Advertisements

2016: The Year in Reviews (July)

End of the year, time to recap. Every January, I go over everything that’s schedule to come out, and a bunch more stuff that isn’t yet scheduled. Based on what I know at that time, I guess my eventual ratings for them.

So what ends up happening is, I watch everything over the course of the year, writing up reviews articles every four months, recapping and rating all the films I saw during that period. Then, in December, I post these articles, which contain both the initial guess and the actual rating, along with a final rating, which is based on how I feel about the film having had time to sit and digest it for a period of time.

I do it to see how accurately I can guess ratings for movies a year in advance, but really it serves as a way to give a complete picture of my feelings about each movie I see.

Today we’re recapping July:

Here’s how my ratings system works:

* * * * * (5 stars) — I really loved the film. Five stars essentially guarantees the film a spot in the top ten. I’ve never had a five star film not make the top ten. (2015 examples: Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, Steve Jobs.)

* * * * ½ (4.5 stars) — I loved the film, but not unconditionally. Four and a half stars means a likely top ten appearance, and for sure a top twenty spot. Rarely does a four and a half star film fall below top 15. (2015 examples: Anomalisa, Brooklyn, The Revenant, Sicario, Son of Saul.)

* * * * (4 stars) — I liked the film quite a bit, but it’s not one of those that I would automatically say is a top ten film. It could end up being one, but typically a four star film is one of those that I’ve solidly liked and will openly say is a great movie. Three and a half, I’ll say that I really enjoyed it. But four stars is where I’ll say that it’s really good. Four star movies are either in my 11-20 or tier two. It’s also not unheard of that a 4 star movie makes the top ten, especially after a year or two. (2015 examples: Beasts of No Nation, Bone Tomahawk, Crimson Peak, Dope, Grandma, The Walk.)

* * * ½ (3.5 stars) — The film stood out to me as being particularly solid. I always differentiate three and a half from three by saying that three stars is for a film that I just enjoyed enough to give it the thumbs up. Three and a half is when I go, “That was really solid and I enjoyed it quite a bit.” It’s not alway a mark of “this was better than I expected” or, “It’s better than you think.” Sometimes it’s just, “That was really solid,” or, “That was awesome,” even though the film itself wasn’t particularly a masterpiece. It’s a very versatile ranking. Three and a half star films never make it above tier two (though not many will end up there), and most of them are tier three or four. (2015 examples: Cop Car, The Danish Girl, It Follows, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Mississippi Grind, Spy, Tangerine.)

* * * (3 stars) — Three stars is for films that were pretty good. Usually for a three star movie, I’ll say, “I enjoyed it well enough.” Or, probably the most common phrase I use is, “You can get through it.” But without qualification. For a two and a half star film, I’ll say, “You can get through it, but…” Three stars don’t have the qualification. Mostly three stars is for a film I enjoyed enough to say it wasn’t bad. I found it watchable enough that I wasn’t completely indifferent toward it. (Though I still might hate it. That’s a completely different discussion.) If I give a film that seems like it should have a higher rating three stars, then it means I didn’t enjoy it as much as everyone else. And if there’s something you’d think was a piece of shit at three stars, it means I thought it wasn’t actually that bad. But most of the time, three stars just means, “Yeah, it was okay. I enjoyed it well enough.” They’re just entertaining enough for me to not be indifferent. (2015 examples: 45 Years, By the Sea, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, San Andreas, Southpaw, Trainwreck.)

* * ½ (2.5 stars) — Two and a half stars is my ultimate indifference ranking. I didn’t necessarily think it was a bad film, I just didn’t give a shit about it whatsoever. Nothing to make me like it, and it wasn’t bad enough to make me dislike it. It wasn’t memorable to me in any way. Odds are, if a “classy” movie is here, it means it was particularly disappointing, and if something that seemed like an Unforgivable is here, it means it actually wasn’t the piece of shit we were all thinking and was actually just about passable. It’s also my way of saying, “You might have liked this, but I certainly didn’t.” And also my way of saying, “This wasn’t very good, but at least it was competently made.” But for the most part, two and a half stars means I just didn’t care whatsoever and will not remember much about the movie in two years. They may also be Unforgivable, depending on my reasons. (2015 examples: The Age of Adaline, I Smile Back, Minions, Paper Towns, Pixels, While We’re Young.)

