2021: REVIEW Kids on the Block (Movies)

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XenturiK

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I was way into the offbeat this year. Sure, the bangers still struck a chord with me, but it was the weirder higher concept films that stuck with me the most.

My Top Ten Movies of 2021

10. Dune

Sweeping, Intriguing, Hearty

Vividly majestic vistas, a punchy political threat, a stellar cast that plays their parts with quiet conviction; these are the qualities that gave me this gift of Sci-fi that I felt I could really sink my teeth into. It may even inspire me to read the books. And as you may know, I haven’t read a book in eighty-five years...

9. Pig

Unassuming, Surprising, Profound

Don't sleep on PIG. I am so surprised I liked this movie. I thought it was gonna be a long-winded Nick Cage joke. I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved the way this movie utilized silence and how they subverted your expectations. The exploration it takes into the relationship of food culture is poetically measured. At first you think this is gonna be a “Taken” or “John Wick” parody clone, but emotionally speaking, it’s better than both. Really well done.

8. Judas and the Black Messiah

Bombastic, Powerful, Plotting

The story of an Icon who does not get talked about enough, Fred Hampton is a Legend. The whole cast is fantastic, Daniel Kaluuya is a powerhouse, but once again there's something about the enigmatically brilliant LaKeith Stanfield, who lingers in my mind delivering an offbeat, chilling, one-of-a-kind depiction of the betrayer in this tale.

7. Encanto

Rich, Touching, Warm

The animation in this Disney film is so rich and robust. I felt like I was constantly being assaulted by the beauty of its lushness. Seeing Colombia represented in a Disney movie was beautiful. And yes, this film had me in tears by the final act. Ugh that song, "Dos Oruguitas" slays me every time

6. Shiva Baby

Brilliant, Claustrophobic, Funny

This is a low-key brilliant film. Sharp, tightly shot, situationally unsettling. They turn a family event into a full-on horror movie of circumstance. Fantastic breakout performance by Rachel Sennot.

5. Tick Tick...Boom

Moving, Impressive, Gumption

I was Moved by this one. I knew nothing about this movie except that it was a musical based on the writer of Rent. I had no idea that it was originally written and performed by Larson as well. This was a spectacular movie. The explosions of imaginations with every impassioned musical number were a joy to be enveloped by. It sent me down a much-needed rabbit hole digesting the life story of Johnathan Larson. I’ve also learned Andrew Garfield crying will instantly make me cry. Instantly.

4. Summer of Soul (...Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised)

Joyous, Prolific, Captivating

Majestic. Questlove found a series of recordings of music festivals from 1969. Untouched, never seen. It documented one of the most prolific summer music festivals in history. Why haven't we heard of it? Because Woodstock was the same summer, so nobody wanted to buy this footage. Not only is this an incredible music experience, but Questlove also gets a lot of musicians to come watch themselves and give candid insight into what that festival meant to them.

3. Inside

Courageous, Truthful, Raw

It’s hard to put into words what we went through as the pandemic settled in throughout last year. This helplessness, tied with hope, tied with a complete stasis lock. When all else failed, Bo Burnham found a way to process his journey through this brilliant one man show. It might be the thing I related to the most this year. I mean this guy held nothing back and I can’t applaud that enough.

2. Mitchells vs the Machines

Smart, Funny, Dripping with Personality

Amazing. From the creators of Into the Spider-verse, these film makers find a way to balance sharp humor, mind bending animations, and pure heart to tell a magnificent story. Can’t recommend this enough.

1. The Green Knight

Odd, Mystifying, Grotesque

I remember my childhood imagination getting kicked into high gear when I discovered Arthurian Legends in the 6th grade. I devoured those tales, sketched moments from the stories, even wrote my own fiction of knights and quests. Too often we only get to hear the stories directly surrounding King Arthur, so I couldn't have been happier to see that this one was centered around Sir Gawain. The 12-year-old in me got pumped knowing that this tale, of which I had made sketches of in my notebook, was about to come to life on the big screen. The 30 something year old in me loved that they leaned into the weird with this movie. I was all for that. Mysterious and marvelous. High concept and breathtaking. It was a really well-crafted piece of work and is my 2021 Movie of the Year.

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So, Moved (123 Movies Watched)

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER

A Christmas Prince(2017)It’s Good

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I wanna watch ALL those cheesy Netflix Christmas Universe Movies. This is where it starts, and you what…it wasn't that bad.

Annabelle (2014) It’s Okay

A fun spin off that helped further The Conjuring Universe, but its unoriginality didn't leave a great lasting impression

Annabelle’s Creation (2017) It’s Okay

I like that they are having fun exploring this creepy doll's lore. A fun fluff horror film but nothing more. It did however make me pause in real life when I found out this cursed doll actually exists in a museum up north. Spooky.

