The Top 10 Best Movies I saw in 2019

Happy New Year’s Eve, everybody! Since I published my list of The Top 10 Worst Movies I saw in 2019 yesterday, it’s time for me to post my list of The Top 10 Best Movies I saw in 2019! Like I said before, I found 2019 has been a better year for movies. I saw a lot of good films, but only ten can be considered the best of the year. As I mentioned in my previous list, this article is based on my opinion and films that I personally watched. It’s also not meant to be mean-spirited or negative toward anyone’s opinions/cinematic preferences. Now that the introduction is over, let’s begin by bringing up the Honorable Mentions!

 

Christmas Bells are Ringing, Time for Me to Come Home for Christmas, Northern Lights of Christmas, A Gingerbread Romance, Kim Possible (2019), Flip that Romance, Chronicle Mysteries: Vines that Bind, Just Add Romance, Boys Town, Men of Boys Town, Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius, The Last Bridesmaid, Toy Story 4, Return to Oz, I Remember Mama, Ruby Herring Mysteries: Her Last Breath, Merry and Bright, A Godwink Christmas: Meant for Love, Time for You to Come Home for Christmas, and The Christmas Club

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Gold glittery 2019 image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/new-year-2019-party-flyer_3641545.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/banner”>Banner vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

10. The Nine Lives of Christmas

Who knew I would like this movie as much as I did? As part of the Happy Holidays Blogathon, I watched and reviewed this movie in an attempt to figure out if it was worth the hype it has received. Like I said in that post, I can now understand why so many people like the film so much! The humor within this movie is one of its highlights. Because of the quality of the script and the acting performances, The Nine Lives of Christmas was genuinely hilarious. While watching this movie, I found myself laughing more than I thought I would. Another part of this story that was well-written was the interactions among the characters. They were not only great to watch, but they also appeared natural on-screen. I’m glad I finally realize why this movie always makes an appearance in Hallmark’s yearly Christmas line-ups.

 

9. Holiday for Heroes

I will admit I had lower expectations for this film than I probably should have. But those lower expectations allowed the movie to surpass them and become the pleasant surprise it was. Holiday for Heroes was so good, that it reminded me of another movie I liked, Operation Christmas. With its genuine sincerity, the messages that were expressed in this story came across very well. I also liked how the formation of the protagonists’ relationship was more realistic than in something like The Christmas Card. Throughout this film, I could tell the creative team’s heart was always in the right place. It made it seem like they truly cared about the project they were working on.

 

8. Easter Under Wraps

In 2019, Hallmark finally created their first Easter themed movie! Even though it took so long to get to this point, I definitely think it was worth the wait. I really liked the writing within this film, as it created a story that was entertaining. Something I pointed out in my review is how conversations felt like they came from real-life. This helped me stay invested in what the characters were saying and doing throughout the film. Like in most movies from Hallmark Channel, Easter Under Wraps contained messages and themes that were relatable. Just one example is of personal growth. I’m not sure what Hallmark’s plans are for their “Spring Fever” line-up. I hope one of them includes a sequel to this film.

 

7. Ben-Hur (1959)

This is the first of two movies that I reviewed for a blog follower dedication review. At the beginning of the year, I was thrilled to share this movie with my readers and followers. That’s because I enjoyed it more than I expected to. Ben-Hur is a film that has acquired a lot of critical acclaim. As I said in my review, the hype surrounding it was well-earned. The script itself is one of the strongest elements of the project. Even though Ben-Hur is known as an “epic” picture, it is also a compelling story of faith and perseverance. From the acting performances to the cinematography, these things make this film the masterpiece it is. It’s no wonder Ben-Hur has been able to stand the test of time for so long.

 

6. Mystery 101: Words Can Kill

One of the newest mystery series that premiered in 2019, Mystery 101, has quickly become one of my favorites. I found the third movie in this series, Mystery 101: Words Can Kill, to be the strongest one. Unlike most of the films on Hallmark’s second network, this movie felt like it had higher stakes. This was caused by the female protagonist’s father being falsely accused on the crime and the male and female leads not being able to see eye-to-eye on the film’s main conflict. I also liked how the book festival was showcased in the movie for a satisfying amount of time. Like I’ll say about another movie on this list, Mystery 101: Words Can Kill shares some of the same positive qualities of its predecessors. It not only keeps up the series’ continuity, it makes me look forward to the future of Mystery 101.

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Jack Dawson from Titanic: “I’m the king of the world”!
Jake Sully from Avatar: “No, I’m the king of the world”.
Bucky Barnes from Avengers: Endgame: “Am I that much of a joke to you”?
Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen

5. Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy

Christmas in Evergreen: Tidings of Joy was one of my most anticipated Christmas movies of 2019. After enjoying the second film in the series, Christmas in Evergreen: Letters to Santa, I was looking forward to seeing what was in store for the next chapter. This film did not disappoint! It felt like receiving a hug from a friend one hasn’t seen in a while. The third entry is one of the few Christmas films from Hallmark that tried to do different things with their story. One example is how the script explores the aftermath of the mystery. This is something that is hardly shown in Hallmark’s films, especially in their Hallmark Movies & Mysteries productions. After hearing other people’s positive responses to this movie, I’m hoping that a fourth one is in the cards.

 

4. Avengers: Endgame

After becoming the king (or queen) of the world, Avengers: Endgame will still be a movie that is remembered for years. Whether debating over the film’s time travel or discussing the highlights and flaws of the project, people are going to find an opportunity to talk about this movie. For me, I found it to be a satisfying conclusion to this particular series of the MCU. Sure, there are things about it that I don’t like. But there is no such thing as a perfect film. Without spoiling the movie, I will say that several interesting decisions were made within this script. These decisions allowed the film to be engaging and, at times, thought-provoking. What also worked in the project’s favor was how it shared some of the same strengths as its predecessor, Avengers: Infinity War. This actually helped it maintain a sense of continuity.

