The Best of 2018

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews!

As we near the end of 2018, it’s fun to look back at what a long and awesome year of movies and TV shows we’ve been treated to. And like most things in life, there’s the good and the bad. In this review, I take a look back at the best of 2018’s movies and TV shows that I watched. I’ll try to keep spoilers down to a minimum but you have been warned! There will be indications as to which movies or TV shows contain spoilers and links to reviews of those which I have reviewed.

BOJACK HORSEMAN: Season 5

Kicking off this list is everyone’s favourite cartoon horse and washed-up celebrity, Bojack Horseman. Netflix released season 5 in September and it showed Bojack taking the job on Flip McVicker’s new show, Philbert. Princess Carolyn continues to look for a child to adopt, Mr Peanutbutter and Diane go through a rough patch and Todd creates a sex robot who becomes the head of whattimeisitrightnow.com. Bojack Horseman season 5 delves deeper into Bojack’s mental state and sees him internally struggle with his insecurities while trying to deal with the joys and troubles of the outside world. One of the best things about Bojack Horseman’s recent seasons is the music, and season 5 is no exception. The ending was admittedly a little disappointing but season 5 as a whole was one of the best seasons of Bojack Horseman. Season 6 has been confirmed, and I for one can’t wait.

BLACK PANTHER

2018 was a year of diversity within Hollywood, and one of the films that portrayed this best is Marvel’s Black Panther. Directed by Ryan Coogler, Black Panther marks a turning point in the future of Hollywood movies. With a predominately black cast, Black Panther tells the story of T’Challa rising to the throne of Wakanda and finding the balance of being a good king and a hero while encountering a powerful enemy who poses a huge threat to  T’Challa and his country. Black Panther smashed records and was an entertaining movie that combined beautiful cinematography with great action and a good storyline to produce a film that will be loved for generations to come.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – Contains spoilers!

The biggest film of 2018 and now the fourth highest grossing movie of all time, Anthony and Joe Russo directed Avengers: Infinity War, a film that was loved by billions this year. It saw most of Marvel’s heroes (with Hawkeye and Ant-Man missing) face off against the biggest villain yet, Thanos, who is on a mission to collect all six infinity stones and kill half the universe. He succeeds and in a literal snap of his fingers, half of the universe turned to dust. It’s now down to the remaining heroes, Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Bruce Banner, Black Widow, Hawkeye (now Ronin), Nebula, Rocket Raccoon, War Machine, Okoye, M’Baku, Ant-Man and Pepper Potts to try to rewind time and undo the decimation. All this will be revealed in next year’s Avengers: Endgame, which is gearing up to be the biggest movie of next year too.

DEADPOOL 2 – Contains spoilers!

Ryan Reynolds is back in red spandex to break more fourth walls and kick ass in Deadpool 2, the highly anticipated sequel to 2016’s Deadpool. To stop a young mutant and the Juggernaut from creating a horrific future, Wade must team up with Cable and Domino to save the day. Reynolds proves again that he was made to play Deadpool, the jokes were more self-aware and hilarious and the action was something to adore. David Leitch (director of Deadpool 2 and John Wick) was perfectly suited to direct the sequel and, together with Ryan Reynolds’ incredible acting and great writing from Rhett Reece and Paul Wernick, Deadpool 2 was a brilliant sequel and certainly lived up to the hype plus plus.

READY PLAYER ONE

Steven Spielberg directs Ready Player One, a story set in 2045 where everyone lives in a huge virtual reality world called the Oasis, where the late creator, James Halliday, has left an Easter Egg challenge where the first gamer to find all three Easter Eggs would inherit the Oasis and half a trillion dollars. With gorgeous animation and an engaging storyline, Ready Player One was a great film that I had fun watching, and the hidden real-life easter eggs made the film even better.

McMAFIA: Season 1 – Contains spoilers!

