My Dearest Goblins,
I sat down to write about my favorite movies of 2018 and it got away from me.
I think it’s around 3500 words. Where did i get the energy???
Ha. Ha. No.
I’ve been sober for 3 days. Not sure what was up with 2018 but all of my favorite movies turned out to be comic book movies.
Maybe I’m having a second childhood? Maybe comic book movies are the only movies that have heroes these days?
In any case…
Now You Only Have 6 Choices:
- 2008-2018 Finish Rate and general complaining
- 2018 Ranking List with links to individual Reviews
- Reviews of 2018 movies
- A few TV shows I watched
- A girl getting glitter-slapped on the ass
Or you can just scroll through. It’s kind of like Kevin Spacey’s diaries in Seven.
The choice is yours.
I Don’t Fucks With Movies Likes That No More
I used to go to the movies all the time. Sometimes three times a week.
I was in the top 1% of moviegoers in North America.
And worldwide? I probably was one in a thousand.
2008 – 2018 Finishing Rate
Ten years ago, I took in 55 movies and only walked out of fourteen for a very respectable Finishing Rate of 74.5%.
That year I saw a number of movies more than once, including Grand Torino, Australia (fook you, bourgeoisie scum, I like that movie!), Red Belt and Iron Man.
Things went along like that for a few years, movies were good, my numbers were solid:
- 2009: 33-8 (80%)
- 2010: 37-12 (75.5%)
- 2011: 40-15 (72.7%)
Then something happened that Hollywood did not intend:
- 2012: 21-15 (58.3%)
- 2013: 24-17 (58.5%)
- 2014: 26-19 (57.7%)
- 2015: 34-17 (66.6%)
2015 was a true high point with original, powerful studio movies like Room, Hateful 8, The Big Short, The Revenant and Fury Road.
It was probably the best year for great movies since 2000, so I guess it gave me hope that 2016 was going to be decent, that the previous three years had been a glitch in the movie matrix. So I carried on.
- 2016: 25-20 (55.5%)
But shit sandwiches on stupid-bread like Dawn Of Justice, Warcraft and Rogue One combined with lazy, star-powered genre films like Triple 9, The Infiltrator and Hail Ceasar to make 2016 just about the worst year ever for movies.
It was as if Hollywood had completely forgotten about their Prime Directive: respecting the audience. And I couldn’t take it, t
he injustice being a fucking sucker.
So I quit being fooled by the slick trailers, by the critics, even by the recommendations of friends and stopped going to every movie that might be OK.
But it didn’t work:
- 2017: 11-8 (57.8%)
- 2018: 12-8 (60%)
Nothing works. Movies are getting worse. Or I’m getting ADHD.
So here are my unsolicited thoughts on the 20 movies I saw in theaters this year. Maybe we can find a pattern together. Or someone can send me some Adderal.
My 2018 Movies From First To Worst
- Deadpool 2
- Ant-Man and the Wasp
- Avengers: Infinity War
- Operation Finale
- Incredibles 2
- Mission: Impossible – Fallout
- Death Wish
- Red Sparrow
- Black Panther
- Hunter Killer
- A Star Is Born
- Sicario: Day of the Soldado
- Ready Player One
- A Simple Favor
- 12 Strong
- A Quiet Place
MAJOR, SOUL-RENDERING SPOILERS AHEAD…
It’s not a good sign when the homefront build-up and tension has more drama than the downrange action. All the in-country stuff was just “And Then, And Then, And Then” development that manufactures boredom until it’s subbed out for incoherent firefights.
High marks for being pro-military (yikes!) and pro-American (wow… just wow…).
No PTSD here. No raping villagers. No extra-judicial killings. No CIA conspiracies. Just good old-fashion zeroing-out the bad guys that all had it coming.
Also high marks for casting Michael Pena and NuZod.
Low marks for everything else.
2/5 Half-Hearted Oorahs
An average Marvel origin entry. Some great world-building marred by questionable Marion Barry-levels of pandering to the most base of prejudices: A lip-disc? Ritual combat determining kingship? Gorilla-like chest-thumping and grunting? Wew. Embarrassing.
I wonder how Nigerians felt about this movie? I bet they didn’t buy into that weak-ass, “Killmonger was right” meme. Even The Root thinks you are wrong, son.
Amazing straight-out-of-a-comic-book look and characters. Terrible CGI, especially in the final battle, unnecessary casual racialism and BvS-type plot stupidity really hurt the cause.
