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Tree's Twenty Seventreen Treeview

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I generally find lists difficult to do as it gives you the impression that one film is wholly better than another - I would prefer to highlight individual things that I liked in films. 

 

So here is a little review of the year. All the things I really liked, and some that I didn't.

 

Feel free to complain about how some of these films are from the "wrong year", but it's when they came out near me. To me this is 2017 in film.

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Acting

 

2017 actually didn't have that many performances that really stood out to me. But here are a few that I thought were special:

 

 

Obligatory recognition for Mr. Serkis

 

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Andy Serkis has led the charge for performance capture and it's utterly brilliant. I will never stop celebrating this stuff. As you can see in the picture above, it doesn't make the CGI creatures look "real", but it gives them another dimension in terms of character and helps you engage with the story and sympathise with their struggles. For a long time writers have anthropomorphised animals through their characterisation - now filmmakers can do it for real. It's awesome. Andy Serkis and all the rest of the Apes cast are great in War for the Planet of the Apes and send the franchise off on a very high note.

 

 

Isabelle Huppert in Elle

 

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Elle features a central character that experiences something horrific and yet is very very difficult to empathise with. You want nothing to do with Michele at the same time as rooting for her and rooting against her. This is partly down to the film but is really made successful by Isabelle Huppert. It is a true "powerhouse" performance and regardless of your thoughts on the divisive film, it is worth watching for Huppert's performance.

 

 

Logan Lucky cast

 

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Logan Lucky is one of my favourite films of the year - it's so much fun. And this is partly (mainly?) due to its excellent ensemble cast. They feel like a family, they're all funny, and there's not a weak link between them. Particular shout out to Daniel Craig who's hilarious and needs to be used in comedy more often, and Adam Driver who has managed to find something unique in his character and bring him to life. Channing Tatum is great as the lead and everyone else in supporting roles is every bit as fun as each other. Riley Keough, Dwight Yoakam (who I'm pretty sure is actually David Walliams), Seth MacFarlane, Katherine Waterston, Katie Holmes, and others. I could watch these guys in their small town lives forever.

 

Edited by Tree Billboards
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Animation

 

Okay, let's be honest. This year was shite for animation. The Boss Baby was severely unfunny and had none of the Trump influences that I had (perhaps naively) hoped for. Cars 3 and Despicable Me 3 were... okay I haven't actually watched them, in fact I only saw three animated films from 2017. I did like them all though! So I guess that's something.

 

 

The Lego Batman Movie

 

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Expectations were sky high for this movie after The Lego Movie, which was funny and charming, and managed to be even greater than the sum of its bricks by having a theme and message that really understood the toy its based on. To be honest I never thought the Batman spin off would be as good, and I was right, it's not. What it is, though, is pure kinetic fun. It's funny, there are visual jokes all over the screen and you struggle to keep up. Probably the funniest film of the year and I'm tempted to say Will Arnett is the best Batman on screen yet.

 

 

Captain Underpants

 

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I don't remember much of the Captain Underpants books as my memory is rubbish. But I do remember having lots of them and immersing myself in that silly comic world. This film was a lovely cute film that did my hazy memories justice. It's also got a great art style that's clearly been done for financial reasons, but actually works very well, it looks cartoony which keeps it closer to the books. More kids movies should have this art style.

 

 

your name.

 

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Yeah this came out in 2016 but it had an IMAX release last summer so I'm including it, because this film is fucking awesome. I loved every second of it. Saw it in IMAX and it's one my favourite cinema experiences of the past few years. The film is beautifully drawn and despite the story being pretty generic and straightforward in the context of anime movies, I found it thoroughly engaging. Many tears to be had, and many smiles. Loved loved loved it.

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Surprises

 

I can be pretty arrogant, i think most people here know that, but I do try to be open minded. So I will see films regardless of reviews, and I'm always up for giving people another chance to impress me in a movie. Most of the time things don't "surprise" me because I try not to go into anything with expectations whether they're good or bad. That being said, there were still a couple of films that really took me by surprise and I was very pleased to discover.

