Best Movies of 2018

source
Another list that I am SUPER late with but here it is! I didn’t see a ton of movies this year as I wanted to but listed here are the ones I thought stood out the most that I saw.
Honorable Mentions: Ready Player One, Crazy Rich Asians, Annihilation, Ant-Man and the Wasp
10. Bumblebee
bumblebee-2
I haven’t reviewed this yet and I don’t know if I will, but I thought this was very good. I was surprised. I don’t care for any of the Transformers movies. I think I’ve only see the first two, but I really enjoyed the adventure, but I was also really into the friendship (also seemed a little romantic lol) that bloomed between Charlie and Bumblebee which was shocking to me. I also very much enjoyed the action. Yes, be shocked people lol.
9. Love, Simon
love-simon-grid-uproxx
I very much enjoyed this movie. I even teared up at the end. Nick Robinson did a very good job in this role. Simon is so likable, and you root for him throughout the movie. Unlike the book where I hated some characters, I generally liked everyone (all the main characters) in the movie. It’s a nice teen, coming of age movie for those who may be in the same struggle as Simon.
8. Sorry to Bother You
sorry
I haven’t reviewed this yet and I do plan on it, but this movie is bonkers. I mean, I really liked it. I think it’s one of those you either “love it” or you “hate it” because it’s weird. I get the message, I like the quirkiness of it and I thought it was handled in a very original way. Great movie experience.
7. The Incredibles 2
incrediles2-poster-crop-frontpage-700x304
Something we’ve been waiting for for years! I don’t think it’s better than the first one but it’s a nice follow up. I loved seeing the Parr family again and I loved seeing Elastigirl really use her powers because she’s awesome. The story is interesting, the characters are STILL likable, and the action and adventure aspect is so much fun!
6. Avengers: Infinity War
5a1eb89d3339b0962f8b459e-750-323
I haven’t seen it again in a while, but this movie really kicked me in the stomach. It was great seeing 10 years of MCU movies come to a head in this film. I think the direction was handled well since there were so many characters in this film to juggle. I thought it could have been a mess, but it wasn’t. I do think there was some issues which doesn’t put it in the Top 5 of my MCU movies (at least right now it doesn’t) but it’s Sooooo worth it.
5. Mission Impossible: Fallout
mission-impossible-fallout-again
This movie is dope! I love the Mission Impossible movies and Ethan Hunt is awesome! Shoot, the Avengers need to let him help them take down Thanos lol. It’s because of these movies that I know spy movies don’t necessarily HAVE to be convoluted. Fallout is so much fun, you get to see Tom Cruise RUN LIKE A CHAMP! Plus, Henry Cavill was also great in it and we got to see the best moment ever.source
4. A Quiet Place
a_quiet_place_still_1
Anyone who knows me knows I don’t like horror films. I know that “horror” is a wide genre so there are smaller umbrellas of horror I would enjoy (like I want to see Happy Death Day 2 U) and this was one of those I really wanted to see. I would consider it more of a thriller than anything but it’s one of those movies where you MUST watch since it’s so quiet. It forces you to be quiet and pay attention. I think all the acting is very good and the use of sound and music in the film is top notch. Great directorial debut by John Kransinski and of course Emily Blunt is always a win.
3. The Hate U Give
1*wrgztzd-130icdwrf3mv8q
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name. It is a great book adaptation and I think the movie was well done. The acting, the story and the passion behind it was all handled very well and it shows. Sure, it’s a little different from the book but it’s still very good. Amandla Stenberg was great and powerful as Starr Carter and the story hits so close to what has been happening with black people and police. Very relevant.
2. Black Panther
null
I mean what can I say? It’s Black Panther. I argued for a while if this will be my number one movie and I settled with it here. It is such a win for black superheroes, for black nerds, for black people and for people in general. The story may be familiar, but I think you can tell there was love behind it. I mean, the costumes, the musical score, it’s funny and it has a lot of emotional moments that are totally earned. Plus, my husband is in it and he killed that villain role! Everyone in this movie DID that.
