Hi there, reader! Happy New Year! Or Happy one-twelfth of the way into the New Year! Wait, January can’t already be almost over, right? Bloody hell. OK, see, this is what I’m going to talk about. I’ve had the majority of this post written, images and links set up, just waiting for me to finish it for a couple of weeks now, and I just haven’t been able to kick it out of the draft airplane and let the… the… the parachute of publication open up? No? That doesn’t make sense, but so be it. I could’ve posted this and moved on to edit a podcast or write an actual damn review, but instead I’ve kept thinking about how to finish this one or, more accurately, how to start it with this ultimately inconsequential opening paragraph. So that’s what I’ve decided is going to be the theme of my 2023, getting on with it. Not sure what to do on a morning where I’ve got lots of things that need doing? Just sodding pick one and start. Even less sure what to do on a rare day where there’s nothing urgent? Go for a run. Watch a film. Read a book. Go back to sleep. Whatever, just do it. None of this undecided, introspective nonsense, that just leads to stressing out and panic attacks. As such, here’s my update on how 2022 went, and my plans for 2023, compared to last year’s post, which can be found here: 2022 goals post. Not sure what to do now? Read it, silly!
List films: Review any list film
I… um… no? What? Sorry, hang on, was I supposed to review some films last year? Surely not. You can’t expect me to believe that my only writing-related goal of 2022 wasn’t to transcribe the lyrics to the post-credits song from Shark Night 3D, right? Alas, regular readers will know that those lyrics were my sole output on this site last year. Actually, I assume regular readers will have gone somewhere else where there might actually be something new to read now and then. I did write a handful of pieces over at Blueprint: Review, but they were all for new films so aren’t on any list yet, although I guess there’s a chance that Mad God ends up on the 1001 list sometime. It’s sad, because all I had to do last year was review any one film from any of my lists and I’d have achieved the goal, but I couldn’t even do that. However, technically I did add to this goal with the caveat of trying to review as many films as were added to the 1001 List in 2022 and, as no new edition was released last year, technically – technically – I achieved the goal by sitting on my arse and doing diddly squat. Technically.
Non-list films: Watch 12 specific DVDs:
I liked these mini missions to rid my DVD collection of unwatched detritus I’ve accumulated over the years, specifically the films that aren’t destined to be reviewed. I knocked out 11 of the pre-selected 12, so here’s a micro review for each:
Marathon Man (1976) – Easily the best of the bunch, so tense, so well acted, an excellent film.
Tyrannosaur (2011) – Brutal, depressing, yet with some of the best performances you’ll see, despite the lack of dinosaurs.
Splice (2009) – I could see where it was going but was still horrified when it went there.
Slap Shot (1977) – Disappointing, didn’t live up to the hype and hasn’t aged well in many areas.
The Dead Zone (1983) – Also disappointing, I’m not sure what I expected but it was more entertaining than this snooze-fest.
The Man with Two Brains (1983) – I like Steve Martin, but not always in his earlier films, such as this one which was a bit too silly without being all that funny.
Risky Business (1983) – I see big things for this Cruise fella, he was so charming even back then.
Peter’s Friends (1992) – The worse, British version of The Big Chill, this is a lacklustre comedy drama with an all-star cast, none of whom are stretching themselves and all of whom come off as varying degrees of annoying and entitled.
Snake Eyes (1998) – It’s a decent enough fun thriller, but all these months later I’m still obsessed with Gary Sinise’s character being named Kevin Dunne, despite the actor Kevin Dunn being in the film and sharing scenes with Sinise.
Wild Things (1998) – The one people were most excited about me seeing when I posted it on here this time last year, I had fun with Wild Things and didn’t ultimately see where it was going, as is the case with most erotic thrillers, of which I think I’ll try and see a few more.
Win Win (2011) – The last of the Tom McCarthy films I bought on a whim (after the disappointing Station Agent and The Visitor), this might be my favourite of the three as I love Giamatti even when he’s playing a reprehensible opportunist.
