I did it. This year, I beat my record of how many times I've gone to the movies: a grand total of 20 times. Throughout this year, I have seen a lot of movies and, surprisingly, I did not see a single one this year that I consider to be bad. Normally that happens at least once. Please keep in mind that this list, like all lists, is opinionated so if you disagree with my choices, know that opinions will differ. With that said, let's begin.
10. Incredibles 2While Finding Dory was a good PIXAR film from last year, no one really asked for it. However, PIXAR gave us the sequel we wanted for the past 14 years and I genuinely liked it. The humor and seriousness were balanced pretty well and the action was very well done. The only things I didn't like was how the villains reveal was a bit too easy, really, just read the name, Evelyn Devor and the mild swearing. Other than that, I'm very happy that this film was made, but it's not my favorite animated film this year, although it did come close.
9. Solo: A Star Wars Story Ah Star Wars. One of the all time biggest and best franchises of all time. It's just a shame I can't say the same about the fanbase. That aside, I took my mom with me to see this one and we both enjoyed it. True this is not the best Star Wars film out there, but it shows the origins of a lot of peoples favorite space piraite. Is it unnecessary, sure, but, like all SW films, it's at least a fun, fantastical film. Plus we have another Star Wars film where Han shoots first as well as the Kessel run, which was the best part of the film.
8. Rampage Video game movies DO NOT have a good reputation but among the coal, there is sometimes a gem and Rampage is that gem. Seeing as the original game had a thread of a plot to it, it was the gameplay that made Rampage memorable and that third act fulfilled what we wanted from a movie titled RAMPAGE. This truly felt like a video game movie come to life and the designs of Lizzie and Ralph were phenomenal. I just wish that George looked more mutated and not like Kiko from Son of Kong.
7. Avengers Infinity War Considered by many to be the best film this year, I will admit that Infinity War is indeed a good film. However, with the slew of comic book movies being released year after year, I'm kinda getting sick of them. That being said, this one took a lot of risks and its villain is easily the best character in the film as well as the best and deepest Marvel villain, aside from Loki. The action is once again very well done but I have to admit that it was kind of difficult keeping up with a bunch of stories. While I said in my Movie Thoughts that this one broke me, I think I was exaggerating as I knew that this was only part one. I'm sure that there will be more after Avengers Endgame, but that's where I'm stopping. Infinity War was a good part one, now let's see how the finale goes.
6. Spider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse Unpopular opinion is unpopular. Not only do I find this to be the best Marvel film this year, but also the best animated film of the year. Because Spider-Man is my favorite superhero overall, I wanted to see the direction this new installment would go. Probably the best word to describe this one is CRAZY. Like many Marvel films, it has a lot of action and humor but some of those jokes just don't work. While the story may not be the easiest one to follow, the characters are really good, especially Miles, Peter and Gwen, with the interactions of every character working well off each other. One of my favorite moments is towards the films climax, with Gwen calling Fisk a pig and Porker looks at her saying, "I'm right here". As previously mentioned, this truly feels like a comic book come to life.
5. Halloween I'll be honest, I had no intentions of seeing this one, seeing as I'm not a fan of modern horror films, let alone horror remakes. However, I went with my family to see it and I was actually impressed. Halloween had the feeling, dread and overall tension of the original. There were no curses, no nieces to kill, no cults, no karate kicks in a burning building; all of that was retconned out of existence, making this feel like the true sequel to the original Halloween over 40 years ago. My favorite moment from this one is how it's Halloween night and Michael is just going around killing as many people as he can in one continuous take; He has returned to his original roots: a force to be reckoned with. Definitely my favorite horror/slasher film in recent years.
