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Houston Day 1: $600 Limit Omaha 8 or Better (Live Updates)

March 13, 2022

Screw it. Let’s just throw back all the way to the live blog. It’s a new day. This is my first time ever coming to Texas for poker. Shoot, when I was here in 2018, I don’t even think poker was legal here. But they are doing the Portland club thing where they charge a $10 door fee and then collect time in the cash games.

Prime Social Club
Joker getting the red carpet treatment

We sat down near the end of level one of this $600 Omaha 8 or Better tourney. Blinds were 100/200 and we get 25k to start. I immediately recognized three players at my table, including Wendy Freedman, a mix game specialist with over $1.2 milly in live cashes.

I won’t be posting here too much during active levels but I’ll post stack updates and some hands on my breaks. Stay tuned!

Batman must know where Joker is at all times

First Break

Dark Knight 15.4k

Joker 21k

Pretty cool start. I haven’t really had any super interesting spots. Just torching and value owning myself mostly. I had AA2x once and immediately had my low counterfeit on the turn and found myself in a likely scooped situation. I’ve had a lot of bad two pair hands lose to slightly better hands. Lots of cash game action going on though so when I punt my way out of this thing before the next break I’ll have something to do.

Joker BUSTED (level 4, re-entering)

Dark Knight BUSTED (level 5, re-entering)

Yeah, we suck. Just getting all the bad runouts. QQKJ on 95393 vs 6543 blasting off and then I’m all in 5-ways for 3-bets preflop with AJ32dd and the board runs out K64dT9. Shock. Next bullet.

Sitting back down with 31 bigs. Fun fact: three people have busted from this tournament and two of them are Joker and myself. I asked the floor if the player count and bust outs are correct and he confirmed that we are, indeed, the worst poker players of all-time.

TD Justin Hammer going all out for Texas

Second Break

Dark Knight 18.4k

Joker 40k

Nothing to see here. I’m just folding out of my seat and losing every hand I do play.

Finally get above starting stack with AKJ3ss by flopping second nut low in a big multi-way pot and going running spades for half.

Open KJT9ss from cutoff. Button and small blind call. Flop is QJ5 and a very very bad and clueless player leads out from the SB. I raise it with a wrap and straight flush draw and both players call. The turn is the 6s. I bet and they both call. I’m slightly concerned about the button having an ace high flush here, but it is what it is. The river pairs the 5 and the ding dong leads out again. I’ve seen enough to know he doesn’t need to have a full house here and I briefly consider raising it to maybe fold out a better flush from the button, but I just call, the button folds, and the bozo shows me Q5xx. Down to 19k.

I’m not looking like much of a threat to care about any of this, but here’s the relevant tourney info for today:

Back over starting after playing a bloated pot with Miami John and the catalyst holding AQ93 and getting the Q85hh4h9 run out to quarter Miami and scoop the third player. My man went bet/call donk turn bet river with A973 and no hearts. Bless his soul.

Someone is doing write-ups for this tourney. You can check it out here: Prime Social $600 Omaha 8. She did butcher the hand I just reported a couple spots above though. 😬

Third Break

We finally caught some momentum! First I busted the spot at the table and then I scooped the same guy in back-to-back hands. I had a sexy spot where he opens from cut and I 3-bet the AKJ4dd from the small blind. We go heads up to QT9 rainbow and I bet flop and check-raise turn. He folds river. I had a chance to bust him just before the break when I flatted his open with A543 single suited and got him all in on Q44dd but he smacked diamonds on the turn and I didn’t fill up.

Dark Knight 36k

Joker 65k

Average 38k

36 players left

Welp. We have been relatively crippled after a terrible start to level 10 and now I have switched tables as we are down to 32 left and Joker has a chance to bust (or double!) me.

Dark Knight BUSTED (Level 11)

Groan. I was a legitimate contender in this thing for about an orbit. Joker still going strong with four tables left. I’m gonna get some much needed Raising Canes and maybe come back and play some cash. I’ll post Joker stack updates when I get them

Fourth Break

Joker 74k

Meanwhile, I’m testing myself for Covid for the third time this week. Still negative. Guess I just have an old fashioned minor cold.

Fifth Break

Joker 145k

He says he’s 3rd in chips with 16 left. I decided to stay in and watched about 5 mins of episode two of Winning Time before falling asleep.

Joker is at the 9-handed final table with 7 players cashing. He was below average last update and I’m about to head back to the casino and put the DK curse on him to make sure he finishes in 8th. Might play some cash while I wait for this painful bust out.

SHOCK. I didn’t even make it back to the casino before Joker busted just outside the money. TDK curse lives on! Sorry, pal! $600 Triple Stud @ 3 PM Houston time tomorrow.

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2021 Year in Review – WSOP Edition – Part One

March 12, 2022

I never wrote about my 2021 World Series of Poker so I guess I’ll start there. I was ecstatic to be back fighting it out with the best players in the world. 2020 was a depressing one for my poker career. I had my least profitable year since 2014 (and I didn’t go full-time pro until the fourth quarter of 2016) and if I wasn’t eligible to collect unemployment I probably would have had to get a job somewhere. So being able to lock horns at the WSOP after an absence of over two years felt really good. I don’t care that everyone had to be vaccinated. I don’t care about the hypocrisy of the staff not needing to be vaxxed. I don’t care about having to wear a mask while walking around. I was just happy to be BACK and able to compete in the most prestigious tournament series in the world. 2018 was a horrible WSOP for me and 2019 was mostly uneventful outside of a 12th place run in the $2500 Stud 8/Omaha 8 that was a nice reminder that I’m capable of doing things like that. But I definitely had a chip on my shoulder for this series.

My first event of the 2021 series was the $1500 Omaha 8 or Better and I was pretty thrilled to bag a decent stack on Day 1. I don’t remember much of Day 2, but (spoiler alert!) I didn’t have any good Day 2s, so I’ll just assume I dwindled for most of the day while winning a small pot here and there – enough to hang around long enough to take 32nd and start my series off with a nice profit and a cash of $4116.

Next I played a small Triple Draw Mix event at Golden Nugget and did absolutely nothing in it. My next WSOP event was the $1500 Limit Hold’em and I once again bagged a nice Day 1 stack. If I remember correctly, I really liked my chances heading into Day 2, but nothing good happened for me and I busted far enough away from the money that I didn’t even bother inputting the relevant info in my app.

The $2500 Triple Draw Mix at the WSOP was next up on my schedule and I was really looking forward to that one even though I figured I was probably an underdog in that field. I practiced draw a ton during the pandemic lockdown and I was excited to see how much progress I had made even if the buy-in price point was a bit high. Hey, that’s what backers are for! (don’t worry, they all wanted to gamble with me). I feel like I mostly held my own in this event and I was at a pretty tough table. I didn’t get a lot of upward momentum and the wheels finally fell off for me at the very end of the night and I busted about 20 minutes before bagging on Day 1. But I was mostly happy with my play, pleased with the experience gained, and really looking forward to this same event in 2022.

