Blonde (2022) – Some Like It Not

Released: 28th September
Seen: 28th September

Blonde Info

When you think about pop culture for long enough, inevitably you think about Marilyn Monroe. Her image, the perfect blonde hair and baby doll voice are iconic on a level that is practically impossible to describe. Her image is so well known that every female celebrity will, at some point, try to emulate it for a photoshoot. She’s a Halloween costume, a glossy image that has become a shorthand for fame and glamour… she’s also a woman who lived a life that was full of tragic moments that the public never knew about, or maybe they didn’t want to know. Slowly as time goes on, we’ve looked back on the life of Norma Jeane and learned more and more about the pain that hid behind the glamour. For years people have tried again and again to tell her story in many assorted ways, which leads us to Blonde… possibly the most exploitative version of the story ever told.

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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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After Ever Happy (2022) – No Happiness Here

Released: 8th September
Seen: 8th September

After Ever Happy Info

As much as one might try to go into a film as impartially as possible, it’s not always possible to do so. We are but humans and thus we will inevitably create biases without even thinking about it. A film’s marketing can set up expectations that a film might never meet, a film could have a dramatic history behind the scenes that leaks out into the public eye and makes you wary of what’s to come (Anyone else excited to find out what the hell is going on with that Don’t Worry Darling movie?) and sometimes you have to go see a film in a franchise that you have lovingly referred to as your nemesis so you go in fully prepared to hate it… So, my nemesis finally released the new entry, After Ever Happy and the film is just as awful as every other one but they finally added a twist that is undeniably fascinating.

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Three Thousand Years Of Longing (2022) – Longing For More

Released: 1st September
Seen: 4th September

George Miller is one of those directors who came on the scene with a film that changed cinema and has almost constantly delivered truly fascinating work. His film Mad Max is, without hyperbole, one of the most important features to come out during the Australian New Wave period that lasted from the start of the 70s to the end of the 80s. He has the distinction of being one of a handful of directors to handle every entry into a long-running franchise, and then we go outside that to see his work on such legendary films as Witches of Eastwick, Happy Feet and the absolutely perfect Babe 2: Pig In The City. He’s the kind of director who you can completely trust to give you a good time in the cinema… usually. With Three Thousand Years of Longing he delivered something else.

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Samaritan (2022) – Super-meh-ro

Released: 26th August
Seen: 28th August

For a while now we’ve been living in the era of the Superhero. From the moment that Iron Man built a mech suit in a cave with a box of scraps, one of the dominating elements of pop culture has been the superhero story. Everyone has had a go at trying to make their own version of it in order to ride the trend, some have tried to deconstruct it (like Netflix’s Project Power or the horror film Brightburn) but everyone has at least tried to have a go at the concept of a superhero saving the day. 

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Not Okay (2022) – More Than Okay

Released: 29th July
Seen: 24th August

As much as we might like to pretend it isn’t, the online world is just as important to us as the offline world. Online bullying, doxing, cyber-stalking, these are things that have a real-world impact on people even though the victim and perpetrator might never even be on the same continent. There used to be a time when the sage wisdom when you were a victim of this online harassment was to just turn the computer off, it’ll all go away if you just turn it off… but that’s not true. An online dogpile can destroy you, can ruin your life and drive you to unthinkable places. This has been the reality that Gen Z has been well aware of as they live in that world, they know its true power and it was inevitable that someone of that generation would use that to influence a great work of art, and in Not Okay we have that.

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13: The Musical (2022) – Child’s Play

Released: 12th August
Seen: 24th August

In September 2008, the Broadway production of 13: The Musical began its run, a run that would last until January of 2009 after 22 previews and 105 performances. It was a truly unique show as the entire cast and band were made up of teenagers, something that as far as we know has never been done on Broadway before or since. It’s also a bit of a milestone as this was the show that featured the professional debut of eventual pop icon Ariana Grande. In its own way, 13: The Musical is kind of special, an original teen-oriented musical that can be performed with a cast made up entirely of 13-year-olds that isn’t just a junior version of a different show. Naturally, a show with this kind of significance would be a prime target for adaptation… with the thing that made it kind of special being removed.

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The Next 365 Days (2022) – Let The Pain End

Released: 19th August
Seen: 20th August

The Next 365 Days Info

Two years ago the world stared in genuine shock and awe as the atrocious rape-romanticisation known as 365 Days was unleashed onto an unsuspecting public. It was, and remains, one of the worst films of the last 10 years with atrocious dialogue, performances, plot and just about everything else that one could imagine. 

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Purple Hearts (2022) – Dishonourable Discharge

Released: 29th July
Seen: 17th August

Recently one of the big discourses around cinema has been the idea that superhero movies are destroying cinema. The idea is that they’re all the same and overwhelming the market, every movie nowadays wants to be just like them so we don’t get anything new or exciting. Respectfully, that feels like a case of hating the popular thing just because it’s popular. As someone who sits through hundreds of films a year for this blog, maybe half a dozen of them are superhero films and if anything, they’re a nice respite because they’re usually at least entertaining enough that it’s a few hours enjoyably spent.

No, you want to know what the real death of cinema looks like? It looks like yet another bland boring romance movie starring a pair of attractive people who can just barely get lines of dialogue out playing boring cliche characters with minimal chemistry (if any) who regurgitate the exact same romance plot we’ve seen a thousand times over… anyway, let’s talk about Purple Hearts

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Prey (2022) – Out Of This World Amazing

Released: 5th August
Seen: 7th August

In 2018, the film The Predator was released to cinemas. It was the 4th entry in the badly named franchise (previous entries being Predator, Predator 2 and Predators… so not confusing in the slightest) and it was probably the worst of the bunch. It almost felt like it was going to put the final nail in the coffin for this franchise which has been kind of coasting on fond memories of the 1987 original. So when there was news of another entry coming out that would take the actually unique film title Prey, it’s fair to say that there was some trepidation about how good the film would be… turns out it might be the best in the whole damn franchise.

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