Navalny (2022) – Justice For Alexei Navalny

Released: 11th June 2022
Seen: 27th January 2023

On August 20th 2020, Alexei Navalny was flying from Tomsk to Moscow when suddenly he let out a blood-curdling scream. The scream was to get the attention of the flight crew and anyone who might be able to record as Alexei realised something while in midair… Alexei Navalny, a man known as an anti-corruption giant who was running against Vladimir Putin for the job of president of Russia, had been poisoned. The poison would turn out to be a nerve agent known to be used largely by Putin against his enemies and were it not for the flight making an emergency landing in Omsk, Alexei Navalny would have died on that flight. The documentary Navalny looks into not only why this happened, but the shocking aftermath of Navalny’s unexpected survival.

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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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The Banshees of Inisherin (2022) – Finger Flicking Good

Released: 26 December 2022
Seen: 12th January 2023

Martin McDonaugh is a strange but fascinating filmmaker. With three films under his belt (In Bruges, Seven Psychopaths and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri) the man has already developed a specific style of tragicomedy that can be so dark and bizarre that it’s strangely captivating. His first film, In Bruges, is still probably his best because of the rapid-fire dialogue and the undeniable chemistry of the two lead actors. Something about the combination of Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson just worked so spectacularly together, so much so that clearly Martin wanted to recreate that magic again with The Banshees of Inisherin and for the most part he has.

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The Pale Blue Eye (2022) – Meh-dgar Allen Poe

Released: 6th January
Seen: 8th January

The Pale Blue Eye Info

Last year I reviewed a little film called Raven’s Hollow which asked the question “What if Edgar Allen Poe tried to solve a murder that would feel right at home in an Edgar Allen Poe story?” and it was quite OK, it was a good movie that did pretty much what you would hope a film might do with that basis and that was about it. Indeed in general the best thing that can be said about it is that apparently, it might’ve started a mild trend of films where Edgar Allen Poe has to deal with the messed up shit that is found in Edgar Allen Poe stories, which could be a fun genre to play in and while The Pale Blue Eye is certainly trying to do something interesting with the idea, it doesn’t quite do it right.

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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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The People We Hate At The Wedding (2022) – Needs A Seperation

Released: 18th November
Seen: 12th December

The “Things go wrong at a wedding” rom-com seems to be its own subgenre, one that has recently been putting out dull films that pop up about once a year (or at least, I review one of them every year). From forgettable things like Top End Wedding to objectively awful shit like Love, Weddings and Other Disasters, it seems that if there’s a wedding and things go wrong it’s probably not going to be that good… and yeah, The People We Hate At The Wedding isn’t that good, though it might be the best of a bad bunch.

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Pearl (2022) – Xtroardinary

Released: 16th September (United States) WHO THE HELL KNOWS!? (Australia)
Seen: 6th December

Earlier this year the film X was released to critical praise and a pretty impressive box office for a super low-budget horror film. It’s easily one of the films that will be used in future when discussing how good 2022 has been for the genre. At the end of screenings of X was something very interesting, a trailer for a prequel called Pearl that had already been shot and would be released at some point in 2022. This is pretty impressive because original films don’t tend to get the ability to film back-to-back movies before the first film has even been seen, it was a gamble and a half but it was certainly exciting to think about. 

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Confess, Fletch (2022) – Good Boy

Released: 18th November
Seen: 4th December

The Fletch series of novels, all written by Gregory McDonald between 1974 and 1986, were a series about an investigative reporter named Irwin Maurice “Fletch” Fletcher who often found himself getting mixed up in murder investigations. The first book in this series got adapted into the 1985 film Fletch starring Chevy Chase which became a pretty sizeable hit, becoming the 12th highest-grossing film of that year. It got a sequel in 1989 with Fletch Lives and ever since then a third film has been stuck in limbo, always being talked about but never actually getting made. For 33 years this series lay dormant, almost sure to never return… and now it’s back with Confess, Fletch and if you’re looking for a funny detective story and missed out on Glass Onion’s limited theatrical run, this should be good enough to keep you going.

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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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Orphan: First Kill (2022) – Esther Begins

Released: 1st September
Seen: 2nd December

Orphan: First Kill Info

In 2009 the film Orphan was released to an audience who were there to learn the answer to one fateful question… “What’s wrong with Esther?”. The question of just what was going on with the young girl in the poster is the most notable thing about that movie, its shocking third-act reveal (which I have to assume you know if you’re curious about the prequel, but I’ll hold off on stating it explicitly until the third paragraph just in case) being the thing that elevated the original Orphan into something truly unique and memorable for anyone who saw it.

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