Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wandering through the Shelves- 2020 Releases

 

What a week! I have a feeling 2021 will be, excuse me, a shitshow, before finally settling down. All we can do is ride the wave. I hope the weeks coming up will be smoother than I think they will be. Wandering Through The Shelves chose  this topic which is a toughy since we have been, mostly, on lockdown. In fact, Ontario is on a major lockdown starting at 12:01 am Thursday. We can only go out to the grocery store, pharmacy, exercise, walk the dog plus we can't be out past 8pm unless we need to go to work and can't work from home. If people would listen, we would not be in this situation. OK enough rant... I have only seen one film from 2020 which I will talk about but I will choose 3 films I do want to see and here they are...

1. MANK

This film stars Gary Oldman as Herman J Mankiewicz who was a Hollywood screenwriter during its heyday and wrote Citizen Kane..er..therein lies the issue since Orson Welles laid claim to co-writing it or actually writing most of it. It depends on which film books you read and which documentaries you watch but you know both had their hand in writing the screenplay which was a veiled story about William Randolph Hearst. I will say that Marion Davies, Hearst's mistress, was a gifted comedienne  and did have talent but was shown in negative way in the film. I would read up about Hearst(who tried, with Louis B Mayor of MGM to buy up all the negatives and burn the film), his narcissistic ways, his castle, the parties he gave and then watch Citizen Kane. Anyway, I know this film got mixed reviews but I really want to see it.

2. MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM


I have listened to some of Ma Rainey's music and I do love it. She had a great voice and I love that old style blues. I love the actors in this film who, in my book, never make a bad movie and they rise above the story they are given. Viola Davis plays Ma and the late, great Chadwick Boseman plays her ambitious trumpeter. It is set in the late 20s during an afternoon recording session where you see all the characters interplay with one another from fighting to some lustful events. This film sounds intriguing to me because of the actors and the music.

3. WONDER WOMAN 1984

Gal Gadot is the perfect Wonder Woman and I do want to see this sequel even though I heard it is not as good as the first film. I also can't see Kristen Wiig as Cheetah baddie. Poor cheetahs, why should they be bad when they are one of the nicest big cats around. I would not have chosen this gal for this role. We know Wonder Woman is helping her fellow man and has to, somehow, save the world...typical but it's just fun to see. 

4. 1917


This is one film that my hubby and I did see and thoroughly enjoyed since it did come out in Canada in 2020. You follow 2 young men who end up behind enemy lines and must try and find their way back to their own side without being killed. It is well acted and the effects, cinematography and art direction are excellent. It really is a must see. 

Have you seen any films from 2020? 



47 comments:

  1. Two of those were in my top five! Haven't seen Mank. Tenet was my favorite.
    Sorry about the lockdown. Did you know Japan has the lowest death rate of any developed country and kept their numbers low without lockdowns or mass testing? Whatever they are doing is what we should've all done.

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    1. I didn't know that about Japan but they seem to wear masks all the time. I have to look that up.

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  2. Hi, Birgit!

    Thanks for the tips on films released in the year 2020 - now nostalgically referred to as "the good old days."

    I like Gary Oldman, and Mank looks like a movie that would greatly interest me. As you might expect, I studied Citizen Kane and Orson Welles in my college film course. In 2007, the year I decided to binge watch hundreds of movies released in the early and mid 20th century, I saw a few of Marion Davies' 1930s films. She was a dazzler and I'm sorry to learn that she is portrayed negatively in Mank.

    The Ma Rainey film looks like another winner. Viola Davis is a powerful actress and Chadwick Boseman had the ability to truly inhabit and become the iconic characters he played in his short life and career. This reminds me of Lady Sings the Blues, the 1972 biopic about jazz/swing legend Billie Holiday that stars Diana Ross as "Lady Day" and other popular actors of color during the 70s including Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor and Scatman Crothers.

    Mrs. Shady and I are all caught up on superhero TV series, having watched all produced episodes of Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, Legends of Tomorrow, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil, Jessica Jones and others. I don't know if I am ready for Wonder Woman 1984, because I have not yet watched the 2017 film. However I appreciate period projects set in the 1950s through 80s and for that reason alone I'm sure I will be catching "1984" sooner rather than later. (Notice how important the powerful music and sound FX are to that trailer!)

    Mrs. Shady is a history and war buff, and 1917 is at the top of our must see list. Thanks for reminding us. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend BB!

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    1. 1917 is excellent. Actually, I think Marion Davies is portrayed well in this film...I was talking about Citizen Kane. Lady Sings The Blues is excellent and Diana Ross was great as Billie.

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  3. Hi Birgit...we have been in lockdown for 2 weeks already and until 14th February...lots of films being watched on the tv....take care xxxx

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    1. Yes...well, I think it is the wise things to do.

