Category: Articles

Worst Films of 2020

(dis)HONORABLE MENTIONS:

This was a bit of a harder list to make, because honestly, I didn’t put a lot of effort into my worst of the year list after I knew I had a solid 15. The one that really should have made this list is definitely Brahms: The Boy II, if anything by title alone.

15) Max Cloud

Why is it on the list? I went in hoping that Max Cloud would become an indie hidden gem, a simple plot about being sucked into a video game, but it never delivered. As a comedy, I never laughed. As a fan of video games, it never really felt like one either. As a fan of campy 90’s superhero things, it fell flat on that as well. There might be worse movies out there in 2020, but I like to make sure on my lists I include films that weren’t popular as well, because there are quite a few like this out there.
Least favorite moment? The scenes where we see the bad guys talking and planning.
Any Worst Awards? Worst Sci-Fi film of 2020.

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14) The War with Grandpa

Why is it on the list? It is very clear that Robert De Niro gave up worrying about his acting legacy a decade ago, and agrees to random garbage because it is easy to collect fat paychecks. Some people probably see movies because they liked him in the gangster films, so let’s see him kill a kid. Oh, they don’t kill a kid in this movie? Fineeeee. Instead, this is just another film where coincidences and accidents move the plot when convenient, and where violence and shenanigans are glorified for absolutely pointless reasons.
Least favorite moment? The Christmas themed birthday party.
Any Worst Awards? Worst war of 2020.

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13) John Henry

Why is it on the list? Honestly, I wanted this to be amazing. I didn’t go in hoping for crap! I love Terry Crews, and I want Terry Crews to be John Henry, why not, he has the look. But this movie was made with plot on the backburner. They wanted a modern story where a guy took a sledgehammer and stopped something or beat something with it. In this case, some drug car. And the journey was not worth the ending. 
Least favorite moment? 
Look, any moment he is not doing some sledgehammer stuff (99.99% of the movie) is the worst. 
Any Worst Awards?
Worst use of a folk hero in a modern setting of 2020.

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12) Dolittle

Why is it on the list? Do I have to explain this one? As soon as the first poster dropped and was shown to be coming out in January, we all collectively knew it would be bad. RDJ was going to get a fat cash of money for starring in this zany kids movie that would suck. I avoided it for as long as I could, but my dedication to my craft meant I had to watch it and by golly, is this just a slow nonsense piece of poo. 
Least favorite moment?
 The initial secluded compound really set the tone early for how shitty this movie would plateau at. 
Any Worst Awards?
Worst remake that no one asked for of 2020.

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11) Fantasy Island

Why is it on the list? I took forever to watch this one and remember people absolutely ragging on it in February. This movie had no pandemic problems. When I watched it first, I thought it was bad, but not the worst. Then it got a little bit better. Then it got a whole lot worse by the end. It very much is a film that goes crashing down for trying to do too many twists and turns. Gotta keep it simple, especially if you want to franchise. 
Least favorite moment? 
The last twists and the dark eyed zombies. 
Any Worst Awards?
Worst television show revival turned horror movie of 2020.

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10) Buddy Games

Why is it on the list? With a cast like this, there were a lot of people I enjoy in things (and then there was Nick Swardson who I no longer really enjoy in things) so I thought this would be a fun romp if anything. Unfortunately, the plot is shit, the acting is shit, and honestly, the rules about their competition never really end up making sense. If there are rounds, we should be able to tell who is winning and who will be in the finals, but it felt really random. Extreme amounts of basic jokes later with physical humor, and you get this movie from the early 2000’s. 
Least favorite moment?
I’ll keep it simple and go with the final three competition.
Any Worst Awards? 
Worst “sports” movie of 2020.

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9) The Turning

Why is it on the list? Look, in a pandemic year, horror shouldn’t have a lot of bad titles. They are cheaper to make, they can be done with a few people, and you know, horror. But because of all of this, it is also low hanging fruit, so there are a lot of duds. While watching this one, I really couldn’t tell you the main plot. Tutor gets spooked by kids? I guess? It just has a forgettable a dull plot, there is no reason to even think of revisiting it to figure out the point. 
Least favorite moment?
Most scenes with Finn Wolfhard.
Any Worst Awards? 
Worst horror movie of 2020!

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8) Infamous

Why is it on the list? Has social media gone so far? Yes. Our main character wants to be internet famous so much that she is willing to do anything to get that notoriety. Well, not make an OnlyFans, anything but that (also real life reference). So they do crimes and post it online in masks to get famous? Oh goodness no. I don’t want to watch a film about that, pretend to idolize that, or even care if the characters learn a lesson about that (they don’t). Get that weak stuff out of here.
Least favorite moment? When our main character decided showing their face on her social media was totally worth it. 
Any Worst Awards? 
Worst use of social media on screen in 2020.

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7) Superintelligence

Why is it on the list? If you want to make a movie about modern technology and AI’s becoming advanced enough to affect anything it wants in the world around it tech wise? Sure, I am fine with that. But this film decides to go the AI and do nothing worthwhile. It wants to study a human and makes her life better and challenges her to do things, then we get some big threats, and then the movie ends. They forgot to add an exciting plot, however. 
Least favorite moment? 
When it goes from incredibly low stakes to high stakes to low stakes. 
Any Worst Awards? 
Worst James Corden and worst maybe evil AI of 2020.

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6) The Last Days of American Crime

Why is it on the list? Slogging in at 149 minutes, The Last Days of American Crime presents a not too distant future where crime will be eradicated thanks to some mind control chips. It is so bloated and features twists, but really, this is the type of film that would benefit from a quick clean crisp story. I lost interest so fast, it is like the inverse of a credit card for college students.
Least favorite moment? The general plot line of this movie honestly feels very insulting in terms of “dystopian futures” to be honest. 
Any Worst Awards?
Worst crime, worst based on a graphic novel, and worst “long film” of 2020.

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5) Guest House

Why is it on the list? Pauly Shore hasn’t acted in something as a character for a long time, and this is his triumphant return. It is more R rated and lewd and even worse than the films that made him famous. At least those other films had funny moments or interesting characters. This one is just debauchery for the sake of it, with a piss poor plot to boot. This will not be a triumphant return to cinema, and it wont be COVID’s fault.
Least favorite moment? The party scene in the backyard that led to an arrest felt particularly egregious.
Any Worst Awards? Worst resurgence of a 90’s star and worst comedy of 2020.

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4) Artemis Fowl

Why is it on the list? I won’t go into how this movie is so different than the books, because I never read the books. That is indifferent to me. It is, however, and objectively bad movie. The characters, the plot, the graphics, the action, all mold together into a big ball of who gives a fuck. I don’t care about the lore if the lore and story are bad. If the lore is also unoriginal, it is hard to care later. But with a lead that has the charisma of cold spoon, there’s nothing for me in this fantasy spy picture.
Least favorite moment? Colin Farrell is in this one. Why though?
Any Worst Awards? Worst graphics, worst spy, and worst fantasy of 2020.

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3) The Last Thing He Wanted

Why is it on the list? This movie is probably the lowest (highest?) rated of the bunch that you probably missed. I know I never noticed it until I looked for bad movies. This one was on Netflix. It is going for a cool journalism “all the government is corrupt” angle that a lot of movies go for. Except this one lacked any excitement. Or real stakes. Or great acting. Some big names, but oof, what a stinker and a sleeper. 
Least favorite moment?
The dreadful ending that got us through the final twist. 
Any Worst Awards?
Worst stacked cast, worst thriller, and worst journalism of 2020.

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2) Trump Card

Why is it on the list? I hope you didn’t expect this movie to not be on the list. Every movie Dinesh D’Souza will ever make will likely make these lists. It is too easy at this point. A documentary full of lies and gaslighting? A documentary trying to say obvious falsehoods like Trump isn’t a racist or sexist? During an ELECTION year? Get out of here with your bullshit. Begone
Least favorite moment?
He used the city I live in as a backdrop to pretend that Trump cares for LGBTQ+ rights. 
Any Worst Awards? 
Worst movie to heavily feature the director, worst propaganda piece, and worst documentary of 2020.

