Year in Review

Ten More From 2019 You Should Totally See

Posted by Matthew on January 03, 2020
Editorial, Movies / No Comments
2019 Best of the Rest

It’s been a good year for film because it’s always been a good year for film. I already posted my favourite films of the year but every year there are those films that while they aren’t quite my favourite are definitely great and worth highlighting.

This year I have selected ten more that you should totally seek out and see, presented in alphabetical order.

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Simon’s Favourite Films & Games of 2019

Posted by Simon on December 30, 2019
Editorial, Games, Movies / 1 Comment
Best of 2019

As 2019 gradually fades into obscurity, it’s time for my yearly tradition of somehow ranking subjective experiences. This year is easier for me, though, as my free time has virtually disappeared (as you can probably tell from my complete lack of writing). As a result, I’m no longer diving deep into complicated experiences until they yield their goods. My metric is simple – is this fun? Does it inspire me? Does it make me feel? And if the answer is no – from a really early point – then it gets pushed aside.

Movies are easier to get through thanks to a much shorter time commitment than a game, so instead, they just get thrown in the outbox. My list of games, though, is more an example of the need for good design throughout – and how a jump in style can put me off forever. So let’s take a look!

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Matt’s Favourite Films & Performers of 2019

Posted by Matthew on December 29, 2019
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Best of 2019

Well, folks here we are at the end of the year, and what a year it has been. As always, it’s been a particularly good year for film because it’s always a good year for film.

I have seen more than eighty films from 2019’s slate and believe you me it is hard to pin down my favourites to just ten, so I have narrowed it down to twelve. This didn’t actually help much, and I still had to leave a ton of films out.

I’m also going to do something a little different this year and highlight a few performers who really blew me away in 2019. So without any further ado, let’s get into the best of 2019

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Matt’s Favourite Films of 2018

Posted by Matthew on December 29, 2019
Editorial, Movies / 1 Comment
Best of 2018

I know what you’re thinking: December 2019 is a weird time to write about my favourite films of 2018. You might be right, but also there’s never a bad time to write about great movies. Last year I was on a break from blogging, this year I am back at it.

See, it all makes sense.

In any event here are a few disclaimers. First, I wrote this list at the end of 2018 so subsequent viewing in 2019 doesn’t really affect it. Second, if a movie you love doesn’t appear here there are two explanations: either I didn’t see it or it’s not one of my favourites. Third, this list is presented in alphabetical order (ie: not ranked) except for my absolute favourite of the year, which is last.

Alright? Alright. Let’s get started.

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VIFF 2019: My Favourites From The Festival

Posted by Matthew on October 21, 2019
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Vancouver International Film Festival

Another Vancouver International Film Festival has come and gone and we saw quite a few movies this time around. While there were tons to see, here are my five favourites of the twenty-plus I saw, presented in alphabetical order.

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Matt’s Favourite Dozen Films of 2017

Posted by Matthew on January 01, 2018
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Another year, another list of favourites. 2017 has been a … turbulent year in the real world but a stellar one for film. You may have noticed that I haven’t been writing much lately, VIFF coverage aside, but I have been gong to the movies. As of this writing I watched 323 movies in 2017, 70 of which were 2017 releases. Not too shabby considering that I only go to one festival.

Before we get to my dozen favourites there are a few things worth sharing. First, a few that I haven’t seen yet:

  • Call Me By Your Name (wr. James Ivory, dir. Luca Guadagnino)
  • The Florida Project (wr. Chris Bergoch & Sean Baker, dir. Sean Baker)
  • I, Tonya (wr. Steven Rogers, dir. Craig Gillespie)
  • The Post (wr. Josh Singer & Liz Hannah, dir. Steven Spielberg)
  • Phantom Thread (wr & dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)
  • Professor Marston and The Wonder Women (wr. & dir. Angela Robinson)

Some of these were due to scheduling on my part (I have a day job!) and some on the films part (Neither The Post nor I, Tonya are out here yet), but all of them seem like exactly the kind of movies that would end up near the top of my list.

Second, these choices are presented in alphabetical order except my favourite which will come last. There are a variety of reasons for this but mostly it comes down the fact that they are all good movies that I have a hard time grading relative to each other because they are all so different. Consider also that some of them I have seen multiple times and others just once and that second viewings are often where I end up solidifying an opinion and you end up with a list that looks like this.

Third, don’t have any honourable mentions but I will probably write some further thoughts on 2017 in a separate post.

So without any further ado, here are my favourite dozen

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Simon’s Games And Movies Of 2017

Posted by Simon on December 20, 2017
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It’s been a hell of a year, to put it mildly. Thankfully, we’ve had a great twelve months of games and movies to take our minds off the world slowing falling into a Trump-shaped festering sinkhole.

