Top 10 of 2019

2019 has been over for a while now, but now that I’ve seen 1917 which is competing in the Oscars this year, I can finally release my Top 10 list. 2019 was truly a great year for film and I hope that 2020 and beyond will be even more diverse both in front of and behind the camera, and that we continue to support original films and new voices. Keep in mind, I cannot see every new movie released and there are some 2019 movies I have not reviewed.

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What We Do in the Shadows (FX Pilot)

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Photo from TV Insider

This version of What We Do in the Shadows takes place in New York City and centers around a new group of characters. Kayvan Novak stars as Nandor with Harvey Guillén as his servant, Guillermo. They live with the vampire couple of Nadja (Natasia Demetriou) and Laszlo (Matt Berry) as they attempt to prepare for the arrival of a very old vampire coming to check on them to see if they have conquered Staten Island.

Well good news to one and all, the TV series stays true in tone and spirit to the 2014 film. It’s hilarious, inventive, and has quirky characters. With creators Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi returning to help with the series, the TV pilot was a huge hit at SXSW. It was a definite highlight for me at my time there.

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Flight of the Conchords (HBO)

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Flight of the Conchords is a show about a struggling New Zealand band in New York City. They make quirky and hilarious songs, try to pick up girls, and try to make it big (but keep failing to do so).

The show stars Bret McKenzie and Jermaine Clement, two talented songwriters that make original yet parodical music. The premise of the show is simple – the audience simply follows these two musicians who are barely surviving New York. But since the musicians are from New Zealand, the show has a sort of awkward humor that I really enjoy and it makes the show very quirky. Jermaine being the one who especially nails this.

Believe it or not but the band manager, Murray (played by Rhys Darby) is my favorite character in this series. I don’t know why but I just think he’s relatable and damn hilarious as the enthusiastic yet inept manager. And I like his accent the best. It’s also great to see Kristen Schaal who plays Mel in the show, the band’s only fan, and Eugene Mirman who plays their landlord (both are on the TV series Bob’s Burgers). You’ll also get to see some familiar comedian faces throughout the series as well.

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Thor Ragnarok (2017)

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I have been excited for Thor Ragnarok ever since Taika Waititi was announced as the director of the film and I finally got the chance to see it and I loved it!!

This is by far the best of the Thor films and is the funniest Marvel movie (at least in my opinion). Thor Ragnarok revolves around Thor (Chris Hemsworth) who is exiled from Asgard after Hela (Cate Blanchett), the goddess of death, comes to conquer Asgard. Thor recruits help from his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), Valkyrie (Tessa Thompson), and from the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) to stop this villain from taking over his homeland.

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople is another Taika Waititi film that is so charming and funny. It may be my favorite film of his.

The film revolves around a young boy named Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), a delinquent foster child who wants to be a gangster and writes haiku’s. When his new foster mom, “Aunt” Bella (Rima Te Wiata) unexpectedly dies, Ricky goes off into the New Zealand wilderness so he doesn’t have to been taken back by social services. His foster dad, “Uncle” Hector (Sam Neill from Jurassic Park), goes after him and the police mistake that for kidnapping and a manhunt ensues to find both Ricky and Hector, who hide out in the woods to avoid getting captured.

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What We Do in the Shadows (2015)

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Since Thor: Ragnarok is coming out in about 2 weeks, I figured that I would review What We Do in the Shadows which is co-directed by Taika Waititi (who directed the new Thor).

What We Do in the Shadows is a comedy mockumentary (a la The Office) that revolves around four vampire housemates and their unusual way of living. Viago (played by Taika Waititi), Vladislav (Jermaine Clement from Flight of the Concords), Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), and Petyr (Ben Fransham) must also mentor new vampire, Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer), who is a more modern and doesn’t fit in with the group.

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