Alyx’s Best Movies of 2019

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Of course, everyone usually puts these kinds of lists out before the year is out BUT I wanted to give myself a chance to watch a few more movies I had in my queue, but I probably won’t be able to watch them and get this list out before its been too long. So, without further ado…
In my opinion these are “Alyx’s Best” or better yet “My favorite” Films of 2019. I saw a lot of movies, some I never managed to get to, but I saw most of the ones I was looking forward to.
Honorable Mentions: Frozen II, Abominable, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, Good Boys, Captain Marvel, It Chapter Two, Avengers: Endgame, Lego Movie 2: The Second PartJoker, Fighting with My Family, Toy Story 4, The Kid Who Would Be King, Us
Alyx’s Top Movies of 2019
12. Spider-Man: Far from Home
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I loved this movie. As I said in my review, it’s probably now my favorite live action Spider-Man film. It’s my opinion of course and that could change when I finally do my “Spider-Man” marathon but I loved what it did. It connected to the previous stories in the MCU, but I liked what they did on their own. Tom Holland as Peter Parker/Spider-Man is so relatable. Zendaya’s MJ was given more life and we got to know and like her more. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio was a great villain and the story is emotional but contained. I really loved it.
11. Aladdin
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This movie is here because I loved it. It’s also second to last because I don’t think it’s the best movie out of my choices, but I loved it so much. So much. The music was great, the costumes were amazing. I loved the chemistry between Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, plus the friendship between Aladdin and Genie (Will Smith) was fantastic. I loved the new life they breathed into the story. It didn’t replace the animated classic, but it just added to my love for Aladdin in general.
10. How to Train Your Dragon: Hidden World
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I went over the animated films I’d seen this year and I think this is the best one. I’m sure it will once again not get the Oscar is deserves, but this is a great finale to an equally great trilogy. The animation is amazing and clearly has gotten better since the first film. The emotional weight in this story between Hiccup and Toothless is handled well. I’m pretty sure I cried. If you want a wonderfully animated and written story, this trilogy is where to go, and this final film wraps it up beautifully.
9. Booksmart
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My friend and I saw this movie and we had a great time. The friendship between the two leads worked well, their chemistry was amazing. It’s a funny adventure of two high school graduates trying to rectify their high school career of not having fun. They want all the fun now and it leads to a ton of shenanigans. For Olivia Wilde’s directorial debut, it was a great and hilarious film!
8. Fast Color
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I was going to put this in my honorable mentions but considering how different and fresh this film felt, I had to put it here. I spent most of this movie in awe because of how beautiful it is. There is a sadness to it because of the estranged relationship between mother and daughter on both ends. But a movie about generations of black women having powers? Not to mention, how the film portrays those powers using color, this film is so beautiful and subtle that I really want a sequel.
7. Shazam!
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This is the only DCEU film so far, that I really liked all the way through. It’s funny! It’s fun and I loved the chemistry between Billy (both versions) and Freddy. The superhero stuff is great too. While the villain was one dimensional, I liked Mark Strong in the role. I also liked the mythology behind the shazam powers. I like the idea of them being passed on to others who are worthy and that they look for kids because there is a chance they haven’t been “corrupted” by the world yet. That’s a very nice idea. This is a movie I would come back to often.
6. Ready or Not
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A movie I watched recently, I had no idea what I would expect but I really liked it! The characters are fun, and the actors clearly had a great time in the film. The story is unique in that the characters aren’t quite into doing what they’re doing but they do it because of… weird reasons lol. It gives a new meaning to the phrase “final girl” lol.
5. Rocketman
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I LOVED this movie. I mean I really did. I was surprised at how much I loved it. I am by no means an “Elton John fan” pass me knowing some of his music and I like it. The music is amazing, and Taron Egerton was so good as Elton! It’s emotional and being based on a true story, I like how they incorporated reality with music to allow us to understand the times in Elton’s life. I love musicals and this is very much one, but the music helps tell the story instead of just happening.
