Saturday, January 7, 2023

Weekend Open Thread


  1. J.M. Vargas here. :-D Somehow, with two full-time jobs and a YouTube Channel that eat away ALL my free time, I still managed to watch 109 movies released in 2022 (excluding 2021 movies that slipped into 2022, repertory screening and/or re-releases like the 4K restoration of "The Godfather," "Jaws" on IMAX, OG "Avatar" with enhanced special effects, etc.). As is my tradition since a few years back, here's my worst-to-best ranking of the movies I saw. If it's not on this list I haven't seen it or have completely forgotten about it. :-P doc=documentary. W=directed by a woman.

    Starting off with the single worst piece of s*** I wasted my time with last year...

    109.-Crimes of the Future (Canada)
    108.-Prey For the Devil
    107.-Jackass Forever
    106.-Gamestop: Rise of the Players (doc)
    105.-The Night Owl (South Korea)
    104.-'83 (India)
    103.-Traveling Light
    102.-Eiffel (France)
    100.-Jurassic World: Dominion (Dolby Cinema)
    99.-Morbius (Dolby Cinema)
    98.-Neptune Frost (France, W co-director)
    97.-Studio 666
    96.-The Cursed
    95.-The Duke (United Kingdom)
    94.-Firestarter (2022)
    93.-Infinite Storm (Poland)
    92.-The 355
    91.-Hocus Pocus 2
    90.-The Northman (Dolby Cinema)
    88.-Petit Maman (France)
    87.-Christmas Bloody Christmas
    86.-The Last City (Dolby Cinema)
    85.-The Unbelievable Weight of Massive Talent
    84.-Gangubai Kathiawadi (India)
    83.-Father Stu (W)
    82.-The Ancestral (Vietnam)
    81.-Strange World 3D
    80.-The Invitation (Dolby Cinema, W)
    79.-Project Wolf Hunting (South Korea)
    78.-Bullet Train (Dolby Cinema)
    77.-Brahmastra Part One: Shiva 3D (India)
    76.-Hellraiser (2022)
    75.-Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (Dolby Cinema)
    74.-Bell (Japan)
    72.-Bachchan Pandey (India)
    71.-Alienoid (South Korea)
    69.-Rashtra Kavach OM (India)
    68.-Uncharted (Dolby Cinema)
    67.-Bodies, Bodies, Bodies (W)
    66.-Ino-Oh (Japan)
    65-The Black Phone
    64.-Prithviraj (India)
    63.-Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Dolby Cinema)
    62.-The Fabelmans
    61.-Beast (IMAX)
    60.-The Silent Twins (Poland, W)
    59.-Rifftrax Live: The Return of Swamp Thing (1988/2022)
    58.-Man on the Edge (South Korea)
    57.-Black Adam (IMAX 3D)
    56.-Khuda Haafiz 2 (India)
    55.-Marcel The Shell with Shoes On
    54.-Something In The Dirt
    53.-The Battle at Lake Changjin II (China)
    52.-Death On The Nile
    51.-Hatching (Finland, W)
    50.-Pompo the Cinephile (Japan)
    49.-Smile (Dolby Cinema)
    48.-Moonfall (IMAX)
    47.-Everything Everywhere All At Once (Dolby Cinema)
    45.-The Sparring Partner (South Korea)
    43.-The Whale
    42.-Happening (France, W)
    40.-Gone In The Night
    39.-The Killer (South Korea, 2022)
    38.-Montana Story
    37.-Ambulance (IMAX)
    36.-Halloween Ends (IMAX)
    35.-The Witch 2: The Other One (South Korea)
    33.-The Batman (IMAX)
    32.-Pixar's Turning Red (W)
    31.-Thor: Love and Thunder (IMAX 3D)
    30.-Emily The Criminal
    29.-The Outfit (United Kingdom)
    27.-Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness 3D (IMAX 3D)
    26.-The Worst Person in the World
    24.-Decibel (South Korea)
    23.-She Said (W)
    22.-Nope (IMAX)
    20.-Alice (W)
    19.-Badhaai Do (India)
    18.-Violent Night (Dolby Cinema)
    17.-Top Gun: Maverick (IMAX)
    16.-The Roundup (South Korea, 2022)
    15.-Scream (2022)
    13.-The Banshees of Inisherin (Ireland)
    12.-The Menu
    11.-Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Dolby Cinema)

    1. Good to see you are still around watching movies, J.M. With that kind of schedule I might not even get to 100 films for a whole year.

