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Cameron H.

Favorite Movies of 2019

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I’m in my mad dash to watch as many 2019 films as I can before the New Year, and I was wondering what everyone’s favorite movies of the year have been. Feel free to rank as many as you feel :) 

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These aren't in any particular order. I want to note that I haven't seen 1917 or Portrait Of A Lady On Fire which I both suspect will make my top 10-20.

Marriage Story

Uncut Gems

Homecoming

Parasite

The Farewell

Little Women

Booksmart

Waves

A Hidden Life

Honey Boy

Ad Astra

Avengers:  Endgame

Brittany Runs A Marathon

Knives Out

Toy Story 4

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Great list! I haven’t seen as many of them as I’d like. I’ll have to spend some more time thinking about it. I will second The Farewell, Booksmart,Ad Astra  and Knives Out.

I’m not into ranked lists, but Parasite was my favorite movie of the year.

I won’t claim it’s flawless, but I loved The Irishman. (I will go out on a limb and agree somewhat with Scorsese: whether they are “cinema” or not, I am fucking burnt out on Marvel and Star Wars films. Though I did really like the Watchmen HBO series).

i have to rewatch it to solidify my opinion, but a shout-out to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Not everyone loved it, but that’s what makes a film interesting.

I also loved Us.

more to come!

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i Just watched Jennifer Kent’s (director of The Babadook) The Nightingale on Hulu. Holy shit. I don’t believe in ordered lists but for me, this is going behind Parasite as number 2.

a lot of controversy surrounded this film  and people walked out of theaters when it screened at festivals. This is due to the fact that the film contains THREE rape sequences (including a gang rape), the death of children (including a baby) and some brutal violence. Plus it’s almost 140 minutes long.

There’s no doubt that this is a film seething with rage. It’s also a very human and extremely well-made one, that is extremely well-acted and beautifully shot in the Outback. It has moments of character-based humor and is a buddy movie as well as a feminist revenge Australian western. For it’s length, the film never drags and Kent doesn’t shy away from the horror of the rape sequences, but she doesn’t linger on them either (plus, on Hulu you can just skip through them, which I was guilty of once or twice). she is a master of building to a brutal set piece, then easing back to observe the characters. It’s an unexpectedly moving film, actually.

This film seemed felt similar to Django Unchained and The Revenant, but feels more grounded in reality. Like Ive said, Kent does not shy from brutality, but neither does Tarantino or many other male directors. I just feel like this film deserves to be talked about more and will age really well. 
 

Here’s the preview:

 

 

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I have the misfortune of living in a country that tends to get a lot of the artier movies late so I too am behind and can't help that much. Looking though the films of 2019 I have seen are just lots of ones I hated with a passion and the bigger ones everybody's already seen.

The only one I would add to Grudlian's list is Us. My hot take, Us is better than Get Out.

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2 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

I have the misfortune of living in a country that tends to get a lot of the artier movies late so I too am behind and can't help that much. Looking though the films of 2019 I have seen are just lots of ones I hated with a passion and the bigger ones everybody's already seen.

The only one I would add to Grudlian's list is Us. My hot take, Us is better than Get Out.

I liked Us better as well! I liked Get Out, but it didn’t help that the whole movie was revealed in the trailer.

what movies did you hate with a passion?

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2 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

I have the misfortune of living in a country that tends to get a lot of the artier movies late so I too am behind and can't help that much. Looking though the films of 2019 I have seen are just lots of ones I hated with a passion and the bigger ones everybody's already seen.

The only one I would add to Grudlian's list is Us. My hot take, Us is better than Get Out.

I’ve been in the process of watching Us over the past few days, but my Internet HATES it - lol. I can only go a few minutes at a time before it drops. Keep in mind, everything else works. The only thing having trouble is Us.

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I feel like female directors have been KILLIN IT this year. Unfortunately I don't think any of them will be as recognized by the awards system, with some exceptions like Awkwafina for Best Actress and JLo for Best Supporting Actress. But I think that Lulu Wang and Greta Gerwig should be recognized as directors and you know they never would.

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8 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

I liked Us better as well! I liked Get Out, but it didn’t help that the whole movie was revealed in the trailer.

what movies did you hate with a passion?

