March was for catching up on a bunch of superhero movies that came out last year. April was mostly about Endgame, Avengers: Endgame, the biggest movie event of the year. But it was also about Maria, my favorite female-led action movie this year. May passed like nursing an Endgame hangover: all the disappointments, all the unmet expectations, the shoulda woulda coulda of it all. And moving on.
June was for trying to cut on my ever growing back log. And July, is for making a list of all movies I’ve seen this year (minus a few re-watch: Edge of Tomorrow, Assault On Precinct 13, Pacific Rim, Slither).
This is also where I try to write—for the nth time—about Sorry To Bother You. I don’t know, it’s just that when I like a film a lot, or when I agree with what it says, the harder for me to write about it. I mean, after all what the critics have said, there’s really not much else I could add.
Below is the list of movies I’ve seen in 2019, arranged in descending order. Here you go.
Sorry To Bother You. Forget about Jordan Peele’s Get Out. Yes, that’s a good horror movie. But it isn’t as biting, as radical, and outrageously out of the box as Boots Riley’s Sorry To Bother You. Easily one of the best film about racism and capitalism that I’ve seen.
Overlord. War movie plus evil Nazi experiment that’s better than both Wonder Woman and Captain America: The First Avenger? Here’s Overlord for you.
Idiocracy. Terry Crews in another political satire that’s probably more relevant today than it was in 2006. Just like Office Space, this movie from director Mike Judge doesn’t disappoint.
The Magnificent Seven. Maybe it’s a missed opportunity, to say something relevant or woke, or at least flesh out its diverse cast of characters. Maybe the script is just serviceable. But the explosive shootouts more than makes up for it. Watching a movie’s third act has never been this thrilling and terrifying in quite a long time. Which only makes sense, since the last movies I’ve seen are mostly comic book movies. Safe as Care Bears comic book movies. And that includes Avengers: Endgame.
Sicario: Day of the Soldado. A Trumpian wet dream, according to one review. Some says this isn’t as good as the first one. Well, it’s not as restrained, or maybe it isn’t meant to be. It’s not so much a crime-thriller as it is a relentless action movie.
The Predator. Superhero movies have superheroes; Predator movies have Predator(s). Yes, it’s more than a bit messy in parts, but it gets the soldiers-vs-Predator part right. And the gory, splatter-fest promise of Predator movies. Forget what the critics says or the controversies. They’d only make you think that people nowadays can’t just watch and enjoy themselves in the movies. This is not trying to win an Oscar or something. It’s just fuckin’ entertainment.
Age of Summer. Think about Baywatch, but with kids. It’s actually a fun little movie about growing up, being a new kid in town and befriending the locals. Feel-good movie.
Avengers: Endgame. Just a bit more than serviceable grand finale to cap Marvel’s mostly middling parade of 22 movies. I definitely overrated it after seeing it the first time.
Maria. It has Cristine Reyes is all you need to know.
Aquaman. There’s something in Aquaman that’s missing in Avengers: Endgame: a sense of surprise (the Trench scene), of child-like wonder (the Pinocchio and fountain scene). If not for that truly anticlimactic third act battle, this would be higher than Endgame.
Terminator Genisys. Hasta la vista baby one more time with old Arnie. Old, not as in his old self but old as in literally old. Who’d have thought the T-800 could grow old (with you)? It’s not really bad. In fact, it’s a lot better than the one with Christian Bale. I like Emilia Clarke’s Daddy’s little girl version of Sarah Connor, too.
The Breakup Playlist. A romantic comedy about girls and bands. I like some of the songs in it. Well, who doesn’t like “With A Smile” and “Wag Na Wag Mong Sasabihin,” anyway. And there’s that scene where they’re in a record bar and they ask each other personal questions and answer them with CDs of Nevermind, Sticker Happy, Are You Experienced?, Like A Virgin, etc., like it was specifically written for me.
Alita: Battle Angel. Watch this for the thrilling Motorball sequence. Watch this to see Rosa Salazar kick some ass.
The Revenant. This movie could have been shorter and funnier. And they could have save some of the budget too. Because the lack of budget shows in more than a few scenes. It kind of look like a cheap horror movie made in 2009. Which it is. But for a buddy-horror movie about someone who came back from the dead, it has some pretty great ideas. Still, I don’t think it’s really better than Shawn of the Dead.
Have A Nice Day. Animated dark comedy from China that’s at least worth a look. Quite funny too.
Venom. I like how Venom sometimes comes out and scare the shit out of people. Or how he just bites people’s heads off without so much fuss. That and Michelle Williams’ sexy Venomess.
Bumblebee. They finally got it right. That part where the robots turn into car or a chopper and vice versa. No rollerblading, sliding, ball of CGI Bayhem that also makes tons of noise when they transform and fight.
Shazam. Shazam is like GP-rated fun. Not even PG-13. It has some fun parts, some good character-driven bits, but all is lost in an overlong third act that’s as good as TV cartoon punch-up. Which means, it’s bad.
Batman Ninja. I was duped into watching this very stylish anime version of Batman, which has Batman, his extended family and his rogues gallery teleported back to 1600s Japan, thinking I’ll finally see Batman in Ninja/Samurai mode without his usual gadgets and hi-tech weaponry. But that’s just one of the many check boxes this anime ticked. And the movie’s just a parade of seemingly crazy ideas one after another without any sense of direction. Want to see super sentai, steampunk, time travel, and super-ninjas in a Batman movie? Check. A Joker segment rendered in gorgeous water color-like animation? Check. Anime-fied Catwoman (really cute) and Harley Quinn? Check. A Dragon Ball Z-Batman? Aah… they probably had that in mind, but I’m glad they didn’t try. In short, some kids would cream their pants with this movie but it’s clearly a wasted opportunity and just another Batman movie.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. If Paprika is your brain on anime, Spider-Verse is your brain on comic book movies—too much comic book movies. And it’s twice as colorful, textured, and spirited as the aforementioned Satoshi Kon movie. And it’s overloaded with Spider-characters, Spider-villains, and Spider-origin stories. Whatever is in Paprika, Spider-Verse has twice as much, EXCEPT for interesting story, character drama, thrilling fight scenes, and a good villain—all of which Spider-Verse, said to be the best of all Spider-Man movies, has only half as much, maybe less. Into the Spider-Verse is more is more movie-making. And more is more is less.
Ant-Man and the Wasp. The Ant-Man series is like the Adam Sandler movies of the MCU. Sometimes they’re funny. Oftentimes they’re bland. And this one is bland. And it’s not even that funny. Maybe, except for Luis.
Triple Frontier. This movie has Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac, Charlie Hunnam, plus two other guys, wasted in the most ambitious heist in the history of Netflix. Of course being greedy is bad. And Ben Affleck got greedy. Ironically, he ends up ***SPOILERS*** getting all the ***SPOILERS*** money.
Captain Marvel. Honest title: Captain (Just Another Mediocre) Marvel (Movie).