I didn’t play much cash while I was in Vegas so I don’t have too much to say about that, but I did play a four hour 1/3 NL session at the Rio around this time of the Series and I was pretty shocked when Jamie Kerstetter sat down on my immediate left. I’m generally not a talkative person at the poker table and I prefer to keep to myself, but I decided to engage Jamie and she couldn’t have been more personable. She wasn’t just answering my questions but asked me questions about myself, gave me recommendations for my upcoming trip to Zion National Park and was generally hilarious. I was already a fan of her poker commentary but this interaction made me feel like she’s someone I could actually be friends with. I really wanted to play mix that night, so it pained me quite a bit to leave her table and go do that… and considering I only made $17 in that game, I probably should’ve just stayed and networked. Oh well. Jamie did end up giving me an indirect shoutout during her Main Event coverage by mentioning me on the broadcast (awesome), although not by my name (lame).

One thing I did this series that I’ve never done before was lug my personal computer to Vegas with me. I don’t have a laptop and I don’t want to play on my iPad, and since I was driving anyway, it made sense to bring it with me in case I wanted to play online. Plus, it makes tracking my finances way easier and allowed to me do some solver work on the road if I was so inclined. I had Sunday, October 10th, earmarked for a couple of online events, so that’s what I spent my day doing and it ended up being a really good decision. I played the $215 NLH WSOP online circuit ring event and ended up taking 8th of 576 entrants for a solid $3200 score. I also played the $400 NLH WSOP online bracelet event and finished 17th of 1024 entrants for $3078 in that one. I’m past the point where I can remember anything about the circuit event, but the bracelet event will be unforgettable for two reasons: 1) I finally played at the same table with Daniel Negreanu and I beat him in the only pot we played together; and 2) I had a top 5 stack with 18 people left when the small blind decided to limp in with a 30bb and trap me with AJ. I had AQ suited in the big blind, so I was happy to raise his limp and snap-call his 3-bet jam. Unfortunately, he rivered a jack and instead of being 1st in chips of a WSOP bracelet event with 17 players left, I was short stacked with 18 left and busted out shortly after – an absolutely crushing blow when my adrenaline was riding sky high from an awesome day of online poker. I had a lot of my own action in these two small buy-in events, so it was great day for me personally and it was nice to see all the practice I’ve put in for no limit Hold’em immediately pay off.

My next event was the WSOP $1500 8-Game mix tournament – one of my favorites, but also one that I haven’t been able to get past Day 1 in. I had a great starting table and I was excited about my chances of building a big stack and bagging when I got high-carded to a new table and put on Shaun Deeb’s immediate right. I was already annoyed that I got moved, but this was a brutal spot to be in and I couldn’t help but mutter, “are you fucking kidding me?” as I sat down in my new seat. Shaun was amused enough to say, “not what you were hoping to see?” and we ended up chatting a decent amount throughout the day but he lost enough pots early on that he didn’t wind up being much of a nuisance for me. It looked like I was going to finally bag this thing, but the wheels fell off for me in the last level and I found myself hitting the rail with exactly 20 minutes left in Day 1 for the second time of the series.

After busting out around 2 AM and probably not going to sleep until much later, I decided to play the 11 AM HORSE tourney at the Orleans the next day anyway. I showed up about an hour late and absolutely torched my first bullet in record time for a limit tournament. I re-entered and ended up lasting 6.5 hours overall, but busted far from the money and felt like I was dead money all day. I was playing tired and I was in no mood for running bad and just had no patience for unfavorable variance. I should have skipped this one entirely because I was in no mental shape to be playing that early after such a late night.

Next up was the WSOP $1500 HORSE – the event I earned my all-time best cash in all the way back in 2017. That doesn’t feel like that long ago, but if you told me back in 2017 that five years later that would still be my best achievement in tournament poker, I probably wouldn’t believe it. But here I am. Still searching for a $50K+ score. I think I flirted with the Day 1 overall chip lead at some points and ended up bagging a top 10 stack at the end of the day.

Unfortunately, I may have prophesized my own demise by warning my followers on Facebook that even though I was top 10 in chips, I still only had just over 21 big bets – or the equivalent of $170 in a $4/$8 limit game. I’ve dusted two racks in a few hours of limit poker many times, so while my stack size relative to the field was really good, it wasn’t all that massive compared to the limits we were going to be playing.

Sure enough, I ended up moving off a good starting table to be sat on David Williams’ immediate right. Long time readers of my blog may remember that David knocked me out of the Millionaire Maker on the very first hand of the very first $1500 tournament I ever played, so… I already had some crazy history with him. Naturally, we locked horns in a very memorable Stud Hi hand where I completed with the ace and queen of spades buried and the six of spades up and David raised me with a queen up and I called. I caught the 7 of diamonds on 4th and he caught a brick, so I check-called. On 5th street, I paired my 7 with a spade, giving me a four flush and an open pair. David caught another brick, so I decided to lead out and he ended up raising me. I thought that was a bit strange. If he just had a pair of queens, I wouldn’t expect him to raise very often here. I called again. We both caught bricky-looking cards on 6th street and I check-called again. It feels like he probably has two pair so when I caught the 7 of the clubs on 7th, giving me trips, I decided to lead out like I would if I had made a flush. Maybe he bet-folds with two pair, but I was concerned he was going to do a lot of checking back. To my utter shock and amazement, he ended up raising me! This man didn’t have a pair on his board and it was impossible for him to have a flush with his door card! I had a goddamn queen in the hole! My head exploded. But I paid it off and he showed me queens full of fives. He said he started rolled up. Unreal. That was a huge pot that derailed all my momentum and I never recovered from it, busting 20 spots out of the money.

After taking a couple days off from tournaments, it was at this point of the series that I decided I was just going to go for it this year. My backers were on board with whatever I wanted to play and I just shifted my focus to only playing WSOP events and pushing my financial comfort level. Aside from the Main Event, I’ve only played one tournament in my life that had an entry greater than $1500, but I hopped in the $3000 H.O.R.S.E. and made a pretty good run. I didn’t make a Facebook post about this tournament until I was in the money so I don’t have a thread of hand histories to report here, but this was a really fun tournament to play. The field was substantially tougher and smaller than the $1500 H.O.R.S.E. so I was playing with notable pros at my table pretty much the whole time.

I had a key hand on Day 1 against Michael Trivett, a Vegas-based pro that I’ve had a couple of run-ins with over the years where I’ve beat him in big pots and he proceeded to verbally berate me about it. It’s always made me think he’s kind of an asshat and here we were butting heads in a pot late in Day 1 of this $3K H.O.R.S.E. I can’t remember the exact dynamics of this hand, but we were playing Stud Hi and he opened with the 4 of diamonds up and I raised him with a buried pair that was smaller than his door card. I ended up catching an ace on 4th so I was able to take the betting lead and he raised me after catching the jack of diamonds on 5th street. I figured he probably had a four flush here so I wasn’t prepared to fold just yet – even though I only had a pair of deuces at this point. I ended up pairing my ace on 6th and leading out, he called. I didn’t see much point in betting unimproved on the river, so I checked it over to him and he checked back. I showed him aces and deuces and that was good for the pot. But he was not impressed at all and said, “wow, what a punt” and possibly some other not-so-nice things. I mean, it doesn’t hurt my feelings any, but it also doesn’t make me like the guy.

