Posts Tagged ‘2021 movies’

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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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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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Fall 2021 – Every Movie I Watched

October 31, 2021

Below is a list of every movie I’ve watched over the last two months. I haven’t reviewed a movie since I’ve been in Vegas, but any film with a blue link is to a review I wrote for it.

Masterpieces – 10

  • Halloween (1978, re-watch, personal collection)

Amazing – 9

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – (1966, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Dune (2021, IMAX)
  • Raging Bull (1980, re-watch, iTunes rental)
  • Do the Right Thing (1989, Netflix)

Great/Must Sees – 8

  • The King of Comedy (1982, Pluto TV)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984, re-watch, personal collection)
  • The Hustler (1961, re-watch, iTunes rental)
  • Rushmore (1998, re-watch, personal collection)
  • Little Fish (2021, Hulu)
  • Short Term 12 (2013, Peacock)

Highly Enjoyable – 7

  • A Fistful of Dollars (1964, HBO Max)
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021, theaters)
  • Halloween (2018, re-watch, personal collection)
  • The Goonies (1985, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Eden Lake (2008, Tubi TV)
  • The Return of the Living Dead (1985, HBO Max)
  • Big Time Adolescence (2019, Hulu)
  • Malignant (2021, HBO Max)
  • Val (2021, Amazon Prime)

Light Recommendations – 6

  • Primal Fear (1996, re-watch, HBO Max?)
  • Disturbia (2007, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • The Many Saints of Newark (2021, theaters)
  • Saint Maud (2020, Hulu)

Decent – 5

  • Dream Horse (2020, Hulu) – 5.5/10
  • Halloween Kills (2021, twice, theaters & Peacock)
  • Jason X (2001, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • Freddy vs. Jason (2003, re-watch, HBO Max)
  • The Voyeurs (2021, Amazon Prime)
  • Halloween: 25 Years of Terror (2006, YouTube)

Forgettable – 4

  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (2003, HBO Max)

Bad – 3

  • Dune (1984, HBO Max)

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through October
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through October 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
September 2021 – 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:

  • The Sopranos season 1 (1999, HBO, re-watch) – 4.5/5
  • Ted Lasso season 2 (2021, Apple) – 3.5/5
  • Nine Perfect Strangers mini-series (2021, Hulu) – 3/5

Actively watching:

  • Chucky season 1 (2021, USA/SyFy)
  • Better Call Saul season 5 (2020, FX)
  • What We Do in the Shadows season 3 (2021, Hulu)
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm season 11 (2021, HBO)
  • Succession season 3 (2021, HBO)

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)

Music

I have listened to almost no new music the whole time I’ve been in Vegas.

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August 2021 – Every Movie I Watched

September 5, 2021

Movies – Reviews or ratings for every movie I watched in the month of August.

Movies I watched, but didn’t review:

  • Batman: The Long Halloween, Part Two (2021) – 7/10
  • CODA (2021, Apple TV) – 8/10
  • Jungle Cruise (2021) – 4/10
  • The Green Knight (2021) – 7/10
  • The Suicide Squad (2021, HBO Max) – 6/10
  • Together, Together (2021, Hulu) – 6/10
  • The Father (2020, re-watch) – 8/10
  • Icarus (2017, Netflix) – 8/10
  • Apocalypto (2006, Prime) – 8/10
  • Croupier (1998, Netflix) – 6/10
  • The Fugitive (1993, HBO Max, re-watch) – 6/10
  • Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991, Netflix) – 10/10
  • Police Story (1985, HBO Max) – 7/10

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through August
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through August 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
September 2021 – 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)

  • Dave season 2 (2021, Hulu/FX) – 3.5/5
  • Dr. Death (2021, Peacock)
  • The Outsider (2020, HBO Max) – 3/5

Currently watching:

  • Better Call Saul season 5 (2020, FX)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)
  • The Sopranos season 1 (1999, HBO Max, re-watch)
  • Ted Lasso season 2 (2021, Apple TV+)

Music

None

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May – July 2021: Every Review I Wrote