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1) The Kissing Booth 2
Why is it on the list? Ah, Joey King, one of my newest and strongest films. Bringing down films one at a time. This isn’t a film that is bad because of Joey King though, it is bad for every single minute the film it is on, and Joey King is also bad in it. This is a sequel that shouldn’t be happening to one of the worst films of 2018. And they didn’t even give a full movie this time, forcing me to watch another installment in 2021. Well, I will save a space for that one on my next list as well. 
Least favorite moment?
Only one? Well, I didn’t get to do a review of this one (I still could I guess) so here are a few. The cheating, the cliffhanger, the ridiculous way the lead treats the people around her, the subplots, the forced attempt at making this film have anything really to do with kissing booths. 
Any Worst Awards? 
Worst romance, worst film based on a book, worst sequel, worst Netflix release, and worst film of 2020!

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Thanks for reading! If you disagree with part of this list, let me know. If there is something I missed, let me know (but I probably saw it and reviewed it on this very site!

And as always, I accept hate mail via the post office, email, or tweets.

Best Films of 2020

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Here are not only the films that made 4 out of 4 on my website from 2020 movies, but also ones that I struggled to see if I could include on the list. Surprisingly, three of these are documentaries (with two documentaries also making the top 15).

The Prom, Feels Good Man, Words on Bathroom Walls, The Fight, and Boys State.

15) The Wolf of Snow Hallow
Why is it on the list? The second film from Jim Cummings, it reflects and carries on many of the themes from his first film, Thunder Road. It is doing it in a different genre this time, but it feels like the same character, experiencing some amount of growth, with still a big set of issues. If you want to experience a long panic attack along with the main character, this film really makes you feel antsy.

Favorite moment? The townspeople interrogations and the many breakdowns.

Any Best Awards? Best film starring the guy who wrote and directed it also of 2020. [Surprisingly not the best “werewolf” movie of 2020?]

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14)
Over the Moon
Why is it on the list? Despite being a film I thought I would just brush off, it took me away with its passion and heart that it presented in the beginning of the movie. The loss and the longing felt by the lead was so strong, I was captivated the rest of the film. It goes into basic animation territory in the middle, and I don’t love the graphics on the moon too much, but it also nails the emotional payoff of the ending, and the reason for the entire journey.

Favorite moment? The Rocket to the Moon scene and montage.

Any Best Awards? Best film-I-thought-would-be-terrible-but-I-actually-loved-and-cried-during-multiple-times and best film featuring a song about ping pong of 2020.

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13) Collective
Why is it on the list? I love documentaries. I am less likely to say I love foreign movies, but I do like watching foreign movies in theaters. I didn’t get to see this one in theaters. But it still captivated me from beginning to end. A sports magazine did some reports on a tragic event, and this hero journalist for them kept up with it, finding layers of governmental corruption? Holy shit. Is this made up? This is their watergate scandal. Good job Romania. Well, bad job for the corruption, good job for the journalism.

Favorite moment? Every new reveal and escalation as things grew more corrupt.

Any Best Awards? Best foreign film and best foreign documentary film of 2020.

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12) Palm Springs
Why is it on the list? Palm Springs, to me, was a breath of fresh air. It took a couple of months during quarantine for movies to still start to come out slowly on streaming services, and I know that Palm Springs came out in a pretty busy weekend. I expected nothing and would have never known of its existence without others letting me know, and what it did to the genre was very unique and worth the set up to discover. Our leads were wonderful together, and it also hyped up science, so what is not to love?

Favorite moment? The initial reveal with what the hell was going on, the physics montage, and the J.K. Simmons home visit.

Any Best Awards? Best science fiction film of 2020.

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11) Promising Young Woman
Why is it on the list? This is an interesting movie for me, because honestly, I went back and fourth which how much I liked it. Part of me was upset about a few aspects, part of me loved everything. And that is really why it dropped out of the top 10. I love the performance from Carey Mulligan, I love how the story goes against expectations of the plot line and really keeps the viewers guessing. The ending is completely unbelievable as well.

Favorite moment? The daughter abduction.

Any Best Awards? Best film surprise third act of 2020.

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10) Sound of Metal
Why is it on the list? If I didn’t first hear about this film from other critics, I would have assumed not much going into this film, and probably skilled it. I loved Riz Ahmed as the lead, and his journey from sound to lack of sound. The meanings of the title, how they incorporated hearing loss, and the use of sign language make this a film

Favorite moment? The audio tricks and the real deaf actors.

Any Best Awards? Best film featuring sign language and best film featuring metal in 2020.

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9) Minari
Why is it on the list? Minari comes in quiet, and stays relatively quietly throughout the picture, but feels like an old friend you haven’t seen in a long time. It is familiar, but it has a unique air to its story. It is well acted, without having to be showy about how well acted it is. It tells a story about hope, success, failures, and relationships and growing up in a specific place, in a specific time. Most of us can probably say we don’t have the same experiences as the main character in this film, and it gives a unique look into a unique story of history.

Favorite moment? The fire and the crop successes/failures.

Any Best Awards? Best film that uses subtitles occasionally, and best film set in Arkansas of 2020.

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8) Spontaneous
Why is it on the list? Spontaneous is certainly not a movie I expected to be on my top list when I started it, nor did I know about it going into it. I saw a single post about its existence, months after its release date and just decided to give it a whirl. And what a whirl it was. I’ve only seen Katherine Langford in other projects, never as the lead, and she absolutely blows this movie up with her performance. And it was nice to see Charlie Plummer as well, in his second movie based on a YA romance novel released this year. Damn, he made me cry in both films as well.

Favorite moment? The entire romance and the dwindling class size.

Any Best Awards? Best YA novel adaptation and best romance of 2020.

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7) One Night in Miami
Why is it on the list? Although about a fictions conversation, the men in equation where all real and presumably pretty accurate towards their thoughts and feelings on various topics discussed in the film. I wouldn’t have ever dreamed about bringing together these four names for a night of conversation and camaraderie, but that is one of the many reasons I am not a playwright or screenwriter. The discussions they had in the film resonate with today, and it becomes a wonderful learning and emotional experience.

Favorite moment? When the power went out at the show.

Any Best Awards? Best first time director and best discourse of 2020.

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6) The Trial of the Chicago 7
Why is it on the list? At this point, it’d probably be really hard for me to not absolutely love an Aaron Sorkin movie. He is directing more so that does add some potential problems, like Molly’s Game wasn’t his best work. But this is some of his best work for sure, carried by the strength of the actors and the dialogue. Like Molly’s Game, some of the problems lie with the director choices, and he should hopefully get better.

Related, and cheating this onto the list, this film pairs really well with Mangrove, also available on streaming, and something you should see as well.

Favorite moment? The mistrial scene and the grammar epiphany scene.

Any Best Awards? Best ensemble cast and best Aaron Sorkin of 2020.

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5) Wolfwalkers
Why is it on the list? First of all, have you seen their previous work? The Breadwinner and Song of the Sea? Both amazing, with wonderful animation. This one takes the cake and is their best work. From the cinematography to the story it is so full of wonder and magic. The main characters are both strong and unique in their own rights, but lets go back to the ANIMATION oh my goodness, gorgeous. Like stained glass windows some times. Fuck, Wolfwalkers blows out all of the animated competition this year, by far.

Favorite moment? The split scene cinematography and the art style in general.

Any Best Awards? Best animated film, best foreign film (Irish), and best fantasy film of 2020.

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4) Totally Under Control
Why is it on the list? This one is pretty easy to talk about and explain. Hey look, a documentary about the 2020 pandemic, and the lack of leadership from the American government. It has first hand accounts from people involved in teams that were supposed to work and repeatedly got hindered for reasons. This only deals with a few months of the response too, and can’t wait (unfortunately) for the sequels that give us the informed part two and or three of these chucklefucks in charge who have no regard for human life.

Favorite moment? The dirt on the white house planning team volunteers who were told to stop the virus.

Any Best Awards? Best political documentary (there were quite a few this year…) and best documentary of 2020.

