Friday, 16 February 2018

The Cloverfield Paradox Spoiler Review







Hey everyone we are back again with another movie review. I was originally going to talk about Superbowl trailers but one of those trailers was for The Cloverfield Paradox, called The God Particle when it was on my list of anticipated movies for 2017. And not only that, we also got a release date, it was coming out on Netflix that night after the game. And I finally got a chance to see it. So let’s see what all that waiting is for. I have tried to write this as a non-spoiler review. I really have. That’s part of the reason this is later than anticipated. But unfortunately, this is one of those movies you can’t talk about without talking about the movie. So, out of the ordinary and spoilers ahead.  









I’m not really sure where to start with this one. I’ve been sitting on writing this because I felt like I needed some time to parse through my thoughts on this. So here we are, and hopefully I can make some sense of this. Since I will be talking about specific things that happen, hopefully we can come around to some kind of conclusion once we get to the end.  

We’ll get this out of the way; The Cloverfield Paradox isn’t a bad movie, if that’s where it seemed like I was going. I’m just not sure it was a good movie. Even that seems a little harsh. There was a lot I really liked about this movie, I just had some problems with it, too. Even writing this I’m still not sure how that will affect my final verdict. But let’s get into some details. 

Let’s accentuate the positive here, to begin with. This is a really good cast. Not only is it a really good cast but the performances are all really solid. None of the problems I had with this movie had to do with the actors. Having the film on a space station, it leads to a similar dynamic as on the International Space Station in which the people there come from a variety of different backgrounds and different countries. That leads to some really fun and interesting interactions between the cast, although as I’ll talk about later, it’s something I also wish they’d really gone deeper into because there’s some amazing potential that doesn’t really get utilized. But otherwise, that aspect was one of the high points, even if we made a few Zemo jokes and at one point went ‘That’s where that guy’s from! He was the one that Jane went on a date with in Thor: The Dark World!’. 

The face you make when you find out your dating competition is Thor



The second thing I really liked was the sci-fi aspect of it. For the most part. The whole idea with the Shepard accelerator (I only made one Mass Effect joke when they said that, I promise) was really interesting, and the fact that it was something that they had to work on and wasn’t successful right away. Sometimes that kind of thing is too easy and fires on the first go, and that would have robbed us of some of those character interactions that I liked. I liked the whole multiverse/temporal paradox angle a lot, too. The extra level of uncertainty in what to believe, what is true for our universe and what is from the other one, and that kind of thing. I thought the introduction of Jensen, a character who was part of the mission in the ‘alternate universe’ was actually pretty creepy. Like when she’s stuck in the wall and shrieking and then recognizes Hamilton and you’re like WTF is going on here? That was cool. I’m such a sucker for sci-fi, and this one had a lot of ‘my things’: both hard and speculative sci-fi, working off of actual science as a starting point, multiverses, ethical questions/how people deal with stuff. This should’ve been a slam-dunk, guys.   

Other things I liked: The effects in this film were overall well done. There wasn’t any point where I went ‘oooh, that looks bad’ like I have in other movies. Especially in sci-fi where you need the technology/space stuff/etc. to look convincing or else things get cheesy pretty quick. The score was good but a few days later here nothing particularly memorable stands out, so do with that what you will. There is a little bit of humor in and amongst everything that’s happening and that generally lands. I didn’t really care for the whole bit with Mundy’s arm at the time, but the arm as a character has kind of grown on me and I’m pretty okay with it now. I also liked how the Shepard was supposed to fix everything, ended up causing a huge mess in the process, and then in the end saved everybody and now everything will be hunky dory. That’s a meta thing though, and not to do with the movie.

 which in NO WAY represents how Allie Shepard defeated the Reapers, I swear.


Okay, let’s talk about the part that sucks: the flaws. I have two main issues with this movie that are sadly kind of big ones in the grand scheme of things. 

