My Top 10 Films of 2022

1. Women Talking
2. The Banshees of Inisherin
3. Weird: The Al Yankovic Story
4. All Quiet on the Western Front
5. RRR
6. Everything Everywhere All At Once
7. She Said
8. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery
9. Thirteen Lives
10. Emergency

My Top 10 TV of 2022

1. Barry S3 (HBO)
2. After Life S3 (Netflix)
3. Better Call Saul S6 (AMC)
4. Bad Sisters S1 (AppleTV+)
5. Ozark S4 (Netflix)
6. Severance S1 (AppleTV+)
7. Hacks S2 (HBO MAX)
8. Pam & Tommy (FX/Hulu)
9. What We Do In The Shadows S4 (FX/Hulu)
10. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel S4 (Prime Video)

My NEXT BEST (shows #11-20) TV of 2022

11. Euphoria S2 (HBO)
12. The Bear S1 (Hulu)
13. The Boys S3 (Prime Video)
14. Our Flag Means Death S1 (HBO MAX)
15. Heartstopper S1 (Netflix)
16. Andor S1 (Disney+)
17. The White Lotus S2 (HBO)
18. The Dropout (Hulu)
19. Dark Winds S1 (AMC)
20. The Handmaid’s Tale S5 (Hulu)

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

Kenneth Branagh may be getting all the credit for reviving the murder mystery genre with his remakes of Agatha Christie classics, but it’s writer/director Rian Johnson who deserves many more kudos for finding a way to not only respect the genre, but reinvent it, first with Knives Out and now, with his even more enjoyable follow-up, Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery. The only mystery now is how he will keep making these movies better each time.

Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, finds our hero from the original Knives Out movie, famed Southern detective Benoit Blanc, played with devilish charm by Daniel Craig, on his latest case, another featuring a gaggle of annoying rich people, all with a legitimate motive to murder the victim, eccentric billionaire Miles Bron, played by Edward Norton. Blanc finds himself invited to Bron’s exclusive island retreat, where Bron is throwing an elaborate murder mystery party for his small circle of close friends. What better way to make the party more fun than to invite the world’s greatest detective, who is assigned to figure out which of Miles’ friends follows through with killing him. It gets a little more complicated even than it sounds, but the joy in Johnson’s thoroughly engaging script is it’s easy to follow, even with all the many layers.

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Empire of Light

On paper, Empire of Light looks perfect. It’s written and directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes, whose last film, 1917, was a masterpiece. Mendes brings a mind-boggling production team with him, including Oscar winners Roger Deakins (cinematography), Lee Smith (editing), Alexandra Byrne (costumes), and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (original score) and it stars Oscar winner Olivia Colman. Not only is the team astounding, but the film is an homage to the beauty of cinema and is set in a seaside English town in the early ‘80s, which both hold potential for tonal and atmospheric bliss.

Unfortunately, the sum is far less than each of its parts, and never manages to come together as a whole experience worthwhile of all the talent associated with it.

Colman plays Hilary, the middle-aged assistant manager of an aging movie theater on the English coast. Hilary leads a relatively boring and lonely life, but when a new employee, Stephen, played by Michael Ward, arrives at the theater, he opens Hilary up to a whole new world. Stephen is young and black, and shares with Hilary both the good (music) and the bad (racism) elements that shape his life and outlook on the world. Hilary and Stephen forge a friendship that turns romantic, but Stephen soon learns that Hilary is carrying much more baggage than he can handle, and the journey of their relationship becomes fraught with societal and psychological obstacles.

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