Top 5 Movies of 2017 So Far

 

Since we’re past halfway through the year, and I never found the time to do my top 5 of the first half of the year. I thought I’d do my top five of the year so far now. I have a couple honorable mentions before we get into the official top five.

Honorable Mention: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Image via Marvel Studios

The first Guardians of the Galaxy was one of the biggest surprises in comic book movie history. They took one of the least popular comic books in Marvel’a history and made an amazing, hilarious, and visually astounding movie. The sequel had big shoes to fill, and it did a good job of doing so. It wasn’t as good as the first, but it certainly was a very fun movie. In my opinion, it was funnier than the first, and the visuals were taken up three more notches. This shows how Marvel continues to impress with their films time and time again.

Honorable Mention: Split

Image via Universal Pictures

M. Night Shyamalan has a very fascinating career. At one point, he was being regarded as the next Spielberg, but when he was gives more freedom and money he drove that into the ground with his movies that came after Signs. He already proved that he could still make a good movie with The Visit, and he solidified that with Split. Shyamalan showed perfectly how to film suspense. The movie was one of the best suspense thrillers I’ve seen recently. Also, James McAvoy’s performance can’t go unnoticed. He had the rigorous job of playing multiple characters in one movie, and did that as well as humanly possible. The year’s not over, but right now he has a spot for a Best Actor nomination in my book. Finally, the twist at the end was one of the best I’ve seen in any film. If you haven’t seen Split, I highly recommend it.

#5: Spider-Man: Homecoming / Wonder Woman 

Image via Sony Pictures

This rarely happens for me, but I have a tie for the number five slot between two great comic book movies. Spider-Man: Homecoming was the result of a beautiful marriage between Sony and Marvel. The two studios had very different ideas of the direction to take the movie, and somehow they came to an agreement making this fun movie about a fifteen year old kid who gets spider powers. The movie encapsulates what the character should be, especially with Tom Holland in the lead role. He’s the first actor to play Spider-Man that got Peter Parker and Spider-Man completely right. I loved Tobey MacGuire, but Tom Holland brought a whole new level to the role.

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Image via Warner Bros.

Wonder Woman was the first comic book movie in recent years to have a female lead role, and Gal Gadot played it amazingly. The movie was beautifully shot with every scene and set piece looking vibrant. Along with that, the cast was incredible with names like Robin Wright, Connie Nielsen, and Chris Pine. It was a standalone movie, so anybody could sit down, knowing nothing about the DCEU, and they could enjoy it. Even my mother went to see the movie and loved it. The film was also truly inspirational towards women, especially young girls, to show that even females can be strong. They didn’t hammer you over the head with this idea, it was was shown to you on screen by Gal Gadot. I’m sure you’ve seen the movie by now based on the box office, but it will be release on Blu-Ray in September. I highly encourage you to buy it and share it with as many people as possible.

#4: Dunkirk

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Image via Warner Bros.

When you sit down to watch a Christopher Nolan movie, you expect quality. He has proved himself numerous times in the past 17 years without making a bad movie. This movie doesn’t break that streak. While Nolan has made better movies, this one is really something special. Most war movies take the conventional route and take time to get you acquainted with the characters while they get you immersed in the war itself. This movie doesn’t skip a beat with the battle of Dunkirk. The movie is in the action right when it starts and keeps on that train until the very last shot of the film. It is a purely experiential movie that should be seen on the biggest screen possible. Every moment has you on the edge of your seat. It’s really hard to believe that all of this happened, and when you put yourself into their situations, it enhances the experience to make it even greater. Like I said, it’s not a character based movie, but it does a fantastic job of putting you in the boots of the soldiers on the Dunkirk beach.

#3: War for the Planet of the Apes

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Image via 20th Century Fox

The Planet of the Apes trilogy is one of the best trilogies of all time. Rise was a great revitalization of the franchise, Dawn was a superior sequel, and War was an emotional end to the franchise. The markets itself as a war film, but it is much more than that. It tells the story of Caesar, a war torn and tough ape, at the height of the dysfunction between the humans and apes. Woody Harrelson plays the leader of a military faction trying to take out all of the apes, and Caesar has to lead his “people” to escape the wrath of the humans. The main driving force of the movie is Andy Serkis as Caesar, who I think is Oscar worthy in the ape movies, especially in the last two. You can see the character arc throughout the trilogy in his performance if you watch all three movies. Matt Reeves returns to direct the movie and doing it just as well as he did last time. The opening scene in the movie I thought was one of the best in the entire trilogy. Like I said, it’s not a war movie, it is more focused on character and following the apes on this long journey.

