10 Picks For 2023

Delayed production is a natural aspect of the film industry. It’s been more prevelant over the last couple of years due to obvious circumstances, but it feels as though normality may have returned. There are a few picks on this list from last year, but it felt acceptable given the circumstances. I am no less excited for them now than when I released my list of picks for 2022. As always, I don’t wish to pit these picks against each other so they are present in the order that they are alleged to be released.

Puss in Boots: The Last Wish

It’s been over a decade since Dreaworks has released a new installment of the Shrek franchise but that doesn’t mean it has any less traction. With a whole new, almost sketch-like animation style and a butt-kicking story to boot, this dynamic entry seems to be a fitting send-off.


One of the last trailers to land in 2022 and it had people buzzing. Adam Driver stars in this sci-fi adventure that sees him crash-land on a mysterious planet dealing with some monstrous foes. The twist? It all happened 65 million years ago on a planet later known as Earth. It seems like some sci-fi schlock, but that tends to be one of the best kinds of sci-fi.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Keanu Reeves’ current major franchise kicked off nearly a decade ago with his majoritavely silent protagonist avenging the death of his beloved dog. Several sequels later and he finds himself on the run from the board of mercenaries he used to work for. Sure to be as gorgeously shot and feature as many beautifully choreographed action sequences as it’s predeccessors.

Scream 6

A surprising to this list, given I hadn’t seen any of them until the 5th installment was released. This satire of the horror franchise is an often camp gift that keeps on giving, with this particular one being set in a brand new location…New York City. Very little else is known but it’s sure to be as metatextual as ever.

Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse

Now officially just Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse, with part two being renamed Beyond the Spiderverse, this is another major adventure to look forward to. The plot description doesn’t give much to go on but it seems like all is not well with the Spider-people and Miles finds himself in the middle of it. Into the Spiderverse is already the best Spider-film of all time with a great story, wonderful characters and stunning animation but this installment seems likely to top that. The trailer alone has been worth the wait.

The Flash

Not on this list because I think it’ll be good, but because it’s sure to be an interesting experience. Between lead actor Ezra Miller’s many recent crimes and alleged alterations to various cameos, it feels ridiculous to even release it. And whatever is released almost certainly isn’t the original product. With only several months to go and no new trailer, things aren’t looking bright for the speedster.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

One last sunset…again…maybe. After the generally poorly recieved fourth installment was released 15 years ago, it seemed like Indy’s adventures may be over, but franchising rights never die. With Dr Jones facing off against Nazis at the tail end of the 1960’s, it’s sure to be a classic adventure (regardless of quality).

Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning Part 1

Serving as the first part of a two-act story, Tom Cruise’s latest installment of this blockbuster franchise looks bigger than ever. There’s still no official plot outline but it seems like the IMF has had a change in ideology and Ethan Hunt has found himself on the run for disagreeing with it. One thing is for sure though – it’s going to be even more bombastic than the last.


Sometimes, it’s good to have a film that is unashamed of what it is. This live-action feature includes some big names in both the main roles and in the directors chair. The short teaser released recently gave glimpses of a vast, pink Barbieland that I can’t wait to visit. Also features the 15th Doctor Chuti Gatwa.

Ghostbusters Afterlife Sequel

Work doesn’t seem to have begun on this as-yet-untitled installment of the iconic franchise. All that’s known is that the cast are expected to return and that Jason Rietman will be penning the script. Considering Afterlife was all about legacy, it’ll be interesting to see what direction this one takes.

The Small Things 2022

Jan 1st: (Doctor Who) Eve of the Daleks is an interesting premise with a less than interesting delivery. The Doctor and friends find themselves trapped in a time loop with Daleks in yet another poorly written episode. Aisling Bea is a tonne of fun though, possibly the best guest since Alan Cummings.

Yaz being queer is a choice that emotionally exhausts me. She isn’t fleshed out enough to justify it and it doesn’t feel like we’ve been building to this. Mandip and John handle the scene respectfully but companions being in love with The Doctor is overdone.

Jan 5th: Book of Boba Fett Ep2 is surprisingly heartwarming and respectful. A lengthy flashback shows more of Bobas time with the Tusken Raiders who seem to have inherited some Maori tradition. It really humanises them whilst remaining respectful of actual tradition which is super neat.

Jan 8th: BBC Protest: The BBC has made some undeniably great content but that does not distract from their discrimination.

They pulled out of Stonewall and platform transphobes on a regular basis, without letting us speak up.

It’s abhorrent and we deserve better.

Jan 12th: Book of Boba Fett Ep 3 feels more relaxed than the previous 2. As Boba struggles to keep peace in his present and his past, we meet cool new characters and experience excellent action scenes. You can tell Robert Rodriguez directed this one, in a good way, but it lacks oomph.

Jan 12th: The Power Of The Dog is excellent. The story of a troubled family in 1925 Montana tackles what it is to be manly, which remains a prevalent topic in today’s society. It also dabbles with familial feuds, discrimination, and status in a plot that burns slowly with terrific performances.

Jan 14th: The Matrix Resurrections has a lot to say. The continued story of Neo’s struggle against machines explores multiple ideas, occasionally halting for an action scene, in a film that requires more than one viewing. Currently good, if not a little muddled, but only time will truly tell…

Jan 19th: The Book of Boba Fett Ep 4 is THE episode. A lengthy flashback to the beginning of Boba and Fennec’s relationship, this feels like when the first few eps should have been set before having the last few set in the “present”. Probably the best episode so far.

Jan 21st: The King’s Man doesn’t hold its punches. The prequel to Kingsmen about the founding of the secret service is heartfelt and action-packed, although a little less impactful than the original. Some top-tier casting too with excellent (yet few) uses of classical music.

Jan 23rd: Line Goes Up-The Problem With NFT’s “It’s rotten all the way down” is an astounding summary of this 2 hour dissection of NFTs, Crypto and all in between. Dan Olsen once again picks a target and meticulously explores every aspect until you yourself feel like an expert, with a subject that only gets worse.

Jan 25th: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain is really rather sad. Based on the true story of a cat-centric artist, the film achieves whimsy through fantastical cinematography and a haunting score. Solid performances all round, especially Cumberbatch but a Fun Cat Video this is not.

Jan 26th: The Book of Boba Fett Ep 5 might be one of my fave episodes of a different show. The exposition can be a little clunky and I miss Boba but I’d be lying if I said I didnt get a kick out the comedy or seeing That Ship. This one’s for the fans so no spoilers here. Go and enjoy.

Jan 27th: There are names in British comedy so large and so well renowned that you never need to have seen any of their work to recognise their name.

Barry Cryer was one of those names. And it’s a heck of a legacy he leaves behind.

Jan 27th: [Animéducation 6/many]

Cowboy Bebop is somehow manic and relaxed at the same time. The show, following the increasingly turbulent life of Space Bounty Hunters, looks and sounds gorgeous. The joy of being mostly episodic means that this is perfect for dipping in and out of.

Feb 2nd: The Book of Boba Fett Ep 5 is the most infuriating episode yet. Just when the plot progresses, another aspect of the wider universe is shoe-horned in. This is starting to feel more like the MCU than Star Wars. It feels like there wasn’t enough material for a full season.

And yes, that Bounty Hunter cameo is the most excited I’ve been in quite some time, but it feels like set-up for something larger. There’s one episode left and it feels like hardly any time has been spent with the shows protagonists.

I’m exhausted.

Feb 2nd: Finally caught up on Bob’s Burgers and it’s one of the most delightful shows currently on television. The animated adult comedy about a family and their burger joint is continuously entertaining with lovable characters and a surprising amount of musical numbers.

Feb 4th: Licorice Pizza gives nostalgia for an era I never lived through. The story of a turbulent relationship in 1973 California feels like several stories stitched together which made it difficult to settle, but each story is a delight. Aesthetically pleasing with an equally airy score.

Feb 4th: Scream (2022) is an enigma. The latest installment in the slasher franchise is still full of relevant parody but takes itself a little more seriously than it needs to. There’s more blood and less laughs but the characters are still likable and the commentary important.

Feb 9th: The Book of Boba Fett Finale is pure Star Wars. The excitment, the emotion, the explosions, the resisting. As Boba aims to defend his city from the Pyke Syndicate, friends new and old join the fight in a high octane final episode that allows this middling series to go out with a bang.

Feb 9th: Save The Cinema is what humanity needs right now. Based on the true story of a small-town cinema saved by Spielberg and a stubborn mum, it’s full of sincerity and kindness. Fairly predictable but that doesn’t make it any less tear-jerking or important.

Feb 12th: Nightmare Alley is bleak but beautiful. The tale of a man on the run who begins dating a Carny and becomes a renowned magician is a harrowing story about fame. How do you get it and what do you do with it and how does it affect you? Made me sad but in an artistic way.

Feb 12th: Sing 2 is as cute as the first but lacks the heart. Buster and his friends try to put on a big show in the big city whilst trying to hire a recluse in a sequel that serves its purpose well. Plenty of music to capitalise on but less in-universe usage. Also lacks Seth Macfarlane.

Feb 14th: [On the passing of Harold Ramis] Nothing could have prepared me for this news. I hope he was proud of the work he left behind and the many lives he affected, including mine.

My heart goes out to his family and friends.

Feb 25th: Death on the Nile is a theatrical delight. Sir Kenneth Branagh’s adaptation of the Agatha Christie classic is a visual masterpiece. Full of melodrama, suspense, and (mostly) superb acting with an often noticeable green screen and lack of subtlety. Just a fun time.

Mar 2nd: Jackass Forever proves that there is still a place in the world for laughing at people doing dumb things. As the classic crew, and some new friends, subject each other to dangerous stunts and pranks, the laughter came barreling out. Tamer, but no less Jackass.

