cold/overcast/walking in LA
It’s the end of 2019 and I’m seeing everyone’s list of favorite films they have watched this year. 90% of them feature big Hollywood features and a few are Netflix releases as well.
Well if you’re a regular reader of our reviews,the cheetah and I do it a little differently. We review films that we have watched regardless of the year released,we are ranking the films we never seen before and are totally new to us.
This year also saw us being blown away by the amazing short films we were truly blessed with and we’re doing a different list for them and yeah,we’re tossing in a few stinkers as well. I will admit,2019 was a weird year for us in what we watched,we watched and reviewed a lot more TV shows then normal and we watched almost 100 less films,189 in 2019 then we did in 2018 which was 281 titles.
But 2020 is looking to be a pretty strong year with several films that we are looking forward to seeing but for now,this is what we liked in 2019.
Short Films – what an amazing year for this medium…..just some incredible work done by some GREAT directors and actors. Thanks to new sites to us like Dust and Omeleto,I’m sure 2020 will be another fantastic year.
1. “Guest Of Honor” – Without a doubt the most powerful and chilling short film we watched this year. Based on the true story of one of Adolph Hitler’s personal food tasters,Margot Wolk, Justin Robinson directs Stefanie Butler and Silvio Wolf Busch in a story that needs to shared and shared away.
2. “Nowhere To Run ” – A young woman battles death and grief who appears in the form of a rabid hillbilly named Buzz. This was a terrific short and the performances by Brittany Wolf,Josh Gilmer and Mike Ferguson were spot on. A lot of heart went into the making of “Nowhere”.
3. “lost & found” – One of the last films we watched in 2019 and also the first film we reviewed off the Omeleto YouTube channel. How far would you go to save the one you loved? I loved this so much.
4. “Kitbull” – A beautiful heartwrenching look at how a fighting pit bull is befriended by a terrified black kitten. This short was produced by Pixar and is guranteeed to have you asking who is cutting onions.
5. “The Cost” – A hard look at how a woman’s act of kindness is twisted into one of vengeance and the heart break is brings with it. One of the most thoughtful films of the year.
6. “Rolling In The Deep” – An African-American soldier who has come home from fighting in World War Two,finds that hate,racism and prejudice still reigns in America.
I really enjoyed this one because of the outstanding performances by Stephen Cofield,Jr and Robert Samuel Whitehill. Its a message that we here in America are still trying to learn in 2020.
7. “The Tattooist” – Director Michael Wong who brought us “The Story of 90 Coins” returns with one of the most intense,insane shorts of the year. Wickedly fast and edited perfectly,this 90 second short film has won multiple awards for its director and rightfully so.
8. “Leap” – Director Marlo Brenier and writer/actress Jamie Miller’s tale of a woman looking to escape it all after a life full of of pain and abuse discovers that she still wants to live after falling in with a group of carefree young people who seem to be to living the perfect life….but are they really? This short set the tone for 2019 in terms of how strong shorts were going to be.
9. “Soft Hands” – A look at a young man in the United Kingdom who is trying to share with his family that he is gay and knowing how badly his dad is going to take the news.
One of the early friends of our blog,Darren James King,directed this moving film which features beatiful acting by the entire cast.
10. “Italian Turtles” – The funniest short we watched in 2019. This take on how the creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pitched the idea to network head honchos is a perfect satire on what it takes to actually bring a idea intact to the small screen and what the creators have to do to stay sane.
Top 10 Feature length films that we watched in 2019.
1. “White Chamber” – A terrific look at what could be our future and the horrors that come with it. This anti-war film is filled with questions about morality,loyalty and and just how far will a country go to stop a civil uprising. This is a stunning film and my favorite of 2019.
2. “Hostile” – The acting in “Hostile” is what makes this film so damn powerful. Rising star Brittany Ashworth is top notch as a woman trapped in a barren wasteland and takes us on a bittersweet journey through flashbacks on how she got where she is. The love story she shares with Gregory Fitoussi is grounded and feels so real. The only reason this isn’t number one was that “White Chamber”‘s story was a little bit better. I expect we’ll hear big things from the talented Ms. Ashworth in 2020.
