Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

I initially hesitated at the over-polished look. Soars once the magic starts. Blunt mesmerizes. Musical set-pieces stun. Heart is in the right place, but low stakes narrative, haphazard resolution. Highly enjoyable escapism à la Disney. [B+]

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2018 in Film Watching

2018 was not the best year I’ve had, and same goes with my film watching.

This year, I have watched 167 films.

Here are the number of films I have watched throughout the years:

2018: 167
2017: 195
2016: 149
2015: 171
2014: 255

Here are the best and worst films I have watched during the past year:

BEST: Call Me by Your Name (2017) [A] – watched on January 22

“Relaxed yet thrilling. Organic yet incisive. Meandering yet controlled. Felt every emotional beat. Hammer mystifying, Stuhlbarg touching, Chalamet heart-shattering. Sensual, tangible, complete. Ending cornered me, and then broke me. Feels perfect.”

 

WORST: Spectre (2015) [C-] – watched on January 1

“How to make James Bond boring? Drab visuals, insipid characters, distant narrative. Had a brilliant opening, but I reached a point where I just stopped caring. There’s seriously a problem when Sam Smith’s less-than-thrilling theme is not the worst part of it.”

 

What are your favorite film viewing experiences this past years? Share your thoughts below. Have a wonderful new year of more film watching!

Bird Box (2018)

Time jumps, character tropes, and visual personality all missed opportunities. Knows when and how to deliver the thrills, but all too easily digestible at times. Bullock does the best she can with physically taxing role, embracing its rough edges. [B/B-]

Widows (2018)

WIDOWS

Razor-sharp indictment of America through the clear-eyed lens of Steve McQueen. Terrific cast, especially Viola Davis in one of her best performances. Incendiary, riveting, and necessary viewing. [A-]