Category Archives: awards

Quick picks 2022

Some very quick picks indeed this year, for a couple of reasons.

First of all, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic the major streaming platforms — Netflix, Amazon Prime, Apple, Disney+ — all sought to entrench their position in the film food chain, with many major releases going direct to people’s homes. This didn’t affect me too much, as I’ve only been in a cinema a couple of times in the last decade. However, the other thing about a lot of direct-to-streaming releases is that they never come out on DVD. As time goes on, I suspect this is a situation that will only get worse, as cinemas and DVDs both become fossilized cultural artefacts. But then, so are blogs. Social media itself might soon be going the same way.

Second, I didn’t get around to seeing many new releases even on DVD, and those I did see were mostly crap. Or, to be a bit more charitable, movies that I thought might be at least passable but turned out to be somewhat below that. I’m starting to think that new movies just don’t interest me all that much, which shouldn’t surprise me since new fiction doesn’t interest me as much as it used to either. I usually try to plow through as many new releases as I can in November and December in order to prep for this post, but this year I just couldn’t be bothered with what I saw on the shelves.

In any event, here we are with the 2022 releases that I watched in 2022.

The Batman
Bullet Train
Crimes of the Future
Death on the Nile
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Gasoline Alley
Infinite Storm
The Northman
Thor: Love and Thunder

Just you try picking some winners out of that field of beauties!

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Quick Picks 2021

Time for my fourth annual end-of-year awards for the best (and worst) of what I was watching. You know the drill: only movies released in the past year that I saw in the past year are eligible. And since I have to wait for most of the movies I see to come out on DVD, that means November and December usually have me sprinting to the finish trying to play catch-up. It also means that no movies with a theatrical release late in the year are likely to be in the mix.

I worked hard in the last few weeks and managed to catch 24 movies out of all that 2021 had to offer. That’s pretty good for me! Unfortunately, the moves I saw were . . . well, here’s this year’s stellar line-up.

Black Widow
The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It
Cosmic Sin
Don’t Breathe 2
False Positive
The Forever Purge
Godzilla vs. Kong
Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard
Ice Road
Judas and the Black Messiah
Jungle Cruise
The Little Things
The Marksman
The Mauritanian
A Quiet Place Part II
Space Jam: A New Legacy
The Suicide Squad
Those Who Wish Me Dead
The Unholy
Wrath of Man

As has become usual there are a lot of sequels and franchise entries. But does that mean they were all bad? Not quite.

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Quick Picks 2020

Back again for a very tricky third instalment of my annual awards show. Why tricky? Well, as you know, the rules are that I can only give out prizes to movies released in the past year that I saw in the past year. And guess what happened? There was a pandemic. A lot of movies ended up being released directly to streaming platforms, and I don’t subscribe to any of those. Which means that I really had my work cut out for me. In 2018 I only had a slate of 13 movies to choose from. Last year I upped that to 20 titles. But this year I dropped down to 10. That doesn’t give me a lot of wiggle room. But in some cases that only made the competition more intense!

Here is the list of movies that qualified in 2020:

Bad Boys for Life
Bill & Ted Face the Music
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Brahms: The Boy II
Fantasy Island
The Grudge
The Invisible Man
The Social Dilemma

Whew! Not very pretty, is it? Well, let’s get started.

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Quick Picks 2019

Welcome to my second annual awards show. In case you missed what happened in 2018, here are the rules. First I make a list of all the 2019 releases that I saw in 2019. This is a long, long way from being a representative sample of anything, with the titles being drawn mainly from the DVD Quick Picks shelf at my local library. As you will immediately notice, this sampling includes few if any of the usual suspects that get awards from presitgious critical bodies. They just happen to be movies I felt like watching on a given day, for whatever reason. From this list I then pick my own best and worst film of the year, best actor, best actress, and best screenplay.

Here is the list (I can’t really call them nominees):

Alita: Battle Angel
Annabelle Comes Home
Avengers: Endgame
Captive State
Child’s Play
Cold Pursuit
The Curse of La Llorona
The Dead Don’t Die
Escape Room
Happy Death Day 2U
The Haunting of Sharon Tate
It Chapter Two
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Pet Sematary

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Quick Picks 2018

Most of the new movies I make notes on for this site I watch on DVDs that I grab from the Quick Picks shelf at the library, so I tend to be a few months behind the latest theatrical releases. I don’t really try to keep up on what’s playing in theatres, and at the end of the year I’ve usually seen only a handful of movies that are eligible for consideration by the people who hand out prestigious awards.

Of course, not many of the movies I see are the kind that are in the running for awards. Still, I thought it would be a fun exercise to try to do my own year’s best (and worst) list based on a ridiculously narrow sample. How narrow? In 2018 I only watched a baker’s dozen of movies released that year. Here is the list.

Black Panther
Deadpool 2
Death Wish
Game Night
A Quiet Place
Red Sparrow
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
The Strangers: Prey at Night
Tomb Raider
Truth or Dare

Yes, I know. I’ll even confess to feeling a bit embarrassed. It’s not a line-up rich in cinematic achievement, or even one that suggests any aspirations in that direction. But that will make my end-of-year awards all the more challenging. And I love a challenge. So here we go.

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