Posts Tagged ‘marvel’


2022 Year in Review – Movies

March 24, 2023

My TOP TEN Movies of 2022

  1. Everything Everywhere All at Once
  2. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Plus)
  3. The Woman King (Netflix)
  4. The Batman (HBO Max)
  5. The Banshees of Inisherin (HBO Max)
  6. Avatar: The Way of Water
  7. Terrifier 2
  8. Pearl
  9. The Whale
  10. Barbarian (HBO Max)

The rest of my top 25:

Notable 2021 films I haven’t seen yet: Triangle of Sadness, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, All Quiet on the Western Front, Decision to Leave, RRR, After Yang, Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, Babylon, Broker, Armageddon Time, Women Talking, Turning Red, Crimes of the Future, Fresh, Lightyear, Resurrection, EO

My TOP FIVE Documentaries/Docu-Series of 2022

Uh. I don’t think I watched a single 2022 documentary. Yikes.

Notable 2021 Documentaries I haven’t seen: All of them

2022 Movie Stats

Films watched: 104 (considerably down from 244 in 2021)

Average per month: 8.7

Average per week: 2

Most movies watched in one week: 9

Movies I watched twice: The Batman, Terrifier 2, Scream (2022), Halloween Ends, A Star is Born (2018), Top Gun: Maverick

Most watched genres: Drama (40 films), Horror (32), Thriller (28), Comedy (21), Mystery (17)

2021 releases: 46.2% Older: 53.8%

First-time watches: 74% Re-watches: 26%

10/10 Ratings: Whiplash

2022 – Most Watched Actors:

5 films: Courtney Cox, David Arquette, Roger Jackson, Neve Campbell (all Scream)

4 films: Liev Schreiber (Scream), Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween), Bradley Cooper (random)

3 films: Christoph Waltz, John Turturro, Kyle Richards, Nick Castle, Ashley Laurence, Willem Dafoe, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Kennedy, Doug Bradley, Cate Blanchett, Jenny Slate, Naomie Harris, Jeffrey Wright

2022 – Most Watched Directors:

4 films: Wes Craven

3 films: David Gordon Green

2 films: Sam Levinson, Jaume Collet-Serra, Tobe Hooper, Baz Luhrmann, Guillermo del Toro, Ti West

All-Time – Most Watched Actors:

  1. Samuel L. Jackson (44 films) [1]
  2. Tom Hanks (34) [4]
  3. Brad Pitt (34) [2]
  4. Robert De Niro (33) [3]
  5. Matt Damon (32) [5]
  6. John Goodman (31) [t-6]
  7. Morgan Freeman (29) [t-6]
  8. Bruce Willis (29) [8]
  9. Willem Dafoe (28) [t-16]
  10. Woody Harrelson (28) [t-10]
  11. Jonah Hill (28) [t-10]
  12. Jack Black (28) [t-10]
  13. J.K. Simmons (28) [t-10]
  14. Bill Murray (26) [t-19]
  15. Johnny Depp (26) [9]
  16. Tom Cruise (26) [t-10]
  17. Philip Seymour Hoffman (25) [t-19]
  18. Ben Affleck (25) [t-16]
  19. Jon Favreau (25) [unranked]
  20. Scarlett Johansson (25) [unranked]

Dropped Out: Robert Downey Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger

Notes: The biggest changes in these rankings happened because Letterboxd removed appearances in documentaries from actors filmographies, so a number of actors on this list lost a movie or two from their stats. Otherwise, I generally don’t focus on any one actor’s filmography so any movement here in the future will probably be pretty random.

All-Time – Most Watched Directors:

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

Notes: I didn’t watch more than two new films from any director last year and none of them are on this list.

2022 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2022 through March 2023
2021 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2021 through March 2023
2020 Best Feature Films: My top 25 of 2020 through March 2023
Focused Watchlist: A list of 30+ movies that are at the top of my watchlist with a breakdown of how I formulate my picks

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!


