Movies With Migs: 2018 Cinematic Review

Happy New Year readers!!!!!! As far as cinema is concerned, 2018 was wow for me!!! Just WOW!!!! I saw close to 100 movies, visited the theater 145 times, and went to theaters I’ve never been to in Illinois, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Alabama, and Virginia!

The cinematic experiences were awesome! I got to attend an event in Atlanta for the opening of Black Panther. That was a fun night. I went to a couple of film festivals, and a special screening of The Room at a Regal theater in Alabama, which was absolutely nuts. People were throwing spoons in the theater for that one. It was wild! That was just some of the good times I had. There were several dope movies I viewed in 2018, so let’s jump into the top ten for the year!

1) MARVEL MARVEL MARVEL: Let me start with this: I don’t separate MCU, Sony, and FOX when it comes to Marvel movies and the characters. Marvel is Marvel to me. Different studios and productions, but the same brand. Rather than have a list full of Marvel films, I decided to mash them up as my numero uno because Marvel wrecked shop in 2018! Close to 6 billion (and counting) at the box office from the movies that came out this year, and I’m sure they raked in more dough with the MCU film festival that was held late August/early September. I had to check that out! I got to see The Incredible Hulk and Captain America: The First Avenger in IMAX, which was a nice treat because those movies did not come out in IMAX on their initial releases. My favorite movie and Marvel film of the year is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I just saw it again, for the fifth time, last night. I love it! Can’t say enough great things about it!! Everything was on point! The style, the dialogue, the score, the villains! I wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Black Panther and Infinity War are amazing productions. Bravo on both of those films. The way these character have been brought to life via live action has been spectacular. Kudos to Ryan Coogler (director of Black Panther), who continues to be a dope behind the camera. His films are 3 for 3 with me. Wakanda on that IMAX screen was breath taking. Deadpool 2 wasn’t as good as the first, but I thought it was funnier. I went to a Deadpool double feature in Alabama. That was my first time watching a movie in AMC’s Big D presentation. I call it “fake IMAX”, but I like that green glow. Ant-Man and The Wasp was a lot of fun. The CGI looked great. Hopefully we get to see more of Wasp. Venom was just okay to me, but I was really into the character in the 90s so I had to see it (twice), and I will acknowledge that bang it made at the box office. Those overseas sales are no joke. Venom needed some work, but it had some good tidbits that I’m hoping are developed for the sequel. RIP to Stan “The Man” Lee.

2) BlacKKKlansman: What a great mix of hard hitting social commentary and humor! I’m sure the story was dramatized from the real life situations, but the present day parallels are bold and in your face. The cast did a great job in their roles. Topher Grace looking exactly like David Duke is just eerily good. This was my first time seeing John David Washington on the big screen. It was funny seeing some of Denzel in him, and he holds it down on his own. Nice work from Spike Lee. That silence in the theater at the end. WHOA!

3) A Quiet Place: Some of the story was a bit silly, but this movie was a bugged out cinematic experience to share with strangers. Theater so silent you could hear a squeaky fart, which happened the second time I saw this. A tense thriller that I very much enjoyed. Had my heart racing a bit the first time I saw it. I dig it when a movie can do that to me.

4) Annihilation: When I saw that Natalie Portman was starring, and Alex Garland was directing, I was in. I loved his first film, Ex Machina. I saw that in the theater, and it made me say “WHOA”! Annihilation is another excellent sci fi thriller, and I wish it got more love than it did. A lot of people didn’t hear about this one. Trippy, bugged out, mind bending….all good descriptions of Annihilation. The last 15 minutes had my eyes wide! I really liked Natalie Portman’s portrayal. I’m a big fan of hers. Check her out in Vox Lux as well.