1.   The ‘Cloverfield’ part of The Cloverfield Paradox. This movie mercilessly beats you over the head with trying to tie this into the Cloverfield franchise, especially the first movie. But you can tell that this wasn’t originally part of the film and was shoehorned in later. And it was shoehorned in hard. The best parts of this movie are when they aren’t trying to connect this all together. What made the original film and 10 Cloverfield Lane so great? They were great movies, but also they weren’t trying to force a connection. In 10 Cloverfield Lane you don’t get a connection to the other film until right at the very end and so it didn’t muddle up the excellent and tense story. I personally disliked it every time they cut away from the station to go back to what was happening on Earth. That severely destroyed the tension of the peril of the crew. Maybe do it the once the first time when the station goes missing initially, but it was done way too many times. And the story with Hamilton’s husband and the little girl goes absolutely nowhere. Cutting that out completely would’ve tightened up the story a lot. What purpose did it serve other than to jam those Cloverfield references in our faces? Even the damn paradox that sends them into this mess is called The Cloverfield Paradox and even the station is called The Cloverfield. We get it guys, they’re related! You can dial it back a bit. You see and hear that word so many times through the runtime that it just sort of starts to lose its meaning.
 
Don't you, forget about me
Don't, don't, don't, don't
Don't you, forget about me

As me and the other half were hashing this out, this was my solution: when the station disappears we go to Earth the first time when Michael finds out. We stay in space for the rest of the movie until the very end. Have Michael and Joe’s final phone conversation in voiceover as the pod comes back down to earth, ending as it cuts through the cloud. Keep the final shot of Clovie rearing up immediately after. End. Boom. I would also cut out most of the references and uses of the word Cloverfield except for maybe the conspiracy theorist on tv at the beginning (but I would have cut that off sooner. It went on too long and got too on the nose) and seeing it on the outside of the station as they depart for the final time. That’s it.        

      2.   Not setting out rules, and thus not following them, leading to zero logic. This is the other big issue for me that I couldn’t ignore. The best way for me to explain it is like this: I enjoy to both read and write, with my preferred genres being fantasy and science fiction (fitting for this discussion). Now whether it be magic, technology, or something else, your universe needs to have rules as how it works. And then you have to adhere to those rules. Without that, logic and suspension of disbelief go out the window. I found that probably by about the midpoint of the movie, where things start going wrong and getting weird, that they must have been making this up on the fly with no logical thought put into things. Stuff just happens with no rhyme or reason. And I know, they’ve created a massive disturbance of space and time and so maybe the effects are unpredictable, but there needs to be something for the audience to buy into what’s going on. It kind of seems like they backed themselves into a corner by killing Volkov off relatively quickly and without the really interesting interpersonal drama he was cultivating, especially with Schmidt, that they needed something to put in there to keep the story going so they didn’t have to tip off the reveal with Jensen too early. I liked the temporal/physicalWhy are things displaced? Even some speculation form the characters? A line about location of things in their universe vs. the alternate one? Nothing? 
displacements of things a lot, but they didn’t do a whole lot with it.
                Then when they start the mid-movie cast reduction, it just feels like they go to a point that could be logical and then just go that step further just because, or for extra shock value. I say this especially in regards to Tam and Mundy. Why did that chamber fill with water? Are we supposed to extrapolate that it was because the other Cloverfield Station crashed into the sea or because she was doing work regarding water condensation? Why is there no water anywhere else then? Why did it wait until that point to flood? Was the flash freeze necessary or just something for shock value? As far as Mundy goes, if the magnetic sealant was being pulled to the suddenly-magnetized (again, with no explanation) door, why in the next shot is against the opposite wall trying to engulf him like a Venom symbiote? 

not exaggerating

     When it was all set up to go right through him? The wall's obviously still magnetized or it wouldn’t have pulled that CO2 canister. It would’ve made more sense if the sealant and/or Mundy hitting the wall had somehow caused the explosion. And why did the other wall suck in and pull off his arm earlier on? There is even less logical reasoning for that other than to have the humorous disembodied arm bits later on. Did alternate Mundy have one only arm and this was a ‘course correction’? It’s never touched on, nor does the ability of the arm to move independently and intelligently, even after the rest of Mundy dies. I understand that it’s the whole idea of ‘we’ve ripped a hole in space and time and now weird stuff is happening and we have no idea what the hell is going on’, but there’s no logic behind it the way there was for the displacements. And no one ever says anything about it. If this was happening to you, wouldn’t you at least ask maybe once, if only to yourself, what is going on? I needed something here, guys. I don’t care if it’s a Star Trek-esque technobabble explanation, but you can’t just have stuff happen and gives us nothing on why. And I don’t want to hear that ‘mystery box’ garbage, that’s no excuse to be sloppy in world-building. 



