In 2017, I began tracking the movies I watched each year. I kept a list and would even write up micro-reviews for the various blogs I ran. It was an interesting experiment to look back on how my movie watching habits changed and it also gave me some sort of reference point for the films that I watched.
Then in December 2021, I accidently deleted my 2021 file. I didn’t follow proper backup procedures and I didn’t think to reach out to tech support which could have restored my file. So, I lost my file and I haven’t tracked my movies since.
Earlier this week, I was restoring some old posts when I saw some old micro reviews. I realized that I missed writing them and it was part of my blogging routine I needed to bring back. So, this post is the first step in that direction. I’m going to try and remember the movies I watched this year and write up micro-reviews. It shouldn’t be too difficult, because I’ve watched fewer movies in the first seven months of this year than I had in the previous years.
One change I’m making to my micro-reviews is I am going to include films I give up on. Films I’ve watched half or more and then decided it wasn’t for me. I’m quicker to give up on films I’m not enjoying and so I’d still like to document the attempts I made.
Scream (2022) – This film was amazing. It was an incredible way to start off the new year and a wonderful theatrical experience. The movie was an excellent requel and was a great addition to the franchise.
Turning Red – My wife insisted I check out this Pixar film and I was plesantly surprised. I haven’t enjoyed many of the recent Pixar released (maybe since Cars) but I thought this was cute, fun, and a great film for pre-teen girls.
Stepbrothers – I can’t remember what prompted me to watch this movie again, but I’m glad I did. I’m not the biggest Will Ferrell fan, but this movie just hits all the right notes. It’s the right amount of stupid to make me laugh. The bathmat scene always makes my stomach hurt I laugh so hard.
The Big Lebowski – A classic. I love it and well… The Dude Abides.
The Mummy (1999) – This movie was watched as part of a monthly dinner and movie with my friend to catch him up on classics he missed. The Big Lebowski was another one of those films.
Insidious 2 – A year or so ago, I watched Insidious with my wife. I’d seen it once before and like parts of it, but was disappointed by the ending. She was intrigued enough to want to continue the series. It tooks a while but we finally worked our way through the second film and it was mediocre.
Insidious 3 – This sequel was superior to the second film. It still isn’t a great film, but it has better pacing and story. They did a great job creating a story around the original film in the sequel which I took some great screenwriting.
40 Year Old Virgin – A classic comedy (crazy to think it’s a classic now) that I haven’t seen in years. I sat down one day to see how it held up and was pleasantly surprised by how funny it still is. Great film!
Funny People – I’ve been catching up on all the Adam Sandler movies I hadn’t watched and this was one of them. The film runs a bit too long, but is a great dramedy about a terrible man who needs to be better. Sandler shows range and Seth Rogen was charming alongside of him. The film deals with the standup comedy world which I think is what attracted so many big names to the project. It feels authentic in its portrayal of the struggles of being funny.
Talladega Nights – I had such a good time watching Stepbrothers, I decided to check out Talladega Nights again. While not as enjoyable as Stepbrothers, the film still provided some laugh out loud moments and a few great quotes I’ve begun using in my real life.
The Other Guys – Still influenced by my dip into Adam McKay and Will Ferrell films, I watched The Other Guy. It was pretty meh. Definitely not worth my time.
Wedding Crashers – I can’t believe I managed to miss this film over the years. It’s fantastic and is very funny. It actually lived up to the hype.
The Dilemma – I like Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. I’m also a fan of Ron Howard, but this film was sunk by a terrible script and two unlikeable characters. One of the biggest disappointments in quite some time.
Dogma – I’ve been a huge Kevin Smith fan for many years and over the past year, I’ve been slowly rewatching all of his films. I wasn’t sure how Dogma would hold up, but it holds up great. In fact, I enjoyed this rewatch more than I did the last time I watched it ten years ago. The movie seems to have aged like wine.
Jersey Girl – Another film that was better than expecting on rewatch. Jersey Girl is the blacksheep of Kevin Smith’s filmography, which is a shame because it’s actually a very solid film. My wife woke up while I was watching and she got hooked. That hasn’t happened with any of Kevin Smith’s other films.
Clerks 2 – Well, after two movies aging well, I reached Clerks 2 which I thought would be even better. Instead, watching Clerks 2 was an exercise in cringe. I was almost embarassed to watch Clerks 2 in front of my wife.
The Way Way Back – This is one of those wonderful indepdent films thats incredibly well acted and has some heart. I think any kid who grew up introverted can relate a bit to the main character and there’s a bit of wishfulfillment in finding a group of outcasts to become part of. Steve Carrell does an amazing job at being so unlikeable its a memorable performance.
