Here are the new-to-me movies I watched in 2022. I don’t watch a lot of movies in general, but I’ve been making more of an effort the past few years.
I have a friend who is a huge Bowie fan, and his love of all things Bowie got me interested in seeing this, and everyone on my FB list was like “OMG tell me what you think” and then I realized so many people love this. It was super weird, but I think if I’d seen it in the 80s it would have made perfect sense because it fits right in with Fraggles and Masters of the Universe and everything 80s. I loved Ludo.
- First Blood
So I’d never seen Rambo, and realized very early into this I was confusing it with Commando. I liked it. So much of my 80s TV was dominated by Vietnam veteran stories, and that whole facet of time where the war and the people involved became major characters is fascinating to me, especially in light of how so many vets were treated coming home. It was shot locally, and I always like watching films shot here before the big film industry boom. It just hits different.
- Rambo: First Blood Part II
I felt like the story had been told – the end is the same, Rambo soliloquying about how much he’s given for his country and how no one cares.
- Rambo III
I find it so fascinating how the films go through events, from returning from Vietnam, to returning to Vietnam, and now Soviet/Afghan War. Watching these films back-to-back really gives you an interesting overview of the 80s.
- Dolores Claiborne
I read the books years ago but couldn’t remember much about the story, so the film felt new to me. I just love Kathy Bates, I feel like she does King’s work justice, because she’s never afraid to play odd or plain or weird. She plays what the character is because King is the master at writing characters with flaws and unattractive qualities and physicality.
- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
I feel like the first Jurassic World was pretty good, but this is where it just falls apart for me. I will, of course, watch the last film in the trilogy, but I wasn’t engaged with this like the others. For some reason it always bugs me when the dinosaurs are like … everywhere. I want them on their island and not all over everywhere.
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
I read the books this year too, and for some reason thought it was a TV series and not a movie. I, weirdly, realized it was filmed here when I saw Lara Jean lean her bike against a store front and I knew which one it was lol. I didn’t really feel like the casting of her boyfriend matched up to what was in my head. I honestly think this would have worked better as a TV series.
- Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell
This was a sequel included in the Criterion Collection version of the Streetwise documentary by Martin Bell. Some argue that it comes off like poverty porn, and I think it veers that way if you haven’t seen Streetwise to have the context for why we’re following Tiny and her family and that her situation here is better than her previous situation in many ways. It really shows the cyclical nature of poverty though.
- The Martian
Another book I read this year, I was really curious about how the film would pull it off. I enjoyed it, but the book has so much sarcastic hilarity in the first person POV and that’s lost a bit on film. I do like that they kept with the book closely, but I wish there were a few more events included. I did appreciate the follow up at the end, because the ending of the book was so sudden I was sure my ebook was corrupt and I was missing a chapter lol.
- The Virgin Suicides
I watched this, as I do many films and TV shows, because of Jonathan Tucker. It was an interesting, odd film. I haven’t read the book so I can’t say how closely it stayed to the source material. I don’t know if I liked it or not. One of those films that makes you think about it.
- Vertical Limit
I watched this because it was a mountain climbing movie. So much of it was so wrong, but it was still interesting. I liked seeing Paxton as a bad guy for a change, and was he in every movie ever? It feels like it. I just finished watching The Mentalist, so it was fun seeing Robin Tunney. And a very young Chris O’Donnell!
- Downtown Abbey: The Movie
I had watched the entire series, but never saw the movie until now. I think they did a good job with the storyline and characters. It didn’t feel “special” enough as a movie, more like something they would have normally aired at Christmas.
- Downton Abbey: A New Era
This is probably the most recent release I’ve seen this year. I liked the storyline – I knew it was time for change and moving forward and I just wish we’d learned the baby’s name although I’m pretty sure we can guess what it is. Seeing a new setting was nice, and I like that Thomas got a good ending.
I never saw this one either until now. It was … okay. I see the artistic side of it in the cinematography and the interesting shots and takes, but I guess I prefer my survival movies with a bit more drama than art. Space movies always freak me out on a weird level though. I would never go to space. I don’t even like leaving my house that much lol.
- Now and Then
This is one of those movies I wish I’d seen when I was younger. I thought the casting was great, especially Gaby Hoffman/Demi Moore. I loved seeing a movie where the girl friendships are treated as seriously as boy friendships. It was really sad to discover Ashleigh Aston Moore passed away from pneumonia complicated by drug abuse. I thought she was the best actress in the group – so funny and relatable.
- The Bodyguard
Another one people were surprised I haven’t seen. I think two rocks have more chemistry than Houston and Costner did which really detracted from the story. I saw the death coming from ten miles away, which also sucked. Overall, not my favourite movie, but damn that soundtrack is on fire. I forgot how many great Whitney songs came from this film. I Have Nothing has always been a favourite (way more than I Will Always Love You). I really miss Whitney’s voice.
- To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar
This is one I slept on back in the day. I wanted to see it and just never did. I loved this – obviously there are some now-dated sections, but this would have been so new and brave at the time, especially for a wide release film. I love that the queens leading this were Hollywood men known for tougher roles, and not who you’d expect to play a drag queen.
- The Blair Witch Project
This is one of those films that I think would have had more impact on me when it came out vs now. The found footage aspect gets really annoying to me in the first half hour. It’s hard watching badly shot stuff. My home movies are steadier, and that’s before they get to the woods. I think what I most liked is the hint that something is there, but never seeing or knowing what. I find that’s almost always scarier than revealing it.
So things went to hell after that and I didn’t watch any new movies after that – just ones I’d seen before since it was all I could handle.