Predicting the Nominations of the 95th Academy Awards

Goddamn, that shit really creeped up on me this month without realizing tomorrow sees the morning that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences names its nominees for this year’s Oscar ceremony. Since I wasn’t paying enough attention to the momentum (a lot of these felt like done deals for a while), you’ll forgive me for not elaborating too much on my predictions and merely present them so we can point and laugh tomorrow morning when I fucked up.

ETA 24 January 2023 – Post has been updated taking stock of what I got right and wrong. Items I predicted that did not make it through have received a strikethrough, items I did not predict that were added are in bold. Also in bold below are counts per slate of what I got right and my respective comments towards the results.

BEST PICTURE

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Elvis
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • The Fabelmans
  • Tár
  • Top Gun: Maverick
  • Triangle of Sadness
  • The Whale
  • Women Talking

9/10 Correct. I’m not too surprised with Triangle of Sadness‘ success here, but I hoped against hope for it to falter. Not that I was a Whale fan either. In any case, the result here is a Best Picture slate where – for the first time since the 87th Oscars – I actually love at least half of the nominees.

BEST DIRECTOR

  • James Cameron – Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Todd Field – Tár
  • Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness
  • Steven Spielberg – The Fabelmans

4/5 Correct. Absolutely mad that Cameron was snubbed for arthouse Adam McKay.

BEST ACTRESS

  • Ana de Armas – Blonde
  • Cate Blanchett – Tár
  • Danielle Deadwyler – Till
  • Andrea Riseborough – To Leslie
  • Michelle Williams – The Fabelmans
  • Michelle Yeoh – Everything Everywhere All at Once

4/5 Correct. That manic celebrity-driven campaign by Riseborough to get nominated for a film almost nobody saw actually landed. I can’t say much since I have yet to see either Till or To Leslie, but it’s maybe not a great look since that slot would have otherwise gone to either Deadwyler or Viola Davis (for The Woman King which is fucking awesome and we failed).

BEST ACTOR

  • Austin Butler – Elvis
  • Colin Farrell – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Brendan Fraser- The Whale
  • Paul Mescal – Aftersun
  • Bill Nighy – Living

5/5 Correct. Wiping dust off my shoulder.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Angela Bassett – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Hong Chau – The Whale
  • Kerry Condon – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Jamie Lee Curtis – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Dolly de Leon – Triangle of Sadness
  • Stephanie Hsu – Everything Everywhere All at Once

4/5 Correct. Pretty wild that despite the rise in nominations for Triangle of Sadness, Dolly de Leon missed out. She was maybe the only good performance in that piece of shit.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Paul Dano – The Fabelmans
  • Brendan Gleeson – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Bryan Tyree Henry – Causeway
  • Judd Hirsch – The Fabelmans
  • Barry Keoghan – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Ke Huy Quan – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Eddie Redmayne – The Good Nurse

3/5 Correct. Much deserved nomination for Henry certainly, though I imagine Dano will make this his villain origin story when he becomes the Jok– the Riddler.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • Martin McDonagh – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Todd Field – Tár
  • Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Ruben Östlund – Triangle of Sadness
  • Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner – The Fabelmans
  • Charlotte Wells – Aftersun

4/5 Correct. I wasn’t rooting for Aftersun in anything really, but man is Triangle of Sadness a downgrade.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • Edward Berger, Ian Stokell, & Lesley Patterson – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Guillermo del Toro & Patrick McHale – Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • Ishiguro Kazuo – Living
  • Ehren Kruge, Eric Warren Singer, & Christopher McQuarrie – Top Gun: Maverick
  • Rian Johnson – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
  • Sarah Polley – Women Talking

4/5 Correct. While Top Gun‘s nomination is deserved, I’m a little peeved – barring Living, which I haven’t yet seen – the only good screenplay in my prediction slate was sacrificed.

BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Argentina 1985
  • Close
  • Decision to Leave
  • EO
  • The Quiet Girl

4/5 Correct. Decision to Leave‘s snub is not as much a surprise to me as it appears to others – given Oscar’s chilly history with South Korea, Parasite aside – but it does disappoint me.

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

  • The Bad Guys
  • Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
  • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
  • The Sea Beast
  • Turning Red

4/5 Correct. Anything I was rooting for outside of Pinocchio and Puss in Boots honestly never had a chance. If Marcel the Shit with Shit On wins, I will slap every person I know who loves it. Backhand and fronthand. Somebody better crush that tiny shell before I grab a hammer and find it.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

  • All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
  • All That Breathes
  • Bad Axe
  • Fire of Love
  • A House Made of Splinters
  • Navalny

4/5 Correct. Honestly surprised I got so close. All I knew was Moonage Daydream wasn’t getting that shit.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • Roger Deakins – Empire of Light
  • Greig Fraser – The Batman
  • James Friend – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Florian Hoffmeister – Tár
  • Darius Khondji – Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
  • Claudio Miranda – Top Gun: Maverick
  • Mandy Walker – Elvis

3/5 Correct. Top Gun missing this slate is a major shocker (though I’d be lying if I said I lament this, great as the movie is). Khondji’s work makes sense as an entrant here, but I’m at a loss on what made Tar a nominee. Better than All Quiet‘s cinematography, though.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

  • Jenny Beavan – Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
  • Ruth Carter – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Shirley Kurata – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Catherine Martin – Elvis
  • Sandy Powell – Living
  • Mary Zophres – Babylon

4/5 Correct. I guess Oscar don’t love Sandy Powell THAT much. Kurata’s the only nominee who ain’t about the old guard.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Rick Carter & Karen O’Hara – The Fabelmans
  • Dylan Cole, Ben Procter, & Vanessa Cole – Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Daniel M. Goldbeck & Ernestine Hipper – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Rick Heinrichs – Glass Onion: A Knives Out Story
  • Jason Kisvarday – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Catherine Martin, Karen Murphy, & Bev Dunn – Elvis
  • Florencia Martin & Anthony Carlino – Babylon

3/5 Correct. No real comment except it wouldn’t have been a bad thing for Glass Onion to have made it here.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

  • Volker Bertelmann – All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Carter Burwell – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Alexandre Desplat – Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • Hildur Guðnadóttir – Women Talking
  • Justin Hurwitz – Babylon
  • Son Lux – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • John Williams – The Fabelmans

3/5 Correct. No love for Desplat, I guess. I’m glad the three predictions I loved most survived.

BEST FILM EDITING

  • Eddie Hamilton – Top Gun: Maverick
  • Michael Kahn & Sarah Broshar – The Fabelmans
  • Stephen Rivkin, David Brenner, John Refoua, & James Cameron – Avatar: The Way of Water
  • Mikkel E.G. Nielsen – The Banshees of Inisherin
  • Paul Rogers – Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Matt Villa & Jonathan Redmond – Elvis
  • Monika Willi – Tár

3/5 Correct. I really love The Banshees of Inisherin but its entrance into this slate baffles me. Terrible editing.

BEST SOUND

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Batman
  • Elvis
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once
  • Top Gun: Maverick

4/5 Correct. No real comment.

BEST MAKEUP AND HAIR

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Amsterdam
  • The Batman
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Elvis
  • The Whale

4/5 Correct. Man, I was fucking goofy thinking Amsterdam was getting any nomination.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • Avatar: The Way of Water
  • The Batman
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • Nope
  • Top Gun: Maverick

3/5 Correct. Genuinely embarrassing that Nope got snubbed in this specific category but Black Panther – featuring the ugliest visuals in the entire MCU – got the nomination.