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3) Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Why is it on the list? Strong strong strong. This film is led by Viola Davis who transformed herself to play the lead, and Chadwick Boseman, who shined brightly as the smooth talking upstart looking to advance his own career. Based on an August Wilson play, quite obviously, the many cast members work together to tell a quick story but one with passion and justice in mind. I don’t know who will be nominated for best actor, but if Boseman is, I have a good chance of supporting it, despite his unfortunate early passing.

Favorite moment? The stutter success and fail and the conclusion.

Any Best Awards? Best play to film, best non-live musical performance, and best dialogue of 2020!

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2) Hamilton
Why is it on the list? This is definitely a film I didn’t expect to be on this list early in 2020, because damn it, this was supposed to come out in 2021. But thanks to other delays, they decided to release this one really early, and, It. Is. Perfection. I saw this the most out of movies released last year, and I’d watch it again in almost any moment (assuming I had the time for it). Something that can always pick me up, and the result of years of hard work, it deserves everything and more.

Favorite moment? One Last Time, The Ending, and Farmer Refuted (so much better visually).

Any Best Awards? Best soundtrack, best musical, best taping of a live show (sorry David Byrne), and best Lafayette of 2020.

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1) Never Rarely Sometimes Always
Why is it on the list? For sure, this one was a hard choice, and yet, an easy choice. I saw this movie in February of 2020 and it absolutely blew me away. It was my number one pick halfway through the year, and it maintained that status despite a good onslaught (eventually) of other films. It did that by telling a realistic and heartfelt story, a powerful story about a struggle many women have or attempt to go through.

The crying questionnaire scene hit me SO HARD and the whole thing wrapped together and made so much more sense. And it did it without having to directly tell you what happened prior to the film, but the pieces are there.

And sure, if anything, this serves as a good antithesis to my 2019 worst film of the year.

Favorite moment? The questionnaire scene where the title comes from.

Any Best Awards? Best drama of 2020, best realistic fiction of 2020, best woman power film of 2020, and best film of 2020.

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Thanks for reading! If you disagree with part of this list, let me know. If there is something I missed, let me know (but I probably saw it and reviewed it on this very site!

And as always, I accept hate mail via the post office, email, or tweets.

Interview with Steve Byrne – Director of “The Opening Act”

[Editor’s note: This was meant to be a video interview and going great, until about the last two minutes. Then my computer froze. Much embarrassment. It was finished on a phone where I had to write down answers on notes. Most of the interview the phrasing is accurate as the audio recording saved, magically.]

Review of The Opening Act can be seen here!

radio

Gorgon Reviews: Thanks for stopping by Steve.

Steve Byrne: Thank you for having me, I appreciate it!

GR: First question, what is the first movie you remember seeing in theaters growing up?

SB: Superman! Directed by Richard Donner, starring Christopher Reeve, that’s the first film I remember seeing.

GR: You are the first person I’ve interviewed who had that answer just ready to go, usually people are caught off guard and have to think for awhile.

SB: (laughs) Well its my favorite movie of all time, I remember seeing it, yeah.

GR: Do you remember how old you were?

SB: Well, I must have been 3 or 4 at the time, I just remember a second of it. I remember seeing it. And then I remember seeing it on TV when I was a little kid too, and just being enamored by it. And to this day it is probably one of my favorite films.

GR: Steve, what movie made you cry the most?

SB: (Cringes) Okay this is going to be embarrassing, and I am sure you heard this before from other people. I’ve only seen my father cry once before in my life, and it was when his father died, and my daughter has seen me cry during episodes of Shark Tank, okay?

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GR: I let loose pretty easily. I would say I’ve seen Up quite a bit, and and that first 8 minutes of Up has gotten to me every single time. EVERY single time I watch that. And it is on quite a bit in our household, I just get misty eyed.

GR: I am surprised I got such a real answer there, because that question was in your stand up special almost a decade and a half ago. (Steve laughs again). So you had an episode of Comedy Central Presents in the mid-2000s and at the beginning of your movie, you featured a lot of clips from that series. How much did that show mean to you and help advance your own career?

SB: Comedy Central Presents was the first thing I had, at the time it was like, all the young comics in New York City, and across the country, it was their first real kind of break. And for sure that was my first break. Absolutely, without a doubt.

That and BET’s ComicView. (Laughs a lot). I did ComicView twice for some reason, I don’t know how I ended up there, but I got a standing ovation the first time I did it. So that has probably something to do with it. And I got a lot of college work out of it. But Comedy Central Presents was the cool one. I was like, “Yeah, alright, I made it. I’m on my way!”

GR: I watched a lot of those myself during that time so when they all started flashing across the beginning of the movie, I realized I’ve seen all those specials, and that is when it clicked that I knew your name before from your special there.

GR: Stand up and acting have a lot of similarities, but what made you want to transition to directing instead?

SB: Well, I, wrote this script, as an exercise, just to see if I could write a screenplay, if I’d have the discipline to do it. And I thought, well, if I am going to invest my time in writing something, why not write about something that I want to see, and I’ve never seen something from A-Z a film about stand up comedy.

So I just wanted to write about that, and then when it was actually being made, Vince Vaughn [Producer] asked me “Do you want to be in it? It’s being made, what do you want to do?” and I knew I was too old to be the MC of the feature and I am too young to be the headliner. So I thought, “To hell with it, I’m just glad it is being made!” So he said, “Why don’t you direct it?” and I had never directed anything before but he said, “Well you never wrote anything before either, but now you did it, and it’s your story, so direct it!” So I said okay. Never contemplating how overwhelming it was, but I am glad I did it, I am glad I was the purveyor of this story, and I’m really proud of it.

GR: Ah, never had any intentions of being a director until it happened.

SB: Exactly, I knew if it ever got made I’d be too old to play a kid in his 20’s, going on the road for the first time, but I wanted to write a film about a kid driving to Las Vegas for his very first time in his 20’s. Not a man driving home from Vegas in his 50’s. Which uhh, could have been me.

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GR: How much of this was based on your own life?

SB: Oh the minute Will hits the road in the film, everything that has happened in the movie has happened to me. That’s why you can’t make this stuff up. All the comics that are in it, they’ve said the same three things to me after they screened it. 1) I loved it, 2) It was so authentic, and 3) And you just retriggered horrible memories from the first few years of my comedy career, now I need to go see my therapist again. So I was really happy to hear that.

GR: How did you pick Jimmy Yang for the lead of this film?

SB: (Sighs), Well, I didn’t pick Jimmy Yang, he held me up at gun point, after a missed connection on Craig’s List, he met me in Wal-Mart,

GR: And he said “Gimme Dat Dick!”

SB: That’s right, yeah, “Gimme Dat Diiiick!”. Good call back by the way. [Editor’s note: That is a quote from the movie.]

SB: When you’re casting this, because it was semi-autobiographical, I thought I might as well cast somebody that kind of looks like me, and I didn’t do it for diversity sake, I hate when people do that, I hate when people make it an agenda, it is certainly not that. But there are very few stand up comedians that are Asian, and there are very few stand up comic Asians that are also working actors, so Jimmy was the first one we went to, Jimmy took it and I didn’t have to talk to anyone else after that.

GR: Was there any celebrity that was the inspiration behind Billy G?

SB: Ah yes, there was an inspiration behind Billy G. His name is Billy G, because he was named after Billy Gardell. And most people know Billy Gardell from the show Mike and Molly, I’ve had a lot of mentor’s along the way, and I’ve had a lot of people give me sage advice, and I toured with Billy Gardell, along with brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

[Editor’s Note: This is when my computer froze. I know, in the middle of a probably touching answer. Once my compute restarted, it also decided to do an update and I realized it was a lost cause, but Steve waited for me to get back on Zoom on my phone, and we finished the interview there.]

GR: Okay, one of the things I really appreciate is the is that all of the side characters in this film have personality and a reason for existing, without still taking away from Will’s story. The DJ is mysterious and crazy, but it never gets fully explained. Chad is an interesting comic, the girlfriend is actually supportive the whole time…and then there is Chip. What is up with Chip?

SB: (Laughs) Well, Chip is like the gatekeeper to Will’s dreams. He is the one who ultimately is giving Will a shot by letting him MC at the club, and there are a lot of managers like that who have to book for multiple clubs across the country, so if Will can succeed, it leads to a lot more opportunity. And uhh, he is based on two managers in particular, ones who pushed a lot of boundaries.