 

3. Kubo and the Two Strings

For my blog follower dedication reviews, I try my best to talk about films that I feel good about sharing with my readers and followers. When I think about Kubo and the Two Strings, it makes me thankful that I chose to watch this movie! This is the first time an animated film has appeared on my best of the year list. I’m glad this movie was the one to make 18 Cinema Lane history because, to me, it deserves it. The story is enriching and beautifully written. It takes elements that we’ve seen before and crafts them in a way that feel like a breath of fresh air. It also helps that the animation is visually appealing. Even though this is the only Laika film I’ve seen, so far, I’d be more than willing to check out what this studio has to offer.

 

2. Rome in Love

This movie premiered while I was on an out-of-town trip, so I wasn’t able to review it. But when I did watch this film, it ended up being the best Hallmark movie I saw this year! Rome in Love does so many things right when it comes to cinematic story-telling. It went out of its way to use as few Hallmark movie clichés as possible. But when the film did adopt a tried-and-true cliché, it improved upon that cliché, which enhanced the overall story. At times, this film felt like a theatrical production. This is because of how well done the cinematography is. If I were introducing someone to Hallmark’s library of films, this is one of the movies I would choose to show them.

 

1. Swept from the Sea

When I look back on 2019, Swept from the Sea is the one film I can’t stop thinking about! As the biggest pleasant surprise of the year, it is definitely deserving of the number one spot. There are no such thing as “perfect” films. However, this movie is the only one I saw this year that comes pretty close to it. There is so much to love about this film. But, for me, the best part of the movie was Vincent Perez’s performance! He single-handedly stole the show, which gave me an opportunity to appreciate his acting abilities more than I expected. From the cinematography to the on-screen chemistry, the other elements of this film certainly added to my enjoyment of it. As I think about Swept from the Sea, I feel that this is a movie I wish more people were aware of.

Swept from the Sea poster
Swept from the Sea poster created TriStar Pictures, Phoenix Pictures, and Tapson Steel Films. Image found at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Sftspost.jpg

What do you think of my list? Which is your favorite movie of 2019? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

 

A Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List 2019

Now that the Christmas/holiday shopping season has begun, it feels like the perfect time to bring back a tradition that I started last year. Returning to 18 Cinema Lane is my Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List, where I share the movie related things I’d like to receive as gifts! Just like the first one, there will be four categories that each item will be listed under. If you need more of an explanation, you can check out my first Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List at the featured link. Also, like last year, each item is something that I think could be realistic. Before I start this list, I just want to say that the only image in this post that is not one of my screenshots is the Three Wise Men themed wish list image.

A Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List

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Three Wise Men themed wish list paper image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/christmas”>Christmas vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Something You Want

  • In last year’s Christmas Wish-List, I shared that I would like to see Stuart Townsend and Marguerite Moreau star in a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie together. While I still want this, I’d also like to see other actors and actresses from the Queen of the Damned film appear in a Hallmark Hall of Fame project. If you read my review of Swept from the Sea, you would remember that I enjoyed Vincent Perez’s performance in that film! Even though I’ve only seen two of his movies, I believe that Vincent would be able to use his acting talents to bring a Hallmark Hall of Fame story to life. I also wouldn’t be opposed to seeing these actors or actresses working behind the camera, such as directing or producing the film. According to his IMDB filmography, Matthew Newton, who portrayed Armand in Queen of the Damned, has written, directed, and produced a few films. Maybe, one day, he could help create a Hallmark project. Like I said in last year’s Christmas Wish-List, I’m not sure if there’s anything preventing these actors or actresses from appearing in a Hallmark film or if they’ve ever gotten along well enough where they would want to work together again. But if Hallmark wants to coordinate a mini Queen of the Damned reunion, I would be on board for that decision!

 

  • On Wikipedia, when I was deciding which film to choose for a blog follower dedication review, I came across a movie titled The Wife of Monte Cristo. Monte Cristo and Haydee are one of my favorite couples from pop culture. However, in different adaptations of The Count of Monte Cristo, Haydee is either not featured in the film or she appears in the film for a brief period of time. Haydee and Monte’s relationship is also barely talked about. What makes me want to see this film is how it not only focuses on Monte and Haydee’s relationship, but also allows Haydee to become a more prominent character. Currently, the film is not airing on Turner Classic Movies. But I would love to review it for Pure Entertainment Preservation Society’s Clean Movie Month!

 

  • In the movie, Easter Under Wraps, the protagonist, Erin, brings the most adorable suitcase on her trip to Washington. While I’m not shopping for luggage anytime soon, I would love to own a suitcase that looks like Erin’s! Based on the photo, it appears to be perfect for a weekend trip. I also really like its color. I don’t know what the suitcase’s inner material looks like, but I would want it to have my blog’s logo printed on it.

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Something You Need to See

I’ve said on 18 Cinema Lane before that I would really like to see the movie, Words on Bathroom Walls. But, as of late November to early December 2019, it seems that this film still does not have a distributor. If you are not aware, a distributor is a studio that releases a film. Because Words on Bathroom Walls doesn’t have a distributor yet, it means the film hasn’t been given a premiere date. I hope that this movie finds a distributor sooner rather than later so people can finally see it!