BEST LIVE-ACTION SHORT

  • An Irish Goodbye
  • Ivalu
  • Le Pupille
  • Night Ride
  • The Red Suitcase
  • Sideral
  • Warsha

3/5 Correct.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

  • 38 at the Garden
  • As Far as They Can Run
  • The Elephant Whisperers
  • Haulout
  • Holding Moses
  • How Do You Measure a Year?
  • The Martha Mitchell Effect
  • Nuisance Bear
  • Stranger at the Gate

1/5 Correct.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

  • The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse
  • The Flying Sailor
  • Ice Merchants
  • My Year of Dicks
  • An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake and I Think I Believe It
  • New Moon
  • Save Ralph

3/5 Correct. I never fucking know what I’m doing with the goddamn short categories.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

  • “Applause” – Tell It Like a Woman
  • “Carolina” – Where the Crawdads Sing
  • “Ciao Papa” – Guillermo Del Toro’s Pinocchio
  • “Hold My Hand” – Top Gun: Maverick
  • “Lift Me Up” – Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
  • “Naatu Naatu” – RRR
  • “This Is a Life” – Everything Everywhere All at Once

3/5 Correct. Should have known better than not to predict the Diane Warren entry.

X Triple I, Friday Night

WARNING: Some of the below clips are NSFW

It’s that day again: the unlucky day, the day from which comes misfortunes, the day the Earth got dark, Jason’s birthday… of course, this long-superstitious date has been the namesake of one of the most iconic of horror franchises: Friday the 13th. And long time friends are also aware that it’s a franchise that is pretty close to my heart in an idiosyncratic way: my attitude and relation to it has changed in the 20 years since I first saw a Friday the 13th picture and that change feels like an anchor to how I’ve developed as a slasher AND a horror fan.

I’d of course love to go into further detail movie by movie on that personal history, but I’ve felt like I’ve watch several of these movies WAY too many times in the last five years (including a full binge between 2020 and ’21 when that awesome Scream! Factory set dropped) so I think that’ll have to be left for a distant future when I’ve given them enough space to hit me again. Still, I simply did not want to let a Friday the 13th pass me by without some acknowledgement of the franchise.

I figured what better than to list my favorite examples of that franchise’s raison d’etre: the continuous body count in creative and ludicrous ways, playing into my thrill watching special effects transform a muted bit of play-acting into an awe-inspiring work of grisliness.

2 Honorable Mentions from the unearthed Part 2 gore footage so they don’t count really:
– Alice Hardy (Adrienne King), whose pick to the temple was way too tame and finding out the full shot revealed the point poking out on the other side of her nose turning it into a genuinely disturbing effect.
– Jeff Dunsburry (Bill Randolph) and Sandra Dier (Marta Kober), speared mid-coitus in a way that is way too obvious a rip-off of Twitch of the Death Nerve but still absolutely disorienting in its marriage of this subgenre’s fascination with sex and violence.

1 Honorable Mention from the first movie just to round this list fully to number one:
– Pamela Voorhees (Betsy Palmer) – the villain of the first film – getting decapitated by Alice. Less for the actual decapitation effect, impressive as it is, but for the grim aftermath of watching her hands come out and try to reach where her head used to be before her corpse falls.

(FTR, if you happen to own the Scream! Factory set, I HIGHLY encourage you to watch the uncut gore effect footage of both Part 2 – which was at one point thought lost and has a fascinating story as to its recovery – and The Final Chapter. They are very much the most thrilling special features in a very jam-packed set)

10. Tina (Camilla More) in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Defenestrated from outside, landing on a car

Real talk: there’s two other deaths from this fourth entry coming but I could easily make half of this list using only this movie (big ups to Crispin Glover taking a cleaver to the face – I just really love a classic backwards-run film effect – as well as Alan Hayes being lifted up by a harpoon gun to the groin and Lawrence Monoson getting stabbed in the back of the head against a projection screen and leaving a trail on it).

