September 2021 Update

When I said not to call it a comeback, I was serious.

Despite thoughts of once again doing movie reviews or at least mentioning the movies I had watched, my attempt at being active in sharing my Film Quest with others fell short in Summer 2020.

If I thought anybody might get their hopes up, I’d recommend against it, but anyone who might’ve even moderately enjoyed my perspective on movies knows me well enough to know that this probably isn’t something that’s going to be a regular occurrence.

Why am I writing this? Because I’ve been enjoying reading movie reviews from other people recently, and listening to some movie podcasts, and I have modest hopes of trying my hand at content creation again.

So how are things going with my Film Quest 2021?

I’m on track. I like to try to hit 100 First Time Viewings each year, so at the end of August I need to have seen at least 67 movies. I started September having seen 73, meaning I’m on track to watch about 110 movies. Last year I fell way behind and needed to watch 21 movies in December to hit 100. Getting there made for a fun month, but it added a bit more stress to December than I typically want during the holiday season.

But the goal isn’t just to hit 100. I have other goals with watching movies that I like to make progress on, most notably seeing all of the Academy Award Best Picture winners of all time. I’ve made a concerted effort to watch additional movies from that list this year. I have a few more that I want to see before January, but I’ll cover that in a separate write-up.

As far as other write-ups are concerned, what I’m going to try to do is write up my thoughts on related or similar movies that I watched this year instead of trying to review everything I’ve watched chronologically. We’ll see how that goes, but I have a few ideas in mind.

We’ll see how that goes.

I was thinking about ending this update here, but that doesn’t serve much of a purpose for people who don’t care whether or not I write reviews or not. So here are some high points and low points for First Time Viewings in 2021.


Ever since I sat motionless in a movie theater, the credits of Memento having just ended, contemplating what I had just seen, I’ve been a fan of Christopher Nolan. TENET was more confusing than anything else I’ve seen from him, but I still really enjoyed it. I shouldn’t be surprised that there are significantly mixed reviews on it. It’s definitely not a mainstream film, but I’m happy to have started 2021 watching it for the first time.


I really like Gary Oldman, and although I didn’t enjoy (or appreciate) Citizen Kane, I thought I’d have better luck with a movie about the events that lead to its creation.

I didn’t. And I’m not too proud to admit that it’s my fault for not finding more to appreciate to keep them from seeming boring (which is something I hate to say about movies).

I’ll have to watch both of them again at some point, because I know that both films are better than I give them credit for, but I’ll have to rewatch them with the aid of some critical perspective from others to guide me through.

Zack Snyder’s Justice League

A life-long superhero fan, I loved The Snyder Cut. I’d watch a longer version of it if one existed. I was happy to see Zack’s vision realized, not just because I enjoyed it, but because of what he went through in trying to finish the film and the overwhelming support he continues to get from fans.

With the overwhelmingly positive reviews from fans and critics alike, it felt like a huge win all around. Since then, however, Warner Bros has canceled other tangentially-related projects that I was looking forward to, which is what I guess I should’ve been expecting to happen all along. But that’s a story for another article.

Waking Life

I had always heard good buzz around this movie, and I was intrigued by how it was made (animating over top of live footage), but I was extremely disappointed. It’s one of my lowest rated movies I’ve ever seen, and I almost didn’t rate it because I’m very close to not considering it a movie at all. It’s essentially just a collection of philosophical discussions, and no real narrative to string it together. I don’t mind having to think during movies, or watching something primarily to learn something (factual or philosophical), but Waking Life was a chore to get through.


I’m far from the target audience for a coming-of-age film about a young woman finding her voice, but I found this movie to be tremendously enjoyable and very well done. I am a little disappointed by the fact that more people haven’t been talking about it, because although it isn’t as infinitely quotable as CLUELESS, it captures this era about as well as the Alicia Silverstone-lead classic did in the 90s.

Although I don’t track or cover the television shows that I watch, I hope to find time to write an article (potentially with multiple contributors) about Moxie, to include discussion of the shows Grand Army and I Am Not Okay With This, among other things.

Moxie. Hadley Robinson as Vivian, Nico Hiraga as Seth in Moxie. Cr Colleen Hayes/NETFLIX © 2020

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