Most Anticipated Movies of 2020

As with all of my posts, and perhaps all posts in general written by people afraid of being held to their word, we will begin with a short disclosure.

Movies that are given release dates tend to be bigger budget studio films, i.e. the films I’m generally less interested in.  Many of the films that were on my 2019 most anticipated list I never even bothered watching (Looking at The Curse of La Llorona) and many of my big loves were films I had no knowledge of at this time last year.

But there’s something like 30+ films that have already caught my eye, so I figured out list them out and give quick descriptions, probably stolen from IMDb.  And at the same time I’ll add them to my private ‘to watch’ list (it’s 40+ pages and you will never see it).

  • The Invisible Man: When Cecilia’s abusive ex takes his own life and leaves her his fortune, she suspects his death was a hoax. As a series of coincidences turn lethal, Cecilia works to prove that she is being hunted by someone nobody can see.
    Oh look, an adaptation of the only HG Wells story I give a damn about. The director (Leigh Whannell) also did Upgrade, so that’s a big plus. As is Elisabeth Moss.
  • A Quiet Place II: Following the events at home, the Abbott family now face the terrors of the outside world. Forced to venture into the unknown, they realize the creatures that hunt by sound are not the only threats lurking beyond the sand path.
    I liked the first one, it’s that simple.
  • No Time To Die: James Bond has left active service. His peace is short-lived when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, turns up asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
    If the ‘one good, one bad’ pattern continues, this will be a good Bond. Also always here for Ana de Armas, Lea Seydoux, and Rami Malek.
  • Antlers: A small-town Oregon teacher and her brother, the local sheriff, become entwined with a young student harboring a dangerous secret with frightening consequences
    Based on the trailer my guess is that his Dad is a wendigo.
  • Antebellum: Successful author Veronica finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.
    She would appear to have been time swapped to a slave plantation, which is no place for anyone, let alone Janelle Monae.
  • Soul: A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.
    Looks much more interesting than Onward, in terms of Pixar offerings, tbh.
  • Saint Maud: Follows a pious nurse who becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient.
    I love movies about dangerously obsessed people. Also: focus on women, directed by a woman!
  • Candyman: A “spiritual sequel” to the 1992 horror film ‘Candyman’ that returns to the now-gentrified Chicago neighborhood where the legend began.
    I’ve never seen the original, but I’m excited for this- not least because there are a lot of great names attached to it including Nia DaCosta, Jordan Peele, and Yahya Abdul-Mateen.
  • Tenet: An action epic revolving around international espionage, time travel, and evolution. Possibly about a man trying to prevent World War 3 through time travel and rebirth.
    Nolan with an exciting story and packed cast. Come on.
  • Last Night in Soho: A young girl, passionate about fashion design, is mysteriously able to enter the 1960s where she encounters her idol, a dazzling wannabe singer. But 1960s London is not what it seems, and time seems to fall apart with shady consequences.
    Edgar Wright is finally back post- Baby Driver, with Thomasin McKenzie (Jojo Rabbit) and Anya Taylor-Joy (Thoroughbreds, The Witch).
  • The French Dispatch: A love letter to journalists set in an outpost of an American newspaper in a fictional 20th-century French city that brings to life a collection of stories published in “The French Dispatch” magazine.
    Isle of Dogs really pissed me off so I’d like a good Wes Anderson.
  • Benedetta: A 17th-century nun in Italy suffers from disturbing religious and erotic visions. She is assisted by a companion, and the relationship between the two women develops into a romantic love affair.
    Oh look, a psychologically twisted costume/period drama with lesbian overtones. I am predictable.
  • The Lodge: A soon-to-be stepmom is snowed in with her fiancé’s two children at a remote holiday village. Just as relations begin to thaw between the trio, some strange and frightening events take place.