Mar 6th: Moonfall is classic Emmerich. A disgraced ex-astronaut, his former partner, and a conspiracy theorist attempt to place the moon back into orbit in a progressively ridiculous and explosive story. Takes a little bit to get going but, once it does, the thrills and twists don’t stop.

Mar 13th: Uncharted feels exceptionally derivative. Based loosely on the videogame series, it follows Nate as he meets Sully and they search for hidden treasure, with “loosely” being the key word. It’s kept afloat by the charm of its 2 leads but is let down by cliches and a bland script.

Mar 13th: Turning Red is adorable. Young MeiMei becomes a red panda whenever her emotions get the better of her in the heartfelt, laugh-a-minute new tale from PIXAR. The representation is a huge positive, but there’s plenty of relatability too as well as some of the most vibrant and exciting animation the company has ever produced. PIXAR deserves to be shown on a big screen and movies like Turning Red prove it.

Mar 16th: Benediction is perfectly somber. Detailing the life and loves of famed author Siegfried Sassoon, it captures both his heart and his pain. It’s also about the futility of war and the scars it leaves, which is shot beautifully and scored to perfection. Heartbreaking. [BFI Flare]

Mar 16th: Boulevard! A Hollywood Story is a charming and educational documentary. Telling the story of the Sunset Boulevard musical that nearly was, it’s a tale of romance and regret between its 3 creatives. A marvelous story that begged to be told. [BFI Flare]

Mar 17th: Borekas is really sweet. A short film centered on a father and son bonding whilst their car is broken down, it seeks to have a meaningful conversation about how closed off men can be from each other and how a gay person can interact differently with their parents. [BFI Flare]

Mar 17th: The Tumbler is utterly charming. The short film sees a pair of GenZ hackers seeking to exploit a couple of millennials but getting more than they bargained for in a piece about assumptions and secrecy. [BFI Flare]

Mar 17th: Birthday Boy hits close to home. The short film about a trans man seeking to celebrate his 18th birthday as himself perfectly encapsulates the feeling of despair and suffocation that is having your family refuse to acknowledge you. [BFIFlare]

Mar 19th: The Duke is utterly delightful. Based on the true story of a pensioner who “stole” a painting, it’s slow in places but never loses that unique British charm. Heartwarming performances and a quirky soundtrack make for a very pleasant experience.

Mar 21st: Long Live My Happy Head is a real emotional rollercoaster. Comic artist Gordon battles a brain tumor, the pandemic, and a long-distance relationship in this honest and uplifting documentary which tugs at the heartstrings and is filled with love. [BFI Flare]

Mar 22nd: Cheaper By The Dozen (2022) is fairly paint by numbers. The story of the Baker family and dad Paul’s attempts at a sauce franchise has some delightful young talent and some heart but is filled with modern Disney-isms that will date it poorly. Nice to see Zach Braff again though.

Mar 22nd: Fresh puts the thrill in thriller. A newfound romance takes a drastic turn in a film that features outstanding performances and made me constantly uncomfortable (in a good way). Felt like it cut off the story too soon but MAN what a story.

Mar 26th: The Eyes of Tammy Faye is marvelous. Based on the true story of televangelist Jim Bakker through the eyes of his wife, it features outstanding performances and an honest depiction of all the best and worst of faith. Partially uplifting and constantly engaging.

Mar 26th: Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild lacks any of the IPs charm. Possums Crash and Eddie reunite with the titular weasel to take down an evil dino in this bland spinoff. Lacking in OG cast, animation budget, and humour, this is Disney direct-to-streaming all the way through.

Mar 30th: Moon Knight Ep 1 is full of promise. The tale of a man whose body is a vessel for an ancient mercenary, it has an intriguing premise and the illusion of Netflix-Marvel violence. What remains to be seen is if it will follow through on the latter and fully develop the former.

Apr 2nd: The Bubble is wild. A group of self-obsessed actors shoot a film during lockdown in this joyous dumpster-fire of a movie. The script is often unfunny and full of cringe but seeing high-caliber actors delivering that script is An Experience. Cameos you won’t believe!

Apr 4th: Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga is worth the wait. The sheer scale of this thing is astounding, as is the resolution. It’s an absolutely beautiful game to walk through and easy to get lost in. That’s before adding that cute lego humour and the wonderful Clone Wars voice cast.

Seriously. I’m maybe 3 hours in and, starting with The Phantom Menace, I’ve just defeated Darth Maul.

Apr 6th: Moon Knight Ep 2 delivers on the intrigue but falters on the action. Things heat up for Steven as Marc vies for control in an episode that’s beautifully shot except for the choppy action sequence. Khonshu provides suitable menace while the score provides the tension.

Apr 14th: The Bad Guys is delightful. A group of criminals faking going good takes a turn in this action-packed heist flick. The music is great, the moral simple and the design feels straight out of the book it was based on.

Apr 14th: Moon Knight Ep3 is a great character study. As Marc and Layla close in on Arthur, they realise Steven may be of some use in an ep that looks gorgeous. One of the best mid-series finales yet from the MCU, although there is a noticeable lack of Moon Knight.

Apr 15th: Morbius embodies uncertainty. The tale of ailing Dr. Morbius and his vampiric cure should be cool but is mostly bland. Torn between horror and comedy, it is suitable at both with Matt Smiths Milo stealing the show. It also features the most rushed, poorly dubbed, awfully written mid-credits scene I’ve ever witnessed.

Apr 17th: [Doctor Who] Legend of The Sea Devils is a chore. The Doctor and co face off against 19th century Sea Devils on an exposition-driven, choppily edited, husk of an episode. The production design is good and the 2 featured pirates feel genuine but those don’t save it. One left. Thank goodness.

Apr 20th: Moon Knight Ep4 is delightful. Layla and Steven finally reach Ammits Tomb in an episode that ups the archeology and then ups the weird. The relationship between Steven and Marc remains adorable whilst there are plenty of tense elements throughout. More like this, please!

Apr 22nd: Sonic Movie 2 is good fun. Sonic and his new friend Tails face off against Robotnik and his new friend Knuckles in a slightly slower movie than the first. It’s filled to the brim with references to the source material and current-day references, giving it peak Sonic cheese.

Apr 28th: Moon Knight Ep5 is the best so far. Steven and Marc process past trauma in an episode that really demonstrates Oscar Issacs acting abilities as well as the exploration of darker themes allowed by a 15 rating. The Jewish element seemed glossed over though, which kinda sucks.

May 6th: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is a mixed bag. As Dr. Strange attempts to keep multiverse-hopping America Chavez out of the hands of Wanda Maximoff, there’s plenty to enjoy. Sam Raimi’s horror elements provide a new MCU experience but Wanda gets done real dirty.

Sure to split audiences.

I feel like if Sam Raimi had been allowed full creative control and a 15 rating, this could have been better.

May 20th: Chip N Dale: Rescue Rangers is entertainingly bad. The animation doesn’t gel, many of the jokes don’t land in the intended way and the relentless/odd cameos are a lot to take in. It’s a heck of an experience though, there’s nothing else like it. Best enjoyed with friends.

May 27th: Obi Wan Kenobi Ep 1 is a perfect re-introduction to the characters we know and love with a story we don’t. Nobody has lost a beat in the last 20 years, the Score is classic Star Wars and the cinematography is gorgeous. Director Deborah Chow is on to a winner here.

May 27th: Obi Wan Kenobi Ep 2 is the perfect follow-up to Ep1 whilst also acting as a great hook for the rest of the series. It can be funny and dramatic but within the final few minutes may leave fans emotional. These first 2 eps have felt like one film. And it’s great.

Jun 1st: Obi Wan Kenobi Ep 3 builds the tension and keeps it up. With Obi trying to sneak across the galaxy, the looming presence of The Empire has never felt stronger. Vader is as terrifying as he’s ever been here and the magnificent score is certainly helping. Love this show.

Jun 2nd: Stranger Things S4Ep1 is an entertaining re-introduction to the town and people of Hawkins. It’s a fun time with some interesting new dynamics and enticing new characters with a cliffhanger that reminds you this is still a horror show.

June 3rd: Stranger Things S4Ep2 is a good mixture of stories. It progresses the main plot whilst also filling in some pre-S4 gaps. With 3 seperate locations, it never feels like one is taking away from the others, there’s a good balance. Horror intensifies.

Jun 3rd: Stranger Things S4Ep3 ups the tension and the intrigue without ever getting too carried away. Feels like a mid-series finale but with a little less intensity. Also, we ship Nancy and Robin now.

Jun 3rd: Stranger Things S4Ep4 is an interesting one. It’s focused on the characters and the mystery rather than the supernatural. As a result, it feels a little slower but it still feels like a neccessary piece of breathing room.

Jun 4th: Top Gun Maverick is a high octane delight. As Mav returns to teach the next gen of Top Gun pilots, he is reunited with former wingman Goose’s son in a story that has a strong emotional core. The 80s soundtrack remains too, making this an instant classic. Film of the year so far.

Jun 5th: Stranger Things S4Ep5 is entertaining enough. It switches between the emotional story of 11 and the Scooby Doo story of the others, although the 11 side of things is a little more interesting. Definitely the least well paced of these episodes so far.

Jun 5th: Stranger Things S4Ep6 brings back the intensity thats been lacking the last couple of episodes. More is revealed, some great character interactions are had and there’s a cliffhanger that, had it been the end of this firt episode batch, would have left people screaming.

Jun 6th: Stranger Things S4Ep7 is full of cliches and resolutions that can be figured out but DAMN it’s good storytelling. Perfectly sets up the finale to come and resolves the first batch of episodes brilliantly. Its been a delight watching these actors come into their own.

