2022 in Movies

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.

  1. Labyrinth
    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Gravity
    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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.

52 Movies

I set a goal, along with reading 52 books this year, to watch 52 movies I’d never seen before.

I’m not really a movie person. I prefer episodic things like series books and TV shows. I love staying with characters for extended periods. But I’m almost always saying “no, I haven’t seen that” to even the most popular films. So I set out to watch more movies and accomplished my goal. I can’t say I’m super into movies, but I do have some I want to see for 2022.

Here’s what I watched in 2021:

  1. Paris Is Burning
    I loved this documentary about the ballroom and drag culture in New York in the ’80s so much. It broke my heart to google what happened to everyone after.
  2. Mockingjay Pt 2
    I’d seen the entire series but not the last movie. I have no idea why, but I do this with a lot of series (watch all but the last one). I think it was helpful to watch because I always had a hard time envisioning a lot of the underground scenes.
  3. Tangled
    I went into this thinking I’d hate it, but it was really funny. I’m enjoying kids movies that make it fun for adults to watch.
  4. Mulan
    I enjoyed it, but it didn’t stand out to me like other Disney movies did. I feel like I would have enjoyed it more if I’d seen it when it first came out. I did appreciate they actually used Asian voice actors.
  5. Pocahontas
    I didn’t like Pocahontas. Probably because I knew more of the real story, and it was just weird to see this period of time romanticized like it was.
  6. Step
    This is a documentary about a step team. Worth a watch.
  7. The Lion King
    I remember how big this was when it came out. I see this as the start of the “new” Disney that wasn’t a part of my childhood. Good songs, but honestly I wasn’t as impressed as I think I would’ve been if I’d seen it when it originally came out.
  8. Insurgent
    Yeah. No. I lost interest in it early on and can’t even tell you what happened in it. I enjoyed the books, but they changed a lot in the movies and I just didn’t like it.
  9. The Princess and the Frog
    I also really loved this, and I think it’s the perfect movie to refurbish Splash Mountain.
  10. Charlie’s Angels
    I’d never really seen Kristen Stewart in much and she totally won me over. I watched it for Jonathan Tucker, but she stole the movie. I’ve never seen the other Charlie’s Angels movies, just the original TV series.
  11. Double Teamed
    This is a Disney original movie about identical twin basketball players (based on a real story). It was super schmaltzy.
  12. Lilo and Stitch
    Another one I missed the bus on, but really loved. The relationship between Lilo and her sister and their circumstances was nice to see in a cartoon.
  13. Moana
    I liked it, but it didn’t stand out to me much.
  14. Brian Regan Nunchucks and Flamethrowers
    I love Brian Regan’s comedy. He had a new special coming out so I caught up on this older one I hadn’t seen first.
  15. Frozen II
    I was really apprehensive about this. Mostly because sequels often suck. But they hit just the right notes. I think the canoe ride down the river needs to be a ride at Disney.
  16. Free Solo
    This documentary follows the attempt of Alex Honnold to free climb El Capitan. I am afraid of heights. This doc made me feel so uncomfortable and nauseated because of that. It was good, but so, so nerve wracking. And I knew the outcome before I watched.
  17. Brian Regan On The Rocks
    This was his most recent special and really funny.
  18. Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
    I read the book and was really taken by it, and was eager to see the movie. It’s outstanding. I was surprised by Mariah Carey honestly.
  19. The Barkley Marathons
    I loved this documentary about this extreme long distance race. A local has run it multiple times, and I found it insane. It’s quirky, difficult and the vibe is something we’re really missing in the world.
  20. Beauty and the Beast (live action)
    It was only okay. I prefer the animated version. I was surprised people didn’t think Luke Evans was right as Gaston, when I thought he nailed it.
  21. Hanna
    I really enjoyed the movie, so much that I wanted to watch the TV series, but I didn’t get into it, which sucks because I love Joel Kinnaman and Mireille Enos (thanks to The Killing, WHICH I LOVE). Hanna was raised off the grid, and for very good reason. I will probably give the TV series another shot because JOEL KINNAMAN and MIREILLE ENOS.
  22. Clue
    I had never seen this older movie, but I wanted to watch Knives Out and this seemed like a nice primer. I found it funny, but a few months ago I read Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and I find this movie even more brilliant now.
  23. Bao (short)
    I LOVED this short film about a woman who creates a dumpling who comes to life. It’s so sweet.
  24. Dumplin’
    Ironic these were back to back lol. I’d read the book, I think last year, and the movie was quite good. I actually liked that the movie involved the drag queens more, and I love seeing queens I know from Drag Race in films.
  25. Moxie
    The author is a writing friend from days gone by, and I had read the book and loved it and its riot grrl references. The movie is good, but the book is better. It really made me miss the early to mid ’90s.
  26. Knives Out
    I went in not knowing what to expect, but this was a great whodunnit. It’s really great if you go in knowing nothing. It’s so weird lol.
