It’s hard to believe another year’s passed by! 2018 certainly was a stand-out year for Cinema and Team Mr. Will true to tradition, share with you their best of 2018. If you haven’t seen some of these, it’s time to start adding to your Must-See Lists this winter!
AMANDA GILMORE (@gilmoreamanda)
It was such a great year for Film that it’s near impossible for me to choose the Top Ten. I could have easily made a Top 30 list (if it was allowed). However, I managed to squeeze in ten films, which are in alphabetical order rather than being ranked. I’ve included films from a range of genres and narratives that I’ve thought about since my first viewing.
A Star Is Born
A Quiet Place
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Mission Impossible: Fallout
Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse
Ready Player One
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
A Quiet Place
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Legend of the Demon Cat
Mary Poppins Returns
As usual, my list consists of movies I saw on the Silver Screen within the calendar year. They’re organized according to release date, and are thus relieved of any hierarchy. Annihilation is the dark Sci-Fi wizardry I live for; Ready Player One is my kind of Spielberg cinema; and A Quiet Place is my top scare of 2018. Solo gave me more Star Wars; Demon Cat made this year’s TIFF magical; and First Man is the brand of brooding Drama I adore. Fantastic Beasts 2 is dope AF; Green Book is a beautiful performance piece; and Spider-Man is the Comic Movie I’ve been waiting forever for. To wrap it all up… Mary Poppins Returns! She has, and it warms my heart.
DAVID BALDWIN (@DaveMABaldwin)
2018 was an incredible year for Cinema. Full stop. If anyone tells you otherwise, they did not see enough movies. Every genre fired on all cylinders, and the mid-budget and independent scenes were filled with positively exquisite Filmmaking that will go down as some of the best of the decade. And even better than that, 2018 proved the power and importance of diversity and gender in Cinema. The number of movies I genuinely liked and loved that missed my Top Ten can attest to how outstanding a year this was. But I can say with confidence that the list of films below shook me right through to my bones whether through fear, laughter, wonder, charm, thrills, or genuine emotion. And yes, I know I cheated with including a tie — but it would be a disservice to not include all of these titles on my list.
Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
Mission: Impossible – Fallout
The Hate U Give
[tie] Can You Ever Forgive Me? / Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
GEORGE KOZERA (@PartyG)
I saw 164 movies this year. It took a long time to whittle the list down to 26 movies that I considered to be the best of 2018. This was a year that brought fantastic highs that had me gasping with wonder and admiration or so bad that they had me rolling my eyes in disbelief! Whether it was one of the most original Horror movies in a long time (A Quiet Place) or a Superhero, Comic Book movie so innovative and supremely well-acted that it validated a genre many were hoping would just go away (Black Panther). It was a banner year for documentary features, musicals and an LGBTQ movie was released for the first time ever by a major Hollywood studio (Love, Simon). Dramas were rampant with stories that touched one’s soul, though there was a lack of Comedies that were consistently funny throughout (with the exception of “Game Night”). All that said, I submit my pick for the best film of the year and the next nine movies (in alphabetical order) that moved, enthralled and will stay with me for years to come.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Lean on Pete
Leave No Trace
Mary Poppins Returns
Three Identical Strangers
JUSTIN WALDMAN (@DubsReviews)
It is time for the annual Top Ten movies I saw that I absolutely adored and loved this year. Some are best of the year, while others are the movies I had the most fun watching this year. There have been some truly incredible movies this year, and dare I say the ‘blockbusters’ for the most part have been fine, nothing really spectacular outside of a few gems. If you haven’t seen something on this list, go out and see it. Most of these movies will appeal to the masses, enjoy yourselves. Here’s to a 2019 with some hot titles coming out over the next few weeks, Glass anyone, and next few months, US am I right? 2019 is sure to be a stellar year
Anna and the Apocalypse
A Quiet Place
Sorry to Bother You
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse
BLACK PANTHER reigns a third straight week at the Box Office with $62 million from 4,084 theatres for Marvel/Disney. It is just shy of the $500-million-mark in its third week out in North America.
RED SPARROW flies in its debut with $17.4 million from 3,056 theatres for 20th Century Fox. The Spy-Action-Thriller starring Jennifer Lawrence, gets 51% on the Tomatometer from Critics and a B CinemaScore.
DEATH WISH lands in third with $12 million from 3,847 theatres for eOne Films/MGM. It gets a 14% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore.
GAME NIGHT is in fourth with $10.2 million for Warner Bros., a total $33 million earned over two weeks.
PETER RABBIT continues to perform solidly in fifth with $9.1 million from 3,607 theatres for Sony Pictures. It has made $82 million over four weeks domestically.
ANNIHILATION is in sixth with $5.4 million, a total $20.4 million for Paramount Pictures over two weeks.
EVERY DAY rounds-out the Top Ten with $1.5 million from 1,669 theatres for Open Road Films/Elevation Pictures, a two week tally of $5.2 million.
It should come as no surprise that BLACK PANTHER takes the top of the Box Office again this weekend with a stellar $104.1 million from 4,020 theatres across North America for Disney/Marvel. Over two weeks it is just shy of the $400 million-mark. INCREDIBLE.
