Opinion: The top ten movies of 2018
I managed to keep the number of superhero movies way down from last year, just one instead of five, and that's only because there was a late entrant.
So, I don't have a pick for worst movie of 2018. I just avoided the bad stuff that I didn't want to see, and only saw bad stuff I wanted to. Since this is a furry site— well, admittedly the list isn't super furry, again, but at least a furry movie is in my number one position for this year!
For the second year in a row, my Honorable Mention for the previous year (2017) goes to a furry movie, with Paddington 2 taking the crown. Looking in the other direction into the immediate future, I'm going to go with the live-action Lion King remake as my Most Anticipated film for 2019, though mostly because nothing else has really caught my interest right now, and even then I've certainly got reservations about The Lion King.
Also, I regret to say there'll be no award for Cutest Vixen this year. Oh well, let the bodies hit the floor as we get the list started:
10. A Star Is Born
Directed by Bradley Cooper
Release date – 10/5/2018
What it's about: A remake of old Hollywood classic, this is the story of the romance between an fading rock star and the new talent he has helped find fame.
I've got a kind of unusual take on this one, but one of the things I like about it is that, for all intents and purposes, this movie is a better Christian movie than most that get marketed and released as Christian. I mean - there's a sentiment held by some Christians that considers Jesus to be a taboo subject in Hollywood films, but this is literally as Hollywood as you can get, and the main characters' religion is obvious.
But it certainly isn't preaching at you, don't worry about that. It's not about Christianity, it's about the characters, and their religion is just one facet of their performance. However, this movie is rated R, and they made me show my I.D. at the theater before I could watch it, so maybe it isn't that Christian, after all.
Directed by J.A. Bayona
Release date – 6/22/2018
What it's about: In the fifth movie in the Jurassic Park franchise, the dinosaur's home island being a volcano suddenly becomes a problem, so a rescue mission, of sorts, is sent to the island.
It's another one of my "okay, this is actually kind of a bad movie but I really like it and also I am going to Make A Point with it" number 9 slot picks, so bear with me. Let's talk about how the mark of a true Star Wars fan is to only like approximately two of the currently ten movies in that franchise to a lot of ostensible "Star Wars fans". I'm a fan of the Jurassic Park movies, however, and to me that means I like all of them. Even the one with editing and script problems like this one.
But it's not all bad, either. Disregarding how badly they're edited together, there are some really interesting shots in this movie. That scene in the sinking gyrosphere that's all one take, for instance. Or the Indoraptor roaring on top of a Gothic manse while backlit by a giant full moon. Glorious.
Directed by Julius Avery
Release date – 11/9/2018
What is it: A mixture of horror and war, a group of paratroopers on D-Day are tasked with taking out a radio tower, only to find ghastly Nazi experiments going on underneath it.
Sometimes, I just like a little schlocky horror in my cinema as you could probably tell from my previous entrant's geeking out about dinosaurs and Gothic manses and full moons. Of course, it helps when it's as well done as this movie was. To be clear here, I don't use the word "schlock" pejoratively, only descriptively. Movies about American soldiers fighting Nazi zombies are "schlocky". They are also movies that need to be made.
This movie is also rated R, and for whatever reason, they did not check my I.D. before I went to see it. Maybe it is actually a Christian movie, too? Probably not.
Directed by David Gordon Green
Release date – 10/19/2018
What it is: The eleventh movie in the Halloween slasher series, this movie ignores all but the first movie, and features a final showdown between original slasher Michael Myers and original final girl Laurie Strode.
Hey, speaking of schlocky horror, here comes, not only a slasher movie, but a sequel to a slasher movie. And not just the sequel to a slasher movie, but the sequel to the slasher movie. It doesn't get much more schlock horror than that, does it? But that doesn't mean it doesn't have something to say. The original Halloween influenced our culture. This movie is about that influence.
Okay, don't worry, that's the last of the schlocky horror movies. You can tell me in the comments if you preferred this to the run of five superhero movies in a row last year or not.
Directed by Steve McQueen
Release date – 11/16/2018
What it is: When a gang of thieves is killed in the middle of a robbery, the gang leader's wife must put together a new team in order to pull off another heist to pay off debt her husband had accrued.
Now for a change of pace. We have a crime caper, featuring a cast of characters who are the least expected to pull off a big heist. There's the detail where the ringleader of the gang is always bringing her small dog along with her to the planning meetings of the heist. She's acting tough, but she also loves her dog.
That little detail works because this movie is about desperation. What kind of world do these characters live in that this woman would become a criminal at this level? She's a teacher when she's not a burglar. But she has to do what she has to do, and someone has to walk the dog.
Directed by Adam McKay
Release date – 12/25/2018
What it is: A biopic showing the life and times of Dick Cheney, vice president under George W. Bush.
This is weird movie. There were stories about how a scene featuring a musical number had to be cut, and I wondered how a musical number fit into a biopic about Dick Cheney. Then you watch the movie and that musical number would not have been out of place at all.
If anything, it reminded me of weird YouTube documentaries that you watched one time because some weird acquaintance was convinced it explained everything about the way the world is right now and that ended up not doing that but was entertaining enough in its own right you finished it anyway. Except Vice actually does explain some things.
Directed by Drew Goddard
Release date – 10/12/2018
What it is: A group of guests and employees at a hotel on the border of Nevada and California are all hiding secrets which are slowly revealed over the course of an eventful night.
This is one of those movies that you kind of have to like to really like, if you know what I mean. If I'm being honest, this whole top ten list has been like that, but that's the way it should be when you're picking movies that are your top ten favorites of the year, and no one else's.
This has been a weird year where I can pick out the shot in a movie where I realized this movie was one that I really like. Where Jurassic World had the moon shot, and it was the night-vision shot of a hyena that awed me in Vice, for this film it was the shot of a lonely little hotel clerk gazing straight into the camera while confessing something that did it for this movie.
This may be one of the best animated films of all time. It's definitely one of the most uniquely animated via the medium of CGI. I mean, on the animation alone, this earns a primo spot on this top ten list. It really is that cool to just look at.
But it's not just the animation. It actually does have an interesting take on the superhero genre. And in a world that has so many options to choose from in that particular genre, it takes a lot to stand out.
Directed by Alex Garland
Release date – 2/25/2018
What it is: A meteor has landed in a national park, causing an ever expanding zone known as the Shimmer where things are— weird, so a team is sent inside to investigate.
I watched this movie way back when it came out, and let me tell you, this is a movie that sticks around in your head and won't let go. It's not just the images, either, though there are some striking ones. It's all the sounds that I can't forget. There is a bear with no face that screams in a woman's voice that will get to you.
This is one of those science fiction movies that doesn't have much in the way of answers for anything that happens. It's just the retelling of something that happened to the characters. That's all. And it's more than enough.
1. Isle of Dogs
So I like Wes Anderson movies. They are almost their own genre, at this point. Like all of his movies, Isle of Dogs is bittersweet, but it manages to hide the bitterness very well. So much so that you almost don't notice it's there until you think back on it later.
And it's not that the bitterness doesn't make the sweetness any less sweet, it does. But there's nothing wrong with a little bitterness in your movies about talking dogs going on adventures. In the end, that's what's it all about. Going to the movies is going on an adventure.