Annabelle Comes Home (2019)This is Great

Genuinely surprised at how good this was, given the previous two movies. This combines elements from all the Conjuring movies and smashes them together in a really enjoyable over-the-top, fun campy way.

Ant-man (2015)It’s Good

Watching the Marvel TV shows ignited my interest to rewatch a bunch of Marvel movies. Quite unlike me, but it happened. Ant-Man is a fun flick, if you're able to buy into the ridiculousness of him surfing on ants, you’ll enjoy yourself

Ant-man and the Wasp (2019) It’s Good

I really like the villain, Ghost, played by Hannah John-Kamen. There was an enigmatic sad quality to her rage and desperation I found really captivating to watch. The plot kinda sinches up to easily by the end though.

Army of the Dead (2021) It’s Okay

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Oh, it started off so morbidly delightful, the idea of a Zombie Heist movie in Vegas sounded fool proof. I just found it hard to care for the large cast of characters. The big downside of having so many people is that you don't get time to invest in them. When one inevitably gets eaten by a zombie, I found it hard to care. I DID like Snyders attempt to show Intelligent Zombies, who were establishing a civilization. Seeing a zombie who could feel grief was a fresh take that I appreciated.

Athlete A (2020) Stunning!

This documentary is powerfully important, and it also really pissed me off. It dives into the gross mismanagement and manipulation gymnasts were subjected to while working for USA Gymnastics. While you may have heard about the horrific events that took place in the news, this documentary also dives into the culture and the history that allowed this criminal behavior to foster. This is a tough watch, but a must watch.

Avengers (2012) Stunning!

I just feel good when I watch this movie. It was the first moment where I realized “Oh shit...they’re pulling it off” It still baffles me that it works.

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) This is Great

I poo poo-ed this movie when I saw it in 2015. My feelings have changed because of the context of material that followed it up. The events of this movie established Wanda and Vision. It also spawned one of my favorite story arcs from the question, “Is the world actually safer with or without superheroes”? And it was the first movie that humbled Tony Stark enough that I could root for him.

Avengers: Endgame (2019) Stunning!

I will always remember my experience in the movie theater watching this. Feeling the sheer exuberance of a packed house surging till the very last scene was a phenomenal ending to this great cinematic experiment.

Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Stunning!

The tension of this movie as Thanos wins…fight … after a fight…was palpable. The ending…I will also never forget the chill that washed over the theatre as the credits rolled in silence.

Barb & Star go to Vista Del Mar (2021)It’s Good

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You don't see middle aged action sex comedies every day! This felt like a throwback to silly movies. Modern comedies tend to be overly smart and witty. They don't dare be weird, sloppy, and silly anymore. Which is why this was so damn delightful. Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are rockstars

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018)It’s Good

Beautiful setting, gorgeous costumes, and a pretty fun murder mystery plot. It plops Batman in the tale of Jack the Ripper, if Jack made it to the Americas. Fun twists and turns, and a great performance from Catwomen- Jennifer Carpenter. In the end though…it’s just more Batman.

Batman: Hush (2019)It’s Good

This is one of my favorite Batman story arcs that had me guessing whodunnit, the whole way through. The Movie didn't capture the same mystique, but the bones are there

Batman: The Long Halloween (2021) It’s Good

Once again, more batman, different story. This hook is a fun one to watch because it revolves around a young inexperienced Batman trying to solve one case for a full year. That passage of time should've allowed for more growth with the characters, which was unfortunate cuz they kinda felt stagnant. They split the movie into two parts, but they could’ve benefited from making it a miniseries.

Beetlejuice (1988) This is Great

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I had never seen this before. Geena Davis, awesome. Baldwin, awesome. The premise of ghosts exorcizing humans from a house, brilliant. I bought into every aspect of this 90's movie…until freaking Beetlejuice actually showed up. He was a creep that was probably funny back then I guess. But his "lifting up lady’s skirts, trying to make out with a teenage girls" schtick felt super uncomfortable these days.

Black Widow (2021) This is Great

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What a great beginning this movie had. Re-introducing me to a character I’ve known since 2010. The shenanigans getting to meet her family. I absolutely loved the sister scene in the truck where they are just driving and talking. It remains a pretty fun spy flick. Gets a bit hokey towards the end, but what marvel movie doesn’t. It also does a great job introducing the wonderful Florence Pugh into the MCU

Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) This is Great

Tommy Lee Jones yelling can never be a bad thing. A fun rewatch

Captain America: Civil War (2016) Stunning!

