This year, I decided to write down every movie I watched for the first time in 2021. It didn’t have to be a new film, just one I had never seen before and watched in its entirety. I watch a lot of movies, but I’ve never kept track in this way before. I’ve watched six movies that were new To Me so far, so thought I would list them and briefly talk about each one. Don’t expect anything indie or underground in this list–I’ll inevitably watch movies like that later this year, but I haven’t gotten there just yet.
Wonder Woman 1984: I think this was generally enjoyable, but not as good as the first Wonder Woman. Looking back I think the main issue was focus. The new characters were interesting, but even when they overlapped, it felt like separate storylines. I also think there should have been more fallout from the storyline with Steve Trevor, but generally I think he was the best part of the movie. Chris Pine is always great. Overall I always enjoy a superhero movie, but I don’t know if I would call this one particularly memorable, especially in comparison to the first film.
Tenet: This is the latest Christopher Nolan movie, and I had heard mixed reviews before I watched. Upon watching, I do understand why. It’s a very cool and interesting concept, but it needs a LOT of set up. The concept needs so much set up that the REASON that the concept is happening felt almost secondary? I don’t think it really came together before the second half for me personally. That said, the cast is fantastic. I always love Robert Pattinson and find him very magnetic on screen, John David Washington is wonderful and deserves all the praise he gets, and Elizabeth Debicki was definitely a standout. The visuals were also very cool and I would have loved to see those on the big screen. Overall not my fave Nolan movie, and I wish the first half was less muddled, but still an interesting watch.
Scoob: This is the most recent cartoon movie in the Scooby Doo franchise. While I actively sought out the other two movies, this is one that just happened to be available for free, my dad wanted to watch, Zac Efron voices Fred, so I sat down to watch it. It was alright! It was a light fun cartoon caper. The voice acting was all good, and the animation and story was generally fun. It made me laugh. If you’ve ever enjoyed a Scooby Doo movie, you’ll probably like this.
The Dig: Now for something completely different; this film is a British Netflix movie starring Carey Mulligan and Ralph Fiennes based on a true story about the 1939 archaeological excavation of Sutton Hoo. And I loved it. I cannot express how beautifully done this movie was. It could be quiet and serious and contained, and the acting performances felt so real and genuine. I really felt for these characters and understood their experiences and the parameters of their world. I cried at the end. Just beautiful.
Birds of Prey (and the fantabulous emancipation of one Harley Quinn): Along with The Dig, this is my favourite movie on this list. They are very very different movies, but I contain multitudes. I feel like this movie was exactly what I wanted and what I didn’t even know I wanted from a Harley Quinn movie. It was hilarious, it was dark, every character felt both over the top and real at the same time, the action sequences were fun, the aesthetic was fantastic. It was quite stylized which I love. I was really invested and laughing the entire time. I don’t understand why this movie is so underappreciated. Is it because people dislike DC movies? Is it because men are terrible? Is it because the marketing was poor? I don’t know, but I’m a big fan.
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before: Always and Forever: This is the third and final in the series of Netflix teen rom coms based on well loved YA novels which I have not actually read. I’m a bit older than the target demographic. But you know what? I really enjoyed it. I think the first movie in the series is still the best one, but this was a good one. It gave me a lot of nostalgia not just for high school but for that feeling of confusion and transition. I know these are generally pretty “fluffy” and often predictable movies, which is what they get criticized for, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. It was a nice watch after I had a headache all day, the aesthetic was nice, the characters were cute, and the pop music in the background was catchy.
That’s all for the year so far! In between I have watched some movies I have already seen and some TV shows, but those do not belong on this list. The second part of this will probably turn up in a month or two, depending how many movies I watch during that time.