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The Pickety Witch — Biggest Surprises of 2021

The Pickety Witch
The Pickety Witch — Biggest Surprises of 2021
By Amelia E. • Issue #42 • View online
I love loving things, and I love surprises. Media that you don’t expect to be 100% Your Shit™ is always the best. They may not make my Top 10 (tho it’s possible) but these were still the entertainment entries that surprised me the most in 2021. This one isn’t ranked, fite me.
(Also, animation writers are rallying for equal pay. I wrote about it. I also reviewed Nightmare Alley and Camp Cretaceous S4. And our review is live now — I didn’t write this one — so I can say that West Side Story is a revelation and I cannot recommend it enough. I absolutely did not think that Spielberg would pull it off, but it’s his best film in years.)

Psycho Goreman
A B movie has to be fricken great for me to be on board. Psycho Goreman is an absolute delight from start to finish. Belligerent and often downright unlikeable Mimi is a breath of fresh air, and PG and his Hunky Boys are just wonderful. It’s weird. They have a band. There are monsters from another world. It’s overflowing in practical effects. Literally what more could you want? (HE’S DRESSED AS ALAN GRANT. WHY?! WHO KNOWS!)
Stream on Shudder!
Initiation
Sisterhood! Rapists getting their comeuppance! Slashers! We watch a lot of horror flicks in this house. In a sheer numbers game, there are a good amount of them that ain’t great. But every once in a while you get a joyous surprise like Initiation. Also, Caste fans: Jon Huertas is in this!
Rent on VOD!
Swan Song
Udo Kier is a fuckin’ weirdo and it’s my very favorite thing about him. Swan Song sounds so boring on the tin — it’s about a hairstylist going through the proverbial swan song — but Kier’s performance makes every second of this film worthwhile.
(Not to be confused with Prime Video’s upcoming Swan Song starring Mahershala Ali.)
Rent on VOD!
Together, Together
What a lovely, lovely film about platonic love. I can’t remember which festival I watched this out of at this point, but it released wide in 2021 so it’s, y'know, around if you want to seek it out. I’m usually very hit or miss on Ed Helms but he really nails it here. The real knockout is Patti Harrison though. Really, really great work here.
Stream on Hulu!
West Side Story
Listen, I know I already talked about this one last week. But I can’t stress enough how much I thought this was going to tank. I didn’t think Spielberg could pull it off and I thought the tragic loss of Sondheim the week of its critics screenings was going to hobble it right out the gate. I was wrong. I was so wrong. I loved this damn movie. It’s so luscious. Spielberg’s choice not to subtitle the Spanish was inspired, and the performances are out of this world. (Not you, Elgort. You’re a meme.)
In theaters December 10th!
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Amelia E.

An intersection between pop culture and social change, and whatever musings come to me along the way.

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