Hey everyone! There’s another new episode of my video series, Kyle & Nick on Film, where Nick Palodichuk and I discuss our Most Anticipated Films of 2020. The discussion is presented over the course of two episodes, embedded below.
Give the episode a watch, and if you enjoy the episode and want to support the shot, check out the Show’s Patreon here. If you cannot support the Show in that way, give us a like, comment with your Most Anticipated Films of 2020, and Subscribe to the Channel. That way, you don’t miss the next episode!
The entertainment mourns a tremendous loss today as we learn of the passing of Buck Henry, known for his work as an actor, a director, and a writer. Henry has a great many credits to his name, and I’d like to talk a bit about the ones I feel strongly about, in no particular order.
Grumpy Old Men: I think my first memory of seeing Henry onscreen was in the film Grumpy Old Men, where he played Snyder, the government employee trying to take John Gustafson’s house from him. He’s a straight man in the comedy, and the closest thing to a true villain in the film, and while he’s not onscreen a lot in the film, he’s memorably without any remorse for what he has to do, and it made him an effective antagonist.
Get Smart: Henry was the co-creator of Get Smart with Mel Brooks, and this is one of those shows that I feel was so ahead of its time, creating a great many tropes of parody-storytelling, and it’s a shame it’s gone mostly forgotten outside of the so-so film adaptation from a decade ago. I truly enjoyed watching these classic episodes and I actually had no idea that Buck Henry helped create and develop the series until a few years ago.
The Graduate: This is a film I only recently saw for the first time, but Henry’s dry humor can be found all over this screenplay. He was a gifted storyteller that created moments and situations that feel lived-in, even when the subject matter is almost silly. This a terrific screenplay and a wonderful film.
The Player: I actually saw The Player before The Graduate. It was in a film appreciation class in college, but revisiting it some time later, I absolutely adore the appearance by Henry, playing himself, pitching a sequel to The Graduate. It’s a fun little moment in a strange and surreal satire of Hollywood.
Saturday Night Live: I’ve seen several of Buck Henry’s appearances on SNL, dating back to the show’s first season. I firmly believe that his numerous appearances early on helped to develop a tone for where the show would go. He was always quite funny and unique, and I enjoyed seeing his episodes of the classic sketch comedy series. They are some of the best.
Buck Henry had his hand in a lot of Hollywood throughout his varied career in front of and behind the camera. He will be missed.
The Graduate (1967)
Get Smart (TV) (1965-1970)
What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976)
Heaven Can Wait (1978)
Saturday Night Live (TV) (1976-1980)
The Nude Bomb (1980)
Eating Raoul (1982)
The Player (1992)
Short Cuts (1993)
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Town & Country (2001)
Do you have a favorite piece of cinema from Buck Henry? Let me know/Drop a comment down below.
On an interesting note, the 2019 release Frozen 2 has become the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
Variety reported yesterday that the sequel, which is still in some theaters, has crossed $1.325 billion at the worldwide box office. The original Frozen initially held the top spot and now rests at second-place ($1.281 million), with Incredibles 2 in third ($1.243 million).
Now, this distinction is only made by Disney, who considers their 2019 remake of The Lion King to be a live-action film, which it really isn’t, but still, it’s another incredible win in an already record-breaking year for Disney.
What do you think? Is Frozen 2 deserving of the top spot? Let me know/Drop a comment below!
I recently appeared on St. Paul Filmcast again where Nick Palodichuk and I talked our Top 15 Films of the year and Top 10 of the decade. I’ve embedded the tweet below, so give it a listen and look for St. Paul Filmcast on Podbean or wherever podcasts can be found.
Hey everyone! There’s another new episode of my web series, Kyle & Nick on Film, where Nick Palodichuk and I discuss the merits of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in an exclusively non-spoiler review.
I’ve embedded the video below, so take the time to give it a view if you can, and help support independent content creators by liking, commenting with your thoughts on the film, and subscribing so you don’t miss the next episode!
The saga of New Mutants has been a long and strange one, and now, according to Collider.com, it sounds like New Mutants will meet its release date for April, and the version of the film that is coming is apparently closer to the vision that director Josh Boone had intended
During production, the studio tried to push Boone out of the horror realm and into more traditional X-Men film tones, and reshoots were completed to bring it back to horror, and that horror version of the film is the one that is on the way.
