– By All of Us –
It is that time, and the competition for the prestigious Prescient Sci Fi Movie of the Year Award has never been fiercer. At least, in my mind it hasn’t. Last year, Marvel delivered on the masterful Avengers Infinity War. It was the first time a Marvel movie won the PSFMA (terrible acronym, I know). Honorable mention went to another Marvel movie, Black Panther. It was either a sign of comic book movies getting better or everything else in science fiction getting worse.
This year, Marvel offered up its climactic conclusion to its 20+ movie timeline. There was also Captain Marvel and Spider Man: Far From Home. The perennial heavyweight, Star Wars, had its own grand climactic conclusion: The Rise of Skywalker. There were a few other comic book movies, a Stephen King horror adaptations, M. Knight added Glass, a Brad Pitt space opera, and a clone of Will Smith. Some sequels, remakes, but also a couple original stories. A little bit of everything.
But, there can be only one… well most of the time.
Our methodology is not scientific but generally we look at three areas in evaluating movies: First, we look at what the movie contributes to the speculative fiction genre in terms of original content or the refinement/perfection of existing tropes. Second, we look at raw entertainment value or what we call the theater experience. If it was an action film, was it exciting? If it was drama, did it move us? etc. Third, we look at its impact on the fans and the culture. Box office sales is considered but it is not the only measure of a film’s impact.
Based on these factors, we reached consensus on this years winner of the prestigious Prescient Sci-Fi Movie of the Year Award.
The incredible conclusion to a 20+ film Marvel Cinematic Universe timeline delivers some of the best movie moments in at least a decade. The hype and expectations set after Infinity War placed an extremely high bar for this movie, and Marvel vaulted over it. Audiences laughed, cried, cheered, and rose in standing ovation at the closing credits of this epic film and series.
The second part of the Avengers 3 Duology begins at the lowest point for the heroes. Half of all living things are gone. In a desperate attempt to reverse it, they must travel back and face their pasts. We see three of the original heroes and biggest players have big emotional moments. Tony Stark speaks with his father, Steve Rogers sees the love that could have been, and Thor is able to speak to his Mother. The series has often dealt with loss but challenged itself to go deeper, into the defining losses of these heroes.
Fat Thor brought some amazing laughs, along with Rocket, Hulk, and Hawkeye. The movie also delivered more tragedy with more fallen heroes and great sacrifices. What we will remember the most is the portals scene, something that will live for generations as one of the greatest moments in cinematic history. It will forever duel with the death of Iron Man as the most emotional intense moment in the movie.
Avengers: Endgame, perfects the grand finale of the epic. It is a Marvel movie that follows most of that structure but deviates in a few unique ways as well. It is not original from a narrative standpoint but its place in an epic, at the end of a 22 movie journey has never been done before and may never be done again.
The theater experience was incredibly powerful. For us, one of the most memorable experiences of the decade. Judging by the reviews and the ticket sales, the world agrees. Endgame is already a legend and a classic and will live in the memories of millions for a long time.
As for honorable mention, Joker was a surprisingly strong, gritty origin story of one of the most iconic villains. It Chapter 2 and Us were both strong horror movies of the year as well. Alita: Battle Angel was a solid movie as well although just wasn’t innovative enough to break through.
Overall, the pick this year was easy. It’s major competitors, Star Wars and DC disappointed with Rise of Skywalker and Aquaman respectively. Dark Phoenix was a cinematic failure, keeping X-Men irrelevant for yet another year. Glass, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Men in Black: International, and Terminator: Dark Fate also disappointed.
For 2020, the march of comic book movies continues with particular interest in Wonder Woman 1984. The monsterverse will try again with Godzilla vs. Kong. There will also be a remake of the science fiction classic Dune. A sequel to A Quiet Place is coming, possibly a Spawn movie, and a new Ghostbusters movie with kids. We’ll see if any of these pan out or join the pile of disappointments we seem to get every year.
Happy New Year and stay weird.