Saturday, 4 February 2023

M3GAN (2023) - Movie Review

After the raw crazy of Malignant back in 2021, you better believe I was hyped for what James Wan and writer Akela Cooper had planned next. And man, it’s been a while since I was completely on-board with a film right from the literal first scene it shows, here in the form of a mocked-up ad for the in-universe Perpetual Pets. Aside from initially tricking me into thinking it was an actual ad, it does a terrific job of setting up the Uncanny tone of the film to follow.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Operation Fortune: Ruse De Guerre (2023) - Movie Review

After the pleasing return to form in The Gentlemen, I was fully on-board for Guy Ritchie to keep making movies I could fuck with again. After the painfully mediocre snoozer Wrath Of Man, I am now also prepared for Ritchie to still be capable of underperforming as he had for quite a while before The Gentlemen. Out of a want to just see something simple and engaging (I’ve spent a good amount of January stuck at home with a fractured arm, hence my lack of activity lately), I’m still willing to give this one a chance, although it could go either way. And what I ended up getting was not only a weird combination of his last two films, but also of elements from his 2010s output.

Thursday, 19 January 2023

A Man Called Otto (2023) - Movie Review

Tom Hanks as “the grumpiest man in America”.

As I got into last year with his villainous role in Elvis, Hanks isn’t as bad a fit for abrasive characters as his public persona would imply. But that’s not necessarily what he’s doing here, at least from what I saw. His performance as the titular Otto is more melancholic than outright ‘grumpy’, dealing with the loss of a loved one and just wanting the world to leave him in peace… while he plans his exit from it. The film is set up to take him on a personal journey where he learns to move past his grief and live life again, making him come out of his shell and all that, but I’d argue that the film doesn’t do that well with the idea.

Wednesday, 4 January 2023

Top 20 Best Films Of 2022

2022 was when blockbusters felt big again. Not just being cynically marketed as blockbusters and event releases, but being designed and built from the ground-up as features meant to be seen on the big screen. While cinemas have been slowly starting to open back up over the latter months of 2021, now they were starting to get the right kind of material to bring audiences back. Sure, some of it came in the form of bog-standard fare that made an impact just because they reminiscent of the norm pre-COVID, like rom-coms, period dramas, and B-action flicks, but a lot of the better films of this year, and indeed a good amount of the entries on this list, had the sense of grandeur that made going back to the cinemas worth doing, regardless of whoever else may or may not be in attendance.

Hell, even beyond the return of the spectacle on the big screen, when they were able to break the general air of disappointment that kept invading the year’s releases, 2022 provided a lot of amazing stories and experiences. Directors behind some terrific work in previous years returned to show off new high points in their respective careers, niche genres and filmmaking styles got to share in the mainstream spotlight, and that Self-Insert theme that spread through so much of the year’s worst films? Even that led to some great works of cinematic art.

So, to round off our look at a pretty damn good year for the movies, here are my pick for the 20 best films of 2022.

Monday, 2 January 2023

Top 20 Worst Films Of 2022

2022 saw the world slowly start to return to normal (or whatever can be considered ‘normal’ for us nowadays) after COVID threw everything out of whack across 2020 and 2021. Public spaces were opening back up, the collective mood was much less dire, and the cinemas were bringing back the big tentpole blockbusters that usually mark the year as it passes. At a time when the life expectancy of the physical cinema was beginning to look like it’s on its death knell, between streaming and their closure during lockdown, film releases began to feel like events again. And on top of that, some of those event releases turned out really damn good, and we’ll absolutely be looking at a few of those when we get to the Best Of list.

Of course, with that return to normalcy also came the return of the usual bleh-ness of mainstream cinema, where a lot of the year wound up just being ‘okay’ or slightly-less-than, and I say that as someone who still liked most of what I saw this year. There was a larger amount of disappointment to the year’s produce as well, where I found myself really looking forward to films that wound up falling short.

Hell, this might be the first time I actively went out of my way not to watch movies, turning down FilmInk commissions to review Amsterdam and the new Fantastic Beasts sequel because, quite literally, you couldn’t pay me to give any kind of attention to the shitpersons at the heart of those productions. As such, this list won’t be as vitriolic as in past years, since most of what I consider this year’s worst films land more on the underwhelming and disappointing side of things than outright making me angry. Oh, rest assured, some of these still got me riled up, but not nearly as many as I was expecting.

But even with how many I passed on, I still managed to watch enough films to fill up this list. As such, let’s go over my picks for the Top 20 Worst Films Of 2022.

Saturday, 31 December 2022

This Much I Know To Be True (2022) - Movie Review

Teaming up once again with director Andrew Dominik (and I mean in front of the camera, since he also contributed to Dominik’s… interesting Marilyn Monroe biopic), This Much I Know To Be True serves as a follow-up to the 2016 documentary One More Time With Feeling. Where that film captured Cave at his most outwardly melancholic, wrestling with his grief over the death of his son, this shows him in a much better place.

The Good Nurse (2022) - Movie Review

While it may as well be the national genre of choice for storytelling here in Australia, and I grew up with my mother being especially interested in it, true crime doesn’t hold any inherent interest for me personally. I tend to avoid documentaries on the subject, since I don’t particularly like the idea of choosing to occupy my free time with the stories of people who actually got hurt or killed; this is part of the reason why I cling so tightly onto the more speculative genres like sci-fi and horror, where any injuries are pure fiction. But even with that in mind, I went into this hoping for some good just out of the casting, between Eddie Redmayne seriously impressing with his last film The Trial Of The Chicago 7, and Jessica Chastain’s recent career highlight in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye. And yeah, there’s good to it, but I unfortunately struggled to maintain interest in the whole package.