Well, that’s off my chest now. So, final thoughts? This was an okay movie. If I hadn’t been anticipating this movie for this long would I have thought differently of it? Maybe, but given that my two big issues with it were story-driven, probably not. The original premise of the film, back when it was called The God Particle, was just so interesting that I was really looking forward to a good, hard sci-fi film and I didn’t quite get what I wanted. Would I recommend it? Well, the performances are good and you can watch it on Netflix literally anytime you want, so if you’re curious, give it a go. It’s only an hour and forty minutes, so even if you don’t like it, it’s not particularly long. I wish I could’ve given this the glowing review I’d been hoping for. I guess I’ll just have to wait and see how Annihilation is when it opens next week. Although before that, and in fact tomorrow, we’ll be heading down to see Black Panther, so expect a review for that very soon.            

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Movies of 2018 I’m not Interested In


 
Hey everyone, I thought I’d do something a little different. Let’s be honest, the anticipated movies of 2018 are pretty straightforward. Is there any doubt that I’m excited for Infinity War, Black Panther, A Wrinkle in Time, etc., etc., etc.? I could expound my excitement for Annihilation, The Predator, or whatever the heck they’re going to call that third Cloverfield movie. But I also discovered there’s a lot of ‘big’ movies coming out that I’m just plain old not interested in. It runs a gamut between ‘meh’ and ‘kill it with fire’, and I thought this might be more fun. So let’s look at the un­-anticipated movies of 2018. I’m sure some will be obvious, others probably not so much.

10. Ready Player One
Steven Spielberg, science fiction, nerd and gaming references out the wazoo, this movie was made for people like me. They even put Van Halen’s Jump in the trailer. But I just can’t get excited for it. To be honest I don’t know why, and that’s kind of why it’s at the bottom of the list. Of all the ones on here, it’s the one I’d be most likely to go to the theater for, even though I probably won’t. I don’t know, it’s just not hitting me where it should.

9. Pacific Rim: Uprising
This is another one that’s a big old ‘meh’ from me. The first one was, okay, I guess, but it didn’t really fire me up. The only reason I’d go support this one is John Boyega (as the son of Idris Elba’s character!). We’ll probably at least rent this one because the kids might enjoy it, especially if ‘Finn’ is in it. Couldn’t be any worse than Power Rangers was, right?

8. Rampage
This movie, based on the trailers, is coming off really weird. In a way it seems like they’re taking it too seriously. Looking more at the most recent trailer, it seems a little lighter. This premise is completely goofy, don’t take it seriously. This is based on an almost 32 year old video game, not Tolkien. Dwayne Johnson and Jeffrey Dean Morgan at least look like they’ll be fun. I don’t know, did we really need this? Strictly a rental, since I’m sure I’ll end up seeing at least some of these movies this year.  

7. Tomb Raider
Another entry on the ‘why did they make this?’ list. I mean, it’s cool how close this looks to the excellent 2013 reboot game, but why watch a condensed version of that when you could just go play the game? I get that not everyone is a gamer, but we’ve seen time and time again that these adaptations just don’t work. You lose something in translation from participant to observer. It’s something I can’t readily define, but it’s something that from all the evidence appears to be vital. Control? Character investment? A combination of these plus others? Everyone from Mario Bros. to Mortal Kombat has gone down this route, and time and time again it flops. I love Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, but even I won’t argue they’re good movies. Let’s not even get into slog-fests like Assassin’s Creed.  Just stop making video game movies. Video games are cinematic enough now that we don’t need it.       

6. Red Sparrow
 So this is basically to get the jump on Marvel? When fans said they wanted a Black Widow movie, I’m pretty sure this wasn’t what they meant (we would like to know what happened in Budapest, though). What looks like it’ll amount to a knock-off of a movie I actually want to see and get made? Not feeling it.

5. Mission Impossible 6
I haven’t seen one of these since number two. I think that pretty much sums it up.

4. Bumblebee: The Movie
No more Transformers. Sure, this one isn’t being directed by Michael Bay, but do we really need to start doing solo spinoffs for this franchise? And a prequel/origin? Sure, the very first movie does hold some nostalgia since it was me and hubby’s first date, but that’s about it (and maybe the two seconds of Soundwave in the second one, just for his voice). We stopped with the movies after the third one and the kids much prefer the animated shows on Netflix, and I think we’re just going to stick with that.

3. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald
I have a confession, I’m not a huge fan of Harry Potter. I have nothing against it (in fact, I respect the hell out of it); I’ve enjoyed the books I’ve read and the movies I’ve watched, but it never grabbed me the way it did others. About the closest I got to getting into it was going to the website to see which House I’d get sorted into (I’m a Hufflepuff) but somehow I kind of missed the boat. It’s not even Johnny Depp’s inclusion, I’m just not interested. I really hope those that are fans like it, though.

2. Super Troopers 2
This movie isn’t on here because I hated the first one. The opposite, in fact. There are so many nights we watched the movie, often playing drinking games along to it. It’s hilarious and quotable, and just fine the way it is. I feel like this is one of those sequels that’s come way, way too late and just didn’t need to be made. It would make me really sad if I watched it and found it just wasn’t funny because the concept or the humor or something just didn’t age well or didn’t work the second time around. Why can’t we just leave these things alone?

1.      1. Fifty Shades Freed
Well this should come as no surprise. Last year our Valentine’s movie date was Deadpool. This year, it’ll be Black Panther. I don’t watch ‘chick flicks’ in general because it isn’t my thing and that’s fine. But I’m certainly not going to watch one as cringe-worthy and terrible as this. I tried to read both this and Twilight at one point (sort of a ‘know thine enemy’ kind of thing) and I barely made it through a handful of pages of either because it was so painful. The only good thing I can think of about this movie is that there won’t be any more of them after this.

So, there it is, movies I’m not interested in. A little something different. We’re hoping to watch Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters sometime this weekend, so hopefully I can put together a review for that. We’re all pretty excited for it, so we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully everyone has a good week and we’ll see you next time!       

Saturday, 13 January 2018

2017 Movie Roundup Part 2


Hey, everyone, we’re back with numbers 11-1 of my movies of 2017. It’s all up from here folks, as we count down to my favorite movie of the year. Let’s get right to it!


11. The Hitman’s Bodyguard
It’s nice to have a movie that’s self-aware enough to know exactly what it is. This is that movie. You want a fun, unfiltered, action film that’s basically Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson just doing their thing? This is 100% for you. This is the kind of movie you watch when you want to have a good time. I knew exactly what I was getting into from the first poster and trailer inspired by that other Bodyguard movie, and I wasn’t disappointed. 



10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

How do you follow up a film like the first Guardians of the Galaxy? It seems like a daunting task but this film didn’t fall into many of the traps of sequels in needing to be ‘bigger, more explodey just because'. This film put a lot of focus on character development and expanding the galaxy on top of what we already know. The villain was leagues better than Ronan the Accuser and the interaction between both new and old characters was awesome. And Michael Rooker is a show-stealer. ‘Nuff said.


9. Atomic Blonde

An action-spy flick with Charlize Theron and directed by one of the directors of John Wick? Add in a killer 80’s soundtrack and you’ve got me sold. The fights are knock-down-drag-out brawls that are gorgeously choreographed without the horrible multi-cuts that plague other actions films of late. And don’t even get me started on how much I’d love to see more female-led action films! 2017 was awesome for really getting some good female protagonists out there and I hope we can keep that trend going! 



8. Spider-Man: Homecoming

This is the Spider-Man we’ve been waiting for since at least Spider-Man 2, but more than that I finally feel like we found an actor that embodies both the Peter Parker and Spider-Man sides of the character. I also got one of my favorite villains on screen, and the Vulture was one of the better MCU baddies. I also really appreciated not having to do the origin again and instead see Peter come into himself as a hero in a post-Avengers world. 




7. Dunkirk
Making these lists is always hard. Dunkirk is objectively an incredible film, despite ‘only’ being at number 7 (in the middle of writing this I even bumped this one up a spot and dropped something else down). I don’t want its position on this list to take anything away from how damn excellent it was. This was a gorgeous, fantastically acted, beautifully scored experience that put you on that beach with those men. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. I know I sound like I’m fangirling, but this movie really is that good. 



6. Get Out    

I haven’t been as pleasantly surprised and impressed by a movie in a long time as I was with Get Out. To have your feature directorial film be such an excellent mix of horror, comedy, social commentary, and satire is a huge credit to Jordan Peele. It didn’t quite go in the direction I thought it would but the final reveal was so fascinating that I was glad to be wrong. This movie has had a lot of hype around it and it really does deserve it. Side note, I can’t wait to see star Daniel Kaluuya again in Black Panther next month! 



