2020 has been full of surprises, some better than others. Though there may have been many disappointments in the world of film this year especially with all the delays, some good releases have made their way through and have kept us going the past few months. These are a few examples of films that exceeded expectations and pleasantly surprised the team at MXDWN Movies by being better than anticipated.
Sonic The Hedgehog
It is kind of astonishing that a movie that was delayed in 2019 for them to fix Sonic’s character design, ended up being a success story in the year where every other movie got delayed in some capacity. Never the less, Sonic is a decent video game movie adaptation. It doesn’t go as all the way as a movie about this character should in regards to it being an adaptation of the iconic games. Yet, it still has a small little charm with Ben Schwartz and Jim Carrey both being great in their roles as these characters. Plus, it was a good call for them to make Sonic look better design wise, making this way more enjoyable than it should be. While it’s not amazing, this was a good set up and I’m hoping that a sequel will be able to improve upon what this film established for the lovable blue hedgehog.
The last movie I was able to see in my local theater was Swallow, I went in with little to no expectations because it was a very last minute decision and it was the only one showing at night!! I had no clue what I was walking into but it was great and such a thriller! The whole concept of her swallowing things to feel excitement because she felt her life was boring was crazy to me. She had such a great life but she felt like she was stuck and didn’t belong. I think this is a movie a lot of people should watch if they like thrillers.
Birds of Prey
Truthfully, it is very hard to expect successful feminist films from most mainstream production companies, especially within the comic-remake realm. Wonder Woman, amongst others have tried to produce really feminist narratives and have ultimately disappointed audiences. This film, however, was a pleasant surprise, in terms of both production quality and feminist messaging. It was easy to enjoy and didn’t rely upon men to make it that way, leaving people with a lingering adoration of the film’s ‘girl power’ after watching.
The Prom is not as bad as I thought it would be. It actually is a lot of fun for a night with friends or family. While it does get dull in the middle and there are a lot of mixed messaging with the entitled leads, but the love story from Jo Ellen Pellman and Ariana DeBose is so cute and wonderful! That honestly takes the cake for me. They are so good together and you really buy their relationship. Music numbers are mostly fun as well.
-Tyler Justin Pruyn
Fans of the Broadway original made me skeptical about the Netflix film adaptation of The Prom, along with the backlash towards James Corden’s role. As someone who would never be able to see it on Broadway, I was glad to get to experience the story and quite enjoyed the music and flashy art direction despite some story flaws. Sometimes you just need a fun musical to boost your mood, and this was exactly that for me.
A constant fourth wall break fills many scenes in Enola Homes, but Stranger Things breakout star Millie Bobby Brown pretty much carries this movie entirely on the strength of her own charisma. It’s super fun to watch Holmes figure out the mystery and best the bad guys throughout this piece. Here’s to hoping it’s just one of many chapters filmed of this story.
Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga
Maybe it was the moment but this film was a delight to watch. Will Farrell flicks haven’t been the best in recent years but Eurovision proved to break the track record. It was funny and heartfelt. Dan Stevens gives an amazing performance.
I know what you’re thinking…that goofy film about a comet destroying the Earth?! Yes, I’m here to say that Greenland exceeded all expectations and for me was one of the most entertaining disaster flicks I’ve seen in years. After the sleuth of action movies starring Gerard Butler didn’t impress me, I felt overly cautious regarding Greenland. To my surprise, I was gifted with a story-driven film that delivered on the thrills and some surprising emotional scenes as well. Now, if Butler can make movies that aren’t just cliche heavy action movies and more like this and Law Abiding Citizen, then perhaps Gerard Butler will be an actor I’ll begin to appreciate more and more.
Wonder Woman 1984
I genuinely thought that Wonder Woman 1984 would be bad. Just another rehash of the first film. But though I didn’t love it, it proved to surpass my expectations. The movie was surprisingly funny and both Wiig and Pascal were fantastic in their respective roles. The chemistry between Pine and Gal Gadot is just as good as it was in the first film and the action scenes were spectacular and the film had a surprising amount of depth and heart to it.
I thought the first Wonder Woman movie was just okay and had a bad villain, but this movie was a huge improvement over it. The characters especially the villains were interesting and the fighting was well done.