    2. Nice hearing from you, Casual. 👋🙂


    In another memorable year for South Korean cinema, this terrifying airplane hijack/disaster movie had the balls to tackle its subject matter as accurately and tense as humanly possible until the last possible second. It goes Hollywood at the very, very end, but other than that it's a mracle of tight, sober and Korean-strong dramatic thriller.

    Not too thrilled with the predictable storylines and one-dimensional characterizations (humans bad excelpt for the shirtless young boy, Navi aliens good), but the level of state-of-the-art cinematic spectacle James Cameron delivers here is just peerless. Other than the frustrating high frame rate jumping from high to non-existent at Cameron's whim (sometimes within the same scene) this is blockbuster entertainment that puts contemporary Marvel and DC superhero movies to shame.

    If you can tolerate Woody Harrelson's stunt casting as an 'ugly American' sea captain stereotype this is the best, smartest and most entertaining of the 'rich are evil' movies we got this year. Carl and Yaya are the unlikely lead characters the narrative starts and ends with, but the legion of supporting characters in the middle (Zlatko Buric, Dolly De Leon, etc.) rightfully steal the didn't-see-that-coming, go-for-broke middle (and most of the final) act.

    Seen this twice, and the at-home rewatch really opens the scope of what writer/director Tood Field and actor Cate Blanchett have achieved here. "Tár" feels real because people like Lydia Tár really exist and function in our society, but the slow-burn pace and ultimate place this narrative lands put it over the top. Try to see it in as big a movie screen possible with the best possible sound system for maximum scope/impression.

    6.-FIRE OF LOVE (DOC, W)
    Sara Dosa's Mandela effect-like trick of making it seem like the unseen daughter of volcano explorers Katia and Maurice Krafft is unspooling home movies of her folks engaged in dangerous activities is an excellent storytelling device. Come to see the amazing footage, stay to meet the real-life Indiana Jones-type couple of volcanic daredevils.


    As good as Antonio Banderas is when he performs in English, when he acts in his native language he's much better (2011's "The Skin I Live In" anyone?). Banderas gets the biggest laughs out of this outrageous satire about showbiz egos clashing, with Oscar Martínez and Penélope Cruz pushing their considerable weight around to great effect while trying to placate the ego (and wallet) of a wealthy patron.

    Kudos to Lionsgate for sticking with this film in theaters long after it bombed during its August opening weekend, as word of mouth eventually turned it into a (still without 4K Blu-ray release, 1080p BD only) cult hit. Millennial "Cliffhanger" shortchanges the emotional rollercoaster experience that is being trapped in a giant tower with Becky (Grace Caroline Currey) and Shiloh (Virginia Gardner) as resources, strength and hope start running out. If it had been shot/shown in 3D "Fall" would have ranked higher still.

    Damien Chazelle cashes every single chip he's ever collected as a Hollywood storyteller in this flawed-but-epic, fictionalized-but-inspired-in-old-school-showbiz-lore tale of four characters that cross paths during the many raunchy parties silent movie stars threw out. Shame Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie's characters get the lion's share of the attention because Diego Calva and Jovan Adepo's parallel storylines are just as strong and help carry the narrative past a few slow and/or uncomfortable moments. "Babylon" spoke to me and my love for cinema (particularly silent era, Hays Code and early Technicolor films) like few films have, even Chazelle's "La La Land" (which "Babylon" easily tops). Worth seeing just for the go-for-broke first hour and the 'day on the silent movie lot' sequence, where you can see the film's $100 million budget on the screen.

    2.-RRR (INDIA)
    Ironically "RRR" isn't that different from most over-the-top Indian spectacle films it derives many of its tropes from. It just doubles down on its own outrageousness and lets the audience lose themselves in a world of cruelty (British colonial forces opressing Indian people), fish-out-of-water comedy, soul bros saving the day by fighting against one another before joining forces, and ultimately giving the audience a sense of giddy fun that's missing from most spectacle films. "RRR" literally is trying to entertain you from its first until its last frame (after the credits), and it's the closest an Indian movie has come to becoming a favorite of mine.