Way back in January of this year, BBC released a thrilling look into the world of the mafia. The series followed Alex Godman, the son of an ex-mafia Russian family trying to forget the past. Alex is lured into the dark and hidden realm of crime that sees Alex being brought closer to those who have wronged his family. Meanwhile, Alex’s family have no idea about his actions that bring him closer to the mafia. Eventually, Alex tells his family about his actions with Vadim (the family’s nemesis) and the mafia, before heading to Moscow for one final confrontation with Vadim, before becoming the top of the food chain and was backed by the government by the looks of it while also cutting off all ties with his family back home in a dramatic and brilliant finale that had me on the edge of my seat. BBC have commissioned the show for an eight-episode season 2 that hasn’t begun filming yet, but I am already excited for season 2 and wondering what’s next for Alex Godman.

BLACKKKLANSMAN

Similarly to Black Panther, BlacKKKlansman brought more diversity to cinemas by bringing a true story to life before showing it’s relevance into modern-day America. Starring John David Washington and directed by Spike Lee, BlacKKKlansman tells the true story of a black police officer who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan in the late 1970s. The film ends by looking at the events in Charlottesville last year, where the Ku Klux Klan launched the ‘Unite the Right’ Rally to promote their ideology of white supremacy. The film provided a shocking and eye-opening look at racism in the last 50 years, and the way that Lee was able to direct and portray this in a movie was fantastically done.

GAME NIGHT

One of the best comedies of 2018, Game Night is a film I am looking forward to rewatching. The Fabergé Egg chase was one of my favourite scenes of cinema this year. Game Night had a good cast with even better character chemistry and jokes that were brilliant. I thoroughly enjoyed this film the first and second times, and it is definitely one of my favourite comedies of all time.

AMERICAN ANIMALS

Another true story film that took me by surprise this year was Bart Layton’s American Animals. It’s the true story of the 2003 Transy Book Heist, where 4 young men dared to try to steal a book worth $12 million but it goes horribly wrong. Told in Reservoir-Dog-esque way that gets the real men to explain and talk about the heist American Animals was a film that wasn’t heard of or seen by many this year but deserves to be.

THIS IS AMERICA

Yes, it’s not a movie or a TV show, but Childish Gambino’s music video is definitely deserving of some praise. Not only is an awesome song, but the music video looks at the life of being black in America and some of the issues, such as gun violence and police brutality. The ‘This is America’ video and song is one of Gambino’s best songs and it carries a strong and powerful message.

Thanks for reading this week’s mega-review of my favourite movies and TV shows, the best of 2018. Follow my Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest in movie news, behind the scenes pictures and more! Also, give this blog a follow to be the first to read my reviews.

Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. I wish all you the best for 2019 and hope that you join me next year for more movie reviews! Next week, I’ll be revealing some of the big movies and TV shows coming out in 2019 that I’m looking forward to and hopefully you are too. See you then!

 

Goodfellas: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #6

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! As a heads up, this review will not spoil anything in the film but will refer to scenes. You can go ahead and read this and nothing would be spoilt when you watch Goodfellas, but it’d be better if you watched the film first then read my review.

Those who saw BBC’s latest TV hit, McMafia, know that it’s incredibly easy to get sucked into that life. I couldn’t help but think of a few films that I’d seen that reminded me of the series. Goodfellas instantaneously sprang to mind and I rewatched it. The Martin Scorsese film was as fantastic as it was the first time, but people that I’ve spoken to haven’t really heard about it. I’d like to shed some light on this brilliant blockbuster.

With Martin Scorsese as director and a cast including Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, Goodfellas is actually based on a true story. There was a Henry Hill who was part of the mafia. This was documented in Nicholas Pileggi’s book, ‘Wiseguys’. It was from this book at Scorsese followed the sequence to produce this film.

