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.

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.

Most Anticipated Film Releases 2018

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I’m back in France (landed yesterday morning) but still thinking about films. Some things never change.

  • The Post: They’ve asked tons screen this at the White House which I find very interesting given 1) the content and 2) the presence of the very-overrated Meryl Streep.
  • A Fantastic Woman
  • Loveless
  • Winchester: This doesn’t actually look good but I love creepy house films and I could be wrong.
  • Red Sparrow: Ballerina Jennifer Lawrence becomes Russian Intelligence agent. Could be good. Could be Atomic Blonde 2, Atomic Redhead.
  • Isle of Dogs: Wes Anderson!
  • Lean on Pete: Horses!
  • You Were Never Really Here: Joaquin Phoenix and guns!
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story: There’s been a lot of behind the scenes drama with this project. I hope it turns out well because I will never not love a good Star Wars. And I’ll be sad if they besmirch the Harrison Ford/Han Solo legacy.
  • Deadpool 2: Of course.
  • Ocean’s 8: I was questioning this on a kind of Ghostbusters remake basis but the trailer looks excellent and has assuaged most of my fears. Love that the heist is set at the Met Gala.
  • The Incredibles 2: Edna’s coming back!
  • Mulan: Live action Mulan. I’m torn. I don’t believe there’s a need but if one is coming I might be here for it.
  • Bohemian Rhapsody: Another film with a lot of behind the scenes drama, but I’m excited. Queen is cool.
  • Creed 2: It didn’t need a sequel but I did like the first Creed quite a bit.

You’ll notice that the list os largely big Hollywood films, as these are the ones that tend to schedule their release dates far into the future (as opposed to the smaller independent films I tend to prefer).

Happy December (!) Links

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I changed my desktop background (finally!). I was feeling the need for something pink and fluffy with unrealistic eyelashes.

Report Cards for Disney Princes

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I’m showing off my Disney knowledge again, this time with princes! (You can see my Disney Princess Showdown here!)  Just so you get an idea, on the most recent time-wasting Disney trivia quiz I took (this morning, it has been 0 days since my last stupid quiz) I got 100% 97% (I can’t help it if I didn’t know the voice actor who played Kuzco, expecting too much of me).
It’s harder to rank Disney’s princes because unlike the princesses, they don’t really follow a cohesive pattern from the beginning of animated movie times to the present.  The earliest princes were essentially non-entities who only came around for a quick smooch at the end. Prostitutes, basically.  (I kid)(Kind of.)  And then the later princes come with character development because we stopped feeling so comfortable with marrying people we had just meant and umm…. necrophilia?  So this is just a highly highly subjective “report card” for all of the Disney princes I could think of. Subjective like all grade scales. I’m at university, I know.
(Love the curve, live the curve). Continue reading “Report Cards for Disney Princes”

Disney Princess Showdown

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(Pocket Princesses, a comic I love. Look them up!)

There are a lot of arguable Disney princesses, but only a few in the Disney Princess line, which is a collection of the most elite, popular, and franchise-able characters (Snow White, Cinderella, Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, Pocahontas, Mulan, Tiana, Rapunzel and Merida).  But none of these people (with the exception of Mulan) are favorite Disney heroines of mine.
It’s kind of unfair, because they’re chosen for overwhelmingly commercial reasons.
So here’s a ranked showdown of all of the Disney princesses I could come up with.  The princesses are ranked on a few basic qualities: 1) born into or marries royalty, 2) has animals sidekicks, 3) sings songs, 4) inspirational/powerful.
Honestly I think Disney is a little too focused on the ‘princess’ designation- there are so many more things to celebrate about women than royal status.  I’m rewarding half points for incompletely achieved criteria. Continue reading “Disney Princess Showdown”

YBDT Showpieces

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Hey you! Now that Winter Ball is over and I’ve written my essay on Gender Imitation and Insubordination in Macbeth, I have a little spare time and brain space to come up with another list.

The Yale Ballroom Dance Team has been my main extracurricular and social activity  for the last soon-to-be four years.  I had never done ballroom dance before (unless you count quinceanera salsa, bachata, and merengue).  But most of the team here had never done ballroom before joining. Some of us hadn’t even danced before (Pro tip: we’re the only dance group at Yale that doesn’t have auditions).

We compete and have two big shows a year- Winter Ball and Spring Show, in addition to smaller shows like Icebreaker at the beginning of the year, ‘gigs’ when we go on tour over Spring Break, and Caliente (our pre-freshman recruitment show).

And now I only have one more show left before I’m gone!  Time to take a walk down memory lane and look back at my show pieces over my ‘bright college years’. Continue reading “YBDT Showpieces”