August 3, 2021

Movies – As I said in my last movie post, writing has become one of my bottom priorities and here we are three months since I last made a movie post. Oh well, here are the reviews and/or ratings for every movie I’ve seen over that time. I’ve been going to the theaters at least once a week and Dina has even jumped back on the movie theater going experience as we’ve started taking our niece and nephew to a movie every other weekend. This has been a pleasant surprise as I’ve been seeing movies in theaters mostly by myself for years now. I still seem to be reviewing only about 33% of the movies I watch. The best movie I watched that I’ve never seen was Captain Fantastic. It was just a complete joy to watch. I think it is still streaming on Netflix and if you happened to miss it like I did, it’s time to make up for that mistake. Also, I think horror fans should check out the Fear Street trilogy on Netflix. It’s based on the kids book series by R.L. Stine (which I never read — I was a “Goosebumps” kid though), but it’s actually a pretty hard-R experience. I admittedly did not like the first movie, but I always had my eyes on the second one anyway because it looked like an homage to 1980s campsite slasher flicks and that horror sub-genre will always have a special place in my heart. Of course, I enjoyed that one, but I was surprised to also like the third movie and I think the last entry makes the whole trilogy substantially more enjoyable as a whole. It almost made me want to re-watch the first one.

Movies I watched, but didn’t review:

  • Allen v. Farrow (2021, HBO Max) – 7/10
  • Batman: The Long Halloween, Part One (2021, Prime Rental) – 6/10
  • Black Widow (2021, Theaters) – 6/10
  • Fear Street: 1978 (2021, Netflix) – 6/10
  • Fear Street: 1666 (2021, Netflix) – 6/10
  • Luca (2021, Disney+) – 7/10
  • Mitchells vs. The Machines, The (2021, Netflix) – 7/10
  • Palmer (2021, Apple TV+) – 7/10
  • Pig (2021, Theaters) – 8/10
  • Quiet Place Part II (2021, Theaters) – 8/10
  • Summer of Soul (…or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) (2021, Hulu) – 7/10
  • Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021, HBO Max) – 6/10
  • Zola (2021, Theaters) – 7/10
  • The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020, Netflix) – 6/10
  • Killing of a Sacred Deer (2017, Netflix) – 7/10
  • Captain Fantastic (2019, Netflix) – 9/10
  • Matchstick Men (2003, HBO Max) – 8/10
  • Hero (2002, HBO Max, re-watch) – 7/10
  • Audition (1999, tubi) – 7/10
  • The Fly (1986, re-watch) – 8/10
  • Stand by Me (1986, Hulu, re-watch) – 8/10

2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through July
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through July 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
August 2021 – 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)

  • Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell (2021, Netflix) – 3.5
  • Bo Burnham: Inside (2021, Netflix) – 3.5
  • Friends: The Reunion (2021, HBO Max) – 3.5
  • Invincible season 1 (2020, Amazon Prime) – 3.5
  • Mare of Easttown (2021, HBO Max) – 4.5
  • Mighty Ducks: Game Changers season 1 (2021, Disney+) – 3
  • Schitt’s Creek season 6 (2020, Netflix) – 4

Currently watching:

  • Better Call Saul season 5 (2020, FX)
  • Big Shots season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Dave season 2 (2021, Hulu/FX)
  • Loki season 1 (2021, Disney+)
  • Rick & Morty season 5 (2021, Adult Swim)
  • The Sopranos season 1 (1999, HBO Max, re-watch)
  • Ted Lasso season 2 (2021, Apple TV+)

Music

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2021 Oscar Predictions

April 24, 2021

I thought I was going to complete a bucket list project and watch every single film and short that was nominated for an Oscar this year. I basically went an entire year without being able to do my job, so it left me way more time to watch movies than I usually have. I kicked things into high gear starting in December and cranked out like 25-30 movies a month, but by the middle of April, I still had a handful of films I needed to watch and I wasn’t excited about any of them and poker and baseball started to dominate my time. On the eve of Oscar night, there are six films that were nominated that I haven’t seen. I did watch every international feature, documentary, and short though and that’s something I’ve definitely never done before. Below are my rankings and predictions for every category. I didn’t listen to any of the songs, so I left that category out and despite having a family member that works as an editor on big Hollywood movies Film Editing is the category I understand the least, so I left that off too. Enjoy!

Best Picture

  1. Promising Young Woman
  2. Minari
  3. Sound of Metal
  4. Nomadland
  5. The Father
  6. Judas and the Black Messiah
  7. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  8. Mank

Biggest Snub: Considering they can nominate as many as ten films for Best Pic, I think it’s crazy Soul didn’t a nomination. It was my third favorite movie of 2020 and such a feel good film, I can’t believe it’s not here. Also, I think it’s kind of strange that Thomas Vinterberg got a Best Director nomination but his Another Round didn’t get a Best Pic nom.

Prediction: I would be rather shocked if something other than Minari or Nomadland won. I think Nomadland is going to win, but Minari was a more enjoyable movie to me.

