2022: A Year in Review

Last year I reviewed all the 2021 movies I’d seen. I had watched about 48. This year, I’m not only behind on posting, I watched 53 movies that came out in 2022 before the year ended, and now I’ve seen about 65. This wasn’t at all purposeful. I don’t want to watch too many movies as a rule, but there were also some Oscar-nominated movies I wanted to see before the Oscars happen. I’ll post about that at a later date. What I mean by all of this is that I’m not going to review 65 movies. Nobody wants to read me talk about 67 movies I watched and have vague things to say about. So instead I’ll write about ten of the movies that came out last year that really stuck with me. Also I want to write about other things that aren’t just movies. So for my month and a half late 2022 movie ranking, I thought I’d change things up and also talk about some TV shows too(Specifically Severance), as well as some momentous life things that happened. Because I waste my time by doing other things too. Will anyone read this? Who knows. I guess though if you are reading this than you would know. So let’s do it!
Oh, quick addition to all of that. Obviously spoilers for anything I talk about and also if you’re a big fan of Elvis or the movie Elvis, I would recommend that you just skip the bit where I talk about that movie. There’s nothing in that bit of review that you need to see. And if you get curious and read it anyway, then I’m sorry in advance.

Memorable Life Stuff That Happened In 2022
I wrote about most of the eventful goings on of the past year already. If you want more in-depth examinations of my staff canoeing trip, the time I got Covid, that time I got stuck in the elevator, and any of the many times I talked about how much I hate the weather, those are all available for you to peruse at your leisure. It was a big year though. I managed to not flunk out of college at the end of my freshman year, and I have continued that streak even though last semester was woeful and difficult. I worked at a canoe base up near the boundary waters for about three months, and found out midway through my time there that my grandfather had also worked there many years ago. That kind of broke my mind, finding out that I had a connection to this camp that I chose to work at randomly. I made lots of great friends there. I won’t name any of them here, but the really good friends are the ones reading this post. Heh. And I turned twenty! So those are a few things that happened to me in 2022. I feel like I’m forgetting something, but who cares. Movie time!

The Eight Most Memorable Movies I Watched In 2022
When I say memorable, I don’t mean specifically good or bad. I just mean the movies that have stuck with me the most. And they aren’t ranked in any particular order, but I’m still going to number them from ten to one, just for the sake of continuity. After that I’ll talk about TV shows.

8. Sonic the Hedgehog 2
I never saw the first Sonic movie and I barely remember watching the second one, but there was really confusing plotline about James Marsden’s sister-in-law is getting married that they keep cutting back to and for some reason is a major part of the film. The sister-in-law seems to have beef with Sonic and James Marsden for causing trouble and stealing her spotlight. Presumably this is because of something that happened in the first movie. So for most of the movie, James Marsden and his wife are having wacky shenanigans at some tropical island doing wedding stuff while Sonic and Tails go on weird anthropomorphic animal adventures. And then the two plots come together and it is revealed that the sister-in-law’s FiancĂ© is a government agent and he had gone undercover to trap Sonic because the government have assumed this small blue hedgehog is bad. The government agents capture Sonic, Tails, and I think James Marsden for some reason, and the whole plot of the movie grinds to a halt so James Marsden’s wife and sister-in-law break into the hotel resort that Sonic and Tails have been imprisoned in and fight off a bunch of government agents. I don’t know why the movie became a weird “Woman wants to get bloody revenge on this man who made a fool out of her” movie, but it was the funniest part of the whole thing and I loved it. So thank you, writers of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, for including this weird and inconsequential subplot.