 

 

Logan Lucky

 

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Steven Soderbergh has made a lot of films, some good, some not good. I've never enjoyed the Ocean's movies, and clearly this was going to be in the same vein as those. All three films annoyed me. The setups annoyed me, the motives annoyed me, the characters annoyed me. What a great surprise then that "Ocean's 7/11" was some of the most fun I had all year. Although the formula is the same as Ocean's, the difference is I actually really liked these characters. They're clearly not justified but there's just enough there to have you sympathise with their struggles, and you root for them regardless because everyone is really likeable. Everyone involved gives great performances and Soderbergh's laid back style makes for pleasant viewing. It's the only movie I bought on home video in 2017 so that speaks for itself. Great fun.

 

 

The Lost City of Z

 

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Like I said I go into films without expectations, and I knew very little about this. I suppose it stunned me because of how under the radar it was, despite being a serious top-notch film with an actual budget and high production values and stuff. I really felt for Charlie Hunnam's explorer who is obsessed over his dream and is determined to reach his goal. The film is beautiful and I felt like I was actually in the jungle - this was a real bit of escapist cinema. It's a proper adventure movie. I can't believe how widely ignored this was because it was one of the best films of the year.

 

 

The Babysitter

 

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This is a real example of why being open minded is important. McG, I have always thought, is one of the worst directors in hollywood, if not the planet. Everything he's done has been crap. I found out about this Netflix film when I was looking up the fit girl in Three Billboards (for research purposes, you know) and thought I'd give it a shot. It's a very simple premise, "Your hot babysitter wants to kill you", but it's actually very good fun. I'm not a horror fan but it's scary enough to keep me on edge, but funny and relaxed enough to be fun. I think the key is that it's self-aware, unlike some of McG's other films. He keeps it straightforward and contained and makes the most of the premise. It's sexy, scary and funny, a great teen movie. I'm glad I gave McG another chance, because he has clearly improved vastly as a filmmaker - ironic as this is his most low-key film. No CGI planes or robots, just good old corn syrup.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Tree Billboards
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Music

 

The LEGO Batman Movie

 

 

 

LEGO Batman had a great soundtrack. Two original Batman songs, plus a great array of backing tracks ,including Man inthe Mirror whihc I love. Who always pays his taxes? NOT BATMAN

Theyre not as memorable as LegO Movie's EVERYTHING IS AEWRSOME, but they're still great catchy tunes that are sweet to the ear. Really can't complain about this soundtrack!

 

Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2

 

 

This movie had just as lovely a soundtrack as the first one. OK, maybe the songs don't match the dancing quite asmuch as the first movie, but still they were excellently placed songs that really moved me, especially Father & Son. Brandy is also a terrific song that has a real role in the film. Ultimtely, the soundtrack was every bit as good as the first movie.

 

 

The Disaster Artist

 

 

 

Most of  you won't remember this film for the music, but I thought hte soundtrack was full of great songs. 

It's full of inspirational songs and songs from that era, including Never Gonna Give You Up, and Faith No More.

A great soundtrack full of songs to make you feel the 90's.

 

 

Baby Driver

 

 

 

Okay so simply put, this had the best soundtrack of the year. tHE FIlm revolves around "Baby", who listens to Ipod music to keep himself calm, and all the songs are synced to the action. The music is upbeat and catchy, and whether you like the songs or not, the action sequences are choreographed to match the songs playing in Baby's ears. It's beautifully done and when you watch it, it's like watching a grade 8 pianist play the piano. Pure genius.

 

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And some more musiic......

 

 

This film was utter crap. I dont know anythnig about PT Barnum but I struggle to belevieve for ones econd g that believ anything that happens in thsi movie is true. He looked after outcasts and gave them a famiilly? Yewah, seems unlikely.

 

But whatever I might think of the film, this is a musical, so what really matters is the music. And it's fucking terrible. I mean you can take any of the songs from this film, and you can write over them with like any song from the past 20 years and it sounds exactly the same. The Songs are so generic. Despite there being like 13 songs, not one of them is vaguely memorable. I only remember This Is Me, and that's because it's in all of the adverts, not because it was any good in the movie.

 

 

La La Land

 

 

 

Another teriblle musical from the same writers as the above film.