#2: Baby Driver

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Image via Sony Pictures

Edgar Wright is one of the best directors working today. He makes fantastic original movies that are all unique in their own special way. Baby Driver is no exception. Every year, there is at least one movie that connect to on a special level. There are always great movies, but there are also movies that remind me why I love movies. In 2015, it was Star Wars: The Force Awakens, last year in was Sing Street, and this year it was Baby Driver and my #1 choice. Baby Driver is about a young man, Baby, who does get away drives for heists because of a debt he has to pay. On his last job, he runs into some complications and has to protect the love of his life, Deborah. Ansel Elgort does a fantastic job playing Baby. He doesn’t get all that many lines, however he really sold the character. The action scenes are some of the best I’ve seen all year. The opening scene is most likely one of the best car chases in film of all time. The action isn’t cut to shreds to here you can’t tell what’s happening. He uses long takes so you can track every aspect of the scene. The film is cluttered with A-list cast members, including Jon Bernthal, Kevin Spacey, Jamie Foxx, John Hamm, and Lily James. I’ve heard some people say that the romance between Lily James’s character and Baby doesn’t work, however I thought the complete opposite. For me, it was very cute and Elgort and James have amazing chemistry. Sure, it might have been a little unrealistic, but it fit in with the tone of the entire movie. The film recently hit $100 million domestically, so if you haven’t seen Baby Driver yet, you need to get on it before it leaves theaters.

#1: Logan

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Image via 20th Century Fox

Logan  is the culmination of 17 years of seeing Hugh Jackman play Wolverine. In the movie, Wolverine is much older. He hides Professor X, who now has a degenerative brain disease. A young mutant girl named Laura comes along, and he has to fight his way through the organization trying to capture this girl. Fox already made a risky comic book movie with Deadpool. It is now the highest grossing R rated movie of all time. This being Hugh Jackman’s last performance as the character brings a lot of pressure to get it right, and James Mangold did just that. Logan was a very different take on a comic book movie. It was more of a drama or western than an action movie. They found a way to make the movie smaller and more contained, which ultimately made the stakes much higher in a way. I have to say, this is Hugh Jackman’s best performance as Logan out of every X-Men movie. He brought a sense of tiredness to the character showing that he just wants to be done playing the hero, and rather just being a guy who wants to get away from the world. Patrick Stewart also gives his best performance in the X-Men movies in this movie. It was disheartening to see where his character ended up after getting older. His brain disease makes him a weapon with him having seizures, which hurts everyone around him. The breakout star was Dafne Keen as Laura. She was just perfectly cast for X-23. It’s difficult to give a good performance when you don’t many lines, but she managed to pull it off. If you get a chance, you should watch her audition tape for the role. It’s very impressive. I don’t want to go on for too long, I’d like to eventually do an entire review for the movie. In short, Logan was a movie that in the long run has the potential to transcend the comic book genre. Now, it’s in my top 10 comic book movies of all time. James Mangold did a phenomenal job directing the film, using colors magnificently. One last thing, the film also looks great in black & white. You can watch it in that format on the blu ray.

Those are my top 5 movies of the year so far. The year isn’t over yet, so the list will probably change between now and December. I can’t wait to see what the rest of the year holds for film.

What are your top 10 movies of the year so far? What films did I leave out? Maybe I’ll review them. Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Obi Wan Kenobi Spinoff Movie in the Works

It looks like the next Star Wars spinoff will be a much requested one, Obi Wan Kenobi.

The Hollywood Reporter wrote an exclusive article revealing that Lucasfilm is developing the next Star Wars movie that will come out after Episode IX, and it will be focused on the character of Obi Wan Kenobi. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot, The Hours) is in early talks to direct the film.  The report goes on to say that multiple spinoffs are being considered including a Yoda movie and a Boba Fett movie. No details have been announced about the cast or plot details.