Best Actor

  1. Anthony Hopkins, The Father
  2. Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  3. Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
  4. Gary Oldman, Mank
  5. Steven Yeun, Minari

Biggest Snub: Delroy Lindo was so good in Da 5 Bloods that I thought he might have a decent chance at winning and he’s not even nominated. I’d rank him third on that list above.

Prediction: Chadwick Boseman has all the buzz and momentum, but Anthony Hopkins gave the performance of the year in The Father. While a posthumous Oscar would be really cool for Chadwick and his family — and he would be a deserving pick — I still think Sir Anthony gave a better performance.

Best Actress

  1. Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman
  2. Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
  3. Frances McDormand, Nomadland
  4. Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

Haven’t seen: Andra Day, The United States vs. Billie Holiday

Biggest Snub: There were a lot of really good performances from lead actresses last year, but I think the Academy mostly got it right. I thought Rosamund Pike absolutely made I Care A Lot and Zendaya really leveled up in Malcolm & Marie, but I’m not overly shocked neither of them are here.

Prediction: I believe Viola Davis is the favorite, but I think that’s ludicrous. Her screen time is rather limited and it’s not like she was Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs good. I’m rooting hard for Carey Mulligan here. She deserves it.

Best Director

  1. Chloe Zhao, Nomadland
  2. Lee Isaac Chung, Minari
  3. Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
  4. David Fincher, Mank
  5. Thomas Vinterberg, Another Round

Biggest Snub: I’ll say Shaka King because his movie got a Best Pic nom while Thomas Vinterberg’s movie did not.

Prediction: It would be a massive upset if anyone other than Chloe Zhao won.

Best Supporting Actor

  1. Leslie Odom Jr., One Night in Miami…
  2. Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and the Black Messiah
  3. Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of the Chicago 7
  4. Paul Raci, Sound of Metal
  5. Lakeith Stanfield, Judas and the Black Messiah

Biggest Snub: It’s probably unfair that Lakeith Stanfield is eligible for this category. He was a lead actor in that movie (and so was Kaluuya probably). So he’s stealing someone’s spot and I’d suggest that someone should be Frank Langella in The Trial of the Chicago 7. He had me laughing that whole damn movie.

Prediction: This category is loaded, but Daniel Kaluuya has been sweeping awards season. Lock it up.

Best Supporting Actress

  1. Yuh-Jung Youn, Minari
  2. Amanda Seyfried, Mank
  3. Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  4. Olivia Colman, The Father

Haven’t seen: Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy

Biggest Snub: No one really stands out, but Dominque Fishback in Judas and the Black Messiah is probably the best performance that didn’t get nominated.

Prediction: This category is loaded too. I wouldn’t be mad if any of the top four won, but my favorite performance of the bunch was definitely Yuh-Jung Youn. Anyone that can make you laugh consistently while speaking a language you don’t understand is doing something special. I think she has stolen the momentum away from Seyfried, whom I used to think was a lock.

Best Original Screenplay

  1. Promising Young Woman
  2. Minari
  3. The Trial of the Chicago 7
  4. Judas and the Black Messiah
  5. Sound of Metal

Biggest Snub: Considering how wildly imaginative Soul was, it is crazy that it got snubbed.

Prediction: Sorkin is probably going to win for Chicago 7, but I think Emerald Fennell and Promising Young Woman are drawing live.

Best Adapted Screenplay

  1. The Father
  2. Nomadland
  3. One Night in Miami…
  4. Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
  5. The White Tiger

Biggest Snub: Charlie Kaufman’s I’m Thinking of Ending Things was complete insanity. I’m not sure I liked the movie, but he unquestionably writes on a level that mere mortals are not capable of.

Prediction: Anthony Hopkins is legendary in The Father but Florian Zeller and Christopher Hampton gave him plenty to work with in a brilliant script. I don’t think the script is the best aspect of Nomadland but I actually think it might be the favorite in this category as well.

Best Animated Feature

  1. Soul
  2. Wolfwalkers
  3. Onward
  4. Over The Moon

Haven’t seen: A Shaun The Sheep Movie: Farmageddon

Biggest Snub: I’ve actually only seen the nominated films. I loved the first Croods movie so I’m a little surprised that its sequel got beat out by Over The Moon and Shaun The Sheep.

Prediction: Wolfwalkers was great, but Soul should have been a Best Pic nom and will win here easily.

