DECEMBER 2020 Viewing Recap + Movie(s) of the Month

Hello everyone!! Happy New Year! Wow, I’m still not used to saying that, ahah. Well, do you feel different now that 2020 is behind us? No? Well, me neither. But hey, I am hopeful for 2021, I mean there is only one way but up after the year we’ve had right? It has to!!

Ok well, I watched quite a few movies/series in December, partly because I had a few days off and as the weather turns colder, we stay in more often.

So here’s what I watched in November:

New-to-me Movies

Mulan (2020)

I had been anticipating this for sometime but I wasn’t going to pay 30 bucks to watch it, so I finally watched it when it became available for free on Disney+. Well, I’m glad I didn’t pay for it… I mean, it’s good, don’t get me wrong, but I just wasn’t moved by it. So overall it’s not a terribly memorable film, I’m not sure I’d even review it.

Much Ado About Nothing – ShakespeaReTold (2005)


I saw this at my friend’s house, mostly because Tom Ellis is in it. It’s alright, it’s an amusing take on Shakespeare with famous Brits.

Last Christmas (2019)

I was a big fan of George Michael growing up so naturally a movie based on his Christmas hits intrigued me, esp. when it’s written by Emma Thompson. It’s a charming rom-com, a bit on the frothy site but it has a big heart. Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding have a sweet chemistry and the scenery definitely gets me in the Christmas mood.

Effie Gray (2014)

Ok, I was curious to see this one as it’s also written by Emma Thompson, but I’ve never even heard of it before. Well, this one turns out to be really, really slow and dull, there’s barely any spark in this movie to make you want to be invested in the story. Despite the beautiful scenery, it’s almost unwatchable. I wouldn’t even recommend this to fans of period dramas.

Wander Darkly (2020)

This romantic drama is well-worth a look for the two leads. Read my full review

Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey (2020)

Check out my Music Break with songs from this jubilant Christmas movie.

The Holiday Calendar (2018)

To be honest, I only watched this one because of Ethan Peck (yep, Gregory’s equally dashing grandson). ‘Twas the season, so I was up for watching more Christmas-themed movies than usual. Unfortunately this one turns out to be one of the meh ones with a corny and predictable story. Kat Graham seems to be popular in this genre, as she’s also in Operation Christmas Drop. Nope, not going to even touch that one.

Charlie Brown’s Christmas (1965)

I live in Minnesota but for some reason I’ve never seen this movie! Yes I know, crazy right? Well, I’m glad I finally did. It’s such a cute movie and it’s actually refreshing to watch a simple, traditional animation style.

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

The Movies that Made Us – Elf (2020)

I really enjoy watching this Making-Of series that explored the journey of how some famous/iconic movies got made. As a filmmaker, it’s entertaining as well as insightful… it’s amazing that most of the producers were relative newcomers. David Berenbaum had definitely written a brilliant script, and they were able to get Will Ferrell AND director Jon Favreau, who’s proven to be one of the most talented filmmakers working today.

News Of the World (2020)

Tom Hanks is one of the most reliable actors working today. Apparently this is his first Western and it’s a good one. Full review upcoming.

Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)


Check out my full review of WW84

Soul (2020)

Full review upcoming

WolfWalker (2020)

Full review upcoming

Death To 2020 – Mockumentary (2020)

I was intrigued to watch this because it’s by Black Mirror‘s creator Charlie Brooker, and it’s got some big name stars as talking-head ‘experts.’ A parody of a year that’s been beset with, well too many things really, is a provocative premise, but overall this mockumentary isn’t all that funny and pretty lame. Heck, it’s more amusing to just watch real news!


TV Series

The Mandalorian Season 2

Bridgerton

Two very different shows but both are worth watching for different reasons. As a fan of period dramas, obviously I enjoy Bridgerton, which is far juicier than any Jane Austen movies, ha! It’s more in line with Outlander in terms of its juicy sex scenes, but no blood/violence to speak of… yet.

