The New Mutants

Untapped Potential

Maybe Watch It?

The New Mutants was interesting. As I watched the short for a super hero 90 minute movie, I kept thinking about how it felt like this was either a first draft, or a cut down far too much over produced final piece. From what I have read it appears to be a bit in the middle. To be up front this movie, isn’t like the trailer above. Or at least not to the spooky level that you’d think.

Instead it’s kind of a mix between a horror lite movie for pre-teens and a Breakfast Club style group of misfits movie. It’s a blend that at moments works even if it’s not the movie you are getting in the trailers, but it doesn’t feel earned. I mentioned earlier the movie is a little over 90 minutes, well you can tell. There were moments were things just felt missing. Nothing that would make the plot not make sense, you can follow it easily enough, but missing in that I didn’t feel connected to any of these mutants journeys or relationships. There is a skeleton frame of a movie here, that could have used 15 to 20 minutes of additional scenes to really cement what they were aiming for.

At the heart of this thing is a group of traumatized teens, like any other X-Men movie, but instead of having some heroic professor’s teaching them right and wrong they are in a prison hospital causing them to reexperience that trauma. The concept is interesting, different from the X-Men. The cast is adequate, good actors not given too much to do. It’s these things that makes this movie an odd one for me. I didn’t hate it. I didn’t love it. I liked it a bit, but more because it made me think, “I would like to learn more about this part of the X-Men universe.”

I’m not even frustrated at what I watched, maybe because it was so short, but it does make me wish what could have happened if director Josh Boone would have had the opportunity to do reshoots? Not two years after the Disney Fox purchase where Maisie Williams has aged up considerably but in the normal half year or so time frame these reshoots really take place. What could this have been if this movie was much more horror like, to an R rated quality? How much more of a unique and awesome experience would that have been?

The New Mutants is a middle of the road X-Men movie. It’s not the worst of the bunch but that comes down to the fact that the setting and scenario is pretty different from the seven X-Men movies before it. Yet, after the successes of Deadpool and the brilliant Logan (which this movie references at one point) it is disappointing that this movie was not better than just okay.


Film Followers – yeah, I’m Thinking I’m Back!

Hey out there, yeah you the person reading this. So 2020 has been a thing huh? When the movie world kind of shut down, so did I when it came to watching new movies. I’ll be honest I haven’t been a huge streaming movie person when it comes to new movies. A lot of time, I would say 90% of the time, the movies I have seen on a Netflix have been, well just trash. Not the so bad it’s good trash, but like the smelly kind in your place that you have to quickly toss that out or the stench just sticks in the room for days kind of trash.

That’s all to say, I was not looking forward to the idea of having to go to places like that for new movies, and new movies weren’t really coming out. Well it’s almost been three quarters of the year and some movies did trickle out. Enough of them, that I’m going to start posting some reviews on the ones I have seen. And if HBO Max really sticks to their guns and releases their movies on streaming same day as theaters? I’ll for sure watch them all. Well maybe not all of them, Tom and Jerry I’m looking at you. That’s all to say, I want to get back to seeing movies again, I have watched a couple of movies in the past weeks and it felt good to get back into that rhythm.

That said, I wanted to come back with some changes and some criteria. There are way too many damn movies on streaming platforms. Like far too many. I’m not watching them all, and a lot, like I said, are just Netflix-gotta-have-more-things-for-you-to-watch bad. Which nope, naw, no thanks. I’ll be a tad pickier and not watch twenty Anthony Mackie movies he made for Netflix in three weeks. (No offense Anthony Mackie, you do make some good stuff!)

On to the changes though, I’m done with ratings. Score’s are silly. What I think of some movie, score wise, could mean widely different things to you. So instead of scores BEHOLD! My score replacement!

  • Watch This NOW!
  • Maybe Watch It?
  • Probably Not Worth Your Time

Also my thoughts on a movie I may have scored at one point coughRiseOfSkywalkercough might have changed. Sometimes you get caught up in the moment, and think a bunch of flaws are gold when they are actually that fools gold that rubs off when you touch it. Which by the way I might go back and do some refreshed thoughts on some movies I wrote about in the past.

Remember when you looked good?

Anyways this was a long post to say, Film Followers has returned! but… not like Palpatine, like Aragorn. That was a pretty epic return.