I would say the two mainstream movies that I very much hated with a passion were Brightburn and Hellboy. Both are movies that want so hard to be "R rated" and "edgy" that they don't take time to ask if that makes sense. Brightburn wants to be Superman gone bad without understanding what Superman is about or how cliched and over done that is. Hellboy I guess wanted to distance itself from the previous one by being a hard R so everybody says fuck ever other word. I mean the start of the film has three major just "really" moments in. First, needless swearing, second a crow eats an eyeball out of corpse because look it's dark and three a title card with a date that immediately goes into narration that says the date and place. That's just sloppy. Either it's just laziness, dumbness or pandering to foreign markets but it's bad film making. Oh, and 6 Underground falls into a lot of that as well.

I mean I saw technically worse movies this year but some of them were so boring they're not worth hating, Io, and others are just horrible shit made for no money so what was I expecting, The Banana Splits and Critters Attack! There was also some Brenda Song movie I watched which was so bad my mind has actively blocked it.

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6 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

Brightburn wants to be Superman gone bad without understanding what Superman is about or how cliched and over done that is.

I mean it was made by the Gunn family so...

giphy.gif

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Loved Parasite, really liked Ad Astra and Midsommar because they are really beautiful to watch, the first half of In Fabric is awesome.

Brightburn and Velvet Buzzsaw are a complete waste of a good premise ( VB better than BB ).

20 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

... and others are just horrible shit made for no money so what was I expecting, The Banana Splits ...

Yup. Went in expecting nothing, still left disappointed.

42 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

what movies did you hate with a passion?

 The Dead Don't Die. Couldn't finish it.

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44 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

what movies did you hate with a passion?

Luckily this year I haven't hated anything with a passion but I agree with Omaxem above that Velvet Buzzsaw was a waste of a good premise and a waste of an amazing performance by Jake Gyllenhaal and Toni Collette. It is my bottom movie of the year.

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9 minutes ago, Omaxem said:

Loved Parasite, really liked Ad Astra and Midsommar because they are really beautiful to watch, the first half of In Fabric is awesome.

Brightburn and Velvet Buzzsaw are a complete waste of a good premise ( VB better than BB ).

Yup. Went in expecting nothing, still left disappointed.

 The Dead Don't Die. Couldn't finish it.

When I late found out that The Banana Splits movie was reworked from a rejected Five Nights and Fredie's script it made a lot of sense. Still was a terrible was of time.

6 minutes ago, taylor anne photo said:

Luckily this year I haven't hated anything with a passion but I agree with Omaxem above that Velvet Buzzsaw was a waste of a good premise and a waste of an amazing performance by Jake Gyllenhaal and Toni Collette. It is my bottom movie of the year.

Jake Gyllenhaal was the only thing that kept me interested in Velvet Buzzsaw. I've come to the conclusion this year that my secret fetish is Jake Gyllenhaal giving us 200% and going full ham in performances. Okja, Velvet Buzzsaw, John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch, give me more of that over the top Gyllenhaal please.

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11 minutes ago, Cam Bert said:

Jake Gyllenhaal was the only thing that kept me interested in Velvet Buzzsaw. I've come to the conclusion this year that my secret fetish is Jake Gyllenhaal giving us 200% and going full ham in performances. Okja, Velvet Buzzsaw, John Mulaney & The Sack Lunch Bunch, give me more of that over the top Gyllenhaal please.

Oh my god he is SO GOOD IN OKJA!

During Christmas my family and I decided he should have been casted as Anakin Skywalker instead of Hayden Christensen. Imagine the pure performance we could have gotten all those years instead of the chemistryless flat bull shit we endured.

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13 hours ago, Cam Bert said:

The only one I would add to Grudlian's list is Us. My hot take, Us is better than Get Out.

I liked Us but felt the main story is a bit muddled.

Spoiler

The idea of the tethered/untethered is pretty interesting as a metaphor for socio-economic classes/race.  I think the movie inadvertently reinforces classist/racist ideas that wealthy, white conservatives believe. The untethered are just as violent, dangerous monsters and willing to tear down society as far right media claim they are. They belong literally underneath real society and letting them be a part of society will destroy it. Maybe Jordan Peele is trying to say that, if you continually, actively separate people by socio-economic classes, there will be an uprising but even that kind of reinforces racist/classist ideas that out of touch, alt-right conservatives have.

Get Out was much clearer in my mind. Pretty difficult to misinterpret. Us felt like I knew what it was trying to say but was accidentally communicating the exact opposite.

 

10 hours ago, GrahamS. said:

what movies did you hate with a passion?

Shaft is especially terrible. I didn't expect much but it was really homophobic, racist, and misogynist. It also had a lot of "lol millennials and boomers/gen x sure are different!" kind of lazy jokes that almost always sided against young people.

