The Whale (2022)

Quick synopsis: Charlie, a reclusive obese English teacher wants to reconnect with his teenage daughter for a last chance at redemption.

There have been some negative reactions to this film, so I’ll address them first. The portrayal of an obese character has caused some issues, with some describing it as dehumanising. The director, Darren Aronofsky has defended his work, saying that when obese characters are portrayed in media, it’s normally as a joke. We’re encouraged to laugh at them, to mock them. I’ll give him credit, this doesn’t do that. We’re not supposed to laugh at Brendan Fraser’s character, which is a nice change. The trouble is, instead of laughing, it does kind of feel like the film wants us to be utterly disgusted by him instead. Is revulsion better than laughter? Maybe it just wasn’t the right film for Aronofsky to make, he has a habit of making things ugly, and for a film like this it is a bit uncomfortable. Especially when he plays music that’s akin to a horror soundtrack when Charlie stands up. He also makes sure to add lots of sound effects when he eats, making it seem as gross an act as possible. It may be eye-opening towards the subtle abuse that people go through, but it sure as hell is not shown through a sympathetic lens.

It’s a shame about the tone as otherwise, it is a fine movie. The performances are great all the way through. Fraser has been getting a lot of plaudits, and rightfully so, his performance is heartbreaking. He gives the character so much sadness and despair just with everyday life. Sadie Sink is an odd case as I’m not sure whether her performance was inconsistent, or her character was. Still, she’s a teenager so inconsistency is to be expected. The best part of Sadie Sink is her physical resemblance to the actress who plays her mother. Throughout I thought the mother would go unseen, but there was a small part of me thinking “this girl looks a lot like Samantha Morton”. So the fact that Morton then appears as the mother is something I certainly appreciated, although I can never get past how much she looks like one of my friends.

Personally, I think Hong Chau is the real star of the show, mainly because she’s the only character who seems real. Everybody else feels slightly overwritten and like characters in a film. Her character is played off completely straight, with no stereotypical manners or behaviour. She’s the smallest physical presence but has the largest screen presence. The discrepancy between her performance and the quality of the film is nowhere near as big as it was in Downsizing, and I hope she now gets the attention she deserves.

Here’s the thing, I know this is a good film. I know everybody involved is brilliant and is hard to criticise. But it’s just such a difficult film to actually enjoy. And the characters are so cruel to each other at times that it’s hard to take much enjoyment in the darkness. It’s just not something I will ever want to watch again. If it resented its main character less then it would be more tolerable, as it is, it’s the equivalent of a 20-minute prog rock song that lacks a killer hook. The hook/fish/whale thing was inadvertent, but f*ck it, make your own joke involving it.

Puss In Boots: The Last Wish (2022)

Quick Synopsis: Puss in Boots discovers that his passion for adventure has taken its toll when he learns that he has burnt through eight of his nine lives. 

I like the Shrek films, but that’s it. The first is a very entertaining film, but they’ve suffered a weird identity crisis since then. It’s only natural, the first one was a parody of fairy-tale stories, mocking the tropes and cliches that they contain. But after it was a success, the franchise became the very thing it was initially parodying. It still made jokes about the tropes, but it was doing it from a place of now being part of the club. There hasn’t been a new entry in the main franchise since 2010, probably because of the poor reception to the fourth one. Most of the people who enjoyed the first ones are now adults with jobs, bills to pay, and a favourite ring on the hob (Bottom Right, btw). So is there really any desire for this, especially one from the director of The Croods: The New Age?

The opening doesn’t fill you with confidence, a standard fairy-tale opening about wishes. You’d be forgiven for expecting that you won’t so much watch this, as suffer through it.

Then something happens; Puss In Boots dies. It’s okay, as he’s a cat so he has 9 lives. Well, HAD 9 lives, and he now has one. This kicks off the main theme of the film, one that’s obviously perfect for a kid’s film: Existential dread.

It does an excellent job of displaying that dread, it’s probably helped by one of the best pieces of sound design I’ve ever heard. That sound is genuinely haunting, and wouldn’t be out of place in a horror film.

Also wouldn’t be out of place in a horror film; the villains in this. Anybody who played The Wolf Among Us knows what you can do when you take fairy-tale villains seriously (as opposed to what people usually mean when they say “adult fairy-tale characters” which just involves dressing them in sexual clothing and giving them tattoos). Goldilocks and the Three Bears as a crime family makes all the sense in the world. The true villain is Jack Horner, the characterisation of him is one of the most horrific adaptations you can make. I don’t say that lightly, this film is shockingly dark at times. A good example of this is when a plant eats someone. It doesn’t just do a “plant goes nom, the person disappears”, the plant leaves a skeleton. He also shoots his own men with a unicorn horn that causes them to explode.

It could be argued that the villains are TOO good. There are three separate villain stories here, and all of them are worthy of a lot of time and exploration, but because they’re all in the same film they occasionally fight for space. It does lend the film a slight manic energy that’s reminiscent of It’s A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (or for modern audiences; Rat Race), but that doesn’t happen enough.

The action set-pieces are unique, especially when they take place in the middle of ever-changing landscapes and everything flows together in a manner that reminds me of Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse. Some of them could be improved slightly, there are a few too many elastic physics moments that pull you out slightly, but it does mostly work.

The voice cast is pretty good, with some returning from previous films, and some new. The only small quibble is that Florence Pugh and Olivia Colman sound quite similar at times. It’s weird to hear Ray Winstone in a kid’s film, but it works for the character. Harvey Guillen as Perrito was an inspired choice, meaning a character that could be annoying is actually lovable as hell. Mulaney does what he needs to as Jack Horner, but he’s definitely not the highlight.

So yeah, go see this, it’s much better than you’d think it would be. Just leave about 20 seconds before the end so you avoid the disappointing sequel hook.

The Pale Blue Eye (2022)

Quick Synopsis: Detective Augustus Landor investigates a series of grisly murders with the help of a young Edgar Allan Poe

I suppose it had to happen. I’ve had a run of really good films so far, with every single one worth watching again. So I suppose it’s inevitable that eventually I’d get a film I didn’t like in 2023. It’s a shame, but this is probably the longest I’ve been into a year before that happened. Also, the first Netflix film I watched this year which just goes to show something, I’m not sure what, though.