It’s funny. I kind of feel like Michael has become my tournament arch-enemy over the years. He’d left enough of a sour impression on me that I’ve always followed what he does and actively rooted against him. But he had really leveled up since the last time we played together. I could tell he’d hit the lab hard, put in the work, and has networked and made friends with plenty of elite players. He had a hell of a 2022 WSOP, finishing in the top 15 on five different occasions. He didn’t capture a bracelet, but he will soon and I was really impressed with how good he has gotten. But I wasn’t impressed with his inability to lose with grace, so, like, fuck that guy.

Plot twist. Fast forward to post-WSOP and I was pretty shocked when I got message from Michael apologizing for anything negative he’s ever said to me over the years. I accepted his apology and we started talking on a regular basis and quickly discovered that we actually have a ton of things in common and would probably be pretty good friends. Now, we talk daily about rap mostly, sometimes about movies, and definitely about poker (turns out he had jacks and fours on that Stud hand I beat him in) – and he’s even offered to let me stay with him any time I’m in Vegas. Crazy how life works sometimes.

Well, back to the $3K H.O.R.S.E… I had another solid Day 1 and bagged a nice chip stack, but once again, I didn’t do jack shit on Day 2. I just sat and watched Scott Bolman play like a maniac/wizard all day and never got any hands to play or found any good spots to chip up. I did win ONE pot. I made aces up versus Maria Ho and she literally stared daggers at me for the next orbit like she couldn’t believe this nitty little nobody had put a halt to her absolute steamrolling of the table. That one pot was enough to get me to the final three tables redraw and playing live with Daniel Negreanu for the first time in my career. I said hi to him and he said “cheers” and then I promptly busted on the first hand dealt when the cutoff opened in limit Hold’em and I 3-bet to get it in with A7 suited on the button and lost to whatever hand my opponent ended up showing. Yet another mega disappointing Day 2, but a pretty decent showing in one of the tougher mixed events of the schedule, finishing 24th for a $6500 score.

I was initially going to write my whole WSOP trip report in one post, but I’ve already been working on this for a few months and this is only half the series, so I’ll divide it into two parts. I’m actually flying to Houston today for the tournament series that former LAPC co-tournament director Justin Hammer put together so I might be blogging about that or at least posting updates on Facebook. I suddenly find myself with a lot of extra time on my hands, so I’ve been thinking about making the poker blog a priority again. I always enjoy sharing my adventures, but if I’m being honest, I find the process of typing them out to be a bit tedious sometimes. When I get back from Houston, I’ll finish my WSOP trip report with a second part and eventually post up my final 2021 numbers.

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February 2022 – Music Edition

March 8, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Saba – Few Good Things

Top 25 Most Played Albums of February 2022 (* indicates new album in February)

  1. *Saba – Few Good Things
  2. Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
  3. *Big K.R.I.T. – Digital Roses Don’t Die
  4. The Roots – How I Got Over
  5. Kanye West – The Life of Pablo
  6. *Snoop Dogg – BODR
  7. Kanye West – Late Registration
  8. Macklemore – The Language of My World
  9. Ludacris – Release Therapy
  10. Kanye West – The College Dropout
  11. Ludacris – Chicken-N-Beer
  12. Ludacris – Word of Mowf
  13. Fabolous – Real Talk
  14. Kanye West – 808s & Heartbreak
  15. Kanye West – My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
  16. Jay-Z & Kanye West – Watch the Throne
  17. Ludacris – Back For The First Time
  18. A$AP Rocky – TESTING
  19. *EARTHGANG – Ghetto Gods
  20. Shady Records – SHADYXV
  21. Ludacris – The Red Light District
  22. Kanye West – Graduation
  23. Styles P & Havoc – Wreckage Manner
  24. Kanye West – Yeezus
  25. KIDS SEE GHOSTS (Kanye West & Kid Cudi) – KIDS SEE GHOSTS

Comments: Not hard to see what happened here. That new Kanye West documentary on Netflix sent me down memory lane, revisiting Kanye’s entire discography. I’d actually never really spent much time with the 808s album and I can’t believe I’ve slept on it all this time. It is truly great. Truly innovative for the time. I already have some personal anthems from it. I also spent some time with Luda’s discog. I had been thinking about my top 100 or so rappers of all-time and I realized I didn’t know much about Luda. I made it through his first five albums and thought they were all good. I hit a snag on album #6 though and haven’t finished my project as my life has been kind of turned upside down recently and my focus has shifted. As far as new albums go, Saba’s album is really, really good; I’ve listened to K.R.I.T.’s album a few times and it’s different but enjoyable; Snoop’s album was completely forgettable; and EARTHGANG’s new project is brand new and a clear step down from their last one, but I’ve heard some dope songs on it.

The 25 Most Played Artists of 2022

  1. Kanye West
  2. Saba
  3. Che Noir
  4. Lil Wayne
  5. The Roots
  6. Ludacris
  7. The Weeknd
  8. Cordae
  9. J Dilla
  10. Nas
  11. Little Simz
  12. Ghostface Killah
  13. Big K.R.I.T.
  14. Snoop Dogg
  15. Roddy Ricch
  16. AZ
  17. Conway the Machine
  18. Gunna
  19. Baby Keem
  20. Jazmine Sullivan
  21. Macklemore
  22. Mos Def
  23. Eminem
  24. Roc Marciano
  25. FKA twigs

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
February 2022 Additions:

Cordae, “Sinister” (feat. Lil Wayne)
Dr. Dre, “ETA” (feat. Busta Rhymes, Snoop Dogg, & Anderson .Paak)
Saba, “Stop That”
Saba, “If I Had A Dollar” (feat. Benjamin Earl Turner)

Comments: I was listening to a lot of older stuff in February so I didn’t add too many tracks to my Bangers of the Decade playlist.





