By Nick Maylor
While I haven’t seen enough films this year to give a definitive list of the 10 best 2018 movies, our senior critic John has compiled that list here.
Instead, I will be focusing on some of my
Happy New Year and enjoy!
10. JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM
While no sequel will ever live up to Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park (1993), this installment takes the franchise in interesting directions while harkening back to it’s more horrific and suspenseful roots. There are some truly epic moments throughout, none more satisfying than watching Rexy answer the Lion’s call during the final moments. Still love the theme music.
9. ANT-MAN AND THE WASP
Showing the lighter, more comedic side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Peyton Reed delivered a solid follow-up to 2015’s Ant-Man. Paul Rudd stars as Scott Lang/Ant-Man and is joined by Evangeline Lilly’s Hope Van Dyne/The Wasp. A solid comedic actioner, this film serves as a worthy installment to the MCU and places Ant-Man at a crucial point in the franchise’s timeline. After the events of Avengers: Infinity War, Hank Pym (Michael Douglas), Janet Van Dyne (Michelle Pfeiffer) and Hope have all disappeared as part of Thanos’ decimation (snap). Lang shows up at Avengers headquarters in the trailer for Avengers: Endgame (2019) and will no doubt be a crucial part of the film along with the immensely powerful Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel (Brie Larson). Rudd’s charm is infectious and he is a welcome addition to the vast lineup of heroes we will see this coming year in the MCU’s ultimate culmination.
Taking the franchise back to its roots, David Gordon Green delivered the most satisfying installment since the original. Ignoring every sequel/reboot since 1978, the film places Michael Myers/The Shape in a mental institution where he has been since the events of the original film. Escaping on the night before Halloween, he hunts down the family of Laurie Strode (no longer his sister) to finish what he started. Once again a mindless, vacant vessel for evil, The Shape felt right for the first time in decades.
7. DEADPOOL 2
Does it live up to its predecessor? Yes. Does it surpass it? Hard to say. The opening credits sequence with the Celine Dion song was pretty awesome. Plenty of the great wall-breaking mayhem that comes with the character. Lots of fun. Cable was badass. X-Force was hilarious. It will be interesting to see what becomes of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool after the Disney/20th Century Fox buyout. While the fate of the X-Men is up in the air, Deadpool is a character that could handle the merger no problem. He’d probably have a lot to say about it. Looking forward to him possibly teaming up with Spider-Man. Speaking of which…
6. SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE
A total love-letter to the character’s entire history, the film is endlessly enjoyable and the first real success Sony has had with the character since Spider-Man 2 (2004). A stellar voice cast, a whip-smart premise and a clear love of the character’s history made this an unexpected joy. Kudos, Sony.
5. MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: FALLOUT
While I have enjoyed every entry of this franchise, this sixth one might be the best. Once again, Tom Cruise demonstrates why the Oscars need a category for
4. INCREDIBLES 2
A worthy follow-up to Brad Bird’s brilliant 2004 film, this sequel brought back all the family growing pains, relentless action sequences, incredible voice actors, and that “oh, so sweet” 1950s/1960s faux-futurism that made the original so satisfying to watch. Could we get a Jack-Jack spin off please?
3. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
This movie is the living fever-dream of any kid who ever loved comic-books or superhero cartoons. One-upping the ensemble factor from previous Marvel films, Infinity War saw the entire cast of the inter-connected film universe assemble for a single film for the first time. Seeing Doctor Strange, Spider-Man, Iron Man and the Guardians of the Galaxy fight Thanos on Titan was an epic and satisfying sequence. The last stand against Thanos’ forces in Wakanda saw some pretty epic action evocative of The Lord of the Rings films’ battles. Seeing Thor show up in a bolt of lighting with Rocket and Groot in-tow… only to scream “BRING ME THANOS!” before laying waste to the place was, in all sincerity, gleefully affecting to me.
Never let the inner child die, I say. This is the stuff that brings out the kid in us… the stuff that makes Kevin Smith cry.
The good stuff.
2. BLACK PANTHER
Likely to become the first superhero film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, Black Panther is (according to Kevin Feige) the best film Marvel Studios has yet made. Like some ideal mashup of The Dark Knight (2008), The Godfather (1972) and The Lion King (1994), Black Panther delivered on every level. As we’ve already discussed, the chances for a Best Picture nomination are good, if not certain. A win could be a massive
1. A STAR IS BORN
Do you remember that Sesame Street game “One of these things is not like the other”?
It’s no action film and while Lady Gaga might dress like a superhero from time-to-time in real life, this is no superhero movie.
382.1 million dollars as of this writing. It’s topping my list of “blockbusters”.
I had seen trailers prior to TIFF this year but I never would have expected A Star is Born to become one of my top ten favourite films of all time, nor the best picture of 2018; which I believe it is.
Between John and I, plenty has been said about this masterpiece. It’s a film for the ages. Bradley Cooper deserves to win the Oscar for Best Director. Gaga likely could take home Best Actress. Cooper’s nod for Best Actor seems probable although a win seems dodgy since Christian Bale happened to become Dick Cheney this year. Sam Elliot for Supporting Actor should happen but may not. The film should receive a slew of other nominations including (perhaps) two for Best Original Song.
Any number of the songs from the album are worthy of recognition but “I’ll Never Love Again” seems like a likely contender. “Shallow” might get a nod. I personally would nominate “Always Remember Us This Way” although the entire mix of original songs is terrific. I should know. When I’m not writing about
Happy New Year from all of us at Foote & Friends on Film!
Nick is an actor/writer/comedian/musician from Hamilton, ON Canada. Having been a film nut since the early days of his life, Nick has had an obsession with cinema and popular entertainment. Nick has written for thecinemaholic.com and is currently working on a book about the American Cinema Renaissance (1967-present) with John H. Foote. Nick met John when studying acting at the Toronto Film School, for which John H. Foote was director and Film History professor. The two have been arguing ever since.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickMaylor