All the movies I watched in 2018, in order of appearance. * designates a meaningful re-watch.
Kiki's Delivery Service - Miyazaki's movies always delight, this one tells an interesting slice of a delightful witch's life. Very good.
My Neighbor Totoro - Light storytelling makes the mundane amazing. Miyazaki again. Could be a good prequel to Wolf Children.
Coco - A very fun and colorful ride! Pixar's technology and story-telling continues to improve. I found the plot genuinely surprising, which is refreshing.
Call Me By Your Name - A gentle film that may have been too subtle for me to grasp the heart of. Learning that it is based on a book soothed me a little because it feels like some key moments were missing. I found the cinematography (which I normally don't care about) distractingly hit and miss, but full of beautiful soft close-ups. That being said the whole film is very genuinely and beautifully acted. Sufjan Stevens gifted this film with the most fitting vocal soundtrack I've ever heard. I don't blame the movie for my missing the feels, it is a type of love I've never seen presented in a movie before and I really enjoyed that.
* Edge of Tomorrow - I've thought about this movie a lot since the first time I saw it. After finding a couple videos discussing its merits I decided to watch it again. A second viewing was so rewarding and this movie is now solidly in my top 5 movies and may be the best depiction of what time travel does to a person I've seen. This film's action is clear and perfectly stylized. Doug Liman certainly has my attention.
Black Panther - A heck of a lot of fun. The best Marvel movie since Captain America.
Lady Bird - This movie created genuine people for me. When the film ended I immediately started crying and it took me a long time to realize why. I cared about Lady Bird the way I care about a real person. All of the characters in this movie are alive. There's so many details about their lives packed into this film in such natural ways. I'm worried about Danny. I'm happy Julie's family is getting back on their feet. I want to say Kyle's going through a phase, but he likes it too much to shake it until after college. These are things the movie doesn't directly address, but they're intentionally fleshed out in the background. The details are there if you pay attention, just like in real life. The result is an incredible piece of art that Nicole and I have different opinions about because of our different paths in life. That's the kind of movie I want to see more of.
The Devil's Advocate - ...what? There's maybe a few good scenes but I regret watching this.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle - This movie was way more fun and a lot more clever than I excepted. There's some continuity from the original Jumanji here, but go see this on its own merits if you think a body-swap comedy with some of my favorite comedy actors sounds good. It should sound good and it is.
Captain America: Winter Soldier - Marvel makes good movies. The fights and development of the Captain character in this movie are very, very good but overall it's whelming. Doesn't exceed expectations.
Get Out - This movie's intricacy is incredible. A second viewing would be almost painfully mind-blowing. I cannot show a movie this thoroughly thought-out and well-executed enough respect. I was very lucky to catch this in theaters.
Annihilation - This movie is gorgeous but didn't leave me satisfied. It played with my expectations in ways I'm still parsing. They touch on some incredibly interesting ideas early on that they drop minutes later and they deliver on things I really didn't want to be provided. Maybe it's love I have for hard sci-fi, but I have a hard time enjoying a movie that persents a credible theory for its mystery credibly, confirms that theory with the most qualified characters, gives that theory the affirmative opinions of all of its smart characters, then does the opposite. Even if it's intentional, I don't understand why you would do that, especially in the context of this film. The atmosphere, design, and effects are all incredible and beautifully integrated. It's an amazing directoral achievement, even if it's an underwhelming movie.
* Ponyo (10th Anniversary Theater Showing) - PONYO PONYO PONYO SHE'S A LITTLE FISH! #ghiblifest
Love, Simon - A genuine and heartfelt movie. I love the performance and writing of the parents. This movie will be a guide for me and many parents about the right way and the wrong way to respond to a child coming out, and even the way to make up for the wrong way. Worth seeing for that.
= SWITCHED TO LETTERBOXD FOR ALL MY REVIEWS =
Baahubali 1 & 2 - Sincerely incredible movies. Sincerely. Moves effortlessly between ridiculously silly and genuinely gripping. A sheer joy to watch from start to end.