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Best of 2018 #14: Burning, Black Panther, Creed II, First Reformed

14) Troy’s Pick – Burning

Troy planned on doing a much longer review for this one, but lost track of time. Basically, Burning represents Troy’s new found love of South Korean cinema. For a decade there, they were making cerebral popcorn fare for the arthouse nerd set. Now, they’re balls deep into the creepy melodramas that populate the American cinema of the 70s. Burning shows audiences way you shouldn’t always agree to a Devil’s Triangle.

You could lose your life, alienate yourself or nearly lose your Supreme Court nomination. There is an amazing paper to be written about the ties between Great Gatsby and this film. Oh well, maybe I will in the future.

14) Daniel’s Pick – Black Panther

There is so much to love about this film. The angry message at its core. The killer lead turns by Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Guirira, Winston Duke, and Letitia Wright. The pulse-pounding soundtrack and score. All of these things are great. They aren’t what I think about most when Black Panther comes to mind, however.

What do I love most about Black Panther? That, beneath all of the above, it has delivered a wild mash-up of two things that I love: James Bond and the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs. Sleeper agents! Colorful henchmen (Andy Serkis is a hoot)! War rhinos! Lasers! Wakandan UFOS! From the superspy-flavored opening to the wild A Princess of Mars by way of Tarzan in Pelucidar imagery, I was hooked from the get-go. More please!

14) Mike Flynn’s Pick – Creed II

Creed II somehow made the Rocky franchise’s second dumbest entry a resounding rite-of-passage story.

14) Jamie’s Pick – First Reformed

Nothing gets Jamie’s goat like a young priest coming to terms with a terrible secret. Jamie knows something about terrible secrets, but that’s a story for another time.

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