The 2020 “One Movie a Week” Challenge Part I

I’m a little behind this year. By nearly 3 months = 12 movies. Eek! We’ve been watching more television and a lot of home renovation/home buying shows because we’re ready to settle down and call a place home.

Sometimes I’ve thrown on something mindless…because it’s 2020. Don’t judge me. We didn’t start out avoiding drama and the like, but too much seriousness left us feeling emotional in an already emotionally strung out existence, so we tried to find more casual, fun type fare on occasion, but that means we’ve watched a lot of subpar movies.

I’m going to use a simple ABC rating system and not review them individually this time. The letter grade should offer enough insight as to my feelings.

  1. Alita: Battle AngelA
  2. MoanaA
  3. To All the Boys I’ve Loved BeforeB
  4. Kissing BoothD
  5. Falling Inn LoveC
  6. Toy Story 4B
  7. Inside OutA
  8. Frozen IIC
  9. Into the SpiderverseA
  10. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before 2C
  11. Hobbs and ShawC
  12. AnnaB
  13. ProspectB
  14. Mission: Impossible – FalloutC
  15. Tron: LegacyC
  16. Bird BoxD
  17. Midnight SpecialB
  18. The PlatformC
  19. AniaraD
  20. The Old GuardB
  21. BumblebeeC
  22. The Big SickC
  23. The Half of ItB
  24. Knives OutB
  25. Jojo RabbitA
  26. VenomC
  27. Enola HolmesB
  28. UsC
  29. Men in Black: InternationalC
  30. The Amazing SpidermanC
  31. LovebirdsB
  32. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five ArmiesC
  33. Hocus PocusC (This one is sort of a cheat as I have seen it before but not since its release. I barely remembered any of it, and it does not hold up.)

As it’s now the end of October, and the last few months have felt like an eternity, some of these viewings are a little blurry at this point but I’m fairly secure in these ratings.

I would love some suggestions for the remainder of the year. What movies have you enjoyed?

The 2019 “One Movie A Week” Challenge Completed

MovieReelI did it!  I accomplished my goal of one new movie a week!  I actually slightly exceeded it with 53 movies, the last just narrowly sneaking in on New Year’s Eve.

I’m sticking with the “ABC” grading scale and will give just a simple overview as many of my posts recently have been rather long and involved.  Looking back on all I’ve watched this year, it’s rather sad to find how few of them were stellar endeavors.

31. What Happened to Monday: An interesting premise of septuplets born when overpopulation has mandated a one child per regulation.  Noomi Rapace plays all the siblings who must discover what happened when one goes missing.  My rating: B-

32. Ralph Breaks the Internet: When Vanellope’s vintage game is broken, she and Ralph must find the part to keep her racing.  A cute follow-up to the original, with some clever references to keep all ages entertained; I just didn’t think it had as much heart as the first.  My rating: B

33. Crazy Rich Asians: The clichéd story of a woman marrying a wealthy man and concerns about the family not accepting her is exactly that.  While everyone was thrilled with the representation, that shouldn’t overshadow the lack of a well rounded story.  It’s also a bit too long, and feels it.  My rating: C

34. Aquaman: What can be said about the origin story of one of the least liked DC characters nobody asked for?  The movie is too long, too convoluted, and an assault of CGI “magic”.  The only reason anyone even bothered is Jason Momoa.  My rating: D

35. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Every once in a while you just need a sweet movie without a lot of substance, which is surprising given its setting.  Set after the German occupation of Guernsey, a Channel Island during WWII, a young writer befriends villagers who started a book club and of course, finds love.  My rating: B

36. Bad Times at the El Royale: I didn’t know what to expect, but it certainly wasn’t what I got.  Desperate to follow in Tarantino’s footsteps, this film about strangers converging at a strange motel that straddles state lines is a bit of mess that doesn’t tie up all its loose ends.  My rating: C-

37. Bohemian Rhapsody: There is no dismissing Rami Malek’s performance as the charismatic lead of the band Queen, but it felt like the filmmakers played it safe.  Not wanting to, possibly, turn people off from any negativity associated with Freddie’s life, they jump cut around instead, showcasing the music, without a lot of substance.  My rating: B

38. Fighting with My Family: I grew up watching the WWF, now WWE, with my grandfather.  I still tune in every now and then, and Paige, for whom the film is based on, is among one of my “newer” favorites.  As the youngest wrestler to be signed, it was touching to see how it all began.  My rating: B

39. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum: Not my favorite in the franchise, but still a pretty entertaining shoot ’em up movie with a few new twists to keep it interesting.  Since the films continue in sequence, it’s hard not to appreciate Wick’s skill as the formidable hit man on the run.  My rating: B-

40. Tall Girl: I, myself, am a tall girl.  I’m 6′ and have been since I was 16 years old.  I’ve heard all the same jokes, and had to deal with feeling like the jolly Green Giant among pretty much everyone I know while wearing men’s jeans because they had an inseam measurement.  While I appreciate the message of accepting who you are, because you really can’t do anything about your height, the movie is just…blah.  My rating: C-

41. The Favourite: Courts are notorious for their backstabbing and conniving, but I was hoping for more from this film than just that.  Women have a reputation where other women are concerned, and in a time when we need to be more supportive, on the whole, this film about taking advantage of an already fragile person, was uncomfortable to watch at times.  Olivia Colman is an amazing actress, and fully deserving of the accolades.  My rating: B

42. Spider-Man: Far From Home: First off, I want to put Tom Holland in my pocket.  In the wake of Avengers: Endgame, poor Peter is struggling to find his place and just wants to spend some time with his friends, but where superheroes travel, chaos is soon to follow.  An entertaining follow-up in the MCU and development for a beloved character as he comes into his own.  My rating: B+

43. Mary Queen of Scots:  If you’ve followed me for any amount of time, you know I’m fascinated with Queen Elizabeth I.  This film takes a look at the relationship between the queen and one of her biggest rivals, Queen Mary of Scotland, played by two wonderful actresses, Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.  I’ll watch anything where the Queen is concerned, in spite of uneven storytelling.  My rating: B-

44. The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part: Another sequel that lacked the heart of the first.  The Lego citizens face a new threat and must find a way of coexisting with their “enemy”.  While still a cute movie with a sweet message, it was fun to watch, if not sort of forgettable.  My rating: B

45. Glass: Having not seen the original in this strange trilogy, Unbreakable, I don’t have all the information to grade this film as part of a whole.  I found some aspects entertaining, a film with a variation on the comic book figure, and I appreciate some of the risks taken, but overall there felt like there was something missing.  My rating: B-

46. Fallen: I knew this was going to be a bad movie, and it was.  I’ve always enjoyed the tale of the star crossed lovers, but this story, based on a YA series of novels was unmoving, the actors were dull, and just when it started to move in a slightly interesting direction, it was over.  My rating: D

47. Shazam: I was unfamiliar with this superhero character prior to the film.  My only reference was from the TV show Archer on a few occasions. The story of a young boy who gains powers which transform him into a fully grown, muscle bound man was more interesting than I would have guessed.  There’s also a sweet message about family.  My rating: B

48. It Chapter 2: The story of the child eating clown continues as the Losers, now grown up, must return to the beginning to finish what they started as a new cycle begins.  Casting did a great job with the grown versions of the children, but this movie failed to recapture the fun of the first one.  My rating: B-

49. Dumplin’:  I love me a drag queen, and in the preview for this movie, a few help to inspire a teen girl overcome body image issues and compete in a beauty contest run by her once beauty queen mother.  My rating: B+

50. Let it Snow: This teen holiday film about a group of friends finding love was a story that didn’t really do anything different and was actually fairly dull and forgettable.  My rating: D

51. Knight Before Christmas: I followed one bad movie with another.  A knight is sent forward in time on a quest and finds love with a modern day woman who’s been romance deprived.  Meh.  My rating: D

52. Star Wars Episode IX: Rise of the Skywalker: Oh, where to begin…if you’re not a fan, you’ve probably still seen some of the reviews, or heard the hubbub over how fans are disappointed.  This fan included.  The final episode in the latest trilogy initially seemed better than reviewed but as I continued to think on it, I realized how much was missing among so many other things.  My rating: C

53. Love and Friendship: A Jane Austen story I wasn’t familiar with, Lady Susan – surprising, I know.  Upon the viewing, I wish I did know more because the way it was filmed was a bit confusing.  Lady Susan is conniving and manipulating.  It appears as if she’s out for herself, which she is, but she also is looking out for her daughter, in a strange way.  I’ll give it another watch after a read and see if it improves.  My rating: B-

If you’d like to see what else I watched this year, here are parts One and Two of the series.  Do you agree with my ratings?  Would you like to offer any recommendations as I endeavor into the new year?