 

Even though When Calls the Heart is a television show, there are still movies that bridge the seasons together. So, this Wish-List request counts for this section. Ever since the show’s season five finale, I have noticed that Tom Thornton has received very little acknowledgement. It’s gotten to the point where it seems like Elizabeth is ignoring Jack’s side of the family. I realize that the issue lies in the screenwriting. Because the screenwriters don’t make an effort to include Tom in the story, they don’t bother to recognize his existence in that world. As a fan of both Tom Thornton and When Calls the Heart, all I ask is for the screenwriters to make more references to Jack’s brother. If Max Lloyd-Jones cannot make an appearance on the show, that’s understandable. But the most important thing is for Tom’s importance to get recognized more often.

 

This Wish-List request is similar to the previous one. In my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Endgame, I talked about how Bucky was, to a certain extent, treated like an afterthought in that film. Ever since then, not only do I feel like Bucky is still being seen as an afterthought, but it seems like the fans of the character are being treated like an afterthought as well. In this case, the problem lies with Disney and Marvel, as they have made very few efforts to acknowledge these fans and get them excited for The Falcon & the Winter Soldier. It also doesn’t help that they are doing this to a co-lead character of an upcoming TV show. For this request, the only thing I ask is for Disney and Marvel to stop treating Bucky and his fans like afterthoughts. No matter what you’re a fan of, no person should ever feel this way. Besides, fans are the ones who can make or break the popularity of a piece of entertainment.

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A movie related piece of clothing or accessory I’d want to wear

For this category, I have two choices. The first is Rachel’s pill-box hat from The Trouble with Angels! In my review of the movie, I featured three pictures of this hat. It is the coolest pill-box hat that I’ve ever come across and I’d love to own one that looks like it. The second is Paula’s choker necklace from Gaslight! I also featured a picture of it in my review of the film and this piece of jewelry is just adorable. Because Gaslight was filmed in black-and-white, it’s difficult to determine what color the necklace was meant to be. But, if I owned a necklace like this, I would like to be able to interchange the ribbon to coordinate with any outfit.

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Gaslight choker necklace picture

A book I’ve read that I’d like to see adapted into a film

When it comes to books I’ve read in 2019, most of them were either already turned into adaptations or I felt they didn’t need to become adaptations. However, there was one book where the more I read it, the more I could see it as a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series. This book is Murder on Ice by Alina Adams! When it comes to mystery series on Hallmark’s second network, there have not been any collection of films revolving around athletics. In Hallmark’s library of films, there are only three movies I’m aware of that prominently feature figure skating. If the Figure Skating Mystery books were adapted into a movie series on Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, it would fill those two voids that I just mentioned. I even pictured which actors and actresses could portray some of the characters. Despite the fact that Hallmark’s second network is saturated with mystery series at the moment, I think that an adaptation of Murder on Ice could bring something new to the table.

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What are your thoughts on this year’s Christmas Wish-List? Are there any movie-related things you’d like to receive as a gift? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

 

Word on the Street: Spider-Man to remain in MCU

I first learned about this news on the blog, Annlyel Online. After that, other people starting talking about the story. Since I haven’t written a follow-up Word on the Street post in quite a while, I decided to discuss the latest news about the world’s neighborhood Marvel hero. Yesterday, on September 27th, both The Hollywood Reporter and Variety broke the news that Spider-Man was, indeed, staying put in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Variety provided details about the new deal between Disney and Sony, stating that it “was signed late on Thursday night”. This new deal reveals that “Disney will receive roughly 25% of the profits”. This sounds like an increase from the 5% that I talked about in my Word on the Street story last month. Also revealed was how “Disney will retain its merchandising rights and will put up roughly a quarter of the financing”. In both articles from The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, a new Spider-Man movie was announced, with the project given a release date of July 16th, 2021. Because of this deal, Spider-Man is also scheduled for one additional movie within the MCU. I’m not as educated about the business-side of the movie industry as I am with other aspects of it. But, to me, I find myself feeling skeptical about how quickly this issue was resolved. Legitimizing business transactions, creating negotiations that are suitable for all parties involved, and greenlighting a movie takes time. However, all of these things were able to be taken care of in only a month.

Avengers Endgame Spider Man poster
Avengers: Endgame Spider Man poster created by The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Marvel and Avengers Characters: ©2017 Marvel. Image found at https://www.marvel.com/articles/movies/mcu-heroes-unveil-avengers-endgame-character-posters

When this story was first published, I listened to several perspectives on this particular topic. One of them belonged to Kneon from Clownfish TV, who I mentioned in one of my Word on the Street stories last month. He brought up some points about the story that I find myself agreeing with. In his video, “Spider-Man STAYS in the MCU…for now”, Kneon says that he feels Spider-Man “has been relegated to sidekick status” during his existence in the MCU. This I agree with, as it seems like Peter Parker has become a sort of “little brother” to the other heroes. The character’s youth doesn’t help his case. In Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man was only given a limited amount of screen-time and was one of the heroes who became “dusted”. Kneon also expressed his concerns about Spider-Man’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, stating that he feels the studio’s new phase “does not seem to be very, um, hospitable to Marvel’s old school heroes”. This is yet another point that I agree with. If you read my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Endgame, you would know how disappointed I was when Bucky didn’t have anything new or interesting added to his story in preparation for the show, The Falcon & the Winter Soldier. In that review, I said that “In the scene where Steve gives Sam the shield, it almost seemed like Bucky was an afterthought, as he was standing in the distance and watching everything going on in front of him”. Since then, it seems like the studio sees Bucky and his fans as afterthoughts, as Marvel and Disney haven’t really made a strong effort to get the fans excited for the show. Something that I’ve been thinking about because of this story is how no new “faces” of the MCU have been officially established. From Phases 1 through 3, the three “faces” of the Marvel Cinematic Universe were Iron Man, Captain America, and Thor. In Avengers: Endgame and beyond, these new “faces” were not named. Some people have speculated that it could be Spider-Man. But, after hearing Disney and Sony’s new deal, that idea may be in question.

