With a particularly impressive 2022 so far, we look at whether the great films that might pass Scorsese’s ‘cinema’ test might turn the tide against blockbusters…
The year 2022 has been pretty horrible for everyone. From the cost-of-living crisis to the war in Ukraine to skyrocketing energy bills and farcical political spectacle, real life has been startlingly disturbing. The world of cinema was particularly impressive.
Two years ago, Martin Scorsese complained (and many other filmmakers and actors have expressed concerns as well) that cinema was increasingly being monopolized by general blockbusters and especially those pervaded by Marvel and Disney films.
As it happened this year, Marvel was hotly anticipated Thor: Love and Thunder It proved unpopular with critics and audiences and performed poorly at the box office. Taika Waititi, who usually can’t fault me, approached the movie a bit like he wasn’t interested in the character and legacy and just wanted to make an extended skit out of the material. The subtle dissonance, and the excessive absurdity, doubled what worked for him Ragnarokso much so that everything gets annoying in this one.
In fact, blockbusters have been a mixed bag, to say the least. Black Adam, despite critical hits, did well with fans and did well at the box office. It’s a rare 2022 movie that works on par with where it ought to be. However, this is still exactly the kind of movie that cinephiles feel is overwhelming the multiplex right now. No depth, no character refinement, no rewatch value beyond looking at bloated set pieces. It’s a theme park ride that’s largely CGI-powered. Increasingly, though, we’re seeing blockbusters of overly generic formulas encounter minor backlash from audiences. It turns out that many young audience members are already paying attention.
Then you have it Top Gun: Maverick. You might say this could just be the best exponent of theme park cinema, but where Scorsese might let it slip is in the sincerity with which the simple story and character arcs are performed. The park side is just an exciting ride led by these amazing and highly functional people. It’s a marvel of technical achievement without relying almost entirely on CGI. Thus, these set pieces invest you in a way that feels more like a gravity-defying Marvel hero against CGI backgrounds.
In terms of this mix of pure entertainment and engaging characters, Top Gun: Maverick It proved to be an exhilarating throwback to a better era of blockbuster films that were naturally more involved, in part because set pieces are inherently more realistic. The box office revenue was expected to be high, even higher than expected. All of this leads to the hope that even successful films, despite tried and trusted ideas, will take a more practical approach and seek to engage audiences on a more emotional and even physical level rather than making something easily digestible and instantly forgettable.
It was the other leading film of the year, certainly from a wide-ranging point of view Batman, Matt Reeves’ Detective Batman opus, which is exceptionally well-crafted and heavily focused on using as much hands-on action as possible. Plus, in what’s rare for blockbuster cinema these days, she had the proper director’s vision. Author movie.
Maverick As impressive as it may be, it’s not the most satisfying aspect of the year so far. This belongs to the huge number of interesting, engaging, creative and challenging films we have seen so far. Critics have also been suitably impressed, too, with a whopping number of films scoring over 85% on Rotten Tomatoes (and, for the most part, reacting to audience scores, too). Filmmakers and studios are making some excellent movies and audiences seem to be responding with ticket announcements, buys and/or streams.
Horror in particular has had an astonishingly good year. The kind of year we haven’t seen since the golden age of the ’70s probably hasn’t. Mia Goth has had not one great horror movie, but two. X And its prequel Pearl (Both from the mind of T-West). a Texas chainsaw An ode, followed by a stellar collection of Hollywood blockbusters from the Golden Age, with the twisted tale of the extraordinary Mia Goth at its heart. Both films were not only popular and critically acclaimed, but also Pearl In particular, Oscar recognition (or more relevantly, Gothic) is being talked about.
Then you have it barbaricAnd the Black phoneAnd the you will doAnd the Terrifying 2, grinAnd the victimAnd the You will not be aloneAnd the God’s madnessAnd the fingerAnd the observer And the no Opening to great reviews. Perhaps some of the franchise’s more general horrors have been more disappointing, such as The end of Halloween (which proves severe division) f Hellraiser (Which is solid if he forgot).
