2022 Movies: The Good, The Bad, and The Decent
Agree, agree to disagree, and find common ground in something you dislike together.
Every week I meet with my Far From Professional co-creator, C. A., to shoot the shit, check in on each other’s work, and plan out future projects. It’s a little bit of work and mostly laughs as we lament the daily struggles of being trophy husbands to our bread-winning wives. Yesterday, we were talking about the end of another year and the yadda yadda about what we were able to accomplish this 365 and what we hope to get done in the next 365.
Somehow we got to talking about the movies we had both seen in 2022 and there weren’t many we both liked. We talked about it, and I wrote about it. What’s published below are but a few distilled (yet spoiler-filled) thoughts from our epic rant on the underwhelming year in movies that was 2022.
Our Favorite Flick of 2022
All Quiet on the Western Front
C. A. and I both agreed that Edward Burger’s interpretation of All Quiet on the Western Front (from Erich Remarque’s 1929 novel) was our favorite movie of the year. It puts you in a German soldier’s nightmare experience on the battlefield in World War I, and oh what a beautifully shot nightmare it was. Brutal because it’s a movie about a young man and his friends trying to survive trench warfare, but there was more to the message than just the “brutality of war.” All of the people who died in the Great War-in any war-died for nothing. Men killed each other for a few hundred meters of land up until the final minutes before the cease fire took effect. Then, they simply set their guns down and walked away.
Cinematographer James Friend, whose work we were not familiar with before this movie, did amazing work here. The battle scenes are frenetic and violent, creating a genuine sense of anxiety, the best example of which happens towards the end of the second act when the Saint-Chamond tanks roll in.
Great writing, an excellent cast-the young men who played the German soldiers transformed-immersive sound editing all helped make this the only movie we both liked without a single bad thing to say about it.
Good But Could’ve Been Great
C. A. put in some work writing a full-length review of The Batman back when the movie first came out. In our chat yesterday, though, he talked more about how much he liked the world-building and the visceral, dark version of the Caped Crusader and Gotham City that director Matt Reeves created, but he thought that the movie was about a half hour, too long.
I agree with C. A. about the length of The Batman. It could have been 30 minutes shorter. I thought that the extra half hour made it feel like a completely different movie than the other two hours of movie I watched.
On the flip side, The Batman had a great cast that mostly delivered (except for how they handled Andy Serkis as Alfred), it brings us our first live-action detective version of Batman, and it sets the table for what could be the most interesting cinematic universe for the Dark Knight.
The Biggest Letdown
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
I’m a bit easier to please when it comes to movies than my guy C. A., so when he threw out two of his biggest disappoints of the year, Prey and Nope, I pushed back. Neither of those two movies is perfect, but I thought they were both entertaining. Nope was excellent for about 2/3 of the experience, but lost me in the final act. I felt like I wasn’t smart enough to understand what should’ve been obvious, but maybe I was expecting something that was never going to happen. C. A. didn’t like this movie from the jump, taking issue with the plot and the feeling the director Jordan Peele was trying to hard to make some Avant Garde shit.
Similarly, C. A. had major issues with the way the Comanche were portrayed in Prey. For more on that, check out his write up of the sci-fi prequel, which I thought was a fun new way to refresh a franchise that flopped like a Thanksgiving dump just a couple of years ago.
The undisputed turd-burger of 2022 was Rian Johnson’s Knives Out sequel, Glass Onion. “Hey, man! Why are you guys so harsh on this flick? It’s not bad.”
Sure. You’re right. It’s not anything. It goes nowhere. We do nothing for a couple of hours with some of the worst people in the world as we watch the “world’s greatest detective” confirm to us what was spelled out from the beginning: Miles Bron is the killer.
Netflix spent around 40 million dollars producing this flick to take us on a road to nowhere. For all the hype surrounding this sequel and the ensemble cast, Glass Onion was a waste of time and talent.
Originally published at https://www.farfromprofessional.com on January 1, 2023.