Lists

Top 100 Movies of the Decade: 2018

Are you actually kidding me? I’ve done 8 of these lists now, you’d think I would have become hardened to only picking the very best movies that I truly loved. I should have it down to a cold-hearted process, right? I just counted my starter list for 2018, and it has 21 movies on it. 21! That’s not including a lot of movies I really enjoyed but knew they weren’t quite Top 10 material. I have to cut this list in half, and chop another off after that.

Maybe 2018 was a fantastic year for movies, but it’s maybe more down to me re-finding my love for this little hobby of mine after losing myself at the start of the year. Either way, this is going to be tough. Here goes nothing. You can find my other lists here.

2018 Movies Watched: 84
Movies that just missed out: Bandersnatch, Bird Box, The Favourite, Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, Avengers: Infinity War, Ready Player One, A Quiet Place, Game Night, Love Simon, American Animals

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#10 BlacKkKlansman

I knew what to expect about a movie where an African American cop teams up with a Jewish cop to infiltrate the Ku Klux Klan, but I didn’t think it would be so entertaining. Come for the important message, stay for the performances.

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#9 Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Watching this movie was never on my agenda until Melissa McCarthy started getting nominations left, right and centre for it. I’m very love her or hate her with McCarthy but she was incredible here, and Richard E. Grant is a delight too. It’s a story that some might find a bit dry but I was enthralled.

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#8 Hereditary

Hereditary was the first movie I went to see by myself with my shiny new Odeon card. I must have been mad, but it was a great experience. I’m still not sure how I feel about the ending but there are scenes in that movie that still bug me and haunt me, and they always will!

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#7 Widows

Badass women doing badass things – count me in. Viola Davs is absolutely terrifying in Widows, I 100% would not want to be on her bad side. There are bound to be some copycat style movies following this, but Widows will remain the original and best.

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#6 Ant-Man and the Wasp

Look – I don’t know what to tell you. I’m sure this is at the bottom of everyone’s favourite MCU movies but there was something about Ant-Man and the Wasp that struck a chord with me. It’s funny, it’s got great action scenes and it’s just…wholesome.

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#5 Green Book

Green Book is another of those movies I would have skipped if I didn’t make a habit of watching all the Best Picture nominees. I know it wasn’t a popular winner but I loved it. The story was engaging, the message powerful, and it had a surprising number of funny moments. I’m still a little mad Mahershala Ali was considered a Supporting Actor rather than Lead Actor, though.

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#4 Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

So the internet decided that Into the Spider-Verse was the best Spider-Man movie ever made. I thought there was no way that could be true, but there’s only one way to find out. Turns out, the internet was right! From the stylish animation, to the smart story, funny one-liners and characters that should be annoying but aren’t, I loved every minute of this.

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#3 A Simple Favor

A comedy/mystery movie directed by Paul Feig and starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively is like, right up there on my list of dream movies. There was no way I wasn’t going to love A Simple Favor. It’s stylish, sexy and mysterious, and although it gets way too over the top at the end, it’s a wild ride.

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#2 A Star Is Born

I’ve listened to the soundtrack from A Star Is Born countless times since watching the movie, but I’m yet to bring myself to actually rewatch it. It’s such a beautifully painful story, but ugh, my heart hasn’t recovered quite yet.

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#1 Searching

An odd choice, I admit, but let me explain. I love movies that bring something a little different to the table. All scenes in Searching are through a screen, be it a laptop, mobile, CCTV, FaceTime. That alone makes it great in my eyes. The cherry on the top is a simply brilliant mystery story that twists and turns constantly, with a hugely satisfying conclusion. Love it.

Movie Reviews

Green Book (2018)

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(Originally reviewed for The LAMB Devours the Oscars – original post here)

Director: Peter Farrelly

Genre: Biography, Drama, Comedy

Runtime: 130 Minutes

Main Cast: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimiter D. Marinov, Mike Hatton, Don Stark, Tom Virtue, Brian Stepanek

Plot: Inspired by a true friendship in 1962, Green Book tells the story of Tony Lip, a club bouncer who accepts a job driving pianist Don Shirley on a tour through the Deep South, in the days when African Americans were reliant on the Green Book in order to find accommodation where they were welcome.

My Thoughts: In my painfully long wait for Green Book to get it’s UK release, I read many a review. A lot gave praise to the movie – but not enough for its attention during this year’s award season. I almost felt like a hardened movie critic when I headed to the cinema last week but let me cut the chase – Green Book very quickly melted my cold heart.