Jun 8th: Obi Wan Kenobi Ep4 takes the action to the next level. Feels like a Clone Wars episode with all the emotional weight of one. A stark reminder that nobody is safe from the Empire and that Obi Wan is a top tier Jedi.

Jun 8th: Ms. Marvel feels like a Disney show in terms of tone, direction and score. Which is to say that it’s fine. It’s got a nice, grounded, family feel to it but it doesn’t feel like anything special. Also Captain Marvel is an odd character to idolise in-universe.

Jun 10th: The Bob’s Burgers Movie is burger flipping great. It feels like an extended episode instead of a bombastic blockbuster, meaning it keeps the tone, humour and characterisation perfectly. Wonderful to see a 2D movie on the big screen again.

Jun 15th: Obi Wan Kenobi Ep 5 is an emotional gut punch. As Vader closes in on Obi Wan, secrets and motivations are revealed in an episode that knows exactly how to affect the audience. Pure Star Wars.

Jun 15th: Ms. Marvel Ep 2 is more interesting than the first. The characters are endearing, even if the romance is a bit corny. Feel like the lore is going to end up being the most interesting part whilst Kamala becomes one of the best characters in the MCU.

Jun 17th: Lightyear is a loving send-up to the sci-fi genre and PIXARs first feature film. Buzz and a team of not-quite-recruits take on Zurg in a story full of heart, action, and laughs. Exactly the kind of movie it needs to be and a beautiful return to the big screen for the company. ALSO A HEADS UP: There are 3 credit scenes!

Jun 22nd: The Obi Wan Kenobi finale is probably perfect. As the story closes out there are confrontations, laughs, tears, and a couple of cameos that are sure to delight fans. This has been the best of these shows, and it’s hard to imagine something topping it. Just AAAAAAAAAAA

June 23rd: Ms. Marvel Ep3 is the closest the show has come to being good so far. There’s a decent amount of lore and the dancing is well choreographed but it’s only just starting to feel like it fits the MCU. However it is wonderful to see a Muslim wedding taking pride of place.

June 23rd: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep1 picks up the story perfectly. As the famous 6 meet the Sparrow Academy for the first time there’s plenty of butt-kicking and set-up for the tale to come. It’s good to be back in this world.

June 23rd: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep2 is wonderful. A major revelation hits the group and Luther spends some time with the enemy in a show that keeps being great. This is the Viktor transition episode btw and it’s handled beautifully with the respect that all Trans people deserve.

June 23rd: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep3 starts bringing the intensity whilst keeping the heart and humour. With the gang reunited they must figure out their next step in an episode that features some of the finest character work yet. Reginald Hargreaves is especially wonderful…yes really.

Jun 24th: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep4 is a turning point in the show that keeps turning. It builds perfectly on the last episode’s cliffhanger whilst introducing some new elements of its own. A whole episode of “WHAT?” moments.

Jun 24th: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep5 is wild. As the family is once again reunited, they must face reality and themselves in an episode that dives deep into how everyone is coping. There’s also a brilliant revelation about Klaus.

Jun 24th: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep6 ups the intrigue and the danger. As the apocalypse nears once again, the family begins to fracture in an episode that’s gripping from start to finish.

Jun 24th: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep7 sends chills down the spine. Both families put their differences aside and Klaus faces a challenge of his own in what feels like the calm before the storm in the best possible way.

Jun 24th: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep8 is beautiful. It’s the “emotional closure” episode and it’s sure to hit fans like several buses. Of course, the joy can’t last but it’s amazing while it does.

Jun 24th: The Umbrella Academy S3Ep9. All good art makes you feel something. With film and television, it’s to be traumatised when a dire outcome for your beloved characters becomes a reality. Consider me traumatised.

Jun 24th: The Umbrella Academy S3 finale deserves a coherent review. It’s visually stunning, emotionally devastating, and brings up some really interesting dimensional theory. But all I can think is AAAAAAAAAA

Jun 26th: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is wonderful. Nic Cage portrays an exaggerated version of himself befriending a mafia boss in this shockingly heartwarming tale. Plenty of laughs, plenty of action, and plenty of Cage who is CLEARLY aware of his reputation and his having fun with it.

Jun 26th: Everything Everywhere All At Once is close to brilliant. An unsuspecting laundry owner is thrust into a multiversal battle in this absurdly creative spectacle. It’s grounded by a lovable family and is funnier than expected but sometimes it leans too heavily into the silliness.

Jun28th: Jurassic World Dominion is serviceable. The new gang must save the clone child with help from the old gang in an installment that feels like it should have come first. It has good moments, and some fun interactions but is ultimately too caught up in nostalgia-baiting to be good.

Jun 30th: Ms. Marvel Ep4 is really charming. Despite an action-packed final act, much of the story is focused on Kamala, her mum, her Nani, and her heritage. Talking about Partition/ the effect it had is probably the closest the MCU has come to “being political” in a while and it’s welcome.

Jul 1st: Stranger Things S4Vol2 is a brilliant finale that falls short in the final half-hour. It’s almost totally conclusive, except for having to set up that looming series 5. Great character work, soundtrack, and aesthetic but lacking in finality.

Jul 6th: Ms. Marvel Ep 5 feels rushed. There’s not enough time spent in the past or the present with the final 10 minutes feeling like 2 separate scenes that have been jammed together. It ends super abruptly too. Just…not very good.

Jul 8th: Minions: The Rise of Gru is surprisingly entertaining. Gru’s attempt to get into a villainous group is more Gru-centric than the trailers implied and there are a few genuinely funny moments. Also nice to see Alan Arkin still getting work.

Jul 16th: Elvis is stellar. Austin Butler’s performance as The King of Rock and Roll is intense, passionate, and filled with tragedy. Director Baz Luhrmann handles the story with respect but allows the film to ooze style and Tom Hanks gives a fascinating turn as Colonel Parker.

Jul 16th: The Ms. Marvel finale is one of the best episodes of the series. The story reaches its conclusion in the fun Home-Alone-esque plot that’s at its best when focusing on Kamala’s relationship with those around her. Just wish the whole show had been this good.

Jul 23rd: Thor: Love and Thunder is a cringe-fest. Thor and Jane reunite to take on a God Butcher in a plot that feels rushed with jokes that will presumably amuse children. The final act is decent and there are a couple of laughs but all of these characters were wasted. More Gorr, please.

Jul 28th: Bernard Cribbins has affected the lives of several generations. From The Railway Children to Jackanory to Doctor Who to Old Jacks Boat, there can’t be many in the UK who don’t recognise him. He was an extraordinary talent and a beacon of warmth. Love to those who knew him.

Jul 31st: A hell of a lot of the diversity in sci-fi, we owe to Nichelle Nichols. She paved the way forward even when the world thought it wasn’t ready. Her loss leaves a galaxy-sized hole in many hearts.

Jul 31st: One of the cons of loving older film/TV is that a lot of our idols are passing away while we’re relatively young. And it’s not something I think I’ll ever get used to. Nichelle Nichols is one of many great losses but she’ll remain remembered and loved. Just like the rest of them.

Aug 3rd: Gasper Noe’s Vortex is impossible to take your eyes away from. The story, about a French couple dealing with dementia and their troubled son, is slow but totally worthwhile. Unique use of the frame and gentle score but it’s all in the gripping performances.

Aug 6th: DC League of Super-Pets is an excellent time for DC fans new and old. Krypto and his newly superpowered friends rescue the Justice League in one of the year’s funniest, DC-referential, heartwarming, beautifully animated movies of the year. Merton is my fave, btw.

Aug 7th: Prey is brilliant. A female Comanche warrior takes on the iconic Predator in a story that truly understands what made the original work so well. It’s slow, but tense, with dialogue only when it’s needed, and is dripping with gorgeous visuals. One of the best of the year.

Aug 9th: Carlo Bonomi, beloved Pingu voice actor, has passed away. The man wasn’t just an unbelievable talent, he also provided years of joy to children around the world. As an adult looking back, it’s impossible not to crack a smile. Thanks, Carlo

Aug 11th: Brian and Charles is so charming. This mockumentary about a lonely man who builds himself a friend features both the highs and lows of friendship as well as the monotony of small village life. Not for everyone, but certainly a really comfortable flick.

Aug 17th: I Am Groot is an acceptable little boost of serotonin. The youngling embarks on a few solo ventures in a well-paced, excellently animated collection of shorts. Although it’s a little bothersome not having them as a collective season. Would take many more.

Aug 18th: She Hulk Ep1 is a surprising delight. Tatiana Maslany is engaging, grounded, and has great comedic timing whilst the story finally fills in some gaps in Banner’s story (As well as Cap’s). If all episodes are like this, it may be the best, most TV-esque MCU show

Aug 25th: She Hulk Ep2 is pretty good. Jen finally meets Blonsky in a plot that does some neat world-building and provides plenty of reasons to smile. No proper laughs but it maintains engagement. The little title flip was a good gag.

Aug 25th: The Sandman is close to brilliant. Neil Gaiman’s source material is expertly crafted and it carries across well. It’s never unclear what’s going on and the lore is never too much. The characters are instantly likable, although a couple of casting choices are uninspired.

Sept 1st: She Hulk Episode 3 fully embraces the cringe. As Jen defends Blonsky, her associate defends an old colleague in a plot that makes me wish we’d seen more of Blonsky in the last decade. The humour won’t be for everyone but I don’t hate it yet…

Sept 2nd: Middle Earth is as full of lore and as grand in scale as it has always been. The first 2 eps of Rings of Power introduce excellent characters, high stakes and a score that’s just as beautiful as Howard Shores. Little quicker than the films, but not by much, it’s a good time.

