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

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I just realized that I saw a hell of a lot of movies this year. More than I would have thought. By my count, I saw almost 70 movies at the theater in 2018 and by and large enjoyed most of them. My favorites were A Quiet Place and Alpha. My least favorites were Paul- Apostle of Christ and Superfly. I have not put them in order, but put the movies on enjoy v not enjoyed lists. A movie has to be really bad for me not to enjoy it. I usually do not go in with super high expectations. When I do, I am often disappointed. I put asterisks to note higher intensity. 




A Quiet Place*


Proud Mary*

The Commuter

Black Panther*

Death Wish*

Red Sparrow

Game Night


Ready Player One






Breaking In


Deadpool 2


Book Club*

Adrift *

Ocean’s 8*



Jurassic World

Incredibles 2

Hotel Transylvania 


The Meg

Skyscrapper *

Crazy Rich Asians*

The Equalizer 2 *



Operation Finale

A Simple Favor*

A Star Is Born*




The Hate U Give*

The Grinch

Nobody’s Fool*

Creed II

Mortal Engines





Second Act*


The Mule 

The Nun

Truth or Dare


Did Not Enjoy:


Paul The Apostle of Christ*

Fifty Shades of Grey

A Wrinkle In Time

I Feel Pretty

Superfly *


The Predator

Robin Hood

Pacific Rim

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Box office:  14.2 million

Stars:  Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard...directed by Steven Soderbergh


Simply brilliant from start to finish and it genuinely left me feeling shaken and disturbed.  I felt very similar to the way I felt when I watched the original Last House on the Left.  It's a kind of thriller where you see what's going to happen in some instances and yet you pray that it doesn't.  I simply love this film.


9.5/10.....only reason it didn't get a 10 is because of the ending.  I was hoping we would have gotten maybe two minutes where they show how they find her after she's been Paul Sheldoned in the woods and she's crawling around for help.  But this is a disturbing look at one man's obsession and what he will do to make his fantasy come to life.  It gets a little unrealistic in parts but the execution of it is just so brilliant.  Shout out to Joshua Leonard, who is the only one of the three Blair Witch cast to have a career post Blair Witch.  He is simply awesome in this film.  He's creepy, he's unhinged and yet in some ways you feel empathy for him.  I thought he was terrific in BWP and he continues that brilliance in this film.


Two of my three top films of the year are horror films.  This one could have been number one.


@Frozen  This movie was great.  So disturbing, because you know there is a lot of truth to it.


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Yep, that is the same person.

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A Star is Born

398 million

Bradley Cooper, Lady Gaga, Sam Elliott...directed by Cooper...produced by Jon Peters (yep, that Jon Peters) and Todd Phillips



What do you have deep inside that you want to say? In Director Bradley Cooper's "A Star Is Born" his fading rock star Jackson Maine holds in his arms Lady Gaga's rising star Ally as they gaze at the billboard of her record album cover. Gravelly voiced Jack says, "Dig down into your soul... Say what you wanna say, because what you say is the stuff of angels." Director Bradley Cooper's feature debut poignantly asks what do you have to say to the world, so people want to listen. 

"A Star Is Born" is uncompromising in discovering one's voice in the world acknowledging the darker humanity of addiction and depression. Bradley and Lady Gaga, in her first starring movie role, are authentic and genuine: strength and frailty. Sam Elliot is eloquently powerful as Jack's older Manager brother Bobby, who loves his self-destructive baby brother. 

Not only did Bradley direct "A Star Is Born", he wrote the screenplay with Eric Roth and Will Fetters. He learned to sing for a year and a half. He wrote songs for the movie with Lady Gaga. On The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Lady Gaga said that she was blown away by Bradley: "He sings from his gut." 

As country rock star Jackson Maine, he is so convincing singing, "Maybe it's time to let the old ways die." He pops painkillers going on stage. He downs a bottle of Jack Daniels in the limo ride from his concert. Bradley embodies Jack's weary numbing suffering. 

Looking to get a drink, Jack drops in a dive drag bar in Los Angeles. His eyes widen listening to Lady Gaga's Ally singing a French song classic. Ally is special. 

Over drinks Jack discovers Ally, who works as a restaurant server, is a songwriter. He asks her why she doesn't sing her songs. Ally says that people like her songs, but not the way she looks. 