I’m still thinking about the finale of both shows, thankfully they have been renewed for season 3 and season 2, respectively. Too bad we have a long time to wait for this as they probably haven’t even started shooting yet.


Rewatches

Notting Hill

Bridget Jones’s Diary

Return to Me

It’s A Wonderful Life

Wow, I must have been feeling quite sentimental as I watched mostly rom-coms, ahah. Well except for that last one… it’s been ages since I saw the Frank Capra classic and last year was definitely the perfect time to rewatch i.


MOVIE(S) OF THE MONTH

Soul + Wolfwalker

I saw these two back-to-back, and both are visually spectacular. They’re completely different in terms of narratives and animation styles but I love each of them in its own unique way. I highly recommend both of them if you haven’t already.


Per tradition, I usually wait until mid January until I post my Top 10 Films of the year… so stay tuned for that!


Well, what did you watch in December and what’s YOUR fave movie you saw last month?

16 thoughts on “DECEMBER 2020 Viewing Recap + Movie(s) of the Month

  1. I saw some of Last Christmas and I liked it. I thought it was funny and enjoyable.

    I just finished watching Soul and… whoa… right now, it’s in my top 3 all-time favorite Pixar movies behind WALL-E and Coco respectively as I was just in awe of it. It reminded me of films like A Matter of Life and Death by Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, Heaven Can Wait, and some of Terrence Malick’s films. I was in awe of it as I laughed and was moved by it. The jazz music was awesome but it was the electronic score by Trent & Atticus of NIN (I’m biased because I’m a longtime fan) that just blew me away as I think this is their best score to date so far (well I need to see Waves, Bird Box, mid-90s, and Mank to judge their score).

    If you were to tell me back in 1995 when Toy Story came out and NIN just finished touring with David Bowie that they would do a Pixar score. I’d be like… “yeah, right”. It’s amazing that they just got inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, released 2 new albums (for free) last year, and did two different movie scores for 2 completely different films. Yet, I think the music in Soul will show exactly how broad their audiences has grown. I think in time, I can take my nephew and future niece to a show. Just keep them away from the mosh pits though I think we NIN fans are too old to mosh.

    1. Hey Steven! Your love for NIN is legendary! But yeah Soul is a return to form for Pixar, and the music is wonderful! I was a bit surprised to see Trent & Atticus as the composers, and though I’m not familiar with their work as much as you, I definitely think they’ve done a marvelous job. I think my fave scores they did are Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network, they work w/ Fincher a lot don’t they? Working with Pixar in a family-friendly movie certainly is a good sign they’ve broaden their horizon.

      1. Yes, they scored The Social Network (which they won an Oscar for), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Gone Girl as there’s also a remix of “Closer” in the opening credits scene of Se7en. And here is something I just learned recently. One of David Fincher’s sound designers also worked on Soul and suggested to Pete Docter that he should get Trent & Atticus to do the score.

        If they can get kids to listen to NIN, then there’s hope. Yes, the music can be dark and abrasive but the calmer stuff is really beautiful.

        1. Ah right, they won an Oscar for The Social Network which was well-deserved! Nice trivia about Fincher’s sound designer working on SOUL, well it turns out to be a great collaboration w/ Trent & Atticus.

  2. It’s a new year but still feels like 2020, hopefully this whole COVID situation will calm down soon. Then maybe it will feel like a new year.

    I only saw a few new movies like WW1984, Fatman and Joker. I enjoyed Fatman but you know how I feel about WW1984 and I didn’t hate Joker, didn’t think it’s anything special either. The best part of that film was near the end where they showed the birth of Batman. Unfortunately, it sounds like DC and Warner Bros. are planning multiple Batman films and has nothing to do with one another and it’s going to be a mess.

    1. Hi Ted, I’m hoping the lockdown will end on Jan 10 so we at least can eat in restaurants again… I feel bad for restauranteurs and my friends who work in the hospitality industry.

      What is Fatman about? That’s the one w/ Mel Gibson right? I’m not super impressed w/ Joker either, but hoping the new one w/ Pattinson will be good.