 

How do you feel about Spider-Man remaining in the MCU? Which movie do you think he’ll appear in? Let me know in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you want to check out the references I mentioned in this story, you can type “Spider-Man STAYS in the MCU…for now” in Youtube’s search bar or visit Clownfish TV’s official Youtube channel. You can also visit these links:

Spider-Man Will Stay in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/spider-man-shocker-disney-sony-striking-deal-new-movie-1243777

https://annlyelonline.wordpress.com/2019/09/27/breaking-news-spider-man-is-back-in-the-mcu/

Word on the Street: Is Spider-Man Leaving the MCU?

It seems like the most popular topic this week has been of Spider-Man leaving the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, because I found this to be a fascinating topic, I decided to talk about it. Yesterday, on August 20th, Mike Fleming Jr. from Deadline reported that the creative partnership between Disney and Sony has ended. In the article, Mike writes that this was caused by Kevin Feige, Marvel Cinematic Universe’s president, and Tom Rothman, one of the leaders at Sony, not being able to come up with a satisfying financial agreement. Before this situation occurred, “Disney asked that future Spider-Man films be a 50/50 co-financing arrangement between the studios” because Disney didn’t want to keep “continuing the current terms where Marvel receives in the range of 5% of first dollar gross”. Sony, on the other hand, tried to create other deals that, hopefully, would appeal to Disney. This is because they didn’t want to face the possibility of losing profits and their intellectual properties. Within this article, Mike reported that “it is understandable that the fiscally shrewd Rothman would balk at giving up half of Sony’s biggest franchise to Marvel”. He then questions, “Does the Mouse really need half of the movie universe also?” But no matter what offer Sony gave Disney, the latter studio refused. It left Feige, Rothman, and their respective studios parting ways, for now. Mike updated his report with an official statement that Sony made about the situation. To summarize what the studio said, the statement expresses no negative feelings toward Disney. They state that Kevin Feige is no longer able to produce their films because of the various projects that Feige is attached to. As of the release of this Word on the Street story and Mike Fleming Jr.’s article, it seems that Disney or Marvel hasn’t made any statements about the situation.

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Movie time image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

When Spider-Man first entered the Marvel Cinematic Universe prior to the release of Captain America: Civil War, fans were more than thrilled with the idea. They made statements about how Spider-Man was “coming home” and that he would, once again, be “joining the family”. I, honestly, couldn’t help but feel shocked about the idea of Spider-Man leaving the MCU. While I haven’t seen this studio’s version of Spider-Man films, I have seen Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Even though he’s only been featured on screen for three years, Spider-Man has already made a big impact. Based on what I read in Mike Fleming Jr.’s article, it seems like both Disney and Sony both wanted a significant share in this cinematic pie. However, it sounds like Disney was expecting a bigger share than they already had. As I already wrote in this Word on the Street post, Mike was questioning if Disney truly needed more of the Spider-Man property. This is a good question to ask, especially since the MCU already has a lot of characters and stories within their roster. Speaking of rosters, something that Sony said in their statement made Disney look hypocritical. When addressing why Kevin won’t be working with Sony anymore, Sony said “that the many new responsibilities that Disney has given him – including all their newly added Marvel properties – do not allow time for him to work on IP they do not own”. Even though Marvel is owned by Disney, Disney purchased this studio in the late 2000s. This means that the characters and most of the stories are acquired from Marvel comics, not something that Disney created themselves. The same goes for the Star Wars franchise, which Disney bought from George Lucas in the mid-2010s. As for the classic animated films and live-action remakes, a large portion of these are adaptations of pre-existing, literary material. Even though Disney created their own version of the story, they did not create the story itself. So, yes, Disney owns a good amount of IP, but only on a technicality.

 

Do you think that Spider-Man will leave the MCU forever? If so, which superhero do you think will become the next face of the franchise? Put your thoughts in the comment section below!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you want to read Mike Fleming Jr.’s article, here’s the link:

Disney-Sony Standoff Ends Marvel Studios & Kevin Feige’s Involvement In ‘Spider-Man’

My third Sunshine Blogger Award of 2019!

Last month, I was nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Annlyel from Annlyel Online. However, because I’ve recently taken two out of town trips and had several blogging related things on my plate, I wasn’t able to accept the award as soon as I had wanted to. Now, I have set aside some time to finally publish my blog post for my third Sunshine Blogger Award! Before I list the rules, as well as the questions with my answers, I want to thank Annlyel for choosing to nominate me for this award! I still can’t believe that I’ve won five awards within the one year that I have been blogging! What really makes the awards I’ve won so special is that each of the nominators had believed in me, as a blogger, enough to want to give my blog the time of day. This amount of belief gives me the confidence to be as great of a blogger as I can be!

Check out Annlyel’s blog at this link: https://annlyelonline.wordpress.com/

Sunshine Blogger Award banner
Sunshine Blogger Award banner found at https://annlyelonline.wordpress.com/2019/05/14/ive-been-nominated-for-the-sunshine-blogger-award/.

