March Movie Wrap Up

It took me long enough to get my March Wrap Up done. I saw four movies, three of which I really didn’t like, and one of which I thought was just okay.

Check out my thoughts in the video below.

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January Film Wrap Up

For detailed reviews of all the movies I saw in the month of January, watch my Wrap Up. For just a few quick thoughts on each of the films I saw, here is a brief reflection.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Really great animation, and an interesting story. Thought the hype was a little overrated but overall really enjoyed the film.

Glass
Disappointing last minute turn of events that didn’t make any sense, and made the previous hour and a half feel pointless. The acting was okay and the film looked great but there was no action for a majority of the film, and the dialogue wasn’t that great.

The Kid Who Would Be King
This was actually quite entertaining. The kids were all pretty good and the story had a good message. The special effects weren’t the best and some of the plotlines were a bit cheesy and predictable but in the end it was entertaining for the two hours I spent watching it.

Movie Review: Venom

My sister doesn’t go to the movies very often, and it is near impossible trying to predict what she might end up liking. So, of course, when she told me that not only had she gone to the theater to see Venom (more than once mind you) but that she actually liked it, I was surprised. I know that she has always been a fan of the Spider-Man universe and that she had a particular fondness for Venom but I had heard so many terrible things about this film, I just couldn’t believe that’s what she decided to spend her time on.

Time went by and after receiving the DVD for Christmas, an opportunity came up for her to share her appreciation of the film with me. We started the day off with a viewing of Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse (which was quite a lot of fun), and then went back home to sit down and watch Venom.

I have to say, the film isn’t as bad as people say it is. It isn’t very good either but it’s not that bad. There are a lot of story issues, such as plot holes, messy exposition, and an expedited climax. The acting also isn’t the best, though I think Tom Hardy was having a lot of fun with the role, and of all the things I’ve seen him in, this is the film where I enjoyed watching him the most. At least he wasn’t just grunting or squinting his way through his scenes. The special effects look unfinished in a lot of areas but the Venom face effects look decent enough.

The best thing though that this film has going for it is its small scale storyline. I’ve mentioned in previous reviews how tiring some of the superhero movies can get because there is just so much destruction and so many lives lost that it becomes depressing to watch after a certain point. Venom takes place in one central location (San Francisco), involves one main bad guy and a couple of cronies, and the climax of the film doesn’t involve a whole city’s decimation. The consequences of the characters’ actions could have bigger implications but the battle at the end doesn’t.

I can see why my sister likes this movie so much. Despite its weaknesses, Venom was kind of a fun viewing experience, and it is an interesting character to base a movie around. I don’t see myself revisiting this the way my sister is eager to but I’m also not upset that I sat through it this first time.

Best Movies of 2018

In 2018 I saw seventy-two films in theaters, fifty-six of which were new releases. Below is a video in which I discuss my favorite films of the last year but first, a couple of honorable mentions.

 

Chappaquiddick

chappaquiddick-poster
This was a very straight forward, pared down film. It tells the story of the events leading up to and following the night that Senator Ted Kennedy drove his car off a bridge on Chappaqquidick Island. The filmmakers did their best to use only verified information to tell the story and I thought the result was very effective.

 

Avengers: Infinity War

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Of course I loved Infinity War. I did a whole review project leading up to its release, that’s how excited I was. I worried a little that it wouldn’t be able to live up to all that had been built up but it did. Each of the characters got a good amount of screen/story time, and it still impresses me that they were able to get all of those people into one film and not have it feel overstuffed. As an added bonus I saw the film in Hollywood at a late screening Thursday (release) night and Kevin Feige and Joe Russo surprised the audience beforehand just to say thanks for being fans. That was an awesome, totally “Hollywood” experience, and it amped me up right before the movie started.

 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout

mission_impossible_fallout_poster
Here Ethan Hunt is dealing with the “fallout” of the events of Rogue Nation, and bringing together a team to yet again fight against a disaster of epic proportions. The Mission Impossible films have become kind of like the James Bond films in that they follow a typical formula and have recurring elements, which I think actually adds a lot to them, and makes the characters and storylines more meaningful. I enjoyed looking forward to this film, and prepared by rewatching and reviewing all of the previous films. In the end, I was impressed with the film’s ability to still surprise me with its incredible stunts, and unexpected heartfelt story.

 

The Old Man and the Gun

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This was a nice surprise. Based on a true story, Robert Redford plays Forrest Tucker, a bank robber and prison escape artist. It is a slow moving story that really shines thanks to some solid, and understated performances. I wasn’t expecting anything from the film when I went into it and I thought the whole thing was rather charming. There is an especially great scene between Redford and Casey Affleck, who plays the detective investigating Tucker’s string of robberies.

 

Green Book

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I was a little wary of yet another indie film with a social message simply because there have been so many lately, and they’ve followed the same basic story structure. While Green Book does take on a more traditional format, and does have a social message at its heart, it stands apart thanks to the moving performances from its two leads. It is a story of two people from different worlds coming together that moves at a leisurely pace but really works thanks to Mahershala Ali, and especially Viggo Mortensen.

 

And now for my Top Ten Favorite Films of 2018:

#30DaysofFavorites: Favorite Movie Posters

Today’s post is the last entry for my 30 Days of Favorites project so I thought I’d end on a fun note. In case you couldn’t tell by the name of my blog, or the last few posts, I’m a big movie fan, and one of my favorite things about movies are the gorgeous posters designed to promote them. Now, I could sit here and bitch about the decline in the art of the movie poster, and bemoan the use of photoshop and giant floating heads but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I’m just going to show you what I consider are pretty great posters. Some of them are older, some are newer. Some feature that dreaded use of photoshop, and some are hand drawn/painted. All of them, in my opinion, are works of art.

 

 

#30 – Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)

abraham-lincoln-vampire-hunter

 

#29 – Elivis & Nixon (2016)

elvis-and-nixon

 

#28 – Wonder Woman (2017)

wonder woman

 

#27 – Ant-Man (2015)

Ant-Man

 

#26 – Chappaquiddick (2018)

Chappaquiddick

 

#25 – Bullitt (1968)

Bullitt

 

#24 – DragonHeart (1996)

DragonHeart

 

#23 – Snakes on a Plane (2006)

Snakes

 

#22 – La La Land (2016)

lalalandposter

 

#21 – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows P1 & P2 (2010/2011)

HP7

 

#20 – Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty

 

#19 – The Babadook (2014)

babadook

 

#18 – Spectre (2015)

Spectre

 

#17 – The Nice Guys (2016)
(Bench Ad)

Nice Guys

 

#16 – 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Cloverfield

 

#15 – Chinatown (1974)

Chinatown

 

#14 – The Rocketeer (1991)

Rockteer

 

#13 – Back to the Future III (1990)

BTTF3

 

#12 – Back to the Future II (1989)

BTTF2

 

#11 – Back to the Future (1985)

BTTF

 

#10 – Star Wars (1977)

Star Wars

 

#9 – West Side Story (1961)

west-side-story

 

#8 – Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

big trouble

 

#7 – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders

 

#6 – Revenge of the Jedi (1983)

Revenge

 

#5 – Walk the Line (2005)

Walk

 

#4 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)

Harry Potter

 

#3 – Baby Driver (2017)

Baby

 

#2 – Jaws (1975)

Jaws

 

#1 – John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)

the-thing