A few quick thoughts about movies and tv shows I watched over the 2022 holiday break. There’s not all that much given how much time I had off, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
- The Batman (5/10) - Competent, but didn’t add much new to the Batman cinematic spectrum, except making The Riddler scary for the first time ever. Also way, way too long (3hrs) and had lots of obvious places where it could’ve been shortened.
- Black Adam (8/10) - Best DC movie in a while. I love Black Adam as a character in the comics and how he was translated to the screen, and The Rock playing him. Love the mostly non-white cast. Love seeing Aldis Hodge on the screen, do not like the tack DC is taking on Hawkman / Carter Hall (not unusual with DC heroes). The plot is pretty bland, and it’s definitely a fun popcorn watch and not Art, but I would watch this again before The Batman any day.
- Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God (2/10) - I watched this because it’s a D&D branded movie. There’s nothing about this that’s good except that it mostly keeps with the D&D universe’s rules, and some of the actors are obviously trying real hard. Nobody should watch this.
- Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery (4/10) - The impression I get is that this is a movie written specifically for these actors, even more than the first one. It was fine, but I didn’t really care about any of the characters because they’re all assholes. The twist was over-explained in flashbacks. The climax of the movie was only cathartic if you don’t think about it – if you want to believably take down a billionaire in the current century your story should be more Leverage and less Agatha Christie.
- I watched The Witcher: Blood Origin (7/10) a few days after it came out on Dec 25. I’m not a huge Witcher fan, I haven’t played the games or read the books and have no personal stakes in the canon, but I generally enjoyed the main show. This new prequel show is set very far in the past of the Witcher world, and while serious and gory it was not dark and quite entertaining. The plot was not stellar but consistent with my expectations, and the acting very strong in some places and weak in others. I really liked the diversity of characters (including some with disabilities) which just happened and was not called out, and also diversity of cast. In particular, I would really really like an entire series about the further adventures of Meldof and Gwen (linked video contains spoilers).
- By the end of the holidays I finally rested up enough to emotionally face the last four episodes of the first season of Star Wars: Andor (10/10). It was as rough as I was expecting, though not always in the ways I expected. It is the least Star Wars of any Star Wars movie or show ever in terms of being cool space fantasy, but it’s the most Star Wars of any movie or show ever in terms of showing what a fascist space empire would do and how it would have to be fought. Far too much of it is a direct reflection of the current state of our world. I hope it’s critical success results in a lot more of this type of show, though I would also still like some fun Star Wars. And I’m excited that I can now catch up on the remaining Andor episodes of the A More Civilized Age podcast.