2.5/5 Colonizing, White Boys
How do you take the interesting concept of an alien “thing” landing on Earth and beginning to mysteriously change it, then make it boring?
Easy, make the exploration team consist entirely of women — for no reason — and just have them be really supportive, level-headed and competent like some giant group hug.
Zero tension. Zero presence. Sisterhood Of The Traveling Suck.
1.5/5 Ellen Ripleys
Seductive, surprisingly sensual and satisfyingly sadistic. Lawrence and Joel Edgerton’s presence elevates what amounts to a straight-from-the-writers-room plotski.
It’s puzzling the story is so pedestrian, considering that the CIA itself can’t believe the tradecraft in the book was cleared by their in-house redactors.
These are the people protecting us from preventable evil but they let their secrets into the wild like BBQ recipes? Actually, BBQ recipes are more highly guarded. Believe me, folks.
The “In Soviet Russia” and training segments are pretty good but once Red Sparrow travels outside the Iron Curtain it gets dragged down with the usual “get zee miqufilm” espionage bric-à-brac. We’ve seen it all before.
Although… given that CIA assessment I posted up there maybe I missed some of the spook stuff. I’ll have check this out again tonight.
Here is where I say “JLaw’s boobs!” so you don’t think I might have a problem.
KK, take note, this is how you write female characters.
2.5/5 Natasha Romanoffs
CRIPPLED BAD GUY
You’re not going to kill me, are you?
No, Jack is.
Willis pulls chain, yanking out the jack holding a car above CRIPPLED BAD GUY, crushing him to death.
😆 😆 😆
And this is even better. Bye-bye, Ice Cream Man!
People — and I use that term very loosely — hate Eli Roth. I don’t. I think he’s having a good laugh at his critics, his fans, his success. It’s clear to me he doesn’t take things that seriously and any proclamations to the contrary is just him fucking with “people”.
Here is a great setup, Bruce Willis on the edge of trying, 1980s quip-kills and some hard truths about who is doing the violence in this country and who is really going to be able to protect you. Hint: it ain’t the cops, sister.
I love that part. I the concept of vigilante justice! Or at least self-defense in the face of unchecked animalistic havoc.
Unfortunately, all of that fun get wiped out by a very conventional ending. They basically ran out of script.
But the mere fact that this movie exists has European-style socialist film critics cutting themselves like trays of Rice Crispies treats. And that’s a good thing.
2.5/5 Cold Dead Hands
I wanted to like this movie. It had some great ideas. All of the future-tech is believable and pretty inventive, at least for a sci-fi noob such as myself.
It just lost momentum, powered-down and went into Boredom Mode. Again, it the same problem as Death Wish: it ran out of ideas and just became programming by numbers.
I think a lot of sci-fi fans will like this, however.
2/5 AI Sex Dolls
A Quiet Place
I didn’t give a shit about understanding the rules of this stupid, stupid movie. Or how quiet you were in the theater just like everyone on the screen was being quiet.
<mommy voice>Careful, don't crunch your popcorn! Teh heh.</mommy voice>
Fuck you. Go live near a waterfall. Or the Hoover Dam. Mindless kents.
I found it to be way too VH-1 100 Greatest Songs Of The 80s for me.
I really like the idea of an Oasis-type MMORPG that dominates the lives of couchbound leeches ordering drone-delivered pizza with their Univeral Basic Income, but it degenerated into one big communal wankfest for the kind of people I truly detest.
Stop pining for the era when you weren’t having sex, you unimaginative dweebs. Like Frank T.J. Mackey says: “Dwelling on the past is a great way of not making progress.”
2/5 Ironic Truckers’ Hats
This guy Spud Hamm can’t act. His method is to avoid shaving for a couple days, have a PA spritz water on his face and get another PA to tossel his hair.
Then he orders a shot of “Whiskey. American.” Swig. Grimace. The memories.
I’m pretty sure half this movie was just an intern shooting scenes of people at dinner parties, eating at outdoor cafes and slinking around hotel bars.
Truly a masterpiece of stock footage filmmaking.
I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the lovely and talented Rosamund Pike to be forced to suffer through days of shooting with this set of fools.
1.5/5 Bus Bombings
This movie is out of its mind with characters, locations and, for the first time since Avengers, some genuinely emotional MCU moments.
Plus we meet intergalactic environmentalist Thanos and his crew of alien, magic-using henchmen. We see Thor be helped through some tough times by his Rabbit. We travel deep into Marvel Space to worlds previously unseen and unmentioned. We love Cap’s sweet look.
