With the year almost over, and the mince pies mostly munched, it’s quiet in the Bunka Bunker so our Monsters of Culture have got on to their favourite topic: what was the best of 2019? Through a process of debate, negotiation, consideration, and the occasional bun fight, here are our collective recipients for the 2019 aRAWWs for Best Movie.
As fans of geek culture, we simply couldn’t leave out this milestone of genre film making. Not only did it make all the money, but it also showcased a set of fan favourite stories that have been rolling along since 1963. The only tragedy was that Stan Lee wasn’t there to see it. Even if you didn’t like the movies or have any interest in the MCU, the impact on genre films is going to continue to be felt for a long time as a result of this. It’s been proven that audiences do enjoy longer, slower burning, narratives, and that if you have the quality of storytelling you can tap into and then grow a market with a brace of characters mostly unknown to the public.
Additional words on Avengers: Endgame from The Bunkazilla team…
“It was the epic pay-off that could only have been achieved by putting in a decades worth of leg-work. …It shone a light on everything it had done to get there, while naturally leaving a bit of light to show that there is still more to come.” – Neil Boulton
“Was it perfect? No. But it ended 11 years and 22 films worth of storytelling and set up the next phase. That it was good means it was spectacular, because endings are incredibly hard to pull off without that much story in tow.” – Raggedyman
John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum
This should be “just another action series”, but through a combination of great scripts, fights, and acting, this has become a must-watch for fans of adventures and dogs alike. It’s nonsense, but it’s beautiful escapist nonsense that knows how to treat its fans and it’s subject with the exact amount of respect and regard. This includes realising that whilst Keanu Reeves is a talented and popular actor, the series wouldn’t do half as well if they didn’t consistently get in other great talents to spread the burden of enthralling performances with. Also the series had the good luck of coming out just before the “doggo” meme landed, allowing hardened action fans to openly weep over the little puppers. A fourth movie has already been announced, and there will inevitably be a fifth as this just keeps on hitting the mark.
No, we didn’t hit the eggnog too hard. This is legitimately a fantastic film and one of the most imaginative biopics ever. Told though flashback, dream sequence, and big-cast dance numbers, it shows the rise and fall and rise again of Elton John through a prism of talent, determination, and adversity. The performances are magnificent, the visuals and direction are breathtaking, and it has just enough honestly and clear self-reflection to avoid being too self-serving. Even those who don’t care for the music can find something to enjoy, as it went beyond the rote narratives and showed how flamboyant and exciting ideas can help tell the emotions of a story whilst still keeping it everyday relate-able.
Additional words on Rocketman from The Bunkazilla team….
“It was very human and a musical for people who don’t always like musicals. A perfect balance of storytelling and songwriting, very emotive and clearly didn’t always paint Elton in the best light which is quite a humble thing to do with your own story.” – Laura “PinkAppleJam” Watton
Us – “Us is pure horror with strong performances and a tight plot, with Peele proving that he can provide both a comfortable nod to the history of horror whilst still surprising us with novel storytelling. Definitely recommended.”
Fighting With My Family – ” Whether or not you know much – or care – about wrestling, this is a charming tale that should put a smile on your face when the credits roll.”
Alita: Battle Angel – “. Do go see this on the big screen if you like sci-fi beat ‘em ups and a Blade Runner city in Kansas or you go all gooey eyed at masterclasses in what CGI can do these days. Or if you have any kids, especially daughters, that you want to get hooked on Cyberpunk and to start asking questions about full body cybernetics.”
Agree? Disagree? Why not let us know your thoughts at the Stomping Grounds!