Favorite Films of 2018(Actually just the one's I've seen this year)
Sunday, December 30, 2018 at 09:22PM
Diarra Harris

I was considering doing a best and worst film list unfortunately due to financial issues I didn’t see as many films this year as last.  So it wouldn’t make sense for me make a best and worst list.  Also since I’ll never get around to it this was my favorite film list from last year:


*This list was as of January 1, 2018 at that time I hadn’t seen films like “Shape of Water” because they weren’t released in my area then.*


10.  “Justice League” (yeah I liked it FIGHT ME!) The cast had great chemistry and they fixed Superman.

09.  “Detroit”  (Well acted and has a great 1st half but the 2nd half begins to drag)

08.  “IT” Chapter 1 (while I don’t like it as much as the internet does it’s well acted and has some good tension)

07.  “Logan” (despite the continuity problems it’s a really good film)

06.  “Wonder Woman”

05:  “Spider-Man Homecoming”

04.  “John Wick Chapter 2” (i think it’s equal to the 1st one the only difference is it’s going for something else)

03.  “Get Out” (At 1st I thought it was just good but as time goes by I enjoy it even more)

02.  “A Silent Voice”

01.  “.Your Name”


Honorable Mentions:  Thor Ragnarok, COCO, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2, One Piece Gold & Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Now before I begin this list has films that I can remember off the top of my head.  I’m sure I’ve seen more films than this.  Also a lot of films(the oscar bait ones)aren’t or weren’t released near me so odds are I won’t see them until sometime next year.  I will also try to be quicker than my normal reviews which some of these films I already reviewed.  Why didn’t I do a review on all of them?  Well my channel doesn’t have a lot of subscribers and get very little views.  I’ve also noticed that of all the content on my channel movie reviews get the lowest views, engagement and retention so I have to pick my spots.  


Well enough of that.  Now let’s begin with -


1. Proud Mary: It’s about a hit woman played by Taraji P. Henson who during a job kill a young boy’s father.  A year later for reason’s she takes care of him but now has to protect him from the underworld.   I really liked the world building for this film and the acting across board was really good.  I enjoyed the Mary character mostly because she was 3 dimensional.  She could be strong and vulnerable(see it can be done Ghost in the Shell 2017!).  My problem with the film was her relationship with the boy.  I don’t think the kid could act so this made their interactions cringe worthy.  Still if a sequel or prequel with Mary in it were to happen I’d see it.  Just as long as the boy isn’t in it.  


Early Man: A stone age tribe finds out that it’s in the middle of the iron age.  Soccer and wackiness ensues.  I’ve always liked Aardman’s animation design.  It’s the polar opposite of the creepy aesthetic that the few stop motion animation studios nowadays use.  There’s always a sense of fun and great energy to their films.


I went to see this film for 2 reasons. 1. To get the taste of “Gobots Battle of the Rock Lords” out of my mouth and 2. to support it because I know no one else will.  While the film is enjoyable it did have problems.  Not all of the comedy hit.  A ton of the comedy is location and soccer specific and considering U.S. audiences don’t love soccer and won’t get most British humor this film was pretty dead on arrival.  I would be worried about Aardman in general but fortunately the next “Shaun the Sheep” movie(“Farmageddon: A Shun the Sheep Movie”) comes out next year.  While that film will mostly likely bomb in the Uniter States it’s still beloved overseas to make a decent profit.


Black Panther:  Marvel’s first black superhero(I think)get’s his first solo film.  Just as with “Proud Mary” I enjoyed the world building in this film.  There wasn’t a dip in acting in the entire cast.  Everyone was able to keep a consistent accent too!(If you think that’s a small thing then just watch films like “Gods of Egypt”!)With the state that Wakanda is at the end of the film there are a bunch of avenues future films could go into.


Isle Of Dogs:  As I said in my review of the film I’m not a Wes Anderson fan.  To me his works come off as pretentious.  Quirky for the sake of being quirky and then acting as if it’s something of a higher meaning.  That said for some reason I think he does his best work in animation.  The film takes place 20 years in the future and the mayor of Megasaki has outlawed all dogs.  His son steals a plane to find his own dog on “Trash Island”.  He befriends a pack of dogs and wackiness ensues.  I see this film as a light drama.  Maybe because a lot of the humor is dry.  I also appreciated that the design of the stop motion characters looked different than what is usually seen in theaters.  There was also a seamless mix of 2D, CGI and Stop Motion in here.  My issues with the film however is that a lot of the times the comedy didn’t work.  The color palate of the film was dark and washed out.  That makes sense considering it mostly takes place on “Trash Island” but with the lack of color it’s not going to engage the audience.  The character animation was also too stiff.  Which would be more of a problem for me but then again I just watched “Nutcracker Fantasy” 1979 so I’m going to give it a pass.