I also really hated Aladdin but I was never a huge fan of that to begin with. So, a weaker version in every aspect wasn't going to win me over.

I didn't hate Brightburn or The Dead Don't Die but I definitely wouldn't recommend them. Maybe if they were both 45 minutes long so they didn't just drag on forever.

10 hours ago, taylor anne photo said:

I feel like female directors have been KILLIN IT this year. Unfortunately I don't think any of them will be as recognized by the awards system, with some exceptions like Awkwafina for Best Actress and JLo for Best Supporting Actress. But I think that Lulu Wang and Greta Gerwig should be recognized as directors and you know they never would.

I like most of the movies you picked. I agree there were a ton of great movies directed by women this year. I think Greta Gerwig has a chance to be nominated but I don't really follow that kind of buzz. So, maybe I'm just being hopeful.

If you want some more female directed films this year, I recommend A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood, The Souvenir, Atlantics, Little Woods, Honey Boy, Blinded By The Light and Queen & Slim are all worth anyone's time.

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I ended up enjoying a lot more films this year than hating, with many of the hated being straight to streaming. I enjoyed Velvet Buzzsaw especially after reading some breakdowns and differing theories, but it didn't end up on my top list. Brightburn was a decent attempt at a dark superhero universe (which was definitely teased in the mid-credit scene) but I felt that it shouldn't have been a chance crash as to why the boy was on Earth, but rather an orchestrated move by his home planet where they are sending "orphans" to life bearing planets in order to take them over from within.

My top films, in no real order, were the following:

El Camino: a Breaking Bad Movie
Little Monsters
Joker
It Chapter 2
Spider-Man Far From Home
Midsommar
Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
John Wick 3
Avengers Endgame
Us
Doctor Sleep
Never Surrender: a Galaxy Quest Documentary
Knives Out
Jojo Rabbit
Uncut Gems

While the ones I despised were these dumpster fires:

The Fanatic - definitely needs to be covered on the show
The Kitchen - such wasted potential of cast and source material
MIB International - how do you screw up the chemistry already shown between your leads in another film in what should be a simple premise to reboot
Dark Phoenix - it's now clear that the Phoenix storyline should never be attempted on film
Hellboy - there was a brief glimpse of a good premise in this with the Lovecraftian monster attack on London scene, but they decided to stick with boring banter and humor
Polar - tried too much to be a John Wick knockoff with god knows how many absurd wigs
Serenity - should be clear why this is mentioned
Treehouse - ham fisted message inside a subpar horror film
Tone Deaf - another ham fisted attempt to critique stereotypes of two generations of people, only to further emphasize those stereotypes
Rambo: Last Blood - laughably bad and possibly the darkest of the franchise
3 From Hell - bland rehash of Devil's Rejects, although adding Richard Brake was a nice touch
 

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3 hours ago, grudlian. said:

I liked Us but felt the main story is a bit muddled.

  Reveal hidden contents

The idea of the tethered/untethered is pretty interesting as a metaphor for socio-economic classes/race.  I think the movie inadvertently reinforces classist/racist ideas that wealthy, white conservatives believe. The untethered are just as violent, dangerous monsters and willing to tear down society as far right media claim they are. They belong literally underneath real society and letting them be a part of society will destroy it. Maybe Jordan Peele is trying to say that, if you continually, actively separate people by socio-economic classes, there will be an uprising but even that kind of reinforces racist/classist ideas that out of touch, alt-right conservatives have.

Get Out was much clearer in my mind. Pretty difficult to misinterpret. Us felt like I knew what it was trying to say but was accidentally communicating the exact opposite.

 

Shaft is especially terrible. I didn't expect much but it was really homophobic, racist, and misogynist. It also had a lot of "lol millennials and boomers/gen x sure are different!" kind of lazy jokes that almost always sided against young people.

First of all I forgot Shaft came out this year and yes it was truly terrible. It was that weird thing of "Is it a joke that he's saying these things or are the things he's saying the joke?" Either case also the idea of "A real man acts this way" on top of the homophobia a misogynistic stuff makes it a hard pass.

As far as Us goes...