    Similarly, I am also a sucker for strange and frightening events.
  • Promising Young Woman: A young woman, traumatized by a tragic event in her past, seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
    Based on the trailer it looks like she tricks men into thinking they will get to have sex with her extremely inebriated self and then wreaks bloody vengeance. Cathartic. I hope Carey Mulligan doesn’t kill Bo Burnham.
  • Nightmare Alley: A corrupt con-man teams up with a psychiatrist to trick people into giving them money.
    I can’t remember if I’ve seen the original 1947 film noir, but regardless I am here for Guillermo del Toro and Cate Blanchett.
  • Undine: Undine works as a historian lecturing on Berlin’s urban development. But when the man she loves leaves her, the ancient myth catches up with her. Undine has to kill the man who betrays her and return to the water.
    I love the Undine myth and I would love to be able to turn into a seal. I get few opportunities to live vicariously as a seal. Plus the main actress and director have worked on other projects that I need to get to.
  • Deep Water: A well-to-do husband who allows his wife to have affairs in order to avoid a divorce becomes a prime suspect in the disappearance of her lovers.
    After Knives Out, I want to follow Ana de Armas’ work. Especially because this is based on a Patricia Highsmith (Strangers on a Train, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Price of Salt) story.
  • The Last Duel: King Charles VI declares that Knight Jean de Carrouges settle his dispute with his squire by challenging him to a duel.
    Adam Driver, Ben Affleck, and Matt Damon in period French clothes having a duel? What?
  • Palm Springs: When carefree Nyles and reluctant maid of honor Sarah have a chance encounter at a Palm Springs wedding, things get complicated as they are unable to escape the venue, themselves, or each other.
    Someone already gave away the twist to this and I’m kind of pissed.
  • Mulan: A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father. A live-action feature film based on Disney’s ‘Mulan.’
    I’m on the record as being vigorously anti-live-action-remake. But I’m vaguely interested in a Mulan that hews closer to the original legend and incorporates wuxia traditions. And Donnie Yen.
  • Mank: Follows screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz’s tumultuous development of Orson Welles’ iconic masterpiece Citizen Kane(1941).
    Probably Oscar bait, but could be quite good. I like film history.
  • I’m Thinking of Ending Things: An unexpected detour causes a woman who is trying to figure out how to break up with her boyfriend to rethink her life.
    It’s listed as a drama horror thriller and it’s starring Toni Collette and Jessie Buckley. Give it to me.
  • Annette: A stand-up comedian and his opera singer wife, have a 2 year old daughter with a surprising gift.
    A musical with Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.
  • Rebecca: A young newlywed finds herself in living in the shadow of her wealthy husband’s previous wife.
    I’m interested to see how far this adaptation is from measuring up to Hitchcock’s.
  • Next Goal Wins: Adaptation of the 2014 British soccer documentary which follows Dutch coach Thomas Rongen who attempts the nearly impossible task of turning the American Samoa soccer team from perennial losers into winners.
    Taika Waititi, Elisabeth Moss, and Armie Hammer sounds good to me (especially because AH is in Rebecca and I feel bad).
  • Ammonite: 1840s England, an infamous fossil hunter and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.
    Saoirse Ronan, Kate Winslet, period drama with lesbian overtones.
  • The Hunt: Twelve strangers wake up in a clearing. They don’t know where they are, or how they got there. They don’t know they’ve been chosen – for a very specific purpose – The Hunt.
    Famously controversial film originally slated for 2019. Google it.
  • Da 5 Bloods: A group of veterans from the Vietnam War return to the jungle to find their lost innocence.
    Chadwick Boseman and Spike Lee.
  • Into the Deep: A Swedish journalist disappears near Copenhagen and is discovered to have been brutally murdered by Danish inventor Peter Madsen aboard his homemade submarine.
    It’s not every day you get a Swedish submarine murder. Oh, and by the way, it’s a documentary.

