Yet another year, yet another legacy sequel from a movie franchise that we all thought was dead for so many years. It’s a cynical approach but so many of these decades later sequels have stunk—which is probably why it’s shocking to see that “Bill and Ted Face the Music” doesn’t actually suck. In all fairness while it’s not a laugh riot, I appreciated its genuine message about love, the power of music, and appreciating what we have while we have it.
2020’s been twelve months of pure chaos, but hopefully you can find some peace in viewing some great movies. For Thanksgiving while you’re chomping down on turkey, or tofurkey, or turducken, or whatever horrifying facsimile of turkey that you can concoct, be sure to stay home, and check out these five great movies about food.
Sasha Baron Cohen has remained one of the most scornful critics of the modern American political scene and has taken to destroying the status quo whenever possible. He’s been especially vicious in 2020 with his incredibly controversial “Who is America?” limited series, which he then follows up with the “Borat” sequel. This movie is not at all a cash grab, if fans were worried, it’s instead yet another case of Cohen pulling down the curtain in an America most of us doesn’t know exists. Or at least likes to pretend doesn’t exist.
Yutaka Kohira’s “Sonny Chiba’s Dragon Princess” (Or “Dragon Princess,” or “Lady Karate,” or “Assassin Woman’s Fist”) is a misleading title often being boasted as a Sonny Chiba film, even though he has nothing more than a glorified cameo. The actual star, Etsuko Shiomi headlines as a girl whose father Agaki (Chiba) is confronted by two martial arts masters who challenge him to a fight, intent on taking his position as top karate master.
With the fate of the movie series still up in the air, the likelihood of “Friday the 13th” fans getting a new film within the next three years seems like pipe dreams. The fan community has managed to keep the franchise alive, though, including Vincente DiSanti. After his incredibly popular 2017 fan film “Never Hike Alone,” DiSanti continues his take on the series, this time giving fans what we’ve been asking for, since “The New Blood”: Jason Voorhees slashing his way through the snowy terrain of Crystal Lake.
2006’s “Pirates Ahoy!” is one of the more clever animated sequels to come from the aughts when the “Scooby Doo” movie series was pretty much stale. By this time they’d given up fighting real monsters, and reverted back to criminals and goons with fancy costumes and illusions. It’s surprising how much talent these direct to DVD movies always attract, and the cast compliments what is a pretty nifty mystery, altogether.
2020 has been filled with a ton of surprises for movie fans, and one of the better ones was the sudden introduction of the Deluxe “Friday the 13th Collection” from Scream Factory. While there have been a ton of re-releases since the initial DVD set in 2004, Scream Factory has never been prone to just re-packaging the same movies in to “new” sets, so it was no shock when the Deluxe Collection for “Friday the 13th” was announced, fans crashed Scream Factory’s site to order the set. Suffice to say, Scream Factory simply hasn’t failed horror buffs and Jason Voorhees fanatics. What began as a means of ripping off “Halloween” in 1979, Sean Cunningham and screenwriter Victor Miller’s summer camp slasher film became an iconic pop culture sensation and long running franchise.
Who better to celebrate Halloween than the Scooby Gang? “Happy Halloween, Scooby Doo!” is the thirty first animated movie in the long running franchise. It’s a long running franchise that, to its credit, doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon. This installment is firmly a Halloween oriented movie, revolving around the idea of fear, and Velma trying to ignore her emotional response to fear in favor of rationality. What she ultimately comes to realize is that fear can be a good thing; it can even help us survive in perilous situations.