The Oscars 2020 – Reactions

Parasite WON!!! I really did not think it was going to happen. I thought maybe at best it would split best picture and director with Sam Mendes’ 1917, but it took it all. All in all I don’t think there was any winner that really seemed too much of a stretch. Well maybe 1917 losing production design to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. I mean come on people, the meticulous work it required to recreate WWI is a bit mindbogglingly. But fiiiine, Hollywood really likes itself so it had to get one in there before they did something that will benefit the industry by voting Parasite to the win.

While we are on the winner subjects, this year the academy did a slightly better job in making sure most winners had a chance to actually thank people for winning. This years award winner that just made me smile to no end was for the original score category. Hildur Guðnadóttir definitely deserved it and I can’t wait to hear what she does next.

Outside of the award winners themselves, the show itself continues to be this very weird thing. The opening number had little nods to a handful of movies that were straight out snubbed this year which okay… The Cats bit while amusing at the beginning was also super effed up when you think about them throwing a special effects team under the bus when I’m sure they weren’t the ones getting to call the shots on anything in the production. Then you had fresher actors/actresses that would welcome out the actual award presenter which felt very strange. To the point that 1917 star George McKay actually pointed this out before passing it off to another presenter. Then there was the out of the blue Eminem performance. Just a whole bunch of head scratching things. Which still bugs me because then they have to rush the next award winner off the stage.

The Oscars still feels like they are trying too hard to please people that really don’t give an F. I don’t know how many years they are tied to ABC but once that deal is done, (or if it’s an every year thing) they should really push this out to additional options. Streaming partners would be a smart move. The sooner they can stay away from needing to please viewer numbers and instead can focus on the actual award winners themselves the better.


Birds of Prey Review

Take a less funny Deadpool plus John Wick action and slap Harley Quinn-isms, and you got yourself Birds of Prey.

Score: 3 / 5

2016’s Suicide Squad wasn’t a good movie. Out of the mess that is was, there were two shining spots, Will Smith’s Deadshot, and Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn. That said I always felt like Harley Quinn was a character that shouldn’t be the center of attention. So when they announced a Birds of Prey movie, I thought, well that is smart. Another questionable hero/villain team up movie, where maybe they could learn from their mistakes. They did, but it is wrapped around Harley being more than just a side character, and that kind lessened the experience to me.

First to the good. The action in this movie is awesome. It’s the best thing about this movie. It has a John Wick feel to it, which the stunt experts from that franchise consulted on it, so that makes a lot of sense. In fact, the movie kind of feels like it was cut that way to really really emphasize that the action here is the star of the show. I thoroughly enjoyed a sequence where Harley breaks into a Police Station. It’s the real gem of this whole movie.

Along with the action quiet a few of the new cast members were a real blast. Jurnee Smollett-Bell’s Black Canary, Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s The Huntress, Chris Messina’s Victor Zsasz, and Ewan McGregor’s Black Mask were all a lot of fun to watch. Where Suicide Squad had a villain problem, Birds of Prey did not. The real bummer of these new characters is that they felt like extras in a Harley story, and thus you don’t get nearly enough time with these characters as you would like.

This leads into the problem, the overall structure of the movie has Harley acting like a Deadpool of sorts and the rest of the Birds of Prey are her X-Force. And when I mean Deadpool I mean full on voiceover forth wall stuff, some vulgarity, and the main character seeming a bit off because that’s cool. It’s just Harley Quinn is not Deadpool. Margot Robbie who is an amazing actress, cannot match the Ryan Reynold’s mastery of Wade Wilson.

Also, the over reliance on the action really created a problem that Suicide Squad had. Every other seen felt like a music video for the soundtrack that Warner Bros was able to secure. It felt very noticeable, and had me wondering was a lot of this movie left on the cutting room floor? It wouldn’t shock me because the plot was very barebones, and it felt like things were just happening and less that it was a flow of character beats.

Take a less funny Deadpool plus John Wick action and slap Harley Quinn-isms, and you got yourself Birds of Prey. Its excellent action does the heavy lifting, as the Harley focus detracts from the fun new characters that feel like extras in a shallow Harley Quinn solo show.


The Oscars 2020 – My Thoughts and Predictions

The Oscars are upon us once more! And I did a thing! I watched all the best picture nominees! Well almost, I watched half of The Irishman, annnnd it wasn’t for me. No amount of additional voice over and old people movements in digital young bodies was going to change my opinion on that one.

Anywhoo, I felt after a year of pretty consistent movie blogging that I would actually take the Oscars a tad more seriously. But in serious I mean, just have fun with it because honestly an awards show for art is a little crazy when you think about it. You know that thing that is subjective and has different context based on every individuals own personal life experiences? Yeah, let’s find a way to objectively say which one is better. So to the FUN!

