For some reason, this feels like a surreal year for me. There’s a trend with my content record where I’ll start with a consistent flow and then stagnate after March, with a few springs of content in the latter half of the year. One of the challenges is having a full-time job; I’ll get an idea for a review or post, and then lose steam. And once I have all these ideas, they pile up with a chance to be picked up. Going into 2023, I’m gonna try to get a better balance between media I watch for fun and those for work.
That’s not to say I didn’t watch a lot of movies and ranked them in my annual tier-list. If you want to read more what I thought about it, there will be a link to the full review.
Gotti: I used to be excited for this movie in high school. But thinking about this now shows how much I’ve grown as a writer and a critic; because if this came out then, I’d eat it up without question. The movie feels like a gaggle of plotlines shot out and it feels more concerned about the idea of John Gotti, rather than the person himself.
The Box: In the right hands, this could make a pretty good thriller. You have a solid cast, and a compelling premise with an ethical choice that can start good conversations. But it gets too complicated and leaves more questions than answers. If I had a button to forget that movie, I wouldn’t even press it-mostly because I’ve already forgot it.
Killers: If you told me this was meant to be a show on USA, I’d believe you. The story is a mix of different plotlines in a cinematic trench coat, and there’s some good talent with Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck and Alex Borstein. But the chemistry doesn’t mount up and the movie was a mission that couldn’t be accomplished.
Lightyear: In many ways, this reminds me of Solo. You have a fan favorite character origin story with a different actor cast in it. Evans does a solid job and plays Buzz as the toy that Andy would want to be and play with. Top that with a story about not being anchored in the past, and you have a solid Pixar film.
Boss Baby: Family Business: The first Boss Baby was a fun movie. And this one says “hold my beer” with Jeff Goldblum. Amy Sedaris and James Marsden also come as newcomers that make the film charming. And like the caramel center of a Rolo, the Templeton Brothers is a sweet treat among the wild world created.
Scooby-Doo: Do you ever watch a movie you loved growing up and remember why you loved it? That’s how I felt watching this again. The cast is a perfect translation to live action for the Scooby gang and it feels like an episode of the show.
Sonic the Hedgehog 2: The negative stigma surrounding video game movies seems to be fading away, and this series seems to be helping with it. It takes everything from the first movie and amplifies it. Ben Schwartz and Jim Carrey keep upping the hammy ante and Idris Elba plays Knuckles authentically by putting all his effort in the role. With a third movie on the way, I’m excited to see where they go with it. My guess, Big the Cat shows up.
Cruella: Do we need a movie explaining how Cruella de Vil got her start? No. But the movie takes that to have fun and entertain. The cast is amazing and the way they go at it shows they made some effort and creative hooks to 101 Dalmatians. If more live-action Disney reboots were like this, they’d definitely be more enjoyable to watch.
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: When Kevin Conroy died, I wanted to do something to celebrate the late voice actor’s legacy. But having not watched Batman: the Animated Series, I turned to this movie. It truly is a testament to Conroy and the character of Batman, with a story that does something Tim Burton, Joel Schumacher, or Christopher Nolan wouldn’t do; make him happy. And watching Bruce consider that idea with being Batman makes the movie more mature than the edgiest version of the Caped Crusader.
Another year in the books. I want to thank every reader for your attention and support.
Happy New Year!
Here’s to 2023!