Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (2022) – Layered

Released: 23rd November (Theatrical), 23rd December (Netflix)
Seen: 29th November

Glass Onion Info

In 2019, Rian Johnson released the film Knives Out to absolutely overwhelming rave reviews. It was nothing short of a phenomenon, with some of the most incredible actors playing some outrageous and despicable people telling one of the greatest whodunnit mysteries in recent memory. Shortly after it became a huge success, Netflix paid 400 million dollars for 2 new films… and then the pandemic started so it took a little while for Rian to be able to produce any of those sequels but here we are at the end of 2022 and we have the first sequel in the Knives Out franchise, Glass Onion. The expectations for this film couldn’t possibly be higher, and somehow Glass Onion meets every single one of them.

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Men (2022) – Uggh, Men

Released: 18th August
Seen: 20th November

There’s been a strange trend recently of people pretending that horror films have never been political before roughly 2016. It might seem harsh to say they’re pretending but the alternative is to assume they’re just incredibly media illiterate. Horror as a genre has been political since the start and horror in film is regularly political, even if it’s incredibly subtle about it. 

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The Outfit (2022) – See My Vest

Released: 18th August
Seen: 16th November

The Outfit Info

There really is nothing quite like a gangster film, it’s such a fascinating underground world that can often lead to a story full of intrigue, backstabbing and murder if done right. Of course, the problem is that there have been so many truly great films in this genre that it’s hard to do something to stand out. You could go the Guy Ritchie route with something like The Gentlemen and make a big broad comedy full of fast quipping characters, a ton of extravagant action scenes and just blow the budget on going all out or you could take the route The Outfit takes and be a little quieter, calculated and generally intriguing.

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Good Luck to You, Leo Grande (2022) – Charmed, I’m Sure

Released: 18th August
Seen: 7th November

The two-hander is a fascinating thing in film. Placing a pair of actors in a room and letting the conversation between them carry the film from start to finish is something very few can actually pull off. There’s a not-insignificant risk to it, it can make the work feel stagey and if the two actors lack chemistry or drop the ball for even so much as a second it can all fall apart. However, if the leads have chemistry and are able to keep up with each other and the script is good enough then a two-hander can be something truly magical… Good Luck to You, Leo Grande is something truly magical.

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My Policeman (2022) – All Cops Are Boring

Released: 4th November
Seen: 5th November

My Policeman Info

In 1952, Alan Turing began a relationship with a man named Arnold Murray who he met outside a cinema. On the 23rd of January, an acquaintance of Murray’s broke into Turing’s home and performed a burglary, a crime that Turing naturally reported to the police. However, during the course of that investigation, the relationship between Murray and Turing (which was notably sexual in nature) came to light and soon both Murray and Turing were arrested as acts of homosexual sex violated laws surrounding Gross Indecency. 

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Grimcutty (2022) – Meme To Death

Released: 10th October
Seen: 2nd November

Grimcutty Info

One of the wild things about horror films is how quickly they can jump on something new and find the terror in it, take the mundane and make it into the malicious. Recent years have shown a lot of ways this can be done, from something as simple as an app being turned into an instrument of foretold death in Countdown to a pair of jeans turning into sentient killers in Slaxx and even if the films aren’t great, they can at least be interesting on some level… and then there’s Grimcutty, a film that takes the concept of a killer meme and turns it into boring sludge that isn’t interesting even if you squint.

Oh, and trigger warning for discussions of suicide because that’s a major theme of this film and it’s impossible not to talk about it on some level.

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Torn Hearts (2022) – Whatever Happened To Peg Bundy?

Released: 8th September
Seen: 2nd November

Torn Hearts Info

In 1962, Joan Crawford and Bette Davis starred in the surprising late career hit What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? which was a touchstone in both of their careers and also inadvertently created a new subgenre known as Hagsploitation, or Grande Dame Guignol. The genre itself revolved around older female actresses playing characters who used to be glamorous stars but have turned into mentally unstable recluses who occasionally do a little bit of murder.

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Blonde (2022) – Some Like It Not

Released: 28th September
Seen: 28th September

Blonde Info

When you think about pop culture for long enough, inevitably you think about Marilyn Monroe. Her image, the perfect blonde hair and baby doll voice are iconic on a level that is practically impossible to describe. Her image is so well known that every female celebrity will, at some point, try to emulate it for a photoshoot. She’s a Halloween costume, a glossy image that has become a shorthand for fame and glamour… she’s also a woman who lived a life that was full of tragic moments that the public never knew about, or maybe they didn’t want to know. Slowly as time goes on, we’ve looked back on the life of Norma Jeane and learned more and more about the pain that hid behind the glamour. For years people have tried again and again to tell her story in many assorted ways, which leads us to Blonde… possibly the most exploitative version of the story ever told.

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Pinocchio (2022) – Wooden

Released: 8th September
Seen: 18th September

Pinocchio Info

In 1940, high off the release of the first feature-length animated motion picture, Disney released Pinocchio. While we look back on Pinocchio as an absolute classic that would eventually be a box office success upon its 1945 re-release, the original release was a complete flop thanks to being released during WW2 which cut off several major markets. Since then, Pinocchio has become an absolute staple of the Disney company, Jiminy Cricket was basically a secondary mascot for a period of time considering how many specials he turned up in and the song “When You Wish Upon A Star” not only became the first Disney song to win an Oscar but became the Disney theme song. This film has been a core moment of pop culture that still resonates in some form… and because we are living in a time where Disney must remake every one of their classic films, we have another D-make and it’s just kind of bland.

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After Ever Happy (2022) – No Happiness Here

Released: 8th September
Seen: 8th September

After Ever Happy Info

As much as one might try to go into a film as impartially as possible, it’s not always possible to do so. We are but humans and thus we will inevitably create biases without even thinking about it. A film’s marketing can set up expectations that a film might never meet, a film could have a dramatic history behind the scenes that leaks out into the public eye and makes you wary of what’s to come (Anyone else excited to find out what the hell is going on with that Don’t Worry Darling movie?) and sometimes you have to go see a film in a franchise that you have lovingly referred to as your nemesis so you go in fully prepared to hate it… So, my nemesis finally released the new entry, After Ever Happy and the film is just as awful as every other one but they finally added a twist that is undeniably fascinating.

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