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Jesse's Swan Song, the film he deserved
The film picks up right where Breaking Bad left off. Truly the conclusion Jesse Pinkman deserved. Aaron Paul is phenomenal and the cinematography is gorgeous. Just an absolutely beautiful swan song to one of the most iconic characters in television history. Some will complain that the plot was thin or that not much happened, but this movie showed you everything you needed to know about Jesse Pinkman and his tremendous arc, it's the movie he would've wanted, and thankfully it's the movie we got.
Tarantino capitalizes on his goldmine of talent
Definitely coulda shaved 15-20 minutes off, but I'll let it slide cuz this was clearly a Tarantino passionate project (even moreso than his others). I can't imagine Leo not winning every award come award season, and Brad was as phenomenal as ever. I would've liked to see more of Margot Robbie, but even in her disappointingly limited screentime she literally and figuratively shined. Overall, it's definitely one of the better movies I've seen in a very long time, and even if it's runtime was exhaustive the ending made everything worth it and more.
Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
Tom Holland is for real
Speechless. Utterly speechless. Tom Holland has consistently embodied what it means to be Spider-Man. I love every hero and actor within the MCU, but other than Robert Downey Jr. (RIP Iron Man) absolutely no one is as electric as Tom Holland is on screen.
While Mysterio isn't Thanos level (nobody is) Jake Gyllenhaal is more than fantastic in the roll and he's still another great MCU villain which wasn't commonplace just a few years ago in this franchise.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Part of the Journey is the End
Part of the Journey is the End. An absolute triumph of cinema. The perfect conclusion, and undeniably the most emotional MCU film to date. I cried from start to finish. You can have The Godfather, Titanic, The Shawshank Redemption, or any of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, but to me this is the greatest movie of all time and I will never concede that it is not. Something like this will never be accomplished so perfectly tragic and beautiful at such a grand scale ever again. It's a momentous achievement in cinema, and I fear it will be taken for granted when it's all said and done.
Captain Marvel (2019)
A great and worthy welcome into the MCU
Other than Iron Man and Spider-Man, for me, this is the best origin story in the MCU yet. Carol Danvers kicks absolute ass, the skrulls are surprisingly awesome, and Nick Fury in a co-lead/supporting role is perfect. Filled with genuine emotion and some of the best special effects the MCU has seen so far, there's a lot to love and not much to complain about. It takes a little bit to get going, but when it does it soars. The future of Marvel is in really good hands with Captain Marvel and I cannot wait to see her in Endgame. I'm gonna ramble on a bit cuz I'm still hyped, Maria Rambeau is so great every word she said went straight to the heart. Goose is obviously great. Jude Law And Annette Bening were pretty weak to me, but there impact on the plot was at least engaging. Ben Mendelsohn is soooo good, I can't say enough about how cool the skrulls were. The soundtrack slapped. The hero moments were great. Carol's peak power is unrivaled and it's really astonishing to see on the big screen. Overall, an entertaining and emotional quasi-origin story that has the ability to empower you regardless of race or gender. That post credit scene ... unreal
Happy Death Day 2U (2019)
Surprisingly good once again
Happy Death Day + Ant-Man & the Wasp + Into the Spiderverse = Happy Death Day 2U These aren't just fun horror movies, they are good movies in general. Idk how you can see this and not have a great time and appreciate the story and message along the way. This and the first one are genuinely so entertaining and I have nothing bad to say, the cast is so charming and not a single minute is wasted. The Happy Death Day franchise has a fan in me!
Could be great if the audience wasn't treated like idiots
I can't say anything that's already been said. Christian Bale is phenomenal as always, continuing to prove that he may be the best actor working today (props for not using a fat suit GARY OLDMAN). Adam McKay thinks we are all idiots and thinks he's a genius. I think this type of humor and edge paid off in The Big Short but it felt wrong in a film that emphasized Cheney's influence on the deaths of thousands of innocent people. The post credit scene has gotta be the worst one in history, it's not funny and it made it even clearer that McKay thinks so lowly of his audience. Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Steve Carrell, Sam Rockwell, Naomi Watts(!) how do you assemble such an outstanding crew of actors and fail to blow away your audience?
Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Emily Blunt is simply delightful, the rest of the movie was meh-lightful. The songs go on far too long, most of the actors were either irrelevant or kind of annoying. But the partially-animated scenes and Emily Blunt were so charming it almost made up for it. I have a hard time enjoying musicals and my favorite parts were without singing, but still I couldn't help but be won over from time to time by how ambitious and cute the film was. It's not likely I'll remember it a few weeks from now, but it was a good form of escapism and revisitation of my innocent childhood that made the viewing worth it.
Finally, Transformers does something right.
Far and away the best Transformers movie. It's so much better, I wonder why? *cough* Michael Bay *cough* Travis Knight's first outting since the amazing Kubo and the Two Strings brings a much needed freshness to the stale-since-the-beginning franchise. He showed he's capable of directing live action and does it admirably. Some of the shooting locations were genuinely beautiful and really gave you a good feel of the environment. Hailee Steinfeld is one of the best actresses working today and even along side a giant yellow robot she's convincing in her role. The smaller scale played a huge part in why I think this is a success, whenever there was action there wasn't a million robots going berserk on each other. The action scenes were very well choreographed too, which I was suprised by. The CGI was nothing special but they still made a few fully realized autobots and decepticons. Yet I'll still never understand how they know to transform into cars before ever setting foot on earth. Overall, it's a really good popcorn movie and solid movie in general. If the Transformers series wants to keep going, use this as the template.