Being the triumphant return of movie gore genius Tom Savini so deep into his career, he seemed to genuinely treat this opportunity as a real homecoming ceremony. And yet I chose one of the least gory deaths for my number 10 largely because of how… honestly, how stately it feels: utilizing what I expect was the stunts background of both Ted White (the actor who plays Jason) and Savini*, there’s a real sense of pose to each shot of this scene amplified by the slow-motion and punctuated by the illogical explosion of the car Tina lands on. It makes no sense but each visual is high impact: the hands crashing through the window, the outstretched crouch of Jason on the roof, the horizontalness of Tina’s final landing. Elegant and brutal without feeling as exploitative as the series usually goes.

9. Amanda (America Olivo) and Richie (Ben Feldman) in Friday the 13th (2009) – Sleeping bag immolation for her and machete to his brain after being caught in a bear trap

Yeah, ok, I included two people dying in the same scene as one setpiece. Sue me, I had a lot of Friday the 13th kills to talk about and this pair is a brutal set and among the meanest. Since the opening 20-or-so minutes of this remake operate as a little fan film, there’s no time to waste dilly-dallying. By having Amanda and Richie killed in such close proximity that one of them watches the other die, it brings a grim fatalism and involving the bear trap as a bit of pre-murder torture for Richie reintroduces the earthy human woodsman that Jason originally was before the franchise transformed him into an impossible zombie halfway through. A physical personality we are more intimately introduced to once Jason himself appears in the movie and promptly jams that machete blade into Richie’s head.

8. Axel Burns (Bruce Mahler) in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – medical saw to throat and head twisted 180 degrees

Apologies to Colby Johnson, a bit player in Freddy vs. Jason, whose head twisting death was on an earlier draft of this list until I revisited this clip and found “oh no… this is the superior effect”, even in its abrupt cutting (for the record, the poke to the chest Jason does to Johnson in the Freddy vs. Jason variation is the only beat I love out of Ken Kirzinger’s Jason performance). I think there’s maybe an argument that the ridiculously short screentime the killing blows have (compared to the uncut footage in the special features) suggest a bleak abruptness to the act but I’m not that convinced for the saw part of the death (there’s so much fake blood letting we could have gotten out of it). The head twist, though… just suddenly cutting once the turn is complete is a real “lights out” attitude.

7. Deborah (Michelle Clunie) in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (unrated home video cut) – Bisection mid-coitus

The most puerile one of my list, which is just fine. The subgenre and franchise are both puerile and did way too much to run away from that (because otherwise the MPAA would punish them), but this is the high watermark of marrying that sex and violence altogether. It’s also simply the case that a good bisection death is among my favorite ways to play a horror movie death and while this may be among the fakest (if you slow the clip down, you can tell the fake torso already has a path for the impaling spear cut out of it), it’s that wonderful grindhouse attitude that endears the sequence to me. Right down to the final crash zoom between the cut pieces of the boyfriend freaking out as he’s sprayed with blood.

6. Jack (Kevin Bacon) in Friday the 13th (1980) – Arrowhead poking through the throat

Come on, you can’t beat a classic. Savini’s work on the first film may have been inhibited by a few things – his relative green status even with Dawn of the Dead already behind him, the miniscule budget, the ruthless cutting of the MPAA – but the arrow death never fails to impress me as a small-scale and uncharacteristic work of patience from this franchise: watching that dark little point break its way through the fake neck and just move around so the fake blood can rise up to a puddle. Extremely slow sequence implying a whole lot of misery just from one neat trick. And the amusement that the person who got such a death went on to be such a huge movie star.

5. Mark (Tom McBride) in Friday the 13th Part 2 – Machete to the face

Twice in a row, a relatively minimalist kill whose memorable aspect is more from the aftermath than the actual blow (in fact, it is unbelievable that the machete would hit Mark at such an angle without him seeing the assailant in advance, but anyway…). After the straightforward slamming of the machete right across Mark’s face, his being in a wheelchair means that the swing gives him enough momentum to slide backwards lifelessly down an endless amount of stairs in the rain. That image is really what delivers graveness to the scene, even with the corny freeze frame and flash to white. Impressive how well the effect survives the MPAA’s notes.