I think we’ve all been asking for this movie. Of all the possible ideas for a spinoff, Obi Wan has probably been one with the highest demand. He has the most story potential. There’s a huge gap between episodes III and IV where we know nothing about what Obi Wan was doing. Ewan McGregor has expressed a lot of interest in coming back to play the character, so it would make sense for him to come back. I’d really love to see him third and so would the rest of the fans. 

Image via Lucasfilm

As much as I do want the Obi Wan movie, I would like to see Lucasfilm stray away from character that we already know. The article goes on to say that Boba Fett and Yoda movies are in development. I feel like the Star Wars universe is starting to seem small. If we keep relying on characters that we already know, then there’s less expansion of the world. Star Wars is filled with thousands of possibilities. There are countless planets, alien species, and stories to make movies about. You could tell so many stories that don’t have to do with any of the trilogies and stand in their own. I think there is a certain mentality that people won’t see a Star Wars movie if it doesn’t have familiar characters. I think The Force Awakens proved that wrong because while Han Solo was in the trailers, he was a very small part of them. It shows that the creators are perfectly capable of establishing new character and getting audiences instantly attached to them like Rey and Finn. 

Variety adds in their report that a Jabba the Hutt movie is also being considered. Surprisingly enough, I think this idea has potential if they take it in a certain direction. I wouldn’t want a movie centered around Jabba the Hutt, but if you could make a Star Wars movie based in the underworld, I think that would be something really different and interesting. It could be like a Star Wars gangster movie. Jabba could be in the movie of course, but not the main character. If he is the focus of the movie, I’m not interested. However, if he is a side note it could be really good. Just keep in mind that the Yoda, Boba Fett, and Jabba movies might not even happen. They are just being considered. 

Image via Lucasfilm

As far as the Obi Wan news, I think it has a lot of different ways it could go. Depending on where the movie will be set. Like I said, I do want new character in my spinoffs, but Obi wan is one of the only exceptions to get me excited.

What do you think of the Obi Wan movie? Are you excited? Do you think Ewan McGregor will return? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Ben Affleck as Batman and Why I’ve Stopped Caring

In case you didn’t hear, in an interview at Fenway Park, Casey Affleck discussed his brother, Ben Affleck, as Batman. While talking he said, “He’s not going to do that movie, I don’t think. Sorry to say.” Now, many people are saying that he was joking when saying this, but that’s not the point today.

Ben Affleck’s involvement in the DCEU has been a rocky journey. If you look at the past of everything that has been said about him and this solo Batman movie, it’s really hard to take anything they say seriously.

  • Ben Affleck is Directing The Batman
  • January 10, 2017 – Ben Affleck says the movie is going well
  • January 30, 2017 – Ben Affleck will not direct The Batman 
  • January 31, 2017 – Matt Reeves is frontrunner to direct
  • February 10, 2017 – Matt Reeves to direct
  • February 17, 2017 – Matt Reeves leaves the project
  • February 23, 2017 – Matt Reeves back on to direct
  • July 21, 2017 – Warner Bros. looking to usher Ben Affleck out of the DCEU
  • July 22, 2017 – Ben Affleck says he loves being Batman at Comic Con
  • August 18, 2017 – Casey Affleck says Ben Affleck will not be in The Batman

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    Image via Warner Bros.

This has gotten to the point where I won’t believe anything that is said until I sit in the theater and see the credits for the movie. I’m just tired of hearing stories every week saying that either Affleck is happy being Batman, that he’s leaving, that he’s staying for one more movie, or that ht’e even doing a whole trilogy. At this point, I just don’t care. Don’t get me wrong, I really loved Ben Affleck as Batman. He was my absolute favorite part of Batman v Superman. If it were up to me, I’d have him stay forever in the role. But, with all these rumors and news stories coming out, I just can’t deal with it anymore. Until Ben Affleck or Warner Bros. definitively says that he absolutely will play Batman, I’m not going take the res of these statements with a grain of salt. So, if you want to know what I think of what Casey Affleck said, I guess it could be true. They are brothers so he probably knows certain things about him, but there is a good chance he was joking. I don’t have much to say other than that.

What do you think of Ben Affleck being Batman? Do you think he will stay? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Sony Sets New Release Dates (‘Silver & Black’,’Sicario 2′)

Sony has set release date for some of their upcoming films in the next two years including Silver & Black and Sicario 2: Soldado.