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Che Noir – Food For Thought (2022)

February 24, 2022

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Release Date: January 21st, 2022

Song Rating Scale

  1. Eat To Live (Intro) – N/A
  2. Split the Bread – 3.5
  3. Eat or Starve (feat. Jynx716) – 3.5
  4. Daily Bread (Skit) – N/A
  5. Bless the Food – 3.75
  6. Ladies Brunch (feat. 7xvethegenius & Armani Caesar) – 3.75
  7. Praises – 3.5
  8. Table For 3 (feat. 38 Spesh & Ransom) – 4.5
  9. Gold Cutlery (feat. Rome Streetz) – 3.5
  10. Brains For Dinner – 4
  11. Water To Wine (Skit) – N/A
  12. Communion – 4.5

Spin Rate: 15+
Average Song Rating: 3.83/5
Skip Percentage: 0%
Certified Bangers: 3

Thoughts: Che Noir did it again. This is the fourth well above average project she’s released since the beginning of 2020. I don’t know if there’s any other rapper that can make that same claim. I feel like this two year run is already enough to put her ahead of the likes of notable femcees like Foxy Brown and Lil Kim on the all-time list. That might seem like too much praise too soon, but I’d honestly have to give it some serious thought to come up with another female rapper I like four projects from. If I know one thing about Che though, it’s that she would absolutely hate my last few sentences. She wants to be mentioned with the best rappers in the world and she doesn’t want gender to be part of that conversation. I think that’s fair and I do think she’s earned a pretty secure spot as one of the ten best rappers or so of the last few years.

Food For Thought is a pretty short album and the biggest difference between this projects and past ones is that Che handled most of the production herself. If I’m being honest, her sound had to grow on me. Of course any new producer is going to sound a little rough following up an album full of Apollo Brown’s wizardry on the boards, but I think Che ends up holding her own. It’s hard to make a banger without really good production and I think she has at least three songs on this album worthy of that threshold and I don’t think there’s a weak song at all. As always, Che absolutely brings it lyrically. For the most part, she’s just bodying verses on this project but “Communion” is one of Che’s most personal songs to date as she touches on the recent passing of her brother over the most soulful beat on the album. “Table For 3” finds Che, Ransom and 38 Spesh all spitting fire over another absolute banger of a beat. It’s absolutely ridiculous. I still think Che lacks versatility in her vocal delivery and I don’t see too much improvement on this album, but it’s not something that bothers me much and she brings enough content and lyrical ability to more than make up for it. Che Noir has quickly become one of my current favorite rappers and this album is another really solid effort in one of the most impressive runs of the last few years.

Verdict: 7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

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2022 Oscar Category Rankings

February 6, 2022

With Oscar nominations being announced tomorrow, I’ll go ahead and post my rankings in every category (except the shorts – which I’ve seen none of – and editing – which I know nothing about). These are not my predictions, they are simply who and what I would nominate if it were solely up to me. I’ll note likely snubs and some likely nominations I feel are overrated. Some of the technical categories I don’t have too much to stay about.

Haven’t Seen: Ascension, Attica, Belfast, C’mon C’mon, Cyrano, Drive My Car, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, Free Guy, The Hand of God, King Richard, The Lost Daughter, Lunana, Parallel Mothers, The Rescue, Westside Story, The Worst Person in the World, Writing With Fire, Yuni

Best Picture
*Dune
*Licorice Pizza
Shiva Baby
*CODA

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Pig
Titane
The Last Duel
Mass

Comments: There are probably 3 or 4 films I haven’t seen yet that will get a nomination here (Belfast, King Richard, Westside Story). The Power of the Dog is a big favorite in basically everything, but it’s a film I didn’t connect with like that on my first watch. I’m planning to give it another go – especially if it gets showered with nominations – but for now, I just don’t see it as a top 10 film of 2021. I loved Shiva Baby but it’s getting absolutely no awards attention. Damn shame. Titane didn’t even make the International Feature Film shortlist and I just can’t wrap my mind around that one.

Nominees:
Belfast
Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
Westside Story

Best Actor
Nicholas Cage, Pig
Cooper Hoffman, Licorice Pizza
*Denzel Washington, The Tragedy of Macbeth
*Andrew Garfield, tick, tick… BOOM!
*Benedict Cumberbatch, Power of the Dog

Comments: Will Smith is the only lock nominee I haven’t seen. Cooper Hoffman and Nicholas Cage look like solid snub candidates.

Nominated:
Will Smith, King Richard
Javier Bardem, Being the Ricardos

Best Actress
Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Lady Gaga, House of Gucci
Alaina Haim, Licorice Pizza
Emilia Jones, CODA
Jodie Comer, The Last Duel

Comments: I really don’t know what to expect here other than for Lady Gaga to get nominated. Kristen Stewart gave the best performance I’ve seen and the Screen Actor’s Guild didn’t even nominate her so I’m pretty lost on that one. Olivia Colman, Jessica Chastain, and Rachel Zegler all have good chances of a nomination for films I haven’t seen yet. I’m fully expecting Jones – who I just moved back into my top 5 after watching CODA again – and Comer to come up short here.

Nominated:
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Olivia Colman, The Lost Daughter
Penelope Cruz, Parallel Mothers
Nicole Kidman, Being the Ricardos

Best Director
*Paul Thomas Anderson, Licorice Pizza
Denis Villeneuve, Dune
Ridley Scott, The Last Duel
Julia Ducourneau, Titane
Joel Coen, The Tragedy of Macbeth

Comments: The Tragedy of Macbeth didn’t even crack my top 10 of the year, but I have to respect Joel Coen for making a movie filled with nothing but Shakespeare dialogue so compelling – it’s beautiful and captivating. Plus, Denzel is on record saying he didn’t even know what he was saying and he somehow still gives one of the best performances of the year. I’m pretty sure that’s good direction! Titane drawing dead here. Probably Ridley Scott too. Jane Campion is for sure getting nominated for The Power of the Dog and probably Kenneth Branagh for Belfast.

Nominated:
Kenneth Branagh, Belfast
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Drive My Car
Steven Spielberg, West Side Story

Best Supporting Actor
Jason Isaacs, Mass
*Troy Kotsur, CODA
Bradley Cooper, Licorice Pizza
Ben Affleck, The Last Duel
Willem Dafoe, Nightmare Alley

Comments: It’s kind of hard for me to make a good list here. I can only find three performances that I truly loved and the rest I just liked. There are a handful of supporting roles that could fill my last two slots here and I’d feel mostly the same about all of them. Actors that all have nomination chances that I didn’t love: Kodi Smit-McPhee (a favorite), J.K. Simmons, Timothy Spall, Jared Leto, etc. That’s why it’s getting to be really upsetting when Jason Isaacs’ amazing performance gets snubbed. I’m gonna take that personally.

Nominated:
Ciaran Hinds, Belfast
Jesse Plemons, The Power of the Dog
J.K. Simmons, Being the Ricardos
Kodi Smit-McPhee, The Power of the Dog

Best Supporting Actress
Martha Plimpton, Mass
Ruth Negga, Passing
Ann Dowd, Mass
Marlee Matlin, CODA
*Kirsten Dunst, The Power of the Dog

Comments: Yes. Mass was an acting masterclass and it might somehow end up with zero nominations. Unforgivable if that happens. There are a lot of top candidates here I’m yet to see (Caitriona Balfe, Aunjanue Ellis, Ariana DeBose, Rita Moreno, Judi Dench).