The Trailer for Tim Burton’s Dumbo is Heresy

I feel like the internet at large has turned into a howling/stomping ground of enraged fans (or maybe it’s just what you run into once you start getting into following film news)- and I hate to be the one to add to that mess.  But I get so few chances to be an angry neckbeard (given that I’m pretty flush with estrogen) I figured that this was my moment.

That, and the fact that this trailer is blasphemous.

Why? You ask?

I’m no big fan of the original Dumbo. Actually, if you’ve read this blog for any period of time you might be aware that I can’t heard the song Baby Mine without sobbing.  And that’s not the only seen of the movie that drives me to tears.  Add to that the not-so-subtle racism with the jazzy crows and laborer roustabouts, and I can’t really say that the film is vindicated by excellent songs such as ‘Casey Junior’ (the train song), ‘Song of the Roustabouts’ (kind of hardcore for the House of Mouse), and ‘Pink Elephants on Parade’ (in which Dumbo gets drunk and hallucinates). No lie, I like all these songs.

But this film promises to one-up (one-down?) my feelings about the original Dumbo with a response of disgusted and mildly enraged ennui.

  • Disney needs to stop making live action remakes. I haven’t liked any of them (maybe you have, if so, sorry) because they’re such bare-faced and obnoxious cash grabs that lose any sincerity of the originals in favor of extensive CGI and poor writing.
  • Where is TIMOTHY MOUSE?!
  • What the fuck is Colin Firth doing in here?
  • Why are these humans… sympathetic? The human world of Dumbo is supposed to be harsh and foreign.
  • Get rid of these simpering children.
  • What on earth is this 50 Shades of Grey-esque cover of Baby Mine?
  • This is a teaser trailer and it’s full trailer length.
  • Ugh, it looks so Tim Burton. The only thing that would make it more Tim Burton is Helena Bonham Carter and Johnny Depp.

Guys, I’m not going to go see it. I only made it through Beauty and the Beast because I was on a plane. I failed to make it through The Jungle Book and Cinderella. Haven’t seen Maleficent.

Top Disney Lullabies

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I’ll admit that I’m on a bit of a Disney kick lately, but this idea didn’t sprout from some subconscious desire to make up for the pain of the other day’s Disney bracket.
Actually, it was inspired by my inability to fall asleep last night.

So here it is, a count down of the top Disney lullabies, and one honorable mention.

#6: Baby Mine, Dumbo
If this helps you fall asleep there is undoubtedly something wrong with you.  Sure it sounds soft and gentle, but if you pair the actual lyrics with the context of the film it’s absolutely heart wrenching and sob-inducing. I still can’t hear it without tearing up WITHIN THE FIRST FEW BARS. And I still can’t watch Dumbo.
Not soothing, 0/5

#5: So This Is Love, Cinderella
I wouldn’t have included this but apparently my cousin, when she was little, liked for my aunt to sing it to her at bedtime.
Because I love Megan and respect her choices, 1/5

#4: Love, Robin Hood
Robin Hood is one of the lesser known Disney films but I wouldn’t exactly say that it’s under appreciated.  Truly in my opinion there isn’t much to appreciate besides this song, which is lovely and poignant.  But… a lot of musical interludes and somewhat repetitive/oddly spaced lyrics.
Life is brief, but when it’s gone, love goes on and on, 2/5

Notice: We’re now getting into what I consider to be the ~real stuff~

#3: When You Wish Upon a Star, Pinocchio
You don’t need to have the voice of Louis Armstrong for this to sound beautiful (I mean, Gepetto pulled it off pretty well, right?).  Also, it’s pretty hard to argue with this as a classic.  Points docked, however, for a disagreeable message.
Some requests are too extreme kids- life’s not fair, 3/5

#2 is a TIE!

#2: Second Star to the Right, Peter Pan
I have to admit that this is one of my all time favorite Disney songs and I also have to admit that it probably sounds better if you have The Disney Chorus on hand.  But one voice could also do this pretty beautifully, with the exception of that very high pitched interlude, the main cause of docked points. You’ll have to work your way around that one.
Upshot: Dreams, stars, Neverland, mention of ‘twinkle, twinkle’, but still not basic. 4/5

#2: Bella Notte, Lady and the Tramp
As sung by the Disney chorus as opposed to the offensively stereotypical yet still lovable Italian pasta chefs. Seriously, can I just rent out the Disney Chorus when I give birth? Maybe not, they must be pretty old now.  Some charming and profound lyrics like “This is the night, it’s a beautiful night, and they call it ‘beautiful night’, but in Italian”. It may not turn your baby into Einstein like some Mozart arguably might, but it sure is soothing.  And at east chances are your baby will learn at least two words of Italian along the way.  I feel bad being so sardonic because I truly do love this song (its another of my favorites) and the rest of the lyrics are, to borrow a word from the song ‘enchanting’.  Short but sweet.
Can be repeated as necessary, 4/5

The BEST Disney Lullaby of ALL TIME
#1: La La Lu, Lady and the Tramp
*whispers* little star sweeper
My Mom sang this one, 5/5

————————

Honorable Mention: That’s My Lullaby, The Lion King 2
Parents, don’t try this at home

It’s Links Friday But There’s A Disney Bracket

And you know how I feel about Disney.
Which is to say, everything else takes a backseat and your not so regularly scheduled programming will return at a later date (maybe tomorrow?)

