In 1989, Nintendo was beginning to take over the world, and had done so right out of the wake of the video game crash of the eighties. With arcades fading, Nintendo was one of the strongest competitors for home gaming consoles, and in 1989 they were juggernauts of pop culture. Back in that era, just about everything was TMNT, The Simpsons, and Nintendo, and the latter had taken the minds and hearts of gamers and tech geeks everywhere that loved a good challenging platformer or run and gunner. In 1989, Nintendo finally branched out in to the wider arena of pop culture by basically helping to fuel a kids’ movie that would become a cult classic.
For this week’s edition of “Shorts Round Up of the Week” I check out some rich dramas, a few ambitious fantasy films one of which involves bullying, and a pitch black revenge movie co-starring M. Emmet Walsh.
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As a Superman fanatic it’s been a tough road as I’m still getting over the stinks of “Smallville” and “Batman v Superman,” so when Syfy proposed its own Superman series that side stepped Superman altogether, I was very skeptical. Suffice to say, “Krypton: The Complete First Season” isn’t always a great show, but appreciated as its own attempt to ambitiously tackle the back drop of the Kryptonian Lore, it’s not a bad time spent. At ten episodes total for the first season, there are a lot worse things you can do as a Superman fan. Watching “Superman IV,” for instance. I digress.
When I was a kid I was heavy in to the mythology of Arthurian lore. Everything about King Arthur and the knights of Camelot drew my immediate attention and fascination. I spent a great three years learning everything that I could about that era. As a kid if I’d have seen Joe Cornish’s “The Kid Who Would Be King,” I’d have left the theater with a humongous smile on my face and anxious to learn a lot more that was available in the libraries. Joe Cornish has a particular love for making heroes out of underdogs and the least suspecting people you’d come across, and he carries that trademark in to his newest film.
As a preamble I admit that I’ve never liked the “Kim Possible” animated series. I know as a Disney fan I’m supposed to love it, but I always found the series to be incredibly flat, bland, and boring. I didn’t really care for anything about it beyond Will Friedle who, at the time, was my favorite voice actor. That said, when “Kim Possible” was rebooted in to a TV movie series, I was surprised by how new and re-energized the reboot looked. Though “Kim Possible” is back, she’s returned for a whole new generation of fans that have embraced heroines fighting crime.
It’s a very good element of animation that it is so accessible and can be fit to work in any story no matter how extraordinary it may be. Animation allows the creator to be as unique and individual as possible, while also conveying an important message that deserves to be heard now more than ever. I can’t say that I loved “Tito and the Birds” but I very much enjoyed it is an imaginative and entertaining adventure with an important message to give its audience about prejudice, xenophobia, the value of animals, and the irrational hysterical fear of the impoverished that’s become so common.
As one of the most popular horror authors of the 1990’s who penned two very popular series of horror novels “Goosebumps” and “Fear Street,” author R.L. Stine had a humongous influence on kids everywhere. He helped introduce many to the joys of spine-tingling horror and tongue-in-cheek mystery, as well as the art of storytelling. “Goosebumps” and “Fear Street” thrived on creating unique and realistic protagonists, along with introducing genuine plot twists and ironic endings that channeled Rod Serling and Richard Matheson. “Goosebumps” books a hallmark of school book fairs and local libraries across the country, and as a horror buff myself, I can attest to cutting my teeth on everything the man wrote at the time.
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