• RE: Cardboard

    @marland_moore Where does it leave us? It very obviously leaves us in a place where there are next to no paper events. I don't see that changing unless individuals make a local effort to get events up and running in their community. You've asked this question a bunch of different ways a bunch of different times, I'm not sure what you're still looking for.

    posted in Vintage Community
  • Best Films of 2021

    So, I skipped last year. Sorry about that!

    Here's the 2019 post: https://www.themanadrain.com/topic/3058/best-films-of-2019/

    Here's the full list of 2021 releases: https://www.firstshowing.net/schedule2021/

    I saw an astonishing 42 films released in 2021, way above the number I saw in the preceding half decade.

    Here are my top 10, counting down to my favorite:

    1. King Richard
      This was thoroughly entertaining from start to finish, with strong performances throughout. This was a remarkable story and a remarkable film about an American Icon (not the father).

    2. Oslo
      This was a phenomenal and surprisingly engaging film about international negotiations. I enjoyed every minute.

    3. Ice Road
      This was an extremely fun romp, and one of the better Liam Neeson films. I loved it.

    4. Candyman

    For most of the year, this was in my top 3, but a bunch of late entries surged ahead of this. This was a memorable film with a strong theme and a powerful effect. I gave it 4 stars (out of 5).

    1. Spiderman: No Way Home
      You'll notice that the Tom Holland Spider-man films get high marks from me, and this was probably the best entry! I still maintain that Tom Holland is too "cool" to be an effective Peter Parker, but the films he is in are the best. This was a truly remarkable film. 4/5 stars

    2. Bruised by and with Hale Berry

    I have a soft spot for the Rocky Films, and this was the female Rocky, but with probably the best sound track I heard this past year. 4/5 stars

    1. The Last Duel by Ridley Scott

    This was a film that lingered with me days after watching it. If you haven't seen it, it's incredible on many levels. It's about politics, misogyny, religion, etc. GREAT film. And it had me on the edge of my seat until the very end.

    4.5/5 stars

    1. Don't Look Up
      The best satire of the last few years. This film will also linger in your head for days. It's basically an allegory of the harms of extreme polarization, and it sadly hits the mark.

    4.5/5 stars

    1. Zack Snyder's Justice League

    I really thought this was a phenomenal film, and it washed out the terrible memory and bad taste that the previous Justice League film had left. The performances were heartfelt and the plot was personal and touching. This was the work of an auteur, and I don't care what anyone has to say about it. I gave it 4.5/5 stars

    1. West Side Story by Steven Spielberg

    The only 5-star film I gave this year.

    I'm a sucker for West Side Story, and this film solved most of the problems of the original, including by re-centering Latin and Puerto Rican characters and culture.

    This was a masterful film by a master of the medium. That's all I could think while watching it.

    Here's the complete list of my rankings for 2021 films from best to worst (yes, I only gave The Power of Dog 1.5 stars).

    https://letterboxd.com/smenendian/list/2021-films-ranked/

    And, since we missed the 2020 list, here is my 2020 lists:

    https://letterboxd.com/smenendian/list/2020-films-ranked/

    I felt that 2020 had more 5-star films, but 2021 had a lot more in the 4 star range.

    Best,

    Stephen

    posted in Off-Topic
  • SMIP # 101: The Episode Time Forgot

    This episode 101 is a long-overdue effort to play catch-up on episodes that were recorded throughout the last year and have become less able to stand on their own, given the passage of time. In an effort to not completely abandon this content, we’ll be presenting snippets and summaries of these shows; which will include: Kaldheim, Strixhaven, and Modern Horizons 2.

    https://www.mtgcast.com/podcasts/so-many-insane-plays/posts/so-many-insane-plays-episode-101-the-episode-that-time-forgot-92eb3679dc

    posted in Vintage News
  • RE: Pimp Swamps

    @john-cox The Unhinged John Avon swamps are pretty nice and in that price range.

    posted in Vintage Community
  • RE: Houston, TX | 1/9/2022 | Full Proxy Vintage at Asgard Games

    @john-cox Austin has a robust scene through Romancing The Stones. Our events have been a little wonky since 2020, for obvious reasons, but we're still going strong.

    https://stonesmtg.com

    posted in Vintage Tournaments
  • RE: Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas! 🎄☃️🎅🦌

    posted in Vintage Community
  • RE: Eternal Weekend 2021

    Are full results posted anywhere? Any TMD winners?

    posted in Vintage Tournaments
  • RE: Best Films of 2019

    @botvinik I've really gotta check that one out at some point. Did you see the Peter Jackson documentary, They Shall Not Grow Old? Similar subject matter and I thought it was incredibly well done.

    posted in Off-Topic
  • RE: Best Films of 2019

    @maxxx17 The ones that stand out to me in retrospect are:
    Knives Out - Fun and engaging from beginning to end
    Endgame - A fitting end to the years-long buildup
    Knock Down the House - An insightful look into what it took for these folks to get elected
    Toy Story 4 - Really hit on all of the notes that made the original so great while still feeling new
    Far From Home - Agree with Steve's take on this one, a fun subversion of the usual hero/villain dynamic

    posted in Off-Topic
  • RE: [VOW] Lantern of the Lost

    @blindtherapy Since when is Relic too slow for this format? It's a 3-4 of in Golos across main and side. I think it's nice to have another option for graveyard hate available.

    posted in Single-Card Discussion