Friday, December 9, 2022

Bengies Top 10 2022

 Bengies Top 10 2022

As in past years, I take a look at movies I've watched at the Bengies Drive-In near Baltimore. The theatre is a relic of the post-WW2 U.S. boom years, where cars and movies could live as one. The only drive-in left in Maryland, claiming to be the largest screen in the U.S.A, it can be a welcome escape from the small tube world to sit under the stars looking at the wide screen.

2021 ratings: (the longest season ever)


Each pick is one that I saw in person, though in some cases we didn't stay for the whole show/

Marquee with 2 Batmen

March opening.

The marquee picture for 2 completely different Batman movies was taken in last February 2022. I commented at the time that we had only been unable to attend the drive-in in about 2 months, since they operated through December 2021.
I consider the Lego Batman movie as not qualified for the "best of 2022" because it was also the season opener in 2017. (I didn't see it then, apparently, per my best of 2017).



This marquee shot is misleading since we didn't get to the shows that weekend. I'm only including it because we saw both of the posted shows, just not on the same evening. I kind of liked the shot with the clouds. Doctor Strange was another escapist saga where the few seconds during or at the end of the credits was a memorable as any other segment in the production.

all at once


The epic "Everything Everywhere All At Once" almost got by us because we had other plans when it was showing, and then went off the bill. But it came back and I sat through Top Gun to then thoroughly enjoy the bizarrely surrealism of this unique creation. We had to rent it on DVD and watch a few scenes several times each in order to make a bit more sense. Of course, I rate this the top film of the year.

I had to ask Sean of the Bengies staff what was happening with the flipping from wide-screen to ultra-wide screen in different shots of Everything Everywhere; he said that was not a mistake but part of the edit. I guess I need to watch it one more time to try to see if the wide part is real, or fantasy. They got me!

I didn't get a shot of the marquee advertising a new documentary about the drive-in movie industry ("GOING ATTRACTIONS: BACK TO THE DRIVE-IN") though we we fortunate to be able to catch it an a preview. The upswing in outdoor movie attendance triggered by the pandemic allowed a few houses to continue operating, and a few people tried to jump start older or brand new locations. While an uplifting story, the financial realities may poke holes in a few plans. I didn't add this documentary into my "top 10" list as it's more a one-off.


Summer blockbuster season does not appear to have gone away due to the pandemic even if many schedules changed drastically. I noted about this marquee how many of the shows are sequels. Hint: 100%.
Thor rocked.
We didn't see the dinosaurs and didn't miss them though we did miss Minions.


Fortunately again this season the Bengies hosted the Scouts for a one-night camp-in. A double feature of kid-friendly picks, and good weather for once. One of my favorite events even if exhausting.
My remark a the time was I could not recall seeing a double feature that contained both D.C. and Marvel Comic franchises. Well done, teams.


Black Adam was refreshing.
We watched only the first reel of Till. I admit, given what we know of the story, and how times haven't changed enough, was sickening to the stomach. I can be a wincer.

I like the shot as I was able to get most of the rising moon intact if not flared.


Global climate change is bad; I try to prevent carbon consumption though am nowhere near 100% renewables. I sigh because it allows a drive-in to operate in these latitudes from March through December rather than the May through September of bygone times. We didn't need to rent an in-car heater and saw people with open hatches watching not through glass.

Drum roll for the top 10.

  1. Everything Everywhere All At Once
  2. Strange World
  3. The Woman King
  4. Black Panther Wakanda Forever
  5. Black Adam
  6. Thor (4)
  7. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness
  8. The Batman
  9. Spider-Man No Way Home
  10. Till
  11. D.C. League of Super-Pets

Yeah, it goes to 11 this year.

The "bottom 10" is pretty short this year. Top Gun takes 2 places, so jingoistic.