Tuesday, January 2, 2018

5 most disappointing movies of 2017...

Yesterday I shared my favourite movies of 2017 and today it's the turn of the films that disappointed the most last year. Some of these may not seem the stinkers I make them out to be, but I think I have quite discerning taste when it comes to films so I tend to avoid the really horror shows, but of the thirty-five or so movies I saw on the big screen this past twelve months, these flicks left me feeling underwhelmed. Beware, SPOILERS ahead!

Alien Covenant movie billboard
First up is Alien: Covenant, which I really wanted to love after the fantastic outdoor advertising campaign for the movie, which promised xenomorph satisfaction.

Sadly Ridley Scott's latest outing into deep space seemed to regurgitate the same action sequences of previous installments. This team of colonists seemed super sloppy when they arrived on the new planet, no wonder they got infected, plus how stupid must these people be to keep going off alone into scary, dark places.

I was disappointed by the fate of the 'Engineers' on their planet, surely with an advanced race could tell a spaceship approaching wasn't piloted by one of their own. Plus with the use of Katherine Waterston as the 'Ripley' stand-in, it felt like they were really trying to recreate the greatness of Alien and Aliens and failing miserably.

However having said that, fans of the film can also check out these original movie costumes from Alien: Covenant on display.

Alien: Covenant movie costume exhibit
Alien Covenant movie costume exhibit

Resident Evil Final Chapter poster
Another sci-fi movie which disappointed in 2017 was The Final Chapter of the Resident Evil film franchise starring Milla Jovovich as the enigmatic 'Alice'.

I came to this video game adaptation a few movies in and liked the audacity of storytelling, especially when it went post apocalyptic. Sadly this installment tried to be a greatest hits of everything that came before and not even bringing fan favourites like Ali Larter's 'Claire Redfield' and newcomers like Ruby Rose could help.

It was what it was, and it was certainly time for a final chapter. Although apparently there are plans afoot to reboot the entire franchise, so it's not the last we've seen of the Umbrella Corporation and their zombie virus outbreaks.
Resident Evil Final Chapter poster

Ghost in the Shell movie billboard
Not only did Ghost in the Shell provide another whitewashing scandal in Hollywood, but it also supplied a lackluster adaptation of a beloved manga heroine.

I could watch Scarlett Johansson in anything, and the visuals were cool, but this movie just seemed forced and disconnected from the original source material. I was underwhelmed.

After this film and the weirder-as-it-progresses Lucy, can we just move on and have a solo Black Widow movie at Marvel Studios already.

Fans of the movie can still check out these original costumes and animatronics from Ghost in the Shell on display.

Ghost in the Shell movie costume exhibit
Ghost in the Shell movie costume exhibit

Circle movie billboard
After growing up starring in the Harry Potter film franchise, it's nice to see Emma Watson branch out and become a star in her own right, but The Circle was not the best of films last year.

It could have been great with its focus of social media and privacy, with Tom Hanks playing a 'Steve Jobs' like tech legend, but it was a bit of a heavy-handed mess of a movie which never really went anywhere exciting.

At least Emma Watson's live-action Beauty and the Beast starring role grossed over $1.2 billion at the box office worldwide, so she still had a fairly good year even with this blip.
Circle movie poster

Justice League movie poster
Finally, I think the biggest disappointment for fans last year had to be DC's Justice League. After the enjoyable Wonder Woman I had high hopes, but they even got her wrong in this film (how many skintight leather trousers and low cut tops did she have to wear).

Ezra Miller's 'The Flash' and Jason Momoa's 'Aquaman' were highlights in this superhero team-up, but for me the movie was plagued by too many CGI villains who looked liked they've stepped out of a video game (which kinda makes me worry about 'Thanos' and the 'Black Order' in Avengers: Infinity War).

The central story of the Mother Boxes seemed like it borrowed heavily from The Lord of the Rings, with the three boxes spread among the Atlanteans, Amazonians and Humans and I still dislike the dark tone of the DC movies, plus this film felt way too short and we barely had a chance to be introduced to all the new players and why they mattered.

For a film which should have blown cinema goers socks off, Justice League was just okay, but it should have been spectacular.
Justice League movie poster
I purposefully didn't see films like The Emoji Movie, Geostorm and Transformers: The Last Knight in 2017, but other contenders for disappointing movies had to be The Dark Tower adaptation which didn't live up to the epic storytelling of the book series.

If you're interested you can also see what my least favourite movies of 2016 and my worst movies of 2015 were.

Let's hope that 2018 with have some spectacular cinema to enjoy...

Monday, January 1, 2018

5 best movies of 2017...

At the start of every year I like to take stock of my favorite movies from the previous year. I saw around thirty-six movies on the big screen last year, several multiple times, across all genres of sci-fi, comedy, musical, biopics and drama. Here's my top picks from what I saw at the cinema in 2017. Plus beware, there be SPOILERS ahead.