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  4. Hi Birgit - I've seen Wonderwoman ... the others I need to see - they're on my list. Just enjoy any films you can find for you and for us!! - take care - Hilary

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    1. Yes, watching many things right now...I should mark them down. We are re-watching Downton Abbey

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  5. I will put Mank on my TBW list. Not interesting in Ma Rainey. My son and I started to watch Wonder Woman 1984 on Christmas Day. We were bored and I never finished it. I did enjoy the first one. I do want to see 1917 - totally forgot about it.

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    1. Oh wow, it is rare for me to turn off a film even when it is bad. The last one I turned off was Ace Ventura: Pet Detective..I had to turn it off after 10 minutes

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  6. I love 1917! I've seen all of your picks, Ma Rainey' Black Bottom is my favorite of them. I enjoyed that and WW84. Mank I didn't really care for but Amanda Seyfried is great in it.

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    1. Great to know and I bet i will like Mank:)

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  7. Birgit,

    I haven't seen any of these films but will check them out. I wasn't crazy about the first Wonder Woman but Gal Gadot is a beautiful, talented actress. I'm open for seeing WW84 just because she's the star. :) "Ma Rainey' Black Bottom" looks interesting and has quite a few big names in the cast. "1917" trailer confused me. Is this a time travel flick? Gotta jet, see ya later gater! ;)

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    1. I picked the wrong clip for 1917. For some reason, I cant watch the youtube clips when I pick them through Blogland. 1917 is powerful. Gal Gadot is beautiful and can truly kick ass.

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  8. Oh Birgit it makes me so happy to read that you've only seen one 2020 film because I bereft that I'd only seen three! At least I know I'm not alone! :-)

    Unfortunately out of the three that I've seen Mank isn't one but I do anxiously look forward to watching it. I've heard that Amanda Seyfried's is the standout performance but having read so much about the man and the period I'll wait to draw my own conclusions.

    I haven't seen any of the ones you listed as wanting to see either. Of those three 1917 is one that I am most interested in. The other two I'd watch if the opportunity presented itself but I'm not overly keen otherwise.

    I saw plenty of films last year they just were older than 2020. These are the three that I did manage.

    Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears-Fabulously wealthy and endlessly chic 20’s Aussie detective and adventuress Phryne Fisher (Essie Davis) globetrots to unravel an ancient curse involving priceless emeralds aided by stalwart and smitten Detective Inspector Jack Robinson (Nathan Page). Big screen continuation of the highly entertaining Phryne Fisher Mysteries TV series from Australia.

    Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind-Through interviews with family (including her two daughters) and friends the life and tragic mysterious death of megastar Natalie Wood is examined.

    The Invisible Man-Cecilia (Elizabeth Moss) attempts to escape from the virtual imprisonment of her marriage to an ultra-wealthy, brilliant and psychotic husband Adrian (Oliver Jackson-Cohen). While trying to rebuild her life she discovers he has devised a way to mask himself to the point of invisibility as he terrorizes her. Okay thriller sustains its suspense until an ending that betrays both of its main characters.

    Yes the next few weeks will be fraught, especially here in the States but hopefully once that orange sonofabitch is out and Biden is able to get rolling with so many things but particularly the vaccine rollout things should improve!

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    1. I can't wait until Jan. 20th comes and that nutjob is out of office.. There seem to be so many films on Netflix, crave, Hulu blah, blah, blah that I could never catch up. I miss the days when none of that was around and you could see it on a regular TV channel. I have no desire to see the latest version of the Invisible Man but Miss Fisher sounds fun and I would love to see the Natalie Wood documentary. I think Wood and Wagner had a horrible argument and he may have pushed her and she fell hitting her head. He, in a drunken panic, put in the water and let the dingy loose to make it look like she was trying to get into the boat. She never would have because of her phobic fear of water. He didn't count that she was still alive and crying for help which many people heard. It's so sad.

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  9. Things are bad where I'm at. Refrigerated trucks for the dead and 0% capacity at the hospitals. When they said we needed to flatten the curve, they should have specified along the x-axis. (I stole that joke from Twitter.)

    I did see WW84. Liked it. I don't know why people are saying it's so much worse than the first. There are issues, but it was fun. Worth the time.

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    1. I saw on TV how bad it is in your state and that is so difficult and so very sad. I think WW84 will be fun and almost all sequels are not as good as the first.

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  10. Haven't seen any that you mentioned and for that matter I haven't seen anything from 2020 and don't have much interest in doing so. Maybe 1917 or Mank for the historical perspectives, but I'm in no rush. I've essentially been "boycotting" newer films and certainly don't want to see any of my money going to fund an industry that doesn't represent my values for the most part.

