In 2016, Rachael from Helpless Whilst Drying did a 100 Movies challenge where she watched 100 movies with her husband during the year (here’s her 2017 list.) I loved the idea, and set to do the same thing myself in 2017. I wanted to do a little summary of my thoughts of each movie, but since I waited until the end of the year to post a list of the movies I watched, my post was over 5,000 words long – I never ended up posting it on my blog.
This year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to the same thing again, only I’m going to challenge myself to watch 50 movies this year since there’s no way I’ll be able to watch 100. I’ll do a movies post every three months, which will let me “review” them. Keep reading for a short review of each movie – it seems that I watched some really good movies these last few months even though not many of them are current!
Doctor Strange – 3/5
As I mentioned in my Blogger Awards post, I cannot get on board with (most) Marvel movies. I think Benedict Cumberbatch is an amazing actor and have immensely enjoyed every movie I’ve seen with him in it, but even he couldn’t save this movie for me. The pro: I didn’t fall asleep in this movie like I do during most Marvel movies.
Bright – 4/5
When we started this movie, I had no idea what this movie was about, just that a lot of people were saying that it was good. Set in a world where humans coexist with magical creatures, an LAPD named Daryl Ward (Will Smith) is partnered up with an Orc named Nick Jakoby (Joel Edgerton). Orcs are seen as the “lower” class in this world, and Nick falls into no-man’s land where faces discrimination from humans for being an Orc, as well as from his own kind for associating with humans. Daryl dislikes Nick, but a discovery during a night patrol together will forever change them and their relationship with one another. It’s not an amazing “will-change-your-life” movie, but it was a very entertaining watch.
Get Out – 4/5
I normally don’t watch freaky horror/thriller movies like this one, but I heard it was nominated for an Oscar so I knew it wasn’t as straightforward as a simple thriller. Unfortunately, someone spoiled the twist for me before I watched it, but it was still a very well thought-out movie with a very interesting concept. I loved that it was almost a parody of typical horror movies too, without being an outright Scary Movie.
The Theory of Everything – 5/5
A biopic about Stephen Hawking’s life and his relationship with his wife, Jane, starting from when he is first diagnosed with ALS. This movie was so beautiful and heartbreaking. There is no denying his brilliance and the immense contributions that he made to science, but I do think the movie glossed over how difficult Hawking’s illness likely was for his family, and especially for Jane. Nevertheless, I didn’t know that much about Hawking before watching the movie (I always assumed he was American due to the computerized voice LOL). I’ve been wanting to watch this movie forever, and felt lucky (is that the right word?) that I was able to learn a little more about him before his passing. I’ve enjoyed Eddie Redmayne’s acting in every movie I’ve seen him in, and he was absolutely brilliant in this film – the Academy Award was much deserved.
The Danish Girl – 4/5
Ahem, I may have been on an Eddie Redmayne kick in February…in The Danish Girl, he plays Einar Wegener, an artist who becomes a pioneer for the transgender movement with the support of his wife, Gerda. This movie was absolutely heartbreaking; I bawled my eyse out at the end. Plus it has my girl-crush Alicia Vikander in it, so there’s that.
Black Panther – 5/5
As I mentioned when I talked about Doctor Strange, I’m not a big fan of Marvel superhero movies but freaking I LOVED this. The contrast between tradition and technology, the soundtrack, the acting and chemistry between the cast – everything was done brilliantly. I often find the humour in superhero movies to be kind of lame and not funny, but it was spot on in Black Panther.
The Shape of Water – 4/5
I’m sure a lot of people know about this movie due to the umm, interesting concept, and the fact that it was voted Best Picture at the Oscars this year. In terms of movies produced by Guillermo del Toro, I’ve only ever seen Pan’s Labyrinth, which scared me a little (I’m a chicken, okay?) but had stunning imagery. Overall this movie was a bit weird, but it was lovely. The movie reminded of the movie Amelie, I guess because of the colour scheme of the movie and the quirky female protagonist.
Phantom Thread – 1/5
Another Oscar-nominated movie, this one about a temperamental, demanding couture dress designer and his muse. Maybe I just missed the entire point of the movie, but this movie was SO dry! I don’t even know what to say. I don’t know how I made it to the end without falling asleep. The cinematography and costume design were beautiful (it did end up winning Best Costume Design at the Academy Awards), but that was about all I liked in the film.