7. Lightyear
Lightyear, contrary to popular belief, is not a bad movie. It’s fucking terrible and boring and there’s no point to it and I disliked it so, so much. This is the first time I fell asleep in the movie theater while watching a movie I hadn’t seen before, and I have absolutely no urge to go back and watch what I missed because it was so boring. The animation was incredible and there are good actors in this, including Chris Evans, Taika Waititi, and Keke Palmer. None of them are used well. It felt like I was watching a longer and more boring version of Interstellar, a long, boring movie full of annoying characters I couldn’t care less about, yet the runtime of Lightyear is shorter by an hour. And at its core, the idea for this movie was interesting. This movie was meant to be a big fun bombastic expensive sci-fi movie that Andy saw as a kid that made him want Buzz Lightyear toys. It’s meant to be a fun 90’s sci-fi movie that was made in the Toy Story universe. BUT IT’S NOT FUN, IT’S BORING AND TERRIBLE AND I CANNOT IMAGINE ANY CHILD COMING OUT OF THIS MOVIE AND GOING WOOH I LOVE BUZZ LIGHTYEAR, THE WHINIEST AND MOST ALONE MAN IN THE GALAXY. BOO THIS MOVIE.

6. Sneakerella
You’re probably wondering what a movie called Sneakerella might be about. It sounds really dumb, right? You’re probably thinking “This sounds like a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon original movie about someone who loves shoes but also it’s a Cinderella knockoff.” You’re wrong. It’s a Disney Plus original movie. Here’s the story. A sad child named El lives with his unlikable stepfather and stepbrothers(Who have absolutely no reason to be as dickish as they are) above a shoe shop that his mother founded before she died. Unlike Cinderella, El actually has a friend, and a passion for designing sneakers. Early on in the movie(Which is also a musical for some reason), El meets Kira King, who is the daughter of Darius King, a basketball player and the owner of a sneaker empire. El and Kira fall in love and Kira shows some of El’s great shoe designs to her dad, and at one point there’s a misunderstanding where she thinks he was using her to get to her dad but also he never pushed her to show his designs to her dad, the whole cartoonish misunderstanding was her fault. And there’s a big gala where El and his best friend are made to look extra fancy by Gustavo, the mysterious neighborhood street vendor guy who’s inexplicably magic and looks after El. And El has to rush out before midnight but one of his shoes gets stuck in the escalator and he can’t get it out. There are like two different scenes where the annoying rapping stepbrothers mess up El’s meticulously organized shoe set-up in the back of the store just because they can. And at the end there’s a big confrontation between all the main characters where El and Kira apologize to each other and El’s stepdad, who has one of the worst wigs I’ve ever seen, apologizes to El and tells him he has a gift. You would be hard-pressed to find a worse movie than this one. It’s an hour and fifty-two minutes long but it feels much longer than that. None of the people in this movie know how to act, the songs are terrible, and it’s overall one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had in life. Yes, I’m fully aware that I went out of my way to watch this and I’m fully at fault for subjecting myself to this. But also I’m glad I watched it because it’s fun to hate movies too. This would’ve easily been the worst movie I watched last year, but there’s one more movie on this list that I absolutely despised with every fiber of my being. No spoilers. Anyway, forget what you just read and go back to being blissfully unaware of this movie’s existence. You’ll be better off if you do.

5. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
Weird is by no means one of the best or funniest movies I’ve ever seen, but I loved it because absolutely nothing that happened in this movie made any sense at all. One of the first scenes in the movie is about Weird Al’s dad brutally beating a traveling accordion salesman just because he dared to try and sell his son an accordion. From there we learn many surprising tidbits about Weird Al’s life. He was once arrested for attending a polka party in high school where people were clogging and being nice to one another. He entered a sordid affair with Madonna that led to Madonna being kidnapped by Al’s #1 fan(Pablo Escobar) and Al was forced to fight off a bunch of Escobar’s men in a diner, trek through the jungle, and rescue Madonna by throwing his gold record through Pablo Escobar’s head. Also, Weird Al wrote “Eat It” well before Michael Jackson released “Beat It”, which means Michael Jackson parodied his song and not the other way around. It’s a ridiculous movie. Nothing that happens is real in any way, shape or form. Also Daniel Radcliffe is much shorter than Weird Al and that casting makes no sense at all. They dubbed Weird Al’s voice over Radcliffe for all the songs. It’s fantastic. I love this movie.