    Seen it three times now (two in Dolby Cinema, once at home in 4K Blu-ray) and there simply wasn't a better example I saw in 2022 of an epic movie that is SIMULTANEOUSLY a hero and heroine's journey revolving around a leading female African character. "Black Panther: Wakanda Forever" explored similar ground but was too busy being a Marvel superhero movie to let its cast of characters breathe. It's a testament to the many behind-the-scenes women filmmakers involved (Gina Prince-Bythewood directing, Maria Bello producing and co-writing, etc.) and the generosity of Viola Davis that "The Woman King" doesn't revolve around Nanisca, even though her character arc (and the inner journey she goes through) is at the heart of the narrative. From Lashana Lynch's Izogie to the historically accurate plot of Portugal being the first country that enslaved Africans for slavery outside the continent, "The Woman King" makes a virtue out of its limited resources and well-chosen actors (particularly John Boyega in a choice role) to stage some kick-ass action spectacle with purpose and break my heart at the emotional plight of a flawed lead character projecting strength on the outside to hide her inner turmoil. "The Woman King", the best movie of 2022 IMHO,

    Thanks for reading. See you again... sometime. :'(

    1. That is a hell of a list J.M., hope you have a great 2023!

    2. Thanks Ross. Happy 2023 to you too. 😀

    3. What a list! I read that instead of doing CGI, they filmed Fall on a short tower on top of a mountain to make it seem like it was higher than it was. That would have been a good one for the theatre!

      I need to see Babylon before making a list, as it was one of my most anticipated movies. Glad to hear you're keeping busy!

    4. Nice to hear from you, Paul. 🙃😀

  4. Good weekend to everyone.

    I started off 2023 with a good assortment of watches. For the first time in a while I actually watched what I intended to. The Mubi subscription has not been used enough over the past year, but that kind of neglect tends to happen when I am constantly trying to catch up with all of the films recorded off of Turner Classic Movies. I did end 2022 with 1980's New Year's Evil, which is one of the better Cannon horror films I have seen.

    THE SWIMMER (1968, dir. Frank Perry) – Not your usual journey through 1960s suburbia. Burt Lancaster is Ned Merrill, a man on a quest to swim in all of the swimming pools of his Connecticut neighborhood on his way home. There is just something not quite right with him, however. With each encounter with his neighbors, the course of Ned’s life gets clearer but still remains relatively opaque. This has been on my watch list for a long time, and it is well worth seeking out for patient viewers. One of Lancaster’s best roles.

    ST. IVES (1976, dir. J. Lee Thompson) – An entertaining crime film with a twisty plot that is not always easy to follow. Charles Bronson is a Raymond St. Ives, a newspaper reporter and aspiring novelist sucked into a ransom scheme for several stolen diaries. St. Ives goes all around Los Angeles to unravel the mystery as the bodies pile up. Bronson utilizes his brains as much as his toughness, Lalo Schifrin contributed a wonderfully funky score, and there is a sequence with both Robert Englund and Jeff Goldblum as street hoodlums. Bronson and Thompson would work together frequently in the 1980s for Cannon.

    JULIA (1974) on Mubi – The English title of this German sex comedy comes from the character played by Sylvia Kristel, by far the most well-known actor in the film. She is not the lead but has a substantial role. The lead character is Pauli, a young man visiting family during a break from boarding school who finds himself surrounded by a welter of sexual activity. Though he is on the repressed side, the carnality will soon overtake him. The comedy gets wacky, and there is plenty of nudity and soft-core scenes. It is ultimately a forgettable film and not at all PC.

    THE COOL LAKES OF DEATH on Mubi (1982, dir. Nouchka van Brackel) – A different kind of costume drama. A young woman born into an upper-class family in mid-1800s Holland struggles to find her place in society, taking risks and suffering heavy consequences in her quest for personal fulfillment. Mental illness, drug addiction, and sexual exploitation are all touched upon. Brackel created a film of much higher quality than her previous features while staying with the feminist themes of her earlier work. It definitely is beautiful to look at.

    1. Everyone needs to see The Swimmer. It shows up on TCM fairly frequently.

    2. I own The Swimmer on Blu-ray because JB wrote about it at some point years ago. It was well worth the purchase!

    3. TCM was my source for The Swimmer. Another DVR watch.

    4. As someone who also undertook the project of swimming in every pool in my city (public ones, there's around 30), I should seek out this movie!

    5. I too.bought "The Swimmer" on Blu--ray based on JB mentioning it on the podcast. Terrific one-of-a-kind picture, with a buff Lancaster showing acting chops that match his great dad bod. Worth seeking out. 😉👍

  5. Confess Fletch (2022) is a ton of fun, a good time all around inhabited by a bunch of character actors I like. A bummer that looks like it's pretty much a one-off but if you barely promote a movie and barely release it, what do you think might happen?