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)


  • 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)

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:

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)


  • 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)

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)


  • 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)


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


Movie Reviews: Midsommar, Toy Story 4, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Crawl, Child’s Play

July 26, 2019

Midsommar (2019) – This definitely won’t be for everyone. It’s director Ari Aster’s follow up to last year’s awesome Hereditary and it is every bit as unsettling and quite a bit weirder. Florence Pugh gives another top notch performance and already has two roles this year that could earn her some Oscar consideration. For the first half of this movie, I was enthralled, thinking it was one of the best of the year, but as it moved into its last act, I couldn’t tell if I was losing interest or if I was just shocked numb. I definitely preferred Hereditary, but Midsommar gets high marks for its gorgeous cinematography, crazy setting, over-the-top gore and a great acting job from Pugh. I recommend, but be warned.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable… sort of)

Toy Story 4 (2019) – Somehow Pixar keeps pumping out extremely good sequels to their first franchise. For me, Toy Story 3 was the best film of the series and a perfect conclusion to this saga and one of my favorite films of the past couple decades, but when Disney can print a billion dollars with every new entry, you knew it wouldn’t be too long before we got another movie… and this probably won’t be the last one either. I really enjoyed Toy Story 4. The story meanders differently than previous installments and Forky is an amazing addition. The animation looks as good as ever and while the movie didn’t quite meet my expectations of being mind-blowingly good, I can’t say I was disappointed either. I am looking forward to watching it again and seeing if I can find a more magical appreciation of it.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – I really enjoyed this. It’s consistently funny, has some awesome action sequences, and the cast is great. Jake Gyllenhall is a nice addition as Mysterio and I liked the way that character was handled. This movie was extremely pleasing but I did like Homecoming more, mostly because of Michael Keaton and the amazing scene between Peter and Vulture before the dance. Far From Home doesn’t have a sequence like that and for a hero known as “the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man,” this version of Spidey has seemed to spend very little time in New York.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Crawl (2019) – If this movie doesn’t make you want to pack up your belongings and relocate to Florida, then I don’t know what will. This is basically Jaws in a crawl space with big ‘ole gators instead of a great white, so it’s not exactly breaking new ground, but it was pretty much exactly what I wanted and that made it entertaining enough.

5/10 (Decent)

Child’s Play (2019) – I was primed to hate this movie. How disrespectful is it to reboot a franchise when the original continuity is still producing new content? Series creator Don Mancini directed Cult of Chucky in 2017 and the original cast and crew are currently working on a T.V. series that continues the story of the first seven movies. So what the hell is this? Chucky is a just a highly capable A.I. doll that a disgruntled factory worker decided to flip the “bad” switch on? Eww. But somehow, some way, this movie works. It’s funny, it’s gruesome, and it’s pretty damn good. I’d… watch a sequel. *gasp*

6/10 (Recommended)

Bladerunner 2049 (2017) – There’s a lot to love about this movie – the cinematography and sound are unreal, Denis Villeneuve is a genius, Ryan Gosling is great, and the concept is really cool – but I just don’t get the Blade Runner series. I’ve heard plenty of people talk about the original like it’s an all-time classic and I’ve seen it twice now and both times I came away feeling underwhelmed. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. I felt the same way about this sequel. It was good – fantastic from a technical standpoint – but the stories in both films didn’t move me at all. Maybe I just need to keep watching them until something clicks? The Blade Runner movies are really good, but I don’t think either of them are great.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)


Avengers: Endgame (2019)

May 9, 2019

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Director: The Russo Brothers (Avengers: Infinity War, Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier)

Starring: The whole squad

Anticipation Level: Epic

How Was It? This was execution at its finest. I absolutely loved it and you really have to admire what Marvel has accomplished, not just in this film, but in what they’ve created with their entire cinematic universe. It is truly unprecedented in the history of movies. Not every film has been great, or even good, but they’ve landed far more hits than misses and Endgame is a perfect conclusion to it all. It is pure fan service and a total crowd pleaser with many laugh-out-loud, surprising, and fist-pumping moments. Thor was a total scene-stealer; Chris Hemsworth is a riot in this movie. Even at an incredibly steep 3+ hour run time, it zipped by and I was thoroughly entertained all the way.