So why doesn’t this work? It should, it has a really stacked cast. Look at the names involved: Christian Bale, Toby Jones, Timothy Spall. What connects those names? All British. The film location? 1830’s New York. Which (and I’ve checked a map), is not Britain. I get sometimes actors play different nationalities, and it’s usually not a big deal. But for this many members of the cast to not be American feels a bit weird. This could have been a great showcase for young American talent. The biggest non-British performer is Gillian Anderson, and she’s almost British as she’s spent large portions of her life here. Just to check, America still has actors, right? Or are they just depending on comedians now?

At times it’s beautiful. The location lends itself well to stylistic shots of landscapes, and it suits a story like this. The director, Scott Cooper, also directed Antlers, which you may remember I was not a fan of. And if you don’t remember, here’s the link anyway, warning, I do go off on a weird tangent for……well pretty much all of it.

The other issue? It’s hard to get through. Not because of content or strangeness, but because at times it is painfully dull. Ultimately, it comes down a poor script. It doesn’t know what kind of film it wants to be. Does it want to be a gothic horror? A murder mystery? The most annoying thing about the script is how much it fumbles what should be the highlight. The reveal of the murderer towards the end. One, the things that needed to happen are a little hard to believe. There are so many coincidences and weird character decisions. The scene showing the reveal isn’t even exciting. It tells you who the murderer is, then explains the motives, then shows you the murders in flashbacks. We didn’t need a scene of them killing people or approaching them, we know it happened, and we gain nothing from a barely lit shot of someone punching someone and shouting “who else was there?” at someone.

It’s a shame as I really wanted to enjoy this, I was hoping the Poe thing would give the film a sense of intelligence and darkness, as it is, you could replace Poe with anybody and it wouldn’t change the plot much at all.

Missing (2023)

Quick Synopsis: June is a teenage girl whose mother disappears whilst on vacation. Using technology and long-distance phone calls, she attempts to solve the mystery of her mothers’ disappearance in this screen life thriller.

This film genuinely annoys me. The fact it exists annoys me. The concept annoys me. More importantly, the script, and general quality of the film annoys me. I should not pretty much have a winner for “Best film of 2023” this fucking early.

It’s supposed to be “I see a pretty good film early on in the year, stuff I love but I am aware isn’t going to be among the best I see”, and then halfway through the year the genuine best movies start to come out. This has ruined that. It’s going to take something special to beat this. Everything about it works. It’s technically a sequel to Searching, which is one of my favourite films of all time. It takes place in the same universe and uses the same gimmick of everything happening on a computer screen. It’s a divisive gimmick, and one not everybody will like as it can make it hard to focus, you have to pretty much pay attention to everything that happens. Before I saw this I was wondering whether it would be as good as the first one, unsure if that was even possible. I once did an at-home double bill of Knives Out and Searching, and just like Glass Onion easily matches Knives Out, this matches Searching.

The performances are all on-point. Storm Reid lives up to the brief flashes of potential she showed in The Invisible Man. She’s 19 years old and this is a lot of responsibility to place on the shoulders of a performer so young. She manages it. Every part of her performance showcases a young woman who is unsure of herself, full of regrets and worry, but full of determination. You can easily believe that she will do everything she can to figure out the mystery of her mother’s disappearance, but also that the decisions she makes will not always be the right ones as she’ll run headfirst into them without considering the consequences.

The supporting cast is great too, but obviously not given anywhere near as much to do. Ken Leung balances the tightrope between sinister and lovable which is necessary for his character to work. Joaquim de Almeida isn’t in it much but does what he needs to wonderfully.

Now onto the script. It’s brilliant. It has characters say enough things out loud so that you are sure of what’s going on, but leaves enough unsaid that you can be thinking of it 2 days later and have a sudden realisation of why something happened/somebody said a certain thing. The downside is that there wasn’t really a way for you to figure out the mystery yourself. I don’t think anybody can watch the first twenty minutes and figure it out. This means you miss out on the “ohhhhh, it’s so obvious now, how could I not have seen that? I am such a fool”. The reveal still works though and adds a lot of context to previous scenes and conversations. Some will require a rewatch but it does replay some of the conversations from the opening again, and I’m actually glad it does that. I’m normally not a fan of films repeating themselves, saying the same stuff again, or repetition. The lines they chose to replay are important though, and the context is SOOOO different when you hear them again. There’s another advantage too, and I can’t say with confidence that it was intentional but there’s every chance it could have been. The clips they replay are from the opening, and they’re shown again just after a character has had a huge revelation. So it’s almost like things are starting anew, the old story of this person is dead, and a new one awakens.

So in summary, go see this when you can, I saw it last week (thank you Cineworld previews), and can confidently say I’m going to watch it again.

A Man Called Otto (2022)

Quick Synopsis: Tom Hanks plays Otto the grouchy man who gets new neighbours who predictably warm his heart (not over an open fire, that would be weird) in this English-language adaptation of the Swedish book “A Man Called Ove”

Some films aren’t for everybody, and that’s okay. They’re too niche, too dark, or just too damn weird for mass audiences to enjoy. This isn’t one of those films, this is the opposite, and this is aimed at almost everybody. It’s a simple story, slickly told, and with one or two swears, but nothing too unpleasant. It even stars the perennial “oh I like him, he is good isn’t he?” everyman Tom Hanks.
That’s probably my biggest issue. I like Tom Hanks, he is obviously very good (and I’m sure that he celebrated actor with multiple awards, appreciates being reassured by a reviewer who is, let’s face it, a nobody), and he is likeable; that’s the problem. Otto is supposed to be a cantankerous grouch, a man who is angry at the world and expresses it through snark. He’s supposed to be someone you genuinely don’t want to spend a minute near in case his abrasiveness washes off on you. It doesn’t work if he’s played by Tom Hanks, he’s just too charming an actor to pull off this character. You spend the entire time knowing he’ll eventually turn good, and you’re just waiting for it to happen. If he was played by someone who generally plays quite villainous or menacing roles then it might have worked better. James Gandolfini would have been perfect if he wasn’t dead (which usually harms career prospects for everybody who is not 2Pac).

The upside of casting Hanks is that more people are likely to see it, which is a good thing as this is something that deserves to be seen. It’s not going to be something you remember for years and years, but it is good enough that six or seven years down the line, you’ll be browsing ParaHulCockFlix and see it, and think “yeah, I remember liking that, let’s watch it”.

Quick note, that was supposed to be an amalgamation of Paramount+, Hulu, Peacock, and Netflix, the fact it nearly says “huge cock flicks” is a genuine accident, but one I’m not changing.

