As we wrap up another decade, I considered going back and doing a “Favorites of the last 10 years” post but….upon further review…that might be a little much. I can’t remember yesterday, let alone try to remember something I saw or did in 2010. So I figured I’d just break it down for this year and call it a day. Here are my favorites from the year of 2019. Enjoy!
This year was excellent when it came to film. While there are still several critically hailed movies that I have yet to see (“1917” & “JoJo Rabbit” come to mind), I’ll go with what I HAVE seen and leave it at that for New Years Eve…
5. “Captain Marvel” – I know, I know. A lot of people would question this simply because, in a year with so many OTHER superhero films and with this one being critically lauded as too simple and boring, why is it one of my favorites? Well…I saw this movie 3 times in the theater and bought it and have watched it maybe 5 or more times and each time I can say this…I was entertained. I love superhero movies and I thought Brie Larson made a great superhero! I enjoyed the storyline and her introduction and I can’t wait to see the next step in the character’s evolution.
4. “Booksmart” – A John Hughes-esque comedy released in 2019, this little gem took me back to my youth and gave me hope for this generation of teenagers. A coming of age story of 2 nerdy senior girls, this will take you on a journey that will leave you laughing, crying and wishing it didn’t have to end. I loved it.
3. “Avengers: Endgame” – Do I even have to get into it? It’s Marvel’s masterpiece and crowning jewel of a storyline that was 10 years in the making. I love superhero movies. Nuff said.
2. “Doctor Sleep” – Probably the last full book I read…back in 2013…and this movie nailed the characters and the vibe of the book. I loved how it tied “The Shining” and a grown up Danny Torrence together and created a fresh new story with a character I already knew. It all makes complete sense and the wrap up was completely satisfying.
1. “Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood” – When I saw this in the theater, I walked away not really sure WHAT I thought of it. After repeatedly viewings, I can honestly say that this is one of my favorite Tarantino movies. It takes us inside the late 60’s, allowing us to observe the end of THAT decade through the eyes of several characters and somehow manages to mix in a true-life horror storyline and twist it in a way only Tarantino could. All involved are awesome, Brad Pitt steals the show and DiCaprio has possibly one of my favorite scenes ever in a movie when he throws a tantrum…on himself. This movie is for any person who loves movies, music and doesn’t need a movie wrapped up in a nice little bow.
A few extra notes on this year in movies…
Most Overrated Film: “Ad Astra” (As good as Pitt was in OUATIH, he’s a complete bore in this one.)
Film I Was Most Disappointed In (But Will Probably Watch Again): It Chapter 2 (Perfectly cast and yet not an entirely satisfying ending to this Stephen King 2-parter.)
Film Everyone Loved That I Will Probably Never Watch: The Irishman (It’s Scorcese & his cast of cronies. Hasn’t this been done already?)
Most Pleasant Surprise Considering The Reviews: Star Wars IX – The Rise Of Skywalker (Don’t know what else you could expect from this series. It wrapped up a lot of storylines and was darker and more entertaining than the previous two.)
Movie I Watched & Wished I Hadn’t: The Art Of Self-Defense (A dark “comedy” that I was excited to see but just couldn’t get into it. Maybe some day I’ll revisit it but I just didn’t like it that much and was disappointed.)
Weirdest Movie Of The Year With The Most Outstanding Cast: The Dead Don’t Die (I love zombie movies but this one is the most bizarre of them all.)
Surprisingly Fun Movies That I’d Recommend If You Just Want Something To Watch But Don’t Want To Think Too Much: The Peanut Butter Falcon, Good Boys, Yesterday (I enjoyed all 3 and would recommend all 3 if you’re in the mood to relax. “Good Boys” has a lot of cursing and sex talk by middle schoolers but that’s what makes it so funny!)
Movie I Didn’t Like That People Will Give Me The Most Heat About: Joker (I know, I know. It’s a super-VILLAIN movie, it’s got all the critical accolades, the lead is one of my favorite actors working today…how could I NOT like this movie? Maybe BECAUSE it was all of the above and I had such high expectations? I dunno. But I watched this movie and was just bored. “But it’s following him into madness as he morphs into one of the most revered villains of all-time!” Yeah…and we get to watch every step. And we get to watch Phoenix primp and preen in front of mirrors, dance alone in bathrooms and basically try to make the character darker than Heath Ledger did but…I didn’t get it. So sue me.)
Moving on to music, let me just say…there was a LOT of good music this year and it may be one of the strongest as far as the music that I’ve been listening to. I admittedly am an iTunes “searcher” when it comes to my music (which limits me to whatever iTunes decides to put out there) but I do try to go deeper into genre catalogues and find that there are a lot of great musicians out there in ALL genres. I’m not as into today’s modern rap but I still managed to find some that I like and could even find some EDM that I enjoyed. That being said…here are my Top 10 favorite tracks of 2019…
10. “No Plan” – Hozier
9. “Do It Like That” – NOISY
8. “Suck On Light” – Boy & Bear
7. “Them Cold Eyes” – Spiral Stairs
6. “Mr. Radioactive” – Bear Hands
5. “Remember To Breathe” – Sturgill Simpson
4. “Hypersonic Missiles” – Sam Fender
3. “Kiss Like The Sun” – Jake Bugg
2. “Now Or Never” – The Hawkeyes
1. “Father Of All…” – Green Day
Pretty much all alternative rock songs but if I posted my complete Top 25 there would be tracks by Max B (reminds me of 2Pac), Moon Hooch (delicious saxophone) and Midland (with one of the catchiest country line dance tracks since Billy Ray Cyrus). It was a great year for music and that makes it difficult to pick my favorite album of the year but…not really. I’ve burned this one out and I’m going to see this artist in concert in February. I’ve loved all of his albums even though he’s skewed genres each and every time he’s released an album. This one is all rock and not only are all the tracks awesome…but the album art is possibly the greatest ever! As an added bonus…the guy released a short anime film that featured his music that was one of the hippest things on Netflix this year. My favorite album of 2019 was…Sturgill Simpson’s “SOUND & FURY”.
When it came to television, I pretty much strayed away from over-the-air tv. I don’t really get into watching sitcoms or dramas anymore and have become a straight binge watcher. For that reason, my interests and likes are pretty few. But if I were to recommend something to watch? I’d go with the following…
5. “The Umbrella Academy”
4. “The Mandalorian”
3. “Living With Yourself” (The only non-superhero type series on this list, Paul Rudd is great in this and the premise is kind of silly but works!)
1. “The Boys”
As for life Top Moments, there wasn’t a whole lot to report. I turned 51, went to some concerts, suffered through some late year back pain, went on vacation to the west coast, worked a lot. Pretty much the same kind of story as every year. But I’d say the Christopher college experience had been my family’s biggest story as we search for his college choice for next year. He was accepted at Kentucky, Ohio and Northern Kentucky but we are still in limbo as we wait to hear from Cincinnati (the front-runner at this point). Obviously, being an Ohio grad, I would love for him to go to Athens but I get the feeling he’d like to go to the premier business school in our area AND be close to home. We will see soon enough what his options are and I imagine next year will be an entirely different post about life after his departure but for now? Having a happy, healthy and stable life is the best story I can tell and I’m ok with that. Finding humor is the most important way that I handle so much and I feel good for my age. I hope the coming year continues along the same path and I look forward to another decade of life!
(Knock on wood)