Monthly Roundup: Movies May 2019

Alright gang, it’s time once again for my monthly roundup of new release movies!  Luckily I’m trending even higher in movie count than I was at this point last year and May is largely to thank for that.  Last May, I only saw Deadpool 2, Book Club, and Solo, but this May was STACKED with lots of releases, good and bad (I saw so many I may even be missing one in here, but I think I got them all…?).  So without further ado, here are the movies I saw and a brief sentence or two of what I thought.

Listed in the order I saw them:

Booksmart: very very funny, I dug the style, the editing in particular was super smart in cutting just a second before you could process the joke so you’re laughing into the next scene. Beanie Feldstein is an absolute star an Olivia Wilde has a solid future ahead of her. Kinda like the high brow Superbad.  And also there’s one longer take in this movie that may be my favorite shot of the year so far.

Long Shot: ehh… I wanted more from this, having heard good things walking in, but just got a bland and barely funny movie.  The relationship stuff worked well but it took way too long to get there. It also got really unnecessarily bogged down in Charlize’s environmental political agenda and could’ve cut out like 25 full minutes by re-writing that in a more concise way.

The Intruder: man this movie was sooooo fun. It feels kinda like a Lifetime movie, so cheesy that you can have fun with it. In that, the acting is over-the-top and the script is hammy, but I dug that and honestly was along for the ridiculous ride. The pacing was insanely bad though, it felt like it was 2 hours 10 minutes and was barely 1hr 40min.

Pokémon: Detective Pikachu: this was a neat little family adventure. Having grown up on Pokémon, I was all in for this (plus I’m in love with Kathryn Newton, so how could I say no?) and the trailer promised really realistic looking Pokémon, which is what we got. The acting was….questionable….around the board, but the mystery was nice and Ryan Reynolds as Pikachu was 100% the highlight. He was hysterical and the combination of humor and heart kept me invested.

A Dog’s Journey: speaking of family adventure and Lifetime movies, this was REALLY sweet. I said a few months ago that this trailer was amazing and it really was. The movie doesn’t exactly live up to the quality of the trailer, there are predictable beats for sure, but it wears its heart on its sleeve and has lead characters that feel real and relatable and accessible. It was neat and definitely a good watch for the whole family (especially if you’re a dog family).

Brightburn: a lot of time I see movies that are well made but I don’t necessary like them. I recognize they’re made well, but they just don’t land for me because of my taste or whatever other reason (First Man, Suspiria, etc.). This is the exact opposite.  Brightburn looks so cheap and minimalist and repeats horror tropes that I hate so much. Yet I had a GREAT time watching this movie. The family dynamic was engaging, Elizabeth Banks was great, as was the young actor that played her son, and the horror did have some really fun slasher type moments. I didn’t have high hopes going in and, honestly, the filmmaking prowess behind this wasn’t massively special, but it kept me hooked!

Aladdin:  another fine but nothing more movie. The vibrancy was there. Naomi Scott absolutely steals the show. The music was good. Mena Massoud and Will Smith were good. I didn’t know what to expect going in since the early marketing was so bad but the recent marketing was so strong. Honestly though, the thing I was most wrong about: the costuming. When the EW spreads first came out, I said “this looks like a high school musical version of Aladdin.” But the movies was the exact opposite, in fact probably the best costuming I’ve seen on-screen all year.

John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum:  decent. The opening was strong, especially given how much I loved the cliffhanger at the end of Chapter 2. The final hour was also great. Unfortunately, the Halle Berry subplot felt totally out of place and they were too obsessed with the universe’s lore to accomplish more detailed character arcs (particularly with the villain).  By the end though, I was so hooked that I wished it went on another 20 minutes. I guess that’s what Chapter 4 is meant for…

Ma: if you liked the trailer you’ll like the movie. A fun little thriller with low stakes, stupid teenagers, and moderate scares. A few twists were predictable, a few weren’t. Overall, a fun ride (comes from the same director as The Girl on the Train, a movie I admittedly really enjoy, but just good to know since it’s similar in visual style) but a bit silly from time to time.

Rocketman: wow. just wow. a lot of people saw A Star is Born and loved it. A lot of people saw Bohemian Rhapsody and loved it. In both of those cases, I was left wanting more. In the former, I wanted to feel more of the downfall and the loneliness. In the latter, I wanted more personal drama and organic use of music. Rocketman nails all of those. This is a movie about love and loneliness and the obsessive need to impress.  Taron Egerton gives a powerhouse performance, the musical numbers are riveting, and the stakes feel massive but also incredibly personal. Yes, there are cliches from plenty of other movies and musical movies, but this is a jaw-droppingly beautiful story about a man getting a shot to make the name he always wanted for himself, not the name that was forced upon him. Most importantly though, despite how dark and harrowing this movie gets, it never loses its ability to dazzle you with vibrancy and glamour. This WILL be a Top 5 movie of 2019 for me. If it isn’t, then that means the second half of 2019 will be the best in recent memory.

***

But guys, those are just my thoughts on the movies I saw in May 2019!  I’ve got a growing list of movies I’ve missed this year and I hope to get back to those during the coming months of the summer (though man, I can’t believe May is already over…).  Please let me know your thoughts on anything you saw recently by commenting below.  I should have some more video content for you in the coming weeks as well now that I have some extra time on my hands.  And as always, thank you guys so much for reading. 🙂

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