One Year of Movies

I’ve been waiting to do this for a very long time.

I’m a movie buff, but thanks to my ever busy schedule, I never get the time to actually watch movies anymore. [Hopefully that will change now that school is done for the year. *happy dance*]

Knowing it would be an easy task, I wrote down all the movies I saw in the past year — both new and old — as I saw them, preparing to do a brief review of each one after exactly one year had passed. Well, that year has finally passed, so it is time to start reviewing.

If you’re considering watching any of these movies anytime soon, maybe what I’m about to say will help you decide.

Avengers: Age of Ultron

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The special effects were phenomenal — clean, crisp, realistic, and just generally phenomenal. However, I’m a writer/member of the general public, not a CGI buff, so in no way, shape, or form do I ever go to a movie for the so-called awesome post-production.

Ever.

If I could put more emphasis on that, I would.

I hated Man of Steel because there was too much effort put into special effects and not enough into the script, leaving giant, gaping, cringe-worthy plot holes every other scene. I refuse to see Batman vs. Superman for the same exact reason; I’ve heard it was beautifully made, but not beautifully written, and I just can’t handle that.

It’s apparently common — or at least easy — to do that sort of thing with superhero movies, and I can see why. The action that happens in your head when you read the comic, well, you want the same coolness to appear on screen. Because it’s cool. But then you focus so much on it that you forget to make the actual story good.

Marvel, however, has always done a fantastic job of not doing that and thus not ruining a beautiful story. The company always seems to strike the perfect balance between effects and plot development, leaving the viewer wanting nothing more when the credits finally roll around.

Except with Age of Ultron

The plot was fine. But fine wasn’t what I wanted.

The previews made it seem like Ultron was gonna be the best Avengers yet, like all the arguing and the Maximoffs and Ultron himself would create the craziest, most addicting plot to have ever happened. But it didn’t. The film went from event to event without ever giving me any sort of emotional leverage to hold on to and thus make me care. (Except for the Maximoffs, but what happened with them just angered me.)

It seemed like every tactic the creators used to draw viewers in just didn’t work, mostly because their tactics weren’t well thought out. This left me feeling disconnected, unsatisfied, and slightly confused, which made me very sad.

It wasn’t the worst movie I’ve ever seen, but for Marvel, it definitely wasn’t great.

Overall Consensus: Disappointing

Jurassic World

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The last time I saw Jurassic Park was…well, I don’t remember. It’s been awhile.

But even despite that, Jurassic World was a nice homage to the original. The story was good, there wasn’t too much action, the acting was together. It may have gotten a little boring here and there, but overall, it was perfectly enjoyable.

One thing I didn’t like was how harsh two of the main characters were at the beginning. I understand it was part of their character development, but it honestly felt a little odd and overdone. It actually made me wish a few times that they would just get eaten by a dinosaur and be over with already. By the end, however, I could tolerate them, so I guess it was alright.

The only other problem, then, would be the fact that I can’t remember any of the characters’ names and don’t care enough to look them up. Even as I was watching the movie last spring, I couldn’t remember anyone’s name until it was spoken. I simply gained no emotional attachment to anyone, save the dinosaurs (the end made me very sad for very dinosaur-related reasons). So I guess the writers could have done a better job with characterization? That’s a little picky, though.

Oh, and extra points for Chris Pratt ❤ He was phenomenal.

Overall Consensus: A good one-time watch

Inside Out

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Disney-Pixar, you did it again.

Seeming like it was going to be a little stupid (at least to me when I first saw the previews), Inside Out was actually so freaking good, I couldn’t believe it.

I mean, I should have expected it. Disney and Pixar are famous for their fantastic animated stories. Why would this one have been any different? I don’t know.

Inside Out explores emotion in a very creative, relatable, funny way, and it makes you really think about all you’ve experienced and why you’ve experienced it. It provokes the feels, truly. I teared up twice, as my memory recalls. This movie also makes you wonder if you actually have little dudes holding conferences up inside your head to determine when you’re gonna freak and when you’re gonna not. It’s trippy, man, but in a really great way.