NOt a single memorable tune, plus all the actors are quite poor, in fact much worse than Zac Efron and Hugh Jackman who are at least natural performerns.


Overall - I'm pleased these movies did well at the box office because I like musicals and I want the genre to do wel. But both these movies, from the same songwriters bear in mind, were utterly forgettable and I can't say I cared about any of the characters or liked any of the songs.

Edited by Treeing Me Apart
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Production Design

 

Films are a visual medium, right? So nothing is more important than the look of a film, and what we see. Here are the best looking things in movies from 2017.

 

 

Transformers: The Last Knight

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mmm. All the Transformers movies have beautiful design. Megan Fox, Rosie Huntingdon Whiteley, and the teenager in the 4th movie. This woman was an annoying stuck up bitch but in the context of the rest of this garbage film, I think I can shut off my ears. That dress is very nice.

 

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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oohh yes. I love Cara Delevignengnene. shes skinny as a stick and has a sharp face. but in Valerian, whoever the costume designer was - thanks!! I would pay a thousand (get it?) times over to gaze at this fittie. Her tits are a lot bigger when she's the size of a cinema screen.

 

 

Baywatch

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Baywatch had its ups and downs, and ups and downs, and ups and downs. Who needs a screenwriter when you have such great visual design?

 

P.s. Sorry Alexandra, you didn't make the cut for the images on this list - Kelly Rorschach is much more up my street.

 

 

The Greatest Showman

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I wasn't familiar with Zendaya before this movie. Now I am. Her outfit is great and she is upside down a lot. I was really stunned by her as she's... like. Not to sound racist but she's not my type. But I definitely approve of her. A lovely looking movie.

 

 

Blade Runner 2049

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Blade Runner was so boring I wanted to go to sleep. But you know what kept me going? This lovely actress named Ana De Armas aka Not Jyn Erso.

Is she real? Is she fake? Do I care? Not really. Beautiful looking movie. 

 

 

Logan Lucky

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I've already said I like this movie. I like it a lot. Great cast, and very funny. But Riley Keough is the cherry on top. I watched her other collaboration with Soderbergh, The Girlfriend Experience tv series, and despite being nude in every episode, she was never as sexy as she is in Logan Lucky. Her pose, her makeup and her interesting taste in clothes gives her a classless and yet tasteful appeal.

 

 

The Babysitter

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This year introduced me to an absolute beauty, Samara Weaving. She's simply stunning and in this movie is a proper, sexy femme fatale. I'm kind of falling in love with her. Also Bella Thorne gets shot in her boob in this movie, for what it's worth. 

 

 

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

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Ain't she gorgeous? She looks like an older version of my ex. It's kind of weird the resemblance but I'm a fan, even if thinking about my ex was distracting when I watched the movie. 

 

 

And the WINNER of this category....

 

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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It's a shame this girl isn't in the movie for longer because oh my sweet Jesus. She is perfect. She's one of the hottest girls I've ever seen. 11/10. She is a new level of sexy and makes me think nasty thoughts.

 

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle wins my coveted award for Best Production Design! Three thumbs up from Tree.

 

 

 



oh and this one just missed the list

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7 minutes ago, Telehilation said:

I'll be pedantically annoying and point out you're talking about costumes, not production design. Or did I miss the joke as badly as Drax does?

i'm not sure he's appreciating the costumes so much as the people in said costumes.

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9 minutes ago, Telehilation said:

I'll be pedantically annoying and point out you're talking about costumes, not production design. Or did I miss the joke as badly as Drax does?

joke-over-your-head-gif-5.gif

 

Edited by Treeing Me Apart
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Social Justice award for Most Offensive Film

 

Some films are unfunny, some films are boring, some films are disappointing, and some films are just plain fucking offensive. It takes a lot to rile me up in terms of what offends me, but I really have it in for this one...

 

 

Rough Night

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So this is a feminist's version of The Hangover. Some friends have a hen night and decide to hire a stripper, who they accidentally kill at the start of the movie. Isn't that really funny? And so the rest of the movie they have to keep finding inventive ways of trying to hide his corpse, which results in utter hilarity. Ha ha ha. Male corpses are just inherently funny, right?

