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Seles: Top 10 movies of 2019

Recapping some of the best movies of the year.

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As the year draws to a close, Nicholas Seles takes a look back at his favourite films of the past twelve months.

10. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood

It’s hard to think of a Tarantino movie that’s ever been truly bad. The Hateful Eight was a movie that I had to sit on for a bit after I saw it, but after subsequent viewings, ended up loving it the most out of his filmography. …In Hollywood doesn’t have an overall story like most of his other films, but the characters of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) are ever so likeable and all of the character interactions are engaging.

Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt), Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) in Once Upon A Time In Hollywood.

9. Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

The end to the Skywalker saga didn’t hit all the notes I wanted it to, but it was far from a terrible ending. The cast deliver strong performances and Rey is given the opportunity to finally find a name for herself when family was what she sought. John Williams never failed to deliver a terrible score and that rings true with this instalment as well, calling on themes from the original trilogy and continuing to build on themes like Rey’s, the Resistance and Kylo Ren.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)

8. Captain Marvel

Haters will hate, but Captain Marvel was far from a bad movie. It certainly felt like a phase one film, in retrospect, but as a fan of Carol Danvers in the comics beforehand, I did not leave feel disappointed. Being brainwashed into having no thought or emotion for herself, it’s understandable that Brie Larson gave the performance that she did, and I felt it worked. It developed the world pre-Avengers and gave us one of the strongest heroes moving forward.

Brie Larson as Carol Danvers/Captain Marvel

7. El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie

While it’s been a few years since Breaking Bad concluded on AMC, the story of Jesse Pinkman remained open. El Camino brings Jesse back to give us his conclusion and it wraps things up incredibly well. The tension and style that made Breaking Bad so famous returns with no hiccups and instantly draws you back into the world of Pinkman. Vince Gilligan wrote and directed the film, and there could honestly be no better send-off for the character and story.

Aaron Paul returns as Jesse Pinkman.

6. The Irishman

Martin Scorsese has tried to make this film for years and he’s finally found an outlet for it with Netflix. Starring legendary actors Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci, The Irishman tells the story of Frank Sheeran, an Irish hitman who worked for the Bufalino crime family and was tied up with the infamous Jimmy Hoffa. The performances are all beyond exceptional, the writing and editing is as tight as ever with not a moment of screen time wasted, and Scorsese has not lost his edge with using crime stories to make you contemplate mortality.

Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino and Ray Romano in The Irishman.

5. Joker

Starring Joaquin Phoenix as Arthur Fleck, Joker shows us how Gotham’s clown Prince of crime could come to be in a realistic setting. Phoenix’s performance as Joker is stellar and the entire movie would lose its notoriety had his performance not followed through. Hildur Guonadottir’s score is haunting, beautiful and overall incredibly effective at demonstrating the peaceful chaos within Arthur. It can be a difficult movie to watch at times, but overall, incredibly well made, acted and hit all the right notes a live-action standalone Joker movie needed to hit.

Joaquin Phoenix as The Joker.

4. Knives Out

Coming off the heels of Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson resurrects the classic murder mystery genre in a way it desperately needed. The ensemble cast which features Ana De Armas, Chris Evans, Don Johnson, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette and Daniel Craig (among many others) is exceptional and the twists and turns that the story takes makes it an even more enjoyable experience. The cast seem to be having such a fun time with the characters and story which only furthers the immersion and enjoyment of this excellent whodunnit.

The star-studded cast of Knives Out.

3. Jojo Rabbit

Taika Waititi delivers another hit in the form of a World War II satire that shows us love is the strongest combatant against hate. The entire cast is spectacular; Roman Griffin Davis, Taika Waititi, Scarlet Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson and Thomasin Mckenzie all deliver touching and hilarious performances. It’s a film that came at such an important time, but Waititi never planned for it to release at a time of political turmoil with leaders like Donald Trump in power – it just happened.

Thomasin McKenzie, Roman Griffin Davis and Taika Waititi in Jojo Rabbit.

2. Spider-Man: Far From Home

The prologue to Avengers: Endgame took Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his classmates to Europe for a class trip where they’re interrupted by the sinister Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). What makes this film so enjoyable is the chemistry between Holland and Gyllenhaal and the opportunity that Parker is given to grow into his own hero in the wake of Tony Stark’s sacrifice, as well as the sequences which help develop his spider sense and Mysterio’s illusions.

Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Peter Parker (Tom Holland) confide in each other.

1. Avengers: Endgame

Anyone who knows me could see this one coming a mile away. Endgame brought about the end of the first arc of stories for the Marvel universe. 2008 to 2019 was building up to this moment, where the heroes would put an end to the chaos and destruction brought about by the infinity stones. It brought it all together in an exhilarating, captivating and emotional (and I mean emotional) end. While the franchise is far from done, it signalled the end for heroes like Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.).

“Avengers!… Assemble.” The heroes of the Marvel Cinematic Universe team up once more.

Honourable mentions: Frozen II, Bombshell, Toy Story 4, John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, Pokemon: Detective Pikachu

Yet to see: 1917, Parasite, Marriage Story, The Lighthouse ■

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Entertainment

MGM holds preliminary talks to sell properties

The studio will be the next one looking to get rid of their assets.

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© Metro Goldwyn Mayer

The studio has sought potentially interested companies in purchasing their assets which contain one of the biggest franchises in film history.

The film studio MGM (Metro Goldwyn Mayer) has sat down with interested buyers for their film assets which includes the James Bond catalog.

The two biggest interested parties are Apple and Netflix. The outcome of either one would lead to an interesting future for franchises like Bond where any subsequent instalments in the franchise could lead to streaming-only content.

Apple’s new streaming service launched with very little hype, at least in comparison to its recent competitor in Disney+, but adding something like James Bond to it could draw some subscribers, especially if any future movies, or series, are kept exclusively to Apple TV+.

Should either of these companies move ahead with the acquisition, it will also lend to a shift to the ‘big six’ of media companies, which include; Disney, Netflix, Amazon, Comcast, AT&T and Apple.

Aside from Bond, one of the other large properties coming with an MGM acquisition includes The Handmaid’s Tale which has been a popular show on Hulu for the past couple of years.

No finalized buys have been singled out. ■

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‘Captain Marvel 2’ officially in development

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Carol Danvers’ sequel has officially been greenlit at Marvel Studios and is aiming for a 2022 release.

Debuting twice in a small window of March – May 2019, Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) thundered into the MCU and became an icon for young women everywhere. Now, in a world post-Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios is moving ahead with a sequel for 2022.

Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, however, are not expected to return. Marvel is still looking to keep the female eye for the director’s chair but no frontrunners have been announced. Boden and Fleck will remain with Marvel Studios in some capacity, and are rumoured to be discussing an upcoming Disney+ property.

The film is expected to take place after the events of Avengers: Endgame despite the mild cliffhanger teased in the first film which hinted at a long-running war between Carol and Ronan The Accuser.

The sequel will be written by WandaVision scribe Magen McDonnell.

Captain Marvel 2 will come to theatres in 2022. ■

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‘Clone Wars’ trailer drops ahead of final season

The anticipation builds for a finale.

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Marketing material via Lucasfilm.

Get ready to fly back to a time in that galaxy far, far away you haven’t visited in six years.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is returning for one more highly-anticipated seventh season and a trailer released on Wednesday has this galaxy buzzing with excitement.

It will of course release on Disney+, the streaming home of all Star Wars. Though in the past six months alone we got our first Star Wars live action TV series with The Mandalorian, the final film of the 40-year Skywalker Saga and a new video game with Fallen Order, fans are hungry for more.

There will be 12 episodes to bring an end to the iconic series with weekly releases starting on Feb. 21, a Friday.

Showrunner Dave Filoni returns to direct the new Clone Wars episodes, continuing the storylines introduced in the original series and exploring the events leading up to Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.

Featured heavily in the trailer are fan favourite characters from the series and Star Wars universe as a whole. Anakin Skywalker, Ashoka Tano, Captain Rex, Darth Maul, Yoda and others are back for what appears to be a wild ride to the end.

The series ran for six seasons between 2008 and 2014 but it was cancelled when Disney purchased Star Wars from George Lucas, ending the much-beloved show without giving Filoni and his team a chance to properly bring it to a conclusion.

But now the director who was behind Star Wars: Rebels and played a big part in The Mandalorian is back to give The Clone Wars what it has always needed: a proper finish. ■

Reporting by Eli Ridder;
Editing by Nicholas Seles.
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