Below I’m going to give you some quick thoughts on all the best picture noms, along with a few other highlights at the end of movies outside of the big nine.

Ford v Ferrari

Ford v Ferrari was a solid sports drama movie. It was good, great even, but I really don’t have much more to say about it. It didn’t blow me away nor did it do anything that really annoyed me. It was just a really great average movie, which alright cool, but did it really need a best picture nom?

The Irishman

Maybe I just don’t like mob movies? Maybe I don’t really hold Scorsese on a pedestal? Or maybe I still haven’t found the Netflix movie that makes me a believer in their quality? I don’t know, but what I do know is I couldn’t sit through this thing. I watched over half of it, and the way the movie was told with so much voice over explaining every detail, and the odd decision to use de-aging instead of casting other actors for the younger versions of the main characters was just obnoxious to me. It felt like this movie could have been a miniseries, 8-10 hours long, and then you could have done away with endless voice overs. Out of all the nominees this was the lowest of the low for me, and could have been replaced by so many different movies that I feel deserved the slot over this.

Jojo Rabbit

Finally to something I actually enjoyed. I really enjoyed the Taika humor that oozed out of this movie. The way he was able to turn a story about a Nazi fanatic child into something more hopeful than dark was brilliant to me, plus of Scarlett Johansson’s two nominations, this one is the one I would like her to get the award for. Was it the best movie of the year? I wouldn’t say so, but it’s definitely up there.


I said it in my review, I’ll say it again, Joker is a dark messed up movie. It has the most nominations of any movie this year, but of the eleven it’s going to get just two. That would be for the insane performance from lead actor Joaquin Phoenix, and the haunting score from Hildur Guonadottir. The rest of the movie is very well made, but those two standouts are what you should see that movie for.

Little Woman

I’ve never seen or read any Little Women adaptations, so I didn’t know what to expect out of this. I liked it. All of the actresses gave great performances (was a big fan of Florence Pugh), the story was very positive, and by the end you felt pretty good after watching it. The costumes were also a pretty big standout of this one.

Marriage Story

Well looky here, another Netflix movie, and another movie that I just didn’t like that much at all. To be fair it’s goal of capturing the emotional war that is a divorce it met excellently with this movie. It’s just for me, the crux of the movie being these two characters felt very off to me. They didn’t feel like real people, and when a movie is all about making you feel uncomfortable that doesn’t help either. Where at the end of Little Women, I had this good feeling about myself, this movie just made me feel down. That said, there were some solid performances in there, I don’t think this was necessarily Adam Driver’s best work, but I guess enough did to get him in the best actor category. It’s Laura Dern’s evil lawyer character that will surely when best supporting actress against her fellow co-star Scarlett.


Now we are getting to the good stuff. 1917 is one of the best movies of 2019. It’s one shot wizardy, the production design, the directing, the acting, the score, this isn’t a thing that I didn’t like about this movie. It’s powerful, it’s relentless, and you the viewer are there for every moment of the nightmare that was World War I. This is the favorite to win most of the major categories, and I wouldn’t be shocked if it did just that.

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

My only issue with this one is it felt a tad too long. There was some extra Sharon Tate fluff that I don’t think really made the movie any stronger, and just stretched things out where they didn’t need to be. Outside of that though this is a great movie. The Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt pairing was just as good as we all hoped it would be. Even when the two characters go on their own journeys they are both entertaining to watch. Out of all the awards this one is up for, Brad Pitt’s supporting actor nomination is the most likely to win come awards night.


And here we are. Parasite is the best movie of last year. While I love 1917 just as much, I can’t argue that Parasite’s expertly crafted script, editing, production design, and cast are a perfect mixture that creates one of the most unique experiences I have had with a movie in a long time. The big question is, can it break the Oscar barrier for ignoring movies that don’t have English as the primary language? I don’t know the answer. This movie should win all the awards it has been nominated for but the ones I feel pretty confident in are best original screenplay and best international film.

So those were the big nominees, but there are some movies that I felt deserved a little more love than what they got. So here’s a few that missed out, that should have definitely been in the conversation.

Knives Out

For me the were three movies that were up there as my favorites of 2019 and in my favorites of the last decade. 1917, Parasite, and Knives Out. Knives Out got an original screenplay nom, but this one deserved more. Best Costume Design, Best Support Actress (Ana de Armas), and Best Picture. For those who haven’t seen it yet, please give it a shot!


