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The Lists of our Contributors 2019

We are already at the end of 2019. A generous year for movies. It was certainly not the best, but we have seen some masterpieces this year. Our contributors made their lists and it seems like it was a very divisive year, we discover a lot of differences between the lists, a sign of quality! As a little bonus, two contributors put a little surprice at the very end of the article.
Alain Berenboom
  1. Leto (K. Serebrennikov)
  2. Hors normes
  3. Werk ohne Autor
  4. La révolution silencieuse (Das Scheweigende Klassenzimmer)
  5. Green Book
  6. Can you ever forgive me?
  7. Nuestras Madres
  8.  Il était un petit navire
  9. Tel Aviv on Fire (S. Zoabi)
  10. ex-aequo: le jeune Ahme & Adults in room (Costa-Gavras)

Sebastian Rubio

Joker: Honestly, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to watch this movie at first, but then people started talking about it. As the hype grew over time, I was pretty much forced to see it. I didn’t really know what to expect, but then when it was done, I certainly did not regret watching it, though I’ll admit I left the movie theatre both awe struck and depressed at the same time. It’s true that the movie uses established comic book characters, but that doesn’t make it a comic book movie, which I know many of you are just sick & tired of. This masterpiece is best described a complex drama, not only that, it describes many problems our current society is facing today. The story is set in past, but humans don’t change much, they make the same mistakes over and over again, furthermore the systems we’ve build up haven’t changed either. I think most people won’t recognize themselves in the main character, but they will understand him, while some might recognize a family member or a friend being like the Joker, a minority of people might even see themselves in the main protagonist. Anyone looking for a good compelling movie needs to see this one, I can’t stress this enough, this is truly something special Todd Phillips made, this is one of those rare movies that people watch and they never forget it, it leaves an impact when you finish it. I’ve only seen it once and you know what, I’m not even sure I want to watch it ever again. The Joker reminds me of one of those horrible life experiences you go through, you know it’s important for your own development, but you don’t ever want to go through that again. Now, the movie itself is a gem, but within this piece there’s another gem: the acting Joaquin Phoenix pulls off is something  you only rarely see in the movie business, you can tell the actor put himself through a physical and mental ordeal to become this character, the acting alone should be a reason enough to watch this movie. If there’s one movie in 2019 you shoulndn’t have missed, then it’s this one.

Parasite: A second movie of 2019 you might not want to miss. I kept hearing about this one from people, it had excellent reviews, I eventually saw and this Korean thriller does not disappoint. Here and there South Korea processes some gems like this one, though their culture is different from most of ours, we still get sucked into this movie as it deals with universal themes. I think at the end of the day we just see people being people, there’s good & bad people, in this movie you just recognize human behavior. I must say, it was quite enjoyable watching all these characters interact with each other, the acting sometimes goes overboard, but generally it’s very believable, the performance of these actors is praiseworthy. The setting of the movie is quite unique, it greatly contributed to viewer’s experience, furthermore is was also very important in the plot. The locations used in the movie were simply fantastic, they greatly contributed artistically to the movie, the main house used made this movie both more appealing and interesting. I don’t really think this movie needs much explanation aside: just sit down and enjoy the weird ride, this isn’t your average movie, but you will enjoy it. Before you know it, more than 2 hours will have passed by and you didn’t even notice it.

Free Solo: I know that for some this movie came out in 2018, but in some parts of Europe this only came out in 2019 and that’s when I saw it anyways. In short this movie covers the insane ropeless climber named Alex Honnold, he climbs the iconic “El Capitan”. People like Alex are just too unique and the way he looks at life is something foreign to most people, there’s no need to search for aliens, just talk to Alex and you’ll get a glimpse of what it’s like to talk to somebody from another world. I just think he gives us a new perspective on life, while at the same he shows us what it is like to be motivated and going for your own personal goals. Regardless of whether you have any interest in the sport itself, I think you’ll come to like Alex. Now the climb itself is quite a feat and watching the breathtaking sceneries along the way just makes this movie so much more enjoyable. Enjoying nature is another lesson I’d take from this piece, you look at how he takes on life, he has few to no stress, I think that is something a lot of people need in this current society. At times you just need to relax, being out in the middle of nowhere achieves that for some people, being in the city surrounded by people is just too stressful at time, it’s good to take a break from time to time. This movie gives you a nice break and it shows you an insane journey lead by a very likable weird guy.

Shazam:Oh no, not another comic book movie! Before you decide to quit on this one, hear me out first. Consider this more of a family friendly funny movie, you don’t need to have watched any other movies, it stands on its own. I mean, I showed it to my parents, both really enjoyed. It’s not too complicated, it has all the material for a good movie build up, it’s suited for all ages, every age group can take out good things from this movie. The cast is very enjoyable, if you liked series like Stranger things, this one is probably one you should see as well, as the main character is only 14 and he is supported by a whole family of kids. I would almost consider this more of a comedy with a comic book component in it, let me tell you; I laughed a lot watching this one. Just take it easy, go sit down in your cozy couch and enjoy this one, this is a perfect end of the year movie!

