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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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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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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Spiderhead (2022) – I Have Some Complaints

Released: 17th June
Seen: 3rd July

Netflix has been having what can generously be described as “A shitty year that’s been very shitty”. Their numbers of subscribers have been dropping, their revenue is dropping and they keep just landing in controversy after controversy. They also keep spending exorbitant amounts of money on absolute garbage films that have little to sell themselves on beyond the star power of the lead actor. To be absolutely blunt, Spiderhead looked like it was going to fall into that category but good news, it’s not absolute garbage… it’s just not very good. 

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) – NIC-FUCKIIIIIIING-CAGE

Released: 21st April
Seen: 24th April

Nicolas Cage is one of the most fascinating actors in modern history, with one of the wildest resumes you will ever find. He’s gone from mega-blockbusters like the National Treasure franchise to little weird indie films like Mandy and all the while he has developed a reputation of being able to commit completely to a film no matter how weird or bad it might be (Say what you will about his performance in Wicker Man, Cage did not half-ass it). He’s an Oscar winner and an absolute legend of the art form and has the kind of notoriety that makes him great fodder for comedy… and in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage decides that if anyone’s going to make jokes about him then Cage is going to do them better than anyone.

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Ambulance (2022) – Crashing

Released: 24th March
Seen: 7th April

Michael Bay is a very specific kind of filmmaker. His name is basically all you need to hear before you know what the film will contain and his films all feature pretty much the same thing, shit blowing up in various ways causing various amounts of carnage (depending on the film rating he’s permitted to have) that all tend to involve characters who we can charitably call one dimensional and a soundtrack designed to make you walk out of the cinema with your ears ringing. 

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Cruella (2021) – Dark Twisted Disney Fun

NOTE: Here is my review from Soda & Telepaths that was posted back on June 8, 2021

Cruella De Vil, one of the most wicked villains of the entire Disney catalog, started her life as a young woman named Estella. Estella was a troubled child, getting into fights at her boarding school and in general making life hard for herself and her mother. Indeed, this side of her personality was so cruel that she would come to name that mood “Cruella”.

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Nightmare Alley (2022) – A Dark Dream

Released: 20th January
Seen: 19th March

Nightmare Alley Info

In 1946, William Lindsay Gresham wrote the novel Nightmare Alley. The novel was popular enough to be adapted into the 1947 film of the same name. Even though that film didn’t do that well at the box office it’s since been reevaluated as a classic of the film noir genre… honestly, that kind of means it makes perfect sense for Guillermo del Toro to have a go at doing it since the story matches his sensibilities and his films have enough of a timeless quality to them that all you would need to do it put a black and white filter over one of his films and you could probably pass it off as something from the 40s, which they apparently did for a special release of his version of Nightmare Alley which is just goddamn fascinating.

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West Side Story (2021) – Two Sides

Released: 26th December 2021
Seen: 15th March 2022

West Side Story Info

Boxing Day in Australia was when the remake of the musical West Side Story came out to rave reviews but a box office that was somehow a surprising disappointment to people who decided to release the remake of a classic musical a week after one of the most anticipated films of 2021 (that’d be Spider-Man: No Way Home, for those playing the home game).

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The Batman (2022) – It’s A Riddle

Released: 3rd March
Seen: 10th March

The Batman Info

When it comes to DC, they really seem to have a problem when it comes to this whole cinematic universe thing. Actors don’t want to stick around (in some cases, understandably considering how they’re treated), stories don’t line up and their big attempt to do “Marvel, but edgy” blew up so badly that it’s going to necessitate The Flash movie to effectively wipe the slate clean so they can try again.

Of course, that movie’s been delayed several times but they have decided to make a thing out of letting auteur directors do darker one-off stories with some of their characters. They did this previously with Joker, now they’re doing it with The Batman and of the two I have to say, this Batman does a lot better than his clown prince counterpart did.

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