Ranking The Oscars 2022 Best Picture Candidates

Last year, I spoke about how, initially, the nominees for Best Picture seemed pretty solid, but the opportunity to watch all of them proved to be lackluster. This year was kind of the opposite. At first, the nominees seemed very… we’ll say “odd” to me. Then, after viewing most of them, I’ve come around on them more than last year’s batch. It’s more consistently solid, though perhaps not entirely sensational.

Note that I said I saw most of them this year. Unlike last year, I did not have the same opportunity to see every nominee. As of writing, I have not seen Licorice Pizza (which, to me, seems like the frontrunner), CODA, or Belfast. As such, they will not appear on this list. Should that ruin this ranking for you, by all means, close the tab.

As frequent readers are aware, I did view a few Best Picture nominees during my currently continuing March of the Movies block, so I will simply link to those reviews for extended thoughts. All other extended thoughts on individual films will have links to their parent sources. (I believe I have reviews for all of them somewhere.)

And if, for whatever reason, you with to see prior years’ rankings, you can see my 2018, 2019, and 2020 lists before this one. (The 2021 list is linked in the first two words.)

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Top 10 Films I Viewed in 2021

2021 was one full of video games for me, personally. Working full-time for KeenGamer for a large majority of the year meant I didn’t have too much time to really focus on anything else, outside of perhaps attending Twitch streams or setting aside time to watch films with friends. In part because of the latter, as well as my annual March of the Movies block, I saw over 100 films during the course of 2021, which allows me to be able to comprise a list of the best of the best. Who doesn’t love a good Top 10?

For those who didn’t register the title of the post, this is a Top 10 of the films I viewed during the course of 2021, not films specifically released in 2021. Frankly, I don’t think I could even list ten films I watched that released in 2021… Nevertheless, there will be a (yeah, singular) film from 2021 on this list, so I suppose that counts for something.

I will also note that I’ve made individual posts or reviews for most of the films that will be listed here, so this will be pretty to-the-point. Should people want to know more, I’ll link to the place where more of my stupid words are available in a non-stupid fashion.

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Top 10 Favorite Christmas Songs

What may be contrary to popular belief is that I am not an apathetic curmudgeon when it comes to the holidays. Christmas is my favorite holiday—the cheeriness, the romance, the snow; I’m privy to the “magic” that comes around this time of year. Much of that is owed to the type of music played, which can range from wonderful to “Please, God, make it stop.” In the spirit of the holidays, I wanted to detail my ten favorite Christmas songs ever, because why not?

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Top 10 Favorite Games After Four Years With KeenGamer

I mentioned last year that my productivity in terms of titles reviewed was fairly low. While I cannot remember the exact number, this past year was pretty low, as well—only twenty games. This would imply that the ten games I cover today will make up a clean half of the games I’ve reviewed between September 30th, 2020 and the same day, 2021. Nevertheless, there’s a solid selection of titles I’ve come across that make up the best games I’ve played in year four of my KeenGamer career.

No personal input from me this time around; life’s been relatively good. Work has been steady and I have no major complaints. If there’s been any reason for the lack of games reviewed, it could just be the increased responsibilities I have now that I work for Keen full-time. That said, I’ve already published a Metroid Dread review since the cutoff and will likely have another review out in the coming days. Off to a good start for next year!

Small and maybe unwarranted note, but I don’t receive review copies for everything I review. Also, since I’ve formally reviewed all games in the following list, I won’t go into substantive detail here.

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The 2nd Best Quarterbacks of Every NFL Franchise (NFC Edition)

Hello again, reader. Are you ready to read another giant-post-in-waiting after my 6,800-word AFC Edition of this post topic? Wonderful. Let’s get to it.

For those new, let me reaffirm my position on this topic by slightly re-wording the first few paragraphs of my last post. Those already familiar can simply skip down to the actual list.

Football is a sport I enjoy quite a bit. I am actually half-watching football while writing the beginning sequence of this post. But if there’s one thing that beats my love of football, it’s the NFL’s love for promoting its biggest stars. Profiteering and all that; it’s pretty disgusting. Anyway, many are accustomed to the best—I simply wish to know more.

This (and the other) post is a document aimed at showcasing those who were good, maybe even great—just not the greatest. A project of historical combing, and assessing those that managed their own stretch of history, which may go overlooked if not detailed. People are likely to know the best. Would they go out of their way to know those further down the line? I would. Join me as we look at the second-best quarterbacks of every NFC-based NFL franchise.