This is one of my favorite Marvel movies. We get introduced to Chadwick Boseman, Spider-man joins the freaking fight and I love that it finally addresses that issue of collateral damage that happens at the hand of the Avengers.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014) Stunning!

Didn’t really like this movie the last time I saw it, which was when it was in theatres. At that time, I was deeply in Marvel Movie fatigue. Since then, Disney has helped Marvel perfect it’s brainwashing technique, so we’re all good now!

Christmas Inheritance (2017) It’s Okay

This is apparently where you need to start if you want to get into the ridiculous Netflix Christmas Universe series. Yea…I’m going all the way with this. Maybe not this year…but I’ll do it.

Coming 2 America (2021) It’s Okay

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This ticked all the boxes I wanted from a sequel to a movie I grew up on. The old cast was there, they sang that “Queen to be Song”, Eddie Murphy did his character swap thing. I was happy they addressed the issue of a toxic patriarchy. Oh and WESLY SNIPES…KILLS it in this movie. KILLS IT.

Coming to America (1988) This is Great

Yes, I emulated scenes and voices from this movie a bunch growing up. You know what was in my head this time I watched it? Is this movie making fun of Africans? The answer is yes, at least on some level. We’re out of the era in comedy where “person with an accent” is funny and that is a lot of this movie. I dunno, still ruminating on it, still enjoy the movie.

The Conjuring (2013) This is Great

This is really a good, haunted house movie. This twist is that it's not haunted by ghosts but by demons. A cheap, but effective shot they hit you with upfront is the “Based on a True Story” trope. SO, yea I researched that afterwards and found interviews with the actual people from the movie…and yea…I just got more freaked out, it worked. Well done.

The Conjuring 2 (2016) It’s Good

They take a case in England and it's much more of a mystery movie than I expected. (All Haunted House movies are mysteries movies really). Once again it is based on real events that transpired. Researching and listening to the tapes of these things that happened in the 80s, I think, was equally disturbing.

The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It (2021) It’s Good

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I’m a Vera Farmiga fan, ever since her stark performance in Down to the Bone (2004). SO, I'm delighted to see her starring in the series. As a demon hunter, she brings a warm confidence to her depiction that makes you feel safe, as long as she’s on screen. So the moment you see her warmness turn to concern…a chill goes up your spine.

Controlling Britney Spears (2021) This is Great

Eye opening. I grew up with her, it was hard watching how sexualized she was at a young age. Also, how crappy society and media was, and still is, to women.

Cruella (2021) This is Great

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A surprise hit for me. Emma Thompson and Emma Stone are wonderful in this. I really thought this was gonna be a shallow cash grab to sell Disney costumes, but I was so surprised to see how funky and stylized the cinematography and editing was. Stellar costumes, stellar work all around.

Death to 2020 (2021) It’s Good

A mockumentary roasting last year. It was a good way to start 2021. Cathartic even. Won’t be surprised if it gets a sequel…

Doctor Sleep (2019) It’s Good

I never knew King wrote a sequel to The Shining. So when I finally watched it this year (as well as rewatching The Shining, see below) I felt confused. As some storylines didn't match up. I did some research to find that Stephen King does not like Kubrick’s The Shining for the changes he made from the book. Now that I’ve seen both and did more research, I’m inclined to agree with Stephen. Was great hearing that throwback scary ass Shining music though!

Don't Look Up (2021) This is Great

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This satire is set in the absurd, and I dig that. Lawrence and Decaprio lead a killer cast who all take a commanding turn in the spotlight. The subject matter, the quirky editing, the metaphorical commentary on Tribalistic American Politics, I was into it all. Offbeat, really interesting performances from everyone, especially from Cate Blanchett, Tyler Perry, and Mark Rylance. Oh and of course Streep. You can't beat a pithy Streep. A few too many “on the nose” references and jokes for my liking though. Otherwise, a great ride.

Dune (1984) oh this is not for me

They tried to cram way too much story into a movie timeframe. Made the whole thing feel flashy and hollow. Fun performances from Sting and Kenneth McMillin. Everything else, eh.

Dune (2021) Stunning!

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In contrast to the 80s version, this has the pacing that I prefer. Beautiful vistas, a punchy political threat, a boy hero who actually looks like a kid (Sorry Kyle Mchaughlin). This movie gave me the gift of Sci-fi I can really sunk my teeth into. It may even inspire me to read the books. And as you all know I haven’t read in 85 years,

Dungeons and Dragons (2000) oh this is not for me

Fun B Movie dumbness. Watched this as a goodbye to a great friend who moved out of town. It was a perfect night to razz on a bad movie

Eddie Izzard: Dressed to Kill (1999) Stunning!

