Mapping Bullet Train

Brad Pitt punching a life sized mascot.

Mapping Bullet Train

Back in 2022, there was this odd film that popped into the world, Bullet Train, which took place on a Shinkansen travelling from Tokyo to Osaka. For some, it was their film of the year, but I ended up being much more mixed on the movie. However, there was one thing I was thinking about when I sat down to watch the film – is it geographically accurate? This is what we will look at today.

I have taken the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Osaka before, so I thought this was something I could tick off in the cinema, but some of the station locations are shown very briefly or only in part. It took seeing it on digital release to nail this map down.

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M3GAN – Movie Review

TL;DR – A weirdly wonderful film, full of camp and tension.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

M3GAN in a pile of soft toys.

M3GAN Review

Artificial life discovering sentience is one of those thematic moments that can land you on the whole spectrum of cinema. It can be thought-provoking life After Yang, menacing like 2001: A Space Odyssey, or could flip about in between, such as Lost in Space. Today we look at a film that skews more towards the menacing, where we see that Asimov might have been on to something.

So to set the scene, Cady (Violet McGraw) is travelling with her family when tragedy strikes, and she is left alone to go live with her aunt Gemma (Allison Williams). Her aunt is not ready to be a parent, and both struggle to bond until Gemma shows Cady what she is working on. A new toy and AI robot girl called M3GAN (Amie Donald/Jenna Davis) that pairs and bonds with her primary user. Everything is going well until one day, when they have a conversation about death.

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Awards – My Top 20 Films of 2022

So far, in our awards, we have looked at Action, Animation, Best of Australia, Cinematography, Costumes, Emotion, Fun, Music, Tension, and Worldbuilding.

However, in this last entry into our Best of 2022 awards, we crown our Best Film winner of 2022.

All films are subjective, so our list might look completely different from yours. Of the 102 films we revied last year, 92 had their Theatrical/Streaming in 2022, which is the list we draw our entries from. You can see the complete list of movies HERE.

Much like last year’s list, we have had many staggered releases towards the end of the year. So we may have films here that were released in 2021 for you but 2022 for us, and there may be some omissions here because we won’t get those films until later in 2023.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s dive into the first entry in our list of Best Films of 2022.

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The Pale Blue Eye – Movie Review

TL;DR – It has a mood and the performances to match, but the narrative just didn’t hook me.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Netflix service that viewed this film.

Warning – Contains scenes that may cause distress.

Cadets in formation.

The Pale Blue Eye Review

It is time to jump back in time when women’s dresses came in many layers, the army was dressed in blue, and mutton chops were everywhere. It is an era I like when we jump into mysteries because it feels like a world where everyone is prim and proper, but that is just a veneer. It is in this world we find ourselves in as people start dying in the most unpleasant ways.   

So to set the scene, it is a foggy night, but from the gloom, we can see a man hanging from a tree. It is 1830 in Hudson Valley, New York, and Det. Augustus Landor (Christian Bale) has just been summoned to West Point Military Academy by Superintendent Thayer (Timothy Spall). They need someone with discretion. A cadet killed himself, and then his body was violated. This is a political timebomb, and the academy is desperately trying to get the case solved before certain senators in Washington find out.                   

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Awards – My Top 10 TV Shows of 2022

Our previous end-of-year best lists mainly focused on films because there is too much TV to get even close to a definitive list. However, this year there were too many good shows out there not to engage with them.

So this year, we will look at all the shows we reviewed last year, SEE HERE, and pick our Top 10 of the 34 shows we reviewed. For a show to count, it needed to end its run or season in 2022.  

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Worldbuilding that Astounded us in 2022

One of the benefits of film is that it is a visual medium, which means that it can do in a frame what it might take a book several pages of description to pull off. We see this the most in its ability to build worlds in front of our eyes.

These worlds could be great space operas exploring galaxies, small period piece that looks back in time, or anything. But when every part of the film is used to tell a story, you know it is good.   

So without further ado, these films showed excellence in Worldbuilding 2022. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers for the movies in question.

And the Nominees are –

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Tension That Kept You On The Edge Of Your Seat In 2022!

Well, we have looked at Emotion and swung wildly across the spectrum to Fun, and now we are completing that trifecta by looking at Tension. Tension is one of the most challenging facets of filmmaking because it requires the script, direction, acting, and editing to all work in tandem to evoke the perfect pace. If just one part of that group misses, then an essential part of the film falls apart.

In 2022 we continued to see some excellent use of tension used to build mystery, or to be the harbinger of the coming dread, or even the ticking clock of inevitability.   

So without further ado, these moments of tension kept us on the edge of our seats in 2022. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers ahead for the films in question.

And the Nominees are –

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Mummies – Movie Review

TL;DR – While there are moments here, nothing saves this film that stumbles in all the most odd places.     

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is an end-credit scene

Disclosure – I was invited to a press screening of this film.

the land of the living dead.

Mummies Review

Whenever you translate a film from one language to another, there is always a danger that something can get lost in translation. At least with an animated movie, you can edit the lip flaps and lose the synch issue that happens with dubbed films. Today we look at a movie that had its moments, but something did not make the jump from Spanish to English.

So to set the scene, thousands of years ago in Ancient Egypt, Thut (Joe Thomas) was racing around a stadium in a chariot. It is a brutal race with cheating and wheels full of spikes. Through some clever manoeuvring, Thut almost gets over for a win, that is, until his chariot disintegrates, sending him flying. Today, Lord Carnaby (Hugh Bonneville), a pompous archaeologist, is looking for the tomb of Princess Nefer (Eleanor Tomlinson). But when he opens the sarcophagus, he finds it empty. Because for some of the mummies, death was not the end.

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Awards – The Musical Scores of 2022 That Wowed Us

One factor that I will always look out for in a film is the musical score. I can get caught in the world of music as it sits in my head in the days, weeks, months, and even the years that come. There is immense artistry in weaving emotions from music, having us slip into the world that is created, fear the oncoming dread even if we do know why, or rejoice in the triumph of that final victory.

Music charts the cinematic world, as it guides us, lifts us up, and can crush our souls. This is its power. So without further ado, these are the musical score that moved us in 2022. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question.

And the Nominees are –

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The Films from 2022 That Put Some Fun Into Our Lives

We looked at the films that hit us in the feels with emotions in our last awards. Now it is time to hard pivot to the other side of the spectrum with a look at the films that were a riot of fun. So today, I take a moment to champion those films that brought the joy, whether through upbeat action, one laugh after another, or that silliness that brings a smile to your face.

So without further ado, these films brought fun in 2022. Be warned that there may be slight spoilers for the films in question.

The Nominees Are –

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