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: Queen & Slim (2019)

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Summary: A couple’s first date takes an unexpected turn when a police officer pulls them over.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. So, we never actually learn the two leads names until the end of the film. They’re never actually called “Queen” and “Slim” either. So, head’s up lol. There are other characters and actors in this film but I’m just going to highlight the two leads because we spend the movie with them.
  • Daniel Kaluuya as “Slim”. He’s a cool guy, he took her on a date to this little diner he loves. He clearly loves his family and he’s laid back compared to her. He also seems to have a different outlook on things compared other guys we might see on television. Throughout the film, we get to see him grow in taking control of a situation and not just nodding his head in agreement. He was always strong but we really see him grow into his strength by the end. I really like Daniel Kaluuya, he’s such a likable guy, he’s so handsome and charming that he charmed me in this movie. I like his emotional moments because he’s just so damn good at it.
  • Jodie Turner-Smith as “Queen”. I think this is her first major film and I wasn’t sure for a while if I liked her acting but she grew on me as the movie went on. At first, she’s really cold, she’s a lawyer and experienced a hard court case so she just wanted company and reached out to Slim on Tinder lol. She’s very straight forward, says what she thinks, no holds barred. But it’s because of this that gets them into a little trouble. There’s nothing wrong with that kind of personality but I feel like she could have read the situation better lol. But for her first major role, I thought she did well. I liked her chemistry with Daniel Kaluuya and I would be interested in seeing her act in future films. She’s also beautiful, her skin… flawless lol.
Black Love Story. Take it as you will when you watch the film but over the course of this movie, these two characters grow closer and a love does form between them. I can’t get into it too much otherwise it’s spoiler territory, but Kaluuya and Turner-Smith had great chemistry, even when they weren’t getting along earlier in the film. What happened between them felt like a natural progression. Sure, it was like a few days or a week, but I think it’s possible to build a relationship with someone you’ve experienced danger and trauma with. While the situation is dark and dire, I liked their quiet moments. Like her hanging out of the window, or the scene with the horses. They had great conversations, deep ones and they expressed real feelings to each other that they called back to at the end. I just… man it was beautiful. I thought it was really well depicted. They didn’t try to fix each other. I’ll leave the rest of it up to your interpretation.
Emotional. Due to the nature of the film, I think this film is very emotional in different ways. I can imagine you going through different feels while watching. When you first meet these people, you’ll probably like Slim and dislike Queen and you’ll probably dislike her for a majority of the movie. Then you’ll feel worry when they get pulled over by a cop. You’ll feel anger, you might understand where different people with different views on the situation is coming from. You’ll experience so many emotions that it’s not even funny, unless you’re made from stone. Also, the ending had me in tears.
Interesting Story/Unique Script. The script is very well written, I was so interested to see where they would end up. If they would win in the end or if they would lose. I like how real they both felt and how they didn’t start off the best but had to learn to trust each other and grow to feel what they feel towards each other. Not to mention, just how relevant their interaction with the police officer was. Sure, say what you want about them becoming fugitives but I understand that they felt it was the only way. Not to mention, they encountered people who agreed with them and those who felt what they did was wrong. I liked that you got both perspectives.
The Ending. I have a lot of feelings about this. I like it and I hate it lol. I knew it was going to happen but I feel like it was overly dramatic and I can’t go into it without spoiling it so. Just know I liked it but I hate it.
Cons:
Queen’s Character… sometimes. I think her character is very unlikable in a lot of ways. I found myself disliking her but as the movie went on, I grew to like her. I think the way she starts out, being kind of dismissive of Slim and then how she just does or says things that’s like “girl, shut up”. I get it, you’re trying to speak up for his rights and what not but it ends up feeling like it’s her fault. I didn’t like that it comes off that way.  I just felt a little weird about it.
Protest Sequence. After Queen and Slim meet this father and his son at the repair shop, they talk to the son who felt moved by the video of their interaction with the cop. He tells them about a protest their small town was going to have. So, we get to see this protest and sure, protest away, but I felt like that scene coupled with the other scene that’s shown with that scene was weird. Without spoiling, I don’t like when movies couple scenes like the one in the car with active scenes… if that makes sense. The first season of HTGAWM did that and I hated it. Plus, the way the protest scene ended I felt was just… too much. It was shock value and I get the reasoning but I feel like if that protest scene was cut, nothing would have changed.
The Ending. I have a lot of feelings about this. I like it and I hate it lol. That’s all I can say without spoiling it.
Overall, I really liked Queen & Slim. I think it was a fantastic film, with well written characters, particularly in our two leads and the acting was great. You really get to sit with two characters, you understand them more and more as the movie continues. The script is really interesting and pretty unique for it be with black leads. I love the chemistry between Daniel and Jodie. You might find yourself rooting for them. and I think you’ll experience a ton of emotions throughout the film. On the other hand, I found it hard to like Queen consistently and there’s nothing wrong with disliking a character but it just felt like something we’ve seen so many times. I also did not like the protest sequence, I get why it was there but if you remove it, it’s not a big deal. I also have a love/hate relationship with the ending. BUT this movie is beautifully shot and it feels like it could be real life, and it some ways it is real life.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. 
Have you seen Queen & Slim? What are your thoughts? If you’d like to talk about the ending and my thoughts on the protest scene please feel free to comment! Please do!
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