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The 2nd Best Quarterbacks of Every NFL Franchise (AFC Edition)

Here’s a giant-post-in-waiting that I’m sure most of my readers will be thrilled to completely read through.

Football’s a fun sport to watch. It has a long and meticulously chronicled history to look back on, showcasing the greats of the sport and the most spectacular (and bizarre) moments ever concocted in organized team activities. Most are willing to showcase the best of the best; the clear stars that made football entertaining or worth following, like an artist at the height of their power in the prime of their life. I respect that.

Yet I also feel compelled to highlight those just below the stature of cemented greatness. Figures that starred when provided the spotlight, though perhaps muddled in the memories of fans for the sake of not being flawless legends. To clarify, though, some franchises have been afforded plenty of legends, so some historical names will be included regardless. Even so, the purposes of this article is to go and feature those just a step below; the 2nd best quarterbacks from every major NFL franchise.

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Monday Night Football with Peyton & Eli Was a Beautiful Mess

A somewhat unusual topic for this blog, though it does feature football to some degree. What’s under the microscope for this piece is not so much football itself, but the way it was covered. Specifically, a unique broadcast alternative that started this year, where former star quarterbacks (and brothers) Peyton and Eli Manning watch a game and commentate while doing so.

I don’t recall where I saw this (probably ProFootballTalk), but this “MNF with Peyton & Eli” block was described as something of a more relaxed viewing alternative to the standard broadcast. Like sitting in a bar and watching with your buddies, so to speak. I was intrigued, to be sure, as the normal situation revolves around a two to three person team talking over football in a professional manner and, debatably, with little personality.

Peyton & Eli did end up being somewhat of a more unkempt flavor of football commentary. What it also did was completely trust the Manning brothers with what I assume to be near-complete creative freedom with how the show was conducted. This assumption gave birth to the first episode of a series I both hope continues forever and gets cancelled tomorrow.

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Top 10 Favorite Yu-Gi-Oh Card Artworks

Like many youngsters in the early 2000’s, I was quite fond of this new card-game phenomenon by the name of Yu-Gi-Oh. Complete with super-censored anime adaptation airing at the time, my interest peaked pretty early, only to slowly dwindle as the different generations rolled around (mid-way through GX for me, personally). Still, if there was one thing I could harbor a deep affection for, it was the super rad artistic aesthetic of the collectible cards.

Yes, I was one of those people who would collect the cards to stare at the cool artwork and not actually play the game.

A random urge recently came over me to re-visit some of those old artworks that titillated my younger mind. In time, that urge to simply view transformed into an urge to rank, to assert my opinion in a structured fashion that speaks to me on a spiritual level. Now, here we are; these are my favorite Yu-Gi-Oh card artworks, based solely on how rad I think they are.

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Top 10 Games I’m Looking Forward to After E3 2021

I truly missed E3. After being cancelled last year, 2021 returned with all the lovely game announcements and surprise reveals that I once cherished as a gaming connoisseur. While my tastes and standards have shifted since 2019, I still viewed the Wholesome Direct, Xbox/Bethesda Showcase, and Nintendo Direct in full, and otherwise kept a pulse on the E3 “hype train” on social media.

So many games… I can barely keep my head on straight (not that I could before). Now that most of the celebration is done and gone, what’s there to look forward to? What games am I, specifically, foaming at the mouth to get my hands on? These are the ten games that I’m most looking forward to post E3 2021.

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Actually, Mortal Kombat’s Direction Is Fine; I’m Just a Nostalgia-Bound Cynic

Back in January of 2019 B.C. (Before COVID), I made a post chronicling my history with Mortal Kombat and how its current direction left me uninterested. Now two and a half years later, with Mortal Kombat 11 released with multiple DLC packages and a new film recently released, I’ve kind of fallen back into the Mortal Kombat vibe. Not enough to play any of the newer games, but to the point where I’m willing to give these new entries the benefit of the doubt. After all, I’m been trying to rid myself of the nostalgia goggles that have been strapped to my face for several years.

The intention of this post is simply that of revision—to update the thoughts I had previously stated and basically dab on my younger, likely more cynical self. For those who were here for the first post, welcome back! To those who weren’t, please feel free to give the link to said article above a click and get familiar with the structure of the post. This will basically be mirroring that, only with a “before and after” style of rebuttal.

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