4. Julius (V.C. Dupree) in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan – Head gets knocked out in boxing match

The bravest motherfucker on this list and in turn the stupidest. It’s a long rooftop gag to have Jason mutedly execute a rope-a-dope on this character’s barrage of haymakers. But the final note of it pays off when we see Jason throw a punch that decapitates Julius with cartoonish cleanliness and lands right into an open trash container on the streets below. This is one of the four Friday the 13th movies I’ve seen in a movie theater and the audience was quiet and reserved throughout (which makes sense… this is my pick for the most boring entry, if not the worst). And then this sequence happened and everyone lost their hea– uh… went wild. Saving grace.

3. Jason Voorhees (Ted White) in Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter – Machete to the skull

The big man himself, finally taking what he spent three movies dishing. And in a particularly grisly fashion that suggests Savini saved his most grotesque trick for Jason, less out of watching that machete get stuck halfway through his face by fellow 80s movie icon Corey Feldman but watching Jason fall so the handle sticks the machete upwards and his head just slides slowly and gruesomely down that blade until it looks like the entire top of his head is about to slide off. Among the masterpieces of Tom Savini’s career, just as much as that arrow death.

2. Adrienne Thomas (Kristi Angus) in Jason X – Face frozen in liquid nitrogen and then smashed open

Come on, how could this not place so high? In a franchise full of creative deaths, this one is the most creative: playing into the futuristic science fiction elements to suggest just how much worse things can get with the advent of progress. You have your face shoved into an instantaneously freezing substance that instantly kills you inside so you don’t have to feel your skull shatter into a million pieces against a nice hard worktop surface. If I were Kane Hodder on that set playing Jason, I’d be excited for multiple takes of multiple fake dummies having their multiple fake heads slammed on that counter. It looks very stress relieving.

  1. Judith Williams (Debora Kessler) in Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood – Sleeping bag swung into the tree

My list changes throughout the years, but this always remains my single favorite scene in the whole franchise even in its relative bloodlessness (I mean, the body is covered when it hits the tree so there’s no ability to exhibit that until the aftershot). Obviously, a big part is the novel use of something as quintessential to camping as the sleeping bag for a weapon against the flora of the grounds, representing an underappreciated part of this franchise and its fascination with the arboreous setting and outdoor activity. But really what ensures it’s place at number one is what it establishes about Kane Hodder’s portrayal of Jason, my favorite of all the fine burly actors to have portrayed the hulking brute, in his very first movie under that mask. He’s big, he’s direct, and he’s very very pissed off. I imagine having to drag Kessler’s weight in that bag was a very exhausting activity even for an already veteran stuntperson like Hodder. But he really transforms that frustration into a merciless carriage that he maintains for the remainder of his time in the role. When he finally connects that bag against the tree and walks away, the message of the scene was made clear: Kane Hodder’s Jason was not here to fuck around.

*In fact, I was endeared three years ago to learn about a confrontation between Savini and White over the blocking of a kill sequence turning into them bonding over each other’s stunt experience.

Mann Tracht, Un Gott Lacht

Belated Happy New Year round Motorbreath parts. I’ve been taking it easy for the past week or so staying with a relative in an apartment without a tv and whose work desk does not feel as intimately familiar and comfortable to me as the one at home in Chicago for me. But I am currently sitting at the airport preparing to go back home sweet home and in turn have a couple of writing plans I’ve had simmering in my brain for quite a minute. A bit too many, it would appear so I’m not about to pretend my lazy ass is ready to complete all of them sumbitches. So there’s a couple that are definitely set in stone for me and a couple that I want to leave up to the tenor of my friends and readers as stuff that they might be interested in looking at the headlines for and then abandoning after half a read. Below I boldly elaborate on some of the writing I’m hoping to do round these parts through the upcoming year.