Image via Sony

Silver & Black, the Spider-Man spin off that takes place out of the MCU, will release around Valentine’s Day on February 8, 2019. It will be directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood and will feature the characters Silver Sable and Black Cat. This is only four months after the first spin off,Venom, starring Tom Hardy. 

It’s now confirmed that Anne Hathaway will star in the Barbie movie, which has been pushed to August 8, 2018 from July 29, 2018. The article also notes that Bad Boys for Life has been completely removed from the schedule. It was originally supposedly to come out in November 9, 2018 after many release date pushes. 

Sicario 2: Soldado, the sequel to Denis Villeneuve’s film in 2015, Sicario, will release on June 29, 2018. Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro will return being directed by Stefano Sollima. The article also highlights some smaller movies being released like The Nightgale on January 25, 2019, Homes and Watson, the Seth Rogan and Will Ferrell comedy, on November 9, 2018, and The Rosie Project on May 10, 2019. 

I hope Silver & Black ends up being really good. I’ve said this a thousand times, but I’m not a fan of what Sony is doing with the spinoffs, but Venom is looking promising with the casting. Hopefully both movies can end up succeeding. I’m also really looking forward to the Sicario sequel. The first movie was amazing. It’s not a rewatchable movie, but it is very well made. Denis Villeneuve is the main thing that makes that movie work, however I am open to see what the new director can do.

Image via Screen Rant
What do you think of these dates? What movies are you looking forward to? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 
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Riz Ahmed in Talks for ‘Venom’

Looks like the one of the stars of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be in Sony’s new Spider-Man spinoff movie, Venom

Image via standard.co.uk

THR reports that Riz Ahmed (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Jason Bourne, and The Night Of) is in talks to be in Venom, the Solo movie for the Spider-Man villain. The report states that he will not play the villain of the movie, Carnage, who Sony is still looking to cast. The movie will star Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock/Venom and be directed by Ruben Fleischer. 

The Sony movie movie, Venom, has gone through some confusion as to its involvement in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One moment it was separate, then it was in it, then it was separate again. As of now, it will not take place within the Spider-Man: Homecoming universe. It will be a completely separate story focusing on Venom. Riz Ahmed is a great up and coming actor who will be getting lots of work once he builds up his filmography further. Even though I’m not completely satisfied with Sony’s decision to make this movie, this adds a second great cast member and make me a little bit more optimistic about the movie.

Image via Screen Rant

What do you think about Riz Ahmed being cast? Leave your comments below.
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‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ New Photos;Cast Hints at Story

Star Wars: The Force Awakens was one of the highest grossing movies of all time because it belongs to one of the biggest movie franchises of all time. We barely know anything about the sequel, The Last Jedi, but in an interview with EWMark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, and Rian Johnson shared some details about he mind sets of the characters in the movie. Especially the Luke and Rey relationship.

Mark Hamill talks about how surprised he was to read the script and see how Luke was portrayed.

“The fact that Luke says, ‘I only know one truth. It’s time for the Jedi to end…’ I mean, that’s a pretty amazing statement for someone who was the symbol of hope and optimism in the original films. When I first read it, my jaw dropped. What would make someone that alienated from his original convictions? That’s not something that you can just make up in an afternoon, and I really struggled with this thing.”

Daisy Ridley says that Rey “misses the gruff warmth of Han Solo” and is trying to get Luke to pick himself back up and become the hero she wants him to be.

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Image via EW

“Regardless of everything else, she’s been welcomed. No one ever really turns away from her.  ’Oh my God, this other man that I lost within a couple days was somewhat of a father figure. Now he’s gone, and instead I’m with this grumpy guy on an island who doesn’t want me here.’ I don’t think one girl, who he doesn’t know, turning up with a lightsaber is gonna make him go, ‘Oh, s—, yeah, of course I’ll get back into the action.'”

Rian Johnson is taking a very different direction for Luke Skywalker than fans expected, according to EW. They say that Star Wars starts with “A long time ago” but doesn’t end with “Happily ever after.”

