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3 1/2 Stars

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)

Like many a millennial, I grew associating filmmaker Sam Raimi with the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man Trilogy. While known to be a potent force in the arena of cinematic horror, I sadly have only seen one Sam Raimi horror film as of this writing, The Evil Dead (although one could make the argument Spider-Man 3 was actually a horror in other ways).

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Movies

The Northman (2022)

Years ago, as a camp counselor for the young teens of my church, we had a night of split activities for the boys and girls. As the girls went off to have their nails done, the gentleman stayed in the cafeteria/gym to have various types of physical challenges (most notably the push up contest, which one of my campers easily dominated).

Toward the end of this, the girls came in, complaining right away about a smell that none of the males could register. One of the camp’s leaders quickly quipped,

“Ladies, that is testosterone.”

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3 1/2 Stars

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

Before we saw The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (one of the best movie titles in recent memory), my friend Peter asked an interesting question.

“Who would win in a fight: Nicholas Cage or Chuck Norris?”

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3 Stars

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022)

Admittedly, I most likely was too kind to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald when I gave it just two and a half out of five.

I realized this when, about ten minutes into Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, I struggled immensely to remember what actually happened in the previous film (apparently Zoè Kravitz was in the film). Thankfully, I remembered just enough to understand what was happening on screen.

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4 1/2 Stars

Everything Everywhere at Once (2022)

“TAKE THE RIGHT PATH. PG 43”

“TAKE THE LEFT PATH. PG 24”

I am not sure if they are popular with kids anymore, but I remember a good chunk of my free time in elementary school was spent reading some of the “choose your own adventure” book series. The options would make or break the outcome of the mood I would feel all day, which sadly lead to some downer days (I always seemed to be lead to my doom of some kind with my choices). The idea of the choices we make is just one of many, many, many, many ingredients of the film Everything Everywhere at Once.

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2 Stars

Morbius (2022)

Approximately six hours prior to seeing Morbius, I (perhaps prophetically) had a dentist appointment to have a filling replaced.

If you know me, you know the dentist (despite how nice they are to me) are among my least favorite places to go. On the Brightside, there was a slight miscommunication, as I only had a cleaning done. The experience was rather paralleled in that to my going into seeing Morbius, knowing that word of mouth said it was not going to be good. Seeing Morbius is indeed like going to the dentist to get a cavity filled (or a root canal), only to find out it is something as minor as a cleaning: While it is not all that bad, it is not an experience you want to go back on.

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"Top Tens", and others Movies

The 94th Academy Awards: My take on the Good, the Bad, and…well, you know what moment.

In the words of Ron Burgundy, “That escalated quickly!”.

The 94th Academy Awards had more than its fair share of failures (one we will get to), but it is important to remember that it had some good moments as well. Great moments, in fact, that are worth remembering.

In no particular order…

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"Top Tens", and others Movies

The 94th Academy Awards: Who will win, who should win, and why you should not underestimate the Power of the (under) dog

This may be a bad analogy, but making my predictions this year has been akin to playing Candy Land, possibly the worst kids board game of all time. If the goal is to simply make the predictions at a reasonable time, I am still feeling stuck on that black dot space, or I keep drawing that stupid muffin guy or whatever that brings me back to the start.

Either way, after hours of personal research (including looking at multiple anonymous Oscar voter revelations) here are my predictions, as well as what I think should win. I was also on a podcast with an old High School friend as we discussed the nominations (thanks again Mike!). That was split into two episodes.

NOTE: Not all the predictions I made on the podcast are the same here. What I have typed out are my final predictions.

And, of course, I feel all the categories are important, and should be on TV. So we will start with the lesser known categories…

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4 Stars

Turning Red (2022)

What was particularly curious to me about Turning Red was not the subject matter of the film so much as when the film takes place.

Halfway thru, I finally discovered that the film’s director, Domee Shi (her full length feature debut), was born around the same time as the film’s protagonist. This makes the intimacy of Turning Red only more personal and profound.

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4 Stars

The Batman (2022)

We are coming up on nearly a full eight decades since the caped crusader first appeared on big screens (thanks in part to serials of the 1940s).

Since then, we have had a ton of contributions to the character over the years. From grappling hooks to gravely voices to batarangs to shark repellant to bat nipples, Batman is a character that is as full of depth as any fictional being out there. Adding the grammatical article making the newest installment The Batman just scratches the surface of what the new installment adds to the lore.