      Thanks again for the Midnight Sky review 🙂

      1. Yeah, I feel awful for people working in the restaurant and hospitality industry. With a new president coming into the office in a couple of weeks, hopefully things will improve soon since there will be grown ups in the White House again.

        Fatman is a dark comedy/action thriller about Santa Clause played by Gibson. He’s being hunted by an assassin who was hired by a disgruntled spoiled kid who didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas. It’s a silly film but it’s enjoyable.

        I don’t get what the people at Warner Bros. are doing with these DC films. First, they said The Batman is part of DCEU but now they’re saying it’s standalone film. I hope it’ll be a good one too.

        1. Fatman is about Santa Clause?? How bizarre!! Sounds silly but that’s good that you still enjoyed it.

          Well now the news is Michael Keaton is gonna be Batman replacing Ben Affleck, which is interesting. I wonder if they’re ever gonna make a live action version of Batman Beyond.

          1. Fatman could’ve been even sillier and more fun had they went into a full silliness of the genre but Gibson played the role straight. He’s like a gritty version of Santa Claus who works for the US government while trying to be a good role model to kids everywhere. Lol!

            I still think they should’ve convince Nolan to make his Dark Knight Trilogy part of the DCEU. Then all they had to do was bring in Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman and The Flash and they’ll have Justice League. I remember Bale said he’s disappointed to learn he’s no longer Batman, at least he’ll be on board. But what do I know. Ha ha!

  3. What a month! I didn’t watch nearly as many Christmas movies as I normally do so 2021 is going to have to make up for it.
    I’m really looking forward to your upcoming reviews, December brought us some great new releases.
    Bridgerton has got me curious. I’m not normally a fan of period dramas but I gave into the hype for The Queen’s Gambit and was glad I did so…I might just try it.

    1. Hi Allie! How many Christmas movies do you typically watch in December? I feel like more than 5 is a lot already, ahah, though I generally avoid the Christmas rom-coms. I’ve written most of the reviews, so it’ll be posted in the next week or so.

      The Queen’s Gambit is excellent indeed. Bridgerton is quite different, more juicy and salacious but enjoyable, so I’d say give it a try.

      1. Probably between 5-10, I might not be fully watching them, more like having them on as background noise whilst wrapping presents but the COVID situation just sort of bummed me out and I didn’t feel festive enough.
        I’m a sucker for Christmas rom-coms but even I won’t watch too many! I have a few festive favourites that I try to watch on an annual basis though 🙂
        Can’t wait for those reviews!

        1. Ah yes, I do that too sometimes with certain movies. I’d have my laptop w/ me and I just have it play in the background. Love, Actually is a good one for that as there are some scenes I usually just fast forward.

          I’m so sorry that UK is in on another lockdown… hang in there, Allie! I’m in MN and we have some Covid restrictions as well, all restaurants and movie theaters are still closed, but strangely enough malls are open and they get quite busy during the holiday season.

          There are SO many Christmas rom-coms now, Netflix is like the new Hallmark. I tried to watch a couple of new ones but man they’re awful!! 😀

  4. First of all, Ruth – no, I don’t feel any different! I’m hopeful too though 🙂
    Nice mixture of films you watched. Note to self: avoid Effie Gray!
    I was reading another review on Wander Darkly (I haven’t seen it yet) so I’ll be interested to read your full review.
    I love a bit of Hanks so will hopefully have the opportunity to watch News of the World.

    1. Yeah, I have a bad feeling the first half of 2021 is gonna be pretty much the same as last year… I mean until those vaccines do work and most people can get them, I don’t see anything changing sadly 😦

      Yeah, avoid Effie Gray. Sooo boring! It’s too bad as Emma Thompson is usually a great writer, but I think the direction is just so dull. Interestingly, she is also in it and her real-life husband Greg Wise (aka Willoughby in Sense & Sensibility) also played a prominent role.

      Btw, I forgot that I have posted my review of Wander Darkly, here you go https://flixchatter.net/2020/12/29/flixchatter-review-wander-darkly-2020/ I should have my review of News of The World sometime next week 🙂

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