writing is on the wall with this shared cinematic monsterverse - it's totally dead. However, this means they need to go absolutely cuckoo bananas with this one and deliver something that King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962) never could: a good movie. KONG: Skull Island (2017) is also crazy underrated. Just make it nuts and have no shame. It'll be good. I swear. I hope. I'll watch it alone in theaters.

Dune

For reasons that escape me, after Blade Runner 2049 (2017), the powers that be decided to hand Denis Villeneuve the keys to an even BIGGER unfilmable flop, Dune! The book is a classic and this will assuredly be an extremely long meditative look at the nature of our role and existence in the universe. It will be great. No one will watch it. Why does this keep happening? I'm not complaining, very much looking forward to this, but mainstream audiences don't give a crap about Dune! What high studio exec keeps giving Villeneuve money for these things?

The Tomorrow War

We have almost a full calendar year for this, but this looks promising. Chris McKay, perhaps best known for directing The LEGO Batman Movie (2017) fashions this one with Chris Pratt in the lead role about a future war against aliens where humanity starts drafting soldiers from the past to fight. Cool idea, may result in some creative mash-ups or could be a huge dud. Either way, we're in.

Other Crap:

New Bond, New Top Gun, New Ghostbusters, New Bill & Ted, New Coming to America. These all have potential, and I might like them, but whatever, folks. It's an 80s obsession that's getting a little ridiculous, and frankly, I'm just not getting my hopes up too high for anything. I have a sincere cocked eyebrow at all of you.

Black Widow could be cool, but feels infinitely smaller than a normal Avengers film. It could be a cool spy thriller but feels like it's in a very weird spot in the overall MCU, which of course it does. It's an afterthought film celebrating a character who was never really popular until she became the token woman in the Avengers. Looks cool but I'm not completely sold.

Free Guy, maybe. I've decided that Ryan Reynolds actually really falls apart in non-Deadpool movies. Last Night in Soho and Trial of the Chicago 7, Antebellum, Mank, I'm Thinking of Ending Things are probably good locks to not suck.

What are you watching next year?!

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