    Now if we're talking about films pre-1980, I've been seeing plenty of those.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. I am one who also loves watching the older films but I do want to see some from last year but there are so many streaming places that I get lost in what they all show plus I have none of them.

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  11. Great list! I've seen Mank and while the pacing was a bit too slow, I really loved the visual aspects of the film! To be honest, I actually enjoyed Wonder Woman 1984. Sure, the storytelling wasn't as strong as the first movie, but I didn't think it was as bad as many people thought it was.

    Check out my Thursday Movie Picks!

    Ronyell @ The Surreal Movies and TV Blog

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    1. I think I will love Mank because I loved The Darkest Hour and many young people found the pacing slow...maybe it is the sign of times with all the extra stuff out there from cell phone use to Netflix etc...

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  12. Yep, ride the wave and not get wrapped around a rock. I definitely want to see the movies about Wonder Woman and Ma Rainey. I don't know if I can handle 1917 yet.

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    1. 1917 is a toughie but so, so good. I hope you see these 2 too. I think the best is to turn off the news right now. Too much hate

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  13. I really want to see Wonder Woman.
    And speaking of not listening...Did you see three house Dems were infected because the Republicans they were forced to shelter with at the capitol refused to wear masks? One of them is a seventy-five year old woman who has cancer. Grrr.

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    1. Oh yes, I saw this and was disgusted by these Republicans. How about we round them all up who do not want to wear a mask and place them in a room with someone who has covid...The sad thing is that one of those republicans probably had Covid.

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  14. Wonder woman 84 can’t hold a candle to the first film

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    1. I am reading that but still want to see it.

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  15. I know what you mean about not seeing movies from 2020. I did watch 1917 on DVD and thought it was well made. Sad, of course. I thought the film had a tinge of color that made it look old fashioned and gave the characters kind of a dead hue to their faces. I want to see Mank. Ma Rainey is on Netflix. I'll probably watch it before long. I'm not really into superhero stuff and didn't watch the first Wonder Woman movie, so I probably won't bother with 1984.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. 1917 was sad but so well done. I don't have Netflix or any other channels like this. Maybe one day....maybe

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    2. Sorry you don't have Netflix. Found out Mank is on it.

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  16. This would be a tough one. I'd have to find something I watched on Netflix. I did pick up HBO for a month so I could watch Wonder Woman 1984. Not as good as the first. Hopefully 2021 will offer us more choices.

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    1. I figure WW2 is not as good but I still think of it as being fun to see.

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  17. I really want to see your first two. I also picked WW84 on my list, but for an entirely different reason. I did see 1917 and that was amazing!

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    1. Glad you saw 1917 which was so good. I will look at your choices soon.

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  18. You're so right about 2021 being a shitshow so far, Birgit! Here's hoping for better times in the not too distant future. I enjoyed Mank a lot! Gary Oldman is such a superb actor. Since there was nowhere to go on New Year's Eve, we watched Wonder Woman 1984 (for $30.00! 😲). Gal Godot is perfect in the role. Haven't seen the other two yet, but I'd like to.

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  19. I love Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, but didn't much care for Wonder Woman 1984. Gadot is still perfect in the role, though.

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  20. I have seen Wonder Woman 1984 and I was very disappointed. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom is one I'm also interested in watching.

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  21. Gee Birgit, I haven't seen any of these, but I DO want to see 1917 if it ever comes on TV. I also want to see Citizen Kane. However, late as I am visiting this week, I still applaud you and the way you make me believe I've actually seen the film just based on your synopses.

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  22. Some great picks indeed. I still haven't seen Wonder Woman 2 though

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  23. Rough year for the industry...

    I haven't seen these, though Ma Rainey and 1917 certainly intrigue. I haven't heard the best reviews for WW84 but I'll probably watch it at some point.

    We saw Emma. That was fun, especially the music.

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  24. I'm with you on people listening. What the heck is the big deal in wearing a mask?
    I want to see Wonder Woman.
    Take special care.

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  25. Wonder Woman can save me any day.

    Thanks for the heartfelt comment. Glad to be missed.

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  26. Meu glorioso São José nos abençoe o nosso Brasil são tem piedade dos dessempregado e todos os moradores de rua Amèm

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  27. I did not know that about Mankiewicz and Orson Welles. As always you are a fount of information.
    Stay safe. Be healthy.

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  28. I blush to admit, I'm not familiar with Ma Rainey's music. And Chadwick Boseman. What a wonderful human being and what a loss.
    Take special care.

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  29. I haven't seen a lot of 2020 films and any of your picks either, but 1917 is on HBO now, so I'll watch it soon.

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