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Baumer's 15 best of 2019 (mid-season list)......3) Alita 2) End Game 1)???? pg 3 Tawasal's list starts page 3

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Yep, it is good to be a mod at times.  Even though we have to deal with a lot of the tomfoolery of some of you yo-yo's, we do get to pin our own threads.  So I am using the mod powers to pin my mid season list.  I'll get this started later tonight and I'll have it finished by Sunday.

 

This list will encompass films right up until July 2nd.  So it is possible that FFH and or Midsommar might make the list.

 

As always, my taste in films seems to differ a lot from the norm, so it should be fun, to say the least,.

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1 hour ago, baumer said:

And btw...this will be theatrical only.  No Netflix films will qualify for this list.

 

tenor.gif

 

(Nothing against Netflix films, but that makes the list more interesting imo.)

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8 minutes ago, RealLyre said:

is the list only movies you've seen in theaters this year or for all the movies you saw that had a theatrical release in 2019 regardless if you saw them in theaters or not?

 

Well, only films that have been released in theatres in 2019.

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15) Book Smart

Starring:  Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jason Sudekis, Lisa Kudrow

Director:  Olivia Wilde

Box office:  24 million

 

Well, this is a film I'm split on.  The first 2/3s were not my cup of tea but the last thirds was much much better.  It's supposed to be clever and smart. It was neither. Instead, it's crass, tasteless at times, can be somewhat cliched and boring. There is a kernel of a story here that at least has the potential to be interesting: the two smart girls who are graduating from high school and haven't ever had any fun, till they go over the top the night before graduation. But if they're so smart, why are they so stupid? Why don't they have any real wit? If the audience can tell in advance exactly what's coming next, why are the "smart girls" so oblivious? How difficult would it have been to make this movie actually funny or clever? Looks like they didn't try very hard. A cascade of F-bombs and v-words isn't all that hilarious, especially when that's all there is.   But then things just seemed to take a good turn towards the last third of the movie and I identified much more with not just the two girls but with some of the supporting characters as well.  

 

Book Smart is a disappointment for me, but it's still better than a lot of the other stuff that has come out this year.  

 

 

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14) Anna

Starring:  Sasa Luss, Helen Miren, Luke Evans, Cillian Murphy

Directed by Luc Besson

Box office:  7 million

 

This Luc Besson multi-twist on his classic female assassin thriller 1990s La Femme Nikita which, imo, was actually improved upon by John Badham's 1993 American version entitled "Point of No Return" incorporates among the most twists of any thriller movie. Even more amazing, all the twists really work and the audience is able to easily comprehend each one and can enjoy the film even more by just sitting and experiencing the delicious sensation of all the new reveals in this somewhat complex movie. Using a multitude of flashbacks which ultimately and surprisingly work, the audience is made aware of the real story behind what seems to be occurring on screen and the audience is led to relive many extended scenes from a different perspective. There are a number of parallels between Anna and La Femme Nikita/Point of No Return. 

 

It's sometimes hard to believe that a sleight in stature woman can do all that she does in films like these.  Take Columbiana for example.  I really had a hard time believing Zoe Saldana as an elite killing machine.  But Besson really makes you believe that Luss can do the things she does.  She is very believable and perhaps part of this is the direction he provides.  And a real treat is Helen Mirren as the tough as nail Ruskie boss who has the heard of a piece of coal.  She kind of slithers her way through this role and every time she is on screen, I loved the film even more.  

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13) Brightburn

Starring:  Elizabeth Banks, David Denman

Directed by:  David Yarovsky

Box office:  17.3 million

 

We've seen this movie before...or have we?  A kid fallen from space /another planet is adopted by a family without kids. After a few years he becomes  not a superhero; but a super-psycho . The concept is interesting; but the execution is even better. Charged with well crafted suspense; lots of practical effects and little digitals which gives the movie a higher realism. There a few very gory scenes not for everybody.  But for those of us who love innovative horror, the death and gore are some of the highlights of the movie.

Some events are predictable but others not so and it becomes disturbing sometimes. It leaves it open for a sequel; let's hope it succeeds. In brief; a smart horror movie that will keep you thinking long after leaving the theatre.

 

Oh....and one hell of a  cameo at the end.

