Flicks With Nicki – Very Brief Reviews of Movies and Shows from 2022Nicki Salcedo. Photo by Fox Gradin.
Here is a round-up of Nicki’s short movie and show reviews from 2022.
The Adam Project
Do you like Ryan Reynolds? If yes, you should watch “The Adam Project.” Do you dislike Ryan Reynolds? If yes, you may still enjoy “The Adam Project.” Are you concerned that this movie might just be like every other Ryan Reynolds movie? A snarky, violent “Deadpool”? A snarky, romantic “The Proposal”? A snarky, goofy “Free Guy”? You wouldn’t be wrong. “The Adam Project” has snarky time-traveling Ryan Reynolds.
Don’t Worry Darling
I have no idea who said this movie was sexy. Yes, there were 45 seconds of sex. And zero seconds of sexy. For anyone who has watched the “Twilight Zone,” “Black Mirror,” “Stepford Wives,” and “Westworld”: You will get it. The trailer gives it away. Women are chattel. Still, I surprisingly found myself liking Chris Pine (the bad guy). The rest of the cast did what they could. Another movie I can’t call good. But it was certainly better than I expected. I was expecting hot garbage. In this case, it is worth the wait because at this point who cares. All the men needed to be killed with a hot poker of death, but Olivia Wilde went easy on them. Honestly, I would watch again because of that green bathtub. Florence Pugh spent so much time cleaning it. I was fascinated.
People in Los Angeles are weird. They attract even weirder aliens. Don’t trust animals. I spent more time reading the analysis of this film than I spent in the movie theater. Great actors and acting. Thoughtful themes. Spotty execution. Keith David is my all-time favorite actor. He was in two scenes! That’s it. Two!!! That alone should’ve been the red flag. 🚩 Would I watch it again? Nope.
Fun. 100% fun. Loved it. Will watch again.
Watered down “Lost,” “Westworld,” “Inception.” I really liked the cast, but the story was boring poop. Pacing like a slug. Nothing you learn in eight episodes matters when you get to the end. The last scene is absolutely predictable stupidity. Acting, costuming, sets were superb.
The Last of Sheila
Whew. The 70s were wild. Mystery movies never change. Fun and also like a trip back in time.
Long sigh. Why did I watch this? One good song. Dempsey looks pained throughout. James Marsden is a freaking gift. Grade C-
7 Women and a Murder or 7 Donne un Mistero (Netflix Italy).
We needed a post-“Glass Onion” fix, and we enjoy watching movies from around the world. Storytelling varies widely across the globe. This was a murder comedy. Not bad, but hard to call it good. Campy, bad acting, terrible plot and twist, headed in the direction of fun.
Top Gun: Maverick
Remember how Tom Cruise is the most annoying actor ever? This movie will make you forget that. I am not sure why I neglected to review this before. Maybe because it IS an all-around good movie. I have not seen anyone disagree. But I just watched it again with my kids and several things struck me. There are no villains. Maybe the villains are aging, the short time to the target, and a dramatically steep incline. The true enemy is not named and barely seen. When in combat, the enemy is a capable adversary. My husband dislikes movies where the hero is invincible. In this movie, all the heroes struggle. We experience the heavy breathing, black out, vertigo inducing flips, and panic of the Top Gun pilots. Jennifer Connelly is beautiful and strong. Her acting alone almost made me fall in love with Tom Cruise. There are 12 different moments of bromance. So many beautiful actors. I was here for all of it. Took my kids a minute to figure out Val Kilmer was the same as young Ice Man and also Madmartigan. I’ll show them “Batman Forever” another day. Really freaked them out when I explained Connelly was same angsty teen who wished her baby brother away in “Labyrinth.” Mostly, I never recovered from the death of Goose and this movie did everything to heal me of that pain. Y’all, I really want to give this one an A-, but…. Tom Cruise is my kryptonite.
Remember when Ralph Fiennes was the most beautiful man you’d ever seen? This movie will make you forget that. A couple of ventures to GET OUT island for an overpriced gourmet meal. If you’ve ever been served foam, you will laugh out loud several times. Then scream in terror. It is a thriller, comedy, and horror movie. Sorta. It mostly reminds me of “Boxing Helena” where the horror is delivered in the dialogue. At some point, you want everyone to die. Anya Taylor-Joy is a delight. A true stand out is Hong Chau as Elsa. Her “Yes, Chef!” is chilling and satisfying. The movie lacks a reason for why the staff is as unhinged as the chef. At another point, you stop caring. For that, the grade suffers. But is certainly fun to discuss after. Watch it and call me. We will chat over some bread.
