Happy New Year, everyone!! Well, congrats on surviving 2021… may this new year bring you more peace, joy, love, success and good health!!
I honestly think last year felt like a breeze, especially the last half with Thanksgiving and Christmas gone by so quickly that it practically had time to digest it. Though initially we were going to spend Christmas in Arizona, we decided not to travel during the holidays, especially since my cousin actually got her Quebec trip canceled by her hotel a couple of weeks before her stay. I certainly hope we can start traveling again by Spring at least [fingers crossed!]
Ok, now on to the movie report…
A Boy Called Christmas
I wanted to watch a Christmas-themed original movie and this one intrigued me because of Maggie Smith‘s casting. It turns out to be just okay, nowhere near as good as Klaus which I saw last year. I find it amusing to hear Stephen Merchant‘s voice as the little mouse, but Sally Hawkins plays a really weird and awkward villain. Overall it has enough going for it to make for a good family movie, but doesn’t have enough oomph to make it a classic.
Tragedy of Macbeth
The King’s Man
I’m not sure if I’ll have time to do a full review of The King’s Man but let’s just say it’s such a baffling movie that’s tonally off… it started out serious but then became kind of a parody, especially the scenes involving Rhys Ifans as Rasputin (I was laughing and cringing at the same time). If a movie could suffer from an identity crisis, then this would be a perfect example. Ralph Fiennes is still so committed to the role however, which is commendable but also bewildering given the bizarre script. Quite a disappointment from Matthew Vaughn as I enjoyed the first two Kingsman movies.
Being The Ricardos
The Power of the Dog*
Review to come…
Spiderman: No Way Home
The Movies That Made Us: ROBOCOP
I quite enjoyed this docu-series that presents the behind-the-scenes look into how great classics got made, as well as the impact of its release, which often beats expectations. Having just seen ROBOCOP on the big screen earlier this year, it was fun to see the journey of how this sci-fi hit got made. Peter Weller was truly perfect for the role, and Paul Verhoeven‘s antics was pretty hilarious to watch.
Don’t Look Up
My hubby and I really enjoy the Liam Neeson action franchise (yep, he is practically his own franchise, ahah). This one was enjoyable, I guess I didn’t expect too much out of his action flicks and I always find him watchable despite the movie’s flaws. I have about 3 more Neeson-In-Action flicks to watch before I do a recap post of all of them.
I haven’t seen a Nic Cage movie in a while as there’s nothing he’s done that interested me of late, but I was intrigued by the good reviews of this one and it lives up to the hype. You could say this is a career-best performance. I really like his subdued, almost passive role in a character-driven drama that deals with someone’s fraught legacy. Michael Sarnoski is a filmmaker to watch in his feature directorial debut. I like his story telling style that takes its time in the way it reveals the character’s journey, and the payoff in the end is an emotional one.
Ron’s Gone Wrong*
The trailer somehow didn’t wow me but I decided to give it a shot and I ended up enjoying it! Setting the story of a malfunctioning digital device in the form of a cute bubble bot is so clever and hits so close to home even for adults like me. I’d think parents of teens who are constantly on Tik Tok would be amused and terrified at the same time, ahah. The dark side of tech allegory obviously has a not-so-subtle jab against big tech giants like Apple and Facebook, especially the latter given its blatant disregard of privacy concerns. Makes me even more glad I’ve quit using that darn app!
The Lost Daughter*
Review to come
Movies indicated with * (asterisk) indicates those directed by women. I saw five films directed by women this month, so below is my tally of the year for the 52 Films By Women challenge.
- Promising Young Woman
- Raya and the Last Dragon
- One Night in Miami
- Where Hands Touch
- Things Heard and Seen
- Love It Was Not (doc)
- When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit
- Antoinette dans les Cevennes
- The Assistant
- Rita Moreno (doc)
- Black Widow
- Last Letter From Your Lover
- Love Sarah
- The Girl In The Book
- The Souvenir
- Love & Basketball
- Out Kind Of Traitor
- My Name is Pauli Murray
- Good On Paper
- I Am Woman
- I’m Your Man
- Sounds Like Love
- Forty Year Old Version
- The Power of the Dog
- The Matrix Resurrections
- The Zookeeper’s Wife
- Ron’s Gone Wrong
- The Lost Daughter
Well, I’ve only managed to complete about 70% of the 52 total… which means I have to do better next year! I might do a separate post of my top 5 favorite movies directed by women I saw last year.
I finished season 1 of these two series that I quite enjoyed…
Hawkeye (Disney+) & The Wheel of Time (Amazon Prime)
I have to admit that one of the main reasons I tuned in to Hawkeye was because Florence Pugh was going to appear as Yelena. Wish they had her in at least half of the episodes instead of just two. She’s SO phenomenal as Yelena and was definitely the scene stealer of Black Widow. She deserves her own standalone series and movie!! In any case, I’m also looking forward to seeing more of Kingpin in the MCU!
As for Wheel of Time, well I like the first season enough that I’m anticipating more from this series. I sure hope there are more Daniel Henney as LAN in future episodes though, he’s got such a strong screen presence that demands to be showcased more.
Spiderman: Far From Home
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Avengers Infinity War
My rewatches are clearly inspired by Spiderman: No Way Home, ahah. I saw the previous Tom Holland version w/ Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio to prepare for the new one. The Winter Soldier is my fave MCU movie so far that I usually watch at least once a year. I started watching Infinity War on a whim and of course once you watched that, you gotta finish it up with Endgame. The death of Black Widow and Tony Stark still hit me hard even on repeat viewing, which is a testament to how good the character development has been in the MCU, bravo Kevin Feige!
DECEMBER MOVIE(s) OF THE MONTH
POWER OF THE DOG + THE LOST DAUGHTER
It’s another tie this month as I can’t choose between these two excellent films that are both directed by women. Jane Campion is a true auteur who’s been making films since the mid 80s, while Maggie Gyllenhaal has just ventured into directing, but I was equally impressed with Power of the Dog and The Lost Daughter … both are supremely-crafted and have a haunting effect long after the film is done.
Full reviews coming in the next week or so.