GR: You mentioned earlier that all of these things happened to you. So you had the radio interview gone wrong, the hecklers and all of that?

SB: YES! In Raleigh, NC was the story about going to the trailer park with the girl who had a, well, Marine boyfriend. The Radio interview was from LA, and the hecklers was in Dallas.
[Editor’s Note: I hope I got the cities right for that. Damn chicken scratch notes.]

GR: Thank you so much for stopping by to talk Steve, sorry about the tech issues there. The Opening Act opens this weekend at least in The Alamo Drafthouse if not more places.

SB: Thanks for taking time watch and review and give the film some buzz. I appreciate it.

Best of the Decade – Part 5 (10-1)

10) The Grand Budapest Hotel 2014

Why? Wes Anderson is a director that took me a long time to appreciate. I didn’t really know much about him and his earlier work, but wasn’t a fan when I was younger. After Fantastic Mr. Fox, I was a fan, and it took a couple more to bring me to this one which made me fall in love with its insides.

After seeing it for the first time I have seen other films he did, still not all of them, and this is just the most spectacular to me. A larger cast, full of oddballs, love, and life lessons. And hell, the main character is not a great man, but Ralph Fiennes goes completely into this hotel madman and leaves nothing behind.

It is a film that is visually stunning and funny enough that it is easy to revisit over and over again with similar tummy bellows.

Favorite moment? The punch outs.

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9) La La Land 2016

Why? Musicals are hard to make and hard to make well. Slap some songs in a movie and we don’t always fall in love. Have choreography? Who cares, so do music videos. I need a good story, I need acting, and I need songs to move the story forward and not feel awkward.

La La Land feels like an attempt to make a more low key realistic musical, while still having the same show stopping type numbers. The first couple of songs in it are full on flash and color, but after that, we get our slower song for both leads to dance, and then it slows the hell down. It lets them breath, we get our main theme with reprises and add-ons, and it lets the story work.

I feel like I get the best of the both worlds, along with an ending I can hate while still respecting at the same time. Gosling and Stone, you are beautiful people who keep coupling in our movies. Thank you for that. This is my favorite musical of the decade. 

Favorite moment? Another Day of Sun.

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8) The Social Network 2010

Why? Here is a film a lot of people have called the best of the decade, and it is a wonder that it came out at the start of the decade. It is a film many say should have won Best Picture and are still annoyed by that fact today. And I get it, I love it too.

We combine David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin, so of course we get some amazing creation they can call their own. Add in a great score, actors who were sort of just coming into the game, and some boy band experience, and it is a hard film to top.

It still feels timely, and likely will be for quite a long while given how little our online interactions have actually changed. It is the type of film that I feel I will always be down to watch, and was peak Eisenberg (but thankfully not peak Garfield or Hammer).

Favorite moment? The ousting of Eduardo.

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7) Scott Pilgrim vs. The World 2010

Why? A lot of this list could be seen as “What films does this guy think are better than The Social Network from the 2010s?” And I will do you one better. What film from 2010 itself do I think is better? Scott Pilgrim, that’s what!

I will say this is a film where I had read all of the source material before the film, and it completely delivered six books in one film. You know, the type of thing books try to avoid since then. They wanna stretch it out. Edgar Wright instead filled it with action, game references, and totally captured the nature of the graphic novel. Sure, a lot is missing, and that is okay.

This is a stone soup of younger actors and actresses to piece together this strange story that is really just a complicated metaphor that tells us that people have baggage. Relationships are hard. And it can be difficult to let things go that have helped define us up to that point. And its funny. This is my favorite comedy AND comic book movie of the decade. 

Favorite moment? CASUAL SEX! Okay, that’s the book. The Chris Evans and Vegan fights.

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6) Warrior 2011

Why? And now onto more serious things. I didn’t hear about Warrior until it was coming out on DVD as a recommendation from my brother. I wasn’t expecting anything, just another “boxing movie” but instead I got an extremely heartfelt story about two brothers, no longer in each other’s lives, both overcoming their own hardships and difficulties in life to do what they do best. Fight.

I will admit I don’t really like Nick Nolte in most films the last 20 years, but him being a hard to decipher mess of a human actually works for this movie. One of my favorite aspects of this film is that this basically introduced me to Joel Edgerton and Tom Hardy in movies, and they have continued to show why they are both highly sought after actors.

UFC is new to the sports world still, and it found a way to take what would normally be just a boxing story and change things up, with different styles mirroring their lives and attitudes. And of course, when I see the ending, I cry every time. This is my favorite sports movie of the decade. 

Favorite moment? The four second fight, the final fight, the Marines song.

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5) Nightcrawler 2014

Why? Another film I never got to see in theaters, and I blame poor advertising on that. I blame the advertising on its lack of awards as well, because Jake Gyllenhaal should have been nominated and won those acting awards for his scary portrayal.

This film takes morals and completely throws them out of the window. Gyllenhaal rarely blinks and talks in a charismatic rapey way like he was born to be that person. But hell, Gyllenhaal has been one of the most consistent actors this decade, so it makes sense.

Nightcrawler is unsettling and questions our fascination with the news and what people want to see and hear. If anything, it predicted what people have started to do with features like YouTube/Facebook Live when it comes to unthinkable crimes, and hopefully if enough people see it and take its messages to heart, we can put to end to this nonsense. So, probably never. This is my favorite Thriller of the decade. 

Favorite moment? The home invasion and fallout.

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4) The Perks of Being A Wallflower 2012

Why? When I saw this film in theaters, I remember just sitting there in the theater, watching regular credits with music blasting, and finding myself unable to get up and leave. I had to deal with the emotions and thoughts running through my head. I had to wipe away tears and make sure I wasn’t a wreck of a man walking into the lobby. I noticed the few people in the theater were also not getting up right away. It seemed like a universal feeling.

What starts out as a story about a loner who wants to be accepted but is too introverted and shy to get out there turns into something bigger. Coming out of your shell is risky, and so is accepting others into your life. But even if we bring others in, there is still a lot hiding under the surface that they can never know about, to know what you are going through and subconsciously dealing with at all times..

The reveal about our protagonist and his past comes along shockingly, but when rewatching the film the hints are right there. Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller are great leads, and Emma Watson in this film helps break out of her Harry Potter sphere. It is so well acted with a kicking soundtrack, it should be a staple of its genre for hopefully decades to come dealing with timeless problems. This is my favorite coming of age story of the decade. 

Favorite moment? Truth or dare.

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3) Colossal 2017

Why? Colossal is a hard film to fit into any genre. It is a film that has plot holes and doesn’t try to explain all of its quirks. And that can rub people the wrong way.

But when taken as a larger metaphor for emotional abuse and substance abuse, and trying to overcome these issues with your body and past, it is a shining example of how someone can feel. Full of depression and anger in their own lives, it sometimes feels like there is a monster inside of them that is destroying others. And that can be literal if the monster completely consumes the individual.

Thankfully, this movie also offers hope. And I love that the answer isn’t just another man or a relationship. It is about fixing yourself and not relying on others to handle your problems for you.

Anne Hathaway I enjoy in most films, and she feels very vulnerable in this film Jason Sudeikis I also love, but plays the bad guy in a creepily realistic way. The twists and turns are wonderful. This is my favorite…uhh…fantasy film (?) of the year. Maybe romance? I don’t know. 

Favorite moment? The introduction of the Robot.

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2) Arrival 2016

Why? In 2016, this movie was the third on my list, right a different Amy Adams movie and a musical, and in those years since I have realized that Arrival is the better film. At this point I was more familiar with Denis Villeneuve and still blown away with the story put together in this film. Sure, it is based on a story, but the visual work and cinematography, and the alien design and the ORDER this story gives is mind blowing. It is a mind blowing film.

Amy Adams is probably the best actress of the decade. Just look at the number of nominations, the quality of films she has been in year after year, even the more silly and family friendly roles are above the curve. And I don’t think she has ever been better.

This film is a major gut punch when the whole story gets revealed and told and deals with a complicated timeline, but not shying away from complicated stories is a good thing. When we get original stories that don’t feed you through a straw the plot, we need to reward them and celebrate them. This is my favorite science fiction film of the decade. 