Black Roses – I watched this as part of Joe Bob’s Valentine’s Day special and well… I wouldn’t have had Joe Bob not been hosting it. It’s a late 80’s metal horror film that is pretty rough. There were’t many redeem qualities of the film and it’s not something I’d recommend anyone seek out.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World – Feeling like I needed some more independent cinema in my life, I decided to give this movie a shot. I was rewarded with a sweet and interesting look at life as it is coming to an end. It’s a story about love and trying to find someone to make it through your final days with. Worth a watch on a slow Sunday afternoon.
This is Where I Leave You – I LOVED THIS FILM. Talk about something I didn’t see coming. A small story about a family dealing with the aftermath of the death of their father, this film is funny and charming. It’s the first movie I’ve seen Adam Driver in that I’ve really liked his performance. Also stars Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Rose Bryne, Kathryn Hahn, Connie Britton, and Timothy Olyphant.
American Beauty – One of my all-time favorites, American Beauty still holds up well. 1999 was known as the year that Hollywood looked at the growing anger and frustration though movies like Office Space, Fight Club, and American Beauty. American Beauty took on the suburbs and the narricistic desire to be perfect.
Date Night – For some reason, I went through a month where I watched a lot of Steve Carrell movies and this was just one of them. The movie itself is entertaining, but lacked any lasting substance. A good film to just throw on when you need to kill sometime and want a few chuckles.
3:10 to Yuma (2007) – The classic Western remake starring Christian Bale and Russell Crowe is still one of the best modern Westerns. The story is about a man who volunteers to take a deadly criminal to a prison train when no one else would. It was his attempt at proving his worth to his son and also, doing what was right.
Old Henry – This Western blew my mind. I wasn’t expecting much out of it, but the slow burn is anchored by two solid performances: Tim Blake Nelson and Stephen Dorff. When the action begins, it’s brutal and fantastic. There’s even a nice twist to the story.
Pig – After reading Nicolas Cage stating that this was his favorite performance, I decided to go ahead and watch Pig. It’s definitely not what I expected, but that’s not a bad thing. The film is unique, memorable, and satisfying.
Patriot Games – I’m not sure why I wanted to watch Patriot Games. It was just there on Paramount+ and I clicked play. In my mind I was going to watch both Harrison Ford Jack Ryan films back-to-back but my memory betrayed me and I ended up watching the second film first. Patriot Games feels very much of the 90’s and was a decent watch.
Doctor Strange – So, Sam Raimi and Benedict Cumberbatch seemed like a perfect duo. Sadly, the film was a massive letdown. Had I not suggested my wife and I watch it, I probably would have cut it off after the first twenty minutes. It didn’t get any better.
The Day After Tomorrow – Sometimes you need a disaster film and on one random Tuesday night, this was the one I chose. I remember seeing this film in theaters and the a/c went out. So, I watched this “cold” movie sweating. This time, I was in a much more comfortable atmosphere which allowed me to see some of the glaringly stupid science mistakes the film makes. But, this is a fun disaster flick and not a documentary, so I enjoyed every second of it. The model/CGI work holds up well, better than some of the current stuff.
The Girl Next Door – I haven’t seen this movie since it came out and I was surprised by how great it is. The soundtrack is incredible and it breaks the typical teen movie expectations within the first twenty minutes. The movie has more depth than you’d expect considering the plot.
No Time to Die – I DREADED watching this film. I’m a huge James Bond fan and the discussions of “wokeness” and the three hour run-time made me skip the theaters and wait until it was streaming on Prime. When I did start it, I was relieved to find such a fantastic film that kept me entertained until the two hour mark. By this point, I was wondering whe the movie was going to end, so I checked the run time and saw I had forty-five minutes left so I turned it off and finished it up a few days later. I’m not a fan of these runtimes over two hours.
Movies Started and Not Finished:
The Batman – I made it about an hour into this film before turning it off. I was extremely excited for The Batman, but the casting and portrayal of Bruce Wayne did nothing for me. It wasn’t even worth finishing.
Noah – I’m a fan of Russell Crowe and Darren Arnovsky, so I decided to give Noah a shot. The film is beautiful and has some incredible cinematography. The performances are solid, as is the CGI (mostly) but it really doesn’t have enough story to support the run-time. I cut it off about an hour in.
Malignant – I tried. I tried so hard to watch this film. In my three attempts, I fell asleep twice and managed to make it a bit over an hour into it. I finally decided to just give up on it.