Keeping it Reel : A false start


Earlier in the year I posted an article named “What a Difference A Year Makes” after an exceptional start to 2018, almost to the point where I was saying it could even rival 2016 for movie quality, but unfortunately that hasn’t continued throughout.

For those that are new to my site, I review small films on a (semi) regular basis, but at the end of each year I look at the movies released at the cinemas and ranked them, with “Nightcrawler”, “No Escape”, “Captain Fantastic” and “A Ghost Story” being my four chart toppers so far. To be far, the last one of those was a decent film, but felt very much like a default choice because I thought 2017 was one of the weakest years for films in a long time.


Anyway, skip forward to the first few months and this year and whilst there were some duds (hello “Downsizing” and “Wrinkle in Time”), I was exceptionally impressed early on as three of the first six films I saw were potentially top ten material, with two of them currently featuring in that list.


The good start continued with several surprises, such as “Red Sparrow”, “A Quiet Place” (above) and “Love,  Simon”, but as the year has gone on the quality has gone rapidly downhill. I’m now up to 79 movies seen at the cinema this year (with my 80th scheduled in for Tuesday afternoon) and three of the last six I have seen likely to feature in my bottom ten.

It has been a shocking downturn, and in my opinion has turned into a considerably weaker year overall than 2017. Since I reviewed “Hearts Beat Loud”, I’ve seen twenty films in around six weeks, and out of those I have only given a score of more than 5/10 to six of them. Six. Admittedly one of those six is currently my third favourite film of the year, but yeah, when nearly 3/4 of the films you see aren’t good, and you see pretty much everything that comes out, something is wrong.

I was so full of hope just a few months ago, but now I look at the final three months as a battle to avoid my bottom ten, rather than numerous movies I feel could break into my top ten. There are actually quite a few films that I do like the look off, and they could potentially surprise me. The first of which is out at the weekend, the Irish thriller “Black 47”, starring Hugo Weaving. Whether I do get to watch it or not is a different matter, I don’t anticipate a wide release.

The below are the ones I am very hopeful for, but whether they actually turn out to be good or not is another issue;

September 28th – Black 47

October 12th – Bad Times at the El Royale (although I will probably miss this one due to surgery)

October 24th – Bohemian Rhapsody

November 2nd – Juliet, Naked

November 30th – Disobedience

December 26th – Alita

I will comfortably break through the 100 barrier again, well I hope so anyway as I am due to have surgery on October 11th and will effectively be bed-bound for three straight weeks. Maybe I should hold lower expectations because there won’t be a year as good as 2016 for a while yet. What I wouldn’t give to go back and experience the films in my top twenty from that year for the first time again.

Oh well, you never know, I could be about to watch twenty-one incredible films and struggle to make a top ten for the good reasons.

I doubt it though!


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