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Yesterday was the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon landing. As bittersweet as it is that it's been almost as long since the last of our six moon landings finished in 1972, there's never been a better time to be a space fanatic. Elon Musk's work at SpaceX is currently driving the space race as commercial space flight looms ever closer with the first commercial spaceflight set for 2021.

Clint Eastwood remains the most daring conservative in Hollywood. The now 89-year-old star of cinema classics like The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and Dirty Harry is still going strong as he's preparing to film his latest feature Richard Jewell. In an unsurprising buck against Hollywood's current hissy fit over the recent anti-abortion laws passed in Georgia, the legendary director has decided to shoot his new film there.

I felt nothing going into the newest Pixar film Toy Story 4. Truthfully my reaction to Pixar films has been exceptionally cold since Toy Story 3 was released nearly a decade ago. Other than the exceptionally well done Inside Out and the beautifully well made if somewhat forgettable Coco their output just hasn't been up to snuff. Brave was basically fine for an alternative take on the Disney princess archetype a la Pixar's brand of progressivism. Monster's U, Finding Dory and Cars 3 are irrelevant and regrettably, even The Incredibles 2 is barely memorable after only a year.

Today in History Clouds hung low over the cold summer beaches of Normandy on the morning of June 6th, 1944. The French countryside had been subjected to a night of heavy bombing by the Army Airforce and the US Navy but the vital bunkers and artillery emplacements protecting the beaches had hardly been scratched. The clouds had protected them. This would become quite unfortunate for the first waves of soldiers who would find themselves walking right into them.

One of the final lines in 2016's Godzilla: Resurgence is a quiet and somber reflection that Godzilla is "something we'll have to learn to live with." In the final images of the film, we see the figure of Godzilla standing above the Tokyo skyline, a stone creature having been defeated but now made immobile via the coagulants floating in his bloodstream having shut down his nuclear core.

The 8th Army Airforce

Of all the branches of the military, the Army Airforce had an especially dangerous job. Leaving aside even the common flight risks of mid-air collisions and frostbite from flying in non-pressurized aircraft five miles in the air, the 8th Army Airforce dealt with unique horrors. Over Germany, B-17 bombers couldn't be accompanied by escort fighters due to a lack of fuel range, leaving them particularly vulnerable to Luftwaffe raids during their bombing runs near the targets. Even when they weren't being raided they were subject to constant anti-aircraft bombardment from 88mm howitzers that shredded the planes.

The opening weekend of Avengers: Endgame was massive. In its opening weekend alone the film grossed $350 million domestically and $1.2 Billion globally in the highest grossing opening weekend of all time. This was following its tickets going on sale in early April only to have every major ticket website including AMC and Fandango crashing and selling out opening night tickets weeks before the premiere. It was clear immediately that the final Avengers movie was going to be a monster.

Avengers: Endgame is a box office monster having grossed $357 million in its opening weekend. This shouldn't be surprising given that the movie is the highly anticipated series finale for the 22 films in the Infinity Saga. While the Marvel Cinematic Universe clearly isn't going anywhere (considering they already have Spiderman: Far from Home, The Eternals, Black Widow's solo movie and a half dozen other films in development) Avengers: Endgame is a solid finale to end the story arcs of the last eleven years of Marvel movies.

Post contains some plot spoilers: I can't begin to tell you what it actually is that writer/director S. Craig Zahler believes in politically. According to the interviews he's done to promote his newest movie, Dragged Across Concrete, he doesn't care what people think of his movies. He's making movies about bad people and he wants to depict them in their entirety without putting a message behind it. That's a brave notion in the current year.

Warning: Spoilers ahead In the opening minutes of Jordan Peele's Us, we see a depiction of a seashore carnival being attended by a large group of diverse and wealthy people circa 1986. It's an idyllic, colorful and exciting vision of comforting and happiness in American life. A young family and their daughter win a Michael Jackson T-Shirt in a game, buy candy apples and explore the various rides the park has to offer. Yet there is something churning under this beautiful wonderland of lights and prizes.

2018 was a mixed year for film overall. There were several notable studio blockbusters worthy of discussion but for the first time in my adult life, I found myself predominantly attracted to smaller independent/personal films this year as opposed to the largest studio blockbusters. I enjoyed Avengers: Infinity War as much as anyone else but it was far from the film that inspired me to think about it obsessively and watch it multiple times. That's not to say that big-budget studio films don't find a home on this list. They certainly do.
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