GAME NIGHT debuts a solid second with $15.1 million from 3,488 theatres for Warner Bros. The Comedy starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, gets an 81% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore.
Down to third is PETER RABBIT with $13.1 million for Sony Pictures, a total $70.8 million over three weeks domestically.
ANNIHILATION debuts in fourth with $10.7 million for Paramount Pictures from 2,012 theatres. The Film starring Natalie Portman, gets a stellar 87% on the Tomatometer but inversely a C CinemaScore only from Audiences.
FIFTY SHADES FREED is in fifth with $6.9 million for Universal Pictures, a three-week total of $89.5 million.
EVERY DAY opens in ninth with $3 million from 1,667 theatres for Open Road Films/Elevation Pictures. It gets a 51% on the Tomatometer and a B+ CinemaScore.
EARLY MAN rounds-out the Top Ten with $1.4 million for Lionsgate Films/eOne Films.
In 2015, we were blown away by Ex Machina from Screenwriter and first-time Director AlexGarland. The Film was nominated for BestOriginal Screenplay at the Academy Awards and won Best Visual Effects. Zip-forward three years, and Garland has delivered another mind-blowing piece of Science Fiction in Annihiliation. Garland was present for the first Canadian screening of the highly-anticipated Film at TIFF Bell Lightbox tonight, followed by a Q&A with TIFF’s Artistic Director CameronBailey.
The Film centers around Lena (Natalie Portman), a Biologist who joins a team of scientists and researchers who venture into a classified area known as “The Shimmer” to uncover its secrets. The less you know about the plot of Annihilation, the better. But suffice it to say, Garland’s Film will leave you breathless and begging to discuss each and every twist.
On the subject of casting, Garland said each actor was cast traditionally and “kind of pushed against each other in a good way. They had very different energies.” He praised the Ensemble, along with those behind-the-scenes he referred to as the “Collective”. After Garland writes his Screenplays, he hands them off to his Production Designers and other members of his crew – some of which he has been working with for 20 years! – and they help shape the Film from the ground up through “conversations”.
“It’s an abstract Novel,” Garland said when asked about adapting the first chapter in JeffVanderMeer’s Southern Reach Trilogy. He “tried to do an adaptation of what it’s like to read the Book”, and explained that the Screenplay was written more as a “memory of the Book” as opposed to a direct adaptation. Without spoiling too much, Garland suggests “The Film is about self-destruction,” and that by playing within the realm of Genre Filmmaking, he was given a “free gift in what you can subvert,” allowing the Film to take on multiple tones, styles and genres.
Garland spoke at length about his take on Auteurism (he prefers working as a team), how he writes female versus male characters (he writes them the same way), and his feelings on adapting the rest of VanderMeer’s Trilogy (sequels are “not my scene”), but received the biggest audience response when he asked if his friend Rob was in the audience. He had never met the Toronto native, but the two have been playing PS4 games online for a number of years. Garland invited his gaming buddy out for a drink after the Q&A, much to the delight of the audience.
While it was a fun and enlightening event, the last question of the night finally addressed the elephant in the room – Netflix. Annihiliation’s distributor ParamountPictues recently sold international streaming rights to the Company, and will only give the Film a traditional theatrical release in the US, Canada and China. All other foreign territories will see the Film released exclusively on Netflix (much like the surprise post Super Bowl release of Paramount’s The Cloverfield Paradox). “I don’t have a problem with the small screen at all,” Garland said, noting his next project was an 8-part Series for FX. But he added, “This Film was designed for theatres. The immersive experience that we collectively hope happens at the end is not going to happen on a laptop.”
We’ll have more on Annihilation in our review next week, but for our Toronto and Montreal fans, be sure to enter our contest now to win passes to an Advanced Scteening of the Film here.
Paramount Pictures Canada release ANNIHILIATION on Friday, February 23, 2018.
Paramount Pictures Canada x Mr. Will want to give Readers in Toronto and Montreal and chance to see ANNIHILATION!
Screenings take place as follows: Toronto: Screening is Wednesday, February 21st,Cineplex Scotiabank, Time: 7:30 pm
Montreal: Screening is Wednesday, February 21st,Cineplex Cinema Banque Scotia Montreal, Time: 7:30pm
Lena, a biologist and former soldier, joins a mission to uncover what happened to her husband inside Area X – a sinister and mysterious phenomenon that is expanding across the American coastline. Once inside, the expedition discovers a world of mutated landscape and creatures, as dangerous as it is beautiful, that threatens both their lives and their sanity.
From visionary director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later) and based on the acclaimed best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy by Jeff VanderMeer, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Gina Rodriguez and Tuva Novotny.
This looks amazing and if you’re not sold already on the Cast, maybe this new Teaser for ANNIHILATION will!
Based on Jeff VanderMeer‘s best-selling Southern Reach Trilogy, Annihilation stars Natalie Portman, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Gina Rodgriguez, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Oscar Isaac. It was written and directed by Alex Garland (Ex Machina, 28 Days Later).
See the Trailer:
Paramount Pictures Canada release ANNIHILATIONFriday, February 23, 2018.