Alright, so now we’re at the tail end of the summer and beginning of the Oscar season. Lots of documentaries made it onto this list. Also, a lot of Jamie Dornan, too, for some reason. Despite being a shorter time span than the last entry, this list contains a lot of films, mostly because it’s just closer to the present, and I didn’t have enough time to watch them all, rent them, or they’re not even out yet to rent in the first place. As always, however, I do reserve the right to watch any of these and include them on my final lists.
Normally, I break down the year into three 4-month long pieces, but I actually saw so many films this year, the early half was pretty lopsided, resulting in a very small list of films from January through April and then an increasingly longer list of films for the other two parts. As a result, I have chosen to instead divide the year by the number of films, roughly 40 – 50 each period. That means that the first part will be from January through July, encompassing a large part of the dumpster ground that is late winter and into the first half of the summer blockbuster season.
So, yeah, here are the films I managed to avoid or just missed out on entirely, organized by release date and along with their Rotten Tomatoes score. Some of them look worthwhile and, as a result, may end up on my list of films I actually watched, as per usual, while others look absolutely terrible… and may also show up on a later list of films I saw, depending on my mood. The purpose of this, however, is to just reflect on the year that was and acknowledge that, even as an amateur film critic, I still don’t manage to see everything, despite what people I know may think. Read more…
Produced by: Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Sheamur, Simon Emanuel
Screenplay by: Chris Weitz, Tony Gilroy
Story by: John Knoll, Gary Whitta
Edited by: John Gilroy, Colin Goudie, Jabez Olssen
Cinematography by: Greig Fraser
Music by: Michael Giacchino
Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen, Forest Whitaker, Genevieve O’Reilly, James Earl Jones, Valene Kane
Based on characters and concepts by George Lucas
Disappointment. No, that’s not my reaction to Rogue One. Heck no! But it was the general consensus I gathered from people after they were told that the 2016 Star Wars film was not a follow-up to last year’s The Force Awakens but rather an ominously pre-A New Hope film that was mostly independent from the Skywalker family and friends’ saga. Most of that was just because they were eager to see that story continue, but, for some, there was also an added level of scorn for a film they seemed to consider… illegitimate. Which is unfortunate, as Rogue One, in both style and focus, is a much more important and bolder move forward for Disney and their still nascent new property, signaling a promising future for the franchise that isn’t beholden to repeating itself for the sake of nostalgia and familiarity. Read more…
Huh. You know, I think I saw most of the big blockbuster films this summer. So, what else came out? Not a whole lot! I mean, at least not stuff that was promoted fairly well. There look to have been some great indie gems I missed, and then your usual horror film sequels that I skipped. Plenty of international releases that look fantastic, too!
If you didn’t catch it already, be sure to check out the films that came out in January – April 2015 that I missed first!
No big introductions this time. Let’s get going! Read more…
Produced by: Ivan Reitman
Written by: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis
Edited by: David E. Blewitt, Sheldno Kahn
Cinematography by: László Kovács
Music by: Elmer Bernstein, Ray Parker, Jr. (theme)
Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton, David Margulies, Slavita Jovan, Paddi Edwards (voice)
Ghostbusters is yet another one of those cultural milestone films that I managed to somehow deprive myself from seeing for an unreasonable amount of time, particularly as someone who is really into movies. In my defense, this was largely due to the fact that I grew up in an unreasonably fundamentalist Christian environment for the early part of my life, and so films like Ghostbusters, which dealt with the supernatural without clearly making it so that everything that was happening was demonic and didn’t remind you how much you needed Jesus to save you from hell were more often than not declared to be welcoming mats for demons to enter your life. No, I’m not kidding. Luckily, we got out of that environment and are (a bit) more sane now, but I continued to avoid the film because… well, mostly it was because I just never got around to it. Eventually this became a bit more like resentment, though. At some point, it seemed like everyone was obsessed with Ghostbusters again, even from those who weren’t kids or even born yet at the time this movie came out, and you couldn’t talk about movies or reference ghosts without someone throwing out some kind of Ghostbusters reference and then talking about how brilliant the movie was. It was very annoying. This became another one of those movies that I was sick of before I even saw it. Read more…
Produced by: Howard Kazanjian
Written by: Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas
Edited by: Sean Barton, Marcia Lucas, Duwayne Dunham
Cinematography by: Alan Hume
Music by: John Williams
Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, Frank Oz, Ian McDiarmid, Alec Guinness, Sebastian Shaw, Denis Lawson, Kenneth Colley, Warwick Davis, Jeremy Bulloch, Caroline Blakiston
Review based on the 1983 theatrical version
Back when recording things from TV was the only way to obtain certain movies you didn’t want to actually buy, I recall a friend of the family giving my family their collection of TV-recorded VHS tapes, most of them set to the longest recording time in order to maximize the content they had. One of these tapes contained both the original Karate Kid (save for the first couple minutes) and, yes, Return of the Jedi, making this the first time I ever actually could claim any sort of ownership over any of the Star Wars movies. Naturally, I watched it pretty often, and the mere fact that this was the only one I could watch without having to go seek out any rentals or borrow them from friends made this movie my second favorite (because there’s just no questioning the greatness of The Empire Strikes Back, kids). Now that I do own both trilogies (twice over for the original trilogy, thanks to the 2006 “limited” release of the DVDs which contained the original theatrical versions), however, the flaws of the once-final chapter in the Star Wars saga have really become rather apparent, thanks in large part to the prequels kind of bringing them out retroactively. Read more…