Behold! My Belated Official First Post of 2017!!
I, uh, watched a lot of movies last year. SO for my first official post of 2017, I’m doing a MASSIVE breakdown of the stuff I actually caught in theaters. Also, as you may have noticed, I have moved to DreamWidth! I’m still working on getting all the photos ported over here, so anything that links to Glitter n Gore is going to the LJ account until I get it fixed. Bear with me; I’ll make it work eventually. Meanwhile--movies! Let’s talk about those.
Cross-posted to rhoda_rants.
The Force Awakens
Okay, you guys know how much I love my Star Wars, although I never quite got around to reviewing this one. I did review the novelization for the library though! It's a very slim toss-up regarding whether I liked this or Rogue One more in terms of more recent Star Wars movies. Although I will say, The Empire Strikes Back is still my absolute favorite. I won't waste much time on this one except to reaffirm how much I loved it, and you should all definitely see it if you somehow haven't yet.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
Haven't read the book and don't care to, but this movie was a lot more fun than I was expecting - review posted here. As I said before, it's even funnier if you are familiar with Jane Austen, and revels in gore and period costume with surprising balance and attention to detail. Honestly, my strongest memory associated with this movie is my mom calling me from Colorado to tell me she'd just eaten a hash cookie and was now going to watch it with my brother. Since then I've been wanting to try that. One day. I'll let you know.
If you run in horror circles, this was THE movie to see in 2016 - odd, considering it came out so early in the year. Winter is a hard sell for indie or cult movies, but we horror hounds always know what's what. This movie was gorgeous, disturbing, and expertly scored, as all great period horror should be. I've reviewed this already, so again I won't go into detail, but yeah - definitely money and time well spent.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
Again, won’t spend much time on this one, because I reviewed it already, and because I wasn’t terribly impressed. I did have a good time at the theater, however, because it’s one of the few times we managed to get a sizable group together from work to go see a movie. Which is always fun, and should definitely happen way more often.
Captain America: Civil War
This was the year I fully committed my heart and soul to the MCU. God bless Chris Evans, seriously. While I do have a few complaints about the way certain character arcs were handled and could be improved on *cough*REPRESENTATIONMATTERS*cough*, this is still my favorite film franchise after Star Wars, and I believe the kids growing up with it now will one day feel about it the way I do about the latter. The MCU is on my automatic YES list for movie watching from now on. My spoiler-free review is here!
The Jungle Book
I feel like I'm the only person I've talked to that just did not like this movie. There are several reasons. The CGI animals were incredibly distracting, mostly because it takes a certain level of experience and nuance to successfully pull off that kind of integration when you're acting against basically nothing - or just, y'know, motion capture - and the kid they picked to play Mowgli just is not there yet. Knowing that half the stuff I'm looking at isn't there bothered me. Also, I wanted lots more of Scarlett Johansson as the snake. I liked the wolves. I could do without everything else.
Independence Day: Resurgence
Some of the stuff I watch, I watch only because one of my parents wanted to see it. This is one of those times. Meh. It was okay. I feel the two dudes could have been cut way down and Maika Monroe could've totally flown that spaceship in one or either of their places, but never mind. Just a big Meh. Sorry, I got nothing.
The Legend of Tarzan
Was this a sequel to a movie that was never made? I mean, I knew Disney has been mining its old classics and turning them into live action remakes for the past few years, but this was just weird. I couldn't figure out the time frame, and there was a lot more anachronistic dialogue than there should've been. Still, enough action to keep me entertained, and shirtless Alexander Skarsgard - never a bad thing, really. We definitely shouldn't have sat so close the front though. I don't know how people stand it.
This was the big surprise this year, an unusual entry in the normally predictably bad Hollywood Remake Machine, for a franchise that gets lumped in with geek culture even though it's basically a mainstream comedy with ghosts in it. And I love it more and more every time I watch it. Reviewed here! Looking back at that review, I feel like I was very unfair to Leslie Jones’s character, who is way, way more interesting and cool than I gave her credit for. That’s on me and I’m sorry. Still, I can't tell you how much it meant to me to see a character like Holtzmann not only exist as part of a major summer blockbuster like this, but to have almost everyone who saw it praise her as the best character. Here's to more Kate McKinnon in ALL THE THINGS! Oh, and if you haven’t read the novelization by Nancy Holder, go find it, because it’s quite excellent.
Star Trek: Beyond
Another big Meh. Dad wanted to see this one, and I was only slightly more interested in this than I was in Independence Day. One interesting thing to note about both movies: there is a major gay character in each. Also notable is that this was such a subtle instance of representation that it's easy to miss if you're not explicitly looking for it. Or, you know, if you didn't follow the internet buzz leading up to it. That's kind of a problem, but I'm not going to get into it just yet--stay tuned.
The verdicts are in, and critics and fans mostly agree - this was a passably entertaining mess, but please give us more Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. I’d like to thank whoever is in charge of these things that they decided to follow this up with a Gotham City Sirens movie. If you’re out there, Great Pumpkin, please let this be the sequel that has Harley dump the Joker for Poison Ivy!
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
For some reason, I keep forgetting I watched this movie. And I have no idea why. I mean, there’s the issue I have with taking a perfectly good, badass pyromancer and giving her a completely different set of powers, but then another character showed up and got to use the fire magic, so I guess it was okay? And Eva Green is at her very Eva Green-est, which is always a plus. The stop motion parts were surprisingly grotesque, which I liked. Hm. I should watch this again and review it properly.
As previously mentioned, if it's part of the MCU, I am going, period. However, this one didn't quite wow me as much as I wanted it to. Mostly I had a hard time connecting to the rich, talented, successful, snarky white guy who gets struck with a physical ailment that he must overcome, and turns into a Superhero as a result. I don't dislike Benedict Cumberbatch's performance, but I don't need another Tony Stark. Just one is plenty. That said, Scott Derrickson is fast becoming one of my favorite directors, and I was excited to see what he did with something this huge, unwieldy, and potentially disastrous. It's fast, it's funny, it's another Infinity Stone to add to the collection (Gotta Catch 'Em All!), and I am looking forward to Thor: Ragnarok SO MUCH you guys!
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Did not review this here, but I did write a review for the library! I continually forget two things: How much I love visual imagery in a fantasy setting, even when it's pure exposition; and how much I enjoy Colin Farrell. There was a lot of controversy to go with the buzz around this movie before it came out, and while it's all well-deserved and worth your attention and contemplation, this is a fun adventure in the world of Harry Potter outside of Hogwarts. I also haven't talked nearly enough about how much I love Ezra Miller, but I didn't even know he was in this, and man, is this a perfect role for him. I might expand on this in a related blog post later, so stay tuned.
Saw this one twice, initially because my parents wanted to see it, but afterwards because you really REALLY need a rewatch to understand at least half of what's really going on. Wow, this movie is wonderful. I hope Amy Adams gets that Golden Globe--AND an Oscar, along with all the awards associated with cinematography and musical score. The way this director uses negative space is fascinating. I kept getting the impression I was looking at an endless expanse of the universe through a very small window. It's disorienting and wild. See it at least twice. Bring tissues both times.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Again, you probably don't need a reminder of how much I love Star Wars. This was the other big surprise this year. It's the darkest of the Star Wars movies and the first to take a real departure from the Skywalker Saga as I've spontaneously decided to call the numbered "episodes." Read my proper spoiler-filled review here! It also just occurred to me that I managed to begin AND end the year on a Star Wars movie. I should make that a tradition whenever possible.
What were some of YOUR favorite movie experiences from 2016?