Let’s Go To The Movies: My 12 Cinematic Experiences in 2018

I love going to the movies. I love the smell of popcorn, the excitement of settling into your seat, I love the big, huge cups filled with bubbling soft drinks (which, sadly, I’ve had to pass up on due to the fact that I don’t drink soft drinks anymore).

and a lot of good movies came out this year!

We finally got a sequel to The Incredibles, and Marvel just tossed us so many good titles (Black Panther and Venom both got their own movies, we were treated to a special Spiderman, there was the new Avengers movie, and Ant-man and The Wasp).

There were lots of stand-alone movies as well, much of which I didn’t see.
Looking at my list of movies that I saw in the cinemas, I noticed that the majority of the movies I saw were Disney or Pixar branded – mostly Marvel, Starwars and were part of an established series.

I’ll have to fix that for next year.

So, in this post, I’m going to go over the 12 movies I saw in cinemas during 2018 and give a brief review/introspect of how I liked them!

starting with:

Black Panther

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I feel like this one is at the top of everyone’s “Best Movies of 2018”, and it completely deserves that attention!
The casting was absolute perfection, the music was beautiful (I downloaded the soundtrack as we were leaving the theaters), and there was so much girl power!

Danai Gurira was already one of my favorite actresses prior to this movie based on her performance as Michonne on The Walking Dead – this movie just increased my love of this amazing actress.

I know some people of my coloring didn’t like the storyline, especially with Killmonger’s intentions. But I actually enjoyed the plotline, especially T’Challa’s decision at the end; he saw the truth amongst Killmonger’s pain-filled vigilantism but was also was not willing to make an attack on another group of people (whether they ancestors did or didn’t harm his people) to achieve what Killmonger wanted.
It handled a difficult subject pretty well, respectively.

Annihilation

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This movie was so weird; it was a trip from start to finish, and I’ve read that apparently, the book it was based on is actually even weirder. The fact that they toned down the weird levels is absolutely amazing and mindblowing.

In case you didn’t see or hear of this movie, basically, the main character (Natalie Portman) goes on to finish the mission that her husband (Oscar Isaacs) is injured trying to complete. She also goes to try and find out what exactly happened to him before he was found, and unpuzzle the mysteries of this giant alien “shimmer” that is slowly devouring our world.
Visually, this movie was an art piece. It was so incredibly beautiful that even when it was trippy, it felt slightly less like a mess. Just the Shimmer itself was so sparkling and glittering that it seemed less ominous.
Portman’s acting wonderful, and Isaacs was absolutely beautiful even while possessed(?) by an alien entity.
And it was almost an exclusively female cast! There were male supporting characters, but the main crew was all women fighters, scientists, and explorers. Every single actress was phenomenal in this movie and was a perfect fit for the role she played.

There were weird moments, but it wasn’t actually until the end that I lost grasp of what was actually happening. The last 10 or so minutes were just very weird and left me with so many questions.
Despite this, I actually liked this movie pretty well, and would probably rewatch.

A Quiet Place

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Definitely one of my most favorite movies of 2018!

If it’s not obvious, I love alien/weird movies, and this fit the price. From the very start, this movie was intense and spared no punches

Starting with a tragedy, this movie was action packed from that moment on.
Despite that, the movie never made you feel like you were caught up in a whirlwind, never left you breathless – though it definitely caused me to hold my breath during some scenes.

John Krasinski and Emily Blunt complete each other perfectly while sharing the big screen, and the movie painted a perfect picture of a suffering family that is just trying to survive what may possibly be the end of the world.

And A+ deaf representation! Actress Millicent Simmonds is deaf, and I’ve read that she was allowed a lot of input during the movie to help make the representation of her deaf character more realistic.

The concept of having to be silent in order to survive is golden, and left me honestly wondering if I would even be able to survive that alien invasion.

Avengers: Infinity War

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Did anyone actually like Avengers: Infinity War, or did we all just agree to lovingly hate this movie?

Thanks to this movie, my OTPs (Wanda/Vision and Gamora/Peter) is crushed, all my favorites are dead, and I’m not sure how they are going to recover from this movie.

What I did like was the chemistry of Nebula and Gamora, and then Gamora and Thanos. I don’t understand what drew Thanos to want a family, but then to use that ‘family’ more like personal assassins.  The back flash scenes with Thanos and little Gamora showed a softer side to him, and while the attempts to humanize him failed, it did make you wonder about how much of Thanos was bad, and how much was just misplaced good intentions.

