Friday, June 26, 2020

TwoOhSix Picks - Halftime: Best of 2020 So Far

Since the month of June is coming to an end, I decided to take an inventory of the movies I have watched this year so I could see which ones have been my favorites and most enjoyable so far. I mean, seriously, the way the world is right now I can barely remember what happened two days ago let alone anything from January. The world has changed and how we watch movies has changed along with it for now and maybe for a while but that doesn't change the fact that some really good stories have been told so far and here are ten that rose above the rest.

10. The Vast of Night
The Vast of Night is a quirky and fun throwback to times when excitement came from mysteries and the unknown and a sense of adventure that kept us glued to the TV on a Saturday night or reading comic books under the covers with a flashlight. This movie makes me happy. - Full Review

9. Swallow
Swallow is a must watch movie and a beautifully filmed work of art. Haley Bennett absolutely nails a performance that demands everything from every moment that she is on screen. - Full Review

8. Tigertail
Tigertail is powerful storytelling that digs deep into Taiwanese culture by exploring the complexities of how we exist as human beings. Alan Yang has created an impressive debut feature film and Tzi Ma turns in an emotionally powerful performance that adds yet another milestone to an already amazing career. - Full Review

7. Blood Quantum
What the director absolutely gets right is the gore. Bodies being mutilated and destroyed by all manner of various weapons make for great fun and Barnaby holds nothing back when it comes to splattering blood and guts all over the place. - Full Review

6. The Photograph
The Photograph is cinematic poetry. Beautifully crafted and filled with standout performances, the story works both as a classic, feel good love story and as an exploration of who we are as emotional people right now, with all of our hopes, dreams, and flaws laid out for everyone to see. - Full Review

5. The Half of It
"I never thought about the oppression of fitting in before." That statement, made by Ellie Chu, made me press pause on the movie and go back to listen to it again. The Half of It is a beautifully told tale of identity and self realization that defies convention by just being authentic. - Full Review

4. The Invisible Man
The Invisible Man will scare the crap out of you in unexpectedly terrifying ways. Director Leigh Whannell adds to an impressive resume as a producer and director within the horror genre and Elizabeth Moss defies genre stereotypes by delivering a stunning performance that we'll be looking at for quite some time. - Full Review

3. Da 5 Bloods
Da 5 Bloods is a solid entry into Spike Lee's incredible and incredibly important body of work. It does a lot of things well, but didn't pack as much of a punch as I was hoping and would have benefited from from trimming the two and a half hour run time. - Full Review

2. Birds of Prey
Birds of Prey is a fun, stylish, and colorful movie that totally kicks ass. This is easily one of the best and most entertaining entries into the DC Cinematic Universe we have seen to date. Margot Robbie is amazing as Harley Quinn and Cathy Yan has proven without a doubt that she can hang with the heavyweights when it comes to directing a major franchise film. - Full Review

1. I Will Make You Mine
I Will Make You Mine will make you fall in love with story telling, with cinema, and with a film maker that I believe is just getting started. In a year that so far has been quite a bit different from any we have experienced during our time, this movie easily stands out as 2020's first truly great film. - Full Review

Lynn Chen and Goh Nakamura in I Will Make You Mine

Looking at this list now that I've compiled it, 2020 has been pretty impressive so far with a wide variety of quality films and, with the rest of the year totally up in the air. Who knows what the second half of the year is going to look like or where we'll be watching the movies that do come out. Here's hoping the next six months is half as good as the first six have been.

Thank you for reading and please check out my podcast below. I am currently featuring a series of interviews on diversity in film. The first episode features Lynn Chen who wrote, produced, directed, and stars in the above mentioned I Will Make You Mine.

Check out the brand new Podcast!

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