4.Luce
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I recently watched this movie and it’s amazing. The story leaves a lot of room for viewers to interpret differently. I think that’s important for a film like this. The acting is fantastic, led by Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Luce. His character is enigmatic and you’re probably going to go back and forth between what you believe in this. It’s a quiet film in a lot of ways and worth watching for different understandings each time you watch.
3. Knives Out
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I really liked this! The cast in this movie is AMAZING. Everyone really does a great job. The mystery is intriguing and mysterious and very well written. Plus, the cinematography and costuming give it this old-fashioned look and feel which works for the world these people are living in. I find that mysteries like this aren’t always handled well when it comes to films, they try too hard to make it “mysterious” or they don’t allow the audience to figure it out as well but this film doesn’t try too hard but allows the story to unfold and allows the audience to figure it out as well.
2. Queen & Slim
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It took me a moment to decide where this movie would fall in my lineup. I was a little unsure of how I feel about it when I finally saw it but the black romance that develops in this film is written really well. I found the two main characters well written and well acted, particularly Daniel Kaluuya who I love. The story is important, relevant and emotional. It think everyone will get a little something different out of it and perhaps discover something new each time they watch it. I hope for more well written black stories in the future.
 1. Little Women
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I LOVED THIS MOVIE. I’ve always loved Little Women and it truly is a timeless story because watching it in a different storyteller’s hands as an adult, gives me the chance to completely connect way more than I ever did. It feels new. The acting is amazing, especially Florence Pugh, who plays a character I never quite liked, but she made me like her. She made me be okay with the romantic choices that I was never okay with. Saoirse Ronan was also amazing as Jo March and I connected so much with her. It’s an emotional story that I loved and I will watch again and again.
That’s it! That’s my list! I hope you all have enjoyed spending the movies of 2019 with me! Please in the comments share your favorite movies of 2019. 
Happy New Year!

Movie Review: Luce (2019)

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Summary: A married couple is forced to reckon with their idealized image of their son, adopted from war-torn Eritrea, after an alarming discovery by a devoted high school teacher threatens his status as an all-star student.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. We have a few people we get to meet throughout the film, some who are around more than others but I’m only going to talk about those who this movie is really focused on.
  • Kelvin Harrison Jr. as Luce Edgar. He is our lead character, he was adopted by Watts and Roth after being rescued from a foreign country. He is the shining star of his high school, he plays sports, he gives the speeches, the other students look up to him… all around perfect kid. However, we see around this perfect persona as suspicious things happen that he seems to be involved with, but it seems like he’s not. Luce’s character has a lot of things he goes through and you’re never sure if what he’s saying or doing is true. It’s up for your interpretation. But this is the second time I’ve seen this young actor and I’m really intrigued by him, I thought he was fantastic, and I’m very much interested in his future.
  • Octavia Spencer as Harriet Wilson. I think she is always good no matter what she does, but she is the History teacher and it seems that she puts students into a box that suits her narrative. But she also seems to be someone who has her students interests at heart. She is very ambiguous just like Luce is, so it really depends on how you feel and what you think. I found myself on her side a lot of the movie but at the same time you doubt her too. But Octavia Spencer is amazing and when she has the scene with Luce, his parents and the principal she does so well! OMG! It’s so amazing. Not to mention the scene with Luce in her house. She’s fantastic.
  • Naomi Watts as Amy Edgar. I mean, she’s Luce’s mother so she’s automatically on Luce’s side even though there are plenty of times where she doubts him, but she goes through this movie going back and forth between being loyal to her child and being a good person lol. She really goes back and forth, and you can’t help but wonder just what you would do in her place. Naomi Watts is very sympathetic though and I understand her struggle but of course being on the outside, I was very frustrated with her lol.