5) Teen Titans Go! To The Movies: This is one of thee funniest movies I’ve seen this year. What a hilarious spoof of DC comics, and the superhero genre. The laughs start from the very beginning, and they keep you laughing with the jokes and quips. There is a time travel scene that had me in tears. DC brings it with the animation though. Super funny, especially if you know about the history of some of the top characters to the brand. Another cinematic treat from DC was being able to watch Batman: Mask of the Phantasm in the theater this year. See my piece on that here (shameless plug alert):
6) Upgrade: When I saw the trailer for this I really thought this was going to be similar to Hardcore Henry, without that first person point of view that gives you a headache. Didn’t get that. Got a much better movie, and I was surprised at how good the story was. Low key, but a well-developed cautionary tale about the advances in technology. Check this one out!

7) Isle of Dogs: The dog lover and kid in me highly recommends this movie! At the core, the film is about a boy and his love for his dog. There is so much more going on beyond that though, and all the quirks made it very entertaining. It’s one of those films you might have to watch a few times to catch everything. I’ve watched it twice in the theater, and twice at home. The voice cast was cool. A lot of familiar names. I am also a huge fan of the stop motion animation style. It’s a good heart-warming film.

8)  Mission: Impossible-Fallout: Every time one of these comes out, the story and production manages to up the ante, and it keeps this series fresh. Tom Cruise is out of his mind doing all those stunts, and I’m here for all of it! This movie was crazy to see in IMAX. Those locations were shot beautifully. That HALO jump was sick! I liked how this movie starts right after Rogue Nation. I watched that again right before I saw Fallout just to get a better theater experience. There hasn’t been an announcement for the next entry, but if it’s coming, I’m in there!

9) Searching: Goodness this was the scariest movie of the year for me. A nightmare in the digital age, shown through the eyes of social media. The presentation was a unique format, and it worked out. Searching was completely harrowing, and was more impactful when I saw it again and caught things I missed on the first view. OHHH MANNNNNNNNN!! John Cho does a superb job portraying a father who is frantically searching for his daughter and running low on time. Note to self: Do not have children!! If you have kids, watch this movie, then don’t let them out!!! EVER!!!!!!! Just kidding.
10) Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 is an absolute delight, and a fun flick to see in the theater. In a couple of hours, I’ll be at one of my favorite AMC locations, watching it again. I loved all the jokes, the humorous portrayal of the internet, and the video game/internet nostalgia!! Plenty of scenes had me laughing out loud in the theater. The story is brilliant, and it gives you the warm gooey feelings. Yay for Disney!!

Not top 10, but recommended: Creed II, Game Night, Blindspotting, Vox Lux, Halloween (2018), mid90s, Acrimony, Solo: A Star Wars Film, Ocean’s 8, Uncle Drew, The Incredibles 2, Tomb Raider (2018), Superfly (2018), Peppermint, A Star Is Born (2018….really great soundtrack also), A Private War, Smallfoot, Bumblebee

Disappointing, and/or BAAASUURRAAAAAAAA: Bad Samaritan, Action Point, Proud Mary, Mile 22, Equalizer 2, Hereditary, Sicario 2, Truth or Dare, The Predator

I got to see some classics in the theater this year, including Die Hard, and Transformers: The Movie. The Marvel Cinematic Film festival had me back in the theater watching some of my favorite MCU flicks, and I finally got around to seeing the Harry Potter saga for the first time. Yes I know I’m super late, but AMC hosted a Harry Potter film festival, so I watched four of the films in the theater, and four at home. My special lady got me the series on Blu-ray, so I’ll be writing up a piece on that this year. Stay tuned!
In closing, I am very much looking forward to another great cinematic year!! I’m already in for quite a few films that are dropping in 2019, so between early screenings and my AMC A List subscription, I’ll be in the theater a lot. Huge THANK YOU to all the readers, subscribers, and followers!! I appreciate all the love, and I hope you continue to enjoy the content. Make sure you check out Movies With Migs on Facebook and Instagram. Lots of fresh content on those pages.

Special shout out to my Defy Life fam!! BIG THINGS POPPING OFF IN 2019!!!!!!

Migs Rodriguez

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