The other positive of casting Tom Hanks is it means his son can play the younger version of him. No, not crazy Colin, but Truman, who doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. He’s a better actor than his experience would suggest, which is good as any flaws will bring up accusations of nepotism. He more than earns his place in this film, providing the character with youthful hope and warmth which means the turning point when he loses everything is all the more heartbreaking.

The rest of the cast is good too, the kids aren’t annoying, and Mariana Treviño provides her character with enough passion and life that she doesn’t seem pushy and annoying.

Everybody involved in this is obviously very good, and nobody is slacking. So why is this only “very good” and not amazing? There’s the aforementioned “Hanks is too nice” issue, but it does also occasionally come off a bit too “all young people are useless, old people are amazing and know everything”. It’s so boomer and “old man yells at cloud” that the fact the character’s reaction to someone being trans is “your father kicked you out because of that? Then he’s an idiot”, it is weirdly affirming that a character who is supposed to be mean and hate people, is still pro-trans rights. So if you’re anti-them, then you’re not only an idiot but also a special kind of hateful. He’s completely serious too, no “JK”.

My other issue is how the film opens, it shows him buying rope to make a noose at a hardware store. But he doesn’t attempt suicide until about 15 minutes later, with quite a few scenes and characters in between. If the failed suicide was earlier, then it would have flowed a bit better.

So in summary, you should see this, it’s very fun, and at times very sad. Also, it made me want to see the original adaptation (available on Mubi) plus read the book (available in bookstores, obviously)

M3gan (2022)

Quick Synopsis: Remember the 2019 Child’s Play? It’s that. Only with a younger child, less snark, and more orphans.

I’ll get the obvious out of the way, you don’t need to have seen M1gan, or M2gan for this film to make sense, mainly because those films don’t exist on account of M1gan sounding less like a horror film, and more like a documentary about the motorway connecting London and Leeds. I would not have made them the first movies I see in 2023, that would be weird.

This was actually the first film I saw in cinemas this year, and I don’t regret that choice at all. It’s a fun watch. It’s not likely to end up among the best films seen this year, but it is likely to be among the ones I had the most fun watching. This is my type of horror film; funny, violent, and well-made. That’s not to say it’s disposable, I think the idea of a horror film coasting by just on the kills are long-gone, they need to justify themselves to still work. This does that, it’s made with a lot of care and really feels like a passion project.

Some people may find it a bit too reminiscent of the last Child’s Play film, but I actually enjoyed that so it’s not exactly a downside, after all, even if you eat chocolate ice cream on a Monday, you’re not going to say no to chocolate ice cream on a Tuesday. Sometimes it’s okay to do the expected. There’s not much about this that’s necessarily groundbreaking or new, it’s not reinventing the wheel. It knows you know what’s going to happen, but it’s done so skillfully that that actually works in the movie’s favour. A good example of this is a scene where a technician is attempting to fix M3gan. Everybody in the audience knows that she’s going to reboot and attack him. But the key is when is it going to happen? It’s like watching someone play Jenga, every block removed causing a sigh of relief when the tower doesn’t fall, and the longer it doesn’t fall the tenser it gets as you know it’s building to the inevitable conclusion. Only, Jenga doesn’t cause as much blood usually (I’m aware there are exceptions).

So that’s the film itself, now onto the pieces that make it up. This is only the second feature directed by Gerard Johnstone, and that’s baffling. It feels like the work of an experienced hand, the way he balances horror and humour is a good sign for his future prospects. If he sticks with M3gan, he could helm a killer franchise, which the genre surely needs as there doesn’t seem to have been many in the last few years.

Oh, to answer the question; Get Out. That’s where you know lead actress Allison Williams from. Or possibly HBO’s Girls. I was trying to figure out where I knew her from the whole time. She’s well-cast in this, her slightly detached closeness makes sense. There are a few scenes where you feel she could do more, but there’s never a scene where it feels like she needs to. Violet McGraw does a pretty damn good job as Cady (the young child that befriends M3gan). I wouldn’t be surprised if she grows into a great talent over the next few decades. She has a really difficult role in this actually, a child who has lost her parents and is searching for emotional reassurance without being able to say that out loud because she’s too young to fully understand that’s what she needs. The worry when she approaches the android is understandable, as is the joy when they start emotionally connecting.

Now, M3gan herself. Usually, a character like that is either CGI or puppetry/robotics. Here she’s played by Amie Donald, a child actress from New Zealand. Her physical commitment to the role is impressive, moving in a way that even the silhouette provides an uncanny valley experience. If she moved naturally the character would be laughable, it’s the strange stiffness that reminds you that the character isn’t human, and then she rips a kid’s ear off easily and that confirms it.

That scene is very disturbing by the way, and if it wasn’t for the strange dance M3gan does that’s gone viral, I feel the child murder would be the iconic scene. It’s a good murder, and the motives for it make sense. Not only was the child threatening Cady, but he also pretty much tried to rape M3gan. I mean, he removes some of her clothing, strikes her in the face, and straddles her. He had no idea she was a sentient robot, he just thought he was fucking a toy. That’s still not great, is it?

Sadly, like all movies of this ilk, there is the inevitable sequel hook. It’s not as egregious as they usually are though, so that’s a plus. There is a self-contained story here, so any sequels will be nice addendums, rather than necessities. Plus, I wouldn’t actually mind seeing a sequel, if it was done right. If it’s just another “oh no, killer toy robot” then I wouldn’t be too excited. But a sequel that examined the effect these murders had on the survivors, the town, and the toy company itself trying to handle a PR nightmare that can’t be ignored? I’m down for that.

2022 In Film: Day Ten (The Amazeballs)


Ups: A real sense of magic and wonder.

The music is beautiful.

Says a lot about online identity

Hits deeper than you think it will

Downs: The central relationship feels a bit too rushed at the start. It earns it later on, oh boy does it earn it. But the opening moments don’t work.

Best Moment: The moment where the virtual world ends up singing as one. It’s beautiful, absolutely beautiful.

Worst Moment: The first beast fight drags just a minute too long.

Opening: Explains the virtual world via an advert. Good, and very effective, but it does it all again later so a bit pointless. Personally, I would have started with the mother drowning. Although if they did that I would then complain that it doesn’t fit thematically, and they should have started talking about the technology. Really tricky. I suppose they could have just cut the later references.

