It seems like less than 6 weeks ago, the sky was the limit for Disney’s Star Wars. The hype train was off the charts and everyone wanted to see the future of the franchise. Well, a few weeks later it seems like the wheels are falling of Disney’s cash cow. The box office performance of the film has a lot of people looking deeper into the franchise and wondering “Is the party already over for Star Wars?”
To say that Hollywood has burned its bridge with Middle America is a damn understatement. Hollywood celebrities do not shy away from virtuing their contempt for people who don’t share their political views. Some have made it a secondary career to show how much they detest conservative values. So when you have a film like 12 Strong, a film that normally would grab the eye of right-wing audiences, they are just as quickly turned off by the stars of the film, like Michael Shannon.
Four years ago, Utah’s wide receiver Kaelin Clay scored a 79-yard touchdown pass in a game against #4 Oregon…until he discovered that he dropped the ball at the 2-yard line and Oregon picked it up for a 99-yard touchdown the other way. What does this have to do with Molly’s Game? Nothing outside of the fact that is exactly how I felt watching this movie.
Hollywood invested a lot of time, programming, and money into making sure he didn’t win and when that didn’t happen, people kinda lost their shit. Steven Spielberg put the production of this movie on the fly because he saw “scary parallels” between The Pentagon Papers and today’s White House. The narrative of this movie is “truth tellers” are to be believed and they are the “real heroes”. Reality is that just isn’t the case.
I feel like this film should have been released months ago but instead, Proud Mary got its official release into Hollywood’s graveyard…January. Proud Mary is a film that opens like a 1970s Blaxploitation film, but it isn’t. Taraji P. Henson stars as Mary, a hitwoman working for a Boston crime family. When she discovers that one of her targets has a young son who she instantly turns into an orphan
If The Commuter didn’t go face first into schlock in the 3rd act, including Liam Neeson being reunited with his family who only seem mildly concerned that three guys were sent to their house to kill them and that Michael barely survived a massive train derailment…I could have given it two stars…but I didn’t. The Commuter is the official welcome into the 2018 ‘Fuck You It’s January’ season and we are already off to a rocky start.
I had all the reasons to skip this film but then I saw the Rotten Tomatoes score…a score that critics gave 28% and the audience gave it 87%. This sparked my interest and I realized I had to watch this to see who was in the wrong here. Given it’s been 3 weeks after Star Wars: The Last Jedi and the critics are STILL making excuses for the movie after audiences tore it to shreds, I couldn’t pass up a golden opportunity to trash RT critics or maybe even say the fans are got it wrong this time.
The only identity that Disney has established with their Star Wars universe is one thing…Diversity. Disney loves waving the big, bright flag of diversity when talking about their movies. Star Wars: The Force Awakens was sold as a new direction featuring strong female characters and an array of minority characters within their cast. This is fine and dandy, but in the process of celebrating films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story for its big, diverse cast and strong female lead, they completely forgot the most important part of making a film…Story.
Screenwriter Steven Rogers tells a story about Harding that has rarely been told, and we end up sympathizing with her for the first time telling this story. When the Detroit attack happened, Harding was painted as the villain as Kerrigan was portrayed as the poor innocent girl who viciously attacked. While the attack was indeed dastardly, Kerrigan’s portrayal by the media was anything but accurate, while people were too harsh on Tonya but history is written by the victor.
It has been a while since I’ve reviewed a movie from China, the trailer for The Liquidator was enough to get me off my ass and check it out during this holiday dead zone for film. The Liquidator is a story about a criminal psychologist (Deng Chao) and a forensic fingerprint expert(Cecilia Liu) who work together to take down a serial killer known as ‘The Light Of The City” (Ethan Juan). Our lead character, Fang Mu discovers the closer he gets to finding the killer, the closer the killer is to him personally.
Now that I have dug through all the trash, it’s time for the best films of 2017. I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel like I ‘loved’ as many films in 2017 as compared to 2016 but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t good to great films in the year. I’m pretty positive that there will be films on my list that won’t make it on other people’s list, but that’s why it’s mine, so here are the Top 10 Best films of 2017 with a few honorable mentions.
It’s that time of the year again, for me to take out 12 months of frustration on the worst pieces of trash that took a minimum of 20 hours out of my life. Now I have to note that there were a lot of bad movies in 2017 but only a select handful of them actually made me upset watching them. So a few films you won’t see on the list like Fifty Shades Darker and Wish Upon which were obviously bad movies, but had an enjoyment factor over how bad those movies were. The films that made this list has no enjoyment factor, they are human trash. Here is the list of Top 10 worst movies of 2017 with some Honorable Mentions.
Gary Oldman’s interpretation of Winston Churchill is one of the best historical captures we have seen in years. Along with the great Cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel who captures the tensions of war and debate visually with dramatic panning/perspective shots, Darkest Hour is Oldman’s career-defining moment as well as a great story of leadership in the most trying of times.
As far as the rest of the film, Frances McDormand is great and she deserves the award recognization that she is getting. Woody Harrelson is rarely ever bad in film and he does a good job playing a questionable cop. The acting is stellar, the writing here is confusing because the narrative is completely conflicting. I was pretty conflicted myself watching this because there are things I liked and things that I hated.
Mamma Mia Here We Go Again is going through Donna’s (played by Meryl Streep and Lily James) young life, experiencing the fun she had with the three possible Dad’s of Sophie (played by Amanda Seyfriend). Sophie is pregnant, and like Donna, she will be young when she has her baby. This is where he realizes she needs to take risks like her mother did.
The script is well thought out as they manage to keep things simple and interesting. Playing the rules of a game, they establish each player has only had three lives before dying and outside of one ‘heroic’ scene, don’t bend the rules of the game. This adds much-needed tension when players no longer have any room for error when it comes to survival.
The best way to describe Downsizing is that someone took an interesting concept and fumbled it at the 10-yard line. There is a movie here that the audience wants to see, but the movie we got is one nobody asked for. The only positive thing here is the performance of Hong Chau, whose humor comes from speaking in broken English. Outside of that Downsizing is a film that lost its plot the second Kristen Wiig left the film and they decided to go on for almost 2 hours after that.
Star Wars The Last Jedi is a dud, but the biggest problem here is that if Disney after buying 21st Century Fox is going to use the same filmmaking model with all of their properties that they have used for Marvel and Star Wars film, the film and television industry is heading to a (pun intended) constitutional crisis and perhaps an end of movies as we know them.
Mother! Doesn’t have a story, it is basically a series of events that happen and if you have no idea about the in your face biblical references that are being thrown on the screen, you will sit there in either a constant state of confusion or convincing yourself that the film is deeper than it actually is.
The core of this story is grief over the loss of a loved one and while the film captures the emotional pain of past choice, it doesn’t quite have the impact to be as memorable as they were hoping. With that said Amazon Studios is building a solid catalog of films as Last Flag Flying is both heartwarming and heartbreaking.