2018 Wrap-Up: Movies

Saturday, January 12, 2019

More delayed than usual, this is part one of my 2018 Wrap-Up. For 2018, I had relaxed goals for everything, because I wanted to see how much I watch if left to my own devices without a challenge pushing me. I watched 87 movies and the majority of those were re-watches (and the majority of those were just Disney). I think I only watched around 15-20 new to me films, which made the creation of this top ten more difficult than usual.

10. Annihilation (2018)

 Annihilation is a beautiful and suspenseful sci fi/horror art film that requires multiple views in order to fully appreciate it. Many of the scenes that take place in the Shimmer look like art installations, which is great, but (for me at least), it does become a bit of a distraction. I found myself paying more attention to what was on the screen than to the story itself. It is definitely a weird little movie that is not for everyone, but I enjoyed it. (original review post)
Rating: 7/10

I get it. The main cast is all-female and it is a film that requires you to pay attention and use your brain. However, I am surprised at how underrated this film is. It is a refreshing addition to both the science fiction and horror genres.

9. Noruwei no mori (Norwegian Wood) (2010)

This film adaptation left me with mixed feelings. For the most part, it stuck with the story told in the book. What bothered me the most though, was how much it left out. This movie is over two hours long and instead of using that time to focus on the connection between Toru and Naoko (and Reiko) the majority of it was wasted on "filler" moments and the sex aspects of the story. Storm Trooper was almost completely eliminated and pretty much just shows up as a cameo for those who read the book. Reiko's role was shrunk immensely until the final part of the story. This film sucked out all of the emotion and heart from the book.
As for the actors/actresses, I think they did a great job. The majority of the cast looked pretty much how I envisioned them while reading the book (especially Storm Trooper), with the exception of Kiko Mizuhara as Midori. Her performance is good, it was just one of those cases where a. the actor does not meet the visual I had in my head and b. I associate the actor with another character too strongly and it is distracting. Overall, if you love the book, I would say skip the film. If you haven't read the book though...you might like it, but I'm willing to bet you would like the book better anyway.
(original review post)
Rating: 5.5/10

I feel like, at this point, I'm just remembering the parts of the film I liked. When I picture the characters from the book, I see the actors from the film now (which is actually a huge compliment to those in charge of casting). My love of the book overshadows all of my problems with the movie.

8. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

Honestly, I this is not the type of movie I find myself willingly watching very often. However, the hype and the cast made me interested enough to check it out. I have not read the books, so I do not know how faithful to the source material it is, and I do not see myself ever reading them to find out. I did love the movie though. It is just so freaking adorably cute and the image of a fangirling Sakura was constantly in my head.

Rating: 7/10

7. The Breadwinner (2017)

Unlike similar films that give you a few minutes to see things in a state of happiness, The Breadwinner goes straight into how the world really is. Just a couple of minutes in and I was FUMING and on the brink of angry tears. This is not a fantasy story. Things like the actions in this film have happened and unfortunately are still happening all over the world. The Breadwinner gives us a glimpse into the type of cruelty and injustice that many of us will hopefully never experience. At this point, I am sure I have made this film sound like a bit of a downer. However, the great thing about it is that instead of dwelling on all of the horrible stuff, we get a little hope from the occasional humor and the story that Parvana is telling. It does end on a bit of a cliffhanger, which is normally something that would annoy me, but for this movie actually seemed like the perfect way to end it. (original review post)
Rating: 9/10

6. His Girl Friday (1940)

They don't make films like this anymore. The chemistry between Grant and Russell is just out of this world amazing, which makes the fast hitting humor feel very natural and realistic. (original review post)
Rating: 9/10

5. Le chat du rabbin (The Rabbi's Cat) (2011)

It is not often that a film makes me laugh out loud, let alone several times, but that is actually what The Rabbi's Cat managed to do. The behavior of the cat was realistic (I'm a cat lady...this was important to me.) and the animation style was fantastic. It somehow managed to be both highly detailed and minimalistic at the same time. While the star of the film is technically the cat, the other characters are equally interesting and entertaining. (original review post)

Rating: 7.5/10

4. Uribyeol Ilho-wa Eollukso (The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow) (2014)

Merlin...as toilet paper
The Satellite Girl and Milk Cow (Uribyeol Ilho-wa Eollukso) is the bizarre love story of a Korean satellite that turns into a girl and a boy who has changed into a cow after experiencing a broken heart. It sounds insane, I know. However, regardless of how strange it is, the film is shockingly touching. It also happens to be absolutely hilarious, thankfully, in a good way. The people behind this film are incredibly creative. Portraying the legendary wizard Merlin as a roll of toilet paper is something I never, I repeat, NEVER would have thought of, but it works. This is definitely a must-watch film, especially for those who love animation and can handle a bit of weirdness. (original review post)

Rating: 7.5/10

3. Coco (2017)

Disney has been a bit disappointing to me for several years now. Coco is still not of the quality I expect from the company, but in comparison to other recent endeavors that I shall not mention, it is pretty close.

Rating: 7.5/10

2. Mune, le gardien de la lune (2014)

I love when animated films use more than one art style, especially when one is high detail and the other more minimalistic. Both used in Mune are absolutely stunning.  I also adored how imaginative this film was, from the characters to the world itself. Mune is a wonderful and gorgeous movie that I definitely see myself re-watching over...and over...and over again. (original review post)
Rating: 8.5/10

This movie really has almost everything I love in it. 

1. Next Gen (2018)

This is perfect for anyone who loved Big Hero 6. The animation is gorgeous, the humor is great, the characters are relatable, and I am in desperate need of fanart showing Project 77 and Baymax hanging out and being the best friends in the universe.

Rating: 8.5/10

So, those were my top ten favorite "new to me" movies I watched in 2018. What were yours?

All images are from IMDB except for Sakura fangirling gif, which is from Tumblr.