* * (2 stars) — Two starts means that I just did not like the film. For the most part it’s competently made (though not always), but it’s either part of a genre that I don’t like (horror movie, shitty thriller, Nicholas Sparks), I was utterly bored by it, or it’s one of those movies that really annoyed the shit out of me. Decent chance it could be Unforgivable. (2015 examples: The Boy Next Door, Fifty Shades of Grey, Hot Pursuit, Seventh Son, The Visit.)

* ½ (1.5 stars) — One and a half usually means the film was terrible, but it’s not a surefire Unforgivable. Probably because it’s a shitty thriller, a shitty horror movie, or a horrible sequel in a franchise that has churned out nothing but horrible films. Or it’s for films that could have gone two stars, but I just have a particular dislike for them. These have a pretty good shot at the Unforgivables list, and should for sure make my bottom 25 list. (2015 examples: Superfast, Vacation.)

* (1 star) — I really didn’t like the movie. It was so bad it was almost unwatchable. Typically a one star film is certain to be Unforgivable. Sometimes one star movies get saved by virtue of being a sequel or being something that’s too easy to make Unforgivable (like a Friedberg and Seltzer movie. One we knew were gonna be a piece of shit going in). But in any case — they’re really awful movies that shouldn’t exist. (2015 examples: none.)

0 stars — It means I hated the film. Guaranteed Unforgivable. It’s a film that should never have been made, and has actually lowered the bar for cinema as an art form and has actually detracted from a culture that’s in the toilet to begin with. A film with no redeeming qualities whatsoever and one that physically made me angry while watching it. (2015 examples of 0 star films: none, thankfully.)

July

The BFG

What I said about it back in January:

“I trust Spielberg. The story sounds fine, but nothing I’d overly love.”

“My gut tells me to go 3.5, but Spielberg is usually good for 4. So I think I’m gonna stick with 4 stars and at worst, I’m getting a 3.5 star movie.”

What I thought about it:

“I find it hard to say anything bad about this movie because… this could be somebody’s Hook.”

“I love Hook. I grew up with Hook. I think Hook is a great movie. People hated Hook when it came out. Not that people hated this. But I feel like there’s a general distaste toward this. Or, if not distaste then general apathy.”

“It’s amusing, it’s fun, it’s everything it needed to be. Just… one of Spielberg’s lesser efforts. Which says more about the rest of his efforts than it does about the film.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I’m not overly disappointed by this, but I feel disappointed by it. Because it’s just forgettable. Spielberg is always good for a good movie, or at least a memorable one. Crystal Skull wasn’t great, but it was memorable. This was just — ehh. Which sucks. I enjoyed it fine, and I’m not gonna hate on it, but I didn’t love it, and usually I really like Spielberg’s stuff. Guess it just wasn’t for me.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

The Legend of Tarzan

What I said about it back in January:

“Did you see the trailer for this? It looked like shit.”

“It looked like $150 million of an unnecessary story.”

“This is setting up to be a giant disaster. I can’t even guess 3.5 stars for this, because it looks wholly unnecessary, despite a great cast.”

“It shouldn’t go below 3 stars, because the budget is so high it’s almost certain to bottom out there. But man, I am not looking forward to this.”

“Why make a Tarzan movie? What are we getting out of this? What story needs to be told? We’ve seen it before a half dozen times.”

“This is borderline on Unforgivable watch because of how unnecessary it is and how they spent $150 million (possibly even closer to 200) trying to force a franchise that anyone could have seen wasn’t going to happen. This is a movie you spend $50 million on and hope it catches.”

“This is a giant bomb waiting to happen. I can’t say disappointment, because my expectations are so low at this point the only thing it can do is make me go, ‘Oh, well I guess that was okay.’ And even then, I’ll never be okay with how much they spent on it.”

What I thought about it:

“It wasn’t bad. And it meant well. Just…too much money, too little substance.”