Lady Gaga is "unplugged" in natural brown hair, sans glam makeup. Gaga inhabits Ally's insecurities like a glove. Yet like Jack, we see her greater within. Jack tells her, "If there's one reason we're supposed to be here is to say something so people wanna hear it..." That's the beauty of "A Star Is Born": It says something we want to hear. 

Predictably, yet naturally Jack and Ally fall in love in their star-crossed romance. Ally's star ascends when she sings her song "Shallows" with Jack in concert. Sadly, Jack's star tragically descends in drug and alcohol addiction. Ally and Jack are truly in love: They see the greater within each other. However, love alone may not save Jack from his addictions. 

Bradley and Gaga are fearless compassion in the kind of poignant sadness that can heal. Director Cooper trusts his actor's humanity in stark authentic conversation. Ally cries to Jack, "You hurt me!" Jack breaks down to Ally, "I'm so sorry..." When Jack confesses to Bobby about "stealing his voice" I cried. 

Lady Gaga is the star. She is so fierce in Ally's vulnerability. Her singing amazes. And you never catch her "acting"; she is just being. She and Bradley don't romanticize the suffering of loving a drug addict; loving someone suffering from depression. You can only do your best. Responsibility is often a two-way street. That's the eloquent message of "A Star Is Born". 

Listening to Gaga's closing song moved me. Being in love is perhaps most important in life. Yet, we can't know what goes on inside another, even ones we love. "A Star Is Born" reminds us that we must also have forgiveness in our hearts. I truly loved "A Star Is Born".



@The Panda  

Cooper’s version is powerful, and left me floored.  Some great commentary on the industry, and a haunting tale of fame that remains so effective because of the truth it tells.

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Assassination Nation

Box office:  2 million

Odessa Young, suki Waterhouse, Abra.....produced by David S. Goyer (of TDK fame)


"There's two types of people in this world. People who have come to terms with privacy being dead...and the old people who are trying to fight it."


This is the kind of film that reminds me of why I love movies so much. When I saw this, it was time to kill before I saw my girlfriend.  I had the option of seeing Night School or this one. I basically flipped a coin and it came up tails. Thank the heavens it did and I got to see Assassination Nation. It shocked me in every way. It reminded me of and made me feel the same kind of emotions I felt when I first watched Last House on the Left. It's a film about the dehumanization of 4 young girls. In LHOTL, it was four deranged psychotics who tortured, raped and then killed two young girls and left their bodies to rot in the deep woods. This has similar thoughts except the forest is replaced with suburbia.


I will warn you, for those of you reading this, this will be ripe with spoilers. So tread carefully if you do plan on seeing the film.

This is without a doubt, one of the most disturbing films I've ever seen and it scared me more than any film has since perhaps the Ring in 2002. It's a shame no one is seeing this film at the theatres and perhaps the problem is it is listed as an action comedy. A comedy? Are you fucking kidding me? There is nothing funny about this film and it should be listed as a horror film. In fact, it took third place in the people's choice award for the Midnight Madness at TIFF in 2018. This is horrific and it left me shaking even after leaving the theatre. It's not a "dark and stormy night" kind of film and it's not masked undead killers coming after you with a kitchen knife. What makes this scary is that this is a true reflection of the world we are all a part of and what happened in this movie could happen to any one of us.


So what makes this film so powerful? Let's start with Brock Turner. Then let's mention the Dark Knight and then the Purge and Mean girls and Heathers.

We inexplicably shame women who've been wronged - women whose privacy has been violated, women who have been raped - and excuse males, saying, "Boys will be boys." We give boys a free pass and a pat on the back, be they aspiring athletes or nominees to the Supreme Court. But oh! My mistake - Brock Turner actually served three months of a six-month sentence for raping an unconscious woman and leaving her behind a dumpster. No free pass there, though some bemoaned how "sex offender" status would hurt Turner's promising career. Poor Brock Turner might not get to enjoy his Cheerios and he might not have a shot at a real life because poor Brock Turner didn't really rape someone, he just fucked her while she was unconscious. In Assassination Nation, when a hacker in the city of Salem exposes everyone's private text messages and photos and videos and anything else out there in cyber-space, the town "loses it's motherfucking mind". When it comes out that one of the young girls, Lily, MIGHT have been having an affair with a married man, one whom she babysat for, the town, including her parents, blame her. The ostracize her, she is kicked out of her own home, she is basically branded with a Scarlet Letter. Not once is the married man frowned upon. Not once does someone speak ill of the 42 year old married father with two children.


