Well folks, 2018 is finally over. Over the last few days I’ve been combing through the movies I’ve seen this year. Before doing so I thought really hard on what I liked this year, and how I felt overall. After going back and actually looking at what came out my opinion stayed pretty much the same. This year was decent with a few gems that I really loved. Enough idle chat though, let’s get this party started!
A Quiet Place
This was the first movie this year that I couldn’t get enough of. It surprised me so much because when I saw the first trailers I thought the concept was a joke. How could anyone survive in a world where you can’t make sound? My logical end of my brain couldn’t get past it, but then I watched it. Yes, you could still logically destroy this movie if you wanted, but the craft put into this world, and these characters, it drew me in. It was beautiful. I loved watching this tragedy play out, this family get tested, and the inventiveness at play to make this world work. This movie also gave me a theater experience I will never forget. I’ve never been in a more silent theater in my life and that is a memory that will always stick with me.
Upgrade works because of a great performance from Logan Marshall-Green. His reactions to the messed up carnage that his body is performing is such fun to watch. It takes the simple revenge story and amps it up by having a conflicted man deal with losing control to something more sinister. Honestly it’s the better darker version of what Venom could have been, and I like it all the more for it.
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
The latest Mission is the best by far. The action is top notch, and Henry Cavill is the steroids that just launches this entry into overdrive. If you have seen any of the other films in this franchise and thought how could they possibly top that? Watch this one. The insane stunts of Tom Cruise will answer your question. I was able to see this in Dolby Cinema and I don’t think there has been a movie to match this in terms of just pure action insanity. I don’t how Tom Cruise keeps pulling it off, but keep it up Mr. Hunt.
Another pleasant surprise movie. Searching uses the gimmick of each view point is a camera or a computer, or a phone screen. Going into the movie I wasn’t sure about that approach. Well in the first fives minutes the movie sold me on the concept, think of the opening sequence from Pixar’s Up and you’ll get an idea of what I mean. From that point on I was in on the mystery of what happened to David Kim’s daughter. This also happens to be my favorite performance from John Cho. It’s heartbreaking watching this father just lose more and more of himself as he gives into the despair that his daughter might actually be dead. Plot wise it also had some twists that kept things interesting and it has a lot to say on how important communication is within any relationship. If you like a good mystery thriller, you should definitely check this out.
A Star Is Born
Wow. This movie was just so damn good. Between the direction of Bradley Cooper AND the stellar performances from both himself and Lady Gaga, this was such a great watch. Oh and the music is pretty good too. This movie dances around themes of relationships, self-confidence, and depression so so well. It’s such a sad story, but one that feels so important in this day and age as we as a society are still trying to come to terms with mental illness. This was one of my favorite movies of the year and I would not be shocked in the slightest if this wins some Oscar gold next year.
Bad Times at the El Royale
Drew Goddard’s Cabin in the Woods is one of my favorite movies ever. It’s spin on the horror genre was just so refreshing. Goddard’s follow up is just as good but for very different reasons. This film brings back my feelings of good live stage plays. One main location and lots of mysterious players. The cast in this one is staked. Jeff Bridges, Jon Hamm, Dakota Johnson, Chris Hemsworth. Those are names you know, and they are all amazing but it’s the addition of these other actors that just takes things up a notch. Cynthia Erivo, and Lewis Pullman. Every single actor pulls their weight in this one and matches what the next brings to the table. Beyond just the pure fun of these performances, the story is told in a unique fashion following each character’s view points arriving at the hotel before all these story lines converge into a powder keg waiting to blow in the finale. Out of all the movies on this list, this is probably going to be the one I return to the most.
October 12th did not only have the release of Bad Times at the El Royale, it also gave us the extremely tense tale of Neil Armstrong and his life through the astronaut program all the way to taking those first steps on the moon. Director Damien Chazelle nails the pure horror and terror of what these families went through to achieve something that many at the time argued the value in doing at all. Through all of this the movie visually is such a treat for the eyes. It appears that this may be more of a movie critic film over a general audience one based on audience scores, but if anyone has ever wanted to understand the mental struggle that was getting to the moon for the first time, I can’t think of a better way than watching this movie.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Like some other movies on this list, when I first heard this movie was getting made, I was confused. What in the world was Sony doing? After how they proved they couldn’t handle the live action franchise without Marvel they were going to make a cartoon one instead? Well it makes all the difference when you get the geniuses of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller involved. For those who don’t know here’s a small list of what these two helped bring into this world: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, The Lego Movie, 21/22 Jump Street. They know their stuff, and wow is this movie pure Spider-Man bliss. The unique animation, the soundtrack, the voice cast, the story. Just everything about this movie comes together to create a smart, hilarious, heartfelt adventure that anyone can be hero. Anyone can be what Spider-Man stands for.
Well that’s my list everybody! This year might not have had a heavy string of above average movies but the ones that did, were a blast. I can’t wait to see what filmmakers bring for us in 2019. Till then, I hope everyone has a great end to their 2018!