2019 was quite a year! For my list, these will all be new releases from this year, not ranked in any particular order (except maybe the first), and chosen based on pure personal enjoyment. Real quick honorable mentions to Avengers: Endgame and Game of Thrones, both of which were fandoms that closed a chapter in my life in 2019. Onto the rest, though full disclosure I still haven’t gotten to see Little Women, which I’m sure I will love, and a handful of other titles.
ParasiteIt would be such a cop out to say the less you know, the better. But I promise, it definitely does when it comes to the latest serving from Bong Joon Ho, who directed movies like Snowpiercer, Okja, and The Host. The film might not be for everyone, but I truly can’t name a filmgoing experience that’s been comparable in at least the last 5 years, maybe even decade? At this point, I can keep waxing poetic about this movie without details because I promise you’ll thank me later, but if you’re still not convinced, well I don’t know what else to tell you. The Bong Hive is very much alive here and I am of the utmost cautiously optimistic for this film through this awards season. If all is right and just, this should be the Best Picture winner. Hands down.
BoJack HorsemanI’m very much scared for the reckoning that is to come in the second half of this sixth and final season. Much to the surprise of the fans, when the sixth season trailer dropped, we found out it would be the last for our favorite troubled 90s sitcom star who happens to be half horse, half man. BoJack is one of the most incredible shows I’ve seen, one that’s often provided deep introspect on my own life. As someone who also works in the entertainment industry, its biting commentary is one of the best. The last eight episodes will come out at the end of January, and I know I’m not ready to say goodbye.
Knives OutThe big ensemble whodunnit from director Rian Johnson is the epitome of fun at the theaters. Not to mention the fact that I don’t care how ridiculous it is Daniel Craig does a southern accent, and I sure hope he gets to reprise the role of Benoit Blanc.
The FarewellTo be honest, this wasn’t the most pleasant movie watching experience of the year actually. Mainly because I couldn’t stop crying from start to finish. My favorite performance of the year, Zhao Shuzhen has been shutout this awards season to my extreme frustration, which also sadly doesn’t surprise me at all. I have a very strong connection with this film due to my own personal life, and for that alone, I am so thankful this movie exists and came out at this point in time.
BarryBill Hader’s very dark dramedy kept up steam in its second season. I often find this show to be a companion piece of BoJack. Two characters trying to break against their mold. Is it possible? The next season will put audiences in a tough spot with Barry, I believe, especially with the escalation of events that occured in the finale. Has Barry truly reached his own Macbeth moment? But more so, when can I get more of NoHo Hank?
Adam DriverActor Adam Driver had 4 feature length releases this year. But just between Marriage Story and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, I think it would be a mistake for audiences to continue to ignore him for much longer. Move aside Thanos, Adam Driver is inevitable, and I’m all for it. I’ve been a fan of his for awhile now, but I can’t imagine not being completely sold on him by now. I truly can’t wait for more.
GLOWLike the surprise of BoJack going into its final season, it wasn’t until after the most recent third season aired that fans found out this would be the penultimate season. The new season took the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling out of LA and into Las Vegas to a slew of new adventures and faces. A special highlight is their take on A Christmas Carol via wrestling. I assure you, it’s a treat and I never would’ve expected to like wrestling. I love this show’s themes and how it tackles issues women face so much alongside its terrific ensemble. Shoutout especially to Alison Brie, Betty Gilpin, and Marc Maron. Please don’t break my heart, season four.
The Last Black Man In San FranciscoI’ve lived in Los Angeles since essentially fall 2012, so I’ve been removed from what’s happening in my hometown of San Francisco. I love my city with all my heart, but deep down I’m aware of the changes that have changed the city for the not so good as well. This movie really stirred many emotions in me, especially with that score and cover of “San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” and the performances from the two co-leads. I think this is a must see for anyone from the Bay.
Joe PesciYeah, I know Robert De Niro has the titular role in The Irishman, but Joe Pesci shows us he’s still got it. I guess did he ever lose it? He was calm and in control as Russell Bufalino. It’s not hard to feel his commanding presence, even through the screen. I implore you not to let the runtime scare you. It’s on Netflix at this point, so take it in chunks if you have to. While we’re still fleshing out the next generation of acting greats, The Irishman is here to remind us of the legends featured and how they haven’t lost a single beat. There’s nothing better than raw talent.
John Wick: Chapter 3 - ParabellumI am perfectly okay to live in a world in which we get a John Wick movie every few years. Because first and foremost, Keanu Reeves is a perfect man. And then need I say more? It gets bigger with each film, although I would say I think I like the second best of the three at the moment. But more so, the world building keeps getting bigger and I’m very excited to see what’s next.
Share any favorites with me? Or got recommendations for me based on these things? Send them my way in the comments section or via our socials!