Sept 7th: Fisherman’s Friends: One and All won’t win awards but it will win the hearts of audiences. The group struggles with the loss of a founding member in a story that has many of the same beats and jokes from the original but no less charm. Just very lovely.

Sept 8th: Pinocchio (2022) is proof that more backstory does not mean more interesting. The retelling of the Disney classic removes any bite or morals in favour of a tame tale that would rather reference its own parent company. No integrity but at least it can be a little creative.

Sept 12th: Nope is a conflicting experience. The tale of a UFO terrorising a small town builds slowly before a stellar 3rd act that falters at the finale. The concepts are interesting but they never feel fully realised, unlike the characters who are delightful. Eerie score too.

Sept 13th: She Hulk Ep4 is ridiculous. Jen tries dating whilst juggling a case against a sleazy magician, featuring Wong. The constantly drunk Madisynn adds a bubbly air to the entire thing. It’s the kind of episode that means the smile never leaves my face. Lovely.

Sept 13th: Rings of Power Ep3 is interesting. Switching between Galadriel, Nori and Arondir, it sets up some interesting plot points and has some lovely character moments. However, it feels like it is simultaneously fast and slow which is the joy of multiple episodes I suppose.

Sept 15th: She Hulk ep 5 has a surprising amount to say about influencers. As Jen and Titania face off in court, there’s an interesting look at how skincare brands operate and how loopholes can be used in the legal system. Fair amount of humour too, but the Shrek reference was a bit much.

Sept 16th: The Rings of Power ep4 ups the ante. Tensions rise in Numenour and Khazad-Dum as The Southlands evacuate. There’s something interesting going on in every story and one feels that they’ll culminate eventually but it’s the Khazad-Dum one that piques the most interest.

Sept 18th: I think Star Wars has always been easier to get into than Star Trek, unless you were there from the beginning of course. It’s not a matter of quality, rather it’s one of quantity. Star Wars was primarily a film series so there’s always been less of it but what FASCINATES me is that they’re so close to being similar now. Star Wars may never catch up in terms of hours but it’s now probably more than a general audience member is willing to sit through. You’re a fan regardless of how little you’ve watched btw.

Sept 18th: Star Trek: The Motion Picture (Directors Cut) is a stunning achievement. The Enterprise crew reunite to intercept a powerful ship rapidly approaching Earth in a plot that exists to display how magnificent the Star Trek visuals can look on a large screen. It’s about spectacle and it remains one.

Sept 18th: Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn (Directors Cut) is astounding. The Enterprise crew find themselves at the mercy of an old adversary looking for a planet altering device in a film that remains iconic for a reason. Fully engrossing with masterfully updated visuals, it’s a sight to behold.

Sept 21st: Eps1-3 of Andor have the grime and story of Star Wars but isn’t yet as gripping as those other tales. Cassian Andor finds himself on the run from The Empire in a tale that’s most interesting when focusing on bureaucracy but shows great promise. B2EMO is perfect, no notes.

Sept 22nd: She Hulk ep6 is a delight. Jen attends a wedding, in an episode that gives a painful look at her personal life and provides the basis for a fairly obvious villain going forward. Some good Titania closure too, although I doubt she’s gone forever. A breath of fresh air for the MCU.

Sept 23rd: The Rings of Power ep 5 is equally tense and charming. As Mankind prepares for war, elsewhere friendships are tested in a story that continues to feel like Lord of the Rings. Poppys Wandering Song is an embodiment of that spirit, as is the kinship between Durin and Elrond. Great stuff.

Sept 28th: Andor Ep 4 continues to up the intrigue but never quite passes the threshold. Cassian becomes embroiled in planning a heist whilst Mon Mothma is reintroduced in an episode that is at its best when delving into politics. This series feels like it’s dragging.

Sept 29th: She Hulk ep 7 is very wholesome. Jen finds herself stuck on Blonsky’s ranch and takes the time to love herself in an episode that introduces some minor comic characters in an entertaining way. This version of Blonsky is also a delight and I hope he sticks around.

Sept 30th: The Rings of Power ep 6 is superb. The Southlands finally go to war in an episode with Big Finale energy in the best way. It’s broken up with some light humour but the climax is one of the best pieces of TV I’ve ever seen. Epic in scale and lore repercussions.

Oct 1st: ET: The Extra Terrestrial remains as whimsical as ever. The chance meeting of a young boy and an alien pulls at the heartstrings with amazing visuals ESPECIALLY this remaster on the big screen. It allows the atmosphere to soak in and the gorgeous score to fill the soul.

Oct 1st: Jaws is as stunning now as it’s ever been. The mission to hunt down a killer shark builds slow and maintains tension with a few laughs for good measure but it’s STELLAR in 3D. Depth of field like this in a movie is rare, making it feel like a once in a lifetime experience.

Oct 3rd: Bodies Bodies Bodies seems like a riot. An upper-class teen party goes wrong in a plot that consistently entertains, even if you can figure out the ending before it occurs. Worth seeing, ESPECIALLY with a group of friends and some alcohol.

Oct 5th: Andor ep 5 is a little tense. As the group continues to organise their heist, there’s a decent amount of friction in a character-driven episode. Feels like a turning point in the series, like action is only a week away. Slow burn but decent.

Oct 5th: Do Revenge is a delight. A school newbie and dethroned popular girl team up to enact each other’s revenges in a perfect send-up to 90s teen movies. Includes a poignant message about social media, the futility of school popularity, a stellar 3rd act twist and plenty of laughs.

Oct 6th: She Hulk ep 8 is a delight. Jen encounters the mischievous leapfrog and makes a new friend in lawyer Matt Murdock. The two leads have excellent chemistry and the fight scenes, while not perfect, are mostly about the relationships of those involved. Tense ending too.

Oct 7th: The Rings of Power ep 7 is a heck of a penultimate episode. Everyone deals with the literal and metaphorical fallout from the Battle of the Southlands in an emotional tale that perfectly sets up the finale to come. Features one of the most excellent last-minute reveals I’ve ever seen.

Oct 7th: Werewolf by Night is the best MCU entry since No Way Home. A group of hunters must survive fighting a beast in this tale from multi-talented composer Michael Giacchino. Great aesthetic, amazing score and no tying itself down to the larger universe…it’s refreshing.

Oct 12th: Andor ep 6 is where the fun begins. Having built up tension and relationships, The Big Heist finally takes place in one of the most beautifully shots eps yet. Slow build with a heck of an explosion and hopefully it isn’t a slow afterburn.

Oct 13th: The She Hulk finale is both an astounding feat of TV unlike anything I’ve ever seen and mildly frustrating the more thought is given to it. The metatextual narrative reaches its peak as Jen finally confronts Intelligencia in an episode that proves the MCU knows better.

Oct 14th: The Rings of Power finale is astounding. Identities are revealed and personal battles are fought in an emotional rollercoaster of a plot. Difficult to think of another show on TV with the scope of this one, now comes the tantilising wait for S2. Wow.

Oct 17th: Don’t Worry Darling is interesting enough. The story of a picturesque town that isn’t all it seems has stunning performances from Pugh and Pine with an amazing soundtrack. The ending feels hectic, and Styles’ acting isn’t brilliant, but 2/3rds of a good time is still pretty good.

Oct 19th: Andor Ep7 is gripping. In the aftermath of last episodes major heist, its clear that the characters and story have been given enough time to really breathe. Emotions will presumably run high as the conclusion approaches.

Oct 22nd: Lyle Lyle Crocodile is delightful. A boy discovers a singing crocodile in his new home with a story full of cliches and heart. Some fun characters and an annoyingly catchy soundtrack, its one the whole family should be able to enjoy.

Oct 23rd: (Doctor Who) The Power of The Doctor is wild. 90 minutes of classic Chibnall issues bolstered by ridiculous stakes and unexpected cameos with maybe the most gorgeous regeneration ever. With an ending that shocks and delights, it’s not perfect but its damn good fun.

Oct 25th: The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show is fascinating. Documenting the week in 1986 where Harry interviewed some of the most notable people of the era, it’s a reminder of how far we have and have not come in combatting racism. Tragic but hopeful, its a must watch.

Oct 26th: Andor Ep8 is excellent. The tension continues to rise as The Empire finally begins catching up to our heroes in a story thats willing to show just how little The Empire cares. This show makes it easy to root for individual Imperial characters but never their cause.

Oct 31st: Hocus Pocus 2 is delightful. The Sanderson Sisters return to face a new generation of teenager in this sequel that has as much charm and humour as the original. Has a distinct 2020s cringe to it but not too much and Sarah remains The Moment.

Nov 2nd: Andor ep 9 is tense. As Cassian prepares to escape prison and Dedra closes in it feels like theres an explosion of consequence right around the corner. Stunning performances all around but Serkis is particularly nailing it.

Nov 4th: Black Adam is highly derivative of every superhero film from the last 20 years. The Rock as a darker hearted superman should be interesting but between the characters, CGI and score, it brings nothing new to the plate. Dr Fate is neat though.

Nov 9th: Andor ep 10 is some of the most gripping TV I’v3 ever witnessed. Tensions in the prison finally reach breaking point in a plot that will have you rooting for the prisoners and heartbroken at the ending. Powerhouse performance from Stellan Skarsgard too.

Nov 9th: Tales of the Jedi is a fascinating concept. Providing further backstory for Dooku and Ashoka, the former gets the more interesting episodes. They show just how jedi can reach a breaking point, whilst Ashokas episodes show her determination and pure heart. More like this please!

