3 1/2 Stars

The Woman King (2022)


That is the number you should know going into seeing The Woman King, for that is the age of it’s star Viola Davis.

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 1/2 Stars

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On (2022)

Sometimes, I really can walk into a movie with high expectations, but in the case of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On, can you blame me?

Afterall, it isn’t easy getting a score of 98% on Rottentomatoes with over a hundred reviews (not to mention a 92% audience score with over 500 reviews), nor to be a film based off of a series of short films. Add in the fact that the film is literally about a living breathing Shell trying to find his family and it is no wonder one could consider this film nothing short of a long shot. 

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.

"Top Tens", and others

2022 Halftime Report

As of this writing, I have seen a little over twenty five movies, both in theaters and on streaming.

This time around for my looking back at the first half of the year, I will do so in a way that would make Michael Scott of The Office proud: a 2022 cinematic “Dundees” for the first half of 2022.

In no particular order…

3 Stars

Elvis (2022)

Weirdly, I can’t remember the first time I heard of Elvis, but I do remember the first time I recognized him. It was when a young Forrest Gump recognized him on TV after meeting “the King” earlier on in life. Needless to say, of course I have always been a fan of him.

This just goes to show that Elvis, one of the top five or so most popular entertainers in American history, is almost as embedded into that history as Washington or Lincoln. A truly larger than life stage presence indeed would deserve a biographical film of that caliber. Enter director Baz Luhrmann, and you get Elvis.

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.

4 Stars

Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

The original Top Gun from 1986 is one of those films that can represent multiple forms of nostalgia.

For years, it was a Christmas tradition for my cousins and I when we reunited every Christmas Eve. On another occasion, it was the film of choice at a YMCA camp I attended as a teenager, while and my fellow campers spent a good amount of time yelling “PDA!” (Public Display of Affection) during “Take my Breath Away”. I venture to guess there are more than enough scenarios for others out there (first dates, special birthday parties, etc) with their connection to the original (I read that the actual Top Gun school fines its students for quoting the film). In short, a sequel has indeed been anticipated by many more than one might think.

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