Closing: Okay, I didn’t like the ending at first. I thought the musical moment was a great ending, then it went on and I was like “oh no”. But then we found out why the beast is the way he is, and it was shocking, and harrowing, and perfect. She went to his town to save him and stands up to his dad. I thought it would end there, it continued and I was disappointed. But then HER ending happened. Her friend tells her he no longer feels the need to protect her, as she can do it herself. She then finds the courage to sing with her friends (earlier in the film the prospect literally made her sick). That’s how it ends, with her being able to sing in public, and it’s beautiful.

Best Line: “I can finally sing again”. So much in that one line, and it’s perfectly delivered.

Original Review here

Bullet Train

Ups: Creative fight scenes, very Jackie Chan.

Funny. Like, laugh out loud funny. I nearly ran out of breath laughing so much

Contains more Thomas The Tank references than you’d expect from a 2022 film set in Japan.

Surprisingly faithful adaptation of the book, but with enough changes to still surprise you.

Well-written characters.

Downs: Bit too sweary at times.

Some people may be put off by how it spends entire sequences introducing people, only to kill them off.

Best Moment: The Wolf. His entire sequence is a masterclass in how to set up a character’s motivations, and it’s stylish as hell.

Worst Moment: One of the deaths feels a little unearned.

Best Performer: Andrew Koji. But really it could be any of the main cast. He gets the nod just because he has a bit more character work to do.

Opening: A child lies in a hospital bed, near-death. Kind of a weird way to start a goofy film like this, but it also sets the stakes up out of the gate, so that even in the most comedic moments, the tension is still there.

Closing: One of the characters thought to be dead turns out to have survived. In two minds about this as it is quite unrealistic and suspends disbelief quite a bit, on the other; it is funny, and this film isn’t exactly realistic in the first place.

Best Line: “eat a bag of dicks lady”. Mainly because it is perfectly timed in the middle of a fight scene.

Original Review here


Ups: The sheer emotion.

Downs: The plot isn’t the best.

Best Moment: Surface Pressure, without a doubt.

Worst Moment: There’s a moment in the opening song (just before the “grandkids roundup”) that just feels out of place, seems a bit too much like a white guy in his 40s doing a rap about road safety.

Best Performer: Jessica Darrow, not that familiar with her but her vocal work is perfect in this.

Opening: The second line is “this is where our magic comes from”. They then explain its history of it. They jump right in and I appreciate it.

Closing: The house is fixed and everybody is happy. Very Disney but incredibly sweet.

Best Line: “I’m pretty sure I’m worthless if I can’t be of service”

Original review here

Everything Everywhere All At Once

Ups: The way it mixes lowbrow comedy with highbrow philosophy.

Some of the most creative fights you’ll see.

Incredible visuals.

Actually, I’m just going to say it; almost everything about this film is incredible. So just, for positives: everything.

Downs: Might be a bit too weird for some.

There are some times where the subtitles ruin the joke. Like not explaining that the reason two characters have issues communicating is they’re speaking different dialects of the same language, which doesn’t come through in the subtitles.

Does take a while to kick off.

Best Moment: Two rocks with googly eyes speaking entirely through on-screen text, with no music. Yup, THAT’S what I’m going with. All the action scenes, and I’m going with the easiest thing in the world to shoot. How something so simple managed to bring a roomful of people to tears is a piece of wonder.

Worst Moment: Some of the multiverse scenes can be a bit confusing at times in terms of knowing what one you’re in.

Best Performer: Oh this is tough. If Michelle Yeoh isn’t nominated for an Oscar for this, it’s a genuine travesty (since this was written, she has been nominated, so that’s a plus). Ke Huy Quan, also impressive. But I think I might have to give it to Stephanie Hsu, purely because the extremes between the different versions of her are so prevalent, and she nails them all.

Opening: First off, I have to mention the multiverse versions of the opening logo, genius. The movie itself: the three main characters joyfully together. Then smash cut to Yeoh’s character stressing out over receipts. Delightfully understated, and good use of mirrors.

Closing: The family relationships are fixed, and Everlyn goes back to IRS office to refile her taxes. Understated way to end a film like this, but it works. Means that it has that thing which a lot of films lack: actual closure. It helps that Yeoh and Huy Quan have tremendous chemistry, so their sweet happiness at the end is infectious.

Best Line: “Of all the places I could be, I just want to be here with you.” Just remembering that line brings me to tears. God damn I fucking love this movie.

Original Review here

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Ups: Smart.

Terrific ensemble cast.

A lot of fun.

Possibly better than the first one.

Downs: The mystery isn’t as compelling as the last one.

Best Moment: The reveal.

Worst Moment: The throat spray, only because it reminds me of COVID.

Best Performer: Janelle Monae.

Opening: Standard “introducing all the characters montage”, linked by watching a governer being interviewed, and them receiving a parcel from Miles Baron, a tech billionaire strange person. Works well though, there are a few odd shots. But I’ll always appreciate great dialogue like “I had no idea that word was an ethnic slur, I thought it was a generic term for cheap” “Jewy?” “Yeah”. It’s interesting seeing the different people solve the box.

Closing: Once again, this nails the closing shot. This is more artful than the ending of the first one, not quite as satisfying, but much smarter.

Best Line: “it’s so dumb it’s genius” “no! It’s just dumb”

Original Review here


Ups: Will stay with you for a long time after you leave.

Utterly horrifying at times.

Downs: Not for mass audiences.

Best Moment: The reveal of what happened on set. It’s………it’s something else. Also the reveal of what Jupe is doing, you know it won’t end well.

Worst Moment: The death of the father could be slightly better. Very minor criticism.

Best Performer: Keke Palmer.

Opening: A quick look at the aftermath of Gordy’s attack. Automatically gets the audience asking questions, and disgusts them. And the reveal when you don’t find out is totally worth it.

Closing: OJ survives. That’s nice.

Best Line: Not really a line, but when Jupe is talking about the memories of Gordy, through an SNL sketch. It says soooo much about him, and the way pop culture treats tragedy.

Original Review here

The Batman

Ups: Really brings Gotham to life.

Almost perfect casting.

Leaves you wanting more, but also works as a standalone.

Downs: Repeats music at times.

Could cut a few minutes.

Best Moment: When Batman goes to save a group of people, they flinch away from him. Genius. It shows how his use of fear to keep order needs to be balanced with providing hope.

Worst Moment: The Joker tease.

Best Performer: Robert Pattinson. A lot of people were against his casting, and they’ve all been proven wrong.

Opening: Riddler being a creepy little stalker. Is like something from a horror movie and does a good job of making the “dark gritty” Nolan films seem like Saturday morning cartoons by comparison.

Closing: Batman rides a bike. One of the scenes which could have been reduced slightly. Especially since the scene before it would have made a better ending.