  • Definitely next on the plate is a dual review of Avatar and Avatar: The Way of Water (the former may post later tonight), but I’m wondering if that would be an opportune moment to review the full list of movies that at one point were the recorded highest-grossing picture of the year (un-adjusted for inflation): The Birth of a Nation, Jaws, Star Wars, and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial were already reviewed so those’ll be off the table and what’s left to fill that out is Gone with the Wind, The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Jurassic Park, Titanic, Avatar, and Avengers: Endgame (assuming The Way of Water doesn’t take the top spot by the end of its theatrical run, which is a likely possibility).
  • Also a certainty on account of how much I really want to do this – I was hoping to begin this with Memoria but that half-written review is still on draft – I will be going backwards chronologically with every movie I consider a five-star masterpiece and giving it a review. First up on this review will be what is currently my pick for best movie of 2022, so y’all can brace for when that list happens.
  • I think I’m a bit too burnt out of Friday the 13th to do a full retrospective on that series (I have a specific intended date in the distant future – not this year – to begin maybe a Friday the 13th/Nightmare on Elm Street dual tackle), BUT you can expect a fun list on the series on the occasion of the first Friday the 13th of the year.
  • It looks like I’m returning to Chicago from my holiday trip at a moment where the winter is a bit uneventful – after my initial flight out was delayed by a snowstorm – but once the snow comes back with a vengeance proper and I’m there to see it: I have a couple of my favorite portrayals of snow in film that I want to give their proper due with reviews. One of them happens to be a horror remake with its own horror prequel, so I’m likely to throw in the original and prequel to round it out to three. The other… well, we’ll see below…

Now here’s where we get to the stuff I’ll leave to how people seem to be responding to the idea:

  • This probably would have been more ceremonious to begin yesterday on the birthday of Miyazaki Hayao but it’s only today that I am returning to Chicago and therefore will have access to my blu-rays including Future Boy Conan: In anticipation of How Do You Live? coming out later this year – potentially Miyazaki’s final word – I would like to do a bit of double duty… what will start as a retrospective on Miyazaki’s directorial career will in turn transform around Nausicaa to a retrospective on all major Studio Ghibli film productions (I’ll be including The Red Turtle when I say “major”, but not ie. Recess: School’s Out). Obviously the sole exceptions to those are the Ghibli films directed by the late great Takahata Isao since that’s already covered, though I may think about throwing in his pre-Ghibli works.
  • Speaking of anime filmmakers, 2023 will see the year when the late Kon Satoshi would have seen the age of 80. That’s only a pretext for how I’ve been looking for an excuse to review his full canon, given how ostensibly undemanding you’d think four features, a tv show, and a short would be (and yet look how long I took to do that for Takahata Isao). Still such an outrageously small body of work almost entirely made up of masterworks of animation make it look really insistent for me to do a Kon retrospective.
  • One of those favorite portrayals of snow in movies I’m being coy about not naming is in fact the work of my favorite living filmmaker(s) and with 19 released features directed by them either together or separately (a 20th is due for this year after a festival premiere last year), absolutely all of them fascinating in one way or another, and absolutely none of them having been reviewed by me, I figure it would hurt to suggest a surprise retro for them.
  • Just for the sake of it, I’d like to tackle any movie I caught in theaters in high-frame rate while the experiences are still fresh in my weirdly good memory: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Gemini Man, and Avatar: The Way of Water (my apologies to Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, it appears I left New York City – the only place where it was possible to see it the way it was intended on release – at the wrong point and now it’s unlikely I’ll ever watch it without the opportunity of 120 fps 3D).
  • In addition to that, the much longer list of any movie I caught in IMAX since theaters re-opened in 2020: Tenet, Jaws, and E.T. the Exterrestrial are already accounted for but that leaves Dune, Ghost in the Shell, Moonfall, Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar, and Avatar: The Way of Water.
  • It is officially the 100th anniversary of the Walt Disney Animation Studios. And I’m marking that ceremony by watching a little of the early pre-Silly Symphonies shorts before I jump right into the full corpus of their Silly Symphones. I am not insane enough to suggest I would review every single one of those shorts beyond the customary letterboxd log (…yet) BUT! once I get to their feature films… it’s been a long intended run of writing for me to do and I figure there’s no better time to get it done: all 61 features leading up to this year’s Wish, plus I’ll throw in the 4 short segments originally intended for the cancelled Fantasia 2006.
  • With the recent news dropping in and out about the shaking up and dismissals of DCEU creatives after James Gunn and Peter Safran have been made the new heads of DC Studios, it’s looking very likely that the DCEU as it began in 2016 (Man of Steel don’t really count) shall no longer be. I don’t have nearly as pessimistic an attitude on this as some of the most annoying parts of the internet and it seems an inevitability given how little success that franchise had financially (Aquaman aside), but I do have a not-small amount of sadness as it seemed to eschew the forced-interconnectivity of most cinematic universes and the movies were almost always interesting – the more unwieldy, the better. With that, I suppose it’s time to finally fill in my gaps for the DCEU in anticipation of what look like the final movies coming out this year: the Snyder trilogy – Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman, and the Snydercut – are all covered along with the first Wonder Woman. The first Suicide Squad got reviewed back in 2016 but that shit is unreadable, so I’d like a chance to rewrite that one and in turn kick-start what will be followed up with Justice League (that is the original theatrical released version that has since been understood as belonging to Joss Whedon in spite of being credited to Snyder), Aquaman, Shazam!, Birds of Prey, Wonder Woman 1984, The Suicide Squad, Black Adam, and then the four upcoming theatrical releases that are likely to be the final DCEU works. I’m also willing to plan a heist with the appropriate motley crew for the shelved Batgirl, but let me keep my ambitions low right now.