Horror movies don’t get the support of the awards circuits, and I think that’s a shame. This movie has such excellent acting performances since move the cast is playing TWO roles of the same person. At the very least Lupita Nyong’o should have received a Best Actress nom, but I would also throw this one in for Best Cinematography as well.


Along with horror, comedy is another one that gets ignored when it comes to awards. While I can’t say for sure which categories this one should get nominations for, best original screenplay maybe, it’s still one of the best movies of last year and deserves some kind of recognition.

And there ya have it, my thoughts on the big movies before the awards night. While some categories are a lock, I’m hoping for some drama between the big heavy hitters in 1917 and Parasite. I would not be upset if either movie gets all the awards, but it would definitely be a statement if Parasite got the Best Picture win. Well I guess we don’t have too much longer to wait, go make some popcorn and get the drinks going, it’s movie awards night!


Underwater Review

Underwater nails tension and dread, giving us an entertaining Aliens-at the-bottom-of-the-sea movie to start the year.

Score: 3.5 / 5

Hello 2020 Movies! Underwater, you win the prize of being the first 2020 released movie I have seen to start this decade. Going into this movie I thought I would get a Alien style movie that trades space for being at the bottom of ocean. And look at that, Underwater is exactly that flavor of movie.

Now me, I like these type of movies tense space horror movies. The ones with a crew that is so screwed and one lead character that will not give up even if the end is staring them in their face with lots of teeth. So take that as you will. That said I really liked this movie. It kind of felt like Alien meets Deadspace (video game series, look it up!) in water. That’s a win in my book.

The general premise is that in the near-ish future, there is a company that drills at super deep levels into the seafloor, and at this one site miles and miles under super pressurized water, the massive building sized drill malfunctions and caused significant damage to the long tower like structure that the many workers of the drill operate in. To make matters worse the hull damage is giving way to the immense pressure of the ocean which means anyone that couldn’t take an escape pod to the surface is screwed. Oh and then there are these weird alien like sounds that can be heard out in the pitch black water. Suffice to say the crew of survivors that we follow have a good idea they are likely screwed. Yet, they have a plan. Using oceanfloor level surface tunnels and badass looking underwater space suits (they look a lot like StarCraft marines for the video game fans out there) they will travel to a decommissioned drill that may still have means of communication or escape to the surface.

What I liked about this movie was the tense cinematography, great visuals, fun sea space world, and Kristen Stewart doing what she does best, carrying the weight of simple premise movies with her on screen presence. The shooting style was great, sometimes capturing the mood of games (or 1917) with an almost over the shoulder view of being part of the crew. You feel claustrophobic, you feel disoriented, you feel the hopelessness of the nightmare the crew finds themselves in. It’s something that I can’t stress enough, is best seen on large screens with booming sound.

The world they created for this movie feels like it’s right at home with the aforementioned Aliens and Deadpsace’s. It’s grimy, the technology feels both old and new, and there is not a single place where you feel that the characters are safe. For just like in space, if you go outside of the station, you better have a suit on or you are gonna be jelly. They don’t shy away from just how dangerous it is on themselves without including monsters. Which when you get to the monster parts of the movie, wow are those things disturbing. It’s also with those creatures and how the crew finds ways to fight back that remind me a lot of Deadspace games, which don’t involve you being some marine with guns. In both instances these are drillers / mechanics, they have things meant to be used as tools, they just happen to be so dangerous they could be used as weapons. I loved that stuff.

So with all the said this isn’t some super deep awards bait script of a movie. It’s more leaning on the entertaining side. Which is why having an actress like Kristen Stewart helps. She’s a great lead, and gives the movie emotion. She also isn’t the dumbest pile of bricks, which a lot of these movies tend to do. When she puts herself in harms way it’s because of something that might actually help her or the others escape. That said this isn’t a character piece where by the end you have gained some great profound message. This movie is about the tension and spooks. It has a lot of that and does the job well.


2020 Movie Preview

2020 is upon us! Which means we have another year of amazing movies to look forward to! 2019 was a pretty impressive year so let’s see what 2020 has in store. Below are some of the movies I’m looking forward to this year.

A Quiet Place: Part II – March 20th

I loved 2018’s A Quiet Place. John Krasinski did a great job creating a tense horror movie that also happened to have a lot of heart with the Abbott family. The world he created was interesting, like a new take on zombies. From the looks of this first trailer it appears that Krasinki is looking at the same page book that the zombie genre has used when your characters have learned a true strategy against the nightmare, reveal that humans are just as bad as monsters. I’m in, but then they threw in the talented Cillian Murphy? Yeah I’m in double for this one.