 

Why is it okay to portray this? Can you imagine a mainstream studio movie in which a group of guys kill a prostitute and then drag her body around a film set for laughs? Yeah, I don't think so. It is beggars belief that this is somehow acceptable, that because it's more power to women, its okay to just laugh at dead men? The subject is just not funny, and if there even is a funny way to do this, the movie certainly failed at that. And of course the thing we as an audience are meant to care about really, is that Scarlett Johansson's Hillary Clinton clone might get in trouble at work if her colleagues find out she killed a stripper. GO HILLARY!

 

The worst thing is I saw this on a 7 hour plane flight with old fashioned non-demand channels and this was the only channel that worked. So I was subjected to this lower-than-dogshit "film" not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES ON REPEAT. As the person next to me was doing the same, I would have to suffer it either way, so I really couldn't turn it off. I cannot express how depressing this experience was. When I grudgingly walked to the toilet in the middle of my triple-bill, I did give the airtight emergency exit hatch a second glance.

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Disappointments

 

I've had some nice surprises this year, but also some sour disappointments. I try to be pretty neutral about films and not get too excited, but there were a few films that I was in some way looking forward to and upon seeing them, was rather disappointed.

 

Suburbicon

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I like George Clooney and this one looked interesting. Clooney took an unused Coen script and mixed it with another story of racial abuse. Sounds great. Unfortunately this was a complete mess, with both stories falling short of the mark. I like both stories, but together it just doesn't work. Every time it follows one path, you want to be on the other, and vice versa. And the best thing about the film, the one thing that actually is great - Oscar Isaac, and he gets killed off after just two scenes!

 

 

Bright

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Okay maybe I was being optimistic with this one. But I love high fantasy, orcs and elves and all that good stuff, so I was looking forward to this. Not a David Ayer fan but I thought this could be the film that changes my mind on him. Joel Edgerton as an orc? Yep, I'm in.

It turned out even worse than some of the reviews suggested. Somehow they've managed to form the most generic cop movie out of what is a fantastic open premise with a whole universe of ideas to explore. A complete waste of time.

 

 

Thor: Ragnarok

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Yep, I know I'm going to get murdered for this one. Taika Waititi is an extremely talented filmmaker. What We Do in the Shadows is the funniest film I've ever seen. Hunt for the Wilderpeople was funny and charming and virtually perfect. I had high hopes for this, thinking if it was a fraction as funny as his previous movies, it would be gold. I thought this could finally be the Marvel movie that is different from the cookie cutter mould.

Sorry to say it is exactly the same forgettable film that the rest of the MCU is. Yeah it's funnier than like, Iron Man, but that is not hard. A real let down. It really shows how much the studio/franchise behemoth suffocates talented directors and TBH i don't see why Marvel keeps hiring good directors if they force them to all make exactly the same thing. Oh well, hopefully Taika will take his fat paycheque and go make something good again.

 

 

Edited by Treeing Me Apart
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Jerry Bruckheimer Achievement for Biggest Waste of One Hundred Million Dollars

 

Every studio has tentpole movies - expensive productions designed to appeal to the masses. Some  of these are bland (see MARVEL STUDIOS), some of them are intelligent, but some are simply a waste of money...

 

 

Bright

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This award is  a tie-break between two movies devoid of any positive elements.

First up, well, it didn't quite cost $100M but its close enough. Netflix's most expensive movie, their biggest film project yet, was Bright. Supposedly it uses fantasy elements like orcs and elves, to tell a story relevant to us mere mortals on Earth.

 

There was so much potential here. It presents Elves as the rich 1%, and orcs as the lower classes, evidently supposed to be black people. There is SO much potential to tell a parable of our class system. Orcs are kept as the lowest of the low, they're abused by the police, and looked down on by everyone. This is an exciting idea, and it's directed by David Ayer. Although I haven't generally liked his movies, he's talented and usually has a vision.