The X-Men film franchise was at its best when it went the ballsy route, with entries like Deadpool and Logan really showing up to play. I can only hope that New Mutants can continue this tradition. If it doesn’t, who cares. It’s getting rebooted anyway, isn’t it? I just want it to be good, and I like Josh Boone, so I’m here for it.
So what do you think? Is this the right call for New Mutants? Let me know/Drop a comment down below!
2019 has ended. It has, and we have to deal with it. There were amazing movies, and there were stinky movies. We can’t hide that. I was blessed in that there were fewer awful films and quite a few just disappointing films, so the year didn’t hurt me like I have been before.
Just a few notes while we get things going here:
I didn’t see every film in 2019. That means I didn’t see all the bad movies in 2019. This is just a list of the lowest ranking movies I saw.
This is my personal list. You may have liked some of these. I just didn’t. It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?
I still have not seen The Emoji Movie from 2017. Sticking it out.
Alright, let’s just get it going…
To be honest, I didn’t hate Cats. It actually hurt me quite badly to put in on the list because I didn’t want to get on the hate bandwagon, but there’s one thing that forced my hand. The reason Cats is on this list is because the studio felt it was “okay” to release this movie with unfinished visual effects. Sure, they decided to “fix” them by sending out an updated version only two days later, but by this point, they had basically screwed over the fans that showed up opening night. So not a great move. I caught the film with the unfinished visual effects and it kept taking me out of the movie, spoiling the insanity that I was mildly enjoying.
This sequel just should not have happened. The first film wasn’t all that great, but this sequel ended up completely ruining their characters, making none of the pets nor humans very enjoyable to watch. If the worst sin is being boring, The Secret Life of Pets 2 is guilty as well. It was nice to see Harrison Ford show up, but I’m certain that someone just put a mic on him and recorded, and he was likely not even aware that he was voicing the dog. The worst part of it all is that this was supposed to be about the Secret Life of Pets, and neither this film nor its predecessor utilize this idea.
I just wish this film wasn’t marketed as a comedy. I hate when a marketing campaign doesn’t understand the film its marketing. Oh wait, this was supposed to be a comedy? Seriously? Well, I must have missed something because I don’t remember laughing at all. Jexi was a terribly unfunny movie filled with really poor attempts at jokes. Her was a better and funnier version of this story and Jexi just seems both lazy and a little too late to work at all. Now that I know it was a comedy, I’m even more broken up by the experience.
I hate that this movie exists. Don’t get me wrong, I actually was fairly won over by the marketing campaign, which was brilliant at poking fun at the release date they shared with Toy Story 4. Yeah, I was actually pretty excited to see it after all that, but I hate the disrespect that MGM was showing to the creators of the franchise. The whole backstory is rather convoluted, but suffice it to say that the main franchise is still going on and has new installments on the way. Still, I went to see it, and it was bad. Outside of Mark Hamill, nothing worked in this poorly constructed film.
6. Rent Live
Rent Live aired earlier this year, and I’ll be honest in saying that I don’t really care for Rent as a musical. But I really didn’t like this version of Rent, done live as a sort-of concert experience on a square stage visible from all sides. None of it really worked, I was with Rent fans that seemed disappointed, and overall, I was just incredibly bored throughout the whole affair. I just wanted it to end. It’s one of the worst versions of this musical I’ve yet to see, and I hope I never have to sit through that one again.
You all know that I don’t try to hate on religious cinema. There are religious movies that I love and adore, but some of these movies are so schmaltzy and without any reality. Overcomer is one of those movies. I just don’t find any of these characters interesting or layered enough to maintain energy for 90-some minutes. Overcomer was just kind of boring, and I didn’t connect to the narrative or really anything.
4. The Dirt
You know, I was very excited for this Motley Crue biopic coming off Bohemian Rhapsody and with the excitement of the incoming Rocketman. This film, from the director of the Jackass films, was just not good at all. The focus was placed on the debauchery of the band and not on creating realistic characters or anything worth watching. It’s exactly what you would expect the director of the Jackass films would do with a Motley Crue biopic. There were two small elements/scenes that worked, but it was too much ugh and not enough good.
