I’m back baby! That was an extended hiatus, but the end of 2018/start of 2019 was horrible for me. Sickness and death, and all manner of garbage. Seems like a good time to finally post my 2018 recap and put the year behind me. We’ve done the podcast, but given the number of people that were on (and the way that Dave looked at me for talking about Star Wars as I did) now is my chance to elaborate. There are also some things that came out in 2018 that I hadn’t seen when we recorded so I can talk about those now too. Plus, with everything that’s happened since, that podcast seems like it was recorded a lifetime ago. So here’s my good, meh, and ugly from 2018 in no particular order. Sorry if I repeat from the podcast, but I promise it’ll be worth reading even if you’ve already listened. Well, I promise it’ll have enough differences or new content. I never promise that I’ll write something worth reading.
Good – Doctor Who
I love the new Doctor. I never cared if they made it a woman or black man or whatever other ideas they were throwing around when Capaldi left. The only thing that really mattered was getting Moffat out of there. The only episode I had a problem with was the intergalactic racist going after Rosa Parks. A little too much message in my space and time travel story, but otherwise the season was great. I love the new companions, and Graham is my favorite old man since Wilfred.
Great – Mandy
I almost picked this as my favorite, but since Nicole and Ryan did costumes from this for Halloween last year I knew it would be one of their top choices. It was beautiful, and I honestly don’t see how it didn’t get nominated for an Oscar for art direction or something. If Nicholas Cage is a little too Nicolas Cage for you in stuff like Mom and Dad or The Wicker Man his performance is much more subdued here. Still crazy Cage-rage, but somehow less insane. Nightmare, fever dream, or lunatic masterpiece. It could be any of those, and I need to watch it again to try and narrow it down. I may never decide for sure though.
Meh – Disenchantment
I was excited when I saw that Matt Groening had a new series premiering on Netflix. While it wasn’t bad, it wasn’t good either. There were the always good store pun names that he uses on every show, but the characters all sounded exactly like other characters from his past shows. It’s fine because there were a lot of the same great voice actors from Futurama, but it didn’t help this new show to feel different. I did watch the entire first season (it got better as it went), and will watch the new one to see where it goes. Remember the first season of The Simpsons and the first few episodes of Futurama? They weren’t the best so let’s give it a chance.
Bad – Annihilation
It wasn’t awful, but it sure wasn’t good. Or even meh, for that matter. If you remember movies like Arrival and Contact than you’ve seen Annihilation before. It just looks prettier this time. Unless you’re watching Natalie Portman and Jennifer Jason Leigh have a resting bitch-face off. That was certainly not pretty. It made me want to kick myself for not being able to turn off a movie even if I’m not super into it. But I was locked in my aunt’s house while my grandmother was sick (there is nothing to do and nowhere to go in LaFayette, GA) so I had a nice Netflix binge that led to…
Good – Bandersnatch
As someone who grew up with “choose your own adventure” books I was intrigued by the idea of Bandersnatch. I can’t even imagine how hard it was to film, and everything that went into making it. I do wonder how my choice of breakfast cereal affects the overall story though. I got through 2 of the endings, and will probably go back and do it again now that I know there are some I haven’t seen. It’s a cool idea that I’d like to see more happen with. But after watching that I went on to watch some of the last season of Black Mirror. USS Callister was the best thing that show has done yet. It would get it’s own heading here as “great” if it hadn’t come out on December 29th 2017. I know I’m over a year late, but I shut off Netflix for a few years, and got way behind on everything.
Meh – The Predator
I’ve tried watching it again since it came out in the theater, but I just don’t care. Olivia Munn is not a scientist, Predators are not splicing the genes of stuff they kill into hybrids, and Jake Busey is not a real person. He’s just a set of giant teeth with a crazy father. I still appreciate the locker room humor, but this movie was a major disappointment.
Great – The Haunting of Hill House
The only reason this was in any way disappointing was that I saw people all over Facebook talking about how scary it was. Those guys are all pussies because it was in no way scary. The only episodes that were even creepy were 5 and 6. I did enjoy the random ghosts appearing in the background throughout the series, but other than that there was nothing scary about it. What it did have was an amazing story, excellent acting, and great visual effects. I forgot that Timothy Hutton and Henry Thomas were two different people in episode 6. I agree with Dave that the ending could have been better, but overall it was fantastic.