4. Elvis
This was so easily my least favorite movie of last year, it’s not even close. It may be my least favorite movie of all time. I hated Elvis about as much as I loved Everything Everywhere All At Once. But I’m so glad I watched it. When I talk about how unbelievably terrible I thought this movie was, I want to say I have nothing against anyone who was involved in making this. They all did a good enough job and clearly made the thing they were intending to make, but holy shit, it is not good. The whole movie is just a series of montages strung together by the weirdest and most insane CGI transitions I’ve ever seen. I don’t like Elvis as a person and I don’t like his music. I don’t like most musician biopics either. But I know just enough about Elvis to know that even by regular generic bad biopic standards, this was not a great representation of Elvis or his story. Because, as I said above, it’s all montages. They don’t really stop to delve into anything interesting about Elvis, or some of the most generic things that are usually in literally every other biopic, such as the following:
– Elvis writing any of his songs
– Elvis going overseas to join the war effort
– Elvis’s wife was fourteen years old when they met
– The fact that he basically stole all his music and his style of singing from African Americans
– He was a piece of shit and he died on a toilet and that’s really funny
Again, I’d like to reiterate that I’m criticizing the overall film, not any of the people who made it. Although Tom Hanks’s performance is insane, I didn’t think he was terrible. Austin Butler was great. The only person in this I really didn’t like was the mother. What an unbelievably repulsive, clingy, disgusting woman. She called her son Booby. That’s not okay, even as a pet name! I was so happy when she died in the movie. In real life she was probably less gross, but they made her seem extra creepy in this. Anyway it’s an incredibly bad movie. It’s all montage and occasionally they stop at certain points in Elvis’s life so he can whine and complain about how hard it is to be Elvis. And that’s my main problem with this. It’s probably nowhere near as bad as I think it is, but I’m not going to sympathize with Elvis. You can’t make me feel sorry for that guy. He notoriously sucked. Why do I care if the government wants him to stop wiggling his crotch? Also, I know that was a big deal back then, but things have changed so much since then that that plot element doesn’t really work. You cannot expect me to take that part of the movie seriously, considering how unbelievably tame that is compared to literally anything that modern musicians or actors or just people do in general. If you show me a clip of a man in a suit yelling “THAT MAN MUST NOT WIGGLE HIS CROTCH” I am going to laugh, because it’s ridiculous. I just felt such intense anger and vitriol for this movie from the very first scene to the very last. At the very end they transition from Austin Butler doing Elvis’s last performance to the real life footage of Elvis’s last performance, and I was sitting there thinking “Why do I have to look at Elvis’s big stupid real-life head?” I hate Elvis so much, I don’t want to look at him. At least Austin Butler is attractive. Apologies to anyone who likes Elvis or this movie, by the way.

3. Violent Night
If you aren’t aware of what Violent Night is then allow me to enlighten you. It’s basically just Die Hard with Santa Claus. David Harbour plays a disillusioned version of Santa Claus that used to be a Norse viking. While he’s bringing presents to a big rich person house, a bunch of mercenaries show up to steal a bunch of money and kill some rich people. Before Santa can escape his reindeer fly away and he’s forced to stay and fight and also rescue this girl. It’s an insane bloody action movie, with such great action sequences, and David Harbour is terrific. You’d think from the premise that this would be a terrible movie, but it’s awesome, and it’s also not just a fucked-up action movie, it’s also a cheesy, saccharine Christmas movie. And it’s very funny. My favorite part of the movie is the moment that the mercenaries start taking over the house. Up to this point we’ve been led to believe the mercenaries were just regular catering staff. The head caterer walks into the room with all the security camera monitors and he says to the guy manning them “Christmas is alright, but do you know what my favorite holiday is? Boxing day.” And he just punches the guy in the face. It’s a very stupid joke, but every time I think about it I giggle. It’s very funny. Anyway, great movie. Very gross and violent. And if you want to see a maniacal child reenact Home Alone but in a really fucked way, this is for you.