Posituve direction, but can this save the DCEU?
The 2nd best DCEU film behind Wonder Woman! Wooh!!!! Honestly this was a bit better than I thought it would be. Jason Mamoa does a solid job here, Amber Heard is a goddess, literally and figuratively, and James Wan shoots a beautiful looking film aside from a few weird CGI uses. The story is pretty similar to Black Panther, but it's not that derivative. There were some cool action sequences and I'll admit Aquaman's official suit was pretty fricken sick, but the music choices were baffling at times. I'm not ready to say this film or character can save the DCEU, it's a very solid superhero movie, but if it was set in the MCU it would certainly be one of the lesser entries. Kudos for not making a film that sucks though, choosing creative directors like James Wan will be key to DC regaining some of its former glory.
Beautiful and stunning, but maybe a bit overhyped?
This is a good film, a very good film. The obvious strength is it's visual beauty and authenticity. Cuarón has an eye for magnificent shots that other filmmakers could only dream of, and the black and white only accentuates it further. He didn't need color for the visual storytelling. All the acting seemed genuine, like this was simply a documentary following these people around and I was definitely impressed by that. I understand the unbelievable praise this film is getting by fan and critic alike, but I can't help but think the beauty in the cinematography and the acting is making up for the simplified plot and predictable story. Cuarón and Aparicio deserve endless praise, but I just can't put this in the upper echelon of films I've seen this year.
Long live the Spider-Verse, just outstanding.
This is a straight up animated masterpiece. The animation style, the universe(s), the voice acting, the story telling, everything is amazing. I feel bad for the other animated films this year, because Into the Spider-Verse blows them all out of the water. It's hard to believe this is the same animation studio that made the smash hit The Emoji Movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming is still my favorite from the hero, but this one is not far behind. My only, tiny complaint is that the villains weren't very fleshed out, but with the multiple Spider men and women needing adequate backgrounds and screen time, I can easily look past it. This is a superhero movie for the typical fans or the oblivious viewer, creating the always beautiful message that anyone can wear the mask. We're all a lit bit Spider-Man.
Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018)
A creative and refreshing animated film
Probably my favorite animated film of the year (till Into the Spider-Verse) I just love how creative of an idea it is. The first half of this was really fresh and entertaining but I thought the final act kind of dragged and didn't inspire much awe for me. The vocal performances are all spot on and I enjoyed a lot of the minor characters as well. Shout out Baby Groot for his cameo, it doesn't matter what film he's in he'll still steal the show. While not one of Disney's greatest entries, it was still very well made and there was no shortage of fanfare and crowd pleasing.
The Front Runner (2018)
There's a great movie in here somewhere
I'm an unapologetic Hugh Jackman 'stan'. I haven't seen Les Mis, so I'd have to rank this performance very highly but not as great as he was in Logan or Prisoners. The core actors in this film all had solid performances, I had some problems with some of the minor characters but that's more nit-picky. My biggest criticism comes from the story itself, this film could've been great but I don't think the story got deep enough. It was very surface level and the choice to not dig deeper into the lives of these people was a bit baffling. It was definitely interesting but I wish it was a little more 'West Wing-y'. I don't feel like any risks were taken and it didn't evoke any emotion from the viewer. I give kudos to an intelligent script and a talented cast of actors but it was just a little lifeless for me to grade it any higher.
Creed II (2018)
Another great addition to the timeless saga
To clear the air: it was absolutely formulaic, completely predictable, and not quite as good as the first. The story was not as strong ... BUT, it was still very good. There's something about boxing/combat movies that are so compelling and this was no exception. Sylvester Stallone, Michael B. Jordan, and Tessa Thompson (even though she was a bit underwritten) were all as good as they were in original if not better. They even managed to make Creed's adversary sympathetic, and while you weren't rooting for him, you definitely felt and understood his motivation. The fight scenes were choreographed amazingly and definitely packed a physical and emotional punch (lol) I thought the music was a good choice and while the score wasn't always the strongest there were still solid moments. I nearly cried when the Rocky theme came on it was beautiful. I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire theater you could feel the energy building with each punch. While it's not as good as the original it's still a hell of a boxing movie and just a good movie in general.
Green Book (2018)
A beautiful film, with beautiful performances and an even more beautiful message
I'm officially on the bandwagon, this was magnificent. It's a beautiful story to begin with, but Viggo and Mahershala give other-worldly performances that elevate it to even greater heights. Visually the film was nice too, there weren't any magnificent set pieces or anything like that but there was an intimacy to the cinematography that I haven't noticed in many other films. I'm sure people will complain that it's a little fluffy, but it took on very sensitive subject matter head-on and did it in a way that forced the viewer to confront their own beliefs in the process. Personally, I loved it and I'm going to remember the way it made me feel. I understand it takes more than just a film to change people's perspectives, but as this one said "it takes courage to change people's hearts".