Black Panther and Beard Rogers deliver the most spine-tingling moment in the MCU:
Nothing wrong here except the usual Marvel Talk-Joke-Smash-Joke formula. It’s all right. No complaints. What they have achieved, blah, blah, blah. I just miss my Dark Knight.
If the film had a happy ending I would have probably seen it a few more times.
3.5/5 Don’t Fuck This Ups
I know it’s not actually edgy. I know it’s not actually subversive.
After all, this is no Man Bites Dog.
Or is it?
Doesn’t the glum, Antifa-looking freak called Zeitgeist kill the extremely upbeat and competent Average Guy, who is incidentally trying to save said freak, by covering him in corrosive bile? Seems relevant.
Or perhaps I’ve seen the movie too many times. I can’t even remember how many at this point. More than 10.
I thought Deadpool (3.5/5) was pretty good but Deadpool 2 takes the humor, the satire, the references, the respect for family and the power of love messaging from the original and gives it a needle of wildcat.
Best movie of 2018. Best movie-going experience since True Lies.
I sing duets of “Out Of Ashes” at parties. It’s true!
I wear my Deadpool ironic trucker’s hat unironically.
I’ll probably never watch it again. The memories.
4.5/5 Hi, Yukios
Never saw the original before seeing this one. Still haven’t.
It’s Fantastic Four meets Mr. Mom. I don’t detect the man-hatred that others do. Of course, a guy with no experience in home-making is going to have trouble in the beginning.
When I changed my first diaper I gloved and masked up.
It’s a fun movie with some very inventive action that can only be achieved through the medium of animation. The villain is timely but a little too late to have any kind of cultural impact. People are already ensorcelled and will just type, “OMG! That is so me, right? lol.”
3/5 Yummy Mummies
Ant-Man And The Wasp
I saw Ant-Man three times in the theater. It’s a great date movie. I watched AMATW twice by myself. Back-to-back. So, I guess it’s better, right?
I don’t know… I liked it. Sue me in the World Court.
Maybe I’m a beta male who needs be to subserviate to powerful women?
Maybe I just want Evangeline Lily to step all over me while wearing thigh-high leather boots with 5-inch, stiletto heels?
Maybe I shouldn’t talk about this kind of shit at work.
There is so much going on with The Ghost, Goliath, Hank Pym, Ant-Man, The Wasp and whomever that guy from The Shield is supposed to be playing, that it’s difficult to really pull it apart and say “That doesn’t make any sense!”
And that makes for a perfectly fun movie. Plus Michael Pena.
They also serve hard liquor in most of the theaters in my small college town, so it’s hard to be critical after four Moscow Mules.
The post-credits scene is the best post-credits scene — maybe the best ending — of any MCU movie. What a great shot.
Does it count as a “close the portal” movie? Or an “open the portal” movie?
3.5/5 Lonely Trolls
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Not sure how a movie so filled with guns, choppers, drone cam, high-speed chases and large caliber shootouts can feel so phony and inconsequential.
Oh yeah, Taylor Sheridan. The new David Ayers wanna-be.
There’s more badassery in one line from Mamet’s Spartan (“You don’t want to go in the desert.”) than all of the ersatz Sicario 2 (“I’m gonna have to get… dirty.”)
Fucking tryhard motherfucker.
Then again, Mamet spent months, maybe years, with Delta and Seals when he was showrunning The Unit. He knows those guys, he hangs with those guys, he shoots with those guys, he tumbles on the mat with those guys.
I think Sheridan once thumbed through a catalog that had some holsters and knives in it.
5.11 Tactical: The Movie.
All of the real action takes place in the first hour. Leave after that.
2/5 Special Farces
Tom Cruise impresses by almost dying doing his own stunts.
Rebecca Fergeson is heroic and powerful without diminishing our hero.
Someone betrays someone else.
There is a big-time costar. Ving and English Pest Guy phone it in.
McQuarrie, one of the most inventive screenwriters of the last 25 years, is still not allowed to go off-piste with either the script or his direction.
Enough with the stupid fooking masks.
2.5/5 I’m Giving You One More Chances
This is not a bad movie.
The concept itself is fairly simple, given we are 40+ years post-Jaws.
It’s a giant shark. Not smart sharks. Not a giant undersea army of sharks. Not a guy mentally controlling sharks. Not sharks with lasers. Just a giant shark.
And it actually has a fair amount of legitimate disaster-dread going on.
It is just poorly done.