Prior to this movie, I was starting to feel that superhero fatigue. I didn’t like Ant-Man and The Wasp and I was lukewarm on Shazam!, Aquaman, and Captain Marvel as well, so I was really happy Endgame knocked it out of the park. I think the Russo Brothers get it. You take a look at their directorial credits and all their movies are in the upper tiers of the MCU, with The Winter Soldier possibly being my favorite.

I think Marvel did a great job with the roll out of this movie. I loved the trailer. Well, the one that I saw anyway. It gave away nothing. They knew the movie would crush no matter what and didn’t have to spoil anything to get people in the seats. I mean… how much cooler would it have been if we didn’t all know beforehand that The Hulk was going to show up in Ragnarok? I had no clue the direction Endgame was going to go and I have to admit I was shocked by a lot of it, particularly the whole first act.

I won’t say Endgame is one of those superhero movies that transcends the genre – like The Dark Knight – but it’s one of the best movies in the MCU and considering the scope of it all, it’s an immensely impressive achievement. I’ve already seen it twice and I’d probably enjoy a third viewing as soon as tomorrow, so it should hold up well over time. Endgame was about as good as I could have hoped for, managing to wrap up a 22-film arc, with plenty of laughs and maybe a few tears.

Replay Value: For a three hour movie, the replay value is insane.

Sequel Potential: They will probably still be making movies based on these characters a hundred years from now.

Oscar Potential: Infinity War got a nomination for Best Visual Effects, so consider that a lock for Endgame. I suppose there’s some outside chance this could get a Best Picture nomination, but it’s more popcorn film/blockbuster awesome than Oscar worthy storytelling.

8/10 (Must See)


Lazy Movie Reviews: Into the Spider-Verse and more!

December 19, 2018

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018) – I absolutely loved it. Everything in this movie is so well done – from the story to the animation to the voice acting (especially Nicholas Cage). It’s all top notch. I thought there might be potential for things to get really convoluted with merging universes and multiple Spideys but it’s easy to follow and all the various characters give us reasons to care about them. This movie also had me laughing pretty much from start to finish and the story actually packs quite the emotional punch. It’s not just a strong animated movie… it’s one of the best movies of the year. Period.

8/10 (Must See)

Creed II (2018) – A decent follow-up to the first Creed but doesn’t pack nearly the same emotional punch. Still, for the 8th installment in the Rocky franchise, one can hardly complain. If you’ve enjoyed the story up to this point, this is more of the same.

5/10 (Decent)

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindewald (2018) – This is the worst thing J.K. Rowling has ever written – that I’ve read or seen (I have not read her books for adults). I thought the first Fantastic Beasts was decent enough, although a far cry from the quality seen in the Harry Potter movies. My problems with the sequel are the same as the first movie, only much worse this time around. The characters in these movies are just so brutally hollow and uninteresting. The story is extremely weak here and the pacing is unreal slow. Creedance Bareback is one of the worst villains ever. Wait, is he a villain? Who knows. Who cares? Johnny Depp brings absolutely nothing to the role of Grindewald, but I did think Jude Law was fine as a younger Dumbledore. The creatures play a much smaller role in this movie and that’s a shame because they were the best thing about the first one. My interest level in this franchise has gone from middling to hanging by a thread

3/10 (Bad)

Widows (2018) – A captivating thriller with surprising twists and real world relevancy, plus top notch performances from Viola Davis and Elizabeth Debicki. One of the more enthralling movies of the year.

8/10 (Must See)

Mid90s (2018) – A nostalgic trip through my early teen years. This movie was like reliving my past, albeit without the actual skateboarding. From idolizing kids that are only a few years older (or in my case, the same age) to trying drugs, alcohol, and girls for the first time, this is a coming of age flick for kids that grew up in… the mid90s.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Overlord (2018) – I’m not sure I’m on board with calling this a B-movie as the special effects and cinematography were pretty good.
The actors are mostly unknown, but I didn’t think there was anything overly cheesy going on here. It’s a fun super-serum fueled zombie flick with Nazis as the bad guys.