Despite my issues with the film I am more than game to go see another one of his films…animated not live action.  I still haven’t changed my mind on him with that.


Deadpool 2: This is a revenge and then redemption tale.  Which seems interesting.  I just don’t think it was executed as well however.  Maybe it had to do with the 1st films director leaving the project but I didn’t find the sequel as memorable.  Part of the reason had to be with the relationship between Deadpool and the boy. However my main problem was that nothing in the film matters because of the mid credits scene.  Wade’s progression as a character? Gone.  That boy no longer being tortured and finding a friend?  Gone.  In the films final minutes it torpedoed everything that happened beforehand.  This reminds me of the ending to the Japanese Manga “Prison School” which I enjoyed until the final chapter where the author decided to say screw you the the readers after 6 years.  On the upside James Brolin was good as Cable.  He was a bit shaky at the beginning but got better as the film went on.  Also the Juggernauts theme was hilarious and epic.


Avengers: Infinity War:  Thanos finally makes his move.  What move?  A snapping one of course.  Infinity War is a great pay off for people that have watched all of the films prior to this.  That’s also it’s problem too.  The emotional scenes will only mean something if you are 1. a fan and if 2. you’ve watched every film previous to this.  I don’t think that this isn’t the type of film that will create new fans.  Still it was enjoyable and it seems that Marvel Studios has fixed it’s villain problem(I hadn’t seen Ant Man and The Wasp prior to to writing this)with Killmonger and Thanos this year.  Also the film being called “Infinity War” is a bit of a misnomer it really should be called “Thanos Quest”.  On a side note I do find it a bit funny when one of the criticisms for the film is that it’s only half a film.  Didn’t you know that going in?  Marvel Studios months prior said that that there would be an Avengers film in 2018 and 2019.  With films only about a year apart why would you think that they wouldn’t be one story split into 2?


Solo: a Star Wars Story:  Do you want to know the untold origin of Han Solo?  No?  Well to bad here it is!  I don’t understand all of the hate the film got.  I’m sure part of it had to be because of the residue left over by “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” which isn’t as bad as people think but that’s a topic for another day.  While I didn’t think it was great it was enjoyable.  With the exception of Emilia Clarke everyone acted good.  I’m starting to think that she really isn’t a good actress seeing how the only time she is in “Game of Thrones”.  I guess they cover up her weaknesses.  As far as the female droid she’s a missed opportunity.  The Star Wars universe is filled with sassy droids however unlike her they are all helpful.  I would be fine with her rebellious personality if she did more than cause trouble during the 2nd act.  


I think however the problem why the film failed wasn’t because people didn’t want to see a Han Solo film or one about him that took place in the past.  Star Wars fans want to see a film about the version that first appeared in “A New Hope”.  The charismatic scoundrel with a tiny heart of gold.  In “SOLO” he wasn’t that character.  He was years away from that character.  EX.  if he stole anything it was okay because it was from the bad guys.  The Solo from the original film wouldn’t be discerning like that.  He’d take the job whether it affected the innocent or the guilty.


Another problem the film had I believe was why he became a scoundrel to begin with.  Living under the oppression of the Empire and wanting to be free of it is a good start but having it to be more about a girl you like?  Ugh.  It just seems so pedestrian.  When you add in the fact that this is supposed to be the heart of the film and that Emilia Clarke can’t act then, yeah the film is going to have problems.  Behind the scenes drama affected this to because practically the entire film had to be reshot with a new director.  There also seems to things thrown in randomly hoping that it’ll stick(example Darth Maul). 


With that all being said I didn’t find anything hateable in it.  It’s a C+ film.  If any positive can come out of it then maybe DISNEY won’t have LUCASFILM make so many Star Wars films to the point that people get tired of it.  Based on what Disney CEO Bob Iger said a few months ago that does seem to be the case.  


Teen Titans Go! To the Movies:  Robin wants his own movie and arch nemesis.  Yep that’s pretty much the plot.  This is a action comedy musical.  All 3 of which was pretty good if a bit forgettable.  The film reminds me of the  animated One Piece and Dragon Ball movies.  There only made for the fans of the series.  They do nothing to convert the unietiated.  Visually it’s okay.  While it has it’s major effect moments there’s not that much of an upgrade from the show to the screen.  If you are a fan then this will most likely be the only time you’ll see it on the big screen.  Because while it made 5 times it’s budget it didn’t justify making enough for a sequel.  The film only made 52 million WORLDWIDE.


