Category Archives: Movie Reviews

The best of 2018

I’d like to restart the tradition of posting my opinion on the best of the movies and TV shows I watched, and books I read in the past year.

So I will! None of the items on these lists are required to have been released in 2018, but I had to have watched or read them for the first time in 2018.

Here goes!
 

Movies

10. The Meg (2018)
A giant shark movie starring Jason Statham. There was no way this wasn’t making the list.

9. Ocean’s 8 (2018)
A fresh take on an old concept with a stellar cast.

8. Rampage (2018)
A giant animal movie starring Dwayne Johnson. There was no way this wasn’t making the list.

7. Get Out (2018)
Smart horror that doesn’t skimp on the scares.

6. Christopher Robin (2018)
Adorable live action addition to the world of the 100 Acre Woods.

5. Mary Poppins Returns (2019)
Sweet sequel to the story of the world’s favourite nanny.

4. Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)
A dark and gritty world of cultism, robbery, espionage and dreams.

3. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
One of the highest stakes movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but still good, action-packed fun.

2. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
A heartbreaking and inspiring look at one of the world’s biggest rock bands.

1. The Greatest Showman (2018)
One of the best musicals I have ever seen and the absolute best outside of the golden age of MGM musicals. Inspiring, visually stunning and an amazing soundtrack — just perfect.

 

Television

10. RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars: Season Two
It’s fun to see the art these queens create and even more fun to revisit them after their first taste of RPDR fame.

9. Midnight, Texas: Season One
An enjoyable urban fantasy series based on a great book series by Charlaine Harris.

8. Santa Clarita Diet: Season Two
Drew Barrymore as a zombie and Timothy Olyphant as her uptight husband? Gory comedy gold.

7. The Handmaid’s Tale: Seasons One and Two
A dark dystopian journey through the world of Gilead as told through the eyes of June and those around her.

6. American Horror Story: Seasons Five and Six
This year Hotel and Roanoke became two of my favourite seasons of American Horror Story. 

5. Ozark: Season Two
A stellar cast feature in Ozark and the stakes get even higher this season. Great crime drama.

4. RuPaul’s Drag Race: Seasons Six and Seven
Two of my favourite seasons of a favourite TV show — not only because they feature so many favourite queens but the challenges are fantastic and the competition fierce.

3. The Crown: Season Two
I maintain that if Queen Elizabeth has truly dealt with even half of what is shown on this show with the same amount of grace, she is a wondrous human being.

2. Queer Eye: Seasons One and Two
A new fab five hit the road to change the lives of people through self-enhancement — and it’s fantastic.

1. The Haunting of Hill House: Season One
While only one season in, The Haunting of Hill House was the absolute stand out for me this year. Brilliant horror.

 

Books

10. The General Theory of Haunting by Richard Easter (2018)
A combination of science fiction and horror that brings great elements from both.

9. The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (2018)
A beautifully constructed mystery that kept me guessing until the very end.

8. Ender’s Game (1985)
A classic science fiction story about war in space and the tolls the training takes.

7. Final Girls by Riley Sager (2017)
An interesting story about the lives of three massacre survivors after the world stops looking.

6. Yes Please by Amy Poehler (2014)
Funny, heart-wrenching and inspirational at the same time. Poehler’s talents don’t seem to end.

5. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz (2003)
An exciting start to a long running series about a man who sees the dead. 

4. Redshirts by John Scalzi (2012)
An enjoyable satire of science fiction television shows, particularly Star Trek.

3. Strange Weather by Joe Hill (2017)
A collection of four quirky and thought-provoking stories, all tied to strange weather events.

2. Dracul by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker (2018)
The prequel to Dracula that I didn’t know I needed until I was fortunate enough to receive an ARC.

1. The Outsider by Stephen King (2018)
A murder mystery with a unique twist that could only come from the mind of Stephen King.

 

So those are my best of lists for 2018. What were some of your favourite movies, TV shows or books that you experienced in 2018? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.

– CJ

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Review by CJ

Director:
David Yates

Starring:
Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol, Dan Fogler, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, Zoë Kravitz, Ezra Miller, Claudia Kim

Running time:
134 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
The Harry Potter series, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

 

As the dark wizard Grindelwald (Depp) rallies his followers, it falls to Newt Scamander (Redmayne) and his comrades to protect the wizard and muggle worlds.

Continue reading Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Review by CJ

Director:
Bryan Singer

Starring:
Rami Malek, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy, Joe Mazzello, Lucy Boynton

Other notable appearances:
Aidan Gillen, Allen Leech, Tom Hollander, Mike Myers, Aaron McCusker

Running time:
134 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
The Greatest Showman, The Doors, Rock of Ages

 

The story of rock legends Freddie Mercury (Malek), Brian May (Lee), Roger Taylor (Hardy) and John Deacon (Mazzello) — four men who came together to change the face of rock and roll forever.

Continue reading Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate (2018)

Review by CJ

Director:
Matt Kugelman

Starring:
Roy Haylock, DJ ‘Shangela’ Pierce, Brian McCook, Doug Plaut, Rachel Dratch

Other notable appearances:
Wanda Sykes, Justin ‘Alyssa Edwards’ Johnson, Alaska Thunderfuck, Kristen Johnston, Cheyenne Jackson, Darienne Lake, Jiggly Caliente, Lady Bunny, Ed ‘Mrs. Kasha David’ Popil, Bianca Leigh, Dot-Marie Jones, Janeane Garofalo

Running time:
85 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Hurricane Bianca, Austin Powers 2: The Spy Who Shagged Me, Horrible Bosses 2

 

After getting his job back as his male self, high school teacher Richard (Haylock) is living a life free of his alter ego Bianca Del Rio. That is until his homophobic nemesis Deborah (Dratch) creates a fake award that Bianca must attend to collect in Russia, where homosexuals and transvestites are locked up and tortured.

Continue reading Hurricane Bianca: From Russia with Hate (2018)

Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

Review by CJ

Director:
Franck Khalfoun

Starring:
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bella Thorne, Mckenna Grace, Cameron Monaghan

Other notable appearances:
Jennifer Morrison, Kurtwood Smith

Running time:
85 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Rings, The Woman in Black, House at the End of the Street

 

Belle’s (Thorne) mother moves her to a new home to be closer to family and medical care for Belle’s twin brother James (Monaghan). When Belle finds out that the house was so cheap because of the infamous murders that took place, she must take up arms against the darkness that threatens everyone she holds dear.

Continue reading Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

Halloween (2018)

Review by CJ

Director:
David Gordon Green

Starring:
Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, Will Patton 

Other notable appearances:
Haluk Bilginer, Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney, Jibrail Nantambu

Running time:
106 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Halloween, You’re Next, Wes Craven’s New Nightmare, Friday the 13th

 

Laurie Strode (Curtis) has a complex relationship with her family that reaches boiling point when Michael Myers (Castle, Courtney), the man who killed her friends and tormented her as a teenager, escapes incarceration.

Continue reading Halloween (2018)

Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)

Review by CJ

Director:
Drew Goddard

Starring:
Jeff Bridges, Cynthia Erivo, Dakota Johnson, Jon Hamm, Cailee Spaeny, Chris Hemsworth, Lewis Pullman

Other notable appearances:
Nick Offerman

Running time:
141 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Pulp Fiction, Inglorious Basterds, Cabin in the Woods

 

The lives of seven strangers become inextricably tangled by the secrets they are trying to escape at Lake Tahoe’s El Royale hotel. 

Continue reading Bad Times at the El Royale (2018)