The New Mutants – April 3rd

What a wild journey this movie has had. Originally it was supposed to come out in 2018, then it was delayed for “retooling”. Then Fox was sold to Disney, then it was delayed again, and now the word is the retooling (cough producer meddling cough) has been thrown out the window and we are set to see the original vision of this movie. That alone makes me interested to see what the fuss was about, but really I was excited for this movie since they announced it. A coming of age horror movie with mutants from the X-Men Universe? Yeah, that sounds crazy awesome.

No Time To Die – April 10th

First there was Casino Royale. Welcome back Bond. Then there was Quantum of Solace. You okay there Bond? Then Skyfall. Bravo James. And then there was Spectre. Uuuh what happened?

It’s been a mixed bag with the Daniel Craig Bond films, but even with the bad ones, it’s always a good time to see Daniel Craig in the role. i have higher hopes for this one, I enjoy the visual style of director Cary Joji Fukunaga, and the new cast members (Ana de Armas, Rami Malek) are both excellent actors that I can’t wait to see in the world of Jams Bond. This is Craig’s last go as 007 and another odd numbered entry so I’m hoping all of these ingredients gives us another great film before the end.

Black Widow – May 1st

And the Marvel Train keeps on moving! Black Widow is giving me serious Winter Soldier vibes, which I absolutely loved. It’s been a long while since Marvel has made a movie that I haven’t enjoyed and this entry does not look like it’s going to break that streak. I wasn’t sure how interesting a Black Widow movie could be when they first announced it, but if this trailer is anything to go by, it’s going to be another fun ride.

Wonder Woman 1984 – June 5th

Two female leading superhero movies within a month of each other? What kind of madness is this? The best kind if you ask me. Wonder Woman 1984 looks like an even more fun movie than the original. What I loved about the original, the chemistry between Diana and Steve, is back. Add in the fun 80’s vibes and it’s looking like this sequel might rise above the original. I’m crossing my fingers for a Captain America style growth to this franchise with this second entry. Here’s hoping.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife – July 10th

I never did see that odd Ghostbusters reboot that came out a few years back. It didn’t feel like the old Ghostbusters in terms of mixing horror and comedy. Luckily this new entry, that’s a continuation of the classics looks to strike that balance that made the originals great. I’m also liking the Stranger Things / Goonies vibes with focusing on a younger cast of characters.

Tenet – July 17th

Nolan is one of my favorite directors. His movies are huge, pull off insane filmmaking feats, have great ensemble casts, and booming scores. Tenet looks insane. Like a time bending spy movie. Almost like taking bits of Inception and Interstellar into one movie. I’m also really excited to see more of John David Washington and the future Batman Robert Pattinson.

Last Night in Soho – September 25th

An Edgar Wright horror movie? The same guy who made Shuan of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, and Baby Driver? Yeah that alone is all I need to hear. His movies have a unique voice that I thoroughly enjoy. Also it happens to star two actresses that have been on a solid rise over the last couple of years between Anya Taylor-Joy and Thomasin McKenzie. I can’t wait to check out what Wright has in store for us next.

Godzilla vs. Kong – November 20th

This is the title fight we have all been waiting for. Rocky vs. Creed? No way. This is the heavy heavy heavy heavy weight. The Godzilla and Kong movies have been a lot of fun, and I still can’t believe we are finally going to get to see these massive titans go head to head this year. I got my money on the ape, always bet on the underdog.

Dune – December 20th

I’ve never read the book Dune. I hear it’s pretty great for fans of sci-fi. Even so, this is my most anticipated movie of the year because of the man directing it. Denis Vileneuve. The guy is a movie making master as far as I’m concerned. His last three movies? Sicario, Arrival, and Blade Runner: 2049. Those are some top tier movies there. Then there is the cast of this monster of a movie: Timothee Chalamet, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Javier Bardem, Stellen Skarsgard, I could keep going and going with this one. It’s nuts. BUT WAIT, there’s more. Hans Zimmer is handling the score. Yeah just take all the money, I’m there opening night.

Best Of

Best Movies of the 2010’s

Happy New Year everyone! This new year as you have probably heard a million times already is a little more interesting in others in that it’s the start of a new decade! Which honestly when you think about it, it’s really not that big of a deal, but hey it’s an excuse to make a list and reflect on the same number we can count up to with our fingers. So yeah, of course I’m going to have my own top ten movies of the year. Now with this list I don’t really have an order. These movies are all really damn amazing in their own right that it is impossible for me to rank them. (Well that might be a lie for the two movies that I go back and forth as my favorite movie period, we’ll get to that don’t worry). Alright let’s get started!

