- Night Teeth (2021): This was a great vampire movie, like if Blade had double the politics and none of the fights. There's a huge amount of backstory that is only mentioned in passing. I suspect they have the scripts for two prequels and a sequel already written, and I'm ok with that.
- Broadcast Signal Intrusion (2021): Inspired by the Max Headroom incident and probably also the "I Feel Fantastic" videos, this is just great. It's a bit VHS-forensic, so it's very reminiscent of the first act of Videodrome, though it doesn't go body horror. So good. And the period tech! Hats off to the propmasters and set dressers on this movie, because wow.
- The Estate (2020): Gay failson and stepmom end up banging the same guy, decide to murder dad. Despite the porny setup, it's pretty funny. Stepmom is played by Eliza Coupe from Futureman, and she's hilarious. The ending is kind of weak, though.
- The Spore (2020): The first post-COVID zombie movie, maybe! It kinda freaked me out, might be just too soon. It's more of a series of vignettes about people dealing with the apocalypse. Some very creepy low budget body horror.
- Only Murders in the Building (2021): Somehow I had managed to miss that Steve Martin and Martin Short are in this. Why was I not informed? This was really funny.
- Violet (2021): Wow, this was brutal but really good. Our lead's internal monologue keeps cutting her down in brutal voiceover while her cry-for-help narration plays out in handwritten subtitles, so there are three simultaneous lines of dialog. It's very creative and I haven't seen anything quite like that before.
My one complaint is that it's a "Hollywood" story, which... I know they say write what you know, but there has to be a limit. Every time I see a movie that centers a screenwriter or a director my reaction is "Please stop, I know you are in the most egotistical of all possible industries, but nobody wants to watch you licking your own asshole". This same story could have been told with characters who had real jobs, not breathing the same extremely rarified air as studio execs.
- Prisoners of the Ghostland (2021): This is a Nicholas Cage movie that has almost the same plot as the Rowdy Roddy Piper classic, Hell Comes to Frogtown but with extra samurai. Some of those words will either convince you to watch this, or to never watch this. And either way, I cannot help you, Sir. I cannot help you. This movie is bonkers even by late-stage-Cage standards.
- Multiverse (2021): Some undergrads build a magic mirror that draws some of their variants in from another dimension, which again, is why I keep saying that Mad Science needs to be a graduate level course. Anyway, it's very low budget and has some nice twists.
- The World According to Jeff Goldblum (2019): It's just Jeff Goldblum being fascinated about things that I don't care about at all, like sneakers and denim and RVs, but he's such an adorable goofball that he made me care! I'm not sure this show would be any different if the host was David Byrne. Or Mr. Rogers.
- Cowboy Bebop (2021): It's been ages since I watched the anime, but this felt exactly how I remembered it, like, almost to a Watchmen level of slavish detail. I really enjoyed the first half of it; the relationships between the three main characters and their small cons were really fun. But a show is only as good as its villain, and "Vicious" was boring as shit and I didn't care about anything to do with that subplot (including the ex-girlfriend who had no discernible character traits of any kind), which was basically the entire second half of the show.
It's also striking, again, how much Firefly was 100% a remake of Cowboy Bebop with the serial numbers filed off. Whedon really brought nothing new to that party.
- Dexter, New Blood (2021): I was pretty over Dexter by the time the first show ended -- I thought the final season, and the series finale, were pretty poor -- but I am enjoying this revival a lot so far. First episode was iffy, but it's shaping up nicely.
- Hawkeye (2021): I think Renner's Hawkeye character in the Marvel movies is... just... the... worst. However, there have been some very good Hawkeye comics that I have enjoyed very much, particularly Hawkeye Vol. 4, 2012 by Fraction & Aja, and Hawkeye Vol 5, 2016 by Thompson & Romero (the Kate Bishop version), and this show borrows heavily from both of those. The Kate character in the show is exactly like the comics. So I'm sold so far.
- Hanna, S03: Again, I enjoyed this, but it has been so long since the previous season that I have completely forgotten which bits I am remembering from Hanna and which are from Treadstone because they had exactly the same plot.
- The Wheel of Time (2021): Stop me if you've heard this one before: it's the future of our Earth, but there was an apocalypse, and after the complete collapse of our society, the world recovered technologically to around 1500s England and then stayed exactly there for 10,000 years, and also oh yeah there's magic now or something. And some monarchist propaganda about pretty teens with a genetic predestination to rule. FFS, why do they keep making this same show?
- Venom, Let There Be Carnage (2021): With the caveat that I was pretty drunk at the time, I found this funny. It's definitely way better than the first one. And all of that gay subtext from the first one is just text now.
- Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021): This was pretty great. The MUNI fight is as good as you've heard. The first half of the movie is a straight-up kung fu movie, and it's fantastic. The second half turns into a Marvel movie, and that gets to be a bit of a slog, but overall it's worthwhile.
Can someone explain to me, though, how this has basically the same plot as Batman: Soul of the Dragon? Like, the whole second half boss battle was, "Wait, didn't I just watch this?" Is it because DC and Marvel were just madly plagiarizing each other in the 70s?
- Last Night In Soho (2021): This is absolutely fantastic, and gorgeous. Without giving too much away, it's a mystery taking place partly in the 60s and partly today, and in the telling of the story, the two actresses switch places often, which is done with incredible choreography. There are some tricks with mirrors that rival Candyman, but I'm pretty sure this was all practical.
- Arcane (2021): Some poor kids do parkour and Fight The Man in Steampunk Land. It was pretty great. The character had personalities and the animation was awesome. It had a very painterly feel to it. Spiderverse pretty much showed that there is no longer any difference between "animation" and "3D animation" and this is a worthy continuation of that. Apparently it's based on a video game that I know literally nothing about, so it's fair to say that you don't need the backstory. Maybe I would have liked it less if I had ever seen the game.
- The Great S02: Just as hilarious as the first season.