2. Everything Everywhere All At Once
I reviewed this movie separately already. It is tied for my favorite movie of last year with the next movie on this list. I’ve seen this movie maybe six or seven times now? It’s fucking phenomenal. There’s no other movie like it. It’s so incredibly funny and everybody in this is putting in about five or six separate and equally insane powerhouse performances. I’m planning on writing a post about the Oscar’s soon, and I’ll talk more about this then. I don’t think it will win Best Picture because it’s far too weird for the old idiots that decided Green Book was the best movie of 2018. It definitely should win though. It’s so so good. I’ve never been more confused and awestruck in a movie theater before. There were a few times when I first watched it where I thought to myself “Am I high somehow?” I wasn’t, but it felt like I could have been. If you haven’t seen this you really, really should. It’s so hard to explain how good it is. It’s an incredibly funny movie but it’s also about intergenerational trauma and a woman reconnecting with her daughter and her husband and her father, and it’s a multiversal kung-fu action epic, all in one movie. I feel like I didn’t do this one justice by dual reviewing it with that okay Nic Cage movie. I love this movie. So good.

1. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
I love this movie a whole lot, but I’m not a fan of the title. It should just be called Glass Onion. I understand why they added the other bit. They wanted people to know that this is sort of a sequel to Knives Out and they couldn’t call it a Benoit Blanc mystery because it’s not likely people would remember who that is. So I get it, but it’s dumb and it doesn’t make sense. It’s still a very good movie though. Odds are you’ve seen it but I’m not going to spoil it. I’ll just say that I loved the first one and this one. I didn’t love that they made Covid a plot element in this, but it was handled well enough, and because they included that we got a hilarious cameo of a great actor who just shows up and disappears. So that was funny. The music and cinematography were both excellent, all the performances were incredible, and I just thought it was so fun from beginning to end. Daniel Craig’s Southern accent is ridiculous and also kind of charming, and the way he says certain lines just kills me. There’s a very specific moment in which he’s referencing my least favorite actor in the world and the way he said his name made me laugh so damn much. Great movie. Thank you, Rian Johnson, for revitalizing the ensemble whodunnit genre. There were two other ensemble mystery movies last year, Death on the Nile and See How They Run. The latter is another fun sendup of classic whodunnits and the former is a boring lifeless slog of a film. Sorry, Kenneth Branagh, I still love you.

One Great TV Show I Watched In 2022
I’m really only talking about one show. The best show that’s ever been made. I mean, statistically it probably isn’t. I’ve heard The Sopranos and The Wire are great too but I don’t have time to watch those. Let’s say it’s the best show I’ve watched. There.

So if you’re not aware of this show or what it’s about(You probably haven’t. It’s critically acclaimed, but it’s also on Apple+, the streaming service that lots of people don’t have.), I’ll give you a quick rundown. Severance is about a mysterious company that has invented a procedure known as severance, in which the minds of their employees are severed so when they’re at home they remember nothing about what went on at work and vice versa. Which is obviously a very fucked-up concept that involves creating a whole new personality inside of you that only exists inside this insanely complicated and very suffocatingly insular, soul-crushing office building. The people working there don’t even know what they’re doing or what the company makes, and they know nothing about their outside selves. They’re left to wonder whether they have families or what their outside personalities are like. The show is specifically centered on Mark Scout(The great Adam Scott), a teacher who quit his job and went through the severance procedure so he could avoid coping with the recent death of his wife. When the show begins he’s been working with the company for two years, and one day his best work friend and supervisor Petey mysteriously leaves the company all of a sudden, leaving Mark to become the new department head. I won’t say much else from there. It’s a fantastic show full of suspense and also kind of funny in a really weird way? All of the performances are incredible. The other great people in this show include Britt Lower, Zach Cherry, John Turturro, Christopher Walken, Tramell Tillman, Jen Tullock, Michael Chernus, and Patricia Arquette. It’s been out for almost a year now. Watch this show. I love it all. I love the music, the cinematography, everything. So good.

Paul Rudd’s Slightly Underwhelming 2022
I haven’t published a separate Ruddtrospective covering Paul’s cinematic output of 2022 because he wasn’t in much. He mostly cameoed in things and I don’t want to write a whole post about the brief appearances he made in other things. So I’ll just speak briefly about four of the six small cameos that Paul Rudd made last year. The two I won’t be talking about are his appearances in Toast of Tinseltown and Chivalry, two British TV shows I have no way of watching.

