Movie Stakeout's Best of 2020
Here's Dick Japowski & Joey Arizona's favourite movies of 2020.
First up we have Dick's picks...
No. 5: Host
A group of friends get together in Lockdown and just for fun arrange a seance. A bad quality call is the last of their worries!
The first post covid horror film shouldn't be as good as this, but good it is!
Great natural acting with scares and images that will leave you sleeping under the covers just on the safe side. The genius of this is also it runs the length of a genuine Zoom call, around an hour so it doesn't outstay it's welcome.
Check out this Paranormal Activity. It's nothing like paranormal activity. It's actually scary!
If there is one good thing to come out of this year then it's this!
The story of a young immigrant who rises up to be the secretary of the treasury and the founding of America by those that he knows.
A filmed production of the original cast from back in 2016. It was surreal finally putting visuals to something I've been listening to for several years but it didn't disappoint! Me and Jr Japowski stayed up past midnight and loved every second. My own father always claimed he had died in the war for independence, so I think that may be why I have such a strong fascination with this time in history!
Everyone watch on Disney+ then ask your Alexa to play the original album, your day will thank you for it!
No.3: The Lighthouse
Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson are great in this quiet suspenseful tale of the human condition. Dafoe as the grizzled fart spewing veteran and Pattinson new to the lighthouse family get to learn what makes each other tick.
The dialogue is almost Shakespearen and the script goes from the Farrely brothers to Lovecraft at any given moment. Superb filmmaking which shows the best way to handle Seagulls!
No.2: The Devil All the Time
A generational story that digs deep down into the dark side of a romanticised Americana.
I've left this one stew in the pending reviews segment of my brain as there are alot of stories going on in here and be prepared, just because you have a Spider-man and the Batman in here, you also have a pennywise. This does go into some dark places, but it pulled me in with how well it was acted and being a sucker for this 1950's era I liked it alot.
You'll be gut punched and have your breath taken away. That second one is the good thing!
Forward/drawkcab action sci-fi mind bender. This is how you end a year!
Confusing. Absolutely. Hard to follow. At times. But rewarding. Definitely!
The best way to enjoy this film of the year is not to worry about plot or what or why it's happening but let the experience wash over you. I was resistant to watch this at first as I've heard so many mixed reviews, but for me knowing that there are people out there thinking up and making these grand films is comforting to me.
Well acted, with Kenneth Branagh in particular standing out as the most threating bad guy I've seen in a long time!
Would love to hear others thoughts on this movie and I look forward to rewatching to catch more clues!
...and now Joey has a little something for you...
The Arizona Case Files
No.5: Palm Springs
While attending a wedding at a Palm Springs resort Nyles finds himself reliving the same day over and over, things start looking up though when another wedding guest gets caught in the loop.
Obviously this will be compared to Groundhog, much in the same way Happy Death Day was, it's inevitable, just like Nyles repeating his day. The main difference here is when we first meet Nyles he's already lived this day more times than he can count, and come to terms with his new existence. It gives Palm Springs a far more melancholy feel.
No.4: Sonic the Hedgehog
A hedgehog from another world finds himself on Earth, hiding out so nobody can claim his powers for their own. Enter a super intelligent government agent hellbent on locating him, and a small town cop determined to protect him.
Not gonna lie, I really enjoyed this, it's a lot of fun, and I chuckled away several times to the on screen antics. I also think this is possibly one of Jim Carrey's best performances, playing the rather unlikable Dr Robotnik with relish.
No.3: Jojo Rabbit (2019)
Jojo Betzler is just your average ten-year-old...living in Nazi Germany...who also has Adolf Hitler as an imaginary friend.
Not the war time remake of Drop Dead Fred we've all been led to expect, Drop Dead Adolf is actually only a small part of a great war story from a perspective we don't often see, and one of the funniest films I've seen in a long time.
No.2: The Vast of Night
A switchboard operator hears an unusual sound on one of the lines, and her radio presenter friend plays it out on the airwaves...I've already said too much.
This was recommended to me, and I knew nothing about it going in, long story short...film of the year. At least it was...
No.1: The Trial of the Chicago 7
An all-star dramatisation of one of America's most infamous court cases, where in 1969 the leaders of several protest groups were accused of instigating a riot.
I knew little about this story going in, I kind of knew about Abbie Hoffmann and Bobby Seale, but what grabbed my attention was the cast and the fact it's written/directed by Aaron Sorkin.
I've read some criticism about this online, how it plays with the truth, making some things up for dramatic effect, likewise things are left out or attributed to different characters, and you have to ask...have these people ever watched a movie before? I hope they didn't watch Trumbo or Eddie the Eagle, where entire characters are made up.
It's also been criticized for being leftist, but how can a story about war protesters being persecuted by their own government be anything else?
All I know is it kept me glued to my seat, I was shocked, I was elated, I laughed and almost cried. You can't ask for more than that.
What were your favourite films of 2020? Let us know in the comments below.