I don't know if this past election had anything to do with (it does put a damper on things when so many people are acting like having a President Donald Trump is the end of the world...) or less accessibility to a local theater (the one I'd done countless reviews at burned down earlier this year) or this year's movies sucked... but I just wasn't feeling it this year.
So, of non-theatrical releases I saw this year, the best were:
- Breakfast at Tiffany's
- Hacksaw Ridge
- Hidden Figures
I'd never seen Empire, but I know what a bad-ass Taraji B. Henson is as Cookie. And it was kinda cool to see her in a complete opposite role than her most famous. All the girls were so good in this. I don't know what it is about Kevin Costner, but when he does roles like this where he has some authority or does something to stand up for someone else... or maybe he's just easy on the eyes. I don't know. But really enjoyed this one.
So for theatrical releases... I was under the impression that I didn't see that many this year. Then I completely spaced on the fact that I saw "Sing" AND "La La Land"-- I guess it's easy to forget that when they were technically 2016 releases.
- La La Land
- 50 Shades Darker
- Lego Batman
- Beauty & The Beast
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Wonder Woman
- Despicable Me 3
- Lego Ninjago
- Thor: Ragnorak
- Justice League
- Star Wars: The Last Jedi
As far as theatrical experiences go, La La Land was the worst. I mean, our little local theater wasn't perfect, but that wasn't its finest hour. 3-4 times throughout the movie, the sound got so foggy that you couldn't make anything out. But thankfully, it was a musical, so you didn't need all the dialogue to get what was going on.
Best theatrical experience: Star Wars-- because everyone got so involved with it and was totally into it. It's movies like this that are why people go out to movies. You cannot get this same thrill from seeing it on your phone or your iPad. It's getting out of your house, into a room with dozens of other people and everyone shares the same experience for 1-2 hours.
Overall, a few of these much hyped movies were disappointments.
Guardians of the Galaxy-- it was maybe trying a little too hard to be like the original and some jokes fell flat.
Thor-- trying to capitalize on what made the first Guardian's movie so good while trying to find its own niche in the Marvel Universe (when it's been overshadowed by every Iron-Man and Captain American movie)
Beauty & The Beast-- I'd been looking forward to this from the moment the first trailer was released. I will admit that it did fall short in a couple spots. But it did a lot right- Emma Watson as Belle, nobody could have done it better. Ewan McGregor as Lumiere- not bad for someone not familiar with the original movie. And of course Josh Gad as LeFou... way to steal the show, Olaf! Loved it.
And of course Justice League-- I mean, I didn't particularly care to see this movie, but I figured I'd check out the so-called "competition"... I didn't need to worry too much. I'm just putting it here because I'm sure a lot of DC fans were disappointed by it.
50 Shades Darker...yeah, I liked it. You want to make something of it?
It's not the type of movie I'd fight tooth and nail to defend. It's nothing to do with the sexual content turning me or anything like that. I just enjoyed it overall. If anything, it was worth seeing for Dakota Johnson doing this character much better than she was presented in the book and the moment when Marcia Gay Harden gave Kim Basinger that right hook.
There were 5 animated movies this year. Two were Lego related. Nearly all of them were ones my sister really wanted to see. And because I'd seen so many Marvel and book related movies I saw with my mom and my aunts, it's only fair that she gets to pick the movies every once in the while.
Batman and Lego Ninjago had their points where I was really on board. Of the two, Batman probably has more re-watchability, but I liked that Lego Ninjago kinda took the Lego franchise into a different place.
Leap! was a bit of a disappointment in places. Particularly with the villains. Kate McKinnion as the stage mom was WAY over the top to the point there was zero logic. Her own daughter accepted our protagonist as her superior, but her mom goes on a rampage that involves her saying "Hammer Time!" in the middle of a time period when the Eiffel Tower was still being built. (And for the record, I still say "hammer time!" whenever the occasion calls for it... almost like I can't help myself)
Despicable 3-- I loved the 80's references and the fact the villain was a former child star of that generation. I don't think that angle has been pursued in a movie before. But after a while, I couldn't help but wonder if all the references were out of appreciation for the decade or making fun of it because everyone else does. (As a die-hard 80's fan, I really hope it was the former)
Sing- by far, was the winner of all the animated movies. It introduces so many great characters that you'll want to return to see again and again. I can only hope that the sequel does right by it and it doesn't fall short the way so many others have.
Wonder Woman-- while it didn't keep my attention the entire time, it was one of the stand-outs this year by far. Not just because it's a female lead, but just overall. For me, the super hero genre is starting to wear thin just a bit and this brought some much needed new energy back into it.
Unfortunately, it wasn't enough to keep Justice League completely afloat. At least for me.
One thing that kinda sets this year apart for me being as into movies as I've become... it's the first year as an RDJ fangirl that I did not see him in theaters once. Not just superhero movies in general, but I'd been so over all the Spiderman movies. As good as I've heard this new one is, I just wasn't feeling up for it. Not even having Tony Stark as part of it was enough incentive to get me to a theater.
I hope that next year, not only the next Avengers movie is better than everything this year, but he gets to do more movies away from Marvel. Particularly with Team Downey- he and his wife Susan got this production company together and put out "The Judge" and it did well. I know their goal was not to go by deadlines, but I'd like to see something else come out of it. Hopefully this year or next. And that I'll be able to get to a theater that's showing them :P
I'd go through and give my top 5 movies in order... I'm just not sure if I'm up for it...
I think that's my top 3, though...
As far as movies are concerned, I hope next year is just a little better.