An Intelligent Crime Drama
First third: Pretty good
Middle third: Good-ish
Final third: Very good
Possibly the best ensemble of the year, everyone was great. This was my first Steve McQueen film and my first impressions are wonderful, he's such an intelligent director. Some of the shots were very awesome and every little intricacy was essential to his vision. Most of my complaints stem from the sound being a bit odd and the overall implausibly of the story. But after all it is a movie and you're allowed to stretch reality. I'm certain this will get plenty of Oscar buzz, and deservingly so. It's definitely one of the best I've seen this year, but it lacked the lasting impact of some of the years other great ones.
Finally, a zombie-war movie we can all enjoy
What a great, lowkey cast. It was refreshing to not recognize many of the actors and still thoroughly enjoy the film. The effects were amazing and the story was really interesting. A great blend of a war thriller and zombie horror, it felt familiar but also managed to seem fresh and new. I like the progression throughout the film, starting with a traditional war story while gradually getting more into the scientific/human experimentation storyline. One of the more pleasant surprises of the year, and again I can't reiterate enough how fantastic the make-up/effects were in this; genuinely horrifying.
The Grinch (2018)
Cute enough to see, but likely won't be memorable
The animation is wonky and it's generally unremarkable, but some of it works. Cindy was so cute and Benedict Cumberbatch was a great choice but his voice sounded odd like a Cumberbatch, Ryan Reynolds, and Bill Hader mix. It's not gonna wow anybody but no one will regret seeing it either. It sucks having to be compared to the fantastic original but for the most part The Grinch satisfies enough.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
Great performances - meh everything else
This would've been so good if, aside from a few moments, knew how to fill in the space inbetween the awesome performances. The strength here lies in Rami Malek as Mercury and the rest of the ensemble, as well as with the greatly shot performance scenes. The weakness lies in just about everything else. They managed to make "Queen" seem very vanilla and formulaic during any part that didn't include singing until roughly the last 20 minutes of the film (which did its best to try and redeem the previous 2 hours). Overall I don't think it's as poorly done as the critics are suggesting and I don't think it's as wonderful as most fans are suggesting.
Beautiful Boy (2018)
A decent film with fantastic actors
Disclaimer: the film, in isolation, is probably more worthy of 6 stars, BUT Timothée Chalamet and Steve Carrell are too fricken talented for me to ignore. They absolutely blew my mind. While I have never battled addiction or really know anyone who has, I can confidently say that Timothée's portrayal as an addict and Steve's as a grieving parent was so authentic and heartbreaking. The rest of the cast was great and helped elevate the film even further, too. Some of the editing was weird and confused me a bit, especially the flashbacks. But it didn't impede the impact of the film. Like I said, even without this cast of actors it would've been an admirable film nonetheless, but because of their performances it took a decent film and made it very good one. #TimothéeOscars2019
The Old Man & the Gun (2018)
Robert Redford as charming as ever
It's not one of the best movies I've ever seen, but it was so cute, charming, and well made that I have absolutely nothing bad to say about it. A perfect, lowkey swan song for Robert Redford, and the entire supporting cast was superb. I can't imagine having something negative to say about this.
Les frères Sisters (2018)
A new take on an old genre with phenomenal performances
A beautiful looking film, cinematography was on point. It took a little while to get things going but the last half made up for it. An original idea for a Western, and I love a good Western so I throughly enjoyed it. All the performances were great and it was genuinely touching, but there was just something missing that failed to elevate this movie from very good to great.
First Man (2018)
Chazelle is at it again. Also please stop rating this a 1 if you haven't seen it.
The cinematography could be best described as claustrophobic and it's the perfect way to convey this story. Damien Chazelle is something else. I rank this in between La La Land and Whiplash. It was phenomenal. Ryan Gosling managed to make a boring and the lowest of key hero seem so complex and compelling. I'm very glad I don't have to choose between him and Bradley Cooper, easily the two best male performances I've seen in a long time. Claire Foy..... this was the first work of hers I've seen and I understand why she's so beloved, an absolute talent. It was definitely a slow burn but that final act was probably the most beautifully intense finale I've ever seen. The entire film was just such a technical achievement. I have a weird feeling it's not going to get the full credit it deserves, but this is undeniably another masterpiece at the hand of Chazelle. P.S. that score tho .....
See it for yourself, only your opinion really matters
The critical negativity is very overstated. Is it a perfect movie? Obviously not. But given the interesting subject matter and very capable actors this film is certainly not a failure. Tom Hardy was great, the CGI was passable, and the back and forth between symbiote and host was genuinely engaging. The climax left me pretty underwhelmed, I honestly didn't think the movie was even close to over when it was going on which tells you how thrilling the ending was. The writing was probably the biggest weakness, I don't know if an 'R' rating would've done that much but I would've liked to see how that turned out. Venom certainly has potential, and if given the opportunity to exist along side a certain friendly neighborhood superhero, the contrast between the two would make for a truly captivating viewing