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"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.

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4 Stars

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)

Part of me wants to go the coward’s way, and not even review Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Easily the most anticipated movie since Avengers: Endgame, I will do all I can to be sure not to spoil anything for anyone, provided they have at least seen the two trailers for the film (and while this may be too little too late, stay away from the movies IMDB page).

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4 Stars

Encanto (2021)

I am a sucker for many things in the movies, and one most definitely is when a film (animated or otherwise) has to do with a big family.

(Not to get too personal, but I have 6-8 siblings.)

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2 1/2 Stars Movies

Eternals (2021)

I was as shocked as the next person when it was announced that Eternals had a low score on Rotten Tomatoes (as of this writing, the critic score is 49%.) This still did not deter me, as I had a good amount of hope knowing that Chloe Zhao was at the helm (more on her later).

When it was over, I left the theater knowing I was on the fence for this film as much as I have been for any film in some time.

Categories
3 1/2 Stars Movies

Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)

As the second film of the MCU’s Phase 4, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings also holds the distinction of being the first true origin story film of the MCU since 2019’s Captain Marvel.

Of course, one could argue that Black Widow was also an origin story, but we have seen Natasha since 2010’s Iron Man 2. Shang-Chi is a character we had no interaction with until now. Like a good amount of the films in the series, it showcases a character that only true comic book fans know something about (I can still remember when non fanboys like myself needed the movies to introduce the likes of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos, Black Panther, and even Iron Man.)

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3 Stars Movies

Black Widow (2021)

Even with the COVID pandemic pushing back the release date of Black Widow (and a host of other films), the newest Marvel film indeed seems to be arriving rather late.

Perhaps those who have never seen a film from the MCU won’t feel that way, but for the rest of us, it is inevitable (pardon my Thanos plug there) to feel this film should have come out before the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), where Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johanson) dies. That fact still hovers over the second female lead film of the MCU (after 2019’s Captain Marvel), leading us to feel like those behind the scenes may have screwed up.

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4 Stars Movies

Luca (2021)

Dear Link,

From all the stories and photos you mom put on social media, it did not take me long to realize you and your younger brother Lenny had a blast during your first ever trip to Disney World.

This, of course, has been a bit of a family tradition going back long before you were even born. It’s been nearly two decades since I was last there: Pirates of the Caribbean was not even a movie yet. It was also brought to my attention that, before you guys left, you and Lenny watched most of the Disney classics to prepare you. Take it from me, that is a lot of movies for two brothers who are only five and four!

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3 1/2 Stars

Cruella (2021)

It wasn’t the hair. It wasn’t the look. It wasn’t even the fact that dogs may get killed.

Around the age of five, what got me scared right off the bat of Cruella De Vil was simply that she seemed to always be yelling. Even when she was not upset (which was rare), she was at a high volume.

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4 1/2 Stars

Raya and the Last Dragon (2021)

In September of 2020, most people, including myself, were upset that the live action Mulan cost $29.99 on Disney Plus, only to be free to the masses the following December. Disney has done the same again with their newest film, Raya and the Last Dragon, which is, as of this writing, both on Disney Plus for $29.99 as well as in theaters. It will become free on the streaming service on June 4th.

While I was fortunate enough to see the film in theaters at a much more reasonable price of $7.79, I would say the film is such a treat that it is worth the thirty bucks. I will not say it is worth going to a theater if you do not feel safe: no movie should compromise your health. This is the best animated film I have seen since Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Categories
"Top Tens", and others Movies

The Disappointments of 2020

In the past years of movie going (when it was safe to actually go to the movies), I would sometimes actually manage to see so many that I would be able to make up a list of the year’s ten worst films. During the pandemic, I (like many) spent some time watching past movies I have missed out on while trying to watch the new releases. Still, there were some films that stood out to me not as the worst per say so much as they were, in some way shape or form, just did not live up to expectations (though a few were so bad I had little expectations to begin with.)

Here are the six most disappointing films of 2020