The Bob’s Burgers Movie
One of my best friends loves Bob’s Burgers so a while back I decided I was going to watch all of it. I think I gave up midway through season 10? There’s a lot of that show. There’s an episode in there that I will cover eventually in which it is revealed that Tina Belcher, my third favorite character, has an imaginary horse friend named Jericho, who is voiced by Paul Rudd. Paul Rudd reprises this role in the movie although I really don’t remember him saying much? He’s in it though. The movie was good, too. It was like an episode of the show, which I always enjoy.

Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers
This is a wonderful and very funny movie that was just kind of dumped onto Disney Plus, so it hasn’t really gotten the recognition it deserves. It’s like a modern day Who Framed Roger Rabbit? in that it brings together many different franchises and animated characters. But unlike it’s other modern day counterparts, Ready Player One and Space Jam: A New Legacy, it’s a funny and well-written movie made by people that know how to make movies and aren’t seemingly completely incompetent(Insult directed towards the people who made Space Jam: A New Legacy.). It’s also made by The Lonely Island production company, who have made many other great things in the past and didn’t just suddenly forget how to make something good or watchable that demonstrates even a basic understanding of the material they’re working with(Insult directed towards Steven Spielberg, director of Ready Player One which is just such a horrible movie and I hate it so much. Watch The Fabelmans though. That’s a good movie.). Anyway it’s a funny and clever movie about Chip and Dale, real life celebrities that starred in a TV show in the 90’s who now have to solve a mystery. Paul Rudd appears briefly as himself at a convention. He’s signing an Ant-Man Funko Pop! while explaining that originally his character was meant to be called Aunt-Man, a man who is loved by aunts. I think that’s a funny joke. I watched this movie on my phone in my living room at 9:00 AM and when he showed up I yelled. He is sadly not the funniest cameo in this movie. That award goes to Ugly Sonic. Look it up. This is a very fun movie, I think. You should watch it.

The Bear
The Bear is an excellent TV show that you’ve probably heard of because everybody loves it. It’s a very stressful show about a man taking over his brother’s sandwich shop in Chicago. You may be thinking, “Paul Rudd is in this? What?!” Yep. In the season finale he voices a video game character that the repairman imagines is speaking to him. He says one line. I don’t know why or how he’s in it, but I know what Paul Rudd’s voice sounds like, and that’s Paul Rudd. Everybody should watch The Bear though. Only if you’re doing okay mentally and emotionally. It’s a fantastic show and one of my other favorite actors, Oliver Platt, is in it briefly.

Only Murders in the Building
Of all of Paul Rudd’s 2022 cameos, this is the most significant, because we know definitively it will lead to a more Paul Rudd performance later on down the line. If you don’t watch Only Murders in the Building, spoiler alert I guess, but I can’t imagine you’d care much. The season finished many months ago. Anyway, Only Murders in the Building, if you aren’t aware, is a mystery comedy TV show starring Selena Gomez, Steve Martin and Martin Short as three unlikely friends who solve murder mysteries in their fancy New York apartment building. Season one was very good, in my opinion. I didn’t love season two. I thought it kind of meandered along. The finale in particular was odd because the main storyline of season two is resolved about ten minutes before the episode ends. Martin Short’s character is asked to direct a play and then there’s a one year time jump to the opening night of said play, where we find out that Steve Martin’s character is also in this play, acting alongside a seemingly very bad person, Ben Glenroy. Would you like to hazard a guess as to who plays Ben Glenroy? Anyway, he dies during the opening moments of the play. Only Murders in the Building always gives their murder victims a lot to do, and so far both murder victims have had an episode dedicated to the day they died. I’m very excited. Obviously he didn’t have much to do in this episode, but he’s such a great actor. He was in it for maybe five minutes and it was my favorite part of the whole season. Here’s to a very exciting season three! Also Meryl Streep is gonna be in season three and that’s cool.

Well, look at this. I finally finished ranking fictional things that happened in 2022. Now I can move on and post about different things. Like Paul Rudd! Because Paul Rudd is in an upcoming Marvel movie that I’m going to review once it comes out. And before that he was in three Marvel movies that I have not yet reviewed, which I plan to post about before Quantumania comes out.

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