No.s 5 - 1 BEST FILMS OF 2019
Updated: Jan 18
5. FORD V FERRARI
Another brilliant biopic from criminally underrated filmmaker, James Mangold.
Visceral car race scenes, solid performances and great chemistry between leads Matt Damon and Christian Bale.
The film’s title change hasn’t stopped audiences from seeing it, helping it gross over $200 million dollars at the worldwide box office on a $97 million dollar budget.
Impressive work from Mangold who is on a bit of a roll now after 2017’s Oscar nominated success, Logan.
A brilliant comedy drama about two families on opposite ends of the class spectrum. The unscrupulous Kim family cleverly ingratiate themselves in the lives of the wealthy Park family and live the lives they always dreamed about. Karma however, rears its head after someone close to the Park's throws a spanner in the works and all hell breaks loose.
Absorbing film with a killer script, powerful performances and an unforgettable third act. Give it another two years and Boon Joon-ho's masterful work will be given the old Hollywood remake treatment.
3. AVENGERS - ENDGAME
A cinematic event the likes we have never scene on the screen. A culmination of 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
A film with so many memorable moments and a finale for the ages. Marvel recently out rolled the next phase of films for 2020 - 2022. Only time will tell if the next set of films will be equally successful as phases 1 - 3.
It's hard not to compare this incarnation of Joker with all the others. And I'm going back as far as Cesar Romero's portrayal on the 1960's Batman Tv series. As far as I'm concerned they've all been great in the Joker role. Romero, Nicholson, Ledger, Leto and Hamill. Yes, I said Hamill. However, Phoenix does something so unique and astonishing with this role, the others who have gone before are frankly, (I'm gonna catch heat for this) second best. Hear me out for a second! In all of Joker's incarnations we've seen on screen, we have never seen an origin story and character evolve in the way it's been portrayed in this film. Arthur Fleck's evolution from a troubled man with self-esteem issues to the maniacal clown prince of crime is a sight to behold. Phoenix is just phenomenal in this film. Todd Phillips has allowed him to breath new life into this character whilst drawing inspiration from movies such as Taxi Driver, The King of Comedy and Jonathan Demme's Silence Of The Lambs.
This is a slow burn, but it's deliberately done this way to witness Arthur's gradual transformation and to understand the full extent of his pain and insanity.
The supporting cast from Zazie Beets, Robert De Niro to Frances Conroy as Fleck's mother are all good respectively. All three play characters who contribute significantly to Fleck's mental state.
Phillips' departure from crass comedy (Hangover trilogy) to this dark psychological thriller is a welcome one and has defied doubters (including me) by showing us he has evolved as a filmmaker.
Overall Joker is a metaphorical, maniacal gamechanger of a comic book movie. It's Joaquin Phoenix's show and we've all paid the price of admission to watch it.
1. THE IRISHMAN
Masterpiece! This is what Scorsese does best, mobster movies. A film about power, loyalty, betrayal and what happens when these legendary gangsters eventually become old and begin to lose all the people around them. A wonderfully written, character driven piece of work. Great to see De Niro, Pacino and Pesci on screen together for the first time ever. All three are excellent in their respective roles.
And yes, I'll even put it up there with the likes of Goodfellas and Casino.