Favorite moment? The death of the alien.

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1) Steve Jobs 2015

Why? And finally, the shocking moment, the one that will make people say huh. But probably not people who know me. When I made my top of 2015 list it made 4th, with the two above it not making my top of the decade, and the other one being The Big Short, further down this list. So HOW could a film like this move all the way up to my number one spot?

First of all, repeatability. Since I bought the film I have seen it probably twice a year always on a whim. I get a feeling, I want to see Steve Jobs again, so I do it. It being a film in three acts that mirror each other and grow is a rewarding watch, to see the connections, to connect it to history, to see how people grow.

Secondly, I can still tear up usually near the end each and every time. Having it be about a very mean and modern myth filled man, but actually a story about learning to accept your responsibilities as a father? That is a twist, and movies that deal with father/daughter relationships always get me now.

Thirdly, Aaron Goddamn Sorkin. I love the hell out of his dialogue, and the words come out at a pace with such passion that it is like an action movie…with words.

Strangely enough, I am in no way an Apple fan boy. I have had an iPhone for one year before they got rid of the Aux, so I went back to Android. I had an iPod way after they were cool and that is about it. I just can acknowledge that Steve Jobs was an interesting individual and did a lot of good with a lot of bad.

Fassbender should have won best actor over DiCaprio that year. Rogen was great. Winslet completely became a different person. Daniels molded his suave from the Newsroom into something similar, but different. And the other people involved are equally fascinating.

If it wasn’t for the several F-bombs, it is a film I would show my gifted students every year, so they could understand that being smart doesn’t mean one has to be a dick. A play that never was a play, Steve Jobs is my favorite drama, favorite “biopic”, and favorite movie of the decade. 

Favorite moment? It’s not binary.

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Thanks for reading! Hopefully you check out the other parts and can tell me in the top 50 why I am stupid and missed your favorite film, or why you think Steve Jobs isn’t a great film. I might not listen, but I will still “listen.”

Click here for Part 1 (50-41)!
Click here for Part 2 (40-31)!
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Click here for Part 4 (20-11)!

Best of the Decade – Part 4 (20-11)

20) Margin Call 2011

Why? Earlier in the list I already had The Big Short, which talked about the 2008 Crisis in a much different way than Margin Call. Margin Call did it dramatically, with a fake company, to showcase the ineptitude of those at the top, and how they could still screw over other people on the way to trying to save themselves.

I rated this higher featuring some good performances from various actors involved, and just in generally it is really thrilling for such a bland sounding topic.

Favorite moment? The day after.

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19) 1917 2019

Why? You try to pretend your movie is done in one take, and I am going to enjoy it. Flex away your cinematographic and directorial skills to put that together. The story is a simple one, and through it we get to see the realities of the trench, just how much they worked like any movie before.

We see a lot of the biggest aspects of WW1, including the fear, the excessive death, and how hard it was to find an eventual resolution. This is my favorite war movie of the decade. 

Favorite moment? The night time escape.

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18) Baby Driver 2017

Why? Another movie with Kevin Spacey in the same article, ack! This was really hard to place in its original top list, due to scandals, but honestly, I still love this movie very much. Edgar Wright pieced together a high energy film, with a unique soundtrack that made me want to speed down the highway myself. Okay, that’s bad.

But a heist movie where things go bad, the bad guys are various level of bad, and a journey for redemption? What a hero arc.

Favorite moment? Hocus Pocus Focus escape.

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17) Parasite 2019

Why? Come on, of course right? I mean, come on. Many are saying Parasite could be one of the best films of the decade, and there is a lot of reason for that. I often worry about getting caught up in “current year hype” and knowing how well 2019 films compare to the previous 9 is really hard. But I think Parasite is one of those keeper films. This movie will likely be fast tracked to some sort of American remake and it won’t be as good.

Thankfully, this version is so good, without going into too much detail, about Korean class warfare, that it feels universal regardless of where you are from.

Favorite moment? What’s in the basement?

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16) Waves 2019

Why? See above. I don’t know if Waves should be this high, but it was my number one in 2019. I haven’t been able to rewatch it, and don’t know if it has staying power. But like Parasite, it told a classic tale of a rise and fall, but also included the potential rise again after the fact. After tragedy, we need to cope and move on, and Waves makes sure to focus equal attention on that aspect as well.

Beautifully shot and acted, it brought me to tears several times.

Favorite moment? The party aftermath.

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15) Swiss Army Man 2016

Why? This film is one of the greatest and most original films I have seen in my life time. It is bananas to the wall, hell, to the ceiling, complete and utter madness. Paul Dano can practically do no wrongs when it comes to films in his career, and although Daniel Radcliffe is more hit and miss, this one is certainly a high hit for anyone who decides to accept its weird and give it a chance.

If it takes a lot of fart and masturbation jokes to discover what it means to be human, then sign me up for this evolved life.

Favorite moment? The soundtrack.

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14) Les Miserables 2012

Why? No! Not the french remake that isn’t actually based on the book that came out in 2019, the goddamn musical! I had never seen the stage musical before seeing this film and was only slightly familiar with one of the songs, so I wasn’t sure what to expect on that Christmas morning in 2012. This film made me cry four times my first time in theaters, and from that I went on to watch it at least three more times in theaters. It was a day one buy when it hit Blu-Ray and has been seen several times over.

The songs have complexity, and it just hits you over the head over and over about how shitty this time in France was. Time machine? No thank you. And by having the actors sing live for the movie added such a personal touch that can only be recreated in real life.

Favorite moment? One Day More and Javert’s suicide.

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13) Goon 2011

Why? It took a little bit for Goon to leak its way out of Canada into an American release, and I was excited to give it a shot. Little did I know it would become something I needed to see again after watching it by myself. I remember showing it to my dad later the same day due to how ridiculous it was, and funny, and strangely heart felt.

Seann William Scott made his career out of being a lovable idiot, and this role is another iteration of that, which he executes perfectly. An extremely quotable movie at points, it takes some extremes in the sport of hockey without breaking out into a musical.

Favorite moment? The Ross Rhea showdown.

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12) About Time 2013

Why? About Time felt like it would easily fall into “Creepy movie territory” real quick. A romance where the guy can go back and time and just try again until he makes it perfect? No! Rapey! ack! And then despite starting with those elements, they make our hero the perfect gentlemen, going back to help everyone he can, even if it means setting himself back.

And by the end, with the implications of his travels, it is hard to not cry over the relationship he has with his father and the family he has created. It is an incredibly smart film given the stipulations it put into its time travel and how one should try and approach life no matter their circumstances.

Favorite moment? Ping pong.

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11) Blindspotting 2018

Why? My top film of 2018 wasn’t able to make my top ten of the decade, despite being still a great film about an important subject matter. Gentrification is not an easy subject to make a comedy/drama about. So why not two people who have experienced it themselves growing up in radically different ways due to the color of their skin?

Daveed Diggs (who blew up thanks to Hamilton) and real life friend Rafael Casal give an emotionally charged performance in wake up police brutality, harsh sentences, and how felons are treated in our society. 2018 had a lot of social justice films that were top of the line, and this one was just on top of the pile overall.

Favorite moment? Post party arguments.

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Best of the Decade – Part 3 (30-21)

30) The Favourite 2018

Why? While not my favorite movie of the decade, this is my favorite of Yorgos Lanthimos, whom was doing really good in the last few years of the decade. A women centric cast, that is a bit absurd, while having some historical truth, it led to a lot of comedic gold moments that could only happen with a great script and great actresses to carry it all out.

Also, the camera work in this film was atypical, and a bit inspiring.

Favorite moment? Don’t look at me.

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29) Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse 2018

Why? This is my “half” sequel on the list. Technically standalone, but also one of the realities is totally the Sam Raimi Spider-Man films, so it takes place after them. Spider-Verse is on this list as my third (and not yet highest) rated animated film because of how blown away I was with the art style.

It offered something unlike any other animated film of that year or recent years, keeping it still feeling like a comic movie, and with stunning fight scenes and humor throughout.

Favorite moment? Alright, let’s start at the beginning.

