2019 was a remarkable year in Cinema. More than ever are we seeing Netflix and female Directors at the forefront and you will see this in the Team’s year’s best. Once again we are thrilled to share our favourites with you and would love to see how these align with your own personal faves. If you haven’t caught-up yet on your 2019 viewing, we hope the Team gives you some inspiration for your Holiday viewing!
Enjoy the rest of your Holidays and to an even more amazing 2020!
Team Mr. Will
L to R: Jonathan Godfrey, David & Alyssa Baldwin, George Kozera, Justin Waldman x Mr. Will
(There in spirit: Amanda Gilmore, Siobhán Rich)
A farewell to beloved Thompson Diner, where we held our 2019 Holiday Brunch.
In my opinion, this year has been one of the strongest years in Film for a VERY long time. We had amazing diverse creative talents in front and behind the camera who have worked together to make outstanding work, which is precisely why making this Top Ten list has been extremely difficult for me. I would love to write a Top 30 list if I was allowed, but sadly I’m not. Because of this, I have made my list according to my favourite films of the year that I could also re-watch multiple times for years to come. I have also added some honourable mentions because let’s face it, this year was flipping awesome!
DISCLAIMER: I have yet to see 1917 at the time of writing this list.
The Films below are listed in alphabetical order, they are not ranked.
Booksmart Honey Boy Jojo Rabbit Joker Knives Out Late Night Little Women Marriage Story Parasite Us
Honourable Mentions: The Peanut Butter Falcon: an extremely touching and unique coming-of-age story. Ready Or Not: an inventive thriller with one wickedly funny and badass female lead. Rocketman: I LOVEElton John and this film was a knockout!
Written in order the release, the following are my faves for 2019: winter began with If Beale Street Could Talk, a tale of struggle set to a mesmerizing score. Next, Alita: Battle Angel, a great anime adaptation with mesmerizing MOCAP (Motion Capture) work. Spring brought Toy Story 4, a 3D spectacle for the ages; and Once Upon a Time…In Hollywood, another spectacular Script from Tarantino. IT Chapter 2 scared me silly this summer, and A Hidden Life was my TIFF ’19 darling. Fall brought with it a Trilogy of favorites: the powerful performance piece, Joker; the breathtaking animation of Frozen 2; and of course, a forever favorite, Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Winter has returned, and with it, Little Women, a wondrous adaption to warm this holiday season. I have high hopes for 2020, including: Dune, Tenet, Mulan, No Time to Die and Bill & Ted Face the Music.
2019 was a banner year for me, watching movies in a darkened theatre. I saw many impressive features from either first-time Directors or from established awards winners. Netflix, the little distribution company that could, released movies that were eclectic in genres and superior in quality and for the second year in a row, one of its offerings made my list as Number One. I saw movies that bored deeply into my skin and heart and mind and soul. It is with apologies to the Christmas releases that I have yet to see (Little Women, Bombshell, 1917, Uncut Gems) and too many Honorable Mentions to list that I submit my Top Ten of 2019:
1. Marriage Story 2. Jojo Rabbit 3. Waves 4. Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood 5. Parasite 6. The Irishman 7. Knives Out 8. The Last Black Man in San Francisco 9. Joker 10. Rocketman
2019 has certainly been an interesting year for movies. We saw the end of The Skywalker Saga, the warfare between Netflix and Distributors continues to grow increasingly-tense, Scorsese and Iger are teasing a conversation. Movies had more surprises this year, and there have been some genuinely heartwarming and enlightening movies this year. In alphabetical order here are my top 10 movies to end out the decade.
Booksmart Olivia Wilde directing Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever may have been the most unexpected, most hilarious thing I have seen all year but this Movie is endlessly-fantastic. It is the only Movie I have seen countless times this year, it became an instant classic for myself, that will be adored for the ages.
Jojo Rabbit Taika Waititi in my mind can do no wrong when it comes to filmmaking. Ragnarok, What We Do In The Shadows,and Hunt for the Wilderpeople. Waititi constantly delivers genuinely heartwarming and hilarious movies. Jojo Rabbit is no exception to that, the WWII satire is everything I expected of it and more.