Nov 9th: The House of the Dragon is oddly engaging. Set 175 years before Game of Thrones, it’s an ideal jumping off point for those who aren’t yet fans of the IP with brilliantly bitchy politics, standout performances and enough lore to sink several sets of teeth into. Lighting can sometimes be off though.

Nov 10th: The Woman King is close to excellent. Based on the true story of a group of female African warriors, there’s less focus on the titular character than expected. A couple of tired cliches too but it makes up for it with cracking action and stellar character work.

Nov 11th: To millions of people, Kevin Conroy WAS Batman. But to this queer adult who has felt shunned, like their sexuality will hold them back, he was a hero. My hero. That’s his legacy for me. This hope that he gave. Kevin shouldn’t have had to suffer but in the end he was free. I can be too.

Nov 13th: The Lost King is relentlessly charming. Based on the true story of the woman who found King Richard the Third’s remains, it’s a classic British film through and through. Its witty, heartfelt and features a grand performance from Sally Hawkins as usual. Comfortable viewing.

Nov 15th: Halloween Ends is simply uncomfortable to sit through. Excellent acting and a marvellous score but theres more romance than tension and it seems to revel in its violence. The final kill was particularly difficult to sit through and will be triggering for some. No more please.

Nov 16th: Andor ep11 is full of melancholy. After the highs of last week, with Cassian on the run, everybody else seems to be suffering. Mon Mothmas characterisation has been marvellous but it simply shines here whilst Luthen provides a little spark of hope. Perfect set up for the finale.

Nov 17th: Doctor Who Am I warms the soul. TV Movie writer Matt Jacobs dives back into the Whoniverse after 25 years in a joyous journey of self-discovery. A gorgeous exploration of people and fandom that never pokes too much fun at them and that feels sadly neccessary right now.

Nov 18th: Amsterdam lacks any soul. Based on the true plot to overthrow Roosevelt, its a tale that tries to be funny but lacks the charm to do so. It feels rushed and the acting feels like a bunch of first takes, which is a shame because the final act has a lot of promise.

Nov 21st: The Banshees of Inisherin is outstanding. The tale of a sudden rivalry between friends and the consequences it brings is equal parts hilarious and moving. Powerful performances from Farrell and Gleeson with a soundtrack that can be eerie and whimsical. Just brilliant.

Nov 23rd: The Andor finale is quite a gutpunch. SW has never been subtle with its messaging but as Ferrix finally hits boiling point, theessaging is clear. Rarely has The Empire seemed so evil and devoid of empathy. Setting it to the backdrop of a funeral only adds to the emotion.

Nov 25th: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is part typical Marvel faire and part heartfelt tribute, but it’s definitely better at the latter. The nation of Wakanda faces a new threat from the sea as they deal with a great loss in a sequel that is overly long but adequately entertaining.

Nov 27th: The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special is pure festive cheer. Drax and Mantis kidnap Kevin Bacon to save Pete’s Christmas spirit in a plot full of laughs and heart. Standout performance from Pom Klenteiff as Mantis and a killer soundtrack, this one’s an instant classic.

Dec 7th: Bros is remarkably gay. Billy Eichner’s rom-com about two men with commitment issues is exceptionally entertaing if loud gay humour is your thing. In between are some very harsh truths about the way th community is treated so it can feel disjointed at times. But its so gay.

Dec 12th: Wednesday is an odd delight. Ms Addams uncovers a mystery in a small town from her new school in a show that features the same school/crime drama you’d find on the CW but with much more entertaining characters. It’s The Addams Family, just kookily modern.

Dec 12th: Matilda: The Musical is marvelously magical. It’s a more rambunctious telling of the beloved tale that’s packed with stellar choreography, entertaining songs and endearing characters. There’s a perfect blend of stage and screen in this visual feast for the eyes and ears.

Dec 13th: Violent Night is the spiritual successor to Die Hard. More action-packed, yuletide violence please.

Dec 14th: Violent Night won’t just make you believe in santa, it’ll make you fear for those on the Naughty List. Santa gets caught in the middle of a hostage situation in this bloody, beautiful, and oddly heartfelt tale. Simply dripping with festivity and blood.

Dec 16th: Avatar: The Way of Water is a technical masterpiece. From the otherwordly visuals to the ethereal score, it’s unlike any other blockbuster. The plotlines could have been reeled in a little bit but, with worldbuilding like this, you can’t afford to miss it.

Dec 26th: Glass Onion is exsquisite. Director Rian Johnson uses the building blocks of Knives Out to construct a different story that is equally compelling, satisfying and gorgeous to look at. This murder mystery party reinvigorates at every twist and it hinges on some stellar performances. Bravo.

Dec 28th: GDT’s Pinocchio is beautiful. A unique, anti-fascist telling of the tale with marvellous visuals, stop-motion animation and a few brilliant musical numbers. It can be bleak but with enough whimsy and optimism that it never feels hopeless. Best Pinocchio of the year by far.

Dec 28th: Disney’s Strange World is pretty good. It’s like if Journey to the Centre of the Earth had Avatar-level visuals but both those films are fairly average so it makes sense this would be too. It’s the realistic family dynamics, and the Wonderfully Gay Teen Son that make it work .


10 Picks for 2022: Retrospective


Roland Emmerich’s newest blockbuster did not disappoint. The master of destruction once again delivers chaos on a planetary scale, using all the advancements in technology at his disposal and a couple of old tricks. The plot was basic and the characters cookie-cutter but they’re never the real stand out in an Emmerich flick. Although, for the record, the performances are a lot of fun, particularly Jon Bradley as KC Houseman. The plot goes straight up of the rails in a way that’s difficult not to smile at. Full review HERE.

Turning Red

PIXAR’s latest isn’t perfect. The third act, whilst great, does feel a little tonally different from the first two acts but there’s still plenty to love. The music perfectly captures the boybands of the early 2000’s, while the characters are a shining example of how “cringey” young teens can be and there’s a really solid family dynamic at play. The animation is similar to what the company has been doing recently, with the likes of Luca, but with a definite anime inspiration. When it leans into that and allows the animation to be quick, it makes for a unique feel. Full review HERE.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2

The first Sonic movie very much felt like a product of it’s time and this one is no exception. That doesn’t mean it’s bad, it’s actually fairly enjoyable, but it’s clear from the humour, pacing and effects that this is a 2020’s film. Trying to have an overarching plot like the return of Robotnik (whose scenes are the highlight) with smaller plots like family drama and Sonic making friends with Tails doesn’t always work. The film feels like it could be shorter. However there’s no doubt that the people working on this film love the Sonic franchise because you could spend all day sifting through references. Fun for kids and bearable for adults.

John Wick: Chapter 4

Delayed until next year

Jurassic World Dominion

The Jurassic World characters have nevre been as likable as the Jurassic Park characters and the film studio behind this franchise must know that because they brought back the original characters. However, the focus remains on the World characters and the Park characters never really add much. There’s also a severe lack of dinosaur and an over-reliance on nostalgia-baiting the audience.


Another installment from PIXAR that wasn’t perfect but is still a good time. It’s a solid send-up to the genre of sci-fi and the concept of space as well as having some stunning visuals. It takes full use of it’s setting in the most gorgeous way but never totally hinges on it’s characters. There are also plenty of references to the Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story, right down to repeating lines but it never distracts from the moment. It’s not complex but it never needed to be, it simply needed to be.

Black Adam

There are superhero films that are bad in a cheesy way but this is not one of them. It’s built on concepts and moments that have been done better in other superhero films and the main character isn’t likable enough to be endearing. As an anti-hero, there needs to be something to make the audience root for them, even if they disagree with their tactics, but that’s just missing here. Throw in an utterly wasted Justice Society of America (who deserve their own film) and a post-credits cameo teasing a battle we may not see and it’s just not worth all the effort The Rock put into it.

Mission Impossible 7

Delayed until next year

Spider-Man: Across the Spiderverse (Part One)

Delayed until next year

Matilda: The Musical

THIS is how you adapt a Broadway musical to film. The choreography, the camerawork, the colours. It all just works. It’s also unique enough to stand out from the original book and other film adaptation, as well as making a few alterations from the Broadway show. Some of the songs were cut because there wasn’t enough time for the Wormwood household, which is a shame because they’re great. Blasted necessarily short runtime.


Top 10 Films 2022

I don’t enjoy comparing movies to other movies and I don’t believe that any film is inherently bad. It’s why I have no rating system and it’s why you’re receiving this instead of a “10 Best/Worst” list. A lot of time and effort goes into making these films from hundreds of people, and I think bashing their efforts is disrespectful. I say that every movie is worth something and I genuinely believe that, even if it’s Disney’s Pinocchio (2022). So without further ado, here are the 10 films that I enjoyed most this year, in release order.

Top Gun: Maverick

This is military propoganda, just like the original Top Gun was military propoganda. However, it’s packed with such intense action and likable characters that it found it’s way into my heart anyway. This is a proper blockbuster and it knows it, whilst not including an over-sexual love plot which is such a nice surprise. Full review HERE.


This biopic stretches the facts a little but it gets the vibes spot on. Austin Butler is a revelation as the king of Rock N Roll while the editing amps the tension to a almost unbearable degree (but not quite). One can only assume that this is a film which takes on a whole new level when high, not that it isn’t almost a drugtrip on it’s own.

Mad God

Phil Tippet has been in the special effects game for decades, so it’s fitting that his magnum opus is a perfect example of his work. It’s also absolutely disgusting in a way that can only be described as “wet”, which normally I couldn’t sit through but this film is so entrancing. Impossible to look away or forget. Full review HERE.

Bodies Bodies Bodies

This horror comedy was an unexpected delight. Not only is it consistently amusing but it has the most accurate depictions of rich, obnoxious teens I’ve seen in a while. Manages to be a social commentary about class and a solid whodunnit. Plus it has Lee Pace, which is always a good thing.

