June 2022 In Review

We're halfway through 2022, and quite the month it's been. The past month was a quiet one by my standards, but was full of franchise watches involving wizards, cyborgs, and friends performing shocking stunts. So, let's see what films I watched this past June.

Jackass 4.5 (2022) - 4/5 - After the wonderful Jackass Forever, it's a treat to see this loving family back together for another instalment. This 4.5 film gives more time to the brand new members, particularly Zach and Poopies, while also including the excellent Dark Shark for more fun. It's fascinating to see how many gags were filmed around so many different members taking part, another round of trauma to Ehren's balls is equally hilarious and difficult to watch, and it's welcoming to see Lance Bangs vomiting again. There were instances which offered insight, although it did cut tension in places and veer towards feeling like a DVD extra, but I had a lot of fun watching this.

Everything Everywhere All At Once (2022) [rewatch] - 5/5 - I try not resorting to hyperbole, but this may be one of the best directed things I've ever seen.

Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers (2022) - 2.5/5 - I adored Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping so I went into this with high hopes, and was unfortunately left rather disappointed. There's such fun to be had in this world building, particularly with the ideas of long outdated characters being shipped off to star in bootleg movies, and Andy Samberg is such a delight in his role. I do wish the film made me laugh more, and didn't resort to "look at this reference" too often as it could get tiresome. Plus, considering what happened to Bobby Driscoll, the stuff involving Peter Pan as a washed-up child actor felt really tasteless.

Best Film of the Month and Best Film
Rewatched: Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Village of the Damned (1960) - 3.5/5 - What a fun, little creepy tale this was. An engaging tale which grabs your attention from the opening, as a town falls unconscious due to unknown circumstances and leaves every woman pregnant. The subsequent children are born platinum blonde, pale, and with striking eyes to match their telekinetic abilities. The creepy children brought a chilling tone with them, effectively played within this lean and effective picture.

Jackass 2.5 (2007) - 2/5 - As somebody that's enjoyed the Jackass films, this just left me disappointed. It's effectively the lesser stunts cobbled together for an extra film, and while some can be fun, the majority are lacklustre attempts to stick stuff up peoples butts. It's clear why Jackass Number Two is the series' best film when this unfortunate assortment is what's left over.

Best Film Watched In Cinemas: 
Everything Everywhere All At Once

Men (2022) - 2/5 - I've been a fan of Alex Garland's directorial career, particularly the big swings he takes, although this instance didn't land for me. Despite the excellent score and terrific performances from two phenomenal actors, the assortment of ideas here felt too superficial for me and didn't come together by the end.

The Karate Kid (2010) - 1.5/5 - The last film I have to watch in The Karate Kid series, and I may have saved the most boring for last. From the tired performances to the uninteresting direction, and especially the poorly shot fight scenes, this was an overlong and overly dull affair that felt lifeless throughout.

Best Film Watched For The
First Time: When Harry Met Sally...

Enter The Void (2010) - 2.5/5 - A hallucinogenic trip through the afterlife that feels overlong and undisciplined.

The Sound of Music (1965) - 4/5 - This Robert Wise musical has long been a blindspot for me, and having finally watched it, I'm glad to say it's an excellent film. An enjoyable film about a free-spirited wannabe nun who acts as governess to seven children, and teaches them and their widowed father to love life and embrace music once more. It's a plot that could fill any number of half-baked films, yet works exceptionally here thanks to the charming performances which have gone into the lovable characters. The length is felt at times, although this is mostly a breezy and well paced film which takes a more sinister tone in the final act, as the spectre of fascism rears its ugly head and leads to a tense moment in a cemetary. A wonderful film that takes you on an experience, complete with excellent songs.

Rocketman (2019) [rewatch] - 4.5/5 - Rewatching this film, it's astounding how such a phenomenally directed piece with a killer lead-performance from Taron Egerton was largely ignored during awards season. The way it gives each song its own identity, from the visual style to how it's integrated within the story, is exceptional. Plus, I cannot deny the hug at the end left me feeling emotional.