Eddie Izzard is a genius. Manda is a huge fan, so am I, I just haven't seen her specials. I’ve only seen out of context jokes on YouTube which is a shameful way to ingest these masterpieces. The art of the rant has never been more perfect.

Encanto (2021) Stunning!

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The animation in this Disney film is so rich and robust. I felt like I was constantly being assaulted by the beauty of its lushness. Seeing Colombia represented in a Disney movie was beautiful. And yes! this film had me in tears by the final act.

Enchanted (2007) This is Great

A fun rewatch. Wanted to see it after a sequel was announced this year for it. Still a delightful movie. Will probably be the last movie made where you see a dude kiss a sleeping woman to save her life

Eternals (2021) It’s Okay

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Half of this movie was amazing, setting up the Eternals, seeing them throughout time. Getting to see how they have adjusted to modern life. But then it falls prey to the fact that it tried to tell too many stories at once and none of those stories wrapped up satisfyingly. However, it was super nice to see so much inclusion in one film, race, ethnicity, orientation, persons with disabilities. That was the coolest part of this flick.

F9: The Fast Saga (2021) This is Great

More of the same from this franchise and that's not a bad thing. I liked how they started getting meta in this one. I feel at some point, they are just gonna break the fourth wall, look at the audience and be like “Sup.”

Fear Street Part One 1994 (2021) It’s Good

It’s weird watching people recreate the decade of your childhood. I’ve seen it done to many decades before mine, but now it’s my turn, I guess. Super campy film. Surprisingly gory, I definitely flinched a few times

Fear Street Part Two 1978 (2021) This is Great

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This part was my favorite, good homage to old horror camp films. I also liked how they deepened the extent of the plot

Fear Street Part Three 1666 (2021) It’s Okay

Eh, so while I applaud their risk of rolling back the time period hundreds of years, it was a weird choice not to recast all the existing actors. I know I said they were campy movies, so they're allowed, But I just found it weird and off putting

The Forgotten Battle (2021) Stunning!

This is a great film. Wonderfully shot. Tells a great, heartbreaking tale from three different perspectives, all on different sides of WW2. And it’s made from the Dutch perspective. So many of my favorite WW2 movies are from the American viewpoint. I gotta start watching more European WW2 films.

Four Hours at the Capitol (2021) It’s Good

A way for me to continue to cope and process that day. That’s all.

Free Guy (2021) It’s Good

Real Fun, Ryan Reynolds is simply easy to watch. In anything. Loved all the video game references. Just fluff though, a good night of fun.

Godzilla (1964) Stunning!

This holds up really well. I found a lot of themes about the hubris of man and the cost of war riddled throughout. Issues that we’re still dealing with to this day

Godzilla vs Kong (2021) It’s Okay

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Just sit back, turn off your brain, and enjoy the show, don't worry about anything thing else

The Green Knight (2021) Stunning!

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Stellar. I am so pleased they leaned into the weird. It was scary and marvelous. Breathtaking, yet grotesque. It was a really well-made piece of work, not to be missed.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) This is Great

Silly fun.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 (2017) This is Great

More Silly fun

Gunpowder Milkshake (2021) It’s Okay

Pretty fun action sequences, didn't leave lasting after taste

The Harder They Fall (2021) This is Great

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Amazing cast. Watching Idris Alba slowly look at you in a three-piece western suit is worth it by itself. The movie is also a great homage to spaghetti westerns of old. Lekeith Stanfield continues to be the most interesting actor in show business.

Harriet (2019) This is Great

Seeing Harriet Tubman leading as an action freedom fighting hero was rad.

Holiday Calendar (2018) It's Good

This is the movie where the Netflix Christmas Universe starts melding together a little. This movie actually got me caring for its characters. I was all bought in and smiling for that cheesy rom-com life. Ron Cephas Jones steals the show with that debonair ass smile of his.

In the Heights (2021) This is Great

Saw this in a packed, rented out theatre for a friend's birthday and I could not have had a better time. Everyone was singing and dancing the whole way through. The perfect way to watch this movie

The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies (2014) This is Great

I fell asleep during this movie the first time I watched it in the theaters years ago. In our defense we had gotten dinner first and I had downed one too many beers. Nice to finally see how this trilogy ended. I really like Martin Freeman, so watching him do his thing is always great in my book

Inside (2021) Stunning!

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It’s hard to put into words what we went through as the pandemic settled in throughout last year. This helplessness, tied with hope, tied with a complete stasis lock. When all else failed, Bo Burnham found a way to process his journey through this brilliant one man show. It might be the thing I related to the most this year. I mean this guy held nothing back and I can’t applaud that enough.

