Dec 21, 2019

Cinematic Disappointments of 2019

In his review published on January 1, 1982, one of the most respected film critics, Roger Ebert, said that John Carpenter's The Thing is 'basically just a geek show, a gross-out movie in which teenagers can dare one another to watch the screen'. The reason behind this quote (which I and many genre aficionados couldn't agree less!) is to show or rather, confirm that no criticism is immune to subjectivity and bias. So, I sincerely hope that no one will take the following list to their hearts, just because their 2019 favorites and a few touted masterpieces are included (and arranged in alphabetical order). Also, I must admit that some of these entries are my own failed attempts at being adventurous during the excursion out of my comfort zone (such as German comedy 100 Dinge), whereas the others are found guilty on various charges: for being despicably generic, clichéd and flatter than a pancake (Prey); for faking emotions and contemplative atmosphere, while aping Kubrick, Malick and Villeneuve (Ad Astra); for appearing like an overlong commercial that aims for transgression and pretends to be the next Beyond the Black Rainbow (Perfect); for poorly remaking / remixing acclaimed classics although nobody asked for it (Rabid / MetropolisRemix); for lacking any sense of humor, trolling the hell out of the viewer and thinking its eclectic hyper-style is hypnotizing (In Fabric); for unengaging story that seems to go on for 35 years instead of 3 and a half hours, and uninvolving characters played by de-aged actors who still move and grimace like old men that they are (The Irishman), etc.

1. 100 Dinge (Florian David Fitz, 2018)
2. Ad Astra (James Gray, 2019)
3. Anna (Luc Besson, 2019)
4. Artik (Tom Botchii Skowronski, 2019)
5. Bacurau (Juliano Dornelles & Kleber Mendonça Filho, 2019)
6. Capharnaüm (Nadine Labaki, 2018)
7. City Hunter: Shinjuku Private Eyes (Kenji Kodama, 2019)
8. Climax (Gaspar Noé, 2018)
9. Darlin’ (Pollyanna McIntosh, 2019)
10. El día que resistía (Alessia Chiesa, 2018)
11. Gangbyeon Hotel (Sang-soo Hong, 2018)
12. Ham on Rye (Tyler Taormina, 2019)
13. Hotel Artemis (Drew Pearce, 2018)
14. In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018)
15. In the Tall Grass (Vincenzo Natali, 2019)
16. Limbo (Mark Young, 2019)
17. MetropolisRemix (Garrett Guyunn & Andrew John Holt, 2019)
18. Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)
19. Nightmare Cinema (Alejandro Brugués, Joe Dante, Mick Garris, Ryûhei Kitamura & David Slade, 2018)
20. Occidental (Neïl Beloufa, 2017)
21. Perfect (Eddie Alcazar, 2018)
22. Piercing (Nicolas Pesce, 2018)
23. Prey (Franck Khalfoun, 2019)
24. Rabid (The Soska Sisters, 2019)
25. The Irishman (Martin Scorsese, 2019)
26. The Rookies (Alan Yuen, 2019)
27. Tinta Bruta (Filipe Matzembacher & Marcio Reolon, 2018)
28. Us (Jordan Peele, 2019)
29. Velvet Buzzsaw (Dan Gilroy, 2019)
30. We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Stacie Passon, 2018)

A dishonorable mention goes to Synonymes (Nadav Lapid, 2019) which I dropped approx. 35 minutes into it.

Still shot from In Fabric (Peter Strickland, 2018)

1 comment:

  1. 'The Souvenir' is another (meta)critics' favorite that left me disappointed / dulled out, despite some insightful lines, great performances, and neat 16mm imagery which exudes with warmth. The film felt like a stiff made-for-TV drama...