Robert Pattinson’s Career Transformation
I hope you’re reading this, because this is what you’ve been waiting for: the big-budget Hollywood blockbuster that has wowed audiences around the world and made you a serious millionaire. If you’ve been following my blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that I predicted an insane amount of cash would be made in the coming months and years from this one movie, and I couldn’t have been more right. The film has made over a billion dollars worldwide, and it’s only been a few months since its release! That’s right – just recently, the movie surpassed the billion dollar mark, and it’s still going strong five years later. This is not an anomaly; it’s the norm for movies nowadays, which is why I’m confident in saying that 2019 will be remembered as The Golden Year for Animation.
But if you’re thinking about making a million or more just from a Netflix or Warner Bros. movie, you’re in for a pretty big disappointment. The success of these movies relies on a combination of things: great scripts, perfect casting, sophisticated production values, and, most importantly, a celebrity name attached to the project. While it’s great to see Disney and Pixar succeed despite these odds, it’s not how most successful movie stars make their money. It takes more than just one blockbuster to become a millionaire; it takes a lot of luck and the willingness to take risks.
That’s why, even though I thought I knew exactly what would make this movie so special, I was blown away when I saw it for the first time. In 2019, I saw so many incredible movies that, if I didn’t watch them all, I’d have been hard-pressed to choose between them all. While some of these films might not deserve to be praised as much as others, I did find myself mesmerized by many of them. That’s likely because there was a lot of talent involved in their creation, as well as the fact that they came from unexpected places (like France or the U.K.), which makes them more interesting to watch. Even when I knew what they were going to be like, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the different styles of animation used in these films. So, without further ado, here are my top five favorite films from 2019.
Let’s start off with the most surprising movie of the year, which also happens to be the one that impressed me the most. After an incredibly eventful year, which included a record-breaking 13-part anime series (that’s over 300 hours of content!), a devastating earthquake, and, of course, the always-popular Game of Thrones finale, I wanted a peaceful summer. And what did Netflix decide to deliver to me? A superhero origin story that will keep fans of Scott Pilgrim and Big Hero 6 happy!
In September of last year, Netflix held a special press conference during which they officially announced the upcoming animated series, Dilwale Unbreakable. At the time, Netflix’s head of content, Ted Sarandos, stated that he had confidence that the series would be received well by critics and the general public. He was right; after its premiere on January 12th, 2020, it was unanimously acclaimed by critics as both funny and thought-provoking. Its unprecedented acclaim was predicted by many – including me, as it happens. In fact, I tweeted about how amazing this series was more than a month before it even came out.
Dilwale Unbreakable adapts the story of an Indian immigrant, Dalia, who moves to Canada with her family as a young child. She grows up in the country and learns to speak English there. However, her dreams of becoming a pop star are dashed when she encounters professional rivalries and skepticism from those around her. But the series doesn’t spend much time on Dalia – the bulk of its runtime is spent on her cousin, Dilwale, who is determined to become the ultimate Indian superhero. And he’s not going to Canada to do it either; he’s going to live there!
While this premise might seem like a gimmick at first, the series really does manage to elevate this relatively common concept into something special. Dilwale is an overweight, clumsy, and socially awkward teenager who dreams of being accepted by his city’s most popular crowd. Though he isn’t particularly strong, he aspires to be the superhero that Canada (and, eventually, the world) needs. He decides to train for this purpose by hanging out at the local gym with his friend, Raman. Together, they form the Dynamic Duos, a superhero team that consists of Dalia, Bunny, and a sentient suit of armor called Titan. When the series begins, they’re already superheroes in their own right and they embark on a quest to save the city. However, since so much of the series takes place in the city, it’s not hard to believe that a large portion of the audience will relate to the setting more than anything else.
The show’s animation style is a combination of hand-drawn animation and CGI that’s somewhere between traditional 2D animation and the 3D CGI that’s become so popular in film. While it relies heavily on CGI for many of the spectacular action scenes, the series overall still has a very anime-esque feel as a result of its 2D animation. And that’s a good thing; it means that even when they’re doing extreme sports or fighting scenes, the artistry behind them is still visible. And that makes them all the more exhilarating to watch because you can tell that the people who worked on them really had a lot of fun with the material.
One of my favorite things about Dilwale Unbreakable is how, even when it tries to be funny, it never lets the humor get in the way of the drama. Though the show does tend to lean into its comedy a little too much at times, the scripts are sharp enough that it never feels like it’s pandering or sacrificing the story for the sake of a joke. The result is an incredibly well-balanced series that is both compelling and hilarious. And if I’m being completely honest, I have to admit that I didn’t laugh as much as I did when I was crying; the show is that good!
Speaking of honesty, let’s not forget about Late Night, the most recent film from director Jimmy Sommerville. If you’ve never heard of him, that’s probably because he only collaborated on this film with director Rian Johnson. While Johnson is most known for creating the Skywalker franchise and the Brick franchise, Sommerville directed both The Do-Over and Lost in Space, among others.
Late Night is the story of a hedonistic film reviewer named Garrett who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dreams. But, as you might expect from the name, his dreams don’t exactly come true; instead, he finds himself stuck in a dead-end job while living in a mansion with Marni, the only person he spends time with. He’s constantly bored, so he decides to spice things up and hires a personal assistant named Zelda to be his companion for the evening. What follows is a wild ride that sees Garrett navigate the ups and downs of an LA nightlife, all while trying to impress Marni and Zelda with his big-boy gaming skills.
This is one of the most unique films I’ve seen this year, for a variety of reasons. First, it was one of the few movies that I saw multiple times, which is saying something considering I saw it five times! Second, while it has a lot of action and a hectic pace, the script is absolutely hilarious. Third, it features some incredible cameos (like Patton Oswalt, Kumail Nanjani, and, of course, Johnson himself!) and some very impressive visual effects. Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that it’s a movie about games. Specifically, it’s about playing games with others, which is why I love it.
There was a lot of love in the air in 2019, as evidenced by the numerous award ceremonies that were held. Not only did Marvel and Frozen dominate the big-hollywood landscape, but also Love, Simon and Little Women each had their own cinematic moment that will live on in infamy. These are just a few of the amazing movies that came out this year!