The most engaging and original horror films that sound psychologically engaging, creative, subversive, or effective abound. Going forward, this may be a preference over just creating generic supplement content (while victim As an example an interesting way to update predator knowledge). A24 are both directly into the movies they’re shooting, and many of the studio’s inspiring “style”, helped out tremendously in the upswing.
As someone who sometimes bemoans the frustrating lack of cinema or “special” movies that can be great fun without having to impress us with relentless CGI, I’m glad we had so many fun movies this year and such an eclectic mix of both well-worn but delivered. Experience or delightfully nostalgic works that still retain dramatic engagement.
We had Nicolas Cage like him The unbearable weight of enormous talent. It was a movie I saw on the big screen and it was one of the most fun and hilarious movies I’ve seen in ages. Light yes, but with just enough sincerity and heart to keep us interested, and a belly full of laughter. The flip side to that would be something old-fashioned, epic, and dense like Northman. It’s a movie as simple as Robert Eggers would likely make it with more than a passing nod Conan the Barbarian (Which honestly, seriously, actually has more layers.) However, it’s as wonderfully designed as you’d expect from Eggers with great performances and stunning cinematography.
One thing I particularly liked, and Tom Cruise is a welcome exception, is how little “stars” this year are on the whole. A huge strength of quality cinema this year was the fact that many films were filled with permanently underappreciated character actors or performers. The aforementioned Mia Goth catapulted from captivating supporting actress to leading lady to watch in the coming years X And the Pearl.
It was one of my favorite movies of the year Everything everywhere at once. It’s quirky, deliciously creative, hilarious, poignant, exciting and deeply dynamic. Best of all, it’s a lead role for the semi-criminally exploited Michelle Yeoh in her American films. She deserves more front and center roles, and more attention and appreciation. Here you hope you get it Everything is everywhere We hope to get some of Oscar’s attention.
Likewise, Ke Huy Quan made a triumphant return to mainstream cinema with the film. It is a nice. Both deserve Oscar nods for this. In terms of 21st century films, there is a selection of films that I can see myself considering as longtime favorites, or in my top 250. Everything is everywhere It feels like a movie (and I need a repeat viewing or two to confirm) that will keep its grip on me.
Another movie that will no doubt take the honor and become a personal favourite, is Anisherin from Inisherin. From one viewing, it really grabbed me. It’s an exceptionally well-written film, with layers of texture, depth, and insight. The characters are beautifully made and in the amalgamation of the elements, another movie that feels very much its own unique beast. On top of that, Colin Farrell, who is quickly moving on to become an exceptional character actor (especially the farther away from mainstream cinema) is admirable. Brendan Gleeson (one of the best actors in the business) is equally exceptional. Kerry Condon and Barry Keoghan enhance the film with two brilliant and heartbreaking performances.
The film’s nuance, which plays out like a fable, really pushes it past rival black comedies of late. It’s filmmaking on the level of a masterpiece. It’s exceptional now, but later scenes will only embellish the qualities and reveal more. Last year, I could look back on two of my all-time favorite games of 2007. There is no country for old men And the There will be blood. However, this year’s other films make it stronger overall than 2007’s.
From now on, as fans become saturated with disposable fare and potentially turn away from it, they may seek to see films that draw them more in than the end credits. Movies are remembered for sharpening their audience’s focus. Films that challenge us, push us, and insist on coming back to fill in the blanks. With such an incredible movie production in 2022, will we finally see the tide turn in favor of better, more memorable cinema? Best of all, the year isn’t over yet.
Tom Jolliffe is an award-winning screenwriter and passionate cinephile. He has a number of movies on DVD/VOD worldwide and several releases in 2022/2023, including Renegades (Lee Majors, Danny Trejo, Michael Pare, Tiny Lister, Nick Moran, Patsy Kensit, Ian Ogilvy, Billy Murray), Crackdown, When Darkness Falls and War of the Worlds: Onslaught (Vincent Regan). Find more information in the best personals site you will ever see here.