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28) Sing Street 2016

Why? This is a film I expected almost nothing out of, and should have realized it was something special. The third music centered film by John Carney feels very personal and ends up being more than a strange pre-teen romance film.

It also deals with a strong relationship with brothers and how those older can pave the way for their siblings, taking on more burdens that the younger ones would never realize. And hey, the music is fun too.

Favorite moment? Basically every scene with Jack Reynor.

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27) 12 Years A Slave 2013

Why? 2013 called, it wants its number one movie back. 12 Years A Slave is a hard movie to get through. Torture, near death, and obviously enslavement does not equate to a movie you want to see over and over. Hell, I knew it would take me awhile to rewatch it after I saw it in theaters, and only rewatched it for this list finally, never really getting in that mood again.

Well acted, a terrifying real story, but one that is something I will rarely ever see again in my life.

Favorite moment? Favorite is a bad word here, but the “hanging” scene is the most powerful and shocking.

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26) Hereditary 2018

Why? I do believe Toni Collette was robbed for he performance in this film, and not given anywhere close to enough credit as she deserved. I knew she was a great actress, and this film really cemented it in my mind. A demented film overall, one that builds the fears inside of you overtime and masterfully at that.

Very few “jump” scares but instead an overall sense of dread and wondering how could things get worse or scarier. This is my favorite horror film of the decade. 

Favorite moment? Dinner time.

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25) Whiplash 2014

Why? I don’t know if I need a long paragraph for this one? J. K. Fucking Simmons. There. That’s why.

Favorite moment? Tempo changes.

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24) Kubo and the Two Strings 2016

Why? Kubo is an animated film that tried to give me something I hadn’t seen before. Laika has been pushing the boundaries of their stop-motion films a lot over this decade, and I don’t think anything came out as fresh and stunning as Kubo. Combining characters both big and small, we got a fresh lead with an interesting story, and hell, some scary villains to boot.

It still felt like a good film for the family, despite its darker elements. Honestly, the only thing I hated were the names of the sidekicks. This is my favorite animated film of the decade. 

Favorite moment? The magic origami.

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23) Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) 2014

Why? Another top film of its year that is getting surpassed by others, I will still attest that Birdman is a wonderful film, start to finish, really no faults. I love everything about it, from the meta casting choices, to the long takes and monologues, to the play within a play. The catchy drum beat that wraps up most of the film keeps it moving and on the edge.

It is a great movie and will be celebrated for a long time.

Favorite moment? Edward Norton.

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22) Gone Girl 2014

Why? Gone Girl is a thriller where the twist is revealed much earlier on than most thrillers. Hell, the twist turns it into almost a completely different movie, and makes it go places that would be very hard to predict. Affleck is wonderful as the distant husband, but Pike really gives a haunting performance, which elevated far past anything I’ve seen her do before. Mostly TV shows, notably.

Because the twist is so early on, it is still a movie worth watching over and over.

Favorite moment? What happened to Amy.

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21) Mad Max: Fury Road 2015

Why? Ah! Many people picked this their top of that year and top of the decade, and I will admit, this is an over the top film unlike almost anything else. The stunt work, the practical effects, the gruesome moments. It is definitely a story that doesn’t hold a lot of equals. And I can acknowledge all of it, and still want more from the actors and plot.

This is the only other sequel on the whole list, which is interesting as this one works very well as a standalone and just uses 1 character.

Favorite moment? The race back.

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Best of the Decade – Part 2 (40-31)

 

40) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 2015

 

Why? Besides being a solid A+ on the naming department, the title gives you everything you need to know about it. A movie dealing with teens dealing with death, the awkwardness of friendship and love in general, and how one can face the inevitable.

The Nick Offerman and love of movies in it doesn’t hurt it either.

Favorite moment? The movie reenactments.

 

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39) Aftershock 2010

 

Why? Partially picked because of how few people know about this film, Aftershock is one of the first lesser known films I watched that had a great emotional impact on me, and that was when I was still only 21 or so! The hard choice a mother faces can be seen as an allegory to the One-Child policy that China already had.

And the fact that we get to see so much of the events after the earthquake (you know, the Aftershocks) and how it affected so many lives is just heartbreaking.

Favorite moment? Hard to beat the initial earthquake scene.

 

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38) Life of Pi 2012

 

Why? Life of Pi, like The Martian, ends up being one of my go-to movies to show the youth of the world as a teacher when we have time, except I try to say it relates to math because of Pi. Life of Pi changed the way CGI worked in films forever, winning plenty of awards along the way because of how aesthetically beautiful it was.

It deals with a lot of hard topics in a way that those young and old can relate to.

Favorite moment? The “real story” being told.

 

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37) Uncut Gems 2019

 

Why? My first film from this year on the list (which was very hard to place in the decade, mind you) feels like a reminder that Sandler knows what the hell he is doing with the acting game, he just chooses to phone it in for easy paychecks. This film is an uncomfortable two hours, of people making bad and risky decisions for a payoff that may or may not be worth it.

It is excruciating in all the right ways, and a tense experience that is really hard to create.

Favorite moment? The final bet.

 

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36) Inside Out 2015

 

Why? My second animated film on this list, Inside Out hit me like a bag of trucks. First of all, it was led with Lava, which as a short made me cry by itself. But the journey of “emotions having emotions” through the guise of a pre-teen girl was its own a tear-filled experience, at least twice in theaters, and usually again when I watch it on my own or with my family.

It is a wonderfully weird concept, that sure, doesn’t make a lot of sense with scrutiny (see: many Pixar films), but a ride worth taking nonetheless.

Favorite moment? Bing bong bing bong.

 

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35) The Big Short 2015

 

Why? What’s this? My number 1 film of 2015 already on the list? That is okay. The Big Short is still wonderful, done in an exciting and informative way, and made me generally smarter about things I didn’t understand well. Hell, it still has good rewatchability. Just maybe that we are farther from the crisis in general, and there are other movies on the subject I like more (spoilers for this list), this felt like a good spot to land.

Adam McKay‘s heel-turn into Oscar nominated films was a shocker and a welcome one at that.

Favorite moment? The celebrity cameos to explain terminology.

 

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34) Get Out 2018

 

Why? After working on a whole lot of skits, Jordan Peele realized he knew what was missing in the world, and he gave us Get Out. With Us being good (and not as good), he has cemented himself fully as someone to watch. A lot of films in the late 2010’s deal with racial tensions in America, but almost none as creatively do it as with Get Out, in the guise of a regular horror and creepy film.

It fuses the truth, with horror and comedy to get people in the doors and more importantly, get people talking.

Favorite moment? The hypnotism.

 

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33) Before Midnight 2013

 

Why? Before Midnight is the first sequel on this list, and after examining the whole thing, there are only 2, maybe 2 and a half films that are sequels. So this is definitely the only end of a trilogy! The raw emotions that Linklater let these two do, just to talk, about love, and fear, and sadness, and hope. It is inspiring on its own. Add to the difficulty of creating the trilogy in sort of real time with 9 year gaps lets us come back to a couple we adore and want to succeed and cheer for.

There is a chance of a forth film in 2022, but as for now Linklater hasn’t told us anything.

Favorite moment? The argument.

 

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32) Prisoners 2013

 

Why? Prisoners is a movie I went in with no expectations, only a trailer, as I didn’t know who Denis Villeneuve was. Turns out, he is a director I love and is featured many times on this list. This is one of those films that really showed me for the first time how good of an actor Gyllenhaal and Dano really are. Already had my assumptions about Jackman.

A long, mystery, dealing with moral ambiguity and a terrifying conclusion. Prisoners changed the way I saw cinema for the next few years.

Favorite moment? Jackman losing it.

 

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31) Marriage Story 2019

 

Why? Marriage Story deals with a topic we don’t talk a lot about in films. Divorce! Getting married is easy, keeping it and ending it is harder. Two PHENOMENAL performances from Johansson and Driver, this is done in such a way that there are not too many overall scenes, but it is overall very awkward and sad.

I haven’t reseen the movie, but I have gone out of my way to rewatch various parts and I am able to with ease already knowing the full context. This will be a hard movie for me to rewatch and sit through beginning to end, but definitely one that warrants it at some point in the future.

