6) Troy’s Pick – Suspiria
Troy loves all versions of Suspiria. However, he really enjoyed the changes presents in this year’s Suspiria. Check out his review.
6) Daniel’s Pick – Upgrade
I am so glad the nudge-nudge, wink-wink “we’re making a bad movie on purpose because that’s what grindhouse movies were like, right?” nonsense of the late ‘00s/early ‘10s is behind us. Well, at least when it comes to the big screen. I love throwbacks/homages just as much as the next genre fanatic, but I cannot abide half-assed attempts at making an instant cult favorite. It never works.
You know what does work? Upgrade. Here we have a 100% Grade A throwback picture that is devoid of all the DTV level amateurism that has plagued the genre for a decade. What separates this gem from past pretenders is a healthy dose of talent and an even stronger dose of sincerity. Leigh Whannell, Logan Marshall Green, and all the rest weren’t trying to make a cult movie here. They were merely trying to make a good movie. They succeeded. Upgrade is a fantastic body horror-filled sci-fi actioner and a massive leap for Whannell as a director. Pop open the champagne, Leigh. You directed a better movie in 2018 than your unstoppable buddy James did!
6) Mike Flynn’s Pick – Black Panther
Every time gut reactions trickle out of a Marvel film’s first screening, you’re guaranteed to hear someone say it’s the best thing they’ve ever done. With the exception of Iron Man, which had the distinction of starting their endeavors, Black Panther is the first one where the social media hyperbole is entirely warranted. Following Creed, his powerful continuation of the Rocky franchise, Ryan Coogler boldly positions the rise of T’Challa (the ever-magnetic Chadwick Boseman) as an equilibrium of action film, geopolitical tone poem, and Shakespearean tragedy.
Coogler is not interested in a quick-money quest to stop a superhuman entity from assimilating power. Sure, there is plenty of entertainment value, but Black Panther asks the audience for something important in return for entertainment—to understand its protagonist and his sovereign home of Wakanda as a beacon of hope, a final refuge of democracy and altruism. Coogler also gives his lucky charm, Michael B. Jordan, the distinguished antagonist role of Erik Killmonger, a victim of circumstance whose bloodlust is chilling but disturbingly fathomable.
Last year, Kevin Feige spoke of his early career, working with Richard Donner on the first X-Men film. Years before Feige worked for the beloved journeyman, Donner’s words about the concept of verisimilitude during an ABC making-of special for 1978’s Superman cast an everlasting shadow on the Marvel Studios boss. With Black Panther, no superhero film has been more profound in showcasing the conscience of truth.
6) Jamie’s Pick – A Quiet Place
Jamie enjoys the Sound of Silence. That and Emily Blunt finally getting to experience Eve’s curse on film.
We need to get more Jamie reviews on here.