Best Movies of the Decade

A few weeks ago I saw a video or article about the best movies of the last decade. Most of the choices were hipster indie choices, which is fine, but they definitely didn’t capture my favorites of the decade. It gave me the idea to make a video of my list but that felt boring. On a whim I decided to reach out to my fellow youtubers on twitter and see if anyone else wanted to contribute. I asked each person to make a 1-2 minute video about their favorite movie and to my shock the response was massive. I ended up with 14 contributors and it made for a video I really love. I love how different everyone’s picks are and how heartfelt their explanations behind their picks. It’s definitely one of my favorite videos I’ve ever done on my channel so check it out.

My favorite can be no surprise to all of you: 2016’s anime masterpiece Your Name. However, I thought I would give you the rest of my top 10 for here on the blog. I am not going to include a pick from this year because they haven’t had a chance to sit long enough but if I did I would probably pick Avengers: End Game, which is a film I love.

1. Your Name– beautiful in every facet with a layered story about what happens when we understand the humanity of the people around us

2. Wonder Woman– not just a superhero story but a story about why God loves us mortals despite us being pretty awful towards each other. I loved Diana. I loved the message. I loved everything about it

3. Perks of Being a Wallflower– my favorite coming of age movie. I love the message. I related strongly to the group of teens and its not about finding love but believing we deserve love in the first place

4. Inside Out– brilliant metaphysical film that has the guts to teach us all that sadness matters. It’s funny, sweet, with devastating yet effective endings for 3 of its characters- Joy, Riley and Bing Bong

5. Spider-man: Into the Spiderverse– I loved the animation. It still blows me away on each watch. I loved the character of Miles. I loved the meta story with the different Spider-man. I loved how funny it is. Perfection!

6. Tangled- Disney’s first romantic comedy and done so well. I love the witty banter between Flynn and Rapunzel. I love how indecisive she is and how he grows and changes. I love Mother Gothel as a true dishy villain and I love the songs.

7. Sing Street– Speaking of songs few films filled me with more musical-enhanced joy than Sing Street. What a lovely film about growing up, making music and finding love. The original songs are super catchy and the relationship between the brothers feels so authentic

8. Paddington 1 and 2Paddington and Paddington 2 are near perfect family films. They both have humor, huge hearts and characters that are so charming. I wish we could get one each year.

9. Song of the SeaSong of the Sea is the film I cried the most in the theater. What a touching film about grief and how little Ben can learn to forgive his Mother for dying and his sister for being the cause. The animation and music are stunning. So lovely.

10. Arthur Christmas– For my money the best holiday film of the last decade is Arthur Christmas. Such a sweet, heartfelt movie that captures the innocence and kindness of Christmas. Even the “villain” brother is just trying to run things well. It’s perfect to watch at Christmas

Honorable Mentions- Mary Poppins Returns, Crazy Rich Asians, STEP, Hacksaw Ridge, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Lean on Pete, Boyhood, Frozen, Moana, The Avengers, Paranorman, Mud, The Martian, Hidden Figures, The Lego Movie, Harry Potter 7 pt 2, Toy Story 3, Gravity, Edge of Tomorrow, Guardians of the Galaxy, Thor Ragnarok, XMen Days of Future Past, Interstellar, American Sniper, Pitch Perfect, Brooklyn, 45 Years, Creed, Cinderella, and many more.

What would be your favorites?

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Ranking 2017 Animated Trailers

Hey guys! I just wanted to share with you a fun video I did over on my channel. In this one I rank the animated trailers of 2017. I didn’t include some indies or smaller films but still ended up with 22 trailers. This ranking is not indicative of my feelings on the final film, just the trailer. In fact, some of them haven’t even come out yet. It’s a longer video but I think you will enjoy it!

How would you rank the animated trailers this year? I would love to hear your list.

My Ranking of 2017 Animated Trailers 

(watch video to hear explanation!)