If you think Disney-Pixar animated movies are for kids, think again. They’re not. They never have been, and they never will be, which means that if you haven’t watched any yet, you better start now. With this one. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Overall Consensus: FIVE STARS

Ant-Man

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For a movie about a man whose super power is shrinking to the size of an ant, it was really freaking awesome.

Marvel went back to its old way of balancing effects with plot, so I was thoroughly satisfied with how this film turned out. Sure, it didn’t have a lot of high-action scenes, but I honestly didn’t think the story needed that. It was almost wholly emotionally driven, something Marvel hasn’t really ever done, and it worked for me.

Will I ever watch it again? Sure. If it’s on TV. Will I ever go out of my way to buy it? No, especially cause I accidentally spent $13.50 to see it the first time (long story). But was it worth the one view I gave it? Definitely, especially for the mushy family stuff that really never makes it into any superhero story.

Overall Consensus: Really, really good — and waaaaayyyy better than Age of Ultron

After the Ball

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A Canadian film from 2015 that seemed as if it could’ve happened in the golden era of 2005, this is one of my new favorites.

People everywhere else on the Internet seem to hate it. Why they do, I honestly don’t know.

Yeah, it was cheesy at parts. Yeah, it really was another Cinderella story. But it was done in such a fresh, funny way that I didn’t even care. The cheese simply made it that much more endearing, and the Cinderella-ness was barely even noticeable.

Ignoring what everyone else out there has to say, if you want to see a movie about a young, aspiring fashion designer saving her father’s company by pretending to be a gay man, this movie is for you.

Overall Consensus: A new favorite

Jane Eyre

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Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

^That was me fangirling in every single way possible.

Jane Eyre is the 2011 film adaptation of Charlotte Bronte’s best (in my opinion) novel. And holy cannoli, it certainly lived up to the book.

I was thoroughly engrossed the whole time. Normally, movies of classic novels tend to get a little boring here and there, even when they’re of my favorite stories. Jane Eyre, however, did not. There was not one ounce of boredom in the whole entire movie, even though I knew every single twist and turn that was going to occur. It was phenomenal.

If you’re a fan of the novel, definitely check this out. If you’ve never read the book in your whole entire life, then you absolutely need to watch this. The things that happen will knock your socks off.

That is, of course, if you’re wearing socks. If not, then they’ll simply astounded you.

Overall Consensus: Holy crap, watch this

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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It was a’ight.

Thumbs up on the diversity and the special effects, but the script and the acting were… average. To be nice.

I really wanted to love it because of all the hype, but when I actually went and saw it, I was thoroughly disappointed. For most of the film’s duration, I was sitting in my seat wondering when in the world it would end. And I don’t think I was the only one; I noticed more people get up and go to the bathroom or take a phone call in that showing than in any other I’ve ever been in. It was bad.

The plot at hand was very small (and not very original, either), with a planet destruction problem and a need to get a robot back to its true owner. Oh, and some father-son, Vader-wannabe angst. Yet somehow, it lasted two hours and 15 minutes.

Saying it was “drawn out” would be an understatement.

There was a severe lack of chemistry between Rey and Finn, too, that really made things weird. Like, Finn clearly had a crush on Rey, but Rey was not having it, being as platonic as Plato himself. Then, all of a sudden, she was in love with him and was truly worried about his health and wellbeing. Okay…?

I guess character development was what mainly lacked, and while that may have been okay for Star Wars aficionados, I am not one of those, so it was not okay for me.

Overall Consensus: Meh

Star Wars Episode 4 and 5: A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back

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After seeing the latest Star Wars release, I decided to actually watch the first two originals.

Yes, I know. Shame on me for not seeing them before.

They were fantastic. Expensive, but fantastic. There was humor, romance, action — everything you could ever want in a good film. Except attractive men. There was absolutely no eye candy for this girl right here (probably cause I don’t find the 1970s and ’80s attractive). But hey, what can you do?