So here’s the bracket:

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It’s tearing both the internet and my soul apart, so I thought I would share it because misery loves company.
Let’s get down to brass tacks.

Round One Disney:

  • Lion King v Tarzan: I love both of these but only saw Tarzan for the first time a few years ago, while I grew up with Lion King. And everything about Lion King is ‘modern classic’.
  • The Princess and the Frog v Lilo and Stitch: Both movies I’ve seen only once, both I like quite a bit.  I’m going to go with Lilo and Stitch this time.
  • Tangled v Big Hero 6: I honestly don’t really like Tangled.
  • Frozen v Moana: Moana wins handily.
  • Aladdin v Hercules: I love Hercules but didn’t watch it much as a child (I don’t think we had it on VHS), while Aladdin is one of my all time favorites.
  • The Little Mermaid v Pocahontas: I keep coming back t this one and keep surprising myself by picking Pocahontas. Guess I just can’t get over Colors of the Wind.
  • Mulan v Zootopia: Agh, hard. The wonderfulness of Zootopia just can’t compete with something I sang along with in preschool and danced to at my first ballroom performance.
  • Beauty and the Beast v Nightmare Before Christmas: Maybe not the way everyone would go but I’m not hugely fond of Beauty and the Beast, save Lumiere, Philippe, and Angela Lansbury.

Pixar Round One:

  • Up v Brave: Kind of indifferent, honestly. Up has that one beautiful montage that puts it over the excellent animation of horses throughout Brave. I have my own priorities.
  • Toy Story v Toy Story 2: Toy Story 2 was always too dark for me as a child and the one time I revisited it I was nonplussed.
  • Coco v Cars 2: I’ve never seen Cars 2 and I don’t plan to.
  • Toy Story 3 v The Good Dinosaur: Duh.
  • Ratatouille v Bug’s Life: Why am I doing this to myself? Bug’s Life. The first film I ever saw in theaters. Sorry Ratatouille!
  • Finding Nemo v Inside Out: Honestly either of these will probably lose to whatever it goes up against in the next round. Both disqualified! More memories with memo but I like Inside Out better as a film.
  • Monsters Inc v Cars: Put that thing back where it came from or so help me!
  • The Incredibles v WallE: The Incredibles is a masterpiece, Edna Mode is an icon and I am so hyped for the sequel.

Round Two Disney:

  • Lion King v Lilo and Stitch:
  • Big Hero 6 v Moana:
  • Aladdin v Pocahontas:
  • Mulan v Nightmare Before Christmas: All easy choices this time through. It’s the calm before the storm.

Round Two Pixar:

  • Up v Toy Story:
  • Coco v Toy Story 3: That hurt a little.
  • Bug’s Life v N/A: That didn’t.
  • Monsters Inc v The Incredibles: This fight went the other way when i did it yesterday.

Round Three Disney:

  • Lion King v Moana:
  • Aladdin v Mulan: Sobbing.

Round Three Pixar:

  • Toy Story v Toy Story 3:
  • Bug’s Life v Monster’s Inc: To whoever created this sadistic bracket: Who hurt you?

Round Four Disney:

  • Lion King v Aladdin: UPSET (in many senses of the word)

Round Four Pixar:

  • Toy Story 3 v Bug’s Life:

THE FINAL:

  • Aladdin v Bug’s Life: ARABIAN NIIIIIIGHTS

Just glad they didn’t put in Peter Pan or Lady and the Tramp because then I might have jumped from the window.

Links Actually on Friday: 3/23

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I’m getting out a links post actually on Friday, pre-classes, pre-full-day-of-smelling-synthetic-raw-materials.