 

Unfortunately its all gone to waste. He has a whole universe to explore, and yet this $90M Will Smith movie is reduced to nothing more than a generic cop-corruption movie. The opening sequence has all sorts of interesting imagery, but Ayer can't even keep us interested for 5 minutes. I wouldnt mind so much if this were, you know, Transformers or some comic book adaptation, but it looked genuinely interesting and is a COMPLETE waste. There's nothing worse than a movie wasting its potential. It starts out with promise but within about 15 minutes has completely given up on any interesting story or parallel. A real shame. I'm also stunned that they spent $90M given that the CGI is worse than most network TV shows. In contrast, Jumanji released the same week and cost the same amount of money. I needn't say any more.

 

 

The Mummy

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But the ultimate waste of money this year was the reboot of the Mummy franchise. This was meant to be the start of a new shared universe, and it had all sorts of avenues  it could have gone down. Instead, it spends all its time in London - hardly the location we want to see a Mummy movie. I'm a massive Cruise fan, but even here he looks utterly bored. The Mummy could have created some cool fantasy sequences in Egypt; instead, it spends the first 10 minutes there and then gives up. A real disappointment that features almost nothing we want from a Mummy film.

 

Okay, its directed by Alex Kurtzman who is hardly known for his originality, but I had hoped that Cruise's creative control would mean some cool action sequences, and given his stardom and power, he had the opportunity to kick start this franchise. Instead, it's dead on arrival. Utterly boring, with the exception of the terrible performance by Russell Crowe, who looks like he's about to break into out-of-tune song any minute. 

 

This cost $125M, and it's $125M that's completely wasted by everyone involved.

Edited by Treeing Me Apart
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Blockbusters - the positive side

 

On the other hand, there were plenty of expensive tentpole movies that impressed me in 2017. Here's a handful.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 2

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I am no Marvel fan, but I loved Guardians of the Galaxy in 2014. It felt fresh and original, and I had an experience that must be somewhat akin to how people felt in 1977 when Star Wars released. It was a visually inventive space sci-fi with characters that I cared about and a real emotional resonance.

 

The sequel had a lot to live up to, and for the most part it delivered. It wasn't as fresh as the previous movie, but it ticked all the boxes. I laughed - a lot - it had great music, and  I cried. This series really stands out from the rest of the MCU because I genuinely enjoy the company of these characters. They have an energetic chemistry that feels natural, and it's funny. The music is just as good, and although the ending may not be the most original death scene, I'll be damned if I don't cry every time I hear Father & Son.

 

 

Logan

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As I said above, I am not really a fan of comic book movies. Generally speaking, they all follow the same cookie cutter formula. I understand that a lot of people like this, but I'm pretty bored of it.

 

Logan, though... WOW. It feels like a drama that happens to be adapted from comics, as opposed to any old superhero movie. I haven't seen many X-Men movies but I completely bought Hugh Jackman's Wolverine here as a character. It was gripping and I hugely admire its balls to follow its story to the logical conclusion, and it's not afraid of pulling punches along the way (Professor Xavier..). What an epic send-off for this character.

 

 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

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Criticise this all you want, I really enjoyed it. Guy Ritchie's modern take on this well told story was executed in a fun manner. I don't have much else to say but since everyone else hates it, I thought it deserves mentioning.

 

 

Valerian

Valerian-and-the-City-of-a-Thousand-Plan

 

What the hell is all the negativity for?! Valerian is inventive and well-intentioned fun. It doesnt descend to being generic blockbuster fare and it's not here to set up a huge franchise. I'll challenge anyone to find a movie this expensive from 2017 that has as many ideas that it's willing to throw on screen.

From Ethan Hawke's cowboy routine to the John Goodman sequence... well, I thought it was really good fun and Dane DeHaan wasn't even that annoying. Two thumbs up from me. I promise I didn't just like it because I was drooling over Cara Delevigne in her revealing outfits... promise...

 

APES! TOGETHER! STRONG!

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Its not hard to see why this failed. It has no humour, it's complex, and well, there's no war. In fact Dawn had a bigger battle sequence than this.

But it is a credit to the filmmakers and to Fox that they were willing to take this back to the serious themes of the original Apes series, rather than just turning it to the usual action stuff. It has brilliant performances and it makes you think. Money well spent.... well, in my mind at least, even if it hasn't turned much of a profit...

