Elvis (2022) – Set My Soul On Fire

Released: 23rd June
Seen: 12th July

Elvis Info

For years now there has been a conspiracy theory that Elvis Presley isn’t dead. The story goes that Elvis grew tired of fame and of his exhausting schedule and so he faked his own death and went off to live as a normal person. People claim to see him in coffee shops, he works in a little cafe in the middle of the desert, people just see Elvis all the time. I have never subscribed to this theory, I firmly believed for years that Elvis Aaron Presley died on August 16,1977 in his home in Memphis… now I might have to question that because Austin Butler might just be the pseudonym that Elvis chose to perform under one last time.

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The Lost City (2022) – A Cracking Adventure

Released: 31st March
Seen: 11th July

The Lost City

One of the classic kinds of films we don’t get enough of is the romantic action adventure. You know the kind, films where a guy and girl randomly go to some far off land to try and hunt for some treasure, they exchange witty banter and eventually fall in love all while dealing with some overly hammy villain that’s there purely to raise the stakes. Classics like Romancing the Stone or The Mummy (the 1999 one) are great examples of this style of film. They were fun, over the top, clever and just seem to have fallen by the wayside lately. Well, thank goodness that The Lost City brought them back because they have been sorely missed.

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Ida Lupino: Gentlemen & Miss Lupino (2021) – Watch This For Mother

Ida Lupino: Gentlemen & Miss Lupino was seen as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

Ida Lupino: Gentlemen & Miss Lupino Info

In the history of film, there have only been 3 women who have won the Oscar for best director. Only 3, and all of those have been within the last 12 years. This isn’t shocking when you realise that, due to rampant sexism, women haven’t really been able to get a chance to be directors since pretty much the invention of the studio system. Indeed there was a period in the 40s and 50s where there was precisely 1 female director who was a part of the directors’ guild, that singular sensation being the legendary Ida Lupino, the woman who is the central focus of the documentary Ida Lupino: Gentlemen & Miss Lupino (the film taking it’s subtitle from the greeting given at the start of directors’ guild meetings because the room would be full of hundreds of male directors and Ida Lupino)

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Ice Ice Baby – Hip Hop’s 1st Global #1 (2022) – Stop, Collaborate and Listen

Ice Ice Baby – Hip Hop’s 1st Global #1 was seen as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival

In 1990 the single Play That Funky Music by an unknown rapper known as Vanilla Ice was released to almost no real fanfare, the song just washed over a mass audience who didn’t really care for the attempted cover version of a legendary Funk Rock classic. This would’ve probably been the extent of the Vanilla Ice story were it not for one radio disc jockey named David Morales who decided to play the B side of the record.

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The Bad Guys (2022) – Duh!

Released: 31st March
Seen: 5th July

The Bad Guys Info

It’s been a while since there’s been an entertaining crime caper film out, the last one that leaps out to memory would probably be The Gentlemen and the vast majority of films in that genre tend to fall under the adult rating. Let’s be honest, you’re not going to get your entire family to sit through Oceans 8 or Reservoir Dogs. So it’s nice to see that there are some family-oriented crime capers out there that can deliver on everything people love about the genre without alienating the little ones… plus the fact that all the characters are hilarious anthropomorphized animals in suits and gorgeous gowns is a bonus.

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Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) – Another!

Released: 6th July
Seen: 6th July

The Thor movies are possibly the franchise in the MCU that’s had the weirdest trajectory. The first Thor movie was fine, a Shakespearean epic that was helmed by Kenneth Branagh who clearly leaned into the overly dramatic elements (quite literally leaning in with half the shots being Dutch angles), the second Thor movie is widely considered one of the worst of the MCU and kind of felt like it would be the end of the Thor movies as we know them… and then out came Ragnarok with its bold colour palette and love of 70s heavy metal music, turning Thor from the insanely serious character he’d been up to that point into a jovial jokester frat bro that everyone came to love. Since Ragnarok went so well, thanks in large part to the work of writer/director Taika Waititi, Thor: Love and Thunder decides to just take what worked about Ragnarok and do it all again. It’s not a bad plan but there are some diminishing returns.

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Lightyear (2022) – To Infinity And Beyond-ish

Released: 16th June
Seen: 4th July

In 1995 the film Toy Story was released and began what can only be called a revolution in what an animated film could look like. It was truly the first of its kind, a feature-length 3D animated film that effectively marked a moment where the medium itself changed forever. That sweet funny little film about a bunch of toys who came to life will go down in history as a landmark film, showing the potential of the 3D animated technology that was so new at the time. 

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Studio 666 (2022) – Hail Satin

Released: 24th February
Seen: 3rd July

Studio 666 Info

During the course of the pandemic (because we’re currently pretending to be over the pandemic despite thousands upon thousands of new cases popping up every single day) a lot of artists have had to get innovative with what they could do in order to be creative. Some embraced the online world in new ways by doing internet shows, some decided to basically use the time as a forced vacation and others decided to just try something completely new and out there because what the hell else were they going to do? The Foo Fighters decided to take that third route shortly after completing their 10th album Medicine at Midnight by making a feature film… a strange little horror-comedy called Studio 666.

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Spiderhead (2022) – I Have Some Complaints

Released: 17th June
Seen: 3rd July

Netflix has been having what can generously be described as “A shitty year that’s been very shitty”. Their numbers of subscribers have been dropping, their revenue is dropping and they keep just landing in controversy after controversy. They also keep spending exorbitant amounts of money on absolute garbage films that have little to sell themselves on beyond the star power of the lead actor. To be absolutely blunt, Spiderhead looked like it was going to fall into that category but good news, it’s not absolute garbage… it’s just not very good. 

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Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (2022) – Gotta Go Slightly Faster

Released: 31st March
Seen: 29th June

Back in 2020 the first Sonic the Hedgehog movie was released. It quickly received wide acclaim from many people, largely because the studios changed the main design of Sonic after an initial backlash but people also praised several of the performances and thought it was a good representation of the character… I called it one of the worst films of 2020, largely because it felt like another standard “C list celebrity and CGI character take a road trip” movie that took a character known for speed and spent most of the movie with Sonic unable to use his speed power which is his main character trait (and also serious questions about how workers were treated in order to get the film finished with the new design). So naturally, a sequel sounded like an exhausting prospect for me… so imagine my surprise when Sonic the Hedgehog 2 isn’t totally awful.

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