A couple of weeks ago, my colleague Bijan Stephens had an astute observation: 2018 felt different. It went by quickly, but there was so much to it that it was easy to forget that we had an Olympics, and that films like Black Panther hit theaters. I was reminded of this when I watched through Sleepy Skunk’s latest end-of-year film mashup, because I had completely forgotten that movies like Pacific Rim: Uprising and Ready Player One came out in 2018.
End-of-year film mashups are a staple of YouTube come December — slickly edited trailers for the year in cinema. They’re fun to go back and watch through: I recommend Gen Ip’s Filmography mashups between 2010 and 2013 (she’s since moved on to work as a professional editor, working on trailers for things like Netlix’s To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before). Sleepy Skunk has been at this since 2010 as well, and has helpfully provided a list of all the films included in this year’s mashup.
Some of the films released this year? Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Annihilation, The Incredibles 2, and Pacific Rim: Uprising. I saw all of those in theaters, but I honestly could have told you that they all premiered in 2017.
This year, these types of mashups feel almost like they become less a celebration of the year in cinema, and more like a long list of what I missed. I think Bijan put his finger on it — there’s a faster delivery mechanism: films hit Netflix, home release, or airplane seat backs quickly, and become part of the cultural discourse — like Black Panther — or fade from the zeitgeist just as quickly as they leave theaters, like Tomb Raider or Game Night, remembered only because they pop up on a rental kiosk or on the new release carousel on your favored streaming service. That’s a bit of a shame, because there was a lot that was good to watch, and fortunately, mashups like these are a good reminder that I still need to watch A Wrinkle in Time and Mission: Impossible - Fallout.