Best Line: “I’m vengeance”. When he delivered that line in the trailer, THAT’S when I knew Pattinson would be a great Batman.

Original Review here

The Menu

Ups: Darkly hilarious.

Spot-on satire.

Good performances.

The more you think about it, the better it gets.

Downs: Shows its hand earlier than you may like.

Repeats its themes

Best Moment: Tyler’s Bullshit. Comes just after finding out how much of a dick Tyler is, so it’s incredibly satisfying to watch him humiliated like that.

Worst Moment: Man’s Folly. Only because the hunt aspect could have gone on longer, or serve a narrative purpose.

Best Performer: Ralph Fiennes. He’d make a great serial killer.

Opening: Margot smokes, Tyler yells at her, saying she’ll ruin her palette. Sets her up as a quickfire nonchalant person, and sets him up as a kind of insufferable foodie.

Closing: Margot eats a cheeseburger. Have to say, it is one damn fine-looking burger.

Best Line: “you’ve taken the joy out of eating. Every dish you served tonight has been some intellectual exercise rather than something you want to sit and enjoy. When I eat your food, it tastes like it was made with no love(…)I thought tonight was a night of hard home truths. This is one of them. You cook with obsession, not love. Even your hot dishes are cold. You’re a chef. Your single purpose on this Earth is to serve people food that they might actually like, and you have failed. You’ve failed. And you’ve bored me. And the worst part is I’m still fucking hungry.”

Original Review here

2022 In Film: Day Nine (The Almost Amazing)

These are films which are incredible, they’re just not among the best I’ve ever seen. There’s some great stuff in this section, most years, these would be among the best, but 2022 was actually an INCREDIBLE year for cinema, as will be proven in the next entry.

Bodies Bodies Bodies

Ups: Very funny.

Some great deaths.

So damn clever at the end.

Downs: You might get frustrated before it gets to the end.

Characters are a bit unsympathetic.

Pete Davidson could tone it down a bit.

Best Moment: The ending, easily.

Worst Moment: The sub-plot about the texts. Could have been done better.

Best Performer: Maria Bakalova

Opening: Bee and Sophie are travelling to a hurricane party. The fact they’re travelling to a hurricane party says everything you need to know about those characters. Perfect.

Closing: I don’t want to spoil it, but trust me, it’s good. It changes the entire film and is everything an ending should be.

Best Line: “I’m not escalating you’re holding the knife and you’re moving your hands while you talk.”

Original Review here

Boiling Point

Ups: The fact it was made. A technical masterpiece.

Downs: It’s supposed to be a very busy night, but never really feels like it. Feels very low-stakes.

Best Moment: Chef Carly bringing one of the front of house staff to tears just through words alone. It’s a long-ass speech and it’s delivered perfectly.

Worst Moment: The ending. Seems a bit too reminiscent of the original ending of Clerks, like they didn’t know how to end it.

Best Performer: Graham. Easily.

Opening: The main character walking to work whilst on the phone, and then meets an environmental health officer. Does a great job of setting up him and the situation. Then the health officer starts criticising people, “I know that’s regulation temperature, but ideally I want it lower”, so he essentially marks them down for following the rules. Sets up the conflict.

Closing: He cries on the phone to his estranged wife, getting her to tell their son that he loves him. He then promises to get into rehab. He then keels over, possibly dying as we fade to black. That’s…….brutal.

Best Line: The aforementioned speech. It’s cutting, and perfect. Can’t type the whole thing here.

Original Review here

Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers

Ups: Very funny

Very meta

The animation differences actually work.

Lots of cameos.

REALLY dark.

Downs: A bit predictable

Some of the characters from the original series are sidelined.

If you’re a child, are you going to understand all the references and cameos?

Best Moment: When one of the characters uses a Rescue Rangers episode to indicate they’re in trouble. The code is not picked up, but another one with the same message is. Very funny.

Worst Moment: The cheesemonger moment feels a bit of a waste of the performers talent.

Best Performer: Samberg. His child-like enthusiasm is perfect for this.

Opening: Voiceover, showing how the two met. Cliche, but works, also adds some great jokes in there “you’re not Donald Duck, you have to wear pants”

Closing: They decide to release a reboot of the Rescue Rangers TV show. Works. Suits the style of the film.

Best Line: “What’s the first thing that pops into your head when I say Chip N Dale? I’m willing to bet it’s Thomas Chippendale, the london cabinet maker. I bet the second thing is these guys *shows the chippendale dancers*

Original Review here

Confess, Fletch

Ups: So damn funny.

A compelling mystery.

Great ensemble cast.

Downs: Other mysteries have been better.

Terribly marketed.

Could be smarter.

Best Moment: The scene with the neighbour, chaotic comedy.

Worst Moment: Some of the police scenes undermine their characters a little bit.

Best Performer: Ayden Mayeri. Tempted to go with Hamm, but he has enough recognition, Mayeri doesn’t even have a Wikipedia page. So just mentioning her now so that when she inevitably becomes a huge sitcom star, I can point out I was a fan of her first.

Opening: The lead is sent by his girlfriend to recover stolen paintings. Might have set up the character more if we caught him at the end of a previous job so we get more of an indication of how good he is. But I respect how quickly it leaps into the main story.

Closing: The redistribution of the stolen paintings. In a lot of films, I would criticise this as being too “look, this character is likeable”, but in this, it kind of makes sense with the way the character is written.

Best Line: “We obtained surveillance footage from a store around the corner.”

“Where the fudge is made?”

Original Review here


Ups: Effective, to the point it almost made me nauseous watching it.

Likeable characters.

Simple story, done in the best possible way.

Downs: “so it’s just them on a small platform?” If you can’t get past that, you’re not going to like this.

Visuals in the opening are a bit weak.

Might not be able to stomach it more than once.

Best Moment: When the ladder breaks. You know it’s not real, and you know the characters won’t die that early. But you can’t get past the “holy shit, that should not happen” part of your brain. Plus, when it happened in the screening I was at, a guy immediately shook his head, stood up, and loudly exclaimed “nope, fuck that”

Worst Moment: The ending.

Best Performer: Grace Caroline Currey. The film is anchored around her performance, if she fails, she drags the film down and it sinks. Kind of regret saying “anchored” now, feels like it clashes with the metaphor.

Opening: Becky, Hunter, and Dan (Becky’s husband) climb a mountain. Dan makes a quick dismount, by which I mean he falls and dies. The weakest visuals in the whole thing, the backgrounds look incredibly fake.