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12) Shaft

Starring Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie Usher, Richard Roundtree

Directed by Tim Story

Box office:  19.5 million

 

What I kind of expected was another action thriller with corny jokes comparing young generations to old. But what i got was the complete opposite. The film is not for people who give up in the first 30 min. JJ ( the title character) did not carry the films first opening scenes. But the moment Sam jackson becomes fully immersed is when this film takes off. I could not stop laughing as every joke is just awesome. It is profoundly unapologetic with some jokes, unafraid of offending, something I craved for a film trying to show the differences in ideas between new and old generations. I was very surprised by this film, and although the end scenes are a little ho hum, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie. The son, who was slightly annoying in the beginning, does go through a transformation. Do not pass off this movie as a lame action film, because you will be laughing endlessly. The soundtrack was killer as well.  I realize in this PC world we live in a lot of you will not appreciate the humour....but it is just that..humour.  

 

 

This movie was far more enjoyable than the new mib, I’m so so shocked by this revelation. I thought this movie would be utter crap. I was laughing throughout the movie. I can see people not liking this film, because  there are jokes that can be seen as “homophobic,” “racist,” or any other -ist word. I don’t fault anyone who sees this movie and thinks that. Everyone’s sensibilities are different. I just thought the jokes pertaining to that stuff in the film were tongue and cheek.  @YLF

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11) Cold Pursuit

Starring Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, William Forsythe

Directed by Hans Peter Moland

Box office:  32 million


"Cold Pursuit" is a semi-serious thriller that is in a way a sort of spoof of past Neeson flicks and the genre. A lot of dark humor here, and the movie almost goes off the rails with it by the end. One movie that comes to mind is "In Bruge", where the violence is very much a part of the humor. Smart, funny, and dark..with a touch of class to boot. A slight nod to past Coen Brothers' films I think as well - at least in feel and atmosphere.  And to say this movie is unlike anything I've ever seen before, is kind of an understatement.  Probably not the kind of film that is for the masses but it is certainly unique in so many ways.  

Many deaths here, not always on camera, and the movie even does you a favor of tallying it up for you in a funny way. (note the religious symbols with each death card)

Liam is billed as the star, of course, and events surrounding him obviously serve as a catalyst to what unfolds along the way. However, this movie is not all about him being front and centre as his typical past thrillers have been. Really great cast here and the scenery is cast member in its own right.

The two flaws in the movie, in my opinion, was not fully realizing the story of the two cops played by Emmy Rossum and John Dorman, especially Rossum. Also, the movie ultimately seems to lose track a bit on the event that set everything in motion - Coxman's (Neeson) murdered son.

Still, the movie's end was pretty satisfying nonetheless. Definitely as must see for fans of Neeson and dark humour.

 

really enjoyed this. liked all the little bits of nuance and fleshing out minor characters that really paid off. Very odd and funny and also somewhat thrilling...... @Avatree

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10) Toy Story 4

Starring:  The usual suspects

Directed by:  Josh cooley

Box office:  284 mill and counting

 

Like many people, I thought this film would be the weakest in the series, and a pointless sequel. But man, I was wrong. We were all wrong. From the first trailer, I thought it would have been disappointing.  I didn't care for the other Toy Story movies and as many of you know I don't really identify with many Pixar films.  But this one just resonated with me.  Maybe I'm just getting older so I appreciate different things.    

The Story: After the third film, many thought there was nowhere else to go with the series. However, it turns out you could still expand the story. As the writers thought of a perfect ending to the story of Woody. Woody feels as if he doesn't belong, as a cowboy doll he is no longer getting the attention of his child, like he did with Andy. Which leads to a satisfying ending to his arc. Not only that, but this is probably the most mature film in the series, as it deals with themes of independence, and being loved. The film also has very good comedic writing, in my opinion. This film is a logical progression of the story of the 'Toy Story' trilogy.

My only real issues with the story, is the fact that the other characters take a lot more a backseat than the other movies. However, this is Woody's movie, so I should expect it to not focus on them. And it is only a small criticism I have with the film's story.

The Characters: Both the new and old characters are either, just as good as they were in the previous films, and the new characters are nice additions to the 'Toy Story' series. They all go through a logical progression and grow as the film goes on, and the same thing goes for the new characters.  And it has to be mentioned, Duke Kaboom is my favourite Pixar character now.  

