8/03/2019

2019 Movies Reviewed, First Half


The first half of the year saw me still into blockbuster movies yet trying to break out with watching only one Indonesian movie. I am still on never-ending adjustment period but it was pretty bearable now — except for the hellhole that was February. Nevertheless, I had fun! I learned that underestimating things can reward you in the sweetest way possible. Also, some closure feels better than the rest. Here are the movies I watched in the first half of 2019.



Take Point


Started the year with Korean movie because I was dragged by a friend. I was wanting to watch Swing Kids, but alas it wasn't showing anymore. It was okay. Too many Western cliches but okay. A bit tryhard IMO, still a pleasant watch for the twist. However, I'm not really sure if it's recommended. The story follows a team of mercenaries attempting to kidnap a North Korean politician from a bunker under DMZ. And yes, things went awry. At least the action bit was fun.

Captain Marvel


First woman superhero of Marvel! Played by Oscar winner! Too many high hopes and none delivered. The movie really seems half-assed as if it's just a spinoff from the upcoming Endgame. I really wish this movie was done better in a lot of ways. That being said, I enjoyed the whole 90s vibe despite how inaccurate it was. And Carol Danvers is the lady after my hot-headed angry teenage heart. Of course, Goose is my spirit animal.

Shazam!


This movie was WILD. What if I tell you this is the superhero version of Shoplifters? And finally, DC made a fun movie? Wow, where have they been? I came with low expectation and came out with the biggest smile on my face. Props to Zachary Levi who successfully rebranded himself from MCU to the amazingly manly Shazam which is a grown man with the mind of a 13-year-old without being creepy. A bit shame that it wasn't released on Christmas though.

Ave Maryam


An Indonesian movie which released last year for festivals and finally released this year for a wider audience. I anticipated it so strongly but to my dismay, there were scenes that cut off which totally vital to the movie. It contributed to the viewing experience but if you don't know, then you won't know. I just happened to saw it on twitter not too long after. Even so, the movie, if you managed to see the full version, is worth watching. It's art from start to finish although the subject it touched is not to take lightly. I love it.

Avengers: Endgame


The long-awaited, anticipated, also dreaded because it marks the end of 11 years of carefully crafted MCU. It was as monumental and fanservice-y as I could ask but also fulfilling in a way or two had they not done dirty some characters. The whole debate between the writers vs the directors weren't helping and I had a lot of conflicting feelings after watching. Despite so, nobody can't deny it was something so glorious, so ambitious, but also so fulfilling in a decade. I watched it four times. It felt more heartbreaking than most. It felt like losing a longtime friend. But I believe with Black Panther and Doctor Strange, the future of MCU is looking bright.

Pokemon Detective Pikachu


Though I grow up under the influence of Digimon more, Pokemon does have a special place in my heart. Who doesn't want to own a Pikachu anyway? I want to own a Squirtle or Bulbasaur myself T_T That being said, I think I watched it purely to see how the Pokemon would like if they came to life. I still don't know how to react upon seeing them into furries but I think it quite works. The story felt a bit weak but hey, as long as the Pokemon delivers, I don't mind. Also, the movie was released during the most chaotic period in my life so it was very much welcomed.

John Wick Chapter 3 - Parabellum


Unlike the disappointment I had with the second installment, the third one was satisfying to me. Everything feels more cohesive, the color grading compliments everything, and it closes the trilogy nicely — that was what I think before John Wick 4 confirmed. But I do think the fight choreography was a little flat. Also, there are parts of the story that was quite predictable and too cliche. At this point, I kinda wished John Wick didn't get any sequels but, hey, why not bank on it. Keanu Reeves is breathtaking anyway.

Aladdin


I was almost passed on this one but I think there's no harm in watching. Good thing because it's fun and rather fresh. Will Smith's Genie is super swaggy instead of flamboyant, which works for these modern days. Of course, I was disappointed with the new rendition of A Whole New World but eh, original one would always be the best.

Dark Phoenix


Last non-MCU Marvel movie Fox made before the merger with Disney. It's okay viewing, not that disappointing but I can see why people aren't satisfied. But I think it was far better than X-Men: The Last Stand. Every character gave their all and the second to last battle was superb, almost MCU-like. I can only hope Disney would stick with some of the actors later on.


I made an ongoing list of the movies I watched in 2019 in Letterboxd along with small reviews. For monthly recap please hop on to my diary.

I am pretty satisfied I managed to watch a lot of movies I've been meaning to. It does feel like cinema is going through superhero fatigue but the kids seem to enjoy whatever thrown at them so it does keep the cinema running. I didn't think there are any remarkable movies at the cinema but I hope it would change in the last half. Halloween and Christmas are coming. With MCU taking a break after smashing summer, it's DC's time to shine so I also can't wait.


How was your trip to the cinema so far?

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