Sunday, January 3, 2021

Nightcap1/3/21- Happy New Year! A reminder film writers are far from perfect, STAN AND OLLIE is a great film

Trace Beaulieu and Frank Conniff accept Bully the Little Stuffed Bull in place of the 2020 Unseen Film Award


Here's to hoping 2021 is better than 2020- hopefully we will all be able to see each other at the movies.


Over the last few weeks I as getting questions about what films I should see before the end of the year or what films are best. What films are the ones everyone is going to be talking about.

When asked I will give some some suggestions, but the truth is all I want to say is what does it matter? Watch what you want- go find your own best list and don't live and die by any one else's choices. 

The truth is critics don't know anything. We just have talked our ways into making you think we do. We've certainly convinced the festivals and the studios we do. Truthfully how often do critics get it wrong? More than you can realize. More often than not we champion films that really suck. To be fair we thought they were good, but looking back and getting distance our excitement at being the first to see something prevented us from seeing the film as crap. On the other hand we'll tell you something like THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS wasn't good when it really is a classic.

Frankly what you should do is just watch the films that interest you. Read the reviews and visit sites like Unseen and make lists. Read what we have to say but use it as a guide not as a be all and end all. 


I say that because I have been battling with a couple of people in the day job who are constantly watching the films that are highly rated on Rotten Tomatoes without knowing what the films are about. As a result they have been renting and going to films that they hate purely on the subject matter. They yell at me like it's my fault. And I simply tell them see what the plot is....


If you haven't seen the piece I asked a lot of friends what film made them happiest in 2020 and I got a lot of interesting answers. Some were short, some were long and most in between. (If you want to see them all go here).

The weird thing is that a number of people I talked to about the piece, even those who declined to participate, all said that the movie related thing that made them happiest was The Mads, aka Frank Conniff and Trace Beaulieu- however no one would say that .as their entry. However because so many people said it I realized that what they did was truly special so I decided that despite saying that there was no Unseen Film Award for 2020. it had to be taken out and given to them for bringing light into the world.


This week I saw STAN AND OLLIE a second time. Why the film didn't get any Oscar love, especially for Steve Coogan and John C Reilly who gave career best performances is beyond me. Their performances are towering and watching the final moments of Stan and Ollie performing on stage had me openly sobbing at the bittersweet nature of it.

I may not be a huge Laurel and Hardy fan but that film is one the great unseen films of the last decade.

Seriously it is a masterpiece


The Harrison Ford led CALL OF THE WILD is not so hot. The trouble is not the script or performances, but the visual effects are just bad. It would have worked as an animated film but not as a live action one since the CGI and humans never seem in the same place at the same time.


A full review is coming but is you want a wonderful animated film in th Disney style see Glen Keane's OVER THE MOON on Netflix. It moves like the wind, has good songs and is a visual delight. If nothing else it entertains in spades.


If you like science fiction or are interested in science fiction you've probably heard of Travis Walton who was alleged to have been kidnapped by aliens. I'm not sure what I think about it since the stories have gone all over the place.

Here is the audio of the National UFO Reporting Center getting the call and starting it's investigation in the days following the incident while Walton was missing. It's an interesting listen and I recommend it. Here is a link to the audio

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