Another year has come and gone with more exciting movies worth seeing. In no particular order, here's my top ten movies of 2019.
Heart-wrenching. Disturbing. Unsettling. Gripping. And Beautiful. The narrative is quite predictable with similarities to films such as Taxi Driver and The King of Comedy. Joaquin Phoenix gives an enthralling, Oscar worthy performance in this beautifully shot, arthouse style film. More a character study than a comic book movie. I went out of the theater not really knowing how to feel, and that’s the beauty of it. Make no mistake, this is NOT a superhero movie. It’s rated R for good reason. So parents, keep your kids away. (Mild Spoiler Alert) Batman is NOT in the movie!
The culmination of everything Marvel has built up to at this point has paid off with a big bang. Avengers Endgame closes the door for some of our beloved characters we’ve known and loved for over ten years and opens the door for many new faces and story arcs to keep us coming back for more. Laughs were had, cheers were given and tears were shed. Endgame marks the end of an era. But I look forward to see what Kevein Feige and co. have in store for the next ten years or so.
After seeing Jordan Peele’s “Us”, I needed some time to process what I saw. It was definitely a lot to take in and will probably leave viewers asking more questions than getting answers. I couldn’t help but feel like I was watching a long episode of the Twilight Zone. The movie has some minor flaws and was somewhat predictable but it does not take away from its ultimate message. “Us” is a chilling tale of duality and a reflection of how we as a society can cross the lines between good and evil without even realizing it. Jordan Peele does a great job with metaphors and satire and leaves things to the audience’s imagination. It had a good blend of humor and a sense of dread at the same time. Lupita Nyong’o gave a great performance playing dual roles and at times was very creepy. In my opinion, “Get Out” was a far better film but I still enjoyed and appreciated “Us”.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3
Talk about action packed! John Wick Chapter 3 was on beast mode!!! The 87Eleven team have truly outdone themselves with the gruesome yet beautifully shot and masterfully designed action sequences. Also great was seeing Mark Dacascos back in action and Halle Berry kickin’ butt! Movies of this genre usually end up going straight to video. But the John Wick franchise has proven that action movies of this caliber can be great hits on the big screen, just like its glory days back in the 80s and early 90s.
FIGHTING WITH MY FAMILY
I love wrestling. Sure, it hasn’t been as good as it used to be back when I was growing up. But I still watch from time to time. Fighting With My Family brings me back to my childhood when I first got into wrestling. Watching athletes tell their stories both physically and mentally as they perform in front of a crowd, whether big or small. Their blood, sweat, and tears all laid out in the squared circle. Fighting With My Family is inspired by the true story of Saraya-Jade Bevis - better known to the wrestling world and WWE fans as Paige. The film follows Bevis who comes from an independent wrestling association run by her family of wrestlers as she struggles to make her mark in the big leagues (WWE). The film does a great job portraying the downfalls, the challenges and the hardships wrestlers face on a day to day basis. Not everybody makes it and only a few can cut it. Beyond wrestling, Fighting With My Family is about self discovery and self worth.
TOY STORY 4
Just when I thought the Toy Story series concluded at part 3, in comes part 4 with more tear jerking moments. It seemed like an unnecessary sequel, yet Disney and Pixar made it worth seeing. We say hello to new friends, and reconnect and say goodbye to old ones.
FORD v FERRARI
Ford v Ferrari tells the amazing true story of legendary car designer Carroll Shelby and Motorsports Hall of Famer Ken Miles teaming up with Ford to build a car fast enough to beat Ferrari at the 24 hour endurance race in Le Mans, France in 1966. With strong performances by Matt Damon and Christian Bale, you couldn’t have asked for a better duo to portray these two icons of the racing world. Featuring fast paced, adrenaline pumping racing sequences, director James Mangold goes the extra mile by making audiences feel like they’re in the driver’s seat. Funny, witty, dramatic and entertaining, Ford v Ferrari is a thrill ride even non car enthusiasts can appreciate. Simply one of the best films I’ve seen this year. Also if you don’t mind spending a little extra, definitely worth seeing in IMAX.
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
Jumanji The Next Level is hilariously entertaining. It’s downright fun for the whole family and came out at the best time of the year - around the holidays! The film definitely ups the ante and brings our beloved characters into the next level of gameplay where there are more puzzles and challenges that awaits them. The cast has great chemistry together and we even say hello to some new faces. What I love most about this film is how they swapped avatars in the game, which made their portrayals feel new and refreshing. Highly recommended!
Marriage Story is a sad tale of the reality of separation and divorce. No one ever truly wants things to go that far, but unfortunately, the sad truth is that it does. And no matter what you lose or gain, it’s the children that suffer most. Scarlett Johansson and Adam Driver give strong award worthy performances - possibly the best of their careers.
Knives Out is a fun and entertaining whodunit of a tale which keeps the viewers guessing till the very end. To quote the late great Rowdy Roddy Piper, “Just when you thought they got the answers, I change the questions.” It’s entertaining and serious when it needs to be. Daniel Craig gives a memorable performance as well as all the A-list actors in roles where they get to have some fun with.
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