    1. I also watched it. It was actually me second time. The first time i didn't finish it, because i like the original a lot, i couldn't distanciate (that's a word, righ?) from Chevy Chase's performance. The second try was a success, thanks to JB and his top 10.

  6. So this is the place to post best of 2022 lists, right?

    1. The Menu (Mark Mylod)
    2. Dual (Riley Stearns)
    3. Flux Gourmet (Peter Strickland)
    4. The Banshees of Inisherin (Martin McDonagh)
    5. Triangle of Sadness (Ruben Östlund)
    6. Sick of Myself (Kristoffer Borgli)
    7. Hatching (Hanna Bergholm)
    8. Klondike (Maryna Er Gorbach)
    9. Official Competition (Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn)
    10. X (Ti West)

    My favorite weirdo Peter Strickland's Flux Gourmet is a movie about making collaborative art, and farts. Sick of Myself (Norway) is about a narcissistic young woman who'll do anything to get attention and sympathy, and it goes pretty crazy towards the end. Hatching (Finland) is a nice little suburban horror movie with an amazing performance from the teenaged lead actress and a fun practical creature design. Klondike (Ukraine) is set in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, before Russia's all out attack when they were trying more "subtle" ways to invade. A pregnant woman and her husband just want to live their lives, but they're caught between patriots and separatists. And Official Competition (Spain) is a great comedy about an eccentric movie director (Penélope Cruz) trying to manage her two leads (Antonio Banderas and Oscar Martínez) who dislike each other and have very different approaches to acting. The Menu, Dual, The Banshees of Inisherin, Triangle of Sadness, and X have been written about by others more eloquently than I could.

    And my favorite new discoveries of 2022:

    1. Paths of Glory (1957, Stanley Kubrick)
    2. Smokey and the Bandit (1977, Hal Needham)
    3. Carnival of Souls (1962, Herk Harvey)
    4. M (1931, Fritz Lang)
    5. Ninja in the Dragon's Den (1982, Corey Yuen)
    6. La Jetée (1962, Chris Marker)
    7. A Matter of Life and Death (1946, Powell & Pressburger)
    8. Shadows in Paradise (1986, Aki Kaurismäki)
    9. All That Jazz (1979, Bob Fosse)
    10. The Killing (1956, Stanley Kubrick)

    1. I haven't looked at everything to make a list, but I'm almost certain Paths of Glory will in my top 10 as well. I did get to see Menu, Banshees and Dual this week! There's a few more I want to see (including Triangle of Sadness) before making a list for 2022.

    2. Love Dual. And the fact it was shot in my hometown (Tampere, Finland) elevates it even more for me, plus adds a weird disconnect when I see people like Karen Gillan and Aaron Paul have a conversation literally across the street from my home.

      Tampere has campained itself as a good place to shoot movies, and Finland's good handling of the pandemic was also a reason for them to shoot it here. And the same production company is coming here again next summer to shoot a Lena Headey/Nick Frost horror movie. Exciting!

  7. Here’s my top 10 favorite (not best, mind you, but favorite) movies of 2022, with the usual caveat of ask me again a week from now and it’ll likely be different.

    10) WEREWOLF BY NIGHT This year’s best Marvel movie came and went pretty quick during everybody’s #ScaryMovieMonth binges, but it’s awesome. Full of visual style, classic monster movie throwbacks, and a rockin’ whiz-bang finale.

    9) PREY After some sequels that were arguably not so great, we’re reminded of how kickass the Predator is. Equally kickass is actress Amber Midthunder, who makes the movie.

    8) BARBARIAN After the don’t-spoil-it marketing campaign, what makes this interesting is the battle-of-the-sexes aspect of the movie, how the male and female characters approach the same situation differently.

    7) THE NORTHMAN Did writer-director Robert Eggers see the Hamlet scene in Last Action Hero and decide to make that movie? Either way, Hamlet-plus-Conan works. Equal parts brainy and muscle-y.

    6) TURNING RED Another winner from Pixar, that’s both heartfelt and really freakin’ funny.

    5) NOPE An exciting thrill ride (they do the Akira motorcycle slide!) that has a lot on its mind. Plus, one of the scariest scenes I’ve seen in a movie.

    4) THREE THOUSAND YEARS OF LONGING Further proof that only George Miller can make a George Miller movie. He lets his weirdness flag fly, and we’re all better for it.