Do Revenge

Another film that depicts the teen demographic correctly, although with a more dramatic edge. It has all the vibes of a classic 90’s teen comedy despite being set in the present day and has one of the best plot twists of the year. Yeah, it can ocassionally look a little greenscreened but that somehow only adds to the 90’s of it all. Sarah Michelle Gellar is there too.

The Banshees of Inisherin

An utterly beautiful film. Powerhouse performances all round, with a score to boot, but it’s the undelying comedy of the sombre situation that ties it all together. It’s about friendship and it’s fraility and what we’d be willing to do to keep it but it’s also about the monotony of island life. This list isn’t ranked by preference but this would make the top 3.

Matilda: The Musical

Movie adaptations of musicals have been hit or miss, but these last few years it feels like the misses have been bigger. This is the biggest hit since Spielberg’s West Side Story. It makes perfect use of the visual medium, has some stellar choreography and is different enough from the broadway show that it doesn’t replace it. Truly masterful.

Violent Night

Another surprise hit. When the trailer dropped earlier in the year, it promised a violent comedy where santa beats up house intruders and it delivered in the best possible way. It also managed to have a heartfelt message at it’s centre and in the performance from David Harbour. Kicked Christmas ass and is definiitely becoming a yearly tradition.

GDT’s Pinocchio

There have been several Pinocchio films this year and many over the decades but none quite like this. Del Toro brings his unique brand of dark whimsy to the classic tale through glorious stop-motion. Amazingly anti-fascist with some neat musical numbers, this is one of THE adaptations.

Glass Onion

Knives Out was one of the best films in the year it was released so it makes since that the sequel would be too. The performances, the score, the messaging, the plot twists (PLURAL). It all just works. Would happily take a whole franchise with world’s best detective Benoit Blanc.


The Matrix Resurrections: A brilliantly passive aggressive meta commentary on the state of the franchise

Moonfall: Director Roland Emmeriech delivers action in a way that only he can…ridiculously.

Everything Everywhere All at Once: Didn’t quite hit that sweet spot for me but I admire the creativity

Christmas Watchlist 2022

The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special (2022)

Another of the Marvel Cinematic Universes Special Presentations, this time centering on the titular Guardians at Christmas. It’s soaked in the spirit of the season, demonstrates these characters at their best and has a heck of a soundtrack. This got several viewings.

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

This Jim Carrey classic has been a yearly tradition since childhood. It’s bombastic, ridiculous and manages to make The Grinch a relatable character but that’s what makes it unique. It’s not for everyone but I quote it year round. Full review HERE.

Home Alone (1990)

What is there to say about the iconic John Hughes film that hasn’t been said already? It’s full of heart, Christmas vibes and another belter of a soundtrack from the legendary John Williams. It’s no surprise that it’s become as beloved as it has. Full review HERE.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992)

This sequel shares a lot of similarities to the original, which annoys a lot of viewers. It’s also clear that Macauly Culkin isn’t as uncorrupted by Hollywood as he once was. But the Christmas vibes and spectacular soundtrack are still present as well as a truly iconic Tim Curry performance. Full review HERE.

Prep & Landing (2009)

This Disney short film about a couple of elves, one of whom is tired of his job, is similair to Arthur Christmas but not so much that it’s just the same story. It’s cleverly designed and written, with a few solid voice performances.

Prep & Landing: Secret Santa (2010)

The elves return in this very short short-film, which isn’t so much a sequel as it is a palette cleanser between releases. Again, it’s very clever with it’s visuals but it’s the Mission Impossible style task and object that they’re retrieving that makes this so good.

Prep & Landing: Naughty Vs Nice (2011)

This sequel is a lovely little follow up. It features a genuine threat with some darker visuals but the villain isn’t truly a villain. Slightly more obnoxious with the introduction of it’s new elf but a sibling rivalry is diifcult to mess up.

The Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker Live (2022)

Ballet is absolutely magical. Throw Christmas on top of that and it’s no shock that this particular story has been around for a century. I’ve only ever seen film/tv adaptations and, having seen the original, they all pale in comparrison however it is not the easiest story to adapt to another medium. May have to make this a yearly tradition too.

Violent Night (2022)

Not the last time you’ll see this on a list this year because this is an instant Christmas classic. Truly a spiritual successor to Die Hard, with a more comedic edge and some no-holds-barred violence. Also has a really interesting and unique take on the Santa mythos.

Office Christmas Party (2016)

Best watched with a friend and some alcohol, this is one of those ridiculous, raunchy comedies aimed at teens. It has the added benefit of featuring Jason Bateman and Kate Mackinnon, who are always giving 100% to their performances. Not great, but damn good fun.

Die Hard (1988)

This top tier Christmas classic has been a yearly staple since I ws considered old enough to watch it. Sure, it has great acting, brilliant action and some great music but it’s an annual reminder of just how brilliant the late Alan Rickman was. Hans Gruber only has perfect lines, that are quotable year round. Full review HERE.

Die Hard 2 (1990)

Just as good as the original. With a different location and different threat, it does what sequels should do by upping the stakes. John Maclane is even more out of his element here and the third act twist is brilliant. Full review HERE.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol (1983)

This is Disney as it should be. There’s no capitalism on focus on IP, there’s just a story designed to entertain and some heartfelt vocal performances. It perfectly condences the age old story into around 20 minutes and has the warmest vibes of any adaptation. Utterly lovely. Full review HERE.

Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House (2002)

Skipped out on the third installment this year and found myself missing it because this film is not good. Feels exactly how an early 2000’s ABC Studios direct-to-tv film in the worst way. Full review HERE.

Noelle (2019)

This Disney film stars Anna Kendrick as the unappreciated daughter of Santa and Bill Hader as the reluctant heir to the Santa throne. It has as much charisma as those two performers ever have and it’s wonderful. Heartwarming and smile-worthy. These two actors are just so great.

The Simpsons in Feliz Navidad (2022)

3 minutes long and not worth a single second. Disney was willing to pay for The Bocellis to sing in what is a glorified advertisement for their incresingly capitalistic empire. Throw in a joke about how it’s “for Disney+ so nobody’s getting paid” from the company who is as guilty of crunch time in animation as anyone else? Appaling.

A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)

A new Christmas tradition going forward and one that others have been enjoying annualy for quite a while. Featuring all the Henson TV characters and all the humour they bring with them, it’s a shining example of why they are so loved. Numerous festive songs and plenty of laughs, it warms the heart.

The Polar Express (2004)

Another yearly watch, although it isn’t for everyone. I’ve never been bothered by the animation that some have called “scarring” and the musical numbers, while infrequent, are delightful. Tom Hanks singing about Hot Chocolate is the kind of absurdity that should be in a film based on a picture book. The design of the North Pole is pretty good too.

A Garfield Christmas Special (1987)

Yet another new tradition going forward that others have been enjoying for years. It may be simple but it is so pure of heart and quintiseentially Garfield that it’s impossible not to smile at. The voice cast are all perfect but, of course, special props go to Pat Carroll who recently left us. What an absolute star.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)

The earliest of my traditions, this one has been a staple of my Christmas for as long as I can remember. The VHS Tape got plenty of love and the DVD copy has gotten just as much, as will the 4K copy when that is eventually bought. Although there’s something about the grainy quality of the footage that hits the nostalgia just right. Full review HERE.

The Santa Clause (1994)

The only part of the franchise that I found some time for this year, despite the recent release of the TV series. It’s exactly entertaining enough to have warrented two sequels, with particularly solid performances by Tim Allen and David Krumholtz.

A Pinky and the Brain Christmas (1992)

Of all the things on this list that will elicit tears, this may be the most surprising. It’s your typical Pinky and the Brain fare, with a Christmas twist, but it’s the ending that really drives it home. Never has a character so sweetly broken into the heart of someone so harsh. Beautiful.

Dr Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1966)

The original adaptation and the best. Masterfully illustrated by Chuck Jones and his team with a marvellous narration from Boris Karloff and an iconic song sung by the voice of Tony the Tiger. It is relentlessly charming and has itslef influenced the adaptations that followed. Marvellous. Full review HERE.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

A recent addition to the yearly Christmas watchlist that truly deserves to be a staple of everyone’s Christmas. It’s more of an American institution, continuing to be shown on TV every year, but it’s simplicity is its brilliance. Good shoutout to the original meaning of Christmas too.

Anna and the Apocalypse (2017)

What if Shaun of the Dead was set on Christmas day with teenagers and was a musical? You’d end up with this underappreciated festive treat. Aside from making the most of the medium in terms of choreography, it stars an all-British cast with some excellent songs and a top tier lesbian.


Women X Festival 2022

Attending film festivals has been a dream since I was aware they existed. However, it’s always been a distant dream because I can’t travel for them…well without at least spending a bunch of money I don’t have. This past year, thanks to the rise of online film festival attendance as the world was told not to travel, I’ve been able to live out that dream. From September 2nd to the 4th, I was lucky enough to experience a glimpse of the Women X Film Festival founded by Caris Rianne. As a Trans Woman, being a small part of this festival meant the world to me and I hope to attend in person someday. For now, here are some short(ish) thoughts on the amazing projects that I watched.

Head Over Feet: A Series of Shorts

First Kiss With A Girl is a short voiceover with related imagery about a girls first kiss with another girl. It’s really cute, shot in a 6:9 ratio, with the theme of the part at which this case occurred being present but not obvious until it’s stated.

