Patron Pick – The Menu

This special reward is available to Patreon patrons who pledge at the $10 or $20 monthly levels. Each month those patrons will pick a film for me to review. If they choose, they also get to include some of their thoughts about the movie. This Pick comes from Bekah Lindstrom.

The Menu (2022)
Written by Seth Reiss & Will Tracy
Directed by Mark Mylod

Horror is certainly a hot genre at the moment. Not since the 1970s has there been a more fruitful period for the genre. We have so many different styles & flavors of horror to choose from so that no matter what type of person you are, there’s something to pick from. The Menu represents a growing social satire horror that’s become more prevalent in recent years. It makes sense that this would be a burgeoning subgenre in the face of growing massive inequality in the West. Outside of horror, these themes of bringing the wealthy to heel & pointing out the many cases of abuse of the working class have picked up steam. Yet, I have to question when such an important topic becomes so embedded in popular culture. The main question I ask about these films is, “Is this a genuine expression of frustration on this issue from an authentic voice, or is this just a filmmaker/studio chasing a trend?”

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November/December 2022 Digest

Features
Most Anticipated Movies of 2022 Review
Seth’s Favorite Books Read in 2022
Ariana’s Favorite Books Read in 2022
Ariana’s Favorite Comics Read in 2022
Seth’s Favorite Comics Read in 2022
Seth’s Favorite Television of 2022
Ariana’s Favorite Television of 2022
Seth’s Favorite Film Discoveries of 2022
Seth’s Favorite Films of 2022
Ariana’s Favorite Films of 2022
Patron Pick – Sweet Smell of Success [Matt]
Patron Pick – One True Thing [Bekah]
Patron Pick – Before Sunrise [Matt]
Patron Pick – Slumberland [Bekah]

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Movie Review – White Noise

White Noise (2022)
Written & Directed by Noah Baumbach

Yeah, so American cinema is a corpse. To end my year on this movie is a sign that I need to slowly withdraw my time & energy from the majority of mainstream films coming out of the United States. Noah Baumbach was never one of my favorite directors, but I have enjoyed some of his recent work, especially his films on Netflix (The Meyerowitz Stories, Marriage Story). And I didn’t balk at the idea of him writing & directing an adaptation of Don DeLillo’s White Noise, a book I’ve read twice and enjoy quite a bit. Baumbach seemed an excellent fit to bring a very unfilmable novel to the big screen. Then the first trailer dropped, and I started to question the tone. And then I watched the movie.

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Seth’s Favorite Films of 2022

Yes, that movie you think should be on the list is not here. I did see it. I just didn’t feel a connection to it like you did. I’m glad you liked it though. That’s the thing with these lists and why I specifically label them as my “favorites” and not “the best.” I don’t quite know how to really qualify what makes something “the best” but I can talk about why I personally love a film or a book or anything. And this is a time of year I love because I think back on what I saw and in particular what stuck with me.

This year I noticed some themes. One of them was women in difficult situations fighting their way out somehow. I also saw movies about children without guidance, having to grow up way too fast. There are a lot of films here that are angry, the creators have been thinking about something in the world that isn’t right and they are expressing that rage in their work. 2022 was not an easy year and it certainly has shown that things are likely going to get worse for the planet if they ever get better at all. You and I can do what we can in our own small ways. One of those ways is the expression of ourselves through art, like these fine filmmakers have done. It’s a powerful thing to say how you feel and allow others to know they aren’t alone in this cold, harsh world. On to the movies!

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Seth’s Favorite Film Discoveries of 2022

These are not new films released in 2022, but older pictures that I finally watched this year and have stayed with me. There are a lot of familiar names here that I thought I understood, only to realize I did not. Now, I do and it has enriched my life as a result. I was so elated to partake in the work of such wonderful old masters and look forward to filling in more gaps in my film knowledge in 2023.

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Ariana’s Favorite Television of 2022

Western, English-language television shows tend to surpass the movies in these cultures when it comes to how clever and interesting they can be. There’s been more of a focus lately on how capitalism or hyper-individualism tends to hurt us.

Enough with leftist ideology. What were Ariana’s top picks for this year? Let’s hear from a woman, not from the guy who mainly runs the site.

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Seth’s Favorite Television of 2022

While we are in the midst of watching Better Call Saul, I decided to hold out on including it on a list until we finish in 2023. It would be on here if I didn’t. That said, there are some incredible shows I got to see in 2022. In a media landscape that is exploding like the universe after the Big Bang so many things get lost in the shuffle. Have you ever just browsed Netflix and found dozens of shows multiple seasons in that you have never heard of before. Warner Discovery started what could be a horrific trend this year, by shelving completed and close to finished projects for the sake of tax write-offs. I am guessing it is scary time to want to develop your own series, afraid to pursue you passion project as it might become someone’s tax loophole and your potential audience never sees it. In these instances, piracy is an ethical act, a form of curation & preservation that the major media conglomerates are blind to. There were animated series made by queer & BIPOC creators that got trash canned by Warner this year, even physical DVDs pulled off the shelves. Fuck that corporation and fuck the new owners. My hope is we can see creative people using the self-distribution models and smaller streaming platforms to get their passion projects out there. Let the big boys starve to death. They deserve it. On to my favorites.

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Seth’s Favorite Books of 2022

I read over 100 books on my Goodreads challenge this year, but about half of those were probably collected editions of comics. I read some great prose, though, some of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I went back to some old reliable authors but also branched out to books and genres I hadn’t really tackled before. For 2023, I’m considering choosing an author whose work is rated very highly and working my way through their bibliography. I might challenge myself with Cormac McCarthy now that we have what are likely his final two books. That’s a hefty challenge. I was also thinking about someone like Richard Powers or exploring some female authors I’ve criminally neglected from the late 1970s/80s. On to my favorite reads of 2022.

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Ariana’s Favorite Books of 2022

It’s that time of the year. Everyone decides to rank their favorites to show what they liked and perhaps to make you feel a little lackluster on the progress on TBR pile or wonder who has that much time to read 10 books in a month without ignoring other tasks entirely.

In previous years, I didn’t read as many books as I would’ve liked. This year? It honestly felt like two years were folded into one.

I will not put this in any specific order, just highlighting what I thought was good and allowing you to decide if it’s worth a peek.

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