The Christmas Chronicles 2 (2020)

Kate Pierce, now a cynical teen, is unexpectedly reunited with Santa Claus when a mysterious troublemaker threatens to cancel Christmas – forever.

As far as Christmas Netflix Original movies go this one is pretty okay, the first Christmas Chronicles was fine enough and this one is on pretty much the exact same level. Kurt Russell is still pretty solid as Santa Clause and at least they changed the story up a bit even if it’s not very original at all. What bogs this movie down is the villain he’s really not interesting at the slightest in fact he’s very annoying and really holds the movie back from being anything other then “fine” the humor is really not great a lot of the jokes are a huge miss or just don’t make any sense at all. On the top of my head I can remember only 1 or 2 jokes I laughed at during this movie. Despite what I said I can definitely see kids loving this movie, it has all the elements it needs to be a very safe kids/family Christmas movie and sometimes that’s really all you need. Also this is a huge step up for Chris Columbus since the last movie he did was Pixels.

6/10 C+

The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special (2020)

Rey leaves her friends to prepare for Life Day as she sets off on an adventure to gain a deeper knowledge of the Force. At a mysterious temple, she is hurled into a cross-timeline adventure. Will she make it back in time for Life Day?

I debated if I should even count this as a film and add it to my 2020 movies count. But since a lot of people are counting it I might as well, it’s only 48 minutes long which for what it is the movie is fine enough. There’s tons of Star Wars memes thrown in the film such as “Hello there!” To my surprise they actually got Kelly Marie Tran to voice Rose, it’s actually pretty nice to see although her part isn’t that big. What this movie really reminds me of is when I was like 8-10 years old I use to make storylines with my action figures. That’s the vibe this movie gives off which is not a bad thing at all, in fact in this case I think it works well. The movie is clearly not going for a serious tone, the comedy is a hit or miss some of it works and some of it doesn’t. It really comes down to if your a huge Star Wars fan or not, because a lot of it is Star Wars oriented humor. But overall The Lego Star Wars Holiday Special is very straightforward and gets to the point quickly, I can’t see myself ever watching this again but for a first time watch it’s passable.

6/10 C+

The Witches (2020)

Based on Roald Dahl’s 1983 classic book ‘The Witches’, the story tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven year old boy who has a run in with some real life witches!

The Witches did not need another remake, the first adaption was solid enough and got the job done…why do another one? This version of The Witches suffers from multiple problems, Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer do the best they can with a very poor script, some of the visuals and the makeup are kinda solid as well. But that’s seriously where it ends for me, acting wise everyone else felt way too wooden. Heck at times Octavia Spencer fell in wooden territory, the writing was just not engaging, a lot of it was typical family movie tropes that really fail to live up to the original adaption, the biggest problem this movie has is it’s too forgettable. It’s one of those movies where you watch it and then two hours later you forget 70% of what happened, outside of Anne Hathaway it really doesn’t do anything that’s going to make the viewer remember it. Chris Rock’s narration does not work at all, it feels way too out of place and does not fit the atmosphere of the actual story. A matter of fact the atmosphere of the movie is a big issue, it has no idea what it wants to be. Does it want to take itself seriously? Does it want to be some wacky family movie? It switches constantly back in forth between many different type of atmospheres, overall The Witches (2020) is completely unnecessary this is going to be one of those many cases where people are going to remember the original adaption and forget the new one as it does almost nothing to make itself standout.

4/10 D+

Love And Monsters and The Secrets We Keep (2020)

In a monster-infested world, Joel (Dylan O’Brien) learns his girlfriend is just 80 miles away. To make the dangerous journey, Joel discovers his inner hero to be with the girl of his dreams.

I had little to no expectations with Love and Monsters, it looked like a Zombieland clone, however the movie is actually not that. Sure Love and Monsters does share some similarities as Zombieland but director Michael Matthews is able to bring a lot of different elements to the table. First off the film itself has to be the sweetest apocalypse movie I’ve seen, underneath all the monsters and the villains you have Dylan O’Brian and Jessica Henwick’s chemistry which is just beautiful to watch. You actually root for both these characters and care about their relationship, so to combine a very cute chemistry in a monster apocalypse movie was really clever. The acting is pretty strong, Dylan O’Brian and Jessica Henwick are both fantastic and give tons of memorable moments, the writing is cleverly written with character moments and humor both combined it turns out to be a interesting little movie. The filming is pretty well done and really does the location of the film justice, the special effects and the monsters I have to say are pretty solid. That was one of my main concerns going into this movie but I thought they were done pretty well. I feel like what I like most about the film is it feels quick and goes straight to the point. It knows what it wants to be and what it’s set out to do. Be a quick monster apocalypse film that has some similarities to some other movies but keep things fresh as well. I definitely recommend giving Love and Monsters a watch! One of the biggest surprises of the year.

