A Trip to Infinity (2022, dir. Jon Halperin & Drew Takahashi)

Mathematicians and physicists discuss the concept of infinity. And that’s about it: a largely talking heads-based approach, but chirpy and accessible. Offers a series of explorations of the implications of the infinite, both on science and on being human. It’s alright, and it doesn’t hang about.

Here’s the trailer.

Ocean’s Twelve (2004, dir. Steven Soderbergh)

Danny Ocean and crew relocate to Amsterdam, having to steal a Faberge egg to repay a nemesis. Some over-confidence in plotting and approach that might grate, but this is nevertheless a slick, effortless sequel doubling down on the mix of heist comedy and New Wave stylings established in its predecessor.

Here’s the trailer.

Pinocchio (2022, dir. Robert Zemeckis)

A marionette boy, if worthy, can become human. Another of Zemeckis’s CG/mocap/animation hi-tech but low-soul classic adaptations, this time a remake of the 1940 Disney classic. A few wrinkles, characters, and new songs are added, but no improvements, with some aspects toned down.

Here’s the trailer.

Thor: Love and Thunder (2022, dir. Taika Waititi)

Thor and Jane Foster reunite: a god-killing nemesis must be stopped. Self-indulgent fourth Thor flick (with added Guardians of the Galaxy): there’s some funny stuff, but way too much padding, and not a scintilla of drama or jeopardy. Still, Russell Crowe has fun as Zeus.

Here’s the trailer.

Last Looks (2022, dir. Tim Kirkby)

A reclusive ex-cop is hired as a PI to help an alcoholic TV star accused of murder. Slightly baggy adaptation of Howard Michael Gould’s fun Hollywood comedy-thriller: casting is spot-on (though Mel Gibson could have done more to lean into his reputation), but flat direction means the zip isn’t there to make this fly.

Here’s the trailer.

Pinocchio (1940, dir. Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske, and others)

A marionette is given the chance to become a real boy. Still-dazzling Carlo Collodi adaptation (only the Monstro sequence doesn’t quite work), with impressive visuals, some great songs used deftly, and more than a few adult gags sneaked in. A pop culture touchstone for good reason. Remade by Disney in 2022.

Here’s the trailer.

Jackass 4.5 [AKA Jackass FourPointFive] (2022, dir. Jeff Tremaine)

A compilation of additional stunts and extra footage not used in the release cut of Jackass Forever. More of the same, with no discernable drop in quality from the material used in its movie progenitor. For some, that’ll be all the recommendation that’s needed.

No trailer online that I could find, but here’s a representative clip.

Jackass Forever (2022, dir. Jeff Tremaine)

A decade after Jackass 3D, Johnny Knoxville and friends old and new assemble for more lo-fi stunt stupidity. More of the same, though with the added pleasure of age playing its part. The commitment to slapstick male genital abuse throughout is kinda impressive. Jackass 4.5 soon followed.

Here’s the trailer.

Sing 2 (2021, dir. Garth Jennings)

Buster Moon talks himself into trouble mounting a show in a Las Vegas-style resort. Dayglo jukebox animation sequel that doesn’t have the focus of the first flick, but nevertheless delivers jokes, visuals, and a musical palette from Mercury Rev to System of a Down via Prince, Billie Eilish, and The King and I. Something for everyone, pretty much.

Here’s the trailer.

The Virtuoso (2021, dir. Nick Stagliano)

A loner hitman is given an unusual assignment in a small town. A strong cast is given little to do in this ponderous thriller, saddled with a glum voiceover and a very guessable mystery element. Ah well.

Here’s the trailer.