Favorite moment? The court scene.

 

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Best of the Decade – Part 1 (50-41)

Welcome to my top 50 of the decade list! Every day I will do the next group of 10, according to all of the Staff here at Gorgon Reviews, on what we thought was the best of the decade.

We decided to not include documentaries, as they are much harder to compare, but you will see films represented more than one country at least.

50) The Martian 2015

Why? To me this movie is entirely pro-science in a fun and exciting way. We have smart characters, who solve problems by being smart, despite obstacles in their way. Smartness isn’t played as a joke, it is appreciated, and a lot of care went into making most (not all, that is fine) of this movie at least somewhat realistic.

I have seen this movie usually many times just showing it to my students near the end of the year.

Favorite moment? While the ending is very emotional, I enjoy most when they finally get communication up and running.

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49) Chi-Raq 2015

Why? I want to make some statements with a top 50 list, and not be incredibly boring. This movie rolled a few of my jams up in one. Lyrically spoken, it brings back an Ancient Greek play into modern times, to deal with modern problems, and it is dripping with satire.

It gives new light to a problem. It doesn’t actually offer real solutions, but it is still making great points with its power.

Favorite moment? Samuel L. Jackson laying those smooth lines down as the narrator.

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48) 50/50 2011

Why? Coming out earlier in the decade, this felt like the perfect blend of a comedy/drama for me. I laughed, I cried, and I laughed some more. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really showcased his emotional range and showcased how someone might deal with a surgery that didn’t technically have a favorable outcome. He isn’t in it for the sympathy.

Favorite moment? When his mood shifts right before the surgery. Tears every time.

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47) I, Tonya 2017

Why? I, Tonya does a few things for me. It gives me a very different view of a story that I just had assumptions about (I was 4-5 at the time) and that is likely true about a lot of people. And it also finally let me see Margot Robbie in a different light as an actress that I had never seen before. You know, acting.

Favorite moment? The scenes where Tonya/Jeff’s relationship blossomed into an abuse for all.

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46) Nocturnal Animals 2016

Why? Strangely enough, this movie probably dropped the most out of any film compared to their respective rankings in top of the year lists. For 2016, I had this as my second favorite movie, a harrowing experience I never wanted to experience again.

However, on a rewatch, it is still extremely well acted and an interesting movie, but without the surprising fear elements, it didn’t sustain as much interest.

Favorite moment? It still has to be the highway scene.

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45) August: Orange County 2013

Why? Take an all-star cast of incredible actors, have them act a popular play, and sure enough, we will get emotions and wonderful acting. I hadn’t heard of this play before hand, so it was shock to me when I realized what was going on.

Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep are wonderful together, in that they bring out each other’s worsts.

Favorite moment? Hard to beat the dinner scene as it brings everyone together and everything full front.

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44) The Greatest Showman 2017

Why? Honestly, I loved this movie when I saw it. The worst part about it for me was how short it was (and still is). It was my most anticipated film of 2017, and I knew I was getting a fictionalized story about the real man, but didn’t care. It gave me a sense of fun and wonder that a circus was meant to give its audience, and honestly, as he deceived them, you could argue it was meant to deceive us about the real man.

This would be much higher if it was a little over 2 hours long.

Favorite moment? My favorite song shifts constantly, so at the time of the writing, I will go with The Other Side.

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43) The Witch 2015

Why? I was completely shookith with this film when it came out, appreciating how much the director went for realism in a story dealing with the supernatural. The clothes, the house, the language. Anna Taylor-Joy has started her career off really with this film, escalating her into several other horror/thriller roles.

The introduction of the film started things off very bleak from the beginning, and it was the struggle throughout that made it just that much more horrifying.

Favorite moment? The ending scenes with our goat.

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42) Moana 2016

Why? Our first animated film on the list, and not the last, Moana felt like they finally perfected the “modern Disney Princess” film. Trying to fix the backlash of their older films with problematic narratives.

Tangled and Frozen were obviously stepping stones to get there, but Moana has it all, including a banging soundtrack with only one overall dud in my eye. Looking at you Shiny.

Favorite moment? The ending reveal/victory I didn’t see coming and it still holds up in repeated viewings.

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41) Bodied 2018

Why? Likely to be one of the more controversial films on this whole list, because this damn thing is a controversial film. It has so many elements going on in it that SHOULD lead to it being something we should avoid, that it somehow mashes together to make an uncomfortable masterpiece.

When I rewatched this movie, it still made me captivated, and cringe at all the right moments.

Favorite moment? I am going to say I love/hate the ending.

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Click here for Part 2 (40-31)!
Click here for Part 3 (30-21)!
Click here for Part 4 (20-11)!
Click here for Part 5 (10-1)!

Worst Films of 2019

(dis)HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Just a few this time! A Hidden Life, for having me waste my life with another Terrence Malick movie. We have Dumbo, for being a soulless remake from Disney, with bigger eyes cause of Tim Burton. Skin, which surprisingly isn’t in the top 15, because I always like to include ones people maybe never heard about before, so they don’t stumble into it in the future. And The Last Astronaut, which I don’t know if it counts as a 2019 release, because I saw it at a festival and it was a snooze.

15) Jexi
Why is it on the list? Honestly, a vindictive Siri like app on a phone could be interesting or funny, but it went there in all of the worst ways. Bumper can’t lead a movie on his own.
Least favorite moment? Wasting Michael Peña.
Any Worst Awards? Worst digital sex scene of 2019!

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14) Breakthrough
Why is it on the list? This true story becoming a religious miracle is pretty week. Very little happens, except for a boy laying around in a hospital bed, while people discuss what to and not to do.
Least favorite moment? Unnecessary young hip pastor and religious conservative overcoming their differences.
Any Worst Awards? Worst film about people sitting around and waiting of 2019!

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13) A Dog’s Way Home
Why is it on the list? A film like Homeward Bound, but with less personality, and a whole lot weaker story. They could have made this with a pit bull and had a bigger message overall.
Least favorite moment? The cartoon-y dog catcher.
Any Worst Awards? Nope. Turns out I have similar films that are like this but worse, so it gets nothing out of me.

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12) The Secret life of Pets 2
Why is it on the list? This movie is a jumbled mess of various plot lines that get badly wrapped up together at the end. They repeat the mistakes of the first, and go even worse with it.
Least favorite moment? The farm subplot.
Any Worst Awards? Worst animated movie about pets of 2019!

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11) A Dog’s Journey
Why is it on the list? In order to maximize tears, this sequel gives us four dog deaths and a real person death at very predictable times! That is the point of dog movies right? For them to get home or to watch them die.
Least favorite moment? Any conversation with the mom.
Any Worst Awards? Worst movie about actual pets of 2019!

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10) Dark Phoenix
Why is it on the list? This movie is so bad, they dropped “X-Men” from the title. If at first they don’t succeed, make a worst version of it over a decade later I guess.
Least favorite moment? Stairs.
Any Worst Awards? Worst superhero film of 2019!

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9) Overcomer
Why is it on the list? Oof, this guy has never made a film that can stand on its own. It could have been an okay sports story. But since they made it up, went heavy on religion, and pretty much set up an elaborate ploy to cheat, I don’t know who would enjoy it.
Least favorite moment? Where the dad yells at his loved ones.
Any Worst Awards? Worst sports movie where they win by cheating of 2019!

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8) Poms
Why is it on the list? Completely low energy, boring performances, and a cookie cutter feel good cast with villains who are villains because poor writers.
Least favorite moment? The “wow the video has gone viral!” scene.
Any Worst Awards? Worst sports movie of 2019!

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7) Playing With Fire
Why is it on the list? A film straight out of the 1990’s or early 2000’s, that includes a popular wrestler, who is too cool for kids, and has to deal with kids. Hah! Hilarious!
Least favorite moment? The end of the birthday party is tied with the wedding scene.
Any Worst Awards? Worst wrestler in a lead role, worst use of MLP, and worst comedy of 2019!

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6) Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Why is it on the list? The first one shouldn’t have been remade, to redeem a character who means evil. But then they did it, and doubled down on her being evil. Because why not. Also let’s have the plot be very similar, but bigger.
Least favorite moment? The forever lasting final battle.
Any Worst Awards? Worst fantasy, worst sequel, and worst live action “remake” of 2019!

