The Pickety Witch — It's a Top 10, Witch (and some updates)

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The Pickety Witch
The Pickety Witch — It's a Top 10, Witch (and some updates)
By Amelia E. • Issue #45 • View online
Given the circumstances, I hope your Christmas was as palatable as it could have been. I spent the day distracting myself with cooking and spending too much time on social media talking about said cooking because the house is usually filled with people eating said cooking on Christmas. I was used to spending the holidays alone for a good amount of time, and then I didn’t have to be, and then circumstances changed again. All things considered, though, it wasn’t so bad.
Last week was a busy week.

I also wrote and narrated this:
Year in Streaming 2021
Year in Streaming 2021
But First, An Update
Things are a-changin’, both here and on my Patreon. Obviously, I can’t make Content™ on my own anymore. There’s both a conflict of interest and I truly don’t have the time with work commitments. But these are all good things!
What’s changing for the newsletter?
First and foremost, the format. If you’ve been following along, you’ve probably expected an announcement along these lines. We’re not done discussing politics and how you can change the world. We just might not talk about it every week. This is in part for my sanity. The other part is continuing to uphold the frequency. Sometimes I just don’t have the emotional energy to write out a deep dive on how to topple the patriarchy. Other weeks? I’ll write you a goddamn manifesto. I’m just trying this new thing were I try and respect my own limitations when they come up.
What’s changing for the Patreon?
We’re focusing on two things come the new year: community and personal space. I think it’s incredibly important to carve out your personal space. I am a fierce defender of my physical personal space, and I see no reason not to be the same online. It occurs to me that the foundation of that personal space already exists in the community that we’re building as a team. So, tiers will be changing to remove anything Content™ related and becoming spaces for personal essays, advice, rant sessions, etc. More hard details will come to subscribers before they’re charged at the beginning of the year! And, as always, if you’ve got suggestions or something you’d like to see, you can always respond to these newsletters.
And now, without further adieu, here are my Top 10 films of 2021. (It’s technically eleven. Fight me.)
10. Moxie
I aggressively love this sweet, fierce movie. I especially hope every man reading this takes the time to check it out. You too, ladies, but dudes need to watch more female driven art. Dudes especially need to watch more girl driven art. This fiercely feminist little ditty allows its messy protagonist to screw up while she navigates her own femininity and strength. Not everyone engages with activism in the same way, whether it be because of personality type or privilege.
Stream Moxie on Netflix
9. Free Guy
Folks had lots to say about Free Guy. Mostly that it was a vapid hodge podge of IP that signals the downfall of cinema as we know it. I’m not here to tell you that it’s not an aggressive hodge podge of IP, but I will tell you that I truly do not give a damn because I grinned like a fool for the entire runtime. There’s a scene that made me cheer like an idiot in a theater full of people — a feeling that I previously had not felt for a considerable amount of time due to being locked in my house for a year like the rest of the responsible people of the world.
I’ll write an angry essay about how cinema is about feeling things and someone feeling over something IP driven doesn’t mean they don’t care about cinema later. For now: Fuck off, Free Guy is a goddamn delight.
Stream Free Guy on VOD
8. West Side Story
This should be higher on the list, but Ansel Elgort is both a slimeball and the absolute worst part of West Side Story. It’s nice when you don’t have to point out that separating art from the artist is privileged bullshit because the artist is, uh, Not Good™. I don’t want to harp, but the dude makes a face in this movie that is meant to depict agony but will instead be fodder for years of memes once it becomes available to audiences at home.
The Elgort of it all aside, West Side Story is a stone cold stunner of a film. Like, absolutely one of the most gorgeous movies I’ve ever seen. Not that folks needed reminding, but Spielberg absolutely reiterated that he is one of the best living directors around. And the rest of the performances… ugh. So, so beautiful. You’ve heard the well-earned praise for Ariana DeBose, but the rest of cast is nothing to shake a stick at. Plus, Rita fricken Moreno.
West Side Story is only in Theaters
7. The Harder They Fall
Westerns, man. They’re great. The Harder They Fall is the walking embodiment of the “if bad why hot?” meme. Everyone in this movie is fine, everyone’s giving great performances, and we’re all having a damn good time. Jeymes Samuel’s cowboy joint is absolutely one to check out at the earliest possible convenience.
