Posts Tagged ‘Awards Season’

Movies I Enjoyed in 2019

January 6, 2020

I know that we are nearly a week into 2020 but I felt like doing a wrap up of the year in movies in 2019 since we are headed into awards season. These are only the movies that I saw that I really liked. I did not feel the need to make a top 11 list because, honestly, I would be compelled to write a lot for each entry and I have already written about pretty much everything I have seen in 2019 (and will continue to write about what I see in 2020). As such, these are in no particular order. I also highly recommend each and every one of these movies.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
I had a lot of fun watching this with friends. (more on Thursday) It wasn’t perfect but it was definitely enjoyable.

Child’s Play (2019)
A truly innovative remake done in an entirely different subgenre of horror. An added bonus was seeing Aubrey Plaza.

Us
Jordan Peele proved once again that he is truly a new master of horror. This movie was more of an adventure horror piece but it managed to sneak in a class warfare message.

Avengers Endgame
The perfect ending for the first era of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It pushed things into a new direction that I am intrigued to keep following.,

John Wick 3
The John Wick franchise tends to pump out perfect action movies with interesting stories that don’t get in the way of the cool moments.

Spiderman Far From Home
The first step in a new decade for the MCU. The new Spiderman is so pure and I feel like it is still just getting started.

Captain Marvel
Finally, a female-led MCU movie! Brie Larson was perfect for the role and I can’t wait to see where she goes next in defiance of all the MRAs out there.

Rocketman
Elton John has led one hell of a life. This musical biopic had a lot of moments of unreality that really made me feel what was happening rather than just seeing it.

Detective Pikachu
A movie that could easily have been bad was a lot of fun with a lot of heart. It was also visually pleasing.

Aladdin (2019)
Forget the haters, this movie was a lot of fun for me. It put a new spin on a familiar favorite (my second favorite Disney movie of all time).

IT Chapter 2
I got to see this one in theaters and it was definitely worth it. Bill Hader alone made this movie so good but I liked the new take on a classic book.

Alita Battle Angel
A unique blend of CGI and live-action, this was actually one of the best anime film adaptations that I have ever seen. I want to see a sequel.

Hobbs and Shaw
A refreshing spinoff of the Fast and Furious franchise which managed to be its own thing. I love The Rock.

The Lego Movie 2
I did not think they could keep pace with the original but this franchise has defied my expectations from the start so I am a fool.

Shazam
Proof that DC movies can be good again. The movie had a lot of the goofy, fun energy that the original comics had with a modern sheen.

Fighting With My Family
As a pro-wrestling fan, I loved this walk through the fabulous Paige’s career (so far).

Velvet Buzzsaw
A criminally underrated horror movie that should be seen for its psychedelic visuals alone.

Happy Death Day 2U
I did not think the first movie could be topped but this franchise hit a new gear and somehow got weirder.

Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile
Unfairly shot down because it made a serial killer “hot” this was actually an interesting personal take on a familiar news story.

Dark Phoenix
I enjoyed this movie for what it was, a close to the Fox X-Men Franchise (more on Thursday)

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
It was a meandering mess but I definitely enjoyed it for what it was.

I was able to watch only 5 out of 10 of the top 10 box office movies of 2019. Of the remaining movies that I really want to see are Frozen 2, Toy Story 4, and Jumanji 3. I have made my thoughts on Joker known. Lion King does not really interest me either.

Additionally, there are so many movies that I missed that I still want to see from 2019. Looking at the list really drove home what I did not get to see but reminds me that there is only so much time in each year. I have so much that I want to watch in this new year and it gives me joy that I will never catch up. I will never run out of good movies to see because there is still so much backlog and new movies come out every year.

Media Update 3/1/18

March 1, 2018


Lady Bird

Seeing this movie this past week was fortuitous as I have reconnected with the alumni association of the school I went to from first grade through twelfth. This was a fantastic movie that kind of covered the spectrum of human emotion. The movie is about a young girl who calls herself Lady Bird who is on the verge of becoming a woman in the last years of high school. It is also about Lady Bird’s mother and a good portion of the movie is about their relationship. However, this is a movie without a traditional plot. There are a lot of stories that cover Lady Bird, her mother, and all of the other characters in their life. Much like Moonlight, it is a slice of life movie that covers more character arcs than story arcs. Except that this movie covers two years in a young girl’s life as she rages against the machine while also trying desperately to fit in somewhere. It is a love letter to Sacramento, a city that I knew next to nothing about. It was so easy for me to get caught up in the lives of the characters from the first few minutes. I laughed at the great humor, cheered on the characters, and then I was crying at the end but there was some joy in those tears. The movie belongs to Saoirse Ronan who plays the title role in such a way that I saw a lot of girls and women and people in general that I have known through her. Laurie Metcalf evoked a lot of older women I have known, the authority figure who shoulders that burden beautifully. I wholeheartedly recommend this movie.


Shape of Water

Guillermo Del Toro is a magnificent filmmaker when it comes to creating compelling characters who operate in fantastically crafted worlds. On top of that, his penchant for spectacular visual effects is well known at this point especially when he is creating creatures. He goes back and forth between fantastic dramas and more blockbuster-y action movies but no matter what he is doing, it has a lot of heart and thought behind it. This movie is no different. This movie is a modern-day fairytale that comes at the right time. It is a great story of accepting The Other and also accepting ourselves. The heroes of the movie are a disabled orphan, a black woman, an illegal immigrant/communist, a gay man, and an aquatic creature. It is set in the sixties in Baltimore (!!!) and all these people are definitely marginalized in society. I mean, a lot of them would still be marginalized but we have made a little progress. While the movie is definitely out there, it is a beautiful story as soon as you let go and compare it to fairytale stories like older versions of Beauty and the Beast. To me, the story was about The Other, connection between people, reclaiming one’s power, fighting the system, and doing what is right instead of what is safe. On top of that, the movie has great jazz music. I definitely recommend this but leave your hangups at the door and just enjoy it.


Three Billboards Outside of Ebbings, MO

This movie is another Oscar contender with strong social messages and like Lady Bird, it has a lot to do with following the lives of characters around one location over a period of time. Legendary actress Frances McDormand plays a mother who is hurting and tries to take the police to task, something we as a society are trying to do more and more of. The movie is about grieving, it is about accountability, and it is about how a community deals with criticism and a whole bunch of other interesting themes. Sam Rockwell kind of plays the villain but things are not so black and white as they are not in life. Woody Harrelson is his usual charming self and plays a major character that moves the plot along. While Ebbing, MO is not a real place, they did a great job of making it feel like a real place with a real heart. Even the so-called bad guys were people that I remember from my life. The movie was funny, sad, and it had a lot of great messages. I definitely recommend it.

Music of the Week:
Gin Wigmore – Black Sheep

Tonight Alive – Breaking & Entering

Janelle Monáe – Make Me Feel

Metric – Gimme Sympathy

The Ting Tings – Do It Again

Weekly Update:
– This Week’s Theme is “Female Empowerment During Awards Season”
– I finished watching The Librarians Season 3
– I continued watching Criminal Minds Season 11
– I continued watching Mad Men Season 1
– I continued watching Peaky Blinders Season 1
– I continued watching Black Lightning Season 1
– I watched Game Grumps, KittyKat Gaming, and Barry Kramer on YouTube
– This week included a double feature at the Charles Theater


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