Spoiler

I think tonal issues aside, which I think he fixed in Us with the right blend of comedy at appropriate times, I think the problem of Get Out is the straight forwardness and simplicity of the metaphor. I mean it is what you see is what you get and the best horror is all about levels of metaphor. However people also loved The Babadook and It Follows which both had good metaphors that lacked depth. It Follows at least tried to deepen it a bit with the victim of incest thing at the end. However, all three of these movies I got on initial viewing and weren't things I thought about afterwards. I got it and I enjoyed. Us while maybe more muddled I think it was also swinging a bit higher and I give it more credit for that. You have the tethered/untethered and the metaphor for socio-econimic levels and rasism and all that. However you have smaller things throughout which give you a bit more to think about. Like with Tim Heidecker you also got a bit more into the race issue as well. Him and Winston Duke are supposedly the same socio-economic level yet he treats him as lower. There is the one issue of race and bias but also Tim's character is the classic "keeping up with the Jone's" metaphor as well which can apply throughout the movie as well. He's not just content to be at his level but he has to have the best things. You can also argue how his relationship with his wife and children versus Winston Duke's family relations shows the flaws with this mindset and lifestyle as well. Not to mention that in itself has things to say as Lupita Nyong'o's came from a poorer broken home while Winston's was a more fortunate upbringing. Then the final twist of the movie of of her character actually being the untethered version all along I think says a lot as well. First, the whole thing of not knowing people's backgrounds and making assumptions. Then with her "below" version given the chance did achieve great success and prosperity you can read things into that as well. Did she succeed because she was finally given a chance? Was she driven to succeed? Or more sinisterly, if we give those below us a chance will they replace us? I think there is the main message but a lot more little things planted throughout which in the end gave me more to think about and digest than Get Out even if it wasn't as clear or well executed.

 

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I’m still hoping to get through Us and High Live today, but this is my list. They are ranked on my personal enjoyment and not necessarily by quality.

Booksmart 

Last Black Man in San Francisco 

Shazam 

Spider-Man

Avengers Endgame

Captain Marvel

John Wick 3

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Midsommar

Long Shot

Always Be My Maybe

LEGO Movie 2

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

The Kid Who Would Be Kid

Klaus 

Detective Pikachu

The Dirt

Glass

Hobbs and Shaw
Child’s Play
Brightburn

Dumbo

How to Train Your Dragon 3

Pet Semetary

Hellboy

Serenity

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52 minutes ago, Cameron H. said:

I’m still hoping to get through Us and High Live today, but this is my list. They are ranked on my personal enjoyment and not necessarily by quality.

Booksmart 

Last Black Man in San Francisco 

Shazam 

Spider-Man

Avengers Endgame

Captain Marvel

John Wick 3

Midsommar

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 

Long Shot

Always Be My Maybe

LEGO Movie 2

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase

The Kid Who Would Be Kid

Klaus 

Detective Pikachu

The Dirt

Glass

Hobbs and Shaw
Child’s Play
Brightburn

Dumbo

How to Train Your Dragon 3

Pet Semetary

Hellboy

Serenity

Did you legitimately like Pet Semetary ? It was a guilty pleasure of mine—honestly, I think the directing and acting (except for Fred Gwynne, who’s GREAT in the original ) in the new version is way better, while the script is not good (except for one sequence involving the resurrected child that was brilliant and they abandoned too quickly). The best possible adaptation would be the new directors with rewrites on the old script.

i actually liked Glass more than I thought I would. I respected how much it gave the middle finger to fans and just didn’t give a shit. There have been M. Night movies that have been far worse. 
 

I respect Midsommar for trying something different, but it’s the one film I legitimately hated this year. I initially liked it even though its use/depiction of mental illness was rather insulting window dressing, but then it became a VERY SLOW rip-off/homage to The Wicker Man and any number of Kubrick films. The horror element also played out as unintentional comedy to me—not scary on any level and so predictable and dull that I almost walked out and was pissed when I didn’t. I disliked it so much that I still question if I’m interested in seeing what Ari Aster does next (even though I liked Hereditary). But it’s possible that I’m burnt out on the A24 style of horror in general and I realize that most people love this film for some reason.

I’ll just bang the drum for The Nightingale again.

 

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8 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

Did you legitimately like Pet Semetary ? It was a guilty pleasure of mine—honestly, I think the directing and acting (except for Fred Gwynne, who’s GREAT in the original ) in the new version is way better, while the script is not good (except for one sequence involving the resurrected child that was brilliant and they abandoned too quickly). The best possible adaptation would be the new directors with rewrites on the old script.

i actually liked Glass more than I thought I would. I respected how much it gave the middle finger to fans and just didn’t give a shit. There have been M. Night movies that have been far worse. 
 

