Shmee’s Top Five Movies Of 2018!

I had ton of fun at the movies this year, and since the box-office set records, I am guessing a lot of you did too. This year instead of picking the ‘best’ movies like I am some kind of Oscar voter, I am just picking my most memorable ones. The ones that stuck with me. Here they are in reverse order!

5: A Simple Favor!

You don’t get a good thrilledy every day, or even once a year, so when Paul Feig creates one with two fantastic leads, I think it is worth watching. While I am not sure this movie will end up on a lot of people’s lists, I found it fascinating, and it shows how talented people can make something that shouldn’t work, work. Also, it makes me want a martini.

4: Teen Titans Go! To the Movies!

I laughed so much at Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. The jokes came fast and furious, and it showed that you don’t just have to be crass to make a superhero comedy. You can also use a lot of poop jokes, or just make fun of the state of the DCEU. On top of all that the songs were catchy. I don’t know what it says that my favorite DC movie this year was an animated farce, but here we are.

3: Black Panther!

This movie was soooooo good, and Marvel finally had a villain that was smart and had some moral high ground. Then in true Marvel fashion they killed him…. Hey Marvel, quit killing all your bad guys! Especially the good ones! I guess they are getting a bunch of new rogues from the Fox merger, but Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) was fantastic. He was the first MCU villain who I would watch a solo movie about.

2: Won’t You Be My Neighbor!

It turns out the loving and wonderful person that Fred Rogers was on screen wasn’t an act. He really was that person, and his love made the world a better place. He let us know that we are all special and loved, and his show was a safe space for us all. There has been a Mr. Rogers shaped hole in the world since he left us, and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ reminded us of that.

1: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

I never thought I would pick a Spider-Man movie to be my favorite film, but here we are on the last day of 2018, and Spider-Verse is the movie I can’t get out of my head. Everything about this movie was so well done. When I think about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse it is literally just a list of superlatives. Better yet, it is still in the theaters, so there is time for you to get out to your local multiplex and see it.

That was my very flawed list, I would love to hear yours, or just have you tell me why I am wrong. Until next year!

Shmee Swims With Aquaman!

Thanks to Amazon and Atom Tickets I was able to see Aquaman a week early, so I am able to get a review out before the movie opens for once.  Aquaman is the sixth movie from the DC Extended Universe, and its second best.  Which to be fair isn’t hard, but it is still a good movie.  It is strange to think in this era of superhero films that an ‘A’ list hero created in 1941 is just now getting his own movie, but thanks to the 70’s animated cartoon Super Friends we think of Aquaman like this:

And not like this:

Anyway, the new movie from James Wan (Saw, The Conjuring, Insidious) and Warner Brothers seeks to change all that, and for the most part they do.

Aquaman takes place right after Justice League, but in no way do you need to know what happened in that film, just that it happened, and Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman (Jason Momoa) reflects on how he came to be.  He has also started being a hero full time.  That is until Princess Exposition  Mera (Amber Heard) shows up and tells Arthur that he needs to come to Atlantis and claim the throne from his brother Orm (Patrick Wilson) before Orm can declare war on the surface world.

Aquaman has the pretty standard origin story flow.  He is a misfit kid dealing with some trauma (though not as bad as most superheroes), and he is a reluctant hero until he gains the confidence to fight.  Now that may not have sold you on this film, but what should, is that this thing is non-stop action and spectacle.  It is always showing you something cool or crazy.  I mean there are sharks with lasers fighting giant crabs, Black Manta has his big dumb helmet, and if that is not enough Julie Andrews plays a kraken.  None of this will win an Oscar, but it is all peek ocular cotton candy.

Sadly, it has a few things that bring it down.  This movie is over two hours long and at that it still has barely enough time to tell its story, so a lot of things feel rushed or at least very convenient.  I didn’t like Amber Heard at first.  She was stilted and wooden, but that is because she was given nothing but exposition to say for the first hour.  Once she was done with that she got much better and was clearly having as much fun as Jason.  Willem Dafoe also spouts exposition, but he is much better at it.  It is a gift it seems.

Aquaman revels in being a popcorn movie.  One covered in cheese with some candy on the side, and you can tell the actors were all having a lot of fun with it.  I mean there are dinosaurs in this movie and nobody says anything about it.  They just exist.  Why?  Because they are cool, and that is this movie’s MO.  If you are going in expecting more than that, you may be disappointed, but I had a great time.  It is strange to think that Aquaman is this year’s fourth best superhero movie, but it is still pretty good, and worth your time and money.

Shmee Goes To The Movies With The Teen Titans!

‘Teens Titans Go!’ has always had strained relationship with nerds.  On one hand their jokes at the expense of the DC Universe have always been brilliant.  They somehow know how to point and laugh at everything wrong with DC’s properties, while also celebrating what makes them great.  On the other hand there are a lot of poop jokes.  Not to mention the cartoon that came before it ‘Teen Titans’ was a pretty great take on the source material, so it being replaced by a bunch of goofs making fart jokes was a tough pill to swallow, and ‘Teen Titans Go!’ revels rubbing it in those fans faces.  I enjoy the show immensely, and I thought ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ did a great job of taking something built for a fifteen minute format and turning it in to an hour and half movie.

In the movie, the Teen Titans are upset that no one takes them seriously.  Even though they rarely fight crime and spend more time practicing their songs than their combat.  The only way to be taken seriously, much like the real world, is to get a movie made about you, so the Titans are off to Hollywood to get a picture made about them.

Just like the TV show, ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’ is meta joke layered on top of meta joke with a poop punch line, so the more you know about the greater DC Universe, the more you will like, or hate, the movie.  However, my daughter who is four and who knows nothing about the Challengers of the Unknown loved the movie.  She sang along to their catchy tunes, and laughed at their toilet humor.  In other words, you don’t need to know everything DC to enjoy this movie, it just helps.

Considering DC already has a cartoon movie franchise that satirizes themselves, a ‘Teen Titans Go!’ movie was always odd proposition.  However, I am glad they made it, and it justifies its length by telling a fun story and never feeling like Star Trek: Insurrection.  I think you should do yourself a favor and check out ‘Teen Titans Go! To the Movies’!  Even if it is just for the songs and the Challengers of the Unknown.

The Kids Aren’t Alright In DC Universe’s Titans!

So DC Universe dropped their first trailer for Titans which is going to headline their new streaming channel, and wow, it is a departure from what the Titans are known for these days.  The kids are killing people and using the F-Word.  Right in the trailer!  I mean if this is what they thought was safe to show us, I wonder what they are holding back.  I guess if we become subscribers we will know this fall, but this was a rough introduction.

We Finally Get Look At The LEGO Movie 2!

This is a pretty long trailer for a movie that isn’t coming out until February, but I am excited!  It is a pretty epic looking apocalypse, and I am on board!  Not to mention there is a pretty great Guardians of the Galaxy joke in there, so at least we know the tone of the movie is on point.