Movies With Migs: 2019 Cinematic Review

HAPPY 2020 movie buffs!!! 2019 has come to an end, and for me it was a great year of cinema.

I saw 92 new movies this year, and 90 of those were in the theater. I visited several theaters for the first time during my travels and I had a lot of fun outings with family and friends. 2019 was special because I watched Forrest Gump and The Matrix in the theater and they are 2 of my all time favorites. Both films are part of my movie collection and I revisit them often. Forrest Gump is funny because the first time I watched it I wasn’t too keen on all the events and the dialogue. I was only 10, so I had to see that movie a few more times to understand everything. Watching it now makes me chuckle. Remember the dorm scene with Jenny? When I think about seeing that as a kid versus seeing that as an adult I laugh. Select AMC Theatres showed The Matrix for its 20th anniversary special and thankfully my local AMC had it. What a fantastic experience! It was shown in Dolby Cinema, and if you’ve been following me then you know I love movies in Dolby. That sound and the crisp digital display is breathtaking. I watched The Matrix in the theater in 99 and was blown away. Watched it countless times at home since. When I saw it in Dolby I saw things in the background I never noticed before. The Dolby opening was shown twice as a “glitch”. Little things like that put a smile on my face. I’m sure other moviegoers appreciated that as well. I caught it twice and both times had a nice sized audience.

So….of the 92 movies I saw this year which made my top 10? Without further ado, HERE WE GO!

1) How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World: It may come as a surprise that this is my numero uno (Jeanna, my lovely lady and Editor, was also surprised), but I absolutely loved Hidden World. All the feelings for real! If this is the last one then it was a fantastic conclusion to a 9 year journey of  family, friendship, and love. The animation was mesmerizing. I watched the movie in Dolby and IMAX and those formats were treats for the eyes. It’s a great series so if you haven’t seen the trilogy I recommend watching it. It’s fun for the kiddies too!

2) Dolemite is My NameWell written script. Extraordinary work by the cast. The recreation of what Rudy Ray Moore grinded through to produce the blaxploitation classic Dolemite is an amazing watch. Highly enjoyable and hilarious. Eddie Murphy is one of my favorite actors and he put on a superb show as Moore. I regret not going to the early screening at The Charles in Baltimore. I made the mistake of going to the Gemini Man screening. I would have loved to watch this on the big screen. It’s fun to watch this and Dolemite together. Dolemite makes me laugh because it’s soooo bad, but it stands as a box office killer. BRAVO!

3) Toy Story 4: I thought Toy Story 3 was the end of the road, although the ending of the movie had a “pass the torch” moment, so here we are 9 years after part 3. Another hit from Disney/PIXAR. Yes, take my money when it comes to Toy Story. I literally grew up with Andy and his gang of toys, so I was elated when I heard part 4 was in the works. The story is heartwarming, and the return of Bo Peep was my favorite part of the film. I loved her in this one. Bold animation and seeing all the kids have a good time in the theater was very nice. I have the collector’s popcorn tin!

4) Doctor Sleep: My favorite thriller of 2019! I saw this 3 times in the theater, in 2 different states. It’s a great follow up to The Shining, and the leads were excellent. The cat and mouse chase throughout the entire film was impressive. I like Doctor Sleep better than The Shining. I’m looking forward to having it in my collection. It’s a shame that the movie didn’t receive a lot of love at the box office, but hopefully more people watch upon its home release. The story is a great roller coaster ride.

5) Spider-Man: Far From Home: Tom Holland is coming into his own as Spidey, and I liked Far From Home more than his first solo outing. Eye popping special effects and the story was well crafted. I liked how the writers used real Marvel events to okie doke the viewers. This movie might be the winner of the best mid credit scene across the MCU films. I’m looking forward to more web slinging in the future.

6) Rocketman: This Elton John biopic had a heavy dose of fantasy and it worked out well! Taron Egerton put on a great show playing Elton John, and the score had me tapping my feet while I watched. We can thank Kingsman: The Golden Circle for how Rocketman worked out. I won’t be surprised if Egerton receives awards for his performance. Fun fact: In the the early 2000s Justin Timberlake was casted to play Elton John and later Tom Hardy (what?) but thankfully those two projects didn’t work out.