I respect Midsommar for trying something different, but it’s the one film I legitimately hated this year. I initially liked it even though its use/depiction of mental illness was rather insulting window dressing, but then it became a VERY SLOW rip-off/homage to The Wicker Man and any number of Kubrick films. The horror element also played out as unintentional comedy to me—not scary on any level and so predictable and dull that I almost walked out and was pissed when I didn’t. I disliked it so much that I still question if I’m interested in seeing what Ari Aster does next (even though I liked Hereditary). But it’s possible that I’m burnt out on the A24 style of horror in general and I realize that most people love this film for some reason.

I’ll just bang the drum for The Nightingale again.

 

I'm sorry, that's all the 2019 movie I saw *in total*. I just went to Wikipedia's list of 2019 releases, and when I came across one I had seen, I slotted it in terms of preference. So, no, I wasn't a huge fan  of Pet Semetary :P 

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12 minutes ago, GrahamS. said:

i actually liked Glass more than I thought I would. I respected how much it gave the middle finger to fans and just didn’t give a shit. There have been M. Night movies that have been far worse. 
 

I respect Midsommar for trying something different, but it’s the one film I legitimately hated this year. I initially liked it even though its use/depiction of mental illness was rather insulting window dressing, but then it became a VERY SLOW rip-off/homage to The Wicker Man and any number of Kubrick films. The horror element also played out as unintentional comedy to me—not scary on any level and so predictable and dull that I almost walked out and was pissed when I didn’t. I disliked it so much that I still question if I’m interested in seeing what Ari Aster does next (even though I liked Hereditary). But it’s possible that I’m burnt out on the A24 style of horror in general and I realize that most people love this film for some reason.

I liked Glass. But then again, I don't hate M. Night as much as other people seem to. He just does his own thing and I can respect that.

I liked Midsommar, but I see I put it above Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and I would probably reverse that. It wasn't my favorite movie of the year or anything, but I thought it was pretty good. That being said, it is all the things that you accuse it of being.

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I will say it is a unique film in that I liked it at a 3-31/2 star level for the first half, which proceeded to make its way down to a 1-11/2 star level by the end.

To be fair, I also found The Lighthouse kind of frustrating and well-made but overrated. It’s also guilty of having some of the self-consciously arty A24 tropes that I mentioned with Midsommar.

Also, while I really liked Once Upon, a good friend of mine had the exact same reaction I had with Midsommar (growing restlessness, eye-rolling, etc.). Since I knew once upon was almost three hours, I encouraged him to leave so I could enjoy the film and he wouldn’t feel like he wasted his time. He was grateful, I was happy, different strokes for different folks!

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I really enjoyed Pet Sematary and it was definitely an honorable mention for me. I felt the switching of which kid was killed was brilliant albeit ruined by every fucking trailer. Having the daughter be able to verbalize what she witnessed and felt on the other side after dying was a great touch while the book and original having Gage being the kid who died relied on the creepiness of a killer toddler, which definitely worked in itself. My two gripes about this would be that the family never questioned why they  were getting 50 acres for super cheap when they bought the house, or the fact that the never looked at the surrounding land until after they found the titular cemetery, like do some fucking due diligence. The other issue I had was when the daughter died, I'm not that great at physics, but even I know when a storage container weighing a couple tons even when empty comes sliding towards a small child at over 70 miles an hour, that kid isn't just going to be knocked gently over to the side of the rode with a cut on the back of her head, that kid would be a fucking smear of pasta sauce going down that highway.

I enjoyed Glass all the way until that ending because it was so tacked on to incorporate that twist, which would have been better if there had been sprinklings of it hidden in the first two films. It just seemed done solely for the sake of M. Night having a twist in the movie, when it really didn't need one when the performance of its three leads were so strong, especially McAvoy who again is amazing as the split personality Horde.

Child's Play really surprised me with how well it was done despite being a totally different origin story/theme for the killer, and the mechanics behind how the doll could become a killer. I still hope that the proposed TV show for the original series happens as the last two films, Curse and Cult of Chucky, are outstanding films, more so considering they were direct to video releases. If you haven't seen them I recommend you do as it removes a lot of the over the top comedy of the previous two films and goes back to the darker horror elements of the first few films.

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3 hours ago, Cameron H. said:

I’m still hoping to get through Us and High Live today, but this is my list.

If High Life is the Robert Pattinson movie, I'd put that in my hated section. But to each their own.

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14 minutes ago, grudlian. said:

If High Life is the Robert Pattinson movie, I'd put that in my hated section. But to each their own.

It is. I’m only like...15 minutes into it though.

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