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Baumer's 36 best films of 2018 (top 3 has been revealed)

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So yes, perks of being a mod, I get to pin this thread and then move it later to the speakeasy.  I know my taste in film is sometimes considered questionable to many of you so this thread should be fun.


I've only seen 79 films theatrically this year and out of those 79, only 34 of them have received a grade of 8 out of 10 or better.  The other two films to make the list are films I saw on Neflix.  So forgive me if some of the films that should be on here, aren't.


For example, I have not seen:


The Hate U Give

On the Basis of Sex

Beale Street

Mary Queen of Scots


Fantastic Beasts

Mama Mia


First Man

Green Book


White Boy Rick


I'm sure there are others but these are the ones worth mentioning.  


So, I will start this tonight and get it finished this week sometime.  My number one film is one that I'm sure most of you have not seen and I hope that changes.  Another few in my top ten include a film in which I think has the best female performance of the year, a Canadian film starring a good Hollywood cast that takes place in Toronto.  There will be some comic love and there will be some horror love (although not as much as you might think).  There's at least five films on here that I'm sure will make your eyes roll and there will be at least 5 that most of you will agree with.....I think.


@Telemachos will probably hate the list but that's what makes it kind of fun,


1) Ass Nation

2) A Star is Born

3) Unsane

4) Blackkklansman

5) Upgrade

6) Won't You Be My Neighbour

7) Mandy

8} Avengers Part 1

9) Little Italy

10) Adrift

11) Bohemian Rhapsody

12) Ready Player One

13) A Simple Favor

14) Vice

15) Rampage

16) Hunter Killer

17) Book Club

18) Mission Impossible Fallout

19) Halloween 

20) Den of Thieves

21) Christmas Chronicles

22) Deadpool 2

23) Aquaman

24) Solo

25) The Commuter

26) Creed II

27) Meg

28) The Mule

29) Game Night

30) Annihilation

31) Tag

32) Red Sparrow

33) Death Wish

34) Bird Box

35) Old Man and the Gun

36) Sicario  

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# 36

Sicario:  Day of the Soldado

Box Office:  75.8 million WW

Cast:  Benico del Toro and Josh Brolin


This was a great movie right up until Isabella runs off during road ambush. After that it just turned into a different movie.  And I guess I thought it was going to be more like the trailers.  If the movie kep the same tone in the last 30 minutes as it had in the first 45, this would have been much higher on my list.   But it was so much better when they were telling the story of trying to get the cartels to fight each other.  


And I had a really hard time accepting Alejandro surviving a gunshot wound to the face in the middle of the Mexican desert, and that ending, wow, that really didn't end well at all.  


Having said that, the film works in many ways,.  It starts with Brolin and Del Toro.  Both are at the top of their game in this one.  It's kind of funny to see them play serious with one another in this one and then ham it up in Infinity War.



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The Old Man and the Gun

Box Office:  11.2 million

Cast:  Robert Redford, Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck


Robert Redford is given a poetic and charming farewell in The Old Man & the Gun. He plays a man that refused to change the way he lived life and finds it all the more important to him as he comes to the end of the line. Redford is as cool as ever in this delivering every line like a man you can never truly hate but you know you probably should.

Supported by the terrific Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck the film is a level headed easy going take on what appears to be a very easy going man that had a unique way of living his life. Beautifully shot and scored the film embraces it's status as Redford's farewell and by the end you can't help but smile and accept his goodbye.

The films slow pace only serves to emphasise who Forrest was and what he wanted life to be. It also allows for some of the films best lines to be delivered with a poignant impact particularly as Redford and Spacek dwell on life on the porch of her house.

All in all this is a must see for any fans of Redford and for all fans of low-key but nonetheless entertaining films.  



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Bird Box

Box office:  N/A

Cast:  Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Jackie Weaver, Lil Rey Howard


While I didn't love Bird Box, I did like it more than A Quiet Place.  It pains me to say that because AQP is produced by Bay and Fuller and I will always root for them.  AQP didn't do it for me as there were too many stupid decisions made by the family.  Here, the dumb decisions seem more realistic and thus the film felt more realistic.  For those of you who don't know, this is a film about a mysterious plague that devastates the planet.  It makes people commit suicide.  The survivors figure out that to survive this plague, you cannot look at whatever entity it is that is killing people.  So everywhere they go, they must wear blindfold, blacken out the windows, draw the shades and so on.  A bunch of survivors are holed up in a rather ornery man's house (John Malkovich).  Sandra Bullock is pregnant and the story is told in flashbacks and in real time.


Bird box is tense, well directed and has an Oscar worthy performance from Bullock.  It lacks in gore and it isn't overly scary and that's why it ranks as an 8 instead of higher.  




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Death Wish 

Box Office:  34 million

Cast and Crew:  Bruce Willis, Elizabeth Shue, Directed by Eli Roth and written by Joe Carnahan


Allow me to explain.  I love revenge films.  But there has to be one element to them, one particular thing has to happen and you have me hooked.  The bad guys, after doing all their heinous things, must, must get some really nasty comeuppance dished out to them.  One of my favourite horror films of the last ten years is I spit on Your Grave.  And the reason is that the victim in that film gets to kick the holdy fucking shit out of her rapists.  On the flip side of that film is this years version of Robin Hood, which I didn't hate.  But one thing I didn't like at all is that the Sheriff of Nottingham is a brutal dictator in that film and his death should have been something very painful and something epic.  But he hangs himself and as an audience member who was appalled at his antics, I wanted to see him die heinously.


This brings me to Death Wish.  Director Eli Roth is good at violence and he is good at revenge.  And he really pours it on here.  But beyond all the revenge stuff and the violence, there is a message here.  I know there was in the original as well.  And nothing has really changed in 40 years.  Many of us still feel helpless.  Many of us feel that we are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.  So in some ways, this film is kind of like a fantasy.  I don't think any of us want to kill people vigilante style but when the law seems incapable of helping us or even worse, when the law seems to be part of the problem, films like this can be great escapism.



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3 hours ago, Chaz said:

Hopefully you’ll finish this one before it’s time to put together your 2019 list. ;)


It'll be done in about three days.

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Red Sparrow

Box Office:  151 mill WW

Jennifer Lawrence, Joel Edgerton, Mary Louise Parker:  Directed by Francis Lawrence



Red Sparrow is not what it seems to be and that's actually a good thing. Reunited with director Francis Lawrence, Jennifer Lawrence brings the star power to this cold and rough thriller. This is not an action movie as it has barely any action sequences, but it's a clever and well thought out political drama. It's one of those few interesting cases when you can't quite read the protagonist, and Jennifer proves a wild card here.  This is the film where she bears it all, both physically and performance wise.  I like Lawrence, she's a terrific actress.  But some have said that she plays it safe.  This performance and character is anything but.  Yes, she strips for the camera but she also has to do a Russian accent, come off as a believable ballerina and then transition into a tough as nails Russian spy.  She accomplishes all of this.  Red Sparrow is also incredibly violent in some scenes, there's one that made me cringe.  It's also very convoluted and not entirely sensical.  Doesn't matter because most of the film is very well done.




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3 hours ago, Slambros said:

Yeah, Bird Box could've been much better than it was. It was still okay, though. Just familiar territory.


I didn't think it was very familiar at all.  It was also written before A Quiet Place.  

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Box office:  78 million WW

Stars:  Ed Helms, Jeremy Renner, Leslie Bibb, Isla Fisher, Jon Hamm


Sometime you just want to be entertained.  Sometimes you just want to shut your brain off and escape for 100 minutes and TAG did that for me.  It's based on a true story, which makes it that much more outrageous.  There really are grown men who have been playing a kids game for their entire adult life.  It's their way of keeping the kid in them and staying in touch with one another no matter how far they live from one another and no matter where their lives take them.  


I came in with no expectations of this movie being any good and only watched it because I had some time to kill. I was surprised at how entertaining this movie actually was!  Tag isn't highbrow and you can't really take it seriously.  Or so I thought.  I really didn't think that it was realistic that one man would get hired at another man's place of business just so that he could "TAG" him.  But this stuff really did happen as seen in the real footage at the end of the film.  What I loved about Tag is that they took the already interesting and humorous concept of grown men playing a kid's game and just RAN WITH IT. The action in this movie was outrageous and that's what made it fun.  There's also a bittersweet ending that kind of feels like it belongs in a different movie but once again, all based on real life.  



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Box office:  32.7 million

Cast:  Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh



It's not a perfect film by any means. It has some rough dialogue at times, some unnecessary exposition at times (were the interrogation scenes really needed?), and some much-too-often-used-stereotypes. The film also explains many characters by tragic pasts that are too clichéd. But those are all flaws that, in the grand scheme of things, don't amount to negatively impacting the experience of watching this film, because this is a wildly ambitious, fascinating project. It's rare for me to watch a sci-fi film and experience awe while doing so, but this film does that. Technically it's very well-made.  The cinematography, editing, and (especially) film score give the entire thing an incredibly mysterious, genuinely interesting atmosphere, one that many films could only dream of creating (perhaps only Arrival's is similar). It also includes some of the most visually memorable moments of this entire decade. The last 15 minutes are awe-inspiring in every sense of the word. They say originality is dead, but I don't think I have ever seen some of the things this film does. For that it should be congratulated.  I can't say I understood everything in the film but sometimes you don't have to.  Sometimes the films is just so well done in almost every area, that you can forgive some of the minor flaws.  Annihilation is that movie for me.  



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Game Night

Box office:  117 million WW

Cast:  Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams


The two leads are two of my favourite actors and it's great to see them in a comedy together. Rachel McAdams has an adorably gorgeous and always enjoyable screen presence and surprisingly perfect comic timing - side note: she is woefully under-represented in films today and I'd love to see her in a starring solo vehicle. Bateman is his usual straight-man role, a role that nobody does better, and frankly I hope he never deviates! The film is also a lot funnier than the trailer shows - it is a wildly funny, thrilling, action packed adventure film that will leave you wanting to watch it again.  It's just one of the best comedies of the year.  





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