Martin Scorsese directed this true story crime drama and did it perfectly. One little fact that I love is that Scorsese brought Pileggi (author of ‘Wiseguys’) to do the screenplay with him. That was such a brilliant idea, as it allowed the film to be brought to life in the best way possible. The casting choices for Goodfellas were spot on, even down to the actors playing young Henry and Tommy, there’s nothing I’d change there either. It’s rare that I say this about a movie, but all three main characters (Henry, Jimmy and Tommy) were all perfectly portrayed and I could find no fault with them. Ray Liotta played our protagonist, Henry Hill. No one could have done a better job than Liotta. He was well-suited to a gangster who had been with the mob all his life. Liotta brought a sense of innocence yet awesomeness to Henry Hill’s character which was great for the film. Robert De Niro played Jimmy Conway, a long time member of the mafia. I loved De Niro as Jimmy as he presented Jimmy as a force to be reckoned with and having a strong presence. No one else could have done this the way De Niro did, and it made the film more enjoyable to watch. Finally, Tommy was played by Joe Pesci. Though Tommy in real life was actually 6’2, Pesci’s portrayal seems more comedic and somewhat Napoleonic. The infamous ‘you think I’m funny?’ scene highlights how the world of the mafia is full of uncertainty and Pesci did this scene, and many others, so superbly. Paul Sorvino played Paul ‘Paulie’ Cicero, the head of the mob. He was like Jimmy where he was a force to be reckoned with and a man of high power and status. Sorvino was the right choice as he gave Cicero a sense of massiveness. Henry’s wife, Karen Hill, was played by Lorraine Bracco. Bracco had the perfect accent for Karen and the on-screen chemistry between Karen and Henry was fantastic. Liotta and Bracco executed the ups and downs of the relationship wonderfully. On that note actually, the relationship between Henry and each of the aforementioned mob characters was amazing, so well done to Ray Liotta on that front.

I can’t really remember much of the songs in the film, but I can recall scenes of when it was used. The music was good, especially as whenever something big and bad was happening, the music accompanying the scene would usually be quite calm and jolly. The music playing during the ‘Sunday 11th May’ act was perfectly suited and the scene itself was gripping. The best example of music in Goodfellas for me was the bodies being discovered montage with ‘Layla’ playing in the back. For me, this was one of the most memorable scenes.

Goodfellas-2

‘You know, we always called each other Goodfellas. Like you’d say to somebody: You’re gonna like this guy, he’s all right. He’s a goodfella. He’s one of us.’

Following from that, there are a few amazing scenes from Goodfellas that make it so fantastic. These may relate to spoilers, so you have been warned! Firstly, the opening was incredible. It was powerful and immediately set the tone of the movie. The scene with the letter from school and the postman was interesting to watch, popped out of nowhere and showed how mafia sucked Henry in. I liked the wedding scene with the Petey’s, Paulie’s and Marie’s as it gave a bit of humour as a break from the film. As mentioned earlier, the ‘you think I’m funny?’ moment from Tommy shows how your life in the mafia can be over in a matter of seconds (that’s not a spoiler, don’t worry). The clip from prison shows how the mafia are so notorious and have power no matter where they are or who they’re dealing with, and it was somewhat enjoyable to watch. One of the best scenes to watch for me was the Christmas scene at the bar with everyone spending, it was good fun to watch. To say the least, the Morrie story was quite dark and a little twisted in my opinion. However, this was not as twisted as what I’ll call the ‘Layla montage’. It was an amazing montage that was quite gory and twisted but yet so thrilling and enjoyable to watch. There are quite a few superb scenes in Goodfellas, but do yourself a favour and go watch it, for it is truly spectacular!

The story was great. I love any film that is based on a true story because it’s so intriguing to see how a director and actors will present it to the audience. Scorsese did an excellent job with Goodfellas, but I did personally find it a little slow moving in a couple places. This was because I found that it would make a point, give an example of it, but make too much of an example out of it. That being said, Goodfellas doesn’t lack in any other areas. It’s one of the best mafia movies I’ve seen and, as a fan of goriness and violence in movies, it was highly entertaining.

Goodfellas receives 8.8/10 from me. From all the goriness to the incredible characters, and the fact that it is based on a true story, I urge you to watch this film and I believe it’s Scorsese’s best film. Not only is it full of twists every now and again, but it gives a real insight into the life of the mafia family and how easy it is to get sucked in and how hard it is to get out. It’s available on Amazon Prime movies, and definitely worth the watch!

Thanks for reading week 6 of Ryan’s Movie Reviews. Follow me on WordPress, Instagram (@ryans.movies.reviews) and Twitter (@RyansMovieRevi1) to be the first to read my reviews, but I’ll also be retweeting and tweeting movie news and opinions on the Twitter, so be sure to follow it! Also, comment what you think I should review next and let me know what you thought of the BAFTA awards, Three Billboards did fantastically!

I’ll see you next Tuesday for when I review a Christopher Nolan movie. See you then!