How do you adapt a hit video game like “Double Dragon” that’s based around beating up bad guys with your fists, bats, whips, and assorted blunt instruments? Easy! You build the cartoon around mystic, non-violent laser blasting swords and give those to your heroes instead. Not only does it prevent any of that “nasty” hand-to-hand combat the games are famous for, but it also gives you room to build some really “nifty” toys for the game. The result, however, was one of the many failed attempts to introduce the Nintendo fighting game into the mainstream.
Part of Robert Rodriguez’s “Rebel Without a Crew” TV docu series, Alejandro Montoya Marin was one of the five filmmakers chosen to make his first feature much in the way Rodriguez did with “El Mariachi.” With only seven thousand dollars, no crew, two weeks to film, “Monday” is a heavy task to complete and Alejandro Montoya Marin is up for the challenge. It’s hard to believe “Monday” has such a low budget, as it manages to build such a fun darkly comic crime thriller out of such limited resources.
Night Shyamalan shocked just about everyone when at the end of “Split” his wonderful thriller about a psycho with multiple personalities, he introduced the reveal that we were watching a secret sequel to “Unbreakable” the whole time. “Glass” is the third film in the trilogy of films that break down superhero tropes, the superhero genre, and the mythology of superheroes as a whole. Even with Shyamalan shocking people with “Split” and still being one of the first of his ilk to break apart the superhero mythology with “Unbreakable,” his last film in the series, “Glass,” promises to polarize just about everyone.
One of the best movies of 2018, “Anna and the Apocalypse” is a movie that’s destined to catch on with midnight audiences, as it begs for sing alongs from an enthusiastic audience. John McPhail’s zombie horror musical is a pastiche of the best from the genres it puts on the big screen, delivering what is one of the pleasing and creepiest zombie movies of the years. “Anna and the Apocalypse” manages to be both life affirming and a spectacularly vicious zombie movie at the same time, with some of the more entertaining musical numbers and sequences filmed in a long time.
Adapting the entirety of the arc of the Death, Reign and Return of Superman was always a heavy ambition for DC and it’s a shame that they never quite get it just right when it comes to putting it on the small screen. I loved “The Death of Superman.” And while I thought “Reign of the Supermen” was a pretty damn good movie all in all, it suffers from a lot of the major flaws most DC animated movies do. It rushes through so much important exposition, and doesn’t give its four main characters enough screen time to warrant caring a lot about them, or even rooting for them for that matter. When all is said and done, “Reign of the Supermen” is a very good follow up to “The Death of Superman” with some great action set pieces, and wonderful animation.
It’s fascinating to watch “10 to Midnight” today and explore how dated it’s become and how much the themes and overtones it presents have been somewhat flipped on its head. J. Lee Thompson attempts to appeal to the folks that love their Dirty Harry’s and Lee Marvins by basically trying to turn Charles Bronson in to something of an aged vigilante that we can root for. But he basically comes off as an anti-hero, and “10 to Midnight” ends up becoming a war between a psychopath and a corrupt cop, both of whom never actually come out looking pristine once the film draws to a close.
Opening in a limited theatrical engagement on January 16th – visit “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” for theaters & showtimes.
I haven’t kept up with “Dragon Ball Super” but thankfully the feature films don’t require a lot of catch up for casual fans. I went in to “Dragon Ball Super: Broly” basically without having known many of the characters, and had a good time just the same. While ““Dragon Ball Super: Broly” is a very good “Dragon Ball Z” film, it’s also a pretty darn good tale about the deeper back story of character Vegeta and Goku, and how deeply rooted their nemesis Frieza has been in their entire lives.
2018 was a big year for movies, it was a great year for animation, it was a stellar year for horror movies in general, and it was such a busy time for anyone that loved and appreciated film. Thankfully it was tough stacking a top ten that was definitive and that sit well with me because I had so many favorites. With so much new avenues to view film I didn’t get everything I wanted in 2018, but I saw enough to compile a top twenty or top twenty five.
This is my top ten films of 2018, these are films I loved, these are films that I hope you seek out if you haven’t, by now.
Honorable Mentions: Paddington 2, The Domestics, Black Panther, Ready Player One, Spider-Man: Into the Spider Verse, Revenge, Tully, The Night Eats the World, Bird Box, A Star is Born