2021 has been quite something, hasn’t it? Not all good, obviously, but it’s certainly been a year.
I started Late Reviewer back in March with the intention, as I’ve said before, of channelling all the negativity I was feeling into something creative. I hoped I’d feel better by doing so, even if not much changed for the better in the grand scheme of things.
As 2021 ends, it’s safe to say not much has changed for the better in the grand scheme of things – there’s the odd piece of good news here and there, of course, but overall everything seems much the same out there.
What has changed though, is that through Late Reviewer, I’ve found a brilliant new area of social media. Between hearing everyone’s suggestions for the By The Decade pieces, reading reactions and thoughts on new Late Reviews, receiving contributions for Special Features and one genuinely unexpected but touching moment on Twitter, it’s been a delight to discover Late Reviewer followers are so supportive, funny, smart and cinematically literate.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of them, so give yourself a big pat on the back, yeah?
For me, it’s been really interesting to see how certain pieces have performed too. The Special Features were only introduced in September, and are certainly among the biggest hitters on the site – I’m delighted about that, and looking forward to sharing some new ones in 2022, including some from people who’ve never contributed to the site before (and hopefully a couple of familiar names too).
Rewatching twenty-odd films I haven’t seen in years (many in well over a decade), was fun for me, and I hope if you’ve read the Late Reviews you’ve found at least a couple of them fun too. Most of them held up, thankfully, but even those I didn’t enjoy as much as I’d remembered still had their charms, and it was great to revisit them even if it might be for the last time.
For reference, Igby Goes Down, The Big Sleep (1978) and The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou were the best performing Late Reviews of 2021 – Igby’s fair enough, as it was one of the first to go live. I think The Life Aquatic is my favourite review to date (and marks the point I started to really get the hang of writing properly about film rather than trying to put together a plot-heavy or silly podcast-style commentary), and that piece definitely benefited from some kind comments and shares. No idea how the Michael Winner film made it into the top three, but it was another fun one to watch for the first time and write about in comparison to the 1946 classic.
The Quick Reads have always been intended to be a bit of fun, and hit an early peak with the old ‘movies improving on the book‘ debate, but I’ve really enjoyed the responses to pieces on ‘movies that surprised you‘ and still find myself noticing phrases and pronunciations in everyday life that I wish I’d included in ‘can movies change the way we speak‘.
So where is this going? I dunno.
The pile of discs due a Late Review is still pretty tall, though for a variety of reasons I’ve had less time and energy in recent months to sit down and watch them, let alone write about them. You might have noticed a drop in output recently, and that’s something I intend to try and address.
Right now, I’m just really grateful for all the positivity Late Reviewer brought me in 2021, and try to deliver more of the same going into 2022. I’m also playing with a few new ideas, which could be fun, but I’ll let you know when there’s more to share.
Lastly, I’d like to thank everyone who has supported Late Reviewer 2021. I hope you’ve found something to enjoy (and maybe even share!), and if you disagree with any part of it, that’s fine too – I’m always up for good natured debate, and would love to hear your thoughts on anything on here.
However you felt this year went, I hope your 2022 is an improvement on your 2021 and look forward to seeing you back here soon.