“If they were stuck on a $75 million budget, they’d have found a way to make it work. Even so… not that bad. Perfectly entertaining. Totally cool with this, surprisingly.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Like I figured. It’s watchable, but why did they spend $150 million on this? This is one of the strangest decisions of 2016. Why they thought this would be a huge hit and why they dumped so much money into it. Most people could have seen what a bad idea this was from the start. I’m more confused about why they made this than anything, which is usually what tends to make me angry. But here, I just don’t care enough to be angry at it. It’s more disappointment than anything.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

The Purge: Election Year

What I said about it back in January:

“The question is when this movie goes from 3 stars and being good enough to get by on the premise to 2.5 stars and me not caring anymore. They hinted that it might be coming soon with the end of the last one, where they’re moving toward that YA last novel trajectory of government corruption and fighting the dystopian overlords.”

“But for now, I’ll give them 3 stars and hope this can maintain that, and then depending on how this goes, all bets are off for the fourth one.”

What I thought about it:

“I am very okay with this franchise.”

“It’s good solid entertainment for 90 minutes. I can’t really ask for much more.”

“I’ll keep watching these until they really go off the rails. But they’re not there yet.”

“One of these days they’re gonna open this franchise up to other people trying shit out, and someone’s gonna make a great version of this concept. And I can’t wait for that day.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Still okay with this franchise, still getting enjoyment out of them.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Life, Animated

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing. Saw a trailer and it looked interesting.

What I thought about it:

“Warm and uplifting documentary about a kid diagnosed with autism when he reaches a certain age. He withdraws completely from the world and the only thing that is able to draw him back out are Disney movies. So the parents get him to maintain communication through these movies, and we watch as they remain a big part of his life now, as an adult.”

“Really charming stuff and well worth watching.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Good stuff. Very entertaining.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Our Kind of Traitor

What I said about it back in January:

“Based on a John le Carré novel. Which is all I need.”

3.5 stars. Movies based on his books are always worth watching.”

What I thought about it:

“You can never go wrong with John le Carré.”

“This is a movie that could have been made as a Hitchcock movie. It’s not made that way, but it very easily could have been.”

“Very capable thriller. Films based on le Carré typically are. No complaints here. Some quibbles, but no complaints.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Could have been better, but the result is very okay.

Long live John le Carré.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Marauders

What I said about it back in January:

“Bruce Willis paycheck movie.”

2.5 stars.”

“Hope it can be 3, but my expectations are not raised.”

What I thought about it:

“Pretty sure I’m the only audience for these at this point.”

“This one — you’d think I’d have gotten to 3 on it, but I honestly have no idea what the fuck the point of it all was.”

“This one was too generic and too predictable for my tastes.”

“I almost considered making it 3 stars for the reveal of Adrian Grenier as a criminal mastermind, but I think that’s precisely why I shouldn’t have given it 3.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I could teach a class on Bruce Willis paycheck B-movies at this point.

Cage is more my speed, but I could definitely do Willis too.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Dear Eleanor

What I said about it back in January:

2.5 stars. Standard VOD drop. Especially after two years of no release.”

What I thought about it:

“It was cute. Kids road trip. I like these movies.”

“Coming of age movies are always great. Even if they’re not, I’ll always enjoy them more than most.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Enjoyable as one of those movies you randomly caught on cable once. I had no problems with this.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

What I said about it back in January:

“They have faith in this, putting it in July. My recollection is that a comedy going in July is never a good sign. But the premise is fair enough.”

“Not overly impressed with anything I’m seeing in terms of cast, writers or directors.”

“I have to stick with 3 stars and let the movie impress me, if it’s going to. It’s hard for me to get excited about a comedy, given the state of comedy.”

What I thought about it:

“Have I mentioned how much I hate comedies nowadays? Why are they all so shitty? Why are they all the same? Do people really go for this stuff?”

“This was inexplicable to me on every possible level. Every character is so stupid and the situations are so fake and manufactured it didn’t generate comedy so much as it was the kid standing in the corner shouting for attention. And nobody likes that kid.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I hated this movie. I weep for the state of the comedy genre.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

The Secret Life of Pets

What I said about it back in January:

“I’m already seeing a franchise here, and it terrifies me.”

“To be fair, the trailer did have its moments. So I’m not as far down on this as you’d think I’d be.”

“That said, this is probably one of those that’s getting 3 stars at best out of me the first time, and after this, I’m done and don’t care about anything.”

What I thought about it:

“I liked this. I thought I’d think it was whatever, but this was fun.”