Nominated:
Jessie Buckley, The Lost Daughter
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Judi Dench, Belfast
Aunjanue Ellis, King Richard

Best Original Screenplay
*Licorice Pizza
Titane
Pig
*Don’t Look Up
Being the Ricardos

Comments: Licorice Pizza is the most fun movie of the year. Titane was the most inventive. Pig was a wild ride with some incredible dialogue-heavy scenes. I didn’t love Don’t Look Up but it has a smart and funny script. And Sorkin is Sorkin. Belfast will be here also, but I haven’t seen it.

Nominated:
Belfast
King Richard
The Worst Person in the World

Best Adapted Screenplay
Shiva Baby
*Dune
*CODA
The Last Duel
Nightmare Alley

Comments: Dune, The Power of the Dog, and *gasp* CODA all look like locks here.

Nominated:
Drive My Car
The Lost Daughter
The Power of the Dog

Best Animated Feature
*Flee
*Luca
*The Mitchells vs. The Machines
*Raya and the Last Dragon
*Encanto

Comments: I’ll actually be surprised if these aren’t the exact five nominees.

Best Documentary Feature
*Flee
The Alpinist
Billie Eilish
*Summer of Soul
Val

Comments: The shortlist of 15 films is already public knowledge. Flee, Summer of Soul, and Billie Eilish are the only ones in my rankings that made the cut. The Rescue and Flee feel like pretty safe nominations but I can’t call anything else.

Nominated:
Ascension
Attica
Writing With Fire

Best International Feature
Titane
*Flee

Comments: Uhm. Yeah. And Titane didn’t even make the shortlist which is an absolute outrage. Flee will get nominated. Drive My Car and The Worst Person in the World are two of my most anticipated movies right now. A Hero and The Hand of God look like nominees here.

Nominated:
Drive My Car
The Hand of God
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
The Worst Person in the World


Best Cinematography
*The Tragedy of Macbeth
*Dune
*The Power of the Dog

*Nightmare Alley
The Last Duel

Comments: All these films looked great and I actually did watch enough of Belfast (I had to walk out because of a medical emergency) to know it will get nominated here also. This is also one of the categories where I’m totally on board with a The Power of the Dog nom.

Nominated:
West Side Story

Best Production Design
*Dune
*Nightmare Alley
The French Dispatch
The Last Duel
*The Tragedy of Macbeth

Comments: Dune is just a technical masterpiece so it will be nominated in everything. I was lukewarm on The French Dispatch but it definitely looked cool and the sets were great.

Nominated:
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best Costume Design
*Cruella
Spencer
*Dune
House of Gucci

*Nightmare Alley

Comments: When I watched Cruella I was blown away by the makeup and costumes. And then I did some Oscar buzz research and it seemed like everyone was ready to snub it. Now it’s on all the lists for both categories. I’m not really sure what happened to make everyone come around but I’m glad they are seeing the light.

Nominated:
Cyrano
West Side Story


Best Makeup and Hairstyling
*House of Gucci
*Cruella
*Dune
Being the Ricardos
The Suicide Squad

Comments: The Eyes of Tammy Faye is the big one I haven’t seen yet.

Nominated:
Coming 2 America
The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Best Visual Effects
*Dune
*Shang Chi
*Spider-Man: No Way Home
Godzilla Vs. Kong
Eternals


Nominated:
Free Guy
No Time to Die

Best Original Score
*Dune
The French Dispatch
Spencer
Candyman
*The Power of the Dog


Nominated:
Don’t Look Up
Encanto
Parallel Mothers

Best Sound
*Dune
*No Time to Die
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Shang Chi
A Quiet Place Part II

Nominated:
Belfast
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

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January 2022 – Every Movie I Watched

February 4, 2022

Below is a list of every movie I watched in January. Movies with a link have reviews to read.

Masterpieces – 10

Amazing – 9

Great/Must Sees – 8

  • Boiling Point (2021, Vudu)
  • Flee (2021, theaters)
  • Licorice Pizza (2021, theaters)
  • Mass (2021, iTunes rental)
  • Sicario (2015, re-watch, Vudu)
  • Scream (1996, re-watch, Vudu)

Highly Enjoyable – 7

  • The Fallout (2022, HBO Max)
  • Scream 5 (2022, theaters)
  • The Beta Test (2021, Vudu)
  • Spencer (2021, Red Box rental)
  • The Tragedy of Macbeth (2021, Apple TV+)
  • Moonlight (2016, Vudu)
  • Hugo (2011, re-watch, Hulu)
  • Scream 4 (2011, re-watch, Vudu)
  • Snow Angels (2007, Vudu)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974, re-watch, tubi)

Light Recommendations – 6

  • Being the Ricardos (2021, Amazon Prime)
  • Encanto (2021, Disney+)
  • No Time to Die (2021, Red Box rental)

Decent – 5

Forgettable – 4

  • Scream 3 (2000, re-watch, Vudu)

Bad – 3

Horrible – 2

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through January
2021 Best Documentaries/Docu-Series: My top documentary style films of the year
Focused Watchlist: A list of 30+ movies that are at the top of my watchlist with a breakdown of how I formulate my picks
2021/2022 Oscars: My rankings for last year’s films in every Oscar category, based on what I’ve seen so far
February 20212- New to Theaters and Streaming: Ranking new and old movies I want to see coming to streaming or theaters this month

I also went crazy and made a best films of the year list for every year from 2020 to 1982, the year I was born. I ranked 25 films for 2000 and later and 10 films for 1999 to 1982. I started fizzling out on my lists in the early 90s as I just haven’t seen most of the important films from those early years when I was a kid. I have all the lists on my blog here. Enjoy!

T.V. Shows (Ratings out of 5)

Finished:

  • Chucky season 1 (2021, USA/SyFy)
  • Euphoria: F*ck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob (2021, Special Episode, HBO Max)
  • Euphoria: Trouble Don’t Last Always (2020, Special Episode, HBO Max)
  • Euphoria season 1 (2019, HBO Max)

Actively watching:

  • Euphoria season 2 (2022, HBO Max)
  • Ozark season 4 (2022, Netflix)

Started but on indefinite pause:

  • The Sopranos season 2 (2000, HBO, re-watch)
  • What If…? season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)
  • What We Do in the Shadows season 3 (2021, Hulu)
  • Pen15 season 3 (2022, Hulu)
  • The Handmaid’s Tale season 4 (2021, Hulu)
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January 2022 – Music Edition

February 2, 2022

ALBUM OF THE MONTH

Che Noir – Food For Thought

Top 25 Most Played Albums of January 2022 (* indicates new album in January)

