"Top Tens", and others Movies

My predictions for the 95th Academy Awards

Welp, here we go again. I am coming in at the 11th hour, but my predictions are ready. Sadly, I did not get to seeing all I wanted to in time, but such is life.

True, last year I lucked out in going 21/23 (my best to date), but perhaps I am being too modest in saying you should take that with a grain of salt. The only true prediction I know for sure is that Will Smith won’t be there.

Note: As always, I know nothing about the idea of betting odds or anything, so don’t come yelling at me if you lose money.

4 1/2 Stars Movies

Fancy Dance (2023)

(Note: The movie Fancy Dance is one of two virtual tickets I managed to buy for the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.)

It is rather refreshing in a way when a film title refers to more than one thing.

"Top Tens", and others Movies

Top Ten Films of 2022

Like my 2021 list, I rounded out the number of films I saw in 2022 at about 70 films. Unlike 2021 (or the last few years, for that matter), this year is not a top 20.

I’ve always been vocal in saying there are no bad movie years, but 2022 was a tad dull when compared to the likes of 2021 (and certainly to the juggernaut that was the 2019 movie year). 

This also could factor into something that hasn’t happened to me in sometime: I did not get to rewatch any movies on my list (save one). That is more on me than the movies themselves (I did watch some more TV this past year than previously, and while not a movie, I can’t stop praising the amazing Andor.)

As always, I had my share of blindspots, so movies you won’t see on here include:

  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
  • Babylon
  • Barbarian
  • The Black Phone
  • Close
  • Devotion
  • EO
  • Living
  • A Man Called Otto
  • No Bears
  • Pearl
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • X

Finally, the honorable mentions

Now for the top ten, which begins on the frontlines.

"Top Tens", and others Movies

Top 10 Worst films of 2022

Two weeks ago, I was experiencing back pain that I was more than likely sure were kidney stones. While the pain was not as severe as it had been in the past, it lasted enough days for me to double check with the doctor. Well, turns out it wasn’t a kidney stone…it was two.

My friend Peter said it best: “You are one stone away from an Infinity Gauntlet”.

1 Star Movies

Pinocchio (2022)

There is no way I can discuss the live action remake of Pinocchio without talking in depth about the 1940 animated masterpiece

Maybe I just can’t see past the end of my nose, but it is what it is.

4 Stars Movies

Nope (2022)

Perhaps baseball is not the best of comparisons, but if director Jordan Peele were to have his next seven films be duds, he would still be batting .300. Of course, that would also mean that Shyamalan would have a decent batting record also, so…oh nevermind (well, maybe lower if we count just how horrible The Last Airbender was.

Anyhow, after his 2017 breakthrough Get Out (which I did not like at first and admit my mistake) and 2019’s breathtaking Us, Jordan Peele’s Nope is yet another piece of proof that the man has come much further than one would have thought of the old Comedy Central veteran. 

3 Stars Movies

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)

The key ingredient that made 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok one of the MCU’s most entertaining entries was it’s director Taika Waititi. The first two Thor films (mainly the second one) should almost be embarrassed when compared to the third, because the character was given a big injection of the unique semi-quirky humor that Waititi is known for.

 Five years (and one Infinity War) later, the director has returned with Thor: Love and Thunder. It has the director’s touch, but it is lacking some of his magic.

3 Stars Movies

Lightyear (2022)

Right from the get go, we see in the opening credits that Lightyear is not at all related to the semi-kooky but lovable Buzz we have seen grow since we first met him over a quarter century ago. Instead, it is the movie that would become the favorite of young Andy back in 1995 (when the original Toy Story was released.) 

Well, I knew I was not likely to get any call backs to Buzz being called “Mrs. Nesbit”(“DO YOU SEE THE HAT?”), but oh well. A framing device is a framing device.

0 Stars Movies

2000 Mules (2022)

A few months ago, I was honored to be featured on the Game for a Movie Podcast, hosted by my old friend Mike, in which we predicted the Oscars (not to brag, but I triumphed.)

I admit to asking him far too often afterwards if I could come on another episode, mainly one where he and his co-hosts talk about bad movies. Therefore, I decided to go toward the bottom of the barrel of bad movies, but I out did myself. I lifted the barrel, dug a little, and found 2000 Mules.

To put it bluntly, the only reason this movie wasn’t the worst thing to happen to me in the past week was because I tested positive for COVID (doing okay, thank you).

For those who have not heard of this film (which I can’t blame you if you haven’t), conspiracy theorist Dinesh D’Zousa (that title fits him far better than filmmaker) reveals the “proof” that the 2020 election was not won by Biden. The information he gives is from a company in Texas called True the Vote, which was able to supply videos of people who were dropping off loads of ballots at different locations in key states that Biden won (Georgia, Arizona, and especially Philadelphia).I admit to not knowing if the 2020 election was indeed the “most secure election in American history”, but what this guy gives the audience is something more like aged Swiss Cheese: It smells and is full of holes.

Okay, I actually should not have said that, because I do like Swiss Cheese.

Speaking of audience, it is clear this film is made mainly for the “MAGA” crowd. Wouldn’t it be more productive for D’Souza (whose 2018 film The Death of the Nation was one of the worst movies I saw in the 2010s) to make a film that actually reaches out to the opposition, there by convincing people of his views? Granted, this would not work, because no one behind this film has heard of a works cited page or bibliography.

It is true that documentaries will have us leaving the theater with questions, but the good films are the ones that leave us with questions because of the film, not about it. Google would be a better source than I to fact check this film, but here are some personal questions I had regarding it:

  1. If the election was indeed “rigged”, wouldn’t the government be smart enough to realize that geotracking could find out their plans? (In the movie, it is stated that at least one camera powers off during a critical time, but no more).
  3. Why did Dinesh make a rookie mistake in showing basically the whole movie in the film’s trailer?
  4. When finding these “facts” out, why make a movie about and not just, I dunno, take it to court?
  5. How many licks does it take to get to the center of Tootsie Pop?

I’d ask more, but I am reminded of a quote from the great George Carlin:
“Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.”

I will give Dinesh this: In one of the videos, he is kind enough to pixel out not just the person in question, but the dog with them. At least he cares for the dog.


Zero Stars


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.”