Even if you’re not into weird, outer space sci-fi (like me), you’ll still enjoy these movies, mostly because they’re not weird, outer space sci-fi. They’re just generally really good films with really good stories.

Overall Consensus: They’re classics for a reason

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape

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It was recommended on Netflix, and I love Leo. So why not?

It’s not the most appropriate movie in the world, and I also never got the chance to finish it. It was kind of weird, but also really touching. Actually, I don’t think “touching” is the right word. It certainly does rouse up some emotions, though, whatever they may be.

I still don’t know if I liked it, but I can tell you that it was very well made and very well written, with no plot holes that I could find. I also really wanna know how it ends, so I’ll actually be going back to finish it up. That must mean something, right?

Overall Consensus:  Give it a shot. Cause why not?

Into the Woods

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It’s a Disney musical that incorporated every fairytale into one film. Obviously it’s funny, obviously the acting is phenomenal, obviously the singing is great, obviously the plot is solid.

There’s nothing more I can say to describe how fantastical it was, so just go watch it.

Yes, I said fantastical.

Overall Consensus: Fantastical, so you should watch it

White Chicks

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This was actually recommended to me by a very, very good friend who neither lives in this country (America) nor speaks English well. He told me that I neeeeeeddddd to watch White Chicks. Neeeeeeeeeeddddddd.

The second he said that, all my alarms went off, for various reasons. But, because I’m a good friend, I watched it anyway, risking a lot of purity and innocence in the process. However, I must admit that, once I started it, I wished it would never stop.

In it, two black, FBI agent brothers go under cover as two white chicks in order to save their jobs. Commenting on the quality of the film and whether you should watch it, I think that’s all I need to say.

Overall Consensus: A new favorite, and in the words of my friend, you neeeeeeedddd to watch it.

Whisper of the Heart

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This is an anime, and I watched it solely at the request of another friend. It is the first out of two anime that I have ever watched, and wow. Just wow.

I don’t recall many other movies leaving me as emotionally attached to and thoroughly engulfed in a plot as this one. I had to watch it on YouTube with English subtitles and annoying, flickering “thank you for watching” sidebars, but I didn’t even care. The story was so good that none of it mattered. It’s probably one of the best plots I’ve encountered in a very long time.

I want more. I want a sequel. But most importantly, I want someone else to upload it to YouTube with English subtitles so I can watch it again; the video I used before got taken down TT

Finally, after watching this, you’re gonna love “Take Me Home, Country Roads” like you never have before. (Yes, the song.)

Overall Consensus: Get ready to fall in love with a cartoon

Five Centimeters Per Second

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The second anime I’ve ever watched in my life, at the recommendation of a different friend, and it is absolutely beautiful, if you can’t tell by the picture above.

Warning, though: It is also absolutely heart-wrenching. The whole thing made me thoroughly depressed, and the ending made me want to throw my iPad out my window. And maybe even myself. It’s a good thing I’m on the first floor.

Honestly, the story is beautiful and riveting, but if you’re in a good mood and don’t want that ruined, don’t watch this. Also, if you’re in a really crappy mood and trying to get that to end, don’t watch this.

Overall Consensus: So sad but so good *tears*

Zootopia

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Last but not least, this is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. I’ll say the same thing here as I did for Inside Out; don’t mistake it as a children’s film. Kids like the animals, but all the dialogue is for adults.

The wit included and the social issues attacked are absolutely wonderful, keeping your attention the whole time. The plot is really fresh, too, with there maybe being one scene to which I guessed the outcome. There’s also a good bit of action as well as a platonic animal relationship that I totally shipped into turning romantic, cause why not? That romance obviously didn’t happen, though, for scientific reasons.

Overall Consensus: Who doesn’t like animal humor? Five stars


And that is all. This turned out to be a lot longer than anticipated. Oops.

Until next time ❤

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