Looking Forward To 2020!

In the famous words of Daniel Stern, “Wow. What a hole!” It has been a couple of months now since my last post, and even though the holiday season is probably my favorite time of year for film, I needed the break. Life apart from this blog got pretty busy and I just felt like taking a step back and spending some more processing time on things outside of the movie market was for the best. But it’s good to be back! That being said, I did find some time to 1) Watch a heavy amount of Oscar-contender films, and 2) Enjoy watching the Academy Awards and seeing a great film like Parasite not only win the highest honor and walk away with the most awards of the evening, but also break the barrier that international films have been working to move past since the beginning: becoming the first foreign film to win Best Picture. A huge congrats to Bong Joon-ho (Okja, Snowpiercer). I think I’ve mentioned it before on this blog, but if not (I’ll say it again): 2019 was a fantastic year for film. Sincerely, one of the most highly anticipated Oscars from recent memory by just the sheer amount of award-worthy films. I was pretty happy with how the night went too, but it’s all water under the bridge at this point. But guess what’s not water completely under the bridge: 2020.
I wrote a post last year right at the beginning of my blogging venture that highlighted the films I was most looking forward to in the upcoming year, and this is something I would like to continue. I would also like to highlight my “Best Of 2019!” but that will sadly have to wait until the next time I decide to frequent a local brewery for their on-tap special…like this raspberry cheesecake sour that is sooooo good. Anyway, or maybe I will just wake up on a Saturday and really want to remind you all how much I enjoyed a film like Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood and others like Jojo Rabbit which I didn’t get a chance to review (SPOILERS: it was phenomenal). I (and you) missed out on a lot of reviews, and you can bet that I will probably get around to it, sometime. But right now we’re talking about those movies that I just can’t wait to go see this coming year. And wouldn’t you know it, but because I’m writing this in the middle of February, there is already 1 film on my list that has come and gone (quite un-spectacularly, I might add). So, without further ado, eluding, and side-stepping, here are my most anticipated films of 2020.
P.S. Oh, and also don’t feel bad for just skipping around to read just the ones you are also interested in…I don’t mind, I do the same thing.

1) Dune, Even though I haven’t read a single book of the “Duniverse,” this film gets me pumped. No promotional material has been released publicly but there is an energizing magic in the air surrounding this epic. It is already being compared to the likes of the original Star Wars trilogy and The Lord of the Rings in both it’s fantasy and realism by industry insiders. And the director at the helm is Denis Villeneuve. Already quite famous for his sweeping landscapes of Blade Runner 2049, gritty violence and suspense of both Sicario and Prisoners, un-traditional character and story elements of Enemy, and the sci-fi wonder of Arrival…taken in combination, Villeneuve is the perfect choice. (Release date: December 18)

2) Black Widow, Finally!!! After fans of Marvel and the accompanying Cinematic Universe have been screaming at Kevin Feige to do a Black Widow movie for more than a decade (first introduced on screen in 2010’s Iron Man 2), Scar Jo will get her shot at starring in the second MCU female-led film, the first being Captain Marvel last year. I’m excited for this film not only because I have enjoyed the complexity that Johannson brings to the character, including her *SPOILERS* death in Avengers: Endgame, but also for two other reasons: 1) We look to get a cool new (hopefully not disposable) villain in Taskmaster, and 2) The accompanying actors. David Harbor, who is killing it in Stranger Things as Hopper and just had a teaser released which reveals *SPOILERS* that he lived through the explosion at the end of last season! (Yeah, just confirming what we all knew). Rachel Weisz, who I have personally adored in films ever since I first saw her in The Mummy (1999). And Florence Pugh. Damn, she has been on a role the past couple years. If you don’t yet recognize her by name, she’s bound to be one of the next A-list celebrity actresses in the coming decade. Altogether, the film is set before the events of The Avengers and looks to mostly takes place in Russia. (Release date: May 1)