I was given the book for Five Feet Apart upon entering the press screening, and I decided to read it after seeing the incredibly disappointing film. The book wasn’t all that good either. I just felt like this movie didn’t offer anything worthwhile on its premise, which I initially found intriguing. The film could’ve put something interesting into its premise and before long it devolved into a typical cliche teen romance flick. Once it got there, I was over it and I never got back in.
2. Playmobil: The Movie
I heard terrible things about Playmobil, but I had no idea what I was getting into. I now know, but this movie hurt real bad. This was a bad ripoff of The Lego Movie and just like so many of the other ripoffs, this one doesn’t work because it isn’t about anything. When your movie begins with a musical number followed by the awkward death of parents, it just isn’t going to maintain much else. Playmobil was real dumb and real forgettable.
1. Walk. Ride. Rodeo.
This supposedly true story of a rodeo rider who gets paralyzed and continues to fight for her ability to ride once again is the stuff of Lifetime Movies nightmares. It’s on Netflix right now, and it’s not good. There just isn’t a single part of this movie that works. I just don’t even want to talk about it anymore. It’s my least-favorite film of 2019.
So there it is. These are my least-favorite films of the year.
Glad that’s over. Is there something I missed here? What did you think was the worst movie of the year? Let me know/Drop a comment down below!
2019 was crazy. The end of another decade! Another year where everything in my personal and professional life. Now, as we awkwardly segue into a new decade, let’s take a look back at the year that was in film. If you enjoy reading my list, give a listen to St. Paul Filmcast, where Nick Palodichuk counted down the best of 2019, the best of the decade, and more!
Now for our obligatory stipulations and notes:
-I did not see every film that was released in 2019. That would be an impossibility, but I did see quite a few. Of course, as always, life happens and some films were missed. So if you don’t see something on this list, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t belong. It just means I may have missed something it…or it doesn’t belong.
-These are my personal selections of films from the year. These are not predictions for Best Picture at the Oscars or films that are undeniably the 10 best films of the year, hands down, full stop. Some films have different placements at the end of the year than they would have based on their initial scoring, and even though some of them had major flaws, enjoyment can go a long way.
I said in my initial review for Us that, while I think Get Out is an overall better film for Jordan Peele, Us is the one I find myself going back to more often. Peele takes a classic story of doppelgangers and turns it into a story of classes and the versions of ourselves that we hide away. Us is a great example that it’s not the story you tell but how you tell it that creates a truly great film. It’s the best horror film of 2019, a year where the gems were tougher to find. It’s genuinely one of the more enjoyable experiences of the year as well, mining everything from its premise.
9. Jojo Rabbit
Director Taika Waititi had a nearly impossible task of creating a film about Nazi Germany starring a Nazi child who has an imaginary friend who happens to be Adolf Hitler that pokes fun and also creates a worthy narrative. He succeeded in ways I never would have thought with Jojo Rabbit. It isn’t as funny as other Waititi films but it certainly has heart in all the right places. The film takes a story that starts celebrating hate and turns it into a story that celebrates love. It’s truly a cinematic achievement that proves Waititi can do just about anything.
I can’t believe how much I loved Toy Story 4. I’ve never been a giant Toy Story fan but I found myself being won over by Toy Story 3, and while I felt it was a great film with a serviceable ending to the series, I now realize how much better Toy Story 4 is at ending the story. What Toy Story 4 does better is that it understands that Andy’s never been the character we’ve been following. It’s always been Woody. The focus of this fourth installment is paying off the character beats that the first three films set up for Woody. It’s a heartfelt, emotional, and very funny new film in a franchise that has continued to impress audiences.
7. A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood
Can You Ever Forgive Me? surprised the hell out of me when it came out last year. Not only was it the best performance of Melissa McCarthy’s career, but it was also a great showcase for director Marielle Heller, who crafted a film that, on the outset, sounds kind of boring. When she decided to tackle a Mr. Rogers biopic, I was unsure, but the inspired choice to cast Tom Hanks as the legendary television personality worked incredibly well. Hanks elected to play the essence of Mr. Rogers and not do an impression, and that decision also paid off nicely. There’s one specific scene in the film that pushed it past mere biographical film and into a life-changing experience, and if you’ve seen it, I think you’ll know which one: the diner scene. I won’t get any further into it so you can enjoy it for yourself, but A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, like the documentary Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, was a life-changing experience.