Kiss Chase sees a young girl of colour struggling with a crush on another girl, while a boy develops a crush on her. It’s a classic “nerd to beauty” story done well, made more uncomfortable by the age of those involved, which I’m sure is the point. There’s really no knowing what children get up to and the thought that several of the more intense scenes in here do occur is terrifying.

Silent Pride features a private spat between two best friends at a party. The most notable aspect is that one of the girls is hearing impaired, although that’s never the sole purpose of the story. It is used for a cute little moment of connection though.

Virtual Love sees a female couple playing dom and sub for viewers on a camgirl website until an argument breaks out. It makes excellent use of the website itself, often showing the chat window which is itself a lynchpin of the plot. Despite being in skimpy clothing, the camera never leers, which shouldn’t be noteworthy but it is.

Pitching features a woman lost in her tent on a trail, leaving a desperate voicemail for her former girlfriend. The frame composition is fascinating, having been split into 9 squares, each telling a different story from the relationship. At 17 minutes, it’s one of the longer shorts but the lone voicemail is heartbreakingly engaging throughout.

The Cost of Living focuses on a woman in control of her life finally giving up control for the seductive personification of death. It’s the artsiest film in this series and it’s totally engaging. Seems to have the highest production budget so far but this story would be wonderful regardless.

Pragma sees a woman partaking in a rigorous Partnering Programme but struggling to trust the system. It also has a higher production budget and a longer runtime but it’s also consistently funny. A really interesting take on the two core kinds of relationship (short-term and long-term).

Besties: A Series of Shorts

Scuzz features the surprising friendship of a female rocker and the young teen boy who stole her guitar. It’s super sweet and it demonstrates the kinder side of Scotlands gig scene which could use more prevalence.

Venetian Men is the tale of two 15-year-old best friends’ trip to Venice. It has an excellent blend of photos and footage taken on the trip with interprative dance scenes featuring actress stand-ins. The voiceover is soothing too, telling of an often underappreciated time in young women;s lives.

@scroll_alice features a conversation between two people about the benefits of Instagram. With the stop-motion animation depicting conversation topics and use of AI voices, it comes across as a little horrifying despite the dialogue claiming otherwise. It feels like it lacks humanity but at the same time it tells such a human story. Brilliant.

Run With Her is a short documentation of an Irish teens friendship with her running partner and best friend. This short was also featured in last years EIFF so this is a second watch for me but it’s no less lovely. I hope everything is working out for them.

Farewell She Goes sees two Gregorian women grappling with how to bury a bird at sea whilst a deeper issue lies just below the surface. It never explicitly states that one of thee women wants an abortion but it’s made clear through the dialogue, line delivery and notes about abortions history at the films conclusion. Sad but necessary.

Sequin features a little girl at a bus stop encountering a drag queen who looks just like her Barbie doll. It’s adorable and a perfect demonstration of how accepting children are. It manages that without anyone ever uttering a word, which is a real skill.

7 Bannanas features a woman dealing with the deathvof a friend sh’ed been neglecting to message. It feels real, grappling well with the genuine emotions of grief and guilt. Serves as a poignant reminder to keep in touch with people more.

Homegrown: A series of shorts

GSNE is a small doc centres around the foundation of Girls Skate North East, a group specifically for female skaters in the North East of the UK. It’s about camaraderie and support and being female in a seemingly male dominated space. Very inspiring.

After the break is a monologue about living life away from the tv screens and the music. It’s interesting to listen to with simple but elegant visuals.

The Air in Cyberspace features the beginnings of self organising cyborg existence. Not live-action so it caught me off guard, but the CGI visuals and visuals are very impressive.

The Girl Next Door sees a girl trying to vlog her life whilst her psychotic adopted sister lurks in the background. Shooting it purely from the cameras POV is a great way to tell the story and the performances are wonderful.

A Call to the Void follows 24 hours in a depressed young mans life and is quite the experience. A self-motivational tape plays over the entire short providing this juxtaposition between what the world expects and the reality of life.

Halloween Watchlist 2022

Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)

One of the earliest, and finest, family-friendly horror films. A loving homage to the genre with plenty of laughs, scares, and references to both the character’s history as well as the history of horror. Full review in the upcoming edition of UnDividing Lines.

Cloverfield (2008)

A certified classic that solidified the “found footage” style of horror movies. With regular, flawed characters and a shining example of having a horrifying creature without having to show much of it. Full review HERE.

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

A stunning follow-up that proves not only can a sequel be as good as the original, but it can be better. Perfect use of a minimal environment with a twist that continues to chill, even if you already know what it is. Full review HERE.

ET The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

A beloved family classic for a reason. It has marvelous characters, great emotion and excellent visuals…all of which were stronger upon a cinematic viewing. Beautifully re-mastered and masterfully scored.

Jaws – in 3D! (1975/2022)

The original blockbuster remains one of the best. It’s a slow burn, with very few shots of the shark and a minimalistic but beautiful score. Also stunningly remastered for the big screen.

Bodies Bodies Bodies (2022)

The first new release on this list is a delight. Funny, full of violence and with an on-point take on class structure this is worth catching up on if you missed it.

Werewolf by Night (2022)

An MCU installment that’s only an hour long, and it’s about time. This spooky tale feels unlike any other part of the franchise, proving Michael Giacchino isn’t just great with music, but can master any craft he puts his mind to.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared [Series](2022)

Based on the YouTube series of the same name and created by the same team, this show is a trip. Life lessons shrouded in humour and dark imagery, it’s exactly the kind of show young people deserve.

Gravity Falls [Series](2012)

One of the greatest shows ever created and worthy of a full, loving analysis someday. Funny, heartfelt and occasionally featuring genuine scares, the story of the Pines family is worth every second.

The Cloverfield Paradox (2018)

An odd creature for sure. Developed in the same way as it’s predecessors but lacking the same oomph, it’s worth watching for a couple performances and the score. Full review HERE.

The Babysitter (2017)

A new seasonal classic from Netflix, this is an absolute delight to watch. Horror-comedies feel underrated and with films like this, that shouldn’t be the case.

The Simpsons Halloween Specials I-XII (1990-2001) / The Simpsons Treehouse of Horror XIII-XXI (2002-2020) / The Simpsons Thanksgiving of Horror (2019) [Series]

A staple of the holiday that continues to entertain with new installments every single year. The “original” run of 7 episodes were solely focused on horror and remain undisputed classics, but even as the series began to lean more heavily on current pop culture references it never began to disappoint. There are a couple of dud segments but no entire episode worth skipping over. The Thanksgiving edition is especially wonderful.

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020)

More proof that a sequel can be as good as the original. It manages to retread old ground without ever feeling like a direct copy, has plenty more laughs and features the sweetheart of the moment Jenny Ortega.

ParaNorman (2012)

Coraline may have thrust Laika Studios into the limelight, but ParaNorman ensured that they stayed there. This loving homage to the horror genre may be a little basic but it has everything it requires to entertain people of all ages. Full review HERE.

The Lost Boys (1987)

The Joel Schumacher classic remains a seasonal favourite for a reason. Only a director like Joel in a decade like the 1980s could have brought forth something this bizarre, camp and filled with brilliant special effects. Worth hunting down if it continues to escape your watchlist.

Ghostbusters (1984)

One of the best films ever made. Sure, it’s cheesy and the special effects aren’t exactly on par with something like The Terminator, but it has so much character. Every cast member is bringing their A-Game, the effects are still impressive, and it’s tied together beautifully with that ethereal score. Full review HERE.

Ghostbusters II (1989)

A guilty pleasure for many fans, including myself. It feels at times like a rehash of the original and is definitely more geared towards children, but it has just as much fun packed into it. Full review HERE.

Beetlejuice (1988)

A highlight of the season every single year. It’s a special effect, comedy, and acting masterclass all rolled into one package. Relentlessly quotable with a great score, it sticks in the mind all year round. The soundtrack for the Broadway musical gets plenty of playtime too. Full review HERE.

Hocus Pocus (1993)

Only the second viewing for this apparent classic and it’s not difficult to fall in love with. It’s corny in a way that only 1990s Disney Channel movies can be but is held together by some extremely over-the-top performances and a heck of a musical number. Another highly quotable delight.

The Muppets Haunted Mansion (2021)

The Muppets have always rolled with the times and this special is no exception. With a slew of current celebrity cameos and a delightful performance from Will Arnett, it’s honestly just nice to hang out in the Henson realm for a bit. And there’s no better choice for this bizarre season than the oddest of Muppets – Gonzo.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

I’ve often heard this described as THE definitive version of Dracula but that might just be in reference to the vampiric maestro himself. This adaptation is gorgeous to look at but is often too surreal for its own good when it isn’t being dull. It’s a lot of flair with very little punch.

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

Director Henry Sellick’s timeless fantasy continues to delight. It’s all about the visuals and the score, both of which are on point. Though the story and characters are basic, they have a certain amount of charm that makes seeing them once or twice a year totally worth it.

Hocus Pocus 2 (2022)

If the original was corny in a 1990s way, then it makes sense that the sequel would be corny in a 2020s way. Once that’s accepted, it can often be just as wonderful, even if there are perhaps more musical numbers than there need to be. The childhood counterpart for the Sanderson sisters do a particularly wonderful job.

Tucker and Dale Vs Evil (2010)

An underrated classic, which has been on my watchlist for many years now. A hilarious subversion of horrors “killer hillbillies” trope, with a couple of endearing performances from the main pair of bumbling doofuses. It doesn’t skimp on the gore either, leaving it in the same vein as something like Scream.

