Film awards season is well underway, and with that comes the inevitable Oscars ceremony, the grand finale to a months' worth of speeches, trophies, and a bumbling MC (unless it's Ricky Gervais). At the end of the road will be the ultimate prize that any North American film hopes to accomplish; the Academy Award for Best Picture. There are nine movies gunning for the accolade, but only one will be crowned the winner, and Twitter will explode over whichever one wins.
2019 has been another whirlwind. Avengers: Endgame is the highest grossing movie of all time, Dark Phoenix and Terminator: Dark Fate killed their franchise, and Spider-Man: Far From Home became the web-slingers' first billion dollar movie. Sequels such as The LEGO Movie Part 2, IT: Chapter Two, Hobbs and Shaw, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker failed to match their predecessors, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood had the biggest opening of Quentin Tarantino's career, and Joker became the highest grossing R-rated movie of all time and the first to hit $1 billion.
If one wants to know how many new superheroes the Marvel Cinematic Universe will introduce, one only has to look at the library of characters Marvel Comics has created. With the recent merging of 20th Century Fox into Disney, it's only a matter of time before the X-Men and the Fantastic Four start showing up. Kevin Feige has also made it clear that the future of the franchise is in space, so what better way to introduce the final frontier with the first hero who can get across the universe and back; Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel. Despite initial reports, the "controversy" that arose wasn't as black and white as it seemed. Many fans were hoping that Black Widow would be the first female hero to get her solo film, and some found it difficult to separate Brie Larson's political views from the character she was portraying. That aside, this new hero's first solo outing did have potential, but it does wind up being one of the MCU's more forgettable movies.
It's not often that an animated film manages to kick off a trilogy of films that are consistent in quality, and an even larger rarity when Dreamworks' Animation produces something of such caliber. When How To Train Your Dragon came out in 2010, it wowed the entire world and put Dreamworks' back in the fight. Coming out in a time where they were floating by on the success of Shrek series and Disney seemed to dominate the animation industry. With this beautifully animated, epic scored and well written contribution, it got everyone to sit up and pay attention, realizing that this company had more to offer than the adventures of a green ogre. However, all good things mus come to an end, and after a terrific sequel and a few successful TV series, The Hidden World closes out the trilogy, and the entire franchise, on a teary and fantastical note.
Anime and manga adaptations have been a tricky subject for Hollywood, and when I say "tricky" I mean "they manage to make it so horrendously awful." However, after 2017s Ghost in the Shell, there are hints that they're learning and getting better at bringing the source material to the screen. With Alita: Battle Angel, it's safe to say that the age of good live-action anime movies may finally be upon us. Sure there's some melodramatic acting and villains that never become three-dimensional characters, but the action is packed with excitement and Rodriguez's style is found all over the place.
Slasher flicks seem to have died off in recent years. Sure, Scream may have found a home as TV series but it's been a while since we've gotten a Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, or A Nightmare on Elm Street. Yesteryear, the amount of movies in the genre that were coming out made it seem that they were going out of fashion, and well, they sorta did. They're still with us and continue to be a popular topic, but there's something uniquely different about them. Characters are no longer cutouts for a cast of stereotypes; they're now deeply complex people with goals and ambitions. Gone are the cheesy plot lines and exaggerated kills. Now, the focus is to provide a captivating plot with realistic deaths. In a sense, the killers have now become characters on their own, and the genre is no more than whodunit flicks with blood. Each entry now feels like its own ambitious vision, and Happy Death Day 2U is no exception, even if it gets too sidetracked for its own good.