    3) THE FABELMANS I mean, it’s Spielberg. The sad moments are deeply sad, while the triumphant parts are soaring.

    2) RRR There’s been a lot written about this one’s problematic politics, but that’s overshadowed by the amount of pure spectacle on screen. It’s one eye-popping set piece after another, after another, after another! (And if you think about it, lots of American action movies are also politically troubling. So, yeah.)

    1) EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE ALL AT ONCE It’s a simple mother-daughter drama, told through an outrageous sci-fi/action/comedy lens. There’s both a “throw-everything-against-the-wall” mentality and a “we-don’t-care-who-we-offend” mentality. It feels like watching a movie from the future.

    Honorable mention: CLERKS III is hardly top 10 material, but I saw it in a theater full of Kevin Smith super-fans. Everyone was totally in on the movie’s wavelength, and it was a joyous, celebratory night at the movies.

    Worst movie of 2022: DAY SHIFT. The worst case of written-by-an-algorithm movie I’ve yet seen.


    Best TV of 2022: SANDMAN
    Best game of 2022: HORIZON FORBIDDEN WEST
    Best graphic novel of 2022: STEEPLE vol. 3 by John Allison

    1. Glad to see Three Thousand Years of Longing get some love. Listening to various podcasts and people giving their top 10's, I don't think I've heard it mentioned.

    2. Seconded. I think it's very underappreciated.

  8. Here is my exercise in creating a top 10 first-time watch list for 2022. As Mac stated, it could be different depending on the day, but the top films would probably be the same.

    10. YOUR PAST IS SHOWING/ THE NAKED TRUTH (1957) - The victims of a blackmailer join together to kill him in this farcical British comedy.

    9. SAMURAI REBELLION (1967) - Masaki Kobayashi's tale of samurai challenging the will of their lord is a masterpiece. Stars Toshiro Mifune.

    8. THE DRIVER (1978) - Directed by Walter Hill. Ryan O'Neal is a blank slate as a getaway driver being hounded by the police. The stunt driving is terrific. Definitely one of the most thrilling watches on the big screen of the Mahoning Drive-In this past year.

    7. JULIE DARLING (1982) - A teenage girl loves her father so much that she is willing to destroy any woman that he brings into his life. It truly delivered the exploitation goods for Junesploitation.

    6. BODY HEAT (1981) - William Hurt and Kathleen Turner create some heat together in this noir story of obsessive love and murder.

    5. CARRIE (1976) - 2022 was the year I finally saw this horror classic.

    4. HARD TIMES (1976) - Walter Hill's debut stars Charles Bronson and James Coburn as a pair exploiting the bare-knuckle boxing world of 1930s New Orleans. A film about friendship as much as being tough.

    3. VICE SQUAD (1982) - NEON SLIME! Wings Hauser's performance as the vile pimp Ramrod had me riveted. A masterwork of sleaze.

    2. MANILA IN THE CLAWS OF NEON (1975) - Lino Brocka's depiction of the Filipino capital destroying the humanity of a migrant from the countryside is a treat. Though very downbeat, I did not watch a better depiction of the vibrancy of human life.

    1. PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE (2019) - Sciamma's period drama is a beautifully made film.

    Honorable mentions: WORKING GIRLS (1986), THE QUIET EARTH (1985), THE MIST (2007), HUNTING GROUND (1983)

  9. I don't even know if I can come up with enough for a top 10 but I'm going to try this right here on the fly:

    1. The Menu
    2. Tár
    3. Prey
    4. The Banshees of Inisherin
    5. Moonage Daydream
    6. Triangle of Sadness
    7. The Innocents
    8. Turning Red
    9. Decision to Leave
    10. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris

    Just kidding JB. Although it is apparently on Peacock, I do have a subscription, and apparently it's 94% on Rotten Tomatoes so maybe I have to take one for the nation and be the one person that watches this.

    My actual number 10 I guess is The Fabelmans, I guess.

    1. Ok, I'm actually watching Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris right now and it's sweet and I'm kind of tearing up a bit.

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. Alright, Mrs. Harris was may be a little sappy, but to hell with the Fabelmans, Mrs. Harris is now actually on the top 10 list. Lesley Manville and Alba Baptista are great.

