The Princess (2022) – Crowning Glory

Released: 13th August
Seen: 30th August

The Princess info

For some strange reason, this year has been a year full of assorted stories involving the late Princess Diana. There was the stage musical that was an absolute critical and financial flop, though is now considered something of a cult classic, followed by the film Spencer that gave us some insight into Princess Diana’s life as part of the royal family. Soon we’ll also have another season of the show The Crown which is due to take part during the latter part of Diana’s life and there was even a special out early in the year that just focused on Diana’s fashion. This year is just another year where we are going to spend a substantial part of it talking about Princess Diana and that strange constant craving for Diana imagery by the media is the main subject of the documentary The Princess.

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Samaritan (2022) – Super-meh-ro

Released: 26th August
Seen: 28th August

For a while now we’ve been living in the era of the Superhero. From the moment that Iron Man built a mech suit in a cave with a box of scraps, one of the dominating elements of pop culture has been the superhero story. Everyone has had a go at trying to make their own version of it in order to ride the trend, some have tried to deconstruct it (like Netflix’s Project Power or the horror film Brightburn) but everyone has at least tried to have a go at the concept of a superhero saving the day. 

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Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee (2022) – Does Not Compute

Released: 24th August
Seen: 26th August

John McAfee was one of the most wildly fascinating people to ever walk the earth. His initial fame came from his work in computers, he’s the man who created the McAfee virus protection software that’s possibly running on the very device you’re reading this review on. so he has made a considerable impact on many lives… he was also accused of the murder of his neighbour in Belize, went on the run to Guatemala to avoid the charges, was extradited to the US, ran for president twice, was charged with tax evasion, fled the US and went to Spain in order to avoid those specific charges and was later found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide that may have been a murder or he faked his own death, who the hell knows. It’s a wild story that could make for a truly insane documentary… and Running With The Devil is certainly insane, just not sure how good it is. 

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Diamond Hands: The Legend of WallStreetBets (2022) – Gamestonk

Released: 18th May
Seen: 25th August

For those who don’t know, Gamestop is a US-based company that specialises in brick-and-mortar stores that sell video games and gaming-related paraphernalia. There are subsidiary companies in other countries (EB Games, Thinkgeek, Etc) but the core business is these stores that used to do truly incredible business… until about 2016. That was roughly the time that gaming finally did what film and music had been doing for a while and moved mostly to online retail. That move triggered a domino effect that suggested that Gamestop was going to go the way of Blockbuster, just a matter of time before it would be a set of empty stores that no one visited anymore. This status as a dying store caused the Gamestop stock to hover under 5 bucks a share, and that is how the insane story of the Gamestop short squeeze began.

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Not Okay (2022) – More Than Okay

Released: 29th July
Seen: 24th August

As much as we might like to pretend it isn’t, the online world is just as important to us as the offline world. Online bullying, doxing, cyber-stalking, these are things that have a real-world impact on people even though the victim and perpetrator might never even be on the same continent. There used to be a time when the sage wisdom when you were a victim of this online harassment was to just turn the computer off, it’ll all go away if you just turn it off… but that’s not true. An online dogpile can destroy you, can ruin your life and drive you to unthinkable places. This has been the reality that Gen Z has been well aware of as they live in that world, they know its true power and it was inevitable that someone of that generation would use that to influence a great work of art, and in Not Okay we have that.

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13: The Musical (2022) – Child’s Play

Released: 12th August
Seen: 24th August

In September 2008, the Broadway production of 13: The Musical began its run, a run that would last until January of 2009 after 22 previews and 105 performances. It was a truly unique show as the entire cast and band were made up of teenagers, something that as far as we know has never been done on Broadway before or since. It’s also a bit of a milestone as this was the show that featured the professional debut of eventual pop icon Ariana Grande. In its own way, 13: The Musical is kind of special, an original teen-oriented musical that can be performed with a cast made up entirely of 13-year-olds that isn’t just a junior version of a different show. Naturally, a show with this kind of significance would be a prime target for adaptation… with the thing that made it kind of special being removed.

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The Next 365 Days (2022) – Let The Pain End

Released: 19th August
Seen: 20th August

The Next 365 Days Info

Two years ago the world stared in genuine shock and awe as the atrocious rape-romanticisation known as 365 Days was unleashed onto an unsuspecting public. It was, and remains, one of the worst films of the last 10 years with atrocious dialogue, performances, plot and just about everything else that one could imagine. 

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Purple Hearts (2022) – Dishonourable Discharge

Released: 29th July
Seen: 17th August

Recently one of the big discourses around cinema has been the idea that superhero movies are destroying cinema. The idea is that they’re all the same and overwhelming the market, every movie nowadays wants to be just like them so we don’t get anything new or exciting. Respectfully, that feels like a case of hating the popular thing just because it’s popular. As someone who sits through hundreds of films a year for this blog, maybe half a dozen of them are superhero films and if anything, they’re a nice respite because they’re usually at least entertaining enough that it’s a few hours enjoyably spent.

No, you want to know what the real death of cinema looks like? It looks like yet another bland boring romance movie starring a pair of attractive people who can just barely get lines of dialogue out playing boring cliche characters with minimal chemistry (if any) who regurgitate the exact same romance plot we’ve seen a thousand times over… anyway, let’s talk about Purple Hearts

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Nope (2022) – Maybe

Released: 11th August
Seen: 14th August

Nope Info

In 2017 Jordan Peele staked his claim as a modern horror master with his directorial debut Get Out. To this day that film is one of the best films that this reviewer has had the pleasure of watching. It was terrifying and had something important to say and did it flawlessly. It’s a go-to example of a perfect film and very little has beaten it. It’s the kind of film that makes you excited to see what a director does next, and sure enough, when Peele dropped Us onto an unsuspecting public it was proof that he had something special. 

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