The Great Movie Catch-Up, 2018 Edition

As the year winds down, I always scramble to catch up with the year’s most ballyhooed movies. This almost always results in a handful of discoveries that I’d never have watched if left to my own devices (these days, sometimes literally, *ahem*), but which I wind up loving. Alas, that tends to be a relatively small proportion of these year-end cramming movies, but for the most part, I find the process worthwhile (and to be sure, many of the the films I don’t necessarily love aren’t bad, per say, just something that didn’t connect with me the way it did with others). So here’s a list of films I’m looking to watch over the next couple of months, in preparation for the traditional Kaedrin Movie Awards and Top 10 list…. (Oh, and for the record, I keep a running tally of the films I have seen at Letterboxd, so if you don’t see your personal favorite on the list, it might be because I’ve already seen it…)

  • Eighth Grade – This is one of those movies that doesn’t seem at all like my thing, but which could totally surprise me… or it could confirm my doubts. Regardless, this is universally hailed as one of the best of the year, so I’ll give it a shot.
  • Three Identical Strangers – One of those quirky little documentaries that I don’t know much about, but which seems like it could be up my alley. Something about adopted guys finding out they were triplets that were split up at birth.
  • American Animals – Dumb kids come up with some sort of cinematic heist idea? This could certainly go either way for my sensibility, and it totally seems worth checking out.
  • Tully – I was generally mixed on the last Reitman/Cody/Theron collaboration (Young Adult) and this didn’t look much better, but from what I’ve heard, the marketing doesn’t give away something more fantastical that happens later in the movie. Or something? I mean, I haven’t seen it, but I’ve heard enough to know that maybe I should check it out.
  • Red Sparrow – This actually got mixed reactions back when it came out, but Cold War throwback spy thriller seems cool to me. I’ve been meaning to catch up with it, so now’s the time.
  • Super Troopers 2 – Another one that wasn’t exactly lighting the critical world on fire, but critically lauded films tend to be grueling and watching a bunch of them in a row can be draining, so it might be nice to sprinkle in some dick and fart jokes for the sake of levity.
  • Let the Corpses Tan – Seems like a Giallo-esque premise about some thieves trying to lie low somewhere, but getting caught up in a deadly game of cat and also-cat. Or something like that. Could be fun.
  • I Kill Giants – I know very little about this and can’t remember anyone really talking about it when it came out, but it sounds like it could be interesting.
  • The Death of Stalin – Armando Iannucci is usually worth checking out, and a profane, quasi-comic take on Soviet power struggles could be interesting.
  • Peppermint – Not expecting much out of this revenge flick, but it could be good fodder for the “Best Hero/Badass” category of the Kaedrin Movie Awards.
  • Alpha – This film came and went with little marketing or fanfare, but it actually seems like it could be decent?
  • The Night Comes for Us – Sounds like a bonkers action film from Indonesia, which has a pretty good recent pedigree for that sort of thing… Available on Netflix now!
  • Suspiria – Pretty sure I’m not going to like this, but you never know, and its supposedly coming to Amazon Prime, so it’ll be easy enough to find…
  • Roma – Alfonso Cuarón’s latest is in limited release now, but will be coming to Netflix soon enough. Doesn’t really tick my checkboxes, but again, those are sometimes the big surprises of the year.
  • Cam – One of those Netflix releases that seemed destined to disappear into the ether when Stephen King gave it a shout out, thus reviving its chances of being seen (I might not have heard of it otherwise). Seems like a Twilight Zone style premise, which could be fun.
  • Vice – Not sure I really want to watch this, but I enjoyed The Big Short way more than I’d have thought, so there is that. But it feels like this movie is, like, 10-15 years too late.
  • High Life – Not sure if this will even be available to watch in time, but it sounds bonkers.
  • Dragged Across Concrete – Making some festival rounds now, not sure if it’ll be available to watch anytime soon, but anything from S. Craig Zahler is going to be on my watchlist…
  • Third Kind – Thirty minute SF short film about researchers returning to earth to investigate a mysterious five tone signal (presumably an allusion to Close Encounters of the Third Kind). A hit at Cannes, it doesn’t look like it’s available anywhere at the moment, but it sounds interesting.
  • Shadow – Zhang Yimou’s latest has been called a return to form, which sounds great… if we ever get to see it (not sure of release details).

Well, that’s twenty movies, which seems more than enough for now. I will almost certainly not watch all of these (if only because some are unlikely to be available at all) and will probably also see some things not on this list. Such is life. Suggestions welcome!

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