The most stunningly gorgeous and most unsettling film of 2019 is Ari Aster’s Midsommer. His follow up to Hereditary lives in the same world of grief as Hereditary did,and uses the occult to a chilling and surreal setting that makes to want to visit the festivities that only take place every 90 years. Midsommer won’t be for everyone, but it is everything it sets out to be. The film isn’t so much horror but a film about relationships. The movie is also pretty funny throughout and Stars Will Poulter in a small role. Although I have only seen it the one time so far, Midsommer May be my pick of the year so far.
Toy Story 4 is what many critics and fans alike called unneeded, but wow did it hold up and become a great film and one of the best installments of the franchise yet! A film about parenthood, letting go, and the realization of life in itself and how we aren’t always exactly what we seem to be. I thought Toy Story 4 had great parts. Part horror and comedy, A character named Forky is introduced and is basically A Frankenstein like creation by God herself, Bonnie. The film also features many other horrific imagery such as Gabby- Gabby and the creepy ventriquist doll Vincent. The film is a must watch for Toy Story fanatics and lovers of film alike!
” A lot of weird stuff happens in Marwen, a lot of stuff that makes no sense.” Steve Carrel’s Mark ” Hoggy” Hogancamp says this late in the film and I can’t think of any other way to sum up Robert Zemeckis’ Welcome to Marwen.
Welcome to Marwen is absurd. The animated sequences are completely odd and unfortunately ruin the film.
The humor is the lowest hanging fruit and unfunny. The bright spot in the film are the actors and some of the live action scenes and the story behind Marwen.
Steve Carrel and Leslie Mann are great! Unfortunately the intercutting of animation throws off any drama or emotion the live action shots invoke.
The latest DCEU or whatever Warner Bros. is calling the extended universe of the comic properties, is Aquaman from Horror OG James Wan.
The film is an origin for Jason Mamoa’s Aquaman first seen in Justice League and who was also my favorite part of that film. The film centers on Arthur Curry a.k.a Aquaman and his quest to become the rightful king of Atlantis and save the surface of Earth’s humans from Wilson’s Ocean Master’s mar plot to take down the humans.
Mamoa does a solid job In the title role, while others were just average with the exception of Patrick Wilson as Ocean Master and Aquaman’s half brother and king of Atlantis! Wilson was the bright spot for me as the antagonist for Mamoa’s Arthur Curry.
James Wan has set up one of the most entertaining and fun DCEU films and future franchise. It’s funny, action packed, and has some incredible cgi. The trench and underwater battles looked phenomenal and had a touch of Sean’s signature horror aesthetic.
The third act falls apart a bit for me with the, now formulaic third act fight scene.
Overall Aquaman is a solid effort from Wan, Mamoa, and DC, while not a favorite of mine this year or a top comic book movie in 2018, Aquaman is a solid 3/5.
A Star is Born, but much more dark and weird. Vox Lux is and odd movie to say the least. I really liked a lot of the direction of this film, while not loving the overall package. The film was written and directed by Brady Corbet and stars Natalie Portman, Jude Law, and the real star and shining light of the film Raffey Cassidy!
She’s so damn good in this film! I loved her performance and the first half of this film! Portman is the saving grace in the second half, but I felt it collapses on itself a bit.
The basic premise is similar to this years, A Star is Born with Port,an and Cassidy’s Celeste character achieving the impossible and becoming a massive pop star. Where this separates itself is the dark messed up commentary by Corbet about media, the music industry, and how it all shapes the individual and their ultimate corruption of themselves and others who are influenced by their art.
The film has some jarring images and scenes! And also has some of the best music of the year, written by pop star Sia. The film also has some very avante garde looks and feels. Willem Dafoe narrates at multiple points throughout the film and title cards set up new chapters in Celeste’s life. At times it felt like Corbet was maybe aping Darren Aronofsky and his style.
While not being a perfect film, I enjoyed Cassidy’s performance the best and Natalie Portman is a force to reckon with as she sings and dances away her personal demons if only for one performance.
While Mary Poppins Returns didn’t look like my cup of tea, or rather a spoonful of sugar, the film is a pure delight! The Rob Marshall directed sequel is rather enjoyable and a fantastic revisiting of cinematic icon!
Emily Blunt nails Poppins mannerisms and it feels like she hasn’t missed a beat since the last time she flew off screen. Her co-star, Lin Manuel Miranda who plays a gas lamp cleaner Jack delights as well with his patented song and dance.
If you enjoy classic Disney or are a fan of the original Mary Poppins, you should enjoy this redemption of the classic family film!
Annabelle Creation was pretty fun. The theater I saw it in was packed for the Thursday night showing. The crowd was excited and scared pretty easily. These are great experiences for the theater going experience that you cant always get at home.
Now the movie itself has rapid fire scares over it’s two hour runtime. The scares mostly consist of jump and audible scares, but Annabelle sneaks a few true terror scenes in from time to time. I enjoyed this enough to justify seeing it in theaters and would give Annabelle Creations 3/5.
M. Night Shyamalan’s newest thriller, Split staring James McAvoy and Anya Taylor Joy is actually a breathe of fresh air when talking about the auteur directors other films. It was fantastically acted by McAvoy, who absolutely stole the show and kept a fast paced as the thrillers that we grew accustom to, with Shyamalan’s earlier movies. The movie is tough to talk about without spoiling much, but I will say if you are a fan of his early work or thrillers check it out. The camera work is great as well. Some amazing shots throughout the entire film that leave you unnerved. 3.5/5
The Birth of a Nation was as powerful as it was a great film. Writer, director, producer, and actor Nate Parker has made the best film of the year and I encourage all fans of film or great story telling to go see the film in cinemas. At times the movie reminds me of a Terrence Malick film with the beauty of the hairs and imagery. It will be a shame if Nate Parker does not receive some recognition at this year’s Oscars for multiple roles durring the production of this fine film.
Barry Jenkin’s coming of age story, Moonlight, is fantastic and one of 2016’s best films. Moonlight is about a young boy, Chiron who grows up in the streets of Miami. The film almost parallels 2014’s Boyhood by showing us a life of a boy and not just one arc. We see three different actors play young Chiron. The film is beautifully shot and emotional raw. The first act is my favorite as we see Chiron growing up as a shy confused young man. He meets Juan, a drug dealer who is more of a father figure and friend, played by Mahershala Ali. Oscar season is upon us and you definitely need to check out Moonlight before the big night! 5/5.