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  • On the Record

    On the Record

    ★★★★

    Powerful HBO Max documentary on music producer Russell Simmons and the many sexual allegations against him. Disturbing though that many of these accusations have never been able to be heard in court and that HBO continues to air comedy shows produced by Simmons on their service with his name attached to it. It's almost like HBO Max is trying to say we'll promote a documentary on what a bad person Simmons is, but if he can make us money with unique programming, we'll look the other way.

  • The Vast of Night

    The Vast of Night

    ★★★

    I'll definitely keep an eye on this debut filmmaker (Andrew Patterson), but this low-budget horror thriller which takes place in the 1950s and looks like it could have been filmed in the 1950s might not be showing what Patterson is capable of filming. Apparently this was filmed for less than $1,000,000 but at times it looks much more impressive than that. Now streaming on Amazon although I bet it works better in a drive-in setting.

  • Bad Education

    Bad Education

    ★★★★

    A couple of nights after finishing my 13th year as a high school teacher in what certainly will go down as the weirdest school year ever, I watched this HBO film. And as the title promised, I found one school and system with an uglier back story than anything I've ever experienced. Folks in education everywhere or maybe just parents or students of the American public school system might view this movie to get a sense of relief. Even if…

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

    ★★★★½

    So not quite as magical as it was in 1982, but I did watch this again with my family at a drive-in movie theater in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. And as one of my sons noted, it was the first time in 2020 that we had traveled together (all five of us) in a car together for a family outing (the oldest were gone early in the year for college gap year internships and now that everyone is…

  • Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind

    Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind

    ★★★½

    While I enjoyed tremendously being able to see so many clips and interviews and memories of the great Natalie Wood, this sanitized documentary (made by her daughter Natasha) doesn't ultimately give her the justice I think she deserves. I really want to believe what Natasha believes, that it was just an accident, and that there were no sinister acts involved that led to the drowning. The film does show what a great person Natalie Wood was and the impact she…

  • Downton Abbey

    Downton Abbey

    ★★★½

    Let's start with the obvious. You have to have been a fan of the original PBS drama to fully appreciate this slightly meandering film, but reuniting with the Crawley's and their beloved staff was a nice diversion for a couple of hours. Still, this film did not have the drama of the series so if you're new to British period pieces, I'd just start with streaming the original series somewhere.

  • The Willoughbys

    The Willoughbys

    ★★½

    Struggling to find a movie worth watching still for 2020. Animation in this one will keep you interested for a little bit, but boy oh boy is this a poor story.

  • The Baker's Wife

    The Baker's Wife

    ★★★

    Criterion Collection film that I watched on a rainy Sunday. The first 20 minutes got me excited, but this movie is 2 hours and 20 minutes long and it never really built from those first interesting 20 minutes.

  • The Lighthouse

    The Lighthouse

    ★★½

    Not the best movie to watch at home while basically not being allowed to go out in public. But even in our pre shelter-in-place days I don't think this movie would have been for me.

  • 1917

    1917

    ★★★★★

    Easter Day present to family and myself to watch it on Blu-Ray

  • Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

    Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness

    ★★½

    I won't add this to my list of 2020 films as obviously it's not a film. Ignore the hype - there are so many better-made and more interesting documentaries out there. Yeah, everyone is watching it and talking about it and making the memes and questioning President Trump about pardons, but it's just not worth your time.

  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    Portrait of a Lady on Fire

    ★★★

    I had heard such good things about this and maybe I'm not artsy enough to enjoy a slow-moving, beautifully-filmed French film with not much action or comedy? Again, it was so delicately shot and well-acted and some may say this was one of the best films of 2019 but it wasn't for me.