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!

 

Back to the Future: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #27

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! 

I recently asked on Instagram what film I should review next. From Magic Mike to Tangled, and even Kangaroo Jack, there was a wide range of responses. One was Back to the Future, the famous 1980’s time travel film. I rewatched it and fell in love with it again. I promised to review it for last weeks review, but I just had to review Final Space (check out my review for it here), so I’m bringing it to you this week. 

From Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis, Back to the Future is the story of Marty McFly, a classic 80s teen who’s in a band and is in a great relationship. Except, Marty is good friends with Dr Emmett Brown, a wacky scientist who invents time travel in a DeLorean using plutonium that he obtained from a trade with terrorists, but he scammed them. The terrorists soon realise that Doc scammed them and come to hunt him down. Marty escapes in Doc’s DeLorean and hits 88 miles per hour, the magic speed needed to travel through time. He winds up 30 years in the past, in 1955 and bumps into his teenage parents who haven’t even met yet. Now that Marty’s in 1955, he has caught the eye of his teenage mother. It’s up to Marty to help his parents meet, or he will change the course of history that leads to him and his siblings never being born. On top of all this, the DeLorean has broken down, so Marty must track down young Doc so he can fix the DeLorean and go back to the future. Get it?

Michael J Fox plays the role of Marty, and he did a fantastic job. For a young person when he filmed it, as well as juggling other roles, he was great. And Michael J Fox must have done a pretty damn good job playing Marty, as it is easily his most iconic character to date. This is more than evident in Back to the Future. The way that Fox plays a teenager who’s trying to wrap his head around all this sci-fi mumbo-jumbo is fantastic, and Fox brings elements of naivety and pluckiness to Marty’s character that makes the film even more enjoyable. Christopher Lloyd plays Doctor Emmett Brown, or Doc as he’s referred to for the majority of the film. He’s such an iconic character, and, like how it is for Marty, is arguably Lloyd’s most notorious role. The way that Lloyd executes his role is absolutely perfect, and I would honestly not change a thing about how Lloyd did it. He had the perfect blend of eccentricity with a hint of craziness and some good-heartedness (that’s a word, right?). The best thing about Back to the Future is the relationship between Doc and Marty. They’re easily one of the most iconic duos in the history of film. You have Marty, a kind of shy but sweet character paired up with Doc, an eccentric and wild character. It may not sound like something that goes well together, but the way that the actors play their characters is absolutely amazing. Crispin Glover played Mr George McFly, and I think he did a pretty good job as Marty’s nerdy dad. I don’t really have much to say on him, but the way that Glover made George a bit of a geeky loser was awesome. Lea Thompson played Lorraine McFly, Marty’s mother. I must say that Thompson’s character was hilarious, and it actually comes down to the acting from her. She was just the right amount of funny which was entertaining, but not so much where it ruined the film. The bully, Biff Tannen (because all 80’s movies needed some form of a bully) was played by Thomas Wilson. I honestly felt that there was no need for Biff’s character. We already had enough conflict with Marty trying to fix the DeLorean by locating young Doc in 1955 and his young mother having the hots for him, and having Biff there just seemed like something that Zemeckis wanted so that he could the pad the runtime, add a bit of humour and make Marty more of a hero. The way Wilson made Biff an unlikable character though was quite well done, but I still don’t really see Biff’s character as necessary.

Back_to_the_Future

Doc and Marty discover that the time machine works.

The plot and storyline are really smart and awesome, but it actually does have its holes. The film is executed is impeccably, but after some thought, you do spot some plot holes. For example, Marty is set on getting his parents together at the under the sea dance, but do they have to kiss at the exact time for everything to be as it was? Surely if they just got together at some point then everything would be ok? And Marty also meets his parents in 1955. Wouldn’t they think it’s weird that their son in 1985 looks exactly like him with the same clothes and voice and everything as they would remember him from their youth? Just think about it, maybe even rewatch the film, and you’ll see exactly what I mean.

Now for my favourite moments. The opening was fantastic. It set the tone of the movie perfectly well. You have the watches and clocks for the time element, the setting of the 80’s being established immediately and some great music in ‘The Power of Love’. I love the reveal of the DeLorean time machine. Even though it’s a bit stupid, as Doc had to get in the DeLorean, drive it into the truck, then close the truck to only open it again and reverse out of the DeLorean to then surprise Marty with his invention, it’s honestly just such an amazing and iconic scene in cinema history. Then with Marty escaping in the DeLorean to 1955, it is truly an amazing scene. When Marty first meets his dad in 1955, it’s a great and incredibly well-acted scene. Then it kind of dies down a bit, with trying to fix the DeLorean, getting young Lorraine to like young George instead of Marty (her son!) and beating up Biff. I have no shame in admitting that from the under the sea dance to the end of the film, it is perfect in my opinion. You have the awesome Johnny B Goode scene, getting back to the future, ending on the best line of the film. ‘Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.’

