John Otteni

Shocktober: The Munsters

The Munsters (2022)

Hey all you boils and ghouls! Shocktober is back for its 12th year! And instead of looking to the past were looking the future! (or in this case the present). We’re doing nothing but 2022 films for Shocktober…. Or dare I say ShockTwentyTwober… No, how about “2020Booo!” Eh, I could take or leave it. Anyways, here are my thoughts on that Munsters movie that just came out on Netflix.

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Criterion Month Day 30: The Worst Person in the World

The Worst Person in the World (2021)

I wanted to close out Criterion Month with my best review yet. Finally, my opportunity to say something profound! So naturally, I pick a movie where I have no idea what I want to say. The Worst Person in the World wasn’t the movie I was expecting (in a good way). I expected something tongue-and-cheek (which it is from time to time) but not something this heavy with a message that so strongly speaks to my generation. So let’s go, watch me stumble through this one.

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Criterion Month Day 28: Before Midnight

Before Midnight (2013)

And so the trilogy comes to a close. At least that seems to be the case considering Richard Linklater missed the window. What I mean is that all three Before films were released nine years apart from each other. Meaning 2022 would have been the year for “Before Noon” (my title idea, not theirs). It doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen but there was talk.

What I read was that Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke couldn’t come up with a good enough idea within the time frame. So the series isn’t dead per se. Linklater has spoken of the possibility of a future short film or maybe a film where the pair are elderly. I love to hear it, but Linklater has to stop lining up projects he may not live to see (Look up Merrily We Roll Along and you’ll see what I mean).

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Criterion Month Day 27: Before Sunset

Before Sunset (2004)

Every time I see the first installment of a solid superhero flick I think the same thing, “That was good but I bet the next one will be better.” That’s because the first installment of most superhero flicks are origin stories. We have to introduce the character, see how they get their powers, watch them learn to use their powers, you know the routine. But when the second installment rolls around, the heavy lifting is done. We know the character and what they’re capable of so we can focus on the meat. That’s how I feel about Before Sunset, Richard Linklater’s 2004 sequel to the 1995 romantic drama Before Sunrise. Sunrise is a nice appetizer. Sunset is a meal.

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Criterion Month Day 23: Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise (1995)

For this year’s Criterion Month, I decided to watch Richard Linklater’s beloved Before Trilogy. What I didn’t take into consideration is that I’d have to write about those films. How do you write about a film that’s all conversation? Do I just do a recap of the convos with the occasional interjection, “That’s a good point, Julie Delpy.” Don’t expect a deep dive here. I’ll just give a general summary of what I like about Linklater’s more thoughtful way of filmmaking.

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Criterion Month Day 21: Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)

I took a Sporcle quiz a week ago (remember Sporcle?) that compiled results from different publications to make an unofficial list of the “100 Greatest Horror Movies.” Most of the list was business as usual; Halloween, The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby, yadda, yadda. What surprised me coming in at number 100 was Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me. Is this actually a horror movie? And do I, a horror fanatic, agree with this placement? And how does this movie fare for a fair-weather Twin Peaks “fan.”

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Criterion Month Day 20: Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa (1986)

Sometimes Criterion Month feels like school. I watch a slow, long, sad foreign film and then have to bang out a half-assed essay at the 25th hour. The experience is usually rewarding, but it feels like eating your vegetables too. Which is why I get low-key excited when I get to watch a movie like Mona Lisa. There’s no pretension here. Just a schlubby Bob Hoskins wandering around London to a Phil Collins’ song. Now that’s my kind of movie.

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