  27. Halloween II
    I am not a horror movie person (I watch them on AMC because most of the gore is cut out lol), and I found this one only okay.
  28. Poltergeist
    So many other films reference this, now that I know what it’s all about. I found it a lot less scary than anticipated.
  29. Mean Girls
    This is probably the number one film people couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen. I liked it a lot, and I like the fact I now understand references to it better lol. And I had literally NO CLUE Jonathan Bennett was an actor since I’d only seen him host Food Network shows.
  30. Final Destination
    I liked this first one, because the whole opening is really entertaining and actually makes you think how you’d feel to survive like that. I liked that there was this sort of malevolent spirit-like feeling to what was happening.
  31. Final Destination 2
    I watched this because AJ Cook was the lead. I found it was getting into the ridiculous in that I can see the series never ending because there will always be someone to die.
  32. Halloween III: Season of the Witch
    What the fuck.
  33. Scream
    I was nervous to watch it because I thought it would be gory (AMC to the rescue lol), but I loved that they killed Drew Barrymore right away, and that it was a mystery to me who was responsible. Yes, I had no spoilers, which is shocking consider how old it is. It’s such a smart movie, and I can see how innovative it was when it came out.
  34. Gremlins
    I always thought Gizmo turned into a Gremlin himself and then went back to cutie. I had NO idea he wasn’t one. Hi Ho will never, ever fail to make me laugh now. The beginning with the stereotypical old Chinese man of wisdom was really dated. I see where Baby Yoda gets some of his cute from.
  35. The Dead Zone
    I loved the book, but the movie just didn’t hold it for me. So much of Stephen King’s works are good because of the internal thoughts of the characters and it’s so hard to translate that to film. You really get a sense of how he feels he has to kill this guy because of what he sees happening in the future and I think the movie lost that. I’m curious about the TV series and how that worked.
  36. Halloween IV: The Return of Michael Myers
    This is my secret favourite after the first one. I love Danielle Harris in this, and I tend to like kid-in-jeopardy stories.
  37. The Exorcist
    Really not what I expected. This was a much more cerebral film I felt was focused on the priest way more than Regan and I feel like it gets lumped in as a horror film when it’s not.
  38. Halloween V: The Revenge of Michael Myers
    I like this one too, but I’m still mad about Rachel.
  39. Halloween H2O
    Meh, it was okay. I hate how they retconned things in this (because it erases Jamie being Laurie’s daughter). But Jamie Lee Curtis was great.
  40. Scream 2
    Another that I really enjoyed because I didn’t see it coming even though I really, really should have.
  41. Midnight Run
    This was so good. I’m a huge fan of buddy movies where it’s an enemies to friends story – echoes of my book Bayou Bound in that way.
  42. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants
    Another I’d never seen that it seems everyone has. It was okay. America Ferrera really kills it though, she made me cry.
  43. The Omen
    Another one that wasn’t really what I expected. Ms Baylock must’ve been the inspiration for Mrs. Paddock in the X-Files episode “Die Hand Die Verletzt” because they are twins.
  44. Christine
    I’d read the book, and hadn’t seen this. Didn’t recognize Alexandra Paul from Baywatch at all!
  45. The Equalizer
    I’ve been watching the CBS show, and decided to watch the Denzel movie. I forgot how much I enjoy Denzel. I really loved this – I’ve got the sequel in my to-watch list. The little OCD habits he gives his character really work.
  46. Kid90
    This was a trip. I’m the same age as Soleil Moon Frye and many of the others featured. It was like looking back at my own time in high school (but without tripping on shrooms lol). I wish I had more video of that era in my life. There’s a lot of really heartbreaking stuff here, especially surrounding all of the people who died.
  47. The Craft: Legacy
    Disappointing. The original is still best. I was really underwhelmed. I didn’t even like how they tied it to the original.
  48. Scream 3
    I wasn’t as into this one as the others. I think it is at the point where three is enough even though I know they made more lol.
  49. The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
    I am Nutcracker obsessed (Gorsky/Vainonen derived choreo is my jam), so I was not enthused with the story changes being so off-book. It was gorgeous to look at, and I enjoyed seeing Jack Whitehall, but I wanted a more traditional story.
  50. Home Sweet Home Alone
    As I tweeted, this is the worst movie I’ve sort of watched while doing other stuff. I wish I could erase this from my memory.
  51. The Bitch Who Stole Christmas
    I’ve always thought there was a distinct lack of drag queens in my Christmas movie watching. This is a totally cheesy-on-purpose movie that is right up your Drag Race alley.
  52. 14 Peaks: Nothing is Impossible
    Right up my Everest book-loving alley, this doc follows Nirmal Purja in a bid to climb all fourteen 8000m mountain peaks within a record time of 7 months. It was -9C on my walk this morning and my hands were so numb in my two pairs of gloves that I couldn’t feel anything but pain. I can’t even imagine how people climb these mountains in the cold. It’s unfathomable to me.