Obviously, I saw Wonder Woman. It was among my most anticipated movies of the year and I saw it earlier this week. And I’m gonna have to apologize to those of y’all who need me to validate your opinion and saying that my review will postponed until at most June 26 (it will literally be the next thing I write once I’m done with 25 for 25). 25 for 25 is taking all of my free writing time, time made extremely precious by the amount of school and work doubling down on me during the end of my semester. So, yeah, the Wonder Woman review will have to wait, but I might just make me apology by not only reviewing Wonder Woman, but the other two non-reviewed DC Extended Universe films – Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. It is significantly less movies to write about than the MCU when I was doing that retrospective in 2015, so that means less of a headache by all means.
I ain’t gonna apologize for being late on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Tell No Tales, because who the fuck is waiting on that?
In the meantime, I will take this time to acknowledge some of the movies I have seen over the past first half of 2017 with a bunch of brief no-more-than-3-sentences reviews (and might write full-length reviews for some of them if time permits over the summer) since my letterboxd has now just become the place where I make dumb jokes:
Wonder Woman (dir. Patty Jenkins, USA)
Captain America: The First Avenger: “Who are you?”
Wonder Woman: “I’m you, but better in almost every way.”
(ok, I’m not above making dumb jokes here either, you guys should already know)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (dir. Joachim Ronning & Espen Sandberg, USA)
Curse of the Black Pearl: “Who are you?”
Dead Men Tell No Tales: “I’m you, but worse in every single way.”
Curse of the Black Pearl: “Eh, you’re better than the rest of my sequels. You look as much like me as Brenton Thwaites looks like Orlando Bloom’s kid.”
John Wick: Chapter 2 (dir. Chad Stahelski, USA)
Much much shallower than its predecessor and yet I’m not entirely sure it’s not better? It absolutely looks great and it ramps up the amount of action to an unfathomable amount.
A Cure for Wellness (dir. Gore Verbinski, USA/Germany)
This movie is too fucking long. That’s that. And the places it decides to go within its last twenty minutes are unacceptable to me, even if it already had set up its trashiness from square one. But… I think it does haunted asylum super well and in such a non-bloody but still uncomfortable to watch way. Verbinski is a natural born horror filmmaker and all he has to do… is learn… to cut. Picturesque landscape shots of the Swiss Alps and creepy cold setpieces can only go so far.
Your Name. (dir. Shinkai Makoto, Japan)
Remember when I mentioned how The Lego Batman Movie did some astonishing things with capturing lighting via animation? Well, Your Name. stepped right to the plate and told that movie “You’re Adorable!!!”
I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (dir. Macon Blair, USA)
It was expected that Blair was going to pick up a lot of stylistic elements from his friend and director, Jeremy Saulnier, but Blair feels a lot warmer towards his characters than Saulnier could try to be. And who could blame him, Melanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood are great together. Pretty aimless, but I’m not sure that wasn’t the point.
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (dir. Paul W.S. Anderson, Germany/UK/USA/France/Canada/Australia)
The worst of the franchise because holy crap that editing is bad. It’s one thing when Neveldine/Taylor do it, it’s entirely another when Paul W.S. Anderson does it after Retribution already had was a brilliant effort in video game adrenaline. Still, it’s also the most dignified way to end a series that’s always been a guilty pleasure for me with Milla Jovovich being her most physically impressive as an action hero AND giving her most interesting performance as Alice. The world only revolves around her in these movies and I love it that way.
The Great Wall (dir. Zhang Yimou, China/USA)
Honestly, I’m kind of mad this isn’t made a part of Legendary Pictures’ MonsterVerse. It’s not all that great, but it’s better than Kong: Skull Island. Yimou’s costume epics are not always hits (House of Flying Daggers is still my least favorite movie of his), but they’re always interesting and The Great Wall has a color-coded metallic Power Rangers feel that made it fun to look at even when it started to drag in the middle.
Not a movie, but…
Twin Peaks (crea. David Lynch/Mark Frost, USA)
The Return’s pretty damn great so far. Lynch gets pretty male-gazey though and one of the best characters from The Secret History of Twin Peaks is turned into bland eye candy because of this. MacLachlan is amazing in a frustrating way. Wally Brando is the best character in the history of television.
The Bye Bye Man (dir. Stacy Title, USA)
This was the second movie I saw for #52FilmsbyWomen (which you can follow on letterboxd) and it’s so bad it almost made me hate them.