A Belated 2017 Movie Roundup

Hey guys,

I haven’t posted in quite some time, over a year.  What can I say?  Life.  So, I’m going to take this opportunity to first post my 2017 movie roundup list and commentary, a couple months late of course… then proceed with my first non-movie related postings.  But first:

  1. Thor: Ragnarok
  2. Wonder Woman
  3. Brawl in Cell Block 99
  4. Logan
  5. Get Out
  6. Spider-man: Homecoming
  7. War for the Planet of the Apes
  8. It
  9. Split
  10. John Wick 2
  11. Kong: Skull Island
  12. Logan Lucky
  13. Baby Driver
  14. The Fate of the Furious
  15. Justice League
  16. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
  17. The Vault
  18. Happy Death Day
  19. Blade Runner 2049
  20. Atomic Blonde
  21. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2
  22. Star Wars: The Last Jedi
  23. The Mummy
  24. Rough Night
  25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
  26. A Cure for Wellness
  27. Beauty and the Beast
  28. Life
  29. Okja
  30. The House
  31. Whatever Happened to Monday?
  32. Bright
  33. Gerald’s Game
  34. 1922
  35. Alien: Covenant
  36. Baywatch
  37. CHiPs
  38. Geostorm
  39. Transformers The Last Knight
  40. Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
  41. Underworld: Blood Wars
  42. Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets
  43. Bedeviled
  44. Daddy’s Home 2/The Dark Tower
     Okay, people… this year’s list is dominated by mediocrity and downright shit.  Very few in my top ten would have cracked any other top ten of past years.  But of course I have not seen any of the award winners other than Get Out.  Some observations:
     There are a few Netflix originals on the list and none of them are terribly noteworthy.  So far, I’ve enjoyed their original series far more than their original films.  Bright was fine.  Happy Death Day was amusing.  Okja was… definitely not a comedy.  If I could, I’d go back in time and not watch Okja.  Not because it was a bad film, but because it’s depressing.   Gerald’s Game has some interesting ideas, but ultimately fell flat for me.  I fell asleep half way through 1922, another King adaptation for Netflix, and Whatever Happened to Monday has an interesting premise, what appears to be a damn fine budget, but then operated strictly by the numbers straight through to the end.
     We are in the middle of a superhero glut.  Some people mind, I don’t.  on that note:
     Thor: Ragnarok was the funniest movie of 2017.  Shame on you, The House, Rough Night, Baywatch, CHiPs, and goddamn Daddy’s Home 2.  A Thor movie was funnier than all of you.
     Wonder Woman was shockingly good.  Particularly after the 1, 2 turd punch of Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad.  Justice League wasn’t a total failure… and the fact that that is how I review it says something about the state of the DC cinematic universe.  I was skeptical of Gal Gadot when they first announced her casting way back when, but damn if she isn’t endlessly watchable in the role.  I look forward to the inevitable sequels.  Hopefully Warner Brothers doesn’t lose their goddamn minds and replace Patty Jenkins as the director.  Clearly she’s miles above Zack Stupid-face Snyder.
     Logan was a damn fine movie.  No need to undercut that statement by adding “comic book” before movie.  Surprisingly touching, but with a fair amount of edge to it.  Ha ha, see what I did there?  Like saying it was razor-sharp blah blah blah.  Whatever, i liked it.  My only gripe, and it’s some serious booger-earing nerdery, is that the comic that inspired it, Old Man Logan was batshit crazy is all the best ways.  Maybe some day someone will try and tackle that mad bastard.
     Spider-man.  Tom Holland is perfect.  I could have done with less Tony Stark, but i get it.  Michael Keaton’s McCaughnassaince is most deserved and welcome.
     Not based on a comic but certainly feels like it, John Wick 2.  the plot and motivations were actually a bit more subdued that the utterly insane, “you kill my dog, I kill you all” premise of the first one, but the weird comics inspired universe they’ve created fascinates me.  The ending is ridiculous.  I eagerly await part 3.
     Kingsman: The Golden Circle.  not as good as the first, but entertaining as hell regardless.  Matthew Vaughn has a real eye for surreal action.
     Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2.  Didn’t like it much at all.  And it has Kurt Russell in it.  You dumb shits, how could you fuck that up?
     I believe that’s it for comic book movies… so segueing into movies with Kurt Russell… the Fate of the Furious was fine.  part 5 was the high point of the series, which is certainly saying something, but it’s been diminishing returns since.  i like that Jason Statham and the Rock have great chemistry and are possibly doing some sort of spinoff together, but within the context of this film world, Statham is responsible for killing one of the fast and furious folks at the end of Tokyo Drift.  DOES NOBODY REMEMBER HAN!!!!!!????? that poor bastard.