This wasn’t for me. It should’ve been for me because I love A Christmas Carol. Will Ferrell is a ghost of Christmas present who must save narcissistic bully Ryan Reynold. I can’t go any further without warning you. THIS IS A MUSICAL. I’d not saying I dislike musicals, but I need to know before I start watching a movie. The story didn’t quite work. Actually, it did not work for me at all. I found myself angry at the end for so many plot holes, and a mocking reference to “Elf.” Why? I will not bash a holiday movie, so tell me why you loved it.
The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special
The best Christmas movies are about innocence. George Bailey, Kris Kringle, Buddy the Elf. Fred Scrooge invites his uncle to Christmas every year. There is something special about unadulterated love. Mantis has it. Her eyes are made for Christmas. Yes, we get Kevin Bacon, Peter Quill, Rocket, Nebula, Drax, and Groot. But Mantis steals the show. It is silly and sweet. I got teary when Peter sees the lights and Nebula gives a special gift to Rocket. Peter’s reaction to Kevin Bacon is perfect. As is his reaction to the true gift from Mantis. We begin and end with an animated flashback to Yondu. Tears again. The kids and I immediately went back and watched the first Guardians movie. I honestly might like it more now because of the Holiday Special. To the Tarantinos and Scorseses and the guy who commented on my “Wakanda Forever” review: Sad is the person who rejects fun, who belittles happiness, who thinks that despair is superior to joy. I’m putting this one up there with “Black Panther” and “Winter Soldier.” It was sweet, funny, true to characters, and innocent goodness. From Diwali to Chanukah to fireworks on New Years, people like lights and laughter. The best gift may be a green alien trinket for the dashboard of your car (or spaceship), not because of its value, but because it was given with love. I love Christmas. Quiet Christmas. Glitzy Christmas.
Full season. Pulls on your heartstrings, jump scares, real scares, laughs, romance, straight up eight episodes of twisty Scooby Doo Mystery. Felt like it was done by people who loved “The Addams Family.” Had a mom, teen son, and tween daughter riveted!
The Lost City
My very favorite movie of 2022 is “The Lost City.” Sandra Bullock plays a romance writer and Channing Tatum a cover model. They are swept into an adventure reminiscent of “Romancing The Stone,” except Bullock is capable where Tatum is not. I laughed so many times. The dialogue is smart. It may be worth seeing twice because the humor is subtle. I’ve watched it a dozen times. You’ve really got to listen to the dialogue. The secondary characters are handled with surprising care. Expect a few laughs from the social media manager, grandma, pilot, and Brad Pitt. Negative parts are the maniacal villain played by Daniel Radicliffe and his predictable goons. He does not get the best lines, unfortunately, but he does what he can. Huge negative points for the stereotypical sassy overweight Black friend. On initial viewing, I was not receptive to the portrayal of Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Bullock’s editor. Hollywood, please stop doing this. But Randolph may be responsible for my favorite line in the film. I allowed the movie to grow on me. And then I loved it. High points for conversations about feminism, fun, and the female gaze. Tatum shows his butt and even dances a little. I am normally not a fan. But he stole my heart. He is 42 and she is 58. This is plain to see and never discussed in the story. And the people said Amen. Do not come for me if you didn’t like this movie. It may not be for you. But it felt like an ode to my many brilliant and daring writer friends who promise to give readers happiness even when our own is in peril. There is one post credit scene.
A rare Grade A-.
“Bullet Train” started off too glib. Originally, I tried to watch on a plane and did not finish it. It felt like a Tarantino rip-off, and I barely like Tarantino. Once I got home, I tried again because adore Brian Tyree Henry. Adore him. I believe that Brad Pitt is at his finest when he is being funny. In Bullet Train, Ladybug (Pitt) must complete a snatch and grab job while on a bullet train in Japan that happens to be filled with various assassins. Midway through, I fell in love with Lemon and Tangerine. By the end, I found it highly enjoyable. What if Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino had a baby? You’d get Bullet Train. Snappy dialogue, squishy violence, then real moments of human connection. I am a firm believer that this movie is directly tied to THE LOST CITY. Yes. Not kidding. Watch The Lost City first. Then Bullet Train. Yes, Bullet train is very bloody. In the end, you will wonder if the cameos had a deeper meaning. Violent, but a fun ride. I think I cried a little. Please stay for mid-credit scene!
Nicki Salcedo is a Decatur resident and Atlanta native. She is a novelist, blogger, and a working mom.
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