Star Wars Last Jedi Leia billboard
I was one of the many people who loved the new Star Wars installment. I thought The Last Jedi brought new ideas, new characters, new planets, new surprises and unexpected directions. I grew up playing with Star Wars figures and watching all the original movies and I believe there were many fan pleasing moments in the new film, including 'Rey' and 'Kylo Ren' teaming up and fighting in 'Supreme Leader Snoke's' chamber, 'Leia' getting more screen time (plus as a friend calls it, her 'Mary Poppins' moment) and 'Luke Skywalker's' return and farewell.

Everything was really played for laughs a bit too much (following a trend of the Marvel Studios movies of late), I had no problem with Laura Dern's 'Vice Admiral Holdo' not wearing a military uniform and loved her breathtaking sacrifice. Kelly Marie Tran's 'Rose Tico' was a great addition to the Star Wars pantheon and its great to see diversity continue to be celebrated in a galaxy far, far away and my heart leapt with the return of 'Yoda' in puppet form.

Even though the movie was long (more a problem with bathroom breaks than anything), I could have watched much more of all these new and familiar characters and it left me with a new hope for the universe and the future in general.

If you're a fan of the sci-fi movie like me, make sure you check out all these Star Wars: The Last Jedi film costumes on display.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi movie costume exhibit

Blade Runner movie billboard
Sticking with science fiction and I thought Blade Runner 2049 was one of the most underrated films of the year.

I made sure to re-watch the director's but of the 1982 original cult hit before going to see this sequel and I can safely safe that even though it's visually beautiful, it's just too slow and too crime noir for me.

What I loved about this new installment thirty-five years later is that it feels more sci-fi from my perspective. I always struggled with how quickly Harrison Ford's 'Decker' fell in love with Sean Young's 'Rachael', but I really believed the relationship between Ryan Gosling's replicant 'K' and the 'Joi' artificial intelligence played by Ana de Armas.

Thew film looked beautiful, the sound was a bit brutal for my tastes but evoked the original, and director Denis Villeneuve managed to fake me out with who K really was, or wasn't to be more exact.

Fans of the sci-fi sequel can also enjoy a closer look at these Bladerunner 2049 Blade Runner 2049 film costumes on display.

Bladerunner 2049 movie costume exhibit
Blade Runner 2049 movie costume exhibit

Call Me By Your Name movie billboard
Several years ago a friend sent me André Aciman's novel, Call Me By Your Name, and so when I heard they were making a film of it I knew I'd have to see it.

It's so rare to see a gay love story on the big screen, especially one that looks this beautiful. We grow up with so many straight relationship references and in the past the LGBT community has either been depicted by HIV/AIDS stories or equal rights battles, so it was refreshing to see young gay love blossom.

When the four of us who went to see the movie came out after watching, we all said wouldn't it be nice to have such educated and progressive parents who vacation over the summer in Italy, what an idyllic childhood that would have been.

Timothée Chalamet is wonderful as a young teenager in love in this coming-of-age tale, although even though he's also great, Armie Hammer seems far older than his supposed 24-year-old student abroad character.

The recent accusations of predatory behavior by Kevin Spacey also tainted this movie somewhat for me, but ultimately I'd like to see more of this gay cinema and storytelling in the future.
Call Me By Your Name poster

Wonder Woman movie billboard
I've always thought that Wonder Woman was one of the most iconic superheroes, plus growing up with Lynda Carter's TV show in the 70s has made me a lifelong fan of the Amazonian Warrior Princess (even if I don't read her DC comic book).

Patty Jenkins film was a real treat, action-packed and so timely in its depiction of strong women, it really captured the spirit of the women's movement.

Gal Gadot was even more impressive than her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and really embodied the heroine, whilst Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright were also perfect in their warrior roles.

My favourite part of the movie has to be when Wonder Woman emerges from the muddy trenches on the World War I battlefield, it's such. powerful and emotional scene and really captures the spirit of the character.

Fans of the movie can also enjoy all these original Wonder Woman film costumes on display.

Wonder Woman movie costume exhibit
Wonder Woman movie costume exhibit

Spiderman Homecoming special cut-out billboard
Some may say that Marvel Studios best movie of the year was Thor: Ragnarok and I wouldn't disagree, but I think that Spider-man: Homecoming is the superhero underdog of 2017.

Tom Holland continues to be a delight after his debut in Captain America: Civil War and it actually feels like 'Peter Parker' attends high school and has high school friends.

It was nice to see how Michael Keaton's 'Vulture' originated and how it all related to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the use of alien technology from the Chitauri attack in the first Avengers movie is very clever and 'Happy' and 'Tony Stark's' mentoring of Spidey was fun.

The film felt fresh and we didn't get yet another retelling of Spider-man's origin story, plus there were some real surprises, like 'Liz's' parentage and Tyne Daly in charge of Damage Control, and mostly I loved his nerdy friendship with Jacob Batalon's 'Ned'.

For once I'm excited to see more of this web-slinger on the big screen.
Spiderman Homecoming movie billboard
Other films of note this year almost making my top five were Dunkirk, Victoria & Abdul, Wonder, Logan and The Big Sick. I can't wait to see who wins all the accolades this awards season.

Be sure to also check out my favourite films from 2016 and stay tuned for my least liked movies in 2017...

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