“Glass,” the trilogy topper we didn’t know we needed, is a unique animal. It’s hard for me to put a finger on how I feel about it, as it is a very unconventional superhero film, choosing to focus on narrative rather than CGI battles. Today’s cinema is dominated by Marvel and DC blockbusters (most recently the CGI fest “Aquaman”), but writer-director M. Night Shyamalan grounds us in reality by keeping everything just believable enough.
A priest, a singer and a vacuum salesman walk into a hotel … What sounds like the beginning of a good joke is the basis for writer-director Drew Goddard’s newest work, “Bad Times at the El Royale” (2018), set in 1969. Goddard (“Daredevil”) channels his inner Quentin Tarantino with a layered mystery of murder and deceit, dripping with style and intrigue. The El Royale hotel, which lies on the state line of California and Nevada, clearly has a history, and it’s almost a character itself.
I don’t classify myself as a gamer, but video games are definitely still a part of my life. Having played through multiple “choose your own adventure”-style games, I was excited to give “Bandersnatch” (2018) a try. I have enjoyed nearly every episode of “Black Mirror,” so I was excited to dive in to this movie spinoff of the Netflix series.
Our year-end countdown lists wrap up with Shaune’s picks for the 10 best movies of 2018:
“The Ranch” Part 6 (a.k.a. the second half of Season 3) has a big issue to address: the loss of Danny Masterson. Due to sexual harassment allegations, Masterson was fired from the Netflix comedy last year. This is the first portion of the series to not include his character, Rooster. That will be a hard sell to a lot of fans, being as he has been a big part of the series since its launch.
“Peppermint” is basically a gender flip of “The Punisher.” Jennifer Garner plays Riley North, whose husband and daughter are gunned down by gang-bangers due to some poor decisions the husband had made. After an outburst in court when the killers are set free, Riley is to be sent to a mental hospital; however, she escapes and disappears.
“Mile 22,” directed by Paul Berg and starring Mark Wahlberg, comes on the heels of “Lone Survivor,” “Deepwater Horizon” and “Patriot’s Day,” all of which were really good movies. In fact, “Lone Survivor” and “Patriot’s Day” were in my top 10 for their respective years. However, that may change with Wahlberg’s newest entry.
In honor of “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” hitting home rental this week, I thought I’d do a ranking of all six “M:I” movies in which Tom Cruise plays Agent Ethan Hunt. As an action movie junkie, my views may differ from the typical critical rankings. Cruise does almost all of his own stunts, and they are just as much the star of the show as he is, so I’ve included a nod to the best action sequence in each film.
“Sneaky Pete,” developed by Bryan Cranston and Graham Yost, was originally created as a “mystery of the week” series for CBS, about a con man who would solve different cases each week, all while pretending to be a member of a family that wasn’t his own. However, CBS passed and Amazon Prime turned it into a serialized story. Season 1 was a smart, fun, “Ocean’s 11”-style story. The show became Amazon’s most watched series, most likely because of “Breaking Bad” fans looking for their Cranston fix.
Ryan Coogler’s “Creed” (2015) was a surprisingly well-executed and welcome addition to the “Rocky” franchise. Working as a reboot of sorts, it brings “Rocky” to a new generation. With “Creed II,” Steve Caple Jr. directs a fairly by-the-numbers sequel that works, but doesn’t have near the impact that “Creed” does.