The 2022 movie experience is now in the past, and I personally found movies released in this year to be quite creative and engaging. Something about the curation of released films felt focused on getting back to a pre-Covid moviegoing experience—getting folks in seats, keeping them/us visually stimulated, and cultivating a sense of community via varied expressions of nostalgia.
I ended the year having watched 64 films (down 15 from 2021), and though I enjoyed the majority of the films watched, there were still films that had room for improvement. As stated last year based on a mini-discourse with a fellow film lover (ultimatemovieaccount on IG): “There isn’t really a “bad film,” just films that didn’t do enough/missed the mark, and were “just okay” when they’ve could’ve been better.”
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Understanding the statement above, and stated again from last year, I recognize that directors also operate under the capitalist umbrella. Films and the people who make them are expensive, and it means getting as many people out to see your film as possible in order to recuperate that money. Because of that, I think it’s EXTREMELY important for filmmakers to be mindful of either how films can feel for multiple demographics so that the money coming in from genuine interest isn’t a regret for moviegoers; OR for the industry and filmmakers to think about different avenues to fund and promote projects that may not be universally appealing so that too much money isn’t spent with the risk of too much loss.
With that being said, below are the 10 films of 2022 that “could’ve been better”:
10. #Amsterdam by director David O. Russell; story by David O. Russell.
The positive was the acting chemistry amongst Bale, Robbie, and Washington, and even the pacing which met the expectations of the trailer.
The downfall of this film for me is that it felt “safe” despite having a story focus on racial issues and Veterans. There was a lot of build up for a lackluster conclusion.
9. #MinionsTheRiseOfGru by directors Kyle Balda, Brad Ableson, & Jonathan del Val; story by Matthew Fogel & Brian Lynch
What I enjoyed about this installment to the franchise was the comedy and overall animation. Taraji was also a really engaging villain, and themes were solid.
Even though the final product was well executed, I was a little exhausted with the Minion focus, and would’ve preferred to see a film that carried out the “Rise of Gru” component to the title a little bit more (giving Steve Carell his animation comedy moment).
8. #SonicTheHedgehog2 by director Jeff Fowler; story by Pat Casey, Josh Miller, & John Whittington.
I found the visual effects to be pretty solid, and the final battle scene was super engaging.
Unfortunately for me, and similar to Minions, I think the focus was on the wrong character. Personally, this should’ve been a Knuckles film.
7. #The355 by director Simon Kinberg; story by Simon Kinberg & Theresa Rebeck.
The premise of this bad ass woman team is something I appreciated, and the last 40-50 minutes of this film delivered everything I as anticipating from the trailer.
My issue with this film was the poor character development—mainly Jessica Chastain—in addition to that forced love story to still bring men into the picture. It was so odd.
6. #AMadeaHomecoming by director Tyler Perry; story by Tyler Perry.
I wasn’t genuinely engaged with this film until the end credit scenes. I also loved the “Rose” flashback scenes and the eye candy (Perry can pick some men LOL).
Unfortunately , this was the first Madea film where she came off more loud and annoying vs entertaining and funny. The character development also lacked.
5. #TheBubble by director Judd Apatow; story by Judd Apatow and Pam Brady.
What I enjoyed about this film was the overall acting and character commitments. Themes were also strong, and the helicopter moment was the funniest moment of the entire film for me.
Speaking of “funny,” that’s where this film fell short for me. It was meant to be a comedy, but everything about the jokes felt forced, and/or the timing of the jokes seemed bad. Characters were also a little chaotic in following through on a purpose.
4. #Spiderhead by director Joseph Kosinski; story by Rhett Reese & Paul Wernick (adapted from George Saunders).
This film had a lot of potential. Chris Hemsworth gave an engaging Act Three performance, the overall story idea was really interesting (focusing on inmates/criminals/the criminalized), and the crash scene.
The downfall for me is that this film could’ve been best delivered in the form of a series to unpack and followthrough on themes more clearly, in addition to supporting with pacing of the overall story. The execution just felt a little lazy. \
3. #BonesAndAll by director Luca Guadagnino; story by David Kajganich (adapted from Camille DeAngelis).
I was genuinely intrigued when I first saw the trailer for this film. Initially, I thought it was some “vampire-esque” story, but learned that it was something much more interesting.
What I enjoyed about the film were Mark Rylance’s performance, the scenes of anthropophagy, and some of the scenery stills.
Unfortunately , I found the writing to lack, pacing really didn’t support character intrigue, and not all camera work choices benefited the viewing experience. Personally, this adaptation would’ve been better as a well thought out series.
2. #Moonfall directed by Roland Emmerich; story by Roland Emmerich, Harald Kloser, & Spenser Cohen.
Unlike others who watched this film, I actually enjoyed the visuals—especially the takeoff with the waves. Yeah, it was extra, but so visually engaging.
Now everything with the characters were straight up trash! The storyline was quite messy, and everything I dislike about child actors in moments meant to be serious and/or sentimental was showcased with the character Jimmy.
1. #Beast by director Balthasar Kormákur; story by Ryan Engles & Jaime Primak Sullivan.
The best part of the film was the final fight between Idris and the Beast. I also liked the CGI for the making of the Beast itself.
My issue with this film is that there really wasn’t any character development and purpose given at all, but the film tried to make these things exist out of the blue. Not to mention, themes and character tensions were a mess.
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Let’s see what 2023 gives.