Rocketman was the first film this year that I felt could have been my favorite of the year, and it outlasted quite a few as the year went on. This Elton John biopic is really more a musical based on John’s work than a 100% true-to-life biopic. Again, it gets more of the essence of Elton than a certifiable account, and for that, it’s all the more magical. Dexter Fletcher showcases his unique voice once again with his second collaboration with Taron Egerton, who may miss out on the awards love this year, but he’s on the path to being a true superstar performer. If the film has any one problem, it’s that its framing device, a very Dewey Cox-inspired look back at his whole life, is a bit simple, but it works. Check out Rocketman. Absolutely.
Just like a parasite itself, this movie stayed with me, feeding off me. I simply cannot stop thinking about it. Bong Joon Ho creates a strange amalgam of comedy, horror, suspense, and drama in this unique and singular experience that needs to be seen to be believed. Parasite is better when you don’t know as much, so I’ll leave the details out of it, but this movie, like Us, is a film about many things, most notably and powerfully class, the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-notes, and its title is evocative of so many element in the film. Parasite deserves to be on everyone’s Top Ten of the year.
I mean, c’mon! Avengers: Endgame is absolutely incredible. Sure, you can make the argument that it only works as well as it does because of the previous twenty-some films that came before, but it’s an accomplishment that Kevin Feige and the Russo brothers stuck the landing. It’s a big-budget television series and this is the series finale that works especially well. The snappy and quick editing help to gloss over some of the sillier and nonsensical things in the films, and it’s just damn fun. That means a lot. It’s a three-hour movie that rushes by, and even though it’s the twenty-second film, it never feels like a slog or a rehash. A pitch-perfect ending that makes me only more curious for what’s next.
I was blessed to see 1917 in 2019 (the film doesn’t open wide until later this month), and it’s a powerhouse World War I film, and one of the best war films ever made. Director Sam Mendes clearly learned a lot from his time with the James Bond franchise, and working with Director of Photography Roger Deakins, he was able to plan out a war epic that’s made to look like a single shot. The amount of work that goes into a movie like 1917 is staggering. I couldn’t make a movie like this. There are few who can. It’s a surprisingly-touching film about wartime brothers and the cost of something as simple as delivering a message. 1917 is an epic experience.
The Farewell is quite different from 1917 in terms of its overall style, choosing to go small instead of big, but that doesn’t change its overall impact. Lulu Wang takes an interesting story and populates it with layered and warm characters who deal with a problem that there really is no right solution to. The film follows Awkwafina’s Billi as she learns that her grandmother is dying and her family has chosen not to tell her, instead fabricating a family wedding in order to see her one last time. It’s a film about culture clash and ethical questions that is surprisingly funny at the same time, and the ending absolutely broke me. Seriously, Kleenex should have invested in this film. The Farewell flew under some radars in 2019, but it shouldn’t fly under yours. Seek it out immediately.
Here we are. My favorite film of the year. I cannot deny how many times I have watched Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood. It keeps drawing me back in, and each time I see it, I discover something else I like about it. Quentin Tarantino has crafted the ultimate hangout film that feels like it was pulled right out of the 60s, and some of my earlier criticisms have softened each time I’ve watched it. I get why some out there won’t like this movie. My wife wasn’t big on it, but for me, this movie is built on a central relationship between Leonardo DiCaprio’s Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth, a relationship stronger than just about any other in 2019. It’s an awesomely fun time at the movies, and it’s my favorite film of 2019.
So there you have it. These are my favorite films of the year. I’m looking forward to the #2020oscardeathrace to begin, and the list may change a bit once that happens. No one sees everything. So what is your Top Ten Films of 2019? I’d love to hear it. Thanks again for a great 2019 and we will see you in 2020 (which is, of course, right now).
I recently appeared on St. Paul Filmcast again alongside Jay Ness and Ben Enke, where the three of us talked Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Spoilers. I’ve embedding the tweet below, and you can find the episode on Podbean and other apps where podcasts can be found.