Mookie Goes To The Movies: 2020 Edition

Mookie Goes To The Movies: 2020 Edition

As 2020 started, I had my Cinemark Movie Club subscription and plans to spent the year watching new releases in theaters all year long – I even had the discount popcorn bucket and drink cup. On March 18, 2020, Californian began to shelter in place because of the pandemic. This left theaters shutdown and forced studios postpone releases of big budget films like Tenet, Mulan, F9, No Time To Die, Black Widow, Soul, Dune and The Batman to name a few.

In 2018, I watched 57 new releases. In 2020, I only watched 25 new releases – five of those in theaters and the rest I streamed on various services as rentals, purchases or as part of the service itself. Here are the new releases of 2020 that I saw last year. Bolded titles are the ones I saw in theaters.

  • 1917 (2020)
  • An American Pickle (2020)
  • Archive (2020)
  • Bad Boys for Life (2020)
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020)
  • Birds of Prey: And the Fabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn (2020)
  • Bloodshot (2020)
  • Greyhound (2020)
  • The Invisible Man (2020)
  • James Vs His Future Self (2020)
  • Like a Boss (2020)
  • The Old Guard (2020)
  • Onward (2020)
  • Palm Springs (2020)
  • Project Power (2020)
  • The Rhythm Section (2020)
  • Scoob! (2020)
  • Sonic The Hedgehog (2020)
  • Soul (2020)
  • Superintelligence (2020)
  • Tenet (2020)
  • Trolls World Tour (2020)
  • Underwater (2020)
  • The Vast of Night (2020)
  • Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)

In 2020, I saw the complete shutdown of theaters and the slow partial opening of theaters. All throught this, I saw studios and theaters grappling with how their business models will survive going forward. By the end of 2020, I got to witness things from studios that I wouldn’t have expected to happen so soon. One major studio released a summer blockbuster to streaming directly (Onward, Mulan). Another major studio release a big budget film (Wonder Woman 1984) day-and-date on both streaming and into theaters. This is something that I want to continue to happen and I hope will. Unfortunately, this is not something that everyone is happy about as Christopher Nolan pushed to hold Tenet for release into theaters in the midst of the pandemic because of his stodgy belief that movies should be shown on the big screen no matter what.

With things slowly changing, but not fast enough to bring large audiences back into theaters, I hope that studios continue to make movies – but take more risk and make smaller budget and more creative films.

My favorite movies of 2020 are:

  • Palm Springs: Palm Springs is a charming film that deftly mixes a heart-warming rom-com with sci-fi. It also has a sprinkling of philosophy about one’s existence in a world where actions have no consequences. It explores loneliness in a place in which nothing is permanent. But, having said all that: The film is fun, very fun to watch.
  • Soul: Sould is one of Pixar’s best films in general and in a long while. A really fun and deep exploration of existentialism – without being heavy handed.
  • The Invisible Man: The Invisible Man is brilliantly made, fantastically acted, and an absolute terrifying thriller. I enjoyed every minute of the film, even if I were terrified to the bone.
  • Onward: Onward was released early on Disney+ because COVID-19 shutdown theaters. I am glad that Disney put it on their streaming platform early. It was a joy to watch with the kids while we are sheltered in place.
  • Abominable: What a wonderful and absolutely beautiful film. I was a little doubtful of the East-meets-West film, but it really worked well. The characters are engaging and well-written.