I love some brilliant Joaquin. I love me some Joker. I just love this Movie. It is haunting and ingenious, but please for everything that makes this great, do not make a Sequel.
This Whodunit was one of the biggest questions from this Agatha Christie-esque film. It was marvelously-acted, packs a punch, and let’s face it, were all obsessing about knitted sweaters now.
I couldn’t begin to tell you what I thought I was getting myself into when I went to see this. All I can tell you is that it is one of the strangest, brilliant movies I’ve seen all year and I still think about it all these months later.
Moment of truth, this was my first Little Women and what Greta Gerwig manages to do with it is nothing short of inspiring. However when you have Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Timothée Chalamet, Meryl Streep and Saoirse Ronan its also hard not to be delighted the entire time.
This was horrifying. Ari Aster still manages to haunt me with his brilliant Horror Film. The Director’s Cut is significantly better than the theatrical cut as well, as well as more haunting when you pay attention to the background. There is nothing else to say.
If you’ve seen it, you know EXACTLY why its on the list. If you have not, why are you waiting? Stop reading immediately and go see the Movie. There is literally no reason not to. It is brilliant and deserves all the acclaim.
Give Sandman everything. This Movie is neurotic, anxiety-inducing acid and you cannot look away. I felt dirty after watching the Movie, but I can’t shake it. Adam Sandler has never delivered a better performance.
This Movie broke me, is the easiest way to put it. It is beautiful, it is tragic, it is heartwarming, it is heartbreaking. This Movie launches a rocket right into the feelings and explodes on impact.
2020, you’re the start of a new decade, you better deliver as well as if not better than 2019.
1. Parasite 2. Jojo Rabbit 3. Marriage Story 4. The Farewell 5. Us 6. Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood 7. Honey Boy 8. Blinded By The Light 9. 1917 10. Booksmart
2019 will go down as one of the best years for Film this decade – maybe even the singular best one. There is so much to say about these ten brilliant Films, and even more to say about the multitude of films that did not make this list. Yes, many will remember this year for the end of The Avengers and Star Wars Sagas. But others will remember it for the magnificent new discoveries that were made, for the masters making some of their best work to date and for the actors we completely wrote-off giving us plenty of reasons to remember them again. I lived, breathed and loved so many movies this year. And know that with the impending birth of my first child, that so much about next year and the next decade of my filmgoing life is going to be so drastically different. So it might just be the nostalgia talking, but I doubt I will ever see another exquisite year of Cinema like this ever again.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers a chance to win a copy of TOY STORY 4 on Blu-ray!
This summer, Disney and Pixar’s “Toy Story 4” took audiences on a hilarious and heartwarming road trip with Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the whole gang, earning a 98 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes and more than $1 billion at the global box office. Packed with old friends and new faces, the fourth film in the beloved Toy Story series, which leads Woody to an unexpected fork in the road, arrives home on Digital in 4K Ultra HD™ and HD Oct. 1, and on 4K Ultra HD™, Blu-ray,™ DVD Oct. 8. Fans who bring home “Toy Story 4” will be treated to over an hour of bonus features celebrating the film’s iconic characters, Pixar’s filmmaking team and the legacy of “Toy Story,” which began as the world’s first fully computer-animated feature film released nearly 25 years ago. Extensive extras includes deleted scenes such as an alternate ending, an all-new featurette with an endearing look back on Woody and Buzz’s legendary friendship throughout the years; entertaining studio stories shared by members of the Pixar team; a nostalgic look back at the creation and first storyboard screening of “Toy Story” with filmmakers; and the pioneering efforts of Pixar artists who created the sets, characters, look and feel of the original film and much more.
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOK. Re-Tweet this Contest Tweet from @mrwillw for an extra chance. Canadian Readers only, please.