The Rules

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Answer the eleven questions from the blogger who nominated you.
  3. Nominate eleven bloggers.
  4. Create eleven new questions for your nominees to answer.
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Happy sun image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Annlyel’s Questions and My Answers

  1. If you can, which movie is your favorite of all time? There are several movies that I absolutely love. But since I have to pick one for this question, I’ll go with Atlantis: The Lost Empire! Among Disney’s collection of animated films, Atlantis: The Lost Empire is a very different kind of story. However, it still has that familiar sense of “Disney magic”!
  2. Have you been to Disney World? If so, what’s your favorite park? Yes, on more than one occasion, in fact! There are so many great locations in this Orlando, Florida amusement park. But, when it comes to favorites, it’s a tie between Disney M.G.M. Studios (or as it’s now known as Disney Hollywood Studios) and Magic Kingdom. As a fan of movies, I think it’s so cool that Disney created a whole “land” dedicated to this topic. With the Magic Kingdom, you can’t go wrong with an original classic.
  3. Who’s your favorite Star Wars character? I’m not as invested in the Stars Wars franchise as I am with other film series. I have seen the films from the original trilogy, though, so I’ll choose Yoda and the Ewoks. The Ewoks are so fierce and adorable, while Yoda is kind and wise. Frankly, I’ve always wished that I could give Yoda a hug!
  4. Who’s your favorite Marvel superhero? Definitely Bucky Barnes! I’ve talked about him plenty of times on this blog, so I don’t really need an explanation.
  5. Who’s your favorite DC Comics superhero? When it comes to superheroes in film, I have found myself more invested in the MCU heroes than those from DC. For this question, though, I’ll say Batman is my favorite DC hero. Over the years, I have enjoyed watching the Batman film from 1989. I also think that Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy has, for the most part, been solid. It’ll be interesting to see what Robert Pattinson has to offer, talent wise, to the iconic role.
  6. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure, pertaining to food? In my life, I don’t really have any “guilty pleasures” because I don’t feel guilty about liking the things that I do like. However, I will say that this edible “guilty pleasure” is mustard potato salad. Trust me, this dish is more delicious than it sounds!
  7. What city is on your bucket list to visit? Definitely Kansas City, Missouri! I’d love to see the Hallmark Headquarters in person!
  8. What’s your favorite pastime activity? Ever since I could remember, I have always loved reading! I’m currently reading The Secret Garden in preparation for an upcoming blog post. This is my second time reading it, and so far, it’s a good book!
  9. Wakanda, Coruscant, or Hogwarts; which of these fictional worlds would you love to visit? Out of these three locations, I’d pick Wakanda. Since Bucky has spent some time there, he could give me a tour of some of his favorite spots. He could also introduce me to some of his newer friends, like T’Challa and Shuri. Then, we could all join forces and figure out how to have Wakanda become the host country for the Summer Olympics (this should totally be a plot point for either Black Panther 2 or Bucky and Sam’s show on Disney+).
  10. What’s your favorite novel of all time? I actually have several favorite books. But the one that I will share is A Little Princess! Sara is such a great protagonist and the “all girls are princesses” message still holds true!
  11. What’s your favorite sporting event? No doubt, it’s the Cheerleading and Dance Worlds! Competitive cheer and dance are my favorite sports, so this particular event is the biggest event for them. I’m hoping that in the 2020 Summer Olympics, cheer and dance teams can be included into the overall athletic program.
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Happy reading place image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My Eleven Nominees

  • Gill from Realweegiemidget Reviews
  • Ailish from Ailish Sinclair
  • Lee from Lee’s Movie Reviews
  • Eric from Diary of A Movie Maniac
  • Hisfamestilllives from His Fame Still Lives
  • 70srichard from 30 Years On: 1984 a Great Year for Movies
  • Delaram from Delaram Art & Design
  • Allie from Often Off Topic
  • Rebecca from Taking Up Room
  • Debbie from MOON IN GEMINI
  • Rob from MovieRob
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Paper Boats in the Sea image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=’https://www.freepik.com/free-vector/background-of-paper-boats-with-hand-drawn-waves_1189898.htm’>Designed by Freepik</a>. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/background”>Background vector created by Freepik</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

My Eleven Questions

  1. Which fictional, mythical, or extinct creature/animal would you want to have as a pet?
  2. Have you ever watched a Hallmark movie? If so, which one was it?
  3. What is the one TV show that you wish hadn’t been cancelled?
  4. There’s a pop culture themed exhibit at you nearest museum! If you could suggest a piece of movie, television, literary, or theatrical memorabilia to include in the exhibit, what would you choose?
  5. Which two movies or television shows would you love to see have a crossover event? This can be any two films or any two television shows (cancelled or current).
  6. Is there a remake, sequel, or franchise continuation that you wish never existed? If so, what is it?
  7. If you could be an audience member at any sports event, what would it be?
  8. What was your last blog post about?
  9. Which party theme is your favorite (example: Movie theme, Halloween theme)?
  10. Do you have a blogging tip that has helped you as a blogger? If so, share it with your readers!
  11. What was the best purchase you made at a garage sale, rummage sale, flea market, thrift store, etc.?
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Movie time image created by Freepik at freepik.com. <a href=”https://www.freepik.com/free-photos-vectors/food”>Food photo created by freepik – http://www.freepik.com</a>. Image found at freepik.com.

Congratulations to all eleven nominees!

