Nope (2022) – Maybe

Released: 11th August
Seen: 14th August

Nope Info

In 2017 Jordan Peele staked his claim as a modern horror master with his directorial debut Get Out. To this day that film is one of the best films that this reviewer has had the pleasure of watching. It was terrifying and had something important to say and did it flawlessly. It’s a go-to example of a perfect film and very little has beaten it. It’s the kind of film that makes you excited to see what a director does next, and sure enough, when Peele dropped Us onto an unsuspecting public it was proof that he had something special. 

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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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Jurassic World Dominion (2022) – Terradac-dull

Released: 30th June
Seen: 1st August

It’s time for us to call it, Jurassic Park as a franchise is dead. Hell, let’s go one step further, the franchise probably should’ve stopped after the first movie and left when it was on top instead of just gradually getting serious diminishing returns every time they bring us back to the land of the dinosaurs. The new trilogy, headed by bad writer Colin Trevorrow, started out promising with Jurassic World which might not have been at the level of the original but at least it was watchable… and then Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom came out and it wasn’t great, kinda dull but it had some nice moments and an ending that suggested something interesting and new could happen with this franchise… but this film was written by the same guy who helped come up with the story for Rise of Skywalker, a story that can be summed up with the line “Somehow, Palpatine returned” so you can kind of guess that nothing new has been done with Jurassic World Dominion.

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The Gray Man (2022) – A Cinematic Gray Area

Released: 22nd July
Seen: 24th July

The Gray Man Info

Netflix has had a pretty bad year, hell a bad few years if you really want to think about it. For starters they’re just having to deal with every studio they used to work with pulling their product and opening up their own streaming service, which they responded to by raising their prices. This is partially why the number of subscribers has fallen, though you could also blame that on things like regularly platforming transphobic comedians or their seeming lack of quality control. So maybe now is not the best time for Netflix to be ramping up their budgets and trying to pull off the 200-million dollar blockbuster epics… though if they have to do it, at least The Gray Man is enjoyable enough but they certainly can’t afford to do many more of these.

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Falling for Figaro (2022) – Hey Figaro!

Released: 14th July
Seen: 20th July

Every now and then a film comes out that I lovingly refer to as the “Nana Movie”, a film that’s clearly aimed for an audience of senior citizens that has middling stakes, a couple of charming performances and often is set in a little village in the middle of England or Scotland. They’re never really that great or memorable but they’re sit in that space where you’re comfortable taking your nan to see them because you’ll all be a little charmed and have a nice evening out before going for a bit of tea at whatever place near the cinema serves tea. The Nana Movie, it’s a thing… and Falling for Figaro is almost a perfect example of the Nana movie, albeit an example that’s very flawed.

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The Black Phone (2022) – Call Me Anytime

Released: 30th June
Seen: 17th July

The Black Phone Info

In 2005 Joe Hill, son of Stephen King released a series of short stories in a book titled 20th Century Ghosts. One of the stories contained in that book was a little something called The Black Phone, a ghost story involving a basement, a boy and a phone (the plot will be detailed a later paragraph, we’ve got a formula around here and we’re sticking to it) and it had quite the impact, being the first collection of stories Joe Hill released which proved that he inherited his father’s ability to terrify.

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Blacklight (2022) – Uggh

Released: 10th February
Seen: 14th July

Blacklight Info

Liam Neeson needs to be stopped, with his latet release Blacklight he has officially worn out his charm as an action star and needs to either take a break or just stop entirely if possible. At one point he was charming as the older lead of an action film, Taken and its immediate sequels were exciting and clever enough that they worked no matter who was in them but the fact it was someone as talented and charismatic as Liam Neeson elevated it. Then he started slipping and just repeating the formula with films like Honest Thief or The Commuter, films that leaned so heavily on Liam’s charm that it was almost inevitable that we’d hit this point. The point where it’s just impossible to give a damn… even if the plot isn’t just another spin on the Taken formula, there’s no more fucks to give.

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Fire Island (2022) – Party Time

Released: 14th June
Seen: 12th July

Fire Island Info

Fire Island is a little island just off the coast of Long Island in the state of New York and for decades now it’s been known as a gay hotspot. This little stretch of land is legendary in the gay community for its tea dances (afternoon teas designed for single gay men to meet up in the days when homosexuality was illegal) and its wild nightlife. If there is a long-running show that features gay characters, the odds are good that they will at some point mention Fire Island. Honestly the fact that it’s taken until now for a significant gay comedy that takes place on Fire Island is kind of astounding in itself but now we have one and it’s delightful.

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