1.  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
spiderman-intospiderverse-intlposter-frontpage-700x290
Listen, if you have not seen this movie and you’re a Spider-man fan then what is wrong with you? This is THE BEST Spider-Man movie (fight me) and I’m so glad that Miles Morales is at the helm in this. I love Peter Parker, I have and always will love Peter Parker but this movie having Miles as the lead was a smart move because it follows the message of the movie… anyone can be behind the mask if you let go. The animation is beautiful, the music is used well in the film, the action is so good, the characters are ALL interesting, I mean there are a lot of characters and they all get their time to shine. Miles is a fully realized character and if you don’t know much about him going into the movie, then I reckon you’ll love him by the end. This was such a great movie experience and I recommend for any Spider-Man fan to go out and watch this one.
So what are your thoughts on my list? Remember, this is my opinion so if you disagree, please tell me what your list is in the comments below!
Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to like and follow this blog for more posts like this one!
Advertisements

Book Review: Simon vs.the Homo Sapiens Agenda

51eib2b0fskl-_sx330_bo1204203200_

Summary: Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.
Check out my review for Love, Simon here.
Pros:
The Characters. I really like Simon. I think he’s a great kid, he’s funny, witty and quite lovable, my only problem with him is that he doesn’t fight back enough with Martin because you not about to hold anything like that over my head. But anyway, I liked in ways how he looked at the world, all the references, it felt like I was in the head of a teenage boy sometimes (I’ll mention more about this later). I also really liked Abby and Nick. Abby was just this bundle of joy who had a lot of things she kept secret, but she just had a positive outlook in everything and I loved her friendship with Simon. Nick wasn’t as prominent as Abby, but he seemed like a cool guy. I also really liked learning about Blue and later when we meet him, you already like him that when he physically is around, you like him even more.
The friendship. The friendship between Simon, Nick and Abby particularly is some of the best in the story. I don’t mind Leah, but I think I liked her better in the movie than I did in the book, she was too negative for me. But anytime Simon and Nick just hung out, I thought it was handled well and they seemed liked they’d been friends for years and I liked that Abby was just this bundle of light and joy that both Nick and Simon gravitated to without even thinking. I really loved the moment where Simon and Abby talk in the car, it was sweet, and I thought Abby was a great friend in that moment, even if she’d only been around for about four months.
Blue and Jacques. I think one of the best things about this book is the relationship we see develop between Blue and Jacques through the emails. Obviously, Jacques is Simon and we find out who Blue is later, which I don’t want to spoil for those who haven’t seen the movie or read the book. but I thought they were super cute and they had a nice little banter. We got to see and learn way more about Blue so in ways you learn to really like him just about as much as you may like Simon. When they finally meet (spoilers? lol) it’s still cute and I have to say they have good chemistry. You get hints throughout the story who Blue might be, you just must pay close attention.
Humor. I have to say this book is funny. I thought the movie was cute and funny but considering how Simon is a little potty mouth, I thought his voice was funny in the book. I laughed quite a bit at some of the things he thought about, or the things he would say aloud. Even his family was a bit ridiculous that I laughed at them. I think if you want some lighthearted humor but also some sardonic humor, this book has it in there just for you.
Cons:
Nothing Really Happens. I didn’t really think about this until after I finished the book, but nothing really happens. Sure, there’s the blackmail and the emails but outside of those things, that aren’t always in the forefront, nothing happens. I wasn’t engaged the entire time. I didn’t want to give this its own point, but I didn’t always buy Simon’s voice. Not always. There are times where I was very aware it was a woman writing him. I don’t think everyone can do voices that aren’t like them consistently.