The Invisible Man (2020) This is Great

Great twist on this legacy franchise. As a victim of spousal abuse, Elizabeth Moss feels the presence of her dead husband around her. The metaphor that these abusers can stay with you, through the mind games, the memory, the feeling of being under threat, even after they're gone is powerful. They become these horrible invisible men. A surprisingly great movie.

Ironman (2008) It’s Good

I love Jeff Bridges in this movie, damn I hope the MCU finds a way to bring him back. Tony however is super gross. This is Stark at his most arrogant and I can only take so much of that. Also, his misogynistic shit didn't age well

Iron Man 2 (2010) This is Great

Once again, the villains steal the show, Mickey Rourke is mesmerizing, and Sam Rockwell is dynamite. Tony Stark is still a slime ball. Most of the time I’m rooting for his tech to win despite him. Very sad Terrance Howard did not return, I think he would've been an amazing War Machine. Multiverse! Fix this! Standalone War Machine Movie starring Terrance Howard yes please!

Ironman 3 (2013) It’s Okay

What I liked about this movie is Tony finally feeling his ego waiver. Seeing him develop anxiety after The Avengers (2015) was nice because it made sense. You don't get to see an army on the edge of space and just be okay. Everything else in this film felt like a hokey joke. Which is sad because I like Guy Pearce for most of this movie.

James Bond: No Time to Die (2021) It’s Good

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I won't lie. Even though the movie was fine and “by the numbers”, I still teared up seeing Daniel Craig's last scene as Bond. My eyes watered in appreciation for what he’s added to this storied legacy. Goodbye for now 007.

Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) This is Great

The story of an Icon who does not get talked about enough, Fred Hampton is a Legend. The whole cast is fantastic, Daniel Kaluuya is a powerhouse, but once again it's LaKeith Stanfield who lingers in my mind delivering an offbeat, chilling, one-of-a-kind depiction of the betrayer in this tale.

Justice League (2017) oh this is not for me

Had to rewatch this after watching the Zack Snyder Cut to see what was changed. And umm. Yea people were right to demand a redo of that film. This one is cringy

Jungle Cruise (2021) It’s Good

Emly Blunt is really the only reason to watch this. Turns out she's a great action star too, she can do everything. The Rock, while I love him, I’m just kinda got tired of seeing him on screen doing the same schtick. He’s consistent. I'll give him that.

The Karate Kid (2010) This is Great

Jayden Smith is such a little kid in this movie. Jackie Chan is a master. I like that in this role he wasn't a big smiley happy fighting Jackie Chan, he was broken and sad, a side we don't usually get to see of him. He’s a wonderful actor.

The Karate Kid (1984) This is Great

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I decided to rewatch all the Karate Kid movies before getting into Cobra Kai. Watching this first one is way better as an adult. I missed all the positive cultural teachings and lessons as a kid. Mr. Miyagi really teaches opennes, kindness, respect, and I dig that.

The Karate Kid Part II (1986) It’s Good

They explore the history of Mr. Miyagi by taking this sequel to Japan. What I thought was just gonna be a pale reason for more fight scenes actually turned into a story about a WW2 veteran reconnecting with the love of his life. Daniel’s story was entirely uninteresting compared to the journey Mr. Miyagi was on. Good stuff.

The Karate Kid Part III (1989) It’s Okay

They try to open a shop, and Daniel hooks up with a new love interest. This one really felt like padding. The one good thing is how they followed up on the ethos of villains from the first movie.

The King of Staten Island (2020) This is Great

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I really dug this Pete Davidson Movie. Probably because it felt so autobiographical. I appreciate people putting themselves out there like this. Pitch perfect performance from Bel Powley and Pete Davidson brought a grounded relatability to his story.

King Kong (1933) It’s Okay

This movie really didn't age well for me. Sure, in context it's a classic. That didn’t make it less uncomfortable watching how poorly they treated women, indigenous people, and how creepily diddly Kong was to that lady. Ew.

King Richard (2021) It’s Good

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After I acclimated to Will Smith’s character accent, I was on board with this movie. At times I felt it was going over the top with movie cliches. But then I watched real footage of those moments and it turned out that that is actually how Venus and Serena Williams' father acted. That man is a living inspirational Hollywood movie.

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Licorice Pizza (2021) oh not for me

While this 70s era flick delivered some memorable performances: the delightfully over the top Bradley Cooper, the screen chewing Tom Waits, and an engrossing debut by Alana Haim. At the heart of this film was a romance between a 25- and a 15-year-old that I was never able to feel comfortable with. Maybe that was the point.

The Little Things (2021) It’s Good

Yea this is a fun mystery with Denzel and Jared Leto. Pretty tense at times and doesn't overstay its welcome

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition (2001) Stunning!

