Missing (2023) – Found It

Released: 23rd February
Seen: 28th May

In 2018 a little film called Searching was released to an unsuspecting public. Now at the time we had a few films that used the “it’s happening on a computer screen” gimmick (also known as Screenlife) but none had used it quite as effectively as Searching did in order to tell a truly intense story of a kidnapping from the POV of a worried father trying to use technology in order to find his daughter. It was an undeniable hit, raking in about 75 million on a budget that was basically just a few go-pros and a pair of fairly well-known actors but with its creative presentation and twist-filled story, it managed to get enough attention that a franchise sprung forth. This is how we get the film Missing, a follow-up that proves that there is a lot more life left in this concept that can hopefully be explored.

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Tetris (2023) – Fittingly Exciting

Released: 31st March
Seen: 22nd April

In 1985, back in the USSR, a man named Alexey Pajitnov was tasked with testing out a new piece of hardware to figure out what it was capable of. Of the many things he tried, one thing he did was make a game where a set of blocks fell from the sky in random shapes consisting of four squares and if you lined them up, those blocks would disappear. That game was called Tetris and for a game that is such a ubiquitous part of gaming, the story of how it ended up managing to be released outside the Soviet Union (that’s how long ago this was, Russia was still the Soviet Union at the time) is absolutely bonkers and told wonderfully in the movie Tetris… shame because I was hoping the Tetris movie would be an insane attempt to turn the actual game into a narrative but hey, a biopic works too.

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Air (2023) – Let’s Get Some Shoes

Released: 5th April
Seen: 17th April

Air Info

In the history of sports, there are a handful of people who are so talented at what they do that it transcends the world of sports and they just become a part of the culture, and there is no one in history who exemplifies that more than Michael Jordan. Even if you don’t know a damn thing about basketball, even if you’ve never seen a single game and couldn’t give a single solitary crap about any of it you know who Michael Jordan was. He is widely considered to be the greatest basketball player of all time, some might even argue that he’s the greatest sportsman of all time. 

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Dog Gone (2023) – Doggone It!

Released: 23rd March
Seen: 28th March

Dog Gone Info

It’s slowly starting to feel like the mortal enemy of this reviewer is dog-based films. No idea why, dogs are better than people and are truly precious on every level so surely just telling a story about a cute doggie doing cute doggie things should be enough to make for a nice movie but it seems like it’s just not to be. Films that use dead dogs as a plot point, boring but overall fine stories about police dogs and even films about dog shows that end up being pulled from cinemas to remove a joke that people compared to child grooming have all come out in the time that this blog has existed and every time the film is either irritating or bland or irritatingly bland. So, where does Dog Gone fit in? Honestly, it’s harmless… harmlessly bland.

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Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – Right Into The Dangerzone

Released: 26th May, 2022
Seen: 26th February 2023

Top Gun Maverick (2022) Info

The second biggest movie worldwide of 2022 was Top Gun: Maverick, a surprise sequel that comes 36 years after the classic 80s film that most people would remember as “The one with Dangerzone and that homoerotic beach volleyball scene”. It was an undeniable smash hit, heralded as the film that saved cinema after the pandemic seemingly destroyed it (indeed, it’s the second film since the start of the pandemic to cross a billion at the box office). It was truly the biggest story in cinema in 2022 and I pointedly didn’t go see it. 

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Triangle of Sadness (2023) – Eat The Rich

Released: 2nd February
Seen: 7th February

It is a truth almost universally acknowledged that the rich are a bunch of bastards, very few who aren’t either rich themselves or a bunch of pathetic bootlickers could argue with that idea. In our capitalist society it turns out that most of the problems that we have as a people are basically due to the actions of a handful of obscenely wealthy people (emphasis on ‘obscene’). The only good thing about these people is that they make for excellent comedy fodder, after all who the hell is going to be offended by a joke at the expense of a billionaire… other than the aforementioned bootlickers. 

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The Whale (2023) – Big Damn Deal

Released: 2nd February
Seen: 7th February

To be honest, the thought of seeing a film like The Whale is quite frightening to someone like me. A film about a morbidly obese gay man is something that feels a little close to home, while this reviewer might not be at the ‘morbid’ level of obesity it’s hard not to see the images of Brendan Fraser in his expertly constructed fat suit and not see a slight mirror of my own reality. Hell, the ultimate personal irony in seeing this film is that the cinema that was showing this film has chairs that are just a little too small for me to sit in comfortably. Basically, if anyone was either going to have a deep personal connection with this film or be offended by it, that’s going to be me so it’s weird to realise my main reaction is just kind of shrugging.

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The Fabelmans (2023) – Meet The Spielbergs

Released: 5th January
Seen: 7th February

The Fabelmans Info

If one were to make a list of the greatest directors of all time, you wouldn’t get very far before having to write down the name Steven Spielberg. The man has basically been considered one of the best of all time since 1975 (the year he released a little horror flick called Jaws) and every time something comes out with his name attached to it it’s almost certain to be something worth watching. The man just exudes cinema, he understands it better than almost anyone else currently working and seems to have understood what makes a film special for his entire career. With over 40 films to his name it feels like Steven Spielberg has done absolutely everything, except make a film about himself. Turns out, as we learn with The Fabelmans he has broken that barrier too and turns out he’s also fantastic at exposing himself to a large audience… in a non-dirty way.

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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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