6/10 (Fun)

The Christmas Chronicles (2018, Netflix) – I probably wouldn’t have watched this without seeing a strong recommendation from someone I knew. It is a welcome addition to the existing library of fun Christmas movies. This one gives Santa an upgrade in abilities and Kurt Russell is surprisingly great hamming it up as our favorite holiday folk hero.

6/10 (Fun)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018, Netflix) – I’m not sure how it happened, but this movie charmed my pants off. Wait. That sounds bad. The movie doesn’t start strong and the event that gets things rolling is a little dumb, but once the two leads start interacting with each other I think it gets quite good, as long as you can get past the fact that these are stupid teenagers acting like stupid teenagers.

6/10 (Fun)

Mandy (2018) – This movie was a total trip. If you ever wanted to drop acid and watch a movie… this would be a good film to go with. It feels like a mash-up of Hellraiser and Mad Max with a sprinkle of Evil Dead and a Nicholas Cage hell-bent on bloody revenge. Plus it has some funky camera work and cool music. Mandy gets a very strong recommendation from me, but you have to have an open mind and a thick stomach.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)

Incredibles 2 (2018) – We had to wait 14 years for this? As a huge fan of the original movie, I was really disappointed with this sequel. With such a long break in between films, you’d think they could come up with a more interesting story. I had the villain pegged the first time I saw them. In fact, I thought it was so obvious that I probably had to be wrong. Nope. Jack Jack the baby is easily the highlight of the movie. The rest of the main characters, aside from Elastigirl, aren’t given much room for growth. This movie isn’t nearly as funny or as charming as the first. Aside from the Toy Story movies and Finding Dory, Pixar has mostly fallen flat with their sequels.

5/10 (Decent)

Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) – This was a massive disappointment for me. I liked the first movie and this sequel seems to bring nothing new to the table. This movie isn’t nearly as funny as it wants to be and while I won’t call it outright bad, it was pretty boring and unmemorable.

4/10 (Forgettable)

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) – I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t expecting much. I would have been less surprised if this sucked than if it was really good. It has been a couple of weeks since I saw it and nothing really stuck with me, so that says something. I thought dude playing Han did an fine, but unremarkable job. There were some easter eggs for franchise fans, but there was probably a ton of stuff that this semi-fan missed. I imagine Star Wars will be mostly pleased, but this was nothing special.

5/10 (Decent)

Replay Value: Into the Spider-Verse, Widows and Mandy are movies I’d happily watch again right now. Mid90s is worth seeing again. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Christmas Chronicles have some replay value, but the rest of these movies I’d never need to see again.

Sequel Potential: Into the Spider-Verse should definitely get a direct sequel. Fantastic Beasts, Creed II, and Ant-Man and the Wasp are all part of ongoing franchises. Solo is a spin-off that will probably get its own sequel. I would imagine Widows and Mid90s are standalone films. The Christmas Chronices has potential for future films.

Oscar Potential: Into the Spider-Verse is a lock for a Best Animated Feature nomination. I haven’t seen many animated movies this year, but I can’t imagine anything winning the Oscar over this one. I thought it was good enough to warrant some long shot Best Picture consideration, but that isn’t going to happen. The Crimes of Grindewald is on the short list for Best Score, but already whiffed on Visual Effects and Make-Up. I guess it is still a contender for Costume Design. Widows should get Viola Davis another Best Actress nom and some Best Picture consideration. I thought Elizabeth Debicki was worth consideration for her supporting role in the movie, but the competition is looking too stiff for a nomination. Incredibles 2 will probably get a Best Animated Feature nomination because Pixar movies basically always do, but it would have to be a very weak year for it to be deserved. I’ve actually only seen two animated features this year, so I have no idea. Solo: A Star Wars Story and Ant-Man and the Wasp are on the short list for the Visual Effects category.


Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

May 2, 2018

Director: The Russo Brothers (Captain America: Civil War, Captain America: Winter Soldier)
Starring: Half of Hollywood

I’m going to attempt to do something difficult and review a movie that a) I feel like I need to see again before I have a firm grasp on how I feel about it and b) I’m not sure I can say much about without spoiling things. Here goes…

This is what we’ve all been waiting for. If you’re still with Marvel at this point, then Avengers: Infinity War is as big as it gets. My friend I saw this movie with is a comic book fanatic and I’m pretty sure seeing this movie ranked somewhere in the top five most anticipated moments of his entire life. This is where we’ve been headed since Robert Downey Jr. first became Iron Man all the way back in 2008 – when Marvel completely changed the movie-going experience by creating a massive shared universe that has stretched over a decade now. And if you’re still eagerly awaiting Thanos’ arrival on Earth then chances are it’s going to be very hard for Avengers: Infinity War to disappoint you.

But that didn’t stop Age of Ultron from disappointing, did it? Admit it, that was arguably the worst and most forgettable film in the ten years of Marvel’s nearly flawless run of box office dominance. It was also at that point that Joss Whedon passed the directing baton to the Russo brothers, whom have proven to be the most adept filmmakers in the MCU, with both Captain America: Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War ranking in the top five Marvel movies to date.

I’ve actually read some criticism of Infinity War saying that it lacks character development. Something along the lines of the characters just show up and get involved in the story. What. Yeah, I forgot about the last ten years and previous 18 movies that have led up to this point too. Outside of Thanos, basically everyone else involved has had multiple movies worth of character development. We don’t really need it here. Hush.

So the basic premise here is that Thanos is the biggest and baddest dude from space and he has obtained what I believe is called the Infinity Gauntlet and he is after the six Infinity Stones that can be placed in the Infinity Gauntlet and when that happens, he can unlock unrivaled universe-erasing power. Not that he needs it: in the first sequence of the film, Thanos puts a severe beating on a few heroes and proves that The Avengers are already no match for him, Infinity Gauntlet or not.

It’s pretty easy to see how earth’s mightiest heroes get pulled into the fracas. If you’ve seen all the movies that have led up to this point (and you should have) then the following are not spoilers: Vision has an Infinity Stone in his forehead; Loki likely has an Infinity Stone and he’s currently traveling through space with Thor and the few surviving Asgardians; Doctor Strange has the Time Stone; and two other Stones are in space with people we’ve seen the Guardians of the Galaxy interact with. Needless to say, Thanos will have to go through some Avengers and possibly some Guardians to get all the Stones.

So that’s the gist of the plot and I have to say the execution mostly doesn’t disappoint. Infinity War is wonderful cinematic spectacle. At over 150 minutes and with a massive amount of characters to include, the film manages to be engaging and juggle screen time quite effectively. Sure, some of our heroes get less screen time than others, but when it comes down to it, this is Thanos’ movie anyways. I think I actually may have stepped out of the theater to use the bathroom at an inopportune time – particularly, when Thanos explained his reasoning for wanting to obtain the Stones and erase half of the universe’s population. So I really can’t comment on his motives, but if anyone wants to destroy half the universe, there’s probably a good reason for it, right?

I definitely enjoyed my first viewing of Infinity War. Like most Marvel movies, it blends action and humor to perfection and all the key players have an opportunity for a WOAH moment.

While Infinity War packs all the necessary punches, it also had a number of eyebrow-raising and eye-rolling moments. There are quite a few moments in the movie where a character has to make a tough (yet incredibly easy, all things considered) decision and makes an idiotic choice. What kind of hero would jeopardize the fate of the entire universe for one life? A shitty one. One that will be hard to root for in the future. Also, there’s a point where Doctor Strange looks into the future and says something along the lines of in 14 million possible outcomes, The Avengers only win in one of them. Is that really necessary? 1 in 14 million? When everyone in the theater knows the actual chance of an eventual Avengers victory is 100%? Do we need to be insulted like that? And if Doctor Strange can see into the future, and knows the one path to victory, then what is really at stake here? Nothing.

And that brings me to something I can’t really talk about. What I will say is that the film had no emotional impact on me. There are supposed to be huge moments of shock and sadness and I felt nothing. Because none of it seems real. None of it seems final. Because of the Soul Stone and the Time Stone and the nature of comic books, I just have a hard time believing that anything of massive consequence that happens in this movie can’t just be overturned at the snap of a finger. And because of that, my only emotional response was PFFFFFFT.