So I'm happy and shocked that a Toy Story has made my list of top films of the year.  So far.  

 

Like last summer’s Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4 rises to the arduous task of following a beloved classic in highly satisfying fashion, even if it doesn’t quite ascend to the same height. The previous Toy Story provided such a note-perfect ending to its trilogy – and did so against huge odds amid Disney's original Pixar-free plan for it – that I really thought this sequel was going to be an ill-advised cash-grab. And while it is admittedly the least of its sterling quartet, that’s less a knock against this film than an acknowledgement of what a tough act it had to follow.  @Webslinger

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9) Hotel Mumbai

Starring:  Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, Jason Isaacs

Directed by:  Anthony Maras

Box office:  9.6 million

 

Hotel Mumbai is a crime thriller film based on the Mumbai terrorist attacks of 2008. Starring Dev Patel, Armie Hammer, and Jason Isaacs, it is an intense, unrelenting look at this cowardly act of pure evil and the selfless heroism of those who tried to help.

In late November 2008, a group of ten terrorists arrive in Mumbai, India by a small boat. Upon splitting up, the terrorists travel to various locations around the populated city to massacre as many innocent people as they can. After taking out several civilians in smaller locations, the surviving members of the group meet up at the luxurious Taj Mahal Palace Hotel to finish their act of terror. While they shoot their way through the hallways, the hotel's staff put their lives in the line of fire in an attempt to save as many guests as possible.

As unflinching as it is jarring, Hotel Mumbai is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that successfully showcases the heroism of the titular hotel's brave staff members in an earnest, collected manner. Despite the film's two hour runtime, not once is it ever boring thanks to the creative direction of Anthony Maras, who puts his audience right at the forefront of the conflict. The film's violence, while not too graphic, is extremely intense as no one is spared from the terrorist's gunfire, not even small children or the elderly. If one can stomach enough of the bloodshed to appreciate this otherwise well-made movie, then it is certainly worth at least one viewing.

 

You never really know if you are watching propaganda or something that is actually true, or perhaps in this case, somewhere in between.  I have no idea if all of what you see in the film really took place, all I know is from what I read about the event, it seems to be quite true.  But from a purely cinematic point of view, it's a very well made film.  

 

 

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Okay I was holding off until today to see if I could perhaps see a couple of films that I haven't yet this year. The only one I Majesty today was Annabelle comes home and that definitely will not be making my list. So I will have this done later on this evening. The countdown should commence in about 90 minutes.

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8} Spider-man:  Far From Home

Starring:  Tom Holland, Jake Gylenhall, Zendaya, Martin Starr, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei

Directed by Jon Watts

Box office:  Just opened

 

 

Not going to lie, I think the reason I like this one so much is because of Tom Holland.  In fact the entire cast really did it for me in this one.  But Holland is just such a force.  He embodies the spirit of a 15 year kid.  Nervous, unsure and st ill trying to figure out his place in the world.

 

Amazing visuals, thrilling action scenes, engaging story-telling, superb casting.....These are the making of a summer blockbuster.

"Spider-Man:Far from Home" is a perfect combination of comedy, action, and romance, with all the right ingredients and none of the genre tropes.

Surprisingly enough, the centerpiece of this film is not the superhero's extraordinary world-saving, but the budding romance between the very ordinary human characters. It might be more accurate to describe this film as a genre fusion of romcom and action-comedy under the disguise of a superhero movie, since the scale of the "world-saving" and the stakes for the final showdown are very much limited compared to what just happened in Endgame.

Also impressive, much moreso than Homecoming, is Zendaya's performance as MJ, which finally breaks the stereotype of superhero's love interest. Instead of your typical dumbed-down background eye-candy, Zendaya's MJ is intelligent, quirky, interesting, and absolutely lovable.

The story-telling is engaging enough to keep audiences on the edge of their seats, with one particular dream-like action sequence standing out as the mind-blowing moment in this movie. The plot-twist and the reveal in the third act are typical of what Hollyhood writers have done countless times before and should not be unexpected by an experienced cinema-goer.  In fact, you could kind of say this is Iron Man 2.