It’s a new July opening record for Disney’s The Lion King, which opens on a high note to the tune of $185 million from 4,725 theatres across North America. The previous record was held by 2011’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 with $169.1 million. This incarnation of The Lion King fares well with Audiences, getting an A CinemaScore, but less well with Critics with 55% on the Tomatometer.
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME has no choice but to acquiesce in second with $22 million this weekend for Sony Pictures, in its third week. It has grossed $320.5 million thus far in these parts.
Former champ TOY STORY 4 lands in third with $$12.6 million for Disney in its fifth week, totaling $375 million in North America.
CRAWL is in fourth with $6.4 million from 3,170 theatres for Paramount Pictures, week two, a total $23.5 million
MIDSOMMAR is in ninth week three with $1.9 million for A24/Elevation Pictures, a three-week tally of $22.4 million.
THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS rounds-out the Top Ten with $1.6 million for Universal Pictures, a domestic total of $151.4 million over seven weeks.
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME takes the top of the Box Office a second straight week with $44.5 million from 4,634 theatres across North America. This takes its tally to $273.7 million for Sony Pictures.
TOY STORY 4 takes the second spot with $20.6 million in its third week out for Disney. Over four weeks it has grossed $346.3 million domestically.
CRAWL is in third with $10.6 million for Paramount Pictures in its debut at 3,170 theatres. It gets 88% on the Tomatometer despite not being previewed for Canadian media and Audiences gave it a B CinemaScore.
STUBER opens in fourth with $8 million from 3,050 theatres for 20th Century Fox. The Comedy starring David Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani, gets 47% on the Tomatometer and a B CinemaScore.
MIDSOMMAR lands in eighth spot with $3.5 million for A24/Elevation Pictures, a two week total of $18.4 million.
MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL rounds-out the Top Ten with $2 million for Sony Pictures, a five-week total of $76.3 million.
It’s a huge opening for SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME, taking-in $87 million for Sony Pictures from 4,634 theatres in North America. The Film gets 92% on the Tomatometer, tallying $178 million since its Tuesday 4th of July Holiday opening. Best opening for the Franchise in this era starring Tom Holland, still goes to 2017’s SPIDER-MAN HOMECOMING with $117 million.
TOY STORY 4 is going strong still in second with $33 million this weekend from 4,540 theatres for Disney, a total $305 million grossed over two weeks.
Third spot goes to YESTERDAY with $10.1 million for Universal Pictures.The Beatles-themed Musical has grossed $36.2 million over two weeks.
ALADDIN lands in fifth with $8.2 million, a total $321 million for Disney in seven weeks domestically.
MIDSOMMAR is in sixth with $6.2 million for A24 Pictures/Elevation Pictures, a total $10.4 million since its Wednesday opening. It gets 82% on the Tomatometer and C+ CinemaScore.
ROCKETMAN rounds things out in tenth with $2.2 million for Paramount Pictures.
TOY STORY 4 prevails again a second week at the Box Office, taking $56 million in week two from 4,575 theatres for Disney, taking it to $235 million in a two week run thus far.
ANNEBELLE COMES HOME lands a distant second with $16.4 million in its debut from 3,613 theatres for Warner Bros. Franchise best still belongs to the first Film in the Series, with $37.1 million back in 2014. It gets 69% on the Tomatometer and a B- CinemaScore.
YESTERDAY debuts in third with $15 million from 2,603 theatres for Universal Pictures. The latest from Danny Boyle gets 61% on the Tomatometer and an A- CinemaScore.
ALADDIN is in fourth with $8.8 million, a total $305 million grossed in North American to date for Disney.
AVENGERS:ENDGAME gets a re-release with additional footage, placing in fifth with $6.3 million from 2,025 theatres for Disney.
JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM rounds-out this Top Ten with $2.5 million for eOne Films/Lionsgate Films.
TOY STORY 4 plays with the competition in its opening, earning $118 million from 4,575 theatres across North American for Disney. Reviews are outstanding for this latest installment in the Franchise, pulling-in 98% on the Tomatometer and an A CinemaScore from Audiences. This records a best for the Series, topping 2019’s TOY STORY 3 which opened with $110 million. This positions the Animated Feature for the third-best opening of all time for an Animated Film, behind last year’s INCREDIBLES 2 and its $182 million opening.