Closing: Obvious ending. But it happens way too quickly and feels like they cut a 5 minute scene out filling in some things.

Best Line: “If you’re scared of dying, don’t be afraid to live”

Original Review here

Orphan: First Kill

Ups: Actually adds to the mythos.

Great use of practical effects.

Incredible plot that rewards rewatching

Downs: A bit too many “this is a reference to the original” moments.

Best Moment: The reveal. Trust me, it’s glorious.

Worst Moment: “Esther” finding a missing child who looks like her, is like a needle in a haystack. May have worked better if she saw news about the missing child, then decided to make most of the opportunity.

Best Performer: Julia Stiles.

Opening: Leena/Esther escapes an institution by seducing and killing a guard. It’s weird the guy was sexually aroused by someone with a disease that makes them look like a child, right? Very slasher movie, and works well.

Closing: The original film starts. Good to see.

Best Line: What was I supposed to do… put my surviving child in prison over some sibling rivalry shit?

Original Review here


Ups: Very clever.

Tackles the darker side of fandom.

Good kills.

Has the best use of Red Right Hand in the franchise so far.

Likeable characters

Downs: Wastes some good potential killers.

The twist could have been foreshadowed slightly better.

Best Moment: Dewey’s death. Truly shocking.

Worst Moment: The hallucinations of Billy are an acquired taste that doesn’t fully work.

Best Performer: David Arquette.

Opening: It’s a Scream movie, you know how it’s going to start: ghostface stabs someone. Major difference in this is they survive. It’s a good way of saying “yes we know the conventions, but we’re going to swerve away from them”

Closing: Gale decides to not write about the killers, leaving them anonymous. Good ending, but might have worked out better for the fourth.

Best Line: “See, you can’t just reboot a franchise from scratch anymore. The fans won’t stand for it. Black Christmas, Child’s Play, Flatliners, that shit doesn’t work. But you can’t just do a straight sequel, either. You need to build something new. But not too new or the Internet goes bug-fucking-nuts. It has to be part of an ongoing storyline, even if that story should never have been going on in the first place. New main characters, yes, but supported by, and related to, legacy characters. Not quite a reboot, not quite a sequel, like the new Halloween, Saw, Terminator, Jurassic Park, Ghostbusters, fuck, even Star Wars. It always, always goes back to the original!”

Original Review here

See How They Run

Ups: Compelling mystery

Saoirse Ronan is a ball of energy.

I like that I know there are many Agatha Christie references I missed out on.

A classic throwback to a genre.

Once you realise where the ending is going you’ll laugh your ass off.

Downs: Loses momentum going into the third act.

Some wasted time.

One of the misdirect attempts really doesn’t work.

Best Moment: The murder reveal is executed (pardon the pun) perfectly.

Worst Moment: The dream sequence.

Best Performer: Saoirse Ronan

Opening: Pan down from the theatre down to the eventual murder victim as he monologues.

Closing: Two characters sit down to watch The Mousetrap. Weirdly nice and quaint. Plus it allows the film to end in a thematically suitable way.

Best Line: “What’s next? A caption that says Three Weeks Later” *caption saying Three Weeks Later appears on screen*

Original Review here

The Banshees Of Inisherin

Ups: Darkly hilarious.

A lot of beauty in the shots.

Tremendous attention to detail for the sets and costumes.

Incredible performances.

Downs: Relentlessly bleak, which stops the emotional moments from hitting quite as hard as they should.

Repeats narrative beats.

Best Moment: When Colm actually cuts his fingers off, brutal.

Worst Moment: Dominic dying, only because it’s handled very quickly.

Best Performer: Colin Farrell. Could easily be Gleeson though.

Opening: Pádraic goes to see his friend Colm, who ignores him. That’s it. That’s also the opening 30 minutes or so. It works though.

Closing: The former friends aren’t so much at loggerheads anymore, but definitely won’t can’t be friends again. It’s good as it shows you although this is the end of the film, it’s not the end of the story.

Best Line: “Look at this I found. A stick with a hook. What would you use it for, I wonder. To hook things that are the length of a stick away”

Original Review here

Turning Red

Ups: Likeable characters.

Has something to say, you can tell this is a writers dream project and is deeply personal to them.

Downs: The animation isn’t as good as Pixar usually is.

The characters are slightly obnoxious at times, but then again, they are teenagers so….

Best Moment:

Worst Moment: The furore about “sexualising children” that surrounded the release of this.

Best Performer: Maitreyi Ramakrishnan, brilliantly deadpan.

Opening: Mei doing the usual “so this is me” opening. Instantly sets out who she is, and her relationship with her family. She’s incredibly likeable and her personality shines through.

Closing: The family relationship is fixed, and the red panda is now a tourist attraction at the temple. Kind of obvious was going to end that way, but allows some sweet moments.

Best Line: Honoring Your Parents Sounds Great, But If You Take It Too Far, Well, You Might Forget To Honor Yourself.

Original Review here

2022 In Film: Day Eight (The Very Good)


Ups: Does a great job of putting you in the shoes of someone living in that time.

Incredibly personal.

Great performances.

Very funny at times.

Downs: Unless you have knowledge of history, specifically the “why”, you could be lost in regards to character motivation.

Has Van Morrison on the soundtrack. I knew it would be busy so did a COVID test before going to the cinema to see this, and for the next few days after. All that for a film with a fucking anti-vaxxer on the soundtrack

Some people might not like that it’s mostly in black and white. (although I love the moments when it’s not)

Best Moment: His mum dragging him back to a shop in the middle of a riot to make him return something he looted.

Best Performer: Jude Hill. But I did like Lara McDonnell too.

Opening: Sets the scene perfectly. The overhead shots of the are wouldn’t be missed if they weren’t there. Although the transition between colour and black and white, present and past, is visually glorious and I love it.

Closing: “for the ones who stayed, for the ones who left, and for all the ones who were lost.” over a colour scene of the area. Beautiful, poignant, powerful.

Best line: The Irish were born for leavin’, otherwise the rest of the world’d have no pubs

Original Review here

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Ups: Handles a delicate situation perfectly.

Very emotional.

Some great performances.

Sets up the future well.

Downs: Too many moments which don’t go anywhere.

Waste of potential moments.

Best Moment: The attack on the ship. Was like something from a horror movie.

Worst Moment: The final fight. Only because it involves people wearing blue, fighting blue people, against a sky blue background.

Best Performer: Angela Basset. Easily.