  1. Cars 3
  2. The Breadwinner
  3. Isle of Dogs
  4. Rock Dog
  5. Early Man
  6. Lego Batman
  7. Olaf’s Frozen Adventure
  8. Lego Ninjago
  9. Smurf’s: The Lost Village
  10. Animal Crackers
  11. Despicable Me 3
  12. Leap
  13. Coco
  14. Captain Underpants
  15. My Little Pony
  16. Nut Job 2
  17. Ferdinand
  18. Emoji Movie
  19. Boss Baby
  20. Duck Duck Goose
  21. Peter Rabbit
  22. The Star

 

Ranking Star Trek Movies

Hey guys! So I have done it! I have finished watching and podcasting about all the Star Trek movies. Including Galaxy Quest and our ranking episode that’s 15 podcasts! My friend Tom joined me for these podcasts and it has been so much fun to jump out of my comfort zone and try something new. I’ve been impressed with the variety to the Star Trek movies. Sure not all of them are great but so is the case with any franchise, but they do shake it up quite a bit. There is action, adventure, sci-fi, horror elements, goofy comedy and everything in between.

Star Trek Podcasts

We had some technical difficulties with audio in some of the early podcasts but we hit our stride eventually. I think you will really enjoy them.

Today to conclude the series we did our rankings of the 14 films we watched and I thought I would share it with you guys. I would love to hear your rankings in the comments section.

14. Star Trek: The Final Frontier- William Shatner’s one and only time directing and it is a mess. Garish, sloppy and boring it just doesn’t work

13. Star Trek Nemesis- An intriguing idea of a Captain Picard clone becomes extremely forgettable and with a rape subplot it doesn’t feel like Star Trek

12. Star Trek: the Motion Picture- An attempt to homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey but it doesn’t have the sense of mystery about Kubrick’s film. Long self indulgent shots of the ship exemplify the film for me. I found it extremely boring and I didn’t get into the film like 2001

11. Star Trek Insurrection- The idea of relocating a people is an interesting dynamic along with some strange looking villain people with stretched faces. You also get some humor with the crew getting twitterpated. The villain played by F. Murray Abraham is very bad and it is just very forgettable

10. Star Trek Generations- Best parts of the film are when Picard and Kirk see the lives they could have lived and have to make the choice to return to reality and face their foes. However, we don’t get as much of the two of them as I would like and the production design feels cheap

9. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home- I know this is a favorite of most fans and I do see the value to it. It has nice moments but is a little too silly for me to fully embrace. Scenes like when they are running away from the hospital feel inspired by a 3 Stooges skit more than Star Trek

8. Star Trek: Into Darkness- Benedict Cumberbatch is mesmerizing as Khan and the action is very entertaining. However, the attempts to copy Wrath of Khan I could do without. They feel wedged in and unnecessary.

7. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock- Woefully underrated film with an emotional arc for Kirk as he sees his son killed by the klingons and is mourning the loss of Spock. Some strange elements and Christopher Lloyd is a little over the top but it feels cinematic and fun.

6. Galaxy Quest- Hilarious comedy where particularly Alan Rickman shines as Alexander Dane the serious actor on the Star Trek-like show. Very well written and well made it takes on fandoms and Star Trek without being mean about it.

5. Star Trek (2009)- Very entertaining reboot with a whole new timeline. Great casting and action with a nice character arc for Kirk. I thought Zachary Quinto was a little flat as Spock (he grew on me) and the villain is very forgettable but still very engaging film.

4. Star Trek Beyond- Might be recency bias but I loved the way this film split off into little groups so you got to spend time with the crew in a way no other Star Trek film I’ve seen. The script was funny and it felt like a group of friends working together. I also loved the addition of Jaylah. The climax with the Beastie Boys is admittedly silly but I thought still entertaining.

3. Star Trek: First Contact- Basically a zombie movie in Star Trek. The borgs are a great alien spieces that is menacing and intimidating. The quest to stop events on earth are compelling and the acting is top notch. You get nice emotion from Lilly and Picard in particular.

2. Star Trek IV: Undiscovered Country- Probably the most entertaining Star Trek film. It has it all including a dinner scene where they quote Shakespeare that I loved. Christopher Plummer is in this and is fantastic. The trial of Kirk gives us some of his most emotional moments where he admits his anger over those who killed his son. It’s well made and we get a lovely sign off (literally) for this original series crew.