  1. *Che Noir – Food For Thought
  2. *The Weeknd – Dawn FM
  3. J Dilla – Donuts (2005)
  4. Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
  5. Roddy Ricch – Live Life Fast
  6. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter II (2005)
  7. *Gunna – DS4EVER
  8. Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue
  9. Mos Def – Black On Both Sides (1999)
  10. Nas – Magic
  11. Ghostface Killah – Supreme Clientele (2000)
  12. *Cordae – From a Birds Eye View
  13. Roc Marciano – Reloaded
  14. *FKA twigs – CAPRISONGS
  15. Lil Wayne – Tha Carter III (2008)
  16. Nas – King’s Disease II
  17. Ghostface Killah – Ironman (1996)
  18. Jazmine Sullivan – Heaux Tales
  19. Lil Wayne – SQ4 (2004?)
  20. Adele – 30
  21. Big Boi & Sleepy Brown – The Sleepover
  22. Lil Wayne – Sorry 4 the Wait (2011)
  23. Labrinth – Euphoria Soundtrack (2019)
  24. The Roots – Undun (2011)
  25. Mac Miller – Circles (2020)

The 25 Most Played Artists of January

  1. Che Noir
  2. Lil Wayne
  3. The Weeknd
  4. The Roots
  5. J Dilla
  6. Nas
  7. Little Simz
  8. Ghostface Killah
  9. Roddy Ricch
  10. AZ
  11. Gunna
  12. Baby Keem
  13. Mos Def
  14. Cordae
  15. Roc Marciano
  16. FKA twigs
  17. Mach-Hommy
  18. Westside Gunn
  19. Jazmine Sullivan
  20. Adele
  21. Big Boi
  22. Conway the Machine
  23. Labrinth
  24. Mac Miller
  25. Ransom

Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020s Bangers Playlist
January 2022 Additions:

AZ, “Jewels for Life”
Baby Keem, “trademark usa”
Big Boi & Sleepy Brown, “The Big Sleep”
Che Noir, “Brains For Dinner”
Che Noir, “Communion”
Che Noir, “Table For 3” (feat. Ransom & 38 Spesh)
Dr. Dre, “Eta” (feat. Anderson .Paak, Busta Rhymes, & Snoop Dogg)
Dr. Dre, “Gospel” (feat. Eminem)
FKA twigs, “careless” (feat. daniel caesar)
FKA twigs, “tears in the club” (feat. The Weeknd)
Lute, “Birdsong” (feat. JID & Saba)
Lute, “Overnight”
Nas, “Speechless”
Nas, “Meet Joe Black”
Nas, “Wave Gods” (feat. A$AP Rocky)
Nas, “40-16 Building”
Ransom & Rome Streetz, “Claudine” (feat. Che Noir)
Roddy Ricch, “rollercoastin”
Roddy Ricch, “don’t i” (feat. Gunna)
Wale, “Poke It Out” (feat. J. Cole)
The Weeknd, “Take My Breath”
The Weeknd, “Sacrifice”
The Weeknd, “Out of Time”





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2021 Year In Review – Music Edition

January 2, 2022

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together

Top Albums of 2021 (in alphabetical order)

Adele – 30 (Pop)
Benny the Butcher – The Plugs I Met 2 (Rap)
Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together (Rap)
Isaiah Rashad – The House Is Burning (Rap)
J.Cole – The Off-Season (Rap)
Kanye West – Donda (Rap)
Nas – King’s Disease II (Rap)
Nas – Magic (Rap)
Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR (Pop)
Silk Sonic – An Evening with Silk Sonic (Pop)
Tyler, the Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST (Rap)

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order)

AZ – Doe or Die II (Rap)
Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson (Rap)
Conway the Machine – La Maquina (Rap)
Grip – I Died For This!? (Rap)
Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Rap)
Lute – Gold Mouf (Rap)
Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti (Rap)
Skyzoo – All the Brilliant Things (Rap)
Tash Sultana – Terra Firma (Alternative Rock)
Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: sides A & B (Rap)

Top 25 Most Played Albums of 2021

  1. J. Cole – The Off-Season
  2. Isaiah Rashad – The House is Burning
  3. Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together
  4. Kanye West – Donda
  5. Nas – King’s Disease II
  6. Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti
  7. Benny the Butcher – The Plugs I Met 2
  8. DMX – Exodus
  9. MC Eiht – LESSONS (2020)
  10. The Notorious B.I.G. – Life After Death (1997)
  11. Sa-Roc – The Sharecropper’s Daughter (2020)
  12. Tash Sultana – Terra Firma
  13. Conway the Machine – La Maquina
  14. Tyrone’s Jacket – Tyrone’s Jacket (2020)
  15. Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST
  16. Grip – I Died for This!?
  17. Toby Ganger – Free Machine (unreleased)
  18. Pink Sweat$ – Pink Planet
  19. Drake – Certified Lover Boy
  20. Lana Del Rey – Chemtrails Over the Country
  21. Ghetts – Conflict of Interest
  22. Eminem – Music To Be Murdered By – Side B
  23. Nyck Caution – Anywhere But Here
  24. Vince Staples – Vince Staples
  25. Courtney Bell – Poverty Stricken (2020)

The 50 Most Played Artists of 2021

  1. J. Cole
  2. Benny the Butcher
  3. Isaiah Rashad
  4. Nas
  5. Eminem
  6. Kanye West
  7. DMX
  8. Scarface
  9. Dave
  10. Kool G Rap
  11. Lana Del Rey
  12. The Notorious B.I.G.
  13. Big K.R.I.T.
  14. Boldy James
  15. Vince Staples
  16. Sa-Roc
  17. Conway the Machine
  18. MF DOOM
  19. Mach-Hommy
  20. KOTA the Friend
  21. Westside Gunn
  22. Drake
  23. MC Eiht
  24. Outkast
  25. Yelawolf
  26. Dua Lipa
  27. Kendrick Lamar
  28. Mac Miller
  29. Tyler, the Creator
  30. Tash Sultana
  31. Jessie Ware
  32. Lil Wayne
  33. Tyrone’s Jacket
  34. Grip
  35. Pink Sweat$
  36. Toby Ganger
  37. Adele
  38. Freddie Gibbs
  39. Ghetts
  40. Nyck Caution
  41. Snoop Dogg
  42. Elzhi
  43. Jadakiss
  44. AZ
  45. BROCKHAMPTON
  46. Courtney Bell
  47. Devin the Dude
  48. Emotional Oranges
  49. Evidence
  50. Kali Uchis

Top 25 Most Played Artist of December (* indicates released new album last month)

  1. Nas *
  2. Elzhi
  3. The Beatles
  4. Lil Wayne
  5. DJ Quik
  6. Adele
  7. Roddy Ricch *
  8. Big Boi *
  9. Dave
  10. Brother Ali
  11. Kanye West
  12. Russ *
  13. Westside Gunn
  14. Benny the Butcher
  15. Boldy James *
  16. Silk Sonic
  17. Porter Robinson
  18. Khalid *
  19. Big K.R.I.T.
  20. Cozz *
  21. LE$ *
  22. Young Thug
  23. Ghostface Killah
  24. Isaiah Rashad
  25. J. Cole

Top 50 Most Played Artists of All-Time (since like late summer 2020) [last year’s ranking in brackets]