Ranking the MCU

How does one rank 29 movies (and counting)? It seems like such a Herculean task and yet it looks like everybody else has already done it. Perhaps, I should have kept tabs along the way or perhaps I should have been more ruthless in my final decisions. Nevertheless, here it is…my ranking of the MCU from best to worst. I’ve chosen to split the films and television shows into two separate categories because they are designed differently. The films have a single runtime which usually maxes out at 3 hours, whilst the TV shows split many hours of content over 9-ish episodes in a televisual format. Also, fitting them in was too hard but know that they all make the lower quarter of the list.

I’d love to tell you this is the final ranking but it will continue to fluctuate for as long as I live. It won’t fluctuate by much, however, meaning everything here is in roughly the correct order. “Correct”, of course, being my own subjective opinion.

Avengers: Infinity War

The beginning of the end of 10 years of build-up. It can also be seen as the last part of the Infinity Stones Saga if you wish to disown Endgame. It’s full of a decade worth of payoff and features an astounding ending that still provides chills.

Captain America: The First Avenger

The best of Phase One, featuring the most likable and relatable of its heroes. Steve Rogers was the everyman and, despite his newfound powers, continues to fight for the everyman. Hugo Weaving also provides a stunning performance as Redskull and it doesn’t shy away from the nazi angle. It’s technically a War Flick and I thoroughly enjoyed it, which is something I can’t say of that genre as a whole.


Despite spending years in development hell, this managed to be the funniest of all the MCU installments. Casting the ever-likable Paul Rudd definitely helped and giving him relatable issues makes him sympathetic. Also features the best Thomas the Tank Engine cameo of all time.

Spider-Man: No Way Home

This was a surprise. I fully expected a film built on fan service and callbacks but instead it was a solid story that provided a decent continuation of old stories for the most part. Still works better if you’ve seen the prior Spider-Man franchises but doesn’t rely on them. Also, Defoe is allowed to go full ham and it’s thoroughly engaging.


The best of his trilogy, the original story for the God of Thunder is gorgeous. Director Kenneth Brannagh was a perfect choice to bring a very Shakesperean reality to life and Hemsworth is inherently likable despite playing somebody who is kind of selfish. Grand in scale, shot wonderfully and it introduces Hawkeye.

Iron Man

The very first and one of the very best. RDJ was a perfect pick for the role and the warmongering subplot has remained annoyingly relevant throughout the years. Remember when superhero films used to be about something important, as opposed to pandering to fans? We’ve come a long way from the pseudo-realism in this film but it remains great.

Avengers: Endgame

I wouldn’t have this one so high on the list if it wasn’t the end of an era. There are elements that still annoy me to no end and I disagree highly with several character decisions but that final battle clenches it. It also doesn’t destroy the ending of Infinity War, allowing the heroes to live with their failure.

Ant-Man and the Wasp

Marvel really decided that this character was going to have hilarious, relatable and often tragic installments. It’s more cohesive than the first but no less energetic and it’s about family. Perfect little palette cleanser before the last two Avengers films.

Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2

Again, it’s about family. James Gunn is known for stories driven less by plot and more by character actions and dynamics with this being no exception. Big one for Marvel fans with Daddy Issues and fans of David Hasselhoff. From here on out, the films are going to be what I’d classify as “lower-mid tier” so this is a good one to look at before the fall.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

An action flick featuring Steve Rogers should be an instant win but this is more of a generic film. It also heavily features Black Widow who is wasted by this franchise on top of being a bland character. Good Nick Fury angle though.

Spider-Man: Far From Home

More Nick Fury! He truly is underutilized in this franchise, not that he should ever be a focal point. The highlight of this one is the demonstration/adaptation of Mysterio’s powers and Jake Gyllenhaal gives a delightful performance. Was never keen on this Peter Parker so it’s a little difficult to become invested.

Captain America Civil War

A definite turning point in the MCU but not entirely for the better. This marked the beginning of a solo movie no longer being entirely focused on the titular character, with this one getting dubbed Avengers 2.5 by fans. Held together by a moderately compelling story and Baron Zemo.

Iron Man 3

Underrated, but not perfect by any means. Acts as the conclusion to Tony’s arc but isn’t particularly memorable. That said, it has some excellent moments such as the destruction of his home.

The Incredible Hulk

Also underrated. This one is more of a character analysis than a plot-heavy flick but it does feature a magnificent performance from Tim Roth as The Abomination.

Black Panther

Fairly forgettable aside from being a major deal for people of colour. The final battle sequence noticeably needed more time and Martin Freeman isn’t the greatest of actors. Kept afloat by brilliant performances, especially by the late Chadwick Boseman and Michael B Jordan.

Doctor Strange

Benedict Cumberbatch is really trying his best with that accent but it’s just not working. As origin stories go, this one isn’t particularly notable although it does feature Wong. It’s the special effects that save this one, especially if you saw it in 3D.

Guardians of the Galaxy

It’s fun enough and the characters are likable enough but the romance between Starlord and Gamora really drags this one down. When people talk about “Marvel Humour” this is one of the films where it’s more prevalent, except James Gunn at least writes engaging characters.

Thor: Ragnarok

Entertaining on a first watch but grating whenever I revisit it. Thor has always been one of the most underdeveloped MCU characters and he shows a little growth here but it gets undone by the end. Also the comedy is prime “Marvel Humour” which is a shame because Jeff Goldblum and Cate Blanchett are in this.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Kind of a mess, though still not as bad as some fans claim. Ultron is entertaining, the battles are intense and The Avengers are constantly on edge but there are too many plot threads that don’t really get resolved. It’s another set-up movie, which is a hindrance.

Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

Ah, the second best movie of Phase 4… not that it’s a high bar. For all the talk of Martial Arts films as inspirations, this comes off as more of an imitation than a homage. Those snappy Marvel edits remain intact and the final battle is primarily CG, which has become tiring. Sam Liu as Shang-Chi is lovely and it was a delight to see Trevor Slattery again.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

The Vulture is the only thing keeping this film from being closer to the bottom of this list. Peter Parker’s determination to please Tony Stark and Tony’s consistent presence throughout the plot, really don’t feel necessary. It draws the focus away from Peter and his adorable little friendship with Ned.

Thor: The Dark World

Another installment that’s an absolute mess, but isn’t as bad as fans claim. Kat Dennings as Darcy has always been underappreciated and Loki’s story in this one is full of melancholy but it does feel like several different films spliced together.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

This should have been better with Sam Raimi at the helm with this premise. I talk a lot about managing fan expectations, but with a movie title that promises madness across the multiverse, it’s reasonable to expect that. This film doesn’t deliver it and has the most obvious fan pandering I’ve ever seen with The Illuminati. Visually cool though.

Iron Man 2

This one is just really mean-spirited. Tony is at his most unlikable, Arnie Hammer has too similar a personality and Whiplash is underutilised. Plus Pepper and Tony are going through a rough patch and Rhodey has to be the one to restrain him. Just unpleasant to watch.

Captain Marvel

A lot of fun with a colourful aesthetic but categorically basic as films go. Designed primarily to pander to a female market who presumably are sick of being pandered to (I know I am). Rushed to introduce the character before she serves as a Deus Ex Machina in Endgame. Even if this was Top Tier Marvel, the motives drag it down.

Avengers Assemble

There’s no denying how culturally important this film is but when you strip that away, it’s not that good. The camerawork is astoundingly bad with constant close ups and cuts during scenes. The dialogue is very “of the director” too, who obviously doesn’t deserve to be named. It looks and feels like an episode of TV and it’s the only MCU film like that, which only makes it more jarring.

Black Widow

Remember when people wanted this film when the character was introduced in 2010? And then they didn’t make it until 2019, only releasing it after the character had been wasted for a decade and murdered violently? And then they refused to release it during The Pandemic, causing a lack of already waning interest? And it was a basic spy flick, which seemed designed to set up the next generation of Black Widows, with bad greenscreen effects?

Thor: Love and Thunder

The levels of cringe radiating off this film are unparalleled. The shots are flat, the characters wasted, the tone uncaring. Yet it seems so smug about its own existence. Gorr the God Butcher and The Mighty Thor both deserved better than this, considering they were the highlights.


This one reeked of Oscar-Bait and the studio did not attempt to hide it. That kind of vibe doesn’t fit the MCU but, worse than that, most of these characters suck. Kingo, Karun and Phastos retain my interest but the rest are bland or unlikable. For the most part, the film also looks exceptionally grey, like an early DCEU movie. Uninspired and dull.


Clint Barton has gone unappreciated in his time, so it’s great to spend more time with him. He also has an adorable relationship with Kate Bishop who is a lovable dork. Plus it has all the vibes of christmas.


The only one on this list that justifies being a show instead of a film. It makes good use of different sitcoms for the first half, with excellent performances from Liz Olsen and Paul Bettany. It also brings back Darcy, which is an instant win.


The running theme here seems to be “characters I care about” and Loki is no exception. His relationship with Mobius is great and it doesn’t make a mockery of time travel. The series finale also sticks the landing, which is a nice change.

What If

Full of interesting ideas but it never carries any of them to fruition. The primary interest here is The Watcher, who could be one of the coolest characters in the MCU if they allow it. The worst aspect is that, despite occurring over multiple dimensions, every iteration of each character looks the same.

Moon Knight

Came the closest to being like the Netflix Marvel shows but refused to fully commit to the violence or dark themes. Oscar Issac is trying his best with that accent and there are interesting elements throughout the series but it could have been more condensed.

Ms. Marvel

Blurs the line between Disney Channel and Marvel without ever being good at either. Kept afloat by a wonderful performance from Iman Vellani and Kamalas relationship with her family.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier

This one really wanted to be about something but again it refused to commit. It’s difficult to have a show about how prevalent racism is when you’re also trying to condem people who think that *checks notes* there shouldn’t be borders because the world works better that way.

Signed: Your friendly neighbourhood queer