Well I sure procrastinated this year’s recap. Let’s not waste anytime and just go straight to the full listOn the Basis of Sex If Beale Street Could Talk Escape Room Free Solo The Upside Bohemian Rhapsody sing along Glass A Star is Born Donnie Darko Serenity At Eternity’s Gate Cold War The Wife Cold Pursuit What Men Want The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part Alita: Battle Angel Isn’t It Romantic Happy Death Day 2 U How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World The Favourite Bohemian Rhapsody Black Panther Green Book Vice A Star is Born BlackKkKlansman Fighting With My Family Greta Captain Marvel Apollo 11 Gloria Bell Captive State Us Shazam The Beach Bum Dumbo Pet Sematary The Best of Enemies The Man Who Killed Don Quixote Hellboy Hotel Mumbai The Curse of La Llorona High Life Avengers: Endgame Her Smell Hail Satan? Long Shot Tolkien Detective Pikachu The Hustle John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum Avengers: Endgame Brightburn Aladdin Booksmart Jurassic Park Rocketman Godzilla: King of the Monsters Dark Phoenix The Secret Life of Pets 2 Men in Black International The Dead Don’t Die Late Night Toy Story 4 Child’s Play Yesterday Spider-Man: Far From Home Avengers: Endgame Midsommar Stuber Crawl The Farewell The Art of Self Defense The Lion King Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Hobbs and Shaw The Room Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Dora and the Lost City of Gold The Kitchen Good Boys Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark Ready or Not The Great Escape Blinded By the Light The Thing The Matrix Mad Max The Road Warrior Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome The Peanut Butter Falcon IT: Chapter Two Brittany Runs a Marathon Hustlers Hedwig and the Angry Inch The Goldfinch Ad Astra First Blood First Blood II Rambo III Rambo Rambo: Last Blood Judy The Shining Joker Parasite Gemini Man El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie Dracula (1931) Jexi Jay and Silent Bob Reboot Zombieland: Double Tap Saw JoJo Rabbit The Current War The Lighthouse Honey Boy Motherless Brooklyn Terminator: Dark Fate Harriet Doctor Sleep Last Christmas The Irishman Playing With Fire Ford v Ferrarri Charlie’s Angels The Good Liar Knives Out A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood Frozen II Queen & Slim 21 Bridges Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Waves Dark Waters Bombshell Uncut Gems Black Christmas Richard Jewell 1917 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Jumanji: The Next Level Cats Spies in Disguise Little Women
Crunching the numbers, that gives us the following totals:
148 movies watched minus 20 Specials minus 13 repeats equals 115 distinct new movies.
You’ll notice these numbers are lower than last year ( 162 movies watched minus 6 specials minus 20 repeats, equals 136 distinct new movies in 2018. ) That was kinda on purpose. For 2019, I didn’t wanna have any arbitrary quotas to meet that made me feel pressured to go to the movies. And I didn’t wanna feel forced to watch anything I wasn’t into or make myself get outta the house if I’d rather sit on the couch doing crochet. There were still ones I shoulda sat out, but I gave myself permission to skip things, and it was overall better for my mental health. Oh and part of why they’re still high is because I had 4 marathons this year (Best Picture Showcase, Mad Max, Rambo, and LOTR…even if I didn’t stay thru ROTK)
Let’s look at some other totals
Star ratings (out of 4):
Overall stronger numbers than last year. Partly due to my skipping ones that woulda likely ended up in the bottom, and partly due to the fact that 2019 was DAMN GOOD YEAR
Looking at locations next in alpha order
Aero Theater – 4
Alamo Drafthouse DTLA – 9
Alamo Drafthouse Laredo – 3
AMC Broadway Santa Monica – 1
AMC Century City – 46
AMC Chicago Dine In – 1
AMC Empire 25 NYC – 1
AMC Marina Classic – 12
AMC Marina Dine In – 28
AMC Orange – 7
AMC River East Chicago – 2
AMC Universal City Walk – 2
Arclight Culver City – 2
Arclight Hollywood – 5
Cinemark Howard Hughes – 3
Cinemark Playa Vista – 1
Egyptian – 2
Hollywood Theaters Laredo – 1
Laemmle Monica – 2
The Landmark – 5
Million Dollar Theater – 1
New Beverly Cinema – 1
Nuart Landmark – 3
NYC AMC Lincoln Center – 2
NYC AMC Village – 1
Old Town Music Hall – 1
Regent Landmark – 1
Vista theater – 1
No surprise that AMC dominates because of A list. Century City cause I usually go straight from work. And if my quick counting is correct, 4 in Laredo over Christmas , and 3 each in Chicago and NYC
Movies by Month
Jan – 12
Feb – 15
Mar – 10
Apr – 10
May – 10
Jun – 9
Jul – 10
Aug – 15
Sep – 13
Oct – 14
Nov – 17
Dec – 12
Last year I was actively trying to do 10 a month. This year, I was not making an effort to, yet still made it most months. The marathons helped those counts for sure
Okay onto the fun stuff. The lists
Bottom Five Least Favorites
5-Black Christmas – Really this could have been in contention for the top (bottom) spot since it was the one movie on here I’ll flat out say was bad instead of just not to my taste. But the first half or so was watchable. However, once it devolved, there was no saving the experience
4-At Eternity’s Gate – Movies like this are why I hate doing bottom 5’s. It wasn’t bad. It was artful and gorgeous to look at. It just wasn’t my style. So while I recognize the quality, I simply didn’t enjoy it
3-High Life – This was harder to buy into the artistic aspect of it, and I found it even more boring (for me personally). Interesting concept, and RPatz is a great actor, but I just couldn’t do it.
