All Quiet On The Western Front (2022) – War Is Hell

Released: 28th October 2022
Seen: 26th January 2023

All Quiet On The Western Front Info

With Oscar nominations announced, the time has come to go back and look over films that were nominated that I somehow missed over the last year so that I’m able to make a semi-justifiable post guessing what the winners will be in a month’s time. To start this little trip through the nominees I’m going to talk about the second most nominated film this year, All Quiet On The Western Front which is the third adaptation of the 1929 novel by Erich Maria Remarque. This time the film was actually made in Germany, the country that the novel is set in, and it appears that personal connection has allowed the filmmakers to truly explore the darkness of the material.

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Avatar: The Way Of Water (2022) – Aquatic Boogaloo

Released: 15th December
Seen: 16th December

In 2009, Avatar came out and was genuinely revolutionary. It caused a surge in sales of 3D TVs, becoming a benchmark for what 3D could look like and basically creating a brief 3D revival around the early 2010s, it was one of the most visually astounding films ever to be released and quickly became the highest-grossing film of all time, a title that it would hold up until 2019 when Endgame came out. Then it would take back that title with a re-release in 2021. Avatar absolutely dominates the discussion on the box office, proof that you don’t bet against James Cameron… and no one gives a single damn about the story of the film. 

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Violent Night (2022) – Painfully Brilliant

Released: 2nd December
Seen: 4th December

Two years ago on this blog, I talked about a little film called Fatman, a half-assed snore-fest that didn’t understand the fun it could’ve had with the idea “What if a bunch of mercenaries tried to kill Santa?”. It was a dull film that tried to actually answer serious questions about Santa like how can he afford to make all the toys and in general, was just not as fun as it could’ve been. It was a shitty edgelord movie made by people who seemed unwilling to commit to the inherent silliness of the idea of a bunch of mercenaries going toe to toe with jolly old Saint Nick… Violent Night, on the other hand, actually seems to understand how much fun that idea could be and goes for broke in the most delightful way.

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Cult Hero (2022) – Worshippable

Seen at the Sydney Underground Film Festival

Cult Hero Info

The world of religion is a wild place even at the best of times, but when religion is at its worst you get a cult. Cults come in all shapes and sizes, from small things like Heaven’s Gate to seemingly large abusive groups like Scientology and they all just pull people into their web and ruin their lives in some way. Sometimes when someone is in a cult you might need to hire someone known as a deprogrammer who will do what they can to pull your loved one out of this toxic environment… and naturally a situation that’s this intense and fraught with danger is just perfect to be the foundation for a comedic action film.

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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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Prey (2022) – Out Of This World Amazing

Released: 5th August
Seen: 7th August

In 2018, the film The Predator was released to cinemas. It was the 4th entry in the badly named franchise (previous entries being Predator, Predator 2 and Predators… so not confusing in the slightest) and it was probably the worst of the bunch. It almost felt like it was going to put the final nail in the coffin for this franchise which has been kind of coasting on fond memories of the 1987 original. So when there was news of another entry coming out that would take the actually unique film title Prey, it’s fair to say that there was some trepidation about how good the film would be… turns out it might be the best in the whole damn franchise.

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Jurassic World Dominion (2022) – Terradac-dull

Released: 30th June
Seen: 1st August

It’s time for us to call it, Jurassic Park as a franchise is dead. Hell, let’s go one step further, the franchise probably should’ve stopped after the first movie and left when it was on top instead of just gradually getting serious diminishing returns every time they bring us back to the land of the dinosaurs. The new trilogy, headed by bad writer Colin Trevorrow, started out promising with Jurassic World which might not have been at the level of the original but at least it was watchable… and then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came out and it wasn’t great, kinda dull but it had some nice moments and an ending that suggested something interesting and new could happen with this franchise… but this film was written by the same guy who helped come up with the story for Rise of Skywalker, a story that can be summed up with the line “Somehow, Palpatine returned” so you can kind of guess that nothing new has been done with Jurassic World Dominion.

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The Gray Man (2022) – A Cinematic Gray Area

Released: 22nd July
Seen: 24th July

The Gray Man Info

Netflix has had a pretty bad year, hell a bad few years if you really want to think about it. For starters they’re just having to deal with every studio they used to work with pulling their product and opening up their own streaming service, which they responded to by raising their prices. This is partially why the number of subscribers has fallen, though you could also blame that on things like regularly platforming transphobic comedians or their seeming lack of quality control. So maybe now is not the best time for Netflix to be ramping up their budgets and trying to pull off the 200-million dollar blockbuster epics… though if they have to do it, at least The Gray Man is enjoyable enough but they certainly can’t afford to do many more of these.

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