Sally Silverscreen

A Bucky Fan’s Response to one of Looper’s Avengers: Endgame related videos

THIS EDITORIAL DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS FROM AVENGERS: ENDGAME

 

If you’ve read either my spoiler or spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame, you would know that one of the things I didn’t like about this film was how some of the plot points featured in the overall narrative seemed to bring up confusion for the MCU’s future projects. One of these plot points was when Steve Rogers gave the Captain America title to Sam Wilson. While this was happening toward the end of the movie, Bucky was standing in the distance, watching everything happening in front of him. In my spoiler review, I talked about how this scene disappointed me. This is because a) Bucky didn’t receive the title of Captain America, b) his cure wasn’t confirmed in Avengers: Endgame and c) it didn’t seem like anything new or interesting was added to Bucky’s story in preparation for Disney’s new show, Falcon & Winter Soldier. I’ve been a fan of Bucky Barnes for three years, so I was determined to find answers to the questions that were raised because of this scene. This past weekend, I stumbled across a video from the Youtube channel, Looper, called “Endgame Director Addresses Vision’s Fate”. After watching this video, I felt that what was said only made things more confusing for the Disney show, WandaVision. But I knew that if Looper was going to talk about Vision’s absence in Avengers: Endgame and how it could connect to the show, I had a feeling that they were probably going to address Bucky’s lack of a superhero title upgrade. Sure enough, when I visited Looper’s official Youtube channel, I found a video titled “The Real Reason Bucky Wasn’t Given Captain America’s Shield”. After watching this video, I knew that I had to talk about it on 18 Cinema Lane. In this editorial, I will be analyzing each of the arguments provided in the video. I will also state whether or not I agree with these arguments. Toward the end of the editorial, I will provide a final assessment of the video itself.

Avengers Endgame Bucky poster
Avengers: Endgame Bucky Barnes poster created by The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Marvel and Avengers Characters: ©2017 Marvel. Image found at https://www.marvel.com/articles/movies/mcu-heroes-unveil-avengers-endgame-character-posters

Argument #1: “Bucky Wouldn’t Accept It”

Towards the beginning of this video, the announcer says that, if given the choice, Bucky wouldn’t accept the shield. Their reasoning is that not only is Bucky fully aware of his past, but that he also hasn’t forgiven himself. They also state that Bucky would probably feel that accepting the Captain America title would be too much to handle. While all of these points are good ones that I can agree with, I think that we, the audience, should have seen Steve asking Bucky if he wants the shield. This way, Bucky would have been given a chance to choose. If Bucky would have turned down the opportunity, at least it could have been a decision that fans would have respected. Unfortunately, it appears that Bucky was never even acknowledged in that particular moment of Avengers: Endgame. As I’ve mentioned in the introduction, Bucky was standing in the distance, watching everything unfold in front of him. It’s almost as if Steve never really considered giving his title to Bucky, even though Steve doesn’t seem like an inconsiderate person. Overall, Bucky seemed to be excluded from that moment.

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Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The movie where Bucky was shown as and stopped being the Winter Soldier. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Argument #2: “His Hydra Conditioning: Still Active?”

In this segment, the announcer states that we, the audience, don’t know for sure if the Hydra programming is completely removed from Bucky. I’m glad that the announcer brought this up, since Bucky’s cure not being confirmed as a part of official MCU canon was something that bothered me about both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The idea of Bucky being cured was indicated in an end-credit scene from Black Panther, featuring Bucky and Shuri. Because this scene was never referenced in either Avengers: Infinity War or Avengers: Endgame, it not only undermines the scene itself, but also the significance of it. Since Bucky will be one of the main characters on Falcon & Winter Soldier, this idea of a cure could be explored within the narrative. However, confirming Bucky’s cure in Avengers: Endgame would have added something new to Bucky’s story in preparation for the show. This also could have gotten the Bucky fans interested in Bucky’s next chapter.

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Does anyone else notice the bracelet on Bucky’s wrist? I wonder it has to do with Wakandan technology? Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Argument #3: “Trust Must Be Earned”

This next segment has the announcer explaining that, due to his horrific past, Bucky would have to earn the trust of the other heroes. Another statement that the announcer made was that Bucky hasn’t spent a lot of time interacting with most of the heroes in the MCU. While both of these points are understandable, I have come up with two counter-arguments. The first is the audience’s opportunity to see how the other heroes react to Iron Man learning more about Bucky. Because Bucky killed Tony’s parents while under Hydra’s control, Iron Man is the most affected by Bucky’s past actions. However, we will never see get to see this happen because Iron Man died toward the end of Avengers: Endgame. The second is Bucky’s next chapter taking place on the show, Falcon & Winter Soldier. Based on the title alone, it seems like Bucky will be primarily interacting with only one other hero, Sam Wilson/Falcon/Captain America. This would make it difficult for Bucky to interact with the MCU’s other heroes.

Avengers Infinity War Bucky poster
Throwback to when Bucky and Bucky went to see Avengers: Infinity War with me! Photo taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Argument #4: “He’d Be Too Powerful”

In the video’s final argument, the announcer says that Bucky has enough abilities and skills to be able to fight on his own. They say that giving him the shield would give him more power than he needs. Out of all the arguments in this video, I feel that this one is the weakest. Just because Bucky has a prosthetic arm and skills that he probably learned while in the Army and Hydra, that doesn’t mean that Bucky should be denied the title. It would be like saying that Hawkeye shouldn’t be an Avenger because he uses archery to fight crime. To be the next Captain America, Bucky should be assessed based on morals, character, and leadership skills. If the final argument in the video would have been that Bucky hasn’t displayed any leadership skills up until this point, then that statement is one that I would have understood. Because Bucky will be a co-lead on Falcon & Winter Soldier, I hope that he can gain a sense of independence, leadership, and confidence.