Finally decided to watch the extended edition. Glad I did, there are definitely a lot of good things they cut out that really helped fill in the whole picture.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Extended Edition (2002) This is Great

Still good, but damn does the Walking Tree part put me to sleep, every time. It took us like 4 attempts to finish this movie because I kept falling asleep whenever the Ents showed up.

Luca (2021) Stunning!

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Really fantastic coming of age tale. The Metaphors to discovering your sexual orientation was poignant and effective. The little seaside Italian town was adorable.

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The Many Saints of Newark (2021) oh this is not for me

As a fan of the Sopranos, this felt like a lot of scattered fanservice and nothing much more. But damn did I laugh out loud at the big reveal by the end. Still cracks me up. They nailed that part.

Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) This is Great

This is my Christmas Tradition Movie. The one that gets me fully in the Christmas spirit. Super Nostalgic.

Mitchells vs the Machines (2021) Stunning!

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Amazing. From the makers of Into the Spider-verse. They find a way to balance sharp humor, mind bending animations, and pure heart to tell a magnificent story. Can’t recommend this enough.

Mortal Kombat (2021) It’s Okay

It was fine. In the respect that it was exactly what I thought I was signing up for and nothing more.

Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpions Revenge (2020) This is Great

This is how Mortal Kombat should be told. Much better than the live action movie that came out

A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) Stunning!

Bonafide classic. We watched this Christmas Morning after breakfast and gift giving, nothing better than Holiday Snuggles with your loved one.

Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021) This is Great

Cute as hell and a perfect Halloween movie. I want one of these for every single holiday.

The Next Karate Kid (1994) This is Great

I really like this sequel with Hilary Swank. Watching Mr. Miyagi figuring out how to take care of a teenage girl was really touching.

Nightmare of the Wolf (2021) This is Great

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A companion movie to the Witcher Series. This is a prequel to the world state of the Witcher. Stories we had heard in passing tales now are vividly brought to life. Netflix is making me fall in love with the Witcher Universe more and more.

Nomadland (2020) Stunning!

Beautiful. The idea of making a drama that borders on documentary was brilliant. Masterfully shot in gorgeous locations. Magnificently performed and a touching tale.

The Nun (2018) It’s Good

A fun spin off to the Conjuring. I like what this Movie Universe is doing.

Over the Moon (2020) This is Great

Beautifully animated and tells a wonderful folk tale. The animation is a must see.

Pig (2021) Stunning!

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I am so surprised I liked this movie. I thought it was gonna be a long-winded Nick Cage joke. I couldn't have been more wrong. I loved the way this movie utilized silence and how they subverted your expectations. It made you think this was gonna be a “Taken” or “John Wick” clone, but in a lot of ways it’s better than both. Really well done.

The Power of the Dog (2021) This is Great!

Deceptively good. At first you think it’s gonna be a full on western then it turns into a long form mystery without an actual mystery. It’s hard to explain, but worth checking out. Really nicely paced and acted. Well, once you get pass Benedict growling his way through a western accent.

Project X (2012) It’s Good

I don't know why I like this movie, I really shouldn't. I saw a TikTok that referenced this flick, then found out it was on HBO, so I checked it out. Kind of a wild idea that actually spawned real world problems after it came out. I couldn't stop watching the explosive avalanche that is the party to end all parties in this movie.

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) This is Great

This felt like a video game come to life and I loved that. At times, I wished so hard I had a controller in my hands. A great sweeping tale.

Rent (2005) It’s Good

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I’ve always disliked Rent, but I never had a reason to. I hadn’t seen it, but I watched the movie in theaters back in 2005 (I fell asleep halfway through). I think the root of my dislike was from the sheer amount of people who loved it and played it all the time when I was in high school. It might've gotten played out for me before I could even give it a fair shot. So, I rewatched the movie, then I researched the play, watched a lot of videos of the original cast and finally came to the conclusion that in fact I DO like Rent. It’s got some simple yet beautiful songs in it, plus ANYTHING with Jesse L Martin’s velvety voice can’t be bad. Period. This show pushed queerness into the limelight and pays great homage to its operatic source material. Where I identified my dislike was with its character development, or lack thereof. With so many characters moving at such a swirling pace, it made the movie feel all over the place and made it hard to connect with characters. Now I think I realize why so many people back in the day seemed to be playing this show on repeat. The more you listen, the more connected you become to the characters, the more meaningful the whole story becomes from start to finish. The movie Rent seems made with the expectation that its audience is already familiar and in love with the characters, which is why I felt like a stranger walking into a party super late. But that's the movie, I have yet to see it on stage. At least now I know why Rent is special and I agree with that sentiment.

Sense and Sensibility (1995) This is Great

Watched at a little get together with friends. TBH, I remember us hanging out and “Mystery Science Theater-ing” this more than the actual movie. That was fun.