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Awesome: David Ehrlich’s 25 Best Movies of 2017 Video Countdown

Posted by Matthew on December 04, 2017
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December is list making season and the highlight for me every year is IndieWire’s senior film critic David Ehrlich’s 25 best of the year video countdown. Let’s get right to it.

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Matt’s Not-Quite Best 12 Movies of 2016

Posted by Matthew on January 06, 2017
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2016 was a good year for film, and anyone who tells you different didn’t see very many films. I’ve already posted my best films of 2016, but there were plenty more films that didn’t make my best of list that you should definitely make the time to see.

So then, let’s take a look at the not-quite best of 2016, presented here in alphabetical order.

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Matt’s 12 Best Movies of 2016

Posted by Matthew on December 31, 2016
Editorial, Movies / 1 Comment

Hello.

2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It’s been a hell of a year, one with many ups and many many downs. It’d be easy to say that the downs of 2016 were to blame for the lack of writing here, that the year was just so shit that I couldn’t take it anymore. That’s definitely not the case though as for me personally it’s actually been a pretty great year. It’s the good stuff that has kept me from writing.

I don’t even know where to start with the cultural icons we’ve lost this year. I can’t eulogize them all and even if I did, what more could I say? I could tell you the stories of why Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher are equally important in my headcannon (and I might yet) but in the end it just hasn’t felt like my place.

One thing I can tell you about this year though is that despite all the shit it has been a great year for cinema. So much so that when it came time to figure out my top ten films of the year I couldn’t get the list lower than 12 (and I narrowed it from nearly twice that number).

So, in an effort to get going again, let’s close out this year with the 12 best movies of the year according to yours truly. These are presented in no particular order, except for the two that truly stand out as the best of the year.

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Simon’s Best Games and Movies of 2016

Posted by Simon on December 30, 2016
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Hello.

2016 has been conspicuous by our absence. It almost seems strange that, in a year where everything went wrong, with so many adored artists and creators being whisked off to the afterlife, the events of the last twelve months have barely been registered on Awesome Friday.

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Ten More From 2015 You Should Totally See

Posted by Matthew on January 08, 2016
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Ten More Header

2015 was a good year! I already told you my ten favourite films from 2015 but those ten were hard to choose. My first pass over the list of movies I saw resulted in 25 candidates for the top ten, 15 of which were ultimately cut. So rather than make a worst of list like I have in previous years (Pixels was the worst film of last year, no others need be mentioned) I’d rather tell you about ten more you totally should see. So let’s do that.

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Awesome Friday 2015 in Review Podcast!

Posted by Matthew on January 06, 2016
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Awesome Friday

Holy shit it’s been a year! We’re back with a year in review podcast episode where we dive head first into Star Wars, Creed, Mad Max, Spectre, and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3!

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The Top Movies of 2015, According to Matt

Posted by Matthew on January 02, 2016
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2015 Header

It’s been a good year for film. There’s not really any other way to say it. I saw 60 odd films this year, far fewer in theatres but far more at home than last year, and of those I remember the majority being good!

There are a whole bunch of movies I haven’t seen yet: Anomalisa, Duke of Burgundy, Diary of a Teenage Girl, Carol, Son of Saul, Bridge of Spies, The Look of Silence, Green Room, and so many others. Bone Tomahawk, one I’ve been particularly looking forward to, isn’t even out in Canada yet.

Films that are fantastic but didn’t quite mke the list include Trainwreck, Ant-Man, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Brooklyn, It Follows, The Martian, The Hateful 8 and (again) so many others. In the end it was tough to narrow it down to just ten films because while it was way to choose my top three, choosing only seven more proved pretty tough. There were a lot of great movies in 2015.

For the last several years I’ve also put together a worst-of list but this year I decided not to do that. I know some people look forward to it but I’ve decided to focus on the positive rather than the negative despite the latter being the bigger draw on the web. And besides, we all know that Pixels was the worst film of the year by a country mile.

So what did make the top list? I’m glad you asked.

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Matt’s 2014: The Best Dozen

Posted by Matthew on December 31, 2014
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Best of 2014

Best of lists are hard. Choosing the films I liked best isn’t hard, but keeping it to a reasonable number and ranking them is. One thing that’s not so much hard as it is annoying: coming up with something to say other than “I loved this and you should watch it”.

I saw a lot of films this year but there are plenty I missed. I didn’t see Birdman, Whiplash, or Mommy, all of which are on many other best of lists for the year (and in the case of Whiplash I can guess it would have made mine) but I also did see Boyhood, Gone Girl, 22 Jump Street, and a host of others that didn’t make my list.

All in all I saw over 75 of the movies released in 2014. Not a huge percentage when you think about it but certainly more than the average person.

So with all that in mind here are my favourite dozen movies from 2014.

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