Movie Stakeout's Best 2020 Discoveries
A look back at all the great non-2020 movies discovered by Movieland detectives Dick Japowski & Joey Arizona.
First up Dick's picks....
No.5: Clifford (1994)
Martin Short stars as 10 year old boy Clifford, who dreams of going to dinosaur world. Charles Grodin plays his uncle, who has to look after him for the week. It's a battle of wills and Clifford has the upper hand!
Filmed in 1990 but held back for 4 years when Orion pictures went bust, this is a little remembered gem. Seeing Martin Short in little shorts is very funny to me as are some of the stunts he plays on Grodin, who is the master of the reaction shot. This was worth the rental fee on Amazon prime!
No.4: Audition (1999)
A lonely widower listens to his movie producing friend and holds fake auditions to find a new wife. Mistake number one, don't listen to a producer!
And although that sounds like very creepy behaviour, the protagonist in this is actually very sweet, making what comes his way all the harder to watch..
Super affective, tense and eye watering.
You will not sleep easy by your loved one in the same way ever again. Highly recommended.
No.3: Straight Outta Compton (2015)
Biopic done right on the rise of L.A gangster rap group N.W.A. and how they exploded and imploded before finding a resting place somewhere in the middle!
For me I always find the most satisfying biopics the ones where I don't know all the stories going in, which was definitely the case here. I enjoyed all the main portrayals of Dr Dre, Eazy-E and Ice Cube.
O'Shea Jackson Jr in particular being amazing as li'll Cube. It's also mad watching this after recent events in America and seeing how little things have changed. F the police indeed. Warning this review and the movie contains strong Language.
No.2: Boy (2010)
A coming of age story about a young New Zealand boy who longs for a father to guide him, but when his own dad returns, it may not be the influence he needs.
Taika Waititi's follow up to Eagle vs Shark is equal parts hilarious and heart-breaking, with Taika himself playing the unhinged dad who has a love for E.T. and Michael Jackson!
A film you won't regret watching.
No.1: Creed II (2018)
A familiar Russian and a brand new Russian turn up in Philadelphia to turn things upside down for Rocky and new world champion Adonis Creed.
I don't know how Stallone keeps doing it but this is another total k.o of a movie with eyes of a tiger, heart of a whale and the punch of a boxing kangaroo!
This makes me excited to see if Tommy Gun gets his own poignant return in Creed III!
...and now what Arizona Joe has to show...
No.5: Bumblebee (2018)
Eighties set prequel/spin-off/reboot of the transformers movie franchise, featuring everyone's favourite yellow Autobot hiding in plain sight, avoiding the American military and a pair Decepticon bounty killers.
Michael Bay's original Transformers movie seemed like the best we could expect from a live-action outing, and every sequel proved that theory...that was until Bumblebee. The majority of the film plays out like an eighties adventure movie, but there are several sequences set on Cybertron which are what every Transformers fan dreamed of as a child. They're worth the watch alone.
No.4: A Quiet Place (2018)
A family try their best to survive in a world infested by creatures who hunt purely by sound.
It took me awhile to get Mrs Arizona to watch this as we'd already watched Netflix movie The Silence, they're essentially the same movie. Both feature Monsters who hunt my sound, and a family who know sign language because one of the children is hearing impaired. While The Silence relied on obvious scares, A Quiet Place relies a lot more on tension. This is a much better movie.
No3: Operation Avalanche (2016)
A group of C.I.A. agents posing as a documentary film crew infiltrate NASA, at the height of the space race, looking for a Russian spy, and uncover much more than they Bargained for.
If there was ever a movie to convince you the moon landings were fake this is it.
No.2: Us (2019)
Adelaide and her family are on vacation when they're invited to Santa Cruz by some friends, which would be fine, only this is also where Adelaide had a traumatic experience as a child, and one that will soon come back to haunt her.
I knew almost nothing about this going in, a deliberate move, the trailers somewhat ruined Jordan Peele's last movie (Get Out). It was certainly the way to go, not knowing the way it was heading made the ride all the more exciting. A terrifying tale with a few belly laughs thrown in for good measure.
No.1: Overlord (2018)
A group of paratroopers drop into a small French town to knock out a signal jammer, which will disrupt communication during the D-day landings happening in a matter of hours. But this town also holds so dark secrets.
I really enjoyed this, I know it's general consensus that it's more of a 3.5 film, but after it finished I wanted to give it a solid 5. I may change my mind on a rewatch down the line, but there isn't anything I didn't like, nor would change, and in my book that means it deserves full marks. If you removed the more outlandish moments it would still be a solid war movie.
What have been your favourite movie discoveries of 2020? Let us know in the comments below.