The movies are finally back in theaters in a big way! While streaming services do continue to contribute some much-needed variety to the film ecosystem, I was able to catch a ton of my favorites in theaters in 2022. There have been a lot of big swings in film this year, some of which paid off, and others… not so much. More than most years, I feel there are even more diamonds in the the rough that I haven’t been able to catch yet. Here are my favorites of the 60 new films I saw in 2022.(more…)
Top “Everything but 2022 Movies” of 2022
I really enjoyed having an outlet for other media last year, so I’m going to continue the tradition. The idea of this post is to pay tribute to my favorites of other art of the year, be it TV, video games, books, live performances, or even non-2022 movies. The rules of this post are basically anything can qualify, whether it came out in 2022 or before, so long as I experienced it in 2022.(more…)
‘Oklahoma!’ (2019 Revival): A Deconstruction of a Theatrical Classic
Take one of the most famous musicals of all time, the 1931 Rodgers and Hammerstein Oklahoma!. It’s nearly a century old, and is dated in its takes on gender, sexual dynamics, and traditional American values from the time. It has some darkness lurking in its story, but it’s always buried under the surface, opting for unbridled optimism instead. It’s fun, it’s a crowd-pleaser, it’s a classic.
Say you want to deconstruct and satirize Oklahoma!. Why not make a new musical (Wyoming!), a commentary on some of the messed up norms that are accepted in the name of a fun, surface-level musical?
Now imagine that instead of making this new satire, you simply change the tone of the original Oklahoma! musical to bring all of its darkness right to the forefront. That’s exactly what the Oklahoma! 2019 revival does; the lyrics and script are all identical to the original, and yet the sharp edge is front and center rather than buried beneath glitz and glam.(more…)
Top Ten Movies of 2021
While the movie-going status quo has changed significantly, 2021 welcomed us back to movie theaters and saw the return of blockbusters in a big way. Many of the larger films were holdovers unreleased in 2020, while indie films from the festival circuit continued to get major platforms on streaming services. Of the record 85 films I saw this year, I’d say around 2/3rds of them were from home, but most of my favorite experiences of the year were still in theaters. Here are my picks for favorite movies of 2021:(more…)
Top “Everything but 2021 Movies” of 2021
I’m going to try something different with this post. Every year, I list my favorite movies of the year, but it pigeonholes the post into avoiding any of the other media I consumed throughout the year – books, TV-shows, video games, and even movies that came out years ago that I happened to come across in 2021.
2021, of course, was the second year dominated by COVID-19, so I spent a lot of time at home and discovered a number of new medias that were pretty incredible. Here are my top 5 of the year:(more…)
Top Ten Movies of 2020
What a year. There are about a thousand things from 2020 that are more important to talk about than the state of movies, but that’s what I’m going to write about. I saw a record 81 movies from the 2020 season, thanks to a combination of accessibility, length of the Oscar season (it’s April….), and too much dang time spent at home. Of course, the downside from a movie-going perspective is that all of those movies were seen at home. Of the 13 movies in this article, I saw literally all of them from my couch. So what movies had an emotional impact on me from the comfort of my living room? Here is my [spoiler-free] take on 2020.(more…)
‘Zack Snyder’s Justice League’ Justifies Its Own Existence
I can’t believe I’m writing this, but Zack Snyder’s Justice League justifies its own existence. Actually, I’ll go even further than that: I truly enjoyed the Snyder Cut, despite thoroughly disliking the 2017 theatrical cut. The new version is overly long for a theatrical film, but in an era when Marvel is turning out hour-after-hour of content as TV shows, this HBO Max feature finally makes some sense of what Zack Snyder was getting at in his otherwise largely incoherent DC movies. As an exercise in unadulterated auteur theory, it’s pretty good and thoroughly interesting, warts and all.(more…)
‘Lucky’ (2021): Just a Part of Living in this World
Lucky is a new horror film on Shudder that comes out of SXSW 2020, and is a movie that I came away extremely impressed with. Honestly the film only grows in my esteem the more I think about it, and there’s a lot of substance in its brisk 83 minute runtime. I’ll give my initial [spoiler-free] thoughts before digging into the details of the ending.
A quick plot synopsis: May Ryer (played by Brea Grant, writer of the film) lives with her husband Ted in what seems to be a loving (if somewhat chilly) long-term relationship. One night, May awakens to a masked intruder breaking into her house. When she wakes up her husband, he informs her that “that’s the man that comes every night and tries to kill us.” Together they fight him off and “kill” him, only for the man to disappear, Michael Myers-style. I’ll leave the synopsis at that, suffice it to say that the questions and danger only begin there.(more…)
WandaVision and the Creative Tether of the MCU
This weekend, like a lot of people, I finished the first (only?) season of Marvel’s WandaVision TV show. I didn’t expect to have strong opinions about the show – I’m someone who normally watches all of the MCU films as they come out, but doesn’t really give them a ton of thought afterwards. Sure, this show has a really interesting premise and style, but it will probably be more of the same… right? Well the show really surprised me and grabbed my interest, and I have a lot of thoughts about its finale. [Spoilers] are ahead.(more…)
Top Ten Movies of 2019
2019 was one of the best years for film of the decade thanks to a late surge in quality towards the end of the year. I saw a personal record of 78 movies this year, and had an incredibly difficult time putting together this list. As always, this will be a [spoiler-free] take on the films in question. Without further ado: (more…)