2018 Movie Rundown

2018 has come to it’s conclusion. May it rest in peace. Now, the serious movie reviewers have released their top ten best and worst films from the past year. I only got to see 11 movies, which mean I can do them all at once. In the future I do intend to see more, and I know this number will definently be higher in 2019. Here are my rankings of all 11 movies I saw from 2018:

11. Ant-Man and the Wasp – I don’t know what it is with Marvel, but apart from Captain America, they cannot make good sequels. This movie might be my least favorite Marvel movie since Thor 2 in 2013. First of all, the Ant-man logic just doesn’t make sense. There are no rules to making things big and small other than what the plot requires and what’s funny. Slapping quantum in front of everything doesn’t make that okay, and making a joke about slapping quantum in front of everything doesn’t make that okay either. Every scene with Sonny Burch was terrible, and even though Ghost was kind of a cool villain, her resolution sidesteps the moral dilemma that made her character interesting in the first place! This was one of the rare movies I was trashing on as soon as I got out of the theater.

10. The Meg – Of all the movies I expected to see in 2018, The Meg was not one of them. And I’ll be upfront, it’s not a good movie. But it’s less terrible than expected. As someone who experienced the grind known as Hungry Shark: Evolution, seeing a 75 foot Megalodon capsize boats was awesome. Also, something about Jason Statham stabbing that giant shark in the eye with a sword is really cool. It could’ve been a little shorter, but it was better than expected, and it amounted to a good time at the movies with some friends. Which is what it should have been.

9. Incredibles 2 – There are a lot of people who love Incredibles 2. I am not one of those people. The first Incredibles is one of my all-time favorites, and one of the things that made it great was it wove the family story into the superhero story seamlessly. Because of this, the original is both a touching story about the Parr family and a compelling story about the Incredibles fighting Syndrome. In this movie, I felt like I was watching two movies, one about Mr. Incredible being a dad and one about Elasta-Girl being a superhero. Also, this movie has the exact same familial subplot as the first one -the Parr family has to learn to trust each other and fight crime publicly together as a family so people accept superheroes again. Incredibles 2 felt like a rehash of its predecessor, only less cohesive, and coming 14 years after the original, no thanks. Thumbs down for me.

8. Solo – Now that I’ve had about a month to dwell on Solo, I stand by what I wrote in November. There just isn’t a lot in here to love. It was cool to be back in the Star Wars universe, but so much of this movie felt lackluster. My vague fantasies just seemed cooler than what was on screen. I didn’t see it in theaters, and after renting it on DVD, I don’t feel like I missed anything.

7. Aquaman – As I said in my full review, Aquaman is a solid movie. The effects are good, the characters are good, and the directing is superb. But there just isn’t a ton in here that’s exceptional. Most of what I saw in this movie I felt like I had seen done better before. I don’t regret seeing it, and if I had to buy the ticket again I would, but I would be lying if I said Aquaman was anything spectacular.

6. Uncle Drew – If you’re looking for an Oscar caliber performance, I regret to inform you Shaquille O’Neil isn’t your guy. But this movie was an absolute blast. I was smiling basically from start to finish. And even though there are plenty of cringe-worthy moments and plot holes, this is a story about Kyrie Irving dressed up like an old guy which began as a Pepsi commercial. This is not supposed to be Citizen Kane. There was a surprising amount of heart too, and it actually really works in movie. Also, lots of buckets.

5. Black Panther – Black Panther is a good movie. But it’s not a great movie. And what’s frustrating is it could have been. This movie just isn’t as cool as it’s various pieces warrant. Your main villain is Killmonger, the best villain in the MCU. So why do we spend half the movie hunting down Ulysses Klaw, with his arm cannon straight out of a children’s cartoon, hearing him babble about his mixtape? You have M’Baku, Okoye, Shuri, a bunch of other Wakandan characters I wanted to see more of. So why do we spend so much time with Martin Freeman’s character Everett Ross, who’s as exciting as brown rice? And when you create a world as cool as Wakanda, why does the third act devolve in the same basic final battle in a superhero movie, only with worse effects and more predictable twists?

4. Crazy Rich Asians – What are movies supposed to do? Show you something you’ve never seen before? Introduce you to a world you didn’t know existed? Crazy Rich Asians, with it’s look at these East Asian aristocrats, did that for me. I was awed. Maybe it was just because I don’t see many Romcoms, or my obsession with Asian food, but for the first hour and a half, this movie was making a serious run at number one on this list. However, the ending ruined it for me. I’m not going to spoil it here, but one character did something so out of character, and the plot progression to that point was so bad, it took me right out of a film I had been otherwise totally on board for.

3. Mission Impossible: Fallout – Some people adore this movie, and I can see why. The action is intense, and apart from the original Bourne trilogy, this is the best spy movie I’ve ever seen. My problem with this movie is that it expects me to care more about the Mission Impossible franchise than I do. I started watching these movies at Ghost Protocol (the fourth one), and I’ve yet to see the first three. For Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation, my lack of in-depth knowledge didn’t matter. However coming here at Fallout, I was suppose to have attachments to the characters from the previous films, characters I had either never seen before or totally forgot about. I would like to sit down and watch all six Mission Impossible movies, and see how that changes my opinion of this sixth installment.

2. Spiderman: Into the Spider-verse – I wasn’t planning to see this movie, but it was getting really good press, and I made a pilgrimage to the local $4 movie theater to check it out. And I was really glad I did. There are a lot of animated movies, a ton of superhero movies, and plenty of Spiderman going around. For a Spiderman animated movie to stand out, is a tall order. But this movie does that. It’s got heart, humor, slick animation, good villains, and all six variations of Spiderman work. It stands out, and this movie, more than anything I’ve seen before, showed me why people love Spiderman.

  1. Avengers: Infinity War – Basic, I know. It’s not pretentious Oscar bait, but this movie succeeds in a way few do. It somehow managed to live up to ten years of hype, fit in 20+ heroes, give us one of Marvel’s most compelling villains, and be something more than just another superhero blockbuster. In fact, with all that’s in this movie, it’s a testament to excellent storytelling it doesn’t collapse in on itself. My only gripes are the start of the movie felt jumpy – you had about four or five separate plot lines running together at once. Also, power levels felt shifted, like the MCU got a mobile video game style balance update between Civil War and this movie. But with this many heroes, coming from this many movies, these problems were always going to exist. Infinity War was a blast, and I can’t wait for Endgame in April.

 

What movies from 2018 did you love? Any movies from last year you think I should add to my watch list? We’ll be back on Monday, beginning to look at the 2020 Presidential election, which is already starting to heat up. I’ll see you then.

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