Several honorable mentions and some genuine critics of some much discussed and praised box Office hits. I’ll start off by saying that I enjoyed all of these movies, I found them good, but yeah…there’s a but, there’s reasons why I didn’t like parts of these movies.

The Irishmen & Once Upon a time in Hollywood: 2 different movie, yet I see both in a very similar way: Both have top class cast, top main actors, I mean you get some veterans within Hollywood and they do not disappoint! The premises are very interesting, the settings are wonderful, locations are very well picked and here comes the “but”; I find these good movies, but contrary to some critics opinion, neither is a masterpiece. I mean both are a bit too long and they didn’t quite hit the spot where you felt satisfied when you finish the movie. In both cases I felt like these could be better. It could also be pure personal taste, some worship the Hollywood scene, I personally don’t care much about it, all I care about is watching a good movie, regardless of who directed it, who stars it in and what’s the budget behind the movie. In this case supposedly we would receive top class movies, but for me it just wasn’t what I saw. Tarantino has better movies and same goes for Sorcesse.

Avengers: Endgame: The second part of the infinity Saga, the culmination of giant marvel cinematic franchise ended in the biggest box office ever, these are the reasons why I mainly mention this. Now there’s some problems with the movie; first of all, you need to have watched all 23 of the previous movies to understand this one, this might be hard for some, but at the same time I guess you could consider this movie “one for the fans”. While I did find this one enjoyable, I don’t think it was the conclusion we deserved. Many mistakes were made , the end was especially sloppy. The performances of some actors were lacking and the writing suffered towards the end, perhaps a long running time could have solved some of those problems, but I’m not sure it would have. The end did feel somewhat rushed, like when you finish something only because you want to get it done, but not really because you’re enjoying it. I’ve seen some of the Marvel fanboys praise this one as the best movie of 2019, that is just plain wrong, I’m not even sure it makes my top 10 of the franchise (BTW, num 1 is without any doubt: Captain Aperica: Winter Soldier)

Spiderman: Far From home: This one does feel like the much needed second part and the conclusion to a short dual story, where Spiderman found his place in the world. The reason I mention this one is the simple fact that it’s a good movie, but again, in this saturated comic book momentum, it may be a bit hard to swallow for your average joe. Furthermore, you need to have seen several other movies to fully get this one, this hardly was a newcomer’s friendly movie. While the casting & acting is top class the CGI did get heavy at times. I would say the lovers of the genre enjoyed this one, but others should probably either stay away, or either watch the first one, then only watch this second part.

John Wick: Parabellum: I know that this franchise isn’t for everyone, but I mean, what action lover doesn’t love John Wick? In very short: once again we got an awesome gory action flick, a good continuation to the previous movies. Next one already has a date, I know that the fans can’t wait. If you like the genre, this one is unavoidable, if you don’t, maybe better stay away.

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cc CJ Entertainment

Myriam Gooris

  1. Hors normes
  2. Green book
  3. The Irishman
  4. Once upon a time in Hollywood
  5. Santiago (Moretti)
  6. Werk ohne Autor
  7. Mariage story, de N. Baumbach
  8. Nostras Madres (C. Diaz)
  9. Il était un petit navire (M. Hansel)
  10. ex-aequo: Vice & le Jeune Ahmed (Dardenne)

Stanley Berenboom

  1. Werk ohne Autor: An absolute masterpiece. von Donnersmarck is a true master of directing after making Das Leben der Anderen, he makes a beautiful film about art and how to face your demons.
  2. The Favorite: Nominated in 2019 for the Oscars, this movie was a joy to watch. A crazy tail, superbly acted.
  3. Parasite: A very interesting film, mixing the genres and surpricing the audience at every turn.
  4. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood: A magnificent homage to Hollywood. A movie combining Di Caprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino has to be on this list.
  5. The Irishman: Martin Scorsese made one of his bests films this year. It would have been higher if they would have cut the last halfhour, but it is still a great film!
  6. Knives Out: A hilarious whodunnit. The cast is wondefull and idiosyncratic.
  7. Dolor Y Gloria: A very calm and serene film about regrets and getting old. Almodóvar at his bests.
  8. Rocketman: What a journey! A drugged, outlandish, dreamy version of the life of Elton John played by the extraordinary Taron Edgerton.
  9. Le Mans 66: For not being a car lover, this film has convinced me of his greatness. James Mangold makes the audience sit in the driver seat and it is fantastic ride!
  10. Das Scheweigende Klassenzimmer: In the year of protests, this film showed how to adress opression on a very small scale. A beautifull surprice.

