We’re officially more than six months into 2019 and it’s time to recap what has happened so far in the world of cinema. While we haven’t seen many great films, there are plenty of solid ones and guilty-pleasures, and a surprisingly few amount of (complete) stinkers. So without further adu, here is how my 2019 breaks down so far.
Best Films: Booksmart, Triple Frontier, Yesterday, Avengers: Endgame
I really enjoyed “Yesterday” and have seen “Endgame” seven times in theaters despite my issues with its handling of Thor and Hulk. “Booksmart” was criminally underseen and “Triple Frontier” may have been buried in Netflix’s ever-growing collection of “original” material, but thought both were smarter than the average output of their respective genres.
Worst Films: Pet Semetary, Captive State, Men in Black: International
Boring, boring and more boring. These films (a remake, a passion project and a studio-mandated reboot) are proof that you can fail across all boards when not kept in check, or when your screenplays are hacky. These all waste perfectly great casts, too.
Biggest Surprises: Shaft, Captain Marvel and Dark Phoenix
Based on all three of these trailers and/or hype surrounding them, I went in expecting the worst. But “Captain Marvel” turned out to be a fun MCU romp, “Shaft” is so over-the-top and needlessly anti-PC that it is funny to laugh with/at and “Dark Phoenix” may end up being a top-five X-Men film for me(?)
Biggest Letdowns: Glass, Long Shot and Men in Black: International
“Split” was good and upon finally catching up with “Unbreakable” I loved it, so to see “Glass” being a nonsensical and sluggish romp was a disappointment. That “MiB” couldn’t deliver on even mindless summer fun and wastes two incredibly charming leads is almost criminal. And “Long Shot” just marks another miss for Seth Rogen after he gave us some of the best comedies of the 21st century with “Pineapple Express,” “Superbad” and “This Is the End.”
Biggest Guilty Pleasures: Shaft, Hellboy and Alita: Battle Angel
None of them are very good but I went into all three expecting dumpster fires and ended up enjoying myself for one reason or another.
Most Anticipated: Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, The Irishman and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
I have waited for “The Irishman” to finally come out for *years* and hope I am not overhyping it just because it is one of my favorite directors (Martin Scorsese) taking on one of my favorite genres (gangster period piece) with some of the best-ever actors (Robert de Niro, Al Pacino and an un-retired Joe Pesci). Same goes for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” (1960s Los Angeles with Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt). And of course, despite “The Last Jedi” being arguably among the weaker entries, I will always look forward to a “Star Wars” film, especially one that is (supposedly) the final of the saga.
Well that is 2019 as it has been so far. July looks fun with “Spider-Man” and “The Lion King” and “Hollywood,” and the fall season always provides some interesting twists. This time last year not many people had heard of “Green Book” and few thought “Bohemian Rhapsody” would ride a wave to four Oscars. Anything can happen, and I’ll see you back here for it!