When the entire town is then hacked, people don't want to own up to their transgressions, they simply want to destroy the one who exposed them. The righteous hypocrites in small town America can't accept that they are flawed and impure. Instead they brand the young women (who are accused of being the hacker) as being home-wreckers and criminals and sluts and whores.

When I think about every site I've ever clicked on, every site I've ever ordered from, every movie I've ever watched on my phone or my PC, as innocent as it all might seem, if my personal private information was hacked and exposed, how would I be viewed? There's a scene of such monumental power in this film and it's when the principal's phone gets hacked and he gets excoriated by the town's folk for being a child molester because he has naked photo's of his 4 year old daughter on his phone. When Lilly defends him to her parents saying, "Mom you have a naked photo of me when I was two sitting on the fireplace mantle, does that make you a child molester as well?"


It's so easy to have things misconstrued but what makes it worse is this is none of anyone else's business. These are people's privacy that is being hacked and exposed. Think about your personal life,think about the things you do when no one else is watching. Now imagine that being exposed for the whole world to see. It's scary.

David S. Goyer is one of about 625 producers on the film. He also wrote Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. All three films share similar themes and ideas. Both have "villains" who just want to watch the world burn. Both subscribe to the theory that injecting a little anarchy into the world is what we all need. And as the Joker says in TDK:


"You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve."


Those words are apropos for that movie for this movie and probably for life in general. When anarchy is introduced into this film and to the people who are in it, all hell breaks loose. And when you find out who is actually responsible for the hacks and why the person did it, they respond by saying, "I wanted to get some LOL's" You have a person willing to destroy lives just so they can get a few kicks.

Assassination Nation is relevant, it's horrific, it's ahead of the curve and it is scary as hell. It left me shaking and it left me with a myriad of thoughts and troubles racing through my head. It's expertly written, beautifully acted and directed with style and flair by Sam Levinson. The four young actresses all give knockout performances, each one of them bring a power to their characters. Bella Thorne and Bill Skaarsgard show up to give us some recognizable faces but it's Odessa Young who walks away with the best performance. Look for her in the future. I can't recommend this film enough. Like Mandy, it's not for everyone, but for those who let it all in, it might be a film that changes your life. It gets a perfect 10 out of 10 from me.



Assassination Nation is perhaps a bit overlong and doesn’t always hit its mark. But when it does, it fucking HITS it. With all the Kavanaugh stuff going on, it feels especially timely.


Damn good stuff. Been thinking about it all week.




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So definitely have to side with Ethan on the RPO debate. Haven't actually seen the movie but my head hurt from reading all those references baumer listed. Nods and winks like that are lazy and overrated.

Haven't seen Assassination Nation either, I just know that Suki Waterhouse is fit af, limbs or no limbs.

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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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3 hours ago, The Stingray said:

So definitely have to side with Ethan on the RPO debate. Haven't actually seen the movie but my head hurt from reading all those references baumer listed. Nods and winks like that are lazy and overrated.

Haven't seen Assassination Nation either, I just know that Suki Waterhouse is fit af, limbs or no limbs.


Yep, she was Bad ASS!! in Bad Batch...she's really good in this one too.

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3 hours ago, JamesCameronScholar said:

Really no love for Burning Baumer? It was my MOTY by some margin. Great list though! 


Never heard of it.

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1 minute ago, MCKillswitch123 said:

I saw your Not Cool react to the Infinity War post (yours and Tele, but Tele is expected). That's not cool, bro.


[jk, I could see why someone would dislike it; I fucking loved it, though, and didn't even expect to. Gets better every time I see it]


:thinking: One of these days I'll get around to my live-blog of it.

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Thanks for the kind words to some of you. And is my taste in film this year really that odd? I mean I have a stars born and Bohemian Rhapsody and Avengers and so on. Is it because I have assassination nation and upgrade in my top five that some of you think that I have odd taste in film LOL


you guys really need to see assassination nation in my opinion. It's such a wild on movie and it's such an indictment of the times that we live in.


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4 minutes ago, Christmas baumer said:

Thanks for the kind words to some of you. And is my taste in film this year really that odd? I mean I have a stars born and Bohemian Rhapsody and Avengers and so on. Is it because I have assassination nation and upgrade in my top five that some of you think that I have odd taste in film LOL


you guys really need to see assassination nation in my opinion. It's such a wild on movie and it's such an indictment of the times that we live in.



edit: deleted. I was not holding true to the SkyBeam SparklePony standard.

Edited by Telemachos
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