The Tragedy Of Macbeth (2022) – The Scottish Film

Released: 14th January
Seen: 19th February

The Tragedy of Macbeth Info

If one were to take a wild guess at who was the most frequently performed and adapted writer in history, chances are good your first guess would be Shakespeare and you would more than likely be right. His work is incredibly malleable and easy to adapt into anything you want. His works can be turned into cartoons about a pride of lions (Lion King = Hamlet), it can be a fun 90s romcom (10 Things I Hate About You = Taming Of The Shrew) or it can be a classic Hollywood musical (West Side Story = Romeo & Juliet). 

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Belfast (2022) – Bel-slow

Released: 3rd February
Seen: 11th February

Belfast Info

In August of 1969, there was a series of riots in Belfast that started a 30 year conflict colloquially known as “The Troubles” or the Northern Ireland Conflict. Without going into detail (cos I suck at history), the short version is that it was effectively a civil war between Catholics and Protestants that made life hard for those caught in the middle… one of those people was a young Kenneth Branagh who was only 9 when his family left Ireland and moved to England in order to escape from The Troubles.

When you live through something like that and grow up to be an influential filmmaker like Kenneth did, it feels inevitable that you might turn that period of your life into a film at some point and with Belfast, Kenneth did exactly that… so god it’s going to be awkward to say I’m on the fence on this one.

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Being the Ricardos (2021) – You’ve Got Some Explaining To Do

Released:21st December
Seen27th December

Being the Ricardos Info

The I Love Lucy show might be one of the biggest TV shows in history, not just in terms of ratings but in influence on the comedy landscape. Every single sitcom since then has wanted nothing more than to be even half as important as I Love Lucy – and very few matched it. The power couple of Lucy and Desi Arnez created a trailblazing show that changed television forever, while also dealing with a whirlwind of a marriage and many problems in their personal andprofessional lives. That fascinating period in TV history is the foundation for Being the Ricardos which is certainly an interesting take on this time but I’m not sure if it’s a great take.

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The Courier (2021) – It Absolutely Delivers

Released: 1st April
Seen: 25th August

The Courier Info

In a recent review of the movie Six Minutes To Midnight I pointed out that there were so many war films, particularly about the two big ones that the whole world took part in, that we had hit a point where it was hard to imagine someone doing something new with the genre. It’s grown stale, there is no real new story to tell and to back me up on this we have The Courier, a film that feels like it should bore me with its familiarity… but surprise, this one is actually good enough to work despite its recognizable tone.

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Judas and the Black Messiah (2021) – Thank God!

Released: 11th March
Seen: 9th July

Judas and the Black Messiah Info

Earlier this year we had the Oscars… and they were something of a shitshow. The lowest viewed ceremony in history, filled with baffling nominations that no one really understood (how the hell was Mank the most nominated film?) and an ending that was so cynically planned that it could only end in spectacular failure.

Like with every year I made a prediction post and this year I named two films that I had missed due to lack of availability. One of them was Judas and the Black Messiah, a biopic about the Black Panther party leader Fred Hampton. It would end up taking home best supporting actor and Best Song… my question is why it didn’t take home more because it’s absolutely brilliant.

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America: The Motion Picture (2021) – America, F**k Meh?

Released: 4th July
Seen: 5th July

You know, I probably should’ve watched this one on the 4th of July. Would’ve been more appropriate to watch a film supposedly celebrating America to watch on the 4th of July, even if I did release the review days later. Well, little behind the scenes trivia for you, I did try to watch it on the 4th of July but at the halfway mark I fell asleep so I figured I should probably watch it again when I was more awake.

Well, I have now done that and it turns out the problem wasn’t that I was too tired, but that America: The Motion Picture is just kind of boring.

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The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (2020) – Order In The Court!

Released: 16th October
Seen: 13th December

The Trial of the Chicago 7 Info

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Say, for the sake of argument, that you’re part of a group of protestors who disagrees with actions that’re taken by the president and decide the best way to do it is to get a large group of people to march and demand that someone listen to their grievances. Now, while this is a right of the people it is often denied by those in charge who would instead choose to ignore them… or, as a random example, send a large amount of police to instigate a riot, throw tear gas at peaceful protestors and beat innocent bystanders with clubs and shields only to then turn around and blame the very protestors who have been attacked.

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Dark Waters (2020) – Drink It Up

Released: 5th March
Seen: 30th August

Dark Waters Info

In 2005, chemical company DuPont was fined $16.5 million by the EPA for, essentially, poisoning the water supply of a town with Perfluorooctanoic Acid, a chemical used to create teflon. They were forced to pay this, along with several other settlements with people who they poisoned, thanks to a civil suit filed by Robert Bilott way back in 1999. The full scope of the poisoning and what it did to the people affected by it wouldn’t be known for years and the entire story is one of negligence and capitalism run rampant in a story we’ve heard time and time again, told in the film Dark Waters with a passion that cannot be denied.

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Greyhound (2020) – Explosively… fine

Released: 10th July
Seen: 7th August

Greyhound Info

It’s somewhat of a cliché to refer to movies about the war (any war really) as “Dad movies”, but it’s one that feels weirdly appropriate no matter what kind of dad you have. There’s something about the genre that just paints the image of a dad on a couch ignoring everything while watching some good old boys bomb some nameless bad guys who have accents and maybe a weird 4 legged spider on a flag. Greyhound is definitely playing to that kind of dad, but a dad who also has things to do and needs to get his movie watching done in under 80 minutes if it’s at all possible.

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The Current War (2020) – Shockingly OK

Released: 19th March
Seen: 6th July

The last time I got to see a film in a cinema was the 21st of March when I went to see Onward. Even back then I kind of knew that I wouldn’t be walking into a cinema for a while but no way could I have known it would be a little over 3 months. In that time we’ve watched as film after film has been pushed back to be released either in the latter half of this year or sometime in 2021, if not just sent straight to digital streaming where they probably should’ve gone in the first place (Hello Artemis Fowl) and I was left to wonder just what would be the first film I saw when the cinemas would reopen. Well, they finally opened my local up again and to the shock of no one, the pickings are slim so I decided to dive into a big theme of this year in cinema… “Hey, what’re the Avengers cast doing to follow up Endgame?”. Well, technically this film was made BEFORE Endgame but still, I figured seeing Dr Strange, Spiderman, Beast and Zod running around in period outfits and arguing about electricity would be a fairly good time and I almost got what I expected, so that’s nice.

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