I still haven’t watched Raising Cain, but don’t worry, this trend is continuing and Raising Cain takes the Marathon Man and The Dead Zone prize this year of rolling over to the next one!
New releases: Go to the cinema twice a month:
So my aim was to see at least 24 films in the cinema. Whilst I saw 70 new releases last year, I only saw 16 of them in the cinema, plus two older films (Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Con Air), totalling 18. Factor in that two of those were not at the cinema to which I have a membership, and my Cineworld card was not cost effective for me in 2022.
I set myself no TV-related goals last year, but unbelievably still managed to fail them somehow. Anyway, I still haven’t started Deadwood or Twin Peaks, but I did receive a birthday gift of the complete Quantum Leap boxset from my friend Rob over at MovieRob Minute, which has now also been added to (the top of) the pile of shows I’m keen to get to soon. Thanks Rob!
Books: Read one every two months:
I did not read six books last year. I did not finish reading Les Miserables. In fact, I barely continued reading it, and started two other books instead (The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell at the recommendation of Rebecca from Almost Ginger, and The Prophecy by my friend Heather Baxendale-Walsh). I’m dipping in and out of all three at the moment depending on what I’m in the mood for.
Sites: Move the LAMB hosting:
I set myself one website-based goal for the year, and dammit I did it! The LAMB site hosting has been moved, and there have been far fewer issues with it since the move. Hooray. It didn’t go all that smoothly though as the day the accounts switched also happened to be the day my wife and I were driving to Wales for a vacation that would not involve an internet connection or phone signal, and wouldn’t you know it but the site crashed immediately, so I was on my laptop in the car (my wife was driving), tethered to my phone’s hotspot mobile data, figuring all that out as he headed up the M4. Fun times.
House: Complete 12 specific jobs:
As usual I set out 12 house jobs to achieve this past year, with the aim of doing one a month. I then promptly never looked at that list again until just now, and whilst I thought I was going to be able to cross a bunch off, it turns out we only accomplished three. Ah well. Here’s what we did:
Install new shower – got a guy in to do it
Shed guttering – pretty straight forward, managed it myself
Lay new drive – a mammoth undertaking that overshadowed the second half of the year and involved many, many weekends of moving bricks (the amount of bricks I’ve carried from the front garden into the back, and vice versa, and into a car, and out of a car, is frankly ludicrous), digging, shovelling gravel and mixing cement. My Dad was a huge help with this and it could not have been completed without him, even if he did managed to put a grub axe through one of our drainage pipes. He denies all knowledge of this, somehow ignoring a) the grub axe-shaped hole in the pipe, b) he was using the grub-axe when the hole appeared, and c) I saw him do it.
Here are the jobs we didn’t get to (yet):
Install alcove cupboards in office
Carpet stairs and landing
Redecorate craft room
Finish rear fence
Redecorate the bar (disassemble, sand, paint, reassemble)
Render the outside of the house
So guess what’s going to be on a list later in this post?!
Exercise: Run every other day, 100 miles a month, listen to body more
On average, this was a success! I ran 234 out of 365 days (every 1.9 days) and whilst the first half of the year saw sub-100 mile totals (April, in particular, was not a good month) I more than made up for it in the latter half of the year, averaging 140 miles/month and totalling 1,309.6 miles overall for the year. I was all set to break my 2020 record of 1,331 miles, but then I went and tested positive for Covid (my first time) over Christmas, so there was no running for me in that final week. No worries though, as I managed to get in my regular Christmas Day run (my first Christmas half-marathon, and my first sub-2-hour half marathon in a few years) and a Boxing Day jog to show my visiting sister-in-law where to go before I tested positive. The Boxing Day jog was definitely a mistake as I almost passed out from the coughing fit after returning home, which prompted the testing to occur. On top of the running I’ve also become part of an exercising group, started by the LAMB founder Dylan Fields over Facebook. He kept seeing ads inspiring him to do 100 push-ups a day in November, and he put out the call for people to join him. I accepted on a whim, and have been quite enjoying it. It turns out I’d never done a proper push-up before, so after a few days of knee push-ups to get my form in I gradually moved over to full body push-ups, and I’m still doing at least 100 a day now. December become crunch month and so far January is lunges and squats, of which I’m doing at least 100 every day, as well as the push-ups and crunches. I’ve developed a proper morning exercise routine, and it’s great! I’ve noticed some change physically, but not much, which I’m hoping is due to the layers of fat on top of any kind of core progression, plus the reduced running has meant less weight control anyway. Regardless, I’m hoping to keep this up every day. I’ve not missed a day yet, so let’s see how long I can keep it going!