7) Midsommar: This movie has one of thee most harrowing openings I’ve ever seen. WHEWWWWWW! I didn’t think the movie was scary, but it’s an insane piece of horror, and I left the theater bug eyed. Check my video review on my Facebook page. The movie is highly disturbing, but if you are into the horror genre and haven’t seen it then check it out. I wasn’t too big on director Ari Aster’s other horror film Hereditary, but I enjoyed this one for how off the wall it was. I recently revisited it and saw a few things I missed the first time.

8) Ad Astra: I appreciated the art house style of this space drama, and the story was deep. The way space travel was used literally and metaphorically was brilliant. I watched this in Dolby Cinema. Absolutely beautiful. I think a lot of people were misled by the film’s trailer, because I read a lot of negative reviews where people expressed that they thought this was going to be an action film. That’s understandable, but I’ve always been a fan of space travel and art house cinema so Ad Astra was phenomenal to me. I recently picked up the blu-ray. Looking forward to the revisit.

9) Long Shot: Long Shot is my favorite comedy of 2019. I screened this early last year and I was cracking up from beginning to end. The entire screening audience was. I like raunchy comedy, but it’s rare that one make me laugh the whole film. All the jokes were on point to me, and the duo of Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron produced some hilarious moments. This was another film that didn’t get a lot of love at the box office, but I loved it. It might find a bigger audience now that it’s on HBO.

10) Alita: Battle Angel: I was in the dark when it came to this movie. I knew nothing of Gunnm, the Japanese manga that Battle Angel is adapted from, but Jeanna (see #1) put me on to it and I liked what I saw. The manga was brutal, and I’m surprised the film matched some of that brutality since it’s PG13. I enjoyed Rosa Salazar as the lead, and the supporting cast was decent. The visuals are whoa! I experienced Dolby 3D for the first time watching Battle Angel and that was a dope time in the theater! Normally I stay away from 3D because I wear glasses, but Dolby 3D glasses fit over mines perfectly (they look like virtual reality visors) and it made the visuals pop! I haven’t revisited this movie yet, but I have my copy so I will soon. Check it out if you haven’t already.

Not Top 10 but recommended: Lego Movie 2, Fighting With My Family, Crawl, What Men Want, Hotel Mumbai, Shazam, Beach Bum, Avengers: Endgame, John Wick 3, Little, Brightburn, Aladdin, Captain Marvel, Frozen II, Child’s Play, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark, Shaft, DragonBall Super: Broly, Dark Waters, Spies in Disguise, Jumanji: The Next Level, Brian Banks, Hobbs and Shaw, Hustlers, Rambo: Last Blood, 47 Meters Down Uncaged, Star Wars, Peanut Butter Falcon

Great Performance(s)…Story, not so much: Joker, The Lighthouse, Harriet, Uncut Gems, Parasite, Booksmart, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Knives Out, Luce, Ma, The Good Liar

Grabbed me, but didn’t hold me: Us, Pet Sematary, Cold Pursuit, Greta, The Intruder, Escape Room, Annabelle Comes Home, Last Black Man In San Francisco, First Love, Ready Or Not, Don’t Let Go, Countdown

Throw it in the TRASH: Glass, Miss Bala, Ugly Dolls, Dumbo, Gemini Man, MiB: International, The Kitchen, Black Christmas

THAT’S IT FOLKS!! I hoped you enjoyed my 2019 year end review! 2020 is going to be fun! I started the year by visiting an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema for the first time! I highly recommend checking that chain out if you haven’t done so. Most of the locations are in Texas but there are several other locations including California, New York, Florida, Colorado, and Virginia. Their menu is nice and several items are themed from movies. The decor is interesting as well. The locations host different events and they show older films all the time. The one I went to in San Antonio is showing Attack The Block and Sicario later this month. I’m sad I won’t be there to see those films in the theater. I am looking forward to all the continued interaction this year and I want to thank everyone who supports Movies With Migs. You truly are appreciated! If you are reading this and you haven’t done so, hit me up on Facebook and Instagram. I did my first giveaway on Facebook last year and it was a success, so I’ll have a couple going this year. Stay tuned for that. My first screening of the year is going to be the war drama 1917, so look for that early review next week!

CHEERS and HAPPY 2020!!
Migs Rodriguez

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