Opening in second is CHILD’S PLAY with $14 million for United Artists Releasing/Elevation Pictures from 3,007 theatres. It gets a passing 60% on the Tomatometer and a C+ CinemaScore from Audiences.
In third is last week’s champ MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL, landing with $12 million, a total $54 million over two weeks for Sony Pictures.
In fourth is THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2 with $11.8 million, a three week total of $119 million domestically for Universal Pictures.
SHAFT rounds things out in its debut for Warner Bros. with $3.4 million, a two-week total of $14 million.
It’s been nine years since we’ve heard from the $1.9 billion-worldwide-grossing TOY STORY Franchise, but the gang is back and we’re ready for some new adventures in TOY STORY 4. This latest installment centers on Woody (Tom Hanks), who must take care of his new kid Bonnie (Madeleine McGraw) and her new self-made toy Forky (Tony Hale). After Woody and Forky are separated on a road trip, the former goes on a mission with friends new and old, to bring him back to Bonnie. Together we learn how big a place this world is for a toy.
See the Trailer:
In Toronto to ring-in Toy Story 4‘s Canadian Premiere is Primetime Emmy Award winner Tony Hale (Veep, Love, Simon) who voices soon-to-be fan favourite, Forky. He tells us all about his journey with the eagerly-awaited Blockbuster.
We ask Hale about how he came to be involved with Toy Story 4.
Hale: “I feel like I had the imposter theory and that someone’s gonna figure out they made a mistake”, he jokes. “I heard they were interested in me. The cool thing – as a side bar – is the first Toy Story started in 1995 and that was the year I moved to New York to become an actor. I remember seeing the Movie and thinking, ‘Gosh, this Animation is on another level. I never thought I’d be a part of this Franchise, but they brought me up to Pixar, which is this creative wonderland, and then they just started describing Forky to me. They were like, ‘We thought of you, he has this neurotic energy’, and I was like, ‘check!‘.”.
“The cool thing about Pixar is that they create this family community environment. They really broke down not just how simple he looks, but also how he sees the world so simple and I thought of my daughter when she was four or five and she just had so many questions. And just constantly absorbing one thing after the other.”.
Hale tells us about the importance of his character.
Hale: “I love the message. I think the whole journey from seeing himself as trash, to come along and realizing he has a bigger purpose than that, he has value and I thought, ‘What a beautiful thing to put out into the world’.”. He adds, “Everybody has a tremendous purpose and I love being a part of it.”.
We ask Hale about the very prominent featuring of a Canadian Stuntman character, Duke Caboom and working with Keanu Reeves.
Hale: “He’s the nicest guy and he’s so hilarious in this Movie. It’s the way he brings his swagger to the character that contrasts with these very sharp movements, it is so funny. And then they bring this emotional trauma to his life. His story just really makes me laugh. It’s really great that him and Forky get to have this journey together.”.
Hale kids that his humour “comes from a lot of pain”a while his characters have had to do some outlandish things in his celebrated career, he says “Yes, I’ve had to do some colourful bits, however I actually would like to be held by Tom Hanks!”.
Greg Mason, VP of Marketing at Walt Disney Studios Canada took time to chat with us about how the idea of Duke Caboom originated and how his office was actually very much involved!
Mason: “It’s been three-and-a-half years in the making. It goes back to Zootopia where we had Peter Mansbridge do a cameo as Peter Moosebridge. We’re always trying to insert a bit of Canadian in here and there.”.
“We’ve had Jonas Rivera (Producer) in Toronto twice and I see him when I’m in San Francisco. After working on Inside Out, I asked if we could do a little something for Canada. And he replied, ‘You’re gonna love Inside Out. Riley plays hockey and her boyfriend is from Canada’.”.