Sleep: 5.5 hours a night, at least 5:
Yes and no. On average I slept more than 5.5 hours/night (5 hours, 39 minutes), but there were 90 days over the course of the year where I got less than 5 hours sleep. Not great, however there were 106 nights where I got more than 6 hours, which is surprising to me. Looking at my sleep comparison graphs from the past few years (which I’m sure all of you have, and check regularly) you can really see how, unsurprisingly, the times I worked from home were when I got more sleep, so clearly my problem is having to actually go to work. Also there was a steep up-tick at the end of the year after the positive COVID test, where I had six nights in a row with more than seven hours sleep each.
Podcasts: keep doing them
Whilst I might not have been very busy on this site this past year, I have remained quite active in terms of podcasting. Alongside continuing covering Deep Blue Sea adjacent films on Deep Blue Sea: The Podcast (and celebrating our 100th episode with a show dedicated to the Shark Night 3D music video), Mark and I also began Con Air: The Podcast, in which we’re covering the 90s action masterpiece Con Air over 40 episodes, scene by scene. I’ve also kept on hosting the Lambcast’s movie trivia show Lambpardy, and even took part as a contestant with 2021’s winner Todd Liebenow from Forgotten Filmz doing a wonderful job hosting the show when I was a guest.
Over the year I was also fortunate enough to be invited to guest on several other shows including:
The Great Escape Minute: Minute 172
Planes, Trains & Automobiles Minute: Minutes 1-5, 93
Die Hard Minute – Minutes 1-5, 132
The Lambcast – The Batman, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Jurassic World: Dominion, Glass Onion
Pop Art – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation / A Christmas Tale
It’s Time To Rewind – Triangle loop 2
Out Now with Aaron & Abe – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Jurassic World: Dominion
Silverado Minute – Minutes 26-30
Forgotten Filmcast – Riot in Cell Block 11
There were definitely times last year when I felt like I was podcasting too much (my wife would certainly agree), and juggling three of my own shows was a stretch, especially when it came to scheduling and, during recording, remembering which outro I was supposed to be doing at any given time! More on this later, as the looking back section of this post has concluded, and now it’s time to peer into the murky depths of the imminent future!
Resolutions for 2022
Many of these resolutions and plans will be barely-changed echoes of last year, and that’s fine by me.
As discussed, I didn’t review any List films last year, and in fact I barely even watched any. I did watch Boyz N The Hood for the first time (excellent) but I didn’t take notes and wasn’t really in a position to review it at the time. This lack of watching prestige films because of my need to review them is really getting me down, so I’m going to try and get out of it. In a kind of Blind Spot list style, I’ve selected twelve List films I’ve owned on DVD for some time and genuinely want to watch, and hopefully this year I actually will! If I jot down a paragraph or so, that’d be wonderful, but if I don’t then so be it, I’ll still have watched some hopefully great stuff! Here are the films:
The Thing From Another World (1951)
Roman Holiday (1953)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Don’t Look Now (1973)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
Being There (1979)
Blow Out (1981)
Paris, Texas (1984)
Jacob’s Ladder (1990)
The Frighteners (1996)
The Insider (1999)
Four Lions (2010)
Having made this list it also struck me that there’s a strong possibility we’ll be getting rid of, or at least purging, our Sky TV account relatively soon, and I’ve got a selection of List films recorded on the DVR. These should take priority over the DVDs I can carry with me, the only problem is I don’t particularly want to watch some of these any time soon, but regardless of that, and all being well, I’ll be crossing off the some of these films in the near future too:
Johnny Guitar (1954)
High Society (1956)
Rio Bravo (1959)
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
The Cowboys (1972)
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
The Lighthouse (2019)
As usual, I’ve picked twelve films I own on DVD that I’ve never watched, and I’ll try and watch one a month. Raising Cain rolls over from last year:
The Court Jester (1955)
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
Silent Movie (1976)
Raising Cain (1992)
eXistenZ (1999) – As recommended by Heather Baxendale-Walsh.
