No need to waste your energy with a long intro, let’s pick up right where we left off.
#5. Summer ’03
Cast: Joey King, Paul Scheer, Andrea Savage, Jack Kilmer
Why: This one is the complete opposite of recency bias. I actually saw Summer ’03 at SXSW last year but it was just released on Amazon this year. This is a coming of age movie with a rising star (who has gotten brighter since it’s screening) in Joey King as the lead and a strong supporting cast. While it hits on some very serious subject matter and issues, the movie is also hilarious. (If you’re noticing a trend, I like to laugh.)
The movie starts out with grandma on her death bed revealing the worst of the worst family secrets before dying, leaving the family to deal with this information dump. It’s not just family secrets but also just things that a grandmother should never say to her grandchildren. Things that affect all of them dramatically. You will cry laughing and you may cry for other reasons as well.
#4. The Legend of Cocaine Island
Medium: Netflix (Documentary)
Cast: Real people (though it won’t feel like it.)
Why: I normally wouldn’t include a documentary on a list like this but I had to make an exception here. The Legend of Cocaine Island has enough cinematic value to be viewed like a regular movie so I’m going to treat it like one. The story would make a good movie and I have to feel like someone is going to make it into one. Similar to the very true stories behind Pain and Gain or 30 minutes or less (but not involving murder like those two) the story is almost to crazy to be true.
Essentially, a self-made building developer goes from living in a gated community with a pool to living in a trailer in the outskirts due to the housing crisis. He’s desperate and always listens and has a new neighbor tell the story about how he found a suitcase full of cocaine on the beach in Peurto Rico and buried it. It’s funny but then one day a junkie he’s trying to help brings a dealer friend over to hear the story. The dealer friend shares the value of what that case would be and a seed is planted. They have to decide if the story is true and, if it is, how they’re going to get the briefcase. This is a roller coaster ride with an amazing cast of characters that are going to make you look up the real story to make sure it really is true. A fun ride all the way around.
#3. John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne
Why: Man look. If I have one weakness in my movie tastes it’s action movies. More specifically action movies where a lone badass does things that no one person should be able to do. Your Bourne Identity, your Shooter, Columbiana, and now John Wick. John Wick may just be the baddest of them all and it all comes down to the natural looking fight choreography. I believe I watched John Wick kill about 50 men in a scene or two but it looked so natural I couldn’t even scoff at it. The level that they took it to with John Wick 3 may have cemented the franchise at the top of my list. I shouldn’t have to say much more than that. If you like the franchise, you’ll love this movie.
Cast: Zachary Levi, Mark Strong, Asher Angel, Jack Dylan Glazer
Why: Quite honestly, Shazam could be number one on this list. The current number one is there because of things that didn’t necessarily have to do with the film itself. (You’ll see in a second.) Anyway, I don’t even remember why I ended up seeing Shazam. It was probably peer pressure, but the trailer was not enticing at all. The trailers made it look like a goofy kiddie film but that was not the case. The tone was set from the first scene where we see a bad car accident, a child being mistreated by his family, and some intense scenes right off the bat. From there it gets somewhat lighter but there were some intense death scenes.
With that said, the movie was funny, touching, and had great action. The cast was great, especially the kids. I said immediately that it was the best D.C.E.U movie and it’s not even close in my opinion. I’m incredibly excited for the next entry in this series.
#1. Avengers: Endgame
Medium: Theater (multiple times)
Cast: Rpbert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johannson… I mean, ya’ll know who is in the movie.
Why: Eventually, I can see this movie moving down my list but it’s still too fresh right now. As I said in my review, this was years of movies coming together perfectly. I honestly think the reason that it is sitting at number one for me is because I feel like they gave my favorite character from the first three phases (Captain America) a perfect send-off. From the first entry (underrated) to Endgame, Captain America has had a few things on his mind and the one that felt impossible for him to achieve was finally made possible for him. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t get emotional in this one. I also felt like one of my favorites going forward (Ant-Man) got to shine appropriately in the movie and that they loaded up on fan service without making it cheesy. I understand that some people don’t like that the MCU movies seem to play it safe with their stories and characters but if it works it works.
I’m not sure what the MCU looks like going forward or how they’re going to keep people as invested as they are with some of the big dogs moving on but we shall see.
I’ll be back with my rankings at the end of the year and I’ll probably do my bottom 5 for 2019 thus far as well. To potentially save you the trouble.