I started out the year with the intention to watch more movies. I missed out on some stellar 2017 movies and wanted to do right by 2018. As much as I loathe going to the movie theater (note: I attract talkers, tall people, and children), I saw a total of 11 movies. That’s a lot for me. These mini-reviews are enumerated lists of random thoughts, impressions, likes and dislikes I had while watching the stated movie.
At the end, I give my ranking of my top 3 films.
Release date: February 16, 2018
See longer post.
A Wrinkle In Time
Release Date: February 26, 2018
The slowed down rendition of “Sweet Dreams” originally sung by the Eurythmics did it for me. Why? In middle school, my gym teacher was obsessed with that song as we did warm up stretches. I hated it at the time but dang it if that song didn’t stick. So, when I heard the song in the trailer, it took me back to the awkwardness of youth and being the overweight, nerdy kid. I was unfamiliar with the book A Wrinkle in Time so I was coming at it fresh.
#1 - I wanted to like this movie. From a story perspective, it was lacking. The movie didn’t do a great job of developing Meg prior to her adventures. I kept getting told she was a problem child and angry but saw very little of that. Show me. Don’t tell me.
#2 - The visuals were stunning. I particularly loved Mindy Kahling.
#3 - The focus on Charles Wallace being adopted and the feelings that conjures up hit me right in the feels.
#4 - The scene where Meg reunites with her father was the only seen to get an emotional response from me. I felt the love that Meg had for her father and why his absence really impacted her. If I didn’t know anything else about Meg’s dad, that would be enough to tell me the kind of man he is.
#5 - Small quibble - Oprah has a tendency of making sure that even in her smaller role she still gets at least 1-2 pivotal moments. Mother didn’t disappoint….in the sense that she made damn sure she got her moment even if I was only eh about it.
Avengers: Infinity War
Release Date - April 27, 2018
I knew about halfway through the movie that this was a two-parter. I realized there was no way that the movie could wrap up all the various threads.
#1 - Thor was the best part of the movie. THE WHOLE MOVIE. It’s interesting (and surprising) to me how much I stan him out of all the Avengers as I originally started #TeamIronman. Outside of Captain America, the Thor standalone movies have been at the bottom of my list. My opinion of him changed with Thor: Ragnarok because of Taika Waititi whose work I love. And, I finally got to see Chris Hemsworth display the humor I knew he was capable of.
He, not Peter Quill, was a better fit with the Guardians of the Galaxy crew. I could see why Rocket decided to cast his lot with Thor than the rest of the bunch. I would watch a GOTG with Thor as a replacement for Peter.
I watch Thor’s entrance into Wakanda at least once a week. Once. A. Week.
#2 - Peter Quill is annoying as fuck. And, I got mad all over again about how disappointing the GOTG series has become. The first was head and shoulders better than the second.
#3 - I audibly gasped when Tony Stark was stabbed. Like loud. After all, I started this MCU deeply #TeamIronman.
#4 - I liked the ending. Liked it way more than I should. I like when Hollywood movies decide to “kill their darlings.” I’ll take it a step further and say that I hope in the sequel that some of the members of that high body count stay dead. *whispers* looking at you Loki.
Release Date - May 18, 2018
I loved the first one. Of course, I had to see the second one and experience that particular Deadpool humor.
#1 - *eyeroll at love interest being killed in order for the hero to grow/avenge death*
#2 - Love the sarcastic humor of Julian Dennison. He plays a similar character in Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016), a Taika Waititi flick no less.
#3 - I legit guffawed at how all of the team got killed off except Domino. Domino was badass.
#4 - The villain-turned-friend was a bit of a let down but, hey, Josh Brolin makes a great buff, gritty antihero. Someone cast him in something else.
Release Date - June 15, 2018
I thought this was a solid movie.
#1 - I thought the villain reveal was a bit predictable.
#2 - My respect for the movie grew tremendously when I read a TIME magazine article about Pixar’s animation. It’s one thing to write a script and shoot a movie but the time it takes to do an animated movie. Years. YEARS.
Sorry To Bother You
Release Date - July 6, 2018
As soon as the trailer dropped on this one, it made my movie list. However, I didn’t actually watch it in the theater. By the time it came out, I was definitely fatigued on seeing movies in the theater so I passed. I saw this on Hulu the day after Thanksgiving.
#1 - It was the eccentric, quirky, offbeat film that I thought it would be. I loved it. Even more so that it featured black people in something so refreshing and original. You know a movie has firmly established their bizarro world when you see horse people and, once the shock passes, you roll with it. Within the context of the world, it made sense that capitalism would try to fuck with the working class genetic makeup to create the optimal worker.
#2 - On that note: fuck capitalism.
#3 - The chemistry between Tessa Thompson and Steven Yeun was off the charts. I would like to see them in more things together, preferably as romantic leads.
Release Date - August 10, 2018
The premise was promising. With a friend in tow, I decided to go see this movie.
#1 - Anytime you write a movie that is based on real events and real people, I’MMA HAVE QUESTIONS. My biggest disappointment with this movie is that there was no attempt really to tell viewers “hey this actually happened.” For example, can I get a recap on what happened to Ron Stallworth and everyone involved??
#2 - I stan Adam Driver. He is one of the few contemporary actors who I’ve seen almost all of his filmography. I mean, he is the only reason I’m watching the latest Star Wars flicks. The intense scene in the basement where he is suspected of being a Jew and a cop (both true) had me in knots.
