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2022 in film / series

Just like with music, I no longer make an effort to review everything that I see. Little is released that I really want to see, so I often watch some Netflix ‘gamble choice’ that is seldom good. I do not want a film review site filled with “another mediocre film that you better not watch”, so I skip reviewing quite a few of the films that I watch.

I reviewed 11 releases from 2022, 8 films and 3 series. The highest rating got Big Bug by Jean by Pierre Jeunet (4 stars out of 5), shared with The Queen’s Gambit series by Scott Frank. On the big screen I saw the interesting Crimes Of The Future by David Cronenberg. Better than expected The Adam Project by Shawn Levy. There were two watch-worthy action films: Bullet Train by David Leitch (which I also saw on the big screen, in 4D even) and The Gray Man by Anthony & Joe Russo.

I could use some good films next year…

Film weary

  • films

Once or twice a week I watch a film. Once or twice a week I watch series. I seldom run into something that I really want to see, so I just pick something from Netflix or Amazon Prima that does not look too boring. I have even been watching old action movie series. I never liked action and now I find myself slowly working through the fast and furious franchise. Everybody probably know them already and they are not really good enough to review in the first place. Also from Netflix or Amazon Prime I find many films too weak to bother to review them. I also rewatch films that I already saw.

As for series, same thing. Seldom there are series that I really want to see. Frequently they are (somewhat) disappointing, such as the third season of “American Gods” or I do not know how to watch them without buying another DVD or BlueRay box that I will use only once. There are some lauded series that take so much ‘effort’ to watch that I (probably) review them after all. I am not watching the quite alright “Queen’s Gambit”, the not very impressive “Rings Of Power” and the mildly interesting “Lost In Space”. The first is a mini, so you can expect a review some time soon. The other two… well, time will tell if I will watch them both.

It would be nice to run into something good some time…

Kastanjemanden (series)

  • films

A fairly typical Scandinavian crime Netflix series with the –tieth serial killer.

Not bad, but not great either.

I do still watch

  • films

You may have noticed a drop in the number of film reviews that I make. It is not that I watch less movies, perhaps even the opposite.

There are but few films that I actually want to see and those that I do are not always available through the channels that I use. The result is that I fill my ‘movie nights’ with Netflix films that are usually too bad to review. For that reason I also rewatch films and of course I am not going to review a movie twice.

Star Trek

  • films

Some time ago I picked up the idea to watch the “Terminator” films in chronological order. This was quite enjoyable and the next idea became “Alien” which “quadrology” I enjoyed watching as well.

My girlfriend has all “Star Wars” film and we have seen them all a few times. The same goes for “James Bond”. Being in a sci-fi flow I thought of “Star Trek”.

I remember long, calm and not too interesting films about people in a ship flying through space. As a matter of fact, the way I remember “Star Trek” is the reason that for a long time I was no fan of science fiction. I still decided to give it a try.

My first mistake was thinking that “Star Trek” is, like my earlier ‘projects’, a series of films. “Star Trek” proves to be way more!

From 1965 to 1969 “Star Trek” were TV series. New seasons were created between 1969 until as late as 1991. As many as three more series would follow, from 1991 until 2005, 2005 until 2016 and 2017 and still running. Now I wonder if my memories of “Star Trek” are movies or series. Perhaps the latter.

Read More »Star Trek

R.I.P. Yaphet Kotto

  • films

I do not follow the world of movie stars, but when an actor big enough passes away, even I may hear of it. So it came to me that Yaphet Kotto (1939-2021) passed away on 15 March.

Kotto is best known (to me at least) for being the ‘bad guy’ in the Bond classic “Live And Let Die”.

Kananga or Mr. Big is a drug dealer with a massive empire and (of course) wealth beyond belief). He also dabbles in Voodoo and Tarot which result in some of the most memorable Bond scenes.

It goes without saying that Kananga is defeated by Bond in the end, but since it has been a while since I saw “Live And Let Die”, Kotto’s passing was a good reminder to watch it again.

The Oa

Another Netflix series that I do not agree with the IMDb rating (7.9). As a matter of fact, I am not planning on watching further than the two episodes that I saw so far.

Brit Marling has a part quite like that in “The Sound Of My Voice” and “Another Earth“. She is the mysterious and pretty woman, but also the melodramatic and (to me) unconvincing woman.

In “The Oa” is Marling is a Russian girl who turned blind after an accident after which is she is adopted by an American family. She suddenly receives back her sight which will undoubtedly lead to all kinds of mysterious adventures, but the teen-approach and the vastly uninteresting first two episodes made me conclude that I rather spend my time in another way.

Bad film period

There seem to be some problems at my usual film dealer. They remain silent and they do not send films as often as they should. A little reorganization I think and I hope this ‘thin period’ will prove to be short. In the meantime I have to find another way to find films. There is this second hand shop downtown that also has DVDs. Like in the old days of video rental shops, I go through the racks not seeing any title from my wishlist, so I have to pick films from the meager supply based on what is printed on the boxes. That does not turn out too well and there you have explained the corny films that I review recently.

Hopefully the period will remain short!

2018 Movie praise

In 2018 I saw one film from the same year: Mortal Engines. It was alright, I rated it three out of five.

For the rest, I saw eight films in 2018 that I rated four out of five, none that I rated higher. Of some I have better memories than of others!
Here is the list:

Harry Potter

  • films

Usually, when something is popular, it drops on my list of preference (should it have made it’s way there in the first place). Harry Potter is one such thing. The fact that they are kids films does not help either.

Twice, at uncommon times when I was ‘zapping around’ on TV, I ran into a Harry Potter scene in which the kids were repotting Mandragoras. When you know that a Mandragora is an alchemical symbol for a plant that is also a little man (homunculus), that scene is pretty funny. For many years I was mildly curious if more such elements have found their way into the films, scenes in with ‘inside jokes’.

Many of the films that I see come from a rental company. I have a subscription for four films per month. Usually this is enough, but I try to have some ‘extra’ films just in case I run out of rentals. This can be anything from the buying of films that I already know but never bought, to the buying of cheap, second hand films that I do away with after watching. Harry Potter falls in the latter category.

By now, I have seen four Potter films. “The Philosopher’s Stone” (2001) was alright. “The Chamber of Secrets” (2002) is the film with the Mandragora scene and it is alright too. I am less enthusiastic about “The Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) and “The Goblet of Fire” (2005). So little even, that I wonder if I feel like watching the other four ‘episodes’.

It is not like the films are terribly boring, but they are not very interesting either. The kids fall into some forced adventure which are mostly a step-up for spectacle and a little humor. I see little ‘inside jokes’ or good atmosphere. All too popular for my liking I guess.