It’s impossible to look past the racism shown, and as always with movies like this, it’s difficult and sickening to think that this is what life was actually like – or in fact still is in some places around the globe. Human beings can be just the worst sometimes. Cutting through the seriousness though is a beautiful story of an unlikely friendship. Tony is rough around the edges, he’s quick to anger, he isn’t well spoken and at highbrow events, he sticks out like a sore thumb. Don is the complete opposite in every single way, and yet as the two spend more time together their friendship feels so genuine.

I can understand the frustration around Green Book’s attention. There’s nothing groundbreaking here, the plot is predictable without any surprises. It relies on the performances of the two leads (why is Mahershala Ali up for Supporting Actor?!) to carry it, but they do a stunning job. If it wins the Oscar later this month, I wouldn’t be mad.

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Best Bit: I’ve seen it already at least 100 times in the trailer that my cinema has been flaunting in my face for at least 5 months, but the fried chicken scene never fails to make me laugh. What was even better was that it was a recurring gag in the movie – although I think I was the only one who laughed out loud when it was served at that fancy dinner in honour of Don Shirley.

Worst Bit: This is minor I know, but the only thing that niggled me was how quickly Tony went from throwing away glasses simply because a black man had drunk from them, to happily attending an interview to drive Don around for 8 weeks. It felt like either clunky writing or a chunk of the movie being edited out before the final release.

Fun Trivia: The pizza scene is drawn from real life: Nick Vallelonga said Tony Lip used to order a whole, unsliced pizza pie, fold it and eat it. Upon hearing the anecdote, Viggo Mortensen insisted they try to fit it into the movie. Peter Farrelly protested, saying there were enough funny eating scenes but agreed to try it. When the crew burst out laughing, he agreed to leave the scene in.
(Note to every movie director – you can NEVER have enough funny eating scenes)

My Rating: 4 and a half huge pizzas that Tony Lip folded in half and ate. What a man, ladies and gentlemen.

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Going Off Topic

Going Off Topic (#16) What Up, Dingdongs?

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I’m giving myself a pat on the back for posting regularly throughout the whole of January, but I’ve had a bit of a dry weekend and so in the hope on continuing my regular posts throughout February, today is the perfect time for an Off Topic ramble!

I finally watched Green Book (2018) last week and was actually pleasantly surprised. Perhaps it was my low expectations after reading a lot of reviews but I really enjoyed it. It had that perfect mix of seriousness and entertainment that I felt when I watched Hidden Figures (2016). I’ll have my review up soon but I snatched it up for the LAMB Devours the Oscars feature so it’ll be posted there first.

On the Netflix front, I’ve actually been watching some TV! I started with The Good Place. Oh my God – I haven’t loved a show like this since Parks & Recreation. It grabbed me in the very first episode and I’ve already started rewatching it whilst blogging on an evening. Probably another reason as to why I haven’t watched many movies. I also binged You in 2 days whilst I was sick. It wasn’t as dark as I thought it would be but it was so entertaining. Can’t wait for Season 4!

Over the weekend I tried to get into Sex Education as it’s all everyone seems to be raving about. I’m struggling with it to be honest. It feels way too predictable and the novelty of the rudeness grew old pretty quickly. I’m tempted to stick with it for Gillian Anderson alone though – lady knows how to made a married woman question her sexuality!

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I also watched Velvet Buzzsaw (2019) at the first chance I got, like the diligent Jake Gyllenhaal fan I am. It was good – but I was kind of hoping for a bit more, some kind of dark twist or open ending…I don’t know. Well worth a watch though!

Sleep is not my friend lately. My little 1 year old seems to either have a cold or be teething constantly and I’m averaging at about 5 hours sleep a night broken up into pieces. Ugh. It’s a good job she’s cute. To be honest she’s actually pretty hilarious now she’s starting to pick up words. Her favourite right now is banana, but she can’t just say it quietly. It’s like “Daisy, would you like some banana?” “Buh……NA NAAAAAAA!” Like alright kiddo, way to make the strangers think we never feed you.

It’s the BAFTAs this Sunday! I am so excited! I’ll get some predictions put together very soon just for fun. Joanna Lumley is hosting again like last year, although I missed last year’s ceremony so I didn’t get to see if she was actually any good. No one can replace Stephen Fry, but I have faith that Lumley is a good substitute otherwise she wouldn’t have been invited back.

Tonight I think I’m out to see How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019), and I’ll probably try and catch Alita: Battle Angel (2019) later this week. What are you guys hoping to see this week?