I don’t really know what I did all year, but I didn’t watch very many movies at home. Only 14, down from 32 in 2018. Five (35 percent) were things I’d already seen. If you’ll bear with me while I get mathy for a moment, the 2010s was the most represented decade with 8 films (57 percent), followed by the 00s with 4 (28 percent). The 1990s and the 1970s had one each, and the most represented year was 2009. I watched the most movies (7) over the summer and no movies in January, February, May or September.
Here are my picks for Top 3 Movies at Home.
Arrival (2016), Science Fiction
I generally like my sci-fi a little more on the fantasy side, but this was a really fascinating movie starring Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner trying to communicate with aliens. It goes all in on linguistics and does really interesting things with time. Full review here.
The Judge (2014), Drama
After the death of his mother, hot-shot lawyer Robert Downey Jr returns to his small hometown and reconnects with his family while defending his uncooperative father (Robert Duvall) in an unrelated murder trial. The courtroom drama is good. The family drama is amazing. Full review here.
Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary (2019), Documentary
This was a wonderful look back at the sometimes fraught making of Galaxy Quest and the cultural impact it had. There were great interviews with the cast and crew and fans, and even a couple Star Trek actors, and it was clear the people making the documentary really love the movie and so do the people who made the movie. It was just really pleasant way to spend an hour and a half. It was only in select theaters for a day, but can be bought or rented at Amazon, Google, iTunes and probably other places.
The complete list
Italicized films were rewatches
1. Gifted (2017), drama [MARCH] – Almost as good as The Judge, this movie has Chris Evans raising his genius niece and fighting with his mother about the girl’s best interests. Full review here.
2. Arrival (2016), Science Fiction
3. The Judge (2014), Drama [APRIL]
4. Sherlock Holmes (2009), Mystery [JUNE] – I don’t really find the mystery that exciting here, especially when it can be solved mostly by “Holmes eats and smells things,” but Robert Downey Jr and Jude Law have so much chemistry as Holmes and Watson, and I really like Rachel McAdams’s Irene Adler.
5. Home For The Holidays (1995), Comedy, Holiday – I went on a little Robert Downey Jr bender as his era came to a close with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and I’ve always loved this holiday comedy about a dysfunctional family.
6. All The President’s Men (1976), Drama, political – You know, I didn’t really care for it. I had a professional interest as someone who works in the news industry, and the journalism part of it was really interesting, if for no other reason than to see a news room operation that was so far before my time. But then just when things start getting really exciting…it skips straight to “And then Nixon resigned.”
7. The Proposal (2009), romantic comedy [JULY] – Sometimes you just feel like watching a rom-com and could do a lot worse than Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds and Betty White.
8. Olympus Has Fallen (2013), Action [AUGUST] – Die Hard at the White House, but good.
9. London Has Fallen (2016), Action – Die Hard 2 and 3 in London and less good. I wrote about the entire Has Fallen trilogy here.
10. Space Cowboys (2000), Adventure – It’s stupid and cheesy but has a special place in my heart.
11. The Nine Lives of Christmas (2014), Holiday [NOVEMBER] – The only Hallmark Christmas movie I watched this year, and you could do a lot worse than Superman Returns and Arrowverse’s Brandon Routh as a firefighter/home flipper who reluctantly adopts a cat and then finds love with almost the same degree of reluctance.
12. Up (2009), Animated Family [DECEMBER] – Thankfully not as gut-wrenchingly sad as I had been lead to believe, and pretty good overall.
13. IT: Chapter 2 (2019), Horror – I can’t talk about this movie anymore. For the short version, check out the Theater Movies in Review post and for the longer, slightly more charitable version, the specific It review.
14. Never Surrender: A Galaxy Quest Documentary (2019)
And there you have it. I’ll probably continue the Covert Avengers series — a look at MCU actors in other roles — in 2020, maybe doing one or two as each new Marvel release drops. I also want to start watching the DC movies this year. At the very least, I want to see Wonder Woman before its 1984-set sequel comes out. Barring that, we’ll just see what strikes my fancy.
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