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finally I have a day at home, can finish off this stupid list lol.

 

 

Worst Films of the Year...

 

Terminator 2: Judgement Day - 3D

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What's this? Terminator 2 is a bad movie? No, it's a good movie. It's great. Having a re-release is always good, it exposes the film to a new audience and I always appreciate being able to see something the way it was meant to be experienced. But this is not how it was meant to be experienced. I am sick to death of this stupid trend of 3D re-releases that ruin the original movie. I don't care if James Cameron claims it was 'always his vision' and this is the 'true way to see the film'. What is wrong with just releasing an old film again? Why do you have to attach some dumb gimmick as if people only want to see Terminator 2 again if it's in 3D? I'd wager it would gross exactly the same if it'd been released in 2D, if not even more. And it wouldn't have cost any money. Case in point, Grease is about to have a wide release for its 40th anniversary, and it's getting a lot of marketing in cinemas. There's no special gimmick. It's not in 3D. But because it's received some actual advertising budget, it is selling well.

As for this 3D release, well, the 3D is crap, and you can barely see anything given the whole movie is set at night anyway, the light loss from the glasses is even more prominent here.

 

Bugger off James Cameron, I like your movies as they are. You do not need to ruin them in order to get me into the cinema.

 

 

Pirates and Transformers 5

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I know both these movies have been ripped to shreds by other people. And given that I genuinely cannot remember anything from either film, I cant really go into specifics here. But I just wanted to say they were both crap. That's all.

 

 

Assassin's Creed

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In the assassins creed games, the developers were always nervous about giving it a period setting, so they anchored the story in a futuristic background that makes up maybe 10% of the games. These were the bits of the games that everyone hated, but the vast majority of the games was the assassin stuff, so people accept that.

 

In adapting it to the big screen though, the filmmakers clearly felt the opposite. The only thing people liked in the games was the laboratory future stuff, right? So they had to make that be the bulk of the movie.

It was a bizarre decision and it didn't pay off, because as a result the film is dull and a waste of time, and not what a single person wanted to see.

 

 

But I must leave the achievement of worst film to something else..

 

The Worst Film of 2017

 

Blade Runner: 2049

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I barely have any words for this pretentious bore of a film. I liked the original and hoped this might bring a similar mix of action/tension and thoughtful ideas. It does not. I didnt care about a single character. Ryan Gosling's character is so bland and I wanted him to get killed asap. Everyone whispers throughout the film for no reason. Its filled with pretentious dialogue that thinks it is smart but in fact is nothing but boring. 

Nothing in it made any sense to me - this could either be because it doesnt make sense, or because I was so bored and unengaged that I couldn't be bothered to follow the plot. Either way, it's a boring mess of nothingness. It is all style and no substance. And when I say that, what I mean is, it's all Roger Deakins and nothing else in the film is any good whatsoever. Even Harrison Ford is crap.

This was the longest film I've ever seen and by the last part of the movie I was in physical pain from the boredom, I have never, I mean NEVER, been so bored by a film. For that it can be the only choice for worst film of the year.

 

And despite what Internet People tell me, I have yet to meet anyone in real life who actually liked it either.

 

 

Edited by Treetanic
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Most Overused Song As A Plot Point

 

AlienCovenant.jpgKingsman.jpg32ea0b4b39c0b8d08865b4513133fbc1.jpg

 

In Alien Covenent, the crew receives a foreign radio transmission from another planet, signaling life. In Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Mark Strong distracts some guards to allow Eggy to sneak in. In Logan Lucky, Logans daughter performs at her beauty peagent to provide the emotional conclusion to the movie. 


What do these three films have in common? Each of the people I mentioned is singing John Denver's Take Me Home, Country Roads. It's one thing to have a song that's featured on multiple soundtracks. It's another to have a song that is diegetic in multiple films. But it is a whole other ball game for not only this song to appear in the film but actually serve as part of the plot... and this happened in 3 different movies!! I dont know why no one else picked up on this but it really annoyed me. I like the song but I dont need to have it talked about in every other fucking movie I watch.

I'm sure its unintentional, as the movies were filmed at different times... but really? I mean, really?

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