Best Documentary Feature

  1. My Octopus Teacher
  2. Time
  3. Collective
  4. Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution
  5. The Mole Agent

Biggest Snubs: Dick Johnson is Dead and Boys State feel like massive snubs. They’d both crack my top 5 easily.

Prediction: My Octopus Teacher blew my mind because its subject is so amazing and I think it’s unbelievably cool that they were able to catch that relationship between man and sea creature on film but… Collective and Time are far more poignant — one of those two are almost certainly going to win and I’ll say Time takes home the Oscar.

Best International Feature

  1. Another Round
  2. Quo Vadis, Aida?
  3. Collective
  4. Better Days
  5. The Man Who Sold His Skin

Biggest Snub: There’s a Korean thriller I saw on Netflix named The Call. I loved it, but it has gotten basically zero attention anywhere that I’ve seen.

Prediction: Another Round feels like a lock, especially with that Best Director nomination, but Quo Vadis, Aida? was a great movie and should give the Danish submission a run for its money.

Best Cinematography

  1. Nomadland
  2. Mank
  3. Judas and the Black Messiah
  4. News of the World
  5. The Trial of the Chicago 7

Biggest Snub: I don’t think I really liked Tenet much, but it was cool to look at, that’s for sure. Same with I’m Thinking of Ending Things.

Prediction: Nomadland is a virtual lock.

Best Production Design

  1. Mank
  2. News of the World
  3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  4. Tenet
  5. The Father

Biggest Snub: First Cow probably deserved an Oscar nomination for something and it’s production design was definitely great.

Prediction: Mank feels pretty safe here.

Best Costume Design

  1. Emma
  2. Mank
  3. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  4. Mulan

Haven’t seen: Pinocchio

Biggest Snub: Probably something I haven’t seen, but the guys in One Night in Miami… were looking pretty sharp.

Prediction: Wide open between the top 3, so I’ll go with my #1 in Emma.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

  1. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
  2. Emma.
  3. Mank

Haven’t Seen: Hillbilly Elegy, Pinocchio

Biggest Snub: I can’t say I was a fan of Birds of Prey, but this is something it definitely did well.

Prediction: Well, I didn’t watch 40% of the nominees, but Ma Rainey seems to be a big favoite here.

Best Visual Effects

  1. Tenet
  2. The Midnight Sky
  3. Love and Monsters
  4. Mulan

Haven’t seen: The One and Only Ivan

Prediction: I was pretty mixed on Tenet but the visual effects were A+. This should be an easy win.

Best Original Score

  1. Soul
  2. Mank
  3. Minari
  4. News of the World
  5. Da 5 Bloods

Biggest Snub: I liked the score for Nomadland enough to add the soundtrack to my library on Apple Music and use it for background noise while I meditate… so… I definitely thought it would crack Oscar’s top 5.

Prediction: Soul

Best Sound

  1. Sound of Metal
  2. Soul
  3. News of the World
  4. Mank

Haven’t seen: Greyhound

Biggest Snub: Definitely NOT Tenet.

Prediction: Sound of Metal not winning this category would be insanity.

Best Live Action Short

  1. The Present
  2. White Eye
  3. Feeling Through
  4. The Letter Room
  5. Two Distant Strangers

Biggest Snub: Only saw these five.

Prediction: Before watching these, I thought The Letter Room probably had the best chance simply because Oscar Isaac was the star and it had some buzz, but as you can see above, it was far from my favorite of the noms. I think they were all pretty good and as much as I’d like to see Joey Bada$$ be part of an Oscar win (for Two Distant Strangers), The Present and White Eye are a notch above the competition here.

Best Documentary Short

  1. A Love Song for Latasha
  2. A Concerto is a Conversation
  3. Colette
  4. Do Not Split
  5. Hunger Ward

Biggest Snub: I only saw one other documentary short and I’m fine with its lack of inclusion.

Prediction: This is the first time I’ve seen all five nominees in a shorts category and, honestly, I still have no clue. The only one of these I didn’t thoroughly enjoy was Hunger Ward (and it’s not like that didn’t cover heartbreaking ground). Prior to watching these, I was under the impression that A Concerto was the favorite, but I’ll be rooting for Latasha.

Best Animated Short

  1. If Anything Happens I Love You
  2. Opera
  3. Burrow
  4. Genius Loci
  5. Yes-People

Prediction: I didn’t even enjoy the bottom two on the list and Burrow is at least one full notch below the top two. The visual of Opera was absolutely epic, but If Anything Happens I Love You is the most touching of this lot by a wide margin, plus it’s animation and music are high quality as well. Probably an easy win.