5. John Wick Chapter 2
I loved everything about the first John Wick movie. It wasn’t much different with this one. I loved how you got more of the world in which these people operate, and to see John in action as more than just a rage-fueled killing machine. The ending left it open for a third and with me going ‘holy crap what are they gonna do next?’ Keanu Reeves is frickin’ spectacular once again and every piece of action is absolutely on-point. The pace is a bit less relentless than the first, but it gives you that opportunity to learn more about this shadowy assassin world and really fleshes things out. 



4. Wonder Woman
Of all the movies I saw last year, this was one of the ones I really, really wanted them to get right. You would not believe how relieved I was that they did. Free from the drag of Batman v Superman, Diana shines in her own film. The cast are all amazing, Themiscyra is appropriately beautiful, World War One is appropriately horrible, and it does it all without being disjointed, dour, or dumb like its predecessors. It was so refreshing to see a superhero who was not only beautiful and badass, but who felt emotions and had compassion without it being framed as a weakness (and not being framed like a sexual object in every shot). I can’t overstate how important it was for this movie to be good, let alone as good as it was. Not just for me, but for people like my little girl, who now always wears her sword stuck in the back of her shirt and had a full, movie-accurate Wonder Woman costume for Halloween (which was quite the project for me).  
 
So worth it, though



3. War for the Planet of the Apes
The third installment in one of the best, most consistently excellent trilogies out there. A beautiful wrap up for the arc of Caesar and how he has developed into a leader for his people and how he grows as a person (ape?). An excellent score, breathtakingly lifelike motion capture, and incredible character development that gets you right in the feels, this film really has it all. I was skeptical about these movies at first, and I’ve never been happier to be wrong. 




2. Star Wars Episode VII: The Last Jedi
Okay, so this was the movie that was holding this all up. After seeing it the first time, I had no idea where to put it on my list and I knew I had to see it again if I was going to come to any sort of conclusion. Long story short, I loved it even more the second time. I found I watched parts of it differently the second time. I know this movie has been divisive but I loved every minute of it, from crawl to credits, all to that John Williams score. And our house is definitely pro-porg. 




1. Logan  
This year I seemed to like my blockbusters with a side of emotional gut-punch. But really, what else could have been number one (other than maybe Star Wars)? Logan was top of my list pretty much all year, and nothing else quite surpassed it. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart were at the top of their game here. In fact, my other half, who works in a personal care home, commented on how eerily familiar Charles Xavier was to some of the residents he’s worked with. The standout performance had to go to Dafne Keen, though. She was absolutely phenomenal and I hope James Mangold gets that X-23 film off the ground with her in it. This was Wolverine as we’d never seen and had been waiting to see on the big screen, in a film full of emotional depth that in some places just shattered me. And I wasn’t the only one getting the feels (I heard all you other people around me in the theater sniffling at certain parts, too). If this was to be Wolverine’s swan song, then he went out in incredible fashion. 


So that’s it, folks, my films of 2017 from bottom to top. This is just my own opinion, of course, and I’m sure everyone has their personal favorites. Let me know what yours was! Next time we’ll look ahead to the films coming out this year and see what we have to look forward to. Until then!  

Monday, 8 January 2018

2017 Movie Wrap Up




Hello everyone, it’s that time of the year again. We’re now in 2018 so let’s give 2017 one final send-off by talking about the movies of the year. I waited a little bit to write this because there was one movie that I really needed to see again before I put everything in the final order. Now that I’ve taken care of that we can get down to this. I didn’t see that many movies this year (I have a list of 22) for a variety of reasons such as distance from theater, releases that don’t release wide enough for us to get them, general time/life/work, etc. things. There are some big releases that I haven’t seen that I wish I could have put on here but unfortunately can’t, so sorry to It, Thor: Ragnarok, Blade Runner 2049, Geostorm, and Justice League, but you don’t get to be on the list. I will be seeing them once they hit home release but I just didn’t get to them theatrically. With that said, let’s get part one started!

Part One: Starting from the Bottom   


As I said, I have 22 films to talk about. We are going to start from the bottom of the list and work our way up to number one. For this part we are going to go over 22-12. Now then, these movies may not all be bad, this isn’t a ‘worst of’ list, but rather the bottom half of all the ones I got to see. So they’ll start bad, but they won’t all be that way.  


22.  The Mummy

Ugh. What an utter waste of time. Tom Cruise is grossly miscast, the movie is dumb and assumes the audience is too, there’s several gross, sexist moments with the female characters, the timeline doesn’t make sense, the CG is bad, and it’s ‘tell, not show’ in the worst extreme. Bottom of the list and it deserves to be there. I’m not wasting any more words on this dreck.  