Opening: T’Challa dies. Really it’s the only way they could have opened it, they had to address it, so it’s brave they did it immediately.

Closing: T’Challa had a son. Bit of a predictable ending, lets it down.

Best Line: Ramonda’s whole speech in the UN.

Original Review here

Clerks 3

Ups: When it hits hard, it hits VERY hard.


Nice to see these characters again.

Downs: It’s strange to say but this is trying to hard to be a comedy. It’s so scared to be serious.

Takes a bit too long to get to the actual story

Best Moment: Dante’s rage. It’s the only scene with no laughs and it’s the best part by a long way.

Feels like these characters only exist in the movies, they don’t exist when the cameras not on them.

Worst Moment: Kevin Smith narrating over the credits, explaining what happened to the characters afterwards. Feels incredibly lazy and last minute.

Best Performer: Jeff Anderson. O’Halloran is close, but Anderson takes it.

Opening: Starts with Welcome To The Black Parade, always a good start. Feels weirdly out of tone with the visuals though. The visuals are low-fi, and Black Parade isn’t exactly low-fi. Kind of weird , feels like it’s just playing over and they’re completely separate.

Closing: One of the characters dies. Heartbreaking, I wish the film was more of this and less “typical Smith”

Best Line: “i wish I had a life worth fucking saving”

Original Review here

Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness

Ups: Scarlet Witch is a truly sociopathic villain

The closest the MCU has got to a horror movie.

Damn fine special effects.

A decent third act.

Some incredibly inventive action set pieces.

Downs: Offscreen inertia is definitely in effect. There are times where it feels like the characters must be just standing around twiddling their thumbs when the camera is not on them

Should be a 15.

If Scarlet Witch is redeemed it will be a complete waste of her potential.

Best Moment: The Illuminati scene.

Worst Moment: The final scene. Easily.

Best Performer: Xochitl Gomez.

Opening: America Chavez and an alternate version of Strange being chased by a demon, then Strange tries to save the universe by killing Chavez. Good choice of opening, introduces America, shows off the visuals, sets up the multiverse, and shows that stakes are high.

Closing: Strange is walking down the street and is suddenly in pain, developing a third eye. Awful closing. Just leaves a “wait, what?” feeling.

Best Line: “What mouth?”

Original Review here


Ups: Emotional.

Deals with very heavy subjects in a way that’s easily understandable.


Good characters.

Downs: Doesn’t feel 90’s enough.

Still not entirely sure why it exists.

Best Moment: The montage of failure.

Worst Moment: The twist about the villain. Doesn’t feel earned.

Best Performer: Taika Waititi. A lot of fun.

Opening: “In 1995, a boy named Andy got a Buzz Lightyear toy for his birthday. It was from his favourite movie. This is that movie”. Setting up the general concept very quickly.

Closing: You know how this ends, from the second this film starts, you know how it ends, come on now.

Best Line: “That was utterly terrifying and I regret having joined you.” That’s also what I say after any social activity

Original Review here


Ups: The gymnastics themselves are astounding.

Beautiful shots.

Made astounding by current circumstances.

Downs: Made depressing by those same circumstances.

Some side characters feel inconsequential

Best Moment: When Olga has to give up her Ukrainian passport and get a Swiss one. It does a tremendous job of selling her guilt at giving up her national identity.

Worst Moment: One or two of the scenes halt the momentum.

Best Performer: Anastasia Budiashkina. Easily.

Original Review here

On The Count Of Three

Ups: Directed very well, especially for a first-time director.

Incredibly funny but also not.

Good performances.

Downs: The ending third felt like it didn’t belong in the same universe.

Best Moment: Character has a meeting with his boss, then calmly walks into a toilet cubicle and attempts to hang himself. No music. All takes place in real time. Meanwhile a guy walks in and pees in a urinal while singing cheerfully, not knowing about the potential unaliving happening in the same room. It’s bleak and horrifying, plus weirdly funny.

Worst Moment: The very last scene. Dialogue-free, only for a few seconds. But I felt it kind of detracted away from the story. I get why it was done, but could have been a better way of doing it.

Best Performer: Christopher Abbott.

Opening: The two characters pointing guns at each other, ready to fire in a suicide pact, gunfire, cut to black. Great opening, gets you immediately invested, and in that short moment you get their love for each other. You get personality, you get motives, you get relationship with each other. Crams so much.

Closing: A suicide. It’s obvious. It’s one of those films where it all feels inevitable. It’s beautifully written. The other guy is in prison. That coda wasn’t really necessary it felt like. Would have been a stronger ending if it did just cut to black with the gunshot.

Best Line: “Do you know that I have been going to doctors since I was 8 years old in foster care. And most of them had private practices by the way they weren’t this state-employed bullshit. And if any of you guys knew how to help me by now you would have fucking done it. Why the fuck are you guys so obsessed with keeping everyone alive anyway? You think all life is precious? All life? If you lived in my head for one minute you realise it fucking isn’t”. The sheer outpouring of emotion and helplessness.

Original Review here

The Black Phone

Ups: Very creepy at times.

Original concept.

Downs: The Grabber isn’t built up enough by the town. You never get the feeling this is a town in fear.

Serious issues with pacing.

Best Moment: The final fight. Very narratively satisfying to see all the knowledge come together.

Worst Moment: The brother of The Grabber realising the truth. His actions don’t really ring true.

Best Performer: Ethan Hawke.

Opening: Standard “meet doomed character” horror opening. Quite weak, especially compared to how creepy the opening credits are.

Closing: Finn sits next to his crush and says hi. Only works because of the age of the characters, if they were older that would be a slightly pathetic closing. As it is, kind of sweet.

Best Line: “Yeah I took him down cause obviously I’m the grabber you dumb f’ing fartknockers” Great line delivery

Original Review here

The Justice Of Bunny King

Ups: When characters do stupid things, they usually make sense because of how well they’re written.

Heartbreakingly true.

Downs: Overwrriten towards the end.

Best Moment: Being shown around the house.

Worst Moment: Her holding someone hostage feels a bit out of tone at the time.

Best Performer: Essie Davis

Opening: Characters washing cars in the rain to the tune of what I always assume is an Alanis Morrisette song. She then goes and helps someone who is having trouble with social services. Says a lot about her character and situation. Very quickly establishes her.

