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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Is That Black Enough for You?!? – Powerful

Released: 11th November
Seen: 28th November

Ever since cinema began, people have been striving for better representation to appear on that great wall of light and shadow that we pay an exorbitant amount to enjoy every now and then. The history of representation in cinema, no matter what group it’s for, is always genuinely fascinating to witness in any format. Be it queer history on television from docuseries like Visible or be it the history of trans representation in film like with Disclosure, if your film is about the history of a minority group throughout the history of entertainment then the subject matter alone is going to make it fascinating if you present it well. Is That Black Enough for You?!? not only presents its material well, but it’s also one of the most fascinating documentaries about cinematic representation to come out in quite a long time.

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Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (2022) – Call Waiting

Released: 5th October
Seen: 5th October

Mr. Harrigan's Phone Info

Considering how ubiquitous they are now, it’s kind of fascinating to realise that the modern cell phone is actually not that old. The first smartphone hit the market back in 1994 and was a technical revolution, soon going from a plaything of the wealthy to something that you literally cannot exist without in the modern world. We now exist with the entire history of human knowledge on an electronic device that fits right in our pocket, it’s nothing short of a miracle device. Of course, as happens to all technologies that become popular, the cell phone is a prime tool to be used in fiction and if there’s anyone who is good at taking mundane everyday objects and making them terrifying, it’s Stephen King… usually, with Mr. Harrigan’s Phone there’s nothing actually terrifying going on.

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Do Revenge (2022) – Vengeance Is Mine

Released: 16th September
Seen: 25th September

Do Revenge Info

Back in the 90s, there was this strange but glorious trend going on with teen comedies where they would take a classic work and throw it into a high school. The Taming of the Shrew would turn into 10 Things I Hate About You, Dangerous Liaisons turned into Cruel Intentions and Pygmalion became She’s All That just to name a few of the more well-known ones that became high points for that 90s teen movie craze that a lot of people look back on with some genuine fondness. There’s enough fondness that now the people who grew up on that genre of film are getting to have their own chance to revive it and while this can sometimes lead to some bland uninteresting retreads like He’s All That, other times it can create glorious pieces of joyful throwback fun like Do Revenge.

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The Anthrax Attacks (2022) – Important & Informative

Released: 8th September
Seen: 22nd September

Twenty-one years ago, the world was rocked to its core by the September 11th attacks. The horrific image of those towers coming down is burned into the memory of everyone who was alive at that time, it felt like a moment that would change the world and it’s fair to say that it did. What’s seemingly less well remembered, or at least less talked about, is that a week after September 11th a bunch of letters containing anthrax were mailed to multiple news outlets with a handwritten note. This was followed by several more letters to newspapers, networks and sitting senators that contained the deadly anthrax spores. In total 5 people died and 17 more were infected by the disease and the story of the investigation which took the better part of a decade makes for a pretty good documentary.

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Me Time (2022) – Lonesome And Dull

Released: 26th August
Seen: 5th September

Me Time Info

When it comes to cinematic experiences, there is absolutely nothing worse than an unfunny comedy. Failing at a serious genre is a recipe for potential campiness which can be its own special kind of fun but failing at comedy just leads to annoyance and boredom from anyone who is unlucky enough to watch. If you fail to be serious, at least the viewer can laugh at the failure and get some kind of enjoyment out of it but failure to be funny when that’s your intention will never go well… how the hell Me Time fails this hard at being funny considering its cast is hard to believe.

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Running with the Devil: The Wild World of John McAfee (2022) – Does Not Compute

Released: 24th August
Seen: 26th August

John McAfee was one of the most wildly fascinating people to ever walk the earth. His initial fame came from his work in computers, he’s the man who created the McAfee virus protection software that’s possibly running on the very device you’re reading this review on. so he has made a considerable impact on many lives… he was also accused of the murder of his neighbour in Belize, went on the run to Guatemala to avoid the charges, was extradited to the US, ran for president twice, was charged with tax evasion, fled the US and went to Spain in order to avoid those specific charges and was later found dead in his cell from an apparent suicide that may have been a murder or he faked his own death, who the hell knows. It’s a wild story that could make for a truly insane documentary… and Running With The Devil is certainly insane, just not sure how good it is. 

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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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Senior Year Promo Image

Senior Year (2022) – Failed

Released: 13th May
Seen: 15th May

Senior Year Info

For some reason, there seems to be a strange genre of film where an adult finds some weird reason to go back to high school in order to have shenanigans happen. This can be some weird undercover cop story like a 21 Jump Street scenario or it might just be some rich idiot buying his way back into a school scenario of some kind. Often the reasons are stupid and don’t hold up to any scrutiny but often lead to relatively fun situations… Senior Year has one of the stupidest reasons to have an adult go back to high school that we’ve seen in a while and it’s accompanied by some of the least interesting shenanigans one could imagine.

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Marmaduke (2022) – Animated Dog Vomit

Released: 11th May
Seen: 13th May

Marmaduke Info

In June of 1954, the first Marmaduke comic strip was printed in the newspaper. The entire idea of the series revolved around the Winslow family and their Great Dane who was certainly larger than a normal Great Dane but he wasn’t stupidly big. While the comics were popular, having remained in print now for well over 60 years, they’re noted as being kind of dry and simplistic and like a lot of single-strip Sunday comic books, they’re designed to work for one quick joke and not much longer.

Due to this limitation of how the character was intended to be used, Marmaduke probably wouldn’t work for a 90-minute long film and indeed he didn’t, they tried it back in 2010 and it failed spectacularly. Well, the director of this 2022 animated adaptation of Marmaduke clearly wanted to make a worse film and by god, they succeeded.

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