Marvel also succeeded in perfectly crossing together the Guardians, the Avengers and the Revengers with very little hiccups – mad respect there.

Also, Loki is not dead. I’m not going to believe it ever.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

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By far, the best part of this movie was Lando.

But the rest of the movie wasn’t completely awful either.
I know a couple of people criticized this movie’s choices, and while not all of them were amazing, and not all of them felt like they flowed perfectly into giving us the Han Solo we all grew up with, they weren’t all absolutely awful plot and character choices.

Above all, it was a fun movie!
Let’s all remember, the Star Wars franchise (while one of my most favorite franchises ever) has literally always been borderline trashy and tropey. Don’t act like the new movies are so much worse than the old ones were.

Emilia Clark and Woody Harrelson’s characters were completely useless. They were my biggest dislike.

But Alden Ehrenreich was the most perfect young Han we could have ever asked for, and the meeting scene between Han and Chewbacca wasn’t what I would have asked for, but was definitely something I wanted.

While this movie was far from perfect, it wasn’t the worse thing I ever watched either.
It was fun, spirited, and carried a tiny touch of that Star Wars magic.

The Incredibles 2

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I took my younger siblings to see this when it came out, and I’m honestly not sure who enjoyed this more: me or them.

While this was a movie that kids could enjoy, it also played through a lot of topics that adults (read: the original ‘kids’ who watched the first Incredibles) could relate to.
The math scene? priceless.

The movie picked up just mere seconds after the first movie ended, which I did not expect, but I’m also thankful for.  We got to watch Bob learn about Jack-Jack’s powers, we got to watch the aftermath of deciding to be Supers again, we got to see everything that would have been skipped over in a flash-forward.

Once again, the Parrs depict a normal, regular family even though every member of that family is far from normal.

Helen gets to kick butt.

And the animation was brilliant.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

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Despite being a legitimately good movie…I actually forgot about even seeing this one.

We saw the end of the island that made up the “world” of Jurassic World, but not the end of the dinosaurs. Instead, the big beasts are brought to the human “world” and that is where things go bad.

The movie takes a realistic look at people and what we would do if we had the power to clone and create life, as well as the disaster that would ensue while still keeping the pace as a fun, lively dinosaur movie.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard returned and starred as Owen and Claire, and did a damn fine job in their returning roles. I’m always grateful for Jeff Goldblum’s return.

But still, I forgot that I’d watched it.

Ant-man and The Wasp

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The return of Scott Lang as Ant-man brought us the expected humanity, humor and bigger (or smaller) than life heroics of Marvel’s biggest (and smallest) hero.

But the movie also finally gave us Hope Pym as The Wasp, who perfectly compliments Lang’s boisterous hero.

The Ant-man movies have so far been an absolute blast. The characters have a touch of realism that Tony Stark and all his money, Steve Rogers and all his glory, or even Peter Quill and all his dance moves can’t compete with.

In the aftermath of Civil War, who is the regular guy under house arrest? Lang.

Lang’s interaction with his daughter was lovely and sweet and seeing the budding relationship with his ex-wife’s family was great as well. He’s trying to make something of himself, even if he can’t leave his property, and despite all of Lang’s foolish decisions, ridiculous jokes and inability to take serious moments seriously…that’s what makes him a hero. Scott Lang doesn’t give up and Scott Lang just keeps moving forward and doing what he thinks is right.

The Meg

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I hate shark movies.
I didn’t like 47 Meters Down, The Shallows, and didn’t really care for Soul Surfer.

In general, sharks frighten me and I’m respectful that the open ocean is their turf.

That being said, The Meg was a lot of fun, mainly because it doesn’t take itself seriously and doesn’t try to sell you on the fact that “ooohh scary real-to-life shark.”
In fact, it’s more of a dinosaur movie than a shark movie, considering Megalodons are (supposedly) died out.

I think the reason why I hate shark movies is that sharks terrify me and the movies do nothing to help with that, but I could enjoy The Meg without fear because I could rationalize that none of this would ever, ever, ever happen.

And not just because Megalodons are dead. This movie was as far-fetched as they come.
The writers get A+ for a creative and unique way of introducing the audience to the meg. Instead of just saying “There are Megalodons that are just, swimming around out there. you just don’t know it,” they instead had to create an almost alien world at the bottom of the ocean, throw science out the window and forge their own path.
Because you know what, sometimes stories don’t need to be realistic to be enjoyed.

