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.
By the time “The Howling III” rolled around, the studios basically stopped continuing the storyline from the original Joe Dante movie and just turned the movie series in to an anthology. The only connection “The Howling” movies have with one another is that they have werewolves in them. The rest of the movies are basically of varying quality with drastically different narratives. Ironically latter day sequels (The Howling: New Moon Rising) would use clips from the former films as a crutch to make up for lack of story and the painfully low budget.
According to sources, Lee Harry’s “Silent Night Deadly Night 2” was given a horrible budget, and was asked to re-cut the original film to make it look brand new. What we get is basically a barebones plot about the brother of the original murderer… for about thirty minutes or so. About seventy five percent of the film is a highlight reel from the original film with everything from the origin of the series, to every single murder that ensues, right down to Linnea Quigley’s famous death. While that amounts to nothing, Eric Freeman works overtime to make this “sequel” a worthwhile viewing experience, and he accomplishes that.
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
In a way “Jailhouse Rock” also works as something of a pseudo-biography that would prophesize a lot of Presley’s endeavors. Whether or not intentional, “Jailhouse Rock” serves as a fascinating and often entertaining peek in to what the man would become, except with some slightly sweeter end results. Richard Thorpe’s “Jailhouse Rock” is a solid Elvis Presley vehicle that presents the definitive Presley on film. If you’ve never seen a single Elvis film, this is the great place to begin tracking his film career.
In a year where the inferior “Bohemian Rhapsody” promises to storm awards shows in 2019, “Heavy Trip” is a movie that’s far more deserving of audience attention. Like most of the best music oriented drama comedies, it’s an engaging, and very funny tale of a band with grand aspirations and have to literally fight to break out of their small home town in hopes of making it in the larger world they want to be a part of. “Heavy Trip” is centered on a group of aspiring death metal musicians from Finland, and you’d think a movie with a focus on that music genre would be more niche than anything, but Jukka Vidgren, and Juuso Laatio’s drama comedy is basically for everyone and anyone who has had a dream at one time or another.
You can almost look at “Hearts Beat Loud” as something of an urban “Once,” in where music is something of the soul behind a very human story of two lost individuals in a somewhat turbulent world. This time around we meet father and daughter Sam and Frank, both of whom never really healed from a horrendous loss that they experienced many years before the narrative starts. In one instance, Frank literally sits at the scene of his wife’s death, which is still a memorial standing in the middle of a busy street, and tries to figure out where to go next.