21. Shin Godzilla 

This movie was weird. It had a lot of potential and some things I really liked. But it also had by far the worst looking Godzilla ever, no matter what his form. There was some elements that really felt like they were trying to fix what wasn’t broken and overall it just wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. I’d recommend for a fan, especially a completionist, but it wasn’t great. 


20. Power Rangers

2017 was a year when a lot of things that were formative to my person got big screen treatment. One of these was Power Rangers, and not just any version, but an update to the original Mighty Morphin’ team. And…. It wasn’t great. Rereading my review, I was pretty kind to it overall score-wise. Everything was aesthetically over-complicated and ugly and the movie overall just didn’t really have the fun of the original show. It took itself way too seriously too, and lacked the self-awareness that it really needed. It wanted to be dark and gritty but didn’t want to fully commit. Didn’t ruin my childhood, but didn’t do it any favors, either.  

19. Ghost in the Shell

A franchise I knew nothing about, and yet even I could tell how much they simplified and dumbed it down. The look of it was fascinating and there was a glimpse of a really deep, amazing world, but the story just wasn’t there. It was all gloss and no substance, and I really feel that that substance would have not only made it a better movie, but could’ve been a good primer for non-fans like me to pull in new blood to the fandom.

18. Beauty and the Beast 

This is the second film on this list to have source material close to my heart. This live-action remake does nothing to ‘improve’ or add to the original, animated film, and many of the most magical moments of the animated film fall flat here. The extra songs don’t add much but runtime and the design, while elaborate, is del Toro-lite but lacking the love and attention of a del Toro creation. The cast was stacked with amazing actors, but as they say in the animated film ‘if it’s not baroque, don’t fix it!”.

17. Colossal 

Okay, so this was a good movie. It just ended up here. It was a really fun take on kaiju films and it was cool to see Anne Hathaway play a totally different character to what she usually does. It went in directions that I didn’t think it would and was overall a really neat film and I would definitely recommend it just for all the weird directions it took.

16. Guardians 

This one I actually just watched not too long ago. I didn’t do a proper review for it (holiday burnout) but it was a fun movie. It’s basically Russian Avengers, sort of. And one of them is a were-bear. It’s a really fun action movie and a really good time. We were able to rent it dubbed in English and that went pretty good, the dub was overall well done. One interesting thing, their S.H.E.I.L.D-type organization had a lot of women in it, in fact their ‘Nick Fury’ was a woman and it was really cool to see. It was a really good time.

15. Free Fire

This movie did something unexpected, it took what would be a 3-5 minute sequence in any other action flick and made it feature-length. I have to applaud them for making that work. The acting was all really good and every character felt individual without needing tons of exposition or character exploration. It’s amazing to watch and to see this play out, and it has a lot of good tension and good action. I do recommend it just to see it and how they made it work.

14. The Dark Tower

Since 2017 was gonna do everything I loved on the big screen, it really cut to the quick on this one. I have long maintained that this series should not be adapted, and they didn’t do much to prove me wrong. Idris Elba, Matthew McConaughey, and Tom Taylor were excellent in their roles, but the rest… If you were gonna do this, do a limited run on HBO or Netflix or something and adapt the damn story of the book. Don’t make a dumbed-down, simplified, PG-13 version of something that should be none of those things. Don’t even get me started on the 90-minute runtime, especially when bloated monstrosities like Batman v. Superman are being made.

13. Lego Batman 

How do you take the history, the mythos, the legend of Batman, and totally turn it on its head? By making him Lego, apparently. This movie takes the ‘granny’s peach tea’ out of every incarnation that has come before in the best, most meta way possible. You could spend the whole movie just picking out Easter eggs and references, but at the same time you get a really good story out of it as well. This movie nailed it and is awesome for both kids and adults. If you haven’t seen it, go see it.

12. Kong: Skull Island

I was a little meh on Kong in the fact that they were making this movie essentially to introduce him so he could fight Godzilla later on. But you know what, this was a pretty darn good movie. I really liked the setting, and that they went with something different by going with the end of the Vietnam War instead of an earlier time reminiscent of his other film appearances. The cast was solid and the effects were great and that post-credit stinger was awesome. And that soundtrack was fantastic.  

Alright folks, stay tuned for 11-1 in the next few days! We’re on the upswing!