Shang-Chi (2021) It’s Good

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It’s a Marvel's take on a Martial Arts Movie. Great cast, some weird lame choices here and there (Looking at you Ben Kingsley). But in the end, I’m really looking forward to seeing how Simu Liu fits into the MCU.

The Shining (1980) This is Great

Great rewatch. Haven’t seen this in 15 years. Still holds up, super weird, super off putting. I like it a little less now, learning how poorly Kubrick treated his cast and also how angry Stephen King was with how he changed the book significantly.

Shiva Baby (2021) Stunning!

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This is, low key, a brilliant film. Sharp, tightly shot, claustrophobic. They turn a family event into a full-on horror movie of circumstance. Fantastic breakout performance by Rachel Sennot, we’re gonna see a lot of her in the future.

Space Jam (1996) This is Great

Nice walk down memory lane. But them R. Kelly songs did not age particularly well.

Space Jam a New Legacy (2021) It’s Good

Cute. Loved seeing gaming take such a big seat at this table. E3 was mentioned in the first 10 minutes, what!? It was pleasant seeing those old toons back on the big screen

Spiderman: No Way Home (2021) This is Great

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Satisfying, Bombastic, Amazing

SPOILERS. Once the premise hits, you can put together in your head how the rest of the movie will play out and for the most part it does exactly what you think. But that doesn't stop this movie from hitting you right in the feels. ALL the feels. Yep, this Movie made me openly weep. I’m a sucker for scope. Seeing old faces return, seeing them older, wiser, maybe even more broken than when we left them years ago was touching. I full on blubbered when Andrew Garfield caught MJ. As he leapt after her, I could only imagine the countless times he's replayed this moment in his head, and to see him get it right this time full on broke me. That being said, this film falls victim to overusing one of my pet peeve of story tropes (naive kid messes everything up to further plot)

Summer of Soul (2021) Stunning!

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Majestic. Questlove found a series of recordings of music festivals from 1969. Untouched, never seen. It documented one of the most prolific summer music festivals in history. Why haven't we heard of it? Because Woodstock was the same summer and was in Harlem. Nobody wanted to buy it. So not only is it an incredible music experience, but Questlove also gets a lot of musicians to come and watch themselves, while giving insight into what that festival meant.

The Suicide Squad (2021) This is Great

They made a more murdery Guardians of the Galaxy, congrats James Gunn. A really entertaining watch

Superman: Red Son (2020) It’s Good

Nice adaptation of the comic.

Tenet (2020) It’s Good

I’m it was okay. Like Inception, I felt like most of this movie was them explaining most of this movie. Once you start seeing the trippy dominoes fall into place it is a delight

Thor (2011) It’s Good

Funny Thor

Thor The Dark World (2013) It’s Okay

Not Funny Thor

Thor Ragnarok (2017) Stunning!

Funniest Thor

Tick Tick…Boom (2021) Stunning!

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I was Moved by this one. I knew nothing about this movie except that it was a musical based on the writer of Rent. I had no idea that it was written and performed by him as well. This was a spectacular movie. I’ve learned Andrew Garfield crying will instantly make me cry. I can stand to see that man sad for some reason.

Titane (2021) It’s Good

Bizarre in a way that I can dig, however I really wanted more from the second half. All the wild notes they started out with were great but fizzled down to one same note that they just overplayed IMO.

Twilight (2008) It’s Okay

It dropped on Netflix, and I had to know. This movie was made fun of so much in the 2000s, I had to know what it was all about. Honestly, I didn’t find this first one that offensive. It was lame, but not the worst.

Twilight New Moon (2009) It’s Okay

Same feelings as the last movie. I did like them fleshing out the vampire world.

Twilight Eclipse (2010) oh this is not for me

OK. This is when even my penchant for lame cinema got tested. The pining and “ownership” over this girl were nauseating. Stopped watching the series after this one, it was that cringy. Maybe I'll watch the rest next year.

Venom (2018) It’s Good

Heard a lot of shit talked about this movie, but it was actually fun to watch. They made Venom like Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors. That by itself is ridiculous in a way I can get behind.

White Boy (2017) It’s Good

This documentary about how Richard Wershe was abandoned by the justice system is pretty eye opening. A good look at the drug scene in L.A. back in the day too

Without Remorse (2021) It’s Okay

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Mickael B Jordan comes out with a “military special ops don’t f*ck with me” Movie. A very tight script that move along briskly. Didn't leave a very lasting impression with me though

Worth (2021) It’s Good

A real tough look at how life insurance was handled for families of victims of 9/11. Told an overlooked story that’s super important. Stanly Tucci is incredible

X-Men (2000) It’s Good

After a "special cameo" in WandaVision, I got inspired to watch the latest X-men movies. Well that just led to me going all the way back to the beginning and watching them all.