“Story is whatever, but there was enough amusement for me to go higher than a standard 3 stars.”

“And now they’ll ruin this with terrible sequels. Just like Despicable Me. This is the world we live in.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Not sure why I went so high on this originally. Saw it again and really didn’t care for it as much. It’s not particularly good. Gotta drop it to 3. It was fair enough, but they’re still gonna ruin it with sequels.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Captain Fantastic

What I said about it back in January:

3 stars.”

“Sounds like it’ll be good, but not great.”

What I thought about it:

“This was interesting. Viggo Mortensen is really good, and he keeps this of interest throughout.”

“I’m surprised I wasn’t turned off by the characters. But it’s charming enough to get by, and a real solid film overall.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I liked this. Very engaging. Nice little gem.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Zero Days

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“It got shortlisted for the Oscar, so I had to watch it. Not a documentary I’d normally want to see.”

“Too complex, too much about something I didn’t know or particularly cared about.”

“While I could be persuaded to be interested in that topic, you’re not gonna get me with hardcore computer talk, discussing the complexity of the virus and coding.”

“So much of it went over my head I just tuned out for a lot of it. That’s me and documentaries though.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

People will find this interesting, I just wasn’t interested and everything going over my head didn’t help it any.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Cell

What I said about it back in January:

3 stars. Again, I want to go 2.5, but I can’t bring myself to.”

What I thought about it:

“For some reason I had no idea what the hell this was until I started watching it.”

“Then cell phones started turning people into murderous zombies and I simultaneously went, ‘What the fuck?’ ‘This is ridiculous,’ and ‘Okay, sure, I guess I’m in.'”

“I got through it okay, even though this feels like they cut out a lot of the actual story of this film and cut it down to a workable 90 minutes that people can VOD without much effort. Oh well.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I got through it. It’s certainly not good, though. But isn’t that what Stephen King is? All premise and so-so execution?

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Fathers and Daughters

What I said about it back in January:

“Cast is solid, so I can’t go below 3 stars.”

What I thought about it:

“Directed by the guy who did Pursuit of Happyness, Seven Pounds and that Gerard Butler soccer player movie where he’s banging all the housewives. So you get an idea of what this is going to be.”

“It’s fine. Didn’t hate it. Not a great film though by any stretch.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Saccharine bullshit. I enjoyed it fine. Sometimes it’s about what time of year I see a movie. I was much more lenient on this in January than I would have been in November.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Ghostbusters

What I said about it back in January:

“Count me as one with this on my list of films that make me the most nervous. Because if this sucks, and it makes money, there are going to be more of them. If it sucks and it doesn’t make money, then everyone shits on it and an all female cast movie is wasted. Where’s the benefit of doing this?”

“The cast doesn’t inspire me with any confidence. They could just as easily make a terrible film as a good one. The budget is $150 million, which scares the shit out of me. There’s a lot to make me nervous.”

“So I have to say 3 stars and let the movie decide whether or not it’s gonna be good.”

“Here’s just hoping it’s not Unforgivable, which is also a distinct possibility.”

What I thought about it:

“There’s a lot to like here, and a lot to dislike as well.”

“It’s not an outright disaster, but it’s also not great either.”

“The most you can say is — it’s fine. Which, is that what we wanted out of this?”

“I’m gonna err on the side of liking the all female aspect and the message it sends, but as for movie quality — ehh.”

“I also have problems with how they developed this, throwing out jokes left and right, many of which don’t land, and letting the actresses play on pretty much different wavelengths much of the time. Tonally it’s all over the place and never quite comes together.”

“It’s decent enough. Maybe not for $150 million, but as far as pure entertainment, it’s okay.”

“I’ll need some time to process my real feelings on this, but overall, I didn’t hate it. So that’s something.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

The movie is fair. I dislike it because it led to people shitting on it for the wrong reasons. And also the right reasons. It’s not good, it basically redoes the first movie again but worse, it has Fall Out Boy do the theme song, the leads are all over the place — there are reasons not to like this. But an all-female reboot is a good idea. We just need one to be made correctly. And that’s why I disliked this movie. The vitriol for this movie because they’re women upset me. We need movies with heroes for young girls. And I hoped this could be that (and also be good). Here’s hoping the Ocean’s remake is worthwhile.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

The Infiltrator

What I said about it back in January:

“You’re not getting more than 3 stars. But the cast is better than average, so I won’t go generic 2.5 here.”