Hobo with a Shotgun (2011)
The Limey (1999)
Blade II (2002) – I haven’t seen any Blade film, so I might try and watch the other two as well, especially as the first one is recorded on the DVR)
Trick ‘r Treat (2007) – I may have purchased this DVD with the express intention of putting it on my list so I can watch it this October, as apparently, and shocking no-one, I’m the kind of person who buys a DVD because he might watch it in 10 months time.
A Fantastic Fear of Everything (2012)
Berberian Sound Studio (2012)
Also, as with the List films, there’s a bunch saved on the DVR, but very few of them appeal to me at any given time. I might watch some of these, but let’s face it, I probably won’t:
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)
Sometimes Always Never (2018)
A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)
The Climb (2019)
The Last Black Man in San Fransisco (2019)
Another Round (2020)
Never Rarely Sometimes Always (2020) – I should absolutely just delete this now, it’s never going to happen
No Sudden Move (2021)
Old Henry (2021)
Those Who Wish Me Dead (2021)
The Northman (2022)
Studio 666 (2022)
Foe my Cineworld membership to be financially worthwhile I’d have to go at least twice a month. That didn’t happen last year, and this year ain’t looking much better either, so I’ve cancelled it. Shopping around, however, has revealed a deal at the nearby Odeon wherein I’d only need to go once a month to make it worthwhile. Unlike the Cineworld, the Odeon isn’t on my way home from work, but seeing as I never have time to see a film on a weekday evening, and the Odeon is a much nicer venue with more comfortable seats and better nearby food options (all I really need in life is to be in a cinema that’s walking distance from a Cornish Bakehouse), it was a no-brainer. Cineworld screwed me over by not showing Glass Onion and now only showing Avatar: The Way of Water in 3D on their smallest screens, so they brought this on themselves. It’s a shame though, I’ve been a member for many years, but I didn’t come to this decision lightly. Here are some of the films I’m looking forward to this year:
Knock at the Cabin
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania
Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
John Wick: Chapter 4
Evil Dead Rise
Next Goal Wins
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One
The Meg 2
Dune: Part Two
Any shark movie
I’d really like to start watching Deadwood, Twin Peaks and Quantum Leap, I really would, but I think my aim for 2023 should be to at least finish the numerous shows that I’ve started and do want to finish. Several of these were started as shows my wife also wanted to watch, but she has now deemed them too scary/gory/mean/silly, and doesn’t want to spend any more time in those worlds. As such I’ve got to try and find the time when she isn’t around to watch them on my own, which can be tricky. So, here are some of the shows I’m hoping to finish this year: House of the Dragon season 1, Westworld season 4, Barry season 3, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia seasons 12-15, Inside No. 9 season 7, Avenue 5 season 2, Succession season 2-3, Brooklyn Nine-Nine season 8, Rick and Morty season 6, Ghosts 2022 Christmas special, What We Do in the Shadows season 2-4, and Fargo season 4. I’d also like to start and maybe even finish the likes of White Lotus, The Horne Section, Yellowjackets and Our Flag Means Death, as I think my wife won’t necessarily hate all of them. Oh, and can someone explain to me the appeal of Abbott Elementary? We watched the first couple of episodes of the first season and found it to be mostly awful, but now it’s winning awards. Should we have stuck with it?
