I have mentioned before that I have always been a big fan of the cinema. I love going to the movies, and have slowly but surely persuaded my partner to come over to the dark side- we have popcorn with extra butter.
For three years now I have kept running lists of the movies I have seen throughout the year on my iPhone, and we are coming up on the six-month mark through the year. Last year we saw 36 films, and I am hoping to break our record again this year… we are currently at 17. In that spirit, I thought it would be fun to share my top 5 favorites from this year so far! I am not a professional movie critic, nor a comic book expert- I go to the movies to enjoy myself, not to pick everything apart (regardless of what sites named after spoiled vegetables say)!
I have to say, Joy was one of the best films I have see in a long time. When I initially read the description, I was not so into it, but it had been critically acclaimed at JLaw’s best performance yet to date. I have to agree, she was wonderful. It was a film about a life, and a real person’s life at that. It was realistic, and did not wrap everything up in a nice bow, because let’s be honest- that is not how life works. This film exemplifies some of the best and worst qualities in the human spirit. Determination, ingenuity, and compassion are met with greed, failure, and gluttony. The character of Joy Mangano struggles and struggles, and shows that sometimes things pan out, but most of the time they don’t. This film is for the pessimist and the optimist in all of us.
- THE REVENANT
So I actually went to se this film with my dad, not because of Leo, but because my dad (being an American history buff) has been a life long fan of the main character Hugh Glass. Overall this film had some of the most beautiful cinematography I have ever seen. Some felt that the long shots of trickling water or swaying trees were redundant, but I felt that it helped set a tone of utter isolation and volatile wilderness that cannot be spoken in words. DiCaprio won best actor for his role, which I will say was amazing. My dad and I both felt that Tom Hardy should have won best supporting actor, because he did a much better job than DiCaprio, playing his character down to a tee. The costumes, the makeup (ie. Beards filled with blood and ice) were entrancing. I enjoyed the film as it was- a historical adaptation. My dad was not as keen on the inaccurate changes in plot, as they tweaked it into a revenge story. But we all know, revenge is sexier and easier to sell. But all in all I felt that the context was historically accurate, according to my dad the guns were accurate for the period and all fired the correct amount of rounds- so I guess we cannot say it is a completely failure in this department!
- WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT
I thought it was fitting that I had one comedy on here! Tina Fey is a wonderful actress, and it was refreshing to see her play a more complex character, again like the previous two films, that was based off of a real person. The film was funny, sad, thought provoking, and challenged social and political conceptions about the war in Afghanistan. I must also add that I greatly enjoyed Billy Bob Thornton and his appearances in the film- he always adds such an awesome comedic element to any film. I laughed so hard at some points, and was misty eyed up at others. It was just a pure enjoyable film though and through that I would plan on purchasing at some point, because I would gladly watch it again!
- THE JUNGLE BOOK
If there is one thing that this film can show us, it is how far animation has come! Although the actors in the film were live action, the animals were animated. I was a bit skeptical going into this film, as The Jungle book had not been my favorite Disney story to date. I was not a big fan of the cartoon version, but I did love the live action version from 1994 staring Jason Scott Lee, Lena Headey, and Cary Elwes. I loved the real animals that they used, and felt as a kid that it was a more ‘grown up’ version since the animals did not talk. Fun fact: I did not realize that Lena Headey is Cersi from Game of Thrones! But the new version, I felt was a happy medium between the two films. It offers the fondness of the talking animals, and includes just enough of the music without being too overbearing. The actors who voiced the animals were awesome- Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Christopher Walken… what more could you ask for! But, we also have more intensity in the live action scenes that engages with a more mature audience. I greatly enjoyed the film, and the boy who played Mowgli was just a typical Disney kid loaded with talent and charisma. I will say without giving anything away, if you are a fan of King Louie, you must see the new version of him in this film- he is a amazing!
- CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR
Now for the simple action film, and boy oh boy was this an action film. I winced, I grimaced, and I felt sympathy pains during this one! I am a fan of the super hero movies and have kept up with the Marvel installments. There was a lot of hype for this one, and I enjoyed it overall. I am not going to speak to the plot accuracy with the comic books, because I am not a comic book expert. I am also not someone who is going to pretend they are an expert in order to seem more trendy- seriously, you people need to get a life! I like action, I like Chris Evans shirtless, my expectations for the film were simple. The film exceeded my expectations, as I became emotionally invested in the characters as they battled each other. The special effects, the choreographed fight scenes, they were all awesome. They have become so good at making you feel like you are in the film, and I find myself ducking and holding my breath during these scenes because they are so intense. I also thought that the introduction of the Black Panther (yes Spiderman too, but I was not that impressed with him) was done so well, and he was such a neat character, and I am sure his movie will be one to see. Disney did a great job, and showed that they can excel at animating both bears and superheroes.
Thanks for reading, and happy movie watching!
Peace and long life.