IF. BAD. WHY. HOT?!
Stream The Harder They Fall on Netflix
6. Fear Street (94/66)
The Fear Street books were a hugely important part of my childhood, so I all but wet my pants with excitement when Fear Street was announced (first as a wide-release film, then as a Netflix trilogy). Because I’ve been over 80’s nostalgia for the last decade (don’t start with me), ‘78 didn’t wow me the way it did some fans. (Yes, I’m aware its in the 70s and not the 80s. The film is still presented as 80s nostalgia. I said don’t start with me!)
'94 and '66 on the other hand are peak Mia Movie Material™. Witches. Witches fucking up lying boys. Witches doing witch shit. Cheerleaders! Cheerleaders being snarky! Cheerleaders having the best on-screen death of 2021!
Legit, if your kill scene is so great that you kill of my favorite character and I’m still excited because the dead was SO FREAKIN GOOD, you get eleventy stars.
Stream The Fear Street trilogy on Netflix
5. Judas and the Black Messiah
That’s right, girls and ghouls, Judas and the Black Messiah came out in 2021. In February, which took place approximately eleventy years ago.
Daniel Kaluuya and Lakeith Stanfield are both jaw-on-the-floor-great in this movie. The film is poignant for a whole host of reasons, but I especially recommend it to folks who, like me, grew up in a small town full of white folks whose school curriculum called the Black Panthers a terrorist organization.
Stream Judas and the Black Messiah on HBO Max
4. Pig
I am aggressively on team Hokey Nic Cage is the Least Interesting Nic Cage. Folks are so wrapped up in the weird shit he can do that it gets forgotten that the dude is an absolutely remarkable actor. Enter Pig, a film that I didn’t expect to resonate with me in any capacity that absolutely knocked me on my ass. You keep hearing about the restaurant scene because it is impeccable and should continue to be discussed for always.
While we’re here, please sign up for my other newsletter. It’s called Comparing Films to John Wick Benefits No One Stop Doing It Immediately You Are Almost Always Wrong.
Stream Pig on VOD
3. Mass
Y'all remember Fran Kranz? The dweeby funny guy from such films as The Cabin in the Woods and Dollhouse? Well, it turns out that the funny best friend can and will absolutely emotionally destroy you in ways you didn’t know were possible.
Mass is the story of two groups of parents. One family lost their child in a school shooting. The other are the parents of the kid who did the killing, also dead. It is a quiet, fiercely emotional, completely devastating film that everyone in the world would be better for watching.
Stream Mass on VOD on December 29
2. The Mitchells vs. the Machines
The Mitchells vs the Machines is another film that I didn’t expect at all. The trailers didn’t grab me, and only begrudgingly agreed to turn it on with dinner one evening. I cried four times in the move, several of which were of the “ugly” variety. What a balm Katie Mitchell is. How exciting it is that young, queer women get to see themselves create so fearlessly. I adore this film, and it should have been up for best picture.
Stream The Mitchells vs. the Machines on Netflix
1. CODA
I believe y'all have heard me go on this rant before, but just in case you missed it: I will never, ever, ever forgive Apple for purchasing CODA and then for all intents and purposes burying it. $25 million to just let it die on the vine. The hubris there is mind numbing, but the most infuriating part of all is that they’re not the ones who miss out. Apple could buy a million CODAs and be fine. But their abject failure at marketing the film means that so, so many people haven’t experienced it because they don’t know about it.
ANYWAY. Ruby Rossi is the only hearing member of her family, and all she wants to do is sing. That’s all you need to know. Seek it out immediately.
Stream CODA on Apple TV+
Most Aniticipated for 2021
Honestly they’re all pretty basic. The ones I’m less excited for I’ll still watch because it’s my job, but they’re either not on here because I forgot about them, or because I’m not as hyped as everyone else lol. This list is not legally binding as new projects get announced. Good day.
Anyway, aside from the obvious Jurassic World and Scream hype, I can’t wait for the new Spider-Verse joint, Thor: Love and Thunder, Nope, Disenchanted, The Black Phone (which I’ve already seen but I want it on y'all’s radar), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, The 355, and Legally Blonde 3.
And Now A Word From Our Sponsors
Certified Forgotten highlights the horror films that fall through the cracks of modern distribution. The Matts™ host a bi-weekly podcast featuring forgotten gems with five reviews or less on Rotten Tomatoes, as well as acting as a home for new voices in the horror genre! You can follow them on both Twitter and Instagram.
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Did you enjoy this issue?
Amelia E.

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

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