1.Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan- It’s a bit of a cliche for this to be my favorite but the guts they have to kill off Spock is what puts it over the edge. The scene where Spock sacrifices himself for the good of his friends is emotional and Shatner and Nimoy are so good in it. Also Khan is a tremendous villain and the rivalry between him and Kirk is great. It’s scary at times with horror elements like the bug going into Chekhov’s ear. When it came down to it I feel this is the most memorable of all 14 films and the most gutsy.

So there you have it. What would be your ranking? If you haven’t seen any of the Star Trek movies give at least Wrath of Khan a shot or maybe the new reboots. You just might be surprised. And if not Star Trek I challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. Try something new. Dip your toe in an unfamiliar genre. I have found when I do I am a better for the experiment!

Live long and prosper!

Best and Worst of Disneytoons I’ve Seen

Clearly I love animation given this blog but that doesn’t mean I love all animation. And for the most part I don’t care for Disneytoons animation. My poor blogger friend Animatedkid just finished his Disneytoons Canon review and it almost ruined him. Like he almost gave up blogging at one point. I can promise you one thing I will never review the Disneytoons Canon!

disneytoonsBut there are a few good to decent films out of Disneytoons. I thought it would be fun to share with you my list of the best and worst of Disneytoons (Worst is much easier to come up with in this case!)

Best-

10. Planes: Fire and Rescue- it’s not a great movie but for its target demographic I didn’t think it was that bad. The animation is actually quite good and the story I thought was ok.

9. Cinderella 3- got problems especially with Anastasia’s character but I feel like they actually tried to tell a new story. It’s creative and there’s some decent animation with the final carriage chase.

8. Tigger Movie- I admit been a while since I’ve seen any of the Winnie the Pooh sequels but this is the one I remember liking the most. Tigger searches for his family and I remember that being a sweet story.

7. Lion King 2- decent follow up to the Lion King. It is similar and misses Jeremy Irons but it’s an ok watch. I like some of the songs like He Lives in You and My Lullaby

6. Great Fairy Rescue- a good story where Vidia tricks Tink into getting caught by a little girl who’s father won’t believe her about fairies. Good animation and good voice talent. Get to see the entire team which I like and Tink, Lizzie and Vidia learn nice lessons

5. Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas- who doesn’t like Mickey? And the 3 stories are cute for Christmas.

4. The Three Musketeers- an enjoyable take on the Dumas story with Donald, Goofy and Mickey. Got to like that!

3.  The Pirate Fairy- my favorite of the Tinker Bell movies. I like the addition of Zarina who becomes the pirate fairy and all the Easter eggs to Peter Pan. And come on it has Tom Hiddleston as Captain Hook! Loki in a Disney movie! But the animation is good and it’s a decent story

2. Ducktales Movie- think of it as Indiana Jones for kids. It’s a fun treasure hunt with our favorite characters from Ducktales. The animation is pretty good and I like all the voice work. It’s unpredictable with all the wishing and the lamp and all.

1.A Goofy Movie- a movie with a ton of heart, some good songs and a nice story about Goofy and Max going on a road trip (unwillingly by Max). I think most teens can relate to Max but it isn’t too heavy handed with the messaging.

Worst-

10.Planes- I don’t think this is awful but it is pretty boring. The sequel is definitely better in my opinion.

9. Little Mermaid 2- I give it a bit of a pass because I love Little Mermaid but if I’m honest it’s pretty awful. The animation is terrible and it’s a copy of the original film without any of what makes it special. There is one decent song but the rest are lame.

8. Mulan 2- I appreciate that they tried to tackle arranged marriages and feminism in a way but it comes across as very preachy and stupid. I don’t like how Mushu is suddenly against Shang and it’s just a let down from the bold characters of the original film.

7. Tarzan 2- I don’t really like these midquels because they play too much with the original story. I guess this is ok for very small children but thoroughly lame.

6. Atlantis: Milo’s Return- I love the original Atlantis: the Lost Empire but I am one of the few. This was a series that was made and combined together to make a movie and it shows. It doesn’t flow together and all of the mystery and fun of the original is lost.

