You knew I was going to leave Chris Evans last in this Hidden Gems adventure I had this year. Though I eventually had to squeeze two in one month, it all turned out well. The choices for December, Chris and Adam (who you read about yesterday, hopefully), were brilliant in terms of viewing pleasure. Leaving Hidden Gems with Chris Evans last was also a good decision. I ended on a relatively good note – that’s what I’m basically saying.
WHY CHRIS EVANS?
Do I really need to answer this question? For those who have been here for a while know that I’m a huge Chris Evans fan. Not only was he the perfect choice for Captain America, he has been brilliant in other roles as well. Heck, I even like his jock-vibe roles because he is charming on screen.
Am I glad I finished with him and was I expecting a hidden gem? Yes and not really. I think I’ve seen most of good Chris Evans performances and some of them are really really good. So there was very little chance for a hidden gem here. (Especially following Adam Driver like that). One came close though because I watched it during a time where I was watching a lot of trash.
Letterboxd has 37 Chris Evans movies that have already been released (one is a miniseries I didn’t count here). Out of those I had already seen 26 which was quite a lot to begin with. Therefore I just wanted to strike off a few of his movies I hadn’t seen before. Maybe some day I’ll be able to say I’ve seen them all!
Out of the 26 movies with Chris I have seen these are my favourites: Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Snowpiercer, Knives Out, The Losers, almost all the other Marvel movies (Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: End Game, Avengers, Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The First Avenger).
I’ve also seen Spider-Man Homecoming (cameo), Scott Pilgrim vs the World, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man, Thor: The Dark World, Fantastic 4, Sunshine, Fantastic 4: Silver Surfer, Avengers: The Age of Ultron, Gifted, Not Another Teen Movie, What’s Your Number?, Push, Nanny Diaries, Puncture, Playing It Cool and The Perfect Score.
My random picks for the Hidden Gems challenge were: Cellular (2004), Street Kings (2008) and Before We Go (2014).
Is this ridiculous? Does it feel completely unlikely especially considering the current state of technological enhancements? Is there so much going on that it feels a little mental? Does it end in a way that is both predictable and a little boring? Yes, the answer is all yes but man, did I have fun! Yes it feels completely bonkers now because the entire movie revolves around a cellphone which is so outdated now that even my grandma has a better one. But it’s still fun.
I’m not saying this is a good movie. It’s not. Chris Evans wears his jeans so low I wondered if it was even a point to them. Kim Basinger calls Chris by connecting some wires, how did she know how to do so is never really explained. There are weird choices for songs during action sequences and so on. Yet, it’s oddly comforting. It was the 00’s and after 2020 I want the simpler times of 00’s back. So I guess it has that nostalgia factor and a bit of those 90’s action movie vibes that it’s hard to hate. Oh plus this movie gives us shirtless Chris. Clearly Cellular knew what they were doing.
BONUS: Jason Statham is in it. I think he plays an American? Yet the most unbelievable thing about his character is that he is killed by William H Macy in the end. That would never happen.
I have started Street Kings twice and finished it only once. It’s a bit of a messy movie about police corruption. Keanu Reeves is the lead here and he is paired up with Chris Evan’s character. It was really hard to focus on the story line while Keanu and Chris were double teamed on the screen so I can hardly remember anything.
Except that CHRIS DIES! I don’t think that’s ever happened to Chris before… I mean in movies. Or at least I can’t recall that happening. So you can imagine that this took me by complete surprise. Also I’m definitely rating it lower due to said sad scene and will probably not pick it as a hidden gem. Plus the movie was a bit too messy and not the best among its kind.
BEFORE WE GO
So here we have a Chris Evans directorial debut. I’d say this first, it’s hell of a lot better than Ryan Goslings Lost River. It is clean cut, it has a very simple story line that takes place in one evening. We have Chris’ character who plays the trumpet (out of all the instruments…) and we have Alice Eve playing the female lead. They meet, she is in trouble, they go on an adventure.
To be fair I really liked this one. The simplicity and one day/night plots are usually the kind I enjoy. There’s nothing too revolutionary here though which I guess is fine too. The performances are alright, I feel like they both did a good job but nothing stood out. Plus they left the ending open if I’m not mistaken. Sometimes I like open endings, sometimes not. This time I was not a fan.
Other than that I mean.. this is an hour and 30 minutes of Chris and his beard. That’s an hour and 30 minutes well spent!!
This was a good note to end my 2020 Hidden Gems Challenge. While Chris Evans didn’t deliver the hidden gems, he still provided me with some enjoyable performances and good movies. Not the best but hey, I’m not complaining. Plus I knew it wasn’t going to be the best month. Yet I was still very excited for it.
There are quite a few upcoming movies of Chris I really want to see and now I’m truly considering watching his entire filmography. Though Letterboxd has these strange special “movies”, “shows” and “episodes” that I also need to watch in order to complete my lists. That doesn’t sound entirely appealing. Though there are a few actors I’m willing to do so anyway. Chris being one of them.
HIDDEN GEMS 2020 RESULTS
So now for the results. Together I handed out three hidden gems for movies that got a five or four and a half star rating. They were Thelma & Louise, Logan Lucky and Richard Jewell. The strongest contender was Chadwick Boseman – all three of his picks made it to Top 10. Adam Driver was also a heavy hitter with two of movies making it to the Top 5. Movie 43 with Emma Stone took the worst prize – the worst thing I saw in 2020 and I didn’t even finish the damn movie. Other quite huge disappointments were pretty much all Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Nicole Kidman movies.
But by the way, the entire Hidden Gems Movie Challenge results are also up on my Letterboxd here. Since I’ve talked about the movies here already I figured there was no point in dedicating an entire post to the results. Read the notes for my additional comments there.
And last but least Hidden Gems will be back next year here on Mettel Ray! I’ve already picked my 12 contenders and there are some true gems there, I’m 100% certain of that. I’ve also added a theme to it which I think will make next year a little more interesting. So stay tuned for the Hidden Gems Movie Challenge 2021 announcement, it will be up next week.
Previously on Hidden Gems – ADAM DRIVER
Next up on Hidden Gems – HIDDEN GEMS 2021 ANNOUNCEMENT3