Monday, December 31, 2018

My Ten Favorite New-to-Me Movies of 2018

Here we are again, at the end of another year.  According to my records, I watched 89 movies over the past year.  That's not 89 separate titles, as I always do a lot of rewatching.  But I watched 89 movies.  Yay!  Here are the ten that I liked best of the ones I'd never seen before.  As always, I've linked the title to my review if I've done a review of that film already.


1. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)  A young viking named Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel) defies tradition and saves a dragon instead of trying to kill it.  His newfound knowledge and understanding of dragons ends up saving his village and gaining his father's (voiced by Gerard Butler) respect.  Oh, wow, this movie is every bit as good as everyone says it is.  Possibly better.

2. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)  Time and again, all that stands between young street rat Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and doom are his moxie, his street smarts, and his luck.  I happen to love heist movies, and this movie has heist after heist after heist, so it pleases me from just about every angle.

3. A Bear Named Winnie (2004)  The true story of how and why a military veterinarian (Michael Fassbender) brings a Canadian bear to Europe during WWI.  Sweet and lovely movie.

4. Darkest Hour (2017)  Winston Churchill (Gary Oldman) and the rest of Great Britain must decide whether to defy Adolf Hitler or make peace with him and their own consciences.  Fabulous supporting turns by Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, and Lily James.  I ran right out and bought a copy of this the day after I saw it at my parents' house.

5. Jane Eyre (1943)  Plain, humble governess Jane (Joan Fontaine) cares for the ward (Margaret O'Brien) of wealthy, unpredictable Mr. Rochester (Orson Welles).  Possibly my favorite Welles performance ever, and so good I had to add a copy to my collection of good adaptations of my favorite novel.

6. Black Panther (2018) T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) learns what it truly means to be a man, a leader, and a hero.  One of the coolest, most sophisticated MCU movies so far.

7. Murder on the Orient Express (2017) Legendary detective Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) solves a mystery on a train, and we all enjoy the ride because of how many cool people show up in the various roles.  I really enjoy Branagh as a director, maybe even more than I do his acting, and I'm looking forward to 2020's Death on the Nile (not least because Armie Hammer's supposed to be in it).

8. Red Mountain (1951) Near the end of the American Civil War, a Confederate officer (Alan Ladd) is sent to Colorado to aid General Quantrill, but ends up involved in a murder, a rebellion, and a love triangle.  I need to watch this again so I can review it, because it's a totally different movie than I was expecting, but not in a bad way.

9. Christopher Robin (2018) Adult Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor), his wife (Hayley Atwell), and their daughter (Bronte Carmichael) gain some much-needed assistance from Christopher Robin's childhood friends, Winnie-the-Pooh and Co.  This is sweet and whimsical and heart-warming, and McGregor is so perfectly cast that I want to hug him.

10. Along Came Jones (1945)  A slow-talking, easy-going cowpoke (Gary Cooper) gets mistaken for a vicious outlaw (Dan Duryea) and falls for the outlaw's girl (Loretta Young).  This is a charming western comedy that amuses me greatly.


If you'd like to see what my favorite movies were for the last few years, click on the year to see the list from 2017, 2016, 2015, or 2014.

What were your favorite movies this year?

Happy New Year!  I'm not a big one for resolutions, but one thing I intend to change in the coming year is how present I am in the blogosphere.  Life has been hectic this year, but I'm working on streamlining it and getting back to things I love, like blogging and reading blogs, and doing less of busybusybusy stuff.  We'll see if that happens.

24 comments:

  1. I've seen 1, 7, and 9. I'd seen 1, and 7 before this year, but I am sort of counting HtTYD as a new-to-me because the first time I watched it (near when it came out), I did not like it at all. I don't even know why. But, this year I have watched it so many times that I now love it! I can't wait for #3 in Feb.! All the rest of these I want to see, too!

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    1. MC, that's interesting that your view of HTTYD changed dramatically! I am very much looking forward to #3.

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  2. On this list, I've seen Solo, Black Panther, Murder on the Orient Express, and Christopher Robin.