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cc Netflix

Jon Amigo:

  • The Irishman
  • Parasite
  • A Marriage Story
  • Midsommar
  • Dolor Y Gloria
  • Joker

BONUS: BEST TV-SHOWS OF THE YEAR

Sebastian Rubio:

The Boys: Amazon spoiled us with a spectacular and horrific superhero show. What makes this one so special and what pushes people to still watch this genre? A completely new take on the genre. In short, imagine a team of super heroes, but they’re all corrupt, while the good guys are confused and finding themselves. Here’s the funny thing: the main actor is a normal human being with no powers and he takes on these heroes with his team. I’m not sure whether this show is for everyone, but if you like action, if you like well thought of complex plots you might want to watch this one. The characters are what truly make this show, the great performances of the actors only enhance the characters themselves.  At the end of the day, what convinced me above everything else that this is a truly good show is the writing, this show is truly something else. I think the trailer alone will convince most fans of the genre, in case you havec doubts: yeah it’s as good as it’s portrayed.

The Witcher: It only came out recently, but it’s already a big hit and fans can’t wait to see more! Sadly you’ll have to wait for 2021 to see the second season. This a brand new show based on a fantasy book series. The story follow Gerald a Witcher, basically a monster hunter with superhuman strength and magic. You very likely have heard people talking about this show, why do I bother to mention it? Because it’s just a good show and it’s 100% worth watching! The only negative I can find about this show is how short it is and how long you have to wait for future seasons. The cast is worthy of mention as it stars Henry Cavill, the current Superman, he portrays this new role to perfection. The two other main characters, though contested by some still fill their roles perfectly, some people may not agree, but I found the casting just perfect, the side characters and the main villain were all perfect for their roles. It’s not just the genre, it’s how it’s done, how the lore is build up that sucks you into this show, furthermore the characters themselves are very likable, the more episodes you see, the more you like Gerald.

Titans: Season 2 of DC’s Titans is out (10 January on Netflix), this is the second part of a quality super hero show. Why is it worth watch? Because it’s just top quality entertainment! I know that the first season had mixed reviews, while personally I enjoyed it, now this second season stepped up in quality and I only imagine it getting better next season. The strength of this show are the team of misfits and sidekicks,  the actors behind them really do them justice. Fan or not, most people will be familiar with some of these characters, if not this is a good opportunity to get to know them better. Fans of the genre can’t miss this one. I welcome non fans to watch this one too, it’s just a good fun show and not to mention it’s R-rated, that always helps to keep the plot on point and it attracts more mature audiences, in my experience lower ratings generally thin down & simplify the plots. It may sound weird so to some, but it’s not: while we’re following super heroes on their journey, they’re still human or they act like humans, every one of us goes through life hitting a few obstacles here and there, that is no different for superheroes, in their case that just involves supervillains at times.

The Mandolorian: It’s the very first live action Star Wars series. I did not know what to think when I saw the announcement, starting the first episode I wasn’t sure either, by the time I finished it I was hooked! I definitely think this show could be the backdoor for newcomers into this franchise. Most Science fiction & adventure lovers won’t miss this one, but it’s a good show for everyone. It’s clearly intended for a general family oriented audience, for those who may not know, Star Wars is a Disney property, they use some of that magic for this franchise. It’s only 8 episodes, it’s  a small powerful arc, following a very interesting lead. The plot isn’t too complicated, it’s just a fun journey, only the very season, this season pretty much established the main character and his back story. I can’t wait to see more. This series is far superior in quality over the movie sequel, I really have to give it to the producers & directors, anyone familiar with the movie industry will see some famous big names in the production & directing spots.

Watchmen: Yep, another super hero show and yet, this one is different somehow, I cannot stress this enough. I’ll be frank while watching the first couple of episode I wasn’t even sure it’s a proper super hero show, near season finale I still wasn’t sure truth be told. I know this is a comic book show, but I would rather place this as a supernatural show, though that only comes up here and there and more towards the end of the season, most of the season deals with human on human actions.  I wasn’t even sure if this was a good show, but going towards the end of the season, it got better & better, to the point where the last 2 episodes blew me away. I can’t forget to mention it’s produced by HBO, a platform known for producing top quality series, once again they delivered. The show takes a while to build up, as do most HBO shows anyway, but the plot is simple enough to follow for fans of the genre and non-fans. One of the strength of the show is also the universal & historic themes it deals with. This definitely is one of the gems of 2019! PS: for the fans of the genre, if you haven’t seen the Watchmen  movie my by Zack Snyder, I’d heavily recommend you watch it, this show loosely builds up on that movie, it’s a good movie anyway.

Stanley Berenboom:

(no order)

  • Fleabag Season 2
  • Watchmen
  • Euphoria
  • The Boys
  • Russian Doll
  • Chernobyl
  • Succession Season 2
  • Bojack Horseman Season 6
  • Catch-22
  • Last Week Tonight with John Oliver season 6
  • The Marvelous Mrs Maisel season 3
  • Lucifer Season 5

Cinestan

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