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is the most movie movie I have ever watched. It doesn’t tell you a story, it takes you on a damn ride through one. It’s a stunt masterpiece, a work of art in every frame, and world building at its finest. Did I also mention that it has strong male AND female leads? Oh and a score that you could close your eyes and watch the whole movie in your head? I have never been more gratified watching a movie than this one. It’s a must watch last decade and should be from every decade forward.

Blade Runner: 2049

Blade Runner: 2049 is probably the most expensive “indie” movie ever made. Somehow, someway, the excellent director Denis Villenueve was given a massive budget to make a drama mystery sci-fi movie that was more concerned with it’s central characters identity than huge action set pieces. Make no mistake they are there, but what makes this movie sing is watching Ryan Gosling’s blade runner K try and solve a missing person’s case that shatters his world. It’s haunting and powerful with an ending that punches you in the gut. Oh and just like Mad Max, the movie is a moving painting with a score to match. Seriously, I think I need to get some canvas paintings from scenes in this movie.


There have been a lot of great superhero movies in the last decade, like really great ones, Logan is the best. Figures it would come from the studio that typically can’t figure them out to give us the best. Director James Mangold was given the opportunity to tell the most grounded and human story I have ever seen in a movie about people more than human. It’s less about saving the world, and more about saving your soul from depths of great great pain. This Western tinged movie contains the best performances from Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart along with a stellar bout from up and comer Dafne Keen. It’s the best sendoff story I have seen for a character, and out of all superhero movies, likely one of the very few that will still feel just as powerful for years and years to come.


Drive is a dark dark movie mixed with the colors and sensibilities of an artsy film student. That combination typically doesn’t come out too well, but this getaway heist gone wrong tale of the nameless Driver just works. Make no mistake, it’s very arthouse like. Many scenes lack more than a couple lines of dialogue, the movie is lit with this 80’s neon flair and it has a soundtrack to match. The few driving scenes are a tense ride along, but it’s the absolute brutality that Ryan Gosling’s character unleashes upon his foes that this movie focuses on. It’s not a Fast & Furious movie, it’s quieter story about one man trying to do the right thing for those he cares about, no matter the costs.


If you thought Drive was a messed up movie, do I have a movie for you. Nightcrawler is disturbing. It highlights the type of terrible things many would do to advance their careers and status in life. It does so by showing the rise of Jake Gyllenhaal’s Louis Bloom from nobody to successful crime journalist. Gyllenhaal was robbed for not getting awards for this movie. His performance is chilling and frightening. Yet somehow his energy keeps you watching as the story spirals further and further down the going to hell toilet. It’s that performance that makes this one of my favorites of the last decade.


I had never seen a film by Bong Joon Ho. After seeing Parasite, I’m going to have to correct that mistake. This movie is a masterpiece unlike any other I have seen. The way it dances between black comedy satire, to a dark drama about class inequality is insane. It feels as natural as breathing when watching this movie and it’s damn perfect. It’s script is top notch, performances that keep you glued, and shot in such precise detail. Parasite goes past any language barrier and gives us a movie that leaves you stunned and a loss for words by the end.

A Quiet Place

I’m not going to lie, when I saw the first trailer for this movie, I thought the idea was super dumb. A movie where you can’t make sounds or you’ll get murdered by monsters. How can you possibly live in a world like that? Well A Quiet Place answered. Sure there are points where you could poke fun at the logic, but the movie makes its rules and creates a magical horror movie of tense moments and a real story of normal family issues. Kids acting out, parents doubting they can actually protect and teach their kids to survive in the world. It was excellent stuff and also gave me one of my favorite memories of ever watching a movie in theaters. It was actually quiet! People shushed and told others to shut up even if they were eating food like a loud animal. It was glorious.


1917 is a cinematography marvel. A continuous one shot from start to finish (with a little clever trickery to make it work). It’s amazing, and created an experience I haven’t had in a movie, I felt like I was with those soldiers. A shadow wishing I could give them the strength to keep moving. Couple that with the film having a powerful story that shows the horrors of the first world war and you have a movie I won’t forget.

