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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Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical (2022) – A Miracle

Released: 25th December
Seen: 27th December

In 1988, Roald Dahl released Matilda onto the world and with it his last truly great character (yes he released 3 books after Matilda but chances are good that you couldn’t name a single character from Esio Trot, The Vicar of Nibbleswickle or The Minpins). The character of a book-smart little girl with the power of telekinesis who takes on the ultimate wicked headmaster was absolutely inspired and almost instantly lit up the imaginations of readers everywhere. It was the kind of story that was destined for adaptation, first with a 1996 cult film and eventually with the musical that was the foundation for this Netflix movie. With the musical being insanely popular and well-loved, the question everyone had is if the magic would translate from the stage to the screen… turns out, Matilda has enough magic to work in almost every medium.

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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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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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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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Falling For Christmas (2022) – Snowed In

Released: 10th November
Seen: 27th November

In 1998 the world was introduced to Lindsay Lohan in a little film called The Parent Trap, a film that would instantly turn her into one of the biggest child stars on the planet. She followed it up with the beloved 2003 Freaky Friday, then the cult classic, Mean Girls. That trilogy of films turned her into an absolute superstar, one who could carry a film just on her name alone which she did for a while until she fell into some serious personal problems that derailed her career severely, her last lead role being in The Canyons back in 2013. Fortunately, Lindsay seems to have gotten through her troubles stronger than ever and has returned to the screen with the Netflix Christmas romcom Falling for Christmas which might not be great, but it’s certainly charming enough and a reminder of just how special Lindsay is as a performer.

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The Menu (2022) – Eat Up

Released: 24th November
Seen: 27th November

When reading film criticism, one comparison you will often find is the critics comparing a piece of art to food. It’s so common that it’s basically a cliche, if you want to make fun of a critic you merely need to say something in a slightly upper-crust accent and compare whatever you’re talking about to a common item of food. For example “The painting’s colour palette is as vivacious as a freshly grown strawberry”, it means absolutely nothing but sounds just intellectual enough to work in most cases.

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Spirited (2022) – Good Afternoon!

Released: 18th November
Seen: 23rd November

Spirited Info

Of all the stories ever written, it’s a fair bet to say one of the most adapted is Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol. Its simple story of some asshole being visited by three ghosts in order to learn to be a better person is so malleable that it can be shoved into almost any intellectual property (like Blackadder, Mickey Mouse or Mr. Magoo) or be told in various ways, from the straight forward versions to more meta interpretations like The Man Who Invented Christmas… of course, every version pales in comparison to the one that they did featuring the Muppets back in 1992 but hey, they keep churning them out because it’s pretty hard to screw up A Christmas Carol.

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Bros (2022) – Duuuude

Released: 27th October
Seen: 15th November

Bros Info

In 1894 there was a film released that is known as “The Dickson Experimental Sound Film”, the first film produced for the Kinetoscope which was one of the progenitors of the modern-day projector. This film would be very culturally significant as it is the first known sound film to exist and while the technology wasn’t perfect it was an important step in developing the ability to combine sound with image… that film featured a man with a violin playing a tune from the opera Les Cloches de Corneville and two other men dancing together to it. As far as we know, this is the earliest gay imagery captured on film and it lasts for about 17 seconds. 

Since then we’ve made leaps and bounds in terms of progress, gay stories are getting told more often in media and there are more roles for gay actors – and now, thanks to Bros, we finally have a gay romantic comedy that was written by and stars predominantly LGBTQ people that was released by a major studio… a thing that it’s apparently taken until 2022 for us to get around to doing, so that’s fun.

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