2020 Recap, sort of

First, an explanation. I sorta abandoned the blog a couple months ago. I’m fine. I’m still here and watching movies. I was just finding it hard to write about them. I even stopped my daily Stardust posting and cut down to once a week or so, only if I felt I had something specific to say. Two main reasons I think I’ve been struggling to write. One, an overload of content I’m watching. Somewhere between 15-20 a week, gets hard to find unique things to say, esp as they all blur together. Second, if you’ve ever read thru my posts, you know I like to write about personal experience. But the majority of my experience this year was all the same, in lockdown inside, watching at home. No new adventures to speak of. It got old. I found anytime I wrote anything, blog post, social media status, friendly email, it always sounded bleak, even if I truly was feeling okay.

This blog has also been feeling like a chore of late, so I thought it was a good excuse to take a break. Once the theaters open back up, we’ll see how I feel about returning to my rule of writing up everything I see. There’s also the matter of my wonky eyesight that makes blogging difficult. We’ve figured out that more than just computer vision syndrome, I’m farsighted, but my eyes have worked overtime to adjust to hide it. The new strategy is full time progressive glasses, which sounds promising, but the adjustment period has been brutal. It’ll prolly still be a couple weeks until I see real results, and that’s if I don’t decide I need to go back in to get my script tweaked. Jury’s still out.

See what I mean about everything I write sounding bleak? Srsly, I’m okay, really.

Anyways, this is usually when I do this big crazy blog post writing up everything I saw in theaters in the previous year, doing every sort I can think of on my OCD Excel sheet to give stats no one cares about except me, and picking out my favorite and least favorite films. Obvi this year is different. I still have the crazy sheet, but it stops at row 31. March 14th, Burden at AMC Marina Classic. Yeah it’s a weird answer to “last movie I saw in a theater” because no one knows that one. Sometimes I lie and say Bloodshot at Alamo the night before. Fwiw, between March 5-14, there were only two days I didn’t see something in a theater, so at least I did try to go out with a bang without even knowing I was going out.

But on the upside, I did see A TON of movies at home, which is something I’m super grateful for. As stated in previous posts, I’ve been revisiting things collecting dust on my movie wall. And buying a bunch of new things too. And occassionally venturing into streaming, esp when I trialed HBO for a month this fall, and just bought another month for WW84. Unfortunately, I didn’t keep as meticulous track of these as I would theater movies. It was at least 4-5 weeks until I started taking pix of my watched piles, and I didn’t track anything digital at all. Oh and counting all those in the pile, plus the small pile since the last pic, I’ve got 616 movies. I’m sure I prolly cleared at least 750 all told.

Also, as a rule, I tried to avoid repeats. At the very least, I didn’t grab a DVD off the shelf twice. The few I did have were usually cause I rented something digitally, loved it, bought it, watched the physical copy. Or tried watching an older DVD that was degraded and skipped, so I bought and watched a replacement.

That said, I do have a bit of a twist I wanna do on my Top 10 of the year. But since there were slim pickings on new things, and I didn’t track old ones very well, they might not be very thought out. I’m sure there’s obvious things I’m missing, but I’m going with my instinctual response on these rather than obsessively combing thru my history. So the ten aren’t ranked, but they’re categorized. Not ranked within the categories either. And of course sneaking in some honorable mentions to cheat because I can’t ever stick to my numbers

Favorites of 2020 in a theater

  • The Invisible Man – Thriller is def my genre, and this one was straight up terrifying in a real world sort of way. No, not because of the invisibility, but because of the gaslighting and isolation and abuse. Powerful.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog – All signs pointed to this failing like all video game films tend to do, but it didn’t. It was so much fun, staying very true to the source, and full of hilarious moments and committed performances.
  • Onward – Kind of a toss up with my HM (which is more of a “me” movie) but you can’t beat the emotional impact of a Pixar movie. I cried through the whole thing, and did so on the rewatch too.
  • HM: Guns Akimbo

Favorite classic film theater experience

  • To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar – This really was three way tossup. Nosferatu was the best experience of the film itself. Wong Foo and Dracula both had to do with the magic of Alamo Drafthouse. Dracula was for my bday, and my last big social outing before the apocalypse, but most of the fun was over before we got to the auditorium. Wong Foo was more about the fun of the movie itself, cosplaying with my two nearest and dearest, and then followed up with the lip sync event downstairs. Prolly the single most fun event in a year with few.
  • HM: Nosferatu, Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Favorites of 2020 at home

  • Bill and Ted Face the Music – If you’d asked me before yesterday, I might’ve said this was my favorite 2020 movie. It brought me so much joy at a time when it was hard to come by. Unfortunately, the magic didn’t carry thru on my rewatch yesterday, but it might have just been overhype on my part. Still, very much the movie this year needed.
  • Tenet – If you pressed me, I might pick this as my fave movie. It doesn’t quite feel like a fave, but I’ve been obsessed and can’t get it outta my head. It really warrants its own post, but who knows if I’ll write it. I love the vibe and the story, and its one of those that feels just this side of understanding. I got the full story on the first watch, but have been driving myself nuts on the second watch and later trying to understand the details of how it all works. I love that kinda stuff.
  • The King of Staten Island – Interestingly, a Judd Apatow film starring Pete Davidson doesn’t make my list for the humor as much as for the feels. This movie was pure heart and it makes me happy to think about. And yes, it is still funny. And just the right level of inappropriate.
  • HM: Da 5 Bloods

Favorite new to me classics at home

  • Tammy and the T-Rex – Now this is really my favorite thing I saw this year. My new obsession, and I’m determined to show it at a movie night. It’s so terrible in the best possible way. Tommy Wiseau, eat your heart out.
  • Con Air – As I’m fairly sure I said before, I coulda sworn I’d seen this before, but there’s no way I forgot that much awesome. Similar to Tammy, it’s bad in all the right ways. But it’s also much more my genre, and the type of movie my Daddy raised me to love.
  • Before Sunrise – The whole trilogy really stuck with me, but the first movie is the best, I think. So effortless and beautiful. Never woulda thought I’d have loved a romance as much as this one, but stranger things happened in 2020

Soooo yeah, there you have it. Movies happened. I had more opinions than I wrote about. Gonna prolly stay on hiatus for a bit unless the spirit moves me (I really should write that Tenet post), esp with yoga teacher training taking up huge chunks of time. But I’m staying optimistic for 2021. Lots of killer content piling up, and I can’t wait to be back at my second home watching it all in a packed room full of strangers.