3) Tenet, Written and directed by Christopher Nolan, who has been releasing blockbuster films every 2-3 years like clockwork for the past 15 years, this summer thriller looks like a combination of the strangest and coolest ideas from his other films. There isn’t much that we know about it yet, but it definitely will involve espionage, time travel, and undefined character roles by John David Washington (BlacKkKlansman) and Robert Pattinson (The Lighthouse, upcoming The Batman), among many others. Nolan loves to play with time in his films: scenes out of order, cutaways past and present, unreliable narration, slowed down inside of a dream, looked at from different angles, and even pondering what it would be like to step outside of time itself. But somehow Tenet really looks to be doing something new that he hasn’t yet brought to the big screen, and I’m ready for the following weeks of debate over what it all really meant. (Release date: July 17)

4) No Time to Die, Daniel Craig is the bond of this century (sorry Pierce Brosnan). He is charming, tough, edgy, and broken enough to convince you that at times he truly has nothing worth living for. And that makes him dangerous. Now, if one were to ask me to explain the connections from Casino Royale through Spectre, I could probably garner enough information to earn a respectable C+. From Mr. White’s Quantam organization, to the Spectre group, and then his foster-brother Blofeld’s overarching criminal plan to…something about an intelligence network of protection…? Whatever, could you have spun that much from memory? But even with the sometimes murky through-plot, the action has been consistently high and Rami Malek (Mr. Robot, Bohemian Rhapsody) just has a great villain face I wanna see in action. In reality, the reportedly last Craig/Bond movie only needs to be a step up from the convolution of Spectre to be worthwhile. (Release date: April 10; **UPDATED RELEASE: November 25 – delayed due to Covid-19**)

5) Mulan, This live-action 90’s Disney remake train might be finally coming to the station in 2020, because Mulan looks like nothing else we’ve yet seen. I talked about my favorites and least favorites of the recent live-action films in either my The Lion King (2019) review or Aladdin (2019) review…can’t remember which, but there are few that have impressed and seemed worth re-making. This looks like the one to steer the ship. And even with two full trailers out I still can’t really tell what angle they are taking with the story, other than adding in a mystical element and definitely turning the 8th Disney princess into a total badass. The marketing seems to be geared more toward adults who were kids in the late 90’s (like me), but I’m sure that just like it’s predecessors this live-action remake will cash in. No Mushu? No problem. (Release date: March 27)

6) A Quiet Place Part II, This one fulfills my “could be a total let down but maybe it won’t be?” film selection of 2020. Last year it was Toy Story 4 (which c’mon, how could I think that a 25-year Disney animation franchise would let me down?!). I l.o.v.e.d. pretty much everything about A Quiet Place, but I also enjoyed it’s ending. It made sense and I didn’t think I needed anything more…which was the same with Toy Story 3, but I was wrong then and I could be wrong again. If John Krasinski has more to tell in the world of silence and nightmarish creatures, count me in. (Release date: March 20)

7) Wonder Woman 1984, That poster though!!! I would go see any movie that had such a great marketing push as the first look into this sequel (if you somehow missed it, just Google search and look for the most condensed color explosion on the screen). Gal Gadot was fantastic in her portrayal of the iconic superheroine and I have no reservations about her ability to deliver once again. But the story of the previous film suffered a bit toward the end and I just hope that the writing is stronger this time. There’s a mystery around how Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine) survived…or rather is alive again? Something fishy is happening. Patty Jenkins is back to direct and Kristen Wiig (Bridesmaids, SNL) makes an interesting, yet intriguing choice for a villain. (Release date: June 5).

8) The Gentlemen, This is the film I mentioned earlier that already hit theatres (January 24), but I will say that I was happy to see it. For me, it delivered. But I love the way Guy Ritchie directs. And since there still isn’t word if and when the next/final Sherlock Holmes film will move forward, I was just fine in settling for a cheeky gangster tale instead. This was more of a return to the forms of his earlier works, specifically Snatch and Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, with a little bit of mystery and two-stepping seen in his take on Sherlock Holmes (although a lot of the credit there deservedly goes to Robert Downey Jr.). The Gentlemen has a great cast including Matthew McConaughey (who was fun to watch after his abysmal 2019 films: The Beach Bum and Serenity…just steer clear), Colin Farrell, Henry Golding, Hugh Grant, Michelle Dockery, and Charlie Hunnam whose characters simply all fit together like a well-designed puzzle. It didn’t make very much at the box office nor as big a splash as I expected in Hollywood, but it’s a recommendation from me.

