Media Inventory: What I Watched and Read in 2021

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Hello to the people who are reading this! I hope you are doing well, all things considered. I’m still at my non-movie-related day job, which I like well enough and which I’m especially grateful to have in Times Like These. I came out of retirement to cover the Sundance Film Festival last January (and will do so again in a few weeks), but other than that, I continue to enjoy emeritus status as a film critic.

MOVIES

I do still watch movies, though — 404 in 2021. That includes 98 movies released in 2021, 16 from Sundance or the Telluride Horror Show (which I went to as a civilian) that will come out in 2022 (or never), and 290 from before 2021. Of those, a whopping 170 were new to me and 120 were rewatches.

Here’s what I watched. Links are to whatever I’ve written about the movie: Letterboxd links for new movies, reviews and columns for older stuff. I also made Letterboxd list of all the 2021 movies I saw, ranked (more or less) so you can see my “top 10” if you want.

2021 releases:

America: The Motion Picture
Annette
Antlers
Army of the Dead
Bad Trip
Barb & Star Go to Vista Del Mar
Beta Test, The
Black Friday
Black Widow
Blazing World, The
Blood Red Sky
Bo Burnham: Inside
Broadcast Signal Intrusion
Candyman
Card Counter, The
Censor
CODA
Coming Home in the Dark
Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, The
Cruella
Cry Macho
Cryptozoo
Don’t Look Up
Dune: Part One
F9
Fear Street: 1666
Fear Street: 1978
Fear Street: 1994
Feast, The
Forever Purge, The
Free Guy
French Dispatch, The
Ghostbusters: Afterlife
Godzilla vs. Kong
Green Knight, The
Guilty, The
Halloween Kills
Happily
Harder They Fall, The
How It Ends
King Richard
In & Of Itself
In the Earth
In the Heights
John and the Hole
Judas and the Black Messiah
King Richard
Land
Last Duel, The
Last Night in Soho
Licorice Pizza
Little Things, The
Luca
Malignant
Many Saints of Newark, The
Mass
Matrix Resurrections, The
Mayday
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Mortal Kombat
Night House, The
Night of the Kings
No One Gets Out Alive
No Sudden Move
No Time to Die
Nobody
Old
Once I Was Engaged
Passing
Pig
Pixie
Power of the Dog, The
Prisoners of the Ghostland
Psycho Goreman
Quiet Place Part II, A
Red Rocket
Reminiscence
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Seance
Shang-Chai and the Legend of the Ten Rings
Shiva Baby
Space Jam: A New Legacy
Spencer
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Spine of Night, The
Spiral: From the Book of Saw
Suicide Squad, The
tick, tick…Boom!
Titane
Together Together
Tomorrow War, The
V/H/S/94
Vacation Friends
Venom: Let There Be Carnage
Violation
Wanting Mare, The
West Side Story
Werewolves Within
Zack Snyder’s Justice League

2022 releases (movies I saw at Sundance Film Festival or the Telluride Horror Show that haven’t opened yet):

Alone with You
Eight for Silver
Exorcism of God, The
Hellbender
Human Factors
Let the Wrong One In
Marvelous and the Black Hole
Mother Schmuckers
Offseason
On the Count of Three
R#J
Sadness, The
Strawberry Mansion
When the Screaming Starts

(plus two more that I can’t mention because they were festival screeners that I was watching with a friend, but trust me, it was nothing exciting)

New to me:

