What’s Hot And What’s Not In The First Half Of 2020

2019 is just about winding down now, and if you’re a movie buff, you will have to agree that it’s been a fantastic year at the cinema.

Fans of all things comic books won’t have failed to book tickets for movies such as Avengers: Endgame, Spiderman: Far From Home, and what must surely be an Oscar contender, the multiplex-conquering Joker. See our movie review here. There were lots of scary treats for horror fans, with the Stephen King adaptation IT: Chapter Two and the future cult classic, Midsommar, being two notable highlights. And we also had the less scary Toy Story 4, the actiontastic John Wick 3, and the new Tarantino, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

Great movies all, at least in the opinion of this writer. But then there were the disappointing films that sullied our cinemas with their very presence, including the misguided comic book adaptation Hellboy, the comedy What Men Want (the remake nobody wanted), and the unfortunate Holmes and Watson which, despite all the clues pointing to the contrary with its fine comic cast, failed to ignite many laughs.

Of course, you might disagree, and that’s fine. We all have different tastes, and there might be so-called bad films that you love and critically acclaimed films that you quite simply hate! Who are we to judge? And so on to 2020, where much is promised in the world of cinema. We don’t yet know which films will score big and which will fail miserably, but check out some of our predictions for the first half of the year below. Do you agree? Leave your comments after reading.

HOT: Bad Boys for Life 

The 1995 original movie was the DVD choice for many guys on a Saturday night in, armed with a bag of Nachos in one hand and a beer drinking horn in the other, while settling down to enjoy the film with their mates. It was a comedy action classic, and so a sequel was always on the cards. Sadly, that sequel was Bad Boys 2, which simply wasn’t as good, but the trailer for Bad Boys 3 sees the guys back on top form (even if Martin Lawrence is looking a little the worse for wear), so hopes for this movie are high. Bad Boys for life? We’re hoping so! Estimated release date: January 2020.

HOT: The King’s Man

It’s difficult to be rude about the Kingsman series, not only because ‘manners maketh the man,’ (we are assuming you recognise the quote), but also because the two films so far have been wildly inventive action comedies. The new movie is a prequel, with Ralph Fiennes leading the cast of this origin story about how the superspy organisation came into being. We also have a new James Bond in 2020, but in a fight, we’re tempted to come out on the side of the Kingsmen. We would be rude not to, after all! Estimated release date: February 2020.

NOT HOT: Sonic The Hedgehog

Die-hard fans of the blue hedgehog might be speeding their way to the front of the ticket line, but we’re betting few others will follow. Why? Firstly, video game movies rarely do well, as can be evidenced by the likes of Super Mario Bros, Doom, and any of the Resident Evil series. Secondly, recent Sonic video games have sucked big time. And finally, after the initial trailer of the film caused fan backlash because of how Sonic looked on film, the proposed release date was put back after the movie’s creators went back to the character drawing board. So, our hopes are not high for this one, and apologies for the pun, but your hopes are likely to be dashed too! Estimated release date: February 2020.

HOT: No Time To Die

Here’s the Bond movie we mentioned, and while we believe the Kingsmen will pose a threat to the superspy box office takings, we are still guaranteed a good time here. After all, the credentials are good. Daniel Craig is back for the final time as Bond, Rami Malek is stepping forth as the movie’s villain, and acclaimed True Detective director, Cary Fukunaga takes the helm. We don’t know much about the film yet, but we can guarantee guns, cars, an underground lair, and an alluring theme song. Estimated release date: April 2020.


NOT HOT: Trolls 2

The kids will probably disagree, but for adults, watching the original film was akin to showering your eyeballs in rainbow dust and wading through roads paved in candy floss and lollipops. And so it is with this sequel based on the weirdly popular toy franchise that promises to offer more of the same. Of course, our sweety references might have piqued your interest, but in this writer’s opinion, the film will be as bad for your senses as too much sugar is bad for your body. Still, if you have kids, you will probably end up seeing it, although you might want to wear a pair of shades. Estimated release date: April 2020.

HOT: Black Widow

Finally, the Marvel character gets the spinoff movie she deserves, although this is one film that you might not have been expecting. You will understand why if you saw this years Avengers movie. Of course, you will be less taken aback when we tell you that this is set before the events of that film, and while we don’t know the story yet, you can probably expect to see Hawkeye (and perhaps other Marvel heroes) in the film as well. Estimated release date: May 2020.

HOT OR PERHAPS NOT: Top Gun Maverick

To be honest, this movie could be awful. A sequel to a much-loved but now long in the past 1986 film, there wasn’t a lot of need for there to be another in the (now) franchise. For all we know, it could be a desperate attempt by Hollywood to rake in the coins by capitalising on our nostalgia for the original. However, Tom Cruise rarely puts a foot wrong (despite breaking his ankle on the set of MI: Fallout), and he is joined by the usually reliable Miles Teller as well. So, will the film fly out of the danger zone of terribleness? You can find out for yourself when the film lands on June 2020.

We haven’t covered every movie here – there are simply too many to consider – but we hope this small snapshot of upcoming film releases has piqued your interest in the best (and perhaps worst) of what Hollywood is serving up for us. Let us know your thoughts and predictions in the comments below.

Musicians Are Doing It For Themselves (Making Money From Your Music Online)

The times, they are a-changin’, especially when it comes to being a musician. In fact, no longer is it about gigging until you get discovered, and then hoping with all your might that you will be signed by a big label. Instead, musicians are now ‘doing it for themselves’ in that they are writing, producing, and marketing their own work online. A topic you can find out all about in the post below.

Do use download and streaming sites. 

The first thing you need to get familiar with is using musical download and streaming sites like Spotify, Itunes, and SoundCloud. In fact, instead of fans buying CDs, they are much more likely to stream or download your tracks instead.

Although this method of music consumption has some benefits and some disadvantages for self-promoting musicians. The first being that there are a lot fewer costs involved than creating a CD or pressing vinyl album.

However, the profit per unit is also pretty small as well, something that means many musicians really on repeat plays, and volume of downloads to make a decent living. This being something that can be more tricky to achieve than you would first think.

Don’t forget to ensure your digital tracks are excellent quality. 

Happily, there are some things you can do to boost the likelihood of your tracks being streamed and downloaded. The first of these is to ensure that your tracks are of excellent quality. Both relating to the musically and songwriting as well as the production and mixing as well.

Of course, that means most musicians looking to sell their work online will need to their tracks mastered by a professional. Although you will be pleased to note that you can get a free mastering sample from the best professionals online. Even before you have your entire album or even whole track done. Something that can help you to be sure that you are selecting the right person to get you the best result.

Do create a social media presence. 

Next, it is essential to remember that successfully selling your music online isn’t only about the quality of your tracks. In fact, a great deal of importance is also placed on marketing and social media presence as well. After all, you won’t have a record company and their significant might behind you for advertising.
To that end, selecting the right social media platforms to promote your music, as well as creating new and engaging content regularly is very important.

Don’t sell your music for use for the first figure offered. 

Finally, most musicians selling their work online can only dream of the day when their work gets picked up to be used in TV, film, or other media. However, if you do find yourself in this advantageous position, be careful not to undersell your work.

In fact, the royalties from such use could make up a large part of your total income for years to come. Therefore, it is crucial that you effectively negotiate a reasonable price. Something that means you don’t just bite off the hand of anyone wanting to buy, at their first offer.