Bad – Halloween (2018)
It’s probably a good thing we didn’t talk about this movie during the podcast since I hated it, while Dave loved it. I don’t want a group podcast to devolve into us screaming at each with other people watching (and maybe placing bets). I like humor, when it’s in the right places, but humor doesn’t fit as the overwhelming presence in a Halloween movie. I sat though a whole shit ton of bad sequels and reboots to get to the new movie. It deserves serious treatment, and I deserve to see it treated seriously. If I wanted to see a movie I love getting made into jokey crap then I could watch The Predator again. With all that this series has been through it needed a stronger hand than Danny McBride plotting the course.
Great – Avengers: Infinity War
Meh – Overlord
The trailers made it look like fun. It wasn’t. Especially when it wasn’t over the top enough to make you forget that people were really conducting medical experiments on other people in that exact time. If they had gone DOOM level large we might have been able to look past it, but as it was I just saw a slightly less upsetting version of a WWII documentary. Nazis are always going to be bad guys, but let’s maybe try to make it a little less of a high-octane good time.
Great – Solo
And here’s where I might lose some people – just like I lost Dave during our podcast. I didn’t love Solo, but I love that its tanking led to Disney rethinking their Star Wars plans. I thought Solo was pretty good, but it wasn’t good enough to make me want any other origin stories. Not in movie form at least. I’ve got a whole other post coming about Star Wars books, but that’s where I’d like the origins to stay for now. What I loved about Solo was that it taught Disney that it couldn’t just mindlessly churn out a movie per year to keep us satisfied. We’ve had plenty of bad Star Wars movies, and now quality matters far more than quantity. I don’t want there to not be Star Wars movies because I love them. I do want there to be really good Star Wars movies with carefully thought out plots and characters. Don’t throw some Star Wars shit at me because you can. I’ve already said that I don’t care about stories where no one I care about is on the line. If your origin story doesn’t involve any risk then I just can’t care that much. Will young Han and Chewie escape from this mess or die horribly? Think it through. What does an Obi-Wan or Boba Fett movie add to the universe? Not much since I have this thing called books. I just want Disney to take away the message that they can’t slap that label on something and trust that we’ll love it. That would be a really bad precedent to set guys. But once they get their shit together I will totally watch a Kenobi movie.
And now we come to me best and worst of the year…
the best – The Meg
Not saying it was the best movie, but it was definitely the most fun I had in the theater last year. It’s not great. Hell, it’s not even a decent movie. It certainly is fun though. I loved the Statham-ness of it. I can’t think of anyone else to star in this unless it was The Rock, and he was busy last year. It was stupid, not grounded in any known form of science, but it was the most enjoyable movie I saw all year. Everything about it was amazing. The cheesy effects, the lame acting, and even the pseudo-science. If they had done this with Rampage I’d have been totally on-board. As it was…
the worst – Rampage
I love The Rock. I smelled what he was cooking 20 years ago, and I’m all about him making awesome dude movies. I already love disaster movies so if you put The Rock in them I’m there. I am fully aware that Rampage is based on a video game with pretty much no plot. So are plenty of other movies, but that didn’t mean that Rampage had to suck. There was just too damn much set up. The actual rampaging took place only in the last half hour or so. If you’re gonna call a movie Rampage it needs to be all rampaging all of the time. Here’s my new story: some space shit comes down and hits a gorilla, a wolf, and a lizard. They get huge and hungry. They begin their rampage. It would take like ten minutes to set up my version. The other hour and a half could be devoted to watching monsters tear up buildings. Done, and awesome!
So what am I looking forward to in 2019?
Well, there’s a Dowton Abbey movie, because I’m a girl. I still want my Marvel so Captain Marvel and the next Avengers obviously. Dark Phoenix and Zombieland 2 will probably suck (doesn’t mean I don’t want to see them). Movie-wise I’m most looking forward to Detective Pikachu. I don’t care what you say, it’s going to be the balls! And for TV/streaming stuff I’m super excited about Good Omens. I love the book, and have the BBC teleplay, but can’t wait to see it for real.
You may be wondering why I haven’t talked about The Good Place. Or you may not be. I don’t know what you think about. I did name it as my favorite TV show of the year. I’ve decided that it deserves it’s own post since it’s finally come back on the air. I hate season breaks. Anyway, stay tuned for much more nonsense, Days of the Dead fun, and Star Wars book gibberish to come soon. I was away for a long time, and I’ve got a lot of nerding to make up.