How can it be that 10 years have sped by, just like that? If you read this blog, you know I’m obsessed with movies–going to the movies, in particular. I started doing a blog recap of movies I saw in the theater in 2008 and, unlike just about every other thing in my life, have stuck with doing it every year for TEN YEARS. A dubious accomplishment, maybe, but whatever.
Over the years, in addition to listing out and rating the movies I saw the previous year, I’ve written about why it is that I’m obsessed with seeing movies in the theater. In an age when it costs a ton and the home movie experience is, for the most part, way better than the theater experience, somehow slipping into a dark theater for two or three hours is just…sublime. The experience of sitting in a totally dark room that is not in my house, away from the demands of both real and digital life, letting myself get pulled into a story that has nothing to do with me is better than yoga or meditation or pretty much any other form of self-care/self-indulgence. Especially as life has gotten faster and crazier and darker (no pun intended) over the past decade; even as theaters have gotten both more expensive and more run-down, the fact that the two- to three-hour respite is there for the taking any time you want…how is that not magical? Sorry to wax all sappy about movies but this sounds much nicer than me just being weirdly compulsive about sitting in dark theaters escaping life, two hours at a time.
If I can say just one thing about movie-going in 2017, I’ll say that it made me sad because I think theaters’ days are numbered. Despite ticket and concession prices being outrageous and pretty much prohibitively expensive for many people–especially families–theaters, for the most part, are in pretty sad shape. Sure, there are the few megaplexes that have upgraded to reclining seats (my new must), fancier dining and cocktail offerings and…well, that’s about all I can think of, stuff like the restrooms and lobbies are mostly pretty disgusting. You, can tell that times are tough based on the lack of ticket-taking and/or concession stand staff, even at theaters that advertise special priority service for loyalty card members (ahem…AMC Theaters). For the theaters that don’t yet have reclining seats, there’s a definite feel of let’s just see how long we can keep the doors open…which, based on the fact that broken toilets with trash bags over them are a common sight (I’m looking at you, AMC Rio), doesn’t seem to be all that much longer.
But theaters loss is our–or, specifically my–gain with the advent of the greatest invention since electricity–Moviepass. Unlimited movies for $9.95 a month? Suffice it to say that my movie addiction just got infinitely cheaper…and Moviepass probably never anticipated me seeing 15 movies in three months.
Anyway, I’ll get to the point: I saw 46 movies in the theater in 2017, which brings my 10-year tally to 524. That’s a lot of movies and approximately 1,048 hours spent in delightful, distraction-free darkness. Worth the ungodly amount of money I spent on tickets, parking and concessions.
Here is my super-quick review of the 46 movies I saw in 2017:
- Split–this was good but not great; spooky but not scary. Definitely worth a rental but it’s definitely no Sixth Sense.
- A Cure for Wellness–the film itself is kind of a trainwreck, but the gorgeous views of the Swiss Alps make it worth a watch.
- Logan–actually pretty good and not what you’d expect from a Marvel movie.
- Ghost in the Shell–literally so forgettable that even after Googling this to refresh my memory I can barely remember what it was about.
- The Circle–a must-watch for pretty much everyone who uses social media or the internet at all. And more than the movie–you must also read the book.
- Snatched–so, so bad
- Alien: Covenant–meh
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2–meh, again…the only good part is Groot dancing at the beginning
- Wonder Woman–it was fine…sorry, but that’s all I have to say about it. Sue me.
- My Cousin Rachel–literally can’t remember anything about it so apparently forgettable.
- Baby Driver–ok but WAY over-hyped and tried way too hard.
- Dunkirk–unless you already know the story or are way less ADHD than I am, it was good but I had pretty much no idea what was going on until the end. Actually, until my mom told me what it was about.
- Girls Trip–LOVED. If you don’t like crass humor, probably skip it…but you’re missing out on funny as hell.
- Patti Cake$–LOVED, loved, loved this movie and Danielle Macdonald is ridiculously good. Like Best Actress good, but because this movie got about two weeks in the theater and Danielle is overweight, nobody seemed to give it a second glance. All I can say is watch this movie and remember two things: she’s Australian and she didn’t know how to rap before she made the movie.
- Ingrid Goes West–fun and awesome in a Black Mirror kind of way.
- Wind River–one of the best movies of the year–definitely see this, IMO.
- It–sadly, only meh. They basically combined Stand By Me and Sinister, then set you up to have to pay another $10 (who am I kidding–movies are more like $14 now) to see the upcoming sequel.
- Thank You For Your Service–this movie is so, so sad but, IMO, a must-see for everyone. It goes beyond usual military feel-good or gut-wrenching stuff and delves instead into PTSD and what soldiers and their families live with once they return from the battlefield.
- Thor: Ragnarok–sorry, Marvel fans, but I fell asleep for about 75% of this. Which is also my rating of this movie.
- Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri--I don’t know if I was just movied-out when I saw this, but I honestly didn’t think it was that great. Frances McDormand will definitely get nominated for Best Actress and the movie will probably get nominated for an Oscar, but I personally wasn’t that impressed.
- My Friend Dahmer–I thought this movie was kind of awesome and not what I expected. It’s not a gory serial killer film in case you weren’t seeing it for that reason (assuming you’ve even heard of it) but more like Napoleon Dynamite if he turned out to be a serial killer and they went back and made a biopic about his early life.
- Star Wars, The Last Jedi–Ok, this was actually good, even if, like me, you don’t actually care that much about Star Wars. I defy you to watch this movie and not think that Luke Skywalker is actually Zach Galifianakis.
- Home Again–cute. That’s about all I can remember about it.
- Stronger–sad and good, but not great, IMO.
- Flatliners–meh but I liked it. Note to self to watch original.
- American Made–in case you haven’t already watched enough recent movies/shows about Pablo Escobar.
- Blade Runner 2049–I’ll be honest–I walked out of the theater about 30 minutes into this. Not sure if it was the movie or just me–but this is the joy of Moviepass. Pretty sure it doesn’t bode well for the movie, but I now need to watch it to see if it actually was that bad.
- Kingsman 2–what’s not to like about a movie featuring adorable British flats, pugs and…well, that stuff. Wasn’t half bad…which is sort of high praise for a sequel to an already not great movie, right?
- Victoria & Abdul–LOVED LOVED loved this! If you like Merchant Ivory films and/or Downton Abbey, you will love this. I’m sure Judi Dench will get a Best Actress nomination for this.
- Madea Boo 2–I love you, Madea, and will see every movie no matter how bad…but this was bad. But see you next time anyway!
- Wonderstruck–still wondering what this movie was about…and I saw the ending so I know what it was about. Great cinematography but, um…that’s about it.
- Daddy’s Home 2–not really funny or good. I know, you’re shocked.
- Lady Bird–so much praise for this movie and Saoirse Ronan but it just didn’t move me that much. I’m pretty sure she’ll win Best Actress but Danielle Macdonald in Patti Cake$ was better, as was the movie Patti Cake$, IMO.
- Wonder–very cute, if predictable and a bit saccharine. But hey–if there ever were a year in need of some saccharine, 2017 was it.
- Murder on the Orient Express–the best nap I had in 2017. Seriously–I slept super hard from about an hour into this until the ending credits. But the train was super crusty.
- The Shape of Water–absolutely gorgeous, cinematically, but otherwise, weird AF. But as weird as it was, almost two weeks later, I’m still struck by its watery, dreamy beauty…so that’s something. Will probably win Best Cinematography, and rightly so.
- The Disaster Artist–the first hour and 41 minutes of this were pretty much pure “huh?” but the last three minutes pretty much elevate it to Oscar quality. Really. 100% chance James Franco will win Best Actor.
- Logan Lucky–weird but meh.
- Snatched–coming on the heels of Trainwreck, this is especially horrible. Sorry, Amy Schumer–I love you so much but this movie sucked. But I’m sure you already know that.
- Life–a good(ish) gripping thriller, just like it looks. It’s no The Martian or anything, but good for a home watch.
- Lion–this came out in 2016 but I didn’t see until January 2017, so obviously I’m counting it. It was really cute and good…but short of great, IMO.
- Fifty Shades Darker–ok, yes, I saw this in the theater and, yes, it was as bad as you think it would be.
- Get Out–soooo soooo creepy and good and just awesome. Like Patti Cake$ awesome, which is saying a lot for me. I could definitely see this winning the Oscar, and would be well-deserved.
- The House–as crap as you think it would be, but a little worse.
- War for the Planet of the Apes–I love me some Planet of the Apes, but sadly, this one sucked, IMO.
- Novitiate–beautiful but short of great IMO. And I learned a new word, so…bonus. And also learned it’s not pronounced “nov-i-tate” (dyslexia ftw).
In case you don’t want to read all that, here’s the quick and dirty version:
Worst movie of 2017: There are a few contenders for this but in the spirit of naming just one I obviously have to go with 50 Shades Darker. Although, Madea–please don’t let there be a Boo 3.
Best movie of 2017: Admittedly, I haven’t yet seen The Post, which I’m sure is going to be good…but even so, I’m pretty sure my vote for best movie of 2017 will still be the same once I’ve seen it and any other lingering must-see films. My pick? Patti Cake$. I’ve seen it three times so far and I still get the Oscar chills every time. Please, please do yourself a favor and watch this, even though you’ve probably never heard of it. You’re welcome.
Biggest Disappointment: Even though I want to say Blade Runner 2049 because I literally walked out of the theater about 30 minutes in, the biggest disappointment of the year was Snatched. Amy Schumer, I heart you so much, but just…no. Nothing against you, Goldie Hawn, but again, just no.
In case you’re looking for my past movie reviews, here they are: