The wilderness months of 2018 had a few moments of madness and it all got a bit messy at times, but at least we can look back on it all and laugh, right? Right?
The unseasonably hot summer and England’s overachievement at the World Cup meant that cinemas were blissfully free of the worst type of cinema visitor, which meant that some of the best films of the year could be enjoyed properly (aka in peace). Funnily enough, the two best movies this summer both came out in July and couldn’t be more polarising: Mission:Impossible – Fallout and Mamma Mia!: Here We Go Again. Despite their differences, both were absolutely brilliant – the latter is in my films of the year list for its feel-good outlook alone.
Another cinematic highlight -in the short form at least – was bestowed upon us via the annual film announcement weekend that is Comic-Con, when Warner Bros. gave the world the best trailer of the year for Godzilla: King of the Monsters. It’s been five months and I’m still blown away every time I watch this.
Unfortunately, July wasn’t a particularly bright and cheerful month for one person: Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn. After a few frankly rubbish jokes he had posted on Twitter years back were dug up by Mike Cernovich – a far-right wing conspiracy theorist who pushed Pizzagate and whose own reputation includes accusations of sexual abuse and worse, Disney absolutely freaked out and chucked Gunn on the heap. It was a stupid move on their part, and while the cast of Guardians came out in very vocal support, the House of Mouse refused to back down from their rash decision.
Despite this, it looks like a bright future for Gunn: his superhero horror movie looks like a potential highlight of next year’s film slate, and word is that he’s taken the director’s chair for Suicide Squad 2. Whatever way you look at it, Disney definitely lost a bit of their usual charm thanks to this.
Disney’s rotten summer continued with a couple of very poor films: The Incredibles 2 and worst of all, Christopher Robin, which polluted cinemas in August – from there it was all downhill for the world of film.
Over at Pinewood, another studio was having a spot of bother with directors leaving, as Danny Boyle relieved himself from directing duties for the next James Bond film. Who knows exactly how much had been done of the film’s production before Boyle departed, but it looks like the 25th Bond film is going to deal with some substantial setbacks.
Meanwhile, over in the US of A, The MPAA decided to shake things up for the Oscars ceremony, by announcing a new category for ‘Best Popular Film’. It was intended as part of a major overhaul to the telecast, to try and boost ratings (since nobody actually watches the 4 hour slog unless you’re mad or write about films).
Naturally, the reaction from everyone save a vocal minority of morons was polite indifference, but as we saw from the James Gunn affair Hollywood is all too keen to abandon a potentially good thing at the behest of Twitter idiots. Thing is, the whole ‘Popular Film’ category might still be in the Academy’s plans for the future, but then it might be out; it’s the Oscars equivalent of the hokey-cokey.
September brought back some consistency after the madness of the summer, unfortunately it was consistently terrible. Both The Nun and The Predator (which combined sounds like a good old Catholic knees-up) darkened cinemas nationwide.
There were glimmers of hope though, as reports emerged that suggested Henry Cavill might be hanging up the red cape and quitting as Superman. Unfortunately the man saw fit to deny it categorically, and so the street parties and joyful cheers of children were silenced brutally, much like General Zod in Man of Steel.
Hey everyone! Remember when Bugs Bunny and Michael Jordan teamed up to beat a group of space aliens managed by Danny DeVito at a game of basketball? Remember how great that was? Have you ever hoped and dreamed that one day someone might make a follow-up starring LeBron? Who am I kidding, of course you answered yes to all three questions. Well I have some great news for you: Space Jam 2 is happening! It turns out there was light at the end of the tunnel of awfulness that was 2018, and surely the last few months of the year would ride that wave of positivity all the way to Christmas…
Find out in the final part of my review of 2018: October to December.