Biggest Disappointment:
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers

The Bloody Man (2022) - Review to come

The Black Phone (2022) - 3.5/5 - In the summer of 1978, 13-year-old Finney is abducted by a sadistic killer called The Grabber and locked in a soundproofed basement. All that keeps him company is a disconnected black phone, which often rings and allows Finney to talk with The Grabber's previous victims. Scott Derrickson utilises the interesting premise to deliver a creepy film, ready to keep viewers engaged and having an enjoyable time. It's home to some tremendous performances, particularly an unsettling Ethan Hawke and a scene-stealing Madeline McGraw. It feels like a Stephen King novel, although that comes with the feeling there was so much more explored within the source-material that made for a more complete tale and leaves this adaptation with some extraneous leftovers. While the film isn't overlong at 102-minutes, there's a tighter 80-minute film within that would be even better. Thankfully, what's been delivered remains rather good.

Jurassic World Dominion (2022) - 1/5 - A film which discards interesting ideas to play things safe, in toothless and uninteresting ways.

Biggest Surprise: Village of the Damned

Hotel Transylvania: Transformania (2022) - 2/5 - Upon watching the third film, Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, I felt the series had run out of ideas as that film revolved around a holiday abroad and the single characters getting girlfriends. This fourth instalment absolutely backs that up, as it centres around the Johnny becoming a monster while Drac and his friends become human, as well as retreading Drac learning to not hate his son-in-law. I've been an apologist for this series, particularly when I found inventive gags and a love for monster movies within the DNA of this family-friendly series. Here, this feels like a contractually obliged sequel that got begrudgingly made and plays as such. It's no wonder Genndy Tartakovsky, Adam Sandler, and even Kevin James didn't return.

When Harry Met Sally... (1989) - 4/5 - I filled this prominent blindspot for me, and the result was a thoroughly charming time. Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal are the winning pair, going through turbulent times before their characters become friends who don't want to admit their feelings for each other. Director Rob Reiner and screenwriter Nora Ephron craft a heartfelt and humorous tale that's engrossing, and left me eager for the title characters to end up together. Special mention is deserved to Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby in their tremendous supporting roles.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001) [rewatch] - 3.5/5 - Between Chris Colombus' direction and John Williams' score, this magical world is given life in such fantastic ways which have become rightfully iconic. The story itself feels a bit all over the place, courtesy of the books episodic nature which leaves important things told through exposition, especially with having to justify the villain reveal. The young actors are trying their best, but their range is rather limited, leaving for the older cast members to compensate with their performances, particularly an acerbic Alan Rickman and an often soft-spoken Richard Harris. As a start to this franchise on-screen, it's a solid beginning.

Worst film of the month:
Jurassic World Dominion

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) [rewatch] - 3/5 - The sophomore entry into this franchise feels like a retread of the first at times, particularly in how it tries cramming in disparate plot strands from the book into an overlong film which feels all over the place. This time, it includes a mystery which feels forgotten about for too long, casting a gaze on wizarding racism, and stronger performances from the young cast. The third-act is exciting as magical beasts enter the battlefield, Jason Isaacs is a sinister delight as Lucius Malfoy, and Kenneth Brannagh's scene-stealing performance leaves me wondering why he doesn't portray more pompous characters instead of Russian villains.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) [rewatch] - 5/5 - Any excuse to rewatch this action masterpiece is good by me. An exceptional film that subverts its predecessor with phenomenal action and state of the art effects, holding up so well 31 years after its release.

Sleepaway Camp (1983) - 3/5 - What a wild film this is. An 80s slasher that's equally gleeful in how over-the-top and nasty it is, with one particular kill leaving me wincing. Despite this, the mystery of it all feels reverse-engineered around the twist ending, while the inexperienced filmmaking and lacking budget are distractingly evident. Still, I had fun for the 85-minute runtime.

Best film of the month: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Best film seen in cinemas: Everything Everywhere All At Once
Best film watched for the first time: When Harry Met Sally...
Best film rewatched: Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Biggest Disappointment: Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers
Biggest Surprise: Village of the Damned
Worst film of the month: Jurassic World Dominion

Number of films watched: 19