#3 - Actually showing the complicity of white women in white supremacy. The. Complicity. of. WHITE WOMEN in white supremacy.
#4 - I felt some type of way about the unexamined pro-police stance of Ron Stallworth despite being also a black man in the early 70s (i mean the dust hadn’t really settled on the tumult of the Civil Rights 60s)…..like WUT.
#5 - The message was clear that we’re in the middle of a very public resurgence of white supremacist groups. The overt parallel was a bit much with the montaged clips. But it did make me wonder was this movie really made for me aka black audiences. I say that because, as a black woman, I’m already aware. Been aware.
Bad Times at El Royale
Release Date: October 12, 2018
A combination of the trailer and following Chris Hemsworth’s IG put this movie on my radar. Once I saw the trailer it was on.
#1 - This movie tried so hard to be a Quentin Tarantino film. I have watched A LOT of Tarantino to note when someone is trying to mimic his style. It works for him. In this case, it did not work for this movie.
#2- heavy sigh Flashbacks should be used sparingly. Why? They slow the momentum of the overall plot. There were times where I forgot where we were in the original story. And, to be frank, some of the smaller characters, I didn’t care about their backstory.
#3 - Cynthia Erivo and Jeff Bridges were head and shoulders the standouts. Every interaction they had, I felt it. Their initial meeting, the scene in the lounge, and the climatic scene were brilliant. I want to see them acting opposite each other again.
#4 - Separate thought to just rave about Cynthia again. The subtle racism she experienced, I felt that. My two favorite moments of hers was the scene in her hotel room when she took of her wig and started singing. Mesmerizing. Also, her read of Chris Hemsworth’s charismatic cult leader. She reduced that insecure white man to ash. Her “I’m tired” monologue gave me life. She said it for all the black woman who watch these man-children play at being adults. YES.
#5 - There were surprising actor turns in this movie. Hemsworth was the best. In my opinion, it’s the nice guys who can play deranged killers. Nod to Dakota Johnson and Jon Hamm.
Release Date: November 16, 2018
I heard a lot of good buzz about the movie so I decided to see it. It was, sadly, not originally on my list of must-see movies.
#1 - HOW THE HELL YOU GONNA MAKE A MOVIE ABOUT A FEMALE-LED HEIST AND THEY HAVE THE LEAST SCREEN TIME.
#2 - Brian Tyree Henry is a great actor and will be around a LONG time. I’mma go ahead and claim that for him. Big ups when you get the Oscar for Best Actor.
#3 - For the love of God Viola, can you NOT snot nose cry in a movie. Just once. I want to see her in a comedy or rom-com, preferably in Italy. I want to see her laugh and out here living her best life.
#4 - I did like how the women used their unique circumstances to get information. Like Alice, the tall blond, playing the part as a Russian mail order bride in order to get guns. Or, Michelle Rodriquez’s character hitting ole girl with the #LatinasUnite to get information.
#5 - Apparently a Trump-esque, racist white man is the go-to villian now in movies. I mean, nice to see movies imitating life more accurately.
Release Date: November 21, 2018
I loved the first Creed movie. Like, LOVED it. Also, I wanted a chance to see Philadelphia (my adopted hometown) on the big screen again. Another Coogler-related movie.
#1 - Creed is still better.
#2 - Ivan Drago was basically Rocky. Is it sad that I was more emotionally-invested in his story arc than I was with Adonis?
#3 - Nice to see they scored Milo Ventimiglia to reprise his role as Rocky’s adult son. I was wondering about that.
#4 - This movie felt more like a close of Rocky’s story arc than anything to do with Creed. Rocky faced his demon. It would be nice if the movie had been framed more that way but….well, it was called Creed.
#5 - Story idea - If they really want to keep the franchise going, at some point, shift the story to Amara Creed. That would be interesting to explore the world of female boxing and making in that world with a disability. Just saying.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Their instagram marketing swayed me. This movie wasn’t on my radar at all. AT. ALL. Then I saw an ad for it and decided to check it out.
#1 - GIVE ME MORE MILES MORALES AND THANK GOD WE FINALLY GOT OVER PETER PARKER’S ORIGIN STORY.
#2 - I liked older Peter Parker even if he was from an alternate universe. I’m intrigued by the idea of what happens to superheros when they get older. Popular culture has a tendency to fixate on superhero origin stories in which the hero is perpetually stuck as a teenager or one in their early 20s. What happens when they are in their 30s, 40s, 50s? Do they still fight crime or move on with their life? Peter B. Parker gave us that glimpse.
#3 - The movie distinguished Miles from the rest of the Spider-People. For example, Miles had powers that none of the Spider-People possessed. I’m surprised more reviews or online chats haven’t picked up on that. Miles has that electrical zap power and he can turn invisible in addition to all the usual spidery things. Miles didn’t become Spider-Man until he embraced his own uniqueness. What made him special. A point that was emphasized by his dad, Jefferson, and his uncle Aaron.
#4 - We not gonna talk about how his dad is a black cop and named Jefferson Davis aka the name of the president of the Confederacy during the American Civil War. No? No? Not at all?
#5 - That soundtrack, fam. Elevate is my 2019 anthem.
#6 - Jake Johnson has the perfect voice for voice acting.
#7 - Lastly MORE MILES MORALES
My Top 3 of 2018
Sorry To Bother You
Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse
Tie between Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War