The 10 best films I watched in 2021

I didn’t go to any theaters. I saw all of these on Blu-ray or Netflix. These are not all new films – they were new to me. I have posted separately on some of them.

  1. Beasts Clawing at Straws
  2. Synchonic
  3. Candyman (2021)
  4. Giants and Toys
  5. Zappa
  6. Werewolves Within
  7. Massacre at Central High
  8. Gunpowder Milkshake
  9. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes
  10. No Time to Die
  1. Beasts Clawing at Straws – This South Korean film is an extremely clever crime drama. The longer you watch, the more you understand how the characters fit together and why they’re chasing the bag of money at the center of the film.
  2. Sychronic – The most recent and best indie from directors Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead. It explores time travel. Time has been a focus for them before in their prior film The Endless.
  3. Candyman – I watched both the original Candyman (1992) and the new one this year. The new one is a worthy successor to the fine horror film. This Candyman, co-written by Jordan Peele, reminds me of his films Get Out and Us. They all function as horror films and explorations of America’s racist past and present.
  4. Giants and Toys – This 1958 Japanese film is a sharp satire on capitalism.
  5. Zappa – I saw him perform with the Mothers of Invention in 1969 and 1970. This film explores Zappa’s entire career with many interviews and rare footage of this great artist.
  6. Werewolves Within – Josh Rubens has made a film that is both a horror film and comedy. It’s a step forward from his fine debut Scare Me with a wider range of characters.
  7. Massace at Central High – This 1976 horror film is about how a new student stands up to high school bullies. Once they’re free of the bullies, the oppressed students (the nerd, the fat kid, etc,) show they are no better.
  8. Gunpowder Milkshake – This Netflix film was directed by Navot Papushado, the co-director of the Israeli film Big Bad Wolves. This one isn’t as good but there’s lots of action with not much depth.
  9. Beyond the Infinite Two Minutes – Another film that plays with time. This Japanese film explores what happens when you can see two minutes into the future. It’s funny and clearly got the most of its low budget.
  10. No Time to Die – I had only seen a few James Bond films before that last several months. Now I have seen 21 of the 25. They are great escapism for this pandemic era. You are taken to a different time and many exotic places. This is one of the better ones. Daniel Craig is my second favorite Bond (after Sean Connery).

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