So ends the worst month of the year… the month that thinks it’s so great it can have less than 30 days. Because of selfish old February, I only managed to watch 26 movies this month. Not terrible by any means, but I wish I could’ve matched the number of days in the month. As with January, I had a balance of good and bad movies… but I didn’t really have anything great that’d make it on my best of the year list or anything.
Best of the Best
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017) – 8.4
Here we are, the first of the Oscar nominated movies and it was… good. While I was watching it, I really liked it and it held my attention. It was well written, shot and acted so I can’t complain about much. I’d say this one even has a shot at winning Best Picture based on the ones I’ve seen so far. I think that says something about the awards though, because in 5 years I don’t think people will still be talking about this one. There wasn’t anything too ground breaking about it, other than having an interesting plot that is somewhat based on a true story. It gave a great platform to showcase some actors that haven’t gotten as much praise as they might deserve, like Sam Rockwell, Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson who were all fantastic in this. I’m rooting for Sam Rockwell to win best supporting actor for playing Dixon, the racist, homophobic small town cop with anger issues. It was such a deep character and I think Rockwell was able to deliver on the humor and seriousness that the role required.
Princess Cyd (2017) – 8.35
This one is probably my favorite movie of the month. It’s about this teenager who goes to stay with her Aunt for a few weeks and learns a lot about life. I very nearly wrote an entire post about this one, but I just don’t have the time for it. The reason I loved it is that it showcases two types of people that don’t get a lot of representation in film: bisexuals and people that are happy to just live solo. It had a really uplifting message for me about just living your life the way that makes you happy. Actually you know what, that’s all you get… I will write a post about this after all because I could go on for awhile talking about this one. Stay tuned for more.
Wonder (2017) – 8
I can’t believe this made my short list for best February movies. This looked like a tear jerker Oscar bait movie in the bad kind of way. For some reason though I decided to give it a watch and was very pleasantly surprised. It reminded me of Stronger where it looks cliche on the surface but actually manages to do something different. In Wonder’s case, it didn’t just show what it’s like for a kid to live with an illness, but also what his family goes through (and even friends of the family). The entire family was fleshed out and had their own problems to deal with. It worked so well and had me tearing up a few times which isn’t easy to do. Just goes to show, don’t judge a movie by its cover because you might actually like it.
Worst of the Worst
The Open House (2018) – 5.89
The Open House will go down in history as an example of how an ending can ruin an entire movie. This is a suspense thriller type of movie where you don’t know if there’s someone in the house or not. It was a little by the numbers, but it tapped into my fear of the dark and being in a big house alone at night. It freaked me out enough that I had to turn on the lights to go to the bathroom even though it’s just across the hall. And then the ending happened and, I won’t spoil it for you, but it was awful. That was the least satisfying ending I’ve seen in recent memory. If they hadn’t dropped the ball so hard this would’ve been around a 7, but I just couldn’t justify that with the bad impression it left on me. Honestly, a 5.89 is generous and the only reason it gets that is for the first 7/8ths. If you want to watch it just turn it off before the last 5 minutes and make up your own ending.
In Praise of Love (2001) – 5
I’ve saved the worst for last with In Praise of Love. This was the most difficult movie watching experience of the year… I barely survived watching the entire thing. This one is courtesy of TSPDT, which means I’ll be doing a more in depth review of how much I hate this movie. In fact, I’ll be posting that one very very soon, so I won’t spoil anything for you guys here. I’ll just say that this one is in contention for worst of 2018… and it’s only February.
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) – 7.5
Throwing you guys a curveball here… I bet you didn’t think I’d bring Jumanji into the mix. This honestly was the biggest surprise because I’m a die hard fan of the original Jumanji movie. I had it on VHS and it was one of my go to movies as a kid so I’ve probably seen it 20+ times. I hate hate hate remakes or reboots or whatever you want to call it, so I didn’t even want to give this one a chance. It just so happens it was my boyfriend’s birthday and this was his choice so I went along with it. There were some genuinely funny moments that had me laughing out loud so the enjoyment factor was higher than I was expecting. To top that off, it wasn’t really even a remake of the original but more of just a direct sequel by taking the Jumanji concept of being stuck in a game and making it digital. This was a smart move because I never compared it to the original in any way which is good because they’re really uncomparable. It stood out on its own and I’ll say was a good addition to the series. Bravo.
The Cloverfield Paradox (2018) – 6.2
I feel so cliche jumping on the “I hate Cloverfield” bandwagon, but honestly it didn’t live up to expectations. I heard a lot of rumors about this movie before I even saw it, like how it wasn’t turned into a Cloverfield movie until filming was almost finished and that it felt like the tie-ins were shoehorned in at the last minute. I liked the first 2 movies though so I didn’t want to believe all that. Turns out it was true… this didn’t really tie in very well to the series and even as a movie itself it was confusing and weird. There is a lot of science mumbo-jumbo, and I call it that because it didn’t really make a lot of sense. The whole arm thing was honestly kind of dumb and the dimensions weren’t explained too well. I didn’t care at all for the people back on Earth and I sighed whenever the story switched back to them. This wasn’t the worst movie of February, but with how much I was looking forward to it, it just let me down the most. Get it together Cloverfield!
This was a really average month overall… most of the movies I watched weren’t worth talking about and I forgot I even watched them. Here’s hoping March will go better for me. As usual, I’ll keep working my way through TSPDT and posting about it every Saturday so stay tuned.