  1. Eminem [1]
  2. Benny the Butcher [2]
  3. Nas [10]
  4. J. Cole [unranked]
  5. Conway the Machine [4]
  6. Lil Wayne [3]
  7. Kanye West [unranked]
  8. MC Eiht [6]
  9. Scarface [unranked]
  10. Isaiah Rashad [unranked]
  11. DMX [unranked]
  12. Black Thought / The Roots [5]
  13. Sa-Roc [24]
  14. Che Noir [7]
  15. Boldy James [29]
  16. Lana Del Rey [unranked]
  17. Toby Ganger [16]
  18. Westside Gunn [26]
  19. Dave [unranked]
  20. Kool G Rap [unranked]
  21. Amine [9]
  22. Outkast / Big Boi [unranked]
  23. The Lox / Jadakiss [37]
  24. Dua Lipa [30]
  25. MF DOOM [unranked]
  26. 38 Spesh [14]
  27. Spillage Village / Earthgang [8]
  28. Mac Miller [48]
  29. Dueling Experts / Recognize Ali [15]
  30. Ty Dolla $ign [12]
  31. The Notorious B.I.G. [unranked]
  32. Ransom [31]
  33. Tyrone’s Jacket [44]
  34. KOTA the Friend [unranked]
  35. Berner [11]
  36. Big K.R.I.T. [unranked]
  37. Jessie Ware [unranked]
  38. Elzhi [49]
  39. Busta Rhymes [13]
  40. Vince Staples [unranked]
  41. Kid Cudi [46]
  42. The Weeknd [17]
  43. Drake [unranked]
  44. Kendrick Lamar [unranked]
  45. Pop Smoke [28]
  46. Blu [22]
  47. Flip Huston [19]
  48. Mach-Hommy [unranked]
  49. Freddie Gibbs [unranked]
  50. Brother Ali [42]

Dropped Out: R.A. the Rugged Man [18], Big Sean [20], 21 Savage & Metro Boomin [23], Felt [25], T.I. [27], Goodie Mob [34], Ariana Grande [35], CunninLynguists [36], Jaden Smith [38], Dinner Party [39], Future [40], Kaash Paige [41], Deante Hitchcock [43], Rich Brian [45], Dave East [47], Ice Cube [50]

Bangerz Playlist Additions – Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020 Bangers Playlist
2021 Bangers Playlist





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2021 Year in Review – Movies

January 1, 2022

My TOP TEN Movies of 2021

  1. Dune
  2. Shiva Baby (HBO Max)
  3. Little Fish (Hulu)
  4. Spider-Man: No Way Home
  5. CODA (Apple TV+)
  6. Titane
  7. Pig (Hulu)
  8. Judas and the Black Messiah (HBO Max)
  9. The Last Duel
  10. A Quiet Place Part II

The rest of my top 25: https://boxd.it/b3zMq

Notable 2021 films I haven’t seen yet: Licorice Pizza, C’mon C’mon, Belfast, The Worst Person in the World, Mass, West Side Story, Red Rocket, The Lost Daughter, The Card Counter, Spencer, The French Dispatch, King Richard, In The Heights, Nightmare Alley, No Time to Die, Swan Song

My TOP FIVE Documentaries/Docu-Series of 2021

  1. The Alpinist (Netflix)
  2. Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (Apple TV+)
  3. Summer of Soul (Hulu)
  4. Val (Amazon Prime)
  5. Allen v. Farrow (HBO Max)

Notable 2021 Documentaries I haven’t seen: The Beatles: Get Back, Flee, The Rescue, Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street, Tina, Tiger, The History of the Atlanta Falcons, The Velvet Underground, The Sparks Brothers

2021 Movie Stats

Films watched: 244 (including shorts and eligible T.V. series (i.e. Loki, Mare of Easttown, etc.)

Average per month: 20.3

Average per week: 4.7

Most movies watched in one week: 13

Movies I watched twice: Halloween Kills, Minari, The Father, Shiva Baby, Promising Young Woman, Dick Johnson is Dead

Most watched genres: Drama (101 films), Horror (61), Thriller (61), Comedy (46), Action (34)

2021 releases: 29.5% Older: 70.5%

First-time watches: 74.6% Re-watches: 25.4%

10/10 Ratings: Halloween, Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Jurassic Park, 12 Years a Slave

2021 – Most Watched Actors:

6 films: Corey Feldman (Friday the 13th franchise), Samuel L. Jackson (random)

5 films: Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween franchise), Benedict Cumberbatch (random), Jesse Plemons (random), Carrie-Anne Moss (Matrix franchise), Bill Camp (random)

4 films: Robert De Niro (Scorsese), Keanu Reeves (Matrix), David Dastmalchian (random), Nick Castle (Halloween), Virginia Madsen (random), Benedict Wong (Marvel), Melora Walters (Paul Thomas Anderson), Kane Hodder (Friday the 13th), P.J. Soles (Halloween), Charles Scorsese (Scorsese), Darrell Britt-Gibson (Fear Street), Fred Hechinger (Fear Street), Olivia Scott Welch (Fear Street)

2021 – Most Watched Directors:

4 films: Martin Scorsese, Lana Wachowski

3 films: Paul Thomas Anderson, Leigh Janiak, Destin Daniel Cretton, Wes Anderson, Ridley Scott

2 films: Steve Miner, Sergio Leone, David Gordon Green, Garrett Bradley, Spike Lee, James Cameron, Chloe Zhao, Adam Wingard, Rob Zombie, Steve McQueen, David Lynch, Chris Palmer

All-Time – Most Watched Actors:

  1. Samuel L. Jackson (44 films) [previously ranked 1]
  2. Brad Pitt (36) [2]
  3. Robert De Niro (35) [2]
  4. Tom Hanks (33) [5]
  5. Matt Damon (32) [6]
  6. Morgan Freeman (31) [8]
  7. John Goodman (31) [4]
  8. Bruce Willis (29) [6]
  9. Johnny Depp (28) [9]
  10. Tom Cruise (27) [13]
  11. Robert Downey Jr. (27) [13]
  12. Woody Harrelson (27) [10]
  13. Jonah Hill (27) [12]
  14. Jack Black (27) [9]
  15. J.K. Simmons (27) [13]
  16. Arnold Schwarzenegger (26) [13]
  17. Ben Affleck (26) [13]
  18. Willem Dafoe (26) [unranked]
  19. Phillip Seymour Hoffman (25) [unranked]
  20. Bill Murray (25) [13]

Dropped out: Laurence Fishburne, Jon Favreau

All-Time – Most Watched Directors:

  1. Steve Spielberg (21 films) [previously ranked 1]
  2. Martin Scorsese (20) [2]
  3. Ridley Scott (16) [4]
  4. Tim Burton (14) [3]
  5. Sam Raimi (12) [5]
  6. Ron Howard (12) [5]
  7. Quentin Tarantino (12) [5]
  8. Ivan Reitman (11) [8]
  9. David Fincher (11) [8]
  10. Christopher Nolan (11) [8]
  11. Joel Coen (11) [8]
  12. Michael Bay (10) [12]
  13. Robert Rodriguez (10) [12]
  14. Steven Soderbergh (10) [12]
  15. Jon Turteltaub (9) [15]
  16. Stephen Herek (9) [15]
  17. Wes Craven (9) [15]
  18. Joel Schumacher (9) [unranked]
  19. Peter Farrelly (9) [15]
  20. Jay Roach (9) [15]
  21. James Mangold (9) [15]
  22. Robert Zemeckis (9) [15]
  23. Richard Donner (9) [15]

Notes: Basically no movement here. I have multiple directors I’m focusing on right now, but Scorsese is the only one I watched more than three films from and only one of those wasn’t a re-watch. Ridley Scott is the only director in my all-time top 20 that I saw more than one new film from last year.

