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.
With the new direction the DCAU is taking, it only makes sense for them to finally veer in to the world of the Super Sons. For a few years now, Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne’s sons have been the most unlikely popular duo. Warner and DC even welcome them in to the fold of the DC Animated library with a full CG animated movie rather than hand drawn. I much prefer hand drawn, but the CG animation works wonders for the high energy first adventures of Jonathan Kent and Damian Wayne. In either case, “Battle of the Super Sons” is a great buddy action movie, and it’s a coming of age action film featuring two legacy heroes that have a big task on their hands.
Not many younger fans know this, but once upon a time, before Marvel became another arm of Disney, Spider-Man was basically Mighty Marvel’s equivalent to Mickey Mouse. He was the most relatable, most accessible, and most liked hero, even when the company was as its worst. Easily the biggest movie of 2021, “No Way Home” is a glimpse in to what makes Spider-Man such a timeless hero and why so many people continue connect to our favorite Friendly Neighborhood Wallcrawler.
Fans have long awaited the proper third film in the “Ghostbusters” series, and while it’s become very apparent that the original cast is much too old to carry the series further, “Afterlife” is a great step in to a new world. Like most legacy sequels of beloved movie series, “Afterlife” pays great reverence to the original, while also carving out a path for a new direction and brand new cast of ghost fighting heroes. While “Afterlife” is very light in laughs and levity, it stills comes out in the end as a fantastic follow up that clicks right in to the first two films beautifully.
The Z Movie to end all Z movies, “Frankenstein’s Daughter” is both a cult classic and a classic piece of cinematic trash. It’s a god awful attempt to take the Frankenstein tale and retro-fit it in to a teen horror drama about coming of age, legacy, and uncomfortable scenes of men aggressively hitting on high school girls. In either case, “Frankenstein’s Daughter” is something of an anomaly, it’s a movie that’s been widely accepted within the genre, but it’s just so painfully bad when you finally experience it.
After whatever that MTV reboot of “Scream” was, networks and companies seem to be learning all the wrong lessons from it. Rather than breathe new life in to a once solid slasher series, Amazon has botched it from out the gates. Instead of a tense, white knuckle slasher/murder mystery, Lois Duncan’s novel is adapted in to an erotic teen drama thriller. Think less “Slasher” and more “Riverdale.” It’s a glacially paced glorified drama with a horror tint that downplays the horror and slasher aspects of the aforementioned movie series in favor of gratuitous sex, pointless nudity, and droning dialogue.
I guess the mission statement for Disney lately is to modernize a lot of their classics, no matter how big or small by—copying them to the tee. “Under Wraps” is the much anticipated remake of the original 1997 TV movie that doesn’t realty offer a new angle toward the movie. Even though it’s a perfectly good Halloween treat and solid DCOM, it misses out on emphasizing the more emotional themes the original didn’t.
Director Leigh Janiak’s creation of the “Fear Street” trilogy has to be one of the most impressive cinematic accomplishments this year. It’s tough to find a horror trilogy where every film feels different, but clicks together like a puzzle, so seamlessly. “Fear Street” had every chance of being a complete mess, especially with how it goes backward in time to fill in the gaps in its narrative. Not to mention the fact that it trusts audiences will return is ambitious and often impressive.