Marry Me (2022) – A Little

Released: 10th February
Seen: 23rd May

Marry Me Info

In 2020 Jennifer Lopez was robbed, one of the biggest robberies in recent years which we shall not be getting over any time soon… that robbery was, as they often are, perpetrated by the Oscars who denied her a nomination for her absolutely jaw-dropping performance in Hustlers. It was a shocker to everyone that she was snubbed, she was one of the people everyone just assumed were going to be nominated but for some reason, she wasn’t. Still, it was enough for people to really see just what Jennifer could do when given a chance and people were hopeful that her next big film might be able to get her the award she should’ve had 2 years ago… she then made Marry Me, a film that’s basically fine but isn’t going to be getting any awards any time soon.

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CODA (2021) – Hilariously Touching

Released: 13th August 2021
Seen: 12th March 2022

CODA Info

When it comes to the history of film, one of the groups that has been heavily underrepresented is the deaf community. When stories about them have been told, often the deaf character is played by a non-deaf actor who isn’t even part of the community but recently we’ve seen that change and be openly praised. Films like A Quiet Place featured Millicent Simmonds who is a young deaf actress and Sound of Metal had Paul Raci, the hearing child of deaf adults.

Now, speaking of Children of Deaf Adults, we have CODA which is a heartwarming dramedy about a deaf family with a hearing daughter who can also sing and it’s up for 3 Oscars this year… which is the only reason I would dare use Apple Plus to see it because damn that site will always annoy me.

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The Top Ten Worst Films of 2021

It’s been a bad year, the last several years have been bad years and there’s just so much bile that builds up over the course of 12 months that it needs to be let out in one long post about the meaningless hobby I’ve decided to have. Hell, not long before I hit the publish button on the best list, we lost Betty White so there is plenty of anger and rage stored up that needs desperately to be released.

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Respect (2021) – Lady Soul

Released: 19th August
Seen: 14th November

Respect Info

A little over two years ago I talked about the documentary Amazing Grace, a film that documented the recording of the greatest selling gospel album of all time by the legendary Aretha Franklin. At that time we had heard about a biopic being made with Jennifer Hudson taking on the role of the legend herself and it’s hard to deny that there was some serious excitement just from that casting. That film would come to be called Respect, released earlier this year and… yep, Respect is an Aretha Franklin biopic alright, with everything that one might think of when they hear the phrase “Aretha Franklin biopic”

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The United States vs. Billie Holiday (2021) – You Let Me Down

Released: 29th April
Seen: 11th July

The United States vs Billie Holiday

As I mentioned in my Judas and the Black Messiah review there were 2 films that were part of the major categories of this year’s Oscars that I didn’t get a chance to see in time. Judas was possibly the one I had the most chance of seeing, since it appeared in Sydney a month before the ceremony (but that’d involve a train ride into, what is still an epicenter of Covid cases). The one that would prove to be impossible to view in time was The United States vs. Billie Holiday… a film released on Hulu in the US back in February, because nothing says “thing that should be impossible to view legally” like a film put on a streaming platform. Anyway, it finally became available down here so I watched it and… well, I get why the only point of awards contention was the lead performance.

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In The Heights (2021) – The Highest Heights

Released: 24th June
Seen: 14th June (Advance Screening)

In The Heights Info

In recent years, musicals have been… well, bad. Music was offensive to many communities, The Prom was brought down by one truly bad performance and a lack of style while Cats… well, I try not to discuss war crimes on this blog so let’s just not talk about Cats anymore. For a while now it’s felt like we might never have another great musical outside of animation, and even those are slowly dying since musical animated films appear to be happening less and less often. Thank goodness we now have In The Heights to remind everyone just how great a musical can be, I hope this is the start of a glorious resurgence for this little genre.

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Sound of Metal (2020) – The Hills Are Alive

Released: 4th December 2020
Seen: 28th March 2021

Sound of Metal Info

So it’s finally getting towards the most average time of a film critics year, the month before Oscars come out when we have to play catch up on movies that we missed so that we can take part in the cinematic discourse of which films are the best films of this weird, weird year. 

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Music (2021) – Tone Deaf

Released: 14th January
Seen: 18th January

Music Info

The list of musicians that decided to try their hand at directing a film isn’t exactly large, especially in comparison to musicians who’ve acted in a film. People like Rob Zombie and Barbra Streisand proved that you could make big waves in music and be a respected director… then there are people like Madonna and Fred Durst who proved that sometimes you should probably stick to music. So, where does Sia fall in this- second. She’s in the second group, she should just stay in the world of music because if this film is an indication of what she’ll offer to cinema, I’d rather she stuck to music.

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Soul (2020) – Soulful

Released: 25th December
Seen: 25th December

Sometimes I wonder exactly what devil Pixar made a deal with in order to produce its films, because it’s getting to the point where their output is just consistently great. Even their worst film (The Good Dinosaur, I will not be taking arguments at this time) is better than what a lot of their competitors make and when they hit something out of the park it turns into one of the best films of all time. This year they already made one great film with Onward, which got shafted due to the pandemic, and were meant to release Soul in June. That pandemic made them pull Soul and then they had to rethink its release… enter Disney+, which now houses the best Pixar film of the year in Soul.

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Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (2020) – Her Bottom Is The Tops!

Released: 18th December
Seen: 20th December

In this, the year of perpetual pain and suffering, one of the moments that shocked the world was the passing of actor Chadwick Boseman. Probably best known for his work as the Black Panther, Chadwick had an amazing career playing legends from Jackie Robinson to Thurgood Marshall to James Brown and it seemed like he was destined to take over the world as an actor before we lost him far too young. When this happens to an actor in their prime, it’s always curious to know what the last film released featuring that actor and how would such a film reflect upon their legacy… in Chadwick Boseman’s case? Don’t be surprised in a few months when we hear his name read among a list of Oscar nominees.

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