Some of the acting is breathtakingly bad, particularly by the Chinese cast and the AI cosplay bot Ruby Rose. The second-unit direction would be considered incompetent for an SNL skit: the giant shark attacks and throws up a huge wave but none of the crew get wet.
2/5 Next Time, Buy Americans
A movie about Israeli agents snatching Adolph Eichmann, The Architect Of The Holocaust, from his Argentinan safe space, is directed by the guy who gave us:
- About a Boy
- American Pie
- The Golden Compass
- The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Despite his questionable resume, Chris Weitz manages to achieve several things:
- Breathe new life into this oft-told tale.
- Create a sense of urgency inside a perfect mise en scène (hello, Beruit).
- Somehow humanize the evil, murderous Eichmann.
He can really do tension:
We have to humanize the people because those who do evil are rarely monsters. They come with a smile, a soft voice and in the name of the common good. Eichmann thought he was doing the right thing. His leaders, his newspapers, his radio, his movies told him so.
What are you putting in your brain making you capable of such evil?
Say… how many “Architects Of The Holocaust” are there anyway?
Based on the books I’ve read and listened to I’ve got at least Herman Goering, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Himmler and Eichmann. Seems like those Nazis were a little disorganized. Another case of too many cooks in the kitchen.
3/5 Big Lies
A Star Is Born
Fuck this movie. Just fuck it all the way to hell.
What is the message here?
Kill yourself so someone else can live their dreams?
Seems responsible. Yeah, I walked out right when Cooper completed the Room Temperature Challenge. I’m still pissed. Fuck this movie.
2/5 Bad Sounding Sentiments
A Simple Favor
Jen, my favorite Uber driver, recommended this movie to me a couple times. Both times she mentioned her husband liked A Simple Favor a lot. He even wanted to see it again.
If my wife was put together like Jen I would see A Quiet Place twice so his endorsement didn’t really mean much to me.
I went anyway.
The first hour is great. I mean it.
Blake Lively’s hell-on-heels, career-first-kid-second Power Bitch is fun to watch. The other actress doing her best blushing, PTA mom routine is also pretty good.
But Paul Feig — yeah, that delusion Ghostbusters (2016) guy — can’t decide what this movie wants to be. And I’m not talking about genre, I’m talking about tone. It bounces from “lol, so awkward” antics to playful girly-time to suspenseful intrigue and back again.
It was confusing. I think it was intentional.
Maybe that’s how the female mind works. I need someone to explain it all to me.
BTW, I told Jen that I walked out. She doesn’t respond to my Uber hails anymore. 😥
2/5 Grey Goose Dirty Martinis In A Chilled Glass With Three Olives And A Twist. Make Sure Some Chipped Ice Gets In There.
“If it doesn’t suck, we don’t do it.”
That’s an actual line of dialogue from the movie. About the only thing I remember.
Hunter Killer is not a submarine movie. It’s a political thriller that has submarines in it.
There are also Navy SEALS, bad Russians, good Russians (yikes!), maybe a nuke.
This is essentially one of the most generic Vince Flynn novels brought to the big screen.
Gary Oldman, despite being all over the posters, is really not even in it.
But Common is. A lot. No idea why I didn’t walk the hell out.
2/5 Kirby’s Silver Surfer Is The Only True Silver Surfers
And that’s it. Those are all the movies I saw in the theater in 2018.
TV Shows Of 2018
1. Cobra Kai
TV, nay, entertainment does not get better than this. Except The Wire.
An act of love. Just not the Jeb Bush kind.
2. Jack Ryan
Some “sympathy for the devil” signaling gets in the way of what is one of the best representations of the cunning and diabolical evil manifest in the jihadi that we’ve ever seen on film.
Bunk from The Wire is his normal cool self. I don’t care that Abby Cornish might be a little chubby. She gorgeous.
3. Bosch, Season 4
Solid as always. Great, relatable characters. Realistic scenarios. A few The Wire alumni including Lt. Daniels and Marlow hisself.
Good writing and an “I got you, bigot” twist can’t overcome its extreme PC machinations.
5. Altered Carbon
Watching now. First five episodes were just a dump of cool ideas and future-tech. Kind of slowing down, becoming more personal.
More PC problems. Stronk wahmen, divine minorities, ebil white man.
6. The Alienist
Sassy police secretary? In the 1890s? Nope.
DNF: Episode 2
7. Homeland, Season ?
It’s hilarious how they had to change their storyline in response to the Drumpf Presidency. Full Alex Jones clone. Evil Russian troll farm. Go away, pussy hat people. Off my TV.
DNF: Episode 4