War for the Planet of the Apes

The 2010’s Planet of the Apes trilogy is the best trilogy I have ever seen. Each movie builds on the last, and tells an extraordinary tale of Caesar’s infancy all the way to a messiah like leader for his people. I chose War specifically because this is where we finally get the full on human versus ape storyline, but because of the masterful performance from Andy Serkis we are clearly rooting for the apes to triumph. These movies are visual stunners that show just how amazing that motion capture technology has come. Yet it won’t be the visuals themselves that will make this movie and it’s two previous entries stand the test of time. It will be the stories of struggle between our dark and light sides in the face of adversity that Caesar’s journey so perfectly captures.

Knives Out

Knives Out is one of the most fun movies I have watched in a long long time. It has a stellar cast, with one of my favorite performances from Daniel Craig. Hell all of them gave great performances. The plot is witty, stratifying, and has plenty of twisty twists that make for a great two hours. The strength of the cast and the well crafted direction of Rian Johnson makes this a movie that even after you have seen it the first time, it’s still just as fun if not more the second, third, and twentieth time.

Wow! Those are some fine ass movies there. Seriously, if you haven’t seen these movies, and like a good one, give them a watch, you’ll get something out of them all I promise. That said, I did want to list some honorable mentions of movies that just missed top ten glory of the 2010’s.

The Cabin in the Woods
Ready or Not
Baby Driver
Wind River
The Martian
Avengers: Endgame
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Best Of

Best Movies of 2019

We made it everyone! 2019 is in the books at that means a time of movie reflection. What made this year more interesting for me is that this was the first year that I focused on seeing as many movies as I could. I kind of fell off at the end of this year (moving takes up a lot of time folks) but I made sure to make time for ones that really caught my eye. Anywhoooo, this year was pretty damn fantastic in terms of top notch movies that I left impressed with. In fact several will be in the running for my favorites of the decade. But let’s get to this year first. BEHOLD!

If you follow film circles you have at least heard someone say that you should go see Parasite. Yeah you should listen to them, and to me. Parasite is the best movie the year and one of the best movies I have seen in a long time. It’s blending of genres and switch from dark comedy to a disturbing drama is top notch. The writing is masterclass, and it’s an experience that by the end will leave you with a lot of feelings to unpack. This isn’t a movie you see every day or even every decade. Go watch this as soon as you can.

Knives Out
Knives Out is a modern murder mystery whoduunit that packs a great cast, excellent humor, and beautiful cinematography to make one of the most entertaining movies of the year. Even after you have watched it the first time, know the twists and turns, it’s the performances that will keep you coming back over and over.

Sam Mendes and Roger Deakins gave us all one final present this year with 1917. The World War I drama takes us all on a tense, emotionally heavy journey through the trenches in a way that I haven’t seen committed to so beautifully on film. The entire movie is designed to appear as one continuous shot and it creates an experience unlike any movie I have seen before. That alone would have been enough to throw this on my list, but it’s also a great story performed by excellent actors that makes this one of the best.

Ready or Not
It’s taken 8 years, but not since The Cabin In The Woods have I seen a satirical horror movie that is both frightening and hilarious all wrapped into one. Like Knives Out this is a movie of a great performances playing a cast of one F-ed up family. It’s the lead Samara Weaving though that makes this movie such a fun ride. She’s funny, she’s badass, and by the end you’ll want her to kill every one of those psycho family members.

If there’s one comedy that I would recommend to see this year it’s Booksmart. Booksmart is one of those end of high school have to have one big night before college stories. You have seen them plenty of times, but this one is by far the best. It’s humor is smarter, the situations are funny yet realistic, and the messages feel more in tune with today’s sensibilities. The cast, crew, writers, and director Olivia Wilde knocked this one out of the park.

Us is another original horror concept from Jordan Peele and it’s amazing. He carefully blends horror, with science fiction, and splashes of comedy to give us an experience that you haven’t seen before. It’s also a blast to watch as every actor plays two roles of the same character. That alone is something that begs to be watched, but the fact that the performances are wrapped around such an entertaining story only adds to the reason that this is one of the best movies of the year.

Avengers: Endgame
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is like the most expensive long running TV show that only plays in theaters, and Endgame was the season finale. It’s insane what they were able to pull off. It’s both an entertaining movie by itself but for those who have seen all the movies, it’s a masterpiece like no other. The callbacks, the remixes, the joy, the sadness, this movie tackles so many emotions and it ends in such a satisfying way. I don’t think we are ever going to see something like this again, and Mavel Studios deserves all the praise and heaps of cash for giving us this 11 year journey.

Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood
Quentin Tarantino movies have always been hit and miss with me. When they are good, they are damn good, when they are bad, I can’t even finish them. Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood is one of the good ones, one of his best actually. It may run a little long, but it has the genius pairing of Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. They both bring their A game to this one and are up there as my favorite performances from both actors. And then there is that one thing that Tarantino is really good at with climaxes that insanely fun to watch. This one has one of those.

The Joker is a heavy messed up movie. It’s not a movie that everyone can handle but for those who can it’s a very deep character study of a disturbed man that is looking to be the hero of his story even if it is only in his head. It’s the haunting performance from Joaquin Phoenix that makes this a movie that any movie fan should check out, just be prepared for a story that won’t make you feel too jazzed by the end.

Zombieland: Double Tap
There are some movies that you know aren’t for everyone and you can’t justify that it’s something everyone will find value in, but I really loved this movie. I was a fan of the first, and this one is somehow a funnier movie. Yeah it has some callback jokes, which only land some of the times. But the new characters they add in steal the show. The cast looks like they are having a blast, and it’s just fun to see a sequel to a movie from last decade that’s actually good. This is one of those movies that I’ll be watching again and again in the October season and that means it deserves this slot on my list.


1917 Review

1917’s continuous one shot shooting style is a film-making marvel in one of the year’s best films.

Score: 5 / 5

1917 is one of the best movies I have seen. I honestly am struggling with where to begin with this one. It’s a beautiful film that well after I left the theater the emotions that it made me experience stuck with me. There are very few movies if at all that made me feel like I went on this journey with the characters on the screen, and this one I felt like I was there with them. A voyeur observer that desperately wanted to lend a hand, a shoulder, and a voice to keep going.

1917 is a war drama set during World War I. It follows two British soldiers tasked with delivering a message to the front lines to call off an attack. If they fail well over a thousand men will walk right into a trap. The problem is they must cut through enemy lines to get there and they are running out of time. Throughout the film we see the war to end all wars in painful detail, yet we also see in our two leads the different views of the war. One fighting for glory, and the other who is lost in the horrors of war itself.

I need to start somewhere with this movie so I’ll start with what has been pushed in behind the scenes marketing. This movie is shot as if it’s one continuous shot. As in, the movie doesn’t cut to different perspectives. It’s as if you are standing right there behind the soldiers, and if you want to see their faces, either the camera must move around them or the solider must turn around. There have been other movies or shows that have done scenes or moments like this, but this is the whole movie, and they don’t skip on insane action set pieces to do it. Explosions, plane crashes. It’s a technical marvel and absolute insanity that Director Sam Mendes, Cinematographer Roger Deakins, and the rest of the cast and crew were able to pull it all off.

This style of visual storytelling is much more common in video games such as Call of Duty or the masterpiece of God of War (Gaming fan? Seriously play God of War). This isn’t a negative in any stretch either this is just something that is much easier to accomplish in a game versus of a movie, and the benefits you get are immense. You don’t just feel like you are watching events playing out, you feel like you are there. I felt like I too was on this terrifying journey to save lives of so many soldiers. It’s something that is all the more amazing because you can see it on a massive theater size screen. This movie needs to be seen in a theater, so please don’t wait. When it hits your local theater make the time and get out there.

What makes this visual adventure work though is the two soldiers, Lance Corporal Blake, and Lance Corporal Schofield. Game of Thrones fans might recognize Blake who is played by Dean-Charles Chapman (King Tommen no more), while Schofield is played by George MacKay. These two take us on an emotional journey that is astonishing since they are essentially always on the move, trying to reach their destination. They give you so much in their conversations or reactions to the situations they walk into that you feel for them. You want them to make it, and you understand their emotions. You’ll be scared for them, you’ll cry with them, and you’ll feel the immense weight of what they have gone through by the end. Along the way they meet up with many excellent established actors in cameo roles, Colin Firth, Andrew Scott, Mark Strong, and Richard Madden (another Game of Thrones alum). Everyone does a great job and really brings you into every scene.

The final piece to this movie is a beautiful yet haunting score by Thomas Newman. It sets the tone of every beat. Giving us a moment to appreciate a view, sit with a difficult scene, or feel the sands of time slipping away before it’s too late. This too feels a bit like some of the great video game scores of the last decade that elevates the journey you are going on (again God of War is a great example).

I’ve seen great war movies before, but this made me feel like I was part of it in a way that I have never experienced before in a movie. The shooting style, direction, actors, score, and a crew of wizards created something truly special. It’s a beautiful yet sorrowful piece of art that perfectly captures the stories you have read about the Great War, and is easily one of the best movies of the year.