Smallfoot:  Everyone knows the tale of the bigfoot but did you know that they have tales of the smallfoot?   It’s a decent middle of the road film.  A couple of of the songs are good. One because it’s a take off of a “Queen” song.  Now the reason I went to see this film was because certain animation reviewers I follow were talking about how this touched on themes of information control.  That song “Let it Lie” should be nominated for many awards with how thought provoking it is(hmmm…I think I’ll do an Animation Analysis on that in the future).


Visually this looks like just about any other cgi animated film.  Okay that’s not 100% correct it looks like a SONY Animation film which makes sense seeing how their listed in the credits for doing some of the animation.  What’s funny though is this is an Warner Animation Group film.


Interesting thing though the film is based off of or rather “inspired” by the book “Yeti Tracks” by Sergio Pablo.  However per SmallFoot screenwriter John Requa the film doesn’t follow the story from the book(yes because why would you want to do that?).


Venom: Based on the- nah I’ll say “inspired by” the Marvel Comics character.  This film was a gross bastardization of the character.  There’s bad acting occasionally wonky cgi and editing. The writing is terrible and it’s both intentionally and unintentionally funny.  That said I did get some enjoyment out of it.  This just seems like a patchwork film.  It’s a PG-13 film that seems to want to be an R rated film but wants the PG-13 audience.  While the acting was horrible the interactions between Eddie Brock and Venom were funny.  It also has Woody Harrleson in either the best or worst Ronald McDonald wig I’ve ever seen.


Despite what the different ratings aggregators and critics say people did enjoy it.  May they did partly because they incorrectly believe that this takes place in the MCU.  It doesn’t it’s something totally different.  It seems that despite the behind the scenes drama SONY succeeded by failing.  Because of this we’re most likely going to see Spider-Man’s last appearance in the MCU next year in “Spider-Man: Far From Home”.


Or maybe not.  Despite Sony’s recent success they still have financial problems and odds are their going to either be broken up or bought out in a few years.  Current rumors have APPLE thinking about buying SONY.  If that happens then the film rights revert back to Marvel because the film rights are non transferable.


Halloween (2018): A direct sequel to the original film from 1978(forgetting all of the sequels and remakes).  What if “HE” comes home again.  It’s been awhile since I’ve seen the 1st film so I went into this one mildly fresh.  

For the most part I enjoyed characters and the story.  The idea of how an event that happened 40 years ago would still effect someone today is and interesting one.  I didn’t like when they had characters do questionable things to either to get them out of the story(see Ally’s boyfriend)or to set up a kill(See Ally’s guy friend turned sleazeball).


I watched this original again after watching this and yeah they pulled a “SWTFAS” and kept doing things that the original did.  When I realized that I didn’t like the film as much.  It’s still good if for no other reason than possibly giving Laurie Strode some closure. 


Maquia: The Promised Flower Blooms:  The film follows Maquia who hales from a immortal race of people that stop aging once they hit their teens.  One day their land is attacked and after she escapes she finds a infant baby being clutched by his dead mother.  The film is about their relationship thru out the years as he get’s older and she stays the same age.  This has the best parental figure and child relationship I’ve seen in a long time.  It’s fascinating to watch how their characters evolve with what’s happening around them(Ariel’s character arc is more noticeable Maquia is more subtle).  The score and soundtrack is excellent and while the cgi can be a little noticeable at times it’s integrated pretty well into the film.


This is the film I’ve seen this year. 


Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse:  A spider bite and a super collider.  Both changes Miles Morales life forever in different ways.  If I hadn’t seen Maquia: The Promised Flower Blooms” this year then this would’ve been my top pick for best film of the year.  There are several reasons why I wanted to see this film.  1. It’s a Spider-Man film.  2. The animation is possibly a game changer when it comes to CGI.  3.  Miles Morales is the lead.  While I did want to see him in live action I’m fine with animation.  Initially I did wonder if if he would take a backseat to the other characters.  Nope!  Miles is a strong enough character to carry this film.  While the action set pieces were good other than the animation my favorite part of the film was the relationships in the film.  My favorites are between Miles and his dad.


The chemistry of all the characters mixed with animation and story makes it great film.  My problems with it would be that the animation on the sides of the screen and in the background would consistently get blurry, coming off as being unfinished.  My other issue would be some characters appearances come off as glorified cameos.  


That aside this is a film that introduces an interesting character to the world in an inventive way.  Hopefully it will make enough money to justify a sequel.

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