Still, I definitely enjoyed the movie. Fans of the genre should love it – and they do: it’s currently sitting in the top ten all time on IMDB’s Top 250 list (and that’s just absurd). If you haven’t been a fan of the MCU, this movie won’t change your mind. I’m looking forward to seeing it again and wonder if my opinion of it will change at all.

Replay Value: I’m ready for my second viewing already!

Sequel Potential: Avengers 4 has already been shot, I believe.

Oscar Potential: None?

Dina Meter: My wife enjoyed it.

7/10 (Highly Enjoyable)


Black Panther (2018)

March 1, 2018

Directed by: Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station)
Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Letitia Wright, Daniel Kaluuya, Martin Freeman

Thoughts: What a huge movie. An absolute colossal success and a groundbreaking film in terms of showing that an almost entirely black cast can produce monster box office numbers. Ugh. I hate typing that sentence. I shouldn’t have to. But one can’t ignore the fact that this sort of opportunity has been sorely lacking in the past and Black Panther will surely open doors and possibly knock them completely off the hinges.

Ryan Coogler and his team really did a wonderful job creating this film. The fictional nation of Wakanda is stunning and fully realized and does as much for empowering women as it does for black people. In Wakanda, women are the fiercest warriors and protectors of the realm, and T’Challa’s sister is the head engineer in advanced weaponry and gadgetry. There’s been some buzz in the industry the last few years about casting a black James Bond, and Black Panther has a lot of 007 in it.

The main conflict in the film is that Michael B. Jordan’s Erik Killmonger believes that he has a claim to the throne in Wakanda and challenges T’Challa. Killmonger’s motives and backstory provide some conflict in the viewers as he’s a rare villain that you can possibly sympathize with.

The cast in this movie does a brilliant job, with Jordan being the highlight and Lupita Nyong’o and Letitia Wright also giving strong and fun performances.

Black Panther is a film that fires on all cylinders and provides a thoroughly entertaining film experience. It’s definitely a crowd-pleaser. I had a blast watching it and I hope it’s just as much fun over multiple viewings. I can confidently say Black Panther ranks in the upper echelon in the Marvel Cinematic Universe – possibly as high as #1 – and the presentation of Wakanda and the film’s groundbreaking nature make it a must see in my book.

Replay Value: If I didn’t have so many other movies to watch before the Oscars, I would have seen this again by now. I’m looking forward to a second viewing and I suspect it will hold up pretty well. It is a film I will want to own.

Sequel Potential: The film’s success will certainly fast-track a sequel. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it released in 2020. T’Challa should be playing a significant role in the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War films.

Oscar Potential: I called multiple nominations for Get Out at this time last year and I was right on most of them. I feel less confident in Black Panther‘s chances. This film’s strongest cases are probably in the Production Design, Costumes, Visual Effects, and Sound departments. Michael B. Jordan has already got some Supporting Actor buzz, but he probably won’t get a nomination.

*Dina Meter: My wife would have enjoyed this movie.

8/10 (Must See)

*I’m adding a new element to my movie reviews. I don’t expect everyone to have the same taste as me. Someone asked what my favorite movies of 2017 were and my first response was The Shape of Water and the person I was talking to said he hated it. My friend I saw it with didn’t like it much either. I feel like my wife is a pretty good measure of what a casual filmgoer will like or not like. She tends to not enjoy the more obscure films that I like. With that in mind, I’m implementing the Dina Meter, where I will sum up what she thought about a movie or what I think she would have thought if we didn’t watch it together.


So Many T.V. Shows!