10 to Midnight (1983)
Across 110th Street (1972)
Amistad (1997)
Amusement Park, The (1973)
Animal Crackers (1930)
Antebellum (2020)
At the Circus (1939)
Bad News Bears, The (1976)
Bamboozled (2000)
Barbarella (1968)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Basket Case (1982)
Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)
Belladonna of Sadness (1973)
Bells Are Ringing (1960)
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
Between Two Ferns: The Movie (2019)
Big Sleep, The (1978)
Big Store, The (1941)
Birth of the Tramp, The (2013)
Black Cat, The (1934)
Blue Dahlia, The (1946)
Bonfire of the Vanities, The (1990)
Born Yesterday (1950)
Boxcar Bertha (1972)
Bride of Chucky (1998)
C.H.U.D. (1984)
C.H.U.D. II: Bud the C.H.U.D. (1989)
Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999)
Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh (1995)
Carnal Knowledge (1971)
Cast a Dark Shadow (1955)
Chase, The (1966)
Child’s Play 2 (1990)
Child’s Play 3 (1991)
Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice (1993)
Class Action Park (2020)
Clifford (1994)
Come and Get It (1936)
Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
Convoy (1978)
Cotton Comes to Harlem (1970)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
Creepshow (1982)
Creepshow 2 (1987)
Cruel Intentions (1999)
Cult of Chucky (2017)
Curse of Chucky (2013)
Death Line (1972)
Dementia (1955)
Destroy All Monsters (1968)
Dodsworth (1936)
Dracula (1974)
Dragonslayer (1981)
Driller Killer, The (1979)
Duck You Sucker (aka A Fistful of Dynamite) (1971)
Empire of the Sun (1987)
Empty Man, The (2020)
Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)
Farewell, My Lovely (1975)
Fear of a Black Hat (1994)
Freaky (2020)
Getaway, The (1972)
Ghost Goes West, The (1935)
Ghoulies (1985)
Ghoulies Go to College (1991)
Ghoulies II (1987)
Good Woman Is Hard to Find, A (2020)
Grifters, The (1990)
Group, The (1966)
Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988)
Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth (1992)
Hellraiser: Bloodline (1996)
Hellraiser: Deader (2005)
Hellraiser: Hellseeker (2002)
Hellraiser: Hellworld (2005)
Hellraiser: Inferno (2000)
Hellraiser: Judgment (2018)
Holy Mountain, The (1973)
Hot Rock, The (1972)
I Wake Up Screaming (1941)
Inside (2007)
Invisible Man, The (1933)
Island of Lost Souls (1932)
It Should Happen to You (1954)
Lady Eve, The (1941)
Last of Sheila, The (1973)
Life of Emile Zola, The (1937)
Lilies of the Field (1963)
Little Foxes, The (1941)
Love and Monsters (2020)
Magic (1978)
Meatballs (1979)
Minimalism: A Documentary About the Important Things (2016)
Monkey Business (1931)
Monster Hunter (2020)
Mouse That Roared, The (1959)
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)
Mr. Arkadin (1955)
Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)
Never Let Go (1960)
New Leaf, A (1971)
Niagara (1953)
Nightmare Alley (1947)
Nomadland (2020)
Nude on the Moon (1961)
Oklahoma! (1955)
One Night in Miami (2020)
Original Cast Album: Company (1970)
Out-of-Towners, The (1970)
Outlaw Josey Wales, The (1976)
Outsiders: The Complete Novel, The (1983)
Ox-Bow Incident, The (1943)
Panic in the Streets (1950)
Phantasm II (1988)
Phantasm III: Lord of the Dead (1994)
Phantasm IV: Oblivion (1998)
Phantasm: Ravager (2016)
Phffft (1954)
Pickup on South Street (1953)
Private Life of Henry VIII, The (1933)
Promising Young Woman 2020
Psychomania (aka The Death Wheelers) (1973)
Pumpkinhead (1988)
Pumpkinhead II: Blood Wings (1994)
Puppet Master (1989)
Puppet Master II (1990)
Quick Change (1990)
Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954)
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)
Ronin (1998)
Safe (1995)
Samourai, Le (1967)
Save Yourselves! (2020)
Separate Tables (1958)
Seventh Veil, The (1946)
Shattered (1991)
Skin Game (1971)
Spontaneous (2020)
Star 80 (1983)
Story of Louis Pasteur, The (1936)
Swamp Thing (1982)
Swiss Family Robinson (1940)
Tall Target, The (1951)
Tammy and the T-Rex (1994)
Thomasine & Bushrod (1974)
THX-1138 (1971)
Too Late for Tears (1949)
Trial of the Chicago 7, The (2020)
Trip to Greece, The (2020)
Twentieth Century (1934)
Twilight (1998)
Virtuosity (1995)
Way West, The (1967)
Where Danger Lives (1950)
Willard (1971)
Wishmaster 2: Evil Never Dies (1999)
Wishmaster 3: Beyond the Gates of Hell (2001)
Wishmaster 4: The Prophecy Fulfilled (2002)
Wolf (1994)
Woman Condemned, The (1934)
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Yakuza, The (1975)
Year of Living Dangerously, The (1982)
Yes, God, Yes (2020)
Zero Effect (1998)

(Why so many horror films on that list? My old friend Brett and I watched about 60 of them together, mostly online using the TwoSeven extension. Horror movies — especially ones that aren’t very good that we can have fun with while we watch — are our comfort food.)

Rewatches:

