Discover more from The Bulwark
Plus, a multiplex ranking.
Merry Christmas, everyone! Just wanted to share some links—including my annual top ten—with you. But before we do that, I figured I’d let you know what you should check out in multiplexes if you have some time to kill this week. I’m going to be seeing Licorice Pizza at some point, since it’s playing near me in 70mm. Since I haven’t seen it, though, I can’t rank it. Of the films I have seen that are out right now, the list looks something like:
7. The Matrix Resurrections (I’d just watch this one at home, honestly, since it’s streaming on HBO Max. It is very rare that I make this recommendation, so that should help you decide what I think of this one.)
6. The King’s Man (It’s an interesting mess!)
5. Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Probably the family-friendliest option.)
4. West Side Story (Steven Spielberg doesn’t miss.)
3. Nightmare Alley (For those looking for something a bit darker.)
2. Spider-Man: No Way Home (There’s a reason it’s going to pass a billion dollars at the box office at some point tomorrow.)
1. Red Rocket (Do not, I repeat, do not take grandma and grandpa to this one.)
Make sure to check out my annual, and definitive, top ten.
I dropped two reviews on the site this week: one for The King’s Man and one for The Matrix Resurrections. You can probably guess by my ranking above which I prefer, though I think both are kind of a mess.
We had a fun series of essays on Christmas movies that aren’t traditional Christmas movies:
Bill Ryan sang the praises of The Ice Harvest, an absolutely under-appreciated Harold Ramis gem.
John DeVore made his debut on the site to highlight one of my personal favorite Christmas movies, Brazil, the most dystopian film about our most dystopian holiday.
And I took a crack at Metropolitan, a movie that calls to mind the Christmas party season about as well as any I can think of.
Addison Del Mastro’s take on the state of Christmas songs is well worth reading if you have found yourself wondering where the great modern Christmas songs are.
Assigned Viewing: Deadly Games: Dial Code Santa Claus (AMC+)
I received Deadly Games: Dial Code Santa as a gift last year from my friend JK and it is absolutely bonkers. Imagine Home Alone (the makers of which were threatened with litigation by the producers of this film for ripping it off), but instead of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern hunting a snot-nosed punk it’s a deranged, murderous Santa Claus, and instead of Chris Columbus, imagine the film is directed and set-designed by people who were very into 1980s heavy metal music videos, and you have some sense of what’s going on in this picture. Not for kids!