     I would like to go on record clearly stating that since Swingers, I have grown more and more irritated by Vince Vaughn.  I find his schtick tiresome, to say the least.  And great googily-moogily was he terrible in season two of True Detective.  but i guess in his defense, everything about that season was terrible.  And then Brawl in Cell Block 99 happens and he makes me do a total 180.  it’s a simple, violent film.  the less you know the better.
     So Get Out just won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.  Hmmm, I suppose.  Maybe.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked it quite a lot.  Mostly because it somehow managed to subvert my expectations.  it wasn’t quite as black and white as I expected.  WHEW, MAN AM I ON A ROLL!  but best screenplay?  I think the circumstances surrounding the film and Jordan Peele are more important than the film itself.  so i say, well done sir.  enjoy your oscar.  you earned it.
     It is with a heavy heart that I deliver this one line review:  I found Star Wars the Last Jedi to be a totally underwhelming misfire whose creative decisions, almost entirely, felt wrong.  Boo.
     War for the Planet of the Apes… so odd.  This entire series, Dawn, Rise and now War are far better than they have any right to be.  They deserve credit, if for no other reason, than making people forget that Tim Burton/Mark Wahlberg shitfest ever happened.
     Speaking of Wahlberg, did I mention Daddy’s Home 2 is awful?  It is.  But it’s actually tied for last place.  With The Dark Tower.  WOW.  I mean, just, wow.  Kudos to the jerkwads who somehow managed to surpass The Lawnmower Man as the stupidest king adaptation to date.  I mean really, have you seen The Lawnmower Man?  It makes more sense than The Dark Tower.  That’s right, telling an audience that rudimentary virtual reality can somehow turn a moron into a digital genius super-villain is less of a head scratcher than every second of the dark tower.  aka, the dark turd, aka, the shit tower, aka, the shart shower.
     Are all y’all aware that The Mummy was supposed to usher in Universal’s shared universe of monster movies?  Yeah, maybe not so much.
     Alien: Covenant is basically a remake of Prometheus, while somehow making even less sense.  Ridley Scott is a masterful filmmaker.  His movies are utterly seamless.  But still, who cares?
     Related:  Bladerunner 2049.  didn’t like it.  didn’t like the way it looked.  didn’t like the story choices.  didn’t like the characterizations.  lazy writing.  that is all.
     gonna circle back around to CHiPs for a minute.  I really like Dax Shepherd.  He can be incredibly funny given the right material.  This is not the right material.  Which is too bad since he wrote and directed it.  Michael Pena is an excellent actor in every other film he’s ever made except CHiPs.
     Did i actually see Transformers: The Last Knight?  you know, i don’t seem to recall.  i think i watched it on a plane.  but these friggin’ movies are so dull, i can’t even recall if I actually saw it.  Just stop already.  Shame on you, Anthony Hopkins.
     Same goes for Resident Evil and Underworld.  What can I say, airplane movies.
     Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a comic book movie.  My bad.  But their bad for making this turd.  I’m pretty sure in the history of clandestine organizations whose mission is to protect and serve, nobody under the age of 20 has ever been a real deal secret agent.  Except for Spy Kids.  but alas, this is no Spy Kids.  and I didn’t even like Spy Kids.  No movie this bad should have a title this long.  Every time you say or write it you feel like your life is ever-so-slightly, and needlessly shorter.
     It was pretty scary.  I had some issues, but after The Dark Tower, this seemed positively masterful by comparison.  I’m curious who they cast as the adults.
     I don’t mean Valerian was scary.  I mean the movie whose title is, “It.”
     Kong: Skull Island was entertaining in all the ways a movie about a giant gorilla fighting other giant monsters should be.  Supposedly the beginning of an extended universe involving the gojira classics:  Godzilla, Mothra, Rodan, etc.  I’m curious.  Take note, The Mummy.
     Logan Lucky wasn’t as witty as I was expecting, as the writing was a little flat, but excellent performances made it extremely watchable.  When Channing Tatum’s daughter sings his favorite song quite terribly at her recital, I must admit I was moved.  Also, Daniel Craig is a better actor than the Bond movies would have you believe.
     I dig Split because young professor X was pretty great.  I look forward to Glass, the movie that will bridge Unbreakable and Split.  Who would have thought I’d look forward to an M. Night movie ever again?
     there are a few rando flicks from my list I didn’t mention, but that’s okay.
c
p.s.  I’d just like to say that Thor: Ragnarok was not the best film of 2017.  I’m not even sure it was the best film I saw in 2017.  It’s not even the best Marvel film.  but it was the best trailer of 2017 and it made me laugh.  so fuck it, number one it is.  I will say my top 5 are pretty interchangeable.  hell, maybe even top 10.

 

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