Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Happy New Year - year in review - movies

Happy New Year to everyone!  Hard to believe it's 2020.

This last year has not been a stellar blogging year for me.  I really made no attempt to maintain this.  I had no energy at the end of the day to blog, and nothing I felt compelled to share.  We'll see what 2020 brings!

Let's take a look back at 2019.  I actually went to the movie theater 36 times.  That's quite a lot!  This was a mix of new movies, Classic TCM big screen movies, operas, documentaries, and repeat viewings.

Let's take a look at my entertainment takeaways from 2019.

There were three movies in 2019 that I went and saw multiple times in the theater, and all three of them are favorites:

1.  Avengers: Endgame
2.  Midway
3.  Captain Marvel

All three were fantastic.  Endgame wrapped things up in just the right way, showing how powerful an ending can be when it's earned. I loved it.  I also loved Captain Marvel. Midway I managed to review a couple weeks ago, but I failed to review the other two at all.  Sigh.  Captain Marvel had a fantastic cast, a fun story, and a great ending.  It's everything I want out of a superhero movie, and it led so nicely into Endgame. It jumped right into my top five Marvel movies.

I have two other favorite movies from 2019, ones seen on Amazon Prime and Netflix, respectively that make my top five favorite movies of 2019.

4.  April 9

5.  The Highwaymen

April 9 was discovered almost by accident.  After Midway came out, after I watched a couple of the WWII documentaries on Netflix, I was looking for more WWII movies, and, in scanning what Amazon Prime had to offer, I found a movie I'd never heard of, a Danish film about Germany's invasion of Denmark, on April 9, 1940.  As I'm still studying the Danish language daily on duolingo, I decided to see what this movie was all about.  And I discovered a fantastic little gem of a movie.  This movie is so well done it instantly jumped into my favorites of the year, and it is also jumped into my top ten favorite movies about WWII.

It follows a bicycle squad (!) through the day of invasion. I love this movie for many reasons, but one of them is that you only see things from their perspective, never the German side.  This is one of the first movies that really gave me a sense of what it would be like on the ground, fighting for your country, not knowing what you're up against, just following orders the best you can.  I love the cast and cared about the soldiers we followed.  The movie ends with some short interviews with Danish veterans who lived through it.

This movie was so good, I promptly showed it to my family, and they loved it as well.  My nephew still talks about it.

I also found my grasp of the Danish language is decent... except that despite all the vocabulary I've learned, there are still so many words I don't know.  If I hear something I've studied, I can translate, but in a war movie, there were simply so many words duolingo hasn't taught me.  But that's what the subtitles are for.  If you're not put off by foreign films and subtitles, I highly recommend this movie for a slightly different look at WWII.

The other movie I loved was Netflix's The Highwaymen, with Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson.  This one's about the hunt for Bonnie and Clyde and was really well done.  I love Costner, of course, but what surprised me was just how much I loved Harrelson in this movie.  He was fantastic, and my favorite scene was when a couple of hoods tried to jump his character.  Hah!  The dynamic between Costner and Harrelson was great, and this movie was one I immediately wanted to watch a second time.


  1. Wow, to the theater 36 times in 2019! I'm pretty sure I have been only once---that was Downton Abbey. But I AM starting off this year at the theatre. My daughter and I are going to Little Women on Friday.

    I still haven't seen Midway, though Gary really wants to go to it. It may well be out of the theater by now, though.

    The Highwaymen sounds interesting.

    You have been studying Danish? Cool! What prompted you to study that particular language? Looking at a trip to Denmark?

    1. I know, that's more times than I've been in one year in quite a few years. I think a lot of that is having my parents living nearby, where my dad and I go to way more of the TCM big screen movies that I would on my own.

      Still hoping you can see Midway on the big screen. It's now at our discount theater. My family went yesterday for yet another viewing, and the theater was fairly large and also packed. It was so neat to see how many people turned out on New Year's Day to see it. There were hardly any seats left in there.

      Yep, but studying Danish online since April 2017. I've always loved learning languages, but usually had to do it for school. This time, I did it strictly for the fun of it, and boy that makes all the difference, when you want to do something and there's no pressure. I chose Danish because I liked Mads Mikkelsen, who is from Denmark, and because my sister started studying Norwegian about the same time, and this kept us both in the Scandinavian languages. They overlap in a lot of ways, but are quite different in others. She's kept up her studies the whole time as well. And yes, someday, I would love to go to Denmark. That would be so awesome.

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  3. That's so neat you and your dad can enjoy movies together. My dad lives on the other side of the country so we talk about movies every day but don't get to watch them together!

    Congrats on the great number of theater trips, and happy new year!!

    Best wishes,

  4. I liked The Highwaymen. It didn't shy away from what awful people Bonnie and Clyde were, instead of casting them in a glorified light. And the characters were great. :)