The Blackmail story line. I didn’t like it in the movie and I don’t like it in the book. It was an addition that wasn’t needed, and I think it was mean spirited. I get the whole “Martin took away Simon’s choice to come out when he was ready” but that didn’t sit well with me at all. It just seemed like something that the author felt would make Simon seem like a victim. He was already struggling enough with wanting to tell his friends and family about his sexuality, it could have just been a journey like that instead of making it worse by taking the choice away from him. It really bothered me. Plus, the fact that Simon went along with it, you have a choice. No one had to know what the emails were about, he could have told someone and said, “this kid is trying to post my personal emails out for everyone to see if I don’t help him date my friend.” Sure drama, but I don’t like it. Not to mention, he starts to see Martin like a friend and then later even kind of agonizes over the fact that Martin could be Blue. Just… ugh. I hated all of it.
Martin Addison. I HATE this kid. In the movie, he was kind of likable because the actor made him likable, but I hate him, and it really bothered me how easily Simon just fell into this trap with him. I think the story could have still happened without his whole side plot, it was just extra drama that I think was unnecessary. He kept bringing up for Simon to meet his brother, who he said was also gay, and he would ask Simon who Blue was, and he wanted Simon to pair him up with Abby, but it was obvious that Abby did not like him that way. Later, when he gets mad at Simon for not “doing his job” or that he thinks Abby and Simon have a thing and he’s being played and retaliates in such an awful way. Ugh, awful character. AWFUL! What makes it worse is that it seemed like the author tried to make him likable because Simon would rationalize things about Martin, and I just… ugh, awful! I don’t care about his apology AT ALL.
Overall, I quite enjoyed myself reading this book. I think it’s a fun and quick read and the characters for the most part are likable people, especially Simon, Nick and Abby and of course Blue. I think the book is funny as Simon is quite the potty mouth and his reactions to things cause for a lot of humor. I also really love the friendship that Simon has with his friends and the romance that we see grow between Blue and Simon is also handled well. However, I do really dislike the blackmail story line of the book, I think it’s mean spirited and unnecessary. I also HATE Martin Addison, ugh what a terrible character, I felt like the author tried to make him likable and endearing and it did not work for me. But I still enjoyed the book overall.
Rating: 3.9 out of 5 stars.
Have you read Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!
Be sure to like and follow this blog for more Book Reviews!

Movie Review: Love, Simon (2018)

love-simon-movie-trailer-nick-robinson

Summary: Simon Spier keeps a huge secret from his family, his friends, and all of his classmates: he’s gay. When that secret is threatened, Simon must face everyone and come to terms with his identity.
This movie is based on the book Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Nick Robinson as Simon Spier. Simon is a regular kid with a regular family but he has a big secret. Simon is a sweet kid, he’s nice to everyone, he’s funny, he’s good-looking, he has a nice family and he’s like the every-man. He’s closeted because he’s worried at how his secret could disrupt things so he’s often thinking about that while also trying to find a way to be comfortable with himself. When he finds out that someone else in his school is gay, he latches on to that lifeline and they create a friendship through emails. Simon also falls to the fantasy where he starts to put faces on his mysterious emailer due to his interactions with guys. It’s really cute actually because we all do that. I like Simon, he’s just trying to find his way. I also really like Nick Robinson, he’s very likable in this role and he’s also super cute lol. I think he has this innocence about him, but also this earnestness that makes you root for him. He carries this movie on his shoulders and he does such a great job.
Supporting Characters. I almost put Simon’s friends with Simon, but I realized this movie is Simon’s movie, his friends are kind of outliers but still important.
  • Katherine Langford as Leah Burke. She one of Simon’s best friends and they have a cute friendship. They’ve been friends for a long time so they’re obviously comfortable with each other and as the story continues, things are shown about her that I think are obvious but sure. I like Katherine Langford, she’s pretty and energetic and quirky.
  • Alexandra Shipp as Abby Suso. She is one of Simon’s best friends and I think she’s probably the next most important in the friend group since it’s because of Martin’s interest in her but she’s new to the town. We learn the most about her out of the friends, but she’s sweet, pretty, energetic, a social butterfly and seemingly fearless which perhaps shows why all of the guys like her. So far, Alexandra Shipp has made up for her lackluster run as Aaliyah and she’s fun to watch. Abby was likable and someone I can see a lot of people wanting to be friends with in these movie worlds.