It was a fairly enjoyable movie despite the far-fetched plot and trope-filled crew of characters.  If you hate tropes, you’ll hate this movie.
We had the smart, butt-kicking, small Asian woman.
The rich, dump philanthropist (played by Rainn Wilson!)
The gruff, world-wearing, drinking, rude action hero.
The funny nerds.
I could keep going on.

So it was fun. but only fun.

Venom

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I’ve yet to meet one person who didn’t love, or at the very least enjoy, Venom.
I’m not sure what that says about us as a society, I’m just stating a fact.

Eddie is almost completely unrelatable up to the point where he starts freaking about over his special guest/parasite.

Venom was funny, entertaining, and made everyone root for the…bad guy? It also made Venom a less evil character and instead opted for a more morally gray standing. It was a nice change of pace, considering superhero movies tend to feature heroes who are afraid of doing the wrong thing for the right reason.

I’m definitely interested in seeing where the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings this new Venom and Eddie Brock combo!

Robin Hood

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By far, this was the most disappointing movie of 2018.

I had such high hopes, the casting of Taron Egerton as Robin was absolutely perfect, and I didn’t mind a slightly more science-fiction/punk fantasy spin on the old classic.

What we got was something more akin to The Hunger Games mixed with Robin Hood.
There was so much leather in this movie, so much. What wasn’t leather was some weird Capitol-style finery or just plain out metal.
They called the place where the poor lived “The Mines”, but it looked more like freaking metalwork – why was there so much rebar?

The plot was limp and left so much to be desired. I thought there’d be more examples of Robin growing into a vigilante, but there wasn’t. I thought there’d be more examples of Robin living a double life as both a noble and The Hood, but there wasn’t.
In fact, the majority of the plot was either sad backstory for The Sheriff, Robin pining over Marian, or Marian pining over Robin.
Marian was a one-layered social justice warrior with nothing to endear or make her interesting to the audience. Jamie Foxx’s John put a lot of hope into a man who used to be his enemy but, because he spoke up for not killing a kid, must obviously be a good guy and the savior of us all.

It really was just an awful, unrealistic, soggy-bread of a movie.

Which sucks, because Taron Egerton truly brought a lot of charm into the role of Robin Hood. Taron deserved better.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse

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Has this movie been praised enough? The only reliable answer to that is no.

From the flawless integration of racial diversity and the wit, the humor and to the accurate portrayal of grown-up Spiderman’s depression.

Unlike the Tobey Maguire movies, this Spiderman version actually shows a relatable depiction of what it looks like to be an adult and go through depression or grief – even if you are Spiderman himself.

Miles himself is exactly who the Peter Parker we know and love would want, and even choose, to take on the mantle of Spiderman.
Miles is funny, awkward, the fish out of water and the awkward duck that Peter himself is.

Miles is both black and Latino, a step ahead for Marvel. Unlike the racially charged Black Panther, Miles story is not about his race – it’s bigger than his race. We don’t need the conversation about Miles being afro-latino, because he just is.

It’s a movie for kids, but the scenes of Miles and his father struggling to connect after a death in the family choked me up.

And how dare they do that to Peter Parker. I mean, I get that it needed to happen, but How DARE.

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Out of the 12 movies I saw in the theaters this year, I’d have to say the most remarkably unique one was probably Annihilation. It brought the alien world to Earth and really kept me on the edge of my seat for the whole entirety of the film.

My top three favorites movies were A Quiet Place, Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse, and Venom (with Annihilation taking the fourth place award).

The Top 10 Movies That I Didn’t See In 2018, But Still Want To?

  • Aquaman
  • Bumblebee
  • The Predator
  • Breaking In
  • Overlord
  • Ocean’s 8
  • Ralph Breaks the Internet
  • Mary: Queen Of Scots
  • Mary Poppins Returns
  • Once Upon a Deadpool

 

Top 10 Movies I’m Interested In Come 2019?

  • Captain Marvel
  • Us
  • Shazam
  • Avengers: Endgame
  • Aladdin
  • an untitled Jumanji sequel
  • Men In Black International
  • Spiderman: Far From Home
  • Artemis Fowl
  • Star Wars: Episode IX

What about you? What was your favorite movie release of 2018?
What movie are you most looking forward to in 2019?

 

Note: this post did not have the space to touch on the various Netflix originals I enjoyed, though my top Netflix original movie would definitely be Bird Box, and my favorite Netflix original show would be Lost in Space. 

 

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