Closing: A phone call with her kids. She knew she’s screwed up, and she knows she’s made it a lot worse. The kids don’t seem phased though. Which makes it worse. They’re too young. Their innocence comes off as apathy and you can tell she’s doomed. Then the police shoot her. It’s really the only way it could end. It’s emotionally devastating but narratively satisfying. It also says a lot about her character that when she’s being loaded into the back of the ambulance she points out the windows are disgusting

Best Line: “why are you talking to her like that?” After a social worker speaks to the character’s disabled child like she’s an idiot.

Original Review here

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Ups: The most Nicholas Cage move that exists.

Cage and Pascal have great comedic chemistry.

It’s weird.

Downs: Pedro Pascal is too big a name to not play himself.

JCVD is much better.

Best Moment: The wall scene. Yes it was in the trailer, but it’s so silly.

Worst Moment: The two Cage’s bit could go weirder. Weirder than them kissing each other.

Best Performer: Pedro Pascal. He should do more comedy. Okay, he did also do The Bubble this year, but is it really a comedy if nobody finds it funny?

Opening: Someone gets kidnapped, coincidentally whilst watching a Nicholas Cage film. There was room to be more creative here but they didn’t take it. I’m glad they didn’t do the “fight scene opening, but turns out to be a scene in a movie”

Closing: A film based on the events on this film has been released. Cute.

Best Line: The line of coke Nicholas Cage presumably done before shooting this.

Original Review here

Thor: Love And Thunder

Ups: Works as a standalone.

Rescues Jane Foster as a character.

Love is a great character

A lot of very good scenes, and some real creative visuals.

Downs: Tonal issues.

Occasionally goes a bit too silly.

Feels like a lot of wasted potential of some stories.

Best Moment: The montage of Thor and Foster falling out of love. Works as a mini-film on its own.

Worst Moment: Everything with the goats.

Best Performer: India Hemsworth. Not in it much, but owns every scene she’s in.

Opening: Thor is fighting with the Guardians, and ruining everything. Funny, but does make the rest of the Guardians feel a bit weak. Plus, do they just not care about looking for Gamora now?

Closing: Foster dies, Love lives with Thor. Bit weird, he hasn’t expressed much desire to be a father before. Sweet though. But I still can’t shake how out of nowhere it feels.

Best Line: “Once we bring the children back, we shall feast! Not on them. We don’t do that any more. That is a dark part of our history”

Original Review here

Three Thousand Years Of Longing

Ups: Phenomenal visuals.

Interesting stories.

Downs: Really loses steam in the third act.

The romance feels rushed.

Sub plots aren’t picked up on.

Best Moment: That trailer. That got you hyped up for it like a good trailer should.

Worst Moment: When you realise it’s a box office bomb.

Best Performer: Idris Elba

Opening: Alithea goes to Istanbul and suffers hallucinations. The hallucinations are kind of a weak point for the film. But it does have some interesting visuals.

Closing: The Djinn visit Alithea and says he’ll check in every few years. Kind of sweet, but they never really felt like a couple so it’s a bit weird he has this connection with her.

Best Line: Love is a gift. It’s a gift of oneself given freely. It’s not something one can ever ask for.

Original Review here


Ups: A great opening credits sequence.

Shows that the director is meant for great things.

A haunting look at family trauma

Everyone feels like real people.

Downs: Some jump scares are a little corny.

Best Moment: Really clever scare involving a face under a sheet. Really creative.

Worst Moment: There’s a moment where the main characters mother attacks from the grave, using clothes. It looks a bit hokey and silly.

Best Performer: Sandra Oh

Opening: The sound of knocking and someone asking their mother to open a door. The daughter apologising, the mother rejects her apologies and we hear electric noises and screaming. Good start, suitably creepy.

Closing: The daughter goes off to college, showing she’s being allowed an independent life. Yes, it’s cliche, but really it’s the only way this narrative could end.

Best Line: Look, I know you think people think you’re weird, and I’m not gonna lie, you are. But, no, you think being weird is a bad thing, you think you’re the only one. But you know what? You’re not. There are tons of other weirdos out there, cool interesting people like you. You just have to out into the world and find them.

Original Review here

Violent Night

Ups: Very bloody.

Clever allusions to Home Alone

Deeply cynical whilst also heartwarming.

Downs: A bit longer than it needs to be.

Could go deeper with the satire.

Best Moment: The reveal of Santa’s past.

Worst Moment: The villain’s motive is a little meh.

Best Performer: Leah Brady is incredibly adorable and likeable. I’d also like to point out Mitra Suri, but that’s for different reasons.

Opening: Santa is drunk. Seen this kind of thing before, but the fact it’s actually Santa does mean we can get a scene of him drunkenly vomiting from up high.

Closing: The reindeers come back, with gifts. Little bit plot convenient that they happened to miss the whole thing.

Best Line: Now, I know you’re an idiot, but don’t be an idiot out loud.

Original Review here

We’re All Going To The Worlds Fair

Ups: Some great make-up. Best demonstrated when someone puts his fingers under loose skin in his arm and starts pulling out tickets. Incredibly creepy and weird and disgusting.

Reminds me of Gone Home, and I’ll always appreciate thinking of that game.

The scene where she paints her face and tears her stuffed toy apart is weirdly creepy.

Weirdly hypnotic.

Both the lead performer, and the writer/director, are clearly meant for bigger things.

Downs: Definitely too slow and weird for a lot of people.

Needs a clearer narrative.

Best Moment: The message she gets with the image of her face distorted. It’s so simple but it’s expertly done.

Worst Moment: The ending where it changes focus. Bit of a narrative miss-step.

Best Performer: Anna Cobb

Opening: Casey sitting in her room on her own, eating (I think) cheesestrings before introducing herself and saying she’s going to take the “Worlds Fair Challenge”. Good use of silence as it makes you lean in and pay attention. But it goes on a bit too long. Especially since she stops, changes the lights, and then starts recording again and continues talking to the camera. Which consists of her saying “I want to go to the worlds fair” into the camera, smearing blood on the computer, then sitting in strobe lights. The opening credits, much more effective, just a series of shots of the local area in ruin. Not “apocalpyse” ruins, economic ruins. Shops are closed down and boarded up. This plays alongside a great piece of music which may well be one of the best original compositions of the year in terms of made movie soundtracks (although the one for Olga was close)

Closing: She has (possibly) met up with JLB. There’s a strange ambiguity to it that could leave an audience frustrated. It’s all done from JLB’s perspective. It reminds me of the opening, in a bad way. That sense of “nothing is happening”.

Best Line: I swear, someday soon, I am just gonna disappear, and you won’t have any idea what happened to me.

Original Review here