  • Jorge Lendeborg Jr. as Nick Eisner. He is one of Simon’s best friends and he plays soccer. He seems like a cool dude but at the same he’s kind of awkward. It’s really cute. He, Simon and Leah were friends for a long while and it’s easy to see that they’ve known each other longer but Nick could be the cool one of the group but Jorge doesn’t really play it that way. Nick just seems like the athletic kid who is also a every man. I’ve never seen Jorge in anything but he’s very likable.
  • Logan Miller as Martin Addison. Martin is a theater kid, who is a bit quirky but underhanded. He has a massive, obvious crush on Abby and he uses what he finds out about Simon to make him help him get closer to Abby. He’s kind of awkward and not considered a “cool” or even a “normal” kid but as the movie progresses, we see different sides of him and he becomes likable… kind of and a sort of friend to the main group. I saw Logan Miller in Before I Fall, and I liked him in that and I liked him in this too, his character was a mix between being likable and unlikable which he does well. There’s a good balance.
The Story. Just as Simon says when he’s introducing the story, he has a normal life, but he has a huge ass secret. Throughout the film, we see Simon go through his senior year of high school, dealing with the fact that he’s not alone in being closeted. He’s never told anyone, and sometimes he has to pretend just to keep his secret. But someone from his school anonymously comes out on their Gossip Girl blog and he starts emailing them since he’s found someone he can relate too. They have a pen pal like relationship but Martin sees his emails and blackmails Simon to help him get close to Abby. I like the whole thing of him emailing the stranger and how every time he meets a guy, he puts their face on the person he’s emailing, that’s cute because we all do that. I like the story of “I need to be comfortable with who I am” and how he wants to come out on his own terms. It gave depth to Simon’s character and made his emotional moments feel that more emotional. I’ll talk about the blackmail thing later because I didn’t really care for that part.
The Family Dynamic. I really liked the family dynamic in this movie. It was just a family of four, Jennifer Gardner as Emily Spier, his mother, she was supportive and cool. Josh Duhamel as Jack Spier, who used to be the quarterback but he’s like the cool dad and he has a great scene at the end with Simon at the end. Also, Talitha Bateman as Nora Spier, Simon’s little sister and I thought they felt like a family. They were a normal suburban family and they got along well, they were supportive of each other and his parents were cool. It was a modern family. It was a bit perfect but I guess in a way, that was the point where Simon felt out-of-place at times. I really liked his relationship with his dad, especially the scene between them at the end. I also loved the scene with his mom in the living room. They really felt like a family. I believed they were related, that they loved each unconditionally. The Spiers were a great unit.
The Friendship Group. I really enjoyed watching this friend group. Of course, they’re teenagers probably living in 2017, with their pop culture references and what not, and it was cute. Nick, Simon and Leah felt like they’d been friends for a long time and that Abby fit right in without a hitch. Their dynamic was realistic, I mean it’s based on a YA novel and most times these friends groups are a bit exaggerated, I mean there may be kids who act like this, I’ve only met them in books and movies… and when I studied abroad (but they all went to NYU which pretty much puts them in that category… no offence so any of y’all who read this lol)… I think I got off topic. BUT, I’m just saying that I liked the group, they felt like friends, they had great chemistry together and when the drama was revealed, they had realistic reactions.
It’s Emotional. I’ve gone through a lot this past week, so I’ve been emotional anyway, but I cried quite a few times during this. Nick Robinson did such a great job in his role, that in his moments where it’s just him, where he’s sad and emotional, I felt all of that. The scene where he’s angry and hurt, I really felt bad for him (not pity) and it made me tear up because he just did such a good job at showing his fear. I understand the conversation between him and his mom where she said he deserved everything he wants and more and that entire conversation… it was beautiful. My mom tells me the same things, about life, and being an adult and I felt that. It was genuine emotion. I also loved the scene with his dad at the end, that was really sweet and I think it was a big moment considering how his dad would joke throughout the film.