Begin Again – 2.5/5
An indie movie featuring a very interesting cast – Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo as the leads, with James Corden and Adam Levine (from Maroon 5) as supporting characters. Mark Ruffalo plays a down-and-out record label exec who, by chance, meets Keira Knightley’s character and is stunned by her talent. They end up working together, which is a transformative process for both of them. Keira Knightley sang quite a bit in this movie, and she I was surprised by how delicate and sweet her voice is. The chemistry was there, but the story was kind of dry.
Coco – 5/5
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this movie since no one had been talking about it, but another Disney movie hits it out of the park. Coco is a story of a young aspiring musician named Miguel whose family has banned music from their lives. On Dios de los Muertos, Miguel accidentally travels into the Land of the Dead, where he meets his ancestors and learns more than he ever could imagine about his family. As you would expect from a movie based on the Day of the Dead, the animation is stunningly vibrant and colourful, and gives viewers a poignant story of family. The story made me feel so many emotions, from tears of sadness to tears of joy.
Call Me By Your Name – 4/5
A coming-of-age movie (based on a book) set in the Northern Italy countryside, about 17-year-old American-Italian Elio and his relationship with his father’s 24-year-old research assistant Oliver. This movie was pretty heartbreaking; the emotions are so raw. One thing though – I was skeeved by the age difference in the characters, especially because Armie Hammer looks his actual age (31) while Timothee Chalamet looks 17. The chemistry between the two was stellar, though, and the scenery was stunning.
Spectre – 2/5
I’ve never been a big fan of James Bond movies, although I remember watching bits and pieces of the Pierce Brosnan ones with my dad as a kid. The only one I’ve seen in full was Skyfall, which preceded Spectre. I really enjoyed Skyfall, but what the heck was this movie? It was boring and full of plot holes the whole way through, and the ending was weird. My husband is a big James Bond fan, but it took us two weekends to get through this movie.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri – 5/5
After a girl is raped and killed, her mother Mildred rents three billboards on the outskirts of the town to call out the Chief of Police and his lack of action in finding the killer. Most of the movie revolves around the conflict between Mildred, the police, and the townspeople who don’t support her. I watched this after the Oscars were held, but I ended up LOVING this one the most out of all the films nominated for Best Picture I had seen so far. This movie is gritty, and at first, I couldn’t tell where this movie was headed, but there ended up being so much heart in this story.
Shawshank Redemption – 5/5
This is a rewatch – I haven’t seen this movie since I was a teen, but I heard that they were taking it off Netflix so I made sure I had a chance to watch it before they took it off. This is an unforgettable film, but ironically, I forgot how good this movie is. It is more or less about a group of prisoners and their lives at Shawshank Prison, with a focus on a well-educated banker named Andy who is sent to prison for killing his wife and her lover, and Andy’s bond with Ellis Redding, a man who has been in prison for twenty years when Andy arrives in prison. A few parts in the movie are brutal (as you would expect from a prison movie), but more than that, it is an uplifting story about humanity and friendship. I could honestly watch this movie again and again.
xXx: Return of Xander Cage – 3/5
I vividly remember watching the first xXx movie with my dad in theatres as a kid, although I can’t recall whether I’ve seen the second one. This was an entertaining movie, but nothing amazing – my husband guessed the ending within the first five minutes of the movie. I did enjoy the diverse cast, though. This movie was like a lesser version of the Fast and the Furious franchise, and I’m not just saying that because both movies have Vin Diesel in it.
The Greatest Showman – 4/5
I’ve been wanting to watch this movie since it came out in theatres in December. My husband does not like musicals (I know, he’s a monster), so we never ended up seeing it. I watched it at home by myself, and enjoyed it immensely. The story is inspired by the life of P.T. Barnum, a showman who was known for creating one of the largest circuses in North America. The real-life P.T. Barnum does not sound like he was a decent person at all, but I loved Hugh Jackman’s portrayal of this man with big dreams. Now I have the soundtrack playing on repeat, which is annoying my husband to no end. Con of this movie: Zac Efron pretty much appears shirtless in at least one scene in all of the recent movies I’ve seen him in, but in this one he does not.
Baywatch – 1/5
I chose this movie when there wasn’t really anything else to put on as background noise while I was working on other projects. I’ve never seen the original Baywatch (was too young), so I had nothing to compare it to. The chemistry of the cast was actually very good, and Dwayne Johnson is awesome as always. But the dialogue was bad, the jokes were bad, and the plot was bad. Pro: Shirtless Zac Efron.
Which of these movies did you enjoy yourself, and what movies did you watch in Q1 that you absolutely loved?