What was your favorite movie of 2018?
by Felipe P., Concordia Applied Journalism
2018 has been a pretty eventful year so far, with plenty of interesting things that have occurred and have yet to happen. Between the World Cup, the Winter Olympics, midterm elections, a new “world's richest person”, a royal wedding if you're into that, and so much more. There's been new music from films like the Black Panther album, debut albums from musicians like Cardi B, and return albums from artists like Migos. The world in the sense of political strive and pop culture has been revolutionized. The same applies to the field of film.
Venom: This might be Concordia's favorite movie of the year
This year, and in fact this whole decade, has been a strange swirl of original content. Take the last 10 years, starting in 2008. In the late 2000’s, a few film franchises were launched like The Dark Knight, Taken and Iron Man. Over the next few years, series after series appeared, ranging from the ones already mentioned to Kung Fu Panda, The Hangover, Toy Story, How to Train your Dragon, Despicable Me, The Expendables, James Bond, The Avengers, and Harry Potter. Many, if not most of these series are still generating new movies to this day, but whether you think these franchises are good or bad, they aren't the only thing you can see at the movie theater. There are plenty of original, stand alone movies that have come out during this period, from famous directors like Quentin Tarantino (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) and Steven Spielberg (War Horse, Lincoln), and some great original films from up and coming directors like Damien Chazelle (Whiplash, La La Land), Yorgos Lanthimos (The Lobster), and Alejandro G Iñárritu (Birdman, The Revenant).
Either way, in this day and age, walking into a movie theater means walking into a sequel or a reboot unless you're willing to take risks and look for a new original story to watch. The everyday man will be more open to a continuation of a series instead of a new story, so today, this theory is tested by asking Concordia students what their favorite movie of the year.
The 10 most financially successful films this year around the world were Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Incredibles 2, Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Venom, Deadpool 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Ready Player One, and Operation Red Sea. the top 10 most successful movies in terms of critical acclaim is Black Panther, Mission Impossible: Fallout, BlacKkKlansman, A Star is Born, A Quiet Place, Paddington 2, Incredibles 2, Eighth Grade, Call Me by Your Name, and Leave No Trace. There is a clear distinction between the critically successful and the financially successful besides a few hits like Black Panther and Mission Impossible.
While box office results are indicative of a certain type of popularity, I decided to ask a dozen film enthusiasts within the Concordia community what they think was their favorite movie of 2018.
Close second place winners who still deserve recognition
With pop culture being dominated by Avengers Infinity War, the survey results were surprisingly dominated by Venom. Despite not enjoying as much financial success as Avengers, Incredibles 2 or Black Panther and not as much critical success as Ready Player One, Halloween, or Unsane the choice of Venom seems curious as a Concordia favorite.
Before analyzing this it is important to see the context created by other popular movies. These movies are Avengers: Infinity War and A Quiet Place and, secondarily, Hereditary, Incredibles 2, Deadpool 2, and Ready Player One.
So, what happened that caused Venom to be the most popular despite movies like Incredibles 2 and Infinity War being much more hyped? I believe the reason is very simple. In China, Infinity War was released on May 11th and Venom was released on November 9th. At the time of the survey, it is November 15th. While films can age well they don't age very well in the mind. It is why so many people were shocked when i told them that Black Panther came out in 2018. It was so long ago that the memory has faded, but Tom Hardy and his CGI spider costume is still very fresh in everyone's mind.
Do these have what it takes to stand the test of time?
Will this trend of the latest film being the best continue? Perhaps, but perhaps not. A film that someone watches as a child like Indiana Jones, Back to the Future, The Breakfast Club, or Star Wars leaves an enduring memory built on nostalgia, despite being decades old. Maybe it's important for us to keep an open mind to any film or any piece of art for that matter. Be it a book, poem, or a song. Appreciating art for the sake of popularity is cynical so it is important for people to step out of their comfort zone and watch things, listen to things, and read things they don't normally read, watch, or hear. Keep an open mind.