My Eyes Are Up Here (2022)

Director Nathan Morris’ “My Eyes Are Up Here” is the kind of romantic comedy film that you don’t see often in the mainstream. It’s a short that I really wanted more of, because his short, clocking in at fourteen minutes, feels like the prologue to a very funny, and quite sweet tale of two people who find destiny after a drunken night in bed. “My Eyes Are Up Here” is a very sweet and entertaining slice of life that works toward subverting and breaking a lot of preconceived notions about the disabled.

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Jenna Has to Live (2022) [Slamdance 2023]

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Director Katie Hopkins’ “Jenna Has to Live” is a striking look in to the catastrophic health system in America and how the price of medications for the diabetic has them dangling on the verge of death. I think that there’s a ton of room for movies of this ilk, as it presents a gut wrenching look in to the way high prices in America has effectively altered our lives, even those that have barely started theirs.

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Top Gun: Maverick (2022)

Much like the original, “Top Gun: Maverick” is a big jingoistic cartoon. But it’s a fun jingoistic cartoon. I say that as someone that didn’t like the original “Top Gun” so suffice to say I was hesitant going right in to it. After so many years left in film limbo, I was stunned it was so well received, as legacy sequels most of the time fall flat. While “Top Gun: Maverick” isn’t exactly a masterpiece, I could think of worse times to spend with an action movie; it’s definitely one of the better legacy sequels I’ve seen.

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Sorry About the Demon (2023)

There’s a realty good film desperate to break free tom “Sorry About the Demon.” While it’s not what I’d call a bad movie, it’s a movie that director Emily Hagins kind of loses grip over in its final half. It’s overlong for such a paper thin premise, and most times it feels like the movie can never decide if it’s horror rom-com or rom-com with a touch of horror. It’s a shame because the ingredients are there, but “Sorry About the Demon” never adds up to much of a genre film.

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5-25-77 (2017)

It’s a shame that in 2022, a year filled with movies about movies that landed with a thud, that the best one, “5-25-77” will have gone largely unnoticed and ignored. “5-25-77” is a love letter about movie making, it’s an ode to the art of filmmaking, and how film can also be a reflection of how we view life. Director Patrick Read Johnson’s coming of age drama comedy is a pretty excellent indie film, one that I’ve been waiting for over five years to watch that is now being available to view for a wider audience. 

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History is Made at Night (1937): Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray]

Frank Borzage’s hybrid of genres has apparently been a film that has been neglected for a long time and not given a proper restoration. With Criterion they ensure a long lasting release of what is a pretty engaging mix of drama, comedy, romance, and yes, a disaster film. I’m not sure if I was as wild about “History is Made at Night” as most movie buffs seem to be, but Frank Borzage’s film is a success at being entertaining and engaging. Borzage is able to bounce between themes rather well, balancing out dread and whimsical romance well.

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Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)

After the startling success of “Avatar” James Cameron spent almost two decades crafting a sequel. It’s a sequel that is—well, it’s basically “Avatar” all over again with his blue Thundercats. Except it has water. That might seem like I’m undermining the movie but I’m really not. Everything is essentially the same, save for more characters. Cameron injects the same clumsy themes about war, capitalism, racism, the fragility of the environment, and the oh-so-noble savage; except now he’s able to introduce his love for the ocean too.

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BAD MOVIE MONDAY: SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT PART 2 (1987)

Since Christmas was yesterday, Happy Holidays to all of you out there in internet land by the way, I’ve chosen the immortal classic Silent Night Deadly Night 2 for BAD MOVIE MONDAY. Kind of as my gift to everyone who bothers to read this silly little column. It’s my way of both thanking you for listening to the insane ramblings of my diseased brain and of introducing you to the Silent Night, Deadly Night series of films. A series that I feel is rather unique by the fact that every entry goes more and more off the rails as it progresses. Parts 3, 4 and 5 get REALLY wild, but that’s for another time Continue reading