Last year, when I wrote The Hits and Sh*ts of 2020, I jovially jotted down how that year was abysmal; laughing that my mental health deteriorated to an all-time low. I even quipped how no year could be worse than it.
And then fucking 2021 came along and said “Hold my beer”. I was told 2021 was going to be different, and yet here it is, looking like John, and 2020 is Edward. (For those of you who don’t understand the Jedward reference, educate yourself, you uncultured heathens.)
Fortunately, this year saw restrictions easing – admittedly, for British politicians a lot earlier than the rest of the general public, but I’m not bitter. I’m not angry at all. I bare no ill-will towards those lying, untrustworthy, shag-eared, cabbage-headed, twatty snot bubbles that we call our leaders. Right?
And now that I’ve got that off of my chest, with restrictions being lifted, cinemas could reopen, thus meaning I could finally return, and get the bad taste of Tenet out of my mouth. I have been lucky enough to go to several screenings this year, and my girlfriend has been lucky enough to have some peace and quiet in our flat whilst I’m at the screenings.
So, without further ado, I’ll continue with the best and worst films, before I go on another rant about Boris Johnson, the potato-looking, pig-shagging fuck nugget.
The Harder They Fall
You had me at Delroy Lindo. And Jonathan Majors, Zazie Beetz, LaKeith Stanfield, Deon Cole, Regina King and Idris Elba. That’s a more impressive cast than the one I got when I broke my arm ten years ago. (Which explains why it still hasn’t healed properly.)
The Harder They Fall is effortlessly cool – it’s hyper-stylised, with huge energy, and a truly impressive soundtrack. It may take a lot of convincing to persuade people who aren’t into Westerns to watch this, but as soon as they do, they’ll realise how ridiculously stupid they’ve been for putting it off for so long.
Earlier, this year, I spoke to Jonathan Majors about his stint as Nat Love in The Harder They Fall, as well as the chances of him starring as James Bond. He also shared some secrets about how he rehearsed for his role as He Who Remains in Disney+’s Loki.
Nicolas Cage seeks revenge on the person who stole his truffle-hunting pig. What more do you need to know? If that didn’t sell it to you, nothing will.
Nicolas has – sorry, Nic – done some proper shit in his life, including – here we go… – The Wicker Man, G-Force, Ghost Rider, Next, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, and the list goes on. But I will go as far to say that Pig may be the best film he’s ever done, and it reminds you that he’s actually a really, really good actor.
Raya and the Last Dragon
You can call me a sad-o, because I have seen pretty much everything Disney’s ever released. Ever. Don’t even bother testing me on it; you’d just be wasting your own time. And I can safely say that Raya and the Last Dragon is one of my favourite Animated Classics. (And I’m not just saying that because Disney sent me a box of Raya goodies earlier this year. I’m not that fickle. But I am close.)
This film is stunning; the visuals truly encapsulates the traditional Southeast Asian cultures, and Awkwafina leads an incredible voice cast. She can do no wrong in my eyes – until you see one of her films in The Sh*ts section. Plus, there’s a kung-fu fighting baby. WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT?
Prior to the release of the film, I caught up with Kelly Marie Tran and Awkwafina to discuss Disney’s 59th Animated Classic, as well as the possibility of Kelly returning to Star Wars, and Awkwafina’s reaction to Harry Styles dropping out of the upcoming The Little Mermaid remake.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spider-Man: No Way Home is such a beautiful love letter to Spidey fans through the decades. For those of you who have been living on a rock, deep in a cave, on the moon… In a different galaxy, many previous iterations of Spider-Man’s villains, from other films appear, such as KING SHIT, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx’s Electro.
This film is just so much fun, and sets up an entire wild, bonkers storyline for the rest of the MCU’s upcoming films, with its Multiverse. Tom Holland is just such a fucking delight, and don’t even get me started on how poignant and emotional the final scenes are. I’m sobbing now thinking about it. Zendaya can do no wrong in my eyes – until you see one of her films in The Sh*ts section.
The Suicide Squad
I still stand by Suicide Squad (2016) being one of the most disappointing movies I’ve ever seen; definitely the worst superhero movie I can recall. But in Gunn we trust, as he – and the entire The Suicide Squad (2021) team – have delivered something so perfect, that I believe it’s going to be ridiculously hard to beat. And, yes, if you’re reading this right now and want someone to watch The Suicide Squad with you, I will take you up on that offer.
And if you watch to watch Suicide Squad (2016) with me, send me your address, as I want to post human feces to you.
I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with the cast of The Suicide Squad (admittedly, whilst very, very hungover) and spoke to Margot Robbie, Idris Elba, James Gunn and the rest of the cast about playing villains and – most importantly – dying whilst fighting a huge starfish. Of course.
Breaking News in Yuba County
Sadly for this film, I actually only watched it yesterday – on the very last day of 2021. It almost went under the radar. And yet… Here it is. In all of his shit-smeared glory.
I had such high hopes for this film; I love Allison Janney, Awkwafina, Wanda Sykes and a lot of its cast; I had such high hopes for this, expecting a wacky romp filled with calamity and hijinks.
Instead, what I got was just a pretty boring film that was, sadly, pretty fucking dire. This incredible cast deserved so much more than very unfunny jokes that result in them just being grim and super violent to each other. I – I suppose drilling someone’s face is funny, right? RIGHT?!
Do you want the good news or the bad news first? The good news is that I’ve watched Chaos Walking so you don’t have to.
The bad news is that this film is based on a book, which is part of a trilogy. We may be getting two more of these movies. What could have been very interesting and, well, watchable, just struggled to adapt its source material. Not everything written down should be adapted into a movie. Like, imagine this blog being made into a movie… It’d still be better than Music, am I right?
THIS. IS. OFFENSIVE. LET’S. MOVE. ON. QUICKLY.
Space Jam: A New Legacy
For anyone that knows me will know that I bang on about the original Space Jam an unhealthy amount. Not even in an ironic way. I bought it unnecessarily on Blu-ray. Who needs Space Jam on Blu-ray? Really?
And then the sequel came out. I saw “sequel” but that implies that it’s a follow-up full-length feature movie. Instead, Space Jam: A New Legacy is just a sodding long trailer for Warner Bros’ other IPs. This is such a painful error, because there was so much hope for this film; instead, it just shows off other properties like Game of Thrones, A Clockwork Orange and IT… At least they’re spot on for Space Jam’s target audience.
What could possibly make it worse? Do you fancy Don Cheadle straight up scream-swearing at a child? Yup. We’ve got that for you, too.
Tom & Jerry
The year is 2021. After hugely successful big-screen remakes of the Pokémon and Sonic the Hedgehog franchises, Tom & Jerry – naturally – did the same, but it didn’t feel right. Tom & Jerry just don’t work as a long-form piece of content. Their humour relies entirely on silent slapstick antics, which works in a short TV special as you’re pretending to eat cereal only to get the toy in the box. But for a 101 minute-long movie? That’s exactly why Detective Pikachu cast Ryan Reynolds as a talking Pikachu, as opposed to making the character mute.
I – I kinda feel heartbroken. Y’know, like, when a friend hands you their CV, asking you to hand it to your boss and put in a good word, but you know their work ethic is trash and they’re abysmal at everything they do, so you shred the CV and forget this whole event ever happened? (True story. I’m looking at you, Reece.)
The above event causes this painful ache in the pit of your stomach. I got a similar sensation when I spoke to Chloë Grace Moretz – someone who was so warm and amicable – only to, well, really, really dislike the film she was promoting.