My Most Anticipated Movies of 2022 – Part 2

Alpha Gang (directed by David and Nathan Zellner)

I haven’t followed the Zellner brothers through every film they’ve made, but I really enjoyed Kumiko, Treasure Hunter. It was strange but extraordinarily endearing, a very interesting vibe you don’t find in most movies. I have Damsel on my “to be watched” list. They have a penchant for choosing film genres that are familiar and then doing something a bit askew with them. Alpha Gang is about a group of aliens who come to Earth to conquer the planet. They start experiencing human emotions upon arrival, and their plans crumble. It sounds like the makings of a bad sketch, yes? But I fully expect they will present it in such a way that you’re surprised at every turn. Set to star Andrea Riseborough, Jon Hamm, and more.

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My Most Anticipated Movies of 2022 – Part One

The Batman (directed by Matt Reeves) – March 4

It seems like Spider-Man; there is always a Batman reboot just around the corner. A long time ago, I gave up on caring about films adhering to a singular vision of a character. I wouldn’t say I am hyped about this due to Matt Reeves’ involvement. I think the recent Planet of the Apes films are okay. I am, however, interested to see Robert Pattinson as Batman. Pattinson has made some fantastic career choices recently, and I want to see if this one was purely for the paycheck or if they are doing something special with Batman. The tone of the trailers has been pretty spot on, a good mix of Nolan’s gritty world with the inclusion of other elements we haven’t seen in a while. I am curious to see Colin Farrell’s Oswald Cobblepot, the Penguin, as he looks unrecognizable.

Continue reading “My Most Anticipated Movies of 2022 – Part One”

Ariana’s Favorite Films of 2021

I hadn’t reviewed as many movies on this blog as Seth has. Also, if this list intermixes with his, we watch a lot of films together. I will choose a few others to show just how cool I am.

Can’t Get You Out of My Head: An Emotional History of the Modern World
Directed by Adam Curtis

Adam Curtis is like the Ken Burns of the emotional state of the Western World. There is a particular stomach-turning sensation when watching Adam Curtis’s films. You’re quietly begging for him to perhaps deliver some good news only for him to carve in deeper into the history to remind you just how insane it is. Not a lighthearted watch. You can watch it all here right now.

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Seth’s Favorite Films of 2021

Nightmare Alley (dir. Guillermo del Toro)

From my review: We get a darkly complex story about the unnoticed rise of fascism and how humanity is composed of abused & downtrodden people who take advantage of each other. This story will not deliver a fairy tale ending and features characters you will have a deeply hard time liking. Such a shift by del Toro, a director who has spent his career delving into worlds of magic, is pretty jarring. The only figure who deserves an ounce of empathy in the picture is the poor geek, forced to bite the heads off chickens while living in an opium/alcohol-induced squalor. Even Molly is guilty of running a con; she just doesn’t want to go as far as Stanton is willing to reach.

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Seth’s Favorite Film Discoveries of 2021

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore (1974, dir. Martin Scorsese)

From my full review: Scorsese delivers a pitch-perfect comedy-drama that never once feels phony. He ends up presenting one of the most honest mother-son relationships I’ve seen in a film. Alice is by no means a conventional mother, and she regularly engages in arguments with her son that seem more appropriate for a friend. She is still a parent and is determined to keep her son out of trouble while allowing him space to make mistakes and learn. The things she exposes her son to might cause some viewers to judge her for being immature and irresponsible. Tommy is present when Ben becomes violent with Alice. When Alice gets involved with David, Tommy is a part of their going out. It makes sense, though, because Alice’s life has a big chunk devoted to Tommy, so any person she might partner with is going to need to understand and get along with her child.

Continue reading “Seth’s Favorite Film Discoveries of 2021”

Most Anticipated Films of 2021 – Part 2

If you enjoy what you read here on PopCult, please think about becoming a supporter on my Patreon. I want to grow this blog into something special in 2021. To learn more about the exciting reward tiers that let you decide what we will feature check out my Patreon page.

Come, I Will Take You There (directed by Alain Guiraudie)

Alain Guiraudie directed the amazing queer take on Hitchcock in Stranger by the Lake that pushed boundaries and delivered a fantastic suspense story. This next feature follows a young man who begins to develop feelings for an older sex worker. At the same time, the city they live in experiences a violent terrorist attack. It’s also a Christmas movie. All these disparate elements intrigue me and knowing what he was able to do in Stranger by the Lake I am interested to see how Guiraudie blends them all together to make something remarkable.

Continue reading “Most Anticipated Films of 2021 – Part 2”

Most Anticipated Films of 2021 – Part 1

If you enjoy what you read here on PopCult, please think about becoming a supporter on my Patreon. I want to grow this blog into something special in 2021. To learn more about the exciting reward tiers that let you decide what we will feature check out my Patreon page.

So many of these movies were set to come out in 2020 but got pushed back and who knows what will happen if COVID-19 still lingers by the spring. I expect we won’t be seeing an end to the virus anytime soon so the virtual distribution model may be how many of these come to be watched.

Minari (directed by Lee Isaac Chung) – January 26

A year ago at Sundance, Minari premiered and won the two major awards of the festival. The plot follows a South Korean-American family that moves to Arkansas to pursue success. The grandmother of the family arrives a little after and her presence upends life for some but improves circumstances for others. Expect to see a review of this film on the blog extremely soon.

Continue reading “Most Anticipated Films of 2021 – Part 1”

My Favorite Films of 2020

She Dies Tomorrow (directed by Amy Seimetz)

From my review: She Dies Tomorrow is a profoundly impressionistic film, and writer-director Amy Seimetz is disinterested in conventional explanations or standard narrative structures. This is a mood piece that seeks to explore the ways people process a direct confrontation with their own mortality. Part of what Seimetz is doing is looking at how people choose to spend their time when they know they are going to die. Amy loses all sense of direction or priorities and just wastes away. She mentions being sober for a considerable amount of time but has given it all up now that she believes her life is over.

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My Favorite Film Discoveries of 2020

These are movies that were new to me in 2020. This year was the first time I watched them and they stuck out as pictures that were my favorites, ones I highly recommend and would revisit myself.

Neighbors (1981, directed by John G. Avildsen)

From my review: In the same way that Kubrick played with distorted space in The Shining to subconsciously unsettling the audience, there’s play with time going on in Neighbors. Earl eventually becomes disoriented and has to ask his wife what it is after so many starts and stops on his way to finally settle down for the night. She tells him it’s two in the morning, but soon after, he ends up paying Vic a visit. When he emerges from that bizarre conversation, the birds are chirping & it’s sunny outside. These are not continuity errors but intentional distortions […]

Neighbors is a bizarre, disturbing film, and it’s a shame that so many production elements weren’t there to make it something better. I could easily see Tim & Eric remaking this novel and doing it right. If you’ve seen their Bedtime Stories horror anthology, it traffics in the same territory. The difference is that those comedians understand how comedy works, and Avildsen seems entirely out of his element. I would say Neighbors is most definitely worth a watch because it is unlike most films. It has piqued my interest in the novel, which I’ve heard is much better than what was adapted on film.

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