As with every year, I have spent many hours at the various cineplexes around KC. I have seen: good and the bad; fun and boring; hilarious and unintentionally hilarious (my personal favorite on a rainy day); and all the potential “award winners” along with the most overrated pieces of junk that fall into every annual movie cycle.
(Disclaimer: I have not seen EVERY movie. I don’t have that much time. Besides, some of these flicks were given multiple viewings in theaters, so give me a break. Be thankful you have idiots like me to waste my money for you.)
(UPDATE – 12/7/19)
Here is where I go back and critique myself ver. 2017. Right away I can see the glitches in the 2017 brain.
Top 5 of 2017
5 – Star Wars: The Last Jedi
On the first viewing, I walked away with the disappointed feeling of way too much flash and little substance. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t love the movie as a whole, but I found myself editing my “master cut” in my mind while watching it for a 2nd time. There is a lot to like about this one, but it needed to be reined in about 45 minutes and less politically correct and Carrie Fisher worshipping. Kylo Ren has potential to be one of those memorable bad-guy badasses. High hopes for the last part of this trilogy, then I hope they put it to rest and get back to side movies at the level of Rogue One.
(Nope. Be gone Rian Johnson. How did you even earn a spot in the Star Wars universe? At least Spider-Man Homecoming did justice to another one of my childhood faves.*)
4 – Wind River
This should win a bunch of awards, but it probably won’t since it is pretty subtle and a slow burn.
(This one can stay because it was a well made movie with a great story.)
3 – Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
This was the best movie to see in a theater during the summer. This is one of those rare sequels that surpassed the first movie. I can’t wait for the next volume.
(Here is where the two-three flip occurs. This decision was still as tough as when this list was written at the end of 2017.)
2 – Thor: Ragnarok
Marvel has matured into a movie-making machine. As with the my third pick, the movie is so much more than your typical “superhero movie.” The writing was phenomenal, the direction was right on, and the music was icing on the cake. So much good in this movie. If you didn’t see it in a theater, why?
(See notes under #3)
1 – IT
(The second chapter of this book was released this year and was a huge disappointment. However, IT: Chapter One still hangs on to “IT’s” title in 2019.)
Honorable Mentions from ver. 2019
1 – Alien Covenant
2 – Ingrid Goes West
3 – Dunkirk
- Mainly because I was able to see it in 70mm film print and those are different experiences altogether in the age of digital projection.
4 – Logan Lucky
- Adam Driver had a great year. Kylo Ren has been one of the better pieces of the “final trilogy” (?). His acting range is demonstrated again in this movie.
5 – Geostorm
- Delivered pure unintentional hilarity as expected.
Worst pieces of garbage invested in at the theaters – 2017
1 – Good Time
- Bad time
- I sit here and wonder, “why?” I could have gained more from lighting my money on fire and punching myself in the face.
3 – The Dark Tower
- Good source material wasted. Good actors wasted. Good money wasted.
4 – Mother!
- This may have been the movie where I came to fully accept my newfound skepticism of the old “arthouse movie” love I once had in my dumber (aka “intellectual”) days.
Unseen in theaters, but may have seen if for free on a rainy day
- Cinemark allowed screenings in XD, which is equivalent to IMAX. Unfortunately, tickets were around $30. Fortunately, later Bollywood action movie love was sparked and followed up on later that year with other titles like …
2 – Going in Style
- Morgan Freeman “old-man buddy movie” number 1.
- Morgan Freeman “old-man buddy movie” number 2. This time, Tommy Lee Jones (aka TLJ) joins and, from the looks of the cover, hilarity ensues.
*Revisions for this list were written about a week before the final Star Wars movie of this 9-part series in December 2019.
**I actually was interested in seeing Baahubali 2 in theaters until I saw the price per ticket. It has since been viewed at 2x speed and has some hilarious parts, but those individual parts were not worth my $30 and 3 hours of life. The other two movies were not really needing to be seen in the theater, but I am starting to wonder how Morgan Freeman keeps ending up in all these old-guy buddy trip movies.