What I thought about it:

“I figured it would be action heavy. Turns out, this was a Donnie Brasco situation.”

“Really engaging movie that was way better than I thought.”

“John Leguizamo is also one of the most underrated actors working today, and he’s fucking phenomenal here. Somebody write this man a part that’ll get him an award, because he’s being so underutilized as it is.”

“This is one of those movies that no one really saw that’s actually quite good. I think you should check this one out because you’ll probably like it.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I liked this way more than I was expecting to. These tend to be good. Undercover cop movies. Cranston is good, love Leguizamo in this. Really enjoyed it, even if it’s not groundbreaking cinema.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Undrafted

What I said about it back in January:

“I stopped tracking it in December, and left a blanket 2.5 star rating in case it ever came out.”

What I thought about it:

“The idea of this is good — the entire movie takes place during an intramural baseball game (and only during the game) as the teams (comprised of players who never made it in the big leagues) find out that one of the players hasn’t been drafted.”

“It’s fun. I like the semi-unconventional narrative, but mostly it’s designed to appeal to a specific set of people and not much else. Which I’m fine with.”

“Those as far as movies like this go, I’ll always prefer Bleacher Bums. That movie is great. This movie is amusing.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Solid thumbs up here. Like the conceit, enjoyed the movie enough. Still prefer Bleacher Bums, not that anyone but me knows what that movie is. But this was fun enough to be worth a watch on a lazy afternoon.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Equals

What I said about it back in January:

“A futuristic love story set in a world where emotions have been eradicated.”

“Starring Kristen Stewart.”

“(That’s a punchline.)”

“No reason to think this won’t be 3 stars.”

What I thought about it:

“The idea of this movie will never not be funny to me.”

“It’s not overly great, but it’s not bad.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s fine. I still can’t help but laugh at that premise. Also starting to lose faith that Drake Doremus has any more great movies left in him.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Cafe Society

What I said about it back in January:

“Let’s call it 3 stars. He seems to be one on, one off. I’m sure it’ll be fine.”

What I thought about it:

“Passable, but again it feels like old Woody Allen not really having anything to say.”

“It’s a movie I mostly didn’t care about that had a few moments that were intellectually enjoyable.”

“You can see where, structurally, there could be something here that resembles a good movie, but I just don’t think Woody Allen cares enough to get there. Or worse, has reached the age where he just can’t do it anymore.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It’s mediocre Woody Allen. It has its moments, but for a lot of it I didn’t care. Par for the course.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Ice Age: Collision Course

What I said about it back in January:

“Nope.””

“Pretty sure I was done after two.”

“Completely skipping this. Do not give a fuck.”

“But 2.5 stars, because we gotta put something on there in case shit happens.”

What I thought about it:

“I somehow have managed to make it through seeing all of these movies, even though I didn’t give a shit after the first one. I guess that’s what happens when you have young cousins.”

“I honestly couldn’t tell you what’s happened in this franchise since… ever, really. And I couldn’t tell you what happened here. Not that I care. It’s harmless, it’s for kids. Not great, but it’s not for me.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Still couldn’t tell you anything that happened in this franchise ever.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

The Childhood of a Leader

What I said about it back in January:

“Still really holding out hope that this is about Hitler.”

3.5 stars.”

“Really want this to be good (and be about Hitler).”

What I thought about it:

“This isn’t about Hitler.”

“The first thing you notice about this movie is the score. This sounds like the score from a Brian De Palma-doing-Hitchcock movie. It’s literally the score of a thriller. And the whole film is structured around this foreboding narrative. It’s put up in chapters that are basically saying, ‘Bad shit is coming, and here are things that showed us that it was going to happen.’ Very odd choices.”

“Overall, I did like it. It looks good, and there’s something captivating about it, despite how little actually happens on screen.”

“I wanted to like it more than I did.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Really wish this were about Hitler. Almost made it to 3.5, but I just didn’t like it enough to go there. It’s admirable in its attempt, but doesn’t quite go anywhere for me.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Lights Out

What I said about it back in January:

“I saw the short this is based on. It was pretty good. How you turn that into a feature, I have no idea.”