October 24, 2017

5 – Must Watch
4 – Good Stuff
3 – Decent
2 – Not Recommended
1 – Terrible

I’ve powered through a number of seasons of various T.V. series recently, but haven’t shared my thoughts yet, so here they are:

Game of Thrones, Season 7: The biggest event show on television is still must watch stuff. Season 7 featured a bit of ridiculousness (like, travelling to and fro is no longer an issue for anyone in Westeros – they might as well be apparating), but there were plenty of long awaited moments and lots to cheer about. It’s hard to say too much about this show without spoiling things, so I’ll just say I still find Thrones insanely entertaining and I can’t wait to see how they end this thing. 4.5/5

Iron Fist, Season 1: I hated it. Easily the worst of the Netflix Marvel series so far. The biggest problem is Finn Jones just has no charisma in the lead role and, as such, Danny Rand is not someone you can wholeheartedly root for. I really had to force myself to finish this season so I could watch… 1.5/5

The Defenders, Season 1: How could they mess this up? By making The Hand the main enemy, I guess. It’s fun seeing the four heroes interact with each other (although Iron Fist is still lame), but at the end of the day, the agenda of The Hand just doesn’t make any sense. I literally have no idea what the end game was for them. And who is Sigourney Weaver’s character? She’s the leader of The Hand and she’s supposed to be important, but we are never given any reason to fear her and have no idea why she’s in power. Certainly someone like Madam Gao seems a more formidable leader. Shrug. I thought this long awaited series was good for about four episodes and then it lost me completely. People that are going to watch are going to watch it anyway, but I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. 2/5

Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later: If you aren’t already familiar with this franchise you should acquaint yourself with the 2001 film and the Netflix series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp first. There are too many back stories and running jokes to fully appreciate this show if you haven’t seen the previous installments. I admittedly did not revisit the film first and I think it dampened my enjoyment ever so slightly. I kind of figured things out and remembered as the new story unfolded, but not having everything fresh didn’t make everything as funny as it should be – and it was still hilarious! Absolutely my kind of comedy, but certainly not for everyone. This shows gets pretty ridiculous and out there, but I’ve really enjoyed both series streaming on Netflix. 4/5

Gotham, Season 3: As a dedicated Batman fan, I can’t stop watching this series no matter how ridiculous or bad it gets. There are just so many things to complain about. To some degree, Bruce Wayne finally begins his actual transition into becoming The Batman, but most of his biggest villains are already fully formed – despite the fact that, traditionally, Batman is the reason his rogues gallery exists in the first place. There is a lot to gripe about but I’d like to highlight a couple of things: 1) So Jerome isn’t The Joker? I really liked Cameron Monoghan as Jerome even though his portrayal was a weeeeeeee bit over the top. I don’t understand how someone that looks and acts exactly like The Joker isn’t actually The Joker. The idea that the real Joker is someone paying homage to Jerome, or a copycat, really doesn’t sit right with me. 2) My goodness, how bad did they botch Mr. Freeze? He looks and sounds absolutely TERRIBLE, plus they turned a formidable anti-villain with a tragic back story and turned him into… Penguin’s lackey? 3) This season has a Penguin-Riddler love story. No joke. 2/5

Better Call Saul, Season 2: Creator Vince Gilligan (also responsible for Breaking Bad) is truly a master. I wasn’t really sold on a Saul Goodman spinoff when I first heard about it, but both seasons of the show have been stellar. The show has amazingly rich character development and plenty of fun call backs to Breaking Bad. Arguably the best show currently airing right now, I can’t wait to watch season 3 and be all caught up. 5/5

Ash Vs. Evil Dead, Season 1: This series picks up 30 years after the events of Evil Dead 2 (I think it ignores Army Of Darkness) with Bruce Campbell reprising his role of zombie/demon slayer Ash Williams. The first season is hilarious, spectacularly gory, and wildly entertaining. Ash picks up a couple of compadres on his quest this time around and they are admittedly still growing on me but at least they give someone for Ash to verbally spar with. This isn’t genius stuff here, but it’s definitely something fans of horror and the original franchise will love. 4/5

Shameless, Season 2: This show is wild, and dirty, but it’s also a lot of fun. The Gallaghers are a crazy bunch and everyone has plenty of flaws, but they somehow still come across quite lovable. I still don’t understand Fiona’s interest in Steve/Jimmy though. It really makes no sense to me. Season 2 is still pretty grounded but I have strong suspicions this show is going to get totally bonkers, to the point of completely unbelievably. Here’s to hoping it keeps its heart and doesn’t turn every single character into a total scoundrel. 3.5/5