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I’m glad that Bucky, Bucky, and Thor were able to take a picture by the Avengers: Endgame stand-up display! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

Conclusion

As a Bucky fan, I’m glad that Looper created this video. After hearing the presented arguments, it took away some of my disappointment about that scene in Avengers: Endgame. However, there was no mention of Falcon & Winter Soldier in the entire video. I understand that the purpose of this video was meant to discuss Bucky’s involvement in the MCU up until this point. But because the show was excluded from this conversation, it reminded me of my frustration toward the disconnection between that scene in Avengers: Endgame and how it will affect the show. When I re-watched this video for the sake of writing this editorial, I remembered what the Russo brothers said in their interview. When Annlyel, from Annlyel Online, told me about this interview, I almost immediately sought it out. In a portion of the interview, the Russo brothers explained why they gave the Captain America title to Sam Wilson. Their reasoning was the nature of Sam and Steve’s friendship and the state of Bucky’s mind. Both of these reasons are those that I can agree with. But, just like the Looper video, Falcon & Winter Soldier was not brought up. The purpose of the interview was to discuss Avengers: Endgame, not the show. But, once again, I was reminded of the disconnect between that scene in Avengers: Endgame and Falcon & Winter Soldier. When I was finishing this editorial, I came across a video from the Youtube channel, Screen Rant, called “Why Captain America’s MCU Future Isn’t What We Thought”. What I like about this video is that it not only talks about some of the same topics that the Looper video did, but it also asks questions and makes speculations about how the creative decisions in Avengers: Endgame could influence the upcoming Disney+ show. I’m glad I found this video, as the topics discussed actually took away some of my frustrations about the aforementioned disconnection. Hopefully, more information about this show can be announced at either San Diego Comic Con or D23 Expo. As Dale Travers said in Signed, Sealed, Delivered: Lost Without You, we just have to “trust the timing”.

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I think it’s safe to say that Bucky, Bucky, and Thor had a good time watching Avengers: Endgame! Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you want to watch any of the videos I referenced in this editorial, you can search for the following:

  • Youtube Channel Name: Looper
  • Video Name: “The Real Reason Bucky Wasn’t Given Captain America’s Shield”

 

  • Youtube Channel Name: SiriusXM
  • Video Name: “The Russo Brothers’ Spoiler-Filled ‘Endgame’ Interview”

The segment about the Russo Brothers’ decision to give the Captain America title to Sam Wilson starts at 7:05 and ends at 9:24.

 

  • Youtube Channel Name: Screen Rant
  • Video Name: “Why Captain America’s MCU Future Isn’t What We Thought”

 

This video is not related to anything I talked about in my editorial, but I thought it would be a fun video to share with my readers and followers. The video is called “Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame | Escape Room” and it’s from the Youtube Channel, Marvel Entertainment. If you are a fan of Bucky, Sam, Shuri, or Dr. Strange, I think you’ll like this video!

Take 3: Avengers: Endgame (SPOILER-ZONE) Review

One opening weekend and three hours later, Avengers: Endgame has officially owned the box office! With both the domestic and foreign box office records being broken, Avengers: Endgame will certainly be a movie for the history books. Because I posted my spoiler-free review on April 27th, within the film’s opening weekend, I chose to publish my spoiler-zone review this weekend. This way, any of my readers or followers who wanted to see Avengers: Endgame could do so without being spoiled. In this review, I will expand upon the things that I didn’t like about this film, since I talked about them only vaguely. However, I will also discuss spoiler related things from the movie that I liked. Similar to my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Infinity War, this post will be long. So, with that out of the way, let the spoiler review for Avengers: Endgame begin!

Be aware that there are spoilers ahead!

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Yes, I know this is the same picture I used for my spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame. But, I didn’t have time to take a separate picture for this spoiler-zone review. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
  • A slower first half: As I said in my spoiler-free review, I thought that the first half of Avengers: Endgame had a slower pace than the second half. Now that I’m publishing my spoiler-zone review, I can give an explanation to what I said. The first half of the movie was not only meant to build-up to the time-traveling portion of the story, but it was also reserved for the exploration of loss that I talked about in my spoiler-free review. The majority of Avengers: Endgame takes place five years after the events of Avengers: Infinity War, so it makes sense for this exploration of loss to be incorporated into the first half. The various superheroes that had survived the events of the previous film had gone on their separate ways. This first half also showed how these heroes came back together in order to accomplish their mission. When the time-traveling portion of Avengers: Endgame began, that’s when the pace picked up.

 