  • Tim Roth as Peter Edgar. So, he’s not as prominent as Watts’ character but he’s just as important. Being that he’s the father, there is a slightly difference approach he has to Luce compared to Amy. He’s a bit more straight forward and less worried to make Luce feel any kind of way. He even flats out just as Luce questions whenever there’s a question he has. I held out for him to be the voice of reason throughout the movie but it’s up to the viewer to decide where he might stand in his last scene. Tim Roth is great, but I can’t say I’m aware of his acting talent from other movies outside of The Incredible Hulk lol, but I liked him a lot and I was expecting him to be the opposite of the mother by being less “sympathetic” to Luce’s nonsense.
Intense Scenes. Ya’ll this movie is intense, the tension in the room between the characters and the dialogue creates such intense moments that I rewound a few scenes just to hear the dialogue again or to see the acting again. There are two that really stood out to me. The scene in the school with Luce, his parents, the principal and Ms. Wilson where she’s basically trying to get everyone to understand what Luce has said and done to her, while he’s feigning innocence is such a great scene. Everyone did such a great job and according to the director commentary that was the first scene they filmed. Excellent. Later, there is a scene with Luce and Ms. Wilson in her house and that was THE BEST SCENE in the movie. I rewound that part because I just could not lol. It was so good. There is also a scene with Ms. Wilson and her sister Rose in the school, my eyes were wide the entire time. There are a few more of these in the film, very hard hitting with great dialogue and fantastic acting.
Ambiguous Narrative. Sometimes it’s super annoying when movies aren’t clear in anything that’s going on, but I think this movie does it so well that I was so into it. You’re not sure what to really believe and I think even if you do decide whose side you want to be on, if you watch it again, you might find yourself thinking about the other person’s ideals even more. I didn’t watch it twice, but I went back and forth a lot. So, while I agree with Ms. Wilson for the most part, I also found myself understanding the hill Luce was climbing about her.
Interesting Story. So, this feeds right into the one above it, but the story is straight forward. It’s basically Luce vs. Ms. Wilson but there are things that happen that are questionable on both characters’ parts. Is Luce hiding terrible information and tormenting this teacher? Is this teacher trying to use her power to tear some students down while lifting others up? Even though she says something about that, it doesn’t seem like her intention is to ruin anyone’s life… I don’t know it’s just so interesting and I think left to the interpretation of the viewer, at least to understand what her actual intentions are. Plus, you have Amy and Peter as Luce’s parents who want the best for him, they think he’s perfect and they go back and forth on believing their son and by the end, their choices are understandable but a little shocking.
Cons:
Frustrating/ Ending. For the movie to build up how it did, with all the details we were given and then for it to just end. I get the point as it mirrors the opening but it’s different this time, the meaning behind it is different, that point in his life is different and the emotion is different, but you now must take the point and what might have happened for yourself. It’s a little annoying because I was going back and forth throughout the film and things are confirmed for Ms. Wilson, but Luce’s parents are just… ugh I don’t know. I’m not even sure if that makes sense lol.
Ambiguous Narrative. Now, I’m praising this aspect, but I can also imagine it being super frustrating for others because you’re not quite clear on who to believe or what’s really going on. It’s all very stylized and it may feel like the narrative is lost in the music and the shots and what not, which at times I did feel that, being that it’s based on a play, that might be part of the problem so I can imagine it being a tad frustrating.
Overall, I think this movie damn near perfect for me. I mean, the acting is phenomenal from everyone, the characters are well written with smart and interesting dialogue. They have great moments where you wonder their intentions or if they’re being honest and truthful. The movie tackles some hard-hitting topics and I think it handles those topics in a way that feels so real and raw and I understand the characters points of views from that. I didn’t give this its own point but the music in this film is good. The director talked about it on the commentary and how they incorporated it into the film. There are a lot of intense scenes where the actors really kick that dialogue in the teeth and delivers great stuff! Just wow! The narrative is ambiguous and usually that bothers me, but it didn’t here, but I can imagine it bothering someone else, not to mention the ending is frustrating. But wonderful movie, worth all the watches.
Rating: 4.7 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Luce? If so, what did you think about it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!