Every Movie I watched in November & December

Notes: This is the time of year I really start digging into the 2021 movies with Oscar chances, but this past month was kind of weird because of snow. I ended up cancelling multiple movie theater trips because we only have one 4WD vehicle and Dina was using it to go to work. Also, the vast majority of my film-watching is a solo adventure, but over the last ten days of 2021 Dina and I watched 14 movies together! She let me pick out two of them. Needless to say, my focused watchlist is now overflowing with 2021 movies I still need to see. The good news is I will have almost three full months to catch up on everything before the Oscars air on March 27th. Plenty of time!

Masterpieces – 10

Amazing – 9

  • The Matrix (1999, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Boogie Nights (1997, re-watch, Showtime)

Great/Must Sees – 8

  • Titane (2021, iTunes rental)
  • The Last Duel (2021, Vudu)
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021, theater)
  • The Alpinist (2021, Netflix)
  • Avengers: Endgame (2021, re-watch, Disney+)
  • Black Swan (2010, re-watch, Hulu)
  • Goodfellas (1990, re-watch, HBO Max)

Highly Enjoyable – 7

  • Last Night in Soho (2021, theater)
  • The Master (2012, Netflix)
  • The Matrix Reloaded (2003, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Best in Show (2000, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Bottle Rocket (1996, iTunes rental)
  • Hard Eight (1996, Amazon Prime)
  • Home Alone (1990, re-watch, personal collection)
  • National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989, re-watch, personal collection)
  • The Color of Money (1986, re-watch, iTunes rental)
  • Tampopo (1985, HBO Max)

Light Recommendations – 6

Decent – 5

  • Censor (2021, Hulu)
  • Eternals (2021, theater)
  • tick, tick… BOOM! (2021, Netflix)
  • The Matrix Resurrections (2021, HBO Max)
  • I, Robot (2004, re-watch, HBO Max)

Forgettable – 4

  • The Matrix Revolutions (2003, re-watch, HBO Max)

Bad – 3

Horrible – 2

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through December 2021
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through December 2021
2021 Best Documentaries/Docu-Series: My top documentary style films of the year
Focused Watchlist: A list of 30+ movies that are at the top of my watchlist with a breakdown of how I formulate my picks
January 2022 – New to Theaters and Streaming: Ranking new and old movies I want to see coming to streaming or theaters this month

I also went crazy and made a best films of the year list for every year from 2020 to 1982, the year I was born. I ranked 25 films for 2000 and later and 10 films for 1999 to 1982. I started fizzling out on my lists in the early 90s as I just haven’t seen most of the important films from those early years when I was a kid. I have all the lists on my blog here. Enjoy!

T.V. Shows (Ratings out of 5)

Finished:

  • Succession season 3 (2021, HBO) – 4/5
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11 (2021, HBO) – 3.5/5
  • Better Call Saul season 5 (2020, FX) – 3.5/5
  • The Sex Lives of College Girls season 1 (2021, HBO) – 4/5

Actively watching:

  • Dexter: New Blood season 1 (2021, Showtime)
  • The Sopranos season 2 (2000, HBO, re-watch)

Started but on indefinite pause:

  • Chucky season 1 (2021, USA/SyFy)
  • What We Do in the Shadows season 3 (2021, Hulu)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)
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August to November 2021 Music Ratings

December 10, 2021

ALBUM OF THE PERIOD

Adele – 30

Ratings:

10 – Masterpiece
9 – Amazing
8 – Great
7 – Highly Enjoyable
6 – Recommended
5 – Decent
4 – Lackluster

3 – Bad
2 – Horrible
1 – Trash

Top 25 Albums from August 1st to November 29th

Note: These albums are NOT ranked in order of preference; they are ranked in order of number of songs listened to (scrobbles) over the past month. Previous ranking in brackets. Year of release in parentheses if it’s not 2020 or 2021.

**indicates November release

  1. Isaiah Rashad – The House is Burning – 7+
  2. Kanye West – Donda – 7
  3. Nas – King’s Disease II – 8
  4. Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together – 9
  5. Grip – I Died for This!? – 7
  6. Drake – Certified Lover Boy – 5+
  7. Mach-Hommy – Pray For Haiti – 6+
  8. Travis Thompson – BVLD BOY – 6+
  9. Big K.R.I.T. – It’s Better This Way
  10. Boldy James & The Alchemist – Bo Jackson – 6+
  11. AZ – Doe or Die II – 7+
  12. Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert – 7+
  13. Olivia Rodrigo – SOUR – 7
  14. **Adele – 30 – 8+
  15. DMX – Exodus – 6
  16. Baby Keem – The Melodic Blue – 5+
  17. Benny the Butcher – Pyrex Picasso – 6+
  18. Big K.R.I.T. – A Style Not Quite Free
  19. *Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak) – An Evening With Silk Sonic – 8+
  20. Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Side B – 6+
  21. D Smoke – War & Wonders – 6
  22. Skyzoo – All the Brilliant Things – 7+
  23. Lute – Gold Mouf – 7+
  24. Tyler, The Creator – CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST – 7
  25. Westside Gunn – Hitler Wears Hermes 8: Sincerely Adolf – 6+

The 25 Artists I Listened To the Most last three months

  1. Kanye West
  2. Isaiah Rashad
  3. Nas
  4. Dave
  5. Big K.R.I.T.
  6. Eminem
  7. Grip
  8. Outkast
  9. Westside Gunn
  10. Drake
  11. Benny the Butcher
  12. Travis Thompson
  13. AZ
  14. Mach-Hommy
  15. Boldy James
  16. Lana Del Rey
  17. Little Simz
  18. Adele
  19. Olivio Rodrigo
  20. DMX
  21. Halsey
  22. Silk Sonic (Bruno Mars & Anderson .Paak)
  23. Baby Keem
  24. D Smoke
  25. Skyzoo

Bangerz Playlist Additions – Follow me on Apple Music @DarkKnight1717 to add my playlists
2020 Bangers Playlist
2021 Bangers Playlist