8/10 B+

In post-WWII America, a woman, rebuilding her life in the suburbs with her husband, kidnaps her neighbor and seeks vengeance for the heinous war crimes she believes he committed against her.

The Secrets We Keep is basically Roman Polanski’s Death and The Maiden, only that this movie is nowhere near as good. I thought The Secretes We Keep started off interesting and had some good ideas, however it quickly showed that this movie is just a lifeless copy of Death and The Maiden, while the acting was very decent especially from Noomi Rapace. It isn’t enough to make any of the performances believable, it all just feels way too middle of the road and very below average. The writing isn’t really great at all, it has it’s moments but those are far and few in between.. I really don’t have anything else to say, if it sounds interesting to you check it out I guess. Otherwise don’t bother.

5/10 C

Happy Halloween Scooby Doo! (2020)

Scooby-Doo and the team gather again to solve the mystery of gigantic proportions and save Crystal Cove.

I’m going to keep this short, Happy Halloween Scooby-Doo is refreshing after the mess of a movie Scoob which came out earlier this year. This time the crossover is with Elvira and Bill Nye the science guy, both of which fit in pretty well! The jokes are the typical Scooby-Doo humor and that’s a good thing, you can’t help but just laugh at it! What I appreciate about this movie is it actually gives Daphne a bigger role, a lot of the times she really doesn’t get much to do in some of the movies. But here she is actually used pretty well, I was honestly pretty surprised so I give credit where credit is due. Otherwise it’s a typical Scooby-Doo movie extremely harmless fun that at the same time is very charming, any Scooby-Doo fan will love it.

7/10 B

Mulan (2020)

A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.

Mulan is by far one of the better live action Disney remakes especially in awhile, the last couple Lady and the Tramp, The Lion King, Kim possible (if you count it), dumbo and a few others have really ranged from terrible to below average. Mulan does introduce a few things, such as a few new characters and does cut some things out as well. What Mulan does best at is the technical aspects, such as the cinematography, the sets, the action scenes and the music. It all comes together quite nicely and accomplishes what it’s set out to do. The acting is also fairly decent, sure there are moments that could have definitely been so much better but I do feel like the cast gets the job done. I feel like my biggest issue here was the writing, it falls in the exact same trap that a lot of these Disney live action remakes fall into. Having very safe writing and not really doing anything else, the original Mulan actually took a lot of risks (one of the main reasons it’s one of my favorite films of all time) this movie however didn’t. It’s very enjoyable luckily and as I said before it’s far better than a lot of the recent live action Disney remakes, but if you are a huge fan of the original do not expect this to be just as good. I do recommend giving it a watch though as it is a very decent movie!

7/10 B

Bill & Ted Face The Music (2020)

Once told they’d save the universe during a time-traveling adventure, 2 would-be rockers from San Dimas, California find themselves as middle-aged dads still trying to crank out a hit song and fulfill their destiny.

I really have to say I’m actually surprised by how much I really liked this movie. Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter really pull it off, they are both hilarious and their performances are quite great!! The humor is genuinely funny, sure not every joke lands but a majority of the jokes landed pretty well there is even some creative ones as well. Speaking of which the writing was quite clever a lot of the time and explored other themes, it’s also pretty heartwarming as well especially towards the end. The movie is very touching and leads to some surprisingly emotional moments and manages to combine that with humor. Which is what I think I loved most about this movie, it manages to combine the humor and the serious moments really well which leads to some excellent results! Overall this is a very satisfying movie that I highly recommend giving a go!!

8/10 B+

The One And Only Ivan (2020)

A gorilla named Ivan tries to piece together his past with the help of an elephant named Ruby as they hatch a plan to escape from captivity.

The One and Only Ivan is a movie I was not expecting to like as much as I did, based on a true story we have a pretty interesting story. The acting and voice acting were both really solid, Bryan Cranston, Sam Rockwell, Brooklyn Prince, Ariana Greenblatt and Danny DeVito were definitely the standouts. The writing was overall not too bad, it did have it’s hiccups at times (a few fart jokes) but otherwise there was some genuinely meaningful dialogue in the movie that was heartwarming. The movie does start off slow but picks up quickly as it goes on, the score I thought was overall well done and matched the tone of the movie. The original song from this movie “Free” by Charlie Puth and written by Diane Warren was excellent and matches the movie really well. There are some sad moments that add to this movie that are actually well done, The One and Only Ivan is a huge crowd pleaser and is definitely one of the better Disney+ Original movies!