5. Fox and the Hound 2- a midquel that takes Todd and Copper and has them join a country hoedown band. Just what you always wanted…

4. Beauty and the Beast: the Enchanted Christmas- another midquel that annoys me. It doesn’t make any sense given the original movie. If the Beast had a big Christmas party I don’t think they would be storming the castle in a few months…and besides that it’s just thoroughly lame.

3. Pocahontas 2- I can see how someone can ignore the historical inaccuracies of the first Pocahontas but this is just too much. Just no is all I have to say

2. Cinderella 2- 3 terrible stories combined into one movie. They are trite, lame and poorly animated. The worst is when Jacques gets turned into a human so he can learn that size doesn’t matter…Groan.

1. Hunchback of Notre Dame 2- I am no fan of the original Hunchback of Notre Dame but even I know this sequel sucks. It takes any subtlety or message of the original and stomps it on the ground. Suddenly we have a love interest for Quasi and a bell with jewels on the inside because beauty is found inside…double groan. It’s awful.

So there you have it my best and worst of Disneytoons!

September Youtube Videos

Some of my youtube videos from September I haven’t shared yet on the blog.  If you want to subscribe that would be awesome.

All my Disney fans may particularly like this one.

I had a lot of fun making these videos so if you have any ideas for reviews or tags I could do let me know.  Thanks!

Rachel’s Top 50 Animation Countdown (40-31)

40. Aladdin- I know for some people Aladdin would make their top 10 but I’ve never been as big a fan as most people even though I do like it (hey it made this list!).  It’s a ton of fun with one of the most iconic performances in all of Disney.  The Menken/Ashman/Rice songs are wonderful.aladdin and jasmine39. Batman Mask of the Phantasm- vastly underrated superhero movie with terrific vocal performances.  Actually my favorite batman movie.  I think the animation is also underrated.  Get it on blu-ray studio!

batman mask38. Persepolis- One of most unique animated films I’ve ever seen.  About a girl growing up in the Iranian Revolution.  It looks striking, with an extremely likable lead character and a story with a lot of layers of family, personal and political drama.persepolis237. Big Hero 6- I was really moved by the relationship of Hiro and Tadashi. A lovely film about grief and remembering those who have past on while also being a superhero movie with a diverse, funny group unlike any I’ve seen before.  I love Baymax so much and SanFransokyo was so creative and beautiful.BigHero6Team36. Snow White and 7 Dwarves- I realize this is a little out of sync with my Disney rankings but this where I felt it fit in this list.  Snow White is not just great because it was first but it holds up remarkably well.  It’s funny, sweet, scary and has great songs.  I love how the Queen is the queen but it isn’t enough for her.  She also has to be prettiest in the land.Snow-White-and-Prince35. Iron Giant- A lovely animated story by Brad Bird about a boy in 1950s who finds a giant and has to keep it from the government.  Love the animation, story, everything. iron giant234. Mulan- Underrated Disney movie with a strong female heroine, good laughs, strong ensemble of characters, sweeping battle animation, great score and fun songs.  Only weakness is lame boring villain. mulan and li shang33. Corpse Bride- a beautiful ghost story with haunting music and a visual style that I actually like even better than Nightmare Before Christmas.  The story isn’t quite as layered or interesting and the characters not as good as Nightmare but I still love it.  There is enough story of the unlikely match thrown together for me to love it. corpse bride32. Lion King- Another one I’m sure people will be upset having so low but I love Lion King.  That’s why it beat out 18 other films.  It’s epic, beautiful, heartfelt and has an amazing villain.  Some of the pop elements, juvenile humor and way they handle Can You Feel Love Tonight I could do without.  Still hugely satisfying engaging film about whether we take the easy way out or the tough one that we are destined for. It’s also some of Disney’s most glorious animation they ever did. lion king231. Dumbo- It depresses me that so many outside the animation community see Dumbo as a racist Disney movie.  That or it is ‘too sad’.  It has its perhaps questionable segments but at its core is a message about acceptance of people and their differences.  The relationship between Timothy Q Mouse and Dumbo is sweet.  The watercolor artwork is lovely capturing the bright colors of the circus.  The elephants dream is weird and a delight. I love it! Walt-Disney-Screencaps-Timothy-Q-Mouse-Dumbo-walt-disney-characters-23109179-2560-1536-1024x614Here’s my video on this list: