The Shape of Water (2017)

The Shape of Water (2017)

When talking about genres due for a revival, the musical and western genres tend to draw all of the attention, when there’s one genre that has been long underserved in this regard: The classic film genre of hot-merman-sex.

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2017 Movie #130: Justice League (2017)

2017 Movie #130: Justice League (2017)

Justice League is cynical.

Don’t get me wrong, the Marvel films are cynical too. It’s all cynical. Hollywood is a cynical industry.

It strikes me, however, that Justice League is an example of the cynicism of Hollywood gone horribly awry.

That’s not to say that it’s terrible, or even that bad. It’s certainly far better than Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad. But for all their faults, those films at least presented a consistent worldview. Justice League feels tonally consistent, at odds with itself, in unnatural ways.

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2017 Movie #127: Lady Bird (2017)

2017 Movie #127: Lady Bird (2017)

There’s an alternate universe where CBS picked up the “How I Met Your Mother” spinoff starring Greta Gerwig, which has been on the air for 3 years now, and as a result, we never got Lady Bird. I’m convinced that that is the darker timeline – though, on the other hand, 3 seasons of a TV show starring Greta Gerwig might be worth it.

I’ve been a big fan of Greta Gerwig ever since I saw her in the gloriously delightful Frances Ha, which she co-wrote. It was clear from that film that this is a woman with a really specific and unique vision, even beyond any creative spark that was imbued upon the film by co-writer and director Noah Baumbach. So it’s safe to say that I’ve been looking forward to Lady Bird ever since it was first announced.

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2017 Movie #123: The Square (2017)

2017 Movie #123: The Square (2017)

Swedish director Ruben Östlund’s idiosyncratic vision may not be for everyone, but there’s no denying that it’s bold and original; his is a challenging lens, one which is darkly comedic, questioning, dizzyingly suspenseful, but ultimately satisfying if somewhat bewildering. Coming out of his Palme d’Or-winning 2017 feature, The Square, I couldn’t help but feel this entire wide array of emotions, even as I felt that I may not have “gotten” Östlund’s vision.

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2017 Movie #112: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

2017 Movie #112: Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017)

The gleefully over-the-top sequel to what was already a joyful ripoff of the James Bond movies, Kingsman: The Golden Circle goes bigger, bolder, and more over the top, expanding the Kingsman mythology and world in exciting ways that make for a promising future to this franchise. If you didn’t know that Kingsman was based on a comic book franchise, The Golden Circle makes that fact quite clear, both for better and for worse.

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2017 Movie #111: Happy Death Day (2017)

2017 Movie #111: Happy Death Day (2017)

Happy Death Day feels like the type of movie that could go on to have a long shelf life as teens will watch it over and over at parties and sleepovers. This movie, pitched with an easy-to-understand high concept, falls in at a perfect darkly comedic wavelength that makes it accessible even for those who are not big horror fans. It’s Scream meets Groundhog Day, and if Happy Death Day can’t live up to either of those pieces of source material, it comes surprisingly close.

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2017 Movie #110: American Made (2017)

2017 Movie #110: American Made (2017)

American Made is a less successful collaboration between Tom Cruise and Doug Liman than 2014 sci-fi action thriller Edge of Tomorrow, but it’s not Cruise’s fault. In American Made, Cruise continues to be insanely charismatic, here depicting American pilot and notorious arms & drugs smuggler Barry Seal, a larger-than-life figure out of a sordid era of American foreign policy.

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