X-Men 2 (2003) Stunning!

My favorite out of all of them. Fun fact, David Hayter, the voice of Solid Snake wrote this film.

X-Men First Class (2011) This is Great

A real good Reboot. Nailed it

X-Men Days of Future Past (2014) This is Great

Yessss bring back my Ian and Patick Stewy!

X-Men Apocalypse (2016) oh this is not for me

A story line that was bigger than the confines of the movie

X-Men Dark Phoenix (2019) oh this is not for me

Not great. Yea, I barely remembered watching it this year.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021) This is Good

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The biggest flaw in this film is the indulgence Snyder was able to pour into this movie. But is it a flaw?? When I see a painting, that’s exactly what the artist puts out and I can like it or not. I feel like movies go through so many versions to be palpable to a wider audience that we don't get to see the true vision of a director. For that, I praise this version of the Justice League, you may like it or not, but it is exactly what the artist wanted to put out. I can respect that.

__________________________________________________________________

23 Stunning! - 40 This is Great- 34 It's Good - 15 It's Okay - 8 Oh Not for me

WELL DONE you read through all of my Movies! If you want to catch up on what Video Games and TV Shows I experienced this year, here are the links:

2021: Review Kids on the Block (Games)

2021: Review Kids on the Block (TV Series)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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XenturiK

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@thuhang: Hmmm, which movie are you talking about here? I looked up Selim, seems like a great actor, but I’m not sure if I’ve seen a movie with him in it.

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Justin258

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#3  Edited By Justin258

You seem to have missed X-Men 3 (people don't like this one). And that Origins: Wolverine movie (I don't like this one). And The Wolverine, which is a different movie (I have no idea, I've never seen it).

But actually you missed Logan, which - as far as I'm concerned - is by far the best X-Men movie.

I seem to recall hearing that Terrence Howard wasn't in Marvel movies after Iron Man because he was apparently really hard to work with during filming.

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XenturiK

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@justin258:

First off, thanks a mil for giving my post a read! And I appreciate your insight. All the movies you mentioned I have seen before, but I was enjoying just sticking to the X-Men Only movies this time (except X3, as yes, I am one of those people who didn't enjoy it that much). I also agree that Logan is the best movie in that Universe hands down. The performances from Patrick Stewart and Hugh are so powerful. It was the perfect way to end their stories.

.

From what I read; Marvel was looking to lowball Howard with a change to his contract. Howard did not take kindly to that maneuver and things got tense. Granted that's from what he's said, everyone else seems to be tight lipped about it. Show biz can be an ugly business. Here's a link the article I looked at: Terrence Howard On Why He Didn't Return As Rhodey In 'Iron Man 2' (screenrant.com)

That being said, I like Don Cheadle just fine, just curious what Howard's take would've been like.

.

Thanks again for stopping by

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However, it was super nice to see so much inclusion in one film, race, ethnicity, orientation, persons with disabilities. That was the coolest part of this flick.

I'm going to push-back on this part about Eternals. I thought the film was one of the best comedies of the year; it's such a goddamn mess that I kind of love it. However, I saw the film with a friend of mine who is both black and gay. Upon reaching the part where it is revealed the black gay Eternal gave humanity the knowledge of atomic energy, which resulted in the Atomic Bomb's creation and the death of thousands of people, they replied, "Well, ain't that some shit."

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XenturiK

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@zombiepie: "Well, aint that some shit" One, that is very funny. Two, that is a really good take on that moment. I love it.

I think what I'm realizing for myself, is that I'm so starved for representation in blockbuster films that I'm fine to settle for way less than what I/we probably should. I was sad that Makkari, the Eternal who is deaf, is barely seen for most of the film. That's a freaking shame. At the same time, I get it, cause there are like 8 or 9 characters they're trying to shoehorn into this flick. Still though, cuz I agree with you on what a mess this film was, my favorite part was imagining what those characters could be outside the confines of this "bleh" of a movie.

SIDENOTE: I really appreciate the work you do on this site, thanks for stopping by.

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monkeyking1969

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I loved The Green Knight, Encanto, Black Widow, and Dune...and many others.

Animation made a resurance in teh 1990s through Disney and others. But, I think western anaimation has NEVER been better or more alive than now. I do not mean mereley theatrically, but on streaming, Youtube, and so many other places. More themes, more voices, and more people watching and having access.

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XenturiK

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@monkeyking1969: I honestly agree with you 100%. Encanto, Turning Red, Luca, not to mention all the great Japanese animated films. It’s a good time for animated flicks.