Anyway, as I run through them motherfuckers, there’s a bit of miscellanea gap-filling that may happen. In order of likelihood of happening:
Top Gun in tandem with Top Gun: Maverick
– Completing the Indiana Jones series (after writing two posts for Raiders) for the momentous occasion of a fifth Indy picture that’s definitely going to be the first bad one.
– The notorious 1993 Super Mario Bros. in expectation of that upcoming animated movie.
– With Ghost in the Shell, throw in not only the sequel and remake but also Ninja Scroll to wrap up the “mature anime Western breakouts” that started with Akira. Also maybe Angel’s Egg, just ’cause
– Robert Eggers’ three features – The Witch, The Lighthouse, The Northman – just ’cause.
– Assorted 2022 releases I loved.
– Wes Anderson retrospective in anticipation of his two upcoming movies.
– The first two Magic Mike movies in anticipation of Magic Mike’s Last Dance
– The full Conjuringverse in expectation of The Nun 2
– At least the first two Creed movies – if not the full Rocky franchise – in expectation of Creed III
Scream franchise to get them out of the way before the 6th movie drops.
– The remaining Insidious movies preceding the already reviewed The Last Key in expectation of Fear the Dark.
– Taika Waititi feature film retrospective in advance of the much delayed Next Goal Wins to remind me of back when I loved him and map out his fall from grace.
Mission: Impossible series in anticipation of Dead Reckoning – Part One (which I feel I could procrastinate since… we definitely have a Part Two coming)
– James Cameron full feature filmography (I feel like I could procrastinate this ’til at least the release of Avatar 3 in 2024, which might even give me space to include his produced films like Point Break and Alita: Battle Angel)
– Wrap up those Ghostbusters movies I didn’t review after the first one since a sequel to Afterlife is slated for this year (and fucking why?)
– Any Star Wars feature films I have not yet reviewed ever since Disney murdered that franchise so hard they transformed it into a fucking tv franchise.
– The full Jurassic Park franchise so I never have to watch those sequels again.
– The full Godfather trilogy
– The full Jaws franchise
– Fill up those MCU gaps ever since I stopped post-Avengers: Infinity War ruining my will to live.

Don’t hold your breath on these, especially the lower they’re listed on this post but it’s nice to have everything I want to do with this fucking blog staring at me so intimidatingly.

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