4. Pacific Rim Uprising As a big fan of monster movies, you could imagine my excitement for this one. From the get-go, I knew that Uprising WAS NOT going to be as successful as the original. Despite all that, I still enjoyed the film. Pacific Rim Uprising also has some of the more unique battles. Like Batman '89, all possible combinations are explored when it comes to confrontations: You have Jaeger vs Jaeger, Jaeger vs Jaeger hybrid, Jaeger vs Kaiju and finally, Jaeger vs Kaiju hybrid. When it comes to the characters, Jake and Amara are the best as one is the son of the man who helped cancel the apocalypse and the other who lost her entire family to the Kaiju and wants to be ready for when they eventually return. As for the Kaiju themselves, I love all three of them. I've heard some complaints that they look like rehashes of Scunner, Raiju and Slattern, but they're really not. In fact the new trio can be considered even bigger threats as they are probably the most intelligent Kaiju to ever breach, with Raijin being my new favorite Pacific Rim Kaiju. While this may not be the pinnacle of monster movies, it did whet our appetites as the MonsterVerse will be making a comeback.
3. Bumblebee For ten years, Transformers fans complained of Michae Bay's take on our favorite robots in disguise. Now, 11 years later, Trevor Knight undid all of that. He gave us a story about friendship and it was incredible. Each character was likeable and I really like how the friendship between Charlie and Bumblebee was the main focus. As for the action, it wasn't all up in your face and was easy to see what was happening. That final battle between Bee, Shatter and Dropkick is probably my favorite live action TF battle out of all the live action TF films. It makes me think back to many of the Spielberg movies in how a lot of them had heart and charm.
2. Ready Player One God bless Steven Spielberg! Not only is he responsible for my second favorite movie franchise, he made one of the most nostalgic movies that doesn't rely on nostalgia. This is a very well made film, calling back to so many classics, it's impossible not to see them all upon first viewing. Plus, the message of the film, while simple, is a very effective message. Yes it's true that reality sucks but we can make it better. Every time I watch this one, I get whisked away into a very imaginative world.
1. Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom
Out of all the films I was anticipating this year, this was the one I wanted to see the most, being a HUGE fan of the JP series. Being super excited for this one, I ended up seeing JW a total of four times in theaters, once as part of a double feature, one day before the official release. Fallen Kingdom is easily the most polarizing film in the JP series, with many people complaining on the villains motives, how it takes place in only a few locations and of course, the pacing. What I got out of this was how Fallen Kingdom continued the core theme of the series, the one thing that was so prevalent since the original novel first hit the shelves in 1990: the themes of greed and mankinds inability to control nature. What's also important is how empathetic the film made me feel. Think about it, if you lived in a world where dinosaurs are alive, but they are in danger of extinction, what would you do? I have seen so many people say how dinosaurs don't deserve to live and that anyone who thinks about helping them is wrong that it honestly makes me question if anyone is empathetic towards anything anymore.
As for the characters, I enjoyed them, especially Maisie, the one character I could relate to: she loves dinosaurs, sees them as these absolutely stunning creatures and her decision makes the most sense as she's the innocent soul, the one who knows that living animals deserve a chance at life. On top of that, the dinosaurs themselves were absolutely stunning, and I love the designs for the new ones, especially Carnotaurus and Stygimoloch. Blue was great as always and the scene where she's getting the blood transfusion, followed by Maisie's viewing of Owen and the other raptors, really drives home the message of empathy. Another thing I'm glad for, was making the icon of the series terrifying again and it seems fitting, with the Tyrannosaur that first scared us back in '93, to be scary again 25 years later. One last thing I want to bring up is the meaning of the title itself. Some could see it as the destruction of the island but that's only half right. The reason we spend the majority of the film at the Lockwood Estate is because of its regal appearance. Think about it, The estate looks like a castle, there's Sir Benjamin Lockwood, head of the estate, Mills, the supposed successor, Maisie, the princess, the main lab in the basement, the dungeon and the Indoraptor, the Dragon. As for the Indoraptor, I personally think that it is much scarier than the Indominus as it is smaller and far deadlier. Plus it symbolizes just how far we'll go to weaponize nature; makes it seem a bit tragic in a way. In conclusion, Fallen Kingdom has a symbolic meaning: the end of John Hammonds dream and the fall of Lockwood. I can watch this film a dozen times and still not get tired of it. It makes me wonder what the final installment will be like.