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.”

"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…

"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…

"Top Tens", and others Movies

The Top 20 of 2021

From The Little Things to The Tragedy of Macbeth (Denzel bookends), I rounded out my amount of movies seen at seventy.

Even with that amount of movies, there was a fair amount of films I did not get to in time (especially, sadly, Foreign Language films). These include The Last Duel, The Green Knight, The Card Counter, Drive my Car, The Worst Person in the World, Stillwater, and The Tender Bar.

4 1/2 Stars Movies

Mass (2021)

We are getting to the point in our country where everyone will have either been a witness to a mass shooting or will know someone who has (or worse, known a victim).

If you don’t believe me, well you will, because I was at NIU on Valentine’s Day in 2008 when a shooter killed five students before taking his own life.