7/10 B

Chemical Hearts, The Sleepover and Tesla (2020)

A high school transfer student finds a new passion when she begins to work on the school’s newspaper.

Chemical Hearts is another high school romance movie, sure it’s better than some of the other ones that have been coming out recently. But that is really not saying much at all, I will say the acting is not too bad Lili Reinhart isn’t too bad and everyone else does a fairly decent job. But everything else just ranges from bad to below average, it feels like the people who worked on this movie just copied off of every other high school romance movie and didn’t do anything to change it up at all. Chemical Hearts really does not have much to say at all, sure there’s a few good moments that are supposed to give the characters some development, but a lot of it is elements that you have already seen several times before. I really don’t know what else to say, if your a fan of high school romance movies you will probably like this…otherwise skip this one.

4/10 D+

When two siblings discover their seemingly normal mom is a former thief in witness protection who has been forced to pull one last job, they team up to rescue her over the course of an action-packed night.

It can’t be a coincidence that Scott Speer who directed Endless also directed Step Up 4, but then one week later The Sleepover comes out and that’s directed by Trish Sie director of Step Up All In! Anyway The Sleepover is terrible (surprising!) it’s your classic example of movies Netflix knew was awful so they did everything in their power to not advertise it at all, The Sleepover also has a trend I’ve been noticing a lot more and more with a lot of family “action” movies. It has barely any action in it, they throw on the action label hoping it will get clicks. Which is a very cheap tactic and not an honest one either. As for the movie itself it’s garbage, the acting is terrible, the writing is a complete trainwreck. Speaking of the writing the very first joke and line in this movie is a poop joke…that is pretty much a foreshadowing of how the rest of the movie will be, there’s tons more bathroom jokes as well. The “action” feels lazily put into the movie, no thought or care was put into it. It pretty much comes down to “oh kids love action let’s do the bare minimum and put a few action scenes into the movie!” Look I’m not expecting the next John Wick, but good god it feels forced. I really don’t know what else to say? The Sleepover feels like something The Disney Channel would put on if it were the 90s, except where as some of the Disney Channel movies had charm this movie doesn’t have that.

2/10 F

A freewheeling take on visionary inventor Nikola Tesla, his interactions with Thomas Edison and J.P. Morgan’s daughter Anne, and his breakthroughs in transmitting electrical power and light.

Why does Ethan Hawks sing “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” in a movie about Nikola Tesla? I swear if someone asked me what is one of the most uninteresting and just downright terrible movies so far this year. I would say it’s Tesla, I mean sure in concept the movie sounds pretty okay a biopic about Nikola Tesla how could you possibly mess that up? Unfortunately the writers wanted something different and then came up with whatever this was, it’s actually really hard to explain because I still don’t know what they were trying to do. The only good thing I can give this movie is Ethan Hawks’s performance, he definitely tries his best in such a terribly written movie. I feel like the worst part about this whole movie is how it is just not interesting at the slightest, it quickly loses the viewer’s interest by not doing anything really. It’s biopic that honestly felt like it did not need to be made, sitting through this movie is like doing chores around the house. You don’t want to do them but if you want to be done you have to do it, just give this one a skip..

1/10 F

Onward (2020)

Set in a suburban fantasy world, two teenage elf brothers embark on a quest to discover if there is still magic out there. Onward is definitely the movie that shocked me the most so far this year. Dan Scanlon who directed Monsters University which sadly I was not the biggest fan of. Plus I really think the advertising for Onward was not that great, however life is full of surprises and this movie turned out to be extremely great! First off the chemistry between Chris Pratt and Tom Holland was fantastic, I was really impressed with how well they both worked together, the animation was both stunning and really strong! It gave the movie it’s own unique feel which I really loved, one of the biggest reasons I was very skeptical about this movie at first was the character design and the style of the movie (adventure type) . I didn’t know if the movie could pull off something interesting with these types of characters, or pull off something new. However the movie takes a similar concept and turns it into it’s own, it throws in some Lord Of The Rings elements for the story and for the characters the movie gives them some great character development. Plus the movie does have it’s emotional moments which I will say almost made me cry, the final act is definitely worth the wait. It’s emotional, heartwarming and really well done, I had my doubts about this movie at the beginning but it proved me wrong which it ends up being one of my favorites of the year!

9/10 A