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Tuesday, 1 January 2019

15 Most Notably Favourite Movies I've Seen in 2018

Another year of movie watching, it's hard to believe how 2018 flew by really quickly. It's been 7 years since I formed this blog and the last 3 years has been dedicated to watching and reviewing films. For me, it feels like I am been doing this for a long while, but it means I watch films that I end up enjoying, as well as ones that I end up enjoying even less. Last year, in terms of movie watching, I've seen so much and films I'd pass on the first time around as I didn't pay attention to, originally. Yet I eventually loved or enjoyed. The second half of this look back on 2018 films I've watched concludes with my favourite flicks that turned my noses up for all or be it mainly for the right reasons.

These are the ones have made it on this list:

Cliffhanger (1993)

What they said: Ivica_Pusticki (Letterboxd)

It's one of the best Sly movies, one of the best Renny Harlin movies, and one of the best action movies from the 90s! They don't make them like this anymore

What I said: Cliffhanger is one of my favourite Sly Stallone movies, as well as being a must-see avalanche of an action adventure film that still hasn't lost its ability to excite and thrill, over 20 years on.  

Police Story 3: Supercop (1992)

What they said: Tao A (Letterboxd)

I'm still debating if the mall fight in Police Story is the greatest action scene of all time, or is it the final 20 minutes of Police Story 3

What I said: The final act in this film comes close to Police Story 1, in terms of high quality. Police Story 3 has the better story, more obnoxious villains, character progression and the addition of Michelle Yeoh and her agility and high-energy fight scenes, enhanced my enjoyment. I've also detected a slight Western/international feel that Police Story 3 evokes. With Stanley Tong's style and approach to this film, he has honed a Jackie Chan action film that appears to be more palatable and accessible for Western audiences to grasp and enjoy. 

The Losers (2010)

What they said: Christian Katzorke (Letterboxd)

The action is fantastic, the story is okay, the characters are amazing, the cast is almost perfect. Jensen (Chris Evans) sure is a real highlight 

What I said: Whilst the characters are somewhat thin, it is performances by the actors that gives them credibility, some onscreen depth as well as watchability and thankfully, one isn't bombarded with boring and droning explanations and rather the film jumps straight into the action, whilst through the casting I thought it was perfect. 

My Neighbour Totoro (1988)

What they said: Ben Walker (Letterboxd)

My Neighbour Totoro is a prime example of how to create a children's film, it has the surface ''cute factor'' in the adorable Totoros, but at the same time, it's not scared to make its audience feel and care. Something which is surely lacking in modern children's films. 

What I said: My Neighbour Totoro is so simple & tactful in its execution and a type of animated film that anyone can get into and watch and submerge themselves into, much like with many other Studio Ghibli movies with its delicate approach to mature themes and in such an earnest & simplistic fashion. 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

What they said: Jaime Rebranal (Letterboxd)

For how hit-&-miss Robert Zemeckis can be, especially when it comes to his choices of what material he handles, one film in particular that still holds up better than all the rest, and the brilliance of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? still lasts perfectly in this day and age

What I said: A love letter to the golden age & old school of animation and 1940s Hollywood, this combination of both real world and cartoon world co-existing, is executed right and executed so consummately. 

Castle In The Sky (1986)

What they said: Paul D (Letterboxd)

This has always felt like an overlooked Miyazaki film, rather lost amongst his other great works like My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, but it deserves much better than that because this is thrilling stuff...

What I said: Castle In The Sky is a grand and enchanting 2+ hour ride full of adventure & fantasy that doesn't feel bogged down and rushed with wonderfully charming characters, both protagonists and antagonists-wise, and for then- newly- formed Studio Ghibli's first film and the company's third overall, it showed what they could ultimately achieve if they put their minds to it and create an adventure-based animated movie that can rival anything that the likes of Disney put out. 

The Game Plan (2007) 

What they said: Travis Brannan (Letterboxd)

Even with the obvious Disney Channel wants and desires, this film is still really good!

What I said: The Game Plan is hardly a game changer, nor a pioneer in movies in general, yet as family fare goes, in addition to being pleasant and nice, this is spearheaded by the good turns by the main adult performers. Although arguably, the female supports in Kyra Sedgwick, Paige Turco and Roselyn Sanchez are a tad stronger than the male ones in Brian J. White & co.