There are laughs. It’s pretty funny too. I wouldn’t label it a comedy but it does have its moments in there where you laugh or you might chuckle. I think a lot of it is the dialogue and how it’s delivered. Nick Robinson delivers dialogue that’s funny because of how he says it, or how he set its up. It’s definitely a feel-good movie.
The Musical Score. Now, I didn’t pay attention to all of it during the movie but there were a lot of movies that were really lovely that were accompanied by good music, but I went back and listened to the soundtrack on Apple Music and I really liked it.
Cons:
Predictable/Familiar. Being a teen movie, there are some beats that will definitely be hit. Oh you know, romance and then the one who lies to keep a secret, that whole thing and throughout the movie, I was predicting what would happen and I was right every time. Nothing really shocked me as the story progressed. Of course it’s hard to talk about teen movies, or “coming-of-age” films without them all feeling like ghosts of each other. While I very much enjoyed Love, Simon, it definitely has a lot of similar beats from other teen movies that don’t always feel fresh. Just something I noticed but not that much of a hit against the movie.
The Martin Blackmail. I also didn’t care for the blackmail story line. I get it, and while I had a love/hate relationship with Martin, I didn’t like how what he does is the driving force for a lot of Simon’s behavior later. I mean, it’s a teen movie so there has to be some kind of “villain” but that part just didn’t hit me as something that should have been part of the story. If it was there to force Simon out, it didn’t have to happen that way. I just… it just didn’t do anything for me. Plus, he doesn’t really get in trouble for what he did, yeah people get mad at him but nothing happens to him. No real consequences.
The Liar’s Reveal. So this trope happens a lot, where the protagonist of the story is lying about something in order to gain something, and then all is revealed later that they were a liar. IE: Aladdin. I think that trope is a bit cliché but it happens, shoot, I probably used it before in a story or something but that doesn’t make it any less annoying. So, while this movie does it and the way it’s handled of why Simon is doing what he’s doing, I still didn’t really like how his friends reacted. I think it was natural for them to be upset because don’t get me wrong, Simon does some pretty terrible stuff to his friends for his secret. I mean, it was definitely selfish and I would have said something to them because I’m not one to be blackmailed into something, but what he does is underhanded. However, they’re still his friends and something happens in the cafeteria that was extremely disrespectful and they did nothing. That really bugged me story wise. I know you’re mad but he was your friend for a long time, especially Nick and Leah. Man. That really annoyed me.
Overall, I really enjoyed Love, Simon. It is definitely a movie that people can go and see and just watch as this kid becomes confident in who he is and that those who love him, will always love him no matter what. I think the acting is really good in the movie, especially by Nick Robinson who does such a good job at just being a teenager. This movie has a great cast but Nick Robinson is the strongest aspect of the movie. Simon is a likable guy, he’s a normal dude and that’s what matters over everything. I loved Nick Robinson, he doesn’t try to do anything special, he just is. He’s very likable and cute and I see great things for him, if he keeps choosing good roles and movies. The other characters are also good as are their actors. I love the soundtrack. The movie is emotional, the moments that call for tears, might actually produce them, even the the people who don’t normally cry or tear up in movies. It’s also funny. It doesn’t hammer anything but the humor flows naturally. I also loved the dynamic of Simon’s family and friend group. My only problems with the movie is that while it’s special and put Simon’s character in the middle of a regular story, it just feels regular to me. I think movies that are similar should be able to stand on their own, without me thinking “oh that reminds me of that movie…” IE: The Breakfast Club, Clueless, Mean Girls (which pains me to say), Perks of Being a Wallflower… and I really dislike the trope of the “liar’s reveal” just because you can see it coming. But Love, Simon is sweet, emotional and I’m sure this movie will resonate for a lot of viewers. Also shout out to Natasha Rothwell as the drama teacher, she was great and a scene stealer!! Hilarious!
Rating: 4.89 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Love, Simon? What did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts down below!
What is your favorite teen movie?