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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Beast (2022) – Not Lion Around

Released: 24th August
Seen: 2nd December

Man VS Beast is possibly the simplest and oldest story type that exists and one that has certainly been a mainstay of cinema for years. From big-time blockbusters like Jaws to smaller-budgeted films like Crawl, putting a human being up against a ravenous animal is a pretty simple and effective way to create some decent horror. In the case of Beast the man is Idris Elba and the creature is a lion, so you pretty much know what the entire film will be from start to finish and it doesn’t really do much to deviate from the exact plot that you have already begun writing in your mind.

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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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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 Lost City (2022) – A Cracking Adventure

Released: 31st March
Seen: 11th July

The Lost City

One of the classic kinds of films we don’t get enough of is the romantic action adventure. You know the kind, films where a guy and girl randomly go to some far off land to try and hunt for some treasure, they exchange witty banter and eventually fall in love all while dealing with some overly hammy villain that’s there purely to raise the stakes. Classics like Romancing the Stone or The Mummy (the 1999 one) are great examples of this style of film. They were fun, over the top, clever and just seem to have fallen by the wayside lately. Well, thank goodness that The Lost City brought them back because they have been sorely missed.

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The Bad Guys (2022) – Duh!

Released: 31st March
Seen: 5th July

The Bad Guys Info

It’s been a while since there’s been an entertaining crime caper film out, the last one that leaps out to memory would probably be The Gentlemen and the vast majority of films in that genre tend to fall under the adult rating. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to get your entire family to sit through Oceans 8 or Reservoir Dogs. So it’s nice to see that there are some family-oriented crime capers out there that can deliver on everything people love about the genre without alienating the little ones… plus the fact that all the characters are hilarious anthropomorphized animals in suits and gorgeous gowns is a bonus.

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Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – Another!

Released: 6th July
Seen: 6th July

The Thor movies are possibly the franchise in the MCU that’s had the weirdest trajectory. The first Thor movie was fine, a Shakespearean epic that was helmed by Kenneth Branagh who clearly leaned into the overly dramatic elements (quite literally leaning in with half the shots being Dutch angles), the second Thor movie is widely considered one of the worst of the MCU and kind of felt like it would be the end of the Thor movies as we know them… and then out came Ragnarok with its bold colour palette and love of 70s heavy metal music, turning Thor from the insanely serious character he’d been up to that point into a jovial jokester frat bro that everyone came to love. Since Ragnarok went so well, thanks in large part to the work of writer/director Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder decides to just take what worked about Ragnarok and do it all again. It’s not a bad plan but there are some diminishing returns.

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Lightyear (2022) – To Infinity And Beyond-ish

Released: 16th June
Seen: 4th July

In 1995 the film Toy Story was released and began what can only be called a revolution in what an animated film could look like. It was truly the first of its kind, a feature-length 3D animated film that effectively marked a moment where the medium itself changed forever. That sweet funny little film about a bunch of toys who came to life will go down in history as a landmark film, showing the potential of the 3D animated technology that was so new at the time. 

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Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (2022) – Gotta Go Slightly Faster

Released: 31st March
Seen: 29th June

Back in 2020 the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie was released. It quickly received wide acclaim from many people, largely because the studios changed the main design of Sonic after an initial backlash but people also praised several of the performances and thought it was a good representation of the character… I called it one of the worst films of 2020, largely because it felt like another standard “C list celebrity and CGI character take a road trip” movie that took a character known for speed and spent most of the movie with Sonic unable to use his speed power which is his main character trait (and also serious questions about how workers were treated in order to get the film finished with the new design). So naturally, a sequel sounded like an exhausting prospect for me… so imagine my surprise when Sonic the Hedgehog 2 isn’t totally awful.

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The Bob’s Burgers Movie (2022) – Juicy

Released: 26th May
Seen: 31st May

In early 2011, the first episode of Bob’s Burgers hit the airwaves and was an instant hit for maybe the first week and then the ratings quickly went down. Reviews for the early season were mixed and the show was considered to be on the bubble in terms of renewal but it eventually got a second season. Around the second season, the show began to pick up its stride, slowly turning into a juggernaut and currently has been running for 12 seasons with a 13th one already ordered… and this reviewer has only seen up to episode 2 of the second season. This means that going into The Bob’s Burgers Movie there’s a chance to answer the question “Can The Bob’s Burgers Movie work for someone who isn’t caught up on the show’s history?” and the answer is a resounding glorious yes.

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