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Cut the Cord: 2022
January 2023. Volume 2, Issue 1.
Welcome to the first Cut the Cord of 2023! This newsletter has now lasted a full calendar year! To celebrate, this month's issue will be all about movies that came out last year.
I also think it's kinda neat that we can highlight some newer movies since sometimes it might seem like these free streaming services only have older stuff. Which is great! Services like Tubi have some really deep cuts, but how are you supposed to make your Best of 2022 list without breaking the bank? That's why we're here.
Thanks for being with Cut the Cord for a full year. On to the Second Volume!
Last Seen Alive (2022)
After Will Spann’s wife suddenly vanishes at a gas station, his desperate search to find her leads him down a dark path that forces him to run from authorities and take the law into his own hands.
When we watched this movie on Netflix (boo Netflix! Yay Cut the Cord! Yay for watching movies also on Netflix for free through your local-library-fueled streaming service!), Taylor wrote:
Sometimes I appreciate movies that don’t shoot to be the best, they just want to be middle of the road and entertaining. This was that.
I have to agree with her here. There isn't much behind this Gerard Butler action flick. It feels like a Redbox movie, it probably did gangbusters there. But aren't those movies awesome! Just stupid and exciting and full of Gerard's terrible American accent!
Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (2022)
Exploring every facet of ‘Weird Al’ Yankovic’s life, from his meteoric rise to fame with early hits like ‘Eat It’ and ‘Like a Surgeon’ to his torrid celebrity love affairs and famously depraved lifestyle, this biopic takes audiences on a truly unbelievable journey through Yankovic’s life and career, from gifted child prodigy to the greatest musical legend of all time.
The Roku Channel made a movie! Weird! And that's the only place you can find this flick - but it's free! I should probably include Roku in this newsletter more. Or maybe not...
People were so excited about this movie, it took them like four hours to watch this two-hour movie because the app kept buffering - it couldn't handle everyone watching right at premiere time. I'm not as crazy about this biopic spoof as others are, but it's got the zany spirit of Weird Al throughout, an underrated Daniel Radcliffe performance, and Conan O'Brien as Andy Warhol - seriously.
Every Day In Kaimukī (2022)
Naz, a cynical and charismatic 20-something, has spent his entire life in tranquil O’ahu, Hawaiʻi, skateboarding with his friends and hosting a nightly radio show where he spotlights emerging musicians. When his girlfriend Sloane nabs the chance to move to bustling New York, Naz begins preparing for their big move, planning every detail down to his cat’s absurd flight plan.
I loooooooved this movie when it came out of Sundance last year. In fact, it's in contention for one of the highest spots on my Best of 2022 list, (coming January 16th on the Feature Presentation podcast, now found everywhere you find podcasts!) I definitely need to rewatch it before then to determine its final resting place on my list, but I remember it as a beautiful meditation on feeling lost in life. Feeling directionless, feeling like you need to break out while also being scared to leave home.
It's a hangout movie, like a music video for one of those lofi hip-hop stations on YouTube, just a lot of skating around Hawaii. To the layperson, it sounds carefree. But it's just not that simple, it never is.
It simply did not get the recognition it deserved out of the festival circuit.
Terrifier 2 (2022)
After being resurrected by a sinister entity, Art the Clown returns to Miles County where he must hunt down and destroy a teenage girl and her younger brother on Halloween night. As the body count rises, the siblings fight to stay alive while uncovering the true nature of Art’s evil intent.
This is not a movie for people with weak constitutions.
You probably heard that people were like passing out and puking and going into labor in the movie theater. While I think that's a bit far (didn't they know what they were getting into?), there are enough gross-out gore scenes that make it easy to believe.
The biggest story about this movie's theatrical run, however, is that it just wouldn’t die, pun intended. If I'm not mistaken, it was only supposed to be a one-night event screening. I got my tickets right away because I knew it would fill up...and it did. So they added two or three more days. Then they finished out the week. Then they added another week. It ran for nearly a month, grossing $12.3 million on a budget of $250,000. And it really deserved all that success - it's ballsy, it's brutal, it's bleak as hell. It's awesome.
I asked Santa for the Best Buy exclusive 4K for Christmas because I HAVE to see this with writer/director Damien Leone's commentary to know how they made this movie on a budget of Visa gift cards.
Alice spends her days enslaved on a rural Georgia plantation restlessly yearning for freedom. After a violent clash with plantation owner Paul, Alice flees through the neighboring woods and stumbles onto the unfamiliar sight of a highway, soon discovering the year is actually 1973.
I've written about Alice a few times already and I don't really feel the need to repeat myself, but I will say this: I've sat with this movie for almost a year now and I still think about it often. Maybe that's why I keep coming back to it on this site.
After my Sundance screening, I wrote and still stand by:
Alice is a great example of a movie that you just need to trust. When a movie has a wild concept or you know that a twist is coming, you are invariably judging it just a little bit more. Can they pull it off? Will they pull it off?
That’s what I ended up doing for a good chunk of the runtime in Alice. I’m not quite sure they do pull it off, but it’s a hell of a swing and I appreciate that. Good design and a kickin’ soundtrack help elevate it.
F^¢k ’€m R!ght B@¢k (2022)
A queer, Black, aspiring Baltimore rapper must outwit his vengeful day-job boss in order to avoid getting fired after accidentally eating an edible.
Put the TikToks away for a few and watch this 13-minute short straight out of the Charm City. Baltimore represent!
I don't actually mean to poo on TikTok. In fact, a lot of people's FYPs might look and feel just like this wacky comedy. There isn't too much to say about this since it's a short - it's really funny and worth the brief amount of time and no money this costs.
Credit: Each plot synopsis comes from Letterboxd via TMDb.
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