Back to the Future is one of my all-time favourite films, and gets an 8.4/10 from me. Awesome music, amazing characters and just such a great experience, Back to the Future is incredible. I will criticise its sequels though, more so Back to the Future 3. Of all times in history to go to, the Wild West?! Imagine how amazing it would’ve been to see trying to get the DeLorean working in Ancient Rome or in medieval times. And the premise for the sequels is the same. Travel in time, fix the time machine and go back to the present day with the possibility of setting up another sequel. It’s well worth mentioning the popularity of Back to the Future. You remember back on October 21st 2015 when it was Back to the Future day? Only some films get that recognition, like Star Wars. Back to the Future is no exception, and it’s because it has helped to mould films to how they are today. It’s like Jaws. It was the first film of it’s kind to play with a new idea that had such an amazing reaction from audiences then and is still loved today. And the ripple effects of just how popular Back to the Future was and is are still evident today. You will see endless parodies and references in TV shows (like Family Guy) and movies (most notably, Ready Player One) relating to Back to the Future. Even Rick and Morty basically riffed off this sci-fi classic. which is why it’s such a great and awesome film. 

Thanks for reading this weeks review. Sorry, it’s out late, but I returned from Turkey on Thursday morning. Follow my Instagram, @ryans.movie.reviews, for the latest in movie news, with behind the scenes and sneak peeks for the next blockbusters, and regular polls and chances to have your say. Also, follow this blog to be notified of when I publish my reviews, and you’ll be the first to read them!

Once again, thanks for reading this week’s review. Join me next week when I review a film about dogs. See you then!

 

Ready Player One: Ryan’s Movie Reviews #13

Hello and welcome to Ryan’s Movie Reviews! Just as a heads up, this review may contain a few spoilers, but shouldn’t ruin the entire movie for you.

I frequently go to the movies with friends, but when my friend Khushal suggested that we go see Ready Player One, it didn’t sound like much to me. After watching the trailers and seeing that it was from Steven Spielberg, I found myself drawn to the film. I saw the film last week with Khushal, Nick and Josh and we loved it! Here is my review of it.

From the winner of Empire’s Legend of our Lifetime award, Steven Spielberg and author Ernest Cline comes Ready Player One. In 2045, the reality is a bore and people dislike their lives. To escape reality, people go to the OASIS, a virtual reality universe where you are free to do whatever you want. You also gain coins for completing various activities, but once killed in the game you will lose everything and have to start again. When the creator of the game (James Halliday) dies, he leaves 3 challenges (known as Anorak’s Quest) for all players, and winning each challenge will give you a different key. Once you obtain the Copper, Jade and Crystal keys, you will win Anorak’s Quest and inherit $500 billion and complete control of the OASIS. It’s a race against time and all other players to win Anorak’s Quest. Wade Watts, or Parzival as he’s known in the Oasis, is one of the competitors, wishing to escape life in the slum-like stacks. The film focuses around him and his friends trying to win Anorak’s Quest while IOI (Innovative Online Industries), a company who manufactures most of the equipment used in the OASIS, competes to win the ownership of the game.

