Wylie Writes’ 2020 Mid-Year Report

It’s been an unpredictable year for movies, but 2020 has offered plenty of memorable titles – which is not always a compliment.

It’s time for Wylie Writes’ mid-year recap.  Don’t forget to click the coloured titles to read a more detailed write-up about the film!

Addison Wylie

The Best:

Disappearance at Clifton Hill (DIR. Albert Shin)

Blue Velvet meets Knives Out in this accomplished and sly whodunit.  Albert Shin (In Her Place) steps outside of his comfort zone to deliver a story that channels a fascinating tone between quirky and disturbing.  Tuppence Middleton is great as the film’s investigating out-of-towner, but it’s David Cronenberg who steals the show as Niagara Falls’ most infamous conspiracy theorist.

Honourable Mentions: The Invisible ManTigertaleVivarium

The Worst:

Coffee & Kareem (DIR. Michael Dowse)

Ed Helms sends himself to movie jail for starring in and co-producing this turgid Netflix Original buddy comedy from formally dependable filmmaker Michael Dowse (FUBAR, Goon).  Helms, milking the last drops of his tired uptight schtick, shares the screen with an obnoxious performance by Betty Gilpin and a detrimental turn by young Terrence Little Gardenhigh;  all contribute to the wildly inappropriate nature of this straight-up offensive movie.

Dishonourable Mentions: Artemis FowlDreamlandA Fall From Grace

Sky Wylie (Wylie Writes’ Co-Editor)

The Best:

Horse Girl (DIR. Jeff Baena)

Honourable Mentions: Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn)Vivarium

The Worst:

Coffee & Kareem (DIR. Michael Dowse)

Dishonourable Mentions: DolittleArtemis Fowl

Trevor Chartrand

Most Recommended:

Onward (DIR. Dan Scanlon)

Vibrant and energetic, Pixar gets everything right in this polished, well-paced fable that’s been expertly crafted for the whole family to enjoy.  Everything from the excellent chemistry between Chris Pratt and Tom Holland to the spectacular animation to the countless Fantasy genre easter eggs make Onward a fantastic film bound to be revered for many years to come.

Least Recommended:

Last Moment of Clarity (DIR. Colin Krisel, James Krisel)

An emotionless, heartless thriller that will leave viewers disappointed and wanting more.  The biggest failings of this film are its perplexing character logic and narrative flaws – most significantly the nonsensical concept that someone in hiding, having faked their own death, would pursue a career as an actor; thereby putting themselves in the public eye where they will inevitably be discovered.  The film falls apart with the very paradox of this premise, rendering suspension of disbelief for any viewer to be a mountain of task.

Shahbaz Khayambashi

The Best:

Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) (DIR. Cathy Yan)

Yeah, I’m as shocked as you. Originally, I didn’t even want to watch this. However, somewhere between an inability to go out to the theatre and the absolute fun of this film, Birds of Prey ends up being the best film released so far this year.

Honourable Mentions: Bile, Made You Look, The Hunt

The Worst:

The Assistant (DIR. Kitty Green)

First of all, I have a bit of a grudge with this one because it was the last movie I managed to see in theatres before lockdown.  Now, the real issue: The Assistant is the wrong length!  This could have been a fantastic short about the film’s pivotal meeting that occurs halfway through, or a brilliant four-plus hour feature focusing on the minutiae of day-to-day existence.  At a little over 80 minutes though, it feels like writer/director Kitty Green is quickly rushing to nowhere.  You can’t make Jeanne Dielmann in 80 minutes and this dull, uninspired feature is proof.

Dishonourable mentions: Rootwood, True Fiction, Cats the Mewvie


Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:

Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie
Sky Wylie: @SkyBaby5
Trevor Chartrand: @OhHaiTrebor
Shahbaz Khayambashi: @Shakhayam

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