Demolition Man (1993)

What they said: Zach A.M (Letterboxd)

5 stars because the world is missing a (blond) Wesley Snipes. & the world underappreciates Sandra Bullock. This (sidekick) role is thanklessly corny, but here she takes it to a godly level & her disgust at the idea of swapping bodily fluids with Sylvester Stallone goes above acting and reaches something innate in us all.

What I said: There are very few of these types of big-budget action movies that rely on wit and good writing, not just action set pieces galore, if more of them were of the quality of Demolition Man and 1994's True Lies, that in terms of style and tone treads on similar territory as this effort, the action genre would flourish even more. 

Forrest Gump (1994)

What they said: Israel Valencia (Letterboxd) 

This film is often viewed as too cheesy or just plain silly, but this film is nothing short of a masterpiece filled with so much heart and energy that you can't help but enjoy Gump's journey through life

What I said: Deemed a masterpiece almost 25 years ago, Forrest Gump still, and deservedly so, hits a nerve for so many people and Tom Hanks fans. It is the film 1982's The World According To Garp should have been... & ought to have turned out and in spite of some of its similarities in structure and narrative beats, Forrest Gump is quirkier and far more entertaining in contrast with even greater performances, all-round. & that is coming from a Robin Williams fan myself. 

City Hunter (1993)

What they said: Sean Gilman (Letterboxd)

Jackie Chan and Wong Jing team up to bring out the worst in each other. But at least this is one of Wong's least lazy films...

What I said: It's the closest we have come to as a live-action Jackie Chan cartoon and whilst the comedy can be a little cringing and not to some people's tastes, this is still an entertaining and light-hearted affair and one shouldn't take seriously, but rather embrace its goofy nature and corniness. 

Two Weeks Notice (2002)

What they said: Dawson Joyce (Letterboxd)

It's formulaic, predictable stuff, but Two Weeks Notice has enough charm and amusing moments to be a pleasant affair, and it helps that Hugh Grant and Sandra Bullock are both solid as usual and are well cast in parts that play to their strengths

What I said: This is wittier, quirkier and functions more like a comedy based movie/movie that has a workplace backdrop, in contrast to the sentimental, mushy fluff that generally tends to dominate Rom-coms, thus making Two Weeks Notice ideal and appealing for non-fans and lovers of this subgenre. 

Juwanna Mann (2002)

What they said: Nell Minow (Common Sense Media)

The movie's nowhere near the quality of Some Like It Hot or Tootsie, or even Mrs Doubtfire, but it's better than (recent) cross-dressing films like Big Momma's House and the abominable Sorority Boys 

What I said: The film wasn't well received and it got a bit of a mauling, but in viewing it, there was a good amount that I enjoyed and liked that the good outweighed some of its flaws. It's not a perfect comedy and it's not the best drag comedy; nonetheless, I still liked this one. 

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

What they said: Joel Leon (Letterboxd)

It is one of those films that, having just enough, you enjoy, like it & had more than it really has. Generally speaking, is a very stupid movie, but in a good way. 

What I said: It was trashed by critics and whilst with its Anchorman-feel, it should have been wackier and way funnier, this was still a pleasing film to me. 

Along with a delightful comeback performance by Jim Carrey, it surely is, magic.

The Perfect Holiday (2007)

What they said: The Movie Scene

Morris Chestnut, Gabrielle Union, Faizon Love, Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard: those are just some of the familiar faces who appear in The Perfect Holiday....and their appeal is crucial to this movie because unless you are a fan of one of them, this movie is going to be hard work

What I said: Surprisingly though, this film was actually an overly decent watch, which is further elevated by the turns of onscreen pairing, Union and Chestnut as the female protagonist and male love interest

The Normal Heart (2014)

What they said Rizki Fachriansyah (Letterboxd)

The Normal Heart transcends the confines of being regarded as a 'TV movie' & soars high even beyond the ultimate reach of the great cinematic achievements of recent years

What I said: The Normal Heart doesn't shy away from reality and its intentions as a film and pulls no punches as each scene becomes more gutwrenching, sad and profound. & whilst this is no uplifting ride from start to finish, this is an impressive and extremely well-done ensemble drama with pretty much every cast member revelling in their roles. 

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