“But hey, credit for getting a feature made.”

2.5 stars.”

What I thought about it:

“This worked as a three minute short. As a feature, did not care, did not care.”

“There is no way you can make that short interesting as a feature. You resort to the same boring horror tropes everyone resorts to. Vengeful ghosts and repeated jump scares.”

“It’s so much more interesting if the ghost wasn’t trying to kill everyone and just wanted to get revenge on certain people. Why not find out that the ghost wants to take down a corrupt institution? So you get the first half as jump scares and the last half as straight up ghost helping our main characters find evidence to start a class action lawsuit? Give me that movie. This stuff is just stupid to me.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Can someone write a horror movie where the ghost is actually trying to help a class action lawsuit go through?

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Train to Busan

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“Solid zombie thriller out of Korea. They’ll pick this up for an American remake soon enough. I thought it was well made. Didn’t love it, but it was definitely well made.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

This was fair.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Phantom Boy

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“A lovely little animated movie.”

“The kind of plot that you’d see in one of those Nickelodeon shows.”

“Liked this one quite a bit. Worth checking out, as far as animated films go.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Enjoyed it. Not gonna go back and watch it a bunch, but I did like it. Any hand-drawn movie is always worthwhile.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Rebirth

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“It’s The Game, but if the end result was Scientology. That’s really all you need to know. It’s fine. You know where it’s going every step of the way.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Nothing new or unique. But fair, as far as Netflix movies go.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Don’t Think Twice

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“I’m not a huge fan of the improvisational method of making movies.”

“There’s a few interesting moments, but by and large I was just kind of watching it without feeling.”

“I know a certain crowd really liked this and will really like this. But this just isn’t my speed at all.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It was fine, but I can’t stand improv, so this was pretty difficult for me to get through.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Star Trek Beyond

What I said about it back in January:

“I feel like this year is so easy to guess ratings because so much of it is franchises or directors and I know exactly how I’m going to rate them even before I see a cast and synopsis.”

“There’s no plot announced for this, but seeing as how the first one was fun but not great, and the second one was watchable but a giant mess, I have no choice but to say 3 stars here.”

What I thought about it:

“It’s Star Trek. I know what I’m getting with these. They’re moderately fun and when they’re done, I don’t really have the urge to go watch them again.”

“It’s an okay franchise. That’s what it’s always been for me.”

“I’m glad at the very least this wasn’t the disaster the last movie was. That’s a step in the right direction.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

It was enjoyable enough, but this franchise doesn’t particularly do anything for me. There’s a certain amount of fun to it, but ultimately it’s just okay at best.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Indignation

What I said about it back in January:

“This feels like a 3 star guess. There’s really nothing here that jumps out at me to make me think anything higher.”

What I thought about it:

“I liked this. Wasn’t a great movie, but it kept me engaged.”

“Roth is a difficult adaptation. And we got two of them this year.”

“I think this works more than it doesn’t. Won’t appeal to most but definitely kept my interest up more than I thought it would.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I liked it enough to go 3.5. Can’t say I’ll feel the need to see it again, but I was steadily engaged throughout. I’m sure this doesn’t compare at all to the novel, but as a film, it was decent.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Tallulah

What I said about it back in January:

3 stars. Not sure what I’m getting here.”

What I thought about it:

“I liked it. Doesn’t fully come together and some of the motivations seem weird, but overall, it’s engaging.”

“Good lead performances, never gets too melodramatic, and it works more than it doesn’t. I’ll always take that.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

More solid than most of the Netflix movies I saw this year. Not a masterpiece, but engaging and a good lead performance by Ellen Page.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Gleason

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“Very affecting documentary.”

“It’s a great film about who this man is and his honest struggle with the disease. You see him break down, you see him struggle with what his life is and what his life is going to be. And it’s about perseverance and the strength to carry on.”

“It’s really well made and it’s hard to see this and not be moved by it.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Very well made and affecting. I liked this one.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Viral

What I said about it back in January:

“This looks like a Blumhouse movie. I don’t know if I’m gonna see it or skip it, but if I do see it, 2.5 stars.”

What I thought about it:

“This almost managed to make 3, but ultimately it went the typical Blumhouse route rather than the good storytelling route.”