Let’s keep it low key this year. I’m going to finish at least two of the three books I’m currently reading, and I’ll continue to make headway through Les Miserables. I got Randall Munroe’s What If 2 and Keith Phipps’ Age of Cage for Christmas, so if I go beyond those three books, these two are up next.
Again, keeping it simple. I’m going to clear, and then stay on top of, the new LAMB memberships, and maybe even finish the LAMB table listing all the LAMB members. At the very least I’ll share that list with the people that need it, namely the current Lambcast host, Richard.
So this year I think the house is going to take a bit of a priority, as there have been many days recently where my wife and I have looked around and gotten quite down at the amount of jobs that have been needing doing for quite some time, and 2023 is going to be the year of just getting on and doing the thing. We’ve even mapped out a schedule with monthly deadlines for large and smaller tasks. Sticking to the schedule has already seen me wrapped in full hat, gloves, coat, scarf and headlamp nailing featherboard cladding to a brick wall on a dark and frosty Sunday evening. I wont bore you with the whole thing, but here are the major bullet points we’re hoping to get done this year:
Front garden fence (mount onto wall, paint – we can do this)
Front step (replace, re-tile – we’ll probably get someone in)
Rear garden fence (finish, paint – we can do this)
Extension (re-plaster, paint – we’ll get someone in to plaster, but we’ll paint it)
House exterior (scrape off, paint – hopefully we can do this, depending on if we can get hold of the right ladders)
Electric charging point (we’ve ordered a hybrid car, it’d be a good idea to have a charging point installed before it arrives, which we’ll get an electrician to fit)
Carpet for stairs & landing (stairs are tricky, especially going round a corner and our odd-shaped landing, so I’d like to get someone in for this)
Redecorate bathroom (add skirting board, re-paint everything – we can do this)
Sweep chimney (no thank you, we’ll get someone else to do this, and then have the carpets cleaned properly afterwards)
Redecorate downstairs WC (repaint – we can do this)
Redecorate bedroom (repaint, including door frames – we can do this)
Redecorate office (repaint, maybe fit new shelving and wall lights – we can do this)
Running-wise, I’m going to stick with my goal of on average running every other day, trying to hit 100 miles a month and throwing the occasional long run (10+ miles) in every now and then, maybe once a month. I ran into work the other day (8km, after a 4km jog with the dogs) and my pace was considerably lower than it was at the end of last year. Whether that’s due to the colder weather, me being a little out of practise, the additional exercises I undertook before the run, the extra clothing layers I was wearing or if I’ve got any residual post Covid effects, I cannot yet say. I do intend to keep up with the other exercises as well – the push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges and whatever else gets added in future months, although if we keep adding more things I’m going to have a real struggle fitting 100 of each in every day! I’m not sure what the February plan is yet (burpees have been mentioned, but 100 feels a bit steep, and I’ll definitely subtract them from my push-up total). Also, and I’m only adding this in here as I don’t want to start a whole new “Music” section as well, but I’ve realised I’ve had a bunch of albums on my phone for literally years, and that I’ve never listened to a lot of them. Thus, when I’m doing my daily exercises, I’m going to slowly work my way through all the music, and purge any of which I’m not a fan. I’ve opted to go alphabetically by album title, which has so far led to yoga stretches accompanied by Guns N’ Roses’ Appetite for Destruction, and some very down tempo crunches to R.E.M.’s Automatic for the People, so this is probably a mistake but we’ll see how it goes.
More would be lovely, but to fit in the extra exercises I’m already getting up at 5:30am, whilst still not going to bed until around 11:30pm/midnight, and I don’t do much catching up at the weekend. This is unsustainable, and I really need to go to bed earlier. The 5.5 hours/night average will remain as the goal, but I’d love to get that figure nearer six.