    I think my favorite movies of what I watched this year would be: Christopher Robin, Coco, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse, and Infinity War. They were all wonderful. Into the Spider-verse totally, totally surprised me with how GOOD it was.

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    1. Jessica, that's a fun list! I still need to see both Coco and Into the Spider-verse.

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    2. I think you'd luuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurve them both.

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  3. I love Along Came Jones! It was the first Western I really enjoyed and got me to watch other movies in the genre. :)

    This fall I started a movie/book list journal after seeing yours on Instagram. My 2018 favorites were Dad's Army (70s TV series), The King's Choice (2016 Norwegian film), and The Scarlet and the Black (1983, starring Christopher Plummer and Gregory Peck). The only movie I saw in theaters was Jurassic World 2, and I really disliked it. :P

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    1. Oops, forgot another favorite - The Hobbit trilogy, extended edition!

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    2. Marian, how cool that Along Came Jones got you into westerns! It's one I've wanted to see for years, and finally did.

      I love The Scarlet and the Black. TRULY, SERIOUSLY LOVE IT. Man, that is an amazing story. I've seen it probably a dozen times, it's just so good.

      I love the Hobbit trilogy! Especially TBOTFA <3 <3 <3

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  4. How to Train Your Dragon & Solo, yassss!! :D

    You've definitely piqued my interest in A Bear Called Winnie. And Christopher Robin was really cute and sweet.

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    1. Olivia, oh mah goodness. A Bear Called Winnie is so sweet. When is your birthday?

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    2. It sure sounds like it, from your review! It's mid-June, why? :D

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    3. Absolutely no reason, Olivia. Forget I asked!!!

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  5. Fun! I've only seen 4 of your new-to-you movies, and I still want to see Murder/Orient Express. I didn't take movies I saw on the small screen for the first time into consideration when I made my list. This year, I'll attempt to track things (we'll see how long that lasts!), so I might actually know what I watched on netflix and amazon. :-D

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    1. DKoren, maybe we should see Orient Express together? It would be a fun one to share!

      I hope tracking things is fun for you! I've gone whole-hog with it, as you know. LOVE being able to look back and them.

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    2. Right now, tracking things is a chore, trying to remember to write the previous day's accomplishments every morning. Not sure how to make it fun, (yet!), but we will see! I think maybe when I can look back at what's there? If I can at least make it a habit, might go smoother!

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    3. What-all are you tracking? I take it it's more than just movies watched? Cuz you could just keep a notebook by the TV for that. Write them down as you finish them.

      Used to journal every night before going to sleep. Now it's more like twice a week, and I just recap the previous few days. I try not to let it go longer than that, though, or I forget stuff.

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    4. Just what I start watching and what I finish watching, what I start reading and finish reading (if anything), and a couple exercise things I'm curious to track. So just a few lines to jot down every morning, but yes, LOL, remembering to do that is a chore. I predict I won't last beyond a couple weeks, but you never know. I suspect the problem is there's no end to it. I'd have to write something down every day if I really want to know later, and that makes it unending and tedious. Maybe if I devise I reward system or something...? Hm.

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    5. DKoren, intriguing! Yes, I suppose the "this won't end" thing could make it a problem for you. Maybe if you had a dedicated timeframe, like, "I'm going to try this for six months" or something?

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  6. New to me. I really thought Longtime Companion was an excellent and thought provoking movie. The movie I paired it with in my review, The Boys in the Band was not as good, but it was better than most of the "new to me" movies I watched. ("Fire Maidens from Outer Space", I'm looking at you...)

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    1. Quiggy, interesting! I haven't seen any of those, to be honest, but I'm glad you found some new movies in 2018 that you dug!

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  7. Yes!!! Solo was one of the BEST movies I saw! Also, I quite enjoyed Darkest Hour and Christopher Robin. But Murder on the Orient Express was definitely up near the tops for me! The cast was amazing! And I was really impressed by Kenneth. Also, I didn't know they were doing Death on the Nile?! Yay!! Now I'm so excited - I just read the book!

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    1. Gabby, glad you liked a lot of these too! And yes, I'm very excited for Death on the Nile :-)

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