3. “Arctic” – Mads Mikkelsen gives a tour de force performance as a man trapped in the Arctic. His desperate plight is made worse when a rescue chopper crashes and he is forced to make an attempt to not only save himself but also one of his rescuers. There is barely dialogue spoken but you won’t even notice that.
4. “The Velocipastor” – So the cheetah and I absolutely LOVED this crazy fun loving creature feature from writer/director Brendan Steere. Fresh,original and will have you laughing your ass off. A priest who turns into a dinosaur and fights ninjas??? Sign us up!
And yes,there is a sequel being made…..
5. “CarousHELL” – Wild Eye Releasing had a fantastic year in our eyes…not only did they release the “The Velocipastor” but they introduced the world to Duke the possessed unicorn which was voiced by Steve Rimpici. This movie is crazy,gory,daring and just a lot fun. Of course the cheetah and I wish that Duke would get another adventure as well….
6. “Mystery Road” – Set in Australia,Mystery Road tells the story of a An indigenous detective returns to the Outback to investigate the murder of a young girl. Aaron Pedersen gives a gritty performance as Det. Jay Swan whose investigation leads him to some dirty cops.cops who will not hesitate to kill him.
7. “Madam Yankelova’s Fine Literature Club” – One of the most twisted stories we watched all year,this horror-thriller from Israel will have you thinking long after the final credits have rolled.
8. “Dark Was The Night” – One of the last films we watched in 2019,it was also one of the best as well. Kevin Durand’s performance elevates what could have been a normal genre film into something much more special and impactful. It definitely deserves a wider audience.
9. “The House” – When one thinks of haunted house films,we pretty much find ourselves rooting for the living to be able to escape from a home full of ghosts and weird spirits.
But the tables are flipped in “The House” when a pair of German SS soldiers,along with a POW,are forced to stay in an abandoned house due to the winter weather. The House takes offense to such evil and decides to exact some justice on its own.
10. “Scorpion King : Book of Souls” – I know,right? A popcorn movie making our list?
Yep…because I loved The Scorpion King film with Dwayne Johnson. While the first three sequels were really subpar and quite honestly sucked,Universal didn’t give up on the series and finally found a actor in Zach McGowan who grabbed the role of Mathayus and made it his own. This is a film with a lot more heart and soul then you would expect to have. Former pro wrestler Nathan Jones is also quite good and Katy Louise Saunders is just as stunning as Kelly Hu was in the original film. This is a film worth checking out.
Bottom 10 Stinkers
1. Serenity – I think the cheetah and I deserve a medal for watching this trainwreck all the way through. I was going to give it the litterbox treatment but the cheetah “talked” me outta of it. (Talk means “I’ll bite your ass if you try)
2. “My Name Is Bruce” – Well what do ya know….Bruce Campbell CAN make a shitty film.
3. “The Poison Rose” – How does one completely make a terrible film with Morgan Freeman,John Travolta,Robert Patrick and Famke Janssen? Bigger question- when did Brendan Fraser eat Robotman?? What a complete waste of talent.
4. “The Mighty Kong” – I bet poor Dudley Moore is turning over in his grave and wishing this wasn’t his last film. It certainly is no 10….
5. “American Woman” – Okay we get it…..Sienna Miller can play white trailer trash women in her sleep but the real question is how did Aaron Paul get sucked into this trash fire??
6. “TAG” – I know this film ended up on a lot of “Worst of 2018” lists. The thing is,it only gets worse with age (except Isla Fisher,she is always awesome!). This seriously could have been a comedy classic if it had a better script and director,there was potential.
7. “Here and Now” – Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a actress whose films always end up in the Bottom Ten.
8. “The Book Of Love” – I love Jason Sudekis and I would have loved him more if he hadn’t made this really terrible film about a man who helps a teen girl commit suicide and takes along a innocent dog for the one way ride.
9. “Bonehill Road”- This was hard because I really loved the cast and the director Todd Sheets. Sadly he likes to make torture porn heavy flicks and this was exactly that. Over the top kill scenes don’t make a better movie.
10. “The Snarling” – I borrowed a neighbor’s gun to put this werewolf movie out of its misery. You know you’re a stinker when even bad shark movies are ahead of you.
So that is our list……it may seem a bit thin this year compared to last year but it is what it is. Drop a comment below and share your favorite/stinkers with us!!