Rivera came back to Mason, telling him, how for Toy Story 4, he had ideas in mind for a Canadian Dardevil character, letting them make notes on his Character Design and they even sent notes on Casting. He says, “Pixar is so detailed. Right away they said, the Actor had to be Canadian. Our team got together with suggestions and Keanu was on the list. We loved the idea of Keanu and they brought him in and did a read-through and that’s how it came to be.”.
It’s been a while since the last Toy Story film and a lot changing in how Movies are marketed since then. We ask Mason how this can be navigated.
Mason: “Very carefully. With knew we had something special with Duke Caboom and we wanted him front and centre, but it’s not a Duke Caboom film, it’s a Toy Story film. Pixar is wonderful about letting us do stuff and figure it out from here.”.
Jonas sent us the first photo of Duke and he had a box of Timbits! They think everything through and the Animators who worked on Duke, every single one was Canadian! I didn’t have to tell them that and our team is proud of this.”.
The festivities moved down the road in the evening to Scotiabank Theatre. Prizes to be won by guests at the Premiere included memorabilia from the Film including Plushies, T-Shirts and more. Fans got a chance too to see Hale on the Red Carpet and he was joined by Toronto’s Queen of Cake Decorating, Yolanda Gampp who presented a Toy Story-inspired cake. French-Canadian Voice Actor François Bellefeuille who voices Forky in the French-Canadian version also walked the Carpet as well!
Some Snaps from the night:
Check-out Amanda Gilmore x David Baldwin‘s Interviews here:
Walt Disney Studios Canada release TOY STORY 4 on Friday, June 20, 2019.
In addition to seeing a real-life replica of Duke Caboom‘s bike, he also got to make our own Forkys! Check it out! Hover cursor right to move forward on the album:
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada x Mr. Will are giving Canadian Readers a chance to win Advance Passes to see TOY STORY 4! The Canadian Premiere takes place in Toronto on Thursday, June 13, 2019. Advance Screenings take place Wednesday, June 19, 2019 in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Edmonton.
Synopsis: Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So, when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.
See the Trailer:
To enter to win, click “like” on this Post at MR. WILL ON FACEBOOKand indicate your City. Re-Tweet this Tweet from @mrwillw for an extra chance!
TOY STORY 4 is in theatres Friday,June 20, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)
Canadians across the country soon will have a chance to partake in an exciting celebration in advance of TOY STORY 4′s release! Want to see a life-sized replica motorcycle of Canada’s greatest stuntman, Duke Caboom (voiced by Keanu Reeves)? Want to make your own Spork just like Bonnie?. Wanna show it off in a Photo Op?
WHERE & WHEN:
From 1:00 pm to 7:00 pm in each city at:
VANCOUVER May 18 & 19 SilverCity Riverport 14211 Entertainment Blvd, Richmond
CALGARY May 25 & 26 Cineplex Crowfoot Crossing 91 Crowfoot Terrace NW, Calgary
WINNIPEG June 1 & 2 Scotiabank Theatre 817 St James St, Winnipeg
TORONTO June 8 & 9 Cineplex Queensway 1025 The Queensway, Etobicoke
MONTREAL June 15 & 16 Cinéma Cineplex Laval 2800 Ave du Cosmodôme, Laval
Synopsis: Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) has always been confident about his place in the world, and that his priority is taking care of his kid, whether that’s Andy or Bonnie. So when Bonnie’s beloved new craft-project-turned-toy, Forky (voice of Tony Hale), declares himself as “trash” and not a toy, Woody takes it upon himself to show Forky why he should embrace being a toy. But when Bonnie takes the whole gang on her family’s road trip excursion, Woody ends up on an unexpected detour that includes a reunion with his long-lost friend Bo Peep (voice of Annie Potts). After years of being on her own, Bo’s adventurous spirit and life on the road belie her delicate porcelain exterior. As Woody and Bo realize they’re worlds apart when it comes to life as a toy, they soon come to find that’s the least of their worries.
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada release TOY STORY 4Friday, June 18, 2019.
(Photo/video credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Canada)