The minor flaws of this movie reside within the potential plot holes incurred by the plot twist in the third act. Expositions provided by the film's narrative might not be sufficient enough to warrant the suspension of disbelief for some viewers.

Highly recommend everyone to view this film in IMAX. It's gonna be worth your money. Also, please don't forget there are two post-credit scenes, which definitely make the whole movie much better.

 

@filmlover  I slightly preferred this over Homecoming. It's a bigger, more exciting sequel that continues to develop the character while also setting the stage for where the MCU post-Endgame is headed. My only disappointment is that we'll have to wait another 2-3 years to see the effects of the end credits scenes (great cameo in the first one).

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7) Gloria Bell

Starring:  Julianne Moore, Jon Turturro

Directed by Sebastian Lelio

Box office:  5.6 million

 

 

Oscar winner (and 4 time nominee) Julianne Moore has been one of our more interesting actors since she jumped off the screen (in a supporting role) in 1992's THE HAND THAT ROCKED THE CRADLE. She's now approaching 60 years of age, and is a true master at capturing the essence of a character. She brings Gloria Bell to life in the most believable and grounded manner possible. Rather than a movie caricature, Gloria is a real woman. She plugs away at her daily work in the insurance business. She belts out the songs on the radio as she drives her car. She gets annoyed at the stray cat who sneaks into her apartment. She smokes and drinks. She tries to be part of her adult kids' lives. She tries to ignore, but ultimately reports the loud noises from her upstairs neighbor to her landlord. She loves dancing in clubs with men she doesn't know, or even alone. In conclusion, Gloria lives her life.

Much of the film focuses on the odd developing relationship Gloria has with Arnold (John Turturro). Their eyes meet across the dance floor, spend some time chit-chatting, and soon, his Velcro-back brace is being ripped off. As with many folks, Arnold's baggage is more burden than history. He seems to be in an unhealthy marriage with ultra-dependent grown daughters and a wife who can't get through a day without his help. The cell phone ring becomes a running gag ... one Gloria finds little humor in.

Supporting work is provided by Sean Astin (a Las Vegas mistake), Brad Garrett (Gloria's ex), Jeanne Tripplehorn (Garrett's new wife), and Holland Taylor (Gloria's mom). Each of these characters get a brief sub-story, as do Gloria's grown kids, played by Michael Cera and Caren Pistorius. With the son's marriage in shambles, and the daughter heading to Sweden to live with a man, Gloria experiences the trials and tribulations of life while still looking for meaning and companionship ... each a search worth pursuing.

 

And it must be mentioned how incredibly sexy Moore is in this film.  She's into her 50's now and looks just as good nude as any actress in the business.

 

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6) Midsommer

Starring:  Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, Will Poulter

Directed by Ari Aster

Box office: Just opened

 

Pretty much liked all of it.  I don't think it needed to be 2.5 hours long and I think some of the decisions the characters make are questionable and more in tune with what Friday the 13th characters would do (like at one point I was expecting some of them to say "I'll be right back").  But other than those small complaints, it's a terrific horror movie.  It develops the characters and it allows you to get to know them to the point where you love or despise them so that when the messed up stuff does happen you empathize and feel for what they go through.  I didn't care for Hereditary, not because Ari Aster didn't do some good things in it but because the story and the plot and the ending especially, were just way too dumb for me.....Midsommar rectifies all of that.  I'd recommend this to everyone.  It's violent and brutal and I enjoyed all of it.  And FWIW, me and Tele both called the ending after the first trailer, which came out months ago.

 

Really enjoyed the movie, it’s a slow catharsis of grief!  

 

Put a smile on your face May Queen!

A

 

@The Panda

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Top five will be done later tonight.

 

Here's a few films I didn't like all that much this year:

 

Annabelle Comes Home (The Conjuring U has jumped the shark now)

Shazam (too silly for me)

Us (one of the worst of the year so far, actually, the worst film of the year so far)

Captain Marvel (not horrible, but not great)

SLOP 2 (Ford was great, the rest, not so much)

Godzilla (not far behind US as the worst)

Madea's Family Funeral (just shit)

Dark Phoneix (same as CM)

The Curse of La Llorona (another Conjuring U misfire)

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