As mentioned earlier, I do too many podcasts, but I’m also in a position where I feel obligated to continue all three that I currently host, as two of them are in a mid-way state, having not reached their logical conclusions. Also, I love doing them and wish they could be a full time career, but I lack the marketing know-how, big name acquaintances and natural charisma to make that happen, so a hobby this will remain. 2023 will see the culmination of Con Air – The Podcast once we release chapter 40, and I’ll work out how do I live without it. We’re currently trying to catch up on our own schedules by building a backlog of recorded shows whilst also releasing semi-hiatus older shows from Deep Blue Sea and Movies, Films & Flix where we’ve covered films similar to Con Air in some way (Airheads, Home Alone, Face/Off, Passenger 57 etc.). My secret plan is to keep that going long enough, alternating between hiatus shows and regular chapters, in order to prolong the show so our final episode drops around July 14th. Deep Blue Sea – The Podcast will continue on a fortnightly basis until at least after Con Air finishes. Lambpardy will remain monthly, although I’m already having scheduling issues and the January episode was supposed to be recorded today, the penultimate day of the month, but has had to be cancelled for several reasons, so this year is already shot. I’ve also already announced on Lambpardy that this final third of the mega tournament will likely be my final year hosting it as, whilst I love the show and have fun on it, it’s a lot of work writing 61 trivia questions for each show (although I do get a lot of help most months). I hope someone else is willing to pick up the mantle and keep it going in the future, but we’ll see.
As for guesting, I’ll probably scale that back a little this year, although I’ve already been on MovieRob Minute for When Harry Met Sally minutes 1-5, It’s Time to Rewind to discuss several segments of an episode of Angel, we’ve recorded a week of Bowfinger Minute episodes and I recorded with Chris and Jon from The Popcorn Auteur last night, all about the films of Shane Black. I’m going to try to say no if I’m asked but genuinely cannot be on a show (podcasters, please don’t read this and not invite me on your show, I’d love to be on).
So I make a pretty good chocolate brownie, it’s literally all my wife’s colleagues know me for, and regularly request a batch, which I’m often only too happy to provide. However, the recipe I use is one I found in a random baking book (purchased from the Eden Project, if I recall) and I’ve never adapted it or tried any other brownie recipe. To utterly piss in the face of the adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” my wife got me a second brownie book for Christmas, and I’m going to try some of those recipes this year too. Maybe one a month.
As for this site, along with hopefully some more reviews (I’ve missed writing), I’ll make my usual pledge to try and keep up with the monthly updates. However, given the first one is almost due and I haven’t finished this post yet, let’s not hold our collective breath, shall we?
So that was my 2022. How did yours go? Any plans for 2023? Any advice on how to get stuff done and still sleep sometimes? Please?
Finally catching up on this post so only 20 days after you posted, which at least beats you posting it 30 days into the new year 😉
Lots of good movies on your lists for this year! Also a bunch of stuff I’m not familiar with.
No judgement on the house stuff. We did accomplish some things last year that I’m pleased with. Looking back at your post last year I mentioned we needed to paint our basement. Paint was purchased but we still haven’t actually done it!
I think making a goal to just DO things seems like a no-brainer but its so real. Waiting for the right moment or overthinking before starting never really works out.
My main movie goal is to actually go to the movies more, which I’ve never really bounced back into that habit since covid. It’s been few and far between the past few years which makes me sad. In life I want to travel more and prioritize spending time with my niece and nephews. They’re growing up so fast and being an aunt is a super fun alternative to parenting.
I was debating waiting 10 days to reply to keep the 30/20/10 pattern going, but decided against it.
Aisha keeps looking at houses and found one with a basement that I fell in love with. I’m very envious that you have one, get it painted so you can enjoy it more!
I’ve found that committing to be on podcasts makes me go to the cinema more. After the early buzz on Quantumania I think I’d have backed out of my plans to see it were it now for this past weekend’s Lambcast, and I ended up enjoying the film quite a bit.