9) Eternals, Because you can’t have just one Marvel film on the list, right?! I’m obviously more excited to see Black Widow (#2 vs. #9, yes these are in order), but The Eternals are a group that I know much less about. Created by The Celestials in the comics, The Eternals have had run-ins with The Avengers, Thanos, and even the mutant Apocalypse throughout their millennia of existence. They are very powerful and it has been said that they are almost impossible to completely destroy…like Deadpool, except less derogatory. The movie will be directed by a relatively unknown Chloé Zhao (The Rider won several film festival awards for Best Director and Best Picture in 2017) and is packed full with a star-studded cast lead by Angelina Jolie, Salma Hayek, and Kumail Nanjiani, but also including Kit Harrington (Game of Thrones), Richard Madden (Game of Thrones, 1917), Barry Keoghan (Dunkirk, American Animals), Gemma Chan (Crazy Rich Asians, Captain Marvel), and Brian Tyree Henry (If Beale Street Could Talk, Widows). Since the introduction of Asgard and then Guardians of the Galaxy, the MCU is continuing it’s move toward a more cosmic approach in upcoming films and Eternals looks to blow those doors wide open. (Release date: November 6)

10) Antebellum & Antlers, I’m cheating, I know. Deal with it, it’s my blog. I couldn’t choose between the two so I stacked both in here at my #10 slot. Both films reside in the horror genre, but where Antebellum looks like more of a mystery, Antlers definitely steers toward thriller. The former film stars Janelle Monáe (famous singer, but also known for her breakout roles in Hidden Figures, Moonlight and Harriet) and looks super weird. The marketing notes similar producers with both of Jordan Peele’s recent theatrical successes, Get Out and Us, which put it a step up in my book. The latter film looks more creepy than weird but tickles my brain in the same way that both Hereditary and The Witch did. My big draw to the film though is via producer Guillermo del Toro, famous for his love of monsters. He won Best Picture for The Shape of Water in 2018 but is also well known for his other monster films Hellboy, Pacific Rim, and Pan’s Labyrinth, and I personally love his Netflix animated series Trollhunters: Tales of Arcadia (highly recommended). Therefore, both horror films make the “top 10” for their producing staff. (Release dates: April 24 & April 17, respectively)

So there you have it. Those are my most highly anticipated films of 2020! Do you have any in common? It still looks to be a great year for film, however at first glance also seems to have much less spectacle than 2019. I’m sure there are films that will either breakout during Oscar season or that I just completely overlooked in my searches, but I do have 5 honorable mentions to…well, mention. But they will be quick. 1 sentence each.

1) The New Mutants, Nearly 5 years in the making with a release date pushed back three times already, I just want this film to be over with…but still worth watching too. (Release date: April 3)
2) F9, There isn’t a “the”, “too”, “and”, or really anything else, it’s down to just a letter and a number at this point… but there is still family. (Release date: May 22)
3) Top Gun: Maverick, Whatever “it” is, Tom Cruise still has it. (Release date: June 26)
4) The King’s Man, The other two Kingsman films were pretty good so I trust this one. (Release date: September 18)
5) Godzilla vs. Kong, They’ve been building toward this for 6 years now and although I still haven’t seen the latest Godzilla film, I’m ready for an epic monster throwdown. (Release date: November 20)

Okay, that’s it, I promise. Thank you so much for reading and visiting the blog, and subscribe if you have a WordPress account and want to keep updated on future posts! Also you can find my linked page on Facebook @redbeardmoviereviews. I’m going to try to get back on here as often as before and I have a lot of new films and new-ish streaming series to keep me busy. And feel free to comment with any of your own most anticipated 2020 films or lists, I’m open to reading about films that didn’t make mine for whatever reason! Cheers!

2 thoughts on “Looking Forward To 2020!

  1. Besides the comic book and Disney films, Tenet is pretty high on my list. Christopher Nolan always delivers and I can’t wait to see what wild ride he takes us on this year.


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