“For a while this was an interesting movie about sisters dealing with an epidemic. And then it became a horror movie about worms. Oh well.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

Almost was good. Then they made it about worms.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: Exact.

Can We Take a Joke

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“They’re right. It’s fucked up what’s happened to society. I guess the only thing to say about this is: I hope those cunts get AIDS.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I hope those cunts get AIDS.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Hooligan Sparrow

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“This was so fucked up. It’s about activists trying to protest the rape of six young girls by their school principal. And whenever they try to speak out, the actual government spies on them and arrests them and fucks with them.”

“It’s a powerful movie about fighting for gender equality, or at the very least, fighting to stop fucked up things from happening to women in a male-dominated society. This is important.”

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

On Netflix. Worth seeing. This is one about important subject matter that I actually enjoyed on a pure entertainment level.

* * * ½ (3.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Nerve

What I said about it back in January:

Directors did Catfish. It’s a thriller. No idea if this will be shitty or not, but the premise is vaguely intriguing.

Stars Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis.

2.5 stars.

What I thought about it:

“This was one of those movies where it seemed watchable, but the premise carried it the extra mile.”

“Any time the plot holes started to open or the film started to drag, I found myself thinking about all the possibilities inherent in the premise. And that usually is enough to take a 3 star movie to a 3.5.”

“I’m not gonna say this changed my life, but really great premises are hard to come by anymore, and this definitely held my interest more than the average movie. And I’m grateful for that.”

* * * (3 stars)

Final Thoughts:

The interesting premise kept this watchable. Not great, but it was pretty entertaining for the run time.

* * * (3 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Equity

What I said about it back in January:

Nothing.

What I thought about it:

“Boring bank thriller. Like Margin Call but with a police angle. Which I didn’t care about. Meaning I didn’t care about any of it.”

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I forgot about it the minute it ended.

* * ½ (2.5 stars)

How close was I?: N/A

Bad Moms

What I said about it back in January:

“This looks like it’ll probably be borderline Unforgivable.”

2.5 stars.”

What I thought about it:

“Another example of a movie where the main characters have one desire in life and that defines them. In relationship movies, it’s always love. The character defines themselves and life by whether or not they’re in love. Here, the characters define themselves by how good of a mom they are. Not as people making their way in the world, but by how good a job they doing one specific thing. I hate movies like that.”

“Oh, and this is another example of stupid raunchy comedy where people just say R-rated shit for no reason.”

“Also, what’s with this trend of ‘Bad’ movies? I guess I could have taken off the quotations there. Bad Teacher, Bad Grandpa. Stop it. They’re not good.”

“The most fascinating thing about a movie like this is that you know people read this script and went, ‘This is some of the funniest shit I’ve ever read.’ And yet… this movie. It’s exactly everything I hate about comedies nowadays.”

* * (2 stars)

Final Thoughts:

We can probably take off the “borderline.” This was fucking horrendous.

* * (2 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

Jason Bourne

What I said about it back in January:

“Matt Damon, Paul Greengrass, Bourne.”

4.5 stars, enough said.”

“Anything less than 4 will be disappointing for me.”

What I thought about it:

“The film was fine. Sure, the story isn’t up to snuff (the father angle? Really?) and the third act is a mess, but it’s basically pulling the same formula the other films pulled, and it’s a nice thrill ride from beginning to end.”

“No major complaints here. It’s the weakest of the four, but honestly, I’d rather a lesser Bourne movie than most other things.”

“Solid B+/A-. Trending toward B+. Which I’ll take. Especially in a year like this.”

* * * * (4 stars)

Final Thoughts:

I was partly wrong. Even 4 stars was disappointing for me. I probably shouldn’t even keep it at 4, but I will. Because at its core it’s still Bourne. But man, was this just a rehash of things we’ve seen and generic action tropes.

I enjoyed this, and will keep the rating, but this franchise has such high expectations given the level of content to this point that I am very, very disappointed in how this turned out.

* * * * (4 stars)

How close was I?: Off by a half-star.

– – – – – – – – – –

Tomorrow is August.

http://bplusmovieblog.com

Advertisements

One response

  1. Mike, you hit the nail right on the head with Ghostbusters. Girls need heroes. Too bad they were in such a mediocre movie.

    December 23, 2016 at 12:04 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s