  10. Still a lot from 2022 I need to see, but here's my top 10 list at this particular moment:

    10. Crimes of the Future
    It's weird, pretty gross, and some may find it lacking a conclusion. I was into its unique brand of weirdness, though. Kristen Stewart's performance is hilarious.

    9. Scream 5
    The formula still works for me, despite the obnoxious decision to stop putting numbers in the titles. ScreaVM? ScreaVIM? Come on.

    8. Prey
    Tons of fun. Wish they had a bigger budget for the CGI forest animals.

    7. Bones and All
    Scary, gross, and gets you to root for a cannibal romance.

    6. Tar
    Lydia Tar is a fantastic character, full of contradictions. Is she a genius composer, or just a genius self-promoter, manipulator, and politician? Is her love for her family and her music genuine, or just hot air to fill the balloon of her ego's rise? Should talent be evaluated separately from morality and identity? She says yes, and insists she's a true believer in meritocracy, then clearly cheats to get her way--both blatantly (looking at shoes) and under the pretense of actually following the rules (in all the ways she sets up the open competition for the cello solo). Her strengths are her weaknesses, summed up most simply in the way she deals with her daughter's bully, and more fully in her relationship with her assistant. I think the movie succeeds by keeping the viewer from landing too firmly on either side of these contradictions.

    5. Barbarian
    So glad I went into this blind. Scary, funny, wild. Georgina Campbell is fantastic as the lead, Bill Skarsgard is perfectly used to keep the viewer off balance, and Justin Long is a hilarious dickhead.

    4. Nope
    Works as pure spectacle and entertainment, or as a mine of deeper ideas. Feels like a movie I'll get something new out of each time I watch it.

    3. The Banshees of Inisherin
    Nobody blends comedy and tragedy better than McDonagh. It's not as sharp-witted or action-packed as In Bruges, but it delves even deeper into the achingly bleak.

    2. Kimi
    Rear Window is one of my all-time favorites, so when Disturbia sold itself as a techno-update, I was more than ready to give it a shot. Well, Kimi is like if Disturbia was actually REALLY GOOD! The tension builds and builds as Kimi plays amateur detective, and this might be my favorite movie ending of the year.

    1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
    Other movies on my list may shift, but I feel pretty good about this as my #1. Although there's certainly plenty of love out there for this movie, it seems like some were put off by the multi-verseness of it (and with the prevalence of this concept in recent years, I can understand the fatigue). But I really think this movie makes better use of "multiversity" than the rest of the subgenre. It's not a Christopher Nolan movie, and it's not important to unpack the mechanics of how the multiverse works or doesn't work. On a surface level, the multiverse is just there as a way to inject fantastical kung fu comedy into a simple family drama. On a thematic level, it's a representation of all the decisions made and not made in a life, and the universal experience of dwelling on paths not taken versus finding happiness in where you've ended up, and how regret can be used to consider new paths of change in the future, or it can send you spiraling into despair about the past. I really connected with that stuff, but I also just had a ton of fun with the jam-packed kung fu brawls and absurd mash-up comedy gags. I found the mother/daughter relationship stuff genuinely moving, and the particular dynamic of the wife/husband couple, while less emphasized, stood out as something I haven't really seen in a movie before.

    Honorable Mentions:
    Emily the Criminal; Top Gun: Maverick; Confess, Fletch; I Love My Dad (thanks Adam Riske); The Fabelmans; The Batman; Jackass Forever; Triangle of Sadness; Bros; Ambulance; Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe; The Woman King; The Menu.

    1. The rest worth watching (in roughly ranked order):
      Bodies Bodies Bodies; The Outfit; Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery; Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts; Deep Water; Violent Night; Weird: The Al Yankovic Story; Turning Red; Avatar: The Way of Water; The Black Phone; Amsterdam; Phantom of the Open; Vengeance; Fire of Love; Dual; Sonic the Hedgehog 2; The Lost City; The Whale; Fall; Do Revenge; Babylon; The; Northman; Beast; Dog; Breaking; The Unbearable Weight of Massive; Talent; Smile; Ticket to Paradise; The Bob's Burgers Movie; The Sea Beast; The Redeem Team; Black Panther: Wakanda Forever; Fire Island; Three Thousand Years of Longing; Don't Worry Darling; Clerks III; Death on the Nile; X

      Didn't work for me:
      See How They Run; Hocus Pocus 2; Studio 666

    2. Special Awards List:

      Biggest kinda-full-for-2022 theater experiences:
      Top Gun: Maverick and The Batman

      Most teenagers who wouldn't shut up in the theater:

      Worst construction on the roof of a theater during a showtime:
      See How They Run

      Best attempts to keep the dying comedy genre alive:
      Confess, Fletch, I Love My Dad, and Bros

      Best A+ sequence in a movie that didn't work work for me overall:
      First filming sequence in Babylon (Pitt on the battlefield, Robbie on the bartop, Calva assisting). The second filming sequence in Babylon (Robbie's first talkie) also ruled.

