The year in review is almost over! Good...since I'm writing this on January 10th! I wanted to dish out some awards. Give some props to some of the best movie moments this year. So the following superlatives win a prestigious "Joshie" award. You got a better name? (Seriously, if you do let a guy know)...
BEST TIME AT THE MOVIES IN 2018
This award goes to "A Quiet Place". The horror movie directed by Jack Ryan/Jim from "The Office". In a quiet, complicit theater that had no idea what was about to happen. You could hear a pin drop for 90 minutes. There's virtually no dialogue in this movie. If you make a noise, a huge monster kills you. Regardless of whether you call it a suspense movie or a horror movie (I'd vote suspense). Regardless of the rules the movie lays out being debated online. For that 90 minutes, I had the time of my life.
A Quiet Place is streaming on Epix.
HONORABLE MENTION: To Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, for making me think "Halloween" had started, but it was really a hype up video leading to a guy dressed up as Michael Myers in the theater who had the spotlight thrown on him. Good move. Didn't see it coming!
A staple of the MTV Movie Awards is a slam dunk this year. Sure the Thanos snap was a monumental moment in movie history, but for a straight up action sequence, this scene from Mission: Impossible - Fallout was the top fight for me in 2018. Also, Mission: Impossible - Fallout was one of the best movies of the year. You'll see it on my top ten list.
HONORABLE MENTION: Any fight between Killmonger and Black Panther in "Black Panther".
BEST PERFORMANCE BY A DOG
Widows is the most underrated movie of 2018. See it! But it had a gorgeous West Highland White Terrier named Olivia. The dog is tiny, perfect shade of pure white, and actually breaks the whole plot of the movie wide open. A key performance for any actor, let alone a canine. This dog also stole scenes in Game Night, one of the best comedies from this past year.
Widows is still in theaters, Game Night is streaming on HBO.
HONORABLE MENTION: The dog from A Star is Born. If you've seen the movie, you know why.
The car crash scene from Hereditary. I didn't see it coming. It was jarring. The studio, in a great move, released trailers focused on Charlie. Leading the viewer to believe the entire movie is centered around the character. I won't say anymore. I've probably already said too much. But the moment packed a wallop.
Hereditary is streaming on Amazon Prime
HONORABLE MENTION: The end of Tully. Didn't classify that as a movie with a twist going in.
MOVIE I CAN'T GET OUT OF MY HEAD
The indie studio, A24, makes another appearance on this list with First Reformed. Ethan Hawke (in the best work of his career) plays a pastor who fears big corporations are killing the planet and he decides to fight back. Released in May, I have thought about this movie every week since. Hawke gives a haunting performance that should be getting more recognition on the awards circuit. The movie is making virtually every cinephile's top ten list. It sits in my Top 20, but not Top 10.
First Reformed is streaming on Amazon Prime.
HONORABLE MENTION: Spider-Man Into The Spiderverse. Biggest surprise of the year (for me). Saw it on a whim, haven't stopped thinking about how innovative and truly funny the film was.
MOST FASHIONABLE MOVIE
I'm not a fashion person. I'm wearing a black t-shirt and jeans as we speak. This movie had a bold look to it. Great clothes for the cast. Art. Some of it good, some of it...Blake Lively naked (which is good, albeit weird). Bright colors throughout. It really jumped off the screen, and fleshed out the two main characters a little more.
HONORABLE MENTION: The cast of Ocean's 8. They went to the Met Gala. That's a real fashion thing.
MY HOTTEST TAKE OF THE YEAR
I liked Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It made a lot of "Worst of 2018" lists. But I gave it 3.5 out of 5. It was big, loud, dumb, and fun. A lot of reviewers saw that as a negative. I did not. It's a movie about dinosaurs being brought back to life and the theme parks that surround that. You have to FULLY suspend your disbelief. If that means sitting through a dinosaur auction, then so be it. Am I a little ashamed? Sure. Have I rewatched it to find out if I'm wrong? No. Am I too afraid to? Maybe.
HONORABLE MENTION: I have Halloween as one of the ten best movies of 2018.
HONORABLE HONORABLE MENTION: Although dumb, I loved Sicario: Day of the Soldado.
MOST WTF MOMENT
The reveal towards the end of Sorry to Bother You. I can't say it here. Don't want to spoil it, and it likely violates an FCC regulation as well. Certainly the most original movie of the year, Sorry to Bother You is the story of a black telemarketer who finds success by using his "white voice" amidst a striking labor force. It's a weird movie from the start, but when Armie Hammer shows up about halfway through, it dives into even weirder territory and the movie got better because of it. One of the few times in movie history where weird worked.
Sorry to Bother You is streaming on Hulu.
HONORABLE MENTION: The bear scene in Annihilation.
MOST DISAPPOINTING MOVIE
"High Art Horror" had a banner year in 2018. After the success of Get Out, studios lined up for a horror movie that could bring revenue and prestige. Hereditary and A Quiet Place led the charge. Suspiria was supposed to do the same thing. It flopped. Probably because of the two and a half hour run time. Probably because of the unnecessary story lines. I contend this movie didn't know what it wanted to be. The remake of the 1977 Italian giallo classic was directed by fellow Italian Luca Guadagnino. Seriously, just watch the original.
HONORABLE MENTION: The Nun. The Conjuring movies were so good, I had high hopes for this spin off. The Nun had the best trailer of the year, in my opinion. The product we were given was tame by comparison.
MOVIE THAT I NEVER UNDERSTOOD THE HYPE
A bit wordy of a title, I'm sure, but Mandy was billed as a Nic Cage movie where Nic Cage was allowed to be Nic Cage. Over the top, psycho, LOOK AT THE STILL IMAGE FROM THE TRAILER?!?! He's covered in blood. I'm down for all of this. The actual movie is an hour and a half of celestial mumbo jumbo, prog rock, and a whole lot of nothing. Yes, it delivers what it promises by movie's end. But by the time we got to the deranged psycho revenge fantasy part I had checked out and did not care. Hailed as the best horror movie of the year by A LOT of critics, I never understood why this movie was being hailed as an all-time classic.
Mandy is streaming on Shudder.
HONORABLE MENTION: Isle of Dogs. Typical Wes Anderson movie, critics gush over it. I say meh.