  • Plot Points that Complicate Future MCU Projects: In my spoiler-free review, I mentioned that there were a few plot points that confused me in the context of future MCU projects. Because this is my spoiler-zone review, now I can explain what these plot points are and why they confused me. The first was when Black Widow died as she was sacrificing her life to acquire the Soul Stone. Even though this was a shocking moment that I did not see coming, it brought up questions about the upcoming Black Widow movie that was announced to premiere after Avengers: Endgame. Will this movie be a prequel or will Marvel find a way to bring Black Widow back and tell her story in the present? These next two plot points bring up confusion for the upcoming shows on the Disney streaming service, Disney+. One of these shows is WandaVision and from what I’m heard, the show will be about both Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff and Vision. However, Vision never made an appearance in Avengers: Endgame. So, does this mean that the show will be about Wanda trying to find Vision? Was Vision in another area of the world/universe completing his own mission? Another show that was announced is Falcon & Winter Soldier, which will feature both Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes. But, toward the end of Avengers: Endgame, Sam receives the title of Captain America. Since Sam is an Avenger (again) and Bucky is not an Avenger (again), will Sam end up being the star of the show, with Bucky being a supporting character? Will the title change to Captain America & White Wolf (since Bucky hasn’t been the Winter Soldier since 2014 and he was called “White Wolf” in the end-credit scene of Black Panther)? With these creative decisions being made, it seems like the creative team behind Avengers: Endgame wasn’t willing to address this confusion because they were probably not prepared to do that. Their job was not to promote the MCU’s future projects, but to tell the story at hand. If Avengers: Endgame’s creative team knew that these creative choices were going to affect upcoming projects, they should have at least used dialogue or interesting story-telling to answer some of these questions.
Avengers Endgame Bucky poster
Avengers: Endgame Bucky Barnes poster created by The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Marvel and Avengers Characters: ©2017 Marvel. Image found at https://www.marvel.com/articles/movies/mcu-heroes-unveil-avengers-endgame-character-posters
  • A Personal Disappointment: This paragraph is about something that personally disappointed me in Avengers: Endgame. What ended up making me feel this way is connected to one of the things that I didn’t like about this movie. In my post called “A Movie Blogger’s Christmas Wish-List”, two of the things that I wanted was for Bucky’s cure to be confirmed in Avengers: Endgame and for Bucky to become the next Captain America. Unfortunately, none of those things happened. I get it, some wishes weren’t meant to come true. And I’m fine with Sam receiving the title of Captain America. However, if the creative team behind Avengers: Endgame were going to add something new to Sam’s story in preparation for the show, Falcon & Winter Soldier, they should have also added something new to Bucky’s story to get the Bucky fans excited for the show. In the scene where Steve gives Sam the shield, it almost seemed like Bucky was an afterthought, as he was standing in the distance and watching everything going on in front of him. Since the creative team knew that Bucky wasn’t going to become the next Captain America, they should have, at least, given him another superhero title to make up for it. Had they made Bucky an Avenger by expanding upon the White Wolf “title” he was given in the end-credit scene from Black Panther, I would’ve been totally content with that. It would have given me, as a Bucky fan, an incentive to want to watch the show. Could Bucky’s cure be confirmed in Falcon & Winter Soldier? Possibly. Could Bucky finally receive a superhero title on that show? Again, it’s possible. But, because the creative team behind Avengers: Endgame weren’t prepared to acknowledge Falcon & Winter Soldier, their creative choices brought up more confusion and complications for the show than they were willing to address. Because of this, I’m finding it very difficult to get excited about Falcon & Winter Soldier. I want this show to be good and I want it to be something enjoyable for both the Sam and Bucky fans. But I’ll wait to hear what other people have to say about the show first, in order to determine if it’s worth the price of admission.
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Yes, I know I used this picture in my spoiler-free review of Avengers: Endgame. But, I thought this picture was relevant for this specific review. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.
  • Genuine surprises: Black Widow’s death was definitely one of the most shocking moments within this movie. But it wasn’t the only shocking death in Avengers: Endgame. Toward the end of the film, Tony Stark/Iron Man dies in order to use his own Infinity Gauntlet to snap Thanos and his army out of existent. This was shocking for me because I did not think Iron Man would pass away, considering how popular both the character and Robert Downey Jr. are. The character that I did think would pass away, Steve Rogers/Captain America, did not lose his life. Instead, he manipulated time in order to live out his life with Peggy Carter. Not all of the surprises had to do with a character’s fate. One example is Joe Russo’s cameo toward the beginning of the film. Pleasant surprises like this kept Avengers: Endgame

 

  • Clarifications on things from Avengers: Infinity War: In my spoiler-zone review of Avengers: Infinity War, I mentioned how some of the creative choices that were made in that movie ended up confusing me. One of them was how Rocket was one of heroes that survived Thanos’ plan. In Avengers: Endgame, when Rocket teamed up with Thor to retrieve two of the Infinity Stones, Rocket’s explanation for why he was with Thor helped his survival make more sense. Another interesting choice that, at the time, confused me was why Rhodey/War Machine was one of the remaining heroes at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. However, when Rhodey and Nebula were paired together, in Avengers: Endgame, to collect one of the Infinity Stones, the reason for this creative decision was well-explained. It was because both Rhodey and Nebula have been mechanically “repaired” over the course of their cinematic journeys. It definitely helped that Avengers: Endgame was released exactly a year after Avengers: Infinity War, as it seemed to give this film’s creative team a sense of urgency to make some of these clarifications.
Avengers Endgame poster
Avengers: Endgame poster created by The Walt Disney Company and Marvel Studios. © Disney•Pixar. All rights reserved. Marvel and Avengers Characters: ©2017 Marvel. Image found at https://www.marvel.com/articles/movies/marvel-studios-reveals-avengers-endgame-poster.

There’s definitely going to be some comparisons and contrasts to the spoiler-zone review for both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. But after the dust has settled (no pun intended), I ended up liking this movie a little bit more than Avengers: Infinity War. As I’ve explained, this was not a perfect or near perfect film. But I thought Avengers: Endgame was enjoyable for what it was. There were some creative choices that confused me as to how they will affect some of the future MCU projects. Hopefully, this confusion will be cleared up as the months go on. I’ve seen other responses for the film and it has been a variety of reactions. Some of these opinions are similar to mine, while others are the complete opposite. To this I say that it’s ok. Everyone is going to see this movie through their own unique lens. In fact, if any of my readers or followers have a different opinion than me about Avengers: Endgame, that’s fine. As long as we can have a conversation that is respectful to all parties. Now that we’ve reached the end of this post, I’d just like to wish everyone a happy Summer movie season! Since Avengers: Endgame has premiered in what is now considered the start of the Summer box office season, the battle to become the number one movie of the Summer has officially begun!

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I apologize for using some of the same pictures I used in my Avengers: Endgame spoiler-free review. It’s not that I’m lazy, these pictures are just that relevant. Screenshot taken by me, Sally Silverscreen.

What are your thoughts on this review? Are there any other spoilers that you would like to discuss? Tell me in the comment section!

 

Have fun at the movies!

Sally Silverscreen

 

If you want to learn more about some of the future MCU projects I referenced in this review, check out Grace Randolph’s videos called “Disney Plus BREAKDOWN – Marvel Shows, Release Date, News” and “Black Widow Movie Cast – Florence Pugh” on her Youtube channel, Beyond The Trailer.