  • Welcome to space. Meet Steve.
  • Congratulations to John Oliver (and best wishes to Marlon Bundo and Wesley).
    Love is love.
  • …There’s going to be a live-action Lady and the Tramp.  Can someone please explain why CGI counts as live action? And can someone also please explain why, in general?
  • The beauty and power of fandoms. Read it for the first, introductory segment alone.
  • A super interesting read on the ‘brand-influencer power struggle’. An examination of the rise of Instagram influencers and bloggers as fashion personalities, how they’re compensated, what it means, and how it’s changing.
  • Honest Trailers does it again.  On the slate this week: every Wes Anderson movie. One of my pet favorite directors and they get his idiosyncrasies so right.
  • “Visitors are encouraged to create drawings, one of which will be interpreted into a personalized Diptyque scent.” Diptyque is opening an interactive shop in Soho! I’ll have to visit once I’m back in the US (because lord knows there aren’t enough Diptyque shops in Paris).  Don’t want to miss out on the fun? You can also submit online.
  • “I will insist on my grandchildren referring to me as Grandmamá, with extra emphasis on the á.” All the Glamorous Things I Will Do When I AM A Rich Old Lady. Honestly- goals. But also, don’t wait! Get that Burmese python now! Or, you know, perfect your posture).
  • Roland Mouret on his scent preferences and his newish perfume, Une Amourette.
  • Olivia de Havilland, 101, alive, and very much kicking. I watched In This Our Life, featuring her and Bette Davis, this week while studying. Not the best movie ever but watching them was like visiting two old friends of mine.

Animated Crushes

 

Inspired by this video and this list, I decided to own up to the crushes I had on animated characters as a child.
It was only after doing a little thinking that I realized I either a) didn’t have any or b) have selectively forgotten all of them.
But what I do have is potentially even worse- current animated crushes. I’m 22 and there is potentialy something wrong with me.

  • Nick Wilde, Zootopia
    This is definitely the most disturbing one because not only is Nick animated, Nick is also a fox. In my defense, foxes are very cute animals. Add a sardonic sense of humor, sly resourcefulness (i.e. criminal behavior), and a softly mushy heart tender as a steamed dumpling and it all makes sense. Really.
  • Jack Frost, Rise of the Guardians
    He has pretty silver hair and a shepherd’s crook with ice powers.  He also loves fun, died protecting his sister (Whoops spoiler), and has a troubled past and sensitive soul- causing him to be a hero of the brave but reluctant variety.
  • Haku, Spirited Away
    Haku has Dora hair and can also transform into a dragon, which is really what we should all look for in a partner.  Unlike the previous two, he does not have a traumatic backstory because he can’t remember his past and has thus forgotten that he is a ~river spirit~.

Mkay, I will write to you all from therapy.

Links 2/17

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A links post with a one day delay. I’ve officially started on a two week break (but can’t get too excited because we have two exams the week we get back) and I’m debating whether I should go to The Catacombs today or take a joint trip to Maison de Balzac and the Monet Marmottan Museum. It’s a rough life full of hard choices.

  • Yara Shahidi was on Stephen Colbert, is turning 18, having a voting party, and is an amazingly well-spoken individual. I know it’s a cliche to say this, but we need more people like her in the world.
  • In spite of my issues with The Shape of Water, I do think it’s a bit unfair to sum it up as ‘the film where the woman has sex with a fish’. That being said, someone designed a dildo inspired by Fish God. You can find anything on the internet and this is why we don’t deserve nice things.
  • The inspiring knitwear of Prabal Gurung’s Fall 2018 collection.
  • The Obamas’ official portraits have been unveiled at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. They’re both pretty amazing, both from an historical and artistic standpoint.
    Buuuut: here’s a counterpoint and a deeper reading.
  • Wisecrack on how Monty Python shaped modern comedy (via postmodernism, the comedy of the absurd, and political satire).
  • A thought-provoking personal essay about an ‘accidental wedding dress’ and accepting that life rarely/never comes with the closure of a settled and final happy ending.
  • Similarly, this comic on the numerous ways to fill your heart and live a meaningful and love-filled life.
  • A surreal video of a very fluffy doggo swimming underwater.
  • The Louvre has created a Valentine’s-inspired Pinterest board. I’m particularly in love (no pun intended) the Antonio Canova’s sculpture of Cupid and Psyche.
  • I’m not planing on watching the newly reimagined/animated Peter Rabbit film ever, but there’s been a bit of a kerfuffle about a scene involving food allergies. I don’t think there’s much to be upset about but part of the reason I am steering clear of the film is that even from the trailer it struck me as being crass and mean-spirited. And I wasn’t even a Beatrix Potter kid.
  • And… a Disneyland social club is being sued for using ‘mafia-like’ intimidation tactics. What even is this world and what are people? Watch out for the White Rabbits or you’ll be swimming with the… flounder?
  • Reaffirming my goal to spend less time on my phone and computer.
  • I didn’t cry at this animated short, but I won’t lie- it did give me the feels.