      Best A+ Sequence in a movie that mostly worked for me:
      Ending of The Fablemans

      Best drone-flies-beneath-a-jumping-car shot:

      Movie that deserved way more popular attention:
      The Woman King

      Funniest performance in a movie I liked a medium amount:
      Rachel Sennott in Bodies, Bodies, Bodies

      Movie that wasn't good, but I love the characters so much I still enjoyed parts of it:
      Clerks III

      Movie I expected to be trash, but was most pleasantly surprised by:
      Sonic the Hedgehog 2

      Worst ending for a messy movie that I still liked:
      Deep Water

      Biggest disappointment:
      X. Everybody else loved X, and I was ready to, too, but somehow it just landed flat for me, and I can't exactly say why. The only thing I can really point to specifically was that I had a hard time buying the old woman as a scary villain. I just kept seeing a pile of makeup that didn't look anything like a person (and which I couldn't quite turn into a monster). I'm really hoping I was just in a weird headspace and I end up like this a lot more on a second watch (and I'm still holding out hope for when I get to Pearl).

  11. I want to join in the fun. I still haven't seen all I wanted to see (biggest blind spot as of now is Emily the Criminal which I expect has a good chance of leaping straight onto the list once I see it), but here's where I am with my top 10:

    10. Cha Cha Real Smooth
    9. Three Thousand Years of Longing
    8. Bones and All
    7. Turning Red
    6. Pearl
    5. Prey
    4. X
    3. Tar
    2. The Banshees of Inisherin
    1. Dual

    Seriously, guys, Dual is the bomb, check it out if you haven't.

    1. Some honorable mentions:
      Bodies Bodies Bodies, Kimi, Weird, Raymond & Ray
      Biggest wastes of time:
      Black Adam, Morbius, Where the Crawdads Sing

    2. Update: OK, I've seen Emily the Criminal now and just as I thought, it's going on the list, landing probably at number 7 and pushing Cha Cha Real Smooth down to honorable mentions. Sorry, Cooper Raiff! We'll always have Shithouse. (number 5 on my 2020 list).

  12. KOPFGESCHLAGEN! And happy new year!

    I'm enjoying reading everyone's lists. Maybe I'll make some kind of list later. GLASS ONION will be at the top. Favorite movie of all time! Not only does it roll out just like an Agatha Christie mystery, it is so cinematic and HILARIOUS. I can't get over the brilliant writing, editing, and performance by Edward Norton. I wouldn't expect it to be to everyone's taste, but I have Agatha Christie movies, tv series and audiobooks playing all the time. She (and Dorothy L Sayers) are my comfort zone at my desk. So it feels like it was made for me. And it makes me proud (instead of a little embarrassed) to be an Agatha Christie fangirl.

    I saw other movies...caught up on some of Hitchcock's first films...and binged a lot of films with Charles Boyer (swoon)... I'm gonna get to THE WOMAN KING tonight. Love the positive reviews that movie is getting on here.

    1. As a Christie fan you've probably already seen See How They Run, but if you haven't, it's a murder mystery/comedy set in London's West End in the 50's and the plot heavily involves the stage production of The Mousetrap.

    2. Thank you, Mikko! I did see it! I thought it was cute! Also weird. But I'll try any whodunnit. I tried CONFESS, FLETCH but Fletch himself really rubbed me the wrong way. I was like No more english, please! Marcia Gay Harden was really fun - I agreed with everyone on that part. :)

  13. I'm late to the game but it's top 10 time! This list will surely change and shift within the week, lol. But my favorites as of this moment are:

    10.) Emily the Criminal
    9) The Fabelmans
    8.) Decision to Leave
    7.) Avatar: The Way of Water
    6.) The Batman
    5.) The Menu
    4.) Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
    3.) The Sea Beast
    2.) Top Gun Maverick
    1.) X/Pearl (I know, a tie for 1 is super lame, but these movies feel inextricably linked, and so in my mind they deserve a spot together. They're both awesome!)