2-The Beach Bum – Oh boy where to start with this one. Boring and weird and self serving and just a total misfire, despite a great cast. And it certainly didn’t help that I found our lead bum annoying at best.
1-Captive State -“Which movie?” I said to myself as I reviewed my list sorted by rating. “Oh that one where nothing at all happened and I took a nap out of sheet boredom. Right”
Dishonorable Mentions: The Lighthouse, The Curse of La Llorona, Godzilla: Gods and Monsters
Top Ten Favorites
Special Honorable Mention – Knives Out – Soooo I messed up. When I first put together my top ten, this was the last movie that I cut. It just didn’t make it. I hadn’t written out this post, but I started counting down on Stardust. Then I went for a second helping and it was even better than I remembered. This really should have made the official list (prolly around halfway up) but it was too late. And here we are.
Honorable Mention – 1917 – I’d purposely left only one honorable mention partly because as I culled the list I had 11 that I needed, but mostly because there’s one technically 2018 movie on here. I don’t think I stated it yet on this post, but I do define my year based on when I see a movie, not when it’s released. So just substitute this if you don’t like how I play.
10-Doctor Sleep – I couldn’t bring myself to cut this movie because for a week or so after watching it I was asserting that it was likely to make my list. I’m a huge King fan, and even though I haven’t read this one (yet! I start it on Mon) I felt like it nailed the spirit of his work.
9-Fighting With My Family – Early on this year, I was trying to pick a fave movie for each month. This easily won January (or was it Feb). Throughout the year, when I’d think of my fave movies, this always came to mind and always made me smile. Nothing pleases a crowd like an underdog sports movie, and if it gets you interested in the sport (even if it’s just until the credits roll) you know it’s done its job
8-Hail Satan? – I went to see this because I thought it’d be funny. And it was. But it was also the one movie that gave me more to think about than anything else I saw this year. It challenged so many ideas I’ve struggled with and showed me a new perspective I’d never considered before
7-Free Solo – Yes the technicality. I saw it in January so it counts. Also, another documentary? Who have I become? But this didn’t feel like a doc. It was more intense than any action film I saw this year, and even more than most of the thrillers.
6-Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – Hi, yes Tarantino fan girl here. I saw this three times. First to take it all in. Second to piece it together. And third to just sit back and enjoy it. That third time was at Tarantino’s own New Beverly Cinema, which was such a special experience. It’s simultaneously the most AND least Tarantino movie ever, and I loved it
5-Honey Boy – Movies that make this list are the ones that stay with me the longest, and I could not shake this one for weeks. Every time I talked about it, I said that it was such a personal film, it felt like I shouldn’t be watching. But I’m so grateful that Shia LaBeouf was willing to invite us in to experience this truly beautiful film.
4-The Farewell – Any other year, this would have easily been my favorite. It’s such a win for diversity and inclusion, because this is a story I would have never heard in a million years if Hollywood hadn’t been taking baby steps in that direction. This film made me cry almost as much as it made me laugh.
3-Avengers: Endgame – It’s rare that a super movie makes my list, but it took this one for me to realize just how much I truly love this franchise. I’ve been with it from the beginning, and what the MCU did here was unprecedented. Saw this 4 times and would gladly have seen it more because every second of it’s crazy runtime was fantastic
2-Parasite – If you’ve made it this far in this post, you know I see A LOT of movies. So when I say I’ve NEVER seen anything like this, you know how much weight that carries. And that from one minute to the next I had no idea what was going to happen is huge. This is probably the best movie of the year, and was this close to the top spot
1-Jojo Rabbit – Two reasons Jojo won out. One, is that it too is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I love the quirkiness of it, and it’s just weird enough to work. It shouldn’t work, but it does so beautifully. But the main reason it wins is because I am a very emotional creature and this is a very emotional film. It completely put me thru the ringer. I went from happy to angry to devastated to every other possible feeling I could feel. But when I left, I felt uplifted and full of hope and joy. That’s what’s most important.
Almost made it: Us, Ford v Ferrari, Uncut Gems, Rocketman
And we are done! Again, not setting any goals this year. Just gonna enjoy my time at the movies. Hope you’ll join me on my journey