Spielberg’s direction was great, and Ready Player One will go down as one of his greats. It was classic Spielberg that made me entertained throughout the film. Our protagonist of Wade Watts was played by Tye Sheridan. Sheridan was amazing as Parzival as he captured the fun of the gaming and brought it to life in a wonderful way. Olivia Cooke took on the role of Art3mis, or Samantha, a pro-gamer and leader of the rebellion against IOI. Cooke was good and played Art3mis awesomely. The antagonist of Sorrento, the CEO of IOI, was played by Ben Mendelsohn and I thought he was perfect for the villain in Ready Player One. We’ve seen him as the villain in Rogue One, and Mendelsohn was great then, and great here. He is accompanied by Hannah John-Kamen’s F’Nale. F’Nale was a decent character, but I personally would have liked to have seen more of her. She was introduced as part of the bad guys, but only served to go against what Sorrento wanted. Art3mis and Parzival are not alone in their attack against IOI. They join forces with Aech or Helen in real life. Lena Waithe was great as Aech as she was so fun and interesting for her role. Mark Rylance played James Halliday or Anorak, and he was pretty cool. For Halliday, he had the perfect mumbling tone, and he also had the perfect godlike voice for Anorak. Simon Pegg played Ogden Morrow and another character who if I mention is a spoiler, but Pegg was great as Ogden and his voiceover for the other mystery character was something that I loved! T.J. Miller voiced I-R0K, a bounty hunter hired by IOI to kill Parzival to stop him from getting the keys. I thought he was perfect for the role and was hilarious. My three favourite characters were Wade Watts (Parzival), as Sheridan was perfect for the role of a hero (aside from Cyclops in X-Men) and portrayed the character in a fun way, Samantha (Art3mis), mainly because Cooke executed the role perfectly and suited the role, and finally I-R0K as his seriousness character mixed with the nerdy yet jokey tone was fantastic.

The music is easily one of the best parts of Ready Player One! From the Van Halen to New Order, I loved the music in this film. My only criticism is that there should have been more of it. It was like all the good music was used in the first half of the film, then we had two great songs at the end, but that was it. It would have been nice to have the awesome 80’s music flowing throughout the film.

RP1

Aech, Parzival and Art3mis inside Aech’s workshop, with an Iron Giant leg in the background.

The story was great. Though some things were changed from the book (which I’m currently reading), the film portrayed the story well. I liked the opening, as it introduced the plot and story well and kept me hooked. I did find it slow moving in places, but something else bothered me a little more. I found it just so plot convenient that everyone that Parzival needed and met on the OASIS that just happened to be in Columbus, Ohio, in a close proximity to one another. How amazing would it have been if Daito and Sho were in Tokyo, Parzival in Ohio and everyone else spread out across the world? I would have loved that! Imagine it, like Aech in France or something helping Parzival execute his plan while he’s trying to help Art3mis out with something while she’s in London or New York. That would be incredible!

Now on to my favourite parts and this will contain spoilers, so be prepared! Firstly, the Easter Eggs in this film were so cool and actually made the film a little more enjoyable, though I found myself a little too distracted at times trying to spot them. From obvious ones, like the Iron Giant, King Kong, Chucky and Halo soldiers to subtle ones that I spotted like Hello Kitty in the background, Marvin the Martian entering the OASIS and Freddy Krueger getting killed by Aech in a game. My favourite Easter Eggs were the Back to the Future Easter Eggs. We had the Zemeckis cube, Parzival driving the DeLorean and even a Mayor Goldie Wilson poster in the background! One YouTube channel found over 300 Easter Eggs! I loved the opening as it emphasised how everyone was sucked into the OASIS and all its possibilities with little exposition. The race to the first key was awesome, I had such a thrilling time watching it both forwards and backwards. The scene of Art3mis and Parzival meeting the Distracted Globe was entertaining too. First off, because of the music. New Order and BeeGees? Yes please! Secondly it was really good fun to watch. The end battle with all OASIS players storming the IOI headquarters in the game was fun to watch too, as there were so many Easter Eggs here, it was a great action scene and Twisted Sisters ‘We’re Not Gonna Take It’ was so perfect for this scene which made even more enjoyable. I also loved the scene where Wade regenerates because of the quarter. It was a neat nod to how a quarter could bring you back to life in arcade games and it was an excellent revelation from an earlier scene. The animation throughout the film was gorgeous, and the music was awesome too.

Ready Player One gets an 8.2/10 from me. It may have been slow and could have used more music, but I found that the more I thought about this film the more I wanted to see it again! I reckon that Ready Player One will go down as one of Spielberg’s greats. I urge you to watch this as it is Spielberg at his finest and is an amazing and entertaining experience in cinemas. Don’t wait for it to come out on Netflix or whatever, Ready Player One deserves to be seen on the big screen.

Thanks for reading week 13 of Ryan’s Movie Reviews. It’s a very exciting time to be a movie and TV Fanatic. We have Westworld season 2 and Archer season 9 starting next week as well as Infinity War coming out! So. Much. Hype. Follow my WordPress with your email to be notified of when I post a new review and my Instagram (@Ryans.Movie.Reviews) for the latest TV and movie news.

Once again, thanks for reading this weeks review. I’ve been asked to mix things up a bit, so expect a TV show review for next week, as well as a spoiler and non-spoiler review of Infinity War at some point. See you then!