I think I said in my music post I wasn’t going to do one of these this year, but I had to look up some movies for something else, so why not!
I only saw four first-run movies in a theater in 2019, and here they are in order of favorites:
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters
- Men in Black: International
Joker was a dark, funny, thrilling, horrifying, dramatic movie and I really dug it. Men in Black: International sucked and I found it to be a waste of time and money. The Star Wars and Godzilla franchise entries had good and bad aspects to them but were overall enjoyable.
I saw some other new movies that came out in 2019, but went to streaming services quickly. Here they are in order of favorites:
- The Highwaymen (tie for 1st)
- Dolemite Is My Name (tie for 1st)
- The Report
- Captain Marvel
- The Irishman
- 6 Underground
The Highwaymen and Dolemite Is My Name are both comeback movies of a sort. Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson star in Highwaymen as two of the police officers who take down Bonnie and Clyde. It was a well-made movie, a good story (even though you know how it ends) and just excellent all around. Costner is best when he’s not trying too hard, and Harrelson was a great foil for Costner’s character.
Dolemite is Eddie Murphy’s return to form, and he’s a far better dramatic actor than I think anybody gives him credit for. I had never really heard of Rudy Ray Moore before this film, and I really dug it.
I did not enjoy The Irishman, though it was a well-made movie. The de-aging effects they used on Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino were fantastic and hardly looked like effects at all. The story was boring, the acting was great. It was gratifying to experience the end of what one of my smart friends called Scorcese’s “mob-adjacent trilogy” – this film plus Goodfellas and Casino.
6 Underground was a typical Michael Bay movie. If you like his movies, you’ll like this one. The story is thin, but the action and explosions are amazing. The opening car chase is a lot of fun, and I watched the movie only because Ryan Reynolds is in it (playing, naturally, Ryan Reynolds), as is Melanie Laurent, who I first encountered in Now You See Me, which is a capable and fun caper movie in which she plays an Interpol officer.
There were a lot of new movies I wanted to see in theaters, but ultimately didn’t pony up the time or cash. They include Shazam!, Booksmart, Yesterday, Hobbs & Shaw, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Ad Astra, Jojo Rabbit, Knives Out, Terminator: Dark Fate, Ford v Ferrari, Uncut Gems, 1917, Tall Girl, John Wick 3, Late Night, Midsommar, Shaft, Rambo: Last Blood, and The Last Black Man in San Francisco. I figure I saved myself close to $350 by not going to the movies too often this year. I’m sure I’ll be able to catch most of them on a streaming service before too long.
As for 2020, we know about a lot of movies that will be coming out next year. Here’s the ones I think I’d like to see, just based on previews and descriptions: Bad Boys for Life, Birds of Prey, No Time To Die, Black Widow, The Personal History of David Copperfield, Greyhound, Wonder Woman 1984, Top Gun: Maverick, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, Bob’s Burgers, Jungle Cruise, Bill & Ted Face the Music, Death on the Nile, Ron’s Gone Wrong, Red Notice, Godzilla vs. Kong, Coming 2 America, and Dune.
If I only go see four like I did in 2019, it will likely be No Time To Die (I’m a sucker for James Bond), Greyhound (WW2 naval combat with Tom Hanks? no-brainer), Ghostbusters: Afterlife (it looks awesome from the preview), and Bill & Ted Face the Music because, DUH! Bill & Ted!! Plus also Dune and probably Godzilla vs. Kong, so put me down for six theater movies in 2020. I keep up with my local $5 theater’s listings too, so there’s a good chance I’ll see more theater movies in 2020 than just those, but maybe some slightly older ones.
Enjoy your 2020 in the dark!