About Schmidt (2002)
Alice in Wonderland (1951)
Amores Perros (2001)
Arachnophobia (1990)
Arrival (2016)
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
Better Luck Tomorrow (2003)
Bewitched (2005)
Big Lebowski, The (1998)
Birds, The (1963)
Blade (1998)
Blood Simple (1984)
Bonnie & Clyde (1967)
Caddyshack (1980)
Candyman (1992)
Child’s Play (1988)
Children of the Corn (1984)
Collateral (2004)
Convent, The (2000)
Cop Car (2015)
Creed (2015)
Croupier (2000)
Dawn of the Dead (2004)
Day at the Races, A (1937)
Dead Silence (2007)
Death Sentence (2007)
Devils, The (1971)
Dirty Work (1998)
Dredd (2012)
Duel (1971)
Dune (1984)
Earth vs. the Spider MST3K (1958)
Elf (2003)
Escape from New York (1981)
Gamera vs. Guiron MST3K (1969)
Ghostbusters (2016)
Gone Girl (2014)
Gosford Park (2001)
Grand Budapest Hotel, The (2014)
Guest, The (2014)
Halloween (2018)
Hard Eight (1997)
Harold and Maude (1971)
Hateful Eight, The (2015)
He Who Gets Slapped (1924)
Heist (2001)
Hellraiser (1987)
High-Rise (2016)
History of the World Part I (1981)
Horse Feathers (1932)
Hot Shots! (1991)
Hot Shots! Part Deux (1993)
House (1977)
House of Games (1987)
Hudsucker Proxy, The (1994)
It Follows (2014)
It’s Such a Beautiful Day (2012)
Jaws (1975)
Jaws 2 (1978)
Jigsaw (2017)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mafia! (1998)
Magnificent Ambersons, The (1942)
Marie Antoinette (2006)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
Matrix Revolutions, The (2003)
Mighty Jack MST3K (1968)
Moonstruck (1987)
Mulholland Drive (2001)
Night at the Opera, A (1935)
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
Outsiders, The (1983)
Passion of Joan of Arc, The (1928)
Phantasm (1979)
Pink Panther, The (1964)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Possessor (2020)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Rear Window (1954)
Rocky IV (1985)
Room Service (1938)
Rope (1948)
Saw (2004)
Saw 3D (2010)
Saw II (2005)
Saw III (2006)
Saw IV (2007)
Saw V (2008)
Saw VI (2009)
School of Rock (2003)
Scream (1996)
Scream 2 (1997)
Scream 3 (2000)
Scream 4 (2011)
Seed of Chucky (2004)
Semi-Pro (2008)
Serious Man, A (2009)
Shrek (2001)
Sneakers (1992)
So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)
Spartan (2004)
Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
Stoker (2013)
Sunshine (2007)
Super Troopers (2002)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Teen Wolf (1985)
Teenage Caveman MST3K (1958)
Thin Man, The (1934)
Titus (2000)
Training Day (2001)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
Up in Smoke (1978)
Wishmaster (1997)
You’re Next (2013)

BOOKS

FICTION (GENERAL)
Antkind — Charlie Kaufman
High-Rise — J.G. Ballard

FICTION (PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING)
Tinkers — Paul Harding
Interpreter of Maladies — Jhump Lahiri
The Nickel Boys — Colson Whitehead
A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain — Robert Olen Butler
Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer — Steven Millhauser
The Orphan Master’s Son — Adam Johnson
House Made of Dawn — N. Scott Momaday
A Summons to Memphis — Peter Taylor
A Visit from the Goon Squad — Jennifer Egan
Olive Kitteridge — Elizabeth Strout
The Underground Railroad — Colson Whitehead
Breathing Lessons — Anne Tyler
The Stone Diaries — Carol Shields
Laughing Boy — Oliver La Farge
The Color Purple — Alice Walker
A Bell for Adano — John Hersey
Foreign Affairs — Alison Lurie
Beloved — Toni Morrison
March — Geraldine Brooks
So Big — Edna Ferber
The Way West — A.B. Guthrie, Jr.
The Shipping News — Annie Proulx
His Family — Ernest Poole
The Magnificent Ambersons — Booth Tarkington
The Killer Angels — Michael Shaara

NON-FICTION
Biographies:

Mike Nichols: A Life — Mark Harris
Weird Al: The Book — Nathan Rabin
De Niro: A Life — Shawn Levy

Memoirs:
Priceless Memories — Bob Barker
Just the Funny Parts — Nell Scovell
Look, I Made a Hat — Stephen Sondheim
All About Me! — Mel Brooks

Specific movies/shows/institutions:
Dangerously Funny: The Uncensored Story of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour — David Bianculli
The Jaws Log — Carl Gottlieb
Springfield Confidential — Mike Reiss (The Simpsons)
Caddyshack: The Making of a Hollywood Cinderella Story — Chris Nashawaty
Made Men: The Story of Goodfellas — Glenn Kenny
Twenty Five Mystery Science Theater 3000 Films That Changed My Life in No Way Whatsoever — Frank Coniff
Showtime at the Apollo: The Epic Tale of Harlem’s Legendary Theater (graphic novel edition) — Ted Fox & James Otis Smith
Monty Python Speaks! — David Morgan

General show business:
An Empire of Their Own: How the Jews Invented Hollywood — Neal Gabler
Five Came Back — Mark Harris
Dolce Vita Confidential: Fellini, Loren, Pucci, Paparazzi, and the Swinging High Life of 1950s Rome — Shawn Levy

Religious:
The Book of Mormon: A Brief Theological Introduction — 12 slim volumes, various authors
Understanding the Book of Mormon: A Reader’s Guide — Grand Hardy
Mormons As Citizens of a Communist State — Raymond Kuehne