“The very first step in the writing of this was figuring out why he’s on that island. We know that he is not a coward. He’s not just hiding because he’s scared. But we also know that he must know his friends are in danger. He must know the galaxy needs him. And he’s sitting on this island in the middle of nowhere. There had to be an answer. It had to be something where Luke Skywalker believes he’s doing the right thing – and the process of figuring out what that is and unpacking it is the journey for Rey.”

In The Force Awakens, we learned that Luke was training Ben Solo, who later became Kylo Ren. Hamill says Luke feels guilty about that.

“[Luke] made a huge mistake in thinking that his nephew was the chosen one, so he invested everything he had in Kylo, much like Obi-Wan did with my character. And he is betrayed, with tragic consequences. Luke feels responsible for that. That’s the primary obstacle he has to rejoining the world and his place in the Jedi hierarchy, you know? It’s that guilt, that feeling that it’s his fault, that he didn’t detect the darkness in him until it was too late.”

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Image via EW

He also says that every detail about the past isn’t explained.

“There’s massive amounts of backstory that is left to your imagination and I couldn’t do my job without figuring out what that was. Since it’s not really important to the main story as a whole a lot of it is just for my own process. I talked with Rian about it and went into this elaborate scenario of what happened to Luke after the end of the Return of the Jedi.

Along with the interview, EW posted some exclusive photos from the new movie which you can see some of them below.

I haven’t talked about it much on the website, but I am a massive Star Wars fan. I like to read the canon novels, I’m reading the comics, and love most of the movies (not the prequels). I went to Star Wars Celebration this past April and got to watch the trailer for The Last Jedi on the show floor with hundreds of fans. Everybody went crazy throughout the whole thing, but especially when Luke says “It’s time for the Jedi… to end.” There was a mixture of excitement, confusion, and intrigue all throughout the crowd. What Rian Johnson is doing with the movie is fascinating.

He is taking a radically different approach to the character of Luke than what was expected. It looks like we have a guilt stricken Luke Skywalker here because he takes responsibility for Kylo Ren and the First Order. It looks like instead of a direct mentorship between Luke and Rey, like we had in A New Hope with Luke and Ben Kenobi, both characters are going to help each other get to the point that they want each other to be. It’s almost like he wanted to be what Obi Wan was to him to Ben Solo, but couldn’t have that.

I can’t wait to see what Rian Johnson can do with the power of writing and directing a Star Wars movie. He seems to be very confident that this is the right way to tell the eighth chapter in the Star Wars. Lucasfilm has impressed me so far with their Star Wars installments, so I trust them with this one.

What do you think about the news of The Last Jedi? What do you think of the new photos? Are you excited for the movie? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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Star Wars: The Last JediFinn (John Boyega) in a Ski Speeder on Crait
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Disney Starting Their Own Streaming Service;Ending Deal With Neflix

Since 2012, Disney has been putting their movies on Netflix once they release on Blu Ray with a deal they’ve had. This will change based on what Disney CEO, Bob Iger, stated.

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Image via Lucasfilm

In an earnings call, Bob Iger announced that in 2019, Disney plans on starting their own streaming service which will have many Disney movies and television shows. This means that instead of like it is now, when we get movies like Doctor Strange, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,  and Zootopia, we won’t get any new movies on the service. Netflix replied to a concerned fan on Twitter and confirmed that this deal will not affect the Marvel Netflix TV shows like Daredevil and Luke Cage.

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Image via Disney

This could change the way we view Disney owned movies from now on. We don’t know many details about the service, but there is plenty of room to speculate. If they want to make a profit, they would have to charge a certain amount. With that, they would have to host a worth while amount of movies and TV shows. This will most likely include many older Disney movies, maybe some MCU movies, Pixar, and Disney original animated movies.  If they choose to also add their newer movies, which in 2019 will include Star Wars: Episode IX, Captain Marvel, and Frozen 2, people might not buy them on Blu Ray and digitally.

There are many factors that could affect this like how long the movies will stay, the price of the service, or there could even be ads on the service. Another possibility is that Disney could make exclusive content. They could make a Marvel show on it, a live action Star Wars TV show, or anything they want. Whatever happens, this could go very well for Disney if people are really into this idea. However, people already pay for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, so they might be too late to the game with this one.

What do you think about Disney’s new streaming service? Would you buy it? Leave your comments below.

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