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5) Playmobil: The Movie
Why is it on the list? Not just feeling like a bad lego movie, it has poor animation, weird voice acting, and a plot that is meant for only those who have practically no attention span.
Least favorite moment? The parts where it was animated.
Any Worst Awards? Worst advertisement film, worst partial musical, and worst animated film of 2019!

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4) Cats
Why is it on the list? Lacking a plot worth talking about, this movie musical is just a series of introductions until it finally ends, with visuals that you will never get used to.
Least favorite moment? The boat rescue.
Any Worst Awards? Worst CGI, worst furry fantasy, and worst musical of 2019!

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3) Climax
Why is it on the list? I will admit the movie is disturbing which it set out to do, and sure, a horror/thriller. But disturbing doesn’t mean its also good. This movie is a crime against my eyes.
Least favorite moment? All the terrible set up for child trauma and rape.
Any Worst Awards? Worst horror, worst sex scenes, and worst dance movie of 2019!

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2) The Fanatic
Why is it on the list? Well, Travolta is actually acting in this movie. But the movie is so stupid and pointless, a shell of a potentially greater film, that it feels awkward when one person is trying to swim, but everything else is shit.
Least favorite moment? Our fan first asking for the autograph.
Any Worst Awards? Worst thriller, worst t-shirts, worst “event to make the plot start” of 2019!

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1) Unplanned
Why is it on the list? There is a lot of things wrong with this film. Being a religious film doesn’t make it inherently bad, but increases the chance of being really low quality story wise. Couple that with a giant attack against one of the best organizations around to try and help provide support to those who don’t have it because our country’s health care sucks. And of course the lead character is a hypocrite, who had abortions and was grateful for those choices/abilities, and now actively makes sure that others can’t? Sounds like a raging asshole.
Least favorite moment? Any moment her boss, the straw woman, talked about needing to up those abortion numbers because of money!
Any Worst Awards? Worst religious movie, worst “real story” film, worst drama, and worst movie of 2019!

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Thanks for reading! If you disagree with part of this list, let me know. If there is something I missed, let me know (but I probably saw it and reviewed it on this very site!

And as always, I accept hate mail via the post office, email, or tweets.

Best Films of 2019

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
My honorable mentions this year are a bit weirder. These are 100% just movies I didn’t get to see, and wanted to, and maybe would have made my list if I saw them. None of these have reviews at the time of posting!

Honey Boy, Richard Jewell, Ford v Ferrari, Weathering With You, Judy, Hustlers, Clemency, and Just Mercy.

Okay fine, one review almost made the list and didn’t. Sorry, Where’d You Go, Bernadette? but you were number 16!

For the rest of the reviews below, just click on the title to get the original review of the movie!

15) Long Shot
Why is it on the list? Good question! Usually my 15th movie is questionable. This one was just the feel good rom com I need at the time after a long string of bad movies. But the leads just really make it work.
Favorite moment? Basically every time O’Shea Jackson is talking.
Any Best Awards? Best RomCom of 2019!

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14) Booksmart
Why is it on the list?  In a year where two films were hailed as spiritual successors to Superbad, this is the one that reigned supreme to me and made me giggle the most. I liked Good Boys too, just these gals sealed the deal for me.
Favorite moment? The graduation speech.
Any Best Awards? Best comedy of 2019! (Yes the next films are all bleak).

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13) Joker
Why is it on the list? Great performance from Phoenix, unexpected plot line, and a pretty fun ending. Plus, it helps prove the only thing that DC films know how to right are related to Batman.
Favorite moment? The subway revenge scene.
Any Best Awards? Best origin story of 2019!

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12) Ad Astra
Why is it on the list? Visually a winner of a film, that takes its time to tell a personal story despite the great lengths and really respects the setting of outer space. Also, Pitt carries the universe of troubles on his face, and I love that misery.
Favorite moment? The baboons.
Any Best Awards? Best purely Sci-Fi film of 2019!

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11) The Farewell
Why is it on the list? Awkwafina showcasing she can do anything she wants in the media world, and we just have to take it. Beautiful story, learning a lot about another culture, and telling us there are many ways to say goodbye.
Favorite moment? The Wedding
Any Best Awards? Best excuse for a wedding in 2019!

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10) Bombshell
Why is it on the list? Three women give wonderful performances with two of them delving so deep into their real life counterparts, I forget who was acting. It is an important
Favorite moment? Robbie‘s restaurant breakdown, and the beginning debate.
Any Best Awards? Best real story of 2019!

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9) At the Heart of Gold / Leaving Neverland
Why is it on the list? First of all, I am allowed to have two things in the same spot if I want. It’s my list. Secondly, both of these documentaries came out around a similar time on HBO about similar subjects, sexual assault and unfortunately with different outcomes.
Favorite moment? The reading of accounts from the gymnasts in At The Heart of Gold, and the men describing when they finally realized what occurred in Leaving Neverland. Both very powerful moments.
Any Best Awards? Best documentaries of 2019!

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8) Paddleton
Why is it on the list? This film flew completely under the radar, appeared on Netflix early in the year, and captivated me with its simple story. If you aren’t crying by the end, you weren’t paying attention. Romano continues to rock it in these more dramatic roles.
Favorite moment? The ending.
Any Best Awards? Best heterosexual life mates of 2019!

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7) Avengers: Endgame
Why is it on the list? I feel like this one is rather straightforward. Much like the first Avengers, it feels like all of the build up, which was fun along the way, was brought together for these moments. And you know what? They were very creative with this film. No one expected how a lot of it would have gone down. The wait was worth it.
Favorite moment? Avengers Assembling.
Any Best Awards? Best superhero film of 2019!

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6) Midsommar
Why is it on the list? Although not as good as Hereditary, Midsommar gives me a horror film unlike any other in an unexpected setting and all in daylight! The director’s cut isn’t worth seeing just for the differences, the original stands on its own. Pugh has a great year for an actress, and this was her crowning achievement.
Favorite moment? The fertility blessing.
Any Best Awards? Best horror film of 2019!

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5) 1917
Why is it on the list? Incredible cinematographic films will always catch my eye, including ones with a bold premise like this one. Mostly real time, seemingly one shot, huge sets? Oh my goodness, all of my pants come pre-wet for this premise. I was going to dismiss it as just another war film, but the technical style and skill behind it are a sight to behold.
Favorite moment? The night time village.
Any Best Awards? Best war film of 2019! Best action film of 2019!

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4) Marriage Story
Why is it on the list? Rarely are actors so realistic with their emotions and passions as our two leads here. Couple that with fantastic dialogue and a story that should be told, that never gets told, leads to an unforgettably unpleasant and sad, yet beautiful story.
Favorite moment? Most of them? The intro, Laura Dern‘s first scene, the courtroom scene, the argument, the inspector.
Any Best Awards? Best divorce of 2019!

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3) Uncut Gems
Why is it on the list? Sandler can bring it when he needs to, and he brought it and more with this Safdie brothers flick. An intense thrill ride of uncomfortable scene after uncomfortable scene.
Favorite moment? The final bet.
Any Best Awards? Best Dark Comedy of 2019!

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2) Parasite
Why is it on the list? A lot of reason Parasite is on here is due to how shockingly original it is. A tale of class warfare that is specific to South Korea but able to resonate with everyone. And it tells a story that is impossible to figure out ahead of time.
Favorite moment? The basement reveal.
Any Best Awards? Best foreign film of 2019! Best thriller of 2019!

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1) Waves
Why is it on the list? The film changes so much throughout. From calm to extreme and back. It gives us time to grieve and to heal. The cinematography is inspired, the acting is great, and the heart break is real. Also, the soundtrack is so immersive, it is a full cinematic experience given.
Favorite moment? The party scene and the last wrestling scene.
Any Best Awards? Best drama of 2019! Best film relying heavily on music of 2019! And of course best movie of 2019!

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Thanks for reading! If you disagree with part of this list, let me know. If there is something I missed, let me know (but I probably saw it and reviewed it on this very site!

And as always, I accept hate mail via the post office, email, or tweets.