It’s been a hot while (good long year lol). I saw a lot of movies and tv shows this past year — some good, some bad; probably more than I’ll remember for this piece. But as hopefully a gentle re-entry into the world of movie/tv blogging, I figured I’d do a blitz round of review for the highlights of the past year.

Movies:

La La Land – 6/10. Good music. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling did really good jobs with what they were given, but the plot was not compelling at all. :/ And the Hollywood nostalgia (which I *know* was part of the point) was just — how do I say it — not really appropriate with the current climate (IMHO).

Three Billboards – 9/10. Really emotional and power movie. Frances McDormand and Sam Rockwell both were fantastic.

Pan’s Labyrinth – 10/10. Really beautiful movie: in the cinematography and costume design, in the story, in the themes. Heartbreaking, but poetic. Probably one of my all time favorite movies now.

Always Be My Maybe – 8/10. Funny movie and heart-felt. Cast did a great job.

Infinity War – 8/10. Really liked the cinematography and fight scenes. Good use of humor, kept me on edge the entire time.

Endgame – 7/10 (maaaaaybe 7.5) Controversial score perhaps, but liked it marginally less than infinity war because of the logical loopholes in the story telling. I know that happens when time becomes involved but I didn’t like how they bent their own defined rules for the sake of the plot. The only section of the movie I really liked with the second part, when small groups of the avengers go on their own mini-missions to retrieve the stones. That was awesome.

Antman – 8/10. Paul Rudd is fantastic; probably one of my favorite MCU movies (up there with Guardians of the Galaxy vol 1/2, first Iron Man, first Avengers movie, and Black Panther).

Antman & the Wasp – 7/10. Not as good as the first one but still fairly enjoyable.

Twelve Years a Slave – 8/10. Very emotional movie. Very beautifully filmed and directed. Cast was excellent.

The Aviator – 8/10. Very strong cast; Leonardo nailed it as per usual. A tad longer than I would have liked, but a good viewing experience.

Spiderman Into the Spiderverse – 10/10 AMAZING ANIMATION! I didn’t expect much but was blown away by the very original and beautiful animation.

Wreck it Ralph 2 – 8/10. Pretty good follow up to the first movie. Not *as* good but still pretty fantastic. I loved how they had built the universe of the internet and I really loved the character development; the scene with the disney princesses was fantastic.

Isn’t it Romantic – 6/10. Overall meh with some funny moments.

Black Panther – 8/10. Solid cast, fantastic soundtrack, beautiful cinematography and writing. One of my favorite MCU movies.

The Favourite – 7/10. Acting was really great, but overall the movie made me really uncomfortable and unhappy D: I think that’s less to do with the quality of the movie, but just the actual plot itself. From as objective as a perspective I can have, the movie itself was well made, well acted, and well directed.

Green Book – 7/10. I will give credit to the lead actors because they were fantastic. There were some laugh out loud moments, but overall struggling to give this movie a better rating because it just seemed entirely tone deaf. The movie was about a white man’s journey to his “hummanity,” with very few of the racial/societal implications it claimed to have. My rating comes from the fact that as a “movie” it was good, but as a cultural piece — it sort of missed the mark.

Carol – 8/10. Beaaaaautiful movie. Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara were fantastic, the cinematography was very well done too.

Hidden Figures – 8/10 – 8.5/10. Amazing movie about an amazing set of individuals. The three main actresses did a fantastic job.

TV:

Russian Doll – 9/10 really funny, but heart breaking too. Touched on some of the themes that Maniac (a different netflix series) touches on, but also branched out to address some of its own existential questions. Natasha Lyonne kicks butt.

Stranger Things Season 2 & 3 – 8/10. Season 3 > season 2 imho (except with Hopper’s character development or lack thereof in season 3). But otherwise good followups to the original season 1 which was excellent.

The Good Place Season 1 & 2 – 10/10 yesssssssssss. So good! So witty and funny. I’m only a couple of episodes into season 3 but I would say season 1 and 2 were pretty solid, season 3 slowed down a bit but still pretty good.

The Umbrella Academy – eh. 6/10. Will probably watch the second season because I’m a sucker for superhuman type movies, but despite the occasional moments of good writing the acting was kind of meh even though the universe itself was interesting.

Disenchantment – 8/10. The simpsons meets D&D. Nuff said.

The Kominsky Method – 8/10 if you like Grace & Frankie (which I do), Kominsky Method is also a pretty good tv show. Good cast, good writing, grapples with some of the issues associated with growing old.

Maniac – 8/10. This tv show touches on themes you wouldn’t expect going into it. Surprisingly heartfelt, poetic, and beautiful. Emma Stone and Jonah Hill did a great job as the main characters.

Rick & Morty (all seasons up to present) – 10/10 yesssssss. Multiple people recommended it to me but it’s the perfect combination of existentialism, dark/stupid humor, and very original animation.

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